Clear out Chemicals

Many products made today, whether they are used for cleaning or for body, have toxic chemicals in them. Many of us don't realize we're putting these on our skin, wiping down the counters we cook on, and breathing it in. Switching to healthier, greener products for the environment can really make a difference in how you and your space feels. Switching to these greener products usually means you can toss out multiple bottles for one that completes multiple tasks. Ultimately your body and home will thank you.

Some natural beauty/skin care companies to check out with organic, all natural ingredients and essential oils:
You can even find a great new brand or product by taking a few minutes to read labels while browsing the store aisle. Ask friends or family, and look for reviews online. There are so many options now. I'm not endorsing any of these brands, but simply pointing you to a starting place, if you're interested in fewer, greener products in your home.

Most of these companies not only make green products, but make them with a green process. Think low carbon emissions, green packaging and more. Look for non-toxic, hypoallergenic, cruelty free, fragrance/dye free, biodegradable, etc. when shopping for products. Look into whatever aspects are most important to you.

Some all natural cleaning product brands include:

Be Prepared

Before you even arrive at your destination, it's important to have a plan (at least somewhat) for your vacation or trip. Surprise, surprise that an organizer thinks there should always be a plan! Things that will help you feel prepared - and organized:
  • The Internet is available almost everywhere, so you likely won't need as many paper maps, schedules, lists as used to. Consider keeping those things electronically.
  • Research your destination ahead of time if you’re going to a place that you’ve never been before. If you like to go with the flow, at least prepare yourself with a lay of the land, so you know what to expect. You don't have to plan out your day, everyday. But, you should know areas that are(not) safe, transportation options and how to get to where you'll be staying.
  • Have an idea about what kinds of activities will be available to you, so that you know what to pack. What a pain to find yourself needing to buy a particular piece of clothing or equipment you have at home, only because you didn't realize you'd be able to take part while away. Sometimes even warmer climates can get cold ( what if you’re on the top of a mountain?).

How an Organizer Moves

I realized not that long ago that I move a lot! In 10 years, I've lived in five apartments. Even if I wasn't a certified organizer, I'd probably know the ins and outs of moving pretty well now! Here's how I do it:

First thing, I figure out my timeline. When is moving day? How much time have I to prepare? Then, I work backward.

Going from room to room, I break down each space into smaller chunks. The family room gets broken down by bookcase or table or desk. The kitchen is broken down by cabinets. Closets are their own sections; the bathroom, too. The chunks aren't necessarily the same size in project, but are sort of smaller categories. Maybe it's all the books in one room. Maybe it's all the dishes. Or, maybe all the linens. (Since I'm already pretty organized, these things live in one space in my home).

Then, I look at my calendar. How many chunks divided by how many days? And, will I realistically have time to tackle part of the project every day between now and then? If not, the number of days is shorter. Or, maybe some days I'll clearly have more time. I can decide if I want to count those days as two, instead of one. 

Lastly, once I've got my supplies (boxes, wrapping paper, tape), I get to work. It's the same old process as ever - do I use it? need it? love it? Is it worth boxing up, moving across town (or further) and unpacking again? The only difference is that I start with the least used or functional items. Artwork, decorative items, media are usually first. The pantry, bathroom and dishes are usually left toward the end. And, it forces me to plan out a few days of outfits. It might feel like a bother, but honestly, it's one less thing to worry about during the chaos of a move. I can set aside what I need, as if I were going away for the weekend, and pack the rest.

Then, I usually get a drink - moving is exhausting!

Jewelry: Rings and Bracelets

Looking to find a better way to organize your rings and bracelets? Maybe traditional jewelry boxes aren't your thing, or your collection has outgrown the storage space you once kept them in.

If you are on a budget, but have a little time, consider making your own holder. Below is a 60 spool holder that, meant to hold sewing thread. You can purchase these online or at a craft store. It's the perfect sized for rings, but your bracelets may work here, too. You can paint it and make it your own, as well.
Haute Tramp Blog
To keep track of your bracelets, you can buy mug trees inexpensively. It's great for those who suffer from "out of sight, out of mind." And, you're able to show off large bangles, to boot. If you have a large collection, keep the bracelets you wear most toward the outside of the posts. That way, you don't have to take all the bracelets off each time you want to wear one. You can hang them by type, color or how often they're worn.

Jen Thousand Words Blog

Pots and Containers, and Dishes, Oh My!

Even if you don't cook too often, it seems like the kitchen always gets a bit more cluttered than we anticipated. Tops and bottoms are separated. Pieces get thrown out accidentally. Pieces break. So, what to do when it's feeling a bit overwhelming? Here are some easy places to start:

Kitchen Cookware Piled Up on Brown Wooden RackIf you have lots of pots, pans, and food storage containers, start by going through it all. Make sure you have the match for each (top and bottom). Then, once you've done that, you can feel free to recycle or donate whatever is still unpaired.

Next, figure out how much space you have to store items. You can keep lids and bottoms separate or together; whatever works for your unique space. It's usually easier to keep tops snapped onto the bottoms, so you only have to grab one item. But, many of us don't have the space to do that. If that's the case, keep lids collected in one small bin and stack the bottoms separately. 

In terms of dishware, be sure to keep like sizes together. Also if you are struggling to find space, remind yourself that you can adjust the shelf height in kitchen cabinets to make things more accessible for you. It's amazing what a huge difference this can make. Keep platters and serving bowls in a separate stack from everyday dishes. If there are special plates around (divided kid's plates, unusually shaped bowls, etc.), do your best to stack them with the rest. Otherwise, at least keep them near the other pieces from it's category.

How To Pack A Bag for Vacation

    Packing to travel soon? Here are some packing tips:
    • Start by laying everything out that you want in the bag so you can see how much you’re working with.
    • Categorize everything so it's easier to assign space within the bag for your needs: clothes, shoes, beauty products, gadgets, and so on.
    • Pack the big stuff first (clothes and shoes). Depending on what kind of clothing you have, sometimes folding is better, sometimes rolling is better. Rolling clothes is best for material that’s wrinkly (like linen).
    • Packing cubes are a great option to condense items.
    • If you’re packing liquids (like beauty products) make sure it’s in something you can seal, so it doesn’t leak.
    • If you have lots of electronics, paperwork, books, etc., consider stashing them in separate sections of your bag, or in their own protective sleeves to keep it safe during transport.

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