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June 14, 2018

When you have a little one, you soon realize that they come with a lot of accidents, making back ups a necessity. If you have a small space and a lot of stuff, you need to get creative with your storage solutions. Enter: over the door shoe racks!

Over the door storage

I first put this up in the nursery while pregnant with the little one, knowing that a lot of the stuff would be used for only a short time: the Boppy covers only for a year, the Desitin for (hopefully) 2-3 years, the crib sheets for only a few years. I didn’t want to create a whole storage solution for a limited-time use.

As a control freak, I put labels on each section so you knew what went where. And also what you were grabbing in the darkness of the night, when sometimes changing pad covers look like sheets! As the kid gets even older, I can see it evolving into a toy rack or a place for arts and crafts supplies.

For those first few months, when it seemed like we were going through sheets and covers frequently, I kept it on the open side of the closet door. As we outgrew it somewhat, it got moved to the back of the door, where people didn’t immediately see it when they walked in. As the kid ages and more is leaving the rack, it has now moved to the back of the main bedroom door.

I really dislike single-purpose items in the home, but especially in the kitchen and for storage solutions. As your life and needs alter over time, you need something that can change with you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box (pun 1000% intended)!

Permanent Clutter

Temporary items become permanent clutter when you neglect regularly sorting an active space.

-Marcia Ramsland, Simplify Your Space

I read this quote recently and tried to look around my house with fresh eyes and see if there was anything that I had grown blind to. Sure enough, it took three seconds to find something: on the bookshelf, four feet from my spot on the couch, sat two old laptops. I had previously messaged one of my brothers about how to wipe them two months ago. I’m not much of a procrastinator and my house is pretty well kept, so that is huge to me! When I first put them there, I thought it was a great place because it would serve as constant reminder to me that I need to do this right away. Clearly, that plan did not work because I began to ignore them very soon after that. TWO MONTHS of clutter in the middle of our living room. A temporary item becoming permanent clutter.

When temporary items become permanent clutter, it's time to get organized. Organizing CU, a professional organizing company in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, helping you get your house and life organized.

I tried to look at the root of the problem as to why I didn’t just wipe them both clean that day and Google a spot to drop off old electronics*. First, it was the instructions I was given: erase it, then overwrite it with the same thing over and over. I had already done the first part; I just wasn’t sure how to overwrite it. But I didn’t ask the very simple follow up question right then. Or anytime I thought of it. My brother works from home, is very available at any time, and we have messaged 100 times since then. (Full disclosure: it wasn’t until I got to this sentence in this post did I think “why not do it now?” It took him less than 5 minutes to respond to me and clarify in very simple terms what he meant.) My goal is to get them wiped this week and have it in my donation pile for Goodwill by the weekend.

Everyone has areas or things in their house that they’ve just been neglecting or ignoring for a while. It might be two days, two months, two years, or twenty years. But it’s never too late to take a look around and see what permanent clutter you can cut out . Take a look around with a fresh set of eyes and see if you can find anything quick that you could donate or throw out today. You will be amazing at how much easier it is to relax in an emptier space. Why not do start now?

If you need a nudge to get your started to help get rid of that permanent clutter, contact me today!

*I’ve done that hard work for you if you’re in the Champaign-Urbana area:

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June 7, 2018

Back in the day, we had a very lovely office with a gorgeous roll top desk from Timeless Treasures in Savoy, a separate spare bedroom, and a bunch of extra space in our house. Then, we had a child and everything changed. The office became an office/spare bedroom hybrid. As the kid became more mobile, the office/spare bedroom gave way to a playroom (with the gorgeous desk still present and a blow up mattress taking the place of a full bed). When the kid got big enough to pinch her fingers in the bi-fold closet doors, more changes were had. The doors went to the basement and some curtains were hung in their place:

Closed curtains in front of playroom closet

Closed closet

But behind those curtains is one of my favorite spaces in our house:

Curtains parted to reveal gorgeous shelving unit

The wonderful and beautiful Ikea shelves!

Everything is still so neat and tidy. I’ve been known to go into the room, just to admire how organized everything continues to be, usually under the guise of “writing a check.”

We got the giant 4×4 KALLAX shelves from Ikea. It was a beast to install, mainly because of a mis-measuring on my part. It was finally put together INSIDE THE CLOSET. The next owners of our house are going to have to break this thing down to get it out. But seriously, who would take out this giant piece of gorgeous storage?

On top of the closet shelf, I keep extra pillows and the aforementioned blow up mattress (it has a bag that it allegedly fits in, but who can ever get them inside?? It stays sort of folded). The clear bins are art and craft supplies for me and the kid. We have a row of office supplies storage and then towards the bottom, some toys and books for when the kid is older.

As you can see, we’ve still got some empty space because as I can already tell, more changes are coming our way. With a kid, they always are.

One false move…

Have you ever noticed how one false move can change the course of your entire day or even your week? Not putting together a grocery list causes you to forget stuff from the store, causing you to order take out, causing you to waste food and money. Or not folding the last load of laundry slows up the rest of the wash for the day. Some days it feels like dominoes tumbling, one after another.

Have you noticed how one false move can throw off your entire week? Getting organized can prevent some of those false moves. Organizing CU, a professional organizing company in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, helping you get your house and life organized.

For me, it was not having enough “me” time during the day. I would wake up, get ready for the day, take the kid to school, go to work, pick the kid up, prep dinner, hang out with friends or husband, then finally go to bed. Not getting my alone time could bring my entire week to a halt. I’d be cranky and short with my family. I could feel it coming on. I knew the exact cause. And I did nothing to change it.

Now, my day starts at 5:00 am (WHY?!?!?!? asks 23-year-old me). My kid gets up between 5:15 and 6:00 am so it’s great to have that me time to eat breakfast by myself. In front of the TV. With whatever I want to watch. Some days, I can barely get my bagel out of the bag before she gets up. But some very rare, magical days, I get to watch a segment of The Kitchen, or even an entire episode of Fixer Upper.

What about you guys? Shout out to all the members of the 5:00 am club!! Is there any domino effect in your life and is there anything you can do to change it?

If you need help finding some time in your day, contact me today!

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May 31, 2018

You gotta try to organize where you can. On Thursdays, I’ll show you guys some small tips and tricks that work in my house. No styling, no clean ups before. Just a quick snapshot of real life in our house.

Three shelved playroom containers with baskets

Playroom containers

I bought this shelf and baskets from Bed, Bath and Beyond for $8 total (thank you 20% off coupons!). It’s in our office/playroom keeping a small puzzle, stuffed animals and little books in their own space.

Change your habitat

Change the habitat, not the habit. Instead of changing your old routines, try to work with them. Organizing CU, a professional organizing company in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, helping you get your house and life organized.

I read this great article back in August and I can’t stop thinking about it:

Stop Trying to Change Your Habits: Change Your Habitat Instead

My favorite thing is that this idea came from one person’s comment on another post. You never know where inspiration will come from! Listen, you know yourself. If you or your family always take your shoes off in the living room, then put a basket there to toss them into. If worn, but not yet dirty, clothes are always left on the floor in one area of the bedroom, then put a laundry basket in that area of the room to keep everything corralled (this one comes from experience – there is a basket in my bedroom!). If mail always ends up on the kitchen counter, put an inbox at the end to keep it in one place.

Give it a try and see if you notice a difference! If you need help figuring out which habit’s habitats could change, contact me today!