Personal Organizing Journey July 18th/25th/26th

I’ve been fairly busy with new clients lately and haven’t had much time to write, so I thought I would share some small entries from my personal organizing journal that I hadn’t posted yet!

July 18th, 2017

I am so beyond excited. Yesterday I was able to purchase some of the organizing supplies I have been wanting for awhile. Hooray!

Since my appointment this afternoon has been rescheduled, I am making today a cleaning, organizing and fitness day. I already started putting some of my new supplies into action yesterday. I will share before and after pictures when the spaces are completely finished.

I got some “under-the-sink, over-the-cupboard door” organizers for both my bathroom and kitchen. The spaces under the kitchen sink  and in my main bathroom aren’t too bad, but I still have a little work to do under there.

I’m debating getting additional organizers for the other cupboard doors in both rooms, I enjoy them so much!

I also got some stacking bins for my pantry. I may get more in the future. They keep my potatoes and other similar things from falling all over the place.

This personal session ended up being cut a bit shorter than intended, but every little bit is a step towards my goal of complete organization!

July 25th, 2017

Yesterday was a rather gloomy day, and I decided to work on cleaning up my music files. I’d been wanting to add some new music to my iPad, so it seemed logical to work on organizing some files as well.

As I deleted duplicate songs from my music library, I made sure to find the file location and delete them from the computer as well. That way I won’t have to do it all over again should I have to use my back-up files to restore my computer. I also made sure things were correctly labeled. I can’t stand messy file names in my music library!

My reward for my efforts was the discovery of some new artists! I love finding new music!

July 26th, 2017

I have now reorganized the dresser drawers in my sons’ room using the KonMari method. Now they have an easier time finding the clothes they want too!

Five year old’s drawers:

Four year old’s drawers:

Who knows how long they will stay neat with the kids pulling things out and then putting them back, but hey, I tried!

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Dressers and Bookshelves: Makeover Magic

Checking in with updates of my personal organizing journey once again.

A few days ago I decided to finish refolding the contents of my dresser using the KonMari folding method. I can’t stop raving about this technique; my drawers look beautiful and I was able to fit more of my belongings into them!

Because I am a silly goose and didn’t think to get pictures of how everything looked before, I only have a few before pictures. The after pictures make me really happy, that’s for certain!

My boyfriend’s drawer for long sleeves. Before:

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His T-shirt drawer looked the same way! (I didn’t get a picture because it was empty at the time.)

After:

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Neatly folded!

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His T-shirt drawer. Easy to find the shirt he is looking for!

Here’s my side of the dresser:

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You can see how I was attempting to keep the drawer neat and organized, but not quite achieving it.

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Voila! The KonMari method works its magic and increases the number of shirts I am able to fit!

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My T-shirt drawer, also improved.

What a difference it’s made! The folding method is simple, so put away time for laundry hasn’t changed, but it’s made easier by not having to smush garments into their drawers anymore!

I also spent some time reorganizing my bookshelves. I had brought over some book bins from the storage unit because I was wanting some of the books out of there. However, my bookshelves were already overflowing. So how was I going to make this work?

Step 1: I finally, finally admitted to myself that there were books I had been carrying around for years that I was never going to read again or even read in the first place. The space on my bookshelves is primarily reserved for my favourites, books that I never get tired of reading. They’re like old friends, these books. Some of them I’ve had since I was a kid.

So I removed the books that no longer interested me. I set aside a few for a friend who is collecting books for her future classroom, and the rest I donated to my friend’s little lending library! It’s her own library that she made herself and stands beside one of the community walkways. People can take some books and read at their own pace and return them when they’re done. (This is a great neighbourhood project; Google it if it’s something that interests you!)

Step 2: I did some reorganizing. I used to separate books more into genres, but I’ve decided to arrange most of them by author. A few of them have their own unique spots, usually my longer series or a large collection by a favourite author.

Step 3: I added some decorative touches. My favourite ones are the little Anne Shirley by my L.M. Montgomery books and the glasses by the Harry Potter books.

Step 4: I packed up the books that I am keeping but not using right now. Most of them are children’s chapter books that I am holding onto for when my boys are older. Instead of having two rubbermaid bins of books, I condensed everything into one! I am currently using the other bin to hold the miscellaneous items that I still need to get sorted in the office.

Organizing my bookshelves was one of those processes where things get disastrously messy before they look nice and tidy. I had to walk away and take a small break when I felt myself getting overwhelmed.

Before:

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I only worked on my side, not my boyfriend’s, but you can see what a disaster it was!

After:
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The top of the shelves.

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My little Anne of Green Gables and Harry Potter glasses.

