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5 Must-Haves for Spring Cleaning Your Clothes Closet

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Great ideas! 5 Must-Haves for Spring Cleaning Your Clothes Closet | organizedartistry.com

 

Where I live, it’s kinda cold. And it’s the first day of Spring (insert frowny face here). As much as I’d love to start doing a little spring cleaning in my closet, I still need my polartec tops and flannel lined jeans. May have to start elsewhere this weekend…

But, if you live in a warmer climate or just can’t look at your boots one more day, then by all means start spring cleaning your clothes closet.

 

Here are the 5 ‘must-haves’ you’ll need for this project:

Garbage bags

Despite their name, these bags won’t all be used for garbage. Grab two colors–black, white, and a third bag can be a reusable tote. Designate black for trash, white for donations, and the tote for repairs. Why use this system? I have heard stories of people accidentally donating their trash and putting their donations to the curb because they used bags of one color.

As you are sorting through and purging clothes from your closet, place them in the correct bag. Clothes with repairable tears and shoes/handbags that need a little TLC from the shoemaker go in your tote bag. When you finish, place the black bags wherever you keep your trash, put the donation and repair bags in your car or at your doorway, and mark off a day on your calendar to drop off them off at their next destinations.

Pad of paper and pen or cell phone

As you go through your clothes, you may find that they have an old stain, they’re too loose or tight, or you just don’t love it anymore. When getting rid of garments, keep a list of items you’d like to replace. That way, when you’re at the mall, you don’t have to think about what clothes you need–just refer to your list and you’ll know exactly what purchases to focus on. Use pen and paper or your cell phone to create the list–whichever works best for you.

Bottle of water/snack

Spring cleaning a clothes closet is a physical activity. Handling some sentimental items and items with ‘bad karma’ attached to them can be emotional as well. Even if you’ve eaten a large meal before starting, I’d recommend having a bottle of water and a snack at arm’s reach. You’ll need a break to clear your head and refuel–how often you do that during this task is up to you and your needs. But, I always advise my clients to bring a snack and drink into the space we’re working on. It means they don’t have to leave the room and lose focus while we’re working.

Large flat or multiple small flat surfaces

When going through a clothes closet, it’s important to have a place to put the clothes while sorting them out. If your closet is in your bedroom, use the bed to place the garments down as you make decisions. If your clothes live in a room without a bed, use folding chairs or storage tubs to separate your clothes by category. The floor is NOT a good option unless absolutely necessary. If that’s the case, please open a flat sheet, lay it on the floor and place your piles on top of the sheet.

Time

A basic organizing principle to follow for spring cleaning or any organizing task is. ‘Make an Appointment With Yourself.’ We make appointments to see doctors and to make our hair look fabulous and we wouldn’t consider canceling them except in an emergency. Do the same with Spring Cleaning. Take out your calendar and pick a day to start. Pencil in 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour–whatever amount of time you think you can manage. Keep that appointment. You’ll be glad you did.

What do you think you’ll find in your clothes closet this Spring?

 

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Spring Cleaning History

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Ever wonder where the phrase 'Spring Cleaning' comes from? Read to find out! Spring Cleaning History | organizedartistry.com

Every year around the months of March and April we hear people talking about it, we read about it in magazines, and see thousands of pins on Pinterest about it.

What could I be referring to?

Spring Cleaning!

We all use the phrase freely but where does the expression ‘Spring Cleaning’ actually come from?

History tells us that back in the ‘olden days,’ spring cleaning was a much different concept than it is today. Prevalent in climates with cold winters, this cleaning was a necessary routine because of how people had to heat their homes and keep them lit. They would use kerosene, wood, gas, oil, and candles which caused the home to develop a dark, sooty grime around it.

The arrival of spring signaled warmer temperatures and the need to clean the ash, soot, and grime left behind on household surfaces. Thus, the notion of ‘Spring Cleaning’ was born. Thankfully, most of us have modern heating systems and have an easier spring cleaning routine.

Today, we do not do ‘Spring Cleaning’ for the same reasons our ancestors did. In the 21st century, most people think of ‘Spring Cleaning’ as a time to throw open the windows, exchange their sweaters for lighter-weight clothing and clear through clutter that has collected as we burrowed in our homes during the months of winter. It’s a time to re-energize our bodies and our homes for the coming seasons.

Look at your calendar…when will you make an appointment to start your Spring Cleaning?

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My Favorite Organizing Pins on Pinterest

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If you spend a good amount of your time surfing the web, I’m sure you’ve heard of Pinterest. If not, run–don’t walk to the site that is taking social media by storm.

