Category Archives: Declutter

Manage Your Mail

Manage Your Mail

 

Even in our largely digital world, mail remains a fact of life.  And without a consistent plan for how to deal with it, mail can be a major source of clutter in the home.  Even worse, important items can get lost or deadlines missed.  Here are three easy tips for creating a mail zone that will keep things flowing smoothing.

1) Choose a mail zone space and location that is convenient for your family.  Think of a place where the whole family will walk by on a daily basis – maybe that’s right when you walk in from your garage or other entry, or perhaps in the kitchen somewhere out of the way from spaces used for cooking.

2) Determine what mail categories suit your family, it might be one folder per family member or one for bills, one for things to act on immediately, and one for things to act on that are not urgent.

3) Create a sorting system and label it based on your mail categories.  Desktop file sorters are great for keeping things contained but accessible.  But stay away from inboxes or flat trays – they just invite piles and clutter.

Bonus Tip – Don’t even bring junk mail inside!  Immediately after you retrieve your mail, do a quick sort and dump any junk mail, unwanted catalogs, etc. right into your exterior trash cans.

 

Going Virtual

Going Virtual

 

Home is where the heart is.  Right now, it’s also where everyone is – and will be for the foreseeable future.  If your first week of social distancing has you noticing some areas around your house that are adding to your stress levels, we can help.  Reclaim has added a Virtual DIY Organizing package to help you during this unprecedented time.

With our Virtual DIY Organizing package we start with a questionnaire where you will provide us with details (pictures, measurements, key issues, etc.) on the space(s) you would like to organize.  From there we will provide a detailed action plan that will include a complete list of recommended products with links to purchase, and instructions for product placement.  We can even ship custom handwritten or vinyl labels to your doorstep for a personalized finishing touch.

Here are some common areas that we can easily tackle virtually:

Pantry – You’ve stocked up, now what?  Is your pantry jammed with food but you have no clue what’s actually in there?  Let’s create a plan to best utilize your space and allow you to easily see your options.

Playroom – Playrooms need to work overtime right now.  Is yours a disaster zone by 10am, but kids are complaining they have nothing to play with?  It’s counterintuitive but kids tend to play deeper when there are less options and more open space.  We can help you get control of your playroom and put a system in place for storage, toy rotation, labeling, and more.

Home Office – Working from home can be a challenge.  Even more so if your workspace is cluttered and messy.  Some simple steps can make a big impact on creating a peaceful work environment – we’ll walk you through them.

Bathrooms – It’s more important now than ever that all of our medicines are up to date.  Take control of your bathroom and medicine cabinets by tossing anything expired and let’s create a new system that works for you.

Master Bedroom & Closets – It’s about that time to switch closets over to warm weather clothes.  Instead of shoving and stuffing things wherever you can find space, let’s look at your closet space with fresh eyes, edit your items, and give everything a proper home with space to breathe.

We know this time of uncertainty is leaving people feeling scared, stressed, and confused.  We have so little control of what is happening outside our homes right now.  But, we can control what goes on inside.  We are here to help you (from afar!) as much as you need right now.

Benefits of Decluttering For a Move (Even if You’re Not Moving!)

Benefits of Decluttering For a Move (Even if You’re Not Moving!)

Clutter weighs us down in our normal daily lives.  It can contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety, and steal time from us as well (oh so many minutes looking for something that should be easy to find…scotch tape! scissors! stamps!)  Daily life aside, the impact of a cluttered home gets even more serious when you are trying to sell your house – because it can have financial repercussions too.

One of our favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, offers some great tips for clearing clutter ahead of a move in this article, but Rubin also challenges readers to consider using these approaches even if they aren’t moving.  We couldn’t agree more.

A messy, cluttered home may give potential buyers a red flag – they may wonder how well maintained the home is given it’s so disorganized, and also give them reason to offer a lower price than you are asking.  If you aren’t preparing to sell, think about how your cluttered home makes you feel, and how it affects your family. Are people always looking for things you could have sworn you just bought? Do you dread going into certain rooms because of all the stuff you’ve shoved in there?  Are certain closets classified as “open at your own risk”? 

On the flip side, a decluttered home is open and inviting; crisp, styled spaces can help buyers, or your own family, see a home with clear eyes and feel calm.  In an organized home, it’s easy to imagine the exciting possibilities.   

