Category Archives: Declutter

A Lot To Unpack

A Lot To Unpack

We’ve had a busy start to 2021 – working with several new clients, some repeat clients (always a favorite), and in particular doing a lot of unpacking and organizing as part of client moves! Many people are often surprised that we offer this service so we thought it would be fun to highlight the offering in this month’s newsletter. 

Our moving services can start at multiple points in the moving process. Some clients ask that we help them do a pre-edit and organize before they move to ensure they are only bringing what they really want and need. Others hire us to completely pack them, using our organization expertise in the process so that the process is very streamlined. 

And finally, our most popular offering, is at the *new home* where we completely unpack and organize our clients in their new space. In doing this we are immediately setting them up for success by creating the best systems from the start, and eliminating a significant amount of stress along the way! We can either unpack our client’s full house, or just certain areas. Popular spaces tend to be the kitchen, bathrooms, and master closet. As part of this offering we also source the necessary organizing products before move-in day so that when we arrive we are fully ready to go. 

Whether you have a move on the horizon or know someone who does, can you think of a better housewarming treat (for yourself or a friend) than an unpacked and organized house? Spring tends to be a very busy season for us so don’t hesitate to reach out if you know you’d like to get on our calendar now for a move coming up.

Below are before and after photos from some unpacking projects we have completed.

 

   

 

 

Get Organized!

Get Organized!

 

Based on the emails and calls we are getting, we know that many of you are feeling inspired to edit and organize after binge watching the show on Netflix – Get Organized with The Home Edit. This is the perfect time to go on a bit of an organizing spree. The season of STUFF is fast approaching – candy, hostess gifts, presents, etc. With that in mind, we wanted to share some thoughts on editing items in your house. This will help you create space for new items instead of just adding to what may already be weighing you down.

Here are a few approaches you can take to pare down and create space:

Fresh Eyes – Walk around your home with fresh eyes. Maybe even pretend you are a friend or relative coming to stay for a visit for the first time. Look for items that have been stashed in a corner or the back of a closet, or piles of paper that have accumulated in main zones of the home. Are there items that have simply become invisible to you because they’ve been tossed there for so long? Chances are they can go!

Holding Zone – When dealing with kids’ items like toys, or clothing that you are on the fence about getting rid of, create a holding zone. Put all items you are unsure about in a box out of sight. If after a few weeks no one asks about those items, donate or toss them.

Be Realistic – As you consider items, be realistic about your life and what you really need. If you no longer work in a professional office, perhaps you can pare down your business attire extensively. If your kids are older but you still have a large sippy cup collection, you can quickly make space by tossing them. We often don’t take the time to evolve our stuff as our phases of life move on. Now is the time to start!

Past Due – If you have items that are broken, damaged, or otherwise “expired” use this as the time to get rid of them. We all have good intentions to repair things but rarely actually do. We give you permission to give yourself a pass and get rid of those items that have stayed past their welcome.

When we work with our clients we never force them to get rid of anything they don’t want to. But we will facilitate the decision points to help them choose what stays, becomes a donation, or hits the trash bin. If you’d like to get you home edited and organized before the holidays hit – give us a call!

Organizing Claire Guentz

Organizing Claire Guentz

We recently had the pleasure of helping a local Raleigh blogger and influencer organize her closet and pantry following a move. Claire Guentz and her husband were moving into a new home with some fabulous features including a gorgeous closet and a walk-in pantry. They wanted to make the most of these new spaces in their beautiful new home. Our team spent a day with Claire and completely organized her closet, pantry and kitchen.

With Claire’s closet we focused on some foundational steps in our organizing process. We started with a clean slate by removing everything from the closet. Then, we organized everything by type first – then color. We then placed items back in the closet using matching slimline hangers, a total game changer in creating that cohesive organized closet look. We also helped Claire fold and organize her extensive collection of athleisure (she is actually launching her own line soon!)

For Claire’s pantry we selected a mix of products from mDesign to fit her aesthetic preferences. After removing everything, we strategized the best layout and worked our magic to create a pantry that’s both highly functional, and beautiful. An important tip we shared with Claire is the importance of removing everything from its packaging.  Not only does it create a more streamlined look, it makes it easier to grab what you need and go. For more pantry tips, be sure to check out Claire’s post.

