Archive for Organizing Tips

What should I do with clothing I no longer need?

Clothes that are old and out of style are hard to donate so when you no longer want to have them in your closet make a plan so they can be loved by someone else.

1. Adopt a family

If you have children sort their clothes at the start of each season and put the clothes that no longer fit in a box or bag.  You may find it easier to put clothes that now longer fit into the donation box or bag right after they come out of the dryer.  Make a connection with a family that has children a year or two younger than your children and give them the box of clothes at the beginning of each season.  This helps both families to know what clothes they have and what they need to buy and you don’t need to figure out where to donate them because they go to the same family every season.

A little girl cleaning.

2. Selling 

There are many consignment stores that sell clothing.  You can find them online.  Each store will have its own niche market.  Contact them to see if they want high-end clothing, teenage clothes, baby apparel etc.

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

3. Theatres 

If you have unusual pieces of clothing like a nurse’s cape, old-fashioned outfits or accessories take them to your local little theatre group.  They may be able to use them in their productions.  It would help the theatre company to save money on their costumes.

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

4. Clothing Drives 

Sometimes communities have special clothing drives.  You may find that formal wear can be donated to groups collecting clothing for proms.  In the late fall, there may be a winter coat and boot drive for homeless people.  Running shoes can be donated at some running stores and they donate them to organizations that send the shoes overseas.

5. Shelters

Clothing can be donated to women’s and men’s shelters as well as thrift stores in your community.

6. Textile Recycling

For clothing that is too old, stained or ripped google textile recycling.  There are businesses that recycle fabric, leather, bedding and clothing.

Where do you donate clothing that you no longer wear?

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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Spring Clearing A B Cs

Yes, you read it correctly, spring clearing, not spring cleaning.   I first heard about it at an organizing conference in London, England.  The idea made so much sense to me.  We no longer have to do seasonal cleaning.  Our homes are much cleaner because of high-efficiency furnaces, paved roads, washing machines, vacuum cleaners.  Long gone are days of mud floors, dirt roads, open fires to heat your home and brooms for sweeping. Organizing and clearing your life on a seasonal basis will help you to maintain your home and lifestyle.

Activities

Clearing is a process that involves clearing out things you no longer need, use or want.  It is also more than that.  Clearing is about examining schedules, activities and commitments   Activities change with the seasons and that affects your schedule.  Some of those activities you may not be interested in anymore.  Clear them from your life and try something new. Revise your schedule to suit your new interests.

Commitments

There might be a lot of commitments in your life.  You might be volunteering, doing things out of guilt, involved in things that are no longer a priority in your life. Look at all the commitments and clear the ones that no longer interest you, you have outgrown or can be shared or delegated to someone else. Use your time in a way that allows you to you feel, fulfilled, passionate about the cause and excited to contribute.

Spring clearing involves clearing out things you no longer need, use or want. Also clear out schedules, activities and commitments that no longer suit your life. Click To Tweet

Possessions 

Clear items that you no longer need, use or want.  When you’re decluttering decide how much is enough and start to let go of the excess.  Make contributions to charities, sell items, donate them to worthy causes.  Don’t pass things on to other people unless they want them.  Check first before you drop something off. Recycle broken, damaged or very old items.  Keep as much as you can out of the landfill.

Download your Spring Clearing Guide

Here is a sheet to help you with your Spring or Fall Clearing, download it and use it as your guide.
Spring Clearing Tips

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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How to organize your bedroom to get more space.

Reading time – 7 minutes

Start by determining any special uses for the bedroom (e.g., home office, baby’s crib and supplies, etc.)  Only have items in the bedroom that serve the purpose of the room.  Remove all other items.

Bedroom with a bed with a yellow blanket, bookcase, round white desk and yellow chair.

Closet

It is easy for bedrooms to become the collection spot for all sorts of items.  Piles form. When you declutter the bedroom, start with your clothing.  Hang up clothing in a closet or on a rack. Place other clothing in a dresser or on shelves. Keep the clothing you like wearing, you get compliments when you wear it and that suits your lifestyle.  Have a place to put dirty laundry.  Double your hanging space by installing a lower hanging bar.  Add an extra shelf up high in the closet to store off-season items.

metal hanging bar with hangers on the main rod and the additional rod.

