Monday, September 21, 2009

Teresa Stephens Harvey is helping you get your space ORGANIZED!

Today many people are downsizing or combining households.  To make a successful transition or to help any home run a smoother organization is essential.  But, where to start?  Here are a few basic guidelines...

1. Take one room at a time.  Starting with the idea of orgazing a whole house can be overwhelming.
     I like to start with the Kitchen, then move to other common used areas.  Study, family room bathroom, etc...moving on to private spaces.

2. Seperate items - Gather the items of the room and then sort them into like piles.  Once you have the items sorted go through and remove duplicates for donation or a garage sale.  Assess each item to make sure it is not broken or damaged.  Throw away any items that are broken or not in good use.

3. Store items according to size - Look at your cabinets, open shelves and containers.  Use your storage where the items can be neatly placed or stacked but not overly crowded.  Label shelves that are commonly used by mulitple people so that everyone remembers where to return the items.  Consider keeping kid items in easy wide open containers that are easy to reach in and easy to return items to.

4. Function is great but don't skip on STYLE! - When you are storing your items look at what you have to store.  Toys can be put in a toy chest but they also can be stored in an antique steamer trunk that can double as a coffee table and still look great in a living room.  Markers, pens, and stickers for projects can be stored in small pails that are hung with cup hooks on a wall, that provide easy access and provide a fun look to the room.  Baskets can help corral items on a shelf without leaving them open to give the eye a rest from too much of a good thing.

5. Pass things along - When organizing and helping others organize their space one of the biggest obstacles is not wanting to let go of something due to sentimental value.  I often have paper and small trinket items photographed and then they can be stored easier or put into a nice album kept handy to review.  Larger items that are just collecting dust or pushed back in storage for years I ask them to consider selling the item  and using the money for something that is needed now or passing the item along to another family member or friend who could use the item and has room for it.  Keeping an item just to keep it does not honor the item or give more credit to the memory.

Another hard and fast rule to keep in mind is for every new item you bring into the home at least one item must leave.  Don't forget to take advantage of regular decluttering by donating to the many agencies that will pick up directly from your door.

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