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It's Garage Season - Are you Ready?

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It's Garage Season - Are you Ready?

With the weather warming up outside, more people are thinking about cleaning up their yards, kids are getting out their bikes and people are noticing that their garages are a mess.  As I started thinking about this, it made me think about a variety of garages. 

I started thinking of my grandparent’s garage.  They had a one car garage.  They always had a Cadillac and it was always pulled in the garage.  We lived down the street when I was little so I could ride my bike down to visit whenever I wanted.  I thought my grandpa was awesome.  He had a rose garden with the most amazing rose bushes.  He fed squirrels daily – out of his hand.  He also had a fantastic garden with sweet corn.  I loved to play on the magnolia tree which was near his garden.  With all of these gardening hobbies, he needed a place for his yard tools.  He kept them in the garage.  The garage had a little room added in the back that was his 1970’s version “man cave”.  I remember being curious about the garage and wanting to explore in the back room.  Unfortunately, I was not allowed.  When the garage door was open, you knew grandpa was probably working in the back room or somewhere in his yard. 

Then I started thinking about my own garage and all the garages on my street.  I live in a neighborhood where several of the homes were built in the late 1920’s.   Most of the garages are single car garages and function for most people as over-sized sheds.  The garages are also at the back of the house and not attached so you have to drive all the way past the house to get into the garage.  We are lucky because we have a two car garage and we can actually park two cars in our garage.  It’s functional and practical but that is about it.   The nice thing about the garages on our street is that they are in the back and out of sight. 

Garage - ours edit

In the newer neighborhoods, the garages are up in front and center.  They are attached to the houses (how convenient is that when you are trying to unload your groceries in the rain).  They usually have room for 2 cars and maybe even a 3rd or a little space for storage.  I love the ones that have a little space for the recycling and trash cans, but I digress with my garage story.   What saddens me about these garages is that a lot of people go into the garage with the remote, close the garage door behind them & never come back out.  However, I have noticed that many parents will pull out lawn chairs and sit in their driveway & watch the kids play.

This is where it gets interesting – some parents have their garage doors open for the world to see into their garage.  The garage holds all sorts of stuff from kid toys, sports equipment, lawn and garden tools etc.  It can be a pretty messy & disorganized place – maybe they are embarrassed about their garage.  Maybe they want to set up the garage for a relaxing place to watch the kids play while also still being functional. 

So if you decide you want to clean the place up and get organized so you can enjoy more time outdoors & maybe kick back in a lawn chair, here are a few tips:

Inventory:

-Take inventory of what is in your garage.

-Decide what should NOT be in your garage

-Determine if there is anything not currently in your garage that should live in the garage during the off-season (i.e. patio furniture/cushions/flower pots/grills) 

Time: 

-Set aside some time to work on cleaning out the garage, well at least a few hours (depending on the amount of stuff in your garage, maybe an entire weekend!)

Clean-Out:

My best “clean-out” method is to start taking it all out of the garage!  Be careful, your neighbors might think you are having a garage sale.  Start putting “like” items together (i.e. all the kid toys, car cleaning stuff, pool toys) into various piles.  As you are pulling out stuff, note what might be broken, what you don’t use or what you are just not sure about (put all that stuff in their own piles)

Re-Organization Plan:

If you have gone through everything in the garage and are ready to put it all back in, you will need to have a plan on where to put everything.  You will want to put things where they are easy to get (i.e. if you need to take the trash cans to the curb each week, you will want to have the cans near the overhead door so you can get to them easily.)

Like Items Together:

Car Cleaning Supplies

Pool toys/Sand Toys

Sports Equipment

Proper Storage - It’s easier to store things in your garage if you have proper storage.

Cabinets and Shelves – One 48” wide cabinet can easily manage car washing items, gas & oil cans for outdoor power equipment, gardening and lawn care chemicals, paints and thinners as well as antifreeze, washer fluids and other automotive chemicals.  Getting it all behind doors so you don’t have to look at it.

Bronze cabinets - ed...

Mud “Room” Area – If you don’t want all the coats, sports gear and muddy shoes inside the house, we can design a space in the garage for these things.  Below is a picture of a storage area we created for a client of ours. 

Garage Locker edit

Wall Systems – Organization wall systems are great for storing bikes, golf clubs, leaf blowers, rakes, snow shovels.  Getting items up off the floor can increase your space in the garage.

slatwall - edit

If you take some time to clean out the garage this spring and decide you need better storage, give us a call to help you design storage that will work for you and your family.  Getting your garage organized might give you and your friends some room to hang out while the kids run around and play outside. Give us a call at 544-4432. 

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Is Glitter Ruining Your Marriage?

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Is Glitter Ruining Your Marriage?

Is Glitter Ruining Your Marriage?

 

Is your husband going to work covered in glitter? Are your supplies filling every closet?  Are you more excited about your kid’s art projects than they are?  Are you a mod podge hoarder? Is your kitchen table covered in craft supplies?  If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might need a beautifully designed craft room or at least an organized craft closet. 

 

 

We do not just design and build closets for clothes, we can design and build amazing craft rooms.  If you are a crafter out there, I am going to give you a bit of encouragement.  Crafting is messy.  Crafting is creative and sometimes when we are creative, we need to spread things out. (and I say “we” because I consider myself a bit crafty, but I do not allow glitter in my house….ever)  We crafters pull out various ribbons, fabrics, papers, paints etc. just to try to make and create the perfect newest Pinterest project.   Scrapbooking is another messy craft – it involves lots of papers, picture, embellishments etc., all to make one amazing 2-page layout.  That was the encouragement part of my post, now for the bad part.  Do you think you might have too many crafting supplies?

Glitter table - edit

Don’t freak out on me.  You might not have enough supplies but what if you do?  What if you have more than enough?  Maybe you don’t even know what you really have.  If you have not tuned me out yet, please answer the following questions:

 

  1. Do you keep your crafting supplies in more than one place?
  2. If you answered no, you are good for now.
  3. If you answered yes, you will need to move onto the rest of the questions.
  4. Where do you keep a majority of your crafting supplies?  Your dining room? A “craft” room? Basement? A spare bedroom?
  5. Where do you “hide” your other supplies?  Above the washer & dryer?  Your pantry? A utility closet?  The garage? These are all places where I have found hidden craft supplies in client’s houses.

 

Step 1:

Gather all of the supplies into one central location.  This should probably be the area where most of the supplies already currently live OR a location where you can spread out.  This depends on how many crafting supplies we are talking about. 

 

Step 2:

Put all “like” supplies together.  For example, if you are a scrapbooker, you will want to make piles of all the various items: Papers; Stickers; Ribbons; Scissors etc.  Crafters are also notorious cross-crafters.  For example, you might use paints or stamps in your scrapbooking.  However, you would keep all paints and supplies with paints.  The point of this exercise is to see how much you have of each item.  If everything has been spread throughout your house, you might not have any idea what you really have.

 

supplies - edit

 

Step 3:

Now that you have everything sorted into categories: paints, papers, sewing supplies, glues, glitters, silk flowers, yarn etc., you can decide what you want to keep.  Even crafting supplies go out of style.  If you find out of date projects, go ahead and recycle, trash or donate them.  Maybe you found out that you have been hoarding bottles of mod podge?  Mod Podge and other products will dry out if kept too long.   If you have enough bottles of Mod Podge to open your own craft store you might want to consider donating your excess to an art class.   

 

mod podge - edit 2

Step 4:

Decide what you should do with the crafting supplies you no longer want.  If it is almost gone or really out of date, throw it away.  What about the items that might still have value?  I recommend making a post on Facebook to see if anyone wants it.  It seems that there are always people who know of someone who can use it or want it – usually schools, girl scout troops, not-for-profits etc.

 

Step 5:

Call The Closet Guy to design some shelves, cubbies and a working space.   We can take a look at a spare bedroom, a closet or an area in your basement.  If we don’t have exactly what you need, we can make suggestions and referrals.  Sometimes you can make do with existing pieces of furniture and shelving you already have.  There are some great DIY ideas on Pinterest.  Below is a picture of some shelving & drawers we did for one of our clients. 

Julie's space - edit

 

I consider myself a crafter on a small scale.  I enjoy scrapbooking and making creative things now and again.  I find that I do most of my crafting in the winter – after the holidays.  I usually get out my photos and work on them during January and February.  It is something to do before the weather starts getting warm.  This is a great time of year to go through your supplies so they don’t pile up.  I like to work on my scrapbooking projects on a little table in our living room so I can watch t.v. Remember, my kids are 18, 15 and 11 so I do not have to worry about  little ones.

 

Scrapbooking - edit

 

If you need your own crafting sanctuary or maybe just an organized place to store your supplies, call The Closet Guy at 544-4432 and see what he can do for you.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Relationships

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Relationships

 

Newly engaged?  Getting married soon?  This means you will soon be merging your stuff together.  Gasp, you might even have to share a closet.  

 

Consider this, two people who have previously had their own space and habits are now going to share one space together.  What could possibly go wrong with this?  If it is not addressed properly, a lot of tension and stress will ensue.   

 

Oftentimes, I hear women say “He gets the small closet and I get the big one” or “He gets those shelves and I get the rest”.  This might work for some guys but there are men out there who care about their clothes too.  We have worked with plenty of men who definitely want their fair share of space in the closet.  We have also worked with women who keep their side messy and the guy keeps his side meticulous .....& vice versa.   

  

So what can you do if you are going to be merging households and closets?

 

  1. Evaluate the space – see what space is available.  Are you going to be sharing one closet or are there other closets available in other bedrooms?  Can you turn a spare bedroom into a closet?  These are all possibilities if no kids are in the picture.  Once the kids come along, they take over the closets one by one.   I have included a picture of the closet Mr. Closet Guy and I share.  It is organized but small. 

Our closet - both si...

 

  1. Identify issues – talk to your significant other about possible closet issues you see before moving in together might be a good idea.  For example, if your fiancé has 100 pairs of shoes and you have only seen her in 5 pairs during the entire time you have dated, she might have a few she can sell or donate.  Maybe your boyfriend has an entire shelving unit full of concert t-shirts he keeps “just because”.  Now is the time to discuss your stuff and any possible issues or concerns.  

 

  1. Downsizing before the move – instead of packing everything up and dropping it outside the closet door, it is a good idea to go through your closet before the move.  Everyone knows the standby organizing rule – “If you have not worn it in a year then donate it.”  However, this is easier said than done for a lot of people. I suggest you seize this as a new opportunity.  You are starting a new life with someone so take the time to get rid of some of the items that you have mentally & physically outgrown.

 

  1. Keepsakes – Depending on how old you are when you make the move, you might have keepsakes from high school or college that you want to keep.  I have a small bin designated for “keepsake clothing”.  This is where I keep the Samples t-shirt Brooke bought me at one of our first dates.  I was not able to wear it very long because I think I lied about what size I needed (so it never really fit very well.)  I have his “skeleton skater pants” in this tub. These are the pants he hand-painted to look like skeleton legs.  He wore them during his skateboarding days.  This tub does not live in our closet but on the landing in our attic.  

 

Keepsake clothing ed...

 

 

  1. Other items – if you have been storing things in your closet like old photos, stuffed animals & other memorabilia – get that stuff out of the closet.  Designate a “Keepsakes” tub for your little treasures.  My keepsake box was originally bigger than this tub.  However, after having 3 children and now storing their keepsakes, I have purged my bin over the years. Some things that seem important when you are 22 are no longer as relevant when you are 46.  

Keepsakes edit

 

  1. 2 Kinds of People – Usually opposites attract.  There is usually one neat and tidy person (me) and one messy person (Brooke).  You both need to learn to meet in the middle.  Learn to respect each other and figure out how to share a space together without belittling or bullying the other person.

 

  1. Out of Season Storage – you definitely will need to find a place to keep the out of season storage.  If space is limited, try under the bed storage bins.

 

 

Once you have done your evaluating, identifying, downsizing & talking, then you might still need some help.  If you are moving into your first home or apartment, there is a good chance that the closets will be too small for 2 people to share.  That is when you want to call a professional to try to gain some space. 

