Declutter + Organizing Tips

Living in a small space or a space without much storage can make organizing and keeping everything decluttered a hassle, especially if you have more than one person living in that same space. My boyfriend and I live in a 800 square foot, one bedroom, one bath apartment. While the two of us are pretty clean people, two people stills means twice the stuff. I’ve gotten pretty good at decluttering when stuff piles up and coming up with ways to organizing things that we do keep. Here are my top tips to decluttering and organizing all your junk!

DECLUTTERING

Step 1: List of things to declutter in your home:

  • Clothing (closet and dresser, plus any extra stored away clothes)
  • Shoes
  • Make-up
  • Extra toiletries (shampoo, conditioners, toothpastes, tooth brushes, face washes, soaps, etc)
  • Pantry food
  • Refrigerator
  • Dvd’s, Video Games, CDs
  • Books
  • Personal papers and documents
  • Mail, magazines, newspapers
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Sheets
  • Dishes, Cups, Tubberware, Pots and Pans, Mixing Bowls, Water Bottles, etc.
  • Junk drawer
  • Under the bathroom and kitchen sink
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Candles
  • Bedside table

Be sure to get boxes, trash bags and/or clear an area to make piles. You’re going to want a place to put items to donate, throw away, recycle, and keep.*Remember when decluttering to be environmentally friendly and if you can reuse or recycle, please do so!

Step 2: When decluttering asked yourself these questions:

  1. Have you worn or used it in the past year? (If no, ditch it)
  2. Am I holding on to this for sentimental reasons? (If no, ditch it. If yes, its there a better way to store it?)
  3. Does it fit my current lifestyle? (If no, ditch it)
  4. Do I have something similar already? (If yes, compare and ditch the one(s) you haven’t used in the past year or are worn)
  5. Is it broken, worn, have holes, torn, cracked, or not work? (If yes, ditch it)
  6. Would I rather have to buy a new one and will it be expensive to buy a new one?

ORGANIZING

After I’ve gone through everything and put into my piles, it’s time to clear out the donate, throw away and recycle piles and start organizing what I’m keeping. Side note: Organizing can be pricey if you don’t already have some systems in place already. I suggest reusing boxes, shopping thrift stores or stores like Marshalls for cheap solutions.

  1. Declutter/Organize by category: While going room by room sounds like a good idea, it can make it overwhelming to tackle a whole room at once. I suggest picking a room/space and then picking one category within that room to tackle at a time. (i.e. if I’m organizing the kitchen, I’ll start by organizing the pots and pans before moving on kitchen utensils.
  2. Storing Upright: Visibility is my NUMBER one tip for organizing anything. Storing everything upright allows you to find items more easily and allows you to know what you have or what you might need. I swear when you can easily see everything in a drawer, basket, cabinet, etc. it will make your life so much easier!
  3. Keep what only brings you joy: *SPOILER ALERT* This one I got from Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, so if you haven’t watched it, drop everything and go watch it right now. It’s life-changing!! If you have seen it, you’ll know that one of her biggest rules is “Keeping only what brings you joy.”
  4. Don’t keep papers: I am guilty of keeping every single paper, important or not, and eventually it piles up… While keeping some papers is needed, such as tax, business, SOME bank papers, birth certificates, insurance papers, etc., most paper you do not need to keep. For the few paper’s you do need to keep, try to keep them to a minimum and organize them in label folders for easy storage and retrieval. PLEASE SHREAD AND RECYCLE ANY AND ALL PAPER YOU THROW OUT!!!!
  5. Fridge/Pantry Organization: I am a SUCKER for an organized fridge. Using clear bins to organize different items in your fridge will help use your fridge space efficiently and will help avoid wasting food. This can also be applied to your pantry! Try keeping food items in clear or labeled bins/containers, so you always know what you have or need more of.
  6. Small boxes: Using small boxes to organize drawers helps organize by category, size, or shape. Small boxes are super great to use in your undergarment, make-up, or kitchen utensil drawer!
  7. Label: If you have a label maker… great, label away! If not, the cheapest way to label items is cutting pieces of paper, write and tape it to what you want to label, OR you can buy sheets of label stickers and write and stick!

