Archive for Bedrooms

How to organize your dorm room for maximum productivity

Reading time – 10 mins 

Tidy and organized room with desk in the center and bookshelf on the right

My guest blogger is Sophia Perry from Arizona Moving Professionals 

It’s back-to-school time! If you entered a university or college this year, you may be living in a student dorm room for the first time. If you plan to do your best this semester, you should ensure you have a productive study space in your dorm room!  Now is the time to start thinking about how to organize your dorm room for maximum productivity.

You may be thinking, “How can I establish a pleasant and effective study place that exudes creativity without overwhelming the room?” Finding solutions that work for you and your limited space is critical. What’s keeping you from getting organized? Will there be enough lighting in the room? What can you do to make this room seem more inspiring? These are all critical considerations to ask yourself when setting up a study place. Are you ready to learn how to make a productive study space in your dorm room?

Maximize your available space

You should first figure out how to make the most of the limited space in your dorm room. You must ensure that you are making the most of your limited space since studying in a cramped or cluttered room won’t be productive. You may use several space-saving tactics and ideas in your dorm room to create the illusion of extra free space.

One method to do this is first to declutter. Remove any large items, such as a bookcase, to create room for a study desk. Instead of a large bookcase, build open shelves on the wall. It enables you to make extra room while still having adequate storage for your books and personal effects. However, if you are missing space for some of your necessities, Centennial Moving can help by renting you the needed storage. A storage unit can also be handy when moving into or out of your dorm.  At the end of a semester, it may be more cost-effective to store your items than to move them back home. 

Everything should serve numerous functions

When you live in a tiny place, you must make the most of everything you own. Everything in your dorm should serve many tasks. Instead of a regular table near the bed, use an ottoman or cabinet with drawers and storage that can hold a bunch of stuff. Don’t simply use a table to set your laptop on; instead, choose a desk that takes up the same amount of room but has more storage.

Small dorm room with blue walls

Dorm rooms are often small, so make sure everything serves its purpose.

Bed lifts are handy for dorm room dwellers if you do not have a bed loft. Bed lifters are placed on the bottom of the memory foam mattress or beneath bed frames to raise it a further six inches. The wonderful thing about this is that you can now utilize the wasted area under the bed as storage. Another benefit of bed risers is that they have AC plugs built directly into them, giving you a greater choice in where you place the bed. There’s no need to worry about a hidden outlet buried under the bed you can’t reach.

Instead of studying in bed, study at your desk

When you have 30+ pages of your textbook to read, your bed appears quite attractive. Unfortunately, many students tend to doze off in bed. Unless you travel to the library or a study group outside your dorm room, try to accomplish all your studying, school work, and reading at your desk. It’s easy to zone out or fall asleep when studying in bed, particularly if you’re reading boring or too technical stuff. Relocating your textbooks or laptop away from your bed will organize your dorm room for maximum productivity. Bringing textbooks or a laptop into bed sends confusing messages to your body, and studies suggest that using technology in bed may harm your sleep quality.

Bed with books on it

Zoning out is common if you are studying in bed, so move your stuff to desk

Reduce Distractions

Is your neighbour’s music blaring across the hall? Or maybe you hear people talking just outside your door? If so, why not invest in a set of noise-cancelling headphones? Depending on what you find most comfortable, you may choose between over-ear, on-ear, and earbud models. It’s also a good idea to get a model with lengthy battery life so you can remain focused on your studies all day. Furthermore, noise-cancelling headphones are available in various price ranges, so you’re likely to find the right set.

Do you find yourself browsing social media during your study sessions? If this is the case, try designating particular periods of the day for texting or accessing the web. For example, you will get 10 minutes of phone time for every hour spent studying. Furthermore, lock apps may block you from using particular apps on your phone for a set amount of time. If you have trouble maintaining attention, there are many ways of organizing your life. You will be able to focus on your work without being distracted by social media, games, phone calls, or messages.

Person texting on their smartphone

Try moving your phone out of your line of sight and setting it to Do Not Disturb mode for less distraction.

You must coordinate (with your roommate)

Did you and your roommate bring duplicates of large items? Next time you go home to visit take some of those items back with you so the valuable room space can be organized for maximum productivity. Here are a few examples of space-consuming products that you’ll probably only need one of between the two of you:

  • Television (you may not need one, but let’s pretend you bring one anyhow.
  • Refrigerator — obviously, a mini-fridge; a full-size community fridge will most likely be accessible for storing large things and frozen meals.
  • The microwave oven
  • If you believe a gaming console to be essential, just one should suffice.
  • Dock for stereo/music player with speakers

Before a conflict arises, communicate as soon as possible to determine what arrangement works best for you. Is one of you comfortable being many feet above the ground on a top bunk bed? Is the other individual at ease sleeping under a bed frame, mattress, and companion weighing several hundred pounds?  Now that you have lived together for a while, make changes that help you both to feel comfortable.

How much room will you need to move about in the appropriate living area for yourself and visitors? What about furnishings like toss pillows, futons, and school-supplied desks and dressers? The main point here is to arrange as much as possible with your roommate and have the right mindset so your term is happy, enjoyable and productive.

In conclusion

There’s some truth to the old adage that buddies shouldn’t become roommates. However, there’s no reason you can’t get along with whoever your allocated roommate is. By working together and coordinating your activities, you may save money and organize your dorm room for maximum productivity.

