Entryways are quick to become cluttered, but a few extra hooks and an extra piece of furniture can turn a messy foyer into a functional, stylish room. Not sure where to start? From a practical shoe tray to numbered coat pegs, these 15 simple design tips will help you organize your entryway — plus these gorgeous photos will serve as inspiration.
Blouses are spilling out of your drawers, shoes litter your floor, and there are too many random items under your bed to count — sound familiar? If your bedroom is in constant disarray, check out these clever organization tips to make over your messy space. Whether you have plenty of room to work with or just a tiny corner to call your own, here are 11 valuable suggestions for turning your bedroom into a neat and tidy retreat.
Scraps of paper, piles of notebooks, and giant file folders full of who knows what — sound like your desk space? Make Spring cleaning a priority and organize your home office once and for all. Whether you're willing to take a big step and invest in new furniture or you'd rather go the quick and easy route, here are 15 great tips to help you organize your office space.
We're thrilled to present this smart Kiplinger story here on Savvy!
After about a year and a half of marriage, my husband and I have finally unpacked the boxes of his stuff and our wedding gifts that had piled up in every corner of our apartment. In doing so, we organized the whole place — finding a home within our home for all our "new" things while purging the old.
Through the whole process, we've unearthed a veritable trove of potential income sources littering our former wasteland. If you invest some time in spring cleaning, be sure to take stock of these six possible treasures disguised as trash:
My level-one hoarding issues have finally paid off… big time. (Kiplinger’s does not encourage or condone hoarding in any way.) Shuffled amid our apartment’s piles and piles of papers, we located receipts we were able to use for Flexible Spending Account claims amounting to nearly $2,000.
You just missed most employers’ March 15 deadline by which you needed to spend 2010 FSA funds. But you may still have time to file your claims: My company, for example, gives participating employees until June 15, as long as the receipts show services were rendered or purchases were made before March 15. If you don’t drain the account in time, you’ll have to kiss that cash goodbye. (See ASK KIM: Make the Most of the New Flex-Account Rules for more about how FSAs work.)
Also keep an eye out for receipts you can use to claim tax deductions, such as for charitable donations or job-hunting expenses, if you itemize. For more write-offs you may have forgotten, check out our slide show: The Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions.
2) Gift Cards
Be sure to sift through your clutter for unused gift cards. Even if you don’t care to use them yourself, you can still gain value from them before they expire. Exchange sites such as Gift Card Granny or Plastic Jungle will buy gift cards for a portion of their value (see KIP TIP: Get Cash Fast for more information).
Spring cleaning is a chore which, quite frankly, I dread. But once you get through it — through the depths of your junk drawer and the black hole of your closets — you feel a sense of relief. Your routine is refreshed and your mind is clear. You can actually see the clothes that you own, and you don't waste any more time putting dead batteries into your remote controls. I have learned a thing or two Spring (and Fall) cleaning my home, so here are some of my tried and true tricks for the task:
- When in doubt, look up. The biggest downer about Spring cleaning comes when you realize you don't have enough room to store all of the things you want to keep. But maybe you do. This year, I realized I had enough space in my closet to add another shelf at the top. It's so high that I need a step stool to reach it, so it makes an ideal place to store out-of-season apparel like sweaters, gloves, and hats.
- Get help. Personally, I think of Spring cleaning as purging all the excess stuff in my home that doesn't need to be there. Once I get rid of the clutter, I feel a sense of relief. But that doesn't mean my home shouldn't also be cleaned. After I've spent hours tossing out dated outfits and too-small jeans, the last thing I want to do is pick up a mop. It might be a cop out, but it's worth it to me to be able to finally put my feet up and pay $70 to a cleaning lady to deep clean my apartment. She does a much better job than I ever could, too.
- Hand-me-down. You've heard it a million times before: "Divide your things into keep, throw-away, and donation piles." It's good advice, but when it comes down to letting go of that off-the-shoulder neon sequin top you splurged on but only wore once, it's hard to swallow. To ease the pain, I always invite my girlfriends over to go through my donation piles. Once a year, when an '80s disco party invitation arrives in my inbox, I can call her up and say, "Hey, remember that top I gave you? Can I borrow it?" Friends understand.
- Give yourself deadlines. Once you've gone through all of your possesions, you'll be left with piles of clothes that need to be dry-cleaned, shoes that need to be polished and reheeled, and rugs that need to be steamed. But let's face it: you can't get this done all in one day. Unfortunately, all of these bullet points can also add up to a pretty penny; my cobbler loves me! So what I like to do is give myself a deadline of one task to conquer per week. One week, it's my duty to drop off all the dry-cleaning, have my skirts hemmed, and so on, and then pick them up and return them to my closet. The next week, I have to lug my dhurrie to a carpet cleaner and arrange a time to pick it up. Lay out a schedule and a budget for yourself, and don't get in over your head.
- Reward yourself. Since, as I mentioned, I dread Spring cleaning. I need a little — sometimes, big — motivation to get through it. But shopping, after you've just spent hours cleaning out your pantry, is not the answer. Instead, I like to make a reservation at a favorite fancy restaurant — you know, the kind you only go to when mom and dad visit. Or, I'll treat myself to a mani/pedi and a blowout or plan a trip away with friends the following weekend. That way I simply can't wait to finish the dirty work, and I'm not adding any more stuff to my slimmer, sleeker closets.
What tried and true Spring cleaning tricks do you have? Please share them in the comments below!