Inspiration and Motivation

Since I’ve started this blog I’ve been receiving really great feedback, not only from you, the readers, but also from some of my family members that I shared my blog with over emails and facebook. One of the greatest feelings is knowing that you’ve helped someone make a positive change in order to have a happier, less cluttered life. My mother just recently sent me a picture of a table that’s along the wall in her dinning room. It was cluttered with magazines, mail, reading glasses, iphone accessories, etc. You name it and it could probably be found on this table.

My mom doesn’t ask me for advice often so the fact that she asked me what she should do and the fact that I had so many ideas of ways to clean up the space made my day! I was texting her ideas and links to baskets and boxes on Amazon and just being a super big dork because I was so excited about this. So Sunday she texted me another picture.

What an improvement! It looks so good and I’m so happy that 1) my mom asked for my advice 2) took my advice and 3) was awesome enough to take before and after pictures so I could blog about it! -haha. It’s motivated me to really step up my game around my own house. Some days I feel like I may come off a little “preachy” with some of my tips and solutions when in reality my apartment is no where near perfect! I’ve been sick for the past week and a half so I’ve been slacking a little bit with my Clean Out Your Closet challenge, but now that I’m feeling better there should be nothing stopping me!

Organize your flood of incoming mail with ease

Everyday, except Sundays and most holidays, I can count on the mail always being in my mailbox. Sorting through incoming mail these days is a pain. Most of it is junk mail and the remaining mail is probably bills or statements. I sometimes imagine what mail was like back in the 30’s & 40’s when people would receive exciting telegrams and charming love letters. When mail was the primary source of communication between people that were far apart. Nowadays, my love letters come in the form of a text message, that is usually abbreviated. How romantic! Anyways, back to my point…

I’m going to help you sort through that mail!

1. What you want to do is set up a mail station in your home. Maybe near your front door or in your home office space. Something simple like a basket or open box.

I have my mail tray right near the front door and usually I’ll just drop everything off in the tray when I come home.

2. Sort through all the mail immediately. This doesn’t mean that you have to open every piece of mail as soon as you walk through the door but it does mean that you should finger through it. Put the mail into piles as you go. One pile should be for mail that you need to act on, like bills for example. Another pile should be for filing, like bank statements. And the last pile should be your garbage pile.

3. Recycle junk mail without even opening it! I get a lot of junk mail from Vonage and State Farm and stuff. Since my mail box is on the other side of my apartment building I usually just toss my junk mail in the dumpster before I even step foot in the house.

4. Once I’m done going through all my mail I’ll usually put whatever I need to keep back in the tray and go through it at the end of the week. Any bills I receive I’ll pay online, any statements I get I’ll file them away, and any advertisements that I want to look at will go in the tray as well. When I get home on Friday afternoon everything is pretty much all sorted out and all I need to do is act on it.

It’s pretty simple! There’s no need to have piles and piles of mail laying around. But if you are throwing away junk mail or any other mail that contains any personal identification information make sure you shred it or rip it up really good, because identity theft is no joke! Also, if you feel that you’re receiving a lot of junk mail you can go to the Direct Marketing Association website¬†and fill out a form to remove yourself from a lot of the mass mailing lists.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Bathroom Closet Clutter!

In my last post I told you that all this month I’ll be cleaning out and organizing all the closets in my apartment. Well I’ve already completed the bathroom closet! It’s not a huge accomplishment because 1) it’s the smallest closet in my apartment and 2) it wasn’t so so so bad and it only took me like an hour or so. But it felt really good. I went in there motivated and determined to throw a lot of stuff away and I did!

Before:

As you can see, there was just junk and stuff thrown in there with no order whatsoever! I started at the top shelve and took everything out. I had two piles: the garbage pile and the keep pile. I didn’t make a donation pile for obvious reasons. I don’t think anyone wants some old toiletries. So I just went through EVERYTHING. There was a couple things that I didn’t know if I should throw away like multiple hair brushes, tanning oil (I’m pale as a ghost and don’t ever use it, but what-ev), hair dye that I bought forever ago but never got around to using. But I pulled them out, looked at them, and said out loud, “Hair brush, I have 10 of you and you’re just taking up space, goodbye. Tanning oil, you’re useless because I don’t use you and the one time I did, your sprayer thing didn’t work but I kept you around this long because I felt sorry for you. And as for you hair dye, I know I have a few grays and I know that they need to be covered but I think I want to go to a salon to get them colored instead of fighting with you and your squeezy bottles and those stinky rubber gloves.”

