Tips to Make Spring Cleaning Easier this Year

Keep only the Essentials

Example of desk clutter with haphazardly arranged, overstuffed file folders in a rack on a messy desk in a cluttered room. Canon EOS 5DIII, 35mm

During spring cleaning you’ll likely be throwing out a LOT of useless stuff you never knew you had in your home. For some it’s easy to get rid of clutter, for others, it’s more difficult because “But what if I need this later?” We all understand the hesitation, but still urge you to try to throw away anything that isn’t absolutely essential.

Don’t Forget About the Small Stuff

Vacuum Job

While we love to focus on rooms and parts of the house as a whole, we often forget about small important places to clean. When you’re in the kitchen cleaning, don’t forget about the fridge. Of course the inside, but also the top of the fridge, along with the crevices behind and to the sides of it. Remember to dust the blades of ceiling fans, along with the inside and outside of lampshades.

Clean Your Cleaners

clean

Before you start in on the dirt clutter and grime we all have in our houses, it’s important to check that your cleaners are clean! Go through your brooms and make sure their bristles aren’t too dirty or bundled up. Take a look at your vacuum cleaner and ask yourself, “when was the last time that thing was cleaned?” If, like most of us, you can’t think of a time, then now is the time. Empty out that bag, replace it with a new one, clean the filters, even replace if need be. Trim those bristles that have clumped together, or if it’s too far gone, purchase a new one.

Clean the WHOLE Bed

Young woman reaching under a sofa to get at some dust

It may seem daunting but cleaning your whole bed (yes that includes pillows and comforter) but it’s something that usually only needs to be done a few times a year, so why not kick off Spring cleaning with it.

Stop Clutter at the Front Door

A family's mudroom in winter filled with warm clothing, ice skates, and snow shovel.

Putting a shoe rack and hanging rack for shoes and jackets can prevent a lot of clutter from building up in your home. Stopping clutter at the door indirectly cleans the rest of the house for you, and keeps everything you might need in one place.


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Easy Kitchen Storage Ideas

09b30e327a9ac8d512dca1b3627b5d3c

Kitchens are a busy area in the house and can be hard to keep organized with all the food and supplies you store there! Here are some easy kitchen storage ideas to get the best use out of your space:

  1. Use magazine files to keep water bottles in a reachable place without them getting caught up in other kitchen supplies in a drawer or cabinet. Stack one on top of the other in the hard cover files for grab and go accessibility.
  2. Baskets can help organize anything from fruit to utensils to cleaning supplies. Hang  baskets above a sink using a metal rod or adhesive hooks for easy access. Wired baskets allow you to see what your grabbing so you don’t have to dig through everything to get what you need, or remember which items are in which basket.
  3. Store lose Tupperware lids in a wall file to avoid a mess of plastic containers. Hang the wall file on the inside of a cabinet wall, or wherever you feel it can be reached easily, with hooks to separate the lids from the bases and have less trouble finding it all in the future.
  4. Create a pot rack with S hooks. They can be hung from the wall, a ventilation hood above the stove, if you have one, or there are racks you can buy. With this, you can display your cooking pieces in style and they are much easier to find and grab then if they were all in a drawer together.
  5. Organize your cleaning supplies with an over the door metal caddy. A good place for this is the cabinet door below your sink, where they will be ready to use and very easy to access. You can use it to hold bottles of suppers, sponges, gloves, scrubbers, etc.

There are tons of innovative and easy ways to make your kitchen run smoothly. Don’t ever be unorganized again and use this simple tips for all of your kitchen storage!


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home

closetjpg-61288d64eaa0188c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The idea of living a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. They have considered the benefits of owning fewer possessions: less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for their greatest passions. They are ready to declutter but some get quickly tripped up by the very next question… where in the world do I begin?

Consider this list of 10 creative ways to declutter your home:

1. Give yourself 5 solid minutes. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits recommends 18 different 5-minute decluttering tips. Pick one today that sounds appealing. Or better yet, pick a random number 1-18, read the specific tip, and commit 5 minutes to completing it.

2. Give away one item each day. Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she has experienced quite a transformation simply reducing her stuff one day at a time.

3. Fill one trash bag. Early in our journey towards simplicity, one of my favorite decluttering techniques was to grab a simple large trash bag and see how quickly I could fill it. While much of what I collected was trash, this could also be used to fill a bag for Goodwill.

4. Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. While this idea didn’t originate with Oprah, she was the one to help give it notoriety. To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. This experiment could also be applied to a number of clutter areas in your home (cleaners, toys, linens, tools, hobbies and craft items).

