Getting organized and being organized is a dream that can come true! However, an organizing journey will be most successful if you have a plan. Write down your organizing goals. Dream big and don’t hold back. Share these goals and dreams with someone to help empower you to get started. Use these tips to help with your plan and to launch you forward on your organizing journey.
Deciding Which Area of Your Home to Organize First
Deciding where to start is challenging when you have many areas of your home that need to be organized. Having a plan as to which areas you will work through first and last will help you stay focused.
Here are Some Ideas on Where to Start:
- Top Down or Bottom Up
Starting with the top of your home (or bottom) is a logical way to work through your home, organizing area by area. Start in your attic. Then work through bedrooms, bedroom closets, linen closets and bathrooms. Next work through your living room, dining room, kitchen, playroom and home office. Then the final areas would be your basement, garage, storage unit and yard.
- Inside Out
Starting with the inside of you home is another strategy. With this process, you work through all your closets and your pantry first. The next areas are the attic, basement and garage. The last areas would be bedrooms, kitchen, home office, and then living rooms and dining room.
- Areas You See Everyday
Organizing the areas of your home you see first everyday will have immediate impact and encourage you to meet your goals for other areas of your home. Areas you see everyday include your bedroom, your bathroom, your closet, kitchen and office. Choose the area with the largest impact and work through that area to completion. Enjoy the results before moving to the next.
- Areas You Do Not See Everyday
Organizing areas that you do not see everyday can be beneficial. If the organizing process will bother other family members or take an extended amount of time due to your schedule or the size and condition of the space, you may want to start with areas you do not see everyday. Working in a basement, storage area or attic where you can close a door during the process will help reduce stress for you and your family if the thought of organizing and removing unneeded items brings anxiety.
Once you have a plan of how you will work through your house, set organizing goals for each area of your home and write them down.
Where to Start with Organizing Items
You can also divide your organizing project into item categories of what you will organize first, this will bring structure to your journey. Also, write down all the items you want organized in your home to provide guidance and keep you on track.
Here are Some Ideas on How to Organize by Categorizing Your Items:
- Start Easy
Start with items that are easy to organize. These items will have obvious categories and obvious places to be stored. Items easier to organize include clothing, linens, pantry items and toys. Once the easy items are managed, move on to more difficult categories such as paperwork, kitchen items, garage items and many items typically stored in the basement. More difficult items would be saved for last, when the rest your home is organized. These items include photos, old paperwork, mementos and items that have been in storage for a long time.
- Items You Use Everyday
If you organize the items you use every day first, it will motivate you to continue to organize the rest of your home. Starting here will give you immediate gratification as you see and use these items everyday. This items include your clothing, your toiletries and your kitchen items. This area may also include items on your desk and paperwork.
- Items You Do Not Use
Organize items you do not use frequently first, this way you can free up space and energy for the items that you use frequently. Going through the items that you do not use frequently and purging the unnecessary is a good place to start if getting organized will bother other family members. They will notice a tidy space before questioning what you did with the items. These items may include tools, mementos, items from past hobbies and projects, and seasonal items.
Save the Difficult Items and Areas for Last
Start with an easy area or item. This will build motivation to continue organizing your home. Difficult items and areas include photos, mementos, basements, attics and storage units. Your family is likely to help in these areas after they see the results and enjoy the benefit of all the other organized areas of your home.
Getting organizing is a journey. Start with small projects and enjoy the results. A professional organizer can help you along the way. See if Top Shelf Home Organizing can help you on your journey. Contact Jayme to schedule a consult or chat about organizing.
I am sure you have heard meal planning can help you eat healthy and stick to a budget. This is true, no matter your culture, eating habits or household size, having a plan will prevent you from last minute drive-thru lunches and take and bake pizza dinners. Although we all love a simple pizza dinner every once in a while.
Here are a couple ideas to help you to get into the habit of planning your meals.
Planning Meal Ideas
Jot down meal ideas to last two weeks and keep a running list with you at all times. This can be a simple notepad or a meal plan app such as Mealime, Yummly or Foodprint.
For your meal planning, double recipes for freezer meals and leftovers, and leave room for dining out. Make sure not to over plan. Over planning can lead to food waste and possibly leave you feeling burnt out from too much time in the kitchen. Keep your meals simple, especially if you do not enjoy cooking or have a busy schedule. Consider a no cook or raw meal every once in a while. In our house, we do a meal of cubed cheese, cold meat, raw veggies, fresh fruit and whole grain crackers every couple weeks. The kids love it and it works well on a busy weeknight.
