How to Make Your Own Pom Pom Garland Tutorial

If you’re looking to add a little whimsy to a room, a pom pom garland can do the trick. For my version, I went a little primitive and boho with varying pom pom colors and sizes.

What I love about this tutorial?

It’s easy to make it your own.

How to Make Your Own Pom Pom Garland Tutorial

This tutorial is easy to put together, especially if you already know how to make cute pom poms. You can use up scrap yarn and turn it into something wonderful.

Time Required: 10-30 minutes

Cost: Free or Minimal

Tools:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Pen or Marker

Materials:

  • White String
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Pom Poms or Yarn
  • 3M hooks

Instructions

If you haven’t already made some, start by making your own pom poms. Then, you are ready to make this garland.

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Step 1: Measure Your Yarn

Determine how long you want to make your garland and the space between your pom poms. For this one, I made it 15 feet long with about 3 inches between pom poms. Cut to length and make marks where you want your pom poms.

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Step 2: Glue Your Poms

Glue Your Pom Poms into place with a single dot. You’ll need to separate each strand slightly. Repeat until you finish.

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My Tip: I decided to make a variety of sizes and do them from large to small going out from the center.

Step 3: Hang and Enjoy

Using a 3M hook, hang your pom pom garland on the wall.

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Show Me Your Garlands

I like light-weight wall hangings that work with 3M hooks. As a renter, you want to avoid putting too many holes in the wall. A pom pom garland is perfect!

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I’d like to see any garlands you have made. Please post in the comments or tag me on Instagram @verderamade.

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How to Hack an IVAR (IKEA Hack Tutorial)

If you need slim storage, you can turn an IKEA IVAR into a narrow cabinet with a few simple steps. All you need is the cabinet, furniture legs and some paint. At $70 a cabinet, this is an easy and cost-effective solution to your home organization.

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I put two cabinets side-by-side to make a living room landing space. My husband and I each get our own cabinet. I store art supplies and work files in mine. My husband stores electronics and work files in his.

The best IVAR IKEA hacks transform the cabinet into furniture while capitalizing on the low price of the original piece.

How to Hack an IVAR from Ikea

Hacking an IVAR easily transforms this kitchen cabinet into a unique piece of furniture. You don’t need much to get started.

Time: 1 hr 30 minutes

Cost: $70 – $300

Tools:

  • Screw Driver
  • Paint Brush
  • Hex Key from kit

Materials

  • Screws
  • IKEA IVAR Kit
  • Furniture Legs
  • Paint, Furniture Wax or Polyurethane

Instructions

The best thing about this project? The variations are limitless. All you have to do is purchase unique furniture legs and finish to make the IVAR work in your space.

Step 1: Purchase your IVAR and Assemble

Follow the instructions provided with the kit. The cabinet should be assembled as specified by Ikea.

Step 2: Add Legs

Add your selected furniture legs using the instructions from the leg kit. Most include a metal piece that must be screwed into the bottom of the IVAR cabinet. Then, you can screw the leg into the metal piece.

Step 3: Finish and Style

Paint, wax or polyurethane according to your taste. Mine are currently the raw pine with no refinishing. However there are several cool transformations that you can fine online.

Best IVAR Hacks

I’ve created a board with the best IVAR hacks. Most of these follow a similar design, adding legs to the narrow model. Repin your favorites for inspiration.

 

Show Me Your Inspo!

I’d love to see the IVAR projects that you love most. An IVAR hack is such a great project for any home. Send me links to pins or projects in the comments!

 

How to Make a Felt Star Mobile (Tutorial)

If you are only going to make one project for your baby’s room, this is it!

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Baby’s Eye View of the Mobile

When I thought about decorating my son’s nursery, my DIY spirit tempted me to take on a long list of projects. Realizing that I should focus on simplicity over quantity, I opted to commit to a single project.

What project inspired me most?

I liked the idea of my baby peacefully enjoying a unique mobile that created just for him.

