New Year, Fresh Start

Happy New Year!

Congratulations to the winner of our annual One Room Organizing Giveaway contest:  Deanna Bannerman!!

A new year means a fresh start, and getting organized is the perfect foundation for that new beginning.  The big question is always how and where do I begin?  Create a purpose and a plan for 2016.

I like the idea of setting goals, especially those that are easy to accomplish!  A great idea for organizing in the new year includes choosing 3 projects per month.  A very small project, such as organizing your purse, a medium sized project such as organizing your paperwork (or maybe this is a large project for you?)  And lastly, choose one large project such as organizing your photos (my personal project, and I promise to share some ideas once I complete this!).  This way, you’re making progress each month without getting overwhelmed because tasks are broken down.  

The OAL team continues to help others create more organized and beautiful spaces with every job we tackle.  Our work is always evolving and re-designing spaces has become a huge part of what we do lately.  If you have stuff, especially too much stuff, we can help you edit, eliminate and redecorate using what you already own and love. We create spaces that look fabulous and function well.

Organized 2016-0445_Fotor

If you would like to learn more about how to make your home the best that it can be, then join me on January 30th for The Simply Organized Home.  Class is 9:00 AM-3:00PM and includes breakfast, lunch and materials.  Organizedatlast.biz/classes to register .

If paperwork is making your crazy then consider joining my Organizing Paperwork Permanently class (only 3 spots left).  This class is on Feb. 9, 7:00-9:00PM and includes dessert.  

Starting this February, join us on Facebook or Instagram as we post quick and simple ideas and tips.

Sprucing Up

We’ve recently been helping a client de-clutter, sort, and re-arrange belongings throughout her home. She and her husband have been amazing throughout the entire process and active participants. Here are a few fun before and after photos of the office/play area, closet and entry we did during one session. Next up…the garage!

Siobhansdesk2before

Quick sorting and containing in labeled bins made all the difference in this office space!

Siobhansdesk2after

Siobhansentryclosetbefore

We purged unused toys and used existing containers to contain the rest.

Siobhansentryclosetafter

Siobhansentrybefore

By finding proper homes for the bookshelf and sorting through what was around it, we were able to open up this gorgeous entry!

siobhansentryafter

E-Organization: Photos

colorful photo box

Instead of writing a full blog post this week, we decided to give you a sneak peek of an upcoming class that has everything to do with electronic organization!

Photo Organization Class

Dates Coming Soon!

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the amount of photos you have stashed in boxes and stuffed in drawers? How about  digital images stored on a hard drive, in files on your computer and even stuck on your devices? We can help! We will guide you step by step and provide you with many options on how to best preserve your memories. We will also discuss how to manage your ever growing digital image collection and turn them into priceless photo books organized by the year, event, holidays or person. The ideas are endless and so is the opportunity for wonderful gifts. We are offering a spring class for those who want to take advantage of organizing and creating throughout the year to make meaningful slideshows, photo books and many other beautiful gifts personalized with your own family/friend life experiences and events in time for Christmas!

For this class, we are so excited to be teaming up with local photographer – Diana Critchlow! Diana is a dear friend and owns a business called Memories in Motion.

“In 1999, I saw my first picture slide show put to music and was so inspired by it I set out to figure out how to do this with my own photos. This passion along with my desire to organize my families “memory clutter” became a mission of mine. It wasn’t long before I was asked to create a slideshow for my first client and Memories In Motion was born. As you can imagine, my business, through our ever changing technology has evolved and I want to share what I have learned with you. I never get tired of seeing others “memory clutter” become a personal gift of memories to cherish. I often think about how many households have boxes of old photos and slides as well as film reels and negatives that haven’t seen the light of day for years, sometimes even decades. I believe those dusty neglected boxes hold many treasured memories that can be enjoyed by many with just a little direction, commitment and desire. That’s where this class comes in!”

Spread the word – more information will be posted to our Classes page soon!

E-Organization: CD’s & DVD’s

Guest Blogger: Becca Newboles works for Julie as an assistant and organizer. Check out her profile here.

If you’re like me, you love music and movies. I’ve been looking for a way to store them without it looking cluttered and taking up valuable space in my home. I also wanted the ability to quickly skim through and find the right artist or genre. And in so many homes, I see DVD cases strewn about after children or family members are done watching them. After doing some research, here is what we came up with. We are so happy with the results!

CD/DVD Binders

1. Count Your CDs or DVDs. Donate any that you or your kids rarely watch. This will decide how many binders you purchase – my binders hold on average of 80-90 CDs or DVDs.

