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Makeover your linen closet in 4 hours or less

Do you ever wonder how to organize your linen closet?

I have tried several different ways of organizing ours. I finally found the one that is most functional for us, and it’s only because I decided to take my own advice.

    linen closet makeover before Linen closet makeover before

 

In the past, every time I organized this closet I would move things around and group like things together. I always liked the outcome, but it wasn’t easy to find things quickly. Plus it never seemed to stay organized.

The trick to success this time was removing everything – I mean everything – from the closet.

linen closet-empty

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Do You Really Need More Organizers?

Getting organized is a tricky thing. You don’t have to buy organizational systems, baskets, drawers, etc. to get organized. I know you think you can’t be organized without them, but it’s not true. The websites, blogs, and ads don’t fully explain that with their flashy pictures of organized spaces and amazing organizational systems.

Yes, of course, the organized spaces they feature in ads and online are beautiful. However, those pictures are also trying to entice you to buy a product. The goal is to convince you that by purchasing the product your space will magically be transformed into looking equally as beautiful.organizing toters on shelves

I have bad news for you…. It won’t.

There is more to organizing than just buying an organizational system.

Before you buy any organizers, I encourage you to ask yourself three simple questions.

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5 Biggest Challenges to Decluttering and How to Solve Them

You’ve decided to declutter and organize the hardest room in your house. Maybe it’s your basement, maybe it’s your storage closet. For me, it’s the office. This is the room in the house where paperwork goes to die — I mean be filed. Sometimes it feels like the challenges to decluttering outweigh the benefits, but I have solutions.

challenges to decluttering

It’s no secret I love to organize, but that doesn’t mean that everything I have is organized or that all of my spaces are organized. It simply means I love the process of organizing and even more so I LOVE the feeling of being organized.

Ever since I made the move to work from home I knew that our office needed to be organized so that I could be more productive. Hence my 2018 SMART goal.

Now the time has come to begin and I am overwhelmed just like so many of you. In fact, I am having complete paralysis of where to start. I want to help all of us overcome this paralysis and get started on our biggest clutter challenges.

If you, like me, are struggling with where and how to start, it’s okay. You are not alone, even lovers of organization struggle sometimes.

the office: a declutter challenge

How to Overcome the Challenges to Decluttering:

Challenge: I don’t have enough time to devote to complete the project.

Solution: You are not alone. Most of us cannot dedicate an entire weekend to one organization project, and even if you could, you may not want to. The solution is to devote just 15 minutes a day to the project. I know it doesn’t seem like you can get much done in 15 minutes, but you’ll be surprised. Set a timer, turn on some music, and get to work. Stop after 15 minutes and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

 

Challenge: I don’t have the space to empty everything out of the room to get started.

Solution: You don’t have to. Yes, it does seem ideal to empty out the room and slowly put only the items that you need and/or want back in. However, that’s just not feasible for most of us. Instead, you need to declutter first, which will make it look much messier at first. Then, reassemble the room in sections. Be sure you have your donation station set-up to make this process even easier.

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How to Completely Organize Your Home in One Year, and not feel overwhelmed

There is no end to organizing.

I know it’s not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.

Just like there is no end to cleaning or laundry or making meals. As long as you live there will always be more to do.

You will find more peace in your life the sooner you accept this as a fact.

While there is no end, it doesn’t mean we can’t strive for more organization in our lives. Says the woman who loves to organize.

organized home in 12 months

For 2018, I have decided to try a new tactic for my organizing so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. I am going to tackle one room/area each month. Some are going to take a lot less time than others, so I will plan those accordingly.

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How to Set SMART Goals

For the New Year I have a BIG goal:

I want to be more productive with my blog. 

Now that I do the majority of my work from home, my home office has become an integral part to my day. As a person who thrives on order and organization it is no surprise that a cluttered work space leads to a cluttered mind and decreased productivity.

I know exactly what I NEED to do to increase productivity. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do it. That is where this big goal comes into play. If I set my goal and make sure it is SMART, then I am far more likely to accomplish this goal.

SMART goals title

So my SMART goal is:

Specific: To organize my office and eliminate clutter.

Measurable: Surfaces (tabletops, desktop, floor) will be free of random papers, supplies and stuff. Systems will be set up to simplify where things go and where to find things. The desks, book shelves and file cabinets will be decluttered by January 19. I will have Brian’s game area and closet decluttered by January 28. I will decide on organizational flow by February 9. Finally, everything put away and systems in place by February 16. I will spend 15-30 minutes 5x a week working on the office decluttering and organization.

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Deals After Christmas

Remember those great deals after Halloween. Well, they are back and even better. Now it is time for the deals after Christmas.

Halloween tends to be the preview of what is to come, but there are usually a lot more deals after Christmas.

If you have leftover money from your current year Christmas budget, you can use that to stock up on holiday products for next year. Maybe you have already set up your Christmas budget for the coming year. If you make purchases now for next year, you can easily deduct them from that budget and document what you bought. I guarantee in 11 months you’ll have forgotten what you bought.  We did this last year with LED lights for outside and containers for cookie gift giving. What a great surprise when I discovered the new items we had and that was already paid for and part of the budget!