I selected this project after some disappointing shopping. I didn’t see a single mobile that I liked. To begin, I wanted something with a nice look both from the side (for me) and beneath (for baby). Also, I wanted soft colors (for my clean aesthetic) but something eye-catching (for the baby). I wanted it to feel organic but, I needed it to be motorized.

The resulting project was my solution.

How to Make a Felt Star Mobile

Time Required: 45 Minutes

Cost: $30

Tools

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Pencil

Materials

  • Mobile Hanger (model pictured)
  • Mobile Motor (model pictured)
  • White paper or thin cardboard
  • White string
  • Royal Blue Felt (2 sheets)
  • Dark Grey Felt (2 sheets)
  • Light Grey Felt (2 sheets)

Instructions

Making a felt star mobile requires a trip to the craft store and a little online shopping.

Step 1: Cut Out Stars

I traced and cut out stars on white copy paper. However, you could buy pre-cut stencils for any shape.

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Step 2: Cut Felt Stars

I cut out the stars from the selected felt colors. You’ll need 2 sides for each shape. So, I cut the following:

  • 20 small light grey stars
  • 20 medium dark grey stars
  • 10 large blue stars

Make sure you keep the fabric scraps in a pile to use as stuffing later.

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Step 3: Create the Blue Stars

These stars hang at the bottom of each strand. Using your scissors, poke a hole in the middle of 5 stars. Then, thread the white string through. Stuff each star using fabric scraps and seal it with hot glue. In the end, you should have 5 strings with a big blue star at the bottom.

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Step 4: Add the Grey Stars

Add the grey stars one at a time. They can be spaced about 2 inches apart. You can measure them evenly or vary them for an organic look.

Keep each star in place on the string with a dot of hot glue. Then, glue both sides together around the edges.

Repeat this until you’ve added all the stars for each strand.

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Step 5: Assemble the Mobile

In the end, you should have 5 strands with 5 stars on each. Hang these from your mobile kit by tying a knot on each end. You can hang them evenly or vary the heights.

I chose to vary the lengths for a more whimsical an organic look.

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I attached the mobile to the ceiling using a 3M hook. The small motor plays music and spins the motor. This light-weight mobile spins with the breeze or when the motor is on.

Let’s See Yours

In the end, I created an simple felt star mobile that my baby loves. You can see how this concept can be changed for different colors and shapes. It’s light-weight and whimsical to perfectly match the feel of the room.

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My Calm, Minimalist Nursery

I’d love to see how you decorated your child’s room. Leave a link to your favorite projects in the comments.

How to Deal With Sentimental Clutter

LovecraftProjecting emotions onto objects is an odd quirk of being human. Items themselves can evoke memories from their shape, feel and smell. Some are special and good. Some are unpleasant or weak. Separating meaningful items (even if they aren’t useful) into keep and toss piles can be a stressful and energy sucking process.

In fact, sentimental clutter is usually listed as a separate category of organization. It’s so hard to decide what stays and what goes.

The experts say…

  • Christine Kell: “I put my prom dress on one last time, took a picture, and shared it on Facebook,” says Kell. “People laughed and commented, and that made it easier to get rid of the dress — because it’s really all about your relationships and sharing the memory.” (Source)
  • Marie Kondo: “Hold each item in your hands, as close to your heart as possible,” she says. “And then, pay close attention to how your body responds. When something sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill running through your body, as if your body is somehow slowly rising up to meet the item, embracing it even.” (Source)
  • Joanna Gaines: While going through her kids’ baby clothes, she kept her favorites and tucked them each in a container with a note, “in case they are sentimental like their mama,” she writes on Insta Stories. (Source)

How to Deal with Sentimental Clutter

My process for sentimental clutter is a little different. I go through a process that allows me to identify the emotions and determine what space the objects have in my life. Below are the steps I take to assess each item.

Separate Emotional Items

First, I pull together the clutter that I consider to be keepsakes. These are objects that really don’t have much function and don’t fit as part of my daily life. I put them in laundry baskets. Seeing them together often causes me to reconsider the sheer amount of sentimental items I really need to keep.

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My mother saved this cabinet for me from our childhood home. I updated it with some wood oil and paint to make it a special place in my son’s bedroom.

