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Organizing

This is a clever idea I picked up from Erin, blogger of Neaten your nest, in her post saving my sanity- cleaning schedule. I switched my board up a little bit, but you should really check out what she did for another idea. She put magnets on the back of her frame and hung it on her fridge. That’s pretty awesome!

Anyways, It’s super easy! I bought a pretty picture frame from TJ Maxx for $6.99, and then underlayed some extra burlap material I had  behind my cleaning checklist. Isn’t burlap so awesome?

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Hang, and display wherever you like! I’m not going to lie, it does look a little cuter in person…oh iphone cameras.

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I actually photocopied this cleaning schedule from the book Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider. You can print your copy from her website: http://simplemom.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/Weekly-Checklist.pdf

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I love that I can check, and wipe off  the dry erase marker whenever I want. No more reprinting a checklist, or worrying about the list being lost, and hopefully by having it up in the kitchen where everyone can see it it will help keep everyone honest. It’s so easy to let certain rooms go. At the same time, I want to use this more as a guideline than as a set in stone list, just so I can feel on top of things but not guilty if I dont complete it all (and I likely won’t).

In the end it should provide some sanity relief  like Erin suggested. Who doesn’t need a good ol’ dose of sanity once and awhile?

Hope that helps,

Amanda

RomanceOnADime.com

Yay, my closet is more or less organized now, all I need to do is make an inventory of what I currently have, and a “list” of pieces I’d like to add, and replace for my wardrobe this fall. I want to share some changes I’ve made in organizing my wardrobe that I’ve picked up through the years and have found really easy and helpful.

Have an order for your clothing. Some people like to organize by color, while others like to organize by clothing type. I prefer to organize by type: bottom with bottoms, shirts with shirts, dresses with dresses..It makes things easier to get to and feels better.

Like bottoms and clothing types are arranged side by side in my closet. Shorts and jeans are in this pic (it’s still warm so I kept a couple of shorts out).

Have one empty box to temporarily hold ‘eh’ items,worn items, or items you don’t like anymore. Yes, you were suppose to already have done this, but sometimes I change my mind, or something doesn’t fit right anymore…or maybe I just missed it the first go around. Anyways, as long as you don’t keep them in there for too long they shouldnt turn into clutter…its suppose to be a temporary box.

The black box is my empty box where I can put my reject clothing that pops up unexpectantly. Beside it is where I store my scarves.

Store your shoes on a shelf or some sort of organizer (not on the floor). I’ve also used a door shoe hanger I got from a “dollar” store (even though it was $12). Currently I put mine on the top shelf of my closet. I don’t know what it is, but when shoes have a home it just makes everything look nicer and orderly. If you keep them off the floor you have the added benefit of protecting them from dust and dirt, all of which can deteriorate your shoes (even if it’s a slow death).

Shoes are stored high, away from dust and dirt.

Have a real pinboard. Before I knew about pinterest I started putting a cork board in my closet after I read about how it can help inspire your wardrobe.  It’s always helped give me ideas for putting pieces together that I wouldn’t have necessarily come up with on my own. Mine also doubles as a necklace hanger (just drape them over the pins).

This is where I store some magazine clippings that give me ideas for outfits, inspirational quotes, and whatever else inspires me…it’s my real life pinboard!

Hang belts and handy wardrobe tools on hooks. I added a lent roller because I have a dog who sheds A LOT. It’s nice to have it handy otherwise I tend to lose it.

I have the old school lent remover, and the 3M sticky hair and lent remover that comes in handy when you have a dog that sheds!

Purchase nice, uniform hangers. Sure you can use the dollar store ones, or even the plastic value pack at walmart, but going that extra mile and buying some quality, matching hangers can really help to make your closet look nicer, and hang your clothing more effortlessly. I bought a 50 pack at bed bath and beyond for 30 dollars, and I’ve never had a problem with any of my clothing slipping off. Taget is also a nice place where you can purchase nicer hangers for a descent price.

Now I’m interested…what about you? Are there any simple changes, or “rules” you follow that allow for a more orderly closet? I’m always looking for ideas!

Hope this helps,

Amanda.

This is how I just recently organized my purses…you can use shower curtain rings, or the toy hangers for mobiles like I did.

