Archive for the 'Home Organization' Category

Jan 04 2012

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New Year’s Resolution: Organize your House, Give Everything a Home – The House Plan Shop

Filed under Home Organization

Organized Computer DeskIf your New Year’s resolution is to get organized, The House Plan Shop is here to help you! Home organization is not easy task! It begins by getting everyone in the family on board with you. Your organization plan will not work if the entire family cannot understand and follow it, so keep each person of your family in mind as you organize and everyone from Grandma to the youngest child will help keep your home organized.

 

Now, think of your home as being composed of various centers with each one focused on a specific purpose, task or activity. Create a dedicated center for each specific purpose by dedicating a space for the tools, supplies and items needed for that specific purpose or activity. Make sure the dedicated space is large enough to handle all the tools and items related with that center’s specific tack or activity. Not only is each center focused on a particular activity or task, but it also provides a space to organize all the things associated with it. Once you’ve established a few centers in your home, you’ll be on a roll. You’ll notice how quickly the clutter in your home is cleared, miscellaneous items find an established home and how organized you’ll feel knowing just where to go in order to find a specific tool or complete a particular activity. The more centers you establish in your home, the more organized your house will be and more tidy it will look.

 

Below is a list of centers (and the items they store and organize) that would be beneficial to your home and family. Consider establishing some of them in your home. Tailor each center and its contents to satisfy your family’s needs and lifestyle.

 

  1. After School Center – hooks or closet to hang coats, stash backpacks  and store anything else the kids carry to and from school
  2. Arts and Crafts  Center – desk or work table, task lighting, storage for pencils, paper, paints, crayons, clay, glue and other art supplies
  3. Electronics/Cell Phone Charging Center – desk or table near electrical outlets, cell phone charges, iPod charges, basket/bin to place electronic devices when not in use
  4. Entertainment Center – TV, DVD player, DVR, remotes, program guide, channel listing, comfortable seating, DVDs, video game counsel, video games, snack tables
  5. Homework Center – desk or table for each person doing homework, good lighting, pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, computer, dictionary, calculator
  6. Laundry Center – washer and dryer, laundry sorter, laundry baskets, hangers, laundry detergent, stain treatment, fabric softener, folding counter, bleach
  7. Mail Center – desk or table, basket to collect incoming mail, later opener, stamps, envelopes, calendar, check book
  8. Phone Center – telephone, phone book, personal/family address book, emergency phone numbers, bulletin board, calendar, pens, message pad, folder containing restaurant coupons and carry out menus
  9. Work Center/Planning and Scheduling – desk, good lighting, computer, file cabinet or file box, stapler, pens, desk calendar, planner, note pad, other office supplies
  10. Workshop – workbench or table, hand tools, toolbox, hardware organizer for nuts and bolts, etc., extension cords, storage for power tools
  11. Outdoor Clothing Center – closet or storage bin near the garage entry for coats, hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas, boots and shoes
  12. Sporting Center – closet or storage bins, baseball gloves, soccer balls, tennis rackets, bike helmets, skateboards and other sporting equipment
  13. Recycling Center – recycling bins for various materials, trash can for non-recyclables
  14. Indoor Home Maintenance Center – brooms, mop, cleaning supplies, buckets, cleaning cloths and sponges, replacement batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacement light bulbs, vacuum)
  15. Outdoor Home Maintenance Center – rakes, leaf blower, snow shovels, broom, ladder
  16. Safety/First Aid Center – first aid kit, pain relievers, flashlights, candles and matches, bottled water
  17. Grooming Center – hair care products and tools, shaving tools, grooming kit, skin care products, bathroom sink and mirror
  18. Play Room/Center – safe open play area, organizational cabinets/shelving units, games, toys, stuffed animals, building blocks

 

For more information about getting organized at home, check out our entire collection of home organization blogs.

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Dec 28 2011

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Post-Holiday Tips: How to Store Holiday Lights – The House Plan Shop

How to Store Christmas LightsNow that the holidays have come and gone, it is time to start packing up those holiday decorations and get them ready to store for next year. Below are a few simple ideas to help you store holiday lights so you don’t find a tangled mess of light strands next holiday season.

