PHOTOS BY Paul Flessland
There’s no need for any more chaos caused from unorganization. Your life, body and mind will feel less stressed when your surroundings are peaceful. Oftentimes, the hardest part about getting organized is decluttering your spaces. Make this your most organized year yet with these helpful tips from Ursula Hegvik of Smart Spaces and Melissa Schmalenberger of MS. Simplicity.
Hegvik’s Tips For Getting Started:
• When decluttering any space, get everything out in front of you. “Separate things into divergent piles: keep, throw away and donate,” said Hegvik.
• When you know what you want to keep, don’t put everything away until you’ve finished going through the whole space.
• Categorize your “keep” pile when putting things away. “For example, put dress pants together, but separate them from your jeans,” said Hegvik.
• “If you have a tough time getting rid of things that might be of sentimental value, get out a fourth pile and put those things in a box. “Put the box out of sight. Put a reminder on your calendar. If you don’t go back to retrieve something a er 2-6 months then you might have an easier time getting rid of those things,” said Hegvik.
• Put lighting in your closet or even in your drawers. Sensor lights are good options, or even the kind you can click on.
• Get your shoes o the ground and up in shoe shelves so you can see them.
• Give your child a system for their closet. Give them a specific spot for their laundry.
• Think about keeping socks in a drawer at the entry so your kids (and you) don’t have to rush back to the room to grab socks in case you’re in a rush in the morning.
• Set up a garment valet to get your kids in the habit of getting their clothes ready the night before so it cuts back on stress in the morning. This can even be done by hanging a hook on the wall at their height.
• Use boxes, baskets or even ziplock bags to categorize things together.
• Get things on shelves behind doors in a garage, storage room or bathroom.
• Group similar things together. Put the soups together and the cereal together.
• If you have adjustable pantry shelves, categorize the food items by height, weight and size.
• Use baskets to dump snacks or categorized food items in. Then you can also get rid of the bigger cardboard boxes that snacks usually come in. It’ll clear up space.
• Have a Tupperware dump drawer. Scoop drawers work perfectly for this.
• Get those containers where they all fit. They are a one-size-fits-all so it helps you cut back on clutter and frustration when trying to find a lid.
• Fasten hooks to the wall for the jackets.
• Use baskets for hats and gloves.
MS. Simplicity’s Ways To Simplify Your Life
• Set a use-by date. Give yourself a date to use an item by. Place the date on the item and make sure that you use it by the date. Feel free to donate if you have not used the item. This works for books and magazines that need to be read or boxes that need to be unpacked.
• Reverse your hangers. In order to determine which clothes you wear, reverse the hangers and as you wear something, return the hanger in the proper position. After a period of time you will see what clothes you actually wear so that you can donate the ones you don’t wear.
• Label this & label that. Marking what goes where can help family members remember where things go. Once a habit is created, the label can be removed.
• Discard all the duplicates. If you have too many of an item, keep the ones you use and discard the rest. There is no reason to have duplicates if they all have the same purpose. Closets are full of black pants and black shirts that have the same purpose but only a few are ever worn.
• Get things up in your garage. Garages are filled with forgotten space. Look up to the ceiling to hang hooks for bikes on the walls. Try to hang systems to store your rakes and shovels.
• Invest in quality products. Instead of having to replace items frequently because they become cracked or broken, which creates mismatched sets, invest in one good set and ditch the rest. This works for dishes and many kitchen items.
• Avoid mishap in your mudrooms. A mudroom is not a drop zone. It can be decorated with practical items to aid in organization. Use pretty baskets to house your mittens and hats or a beautiful tray to place keys and spare change. This can make the room more welcoming.
For more information, contact:
Ursula Hegvik at Smart Spaces
5226 51st Ave. S, Fargo
Melissa Schmalenberger at MS. Simplicity