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

 

Tips to Finally Let Go of Your Storage Unit

Storage units have seen a significant rise in the past decade. Many people own them and pay thousands of dollars a year to keep them even though they don’t know what is in them. They dread going to their unit(s) because they haven’t been there in years and the thought of tackling it is unbearable so they just keep it.

I will start by saying I know that storage units do serve a purpose in some circumstances such as storing items during a renovation, between moves or items that have been inherited. On the other hand, keeping a storage unit for long periods of time is like having a monkey on your back. You always have that nagging feeling that at some point you are going to have to deal with it. You feel guilty because you are paying a lot of money to store items you can’t even remember. You also start to keep it a secret and that is when you know its time to let go! If this all sounds familiar you are not alone. As an organizer, I go to homes to help people purge and organize but many times after we finish I hear “I didn’t tell you about my storage unit or units”. Honestly, it never surprises me because I hear it so often. 

How can you finally break free from your storage unit? Go there! I just heard gasps as I’m writing this. Don’t worry the first visit is to get your ducks in a row and make a game plan. Enlist the help of a local mover or a strong friend so you can see everything including what is in the very back. Take an inventory of what is in the unit by taking photos and making a list of the items you don’t want to keep. Lastly, if you feel you can not tackle this on your own hire a professional organizer to make the process less stressful.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking inside your storage unit.

Do you need an antique dealer to appraise furniture or an art appraiser?

Do you want to sell or consign some of the items? If so where?

Do you need to schedule a donation pickup?

Do you need family members to pick up items?

Do you need a junk removal company?

Do you just need to say goodbye?

The last question is the hardest one of all but once you say goodbye you will never look back. You will feel less stress, save money and only keep the things you need, use and love! Start 2020 with the monkey off your back!

 

How To Simplify and Love Your Home Again

 Many clients use my services not only to clear the clutter but to inspire them to fall in love with their home again. You may ask is that possible and the answer is YES! My goal is not only to purge and organize but to help make the necessary changes to create a new simplified and peaceful space. A refresh can make a big difference without spending a lot of money. Begin your transformation with these simple tips and life-changing results!

1. Make purging and simplifying your surroundings a priority. If you want a great end result a major purge will get you there.  Let go of items you no longer use, need, love or have room to store. Schedule a weekly donation pick up or drop off until your goal is accomplished. Excuses do not create change, it takes time and commitment.

2. Use the vertical space in your home to add storage in a closet, under a sink or on a shelf. Vertical space is often overlooked but can really add the extra storage you may need.

3. Use drawer organizers to help you stay organized and to ensure everything has a home. Purge, sort like items, measure the drawer and purchase an insert to fit the space.

4. Purge artificial plants that have become dust catchers and invest in real plants or treat yourself to fresh flowers. Speaking of dust catchers how many is too many candles? Candles can look and smell beautiful but too many can make a house feel cluttered.

5. Consider the garage part of your home and keep it purged and free of clutter. Remember a garage is not a storage unit it is an extension of your home.

6. A fresh coat of paint can make an area look brand new. Keep colors simple, soothing and cohesive. If you live in a small space it helps to choose one color throughout the home so it appears larger. Splashes of color can be in accessories or art but keep the rest simple.

7. Tackle sentimental clutter and free up storage for items you use, need and love. It can be a difficult task but the amount of space you will gain can make a big difference. If you feel overwhelmed in this area hire a professional it will be worth it!

8. Bookshelves with too much stuff can make an entire room feel cluttered. Simplify with a couple of photos, items you love, favorite books and let the rest go.

9. Replace broken items and make a list of what needs to be repaired. If you are not handy hire a service like Home Advisor or Tackl to complete the job.

10. Rework your space by moving items around and work with what you can’t change. Learning to love your home is about accepting what can and cannot change. Trust me I have learned that through multiple renovations.

12. Another simple change that can make a big difference is updating outdated light fixtures and hardware. Small improvements can really change the way you feel about your home. 

13. Hire a junk removal company to remove larger items that are taking up space but are never used. Ex: old furniture, broken TV’s, never used exercise equipment, tools and old appliances that don’t work. This will give you immediate results and will quickly start your journey to simplifying your space.

I say this all the time but it is never about having enough space it’s about too much stuff. Simplifying and organizing your home alleviates everyday frustrations, saves you time, money and makes your home a peaceful, calm, relaxing place you want to come home to at the end of the day.