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Get Organized Month! 5 Tips to Help you get Organized this year!

Hello and Happy New Year from Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo! My name is Kelly Sabella.  I am an Interior Design and also the President of Rooms that Rock 4 Chemo.  Since 2013, I have worked on 7 projects with RTR4C.  Each project we strive to create beautiful, clean and tranquil spaces that promote healing, this is the foundation of Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo.  With the New Year upon us, we thought we could apply this same ideology in our home.  A beautiful, clean and tranquil environment starts with a well-organized space.  January is National Get Organized Month and we have some fun, quick and easy suggestions to make your home the well-organized haven you’ve always wanted it to be!  Every Tuesday, for the month of January, we will go room by room, starting in the heart of the home, the Kitchen/Pantry.  We’ll then move to the Living Room/Office, Bathroom, Bedroom/Closet and finally the Kids Room.  

#TuesdaysTip

This is an extra special Tuesday Tip because Rooms That Rock for Chemo will be working with Shriners Hospital for Children. We are excited to ROCK a space for kids in need.  We look forward to using some of our Tuesday Tips at Shriners to make the space more beautiful, calming and promote happiness and healing.    As a new Mommy, I have recently become obsessed with kids storage.  There are so many fun activities for our babies but it can easily become overwhelming with all the “stuff”.  Having your items well organized will make it easy to clean up after them and eventually teach them how to clean up after themselves.  The less time cleaning means more time playing!

Cube Storage

Cube storage creates a great opportunity to make cleaning and organizing fun.  Getting fun, colorful or themed cubes with different shapes and animals on it will not only promote learning but also makes it easy to find items.  Having all of your puzzles in the snake cube or your legos in the dragon cube makes it just as easy to find as it does to clean.  Fun baskets like these can be stored on the floor, but are best suited for a cube bookshelf.  Mix and match your bookshelf to have both cube storage and books or larger toys. Themed cubes are also great for laundry, i.e. dirty clothes go in the zebra hamper, clean clothes to be put away go in the fox hamper.  

3 Sprouts Fabric Cube Storage Bin - Dragon from Target

3 Sprouts Canvas Extra Large Round Storage Bin - Raccoon from Target

6-Cube Organizer Shelf 13" - Threshold™ from Target

The Caddy

The caddy is great to grow with your kids.  It is a great “diaper world”, evolving into an arts & craft caddy, a lego or doll caddy and then a little homework station.  Having a piece of furniture that can grow with your kids is great not only for saving money, but it also keeps the activities in the same place.  This caddy on wheels allows for activities to move from room to room but keeps all of the supplies in the same place.

IKEA Storage Table

Utility Cart at IKEA

Hanging Storage

Hanging items is a great way to keep things off of the floor while also utilizing some storage real estate that often goes unnoticed.  Hanging items behind the door or in the closet uses the full height of your space and allows for so much more storage.  Storage we typically use for shoes are great to hold puzzles or art supplies, garden items can be used for toys and stuffed animals.  Just because a storage solution is created for a conventional use does not mean you have to use it that way.  Having clear items helps with finding things and is usually easy to wipe down.  Another way to easily identify one's items is to have a name on it.  Kids love to see their name, picture, or initials on things.  Making a little hanging area for backpacks, lunch boxes and shoes that are identified by name make it easy for kids to find their stuff and also enjoyable to update with pictures or even recent artwork!

I Think I Canvas Organizer from The Land of Nod

Closetware Over-the-Door 24-Pocket Shoe Organizer from Bed Bath & Beyond

Solstice Novelty Wall Planter from Wayfair

White Metal Hook from Pottery Barn Kids

Chalk Paint

Chalkboard Paint allows you to make anything a chalkboard!  Painting dressers or armoires not only turns your piece of furniture into a fun piece of art, but also allows for always changing drawers to be renamed. If you properly label each drawer, it will also help with putting clothes away.  Leave extra chalk for your kids to draw and play without the worry of ruining furniture.

30 oz. Flat Black Chalkboard Paint from Home Depot

Lego Land

So often, parents struggle with losing, stepping on, or picking up Legos! Having a designated table for legos, or other similar toys, is a great way to keep them (for the most part) in one place.  Lego tables with storage are a great solution and allow a work space to be creative.  If you want to Lego on the go, a portable activity mat is great for easy on-the-go play time and pick up!

