The MUSTS for Being Organized

If you truly want to get and STAY organized, there are several MUSTS that you need to abide by.  First and foremost, it is important to note that you must change your mindset in order to truly get and stay organized.  You have to WANT to get organized and then you will be able to set yourself up for success.   Above all, there are “musts” that every organized person knows and adheres to.  I am sharing them below:

Everything in your home must have a specific home!

After you use an item in must be returned to its home immediately!

Follow the one in, one out rule.

Procrastination will kill your success!

Never leave a project unfinished.

If an item remains unused for more than two years, get rid of it.

Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to put items away.

Make adjustments to your organizing process as needed!

Never go shopping without a plan!

STAYING organized is much harder than getting organized, but not if you follow these “musts”!  I hope they help. 🙂

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post!!  Please feel free to share it!

Love,

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin

Get Organized For Good!

Have you tried to get organized but always end up in a cluttered mess months or years later?  If so, you are not alone!  Life’s demands, children, and significant others often interrupt attempts to control a messy environment.  But the good news is that there is light at the end of that cluttered tunnel!  I have a few tips and tricks that could help you declutter your home for good! 

Declutter your entire space in one fell swoop!  Sometimes getting rid of clutter in small bits can backfire!  For instance, certain personalities feel as though they will never catch up because they can’t see a huge change with their efforts, so they just stop and let the clutter reign again.  If this scenario rings true for you, decluttering your entire home at one time will definitely help you get organized for good.  Just make sure to plan ahead by reserving a full weekend to tackle the project.  It will also help to create a list with shopping ideas, design ideas, etc. for each room of your home so you can stay on track and be fully prepared.  Another tip is to create an “organizing tote” with items that you will need frequently like trash bags, markers, labels, and a label maker.  If this task seems too daunting, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend or even from a professional organizer!

Stop hiding your clutter!  There are tons of beautiful baskets and bins in the stores these days, but if they are not used properly, they only add to the clutter and can make things much worse.   Baskets and bins should each have a definite use, such as for snacks, shoes, scarves, etc., and should never be filled with a myriad of items that have no rhyme or reason.  It is extremely easy to keep adding to a bin until it is practically overflowing, so keep that in mind.  Also, one should always label the outside of each bin with its contents.  And remember, if you can’t see an item, you can’t use it!!

Focus on the keepers, not the throw-aways!  In almost every organizing project, there will be (and should be) items that will need to be tossed and/or donated.  But unfortunately, this knowledge leads some people to immediate derailment.  If this is the case for you, it might help to stop focusing on the fact that you are getting rid of items and instead concentrate on how you want your home to feel.  The things you have in your home should reflect the life you want to live.  They should make you happy and energize you.  By turning your attention to the items that illicit those feelings, you are diverting attention away from the negative and toward the positive aspect of decluttering.

Above all, I urge you to understand that organizing is an emotional project and will take a bit of time and thought to complete, so take it easy on yourself and make a commitment to stay on track no matter what!  It will pay off in the end.  I promise. 

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Erin Sharplin Love

http://www.panachebyerin.com

Are You SCARED to Get Organized??

Are You Scared of Getting Organized?

As a professional organizer, I understand how overwhelming taking on an organizing project can be, but let me assure you that it is well worth it!  In the end, one must realize that getting and staying organized is more of a lifestyle change than anything and it takes commitment and self-discipline.  With that said, I do have  a few simple steps that  will get you started on the organizational path and hopefully inspire you to keep going.  Check them out below:

The key to keeping yourself from getting overwhelmed is to start small – Go through your entire house and throw out (recycle) the following items:

  1. Empty wrappers and packages
  2. Expired coupons
  3. Outdated magazines, flyers, and other mail
  4. Spoiled or expired food items (check the fridge and the pantry)
  5. Expired medication
  6. Rusty or broken tools and utensils
  7. Socks with no mates
  8. Anything else that is broken or in disrepair

I suggest setting a timer for ten to twenty minutes, once a day, for eight days to get the list above completed.  You won’t believe how big of a difference it will make and how inspired and happy you will feel.

Love,

Erin

FREE Printable – To Do List

I am an avid proponent of the “To Do List” and have been searching for one that fits my needs perfectly for a while.  I’ve ordered numerous ones from Etsy DIYers.  Purchased them from Target and other companies and even used plain, old, boring, lined paper.  Unfortunately, though, those “to do” lists never made me happy, so … I create my own AND I’m sharing!  Please feel free to print and share this “To Do List” until your heart’s content.  I just ask one thing!  Please leave me a comment stating “I printed your To Do List!” so I’ll know just how many of you love it as much as I do!  Thank you!