Neatfreak Hanging Expandable Bar

Under the bed 

Under-bed storage containers are very helpful for oversized items or off-season clothing.  You can raise your bed to create more storage by using bed risers to lift the bed up.

Bed Raisers are palce under each bed post to raise the bed

Raising the bed can make more storage space under the bed

 

Bedside stand

A nightside table with a drawer and shelf or cupboard will provide more storage than a table. The nightstands in a bedroom tend to collect clutter.  Frequently clear off the surface and declutter the drawers.  Decide what is important to have handy.  Do you need a book, tissues, medication, charging station or water bottle?

Vertical space

Use vertical space to add more storage.  An armoire or high-boy may suit your room better than a long, low dresser.

Doors

Use the inside of the bedroom and closet doors to hang items.  Over-the-door rack and hook products accommodate shoes, jewellery, scarves, ties, etc. Try using a shoe organizer. 

Over the door hooks

There are many organizing options for storing items on doors

Bedding

Reduce the amount of bedding to a minimum.  Have 2 sets of sheets one on the bed and one extra set. If you need to store sheets in the bedroom try using the shelf in your closet.  Fold the 2 sheets and pillowcase and slide them inside the other pillowcase.  You have a nice contained set of sheets that are easy to store. Recycle sheets with stains and holes. Donate sheets you don’t use, that are the wrong size and mismatched. Have a lightweight blanket for warm weather and a heavy blanket for cooler seasons.

Cosmetics

Cosmetics can also pile up on bedroom surfaces.  Use a container to store the cosmetics and make them look attractive.  Try repurposing a silver chest. Check expiry dates, remove expired items and products you no longer use.  Try to relocate some of the cosmetics to the bathroom.

Brown box with red velvet lining holding makeup brushes and make on 2 levels and in a drawer

The brushes nicely fit where cutlery used to be stored in this repurposed silver chest

Jewelry

Jewelry is another area to consider.  There are nice trays that can fit in drawers, boxes to sit on a dresser and wall-mounted cabinets to store the jewelry you use frequently.  Go through your jewelry and make sure you still love it, it is not broken and it is clean. Donate or sell jewelry that you no longer wear, fads that have come and gone and jewelry that doesn’t fit.

In most cases, the bedroom is used for relaxing and sleeping. Find new places for all the items that don’t belong and create a tranquil space.  I think I have considered all the areas in the bedroom.  Did I miss anything?

Let me know which tip you liked best and add your own tip in the comment box.

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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5 tips to get your garden organized

Reading time – 10 minutes

Backyard deck with a grey chair and brown wooden fence and lovely green plants

I have had a series of snowstorms come through my area in the last couple of weeks.  I wanted to think about something other than snow.  This week I decided to look ahead to spring and write a fun blog on organizing your garden.  I am not an expert on gardening but I hope these 5 tips will help you to feel like spring is just around the corner.

Do you need a plan to get your garden organized? Making improvements to your garden is a great way to enhance your lifestyle and make the most of your space. It can take a little while to get organized, but it’s certainly worth it in the end. To help you get your garden organized this spring, focus on these five tips.

1. Declutter

The first step to organizing your garden is to get rid of the clutter. If your garden is full of junk, debris and old building supplies, it’s unlikely to be an ambient space. Once you’ve removed the clutter you’ll have an inviting garden that you can be proud of. Remember, your garden can be an extension of your living space.  Now is a good time to think about what you planted last year.  Did the plants grow well in the area you planted them or should they be planted in a different spot?  Do you want to try something new or stay with the tried and true?

2. Organize your shed

If you have a shed in your garden it can be nice to organize this space at the beginning of the season.  Sheds can become “dumping ground” for many things that you don’t know where to store.  Once it is organized it is easier to get things in and out, you know what supplies you need to buy and when it is clean it is much nicer to walk into. Separate everything into different categories your gardening tools, winter items to be stored,  cleaning supplies and toys etc. The best way to get organized is to use compact storage boxes. With the help of storage boxes, you can create space, and keep everything in the right place. Store your spring and summer items at the front of the shed and off-season and less used items in the back. 

