3 Home Hacks That Help Put You In A Positive Mindset

Self-care should start in the home. If you have a home that makes you feel positive, then every day will begin and end on a positive note. A lot of people struggle with self-care because their home is a manifestation of negative energy. Then, the negative energy keeps piling more and more negativity on their shoulders every day. We want to stop this, so here are a few very simple home hacks you can try that will put you in an extremely positive mindset.

Get More Sunlight In Your Home

Sunlight is incredibly beneficial, and it works in more than one way. We know that we can get some Vitamin D from the sun, but unfortunately, it’s not possible to absorb this through windows. However, the main benefit I’m concerned with is how the sunlight makes us feel. It instantly puts us in a good mood when sunshine/daylight is entering our home. This isn’t some crazy scientific discovery, it’s common sense! You will feel far more positive when you let sunlight into your house compared to if you have all the curtains closed and live in darkness.

So, I have two tips for you. Firstly, open the curtains or blinds in every room as soon as you wake up. Secondly, think about maybe getting some replacement windows so you can upgrade them to bigger and wider versions. This will help your home bring in more light, putting you in a much better mood. You could even consider those windows on the ceiling that really bring loads of natural light into your home. Trust me, this little trick will definitely help you get into a more positive mindset while you’re at home.

3 HOME HACKS FOR A POSITIVE MINDSET

Use A Diffuser To Create Relaxing Scents

The smells in and around your home will play a significant role in how positive you feel. This is something that you perhaps don’t think about until you actually make efforts to create nice smells. My idea is to help bring relaxing scents into the home, so you smell them and feel a lot calmer and more chilled out. Get a diffuser of some sort – it could be an electronic one or a classic reed diffuser – and pick your favorite smells. Place the diffusers throughout your home to really bring it to life and make it smell a lot nicer and more relaxing. Slowly but surely, your house becomes somewhere you actually like being in, and you become more positive.

There are other ways of bringing nice smells into your home – such as candles and incense. However, I prefer diffusers as it means you don’t have to burn anything and let smoke into the air. Plus, the oils you use with diffusers are often used in aromatherapy practices and when people are meditating. You don’t need to have one in every room, but I think the bedroom and living room are great places to create these relaxing and soothing smells.

3 HOME HACKS FOR A POSITIVE MINDSET

Bring More Space To Your Home By Decluttering

I think too many of us create negative energy in our homes by letting them become overcrowded and cluttered. It’s hard to feel positive and upbeat when your house is a bit of a mess and you feel very claustrophobic. Every morning will begin with you wanting to get out as soon as possible, being stressed that you can’t find the things you need, and creating more clutter in the process. In your head, every day will be the thought that you have to clean your home at some point, and this lingers all the time adding more stress. So, why don’t you tackle the problem head-on and have a massive decluttering session?

Yes, it can take a few days, but the benefits outweigh all the effort that goes into doing it. I’d genuinely suggest taking a day or two off work so you can declutter your home thoroughly. You will get rid of any junk and mess that you don’t need, freeing your house up and creating loads more space. The result is quite staggering; it will feel like you’ve moved into a new home. With more space, more room to breathe, and increased organization, your house becomes a much more positive place to live.

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I’ll end how I started by saying that self-care starts in the home. If you can get yourself in a positive mindset at home, then this will generally help you live a more positive and happy life. You need to have a base where you can relax and feel satisfied, not somewhere that adds to your negative feelings. With these three ideas, you will turn your house into an ultra-positive place!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

The models of kids’ rooms we see in most glossies or furniture stores are all well and good, but often they prioritize aesthetics over functionality. If you have children, we don’t need to tell you that in the battle between appearances and utility, the latter always wins out! However, you don’t have to totally let go of the interior décor of your dreams – it’s just a case of maneuvering to create a space that works for kids and their parents alike. Here are some easy organizational tips you can follow to strike that perfect balance.

This post was written by Johanna Cider, scroll to the bottom to learn more.

Repurpose A Room

Let’s start with the first and biggest hurdle: finding space in the first place! Chances are that in the average bustling family home, there won’t be much spare room lying around – but the good news is that there are plenty of solutions to a lack of space.

The first is to repurpose an existing room. You might, for instance, find that younger children might prefer to have a playroom rather than separate bedrooms, in which case you can move the kids together in one room and repurpose the free space. Another great option is garage conversion (you’d be surprised how much space there is to play with once your mancave or she shed is decluttered). Lastly, consider building a new structure altogether as another room in the house or a separate area in the backyard. Shipping container structures are a low-cost way to create a whole new house extension.