Before on the left, after on the right.

Now, I admit that I am one of those people who likes to go back and play around with arrangement, so there’s a good chance I may reorganize my bookshelves differently in the future. For now, I’m happy with the way they look, and I even have a smidgen of room for books that I am missing from certain series or collections!

I think that’s all for this installment of my personal organizing journey. I still have a significant project under construction for the office, a new customized shelving unit, so progress for this room is a bit held up in certain aspects. However, I can always keep working at eliminating unnecessary clutter and tackling the small projects, one at a time!

My bedroom is just about finished as well. The dresser is done, the bedside drawers are done. The cabinets and the floor and shelf of the closet are all that’s left there, and even they won’t require much work.

I’m super excited about the progress I am seeing all around my house! Even the storage unit is slowly being emptied out, thanks to some hard work from my dad and his best friend.

This is my year of positive changes, and I am starting to see the results of all of my hard work. Thanks for checking in! See you again soon!

Top 5 Reasons People Struggle to Get Organized

Today I thought I would share with you a few of the reasons I have seen people give for why they can’t get organized. I know I used to give a few of these myself in the past; can you see yourself in any of these? If you do, take heart! Where there is a will, there is a way!

  1. Time

    This is often one of the first excuses I will hear from people when they are asked about getting organized: “I don’t have time!”

    I’ll let you in on a secret: everyone has the time to get organized. Everyday, we make choices about how to spend our time according to our priorities. Certain obligations can’t be moved around for our convenience, things like work or getting the kids to school. However, we still have plenty of moments throughout the day where we can choose to set aside half an hour to properly put away all of our clothes instead of letting them lie on the floor or sit in laundry baskets.

    Some people have busier schedules than others, and I completely respect and appreciate that. Take a moment, however, to think about what other areas of our lives can be improved upon if we chose to set aside some time every week to work at getting organized.

    For example, if we made sure all of our paperwork was properly filed away, tax season wouldn’t be nearly as stressful! There would be no rummaging throughout the house trying to find missing receipts or paystubs because everything is neatly categorized and filed in one specific location. Another example could be taking the time to remove clothes that we longer wear or that no longer fit us from our closets and dressers. Not only would you be able to clearly see the outfits you have available to wear, but you wouldn’t be bombarded by clothes from when you were two sizes smaller or larger. It’s much easier to get dressed for the day when you don’t have to sift through piles of things that don’t fit or aren’t appropriate for your current situation!

    There are so many benefits to be enjoyed in a well-organized home. Good organization has a ripple effect; what starts out as a clean closet in your bedroom can spread throughout your home and into your personal and professional life!

    We spend our time doing things that we believe are important to us. Recognize the importance of good organization, and start making the time!

  2. Effort and Energy Required

    Along with time, this is another major reason people don’t work at getting organized. There’s a lot of work involved in getting organized, especially if it’s for multiple areas. People are already working so hard at cramming as much activity as they can into each day: work, school, family time, housework, social life, play dates for kids, extracurricular activities such as dance class or soccer practice. Multitasking, for better or worse, has become the norm, and people are getting burnt out.

    Then along comes someone like me who suggests spending some time and energy working on getting organized? Ha! What a joke, right?

    Not so fast! Getting organized has the fantastic end results of efficiency. When our homes are organized, when we have systems for storage and everything has a designated place, life gets simpler! Not only do we spend less time maintaining the upkeep in our home, we spend less energy too.

    Consider this: For me, whenever I used to clean my house, the first thing I had to do was tidy up the clutter. After all, how can you do an effective job of cleaning if you have to dust, wipe, vacuum or mop around the toys and the books and the papers?

    Nowadays, the clutter is minimal. There’s usually a few toys the kids have left out, maybe some papers needing quick filing, and a few dishes to pop in the sink. I can pull the vacuum out of the closet after five minutes or less spent tidying up compared to the half hour or longer it took before. Even while I’m vacuuming I’m expending less energy because I don’t have to stop and start every time I encounter something else that got missed in the tidying process.

    Yes, you will have to put in some effort and energy to work at getting organized, but when the result yields countless days of greater ease in house upkeep, it’s definitely worth it! I think we can all agree that when housework and other tasks take less time and energy, we can then use that time and energy for things that are far more enjoyable.

  3. Finances

    Money is the cause of so many issues for people, and it comes up in conversations about being unable to get organized too. The main issues tend to be people saying they don’t have the budget to hire a professional organizer like myself or that they don’t have the budget to buy organizing supplies.

    Let me start by saying I completely understand. Money is tight for a lot of people and families right now, and there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the state of our economy. However, there are still plenty of things that a budget-conscious person can do to get organized!

