Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Summer Stock

Interior of a Luxury Sailboat
(I will never be this squared away. Image: istockphoto.com)

I’m always a bit late with this sort of thing. It is called “spring cleaning” for a reason. But summer is almost here (today it will be 90ºF +) and with the soaring temperatures, I feel the need to divest myself of clutter, both mentally and here at the manse.

Now, I’m a maximalist, if anything. Click over to read HOBAC’s story of Yves Saint-Laurent’s and Pierre Bergé’s apartment and you will be transported to my idea of perfection. (and if you aren’t reading HOBAC and all the other wonderful writers listed on my blogroll, please start now. You are missing some amazing posts.) But eventually one has to beat back the jungle, so I solicited the advice of a very charming friend who is a professional organizer. While Sara specializes in corporate environments, her advice is equally relevant in the domestic arena.

So if it’s time to take stock in your home, here are :

Eight Easy Exercises to Simplify, Declutter and Enjoy Your Home Just That Much More from Sara Sitkiewicz.

Organizing your house can be a daunting task. But the results are invaluable and with a few easy steps you can reap the rewards. The following tips will help you get started. They aren’t just for “spring cleaning” though. These are year-round tips!

1. Start small, but think big. Don’t overwhelm yourself by tackling an entire room. Start with a closet, pantry or even that pesky “junk drawer” in the kitchen.

2. Remove all items from the area being organized and sort into 4 piles.
To be returned to the area
To be donated/ discarded
To be integrated into another area
Not sure – reevaluate for another pile throughout organizing project.

3. Before returning the items to the area think about what you use or do most in this area. By keeping that in mind throughout the process you’re more likely to come up with a system you can maintain.

4. It doesn’t have to cost a thing either, be creative! You more than likely have items in your house that could be used as storage. Baskets, plastic containers or decorative boxes.
If you decide to purchase organizing products look at your local discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart or K-Mart. They offer items for basic organizing. For more ideas and advanced systems try The Container Store, or a local dealer for built-in organizing systems.

5. Maximize your storage space. Add shelves to cover vertical wall space, use hanging storage behind a door or purchase containers that will slide under a bed.

6. Most importantly! Items within a space should have their own place. By returning them to the same spot you are more likely to avoid clutter and disorganization.

7. Once you have a strategy, stick to it and make sure the entire household is on board. Everyone must commit to cutting out the clutter.

8. Don’t get frustrated if your area becomes cluttered again. Revise your system and try something different. It may take a few tries to find a system that works.

If you still struggle to maintain your organizing or just need help getting started contact a professional organizer. They can offer tips and helpful solutions for organizing your house, office or life in general!

If anyone needs contact information for Sara, please email me and I’ll pass it along.

Off to have at the closet!

3 thoughts on “Summer Stock

  1. Thanks for the nudge!

    My grandfather always said, “it never takes more time, and it usually takes less, to do something when it’s supposed to be done instead of postponing it.”

    Sometimes I take that to heart. Many times I just roll it around in my thoughts as I stare at the stacks before me.

  2. We have been on a Spring Cleaning & Organizing mission around here and it really feels good to share, toss or tame the cluttered beast. Now, what to do with the children? Ha!

  3. This is so funny…it took us a full day to go through my 16 year old daughter’s closet and dresser the other day. Thank you for making me feel better about starting small.

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