Archive for category: Home Organization

The Fall’s Answer to Spring Cleaning

cabinet

We’ve all heard about Spring Cleaning but what about the rest of year? Doesn’t it deserve a little love and attention? At Sorted Out, we definitely think so! As a matter of fact, we’re starting a new movement for Fall: Autumn Arranging! This is already our favorite time of the year, so why not use it to get super organized before the holiday frenzy hits?

We know that your whole house can benefit from some organizing love, but for this post, we’re going to focus our efforts on the heart of the home and get your kitchens organized for Fall. This area is about to see a ton of action with pumpkin carvings, turkeys roasting, and hams baking so now is the perfect time to get it cleaned out and organized so you’ll know exactly where to find that bundt pan and carving knife! Follow our list and your kitchen will be stocked and ready for Fall and beyond!

Tip #1:

Clean it Out

First things, first: You’ve got to get rid of anything that’s old, expired, or unwanted. Start with your pantry and fridge which are usually the biggest culprits for housing outdated items. Toss anything that’s expired or that’s been sitting on your shelves since last year. See that mostly unused container of that random ingredient that you needed for one recipe and never used again? Chunk it. Let it go.

Next, move on to cleaning out your cabinets and drawers. As you go through them, ask yourself if you really need to save those chipped coffee mugs and saucers. And do you really need forty-two bowls and two-hundred mismatched Tupperware containers? Nope. You really don’t. Put them in a pile for yard sales or Goodwill.

Tip #2:

Clean Up

We’ve all made them and we learn from them, but from time to time we have epic disasters. Whether it’s a missed flight, paid a bill late, or forgetting something important,
it happens. Focusing on the catastrophe takes up valuable time. Use your time in a positive way to recover from your mistakes of misjudgment, questioning your gut,
and use this time to reflect and ACT appropriately and you will turn this fiasco into an opportunity for growth. You are definitely going to spend time thinking about it,
so turn those thoughts to how it happened and how you would do things differently next time. Forgive yourself for being human and discover why it happened and next time,
you’re guaranteed to plan efficiently to avoid a similar debacle.

Tip #3

Cut Down

Before you put everything back in place, we want you to take a good hard look at it all and pare down even more. That’s right, do one more sweep through and make sure there’s nothing else that you can’t cut down before we reorganize. Even getting rid of one extra-large roasting pan that your mom gave you but you have no idea what to do with will help! If you haven’t used it in a few seasons, you probably never will.

Tip #4

Go, Go Gadget!

Here’s the fun part! Before you fill your cabinets and pantry back up, invest in a few gadgets that will help you make the most of the space that you have. Bins, sliding organizers and raised steps will make a world of difference and you’ll feel like you have twice the amount of storage. Here are a few of our favorite products for organizing the kitchen:


Rev-a-Shelf Pull-out Drawers – We love these because they’re super simple to install and you can just pull the drawer out instead of having to crawl into the back of a cabinet to try to find that pot you’re looking for. Use these in your bigger cabinets, especially where you store pots and casserole dishes.


Rev-a-Shelf Pull-Out Cookware Organizer – If you really want to get your pots, skillets, and tops organized then you need this baby! This will organize it all and you’ll never have to pull them all out again!


Rev-a-Shelf Waste Container Slide – Get those ugly trash cans out of eyesight with this awesome gadget! Yes, you’ll have to give up a cabinet, but we personally think it’s more than worth it! The installation of this product is a little more complex so you may have to enlist the help of your hubby or a handyman.


Rev-a-Shelf Cabinet Door Spice Rack – Take advantage of this wasted space by installing this rack which is perfect for spices that you like to keep handy. We love putting one of these inside the cabinet closest to our cooking areas.


Rev-a-Shelf Cabinet Drawer Spice Insert – If you have an extra drawer and more spices than would fit on the spice rack, lay them out using this bad boy. We love how it looks built-in and custom!


Linus Pantry Bins – Corral your pantry items using these bins. You’ll be amazed at how put-together your pantry looks just by grouping like items into these convenient containers!


Closetmaid Sliding Cabinet Organizer – Take advantage of the vertical space in your upper cabinets with a couple of these sliding organizers. You can put cleaning supplies, food items, or even utensils in the pull-out drawers.


Con-Tact Drawer/Shelf Liners – Refresh your shelf and drawer surfaces by applying a layer of Con-tact paper. Everything will look neater and the surface will grip breakable items so they’ll stay where you put them.

Tip #5

Put it All Back Together

Now that you’re down to the necessities and you have your cabinets filled with life changing organizers, it’s time to put all of your items back in! Take time to be purposeful with where you place everything. Put your glasses next to the fridge for easy grabbing. Put your spatulas and wooden spoons near your cooktop so they’re within reach. Make your life easier by organizing with intent! Don’t stick to the way it’s always been just for routine’s sake!


