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Linen Closet

Begin The New Year By Looking Back

By | Weekly Tip | No Comments

Eating an Elephant

January Newsletter

Christmas is over and the new year has begun! January is a great month to look back over the past year to see what items in your home didn’t get used. Whether it’s clothes, shoes, jewelry, tools, perfume/cologne, books, bathroom or kitchen items or other random items around the house, there are probably several things that need to find their way to the “donate”, “recycle” or “trash” pile. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but purging even a few items will help get your new year off to a good, and organized, start.

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One Size Does Not Fit All in Organizing

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | 2 Comments

I think we can all agree that Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse.  As a whole it provides amazing ideas, recipes, inspiration and laughs (I could spend all day on the humor page), but it also gives an incredble influx of information that not everyone can handle and sometimes (okay a lot of times) makes us ungrateful for what we have, jealous for what we don’t have, envious of someone else, and sometimes we spend more money than we should, just to keep up with what we see on Pinterest.  I’ve searched MANY Pinterest pages and boards looking for ideas and inspiration for my clients and if there’s one thing I’ve learned , it’s that, when it comes to organizing, you have to create your own system.  You can’t copy someone else’s work and expect it to work flawlessly for you.  Yes, you can grab ideas, find bins, labels, organizing tools and more but don’t find a picture on the internet and say, “This works for them therefore it will work for me.” It’s not going to happen.  Each space is as unique as the person/family using it and should be organized that way.

Here’s why – your space won’t have the same items the other space has, your needs and expectations are different from the other person’s needs and expectations, and your space as a whole is probably different, even if it’s just slight.  Or maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s a cookie cutter build and you have an exact match to a space you love but guess what, you’re not that other person!  You’re you!  With your own life to live and with your own life that will fill that space differently.  No two closets I’ve worked in are ever the same.  My clients have different preferences.  There may be similarities, but never identical in the items they hold.  No two pantries are the same.  Again, there may be similarities but I have never come across an exact match for any pantry I’ve seen or worked in.

And I don’t know about you, but I love that.  I love the challenge of coming up with new ideas that will work for my clients.  I love the process of transforming their space to fit their specific needs.  I love seeing the satisfaction on their faces when it’s done and they realize what we’ve done can be maintained after I leave because it was organized with them in mind!

So yes, do your research, find ideas that will work for you, get inspired!  But when it comes down to it make sure the way you’re organizing fits you and your lifestyle.  You’re unique and your space needs to reflect that.

Have any stories to share about your own way of organizing?  If you do, share it with me! Let me know in the comments below!

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An Item to Purge

By | Purge, Weekly Tip | No Comments

Here’s another item you can purge without feelings of guilt – random, mismatched bed linens that don’t belong to a set anymore.  Hear me out, piece-mealing a set together (fitted sheet, bed sheet and pillowcase) can work.  I’ve even done it.  But I know from going through my mom’s linen closet that there are many, many, many single pieces – fitted sheets, bed sheets, and pillow cases – that don’t match anything and usually get passed over when someone makes the bed because they don’t have matching counterparts.  Just get rid of those.

Or, maybe you do have matching sets but some of them are so threadbare no one uses them.  Or maybe you don’t even have a bed they fit anymore!  Why let them take up space in your home and in your head?  Seeing unused items in our homes creates stress and feelings of guilt because we know we’re not using them like we should.  SO GET RID OF THEM!  It’s really okay.

You don’t have to throw them away.  You can donate them to a second hand shop or an animal shelter,  you can cut them up to use as cleaning rags around the house and in the garage,  keep one or two in the trunk for random picnics or beach days…. there’s really a lot you can do with them, especially if you’re crafty.

So take a few minutes today to look through your linens and if you know there’s some to get rid of, take the step and do it.  You won’t miss them at all.

Do you like this tip? Disagree with it? Or have you used your old sheets in a different way? Let me know by commenting below!