    Clearly, I am here to promote my business; that’s the point of this website! I am here to assist people in my area of service with getting organized at a bank account-friendly price. That being said, I will always encourage people when looking for any kind of service or product to shop around and compare prices.

    Some people might think that hiring a professional organizer is only for wealthier people and that it’s a frivolous expense. Try to remember the benefits of getting organized that I discussed above; do those results sound like frivolity, or do they sound like something that improves quality of life?

    One of the purposes of hiring a professional organizer is to make sure that time you have set aside for getting organized is used to its maximum potential. We’re there to make sure that you don’t get stuck on a small trivial task, that you don’t get distracted and lose focus, and also to teach you how to stay organized once we have left.

    You might be a person who only needs a few sessions before you really feel like you’re getting the hang of things, or you might be someone who needs us every step of the way until the job is done. Every experience is different.

    In regards to being able to afford organization supplies, there are so many cost-effective solutions available, not to mention free! I shared a post detailing some of these techniques awhile ago in my post Super Simple Organizing Tips and Tricks. I plan to share more of these in the future!

    Finding more of these kinds of solutions is often just one Google search away. There are DIY blogs and websites dedicated to these kind of tips and tricks, and you can read about how they worked for real people. You can also visit your library and check out the books in their home and garden section. I’ve read numerous books about DIY and creative storage solutions, organizing on a budget, and similar topics.

    Dollar stores are a great place to find items that are perfect for small storage, things like small plastic baskets for organizing drawers and cupboards. Thrift stores can yield fantastic treasures such as small display cases, baskets, decorative boxes, and more. Many of my personal storage solutions have come from the thrift store! Thrift stores may also have things like small chests of drawers and storage totes for considerably cheaper than ones being sold at retail price. They’re a great place to look especially if you want to flex your creative, DIY muscles.

    The first step in tackling the financial obstacle when it comes to getting organized is to evaluate what is the best use of your organizing budget. Do you need to buy a closet system, or is the money better spent hiring a professional organizer to first help you downsize the belongings you are struggling to part with? These are the decisions only you can make.

    *Bonus to getting organized: certain items that are found during the organizing process and no longer wanted can be potentially sold! Buy and sell pages or consignment shops can help you make a few extra dollars before taking things to donation. Just remember to price things to sell, not to recover money spent, especially if the item has been used or is a few years old.

    **Another bonus to getting organized: there is a possibility of saving money when you are organized! How many times have you misplaced a needed item, couldn’t find it, and so bought another one only to locate the original a few weeks later? Isn’t that frustrating? When you are organized and know where your belongings are, there is less chance of this happening, and you save money. There is also a reduction in waste, if you’re a person who tends to buys groceries forgetting what you already have at home and then having too much of something.

  4. Illness

    For many of us, becoming disorganized was a result of illness, either physical or mental. If you’re being treated for any number of serious illnesses or disorders, your priorities are on your basic needs, and sometimes the upkeep and organization of your home gets placed on the back burner. Some people are lucky and have family and friends who step up and help keep things together; some people have to fight their battles on their own.

    Illness can be a serious factor when it comes to organization. People who suffer from chronic pain disorders may desperately want to get organized but find the process becomes too painful to manage. Those with mental health issues may find themselves becoming easily overwhelmed by the memories or emotions the process brings up and have to walk away to prevent a serious breakdown.

    In either scenario, a professional organizer can really help clients with these factors working against them. The professional organizer can manage the more physical aspects of the process for clients who have limited mobility or chronic pain, and they are able to provide gentle encouragement and support to clients who have mental health issues. Just remember that it’s important to be up front with a professional organizer about these issues, as they may or may not be able to provide the appropriate service.

  5. Lack of Motivation

    So the fifth reason that can prevent getting organized is a lack of motivation. Some people may have the want to do so, but not the will.

    This could be a result of mental illness such as depression, which can drain a person of their drive to accomplish even the most mundane and basic of tasks such as showering, eating, and visiting the grocery store.

    Happily, various studies have shown that improving a person’s surroundings can drastically reduce stress and symptoms of various mental health disorders. Our homes can be a reflection of the living space we believe we deserve, so for people with depression, a home that is tidy and clean and brings us joy can help to remind us of all the good things we deserve. People with ADD/ADHD can become easily overstimulated in a cluttered environment; a streamlined, organized home can help them to retain their focus and attention. OCD sufferers may see a decrease in their anxious responses in surroundings that are kept neat and tidy.

