Just another day at the office…..organizing tips!!

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wpid-moldiv_1448247400709.jpgMake your office space a place where you are not distracted by too much “stuff” and overwhelmed by paperwork.  Keep your desk free of clutter so it is a more conducive space to work in.   Keep ONLY the essentials on it.   If you have a desk and it is piled up with paperwork, you are less likely to deal with the paperwork and more likely to just close the door and “deal with it later!”  This is likely not going to happen, so don’t let yourself get to this point.

Keep your office furniture minimal; a desk, chair, a cork board or white board, and a filing cabinet.  On your desk you could keep an “in-box”, but in my experience, people end up piling papers there and never actually get to them.  This is why I prefer a cork or white board up, over your desk.  With an in-box, you only actually see the top item, the others are all covered by it.  With a cork, or white board, each item can be seen as it is more “in your face”, and therefore it will be dealt with.

When paperwork comes into your office space, deal with it right then.  If you are still receiving paper bills, highlight the date it needs to be paid by and stick it on the board until you pay it.  Once you do, file it or recycle it.

If it is an invitation that you don’t want to get rid of until after the date, highlight the date, stick it on the board, enter it into your phone/day planner, and get rid of it when date has past.  If it is paperwork regarding income tax, keep an income tax file and file it right away.

If you keep your receipts to check them against your credit card bills, keep a file in your cabinet and add receipts as you get them to the back of the pile, then each month as you go through your bill, check your receipts, then shred them (if they contain items that may need to be returned, keep a separate file for these purchases with warranty information).

In summary,  the less cluttered your office space is kept, the more likely it will be used for what it is intended for.   Try some of these ideas today and keep them up over time. You’ll be glad you did!

Your Simply Susan organizational tip of the day!  🙂

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Dining in? Now you can!

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It’s funny, when I originally started this blog, my plan was to alternate organizing and fitness tips.  I was going to go through every room in the house and write a blog on how to best organize it! As you see, if you have been following me, I have strayed a little!😄😄  Lots of other ideas and suggestions have been made to me which I’ve loved, and used, but today I’ll flashback to the original plan. 

Your dining room…….This is likely one of the less used rooms in your house (unless of course you are one of those people who do work on your dining room table because every other room in your house is too cluttered, and your dining room table is your only free space!!!)  I truly hope you are not one of those people but if you are…..never fear….I can help!!!

I will writewpid-2015-10-13-08.11.43.jpg.jpg this with the assumption that this is a less frequently used area that just needs to be kept organized after being used as it is meant to be used.  Ideally, this space is just used for dining, so therefore only dining supplies need to be kept in it.  If you have invested in a buffet and hutch (or one or the other) use the cupboards and shelves to group items accordingly.  Keep all dinner ware together in one cupboard or shelf.  Keep serving dishes all grouped together.  Group stemware together:  beer, wine, scotch, brandy, champagne glasses etc. all in rows.If you keep only things that you use, you will now have room to keep table cloths, placemats, trivets, dinner napkins, and serving utensils here as well, that way all your supplies for setting the table are close at hand.  Keep large serving dishes here and the candles you use as well.  Having everything all in one place saves time; that way you’re not desperately searching for those items each time.

Don’t have enough space in your hutch to  put things away? Get rid of or donate anything you don’t actually use, such as those brandy glasses or those novelty wine glasses you keep getting for your birthday. Are you still keeping those ugly cloth napkins someone gave you as a wedding gift?  Donate them!

Keep the dining table free of clutter so dusting etc. is easier, or cover it with a table cloth when not in use.  Then, remove and use placemats when dining.

Last note…..In my personal opinion, if you have fancy China use it every time you dine in the dining room.  I find most people always save it for the most special occasions; feeling almost afraid to use it. I use my Nana’s Royal Doulton China all the time. I even wash it in my dishwasher when I’m done! Don’t save it, use it.😆

Okay, now that your dining room is organized, why not make a plan to have a dinner party or even just a regular family dinner in this beautifully organized space!

But, if you’re having friends over, don’t forget me!

