One of our favorite reasons to help clients is when they're experiencing big life changes. This family was going through two life-changing events at the same time: moving and having a baby.
The pregnant mama contacted us when she was only a few weeks from giving birth. They were a military family with an active toddler and moving up from the Fayetteville area. Their possessions were being moved from two storage units.
Having limited time (and energy!) to unpack herself, the mom wanted help with the most utilized areas of the home, including the kitchen, pantry, 3 bathrooms, and her daughter's closet. She wanted us to add products and liked the uniform "Container Store" look.
Our Process & Project Launch
We were able to see the home before the move-in date to take measurements and do product planning. We sent our signature pantry/kitchen product quiz to the mom to get a sense of her style. Then, we created the product list for her to take a glance at and approve.
We come prepared and always like to overbuy since we do problem-solving in the moment to see what works best in a space. Then, we return unused products and only invoice the client for what is used.
One challenge we came across since the home was a new build, was that the closing date kept getting pushed back, as they very often do with new construction. We were originally planning on unpacking their home early to mid-December. Our organizers were dedicated and committed to moving this family in in time for the holidays!
We ended up having a team of 3 organizers there on December 22nd and 23rd. They divided and conquered, working like little Christmas elves to organize, bring in new product, and label everything with function and precision. What a sigh of relief it was to our clients to be moved in and organized just in time for the festivities.
Since the family's possessions had been in storage for quite some time, there was a lot of decluttering. They learned to live without many of the items stored away in boxes. Luckily, we take all donations for our clients, so once they made the decision to let it go, we hauled it away for them.
For moving and unpacking tips, read 5 Tips for a Seamless Packing & Unpacking Experience That You Don’t Want to Miss
Home Organizing Revealed
Kitchen drawers had bamboo organizers and glasses and dishes were strategically placed near the dishwasher for easy put-away.
The pantry looked stunning while also being maintainable, with clearly labeled baskets and gleaming white can shelves.
The bathroom drawers were divided into like items with clear organizers, and under the sink, vertical space was utilized with stacking drawers.
The toddler girl's closet had matching velvet hangers for her adorable clothing as well as labeled baskets on the shelf above.
The family was so happy with their organized and ready to live in home. The pregnant mom didn't have to spend weeks unpacking while chasing around her toddler. What a relief!
Thank you for joining us on this unpacking journey! We love helping clients unpack and feel at home as quickly as possible in their new space.
Do you have an upcoming move and are wondering what it's like to work with a professional organizer? Download our organizing guide.
If you're lucky enough to have a mudroom, you also know that sometimes it doesn't feel so lucky. Shoes are scattered across the floor, mail is piling up, you can never seem to find your keys, and your coat racks are stuffed to the brim. Your mudroom makes you feel stuck in the mud - stressed, chaotic, and like you'll never find a peaceful way out of your house!
Have no fear. We're here to share 4 tips to transform your mudroom into the beautiful, functional space it was always meant to be.
Tip #1: How Will You Use This Space?
Taking a step back and thinking about what you want from a space can be super helpful. What are mudrooms supposed to be for? Even more important, what do you use the space and want to use the space for? Is it a place to keep your shoes and coats? A command center for your calendar, mail, and keys? A place for your kids to store their backpacks?
How you use the space will guide you in organizing and tweaking the space to work in your favor. This is something we discuss with our clients before making any organizing plans to make sure we tailor systems to the individual family needs.
Tip #2: Purchase Proper Storage Solutions
A very common mistake we see when working with clients who tried getting organized before hiring us is that they felt stressed by their mudroom, so they went out and bought a ton of baskets and other products. But the baskets were too big and hung over the edge of the shelf, or the products didn't help with the pile of mail; it just created more clutter.
When we organize a space, we take measurements to get the correct size products and bring a variety of sizes to problem solve in the moment. We purchase products based on the plan for the space and the client's style preferences. We use our years of experience working with products to create the best system for your space, such as a letter tray for mail, baskets for hats and gloves, a shoe rack for the adults, shoe bins for the kids, and wall hooks for coats and backpacks. Then we return what we don't use, so you don't clutter your mudroom more with products that didn't work well.
Label bins with family names. Have a family meeting and explain what goes where and that you'll practice the new routine when you all leave and enter the home. It may take a few tries (or more!), but everyone will eventually know where their hat, mittens, coat, shoes, and backpack go. You don't have to do it all!
Read more common client mistakes in 10 Things Not to do in Your Home.
Tip #3: Don't Overlook Moisture Control
The last thing we want is mildew on our outerwear. Mudrooms can get damp (and dirty) due to wet clothes and shoes from the rain or snow. We suggest having easily washable welcome mats/rugs. The less cluttered the space is, the easier it will be to lay items out to dry, too.
Swap out the seasonal outwear you're not using and store it in another area, such as a coat closet. Only keep the 1-2 seasonal coats per person that you're actually using right now. The same goes for shoes. You don't need to store every pair you own in the mudroom. Chances are there are many shoes you only wear occasionally that can be stored elsewhere.
