Archive for the 'Home Organization' Category

Apr 07 2010

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9 Tips for Containing Clutter

Filed under Home Organization

Containing ClutterIt’s no secret everyone has a little clutter in their homes if not A LOT of clutter. The House Plan Shop recommends these tips from organizational pros. You’ll have your home tidy and clutter free in no time.

 

1.    Make a list of the rooms or spaces in your home that you want to de-clutter and prioritize them.

2.    Start with a small organizational task first. Begin with a small project like organizing the junk drawer in your kitchen. Your success will motivate you to move on to the first big space or task on your list. Once it is complete move on to the next thing on your list.

3.    Tackle one space at a time. Choose a room, area or closet to organize and stick with it until it is finished. Even if you only have 15-20 minutes a day to work on it, keep working until you have the space finished, then check it off the list and move on to the next area or room.

4.    Take a holistic approach. Don’t just do the kitchen or your coat closet and stop. Include all the problem areas of your home from the garage and basement to the master bath and under the kids’ beds.

5.    Don’t let sentiment stand in your way. If you have an item that you haven’t used or worn it and have no plans to use it again, donate it to charity if it is in good condition otherwise, put it in the trash. If something is broken, missing pieces or parts or no longer works, get rid of it. Keep an eye out for recyclables and do your part to help protect the environment. It is OK to keep a couple sentimental things, but not everything. That’s part of what got you to a cluttered state in the first place.

6.    Give everything a place and keep it there. If you take tool from the workbench in the garage, put it back in its place when you finish, so you can find it next time.

7.    Purchase organizational elements such as bins and plastic tubs to fit in the spaces you’ve designated for storage. An oversized storage tub won’t do you any good if it doesn’t fit in the closet where you plan to store it. Don’t forget to label bins and tubs.

8.    Choose stackable storage bins and tubs with lids that way you can stack more than one in a closet or on the shelves in the basement. Lids keep dust out and everything clean inside.

9.    Once you are clutter free, keep it that way. Remember to put things back where they belong, and when you are shopping, only buy things to replace. If you buy to “add” you’ll end up right where you started – amid unorganized clutter.

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Mar 17 2010

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Attention Bike Riders: Bike Storage for your Garage

Bike StorageSpring is quickly approaching. Soon bike lovers will be dusting off their bikes and taking them for their first sunny ride. Whether you enjoy weekend bike rides with the kids or your friends or you plan to train for a bike race, now is the time to get ready. No one likes to hassle with getting their bike out of the garage, especially if that means you have to move boxes, toys, and the car to find it. Take some time to shop for a bike storage rack now. That way, when you are ready to ride, it will only take a minute or two to get your bike and start peddling.

 

Bike racks and storage systems are available in a range of sizes and styles accommodating one or more bikes in a safe manner. Some options include vertical poles to which the bikes are mounted saving precious floor space in your garage. Others offer hooks by which bikes hang from the ceiling. Your specific needs and the space available will determine the type of bike rack that will work best in your attached or detached garage.

 

Begin by determining how much garage space is available for bike storage and how many bikes you plan to store. Then, shop around for bike racks and storage devices to find out which ones will suit your needs and fit in the allotted space within your garage. Which ones are easy to use? Which ones offer the most safety and protection for the people, cars and other things in your garage? Do you want your kids to be able to access their bikes on their own? Is there ample room to open the garage door if you install a particular bike rack or storage system? Consider extra features that come with each bike storage system. Some come with hooks or shelves for storing helmets, shoes, water bottles and other gear. Is this something you need or want?

 

If you want to add bike storage to your attached or detached garage, you’ll have to so some research to find the one that works best for your specific needs. Check local bike shops, home improvement stores and biking websites for ideas and possibilities. 

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Feb 11 2010

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Organizational Ideas to Keep your New Home Tidy & Clutter Free

Filed under Home Organization

We’ve all been there. Somewhere along life’s journey, we’ve all have at least one drawer, counter, shelf or room in our home that seems to attract clutter. Many of us have more than one of these spaces. If you are planning to build a new home, take some time to review and consider the organizational elements listed below. Each element helps eliminate clutter and keeps the whole family organized. The House Plan Shop features many floor plans and home designs that incorporate at least one of these “de-clutter” elements.

 

029H-0063 Floor PlanDrop Zone – A drop zone is a handy space usually positioned near the garage entry or mudroom giving everyone in the family a place to “drop” personal items when they enter the home. A drop zone is meant to organize everything from car keys, purses and briefcases to umbrellas, baseball gloves and jackets. Generally, a drop zone offers a locker for each family member or a hook and shelf/bin combination. Lockers are especially nice because the doors can be closed hiding everything inside. With the hook and shelf/bin arrangement, you can hang things such as a jacket and cap, and the shelf or bin is used for storing other items, like a backpack. With a drop zone, everyone will know where their belongings can be found keeping jackets off the floor, purses off the counter and soccer shoes out of the middle of the foyer.

 

023H-0117 Floor PlanCubbies in the Laundry Room – Laundry room cubbies are especially popular with larger families or in homes where the laundry room is on the main floor and all of the bedrooms are upstairs. Similar to the drop zone, each family member has his or her own cubbie or bin. This gives you a place to put clean and folded laundry allowing the children to pick up their own clothing and take it to their rooms to put away. This organizational idea will save you steps on wash day giving you a quick and easy place to store clean laundry without traveling all over your home to drop it off in its designated space. Also, it prevents leaving baskets of laundry all over the home.  Using laundry room cubbies offers an added bonus. They encourage each family member to be responsible for their own things.