I just started  fall cleaning  my closet… I love this new idea I got from a real simple ad on organizing your purses; hang them with shower curtain hooks. I didn’t have those but I do have A LOT of those toy hangers you get from activity gyms for babies. You know the ones I’m talking about, right? Anyway, love it!

….drum roll… here’s my main topic, fall cleaning your closet:

My main motive for fall cleaning my closet is to make it as efficient, and clean smelling as possible.Its time for the summer clothing to move out, and for the fall/winter clothing to move in!  The benefits move beyond visual; the more air that can circulate, the fresher smelling your closet and clothing  will be, and the less wrinkly they will become…oh, and you’ll be able to see them a lot easier! Also, storing your seasonal clothing, if done properly, can make them last longer…bonus!

After having read on fall cleaning, and practicing it for several years now, here’s a list I came up with that might be of some help:

Steps to fall clean your closet:

  1. Empty contents from closet,  wipe down and dust shelves and walls.
  2. Completely air out your closet thoroughly. This is really important, and worth the wait to ensure a fresh closet. Fresh closet = fresh smelling clothing.
  3. Prepare yourself to make 4 piles: Keeping summer clothing that will be stored…Maybe keeping…Giving/Selling…Keeping fall clothing
  4. Launder contents that are going away for the season so that all dirt, dust, and moisture is taken care of…all those culprits will deteriorate your clothing and attract bugs. Make sure you only keep the summer contents you actually wore; put aside overly worn items, and give gently used items away.
  5. Launder fall clothing you’ll keep. Make sure you do this to ensure a fresh smelling closet…items stored for a season can smell musty.
  6. Separate and sort your items into the different piles. Keep only items that you love, make you feel great, and are flattering. If this means you now only have four items, you can keep what you need for now, and plan to gradually phase them out. I’m going to mark my “necessary evils” with a clothes pins on my hangers.
  7. Put back the fall laundered pieces you love…and store loved summer pieces in plastic bins with labels…store maybe items in a box, or plastic bin with a deadline (i.e. 6 months), so that you will reanalyze the items.
  8. Dont bring back anything that doesn’t belong in your closet (clutter, bills, empty boxes, etc.).
  9. Take inventory, and make a list. Note what, and how many of each items you have. While you’re at it, include what you need to replace and add. Now you should have a list you can use to safely guide you to worthwhile items to add to your efficient and clean smelling closet!
  10. Make a cap for the items in your closet. I plan to follow this one to ensure my closet doesn’t become overcrowded. 60 items is my max, and if I buy something new I really want commit to giving away a piece to make up for the new addition.

It might be a lot of work, but seeing as it’s only completed about twice a year, I think my clothing and your clothing deserve the love. Hope this helps!

Amanda.

Before I buy new items for fall, I find it crucial to fall clean your closet and wardrobe first. After going through everything, taking inventory, and organizing, it’s much easier to add meaningful and inspired pieces to your wardrobe.Today I started with my undergarments which only took about 15 minutes. I essentially consolidated my bras and underwear with the help of my favorite: shoe boxes!

Before/After photos:

The “before” underwear drawer…they usually start off neater…

The “before” haphazard bra drawer.

The after photo…I consolidated the bra and underwear drawer into one drawer and divided them with shoe boxes.

The first thing I did was take everything out of the drawers, and threw away the overly tattered and worn items, and kept what I currently wear. After, I made dividers with shoe boxes by cutting them length wise and width wise, then fitting them into the drawer. Each divider piece acted as a cubby to hold the different items.

Here’s how I did it:

  • I gathered my supplies: two shoe boxes, and a pair of humble scissors. No need to premark the line, unless you like precision.

The supplies…

Then I cut the boxes length wise, and width wise. Below is what I ended up using for my drawer.

This is what I inserted into the drawers…notice how I didnt use all of the white box, and I used the lids for the two white dividers and top pink divider, but used the “box” for the bottom dividers to contain my bras.

Then you put them in the drawer so that they all fit. Here’s how I laid mine out:

Place the dividers in a similar fashion into your drawer.

Super easy, and much more organized! yay!

Hope that helps,

Amanda.

I removed the empty dvd cases that were housing this small corner, and replaced it with a small container for bradley’s play stuff. He looks thrilled about it.

