Smart Simple Spring Cleaning/Get Organized Solutions

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Manic: Clutter!  Closet clutter, under the kitchen sink junk, stacks, racks and sacks full of unorganized stuff!

My cluttered shoes are begging for a new storage home! This system is not working!

I am guilty of having such mountains of unorganized madness and it makes me manic and not managed!

Managed: Taking a little bit of time each day this month to methodically to attack the stacks and regain control over all of my stuff.  To do this spring cleaning/get organized annual ritual, I rely on my favorite tried and true tips.  Smart simple solutions that work and leave my house decluttered, which in turn declutters my mind and leaves me feeling less stressed and more relaxed.  Cheers to that!  Here are my favorite tips, tricks and tools that work wonders for spring cleaning and getting organized.

Favorite Finds

*Best Box – Without fail, every year I buy the attractive Best Box year box that prominently displays the year in big bold print all over the box.  Sold at The Container Store, it looks nice and stacks nicely as well.  No more looking for a label with the year since this box declares it boldly all over. It holds plenty of letter and legal-size folders, documents or books for filing, storage or moving. It’s also perfect for storing children’s artwork and photos by year. I have one each for the last six years and it has really helped me to clear out and organize the important papers from the previous year.  This box saved me loads of time the year we refinanced our home as I could easily pull important papers from previous years with the easy-to-spot by year boxes.I buy mine every year for $3.99 at The Container Store either at the store or online here at this link.  I should get a ladder and put them in order!  However they still look great and I am the MANIC managed mom, not totally managed mom!

*Baublerella Bling Brush – As I spring clean and organize my jewelry storage, I was happy to get to test this product through my blog.  The Baublerella Bling Brush works great to easily and quickly remove beauty product powders, hair spray and other residue from my jewelry.  No more trips to the jewelry store or working with a messy cleaning dip.  I love this product!  Get it on Amazon or here at this link, $19 at this link.

 

My Box-It-To-Rocket System Rocks It!

Do you have a personal decluttering system that works for you?  I call mine the box-it-to-rocket system.  As I clean out, I box different categories of stuff into four labeled boxes that can then rocket off to space (as I like to call this process), which creates more space for me!  “Rocket” meaning the stuff either takes off away from my home to go to donations, recycling, save or trash.  So I label four empty boxes with…

*Donate

*Recycle

*Trash

*Save

I place the empty labeled boxes side by side before I start the decluttering process.  So as I examine each piece, I then decide which box it belongs in.  Once the four boxes are full, I donate to Goodwill or another charity, put the recycle box in my blue bin, trash the trash and allocate time the next day to store and file the save stuff.  This process truly steamlines the job, removes the overwhelming feeling many of us feel that stops us from starting and/or completing the job and keeps the piles of separate stuff neatly in the boxes ready for the next placement/disposal/recycling step.  Try my box-it-to-rocket system and see if it rocks it for you, too!

Shoe Blues Solutions & Custom Closet Ideas

Shoes!  They can lay around everywhere and can make us late when we can’t find that perfect pair.  Stacks, racks, hiding under slacks…what to do about shoe blue clutter?!  I have some options.  Working on my getting my shoe blues under control, I realized that I longed for a custom fancy closet like those sold at Ikea, The Container Store, Calfornia Closet and more. However, that is not in my budget at this time.  So as I worked on a shoe clutter solution, I also decided to spruce up my closet to see if I could add a few odds and end to give myself a budget closet makeover.  I will share those tips below.  But first back to the shoe stuff!  Options…

*Use stuff you already have on hand to organize shoes like kids storage containers that have been grown out of. I labeled a wicker basket chalkboard sign, “shoes” and that now houses my excess shoes that don’t have enough shoe boxes for.  Use something like this for slippers of flip flops as a handy option.

 

I also used the stackable drawers next to the shoe basket to house my purses. That used to be used for kids’ toys. The kids grew up but their storage stuff can still be used for organization needs. This is recycling and saves money.

*Try local artisan’s boot rack for boots blues!  I love supporting local business and this boots blues solving tool is actually made by a local 13-year-old horseshoe metal artist!  Colton Kempinski’s Colton’s Custom Creations gave us the perfect solution for my husband’s growing collection of boots that were laying everywhere!  I purchased Colton’s beautiful hand-crafted horseshoe boot holder, size large that holds six pairs of boots for $120.

A smaller one that holds three pairs of boots sells for $60. Absolutely one of my favorite get organized tools and my hubs like this handsome boot holder, too! To order contact Colton’s mom at 602-686-7890.

*Custom Piece Your Closet – If you can’t afford a custom-built closet, try making your own individualized space with custom pieces that you place yourself.  For inspiration look at sites like Pinterest, The Container Store Elfa section, the Ikea inspiration section and more.  To do this in my own master closet, I decided to invest in pretty cream-colored linen shoe boxes.  To get them discounted, I joined The Container’s Store POP savings club.  With POP, I used a 30% off online coupon and I also waited until the shoe boxes I desired went on sale plus I got free shipping. So the pricy and pretty linen shoe boxes are regularly $14.99 but I got the sale price of $10.49 plus 30% off one pair.  Joining a store’s shopper membership program, monitoring the site for sales and also using coupons from Retailmenot.com all adds up to savings on custom pieces.  My before and after picture looks so much better and has created calm in my life when I am getting ready and dressed in the morning.  I love that! Clear plastic shoe boxes also work great and those can be found at most dollar store chains, too.