 

  1. Cardboard Square – Cut a square of heavy duty cardboard. Cut a slit in one side of the square. Then, secure the end of a light strand by threading it through the slit. Wrap the strand of lights around the cardboard and thread the other end of the strand back through the slit. 
  2. Plastic bags – Wrap each strand of lights in a ball and place each ball in an individual plastic bag (any type will do.) Then store all the bags together in a clearly labeled box.
  3. Empty Wrapping Paper Tube – Simply cut a slit in both ends of a wrapping paper tube. Secure one end of the strand of lights by threading it through the slit. Then wrap the lights along the tube. Thread the other end of the light strand through the slit at the opposite end of the tube.

 

For more holiday ideas, check out our entire collection of holiday blogs.

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Apr 27 2011

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11 Tips to De-Clutter your Home – The House Plan Shop

OrganizedTry as we might, it is hard to keep our homes completely clutter free. Below, The House Plan Shop provides quick tips to keep 11 spaces in your home neat and organized. Read on if your home could use a little organization.

 

  1. Bedroom closets and dressers: Get rid of any clothing item that you no longer wear, doesn’t fit any more or is torn or ripped and cannot be repaired. There is no need to have closets and dressers jam-packed with clothing you don’t wear or can’t wear. Make room for the clothing pieces you love so you can find them easier.
  2. Bathroom: Use up or get rid of half used bottles of shampoo and conditioner. If you don’t like their effect on your hair, consider using shampoo for shower gel and conditioner for shaving gel.
  3. Linen closet: Group towel sets and sets of bed clothes together. Get rid of any mismatched sets. Use frayed towels for cleaning rags in your workshop/garage.
  4. Foyer/Hall closet: Give all the things you grab on the way out the door a place of their own by the door so you can find them when you need them and return them to their proper place when you come back home. Make a space in the closet or under a bench for shoes and boots. A circular canister works well for umbrellas. Give the kids a hook in the closet or on the wall to hang their own jackets and backpacks. 
  5. Kitchen: Clean out the pantry and cabinets. Get rid of any canned goods that are out of date. Throw away stale bags of chips. Sort through dishes and cookware including utensils. Get rid of chipped dishes and mismatched sets. Free up cabinet space by getting rid of extra serving dishes you never use. If you have multiple cooking utensils, keep those in the best shape and toss out the duplicates.
  6. Family room: If you plan to sit on the couch, get rid of all the extra throw pillows. It is OK to keep a couple decorative pillows, but there is no need for 10-15 of them. Keep 2-3 pillows that are in good shape and match your décor, but get rid of the rest. Clean out your media cabinet and get rid of CDs and DVDs that are scratched or broken or that you no longer us. Recycle the plastic cases.
  7. Mail organizer: Designate a space in your home to place your mail until you have time to go through it whether it is on the kitchen counter, an entry table in the foyer or in your office. You’ll always know where to find the mail.
  8. Office: Organize files in a meaningful way from phone and electric bills to health records and receipts and warranties for appliances. Create a filing system that works for you, i.e. arranging files by color file folders or alphabetically.
  9. Playroom: Eliminate broken toys and those with missing pieces. Recycle anything you can. Put game and puzzle pieces back in their respective boxes or containers and stack them in cabinets or on shelves. Get rid of toys the kids no longer play with. If they are in good condition, donate them to charity. 
  10. Laundry room: Establish a sorting procedure for sorting laundry by arranging labeled baskets in the laundry room. Teach your kids to sort their own clothing.
  11. Garage: Sort everything in the garage and group like items in storage tubs. Get rid of broken toys and bikes that have been outgrown. Securely store power tool and hazardous chemicals out of reach of children.

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Apr 11 2011

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8 Super Spring Cleaning Tips – The House Plan Shop

Cleaning SuppliesIf you keep up with house cleaning chores, the thought of spring cleaning doesn’t have to be so scary. If you perform the daily and weekly touch-ups, spring cleaning is limited to just the extras – the cleaning tasks that only need to be done once a year.

 

1.    Clean the Carpet – In some cases, it is necessary to have your carpet professionally cleaned every 12-18 months to keep up a new carpet’s warranty. If that’s not the case, do it yourself. Rent or buy a professional-style deep carpet cleaner designed for home use. Many leave carpets and rugs dry within about an hour which means you won’t have to inconvenience your family.

2.    Clean under furniture and behind appliances – First enlist someone to help you move big pieces of furniture and pull kitchen appliances away from the wall. Sweep and vacuum the floor under each item and use the vacuum hose to clean under and behind appliances.

