How to Stay Organized – Tips from Organized People

How to Stay Organized – Tips from Organized People

Bargain

1. Walk Away from Bargains

Just because you can buy a cashmere sweater for $20 or three bottles of ketchup for the price of one doesn’t mean you should. “Ask, ‘Do I have something similar?’ and ‘Where am I going to store it?’ before making a purchase,” advises New York City professional organizer Julie Morgenstern, author of

Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life.

Cookies

2. Make Peace with Imperfection

Efficient people give “A-level effort” to the most important projects (say, work assignments or a kitchen redesign), and for the rest they do just enough to get the job done, says Renae Reinardy, PsyD, a psychologist who specializes in hoarding disorders. Maybe you give yourself permission to bring store-bought cookies to a school bake sale or donate a bag of stuff—unsorted!—to Goodwill. “Trying to do every task perfectly is the easiest way to get bogged down,” says Reinardy.

Labels

3. Never Label Anything “Miscellaneous”

You put a bunch of things into a file or box and write this catchall across the front. “But within a week you’ve forgotten what’s in there,” says Morgenstern. Instead, sort items into specific groups—”electric bills,” “lightbulbs,” and so on.

Schedule

4. Schedule Regular Decluttering Sessions

Rather than wait until an industrious mood strikes (we all know where that leads), have a decluttering routine in place—whether it’s spending 15 minutes sorting mail after work or tackling a new project every Sunday afternoon.

Cellphones

5. Stick with What Works

“I have clients who will try every line of makeup, every cell phone—it’s exhausting,” says Dorothy Breininger, president of the Delphi Center for Organization. Don’t waste time (and money) obsessively seeking out the best thing.

Foyer

6. Create a Dump Zone

Find a space to corral all the stuff that you don’t have time to put away the moment you step in the door, says Breininger. Once you’re ready to get organized, you won’t have to hunt all over the house for the dry cleaning or your child’s field trip permission slip.

Help

7. Ask for Help

“The organized person is willing to expose herself to short-term embarrassment and call for backup,” says Breininger. Which is to say, that elaborate four-course dinner you planned? Change it to a potluck.

Drawer

8. Separate Emotions from Possessions

It’s healthy to be attached to certain items—a vase you picked up in Paris, your grandmother’s pearls. But holey concert tees or cheap, scuffed earrings your husband gave you years ago? Just let them go.

Kitchen Drawer

9. Foresee (and Avoid) Problems

You wouldn’t leave the house on a gray day without an umbrella, right? People who appear to sail through life unruffled apply this thinking to every scenario, says Breininger. Have a cabinet packed with leaning towers of Tupperware? Organized folks will take a few minutes to short-circuit an avalanche before it happens. (In other words, rearranging that cupboard now is easier than chasing after wayward lids as they scatter underneath the fridge.)

Clothing

10. Know Where to Donate

It’s easier to part with belongings if they’re

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8 Easy Ways to Start Decluttering Your Home

8 Easy Ways to Start Decluttering Your Home

The older you get, the more mugs, memorabilia, furniture, books, papers and accessories seem to pile up. So where to begin when it comes to organizing and decluttering?

“I always suggest starting with removing the trash first,” says Nikki Bell, a professional organizer in Houston. “Grab a trash bag and just walk through the space throwing away anything broken, damaged or actual trash.”

Cardboard boxes can take up a lot of space, so removing them changes the way you view a room, Bell says. After that, pick one small area to tackle, like a drawer, in order to ease yourself into the work.

To start her decluttering project, Sabrina Hamilton, 52, of Colorado, picks one room, assesses the clutter, and starts sorting, using a system many professional organizers follow.

“I create three piles: what I’ll keep, what I’ll donate and what I’ll throw away,” she says. “With each item I’m considering, I decide if it’s meaningful, useful or useless.” Meaningful items get to stay, useful items that she no longer wants are passed along, and useless stuff goes in the trash.

From there, Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer in New York City, encourages people to start organizing. He suggests following what he calls his “organizational triangle” — “one home for everything; like with like; and something in, something out.”

That means:

  • Everything has a spot where it lives. For example, “your keys have a home and they’re either in their home or they’re in your hand unlocking something,” Mellen says.
  • Like with like involves organizing your belongings so that “all like objects live together — not most of them,” Mellen says. That means storing all tools in a toolbox and not leaving a stray screwdriver in a junk drawer.
  • Something in, something out helps manage the number of items in a home. If you buy something new, something has to be donated, given away or trashed.