Pack Away and Take a Test

Next, I pack these items away. I leave them somewhere safe but, where I can’t see them. I put a reminder in my calendar to go back a couple of months later and review the baskets.

When the time comes, I try to make a list of what I packed away without looking. Usually, I can only recall a handful of special things that I set aside. This is a very telling part of the process. It shows what items really matter because they take up some space in my memory.

At this point, I can usually remove some of the items because I have realized they really don’t matter much to me.

Write Down Your Feelings

With the remaining items, I create a list. Next to each, I write little notes about the emotions they give me. Sometimes, the feelings can be complicated or negative. Often the emotions are not ones I want to relive. This helps me get rid of things that don’t make me feel joy.

Display and Enjoy

With anything that is left, I make a plan on how I will display them. Sometimes that means framing things, cleaning them or altering them in some way. Regardless, this means less of those items are actually clutter.

They are now a meaningful part of my home decor with the chance to bring me joy each day.

Tell Me Your Thoughts!

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I’d love to hear about the special items that you choose to keep and display. Do you have something special handed down from a friend or family member? Do you have mementos from special events? Let me know about your favorite pieces and how they came into your life.

Why I Decided to Organize My Life

I consider myself a “Type A” creative person. Some people may call that a contradiction. It kind of is. Basically, I have an artistic side that I express through writing and art. But, I also prefer to work in a meticulous and organized manner.

You won’t find me in a studio filled with piles of inspirational clutter.

“It’s human nature to take the easy route and leap at storage methods that promise quick and convenient ways to remove visible clutter. Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved. But sooner or later, all the storage units are full, and the room once again overflows with things.” – Marie Kondo

Since my first apartment, I became determined to organize my life. Below are the key motivations behind my process.

Why I Decided to Organize My Life

Have you ever stayed in a hotel room for business travel? It’s amazing. With such a neat and maintenance-free space, it’s easy to focus on being productive. You can sit on the bed, hunch at the little desk or put your feet up on the coffee table at the undersized couch. Nothing rests on any surface except the materials you need for your project.

That’s the feeling I wanted to develop in my own home. I wanted a place that allowed me to focus and that meant I needed to get organized.

I desired to be more creative.

I feel very blocked when I am surrounded by mess. Instead of letting my thoughts flow through me, I find myself making lists of things I need to tidy or clean. However, when I am in a tidy space, I can’t help but touch my tools and supplies more thoughtfully. It makes me feel free to create.

I wanted more time.

Disorganization actually sucks up my time. I find myself hunting for things because I don’t know where I put them. Then, that creates stress. And when I finally find the item, I’m annoyed that I had to search for it. Keeping things organized gives me some of my precious time back.

I craved less stress.

Overall, I feel less stressed in an organized home. I’m a Type A list-maker. I need a certain amount of control over my surroundings to feel at ease. Keeping things organized levels out my moods and allows me to enjoy everything I do.

All of this motivated me to organize my life. Now, I spend less time lost in emotions and stressful thoughts. Instead, I get to be more creative and enjoy that process.

What Do You Think?

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I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you consider yourself organized? Or do you have a beautifully chaotic process? Tell me more about your process in the comments below.

How I Was Able to Organize My House

When I moved into my first apartment, it was a disaster. I had just graduated from college. I had clothes, boxes from my childhood bedroom and one piece of furniture – a desk. The place looked how you would expect. Stuff was everywhere.

Even as I started to acquire normal furniture like a bed, sofa and kitchen table, the place still looked crazy.

“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of live are not only not indispensable but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I hadn’t lived there very long when my boyfriend sent someone over (unannounced) to pick up something from my place. He didn’t live with me and wasn’t aware that I was spending my weekend tearing things apart, cleaning and trying to deal with my piles of stuff. When my surprise guests arrived, I was so embarrassed!

Even from the front door, you could tell the place was a mess. At that moment, I realized that I wanted a very clean and organized home – one that would be easy to maintain.