You can also try meal delivery services such as Blue Apron, Sun Basket, etc. it works well as a supplement to your planning. However, be sure the meals arrive on a good day for you to actually cook the food. The food will arrive fresh and need to be prepared within a day or two. In addition, check the portion options are sufficient for your family and will produce leftovers.
Planning a Meal Budget
Identify your food budget. Be sure to include a reasonable budget for dining out. Stick to your budget by eating seasonal produce, stocking up on meat when it is on sale or purchasing protein from a local meat supplier. In your meal plan, include a couple inexpensive, non-meat meals.
Eating healthier does not have to require spending more money. A local holistic health coach can guide you to planning healthier meals without breaking the budget. Better Health by Heather has helped our family eat healthier (our kids now get a serving of veggies in their breakfast smoothies without even knowing it!).
Planning for Shopping & Preparing
Plan a day to do your grocery shopping. Take your list to your local grocery store and try your best to stick to the list. You may also consider grocery delivery. Stores may add on a minimal fee for deliver, but the cost typically is made up in the time you would spend driving and shopping.
Identify a day for food preparation. This does not need to be an entire day; just a day that you can prepare fresh produce for weekday lunches and after work and school snacking. Although, doing both shopping and food preparation in the same day may leave you feeling frustrated and burned out. Try to keep these days separated.
Have fun planning your meals and enjoy watching your family eat better. There is no perfect plan. Don’t get frustrated by wasted food or too much time in the kitchen. Learn from your mistakes and tweak your plan to best fit your household.
Fall brings a feeling of nesting for us all. The season change, a cold winter ahead, has us planning and preparing. Here are some ideas to help you simplify your fall nesting.
Preparing your home for fall and winter can be an undertaking. Break this project down. First start by putting away summer decorations and activities. This will free up space for you to think about your fall, winter and holiday decorating. It also gives you space for cleaning. Consider items that did not bring enjoyment to you over the summer. Then, drop these items off for donation if you feel they will serve another home better.
Pulling out summer entertaining and outdoor dishes will free up space in your cabinets and countertops. First, clear the pantry of the summer convenience foods. Second, before your next trip to the grocery store (or delivery), empty the refrigerator. Toss items that are expired. Wipe down all shelves and walls of the refrigerator. Lastly, inventory what you have and plan some meals around those items. Jot down some favorite fall meals to make your meal planning a bit easier.
September might not be the month to do a complete wardrobe changeover, but take some time to pull out the summer clothes that you did not wear, did not like or no longer make you feel great. Box them up and drop them off at a local shelter or consignment shop (to recoup a little of your investment).
Start to plan what plants will need extra attention before the winter. Arrange for fall clean up if you plan to outsource this. Then recycle and donate toys and furniture you don’t want to see in your yard next summer.
Getting into a new schedule can be challenging, especially when you are managing multiple schedules. Don’t expect perfection. A homemade dinner may not be reasonable on an evening full of meetings or activities. Allow for the unexpected and focus on the priorities. Then the rest will fall into place in the coming weeks.
Enjoy the cooler weather. Remember to take your organizing journey one step at a time. In addition, focus on what matters and what will have the biggest impact for you.
Organizing your bathroom can be fun and rewarding. Make your bathroom a relaxing place to be by following these basic bathroom organizing tips.
Empty all cabinets and drawers and wipe the surfaces. Hair, dust and residue tend to collect in these areas. Use an essential oil such as tea tree, lemon or orange to disinfect and add a fresh scent.
2. Make Up
When organizing and inventorying your make up combine all make up into one area. Remember to check your desk, purse, suitcase and vanity so all your makeup is inventoried. Dispose any make up that is old and expired. Donate new make up that you know you will not use to a local women’s shelter. Remove any colors that do not suit you anymore. For more great tips on organizing your make up, read more from LeAnn Conway Refresh Your Makeup Bag
To organize your towels follow these simple steps: Gather all bath towels, hand towels, wash clothes, etc. from around your home. Determine a reasonable number of towels per person in your home plus guests. Two bath towels, hand towels and wash clothes per person may be reasonable. Donate extra to a local animal shelter or human society. Fold the towels in a consistent way. There is no magic method to this, just fold them how they will best fit your cabinet or closet.
Now it is time to put all items back into the cabinets. You may want to consider purchasing some organizing supplies now that you know what you have and how you want to store it. Organizing supplies such as drawer dividers, containers, multi-level shelves, hanging shelves, or lazy Susan maybe helpful. Local hardware stores, Bed Bath & Beyond or the Container Store offer great solutions. When organizing remember to only keep what you love and need, keep like items together and find a space that fits your stuff.
If organizing your bathroom seem overwhelming, a professional organizer can help. See if Top Shelf Home Organizing can help you on your journey. Contact Jayme to schedule a consult or chat about organizing.