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How To Declutter China Cabinet, Hutch, Sideboards And/Or Buffets

How To Declutter China Cabinet, Hutch, Sideboards And/Or Buffets

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Today’s mission is to declutter your china cabinet, hutch, sideboard and/or buffets, that hold your china, silver, crystal, and additional items for use within your dining room.

How to declutter your china cabinet, hutch, sideboard and/or buffets, that hold your china, silver, crystal, and additional items for use within your dining room {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

This mission is designed to be worked on while we’re focused on the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge dedicated to organizing your dining room, although of course you can work on this mission whenever you need.

Further, I’ve tried to make this mission as broad as possible, to include whatever type of furniture or storage unit you’ve got in your dining room, or perhaps your kitchen, that holds your china and crystal, and perhaps your silver, and most likely many other things.

You might have a china cabinet, or instead a hutch, sideboard, buffet, and some people even use a curio cabinet for holding these types of items.

Whatever you’ve got, today’s the day to focus on clearing the clutter out of it.

How to declutter your china cabinet, hutch, sideboard and/or buffets, that hold your china, silver, crystal, and additional items for use within your dining room {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Declutter365 #DeclutteringTips #Declutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

This mission may also sound like it would take longer than 15 minutes, depending on how large your furniture is, and how much stuff you’ve got in there.

That’s OK too. As usual, these missions will take you as long as they take, for the amount of stuff you’ve got to work through, and so I encourage you to work in 15 minute increments, until you get it done.

On the other hand, I’ve got several missions on the Declutter 365 calendar throughout this week, which may help empty this cabinet or hutch out over several days, depending on what you store in there. That means you don’t really have to do it all in one day anyway!

Some of the missions we’ve already had, or will have that may apply to clearing out clutter from inside this cabinet include:

As always, I do not expect you to clear out everything from these dining room storage areas, because you are more likely than not enjoying and using some of these things. Those things that are enjoyed, used, and there’s storage space for are not clutter.

Instead, clear out what doesn’t belong, should be placed elsewhere, and what you no longer want or need. Tidy up what you do keep, and make sure it all fits and that you can easily access it when you need it.

In addition, if you’ve got time, since china cabinets, and the items held within them don’t always get dusted frequently, you could also dust and freshen up the items you’ve got stored in there, making them look their best.

Remember, do not get overwhelmed as you work through this mission. Depending on what you’ve got in there, you might need to make some big decisions about what to keep or get rid of, or how to get rid of certain things.

To keep from being mentally overwhelmed, and to prevent yourself from making a big mess that is difficult to clean up, work within one cabinet, one shelf, or one drawer at a time. Make decisions about everything held in that space before moving on. Put back what you’re keeping, until you’ve gone through it all, and then you can rearrange and organize what’s left.

You will need to keep decluttering until everything you are keeping neatly and easily fits into the space available, without being crammed in there.

If you’re still making decisions about what china, glassware or silver to keep versus get rid of, since that was yesterday’s mission, don’t forget to check out this article about how to declutter silver and china to help you make those sometimes tough decisions.

How to declutter china and silver

Photos From Readers Who’ve Already Done This Mission

Below I’ve gathered a few photos from readers who’ve already done this mission, to hopefully get you inspired to tackle this task for yourself.

Before and after when decluttering china cabinet, including all shelves, drawers and cabinets {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Declutter365 #DeclutteringTips #HowToDeclutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

These photos above are from a reader, Beth, who showed the before and after when she did this mission in her own china cabinet. As you can see, she had a lot of different types of items in the cabinet, so she had to work on each section separately.

You can do the same yourself. That’s why I suggest focusing on just one drawer, or one shelf, or one side of a cabinet at a time. It allows you to make decisions about a smaller amount of items at one time, and finish making those decisions completely before moving on to the next set of decisions.

How to declutter your china hutch, including flat surface clutter from it {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Declutter365 #HowToDeclutter #Declutteringuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

This next photo is from another reader, Renee. She focused on an area of her hutch that many of us have to deal with, the flat surface which had gotten cluttered. She said, “I have decluttered my hutch top. I also went through papers on the inside twice and pitched. I have more to do on the inside of this hutch. My husband bought me new canisters on our vacation, so I got those set up here and the old ones are on sale on e-bay.”

