Category Archives: Organize

New Year’s Resolution – Redesign and Organize

Redesign Right Happy New YearIs 2013 the year you’re going to do it?  Put all excuses aside and forge ahead with that one trouble area in your house, or that room that hasn’t been painted since you moved into your house?

At the start of each New Year, there are always two primary topics that are discussed the most as needing change.  They are organization and de-cluttering.  Real Simple Magazine has dedicated 2013 as the year to focus on various “problem” areas as reported by readers.  Click here to read more about those tips from RealSimple.com.

This month Real Simple suggests focusing on the kitchen.  Does your cupboard look like the one in this photo?  If not, than perhaps this challenge may be the right goal for you to accomplish in 2013!

emerald paint chipAnother top New Year’s resolution for your home is painting.  Are you still living with builder white?  Are you still stuck in the 80’s with mauve walls?  Picking a new paint color can be daunting! Click here to review a past blog post that many of my readers found very helpful when weeding through the sea of colors! Check out some of the ideas and helpful hints.  If you are looking to add some of the newest Emerald Green into your space, click here to read a great blog with wonderful photos to conjure up some inspiration!

If you are overwhelmed with all of the ideas in your head and the many things you want to accomplish, the first task would be to sit down and create a list of what areas bother you or need an update the most.  Sometimes a room redesign can make all the difference to how you feel when you enter a room and live in that space.  Whether you need help selecting a new paint palette or reorganizing the items that you have; contact Debbie@RedesignRight.com to help you check those items off your 2013 Resolution List!

Decorate my Garage?

Absolutely!  How many times do you leave your garage door open and give your neighbors a window into how you live?  Your garage should be as organized and good looking as the rest of your home! One of the biggest problems with garages is that they become the catch all for all our stuff we don’t want in the house!   However, with the proper planning you don’t have to eliminate all that you own, you just need to plan and rethink how to organize it.

The first step to any reorganization/design is to empty out the garage entirely.  Yes, a great deal of work but an empty garage gives you a clean palette in which to work and map out where all the stuff will go.  Set up sections in your garage with specific functions in mind.  Such as a gardening, sports, car, beach and kitchen overflow section. Set your areas up so that the items are easy to get to. Knowing where your turkey fryer is will save you time when you need it!  So pick a nice fall Saturday and tackle this with the goal that you are going to finally park your car in the garage!

Don’t forget the ceiling

workbenchThe ceiling of your garage holds much potential for hanging items such as bicycles, ladders, or luggage.  Click here for instructions on how to hang your bicycles from a ceiling.  Check out this ProStar Garage Elevator from Organize.com, this very useful idea lifts items overhead without the need for a ladder!

Floor shelving, shelving hung from the ceiling or cabinets may be used to store all your items.  If you have tools lying all over the place, create or purchase a workbench.  Home stores offer a variety of options.  The goal is to keep stuff from accumulating on the floor of the garage.

sports ballsAh…Sports Equipment!

Trying to keep your kids sports equipment organized seems like a tough proposition, doesn’t it?  It can be done!  Either have a bin for each child, or a bin for each sport.  There are many different types of items that can be used, such as this handy Ball Claw which holds a single soccer ball, football, or volleyball.  Rubbermaid makes a very clever ball holder.

Help!

If the idea of doing it all yourself is overwhelming you, home stores such as Lowes or Home Depot have people onsite that can help you with all of your shelving needs.  There are companies such as SafeRacks.com that will come to your house and set up a storage system for all of your needs.

ball claw
Ball Claw

Once you have an organization system in place, your whole family will love it as they will always know where to find things!  Now, go park that car in the garage!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you with decorating your garage contact debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Decorating Ideas for the College Student

Don’t you love that commercial where the man is skipping through the office supply store and the music in the background is playing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” as it’s Back To School Time!  All the parents are joyfully saying, “YEAH!!!” as the kids moan and groan.  For those of you that are sending your loved bundle off to college I wanted to dedicate a blog post on decorating for the college dorm room or apartment.

For the first-time parents of soon-to-start college students here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Space is a luxury students won’t have!
  • Bring some items that are reminders of “home”.
  • Be organized!

If your college student is going to live in their first apartment here are some decorating ideas:

Pick a theme!
Since in many cases rooms will be shared it is best to communicate a taste preference with the roommates before the move in date. An overall neutral theme that anything can go with would be the safest choice and then individually personalize the spaces with accessories.  Retail stores, such as Target, allow a wonderful option to go online and create a “list” of items that can be shared with roommates for feedback.

Find your Furniture
The most expensive investment when starting in a new apartment is furniture.  Ask friends and relatives to see if they have anything that they would like to donate to you – remember you can always spruce up a couch with pillows! And remember spray paint is our friend.   Look online for sources such as Craig’s List and Ebay Local or visit your local Goodwill Store for things.  Ikea also has a whole line of furniture geared for multi-use, small space decorating that is affordable, check that out here.  For all of your bathroom and kitchen needs you may also want to check out Bed, Bath & Beyond who has added a tab to their website just for the College Student!  In fact, Bed, Bath & Beyond has kindly suggested a college dorm packing list, click here to view the list.

