Happy New Year- Learn How To Get Organized!

How to Get Organized - Tips for Cleaning Out and Organizing Clutter

Happy New Year! 2016 is here! Have you made any resolutions for the new year ahead? For me, my top priority is learning how to get organized! I have been trying to organize and get rid of stuff for the longest time – but – there’s still multiple piles of clothes I need to go through, stacks of papers and magazines, a box of stuff waiting to be donated and then just everyday clutter. It seems like whenever I try to start, I get sidetracked or busy with something else and it never gets done. I go through a pile of stuff just to have it pile up again – the never ending cycle of clutter and “stuff”!
Well, at this point, I’m fed up with the clutter! Just taking a look around my house makes me feel anxious and stressed. I think it is starting to affect my productivity. So, my number one goal this year is making a determined effort to really clean out, organize and get rid of stuff throughout the entire house!
Now that I have a 7 month old, we have accumulated a lot of stuff. There are things that need to be stored somewhere including: baby gear, outgrown baby clothes and maternity clothes. And then there are things that I haven’t used or that have gotten their fair share of use and need to be tossed. The hardest part is setting aside time to plan, sort, clean, and find the space to store everything. It quickly becomes overwhelming when I think about the amount of work and effort it will take to finally get the house organized.
My solution is to break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Instead of spending an entire weekend trying to tackle everything all at once, I will work a little each day on a specific task so as not to get burned out.

Here’s my plan of action on how to get organized:

Step 1 – Create a plan
Mentally go through the list of things that need to be stored away. Think about how the best way to store them might be and where you want to store them.

Clothes: For maternity clothes and baby clothes that no longer fit my little man, I bought some space saving bags where you remove the air and I plan to store them in the closet. I thought about getting plastic bins but the bags were a better solution since we have limited closet space.

Baby Gear: For larger items like the infant swing and bassinet, I plan to take them apart as much as I can and put them in large plastic garbage bags to protect them from dust. I will wash and store any removable cloth separate in an inside closet.

Paperwork: Decide on a file system and come up with a designated spot for important documents/action items, papers that need to be filed away and documents that need to be shredded. I try to get rid of junk mail immediately so it doesn’t pile up.

Step 2 – Start Sorting
Before you actually get to packing clothes away or filing paperwork you need to sort through and decide if it’s something you actually need/want to keep. Make 3 sorting piles: keep, donate, trash. Once you have your items sorted it’s a good idea to immediately throw out the trash items and actually take that box to drop off at the donation site.

Further sort through the keep items:
Baby Clothes: Sorted by size and will be packed in separate bags for each size: Newborn, 0-3mos, 3-6mos, 6-9mos etc.

Paperwork: Sorted according to your filing system and categories. Action items go to their location, shred documents go to a pile by the shredder, documents that need to be kept are separated into their respective filing categories (credit card statements, bank statements, utilities, mortgage documents, taxes, etc).

Step 3 – Take Action: Pack, File & Shred
After planning and sorting you can now start to pack things away. Purchase the bins/bags or other supplies you need to pack or file items away. Once items are packed and clearly labeled, put them in their designated storage spot. File away papers and shred those documents! 

Step 4 – Keep it up!
When new documents come into the house don’t wait until they pile up, take care of them right away. Every so often, go through clothes, toys, and items that come into the house: Plan, Sort, Pack, Repeat!


Hopefully at this point, you can look around and sigh with relief at how clean and organized everything looks! I’m just starting with this process so I’m looking forward to getting it done and enjoying a clean and organized home!

Tips:

  • Remember to work on a certain task a little each day. Don’t feel like you have to finish it all in one day.
  • Once you complete one task, move on to the next until you have gone through the entire house.
  • Start with the things you can see and then move on to closets, cabinets, drawers, and boxes that need to be sorted. This way you can see that you are making progress and will be more motivated to keep going.
  • Try to keep piles of paperwork from accumulating by getting rid of junk mail immediately and filing or shredding documents. Go through magazines weekly and get rid of any you don’t use. If you see a recipe, article or coupon you want to keep, clip it out right then and have a designated spot to put it, then toss the magazine.