*Get matching hangers – I used my Bed, Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon to purchase matching hangers in the attractive dusty rose color.  Having matching hangers looks nice.  This also enables clothes to be hung evenly and spaced just right for less wrinkles and better care of your garments. I selected the Real Simple suit hanger brand in the light purple color (I think they look more like a dusty rose and I love that).  I bought 10 sets of 12 hangers, used my store 20% off coupon and got free shipping, so my total cost was $79.  I saved $20 with my coupon and enjoyed the free shipping that the store offers for orders over $39.  My new hangers make my closet look open, inviting, bigger and streamlined.  I love it!

*Add an inspirational sign to your design – To save money, I walked around my home looking for a pretty sign that I could move to my newly organized closet.  I found one in my living room that is the perfect size to hang right about my new linen shoe boxes. I am inspired by the message each morning when I enter my closet.  The sign says, “Cherish Yesterday, Dream Tomorrow, Live Today” and seeing that makes me reflect, smile, be thankful and then dive into the new day.  If you don’t have a fun sign, they can be found everywhere from Amazon to the dollar stores.  Stores like Kirkland’s have some fun and unique signage.

*Use a hanger storage stacker – Get the empty hangers off the racks and place neatly on a storage tower.  This looks nice and makes finding the perfect hanger quick and easy.  I bought mine several years ago at The Container Store for $29.99…but shop around!

This was a hit with the cast and crew on my morning show segment. Everyone loves this idea for stray hangers!

As I researched this segment, I found many similar models for under $10!  Wish I would have shopped around!

*Pace yourself!  Do your organization project in stages.  You must pace yourself and realize that the job may take a weekend or even longer.  Otherwise you may feel overwhelmed and never even get started.  It is like exercising.  The hardest part is getting going and then once you do that, you start to like it and the end result looks and feels good.  I am halfway done with my closet makeover as I am doing one section at a time and dedicating two hours a day to it over a week’s time.  I simply don’t have the time to do it all at once.  Doing it in manageable steps is the way to knock it out, slowly but surely.  Pace yourself, do your project in stages as trying to do it all at once is nearly impossible with how busy our days get.   Once you fill a donation box, take it right to the car and then the next time you are out, take that box to Goodwill or where you donate.  Don’t let the box sit around the house.  Get rid of it.  The in & out rule is one thing in, one thing out.  If you buy a new blouse, donate one you haven’t worn in a while.  Adding a new pan to your kitchen…take one old kitchen item out and donate.  One thing in, one thing out rule.  This formula is working for us so far.  I am anxious to be done but each completed area is reducing my stress section by section. It is great!

Quick Fix Idea

For smaller spaces like under a kitchen sink, visit organization store websites like Ikea or The Container Store.  Containerstore.com has an awesome section called Projects and Inspiration that I checked out.  I was immediately inspired.  In the online store Under Sink section, a before and after video is shown with a list of the products available for sale to emulate the makeover.  Prices and time to complete the project are also shared.  For the under-the-sink makeover, it states that the job will take half a day and that the four products needed can be ordered in a bundle online. I decided that I only needed two of the items.  I ordered the chrome over-the-cabinet double basket holder and the clear Linus large tote caddy.  My total expense was right around $20 with my POPS membership savings.  And it only took me 10 minutes to do the complete makeover!  That is because I didn’t select the suggested $52 Two Tier Sliding Organizer, which would have required me to bolt it in under the sink.  That is a nice piece to have and it is very handy because it pulls out, but I didn’t need it. So, by ordering two of the suggested sink makeover pieces, I got my makeover in half the time and for a lot less money.  Look at sites like that to get inspired.  Then try what I did and do a smaller version of the recommended makeover.  I also had liners on hand to line the bottom of the cabinet floor.  The new system looks nice. Now we can easily find a clean sponge quickly, hand soap to refill the dispenser and dishwasher detergent pods.  My family noticed and they love it.

And don’t forget to get your heavy-duty spring cleaning done.  Here are a few of my favorite finds in that department.

Favorite Spring Cleaning Product Find

*Truce – My awesome gal pal, Amy turned me on to this non-toxic cleaning product line.  Amy owns her own all-natural house cleaning/organization business.  I love her recommendations every time.  Truce smells good, like peppermint.  Instead of harsh chemicals, Truce uses ingredients like essential oils, water, hydrogen peroxide and organic castile soap.  My favorite is the Truce All-Purpose Cleaner that is mixed with water.  It works on everything, doesn’t streak, is antiseptic, non-toxic on skin and smells so good and fresh.  Truce can be ordered at truceclean.com.  A 16-fluid ounce spray bottle costs $10.49.  The 32-fluid ounce refill sells for $17.99.  I love and swear by this stuff.  Thanks to my friend, Amy!  She is an expert.  To reach her for professional help, cleaning and/or organization skills consultation call 602-451-5778 or email ImmaculateAmy@gmail.com.

What are your best spring cleaning/get organized tips?  Share in the comments section as we love to share what works to make our lives less manic and more managed.  Especially when the renewed season of spring rolls around.  Be sure to check out my blog at managedmoms.com for more tips, recipes, parenting talk, home and garden makeovers and more.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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