Introducing Your New COVID Gathering Space

Anyone else worried about what their social lives once the cool months start rolling in? I know we are. We’ve been giving this a lot of thought, trying our hardest to come up with potential COVID friendly solutions, and we are happy to announce that we have the perfect suggestion. 

It’s time to turn the garage into an Adult and/or Kid friendly gathering space!

Since fresh air and proper distancing is needed in order to gather, why not utilize your garage? You can open the door, day or night, and spread out chairs, bean bags, even a carpet with some pillows for others to gather around. For your kids, this might look like a movie night, a play date, or a tie dye fest. For adults, a wine night, a quick little gossip, or a meal. 

Whatever your space entails, it’s entirely up to you and that provides so much beauty and opportunity, we just simply can’t contain our excitement. 

However, this means the inevitable…it’s’ time to really, truly, clean out our garages. In order to best help you with this process, we provided a list of suggestions: (but we are also here to help along the way if you need us!) 

Sorting Time! 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with a garage that contains years of keepsakes, old items, donations, and trash. However, it doesn’t have to be. The key? Take it step by step, sort it out. We suggest making piles of things you want to get rid of, want to keep, and potential items that can be used to spruce up your garage gathering space. 

I mean, who isn’t guilty of keeping an extra chair, side table, rug, or even bed stored somewhere in our homes? We love to hold on to things that we “might need” one day. Luckily, today might be that day. But, if we don’t really need it, it’s time to get rid of it. 

Donate these items by taking them to local drop-off areas that are still running during COVID. With Google, these are pretty easy to find. In terms of the trash, chuck it. And for our beloved keepsakes, it’s time to think of better ways to store them. 

Organizing Our Keepables

Now that we have decided what to throw away, what to donate, and what to use in our space, it is time to consider how we are going to store our additional keepsakes, items, etc. We highly suggest investing in a full length wall shelving unit, or get crafty and build your own. Once you have this set up, grab a few clear plastic bins that you can put your items in and place them on the shelves. Of course everything won’t fit, but it helps organize your items all the while maximizing your floor space. 

If you want a little bit more privacy, or a pop of color, grab colorful plastic bins that can be labelled for easy sorting, but still keep some of our items more personal. 

Decorate

Once everything is properly stored and additional items have been removed, it’s time to decorate. Use items you already own, or sanitize some from the house we don’t really need and relocate them here. But, don’t forget the heaters! We recommend ordering heaters, blankets, or really any cold friendly items now before they sell out. We can only imagine the need for them this winter.

As always, stay warm, stay safe, and most importantly, stay organized. 

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Working From Home: How to Keep an Organized Workspace

Now that we are settling into a back-to-school/work-from-home balance, we are a bit more able to see what works (and what doesn’t) in our home. It can be stressful having to run a school and a business all from the comfort of your couch. However, it doesn’t have to be!

Believe it or not, organizing could very well be the solution to many (if not most) of your problems. It is always important to have structure, especially for the little ones. In order to combat COVID-19 from the working home, it is essential to maintain a healthy learning or working environment for every member of the house.

That’s why, this month, we are choosing to focus on organizing our workspace – whether it be professional or educational.

Kids Space

Right now, you’re playing many roles in your child’s life: parent, entertainer, and now, teacher. Going to school from home is HARD! Especially when you are battling challenges like lack of focus and creating a school within the home. Trust me, I get it! That’s why instead of trying to make them learn on the couch or the dining table, bring the classroom to them! Revamp a space in your home that isn’t getting a lot of attention and make it their desk. Have them be part of the decision process for where their learning area will be.  This is important for the younger kids. Once the area has been decided, the next step is clearing out the area.  Just like we do with any area , starting with a clear space is always best.  You don’t need to clear a whole area, just an area for their work space and putting away their stuff at the end of the school day.

With a little revamp, comes organization and that’s why we’re here for you! I am a big fan of clear plastic bins, and think they are by far the easiest way to store items in groups. I often use magazine holders for my clients in their home offices and catch all areas.  Your child’s learning space is now their home office.  A magazine holder stacks vertically, which is always more pleasing and easier to manage that a horizontal stack.  Weather it is a plastic bin or a magazine holder, finding your system is a great way to teach organizational skills. Depending on the age of your kids, don’t over do the organization bins.  Too many can also be difficult and make it tough to maintain.  Start with less and add in as the kids determine what is needed for each class and their daily online learning.  Just as important as the area to do the studying is, is the area to clean up at the end of the day.  You and your kids should make an area that can used to put away the supplies at the end of the day.  You and your kids don’t want to be staring at their classroom all day.

