Let me show you guys a picture. Just a little picture of a 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.
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:
- Final touches
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:
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!
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!)
I’ve heard folks talk quite a bit about their New Year’s resolutions in the past week or so – you probably have, too! And something I keep hearing over and over from people is, “I’m gonna declutter my house!”
I’m right there, too. I have a whole list of spaces in my home that need some major decluttering, and I’ve already started on a few of them. But the other day, someone asked me why I was even bothering with it at all! They felt as if clutter was what happened when life happened, and there was nothing that could be done about it.
First of all, I don’t believe that for a second. Second of all, I know it’s not true in MY home, so I knew it couldn’t be true for everyone. And third, when Mackenzie Fox contacted me with a guest post on this very topic, I then had the facts to back up my assumptions! She puts it quite well, and gives us some simple steps to follow to get the decluttering process going! Read on…
Do you live in a highly-organized living space, or can you just not be bothered about the “creative” chaos that surrounds you? If you belong to the second category, you might want to re-consider your fondness of clutter for the following, very important reasons (quite a few of them are related to your health):
- Although you might think you are living in the perfect symbiosis with your clutter, the fact remains that it does cause stress and anxiety. Huffington Post conducted a survey which showed that a whopping 84% of people were worried that their homes were not clean or organized enough, while 42% feel anxious when their houses are unorganized and cluttered.
We talk a lot about things to organize here on the blog, but recently, I haven’t been “feeling” all that organized. And when I say that, I mean that my BRAIN hasn’t been feeling all that organized. Call it pregnancy brain if you want…all I know is that I can’t think as clearly as I used to, I can’t process like I’m normally able to, and all my multitasking skills have completely gone out the window! It pretty much stinks – and I really hope I regain some of my brain once the babies come!
So when Doug from The Kitchen Professor asked me about publishing an article on organizing your mind, well, first of all I wondered if he could just organize mine for me! HA! When I figured he couldn’t, I decided the article was the next best thing. Let’s see if he can help…
Healthy habits lead to a healthy mind and if we don’t keep our minds in a good working order the effects can not only be physiological but they can lead to physical problems too.
There are four key areas that you need to address to keep your mind healthy and strong so you can improve not only your own life but the lives of your friends, your family and all those around you. Physical health and exercise, diet and nutrition, cognitive activity and social engagement.
As you can imagine, things around our house have gotten a tad bit busy since we found out about the twins! All other house projects have been put on hold in favor of any house project that deals with the “project room”, which will be the twins’ room when they arrive. I think it’ll be perfect: it has light wood floors, great natural light, and TWO closets. Ah! (If you want to see an idea of what it looks like right now, CLICK HERE)
Anyway, it’s mostly been used for storage, so we are working on relocating all the holiday decorations and other items that have been stacked up in the closets. It’s become clear that we probably need some creative storage solutions. Because…do you ever notice that the longer we inhabit a space, the more stuff we seem to accumulate? Even if you’re pretty good about consistently purging your space, there always seems to be that pile of things you just can’t part with. Whether it’s a stack of books you plan to read (one day!), out of season clothing, or memorabilia, I’ve decided there are plenty of ways to stylishly store your important knickknacks, and give your space a clean and sleek appearance.
Tip #1: Contain the Clutter
Open shelving looks really polished when your items are minimally displayed, but for the many packrats out there, this isn’t always achievable. If you need to utilize shelving to store your stuff, contain the clutter with chic woven baskets or printed boxes. These baskets and boxes will allow you to store the same amount of stuff, but will give your shelving a uniform appearance.