3. Create separate zones

One of the best ways to organize your garden area is to create separate zones, you can create different zones using decking, steps, hedges, or plants. One of the biggest garden trends this year is building a garden on multiple levels, it’s a great way to add space and depth to a garden. For example, you might have one zone with concrete paving, and a separate area of grass. When having paving installed you’ll need to contact the best Concrete Contractor. If you’re keen to keep up with the latest garden trends, here are a few more:

  • Create an outdoor living room.
  • Plant wildflowers that attract wildlife.
  • Make the most of your space by planting a vegetable garden.
  • Pastel colours are incredibly in this season.

4. Keep it tidy

If you want to organize your garden you’ve got to try and keep the space tidy. Ensure that you regularly mow your lawn, and remove any dead plants and debris. To keep your grass nice and green it’s important to use grass feed. If there are trees in your garden you’ll need to prune these, to keep them healthy. If you have big trees and you’re not confident looking after them, it’s best to call a professional.

5. Create a design plan

To improve your garden, it’s helpful to create a design plan. A design plan can help you to establish which style you’d like to create, for example, minimal or Mediterranean. You should also figure out an approximate budget so that you can avoid overspending.  Think about your lifestyle.  How much time do you want to spend on your garden?  Design the size of the space and choose the type of plants that will make it easy for you to have a lovely garden.  

There are so many different ways to make changes to your garden. Following these organizing tips you’ll create the perfect garden. Remember, making improvements to your home is a great way to improve your lifestyle.

Share your best gardening tip with me so I can become a better gardener. 

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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How Many Ways Can You Use a Shoe Organizer?

Reading Time – 5 minutes

The technical side of organizing involves a series of steps:

  • Sort items into groups of the same type of objects
  • Part with items you don’t need, love or use
  • Assign a place for things to be stored
  • Containerize items to keep them together so you know how much you have
  • Evaluate your system and see if it needs some adjustments to work better for you.

S P A C E is used to remember the basic steps of organizing.

For me the fun side of organizing involves thinking outside the box:

  • using old items in new ways
  • rearranging furniture to make a better flow in the room
  • storing items in fun containers

Today I am going to show you 5 ways to use a shoe organizer.

Storing clothing items

  1. Store scarves, hats, gloves or mitts.  The clear pockets make it easy to get out the right things.   In the summer a shoe organizer near the entryway is a good way to store sunglasses, sunscreen and hats.  Always a convenient  place to keep your masks.
  2.  In your closet, you can store belts, scarves, socks, bras, shoelaces anything that you like to easily grab and go.  What clothing items have you stored in a shoe organizer?  Oh, yes shoes.

Use an over the door shoe organizer to store hats, scarves, hair and accessories

Store cleaning supplies for you or the home.

  1. Shoe organizers are a good way to store all your shower needs, shampoo, conditioner, soap etc.  Take what you need into the shower.
  2. They are also great in a laundry room.  Put your cleaning solutions in the pockets, stainer mover, furniture polish, tile cleaner, rug cleaner, spot remover, clothes pegs, lint brush
  3. Make it your home repair center,  picture hanging kits, sewing kits, fuses, light bulbs, small tools, tapes, glue, felt furniture pads.

Use it in your craft room.

  1. The picture show quilt squares.  The pockets can hold paintbrushes, glue sticks, scissors, tape, ribbon, pencil crayons, markers, rulers, paints.  This list is endless.

 

Use it in your office. 

  1. I took this picture in a book store.  These are maps being stored in a shoe organizer.
  2. You can use it for office supplies, pens, pencils, stapes, business cards, rulers, tape measures, tape, glue, envelopes, cards
  3. You can sort photos into the pockets
  4. It can be an easy place to store your receipts by month or category.

A white shoe organizer with clear pockets hanging on a bookcase with maps in the pockets

What about your plants and gardening items?

  1.  It can hold your plants.
  2. It can hold your gardening supplies, tools, plant food, seeds, insecticides

    Pinterest.com

What is your favourite way to use a shoe organizer? 

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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Do I Have a Disease or a M.E.S.S.?