 

030H-0057 Floor PlanBuilt-In Desk – Built-in desks are a common organizational element in many family homes. Most often they are found in or near the kitchen. Built-in desks provide the perfect place for a computer station allowing you to easily pay bills online. Place a small bin or basket on the desk to hold your mail. When it comes time to pay bills, everything will be in one place instead of strewn around the home with mail on the kitchen counter, in the bedroom and in the office. Other times, built-in desks are used for meal planning offering a great place for the family chef to review favorite recipes or look up new ones online. Overhead cabinets or drawers below work well for storing recipe books giving them a place of their own. Some families prefer to use a built-in desk as a charging station for cell phones, iPods, and the like. The desk is a safe place to leave these items as they charge and the drawers offer a place to tuck charging cables and cords out of sight when not in use. Next time you need to charge your cell phone, you won’t waste time looking for the charger.

 

As you browse The House Plan Shop’s extensive collection of home plans and floor plans, keep these organizational features in mind. Choose a design that offers the organizational elements that will best accommodate your family’s needs.

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Sep 23 2009

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Keeping the Kids’ Rooms Organized

Organizing Children's RoomsAs a follow up to last week’s post, Space Savers for Children’s Rooms, the tips and ideas suggested in Organizing Children’s Rooms found on Kay’s Country Cottage blog, are worth reading. If you’ve gone to the trouble of choosing all the right furniture and accessories for your kids’ rooms in your new home, you’ll surely want to keep their bedrooms tidy and organized. This means taking time every few months to go through each child’s room and purge, clean, reorganize, etc. Follow Kay’s advice…she offers many good ideas. Sort everything in the room. Throw away broken toys. Give toys away that are no longer played with but in good condition. Pass down clothing and shoes the child has outgrown. The list goes on.

 

If you take time to clear out unnecessary items occasionally, those space saving pieces of furniture and accessories that made each child’s room perfect when you moved in, will be able to better maintain order and serve their intended purposes. There is no sense in trying to maintain an orderly room if you are running out of space due to unwanted and no longer needed items. It is time to start getting organized.

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Sep 17 2009

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Space Savers for Children’s Rooms

round-storage-ottomanWhen you decided to build your new home, there is no doubt you considered your child or future child(ren), their needs and all their STUFF when choosing a house plan. No matter what their age, kids have all the furniture adults have. They also have plenty of extras like toys, game systems, sporting equipment, stuffed animals, arts and craft supplies, and all those special treasures they stash in the closet and under the bed. You probably know it is important to maximize each child’s space in your new home, so when shopping for furniture keep this rule in mind: If it’s not practical, don’t buy it.

 

Consider these space savers when buying furniture and accessories for your child’s new room.

 

Multi-Purpose Furniture – Multi-purpose furniture should be attractive, functional and satisfy more than one need. Toy boxes and hinged ottomans are ideal space savers because they offer out-of-sight storage and a place to sit. Desks with drawers offer storage for school and craft supplies and a work surface for writing and working. Finally, consider pieces of furniture that will grow with your child and make a smart financial purchase.

 

loft-bedLoft Bed – For older children, a loft bed is a great way to expand usable space while maintaining floor space. A loft bed is similar to a bunk bed because it sits up off the floor. But instead of having a lower bunk, there is room for something else like a play area or a study space. Many loft beds come with built in shelving units, dresser drawers or a desk underneath the bed.

 

Convertible Crib/Bed – Consider purchasing a convertible crib if you are expecting a baby or have an infant or toddler. Convertible cribs grow with your child from infancy through their teens and beyond depending on your/their preferences as they grow. These kinds of beds convert from a crib to a toddler bed and then to a day bed, twin or full size bed depending on the brand and style. Usually the conversions are easy and only require adding or removing side boards, the foot board, or rails and swapping out the crib/toddler mattress for a twin/full size mattress. Most furniture stores and baby stores sell these kinds of beds and they are usually available with matching furniture pieces such as dresser, night stand, changing table etc. Purchasing a convertible crib or bed saves space because you won’t have to buy new furniture as you child progresses though life. This also means you won’t need to find a place to store the old stuff until you can use it again or find another use for it.

 

Under-the-Bed Storage – Free up closet, shelf and floor space with organizers that fit under the bed. There is a wide variety of storage containers, bins and boxes available all designed to neatly slide underneath a bed. Using various totes to store out of season clothing and bedding under the bed keeps it out of the closet when it isn’t needed and keeps it out of sight. You might even consider giving your child one organizer of their own to store their “special things”.

 

Shelving – Both bookshelves or wall shelves are a necessity for saving space. Rather than having piles of toys, books, games and collectibles on the floor, shelving provides a place to organize, store or display your child’s favorite things while keeping the floor space clear for walking or playing.

 

Wall Pegs or Hooks – It is no secret that children typically leave things on the floor. Free up floor space and teach your child to take care of his or her belongings by installing several wall pegs or hooks near the bedroom door. This will give your child a place to put all their personal items such as jackets, backpacks, hats, belts, coats and more. This will free up floor space keeping your child from stepping on his hoodie or ball cap and keep him organized. If he get into a habit of always hanging his things at the door, he’ll know right where to find things when he needs them.

 

Take some time to consider which of these space savers will work in your child’s room.

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