Category: Home organization (Page 2 of 6)

Love It Or Leave It

love your stuff

We hear this a lot among people saying to another in respect to America, “Love it or leave it”. Well, I’m an American and I approve of that message!

Aside from the usage of that phrase, I want to apply it to the stuff in our home. It’s our home (our “America”) and we should love the stuff we have in it. Or, at least like it well enough to let it stay.

Now, while this doesn’t necessarily refer to every single thing we have in our home. You don’t have to love your hammer, or your can opener or other useful things around your house. Yet, for all our other belongings, it certainly does call upon thoughts on how we value our stuff.

Marie Kondo is an author who became well known for her organizing philosophy of “If it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go,” or some such. Let’s take a look at what joy is …

Joy is that which brings comfort, pride, gratification, delight, satisfaction, happiness, pleasure, enjoyment, and the like. These are all “feel good” words, emotions and sentiments.

Love has the same emotions and sentiments. It does however also associate with characteristics such as appreciation, admiration, and reverence.

Therefore, joy and love work together in bringing the imperfect spaces in our home closer to perfection.

Turn the negative things in your home into positive things

There are probably things around your house that need to be re-evaluated. These fall under categories such as clothes, furniture, home furnishings, art and decor, things like that. They also expand out into other types of things you have, as well, like kitchenware, electronics, linens, as so on.

When you don’t like something you have around, it sends a negative vibe. The solution to this negativity is to get rid of it or do something else about it.

Do you hate your sofa but haven’t been able to replace it yet? Do you hate your old refrigerator yet can’t buy a new one? Do you hate your car but can’t get a new one right now?

Well, you can turn that hate into something more likable. Clean that fridge really well and possibly paint it. Get a cover for your old sofa and toss some pretty throw pillows on it. Clean out your car inside and out and make it more enjoyable. Things like that.

Belongings in the home need routine re-evaluation

A majority of the time I do take my own advice on getting and staying organized. When I glance around a room in my home, I don’t find anything that I hate. There is however a floor in my home office that I don’t like, but am working toward solving that as affordably as I can. And there’s one plant that isn’t doing so well that I used to love, but its lost a lot of leaves and now doesn’t give me much joy. So, I’ll have to make a decision on that soon as well.

What’s around your home that you don’t love? For those things, I propose that you get ready to make a decision about leaving it or making it into something more pleasing.

Then, celebrate what’s left. These will be the things you love that bring you joy.

Storage Resting Places Before Final Burial

storage area

Put it in the garage, they say. There’s some room in there, they say. Yeah sure, there’s maybe some space for it, but for how long and how much can the area take as more and more accumulates?

The plan for storage spaces has gone afoul. With storage facilities, we have the high cost of storing the things we can’t fit in your house. With garage storage, it’s all the unwanted items that no longer have a place in our house. With attic storage, it keeps all the stuff that we thought we should hang onto but don’t really need anymore.

All storage spaces are the same when it comes to a place to store a lot of our unused or unwanted things. And all of these places soon become the forgotten land of storage.

With the exception of document archives and some boxed keepsakes, most everything else is just resting in storage before we decide to bury it. That burial would be in terms of throwing out or donating.

I’ve been guilty of this. I want to get something out of the house but am not quite ready to get rid of it so that it’s 100% gone. Then after awhile, when I end up going through stuff in storage, I feel fine about getting rid of it. After all, I haven’t missed it after all the the passed time has gone by.

If I haven’t missed it, I won’t mourn over it when it’s gone, see?

The one thing I’ve noticed about people storing furniture that they’ve inherited from a family member is that they don’t want it in their house, but can’t let it go for sentimental reasons. So it sits in storage, unappreciated, not admired, and forgotten.

What value does that have?

I’ll tell you. The value of inherited furniture sitting in storage has completely lost its value. It has no value to you, and it might be depriving someone else who could value it for themselves if they had it.

I’ve known of people storing miscellaneous stuff in storage facilities for years without ever having looked at it or even know what’s in there. Since the monthly storage costs average $100/month or more, the math on storing those unknown things adds up to $1200/year. And after say, 5 years, you’ve just paid out $6000 to keep items that are probably not even worth a couple hundred.

