EATING AN ELEPHANT

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5 Simple Tips to Organize Your Child’s Closet

By | Guest Post, Weekly Tip | No Comments

It’s the last week of the month and that means I get to highlight another organizing blog/blogger and one I love to showcase is Morgan from Morganize with Me.  She always has great advice and simple, easy-to-follow tips that everyone can do.

This month I wanted to feature her post on keeping her kids clothes organized for all those parents who have kiddos in their home.  With the new school year starting things are probably a bit chaotic around the house right now but even if they’re not chaotic this is a great article.

If you don’t have young kids at home I’d still recommend you check out this article.  These tips could come in handy for a friend or family member, or you can apply the tips to your own closet (well, 3 of the 5 you can).

So, check out 5 Tips for Organizing Kids Clothes and today, try to apply just 1 of the tips.  I guarantee doing just 1 of them will make a difference.

Do you have small kids and love this post?  Or do you have another way to keep your kids clothes organized?  Let me know in the comments below!

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A Simple Test to See if You Have Too Many Clothes

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | No Comments

It’s now mid-August.  Most summer vacations are over, or are just about to end, and everyone is mentally gearing up for the fall and all that comes with it: school, colder weather, cute boots, football…  But wait, is something drawing you back to that vacation you took earlier in the summer?  It’s not the pictures on your phone, the amazing tan you got, the great souvenirs you purchased (which, by the way, did you REALLY need to buy them?) or even the wonderful memories you made… No, what’s drawing you back to that vacation is the unpacked piece of luggage that’s sitting in your closet. It’s drawing you back along with giving you a sense of guilt every time you look at it.  Maybe it’s wide open with clothes spilling out, or perhaps it’s still closed and you don’t even remember what all is in there, but there it sits… for weeks… And the more you look at it the more you think, “I really don’t want to empty you”, so you don’t.  Instead you just ignore it and wear whatever clothes are available.

So, here is this week’s tip: DON’T let your suitcase sit unpacked for more than 12 hours after returning from your trip.  If you get home and simply can’t get to it right away because of work or it’s late at night and you want to sleep I completely understand.  But if you arrive home from your trip and have time to unpack, then just do it.  The most it’ll take is 10 minutes, and that’s assuming the clothes are clean and you’re putting them away.  It will take less time than that if you just dump everything into your laundry hamper.  Once it’s done you can sit and relax without it hanging over your head.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Yes!  It does!  You can’t deny it!

So the next time you get back from a trip, however long it lasted, give this tip a try just to see how quickly unpacking takes.  I promise you, you’ll reap the benefits of having all of those clothes out of the suitcase and you won’t have to suffer the guilt of looking at the unpacked luggage for weeks on end or the disappointment of throwing something away that was wrecked because it was packed away too long (hello moldy, musty smelling, stinky clothes).

Do you agree with this post?  Or do you have a very good reason for keeping your clothes trapped in your suitcase?  Let me know in the comments below!

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A Simple Item I Love to Use

By | Most Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | No Comments

I love organizing and one of my favorite places to organize is a kitchen pantry.  For me, there’s something so wonderful about creating the different categories, all catered to what each client needs, arranging them in a way that is personalized and specific to the people who live in the house, and then being able to stand back and see the end result – an organized pantry where everything is seen.  I absolutely love taking a small, focused space and making it completely organized and “pretty”.  Since starting Top Shelf I’ve used several different organizing items in pantries but the one item I recommend more than anything else is a standard wire basket.  These can be found at stores ranging from different dollar stores all the way up to West Elm and The Container Store.

One thing I love about wire baskets is you don’t have to use a label.  I know labels are super popular right now, but not everyone has the creative bug to create and maintain labels.  There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just not for everyone.  Wire baskets are great if you want to keep your items contained but still want to see how much you have. And the great thing about baskets is, the contents don’t have to be arranged nicely.  They’re baskets! Just throw those bags, boxes, or bars in there and walk away.

