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!

3 Ingredient, No Bake Oreo Snowballs

These Oreo snowballs are ALWAYS a big hit with everyone who tastes them and the best thing is you don’t have to bake anything!!


Ingredients:

1 pack of Oreos

1 8oz tub of cream cheese

12-18 oz of melting chocolate

Instructions:

1. Crush your pack of Oreos. You can use a food processor, blender or place them in a plastic baggy and pound until crushed. (Obvi food processor or blender are most efficient)

2. Pour your crushed Oreos into a large bowl. Mix in your softened cream cheese until you cannot see any cream cheese.

3. Place in your freezer or refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

4. Melt your chocolate as directed on packaging then take your Oreo balls out and dip them in your chocolate until completely covered. (Add sprinkles or other festive fun at this time).

5. Place your, now chocolate-covered Oreo balls, in a container or cover with plastic wrap and store in your fridge.


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Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

These cookies are my absolute favorite!! Not only are they super easy and quick to make, but they are great for almost any time of the year. I especially love them around Christmas time though. Bon Appetite!

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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

5 Easy Ways to Style a Blanket Scarf

A blanket scarf is hands down my #1 fall and winter style accessory. I get asked all the time how I wrap my scarf and make it look cute and not just like a frumpy ball of warmth, so I thought I’d make a little how-to for everyone.

The scarf featured I got in Target’s Dollar Section a couple years ago. Even though it was $7, that is still such a freaking steal!! I honestly get all my blanket scarfs from Target’s Dollar Section, because they’re WAY cheaper than almost all others and still great quality and they always have different color combos every year!


  1. Simple Lay Over: Fold your blanket scarf in half diagonally. It should look like a triangle when you do so. Slightly fold or twist a couple times and drape around next with two longest ends in the front.

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2. Wrap and Tie: Again with your blanket folded into a triangle, but this time drape it around your neck with the two long ends behind you and then wrap one more time so the long ends are back in the front. Lastly, fold one end over the other to create a knot.

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3. Simple Knot: Drape the scarf around your next exactly how you did in #1, then fold one end over the other to create a loose knot. All done!

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4. The Hidden Knot: While holding your blanket scarf in an upside down triangle (meaning the largest angle in facing the floor) drape it around your neck so the two ends are behind you. Next, wrap the two ends behind you once more, bringing them to the front. Lastly, behind the large front triangle you’ve created, tie the two ends in a knot to keep the scarf from coming loose while moving around and whatnot.

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5. Imitation Infinity Scarf: Follow the same directions has above, but instead of leaving the largest triangle part loose, tuck it up into the hidden knot for the illusion for an infinity scarf.

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Holiday Travel Guide

Traveling during the holidays can be SO stressful! I don’t know anyone who actually likes traveling during the holidays. Sure, everyone loves getting to see their loved ones, or in some cases, avoiding their loved ones and going on that beach vacay to the Bahamas, but no one loves the “getting there” part. Am I right??

I’ve put together a holiday packing and travel tip guide to hopefully make your Thanksgiving and Christmas travel a little more organized and a lot less stressful!


What to pack:

Clothing:

  • 1 pair of jeans (don’t lie, you wear a pair of jeans more than once a week before washing them again, so why would you pack multiple pairs for a short trip??)
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1-2 dress(es)
  • 3 shirts or sweaters
  • 1 pairs of socks for every day you plan to wear footwear requiring them
  • 1 pair of underwear for everyday you plan to be away
  • 1 nightwear/loungewear
  • 1 pair of boots/booties
  • 1 pair of flats/sneakers
  • 1 coat/jacket/pullover

Toiletries/Misc:

  • Travel toothbrush (and unless you have a special tooth paste, there’s really no reason to pack a tube. 99.9% chance wherever you are going has a tube you can use)
  • Travel size deodorant
  • Razor
  • Face wash/care
  • Travel hair brush
  • Travel sized hairspray and dry shampoo
  • Snack-size baggy of cotton pads or balls (if needed for face care)
  • Straightener/Curling Iron
  • Phone Charger

Things to pack in your suitcase: Clothes, shoes, shampoo, razor, face wash, hairspray, straightener or curling iron

Things to pack in a carry-on/purse: Make-up Bag, deodorant, hair brush, charger

(based on 3-5 day trip)

Packing and Travel Tips

ROLL DON’T FOLD – Takes up SO much less space and keeps your clothes from getting creased or wrinkly.

Packing Cubes – Packing cubes are the best way to keep everything neat and organized in your suitcase, so you aren’t rummaging around when you get to your destination looking for that pair of socks or bottle of shampoo.

Check the weather before packing- This one’s pretty self-explanitory, you don’t want to be too hot or too cold.

Pack by outfit– Plan out your outfits before you pack. See my example below…

Wear your heaviest/bulkiest clothing when traveling – This will save you room in your suitcase and is especially helpful if you are flying and have to worry about the weight of your luggage.

Invest in a lightweight, but sturdy suitcase – The lighter the suitcase means the more you can stuff in it when flying! This is also really helpful if you are traveling with gifts… which brings me to my next tip…

If you are flying, HAVE GIFTS SHIPPED DIRECTLY TO YOUR DESTINATION–  This works great if you are going to visit family, just be sure to check if the package it is shipped in the original package (You don’t want the surprise to be ruined). Now, if you are going to a vacation destination, you will want to check with the hotel to see if they accept packages. If they don’t, I would either exchange gifts before or after your trip to avoid the trouble dealing with TSA.

Invest in travel-sized, reusable toiletry bottles– There is no point in packing your entire bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and face wash for just a few days! Buy some travel-sized reusable bottles from Target or Amazon and you can thank me later.