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Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

Your Dream Closet – Make It Happen!

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The Dream Closet

The closet is where you start many mornings. An efficient closet system is crucial to making your life easier, especially in a rush. Keeping your closet tidy, clean, and easy to browse through makes a difference in how you start your day.

This particular space should be your inspiration, not a morning drag.

So, let’s organize your closet and make it inviting. Respect your shoes and love your clothes. Give your closet contents the care and attention it deserves.

First Things First – Out With The Clutter

A thorough purge is critical. Your closet should support the person you are now in your life. It should be something other than the dumping ground for clothes that have fit in 15 years.

The closet is not some storage space for everything no one wants or knows where to place. It is impressive that people keep things in their bedroom closets just because they have space available. The space available is good! Be at peace with empty space rather than rush to stuff items that should not be in that space (and then complain about lack of room in the closet). Learn what your closet should contain and let all other items find their proper place in the home.

First, go through the contents of your closet and remove anything from the space other than clothes, shoes, handbags, travel bags, accessories, and other things you wear. Leave in suitcases, though.

Once everything that does not belong in your closet is out of the area and reallocated, it is time to sort through what should go there.

Discard clothes that don’t make you feel fabulous. Discard what looks old, dated, damaged beyond repair, or does not fit you. You will not wear these things, no matter how long you keep them. Besides, having a closet full of petite clothing or something you don’t like wearing does not support you. Rather than inspire you, these clothes will subconsciously remind you of everything you can’t wear. There are better ways to start the day than that.

You’ll be amazed at the space you get back if you objectively look at your clothes and purge.

And from now on, stay on top of your closet management. When you realize that a clothing item is unflattering, unwanted, in bad shape, or no longer fit, remove it from your closet immediately. Practice keeping a basket or nice-looking bag in your closet to place these items at once.

Assess The Space & Inventory Your Stuff

Consider the type of item you’ll hang versus what you’ll fold, the number of items in each category, and the area where each group should go. These elements determine the type of containers, sizes, and style. So, this step comes before buying any storage solutions.

A common mistake is to buy containers before doing the work with decluttering, sorting, organizing, and allocating spaces for your things. First, you must assess what you’ll need to contain and where these things will live. To determine this, you must remove what does not belong in the closet and re-evaluate the clothing. This is the only way to know, realistically, how many hangers you need, how much long hanging, short hanging, or double hanging space you’ll need, for example.

In considering storage space available, it is common to overlook vertical space. However, some walls and behind doors are suitable areas where we can store many items. Just ensure that things placed behind doors don’t interfere with those doors opening freely.

Crafting The Closet – Must-Haves

Lighting

Chandeliers, track lights, light inside closets, and under-shelf illumination are some options that make a closet look magical. At a basic level, the closet space needs good lighting. The lighting system you choose must increase functionality but also enhance the ambiance. That ambiance is all in the lighting! Usually, a mix of yellow light and white light works best.

Body-Length Mirror

A body-length mirror is a must in every closet. It serves a practical purpose because you must see the whole outfit on your body. But a long mirror also helps create that elegant atmosphere we all admire in amazing closets. The location of this mirror will depend on the space available. It can be installed on a wall, behind the closet door, or free-standing against the wall. However, the larger, thicker frame, the more elegant your mirror will look.

Closet Organization

Design Elements and Lighting Are Important

The Personal Touch

There must be space to express who you are. Make the closet your special place where you are glad to be. Use framed pictures or knickknacks that remind you of notable people and moments. Use these strategically and tastefully.

Wastebasket

A wastebasket is necessary for every closet (and in every home space, actually!). Get a wastebasket that complements the space décor. To make things easier, consider a trashcan with no lid.

Hamper

Have one hamper per person sharing the closet. Make the hampers look good in the space. 

If closet space is limited, place hampers in the bedroom. However, hampers should preferably be where you change clothes. 

Note that hampers and laundry baskets are not the same and have different purposes. Your laundry process determines how the closet remains organized or not.

Seating

You may need a place to sit to put on your shoes. This seat could be as simple as the tiniest ottoman or stool to the most oversized armchair (space and style permitting). Ensure your seating option fits the room in style, size, and color.

