Category Archives: Organization

Project Garage! Tips on Organizing Your Go-To Storage Space

Garages are great: they’re the perfect storage space of a house, where you can always find exactly what you’re looking for…or not! Has your garage become so messy, cluttered and disorganized that you can barely use it? Things might tend to get stuffed and piled in every corner, leaving you with a daunting mess to look at. When this happens, there’s only thing to do…Project Garage! Check out our tips on organizing your go-to storage space for a fully functional, clean and organized garage.

First Things First

Before you tackle this huge organizational plan, there are a few basics to keep in mind. First, this doesn’t have to be a solo person project! Enlist the help of your family, friends or neighbors to make this project simpler. (Make a deal that anything you put in the “donate” pile, helpers get first pick!) A garage clean-out probably isn’t a single day project either, so a little patience will go a long way.

Next you’ll want to clear everything out — yes, everything! The only way you’re going to clean and declutter efficiently is if you actually know what all’s hidden in there. Once you’ve taken everything out, start making 3 piles — keep, donate, trash. Be smart here: if you didn’t even know the object was in your garage, or you haven’t used (or thought about it!) in a while, you may want to consider donating or trashing it. Once you have all the items you’re keeping, it’s time to move on to step 2.

Plan a Layout

Mostly everything you do is better if there’s some sort of plan, idea or list behind it, including organizing your garage. It doesn’t have to be a perfect interior design sketch, but having a rough drawing of your storage space and where everything is going can be useful. One important thing here is to find a place for everything! If you can’t find room for something, really think about whether it’s necessary to keep.

If it is, find a spot for it by removing other things or getting more storage; if no, then get rid of it. Something that’s really helpful in planning out your organization is to group all your items on your garage floor. Put the gardening tools, sports equipment, tools, etc. together so you see exactly what groups and items need to be stored away. Now that you have a plan, time to put it into action!

Smart Storage

Because your garage is meant to store items (and even cars…who knew!), it’s important to utilize the maximum storage possible in whatever space you’re working with. Using the wrong storage containers, size or shape can lead back to a messy piled up garage that’s not capable of fitting everything you need it to. Shelving — whether metal racks, doored cabinets or homemade wooden planks — is an important and necessary part of storage. If your garage allows you space to put shelving racks, then do so because you can place many items on one storage space. This is also a good way to group like-items together.

Workbenches also come in handy because they double as both a place to store tools as well as a workspace. They can be bought and installed, or even made from scraps you have around your home (just search the internet for tons of ideas). These workbenches provide drawers, hanging space, cabinets and cubbies to give you great storage. (Bonus: they don’t take up a lot of space!)

Another big way to maximize the storage space in your garage is to utilize vertical and ceiling room. The walls and ceiling are taking up room in your garage so if you don’t use them, it’s just wasted, empty space. Instead hang shelves, pegboards or crates on the walls; you can also hang hooks and racks from the ceiling. Then you can hang big items like bikes from ceiling racks or on vertical metal poles. You can place hanging tools on the pegboard, and sports equipment in wall crates. It’s best to place items you don’t use very often in ceiling storage to provide room for more frequently used items.

Label it All

At last! You’ve decluttered, grouped and organized everything you possibly can and you’re left staring at a neat, clean and organized garage. You did it…but there’s still something missing. Just this one simple task can really put the cherry on top and maximize all of your hard work you just did. Label everything! This may seem tedious, but once everything has a label it’ll make future use of the garage much easier. Labeling allows you to find things quicker down the road and it’ll keep your garage tidy because you know how and where to put things back. After you’ve labeled everything (even things that may seem silly like basketballs or bike helmets), take a step back and admire your hard-earned organized garage space!

 

 

5 Smart Ways to Banish Clutter for Good

You want a clean, fresh-looking, healthy home…so what’s stopping you? You’ve scheduled the time, rounded up your supplies and have a fool-proof plan for conquering every inch of the house…and yet you can’t seem to get past one, little annoying thing—the clutter!

Clutter can cause not only difficulty for cleaning, but it can also make your life seem more chaotic because things are piled up in every nook and cranny. Banishing clutter for good can be tough, but we’ve got 5 smart ways to de-clutter your home so you can live happy in the fresh, healthy sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of!

The Art of Decluttering

It’s hard to live clutter-free if you and your family don’t know how exactly to do it — and it’s kind of an art! With practice, you can instinctively teach yourself what things can be saved and what things need to go, saving you time and space.

For example, when your kids come home with arts and crafts, or miscellaneous papers, figure out what they really like (what you should save) and what can be tossed after a week-long display on the fridge. It’s all about knowing when to let go: whether it’s clothes, collections, crafts or other memorabilia. Figure out why you’re keeping things, and let go of things that don’t have many good reasons. Remember: If the only place you store it is in a box in the attic or garage, never to be seen again, it probably isn’t worth saving. 