That’s it! Now you can stand back and admire your organized kitchen for about two minutes before you have to get to cooking! Just think, you’re only five steps away from having the heart of your home completely organized for the Fall. Happy Autumn Arranging!

We want to see your kitchen! Send us your best before and after shots and let us know how you organized your kitchen and pantry using our Autumn Arranging tips. We all need some encouragement in this crazy thing called life so let our other readers know that there’s hope!

Time Saving Tools for Anyone

Tip #1:

Be a Password Junkie

How many times have you clicked on the link, “forgot your password,” had to wait an absurd amount of time for the email, then followed all the prompts to change it? Now, how many times have you forgotten what the heck you just changed the password to? I am pretty sure that we have all done it. While having my computer tuned up, I learned about a handy application calledLastPass. This is a clever App that allows you to store all your passwords so you can securely login to your frequently visited websites and only have to remember the one master password! Never have the frustration of a forgotten password slow you down again.

Tip #2:

Take a Mental Sick Day

To make time, you need to spend some time…to regroup and reset. Here is why that makes sense. Lots of people have found that there is more benefit to taking some regular time off than to try and keep up on everything in life and put in your full forty every week. When you take a half day once a month to sit and plan your days ahead, you are no longer distracted with small things that must be done. It also gives you time to schedule the following month. Things may change but at least you will have a clearer idea of things that need to be accomplished and what needs to be prioritized. As a result of consistently taking this, much needed, time to plan ahead, you will feel less overwhelmed by your chaotic work and home life. To manage time more efficiently, consider taking a mental sick day.

Tip #3:

Don’t Dwell on Mistakes

We’ve all made them and we learn from them, but from time to time we have epic disasters. Whether it’s a missed flight, paid a bill late, or forgetting something important, it happens. Focusing on the catastrophe takes up valuable time. Use your time in a positive way to recover from your mistakes of misjudgment, questioning your gut, and use this time to reflect and ACT appropriately and you will turn this fiasco into an opportunity for growth. You are definitely going to spend time thinking about it, so turn those thoughts to how it happened and how you would do things differently next time. Forgive yourself for being human and discover why it happened and next time, you’re guaranteed to plan efficiently to avoid a similar debacle.

Tips #4

Identify your Time Robbers

We all have time robbers, but how do we identify them and, more importantly, how do we tackle them like a three hundred pound linebacker? Emails are an extremely common time robber. Many will spend 25 min composing the perfect email that captures the correct tone of voice when they could have used that voice to convey the message in about 1 minute. Another time robber is online distractions. Twenty percent of us spend more time at our desks on social media sites than we do working at that desk. Social media is a great way to stay connected, however, it is necessary to schedule time for Social Media so that you are not loosing time. Schedule 20 mins a day or half your lunch break. Whatever your schedule, stick to it. Some people can easily spend two hours a day on social media. Following the schedule for five days could save you over eight hours a week!

Tip #5

List Making

An oldy but a goody, making lists keeps all your commitments in one place. Finding the right tool to track everything you need to do for work, and for your personal life, is a task. The first step to finding the tool is identifying how you’d like to make and maintain these list. Are you a paper person? Or would you prefer an App that Sync’s to your phone so you can update on the go? If you are a paper person, consider getting a small notebook and separate out with post it, file sticky tabs, personal, and work. Start making bullets with each task and check them off weekly. If the task didn’t get completed re-write and move to the next week. There is something about having to re-write the list of things that didn’t get accomplished, that makes you want to finish is for the next week. If you prefer an APP, check these out:


Priority Matrix - This app allows you to prioritize and manage your tasks making it easier to delegate to others. It is an efficient app for making and saving your lists.

Download app for: Apple • Android


Wunderlist - To do list and task manager which allows you to set reminders and a due date on all of your pressing tasks.

Download app for: Apple • Android


Any.do - To do list and daily planner. This one got great reviews and looks very simple to use. Get things done with this app seamlessly since it’s a very organized format. My number one pick out of the three!

Download app for: Apple • Android


No matter who you are, there is time you can be saving. With these tips, you will be well on your way to efficiently managing your time. If you feel you are in a rut with your time management tools, or wish to have some assistance in implementing these tips, I hope you will think of us. Sorted Out has been a leading name in organization for almost 13 years. A trusted name in the industry, our talented and highly trained professional organizers are ready to help you administer a plan to help you conquer your time management challenges. Call us for a complimentary phone consultation today!

Get Organized in 2016

Get Organized in 2016Have you ever said, “This is the year, I am going to get organized.“  OR, “I’m ready this year to cut the paper clutter.” OR, “This is the year I am going to park the car in the garage!” If you have said these few things to yourself, well you are in luck….We are here to help you get organized RIGHT NOW! Make 2016 the year you have been wanting to check off the list of organizing projects.