According to their website, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing the things you love.”

As a user, I would say that, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing images of inspiration.”

A little over a year ago, I joined Pinterest–read all about it here: Organized Artistry is on Pinterest!. I’ve been having a great time with it.

On Pinterest, you create and categorize ‘pin boards’ according to your interests. After you create your themed-boards, you load your own visuals or ‘re-pin’ visuals posted by others to your boards. I created boards for my organizing business and some that have to do with the book I’m writing for brides.  I thought that would be my only use for Pinterest, but it has much more to offer…

– When the time comes to make some major changes in my home, I’ll not only be flipping through decorating magazines, I’ll also be looking for decorating inspiration on Pinterest.

– I have found recipes to cook for my son who has multiple food allergies.

– There are tons of posts on clothing, makeup and health that I have learned from.

It is very easy to get sucked into the visual wonderland of Pinterest for HOURS at a time. There’s so much to see and learn!

Besides other categories, there must be thousands of ‘Organizing’ pins on Pinterest. So many great ideas to learn from and implement in your life!

Since time is precious, I would like to offer you some of my favorite organizing pins on Pinterest. Some I created myself and some I re-pinned from other boards.

Disclaimer: Although I love Pinterest, I think that there are many visuals on the site (especially the ‘Organizing’ visuals) that promote ‘perfection.’ Items in the photos are neatly lined up, labeled and look as if they are untouched by humans. Being organized is not about being perfect. It’s about being able to find what you need when you need it–plain and simple. I try to not promote or perpetuate the idea of perfection in my boards/pins, with my clients and in my own home.

I’ve seen some creative and mega-cool organizing ideas on Pinterest. Here are a few I think you will enjoy, appreciate and find inspiring…

From my ‘Kitchen Organizing’ Board

This pin is from my blog post, Top Ten Helper Shelf ‘Hot-Spots’ for Your Home. At last count, I have approximately 15 helper shelves in my home with most of them being in the kitchen.
Thought this was a creative idea. Hang cork board squares on the inside of a cabinet to manage and also hide papers such as invitations, receipts and shopping lists.
I dream of this in my kitchen. PULL OUT DRAWERS! LOTS of them! Never lose food in the back of your cabinet again. 
Thought this was a very organized way to grate and store cheese. Also perfect for grating cheese in advance. Store bagged cheese in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

From my ‘Get Ready for Spring Cleaning’ Board

Spring Cleaning or all-year-round cleaning–this is my favorite cleaning product. With two little boys in the house, I use the Magic Eraser A LOT! Most of its use is in my kitchen with white appliances. It ‘erases’ dirt–yes, magically and is the only thing I have found that can cut through the greasy, sticky spots on my stove top.

Though this idea was so smart. At the end of the winter, store your boots with cut up pool noodles inside of them. I bought pool noodles at the end of the season last year in Target for less than a dollar. That’s a very inexpensive way to retain the shape of your boots until next winter. 
As soon as I saw this ‘pin’ I knew I had to add it to my Get Ready for Spring Cleaning board. I work with a lot of clients in their closets and have seen many of these commandments broken. My personal favorites are #2 and #3.


From my ‘My Favorite Organizing Products’ Board

You won’t find this organizing product at The Container Store. It’s a productivity app called Evernote.  From their website: “Evernote helps you remember, act upon (and share) ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablets you use.” Every time I get an idea or wish to record information about some aspect of my business or personal life, I store it in Evernote for future reference. My desk would have a zillion post-its strewn across it without Evernote.

I know that many people love and swear by ‘huggable hangers.’ I’ll be honest with you–they are not my favorite hanger. I use and recommend crystal hangers. Although they take up more space in a closet, they work well to prevent those ‘shoulder bumpies’ that can ruin a top very easily.
This is my Brother P-Touch label maker. I’ll admit–I love it…maybe even more than the Magic Eraser. It has been quite a workhorse–creating labels for clients and my personal usage for the past ten years. Labels just make things look more organized–don’t you think?
This is only a partial list of my Pinterest boards and pins. To see all of my boards and everything I’ve ‘pinned’, head on over to Organized Artistry on Pinterest.
Did any ‘pin’ gave you organzing inspiration?

A Professional Organizer Makes an Appointment With Herself to Get Organized

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In March of 2010, I wrote a blog post called, “Ready for Spring Cleaning?” In that post, I talked about a basic organizing principle: Make an Appointment With Yourself to Get Organized.

The process of getting organized can be overwhelming. Most people are unsure as to where or how to begin. Making an appointment with yourself to get organized is a starting point. Carving out that time to chip away at a pile of papers or sort through your sock drawer is a necessary step towards de-cluttering your home and reaching your organizing goals.

