Archive for Do-It-Yourself

How to get your wardrobe organized once and for all.

Reading time – 10 minutes

If you want to try and get your wardrobe organized once and for all, then you have come to the right place. Here you can find out the mistakes you could be making with your wardrobe, while also finding ways to actively try and fix the issue. If you want to find out more, then simply take a look below.

A build in closet with white shelves and hard wood floor

Start with a Big Clear-out

It is suggested that you have a big clear-out as this is the best way for you to try and get things nice and organized. You need to decide what you want to sell, what you want to keep,  what you want to donate and what you need to throw away. Try things on as you go.  If you leave a big pile of clothes to try on until the end, the task may seem overwhelming. Some clothes may have fit once upon a time and may not fit anymore, an item may need to be repaired, your tastes may have changed, or you never know, there could be a gem that was lost at the back of the closet that does fit you. If you can be mindful of how your body and style change with time,  it will help you to keep only the clothing that suits you and prevent you from having a lot of items that do not fit anymore or items that are dated.

Adopt a System for your Wardrobe

Try to adopt the policy of one item in, and one item out. For every new item you buy, you need to make sure that you give one away. If you want to test yourself, then make it two items that you give away.  If you have a good clear-out, when you bring something new home, it will fit nicely in your closet, match other clothing, be the correct size and make it easier for you to get dressed in the morning.

Make Some Money

You might not like something anymore, that doesn’t mean that someone else will feel the same way. To reduce your shopping buy something new only when you have made money from selling something old. Make sure that you use sites such as eBay when you’re researching what your items might sell for. There are also consignment shops that focus on high-end pieces as well.  If you are trying to sell clothes to a store, they should be no older than 6 months.  Stores, like Plato’s Closet,  want to have current fashions and items that will sell quickly.  You may find that you are able to make more than you think, and it is a fantastic way to remove frustrating clutter.

Organize Everything

If you can take the time to organize everything then your wardrobe will look neater and you will save a lot of time choosing your outfit. When you need to get changed in a hurry, having your clothes organized can work wonders. There are many systems for organizing a closet. 

You can group clothing by type, pants, shorts, shirts, ties, sweaters, blouses, dresses, suits etc.  Next, you can group each category by colour.  This is a great way to see how many you have of each colour.  In my closet, I have enough black items (pants, tops, dresses).  So when I go shopping I don’t even look at anything black.

You might prefer to put your clothes into outfits.  Placing a top, bottom and third piece together makes it easy to pick your outfit for the day.  This system allows you to see how many single piece items you own.  Those items are the ones that don’t get worn often because they don’t go with anything.  That is a good category of items to donate. 

Thirdly, you might organize by purpose.  Group together all your work clothes, workout clothes, party/fancy clothes, casual clothes and lounging clothes.  This system lets you see how much you have in each category compared to how much time you spend doing these activities.  For example, if you work 40 hours/week, workout 5 hours/week, spend 15 hours/week doing things and 1 evening/week getting dressed up you can see that your wardrobe needs mostly work clothes, a few casual clothes, less fancy clothes and some workout clothes.  Check and see if you have a balanced wardrobe for your lifestyle. 

 If you find it hard to stay then organize your wardrobe 3 or 4 times a year to see if it is balanced by lifestyle and colour as well as how many unused single items are hiding. 

Don’t Forget about Shoes

As you get older your feet change.  You lose the strength in your arch and your foot flattens making your foot wider.  Try on every pair of shoes to see if they fit, if they are in good repair and a style you like. Group your shoes to make it easier to find what you need.  They might be grouped by season, colour or style. If you have a lot of shoes in boxes then tape a picture to the outside of the box.  It will make it easier for you to find what you need without having to go through endless boxes. You might want to purchase clear shoe boxes for storage.  There are many shoe organizing systems, over the door, under the bed, wall units, cupboards, racks etc. Look for an option that suits your needs and space. If you purchase expensive shoes get them repaired.  Zippers can be replaced, heels can be reheeled, soles can be replaced and once they are polished professionally they will look like new.    You may find shoes that have never been worn and can be sold  like these shoes. Shoes can be donated too. 

