Do You Know What April Showers Bring?

You know that old saying April showers bring May flowers.  Well it brings a little bit more than that.  Any time is a good time to get organized and spring is no exception.  Check out these 3 things that I know come in the month of April and how they can remind you to declutter your space.

1. Allergies

Between the falling pollen and beginning of grass cutting if you have any sensitivity with airborne allergens, you are stocking up on tissues and medication.  Now is a good time to review your medicines.

  • Check those travel bags, bathroom cabinets, bedroom and kitchen bins for outdated and expired prescriptions.  If there are old prescriptions with doses left return them to your pharmacy for destruction.
  • Separate the valid ones by family member or condition and return to proper storage area.
  • For any current ones make sure your next pickup is on auto-fill or if it will require a doctor visit you add that to your task list to schedule a visit soon.
  1. Mosquitoes

Riiiiight. I hate them around my house too.  The customary advice to reduce these critters on our property is to survey and dump standing water. Now is a great time to take stock of those hiding places and decide if they even need to exist. 

  • Can you reduce the number of empty pots and trays?
  • Does that old tire or oil pan need to be put to the curb?
  • What’s creating dark hiding places on the patio or in the shed that is no longer needed? 

Having an open space through which your fans or any pest treatment can flow will be a big help to take the sting out of your spring.    

  1. Warm Weather

Even though we didn’t have a cold winter you can still spend some time turning over your wardrobe to prepare for the warming.  Take a couple of hours to go through your closet to get out the items that are no longer needed in this new season.

  • What doesn’t fit? What do you no longer like? What hasn’t been worn for the past 2 years?
  • Take a closer look at the things you want to keep.  Do any of them need repairs or cleaning? Do that now.
  • Where are you going to put these off season items up to make room for what you will wear now?  Whether it’s the back of the closet, up on a higher shelf, in a different room or contained in the attic.  Make sure the place is big enough for what you have and any containers you use are appropriate for the storage area.   

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with lists of things to do and when exactly is the right time to execute a plan.  If you let the natural cycles in your life guide you to action, you likely won’t go wrong.  Hope you enjoy all the gifts of spring!

Happy Organizing!

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5 Quick Tips To Create An Effective Work Area

Cluttered-desk-is-a-cluttered-mindOkay, some people can get great things done despite having a less than orderly office but Einstein was one of a kind…  Today I’m just going to focus on where most of us work 🙂

The 2nd Monday in January is National Clean Off Your Desk Day.  That’s a good thing because the average office worker spends 2000 hours per year at the desk.   Make that space easier to use with these simple decluttering tips.

1. Gather items that you use most frequently and store them within easy reach of your usual seated position. This can include key current work files.

2. Place items that you use less frequently outside this area so they don’t clutter your work area, but they should still be easily accessible.

3. Consider getting rid of things you rarely use, storing them outside your office, or stashing them farther away from your desk to save your “prime real estate” for the most-used supplies.

4. File away past projects and those that won’t be worked until far off into the future. Remember to get rid of anything outdated or unneeded. Clutter breeds chaos .

5. Discover more space by looking up, down, and inside: Stash supplies in a plastic storage bin under your desk, install shelving above your desk for binders and literature boxes, and hide clutter in attractive boxes and bins.

Your decluttered desk doesn’t have to be completely empty but you should be able to find the supplies and files you need quickly.  Also you should have enough open flat space to spread out a small project and work on it.

Happy Organizing!

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Getting Your Clothing in Order: A Step-By-Step Guide to a Perfect Closet

Spring has sprung and it a perfect time to refresh your closet for the upcoming season. When preparing for the perfect closet, your goal is to come up with a system that will allow you to maintain the de-cluttered space with minimal effort, while allowing you to make the most of your space, time, and wardrobe. Remember that your closet works in conjunction with other storage spaces as well.

1. Closets should have a clean, fresh coat of light-colored paint. This reflects the light and gives you a solid neutral background to view your clothing against. Take the time to do this now. Give the closet a good vacuuming and dusting, too.

2. Start sorting. Separate your closet into work and casual wear by item type, then group similar items by color. Button-down shirts, dress pants, blazers, dresses, skirts, etc. should all be batched together so you can quickly see and assess your options. Make a separate pile for each category of casual clothing, such as pants, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Also group together shoes, belts, and other accessories.

3. Only keep your “A” team or current clothes in your main closet. Shift seasonal clothes, maternity, and “other size” items to another storage space, such as under your bed. Many people can reduce the amount of clothing in their closet by half if they follow this guideline.

4. Purge a little more. Once you have everything sorted, you may discover that you own multiples of the same item. This is your chance to get rid of those items that don’t fit, are out of style, or are not practical. (From here on out, keep a give-away box in your closet to make donating easier.) Remember, it’s important to let your clothing have a little breathing room to keep it wrinkle-free, as well as to allow you to easily view your closet’s contents.

5. Now that you can see what you actually have, start measuring. Most clothing needs 1/2 to two inches of space per item. How much of your clothing can you realistically fit in the closet? If it only has one rod across the top, you may want to consider redesigning your closet for maximum space efficiency. Consider simple, inexpensive modifications such as adding a double hang closet rod to double your hanging space. You may also be able to adjust your shelves and rods to better accommodate your space needs.

6. Return clothing to the closet. Organize your clothes to work with your lifestyle. Section garments by type, then by color, so you can always easily see what you have. Hang pants, blazers, button-front shirts, dresses, and skirts. Avoid putting matching tops and bottoms together, since this may stop you from seeing other ways to combine them with other pieces. Arrange clothes so those you wear most often are nearest the front of the closet.

7. Find storage containers that are sturdy and sized appropriately. Use containers you already own or shop for new ones at stores like Target or The Container Store. Sweaters, t-shirts, and sweatshirts line up nicely on shelves with the help of vertical shelf dividers or when placed in clear plastic boxes or hanging canvas shelves. Accessories such as purses, scarves, and belts can be placed in clear boxes or attractive wicker baskets on open shelves.

8. Assign each item a “home.” Designate a shelf, section of rod, or drawer for each category of clothing. You’re likely to return items to this space after every use. Come up with a system that will allow you to maintain the de-cluttered space with minimal effort. Also, install adequate lighting that will allow you to view all of your clothing and shelf space.

Follow these tips to make the most of your clothes closet this spring and summer.

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