Two-Tip Tuesday: Summer Organization

Container store storage bins

Although it snowed in my part of the world a few days ago, summer is right around the corner, or so I’m told. Here are a few tips to get your home in order before the onslaught of “bored” kids take over your space, creating chaos and disaster.

Seasonal Gear Swap

This may seem like a no-brainer, and with winter taking it’s sweet time lingering around, but it’s time for the seasonal swap (if you haven’t done so already).

Take stock of those winter hats, scarves, gloves, and boots, etc. and purge what will no longer fit or be worn the next year, before storing. I have finally given into the fact that my kids know their own style and won’t wear something they don’t like. So, before purging, they sit with me to make a keep or donate pile. It clears the clutter and saves aggravation for the next year.

When you bring out the summer gear, try storing it in attractive containers that can close. This will eliminate the feeling of clutter just by containing those towels, water guns and goggles with a closed-off lid.

My favorites are still the Container Store, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, but there are plenty more out there.

chore chart

Summer Chore List

Once school is out, your kids will have a lot more free time on their hands. Now is the perfect time to sit down as a family and divvy up jobs and chores. If you don’t have kids, there’s no better time like the present to re-evaluate with your partner.

For me, new seasons bring new beginnings and changes. So, regardless of your home situation, it’s always a good time to re-asses. I know summer doesn’t technically begin for another month, but around here, it’s the day the kids get out of school and the pool is open, thus bringing new chaos to the house.

Instead of ordering everyone around and assigning jobs, let the whole family participate and take ownership. This can be a great way to bond and will more than likely help things get done without nagging or 1,000 reminders. Oh wait, guess that’s nagging too.

Click here or on the image above for a free chore chart download.

As always, I love hearing feedback. Please let me know what you think, or feel free to share any ideas of your own

Two-Tip Tuesday

Two-Tip Tuesdays are back by popular demand!

Not only are they new and improved, these tips will include a wider variety of ideas about organizing, feng shui, energy healing, meditation and more!  Because January is designated “Get Organized Month” by the National Association for Professional Organizers, today I included two tips to help you get organized.  As always, I love hearing feedback. Please let me know what you think, or feel free to share any ideas of your own!

Keep Container Lids in Check

Storage container lids image

Do you struggle to keep your kitchen storage container cabinet or drawer under control?  Chances are you’ve combated, along-side your leftovers, a round container and only a square lid to contend with.  It gets a bit tiresome and frustrating to then be forced to pull out half of your container collection to finally find a round lid, only to realize it is far too big.

Keeping your lids and containers separate is crucial to solving this age-old battle.  Try using a wire rack to keep those disorderly lids in check.  Using multiple smaller containers or baskets is another way to keep them separated.  This way you can sort and separate lids by size and shape, depending on how many baskets are used.  I’ve even seen an old CD rack used to keep those pesky lids in line.  All of these solutions allow you to stack your containers, keeping them organized as well.

Image credit: Lacy Willhite | Follow Lacy’s “For the Home” board on Pinterest.

Sticky Note Mayhem

Stacked sticky notes image

Do you find yourself forgetting daily tasks more frequently?  The busier life gets, the harder it becomes to remember every little task.  If something doesn’t get written down the second it’s thought of, there’s a good chance it will be forgotten.  In turn, it’s easy to end up with a chaotic mess of sticky notes around your workspace, including your computer monitor.

Did you know that your Windows 7 or Mac operating system includes a sticky note application?  In Windows, you’ll find the Sticky Notes application in the Accessories folder, accessible from the Start button > All Programs.  Simplify your unruly sticky note situation with this simple tool.  You can change the note colors and even format the text.  In Mac OS X, look for Stickies in the Applications folder.  Options and similar applications are available for download, but these are already built in.  Not only is this a neater way to keep your thoughts in order, it also saves paper and supports “going green!”


Getting Organized for the New Year

Organized family room imageWith the craziness and overwhelm of the holidays behind us, it’s that time of year when goals are set—and often times abandoned soon after.

If you lost sight of some of those resolutions last year, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Many times we set goals that are so unattainable they are almost impossible to reach or maintain.  The phrase “baby steps” may be a bit cliché these days, but looking at the small picture really can support our success!  So whether your goals are self-care related, home related or in any other area of your life, pick something doable and start there.

In the DailyOM article, “The Best Year of Your Life,” self-love and taking stock of the places in your home which drain your energy are mentioned as a great place to start.  Getting your home and/or office in order can truly set the stage for increased productivity, maintaining a little sanity and creating positive energy in your living and work environments.  Take a look around; is it that nasty pantry that feels out of control?  Or your catchall countertop that is now buried under piles of untouched mail?  What are you holding onto that no longer serves you?  Start in that one corner, drawer or area that feels the worst, and go from there.

Tangled computer cords imageLast weekend when the temperatures plummeted into the single digits in Denver, I decided to take advantage of being home-bound and attack an irritating issue in my home office.  Since my desktop computer had crashed and burned last month, I had converted to solely using my laptop.  There was really no reason to keep this tangled mess of cords cluttering my space.  The truth is, these cords had always bothered me and made me cringe every time I set foot in my office, not exactly creating a positive work environment.  As I began slowly untangling these cords, I started thinking about the other “tangled messes” in my house and life.  I smiled and contemplated the beauty of this metaphor. …  And I thought about other areas that could be cleaned up, literally and figuratively.  It was time to simplify.

Feeling physically lighter after freeing myself from the computer cords, I tackled an old bookshelf containing obsolete business cards and brochures.  Toss!  Don’t need those anymore!  Then I went into my kitchen and attacked another frustrating corner of ignored collectables.  I became more and more energized as these spaces were cleared out, and soon I realized I had been working for more than five hours de-cluttering multiple spaces!  I took a look around and decided that was enough for one day, but instantly I felt how the energy shifted in my home.  Quite content with what I had accomplished, I decided to nurture myself by taking a nice long bath, curling up with a book and eventually drifting off into one of my best night’s sleep in a long time.

Portion of organized family room imageSo as you begin 2014 and take stock of what messes need to be untangled, remember to set realistic goals that you can accomplish in baby-step increments.  As you approach these messes, don’t worry about how many you can untangle this week, this month or by the end of the year.  Focus your energy on what you can untangle right now.  Also, realize that getting your home organized can be daunting to take on by yourself.  If you need to bribe a friend to help you, or seek professional guidance, it’s okay!

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