Invest in the Right Equipment

Many people like matching hangers, purely because it means that you do not end up getting distracted by a messy looking wardrobe. There are many styles of hangers and sometimes you need specialized hangers for certain garments, pants, skirts, ties, belts, scarves etc.  If you have a small closet you will need to use less bulky hangers.  Wooden hangers take up a lot of space.  Felt covered hangers prevent items from slipping off but it takes patience to get a garment hanging smoothly.  If you’re not a patient person only purchase a few felt covered hangers.  Whatever style of hanger you like (plastic, metal, wooden, felt), purchase a good quality one so they don’t break, crack or bend. Try using boxes in the drawers or on the shelves to keep clothing organized. They prevent items from “moving” all over and making it difficult to find what you need. They work well for belts, bags, scarves, socks, smaller items etc.  If you invest in the right systems, that match your closet and personality,  you will find it is easier for you to stick to your system. 

Separate Clothing by Seasons

You may find it helpful to divide your clothes into summer and winter options if you have a smaller closet. Having only half your clothing displayed at one time makes it easier to find what you need.  When you change the clothing displayed for the next season, it is a good time for you to go through everything, donating items you didn’t wear, don’t like or don’t fit.  In some places, people have more items they wear year round and with climate change, there is becoming less of a need for 2 seasons of clothing.  This means you will need fewer clothes and it will be easier to keep everything organized. 

When you are deciding what clothes to keep and what to donate ask yourself:

  • Do I get compliments when I wear it?
  • Does it fit and do I feel good when I wear it?
  • Does it send the right message about the type of person I am? (confident, fun, honest, knowledgeable, healthy, etc)
  • How much is enough?

Reducing the amount of clothing you own, having a great closet space, and using good organizing devices will help you to have an organized wardrobe.  I think I have addressed many concerns about organizing your wardrobe.  Have I left anything out? Let me know in the comments.

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse.Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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3 Tips to organize a student’s move back home

Reading Time – 3 minutes

Moving back for the summer?

Moving back for the summer?

It is that time of year when college and university students are moving back home for 4 months.  If their things are packed in an organized way it will take some of the work out of moving back to school in September.

1. Buy bins that stack inside each other when they are not in use.

Stacking bins are easy to store.   Most of us like to cut costs and use boxes to move students.  Since moving is an ongoing process for the next number of years buy some bins.  They will stack nicely in a truck/van and in a closet or storage area at home.  They will only need to be purchased once whereas boxes are usually recycled and you need to find more every time. Bins are waterproof.Blue Rubbermaid storage bin with lid

2.  Before the student begins packing, make a list of items they need at home.  

Make sure the items that are needed at home are packed together in a bin.  Label those bins, bedroom.  Other items that they need only for school can be left in the bins to be moved back to school in September.  Label them basement, closet where ever they will be kept.  They may need a bin or two labelled laundry.  Some items may need to be washed before they are stored away for the summer, bedding, blankets, winter coats etc. This makes unloading quick and easy. If your student is moving across the country, arrange to have their school stuff stored with a friend or a storage unit. Save the shipping fees. Keep the list they made to move home to use in September.  When it is time to go back to school look at the list and repack the items that were used during the summer.When you're packing up at college or university, pack the things you need at home separately in one bin and everything else you'll bring back to school in other bins. Click To Tweet

3.  At home, designate an area where the bins will be stored over the summer.

Clean out the designated area before your student arrives home.    If everything is kept close together or in a limited number of areas when September arrives, it is easy to know where everything is.

A little planning can make the move quick and easy.  Next, I will talk about how to make the living arrangement at home easy and enjoyable.

Moving to university

Don’t forget anything

What have you done to make moving your student back home easier?  Share a comment below.

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse.Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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Organizing your smaller space to feel like a bigger space

Last week I reviewed a book that helps you to downsize the items in your home.  Once your home is decluttered and organized a few design elements can make your room feel more spacious.  It is important to organize your home so it suits your personality and lifestyle.  As design is is not my strength, I invited a guest blogger, Downtown Apartment Company,  to share a design graphic to help you with making your smaller space feel larger.