Hangers

The difference in having all the hangers look the same is incredible.

We recommend space-saving hangers because they prevent clothes from falling off the hangers or losing their shape. In addition, they save at least one-third of the space in your closet (just by switching hangers!).

And if you get the appropriate clips to transform these hangers into a skirt or dressy short hangers, all hangers will look the same in the space.

Having the same hangers throughout prevents hangers from tangling and provides a more efficient experience in your closet.

Sports shorts usually go in drawers, but dressy and cargo shorts should go on hangers to avoid wrinkles and save space in your drawers.

Pro Tip: Use two space-saving hangers for heavy clothing such as coats or jackets. That way, your hanger collection remains uniform.

Garment Bags 

Some pieces of clothing deserve the protection of a garment bag. However, avoid plastic garment bags because plastic is detrimental to the fabric. Instead, replace plastic garment bags with fabric ones.

People seem surprised to learn they should remove plastic covers from their clothes when they bring them home from the cleaners. This is because the plastic used by cleaners is detrimental to the fabric. The plastic also traps the chemical residues of the cleaning process. 

Drawer Dividers

If you have drawers, you need drawer dividers. It is that simple.

Dividers make a considerable difference in the maintenance of drawers and hold us accountable for the amount of stuff we keep in those drawers.

Measure drawers before buying dividers because these come in different widths and lengths to fit every kind of drawer. Keep in mind that drawer dividers come in various colors to match the inside of your drawers.

Closet Organization

Organization Baskets for Closet

Baskets, Bins, Containers

Accessories may end up in baskets or containers. So, where will those be? Use baskets to contain anything folded on shelves and small accessories. But you want solutions that look like they belong in the closet, not like a random selection of last-minute solutions. Use the same type of basket throughout the closet. Using baskets on shelves and niches will give your closet a uniform, elevated look.

When choosing baskets, bins, or containers for the closet, measure the spaces where these will go to ensure the right fit. You must also assess the areas to determine materials, color schemes, style, and what these will hold.

Best Practices – To Hang or To Fold

Hanging

Go for it if you can hang most of what you usually fold. It is easier to see all your clothing when everything is on hangers. And thus, you wear more of your clothes more often. Putting the laundry away by hanging it is also easier than folding it. But, of course, underwear, PJs, sportswear, swimsuits, and socks should go in drawers.

In hanging your clothes, classify them by type and then by color. For example, place all casual tops, jackets and blazers, skirts, denim, slacks, etc., together. You will efficiently select your outfits and enjoy how everything looks on hangers.

Place all your hangers in the same direction. Then, when hanging back those pieces, have the hanger facing the opposite direction. This system will let you know that you wore that item. In addition, the method lets you notice what you do not regularly use, giving you a clue on what to discard. It also helps you rotate your wardrobe more often and get creative with mixing and matching your wardrobe pieces.

Pro Tip: Always place empty hangers in a single location to avoid having to fish them out when putting laundry away. Also, your closet will look better if you isolate empty hangers.

Pro Tip: When clothes come home from the cleaners, switch out the hangers! Cleaners always hang clothes facing left, which is the opposite direction of what most people desire (if right-handed). Also, they use wire hangers, which lose their shape, get rusty, get tangled, and make the clothes lose shape. Wire hangers are the least desirable kind of hangers. Besides, you want your hangers to match your closet. And by the way, the cleaners would like their hangers back!

Folding

Whether you have drawers in your closet or a dresser in the bedroom, some clothing categories are better suited to live in your drawers. These categories are loungewear, sleepwear, sportswear (including swimsuits), underwear, and socks.

Drawer dividers have a stellar role when dealing with these categories. They will keep the contents of your drawers organized and manageable.

Spend the necessary time to fold things appropriately, though. There are also options in terms of folding. You can go Konmari-style or roll each piece of clothing. The rolling method is quick and avoids wrinkling of the clothes.

And whether you believe that the dryer “eats socks” or socks run away from you, your missing socks are probably not coming back. So, stop wasting space and effort keeping an assortment of unmatched socks. Socks are cheap, and your time trying to match them is much more valuable than the cost of a replacement pack.