 

its not me - edit

 

A few things we can do:

 

  • Switch to double hanging – the typical closet has 1 rod and shelf.  If you remove the rod/shelf and add 2 bars, you will gain twice the space.
  •  Add a small area for long hanging – a place to keep a few of the dresses and tunics you own.
  • Shoe shelves.  Oftentimes shelving can be added in-between the double hanging.  Shelves can be added at the top of the closet and the bottom.
  • Baskets – hanging space is good but sometimes pull out baskets can help with the t-shirts, socks & undies.
  • Out of the Closet-Closet – this is something we did in our own home.  Our home was built in the 1920’s and our closets are small.  We originally had 4 closets to share but then as we started having kids, we slowly lost our extra closet space.  After our 3rd child was born, we had to share 1 closet.  Neither one of us are big “clothes or shoes people”, but we still have plenty of stuff.  Mr. Closet Guy built the “out of the closet-closet”.  It has 15 drawers for our jeans, shirts, sweaters etc.  It also has a place for books, décor and a television.  It does not take up as much space as a typical dresser. 

 

Out of the closet -e...

 

If you are in love, but the thought of blending closets together has you feeling anxious, give The Closet Guy a call to get a few ideas.  We have been married and sharing closets together for 23 years!

 

 

 

 

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10 Minute Jewelry Drawer Clean-Out

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This is the last of my 5-15 minute quickie organization projects (at least for now).  This time I tested the theory out on myself.  

 

I don't wear a lot of jewelry so this project was not too overwhelming for me.  However, it still should be able to give you an idea of the basic concept.  

 

Jewelry storage is different for everyone.  Some use jewelry boxes, hanging storage or drawers.  Look on Pinterest and you will find all sorts of jewelry storage ideas.    My jewelry is stored in the drawers of a piece of furniture that was my mom's when she was young.  I keep my bracelets, rings and earrings in this drawer.  I hang my necklaces in my closet on hooks. 

Below is a picture of my "getting ready center".  We only have 1 bathroom in our house so I put my make-up on, do my hair etc. at my "getting ready center".  I  keep my bracelets, rings and earrings in this drawer.  I hang my necklaces in my closet on hooks. 

getting ready center...

My method of jewelry organization included empty chocolate candy boxes and jewelry boxes for storage.  I am a firm believer in trying to use any organizers you have on hand before going out and buying new organizers.  I started this system years ago and never updated it. 

photo 1 before edit

My first step was to go through all my jewelry and decide what I did not like or wear. Some items were broken and needed to be thrown away.  I donated the pieces I did not use to a friend and some to a local charity.   

After going through my jewelry, I decided I had used my empty chocolate boxes and jewelry boxes long enough.  I reached out to my friends at Design Ideas® who gave me some jewelry organizers to use for my project.  I used the Kali™ Jewelry Tray.  These organizers fit perfectly inside the drawers at my dressing table.  I love my new after photo.  

Photo After edit

I had another drawer that was sort of my catch all drawer.  This had random beauty items stored in it.  I am embarrassed to show the picture of this drawer - it had collected quite a lot of junk.  Here is a picture of the items that were in this drawer that do not belong. 

donate edit

This drawer also held an old jewelry box of mine.  This jewelry box is where I keep special keepsake items.  I don't have any true valuables in the monetary sense but  I do have some jewelry that is valuable to me.  In this box I keep my prom earrings and my wedding earrings.  I also have a few pairs of earrings that are truly ugly to me now but they were gifts from my husband when we were dating and I find them hilarious.  They make me giggle every time I see them.  I have a piece of jewelry my son made for me for Mother's Day when he was three.  I guess you could say this is my own little treasure box.  The large cross earrings are from a '80's party in case you were wondering. 

Keepsakes edit

I enjoyed this project.  I parted with a few broken items and things I never wore.  It felt good to clean out these drawers.  Now everytime I open them, I smile. 

So if you are thinking about doing a small project around your house consider these two things: 

1.  Keep what you love

2.  Donate or Discard what you do not need or use 

  

 

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5 Minute Make-up Drawer De-clutter

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After cleaning out a shelf in the laundry room, the kitchen drawers & under the kitchen sink, we moved to a more fun area of the house to organize - the make-up drawer. If you are reading this post for the first time, I have been doing 5 - 15 minute de-cluttering projects with my sister-in-law Kristen.  This is post number 4 in the series.  

I think  Kristen already had a great system set up for her make-up.  She had it stored in these pull-out drawers pictured below.