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Eating an Elephant Has Returned

By | Purge, Weekly Tip | No Comments

Hey everyone! Welcome back to you and welcome back to Eating an Elephant! After taking some time off to figure out what I wanted to do with the blog, and if I even wanted to keep it going, I’m finally back.  I love the idea of a weekly organizing tip, but there’s only so many tips and I was having a hard time coming up with more, even with guest posts thrown in the mix.

During my time off I would think about Eating an Elephant and wonder what to do with it, but no new idea came to me. I wasn’t worried though, because I knew when I needed it, it would come. And it did! My new idea still has the “organizing tip” element to it (because anything else wouldn’t make sense) but after all the jobs I’ve had I’ve come to learn organizing tips I love and organizing tips I don’t think really work, organizing tools I recommend all the time and organizing tools I try to turn people away from, household items I constantly tell people to get rid of and items I let people keep. And that’s what I want to share with you all. Each week I’ll either showcase an organizing tool I love, one I don’t like (or if I use it for a different purpose), something you can get rid of right away and then a guest post.

I’m excited for this new format because I’ll be able to really dig in to my personal organizing style and will end up learning a little bit more about myself as an organizer. I’m also really hoping for more interaction from you guys, my faithful, good-looking readers. If you have something you love or hate, or don’t agree with my thoughts on a tool or have recycled something I said to purge, I really want to hear about it! So prepare to be more interactive with the Eating an Elephant blog.  I don’t want you to just read it and delete it. At the most I’d love for you to act on the tip and at the very least I’d love you to respond in some way.

So there ya go.  Eating an Elephant has returned and, hopefully, is better than ever. I’m aware of the constant ebb and flow and changing tides of ideas so who knows if another revamp will come along.  For now, this is how it’s working.

And since this is the first week of the month, that means today’s tip is for purging! What do I think you should purge? Old towels.  If you have random towels that no longer have a matching set, or especially if they’re frayed and thin, get rid of them.  Chances are, even they are still getting used, they’re not really doing their job anymore.  Cut them up for rags or cleaning cloths, keep one or two in your trunk for an emergency or use them for wrapping delicate items stored in your attic or basement.  But there’s no need to hold on to them.

Agree? Disagree? Have another idea for recycling old towels? Comment below!

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The first thing I do when starting an organizing job

By | Weekly Tip | 2 Comments

In the last several weeks I’ve had a couple of clients ask me how I start each organizing job and I told them the same thing: the first thing to do is empty the entire space they want to focus on. Whether it’s a single drawer or cupboard, an entire kitchen or just the pantry, a bedroom closet or a storage unit, this is always the first thing I do when I start any organizing job. By doing this I can see everything I’m working with and it allows me to be intentional about what goes back into the newly emptied space.

Sometimes clients find things they lost. Sometimes they find things that belong in a different space. Most of the time they find things they can get rid of. Once every item is out and we can see the entire space we’re working with then putting everything back in an organized fashion is much easier.

So remember, no matter the size of the space, you have to pull everything out first.

And if you want a tip on how to put things away, click here for a previous Eating an Elephant tip!

 

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Leave a comment below letting me know what you think, and if you have any other tips I’d love to hear them!

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Wouldn’t it be nice… to have a linen closet?

By | Weekly Tip | No Comments

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Linen closets. Everyone loves them, but not everyone has one. Sometimes you have to get creative with your linen storage so here’s an easy way to store linens if you don’t have any other closet space available: A shoe rack. Not an over the door shoe rack like last week’s tip –  a cubby shoe rack similar to this one. With this handy cubby system you have a simple, easy-to-see and easy-to-organize unit where you can separate your different cloth napkins, kitchen wash cloths, bathroom wash clothes, kitchen towels, sheet sets, full towel sets… The list can just go on and on depending on where your need is. Whether you need it for the kitchen, the bathroom, the guest room, or all of the above, this organizer can help you out.

It will need a bit more upkeep (since you can’t just squash everything on some shelves and then close the door) but in the long run it will make things so much easier because you will know what you have and you will be able to find it right away. No more digging for matching napkin sets or a matching towel set when guests are dropping by. Everything will be right in front of you and easy-to-see.

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