Also, consider donating all your mismatched socks to a shelter. Did you know that socks are among the items shelters need the most? And when the weather is cold, having socks on your feet is invaluable. Nobody would complain of mismatched socks at that point.

If seasonal clothes take up too much space, consider packing them in air-tight bags to store underneath the bed or on a higher shelf. Since those bags get random shapes when extracting the air, consider placing them in bins that fit the area where you will store them. Bins stack neatly.

Organizing Your Closet Stuff

Accessories

Organize accessories in soft baskets that go well with the closet décor. These baskets are ideal for collecting items in some closets’ built-in niches. If you do not have those in your closet, these baskets can live on shelves. They will still provide an easier way to group accessories by category and allow easy access by pulling out the needed basket.

Consider dedicating at least one of those baskets or bins to small items needed where you get dressed, such as the lint roller, extra bra straps, collar stays, chaffing tape, heel tape, body and cloth tape, insoles, handbag replacement items (like small hand sanitizer, breath mints, mini note pad), and the like.

Closet Organization

Handbags on Display

Handbags

Handbags stored in a drawer or a closet cubby or wilted on a shelf can quickly lose shape or become ruined by creases or rubbing against each other. However, you can preserve your bags and make them look fabulous.

You can stuff your handbags with quilted shapers that preserve their shape, protecting your investment and giving the closet that coveted boutique look. In addition, it will be a more joyful experience to look at your bags while deciding which one you will take out for that day.

If you like that idea but feel the investment is for someone else, achieve the same result by inflating Ziplock bags to the appropriate size and stuffing them with them. Packing paper and bubble wrap do an excellent job as well.

You could also place your bags on special purse hangers or place your folded handbags in baskets or bins on your closet shelves. However, this last alternative is better for synthetic material bags.

Boots

There are many products in the market to preserve the shape of your boots. But the same company that makes the quilted stuffers for handbags also makes them for boots. Also, try these. However, rolled magazines and stuffing paper will also work (not very luxuriously, but they work – ensure they are not visible inside the boots).

When no shelving or cubby space is available to display your boots, hang them with special boot hangers.

Shoes

Closet Organization

Shoe Lover

Shoes should be off the floor, preferably on shelves. This way, they are easier to access and don’t get lost in the infinite depths of your closet, gathering dust. You are more likely to rotate their use this way as well.

Some closets already have unique shelving or cubbies for shoes. But if this is not your case, you can incorporate a shoe rack that makes selecting your shoes more accessible.

Sometimes, removing a closet rod and making space for a shoe wall makes sense. We know of an excellent company that specializes in walls of shoes! 😊

When space is an issue with the closet, a clever shoe solution is the over-the-door hanging shoe bag. This bag utilizes the door space to store your shoes. Please note this alternative works best when the shoe collection is small!

If your closet has shelves, particularly the highest shelf, you should have stackable shoe boxes. These protect your shoes from dust but let you see the contents. You might incorporate shoe boxes with lids or boxes with front lids that eliminate the need to remove boxes above to get that fabulous pair you want to take for a stroll. The shoe box option most uses the vertical space above your highest shelf.

Scarves 

Closet Organization

Scarves on an old fashion shoe rack

Scarves can go on hangers in your closet, in front, or behind your tops section.

Hanging your scarves prevents wrinkles and gives them greater visibility so that you might use them more often. Try using a hanger per piece.

There are specialty hangers for scarves that make a beautiful display.

You may choose to store your scarves in a drawer. If so, fold them neatly or roll them to avoid wrinkles. Then, place them in a divided drawer container or insert, preferably in a shallow drawer.

And how about repurposing an old shoe rack to create a formidable scarf display? We did that for a client once, and the result was exciting.

Belts & Ties

You need special hangers for belts and ties if you or your partner wear belts or ties. But belts bunched on a wire hanger or ties sliding off improvised solutions don’t work.

