Rainy day organizing projects | Closets Rainy day organizing projects | closets give you a sense of accomplishment. You can always schedule rainy day organizing projects even when it is not raining! You can organize by room but I suggest that you start small and declutter one closet at a time. Plan ahead so that you have uninterrupted time to declutter and re-organize. Most closets don’t need an entire do-over. It is a matter of taking the time to focus on the space using my “1-at-a-time rule“. When you declutter and organize 1 space at a time you are less likely to get overwhelmed more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment. Easy, step by step tips for rainy day organizing projects | Closets Avoid buying anything in advance. You will likely end up with unused bins, containers, and hangers after you purge. Make sure that you have enough bags and containers for trash, recycling, shredding, donations, items that you can resell, clothing that needs dry cleaning or alterations. Take everything out of the closet. Clean and vacuum the closet and shelves, oil the hinges, replace dead light bulbs, or add motion detector lighting to the closet. Make quick, easy decisions to let go of anything that you no longer need, want, or that is in good repair and cannot be fixed at a reasonable cost. Sort “like” items into piles. Set the items that don’t “belong” in that closet aside for now. You will find a different place for them to “live” after you finish re-organizing the closet that you are working on. Contain smaller items that need to stay together in bins, baskets and clear containers. Label containers, as needed. Store frequently used items in easy to reach, visible places. Whenever possible, store heavy items at eye level… read more →
Declutter Your Bathroom Declutter your bathroom? Your bathroom is a space that needs to be clean, safe and relaxing. Decluttering is the first step whether you are organizing by room or by items. Decluttering old and expired items in your bathroom will enhance your health, safety, and maybe, even your beauty. Here are your San Diego Professional Organizer‘s easy organizing tips (click on links for details): Take everything out. Empty all of the spaces including drawers, shelves, cupboards and the shower. Immediately discard or recycle empty containers. Clean out all of these spaces before you return items. Discard expired toiletries and makeup; your body and face deserve safe and fresh treatments. Hotel toiletries and samples should be discarded if they are old. If they are current, make a commitment to use them or donate them to a shelter. Discard expired and unused medications in a safe and controlled manner. Do NOT flush them down the toilet. This includes vitamins and supplements. Group “like” items. Organizing items by like use for instance, facial products, hair care, etc. Put smaller items in small storage containers to keep them together in drawers and cupboards. Location, location, location. Return items to the place closest to where you will use them. Now that you have a decluttered and organized bathroom remember to start to put a date of purchase on items that do not have expiration dates. This is a great way to maintain your organization.
Paper Clutter Paper clutter can easily sneak up on you. Paper clutter isn’t limited to your office either. I’ve seen paper clutter in: Bathrooms Garages Kitchens Bedrooms Cars Backpacks Purses Closets As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I suggest that you organize by room and focus on paperwork, only. Schedule 30 minutes on a specific date, at a specific time to: Discard, recycle, shred Sort, file Purge old files & papers. Which types of paper clutter drive you crazy? Let’s identify the culprits… Receipts Unopened mail Catalogs Unread piles of magazines Stacks of newspapers Unclipped and/or expired coupons; circulars Business cards Handouts from meetings, conferences Papers your children bring home from school Never ending to-do lists, notes Unused notepads Unpurged files Old tax records Boarding passes, tickets, maps In my series, “Things I’d Rather Die With” I’m going to give you lots of organizing tips to help you to get rid of clutter. I came across a terrific article that will help you with some ideas about how to declutter your paper situation: Taming Paper Let me know what you do to reduce the amount of paper in your life by posting on Outside In Organizer and Makeovers on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Clutter Trouble? What is all that clutter about? You want to let it go but something is holding you back. If you are truly troubled by the clutter that you are surrounded with it’s time to take this quiz. Don’t worry, it’s confidential. Go ahead and check all the following that apply to you: It’s difficult for me to let go of, or get rid of things, in general. I can’t let go of sentimental items and photos, specifically. I’m not ready to get rid of this. I’m worried that if I let it go I will need it later. I feel guilty when I get rid of things. I