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Garage Organizing Simplified

If you have a garage, chances are it’s on your list of new year’s resolutions right next to the word: ORGANIZE. Have you started yet?

Garages are a hub for storing items related to many activities, not to mention because they aren’t in our living space we just throw stuff in them. They can easily turn into a catch-all.

This makes them a beast of a space to get organized. Garages are a space I frequent with clients because they are so overwhelming. Here are some simple steps to follow as you tackle the beast!

Pull everything out.  Move your cars out of the driveway and divide it into a grid. Separate all the items into like categories.

garage organizing

 

Purge.  Find a duplicate? Tag for donation. Broken? Throw it out. Haven’t touched it in 5 years since the last time you organized the garage? Say goodbye.

Create zones.  Look at the categories you’ve created. Think about how each item is used, and when. Does it need to go close to the door? On a shelf? Do you need to purchase shelves and storage totes?

Use the walls.  I see a lot of houses. And I’ve found that most people do not park their cars in the garage. That is okay (we currently do not either), but it still makes a garage feel less cluttered if you utilize the wall space to hang and shelve whatever you can.

garage organizing

 

Return items to their new home.  You can use this time as a second purge. Think hard about what you’re storing before you give it prime garage space. Think of all your spaces as a valuable commodity, and be selective about what goes in them.

garage organizinggarage organizing

 

I hope these simple tips serve to get you on the right track towards an organized garage!

And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just organized :)

Happy Organizing!

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Start Fresh

Who needs a fresh start?

Don’t we all?! Isn’t this the motivation behind New Years Resolutions?

I know many of you have already started tearing apart your homes with the declutter bug. I’m in the process of doing this in my own home. And my schedule for organizing clients is filling up quickly! This is a great time to purge and reorganize, as the “wave” that I always talk about is here and ready to jump on.

kid clutter

Here’s a fraction of the “kid clutter” I encountered over winter break in my own home. I couldn’t figure out what 85% of the stuff was.

 

I have three simple tips for you as you dive into 2017 with motivation to conquer your clutter:

  1. Start Small

    The temptation is to attempt to do everything at once. I’m feeling it myself in my own home! But this is the #1 reason while people jump ship and give up on resolutions. Trying to do too much too fast will give you the opposite of what you’re looking for. Pick one closet, cabinet, dresser… and start there.

  2. Don’t second guess yourself

    This is the time of year when motivation to purge is high. If you’ve decided to say goodbye to something – DO IT! Don’t think twice. The vast majority of us have a very hard time letting go of things we don’t even need. So if your gut tells you to clear it out, go with it!

  3. Do it your way.

    Books are great. Blogs are great. Looking at your friend’s projects in your Facebook feed is great. BUT REMEMBER – organizing is not cookie cutter. You can’t take what someone else does and expect it to work perfectly for you. We all have different personalities, situations, and needs. Find strategies that work specifically for you, and be the best organized version of yourself that you can be!

Wishing you a year filled with joy and peace in your spaces, that translates into joy and peace inside of YOU!

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Bathroom Showdown

Yes, a showdown. That’s exactly what just happened over here. In my quest to renovate my own home piece by piece, I have brought beauty and simplicity to one more room!

If you read my last post, you saw that 2016 has been a very busy year for me. November hit and I was able to catch my breath for a few days. In the time of rest, I had the itch to redo one of our spaces. We bought our home 5 years ago and have SLOWLY done renovations. The kids’ bathroom is not a high priority (they are 3 boys – enough said). However, they have been hanging their towels over the doors for a couple years because the towel bars were ripped off the walls. They had zero privacy because the only shower curtain I purchased (after we took down the sliding glass doors 5 years ago) was a clear shower liner. And lastly, I was tired of looking at the ugly dated cabinet every time I walked in. I was tired of looking at the plain, ugly bathroom period. And my boys were too! I wanted something better for them!

I’ve said this before: Decorating and leaving your mark on a space encourages you to keep it organized and clean. I needed all the motivation to keep the boys’ bathroom clean that I could get, and so did they!

As with all projects, I prioritized this one. Though I don’t like the flooring, it’s in good shape and not too much of an eyesore. So we kept it. As far as the vanity was concerned, I knew the light fixture was a must to be replaced. I kept the mirror, countertop, and faucet (kids are rough on faucets so we opted to wait a few years). I don’t like the countertop, but decided to draw attention away from it rather than spend money on a new one. Same with the cabinet since it was functionally great. I decided to simply paint the cabinet and update hardware. For space, look, and functionality, I went with hooks instead of bars for the towels. AND PAINT for the walls. Oh yes I painted those walls!

Now for the pictures :)

bathroom renovation

I decided on a light gray for the walls.

 

bathroom renovation

 

bathroom renovation

I went with towel hooks instead of a traditional rod, and scored this fun piece at New River Pottery here in Wilmington!

 

bathroom renovation

 

bathroom renovation

Look at the difference made with simple changes!

 

bathroom renovation

I was a little nervous about painting the cabinet black, but because we kept the light cream countertops I knew white was out of the picture. I’m very pleased with the result!

 

bathroom renovation

 

bathroom renovation

The light fixture is my favorite part!