If these tips still don't fix the issue, consider a quiet dehumidifier in the corner to suck the excess moisture out of the air.
Tip #4: Accessorize the Space with Thoughtful Touches
Mudrooms don't have to be drab. They can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It's the first room you walk into when you come home; make it lovely! Add a framed family photo on the wall or some artwork. Purchase a beautiful plant or some fake flowers. A bench with some pop of color throw pillows can make for the perfect place to put on shoes (and remind family it's not a place to stack coats, toys, or whatever you're holding when you enter the house).
Mudrooms can make your life easier if you set them up for success. Think of exiting your home stress-free. Your keys and sunglasses are right there by the door. Your coat and shoes are organized and waiting for you. Your kids can independently get ready to head to school. It's possible if you follow these simple tips. Good luck; you can do it!
And if this still feels like too much and you're curious about having us organize your mudroom for you, download our organizing guide to learn more about our process.
This is one of our favorite closets ever! This closet transformation was part of a ~10k square foot, whole-home organizing project that spanned several months. This closet was for a successful and very busy local professional.
The closet was practically empty when they hired us, and his clothes were scattered around the house in various rooms and closets. He didn't have a designated place to get ready, which was stressful. He also had an extensive shoe/sneaker collection that wasn't being properly displayed.
His spouse had some of her clothes in the closet but was getting her own closet designed in another space, so those items needed to be relocated so he could get full reign of the closet.
Our Process & Project Launch
The first step was locating all of his clothing, shoes, and accessories around the home. Then we sorted all the clothes into like categories. He had many high-end and specialty clothing items that we wanted to store and showcase properly.
We switched out all wire and plastic hangers with either wooden hangers for suits or thin black velvet hangers for jackets, button-downs, t-shirts, and pants. We disposed of all dry-cleaning bags. These don't let your clothes breathe and are only meant to be used to keep your clothes clean on the trip home.
Home Organizing Revealed
The finished product was jaw-dropping. All clothing items were organized by category on matching hangers.
Our favorite part of this closet was the shoe wall. We used clear drop-front shoe boxes to create a massive shoe display. With this, we were able to showcase a vibrant wall of colors and allowed the different sneaker designs to be easily visible. It is truly stunning to look at, and we didn't want to leave!
We displayed some specialty and overflow shoes, such as taller cowboy boots, on the built-in shoe shelves as well.
This closet had it all! There was even a tie bar for his beautiful tie collection, and we created a hat shelf to display his many hats. We organized a drawer for his pocket squares and other formal accessories.
Lastly, we added grey, labeled baskets on the upper shelves for loose items, such as snow gear and memorabilia.
Having his newly organized closet made a big difference for our client. He no longer had to get dressed in a random guest room of the house. Everything was organized and easy to find. He could admire his sneaker collection and pick which pair to wear with ease.
The best part of organizing this closet was his reaction. Our entire team of organizers was there, and we had a big reveal when he got home from work. He was beaming, loved his newly organized closet, and said he could tell we really care about what we do. That was a great compliment to receive because we really do care a lot!
Thanks for joining us to learn more about this gorgeous closet. We hope you enjoyed the photos and stellar shoe wall.
Are you curious about what it's like to work with professional organizers and want to learn more? Download our organizing guide here.
Renovations are stressful! People are all up in your space, and your everyday creature comforts, like a working kitchen or bathroom, may be inaccessible. Once the renovations are complete, you're just exhausted and want to have your home back and ready to use.
Planning ahead and organizing BEFORE the renovations begin is essential and will reduce your stress immensely throughout the process. There will be less mess and fewer headaches, making the reno process a little easier to endure!
Read ahead for our 3 tips on organizing before your renovation starts...
Step #1: Declutter and Decide What Needs to Go
Instead of dreading how you're going to fit all your stuff back into your newly organized kitchen or bathroom, think of the renovation as your chance and motivation to declutter! You don't want to move your unused, dusty, unloved items into your new, glistening space. Ick!
Think about what you love and what you actually use. Now's the time to let go of all those "just in case" items. If you really end up needing something you decluttered, you can easily run to the store or click "buy now" on Amazon. Think of all the spaciousness and organization you'll have in your improved space. Things will be easy to find and look visually appealing.
As you declutter and prepare for the renovation, make a list on your phone of what you might need to buy later. Don't clutter your space now with more items you'll need to store away for the reno.
For more decluttering tips, read A Professional Organizer’s Guide to Decluttering.
Step #2: Get Organized and Begin Packing
Now that you've decluttered, you can more easily decide what stays during the renovation process and what you still want to keep but can be stored away for the time being. Remember to keep out things like medicine and other items that are used daily.
Pack items in clearly labeled bins so you can easily find things you need that you packed away and so you can easily unpack when the reno is over. Renovations are dusty, and the last thing you want is a brand-new kitchen with all your plates and glasses covered in dust.
Step #3: Move Boxes to Storage and Prep for Your Reno
If you're braving it out and living in your home during the renovation, you may want to store items somewhere outside the home, such as a temperature-controlled storage unit or pod.