can’t let go of things that I spent a lot of money on. I’m saving it for my children (or grandchildren). You can never have enough. I don’t have too many things, I just need more storage space. I can’t afford to hire a Professional Organizer. I tried working with a Professional Organizer and it didn’t work. I’m embarrassed ask for help. I’ll never get organized. I’ve always been this way. I know that it looks cluttered but I can usually find what I am looking for. If I don’t find what I am looking for I buy another one. My mother (or another relative) was a hoarder. I’m just like her. I don’t have time to organize. I need at least a whole day (a week, a month, etc.) to organize and I’m too busy. I’ll do it when I have time. Organizing is boring. Clutter is a common problem for many people. Uncovering how it affects you and everyone that you live with is the first step. After that, you need to have an action plan and seriously consider asking for help from someone you can trust. Here… read more →
Organizing Tips – Organized Bathroom Organizing tips help you to get organized and stay organized. To get organized the basic steps are: PURGE SORT ORGANIZE CONTAIN LABEL (if needed) MAINTAIN Organize by room and priority. One of the rooms used most often is the bathroom. If you want to keep your bathroom organized commit to getting organized first and then using these organizing tips to maintain your system: • Use it up! Use items up completely before opening or purchasing replacements. Donate unopened items that you don’t intend to use. Limit how much you stock up on extras. • Use it all! Just a little bit left in the container? Put that item in your travel bag instead of packing a full container and then leave the empty behind. • Less is more! Do you have a stockpile of hotel toiletries or samples? Stop saving them and use them. Save space, waste and money. • Keep current. Check expiration dates on items, especially medications and supplements, regularly. Dispose of contents and containers correctly (don’t flush medications). • Your system. Consider grouping items that you use regularly in the morning in one container and use another for the evening items. • Go vertical! Don’t stack, use vertical space to keep things visible and accessible. Wire racks inside cupboards are helpful for storing taller items on the top and shorter ones underneath. An organized bathroom will be easier to keep clean and healthier to use. A few last organizing tips: Limit the number of decorative items on the counter tops. Keep items that need to breathe out of drawers and cupboards. Wash your hair and makeup brushes with warm soapy water on a regular basis. Change the bathroom linens at least weekly. Other things that you can store in your bathroom if… read more →
Now that you’ve sorted and organized everything on the surfaces of your office you are ready to go deeper! Wondering how to do this? During this step in the organizing process you are going to work in the individual drawers and files one at a time. This is generally a longer process so I recommend that you schedule a specific day and block of uninterrupted time to do this work. Establish your goals before you begin so that you will be able to plan ahead. Overall, the goal of this process is to thin out the amount of inventory in your office drawers and files so that you are organizing only what you need and use. However, you may want to focus on some or all of the following office organizing goals: 1. Create more digital and scanned records to reduce the amount of paper documentation. 2. Change the location of items and files in order to maximize easy retrieval and access. 3. Utilize systems and strategies that are aligned with your work and learning style. Are you more visual, auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic? Work from your strengths. 4. Maximize storage space including vertical and wall spaces. OIOM TIP: Save horizontal space for the work and when you are done have storage elsewhere. 5. Decrease clutter with more efficient containers, a tickler file system, or remote storage. Supplies to have before you start organizing: • Single tab file folders • Hanging files • Empty file box(-es) to hold hanging files • Pencils, eraser • A clear horizontal space to work on How to Organize: Identify the drawer that you want to begin with and work only in that drawer. • Office supplies: Take everything out of the drawer and place all of the items on to your clear work surface.… read more →