How I Was Able to Organize My House

cacd6080636dbd9dd72cf0d276ecd622As someone who works, and always seems to have a side hustle, I don’t want to spend much time maintaining my space. Sure, I have to clean like everyone else. But, I don’t want to move piles around to find things or clean underneath.

So, I developed a system to organize my house and keep it looking good in any situation.

1. Focused Mindset

As I started unpacking my stuff, I realized that I had a lot going. There were craft supplies, art supplies, sewing supplies, old textbooks, clothes, sports equipment, board games, cooking tools and piles of books.

As I considered my situation, I noticed that my possessions weren’t reflective of how I spent my time. I didn’t do massive sewing projects ever. I never looked at my college textbooks. I really preferred to cook simple meals without lots of tools or appliances.

So, I culled my belongings to match how I actually prefer to spend my time. By only keeping the stuff in reach that I actually use daily, my space became more focused.

2. Smarter Storage

For the stuff I rarely used, I developed a pattern for smarter storage. For example, I always have a bin for donations or yard sales. As I pack things away, I find there are items that I’m not sure I want to keep. So, I place those in a “maybe” box along with the items I’m sure that I want to store. This keeps me from endlessly packing and unpacking items that I really don’t want to keep.

3. Manageable Lists

As a list addict, I would fall into that common trap of long, complicated lists. They usually aren’t achievable and bring a feeling of constant defeat. Over time, I changed my mindset and simplified my list-making into a more manageable process. Some of it is similar to Bullet Journaling, where I focus on daily activities and a few long-term goals.

4. Reliable Routine

I must admit that I’ve become a more boring person for the sake of home organization. Meaning – I schedule time to keep things neat. It’s part of my daily, weekly and monthly routine. It starts with putting things back in their place every day. Weekly, I make sure I get rid of items that don’t belong in my home. This is often things that I must return to other people. Finally, I go through my storage monthly. I just do one “problem” space at a time like a cabinet or a shelf. It’s a chance to make sure I’m actually using the things I have put away. By keeping to this regular process, I keep things in check.

What Do You Think?

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I’d love to hear about your thoughts on home organization. Do you like to keep things organized? Or do you have a more organic way of managing your life? Tell me more about your thoughts in the comments.

Top 15 Home Organization Hacks

My first apartment was a disaster.  When I moved from college to that first space, I quickly realized that my stuff needed both a thorough decluttering and a system for organizing. From the kitchen utensils to the files on my desk, my stuff lay in unhelpful piles.

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin

My biggest problem? I didn’t have a system to organize my stuff. To begin, I was short on real furniture. So, I had to save up money to buy those basic pieces like a desk, bookshelf and dresser.

Then, I needed to make my stuff fit together in an organized system. With time, I found I preferred to organize slowly.

Top 25 Home Organization Hacks

Below are my little tips and tricks that keep my home organized. Each of these addresses a common problem area where clutter tends to build up. With these home organization hacks, you can tackle the most disorganized areas of your space.

1. Use Industrial Shelving for Long-Term Storage

Look for pieces that can be adjusted for both height and width. Then, as you move or shift storage, you can still use the pieces. I have two of these shelves from Lowes. I’ve used them in several different rentals with great success.

2. Try Magazine Bins for Files

I’ve tried filing bins with hanging folders but, found them frustrating. Mostly, I end up over-stuffing the files and struggling to keep categories. By switching to magazine files, I was able to simplify the storage and put them upright in a cabinet. The photo above shows how nice they look on open shelving too.

3. Store Cosmetics in Glasses and Goblets

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I don’t use a lot of makeup but, I do like to keep my favorite products handy. So, I display them openly in handed-down glasses. You can do the same using heirloom goblets or thrifted finds.

4. Nest Small Items in Sugar Bowls

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Sugar bowls are one of my favorite ways to store small items. They’re usually shades of white and cream with little dainty lids. You can collect them from family members, friends or vintage sources.

 

5. Stow Spices in Glass Bins

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If you don’t have a great space for a spice rack, consider storing them in a glass bin. It makes it easy to see inside when you place it in a cabinet. Also, it’s a practical way to pull together mismatched containers for easy access.

