Monday, May 23, 2011

My First "Job"!

I’ve always said that my dream job would be a professional organizer. But, since I can’t exactly quit my day job now, I am going to enjoy doing any projects that come my way. Recently, my friend Aimee emailed asking if I would be interested in working in her sewing studio. She runs an in-home business, The Sassy Closet, which specializes in hand-made monogrammed gifts and clothing for kids. 

The Sassy Closet opened about 18 months ago and has only gained speed each and every day. All this sewing plus 2 kids has left Aimee with very little time to organize her studio so… enter me. We put our heads together and spent 1 day working in the studio to find ways to make her job more productive.

Here are some “before” photos. You can tell some serious sewing goes on in this room…

Luckily, Aimee had a walk in closet in the room that was being used for other household items. She relocated those items and dedicated the closet as her inventory room. This freed up a ton of space in the room allowing more room to work. We hung up the loose fabric pieces and stacked the fabric bolts on one closet shelf. We stored seasonal items on the top shelf, gingham items on another shelf and added a hanging organizer for small baby items (bibs, blankets, etc.) Aimee added a wire cube organizer unit on the floor to separate t-shirts by size. Market totes and beach bags were stacked neatly on the floor. We also hung a step stool on the door for easy access to the out of reach items. BTW, does anyone else get as excited as I do about an organized closet? LOVE IT!

Aimee repurposed an existing furniture piece and moved it close to the door to use as a mailing and packaging station. All boxes, bags and mailing materials are stored inside so when items are ready to ship, they are moved to this station. I love how she added fabric to the back to make the piece really “pop”.

Above the sewing stations, we added pegboard to house thread, scissors and hoops. (Thankfully Aimee knows what all of this stuff is because I am clueless and quite intimated by these machines!) The pegboard and hooks totaled $10…a great and inexpensive way to organize!

Aimee already had a large map hanging above her desk. I suggested she start adding push pins to every place that she ships an order to watch her business grow. She liked and implemented the idea and will get to see her growth every day. What great motivation!

After getting rid of a ton of scrap fabric (I’m very proud of Aimee for this!), we housed all small pieces of fabric in these 2 colorful bins under the cutting/work table.

Finally, we purchased a cubby cabinet from Target with colorful bins to house supplies such as stabilizer, zippers, buttons, etc. Aimee used some of her favorite fabrics to cover the back, adding small pops of color to the area. This was my favorite piece! We separated supplies and stored them in bins and boxes. All loose ribbon was stored in one of the small green bins with holes. Each different type of ribbon was pushed through the holes so she can just pull out the color she wants without having to dig through a ton of ribbon!

Aimee added the finishing touches like fresh paint (LOVE the color!) and a new desk lamp to really make this a welcome and inviting sewing studio. And, check out the wall art…a totally inexpensive yet creative way to decorate. Since she spends so much time in that room, why not make it a happy, colorful organized haven?

Check out The Sassy Closet for more photos and Aimee's comments on the makeover. While you're there, check out all of the adorable items offered from The Sassy Closet! Trust me, Aimee's work is wonderful...I can't wait to put my new market tote to use on my next organizing adventure.

I could not have been more satisfied with this project.But, now I’m running wild with ideas for other areas. So, if you have a space you need help with, email me …I’d love to help!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Commanding Cap Clutter

Does anyone else have a "cap" problem? By cap problem, I mean a husband with too many caps and no place to put them? I love the Hubs dearly, but his organization style and mine are not the same. I've battled this cap problem for several years. I've bought more cap organizers than I care to count but nothing has worked so I had to create my own solution.

Since we enter the house through the laundry room, that's usually where caps end up....mostly looking like this....

And this....

The first organizer I bought was an over the door hook like system. You had to pull each hook out and attach each cap to it. That took way too much time and effort for the Hubs so I went to the next option. Organizer #2 had clear pockets and I thought would be an easy way for him to stick each cap in its own pocket....not so much...

The pockets were so small that in order to make the cap fit, it had to be folded to fit in. And, when you get one cap in, usually the cap below fell out....FAIL!

So, after researching other organizers for way too long, I decided to come up with my own solution...but what would that be? Enter the Command Hook! One of my favorite products on the market right now (and Command did not pay me to say that!) I think I have found a use for Command hooks in every room of the house.

