How to Downsize
An Empty Nester’s Guide
If you’ve just returned from dropping your children off at a university, or they graduated in May and are officially out of the house for good, downsizing your space might be on your radar.
Selling a large home and moving into a smaller one not only holds the promise of making life easier to manage, it can also be more cost effective. But if you’ve been in your current home for a couple decades, you’ve likely amassed a lot of stuff. When is the last time you cleaned out your attic or garage?
The key to downsizing effectively is taking a systematic approach to planning your move and organizing the space. Here are some tips.
Declutter First, Slowly
Getting rid of things you no longer need or want isn’t for the faint of heart. To manage the process of first reviewing your stuff, use these tips:
- Tackle cleaning out spaces slowly over time. You don’t have to tackle the basement and the linen closet on the same day.
- Make three piles: “Keep,” “Donate” and “Trash.” Don’t make a “Maybe” pile
- Decide if you want to include a “Sell” pile (only if you actually intend to sell items).
- To help you make decisions, ask yourself questions like, “When is the last time I used this?” and “What purpose will this serve in my new home?” If you can’t remember the answer to the first question or you don’t have an answer to the second question, it might be time to part ways.
- Choose where you’ll donate what you no longer need. There are many options depending on what you have to donate. Check first—some donation centers prohibit specific items.
Use Space Wisely
If you’ve made the decision to downsize, you might be concerned about keeping your new space clutter-free—whether it’s a smaller house, a condo or an apartment.
To make the most out of less space, use it wisely and consider storage options which make the most out of your closets.
- More hanging storage – If you’ve got small reach-in closets with one rod and a shelf, you can likely add a second rod to double hanging storage for your clothes.
- Hooks and racks – Add hooks behind the door or on the side wall of your reach-in closet or in your walk-in closet to hang bags or accessories. This is also a good spot to add a tie rack or belt rack so you’re not taking up valuable space elsewhere in your closet.
- Shelves and cubbies – Adding shelves and cubbies to a reach-in or linen closet is an excellent way to add storage that helps you avoid piling items on top of items, which can quickly contribute to clutter
If these solutions seem appealing to you, you could also go with a completely custom solution, where a professional Designer reviews the space and helps you maximize it. It’s a better way to ensure that all of your things have a place in your new, more compact home.
Beyond considering where you’ll keep all of your stuff, it makes sense to think multipurpose when downsizing. The spaces in your new home—and the furniture in those spaces—can pull double duty so you can get more out of them.
For example, choose an ottoman that doubles as a storage bin. Consider a kitchen island with cubbies on the side for small appliances or cook books. Maximize under-bed storage with containers or a bed with drawers below it.
And when it comes to sleeping arrangements, you can opt for a sofa bed or even a Murphy bed.
For the full article, visit Closet Works
When you need help getting your empty nest organized, reach out to Organize Me!
Kid’s Party + Your Home = Disaster
How to have a kid’s party & keep an organized home
It’s pretty much a fact of life. Where there are children, there will be a mess. Especially if you have 30 of them running around your house. The thought of having dozens of kids in your home and the mess it may leave can drive a lot of parents to avoid a party. This doesn’t have to be the case however; you can host dozens of people and be left with only a minimal mess.
By taking the proper steps you can decrease the chaos and clutter in your home. You’ll have to take some time in advance to think it out. Consider the following:
- Plan ahead. Try to come up with a list of all the details you will need to consider. This especially includes areas that you fear will get messy the quickest or will bother you the most.
- Clean your home. This includes making sure all trash and recycling cans are completely empty – including the bathroom trash.
- Create a fun area for items. Especially for jackets and shoes, create a space that encourages guests to put their items there. Do something simple like plastic bins or check out the pictures below for some ideas!
- Make it obvious. Clearly display to your guests where items belong especially trash, recycling, gifts and your toys. Place trash & recycling bins right in the middle of the party area. Create a clear area for gifts and mention that you will be opening them after guests leave.
- Prepare your bathroom. Make sure you have extra toilet paper out in the open. Empty your trash cans and fill up your soap. Display your hand towel in the open and leave and extra one out on the counter.
- Have a ready-to-go yard. By having an inviting yard, you can encourage guests to spend time outside. Leave a limited amount of toys outside to decrease the mess left behind. But include trash cans outside too!
- Use simple crafts. When planning activities, keep crafts to a minimum. Try to avoid glitter, projects with scissors and anything else that can leave little pieces behind.
- Leave a small amount of toys out. The less toys you leave out to be played with, the less clutter they will create!
- Prepare healthy snacks. Don’t go crazy giving your guests foods that are high in sugar, this will only amp up the craziness. Provide fruit, vegetables, flavored rice cakes and other healthier foods for munching. Leave the cake for the end and send your guests off with their sugared up kids!
- Enforce the rules. When guests arrive, make sure they have a clear vision of where stuff is and goes. Show them the lead by having yourself and your child properly clean up too
- Expect some mess. Regardless of all your efforts, there will still be a mess. You can’t completely avoid trash left behind, toys laying around your house and other people forgetting their belongings.
Check out Pinterest for some of these ideas: Organize Me! LLC
When you need help getting your home ready for a party, get in touch with Organize Me!
Top Home Organizing Mistakes to Avoid
How to become more functional
You get home from a busy day at work and drop your bag and shoes just inside the door. You drape your coat over a chair and put your keys on the kitchen counter. And you hurriedly stash a few items your kids left on the kitchen table in your designated “junk drawer”.
By following these routines, you might think your home is organized. But it may actually be harder to find things when you need them and to generally maintain order, which only makes daily life more stressful.
Here are some home organization mistakes you might be making and how to avoid them.
The first thing you see when you open the door and the last thing you see when you leave your house. If it’s cluttered with piles of shoes, a jacket or two hung on the door knob and a lineup of school and work bags, your entryway can contribute to getting the day started on the wrong foot.
Instead, reorganize your coat closet and add some hooks to keep bags, coats and scarves organized. Or, consider springing for a custom mudroom or entryway solution that includes baskets for outdoor gear and sports equipment, cubbies for shoes and plenty of hooks to hang items.
Disorganized junk drawer
Everyone’s got that one drawer in their kitchen or office where things that have no other “home” simply get stashed. But throwing something in a drawer doesn’t mean it’s organized. A disorganized junk drawer makes it harder to find everything from that extra roll of tape to your phone charger or your extra set of keys. We’re not asking you to get rid of this handy catchall space in your home, but we are suggesting you clean it up.
Add a drawer organizer to create dividers for different groups of things. It’ll keep you from scouring everything each time you’re looking for something simple like a notepad. And, if you’ve got a lot of devices to organize, you can also dedicate one space to become a docking drawer so everything can be charged at once
The box of pasta hiding in the back of your pantry is two years out of date. And your spices are anything but fresh. Overstuffing your pantry makes it harder to find what you need and almost guarantees you’ll end up buying more dry food than you need. Organizing your pantryand finding a good strategy for storing not only food, but trays, tablecloths and bulk items will help you get a better view of what you have and be less wasteful.
Shopping before you purge old clothes
Reviewing the clothes and shoes you have before you buy new items is the best way to stay organized when it comes to your closets. Review your wardrobe each season and consider donating clothes that are beyond repair or that you won’t wear anymore because they’re too small or are lower quality than what you buy now. Similarly, clean out your linen closet and donate old towels, sheets, quilts and blankets you no longer have a use for. You’ll free up space, making it easier to find everything in your closet. And chances are, you’ll rediscover something you didn’t remember you had.
If your home is constantly cluttered, you’ll eventually begin ignoring the mess. This might seem like an adequate solution; however, your cluttered rooms make it more difficult to find what you need and remember where you put things. If you maintain an organized home, you’ll enjoy more peaceful routines.
When you need help with your home organizing, Contact Organize Me!
For this full article from Closet Works, click here!
Here’s how to organize you desk
Your desk is your command center. How well it’s organized can help set the tone and productivity level
“Surveys show the average person loses an hour a day to disorganization,” said Lisa Zaslow, a professional organizer in New York City. “It takes much less time to get and stayed organized. Think about how frantic and stressed you are when you can’t find something.”