How to Fold Clothes to Save Space

Getting organized (in all areas of my life) was a resolution I set for myself this year.
To start things off I am working on organizing clothes. I’m going through my closet and drawers and getting rid of any shoes, clothes or accessories I no longer use. I’m also trying out a new way of folding clothes so that I’m able to see everything and so I can maximize the space.
Here’s a before and after shot of the drawers.How to Organize Clothes and Save SpaceHow to Organize Clothes and Save Space
Everything is visible and I can actually fit more when the clothes are folded this way. While it takes a little more work and folding on my part to keep it up this way, it is so much easier to be able to see everything at a glance and I don’t have to dig through my drawers to find something.

How to Fold Clothes to Save Space

Here’s a quick video that shows how to fold a shirt, how to fold shorts and how to fold socks for maximum drawer space.

Being Prepared and Stocking Up

Being Prepared - Stock Up on SuppliesUnexpectedly, the power went out last week and it made me realize how unprepared I would be if the power were to go out for a extended amount of time. Luckily it only lasted a few hours so my fridge and the food inside were okay.
While I had some supplies like my flashlight, candles and matches, I realized I should have stocked up on a few other items.
Disclosure: Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through those links.
Of course when the power went off my phone was on its last little bit of battery power. I never got around to purchasing a compatible car charger since getting a new phone and so I had no way of keeping it charged up. I’ve seen these external batteries for smartphones and I never really thought about getting one until now. I was at least able to look up the phone number and report the power outage in our area before my phone died but having the backup battery and/or a car charger would have been very useful.
Another thing I realized was that I needed to stock up on batteries. Yes, I had my working flashlight but if those batteries died I’d be in the dark. I also have some candles but they are all pretty small and I don’t think they would last very long. A few larger long-lasting candles would do the trick!

Considering we only have an electric grill/smoker I would have no way to cook anything or even boil water if need be. A few small Sternos, a DIY Rocket Stove from Prepared Housewives or a Propane Camping Stove are items I’m adding to my list.
Keeping the pantry stocked up with non-perishable food and water for drinking are other important items. I had some bottled water on hand but some large jugs of drinking water that could also be used for cooking or cleaning are a good idea.
It’s not really feasible for us to stock up on ice since our freezer is not that big but if you have the extra space it’s worth it.
Don’t forget the First Aid supplies/kit. You never know when or what could happen and this is really something to have on hand for any situation.
The power outage turned out to be a real eye opening experience for me. A lot of these things seem obvious but I never thought about them until now. I discovered how unprepared I really am and I plan on stocking up on these supplies so next time I’m ready!
Are you prepared?

How to Eliminate Fruit Flies

With summer comes more bugs…and flies. I can’t stand these little fruit flies that seem to be multiplying. They are so annoying. It’s gotten to the point that I have to keep everything covered and watch my food as I eat to make sure they aren’t landing on it. As I’m preparing a meal I have to stick things in the microwave or oven just to keep it protected while I am doing something else.Eliminate Fruit Flies
Pinterest of course, saves the day and has a remedy for getting rid of these annoying fruit flies. It does take some time to get rid of them but this method does work. I keep a glass cup filled with vinegar and a drop of soap in the pantry, near the fruit bowl and the trash can. It’s pretty amazing how many fruit flies I will find floating in the cups after a few days.

get_rid_of_fruit_flies

Fruit Fly Remedy
Small Glass Container
Apple Cider Vinegar
Drop of Dish Soap
Fill container 1/4 to 1/3 full of apple cider vinegar and add a drop of dish soap. Mix up and place near the highest concentration of fruit flies.
Prevention will help in getting rid of these buggers also. Take out the trash daily, clean out the drain and wash dishes or load them into the dish washer immediately after using.