How to Store Winter Necessities

Remember when I shared one of my core organizing rules that everything must have a home? Well, sometimes that home needs to be customized depending on the season, and that’s totally ok!

Since I’m constantly reaching for warm accessories these days—think mittens, scarves, beanies, and the like— I decided to make a dedicated spot in my closet to keep them all within arm’s reach. While I usually use the hooks in this closet to plan out my outfits for the week, I conveniently have another set in my other closet that I’ve been using for that very same purpose. With the hooks in this closet now freed up, I’ve been loving being able to easily grab some warm winter accessories whenever I may need them.

Top 5 Organizing Rules

I’m such a sucker for a good “top 5” list—whether it’s about beauty or cleaning or cooking, I am exponentially more likely to click on something when I know it will be broken down into bite-sized chunks. Hopefully you’re like me in that sense and will therefore enjoy what I’ve put together below: the top 5 organizing rules, according to moi.

Rule 1: Everything in its place. In order for your home to be as organized as it can be, you need to make sure that everything has a place at the end of the day.

Rule 2: Put things away in the moment. So often, friends and clients tell me that organizing is not in their DNA and they’ve come to accept that they’ll always have piles of clothes in their bedrooms. My answer? Try putting things away in the moment so you never build a pile! Even though it may add five minutes to your getting ready routine, I promise it will be worth it.

Rule 3: Cleanse and edit often. We all have a tendency to collect things over time, which is totally fine so long as you make it a point to regularly review all that you have. For instance, I do a closet purge roughly twice a year during which I review everything that I have and pick pieces out for donation or selling.

Rule 4: Group items by type. While this rule may be most easily understood in the context of a closet, it applies to every room in the house. Simply by organizing by like items (ie: jeans with all other jeans, books with all other books in the living room, meats will all other meats in the refrigerator), your home will appear instantly more organized.

Rule 5: Create a routine that works for you. All of us are unique in our own ways, and that directly carries over into our organizing habits. Because of this, don’t try to force someone else’s routine onto you just because it works for them. Instead, develop a plan that is personalized to you and your schedule. After all, if you come up with a plan that works, you’ll stick with it!

Tricks of the Trade: Planner Organization

I’ve confessed just how much I love my planner before, but I’ve never really shown you a glimpse into how I functionally use it. But today, that changes! Keep reading to find out how I plan to perfection.

Before I really get into it, I should let you know that I use my planner to capture every little task or thought that I have. For me, it’s so therapeutic to know that everything is written down in one spot and that I don’t have to bother keeping it all stored in my head.

Because I write so much down in my planner, I need a system to distinguish between different tracks of work and to-do’s. What’s that system? So glad you asked!

Everything I write down in my planner falls into 1 of 5 categories:

  • Social: Weekend plans, important dates (ie: birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), travel plans
  • To-do’s: Various chores that I need to take care of
  • Work: This includes all things business, from my day job to my finances
  • Gym: The classes that I sign up for go here
  • Blog: Any and all work I need to do for The Tidy Corner 🙂

 

To make the categories super clear and distinct, I use colored erasable pens. Yes, you heard that right! There are erasable pens out there and they are an absolute must because plans always change and you’ll certainly need to move things around from time to time.

At the start of the year, I went through my planner and added in several items under the “social category,” namely friends’ and family’s birthdays, as well as travel dates I’ve already booked. Then, as a new month begins, I always reflect on what I need to do and what I’ve already committed to and enter it into my planner. This does wonders in helping me feel like the month ahead is on track and my life is in order!

I hope you found this planner tutorial helpful, and if you have any tips for how you organize your own, please do share in the comments!

New Year, New Organization

Happy New Year, organizers! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, food, and—most importantly—great gifts. I, for one, am feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2018.

There really is no better time than a new year to set new goals and routines for yourself—and including organizing into the mix is always a good idea. Whether it’s something so small as making the bed everyday or something much larger like cleansing your whole house, I encourage you to take this time to think about can become more organized this year.

In case you need some tips, check out all of my organizing advice here.

Travel Talk

Planning trips is one of my favorite activities and over the years, I’ve gotten into a pretty solid routine with it. There’s much, much more to it than just booking a flight and calling it a day, so I’m rounding up some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

The most important part of travel planning is giving yourself enough time to do just that: plan. Here’s how I like to think about the planning process:

1 year out. At around this time every year, I like to look ahead to the next year and start plotting where I want to go. As I do so, I take into account the best times of year to visit, as well as what else I have going on at that time. For me personally, I try to go on 2 big trips a year (one every 6 months), and then smaller ones peppered in between.

6 months out. Once I’ve decided where I want to visit in a year, I’ll then make calendar placeholders for myself to make sure I don’t start planning too late in the game. For instance, if I know I want to go to Italy in June, then I’ll set a reminder for myself to begin looking into it in January. Once January rolls around, I’ll start digging into the big ticket items: flights and hotels.

