Decluttering Your Home: 5 Tips

Family life is great fun. It’s also a bit messy, let’s face it. However, with a bit of imagination and patience, you can create a smart, contemporary home that you, your family members, and your visitors will enjoy. When you decide to declutter, it’s tempting to run around your house or apartment doing a little bit here and there.

However, a piecemeal approach is likely to mean that you miss areas and overlook items throughout your home. Instead, consider each room or zone (such as the hall, staircase, and landing), and aim to work only on this area until you have finished. Try these five tips to make a start:

1. Make your bathrooms shine

If you have a number of bathrooms, you can tackle all of these together. It’s easier to organize bathrooms if you have, for example, medicine cupboards mounted on a wall and units or storage baskets for soaps, shampoos, and other toiletries. Regular checks on skincare products, makeup, and medications will help you to keep on top of items and get rid of those that are out of date or scattered in different places. If you have space, a smart towel ladder will keep your linen organized and neat.

2. Give your bedrooms a break

Bedroom storage exists so that you and your family can put away clothing, shoes, books, and tech gadgets and settle down to sleep in a cozy, clean, and clutter-free room. Unfortunately, children quickly develop the knack of “hanging things up” on the floor, on bedside tables, or a handy chair. Also, bedrooms seem to be a magnet for stuff that you don’t have a designated space for, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself aimlessly moving things around every now and then. Make a point of teaching your kids to fold clothes and put them in a drawer or to hang dresses, jackets, etc., in their wardrobe. Get everyone to store underwear and nightwear in the top drawer of their bureau and everything else beneath this. It’s also useful if you encourage them to take a trip to the laundry hamper at the end of every day – washday will be so much easier. Dedicated toy storage is a must in a child’s bedroom.

3. Light up your living room

Your living area gets perhaps the most use of any room in your home, though the kitchen comes a close second. Generally, living room storage is fairly minimal, which means that it can quickly look cluttered and untidy. A regular declutter will be a big help, and there are some practical things that you can do to make it look clean and clear. For example, to make the most of natural daylight, install shutters at your windows rather than drapes. They will always look smart and stylish, plus you can control the amount of light easily and improve privacy. If clutter is still an issue, even with regular tidying, consider creating a storage bench under one or more windows. These can be finished in attractive upholstery and are great for doing a quick round-up of toys, magazines, and general paraphernalia at the end of a day.

4. Clear up your kitchen

Even with the amount of storage built into contemporary homes, the kitchen still manages to suffer from haphazard arrangements and accumulating general bits and pieces. Perhaps this is because often it’s multifunctional, being a space for food preparation, sometimes also eating, doing homework, and chatting with friends over a coffee. When you tackle your kitchen cabinets and drawers, think about which implements you have to have at hand when you are cooking and which appliances you only use occasionally. The ones that you use least often can be stowed away, leaving adequate space for frequently used ones. If you struggle to keep your countertops clear, take a creative approach – there are lots of attractive and useful storage items that can be successfully displayed on a countertop, such as glass jars for pasta, rice, or cereals, freeing up additional cupboard space for other foodstuffs.

5. Circulation areas

Finally, the spaces in your home that everyone uses to move around from room to room need to be kept clutter free, if only for safety reasons. Entrances, exits, hallways, and access routes to upper floors can nevertheless be used to store outerwear, boots, umbrellas, and sports gear, providing that you have installed wall hooks, a hall stand, a sideboard, or shoe cabinets. There are plenty of slimline versions available to help you make the most of your space.

Written by Emily Green for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

A Few Recommendations to Get You Started

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Organized—and Staying that Way

Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can be organized enough with the right gameplan.

We’re all so busy—working, taking care of kids, trying to have a life outside of work and kids—it’s no wonder that keeping our homes organized sometimes falls to the bottom of the priority list. Yet we know that having a chaotic home just makes everything harder.

I’ve been helping clients—many of them working mothers—get organized in Manhattan for nearly 20 years. I hear it all the time: “I know how to get organized. The challenge is keeping things that way.” Heck, some say, “I don’t even know where to start!”

