Tag Archive 'Home Organization'

Jan 04 2012

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

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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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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 07 2010

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9 Tips for Containing Clutter

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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

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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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