Managing Motivation

So, you’ve finally decided to do a deep decluttering of your closet. It’s been a long time coming. It’s time to finally say goodbye to those 90’s platform shoes and fringed leather jackets! (Although, by the time I finish writing this both will probably be back in style, but I digress…) You made sure to keep your entire Sunday free so you can get it all done and start Monday off with a well-organized bang.

Then the day actually arrives and you just aren’t feeling it.

Maybe you stayed up late the night before. Maybe you’re just tired from the million and one other things you’ve been keeping up with. Maybe it’s a cloudy, rainy day and you’re lacking energy. Maybe the whole thing feels too daunting, so you keep procrastinating. We’ve all been there.

It can be incredibly frustrating when we want to achieve things, but lack the motivation to actually do them. Here are a few things I tell my clients to keep in mind, when they find that the Motivation Monster claims you as its victim:

  • Do a little at a time – Starting off small and focusing on just one corner, drawer, section, etc. will feel way more manageable than trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Telling yourself “I only have to get through this little bit,” will be way less intimidating and leave you less likely to put it off entirely.
  • Visualize the outcome you want – Remember to stay focused on the bigger picture. Keep reminding yourself what your space will feel like when you finally get more organized. Remind yourself of the extra time you’ll have and what you’ll do with it. Remind yourself the positive impact your efforts will have. Giving yourself something to work toward can really help give you that extra push.
  • Eliminate distractions – This can be a tough one, even for me. With constant reminders on our phones, kids & pets running around, and various chores on our radar, it can be difficult to remain on task. Eliminating the distractions to the best of your ability is important when you want to stay motivated. Doing just a little at a time also plays a role here, as it’s much easier to ask for thirty minutes of alone time, versus three hours. Turn off your phone notifications and put on some music that will help drown out the background noise. Do not let yourself do other chores until you’ve finished your task. Commit to doing this for a given amount of time (whatever is most reasonable for you) and stay in the zone. You’ll get way more done this way, I promise.
  • Make it fun! – There’s no reason organizing can’t be fun. Put on your favorite music or podcast and drink your favorite beverage while you work. If you can get other family members to help, turn it into a game. Find little ways to make the task more enjoyable and feel less like “work.”

What are some things you do when you need a little extra motivation? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! 🙂

Budget Organizing Hacks!

Professional organizers hear many different excuses for clients’ clutter and messy habits, but mostly, we hear the same two over and over again: “I don’t have time” and “I can’t afford it.” Since I frequently harp on the subject of creating time (even just fifteen minutes!) to organize, I thought I’d switch gears today.

What do you do when you want to become more organized, but are on a tight budget?

There’s lots you can do! Believe it or not, organizing doesn’t have to be about pretty, expensive baskets and sets of matching bins. With a little creativity, you can come up with all sorts of clever home hacks and dollar store ideas that will make your home feel more put together. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  • Command hooks/strips – There is SO much you can do with command hooks/strips: Put a few hooks on the wall to keep your necklaces from tangling or use them to keep cords in place. Stick some hooks on the back of cabinet doors to arrange utensils, pot holders, and dish towels. Put command strips on the back of clothespins to hang recipe cards and spice packets. The possibilities are endless.
  • Wire baskets – Mount cheap wire baskets on the backs of cabinet doors to hold cleaning supplies, cutting boards, mail, and hair styling tools
  • Cheap drawer organizers – Use small, plastic organizers from the dollar store to keep cords, pens, keys, jewelry, cosmetics, and other small items from shifting around in drawers. Silverware organizers are great for this purpose, also!
  • Shoe organizer (over the door) – Those over-the-door shoe organizers are good for more than just shoes! Use them to organize extra towels/linens, medicine cabinet supplies, clothing, and children’s toys.
  • Clothespins – Mount clothespins on wire, with magnets, or command hooks and use them to hang towels, jewelry, photos, mail, hair ties, belts, etc.
  • Mason jars – I love using mason jars in the bathroom for cotton balls, Q-tips, hair ties, etc. They’re also great for storing arts & craft supplies, cords, and dry goods in the pantry (just make sure you get ones that are food safe).

A great place to find cheap organizing supplies is Target. (Anyone else obsessed with Target? lol) Check out some of the cute dollar section trays I spotted at Target recently. These would be great for stashing all kinds of small items around the house!

2022. Let’s Do This.

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping for a year filled with happiness and positive things, no matter how big or small.

Don’t forget that today is the beginning of the New Year, New Habits Challenge. It’s a way to jumpstart the process of creating some new, better habits in your life that will help you be more organized.