Decluttering to prepare for a move (real or hypothetical) is a core service we offer at Reclaim.  If you are moving, we can declutter and pack as we go. If you aren’t moving, you might feel like you’re coming home to a new house after we’ve worked our magic.  

 

 

Habits of the Highly Organized

Habits of the Highly Organized

We’ve found that the key to actually achieving a goal or resolution is to create habits that support the change.  With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to poll our team of highly trained organizers and learn a habit they practice that helps keep them organized.

Allison – Start small. Break a large project into smaller tasks. This allows you to see the progress you have made and makes the project not seem as overwhelming.

Mary – Every night before going to bed spend 10-15 minutes tidying up and making sure everything is put away where it belongs. It makes the mornings a lot less stressful and overwhelming.

Vivian – Invest in products. It’s easy to use what you’ve got or repurpose something that isn’t the best fit but will do for now. You will never have complete satisfaction until you have the perfect product. The more visibly appealing a product is while still being functional, the more likely you will be to utilize it. Go ahead and buy that beautiful jewelry organizer you’ve been eyeing. It will be worth it.

Shelley – Decant, decant, decant! Removing bulky packaging saves space as well as improves appearance.

Olani – When you come home, put everything (purse, jacket, shoes, groceries, dog leashes, etc.) away before you settle in or move on to your next task.

Bonus Tip – Eliminate unnecessary paper clutter by not even bringing mail into your house unless another family member needs to see it, or action needs to be taken (bill to pay, RSVP to send, etc.) – if it’s junk mail or otherwise useless it will inevitably end up in a pile.  Head right to your trash can outside instead!

Try implementing one or a few of these ideas and you will be well on your way to organizational bliss.  (But – if you still need a jumpstart, we’re always a phone call away!)

Organizing Holiday Decorations

Organizing Holiday Decorations

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. Decorating for the holidays shouldn’t be a burden. With a little organization, the upcoming holidays will bring you joy instead of stress.

Our Top Three Tips for Organizing Holiday Decorations

 

Store items in clear bins. While it may be tempting to purchase bins coordinating with each holiday (black and orange for Halloween, green and red for Christmas) we have found that clear bins are much more versatile because you can easily see what is in each bin and you’re not locked into a certain number of bins as your decorating needs change. Instead of color coding bins, we use large, festive, custom-laminated labels. When deciding what to put into each bin, we recommend storing items by room and taking photos of each room decorated. It will make it much easier to decorate year after year.

Declutter before the holidays. Decorating can seem like a daunting task when you’re opening bins crammed with various things. As you’re taking out your decorations, discard any items that are broken and no longer usable. Donate items that are still functional, but you no longer use anymore.

Store away items not frequently used. There is no need to store holiday entertaining pieces (Thanksgiving platters, Santa dishes, etc.) in your kitchen when they are only used once a year. Storing these items with holiday decorations will free up precious space in your kitchen and you’ll be more likely to use them because you’ll see them when you unpack for the holidays.

Whether you are in need of an entire holiday decoration overhaul or just need some bins and custom labels, we are here to help with any of your organizing needs!

Our Favorite Holiday Decoration Organizing Products
Tackle Toy Clutter

Tackle Toy Clutter

As the kids prepare their wish lists for Santa, now is the perfect time to declutter toys. This is not only to make room for new ones, but it’s also a great opportunity to show your children how they can help those less fortunate by donating toys they no longer use. Here is our four-step process for tackling playroom clutter:

1)  Sort. Gather all of the toys in the playroom and sort by item. Put like items together and trash anything that is broken or missing pieces. Now that you can see everything, it will be easier to see what you have and make decisions as to what stays and what goes. This is also the perfect time to remove all items that don’t belong in the playroom. Create a box of items that are to be stored other places.

2)  Declutter. Go through each category and select toys your children no longer play with. Place toys you are not keeping in designated boxes to donate and/or sell.

3) Contain. Now that you know what you are keeping, it’s time to contain items. Cubbies with baskets or bins are the perfect solution. They allow toys to be organized by type, easy for kids to access what they want without making your playroom look cluttered.

4) Label. The final step is to label all of the bins. This way your children will easily be able to identify what goes where. For little ones who can’t read yet, we love picture labels.

Check out this before & after of a playroom we recently decluttered and organized for a client!