Ready to tackle your organizing projects and not sure where to start. We are giving you all the deets here today, follow these steps and you are sure to make some major progress on your organizing goals. Just remember you are only one person and can only do so much at a time so don't get down on yourself if things aren't going as quickly as you imagined. Stay with it and your future self will thank you!
I know, I know. A professional organizer wanting to talk about labels. Shocker, right? What if I told you though, that Cricut labels and labels from my P-touch label maker aren’t my favorite labels? That might shock you.
I mean don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE using the Cricut and my P-touch Label maker. I have labels from both in about every space of my home. As Professional Organizers, we label ALL THE THINGS.
Why do we love labels so much? Is it because they make the bins look pretty or because it makes us feel more in control of where things go or are we just too lazy to look in the bins? Well, I guess being lazy isn’t too far off. That’s kind of why I love my house organized, I am too lazy to go look for things. If it is in the right spot, then I am not wasting time and energy rummaging through the drawers and cabinets looking for another lost item. As Professional Organizers, we love helping you simplify your life. By using labels, you can take the guesswork and effort out of putting things away. When we have labels, others in the household are more willing to help AND put it in the right spot.
So… what are my favorite types of labels? PICTURE LABELS! When my kids were small, years ago, I was not the fun mom. Every evening (ok sometimes more often), my kids had to clean up their toys. If they were big enough to dump the toys, they were big enough to help clean them up. I learned right away that it is hard for kids to remember where something goes if they can’t read the label. That’s when I started putting Picture Labels on all the bins. My oldest is 20, so this was back before I even knew label makers existed. I would take a picture of the toys in a bin or find an example online, write the word underneath and attach it to the pull handle of the bins. The picture paired with the word also helped them to learn to read. Once I discovered a laminator, I upgraded to laminating the picture card. This made the labels so much more durable. Once the kids could see what went inside, it was a game changer. They were a lot more willing to help and they learned independence and life skills along the way.
When my kids got old enough to be in school full time, I started working as a Paraprofessional at their school in California. This is where I really learned the value of a picture label, as well as a laminator and Velcro 😊. Not only did picture labels help kids put their toys away, but it helped them navigate life! I was blessed to be asked to work in a self-contained Autism classroom. Not only did my love of picture labels grow, but I fell in love with working with the kiddos as well. I learned so much in my 3 years there, about how a simple picture label (of all sorts) could help a child learn routines, communicate their wants and needs, READ, and yes even clean up their toys in the classroom. 😊
Over the years, before I found my dream job as an organizer, I have been fortunate to work in several different ESE classrooms, in 3 different states. No matter where I worked, whether it be in an Autism Classroom, EBD classroom, or 3 year old Preschool classroom, it was evident that picture labels and communication were an essential part of life. Next time you drive down the street, look around and notice how many “picture labels” of all sorts are EVERYWHERE.
I think I mastered my craft though, when I worked in a 3-year-old preschool classroom (talk about fun 😊). I volunteered to take on the role of making sure all the bins in the classroom had an updated picture label (shocker, huh?). I knew it helped some, but I really realized the value the label had when I was sick on a Monday. At the end of every week, we changed out the activities and toys in each center. I would then put out all the matching labels or make them over the weekend if we had new activities or just didn’t have a label to match. Well, one weekend I got sick and didn’t return to school until Tuesday. I was immediately told by my co-workers that the kids were so upset that the bins didn’t have their labels. One kid had even exclaimed “how are we supposed to know where to put anything! We need Ms. Sam back.” I then heard about the lack of labels again and again as the kids arrived at the classroom that morning. At the beginning of this school year I received an email asking me to share the file and template I had used, so that they could continue to use the same system.
So, if you have a loved one that would benefit from picture labels, don’t hesitate to use them. I mean you can always call me to make some for you; picture labels are kinda my jam. It doesn’t matter what type of labels you use, just remember….LABEL.ALL.THE.THINGS. 😊
Did you have a chance to check out the article I was interviewed for in Parents Magazine Florida? If not check it out here and don't forget to check out some of the other great articles in the January issue.
HELPING YOUR KIDS STAY HEALTHY: PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WELLNESS PODCASTS FOR KIDS
18 SIMPLE WAYS TO INFUSE EACH DAY WITH LEARNING
Are New Year's Resolutions your thing? If they are and they work for you, GREAT! I am truly glad to hear it!
New Year's Resolutions used to be my thing but I seem to keep drifting further and further away from them. For many years I would go hard for several weeks and then life would happen, I would slip up and then start to lose steam. Once I lost steam I would start to feel like I failed, lose all further motivation, and then it was over. My resolution was just another failed attempt. Sometimes. I think there is so much pressure that it becomes easy to get defeated if/when you slip up or fall short. When I decided that New Year's Resolutions no longer worked for me I decided to choose a word to focus on and that felt more intentional and something easier to stick with, which was precisely what I likely needed during those particular seasons.
