Family Time

As I am learning the best ways to get organize I want to share them with you!  Here you will find quick tips that have helped me maintain being organized and keeping a clutter-free home.

    Changing Station Top 5 Tips
    1. Keep all diapering necessities in one place in or near the diapering area.  For example I used a basket I bought for a dollar at Target to keep all my creams, powder, cotton swabs, and other basics I thought I might need and not want to search for while changing baby.  Other basics might be a thermometer, nasal aspirator, lotions, etc. 
    2. Keep a laundry basket and trash can/disposal system stored next to or on either side of the changing table.  
    3. Store clothes baby is wearing currently in the diaper changing area.  Since it is likely to change several outfits a day keep the outfits close by for convenience and easy changing.  All other clothes and outfits can be stored in baby's closet. 
    4. Store small toys in the diapering area to keep baby calm and happy.  
    5. When organizing, keep a few swaddle blankets, sleepers/sleep sacks in the changing area for easy transition from diapering to napping. 
      Computer Desk Top 5 Tips

    1. Label all your cords.  Trying to untangle what cord goes where can be a hassle. This will make the process of identification much simpler especially for those times when something goes wrong and you need to know what cord run through which outlet.  Not only label the cords in use but label ones used less frequently.  If they are like mine, several of them look alike and it can be frustrating trying to figure out which cord you need for the present moment.
    2. Store a note pad next to the computer.  I am always in need of something to jot a quick note or reference on.  I decided to keep a normal sized Post-it stack next to my computer screen for quick use when I need it.  I like the Post-its because they’re small enough to not be intrusive to your space but just the right size for a quick memo!
    3. Create stations. I didn’t do this with my computer desk but I like the idea and may reevaluate how I’ve organized our desk thus far.  Depending on the size of desk you are working with you can create stations, such as;
      1. Office Supply Station- Keep all your pens, paper clips, scissors, etc. all in one area on your desk.
      2. Cleaning Station- cleaning the screen and keyboard often gets overlooked at my house.  But if there is a concealed space to store all that is needed for cleaning your Computer Desk it’s a great idea to have a cleaning station.  Here is a Check List for speed cleaning your computer!  
      3. Paper Station- self explanatory, a place to store the variety of paper you use on a regular basis.  Don’t forget to include a spot for recycled paper.  I make it a habit to go through my printed paper and if I can use the other side of it in the future I have a stack where I can put paper I can use again.
      4. Media/Electronics Station- This is where you would store C.D.s related to the computer or other forms of media you use on a regular basis.  I would store my SD Card reader in this area and maybe my unused cords, microphone, and camera.
    There are other stations you can create based on what you have most of and need in your Computer Desk area.
    1. Keep a trash can next to your computer desk.  I know that should almost go without saying, but up until this organizing process we did not have a waste basket stored near by.  Makes a huge different to have a place for trash to go instead of on top of the desk. 
    2. My last tip really isn’t about organizing but I needed someone to tell me this over the last two weeks of organizing our Computer Desk.  Limit your time at your desk!  There is so much more to do around the house, for someone else, or for yourself that can be forgotten by spending too much time in front of your screen!  Take a break, get some fresh air, disconnect from the computer and reconnect with a friend you haven’t spoken to in while!

    I hope those tips help you as you organize your computer space!  Let me know if I missed any good ideas, I know there have to be several!

    Kitchen Office Top 5 Tips
    1. Know the essentials.  For my office/craft space I made sure I still had easy access to pens, notepads, a weekly menu, and a place to set my keys. 
    2. Get creative and make new uses for “old” items.  If you are on a budget like I am then put on your “thinking cap” and use items you’re currently not using or will not use, for the purpose of organizing your kitchen office.  A few ideas are;
      1. Muffin Pan- I used an extra muffin pan I had to organize my junk drawer but here is another great way to use a muffin pan in your kitchen office.
      2. Canvas instead of cork-board- I didn’t have a cork board for this space and was trying to stay within budget, I did have already a two pack of art canvases I bought almost 2 years ago and never used them.  I used them in my kitchen office to organize my ribbon but here is another great use for the Canvas!
      3. Use cups, decorate soup cans, and jars to help store items.  I used my tea cup on the desk top to store a few pens and I used old jam jars we had to store other items in my cabinet.
      4. One idea I loved but didn’t use is taking an unused cookie sheet and using it as a magnetic board in your kitchen office. 
    3. Use Matching Storage when possible.  I bought from the dollar section at Target matching mesh baskets for my cabinets and tried to keep all my storage unified by labeling in the same fashion for each jar or basket, which lead me to my next tip.
    4. Label everything you can!  This makes searching for items less hassle and time consuming!
    5. Tailor your kitchen office to your needs.  I needed a home for my most frequently used craft items so while I still have the essentials of a kitchen office stowed, I also combined my work station into a craft area since I was in need of one.  
    *For more great ideas for organizing the kitchen office visit two of my favorite places; Penelope Loves Lists, Real Simple

