Organization


IKEA VideoAs professional organizers, we’re of course big fans of IKEA’s storage solutions. Now, we’re big fans of their video as well.

We dare you not to smile when you hear the child laughing…!

IKEA Joy of Storage Video

 

And if you want to know the BEST way to store your t-shirts, we posted it here: How to Organize Your T-Shirts.

colorful storage boxesHappy New Year! Did you make a resolution to “Get Organized” in 2015? If so, you’ve likely noticed that every store in town has storage bins on sale to help you. Big bins, small bins, wicker baskets, totes with lids, boxes and organizers of every color to match your mood or décor…

We must caution you, however, not to run out and load up on storage bins…yet! Before you know how many, what kind(s) and what size(s) will work for you, you have to know what you’ll be storing, where and for how long.

First, you must do your homework (or home work). Go through your closets, drawers, pantry, closets, etc. Throw away the trash, give away useable items, contact consignment and estate sale professionals to sell valuable items for you. All that should remain in those areas [and, really, throughout your home] are things you need, use and love.

If you need help to get this project started, or a few extra hands to make it go quickly, call us at Seamless Moves.

Once you have completed your sorting/downsizing, you’ll know what you need the storage bins to contain and the amount of space you have to store them. We recommend you don’t store important papers or things made of fabric in cardboard moving boxes. 

Next, decide whether your containers need to be stacked on each other or placed on shelves. This will tell you whether they need secure lids and what sizes they should be in order to fit on those shelves.

NOW… you may hit the storage bin sales!

More downsizing tips: Is it clutter or is it not?  How many cookbooks do you really need? and
5-Minute Fixes for Laundry Rooms.

Organized Freezer Seamless MovesDo you have any idea what’s in the bottom of your chest freezer? Neither did Laura from orgjunkie.com. We thought her ideas were awesome and wanted to share them with you.

She started by taking everything out of the freezer and out of plastic grocery bags, then she sorted everything into categories.  

Her categories were: meat; frozen fruit; deer meat (her husband is a hunter); bread; sides; and treats. Then she took inventory of everything and made a list. 

But the really “cool” :) idea she had was to use reusable grocery bags helps to keep things separated and available to pull out quickly as needed.  She uses one bag for the deer meat and another for frozen fruit to be used in smoothies.  Awesome idea!

Read the full article here. Do you have any freezer tips to share, maybe related to preserving Pacific Northwest salmon or other Seattle specialties? Please leave them in a comment.

New storage for entryway

Check out this entryway closet makeover posted by the House of Smiths. They had a standard coat closet that just wasn’t cutting it, so they decided to make themselves a system that would work for their family.

They describe it as, “a fun, challenging, LONG journey to get from a boring closet with a door that basically blocked our entire entryway, when opened… to an airy, fresh, larger space that definitely brings personality, visual interest and comfort into our home.”

They included metal baskets, printed out the kids’ names on a mailing label, mounted them on card stock, rounded the corners and attached them with twine. Viola! Grab your school papers or permission slips on your way out the door!

 

Here’s a “hot” idea for storing your hair appliances that may still be too warm to put away in a cabinet or drawer when you are finished with them from Dream Green DIY.

Use a metal file box! Brilliant, right?! They’ve attached it with 3M Command Hooks so as not to drill holes in the vanity. 

One comment on the post suggested the file box could be spray painted a more pleasing color. We agree and would add that if more than one is needed for multiple bathroom users, they could be color-coded.

Thanks to Carrie Waller for this great tip!

To-do lists are one of many activities people use to become more productive and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. There is something about checking off an item that makes you feel even more productive. Sitepoint.com offers up 7 tips that can apply to just about any type of to-do list you may use in your life.

1. Pick a system that works for you: There are many to-do list systems, from software, to online apps, to good old fashioned pen and paper. Question: Which is better a paper or electronic to-do list? Answer:  whichever you will actually use.

2. Start with a brain dump: Start by writing/typing every possible task that comes to mind.

3. Use verbs: Every task item should be a specific act you need to do, so start everything with an action verb, i.e. clean out files etc.

4. Prioritize: Once you have your list created, look at each category and mark items that are of the highest priority.

5. Make a realistic “today” list: To avoid having a massive list facing you every day, it can be helpful to schedule tasks and create time-based lists – today, this week, this month, etc.  Be realistic about what you can accomplish in that time period.

6. Schedule weekly time for the un-doables: Items listed as lower priority tend to drop down to the bottom of the list. You may find that you end up with a growing list of low-priority tasks that you keep rolling over from week to week. Scheduling regular time to act on these items will help you keep your list clean and current (and get rid of the things you’ve been putting off).