Before 1

Each drawer held various types of make-up and hair accessories.  Her original plan was to have eye make-up in one drawer, foundation in another drawer, lips in a drawer and so on. However, things had gotten mixed together into the various drawers.  This is very normal!  Kristen has 6 children under the age of 16 so putting on make-up is a fairly rushed affair.  She is more concerned with getting it on her face rather than back in the right  drawers. That is why cleaning out excess products is so important for busy moms.  You can find what you need quickly. 

After 3

The above photo shows all of the make-up she no longer wanted to keep. We had fun trying to figure out how the sharpie and pencil got mixed in with her make-up.  In a busy home items that do not belong sometimes show up in the weirdest places.  After purging what she did not want to keep, we put everything back in the dividers (lips, eyes, foundation, hair, make-up brushes). 

After final 

The AFTER photo does not look much different than the BEFORE photo but we did eliminate several products that were taking up unneccesary space.  The concept is simple, eliminate what you are not using from the spaces in your home and you will have more space!  

You can get organized - one drawer, shelf or bag at a time! 

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15 Minute Under the Kitchen Sink

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15 Minute Under the Kitchen Sink

 

Continuing on with our 5 Quick De-Cluttering Series, I met with my sister-in-law Kristen to clean out under her kitchen sink.  As you can see from the photo, it was not really that bad.  It is one of those areas that can cause you daily frustration because you are digging around for something you use everyday but it has ended up in the back of the cabinet.  Taking 15 minutes to free up some space can save you time in the long run,   

 

sink - edit

The picture above shows several products  sort of falling out of the cabinet.  We pulled everything out to see what exactly was living under the kitchen sink. 

Before - edit

It is hard to believe all of this stuff was under the kitchen sink.  We found a few things that either did not belong under the sink or she did not want anymore. 

  • A box of plastic disposable gloves leftover from the move to the new house.  Not something she used. 
  • A large box of black trash bags (those belonged in the garage).   
  • A few empty broken bottles of products. 
  • A few bottles of cleaning items she never used 

This was able to free up a little bit of space.  We then put everything back under the kitchen sink.  The focus was to keep the items she used daily up toward the front. The items she used less often were placed in a basket in the back.  

After-edit 

We used an empty pitcher to keep all of her dish scrubbers, refills and dusters.  The basket of occasionally used items is hidden in the back.  As you can see, we worked with the supplies she had on hand.  After we were done with the project, I made a few purchasing recommendations.  I am a fan of products you can mount on the doors to hold your sponges, stoppers etc.    

228 original

There are a lot of pull out drawer products, shelves and other under the sink items.  You just need to make sure you measure the space under your sink before you buy anything. The product pictured above is from Rev-A-Shelf®. This is a higher end item but it gives you an idea if you want to retrofit your current under the sink area. 

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15 Minute Kitchen Drawer De-Clutter

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If you did not read the last post (15 Minute Declutter Laundry Room), I will bring you up to speed quickly.

 

I wanted to test my theory of 15 minute de-cluttering projects so I reached out to my sister-in-law Kristen to see if I could take some before and after photos for my de-cluttering blog post.  She is a mother of six kids ranging 4 – 16.  She is also a real trooper allowing me into the private places in her home.  

 

They moved into their house in September.  At that time, I helped unpack and put away everything in her kitchen.  However, I sort of dumped all the utensils into the various drawers because I was trying to get everything unpacked quickly.  So I was hoping this project would be a good way to redeem myself for just dumping everything into the drawers back in September.      

 

She had 3 small drawers full of utensils.  For space sake, I will just show one of the drawers. 

Before 1

I pulled everything out of all 3 drawers and laid everything out on the table.  I held up every item and asked if she used it.  Some items I even had to ask “what is this?”  

Contents

There were several well-intentioned Pampered Chef purchases that made the donate pile. 

Don't Use

When we attempted to put everything back into the drawers, I decided to take a look at another drawer option.  This drawer was bigger and was currently holding dish towels.  We switched the dish towels to two of the drawers that had held utensils.  We ended up using the bigger drawer and one of the smaller drawers for the utensils. 