There aren’t many of us that live in a place that is as big as we’d like. We have to work with what we got. Luckily, there are ways to make your place feel bigger without adding any square footage. Coping with a smaller living space can be done with a few easy steps.

Using elements of design and psychology, you too can make your small place feel like a big space!

No matter the size, there are a lot of simple yet effective techniques and tricks you can do to really open up your place and make it feel roomier. An example is altering the colours, textures and patterns of your home. Changing the overall design is a fundamental way to affect how people will feel in it.

Using a monochromatic colour palette, for example, will make a room feel more airy and open, compared to a room with loads of contrast. Accenting your room with light fabric curtains and furniture with long, thin legs will also add to the impression that your place is bigger than it really is. Decorating your walls with striped elements will guide the eye horizontally or vertically to creating the feeling of additional height or width, as well.

Accepting your small space doesn’t have to mean feeling like you’re always trapped in a phone booth. Mastering the design elements below will help you and others feel less claustrophobic and more like the place you’ve always dreamed of.

Making Your Small Space Feel Bigger from Downtown Apartment Company

Have I missed anything?  In the comments let me know how you make a space feel larger. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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3 Tips for organizing your spring clearing

What is spring clearing? Is it a typo? I attended the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organizers annual conference in London England a couple of years ago.  It was enlightening to learn and share organizing deas with Professional Organizers from England, Scotland, Wales, Netherlands, Japan, Dubai and the United States.  This is where I picked up the phrase “Spring Clearing”.

If spring clearing happens first then spring cleaning is much faster. Click To Tweet

Start with clearing out the items that are:

Broken 

They are the easiest to let go of but may be hard to get transported to the waste depot.  If you can’t take them yourself can call a junk removal company or make a trade with a friend or neighbour.  They can take your things to the dump and you can ….. bake a pie, mow their lawn, help with their gardening, have them over for supper…..

Donations

There are things that you might not have used in a while, your children have outgrown playing with certain toys, you have a new one and you can let go of an older model of the same item, or interests and hobbies have changed……. Take these items to thrift stores or call and see if they will pick up your donations. Learn more about decluttering.

Want them but don’t need them

This group of items are hard to let go of.  Try to let go of 2 or 3 items that have some sentimental value but you don’t need them and you don’t have space for them.  It takes time and practice to be able to let go of these things.  With time it will get easier and you will enjoy having fewer things that are taking up space that you can use in a new way opening up new and exciting adventures in your life.

Here is a video of my adventure doing spring clearing.

A flood started the clearing process and then I just continued deciding what things were around my home that I didn’t need.

Mind over Clutter does spring clearing

If you need information on where to donate and recycle items send me your email address and I will send you a 9-page resource document.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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Virtual Organizing – who, why, where, what

Do you have a home or office that is creating anxiety and a feeling of stress and overwhelm? You know you want to change the situation.  With a little knowledge, help and support you could start to feel happy in your home and organized in your office.  I have been offering virtual organizing sessions for 7 years, this may be the year for you to try it.

Who would use virtual organizing services?

For clients who:

  • wish to do the “hands-on “organizing themselves
  • are uncertain about someone coming into their home,
  • want a cost-effective way to get organized
  • need to manage their organizing appointments to fit a complex schedule
  • need support to stay focused on the project

Why would I offer this service?

Virtual organizing allows me to:

  • to provide support to my clients through prearranged online meetings
  • have clients all around the world
  • keep working with clients that moved away
  • do organizing while coaching, teaching, supporting and mentoring clients

What would a virtual organizing session look like

There are probably as many ways to do virtual organizing as there are organizers.  Here are my 4  formats.

A series of mini sessions. 

This format starts with a one-hour session to establish the goals the clients want to achieve and is followed up with 30-minute mini sessions to set steps to follow to complete the job.

Be there with you

This format is for clients who don’t like to work alone.  I am with you on my computer helping you to:

  • know what to do next,
  • make decisions about what to keep and what to donate and
  • set up organizing systems to store your stuff.

