“Failure is the first step towards success” is one of the most used, quoted and publicized quotes and often told to many of us in many different stages of life ,but is sometimes difficult to follow its mantra. Sometimes we want all the “success” but don’t want to experience the hard work, pain and in […]
Jay talks about failure. Many of us have tried to get organized. We go out and buy all these baskets, boxes, dividers and trays. Then we find they don’t work for our stuff. Then we feel like we have failed. The money we spent was a waste.
Why? Because we don’t set up a system or learn the rules.
Look we have all been there. That is how we learn. I know for me I always took the hard road. There was the easy road then there was the road I took. Think about this. You did not walk until you crawled. You probably fell down a lot. How many times before you rode off on your bike? Same thing with being organized.
You did not fail, you just are learning how to succeed.
I have years of experience so let me help you. I will continue to help you learn how to be organized. I am a big fan of using what you have first. Then when you have lived with it for a while you will actually find what you really need. Then I am all for buying baskets, boxes, dividers or trays.
So if you are new here. Go back and read ARGH!! *%)@# . It’s a good place to start.
“If you knew you could not fail ~ what would you do?” Is one of my favorite quotes.
OK, so let’s try again. You can Bee Organized & I will help you.
The Laundry Room. Oh my goodness that is a room we use alot. But still it’s laundry today or naked tomorrow.
I had an amazing laundry room at one of our houses it was large; it had a lot of cabinets, a large area to fold you the laundry and even room for a freezer.
That was a dream. Now I have a nightmare laundry room. It is a tiny pass through from the garage. sob, sob…
No matter what size your laundry room is you still have to use it as though it was the dream laundry room. So what to do?
You have to use every bit of space you have.
First if you have front loading machines, you can add a counter top. There are lots of choices for your countertop material. You can use a slab door, a countertop or even a wire-ventilated shelf. Then you will have a large area to fold your laundry
Then if you have cabinets, lets add an inexpensive towel rack on the bottom of the cabinets to hold hangers, you will find that your hangers are close at hand but not in the way. Another option is to add a Spacemaker™ Towel Bar simply easily attach to the hinge of your door to provide an instant hanging oasis. (Bonus, if you have 2 doors you can double up on your temporary hanging space.) By adding the towel bar you have a place you can hang up your items as you take them out of the dryer. Remember if you fold and hang things up as you remove them from the dryer you will save time and your clothes will not be as wrinkled.
OK so if you need more hanging or drying space add a folding dry rack. There are ones that fit over the door or my favorite is the ones that mount to the wall and fold away.
You will need a pocket change holder. The rule at our house is what is found in pockets in the laundry belongs to who ever does the laundry.
Something else is the single sock. Where have all the good ones gone? How about a clothespin sign to hold those single socks seeking mates.
Lets make those doors work for you. Use them, you may not have much wall space but you can add over the door rack with shelves to the doors. You will find lots of space to store your stain remover. Spare change jar (blame it on Pinterest!) also you can use clothespins to hold those missing socks. Any extra shelves can hold extra paper towels and such.
Additional uses of vertical. Add a shelve above your door. Perfect for storing your back up paper products. How about adding a tension rod shower multiple-shelf unit caddie. Use the caddie above your laundry machines.
Use every inch of space.
You may find there are a few inches between your washer and dryer. I have enough room for a step stool. You might have enough for a pull out organizer to hold your laundry products.
Keep in mind that laundry detergent and those pods fascinate the little kiddos. Keep all those out of their reach. It’s too bad that once they are old enough to do laundry they are no longer fascinated by laundry.
I am a big fan of hooks. My laundry room also has to do double duty as the mudroom. My keys, purse, books and general stuff that needs to go back to the car has to have a place in there as well.
Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you. What to do what do you need to keep?
Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories
Keep for 7 years
Keep for a year or less
Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less
ATM receipts and deposit slips – when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.
Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.
If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.
Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.
Keep Seven Years
Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.
If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.
After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning. Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.
Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.
Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.
It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.
Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.
I suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.
Also, invest in a shredder. In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there. You can find them for not much money.
Look around? Do you see coffee mugs on the table, your desk, or dishes on the counter? How about are you using your treadmill as an extra valet? Do you want an easy tip to cut that clutter out?
You need to implement the one touch rule.
What is the one touch rule?
Easy. If you have something in your hand ~ take it where it belongs. Don’t put it down.