And just like that, I was done going through all the shelves. I dusted them off and then got a few storage bins that I had gotten from the dollar store last week.

The green bin is for travel size items. Sam and I don’t “travel” in the traditional sense a lot but we do go to Atlantic City for the weekend and take over night trips places so they’re good to have. The pink bin is all of my stuff. I made sure to put all the stuff that I use daily or more often in the front so I don’t have to dig through the bin all the time. The blue bin is Sam’s stuff. Everything is in arms reach from the sink. Easy to take things out of the bins and easy throw back in.

The second shelf is designated for our contacts, solution, and extra contact cases. We also put our first-aid/medicine box here. I wanted to put my hair ties and bobby pins on this shelf because I didn’t want to have small things on the top shelf where I’d have to shuffle around to get them. And finally some of my makeup brushes. I decided to put my mason jars containing all the q-tips, cotton balls, cotton swabs, and makeup sponges in the closet and free up some space on my bathroom vanity.

Third shelf is for our toiletry travel bags, extra mouth wash, air freshner and soap, along with Sam’s hair cutting stuff and shower mirror.

After:

The end result! I’m pretty happy with it. Getting rid of the extra junk and putting the remaining items in some kind of order was fairly easy. All the storage that I used in this closet cost me $3 as the bins that I used on the top shelf only cost $1 at the Dollar Tree. Normally I would clean out the space and sort things into keep piles and then go shopping for storage but I couldn’t pass up some cute storage bins – hahaha!

Have a great weekend!!!

My August Plans!

(Not my closet but it might as well be considering it gave me a headache just looking at it)

I’ve decided that over the next couple weekends I’m going to work on organizing my closets. ¬†August will unofficially be my Clean Out Your Closet month. I only have three closets in my apartment so it shouldn’t take me too long (knocks on wood). The only part I’m dreading is the horrid first step of organization… PURGING! I’m really bad at it because I can find uses for a lot of things that other people would consider junk, so when other people have no problem throwing something away, I have to really think about it – HAHA!.. I thought that others may have a problem purging also, so I’ve put together a short list to get you started.

1. You need to find out how much time you want to devote to your organization project. For me and my closet clean out I’ll probably devote a whole weekend but some people may get too overwhelmed. If that is the case for you, just start small. Purge a little bit here and there in 30 minute chunks or maybe take an hour out of your afternoon to get going.

2. You’re going to need to create 4 groups. Items to keep, items to sell/donate, items to fix, and items to throw away. You may also need a pile for stuff that is just out of place and needs to be returned to it’s designated spot. As soon as you’re done sorting out what needs to go where, it’s time to get that stuff OUT! Take the items that you’re throwing away straight out to the trash can. The items that you’re going to donate or give away should go into a box in the trunk of your car. And the items that were misplaced should be put back into their appropriate spots.

3. If you have any items that need to be repaired give yourself a three month deadline. If the items are not fixed within that three months, toss ’em!

4. The same goes for any items that you may have trouble getting rid of. Let’s say that there’s a vase that you like but haven’t used in a long time but you still really like it. Put it in a box and put it up in a closet, in the attic, or out in the garage for a year. If you haven’t taken it out to use it then it’ll be easier for you to throw away or give away once the year is up.

I hope that these easy tips help with any of your organization projects that you have going this summer and stay tuned for my August Closet Clean Out posts!

Declutter by Donating!

When you’re cleaning and you find THAT object, just laying around, time after time. It doesn’t matter what it is but you don’t use it and it’s always just in the way! I have a solution for that.

Make a Donation Station in your home! Just get a box or one of these big storage containers and label it so that everyone in the house knows what it’s for. Since Sam and I have been rearranging stuff in our apartment, we’re coming across a few things that we haven’t ever used or no longer use. Like:

Some bags and totes that I haven’t used in forever. And…

This weird light thing that we bought at Ikea that we haven’t ever used. Along with a bunch of other stuff that we just always see in the weirdest places and we can never figure out a designated spot for.

This is a perfect idea if you have a child with way too many toys! When you see a couple toys laying around that you haven’t seen your child play with for awhile, throw it in the box.

My rule is we put it in the box and then we wait 30 days. If the object hasn’t been taken back out or put to use or we don’t know of anyone that needs it, then it gets donated at the end of the month. It’s a win-win situation for you. On one hand you got rid of that annoying object that was cluttering your area. On the other hand you feel satisfied that you donated so that someone who needs it will find it and be able to put it to use!