If you’ve got flat surface clutter on your hutch or sideboard too, make sure to check out this article about how to declutter flat surface clutter, and then keep it from coming back. I know this can be a big problem for people in their dining room, as elsewhere in their home!

How to declutter and clear off flat surface clutter

Are You Ready To Get Rid Of Your China Cabinet Clutter?

declutter 365

I hope this article, and these photos from readers has inspired you to get rid of your china cabinet or hutch clutter.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you’re loving the results you’re getting I would encourage you to keep going.

I’ve got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

If you haven’t already, make sure to also check out 52 Week Organized Home Challenge article that this mission is designed to be a part of, all about how to organize your dining room.

Organize Dining Room Challenge

In addition, you most likely won’t declutter everything from inside your china cabinet during the mission. To the extent you’re keeping china and glassware, make sure you know these tips for storing china, glassware and crystal properly.

via How To Declutter China Cabinet, Hutch, Sideboards And/Or Buffets

 

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8 Easy Ways to Start Decluttering Your Home

8 Easy Ways to Start Decluttering Your Home

The older you get, the more mugs, memorabilia, furniture, books, papers and accessories seem to pile up. So where to begin when it comes to organizing and decluttering?

“I always suggest starting with removing the trash first,” says Nikki Bell, a professional organizer in Houston. “Grab a trash bag and just walk through the space throwing away anything broken, damaged or actual trash.”

Cardboard boxes can take up a lot of space, so removing them changes the way you view a room, Bell says. After that, pick one small area to tackle, like a drawer, in order to ease yourself into the work.

To start her decluttering project, Sabrina Hamilton, 52, of Colorado, picks one room, assesses the clutter, and starts sorting, using a system many professional organizers follow.

“I create three piles: what I’ll keep, what I’ll donate and what I’ll throw away,” she says. “With each item I’m considering, I decide if it’s meaningful, useful or useless.” Meaningful items get to stay, useful items that she no longer wants are passed along, and useless stuff goes in the trash.

From there, Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer in New York City, encourages people to start organizing. He suggests following what he calls his “organizational triangle” — “one home for everything; like with like; and something in, something out.”

That means:

  • Everything has a spot where it lives. For example, “your keys have a home and they’re either in their home or they’re in your hand unlocking something,” Mellen says.
  • Like with like involves organizing your belongings so that “all like objects live together — not most of them,” Mellen says. That means storing all tools in a toolbox and not leaving a stray screwdriver in a junk drawer.
  • Something in, something out helps manage the number of items in a home. If you buy something new, something has to be donated, given away or trashed.

via 8 Easy Ways to Start Decluttering Your Home

 

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How To Declutter Playroom

Today’s mission is to declutter your playroom, without making a bigger mess in the process, and without overwhelm.

Here's how to declutter a playroom without making a bigger mess in the process, and without overwhelm {a Declutter 365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101} #DeclutterPlayroom #PlayroomClutter #KidsClutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

If you just read that sentence about not being overwhelmed, or not making a huge mess as you deal with playroom clutter, and laughed, thinking that was unrealistic, that’s OK.

My guess, though, is that you haven’t yet done all the other toy decluttering missions that have led up to this mission today (and that all fall under the umbrella of the Organize Toys & Games Challenge), and so you’re not quite ready to declutter the playroom yet.

Instead, I encourage you to work through some of the earlier missions from this week in the Declutter 365 calendar, because once you work through them today’s task in the playroom will seem much more doable.

Here's how to declutter a playroom without making a bigger mess in the process, and without overwhelm {a Declutter 365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101} #DeclutterPlayroom #PlayroomClutter #KidsClutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

The earlier Declutter 365 missions that will prepare you to tackle your playroom (or the area where you kids play in your home, if you don’t have a room dedicated just to this function), are as follows:

So go do those missions, taking as much time as you need for each of them, and then come back to this one!

What To Do Once You’re Ready To Declutter Your Playroom

Playrooms are the area of your home where you’ve got a LOT of toys and games, potentially, for your kids. So it’s helpful to get rid of broken ones, excess toys, and things your kids have outgrown or don’t enjoy, so there is less for them to pull out, and more room for them to spread out and play with what they do enjoy playing with.

