Posts Tagged ‘conquer clutter’

The Easy, No-Brainer Purge

By csc-admin - July 22nd, 2016

Clean organized apartment

Do you feel like you’re buried under a pile of clothes, junk mail, or expired foods? Maybe you have overflowing drawers filled with makeup, medicine, or tools. Or maybe you’re looking to de-clutter. Purging is easy with this list; simply toss these items out!

  1. Expired Coupons. Put these into the recycling bin and start looking for other deals! There’s no reason to be keep unnecessary papers in your kitchen or home office. To tame the paper, be sure to go through your coupon piles at least every two weeks.
  2. Expired Food. Moldy milk and food can say hello to the trashcan or compost bin! Free up fridge space to make space for your favorite summer harvests and treats.
  3. Expired Medicine. Expired medicine can be harmful to your body. Be sure to pay attention to the expiration dates on medicine bottles and toss them should they be past their expiry date. For certain products, you may need to properly dispose of them at your local pharmacy.
  4. Expired makeup and skincare products. Notice a trend on this list? Using some expired makeup products can cause irritation or scarring to your skin. Be sure to note when you opened your products and toss items that have been opened past the recommended lifespan. Many cosmetic and skincare items will have a stamp with a jar icon and a number in it where you can find the expiration information. If the number says “12M”, the recommended lifespan of the product is 12 months (roughly a year).
  5. Take-out menus. Let’s be honest. You probably already know the menu backwards and forward for your favorite places. It’s time to clear out part of your kitchen drawer. Plus, many restaurants will have their menus online for you to browse.
  6. Broken items. Chipped mugs, plates, and glasses can be tossed. Or repurpose some of them as a water saucer for plants. For items that you’ve been meaning to replace or repair, but haven’t gotten around to for over 6 months, it may be time to say sayonara.
  7. Clothes that don’t fit. For items that no longer fit, or never quite fit right, just say goodbye to them and don’t think twice about it! These items don’t make you feel good, so you shouldn’t keep them around. Think about the space you could create for items that you love by getting rid of these pieces.
  8. Excessive cords. Have extra extension cords? Or maybe cords for your computer or entertainment center that you don’t need? Consider donating them and saying hello to a neater looking and more streamlined space. This also goes for electronics you no longer need.
  9. Coins. We know that many households can accumulate change and coins over the years. Clear up some space and get some money in your pocket. While we don’t recommend throwing them out, we do recommend converting them to bills and depositing them into your bank account.
  10. Procrastination. Throw procrastination out the door! It’s time to get focused and start checking off chores and home projects. Make a schedule to complete projects and set a timeline you can stick to. 

It’s time to get organized today! Get customized home storage ideas from the experts at Closet & Storage Concepts. Find a local designer here.

Easy Ways to Get a Clutter-Free Home Office

By csc-admin - April 18th, 2016

Home office cabinets with wall bed

Is spring cleaning wearing down on you? Organize your home office in a flash by trying these easy tasks.

Create Work Zones

Take a cue from the kitchen, and apply it to your home office. As the kitchen has different stations for washing, prep work, cooking, and food storage, create a similar system in your office. A clear workspace for paying bills or running your home business, storage for supplies and tools, a notice board to keep your to-do list, and an area for reference guides or paperwork will help to create a space that maximizes functionality.

Control the Cords

In today’s modern age, cords have become an eyesore and a nuisance. Get them under control with proper storage. Lower cabinet units can help with this as they can conceal cords while creating shelving for the printer or computer tower. Affixing extension cords underneath your desk and bundling cords together are other popular options to keep cords under wraps. Alternatively, try Bluetooth or wireless keyboards and mouses to cut down on the number of cords in your home office. You’ll be able to stop the visual clutter to help foster productivity and creativity.

Paper Processes

Just one piece of paper can lead to havoc that can’t be tamed. Fix it by creating a system that streamlines the process and minimizes the paper. A letter sorter, or alternative method, to separate what needs immediate attention from other correspondence, can make catching up on bills and paperwork easier. Having a process to deal with paperwork will limit the haphazard piles and keep your office looking streamlined. To stop paper at the source, go green and enroll in paperless statements where possible.