Organized Closet

Tie Hanger

Closet Organization

Belt Organization Alternative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drawer space permitting, you could roll each one of these items and place them in a shallow drawer fitted with the right divided drawer insert. Rolled ties and belts in a drawer create a colorful, accessible display.

When the drawer option is deep, make two or three layers of inserts per drawer.

Hats

If you own large hats, consider using hat boxes. These preserve your hats’ shape and protect them from dust.

When space is a concern, use wall space to install hooks to hang your hats. This idea works great for caps as well.

Jewelry

Closet Organization

Jewelry Trays

Would you prefer your jewelry in stackable trays in your closet or your dresser in the bedroom? Or would you rather have a utility board on the wall to enjoy an artsy jewelry display?

If your closet is ample, you might have space to create a jewelry section. There are countless ideas to design this space so that you can enjoy your jewelry. Just check on Pinterest and be overwhelmed!

On the other hand, if your closet lacks the space to include jewelry, consider using stackable trays. Stackable trays are versatile, adaptable to your needs, and sit over your dresser or another flat area.

Before you decide on a jewelry system, though, make sure to edit your jewelry collection. All too often, jewelry is a forgotten category of items, and we tend to accumulate it without purging it.

After deciding what is still relevant, select the system that will hold the kind, size, and amount of jewelry pieces you keep. The critical factor is to have all your jewelry in one area, preferably using a single storage system.

Travel Bags & Suitcases

Only put away your suitcases and bags after emptying them first. The amount of trash collected from our clients’ handbags and suitcases is astonishing. Things get easily lost this way. Emptying suitcases and bags after every trip makes packing easier for the next one. It is easier to start fresh than to grapple with all the junk and expired products that remain in the bags from your last trip.

Befriend Your Closet

Avoid a closet that laughs at you in the morning and yells, “Ha! Good luck finding something nice to wear here.” Instead, every day, your closet should invite you in. But it is up to you to make this happen.

Keeping it in order is essential for your peace of mind regardless of your closet size. Getting ready in the morning sets the tone for your day.

Start your day with a beautiful and organized closet.

Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to! Contact My Space Reclaimed, LLC, to get professional organizing assistance.

#FriscoProfessionalOrganizer #ClosetGoals #ClosetOrganization #FriscoOrganizer #SpaceOrganizer #HomeOrganizerFrisco #ProfessionalOrganizerFrisco #ClosetDesign #HomeDesign #HomeOrganizationServices

 

 

Make This Time Count

Make This Time Count

Social distancing times have brought trends to stay—for example, people working from home. Many companies have realized they are more productive when employees are at home. 

People have found they like the convenience and flexibility this allows. Therefore, more and more people are adopting this trend as the new normal.  

Some schools have kept remote learning as a permanent alternative for the students. 

As a result, we still share our home space (and for more extended periods) with other household members. 

Clutter and lack of systems hit us harder when we are closer under one roof. Thriving under these conditions requires adjustments for most of us. But change can be very positive, depending on how we take it.

I, for one, discovered a new joy in being around my husband and children. We have created a productive and harmonious (very goofy) work environment. And I don’t need to mention how ecstatic our dog is with this at-home arrangement.

But living, working, studying, and playing closer to each other for extended periods may cause previously considered menial details about our space to appear more significant and bother us. 

Here are some things that might help us enjoy our new way of co-existing to make the best of the situation.

Keep It Clutter-Free And Clean

  • Have a trash can in every room and take out the trash daily. 
  • Have antibacterial soap or sanitizer on every sink.
  • Handle your incoming mail daily, rapidly, and efficiently. The last thing you need is more paper clutter around your home.
  • Take 15 minutes at the beginning of each day to put the house in order: Clean the counters, vacuum floors/carpets, and open up shades or curtains to let the sunlight in.
  • Gather dirty dishes and utensils inside the dishwasher throughout the day so the counters remain clear. It requires putting away clean containers every night before bedtime or first thing in the morning, so the day starts with an empty dishwasher.
  • Get caught up with your laundry as soon as possible. Laundry is often the nemesis of many households. You don’t need the added clutter right now. Read my laundry process blog if this needs to be improved.