7. Be flexible and willing to adjust: Once you’re setup, avoid thinking of your system as being set in stone. Keep an open-minded perspective on how to organize and manage your list in order to give it a chance to morph as necessary.

There’s no need to make To Do Lists from scratch, you can get some To Do List Templates here

Of course, ultimately it becomes time to stop listing the things you need to do, and start DOing them!


 

 

 

What is invisible clutter? It’s the stuff in our home or office that has been sitting where it is now for so long, we literally just don’t see it anymore. Maybe it’s something we use all the time so it’s just easier to leave it out, but if it’s in the way, put it away!

How do you see invisible clutter? Stand at the entrance to the room and notice what your eye is drawn to first. Is there a pile of children’s homework on the dining room table? Are there more discarded shoes, hats and mittens in your foyer than your family could wear in a month? If you need help, ask a relative or family friend to look at your room with a critical eye towards seeing things that are out of place, or take a photo of your room. You may be surprised what you see!

Grouping similar things together makes sense when you need to find them. Find a cupboard or drawer close to where you use the item and put it there. If you simply must leave it out, put it in a basket or other organizing bin. If you’re really NOT using those items, find another home for them; give them away or recycle them. Invisible clutter makes your home look messy and causes stress…so spend a few minutes and tackle one area today!

Of course, if you need some help, give Seamless Moves a call a let our team of “Clutter Busters” help you clear out the clutter.

How about it readers, have you suddenly noticed “lurking invisible clutter” in your space?

Thanks to ClutterBug.me for the inspiration


Need more space or some organizing help?  Here are 5 cool space saving ideas:

Tie colorful ribbons from gifts you’ve received around sheet sets so individual pieces don’t stray. That way, you’ll never have to waste time hunting for matching pillowcases again.  Thanks RealSimple.com.

 

 

A hanger every closet needs.

From Maillardville Manor 

 

 

 

Shoe Ottoman  from the Improvements Catalog – A shoe-in for both beauty and versatility! Place the Shoe Ottoman at the foot of your bed where it’ll serve as a comfortable bench for sitting or holding your bedspread. Lift the ottoman’s anti-slam hinged to find a roomy storage area with 20 shoe pockets around the sides, plus room in the middle for sweaters, accessories, or extra blankets.

 

 

 

 

Scarves stay put on this organizer that hangs on your closet rod or any hook. No more scarves slipping off a hanger or hook, cascading to the floor or getting wrinkled. Credit:  Solutions.com.

 

 

Beautifully Bella Faith gave us this nifty idea. No room for towels? Try hanging baskets on the wall!

 

 

 

 

Of course if you’d like some help organizing to save space, Seamless Moves is here to help :-)

 

Piles of paper are often the toughest type of clutter. When was the last time you couldn’t find an important paper you knew you had carefully put away?  A missing permission slip derails the entire family on the way out the door. Organized Home.com offers these ABC’s of paper management: actionbasic and classic file systems. 

An ABC household filing system includes:

  • Action File: a tabletop file for daily, short-term filing. Use an action file to organize bills for payment, papers that require response, and information that must be filed.
  • Basic Files: a household’s working file system. Kept in a file cart, cabinet or drawer, basic files hold medical insurance records, credit card statements, rent receipts and bank statements. Use basic files for routine activities like bill paying, tax files, medical information and home maintenance.
  • Classic Files: archives for long-term file storage. Copies of tax returns and insurance policies, homeowners’ records, medical records, and copies of legal documents belong in classic files. Use file cabinets or records boxes to protect these items for long-term storage. Note: original documents such as insurance policies, legal documents, or tax records should be stored in secure facilities such as safe deposit boxes. For more information on how long to keep important documents USA.GOV  
  • Consider Scanning and storing some documents electronically since it’s best to save your important documents and files in a way that can easily be carried away and accessed later.

After following these ABC’s, all that’s left to do now is sit back and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from paper-clutter-free living! Enjoy that peace…and then go do something you love to do! :-)

 

 

When buying storage tools, closet organizers, racks and other storage equipment, keep in mind that they cost money and take up space. Building, adding on or arranging for more storage is like buying a bigger size when you start gaining weight. Example: When our closet is loaded, shoes are running over the threshold. Do we sort and unload and get rid of the foot-pinchers or the ankle-breakers? No, often we go out and buy a shoe storage unit. The problem isn’t gone, it is just out of sight.

