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Thought2Action LLC ®
Site Owner
Posts: 99

These are your private spaces where you, your children, and your guests find comfort and rest.  Tips posted here will help you defeat the clutter and create the relaxing environment you deserve.

January 26, 2010 at 11:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Thought2Action LLC ®
Site Owner
Posts: 99

Your bedroom can be a peaceful retreat from the demands of a hectic, stressful life. Comfortable, comforting surroundings can help you relax, sleep, and feel restored. If your bedroom is home to more chaos than calm, a few simple steps can help you create the peaceful space you deserve.


Organizing your bedroom - even if it's in serious disarray - is easier than you might think. In this four-part series, you'll learn how to declutter, clean up, organize, and maintain your primary resting space.

 

Part 1: DECLUTTER


1. Get started. The hardest part of this work is getting started, so promise yourself that you'll follow through. Chances are that you have been aware of the clutter in your bedroom for a while, so make an appointment with yourself to spend a day tackling this job. If getting this done by yourself makes it too tempting to cancel your appointment, invite a friend who promises to help you stay on task.


2. Use boxes or bins. Have four large clear plastic bins or large cardboard moving boxes available in the room for this task, and label each clearly: Donate, Toss, Keep, Put Somewhere Else. Clear off the top of the bed to use as a sorting area.


3. Take pictures. To see better the progress you're making, take some "before" pictures of the cluttered room, to be compared later with photos you take after each step in the process.


4. Make quick decisions. Start with the most cluttered part of the room - perhaps a closet - moving as much of its contents as you can to the bed for sorting, then quickly deciding which items belong in which bins. Do not stop and analyze or reminisce about individual items. It's important that you move quickly, stay focused, and be decisive. Your "Keep" bin should contain the fewest items.


5. Follow a pattern. When you have sorted the items in this first, most cluttered, spot, take a short break to stretch, congratulate yourself, and select the next spot to tackle. It often helps to work your way around a room in a pattern that is easy to follow - clockwise from your starting point, for example. This way, you won't lose track of where you've been and where you still need to go.


6. Find more space. When you have completed your circuit around the room, you'll probably have four full bins and a lot more space in your bedroom to organize what you decide to keep. Resist the temptation to put things away immediately. Instead, move to Part 2: Clean Up.

March 11, 2010 at 5:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Thought2Action LLC ®
Site Owner
Posts: 99

By completing Part 1: Declutter, you now have a better sense of the space that's available to you in your bedroom.  You also have determined, through a sorting process, what items you will Donate, Toss, Put Somewhere Else, and Keep.


If you haven't yet, remove all but the Keep items from the room. It's time to clean the room and confirm how you want it arranged:


Part 2: CLEAN UP


1. Temporarily store the Keep items in a closet or other spot where they won't get in your way.


2. Strip the bed of its linens, wash the linens, and remake the bed.


3. Clean your window coverings. One cycle in the dryer on a low heat setting removes dust very nicely from curtains and drapes. Add a fabric softener sheet for a fresh smell.


4. Wash the windows and any blinds. For advice on cleaning different types of blinds, see Frugal Living, About.com, or WiseGeek


5. If your bedroom is carpeted, vacuum the carpet thoroughly, spot cleaning as necessary. If you have a hardwood or tile floor, clean it using your preferred method (for cleaning tips, go the the World Floor Covering Association web site, select from the list of coverings, and click on "Care").


6. Dust, polish and vacuum the rest of the room, including light fixtures, wall décor, ceiling fan, and heating/cooling vents. And, don't forget the cobwebs!


7. When you've finished your clean-up, the room will have a fresh look and smell.


8. If you want to rearrange the room, now's the time. For ideas and advice, visit Creative Home Decorating Room-by-Room.


Now that your bedroom is looking clean and fresh, you're ready for Part 3: Organize, in which you will find homes for the items in your Keep bin.

