Archive for January, 2011

Step Into Our Music Collection

Vinyl, CD’s, cassettes, eight tracks (really?!), can take up an overwhelming amount of Basic Space.

Unless you’re Rob Gordon, and are willing to spend hours reorganizing your entire music collection every week, it’s time to get things in New Order.

We love these vintage record cases! Find new ones at Ikea.

CDs can be stored in album/cases. They’re the perfect way to hide your Howard The Duck soundtrack. Labled storage containers (as above) are also effective (use for mixed tapes too!).  

Or use nifty electronic programing equipment.

Wall mounted or stand up storage containers are useful (although antiquated). If you insist on displaying CDs look for storage solutions Born, err made, In The USA.  And hope they one day fit in closets, on the back of doors and Through The Bathroom Window.   

Sell the CDs you no longer listen to (they’re not recyclable and will end up in a landfill). Then go buy a pack of gum with the money.  

Digital music should be edited too. Computers and portable MP3 players have an incredible amount of storage available. Take time to make sure they’re holding only the songs you Truly Madly Deeply enjoy.  Create playlists and name them accordingly (based on mood, genre, activity etc…).

And finally, it’s time to stop holding on to CDs for one song (and for the “art work” – barf). Remember there are thousands of online (legal – ahem!) downloading options. 

Just Imagine what you can find!


January 22, 2011 at 3:03 pm 1 comment

Step Into Our Toy Box

The holidays taught us this: kids are inundated with stuff from a very early age. We think this inundation plays a huge role in our adult need to consume. And it certainly makes it difficult to part with items as we grow up.

Parents need to be proactive by explaining the importance of de-cluttering.


Encourage kids to learn that their toys can be given new life in the hands of another child. It’s called sharing. And apparently it’s an important lesson in becoming a well rounded individual.

Just explain more toys lead to more dusting ...

Designate play areas or rooms to ensure the rest of the house won’t be infiltrated with toys. Use play tents to carve out space in more compact homes.

Use kid friendly containers (small ones for tiny pieces) along with chests and armoires for additional storage. Put these organizational items at kid-level.

When children are small, bins without lids are ideal. Larger bins are great for kids just developing their fine motor skills. They can still participate in cleaning up and feeling good about putting things back in their rightful place.

Closed containers (with lids) are perfect for toys with smaller pieces, art/craft supplies, project materials, etc…

Before kids begin to read, take pictures of the items that should be in each container. When they start reading, make your own labels. Call it creative learning.

Chalkboard fronts for labelling. Fun!

Make cleaning up and putting away toys a fun game and not a chore. We don’t have kids but we know this: when we act excited, they get excited.

A role model for all

Don’t be afraid to get rid of toys that no longer thrill and wow – donate them. Kids are fickle and an item loved one day is forgotten the next. Involve children in the de-cluttering process and you might be surprised by their ability to let items go! Give to day cares, swap with friends and family, sell to consignment shops, sell online, donate to local shelters or bring to second hand stores.

Kids tend to focus on only a few toys at any given time. Why not put away some of the new toys they receive as gifts and pull them out at a later date? A very wise mother told us that she likes to have a “go-to” container filled with fun, non-everyday toys for rainy/snowy days.  It’s like a special treat.

Next time you’re contemplating picking something up for your children (or offering gift suggestions to friends or family for your children) think about your home. Where will the item live? Are you or the kids willing to part with another toy to allow space for the new item? Our rule: for every new toy that comes into the house, one needs to leave.

Buying gifts for kids? Remember it’s the parent’s responsibility to find homes for the items. Getting $30 worth of toys at the Dollar Store might seem like a good idea – because more is better right?! WRONG! It’s a nightmare. Lots of stuff equals lots of stress. Being mindful of the gifts we give to children leads to less de-cluttering for busy parents. If you’re unsure of what to buy, ask the parents.

Our cultural obsession with giving “stuff” as gifts is rapidly becoming an epidemic. It’s time to give something useful.

Like a babysitter.

January 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm 2 comments

Step Into Our Shoe Rack

If the shoe fits …

If it doesn’t, toss it!

Shoes are tough.  Especially when we love a pair and are afraid we’ll never find them again (this may be one of the only times we condone purchasing multiple items).

Be discerning and remember if you haven’t worn them in a year, chances are you won’t wear them in the future.

As for the keepers, store according to everyday, occasional and seasonal wear.

Use clear/see through shoe boxes to easily identify.

Or label with pictures!

Adjustable cubbies allow you to create your own shape.

And we love hidden storage.

For shoe lovers

Under the bed!

Shoe Care!

Keeping shoes in great shape eliminates the need to buy new shoes for every occasion.

Keep a shoe care kit and keep it organized by tossing products that haven’t been used in five years (polishes dry up and leather oils/protectors have shelf lives).

Make a habit of protecting new shoes after every purchase – especially leather.

Clean canvas/running shoes using a nylon bristle brush or old toothbrush and a cleanser such as laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, baking soda or a “suede and fabric” shampoo (rinse shoes with warm water and scrub gently with brush and mixture of water and mild detergent. Rinse with clean water). The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works wonders on suede and canvas as well!

Shoe bags are also a fantastic way to keep shoes clean and organized. Purchase ones with see through windows for easy access!

“It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe”
Robert Service

January 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm 6 comments

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January 2011
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