It’s not as bad as you think. My first piece of advice: Don’t try to do it all in a day. The best strategy is to make a habit of spending small chunks of time tackling a specific area. Even 15 minutes will do.

Here are my best high-impact, low-investment strategies for getting organized, even when you are super-busy.

When you have 15 minutes:

Tackle the stack of paper on your kitchen counter (or where ever paper piles grow in your house). As you are sorting and purging, ask yourself why it always ends up there—and how you might avoid the same pile happening again.

Run things back to the rooms they belong in. Don’t worry about putting them away, just aim them get everything close to where they belong. If something doesn’t belong anywhere, ask yourself if you even need it.

Tackle a bowl, drawer or other catchall full of miscellaneous stuff. Put stuff where it belongs, or purge it. If there’s stuff that doesn’t have a place, make a place: What category (tool, toiletry, office supply) is it? Where you keep that category?

Eliminate junk mail. Go through your pile of catalogs and ask to be removed from the mailing list.

When you have 30 minutes:

File papers you need to keep, and create folders if you don’t have them already.

Arrange to pay bills online.

Look through your children’s books to see if you can get rid of ones they’ve outgrown.

When you have an hour:

Go through your child’s dresser. Do the contents of the drawers make sense? Does everything fit the child? Does everything fit in the dresser? Does your child need all those clothes?

Go through your pantry. Purge old stuff and items you are never going to use. Create zones: Baking, Pasta & Grains, Oils & Vinegars.

Go through the coat closet or mudroom. Purge single gloves, too-small boots, equipment for sports your kids no longer play.

Do a little bit a few times a week and things will quickly begin to feel less chaotic. But better than that, by beginning to think about how it gets that way, you are paving the way for the most important part: how to keep it that way. Cultivate these easy to embrace habits to maintain order and keep clutter at bay:

Do a last sweep every night.

Spend five minutes every night restoring order to your common areas: Toss your children’s socks back in their room, stack up the paperwork you were dealing with on the couch and put it on your desk. The idea is to just get your living area and kitchen reasonably tidy (not picture perfect), so when you wake up you are starting from a good place.

Don’t let the mail pile up.

Open all your mail every night. The good news, 90 percent is probably garbage. Toss all the junk, plus the envelopes and useless inserts, right away and what’s left will be much less intimidating.

Nip clutter at the bud.

Most clutter and chaos spring from having too much. We live in a culture of abundance (of stuff, not jobs or health insurance!). Work on bringing less into your home. Say “No” to your kids. Say “No” to yourself. Really justify each purchase, and practice the “something in, something out” method to maintain all that good work.

Once you get in the groove, and tackled the surfaces and the “sticky spots,” you may want to delve deeper into making your systems more coherent. It may occur to you that storing school supplies in three places, or having board games in every room, doesn’t make sense. But don’t just start moving stuff around. If you want to get all the board games into the family room, think about where you will put them. How many board games do you want to bring in, and how will you make space for them in the family room. Maybe you need to get rid of a shelf of books, and that might not take you that long at all.

Organization isn’t brain surgery (thank goodness!). It’s just a way of seeing things and developing habits. You can do this, and by inviting your children into this process you’ll help them grow up with better organizational habits, and that’s a great gift to give.

Amanda Sullivan is a professional organizer in New York City and the author of Organized Enough: The Anti-Perfectionist’s Guide to Getting—and Staying—Organized. Amanda lives in Manhattan with her husband and their three children. To find out more about Amanda or read her blog check out her website, theperfectdaughter.com.

Written by Amanda Sullivan for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

A Few Recommendations to Get You Started

How to Transform any Yard or Porch into Your Own Private Park

How to Transform any Yard or Porch into Your Own Private Park

With the right seating options, your porch, deck, yard or other swath of outdoor space can function as anything you want it to: Living room, den, even an office. One easy and affordable way to do it? Outdoor pillows. Here’s how to use these accessories to expand your living area into the outdoors.