Don't fill your garage with items, and then realize you need to use your garage as a temporary kitchen!
Speaking of, start setting up things like temporary kitchens before the renovation begins. You don't want to start this task when you're stressed and hungry and your home is already a construction zone. Plan on giving yourself grace with more ready-made meals, take-out, and non-perishable snacks.
Our specialty is helping our clients through moments of change, such as renovations and moving. This is like a mini-move! You have to declutter, pack, and unpack the space you're renovating. Can you say stressful? It's ok to ask for help.
If you're ready to hand off your pre-renovation organizing to an expert, we've got your back! Download our organizing guide to see how we can help!
See you soon,
Toys somehow keep sneaking into your home. The piles keep growing and growing with each passing holiday and birthday party goodie bag! Sometimes, the toys strut right in and demand to live rent-free in your precious little storage space. Your playroom is bursting with toys, yet your kids look disengaged and bored. How is that even possible?
Tip #1: Keep Toys That Spark Creativity
Did you know that studies show that too many toys can make kids feel overwhelmed and bored? Fewer toys actually mean more creativity and play. "Enough is enough," you think! But where would you even start creating a simplified and organized playroom? Read ahead for our expert tips on organizing your playroom to enhance fun and creativity.
The most important step we take as professional organizers in organizing playrooms is decluttering! We work with clients to let go of toys that are broken, outgrown, or that aren't favorites or played with often. You’ll end up with the highest quality toys and items that can spark creativity.
Remember, too many toys can be overwhelming. Many toys "entertain" kids with flashing lights and music. While having a couple of these can be useful, they don't allow kids to be independently imaginative. Items like books, art supplies, and toys that enable them to create the narrative are best. A dancing scarf can become a dragon flying through the sky or a blanket to swaddle a baby doll.
When decluttering toys, parents often worry their kids will get upset and want something back. A good safety net for this can be to keep items in the garage in bags for a month before donating (without your kids knowing they're there!). That way, if your child gets upset that something is missing, you can get it back from the garage. Although we don't usually encourage holding onto donations (we typically take them to donate for you on the day of your session), we like to make this exception with toys.
Tip #2: Let Your Kids View Their Options
We want to keep similar items together when sorting items in a playroom. For example, all stuffed animals, art supplies, puzzles, kitchen play food, and legos are together. Then, keep them visible by storing them in clear bins, open baskets, or displayed on shelves.
Seeing items encourages kids to play with the toys, and since we've already decluttered and sorted like items together, there will be minimal toys out to create visual clutter. We love using baskets to store books since they're easier to sort through. You can choose a book, put it away, and grab one book without the whole bookshelf falling off or over.
Tip #3: Rotate Toys to Keep Things Exciting
Along with decluttering, consider rotating toys to limit what your kids can access at once. This can be helpful if you have too many favorite toys but don't want them all out simultaneously. Involve your kids when it's time to rotate by letting them know you will have some "new" toys to play with from storage. For example, tell them they can pick out five new toys to play with this week, and the other current toys can have a rest. Store unused toys in the rotation in bins somewhere, like a closet or attic. Set a reminder on your phone to rotate new toys after a couple of weeks so you remember.
An even easier solution than having a rotation system: storing toys you don't care to be played with often in cube shelf bins or other closed storage will naturally encourage less play. Then, you can pull out the bins when you'd like them to be played with. This is an easy way to "rotate" toys without much added effort of remembering to actually rotate!
Tip #4: Encourage Your Littles to Get Involved & Help Clean Up
Broad categories with large baskets or toy chests allow quick and easy clean-up. For example, you can use a large toy chest for stuffed animals, a few book baskets, and a smaller basket for all those small toys. This corrals the mess and reduces visual clutter. It also makes it super easy for kids to help clean up.
Getting the kids involved can help maintain the organization. Do they have a special spot they want to line up their stuffed animals? Pretend the playroom is a neighborhood, and each toy needs its own special "home" to live in and go back to at the end of each day. Making a little "parking garage" on the floor with painter's tape can be fun so your children can park their mini cars and ride horsies.
Increase their motivation by making it a competition with siblings to see who can put their toys away the fastest. Making the process fun will increase the likelihood you're not the only one stuck keeping things in order.
Organizing your playroom and dealing with the constant barrage of toys can be overwhelming. We get it! No playroom is going to be perfect. If anything, take this as permission to let go of many of their toys. Remember, it will help their creativity to have less, not hurt it.
A simple, easy-to-maintain system will encourage order, creative play, and learning all at once! Your kids can get messy and have a blast and then be able to get things quickly back to square one.
We've got your back if you're ready for an expert to create playroom organization systems that simplify your life! Download our organizing guide to see how we can help.
See you soon,
At Hello Simplified, we specialize in helping clients going through big life changes. We offer home organizing services and packing & unpacking services. Read through for tips on how we help our clients feel less overwhelmed and more in control of their busy lives and homes.