    There are also personalities that thrive in chaos, and that’s okay. However, that chaos is usually best kept to areas of creativity such as a crafting room, not our tax files or closets that cause an avalanche every time they are opened!

    Others may feel that because things are going okay for them, why should they bother doing the work to get organized? Well, I think I have provided a number of good reasons for getting organized throughout the article, such as more time, less energy spent on unpleasant tasks, more money, more comfortable surroundings, less waste, and so on.

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I’d love to hear from you! Do you think you can push past the obstacles holding you back and get organized? Did I miss a reason? Let me know in the comments!

Price changes, promotions, and giveaways, oh my!

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely start to your summer!

I have been making a few changes with my business, such as reducing my prices. I am also offering a fantastic promotion right now:  receive $5 off the hourly rate for your first 2 organizing sessions,  offered to the first 10 clients to book a consultation! One spot has already been redeemed, so nine more people can still claim this great deal! If you had been considering services but were reluctant to do so due to cost, this is an opportunity for you to get the organization assistance you need at a lower price!

Awhile ago, I had participated in a small business fair where I offered a draw to win 1 of 3 prizes of 2 hours free organizing services! So far, I’ve only been able to get in contact with 1 of the winners, so I am doing a redraw for the 2 other prizes. Would you like to win? Head over to my Facebook page and simply comment “Enter” on the draw post!

In exciting news on a more personal level, I will be getting a home organization budget later on this week, so I will finally be able to purchase supplies that I have been needing to really get the house organized the way I like! I am very excited, and I can’t wait to share the results with you!

This has been my year for making positive changes and I am proud to be able to share it with all of you. I hope it may provide inspiration to anyone who has felt stuck in a “clutter rut”.

I’m curious, friends: what has inspired you to make changes in your method of organization? It doesn’t have to be related to this page; it could be from any source, like a friend, a magazine, or a book. I would love to hear from you!

Super Simple Organizing Tips and Tricks

Today I thought I would talk about super simple organizing tips and tricks that are either minimal cost or completely free!

I have implemented most of these techniques around my own house, so I can testify as to their effectiveness. Most of them utilize basic items we interact with on a daily basis and have never considered as having additional purposes.

Bread Tags

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Unless you are the sort of person who bakes your own bread, most of us have probably found these little plastic tags hiding on our counters or under our fridge. (Possibly in other random places if you have cats who like to play with them, like mine do!)

So aside from keeping our bread bags closed, what else can these be used for?

Keeping track of your cords and cables! How many of us have TV stands and computer desks where there is a tangle of cords lurking behind? I know I do!

You can use bread tags to label your cords. No more confusion about if the plug belongs to the Xbox or the DVD player! Simply label the tag with a permanent marker and slip it on the appropriate cord

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You can also use this for tagging unused cords and cables that are being stored or for marking the length of your various extension cords so that you can always find the length you need.

Shower Curtain Rings, Hooks, and Rods

Did you know these handy little rings can be used outside of the bathroom? Here’s how I have put them to work in my room. (This is not my picture; just one that demonstrates the same technique.)

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Free up valuable drawer or closet space by hanging your camisoles and tank tops using shower curtain rings! I have so many that I used a tiered pants hanger along with the rings. It has the added bonus of the padding on each bar preventing the rings from all sliding to one side.

Following this same inspiration, you can use shower curtain rings or hooks to store and organize tons of things in your closet, such as scarves, jewelry, belts, and bras!

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One of my favourite ideas that I am planning to try out soon is to purchase some additional shower rods. Depending on your closet measurements, you may have to go to a home improvement store and have a wooden or metal rod cut to the right size. Just make sure whatever option you choose is able to hold some weight!

You hang the rod above the shelf in your closet and that is where you hang your purses, bags, hats, and other accessories. This technique probably won’t be helpful if you’re lacking in height! On the higher rod, the hooks will work better than closed rings so that you can easily remove the desired item.

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Using a second shower rod along with some plastic baskets that are easy to clean in the bathroom can help keep your shower more organized too!

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Craft rooms can become more streamlined and efficient with the addition of rods, hooks, and rings.

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Even a short rod plus some hooks in the kitchen can help make pots and pans more easily accessible.

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Over-the-Door Pocket Organizers and Storage Baskets

You’ve probably seen these before at the store, showing a simple way of organizing your shoe collection. I had one as a teenager for my tiny bedroom and it was very helpful!

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Later on though, I didn’t really like having this hanging on the back of my bedroom door. Let’s face it, shoes can get stinky, and I didn’t like the smell of shoes and sweaty feet wafting about my bedroom. Luckily, these handy organizers can be used for storing things other than shoes.