Here’s how experts suggest organizing your desk for maximum efficiency and productivity:
Get your layout right
Your monitor should be in front of you at eye-level and about 17-inches from your body, according to Zaslow. Put frequently-used items, like the phone or supplies, on your dominant side to avoid having to reach across.
Mind your office supplies
Supplies used every day can go on the desk. Items used a couple times a week should go in a drawer under or to the side of a desk. “Getting up even just once a day for a pencil or paper clip is shutting your brain off a project you are working on and you will have to come back and re-center,” said Amy Trager, a professional organizer in Chicago.
It’s also best to group like items together. “All your office supplies should be kept together, not split up in multiple drawers,” said Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer.
Go easy on reminders.
When it comes to sticky notes, moderation is key. Framing your monitor with notes isn’t the most effective. “They’ve lost their usefulness at that point,” said Trager. Use them for important short-term reminders.
Don’t go overboard with personal knick-knacks
Maintaining work-life balance is hard, especially on your desk. Family pictures, vacation souvenirs and other trinkets can provide positive feelings during the work day, but too many mementos can be a distraction.
“Our eyes pull every single thing in front of us and our brain processes it — even if we don’t realize it,” explained Zaslow. A desk full of stuff means “that is a lot of work and editing for you.” She recommended keeping no more than three personal items on a desk.
Control your inbox.
E-mail is a convenient way to communicate, but it can also be a major distraction. If it becomes too much of a distraction, Trager recommended designating certain time periods throughout the day to check and respond to email. “The rest of the time is for work.” Also, don’t be afraid to disable the pop-up notices of new mail if it interrupts work flow.
Embrace white space
Keep a paper-sized free space to your dominant side as a designated work space to make it easier to review or sign documents.
Prioritize your work flow
Only keep relevant and active projects and documents on your desk. When work gets backed up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stall productivity, so here’s how Trager recommended grouping projects to prioritize:
1) Important and urgent
2) Urgent, but not necessarily important
3) Important, without urgency
4) Non-urgent, and not important
She added vertical file holders help avoid stacking folders on top of each other and overlooking the ones not on top.
Keeping a desk organized requires frequent upkeep and assessments, so be sure to take a weekly scan of your desk to make sure everything still deserves a spot on your work space.
When you are ready to get your home office in order, contact Organize Me!
For the full article by CNN Money, click here
The Moving Package
You hate moving, Organize Me! loves it.
Make both of us happy by allowing yourself the luxury of purchasing the Moving Package.
The Moving Package helps make it a lot easier and less stressful. Allow Organize Me! to take care of the little details so you can worry about other aspects of your new home journey.
The moving package includes the following:
- 6 Hours of Packing & Organizing Assistance
- 10 Heavy Duty Medium Sized boxes
- 10 Heavy Duty Small Sized boxes
- 1 Large Roll of Bubble Wrap
- 50 Sheets of Packing Paper
- 1 Roll of Shipping Tape
- Additional necessary supplies for labeling such as markers, scissors, box labels.
- Savings of 10% from Organize Me!’s regular fee for any additional organizing time or packing supplies needed to complete your project
This bundled package has a total savings of 20%. Whether you focus on money saved, time saved or sanity saved; The Moving Package is sure to make your move to your new home a little easier to manage!
To Purchase for your move, click here: Purchase The Moving Package
For questions, visit the Contact Page to get in touch with Organize Me!
- Additional 10% discount may only be used to complete a moving project begun with Organize Me!
- Organize Me! is responsible for the purchase and providing of all supplies listed. Products purchased are solely at the discretion of Organize Me!
- The Moving Package includes the products listed above as well as home organizing services. Organizing services includes packing, sorting, recycling, trashing, handling, viewing and other necessary means to assist in a moving project. Organizing services do not include cleaning or furniture installation or disassembly or moving services.
- Package is for six hours. If this time is split, the total six hours must be used within one weeks’ time.
- Organize Me! is not responsible for items damaged during a move after packing and organizing services are received.