Organizing Tips for a Fresh Start in ‘22: 3 Things You Need to Start Doing Now

New year, new you… or at least that’s always the plan, right? There are always things that get in the way of all those resolutions, like when you say you’re only going to have a glass of wine on the weekends, but when your friends have so generously gifted you a million bottles of wine you really need to make sure you try them all. Or, hello… can you really leave those holiday leftovers in the fridge? Heck no, that’s wasteful! Some resolutions just aren’t meant to be. But you can start fresh in 2022 with a freshly organized home. And we’re here to help! A wise woman once said (that wise woman being our magical Debbie Pratt, designer extraordinaire) “luxury defined is a well organized closet.” So let us break it down into three easy to follow steps so you can make all of your ‘22 dreams come true… as long as your dreams include a fabulous, put together home that you love. 

  1. Plan Your Plan of Attack 

First and foremost, mental preparation is a must. Make a list of each space that needs attention. Then, prioritize your list and jot down how long you honestly think it will take to knock out each of these areas. Keep your list with you as you work through your home, so you can come up with a customized routine that will help you stay organized in 2022. Document tasks that you think need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. Add these tasks to your calendar. If you’re the kind that likes to handwrite things on a calendar You should already have a calendar for the new year. Whether it is on your phone, in the workspace, or in your home, a calendar is the most effective way to keep track of events, plans, and meetings. And it’s just a good idea to write down goals and deadlines. You don’t have to do it all at once. If you have time to clean one room each day, then start with the one that needs the most attention. But, if you can only squeeze in one or two areas a day, like those two overflowing kitchen drawers, or the front hall closet, that works too. 

Make it Easy on Yourself

Of course, the best way to be organized is to stay organized. While you’re developing a plan and later when you’re doing all the 2022 organizing, be on the lookout for ways that you can easily stay on top of things. Don’t overcomplicate the matter with complex systems and trying to get the whole family to follow an entirely new set of organizational rules. Keep it simple, it’s the only way to make sure everyone can play along!

2. Declutter // Pile it Up

Some things just have to get worse before they can get better. In small areas where clutter tends to build (ahem, junk drawers) a big mess is a must. Dump. It. All. Out. Then, throw away anything that you don’t need. There’s always a little bit of a guilty feeling when it comes to throwing things away, especially clothes and used toys. The solution here is easy, donate! There are plenty of organizations that’ll pick up donations. So, make three piles….

  • Keep
  • Toss
  • Donate

Keep in mind you’re going to have to find a new home for each and every thing that survives this major purge.  

3. Get Down to (Organizing) Business 

Now that you’ve officially purged your space of anything you can live without, it’s time to put things back so you know where they are. Everything. Must. Have. A. Home. All the things, from something as small as pens to bigger things like the vacuum cleaner. It all has to have it’s own space where you can access it the second you need it… just imagine all the time you’ll save when you don’t have to think “now where did I put that?”For more on chic storage and organizing for the fam, check out this blog post on maintaining a stylish home, even when the kiddos are thwarting all your efforts. 

Bins and Baskets

To create a fully functional space, you need separation. This is where those fun and fabulous bins and baskets come in. You can go out and buy all new ones, but there are inevitably a few already fabulous containers not being used in your home. More than likely you’ve uncovered some of these during the great end-of-the-year throwaway of 2021. Debbie loves to include bins in bigger spaces like closets because you can toss things inside, you don’t necessarily have to fold everything to make it look neat!It’s easier to tell what kinds of stylish storage you’ll need as you go, so use what you have for now, and keep a list of what you’ll need to source later. There are new organizational tools coming out all the time, especially at the beginning of the year. Start searching now to find and create new storage solutions. Let’s be honest, it’s a fun adventure, so get out there and start shopping… feel empowered by your brilliant efficiency! Here are some of our tried and true organization staples:

  • Dream Drawer Organizers: use these in any drawers where you need to create individual spaces. 
  • Hanging Shoe Storage: this doesn’t have to be used just for shoes, it’s great for handbags, hats and gloves, and even crafting supplies that may or may not be hiding out in a back corner of the basement. 
  • Natural Seagrass Basket: these baskets are brilliant, since they collapse when they’re not full of stuff. Easy to store when not in use AND stylish while catching your (well sorted, of course) things… #winning. 