LAY-N-GO LARGE (60")

Toys R Us Building Block Table with Chairs

Tot Tutors Kids 2-in-1 Plastic LEGO-Compatible Activity Table and 2 Chairs Set

A cluttered bedroom creates a cluttered mind, and a cluttered mind never sleeps.  Keeping your bedroom clear will promote better sleeping habits while also making your morning and nightly routine easier.  Keeping loose items off of the floor and your ledges clear, helps you create a peaceful clean environment.  If every item has a designated home, it is easier to clean up after yourself.  Keeping your drawers organized is also important for quick and easy accessibility. Closets come in many different shapes and sizes, but one thing that all closets have in common is if you can’t see it, you won’t wear it!  An organized closet starts with categorizing your items.  First, separate you hanging clothes from your folding clothes; your undergarments, jeans and gym clothes can be folded into drawers but dresses and blouses should be hung.  The items that should be hung can then be separated into long sleeves and short sleeves, or short dresses and maxi dresses.

Drawer Separators

One drawer can house many different items.  Your gym drawer can include pants, shorts, tank tops, short sleeve, sports bras, etc.  Having them thrown all in one drawer can get messy.  Having drawer separators will organize your items so you can clearly see exactly what you have.

Divider for Drawer, White from Ikea

Stacker Drawer Organizers from The Container Store

Under The Bed Storage

Under your bed is the perfect place to put shoes, extra blankets or items that you don’t use very often. It can also be a great storage place to larger items.  Having labeled or clear storage containers will help keeps things dust free and easy to find.  Something with handles also makes it easy to grab while under the bed.

Umbra Grey Under Bed Artisan Crunch Storage Bag from The Container Store

16-Compartment Tweed 16-Pair Under Bed Shoe Organizer from The Container Store

Accessories

Items like scarves, belts and ties do not require a lot of space yet need to be well displayed for use.  Having thin or motorized racks takes up less space in your closet without but still make is easy to find whatever item you are looking for.  Hanging storage can also be used for jewelry such as necklaces, earrings or watches.  These lay flat in your closet, instead of a bulky jewelry box taking up space on your countertops.

5 Bar Accessory Roll from The Container Store

Lighted Motorized Tie Rack from The Container Store

80-Pocket Canvas Hanging Jewelry Organizer from the Container Store

Standing Mirror

If you need a full-length mirror, find one that is multi-functional.  A mirror with a small rack behind is great for outfit or accessory planning.  You can lay out what you are going to wear the next day or for an event coming up that weekend.  This way you don’t have to worry about going through your closet last minute to find something to wear.  If we can’t find something to wear fast, there can be a tendency to go out and buy something new.  This not only leads to overspending but also to bringing more items into your closet that you may not actually need!

The Kitchen.  Where family and friends gather to share meals, laughter and memories.  Who wants to spend time cleaning and looking for items deep in the back of your pantry?!  The key to a successful kitchen is to be able to see all items.  Pots and pans get lost in the back of your drawers.  Cans of soup go expired while hiding in the depths of your pantry.  If you “lift up” your items in your kitchen, you will be able to clearly see everything.  Using these simple items, you can take advantage of all the cabinet and drawer real estate you never knew you had!  

Drawer Separators 

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, so custom drawer organizers are great. This can be used for small and large utensils or kitchen gadgets. 

Drawer Separators from The Container Store

Steps 

Never let another can of soup expire!  “Lift Up” you cans so you can see everything you have.  Using these steps, you are able to see the cans in the back of your cabinets. You are taking advantage of both the depth and height of your cabinet space, while also making it easily accessible.

Cabinet Steps from The Container Store

Lazy Suzan 

Items so frequently get lost or forgotten in the corners of your cabinets. Lazy Suzans utilize those corners by allowing you the stack items and turn for easy accessibility. This is perfect of spices!

Lazy Susan from The Container Store

Pan Separators 

Again, using the idea of “lifting up” your items. This pan separator not going is great for storage, but this also preserves your teflon plan.  Stacking pans on top of each other degrade the teflon which not only ruins your pans, but is also not very healthy to eat off of.

Pan Separators from Amazon

Tension Rod Tricks

Tension Rods are a fast way to separate a space for cutting boards or to lift spray bottles off the floor, creating more room under your sink.

Tension Rods from Home Depot

Chalkboard Labels

Chalkboard Label and Mason Jars make for a beautiful, clean pantry. Chalkboard labels are great because they are reusable for whatever is in the jar at the time!