Don Aslett, author of “For Packrats Only,” offers these humorous things to consider when we are tempted to add an organizer or storage unit:

  • Cedar chest: A fragrant way to protect things you never wear.
  • Garment storage bag: oxygen tent for dying dresses and comatose coats.
  • Pegboard organizer: an ingenious way to keep unused things in plain view.
  • Movie library: A way to store movies you’ll never want to see more than twice.
  • Desk organizer: A chance to slip things into a slot before ignoring them.
  • Toy box: A receptacle for broken toys.
  • Drawer organizer: A way to add something plastic to the stuff rattling around in there.
  • Sewing basket: A decorative enclosure for three or four things you use occasionally, surrounded by snarled thread, unraveling bias tape, antique hooks and eyes and tangled zippers.
  • Whatnot: A handy place to put things you ought not to have bought. :-)

The message here is that many things we purchase with the hope of getting organized are just innocent pieces of plastic, wood or metal; they don’t organize anything. We are the organizers. We’re the ones who have to have some  discipline to keep the closets and cupboards tidy.

Of course, if you’d like some help with your de-clutter or purging project, Seamless Moves is here to help!

Our thanks to Bill Longshaw of freedigitalphotos.net for the image.

 

Sunday, June 16th, Father’s Day, is just around the corner. Wondering what Dad might want for Father’s Day? Why not help him get some R&R by offering up a little organizational elbow grease. How about giving him an organized garage?

Last year we posted these tips on Does Your Garage Need a “Tune-up?” and since this might be just what “dear old Dad” could use, we thought we would share again as a reminder and for those who might have missed the post.

The garage is where we toss everything that doesn’t have a place in the house. Although you have plenty of room, sometimes it can look like an obstacle course. If you find yourself using your garage as if it were a public storage unit, here are some organizational tips.

Time ~ Set aside enough time to work on the project. Try to plan for a dry weekend, because you’ll have to pull many items out of the garage. If you want the project to go quickly, with a minimum of  disruption to your regular  routine, hire an expert or round up a team of helpers. Otherwise, it may turn into an overwhelming task that will be abandoned halfway through.

Assess the clutter ~ Start by creating three categories: keep, donate, and toss. Discard items that haven’t been used within two years. Once you know which items that will live in your garage, begin grouping them into categories. Only after this step will you know the correct sizes and types of containers or bins to buy to store your things in.

Pick plastic storage bins ~ Cardboard boxes, no matter how strong, bend and dent with frequent use and eventually succumb to dampness. Waterproof containers protect their contents better, seal tighter, and are easy to carry or move.

Think Visibility ~ Consider metal shelving such as those sold at Costco. It’s affordable, easy to assemble and you can add wheels if you want it to be movable. Ventilated shelves also allow visibility and prevent dust and dirt from collecting. If necessary, store items in clear boxes or bags to keep them clean. Give anything that is not easily identifiable a clear label.

Overhead Storage ~ The area above your garage doors may be wasted space. An overhead storage rack is great for out-of-season storage and Holiday decorations.

Keep it at your fingertips ~ Assemble a quick-fix kit consisting of a hammer, screwdriver, nails and screws and keep it near the door to the house so you can access it easily for quick fixes.

If you are short on motivation or manpower for this project, let Seamless Moves clean it out with you and get it organized! We can help Dad get on the couch with the ballgame, or out on the golf course a little sooner by using a little of our organizational elbow grease.

Our thanks to 89studio at freedigitalphotos.net for the photo.

There is no doubt that summer is the prime time for moving. Summer is also garage/yard sale season. It’s as American as apple pie – people love to go to garage sales in the summer, so it’s the perfect time to have one. Whether you are planning a move, or need to de-clutter to get ready to sell your home, why not make some money while getting rid of unwanted items?  No matter what the reason, garage sales are a great way get rid of things that you longer use.

If you need inspiration, we have tips for de-cluttering and organizing in previous blog posts such as Organizing Your Craft Room, Does Your Garage Need a Tune-Up? and Top 5 Clean Out Your Closet Tips.

Although you no longer want or need something, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t treasure it. Even if you only have one item left from a set, such as one glass, one plate or one candlestick, make sure you put it out for sale. People are always on the hunt for pieces that are unique or missing from their own collection. If you have some things that you think aren’t worth selling, try putting them out as “freebies.”

Popular sale items include: baby and children’s clothing and toys, cds, kitchenware and appliances, books/magazines, craft supplies, linens, tools and sporting equipment.

To learn more about pricing and advertising your yard sale go to About.com.

Of course, if you’d like some help with your de-clutter or purging project, Seamless Moves is here to help!

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

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