6. Label Boxes with Masking Tape

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I’ve tried different labeling systems but, have found that I prefer plain masking tape. Why? It’s easy to remove. Typically, I relabel boxes over time. So, I need something that will stay on for a long time but, remove easily at a later date. Masking tape does the trick.

7. Partition Drawers with Shoe boxes

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This is an old family trick but, worth sharing. While you can invest in actual drawer organizers, shoe boxes can double as dividers. They’re not as pretty but, they make our drawers more functional.

8. Put Crates in Your Car Trunk

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Do you have plastic milk crates leftover from your college dorm days? Try reusing them in your trunk. We use them to contain trunk clutter like jumper cables and the first aid kit. Also, we keep crates with seasonal items (like defrosting gear or sports equipment) and swap them out as needed.

9. Repurpose an Art Box

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Unfortunately, this vintage art box was damaged and can no longer be used to tote my supplies. So, I pulled out the internal divider and use it to organize my “vanity.” I don’t actually have a true vanity. It’s just a spot on top of my dresser. The art box corrals my clutter into neat little compartments.

10. Attach Surge Protectors to Furniture

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Source: http://mattandcourtneyswebsite.com/customdesk.html

I learned this trick a long time ago and love it for desks and dressers. You can attach surge protectors to the back of furniture to corral chords. Everything looks so much neater with less cords.

11. Make a Bulletin Board Jewelry Holder

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Source: http://www.hiveandnest.com/2012/04/corkboard-jewelry-holder-tutorial.html

I’ve done several versions of this over the years and plan on making a new one for my latest bedroom. Display your jewelry easily using a bulletin board. It encourages you to wear items because you see them each morning.

12. Keep an Outbox by the Door

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I kept seeing this tip from several sources and it really does make a difference. Designate a spot in your home as an outbox. It will remind you to remove things from your home that don’t belong. It can be a bag for library books, items to return to friends, or donations for a charity. Whether you choose a bag or a box, this will help you focus on lightening your home of outgoing objects.

13. Keep Medicine in a Plastic Shoebox

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When you need medicine, you usually need it quick. I corralled all of mine in a clear plastic bin. It makes it easy to see what remedies are inside. Also, it’s quick to scoop up the whole box in case of an emergency.

With these home organization hacks, your space will feel more peaceful. If you tackle these clutter-prone areas slowly, you’ll find that your home improves over time.

Stay in Touch

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Do you have any home organization hacks that you want to share? I’d love to hear them. Let me know about them in the comments.

Also, please share or like this post if you found it helpful.

How to Be More Organized

“I always carry lots of stuff with me wherever I roam, always weighted down with books, with cassettes, with pens and paper, just in case I get the urge to sit down somewhere, and oh, I don’t know, read something or write my masterpiece.” -Elizabeth Wurtzel, author

The creative process and organization are closely aligned. While the word “organized” may make some people think of a grey, stifled office cubicle filled with dead-looking filing cabinets, you can be organized in such a way that promotes the creative process. The trick requires balancing the process with the end result. Essentially, you need to use organization as a tool to aid creativity without stifling your energy.

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If you’re wondering how to be more organized then, these easy tips can guide some big changes.

Types of Disorganization

Understanding the cause of your disorganization can help you avoid future challenges. According to Forbes magazine, several types of disorganization pervade our spaces.

  • Clutter
  • Personal Administration
  • Time Management
  • Never Reaching Goals

Which one of these sounds the most like you?

In general, clutter overwhelms most people. The sheer volume of stuff requires time and energy to maintain. That makes organization much harder. So, during this process, you’ll likely find yourself learning how to let things go.

How to Be More Organized

Organization start by setting up simple rules. These little mantras can guide you through the daily decisions. You’ll learn how to be more organized with time and that will aid your creative process.

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1. Give Up on Your Dreams

Cut out the “someday” projects and focus on the things that you can do now. This points your energy toward your real passions.

