Before the start of winter, it’s a good idea to take some time and organize your garage. Here are some ideas for steps to take to get it done right.
Weed Out: Start at one end of the garage and work to the other end weeding out and eliminating what you can. You must go through it item by item. Clients will often say, “I need everything over there” but if we encourage them to just look at every item anyway, they’ll usually find something that they can eliminate.
Place Like Items Together: Once you know what you’re going to keep, it’s very important to group items together. If you have similar items in 5 different places, you’ll never know exactly what you have. Think of it like inventory in a store.
Create Zones: Every garage needs zones. You don’t want camping equipment that’s used only once per year mixed in with sports equipment that’s taken to the gym every week. Create zones according to how things are used. For example, that camping equipment can get stored up high and out of reach if you use it rarely, where the sports equipment will need to be accessible and at eye level. Remember to consider the seasons as well. When the weather gets cold, you can swap the lawnmower for the snow blower and the bikes for the sleds.
Maximize Storage: Making the most out of the wall space in a garage is critical. In my own garage we used slat wall on the back wall for storage. It’s flexible and easy to adjust as the things you’re using change. Here’s a photo of our slat wall:
Look Up: Since space is at a premium in the garage, make use of every inch. Here’s an example of plentiful storage up near the ceiling:
Top photo Spreaddecor.com
Bottom photo: Inspirationfordecoration.com
Good organizational systems must be flexible and easy to maintain. This magnetic strip knife holder from Ikea is a great example of an organizational tool that can be used creatively for much more than just knives. Here are a few examples:
In a work room or garage, use the knife holders for paint brushes and tools. Even the soup cans are great for holding smaller pieces.
There is usually plenty of available wall space in a toy room, it’s the floor and shelving that are at a premium. Use the knife strip to add decor to the room with matchbox cars. It will not only be a very handy place to store the cars, it will look good too!
In the office or craft room, keep a knife strip close by to keep scissors and other items handy–it will not only save space in the drawers, it will keep them at arm’s reach. Where can you use a magnetic knife strip and what can you keep organized with it?
Shouldn’t we be more organized if we don’t have to do any of these things anymore?
A CD tower turned on its side can be a useful storage piece in a bathroom or office to make frequently used items more accessible. In the photo, the CD tower is used to house lotions, makeup and toothbrushes. It looks stylish and keeps these items from cluttering the sink area. In the office, you can take the same idea to keep pens, pencils, tape paper, etc… handy. Making use of wall space is always a great option for storage. This CD tower turned on it’s side is a great way to make it happen!
Here’s a space saving idea for all you book lovers. If you can’t bear to pass along your beloved books, and you need a place to store them, check out this cool Conceal Wall Book Shelf from Umbra. It’s basically a hinge that you wrap a book around and the first book serves as your shelf. Then you can stack several more books on top of it. It can make your books look like a decorative element in the room while at the same time they’ll have a place to belong. You can even use these to organize certain books into categories. Just remember to only save the books you must, they can really take over a space if you let them.
Is your linen closet in chaos? When was the last time you gave the space where you store extra sheets and linens a good organizing once-over? Here are a few tips to keep your linen closet in tip top shape:
Minimize: How many sets of sheets/pillow cases do you have for each bed? You really only need the existing set that’s on the bed and one extra set. Maybe one seasonal set if you insist, but that’s it!
Organize into a Pillowcase: Fold your sheets and use a pillowcase to store the set in. This way they will sit nicely on the shelf inside the set they belong to.
Label into a Ziploc bag. If you have similar sheets of different sizes, put them into a large Ziploc Bag and label them accordingly.
I had to add this funny video of our organizer Vicky folding a fitted sheet. Did you ever get frustrated folding fitted sheets? She did haha. The video shows the basics of fitted sheet folding, until her frustration with the imperfections got to her!
After doing some organizing in my own garage this past week, I couldn’t help but make Gladiator Slatwall a Friday Favorite. My husband is the main organizer of our garage and he’s really good at keeping it tidy. I was in there rearranging some things and just loved how versatile the slatwall was. You can hang hooks anywhere and move them around so easily. Having a flexible system, especially in the garage is very important. Times change and seasons change, so what we store and how we store it should change accordingly. Keeping what you need accessible is super easy with slatwall. My favorite accessory is the bike hook. This simple hook is a terrific bike hanger. Just lift the wheel onto the hook and voila your bike is off the floor. If you want a garage that’s easy to keep clean, make use of every inch of vertical space and keep all you can off the floor. Slatwall is a great choice for flexibility and superb organization. You can find it at Sears.