That’s a lot of money to store unknown, forgotten and self inflicted over-valued stuff!

Storage spaces can be compared to the theme of the movie, Field of Dreams, quoting the famous line, “If you build it, he will come.” Because, similar to storage areas, we can say, “If it’s there, it will be be filled.”

To quote another famous line from the movie Jaws, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” that’s what you’ll need as more and more stuff accumulates.

After reading this, try to take a moment to re-evaluate the value of the things you have in storage. Save yourself more years of clinging onto things that you don’t even know exist anymore.

After giving closure to those items you can start arranging their funeral and finally say your good-byes.

Spring Organizing To Make Your House Bloom

Cyndi Seidler on Spring organizing

Just like Spring cleaning, Spring organizing can be a seasonal plan to get in there and organize or reorganize areas of your home that you haven’t got around to doing for some time.

And like clearing out the cobwebs, getting into spaces that haven’t had your attention for awhile may need some some, yes …. attention.

This would be the time to open up those drawers that you haven’t opened in ages because gawd-knows-what is stored in there that you hardly ever need or use. Buffet cabinets with drawers, for example, are commonly forgotten places where you’ve kept stuff that you forgot you had.

Linen closet spaces are another area that gets neglected over time, accumulating more and more stuff, especially if you’ve bought new bed sheets and kept all the old, unused sheets in there as well.

Kitchen cabinets are one more thing that accumulates more stuff over time. You might have more glassware than you need, extra sets of dishware and mixing bowls, and maybe even several more pots and pans than you need. And let’s not forget the kitchen drawers that are a little fuller than last year.

Oh, did I not mention clothes closets? There, I just did.

There are probably numerous other places in our home that need attention after a time. And when we can allocate our time every now and then to these areas, we can keep our home in better order.

After all the Spring cleaning and organizing, you might want to spiff things up a little more. Bring in some fresh cut flowers, do a bit of decorating, add a touch more of your personality around the place.

With the nice Spring weather making us feel good and boosting our mood, it feels like the right time to get us doing what we can to do things that make us feel even better.

I think I’ll go outside and get my mood into the right head-space to tackle the world!

How To Survive Without A Bathroom Counter

Cyndi Seidler on bathroom organization

When I moved into a house without a bathroom counter in my bathroom, I wasn’t sure how I’d survive. It presented one of the biggest challenges I ever faced in my home organization endeavors.

Worse part is, I’m a woman. We have more stuff than a man when it comes to bathroom space requirements. We have body creams, facial cleansers and facial sundries, nail polish, hair dryers and straighteners and curlers, hair accessories for our multiple hairstyles, various types of hair brushes, and so forth. And for some, we keep our makeup in the bathroom.

Men typically just need a place for their shaver and shaving cream and a comb or brush.

Both genders require a place for their toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant nonetheless, so that’s a given necessity on space.

Overall, that’s a lot of space that needs to be allocated for our bathroom stuff. So what does one do without a counter to put some of it on?

I, for one, am not a fan of storing much stuff on counters anyway, especially the bathroom counter. Fortunately, I tend to find other solutions as to where to put things. Yet sometimes it’s still a challenge, particularly if I don’t have counter space for soap to wash my hands.

Well, thank the lord someone invented bathroom storage cabinets, medicine cabinets and wall shelving!

I use a tall bathroom storage cabinet to store practically all my bathroom needs and the medicine cabinet for my toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as a wall hanging shelf organizer. Bam! Problem solved!

I’ve run into bathroom space issues before, like in the house before the one I’m in now. The sink at least had room for soap!

bathroom storage

I’ve had to learn to find alternate methods of storing bathroom whatnots. I wanted to give you some ideas on how to utilize wall space for shelves, rods to hold hooks, wall shelf organizers, and other solutions for the space.

Here are some:

ikea rail system organizer hack

You can also get a lot of ideas on Pinterest. Have fun! And good luck!

Seasons In Your Closet

Cyndi seidler organizing closet

The seasons come and go, much like our clothing. What we wear depends on the weather, so it’s either cold or hot weather to dress for.

When the temperature is warm or cool, that’s the in-between time when we can throw on a sweater or jacket, whatever is appropriate.