A certain kind of clutter comes from “someday” projects. You may have a list of hobbies you’d like to start. Or you bought supplies for a big idea. These dreams come with manuals, tools and supplies that fill up your space.

They often bog down your ability to actually get things done. Your to-do list becomes so long. It paralyzes you. You’ll find yourself avoiding organization because you have so many half-finished things on your mind.

Questions to Ask

  • When did I first decide to do this?
  • Why do I want to do this?
  • How do I feel when I think about doing this?
  • How much time have I already put in?
  • What would I lose if I quit?

Based on those answers, you might find that you’re not really interested anymore. If that’s the case, you should think about directing your energy toward something that aligns with your current passions.

So, give up on your “dreams.” If you really wanted to do them, you would have started by now. Get rid of the stuff related to the projects that you keep putting off.

And you can always come back to them if your find a passion again.

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2. Stay Ugly

Don’t wait until you have a perfect studio with a beautiful planner and impeccable shelving. Make a system that works now. Make it pretty later.

Most people hate the daily task list. It’s just not sexy. Bullet journals, cute planners and kitschy calendars can help motivate us. But sometimes, you just need an ugly, ugly list and a ugly, ugly space.

Ugly List

Write your tasks down somewhere you’ll really use them. Don’t let the process of making a perfect list keep you from making a list at all. Each list should have certain elements to keep you on track.

  • Project Name
  • Due Date
  • Category or Label

This simple notation can really help you get organized, especially over the long term.

Ugly Space

Most of us crave a beautifully organized office space.  But, that can keep you from actually getting things done. Instead of waiting to buy perfect office supplies, organization bins or furniture, you must get organized now.

Find ways to use the things you have or can afford right now, even if they aren’t super pretty. Your reward for keeping things organized will be to get nice storage later.

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3. Kick Your Butt

Set up your own simple rules. Gurus, books and bloggers can make things complicated. Make your own system and stick to it.

Motivational gurus propose a million different methods to stay productive. Instead of applying a pre-packaged philosophy, kick your own butt.

You’re reading this list for a reason. You want a change. So, make a list of rules that work for your life and stick to them. Some of mine are below.

  1. Do It Now: If it takes 5 minutes or less to complete, do it now. Sorting mail, taking out trash or filing papers all fall into this category.
  2. Ask First, Buy Second: Before buying anything, check to see if anyone is willing to loan or give you an item. The less things you have to organize, the more organized you’ll be.
  3. One at a Time: I only tackle one project at a time. That means supplies and tools don’t pile up in work spaces. Once a project is complete then, I can move on to the next thing.

By creating my own list of rules, it’s easier to hold myself accountable. They match the way I want to live and keep me in check.

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4. Procrastinate with Purpose

Organize the easy stuff first. Then, you can get a friend to help you sort out the most challenging organizational issues.

Do you try to eat the frog first? This philosophy works for many people because it encourages them to do the worst, hardest thing at the beginning of the day. However, for organization, it’s important to start small.

Otherwise, your entire organization process can be held up by an organization conundrum. If you identify a huge problem area, leave that for last. To tackle it, you may need to get some help. 

Organize These First

  • Files and Paper: If you don’t have one, get a file box and put hanging folders in it. Make very general categories and put your papers in there now. You can get more complex with subcategories and dates later.
  • Supplies: Group like items together and put them into some form of usable storage.
  • Tools: Gather all your tools by the type of project. Put each in a labelled bin.

Anything that is left is probably a little too complicated to easily box up. You can address those after the basic, easy things have a home.

To keep your  momentum, procrastinate with purpose. Take care of all the obvious organization issues. Throw away the trash. Label the file folders. Sort the tools and supplies. Leave the perplexing issues for later when you have the time and energy to solve the problem fully.

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5. Be Generous

Embrace the positive energy that comes from focusing on others. Give things away. Work on projects that help someone else.

Being organized and a giving spirit are actually aligned. Consider everything in terms of what you have to give.

This can be literal, such as passing along unused supplies. Or it can be figurative, making the most of your time in a way that allows to help others.