Storage That Works

As experts in home storage and organization, we know what that proper office storage can make a huge difference in the functionality of a home. When analyzing your storage, you will also need to analyze your stuff. It’s a prime time to decide what supplies you actually need and use in your office from the junk that’s lying around. After you’ve narrowed down, or if you’ve already done this, consider your storage needs.

Determine how many file cabinets you’ll need as well as work space. If you need a place where you need to collaborate, you’ll likely want a larger desk space with clear areas for tools and paperwork. When putting supplies in your cabinets, shelves, or drawers, be sure to break up the space to prevent intermingling for a more organized space. Longing for office furniture that actually fits your space and gives a trustworthy image to your clients? Consider a custom home office from Closet and Storage Concepts. Our designers are prepared to find a design that fits all of your things, within your budget.

Create a home office that you love that encourages productivity while looking stylish at the same time! Take advantage of our free, no-obligation estimates today!

How to Visually Declutter a Room

By csc-admin - March 1st, 2016

Modern living room by Emily Go Haus Go.

Although we usually bring you tips to declutter your home and create more storage space, visual clutter can negatively impact your home, too. That’s why our team has compiled some of the best tips to help you visually declutter your space! Read on for more information.

Take One Item Out

One of the easiest ways to make a room appear less busy is to remove one item. Even if you’ve pared down, thinking if there’s one more item you can take away can give a lighter look. This can be as easy as simply finding a new place to keep the item or by putting it into the donation pile. Finding a new place for the item can help you save money on unwanted purchases all while giving your space a new look!

Upgrade Storage

If you do decide to keep the item in storage, make sure it’s properly stored. If you’re no longer able to store all of your items and it’s causing visual clutter, consider this a sign to upgrade. Go with a built-in storage solution. You’ll be able to solve your storage problems in a practical and stylish way. Call in your local organizing professional today! From custom closets, kitchen pantries, or murphy beds – our team is ready to assist you.

Group Items

Narrow down groupings either by completing the steps above or simply by grouping items closer together. By making it obvious that you are grouping like-items, you may find that vignettes look better to the eye. If you haven’t grouped your items, consider doing so to give a streamlined look. Keeping similar items next to each other will make things look less hectic in your space.

Groupings can be done in a variety of ways, but the most common are by type and by color. With types you’ll want to keep books with books, plants with plants, and so on.

Clean!

Clutter comes in all shapes and sizes and dust is one of those culprits. Give your home a good clean. You may find that this simple solution is all that you need to give your space a refresh. Don’t be afraid to get into the tough nooks and crannies. Give your carpets a good shake and vacuum. For more time consuming cleaning projects, clear away countertops of clutter both the visual and physical. This includes small kitchen appliances, mountains of miscellaneous items on your nightstand, and of course, the junk mail.

Consider Colors and Patterns

While adding in different elements and patterns can help to make a room more lived-in, there’s a fine line before you go overboard. If you feel suffocated by the amount of patterns and textures in a room, take it down a notch by removing one of the patterns or colors. When thinking about colors, keeping the color count to three can be a good way to bring things to more tolerable viewing levels. Same goes with patterns; start off small and add things back in if you feel like it’s needed.

Give our designers a call today to seamlessly blend your storage systems with your existing décor for a clutter free space both physically and visually!

Photo by Emily May of Go Haus Go, used under Creative Commons Attributions License (CC BY 2.0).

Want to Be Healthier? Start With Your Home

By csc-admin - January 30th, 2016

Tips for a Healthier You and Happier Home

Peaceful organized bedroom.

If you’re looking to be healthier, one way to encourage change is by changing your environment. Start in your home. Here are some top tips from the team at Closet and Storage Concepts.

Pare Down

Take some time to declutter. Having an excess of belongings, especially unnecessary items, can be a both a visual and mental stressor. Pare down in key areas throughout your home to start implementing new habits for a healthier you. Think about it as creating a clean slate.

Start with a pantry purge. If you’re looking to lose weight and become more toned say goodbye to the junk food – stop temptation in the bud. While you’re at it, you can toss out your expired products. You’ll be one step closer to a healthier body and your kitchen pantry will be slimmer too.