I am also a huge fan of envelope and mail organizers. By keeping these nearby or placed on your child’s desk, you can keep a command center for your child’s weekly progress. Have them turn in assignments or keep key paperwork like online school passwords located here. It will be easy to find, and easy to return. Don’t forget to make this space fun! Decorate it like a mail center and teach your children how to send and receive mail – from home!

Creativity and organization will keep us sane through this upcoming school year. Be sure to go through these areas often to keep it clear and organized. But, it’s also important to take care of yourself and your professional space as well, which is why we wanted to highlight key ways to keep your professional life chaos-free!

Work Space

Once you have the kids settled, it’s time to focus on your work. At least, that’s how I imagine morning routines to go, at least in my house. Maybe you have a desk already, or you are having to create a makeshift one. Whichever it may be, organization is a must!

Again, clear bins and magazine organizers are your best friend. I keep all my folders in my magazine organizers – on a bookshelf or sitting on my desk. Here, I place all important paperwork or client/project information. Clear bins are great organizers for past paperwork or excess supplies.

Another idea is, take cloth baskets and bins and place them on bookshelves or desk compartments. A lot of our desk clutter can be discarded, donated, or reused in a new way. I highly recommend going through all your things before organizing. Pull everything out, so you can really see what you have. Sometimes we need things at close proximity, but it is unflattering to the eye. That is why cloth bins are a necessity! You can get creative with designs, colors, or sizes. Luckily, you can find them, along with clear bins and mail organizers almost anywhere! Some of my favorite places being Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.

For more of a visual, I’ve included the products below:

Bed Bath & Beyond Cloth Baskets 

Target Magazine Holder/Organizer

Target Clear Pantry/Organizing Bins

We’re here for you! We love to hear feedback, suggestions, ideas, or services you may need. So give us a call today.

 

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How to Declutter for Back To School

Normally in August, I start talking about the kids going back to school, cleaning up spaces that were filled with camp gear, towels, bathing suits and more.  For obvious reasons, this “Back to School” year is looking and feeling very different than in past years.

For most of us there were no camps, no swim clubs, many organized sports never happened and our home and spaces have taken a beating.  With all of that being said searching for normalcy and control is what we are all looking for.  Organizing spaces has always given us a sense of control and in turn also calms us and makes us feel really good.

 SO… even though times are different and who knows if the kids are even going back to school in the traditional sense, we should all prepare for the transition of schedules to change and think about how our spaces are being used a bit differently.

Get Rid of It!

We have been staring at our “stuff” since March

Do you really need to keep that dress you wore once, or the sheets for an old bed you no longer use? No! Do we need the extra bags we think are going to get used because they are in good shape? We often hold things for future use, knowing that they haven’t been used in years but struggle with it being “too good” to donate. Don’t hold on to too many items for future use, treat your home as a breathable space to relax, to live.

Practice the One-In, One-Out Ideology

As soon as you buy something, get rid of another…or at least every other time you buy something :o))  This keeps your piles from piling up. Use your closet spaces and drawers as a guide.  If it doesn’t fit in the area you have then it’s time to get rid of something.  When you start putting things in other areas because you have run out of space, it is the beginning of being unorganized.  We have guides all over our house.  Cabinets, shelves, drawers…use them to help not over stuff. 

Always look for “Low Hanging Fruit”.  The “Easy Peazy” ones.  The shirts that are yellowed, a shirt with a hole in it, a stain on anything, a hole in a bag, shoes that are trashed….don’t try and eliminate the difficult stuff first.  Start with the easy stuff.

Organize!

Once you’ve decided what to rid your home of- it’s time to organize! The best way to do this, if you feel overwhelmed as to where to start, is to go area by area. Here are some friendly suggestions for areas of the home:

 Bathroom

Organize alike items together (ex- Hair, First Aid, or Toiletries) Hint: You can even separate items to make a kids section, so the little ones can make more of a controlled mess- keeping your life easier, less stressful.