A few weeks ago,  I got an email from my friend, Deb–the subject line said ‘Photo Albums.’ The email stated that she was blocking out some time one night to work on her photo albums–did anyone want to bring theirs and join her at her dining room table?

I read that email and later responded, “I’ll be there…”

You know the phrase, ‘The shoemaker’s son has no shoes?’ Well, sometimes Professional Organizers spend so much time organizing others, that projects of their own fall by the wayside. In my case, it would be photos and photo albums.

I have two small children and I take a ton of pictures and videos of them on my camera and iPhone. I download them but haven’t always kept up with the ordering of pictures and placing them in albums. My relatives are constantly asking me for pictures of my kids. I’ve bought picture frames but don’t have the pictures to put in them. The signs were there–it was time to make an appointment with myself to organize my photos and albums.

A few days before the photo album gathering I took inventory of what I had:

• one broken photo album (wear and tear from 2 kids flipping pages)
• two new photo albums (ordered months ago and still in the box they shipped in)
• pictures I had printed but not put in albums yet (already separated by child)

To prepare for ‘Photo Night’, I removed all the pictures from the broken album and sorted through and purged a few out. I removed all pictures from my first child’s second album, too. I loaded all my photo albums and pictures into a large shopping bag and was ready to go.

I only worked on my albums for an hour and a half but got a lot accomplished. I managed to put all pictures from birth to two years old in the albums designated for my eldest child. Making this appointment with myself motivated me to keep working on this important project. The next night at my own dining room table, I finished putting the pictures of my oldest child in his albums.

My next steps are to:

• Sort and purge through pictures of my youngest child.
• Put them in chronological order
• Place them in the designated album
• Check the end of each album to see the last pictures I ordered. Go on iPhoto and order copies for relatives and the albums
• Give out pictures and place the rest in albums

My goal is to finish this project by the end of May. I will be making an appointment with myself each week to make that happen and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Thanks, Deb for giving me the jumpstart I needed to organize my photos!

Yard Sale Tips

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It’s Spring! And after weeks of Spring Cleaning, de-cluttering and purging, you may be ready to host a yard sale.

When my husband I got married and joined households years ago, we had a yard sale. It was a fun and exhausting 2-day event that took weeks of preparation. We had a lot of stuff! We made enough money to buy a eight-person patio set for our backyard and anything that didn’t sell was donated to the Vietnam Veterans Association.

A few months ago some of my yard sale tips were featured in an article on SheKnows.com called ‘Tips for Holding a Successful Yard Sale.’ The article offers good advice and ideas on how to price, market, display and negotiate. If you’re thinking of hosting a yard sale, I suggest you take a few moments to read it–you just may pick up a few tips to make your yard sale not just successful–but profitable, too.

Recycle and Spring Clean with Best Buy

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For most of us, recycling is part of our everyday lives. We gather paper, plastic and glass and reap the health, environmental and economic benefits to recycling.

But, recycling isn’t just about putting your newspapers and tin cans at the curb. You can recycle much more than that–just walk into your local Best Buy.

I wandered in to Best Buy one day to buy a gift card for my nephew and upon entering the store, I saw this…

I couldn’t believe all of the items they took for recycling!

-Plastic Bags
-Wires, Cables and Cords
-Gift Cards
-CD’s, DVD’s and their Cases
-Ink and Toner Cartridges
-Rechargeable Batteries

I started thinking about all of the items in my home I could place in this recycle bin. I took the above photo as a reminder (and for this blog post), looked through my home and came upon a few items I could ‘donate’ to the recycle bin. I placed the bag of items in my car and a few days later they were living in my local Best Buy’s recycling bin.

I later learned that Best Buy recycles more than just what you can put in the bin. They take back TVs, mobile phones, video games and other electronics. To read more about other items Best Buy recycles, go to their e-cycle page. You’ll be shocked at the variety of items you’ll be able to recycle at their store. There are many good resources for recycling on that page, too.

Time to look through your attic, basement, closets and garage–bring your unwanted electronics to Best Buy for a little e-Spring Cleaning!

Organized Artistry is on Pinterest!

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Do you love social media? Are you also a visual person? Then unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Pinterest.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Pinterest (according to their website) “is a ‘virtual pinboard.’ Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”

I first noticed it when a few of my organizing colleagues began posting their Pinterest boards on their Facebook Pages. It looked interesting so I checked it out and was immediately hooked (it can be very addictive)! I’m a visual person with an art background–I find it to be a great way to collect and share ideas with others.