Perfect Perch

This pouf reminds us of a cozy sweater.
. Better You

Sometimes the difference between a comfy outdoor seat and a backbreaking ergonomic nightmare is whether you can put your feet up. A portable, lightweight footrest is a great option. (And it doubles as seating for kids!) We like that this one is made of a durable, dense textile that can stand up to the weather.

Multipurpose Storage

Comes with two poufs and a coordinating storage table.
. Better You

Outdoor furniture can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little smart searching you can find multi-piece sets that offer seating, table top space and storage all in one.

Good Looks That’ll Last

Fade-resistant fabric means the bold patterns on these pillows will stay vibrant.
. Better You

Yes, many outdoor textiles say they’re weather resistant, but there’s a lot more to worry about than moisture including pollen, mold, mud and even animal droppings. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for outdoor pillows and cushions with removable and machine washable covers. You can keep them clean then easily keep them sanitary and around for many seasons of outdoor weather to come.

So Comfy

These pillows are overstuffed for comfort.
. Better You

Overstuffed for ComfortNew text box: Comfort is just as important outdoors as it is indoors! We’re also fans of the fact that they come in more than 40 colors, and the filling is made from recycled fiber.

No Mold or Mildew

Comes in a pack of four.
. Better You

One major challenge with outdoor textiles of any kind is that they will get wet—whether it’s by a rainstorm, morning dew or your garden hose. Since no one wants to have to bring their outdoor stuff indoors at night (or anytime really), it’s important to look for products made from anti-mold and water resistant material.

Written by Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal for Better You and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].com.

Featured image provided by Better You

Saving Space in Your Home Vertically

It might be surprising to know that 25% of people who have a garage for two cars cannot even fit one car in there. Additionally, 32% of people who have two car garages can only fit one car in there. Yet, 82% of people said a garage was important for them when buying a home.

Cluttered Garage Before SafeRacks

You might be wondering whether this makes any sense or not. Why would people say garages are important and then not even use them for their cars? The simple answer is that the clutter just builds up so much. Most garages do not come with well thought out storage space and when people move into a new home they just need a space to unpack. The clutter ends up staying, like an uninvited guest!

Have you ever wanted a way to reduce the clutter in your garage? Have you ever wanted a way to use the vertical space not just in your garage, but all over your home in efficient ways?  With SafeRacks this is possible.

Where Can You Find Vertical Space in Your Home

The garages, basements and attics are all good candidates for fitting out with overhead garage racks and a variety of hooks to create more vertical space. In the garage, take a look above the garage door, above where the car is parked and above the furniture (such as workbenches) that you might have installed there. Often you will see that there is plenty of unused space in these places. It can be extremely easy to install storage racks or a safety net in any of these locations to put your garden furniture when you are not using it, to store your barbecue and other equipment you do not use all year round and generally to organize all of the things that homeowners need to keep in an easy to reach place in their garages.

Basements are often equipped with wood furnaces for heating and storage racks can be an elegant way to store your firewood instead of in a pile on the floor (which is unsafe as well and can pose a fire hazard). Attics can be used for general storage as well for old items of sentimental value that you do not necessarily want to throw out but will not be looking at more than a couple of times a year.

If you live in the country and keep animals, then you can also use overhead storage racks effectively for storing milk, eggs, vegetables and all of your produce. If you have a greenhouse, they can be used to store a huge variety of plants as well.

Hooks and Sporting Equipment

Sporting equipment, ladders, swimming pool equipment, hoses and other garden tools often end up in piles all over one side of the garage or dropped on top of each other. Studies have shown that you are far less likely to ride your bike if it is in a pile of clutter on one side of your garage, than if it is hanging neatly on a pair of hooks on one wall. In fact, we are far more likely to make use of things that we know where to locate. What better way to keep track of all your things and keep cultivating your hobbies and interests than to organize them all well under your overhead racks?

You can either install your hooks on the walls of the space you have selected to use or you can have them installed on the bottom of the storage racks. Either way they will be able to hold a lot of items. To organize hoses and electrical cables you can also use utility hooks. Skis and ski poles and sporting gear in general will always find a good home on these hooks as well. There are deck hooks, rail hooks and utility hooks available.