Some of the best playrooms aren’t necessarily stuffed with toys and games, but instead provide lots of open space, where kids can get a little rambunctious, and also make elaborate set ups with toys that use their imagination in creative and interesting ways.

Keeping in mind your end goal for this space will help you keep removing stuff from the area until it fulfills the functions that you want it to have in your home.

If, after you’ve done all the Declutter 365 missions listed above, for various types of toys and games, you still have some clutter left in your playroom today’s the day to tackle it.

So you don’t get overwhelmed, I want you to only work on one small area at a time. I encourage you to go in this order, decluttering each space one at a time:

  • Playroom shelves, drawers and cubbies
  • Playroom flat surfaces, like desks, tabletops, etc.
  • Playroom floor, removing excess items that should not be there, to give you a large open space for play

If you do just one of those small areas of your playroom at a time, cleaning up as you go as described in more detail in my how to declutter article, you will not become overwhelmed, and you won’t make a huge mess that leaves the space more of a disaster than when it began.

Simple formula for how to declutter your home

As you can see, depending on how much stuff you’ve got, and how big the room is, this may not be a 15 minute mission for you, but instead a 15 minute at a time mission. That’s OK. It will take how long it will take.

But if you clean up, and remove clutter from the area as part of each of the decluttering sessions, you’ll continually make progress, so that eventually it will get done.

Be Ready To Do A Couple Rounds Of Decluttering, Circling Back To Areas You Already Decluttered Once

Depending on how much stuff you had in your playroom, and how large the space is, it wouldn’t be surprising to need to do a couple different rounds of decluttering, where you do one pass through all the items stored in the room, and then feel the need to do yet another round.

For example, you might come across a couple of different bins containing toy dinosaurs as you do your inital decluttering, and as you find them you think, “I want to keep some of these dinosaurs, my kids still love playing with them.”

After you’ve done your initial pass through the whole room though, and you’ve removed a lot of clutter, you’ll now have more room to reshuffle and move items around, putting like toys and games with like. Once you combine all the dinosaur toys together that you kept in the first round of decluttering, you might discover that you had more than you initially thought, and that means you’ll do yet another round of decluttering, only keeping as many dinosaur toys as fit into a particular container, and then donating the rest.

This type of circling back around, and doing multiple rounds of decluttering is common, normal, and helpful.

If, in the past, the room was so packed with stuff that it was hard to move things around, it’s no wonder as you re-sort items once you’ve got more space that you might need to do additional decluttering.

Don’t be discouraged, you’ll get there. Decluttering is like peeling back the layers of an onion, so just keep going.

For example, see the before and after photos above of a basement playroom, sent in by a reader, Monica. She worked for quite a while to make all that progress, and said that by the end she’d cleared out 10 bags of stuff!

Give it time, and as many 15 minute rounds of decluttering as necessary, and you can do that too!

Photos From Readers Who’ve Already Done This Mission

Below I’ve gathered quite a few photos from readers who’ve already done this mission, to hopefully get you inspired to tackle this task for yourself.

How to declutter your kids' playroom, to remove clutter so kids can actually have room to play with what's left {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Above are several before and after photos Katie shared when she tackled this mission. She stated, “I did my 4 year old daughter’s playroom. Here are some before photos, toys and more toys.”

In addition, she shared several after photos, explaining, “She loves it ❤️” Further, she said, “The end result — 7 bags of clutter and the rest organized into bins, including dolls, stuffed animals, and a craft section. It took 5 hours was so excited to be done.”

Here’s another one, this one from a reader, Malinda.

Before and after when decluttering a kids' playroom {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Malinda said, “I did the playroom today. Only took an hour. Now I can clean and paint and make it into miss 8s new room. I still have a tub of odd bits and pieces to put away.”

Next, are before and after photos sent in by a reader, Jak, showing when she decluttered her “5 year old girls play room.”

Before and after of playroom declutter {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Finally, below is another set of photos sent in showing after pictures only, when a reader, Beth, decluttered her kids’ playroom.

After photos when Beth decluttered her kids' playroom {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Are You Ready To Get Rid Of Your Playroom Clutter?