I use these specifically in bathrooms…under the sink.  Use the shelf to take advantage of the height so you don’t waste space:

Bed Bath & Beyond Bath Organizer

Kitchen

Try organizing an easily-accessible area for the kids. Keep healthy snacks or pre-packed lunches here. I always recommend grab and go snacks out of the box.  It looks better in a clear bin and you will always know what you are running low on.  It will keep you sane, trust me! Then, for tips on organizing your pantry, read our recent blog post, here.

I have been using these for 14 years! They are great in any area of your home.  The laundry room, pantry, bathrooms, shelving.  I move them all around the house as my needs change:

Bed Bath & Beyond Pantry Bins

Bedroom

Closets feel cluttered? Is it a fight to get your kids dressed each day? Make your week easier by laying out clothes for the entire week, each Sunday. You can get clothes dividers to hang, or what I prefer is stackable, clear bins that can easily be labelled for the days of the week, practices, or sleepovers.

 I use these in bedrooms, mudrooms and linen closets all the time! : 

Bed Bath & Beyond Canvas Storage Bin

Finally…Plan and Schedule!

Keep a command center. Declutter little post-it notes and scraps of paper. Get an erasable calendar that you can amend for weekly activities. Get rid of stacks of mail, permission slips, and school paperwork by using an organizer.

These are my go to! Take your piles and turn the right side up.  It is easier to find, save, and much better to look at.  I use these for rotating information I know I need to get to:


Target Magazine File

I also use these for belts, dog leashes, broom, jackets….absolutely LOVE them:

Bed Bath & Beyond Command Hook 

We hope these tips help keep your home a little more live-able for the upcoming school year. If there are any questions, thoughts, or suggestions that you may have, we would love to hear!

 

 

 

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Helpful Tips to Create an Organized Pantry

Are you tired of opening your pantry and feeling overwhelmed? Maybe it’s the three bags of sugar, opened, yet placed sporadically throughout the shelves that seem to be driving you crazy, or it’s the food pushed to the back that contains questionable expiration dates. It could even be that one thing you insisted you owned, yet can’t seem to find without pulling every item off the shelf. Whatever the root of your chaos might be, it is evident that your pantry needs a do-over. Here’s how to begin a much-needed organization of your pantry:

First, Let’s See it All!

In order to start organizing your pantry, I think it is most important to pull everything out. By laying out all the contents of your pantry, you can get a visual for everything you own and begin the process of discarding, combining, and keeping.

Discarding, Combining, and Keeping

Once everything is pulled out, start by discarding items that are expired and donate those that are still good, but you no longer want or need. Once discarded and donated items are removed, start looking for what can be combined. For example, sugar. How many bags of sugar do you have just lying around? Could they be put in a single container that is easily accessible? Of course they can! Combination is not only a space saver but a stress saver as well.

Prevent Any Future Chaos

Once you’ve successfully discarded and combined, you can now see what has to go back into the pantry. The best way to prevent future chaos, or repeating this process every few months, is to try analyzing the best way to organize what you have in front of you. I start by putting items that make the most sense to me and my cooking habits together. Once I have an idea on how I want to organize my items, I then arrange them in clear, plastic pantry bins that can be labeled and placed inside the pantry. You can find these bins practically anywhere, such as Target or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Bed Bath & Beyond Clear Pantry Bins   

 


Though it may be time-consuming, and a bit frustrating, organizing is a must when it comes to your pantry. Especially heading into summer when all the children are home, sifting through, and rearranging your pantry. By dressing up your bins with cute labels, it helps the little ones learn where to correctly put things back, while keeping you sane. Hopefully, these tips are helpful in re-organizing your pantry and can bring back joy in your cooking adventures. As always, we’d love to hear from you. So, if there is anything you found particularly helpful in your own organization process, we’d love to know!

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Tips to Tidy Up Your Garage

Spring has sprung and it’s that time of year – your neighbor’s windows are open and garage doors are up, and yard work is in full swing. But if you’re embarrassed for your neighbors to see the collection of stuff your garage has accumulated over the winter, this article is for you! Today I am laying out my top organization tips for keeping your garage tidy all summer long, so pull those cars out of the garage and roll up your sleeves because we’re getting down and dirty.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your garage space!