SHOP ITEMS I USE TO ORGANIZE


Glass containers to organize pantry items: I use these to storage flour, sugar, pasta, cereal, and other mixes or dry pantry items.

Command Hooks: Since we rent we try our best not to put holes in the walls so Command Hooks are such a great way to hang things. For somethings that are took heavy for command hooks, like heavy coats, I’ll use these hooks. They are super easy to use, only create a small hole and are able to hold up to 50lbs depending on which ones you use.

Cube Storage Shelf: If you want a slightly more pricey way to organize your things, investing in a cube storage shelf is a great item. Most are between $25-$50 (so still SUPER affordable).  These are super versatile and can be used to store so many different things. We use ours a an entry way table, coffee bar, show rack, book shelf, and have a few basket inserts to organize art supplies and extra cords and electronics.

Cube-Shelf Storage Bins: Helps easily and neatly store things in a cube-storage shelf.

Fridge Storage Bins: Keep like-products in your fridge together by using these clear storage bins.

Plastic Storage Bins: Great for keeping your pantry just as organized as your fridge!

Clothing Drawer Organizers: What I use to keep my undergarments drawer organized (see picture).

Catch-All Baskets: Great option for a catch all bowl to put by the front door!

Storage Basket: Great for storing throw blankets, towels, or extra accessories (i.e. hats, scarfs, belts, socks, or slippers).

File Folder: My favorite way to store papers I need to keep is keeping a sorted accordion folder. This one is great because you can use it normally or hang on the wall!

*As an Amazon associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support by shopping directly through my links!

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12 Days of DIY Christmas- Day 5: How-To Wrap a Gift

Are you a gift-wrapper or gift-bagger?? Well either way I’m here to show you how to easily wrap a gift, so your wrapping doesn’t look like a 5 year old did it… you know who you are!

1. Pick out your perfect Christmas wrapping paper!

2. Take whatever you are wrapping and measure out exactly how much paper you will need to cover each side.

3. Starting where your box ended, plus an inch more and cut your wrapping paper.

4. Start wrapping by taking on end of your wrapping paper and covering your gift so the side and top are completely covered and tape in place.

5. To make sure you have a clean line, fold 1/4 inch of the edge and continue to wrap rest of the box.

6. Now, because of the style of wrapping paper I got, I had a lot of excess on the sides that I don’t need. So, I measure how much I need to cut off.

7. Cut any excess off the sides that’s needed.

8. Throw it away! (Or save for later on a small gift or project)

9. Lastly, pick the right or left side to start with and fold in and tape. Repeat for other side. Then, take the top and bottom and neatly fold down and tape.

10. YOURE DONE! They perfectly wrapped box. No more wasting paper because you didn’t cut enough to cover the whole present.


More Tips:

1. The key to perfect wrapping is making sure you keep your lines tight, so be sure your creasing folds and edges as you’re going along.

2. Don’t be afraid to use the tape! I typically space out multiple pieces of tape when taping down edges to help prevent crinkles and gaps.

3. Remember you’re just wrapping a gift, it’s not the olympics… if you just aren’t good at it… use a gift bag. Lol

12 Days of DIY Christmas- Day 3: Rice Heat Pad

Day 3 of DIY Christmas and I’m going to show you how to make a DIY heating pad. These make a great stocking stuffer and are GREAT for the winter sniffle season! After you make it, a great addition to this gift is a few essential oils so they giftee can put a few drops on after they warm it up!

Peppermint essential oil is great for the sniffles and putting it on your chest, throat or head, or lavender for a relaxing heating pad sesh whenever you’ve got a ache or pain.

Supplies:

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pieces of fabric ( I used some old T-shirt’s, but you can use socks, sweaters, or even buy small fabrics squares from the craft store)
  • Rice
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Paper/Card
  • Pen

How to make:

1. Cut your fabric into whatever shape you would like. If you are using a sock that you don’t need to cut anything. I used an old shirt so I cut it into squares.

2. Turn your fabric to whatever side you want on the inside of the pouch is on the outside, and line the two piece up to each other.

