Archives For Organization

UnknownMoving into a new home is an exciting experience! Especially if it’s a space that’s been remodeled or designed just for you. But for too many people, moves are a stressful time, from packing to coordinating the logistics of the actual move to finally unpacking and settling into their new space. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Today we’ll look at how you can skip the chaos and stay organized after a move. We’ll break it down into three phases: preparing, unpacking, and living in your new space. Keep reading to learn more.

Preparing

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s a cliche for a reason: it’s true! And it’s especially true when it comes to moving into a new home and staying organized and sane. For every extra hour you invest in preparing for your move, you’ll save at least two hours of frustration when it comes to unpacking and moving into your new home.

Leave it to the Pros

When you look at the bottom line cost, hiring a moving company can seem expensive. But if you value your sanity and peace of mind, it can be a investment that more than pays for itself.

Professional moving companies move houses everyday, whereas you’ll probably only do it a handful of times throughout your life. Their experience is incredibly valuable. They can provide the tools, equipment, trucks, and manpower needed to move the the heaviest, most unwieldy items in your home. And they know how to pack your valuables so they stay safe throughout the move!

Most moving companies offer customized moving packages that will allow you to do as much or as little as you like. If you’d prefer to handle packing or unpacking of your belongings (perhaps as a family bonding experience), a moving company can just handle the moving. This can save a bit of money, too. Or you can have a moving company do it all, which really cuts down on the stress and the chaos.

Donate & Discard

After the move, there’s nothing more demoralizing than unpacking boxes and saying, “I don’t even know what this is,” or “Does anyone remember why we own this?” And then imagine finding a place in your new home for possessions you don’t need or even like.

Whether you’re moving yourself or hiring movers, the first thing you should do is ruthlessly discard and donate. If you can’t remember the last time you used a kitchen tool, wore a piece of clothing, or why you bought a gadget the first place, you probably won’t need it in your new home.

Make it a fun game with your family. Go room by room and make piles for donations and discards. Encourage your kids to donate unused toys and help them find an organization that needs them! They’ll learn a lot and you’ll have less to deal with when you’re unpacking.

Develop a System

If you’re packing your own belongings, create a system that’ll make unpacking them easy. A common strategy is to label each box with its contents. I suggest taking this a step further and making sure the room in your new home that the box belongs in is also clearly labeled. That way you or your movers won’t be stuck carrying a heavy box not knowing where to put it.

A great trick if you’re really looking to take your preparation to the next level is to assign one of your family members to write or type up notes as you pack. Consider including information like:

  • A unique number for each box
  • The box’s contents
  • The room that box belongs in
  • A ranking (high/medium/low) for the priority of unpacking the box

 By determining priority for unpacking each box, you won’t waste time on your first night in your new home sleeping without blankets or waking up the next morning having to hunt around for your coffeemaker.

Unpacking

Odds are, your new home will be quite different from your old space. Maybe you’re upgrading from a small apartment to a starter home or to a larger house to accommodate your growing family. Or maybe you’re downsizing to a condo or smaller home to enjoy retirement.

That’s why, no matter where you’re moving, a smart unpacking strategy is key to avoiding post-move chaos.

Start with a Plan

Luckily, you followed my advice for preparing for your move, so you know where everything is and where it should go, right? If so, you’re ahead of the game and will find unpacking to be a fun, low-stress activity.

If not, you’ll need to settle down and make a plan. Start unpacking in your largest room and organize your possessions. Don’t just run around putting things away as fast as you can. Unpack as much as possible and develop a plan to keep from just stuffing your possessions into whatever space is available.

Make the Best Use of Your New Space

Consider the available storage in your new space and make the best of it. Don’t just put everything back the same way it was in your old home. Now’s your chance to use the features of your new home that made it so attractive in the first place.

Do you have more closet space? Consider organizing clothes by season, or create a place for supplies for guests (linens, toiletries, etc.). Is your kitchen bigger? Think about hanging your beautiful copper pots and pans instead of hiding them under the stove.

Be Systematic & Relaxed

Depending on the size of your new home, getting settled in and relaxed probably won’t be a morning project. Start by unpacking the essentials so you can live your life. Then chip away at the rest. Make a schedule and stick to it. Don’t get overwhelmed and don’t rush. Take your time, think through your options and make smart choices. The more relaxed you stay throughout the process, the easier it will be. And if you stick to your schedule, the end of the move will be in sight and you’ll be able to anticipate and look forward to enjoying life in your new home.

Enjoy Life in Your New Space 

Once you’ve moved in and finished unpacking, there’s one key to enjoying your new home.

Don’t fall back into old bad habits. A new home is a new beginning and it’s your chance to get and stay organized and avoid inviting chaos into your life. Just because the move is over, don’t stop planning, organizing, and keeping everything running smoothly.

