Sheryl Simon's Blog
When you've owned your house a long time, getting it ready to sell may seem like a daunting task. If relocation is on the horizon for you, get an early start and organize your spaces.
Ideas to help you get organized right away!
Resist the temptation to add items to your home that might not be needed or used in the short term. If you tend to purchase commonly used items in bulk, try to reduce the quantity you store to no more than you can use up within a month or so.
Sort your belongings and donate or throw away items or clothing you no longer need. Move items designated for donation into the trunk of your car right away so you have them with you the next time you pass by a donation center.
Start small. Choose one thing to organize at a time but make sure you can tackle the project in one day. A drawer, cabinet, or closet would be a great place to start. Every week — or if you're especially motivated, every day — choose another place to organize. Throw away or donate unused items as you go.
Get a handle on paper. You will need to keep some physical documents like marriage licenses, certified birth certificates, and passports but for other things like invoices and receipts, a digital version is all you need. If mail is an issue, consider switching to electronic delivery for bank or credit card statements and removing yourself from mailing lists for catalogs or other marketing that you don’t need to receive anymore.
Check the sentiment. When an object is received from a special person or under special circumstances it can be hard to part with even if it’s not an object that is used or displayed often. If there are items like this in your home, consider passing them on to someone who will use them. Memorialize the sentimental value with photos or journal entries, the memory is often more important than the thing.
Organizing is step one toward preparing for a sale.
Your real estate professional can help you plan for a home sale. They’ll walk through your house with you and show you what items to repair, what to update, and what you might want to pass on or put into storage, contact your agent today to get started.
Although some families are more organized than others, most homes are plagued by at least a moderate amount of clutter.
While it may seem like only a minor annoyance, household clutter can have a major "ripple effect" on several aspects of your life. Disorganization and clutter can be insidious problems for homeowners to deal with because its impact is not always obvious.
When you stop and think about it, having a cluttered home can take a heavy toll on everything from your finances to your family relationships. Here are a few reasons to set aside some time, this month, to begin decluttering your home.
Time and Money: One of the most frustrating experiences in life is to try to find a misplaced tool, an important document, or anything you might need to complete a task, solve a problem, or meet a deadline. When you add up the hours you and your family spend on searching for items that are stuffed in drawers or buried in closets, it becomes increasing clear why everyone's productivity is down and stress levels are up. You may have also noticed that you're spending money on personal and household supplies that you already have somewhere in the house.
If you've lived in your home for more than a few years, you've probably accumulated stacks of clutter in every imaginable storage space. Three ways to drastically reduce the amount of clutter in your home in a relatively short period of time is to either sell, donate, or throw away things you no longer need. The first step, of course, is to sort through your belongings to separate what's useful from what's just taking up valuable space.
Although organizing a garage sale can be a time-consuming activity, the benefits can far outweigh the time and effort involved. Preparing for a garage sale not only results in finding valuable things you forgot you even had, but your home will end up feeling cleaner, more spacious, and more welcoming. As long as you don't hold a garage sale every year, it can be a fun and profitable family activity.
Another alternative to storing things at home that you no longer need or want is to donate them to a charitable organization, such as The Salvation Army. Churches, veterans groups, and other community organizations often accept donations of clothing, furniture, electronics, appliances, and other household items. Making a few trips to nearby clothing collection bins is another way to unclutter your closets and pass along useful things you no longer need.
One type of clutter you can neither sell nor give away is "junk." If you have enough of it, you might consider renting a dumpster or calling a reputable, reasonably priced junk hauling service. Regardless of the method you use to get rid of things you no longer want, you'll be amazed at how energizing it can be to restore order, cleanliness, and a sense of pride to your living space!
If your children's playroom is also the guest room or family room or office, you need lots of organization to keep all its uses available at a moment's notice. But busting your budget for fancy boxes and bins is entirely out of the question. A quick trip to the dollar store offers up a trove of options to fit your needs.• Use shower caddies to hold toys and craft items.
- Plastic bins work great to organize blocks, Legos, and other building pieces.
- Small bins separate pens, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and brushes from other supplies.
- Over-the-door shoe holders hold action figures, fashion dolls or dolls’ dresses.
- Large tubs make great homes for stuffed animals.
- Square cubby bins hold dress-up clothes and costumes.
- Plastic crates make an excellent home for play kitchen sets and dishes. Hang smaller containers on removable hooks alongside the play kitchen.
- Place a hanging organizer in the closet and fill it with games.
- Keep color books or comic books in magazine boxes.
Often, baskets and bins come in matching or contrasting color groups. If they are visible in the room, mix and match the larger items artfully on shelving or along the wall, under a table that doubles as a desk or in a closet. Stack lidded bins to keep them organized and label them to make putting items away easier. All these containers are easy grab-and-go items when you need to switch your room's use.
If you’re setting up a play place for grandchildren, fill the baskets and bins with a variety of color books, crayons, and games. Keep a stock of small toys and make each visit special by offering up a new surprise. Then, when the grandchildren are away, whisk the bins into a cabinet or under a bed and, voila, you have your office or guest room back.