During the Summer, I hardly ever look at my Winter long-sleeved clothing hanging in one area of my closet. So it’s easy to focus on just the short-sleeved and sleeveless clothes area. And visa-versa when Winter hits.

Now, organizing a clothes closet by season is a nice plan if you have the space, yet some of us have to use other measures to store seasonal clothing.

Some solutions include under-the-bed storage containers for a season of clothes or in unused luggage cases. Some people have enclosed (zip up) portable wardrobe closets in their garage. And there are people who just pack up in storage bins and store until the next season arrives.

But if your clothes closet is large enough to hold all your seasonal clothing, you should organize them by season – short sleeved and sleeveless shirts and blouses grouped together in one area, long-sleeves in another area.

And, of course, a spot for slacks, suits, skirts and dresses. But even my dresses are thrown into the designated season.

By the end of a season, you’ll be so tired of your season’s clothing, that you’ll welcome a new look for yourself in the new season. It’s like a whole new wardrobe!

You Got Mail

Cyndi Seidler mail clutter

Love that line from the title of the movie, “You Got Mail.” I was actually going to title this “You Got Accumulated Mail” but the other one has more pizzazz.

Accumulated mail is a real clutter-beast. It’s a monster of all villains. It haunts us when we look at the piles of it and it attacks us when we find out we missed paying our bills.

I get it, we don’t all have time to deal with everyday mail. However, it will end up dealing with us eventually. There is going to be that day of “reckoning” when we have to sit down and open it.

Mail is one type of beast that you shouldn’t hide from. It’s the thing that we need to conquer so we can get on with the rest of our life. Tackle it head on and without mercy!

Throw away those solicitor’s junk mail lurking among your mail pile. Open up those bills and get them put someplace to pay when you sit down to pay bills. Get everything you need to do something with OUT OF ENVELOPES and placed in an ACTION place (a tray basket or desktop file holder, for instance).

And, for goodness sake, have a PLACE FOR YOUR MAIL other than throwing it on some surface where it doesn’t belong. If you don’t have a place to contain and hold the monster, create some containment place.

The Mail Monster can only defeat us when we ignore it. It cannot harm us when we attack it head on, so it’s a winning battle for us.

Let your battle begin.

Why You Should Keep Household Essential Goods In One Area

Cyndi Seidler - organized household essentials

The experience of keeping your household essentials in various places around the house can be a not-so-fun experience. I know this because I’ve experienced it.

My thought pattern thinks better when I know I only have one place to go for most all my household essentials. I don’t have to wonder (or wander) which place they’re located because I only have to remember ONE PLACE.

I tend to pick a place that will hold all the essentials for the household. A linen closet with drawers in a hallway has proven to be a good spot for me. Sometimes it’s a reach-in hall closet with shelves. Sometimes it’s conveniently put on shelves inside the garage near the door.

Wherever you have a good spot, utilize containers or whatevers to hold a group of like items, like batteries. This way it won’t clutter up the storage area for your household goods.

Let’s take a look at what I mean by some “household essentials” …

  • Batteries
  • Light bulbs
  • Electrical cords and plugs
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, kleenix
  • Tee candles and/or candles
  • Vacuum bags
  • First-aid kit

If you have the space, you can even include cleaning supplies, however often we tend to keep those elsewhere.

Now, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Some people don’t have the kind of storage space to accommodate all their household essentials in one place. I get that, and it’s okay.

I’m just throwing out the idea of keeping it all together in one space, if possible. But, wherever you do keep these things, at least try to keep them together in a convenient location.

What’s “convenient” is another topic.

Meal Planning For The Heck of It

Cyndi Seidler meal planning

Willy-nilly daily meal plans may work for some people however, without thought-out advanced planning, we may end up ordering fast food or dining out, or even having to thaw food out in the microwave last minute.

I think people on special diets would be planning their meals for the week in order to stay on track with what they eat and ensure some variety each day.

Meal plans make shopping for food a lot easier, too. Once you know what you’ll be preparing during the week, you can check to see if you have all the necessary ingredients on hand for those meals.

Sometimes however we just want to have some ideas in mind for our meals throughout the week. In this case, having a list of meal ideas written down is a good way to have at-a-glance plans.

meal planning menu board

I like to have a nice framed chalkboard for my meal planning menu board that I can erase each week. Also you can list your planned meals on paper that you hang up on the fridge or some place in kitchen is another way.