Embrace A Positive Attitude

  • Make beds daily – this gives you a sense of accomplishment to start your day.
  • Get dressed as if you were going to work or school – when you dress up, this shows in your demeanor on the phone and Zoom calls.

Enjoy Family Time

  • Go on walks outside with the family – if we are together at home, we can take advantage of that.
  • Watch a movie or play board games as a family – welcome back game and movie nights.
  • Get to know each other better!

Stay Healthy

  • Develop a system to ensure everyone takes their supplements and medications consistently.
  • Grocery shopping needs strategic planning to have what we need while avoiding waste. Although we eat more meals at home, buying more than we need leads to food waste. Have a well-planned system.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the usual time every day. Also, keep meal schedules. These two practices allow the body to maintain a routine and feel better.

Increase Productivity

  • Assign spaces for each household member to work or study. These spaces can vary by day, but it is easy to control clutter and have an increased focus if everyone has a space to operate each day. 
  • Avoid distractions by ensuring your pets are cared for before starting your business or school day. Ensure your pets have adequate food and water, have gone outside (if applicable), and have safe and comfy areas to rest.
  • Try listening to Binaural Beats using headphones while you work or study to boost productivity. Binaural Beats in the Beta pattern promote concentration and alertness. Listening to Beta waves helps to increase focus, productivity, critical thinking, decision-making, situational awareness, and memory. Beta waves also help increase energy, sharpen your hearing, and improve overall well-being. 
  •  To take productivity to the next level, combine the binaural beats experience with the diffusion of essential oils that enhance mood and increase brain activity. Young Living Essential Oils are the purest oils you can find. Some oils that improve brain function and affect mood are Vitality, Joy, Awaken, Motivation, Frankincense, Peppermint, Sandalwood, and Lavender.

New trends and practices show us that we can move forward in more productive and efficient ways than we ever thought. 

How Is That Convenient Auto-Shipment Working For You?

How Is That Convenient Auto-Shipment Working For You?

Excess purchases are a significant component of the clutter we encounter in our clients’ homes. In this case, I’m referring to purchases driven by auto-shipping programs. So, how does that convenient auto-shipment work for you?

They offer savings on things we would buy anyway, so why not?

Moreover, they save us the trouble of having to remember to reorder. What can be better? How can this be so bad?

First, lured by the savings on what you intend to purchase, you might get into the bundling of items you did not need or want to qualify for reduced shipping rates or discounted prices. That means additional unnecessary expenses and more clutter in your home.

Second, there is the quantity of stuff shipped. I often see an excess of products delivered to my clients’ homes. 

Whether they order an excessive amount of the product to qualify for the program parameters or take advantage of the shipping expense per fixed order amount, they get more than they can use before the next shipment arrives.

The third is the shipping frequency. It could be that the program establishes a specific frequency to lower the shipping costs or ensure future purchases. It may also be a misjudgment of the reordering time. But truth be told, pre-scheduled deliveries also compound the situation by arriving way too frequently.

What’s The Result?

If you have the situation mentioned above, then you probably are experiencing one or more of the following factors:

  • Boxes and other packing material from deliveries that are so frequent that you can’t seem to catch up
  • An excessive number of products need to be stored in odd or illogical places because you no longer have space in the logical area for that type of item
  • Product overflow lies around just anywhere because it does not fit anywhere else, or you “have not had time to put it away.”
  • That pesky recurrent charge on your credit card that you always say you will eliminate, but you always forget to

Can You Relate?

In principle, these auto-ship programs may save money and offer the advantage of not considering placing future orders. However, they work under limited circumstances and for certain people or products.

Often, we just let things go. The status quo goes on as days, weeks, and months pass. But, because we don’t manage these subscriptions, we must manage the clutter that results. 

If automatic deliveries run your life and home, please handle this situation now. Adjust the frequency of deliveries, the number of products, and the products you buy, or eliminate the auto-shipment. Go! Now!

My Desk Looks Great! (All Papers Are on The Kitchen Counter)

My Desk Looks Great! (All Papers Are on The Kitchen Counter)

Organizing Paper

So you say: “My desk looks great,” but all the papers are on the kitchen counter? Aren’t we proud? (LOL)

If this is you, please know you are not alone and that paper clutters homes the most because it is harder to corral, classify, and organize.