It is important to remember that how you organize your office will determine the ease of work flow as well as retrieval of important items when you need them. Remember that organizing your office or any space is a process. That means that it takes dedicated time and a clear vision of how you want it to look and function. It also means that you will need to maintain and use that system regularly. Let’s fast forward to the part where you’ve already purged everything that you think you don’t need to keep. Now it’s time to sort all of the contents in the office. Sorting is the first step to getting an organizing system in place. Step 1 – Supplies you will need before you begin sorting items: • Sticky note pads – these can be used to label piles • Markers • Writing pad – create a list of categories as you go along; revise as needed; refer to this if you want to print labels later on • Pencil and eraser • A clear surface to work on, preferably a table or counter top (Note: the floor is okay if you have a healthy knees and back) • Bags or containers for trash, recycling and shredding. OIOM TIP: shred later, not during the process; your goal is to get organized not shred! Step 2 – Decide on your categories for sorting; Make quick decisions. • Organize each items according to general or broad categories such as: Supplies, Financial, Education, Personal, Clients, and References. • You can identify sub-categories later on. • Decide where to start and stick to that area before you move on. OIOM TIP: If you find things that belong in another room, create a pile, label it, and bring it to that room when… read more →
How to declutter spaces How to declutter spaces? As a Personal Professional Organizer my job is two-fold: First, to ask the “right” questions so that you can make the decisions. Second, is to help you to clarify your vision for the space. Every space needs to reflect how you will use it (function, supplies, storage) so that you can enjoy it (people). Save the aesthetics and decorating for after you declutter and organize the space. How to declutter spaces – Questions to ask yourself: Whenever you get started with organizing a specific area ask yourself declutter questions: Function – What is this space to be used for? What specific function(s) do you want the space to satisfy? For example, is your kitchen for entertaining, cooking and dining? Do you also want the kitchen to be your home office? Now, look around you to see if the space reflects that purpose(s)? Purge anything in the space that does not serve it’s function. Supplies – What do I need to have readily available in this space? List the items that you will need for efficient use of the space including furniture, equipment, or supplies. Find another location for anything that doesn’t belong there. Here are some great ideas in a video that you can use for organizing your makeup in the bathroom: Video People – Who else beside yourself, will use this space? Is the space shared by others? Do you have visitors or clients who will be in this space? You want to be sure to have all parties feel comfortable and have what they need in the space. Storage – Where do items need to be used, and how frequently? What the best types of storage containers that you will need for specific items. The answers will guide you in… read more →
The holiday season will be here before you can say “ho ho ho”! You want your guests to feel welcomed and comfortable, but your home is pretty full already and that feeling of overwhelm is setting in. Don’t panic, here are some ideas that you can begin to use. Remember my “1-At-A-Time Rule”: 1 area and task at a time. When you focus on 1 thing you will be more efficient, trust me. TIPS (these work all year round, even if you aren’t expecting guests): (1) Schedule time (at least 30 minutes) to organize each week starting now. (2) List the rooms/spaces in order of priority. Maybe it’s the guest room. Is the closet full? Go through the closet items and consider storing what you plan to keep under the bed in a bin. Maybe it’s the dining room. Do you have enough dinnerware, flatware and glasses? Are they chipped or in need of polishing? Be creative. Rather than buying a set of 10 or 12 matching place settings you can find sets of 4 that will complement and mix well with your existing set! (3) Be prepared, plan ahead. Gather what you will need before you start. Bags for trash, recycling, donations, returns, and so on. NOTE: Try not to combine tasks. Cleaning and organizing are 2 different tasks. After you declutter you can go back and clean! More advice from Outside In…before you go out and spend $$ on new bins, hangers, and other organizing tools, organize and re-purpose what you have. Maybe the baskets in the kitchen that you haven’t used in years will make lovely containers for guest toiletries. Buy only what you determine you need after you organize.
At a talk I gave the other night 1 of the women shared a quick strategy that she used to employ to clear kitchen clutter. She told our group that if someone was stopping by to visit with little notice she would put everything on her counters into the oven! Of course, my first thought was, did she remember to take it out before dinner? Well after a good laugh we actually had a conversation about how good it feels when horizontal spaces are clear. I like to remind people that “Spacious Living” is a choice. We can choose to downsize our stuff. We can choose to designate a place for everything. We can choose to return everything to its place. We can choose to make time to create the space that makes us feel calm and focused.