Gear up for a spring cleaning! 30 Days of Decluttering

Sneak preview! A 30 day decluttering plan– let’s do this!

Your house is cluttered. How do I know? Because most houses are. Even mine sometimes! Besides, you’re here aren’t you?

This is pretty straightforward. I have a printable chart for you if you’d like it, and every day in April, I’ll be addressing one space here on the blog. However, you don’t have to do them in any particular order. I encourage you to look at the tasks and circle the spaces that are driving you the most crazy first.

Feel free to print!

BUT! I do not recommend doing extra large or tedious jobs at the beginning. For instance, save the filing cabinet until later. It’s best to pick things like your pantry, car or your mail stack to begin with. Why? Because they are good short term goals that will make you feel better immediately and encourage you to keep going! In fact, I’ve organized these in order of typical impact– that is, the areas that will improve our every day lives quickly are towards the beginning. Cross them off as you go; it’ll feel GREAT! If you have before and afters, I’d love to see them! Please post to facebook.com/simplysarahorganizing/

One note: as you go thru these, you’ll find random photos, batteries, non-working electronics, and things that should be filed EVERYWHERE! Save these somewhere until you get around to those areas so you don’t get sidetracked. Also: if you’d like, spread this out and do one a week! Just go forward. Even small steps are progress.


Coffee + Client= LOVE

This isn’t just any cup of coffee. See that tag? My client made it for me and it’s one item we don’t get rid of. In many ways, they’re family, and after every organizing session, my coffee tag goes back in the cupboard for next time.

This is the second time I’m organizing this entire home, as the floors are being replaced and everything shuffled. I know every inch of it after working here over time, but more importantly I know the hearts inside and they know mine. You see, the work I do isn’t about “the stuff.” That’s just what leads people to call me. But it’s the souls I enjoy working with.

Clients often admit that they’re worried at first that they’ll be judged for their dirt. But as today’s client mentioned, I don’t judge as I’m there to help them make their own decisions.

Oftentimes, I’m a sounding board for issues. Many times I’m asked for advice on topics totally unrelated to organizing. Sometimes, people just need someone…there. There while they let go of an ex or a family member. There when they get excited about a system. There to help them organize for a new job, a new school, a new adventure.

And so to my clients: I love you! Thanks for the deep talks, the new viewpoints of the world, the laughs–for sharing yourselves. Thanks for the coffee ❤

Ikea Hack: More Than Just a Magnetic Knife Rack

Ikea’s Kungsfors knife rack is loosely translated from Swedish to English as: “Magically Attractive Organizing Strip of Wonder”
At least, that what I made up heard.

Don’t box in this great organizing tool…it can do much more than look pretty and hold knives and scissors. Grab yourself a plate of Köttbullar (Swedish meatballs), pull up a chair, and read on!

This suggestion from Shelterness is genius! Use several magnetic strips for an easy way to help kids put away Hot Wheels and other toy cars.

Next up: how about a handy way to store hair barrettes, nail clippers and other personal care items?

And how about a magnetic key rack in your hallway next to the door?

And Houzz had a great idea to store paintbrushes and other small tools this way

And this idea came right from Ikea: Use it for meal planning to hold recipes! (This could be used in an office for kids’ art too!)

And a final few words, this magnetic strip has also been known as “Grundtal” and “Fintorp”. Also, you can find similar magnetic racks at places like Target or Amazon. What would you use them for?

Day Twelve: Squeaky Clean Bathroom!

bathroom-1206932-640x480Since you use your bathroom to get clean, doesn’t it make sense to get your bathroom clean? Bathrooms often get cluttered with half used products, so head in there to clear it out!

Get under your sink, into the drawers, or into the bathroom closet if you have one and asses your items. Anything that’s not being used, anything that’s half empty (or is it half full) and has been shoved in there needs to go. Sometimes, this is a hard one because some products may have been costly and you might feel guilty throwing them away. But if they’re not being used, now both your money AND your space is being wasted. Not to mention the fact that it makes things difficult to find. If you’d like, see if a friend’s daughter or someone would like to try your expensive platinum shampoo. One exception would be makeup. If you haven’t used it in awhile, chances are it’s growing bacteria and it’s not healthy for anyone to use. Toss it and don’t look back!

Now here are some ideas for organizing what you have left:

makeup-1195895-639x719For makeup, consider getting a cute toolbox to put it in that can be tucked into a closet or cabinet when not in use. Or, if you have enough drawer space for this purpose, get a handy organizer.

If your sink is near to the bathroom door, consider getting a pocket shoe organizer for the HBA items you use regularly (brushes, gel, nail polish remover). I’ve done this in my master bath, and not only does it utilize vertical space and free up cabinets, but everything is right on hand when I need it, and I’m more likely to return things to their home so the counter doesn’t stay cluttered.

For products under your sink, get a wire shelf so you’ll have room for two layers of products, or get a pull out organizer to make things easy to access. Check out this video to see one great way of setting up your bathroom cupboard or this video to see how to accomplish the same thing on a budget.

Even if you don’t purchase any additional products, your bathroom will be a lot easier to use now that you’ve cleared out the clutter.

Day Twelve: DONE!

Day Eleven: The Medicine Cabinet

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This phrase can refer to a lot of things. For some people, there really is only that shallow cabinet in the bathroom that holds some assorted bandages and a small bottle of Tylenol. For others, there’s a whole pharmacy of medicines and vitamins behind one of the kitchen cabinet doors. For this challenge, let’s include all of these categories of items.

First, pull every one of your items out of it’s hiding spot. As you do, check the dates. Anything expired automatically goes in a box or bag to be disposed of (more on that later). Any bandages that have gotten old (and therefore not very sticky) can go as well.

Next, group like items together and consider the best way to store them. For instance, you might take all of the first aid items, put them in a labeled plastic basket, and place them in front of a cabinet where they will be easily found in an emergency. If you take several different vitamins, you might do the same with those, and so on. If you have only very few medicines, you might consider getting a good lazy susan for your cabinet so you can locate what you need with one easy spin!

As far as disposal, depending on the medication, you may want to check with your pharmacy. If you’re tossing prescription painkillers, for instance, you might want to see if your pharmacy or police station has a day for you to bring in such items or if they know where you should take them.  Please dispose of all medications responsibly!

Day Eleven: DONE!