Chalkboard Labels from The Container Store  Mason Jars from Ikea

The Living Room and Office are multi-functional rooms.  We catch up on our TV shows, hang out with friends, our kids do homework, we pay household bills, people are constantly coming in and out.  All the more reason to have this space seamlessly organized while allowing room for the hustle of everyday life.  Although we would all love our homes to look straight out of a magazine, very few of those homes can handle the traffic of a “real life” family.  To satisfy some of your Pottery Barn catalog envy, here are some tips to make your Living Room and Office a beautiful, functional, and welcoming space:

The Perfect Book Shelf

A well organized bookshelf starts with prioritizing your items. It does not have to include only books, it can also include boxes, pictures, and even sculptural pieces. The key is to to keep the visually heaviest items on the bottom and go lighter as you work your way up. This draws the eye up, creating the illusion of more space.  If you decide to include more than just books, it is also a great idea to stagger your items from side to side to create visual interest for the eye. Decorative labeled boxes are great to keep loose photos, CDs, or paperwork easily accessible yet contained.  

FJÄLLA Box with Lid from Ikea (Off-White)

KVARNVIK Box with Lid from Idea (Gray)

Bronze Rustic Wire Magazine Holder - Threshold™ from Target

The Central Hub

Busy households require schedules, to-do and/or grocery lists, kids artwork, mail, bills and so much more.  With a busy family and so many moving parts, one's house starts to feel like Grand Central Station!  Having a “central hub” for all daily happenings makes it easy for everyone to know what is going on.  Although there are many different ways to display the central hub, I find the most effective is with different surfaces such as cork, chalk and magnetic boards.  Some items are best displayed with magnets, other with pins, and some hand written.  This area is a constant working area, with lots of moving parts.  Having a central hub will make what would usually be chaotic much simpler. If it is condensed into one area, everyone will always know where to look.

Build your own - Daily system components - Espresso Stain from Pottery Barn

Hidden Storage

Using items such as benches or ottomans with built in storage is an excellent way to practice functional organization.  Keeping extra blankets, games, coasters, toys or even files in a bench or ottoman keeps your room clear of all the extra “stuff” while making it easy to find when it's time.

Tufted Storage Ottoman with Nailheads Espresso - Threshold™ from Target

Real Simple® 3-Cube Split-Top Bench Storage Unit in White from Bed Bath & Beyond

Mobile File Ottomans from grandinroad

Take a bath or shower, brush and floss your teeth, put on your makeup, etc. The Bathroom is a huge part of our morning and nightly routine. Not only does it need to be clean, but it needs to have order for all of the different purposes it serves. A clean and organized bathroom is important to help streamline your routines. It also helps to have a relaxing environment when you find time for a nice bubble bath!

Counter Top

It is always best to keep your countertops clear of clutter.  At the same time, items you use daily should be easily accessible.  In this case, items like cotton balls or Q Tips can be used as a decorative item.  Using Apothecary Jars is a great way to display your everyday items.  This also goes for large “loose” items such as face wash or body lotion.  Storing your bath supplies on a decorative tray or a basket will keep your items in once place, leaving your counter tops clean and clear and will add a decorative touch to your space.

Apothecary Jars at Restoration Hardware

Drawers

Bathroom items such as make-up and medication are too small to simply be thrown into a drawer because they will get lost.  Having clear, stackable drawer storage helps keep your multiple layers of supplies easy to see and use.  When you can see exactly what you have, you will be less likely to over spend or repeat items and thus, have less clutter.

Under the Sink

Under the sink is an unappreciated space where large bathroom and cleaning supplies can live.  Many stray away from this area because the sink plumbing seems to get in the way of practical storage...wrong!  Expandable storage is a great way to customize your under the sink storage.  Another great option are basic desk storage drawers, lazy susans or even magazine files to fit in between the small space between the pipes.

Expandable Under Sink Organizer

Bath Carts and Display Cases

If you don't have built in storage like drawers or cabinets in your bathroom, a bath cart or display case is a great way to have all of your bath essentials in one place. Not only will this organize your bathroom, but finding a cart to go with your design aesthetic will also add an extra element to beautify your bathroom.  Be open to not only using bath carts, some bar carts will work too!  The key is to make sure they have wipeable surfaces for easy cleaning. Having a display case can also be used in conjunction with the jars and trays above.  Dressing up your display case is functional and stylish.

Various Roll Carts at Wolrd Market

Stay Tuned for Next Week’s Tuesday’s Tip!

 

 

Written by Kelly Sabella.

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