Paper is sneaky, and you can’t see the chaos it makes by looking at a page here and there. But when it accumulates enough for you to notice, then it is too late.

Whether it is brochures, magazines, newspapers, instruction manuals, receipts, unopened mail, coupons, gift cards, or schoolwork, these things hang around the house and clutter everyone’s lives.

When organizing clients’ homes, they are often surprised by an unpleasant by-product: the unforeseen accumulation of paper and other items that don’t have a definite place in the house.

We gather all paper, including magazines, brochures, children’s papers, and projects. These should be addressed later by the client. We can’t save our clients from doing this work.

Because looking at the paper collected, it is impossible to know what you need to keep; you’ll have to do the work you have been avoiding in the first place (except that now it is all accumulated and is a lot!)

Since this part of the process is a necessary evil, and people fear paper so much, leaving you in the dark to do your homework is unfair. So, here is a detailed guide to winning the paper clutter battle.

NOTE: Before we start, you need to establish a cut-off date, after which you will manage your incoming mail and papers using your new system (thus, staying on top of that).

1. Clean up your files

You will need space for the new stuff that requires filing. If you do not have a filing system, this is the time to create one. Your filing system should preferably be in your home office. The best options would be a rolling cart under a desk by the kitchen or a filing cabinet that complements your décor in the living room.

But every household needs a filing system. Every piece of paper worth keeping should have a permanent home where you will know to look for it.

2. Gather every piece of paper

Gather every piece of paper throughout the house. This group includes magazines, coupons, receipts, notebooks, journals, books, and gift cards.

This exercise might result in several bins of stuff you’ve never seen before. And that is okay! We’ll take one box and one category at a time.

3. Divide and conquer

Start with one box and sort its contents into the categories you find in that bin or container. Then, tackle the second bin of mixed contents and repeat the process.

As you move along, take your trash to the trash and clean the bins that you empty.

Pro Tip: Tackle each category separately. Do not start with a group while still working on another.

4. Sort bigger items

Start with the bigger stuff, such as books and magazines. Decide what can be donated, sold, trashed, or recycled.

Then, see where to allocate what you keep. For example, you might already have a logical space in your home for those items. In that case, merge your gathered items with corresponding objects in their designated home space.

Note that if you run out of space to place all items together, you can purge items by evaluating the entirety of your collection. If this does not give you the needed area, consider an alternative space for these items. The important thing is to keep the same type of items together.

5. On with the paper

Set up the following boxes to collect four types of paper:

  • Recycle

  • Shred (only for sensitive information)

  • File (all documents you decide to keep in paper format)

  • Digitize (paper to be digitized and let go of print)

Keep paper to digitize in a separate box and set aside as a project for the near future.

Every piece of paper needs a decision, and every piece you keep needs a permanent home in a file.

6. Create These Files

  • “Important Documents” File

Important and official documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, passports, and the like need their file, so you will always know where the most important things are.

  • “Medical” File

You will want to make a “Medical” folder for each household member. Here is where you file medical records, EOBs, insurance, etc. If you have too much paper in this category, you may need to have Medical-Records, Medical EOBs, Medical-Insurance, etc.

  • “Taxes” File

Decide what you might need to keep for tax purposes for the current year and place all that material in a file called “Current year taxes.”

When filing past years’ taxes, eliminate anything other than the IRS’s need if they audit you.

Discard any envelopes, especially manila envelopes, and unfold papers to letter size.

If you need to keep papers or receipts together, paperclip or binder clip them on the right side. That way, when they are in their folders, you can easily see what’s what.

Keep seven years’ tax history and shred the oldest each year.

Consider digitizing everything. Digitized documents are acceptable to the IRS. But always check with an accounting professional regarding financial/tax decisions.

  • “Owner’s Manuals & Warranties” File

It does not matter what these are; it needs a file to keep a user’s manual. Create a “Household Manuals” folder and place them all together. You can be more specific and divide the category (like tools, appliances, miscellaneous, etc.).

