Archive for the 'Closet' Category

Organized for Student Success, Part 5: Organize Their Space

An Organized Student is a More Successful Student

As your student(s) begin their new school year, take the opportunity to work with them in organizing their bedroom and clothing. Use the same basic steps outlined in Organizing a Study Area, in my previous post; Organized for Success, Part 4: Organize the Student .

  • Think through how you want your space to look and function
  • Empty out drawers, clothes and any bins that are storing clothing
  • Group like things together. Create sub categories such as Underclothes, Sports Clothes, Uniforms, School Clothes, Dress Clothes etc.
  • Toss old or worn clothes and donate outgrown, seldom worn, or out of style clothes. The biggest pitfall is keeping more clothes than you actually can use or have room for. Be realistic in what you are keeping.
  • Return the keep pile to the space and think through what, if any, storage accessories or containers you may need. Assign a specific space for each sub category of clothing.
  • Store often used clothing close at hand, while utilizing harder to reach space for seldom used items. Store off-season clothes in a clearly labeled bin or under-the-bed container.
  • Be careful not to over-stuff drawers and closets. You will go a long way in helping your child stay organized by actually providing a space for all of their belongings and then making it both easy and accessible to put them away.
  • Make use of storage space, which is often overlooked, such as the backs of doors or inside of closets to mount hooks, racks, or pockets. Use hooks for storage

    Beautiful and Functional Possibilities by The Container Store

    of everyday items such as sweatshirts, pajamas, robes, and towels. If your child doesn’t have many hanging clothes, install shelves in half of their closet for additional folded clothes or for toy storage.

Now that you know what your child owns and what needs they may have, you can still take advantage of summer clearance sales.

Happy (and Organized!) School Year!

Cheryl

Be sure to check out all of the articles in the Organized for Student Success Series;  Part 1: Saving on Supplies Part 2: The College Years, Part 3: The Traveling Student, Part 4: Organize the Student and Part 6:  Organize Their School Memories.

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Join Me for Coffee and Conversation!

Are You Ready to Get Organized?    Are You Ready to Simplify?

Then, You are Invited!

Join me for Coffee and Conversation this Tuesday morning from 9-10 AM at Birdies Cafe, in Westminster. This not-for-profit, group is for anyone who struggles with organizational challenges (all of us!). This week we will focus on closets.

Are your storage areas and closets bursting at the seams?

Do you feel the need for more closet and storage space? Chances are no one will be building you any in the near future! So, come discover tips, tricks, habits, and products to make the most of the space you have. Imagine peace and calm as you retrieve that perfect outfit, hang your guest’s coats, and utilize your storage areas, day by day!

What:    Coffee and Conversation

Why:    To Get “In Order for Life”!

When:  Tuesday, April 19th, 9-10 AM

Where: Birdie’s Cafe, 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD

These fun, interactive chat sessions will help you discover how to clear the clutter, conquer the chaos, and learn simple organizing tips, tricks, habits, and strategies to get your home, your family, and your life in order. It’s the perfect time to get a handle on some of your most distressing organizing challenges. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and share those solutions that are working in your life and home, in this casual, cool atmosphere.

Mark your calender for our last spring session, next Tuesday, April 26th, when we will chat about kitchen organization. We will look at how an organized kitchen can lead to getting those meals on the table, day by day. Then, watch my website for the upcoming fall session.

Just $3 per session, paid to Birdie’s for your refillable coffee.

A Full Menu of Coffee Drinks, Teas, Baked Goods, and Sandwiches available to purchase.

Join Me for a cup of simplicity!

Happy (and Organized!) Days,

Cheryl

Do the Great Exchange!

Spring is coming......

Happy Spring!

Spring is in the air (well, at least it was yesterday!).  Rest assured, it IS coming (and I can’t wait!).

But, wait we must. And while we are waiting, there are a few things we can do to prepare for it.

It’s time, once again, to do “The Great Exchange”. Make life easy on yourself and take an afternoon to prepare for spring and summer. It is the time of year to pack away the fall and winter clothes and equipment, and unearth your spring and summer apparel and gear.