5. Make a list. Dana Byers recommends creating a list of places/areas in your home to declutter beginning with the easiest… which doesn’t sound all that creative until she adds this note, “When you’re done with one area, STOP.” This list could be made as easy or difficult as you desire based upon what areas of your home make up the list (drawers/closets/rooms). And could easily fit into any schedule.

6. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house. On more than one occasion, this challenge actually became a quick competition between my wife and me… and your kids don’t have to be too old to participate as well.

7. Change your perspective. Unclutterer offers a powerful approach to decluttering when they offer a number of strategies to help you change your perspective and begin to notice some clutter you may have missed. Among their ideas: take photos of your house, invite over a toddler, or ask the boss to meet in your office. With all of the examples, the hope is to cause you to see your home in a new light.

8. Experiment with numbers. For example, Courtney Carver invented Project 333 to challenge people to wear only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. If 33 articles of clothing seems too little, adjust the rules as you need by picking a new number. The important thing is to challenge yourself to live with less and see what you learn from the experiment.

9. Use your imagination. Psychology Today recommends using your imagination to help declutter objects that may seem difficult to remove. Try asking yourself unique questions like, “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?” These creative techniques may prove to be very helpful for some with difficulties removing unneeded clutter.

10. The Four-Box Method. As we first set out on our journey to minimalism, this was the technique most often used in our home. As I set out to declutter an area, I brought four boxes: trash, give away, keep, or relocate. Each item in every room was placed into one of the four categories. No item was passed over. Each was considered individually. Some projects took an hour… others took days or weeks. But the technique and principles remained the same.

No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it be one of these ten or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step with excitement behind it. There is a beautiful world of freedom and fresh breath hiding behind that clutter. How you remove it is up to you.


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Organize Your Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clutter in the kitchen is no fun. We use our kitchens daily, so keeping them tidy is a constant battle, and it’s so easy to accumulate things you don’t need. Sometimes you just have to get rid of some things to make your kitchen appear cleaner, and make it more efficient for you when prepping meals, serving them, and cleaning up afterwards. Have no fear, we’re here to help! Here are some tips for de-cluttering and organzing your kitchen:

First you have to decide what to keep, sell or donate, store, or toss? You’ll have to ask yourself – “When have I last used it?”

NEVER:  Toss it in the trash, or pile it in the donation pile.

WITHIN THE LAST YEAR: Toss or store it, depending on what it is. If it’s something you only use seasonally, then store it in a separate container and mark it (e.g. “Holiday Cooking Tools.”)

WITHIN THE LAST MONTH: Keep it, but find a place for it.

YESTERDAY: If you use these everyday, you’ll need to put these clean and within reach so there always ready when you need them

Next step, is to end the clutter…

SORT: Decide where the item goes – trash, donate pile, storage, or right back in the drawer or kitchen cabinet.

TOSS: Everything that’s in the trash pile goes bye-bye! If it has no use, then you need to get rid of it

ORGANIZE: Clean the spaces in your shelves, and fridge. Clear away dirt and crumbs. If items are dirty or dusty toss them in the dishwasher or hand clean so they can be returned to their proper place.

PUT AWAY: Put storage items away, donations go in donate pile, and everything else that’s left should be organized so that it can be easily accessible. This might include reorganizing the dishes a little or your silverware so that the items you need most are in front or are at eye-level.


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Tips to Brighten and Lighten Your Home

Window into sunny white european kitchen. Fresh groceries are in bags on the floor and placed on the table.

Brighten up your space for spring with these simple tips.

1. Let The Sun Shine In. Swap those heavy, dark drapes for a light, sheer fabric. If your room gets a lot of sun, opt for light colors that won’t fade. The most recommended lightweight fabrics for panels are cotton, linen, and silk blends because they tend to hang well.

2. Use the Right White Paint OK, so maybe white paint is a no-brainer for perking up gloomy interiors, but picking the right white? Easier said than done. To make sure you’re picking the right shade of white, check out this list of favorite white paint colors chosen by top interior designers.

3. Opt For Open Shelving Open shelves can add depth to a small room, and feel less heavy than dark cabinets. If you’re going to try this look, make sure to edit glassware, decorative accessories, or anything else that will be on display. Baskets can be a great way of adding storage without visual clutter.