Make ‘Space’ Your Mantra

The three-word organizational mantra for kids is ‘storage, storage, storage.’ To create effective storage, you need to make intelligent use of your space. This means ensuring that seats and ottomans double as chests for toy storage, as well as utilizing vertical space (think bunk-beds and tall shelving units).

Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

Divide The Room Into ‘Stations’

Kids have various interests, and their dedicated space should reflect that. Setting up stations in each corner of the room for different activities or purposes (such as Play, Homework, Arts and Crafts, and Reading) is a clever way to cater to your child’s – or children’s – diverse set of hobbies. Creating stations is also an organizational winner, as you can ensure that each station has its own defined ‘zone’ from which items cannot stray.

Utilise The Walls

Covering the walls in chalkboard paint or fun wallpaper (with a world map on, for instance) both facilitates play and pleases the eye. Plus, you can then write clean-up checklists on the blackboard to ensure that the kids take care of their functional space!

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Simplicity Is Key

We parents can sometimes be tricked into thinking kids need an expertly-decorated, gadget-filled space for them to have any fun. But modernity hasn’t changed the experience of childhood that much. Kids still find the best fun in their imaginations – which means that if your functional space is airy, spacious, and most importantly, reserved exclusively for the kids – you’ve already done an ace job as an organizer.

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who loves discussing travel, home and lifestyle topics. Home design and organization are two of her greatest passions, and she spends many of her weekends working on new DIY projects. Find more of her work here.



How to Make Your Home Zen

Your home should be a peaceful sanctuary. It should be a place where you can relax and de-stress. If this is not the case, it is time to make some critical changes. But, where should you begin? Read on to discover some mindful ways you can make your home more Zen.

Eliminate Clutter

There is only one place to begin, and this is by getting rid of clutter. Clutter makes it impossible to unwind. Start with one room at a time, and get rid of as many items as possible. Only keep the essentials. Everything should have its own space – and this space shouldn’t be a random corner of the room or the coffee table. To stay on top of this Zen-like clutter-free space, operate the one in, one out rule. Whenever you buy something new, something else has to go.

How to Make Your Home Completely Zen

Add Some Plants

Indoor green plants are a must. Not only does their soothing green color look amazing, but also plants provide oxygen. They improve the indoor air quality, which ensures a more comfortable living environment. However, choose your plants carefully. Don’t go for plants that emanate disturbing scents or those that need special maintenance. Good options are hanging terrariums and bonsai trees.

Keep Decorations & Ornaments To A Minimum

Simplicity is key when it comes to wall decorations. Avoid overly congested collections of photos and paintings and don’ fill your shelves with decorative statues.

Focus on All Senses

To create a state of Zen, you need to focus on all senses. It’s not just about what you see. It is also about what you smell and what you feel. Layer a room with different textures. Also, make sure your house has a relaxing, sweet yet subtle smell. Vanilla and lavender are good choices.

Mental Health, Physical Health, and Your Home

Keep Furniture Natural & Simple

Clear and simple lines characterize Zen style furniture. Avoid excess ornamentation and complicated detail. Also, avoid a plethora of patterns and styles, keep it plain and simple.

Let in the Light

Natural light is a feature of any Zen home. You cannot expect to relax if you are merely relying on one harsh overhead in a room. Changing your window or investing in a skylight may be a significant investment, but it is well worth it. You can read this home renovation e-book for more advice. Regarding artificial lighting, make sure you have numerous sources per room, rather than lighting a space with just one overhead bulb.

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Go for Earthy Colours

Last but not least, natural colors that are in soft tones are a must. Suitable examples include beige, dusty pink, white, and grey. Choose harmonious colors that have the power to induce a sense of calmness and relaxation. Everything needs to tie together naturally. Each room should have a good flow to it.

As you can see, there are many different ways you can make your home completely Zen. From buying some indoor plants to eliminating clutter, it does not cost a lot to make your property more relaxing.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here 

5 Ways to Ensure a Harmonious Home

We each have a unique idea of what our perfect home environment looks like and the aesthetics get a lot of attention – but what about how home feels from an emotional perspective?  Our home affects our mental and physical health a lot more than we realize; it’s an imperative aspect of our lives and a large component of the first base of Maslow’s triangle regarding human need psychology.

The saying “tidy house tidy mind” describes this well, but the concept shouldn’t be limited to cleanliness or home organization.  Like the engine room of a ship, some things need to be taken care of to ensure a consistent feeling of harmony within your home – as niggling concerns which are left unattended can quickly snowball.

This article looks at how to ensure a consistent feeling of “home” by taking care of some of the less glamorous ‘behind the scenes’ tasks that are necessary to create a harmonious home environment that allows you to nurture your mental, physical and emotional health.

Are Your Finances Ruining Your Life?

1. Budgeting & Bills

Keeping up with household bills can be stressful if money is tight, but you want your home to feel like your castle – a sanctuary from financial stress – not a situation where each time you go past the mailbox you dread receiving another bill.  The best advice is to set up an affordable payment plan with each of your creditors to lessen the financial stress or even better, look into no interest credit cards that you can transfer existing debt onto and pay off each month within the interest-free period.

2. Gardening

If you come home each day to an overgrown garden, paint peeling off the fences, and rubble in the yard – it can create a feeling of chaos.  Though you don’t need a white picket fence with begonias growing in the garden, however, a garden that feels “well kept” will help you feel calm; like your life is in order.

Self-Love Ideas

3. Organization

Do you ever find yourself searching for car keys or having to empty out your closet to find the outfit you’re looking for?  If you live in physical clutter and chaos, it affects your mental state and creates an inner sense of clutter and chaos too.  Keep things organized within your home so that you can feel more at peace and calm within yourself.

4. Clean & Tidy

Keeping your home clean and tidy sounds simple enough, but often, this can snowball out of control when left for a few days, becoming such a chaotic mess, that you don’t know where to begin.  The trick here is to either employ a cleaner that undertakes a moderately deep clean, each week, or for you to do it yourself, little and often.

5. Neighbors

No matter how hard you try, not everyone is getting to get on with you, and some people are just plain difficult.  However, if you can get on with your neighbors you can build a sense of warmth and community between you. This warmth will pay dividends on facilitating the feeling of “home” you crave.

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In summary, your home is there to provide you with a place of harmony that supports you throughout the storms of your life, yet it’s important to maintain your home to receive the harmony you deserve from your home.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

5 Ways to Ensure a Harmonious Home

How to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

The New Year is that time of year when everyone begins setting goals.  Some of the most common goals for the New Year include losing weight and getting organized.

As someone who loves to organize this puts a big smile on my face, however, many people don’t feel the same way I do about organizing.  In fact, they find it dreadful.

A common problem people have when it comes to organizing is they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.  When you feel like this, you have no motivation even to get started. Then, just like that one of your goals has gone down the drain.

You can stick to your goals for the New Year, and you can get organized!  Here’s how you can start:

Start with Highest Traffic Area in your House

The entryway is typically the highest traffic area and is usually the best place to start.  Analyze what you use every single day.  For example, I need my handbag and jacket every day.  Our kids need their jackets every day right now as well since it’s winter.  We have created a hook system on the wall where it’s easy to hang up our daily items.  The kids’ hooks are lower so they can learn to hang up their own jackets.  Wall hooks are a great organizing tool to use because they are very easy to use and don’t take up too much space.

Where to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

Create a Command Center

After your entryway has been updated, work on creating a command center that fits you and/or your family needs.  Create a central place where you can manage your mail and calendar.  Use a chalkboard or dry erase board for a calendar.  Having a visual calendar will help keep your life organized.  Even if you only use a digital calendar, establish a visual calendar for your household so that it’s always in front of you. Our household uses the following:

  • Calendar Dry Erase Board- We write out our calendar on a dry erase board so we can see every day what is going on for the month.  It’s easy to update when needed and color code it so it’s organized and easy to read.
  • Tack Board-  This is where we keep photos, kids’ art pieces, important coupons that we want to use.
  • Magazine Holder– This is used to store magazines that come in the mail.
  • Hook Holder With Tray-  The tray keeps the dry erase markers stored there, so it’s easy to update the calendar.  The hooks are used for the kids to hang their jackets there.  These hooks are great for key holders as well.  Our kids are too young right now to store them there; we’d never find our keys 😉
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Create a Household Binder

Paper still exists in our lives. Creating a binder will serve as a resourceful resource.  The binder will become your go-to guide.  It will be your Home Bible.  It will keep you organized and allow you to become more productive because all of your important resources will be in one place.  Time will no longer be wasted searching for documents or wondering what the password is to an account. You’ll want to place it where it can be easily accessed every day, like the inside of a kitchen cabinet or on an office desk.  Keep it in the same spot, so you always know where it’s located.

Where to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

Declutter Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the most commonly used and gathered area of the home.  Having an organized kitchen makes things more enjoyable and perfect when an unexpected guest stops by.  Depending on the size of your kitchen, break it up into sections: Drawers, Cabinets, and Pantry.  

 Start each section by decluttering it first.  If it hasn’t been used in the past year or it’s broken, get rid of it.  Once you have finished decluttering each section, then you’ll want to analyze that space and figure out organizing products to use for that space.  If you are organizing your drawers, make sure to use drawer organizers to help keep items in their appropriate space. 

Acrylic clear drawer organizers work the best because they give you the best-organized look and feel.  They also match well with many different drawers. For the cabinets and pantry use baskets where necessary and label them.  Use the same bins for a consistent look and feel.  Wicker baskets or white bins work very well.  Also, get rid of any type of dishware that doesn’t match your current set-up.

Declutter Your Closet

We wear clothes every day.  You should love every single piece of clothing you own; it should make you feel good.  When you feel good, you put your best foot forward whether that’s in your work or other areas of your life.  Here are some tips to help you with your closet:

  • Get rid of something if you have not worn it in the past year.
  • If it doesn’t make you feel good, get rid of it.
  • If it’s too small or big, get rid of it.
  • Anything that needs repair (button needing to be sewn, etc.) and it’s been longer than six months, get rid of it.
  • Color coordinate hanging items starting with the red and move through the rainbow.
  • Use felt or wood hangers that are all the same to give you a consistent look and feel.

Now you might be overwhelmed by this list and where to start.  Start with the first point and then move to the next one.  Give yourself a week for each point, and in a month, you will have made a good dent in getting your household organized in the New Year! For more organizing resources, you can visit Organized Marie.

Organized Marie

Meet the Author

Marie is an innate organizer and planner. She is a working mom to two with a third on the way and a veteran of Corporate America for ten plus years. Marie is a Fargo native and sports lover.

The Organized Planner was designed for the working mom to help manage and organize personal and work life.

Organized Marie is a place for working moms to create simple, everyday organizing solutions for their home. Every working mom can have an organized, stress-free home.

Want to read more from Marie? Check out these links: The Organized Planner, Organized Marie.



How to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

There are loads of benefits of working from home. When you work out of your home office you no longer having to commute to work and you are more able to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest. But is it really always this great? Do you want to make sure that your home office isn’t bad for your health? Then you need to use these great tips.

If you ask anyone who works from home what the negatives are of working in a home office are, then I’m sure that they might mention their health and fitness. Now that they work from home, they rarely need to leave the house so their fitness can quickly decline. But there are some other health issues that can rise up as well. Keep reading to learn some ways to combat these health concerns.

Have an Ergonomic Workstation

One of the main health complaints by those who work from home is back and neck pain. This is from sitting in front of their computer all day. If they slouch over the screen, then this pain will be even worse. One way around this is to create an ergonomic workstation. You can easily do this by buying an ergonomic desk and chair. These pieces of furniture are designed in such a way that they don’t encourage you to put excess stress on your back or neck while you are sitting working.

Read here about more ways to upgrade your home office.

Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

Keep It Clean

If you use your home office every day, then you should keep it as clean as possible. Germs could build up on surfaces that you regularly touch, such as your keyboard and office phone. You can buy sanitizing wipes to clean this and remove any germs and bacteria. It’s also worth buying a lightweight vacuum so that you can quickly clean up any spills. If you end up treading any crumbs or spilled liquids into your carpet, they could become breeding grounds for germs!

Sometimes clutter can also attract germs and dust. Try decluttering your desk or home office.

Take Regular Breaks

Did you know that sitting for long periods of most days can lead to some pretty serious health conditions? It is thought those who have very sedate jobs are more likely to suffer from diseases such as diabetes later in their life compared to those who have active jobs. So, it is really worth planning for a ten-minute break every hour. Even if you just get up and walk around your house, you will be doing your health some good!

Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

Ventilate It Well

Bad air in your office can cause breathing problems for those who have a weak immune system or have suffered from respiratory problems in the past. Even if you don’t have these kinds of health concerns, it is still necessary to keep your home office well-ventilated. Otherwise, the air will get quite stuffy and stale. You just need to open your window for an hour or so each day to give the room a quick refresh. Obviously, if it is cold outside then you don’t have to keep it open for too long.

As long as you stick to the tips mentioned above, you shouldn’t have to worry about your home office draining on your health. Try implementing one at a time, adding one new tip each week until you are doing them all regularly!

This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have added to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to write a post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.



Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Whether it’s a whole room in your house or apartment, a carefully proportioned square in an office building, or something in between, odds are you’re spending a substantial portion of the day in your office. Because of that, your office space – like you – has a lot of work to do. It has to be a productive space, but also one that inspires, keeps you healthy, and is generally as pleasant to be in as possible.

There’s no reason to spend 8 hours a day in an unpleasant space. So, if you feel like your workspace isn’t all it should be, read on to find out a few areas you can look to for improvements.

Hang It Up

First things first: No matter how big or small your office is, one thing you’re always in absolute control of is what’s on your desk. And if that’s a bunch of clutter, it could actually be hurting your productivity. Learn more about decluttering your desk here.

One way to fix that is adding storage, of course. But if you’ve got limited space, and no room for shelving? Try hanging things up – keys, headphones, and similar items can go straight onto hooks. Get a hangable container for your pens and other writing utensils. Anything that helps you get the random items off your desk immediately improves your workstation. 

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Write It Down

In some ways, this is a lifestyle change. I won’t spend a lot of time convincing you; I remember a time in my life when I laughed at people for being so organized to carry a planner. Now? My planner never leaves my side. Let me at least say this: Writing things down gives your important tasks a physical space and keeps them from zooming around in your mind all day.

This is another simple upgrade because it’s hard to start writing things down if you don’t have the materials. And those materials come in many forms: a planner, a calendar, sticky notes – it’s all a matter of what works for you.

Feel like you’re wasting paper? Try a whiteboard for your lists. There’s nothing more satisfying than erasing items one at a time until everything’s cleared.

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Add Some Life to Your Office Space

This isn’t an organization technique – it’s a way to improve your mental state. You could take this literally, and grab yourself a potted plant. If your office lacks much light, a shady plant is great – alternately, it’s hard to kill a cactus.

Of course, pictures take a lot less effort. You could hang up scenic photos, an image of your favorite painting, or even a movie poster of one of your favorites.

Adding life could mean adding bits of your own life, too. Try dedicating a space in your office to some personal effects. Photos of hobbies, a statuette of a musical instrument you play. For me? It’s a small shelf just above my desk with a handful of my favorite novels that I’ve read dozens of times.

Get creative with your space, and it’ll be a much nicer place to be.

Take A Stand – Or A Better Seat

On a more sobering note, the research is in – and sitting is truly terrible for you. To that end, I can’t stress enough the wisdom of investing in a standing desk – or, for flexibility, an adjustable one.

Still don’t like the idea of standing? You can at least make sitting healthier and more comfortable. If your back is hurting while you work at your desk, it could mean you’re not sitting correctly. Sitting properly depends on a number of factors, and it can at least be partially addressed by getting a better chair. So, make yourself comfortable in your office – it’s good for you.

Is your office space hurting your productivity? Pick at least one of these simple upgrades to implement into your own office!

Meet the Author

This post was written by Issac, a Director at 3 White Hats, a New Zealand based online marketing agency.



4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

A Millennial’s Guide To A Clean Home

Cleaning your home is the easiest way to keep it nice and organized. Have you ever had a big clear out where you’ve cleaned your home from top to bottom and been amazed at how neater it looks? Well, you can get that amazing feeling more often if you clean your home regularly. Of course, I know why most of us don’t get into a strict cleaning regime. We’re part of a generation that lives a very busy life. We balance a work life with a social life, it’s rare we have time at home on our own during the week. When we do, we want to rest, not clean!

So, I’ve come up with a cleaning guide that’s directed at millennials like myself. In it, you’ll find solutions to keep your home tidy without exerting too much time and effort.

Declutter

It’s not uncommon for those of us who live a busy life to leave things lying around the house all the time. Not only does this make it messier and less organized, but it also makes it harder to clean as you spend extra time picking the stuff up. Mainly, I do this when I’m getting changed, and I just dump my clothes on the floor or bed. Likewise, I’ll come home and throw my coat anywhere. It’s the same with my mail too, I won’t open it right away, I’ll let it stockpile up on my kitchen table and rarely sort it.

What we need to do is put things away as soon as possible. Pick up your clothes from the floor and put them in the washing basket or cupboard. Organize your mail right away and stop letting stuff clutter your home. As a result, you’ll have less mess, making your house easier to clean. Check out this closet organization post to learn more about organizing your bedroom closet or this post on file organization to help you out!

Millennial's Guide to a Clean Home

Using Robots

Vacuuming your home is one of the longest tasks when cleaning. However, if you put it off, it makes the task so much harder and time-consuming. Thankfully, there is a genius solution to your woes; get a robotic vacuum. Yes, it’s nearly 2018 and robots are now your best friend in the home. A quick peek on The Smart Future website will show you a whole host of robotic vacuums with different features. Mainly, their task is to vacuum your floor and keep it clean. You can buy one, turn it on, and let it do the work while you put your feet up or do something else. If you really want to make life easier, you can get one with a mopping function too!

Millennial's Guide to a Clean Home

There’s an App for That

There’s an app for just about anything. and, surprise surprise, there’s an app to help you with your home cleaning too. In fact, if you have a look on Housekeep you’ll see there are multiple apps at your disposal. Each one is designed to help you structure and schedule your cleaning routine, prioritizing tasks and setting alerts to get you to clean. This can help you use your time better and clean a little per day, rather than having to dedicate one or two hours on a single day per week.

Follow this guide, and you can have a clean and organized home! Let me know what your cleaning hacks are in the comments!

This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have added to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation.

A Millennial’s Guide To A Clean Home

Closet Organization | How I Organized My Closet

If you are anything like me, you have WAY too much clothes in your closet and you just simply can’t part with it. I am no minimalist, I respect minimalists, but I couldn’t do it. And when you have as much stuff in your closet as I do, maximizing space is super important. This post is kind of a closet tour/analysis of my closet organization. I am going to show you how I’ve decided to organize my things and how it needs to be improved. The hope is that you will learn not only from my organization but also from my mistakes as a fellow clothing and shoe hoarder.

Closet Overview

I have been blessed with two large closets in my current apartment, and in reality, this was one of the main reasons I chose this apartment complex – immense storage for my stuff. Because of this, my closets are for more than just my clothing and they allow me not to need a dresser. So, don’t think that because I am not using a dresser, that you can use one to optimize your organization.

It is important to note that just because I organize one way doesn’t mean that it is the best way for everyone. We all optimize our space differently and that is okay!

My Clothing

The bulk of my closet is filled with my clothing which I have strategically organized. I should also note that I frequently change and alter my strategy. I generally like to keep categories and subcategories. These categories and subcategories have designated a color (the color of the hanger). Please excuse the difference in the type of hangers, I am currently migrating from the plastic hangers I got at my high school graduation party to some nicer velvet hangers. My clothes are also organized by the color of the clothing.

My Dressy, Professional Wardrobe

The left side of my first closet is reserved for my nicer and more professional clothes. I have my suit jackets and blazers on the far left with pink hangers. Next, on black hangers, are my dress pants followed by pencil skirts and other skirts.

Directly after my skirts, I have sweaters and sweatshirts. This does not include any casual sweatshirts or hoodies. My sweaters are broken into two categories: open front or button-up and pull over. Nearly all of my sweaters have pink hangers currently; though, the sweaters that could be considered nice but also casual have white hangers.



Next are my blouses and shirts. These are organized by length of sleeve beginning with long sleeve and three-quarter sleeve down to tank tops. The button-up blouses have black hangers, tank tops have an orange hanger, shirts that can be both nice and casual have a white hanger, and everything else has a pink hanger.

And lastly, my dresses all have pink hangers and are organized by color, they have no subcategories currently.

My Casual, Everyday Wardrobe

On the right side of my first closet is where I keep my casual, everyday clothing. All of my tops are hung up and I have a shelf for my bottoms. From left to right my shirts are organized: playsuits (not currently assigned a color because I am swapping between hanger styles), casual skirts (pink hangers), tank tops and crops tops (orange hangers), text t-shirts (green hanger), plain t-shirts (white hangers), long sleeve t-shirts (blue hangers), and sweaters or hoodies (green or white hangers because I ran out of white hangers).

On the top shelf, I have my shorts organized in piles. Each pile is a different subcategory: capris and yoga capris, colorful or patterned, high wastes, and jean. On the second shelf are my jeans. These are in three subcategories: colored, light wash, and dark wash. And finally, on the bottom shelf is my elephant pants and leggings.

Closet Number Two

In my second closet, I have more sweaters and hoodies that I generally don’t wear hung up. I also have piles of winter clothes folded on the shelf above. These items include fleece-lined leggings (I have a nice collection of these), sweatpants, and under armor.

I have been perfecting how I organize my clothing for most of my life—it’s something I enjoy. That being said, I have no current plans to change my methods and I highly recommend them, but, I am sure I will continue to tweak it.



My Shoes

My shoes are organized similarly to my clothing in that I try to keep them categorized. My heels, sandals, tennis shoes, and flats are in various hanging organizers, while my boots are on the top shelf. On the dressier side of my first closet, I hang my heels next to my dress pants. Above the clothing, you can also find my shorter dress boots.

Beside my bottoms shelf, you will find a hanging organizer that hold my tennis shoes and another hanging organizer with my flat sandals. Above the everyday side of my closet are my combat and taller boots. And finally, on the back of my bedroom door, you will find an organizer that holds my flats.

Accessories

My accessories are not in one place. They are scattered around my room. My bags are hanging on a rack that I made with my grandpa. On top of my bags, I display my sunhat.

I hang my belts off of a metal shower curtain ring above my dirty laundry. And my scarves are hung from a scarf organizer in my second closet.

Bedding

In my second closet on the top shelf, I have a massive pile of blankets and bedding that I do not use on a regular basis. I keep these items in my bedroom closet because I do not have a towel closet to store those kinds of items in. I actually have an antique hamper in my living room where I store more of my blankets.

Beauty Products

I have more products than I have space. So, I store a lot of these products inside and on top of two-drawer shelves in my second closet. There might be a better way to store these products, but I have owned these shelves most of my life and cannot be bothered to purchase a replacement.

Art Supplies

The final part of my closet lies on the ground in my second closet. This is the least organized part of my entire apartment and I need your help! If any of you guys have any suggestions for organizing my mess that I call “art supplies” please let me know in the comments below! Instead of explaining how I’ve chosen to organize this part of my closet, I’ll just show you.

That’s it, guys! What do you think? Any suggestions? How do you organize your closets!? LET ME KNOW!!

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Six Steps to an Organized Filing System

Keeping your documents organized and easy to find is super important! I mean, some of these are legal documents. That’s not something you want to lose or misplace! If you don’t have a filing system, let’s get you one! Keep reading for the perfect filing system! This article includes affiliate links.

Step One | Find A Filing Container That Works for You

Do you have a lot of filing or just a few papers? Does your filing need to follow you around? Do you want to customize your cabinet? These are some of the questions that you need to be asking when you’re picking a filing system. Here are some of the most common filing system containers, their pros and cons, and some examples as inspiration.

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Filing Cabinet

Filing cabinets are the bulkiest option; however, they hold the most. If you have a lot of documents, then you probably need a filing cabinet. You can find standard-sized cabinets with three or four drawers at any office supply store. Similarly, you can find smaller one and two drawer cabinets. Size and appearance are up to you.

The good thing about Filing Cabinets (next to them being larger in size) is customizability! You can buy these in various colors and styles or you can paint them, and add detailing! Check out these 15 Fabulous Filing Cabinet Makeovers compiled by The Melrose Family!

Filing Box

The next option is the filing box. The filing box is nice because it is more mobile. I feel like I am moving at least once a year, so I have gone for the filing box. I have one that keeps my documents, and a second that stores my spare office supplies.

The filing box option is a little less customizable than the filing cabinet. To make up for customizability, the box comes in a dozen different styles and sizes. Check out some of the adorable and practical options I have found below! I prefer the lidded option, but a desktop option is great if you do not have a lot of filing.

Expanding Filing

The expanding filing sounds kind of silly but is practical for small amounts of paperwork. This option isn’t as sturdy as the other options. But it is perfect for easy-to-grab, often-used documents.

The expanding file can be both mobile and fixed since there are a variety of styles. Some have handles and others snap shut for mobility. Still, others are meant to sit on a desk or shelf. Check out some of the accordion filing systems I have found.

Desk Drawer Filing

This option only works for someone with a desk drawer that would fit some hanging files. The desk drawer is also not mobile and the size depends on your desk. Here are some desks that have filing drawers.

You can also make desks using filing cabinets. Check out this tutorial done by HomeTalk.

Step Two | Organize Your Documents

Organizing your files is the most important part of this whole process and it is the backbone of your entire system. But don’t let that scare you, organizing your files can be made simple with my FREE File Planning Workbook.

The first step here is to make a list of your main categories. These are broader categories that may or may not have subcategories (we’ll get to subcategories in a minute). Once you have made this list, keep a few notes that describe what exactly goes in this main category.

For example, in my main category, Finances, I keep anything related to my money, banking, and loans. Basically, if it involves my money, it’s in Finances.

Once you have your main categories designated then it’s time to figure out your sub-categories. Sub-categories are more specific categories that fall under your main categories. Sometimes you are able to figure out your subcategories by your description (like my Finances example). That isn’t always the case though.

Sometimes it is easiest to figure out your subcategories by looking at all the documents that you plan to put in your main categories. If you see a trend, then it is probably subcategory worthy!

There are cases where a subcategory isn’t necessary. For example, my Taxes file doesn’t need any subcategories because it is already so specific and archive-ready (archiving is Step Four, stay tuned!). Not having subcategories is perfectly okay!

Now that we have all our categories sorted we need to file it! That leads us to step three

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Step Three | Decide How You’d Like to Keep Your Files Organized

You may be thinking, what do you mean decide how to keep my files organized, we already decided our categories didn’t we? Deciding how to keep them organized is another layer and there are a few ways to do this. The first way is to use different colors.

Color Organization

When you use different colors for each main category, it is much easier to navigate your filing at a glance. At-a-glance navigation is so much quicker than staring at your files trying to find something.

Color Coordinated Labels

One way to organize by color is to label your categories in certain colors. This is nice if you already have colored pens or markers to use. If you don’t happen to have colored pens lying around but would like to color coordinate your labels, check out my favorite labeling pens!

Colored File Folders

Another way to organize by color is will colored file folders or hanging files. You are able to assign each of your categories a color based on colored hanging files. Doing this allows for extremely easy to scan files.

A Combination of the Two

You are also able to place only very sensitive file categories in a color such as red, and files that do not get archived (keep reading to learn about archiving files) in another color such as purple or blue. You can then leave the rest of your files in generic hanging files and use color coding on all your labels. This method allows for easy archiving.

Sorting

Deciding the order in which you file your categories really depends on what is most functional for you and your files. Here are three ways to sort your files.

Sort by Topic or Category

Sorting by topic or category is the easiest way to sort your files because you have already organized your files into categories. All the work here is done, just plop your files on in by the categories you’ve already picked alphabetically.

Sort by Relevance*

This is the sorting method I use, I find it most handy when reaching for my documents. When you sort by relevance there are three sorting categories to keep in mind. First, you want to keep your most frequently used categories at the front. This means you refer to them more often than your other categories.

Second, your almost-never-used files go at the back. If you don’t need them very often, you don’t need them blocking the files you do use a lot. These categories might include Memory Items, Misc., and Instruct. Manuals.

And last is everything else gets placed in the middle.

Sort Chronologically

Chronological means that the categories are sorted by most recent at the front and least recent at the back in the order in which they occurred. Timelines are a great example of something chronological. Chronologically is most handy in archived files because these files are kept by year. If your filing categories allow for chronological sorting, then go for it!

Step Four | The Rules of Labeling

One of the most important ways of organizing your files is with labels. There are different labeling products to choose from, here are some of my favorite labels.

When you are writing or typing up your labels, be very specific. The label is only so big and you want your labels to be readable, and being specific makes it easier.

Write one or two-word labels for maximum benefit. Using one or two words allows the label to be kept on one line. This also allows the label to be bigger and more readable. You want your labels to be seen without getting close or squinting, so the bigger you can write them, the better.

Like I mentioned, keep your label on one line. Doing this allows for greater readability. Sticking to the 1-to-2 word rule makes keeping your label on one line really easy.

Sometimes the words being used on your label are too long and you need to use two lines. FALSE. If the word is too long, shorten it. For example, Instruction Manuals is pretty long even though it’s only two words. You can keep this label on one line easily by shortening it to Instruct. Manual. This shortens it just enough to fit on one line!

You might also shorten your label by taking out small words like the, of, etc. or replace small words with symbols (i.e. and becomes ‘&’, inquiries become ‘?’—get creative).

Label in all capital letters. This, again, just makes the label easier to read at a glance because the letters are all the same height.

My last labeling rule is to use good handwriting or type it. The reality of it is, that if you don’t have good handwriting, then your labels won’t be easy to read at a glance. So, if your penmanship isn’t great, try typing out your labels instead to keep them readable. To make typed labels easier, try these label sheets. They fit into your printer like a normal piece of paper and come with a website that provides the Microsoft Word template.

However, if you have good handwriting, then there is no reason you can’t write your labels out.

Step Five | Archives

The archives are everything in your main categories for the previous years. You don’t want all your finances from 2012 mixed in with your finances for 2017, that will just cause chaos. With archived files, you can be assured that each year’s information is all in the same place, allowing you to go back a year or two if needed, but also allowing you to find this year’s information more easily.

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How to Archive

Archiving is super easy. At the end of each year create a subcategory for that year (under the main category: Archives). For example, this subcategory might be 2016. Then you create second level subcategories using the previously determined categories. Are you following me? Perhaps the graphic in my FREE File Planning Workbook can help you to follow along, I’m a visual learner too.

You can choose to keep your subcategories by allowing them to become third level subcategories, or you can choose to remove them all together. This is up to you. I keep my original subcategories, as is depicted on page 10 of the Workbook.

Categories That Don’t Need to Be Archived

I keep a file labeled Information. This file is comprised of mostly handouts and printouts with information that I found helpful or wanted to keep handy. These documents do not need to be archived because they are relevant every year and if they become irrelevant, I probably need to go and find an updated version to replace it.

Another category that might not need to be archived is Instruction Manuals. These are manuals that come with all your appliances, toys, and electronics. These are nice to keep around (assuming you still have that product) in case you need to figure out a setting or learn how the product works. But these, again, are not relevant to only one year. The Manuals are only relevant as long as you have the product, and if you don’t have the product, then trash the manual.

Step Six | The ‘To-Be Filed’ Bin

A To-Be-Filed Bin is a place or container that you keep on your desk or on your filing system. The purpose of the bin is to keep handy documents that you are still using, but that need to be filed when you are done without damaging or losing them. Keeping this bin within reach of your desk or filing system is important to prevent damaged or lost documents. Check out These paper trays.

Read more about desk organization here.

The Filing Essentials Shopping List

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