Begin with your clothes. While you’re at it, take a few extra minutes to sort and purge before you pack your fall and winter clothes away.

Ready for spring

Do you remember the old 80/20 rule? It’s true! We do tend to wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. As you take the time to sort and purge you’re off season clothes, make it your goal to purge a higher percentage of your clothing so that you LOVE and KEEP what you will actually wear. Don’t you love it when you’re on vacation and you have a suitcase filled with all of your favorite clothes? It simplifies both your choices and your laundry.

 

If you’re having a difficult time figuring out if you should keep a specific item of clothing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the item in good condition
  • Does it have stains or tears or is it too worn? Can it (or will it) be mended?
  • Is it still in style? Is it YOUR style?
  • Do I love it, or even like it?
  • Does it make me feel great to wear it?
  • When was the last time I wore this? If you didn’t wear it last season, you probably won’t wear during the next season!
  • How many do I currently own of this type of item? How many do I realistically wear or need?
  • Does it fit? If not, is it within a reasonable number of size ranges of my current size to keep it?

Now that you have determined which fall and winter clothes you will be holding on to, it’s time to consider where to store them. If space allows, simply move the off season clothing to the back of the closet, bringing the spring and summer clothes to the front of the closet. Then, rotate them back as the season’s change. Alternatively, you can move off season clothes from your closet to a spare closet. If you don’t have room within a closet, consider purchasing a freestanding closet to store in your finished basement, finished attic or guestroom. Finally, you can store your off season clothes in a bin labeled with your name and “Fall/Winter Clothes”.

Before storing away off-season clothes, take these 3 simple steps to protect them: Clean, Contain, and Repel.

  • Clean – Moths and carpet beetles are the primary pests that can cause damage, and they are attracted to natural fibers like wool and cotton. They also feed on organic stains. Always clean clothes before storing them away.
  • Contain – in a clean, dark and dry location, such as a closet, freestanding closet, storage box or bin to deter pests
  • Repel – Use all natural cedar to repel pests

It’s also the perfect time to take note of any clothing needs for next fall and winter and take advantage of those last winter clearance sales.

Next, switch out the snow suits, gloves and hats for the beach towels, goggles, and suntan lotions. Find a home for these items near the front door, where you will be coming and going all spring and summer.

Clean off the snow boards, skis, and sleds and store them away for the summer, while pulling out the volleyball nets, croquet and badminton set, lawn chairs, and charcoal.

Relax and Enjoy!

The spring weather promises to reappear, and when it does, you will be ready to enjoy it!

“The Great Exchange” was originally posted May 9, 2009

Happy (and organized!) Spring.

Cheryl

Fall Organizing Essentials

Happy fall!

I realize I’m a few weeks late, but here in Maryland, it’s just now FEELING like fall. And it’s a good feeling!

What words come to mind when you think of  fall?
I think of leaves, cozy, camp fire, soccer, Thanksgiving, football, harvest, apple cider, apple crisp, pumpkins, cranberries, shopping and baking.
What tasks do you associate with fall?
Of course, I think of CLEANING the GARAGE and ORGANIZING the KITCHEN!

Cleaning the garage? Yes, this is the PERFECT time to conquer that task! The weather is cooperating, so it shouldn’t be too cold or too hot to get out there and work. The garage tends to be a strange animal, housing an assortment of our projects, our past and our present, and things that just may be needed “some day”. Because of it’s multitude of uses, and our “out of sight, out of mind ”attitude, the garage tends to get cluttered quickly. And organizing it can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. Follow along this month, as I guide you through 4 straightforward steps to organizing your garage in my articles “4 Simple Steps to Garage Organization” and “Clean Sweep in the Garage“.

Once you have your garage in order, it’s time to tackle your kitchen. The fall season tends to be the time that we Americans bake and cook more often. Simplify your life and your hours in your kitchen, by first organizing it. Once completed, you will be ready for the holiday cooking and baking to come. Check back, later in the month, as I guide you through simple steps to simplify and organize your kitchen.

Finally, take an afternoon and “DO the GREAT EXCHANGE”.