Cabinet Switch

My emphasis on these de-cluttering projects is to focus on the de-cluttering, not the actual organizing.  However, on this project I really did not want to dump her utensils back into the drawer.  I asked my friends at Design Ideas® if they would provide me with some of my favorite drawer organizers in various sizes.  They gave me several sizes of the Takara™ DrawerStore™ Organizer. Design Ideas® creates, manufactures and globally markets more than 1,500 innovative and affordable accessories for the home and office.  Their headquarters is here in Springfield, IL and products are available at The Container Store, Target and Staples to name a few. www.designideas.net 

After 1

I ended my sessionwith the “labeling talk”.  I told her if she wanted her kids to put items away where they belonged then she should label the organizers. Kids follow labels at school so why not label your kitchen drawers like a classroom would label shelves?  Well, later on that evening I received a text and a photo from her saying she was labeling. She is such a great student!   

 

My secret organizing tip.  If you have items cluttering up your kitchen drawers and you have limited space, I recommend a "rarely use" bin.  This is a photo of our "rarely use" bin.  I keep it on the top shelf in our pantry. This is where we keep....you guessed it...the items we rarely use.  This is where we keep the funnel, cheese grater, cake cutter and a few other items we do not use on a regular basis.  However, we do use these items, but not enough to allow them prime real estate in our kitchen drawers. You do want to make sure your husband and children know about this tub! 

Rarely Use Items

I hope you enjoyed this post.  My next post will be investigating under Kristen's kitchen sink! 

 

 

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15 Minute Laundry Room De-clutter

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15 Minute Laundry Room De-clutter

I wanted to test my theory of a 15 minute de-clutter project in a realistic setting.  I called my sister-in-law Kristen (mother of six children under the age of 16) to see if she was up for me coming over and de-cluttering her laundry room.  I know it sounds fairly presumptuous of me to assume she would have clutter in her laundry room.  However, I am a mom of 3, a professional organizer and gasp – I just found some clutter in my laundry room too.

 

My purpose in the 15 minute de-cluttering projects is to help people differentiate between organizing and de-cluttering.  I hear people say to me, “I need to get organized.”  “My house is a mess.”  “You would freak out at all the stuff I have”.  Stuff is the key element in organizing – you need to get rid of the excess stuff before you can start organizing.  Most people would prefer to spend hours in the organizing aisle looking at all the cute organizing baskets and gadgets than actually going through their stuff. I find that if you go through the stuff before “organizing” it, then you are in a better position to know what to buy to complete your organization project.  So today’s project was about going through the stuff. 

 

I took a before picture and I don’t think it looks that bad honestly. 

 

I started the process by taking down everything off the shelf that she no longer needed.  I told her that most local homeless shelters would take the half used products just so they were in usable condition. 

We made a pile of all the stuff that sort of ended up in the laundry room.  This would take about 5 extra minutes to distribute around the house to its proper owners. 

 

Then we put all the products back on the shelves.  I recommended keeping all the laundry products together and on the first shelf so that she could easily reach them.  We even used a basket that had been in the “stuff that sort of ended up in the laundry room pile” to hold the spot removers.  I told her that if she wanted to ensure it stayed organized the way we set it up, she could get baskets to hold the “like” items together. This would make reaching them easier because you just grab the basket & it also helps when planning your grocery list.  I recommended she label the baskets as well.  This way everyone would know what would go in the baskets - not just mom.  She likes to label so this is not a huge stretch for her. 

 

We managed to finish the project within 20 minutes I would say.  We had to take a couple of breaks for toddler snacks, meltdowns and sibling rivalry issues. 

 

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5 Quick De-cluttering Ideas

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5 Quick De-cluttering Ideas

 

Before the Christmas clearance is gone, the organizing tubs  at Target are out in full force.  

  

A lot of people are motivated to start a budget, lose weight & get organized.  These goals are fun to make over the holidays  but after the first week of January rolls around and you and the kids head back to work & school, it is hard to find the time to do all these things. 

 

So before you go out and buy a bunch of organizing gadgets, spend about 5-15 minutes on the projects listed below to see what you can accomplish.  I think you may be surprised at what you can get done in such a short amount of time.   

 

This post is about the de-cluttering process, not the fancy baskets & organizing gadgets.

 

Here are 5 quick projects you can try to tackle over the next few weeks to help de-clutter a few things around the house.

 

-  Shelf/Cabinets Above the Washer/Dryer 

-  Jewelry Box/Drawer/Armoire 

-  Make-up Drawer 

-  Kitchen Utensil Drawer 

-  Under the Kitchen Sink 

I am going to share how I tackled the above 5 projects with my sister-in-law Kristen in my upcoming posts.  Today I want to share the basic steps in how to start the de-cluttering process.   