  • “Hold & Throw” File (or tray)

The Hold & Throw is a parking spot for things you may want shortly, but that will be irrelevant in a few months.

This space could be a tray or a file within your system. Some examples in this category are receipts for clothes, neighborhood trash schedules, and paid bills. These items are not worth filing long-term, and you can safely throw them away every couple of months. This practice negates piles of advertisements, receipts, brochures, and things people put on their refrigerators. If the paper will be irrelevant in a few months, it goes in the “Hold & Throw” folder.

  • “To Do” File (or tray)

Among the papers you find, decide what is “to do.” Place that in your “to-do” tray/file. Once done, let go of these papers. You might want to make a note on your schedule to ensure you tackle those “to-do” tasks promptly and consistently.

7. Sort other categories of paper

  • Coupons

Get a coupon wallet to keep in your kitchen drawer. All store coupons and gift cards can live there until needed. They will be accessible whenever you go shopping. Review this wallet monthly to let go of expired offers and coupons.

  • Loose pictures

Set pictures apart and place them with other images you might have. Photos deserve their category, and the procedures to handle picture organization are here.

  • Business cards

Transfer business cards (including those refrigerator magnets with business information) to your computer or mobile phone with card scanning apps or software available.

  • Receipts

You can find discarded receipts online by accessing your bank account or transaction history with the vendor.

If you need receipts to return or exchange something, those receipts should probably go into your “To Do” file or your “Hold & Throw” file.

Moving Forward with Mail

Mail comes into the home daily for most people. We would return to square one very soon without a system to handle mail effectively.

Handling mail daily doesn’t mean handling everything completely. Instead, it means opening each mail piece and directing it to where the action will occur. This should take one or two minutes of your day when you come home.

To this end, you should have your recycle bin and your “To Do” and “To File” files or trays in your mail processing area. Have a recycling bin next to the mail processing area so that all junk mail goes immediately to recycling. Then, sort the rest according to the action each piece will require in the future.

Recycle — Place all junk mail in your recycle bin immediately

To-Do — Things that will require some action (like paying a bill or RSVPing to an activity)

To File — Papers or documents that you’ll want to keep for reference and that belong to any of the file categories in your filing system

OHIO Rule (Only Handle It Once)

If you want to be one step ahead, apply the “OHIO Rule.” It means that you immediately deal with any paper coming into your home instead of setting it down, unopened, to deal with later.

In this case, you commit to processing each mail piece completely when you first handle it. Handling your mail this way reduces paper clutter and eliminates the need to deal with paper later.

Schedule It

Remember that if you follow the steps to handle mail every so often, you need to schedule in your calendar as a weekly or biweekly activity — time to finish processing the mail you pre-classified. The “one-touch rule” eliminates this second part of the process.

Tackling your paper might seem daunting. Nobody said you must finish organizing all your accumulated paper in a day. Paper is the thing that takes the longest to manage! Take your time and work on one category at a time. The space and relief you will feel afterward are worth every moment you invest in the project.

You can tame the paper monster. But, as with everything in life, keeping it under control requires commitment and effort.

If you need help organizing and deciding about your paper, contact us! We will be thrilled to nosedive into your paper mess. Truly!

Organizing Media

Organizing Media

Sneaky Media

Media, like DVDs, cassettes, videos, CDs, and books, insidiously clutter our homes. These items sneak into our space without us even knowing why. We are organizing media today. Want to join us? Keep reading!

These items are often invisible until they overrun our environment or until they gang up with other types of clutter to take us down. Do you know that feeling?

Let’s strike back and end this battle now. Follow these simple steps and suggestions.

First, go through your home and gather every book, CD, DVD, video, and cassette (if you have any of the last two?). Do not get distracted by papers, clothes, Knick knacks, or other stuff around. You need to stay hyper-focused if you want to finish this process.

Then divide this large media group into five categories: CDs, DVDs, videos, cassettes, and books.

Let’s Do This!

Cassettes (Tapes)

Let’s deal with those cassettes first, if you have any.

