10/25/2022 0 Comments
Anytime 10 Day Declutter Challenge
Have you ever wanted to challenge yourself to declutter and destress your home? We created this simple to follow challenge that you can start any time – any day. Start your own 10 Day Challenge whenever you want! Here is some guidance to get you moving from day to day. The best part is – all these tasks can be done ins just 10 minutes!
Day One – Home office: Set your timer for 10 minutes! Let’s start with a clean sweep. Take everything off your desk and get it clean. When was the last time you cleaned your desk surface? Do a quick sort of what’s on the floor - to be filed, action, bills to pay, trash. Establish a Sunday basket – as in a basket where you put your Action items. Resolve to clean out the basket every Sunday (or the best day for you). That’s 10 minutes. By the end of the day resolve to either finish your filing or do some work from your Sunday basket. Throw away the trash and enjoy your clean and tidy desk!
Day Two – Fridge: Today we are tackling the fridge. Set a timer for 10 minutes - take everything out of the fridge, yes everything! Do a quick clean. Zone your items like with like. Also make sure you through out anything that has expired - very important! Organizing the fridge is tough because you do it and it looks great but then you go to the grocery store again and it all goes to hell in hand basket. But it can look neat and organized if you zone and have a general idea of where things should go.
Day Three – Countertops: I love a clean counter top. Not only are less cluttered counter tops tidy looking, they are easier to clean! Today I really challenge you to take things off your kitchen counter tops. Only use your insta pot once a month? Then why is it taking valuable counter space? The rule of thumb is that if you use it at least once a week then it can stay in the counter, but anything used less than that should be stored. I’m pretty passionate about cleaned off counter tops.
Day Four – Mail: Don’t walk into your house and let it land anywhere other than where it goes. I have baskets by my garage door that I do a quick sort into for what it is / who it belongs to. Mail never lands on my kitchen table or island. Designate a basket or bin for mail and stick to it - don’t let your mail pile up where it doesn’t belong ! Have piles of mail? Address it today. Sort and stash! Piles are bad.
Day Five – 20 Item Toss: This has got to be my favorite day! Take a garbage bag and walk around your house. Toss twenty items! It’s easier than you imagine. Get ready - Toss !
Day Six – Medicine Cabinet: Oh a good one. When was the last time you focused on your medicine cabinet? First task - set the timer for 10 minutes. The take everything out and check expiration dates. Note what meds you might have to replace / refill. You don’t need to do a lot of micro sorting - separating out a med for every ailment. I recommend a macro sort - one bin for medical and one bin for first aid. You might find some surprises in your medicine cabinet - for instance we have ours in our kitchen so my husband started storing oven mits in the cabinet ! Umm... no. That’s definitely not where they go! What did you find?
Day Seven – Closet: Ok don’t get overwhelmed. This one is a big one. Set the timer for 10 minutes. You have two options -1. Start decluttering. Go through each item and decide if you will keep it. Ask yourself - would you buy this again? You’ll probably be able toss quite a few pieces. Or 2. Turn all your hangers around - live your life for 6 months. Any items on hangers still turned around should go… you’ve just proved to yourself you don’t wear them!
Day Eight – Basement: Who ever tackles their basement? What is even down there? Set your timer for 10 minutes and just do an assessment. This is a go back and do it later project but you need to know what is down there and what you’re working with. This project may require more planning - like getting a dumpster. I recommend getting a Bagster from Home Depot. It’s an enormous bag that you can fill up then Call them to come pick up and discard. Super Easy. In my basement I have an old desk that needs to go - either Facebook Buy Nothing group or Bagster. What’s in your basement? Don’t get overwhelmed- it’s all about making a plan.
Day Nine – 10 Minute Declutter in Every Room: This one is going to take a little longer. What I’m suggesting you do is a 10 minute Declutter in EACH ROOM of your house! You’ve been flexing your decluttering muscle for 9 days now - you got this. Fluff pillows, move things off your coffee table that don’t belong, tidy your kids’ homework area ... you’ll be able to fill many minutes throughout your home as you tidy and Declutter. Enjoy - this should be fun! Then sit back and appreciate your super tidy home!
Day Ten – Kitchen Drawers: The final challenge is kitchen drawers. Pick one drawer today, set the timer for 10 minutes - and go to town! Of course I’ll recommend taking everything out, cleaning the drawer, decluttering the contents, then putting things back neatly. I find with kitchen drawers that internal compartments are great for organizing. Here’s a tip - old cereal boxes can be cut in half and used as drawer organizers!
There you have it – an easy 10 Day Challenge you can start anytime. Just 10 minutes a day for 10 days – that’s 100 minutes of organizing and decluttering. You can do it! If you need additional guidance on how to do the challenge just drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you to help!
Bliss This House is constant running challenges like this on their Instagram page - @blissthishouse_ct. Follow today for all the access.
10/20/2022 0 Comments
I think we all crave simplicity. In our life, finances, email in box…. But no where do we crave it more than in our homes. We want simple routines to keep our homes clean. We want simple décor so our homes look uncluttered. Did you know that clutter actually affects the cortisol levels in women? Our cluttered homes are actually making us fat! Imagine what a simplified home could do for us! Would we eat better? Sleep better? Have more time for our kids, job, hobbies? How can we add simplicity into our everyday lives so that it becomes the rule and not the exception?
Here are a few simplicity habits to try in your home. They run the gambit from cleaning to decluttering to just general life suggestions. But what they all do is make your home run smoothly…simply.
1.Do your dishes every night. I have an entire cleaning routine that I do every night after dinner. It’s not simple but its effective. To start with something simple though – do your dishes. Don’t let them pile up. You’ll wake up to a clean kitchen and that guarantees a lovely stress-free morning. Until the kids get up that is!
2.Deal with your mail every day. Better yet – deal with your mail as soon as you bring it into the house. Better yet – don’t even bring junk mail into the house! Have a small bin in the garage for you to pitch that junk before you even cross the threshold. Mail shouldn’t pile up on the kitchen counter or worse the couch. I had a client that hadn’t looked at her mail in months. We literally put into 3 grocery bags to sort through while she was watching tv after I left. What a task! Imagine the simplicity of just a few items everyday rather than a mammoth pile after a few months.
3.Take your shoes off in the house. You won’t track mud and dirt into your home and you’ll have to vacuum less. Hello cleaner house! Simply have a bin near the most used entrance for shoes and have a no shoe policy. Fewer allergies. Less dirt. What’s not to love?
4.Keep your countertops clear. Kitchen countertops in particular are magnets for piles of mail, kitchen gadgets and everything else your family can think of. Horizontal surfaces are not for storage. Once you declutter your countertops, you’ll be able to cleaner them better and faster – no moving things to wipe! Bonus … you’ll love the visual simplicity of your kitchen every time you walk in!
5.Put your purse in the same place when you come in the house every time. Make sure your purse has a home and put it there. Then you’ll never have to waste time looking for it …or your keys. Marie Kondo recommends you unpack your purse every time you come in the house and put everything away. Then repack your purse before you leave. I love me some Marie Kondo but respectfully…ain’t nobody got time for that. I have one purse that I use per season. It stays packed and hung on a hook by the door. Simple.
6.Make a meal plan and a shopping list. Making a meal plan has been key for my family since I now work second shift. No more calls from home about what to eat at 6pm. They know. It’s in the fridge because I made it earlier in the day. Am I superwoman? Maybe…but really, I just make a plan and stick to it. Shopping lists are just as important for planning purposes and getting everyone on the same page. I up the simplicity even more on the grocery shopping and order my groceries on Sunday night for delivery. I actually hate grocery shopping so ordering has been amazing. But whichever way you do it – make a list and stick to it. No more wasted food. Less eating out. All good things.
7.Drink a lot of water. You are supposed to drink half your weight in ounces throughout the day. Simplify this by getting a water bottle that holds what you need and filling it once at the beginning of the day. Sip throughout the day and viola, you are hydrated! You feel fuller and your skin will glow and Chris Evans will take you out to dinner. Ok I made that last part up.
8.Turn off your social media alerts on your phone. Want to really simplify your life? Unplug…even for a few hours. You decide when you want to plug back in. By turning off the alerts you aren’t bombarded all day with dings and bells and Lols. Take it a step further and turn off your email alerts if you can. We spend enough time on our phones and in front of screens. My phone is on Do Not Disturb most of the day… the only people who can get through are my husband and kids. And I have teenagers so I never hear from them unless they are hungry.
