10 Things Not To Do In Your Home
At Hello Simplified, we know that no two clients are alike and that every home and lifestyle has unique challenges. That's why we cater plans unique to each person's end goals. We have some rules we live by, tried and true methods, and on the flip side, we have some advice for what not to do when organizing your home. Read ahead for ten things you should stop doing for an organized home!
1. Making your Home Pretty but not Functional.
We all want pretty homes - especially entryways that are aesthetically pleasing and make good first impressions. However, when we sacrifice looks for functionality, we are left with a dysfunctional home (and unorganized)! Make sure even beautiful spaces tie in function, such as an entryway table with a bowl for keys, a coat rack next to the door, or even a shoe rack. If you’re going to take your shoes off at the door, no matter how pretty you’re trying to keep the space, put the shoe rack there! It will look better than a pile of shoes in the corner.
2. Organizing before Decluttering.
One thing that won't solve your disorganization problem is buying a bunch of organizing products. That's part of the solution, of course, but in order to organize your space, you need to get to the root cause, which is almost always too much “stuff”. Editing and decluttering your home, then organizing, is the only way to maintain an organizational system successfully. You’ll be able to find the items you actually use and love, vs. always sifting through clutter and searching for those items.
3. Skipping Labels.
Organizing your items in bins and packing stuff away is great - until you need to figure out what's what and where is where! Make sure you label your containers and baskets. This is not only important for remembering where stuff goes, but it also keeps you accountable. For example, if you have a bin labeled oil in your pantry, then there is no excuse not to put the oil back in that bin. It also helps keep the rest of your family accountable for helping too. If you’re the only one who knows where everything goes, you’ll be the only one putting it all away. Let others help you maintain the organization you took so long to create!
4. Not Corralling Cords.
Even a tidy space can appear undone if there are messy cords. Using a cable box cord organizer is easy and can keep your electronics safe, make maintenance more accessible, and remove the eye sore that a bunch of cords causes!
5. Putting off Tidying up Until Tomorrow.
Everyone has hectic days and seasons of life that are busier than others. However, we also know that letting a mess go unbothered will result in more of a mess, and eventually, it will become too overwhelming to tackle. Instead of letting things get out of hand, dedicate an hour or two a week to decluttering, tidying up, and putting things back where they belong. Even better if you can do this for a few short minutes daily! One quick tip is to leave items at the bottom or top of stairs that need to go up or down. Then when you’re already going to another floor, just grab those items and bring them with you (and ask your spouse/kids to do the same!) This becomes routine, and you’re not always having to make unnecessary trips.
6. Trying to Do it All in One Day.
You know the saying, don't bite off more than you can chew? This applies to home organizing! It can be very overwhelming to organize; the larger the space, the more time you'll need. Make sure you set time aside to do portions of your home, then take a break. If you feel decision fatigue (the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision-making), then it's time to step away and come back later when you're refreshed.
7. Not Completing Tasks.
On the other hand, after you've sorted your items and decided what's happening to each item, complete the mission as soon as possible. This means never keeping bags of clothes for charity or boxes for friends inside your home to deliver later. If possible, do it now and finish the process. Take the trash out, text your friend's photos of the items you think they’ll want, load your car with donation boxes, etc... You've already come so far - don't be bottled down now by donation and trash clutter.
8. Trying to Sell Instead of Donate.
We often fall into the trap of, ‘if I love this item it must have a lot of value’. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. It’s easier to say we’ll try selling the item later or hold a yard sale, and it goes right back into storage (with the giant task of a yard sale now looming over our heads). Make the decision now; either post the item to sell or let go of the guilt and donate it. It can help to set a limit, such as, if I can realistically sell this item for $50 or more, I will post it. If not, I can let it go. Your time is money. Don’t waste hours setting up a yard sale or posting items online if you’ll only make a few dollars and stress yourself out in the process.
9. Expecting Instagram-Level Results.
Who doesn't want a closet that looks like a boutique or a pantry straight out of HGTV? However, the reality is most of us have to organize within the confines of what systems we already have. And that is perfectly okay! Being organized and clutter free is better than perfect.
