How to Overcome Chaos in the Mornings

There is nothing worse than running late in the morning!

It never fails! Something is always missing when it’s time to walk out the door.

folded clothesIt could be your keys (this was my biggest struggle), your purse, the kid’s backpack or whatever you may need when leaving the house.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can solve this problem by making items accessible and easy to grab and go!

We’ve all heard this many times before, but it definitely bears repeating!

Setting up a system doesn’t take a lot of effort – and it works so well once it gets started!

Create your system

Start by asking family members to begin dropping off their items as they enter the door so they will always be able to find them!

Designate an area near the door (usually in the entryway) to install hooks, add baskets or an entry table.

If you currently have other things there that really don’t belong you will need to first find a place for those items so you can start with a clean slate.

pexels-photo-116249.jpegAssign each family member their own hook (if using hooks) or drawer or whatever. There are tons of options.

We live in Florida so coats are never an issue. If you live in a cold climate I would definitely suggest using hooks for the coats.

I have also seen a large basket work very well for kids to toss their coats and backpacks.

Ideally, each family member should have their own landing spot.

Use colors (colored hooks, colored bins, colored baskets) to help the little one’s easily find their landing-place or use colored labels with their names on them.

By allowing everyone be a part of the set up of this space, they will be more inclined to want to use it correctly! You know, the old buy-in!

How to Keep it Working

Now that everyone has a place to call their own at the entryway, the key to making it work is to always put items in the exact same place every time!

Seriously, if you choose to hang your purse and jacket on the red hook assigned to you, always leave your purse and jacket on that red hook. You can do this!

Additionally, always check bags the night before to make sure you (or family members) have everything needed for the next day. The few minutes you spend the night before could save you from a lot of stress in the morning. Being prepared means no fussing around looking for that one piece of paper. You can just grab the bags and go!

After you set up your landing spot let me know how it goes!

Thanks for visiting!

Debbie

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10 Important questions to ask when cleaning out clothes

When cleaning out the bedroom closet, deciding what to keep and what to let go of can be difficult. It doesn’t have to be if you ask yourself these 10 important questions

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When cleaning out the bedroom closet, deciding what to keep and what to let go of can be difficult. It doesn’t have to be if you ask yourself these 10 important questions when cleaning out clothes. pexels-photo-165831Most people can come up with all kinds of reasons why they should hang on to something and as a result, very few items leave the closet. Clothing that is not worn is clutter. Clutter is anything that is not needed or wanted and is taking up valuable space.

As you evaluate your clothing, be honest with yourself and stick to your initial reaction. By the way, don’t hold each item when evaluating it. Research shows that the longer you touch an item, the more attached you become to it. I always suggest working with a friend or professional organizer to take away this attachment issue.

Question 1 – Does it fit?

The fit is everything! If it doesn’t fit properly it will never be worn! If you’re not sure – Go ahead – Try the item on. Is it too tight or too loose? If a shirt or dress, does it fit under the arms when you move? too bigWhen I wear something that is too small, even just a little bit, I spend the entire day asking myself why I kept this item in my closet and wish I could change into something else. Somehow that same item seems to make its way back into the closet. If you have items like this, make the decision today to let them go. Make room in the closet for the other pieces you really love – and perhaps some new ones? If you just can’t let some go, store them in a container under the bed or somewhere out of the way.

Question 2 – Does it look good on me?

This is where a friend really comes in handy! Ask for an honest opinion and also be honest with yourself. backsideGo take a look in the mirror. Have you been given compliments in the past about this item?

Question 3 – When was the last time I wore this?

The quickest way to know if you really like a clothing item is to ask yourself how long it has been since you last wore it. A standard rule of thumb is: let it go if you haven’t worn it in six months. I believe a better rule is: make it two months. Unless it is a sweater or very seasonal item, if you haven’t worn it in the last two months it is probably not something that needs to be taking up space. Think about it – that’s a minimum of 60 opportunities to wear an item!

Question 4 – How many do I need?

We all have something we really love and subsequently purchase more often than we should. For me it is black t-shirts. I love when they look fresh and new and I am just drawn to them. For a long time I just kept adding them to my closet until I eventually had more black t-shirts than I could ever wear. The best way to avoid problems like this is to live by the rule: one in, one out. Evaluate your multiples and decide how many you really, actually need. Then choose your favorites to keep.