You have to request an invite to ‘join’ (which could take a few days or a few weeks) or ask someone already on Pinterest to give you an invite (that’s what I did). Once you’re ‘in’ you can start creating boards of topics that interest you and ‘pinning photos and videos to them.

Tip: Load the ‘Pin it’ bookmarklet to your browser–it allows you to ‘pin’ any photo/video from the web to your Pinterest boards.

I have a bunch of boards on the topic of organizing and I’ve created a few on the topic of weddings related to my book and the manuscript I’m working on. If you look in the right column of this blog you’ll see a button that says ‘Follow me on Pinterest.’ Click to follow me but if you’d like, first take a quick glance at my boards…

Organized Artistry’s Organizing Boards
Organizing Product I’ve Blogged About
Helpful Organizing Books
My Favorite Organizing Products
Organizing on the Cheap
Kitchen Organizing
Quick Organizing Tips
Get Ready for Spring Cleaning!
YOUR Favorite Organizing Products

Organized Artistry’s Wedding Boards
Organize for WeddingPlanning
Stylish Wedding Thank You Notes

Then there’s my board called ‘OMG–So Cute!‘ There’s a lot of cute stuff on Pinterest–can’t be about business ALL the time, ya know…

To learn more about Pinterest, here are a few articles that will be helpful to beginners:

Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest Basics

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network

Pinterest Tips–A Tutorial Guide for Beginners

Happy pinning! Anyone need an invite?

Dress for Success + Dressbarn = S.O.S. Send One Suit Weekend

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Maybe you used to work in an office and had tons of professional clothing. Then, you had a baby and decided to leave your job. Or, you lost a few pounds and some items no longer fit you. Maybe your style has changes or your office dress code has been done away with.

Regardless of the reason, today is the perfect day to purge your closet of any professional clothes that you no longer want or need.

Why? Well, it’s for a good cause.

Dress for Success is an organization that encourages the self-sufficiency of women and helps them enter the work force and take charge of their lives. They are partnering this weekend with Dressbarn to collect new and gently used professional clothing for women.

So, I am asking you to go into your closets and look for blazers, skirts, dress pants, suits–anything a woman could wear to an office. This is the perfect time of year (being so close to Spring Cleaning time) and the perfect cause to ‘let go.’

The Send One Suit drive began yesterday and continues through Sunday, March 4th. Besides a tax deduction receipt, I hear you get a 15% off coupon from Dressbarn when you donate. Don’t usually shop at Dressbarn? Offer that coupon to a woman looking for a job. Chances are she’ll be looking for a way to save money on her interview clothes. That’s two good deeds in one day–hurray for you, early Spring Cleaning, Dressbarn and Dress for Success!

Earth Day Organizing Tips

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If Spring wasn’t enough of an incentive to make change in your life, along came Earth Day.

According to earthday2011.org, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 in an attempt help people understand the affect they have on their planet and make positive environmental changes within communities. Now over 140 countries have their own Earth Days. Oprah would call this ‘The Power of One.”

Just like we make resolutions for New Year’s, it’s a great idea to make similar resolutions for Earth Day. Instead of pledging to exercise more, pledge to recycle more. Instead of changing the way you eat, change the way you conserve energy in your home.

My family has made some changes to better the planet. We…

• use cloth napkins instead of paper
• created a spot for recycling paper and plastics in the buffet table in our dining room
• use energy-saving lightbulbs
• keep reusable shopping bags in the trunks of our cars for trips to the supermarket
• use homemade cleaners as well as products that are made from natural ingredients
• donate unwanted items to thrift shops

We still have a ways to go. Someday I’d like to try composting and I do my best to shut off lights when I’m not in the room. No one is perfect. But, if we all try to change one habit that can help our planet, Earth will be a healthier place for future generations to live.

In honor of Earth Day, California Closets posted a blog entry about Green Tips for the Organizing Guru. Thought I’d share it with you…

What changes wil you make before Earth Day 2012?

Spring Cleaning–How’s it Goin’?

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OK–Spring is here and although the temperatures where I am certainly don’t feel like Spring, I’ve started to do some Spring Cleaning around my house.

My first big project was kids clothes. I have two boys and I had to switch sizes and seasons for both of them. Besides all the sorting, purging, and categorizing–it was a lot of laundry, too! My sister gave me a ton of clothes for my youngest that her child has outgrown. Whatever wasn’t seasonally appropriate went to my friend who had a baby in January. The rest went into the attic–into tubs, marked by size.

Gotta get the garage ready for summer soon. That’s next on my list…

What will YOUR first Spring Cleaning project be?

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

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