Spring Clearing is Just Around the Corner

Think Spring Clearing, not Spring Cleaning!

With Spring comes renewed energy and ambition. Many of us take this time to revisit our New Year’s Resolutions (remember those?). If getting organized was one of your goals in 2016, here are three simple steps you can take to start getting organized today.

Step One: Stop the Incoming!

The first and best way to maintain an organized home is to stop clutter before it comes into your home! Hyper-consumerism is the culture we live in, and we have to make a conscious effort to break the cycle. Before you bring anything new into your home, ask yourself “Do I need it?” and “Do I have space for it?”. Consider how the item will be used and if you already own something you could use instead. Be strict about what you allow into your home. Once the deluge of stuff and papers slows down, you will have a good chance at winning the battle against clutter.

Step Two: Conquer the Clutter

Research has proven that 80% of the time, clutter is not due to lack of space, but to disorganization. Furthermore, orderly homes reduce housework by 40%.

Source: American Cleaning Institute

It is a true phenomenon that, after awhile, we stop seeing the things that surround us. We simply get used to things the way they are, even if the “way they are” is messy, cluttered and makes us crazy! Try this exercise – take a walk around your house and look at it with an objective eye. Do you see things that are broken, unused or outgrown? Do you have items that you find ugly or remind you of something negative? These are the items to start with. Gather them in a box and get them out of the house right now! Make a trip to your local donation center, or call to have a pickup scheduled. Remember: Focus only on your own stuff! You cannot get rid of other people’s stuff without permission. This is your chance to lead by example.

Step Three: Organize One Space at a Time

Clutter and disorganization happen over time, not overnight. It is not realistic to expect to have your whole home “perfect” in a day.

Start your “Spring Clearing” small, choosing one drawer or one closet to work on. Focus solely on that space and think about what purpose you want it to serve, and who will use it. It may help to draw a picture or write down your goal and post it nearby to keep you on track and motivated.

Now take everything out of the space, sorting like with like. Grouping like items together helps you see the actual volume of stuff being held in that space. You will not know you have 16 rolls of Scotch Tape until you stack them all together! Also take this moment to wipe down shelves, put down liners, rinse out containers, vacuum up crumbs.

Holding the vision in your mind or referring to your posted goals of what that space will be, decide which items will go back into the space. If an item does not serve the space’s new purpose, decide if it belongs somewhere else in your house, or if you can discard or donate it. If you have multiples of an item, decide on a reasonable number of duplicates (for example, you may want a flashlight on each floor of your home) and donate the remainders. Do not get discouraged by the feeling that you are throwing money away. Unused items cost space and time. Relieve yourself of the stress of excess and pay yourself back in uncluttered space.

Establish homes for the items returning to the space. You may want dividers or bins to separate items. Don’t become paralyzed by trying to make everything look “perfect”!  Re-purpose shoe boxes or plastic bags as containers until you have the space functioning properly. Then you can update containers according to your aesthetic.

Finally, label! Labeling not only helps keep everything organized, it also gives direction to the rest of the household and takes the burden off of one person having to be in charge of where things go.

storage closet - MM

Beyond Spring Clearing 

Start a habit of returning items to their homes daily. Set aside 10 minutes a day for family clean up time. Play fun music, or make it a game for younger children to see who can put away the most items in that time. You will be surprised at the difference a few minutes a day makes!

 

Major Mom is on a mission to combat clutter and chaos one household at a time. To learn more, visit www.majormom.biz or call 888-549-8854 to schedule your free estimate with a Major Mom Liberator. Our Organizing Store brings the Major home to you in audio lessons such as “Eleven Rewards for Downsizing Your Stuff” or our video workshop “Secret Weapon to Getting Organized”. Don’t delay – get organized today!

The Process of Painting Cabinets

Who knew painting cabinets would be so popular?

At the end of 2014, I had a crazy thought…what if people wanted to paint their kitchen cabinets? Up to that point, we would only paint a set of cabinets or two a year…and boy was it a pain. We would paint them how most painting contractors in Denver would do them. We would take over the homeowner’s garage for about 2 weeks, we would lay out all the doors and drawers on the floor. We would paint a side, let them dry, flip them over, paint the other side, flip them over paint the other side, etc., etc. It was a tedious process, and it was very hard to get a really good finish on the cabinets; as the cabinets would be drying, dust and particles would land on the cabinets, so we would constantly be fixing and cleaning them off.  On top of that, when we would turn over the cabinet, even though it would be dry to the touch, the paint would be fairly soft, and would mark easily when it was turned over, and put back on itself.  There had to be a better way!

painting kitchen cabinets

Highlands Ranch painting contractor

Around that time, I was helping a friend move. As we emptied the truck, I stood in it and thought, this would be a perfect place to paint cabinets. Instead of buying a truck, I bought a 20 ft. trailer.  We installed a wall and created the perfect place to spray the doors. We turned the back of the trailer into a big closet for hanging the cabinets. This process sped up the time it took to paint each coat because we could now paint all six sides of the doors and drawers, and control the environment of dust and debris.  My problems were solved!

We bought that first trailer in December of 2014, and now we have four mobile spray booths for spraying cabinets.  I believe we paint more cabinets than any Denver paint contractor.

Why is painting cabinets so popular?

Why is painting cabinets so popular? I believe it is because of a few factors. First, there are so many home that were built with oak and maple cabinets. These cabinets have yellowed over time and have started to look very outdated. Second, it is very costly to replace or reface cabinets. I tell people that the cost to reface cabinets is roughly 3 to 4 times the cost of painting. To replace your cabinets, you would need to spend 5 to 10 times the amount. Because our average cost to paint cabinets in a kitchen is around $3000, it is the perfect solution for updating a kitchen. On top of that, the turnaround time for painting a kitchen is roughly one week. Not bad when you consider the average kitchen remodel is about three months. There is literally nothing you can do to update a kitchen that is more affordable or as quick as painting your cabinets.

painting cabinets

Many painting companies can give you an estimate for painting their cabinets, but few will go through the process that we have created. We use two different types of primes based on what type of wood you have. We know how to reduce the graininess of oak cabinets (a common request by our customers), most companies use the wrong primer (if you see a can of Kilz, you need to start asking questions), many will take your cabinet doors off-site, and you will not see them for 6 to 8 weeks, and if Milk Paint is discussed…you better think twice. Painting cabinets white is not a DIY project as it is as technical as it gets. If you don’t spray the doors, you will have lots of brush marks, which will create a non-professional look.  We have a page on painting kitchen cabinets that goes through our entire process.

So if you are considering a kitchen cabinet update, painting cabinets is a good way to go, but you need to make sure the painting contractor has done their homework. We give a lifetime warranty and we can only offer that because we have done the right research, and have created the right process. If you are interested in talking to us about painting your cabinets, please contact us here.