It is January and we all tend to reflect on the past year and then more importantly our New Year’s goals. Simplifying and getting organized usually tops the list!
First, how do you know where to start? Start small! Break down projects or areas to small doable tasks. Write those tasks down in your schedule. It’s always good to start in an area that will make a big difference; an area that bugs you or an area that you use every day.
Here are a few simple steps to help make that first organizing session a success.
If you don’t love it or use it, it’s clutter!
Toss the trash and group the donates together and clear everything that doesn’t belong.
Give what’s left a home close to where you use it and the more you use it, the more convenient it has to be. Give it a great container that has a little room to grow.
Here are a few great containers or organizing products that I love to use. (The first few are favorites with a new twist!)
All Access Organizers- When I go into client’s home and see a stack of bins, I usually see a pile around the stack. Let’s face it, it is hard to put something away in the bottom bin and when it’s hard you don’t do it. Hence, the start of a pile. Not anymore with All Access Organizers, you can easily open a front panel and no more piles!
Bento Bins- These are decorative bins that you can use anywhere in your home. The twist is the built-in dividers that flip out from the corners when you need them. Brilliant!
I love Over the Door Shoe Holders in every room! They hold gloves, hats, toiletries, office supplies, Barbie’s and shoes! The twist is bigger pockets. Using the usually wasted space on the back of the door to hold those larger items is a great way to gain space.
Another win is a behind the door jewelry organizer. Who doesn’t need a full length mirror and what women doesn’t need to check the finishing touches like your jewelry? Now you can combine both; a mirror that opens to store a ton of jewelry. I love the double duty!
Another fashion statement (and necessity) we have this season is boots. There are boot shapers to take care them but they can be hard on the budget. I love this cheap and easy idea. Use the summer swim noodles and a serrated knife. Cut the noodles to the desired length, insert them in your boots and you have a cheap and easy way of take care of the boots that you depend on to take care of your feet.
Being organized is all about being able to find what you need when you need it. That is made easy with FileThis. This tech solution fetches your statements and puts them where you want them on your computer. I know it’s January but April 15th will be here before we know it. With FileThis, there is no more hunting for statements. They are all in one place and organized!
Here’s wishing you’re a happy, healthy and organized 2015!
Watch for Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers on NBC4 Columbus tomorrow morning. She will be discussing all of her favorite organizing products with Mikaela Hunt and new inventive ways to use them! You don’t want to miss it, so make sure to set your DVR’s or tune in to NBC4 Columbus tomorrow morning at 5am!
Watch Columbus Professional Organizer, Birdie Brennan share some of her secrets to organizing for a happier life with NBC4 Columbus!
Papers piling up? The next NBC4 Shred-it Day is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at The Ohio Expo Center in the parking lots closest to Crew Stadium. Perfect timing to get all of your old tax documents out of the file to make room for the new. Since the first NBC4 Shred-it Day, 2,128 tons of personal documents have been shredded and recycled and $96,170 has been raised for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Set your DVR’s once again for Wednesday and Thursday morning news on NBC4!! Birdie of Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers will be sharing her favorite tips for Spring Organizing with Mikaela Hunt on NBC4 Columbus!
Spring organizing your closet! The goal in your closet is to feel good in every piece of clothing that is in there. The result will be that it is much easier to get dressed in the morning! So what’s the first step? Look through your clothes. It’s easy to pull out those items that don’t fit, have stains or are in need of repairs. It is great if you have time and room to empty the closet completely. If you can do that, then now would be a great time to put on a fresh coat of a light color paint.
Another thing to look at is your lighting. It is always nice to know that what you think is navy is really navy. Good lighting can help!
Get all like items together, tops with tops, pants with pants. Then break it down even further into sleeveless tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, etc. It is also good to get colors together. I always go light to dark. Do you remember the Rainbow Song? You might want to relearn it! Once like items are together you can see exactly what you have. Then come the hard questions like do you need 10 pairs of black pants. Get rid of everything you don’t love. You want to feel like a million bucks when you get dress in the morning!
Give yourself permission to donate those “bad purchases”. Everyone makes them, pass those items on to someone that will love them.
Next we need to look at the closet itself. If you have more clothes than closet, you have to make the most of the space you have. There are great products that can help. This one doubles the amount of hanging space you have quick and easy!
Adding a second shelf above the existing one is also a quick and easy way to make more of your space. If you are handy, you can do it inexpensively with a trip to a home improvement store. If you aren’t too handy, you can still do it easily with a trip to The Container Store or Target.
If you have plenty of hang but need additional storage for accessories or additional shelving, you are in luck. There are tons of products to store scarves, belts, ties, jewelry, etc.