Things get worse before they get better

Start with pulling just about everything you own out of the garage! This will give you the space you need for a good sweeping and spider web wack down.

Have the family on hand

A lot of what is in your garage can usually be thrown away or donated, but make sure you run these past their owners. 10 years later and a family member of mine still won’t let go of the snowboard his father threw away.

Have a designated spot for everything!

There is no reason for a wrench to be found in the kids’ toy box. Make sure your garage is sectioned to make finding what you’re looking for easy and fast. Here are some examples of areas you may want to have:

  • Workspace (tools, tape, nuts and bolts, garden supplies).
  • Kids toys and sports equipment
  • Restock items (dog food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, food, beer/soda)
  • Big items (lawnmower, snow blower, weed wacker)
  • Tall items (brooms, shovels, rakes)

Switch out your snowblower for your lawnmower

Make sure to move your snow blower to the back and your lawnmower to the front for easy access.

Clear Bins: Easy to see what is in there and always use large labels 

Clear bins from The Container Store

Try using metal adjustable shelving units.

These are super helpful to put clear plastic bins on.  You can adjust shelves for larger objects and bins as well as keeping shelves smaller for other items that you don’t want to waste space with. 

Adjustable Metal Shelving from Home Depot

Tool Peg Board  

To avoid shuffling through a toolbox every time you need a wrench consider a pegboard. 

Wooden pegboard from Uline

Utilize Your Wall Space with a Tool Rack  

Avoiding rummaging through a closet while your broom falls into the shovel, knocking your weedwacker onto your toes. A tool rack for your yard tools is an amazing alternative. Check these ones out! 

Yard Tool Rack from Etsy

Bike Hooks  

Although you may keep your bikes on the ground during the summer, hanging them from the ceiling in the winter can be a great way to create space! Our favorite is the bike lift. 

Bicycle lift from Harbor Freight

Make a Ball Corral  

There is no reason to trip over a soccer ball while taking out the trash. Follow this blog to learn how to make a ball corral.  

Learn to build a ball corral

Can Holders

If you haven’t figured it out yet, using your garage wall (and ceiling) space is necessary for organizational success. These can holders will give you easy access to your spray paints, WD-40, Raid, and whatever other cans you have sitting around. Check out this one! 

Can holder from Etsy

When it comes to organizing your garage there is no limit to how creative you can get, but one thing is for sure, you want to get as much of your stuff off the ground as possible! Have questions on how you can organize your things? Feel free to reach out. And if you use any of these tips and want to show off your new  garage on Instagram, tag us at @organizedetroit. 

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How to Organize Your Home Office

Are you transitioning to a new work environment at home? If so, you may be finding it hard to concentrate or be productive. Your quiet workspace may now be filled with little ones running around and you can’t remember if you just set your notes down in the kitchen, the living room, or your bedroom. Luckily, there are a few organizational tricks that can help you be more productive throughout your day. 

(Disclaimer: these are not guaranteed to help settle your kids down.)

Create your office

We know adding an addition to your house may be out of the question, but that is no reason that you can’t set up a small office space in a corner of a room. If at all possible, avoid putting your office in your bedroom. Use either a desk or table that is 100% dedicated to work. Position it against a wall to add storage space. 

Try using a magnetic whiteboard where you can write and display notes, papers and other things that you need to remember and keep track of. They’re perfect for places like the kitchen or a hallway! You easily wipe the whiteboard off with a duster or drying cloth. With the SVENSÅS series from Ikea you can create a personal collage with memo boards in different materials ⎼ and change them as often as you like since they all have the same hanging solution and dimensions.

TIP: Hang these with command strips so you can put them up and take them down safely!

Magnetic Memo Board from IKEA

Need a spot to keep your essential office supplies (or odds and ends) but don’t have drawers? This 3-tier rolling cart works anywhere and still looks good!

3-Tier Rolling Cart from The Container Store

No file cabinet? No problem! These stackable tote boxes are a great size and they’re stackable. I love the clean lines…and they’re not an eyesore to look at!

Stackable File Tote from The Container Store

We hope these tips help you set your day up for success! Make sure to tell us which one of these organizational tools you used and how it has changed your day. What other organizational tools do you swear by?

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