Simply Put Organizing

Clutter Control

Clutter has a funny way of expanding to fit any undefined spaces in your home. For that reason, it is very important to assign a purpose for each room, cabinet and closet you have. Once spaces are assigned a definite purpose you can go about the job of relocating items in your home to the places they belong and remove the excess as you go. I once had a boss who taught his employees to never walk anywhere in the restaurant empty handed. He knew there was always something to be relocated and put away. He didn’t know it then,but he helped me develop a lifelong habit that has helped me save time in everything I do. Below you’ll find more useful tips and inspiration to help you clear the clutter everyday and reclaim your spaces.
Food for thought

Determine your priorities in life: It is impossible to know what you don’t need if you haven’t determined what you do need. For example, I need more time. I had to take a look at my time wasting habits. I have decided that I don’t need to tear out and save pages of things I want to buy from magazines anymore. If I tear something out of a newspaper or magazine it becomes a to-do. I don’t need anything else to do. And if I really need that thing so badly then I won’t forget to get it. It has been so liberating to flip through a magazine and enjoy it without feeling the need to tear and manage all that paper and to make a trip to the mall to get the thing I thought I had to have in the magazine. This small tweak in my habits has saved precious time, mental energy, and, most likely, a lot of money.

Determine your priorities and what you are willing to spend time on and what you’re willing to give space to in your home.

Clutter is a delayed decision: Take a look at any cluttered areas in your home and you will see that each item there is really a delayed decision. Maybe you just didn’t decide where the item should be located in your home or maybe you haven’t decided if you will ever wear something again or use something so it has been relegated to a spare closet until a decision can be made. Make decisions on the things in your home right away. Choose if it stays or goes and, if it stays where will it ‘live’. If you have given thought to what you really need to support your values and priorities this becomes very easy.
Make a Plan

Choose a charity: For many of us, it is easier to let things go if we think it is going somewhere where it will be appreciated and put to good use. However, sometimes finding the right place can be paralyzing so you stay stuck in your stuff. Charitynavigator.org can help you find a charity in your area you can to be good stewards of your things. Set up a donation receptacle to make it easy to unclutter your home on a daily basis.

Schedule regular decluttering sessions: whether you are drowning in clutter or just a little it is important to assign a time each day or week that you will devote time to relocating items and clearing clutter. It could be 10 minutes a day or 1 hour each weekend. Whichever works for you, it is important to be consistent with the commitment.

Create a landing spot: Organization is about everything having a place. A landing spot is the place where you unload things as you come in the door. Clutter happens when we put things down in random places and then become too busy to go back and put them away. Your landing spot should be located near the entrance you most often use. It needs a designated place for mail, purse, wallet, keys and an area for any shopping bags or other things you may not have time to put away at the moment. In having it all in one spot-it is easier to go back and clear it as time permits. Caution: don’t fill up your landing spot and then make a new one. Take time each day to process what has accumulated there.
New Habits
Set goals; Daniel Hommer M.D., is an expert on brain imaging and motivation. He shared in Real Simple magazine that there is a phenomenon called delayed discounting. If it takes a long time to reach a goal we value that goal less then one we can reach quickly making it harder to get started at all. The solution is to make projects small and rewards immediate. For example, if you clear off a surface, dress if up with something you love keeping in mind that eventually your entire home will be that orderly and beautiful.

Don’t bring it home: Walk away from bargains. Just because you can buy three for the price of one doesn’t mean you should. Ask yourself: Where will I store it? Will it expire? If you find yourself accepting a freebie there’s nothing wrong with putting it in the donation bag straight away.

Put it away immediately: We all have good intentions to do things later. The problem arises when “later” creates piles all over our home. Put things away right away or, at least, the same day. Remember it’s all contained in your landing spot.

Give yourself time: If organizing doesn’t come naturally to you putting things back where they belong is not going to happen overnight. According to Charles Duhigg New York Times reporter and author of the book ‘The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business’, habits are hardwired into our brains. They are our brains way of simplifying our lives, saving us stress and energy. The trick is not to focus on undoing the habit but to replace the bad behavior with a better one. If each time you walk in your kitchen you drop everything you are holding on the counter think of the better habit of putting things away where they belong or using your landing spot to hold them until they can be put away. The reward: clear kitchen countertops.

Bring on the Bling

With all the baubles available these days jewelry collections can expand faster than your ability to store them. Do you find yourself wearing the same pieces everyday, not because it is a favorite, but it is the only thing you can find? The problem is most likely not the amount of jewelry you have but how it is being stored. You can avoid tangled necklaces and lost earrings with a few steps and some creative ideas.

When I was a child I remember the allure of my mother’s jewelry box. I loved to sift through the baubles and imagine myself all grown up with my own treasure chest of jewels. Now that I am that I am that grown up who is always rushing out the door I find that simple box just doesn’t work for me. I want to see what I have quickly and preserve what I love safely. Follow the simple steps below to restore order to your collection.

Eliminate the old and outdated. The first step in creating a storage system of any kind is to identify what you love and want to keep and eliminate what is no longer needed, wanted or loved. Gather up all your jewelry and separate it into categories, costume, fine, necklaces, rings and bracelets. Take a good look at it and determine what it is you really love and wear. Consider selling any old gold and donating anything you no longer wear.

Organize it your way. Consider how you look for your jewelry and reorganize your collection to fit your habits. You might store all your fine jewelry in one place and your costume pieces in another. You can separate and store the items by occasion or in sets. Or, you may choose to store all like things together rings, bracelets and necklaces. If you have a lot of jewelry you might want to store your go to pieces separate from your seldom worn items.

Find the right location. This is your chance to think out of the jewelry box with a few creative storage solutions. If you already have a jewelry box that you love determine what is about the box is working for you-maybe it’s great for rings and bracelets but necklaces become a tangled web. If you are thinking about purchasing a jewelry box stay away from anything with a ton of tiny drawers as it is nearly impossible to remember what they contain. The following storage tips will supliment your existing box or create a system from scratch.

I love and use individual stacking jewelry trays for smaller pieces like rings and bracelets. My favorite is found at www.storables.com because it’s adjustable but you can find similar trays at almost any organizing or home store. I like stacking trays because they work well in drawers eliminating surface clutter. If you choose to go this route place seldom worn items in the first layer of trays and keep your favorites on top.

For long chunky necklaces I recommend hanging them on hooks in your closet or dressing area walls. This keeps them tangle free and easily seen. The inside of cabinet drawers works well for hanging jewelry as well. I use small acrylic command hooks that are easy to arrange and come off clean when they are no longer needed.

One of my favorite ways to store beautiful statement pieces or beloved heirlooms is to use shadow boxes hung on a wall or placed on a table top www.potterybarn.com has my absolute favorite-it is made to be displayed on a table top but can be wall mounted with command picture hangers. Which ever shadowbox you use make sure the front opens for easy access.

A fabric covered bulletin beard is another option to keep your jewelry organized and in plain site. French bulletin boards with lattice ribbon are great to hang earrings as well whether clip or pierced.

If you’re looking for a budget solution use ice cube trays for earrings and nails in a wall for necklaces.

Protect your investment
. Create a file of appraisals and an inventory of your fine pieces and protect them in a high end safe when you’re away (jewelry stacking trays are great for use in safes). For less expensive protection you can find faux cans of everyday household products that hide you best things at www.containerstore.com.

Maintain the order. Periodically go through you collection and eliminate anything you’ve stopped wearing. Whether they value is monetary or purely sentimental creating a system to find your treasures will make for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Repurpose. Replenish. Renew. Restore. Relax.