Here are a couple of quick tips when working in your closet. Coordinating hangers can make your closet look more organized without doing anything else. If you are struggling with deciding what you actually wear, turn the hanger around. At the end of the season, you will easily see the items that never got worn. No question, it is now time to donate them. An easy way to gather those donations is to put a shopping bag in your closet. If you put something on that doesn’t feel quite right, take it off and drop it in the bag. When the bag is full, it is time to donate and get a new bag!
It is time to put your clothing back in an organized fashion. The items you wear more should be more accessible. After the clothing, put in the accessories you are going to store in your closet. You will be out the door quick and feel great! Happy spring organizing!
Spring is here and I am so ready to get to spring organizing. Of course, I’m always ready for organizing! First in a series of spring organizing projects is my car! I’ve spent the winter running to my car and then back not wanting to spend any more time outside than necessary, so my car is in desperate need!
Here are some steps to get your car organized and ready for spring!
First thing to do is to get all of the winter out! Actually, take everything out and take inventory. I spend a lot of time in my car, as do so many people, and I like to have what I need. Cars can be a challenge because they are small and of course mobile. The items that we store need to have a “secured” home not just an assigned home. Decide what you need/want to have with you in your car. Once you know what you have to store, decide on the right spot. Look at how often you need it and the storage that your car offers.
Before you start putting things back, it is a great time to dust and vacuum!
I keep all important papers in the glove box along with a spare pair of sunglasses and an extra car charger. That’s it, nothing else.
My console keeps tissues, a quarter dock, pens, a notepad, a small container of Advil, an extra chapstick and a small bottle of hand cream.
I love my little cord keeper! It keeps my car charger in place so when I need it, it’s right at hand!
My driver side door pocket has two plastic envelopes and napkins. One of the envelopes has coupons that I would need at the stores I shop. If you are an extreme couponer, you might want an accordion envelope and label the sections. The other has some straws and sweetener packets.
I have two hooks that hang from my headrests. One holds an umbrella and the other a bag to hold ink cartridges to recycle.
The rest of my essentials go in a black bag with a big interior and lots of pockets. It goes right next to me in the passenger seat. It holds the current and next book on cd, scissors, tape, a little makeup bag and a container for trash. I leave one area open to put papers or mail that I gather. It is perfect because I know that I’m not going to find a bill that has slid under the seat after the due date. The best thing about this bag is the long handles that make it easy to move anywhere else in the car when I have a passenger.
One quick tip to keep your car clean and feeling good is to empty the trash every time you get gas. After I gather the trash from my car, I take a napkin (out of the napkin “home”) and run it over the dash. Add it to the trash and put it in the bin at the gas station.
It is good exercise to think of the items that have collected in your car through the day as “gallons of milk”. They must come out of your car and into the house before they “spoil”!
A great little addition to your car is a dryer sheet under one of the seats to add that spring fresh smell or one of the many good scents you can purchase for your car.
Next stop, car wash!
It is our activities and adventures that we remember and make us feel good, not our possessions. Our belongings create chores and responsibilities. The more we have, the more we have to take care of. I know from working with clients that suffer from too much clutter that physical clutter also creates mental clutter. Think of it this way; it is hard to tackle a big project when your workspace is already full of stuff. The same applies; it is hard to be creative, happy or calm when your head is full of stuff!
Bottom line to create a space that is comfortable, warm and welcoming you need to have only those items that you love and use. The rest is clutter! That means the well meaning, tacky gifts that you have received and the inherited picture that you have moved a hundred times because you just don’t like it. You have permission to let those items go to a good home that will love them! Take advantage of donating, selling, and even discarding. Sometimes you have to use the path of least resistance to make the process easier for you.
Once you have those things you love and use, you need to give them a specific “home”. That makes maintaining easy. You don’t have to make a decision every time you put something away. You know where it belongs! Decisions are hard, so make them once and you’re done! It also saves you time and money when you know what you have and where it is! The average person spends an hour a day looking for misplaced items. When you can’t find it or give up looking, you spend time and money purchasing a new one. Once you are organized, take comfort in the fact if you have a crazy, busy week and don’t have time to maintain. Once life calms down, it is easy and quick to whip back in shape!
Don’t wait for the perfect time to start. Start today with scheduling short, consistent timeframes. A timer can be your friend! If you are working for sixty minutes, set the timer for forty five. Those last few minutes at the end of each session is the time to deal with all of the displaced items. Make sure to stop at the end of the session so you look forward to your next time.
Now, be happy in your comfortable, warm and welcoming space and enjoy the process!
Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers talks with Gail Hogan about New Years’ Resolutions and how to set goals in order to keep them!