 

Step 1 -

Get everything out of the drawer, shelf, cabinet or box.  

 

Step 2 -

Get rid of the following items:

1.  Out of place items

2.  Unused items

3.  Items you don't wear (jewelry/make-up)

4.  Excess items you don't need

5.  Excess items you don't have room for

6.  Duplicates you don't need

7.  Worn out items

8.  Products you don't like

9.  Products that trigger allergies

10. Products that don't work 

11. Broken items

12. Unidentifiable items

13. Items with missing pieces

14. Items that smell bad (air freshener/cleaning product)

15. Trash   

 

Step 3 

Put everything back onto/into shelves etc.

 

Try to put "like" items togetherNow is the time to investigate if you need better storage for your stuff. Do you need storage baskets? A new jewelry organizer? Or do you need better shelves in your laundry room? Now you can plan to go to the store to buy the organizing supplies or if you need new shelves or cabinets, you can call The Closet Guy at 544-4432.    

Step 4 

Deal with all the stuff you are not keeping.  

 

-   Throw away the trash, broken pieces, items with missing pieces

    and things that don't work right

 

-   Fill a basket of all the items that go "somewhere else" and

    distribute those items around the house 

 

-   Donate any decent partially used products to a homeless shelter

 

-   Ask friends/family if they are interested in any of your products 

 

 

I hope you will check out my post tomorrow on the 15 Minute Laundry Room De-Clutter.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                        

                                   

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Our First Blog Post

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Our First Blog Post

Welcome to the first official Closet Guy blog post!  The blog posts will mostly be written by me (Amy Peterson a/k/a Mrs. Closet Guy) but The Closet Guy (a/k/a Brooke Peterson) will be making posts now and again as well. 

 

Our goal is to share time saving tips and organizing strategies based on our experience in the industry and our real life stories.  

 

Who we are, where we came from and how we got here.

 

I was born organized.  As a child my favorite past-time was either cleaning or organizing toys.  I loved organizing but never dreamed it could be a full-time job.  I went to college and studied in the legal studies department at University of Illinois at Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University).  This is where I met Brooke (a/k/a The Closet Guy).  We both graduated and ended up working as paralegals.  He worked in the environmental field and I worked in the private sector. 

 

In the beginning of 2002, Brooke was laid off from his job.  At that time, I was working as a paralegal in a law firm.  I also began working part-time for a small business that did in-home organizing parties.  I would go to a person’s house and give a little demonstration on how to organize a cabinet, a drawer or a closet.  I absolutely loved doing this.   However, I was frustrated because so many times I was limited on how I could organize an area because there was not a lot of shelving.  

 

I asked Brooke if he could help me figure out how I could build simple shelving for my clients. After he stopped laughing because I knew next to nothing about tools or building anything at all for that matter, he consulted the internet to search for some options.   The internet was still fairly new to me in 2002 so I had no idea how to search for anything.  I am rather impatiently results oriented.  When after about five minutes he had not found a suitable option, I turned my attention to other matters.  As it turned out, he had discovered Closet-Maid’s web-site which allowed you to design a new closet and gave you a parts list to take to your local home center to buy what you needed for your project.  Along the way, he requested information on becoming a dealer.  Brooke thought that might be the career change he was looking for.  So within 3 weeks of getting the dealer packet, he was on a plane to Scottsdale, Arizona to learn how to design and build custom closets.  

 

In September we launched our business, The Closet Guy.  Our son Porter who was five at the time helped name the company.  Brooke ran the company solo until I quit my job in 2006.  At that time. we had 3 kids, ages 9, 6 and 2.  Just when we were adjusting to a single income, the economy got a little rocky and then in 2009 it tanked.  We hung on, learned a lot and came out stronger on the other side.  We continue to work hard and enjoy what we do to create great closets all over Springfield.

 

So, there’s a little bit about how we started The Closet Guy.  We hope you will check out our blog often to learn more about how to organize your home. 

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Hi, my name is Amy and my passion is helping people stay organized. Every week I'll post some tips on my blog to help your house be tidy and you be free from house-cleaning stress!

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