By using wire baskets, you can tell with just a glance what “category” they basket belongs in, the contents it holds, if your supply is getting low or if you can skip buying that item the next time you are at the grocery store.  I had one client who didn’t realize the amount of beans and lentils she had until I gathered them all and put them in one basket. When she saw all that she had she said, “Well, looks like I won’t be needing to buy lentils and beans for a while!” (saving money, cha-ching!)

So, could your pantry use some wire baskets?  Go check out your pantry and see if they could help you out too.

Do you love wire baskets in a pantry too?  Or do you prefer something else?  Let me know in the comments below!

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If It’s Missing… Get Rid of It

By | Purge, Weekly Tip | No Comments

I’m sure you read that title and thought, “Wait what? If it’s missing then how can I get rid of it?”.  The answer is in the “…”.  If it’s a puzzle missing a few pieces, get rid of it.  If it’s a game missing pieces, get rid of it.  If something is incomplete and you don’t use it BECAUSE it’s incomplete, why are you hanging on to it?  I realize there are heirlooms and other things passed down that you may want to hold on to, which is fine and totally understandable.  But if it’s a game or puzzle and it’s missing any part of it, clear it out of that space!

Several years ago my parents and I went through a period of time where we did a LOT of puzzles (rocking out to Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera because we’re super cool) and, as all puzzle aficionados know, when you finally finish a puzzle and discover pieces are missing… In that moment there’s nothing worse.  The elation you should have felt is gone because all you can see are the empty spots scattered around the puzzle.  And I’m not being dramatic.  Be honest, if you could choose between a puzzle that was complete or one that had “missing 3 pieces” written on the box, wouldn’t you go for the complete puzzle?!  Yes!  Of course you would!  So get rid of the incomplete one!

I have 7 nieces and nephews (and another one is on the way this month!) and if one of their games is missing pieces it’s not as much fun to play (again, personal experience talking here).  If you have children and can relate, then get rid of the game(s)!  If you don’t have children and can relate, then get rid of the game(s)!  If it’s one the kids (or you) love I’m sure you can find it again in a store or online.  Or you can hit up a much loved family member and they can search for a replacement, but there’s no reason to keep the incomplete game.

And don’t feel guilty about getting rid of either of these items!  Wouldn’t you rather see games and puzzles in your cupboard or closet that you actually want to use instead of a bunch of boxes that you never take out anymore?  Yes.  The answer is yes.  Every time.

Do you agree with this post?  Or do you like to hold on to favorite games and puzzles even if they’re missing pieces?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Organizing the Catch-All Room

By | Previous Job, Weekly Tip | One Comment

Well, it’s the fifth week of the month which means your weekly “tip” comes in the form of a previous job. 🙂

Some homes have “catch-all drawers”, “catch-all cupboards” and “catch-all spaces”… This home had a “catch-all room”.  I met the mom in a ballet class we both were taking and every week she would tell me she needed to hire me “one day” (which I hear a lot) and she actually did!  I went to her house for a consultation and she showed me her “catch-all room”.  As we discussed her desires for the room, she told me it needed to be multi-functional for her family.  She is a crafter and seamstress so she needed a space for that, she home-schools her 3 kids and so she needed a space for them to do work individually, she wanted a space for all the arts and crafts supplies they use every day, along with a place to store books, old pictures and other random items that didn’t have a home.  If this sounds overwhelming, it was.  It was a a VERY cluttered space but had SO much potential.

We worked hard for several hours and came up with 4 different “zones” in this large room.  She had her craft and sewing space, her kids got their desk space (she only has 1 kid at a time sit a do work so the desk she had was perfect), the large bookshelf that already had arts and craft supplies on it just needed to be organized and the small bookshelf was perfect for the items her husband needed stored, along with the pictures and books we found along the way.

The one tip I’ll give to you guys based on this job is this – purge! Every single item in your space needs to be addressed. A lot of what you’ll see in the pictures was thrown out or donated.  If she hadn’t been so ready to get rid of the unnecessary, this job would have been a lot harder and a lot longer.

Overall it was a great experience and I was thrilled I could help a friend out.  Scroll down to see the “before and after” pictures.

Do you have a “catch-all space” you need organized?  Let me know in the comments below!

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