Are you ready to declutter your playroom? If so, here are simple instructions to clear the kids and toy clutter from this space {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

This photo is from a reader, Mandi, who said, “This is my daughter’s playroom. By no means spotless but she has fun in there.”

She’ll have even more fun in there when it’s decluttered and allows her even more room to play!

declutter 365

I hope seeing these pictures and instructions have inspired you to get rid of your playroom clutter as well.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you’re loving the results you’re getting I would encourage you to keep going.

I’ve got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

Tips & Ideas For Organizing Your Playroom Once It’s Decluttered

Once you’ve got this room clutter free, you may want to head onto the next step, organizing what’s left.

I’ve got a couple resources on the site that can help you with this task.

First, make sure to check out the Organize Toys & Games Challenge here on the site, since it gives some great tips for organizing toys in general, and also has links to lots of articles about organizing specific types of toys.

Organize Toys & Games Challenge

In addition, check out this Kids Playroom Storage & Organization Hall of Fame, where I’ve showcased some really great organized playrooms as shown by Challenge participants.

Kids Playroom storage and organization hall of fame


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How To Declutter Yard Tools And Equipment

How To Declutter Yard Tools And Equipment



Today’s mission is to declutter yard tools and equipment in and around your home. This is also a continuation of yesterday’s mission where I asked you to declutter gardening supplies and equipment.

How to declutter yard tools and equipment from your home, garage, or shed, to make room for what you do use and need to take care of your lawn and garden {a #Declutter 365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organize Outdoor & Garden Storage Areas Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.

Of course, you can do it anytime that you feel it’s necessary, but during the preparation for the changes of the seasons is a great time, because you can either get ready to use the equipment and tools again, when caring for the lawn, yard and garden, or put these pieces of equipment and supplies away at the end of the season, before winter.

As discussed more in yesterday’s mission, the idea is to give you a couple of days to get rid of equipment and tools that you use outdoors in your home, with yesterday focused on smaller supplies, and today dealing with larger equipment.

How to declutter yard tools and equipment from your home, garage, or shed, to make room for what you do use and need to take care of your lawn and garden {a #Declutter 365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101} #DeclutterYardTools #Declutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Everyone has different types of supplies they use for caring for their lawn and yard, but common types of items that you should at least evaluate today, to see if you should keep or get rid of them, include lawn mowers and other power equipment, wheel barrows, garden hoses, and rakes and shovels.

It may also include equipment you use for snow removal in the winter, such as snow shovels and snow blowers.

As always, I’m not telling you to get rid of anything that you regularly use and need. That would be silly, and wasteful.

Instead, this is the day to make sure you actually do use and need the stuff you’re keeping, to make sure it hasn’t turned into useless (at least to you) clutter.

Removing any types of tools and equipment that isn’t serving a purpose for you will free up a lot of storage space in places like your garage or your outdoor storage shed, that can otherwise be used for other purposes, or give you more room to move around and use the equipment you’re keeping.

How to declutter your outdoor storage shed

Get rid of the usual clutter suspects, such as broken equipment, unused tools (such as those not used within the last year), and the least favorites if you have multiples of something you don’t need to have multiples of (like several rakes, if you only need one).

Remember, it’s not decluttered from your home, until it is gone, so take the time as part of this mission to decide how you’ll get rid of these items, such as donation, selling, or scrapping or recyling the equipment.

Photos From Participants Who’ve Already Done This Mission

Here are some photos sent in by other Declutter 365 participants, showing what they accomplished as part of this mission.

My hope is that these photos will get you inspired to tackle your own lawn tools and equipment, to get rid of the clutter.

First, here’s a photo from Rignach, when she decluttered her garden shed. The pile of tools and equipment was to be sold.

Decluttered yard and gardening tools, from the garden shed {part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

In addition, below is a collage of photos from another participant, Lisa, who said, “Cleaned out the shed last weekend!”

How to declutter yard tools and equipment from in and around your home {part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?

declutter 365

I hope seeing these pictures has inspired you to get rid of your yard and garden clutter, in whatever form, including supplies, equipment and tools.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you’re loving the results you’re getting I would encourage you to keep going.

I’ve got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

If you want to declutter similar items, check out this article with tips for decluttering tools.

via How To Declutter Yard Tools And Equipment

 

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5 Rules For Clothes Storage {To Keep Them Looking Great}

When you store your clothes it’s because you want to get them out later and use them, so here’s the 5 rules for clothes storage to keep them looking great.