My over-the-door pocket organizer now hangs on the back of the door in my kids’ room where it is used to organize their small toys. They have certain toys that they are only allowed to play with under supervision and so these are stored in the top pockets well out of their reach!

A former acquaintance of mine used her organizer to store her socks and underwear since she was in a small bedroom and had limited dresser space.

Hanging on the back of an office or craft room door, they are an ideal way to store additional supplies.

Bathrooms that are lacking in storage space can also utilize an over-the-door pocket organizer or an over-the-door storage basket option to organize extra towels and products.

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There are different styles of over-the-door organizers available so look around and find the one that’s best suited to your needs!

Soda Can Tabs/Chain & S Hook

This is not one I have used because I have hangers that allow me to do this due to their design, but this is such a simple, handy technique I had to include it!

Maximize your closet space by using soda can tabs to hang garments in a cascade effect. This is also great for keeping outfits together.

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You can also use a chain and S hook to create this effect.

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The KonMari Folding Technique

Marie Kondo, author of the bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, suggests that we have been folding our clothes wrong by aiming to make them flat and then stacking them in our drawers. Her method involves folding the clothes so that they can stand vertically! Items are lined up instead of stacked, and the result is an organized drawer with all of the items visible. No more digging for the shirt we want!

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Here is a link to a short write-up that includes two videos that demonstrate the folding technique: http://www.womansday.com/home/organizing-cleaning/a53369/why-you-should-fold-clothes-vertically-konmari-method/

I have adopted this method and I am very satisfied with the results. I have also done something similar with my underwear drawer, though I used some dividers to help the items to stand up.

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By implementing these various techniques, I have brought a greater sense of organization and order to my home. I’m still researching and looking for other possibilities to try out. I especially love ones that involve re-purposing items for a new use!

What do you think? Do you think the tips I suggested here could work for you? Do you know of some other great organization solutions? Let me know in the comments; I would love to hear from you!

Happy organizing!

My Personal Organizing Journey Update

Oh my goodness! I haven’t checked in here for quite awhile! My apologies, dear followers!

Things have been busy, busy, busy. I have still been cleaning and decluttering and organizing around my house and in the storage unit I share with my dad as well. We have boxes and bags and piles of stuff that are ready for our yard sale, which is happening this Saturday! I am so excited to set things out and hopefully make a few dollars. Anything that doesn’t sell will be donated or recycled.

I am hoping to have a good turnout because my little town is doing a community yard sale, so there will be a number of people doing their own yard sales which should mean good foot traffic. There is also a business registry at our resource centre for people with their own businesses as myself, to run a table and advertise their services. Crossing my fingers that I will see some interest in what I have to offer!

I am moving into a mindset that has the “urge to purge”, and I get so excited when I see the recycle bags or donation bags filling up. After so many years of having more stuff than I knew what to do with, it feels so good to minimize my belongings.

Something else my boyfriend and I will be doing in the next few months is refinishing some furniture. I’ve never done projects like this before, and I’m very excited! On the to-do list is my old childhood dresser getting a new paint job before going in my boys’ room and some wooden pallet boxes that were being thrown out at my boyfriend’s work that we are going to turn into planters for our yard!

I don’t have much to go into detail about my sorting and organizing today, because it’s honestly been a bit all over the place. However, I have some ideas for writing some posts with tips and suggestions from some things I’ve been implementing around my own house, so stay tuned!

Happy organizing, everyone!

My Personal Organizing Journey – April 11th & 15th, 2017

April 11th, 2017

I’ve been neglecting to record my progress updates for awhile, but I’m back! Let’s get caught up.

I went through my closets and dressers and removed my seasonal winter clothing such as sweaters, thick leggings, and so on. They have been packed up into the storage containers that hide under the bed, and the spring/summer clothing has made its way out. I actually downsized even more, finding another pile of things to remove.

I went through all of my shoes. I tried on pairs that I haven’t worn for years, and it seems that my feet have changed since my pregnancy because quite a few of them didn’t even fit anymore! Bye bye, shoes!

I started working in the bathroom closet, getting rid of old makeup and other products that I should have thrown out a long time ago. I will need a few small containers or baskets to really finish the job of organizing things like my nail polishes and esthetics supplies, but it’s coming along. I also removed the kids’ training potty. Both of my boys are using the toilet like pros!

I’ve been doing more work in the storage unit. It’s getting pretty full now that my dad has moved most of his stored items over. Then I’ll be helping him to sort through his belongings and get rid of more things.

I’ll be having my yard sale in a few weeks, so I’m hoping to make a few dollars and then donate anything that hasn’t sold. I’m looking forward to seeing the cleared space!

