Back-to-School Organizing

Bonnie BTS

Back-to-School Organizing
It’s that time of year once again! A fun time for some…and not so much fun for others, as it means you have to do some work before you can ship them onto that bus prepared to succeed another school year. Not to fear – I am going to help you make this a FUN time with these easy tips to help you and your kids get ready for school!

Back-to-School Tips

Create a Command Center (a.k.a. School-Paper Home base)
This is where all of the incoming and outgoing paper is going to live. I find that creating a space in the kitchen for this center is ideal since everything happens in the kitchen. First get a wall calendar so that you can write down all of the important dates coming up: birthdays, parties, outings, doctors’ appointments and so forth. Finding a calendar that you can peel off and stick on the wall will make it easier for you. Have hanging folders on the wall, which you can label incoming and outgoing or you can label one for each child so everybody knows where the papers belong. You can have your child put all the papers that you need to go thru in the designated folder making it easier for both of you. Another thing that I am really enjoying are the decals that you can stick on the wall to write down messages, and you can choose one that uses either chalk or dry erase pen.

Snacks

Clean out your cabinets and get baskets for their snacks. Keep it simple and label one for each child or by categories – this makes everything so much easier and quicker to pack lunches on the fly. This method also helps your child with independence and responsibility. If you would like to take it up a notch I found these really cool meal planner pads by “Mom Agenda” they are great and will save you so much time in figuring out what to cook and food shopping as well. You’ll have packing lunches down to an art – other moms will be so jealous that you’re essentially adding time to your day!

Clothes

Go through their clothes before school starts – this is good for you and them. Make it fun and have a fashion show! What kid doesn’t like playing dress up?! They will just love it and you get to spend quality time with them (even if you are secretly just avoiding future headaches of MOM, I HATE MY CLOTHES!! But you’re a strategist, so everyone wins!) If you are saving clothes for a younger sibling, store in a clear bin and label with the size, otherwise donate gently used clothes to a good cause. I also recommend picking the clothes for the week on Sunday night. Pick 6 outfits, have one just in case, and this will save you many headaches in the morning trying to figure out what to wear. I would also put everything that they will need for that particular day all together i.e. items for sports or any afterschool activity.

Designate a shelf in your closet for “Outfits for the Week” or get a hanging shelve that you can attach to your clothes rod and designate a shelf for each day of the week. Now sit back, grab a cup of coffee and relax – you have just organized the next 9 months! I hope these tips will make going back to school much easier for you!

Click on the link below to see me demonstrate all of these tips ☺

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5 Things We Learned About Organizing a Shared Closet

bonie closet

5 Things We Learned About Organizing a Shared Closet

As an organizational expert, Bonnie Barrios creates serenity out of chaos for her clients, organizing almost every room in their homes from kitchens to playrooms. But one of her favorite projects is a closet makeover. “Working with small spaces can be a bit challenging but there are always creative ways to make everything fit and look good,” explains Barrios. Here, she shares her top 5 tips for creating and organizing a shared closet that you’ll both love.

1. Clear It Out
“Before I start any closet project with a client, the first thing we do is a major purge,” explains Barrios. She advises that cleaning out everything you don’t want and don’t use, will give you not only a clean slate but also a fresh perspective so you can properly plan the new space. Most clients are comfortable with the “one-year” rule: if they haven’t used it in more than one year, it’s time to toss it.

2. Divide the Space
This is a challenge that is unique to every couple. “The majority of the time I have one neat freak and one messy person who are a couple,” says Barrios. “I once had a client who worked in the fashion industry and he had an amazing collection of cashmere sweaters, so he actually needed more space than his wife.” Once you decide who needs how much space, it’s easier to organize that space. Measuring the closet is the next essential step in order to determine the correct sizes for everything from rods, to shelves and baskets.

3. Define the Space
“When you are working with minimal space, it’s more challenging, but there are always ways to make it better,” Barrios points out. “If you have an apartment with high ceilings, always take advantage of the vertical space,” she explains, “Double bars going completely across the closet would be ideal; he can use the top rod and she can use the bottom one.” Or if you have a deeper closet, extend the depth of the shelves in order to layer your items, with labeled boxes for out-of-season clothes behind the pieces you are wearing now, in front.

4. Design the Space
“Shelf dividers are a must, notes Barrios, “they hold folded clothes together neatly, and keep items from falling over when you pull something out.” Barrios also suggests buying a double-duty item like an over-the-door organizer. “I am obsessed with this product,” she raves, “the pockets are different sizes and can hold so many different items like scarves, socks, pocket books, hats or jewelry.”

5. Be Creative
Although it can be overwhelming, reorganizing your closet shouldn’t be a boring chore. And there are lots of DIY projects that can bring your personal style and taste to your space. One of Barrios’s favorites: make your own tie and belt (or purse and scarf) rack. “This is an amazing space saver and so easy to make. All you need are some command hooks and a rod of your choice, and voilà, you have a tie and belt hook,” like this DIY “Gentleman’s Valet”.

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Closets, Closets and more Closets

Closets, Closets and more Closets

Closets, Closets and more Closets

De-clutter your closets for an easy and stress free morning!

Imagine waking up in the morning opening your closet door and everything inside is organized by color, category and every piece of clothing in the closet fits you great. Yes, it is possible and it can happen to you! I know that keeping an organized closet and knowing what to keep or throw out can be very overwhelming. I am here to help and give you tips on how to get your closet in order.

You want to give yourself a designated amount of time. Set a timer for 1 or 2 hours, this way it is manageable and you won’t get overwhelmed
Get 2 large bags one for items that you are throwing out and one for donations. This is a good opportunity to pick an organization of your choice to donate your gently used clothes.
Now, go thru every piece of clothing in your closet and decide, do I keep, toss or donate
If you have nice designer pieces that you no longer want you can consign them and make some money ☺
Rule of thumb in re: to classic pieces, they will always be classic so keep them.
If you have any wire hangars from the cleaners please toss or take them back to the cleaners.
I don’t recommend plastic hangars they are bulky and don’t keep the clothes in good conditions. I love the thin ones and they are space savers.
If you haven’t worn a piece in the last 2-3 years (I am being very generous here) please donate. Chances are you are never going to wear it.
Only keep the clothes that truly fit you and that make you feel good.
Pieces that have special meaning to you store in an acid free box, which will preserve them.

Good luck de-cluttering your closet! If you followed all of the steps above your closet should be more spacious and only have the items that you love and make you feel and look great.

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