Do you have the equipment to listen to these? And would you listen to them — ever? (Honestly!). What are their contents? Are the contents something you can easily find online (like music)? Or is the material recorded conferences, for example? If so, could you find the same content online?

If the contents of the cassettes are something personal you recorded and need to keep, find a service that can transfer that tape contents into digital. A digital format preserves the material and also makes it more accessible.

Then you can let go of both the tapes and the tape player. Off with clutter!!!

If you MUST keep one or two tapes in the actual cassette format for utmost sentimental reasons, that item should go in your “warm & fuzzy” box.

What is that box? This box is a special box everyone should have in their closet or under the bed, with very few carefully selected items that make you laugh or cry throughout your entire life.

Of course, not everything can or should go in this box. You have to be super selective!

Place all cassettes you decide to digitize in a box or bin marked “to digitize.” Then, get your calendar (yes, right now) and schedule a date when you will do any research about this service and mail this material to be digitized.

VHS, anyone?

Everything said in point number 3 applies to any VHS video in your home.

Answer the same questions and take the same actions described for cassettes with your videos.

Organizing Media

Photo Home Decor Obsession

Books’ turn!

Check all those books collected through the home and see if anything should go away through donation, recycling, or selling. If you have a decent number of books to let go of, see if you can sell them at Half-Priced Books? They also buy movies and music, so keep that in mind.

Take the books you will keep to that home area where other books live. If you do not have a central place for the books in your home, it may be time to assign such a place.

Don’t let the lack of space or bookcases limit your ideas. There are infinite ways to create bright displays for your books. In addition, books can make a design statement! Just check Pinterest, and you will see. Smashing idea; Points for Design!

A word about vinyl

Organizing Media

Have a Record Collection?

Vinyl has come back- no doubt about it. But being a vintage item, vinyl makes a statement on its own. Because we tend to listen to records on special moments and need vintage equipment to play them, these items tend to behave more appropriately. They don’t run away like their CDs and DVDs relatives. There is not much we need to say about vinyl. But if you have some records and their player but have yet to give these items the standing they crave, you are missing all the fun. Consider a place of honor to display and listen to your Vinyl music. You are unlikely to have records you no longer want out of their jackets or in random home areas. But if you do, I am simply out of words. Let’s leave it at that.

How about DVDs and CDs?

Make a space in the living room or a home office for all your DVDs.

First, you must pair DVDs and CD cases with their discs! For mysterious reasons, half of the cases we find are empty. That tells us their corresponding disks might be broken or scratched somewhere or under some gooey, unknown blob. Those disks are no longer suitable to keep; you can feel okay trashing them. But when you let them go, discard their case as well.

Other DVDs and CDs will be in good condition. So, after matching them with their cases, you can decide to keep or donate them.

The DVDs and CDs you keep should be all together in a single place in the home. Typically, the optimal location for these is the living room.

When you decide where all your DVDs and CDs will live, take those you found during this exercise to that place in the home. Then, see if any of the discs in your collection can go. You could donate or sell them (remember Half Priced Books?).

When you go through all your disks and eliminate what you don’t want or enjoy anymore, you make a more comfortable, appealing space for the DVDs and CDs you keep.

The Most Brilliant Idea Yet

On the other hand, consider that movies and music are easy and inexpensive to download these days. It might cost you more to store these items if you consider the space they occupy in your home and the amount you pay for each square foot of the house. And when was the last time you watched a movie from your DVDs or listened to a CD? (No, honestly!)

Some DVDs and CDs might be homemade, with great sentimental value. You may want to keep all that material.

However, here is my brilliant idea: Transfer their contents to an external drive dedicated to photos and videos or place the material in your computer and copy it to the cloud. This way, all your memories are safe, shareable with others, more accessible to enjoy, and do not occupy the physical space CDs and DVDs take. Furthermore, you can also let go of CD players and DVD players. How about that? Off with the clutter again!!!

These steps and ideas will help you tackle the media clutter in your home. Probably, media is not the most significant factor cluttering your environment, but every little bit counts. So, we must divide, conquer, and work on every puzzle piece to achieve our desired results.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help or advice with your home organization.

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