3 Clutter Clearing Tips to Get Your Kitchen Organized

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This time of year I see lots of homes in transition from combining households for upcoming weddings to moving for a new job.  The clutter in these homes comes from lots of good living and not alot of time spent on maintaining order. This is especially true in the kitchen, dining and pantry areas. Here are three tips you can follow to clear your kitchen clutter.

1. Clean out the junk drawer (s).
Yes sometimes there are more than one.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and sort out the contents.  Throw away trash including scraps of paper, old twisties and broken items.

You can even let the kids do the sorting.  Tell them it’s a treasure hunt in which they have to match the different kinds of items and then let them keep any change they find.

Before you add items back into the drawer, add in a dividing tray to keep items from sliding around and provide a visible limit on contents.

2. Accumulate paper goods, plasticware, pots/pans then purge
Remember that once in a lifetime party last year with the awesome theme… why do you still have 200 napkins stashed away? What about the pan that’s lost its non- stick coating? Own 6 saucepans but only ever cook for 1? Have plastic tops with no containers and vice versa? Let it go. Some items may be recyclable and others may be donateable.

Think about what is used on a regular basis to guide your decision of how many is right for your lifestyle.

3. Regift/ donate small appliances you don’t like
Remember that blender that just didn’t fix your smoothies the way you like them?  It’s still in the cabinet.  Have 2 crockpots, coffee machines or toasters?  If you have a small appliance that doesn’t work like you need it too you’ve likely already forgotten about it or replaced it. Somebody else would love to have it so why not give it to them. 

If it’s still new and in the box, that makes an easier package to gift it to a friend.  You don’t have to wait for a special occassion either, just think of who might provide it a good useful home and give it away.

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home.  Clear out the clutter and fill your kitchen useful tools and lots of love this year.

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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