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Decluttering and Organizing Your Home with Free Printable Sorting Signs

Trend: Decluttering and Organizing Your Home with Free Printable Sorting Signs

It’s time to Spring clean and maybe get ready for a much needed garage sale. I know just the thought of organizing the whole home sounds exhausting, but decluttering doesn’t have to be stressful. Start the process with a plan and don’t worry about finishing it all at once! Where do you begin? I like to start with a room that we use most often and then I set up a little organizing station so I can easily organize the stuff I’m going through while I’m cleaning. I always have a trash bag, donate box, consignment box, and a keep box (anything that goes in the keep box gets put away right after I’m done organizing). I also like to tackle one room at a time, but if I don’t have much time to clean I’ll just work on one section of a room, like the closet.

When you’re going through stuff at home there are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Does this clothing item still fit me? If it doesn’t, get rid of it.
  2. Have I worn this clothing item in the last year? If no, donate or sell.
  3. Do I use this item? If no, figure out if there is somewhere you can use it, or get rid of it.
  4. Is this item broken? If it is, is it worth fixing?
  5. If I’m ready to get rid of this item do I donate it, or try to sell it? I like to bring some of my clothing items to a local consignment shop. If we are getting rid of larger home items sometimes we will try to sell it online. If you don’t have time to do that in the next month, donate.

Decluttering and Organizing Your Home with Free Printable Sorting Signs

If you want to keep on top of organizing throughout the whole year, set up labeled baskets (using my free printable sorting signs) in your home so you can easily toss items you no longer need into these organized categories. I always have a donate and consignment basket ready to go in my laundry room. Click here to download my “keep, trash, consign, and donate” signs and click here to download my “garage sale, sell online, too big, and too small” signs. I printed my signs onto card stock, cut them out, and used some string to hang the sign from the baskets. If you want the sign to last longer, laminate it.

Sorting Signs

If you ARE getting ready for a garage sale, I’ve also made some printable “SALE” arrows for you to use. Print the out onto card stock, then cut them out.

Printable Sale Signs

Are you ready to Spring clean and get ready for summer with an organized home? I hope my tips helped!

We want to see what you’re crafting! You can share a link to what you’ve made in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram with a photo (my user name is @thepapermama).

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama


14 Closet Organization Ideas on the Better Homes and Gardens blog.

Trend: 14 Closet Organization Ideas

An organized closet can really change a home. Sure, a closet is typically closed off from the rest of the house, but if it’s organized and clean you’ll smile each time you open that door. Below I’ve gathered 14 Closet Organization Ideas to inspire you to organize your home.

1) This linen closet makeover is amazing and inspiring, from Fox Hollow Cottage.

This linen closet makeover is amazing and inspiring, from Fox Hollow Cottage.

2) Use file organizers to sort the towels in your bathroom closet. Found on The Real Thing With The Coake Family.

Use file organizers to sort the towels in your bathroom closet. Found on The Real Thing With The Coake Family.

3) Can you believe this closet was made for $50? I’m impressed. Check out how Design Build Love here.

Can you believe this closet was made for $50? I'm impressed. Check out how Design Build Love here.

4) If your closet is big enough, install a peg board onto the wall to organize your accessories. Found on Martha Stewart.

If your closet is big enough, install a peg board onto the wall to organize your accessories. Found on Martha Stewart.

5) I love this idea for storing hampers. They are in the closet and slide in and out. So clever! Found on Around the Farmhouse Table.

I love this idea for storing hampers. They are in the closet and slide in and out. So clever! Found on Around the Farmhouse Table.

6) This isn’t exactly an organizing tip, but a beautiful closet would make me want to keep it organized and clean. Adding paint to the interior really adds a pop to your room each time you open it up! Found on Classy Clutter.

This isn't exactly an organizing tip, but a beautiful closet would make me want to keep it organized and clean. Adding paint to the interior really adds a pop to your room each time you open it up! Found on Classy Clutter.

7) Storing shoes in clear boxes make it easier to find the perfect shoe for your night out, on Better Homes and Gardens.

Storing shoes in clear boxes make it easier to find the perfect shoe for your night out, on Better Homes and Gardens.

8) If you don’t want to buy a bunch of clear containers for shoe storage, check out this shoe rack IKEA hack, found on Curbly.

If you don't want to buy a bunch of clear containers for shoe storage, check out this shoe rack IKEA hack, found on Curbly.