Reading Time – 5 minutes

People ask me, “Do I have a disease?” and I usually say, “NO, you have a M.E.S.S”. When your life becomes disorganized it is usually caused by one of four situations.  If you are feeling overwhelmed,  try looking at your M.E.S.S. this way.

wooden shelves mounted on wall

Shelves make storing items easier

M – Mechanical

Clutter can be caused because you don’t have the right type of storage. It is a mechanical problem.

  •  A drawer may be broken,
  • There aren’t any shelves to put things on
  • There aren’t any closets
  • Your containers are too small or too big or you don’t have any

Solutions to a mechanical problem are simple.  Look at what you want to store in the room.  Decide if you are a visual person and would like things stored on shelves where you can see everything.  Maybe being able to see everything bothers you, it is visual clutter to you.  You would want to store things in cupboards or drawers.

The next step is to decide what type of containers you need to hold your stuff.   Some people like to have clear containers other people like to use colour coded ones and still other people like them all to match.  Whatever type you like make sure they will fit on the shelf or in the cupboard or drawer and hold the items you are storing. Buy the containers after you know what is going to be stored in the room.  Make sure it fits into your budget.

A blue box with a blue lid that pops for using and flattens for storage.

Samsill Pop,n Store Container

Use an over the door shoe organizer to store hats, scarves, hair and accessories

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slide bins under the bed for storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. Emotional

  • Some people are very sentimental and find it difficult to let go of things.  Try to remember that it is the relationship that you have with the person that is important not the item they gave you.
  • Depression makes it hard to have enough energy to make decisions and organize your items
  • Anxiety can clutter your mind so you find it difficult to make decisions

The solution to this situation is more complicated. You need to discover your relationship with your S.T.U.F.F.  You need to recognize that you have Simply have too much and take steps towards realizing that. Next, Take Time to set your goals concerning reducing and what you have.  The U is for Underlying causes.  Examine what makes it difficult to let go of things. F is for how you Feel about having stuff.  Do you feel comforted by having things around you or do your feel overwhelmed by too much? The last F is for how do you Feel about having less.  Does the thought of having less make you afraid or does it feel like you have space to breathe.  I can help you with this process book a chat with me.  women isting on a chair with her knees up to her chest with a cup of coffee

S. Situational

There are things that happen in your life that can put you into a state of chaos temporarily

  • Having a baby
  • Moving
  • Divorce
  • Seasonal Celebrations – Halloween, Christmas. Passover,
  • The end of school or the beginning of a year
  • Renovations

The solution to these situations is to remember it is a temporary situation.  When things get busy ask for help.

S. Systems

If you have systems in place for getting things done then the work becomes easier because you don’t have to think about how to do it, who will do it, when it will get done. Develop systems for

  • laundry
  • meal planning and grocery shopping
  • collecting the garbage and getting to the curb or dumpster
  • gift-giving
  • feeding the pets
  • doing homework

The solution for this situation is to spend some time planning.  Setting up routines doesn’t make you a boring person.  It is the opposite.  You end up with more time to be creative and do things you enjoy.

You probably don’t have a disease that is causing you to be disorganized just a mechanical, emotional, situational or systematic problem that is contributing to your temporary disorganization.  Determine which is the main cause of your disorganization and your problems can be solved so you have a great S.P.A.C.E.

Which situation causes you the most problems? 

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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New Years resolution; the best time to declutter

Every year you set yourself resolutions, some you keep some you might not but if there is one resolution that should be attainable for everyone is the January de-clutter. In fact, there really is no better time to have a sort through, organize, and de-clutter than post-Christmas holidays. You and your family have no doubt accumulated an awful lot of new stuff and you need to make room for it. Don’t let your new belongings sit on top of the old ones, use this time to donate the stuff you no longer use or need and make room for your appreciately received new goodies. 

a women with a laptop sitting on the floor among many boxes

Photo credit Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

How to start your New Year declutter

To successfully undertake a declutter you need to be organized with a plan and agenda, and you need to stick to it. Here are some ways to help you organize your decluttering.

