Home Organisation Tips

Shop Your Own House: Reinvent Storage Solutions for Your Home Using Items Already in Your Home

One of the biggest causes for disorganization and clutter is a simple lack of space. There’s just not room enough for everything you own. It’s a common problem and fortunately there are solutions that don’t need to cost you a cent especially when you shop at home. Instead of going out and buying a new storage or furniture, discover what you already have at home that you can repurpose, that is, use in a different way that will help you get more storage in your home.

Here are our top 7 ideas for common items found at home that can be reused to help you get organised and stay organised:

  1. Hang a shoe organiser with clear plastic pockets in your kitchen pantry. It’s great to hold smaller items such as packets of herbs or stock cubes. Because the pockets are clear, you can easily see what is in them and because the pockets are small in size, you can only store a few things inside so things won’t get lost.
  2. Paint a wall in your house with magnetic chalkboard paint and write your schedule & week’s menu on it, as a place to draw & hang pictures and inspirational sayings. If you are renting or don’t want to commit to a wall, you can achieve the same effect by using a large picture. Remove the glass front and backing board, paint the board and then reinsert. Hang the picture on the wall.
  3. Love to entertain? Have too many bracelets? Use bracelets you don’t wear as napkin rings. Beautiful and functional!
  4. Under the stairs is often a wasted space. Use the space as a home office or library using shelving from timber you have stored in the garage.
  5. Armoires or bookcases can be used in a room to create separation between spaces. For example, two armoires can be set up between the lounge room and a work space. The armoires provide storage solutions and serve as a room divider. You can place decorative bins on top of the armoires to store more items.
  6. Shop your closet.
  7. Double duty furniture & furniture that doubles as storage space is a great way to keep items handy yet also out of sight. For example, a coffee table that offers storage space inside or underneath for remotes, magazines and small items is extremely useful. An ottoman or side table that doubles as a chest can store blankets and seasonal pillows.

5 Kitchen Organization Tips to Clear Your Counters & Pantry

You spend a lot of hours in the kitchen preparing, serving and cleaning up after your meals and as a result the kitchen can become quite busy and messy. Take a look around your kitchen countertops and you may well find that you have a lot more kitchen gadgets and appliances than you realized. These handy kitchen organisation tips will help you stream line the countertops in the heart of your home.

  1. Create zones. On your kitchen countertops and workspaces you probably tend to focus on certain tasks. For example by the sink you probably do most of your chopping. The countertops by the stove are reserved for serving up your meals. Make sure your tools fit the job. If you chop and dice fruits and veggies by the sink then the knives and cutting boards should be within easy reach.
  2. Hide the rarely used appliances. A kitchen countertop may house a toaster, coffee maker, espresso machine, blender, juicer, grill and so on. Many kitchens have appliance overload. Put away the appliances that are not used on a daily basis. Also, if you can replace them with appliances that do double duty, a toaster oven for example, then you save valuable counter space.
  3. Invest in drawer organisers. There’s nothing worse than not being able to find the utensil you need for the job. Consider creating a countertop utensil holder for the utensils used on a daily basis. The rest get stored in a drawer with a utensil organiser.
  4. Utilise space saving storage. There are so many wonderful storage devices now. You can triple the number of cans a cupboard can hold with a can rack. You can pour cereal into stackable storage containers and eliminate that cluttered shelf full of half full cereal boxes. Determine what you need first and then head to the dollar store or home goods store for solutions.
  5. Keep it clean. Once your kitchen is good and organized, create systems to keep it clean. A clean kitchen just makes you want to put everything back where it belongs. It’s motivating.

Organising your kitchen doesn’t have to take hours. Take a look at what you have, what you use and the space available and plan it out before you start making changes. What can you get rid of? How would you like your kitchen to look and feel? Embrace these tips, organise your kitchen and add the finishing touch by keeping it clean. You may just find you will enjoy your newly organized kitchen even more and be inspired to create even more mouthwatering dishes.