 

We often get asked – what’s it really like working with a professional organizer? Well, Claire did a great job of explaining that in her blog post about working with us. So check it out for a detailed explanation of the process plus some more beautiful after shots!  

 

 

 

15 Minute Refresh

15 Minute Refresh

We’ve made it to September! Usually a month of busy back to school activities, sports seasons starting, and general Fall fun. This year, not so much. I think it’s safe to say we are all collectively quite tired, worn down, and ready for some semblance of normalcy. Who knows when that will come, but as always we like to keep in mind that we are in control of our homes and how they make us feel.

Fully realizing your reserves might be low for a massive organizational overhaul (just call us for that!), we wanted to suggest a quick 15 minute home refresh exercise that you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed by your space and just need to do something about it!

Set a timer for 15 minutes and try one of the following tasks for an instant organizational improvement and mood boost:

-Do flat surfaces tend to attract piles in your house? Choose a pile and take action. Identify what is trash, items to act on, and items to be relocated.

-If there are items stored in piles on your stairs (hopelessly waiting for someone to take them to their rightful home), take them where they need to go. We promise, it won’t take long.

-Take a quick glance through your makeup bag. Did you know makeup expires? If you can’t remember the last time you used something, it’s probably time to let it go. Check out this list for helpful makeup expiration guidelines.

-If you have a junk drawer (we all have something like this), take some time to get rid of well, junk that’s accumulated in there! A junk drawer can turn into a joy drawer with some regular maintenance. Keep it filled with things you need easy access to.

-That’s it! Voila, instant refresh. The key is just setting aside a set amount of time and doing something 🙂 You may get in the habit of doing this a few times a week, or every Sunday night, and we promise it will have a positive impact!

Back to School + Giveaway

Back to School + Giveaway

 

 

There is nothing typical about back to school this year. For most of us this usually very exciting time is now filled with stress and unknowns. Here in North Carolina the majority of our school districts are starting the year virtually. With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share a few tips to get organized for virtual learning. There are so many things out of our control these days, but we always like to remember that we can do our best to prepare and be organized!

1.  Create a functional learning space – This is probably the single most important step to get ready for virtual learning. Identify a comfortable space in your home that is conducive to focus and won’t disrupt the flow of the rest of the household. Younger students may need to be stationed in a kitchen area for easy assistance, but older students will do best in a more private setting like a desk in an office or bonus room. Take a look around your house with fresh eyes and think about where best you can set your student up for success. Wherever you decide, make sure it is comfortable and has space for the necessary “classroom” items – laptop, notebook, etc.

2.  Supply stock up – While specific supply lists may come, there are some basics that make sense to stock up on regardless. These include white printer paper (and printer ink cartridges), ruled notebooks, fresh crayons and markers (depending on age), scissors, glue sticks and ruler.

3.  Clutter clearing = mind clearing – There is no doubt that virtual school can add to the stress of day to day life at home. If your chosen learning area is messy and cluttered, it won’t help matters. Take an hour and do a decluttering exercise in your learning space (and other areas of the home if you’re feeling ambitious!) Find homes for things that have piled up, donate things you no longer need, and generally try to create a clean slate for the start of the school year. We strongly adhere to the belief that a calm environment strongly correlates to a calm mind, and I think we could all use that these days.

4.  Busy activities for younger ones – If you have a young virtual learning that you will be assisting, and younger ones otherwise at home, come up with a few quick grab activities or toys to entertain them when you might need to step in to help. Scan the $1 section at Target and stock up on a few exciting surprises to bring out when you find yourself *literally* being pulled in two different directions. Likewise these secret prizes could be used to reward your virtual learner and keep them motivated when things get tricky 🙂

GIVEAWAY TIME!

To help you create the perfect virtual learning space, we are giving away a $100 gift card to The Container Store. Visit our Instagram page @reclaimprofessionalorganizing and click on our virtual learning organization giveaway post to see how to enter. The deadline is Sunday, August 16th at 8 pm (EDT). Good luck!

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