Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Spring Cleaning

This is a start for organizing ideas. I'll post another set of ideas in a couple weeks. :-)

  • BUY LESS STUFF! I’m going to keep repeating this, mostly to remind myself. ;-) Disciplined shopping = less clutter, more money!
  • When gift time rolls around, tell everyone you're decluttering and you'd really love gift cards for dinner out or tickets to an event. A lot of our clutter is gifts that we feel guilty tossing but we're just not sure what to do with it.
  • If you're with a friend and they HAVE to stop at the store, leave your purse in the trunk. This will make impulse buys more difficult, and if you find something amazing you can always run out to the car to get your wallet.
  • Prepare for decluttering by putting on REALLY peppy music and possibly drinking a lot of caffeine.

  • Do one project at a time. Have ten minutes? Go through one drawer. Slow and steady wins this race. Don’t empty your entire dresser onto the floor and expect to finish it without getting overwhelmed, tired, or bored. Attack decluttering in bite-sized pieces.

  • Start in “public areas” – kitchen, living room, etc. Seeing clutter vanish will inspire you to keep going!
  • One of the best places to start is the junk drawer. Dump out the entire drawer into a box, put in dividers (like in your silverware drawer), and put back only the things that really need to be accessible (sticky notes, pens that work, rubber bands...).

  • A little extreme, but works: If you have a clutter magnet area, put everything from that area into a cardboard box and write the date on it. When you need something out of the box, take it out and put it where it belongs. After a month, whatever is still in the box is obviously not being used. Take the box to Goodwill and be free of it!
  • Is your purse a disaster? Set out a pretty basket that you dump your purse into daily (or weekly, whichever works for you). This way it's easy to put back all the important things, put away stuff you don't need, and toss gum wrappers and receipts.

  • As a former Sunday school teacher, I apologize on behalf of all teachers for the amount of adorable, difficult to store art projects that come home with your little ones. You really CAN keep all their priceless art without filling your garage! Just photograph 3D projects and scan artwork into your computer. You can put hundreds of projects onto one little CD. Then you can watch it all on a slideshow on your TV!

  • Open your mail over the recycling bin as soon as you get it. I’ve seen clients with bags full of unopened mail. It takes only a minute to do it now! Also, call each of the catalogs you receive and get off their mailing list.

  • Books:

Unread books: Does that book look exciting enough that you’ll ever get around to reading it? Be honest with yourself.

Was it a mediocre book? Sell it to Half Price Books (they give you very little $, and the trick is to make it out without buying even more books, haha) or donate it to Goodwill or the library (get a donation receipt for tax records)

Would you recommend it to a friend? Give it to a friend.

Would you read it again? Really? Honestly? Then keep it.

  • Magazines:

My biggest clutter challenge. I get a lot of design and construction trade mags so it’s hard for me to part with all those good ideas. This is overkill for most people, but what I do is: as I read it, I tear out and recycle all the pages I’ll never refer to again and write notes on the useful pages with a fine Sharpie so I know what was interesting about it. This way the ideas are already bound, and I can look at my mags and see which ones are full of ideas and which ones end up pretty skinny, and cancel subscriptions to the less useful ones. Ideally, someday I’ll file the articles in an accordion file according to topic. One of these days…

  • Clothes:

Turn around all your hangers and stick a note in your closet with the date you flipped them all. As you wear things, turn the hanger around the right way (if you take it out but don’t wear it, turn it backwards again). After six months, what is still backwards? Take it to Goodwill.

When cleaning out your closet, it's handy to have someone there who loves you enough to tell you if something isn't your color or isn't flattering. It will go much faster.

Donate formal dresses and shoes to Cinderella's Trunk.

Great links:




*Dani* said...

Another random post, but you'll like this:


Carly Fay said...

Ooh, her recipes look really good! I bookmarked it. :-)

ann said...

you seem like you have a great eye for design. I am currently dealing with my guest bathroom and how to decorate it. It is a smaller space so i thought a bold color would be best-? I was thinking red maybe? Do you know of any websites that offer some picture examples of remodeled bathrooms? Do you have any ideas as well?

Carly Fay said...

Are you thinking painting the entire room red or just an accent wall? Red is a color that must be done carefully in a small space, but can be really fun if done right. The most important thing to consider when choosing color is the "feel" you want the room to have. Color has a profound affect on your emotions. http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.
html If you're going for social and exciting, red is it. Try http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/gallery/bath Maybe check out the galleries at dominomag.com also. Also try searching google images for "red bathroom" to get brainstorm starters. (BTW, I'm planning on doing my guest bath entirely black and white, with "shocks" of red in hidden spots - inside the cabinets etc.) People typically do soothing colors in the bathroom, but who wants to be typical? ;-)

Carly Fay said...

Oh, and glasstile.com or bisazza tile have supersexy red mosiac mixes you might like. :-)

Ann said...

Okay, so I checked out the links you suggested. At thisoldhouse.com I found a bathroom that was a beautiful olive green, and now I'm thinking I want to do green. Green is a favorite color and our last condo was done in all shades of beautiful greens. So, with my little guest bathroom on the 1st floor I thought I would do something BOLD and I do love red, it is allover my kitchen. But I have yet to find a model bathroom I like that has red walls. I wanted to paint all the walls the same color. I was thinking about wallpaper....but a little scared!
I LOVE LOVE the tile websites you suggested too. How do you go about doing that in your own home? Do you have to have it installed or can you do it yourself?
thanks hun! :-)

Carly Fay said...

Hey Ann-
Wallpaper is easy to install but can be expensive and it's tough to find something classy. There are gorgeous stencils out now if you really look for them, much more stylish than what you usually see. You could do a large scale stencil to break up the red or do the stencil in red, if allover gets too dramatic. The mosaic tiles come on 12"x12" sheets that come with instructions and are simple to DIY if you're handy. I love the questions, it's waking up my design brain again!:-)