Crazy Clutter Killers – Unique Ideas to Get Rid of Clutter Forever

Clutter causes stress. It creates an environment of disorganization and lowers the quality of life. However, it can be challenging to get control over clutter. Here are some unique ideas to help you get rid of clutter forever.

#1 Catchall
This is actually a surprisingly easy approach to taming clutter. Depending on the size of your home and family choose a container that you can keep in your main living space. At the end of each day spend five minutes running through the house. Everything that is out of place gets dropped into the catchall container.

Then you have a choice. You can spend five to ten minutes putting things where they belong. You can alternatively call to your family and hold each person responsible for putting their items back where they belong. It’s simple, inexpensive and effective. (And eventually your family members may get tired of the routine and start actually putting their things away.)

#2 Play the Toss Ten Game
Choose any room in your home. Look around and grab ten things you can throw away. Limit it to ten, don’t go over and make sure you throw away ten items. (Note, if you want to donate them that’s okay too.) Play this game every day in one room in your home until you’ve paired down to items that you cherish and have room for.

#3 Hide It
Buy furniture that doubles as storage. One of the reasons clutter exists is that there isn’t enough storage in a home. You simply don’t have a place to put some of your necessary items. For example, coffee and end tables in a living room can double as chests or contain drawers for storage. A chest can double as a bench in an entry way and store outdoor wear and gear.

#4 A Shopping Elimination Diet
Don’t buy anything until you’ve cleaned out your entire home. It’ll either ensure you clean out the clutter quickly or you’ll stop shopping. You might be surprised how easy it is to stop shopping and how much money you save.

#5 One Habit a Week
Create one new habit a week. For example, this week create the new habit of always putting your phone on the charger or in the phone caddy each day. Next week create the habit of going through your bills and sorting mail at the end of every day, or week. Create the habit of throwing away one, or donating, item in your closet each day.

Clearing out the clutter won’t magically happen. Unfortunately, you cannot wave a magic wand and have your entire home magazine ready. However, you can make major changes in your environment today. Throw away ten things. Adopt a new clutter system. Stop shopping and change your habits. Start living a clutter free life!

How to Get Your Family to Help With the Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a big job. While it’s certainly something you can do on your own, you don’t have to. In fact, there is benefit to having your family help with the job. It alleviates some of the work you have to do. Children can learn the value of hard work. They can contribute to the care and keeping of your home. And perhaps they’ll discover a little bit more about what you do to keep your home nice.

Getting your family to help isn’t always easy. Here are seven tips and ideas to help you enlist their help.

  1. Bribe them. Money talks. Or if your children are young then stickers, treats or even an afternoon at the movies can motivate people to help. Come up with a reward before you approach them with their jobs.
  2. Make it fun with music. Music makes any job easier. Find family friendly, fun, and motivating music for the entire family to enjoy.
  3. Make it a game. Consider making the spring cleaning task a game. Everyone likes games, right? Consider timing each person. The person that gets their job done the fastest wins. Or the person that gets their job done the best wins. You might also make it a game of speed and skill. For example, finish a task and then run to a designated place in the room and take a token. The person who collects the most tokens wins. Of course their work needs to be checked. If they didn’t do a good job then they lose tokens.
  4. Celebrate after. Have a post spring cleaning party. Order pizza take out and watch a movie together. Have a family game night. Go out to your favorite family restaurant. Or do something fun like go bowling, skating or to your local indoor amusement park.
  5. Give them choices. Consider making a list of all of the jobs that need to be accomplished. Then ask your children or family members to each choose three tasks. This way they have some control over the process. And they have chosen tasks that best suit their preferences.
  6. Provide guidance. Create a step by step procedure of how you want the task to be completed. For example, if one child is cleaning out a closet list everything that goes into the job. Consider creating a checklist for them. They can easily follow the list and you know everything will get done.
  7. Make it age/skill appropriate. Make sure each family member has age appropriate tasks. You wouldn’t want to ask a five year old to clean out the refrigerator. You might find that they throw everything away! If you’re letting your children choose which cleaning jobs the take on, consider grouping them by age. That way your child can choose from a list of jobs you know they can complete.