  1. List your areas for decluttering; do not just wander aimlessly around your house opening random cupboard doors looking for inspiration. List where you want to declutter and start with the easiest area first or the area that bothers you the most.  
  2. Have a deadline; decide on a time that you want each area decluttered by and give yourself sufficient time to do the work. It could be an hour, 10 minutes a day, or a full afternoon dedicated to one space. Whatever works for you.  
  3. Develop a system; when it comes to going through all of your stuff put in place a system of what you are going to do with your items. A good place to start is by having four stations, donate/recycle, sell, trash, keep. Everything should go into one of these piles but your keep pile should be dramatically reduced. Remember if you haven’t used it in a year – donate it. 
  4. Make sure everything has a place; if you are keeping it make sure it has a place to live and it stays there without causing mess or clutter. If it doesn’t have a place then make a place that is easily accessible and close to where you use it or don’t keep it. 

Benefits of decluttering

If you still are not tempted to declutter, consider some of these benefits to help persuade you.

  1. Reduce stress and anxiety. Mess, clutter, and chaos in your home can have a negative impact on your stress and comfort levels. It can cause a sensory overload, you might feel embarrassed or stressed at the prospect of not knowing where things are.  
  2. Easier to clean and tidy. With so much less stuff in the way, it will be easier to keep your home in order and keep things clean and tidy, which will inevitably make life easier when hosting and entertaining. 
  3. Positive impact on selling your home. Having a clean, tidy,  decluttered home will make selling your home easier. If listing your home is something you are considering doing a declutter is essential as all top realtors such as https://jenjewell.ca/ will conclude. 
  4. Help to remove allergens. Dust, pet hair, and pollen can gather in all kinds of places and there is no better place than on tops of items sitting around taking up space and gathering dust. Getting rid of clutter should help to improve the airflow of your home and remove gathering dust and allergens.

If you need help with decluttering and organizing your home, purchase my online course, Create an organized home. 

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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How to organize your wardrobe (with a change in the season)

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Fall is here, at least on the calendar. It used to be that people would stop wearing lightweight, sleeveless tops and lightweight pants in the fall.  With climate change, more people are wearing most of their clothes year-round.  They add a sweater or a pant liner to lightweight clothes for the fall. There will be some clothes you won’t wear in the colder weather because of the colour or pattern on the cloth.  Besides, it is fun to change up your clothing and feel like you have a new wardrobe without spending time or money shopping. You will learn many ways to declutter your clothing and 4 ways to organize your wardrobe.

Start wearing outfits for the last time this season 

Now is a good time to start wearing those items of clothing that you won’t wear in the colder weather one last time, wash it and put it away until the warmer weather is back.  You can put clothing in a secondary closet, in bins,  towards the back of your primary closet, set aside a drawer in your dresser or put them on a shelf.  Some people don’t like putting away clothing because they forget they did and buy new clothes in the spring.  If this sounds like you put a reminder in your calendar on your phone that tells you where to look for your warmer weather clothing.

Which clothing should I keep?

Whether you put some clothing away or keep all your clothing available year-round it is a good idea to organize your clothes every once and a while.  See if they fit, if they are in good repair, if you feel good wearing them and if you get compliments then you should keep it.  Donate clothes you don’t like wearing before they go out of style or become dusty.  Let someone else enjoy them.

Find a decluttering style 

Find a decluttering style that works for you. Some people like to declutter their clothes by:
  • category,  one category at a time eg. look at all your pants, then shirts etc
  • as they wear them – you put it on, don’t like it,  donate it
  • spending a little time every day and remove a few pieces of clothing
  • having a box in their closet and when they find something they don’t like put it in the donation box
  • spending an afternoon or evening and going through all their clothes at one time
  • one room at a time – you may have clothes in a number of places

Consolidate: only clothing in your closet. 

Sometimes organizing your clothes is more about organizing your closet.
Take everything out of the closet. Use the closet for clothes and not for other things.
Collect all your clothes together. Many people have clothes stored in multiple closets and don’t really know what they own.

