Take a Break by Tidying Up

When I feel stressed or I don't know where I want to start with the never-ending To Do List, I like to do a quick tidy-up in a corner of my home. This makes me feel more in control of what's around me and helps knock a chore off the list. If my space feels more "together," then I'm more likely to be open to visitors stopping by (which I'm trying to be better about as I mentioned in last night's post about hygge-ing and getting together with friends more this winter).

Nothing fancy here - just my entry way table that very quickly accumulates stuff. I can tell how busy I've been during the week by looking at this table! I keep my work bag underneath, purse on top, along with mail and other notes or To Do's that come up.

In less than ten minutes, I cleared the surface (except for my purse that lives there) by putting things away, filing things away, and recycling a few pieces of junk mail. It feels so much more organized!

I love using Lapse It to capture these quick chores because it shows that it really takes no time at all to get the space a little more manageable (plus fun cameo by Walt/his tail!).

 
 

Do you have an area of your home that makes tidying seem like a break from your work? What task do you like to tackle before you get started on a bigger project? 

Transformation Tuesday: Entry Way Closet

I've seen many clients struggle with these hall/entry way closets, laundry storage, and pantry storage - spaces that are supposed to help us contain all the things. Somehow, they turn into the place that you try to close (or shove it close, in some cases) the door on because they get out of control but are still necessary for us to use.

A recent client was dealing with minimal storage in an awesome three story townhouse. The home had a small entry way so this closet needed a serious revamp to better store household goods and tools.

It's hard to tell in this picture but there's a pretty deep, narrow space on the right that was working against us. The cool thing about getting organized is that we so often find other things throughout the home to get repurposed for these tricky problem areas. We were able to use a small utility shelf from the living room and it fit right into that narrow spot. 

 
 

Items that didn't need quick access (like paint supplies) moved toward the back, placed the utility shelf in front with arts and crafts supplies, then reorganized the shelves to hold all extra household items (batteries, light bulbs, paper goods).

We also cleared out/pared down bulky items like excess linens and comforters that were never used but were taking up precious real estate in the closet. In about an hour, we improved the functionality of this little closet!

Transformation Tuesday #34: Entry Way Quick Clean-Up

Many people have asked me how long it really takes to organize - the answer is different every time, depending on the project. When the clutter piles up, it can be hard to just get started. Like the garage, the entry way is a spot in your home that you might not pay much attention to but you have to go by it everyday. 

I can tell how busy my week is by looking at the entry way table, aka the dumping zone. Because this is in close proximity to my washer/dryer closet, clean laundry ends up on this table quite frequently (my way of forcing myself to take care of it rather than relocating it to the bedroom floor). If I don't have time to deal with mail, a bill, and other paperwork, little stacks start appearing.

I spent about 15 minutes organizing this time around. I brought the recycle bin so I could toss items immediately and had my filing box handy so that I would move paper off the table right then and there.

Not too shabby!

 

Transformation Tuesday #14: Entry Way

While I absolutely love organizing, I often let the nooks and crannies of my home get a little out of hand at times just like everyone else. I find when I'm super busy with work, volunteering, friends or family, that the entry way is the spot that suffers the most. Whenever we have guests come over, this is the first place I need to tidy otherwise they stumble in over who knows what.

I'm trying to keep it as clear as possible these days and take stock of it each week by putting things away where they belong, filing papers away, recycling old coupons, etc. It's such a small time investment but it makes a big impact, especially in a small space right when someone walks in.

I spent about 20 minutes here - most of the time is running things to their rightful home and going through my "to be filed" items. Once this was done, it didn't seem so daunting to tackle tidying up the bedroom or living room!