There are many very clever ways to organize the vertical space in your home and you do not necessarily have to stop at the garage! Bathrooms, living areas, basements, attics and kitchens are all good places to use the vertical space. In many European style apartments with high ceilings, you can also experiment with a loft as well as storage space that is high up.

Conquer Garage Clutter This Weekend

Even though 82% of people think the garage is one of the most important factors in buying a new home, a huge percentage of garages everywhere are not being used in the best way possible. Many people cannot fit their cars into their garages and even though they use the garage very frequently, there is always clutter everywhere. Have you ever just wanted to organize your entire garage so that it can be efficient and easy-to-use? Were you ever looking for garage storage systems that actually work?

The good news is that you can use the following tips and tricks to conquer clutter in your garage in just one weekend!

Getting Prepared and Evaluating Your Space

The first thing you will need to think about is how much space you have. You may have space for shelves on the side of your garage or not. You may have space for two cars or just one. Try not to worry too much about the clutter at this stage; what you need to find out is how much actual, physical space you have to play with so you can make your plans in the best way possible.

Do not forget that many people often skip over the vertical space they have. You will need to write down how much garage overhead storage there is as well.

When you have your plan with all your measurements you will be able to quickly see where the most space is and where you can comfortably exploit that space by converting it to shelving. The most common scenario that people find is that there is a lot of vertical space above their garage doors, above the car and above the entry door to their home located in the garage. These are perfect locations for garage overhead storage racks.

Deciding Just Where the New Overhead Racks Will Go

Making the decision of where you will install your new garage overhead racks will come down to a bit of forethought. Think: will you need access to the items you are storing when the car is in the garage? Will you be happy having access to them only during the day when the garage is empty? If you need items at all hours, then the best place for your overhead shelves is actually directly above the place for the car. This way, even when the car is parked inside the garage, you will be able to move next to it and reach any items on the shelves above.

But if you have only one car and two garage spots, then you do not need to keep your storage space directly above the car. In this case you can afford to have it by the walls, so there is more room to move around in.

Also keep in mind that you should leave at least a few inches of space between the bottom of the shelf and the height of the tallest person likely to come into your garage! It can be very inconvenient (and even painful!) for people to have to bend over to prevent banging their heads.

Deciding on the Type of Overhead Storage

You generally have two types of overhead storage solutions to pick from – safety nets or storage racks. Deciding on your needs will depend a lot on your situation. Also remember that you can complement your storage space with accessories such as deck hooks, rail hooks, and sport/utility hooks. Think about the answers to the following questions to decide:
Are you going to store lightweight objects? A safety net might be best.
Are you going to store heavy items? Go for a storage rack.
Are you storing items that need air circulation? Safety nets or hooks on a rack.
Do you live in an earthquake prone area? Safety nets around the perimeter of storage rack.

These are just some of the many questions you can ask yourself when deciding on which type of shelving you want.

Also consider the people that will need access to the storage area and the frequency that they will be using that access. If you are rarely using the items or if they are not too heavy, then you might want to consider a step-ladder. But if the items are very heavy or need to be accessed on a regular basis it can be worth having a staircase installed with a loft space rather than storage shelves.

Now Pick a Sunny Weekend

The next step of course is to actually go and conquer the clutter in your garage! What you want to do is to pick a weekend where the weather is going to be good, because you will need to get everything outside the garage.

