Home Organizing

Suggestions for an orderly linen closet

Image from  Homesong

Image from Homesong

During the gray days of January is a great time to focus your attention on the spaces in your home that are often used but rarely seen. Let’s talk about linen closets. Whether you have a large closet or a small nook or set of shelves that function as your “linen closet”, these tips will help.

How many should I have?

  • Sheet sets: 2 sets for each bed, potentially 1 older extra set to use for painting or other household projects

  • Blankets: one for each bed plus an extra for each size of bed that you have for guests

  • Pillow cases: 2 for twins, 4 for full, queen and king sizes

  • Towels: 2 sets per person plus an extra (in case you have guests and need to do laundry at the same time). A set includes: bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth.

What else goes in the linen closet?

  • Surplus of toiletries (travel size products for guests or to pack for trips)

  • Extra toilet paper

  • Bathroom cleaning supplies

  • First aid/medicine **Check expiration dates on all products & toss the old ones

How to store:

  • Store sheets by size. Fold the flat sheet and fitted sheet as neatly as possible, then store them inside one of the pillow cases. Consider labeling the spot on the shelf where each specific size sheet set goes, to avoid confusion or having to un-fold the sheet set to find the size you’re looking for. You could use cloth storage boxes to keep sheets free of dust.

  • Stack or roll towels. Sort by size and color, or by particular bathroom in which they are used.

  • Use large baskets or bins to hold extra blankets & comforters or sleeping bags. This will keep them off of the floor & avoid dust.

Enjoy a few lovely examples of orderly linen closets…

Image from  Honey We’re Home .

Image from Honey We’re Home.

Image from  Texture Photo .

Image from Texture Photo.

Image from  Waiting on Martha .

Image from Waiting on Martha.

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Organizer

Texture Photo.

Texture Photo.

1 - You are likely a busy person

When you hear the word “busy”, you might quickly assume that this is a negative word… not necessarily. Depending on the family members you have, social groups you are a part of, church you attend, or organizations you support, there are so many events, demands, projects and opportunities you could participate in. This is a wonderful dilemma! To fill our lives and schedules with meaningful encounters and engagements is a luxury. Instead of blocking off a whole day or week of your time to get your home in order, allow us to come help you with the task. We can free you up to be able to participate in all of the things you love, without the weight of a disordered or cluttered home. If “getting organized” is merely an item on a long to-do list, it’s probably going to get overlooked and pushed down the list week after week. However, if you have a scheduled appointment, you are much more likely to make it happen. We are ready to help, and we can hold you accountable to your goals. We can even work on your space while you aren’t home if that works best for your schedule. Fill your time with the things that bring you life, and let us handle the rest!

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2 - You have too much stuff

Over time, the items in your closet, dresser, cabinets, pantry, basement, garage and attic have accumulated and expanded. That’s a lot of places for excess to pile up. At some point you may have had “just” what you needed to live well and enjoy your space, but chances are, you have more than enough now. This “more than enough” is taking up precious real estate in your space. It might even be causing you to waste time and energy, while also costing you more money and stress than you intended. You might have to climb over excess to find specific items in storage areas. You probably spend too much time filing through hanging clothes to find that one top you are looking for. Before a system of order and simplicity can be implemented, there must always be a purge. This is sort of like taking inventory of all of your belongings, touching them and making an intentional decision on whether or not each item stays or goes. We do our very best to inform our clients about where to donate specific items that will be put to good use. Purging is not for the faint of heart. You often need a second pair of eyes to make decisions— we highly advise you to not do this alone.

3 - You are emotionally attached to your stuff

Texture Photo.

Texture Photo.

We’ve all lived through painful experiences and losses. Sometimes belongings are are passed down from a loved one that we aren’t sure what to do with. Not knowing the monetary value of items can also cause confusion in the decision making process around what to keep and what to let go of. We all grieve and process transitional life experiences differently. Give yourself grace here. There is no “right” way to do this. Gifts can carry such heavy sentimental value, while at the same time serving no real functional purpose. We are able to impart this foundational truth to many clients while sifting through emotionally difficult items - letting go of an object does not erase or eliminate the memory associated with said item or the person who gave it to you. Think 50 years down the road - do you want your friends & family to feel weighed down by any gifts you have given them that they simply keep because they feel guilty getting rid of them? Or, do you want them to feel the freedom to cherish memories without holding onto every single gift or trinket?

4 - You aren’t sure where to start

When it’s your own clutter you’re trying to tackle, it can be personally overwhelming and debilitating. (This is even true for us, the professionals). We oftentimes start small, because the sense of success and accomplishment from one organized area, is what will fuel you through the larger more labor-some areas of your home. When getting to know our clients, we always listen first - this allows us to make a prioritized plan of what spaces should be organized first and in a way that serves you best. We ask questions to find out what matters most to you, what is valuable to the people in your home, and what you hope the overall outcome of organization in your home will look and feel like. We are mindful of the fact that each space affects other rooms in your home and take that into account when coming up with a plan. This allows us to be more efficient with your time, energy, and resources. Although you live day to day in your home, we enter in with a fresh perspective because it’s all new to us. Most importantly, your clutter doesn’t scare us - we see the potential from the get go! Once we’ve hit the “reset” button on your home, you’ll be more able to keep up with the rhythms and routines of organization.

Texture Photo.

Texture Photo.

5 - You’re facing a life transition

Life is always shifting and changing. Just when we settle into one season, the next one is creeping up on us. Sometimes sudden life altering events come crashing in with no warning. From small changes to sudden or tragic ones, all changes leave us needing to re-settle and reinstate order so that we can press on and adjust. Sometimes an urgent move or job shift creates a pressurized demand for changes to happen quickly in your home. We often are just the compassionate helpers and additional hands you need to finish a looming project. Welcoming new people into your home such as a baby, an aging parent, a foster child, or a relative for a temporary or extended stay, can create a list of to-do’s that can feel impossible. If you’re facing complex or challenging life transitions like divorce or death of a loved one, we are able to help you find a path forward. We make it our mission to help make practical and manageable plans to help our clients through these difficult situations. In such chaotic and painful times, we strive to bring a spirit of hope and peace of mind all the while, getting tasks accomplished.

It’s been a privilege to work with our clients over the past 4.5 years. Everyone has a unique situation and it’s our greatest joy to listen and learn how we can best serve you.

donating and selling books

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As organizers, one of the questions we consistently get from our clients is how and where to donate or sell the books that they are ready to pass along. We've compiled our list of recommendations and are eager to share it with you.

If you are ready to organize and purge your books, we recommend that you take the time to look through all the books throughout your home. Rather than simply purging a bookcase in one of many places that you keep reading material, plan to put your hands on every book in the house! Don't forget cookbooks, textbooks, and children's books. Once you've gone through all of them and have your purge pile, the following steps will come in handy...

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Step 1: Determine whether each book is donate-able/sell-able or whether it simply needs to be recycled. If it's water damaged, dry rotted, or torn up it's not worth donating. Go ahead and recycle that sucker.

Step 2: Donate: If you don't want to fool with selling, simply donate your books to your local library or to a thrift store. If you have children's books to donate, you can also drop them at one of the many free little library's around town.

Step 3: Selling: There are many approaches and ways to go about selling your books. For a quick way to offload mass quantities of books, McKays is our recommendation. The amount of books you drop off will determine how you sell/how long you wait. For guidelines check out this link. In addition to McKays, Amazon now has a buy back program for certain books that they will pay shipping for and purchase from you in exchange for an Amazon gift card. For textbooks we recommend Barnes and Noble's buy back program.

Step 4: Enjoy the space you've created in your home by purging the books that you no longer need or want!