Walk In Closet
Organized in two hours!
Here’s what happens when hard work pays off! After only two hours, great progress was made. This client’s determination to have more room in her closet motivated her to eliminate what wasn’t necessary anymore. We eliminated a total of four trash bags of clothing to go to donation! After sorting, properly folding & hanging, a great deal of space was revealed.
The items on the bed were also sorted and properly put inside the closet or given for donation. While there are still a few remaining items to sort through, I’d say this project was a great success! Check out the pictures below to see how motivation and being ready to let go can help move your home forward.
When you’re ready to start transforming your home, reach out to Organize Me!
Fall Organizing Offer
Prepare now and save!
Plan ahead for your Fall organizing now and save! September is only 3 short months away. Have organizing project around your house you know you want to work on but don’t want it to interrupt your Summer? Get a free hour of organizing when booking four or more for September or October. Upon booking your preferred date and time, an extra hour will be added for free after the last hour. You will receive an email confirmation of this.
This offer is available for appointments booked in September or October only and is for any service or four or more hours. Appointments must be booked by July 31, 2018. Cancellations or changes must be done at least 7 days prior to the original appointment date or a $50 fee will be charged.
Click this link to select your service of four or more hours and the best date and time to fit your schedule!
For questions, feel free to reach out through email at Carolyn@Organizemefrederick.com or 240-242-7152.
I look forward to working with you this Fall!
What You Should Store in Your Laundry Room
The task of completing laundry is a time-consuming and tedious tasks you’re likely stuck doing at least once a week—if not more. But having some sort of laundry room in your home—or just a small nook—can make it much easier to corral clothes and get laundry done in a more efficient way.
Clearly, you should keep your laundry detergent near the washer and dryer, but what else should be stored in your laundry room? Here’s what to keep there to make cleaning your clothes a little easier each week.
Keep your laundry detergent, stain remover, fabric softener and bleach nearby in a cabinet above your washer and dryer. If you’re short on space, a slim cabinet with roll-outs that take advantage of the depth of the cabinet could work.
We’re big advocates of storing things where you use them. An omnitrack with hooks near your washer and dryer can hold paper towels for spills and other cleanup. You may also want to keep hand soap nearby if you’ve got a sink, as well as any cleaners you use in or near your laundry room.
Your laundry room can be a great place to store some old towels just in case you need to clean up a mess. It can also serve as a backup storage spot for other linens that don’t fit elsewhere in your home. Towels and other linens can be stored in cabinets, in a wire basket or on custom shelves
Ironing board, iron and supplies
Ironing is another chore that many people loathe—but one thing that can make it a little bit easier is having your ironing board, iron and any supplies within easy reach. A wall-mounted or drawer-mounted ironing board in your laundry room can make it easier to iron your clothes before they ever go back in your closet.
Drying rack, rod and hooks
Delicates that can’t go into the dryer are usually meant to dry flat. Adding a pull-out drying rack to your laundry room is a great way to help your garments keep their shape and dry without getting ruined on a hanger or in the dryer. For garments that you may want to hand wash and drip-dry, a rod installed over the sink is the perfect place to hang things while they dry. Hooks are perfect for hanging a variety of things like mesh dry-cleaning bags or totes or organizing freshly laundered clothes.
Hampers and baskets
Outfitting your laundry room is one way to separate your clothes into lights, darks and dry cleaning before they hit the washer. Add a few tilt-out hampers or a roll-out removable hamper that’s easy to lift out when you need to carry clothes from one spot to the next.
If you’re ready to create a laundry area that’ll help you work more efficiently, reach out to Closet Works and view the full article here!
When you need help getting your home organized, reach out to Organize Me! We can tackle your laundry room together.
How to (Safely) Get Rid of Old Tech Clutter
Electronics are far more disposable than they were decades ago; when technology advances or when something breaks, we tend to replace old devices instead of getting them fixed. Unfortunately, old computers, music players and peripherals like cables and hard drives can’t or shouldn’t just be thrown in the trash. These things need to be recycled properly so that your personal data stays safe and so harmful components don’t become environmental hazards.
Here’s how to safely get rid of all of those tech devices.
Just like any major decluttering project, the first step is gathering all of your electronic devices and putting them in one spot. That likely means it’s time to clean out your home office desk drawers and cabinets, your nightstand drawers, your closets, the home entertainment center, that junk drawer in your kitchen and anywhere else tech clutter may be hiding.