    Pantry Top 5 Tips
    1. Use containers, baskets & shelves.  My favorite addition to my pantry were my baskets, shelves, and containers.  When you use these items make sure they help you see what is inside your pantry.  Their purpose is to make your pantry more navigable and prevent losing items you didn't know you had behind clutter.
    2. Create dinner baskets for quick pantry meals.  I found this idea and knew right away it was meant for me!  Since I am naturally unorganized it is easy for me to not think about dinner until an hour before meal time or often my schedule is so busy I don't have time to think and plan a meal.  That's where having dinner baskets prepared in the pantry save the day.  In a small baskets put all the ingredients you need for one meal along with a recipe card for that meal.  For a Spaghetti Dinner basket include pasta, sauce, parmesan cheese, a canned veggie for your side and any ingredient you desire that keeps in the pantry long term.  Now when you need a meal at the last minute you have all you need in one basket (minus your meat if desired).   This idea will save you time you might otherwise spend searching for all the ingredients needed.
    3. Label  everything you can.  This makes finding what you need a quick and more efficient process.  I labeled what I could in my pantry.  Eventually I would like to add labels to the pockets of my Shoe Rack storage on the door of my pantry.
    4. Store by use.  Store items you use every day such as snacks on a low and easy to access shelf and store items you use less often on a higher shelf.  The exception I made for this rule were for our medications.  I stored all our medications and other medicines regardless of how often we need them on the very top shelf because I have small children and I wanted to make sure they were out of reach.  
    5. Get creative with your storage options.  I loved the idea of using a shoe rack to store items on your pantry door.  I originally wanted to install wire shelves until I found this idea and knew I had an unused shoe rack already.  I had a budget for my pantry and this helped me keep with in my budget.  You don't have to spend to get organized.  Think outside the box... or the pantry!

    Viewers Top 5 Tips
    Through these last couple of weeks of Clutter Rehab I have had great advice come in through posts, Facebook, and emails. I thought I would compile a few and share them again with you in my Top 5 Viewer Tips!

    In no particular order here my Top 5 Viewer Tips:
    1. "To be sure that I don't do a half job, I break down every task into small areas. For example, in the kitchen, I just do one drawer at a time or one cabinet at a time. Take everything out of JUST that one small area - sort through it, get rid of what you can, and then put back only what you truly need in an organized fashion. Only then do I go on to the next area. It is much less overwhelming that way, and helps to ensure that nothing only gets halfway done!" -Kary
    2. "A great way to use only the essential utensils is to.put them all in one.drawer. As you use an item place it back in the empty drawer. At the end of 2 weeks whatever is remaining in the first drawer, weed thru and those occasional items u still need , place them I'm a see thru container in your pantry for a time when you do need them..Your everyday drawer will be clutter free and items easy to.find." -Mary Ann
    3. Referring to storing her spices: "I organize mine alphabetically in see thru plastic shoe box containers on shelves in my pantry." -Sarah
    4. "Every time you go into a room, pick up one thing and put it away. Do one quick clean up in that room before you leave." -Linda
    5.  Referring to organizing with "little helpers": "let them help whenever they want to... It won't be as efficient, but they'll learn to do it all & eventually will be great helpers! Only "re-clean" when they're napping or otherwise distracted." -Mandy
    *Bonus Tip for your next Garage Sale:
    "One tip that I have is if you have family living close together/in the same town...have one big garage sale at someone's home together. My family has done this two years now (there are 4 families involved) and it seems to help b/c you have more stuff to bring people in." -Amanda W.

    Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers Top 5 Tips
    Here are my 5 easy organizing tips for your kitchen cabinets and drawers!
    1.  Know your kitchen.  Before you start reorganizing know where the food preparation takes place, consider the location of the stove/oven, sink, etc.  This will help construct an effective battle plan before you start.  
    2. Group and store by use.  After the purging process has begun start grouping kitchen items by use and store them near the place they're used most often.  
    3. Contain and divide!  Make the best use of space by using dividers and containers, they are worth the investment.  I love the drawer dividers I put to use in my kitchen.  And installing the under-shelf basket was a great way to store my lids for bowls for accessibility and still have a neat and organized cabinet space. I also made use of some baskets, plastic shoe containers, and even cereal boxes I had around the house to help make organizing frugal too! 
    4. Space is okay.  Just because there is empty space in your cabinet does not mean you have to fill it. I'm talking about the space between your plates and pots and pans etc. Don't necessarily put that fancy bowl you like but never used in the last couple of years back in the cabinet just because you have a little space left over.  You will appreciate the space more and the kitchen will look more organized with a little space left over. 
    5. Warning! Road blocks ahead.  Don't let roadblocks get the best of you.  I had great ideas that when put to use didn't work the way I hoped.  So I made due and readjusted for a new plan that fit my kitchen.   Slow & steady I organized those kitchen cabinets and drawers!
    Those are my Top 5 Tips for Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers!  I hope they help you get started!  