Conclusion

Moves are stressful, but they don’t have to be– and they shouldn’t be! They should be a time to celebrate an exciting time in your life!

So prepare for your move, don’t move anything you don’t need, have a unpacking plan in mind, get the essentials put away first, take advantage of your new space, and then slowly but steadily get everything else put in its place. And those are my keys to skipping the chaos and staying organized after a move. Are there any other tips that helped with your last move? I’d love to hear about them.

Erin Davis is owner of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland Oregon. For more information and tips visit http://mosaikdesign.com/ or contact her at erin@mosaikdesign.com

Keeping your desk clean and organized is a daily struggle. But it’s worth the fight—a tidy workspace has been proven one of the most effective ways to get ahead in business.

Case in point: Fast Company reported that executives waste on average six weeks per year searching for lost documents, time they could have spent making progress on projects or chasing down new leads.

So you can see why we were impressed with Rebecca’s minimalist desk, which she posted on her blog The Daily Muse, along with a few suggestions for must-have accessories that will help you organize your office.

Apartment for sale, via Househappy.org

You may have loved your home when you moved in but is your space still working for you? Whether it’s time to move, time to remodel, or simply time for some reorganization, here are Apartment Therapy’s 5 warning signs that will let you know when it’s time to reevaluate your space:

1. Piles begin to pile up. Whether it’s piles of mail or piles of clothes, this is a sign that your organization methods aren’t working anymore. It might be time to rethink your systems or come up with a new way to tame your clutter.

2. You can’t find things when you need them. If it takes you time to find your keys, your wallet, the electric bill, or your favorite t-shirt, it’s probably time to organize your space.

3. You’re hesitant to invite people over. If the idea of hosting a dinner party fills you with a sense of dread, there may be a problem with how your home looks or functions.

4. Your furniture doesn’t reflect how you actually use the room. Do you work at your kitchen table instead of your home office? Do you watch TV in the bedroom and not the family room? You might be wasting or under-utilizing certain spaces that don’t actually serve your lifestyle.

5. You don’t feel relaxed when you get home. This is a big one. Your home should be your happy-place. While it may never be perfect, if you find yourself seldom feeling relaxed in your own space it is probably time to make a change.

This post can be found in its original form on Apartment Therapy

Photo: Househappy.org

The beginning of a new year is a great time to make improvements or begin new habits––so why not start at home?

HGTV put together a list of 5 goals to make your home more organized, efficient, and safe in 2014:

1. Streamline. Clearing the clutter in your home is an inexpensive way to improve your surroundings. Go through each room in your home and clear anything you don’t use, wear, or love, and donate it to charity. Anything not used on a daily basis should be cleared from surfaces and put away in baskets, bins, or drawers.

2. Make it safe. To ensure their home is safe and free from health hazards and fire risks, every homeowner should consider doing the following things:

  • Check your house for radon. One in every fifteen homes has elevated levels which can be very dangerous to your health. You can purchase a test kit for about $20 at your local hardware store.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom in addition to fire detectors.
  • In addition to the lint trap, clean the vents and ducts behind your dryer. Lint is highly combustible and accounts for more than 15,000 building fires a year.
  • Make sure you have proper ventilation in each room––particularly bathrooms and attics––to avoid mold.
  • If your home was built or last remodeled before 1978, consider testing for lead paint and asbestos flooring.

3. Shrink your carbon footprint––along with your bills! You don’t have to buy a hybrid car or install solar panels to make a difference. Here are some easy ways to cut energy usage in your home:

  • Switch off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down to 55 degrees at night.
  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
  • Try drying some of your clothes on the line and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them.
  • Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
  • Water your yard less. Put in drought-tolerant landscaping if necessary.
  • Give composting a try. Your garden will thank you.

4. Come up with a weekly plan to keep your house clean. Jeff Campbell, author of the book Speed Cleaning and owner of the Clean Team housekeeping service in San Francisco suggests the following:

Daily: Dishes go in the dishwasher every night – no excuses! Dirty clothes go in the hamper and jackets or clean clothes are hung in the closet. Bring everything back to its assigned place.

Weekly: Clean your entire house, using these tips:

  • Keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths, in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room.
  • Stash cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, scraper, sponge, a few cleaning cloths and plastic bags in a builder’s apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
  • Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. Wipe down fingerprints on all of the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that’s done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
  • For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. Divide the jobs up to make the cleaning process go faster and seem more manageable.

5. Get your home ready to entertain. A bit of rearranging and a few updates can make your home much more guest-friendly. Interior designer Stuart McCormick suggests adding plants as a way to make your home feel more “finished”, selecting a new accent color to freshen up your room with a new throw pillow, add a colorful rug or runner to help anchor your space, or rearrange your furniture so it is oriented in conversation groups and not just toward the television.

This post can be found in its original form at HGTV

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens