HOW TO ORGANIZE A BATHROOM VANITY

Before you start, make sure to have all of your supplies ready.


There are so many great organizing products on the market, however, I like to try and use items that I already have. For example, you can use a lazy susan to make things easier to reach under the sink. You can hang a hook instead the cabinet door to hang a hair blower; use empty bottles to corral small items, store toilet paper in a basket; use a bucket to corral cleaning supplies under the sink. Of course, bins are always a good option as well but make sure they’re clear so you can see the contents. If you’re handy you might even consider installing a roll out storage shelf under the sink.

1.   The first step is to empty everything out completely. Yes, completely.   Everything out!  This is important as this allows you to see everything that was in there and determine what should and should not go back there.

2.   Next step is to sort everything into categories keeping like item together: all lotions together, all hair products together, all grooming supplies together. You get the idea.

3.   Now go through everything and purge! Toss out any empty bottles, expired lotions and, of course, anything that you no longer need or use.

4.   Utilize your organizing products to corral the items that are similar (see #2 above)

5.  Now for the fun part, at least for me, is putting everything back in an organized way so that you can see what’s there and get to it easily.

Remember to keep it simple! 

HOW TO ORGANIZE A FILING SYSTEM

1.     Before you start, I suggest getting all of your supplies ready.If you’re starting from scratch, you’re going to need a box of standard hanging file folders, a box of standard hanging file pockets,a box of third cut manila “interior” files and a box of file labels or a label maker.

organizing files2.     The next step is to empty the cabinet completely. Yes, completely.   Everything out.  This is important as this allows you to see everything that was in there and determine what should and should not go back.  You can put everything into a bankers box while you’re going through your files.

3.     To create more space, look for any items that can be tossed,  shredded or archived such as old tax records.  Archived files  should be placed in a properly labeled Bankers Box and stored somewhere else.  If you are storing these boxes in a basement or attic or offsite storage facility, you might consider buying airtight storage bins to protect your archived items from the elements.  They cost more but it’s worth it if these documents are important and need the protection.

4.     There are many ways to categorize files, but what I think works best is to break things down into five or six major category sections for easy identification.

5.     I also recommend using different colors of third cut manila files so that it’s easy to differentiate between the different categories.  For example, for Active Files use – Red; Financial Files – Blue; Personal & Family – Green; Home & Personal Property – Orange, and Legal and Taxes – Purple.

6.     Each section is then broken down into sub-categories which can be alphabetized.  For example, under Active Files (Red files), you might have the following sub-categories: Bills to Pay, To Do List and Upcoming Events To Attend.

7.     Name your categories or sub-categories according to how you will look for them and try, whenever possible to use generic folder names.  For example, Under Utilities, name the file “Telephone” rather than “Verizon”. This is so that if you ever switch companies, you don’t have to create a whole new file. Simple, right?   One more important tip:  avoid vague names for your files.  For example, don’t name any file “miscellaneous”!  Why? Because it will wind up being a catchall for all items.

8.     Once you start putting files back into the cabinet, be sure to leave plenty of space so that you can easily find and file documents.

9.      Finally, go through the contents of your files approximately 2-3 times a year. This will help you to stay organized especially around tax season.

10.  The most important thing is that it should be organized in a way that is easy for you and makes sense to you.

 

Remember to keep it simple! 

JANUARY IS “GET ORGANIZED” MONTH

As most of you know, I have been a member of The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) since starting Organizing Concepts and Designs in 2010.   For those of you who are not familiar with NAPO, NAPO is The Organizing Authority®!


Since forming in 1985 as a nonprofit professional educational association, NAPO has grown to nearly 4,200 members.  NAPO leads and advances the organizing and productivity industry and is dedicated to serving its members and the public by providing professional educational opportunities, industry leadership, productive partnerships and expert information and solutions to foster growth and fulfillment for all who work within the organizing and productivity industry or benefit from its service.

 

      NAPO established GO Month in January 2003 to focus national attention on how getting organized empowers people to take back control over their time, in-boxes, paperwork and possessions.

     

     For businesses wishing to implement a more organized and structured system, NAPO offers these tips:       

 

  • Create a list of priorities for your business and determine what needs immediate action. A professional organizer or productivity specialist can review your priorities and recommend a plan for getting started, without interrupting your daily business workflow.
  • Practice better time management! A NAPO member can help both you and your staff hone time management skills and increase productivity in the workplace.
  • Evaluate your space. Does it feel productive and calm? Physically setting up better-functioning spaces can help employees reduce stress and feel motivated. A professional organizer or productivity specialist will help create the ideal balance so your workspace feels energizing, yet relaxing.

      Employees report feeling more satisfied as a result of a supportive employer providing the tools to improve productivity and reduce stress.

Organizing does not end in the workplace. Families are busier than ever before, and being organized can help reduce stress which helps lead to better health and an overall feeling of well being.

 

NAPO offers these tips for organizing yourself, your routine, and your family calendar:

  • Decide that you deserve it! Understand that you deserve to have more control over your time, your surroundings, and less stress due to feeling overwhelmed. Commit to adding structure and stability to your life.
  • Create one calendar for scheduling  the activities of everyone in your household, and daily/weekly/monthly checklists for each member of your family. Display the lists and calendar in a central location of your home, like the refrigerator or mudroom.
  • Prioritize your organization wants and needs. What room or space needs immediate attention? Talk to a NAPO member about your organization or productivity needs. He or she can help you get organized, but teach you skills to keep you that way.
  • Set realistic goals for organizing. With the help of a NAPO organizer or productivity professional, you can reach your organizing goals in a systematic way that will keep you motivated and empowered to success. You can achieve your organizing and productivity goals by creating a plan and sticking with it over time. 

  So, jumpstart January feeling powerful, productive and organized!

 

KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR SCHOOL

Unbelievable! August has just begun and everyone is already talking about “back to school”.



When I was growing up, school started just after Labor Day and we enjoyed a full 8 weeks of summer.  Obviously much has changed since then.

What hasn’t changed is what we have to do to prepare ourselves and our kids for going “back to school”, whenever that is.

Here are some great tips to help you and your family get ready to get “back to school”:

 

  • Get back on a schedule two weeks before school starts:   Routines are good as everyone knows what to expect.  Get your kids back into the groove by reintroducing the ground rules.  That means getting to bed earlier; having them read and/or write a little bit every day; taking a few minutes before bedtime to clean up and get organized for the next day.
  • Make sure that everyone is getting enough sleep:  Getting your kids to bed earlier at least two weeks before school starts is a great way to reset their internal clocks.
  • Have them read:  If they haven’t been reading all summer, have them start again.  It is one of the best ways to keep a child’s mind sharp. 
  • Make it fun:  Take them shopping to get their school supplies and some new clothes. There are a lot of sales right now so take advantage of them.
  • Get a calendar and put it in a place where everyone in the family can see it and have access to it.  Check it every morning before school to make sure everyone knows what the activities of the day are.  Check it again at night to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on the next day so that they can prepare accordingly. 
  • If your child is attending a new school, visit the school before the first day so that he/she can get a feel of the surroundings.  This will definitely alleviate some anxiety as the first day in a new school can be a bit scary no matter how old they are.

The following are some more tips for when school actually starts:

  • Have them pick out their clothes the night before.  Make sure they have the appropriate attire for the next day’s activities.
  • Showers and/or baths should be done the night before as well.  The less they have to do in the morning, the better it will be for everyone.  The warm water will also help them unwind and sleep better.
  • Check homework and make sure that assignments have been completed before bedtime and especially before TV time or any other leisure activities.  Get backpacks ready the night before as well.  
  • Stick to your morning routine. When the same things are done the same way, as much as possible, kids will automatically know what they are expected to do.  There will less fighting and fussing and the mornings will be more pleasant for everyone.  
  • Make sure that going back to school is something your children look forward to!

10 GREAT REASONS TO GET ORGANIZED

WHY GET ORGANIZED?

  1. TO REDUCE THE FEELING OF BEING OVERWHELMED.
  2. TO ACHIEVE MORE IN LESS TIME.
  3. TO GAIN A SENSE OF CONTROL.
  4. TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR YOUR KIDS.
  5. TO PROJECT A BETTER IMAGE TO YOUR CLIENTS, COLLEAGUES, AND FRIENDS.
  6. TO REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVEL.
  7. TO CLEAR YOUR HEAD OF ALL THE CLUTTER.
  8. TO GAIN ENERGY AND CALM FROM YOUR SPACE.
  9. TO MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR TALENTS AND SKILLS.
  10. TO HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU.

A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE!

DSC05507Meaning: The notion that everything should have a place to be stored and that it should be returned there when not in use.

        The bottom line is, if something you own doesn’t have a place to be stored, it will always be out of place and cluttering up your space.

        We all know that old habits die hard BUT, if you’re ready to get better organized, here are a few small steps you could implement towards your goal.

 

  1. Make a home for everything – Designate a place for everything you own.

 

  1. Designate a place that is easily accessible – Make sure that you can find it (whatever IT may be) and get to it when you need it.
    Note* – The exception to this rule:  If there is something that you will only need every once in a while, it’s okay to assign a home that is not easily accessible, ie., the attic.

 

  1. Put it away – When you’re finished using something put it away (hopefully in the place you designated for it, see Step 1 above).

 

  1. Hang it up – Hang up your clothes when you take them off if they’re clean.  If, not throw them in the hamper or put them in a bag to take to the dry cleaners.

 

  1. Clean it up -Out of respect for others living in the same space, everyone sharing your living space needs to lend a hand around the house.
    Note* –  Every night before bed, everyone in the house can do a quick clean-up by gathering things around the house that  aren’t in their proper place and put them where they should be.

 

  1. Get help – Whether it’s asking your family members to put their things away when they’re not using them, delegating tasks to others in the household or even hiring a Professional Organizer, it’s a good idea to enlist the support of others.