Where to Shop

Since we’re spilling all the beans here, we’ll let you in on a few of our favorite places to shop for organizational things. When you’re ready to start shopping (as if you need an excuse anyway), keep these hot spots in mind…

Group it Up

Sort your items according to use. First, according to general use, and again by situational uses if necessary. Give prime real estate to items that are frequently used or worn. For example, you more than likely have a few (hundred) handbags. Yes, you need to have them all displayed in your closet, but the five that you keep in constant rotation should be on an easy to reach shelf, while they others can be hanging or in a less accessible location… still in plain view, of course. Important papers are a whole different animal, but still important. And many of these important documents are things you need to have on hand, and easy to access. Stacks of papers serve zero purpose, so sort your files into groups and store them in a filing cabinet. It helps to keep a list of files inside the drawer so you know exactly where they are. 

Find a Home for Things You Can’t See

When we said we were here to organize for a fresh start in 2022, we meant all the things. That goes beyond the tangibles, into things you can’t exactly see, like finances. So while we’re organizing, let’s make life easier on the financial front, too. To get started, ask yourself these questions…

  • Have you recently paid a bill late because you misplaced it?
  • Do you have a list of all accounts, numbers, online IDs and passwords?
  • Do you have a recent copy of your credit report?
  • Do you need a financial organizer, planner, or similar professional to get on track?

Make a dedicated space in your home office where you’ll always be able to find the necessary information you need. This might be a safe or lockbox with important documents or a password to files on your PC.Speaking of passwords, it’s time to do away with password drama. It’s 2022 people, how are we still having to click the “forgot password” button multiple times a week?! It doesn’t have to be this way… promise. Always keep your passwords in a safe place.  LastPass is a great tool to securely store passwords, and avoid the last minute panic of not being able to login to an account (and it’s our team’s personal fav). 

Labels

Let everyone else in the home know where things go. Sure, they won’t always pay attention, but at least you can sleep easy knowing you’re doing your part. But we’ll let you in on a little secret, the actual process of label making is really kind of a bonus here. It’s fun and therapeutic. If you like the idea of making labels on the fly, a smaller, portable label maker is for you. We like this one. It’s easy to use and efficient, so you can print labels on the spot and slap them on your containers as you go. For baskets, you can stick the labels on a tag, tie them to a handle and tuck them inside, so you don’t have a label flapping around in full view. These labels are pretty sticky, so you should be able to stick them on the inside of bins near the top, so their still visible to anyone that’s about to throw something in the bin (no excuses for those that ignore the “socks” label and use it for underpants), but your guests don’t have to see that your family needs directions to put things away.  But, if it’s fancy labels you’re after, and you want to add a little arts and crafts to your organizing project, you can make your own decals with one of these bad boys. You can design your own labels in any font imaginable using the design software, then print or cut labels using vinyl. And, if you want iron on labels, you can print them on heat transfer vinyl. This is definitely a commitment, but it’s well worth your time… i.e. you’ll be forced to lock yourself in the office for a few hours to get this done, and you may or may not require complete peace and quiet and a bottle of wine. 

The Last Word

Hopefully, now you have all the inspo you need to dive in and get your house into tip top shape for the new year. Because really, doesn’t it feel SO great to have everything right where it should be? And even better… won’t it feel better knowing you’ve set yourself (and the fam) up for success in keeping things organized? If you’ve done all you can with the space you have, and you’re feeling like it might require a little restructuring, revamping, and/or a redesign, we are here to help! Design is what we L I V E and we’re pretty dang good at it. Give us a call and let’s chat about the dreams and goals for your home and your family. 

Start NOW To Make Your Home the Most Merry This Holiday Season

 

It’s July in Dallas-Ft.Worth, you’re sitting by the pool with a refreshing beverage in your hand, deciding how much longer you can possibly take the heat. The thought of diving into the pool crosses your mind, but you’re having a really good hair day and a commitment at 7 o’clock, so that’s just not really an option. What you’re not thinking about are the holidays. That’s right, Christmas… Hanukkah… we said it, NOW is the time when you need to start prepping for the holiday season. 

To avoid the stress with last minute holiday scramble, unavailable items, vendors, and services, and overall being stuck with less than your creative mind has brilliantly imagined, stick around. This blog post has everything you need to know about efficiently making your home (and your gatherings) everything you want them to be this holiday season with ease and plenty of time to spare. 

 

 

Make Your Lists 

 

Checking things off a to-do list is really soul satisfying, but making a list is equally fantastic. Whether you keep a handwritten list in your planner, or add everything to a color coded calendar, lists are life and the holidays are no different. 

