Shoe Storage 101

There are a few ways to store your shoes. The best option for you depends on 1) how many pairs you own and 2) what space you want to keep those shoes. Some people prefer by the door they most use to enter and exit the house. Some prefer that everyone keep their shoes in their bedroom. So, figure that out first, if you can. What will make your life more convenient? What will everyone in the house be able to live with?

Then, figure out which shoes to keep. You know the drill!

After that, address the space. Will you need a tiered flat surface, much like shelves? Will you want slots or pockets on the back of a door? Will you need something narrow and tall, where hidden pockets tilt out of a door? Maybe you prefer a circular, tiered rack that you can slip your shoes on? Just make sure you measure the space before you buy anything new. If it doesn't fit comfortably in the area, you aren't going to want to use it.

Pro Tip: If you're going to store shoes on a flat surface of any kind, placing shoes toe-to-heal saves horizontal space. If you have a lot of shoes, the space saved can really add up, too!

Why You Should Move Your Furniture

Where we place our furniture makes a huge difference in how well we can actually use our space. If getting to the doorway, the window or even an outlet is really inconvenient, we're much less likely to use or enjoy the room.

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding where your furniture could be placed in any given room.

1)Make sure there's room to move through the space comfortably. Most people need about two feet of space to move comfortably between pieces of furniture. Keep that in mind for room between couches, chairs, end tables, etc. 

2) Make sure you can readily access doorways and windows. Blocking doorways can be unsafe in the case of an emergency. Blocking windows can prevent comfortable flow of air, as well as darkening the room. 

3) Traditionally, you should be able to draw a triangle on a floor plan of your kitchen, going from sink to refrigerator to stove. Try not to put pieces of furniture in the way of these guiding lines. It will make food prep and serving more cumbersome.

4) If you can help it at all, have some space on both sides and the foot of the bed. Even if it's just a few inches. It will help keep air and energy flowing through the space, and make bed making a bit easier. 

Excuses

There are more things to capture your attention now than ever before. With the world at our fingertips on our phones, our computers and our TVs, it's a wonder we ever leave the house. Families are busier than ever with dozens and dozens of after school activities, social groups and more. How are we to make sure we actually work on our projects when we say we are?


First, keep distractions at bay as best you can. Silence the TV, your phone, the kids, your roommate. Make sure those around you know not to disturb your for a certain amount of time.

Next, make sure you stay on task. It's so easy to walk to the coat closet to hang up a jacket, and end up cleaning out that closet, when you were really hoping to clear off the kitchen table. Stay in the area you've told yourself you're going to work on today.

We all tell ourselves excuses. I've done it, too! No more excuses! 

No more "I'll just check my email first." 

No more "I'll have more time tomorrow." 

No more "I'll get more done if I take a quick nap or walk first." 

No more "It's too hard."

No more "I'll start the laundry first."

No more "I have to help others first."

You decided to tackle this project. You are completely capable of doing it. No more excuses!

Where Do I Start?

So often I end up working with people simply because they don't know where to even get started. Looking around their room or house or office, all they see is one thing to do after another. Taking all that in will make anyone leave the room! While working together, we figure out the best way to tackle all those projects - one at a time. But, still, how do we even figure out where to start?

I ask two questions to help us decide:

Which space will change your daily life the most?

Which space makes you want to turn around and run away?

The answer to the first question provides a rather obvious answer. The more it impacts your daily activities, the bigger an impact changing it will make.

I also ask which area makes you run away because it's the most daunting project. You're least likely to tackle it on your own. And, that's half the reason I'm there in the first place! Plus, if you start with what feels the most impossible to complete, then everything after that will be a breeze!

So, what are your spaces???

Empathy

Empathy is "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another (according to Google)." How is it that a certified organizer, who has never been inundated with stuff of her own or felt so overwhelmed by her things, can help those who do?

In order to best help my clients, I have to understand not only how they want to use their items and space, but how they currently use their items and space. We can't create systems and spaces that work if I don't understand why the items ended up where they are in the first place. Some of this has developed over time, with experience. Some of it I've learned from training and coursework. The important thing to know is that:

I understand that you're overwhelmed by the space and stuff.

I understand that you might be embarrassed to show me that space.

I know that you feel vulnerable.

I'm here to encourage you to make the best decisions you can to create the space you want. And, deserve.

Even if I haven't felt the same way you do right now, doesn't mean I don't appreciate those feelings.

Finding It... Fast!

Eventually, most of us find the things we're looking for. Occasionally, we don't. Somehow it fell out of our pocket or was accidentally thrown away. It's frustrating, to say the least. Of course, we want to find our things. But, why is it important that we find them quickly?

It gets us out the door.

It allows us to continue our train of thought.

It keeps us from getting distracted (now we have to look for the thing!).

It prevents us from spending money to buy it all over again.

It keeps us calm.

It means we know where are things are, and we don't have to feel like our space is in charge.


Isn't That Distracting?

Everything can be a distraction if we let it. And, when it comes to organizing, boy do we let it!

There are three big distractions that keep us from finishing our organizing projects. Here they are, and here we can figure out how to get around them:

1) Walking out of the room. Whenever I'm working with a client and we come across something that belongs in a different room, we set it in the doorway of whatever room in which we're working. Say we walk out of the room to hang up the coat that was on the dining room chair. Well, naturally, we start to pull out the toys on the floor of the coat closet and put those away in the kid's room. Once we're up there, we start to fold the laundry. And it goes on and on. But, if we concentrate on just our area, and leave those deliveries for last,
we stay on task. The project we started working on gets finished more quickly and deliveries around the house don't take away whatever time we've already set aside. If you have someone eager to help with your project, have them play delivery person whenever you come across an item to go elsewhere.

2) Listening to something else. TV, radio, someone else in the house. It doesn't really matter what it is that has caught your ear if it makes you stop what you're doing. If you know you can't concentrate with background noise, turn off the TV, the radio, your phone, all the things that make some kind of noise. It's only temporary while the project's in full swing. Likewise, if someone else is in your space (spouse, kid, roommate, co-worker), let them know that you can't be bothered for "X" minutes. After that, you're all ears!

3) Someone making you stop. This is similar to the previous distraction, but can also include more. An appointment arises in the middle of your project. A neighbor stops by unexpectedly. The dog throws up. Who knows what it might be, but it's made you come to a complete halt. We can prevent some of this by paying attention to our calendars and marking down anything pertinent. Other than that, do your best to stay on task and explain, politely, that you're in the middle of a project and would love to set aside time later to catch up.

Now you can stick with it!

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