Complete Plan

This format is for the client who wants to work by themselves on their own schedule. After you contact me,  I set up a 1-2 hour zoom call and you show me the room you want to get organized. I develop a  customized organizing plan that you implement. If you have questions we can set up a support call to:

  • solve problems,
  • clarify the next step,
  • receive storage suggestions.
  • receive donation and recycling information
  • check-in with you while you are working

Develop Routines

A lot of organizing and maintaining a home, office or room is establishing routines and systems.  We work together to set up step-by-step systems.

There are the A, B, C, D’s of virtual organizing

For more detailed information check  Virtual Organizing Services on my website 

Virtual organizing allows an organizer to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring. Click To Tweet

To book a complimentary 30 minute virtual assessment use this link   or contact me directly at julie@mindoverclutter.ca 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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The organization diet: cut the clutter & improve your life

If you enjoy informatics you will enjoy this blog.  Cut the clutter a little each day.  Some tasks feel overwhelming.  Begin by dividing them into bite-size pieces. Start with the piece that is easiest to tackle, build your confidence and continue on your daily diet making small changes that you can sustain.

My guest blogger this is Tom Happ is President of Closet Works based out of Elmhurst, IL which for the past 32 years serves the Chicagoland area with customized Closet and Storage Solutions. With a team of over 100 staff, each Solution is Designed, Fabricated and Installed to optimize the storage for every room within the home.

Graphic created by Closet Works.

Contact Closet Works or Julie Stobbe for help with planning your organization diet. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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10 Easy Ways to Find More Space in Your Home

My guest blogger this month is Laura McHolm, an organizational, moving and storage expert, and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award-winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.

Many believe that to lead a more organized and inspired life, the clutter around you must be cleared. It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too.

A clean and balanced home is actually a launching pad for many other goals and resolutions. So if you’re already starting to fail at some of your other 2020 resolutions, try this home resolution instead: find more space in your home by clearing out the clutter! Follow these ten tips and I promise you it will inspire you to complete your other resolutions and lead you to a more organized and happier year!

Pantries

Create room by removing the large and awkward food packaging. Purchase clear, air-tight containers, take the box of your food item, and cut out the product name, nutritional facts and expiration date. Tape them to the inside of your clear container and then seal the food.

Pantry Shelves

Arrange the food on your shelves to help keep your resolutions. Make “first choice” shelves for the food that you want to stay on that diet. Make shelves that are for the kids snacks or foods that you’re just not going to have on a regular basis anymore… You get the idea –some shelves are just for the once a week treat. Some are for every day.

Pantry Storage

If you like to buy in bulk, put the bulk of your paper goods in another location, perhaps a closet or the garage, and place only what you need in your pantry— restock as needed. Tape a note to the shelf stating the location of the extra supplies.  When you use the last item it will remind you of the location where more are stored.

In the Kitchen

When storing pots, pans and other durable items, stack them on their sides like files. This simple step not only creates more room, it also allows you to see exactly what you need. Caddies or sorters from a shelf or container store have great tools for vertical organizing. Have all this in mind in when planning your next kitchen remodeling.

It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too. Click To Tweet

Dressers

Place clothing in drawers vertically (not the traditional horizontal piles) because it not only maximizes space, it allows you to find items more quickly. You can purchase wooden planks or plastic planks to use as dividers. This way you can see all of your clothes at once when you open the drawer.

Closets

If your shoes don’t have a place they end up in a pile taking up valuable space. Place shoes and accessories in clear plastic containers so you can see everything and tape their photo to the inside of their container with photo facing out. This little step gives you triple duty: more space, you can find it easier and better still you can put it away in the exact same spot for next time that hot date rolls around…

Our Shoe Box, Container Store

Organize by Color

Organize your closet and drawers dark to light. It can be a great way to find out that you really have way too many black blouses… and you can keep your resolution of being a kinder gentler you by donating the extras!