As busy as we all are, let’s face it, being organized is all about saving TIME, which most of us don’t have enough of! Being organized is also about saving MONEY. How many times have you ran out to the store to buy something, then to find that same exact item about a day later? Sound familiar? If you are like most of us, we have a ton of paper. Did you know that 80% of the paper we consume we never actually reference again?  At Sorted Out, we believe in developing processes and systems for getting and staying organized. You too could have a more organized office!

Here are some quick fixes for 2016 Paper Clutter:

  1. Create Action Files. A tabletop file for daily, short-term filing.  An easy to use accordion file to organize bills for payment, papers that require response, and information that must be filed.
  2. Create a Basic File Hub. Every home needs a good working file system. Kept in a file cart, cabinet or drawer, basic files hold medical insurance records, credit card statements, rent receipts and bank statements. Be sure to purge basic files on a monthly or quarterly basis to keep up with the maintenance.
  3. Create a Forever File. Archives for long-term file storage. Copies of tax returns and insurance policies, homeowners’ records, medical records, and copies of legal documents belong in classic files. Use file cabinets or records boxes to protect these items for long-term storage. Original documents such as insurance policies, legal documents, or tax records should be stored in secure facilities such as safe deposit boxes.
  4. Plan of Action. Setting a timeline for maintaining and developing a new filing system. After you set up your new system, set time aside to keep up with the daily, weekly, or monthly maintenance of it. Especially with tax time approaching, you’ll be happy you saved all those important documents.

file-clutter

If you struggle with any of the Paper Clutter in your home, give us a call and we will give you 1 Free hour on any package purchased for NEW Clients only. This doesn’t have to be the year that you keep piling paper all over your desk or kitchen island. Get Organized today with Sorted Out. Hurry this offer expires January 31st, 2016!

Happy Organizing!

Fall Garage Organization Tips

Fall Garage Organization Tips (1)

Fall is the perfect time to clean out and organize your garage. The weather is cooler and you can make room for your car(s) for the winter months. I am originally from the Midwest and garages back home were used a lot differently than they are in Texas. There are basements in most homes in the Midwest so there were usually storage rooms. These would be used for keepsakes, holiday items and other items that you don’t get to often. The garage was for outdoor items, tools, outdoor toys, etc. In Texas, garages often act like basements and are used to store everything from tools to holiday items. If you have an attic, this can be a useful storage space for some of these items as well.

In a perfect world, our garage would be neat and tidy while still storing all of our stuff. Here are some tips to achieve this:

  • Before purchasing any cabinets or storage shelves, purge any unused items and inventory what you will be keeping in your garage. Make sure to take into account anything that is currently inside your home that may need to be moved to the garage. This will ensure that you are not buying unnecessary items since you do not want to clutter up your garage even more when you are trying to clear it out.
  • Assess if you have usable attic space or any indoor storage closets that can be used for holiday decor or other items.
  • Cleaning and organizing a garage can be very overwhelming as it is a large space with a lot of extra clutter. If the task seems to be too stressful for you, start left to right and work one section at a time. Remember, you do not have to do all of this at once.
  • Utilize your ceiling space. If you have high ceilings in your garage utilize them and hang shelves from the ceiling for items that you rarely get to. You can purchase shelves like the one shown below or have a handy man build custom shelves.
HeavyLift Storage Platform

HeavyLift Storage Platform
Home Depot $129.00

  • Utilize your wall space. There are many wall storage products and ideas out there when it comes to your garage. You can hang a simple wall organizer for your brooms, rakes and shovels, or put up an elaborate system to hang anything from brooms to hoses to bikes. Below is an example of a wall storage solution.
    • It may be a good idea to have a spot to hang your bicycles, but make sure they are easy to get down if you ride them frequently. If you have children who ride their bikes daily, it will not be realistic to have them hanging up (especially hanging from the ceiling).
Gladiator Wall Systems

Gladiator Wall Systems
Container Store

  • Parent know that toys can take over our homes very easily; this is true for the garage as well. It is just as important for the toys to be organized in the garage as it is inside the house. Designate a bottom shelf as the toy zone so the children can reach them and put them away. Have containers clearly labeled and easy to clean. Some examples of garage toy storage containers are below; be creative and fun with the labels so the kids are more likely to put things away.
Large Galvanized Pail

Large Galvanized Pail
Oriental Trading Company-$7.50

Large Life Bin

Large Life Bin
Container Store $12.99

  • Utilize a pegboard for the tools that you use on a regular basis and keep all other tools in a toolbox stored on a shelf or in a cabinet.
  • Have what you need. You may think you need 5 hammers or 6 tape measurers, but you don’t. If you have a couple and they have a home, you will be able to find them when you need them and won’t need to continuously replace them.

Finally, my last piece of advice is to have a plan to clean and organize your garage twice a year. Spring and Fall are both great times to purge unused items and keep things organized.