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Bathroom

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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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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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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A Great Non-Traditional Organizing Tool

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

This is a tool I really like, but it’s not one I commonly use.  And that’s just because it’s not a common item to have in the house.  So what’s the item?  A small tension rod.

The reason I like it is because it’s so easy to use and can transform spaces.  How?  Well you can use them in your pots and pans drawer for lids, in your tupperware drawer to keep lids and containers separate and organized, under your sink to hold spray bottles, as an under the counter paper towel holder, to keep cutting boards organized, and even as a spice rack!  And that’s just ideas for the kitchen!

There are SO many creative ideas out there for all areas of the home.  Type “organize tension rod” into your search engine and then click “images” to see so many different ways to use tensions rods.  Incorporating this one simple item into your home will make your life a little easier, reduce stress and keep those spaces organized… for not a lot of money!  Win win!

So head over to Google and get inspired to get organized today!

Do you love tension rods too?  Or do you think they’re more of a nuisance?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

Picture credit: CountryCurtains.com
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Don’t Go On a Shopping Spree

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | One Comment

The 3rd week of the month is supposed to be a post about an organizing tool I don’t usually recommend or something that I use differently than how it’s marketed, but I also want to include some general “Don’ts” if you’re serious about getting organized.

My first “Don’t” is: don’t go out and buy a bunch of random containers without knowing what you need.  Generally, before I start a job I do a consult with the new client and we discuss what needs to be done.  We create a general game plan for the upcoming space and then I do research and send different ideas to the client.  Sometimes we need to buy containers and sometimes we don’t.  While it is nice to have an assortment of options when I come in to get a space organized, I would rather have something that I know will work, as opposed to trying different options and settling for one just because it’s already there.

Now don’t get me wrong, when I come into a new job and see a bunch of baskets and bins already there I get really excited but sometimes it creates more of a headache later on because it can also limit what can be done in that space. And, if you over-buy bins then you either have to take some back to the store or you have to find storage for them somewhere and either way you’ve wasted money.

So whether you want to tackle your organizing job yourself or you’re hiring a professional organizer to come in, please make a game plan first and then shop.

Do you have your own organizing “Don’t” to share?  Let me know in the comments 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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Cutting Clutter

By | Guest Post, Weekly Tip | No Comments

Today’s guest post is from Morgan with Morganize With Me. I was trying to write a post about decluttering, but Morgan has some great ideas so I figured I’d highlight her blog since I love supporting others in their endeavors.

If you need to know where to start decluttering your life, check out Morgan’s post called 25 Simple Ways to Cut Clutter. Not all of these 25 steps are going to bring instant change, but over the course of the next couple months you’ll definitely see results with less clutter and junk piling up in your home.

So check out the blog post and see what steps you can take in your life to reduce clutter!

 

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Have any other tips for decluttering? Leave it in the comments below and receive a 15% discount on future organizing services!

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My first Airbnb

By | AirBnb Staging, Recent Work | 3 Comments

I’ve started another avenue for Top Shelf and this job was my first step in that direction. This client and her husband had just renovated their garage into a studio to use for their Airbnb guests and it is a beautiful space, but the wife had no clue how to make the studio apartment feel cohesive but also with very clear “spaces” for their guests. She called in Top Shelf and in just a couple hours we were able to get the bathroom, main living area and kitchen staged and organized, along with a small list of items needed to complete the room and bring it all together.

The main living area included the “dining room”, “bedroom” and “den”. When I walked in everything was pushed to the walls and there was an awkward empty space in the middle of the room. I moved the bed to the corner, pulled the couch out at a slight angle and pushed the table over to the center of the empty space and turned it length-wise to fill the space better. Once we out down a couple rugs and figured out what she needed for the “den” space (coming soon a cowhide rug), the main living area was complete.

After that we moved on to the bathroom which was a simple job of folding the towels so they fit the small floating shelves and incorporating a small wooden holder she had purchased, which contained the wash cloths.

Last but not least was the kitchen. She pretty much had everything she needed but she wasn’t sure how to organize all the drawers and cupboards. I was able to get most things placed where they needed to go, including the creation of a coffee station.

A few plants placed around the rooms and the studio was complete. She and her husband loved the final result and hopefully their future guests will be as well!

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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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Tackling the space under the sink bathroom sink

By | Guest Post, Weekly Tip | No Comments

Today’s organizing tip is another blog post from Kristin at Everyday Organizing.

This one is similar to the previous post I featured of her’s (A Simple DIY for Under the Kitchen Sink) and some of you may have already read it because she referenced it in her post. For those of you who haven’t read it, here it is: Making the Most of Under the Bathroom Sink.

Hopefully many of you out there thought “Oooh that sounds interesting” because anything tucked away behind cupboard doors is often the last place we think about organizing. If this is you then this post is for you! Kristin has a couple of cool ideas in her post, both for under the sink and on the backs of the cupboard doors. Simple solutions that will help relieve stress and frustration during your crazy mornings.

If you like this idea but want to try something else, check out these past links from Eating an Elephant:
– What’s Behind the Door… Bathroom Edition
– An Idea Specifically for Ladies
– One Way to Make Cleaning a Little Easier
– Tension Rods… Who Knew?

Like this idea? Please let me know in the comments below!
Have a different idea? Let me know that too!

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