As children mature and move on to crafts and hobbies, add a magnetic spice rack to hold beads and baubles, model parts, and other small objects. Place a clear strip of tape on each container and write on it with a permanent marker, so you know what's in it. If you change out the contents, peel off the tape and add a new piece with the new label.
When they reach the age they no longer need a playroom, re-purpose the bins into a homework station to hold pens, tape, paper, and notebooks.
If you’ve always wanted a dedicated playroom in your home, your realtor can show you homes that fill the bill.
Keeping a clean and reasonably organized kitchen is essential for those wanting to prepare food at home quickly. Finding your kitchen comfortable to work in and maintain will help keep you motivated to cook instead of caving to ordering in or going out to eat. It may seem simple, but many people just put things in different cupboards and don't consider how it might affect the flow of their kitchen and their ability to use the space efficiently. Here are some thoughtful ideas to consider when putting kitchen items away in your new home, or when you finally get around to reorganizing your kitchen space.
Consider the location of your large appliances. You can’t rearrange your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher or sink without a kitchen remodel. So, you’ll need to design your kitchen organization around these main appliances that you use frequently. Inspect at the cupboard and drawer space in your kitchen and consider organizing as follows.
- Prep: Put your cutting boards and knives near each other for easy access and consider keeping them near your sink or within close range of your kitchen trash for quick clean up.
- Cooking: Place pots, pans, and bakeware in a cupboard near your stovetop and oven. Put hot pads, trivets, and utensils like spatulas and cooking spoons in a drawer near the stove or hang your tools on hooks by the stovetop.
- Drinking: If possible put your coffee pot near your sink and fridge and place your glasses and mugs in a cupboard easily accessible by both.
- Dining: For the most convenience see if you can place your plates, bowls and serving dishes near your table and also near your sink and dishwasher. This arrangement will help facilitate dining as well as simplify clean up.
- Miscellaneous Appliances: Take inventory of your appliances and be honest with yourself about which ones you use the most. If you bake all the time maybe your mixer needs to be out on the counter or in the front of a lower cupboard. If you’re really into juicing or making smoothies, consider keeping these appliances out or in a place you can easily access. If you rarely use your crockpot or fondue set and are truthfully unlikely to start anytime soon you don’t need to have these items out crowding your space or taking up prime real estate at the front of your cupboards.
Organizing dry foods can also be tricky depending on the size of your kitchen, but there are several ideas you can use to help yourself out.
- Baking: Put all your baking materials in the same cupboard, on the same shelf if possible and keep these near your oven or your mixing equipment.
- Beverages: Keep all your coffees and teas together and near your coffee pot and water kettle.
- Pantry Goods: If you don’t have a pantry, designate one cupboard to house goods that are shelf-stable for a long time. Place canned items, unopened sauces, rice and pasta in this cupboard, or on a particular shelf.
- Daily Use: For items you use daily like bread, cereal and snacks find a quick access location in your kitchen. Maybe this is a cupboard right by your plates and bowls or by your fridge.
Any kitchen, no matter the size can be organized to meet your daily needs. Take inventory of what you have and what you use to help you transform your kitchen into a functional space that works for you.
Hectic mornings can make for messy, disorganized bathrooms. Between the mad dash of getting the kids ready for school and ensuring you look presentable for the office who has time to put the toothpaste or hairspray back nevermind neatly so? If you’re dreaming of a clean, organized space to get ready for the day keep reading for some easy to implement tips.
Begin your project with a clean slate by tossing out any outdated products or items you simply don’t use. Check how long to keep an item for by the image of an open container with a number followed by a capital m inside of it. This indicates how many months to keep a product for after opening. If you can’t even remember when you bought a product it's safe to assume its time for a replacement.
Take a tip from the minimalists and keep only what you truly use. After all, the less you have the less you will have to dig through to find what you are looking for. Common culprits are hair products, spa-like bath products and piles of towels. If an item is really something you can’t let go of but don’t use often consider moving it to a nearby linen or storage closet.
Once you’ve decided what stays it’s time to put your items away. But before you start shoving everything back into drawers and cabinets take a few minutes to draw up a plan that gives each and every item a “home”. When everything has a dedicated space it belongs in it makes cleanup a breeze, especially on those hectic mornings.
Keep items off the countertops for an uncluttered magazine worthy countertop. Instead, place your families’ go-to items inside the medicine cabinet or top drawers. Try to keep everything in neat organized lines where you won't have to reach behind products to get the one you are looking for. An orderly lineup prevents chaos and products spilling down each time you reach to the back.
Installing clever organizers for small spaces helps to make the most of tiny bathroom spaces. Think more shelves, lazy susans, drawer organizers and roll out trays to get more out of cabinet spaces. A heat tool corral keeps pesky hairdryers and irons neatly organized and at arms-length.
Maximize empty and therefore unused space throughout the room such as over the toilet by installing shelving. You may also consider adding more hooks if you need them to hang up towels and keep them off of the floor.
It may seem like there isn’t any time for keeping an orderly bathroom when you’re just trying to get out the door in the morning. However, with a thorough cleanout and thoughtful organization your bathroom could be even more tidy than you first imagined. It just takes a little time and creativity to make the most of your unique bathroom space. Happy organizing!