Question 5 – Do I really want it?

When I cleaned out my closet a few years ago I was amazed by the number of items I let go. The most powerful question for me was – Do I really want it? Would I even miss it if it was gone? As I sorted through I realized that I had kept items simply because they had been there so long. They were just part of the closet. But more importantly, many of the items held memories – some good, some bad. They told a story. Some held me back.

Do you have clothing in your closet that tells stories from years ago? scarvesI didn’t keep these items because I still liked to wear them, but because they held emotions. I am happy to say I did let them all go. It wasn’t easy but it was necessary. I had to be honest with myself about why I was holding onto items that hadn’t been worn in months or even years. As I pulled each of these items out of the closet, I thought about the memories they held and then said “I am letting this go so I can live in the  present.” It was one of the best things I ever did for myself.

Question 6 – What is the condition?

This is a no-brainer, yet sometimes we still struggle with it. We have all had that favorite shirt or sweater or whatever that we love. folded clothesIt’s those items that you can’t bear to let go of even though they are now worn and may be damaged with stains or tears. Clothing in poor condition does nothing for self-esteem or improving our look. When clothing is damaged it is always best to let it go and find something similar to replace it. Who doesn’t like an excuse to buy something new! If you can’t let it go, keep it for wearing around the house.

Question 7 – Would I buy this item again at full price?

This question often brings most people to a screeching stop. It is a very straightforward question that doesn’t have anything to do with emotions or memories or condition. It’s simple. Have you enjoyed this item enough that you would purchase it again at full price? If answering this question requires a lot of thought, the answer is likely “no.” Go with your gut. img_5940Really pay attention to items that were purchased on clearance. Did you purchase because it was a good deal or because you loved the item? I have found that very few items pass the test if they were purchased at a 50% or greater discount. To help maintain your closet in the future, ask yourself this question when considering an on sale purchase at the store.

Question 8 – Does it make me feel confident?

overalls

 

As you evaluate your items, think about how your feel when you wear them. Do you feel good in the item or does it make you feel fat or uncomfortable? There is no reason to keep clothes that don’t make you feel good!

 

Question 9 – Is the color good on me?

We each have undertones to our skin which affect our ability to wear (and look good in) certain colors. colorsIf you are unsure of which colors are best for you, ask family and friends which colors they love on you. Another resource I have used since it was published in 1980 is a book by Carole Jackson called Color Me Beautiful. Carole provides excellent information to help you discover the right colors for you. Armed with this information, take color into consideration when evaluating your items. Wearing a color that is not in your color wheel can make even the best looking outfit look awful. When you are done with your closet, you should see a spectrum of colors that work well with each other and also look great on you!

Question 10 – Do I have room for it?

Unfortunately we only have so much room in the closet, which is why it is important to keep only the items you really like and will wear. If you are struggling with whether to keep an item or let it go, think about the space you have to work with. I see my closet as my own private boutique. I want items I am proud to wear, that are arranged neatly and hung with care. I love using slim, velvet suit hangers to maximize my space and to keep my clothes wrinkle-free. I will not add items that create clutter in my boutique – that wouldn’t make for a good shopping experience. Think about your favorite boutique and then recreate the ambiance in your own closet.closet-photo-for-site

Decluttering the clothes in your closet will take time and energy but will be well worth the effort! If you are like many others, once you start you may just want to continue through the whole house!

 

 

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Living clutter free

5 Easy Organizing Tips for the Holidays


The holiday season always seems to bring lots of activities, so many things to get done and often, guests in your home. So how do you get yourself organized and keep your house clean during this busy time? Try these 5 Easydreamstimefree_1537888 Organizing Tips for the Holidays:

1. Schedule Events 

Keeping your calendar up to date is the best way to make sure you get in on all the fun and don’t lose track of any important dates. Add holiday events and parties to a calendar and start thinking about what you will need: clothing, gift, food. Be sure to get input from all family members when updating. Include school events, guest arrival dates, special play dates, etc.

2. Keep Lists

Stay on track by using a list. Use a small notebook that you can carry with you and write down anything you want to get done or need to buy. Start your list several pages into the book because you will need the front pages for planning. Start by adding any of the items you came up with above for the upcoming holiday events. As tasks are completed, mark it off the list. At the end of the day review your list and feel accomplished! It feels great to  get all of those little (and big) errands/tasks completed. Anything left on the list – no worries – it’s already on the list for the next day!