9) This post is full of great tips for organizing your closet, on Finding Home Farms.

This post is full of great tips for organizing your closet, on Finding Home Farms.

10) Adding a door organizer to the back of a closet door will really add storage space to the closet, from My Sweet Savannah Blog.

Adding a door organizer to the back of a closet door will really add storage space to the closet, from My Sweet Savannah Blog.

11) I always have a hard time storing purses. If I put them in a box, I forget about them. If they sit on a shelf they just fall out all over the place. Better Homes and Gardens uses a tension rod and shower curtain rings to display purses, found over here.

I always have a hard time storing purses. If I put them in a box, I forget about them. If they sit on a shelf they just fall out all over the place. Better Homes and Gardens uses a tension rod and shower curtain rings to display purses, found over here.

12) I have a ton of tights and this idea is great. Hang a row of clothes pins on the wall and hang tights from them, from Lana Red Studio.

I have a ton of tights and this idea is great. Hang a row of clothes pins on the wall and hang tights from them, from Lana Red Studio.

13) These bungee cord hangers are perfect for all those sunglasses I have, from Brit and Co.

These bungee cord hangers are perfect for all those sunglasses I have, from Brit and Co.

14) Do you have some items that need to be stored in boxes? Dress up those boxes in cute fabric and maybe take a photo of yourself wearing the contents so you know what’s in there. Found on A Beautiful Mess.

Do you have some items that need to be stored in boxes? Dress up those boxes in cute fabric and maybe take a photo of yourself wearing the contents so you know what's in there. Found on A Beautiful Mess.

We want to see what you’re crafting! You can share a link to what you’ve made in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram with a photo (my user name is @thepapermama).

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama


As the seasons change, our personal wardrobes also change. Now that the air is brisk and leaves are turning to a beautiful variety of warm hues, it is time to start dressing in warmer clothing; specifically sweaters.

Sweater Storage

I personally love sweater season. There is something so blissful about curling up in a cozy sweater with my favorite magazine and a warm cup of coffee. Another favorite is bundling up in a sweater and boots to take a scenic fall walk. Living in a colder climate, my sweater collection has grown over the years, and I have learned a lot about the storage and care process. Sweaters are primarily made up of delicate materials, and today I am going to share a few tips to for keeping our favorite article of clothing in tip top shape year after year.

How to Spot Clean:

Sweaters can be spot cleaned by gently scrubbing with a mild stain bar. Stains can also be removed by blotting with a white towel and water or club soda. To remove deodorant marks, it works best to carefully rub the area with a dry piece of foam.

Laundry Kit

How to Wash:

First, prior to washing any sweater it is recommended to turn them inside out. Sweaters should be laundered in cold water in either a washtub or on the gentlest cycle of the washing machine (machines with agitators should be avoided). There are a variety of specialty wool and delicate detergents on the market, baby shampoo has also been known to work well. Sweaters can act like sponges for holding odors, and to remove any unwanted smells they can be soaked for 10-15 in a combination of white vinegar and water prior to washing. Avoid using bleach.

How to Dry:

Unless otherwise stated in the sweater’s fabric care instructions, sweaters should be dried by air vs. in the dryer. Because hangers can stretch the fabric, it is best to lay the sweater out flat on a dry towel, and roll the sweater with the towel to allow for the towel to absorb any excess moisture. Unroll and lay flat on a drying rack or counter, smoothing out any wrinkles (do not twist or wring out). Avoid hanging sweaters to dry, as the sweater will stretch from the weight of the damp material.

How to Fold:

Because sweaters form to their surroundings, they should always be folded vs. hung on hangers. The hangers will stretch the fibers and cause the sweaters to lose their original shape. Fold sweaters into thirds to prevent a fold line from running down the front center of the garment.

Sweater Storage

How to Store:

Sweaters need to breath so it is best to keep sweaters stored in closet vs. a drawer. This also applies to storing sweaters during the off-season; air-tight bins should be avoided. Inside of the closet sweaters should be stacked in a hanging organizer, sweater box or in-between shelving dividers. While during summer months, canvas bins and garment sacks are ideal.

Bonus tip: While storing sweaters during the off-season, wrap them in tissue to absorb odor/moisture. Sachets and cedar scented liners also keep sweaters fresh in-between uses.

