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Pretty Dresser

3 Tips for Keeping your Bedroom Organized

rest

 

The bedroom is a space that can VERY easily get messy. It is also an area that is often the last to get organized.
Any of this sound familiar?…
Do you have clean and dirty clothes laying around?… Piles of laundry that haven’t quite made it to their drawers. How about those Christmas presents that you don’t want the kiddos to see or the stuff you shoved in your room because company is coming? Then there are those dresser tops that are a catch all for clutter. Oh dear, there is always something isn’t there?

It happens to all of us! What we want is a lovely, quiet, calming place to lay our head at the end of the day not a space where we quickly clear off the bed to make room to sleep and close our eyes before the mess gets to us.

Here are three quick tips for clutter control:

1) Laundry! This one is a biggie. Put dirty clothes in your clothes hamper as soon as you take them off. Anything that you want to wear again before washing hang up and place on a hook behind your door or have a pretty basket in your room to fold it neatly until you wear it again.
Personally I have this issue with putting away clean laundry. I am not sure why as the task is almost done. Try and put away laundry after you fold it. This also prevents others from asking where their clothes are!
1 Load a Day. To try and keep the mountain-o-laundry from catching up with you. Throw in one load a day. There is always something that can be put in the machine to be cleaned.
2) Storage. If you have a tiny room, a small closet or just not a lot of storage in your home then this can cause clutter because everything does not have it’s place. The first thought I have is not to buy a bigger house but to purge. Take an inventory of what you need and don’t need. Donate clothes or anything that no longer serves a purpose with you.
Also remove anything that does not belong in your bedroom. Designate a certain spot in your home for storage items.
Rotate your seasonal clothing. Use clear bins and label winter clothing/summer clothing and pack up what you won’t be using for that particular season. This will free up some room in your closet/dresser.
3) Dresser and night stand tops. These easily become a catch-all. Take two minutes before bed to clear these off. Keep a small basket where you can put these things and when it is full empty it by putting things back in their spot.
A good Feng Shui bedroom is a calm and peaceful room that invites you in. It promotes a flow of nourishing and sensual flow. Sounds good to me! We all deserve to have a beautiful, comfortable space at the end of the day to retreat to.

I wish you sweet dreams, a restful sleep and whatever else may arise from your beautiful space. Xxxx

Pretty Dresser

“Day is over, night has come. Today is gone, what’s done is done. Embrace your dream, through the night, Tomorrow comes with a whole new light.”

~Unkown

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relax

SLC’s Top 5 Tips for Things to NOT do when Decluttering

We have given boatloads of tips on what to do when decluttering but we have not given you tips on what you should NOT do when decluttering.

None of the following will be earth shattering news. It all makes sense but when we are up to our eyeballs in clutter it is easy to get caught up in the piles of stuff! Shawna and I have been decluttering for ourselves and for other people for a few years now and both agree that it is an ongoing process. What makes us different from other organizers is that we don’t just try and ‘hide’ your clutter to make it organized. We also encourage people to part with their belongings that no longer serve a purpose, or as The Minimalists would say “no longer add value to your life”. We know that things do not make people happy in the long run. Buying stuff is only a band aid that fills you up temporarily and covers up what is really important.

Here are Simple Life Celebrations top 5 things to NOT do when decluttering.

 

  1. Purge and Then Containerize.

Please, please, please do not think that the first step to becoming organized is to head to your closest box store and purchase a stack of bins with the snap top lids. Although those colorful storage devices may look appealing, do not waste your money. (Even I have been known to have a thang for that eye candy!) Once you begin to go through your belongings you should find that there are items that you no longer want. As mentioned above these are things that do not add value to your life. You may even find that you have empty boxes and bins when you have gone through your space – BONUS!

storage

 

  1. Decide and Then Donate.

Once you have made the decision to get rid of something, decide where it is going. Are you donating it? Giving it to a friend? Recycling it? Getting it Fixed? Selling it? Whatever your decision get it outta there right away because clutter is still clutter if it is hanging around in your home.

 

  1. Do Not Bite off More Than You Can Chew.

One day is not under any circumstance enough time to declutter your entire home. (Unless you are an extreme minimalist or live in one of those adorable tiny cabins… OR if you are lucky enough to be on one of those TV shows where an entire crew comes in and over hauls your home). All mentioned are unlikely though so please take my advice and do one room, one area, one closet, one cupboard or even one drawer at a time. It is difficult physical and mental work to declutter, organize and haul things around for several hours at a time. Also spending a couple of hours will prevent burnout and you will feel more rested and encouraged to keep going.