The best deals after Christmas

So let’s talk deals and what you should be on the lookout for.

The discounts will start right away on December 26. Some stores will be busy with lots of people out seeking these discounts, but they will be more crowded at customer service with returns. (side note: if you have a return try to do it when the store is least busy and definitely not on December 26. Nothing says your return must be done the day after you receive it)

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Two Amazingly Simple Uses for Pillowcases

pillowcases uses title

Pillowcases have simplified my life.

And they can simplify yours too.

I am not kidding either.

I know two amazing uses for pillowcases that may change your life.

Okay, it might not change your life, but it will most certainly make life a little bit easier.

One use is for cleaning, and one is for storing.

  1. Cleaning – more specifically cleaning ceiling fans.

    ceiling fan

If you are like me, you don’t get around to cleaning your ceiling fans very often. In fact, I get around to it once I start to notice the dust accumulating on them. Or worse yet when the dust starts flying off the blades when turning it on for the first time in the summer.

 

If you clean yours more regularly, that is great, and perhaps you won’t need this trick as much as the rest of us who have layers of dust accumulating.

 

Now if you clean as “often” as I do then you know there are a lot of dust particles that float around the house after cleaning the fan. It doesn’t matter if I use the Swiffer wand, a rag, etc. there always seems to be loose dust – until now.

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Declutter Challenge Week 5

340 items

Your house should have at least 340 less items in it than it did on February 28.

Are you feeling a big weight lifting off your shoulders?
Are you feeling energized or overwhelmed by this process of decluttering?

It is completely normal to feel either or both at times. The process of removing things from both your home and your life can be physically and mentally draining.

One of the reasons that I suggest spending just 10 minutes each day decluttering is because that is a manageable chunk of time. If you spend too much time, you will encounter decision fatigue. Your willpower gets weaker the more decisions you are asked to make.

Have you ever noticed that at the end of the day it’s harder for you to make good decisions?

This is probably the time of day that you are most likely to cheat on your new diet plan or sit down and veg out in front of the TV.

You have been making decisions all day and your body and brain are just down right tired by the end of the day.

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Stairway Clutter: Eliminate it FOREVER

stairway clutter imageHot spots.

Have you heard of them?

After extensive walking or running you can develop a hot spot. It occurs when a particular spot on your foot continually encounters friction of some sort and a blister forms. If you ignore it, the blister becomes bigger—annoying and painful to both the touch and to look at.

Similar to a hot spot on our skin we all have hot spots in our houses.

That one or two or maybe even more spots where stuff tends to accumulate. The spot, if ignored, gets bigger, more annoying, painful to look at, and overwhelming to deal with.

One of my family’s hot spots is the stairs going to the 2nd floor of our house.

Cassidy’s bedroom is upstairs as well as our office. Any time we have something that needs to go upstairs we just throw it on the stairs. The idea is that every time you go up you should be carrying something with you—ha that’s laughable. U everyone climbs over the stuff to get upstairs or already has their hands full before they even get to the pile.

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How To Organize Games and Puzzles

How do you organize games and puzzles?

Wait, you’ve never thought about it?

Take a moment and imagine all the games and puzzles your kids have and the boxes them come in.

I bet you are thinking about all of the space they take up.

Now if you were to open the box of most kids games you will realize there is a lot of space.

 Did you know there is no rule that says you must keep those items in their original boxes?

Unless you are really worried about the resale value, then it’s time to think about repackaging puzzles and games so they can be organized better and take up less space.

Let’s start with puzzles.

At our house, the girls and I LOVE putting together puzzles and we have quite a few of them.

Our big, Melissa and Doug puzzles, get to stay in their boxes. They stay in their boxes because they are the huge floor puzzles and they store best in their boxes. If you haven’t tried a Melissa and Doug puzzle, you are really missing out. They are fun because of how big they are, and the quality is second to none. Seriously, I have never been disappointed with any Melissa and Doug product.

Smaller puzzles get put into Ziploc or Hefty zipper bags. (Side note: get a great price on these after Holidays) Then the small image is cut off the box and affixed with packing tape on the front. T

his allows me to put several puzzles into a Sterilite drawer, which fits nicely on a shelf in my daughter’s closet.

It’s much easier for kids to put the puzzles away, even easier if you go with slider bags. Have you ever watched a small child try to put the lid on a box for a game or puzzle? Inevitably, you end up having to tape and reconstruct the box because of how they try to shove the lid on and the corners break.

The puzzles also take up less room when put in bags and placed in drawers.

Alright onto games.

Some of our games do stay in their boxes because it makes sense. However, many do not.

We are a game family. Therefore the number of games we have on hand may be substantially larger than your collection.

 

Another option for storage is stackable baskets. With a simple label you can organize all of those different card games or small games (Barrel of Monkeys, Yahtzee, etc)

stackable baskets

Perhaps storage of games is not an issue in every home, but if it is I hope these ideas have helped you.

Take a couple of hours on a Saturday and get the kids to help and you can completely reorganize your kid’s games and puzzles. They will be easier for the kids to get out and they will take up less room.