3 months out. At the three month mark, I try to start making an itinerary. I’ve shared specific tips for how to go about crafting an itinerary before, so definitely check out that post for more in-depth advice. In general though, I like to reach out to friends or family who have visited this place before, search blogs and forums for must-see sites, and compile all of this into an organized document. Also at this time, I’ll make restaurant reservations for the popular places that book up very far in advance.

1 month out. With my high level itinerary already mapped out, I’ll set aside some time at the one month mark to review it with a fine-tooth comb. I’ll restructure my itinerary such that it’s arranged by day and further sub-divided into times of day (morning, afternoon, and evening). I’ll also make any restaurant reservations I haven’t already, as well as book tours, museum tickets, and the like. Lastly, if I’m traveling internationally, I’ll also order the necessary currency at this time.

1 week out. The week leading up to the trip typically has the most to-do’s, so I try my best to divide them evenly over the seven days, as too not feel too overwhelmed. At the start of the week, I’ll do a big drug store haul and pick up any items I’ll need for the trip (ie: special medications, travel size bottles, magazines, etc.). In the middle of the week, I’ll focus on cleaning—tending to both my apartment, as well as my laundry. Once my clothes are clean and I’ve done a thorough audit of the weather in my destination, I’ll start packing. Finally, the day before a trip, I like to get my nails and toes done, as well as tend to my house chores.

 

Workweek Scheduling

I’ve written about how I think about my weekend time before, so I thought it would be nice to share the weekday counterpart post.

There’s no denying that weekdays are hectic—between the stress that work can bring and commuting time, it can be challenging to feel motivated to do anything after work. Because I am really not a morning person and therefore have to do everything after work, I’ve had to think long and hard about a system that works well for me and allows me to get everything done without feeling completely wiped out. And while my current system is ever-evolving and improving, it has worked pretty well for me and I’m excited to share it!

Make Mondays count. Mondays are often dreaded—they’re the first day after the weekend and often involve a lot of work stress and catch up. My philosophy on Mondays? Look at them as a fresh start to the week and an opportunity to get organized! I like to try to use Monday to its fullest ability by getting all of my ducks in a row for the week (while listening to some really fun music, of course). For me, that usually looks like setting out my outfits for the week, setting a schedule in my planner, and meal prepping.

Make a checklist. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a big fan of to-do lists. I just love how they can serve as a brain dump, making it so I don’t have to worry about keeping everything straight in my head. On any given week, I’ll have different chores that need to get done, such as the usual suspects like laundry and grocery shopping, but also some standalone ones like gift shopping for a friend or getting my hair cut. By making a checklist for myself, I can easily see at a glance what needs to get done that week.

Break up the day. Going, going, going at work only to be followed by going, going, going after work is not a good combination. Instead, I personally need something to break up the day, which is where exercise comes into play for me. My gym offers tons of classes everyday but I have three that I really love, so I dedicate those days of the week to exercise classes. Breaking up the week with a physical activity helps me to stay focused, and because all of my classes end in the early evening, I can usually still tend to other to-do’s after they’re over.

Dedicate time on the weekend. When thinking about your workweek, it’s crucial to remember that not everything needs to get done in one day. In fact, not all of it even needs to get done that week. As I’ve written about before, I try to dedicate at least part of Sundays to errands and to-do’s, which makes such a difference on my mental health during the week. I’d highly recommend it!

Tricks of the Trade: Bathroom Organization

My bathroom is, without a doubt, the smallest room in the apartment. Somehow, all three of our walk-in closets are larger than our bathroom. But even with its small size working against us, I’ve manager to pack a whole lot into it without making it feel cluttered or cramped. From a shelving system to hidden storage, keep reading to find out my tips for maximizing storage space in a small bathroom.

The biggest tip I can give is to invest in an over-the-toilet shelving system—I found this one on Target and seriously couldn’t love it any more. With this system in place, here are some more ways to increase storage space:

  • Use vases as storage — I love shopping at flea markets and second-hand stores and often pick up quaint vases when I do. The vases in my bathroom not only serve as decoration, but also double as storage. I put all kinds of things in my vases, from nail clippers and tweezers to floss and travel toothpaste.
  • Place baskets on top of your shelving unit — Without the baskets I’ve placed above our shelf, I would definitely not be able to fit all of my toiletries. The two that we have in our bathroom hold everything from sunscreen and body lotion to cold medicine and advil.
  • Hang a shower caddy — I’m a firm believer that everything in a room should have a spot, which is exactly why I hung two shower caddies over our rack in the shower. I love how this keeps everything up and off the bathtub and into its own designated spot.

Do you have any storage tips for a small bathroom? Let me know in the comments!