Kids’ Rooms

Purchase bed raisers for under-the-bed storage. Make sure they are sturdy and the bed can’t be knocked off the raisers during a game of hide and seek.  You can also purchase under the bed drawers. You can store everything from shoes, laundry basket, books and any bulky items that might otherwise clutter their room.

A Baby’s Closet

Is there room to add another bar? Take advantage of the fact that baby clothing is smaller and if you can, add an additional bar to hang the clothing to maximize space. You can purchase pre-made closet organizers that you can customize to make the most out of baby’s closet.

Neatfreak Hanging Expandable Bar

The best trick to more space in your home, less is more! So if you find you have extra things laying around, throw a reverse housewarming party! You’ll be starting a new party trend. Set aside your unwanted items and instead of having your friends bring a housewarming gift, they are to pick one of your items and take it home with them. This is a great way to reunite with friends, find your unwanted things a good home, and de-clutter all at the same time!

Originally posted on porch.com 

If you need help implementing these suggestions book a complimentary 30-minute virtual appointment.  

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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10 Tips to keep your entranceway clear of clutter

Controlling the clutter at the entrance to your home can be a nightmare. With many people using the same area and all having different organizing styles clutter can develop.  Together decide on what will be stored near the doorway and how it will be stored.  When everyone knows the plan, everyone can participate in keeping the entranceway clutter-free.

1. A place for coats

Place hooks low enough that everyone can hang up his or her own coats, sweaters, and jackets.

2. A spot for bags and backpacks

Establish a space that can be reached without help for each person’s backpack or gym bag.  This could be a shelf, cupboard or hook.

Entranceway organzing

Organizing Backpacks

3. Use vertical space

Have enough space near the entrance for shoes that are used regularly.  Buy stackable shoe racks and use vertical space efficiently.  Footwear worn occasionally should be stored elsewhere and brought out as needed.

4. Use the inside of doors

Have a place for seasonal hats, gloves and scarves.  A hanging shoe organizer is ideal for this purpose.  Put regularly-worn hats, scarves and pairs of gloves into the pockets, where you can easily see each item and quickly select what you need.   Storing hats, mitts and scarves directly with a jacket also helps to keep everything together. During the warmer months put sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses and hats in the pockets

Use a shoe organizer for hats baseball caps gloves sunglasses

Use a shoe organizer for hats baseball caps gloves sunglasses

5. Have a collection basket

Have a basket to collect mail, newspapers, schoolwork as you come in the door.  It will keep all the paperwork in one place and you can easily take the basket to your work area to sort it and deal with items quickly.

Samsill Pop,n Store Container

6. Collect garbage and recycling

Do you need a garbage can and recycling bin near the entranceway?  Some people do and some people don’t. It helps to keep the area clean.  Garbage from the car, a backpack,  gym bag or snack can be easily tidied up and not left lying around.  I saw this wastebasket with  4 compartments on one of my trips.

7. Protect your personal property

It is tempting to store keys, phones and purses near the door.  Don’t do it.  Find a more secure location for those items so no one picks them up and walks away with them when you’re distracted.

8. Have multi-use furniture

It is nice to have a place a person can sit to put on their shoes or boots. Have a stool that also has storage space.  It can be a good place to put a blanket for sitting outside when it gets cool, cushions for chairs, small toys for children or pet supplies.

Nebel Foldable 15″ Tufted Square Storage Ottoman

9. Re-purpose furniture 

Add a deacon’s bench, buffet, or dresser that is sitting around your home.  Place it by your entranceway to provide additional storage with no additional cost.

Mickelsen Entryway Hall Tree with Bench

Use verticle spaces in your entranceway to get more storage space. Click To Tweet

10. Declutter often

Declutter your entranceway often.  Place items back in their correct storage place, let go of items you no longer need, store off season items way from the entrance and remove garbage and recycling.

Book a virtual organizing appointment and work with Julie to get your entranceway working well for you. Click here for more information  about Virtual organizing services 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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Quarantine Relief: When Cleaning and Organizing Become an Escape

With spring arriving people are beginning to think about cleaning and freshening up their homes.  I enjoy organizing but cleaning? My guest blogger, Magda  Rae, Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Cash Cow,  loves cleaning and is here to help us get a fresh start.