Declutter throughout your home such as in the bathroom, in your wardrobe, or even your email! Taking the time to pare down can help relieve stress. With fewer items in your wardrobe it will be easier to make outfit decisions and cutting out the spam email means less time spent deleting them and more time with your kids.

Add Color

Give yourself added motivation each day with a jolt of color. Not only can a bright color impact our moods for the better, it can be a great way to revamp your home. It’s also an easy DIY weekend project. If you’re averse to incorporating color, try small batches of it such as with your office supplies. You can always push for more color later depending on your needs.

Add Plants

Much like adding color can boost our moods, adding a few plants can give some added energy. Plus, it’s a great natural way to help purify the air in your home. If you’re a bit scared that you’ll kill a plant, a cactus or succulent can be a great starter plant. Using hanging planters is a great way to try adding a plant without it taking up too much counter space.

Relaxation Destination

Sleep can be a big factor in reducing stress, lowering high blood pressure, and being more energized. Be sure to foster it in your home. Consider saying goodbye to the smartphone scrolling or browsing before bed and try reading a physical book or relaxing bath instead. Also ditch the caffeine at least 2 hours before bed. Be sure to use comforting linens and comforters to make staying asleep just as easy.

No matter what you’re looking to accomplish in the coming year, changing and improving your home can help you be happier and healthier. To stop the stress from your lack of storage, call your local Closet and Storage Concepts designer today. They’ll help you find a storage solution that works for your life.

Photo by Erika Wittlieb, under Public Domain (CC0 1.0).

Your Yearly Decluttering & Organizing Guide

By csc-admin - January 16th, 2016

Modern workspace with digital calendarAt Closet and Storage Concepts, we’re in the business of helping you create a more organized life. Here’s how you can plan out your year for a more organized home and life.

January

Ease into organizing by starting small. Start with your junk drawer or your nightstand. With your junk drawer, clear out bad pens, broken rubber bands, or even the dried out glue. When tackling your nightstand say goodbye to receipts you don’t need, replace light bulbs with energy efficient ones, and get a holder to store your rings and jewelry. Whatever small area you choose to work on, use this task to work your way up to bigger projects.

February

Use February to focus in on your office. Stay focused by vowing to keep your Internet browsing habits to a minimum and make sure your office fosters productivity. Give the file cabinet a look through and shred items you don’t need. Take some time to gather the needed paperwork for your taxes as you clear out. This way you can get everything in ahead of schedule for an easier April. If you’re feeling up to it, see if there are solutions you can employ to hide the cords whether if it’s with simple cable ties, a DIY project, or something more elaborate and custom-built.

March

Get on the spring cleaning bandwagon early. Do a de-cluttering and clean up in each room of your home. Be sure to schedule multiple days for this so you don’t wear yourself thin. Multiple cleaning sessions ensure that every nook and cranny of your home receives attention, as you won’t be rushing.

April

If you feel like it’s been a constant state of de-cluttering, planning, and cleaning, it’s time to take a break – you’ve earned it. Just be sure as the month continues that everything is getting tucked away into their proper places so it’s easy to continue organizing and decluttering in May.

May

New movie blockbusters are on the way! Get your DVD and music collection organized. Donate old DVDs and records to make room for new favorites. Alternatively, ditch the discs all together and go digital. Slim down your entertainment center and use the space for family albums or books.
WalkIn Closet Narrow

June

We’re halfway through the year! As things warm up, take this month to pay attention to your closet. Do a swap out by storing winter clothes in the spare closet or under your bed and bringing in the summer clothes. If you know you haven’t worn an item from two winters past, it’s time for it to be donated. If you’re frustrated by the lack of space in your closet, it may be time to bring in an expert. A custom unit may be your best solution to maximize your space and make getting organized easier in the rest of the year.

July

With the school year over (for most kids), focus on your car. Vacuum up the crumbs that have accumulated and make sure your car is ready for your next beach or road trip. Outfit your car with dividers in your console and be sure to keep a few reusable bags in there for grocery runs.

August

It’s time to prepare for back to school season, and that includes your home! Really hone in on the kid areas such as your child’s bedroom or playroom. Make sure their bedroom sets them up for success. Whether it’s cleaning out the closet for a new uniform (my, they’ve grown!) or upgrading with a new workstation, leave nothing to chance.

