ALL POSTS TAGGED "Organizing"

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Last December, I was interviewing organizing experts for an upcoming article. One of them was Julie Morgenstern. You’ve probably seen her here on HGTV.com, or other places like Redbook or Good Morning America.

“Why do people have so much clutter?” I asked.

“Going through stuff requires time and decision-making,” Julie said. Most people don’t have a clear head or a clear schedule, and they hang onto clutter because they need abundance. Or it gives them a feeling of fullness, of having enough.

Some people feel comfortable when their home is 60% full; some people feel better at 20%. There’s not a universally perfect amount of stuff — the key is, if you feel like you’re suffocating, you have too much.

That hit hard, because I was suffocating in stuff. I’d recently gone through a divorce and had one of those shameful rooms. You know the one: boxes leaning in precarious floor-to-ceiling stacks; bags of unsorted bills; piles of old clothes; cat brushes, jars of seashells, even 20-year-old floppy disks….

Clutter on a desk in a home office

I swear my desk is under there somewhere!

I asked Julie if I could use her book, SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck, as a template for a reorganizing process, and tackle that room. She said she’d do me one better: she’d coach me through it.

Yeah, I jumped on it.

Starting next Friday, I hope you’ll go with me on the journey as — in 3 coachings — Julie helps me purge that room by targeting why I let that much clutter pile up in the first place.

Until then, here’s a clue: You clear out the obsolete so you can make room to move forward. When I say it’s fueling and energizing…well…you’ll see.

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OK, friends, I’m going to get real with you today. Because the fact of the matter is that during a renovation, your home becomes a war zone. And because my dear husband and I can’t handle living among shambles, we’ve designated one area to unload all miscellaneous tools, paraphernalia, and… well, junk. That area, friends, is our garage. Exhibit A:

Garage Organization- Erin Loechner

The dreaded before.

Oh dear. I cannot believe I just shared that image with you. All of you. Goodness gracious. Please be kind to me, Internet. Because for the past year, we’ve treated our garage like a landfill. I’m just as horrified as you are. Trust me.

And although I dream of a glistening, organized garage someday, I know that, realistically, we’ve still got a long way to go before that day arrives. After all, we still have a full sunroom and basement renovation ahead of us, and I’m quite sure our garage will become the holding zone for drywall, beams and plywood.

Garage Organization- Erin Loechner

Yep, still embarrassed.

Still, there is no excuse to live in such utter chaos. So a few days ago, Ken and I tackled a serious clean-out extravaganza. I won’t tell you everything we unearthed, but I will say the list included an abandoned art project, half-used bottles of hand sanitizer and much, much more.

Luckily, we also stumbled upon the previous homeowners’ kitchen cabinets that we knew we’d saved for a reason. With zero investment and a few nails, Ken and I now have a fully functioning closed storage solution for paint, tools and renovation supplies. Wanna see it?
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All the accouterments of colder weather can create visual clutter.

hook boxes

These Hook Boxes from Italian company Bosa do double duty: holding coats and purses while giving you a place to put keys, bills and cell phones. Genius.

Got any fantastic ideas for keeping winter detritus in order?

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Happy New Year! Living in an apartment poses certain challenges, one of the biggest of which is keeping the clutter to a minimum. So for 2011, one of my resolutions is to find a way to become more organized.

organized closet

supershoppertoo, Flickr

The closet above has been converted into an office and organized to clear the clutter in such a pretty way. Definitely going to keep this in my inspiration file.

Is mastering the art of organization one of your 2011 goals, too? Here are 5 helpful resolution suggestions for your home from HGTV.

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My life has been so hectic lately — seriously, I can barely remember what day it is. I need to get everything back in order and I found a product that will help!

design-happens-freebie-threebythree503x400

Three By Three Seattle’s Bamboo Dry-Erase Wall Panels are the ultimate solution for our busy lives. The panels have a real bamboo dry-erase surface and mount right on your wall. We’re giving you the chance to win their large Channel Panel. It comes with the following accessories: letter holder, three hooks, bamboo cup and holder, magnetic strip (1″x12″), four strong magnets and a dry-erase pen — all working together to keep everything under control! For a chance to win, answer this week’s question before 12/11c, Monday, April 26. Be sure to provide a valid email address so we can contact you if you win.

If you don’t win (or just can’t get enough from Three By Three Seattle), they are giving Design Happens readers 20% off everything on their site until the end of April. Just type in “happens20″ when you checkout.
This Week’s Question

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I finally admitted something to myself and I’m just going to say it now — I hate housecleaning. Now, I know you’re going to say, “Who doesn’t?” But I really, really hate it. I mean, I would gladly arrange a trip to the dentist to avoid it. The only problem is I equally hate a dirty home. Oh how easy life would be if I could afford a cleaning team to come in and make it all go away. Well, until my Fairy Godmother shows up to wave her magic wand I’m on my own.

Searching for some short cuts and good tips I found a ton of great ideas in the organizing section of HGTV.com at http://www.hgtv.com/topics/cleaning/index.html.

I also looked through a few books and found one that was stuffed with hints and tricks.

The One Minute Cleaner by Donna Smallin

The One Minute Cleaner by Donna Smallin

Three things that I picked up in my reading:

  • White vinegar mixed with water cleans and freshens almost everything.
  • The right cleaning tools can make all the difference.
  • Putting on a little ABBA to sing along to as I move through my home helps it all go faster.

What are some short cuts that you use to get housework done faster?

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