The 5 rules of clothes storage to keep them free from damage while they're stored, and looking great again when you pull them back out {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Have you ever stored clothing, just to pull it out later and have strange yellow stains on it, or notice the elastic is shot, or that pests got into them and now everything has little holes?

If so you know how frustrating and disappointing that can be. But if you follow the 5 rules listed below when storing clothes for yourself, or for your younger kids to wear, when you pull them back out again for later use they’ll still look great, and won’t have any musty or moth ball like smells either.


The 5 rules of clothes storage to keep them free from damage while they're stored, and looking great again when you pull them back out {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Rule 1. Clean Clothes Before Storing

One of the most important rules for clothes storage is to make sure you clean your clothes properly before storing them, by either washing or dry cleaning them.

They might not look dirty, visually, but with time any dirt, sweat or soil on the clothing will cause set in stains, and these dirty areas are often the cause of the yellow looking stains you find when you get out stored clothes (especially prevalent with baby clothes).

In addition, dirty clothes are more likely to attract pests, which is another good reason to make sure they’re cleaned before storing them.

If you dry clean your clothes before storage make sure to take the time to take off the plastic bags from the garments when you get them back. Leaving the bags on traps moisture inside, which can cause your clothes to smell musty with time.

Similarly, all clothes need to be completely dry before they’re stored, not even still slightly damp from their recent wash, because again, the moisture will cause mildew and mold growth. (You can use my mildew stain removal guide if you do encounter this problem.)

Rule 2. Choose A Good Storage Location

There are many good places in your home for you to store clothes. The best locations are those which are cool, dry, and well ventilated.

We’ve already discussed how excess moisture can cause clothes to get musty or even mildewed, and excess heat can damage clothing fibers or embellishments (especially elastics) and also set in stains. You also want to avoid storage locations in direct sunlight because the sun can actually fade clothes (think about drapes that begin to bleach after a long time in the sun).

Because of extreme heat the attic may not be an ideal storage location for clothes, and if your basement is prone to flooding or excessive moisture then you most likely don’t want to store your clothes there, either.

Most climate-controlled areas of your home will do. A favorite place for those who don’t have much other space is under the bed (although make sure you use the right containers to hold the clothes, which I’ll discuss below).

Rule 3. Choose Good Hangers For Hanging Clothing Storage

For those clothes you decide to store hanging up, make sure you use good sturdy wide hangers, not flimsy wire ones. This will help your clothes retain their proper shape and not get stretched out.

Further, hanging clothes need to be covered to keep them from getting dusty, and to deter pests. Use zippered fabric garment bags for the hanging clothes’ protection.

Rule 4. Choose Good Boxes Or Containers For Folded Clothes Storage

Many of your clothes you’ll want to fold and store, instead of keeping them hung up. It is important to choose the proper containers for your folded clothes storage to keep them safe, and looking their best.

Do not store your clothes in cardboard boxes. The boxes themselves attract pests who eat the cardboard, plus the acidity within the cardboard can discolor clothes. Further, you cannot tightly seal cardboard boxes, and they do not offer any protection against water damage.

Instead of cardboard I suggest plastic bin boxes or containers, or breathable sturdy fabric containers (as long as they have a lid that closes tightly). These meet all the criteria for safe storage of your clothes and are easy to find in a large variety of shapes and sizes, so you’ll find the type that will fit into the space you’ve got.

Make sure to label your boxes with the contents inside, so you can find what you need. I suggest you label with something short, like “Boys size 6-6X” and then use a clothing inventory form (you can get one at the link) to go into more detail about what’s in the container, such as 5 pairs of pants and 6 shirts, all in size 6 or 6X.

If you want to store clothes under your bed, such as when they’re not in season, look for containers with good fitting tops that are long and shallow, and designed for under bed storage.

Otherwise, make sure you get containers that are uniform in size to make stacking easier.

Here are some good choices. This shows you the wide variety of shapes and sizes you can choose from.

You can also use older suitcases to store clothing as well, but if you then need to use the suitcase for travel while the clothes are still stored in there it can be a huge hassle.

Rule 5. Make Sure To Deter Pests During Storage

One of the most common problems with storing clothes is when pests invade, such as clothes moths or carpet beetles. When this happens you’re left with holey clothes that are unwearable.