Look for things like:
- Cables for your TV, stereo, camera or MP3 player
- Controls for devices you no longer use
- Digital cameras
- Rechargeable batteries
- Laptops, monitors, computer towers
- Keyboards, mice, webcams, external hard drives
- Game consoles and controllers
- CDs, DVDs, floppy disks
Separate everything into two piles: keep and recycle. Importantly, if you discover that a piece of electronic equipment still works, but you no longer use it, you may consider selling it if it’s still worth something. As you review each item, figure out if the item still works, if anyone in the family still uses it and if it’s of any use to you.
Items you’ve decided to keep
You’ve decided to hang on to that digital camera or portable speaker—make sure it’s stored properly. Whether in a cabinet in your home office or in your reach-in closet, it’s best to store devices in a protective bag, to keep it free of dust and dirt. Use bins and baskets to store these items in one place. If it’s cords you’re holding onto, you may want to label them for future use. DVDs and CDs should be stored in their original cases or in a CD book.
Recycling through retailers
The easiest option for getting rid of computers, small speakers, peripherals, gaming consoles and most other small electronic devices is to turn to big box electronic retailers like Staples or Best Buy. You’ll likely have the most luck recycling these devices there because they accept a variety of devices and their associated cords and chargers. Check out Best Buy’s Recycling Program and Staples’ Recycling Program.
Importantly, if you’d like to recycle an old computer monitor, you may be charged a fee.
Cellphones are even easier to recycle. While big box retailers will accept these devices, you may be able to stop by your local grocery store or department store to recycle your phone. Look for recycling bins at your local Whole Foods or even in your shopping mall. Your phone manufacturer may also accept old tech you no longer use. Check out Apple’s Recycling and Trade-Up Programs that allow you to recycle or even get a gift card for your old cellphone, iPod, laptop or electronic device.
Recycling through charitable donations
Charities also accept electronic devices. If you’ve got a few cellphones you no longer use, consider donating them to Cell Phones for Soldiers. Goodwill and The Salvation Army also accept some electronic devices in all conditions.
How to recycle CDs and DVDs
Getting rid of old CDs and DVDs might seem like a no-brainer—they’re not bulky and they’re plastic, so you can toss them in your recycling bin, right? Wrong. CDs and DVDs are made from a special type of plastic that most likely can’t be recycled with other containers. Instead, you can donate music and movies to local thrift shops or charities, or send them away to be recycled safely through programs like GreenDisk and the CD Recycling Center. There may be a small fee involved to cover the cost or recycling these items.
Getting rid of personal data
Before you recycle laptops, digital cameras, hard drives or cellphones, remove all your personal data and restore the device to factory settings. The process for doing this is a little bit different for each device; however, it’s important to note that simply deleting files on a computer isn’t enough. To purge your device of things like saved passwords and other identifying files, you need to completely reset it.
To reset most cellphones, take a look at this CNET guide or these instructions from Apple. If you’re donating or recycling a digital camera, be sure to first remove the SD card. Laptop and computer hard drive resets vary from operating system to operating system, but you can usually reformat and wipe a hard drive through Settings. Check out this guide from Consumer Reports.
If the laptop or computer you’re recycling no longer works, you can also manually destroy the hard drive before recycling it—just remove it from the computer, unscrew the hard drive and use a hammer and nails to break the actual hard drive. Just be sure to wear safety goggles before you get started!
This article was wrtten for Closet Works Inc. For the full article, follow this link: Tech Equipment Recycling
For help sorting through your electronics and coordinating their donation, visit Organize Me! LLC
A Parents’ Belongings
How to deal with it when they die
Cleaning out a loved one’s home after their death can be a series of chores that can be emotionally, physically, and financially overwhelming. And what makes the whole task even worse is that it’s difficult to know where to start. The decisions around what to keep, donate, recycle, toss, or sell can be lengthy and depressing.
Fortunately, there are people who will hold your hand through every step of the process. There are professionals who specialize in “bereavement cleanouts,” or the lengthy and stressful task of emptying a loved one’s house after their death. I spoke to a couple of experts in the matter on the steps you need to take to sort through your family member’s belongings after they die.