When you enlist the help of your entire family, spring cleaning can be completed in no time. You’ll feel as if you have all accomplished something together. And you can celebrate your success when you’re done.

10 Tools Everyone Needs to Get and Stay Organised

Organising yourself and your life is a fine balance. Too many tools and devices and you spend more time managing the tools than you do your life. Too few tools and you lose time trying to find things and stay organized. Let’s explore the basics and ten tools everyone needs to get and stay organised.

#1 Planner/Calendar
This may sound like a no-brainer but there’s a difference between having a planner and actually using it. You want to find a planner that you will use consistently. Take a look at paper, computer based, and mobile device planners and find one that fits your needs and personality.  Additionally, consider creating or using different planners for different purposes. For example, your business planner, personal planner and family planner do not all have to be on the same system – they just have to work for you.

#2 Overflow bin
An overflow bin is a bin that collects items that don’t belong. For example, many people keep a basket at the foot of the stairs. Anything that belongs up stairs goes into the basket. Once a day or once a week the basket is emptied and items are placed where they belong.

#3 Media command center
The media center is often a source of chaos. Remotes get lost, DVDs are broken and it can be a frustrating area. Create a media command center. All remotes are placed in the command center when they’re not being used. DVDs and other media are all stored in a box or drawer for easy access.

#4 Phone/Electronics command center
If you’re like many the phone recharging are is a nightmare of chaos. Phones, cords and even keys and wallets get all jumbled. It’s a mess. Create a single location for all rechargeable media. For example, there are caddies that can house anywhere from three to five mobile devices. Each device space can be labeled and the cords can be organized from the back.

#5 Cleaning baskets/storage
Create a basket for each room that stores the room’s cleaning supplies. This is particularly important for rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom which tend to require a lot of cleaning supplies.

#6 Chore Chart/Family Organization Area
A family organisation area is important to keep track of where everyone needs to be and what they’re responsible for. One idea is to use post-its on a large calendar. The post-its can be easily removed and replaced as needs change.

#7 File Cabinet
The file cabinet should house all of your family or personal documents. Bank statements, tax information, and receipts are particularly important. You can also scan these items and store them on your computer. There are portable scanning devices designed specifically for this purpose. Just make sure to back up your computer information.

#8 Task List
Create some sort of task list system for yourself. It can be pen and paper, mobile device or other option. The key is to make sure it’s easily accessible and that you use it.

#9 Binders
Binders are excellent for storing information that you use often. Recipes, schoolwork, and even receipts can be organized and stored in three ring binders.

#10 10 Minutes, Minimum, of Free Time
While free time isn’t a tool per say, it is essential to get and stay organised. A cluttered mind cannot organise effectively and efficiently. Take time each day to clear your thoughts.

Laundry Room Storage Solutions

The laundry room is often a neglected space in most homes. It’s often tucked away and surrounded by open wires and pipes. The walls are gray and unfinished and often without a window. The result, of course, when a room is as depressing as most laundry rooms is that no attention or time is spent on the space. Oh sure maybe a wire shelf is hung on the wall so the laundry detergent and supplies have a space but that’s usually about as far as laundry room organisation goes.

Unfortunately when a laundry room is a dismal and disorganized mess no one wants to spend any time in there. Laundry ends up pouring out of the room. You’ll find clean baskets of clothes unfolded and sitting in rooms for days, weeks even. The clean gets mixed with the dirty and the end result is laundry chaos. However, when a laundry room is organised and pleasant to be in, laundry gets done, folded and put away happily.