9.Declutter. This is a big one but will lead to so much simplicity. Make it is a habit. Be constantly decluttering. Constantly assess if you want to keep that item on your coffee table or mantle or closet. Keep a bin by the door and fill it with things you want to donate. Then take it a step further and actually donate it. Make the drive to Goodwill. Living with less - living with the things you actually love – will lead to so much simplicity in your life.
10.Get some help. Simplify your life by sourcing it out. Like I said – I get my groceries delivered. But you could hire a babysitter. Or a professional organizer (ahem). You don’t have to go it alone or do it yourself. Get help – it’s so simple.
Hope you are inspired to simplify your life with habits that will make your life easier and your home more organized. Because we all crave simplicity habits – and they are within your reach! Bliss This House is here to help. Book a discovery call today to see how we can start a project in your home.
10/18/2022 0 Comments
Let’s talk collections. I’m not a minimalist. I love collecting things. I have far too many framed photos in my house…is that collection? I collect antique Asian porcelain. There will definitely be a blog post about that someday soon.
One collection I have, I inherited from my Mother. As with many things…I inherited them from my Mom. A little back story for those who don’t know. 10 years ago this year my Mom was unexpectedly diagnosed with Giloblastoma – brain cancer. She had surgery and radiation and moved in with me, then into a nursing home, then passed away – all in just 3 months and 9 days. It was whirlwind. Afterwards I basic inherited all of her stuff. As a professional organizer I can honestly say I should have hired someone to go through everything with me, instead of doing it alone. I basically kept everything and made my house Katy’s House East. Through the years I have slowly divested myself of her things. But I have kept some of the good stuff. Like a collection of silver trays. She loved them – used and displayed them all through my childhood - and when I found them, I knew I had to find a place of honor for them in my home.
I arranged the trays decoratively on the wall in my powder room and created an unexpected art installation in the heart of my home for guests to enjoy. It tells the story of my family and always sparks conversation.
The thing about collections is you should display them together. The trays work because they are all on the same wall. The blue and while ginger jars I have work because they are in a group on top on my piano. If I had one in my living room, one in kitchen, one here…one there...it would look disjointed. Unfinished. Design is about intention.
Put your collections together and see the magic in what you have collected. Now, of course there is a caveat to this – if you have 300 antique porcelain dolls…maybe just display your favorite 15. Collections are also about editing. Life is about editing really. You home shouldn’t be overwhelmed by your collections. So balance what you love with your desire to be uncluttered. Because isn’t that the goal? Living an uncluttered life surrounded by your favorite things.
I hope this blog will help you achieve those goals – living an uncluttered life surrounded by your favorite things. How lovely.
Let Bliss This House help you edit your collections and set up the perfect display - let you live with the things you love!
Xoxo – Maria, Bliss This House
10/17/2022 0 Comments
5 Tips to Organize Your Closet
With the Konmarie method you start with your closet – in fact most people start with their closets when organizing. I love organizing closets and helping people have a clean and serene space. Here are my 5 tips for an organized closet.
1.Use the same hangers for a uniform look. I use velvet covered slim hangers in my closet. They are the best - space savers and so good looking. I can’t really explain why it matters if you have a bunch of plastic hangers or – gasp – wire hangers from the dry cleaner but using the same type / color hangers will really elevate your closet.
2.Zone your clothes. I fold and stack my sweaters (hanging them stretches them out). My jeans are all folded and stacked as well. Then I have a tops section, pants, jackets and dresses. In a hanging organizer I have all my work out clothes as well – sorted by tops and bottoms. I had a friend come over once and reorganize my closet by outfit. She curated some outfits then hung them all together so I could just go reach in and go. It’s a good idea but not sustainable. I would wear an outfit but not put it back all together and the method slowly unraveled. I put my closet back into zones within the month.
3.Color code your clothes. I can’t say enough about sorting things into ROYBIV order. Books. Kids toys. Clothes. Its so visually soothing and a great way to organize things. My tops, jackets, sweaters, and dresses are all in color order. It makes getting dressed easier and I find I use more of my closet this way. I don’t just grab a gray top out of habit. I challenge myself to wear something from the green section!
4.Use unused space. I store my purses (in color coded order) on the top shelf of my closet. I use shelf organizers to help them all stand up. I store shoes below. They are lined up under the hanging clothes in clear shoe boxes for easy stacking. Put baskets on the floor to hold scarves. Be creative with boxes and baskets in your unused spaces in your closet to maximize your useable space.
