Home Organizing

How to Prep Your Home for a Remodel

Your designs are finalized, all the paperwork is signed, everything is ordered and arriving on time (fingers crossed), and you’ve got a start date with your contractor. Congratulations, you’ve got the first part of your remodeling project done! Home renovations are a major undertaking and can be quite disruptive to you and your family’s regular lives. With some thoughtful planning and preparations, you can minimize the chaos and the stress by prepping your home for the remodel. 

Before you do anything, don’t forget to take “Before” photos of the areas to be renovated. These will be a wonderful record of how your home looked before you did any work on it. 

1. Clean, Declutter, and Box Up.

Work in the areas that will be renovated, and begin by going through all the items in these spaces. You will need to take everything out, including items inside cabinets and drawers, on shelves, or on the counter. Unused and unneeded things can go right into a “donations” box—anything you won’t want or need after the remodel, get rid of it now. Broken, stained, or expired items should be tossed or recycled.

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Filing Cabinets Don’t Work for ADHD Minds: Help for Paper Pilers

October 19, 2020
by Lisa Woodruff
from ADDitude.mag

Did you think we would still be dealing with paper in 2020? Me neither. I was sure that the “future would be digital,” yet here I sit with stacks of paper around me and more paper in every room. If you’re wondering how to organize paperwork, start with this management system.

Paper is a Hard Habit to Break

Ours is a paper-based society.

Paper-dependence starts with birth certificates and Social Security cards. In short order, kids become paper producers. From precious handprint turkeys to report cards, they bring home so much paper that is heart-wrenching to discard. Some you keep as memorabilia; some you save for a while to remind you of an action item — like an upcoming field trip or project.

When I realized I would never be paperless, I changed my goal from eliminating all paper to having less of it.

Read the rest on ADDitude.mag.

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Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering

by Dan Brennan, MD
October 5, 2021
from WebMD.com

If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce stress, decluttering your environment may be a good place to start. Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind.

Benefits of Decluttering

Untidy environments often increase stress for most people. In one study, women who described their homes with positive language had a lower level of the stress hormone cortisol than women who described their homes as cluttered or unfinished. Still, the case for decluttering isn’t clear-cut. Another study found that, while orderly environments are more linked to healthy choices, disorderly environments promote creativity and fresh ideas. If you value creativity, you may want to allow yourself to be a little messy in certain areas of your life.For most people, decluttering can promote productivity and improvements in mental and physical health. Benefits of decluttering include:

Better focus. Clutter makes it difficult to find what you need. It may also distract you. Getting rid of visual clutter can help you focus better on any task at hand. 

Higher self-esteem. When you have trouble staying organized, you may feel out of control. Improving your living space can restore feelings of competency and pride.

Read the rest at WebMD.

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A Week in the Life of a Simplify Experts Organizer

Simplify Experts professional organizers handle a wide variety of situations. Decluttering and organizing, downsizing or upsizing homes, packing and/or unpacking a move, estate sale preparation, garages and garden sheds, businesses and home offices—you name it, and we’ve probably done it! To give you more insight into what our organizers do in a typical week, here are excerpts from our CRM. These entries are input by the organizers themselves, and all client names have been redacted. Keep in mind that these are mostly 3-hour sessions! We hope you’ll find it enlightening.

“Such a great day with 2 of us! We rocked through the whole kitchen and got the countertops cleared and made homes for everything so [client] can do the dishes and put them away. We moved the coffee station next to the fridge alongside the blender. Teas/coffees/accessories went in the drawers. Then all appliances went in the next drawer….We were such an efficient team that the kitchen took about 2.5 hours so for the last 25 minutes or so, I convinced [client] to let us at least get the recycling out of the garage so that there was more room. She consented to letting me do a recycling run….we helped break down boxes and I loaded my car with as many as I could fit.”

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How to Pare Down Your Books

Books are seriously one of the hardest things to part with! Even if you’ve only ever read it once, having your books within reach keeps you tied to the thoughts and feelings they evoked, to the far-off, magical adventures they took you on, to the breathtaking or heart-wrenching stories they told. We hold onto books that were passed down from a loved one, or purchased at a tiny bookshop in Cairo, or read during a particularly good or bad time of our lives. We also hold onto books that were gifts, or from your college days, or have been on your “to read” list for a long time. The reality is that books also create clutter, take up a lot of space, are hard to move, and collect an amazing amount of dust. Paring down your books doesn’t mean getting rid of all of them—it just means you’ll keep some of them. Our guide will help you get going!