I am here to remind you that if you set a goal or a resolution and it's no longer working for you it's ok to say that. It's ok to scratch that and set a goal that is better suited for you and your current season of life no matter what time of year it is. Also, don't hear me wrong...your goals don't have to be centered around productivity, having more, or being more of a certain way, etc. Your goals should truly be something that adds value to you and your life. Sometimes that means taking something off of your plate or setting boundaries in areas where stress seems to creep into your life.
As I get older the years seem to go by faster so while I think it is very important to be intentional, set goals, and have a vision for your future, I don't particularly like the pressure of a New Year's Resolution and I want more than just one word. I think the power is in constantly evaluating your goals throughout the year and staying motivated to strive to reach those goals.
The past couple years I have created a vision board and I do really enjoy that process and the diversity of it. For me it usually encompasses goals that are personal, family centered, and business related. I hang it in my closet where I see it in the mornings and evenings (sometimes more). It seems to be a great visual reminder of what is important to me so I don't forget in the day to day hustle. I also love that if my goals shift I can just adjust. Nothing says what you put on your vision board is permanent. The vision board is meant to keep you pushing towards goals that work for you.
I think it's important to remember that progress happens in the small steps that lead to larger distances so our small steps DO make a difference! My final reminder is to give yourself grace if you slip up or if things don't go perfectly the way you want. We are all human and just because things aren't going perfectly or you have had a set back it doesn't mean you should give up. Maybe it's just time to reevaluate and reset!
I would love to hear your thoughts...
Do you set resolutions? intentional words? Goals? Vision Boards?
Is the new year just another day for you?
Check out this recent article in Southern Living that we were featured in:
9 Things You Should Never Store In Your Pantry, According To Professional Organizers
By Melissa Locker
Keeping that food fresh can also make your pantry look photo-worthy. “Decanting [food] into clear containers or glass jars that are airtight can extend shelf life and keep bugs away,” adds Cassie Thompson of Serene Spaces Professional Organizing and Consulting in St. Augustine, Florida. “This not only keeps items fresh but will give you a great visual of what is left and when it is time to replenish. If you don't want to commit to decanting, chip clips—even clothes pins—work well to keep bags closed tight and lengthen shelf life
Check out the entire article here:
Check out the recent Redfin article we were
featured in: The Ultimate Room-
By-Room Decluttering Checklist | Redfin
Creating a decluttering checklist is an excellent way to begin organizing your home and simplifying your life. Along with helping you take stock of your belongings, lists can help you stay on track and prioritize the areas that need
attention. However, following your checklist can be difficult with so many distractions in everyday life. Luckily, we can help.
What do you think of our tip? Do you ever struggle with getting rid of things that you know deep down you don't really want anymore?
Check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in: How to Declutter Your Room: 12 Tips for Managing Bedroom Clutter Once and
Your bedroom is a special place; it's the last space you see before you go to bed at night and the first space you see when you wake up. Unfortunately, a cluttered bedroom can be stressful and make it difficult to relax and get a
good night's sleep. But how do you declutter your room and turn it
into a relaxing sanctuary? To help you get started, we've gathered tips and insights from some of the top organizing and decluttering experts in the country. Read on to learn how to create a clutter-free, peaceful bedroom.
Check out this Redfin article we were featured in: Expert Tips for Creating Space in a Small House
Living in a smaller home doesn’t mean you have to give up half of your belongings to make it more livable. The key is to get creative and create space wherever possible. Whether it’s having multipurpose furniture or using over-the-door racks, there are plenty of simple solutions to make the most of your space! Before you get to it, check out these organizing experts’ best tips to create space in a small house.
Let’s talk kids…It's never too early to start having your kids participate in the organizing process. It teaches them so many skills that will pay off in the long run when they are able to attack their own messes independently.
Start by letting them sort their toys into different bins (i.e. cars, play dough items, etc). Yes they will probably start playing during this process, but small steps can lead to big changes. Believe it or not, kids crave organized spaces and structure. If their bedrooms and playrooms are disorganized and chaotic they are less likely to spend a decent amount of time playing in there, which is a waste of these toys and activities you have invested in! A cluttered playroom makes it harder for the child to focus on one activity, which leads them to be done "playing" fairly quick.
Another great habit to start is helping them choose toys to pass along to other kids who may enjoy the toy more. It teaches her the spirit of giving as well as the ability to let go and not hold onto toys just because they once loved them.
Let's all find our Serene Spaces!
Professional Organizer, mother, wife, friend, and lover of Jesus.