 

beginning

 

  1. Perfection Does Not Exist.

Very few of us have homes that look like those in a magazine. Why? Because we actually LIVE. We eat, play, sleep, work and come and go from our homes. Please do not expect perfection because you will more than likely end up disappointed. You need to enjoy the things that remain – those are the items that you have chosen to love, use and (here’s that word again) VALUE.

 

perfection

 

  1. This is not the End.

Like anything else in our lives decluttering and organizing are ongoing processes that take upkeep and maintenance. It is not a one-time deal so don’t feel like a failure if in a few weeks things are a bit out of control. It will be a-okay. Remember that you have a new more efficient space but you will still need to continue to tweak, clean and make it even better. No problem!

 

the end

 

Oh and before I forget one of the most important Simple Life Rules for Decluttering  is to reward your gorgeous self for a job well done. So boil up the kettle for a soothing cuppa, run a hot bath with bubbles, go for a nice walk or do whatever your peaceful thing is.

Cheers and goodluck,

Krystal

 

relax

 

 

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lights

Simple Christmas Storage Solutions

Christmas storage can be tricky between the indoor lights, the outdoor lights, the ornaments, the tree, the wrapping and all of the other cutsie knick-knack items. My goal is to find you ways that you can neatly organize all of your stuff without spending a ton of money! In fact there are several items in our home already that we can use to organize these items.

Lets first talk about lights:

Here you will see that these lights are simply wrapped around cardboard. Cut your cardboard to fit a plastic tub or cardboard box and you can stack various string of lights inside. Easy peasy!

Source

lights

 

                                                                                               

Here we have Christmas lights coiled up in a regular mason jar which will tightly fit a 12′ string of small lights. It is apparently easy to unravel too. If you want you can even leave them in the jar, light them up and have a pretty decoration or something to use for a party.

 Source

 

 

jar storage

                                                                                                 

 

Let’s not forget about the ornaments.

There are many ways to store those precious ornaments too! Ever thought about reusing those red solo cups? Place a cardboard or wood piece between and you have double the storage. Woot-woot!

 

red solo

 

 

Here is another great way to recycle and repurpose something and keep it out of the landfill. I think this is brilliant! Use those drink trays to hold round ornaments. They fit nicely and these things can stack nicely! Why didn’t I think of that? Please click on the picture to follow more on this.

Source

 

cup holder

                                                                                                  

Egg cartons are a great way to safely store all kinds of things including various Christmas tree decorations. All is protected nicely in this and you can use multiple egg cartons to stack. Just label the outside of them with marker to know what’s inside.

Source

 

egg carton

                                                                                                 

Here is another great way to store a fragile ornament. Reuse a plastic food storage bag. Puff it up with some air to make a cushion and it will provide protection for whatever is inside.

Source

 

plastic bag

 

 

This would be a great DYI project made out of some wood, dowels and hooks. This lovely all in one organizer houses wrapping paper, ribbon, scissors and tape. Love it when everything can be stored together! The how-to is in the link below.

Source

gift wrap

 

Have any of those plastic storage bag holders kicking around? They can serve a dual purpose like many of our household items.

 

bag storage container

 

And last but not least here is a very simple way to store your wrap. Yep you just need string!

 

giftwrap storage

 

This should get you on your way to an organized holiday! I would love to hear ways that you organize your holiday paraphenalia. Leave me a message in the comments.

Blessings,

Krystal

Organizing Barbies!

All in one place!
All in one place!

Every week I like to work on at least one organizing project. Recently, my daughter purchased some Barbie items second hand; specifically the camper, car, and tent that you see in the picture above. The dolls and accessories were getting out of hand in her room. So Barbie and her entourage had to find a new home. They moved residence to the family room in the basement. After just an hour or two, everything was all in one place ready for Megan and her pals to play. I just love it when everything has a home!

Here are some more pictures of how I organized everything. (I sure wish that I would have taken before and after pictures of this process!) Next time.

This houses a ton of Barbies 'must haves'. :)
This houses a ton of Barbies ‘must haves’. 🙂

 

I had this storage unit that I initially bought for my son’s room. Then I moved it downstairs to hold stuffies. Now it is perfect for Barbie Doll stuff. Sometimes you have to play around with the storage that you have rather than buy new stuff all the time. I LOVE reusing things. If you are finding that you are needing more and more storage then it is probably time to do a purge. * Here are 10 Creative Ways to Declutter your Home.