September

With the new school year underway, dive into your schedule. Make sure both your digital and paper calendars are all squared away. Already know about birthday parties and bake sales you’ll be attending? Jot them down. After you’ve nailed a schedule and gotten your family back into the swing of things, be sure to take some time for yourself. The holiday season will be here before you know it!

October

GarageIt wouldn’t be surprising to see Christmas decorations already hitting stores, but resist the urge to get buy every item. Rather, focus your energy on the garage. Put away the beach toys until next summer and get your tools in order. Stock up on storage bins for the holiday decorations if yours are looking a little worse for wear. It’s the perfect time before the cold weather hits.

November

As things cool down, do another closet swap out. Head to your local thrift or charity shop to donate your items – it’s a great time to give back to the community. Focus on your spare room to make room for guests this holiday season, or transform your guest room into gift-wrapping central in preparation for the holidays.

December

At the start of December, consider getting your pantry in order. This way you can prepare for the baking and cooking session that often accompanies the holidays. Toss out expired spices and indulge in a little pantry organization session to get it back in working order. An organized pantry will make your holiday baking session that much easier.

We’re looking to a great year at Closet and Storage Concepts and we hope these tips can help you stay organized in 2016. Be sure to check back in for more monthly tips. When you’re ready to upgrade the storage in your home be sure to call in your local experts. From garage storage units to home offices to custom closets to murphy beds – we do it all. We look forward to working with you!

Featured image: FirmBee, under Public Domain (CC0 1.0). 

Halloween Clean Up: Candy

By csc-admin - November 30th, 2015

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Do you still have left over candy from Halloween? Or maybe even from last year? Or maybe you simply want to make sure your child doesn’t eat all of it in one sitting? At Closet and Storage Concepts we’re here to help with tips on when to throw it out, reuse it, or give it away.

  1. Expiration dates

Expiration dates are always a good place to start to determine if it’s time to say goodbye to packaged candy, but sometimes even those can be misleading. Many experts say that food, including candy, is still good past the sell date. With chocolate for examples, chocolate chips that are frozen can last two to three years, while plain milk chocolate is only usually good for 12 to 18 months. With gummy candies, the true expiration date is usually only for about 12 months although Skittles are known to have a shelf life of two to three years. In most cases, it will be safe to re-purpose candy for your holiday stocking stuffers, just be aware that your other senses like smell and sight can help to determine if it’s time to say goodbye to the candy.

  1. Freeze it

Freezing your candy can help extend it’s life. Chocolate in particular can benefit by increasing the sell by date an additional 12 months. Even the different temperatures between a fridge and a freezer can impact (and increase) the amount of time you can keep candy around. If you do want to save your candy, freezing it may be the best option. Keep in mind that certain candies will lose some of their taste and consistency if you freeze them.

  1. Bake it

Chocolate chips, M&Ms, and other candy products might be able to be used in another dish if you don’t want to eat them plain. Baking them into other goods can be a good gift, or you can save them for your ginger bread houses. Simply look for a recipe online and voila! You’ll have new baked goods to share so you don’t waste anything and your kids don’t eat everything in one sitting.

  1. Just say goodbye

If you’re on a health kick, it may be best to just say goodbye to the candy. If so, don’t feel guilty. You’re stopping any cravings and temptation while clearing out the clutter in your home. If you don’t want to completely toss it, try reaching out to a local organization to see if you can donate the candy. Local children hospitals or non-profits that work with the armed forces frequently accept donations.

No matter what you choose to do with your leftover candy Closet and Storage Concepts is here to help you make more room for a well-organized life. For more food storage tips for your pantry or other tips for throughout your home, check out our other blog posts or visit our showroom!

Image: by spazchicken, under Public Domain (CC0 1.0).

The Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn Purge

By csc-admin - September 30th, 2015

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Autumn can feel like the start of a new year as it coincides with schools heading back in session. Use the momentum of heading back to school to purge throughout your home. Here are some top picks from the team at Closet and Storage Concepts as you welcome in fall.