Organize based on your activities

Group your clothes into categories by activity/lifestyle eg- work, party, pants, tops, sweaters, jackets, skirts, exercise, formal, gardening etc. Decide how much of your week you do these activities and keep a proportional amount of clothing in that category. For example, work 40 hrs/ week, exercise 3 hours/week, formal 4 times/ year, pants/ tops/sweaters 80% of the time, skirts 10% of the time. You can see you need pants tops and sweaters that suit work and casual, not many skirts, a couple of formal outfits with different accessories to change their appearance, 1- 3 exercise outfits ( not 15 because they feel good and are fun).

Organize a colour palette.

Build your wardrobe based on a colour palette, eg, blue, grey, black than tops sweaters, jackets will be mixed and matched to have a large number of outfits without a large number of clothes. Consider the Pareto Principle you will wear 20% of your clothing 80% of the time.  Reduce the number of items you almost never wear by donating them so someone else can enjoy them before they go out of style, get mouldy and dusty.
Now you know what types of activities you do, and you have a colour palette in mind.  Sort your clothes by category.  Pull out all your pants and decide how many you need and which colours.  Next look at sweaters, shirts, skirts, dresses, suits etc.

Decide what percentage of clothing to declutter. 

If you need a simpler way to start organizing your wardrobe, look at how much space you have to store your clothes.  Look at how many clothes you have.  Pick a  percentage that you need to reduce your clothing by.  Look at each category of clothing and reduce each category by the percentage you have chosen.  For example, if you choose to reduce your clothing by 25% and you have 16 pairs of pants,  24 sweaters, 32 pairs of shoes, 8 dresses, 40 exercises outfits.  You would let go of 4 pairs of pants, 6 sweaters, 8 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses and 10 exercise outfits.

Capsule Wardrobe

You may have heard of capsule wardrobes. Wikipedia explains a “Capsule wardrobe is a term used in American publications as early as the 1940s to denote a small collection of garments designed to be worn together which harmonized in colour and line. The term capsule wardrobe was revived by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s.”  If you want to further reduce the amount of clothing you own, you may want to organize a capsule wardrobe.  Here is an article to help you design it in 5 easy steps.  The less clothing you have the easier it is to care for.

What do I do with the things I don’t need?

Here is an article to help you know what to do with the clothing you no longer want to wear.  Don’t keep it in your closet let others enjoy it.
Take time to clean up your closet while you are removing your clothes.  Wash the walls, vacuum or wash the floor.  You might want to add lighting or paint or a shelf.  Make it a space you can take pride in.

Did I miss anything? Now I’d like to hear from you. 

Which strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favourite ways to declutter your clothing.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Need help?

If you need help decluttering and organizing your wardrobe book a virtual organizing appointment. It allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home. https://mindoverclutter.ca/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 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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Have you applied the 80/20 rule to your life?

The 80/20 rule can be applied in many situations and states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.  It is also known as the Pareto Principle. The principle has been named after Vilfredo Pareto—an Italian economist—who, in 1895, noticed that about 80% of Italy’s land belonged to 20% of the country’s population.  Maciej Duszyński states in his article Pareto Principle & the 80/20 Rule, “Pareto’s principle is more of an observation than a full-fledged scientific theory. It is commonly noticeable in a variety of contexts—but it’s not applicable to each and every scenario. Plus, the numbers 80 and 20 should not be added up to 100. The fact it’s called the 80/20 rule is a simply a catchy, historical catchphrase.” As an organizer the 80/20 helps people to easily, subjectively analyze what they use the most, how they spend their time and how to manage their projects.

Possessions

Many times Professional Organizers will talk to clients about the 80/20 rule.  I will say, you use 20% of your stuff, 80% of the time.  This means most of your stuff (80%)  is not used very often.  Think about your clothing.  Do you have some outfits you wear a lot?  You love how they look, feel and you get a lot of compliments. If you apply the 80/20 rule you can let go of 80% of your clothing because you don’t wear them very often.  Think about your other possessions.  Do you have DVDs, books, jewelry, tools, toys and dishes filling your closets and cupboards?  Let go of the 80% that you almost never use.  Organize, enjoy and respect the 20% that you use frequently.