Tune in tomorrow morning (Thursday September 5) at 7:55am to hear my tips for parents on how to get organized now that school is back in session. Hopefully it will motivate all you parents to clear the clutter and get organized for the fall!
Summer is officially over and it’s time to fold up the beach towels for storage during the off season. Here’s how to do it the right way so you can maximize shelving space in your linen closet or wherever you are storing them…
If your undergoing construction, you’ll certainly be considering your storage options. Often times storage loses out over larger room space. Whether you’re trying to make the most out of a tight space, or just want a creative, organized place to keep things handy, consider making use of the storage space between the studs. Of course you have to make sure you have enough depth for whatever mechanicals or insulation is in the wall, but there may be some great storage opportunities lurking. Here are a few cool ideas we found surfing Pinterest:
As you can see, storage space can be created in some interesting places. If you have found an interesting storage solution, we would love to hear your ideas. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids are heading back to school, and getting them prepared is a big job. According to the National Retail Federation, parents are expected to spend about $350 per child on clothes and shoes this year. If you want to save some money and aggravation, approach it from an organized perspective. Here are some tips to help with the shopping and gathering of your back to school necessities.
- Start by organizing what you have. You’ll be amazed when you reach into the closets and find backpacks still filled with last years school supplies. Gather everything up and determine what you already have before you begin to shop.
- Create a list of everything you think you might need for the upcoming school year. Include school supplies, clothing, book bags, lunch items, sports equipment, etc… any items that you think you will need once school is in session.
- Gather supply lists from schools. Your child’s school will give you a list of supplies they expect each student to bring on the first day of class. Keep that list handy by taking a photo of it with your smartphone. This way the list will always be handy with you, even if you’re offline.
- Shop the sales. You can get great deals on school supplies during this time of the year. Compare sale items at nearby stores and find the best deal. Don’t forget to also stock up on office supplies while the sales are on.
- Stick to your list. It’s easy to find many things you think you “need” while you’re out shopping (especially is the kids are along). Create your list and stick to it to avoid over-purchasing and adding clutter.
- Don’t purchase your fall and winter wardrobe during this time. Prices are high and it’s still hot outside. Stick with warm weather clothes for the beginning of school.
Here is an article written by Melissa Erickson for the MetroWest Daily News:
Are you a closet clutterer? Do you stuff anything and everything in the closet, then just shut the door? Does it take you too much time to find what you’re looking for? There’s hope for you yet!
An organized closet will make your life easier and you’ll be able to get dressed faster in the morning, said professional organizer Monica Friel, president of Chaos to Order, organizing and efficiency experts with offices in Chicago and Atlanta.
Because there are many ways of organizing a closet, Friel said there are no “cookie-cutter” solutions for getting organized.
“There are many different personality types, work styles and environmental influences, plus the number of organization-related products and services is continually increasing. Each person must find the system that works best for him or her,” she said.
Organization is a process, not a state to be achieved one day.
“Think about it as being organized or staying organized rather than getting organized,” Friel said.
How to start
The first step “is that you need to be willing to purge. You have to weed out the clothes and accessories that you haven’t worn or used in the last year,” Friel said. “That’s the biggest step in containing the clutter.”
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial
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Are you sending a child off to college soon, or do you know someone who’s about to embark on this great adventure? Here are some tips for an organized transition to college dorm living:
Weed Out. Eliminate what you can before you even begin packing. Think clearly about what you’ll need to keep now that your life will need to fit in a tiny dorm room.
Organize. Organize the space you live in now. It will help with packing up properly and you’ll be happy to return to a simplified and organized place during breaks.
Prepare for small-space living. Make the most out of every inch of space so that you won’t be feeling cramped. Use vertical wall space and contain like things with baskets/containers. Here are some storage solutions perfect for dorm rooms.
Financial. Make sure you are linked to the students debit card so money can be sent quickly. Chase QuickPay is a terrific option.
Coordinate with your roommate. You don’t need two coffee pots and 2 refrigerators. Get in touch and make a plan for who will bring what.
Move with plastic bins. Pack up the car with plastic bins. They can be packed and unpacked easily. Parents can also take the empty bins back home. They’re reusable and great for packing and storing at home over the summers. These Sterilite storage boxes receive top marks from our organizers and were a Friday favorite.
Shop before departure. Don’t wait until you arrive on campus to complete your checklist. Avoid making last minute purchases. College towns know you’re coming and hike up the prices accordingly.