 

The 'wheels' and the 'crib'.
The ‘wheels’ and the ‘crib’.

 

Beside the storage unit we have the Camper, V Dub Beetle, Tent, and House. I am sure that Barbie and Ken would be so happy with this living arrangement! 🙂

 

Using the top of the unit for a few more items.
Using the top of the unit for a few more items.

 

Using all of your space vertically is a great way to maximize the area. The smaller container to the left on top holds the shoes and purses. Good thing I don’t have this many shoes and handbags – I would be in BIG trouble! haha

 

Barbie Accessories Drawer

 

This is the top drawer of the storage unit that holds more accessories.  Here we have inexpensive clear containers (3 of them) that we got from the Dollar Store. This was the only thing that we bought ($2). I chose the clear containers so that my daughter and her friends could find what they want easily.

 

Barbie Clothing

 

Here are all of the Barbie clothes. I used a Zip Loc container that I had on hand. You will see in the container to the right that this has clothes from my Barbies from the 80’s. Yes they are a wee bit dated but everything comes back in style right?! Did anyone else have Barbie and the Rockers? The one that came with the Cassette?!

**FLASHBACK**

 

Barbie Sets

 

Here in the bottom drawer of the unit I have 3 sets that she received as gifts. (A barbie pool, pediatrician set, and hair styling set.) Gee, Barbie does everything doesn’t she?!

 

Barbie Suitcase

 

This small Barbie suitcase was given to my gal from Shawna’s gal. It is the perfect size for the dolls to fit in.

There you have it. I am happy with this system and it looks nice. My daughter is happy that she knows where everything is. Win-WIN. Yay!

For more tips head on over to Facebook for more organizing ideas, repurposing ideas, recipes and inspiration. We would love for you to share your organized spaces with us.

 

 

 

I Have All These School Papers – Now What?!

‘Tis the time of year when the kids are sent home with schoolwork, report cards, supplies, and anything else that may have been lingering in their desk or locker. (Hopefully you do not find a nasty, fuzzy green sandwich in your child’s backpack like I did one year. At least I think it was a sandwich?…)

Perhaps I should back up a wee bit… My children come home from school with papers in their backpack on a daily basis. These are forms, weekly correspondences, school newsletters, hot lunch papers and whatever other notices that we need to be informed about. I try to go through these papers as soon as they enter my home otherwise the paperwork can pile up VERY quickly; especially because I have more than one child plus my own mail and work stuff to deal with. The best thing to do is make an action pile for things that need to be looked at and dealt with soon. Another pile for the papers that you need but don’t need to be processed right away. A final pile will be the papers that need to be saved and filed. Here is a more detailed description of the categories of papers that can be placed in a temporary file or pile.

  • Take Action/Sign – this file is for forms that need to be signed, permission slips that need to be returned, teacher requests, PTA announcements, and flyers about events that need to be added to your calendar.
  • Short-Term Storage – this file is for forms or information that you don’t need to keep forever but will need to refer to at some point in the near future. For example: information on an upcoming field trip that includes a list of what your child is to bring or a flyer on an upcoming school event.
  • One per child labeled with the child’s name – this file is for each child’s special papers, progress reports, test scores, awards, certificates, or programs from sports, school plays or musical events.

So now the year is coming to an end and all of the action and short term papers have been dealt with. Now you are left with the keepers or the special papers that you and your child want. What do you do with them?

Here’s what I do…

Below is an example of storage that I bought for my daughter. It is a cute file box that has built in dividers. It actually has 12 for each month of the year. I will use one per year until grade 12; it works out great! And it was only about $15. As you can see in the bottom photo, I put the report cards on the top, then special certificates or awards, schoolwork, memory book and then the favorite art pieces.

I am sure some of you are wondering how it will all fit in there? The key is, every time your child brings home a bunch of artwork, lay them out on the floor and have them choose their favorites. If they want to keep absolutely everything, encourage them to choose their very best ones and take a picture of the others. They may or may not ever look at that photo but keep it for a while just in case.

So far this way of organizing everything is working out fantastically. I have 4 years in there. She does have a few items that do not fit in there and I do not stress about it. That stuff is in a really large envelope beside this box.

 

Finding proper storage is half the battle!
Finding proper storage is half the battle!
The handy dividers separate the years.
The handy dividers separate the years.
Decide what is important to you and your child.
Decide what is important to you and your child.

 

Find what works for you and your child. Some people use those plastic totes or hanging files in a box. Some people like to scrapbook while others may want to utilize a binder. It is just one of those things that you have to play with and have fun!