We recently talked about laundry. Fold it when you take it out of the dryer and put it away. How about when you and come home from work or school and you change clothes? Hang them up or put them in the laundry basket. Don’t throw them on the bed or your exercise equipment. Touch them one time. If you toss them on the bed you have to come back a second time and put them away.
Let’s talk about dishes. Don’t leave them sitting around. Don’t put them in the sink, immediately put them in the dishwasher.
Who is guilty of leaving an unfinished craft project on the table? How about ingredients all over the kitchen when cooking or baking?
When you use something ~ put it back. Touch it one time.
This applies to your entire family. Kids too.
The Parent Coach, Susan Stiffelman at the Huffington Post suggests the following:
“Establish that no new toys can be taken out until whatever has been played with has been put away. Kindly remind your daughter if she forgets. And by all means, do not clean up her messes. If you cave in and do the job for her, you will have taught her that if she whines or procrastinates long enough, she won’t have to take responsibility. Acknowledge that you understand that she’d rather not put away her paints, or that it looks like it will take forever. By letting her feel heard and understood, you’ll ensure that her upset will dissolve more quickly — and help her accept that she simply has to get the job done.”
Start by resetting the rules. Explain to your kids that you’ve made some new decisions about cleaning up, and you want to share them so that everyone knows what to expect. “When you’re finished playing with something, it’s important that you put it away completely before you move on to something else. If you forget, I’ll remind you once. If you still forget, that particular toy will go in a special box for a month.” Some parents tell their children that toys that are left out will be given away. Decide how harsh you want to be — but make sure that you follow through. If you deliver meaningless threats in the heat of the moment, your child won’t take you seriously.
Break a big job down into bite-sized steps. Help your children work in manageable increments if they have a lot to clean up. “Start by putting away anything with red on it … or anything made of plastic … or whatever is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.” This will help them learn that, little by little, they can get a big job done — whether it’s cleaning up a physical mess, working on a complex report or organizing a research project.”
Many of you have expressed to me that Laundry is your nemesis. It piles up and becomes a monster.
Is this case in your house?
Of course the secret is to stay on top of it. Not allow laundry to pile up.
In our house there are 2 laundry baskets in each room. When any basket is full laundry is done.
This works in two ways.
One – No sorting. It’s either white or colors. Also, no sorting whose clothes it is.
Two –When the laundry comes out of the dryer it is folded and placed back in the basket. Basket taken to the room it came from and the clothes are put away immediately.
Did you miss that key point; I’ll say it again.
Fold laundry as it comes out of the dryer. WHAT!!
Right – No wrinkles, No procrastination and PILES of clothes.
You put the FOLDED clothes back in the basket to take it back to the room it came out of. Absolutely, your kids can do help do this.
I have colorful laundry baskets that are just the right size for a load of laundry. I also keep my empty hangers in a specific spot so when I take the basket of dirty clothes I grab the hangers. I know that I will have the right amount of hangers for the clothes when they are dry. Remove from them from the dryer and place them on hangers. We have placed a hanging bar in our laundry room.
Another thing at our house is we keep a spot pre-treat in the closet. When you have a spot. I treat it went I take if off. I don’t have to remember or search for spots. (This works for adults and older kids but of course not for little’s.)
Do your towels smell even after you have washed them? What can you do? According to Good Housekeeping, saving your towels is as simple as running them through two hot loads. Skip the detergent on both loads. Run them through once with hot water and a cup of vinegar and then again with hot water and a half-cup of baking soda. Your goal, whether washing brand new towels or old towels, is to strip the softener and detergent reside from the fibers of the towel and get them as absorbent as possible. I do this and I can say it works.
Did you know bras, rayon fabrics, silk, wool sweaters, camis and lace items should never be put in the dryer?
Use a dry erase marker to write on the top of your dryer and list those special items to prevent accidental dryer mishaps.
So what are your laundry tips? How about your biggest laundry mishap?
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue
I know you are saying what does that even have to do with clutter?
Think about it like this to help you gain control of your clutter.
Something Old for Something New
Every time you buy something new you have to get rid of something old.
Are you going shopping for new shoes? Donate or throw away one pair of old shoes. Look I know about shoes and our relationships with them. But Still.
New T-shirts – Old T-Shirt out, New shorts ~ Old Shorts out. Come on you know you are buying new t-shirts because the old one is stained, misshapen, faded or not the right size. Let it go.