Where are all your books?
  • Are they all on a couple of bookshelves in the family room?
  • Or do you have books in many places—your nightstand, your home office, the guest room?
  • Do you have books in boxes that are stored in the garage, the basement, or a storage unit?
  • Write down all the places where your books are kept, so you can go down the list and check each area off as you declutter it.
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How to get organized at home when you have ADHD or mental health issues

by Amanda Long
from The Washington Post
October 31, 2021

The premise that one’s space reflects one’s mental health can be particularly defeating if you’re already in a bad place mentally or physically

After giving birth to her second child in February 2020, KC Davis keenly felt the relationship between the state of her home and the state of her mental health. At home with two kids under 2, battling postpartum depression and ADD, she found herself sitting on the floor surrounded by onesies, toddler clothes and pajama pants, unable to get the laundry finished, ever. “I was living out of a basket of clean laundry — just unable to fold it or put it away — so I decided not to,” said Davis, a licensed therapist in Houston.

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ADHD Strategies We Use With Clients

At Simplify Experts, we do more than just declutter and organize—we also specialize in supporting clients with ADHD. Our founder Denise Allan has specialist credentials in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD, as well as ten additional certificates of study through the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). She is also the only certified Chronic Disorganization Specialist (CPO-CD) in the Pacific Northwest. Our professional organizers are trained one-on-one by Denise with this ethos in mind. This is how we understand that whether you are taking care of a child diagnosed with ADHD or have ADHD yourself, you face extra challenges when it comes to home management and organization. It is not your fault. ADHD causes your mind to feel like it is jumping all over, making you overwhelmed, and disorganized—and your home becomes the same. Your brain chemistry is working against you and your coping mechanisms may not be enough.

When it comes to getting organized, you may feel stuck and don’t even know where to start. Adults with ADHD have many passions and great ideas. Common spaces such as kitchen, dining rooms, garage, and family rooms may have become cluttered by open projects. Visual overstimulation can occur and you never feel the satisfaction of completing a project. Common spaces lose their intended function. Uncompleted projects may cause financial strain and increase conflict with loved ones. We understand these unique challenges and we can help.

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The Best Under-Sink Organizers for Your Bathroom, Kitchen, or Laundry Room

That cabinet under your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen sink is a funky storage area, isn’t it? It’s spacious, but because of the sink, pipes and hoses, and possibly a garbage disposal, it may be a challenge to find a storage solution for. It’s either a cluttered pile of items, or bins and baskets that are hard to reach and find anything in. Plus all that vertical space going to waste! With these clever organizers, you can make much better use of this very underutilized space—click on the images to see in the shop.

Tiered organizers with slide-out baskets.

These come in various heights and widths, so every under-sink configuration will be different. The top two have included dividers to make grouping items and storing small things even easier.

     

   

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Don’t Buy These 10 Things In Bulk

We all love a bargain, and shopping at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club definitely cuts costs on groceries and household items. Diapers, pet food, paper products, detergent, vitamins—items such as these are certainly a way better deal at the big stores! But is everything a better deal at the warehouse stores? Not necessarily. Here are ten things you (generally) shouldn’t buy in bulk.

1.  Produce

Fruits and vegetables don’t last too long, whether it’s the kind you store in the fridge or the kitchen counter. Even if buying a large amount of produce seems like a good deal, throwing out spoiled items at the end of the week is wasteful and not cost-effective. Buy fresh produce according to how much you use within a few days. Of course, if you are making French onion soup, do buy that big bag of onions at Costco! A friend of mine makes smoothies each morning for herself and her family, so fresh bananas and berries bought in bulk definitely saves them money.

2.  Meat and Fish

Meat and fish at warehouse stores are not wrapped for freezer storage, and if kept too long can get freezer burn and tough to eat. And though the FoodSafety.gov says frozen meat kept at a temperature of 0° Fahrenheit or lower is “safe to eat indefinitely,” remember the difference between “safe to eat” and “good to eat.” While keeping some meat and fish in your freezer is handy for a quick meal, fresher is usually best.

3.  Cooking Oils

Assess how long it takes you to finish a gallon of cooking oil—do you really finish it by the expiration date? Even if you do, NutritionFacts.org‘s study shows found that many cooking oils begin to go rancid and oxidize long before that date. Unless you do a lot of frying, get your oil at the grocery store instead. This way your cooking oils will always be fresh, and you can have regular-sized bottles of a wider variety, such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil.

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It’s Dad’s Turn: Our Garage Power Day Promotion Is For You!

It’s been a challenging year, and that special dad in your life deserves something more than new grilling tongs or a gift card for Father’s Day. What dad wouldn’t love to have his garage or shed pared down and superbly organized? Imagine having your home and garden tools, sports equipment, camping gear, storage bins, miscellaneous boxes, and car supplies ergonomically and efficiently organized, categorized, and labeled—he can find anything in a snap! Could he actually start parking the car in the garage again? We can help make this a possibility.

We want to honor Dads with our Garage Power Day promotion: Two organizers for 4 hours—8 hours of total organizing—at a 20% discount. We’ve never done a promo like this before…and it won’t last long…so don’t delay!

When you buy 8 hours of Hands-On Professional Organizing
We will gift you 20% off

The value of this package is $720
Purchase today for only $575

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