5.Don’t forget jewelry. I could do an entire blog post on jewelry storage (and I will!). Make room in your closet for your jewelry. You don’t want to have your jewelry box across the room when trying to put an outfit together. Try to find solutions that will make access to both clothes and jewelry easier. Also with jewelry I find that if you can see it, you will wear it. I have styled my jewelry storage like a boutique. I “shop” my beautiful things on display and can always find what I need.
I love working in closets! Book a consultation with me today so we can get started on creating the closet of your dreams!
10/12/2022 0 Comments
10 Things to Get Rid of Now
Organizing and decluttering can be hard – even overwhelming. There are many techniques out there that tell you where and how to start - From taking all of your clothes out of your closet and piling up on the bed to completely overhauling your pantry in one afternoon. But decluttering doesn’t have to be scary. You can start today with just a few simple steps. Once you have success with this list I hope you’ll move on to other areas in your home. But let’s start with 10 things to get rid of right now.
1.Junk Mail – we all get it. I don’t even let mine come in the house. I have a garbage can in the garage and do a quick sort before I walk in the house. Then I put the relevant mail in to sorting bins by the door for the right people in the house.
2.Old towels – we all have them! Stained, worn out, just no longer your style. A great place to donate them is an animal shelter – they are always looking for bedding for the pets. You could be a pet hero!
3.Last year’s calendar – It’s getting to be that time…time for a new calendar. For years my family has had a wall calendar that has been great. Lots of room for every member of the house. Very organized. But this year we converted to an online calendar called Cozi so we all have the family calendar on our phones. We won’t be replacing the wall calendar this January with a 2023 version because of Cozi.
4.Extra Water bottles - how do we acquire so many water bottles? I organize mine in a cabinet by putting them in a wine rack. It organizes the bottles and saves space. There are slots for 8 bottles. That 2 bottles a person for my house. If we do an activity that requires more than two full water bottles to participate then I’m out – I’m more of a couch person.
5.Empty shampoo bottles – do you have kids? Specifically teenagers? I do. And let me tell you the shower that they share is full of empty product bottles. Why? I have no idea. My guess is they’ve just forgotten they are there…like the clothes on their floors. But that’s another story. Time to recycle those bad boys. (the bottles, not the kids)
6.Kids art - I know this is controversial and I’m not heartless! I cherish the art my kids have brought home over the years and dutifully filed it away. But there is a better way! Try an online company called Artkive. I gathered up all the old art and sent it to them. They scan it and make it into a book. Instant coffee table art and makes a great gift.
7.VHS Tapes – or out dated DVDS – time to donate, sell or just get rid of your old media. I recently had success re-gifting my collection of Barbie movies on DVD through the local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook. I made some 8 year old in my town very happy. Goodwill will take VHS tapes, but you also might try other sources for gifting like the Buy Nothing Groups.
8.Expired Spices – I recently did this and it has made all the difference in the world. I went through my spices and am embarrassed to share that I was holding onto some gems from 1999. Was I even cooking in 1999? My mom must have given me that one. Expired spices don’t have the same flavor potency as fresh spices, so do you and your cooking a favor and discard the old stuff. Restock with new bottles of the spices you actually use and you’ll taste the difference!
9.Stuff you planned to re-gift – I had a basket in my guest room closet full to the brim of things I planned to re-gift. I recently did a complete overhaul of said closet so I took out the basket and really made some decisions. Once again I turned to my Buy Nothing Group on Facebook and gifted a few items I had been holding onto. Super easy and so fulfilling because you know they are going to people who want them.
10.Cookbooks you never use - I went through a Keto phase a while ago. For about a year it was all meat all the time. My husband actually got sick of all the bacon I was serving! I accumulated 5 Keto cookbooks during this phase. But that phase is done now and I’m back to salads. Time to let the cookbooks go – they’re just collecting dust anyway. For books I like to donate to my local library to sell or our town has a dump (called a transfer station) that has a shed where you can drop old books and people can “shop”. Lots of options for donating books that do a lot of good.
Are you ready to tackle these 10 items right now? I promise once you really dig in you’ll be thrilled with the results. Fast and easy decluttering – it’s what we all need!
Follow Bliss This House on Facebook and Instagram for more idea and tips.
Maria is a professional organizer and antiques junkie. She loves dogs and yoga. This blog is to inspire you to make your home beautiful - and organized!