1. Look at the Will.
It seems obvious, but read the will, says Matt Paxton of Legacy Navigator, a company helps families with estate cleanouts. “A will is not an opinion, it’s a fact. You don’t get to keep the piano just because you want it, even if you’re the one doing all the work.”
2. Get in Touch with an Estate Lawyer and an Accountant
Hopefully your parent already had an estate lawyer and an accountant. If not, ask around for local recommendations. If you’re settling the estate, you’ll need to get the ball rolling with an estate lawyer, and you’ll need to file taxes for the estate. An accountant can help with this. As you clean, keep an inventory of anything of value, and if you anticipate the will being contested, make it a pretty detailed inventory.
3. Set a Realistic Timeline
Paxton says his company estimates that one person can clean out one cubic yard (about the space of a dishwasher) per hour. That means you and one helper can deal with about 16 cubic yards per day. Use that math to estimate your time and how much help you need. Make a trip to a big-box store for contractor’s bags and cardboard boxes. You’ll probably need to go a couple of times once you get a handle on how much stuff there is.
4. Pick a Room
Deborah Goldstein, a professional organizer who specializes in hoarders and bereavement cleanouts, recommends working your way room to room rather than tackling the whole house at once. She suggest starting with a room that is storing mostly junk, like the attic, basement, or garage.
5. Make Piles
As you go, make four piles or staging areas: one for stuff to go to the trash, one for donate/recycle, one for sell and one for consider keeping. “As you work through each room, you’re getting rid of the junk and you’re putting aside things to think about. Most people start with a lot of things in the “things to think about” pile, but as they work, they go back and do different edits,” says Goldstein.
5.5. (Maybe Stay in a Hotel)
It can be emotionally taxing to stay in the house you’re cleaning out, especially if your relationship with the deceased was not ideal. “If it was really toxic relationship, I think a hotel is worth it,” says Goldstein, though of course she notes that that decision depends not only on your finances but also on the state of the house.
6. Draw Straws and Have An Hourly Show and Tell
If it’s not clear before your parent’s death who gets what items from the house, says Paxton, “literally draw straws as to who gets to pick first an item to keep.” He recommends, if you’re working with helpers, to work in the same room together at the same time.—This will minimize suspicions that someone might be pocketing something.
7. Touch Everything. Literally Everything
Everyone I spoke to stressed that you have to check every pocket, every file cabinet, the toe of every shoe to find squirreled-away cash and valuables. “I’ve found diamond rings, safe-deposit box keys, cash,” says Goldstein. Says Paxton, “Check all the pockets, check every medicine bottle, check the freezer, check the toilet tank. We find a lot of money.” His compan
y will even run a metal detector over the backyard.
8. Deal With Paperwork As You Go
If you’re lucky, your parents were organized and had all their estate planning in place before they died, and that paperwork is neatly filed. But no matter what, you’re going to be handling every piece of paper in the house. Goldstein recommends designating one wall or area for paperwork and stashing it there as you clean out the rooms. Make piles by category.
9. If You’re the Executor, File What You Need to Settle the Estate
Regina Kiperman, an estate-planning attorney in New York, suggests getting as many copies of the death certificate as there are accounts to settle. Then, as you clean, you need to keep birth certificates, social security cards, military records, recent bank statements, medical and pharma bills, any stock or bond certificates, annuities, and life-insurance policies. Shred everything else if it has identifiable information. Keep an eye on the mail through the next tax season to see if there are statements or 1099s coming in that you didn’t know about. If you don’t know how to deal with computers or online accounts—like you don’t have the passwords—ask the estate lawyer for advice on how to proceed.
10. Haul Stuff Away
Paxton says his company tends to donate to local charities, like those that provide clothes to people getting out of prison. However, big charities will sometimes haul away furniture if it’s in good shape. For auctions, he uses Everything But the House. If you need local assistance and/or advice, you can google “estate cleanout + your city” for businesses that specialize in this kind of job.
And take it easy on yourself. It’s an emotionally fraught time, even more so if you’re dealing with this with siblings or other family members. “Try to be understanding of your siblings,” says Paxton. “And at the end of the day, it’s just stuff. Don’t lose your family over it. I’ve seen families break up over Beanie Babies.” He pauses. “Oh, and another thing: Beanie Babies are not worth anything.”
For the full article and to get more tips, visit Life Hacker
When you need help sorting through your parents belonging, reach out to Organize Me! A patient hand is waiting to help you!