Simple Tips To Set Up A Home Office

I have always worked from home so the office is one of my favorite spaces to organize. Now with the current health situation, more people are having to work from home so I wanted to share simple tips to get your space set up, organized and help you be more productive at home.

I usually start by establishing a workspace that is calm and stress-free but I know that may be impossible with kids home from school or if you live in a small space. You don’t need a dedicated room for an office it’s more important to designate an area and for many of you, this is a temporary situation so you might be using the kitchen table. Definitely not ideal but my goal is to help you establish a routine and get organized. I recommend when setting up an office to purge what you don’t need and what does not belong in an office, sort like items, keep the space simple and set up a system that works for you. What works for one person may not work for another so find out how you work best and implement it. Here are a few simple tips I recommend when setting up and organizing a home office.

Shredder
I know this sounds obvious but you have no idea how many homes I go into and they do not own a shredder and the paper clutter is out of control. Open the mail and shred immediately all those credit card applications and anything else that you don’t need. Keep countertops free of paper clutter by spending a few minutes each day shredding or recycling paper that is no longer needed.

Drawer Organizers
If you want to keep an office drawer neat and organized invest in a drawer organizer. It will save you frustration, aggravation and time when searching for items. There are many different types but this is one of my favorites because it keeps all the essentials in one organizer.

Office Drawer Essentials
Stapler, pens, pencils, scissors, paperclips, post-it notes and tape are some of the everyday essentials to keep in an office drawer. Corral all office supplies in one area so you know what you own it will save time and money. No more searching for the paperclips or scissors and repurchasing what you already own.

Desk Top Collator
I love having a collator on my desk to keep everyday files at my fingertips. Label folders and keep papers you need to sign, bills to pay, orders placed, etc. It is definitely an everyday essential I use in my office.

Note Pad
I love notebooks and notepads for jotting down notes and making lists. Although we all have phones to keep notes sometimes it is just easier to write it down.

File System
Whether it’s a desktop file, scanning papers and sorting into computer files or investing in a file cabinet choose what works best in your space. This file cabinet is on wheels so you can move it from room to room or store it in a closet when you are not using it.

Label Maker
There are many different options and price points when it comes to choosing a label maker. You can use it to label files, boxes or containers the ideas are endless. Once you own a label maker you will wonder how you lived without it!

Boxes and Containers
Use the vertical space on shelves for stacking labeled boxes or containers. Keep seldom-used items or backstock in containers for easy access. 

This is going to be the new normal for a while so it is important to establish a new routine that will minimize paper clutter, save time and simplify your life. Keep checking back to get tips to get purge and organize your home!

 

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How to Refresh Your Closet in the New Year

We are almost a month into the new year and as an organizer, I feel it is never too late to get organized and give yourself a fresh start. There is no better place to begin that transition than purging and organizing your closet. Your closet should be a reflection of who you are today no matter the size of your closet.

Remove Everything Out of the Closet
The best way to clean and organize any space in your home is to start with a clean slate. Removing everything will get you the end result you are looking to achieve. 

Keep, Toss, Donate, Consign
This is the time to finally let go of the “what if” clothes. Those items keep you living in the past and my job is to help clients choose the clothes that fit the lifestyle they are living today. You should only keep clothes that you love, make you feel good when you wear them, fit you well and are in style.

Clean the Closet and Make Necessary Changes
This is a step that can be overlooked but it is necessary. Vacuum the dust bunnies and figure out what is not working for you and fix it. A fresh coat of paint can make a closet look brand new. Small changes can make a big difference in a closet.

Change Your Hangers
Changing your hangers is so simple, inexpensive and will give you a clean uniform look with immediate results.

Keep Like Items Together
Color coding your clothes allows you to quickly see what you own which prevents overbuying and saves you money.

Use the Vertical Space on a Shelf
Use the vertical space on a shelf for stacking containers. I love these for shoes, sweaters or accessories. Don’t forget to label!

Utilize the Space Under Short Hanging
Are you lacking drawer space? This is a favorite to use under short hanging or if you have extra space in your closet. It not only adds drawers but it is easy to take it with you if you move.

Make a List of What You Need
Take inventory of what you need as you get rid of items. Do you need another pair of white jeans? New undergarments? Keeping a list will help you buy only what you need.

Keep the Current Season in Your Closet
Your closet is prime real estate so it is important to keep what you will be wearing this season in your closet. Store out of season or seldom-used items in labeled containers with lids under a bed or in a spare closet.

Don’t Forget Shoes
Shoes also need to be purged when cleaning out a closet. Take them all out and let go of the ones that hurt your feet, you never wear, are no longer in style or are in bad shape. If they need repair, repair them or let them go. Don’t let the fact that you paid a lot of money guilt you into keeping shoes. Consign them and use the money to buy something you will wear.

Keep a Shopping Bag in Your Closet for Items You No Longer Want
When you put something on and you don’t like how it fits or the way you feel in it do not hang it back up. Drop it in the bag for donation or consignment.

Enlist the Help of a Professional
If you feel stuck it never hurts to have a second set of eyes when you are cleaning out a closet. A professional organizer can help you make the tough decisions you have difficulty making.