Do It Yourself!
Preparing a student for college can be overwhelming and very expensive that first year. Students have a vision of what they want their new home to look like and parents have the vision of dollar signs!  Having sent my last of 4 children to college I can tell you there are many cost saving ideas out there.  Websites such as Better Homes and Garden, eHow, and diynetwork.com have great DIY (Do-It-Yourself) videos and instructions for many cost saving decorating ideas.  There are also great magazines at your local bookshop, or you can jump over to Pinterest.com where you will be overwhelmed with ideas!

Also don’t forget to pack your cherubs with a cleaning supply bucket, equipped with sponges, cleaners, wipes, etc. Through the years, I have found that the cleaning supplies were the most cost effective item we bought for school and lasted for years because they were only used by me on move in and move out day!

For more information on how Redesign Right can help you make your college bound child make their dorm feel like home contact us at 610.955.8202 or  debbie@redesignright.com.

Time to Downsize!

Downsizing can seem like a daunting proposition – but if you break it down into “bite size” pieces you’ll find you can get through it!

First you need to come up with 4 areas in your home.  You need an area or boxes to:

Keep – Donate – Re-gift – Throw

A good rule of thumb is if you have not used it in 6 months (or even a year) there is a good chance you will never use it.  As you go through each area remember it will cost to move it.   Also when you unpack you will have to find a home for everything you decide to keep!

Here are a few tips to keep you focused:

  1. Try to stay emotionally detached from your “piles” as if they belonged to someone else.
  2. Keep only the things that you can realistically useor store in a small space.
    • Appliances:  If you haven’t used that bread maker, Cuisinart blender or smoothie maker in the last year…it’s time to get rid of it!
    • Clothes:  If you haven’t worn it in the last year, it’s time for it to go.  Even if you can still fit into it, styles change and you will look “dated”.
    • Your children’s stuff:  If your children have long gone to college and are in their own places they should be responsible for all of their stuff!  If you have collected a lot of holiday items for decorations – now is the time to give that away to your children – so they can share with their children.
  3. Plan to sell or give away.  If you don’t have the time or don’t want to figure out EBay, you can find a trading assistant to handle this for you, click here to read more.

Although it is hard to part, you need to keep your emotions at the door of each room.  As you are going through your home remember there are so many charitable companies that would love to have your discarded items (assuming they are in good working shape).  If you don’t have local women’s shelter or church give your items to the Salvation Army and Purple Heart.   Both of these agencies will actually come to your home and pick items up!  You should check with them for the rules of what they will and will not take.

If you have large furniture, keep in mind that you can sell this to put toward the purchase of new and updated furniture for your smaller space.  EBay and Craig’s List are great ways to do this!

If you need help in deciding what will go to your new home we will be glad to visit both sights (new and old) and help you decide specifically what will fit into the new home.

Contact us at debbie@redesignright.com or 610.955.8202.

Are you organized or free spirited?

I unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, am very organized.  If I have too much “eye noise” coming at me, I cannot concentrate on the task at hand or have a complete thought!

I have found a few inexpensive but effective organizing tips that may help you get started: 
Use Decorative storage boxes to store your regularly used belongings and get them out of sight. Have fun with this!  Use attractive boxes, of different shapes, sizes and fun colors of the season.

  • Use them in your closets for storing bulky sweaters, blankets, and other lightweight items.
  • Use them in your office on shelves to add not only order but color!
  • Use large colorful boxes without lids in a playroom to store/organize children’s toys.
  • Use plastic boxes with a picture of the item on the front for easy recognition.  I love to do this with shoes and handbags!

I love Hooks around the home for storing items used regularly.

  • Hooks on the backs of bedroom doors can organize jackets, bags, and hats.
  • Hooks in a mudroom can hang wet clothing items.
  • Hooks in a kitchen cupboard to hold all the important keys.
  • Hooks to hold all your long necklaces that get tangled in drawers.  You can color coordinate them too! Thank you Container Store!
  •  Decorative hooks on the walls of children’s rooms are ideal for schoolbags and other belongings.
  • Hooks in the bathroom will conserve wall space for hanging towels.
  • In addition, hanging shoe organizers on the backs of bedroom doors using hooks can not only hold up to twelve pairs of shoes but other items too. These holders are great for organizing scarves and small toys.  I also used them to organize my college students in their dorm rooms.  These pockets held face cloths, umbrellas, iPods anything that was small and had no home!  It works great if the pockets are clear. 
  • Ikea has a great organizer for scarves and pashminas!  Love this item!

Use file cabinets as a way to keep papers tidy. I know this sounds silly but it is amazing how easy you can become buried in paper. Paperwork lying around in various locations creates clutter and leaves you disorganized.  I try only to touch paper once, especially the mail.  I try to “trash” or “file it” somewhere other than my desk or counter top.  If space is limited, I suggest using a compact accordion-style file organizer.

Start being better organized by trying the 3 inexpensive ideas above. They are simple things to do but you will feel better organized, more satisfied with your life and find you may have a little more time on your hands because you weren’t searching for things!

I love to organize and simplify my life.  I find the magazine Real Simple is a great read!  Check it out.