Focus on…

  • things that will move you forward. Disorganization can be a symptom that you are clinging to something from your past. You may be able to move on if you give away the things that hold you back.
  • the energy of your space. Your creative process is supported by good emotions. Think about what you can do to make the world better. Then, use that feeling to improve your process.
  • whatever brings you joy. Helping others feels good. Make room for this by freeing up your time and energy, starting with an organized space.

As you begin to declutter your home, make generosity a part of your mantra. You’ll find a new energy invades your space and motivates you to stay organized.

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6. Stop Using Your Brain

Write things down. It frees up your brain. Then, you can actually get things down without wasting time and energy.

This excellent lifehack, encourages you to write things down. Instead of remembering everything, make notes and reference them often. You can do it using an app, bulletin board lists or a trendy bullet journal.

Kaya Ismail at Shopify lists several reasons why you should write things down.

  • It helps you think bigger. He explains, “There’s nothing quite like writing down a startup idea in the middle of a blank page and then branching out with a flurry of ideas.”
  • You’ll learn more. Several studies with students have confirmed that writing aids learning and memory.
  • It frees up mental space. Instead of putting energy into remembering, you can focus on doing.

Instead of putting so much strain on your brain, make your lists do the work. Organized people don’t keep everything in their head. They write it down to preserve mental energy.

Stay in Touch

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for organization. Send me pictures or tell me stories about your space. What are your favorite organization ideas?

Also, don’t forget to share this post if it helped you.

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15 Minutes to Tame: 15 Areas You Can Organize in 15 Minutes

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When I got my first apartment, I quickly became aware that homes take work to maintain. Each item takes up space and I wanted as much space as possible to be peaceful and creative. But the process of decluttering can be time consuming, especially when you try to tackle an entire room. One trick is to break up each room into several smaller tasks, cleaning each slowly.

This works well for two situations. First, some people don’t have large chunks of time available to declutter their whole space. So, they may be inclined to put off any home organization because the timeline is impractical. Second, some people have a strong attachment to their stuff. In fact, many struggle to dispose of trash and useless items. In either case, these little tasks can help you organize spaces that often collect clutter.

15 Things You Can Organize in 15 Minutes

I kept this list simple to encourage quick tasks. If you do one of these each day, you will have a much more organized home in about two weeks.

Living Room

  • One Shelf of Books: While it is difficult to deal with an entire bookshelf, or book collection, one shelf is less intimidating. Pick one and pull everything off. Dust the shelf and the books. Look through the pile to see if there is anything stored between the books that doesn’t belong. Often, little papers get stuck between volumes. Check each book to make sure they all belong to you, making a plan to return borrowed publications to the rightful owner. If you’re feeling brave, pull out anything you want to discard or donate. Put the remaining books back on the shelf.
  • Magazine Bin: Whether you have a bin, basket or box, almost everyone collects magazines over time. Pull them out and count how many you have stored. Then, separate them into three piles. First, make a pile of magazines you still need to read. Second, make a pile of magazines you plan to store, clip or reuse. Third, make a pile of magazines that you need to discard. Leave the first pile in the bin to read later. Move the second pile to a workspace where you can tackle the bigger organization task. Recycle the third pile. If you’re feeling ambitious, cancel all your subscriptions for the year. Don’t renew them until you’ve dealt with all of the magazines you currently own.
  • Coffee Table Top: Most people collect clutter on top of their coffee table. Take a quick moment to clear off anything that doesn’t belong and return them to the rightful place. Dust the top and arrange the remaining items nicely.