One Room at a Time

If the thought of tackling the gargantuan task of decluttering is causing a mini (or major) panic attack, de-stress yourself by promising to take just one room at a time. Room too big? Focus on a key area. Break it down!  It’s overwhelming to face all of your clutter at one time, so choose a room a day and devote 30 uninterrupted minutes organizing, sorting and throwing out.

Depending on your time and commitment, you can probably declutter your home in about a week! Got junk? Host a garage sale, donate unwanted items to charity or organize a neighborhood swap, where your community gets first pick of your treasures.

Use Smart Storage

Storage can be key to eliminating the pile-ups, but think hard before something gets stowed away for years. Don’t buy more containers and boxes to store, just to have a spot for everything you own. This can actually take you one step back because the storage containers themselves can easily pile up, creating more clutter!

Only store items that need to be saved, but be mindful of how much that can accumulate if you’re not careful. You can also consider using vertical storage, like bookshelves or custom shelving units, which adds storage to the room without taking up your precious floor space. This simple trick gives the illusion of a cleaner, less-cluttered home!

Finished? Put it Away

When objects are left out instead of returned to their rightful space, it’s often the first step in creating clutter.  It’s an issue for everyone in the family: kids putting their toys away, returning cooking supplies back to the pantry after a big meal, or your spouse throwing dirty clothes in a hamper at the end of the day instead of over the back of a chair.

After you use something in your home, immediately assess the area and put things away so that clutter has no chance to build up. This could mean folding a blanket you used or cleaning the dishes after you cook. Cleaning-as-you-go helps by simplifying and shortening the time for your overall cleaning later.

Do it Daily

You schedule in time for recreation, relaxation and other chores that need to be done…so why not schedule time to declutter? If every weekend, you took an hour to go around the house and pick up papers on the counter, dirty laundry, or toys, there won’t be huge messy piles of chaos waiting for you later. Taking the time each week to specifically schedule a routine decluttering helps you banish clutter from your home for good.

4 Essential Cleaning Tips for Households with Small Children

Keeping a clean house isn’t always easy…and keeping a clean house with other people living in it, especially small children, can feel near-to-impossible sometimes. You turn around from cleaning one thing only to find the room a mess once again, and your sweet, innocent child the guilty culprit! A perfectly spotless, tidy home and kids usually do not coexist; however, there are some cleaning tips that you can help!

Rethink your definition of tidy

Before kids, tidy may have meant everything was perfectly in its place so that the house looked like a model home daily:  every counter was clear and there were no baskets, boxes or objects left lying about.

Add kids, though, and there are bound to be toy baskets, dress-up boxes and a few other toys strewn about. You can still be orderly, while realizing that now it may mean that baskets filled with toys are visible, or a lost shoe may appear in the middle of the kitchen every once and a while. Once you realize you can still be tidy, just in a different way, you can live more peacefully in a clean, kid-friendly home.

Daily Sweeps

One way to help keep things tidy and avoid having a huge, stressful pile-up of cleaning on the weekends (or whenever your cleaning time is), is to do a daily sweep of your home. Every night when the kids go to bed—or another time that suits your schedule—walk through the house and do a basic clean up spot-check.

If you pick up toys left out, clean papers off the counters, put dirty clothes in the hampers daily, it will be easier to deep clean later since you’ve already limited the stuff you have to tend to. Also, by having less messes and clutter around the house, there will be fewer areas to accumulate dirt and dust (that would ordinarily need to be cleaned later). By just taking 10 minutes out of the day, you can make it easier on yourself to maintain the clean rather than completely clean a messy house.

Teach them the importance of clean while they’re young

From a young age, start teaching the principles of cleanliness and tidiness to your children. Of course, you can’t expect your 1 year old to be dusting and vacuuming! But early on, you can start teaching them about cleaning, how to clean and why cleaning is important.

After playtime, give them toys and show them how to put the toys away; if they spilled something, teach them how to wipe it up. Even toddlers can be taught this way.Then, as they get older, you can teach them more things such as making their bed, cleaning up their room and eventually move into bigger cleaning and organizing tasks.

In the long-run, this will help you keep your house clean because your children will understand what you expect in a neat and tidy home.

Organizing/Decluttering

Cleaning a house can be time-consuming enough without the added clutter from children—which lengthens your cleaning routine even more! An essential tip for keeping that clean home is to be organized and free from piles of clutter.

When you declutter the counter, desks and other spaces, find a home for the clutter and if there is no home, get rid of it! Basically everything in your home should…have a home! This makes cleaning easier and your home appears tidier— so it’s a win-win.