3. Plan Ahead

Decide on two gift-giving budgets: One for your family and one for everyone else. Now pull out the small notebook (with your lists) and use the front pages to record individuals, budgeted amounts, and gift ideas. As you buy gifts for each person, make note of the gift and the cost in the notebook. I have tried several different ways to stay on budget and more importantly, remember what I have already purchased. This has been my tried and true way to stay on track.

4. Keep the House Clean With a 10-Minute Walk Through

I love doing the 10-Minute Walk Through! It’s a quick race the timer game to collect up and return stray items back to their homes. Employing your family to help makes it even more effective and fun. Gather items into small piles according to the room they belong in and when all collected, put them away in the correct place. The result is amazing. Just removing the clutter from the day or week can make your house look clean and welcoming! It’s a great way to keep your house ready for those drop-by holiday visitors.

5. Create a Gift Wrapping Area

During the holidays, a lot of clutter seems to find its way around the house. Gift wrap can add to that clutter. To stay organized, gather all of your holiday gift wrap, bags, ribbons, scissors, tape, etc. and put them all into a plastic tub, drawer, or whatever works for you and then find a convenient location to keep it. The idea is to keep it all contained. I like to decide on a place in my house to do the wrapping and try to store the container nearby. Having everything you need right there, together is priceless! Be sure to allow yourself enough time to finish and still have the time to put everything away.

Be sure to also visit us at www.HarmonyOrganizing.com.

Happy Holidays! Stay Organized!

phone-159  Debbie

 

 

 

How to Manage Your Make-up Madness

November 28, 2016

If you are guilty of having more make-up than you could possibly use in a lifetime, you are not alone! You know how it goes – the color looks fun or it looks great on the model but when you get home it isn’t what you expected. So it gets tossed into the pile with the hope that someday you will be able to use it.

Make-up can quickly add up and become overwhelming!

I tackled my make up stash about six months ago and went through each item one by one. By the end, I had a huge pile of items to part with. It felt great to let these items go! Best of all, it freed up lots of space! This initial make-up purge was a good start but more recently I decided it wasn’t enough. So I went for a second pass and this time I was ready to get serious!

To get started, I gathered all of my makeup as I did previously, but this time I also searched other locations besides my bathroom such as purses, car, drawers, and tote bags. I laid it all out on a cleared surface and then sorted items by category, then by similarity. Having an idea of how many you ultimately want to keep will help to narrow down what to keep. My plan was to keep only a few of each category so that I could always find what I needed.

I decided lipstick would be an easy place to start so I eliminated the ones I knew were not my best colors. Then I examined the color itself, the depth of color, the creamyness, and the age. I ended up with just seven that I really love to wear. Not a bad start…

Previously, When I  let go of some of my make-up, I found that I had more eye shadows than I could ever possibly use and let go of a full plastic grocery bag full of them! Yes, a full bag! I will admit that I felt a little sick over all of the items only used once or never used. It was an eye opener! So this time, I only had to deal with just a handful of eye shadows. I was very specific about which ones I would keep and made decisions based on the color, the color on me, the age of the product, and how often I chose to wear it. I also went through a stash of eyeliners and lip pencils, chose a few that look good and let the others go. When it comes to mascara, if it’s old, toss it!

With only the best make-up left, I decided to give it a new home. I found this awesome three-tier tray container with a handle at Target for less than $10. I put it together in the order that I do my make-up each morning. The top tray is base make-ups: eye shadow base, primer, foundation, make-up sponges. The second tray is the eyes: shadows, mascara, eye liner, brushes. And the third tray is finishers: powder, bronzer, blush, and brushes. Each tray can be used on its own and fastens back together with clasps. It is an easy, organized system and I always know exactly where my items are!

After doing this exercise, I was left with only the items I actually used and enjoy. As items get low I know when I need to pick up another one. I did have a few items that are not used every day, such as lipsticks and a couple of back up cosmetics. I store these items in a jewelry holder in my bathroom on the back of the door. They are easy to access and I can easily evaluate what I have on hand. If excess make-up is causing you to feel overwhelmed or unorganized – get rid of it! Let me know how it goes!