My personal goal for the next 14 days is to go to bed every night with an empty sink. I do my best to keep up with the dishes, but I could definitely make some improvement in this area. Waking up to dirty dishes stresses me out, so hopefully this challenge to myself will make me a little less cranky in the mornings. 😉

What habits are you working on the next 14 days (or this year)? Whatever you decide to do, remember to have fun with it.


Don’t forget to share your progress pics on social media and tag @theremakestudio on Instagram!

Beginnings

Hello, friends! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend.

Now that Christmas is over, talk of change is popping up everywhere. Normally, I don’t get all sappy and reminiscent this time of year. (Going into 2021, I was just grateful to be leaving a tumultuous year behind us.) Looking back at the past year, however, I realize how much has changed in my life. I got married, made a huge career change and launched my own business, decided to ditch some old habits, and finally started living a life that I actually enjoy. I have no idea what is waiting for us all in 2022, but whatever it is, I hope it’s a year filled with more of the things you love.

Lots of people will begin their decluttering journeys next year. Knowing where to begin the process can be a real challenge in the beginning. My advice to you is to start small. Look at the following list and pick just a few of these things to start with. You don’t need to start with every room. Just pick one and do a little at a time. The goal is to get rid of the things no longer serving you, not to create additional stress for yourself.

…and don’t forget to have some fun with it! 😉


Don’t forget to join the New Year, New Habits Challenge on social media if you want to really get a jumpstart on kicking those bad habits to the curb!

New Year, New Habits

Most human behavior is the result of habit. Setting your purse on the table when you get home, the way your husband leaves his shoes next to the bed, the way your kids leave their breakfast crumbs on the table…All habits. Even though you are completely unaware of it, many of the things you do on a day-to-day basis are the result of your brain signaling for you to repeat previous behaviors.

As we move into the new year, think about the habits you’ll be carrying with you. Think about the life you want to create for yourself. Are your habits supporting that life, or are they pushing you further away from it? If your goal is to be more organized and live with less clutter, stress, and frustration, that habit of letting dishes accumulate in the sink for days may not be serving your best interest.

This is the time to take action and change those habits, to move towards the life you want. “Why now?” you may ask. Why not now? You owe it to yourself to create a life of happiness. So let’s make it happen!

Move Over, Wrapping Paper

Every year tons of cardboard gift boxes and wrapping paper get thrown in the trash on Christmas. (I’m not even going to look up the exact number, because I know it’ll be depressing.) Instead of contributing to all that waste this year, consider using different types of organizing bins, boxes, and baskets to hide presents in that the recipient can use later.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Stackable acrylic and bamboo boxes are great for holding jewelry, cosmetics, gift cards, and other small trinkets. (Here’s a cute fabric version, too.)

Photo storage cases are great for things other than photos, like craft supplies and small toys.

With all the different designs and sizes of fabric bins available, you can gift pretty much anything in style these days. (Personally, I like these best for bulkier items, like sweaters, boots, and purses. (The Bigso boxes from the Container Store would be another great option.)

Use magazine holders for books, comics, and magazines.

And, of course, there are always baskets for everything you could possibly imagine. (Just look at this adorable cat shaped basket!)


*This post was inspired by a reel I posted on my social media account last week. Visit me on Instagram to check it out.

The Weight of Disorganization

Failure. Guilt. Shame. Did you know that these are common feelings among people with super cluttered homes? In a society that encourages rampant consumerism and materialism, areas of our homes can easily become dumping grounds for gadgets, toys, and clothing that we’re pressured into buying. All of that stuff, on top of hectic work schedules and endless hours of parenting, can start to feel incredibly burdensome when we are faced with the dilemma of how to keep it all organized.

As a professional organizer and fellow human being, I understand the overwhelming emotions that can stem from a messy home. I have been a victim of embarrassment, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy, all because my home wasn’t as clean or tidy as I wanted it to be. And while most of us could probably benefit from learning to cut ourselves some slack, if the same stressor continues to make an appearance and wreak havoc on our emotions, shouldn’t we learn to tackle that, too?

YES.

Change can be daunting, especially if you’re already stressed. However, many people find that once they begin the organizing process those feelings of being overwhelmed start to fade. Organizing will help you regain control of your life by giving you back all the time and energy that gets lost among the clutter. You’ll also gain a greater sense of peace and satisfaction with your surroundings, thus making “home” a place of comfort once again. Don’t you deserve to be happy in your own home?

The answer is YES. Now, let’s make it happen!

Holiday Declutter: Avoiding Burnout

Most of the people I know seem to fall into one of two groups:

a. The “I love everything about the holidays” group

b. The “Ugh, it’s the holidays” group

If you identify with the first group then this post is probably not for you. (Go put up some more lights and buy your family matching plaid pajamas. This is your time to shine!) If you find yourself in the second group, then I welcome you to the club.