April 15th, 2017

Today while my boys were enjoying watching movies and playing with toys in the living room, I brought down ALL of my crafting supplies to the dining room from their various scattered locations. I worked on sorting things into categories, condensing, removing items that were worn out or didn’t spark my creative interest, and then organizing them into containers. Some of my larger supplies and things that are for future projects (such as when I learn knitting and crocheting from friends) have been put away in a large storage bin that is back in the basement.

The things I use more regularly with my kids such as markers, crayons, paint, and paper are in a smaller container with a handle so I can easily carry it around. Other additional supplies for crafting with my kids are in a larger clear container.

I have two decorative boxes that I keep on a shelf in my living room as part of my “emotional crisis emergency kit”. One of them contains my colouring books and puzzle books (things like sudoku, word searches, crossword puzzles, etc.) and the other has a few small projects that require focus to put together (wooden 3D music boxes my boys received as Christmas presents).

I also had a shallow clear container which fits under my living room love seat that holds my extra cross stitch supplies. I wanted this one easier for me to access, since it tends to be my craft of choice.

The office was one of the rooms that was a total disaster since moving in, as we haven’t fully figured out how everything is going to be set up in there. But now that I have sorted out my craft supplies, I have cleared a handful of half-full boxes out of there and opened up the floor space! The room is closer to being finished and I am feeling fantastic about that!

Once we have gotten rid of some of the large items currently being stored in the basement, such as a queen size box spring that we no longer need, I am hoping to utilize a small area as my crafting corner.

The snow was falling for us this Easter weekend; here’s hoping it melts away fast. I want to start my yard sale!

Cheers, and happy organizing!

Personal Organizing Journey – March 21st-26th

March 21st, 2017

Yesterday I ended up weeding out about ten cookbooks from my collection, as well as a binder full of magazine and written-out recipes that my mom had collected for years. I kept the ones that interested me, and when I have another day where I am feeling low-energy, I am going to work on typing out those recipes on my laptop where I can then print them out and organize my own recipe binder neatly!

Tonight my boyfriend and I went through a giant tangled mess of various cables and cords that were lying jumbled together on the basement floor. Most of them had been in our old house since before I had moved in, and there were a couple where we had no idea what device they had belonged to in the first place. We filled a small cardboard box to overflowing with the cords and cables that are going to the eco centre. All of the ones that are being kept have been coiled and put together with like cords. For now they are back in their box, but I intend to come up with something more put-together in the near future. I personally need labels for some of the cords so that I remember what their purpose is!

March 26th, 2017

The plan for today was for my boyfriend and I to clean the kitchen and then reorganize the cupboards and drawers, because I am not satisfied with how the space is being used. I even started the process yesterday by removing the coffee cups we never use and putting them in a box for our upcoming sale. However, my boyfriend woke up feeling very under the weather, having caught my cold. Unfortunately for him, his body decides to feel like death and try to fight off being sick all in one day as opposed to me going through “stages” of being sick.

I had promised we would help a friend of ours move today, so I told him to rest while I started in the kitchen. I got most of the dishes done and finished washing my grandparents’ wine glasses that I am adding to my collection. I also got part of the cupboard reorganization done!

After returning from moving my friend to her new apartment, he went back to bed and I started working on some other tasks. I went through more of the library books I had checked out for research, and then I kind of jumped from one thing to another.

I rehung my curtains in the living room, hung curtains in the dining room, put away my baking pans and supplies in the kitchen that I had brought up from the basement. I sorted my bottle depot refundables into the bags in our shed and put out the recycling and garbage for pick up tomorrow.

An idea I’ve been toying with for awhile now is to condense my various games (things like Balderdash, Apples to Apples, Taboo, etc.) into one box or container. I mean, each of those game boxes is literally full of cardboard stuffing to hold the different pieces in place. There’s hardly anything in them!

Some people might not like this idea since you are discarding the original packaging, but I am going hardcore with condensing, and I think it will be so much more convenient to be able to grab my one box that has all of my games in it rather than having to cart a pile of awkward boxes around, especially if we go to a friend’s place and are asked to bring our party games.

Plus, I now have more shelf space!

For some of the organizing projects I want to work on in the upcoming days or weeks, I’m really going to need to pick up some more containers or boxes. I want to look for decorative boxes that are pleasing to the eye as I intend to use these containers in the living room for sorting different kinds of items.

When money is tight, it can feel frustrating when certain projects have to be put on hold until some money is available to put towards them, but I am trying to focus on the projects I can work on without needing additional supplies. Perhaps I can use my bottle depot money to buy some of the things I need!