However, I do not recommend the old method to deter clothes moths, which was moth balls or crystals. These smell really bad, and can potentially be bad for your health since they contain insecticides.

Therefore, to deter pests it is important to follow the rules above, especially the rule to clean clothing before storage, and also to use the proper containers for holding your clothes. Doing these two things will significantly reduce the risk of pest invasions.

In addition, though, if you’re concerned about moths you can add some cedar blocks or balls (such as those shown on the left) into the storage container with your clothes. The cedar oil is a moth deterrent, but for it to be effective you should be able to smell the cedar. You’ll need to periodically sand down the blocks to release more of the scent. In addition, there have been some instances where the cedar blocks have, when they’ve been in prolonged contact with clothes, caused stains or discoloration, so you may want to loosely wrap the block with an old sheet or something similar to prevent such staining.

If you follow these five rules for clothes storage when you pull your clothes back out for the next season, or when your younger child grows into the clothes and is ready to wear the hand me downs, they’ll still look (and smell) as good as when you put them in!

Make Sure To Take The Organizing Challenge!

When you’re working on storing outgrown kids’ clothes, or doing a seasonal clothing switch, make sure you are using all the ideas in the Outgrown & Seasonal Clothing Storage Challenge here.

via 5 Rules For Clothes Storage {To Keep Them Looking Great}

 

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How To Declutter Hangers

How To Declutter Hangers

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Today’s mission is to declutter hangers. Here’s how to do it, with tips and reminders so you don’t forget something when doing the mission.

This mission is designed to be done either during the

Laundry Organization Challenge

, or one of the

Closet Organization Challenge

(there’s one for adults and

for kids

).

It may be easiest for this mission to gather up all your excess hangers that are not currently being used into one pile and then you’ll be able to evaluate which ones to keep versus to declutter, when you see them all together.

Prime locations to gather hangers from include all bedroom closets, coat and hall closets, and in your laundry room.

Once you see all the hangers currently not in use together you can better realize how many extra hangers you’ve got.

As with all decluttering missions that we do as part of the Declutter 365 missions, I’m not suggesting you get rid of all extra hangers. After all, some may break, or you may get additional clothing in the future which needs a hanger.

However, if you’re rather surprised by the large amount of extra hangers you were able to gather then it is most likely time to let some of them go.

(On the flip side, if you’re always searching for another hanger you don’t need to declutter them, but it might mean you need to declutter some of your clothes instead. Try the declutter hanging clothes in your closet mission here.)

Prime types of hangers to declutter include those that are bent or broken, those you absolutely detest for whatever reason, extremely flimsy ones that either bend with too much weight on

them or break easily, and those where you have too many of a specific type.

For example, many people detest thin wire hangers, and some really don’t like store hangers, like the kind you bring home with you from the clothing stores. Do yourself a favor and get rid of the ones you don’t like to use. They’ll just aggravate you every time you use one you don’t like, and life’s too short for that!

decluttered hangers from clothing store

In addition, depending on the size and age of your kids, it may be time to get rid of the baby or kid sized hangers if everyone in the household has outgrown them now.

Look seriously at all the hangers you’ve gathered up from throughout your home and answer for yourself the question of whether it is important to you that they are uniform in size, shape, and color or not. Some people really like things uniform, and for some people it makes very little difference. Know your personality and work with it.

Make sure to keep some of each major variety that you use, including sturdy hangers for heavy coats, skirt or pants hangers, non-slip hangers for sleeveless blouses, kids hangers if needed, etc.

It may surprise you how beneficial getting rid of excess hangers can be. It will free up a lot of room in your closets so you can actually more easily fit the clothing that is hanging up on hangers, when the empty ones aren’t just taking up room on the closet rod.

Below I’ll discuss briefly what you can do with the hangers you’ve decided to get rid of from your home.

via How To Declutter Hangers

 

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Declutter Top Of Dresser

How To Declutter Your Dresser Top

How to get a text each morning telling you what to declutter that day, from Home Storage Solutions 101


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Today’s decluttering mission is to declutter the top of your dresser.

We’ll do inside the dresser drawers as a separate mission another day (you can

click here to read that mission now, about decluttering clothes from these drawers

).

Today though, just clear off the top of your dresser so stuff that shouldn’t be there is gone.