Here is how you will complete this in less than one weekend:
Order all the components you need well in advance online from SafeRacks.com
When everything has arrived and you are ready to go, advertise that you are having a garage sale on the upcoming Sunday
On Saturday, remove everything from the garage and place it on the driveway in front; remove furniture, tools; pretty much everything
Sort or have your family sort everything on the driveway into two groups by moving items from one side of the driveway to the other; “For sale” on one side, “Keep” on the other
When this has been done, or while your family is doing this, install your new SafeRacks, safety nets, ladders, deck hooks, rail hooks, sport/utility hooks etc.
Once everything has been installed, put everything in the “Keep” pile onto the new shelves.
Park your car(s)!
Use a tarpaulin to cover everything in the “For sale” pile (just in case it rains anyway) and have a good night’s rest
Wake up the next morning and sell everything in your driveway; if at the end of the day there are still things there, call the city to have it removed the following day

Conquering the clutter in your garage in just one weekend is really not that difficult of a task. If you do not know what you need or how you should go about planning any of this, then you should speak to one of the professional staff members at SafeRacks. You can buy anything you need for your garage renovation online and install it yourself at home, or you can call an authorized distributor in your area to do the installation for you in your new space in just a few hours.

Breaking the Habits of Garage Clutter and Chaos

We all hate having lots of clutter and chaos in our garage. But more often than not, that’s exactly what happens. A lot of items end up stocked there for a long time and you barely have any space to store your car. It’s a really good idea to opt for DIY garage store or some garage organization shelves.

The idea is that you need to make the most out of every bit of space. The way you can eliminate garage clutter is simply by taking everything out in front of the garage and seeing whether you use that item to begin with. Throw the items that aren’t of any use to you anymore, or you can sell them online and make a bit of money from them too. Keep in mind that no one needs to have a garage full of items. And even if you need some items, you can use garage shelving and other tools to handle everything the right way.

A good idea is to browse garage ideas online. These will give you a good start when it comes to the type of garage organization you want to opt for. We also recommend you to choose the best garage organizer storage you can find online. 

Thankfully, Saferacks providers you with outstanding garage storage options at a very good price. If you always wanted to eliminate clutter and chaos from your garage, then the best thing you can do is to opt for great garage organization tools or anything else that might be useful. We are here to help with all of that. Browse our store today and you will be able to find some of the best and most affordable garage organizer storage options on the market! Start breaking these garage clutter habits by installing and using professional garage storage today!

Ways to Overcome a Packed Garage

A packed garage is always a bit challenging to organize and manage. That’s why it’s a very good idea to find some ways to store your items adequately and without problems. Ideally we encourage you to use some of the ideas listed below.

Garage shelving
Some simple garage shelves can really do wonders and the best part is that you can tackle and manage them without that much of a problem. They are always going to come in handy and you will be amazed with how easy they are to manage and use.

Overhead garage storage
The reason why you want overhead garage storage is because it’s super reliable and durable. It delivers a simple way to gain space without actively occupying any space on the floor. You do need to make sure that the steel overhead garage storage system is durable and reliable, as that’s what really matters the most in the end.

Storage racks
Using storage racks is very efficient because it gives you more control. It also enables you to store a huge range of items without having to worry about a lack of space. While installing the storage racks might be a bit tricky, it’s definitely going to pay off, so try to consider all of that.

Magnetic storage
It’s important to store your steel items on the walls and away from anyone that might be harmed by them. Magnetic storage is actually very efficient and it will also look great in your garage too. You can still use garage storage shelving if you want, that’s up to you and what you need the most.
In the end, it’s a great idea to find some unique garage organizer storage options to achieve the best results. All you need is to study what you need and adapt all of that to your own needs. You will not be disappointed, that’s for sure!

Contact SafeRacks today to find out more about garage storage solutions for your home. Call us today at (877) 655-3443 or email us at [email protected]. You can also check out our FAQ page for more information.

www.SafeRacks.com

“Very Impressed With Your Product & Customer Service”

Model Number: SR-4X8KD-W PACK24

Date Purchased:  March 9, 2013

Date Installed: April 28, 2013

Pros:  Heavy duty quality product, excellent customer support & service, easy to install, good instructions.