If you are needing help with setting up a station for your child’s school work let us know! We can get you on your way to having some organized memories.

 

Kitchen Organizing

❦Kitchen Organizing

Here is a post that I wrote a couple of years ago on how to help you set up your kitchen. After all the kitchen is the heart of the home!

I popped over to a friends house the other day (just for a visit but I couldn’t help myself!). Her and her family have currently undergone several months of renovations in their home. Basically they have renovated the majority of the inside of their home. Now they are in the process of bringing their belongings/household items back in. I was assisting her in her kitchen. This is where her challenge was. She was trying to figure where to put the items. Let’s face it the kitchen is a high traffic room; it has to be functional!

Here are a few tips to help you organize your kitchen:

Determine what you really need! We are so obsessed with having MORE storage space when really we probably only use about a third of what we already have in our drawers and cupboards! Take an inventory as you are unpacking and think about what you do not use or need. Be honest with yourself, when was the last time that you used that melon baller or cookie press? Then separate what you don’t use into: Garbage, Donate/Garage Sale/Give Away, and Keep piles.
Utilize your space well. Find containers that are like sizes and stack them. If you have pots and pans or containers that have a lost/broken lid then find a storage use for it or recycle it!
Use racks and dividers to get the most out of your space. Not only will this save space but it will also save frustration when you are trying to ‘dig’ out the pan that you need that’s on the bottom of the pile!
Things that don’t work well or are missing pieces; get rid of them! You know what I am talking about, the pot that always burns the food and is impossible to clean. Anything that needs replaced put on a wish list, ready to replace when you have saved your pennies.
Keep things that you use often in easy-to-reach locations. Figure out what you use the most and the least and store accordingly. Remember that if you rarely use it then get rid of it!

Store items according to where they will be used the most. I found this list on Wiki of how to separate your kitchen areas.
Storage or pantry. Consider your freezer an extension of this area. Whether you store foods in a true pantry, a cabinet, a closet, or someplace else entirely, don’t forget to go through periodically and clear out items that are hopelessly old or will never be used.
~Preparation. Cutting board, knives, measuring cups and spoons, and mixing bowls all go here.
~Cooking. The stove and oven plus the utensils that go with them. This area should include pots and pans, pot holders, spoons and spatulas (a utensil jar works well for these).
~Baking. If you love to bake, you might find it handy to store your flour, sugar, baking powder, a set of measuring cups and spoons, your favorite mixing bowl, etc. together in one convenient spot.
~Serving. The table, plus tableware, serving dishes, napkins, trivets, and anything else you need to sit down and eat. Soy sauce? Salt and pepper shakers? Sugar bowl? Ask yourself whether it would be more convenient to store your dishes and silverware near the table or the dishwasher.
~Cleaning. The sink, dishwasher and surroundings. Soap, gloves, dish pan, drying rack, cleansers, towels, etc.
~Waste disposal. Keep a trash can handy, plus recycling and compost bins, too. Locate them as centrally as possible without being in the way. They should go near the cleaning and food preparation areas.

Make lists! I love lists. 🙂 Keep an inventory of what you have in your freezer. This keeps you in the know and is easily available for you to see what you have or don’t have. (Ever gone through your freezer and found several of the same items that you didn’t really need to buy?!) As you use things from the freezer you can erase them. Add whatever you need to replace things on the list too.
Make the most of your space by using baskets to store ‘like’ items. Consider using racks for things like cans so that you do not have any wasted space in a cupboard. Also hanging/mounted racks are great for spices. They make them all easily visible and store them together so they are easy to find.

~Most of all enjoy your space and all of the memories that you make in it!

Contact the Simple Life Gals if you need some help getting started in the kitchen.

Simple Tips – Plastic Linen Storage Bags

I recently bought the kids flannel sheets for their beds. They come packaged in those clear, plastic bags with the zippers. Sometimes those bags also house curtain panels and other linens. I usually keep them for my mom who is very crafty. She can store her quilts or crocheting in them. As I went to put these two in the recycling I thought to myself, “There has to be more that I can do with these bags.” So I did what I do best and I researched. I came up with my own ideas on how to reuse the bags. I believe that they can actually come in quite handy even in day to day life.