10. Organizing in an Unattainable Way.
If your kids are not going to put their toys away by color - don't organize them like so! Make sure you create systems that make sense for you and your family and how you do daily tasks. This goes for all areas of the home; even if you saw a closet on Pinterest that you want to emulate but know you'll never be able to sustain, don't do it. Find a system and routine that works for you and one you can commit to keeping up with.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by clutter. The piles of papers on your desk, the items that've been hiding under the bed for months—all of that stuff can start to feel like a weight on your shoulders. It might even seem impossible to clear it all away, but we promise you, it isn't! We've helped many clients declutter their homes and simplify their lives over the years, and we've discovered a few tricks along the way that make this process much easier than you think!
How to decide what to keep and what to toss.
When deciding what to keep and what to toss, consider your needs. What do you need the item for? Do you use it now, or at least once a year, for a specific task, or are you keeping it “just in case”? For just-in-case items, if you do end up needing them in the future, is there another way to get the item (like borrowing from a friend or purchasing a new one)? If it’s something you can easily replace for under $20, if you need it in the future, then worst case is you’ll spend under $20 to replace it, and you can donate it. The space and mental clutter you clear now by letting go of all those “just in case” items makes the risk of needing to buy one thing again in the future seem not so bad.
If you're having trouble determining whether an item has sentimental value, ask yourself: If I didn't have this [item], would I miss it? Do I remember where I bought/gave/received [it]? If it’s not something you remembered you had or even care about seeing on a daily basis, it’s not something worth holding onto. We encourage many clients to take a photo of the item, so they can remember it, then let it move on to another owner!
Making the most of your space.
When decluttering, it's important to make the most of your space. A lot of people think that if they clear out their drawers and cabinets, they'll be able to fit more stuff in them. But this isn't always true! If you're trying not only to organize your things but also maximize storage space, here are some tips:
Setting up organizing systems.
Tossing things you don't need.
There are a few ways to get rid of unwanted items, including donating them or selling expensive items. However, if you don’t already have a plan in place to sell those items, chances are they will sit around for a while. Even the best of intentions can get pushed to the side due to overwhelm. If your stuff isn't worth much in monetary value (it can help to set an amount, say $50 or more per item), consider recycling or donating it. If it’s totally unusable or not worth repairing, toss it. You’ll instantly feel lighter!
Avoiding clutter in the first place.
It's not always possible to avoid clutter, but with a few reminders in place, you can avoid clutter in the future. Some rules we like for maintaining an organized home are: Don't leave things lying around - put them away as soon as you're done with them. Don't buy things you don't need, and don't keep things you don't use just because you paid money for them.
As you declutter, it's important to keep in mind that not everything needs to be kept. If it doesn't bring you joy, or if it doesn't serve a purpose in your life, then it's time for that item to go.
The same goes for things that aren't used often enough and have no sentimental value attached to them. There are many reasons why people hold onto things like this: maybe they think they might need them someday; maybe they don't want to throw away something expensive; or maybe they feel guilty because it was a gift. . It’s time to let go of the guilt and reasoning with ourselves as to why we need to hold onto things we don’t love or use. If they aren’t serving a purpose in your home, let them go!
Hopefully, this guide has helped answer some of your questions about decluttering and how to get started. However, if you’re overwhelmed or just want a partner in decluttering, we are here to help. As professional organizers, we can simplify the process and get your home decluttered and organized efficiently.
Ready to get started? We’d love to chat! Reach out to us today for your free phone consultation!
How To Organize Your Closet
How To Organize Your Closet
Did you know that one of the top triggers for stress in a house is unorganized closets? Having an organized closet can help you start your day off on the right foot, make mornings (and laundry days) easier, and assist in creating an overall zen feeling in a home. Sounds pretty great, right? As professional organizers, we know it's easier said than done, but we are here to help. We've outlined a few simple tricks and tips if you want to take a go at getting organized this year!
Start by taking everything out of your closet.
It's important to start by taking everything out of your closet and making sure it's completely empty. You want to start with a blank slate. It may seem like a waste of time at first, but if you don't take everything out and organize it all at once, you're likely to get stuck halfway through and may never complete it. Starting with a blank slate also allows you to stop and rethink where items make the most sense to hang. For example, if you’ve always kept your blazers in the front, but now you work from home, they can likely go towards the back of your closet!
Sort your items into categories.
As you pull items out of your closet, sort them into broad categories, such as pants, skirts, dresses, t-shirts, etc.. Your bed is a great place to sort clothes into these piles (and see which piles start getting really high. You might realize you tend to buy sweaters when you shop and have more than you’ll ever wear!). Seeing everything piled on your bed can put into perspective how much was really housed in your closet. You will probably discover clothing or items you forgot you even owned!