3.    Wash windows – Save this chore for a cloudy day. If it is too sunny, the cleaning solution will dry quickly on the glass leaving streaks. Wash inside and out. Have a system. Wipe with vertical strokes inside and horizontal strokes outside. If you do end up with streaks, you’ll know what side of the window needs a little more attention.

4.    Wash door frames, walls and baseboards – These surfaces are easy to overlook on a daily basis, but they deserve a little attention once a year. Just mix a squirt of dishwashing soap with a bucket of warm water and wipe with a sponge. Tough scuff marks, fingerprints and even crayons can be wiped away with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

5.    Clean sliding glass door tracks – Begin by sweeping or vacuuming the track to remove the large pieces of debris. Scrub the tracks with a toothbrush and soapy water. Wipe clean with a wet sponge.

6.    Clean window treatments – If your curtains can be laundered, take them down and throw them in the washing machine. Be sure to follow the label directions for cleaning. For other windows treatments that cannot be washed, go over them thoroughly with the upholstery attachment on the vacuum.

7.    Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures and light bulbs –  Use a lint-free cloth to dust the glass fixtures and bulbs you can reach. For ceiling fans and other light fixtures that are out of your reach, visit the local home improvement stores. There all many types of tools available to help you reach things that would ordinarily require a ladder.

8.    Clean furniture – Use the upholstery vacuum attachment to clean fabric covered sofas and chairs. Restore smooth leather with the appropriate upholstery cleaner and conditioner. Polish wooden furniture pieces including dining room chairs, the coffee table and end tables.

 

Using these tips as your spring cleaning guide, you’ll be well on your way to a clean and fresh home.  

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Dec 12 2010

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Practical Tips for Holiday Organization and Storage – The House Plan Shop

Want to have a little less stress this holiday season and for years to come? The House Plan Shop recommends these practical holiday storage and organization tips for everything from decorating to storing pieces and parts for new toys and games.

 

1.    Take pictures – If you like something about the way you decorated your home this holiday season, take photos. You don’t need to print your pictures. Simply save them on your computer and use them for a reference next year. Maybe you like the way you decorated your mantle, the new idea you tired in the den, or have a fabulous outdoor light display. The photos are all you’ll need to decorate the same way next year.

2.    Make room – If you have kids, it is no secret they are bound to end up with more treasures this holiday season than there is room to store them in your home. Now is the time to clean out and make room for new toys, clothing and other items that will soon be here. Involve your child in this clean-out process. Have them make a pile of toys they no longer play with or have outgrown. Separate toys into “usable” and “broken” piles. Donate good toys to charity and throw away or recycle anything that is broken. Do the same with clothing. You must make room in the closet or dresser for what is to come. Get rid of anything that no longer fits your child. Pass on usable pieces to a relative or friend that could use it, or donate it.

3.    Be wrap ready – There is no doubt you’ll be wrapping plenty of gifts this holiday season, so be ready. Purchase a storage container to hold all of your wrapping supplies and keep everything in one place. Collect ribbon, scissors, tap, gift tags, etc. and place them in a storage container. (Some storage containers are large enough to hold rolls of gift wrap and all of your other supplies.) When it is time to start wrapping, you won’t have to search the house for the tape or look for gift tags; you’ll know right where to find them.

4.    Be prepared – As a parent, you have a pretty good idea what toys and games your child will be receiving as gifts. If you anticipate anything with small pieces or lots or parts, have containers ready to go as soon as the gifts are open. You can use anything from Zip-Lock bags and repurposed butter tubs for smaller items to storage bins.

5.    Store for next year – When the holidays are over and it is time to pack up all the lights and decorations, store them in a manner that makes them easy to find and ready to use next year. Store all the items used to decorate a particular room in one storage container and label it “great room,” “kitchen,” “dining room,” etc. When it is time to decorate next year, you can tackle one room at a time and won’t have any problem finding the decorations you need. If you do print the photos mentioned in Tip # 1, you can store them in the storage containers with their corresponding décor.

 

The holidays can be a time of fun and enjoyment with family and friends, but we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle and become overwhelmed and stressed out. With these holiday organization and storage tips, you’ll be more prepared for the holidays giving you a little more time to relax and enjoy them.

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