How did you organize a dorm room?  Success and horror stories are all welcome 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

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 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.

Custom Designed Closets

I always suggest that you first decide how you will store things in your room before having renovations done. Once you know what types of shelves and spaces you need to hold everything you might want to get a custom build closet.   It can be a wardrobe specifically designed to your unique preferences and individual requirements. This could include walk-in spaces, lighting, and multiple interior features. You can find out more about this level of customization by speaking with a professional contractor.

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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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 2021 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 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 the 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 the next time that hot date rolls around…

Our Shoe Box, Container Store

Organize by Color

Organize your closet and drawers from 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 kinder and gentler 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 is 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, professional organizer

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 cosmetics, how long should I keep them?

When you start organizing your bathroom or bedroom you may find cosmetics.  Here is an infographic with information on how long to keep your cosmetics before throwing them out. Thanks to Natalie Brown a staff writer at BuzzFeed News for posting this information.  For more ideas on bathroom organizing read her post 7 Easy Bathroom Organizing Ideas You’ll Actually Want to Try 

By Natalie Brown BuzzFeed News July 2017

Have you found any alternative uses for expired cosmetics? Share them in the comment section

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer 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. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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Smart Organizing – Simple Strategies for Bringing Order to Your Home

 

Paperback book Smart organizing

Author Sandra Felton

Sandra Felton, the organizer lady, is the author of this very practical book to help people bring order to their life. The book helps people to “reach their organizational goals in the simplest way possible.  This is why I recommend the book.  The book is full of people’s stories, quizzes, tips and practical solutions to suit a variety of personalities.

She focuses on planning.  I recently twitted “hope is not a plan”.  She outlines how to develop a plan that is right for the person, how to work with the plan getting each space in the house organized and how to live with the plan and maintain the new organized life.

Here are some of the tips that appear in her book.

Bathroom

If a bathroom is shared by several children and is cluttered with their things, get them their own coloured basket for toiletries.  Each child can take it back and forth to the bedroom leaving the bathroom clear.

Garage

Use the walls to hang up smaller items you need more often.  Put up a peg board in the garage and use S- hooks to hang up gardening equipment, tools and sports equipment.

Laundry Routine

If you do laundry for a number of people, refuse to wash unpaired socks.  Insist that everyone pins each pair of socks together with a sturdy safety pin or those little plastic circles into which some sock pairs will slip.  If they aren’t paired you won’t wash them.  Now no more pairing socks.  Another good idea is to colour code socks.  Buy a different colour band or sock for each individual and let him or her match their socks.

Sandra Felton encourages,” spending less time and energy on the mechanics of living and  giving more time for more significant pursuits.” Her books help people to be successful at this.

If you need help getting organized book a complimentary 30 minute chat with me on Zoom.

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie 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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4 Tips for a Better Organized Bedroom

Start by determining any special uses of the bedroom other than sleeping and relaxing (e.g., home office, baby’s crib and supply storage etc.)  This will let you plan how to use the space in your bedroom.  Conversely if your bedroom has items in it that shouldn’t be there remove them.

Get your clothes off the floor 

1. Store your clothes in the closet on hangers or shelves or in a dresser.  Double your hanging space by installing a lower hanging bar.  A lower bar also makes it easy for children to tidy up their rooms and select their clothes to wear.  Add an extra shelf up high in the closet to store off-season items.

Two bars for clothes

Add a second bar to your closet to double your hanging space.

Look for storage spaces in unused areas of your room

2. Under-bed storage containers are very helpful for oversized items or off-season clothing.  If your bed is very low to the ground you can purchase bed risers to raise the bed and make room for containers.

Slide bins under the bed for storage

Use bins under your bed to increase your storage space.

Use the wall space in your room when there is limited floor space

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

Use a tall dresser instead of a long low dressor

Use vertical space when floor space is limited

Use the back and inside of doors to store items.

4. 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.

There are many over the door products to help you store items

There are many over the door products to help you store items

How do you keep your dresser drawers organized?

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What’s new at the home show?

I recently attended the National Home Show in Toronto, Canada.  As an organizer I was looking for new and exciting ideas for organizing your home.  Many people are choosing to live in small spaces.  If your home is small than everything needs to have more than  one function.

There were many different companies with beds that folded in to the wall,   beds that are desks until they were moved into a position to be a bed,

This dual purpose desk/bed is great for small rooms.

This dual purpose desk/bed is great for small rooms.

This is what the desk looks like as a bed

This is what the desk looks like as a bed

 

and a bed in a cabinet. The bed also has a drawer for storing bedding and other items.

buffet style cupboard

It looks like a lovely piece of furniture….

bed in a cupboard

As the bed unfolds you might be able to use it as a couch when the drawer is closed

cupboard hiding a bed

This bed starts out as a lovely piece of furniture

 

Depending on the shape of your space one type of unit maybe better than another one.  The selling feature of the bed in a cabinet is it doesn’t need to be attached to the wall and seemed to be the design that it could  be easily moved around within a home or to a new home.

Buying a bed that allows you to have great storage options can solve some problems.  This bed has drawers for storage, on the end and the side as well as under the mattress.

Use the space under the bed for storage

Use the space under the bed for storage

What is the most versatile piece of furniture you have seen or purchased?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer 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. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 

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