Take a look at the video here:

Here is what I came up with…
Uses for plastic zippered bags include
~ store stacking or building blocks in them
~ use them to store linens (place a cloth with some pretty incense with it to keep them fresh smelling)
~ put off season clothing or accessories in them
~ for the crafty peeps store pieces of fabric
~ use them to store projects (Easy to grab and work on and keeps it all together)
~ store gift wrap, gift bags, tags, ribbons and tissue paper
~ store baby blankets and sentimental items
~ put it in your vehicle to house emergency supplies or toys
~ organize cords
~ use for toiletries when travelling
~ great for holiday decorations and ornaments to protect and keep them together

How could you use these handy bags? I would be interested to hear what you do with them!

Seasonal Confusion

We often get asked about how to deal with clothing. You see where we live we have 4 distinct seasons; some of which seem to be much longer than others. Ah-hem WINTER! So… just when we think that our cold, winter season is over we will have a huge snowstorm. We don’t even bother putting away the winter clothes until the end of May! If we try to sneak our sandals out of hibernation it usually bites us in the @$$! The joke in Alberta is, if you don’t like the weather just wait five minutes.

So… we basically have our winter coats/parkas, spring and fall jackets plus hoodies and sweaters for chilly days/evenings. Gloves, toques, scarves, gloves, mittens, boots (winter and rain), shoes (indoor and outdoor) clutter INVADE our entryways and closets! The solution is not as easy as just picking up and moving to some tropical island where all you have to worry about is which bikini to dawn today. I wish! So what do we do?

Think of your closets as prime real estate. There is no reason that when it is 30 degrees Celsius you should be digging through your heavy sweaters to find your favourite capris! First of all I like to take an inventory of what I have about every 6 months. Chances are you will find items that you no longer wear, that are ripped/stained, that you have replaced with something better, or doesn’t fit you any longer. Put these things in either a donate, consign or trash pile. Now there are several ways to organize what you have. If your closet is big enough. Place your out of season clothing to the back of the closet and your clothing appropriate for the season in an easily accessible place.

Another thing you can do is place all out of season items in clear flat bins either under the bed or in a storage area. Clear bins allow for an easy visual of what is inside without any searching. These do not need to be huge bins. Extra large bins are: a) difficult to carry as they are extremely heavy and b) difficult to easily identify what is in them.

I actually have specific areas in my closet and dresser drawers for items. I do not like to pack up and unpack seasonal clothing at all. I have a very small closet as well as two dressers. When the drawers begin to get too full and the closet is packed then I reassess what I have and what I need. Remember you only really use 20% of what you have 80% of the time! A great way to determine what you should keep is to place the items to the front of the closet after you wear it. You will soon identify the clothing that you don’t wear at all as it will all be at the back of the closet! Another thing you can do is turn the hanger the opposite direction as the rest once you have worn it. Reevaluate a few months later to see what hasn’t been touched.

Here’s how I separate my clothing:
a drawers for pajamas
a drawer for nursing scrubs
a drawer for workout clothing and summer shorts (they don’t take up much room)
a drawer for t-shirts and long sleeve cotton shirts
In my tall dresser I have:
sock/nylons drawer
undergarment drawer
heavy sweater drawer
In my closet:
I hang all of my capris on a hanger like this.

Jeans and pants hang in my ‘prime’ location as I use them the most
My nicer shirts hang next to the jeans/pants
Sweaters, jackets, cardigans I don’t use as often so they are further back in the closet
Skirts are last because I wear them the least and they all fit on another hanger like the one above

I also have a teeny tiny closet at my front entry way. Here is where I keep ONLY in season coats and either splash pants or snow pants.

In the Winter time I have, winter coats, snow pants, boots, and an easily accessible bin full of mittens/gloves, toques and scarves at my front entry. This way everyone can grab what they need.
In summer/spring time I have lighter jackets, splash pants, rubber boots and shoes at the front entry way. So what do I do with the out of season stuff? I do not have a big mud room or another closet at my back door so the coats go in my storage room (I have a hanging bar across one whole side for this purpose!) Also I have a basket for each person in the house that houses their winter accessories (toques, gloves/mittens, and scarves). See picture below.

New and amazing storage for baskets, boots, shoes that hubby MADE for me!!!

Another reason why I do not like putting my clothes ‘in storage’ is simply because it is a lot of work. I may not get to keep as many clothes as some, but I have them all easily accessible; not in bulky bins where they get all wrinkly and need re hung and re washed.

What it comes down to is doing what is right for you and your family. I strongly suggest you reevaluate your wardrobe at least twice per year and keep only what you really love and need. Just remember what is really important!

‘Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends…. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.’ ~Henry David Thoreau

If you are needing any assistance organizing your seasonal items or wanting a system in place please contact us!