Tackling your closet can renew your self-esteem by keeping only the things you love, wear and make you feel good about yourself. You will save time by not searching for an item and feel less frustrated and have a sense of calm every time you open your closet door. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make these simple changes. Invest the time to reap the reward for the closet you deserve.

Photos by Julie Ryan Photography

 

 

 

 

An Organizers Tips to Simplify in 2020

I’m really looking forward to 2020 and the exciting things that will be happening personally and professionally in the new year. At the beginning of the year, you will hear me talk a lot about our home renovation. We have been renovating our house it seems like since the day we bought it and I’m happy to say this is finally the last renovation!

I cannot wait to share it with you from beginning to end through an organizer’s perspective. I will cover packing for a short term rental, design organization for a kitchen, laundry, pantry, and home office. When the project is complete I will share the art of unpacking and organizing the new spaces. I’m sure there will be bumps in the road but at this point, I know its part of the process.

I’m also excited to unveil my new website which will make it easier for you to shop my favorites, watch videos and learn more about Neatly Designed and what we have to offer so stay tuned!

Every new year I love sharing tips to get my readers motivated and inspired to simplify and organize their homes. Some of these you may have heard me talk about before but they are always worth mentioning again.

DON’T MAKE RESOLUTIONS MAKE COMMITMENTS

I am not a big fan of the word resolutions. They don’t seem to last more than a month and then you feel disappointed you didn’t achieve your goal. I am a big believer in commitment because almost anything can be accomplished if you are committed to the end result, whether in your home or in your life. Commitment can be difficult because it is hard work and sometimes giving up is not an option until you have completed the job. If you are struggling to get organized pick an area and make a commitment to get it done. Once you start enjoying your newly organized space it will motivate you to tackle another area.

SCHEDULE THE TIME TO GET ORGANIZED

Time management is key to starting and finishing any project. Getting organized needs to be scheduled like any other task. It takes time to purge and organize a kitchen or clean out a closet. If you don’t schedule it the project will be not get completed and that leads to disappointment, stress, and cluttered living space.

KEEP A CALENDAR THAT WORKS FOR YOU WHETHER PAPER OR DIGITAL

I hear so many different preferences when it comes to how people keep a calendar. Before digital, paper calendars were the only option and then technology came and made changes most people were not ready to make. They tried it the new digital way but now I have seen a shift back to paper calendars for a multitude of reasons. I personally use both because I like a paper calendar to see everything in a monthly view especially when it is business-related. When organizing clients I discuss the benefits of both but I stress to use what is easiest to get you organized and stay organized on a daily basis.

IF YOU BUY SOMETHING NEW ONE MUST COME OUT

Whether its purses, shoes, golf shirts or towels when you buy something new it’s essential to get rid of an item. If you keep buying but never get rid of anything it is a recipe for clutter. Donate or consign but let it go!

SPEND A FEW MINUTES A DAY DELETING OLD OR UNWANTED EMAILS

Every day I spend at least 5 minutes deleting old emails that are not relevant and unsubscribing to unwanted emails. Junk mail can be very stressful just by looking at how much you have. Some people get so overwhelmed they close old emails and just start with a new one. Staying on top of junk mail and unwanted emails save you time in the long run.

DON’T BUY IN MULTIPLES IF YOU DON’T HAVE ROOM “EVEN IF” IT’S ON SALE

Stay away from the big box stores unless you have the room to store the items even if they were on sale! As an organizer I see people buying multiples of items and they have no place to put them. I find items shoved in cabinets, drawers, and closets where they do not belong. They forget what they own because they can’t find it and buy more. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Buying in multiples costs you money and time if you are short on storage space. Keep a list and buy what you need when you need it.

SORT AND KEEP LIKE ITEMS TOGETHER

When beginning any organizing project start by purging, sorting and keeping like items together. Whether in a closet, kitchen, pantry or garage keeping like things together will keep you organized.

HAVE A HOME FOR EVERYTHING

This is another important one when it comes to staying organized. If there is a place for everything, everything will have a home and it just makes daily life easier. When you take something out you will have a place to put it back. It prevents clutter and saves money! These drawer inserts will not only keep you organized but save time when you are searching for something.

HAVE RECEIPTS EMAILED

Paper clutter has definitely improved somewhat now that we live in a digital world. I think having receipts emailed instead of paper is a great option if you keep them organized in files on your computer. I start the year with 2 files one for receipts and one for returns. When I need a receipt I know exactly where to find it which saves time. You can get more specific with receipt folders if you are working on projects or a certain store that you shop. Just say no to paper receipts!

IF YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED HIRE A PROFESSIONAL TO HELP 

Do not feel defeated if you need help clearing the clutter. I admire people that reach out and say I can’t live like this anymore. It tells me they are starting to take back control of their life and ready for change. Sometimes people just need a second set of eyes or a second opinion to confirm what they already know. Asking for help is a step in the right direction anytime of the year!

If you are ready for a change in 2020 the easiest way to begin is simplifying your space so that everyday living is less stressful.

Julie Ryan Photography