Please click the pdf link below to print your FREE To Do List!

to-do list

Don’t forget to let me know you printed it, please!

Thank you so much!

Erin

10 Reasons to Get Organized

10 Reasons to Get Organized 

Has getting organized been on your “to do” list for a while, but you just can’t seem to find the time, or courage, to tackle it?  Sometimes all you need is a little motivation to make things happen, so below is a list of 10 reasons to get organized now!

  1. Save Money –  I thought I would start with this reason because we all want to save a little bit of money, don’t we?  Getting organized will, for instance, save you money by getting rid of late fees that you have paid because you misplaced or forgot about a bill.  Also, how many times have you purchased another can of tomatoes because you didn’t know you already had several at home?
  2. Save Time – Getting organized will save you a whole lot of time, because you will no longer have to waste it by looking for misplaced items!
  3. Reduce Stress – As clutter builds, so does your stress level.  Simply beginning the organizing process will reduce the level of stress immediately.
  4. Become More Efficient – Clearing your desk of clutter, for instance, will make getting things done much easier and faster.
  5. Have More Fun – Since you’ll be saving time by getting organized, that means that you’ll have more of an opportunity to do the things you love.
  6. Never Be Late Again – Being late and being disorganized seem to go hand-in-hand.  When you are organized it’s much easier to get ready and be out of the door on time.
  7. Enjoy Your Home – A clean, organized home is much more relaxing than a dirty, disorganized home!  Let’s face it…clutter isn’t pretty!
  8. Find More Energy – Clutter is nothing but an energy drainer.  Walk into the most cluttered room of your home.  How does it make you feel?  Drained, tired, and like you want to fly the coop I bet!  Getting rid of clutter will immediately free up your energy.
  9. Find Your Focus – Piles of paper clutter tend to taunt you with unfinished tasks, but when the clutter is gone you will find it easier to focus and complete the tasks which are of utmost importance.
  10. Become a Positive Influence – Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to get organized on our own.  By getting organized you may be the influence that a friend or family member needed.

 

Here’s another tip – Print this article and post it somewhere you will see it daily.  That way getting and/or staying organized will always be at the top of your “to-do” list.

Thank you for stopping by my blog!  Please feel free to share these tips and/or comment below!

Love,

Erin

3 Steps to Clearing Paper Clutter

3 Steps to Clearing the Paper Clutter!

 

Is paper clutter taking over your house?  Between the paper you already have floating around and the deluge of incoming mail that seems to grow every day, it may seem like a losing battle, but it’s not!  Below are a few tips on how you can clear the paper clutter once and for all!

Deal With The Mail Daily – You will make an immediate difference in the amount of paper clutter that enters your home if you sort your mail immediately upon collecting it from the mailbox.  Toss any and all junk mail before setting the stack down.

Create a Drop System – Even if you deal with mail on a daily basis, you still need a system for taking action on the items you keep.  For instance, I have a “drop” system at my home.  My drop system is simply two cubby holes that house my bills and other action items, as well as, those of my husband.  We designate one day of the week to clear the cubby and take action on each item (file, pay, toss, mail, etc.).

Make Sure Everyone is Involved – Figure out a system for the rest of your family, too.  For instance, children bring tons of paperwork home from school.  Make it a habit to sort through and take action on each item every day!  File or display artwork, sign permission slips and replace in bag, toss or shred any unneeded worksheets, etc.

In the end, the only way to get rid of the paper clutter is to change your habits!  You must make each of the steps above a daily and weekly habit to see results.

Love,

Erin

 

My Favorite Way to Organize…

My Favorite Way to Organize…

Every time I take on an organizing project for a client, I learn something new.   Sometimes a light bulb (pun intended, see below) will go off in my head and I will have found the perfect way to organize a certain item.  Or the layout of a kitchen, for instance, will spur a whole new set of inspiration for me.  All in all, though, there are a few items that I consistently organize the same way…because it just makes sense and it works!  Why change what works?  🙂  Below are my favorite ways to organize…

Lightbulbs – Keep bulbs in labeled, see-through bins!  It is so much easier to see what you have and what you need to add to your shopping list.  These bins are easily stackable, so you won’t be able to neglect the vertical space in your cabinets or closets. Plastic bins storing lightbulbs

Pet Toys – Pet lovers tend to collect toys for their furry friend like they do for their two-legged children, so why not keep them accessible!  I love storing dog and/or cat toys in a wicker basket that is easy for your dog or cat to choose a toy from. 