  • Makeup and Medicine

Start in the bathroom and clear out old makeup and medicine. A new season often brings new looks, so clear out the old to prepare for the new. Work with your local pharmacist or health specialist to properly dispose of expired medicines. Pro Tip: If you have a lot of lipsticks, try decanting them into travel storage pots. Simply use a small scoop to get all of the color into the storage containers. This allows you to convert your lipsticks into a uniform container (freeing up space), while using up the entire lipstick.

  • Food Containers

Assess your food storage containers and dispose of any limp or yellowed ones. Try Pyrex containers for any older kids or your significant other to save money in the long run. Glass containers tend to be easier to clean and look great in your cabinets.

  • Spices and Food

New seasons often bring seasonal delicacies. Be sure to purge through any expired spices or foods in your kitchen pantry to make room for new treats. Utilize proper storage organizers or try custom built-ins to maximize your space with clever organizers.

  • Plastic Bags

Store a stash of them neatly in a container to take when you walk the dog and recycle extras. Many stores take back used plastic bags, which are then reused and repurposed. If you have a lot of them, try weaving them together to make a super sturdy grocery tote.

  • Air Conditioning and HVAC Filters

While it’s not necessarily an item to purge, it’s a great time to think about changing your air filters. Changing your air filter can help to reduce allergens in your home and keep your home cleaner. A clean home can make a home feel larger and more organized.

  • Clothes and Shoes

Sorry shoe divas, your items don’t get to escape either. New fall fashions likely mean that your closet will see an influx of new items. Purge now before you shop for new items. If you use the post-it trick (where you stick a note on any item that you’re unsure of purging), and haven’t worn the item since two summers ago it’s time to say goodbye. If you haven’t worn the item it’s likely that you don’t need the item. Clear out your closet to create more space for things you will use.

  • Kid’s Stuff Too

Kid’s stuff shouldn’t be excluded either. Give away or donate clothes that no longer fit your kids. Be sure to include them in the process so they can learn how to declutter too. If you’re swimming in toys it may be a good time to purge them. Say goodbye to broken beach pails and try on sports gear to see if they need to be replaced after the summer growth spurts.

  • Gift Stations

The holiday season will be here soon enough. Get ready by clearing out the wedding wrapping paper and any old scraps that can’t be salvaged in favor of new holiday paper.

Autumn is great for cider donuts, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course a shift in weather. Be sure to embrace and prepare for the autumn by purging through items. Call your local Closet and Storage Concepts designer for help to get your closet and other organization systems into gear.

Photo by tpsdave, under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero (CC0 1.0).

To Toss or Not to Toss

By csc-admin - June 12th, 2015

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Cleaning out our homes is a normal activity to keep our homes maintained and to make the most of our space. At Closet and Storage Concepts, we are committed to helping you create a home that you love, with custom organization solutions. Periodically purging through your items is a great way to maintain the function of your organizers. Here are five questions to ask as you are deciding if you should toss or keep an item.

  • Who are you saving an item for?

We understand that sometimes we save items for others, whether they are heirlooms or other sentimental belongings. Before you keep items for another person, be sure to verify that the person does in fact want the item, and will cherish it just as much. If you are unsure whom you are saving an item for, don’t feel bad for saying goodbye to it.

  • Do I own something similar?

It is amazing what we amass in our homes, and how many of these items are similar or serve an identical purpose. The degree of similarity will be subject to each person, but items that perform the same job should be considered for a toss, especially if you’re having problems closing storage units. Obviously you wouldn’t consider giving away everything that performs similar tasks, but carefully considering if one item can do the job of many can help you cut down on the clutter.

  • Does it fit?

This can be applied to any item in your home, but is mostly related to clothing. Don’t feel bad about giving items away that no longer fit, unless you are saving the item for a sentimental reason (e.g. a wedding or prom dress). Clothes that do not fit can often make you feel worse about yourself. Make a clean cut from those negative feelings and start new in your home and life.

If an item, like a furniture piece, doesn’t fit into your home no matter where you put it, and you can’t use it to create a piece that fits, it may be time to toss the item. Try a garage sale or donating to thrift stores in order to cut down on waste.

  • Does it make me happy?