Creating a meal plan …

The way I like to create my meal plan for the week is to go through my recipes. I love this app called AnyList to collect recipes I like from the Internet (without having to type in the recipe), as well as ones I create. The app includes a shopping list for free, but has an very small annual fee for the recipes.

You can also look through cookbooks or even Pinterest boards that contain food recipes. And there’s Facebook recipe groups galore, so you could use those as another resource for ideas.

I write down (7) seven meal ideas on a notepad. I also check the ingredients I’ll need for those meals. If I already have chicken, for example, I may make a point to find a recipe I haven’t tried yet that includes chicken, just for variety.

Meal planning is something that you want to develop as a routine so that you do this every week. Pick a day to plan the meals before food shopping, then do your shopping on another day.

Bon App├ętit!

Benefits of Pretending To Move When You’re Not

Cyndi Seidler professional organizer los angeles

If we were to look around right now at all our stuff, it may seem like a harmless array of belongings, especially if we’ve surrounded ourselves with a lot of this and that.

Yet, if we were to look around at our stuff with the idea that we’re moving, it may suddenly seem like an overwhelming task to pack up and take everything with us that we’ve accumulated, especially if every square inch of space is occupied.

When people move, they typically take the opportunity to get rid of stuff, either by tossing, donating, or selling at a garage sale. It’s particularly necessary when you have to move to a smaller place that has less space and storage.

So let’s say you’ve opened up that jammed linen closet to pull out some sheets. Now look inside and pretend you’re going to move. What would you take and what would you get rid of?

If you made those decisions now, you would be streamlining the possessions you have, which makes it a lot easier to pack up and move with. And better yet, you’ve just sorted out what you absolutely need – no more, no less.

A friend of mine always seemed to be getting ready for a move, even when she didn’t have an immediate moving destination. She would constantly be going through her belongings and either getting rid of stuff or packing things up for garage storage, particularly keepsakes.

So, like my friend, I allowed myself the time to review my belongings and determine if I wanted to take it with me or if I could say my good-byes to it. This always gave me the chance to re-evaluate what I really cared about the most.

There have even been times that, after I move and am getting settled, that I end up re-evaluating an item again as I unpack. I then end up getting rid of even more stuff, oddly enough.

I actually went through a recent move 5 months ago. My calamitous display of decor and floral arrangements was going to be too much for my new place, so I had to make some decisions.

If only I had lived as if I was going to move (someday), that this last move would have been a lot easier on me. It goes without saying that I would have needed less boxes for packing.

So now I look around regularly at my stuff to make sure I love everything, that everything has value and a good use for me, and so on.

I now pass this wisdom on to you. Do with it what you will. But always know that pretending can be a fun game all in itself, so give it a try!

What Should Be In A Junk Drawer?

Cyndi Seidler Organize junk drawer

Most of us have what is commonly called a “Junk Drawer” which holds an a sundry of non-related items that we want handy access to.

The actual reason it becomes “junk” is when we end up throwing things in it just to get it out of sight and don’t know where else to put it, or don’t want to bother putting it where it should go.

I believe in having junk drawers. But not ones that actually contain junk. What I mean is, I like having miscellaneous items handy in a drawer that I often use or want quick access to – like scissors, razor blade, tape, pens, a tape measure, twisty-ties for bags, rubber bands, a note pad, matches, toothpicks, lighter, maybe keys, and the like.

Throwing receipts, written notes, fast food condiment bags, household hardware, or anything that doesn’t have a need to be used often (or never again) is what becomes a cluttered drawer, especially with accumulated abundance of these things.

If you want to go a step further in compiling your handy items for the junk drawer, get a drawer divider to categorize or group things. Certain things, like rubber bands, could be in containers. It’s just another way to create a smiling drawer when you open it.

Now, this drawer is a one-of-a-kind type of drawer. It also has “personal preference” settings, just like setting up your settings in a new account. It’s going to differ from person to person based on their need of having something handy.

So, in deciding what should go in your junk drawer, figure out your personal preferences for what you need to have around so you have quicker access to it. Keep everything else out of it.

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