Your Simply Susan organizational tip of the day. 😆

 

 

Spring into Action

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wpid-moldiv_1431128630664.jpgWhat does spring mean to you?  To me, three things come to mind, a new start, and green!  Green grass, leaves on trees, flowers and plants budding in the gardens! It’s that time of year where all of a sudden neighbours are reunited and you see people walking around outside (more) happily. ….rather than quickly getting to their car, house, or work as fast as they can without freezing! This is the time to try something new and why not enlist a friend? Many people would be interested and motivated because they wouldn’t want to let you down! 😆

I love all of our seasons in Canada,  but I am always excited about the change from one to another. Personally I just get sick of one wardrobe and get excited about the prospect of bringing out my next season’s wardrobe!  Why not use this excitement while bringing in the new wardrobe by sorting through, organizing, and donating clothing items?

With the change of season upon us, why not take this opportunity to create a new healthy habit! Try parking further from work so you are forced to walk longer to get there? Try going for a walk on your lunch break 1-3 times a week? Why not introduce a new vegetable every week into your household? Register for a new class? Commit with a friend to exercise?  When you are at a dance competiton  (which is where my family spends spring weekends! !) take the stairs whenever you can? Getting up and racing to get your child changed and ready for the next number is also good exercise!

This spring try “springing ” into action and create a new, positive habit that will help you be an even better you! If that’s even possible! 😆

Your Simply Susan tip of the day! 😆

 

Being organized, What does it mean?

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  1. wp-1455660005049.jpegBeing organized means putting forth a little more effort now to make things easier moving forward.

Becoming organized is changing how you think. From when you walk in the door and put your keys down in a standard spot you always use, to filling the dishwasher in such a way that makes it easier to empty.

It’s keeping your hats and mitts in one easy access basket by the front door.  There are so many things you could start doing today that will make life easier tomorrow….as long as you keep it up!!!
Once you start thinking in an organized way, things start to fall in place and get easier. Trust me. I wasn’t always this organized! Growing up I didn’t care about it as much, or see the benefit of it as I do now. Don’t get me wrong though, my mom had places for things and everything was kept quite clean and tidy. I just realized when I became a parent and bought a house that being organized and using these basic rules across the board not only keeps me happy, but my family as well!
Organizing is taking the time to do things the right way first with schedules, organizing bins, folders, any system you can put in place for yourself or your family that makes things easier and more automatic.
So many people are in such a hurry these days and need to get places fast, and get things done quickly. So, what you need to do is to first take some time to figure out what isn’t working and find a way to make yourself more efficient.

Some things I do (apart from the few I mentioned above) are:

  1. Dealing with paperwork right away as it comes in the door (recycle bin, file, make a note of dates in my planner etc.)
  2. Placing my phone/purse/wallet in a designated spot.
  3. Have a charging station where all devices are charged in one spot.
  4. Menu planning for the week.
  5. Put clothes away or in the laundry after wearing them.
  6. Keep a list on your phone or planner where you can add items you regularly use that you have run out of.
  7. Put things back after you use them (books, magazines, appliances etc.)
  8. Putting reminders in your calendar for due dates as soon as you find out about them.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head.  It does take some time, but putting things away and keeping “like” items together and all in one spot saves time.  Keeping regularly used items in the same spot becomes a habit in no time and is worth it!

Your Simply Susan tip of the day! 😍

 

 

What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom

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wpid-2015-11-23-15.32.12.jpg.jpegOkay, let’s review my basic rules for organizing any room or space.  The first thing you want to do is go in the room and take note of what needs to get done.  If this means making notes do this, whatever it takes to make it real. Secondly, and most importantly, don’t get overwhelmed  by what you have to do!  If you have come up with a list of many things to do, don’t tackle them all on the same day, instead, break it down onto 2 or 3 manageable work periods.  If you try to do everything at one time, you are more likely to give up and then nothing gets done!

When you are looking at organizing a space, you want to keep a few things in mind.  Firstly, your bedroom is your sanctuary and should be relaxing and conducive to sleeping.  That being said, the more organized and free of clutter your bedroom is, the more likely it will be your sanctuary, and it will be a place where you’ll be able to relax. Who can relax and wind down if you are surrounded by stuff, stuff, and more piles of stuff??

Some ideas and tips for keeping your bedroom organized and free of clutter:

The one I think many people are guilty of is just leaving their clothes on the floor at the end of the day.  Rather than just dropping them, deal with them now.  If they’re dirty, put them in the laundry basket, if they are clean, fold them and put them away now, if you intend to wear them again that week, hang them on a hook on the back of the door. Seriously, it takes less than a minute to do this…..really try it today!  Lastly, only have hooks that hold 1 or 2 items, that way you can’t overload them.

