Justin Klosky, organization expert, turned his own dysfunctional obsessive-compulsive disorder into a functional and successful means to help himself and others. As part of our "Get Focused!" week, Justin shows us how to minimize and organize our clutter into organizational bliss. Check out the spaces Justin tackles!
Seasonal Wardrobe Switch
If you live with a closet that may not be big enough to house all of your clothing then doing a seasonal closet switch might be familiar to you. As summer is approaching it's time to break out the shorter, sexier pieces of clothing removing some of the bulkier pieces taking up space in your closet. The simplest way to do this is to remove everything that you know should be in hibernation. You can keep a handful of lighter sweaters for those chilly nights, but for the most part remove the bulk of your winter items and store them in air tight, sealed containers. I like these containers because you can still see your clothing in case you need to grab something in storage. For items like comforters, pillows and heavier blankets utilize space bags. We don't suggest them for nicer garments as the tightness can sometimes ruin the clothing. ALWAYS, make a master list of what will be going into these containers and store your clothes with their friends. All like items stick together. If you need less think containers that can slip under your bed they make those as well. If you can stay away from storing anything under your bed. Using canvas bins for harder to reach areas of your closet is always good for belts, scarves and sweaters to prevent a mess from occurring while picking items out. These items can stay put year round and will just need basic maintenance through the year to maintain organization.
Seasonal Wardrobe Switch Tip: During the seasonal switch go through your wardrobe and let go of items that have been worn out, have stains or holes in them or just don't fit you anymore, period. If you have a hard time doing this bring in a trusted friend who you don't mind being honest with you. Donate clothes that still have life in them.
Reduce Paper, Utilize Technology
If you have more than one filing drawer in your home and/or small business this applies to you! It is time to get rid yourself of papers in your entire life. If you don't already have one, buy a scanner, an external hard drive and a paper shredder. It will be worth every penny. Simply start scanning ANYTHING that you truly think you will need to reference again and shred the originals. Create a simple folder structure on your computer like you would a filing cabinet and utilize additional folders for each category you will be scanning documents for. Common folders will be: Business, Children, Health, Home, Insurance, Money/Taxes, Receipts and Resumes. Lastly setup your external hard drive to back up your computer anytime a file has been altered and added. This will also prevent you from losing your data.
Reduce Paper/Utilize Technology Tip: Only scan what you truly need in your life and shred the rest. This will eliminate paper pile ups and will allow you to live in a paperless world as effectively as possible. Keep all hard copies of certified documents.
Don't Let Your Garage Become a Dumping Ground
Most people use their garage as a large storage space with no thought of organization. Think of your garage as a home away from home. Like your home you want to know where everything is and make use of the things in it. The primary use of your garage should be for your automobiles. If you have the luxury of using your garage for other things as well make sure that you utilize the empty wall space first. Invest in custom cabinets or industrial shelving where you can store seasonal items such as Halloween or Christmas decorations. For you Christmas lovers look into the ornament storage container! Always make sure that whatever you are putting into your garage is safe from moisture and rodents. Always store items in airtight bins to prevent damage. If you have an excessive amount of tools you can use peg boards like these. These peg boards keep tools organized and out of the reach of little children. Make sure paint and hazardous items are locked away from children. O.C.D. approved accessories are lockers for children's toys which will allow you to teach them where their items belong and will also keep things neat. If you are storing food or cans in your garage make sure the food isn't near the chemicals as food and chemicals don't mix.
Garage Organization Tip: The garage can end up as a dumping ground if strict organizational discipline isn't implemented. Make sure that if you are putting anything in your garage, it has a place, it is easily accessible and you never have to wonder what is hiding in your garage.
Kitchen Flow...Yo Yo Yo
Like a good song, there needs to be flow and rhythm, which can also be applied to the way you organize your kitchen. When organizing your kitchen think of it in terms of efficiency first then organization. Dishes should be stored in cabinets near the dish washer while pots and pans should be close to the stove. The more efficient your kitchen is setup the more effective you will be when cooking in it. Like the garage the kitchen can become very overwhelming if you don't grab hold of it, so we gravitate towards organizational products that you can see through which will make things look and feel cleaner. Items like canisters are great for organizing and storing cereals, pastas and snack foods. You should also take the time to label these canisters with food names and expiration dates which will make the first glance your last glance. For smaller items that can get out of control we suggest investing into stackable bins to eliminate the tea boxes and the possibility of tea bags ending up everywhere. They come in all sizes. It also brings clarity into your kitchen when you can see everything you are looking for.
Kitchen Flow Tip: The most important tip when organizing your kitchen is flow. The more you can flow in your kitchen the more fun you will have in it and the more love you will be able to bring to your food. The most used items should be a few steps or arm's length away.