3. Pick one corner and and start stitching from one corner to the next until you have sewn each side and have about one inch left on the last side and stop. (I hand stitched, but you could always use a sewing machine)

4. Flip right side out and using the one inch opening, fill with rice. The amount of rice will depend on how small or large your heating pad is. Just make sure you don’t over fill it.

5. Stitch together the one inch opening and you’re done!

6. Write on a little note card or piece of paper: “To use: Heat for 1-2 minutes in microwave”

7. (Optional) Add a couple bottles of essential oils to give along with the heating pads for the perfect, cozy and useful present!

Xoxo,

DIY Santa

12 Days of DIY Christmas – Day 1: Yarn Wall Hanger

Day One of Blonde by the Shore’s 12 Days of DIY Christmas is here, and today I’m going to show you this super simple DIY wall hanger. Wall hangers are not only very “in” right now, but they’re also super easy to make! I love how easily customizable they are for any decor. That is why I feel they can make the perfect gift! Now, let’s get into how to make it…

Step One: Gather your supplies

Supplies:

  • 2 Wooden Embroidery Hoops (Make sure to get 2 different sizes so one is larger than the other)
  • 2 different colored yarn (I also opted for 2 different textured yarns)
  • Scissors

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Step 2: Pop the inner hoop out of each embroidery hoop.

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Step 3: Cut your yarn DOUBLE the length you want it to be. (As pictured below)

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Step 4: If your yarn is not already folded in half as above, do so now. Then place the looped part under the hoop.

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Step 5: Take the end of your yarn and loop it through the top loop and pull all the way through.

Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 until you’ve covered at about 1/4 of the hoop.

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Step 7: Repeat the above steps for the smaller hoop. IMG_5552

Step 8: Line up the tops of the two hoops.

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Step 9: Take yarn of your choosing and tie the tops of the two hoops together and leaving a loop out at the top to be able to hang, and you’re done! IMG_5554

This gift is super quick and so easy. You can make it any color, add braids, beads, or even make it more intricate than this one. The possibilities are pretty much endless and make the perfect gift for anyone.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog by email so you don’t miss the rest of the 12 Day’s of DIY Christmas.

Happy Holidays, friends!

Cyber Monday Fashion Picks

Cyber Monday is upon us and if you still have money left in your bank account after Black Friday, here are some of my top fashion picks for today!


Fashion Picks:

1. Me&Hz Layered Tassel Earrings – $11.99

2. Nike Cropped Hoodie -$45.00

3. Free People Jeans – $46.80

4. Style & Co Chenille Sweater – $17.99

5. Nike Sportswear Dad Hat – $10.80

6. Jessica Simpson Connie Sweater – $24.99

7. New Directions Fur Hood Anorak Jacket – $49.99

8. Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant Necklace – $48.75

9. Hunter Original Short Rain Boots – $89.90

10. Casion Aiden Wedge Sneakers – $47.98

*As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.

2018 Black Friday Top Home Picks

Here are my top home decor picks to shop this Black Friday!


  1. Macy’s Throw Blanket: Regular Price $100.00 / Black Friday Price $34.99
  2. T-Fal 20 Piece Cookware Set: Regular Price $99.99 / Black Friday Price $49.99
  3. Opal House Perfectly Soft Towel: Regular Price $5.99 / Black Friday Price $4.00
  4. Noble House Wicker Swing Chair: Regular Price $1,379.00 / Black Friday Price $229.00
  5. Martha Stewart Pom Pom Throw: Regular Price $140.00 / Black Friday Price $55.99 (w/ code SCORE)
  6. Tools of the Trade 15-Pc Knife Set: Regular Price $69.00 / Black Friday Price $19.99
  7. Bissonnette 2-Pc Iron Pot Planter Set: Regular Price $157.99 / Black Friday Price $79.99

Shop My Style: The Perfect Jeans for the Season

These Free People jeans are the bomb.com. They are a bit pricey but totally worth it! If I can find them on sale I will be sure to update this post with the sale ones!

Happy shopping!!

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The “Cup of Cheer” mug is from Target’s dollar zone and came from a mug gift set, but I couldn’t find the set on line

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I couldn’t find the same rug, since it is last season, but here is a similar one!