Jewelry – Display your jewelry as if it was in a boutique!  Not only does it look better, it makes getting dressed so much more fun!

Snacks – Take all individually wrapped items out of those bulky boxes and display them in a basket or bin!  It looks great, is easy for tiny hands to find, and you will always know when something needs to be added to your shopping list!

Pants – I prefer to “long hang” pants from their waistband (or cuff) instead of folding them over a hanger.  It prolongs the life of your pants because you will never have to deal with the hanger mark that is inevitably left when they are folded over a hanger, plus they will not fade if you don’t wear them very often. 

Well, those are a few of my favorite ways to organize.  Do you have any?  Please share!

Thank you for stopping by!

Love,

Erin

Declutter While Doing Good

Declutter While Doing Good!

Are your closets and cabinets crowded with extra towels, sheets, blankets, and other items that could possibly help those that are less fortunate?  I bet there are quite a few items that aren’t serving their purpose for you anymore, but that would be perfect for a shelter dog or cat, for instance.  I bet that you even have an old toy that has become old news to your dog or cat, too.  Why not get rid of the unneeded clutter and make a difference for a pet in need at the same time?  Below is a list of items that animal shelters most commonly need:

1.  Toys – Scrounge up those old toys that your dog or cat refuses to play with now and give them a quick scrub down so they are ready for a new home.  Don’t forget that you can make a toy from old socks, as well!  Just stuff one of the socks with several old socks or wash cloths, tie a knot at the end, and voila!

2.  Blankets – Blankets always come in handy!  Not only are they comfy to lay on, they are warm to snuggle in.

3.  Newspaper – A lot of the shelters use newspaper to line litter boxes, kennels, and other areas.  So save those papers!

4.  Towels – Shelters use towels for bathing the animals, as well as for bed liners.  It doesn’t matter what shape they are in…they will work just great!

5.  Leashes and collars – Was it recently time to upgrade your pet’s collar and leash?  If so, don’t get rid of the old one!  It’s amazing how the addition of a simple collar can make a pet a more desirable candidate for adoption.

While you are at it, call the shelter of your choice and find out what else they may be in need of.  It could be as simple as throwing in a roll of paper towels or a few extra trash bags.  A little can help a lot!

If you are in the Monroe/West Monroe area I recommend donating to one of the following shelters:

River Cities Humane Society for Cats – www.rivercitiescats.org

Humane Society Adoption Center – (318)387-9553

Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter – http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/la30.html

Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Love,

Erin

 

My Top 5 Tips for Organizing Your Closet

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My Top 5 Closet Organizing Tips

1.  Change your hangers!  You will not believe the immediate change that comes with the simple act of changing your hangers to all matching hangers.  It is so much more pleasing to the eye!  I prefer clear, plastic hangers, but wooden ones are great, too.  I am not fond of the “huggable” hangers because the felt fabric, that is typical with these type of hangers, causes the hangers to stick together sometimes.  However, they do save a bit of space (as they are advertised).

2.  Organize like with like and in color order.  In other words, hang all of your long-sleeved shirts together and organize them from lightest to darkest.

3.  Utilize all vertical space!  This is the number one issue in ALL of the closets I organize!  Vertical space is never used to its fullest capacity!  Use storage bins, shelf extenders, boxes, etc. to get the full use of your shelf space at the top of your closet.  The top shelf is the perfect place to store items that aren’t used all the time, such as out-of-season clothes and accessories.  But you can also store shoes, boots, purses, luggage, etc. on the top shelf.

4.  Make some sort of separation amongst the clothing.  I like to use a hanging sweater organizer to break up the monotony of one long rod full of clothing!  Put shirts on one side of the organizer and pants on the other, for instance.  I have used the hanging organizer for jeans, shoes, sweaters, scarves, and almost anything else that is foldable and will not wrinkle easily.  This is also a way to make use of vertical space!

5.  Keep as much as possible off of the floor.  Sometimes, it’s hard not to put something on the floor when you are working with a small space, but it is to your benefit if you can possibly figure it out.  The urge to pile items on the floor when nothing else is down there will be almost non-existent.  If you must use the floor, be sure to use some sort of organizing product, such as a shoe shelf or storage bins.  This will make finding an item much easier.

There they are!  My top 5 tips for organizing your closet.  I hope they inspire you to update your closet soon.

Thanks for stopping in!!

Love,

Erin