Before I move on to bigger and better things to blog about, I really want to let everyone in on a little secret I discovered during my crazy organizing binge: the trick to getting your house more organized is to start without a perfectionist mind-set. I think that’s why I procrastinated so much with organizing the home to begin with.  I didn’t think I wanted to spend a whole lot of money doing so (turns out I didn’t spend anything), wasnt sure how I was going to approach it, and I didn’t want to mess up, and really, who has the time?

So I put it off. Don’t worry about doing it perfect, it won’t be, and that’s okay. Mine isn’t, but I’ve still been reaping the benefits. Don’t let perfectionism delay you, just do it, just like Nike said.

The Benefits:

I love how efficient my morning routine has become with a more organized bathroom; my make-up and hair stuff is close by, and easy to take out and store away. Cleaning has been cut down in half (at least), and I truly believe it acted as a little face-lift to our home. I love decorating, and think it can do wonders, but never underestimate the power of a little home organizing for making a home more beautiful. Plus, its less emotionally and mentally draining to be living and working in a home “where everything has a place and  its in its place.”

I never meant to do this challenge to prove that I’m Martha Stewart on steroids, I did it for all of these benefits, so ultimately I would spend less time looking for lost items,  cleaning, and more time with the people I love, and enjoying life. Most of the things I followed were common-sense no brainer things, but its funny how we sometimes miss it. For example, keeping only medicine stuff in the medicine drawer has reduced cleaning, and clutter on my bathroom counters. Really obvious, but I used to always stuff my everyday items in there only to leave some nice finger smudges in the dust…constantly…

One of my friends asked me a good question: so how do you plan to maintain the organized home?

Well, here are my answers:

  • The bedtime roundup

Now that everything has a home or place ( more or less), my job is to make sure those items get put back after use (another no brainer). I’m going to try to make a quick walk through the home near the end of each night and put the dog toys back in its bin, the baby’s toys back in their home, and my books back where they belong.

  • Declutter maintenance

Both monthly and weekly I plan to declutter the cluttered prone hot spots. For our home, that’s the mail organizer, and any place we store magazines (side table, and bathrooms). I really want to be cut throat about not keeping magazines any longer than a month. That’s what it comes down to, let go of the junk. As one friend recently told me, keeping a bunch of magazines for one little recipe that you still havent gone back to after 2 months, isn’t worth keeping around and taking up precious space. For the mail, I’ve been going through it immediately, and recycling all junk immediately…no delaying, no storing on the dining table.

  • Tidying up

I plan to clean about 15-20 minutes a day. Now that the house is deculttered, a quick dusting and vacuuming is all that’s needed to make it look nice (which I should only need to do every other day). Each day, I’ll hit one room for 10-15 min, and everyday I’ll hit the high traffic areas like the front entrance and family room with a quick sweep and vacuum. Easy piecey, 20 minute tops.

Once a week, friday is cleaning day for me, I’ll be doing my usual more detailed cleaning session over the whole house starting with the more troubled areas, or neglected areas (*coughs* bathrooms). I’ll set the oven clock for an hour.

Now if I want to be very gun-ho, and I’m not sure if I do (just being honest), I hear organizing one room a month is the way to prevent clutter and maintain organization . Using the same process I detailed in my 10 day challenge posts: REMOVE everything, CLEAN everything, ORGANIZE and sort, keeping only necessary items. Spreading it out like this might be less overwhelming, particularly if you’re tackling this by yourself like I did (which I would not recommend). It really is meant to be a family thing, but being in a military family doesn’t always preclude other members being around, but that’s okay, I love a great challenge!

  • Keeping it Beautiful, not just useful

As for beautifying my home, because let’s face it, not everything in my home is beautiful to me, I can now start my list of purposeful items I want for the home (a bench for the front door to store coats, purse, keys, mail; prettier containers for my dogs food, and cookies; a dresser for the dining room). As per usual, I want to pursue this on a dime. Perhaps these will be future blogging posts, perhaps not, but either way, I’m excited to give some diying a try, and start pegging some used furniture. I love what I read the other day from founder of apartmenttherapy said, “every room needs something old…” Well, I think I can follow that one, and maybe even on a dime!

What do you do to maintain an organized home?

Much love,

Amanda.

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