The essentials of a laundry room:

A laundry room has a few essentials. They include laundry detergent, dirty clothes hampers, drying racks and a folding surface. You may even store your ironing board and iron. You’ll also want baskets to store and deliver the clean clothes.

Storage Ideas

Colorful painted shelving can be added to store laundry supplies. Consider using a small storage bin to keep the laundry detergent, dryer sheets and stain removal items organised. A narrow cupboard can be added to house the drying rack, ironing board and iron. And the surface of the dryer can be covered to provide a surface for folding clothes.

Instead of buying a tall freestanding hamper consider purchasing one that is housed in a cupboard. Then you have extra storage space and a place for your dirty clothes. And don’t forget the trash can for lint removal and all the fun junk found in pockets. You can find these cupboards and smaller storage areas by shopping in the cabinet area of your local home store. Consider also looking at the kitchen cabinets. Often the floor cabinets are small and just the right size for a small laundry room.

Have a jar to collect coins – and any dollar bills – and then treat yourself to something special when the money builds. A great way to reward yourself for all those endless baskets of laundry you do every week.

Dedicate a basket or small bucket to store any single socks you find.  This way all your odd socks are in one place so when its matching pair pops up, you can easily pair them up again.

The fun extras

Making a laundry room welcoming is as simple as painting the walls a bright welcoming colour. Finally, so that people will want to stick around to iron, fold and sort clothing consider adding an element of entertainment. Add a wall mounted television, iPod speakers or other media element to entertain while chores are being done.

The laundry room doesn’t have to be a dismal, depressing and cluttered space. Find simple storage solutions using bright shelving, storage containers and simple cabinetry found at your local home store. Add a splash of color with paint, incorporate media and watch the laundry chores turn into a pleasant pastime.

Tips for Keeping Your Family Organised

It’s not enough to keep yourself organised, many people also have little people and/or a spouse to keep organised too. It’s not an easy job!

Here are a few tips to help you keep everyone in your family organized:

  1. Organize yourself first. If you’re disorganized there’s no way you’re going to be able to keep track of anyone else’s itinerary. Use whatever system works best for you; day planner, mobile device, computer calendar or good old fashioned pen and pencil.
  2. Create solutions that fit the person’s personality. Some people are detailed and able to follow through, others…not so much. Address the challenge your family member is facing. For example, if your daughter has a good system for organizing her school work but fails to follow through then her challenge is in the follow through. Help her create new habits.
    Additionally, some people like very structured organization while others are more relaxed about it. As long as they can immediately find what they need and mistakes are not made then the system works. For example, one child may keep a calendar on their wall of all their practices, meetings and homework. Another child may keep the information on their iPad and have it send them messages when things are due. Both systems, while very different, can work.
  3. Create a central zone. While individual family members may be able to keep track of their own tasks and responsibilities it can be difficult to pull it all together as a family. Many families create a central information zone. You might use a chalk board or dry erase board. You might use a large hanging calendar. One great idea is to create a monthly calendar on a piece of poster board. However, instead of writing on the calendar you use post-its for each day. You can color code the post-its for each family member and write down their schedule. That way everyone can tell at a glance what’s going on for the entire family.
  4. Their own space. The entry way of your home is a perfect example of a location where everyone needs their own space. Children come home from school and just dump their stuff on the floor. Your spouse comes home and drops his or her keys on the table. Eventually it all gets muddled together. It’s a mess and things get lost. Create a space for each person. Use a coat rack, shelf or baskets. Label them and teach everyone to put their items in their space. That goes for you and your spouse too. Central mail, keys and charging stations also help ensure items never get lost.

You can embrace this “own space” concept in other rooms too. The laundry room, bathroom and even the living room can each offer storage space for each family member. It helps keep things organized, minimizes lost items and squabbles.

Keeping your family organized is no small task! Organize yourself first. Pay attention to each personality in your family and try to create systems that work for them. Finally, provide space for each family member in key areas of your home.