As the seasons change, do you find yourself rooting through back closets for jackets, gloves and hats? Through your attic for wreaths and gourds, or maybe through your bottom drawers for sweaters and jeans?
Make life easy on yourself and “Do the Great Exchange”. Take an afternoon to prepare for fall and winter, if you haven’t already. It is the time of year to pack away the spring and summer clothes and equipment, and unearth your fall and winter apparel and gear.

Begin with your clothes. While you’re at it, take a few extra minutes to sort and purge before you pack your spring and summer clothes away.

Do you remember the old 80/20 rule? It’s true! We do tend to wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. As you take the time to sort and purge you’re off season clothes, make it your goal to purge a higher percentage of your clothing so that you LOVE and KEEP what you will actually WEAR. Don’t you love it when you’re on vacation and you have a suitcase filled with all of your favorite clothes? It simplifies both your choices and your laundry.

If you’re having a difficult time figuring out if you should keep a specific item of clothing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the item in good condition?
  • Does it have stains or tears or is it too worn?
  • Can it (or will it) be mended?
  • Is it still in style? Is it YOUR style?
  • Do I love it, or even like it?
  • Do I feel great when I wear it?
  • When was the last time I wore this? If you didn’t wear it last season, you probably won’t wear during the next season!
  • How many do I currently own of this type of item? How many do I realistically wear or need?
  • Does it fit? If not, is it within a reasonable number of size ranges of my current size to keep it?

Now that you have determined which spring and summer clothes you will be holding on to, it’s time to consider where to store them. If space allows, simply move the off season clothing to the back of the closet, bringing the fall and winter clothes to the front. Then, rotate them back as the season’s end. Alternatively, you can move off-season clothes from your closet to a spare closet. If you don’t have room within a closet, consider purchasing a freestanding closet to store in your finished basement, finished attic or guestroom. Finally, you can store your off season clothes in a bin labeled with your name and “Spring/Summer Clothes”.
Before storing away off-season clothes, take these 3 simple steps to protect them:  Clean, Contain, and Repel.

  • Clean – Moths and carpet beetles are the primary pests that can cause damage, and they are attracted to natural fibers like wool and cotton. They also feed on organic stains. Always clean clothes before storing them away.
  • Contain – Store in a clean, dark and dry location, such as a closet, freestanding closet, storage box or bin to deter pests
  • Repel – Use all natural cedar to repel pests

It’s also the perfect time to take note of any clothing needs for next fall and winter and take advantage of those last summer clearance sales.

Next, switch out the beach towels, goggles, and suntan lotions for the snow suits, gloves and hats. Find a home for these items near the front door, where you will be coming and going all fall and winter. Finally, clean off the volleyball nets, croquet, badminton set, and lawn chairs, and store them away for the fall and winter, while pulling out the snowboards, skis, and sleds.

Relax, build a fire, make some hot chocolate and enjoy!

Happy (and organized) fall!

Cheryl

Organized for Student Success, Part 4: Organize Their Space

An Organized Student is a More Successful Student

As your student(s) gets ready for a new year of school, take the opportunity to work with them in organizing his/her bedroom and clothing. Use the same basic steps outlined in Organizing a Study Area, in my previous post; Organized for Success, Part 3: Organize the Student .

  • Think through how you want your space to look and function
  • Empty out drawers, clothes and any bins that are storing clothing
  • Group like things together. Create sub categories such as Underclothes, Sports Clothes, Uniforms, School Clothes, Dress Clothes etc.
  • Toss old or worn clothes and donate outgrown, seldom worn, or out of style clothes. The biggest pitfall is keeping more clothes than you actually can use or have room for. Be realistic in what you are keeping.
  • Return the “keep” pile to the space and think through what, if any, storage accessories or containers you may need. Assign a specific space for each sub category of clothing.
  • Store often used clothing close at hand, while utilizing harder to reach space for seldom used items. Store off-season clothes in a clearly labeled bin or under-the-bed container.
  • Be careful not to over-stuff drawers and closets. You will go a long way in helping your child stay organized by actually providing a space for all of their belongings and then making it both easy and accessible to put them away.
  • Make use of storage space, which is often overlooked, such as the backs of doors or inside of closets to mount hooks, racks, or pockets. Use hooks for storage

    Beatiful and Functional Possibilities by The Container Store

    of everyday items such as sweatshirts, pajamas, robes, and towels. If your child doesn’t have many hanging clothes, install shelves in half of their closet for additional folded clothes or for toy storage.