Once you're done sorting, you'll be able to go through each category one by one and hold up the item. Decide then and there, do I love it? Am I hoping I fit into it later? Is it damaged? Asking some simple questions helps you determine whether an item is a keep, donate, or toss. But most importantly, you need to be honest with yourself, because getting rid of items you no longer use, need or love will create space not only in your home but also in your life. Less clutter = more mental freedom! According to the Pareto Principle, we only wear about 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. You may own 10 pairs of jeans, but which 1-2 are you most likely going to grab time and time again when you go to get dressed?
When you're not sure whether to keep or donate an item...
If you're not sure whether to keep or donate something, ask yourself if you've worn it in the last year. If the answer is no, then there's a good chance that you won't be wearing the item again. If it's a “someday I hope this fits” piece of clothing, or an outfit you bought for one special occasion but never wore again - it may be time to part ways and let it find a new owner who can use it! Just think, if you end up losing a bunch of weight or have a special occasion coming up, you’ll likely want some new fresh clothes anyways! Also think: ‘does this item fit my current style and what I want my style to be going forward?’ Would you buy this item in a store today? If not, let it go. If you’re upset that you spent money on it, remember that it’s a sunk cost. The money is gone and instead you can think about how you can learn from this experience moving forward in your purchasing decisions.
It can also feel really great to know your items are going to people in need. You can donate to your local thrift store, church, charity group, etc. You'll be helping their efforts while freeing up space in your closet!
If something is really sentimental that you don't want to part with - such as a wedding dress, make sure you honor it with the effort to keep it preserved. Take the time to properly store it in the right container, or even have it pressed. Taking a photo of something sentimental and saving it in a “memories” album on your phone before donating it works great too! You can remember all those concert hoodies via photo instead of them taking up valuable closet space.
Put clothes back into a clean closet.
Once you've removed all of the clothes from your closet, sweep and dust the closet. You wouldn't put clean dishes into a dirty cupboard, so don't put your newly organized clothes into a dusty closet! If you have the ability, consider moving shelving up or down to fit your clothes better. You may not need as much dress hanging space anymore, for instance, so adjusting your closet to fit your new needs is a great way to ensure you'll keep the organized system going. You can also add baskets or other organization products to make things easier on yourself in the future, like shelf dividers, shoe racks, and a laundry hamper.
Details make a difference.
Hanging items together by type makes your closet look neat and organized and makes it effortless to find things. For instance, putting all t-shirts together, long sleeves, jeans, dresses, etc. Put similar types near each other too: Sleeveless shirts, then t-shirts, long sleeves, sweaters, cardigans, etc.. Then within each type you can even take it one step further and group items by color: all white tshirts together, all blue jeans together, etc..
Use thin hangers to maximize space and create an elegant look that won't take up too much room in your closet!
Put everything facing the same direction, such as the fronts of all shirts face to the left when you’re standing in front of the item-it'll save time once it's time for laundry put away, too!
A wardrobe edit is the first step to organized closet success.
A wardrobe edit is the first step to organized closet success. It's essential to help you get rid of things you don't need and keep only the pieces that fit your lifestyle, current style, and body type. It's smart to do this once a year. We love doing a closet edit near the change of seasons, so now would be a perfect time as Spring begins!
Hire a professional organizer!
If you feel like your closet is too overwhelming to tackle, it's time to bring in the pros. We can help take the guesswork out of getting organized by creating a system that works for you and your lifestyle. Our team will help make sure that you have an easy-to-maintain system that keeps your clothes looking great and you feeling good on a daily basis.
If you want a new closet system, we are also partnered with The Container Store. As a Container Store partner, we can measure your closets, suggest products and layouts, and after it’s installed we can implement an organized system for you to easily maintain.
Ready to get your closet organized? Reach out to us today for your free phone consultation!
Our Consultation Process
Are you ready to declutter, organize, and simplify your life? Investing in yourself and your life is a significant first step, and knowing that a Professional Home Organizer can help can provide much relief. So if you’re ready but want to understand the process better, we are breaking it down for you here. We aim to have every Hello Simplified client be confident and excited about their home organization journey, and we know that understanding how it works is part of the process.
The first step is to reach out to us on our website or by phone! One of our friendly Professional Organizers will contact you for your free phone consultation shortly after. You'll tell us a little about your home, the spaces you're dreaming of organizing, and a few other details that will help us understand the scope of work. This is a no-pressure, no-obligation phone call.