 

bathroom renovation

 

bathroom renovation

For a wall print, I went with a simple picture of a wave.

 

bathroom renovation

I wanted a plush, white bathmat. However, the kids went shopping with me for that part. And they spotted the shark and had to have it! I gave in because it is their bathroom, after all :)

 

What space in your home needs a showdown? Now is a great time to set your goals for the new year!

Happy Organizing and Decorating,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

December 5, 2016 - 5:48 pm

vicki - I love this renovation and can’t wait to see it in person!!! You did a fantastic job and I know our boys are enjoying it as well!!

December 6, 2016 - 4:02 pm

Simple Spaces - Thank you Vicki! They can’t wait to show it to you!

Where Have I Been?

Let me begin by saying that I’m well aware it’s been a LONG time since I’ve published a blog post. To say that 2016 has “flown by” is a bit of an understatement. What’s faster than flying? That. Whatever that is.

 

New Service: Vacant Home Staging

I started the year out by adding another branch to my services – Vacant Home Staging. This has proved to be a smart and successful addition for me. I am pleased to say that each home I have staged has successfully sold (minus one that is currently under contract). And all but one sold in 2 months or less. Adding a staging photo gallery to my website is on my priority list.

home staging

Home Staging by Simple Spaces

 

Occupied Home Staging

I’ve stayed busy on the consulting end, working with agents and sellers to make their listings stand out and show well. Each situation is unique, and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the sellers and helping them prepare their homes for one of life’s greatest transitions. I’m so thankful for the agents that I have the opportunity to work with: Nilesh Jethwa and Renata Kuperus of Next Home Cape Fear, Jennifer Farmer of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty, Leigh Saunders-Corbin of Century 21 Sweyer & Associates, and Reona Beaudoin of Century 21 Sweyer & Associates. Thank you for trusting me with your clients!

home staging

One of the occupied homes I staged this year.

 

Staging with Hall Stewardship Solutions

I have continued to work with Hall Stewardship Solutions in their business, staging the homes they renovate. Sara Hall has continued to manage the business side and build sets. She stepped out of the “hands-on” this year, however, and I have hired an amazing assistant who helps me with the footwork as we make homes beautiful on a weekly basis!

home staging

Home staging with Hall Stewardship Solutions. Design work by Sara Hall, owner and operator.

 

Home Organizing

Lastly on the business end, but certainly not the least, I’ve continued to work with organizing clients. Seeing the relief in their countenance as we conquer a space together is one of my greatest joys as a professional organizer. I count it a pure privilege to work with these clients! This branch of my business has been steadily growing.

organizing

A transformation of a girl’s room – organizing and redecorating.

 

Family

On the personal end, I’ve been very busy with family affairs. My husband and I celebrated 15 years of marriage this summer. After all these years, he’s still my best friend and favorite person to spend time with. The moments where we are alone are few and far between, but we savor the times we have! All 3 of my boys are in Elementary School – grades 1st, 3rd, and 5th. Between field trips, class parties, and homework, I stay on my toes (in other words my head spins once a week when I read all 3 newsletters and every day about 2:30pm when they come through the back door). My boys stay busy with school, weekly activities, and just “being kids.” I have a soccer player, gymnast, and runner on the sporting side of things.

family

A photo of my family from a recent trip to the NC mountains.

 

Personal Goals

I’ve continued on my fitness journey this year, which included the HUGE goal of training for and completing an Ironman triathlon. This race covers 140.6 miles and includes 3 events that are all done on the same day, one right after the other: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. I thoroughly enjoyed training for this race, as being outdoors and active are two things that make me feel alive! I also faced the challenges that come with training for an endurance event of this caliber, including mental and physical exhaustion and time management. Race day was amazing! The bike portion was cut short due to flooding, but I raced hard and well with the course I was given. Can’t wait to do it again!

ironman

 

So, now you can see why my blog and social media presence have taken a backseat this past year! I do plan on giving attention to these things again. I’m in the process of determining the importance of regular blogging for my business, as well as what direction to take it. If you are a follower, I would love to hear feedback from you as to what you find important and helpful with your journey in home organizing & decorating.

Wishing all of you a holiday season that is generous with space to relax and enjoy those you love.

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Back-To-School Organizing Giveaway!

Its that time of year again. The kids are back in school and it is time to pick up the pieces of chaos left from summer fun :)

I have a treat for you which can help with that!

back to school giveaway

 

Did you know that I offer consulting services? Whether you are a DIY person, or you need direction before diving into an organizing plan with me. Whether you have lived in your home for 20+ years, or have just moved into a new home. Whether you need help in your home, or place of business. Consulting is a great way to get questions answered and come up with a plan of action for the space where you need help.

I’m giving away a consultation in your space (or spaces) of choice! Have you been wanting to pick the brain of a professional organizer? Here’s your chance! We will walk through your home while you ask questions and I share tips, strategies, and solutions specific to your needs.

In order to enter your name to win, simply share this post in your Facebook newsfeed. Make sure you “Like” my page so that you can tag it in your post and ensure that I get your name. That’s it!

Looking forward to working with the lucky winner :)

Happy Organizing,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.