Summer Decluttering Trick
Declutter for the month of August without even trying!

Whoever coined the phrase: "those lazy crazy hazy days of summer" sure got the "crazy" part right...but that's about it. Organizing kid's activities, planning camping weekends, vacations and get-togethers, usually while trying to work full time as well, means that our summer days are jam-packed with activity. 

Along with all of that "busyness" comes a deficit of time to do other things that we are more regularly able to accomplish during the rest of the year. This extends to home organization, decluttering and cleaning. Clutter especially has a massive tendency to build up during this busy time. So the trick is, how to declutter during the summer without devoting hours and hours to the task?

To that end, we came up with a fun hack for you. This will allow you to declutter slowly over the month of August so that when summer comes to an end, you won't feel totally overwhelmed trying to get your house back in order. 

Declutter Box Hack

Supplies: Bankers boxes, bins, baskets, or any other spare containers you have on hand. They should be about the size of a banker's box. You need enough to place one in each room of your home.  Grab some sticky notes and pens too. 

Step 1. Place a container by the door in each cluttered room. Label it clearly so that family members know what it is for.  Throw a pad of sticky notes and a pen in each one too. If you have super young kids, place them up high on a table or shelf to avoid having everything pulled out by curious little fingers. 

Step 2. Every time you walk into the room and notice something that you can donate, regift, or recycle, place it into the box. Try to add one thing each day to at least one box.  Use the sticky notes to write directions for the items such as, "Donate", "Give to Karen", "Consign", etc. 

Step 3. At the end of the month, take those items where you want them to go. For a full list of donation locations in Portland, visit the  Donation Resources page of our website.  

To get you started, here are some suggestions for items to donate, based on each room of the home. 

Living Room: Books and magazines you have read (Some locations take magazines, some do not. Recycle if you are not sure.), games that your family has not played for a year or more,  DVD's and movies that you are tired of or won't watch again, crafts that kids have grown out of.

Kitchen: Excess paper plates, napkins and tablecloths from summer parties (these are fine to donate so long as they are in a closed package like a Ziplock), excess Tupperware, excess food, table linens you didn't use this summer.

Kid's Rooms: Last year's school binders and folders, provided they are not too ripped, cheap plastic toys and prizes obtained over the summer, toys that your children have outgrown, last year's winter clothing that no longer fits, art supplies they have grown out of.

Front hallway: Summer shoes and flip flops that were not worn, kid's winter coats that no longer fit, adult winter coats that you no longer wear, reusable shopping bags, old purses. 

Bathroom: Cosmetics, soaps and shampoos that have been unused or still have the majority of the product left, travel toiletries unused, kid's bath toys that have been outgrown, old mismatched towels, half used candles.

Bedroom:  Shirts you thought you would wear this summer but never did, shirts and sweaters you thought you would have worn last fall and winter but never did, ditto for shoes!

And anything else that you can find.

Happy Organizing!

On the Blog
Room-By-Room Organizing Series, Month 7: Your Books

This blog is month 7 in a 12 month organizing series. To sign up to receive this series, visit this blog and use the right hand sidebar form to join the mailing list. 

Ok, fine. True, books do not technically constitute a room. At least not for everyone. But books do hold such a special place in so many hearts, we felt the implication was justified. And also...who doesn't secretly dream of a home library?

For book lovers, letting go can be much harder than anything else in the home. Where you were when you read a book and who gave it to you might trigger a reflex to keep it even though you don't have the space or the need. As a result, it is important to dig a little deeper when you are organizing your books. Ask yourself a few tough questions to help you declutter, and then set up a system that works for you.

Ok, let's get started! 
Organizing Resources
There's an Organizing App 
for That...

In this new technical world (is anyone else's head spinning?), there is an app for just about everything. This includes getting organized! Whether you are looking for more life balance, systems to help keep track of your home and work, or just a cool new app, we've got you covered. Here are some of our favorites.

Junk Hauling: Go Trashy. This app is easy to use and affordable, too. Snap a pic of what you want removed, you receive an instant quote, and a certified hauler will come that same day (think Uber for junk removal). 

Home and Business Inventory: Sortly. This app allows you to create a digital inventory of what you own into collections. Snap a photo of what you own, creating folders as you go. Label the items using QR codes and back it up so that you have a copy for insurance and other purposes. 

Declutter Household Manuals: Centriq. This app stores all of your home appliance information in one (teeny tiny app sized) place. Take a pic of the product label or nameplate and their technology will locate everything related to that product, including the manual and other information, and store it within the app. Then you can finally throw away all of those manuals that you never look at!

Password Organization: 1Password. This is a great app that allows you to store all of your passwords in one secure location. It does cost a small monthly fee, but is 100% worth it when you can securely share passwords among family members. They also have great customer support. 

Money Management: Mint. Mint allows you to create budgets and see suggestions for saving based on your spending. Track and pay bills, set alarms and notifications, and generally feel like a real grownup. 

Kid's Artwork Organization: Keepy. The Keepy app lets you take pictures of your kid's masterpieces, organize, share, reproduce and generally enjoy them. Now you can discreetly throw away that beautiful diorama from last year. 
Local Events
Upcoming Presentation: Downsize to the Right Size

If you've never heard our fearless leader Missy Gerber present, now is a great time! Missy will be sharing her knowledge about downsizing, including tips and strategies to give you the courage to start your downsizing journey and see it through to a simplified life. Whether you just want to own less stuff, or are planning on moving to a smaller home, Missy will give you strategies to get there. 

This event will be hosted by our friend and local Portland Realtor Lara James at  Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere.  This is a free seminar. Space will be limited, so please RSVP below!

Downsize to the Right Size
Location: The address is 7504 SW Bridgeport Rd, Portland, OR 97224
Date and Time: August 28th, 10:00 - 11:30 am
RSVP Here:
Local Resources
Next Free Shred Day: Hosted by the Beaverton Police Dept.

The Beaverton police will be hosting their next free document shredding day on Saturday, August 11th from 10-1 pm. 

You may bring up to three legal sized banker boxes or bags per vehicle. Declutter your pantry before going, and bring non-perishable food items to donate - they will be collecting for the needy at this event. 

Location: Sunset Presbyterian Church, 14986 NW Cornell Rd, PortlandOR 97229

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View on Instagram  View our profile on LinkedIn  Find us on Google+  Find us on Pinterest  Find us on Yelp