Tips For Organizing Your Apartment

So someone commented to me the other day that they enjoyed my organizing posts, but they didn’t feel as if they were applicable to their apartment. 

“You have a house, and that’s great. But it’s harder to organize in an apartment. I need some advice on THAT!”

Well, first of all, yes. Yes, it’s harder to organize in an apartment. And yes, we have a house. There are definitely differences. 

However, the principles remain the same. And, believe it or not, I have NOT forgotten about apartment life! When we first got married, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment that was about 800 square feet. I loved it and hated it, all at the same time! 

So…here are some organizing tips specifically tailored for apartments! Because living in an apartment with a limited space is a challenge on so many levels; especially if you want to keep your home well organized. The last thing you want to do at the end of a busy day is spend time reorganizing your home. If you can come up with a good plan overall, you should be able to keep your space tidy.

Invest in Storage Units

If you have too many things and nowhere to keep them, your apartment will end up looking overcrowded. If your apartment comes with an attic, basement, or garage, consider taking advantage of such a space. In fact, when looking for apartments such as (such as apartments for rent in Hollywood (Eastown Apartments) for my Los Angeles readers), ensure they have extra storage space. Some apartments in my area have a locked closet on the patio that functions as a fantastic storage space!

However, if your apartment does not have any extra room, think about renting a storage unit to use for organizing all your extra stuff. 

Use the Laundry Hamper

If you are too busy to do laundry during the week, you need to invest in a laundry hamper with a lid. Buy a good-sized hamper and throw in your dirty clothes for the week. The lid will cover the dirty clothes until you have time to wash them.

Laundry hampers are also great to store pillows, seasonal clothing, towels and linens in, as well.

Washing Dishes

Do Not Leave the Dirty Dishes Overnight

Although washing dishes at night is a difficult habit to form, you will not look at your kitchen the same way once it sticks. If you live with a roommate, a partner or a family member, take turns doing the dishes before bed. Make sure the person who cooks is not the one who washes the dishes to avoid overworking that person. Washing the dishes before you retire to bed will make your small apartment kitchen look less messy. Plus, your mornings will be that much brighter with an empty sink.

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Staying on Top of the Mess

You know that moment of quietness you get when all chores are done and the house is clean? It lets you take a breath and feel at ease. A fleeting moment that’s usually abruptly ended by a crash or a scream – at least at my house. Well, back to work!

Keeping a home clean and organized and mess-free is an on-going effort. One that’s difficult when you’re already balancing a busy work and family life. You put your best efforts forward but there’s always more to do. Those off days become busy days very very quickly.

We try things like planning our schedules around our energy levels or burn the midnight oil to get the last bits of the list done. Yet, it feels like a losing battle. There’s only so much one person can do!

messy-house

Getting the Family on Board

There are a few reasons why the family may not be helping with chores:

A.  They don’t know how they can help

B.  There’s no repercussions if they don’t

C.  They’re busy already

D.  They don’t know how you want it done

You can try to force your partner and kids to help but this may only last a day. Plus, who wants extra stress from nagging and taking orders?

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How to Get Your Home Organized the Easy Way

Life isn’t perfect. And it sure isn’t organized. I think we’ve all come to that realization by now. (If you haven’t, I’m pretty sure that you will in the near future!) And honestly, I think it’s BECAUSE life isn’t perfect that I’ve always felt the need to organize things. BECAUSE I know I can’t organize life in general (but wouldn’t that be great?!) I try to organize everything I can to at least make life a bit more…simple. Does that make sense?

Let’s face it: life gets a lot more complicated when you can’t find the lunch you packed the night before in the fridge because it’s too full of half-expired foods. Solution? Organize your fridge, get the junk out, and suddenly, when you open the door, there’s the lunch you so carefully prepared. You just saved yourself a ton of time!

That’s just one example.

You are not alone, as many households suffer from the same problem. Sometimes, it’s not even because the place is a mess but because items are never put back in their rightful spot – and we all know how frustrating it can be to have to pull out drawers after drawers and dig through closets, cabinets and more on the search for whatever it IS we’re looking for.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t even have to be domestic god/goddess to keep your home somewhat organized! Here is a 4-point guide to keeping on top of your home.

1. Kitchen Items in the Kitchen ONLY

We will start off with an easy one, which is to only keep items that are used in the kitchen in the kitchen. This means ensuring that all plates, cutlery and tea towels are stored and have a designated place in the kitchen.

Dirty dishes (1)

Anything that we associate with the kitchen should have a place in it, and any items that are not associated with the kitchen (i.e. car keys, phones, important documents) should be kept elsewhere. When make an organized effort to associate items with specific rooms, it becomes a whole lot easier to keep things where you can find them.

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Being Organized in the Face of a Storm

Let me show you guys a picture. Just a little picture of a storm…

Hurricane Irma 2017 Storm

You see that?

That is the forecast track for the CAT 5 Hurricane Irma, as of 11:00 this morning! 

And do you see where it says Tampa down there in good ol’ Florida? Yeah. We live in a suburb of Tampa, so if you look REALLY close, you might see me waving…

In short, we appreciate any prayers you feel led to send towards us as this imposing storm heads our way! There is still time for things to change and the track to shift, however, we are BIG on being prepared around here, NOT waiting until the last minute, so we are ready for whatever Irma has for us. We are Florida natives, we know the drill, we’ve lived through this stuff before and we are ready…but we are also feeling pretty cautious…because this is a HUGE storm, folks. We’re talking breaking records HUGE. As of now, we are planning on riding it out. Our home is strong and in excellent repair. Concrete block, double-pane windows, and not covered with trees that could take out the roof. However, as we monitor the path of the storm, we may decide to evacuate. We have places to go, and babies and animals to care for.

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My Organization Process

When I get to chatting “organization” with folks, the question always comes up: “I don’t even know how to start! I mean, I’m so overwhelmed! What’s the process to start on organizing something? What’s YOUR process?!”

Well, first of all, let me say that being overwhelmed is completely normal, so don’t beat yourself up over that! And definitely don’t let it stop you from TRYING. There’s no sense in that at all.

Second, my organization process is simple:

  1. Purge
  2. Categorize
  3. Clean
  4. Containerize 
  5. Final touches
  6. Admire

These steps have worked for me on everything from a tiny bathroom drawer on up to enormous walk-in closets, and everything in between!

Allow me to elaborate:

Purge

Purging is getting rid of the things you don’t want or need. This is hard for some people, so it’s a good thing it’s first on my list of steps; then you can get it over with quickly! Normally, with purging, I pull everything OUT of the space that needs organization. Then I evaluate. Is this trash? (Broken, old, expired, etc.) Is this something I don’t use anymore? (Doesn’t fit right, have another one I like better, can’t remember the last time I even looked at this one, etc.) The trash goes…in the trash! What a novel idea! HA! And the things I don’t use anymore go into a donation box. What’s left is what I have left to work with!neuropharm-organized

Categorize  

Categorizing is putting alike things together. If I’m organizing a pantry, I’m putting all my flours together in a “baking” category. If I’m organizing the girls’ toys I put all their stuffed animals together in that category. If I’m organizing a laundry cabinet I put all my cleaning rags together in that category. You get the idea! Once everything is categorized, you can REALLY see what you have left to work with, and sometimes you even see more things to purge! (Bonus points if so!)

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