    Kitchen Counters Top 5 Tips
    Here are 5 easy organizing tips for your kitchen counters!

    1. Decide what kitchen utensils and appliance you use everyday or most often and keep only those items on your counter tops.  All other items used less frequently store in the appropriate cabinet or drawer space.
    2. Store like items together or in the same area of the kitchen.  For example, I realized I had been storing my coffee maker on the opposite end of my coffee mugs so I moved the coffee maker under the cabinet that house my coffee mugs.  Likewise I had been storing my knife block on the opposite end of where I store my cutting boards so I moved my knife block next to my cutting boards that are also with in reach of the trash can so I can easily dispose of scraps while I am chopping food.  
    3. If you have limited counter space consider storage or appliance that can be mounted to the wall or underneath cabinets.  I expanded my counter space by eliminating my paper towel holder that sat on my counter top and replaced it with a under the cabinet mounted paper towel holder located near my kitchen sink for quick use.
    4. Instead of having items on the counter that can be eye-sores consider buying an appliance caddy or appliance garage.  I use to have my salt and pepper shakers sitting on my stove top but now I have stored them in a caddy that also serves as bookends for my cookbooks.  That was one way I eliminated having too many items on my counters that amounted to clutter. 
    5. Do a nightly walk-through.  It's a good idea to at the end of the day walk around your kitchen with a basket and fill it up with anything that doesn't belong there.  After your walk through of the kitchen continue walking through the house placing those kitchen misfit items in the place where they belong in the house. (tip from ambersorganizing)
    Those are my Top 5 Tips to start with when organizing your kitchen!
    Garage Sale Top 5 Tips

    One way to get rid of the clutter in your home is to have a Garage Sale.  My husband and I recently had our first Organized Garage Sale.  Our purpose was two-fold.  We wanted to start clearing the clutter in our home and raise money to contribute to the disaster relief for families in Joplin, MO who suffered from Tornado damage.  So we charted out into the Garage Sale world with a purpose and wanted to make this Sale worth while for a cause.  I did some research on how to hold a successful Garage Sale and after my experience this weekend I’ve narrowed down 5 Tips I consider key to having a Great Garage Sale!  

    Lowe's Apron under $2

    1. Plan Ahead!  I planned 2 weeks in advance but I’ve read 3-4 weeks is more ideal.   One tip I found while researching that I want to try for next year is have a year-round Garage Sale tub.  Designate a big tub to store items you come across all year long that you no longer want or use and stash those items in your Garage Sale tub.  When your tub fills up throw it in attic and start another.  Now by the time that annual Garage Sale comes around you’ll be ready!  
    2. Price EVERYTHING!  It may sound like a lot of work but it’s proven to be the most efficient way to make money.  I priced everything I could while in my living room watching my favorite show or movie to help the time go by.  I even had a little help from my toddler.  Pricing everything helps with those shy customers who don’t want to ask how much an item is and prevents you from having to answer the same question over and over, “how much for this item”?
    3. Wear a Fanny Pack/Apron.  Something to keep the money you have on you at all times.  Our Garage Sale was ran mainly by my husband and myself so at times we were both busy answering questions or talking as people came and went.  It’s much easier to keep track of your profit if it’s on you instead of in a cash box especially if it’s just two of you running the show. 
    4. Price low.  For myself I wanted to have a Garage Sale to clear out clutter.  I worried about pricing because I had really never priced items for a Garage Sale before.  But I learned this time around it is better to price low and have things sell then to set a price and no one want to walk away with your stuff.  Remember your consumer; people who shop Garage Sales are looking for killer deals. 
    5. Advertise and Preview.  These two combined were the best selling points of our Garage Sale.  We used Craigslist and Facebook to advertise as well as word of mouth.  As I began preparing the night before I took pictures and posted them as a Facebook Album titled “Garage Sale Preview” and before our Garage Sale had begun we had already sold items!  I also have heard of neighborhood Garage Sales having a preview night for other residents and others suggest inviting friends and family over for a preview night. 

    Now, while I have my Top 5 Tips.  There are several other great tips out there!  Here are a few websites I found that I thought had great advice!  What has been your experience with Garage Sales?