Kitchen

  • Silverware Drawer: Silverware drawers can collect random items. Empty it onto a towel and wipe out the drawer. Then, add back in the forks, spoons and knives into the appropriate places. You’ll find that you are left with odd utensils (and maybe some junk). Discard the junk. Return odd utensils to the appropriate place or relegate them to a donation bin.
  • Mug Shelf: Mug shelves get out of control quickly, with so many cute designs and Instagrammable moments. However, a home can only use so many mugs before the dishwasher overflows. Pull all of your mugs out and wipe down the shelf or hooks. Count the number of mugs and compare that to the number of people in your household. Really, you only need one mug per person per day. Pick one mug for each person (or let them select their favorite). Return only those mugs to the shelf. Move the others to long term storage, for special occasions and guests. Also, you can replace one of the mugs if it breaks. If you are feeling ambitious, consider donating or selling some of the mugs to cut down on your clutter.
  • Fridge Condiments: Most people have at least one shelf of their fridge covered in condiments. Lay a towel on your counter top and remove all of the condiments from your fridge. Wipe down the shelf. Review the condiments, removing anything empty, expired or spoiled. Wipe down the remaining condiments and return them to the fridge. If you are feeling ambitious, make a list of the meals you can make to use up obscure sauces before they expire. Also, make a plan to limit your purchases in the future to avoid duplicate items (like five different mustards).

Office

  • Pencil Holder: Surprisingly, pencil holders attract random objects. Dump yours out and wipe down the inside. Test each pen, pencil and marker to make sure it works. Discard any that are used up or dried out. Return the writing utensils to the pencil holder. Discard any trash and return other objects to their appropriate place.
  • Bulletin Board: The brilliance of bulletin boards comes from their ability to change. Keep yours fresh by removing all of the items and placing them on a flat surface. Dust the board and remove any broken pins. File any papers, receipts or mail that you need to keep long term. Discard any reminders that are past the date. Pack away mementos in a memory box or scrapbook. This should leave you with some fresh space to curate new ideas.
  • Loose Cables and Cords: Most desks are cluttered with cables and cords. Check yours and remove any that don’t belong. Return those to their appropriate devices or discard any that don’t match your tech. Label the remaining cords and attach them to the correct items.

Bedroom

  • Sock Drawer: Maintaining this monster will make your morning so much easier. Dump out all of your docks onto a clear surface. Wipe the drawer. Match each of your socks and return them in pairs to the drawer. For the socks without mates, make a small pile and set aside. Check them as you do your laundry. Discard or reuse any mismatched socks.
  • Scarf Collection: One downfall of this trend? Scarfs can quickly overwhelm your closet. Collect all of your scarves for the season in one place. Make sure they are all clean and lint-free. Remove any that are damaged or don’t match your taste. These can be donated or recycled. Put them back in one designated spot, like an organizer or hanger. If you’re feeling ambitious, make a goal to limit your collection to a certain number. Only buy or accept a new scarf if you are willing to get rid of one.
  • Shoe Rack: Shoe racks can become magnets for clutter. Empty yours and wipe it down. Check each pair of shoes, wiping them down as you return to the rack. Remove any worn out or uncomfortable shoes. Also, collect other items and return to their rightful place. Take it to the next level by vowing to limit your shoes to the number of spaces on your rack. Don’t buy any new shoes until you wittle down your pairs. Then, you can only buy a pair when you are ready to remove one.

Bathroom

  • Medicine Storage: Whether you keep your medicines in a drawer, box or cabinet, collect them all on a flat surface. Check each item for an expiration date. Set aside any old or expired prescriptions to dispose of properly. Return the remaining medicines to their rightful place. You may also need to make a list of missing items and replace them at a later date.
  • Everyday Makeup: Although decluttering all of your beauty products may take a while, most people have a bag or bin with the items they use every day. Place these on a towel. Remove anything expired. For anything you don’t regularly use, move it with your other long-term storage or discard. Wipe the rest of the items and return to their regular location.
  • Tub Products: With all those shelves and racks, tubs collect clutter quickly. Lay down a towel and place all of your tub products on top. Discard empty bottles and old bath accessories. Check for duplicate items. While some households may prefer a separate soap or shampoo per person, no one needs multiples out at the same time. Store the extras and don’t buy more until you use those up. Return the necessary products to the bath.
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Once you have cleaned all of these spaces, you’ll have a more organized home. In fact, the process may inspire you to continue your the organization process in other areas of your home. If you’re thinking about it, I would recommend 100 Tips to Declutter your Home. Read it for tips and ideas to clean out your place.

Do you have any other ideas? Leave your tips in the comments.