If you're ready to proceed, we will schedule an in-home consultation at your earliest convenience. Seeing your home in person before the organizing can begin is essential in the planning process and overall success of the job. As you walk us around your home and through the spaces you want to declutter and organize, we can better craft the most efficient and tailored action plan for your end goal.
We understand it can be nerve-wracking to have a stranger come into your home; however, at Hello Simplified, we have a few mottos, one being no judgment and 100% confidentially. We know it takes trust to allow us to come into your home and create a simplified and organized environment, which is why our consultations are so important. And we really mean it when we say that the consultations are painless! You'll give us a tour of your space, and we'll take notes, measurements (if that's necessary), and photos for reference. The more detail you provide us, the better. Once we gather all the info we need to create a plan, we'll leave and send you a detailed organizing proposal (with 1-3 organizing options to choose from) within a day or two. At the consultation, you'll also have a chance to ask any questions, chat about products, and let us know your scheduling preferences for the future.
We always let clients know a few things before a consultation - one being you do not need to clean up. In fact, we want to see your space exactly as you use it, so there is no need to tidy up or put things away into closets. That's what you're hiring us for - to create a beautifully organized space! [As we said before, we've seen it all and never judge.]
We hope this breakdown helps ease your mind and excites you for your consultation! Are you ready to step towards a simplified life and organized home? We can't wait to chat - contact us today!
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you may be thinking about love! Or maybe you're thinking about all the things in your house that you don't necessarily love but that someone you love got for you.
As Professional Home Organizers, we aren't in the business of just getting rid of everything. We know everyone has sentimental items, that certain material possessions carry memories, and so on. However, we also know the weight physical objects can carry, especially when they take up space in our homes.
It's easy to accumulate stuff, and it may be easy to get rid of particular things - like old mail, clothes that no longer fit, or toys your kids outgrow. Those are relatively easy decisions because there is no longer a need for those practical items. But what about family heirlooms or items that hold a special memory? Many people get stuck in their decluttering journey when they encounter things they love or did love.
When we come across sentimental items, whether a dress you wore to prom or your Grandmother's China collection, things begin to feel confusing. We can easily tie up emotions with logical thinking and avoid decluttering those items altogether. That's why so many family heirlooms and sentimental items end up in boxes in garages and attics. However, where else do these items end up? The truth is they end up at estate sales, yard sales, or just being passed on to sit in someone else's storage space.
If you love something, it's best to honor it. And if you love the person who gave you something, honor them by honoring the item.
That doesn't mean you need to hold onto it. In fact, it may be the most freeing thing to let it go. If you find yourself rationalizing why you're holding onto it, and all of the reasons are because someone gave it to you, because you might use it someday, or because you feel your kids may want it eventually, you may want to pause and reevaluate. Are you keeping it out of guilt? Do you want your children to be burdened with things out of guilt? Can you break the cycle now? These are all critical questions that can bring clarity.
There are a few ways to honor your loved ones or memories without keeping all of your stuff. Here are some of the ways that we practice and have worked wonders for our clients:
Just think about how good it will feel to give your items that chance to be loved by someone else! If you have stuff just sitting around, collecting dust, and preventing you from living a stress-free life, it's time to let them go. What good is something doing if it's just sitting in a box or pushed into the corner of your closet?
Perhaps you're holding onto pre-baby clothing or from another era of your life. Ask yourself, is it who you are and want to be now/going forward, or are you holding onto something that's really a past version of you that you no longer want to be ? When we have surrounded ourselves with items that remind us of our past, it's easy to get stuck there. In order to move forward and progress, we have to purge our home of stuff that no longer serves us; which includes letting go of the guilt that surrounds it.
We know this can be a daunting process, but you don't have to do it all at once or even alone. We are here to help guide you throughout the process, take your donations away, and be that unbiased voice of reason when it's hard to make a decision. Starting slow, with a solid plan, and having an end goal in mind is the best way to go about the process of letting go of sentimental items.
Are you ready to feel the love this season and honor yourself and your loved ones? We would love to help you! So contact us today to schedule your free phone consultation. We can't wait to chat!
At Hello Simplified, we specialize in home organizing and moving services (packing/unpacking). Read through for tips on how we help our clients feel less overwhelmed and more in control of their busy lives and homes.