2. Purchase Sturdy Binders. If you have kids, buy something that will survive every day wear and tear. These binders are from Russell and Hazel. At $25 a piece, they are a bit pricey, but so worth it. They are reinforced, have a thick rubber band for secure closure, and come in many colors.

DVD BinderRussell and Hazel Signature 3-Ring Binder

3. Purchase CD/DVD Inserts. Out of everything I found, these Walmart ones are the best and only $10/pack! They hold 8 CDs/DVDs per page.

DVDOrganizers DVDBinderOpen

4. Categorize Your CDs or DVDs. If you have a large quantity set aside time to do this. I spent a few hours one afternoon to complete this entire project. I bought four binders to hold all of my DVDs and labeled them accordingly:

  • Romance/Comedy
  • Action/Adventure
  • Kids/Classics
  • TV Shows

5. Insert and Label. Once you have your categories, start putting them into their coordinating binders. I also alphabetized them in each binder. Don’t forget to label!

DVD Binders

6. Discard Cases. I had two large boxes full of empty DVD cases when I was finished. Check with your local recycling company to see if they will take them or your local library!

Success! Now everything is contained and labeled. I eliminated an entire piece of furniture in my home with this process.

We would love to hear how you store your DVDs and CDs!

E-Organization: Apps!

E-Organization

This month we will be talking all about e-organizing! Are you looking for some technical tools to help you eliminate clutter in your life and help manage your routine? Here are four organizing apps that may make your life a little easier.

Evernote

One of our favorites, Evernote does almost everything. With its simple to use platform, you can save entire webpages to your Evernote account with the web clipper browser extensions. You get the whole page: text, images and links.  You can save everything you see online and in the real world. Snap a photo, record some audio and save it. With Evernote, all of your notes, checklists, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use. This app also collaborates with Post-It notes for those of you who still love to hand-write your lists!

Evernote is available for free. 

 Artkive 

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork/art your kids bring home from school? Artkive is a great tool for that! Don’t feel guilty about throwing it away – just take a picture first and archive with this app. You can even  use the Artkive shop to create printed gifts.

 Artkive is available for iOS and Android for free. Alternative: Art My Kid Made which is compatible with Evernote  – iOS (free).

Ziplist

If you’ve thought about going the digital route with your grocery list, now is the time! With Ziplist you can add items by store and even sort them by the appropriate aisle. Keep separate shopping lists within the app for the grocery store, hardware/home store, holidays, and vacations!

Ziplist is available for iOS and Android (free). Alternatives: Our Groceries – iOS, Android (free), Buy Me A Pie – iOS, Android (free), Out Of Milk – iOS, Android (free), Grocery IQ – iOS, Android (free)

iCalendar

This is a great calendar to share amongst your family via iCloud. That way, everyone can both see what the other person is up to. It is also a great idea to set it up as a perpetual calendar – reoccurring events that fall on the same date (or close to it) every year and then send yourself a reminder.

Alternatives: Google Calendar – Android (free).

Here are some others we’ve heard great things about:

Keyring
Keyring is a free app that stores all your store loyalty cards so you don’t have to fumble through your purse. You also get access to thousands of coupons and weekly deals.

Cozi
Cozi is a free app and website that helps you manage the chaos of family life with a shared calendar, shopping lists, to do lists and more.

What are your favorite apps?

 

Toss That Paperwork!

Organizing Paperwork

It’s tax season again! As of January 16th, you could start filing. Now is a great time to sort through your files and weed out the unnecessary paperwork. At a loss as to where to begin? Start by getting a few bins and labeling them Shred, Recycle and Trash.

Then weed out the following:

  • Junk Mail – flyers, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, credit card applications, etc.
  • Expired Coupons
  • Old Greeting Cards
  • Old Grocery Receipts
  • Old Invitations
  • Expired Warranties and Service Contracts
  • Manuals – These can be found online!
  • Articles or Recipes  You Haven’t Used
  • Old Business Cards

Now toss these documents:

  • Taxes – 7 years and older
  • Checkbooks – Non tax related 1 Year and older
  • Pay Stubs – Toss all except cumulative statement after taxes are filed each year
  • Monthly Bills – Toss after each paid month

Don’t let paperwork get the best of you. As I’ve said before, take it one small section at a time each day until you’ve reached your goal.

“It’s the plugging away that will win you the day.” – Robert W. Service

Do you still feel anxious and overwhelmed? Then consider taking one of our classes! We offer room by room tips and ideas for organizing your home and simplifying your paperwork! Register today!