How to Remove Pilling:

As much as I love sweaters, I don’t love when they begin to pill and form unflattering clumping of the sweater material. The pilling can be remedied in a variety of ways; including a sweater comb, fabric shaver or even a woman’s razor edge. Carefully utilize these tools with small movements over the sweater, going with the grain of the threading.

sweater care

via a beautiful mess

How to Repair Snags/Holes:

Begin by turning the sweater inside out and stitching around the perimeter of the sweater hole/tear. Continue by stitching from edge to edge of the tear vertically, then repeat horizontally. Smaller snags can be remedied with the help of a Snag Nab-It tool.

Sweater Care Products

hanging sweater organizer | folding board | wash & stain bar | delicate wash | wash basin | mesh washing bags | underbed sweater box | fabric shaver | acrylic shelving dividers | sweater box | mesh drying rack | sweater stone


Hi, everyone! Eddie Ross here, the East Coast Editor of Better Homes & Gardens. Even if everything else in a room comes together beautifully, it’s that final layer of accessories that’s often the most daunting. Pulling together parties that feel fresh and inviting isn’t always easy either. In my new book Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible Finds, I share secrets to discovering things that will infuse every bit of you into your home without spending a fortune.

Flea markets are goldmines for scoring one-of-a-kind finds, but thrift shops give me the fix I need when there isn’t one in town. You never know what you’ll see, so I go as often as I can. Plus, it always feels good to help a good cause. I once found an entire shopping cart of treasures after a single spin through a Goodwill in Connecticut. Here are five tips to getting your thrift on.

1. MOVE ON UP

Visit stores in nicer neighborhoods and surrounding towns. Disposable income often generates disposable high-end merchandise. A trio of Lladró swans I plucked from an upscale thrift shop swim across a sea of wrapping paper, their backs billowing with lilacs.

2. LOOK FOR STRAYS

If you don’t see a complete set of glasses or dishware, make sure you check the shelves above and below—strays have a way of wandering off. One of these zebras had a mind of its own before I spotted it three shelves down.

3. FIND THE GOOD

Look past unsightly finishes, fabric and hardware on vintage furniture. That’s the stuff you can fix. If a piece is sturdy with good lines, buy it. I loved the upholstered legs and slim silhouette of these barrel back chairs from a thrift store. Even the look of the original fabric was cool—it just needed an update. Bonus: Look for single bolts of fabric donated after decorating projects. Sometimes it’s enough to cover an entire chair!

4. SHOP SEASONALLY

People clean out their houses and make donations as the seasons change. Another time to shop is after the first of the year, when people make room for holiday purchases. The faux malachite obelisk on my mantle is one of a pair I found at a thrift shop in High Point, North Carolina during spring market.

5. GIVE BACK

Finally, donate your own unwanted things from time to time—it keeps the cycle going for everyone. Every time I drop off a box to my favorite stores, I can’t help but go back for more!

 

Thrifting is a way of life that fuels the modern mix. Soon you’ll need your fix, too.

 

 

Bonus: We’re giving away five copies of my new book, Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible Finds.

 

Enter for a chance to win by telling us your favorite flea market find that you’ve discovered in the comments!

 

You can also enter to win by following @BHG on Twitter and tweeting with #ModernMixSweepstakes. The giveaway closes August 20th, 2015 and you can find the official rules here.

 

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED


Let’s head to the beach and catch some rays and waves! It is definitely that time of year to spend hours playing in the water and soaking up some sun!

Beach Organization

The point of a trip to the beach is to have a blast and also take some time to get away and relax. The process should be easy breezy and leave you feeling refreshed, not stressed. Here are a few tips as you head off to your favorite sandy hot spot.

  • Keep your beach bag prepacked. Beach days are weather permitting so be ready to go when the moment strikes. Select a beach tote with ample storage pockets, and keep it filled with all of your favorite essentials such as a beach towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses, a first aid kit, etc… This will ensure you always have sun protection and the basics on hand, even when you head out in a rush.

Organized Beach Bag

(via)

  • Speaking of first aid, load up a small container filled with basic care items for those “just in case” moments.