Many people get super stressed around the holidays. When you’re a kid it’s all Santa, presents, and excitement. Sadly, it no longer feels like “the most wonderful time of the year” when you’re an adult and all sorts of additional expectations are thrown at you. There are presents to buy, parties to attend, dozens of cookies to bake, and family members demanding your presence. This is where step one of the organizing process comes in very handy. (Yes, the principles of organizing apply to areas outside of the physical mess in your home! Don’t worry, there will be plenty more on this later.)

The first step of organizing is to declutter. Simplify. Purge. Edit. It doesn’t matter which term you use, the principle is the same: Cut back. If you want to be less stressed around the holidays, then it’s time to cut out the excess. Despite what anyone else says, you don’t have to do everything during the holidays. Did you get that? You don’t have to do everything during the holidays. A lot of people feel like they have to cram their schedules with as much “stuff” as possible this time of year. If you’re already working a 9-5 job, parenting, taking care of your house, running your kids back and forth to soccer practice, and doing all the normal day-to-day responsibilities adults get stuck with, adding an additional week’s worth of activities on top is going to leave you exhausted and stressed. For what? For the sake of saying you did a Christmas photoshoot every year? For the sake of seeing those relatives that you don’t speak to the rest of the year? For the sake of attending more parties than you did the previous year?

If any of those things are important to you/your family, then that’s great. Keep it up. You should do the things you enjoy during the holidays. If you’re just doing them to please other people, or because you feel like a “failure” if you don’t do them all, then you need to reevaluate. Will some people be disappointed? Maybe, but that’s their problem, not yours. Focus on yourself and the things that bring you joy, too.

‘Tis the Season

Now that Halloween is over (*sniff sniff* 😥 ) it’s only a matter of days until everyone starts talking about Christmas. Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, there is no denying that all those decorations, festive table linens, wrappings, and other seasonal goods can take up quite a bit of storage. Here are a few storage ideas that may come in handy later, when it’s time to take the tree down and stuff if back in the garage:

  • Large storage bags are quite handy for storing all types of seasonal items: Out of season clothing, extra linens or blankets, holiday lights, larger decorations, etc. They even make storage bags with small compartments, specifically for keeping ornaments safe.
  • Worried that artificial tree is going to get ruined out in the garage? Try storing it in a waterproof bag or inside a large trash can to protect it from the elements.
  • Clear plastic tubs are great for larger seasonal decorations and fragile items. They work well for ornaments, string lights, strands of garland, your collection of Halloween skulls (or regular skulls. I’m not here to judge.), and candles.
  • Create a wrapping station. If you’re one of those people who loves to wrap presents, why not create a designated spot for all your paper, ribbons, and cards? A cute little rolling cart could help keep your items transportable and easy-to-access. You could also repurpose an old dresser and keep your supplies hidden in the drawers. If you don’t want to create a special station, you can still make sure to keep your supplies well organized with a compartmentalized bag that you can tuck away in the closet.
  • Wrap those string lights around recycled cardboard tubes (from your wrapping paper station!) or pieces of cardboard so they don’t get tangled in a ball.

What seasonal items do you find most difficult to store/organize?

Products I Can’t Live Without

Not sure where to begin on your organizing journey? Have no fear. I am here to help! Here are a few products that I find myself purchasing again and again, for clients and my own home.

These drop-front shoe boxes from The Container Store are hands down my shoe organizers. For starters, they’re stackable, so you can make a nice little shoe wall for yourself in your closet. (Or anywhere in the house, really. I’m not judging.) The clear drop front makes it super easy to see what’s inside and lets you access your shoes without having to shift any boxes around. These boxes would also be great for accessories, clutches, or craft supplies.

Under sink/cabinet drawer organizer, where have you been all these years? These under the sink organizers have been a game changer in our bathroom closet. I use the drawers for storing extra washcloths and am able to fit several bottles of hair products and lotions on top. (There’s also a different version that is great for under the kitchen sink!)

These white storage bins are perfect for pretty much every room in the house – kitchen, bathroom, linen closet, kids’ room, etc. They come in 3 different sizes, too, so you can mix and match.

An expandable pot and pan holder can really do wonders for your kitchen cabinets! The slot sizes are adjustable, making it easy to fit different sizes of pans. I have one for baking sheets and cutting boards and another just for baking pans. It’s so much better than trying to sort through a pile of clunky, loud pans every time you bake.

Do you have any specific products that you love to use for organizing? Tell me about them in the comments! And don’t forget to hit the “Follow” button. 😉