After sweet talking Hubs into going through his collection and weeding out the caps he doesn't really wear, I then bought enough Command hooks to hold each cap. I placed them on the back of the laundry room door and Voila...perfect cap storage!

Hubs can now see his whole collection, pick the perfect cap for the day and then EASILY put it back in its spot when he comes home! There's even an extra space to add to the collection. After that, it's "one in-one out". He's not quite as giddy as I am about cap organization, but he does oblige my OCD and keep his caps in their neat little home. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Baby Steps: Under the Kitchen Sink

I think the biggest misconception about organization is that it takes too much money and too much time. But, actually, there are many simple "baby" steps that you can do in mere minutes to organize your spaces. As mentioned in my first post, I have many to-do projects on my list. I think the long, cold winter affected my motivation, and there are a lot of areas that have "slipped" as far as organization goes in this house. I'm on a mission (watch out!) to reclaim all of these areas and bring them back to their simplified state. I tackled one space that has been getting on my nerves tonight...under the kitchen sink. And, I did it in 15 minutes! Here's the story:

While slaving over the oven cooking my husband a delicious dinner....

(Ok, I know what you're thinking, and I'll address this strength is organizing....NOT cooking!)

I decided to organize the area under the kitchen sink. This area is certainly not exciting and is a little hard to work around with the pipes and disposal unit. We use this area to house the trash can, a few kitchen cleaners, cat food and a fire extinguisher (insert cooking jokes about me here). Below are some before photos:

I began by taking everything out of the cabinet and wiping down the shelf liner. I weeded through the contents, removed the items that didn't belong and added a few containers to organize what was going back into the cabinet.

I put the cat treats and canned food in a basket and placed it behind their daily food container since we only access these items for their "special treats" once or twice per week.

Geez...anyone need some Temptations? I think Santa Paws went a little overboard in the cats' stockings...we have enough to last all year!

We use an airtight container with a flip lid which is a great option for housing pet food. It keeps the food fresh and is a great size for indoor use!

I put the cleaning bottles in the top bin of 2 stacking bins and added smaller cleaners and scrubbers to the bottom bin.

After 15 minutes and buying absolutely nothing to organize (I used containers I already had around the house) the cabinet looks like this:

I now have a smile on my face for completing an item on my to-do list, and the pizza is ready to eat! What a great way to start the week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Closet + Office = Cloffice?

Since I don't have a whole room to dedicate to a home office, I decided to turn the closet in my husband's "Man Room" into an office. Since the space is small, I have to stay on top of mail and paperwork to keep it as clutter-free and streamlined as possible. I don't have "before" pictures of the closet (I'm still getting the hang of this!) but I am happy to share the outcome!

Luckily, I was able to stock up on storage boxes on a recent trip to Ikea (the organizational Mother Ship).

I wanted wall pockets for incoming mail and bills, but the run-of-the-mill clear acrylic pockets looked a little too much like they belonged in a doctor’s office (eek!). So, to dress them up a bit, I covered them with adhesive ribbon and a present embellishment from Hallmark. I also added the black ribbon to hang them on the hooks that I had already installed in the closet.

So, there you have it…my little organized oasis right in the middle of the “Man Room”. 

And, I couldn't resist sharing a photo of my cute personal assistant. :)

I'm Blogging?!?!?!

Where do I begin? I have a passion for organizing things. I get pure joy in cleaning out closets, cabinets, drawers and anything else where "stuff" accumulates. Some girls like to buy shoes...I like to buy baskets, totes and anything else to "containerize" neatly. I like knowing where everything is located at all times. I think time is too precious to waste it by looking for things that are lost.

So, why blog?

I'm by no means perfect. There are plenty of areas in my house that need work. I intend to use this blog to document those projects and share simple ways of organizing everyday things. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. Simple, quick changes around the house can make huge differences! Maybe I'll even issue some challenges along the way so we can organize together....success in numbers, right?

Since my to-do list seems to be getting pretty long, looks like I need to stop typing and start organizing so I have things to share! I look forward to seeing where this "hobby" goes.

Thanks for stopping by!