Due to the self-isolation protocols necessitated by the COVID-19 coronavirus, millions of people are spending more time at home than they are used to. Some have enjoyed the freedom and an opportunity to relax, while others are quickly becoming restless and are looking to stay productive.

If you are searching for a way to escape the frustration of quarantine and keep busy amid the pandemic, cleaning your home could provide the perfect solution. A good spring clean will give you a great feeling of accomplishment, while also helping your family to stay safe at a time when hygiene has become crucial! Cleaning even has plenty of proven benefits for your general health, which is important when you need to keep your immune system healthy. Here is how to get stuck in and perform the home deep-clean of a lifetime.

The Health Benefits of Cleaning

Photo by Samantha Gades, Unsplash

Interestingly, spring cleaning also has several science-backed benefits for your mental and physical well being. According to a Scottish health survey, the practice can reduce stress and anxiety by up to 20%, as long as you spend at least 20 minutes cleaning. Clutter can also add to your stress and lower work productivity, but science says that a clean and neat desk can actually make you more productive in the long run.

Dust and pet dander can aggravate allergies and hay fever, but cleaning can help to reduce symptoms of asthma and chest tightness. A study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin has also revealed that cleaning your home can improve your mood and even alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Clearly, now is an excellent time to get out the scrubbing brush and the vacuum cleaner.Cleaning your home can improve your mood and even alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Click To Tweet

Taking Advantage of the Extra Time

Photo by Volha Flaxeco, Unsplash

The current pandemic has presented the perfect conditions for a proper deep clean of your home. Many of us are now in unique positions where we have far fewer daily obligations to worry about than usual. This means that you can really get stuck in, move furniture around, and spread out as you clean. Now is the perfect time to get stuck into those jobs that you have been putting off for years!

You can begin by sweeping your walkways, patio, exterior windows, light fittings and patio furniture. From there, you can move on to washing the interior windows of your home, cleaning out cupboards and pantries, and deep-cleaning appliances and sinks. These are all easy tasks that you could rope your children into to keep them busy as well.

Making a List

Photo by Andy Fitzsimon, Unsplash

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning, why not make a list for yourself? Write down a wishlist of all the things you would like to clean and tidy up, starting with those tasks that are a top priority for you. Many experts find that cleaning bit by bit is more effective than doing the whole house at once. Take your time, and begin with the rooms or areas of your home that need the most attention.

You could also devise a calendar for cleaning to help keep your routine organized. For example, Mondays could be bathroom cleaning days, Wednesdays could be dedicated to vacuuming, and Saturdays could be laundry days. This is a fantastic way to incentivize children to chip in with the cleaning too. If they do all of the weekly chores on the calendar you set out for them, you could offer them a treat or extend their leisure time as a reward. There is no better time to teach your children about the value of teamwork and cleanliness, so we recommend making the most of it.

Take Inspiration from Marie Kondo

Photo by Nathan Fertig, Unsplash

Is your home feeling unnecessarily cluttered? Perhaps it’s time to assess whether or not your possessions are functional, useful, or bring you joy. Marie Kondo’s famous technique includes picking up an item and deciding whether or not having it in your life brings you happiness. If not, put it aside to sell, donate to charity, or pass on to someone who will appreciate it. You may well find that if you sell your unwanted vintage jewelry, appliances, books and other items that you no longer use, you’ll pocket a sizable sum of money.

Again, you can also get your kids involved in this process. Many people think that children would want to hold onto everything they own, but Marie Kondo says that this simply isn’t the case a lot of the time. Remember, things don’t have to be in poor condition for you to pass them along to a new home. Charity stores are always grateful for goods in near-new condition!

Keep Cleaning Fun

Cleaning can be a fantastic escape, especially during lockdown. However, for some, this can be an arduous task – so make it fun! Put on your favorite music, rope in your family, and dance or sing as you work. Remember not to work yourself too hard, and to take regular breaks as you see fit.