It’s a flat surface and for many people that means it’s a magnet for items that you’ll “just put down for a minute,” and then hours, days, gasp . . . months later those things are still there!

So, today’s the day to see the top of this surface again. It would be a good time to dust as well if it’s been a while. Ready, set, go!

You can get more information on how to declutter flat surfaces and then keep them that way here.

Declutter flat surface in your home

Bonus points if you tell me what types of items seem to accumulate on top of your dresser.

Plus, I’d love to hear what you think should stay there most of the time. After all you don’t have to have the top completely cleared off.

You might like to have something decorative, for example, but I tend to think it’s more calming to have some clear surfaces, especially in your bedroom, so if you feel the same really get ruthless with clearing the area.

How to #declutter your dresser top, plus lots of before and after photos from readers who've done this #decluttering task {one of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of Tex

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Join in and write your own page! It’s easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to closets and bedroom clutter.

What Kinds Of Things Do You Keep On Top Of Your Dresser?

The photo above is from a reader, Jessica. She explained, about the top of this piece of furniture, “My issue is this. Lol, don’t judge me. Lotions, meds I take every morning, perfumes, body sprays, etc.”

That sentiment was echoed by many readers who’ve taken on this challenge.

Examples Of Common Types Of Clutter On Many People’s Dressers

Here are some common types of items that seem to end up on this flat surface. The trend is that often the dresser becomes a catch all when you don’t have a real home for certain things as you undress, or walk into the room with the item in your hands:

The thing to remember, though, is that a mostly clear and clutter free surface is really so much more calming and relaxing, and ultimately that is one of the purposes of your bedroom. To be a place for you to rest and relax.

So as you remove items from this surface take some time and think about where its home is. If you don’t have a convenient place for it, perhaps make one.

So, for example, if you always have change in your pocket each night that lands on the dresser, perhaps put a little bank on your dresser that you use to collect your change and then treat yourself or the family to something when it gets full.

It doesn’t have to be difficult or hard to be effective!

Potential Items You Might Want To Keep On Your Dresser Even After Decluttering

Of course, like I said, you don’t have to keep the flat surface completely clear. Many people find this to be too sterile.

Here are ideas of what could be appropriate to keep there. It all depends on how much you want there, and how much room you’ve got. Only you know what will work best for yourself.

    • Small jewelry box, or holder for other accessories

    • Framed picture of family or friends

    • Decorative knick knacks (within reason) such as a candle, artwork, lamps, etc.

  • Alarm clock, remote controls, or other items just like you might find on a nightstand, if your dresser does double duty for this function as well

Whatever you keep on your dresser top, make sure that you regularly remove items that don’t belong, and that should be put away, to keep the space clutter free.

You can do this tidying up as part of a daily routine. Find out more about how and why to adopt a daily tidy up routine here.

How and why to adopt a daily tidy up routine

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Join in and write your own page! It’s easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to closets and bedroom clutter.

You Can Do This Mission! Just Look At These Great Results For Inspiration

Before

Before

After

After

Before After

The pictures above are from a reader, Amanda, who took on this mission and produced some great results quickly.

She said, though, of the after picture, “Now I just have to deal with the junk.”

Yeah, unfortunately you do, otherwise you’ve just shuffled your clutter around. Like I said though, take a few minutes and try to make homes for the obvious items that seem to take up residence over and over again on your dresser top, and keeping it clear from now on will be much easier.

Amanda's before and after of her declutter dresser top mission {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

 

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How to Fold and Organize T-Shirts

How to Fold and Organize T-Shirts

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Originally published August 2012 and updated August 2020.

Wondering how to fold and organize t-shirts like a professional organizer? I’ve been using the KonMari folding technique since 2012 (before it was a big deal) and I can tell you that it really does work.

woman's hands folding yellow t-shirt neatly with title text underneath reading How to fold t-shirts

I do a lot of my organizing sitting in front of the TV with my family.  Not that we watch a lot of  TV.  Really.  But it’s an easy way to tackle a chore that needs to be done and still spend time with the family.  I call it “couch potato organizing.”

Does that sound easy or lazy?  Maybe it’s both.  Hmm, will have to think on that one.  It’s a great way to not feel guilty. 

via How to Fold and Organize T-Shirts

 

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