Time Management

Once you realize that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of the time and effort you spend on them, the importance of prioritizing becomes obvious. If you have a To-Do List, prioritize the top 2 items (20%) and complete them first. Although the other items, of less importance, might not be completed the ones you did complete will have a big impact (80%) on your accomplishments.   Don’t neglect the other tasks. Move on to doing them once you clear the big ones. You can delegate the other tasks. The 80/20 rule will help you to use your time efficiently.

Projects

It is important to understand when a project is finished.   The first 20% of the time you spend on a project will get you to 80% finished. Trying to get the final small amount completed perfectly may not be a good use of your time.  When you have 80% of your project perfected should you move on and publish it, institute the changes or present it for discussion?  I have a saying on my bulletin board that says, “good enough” + “published” is 1000 times more valuable than “perfect” + “not quite ready yet”.  I have seen weeks, months and years spent focusing on making the last 20% perfect.  It can be a stumbling block to your success if it allows you to procrastinate and lets you hide behind the fear of accomplishing a new challenge.  The feedback you receive on your project will be more valuable in perfecting your work than you spending more time on it.

Paper

An organizer, Linda Samuels reminded me that the 80/20 rule can help you with your filing.  She says, “Applying the rule to papers is a good one too. We only retrieve 20% of the papers we file. And since most people (other than organizers) dislike filing, it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Perhaps recycling rather than filing is a better option for that other 80%.”  You usually keep more paper than you need and that makes it difficult to find the 20% that is important in our files.   This is true for emails also.

Kevin Kruse states in his article in Forbes, “No matter what your situation, it’s important to remember that there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. Pareto can help you to see this is a good thing; otherwise, you’d be a slave to a never-ending list of things to do.”

What 20% of your effort gives you 80% of your satisfaction? 

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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9 Tips for organizing with children in mind

Reading time – 5 minutes

With school out for summer and children around more of the time think about organizing things so they can keep their stuff put away.  Too many times children can only do half of the job because the shelf is too high for them to reach and an adult needs to finish the job.  Organize things so they can do the entire job of putting things away or getting things out.  It will be less frustrating for everyone.

1. Place hooks so children can reach them and as children grow, the placement of their items should change with their higher reach.

Hooks are great for keeping things off the floor

Have hooks at a variety of heights so each child can reach a hook

2. Organizing items for children to use should be kept within their reach.  If a child constantly needs help accessing these items this will cause frustration for both parent and child.  Keep books, toys, dishes, coat hooks, clothes closet bars and towels at age/size-appropriate level.

3. Designate a place for sporting gear, helmets, pads, shoes etc. It may be a shelf or a pegboard with hooks or a mess bag.  These 3 options allow the sporting gear to dry out before the next usage. It is important to air out damp items so they don’t get mouldy.  When the children arrive home they won’t need to ask a parent what to do with their stuff and when an adult asks them to get ready they can easily collect everything they need.  No more piles of gear left on the floor by the door.

4. Establish a routine for water bottles and lunch bags.  Make sure the children know how to empty and recycle items from their lunch bag and where to put the bag for storing or use the next day.  Do water bottles need to be washed every day or refilled?  What is the rule in your household?

5. Wet swimwear needs to be hung up and dried or washed.  Make a place for towels to be hung and bathing suits to be dried.  Teach your children to wring out or roll their bathing suit in their towel before hanging it up.  This will prevent a puddle of water from forming on the floor.  Placing swimwear and towels on a hanger to dry may be easier to reach than putting it on a line.  You may want to set up a portable clothes drier so it is easy for the children to reach.

 

6. Remember to always keep cleaning supplies and medicines out of the reach of children.

7. If children are permitted to use the microwave oven unsupervised, place the unit at a height where children can remove food easily without climbing on counters or standing on chairs.  This will help prevent injuries from hot food spilling on the child or a child falling.

8. Label bins, drawers, and shelves with pictures or words to make tidying up quick and easy.

Labels with pictures and words

Label containers to make clean up easy

9. Establish a bulletin board, magnet board, or a wall covered with magnetic paint as an area to display children’s work.  As new work comes home, remove items from the display area and put them in a box.  When the school year is over, go through the box and decide which pieces to save and put away and which to recycle.

Did I miss anything?  Let me know in the comments.

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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