OK try this one.
If you decide that you want to redecorate your kitchen from Roosters to Magnolia. Donate your Roosters to another hen house.
Technology is not exempt to this adage either. How about you need to upgrade to the latest IPhone 7.925? Donate, sell or give the old one away.
This applies even when before you go to the grocery store. Clean out your fridge. You will be able to see what you need to replace. You know you are not going to use that last olive in the jar that has been in there since you New Years’ Eve party. Nor are you going to use that last drop of Catalina salad dressing. Do you even like Catalina dressing?
Sometimes you can borrow what you need instead of buying it.
Here is a great example: My friend and I have a deal. She bakes a lot and I make homemade ice cream a lot. She keeps my KitchenAid Mixer at her house and I keep her Ice Cream Freezer at mine. When either of us needs it we pick it up from the other. I don’t have to store that big heavy mixer that I hardly ever use and she doesn’t have the garage space to store the Freezer. So it works out perfect for us.
Maybe 1 or 2 times a year you need a card table. You don’t need to own and store a card table. You need to borrow one. I suggest you take a picture of the borrowed object with the borrower. (Evidence) This will most always assure you get your property back without any problems.
If you cut down and control your clutter by trading something old for something new, using something borrowed instead of buying new, you will not be blue.
Today I want to talk to you about first impressions. Not someone else’s but yours.
If you walk in the door and your eyes see clutter you are not welcomed.
So lets work in fixing that.
Walk in your door. What do you see?
Piles of mail, shoes, umbrellas how about jackets? Maybe it is books or backpacks? Did you have to step over or push something aside? Was it cluttered, messy or jumbled?
That is not welcoming. Not peaceful. It is stressful and chaotic.
OK so lets fix it. Here is where you start.
Clear it all out. Yes, All of it.
OK Cleared out?
Now think about what really needs to be there. What was there that you actually use?
Ok . Now lets organize it with hooks, shelves, cubbies, a tray or a bowl.
Hang Hooks in Your Entry Way –Hooks immediately inside the door for backpacks, purses and keys. You walk in the door; they come off and go straight on the hooks. No more fumbling for keys, finding jackets or backpacks, wondering where you left your purse.
Bonus if you have a trash bin to toss junk mail!
Do this one thing until it is habit and I’m telling you it will save hours of lost time and exasperation. For those of us who use your garage Kudos! It doesn’t matter what door is your entry door. Put the hooks immediately inside that door (I use my laundry room as my drop point. It’s perfect.)
You deserve to walk in the door and your home should be your sanctuary or your haven. If you organize this area your will be surprised that your home will be inviting and leave you with a feeling of being relaxed and welcomed home.
Make your home your haven. You can do it.
You will thank me tomorrow when your keys are right by the door and you hit the snooze button one more time.
If you want to see some Ideas to Steal from 10 Clever Small Space Entryways Click here.
So tell me what door do you use to enter your haven? Front door, Back Door, Garage Door or what?
What does that mean exactly in regards to clutter and organization?
It means that you should have zones based on usage.
Organizing and Planning Locations
Items you use regularly should be in an area that is easy for you to reach. Your zones.
When you are ready to organize a room or space you will find it is very helpful if you first, sit down and make a list of the items you use most in this space.
Those items you use most often need to be within easy reach. Other items that you use less often can be stored closer to the floor or in high cabinets.
This is a very important tip in areas like the kitchen.
In my house coffee is very important in the morning. The last thing I want to do is hunt for anything related my coffee. We have a coffee zone. Everything related to making and drinking coffee is in one space. At my fingertips when I am not yet awake. That is a good thing.
Maybe you are a baker. If so, you need a baking zone. Gather all your baking ingredients in one spot with your mixing bowls, mixers and cookbooks in a zone will save you steps and time. Not to mention frustration.
If you have little ones you might need a snack zone. It might be a basket with approved snacks that you place in you can easily reach and quickly give one to your little one. I don’t know a Mom who wouldn’t appreciate a fast way to pacify a cranky toddler. (That could be how my husband feels about me and with coffee in the morning.)
Think about what you use where when planning your space.
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail” Winston Churchill
By putting things in the zone, you make a space that fits your needs and makes it easier for you to put things away as you use them.
Follow my blog and share this with your disorganized friends.