Now that you know what your child owns and what needs they may have, you can still take advantage of summer clearance sales.

Happy (and Organized!) School Year!

Cheryl

Be sure to check out all of the articles in the Organized for Student Success Series;  Part 1: The College Years, Part 2: The Traveling Student, Part 3: Organize the Student, and Part 5:  Organize Their School Memories.

It’s Time to LAUNCH into a More Organized Life!

Did you know that the average American spends nearly an hour every day looking for simple things? How sad! Think what YOU would do with an extra hour every day. It may seem like an inflated estimate, but let’s think it through a bit.

What do you typically spend your precious time searching for? Keys? Wallet? Shoes? Library books? School papers? Important documents? Tools? The list goes on.

Much of what we spend our time searching for includes items we need in order to get out the door. And isn’t that the most frustrating time to be searching? I’m sure you can picture it:

  • The bus will be in front of the house in 3 minutes, but first your sweet child needs to find their jacket and shoes, signed permission slip, gym uniform, lunch and library books. Chances are you just wasted 5-10 minutes searching along with 15-30 minutes in drive time, shuttling them to school because they missed their bus.
  • Your husband is getting ready to leave for work, but where are his keys, brief case, lunch and black belt? Just a few minutes late, and he’s more likely to be stuck in rush hour traffic. Precious minutes wasted in his day before it even begins.
  • You are ready to leave for a meeting, and had planned to run errands on the way home. You are now frantically searching for your brief case, the black pumps you wore Saturday night,  your grocery list and the library books that are due today. You run out of time, give up on finding the grocery list and library books, and head for the meeting, arriving just in time. Consequently, you add 30 minutes to your day having to run back by the house after work to retrieve your grocery list and library books.

Ok, now that you can relate to the problem, what is the solution? Part of the solution is the creation of a “Launching Pad”. It’s a place within your home that you designate as THE place to put anything you will need as you leave your home. It can include your keys and purse, library books to be returned, and the little neighbor’s  sweat shirt that was left at your home last week. Also, items such as your grocery list and errand plan, store returns and your PTA file needed for the next meeting.  You get the picture.

You tend to have a “Launching Pad”, whether you consciously plan to or not. Without a plan, your Launching Pad tends to be your kitchen counter or table, again adding to your kitchen clutter. So take a few minutes and think through a logical place for your launching pad, preferably near the door that you normally use. You could designate a kitchen cabinet near your “Quick Access Files”. Or you could designate a shelf in the laundry room, if it happens to be near the door. Be creative and look around your house for space that is available and makes sense.

This same concept works beautifully for your children. Create a place for them to keep their coats, shoes, backpacks and anything else that they may need as they walk out the door for school. This space could include hooks for coats, cubbies for shoes and larger cubbies for backpacks.

Hooks and Shoe Cubbies

Hooks and Shoe Cubbies

We actually have a small “Launching Room” in our home, with space for our children’s as well as our own coats, shoes, backpacks and other items coming and going out of our home. We were able to customize this space with labels for coat hooks and cubbies for each child. This both simplifies and organizes, saving many minutes and ultimately hours of search time.

Cubbies for the Kids

Cubbies for the Kids

In my previous post, I recommended creating “Quick Access Files” which will enable you to quickly find all those bits of information that you need often. The Launching Pad perfectly compliments the Quick Access Files!

Later this month we will look at creating a simple, yet effective long term filing system. If you can’t find any document within a minute’s time, your filing system is not as effective as it could be. Having an easy and effective long term filing system is yet another time saver.

Have Happy and Organized Days!

Cheryl

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NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email cheryl@inorderforlife.com

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