Diy First Aid Kit

(via)

 

  • Rolling your towels will save space in your beach tote.
  • Small pouches will be your best beach friend. Add pencil and toiletry pouches to your beach bag to hold all of your smaller items, such as sunscreen, hair accessories, gadgets, etc…
  • Make sure to bring the baby powder! It is a great way to rid your body of sticky sand.
  • Add a wet sack to your beach tote arsenal. This will provide you a place to store your damp swimsuit without effecting the rest of the items in your bag.
  • Shopping/Utility carts are a great way to haul your beach umbrella/shelter, chair and bag all in a single trip. Many can handle the sandy beach with ease, and they collapse down nice and flat when not in use.
  • Use clear pouches to protect your phone/tablet while still offering the opportunity to utilize it.
  • Be prepared for the heat with a well packed cooler. Stock it full of water and healthy snacks, which should be pre-chilled if possible. Glass containers are ideal for keeping foods fresher for longer, but plastic is less likely to break on the beach. Don’t forget the utensils and dishes, they can attach right to the lid of the cooler with some Velcro!

Organized Coller

(via)

 

Do you have essential beach items that you won’t leave home without?

 

Beach Product Picks

sunscreen | lip balm | radio | umbrella | towel | powder | chair | tote | sunglasses | snack container | water bottle | gadget pouches | sun hat | facial spray | wet sacks | magazine | utility cart | paddle game | mini first aid kit | cooler

 


Having lived in small spaces all of my life, I feel that I’ve learned a few things about how to live in them well. Some may seem counterintuitive such as “put big things into small spaces,” but often what works is not obvious. Many people like to compare outfitting a small space to outfitting a boat, with a small space set aside for everything and all the surfaces covered, but this is first generation thinking and small homes on land are not boats. Homes need more breathing room and carefully fitting everything in creates a suffocating environment. Second generation space planning uses a number of tools to push and exaggerate the small space, making it feel much bigger emotionally than it is physically in square feet. In the end of the day whether your space FEELS small or big is what it’s all about.

 

1. 20% Emptiness = Happiness

One-hundred percent perfectly full is a loss, not a victory. Every room, every shelf and every cabinet should have a little breathing room to allow your eye to rest and make it easy to put something away without struggle. Traditional Japanese architects are said to plan their buildings around where the shadows fall and not where the light does. Being this conscious of shadows and the empty spaces and planning for them is a game changer. Leaving 20 percent empty and waiting will achieve this.

 

2. Lighten Walls, Darken Floors

The lighter you paint your walls, the more luminous your room will be, as well as the farther away they will seem. While doing the same to the floor might also make the room feel bigger, I find that dark-stained floors feel cozier underfoot and create contrast at the bottom edge of the walls that makes them seem brighter and taller to boot. A dark floor is earthlike and has a way of falling away underneath you as you enter a room, and if you paint your ceiling extra bright white it will magically suspend itself upward and open up like the sky over your head.

 

3. Put Big Into Small

If you get too frugal with a space and scale everything down to fit in, you will get a very small feeling resonating through. Inserting one or two large pieces into a small space is surprising and creates a “change moment” that we find refreshing and allows us to consider a small room as being larger than it really is. Large artwork, rugs, lighting and even beds balanced against appropriately-sized pieces will create an energetic contrast and a sense of luxury.

 

4. Three Points of Light

Light is your most powerful tool when manipulating space and getting it to expand. Our sense of space comes from where our eye can travel and it is drawn to light and avoids darkness. While paint colors and reflectivity are important, starting with adequate light is essential. Most homes, I have found, are underlit, so I have a simple guide: make sure you have three light sources in every room and don’t include simple light fixtures in the ceiling’s middle, as these shed a very poor light. Light should glow at the level you are living. Table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling fixtures that direct their light down to the walls or the floor are best. When things feel small, add more light!

 

5. Mirrors Multiply Light

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but mirrors DO multiply the ambient light in a room and allow your eye to extend beyond the walls they hang on, creating a much greater sense of space. Again, the feeling of how much room you have is directly related to how far your eye can travel and mirrors definitely help. Add them to dining rooms, hallways, bathrooms and living rooms. Keep them out of the bedroom, as they are stimulating and don’t support a deep rest.

 

6. Doors Eat Up Space

Most homes have too many doors. Really. Doors take up a lot of floor space in order to open and close properly, making floor planning challenging, and they are often quite unnecessary between interior rooms. Bi-fold doors and sliding doors on closets can get stuck and shut down 50 percent of a closet. In space-challenged situations, I often start by scouting the doors to see which ones I can remove right away. This allows for more movement and more room for furniture. With closets, my classic solution is to remove the doors and replace them tightly with heavy white canvas curtains. This allows 100 percent accessibility and also allows light within the closet to make the curtain glow as if it were a window and not a dark hole.


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