You can also take before and after photographs of your efforts to incentivize yourself and show off on social media. Some people have even taken to making TikToks of their cleaning work to show the world just how powerful a deep clean can be!

A Good Way to Get Through Tough Times

No matter what your approach may be, the trick to enjoying cleaning and using it as an escape is to make it an enjoyable and rewarding activity that you can look back on with pride.

Need help with your cleaning and organizing project? Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment. https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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Building your perfect custom closet: 5 Steps to consider

My guest blogger this month is Spencer Andrews a representative of More Space Place, a Greenville area leader in closet, office, and garage organization. He has included 5 pictures of different types of closets.

Thinking of upgrading your closet space? Adding a brand new custom closet system to your home can be an exciting prospect. After all, optimizing your storage means you’ll be able to rid your home of clutter and enjoy a cleaner house.

The are a few things to remember, however. Just like any other home improvement project a custom closet has several pitfalls that can have disastrous consequences. Low-quality materials can break and hasty installations can lead to damage to your home requiring thousands of dollars of costly repairs.

To help you avoid such a thing we’ve put together this guide to help you make the appropriate considerations. These 5 steps are what we think are the most important and will help ensure that you’re satisfied with your brand new closet.

Step #1: Plan your design & research your options

Just like with any other project, the success of your custom closet installation is contingent upon diligent research and proper planning. The most important thing to determine is the materials you’ll be using for your closet system. There are plenty of economic options available, but how sturdy are they? Particleboard is affordable, but composites can be easily damaged and don’t deal well with moisture. Furthermore, installing laminates can require working with highly flammable and toxic adhesives, which some homeowners may not be comfortable with. These materials may be more affordable, but will generally have a diminished life span. This is just one example of the kind of research you’ll need to do.

Of course, the other thing to remember is making sure you have all the tools you need to handle this installation. This is by and large a function of the materials you’ll be working with, and once you’ve determined that you’ll have to make sure you have the right tools.

Step #2: Acquire your materials

 

 When you’re buying the materials for your closet’s installation remember this one simple rule: not all materials are created equal. Take the time to compare the different building supplies you’ll be buying. Boards can warp and deform and may not retain their shape. Take the time to inspect everything you’ll be using to ensure that it’s up to par. Substandard materials can be disastrous for a project like this, and there’s nothing worse than taking multiple unwanted trips to the hardware store. Save yourself a headache and work only with the highest quality goods.

This can also mean using wire closet systems. These tend to be more reliable when compared with particleboard. These will also be more consistent in terms of quality, alleviating many of the headaches associated with less durable materials. That being said, it’s important to do your homework early on and decide what material you think will work best for you.

Step #3: Take your measurements & prepare for installation

 

Is the room you’re installing your new closet system in completely square? Can you fit all the tools you’ll be using in your closet space? Will your closet system completely cover your wall or should you consider wallpaper or paint to complement your new installation?

These are all considerations to take into account before you begin building your custom closet. If your closet comes out off-center or looks crooked because of the shape of the room it can really detract from the visual appeal of your new closet system. Furthermore, adding a new coat of paint or wallpaper can really help to improve your closet system, so make sure you have that in place beforehand!

Step #4: Begin building your closet system

While this may be a fairly obvious step, this is where all the hard work and potential problems may occur. The most important thing to consider here is whether or not you have the time to put together a brand new closet system in your home. Furthermore, you may need to consider if you have the experience for such a project. Installations such as these can be demanding and may require the expertise of an experienced team. If you find yourself in over your head consider looking for a custom closet designer who can help you out with your project. These services also tend to be comprehensive, which means that can also help you with the design & picking out the right materials.

Enjoy Your New Closet!

 After putting in all this hard work, it’s time to enjoy your new custom closet! Consider what you’re going to do with all this new space and check out some other space-saving options. Amazon has plenty of corner storage, stackable bins, and space-saving solutions that can help to make your new closet even more efficient.

Thinking of upgrading your current closet space? Greenville More Space Place is the Greenville SC Custom Closet design team that can help make your idea a reality.

Let me know what the most important feature of a closet is for you?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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