This is the main question posed by Marie Kondo in her New York Times bestselling book on organizing. If an item does not make you happy and bring you joy, it may be time to say goodbye to it. Every item in your home should bring you joy, in order to increase your productivity and love of your home.

  • How often will it be used?

This question is a great one to ask yourself, especially if you’ve unearthed something you haven’t used in a while, but aren’t sure whether or not to keep it. If you plan to keep the item, it should fulfill a role in your home and life. If an item is not going to be used very often, consider tossing the item, particularly if it doesn’t fit with the questions above.

Once you’ve cleared items from your home and need a custom storage and organization makeover throughout your home, give Closet and Storage Concepts a call today.

Photo by Kaboompics, under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero (CC0 1.0).

Spring Forward & Other Spring Organization Projects

By csc-admin - March 12th, 2015

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Image by obpia30, available under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero 1.0 (CC0 1.0).

With the start of daylight savings time this past Sunday, we hope you feel refreshed after losing an hour of sleep, we thought it would be a perfect time to bring you some spring organization projects for areas throughout your home along with some helpful tips. We know we’re not quite into spring, and many places around the country don’t feel like it either, but it doesn’t hurt to start getting ahead. On with the list!

  1. Garden Shed

Spring often brings to mind flower blooms and increased sunshine. To prep for increased gardening time, it’s a great time to clean out and organize your shed. Hooks and a place for tools along a bead or peg board is a classic option so clippers, dandelion pullers, and hand trowels are all within easy reach. Try some new pots to really spruce things up in your home as well.

  1. Hallway Closet

If you will have guests for upcoming spring breaks, the hall closet is an ideal place to start within your home. If this is also your go-to place for overflow storage, it might be time to give it a look and do a purge. Start with the top shelf as it is often forgotten about. Don’t forget to give it a clean wipe down to knock out some spring cleaning too!

  1. Closet Storage

Once you’ve reclaimed the hallway closet start working on the other closets in your home. To make the task seem more manageable, consider doing them one by one. The linen closet is one place that is often overlooked. If you’re busy changing out the sheets on your beds,  be sure to go through this closet to see if there are any outdated bed spreads that you are okay to part with.

Clearing out the winter gear will also be occurring. Try natural products to protect your clothes from moths with items like lavender or cedar blocks. Utilize under the bed storage to rotate items through the seasons. Space saving bags can also come in handy for thick knit sweaters and jackets that you’re ready to store until next winter. These help to keep your clothes fresh while making room for other goodies in your closet; a win-win!

  1. Junk Drawer

The dreaded junk drawer is often avoided for as long as possible, which makes it one of the best places to sort out and get organized as you head into a new season. As always, be sure to give the drawer (or drawers) a good clean out. Dividers will be the best option here, especially for all the bits and bobs. If you have any old mint tins, these can help keep sewing needles, safety pins, eraser caps, etcetera contained. Try magnets along the inside to pick up and securely hold paper clips or tacks. Your home will feel a lot freer once you tackle this area.

  1. Filing Cabinet

Prepare for the upcoming tax season by starting with your filing cabinet! Clear out or, for an even better option, shred paperwork especially if your cabinet is having difficulties opening or closing. Most tax professionals recommend keeping records for up to seven years.

Labeling will be a huge help here so you will be able to spot the account or year you need when you are going about your taxes and into the future. This tip can even be applied if you’re using online tax software or storing documents electronically.

While adjusting to losing an hour less of sleep can be less than pleasant, cleaning and organizing can help put your home, and you, into a spring spirit. Share your go-to spring organization tips in the comments below!

Back To School Blues

By csc-admin - September 30th, 2013

custom bench systemAs of September 22nd fall is officially upon us.  The weather has cooled, your décor has changed, and the kids are all settled into the new school year.  Unfortunately, with the changing of the season and the turning of the leaves comes the clutter associated with your children returning to school.  I bet you are picturing a corner of your home piled high with backpacks and binders at this very moment.  It’s time to reclaim that space with a custom system from Closet and Storage Concepts.  A simple bench system placed in an entryway or mudroom is just the thing to tame that mess by storing shoes, jackets and those bulky backpacks.  Ready to get started?  Contact us today for your Free In-Home Estimate!

Click here for a free estimate