Your best route here is to make multiple lists. The obvious list is your gift list but let’s expand on that a bit with gifts to make, gift ideas for yourself (this will save you from getting something random from the husband that tried really hard, but missed the mark just a tad), gifts for any parties or special events (no one likes to arrive empty handed – especially not during the holidays). 

Additional lists that have proven oh so helpful are lists of events or gatherings you plan to attend (and let’s go ahead and get those on the family calendar now), menu lists – anything that’s non-perishable you can buy ahead of time, which will save you the heartache when you inevitably can’t find that one rare ingredient two days before Christmas dinner. 

If you’re hosting your family’s Hanukkah celebration, you HAVE to visit your local Kosher meat shop now to make orders for your menu. Many specialty shops do their orders weeks in advance, and you don’t want to be responsible for ruining Hanukkah dinner, do you? This also includes Thanksgiving and New Years, we can’t say it enough. There’s no harm in ordering now. 

A few other must- have lists: any travel plans and necessary packing items and a “supplies list” for gift wrapping and any homemade gifts you’re planning to create. 

By now, there’s probably a major brainstorm going on in your creative mind. So run with it! Go get your favorite notebook… or go out and buy a brand new one, because shopping is fun (and so are fancy notebooks and planners)! 

 

Choose a Theme

 

You may or may not do themes at your house but everyone has a specific style when it comes to holiday decor. It could be around your tree or your table settings – whichever it is, nail down yours. If you do this early one, you’ll have a much clearer vision in your head, which helps in making decisions when shopping. 

For those visual learners out there, gather images for inspo. In addition to helping you build your vision for a cohesive design, it’s also really fun to pour a glass of wine and scour the web for photos.

 

Take Inventory 

 

What do you have? What do you need? What can be thrown out? Once you have a better idea of your theme, take inventory of what you already have. The holiday season is packed with activities, so take advantage of a more laid back schedule and test those tree lights out now. 

Look for any broken items that you might need to replace and where needed, thin out your collection. There are plenty of places that would love your unwanted decorations, so make a donation to a local thrift shop or shelter, so they’re in the hands of someone new by the time the holidays roll around. While some organizations will resell these items at a discounted price, there are others that will use them on-site, like a women’s shelter or foster care organization. 

For the items that align with this year’s plan, organize them separately from the bulk decor. Next, create one more list of what is needed to achieve your goals for this season.

 

Plan, Plan, Plan 

 

You have your lists ready and a solid inventory of your decorations. Now you can start taking action in the planning department and get things set up as much as you can, without interrupting your day to day life. 

Holiday Cards

If you take family photos for your cards, or have them custom made, now’s the time to get those scheduled. 

Gift Wrapping Area

Save yourself the hassle of ribbon rolling across the floor when you drop it while looking for tape and create a dedicated space for a gift wrapping with plenty of room to create those dreamy pinterest-perfect packages. If you have a room with a lock that you can set this up in, you can even use it as gift storage. 

 

 

Get on the Books

 

Book any and all catering and vendor services as early as possible. As in yesterday! Not to send you into a full panic, but the best of the best (which is who and where you want to book) book-up quickly, so you want to get on their calendar right away. 

Caterers 

If you plan on having any catered events, even if it’s just a few appetizers, contact your caterer right away. This goes for any specialty food items, like cakes or cookies. You’ll never be sorry you ordered ahead.

Reservations

This goes for restaurant reservations as well as travel plans. Everyone wants to have a special holiday meal, but the best restaurants book quickly. Same for travel reservations- the best flights are already full if you book in October or November. There’s no harm in booking any of these early.

Venues

If you’re in charge of planning Christmas dinner and you have a big family, or you really just don’t want to host it at home, consider booking a private room at a restaurant or renting an event space or large outdoor tent, all of which take planning.  

Event Planners

For bigger parties and holiday soirees, hire an event planner to help remove some of the workload. Event planners can help with the smallest tasks, such as day-of coordination, or take over the event entirely. 

Other Rentals

Florals, tables, table linens, chairs, flatware, additional furniture, etc., you name it, you can rent it. And, rental companies will set these things up for you for an additional fee, which is a huge timesaver during this incredibly busy time of year. 