Group like items in your closet by type and/or colour (jeans or track pants all together, collared shirts, hoodies etc.) This makes it easier to find things quickly,  and more importantly  it looks nicer!😆

Sort your drawers logically. There are a couple of things you can do here, for example, if you have a lot of small drawers, use one each for socks, underwear, bras, shirts and sweaters, leggings etc.  If you have large wide drawers, either buy inserts to section your drawers or just section them yourself.  Put socks to one side, underwear in the middle, and bras on the other side.  When you return clean laundry to your drawers keep this order.  Once you get in the habit it will be easy.

wpid-2015-11-24-15.04.51.jpg.jpegKeep an organized dresser.  Again, group similar items together Have a tray for your brush, comb  and hair accessories.  Keep make-up in a caddy or a make-up bag.  Keep  only the essentials used daily on display; store less frequently used items in the bathroom cabinet.  You could also have a small, decorative dish on your dresser for pocket “stuff”.

wpid-2015-11-24-15.05.55.jpg.jpegThink about using unused spaces for storage like under your bed, the walls of your closet, or vertical spaces.  Under-the-bed storage for seasonal clothing is a great way to store clothes you aren’t wearing right now.  Invest in decorative hooks or reusable sticky hooks that you can display jewelry on alongside your mirror or down the side of your dresser. Hang your iron or hair-dryers off the side of your dresser. Use suction hooks on your mirror for necklaces or hair bands.

That is your “Simply Susan” organization tip of the day!  🙂 

Maintaining order in the kitchen

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2015-04-26_16.28.29Aside from sleeping in my bedroom, the kitchen is the second most used room in my house.

I am very particular about the organization and cleanliness of my kitchen and believe it should be a priority for everyone, seeing as this is where we prep, store, and serve food.  If a kitchen is cluttered and dirty, you are less likely to use it and more likely to eat out.  Please don’t, it’s better for you to make your own meals  and eat at home!

First, some quick tips for cleaning.  I clean/disinfect my kitchen once a week.  I basically just wipe down all surfaces with  an all-purpose cleaner (I use vinegar and water).  If you commit to doing this once a week, it takes way less time than if you have to thoroughly clean it once a month.  ***Maintenance is key.  It saves time and energy***

I, for one, need to have organized, clear work spaces regardless of the size of the kitchen.  In my opinion, only keep the appliances and tools in your kitchen you use regularly.

If you have limited counter space, only keep out what you use daily.  This keeps things looking less cluttered and this will be less overwhelming for you when you want to make meals.  This also applies to drawer and cupboard spaces.   There is no need for you to have drawers and cupboards filled with items that you have to dig through and almost knock down to get to those priority items.

Quick tip…..Get a box and go through your kitchen cupboards and drawers one day.   All the items that you think you could do without, put them in this box and put it aside. If you need an item from this box take it out. After 6-8 months, donate or throw out items that are still in the box.

I also like to make sure my kitchen is tidied before I go to bed each night.  If you make meals, try cleaning the dishes as you go!  This is what I do, and it saves a lot of time after cooking.  Less clean-up is always a plus.

After meals, if there are others in your household, enlist them in daily kitchen duties so everyone has a part in taking pride in the kitchen space.  If you take it upon yourself to do it alone, you will feel resentful, and this helps noone! 🙂

I know, we’re all tired after dinner and want to just get away from the kitchen and relax, but, trust me, the few minutes that it takes when you enlist others to help do their part, and doing it quickly after each meal is worth it.   It doesn’t have to take a long time!  Procrastinating and putting it off until later will just double your tasks, and effort required to do them! 

“Christmas lights” = GONE after Christmas!!! People please!!🙏🙏

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Okay, so maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t think so.  Who out there agrees that after the Christmas season is over, the lights should be turned off and come down???

One major pet peeve of mine is to see people’s Christmas lights still up in May!  Come on people!  Get off your butts and get them down already!

There are always some mild, or at least nice winter days where you can get out there and get them down.  Maybe putting a due date in your calendar would help (say Jan.31st at the latest!!) you actually get it done.

Now, a couple of tips to keep the cords from tangling into a big ball (like Chevy Chase on Christmas Vacation…).  Using a larger box from one of your Christmas presents, cut the large side out and carefully wrap the lights around it.  You should also write on it where they came from and/or how many strands are there.

After you have your lights all wrapped around these boxes put them into an old zippered quilt/duvet bag, or other clear bag that you can see or label.

Keep your other outdoor decorations and lights all together and clearly marked so that the job will be easier each year.