March 13, 2010 at 6:15 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Thought2Action LLC ®
Site Owner
Posts: 99

In Part 2: Clean Up, you gave your bedroom a thorough cleaning. Now that it's looking and smelling fresh, it's time to put away the items you've decided to keep.


 

GET ORGANIZED

1. Spread out the items from your Keep bin on the bed. This will help you see everything that you need to put away.


2. If you do not already have nightstands or other bedside tables, and you have the space, place these next to the head of the bed. Tables that have at least one drawer and one shelf can hold the items you most often need to relax and prepare for sleep: books, magazines, writing supplies, the TV remote control, a glass of water, and perhaps some medicine. If you work on a small project while relaxing in bed, consider using a plastic bin or basket to store project supplies and keeping it in a drawer or on a shelf when not in use. Place as much as possible in the drawers and on the shelves, reserving the top for only your most essential nighttime items.


3. The top of a dresser is a clutter magnet, so select only a few items that you use daily to keep there. Make your dresser top easy to clean by organizing your daily items in attractive baskets or wooden (or leather or plastic) bins. Store additional items in top dresser drawers using dividers or containers with sections to control small, loose objects.

 

4. Think about your habits, and keep essential items where you are likely to use them. For example, if you apply makeup and style your hair in the bathroom, keep items for each of these tasks in the bathroom. This will reduce clutter in the bedroom and minimize your need to carry items back and forth.


5. If your bedroom storage space is limited, use the space under your bed. Under-the-bed storage containers are available in many sizes and configurations and can hold anything from out-of-season clothing to shoes to project supplies. Select the container size and shape that suits your purpose, and use a snug-fitting lid to keep items dust-free.

 

6. Place laundry baskets and other housekeeping items in a closet or bathroom. In the closet, place one bin for colored clothing and one for whites to minimize the need to sort on laundry days. In the bathroom, keep cleaning items in a bucket or bin for easy access.

 

7. If you use your bedroom to watch TV and videos, listen to music, and read, you'll need shelves or a specialized stand to hold items for each of these activities. Sort by type and size of media, and keep items related to each activity together.


8. Keepsakes and other decorative items add the personal touch to your bedroom, but too many of these create a cluttered look and feel. Select a few of your most prized items, and place them strategically on special display shelves, your dresser top, and the walls. If you have many more keepsakes than room to display them, consider keeping extras in a box or bin and changing what you display each season or from time to time during the year.

 

9. Is your bedroom child- and/or pet-friendly? Adapt the recommendations above for curious hands and paws by keeping more on shelves and in drawers than on exposed surfaces.

 

10. When you have placed the last item from your Keep collection, take a few minutes to admire your newly organized bedroom, and snap a photo or two to record your accomplishment. You can compare these "after" photos to the "befores" you took when you started, and if the room starts to look cluttered again, you'll have a reminder of how you would like it to look.


In Part 4, you'll learn how to maintain your bedroom to minimize the need for a major clean-up in the future.


March 15, 2010 at 6:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Thought2Action LLC ®
Site Owner
Posts: 99

In Parts 1-3 of this series,

you sorted through the clutter in your bedroom, gave the room a thorough cleaning, and organized all the things you decided to keep. The final step will help you form habits that keep your bedroom the sanctuary you have created.


 

MAINTAIN


If you haven't already developed some of the habits listed below, it will take a little time - estimate a couple of weeks - before they feel natural to you.

 

1. Make your bed every day, as soon after you get up as possible. This simple habit gives the whole room an organized appearance.

 

2. Open the drapes (or shutters or blinds) to let in the light - you'll see better, and the brightened room will lift your spirits.

 

3. At the end of each day, as you change your clothes, hang them up or place them in a laundry basket. Leaving them in a heap on the floor creates clutter you are trying to avoid.


4. Avoid clutter on your nightstand by keeping out just one of whatever you typically use: the book you’re reading, a bottle of hand lotion, a glass of water. Everything else should be stored on a shelf or in a drawer.

