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Jenna Nelson

My First Rule of Decluttering

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Top Shelf’s First Rule of Decluttering

Recently I’ve gotten several clients with larger organizing projects and sometimes they are totally overwhelming, to my clients and even to me.
I typically schedule several hours at a time for jobs like these, but some of my clients have tighter time frames or budgets so longer days aren’t possible.
When that happens the first thing I choose to do once we start the job is
– a general decluttering of the area.

There are almost always items that don’t belong in the space and removing those items will make a big difference during the beginning phases of the organizing process. Keep this in mind the next time you have an overwhelming project and don’t know where to begin

– start by eliminating the items that don’t belong.

This will make what does belong easier to organize and makes the end goal attainable.

You got this!

– Jenna –

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A Fall Check List

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Fall Check List

Hello August and hello transitioning from summer to fall. Whether you’re already feeling the change in the weather or are still battling scorching heat, August means changing your mind set from summer vacation to school, colder weather and bundling up inside on cozy nights! 

Here’s a little “to do” list to get you ready for a great and organized fall!

  • Begin to go through summer clothes/items and create a “donate” pile for those you want to get rid of. This can mean summer clothes you didn’t wear at all, clothes and sandals that won’t fit your children next summer and other summer items that are just collecting dust. Why let them take up time and space?
  • Clean out your oven and microwave. Those 2 areas get used a lot more in the colder months than they do in the warm summer months so make sure they’re ready for whatever you bring at them this year!
  • Did you go on a summer vacation? Go through your pictures now and organize/store them however you want (digitally or in a bin or book).
  • Clean up your outdoor areas – this includes pruning whatever needs to be cleaned up before it gets too cold, all outdoor sitting areas and fire pits.
  • Check your heating system to make sure it’s working properly. In the moment, it seems like there’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night feeling like an icicle because the heat went out!

This isn’t a long list, and I’m sure there’s more you have to do to prep for fall, but completing this list now will make the next couple months a lot easier for you and your family! Get to it!

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Make Picnic Prep a Breeze With This Tip!

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Get ready for a picnic!

It’s July and summer is in full swing! For my family that means being outside a LOT, including meal time. If you’re like my family and you love eating outside, here’s a tip that will cut your prep time significantly – keep everything you need in one big bin or basket. Plates, napkins, cups, silverware, bowls, etc. whatever you need for outdoor dining, keep it together! This is one tip I ALWAYS give my clients when working in kitchens.
This means the next time you want to have an impromptu picnic, everything you need is in one area which means less time looking and more time with family and friends.

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One Simple Way to Make Your Summer Experience Better Than Ever!

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

It’s summer! And that means no to school and yes to vacations, beaches and pools, evening walks, yard work, home projects and so many more things that it can almost be overwhelming when you think about it! Before your summer is in full swing, take a few minutes today to write down what you want to complete or experience this summer. Put it all in your planner, mark those days on your calendar, create a summer “to-do list”, or whatever else you need for a reminder, but the best way to make sure something happens is to put it in writing so you don’t miss out!

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1 Simple Way to Bring Spring Inside Your Home

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Spring is in the Air… Finally!

This was a long winter but we’ve finally moved past cold weather and are seeing the April showers giving way to May flowers! Nature is doing it’s part outside, but are you doing your part inside?
One easy way to update your home for the spring season is to change out those dark throw pillows and accent pieces for lighter materials and brighter colors.

A simple change but a big step to help bring spring inside your home.

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1 Way to Take Advantage of the Spring Weather

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Goodbye Winter. Hello Spring.

April is here! And for most of us that means the snow is gone, the green leaves are budding and flowers are beginning to bloom. That also means it’s the perfect time to tackle your garage/shed. Summer can be too hot but spring weather is the absolute best time to pull everything out, purge whatever you don’t want to keep and then put everything back in to the space, categorized and organized.

*Helpful tip – invest in clear bins with locking lids so you can easily see what’s in each container and you won’t have to worry about unwelcome guests making their way inside.
Cardboard in a garage or shed is a definite “no” for long term storage.

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Spring Cleaning is Just Around the Corner!

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Eating an Elephant

March Newsletter

Spring is coming. Are you ready?

March = (thoughts of) Spring. Spring = Spring cleaning. If the thought of spring cleaning stresses you out, remember 3 important tips:

1. Top to bottom*
2. Inside to outside**
3. One room at a time***

*Clean effectively (start at the ceiling and work your way down to the floor)
**Clean smartly (begin inside, where you live, and end outside, where dirt lives)
***Clean realistically (tackling one room/space at a time will give you a quicker sense of satisfaction and will help motivate you to go on to the next space)

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Are Winter Clothes Causing a Clothing Jam in Your Closet?

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Eating an Elephant

February Newsletter

Keep a bag, box or bin in your bedroom (in the closet or under the bed is ideal so it’s not out in plain view) and whenever you put something on that doesn’t fit well, has a defect, or you just don’t like anymore, do NOT put it back where it came from! Put it in your “donate” holder. I guarantee you’ll get rid of more clothes than you think you will AND you’ll eventually clear your closet of clothes you never wear.

(bonus: the feelings of guilt you feel every time you look at those
‘never worn clothes’ will go away once the clothes go away!)

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Begin The New Year By Looking Back

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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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A Post-Christmas Tip

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Eating an Elephant Monthly Newsletter

Christmas is coming!

If you’re like most families you probably have your Christmas tree, decorations and lights up already. If the entire process made you frustrated, invest in some key organizing products now, so the tear down, and, more importantly, next Christmas set-up can be faster and less stressful:

  • Clear plastic bins so you can see which decorations are inside
  • Labels so you know exactly what’s in each bin
  • Hangers to wrap each strand of lights so they never get tangled again

(extra tip for those who want to take their packing a step further: categorize your items as you pack them –
“like with like”)

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