4. Add a Mirror Mirrors can visually expand a room and also reflect light, making any space feel bigger and brighter.


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Making Kitchen Counter Clutter Disappear

cluttered counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you ever feel like there’s just too much stuff on your counter? Even if it’s not messy, counters can get cluttered very easily with all of the items you use throughout the day, especially in the kitchen. Here is one simple tip to keep your kitchen counter organized and clutter free, while still being able to display the necessities for easy access:

The key is to use the wall as storage instead of cabinets, drawers or boxes. You can use this method for kitchen supplies and ingredients as well as miscellaneous items. Hang metal baskets or caddies/buckets along your wall to store items in the open, but out of the way. They can be hung by hooks attached to a metal rod or bar that runs along the wall and compliments the style and color of the baskets (as pictured below).

Items such as these can be purchased at IKEA as well as other furniture or appliance stores. You can also make them yourself! The baskets don’t have to be metal, you can use woven baskets that can be purchased at a low price, as well as a rod of your choice, and hang them up by your own hooks or even ribbon. You can also mount baskets right to the wall, without the use of a rod. There’s so much to do with this clever idea that will get rid of your clutter and look great in your kitchen!

 

De-Clutter-Your-Kitchen-Counter-1024x682


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Helpful Home Organizing Tips

organizing tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not on top of your organization, clutter can get out of hand. Keeping small organization tips in mind can keep you on top of your organization and make your daily life easier. Here are important steps in getting and staying organized that a lot of people may overlook:

1. Coat storage by the door can make a huge difference. Hanging it up right when you come in will keep you from losing it and it will also keep you from forgetting it upstairs in your closet on your way out. Coat racks, hooks and pegs can all help keep your coats in their place.

2. Everyone is always losing their keys. So why not make a place for them? There are a number of ways to store your keys to prevent losing them such as individual hooks and key hangers are the most effective in organization, or a basket or bowl will do. This should also be kept by the door for easy access.

3. Cords can get out of control if there are too many in one spot. Cord organizers will solve this problem. There are flexible and rigid cord organizers. Flexible organizers keep cords concealed so that you can run a bunch of cords where they need to go and rigid organizers that contain all cords in one outer shell.

4. Many may forget about under the bed storage, which can be very useful if done properly. In order to execute proper bed storage, you need to make sure it’s organized in bins first, not just thrown under it. Beds provide great long term storage for anything you don’t necessarily need access to everyday. This could be winter clothes in the summer (and vise versa), backup pillows and comforters, old papers, etc.

5. It’s not hard for dresser tops to get messy. Most people have a lot on there to begin with, so if things are put back in their proper place, it can get ugly. Try to keep only the essentials on your dresser. Makeup is necessary if you use it by your dresser mirror, otherwise keep it where it is used such as in the bathroom. Jewelry is also a common item for a dresser top, which can be stored in multiple ways including boxes, hangers or displays you can buy. Every item should have its spot to keep the surface organized.


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Get Rid of the Clutter in Your Kitchen

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 10.13.38 AM
Clutter in the kitchen is no fun. We use our kitchens daily, so keeping them tidy is a constant battle, and it’s so easy to accumulate things you don’t need. Sometimes you just have to get rid of some things to make your kitchen appear cleaner, and make it more efficient for you when prepping meals, serving them, and cleaning up afterwards. Have no fear, we’re here to help! Here are some tips for de-cluttering your kitchen:

First you have to decide what to keep, sell or donate, store, or toss? You’ll have to ask yourself – “When have I last used it?”

“Never” – Toss it in the trash, or pile it in the donation pile.

“Within the last year” – Toss or store it, depending on what it is. If it’s something you only use seasonally, then store it in a separate container and mark it (e.g. “Holiday Cooking Tools.”)

“Within the last month” – Keep it, but find a place for it.

“Yesterday” – If you use these everyday, you’ll need to put these clean and within reach so there always ready when you need them.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 10.16.03 AM
Next step, is to end the clutter…

Sort – Decide where the item goes – trash, donate pile, storage, or right back in the drawer or kitchen cabinet.

Toss – Everything that’s in the trash pile goes bye-bye! If it has no use, then you need to get rid of it.

Organize – Clean the spaces in your shelves, and fridge. Clear away dirt and crumbs. If items are dirty or dusty toss them in the dishwasher or hand clean so they can be returned to their proper place.

Put Away – Put storage items away, donations go in donate pile, and everything else that’s left should be organized so that it can be easily accessible. This might include reorganizing the dishes a little or your silverware so that the items you need most are in front or are at eye-level.

 


SHAREfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail