Easy and Budget-Friendly Summer Organizing Motivation and Ideas
I recently completed a number of organization projects that I wanted to share with you. Though many of us think of spring cleaning and organizing, it helps to stay on top of things by periodically organizing key areas of the home that tend to become disorganized quickly. Namely, the fridge/freezer, pantry, and closets. First to share with you, closet organization. The problem with closets is that we can close the door and forget about them. I recently organized a linen closet and a master bedroom/bathroom closet and I was very happy with the results. These were both low-cost projects, but with a significant impact. Check out the before (left) and after (right) pictures below.
(The following is provided for informational purposes only; the information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes, and no guarantees are made.)
Linen Closet Organization
As with all organization projects, the first step was to take everything out of the linen closet, wipe down the surfaces, and decide what to keep, donate, and throw away/recycle. I follow the personal rule of thumb that one only needs two (three max) sets of sheets per bed and two sets (for however many people use the bathroom) of towels per bathroom. If I want to purchase a fresh set of towels or sheets, I always plan on donating an old set. However, some of my clients prefer to keep more, so we compromise, if needed. Generally speaking, I try to help clients minimize and focus on only keeping things that they truly need, use, and love.
Once I had the "keep" pile figured out, I sorted these items into functional categories -- i.e., master sheets, master towels, guest sheets, guest towels, children's sheets, gym towels, et cetera. Then, I began folding and deciding on shelf placement. I placed heavier blankets on the very top shelf as they will not be used again until winter, while I placed lighter weight blankets lower down so that children can grab one if they get cold at night. Sheets and towels, grouped by master or guest or kids, got prime real estate on the two middle shelves (I used a label maker to designate shelve areas "master" or "guest" so things are less likely to get mixed up). Bins that were already around the home were used, so this was a very budget friendly project.
Master Bedroom/Master Bath Closet
The next project was a master bedroom/master bathroom closet. As this space served as an expansive medicine/vanity cabinet for extra supplies, products, and medicine, the main task was to get rid of unneeded items (trash, recycle, or donate) and then organize what remained. I used the top shelf for extra supplies of favorite shampoos, shaving cream, deodorant, and so on, as they would not be needed as frequently. Then, I grouped the items in logical categories such as shave, first aid, skincare, soap/bath, lotion, contact lenses, medicines, et cetera. I decided on a simple and inexpensive storage container option that would be uniform and see through, but lidded. The six-quart, Sterilite storage boxes that I used came in a set of 12 for $24 on Amazon. Then, I used La Suavy chalkboard labels to title the boxes. These labels are great as they are erasable and reusable. You can get 96 to a pack (in a variety of sizes) for $8 on Amazon. For medicine storage, I decided to use a couple of mDesign Divided Lazy Susan Turntables. These were a bit more expensive, but still fairly budget-friendly container options at $18 each on Amazon. Given that a large portion of the clutter in this closet was from medicines, the turntables were a worthwhile organization solution. The turntables have five different sections and spin around 360 degrees, so you can organize a lot of stuff in a small amount of space. I organized and labeled each section as follows: thermometer, fever reducer, pain medicine, allergy/itch, essential oils, first aid, etc. Love the way this project turned out!
The thing I always tell my clients is that once you organize a space and properly label it (this is key!), it is so much easier and less time consuming to reorganize the space if it gets disorganized with time. The pantry below had already been organized and labeled, it had just become a bit chaotic with daily use. The reorganization process was so easy and quick! See the before (left) and after (right) shots below.
Another good idea when organizing the kitchen is to create a self-serve snack drawer/area in the refrigerator and pantry. I used one of the smaller drawers in this fridge to provide healthy snack options that kids can grab for themselves, including apples, yogurt, juice boxes, and snack-sized cheeses. Kids like it because they can choose their own snacks, and parents like not having to have a conversation about what the kids are going to have for snack or having to "make" the snack. I also like to create a snack stash in the pantry with options as well, see below.
Fridge and Freezer Organization
Fridge/freezer organization is one of those chores that no one seems to want to do or get around to doing, but folks are always happy with the results. Ideally, I recommend cleaning out one's fridge at least every three months or so and one's freezer every six months. First, throw away any food that has gone bad or is past its expiration date. Then, figure out what you have, group it in logical categories, and label, label, label.
I hope this post has given you some organizing inspiration. Remember, home organization projects don't have to take forever or be super expensive. Each of these projects took less than two hours and cost less than $100 for supplies. Here's to getting more organized all year long!
I love organizing! If you ever need help with family organization, give me a ring!
Enriched Family is a unique, custom research and consulting business dedicated to providing families with the information, tools, and systems they need to live more organized and joyful lives. Services include: Custom family-focused research (child care, education, health and wellness resources, camps, and enrichment activities), family organization solutions (stuff and systems), and productivity consulting for busy professional parents (planning and prioritizing, productivity coaching, and time/project management coaching). I offer a free, 20-minute initial phone consultation to all new clients to discuss matching your needs and priorities with my services. I invite you to check out my services and click the "Let's Get Started!" button below to contact me with any questions.