Cons: None

I had considered building a ceiling storage system myself using 2X6, 2X4 and plywood construction supported by ledger board and all thread rods through the roof trusses to satisfy my overhead garage storage needs.  Then, I saw the “Safe-Rack” advertisement and decided to give them a try.  So, I purchased two (2) 4’ X 8’ overhead ceiling storage racks from Safe-Racks.com for my garage storage needs.  They arrived in a very reasonable time frame.  I found one box damaged and missing the nut & bolt package.  I called Safe-Racks and spoke with “Charles” who immediately apologized for the problem and offered to exchange the box that was damaged in shipping.  I told Charles that it was not necessary, as all I needed was the missing nut & bolt package which He immediately shipped out.  I also mentioned a concern I had with my unusual roof truss spacing in the garage center where the two units would meet.  Charles immediately understood my concern/issue and offered to ship out a special sized ceiling bracket to accommodate my specific need.  The installation directions provided were simple to follow.  I was very impressed with the Heavy-Duty quality and engineering of the racks, the excellent fit of all the parts, and the ease of installation.  Locating the roof truss centers and my adding “extra” (probably un-necessary) cross brace 2×4 supports took the most time.  It is abundantly clear to me following  my telephone contact with Charles, that Safe Racks Management firmly believes  in providing exceptional customer service and has empowered its employees to take independent corrective action to resolve customer issues, fully satisfying the customer.  Charles was extremely efficient, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. My Son was also impressed with the racks, and I just ordered and will be installing two additional Overhead Racks for him.  I am also sure one of my neighbors (a retired engineer) will be ordering a system in the near future as he was also quite impressed.  He commented on how solid the system is, absent of any wobble, sway or shakes.    In conclusion, I am extremely happy with my decision to make this purchase from Safe-Racks and will order additional units from Safe-Racks when the need presents.

Edward J. Moran

Jupiter, Florida

Top quality, offers ample storage area

5.0 Stars out of 5.0 Stars, Homedepot.com review 

This rack ships in 2 separate boxes.
Installation took about 2 hours since I was all by myself with no help. You certainly do not need any special skill set to put it together. Included Installation Guide explains every step with great details. The pictures in the guide made the whole process fairly simple for me.
Tools I used were a step ladder, drill with 3/16” bit, level, stud finder, impact wrench, rubber mallet and small size wrench. If you have a good Stud Finder, you will be in good hands. I used i520 Zircon (Home Depot carries it). I strongly recommend not rushing in finding the studs/joists and marking the measurement which isn’t as simple as it sounds but you do that right and the rest will go like a breeze.
I initially installed it in the center area of my garage thinking I will have access to items from all four directions. Once done, the garage appearance looked a bit congested. So I took it down and installed against the wall which of course looks much better but the access to items placed all the way in the back isn’t easier now. I can live with that since the appearance is important for me.
I love the fact that the height is adjustable from 24” to 48”. I have set it up to 37” so I could park my SUV under that and still get ample storage area. Weight capacity is 600 lbs. Its construction is top quality and will certainly last me decades.
Over all I am very happy with what it offers

– Neelam, New Jersey, USA, 35 to 44, Female

  • June 24, 2014

Tips to Organize Your Garage Before Summer

Organizing your garage for summer is very important and there are quite a lot of things that you want to focus on right away. The challenge here is that you need to find some great garage cabinets and other stuff that might be able to help. With that in mind, these tips will help.

Declutter Fast
Put all the items in a pile and then start figuring out if you need them, one by one. When it comes to garage organization shelves, you want to fill them only with that stuff which really matters, so use it as an advantage if possible and you will be fine.

Find Creative Ways to Arrange Garage Shelves
You can add shelves and other garage storage in there too. The trick is to be creative and to come up with ideas that really work in your garage. That might sound hard at first, but it’s not as complex as you imagine. Brainstorm, create some sketches and even start arranging it that way. This way you can see what works and what won’t work.

Put a Garage Workbench and Some Garage Shelves
Garage shelves are very helpful as they bring you tremendous efficiency and the value is second to none all the time. On top of that, you will have a garage workbench in there too. Most men want this type of thing in their garage for efficiency, so use that as an advantage. A garage bike rack might be handy too.

The idea here is to make sure that you add only those things you need in your garage. The more you think about garage organization and garage ideas, the easier it will be to figure out how you will handle everything. Patience is crucial here, but if you put in the work it will totally be worth it.