Just keep working on a few tasks every day, every other day, or whatever time you have available. This is a big project, especially if you are working throughout your entire house like I am! It may feel like it’s going too slow, but it’s better to work at it when you have the time and energy to really focus on the task. Trying to force the process when you are tired or feeling overwhelmed may cause problems when you try to make decisions about letting go of items or deciding on how to organize them in a certain space.

We’re moving into spring cleaning season! Happy organizing, everyone!

Personal Organizing Journey – March 13th-20th

March 13th, 2017

Today, since I am lacking energy for a number of reasons, I decided to start clearing out my email inbox. I had over 500 messages sitting around, and I have whittled that down to 250. I sorted emails that need to be kept into different folders, although there are probably more that I can clear out. Good start to it, though!

I actually have quite a few projects involving organization on both my laptop and desktop computer that I would like to get done, but I often push them aside because I feel like if I am not physically organizing and decluttering then I am not actually being productive. Of course, this isn’t true at all! For someone who uses their computer regularly for a number of reasons, it makes sense to spend time making sure files and folders are organized and well-managed.

So I am reminding myself today, and will probably do so many more times, that working on my computer is not a waste of my time!

March 14th, 2017

I’m still struggling to regain my motivation. I’m spending a lot of time lying around on the couch and watching the PVR so I’m trying to make the most of this time by working on cleaning up my computer.

I started deleting pictures I didn’t need or want anymore. I take pictures of books I want to read, so I started adding them to my “To Read” list on my library account and then getting rid of the pictures. I sorted things into the correct folders and deleted duplicates.

It’s still hard to believe that I am productive when I am not physically sorting through items, but I just have to keep telling myself that this is part of getting my space and my life more organized!

March 15th, 2017

Today one of my best friends came over and helped me with a project I’m working on. I had decided to condense more of the family photo albums so that they took up less space on the bookshelf. I set my friend to finish removing the pictures from albums my mom had put together many years ago. These albums had adhesive pages, so it made getting the pictures out a bit challenging. He had to cut some out with an exacto knife.

I worked on the family albums. I pulled out all of the pictures I want to keep, leaving the duplicates or ones that pertained more to my sister and my dad in the albums for them to go through and take what they want. I am planning to arrange my favourite family photos in the new albums, and all of the others are going to be kept in a photo box.

It was nice to go through those old photos and remember things that had been long forgotten, and I’m excited to put the new albums together to enjoy in the years to come.

March 20th, 2017

A bit of catch up for the last few days.

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I worked on reorganizing the items in our storage unit. We took the yard items that had been stored for the moving process back to the house so we had more room in the unit for my dad to start bringing his things over. I also took 12 boxes of my grandparents’ china and wine glasses back to the house to sort through. My boyfriend and I unpacked everything onto the dining room table so that we could see what was there. The plan is to find out if my aunt wants anything from it and if not, I’m going to try and sell the items I don’t want. I’m keeping more than I intended, but I will re-evaluate in a year or so if the items aren’t being used.

Sunday was my two year anniversary with my boyfriend, so I didn’t spend a lot of time organizing. While he was out and arranging the surprises he had planned for me, I worked on washing the mountain of dishes as well as the items that had been unpacked the day before. I’m realizing that I need to massively reorganize my kitchen cupboards, so that will be a project for the near future.

I’m planning to go through my cookbooks again as well and try to downsize. I have a number of books that are quite a bit older and the cooking styles and methods might be too outdated for my taste.

*****

I’m feeling pumped up and motivated to get more done, and luckily my boyfriend is on leave from work for two weeks, so he’s going to be helping me with certain jobs to get our new house looking put-together and beautiful!

So if you’re struggling to start making progress, remember, even taking ten minutes every day to put things in the right place will get you on the right track. On those days when you’re struggling to get up and declutter, follow my example! There are lots of small tasks you can do on low energy days when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch bad TV. Clean out your email inbox, sort through a box of miscellaneous objects, gather up the pens around the house and test them out to see which ones still work, or bring over a box of unorganized papers along with folders, marker, and recycling bag.

Organizing your home and your life doesn’t mean you have to dedicate long hours of hard labour every day. Some days you will be hauling boxes and bins, and some days you will be sitting at the table sorting through papers. Some days you will challenge yourself to let go of items that held sentimental value for you, and some days you will find a box of things that you can easily toss out. Some days you will dedicate time to digital organizing, like on your phone, computer, or tablet.

So be proud of the progress you make on whatever sort of day you are having. Every little bit helps!

Happy organizing, everyone!

