Snow has finally arrived!

And for most of us, this can be a clean and organized home’s worst enemy. Slushy snow gets tracked over hardwood floors and carpets, while boots, jackets, and all kinds of snow paraphernalia pile up next to the front door. Having a dedicated (and organized!) mudroom space can be simpler than you think, and can save you from the messy headaches winter can bring to the indoors. Having an open storage space, whether this be in a designated mudroom or the entryway to your home, is crucial for wet winter jackets. Air circulation helps them dry faster and the open concept look makes everyone’s coats and snowpants easier to spot. This type of space can easily be achieved with plenty of hooks. For the more ambitious, cubbies are a great option too and can be found at most furniture stores. Make sure to stock up on baskets and bins. These look great on shelves or can easily be stacked or slid underneath a bench. Grouping similar items together makes finding what you need later simpler and quick! Stop the snow before it makes its way inside! Keep a rough mat outside your door and a tray for wet boots inside to help catch melting snow and stop it from spreading. As always, remember to declutter! Do you really need that winter jacket you haven’t worn in three years? How about those ratty and torn gloves? Donate what you can and throw away the rest, and you will be shocked at the amount of free space you have for the items you actually use. Kid-friendly tip: Make kids excited to...

Ready to tackle that next big project?

More often than not, what keeps us from starting big projects isn’t that we just can’t do it—it’s that they are so intimidating! Follow these steps to get your morale up and keep “avoidance mode” at bay. That next big project will be done before you know it, and you’ll feel great, too! Mark a date on the calendar! Maybe a day when the kids are at school, or if weekdays are too hectic, choose a Saturday morning to get started. Getting started is the hardest part, but if you make room in your schedule any project will feel less daunting. Before you touch anything or make any decisions, just spend 5 to 10 minutes looking at the situation. Familiarizing yourself with what is there and envisioning how you want the space to look when you are done can help desensitize you to an overwhelming situation. Take some pictures of the project before your start—you’ll want them later! Start with a 15 minute de-cluttering spree. Set a timer and grab two boxes or bags: one for trash, and the other for donations. Look for items you no longer use or need. You know better than anyone what’s just taking up space and what needs to stay! Working in 15 minute cycles helps compartmentalize the process. Commit to spending 15 minutes a day on this de-cluttering phase until you are done. Focus on small areas at a time to keep from feeling overwhelmed or pressured. Once the de-cluttering is done and you have successfully sorted into piles of trash and donations, create a task list. Write down a check-list of...

8 Steps to Switching Your Wardrobe For Winter!

The seasons are changing here in New England and it’s time to switch out your clothes and home goods. It’s a labor-intensive process that many people don’t like, but some preparation can make this process smoother. Step 1: Before you dash off to any store to buy containers, first take the opportunity to sort through your clothes and eliminate any that are torn, stained, stretched, out of style, etc. Make sure to empty all of your pockets of coins or other items left. Step 2: Launder or dry clean clothing before you pack it away, even if you have only worn it once. Step 3: Sort clothes by fabric type. Protein-types like wool, silks, and leathers should be packed together in breathable containers to prevent drying out or cracking. Plant-type fabrics such as linen, cotton, and rayon should be packed separately. Step 4: Choose the right storage solution for you. For breathable storage, think canvas or mesh. For airtight storage, I prefer the Sterilite 66qt bin with the white lid. Target always has them and I like their sizes. You can also use “Spacebags,” they are similar to large ziploc bags that you vacuum air out it minimize space. If you choose to, place the compressed bags into the bins, this will help keep any moisture out. I like the bins as they are stackable. Step 5: Invest in some sort of moth repellent. Cedar is a good choice. Just remember to give the pieces a light sanding between seasons to reactivate the oil in the wood. Step 6: Keep everything labeled in case you need to access it during the...

Quick Tips to Home & Office Organization!

We all do it, we check our email over and over again throughout the day. Resist the urge to continually check email or voicemail. Instead, set specific times – perhaps once in the morning, once after lunch, and once before you end the day – to do this. You can set the sender’s expectation in your signature line, saying “I check email 3 times daily. I’ll respond to your request as soon I am able.” Find what works for you and your schedule. Find your desk covered in stacks of paper, sticky notes, and coffee mugs? Reduce waste at the office. Try to generate less paper by printing less and saving more to electronic storage, such as to your computer or a flash drive. Think before you hit “print” and you’ll have less paper to deal with on your desk. Do you end each day stressed about your next days activities, jobs, or things to do? Plan for tomorrow at the end of the day. Take 15 minutes at the end of every day to create tomorrow’s to-do list. This habit of planning will give you the gift of focus, allowing you to get a jump-start the next morning. In a sense, you’re creating a map for the following day! I hope these tips help you make it through your day organized and successful!...

October is Computer Learning Month

Here are some computer and office tips to keep you learning and organized this month! Computers make our lives oh-so-much easier, but they can be a gateway to identity theft, so: 1) install a computer security system and update it often. 2) Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders, and 3) make your passwords hard to guess combinations of letter and numbers/symbols. Resist the urge to continually check email or voice-mail. Instead, set specific times – perhaps once in the morning, once after lunch, and once before you end the day – to do this. You can set the sender’s expectation in your signature line, saying “I check email 3 times daily. I’ll respond to your request as soon I am able.” Reduce waste at the office. Try to generate less paper by printing less and saving more to electronic storage, such as to your computer or a flash drive. Think before you hit “print” and you’ll have less paper to deal with on your desk. Plan for tomorrow at the end of the day. Take 15 minutes at the end of every day to create tomorrow’s to-do list. This habit of planning will give you the gift of focus, allowing you to get a jump-start the next morning. In a sense, you are creating a map for the following day. Also check out this wonderful article “What a Messy Desk Says About You” For some time, psychologists and other researchers have been studying how personality traits affect health and health-related choices. Not surprisingly, they have found that people blessed with innate conscientiousness, meaning that they are organized and...

Prep for Fall

Survive yard work this fall with some organization! The leaves in New England are starting to change color. Before we know it leaves will be falling and the weather will turn a little colder – the autumn season is upon us – which means it’s time again to clean up the yard for winter. A few simple taskes to do during autumn can ensure a great-looking yard come spring. Most yards require as much attention in the fall as they do in the spring. To make the process faster and easier, rake a couple times a week. Leaves can pile up pretty quickly with the fall wind. Round up leaves in a lawn bag with a great product like the Rubbermaid Roughneck® BagBone™, can help make these tasks like raking leaves little easier by holding open paper lawn bags as you are filling them. The durable frame flexes to fit securely inside paper lawn bags during clean up. Removes easily when you are done. Rubbermaid has the right tools to help you clean up your yard and garage this fall! Don’t forget to give everything in your yard a trim. Tidy hedges and but back perennials if you live in a mild climate. For colder areas, leave dead stems in place to protect the plant. Prune trees and bushes to neaten and direct tree or shrub growth for the spring. Clean and stow yard furniture. Choose a dry and sunny day to do this. Clean pillow and seat-cushion covers, wipe down chairs and wash metal furniture. Let everything dry thoroughly before putting away in the garage or in your outdoor storage...