 

5. If you do projects while in bed, use your nightstand drawer or keep a small storage bin within reach under your bed to hold your materials and keep small, loose pieces together.

 

6. If you have children, teach them not to keep their toys in the master bedroom. Just as you teach them to value the privacy of their own rooms, teach them to value your privacy and need for a peaceful space.

 

7. Finally, make conscious choices about bringing new items into your bedroom, whether they are practical or decorative. Clutter happens one object at a time, and it doesn't take long before the piles reappear.


Once you've formed these habits to maintain your organized bedroom, you'll find that the rewards are substantial. You'll take less time to find things and less time to get ready for work and pleasure activities. The room will be easier to clean; and you will have created a healthier environment for yourself. Most important, you'll be living in a more relaxing, less stressful space.

 

For more information on cleaning and organization as stress relievers, see these articles at About.com:

• "Six Ways that Cleaning Can Alleviate Stress"

• "The Cost of Clutter"

• "How Your Home Interior Can Influence Your Happiness and Stress Level"

 


March 17, 2010 at 10:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Thought2Action LLC ®
Site Owner
Posts: 99

Guest Room Etiquette:  some tips to make your visitors feel welcome

 

Whether it's your mother, a close friend, or a former college roommate coming to visit, there are some basic steps to organize your guest room to make their stay comfortable.  GoodHousekeeping.com provides a list - and some extras - to help you prepare for a pleasant visit:

 

Bedside table. This is required for some essentials as well as some niceties for your guest.

 

Drink of water. Provide a bottle or plastic tumbler of water on the bedside table.

 

Reading light. Not only is this handy for reading to relax, it will light the way around the room and to the bathroom if needed.

 

Clock. Most people like to know what time it is if they wake up in the dark, and it's even more helpful if the clock has an alarm to help guests get up for activities, breakfast, and appointments.

 

Accessible and unused AC outlet. Most guests have a cell phone that they will want to charge at night.

 

Door that latches. As much as they enjoy your company, your guests will appreciate some privacy as well. Assure that your guest room has a door that latches to keep out extraneous noise, wandering pets, and curious children.

 

Comfy bed. High, old-fashioned beds can be difficult for small children and the elderly to get in and out of. Likewise, a low-to-the-floor platform can be hard on those with arthritis or joint issues. If your mattress is firm, consider a foam cushion or mattress topper.

 

Blankets and pillows. Take inventory of your spare pillows and extra blankets. Couch cushions do not make for comfortable sleeping. If you have the storage space, you might as well err on the side of having too many linens. As you prepare for your guest, unfold some sheets and blankets to make sure they're clean don't smell musty. Consider dry cleaning your blankets and duvets. If you have down comforters or pillows, check to be sure your guests aren't allergic.

 

Suitable temperature. Make sure the room is warm or cool enough. Temperature preference is highly personal, so you can anticipate your guests' needs by supplying extra blankets, a space heater, or a fan.

 

Easy bathroom access. You can't change the location of your guest room, so check to see that there is ample lighting, such as a hall lamp or nightlight, to guide the way.

 

Welcoming environment. If your spare room doubles as an office or child's playroom, remove anything you'll need during your visitors' stay. And clear it out. Don't make your guest stay in a cluttered environment that makes them feel like they're rooming in your storage closet. Likewise, clear out drawers and closet space and provide plenty of hangers and drawer space for them.

 

Special needs. Anticipate your guests’ needs — does the room need to be child-proofed? Are your guests allergic to pets?

 

Hazard control. Evaluate your guest room for precarious situations, using a fresh eye. Check that all area rugs are slip-free. Remove anything that might pose a hazard or cause your guest to stub a toe, knock something over, trip or slip.

 

Extra credit. Little touches that can go a long way:

 

 Spritz the bed sheets with a lightly scented spray

 Put out a basket of toiletries and fresh towels

 Stock the room with magazines and books

 Spruce up the room with a vase of flowers

 

 

Share your ideas here for making guests feel welcome.

May 11, 2010 at 5:28 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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