My Personal Organizing Journey

Since working with friends and clients is temporarily on hold, I thought it might be a fun idea to share the organizing I’m implementing in my own home! What better way for me to experiment with different methods and systems than in my space, where I can play and tweak with the various options without eating up anyone’s time but my own?

I recently checked out a number of books from the library to research more techniques and ideas for my business, and I’ve found some great information and suggestions. One of the books I’m reading suggests journaling as part of the process and with that in mind, I have begun my own personal organizing journal, which I will be sharing here!

Here is my first entry:

March 8th, 2017

Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time is really weed out the clothing I’ve been hanging onto for years. I am guilty of keeping clothes from when I was a smaller size with the hopeful intention of getting back to that size.

However, as I made my list of goals last night, I reminded myself that if I allow myself to let go of these clothes now, when I do lose some weight, I can reward myself with new clothes. This is a great reward for me because I absolutely adore shopping!

Besides, the truth is I may never fit back into those clothes that I wore before having children. My body has changed in some ways that means things won’t fit the same way, and that’s not a bad thing. My body is still beautiful, in a more mature way. I’m not a skinny teenager with a small bust and tiny waist anymore, but I am a young woman with lovely curves. It’s fun to think about exploring a new style that better suits my new body!

The other fact is that these clothes are meant to be worn, and by sitting in bins waiting for a time that may never come, they are not fulfilling their purpose. There could be a young woman starting a new job who needs some professional clothing and has very little money, so she visits a thrift store and finds the trousers I have donated. It’s past time for me to let these items go and bring happiness and new opportunity to someone else.

I have made the attempt to let go of clothing multiple times over the past several years, and while I do find pieces to put in the donation bag, it’s only ever a few items at a time. Of course, for someone who does struggle to let go, this is important progress! But this time, I was really fired up and determined to remove unworn and unwanted clothing.

I find that having something going on in the background helps me from getting too overwhelmed with this sorting process. If I get too focused on the idea that I’m trying to get rid of things and yet I’m not finding things that I am willing to part with, I get upset and usually give up on the whole process, throwing everything back where it was. So I decided to bring all of the items being sorted into my living room and worked while whittling down the recordings on my PVR.

I had recently gone through my dresser and closet, so today I was working on the “skinny” clothes and seasonal clothes that are being stored either under my bed, in the office closet, or in a large bin in my basement. I brought them all into the living room and got to work.

I started with the bin of “skinny” clothes, knowing that I was finally in the right mindset to let go of things that I had not been able to wear for many years. One that was a hard decision to follow through with was to put the multiple pairs of work pants in the donation bag. In my head, the part of me that wants to keep everything says I should hang onto them because I am working on losing weight and that I will need a professional work wardrobe for when my business gets going. I was able to argue back that I have not used these clothes for years, and I have no definite time when or if I will be able to wear them again. So in the bag they went!

I was also able to get rid of dresses that didn’t fit properly, jeans that are too tight at the top and too long in the legs, shirts, skirts, and shorts that no longer work for me, and other items as well. I had already started a bag with clothes my boyfriend was getting rid of, along with some household linens we no longer wanted, and today I was able to fill that bag to the top!

I do still have a bin in our storage unit that I need to go through, but it’s maternity clothes, and I have already weeded out the items I didn’t feel comfortable wearing during pregnancy. I don’t know if there will be much left, but with my new determined mindset to downsize, I am certainly planning to go through it again!

I have started working on a list of basic wardrobe essentials that I am currently lacking so that when I do go shopping, I can keep focused on only buying those pieces that I need to build a complete and functional wardrobe.

Once I was finished going through things in the living room, I took my bins back upstairs to put them away. I was still pumped up so I decided to reorganize our bedroom closet as it has been stressing me out for some time now.

Our new house does not have closet rods. It has a shelf with a weird awning-like attachment that the hangers hook into, which limits the types of hangers you can use. Since none of the hangers I used for my boyfriend’s clothes worked, I decided to temporarily utilize my rolling laundry rack in the closet for his things. It worked but also brought its own frustrations, plus hanging laundry to dry in the basement has been a pain.

I was able to rehang and reorganize our clothes in such a way that I no longer need the rolling rack! I’m still looking forward to having proper closet rods installed, as it opens up even more options for me to maximize the space, but since I have no idea when contractors will be coming to do the work, I’m happy about the results I achieved today.

I also reorganized two of my dresser drawers. I used makeshift dividers to help me maximize the amount of shirts I could fold and put away in the drawers, which also helps to reduce the amount I needed to hang in my limited closet space.

I’m feeling really good about what I accomplished today, and it’s nice to cross it off my list. On to the next task!