 

In Summary 

Christmas in July may sound a bit ambitious, but you’ll thank us when you’re able to enjoy the holidays without having a lurking sense of “I have SO MUCH to get done.” Host that cookie exchange and enjoy it! Go to the neighborhood mingle and jingle without having to rush home to send out holiday cards. Planning ahead gives you the freedom to step back and absorb those holiday feels.

If the idea of doing all the holiday things in your home makes you realize there are some areas that need a little work, we’ve got your back! Contact us today to enlist the help of our professional design team. 

We’ve had years of experience designing homes to be happier and more efficient throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. You can feel confident that our team creates a space that accurately fits your style and provides the solutions you need to make your life even easier. If you’re ready to take action on your space, contact us today to get started.

Spring Cleaning: Your Refrigerator (Inside & Out)

Spring Cleaning may not be the sexiest topic, but I was recently published in Texasliving Magazine talking about just that: Cleaning Your Refrigerator (Inside & Out).

Yes, it’s springtime, which means time to air out the house and tidy up some of those areas that get overlooked the rest of the year. Personally, I’m starting my spring cleaning with my refrigerator. Well, technically I already did when I was writing this article in January. I had to make sure my instructions were accurate. Plus, I submitted the photos. So I had to do something productive with the interior. haha.

I increased the size of these images of my article. If they still aren’t legible, consider getting yourself some readers, or simply downloading the images to print. I hope you enjoy!

Tips for spring cleaning your refrigerator - inside and out.

Tips for spring cleaning your refrigerator - inside and out.

Maybe you’re not into cleaning your refrigerator. I get it. Maybe you came to our site to see the pretty pictures and see how we might be able to make your home happier and more efficient. Have no fear, refrigerator cleaning isn’t our forte but gorgeous interiors is.

Contact Us

Are you ready to discuss your own interior design or renovation project? Using an interior designer provides you with not only the best possible outcome for your renovation, but also an advocate for your dreams AND your budget.

Let’s schedule a time to “interview us”!  We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes. We begin every project with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form. We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.

Spring Cleaning: Your Refrigerator (Inside & Out)

Spring Cleaning may not be the sexiest topic, but I was recently published in Texasliving Magazine talking about just that: Cleaning Your Refrigerator (Inside & Out).

Yes, it’s springtime, which means time to air out the house and tidy up some of those areas that get overlooked the rest of the year. Personally, I’m starting my spring cleaning with my refrigerator. Well, technically I already did when I was writing this article in January. I had to make sure my instructions were accurate. Plus, I submitted the photos. So I had to do something productive with the interior. haha.

I increased the size of these images of my article. If they still aren’t legible, consider getting yourself some readers, or simply downloading the images to print. I hope you enjoy!

Tips for spring cleaning your refrigerator - inside and out.

Tips for spring cleaning your refrigerator - inside and out.

Maybe you’re not into cleaning your refrigerator. I get it. Maybe you came to our site to see the pretty pictures and see how we might be able to make your home happier and more efficient. Have no fear, refrigerator cleaning isn’t our forte but gorgeous interiors is.

Contact Us

Are you ready to discuss your own interior design or renovation project? Using an interior designer provides you with not only the best possible outcome for your renovation, but also an advocate for your dreams AND your budget.

Let’s schedule a time to “interview us”!  We have years of experience creating happier and more efficient homes. We begin every project with a (free) in studio Meet & Greet. Contact the team at ML Interiors Group today at 972-248-4733 or via the website contact form. We offer interior design services in all of DFW and beyond.

Reset! Get Organized

Did you know that January is National GET ORGANIZED Month? It’s a great time to throw out the old, sort through what remains, and organize what you are bringing into 2019.

This counts for thoughts as well. If you think “I’m not an organized person” – change that mantra! It’s not that you aren’t organized, you just haven’t found the system that works for YOU.

 

 

There is no ONE way to organize anything. And even if something worked for you 5 or 10 years ago, you aren’t the same person you were then. So don’t be so hard on yourself if your system isn’t working for you now.

Reset. Get organized for the new year.

Reset

No matter what you’re trying to organize, breaking the project into smaller steps is the best way to begin. For example, if you want to organize your kitchen, but feel overwhelmed with the task, don’t tackle the whole thing at once. Instead, start with your pantry and work your way out from there. Or start with one drawer if the thought of your pantry is overwhelming.

So whether you are trying to organize your kitchen, files, sock drawers, or your garage, here are some universal points on organizing anything:

The project will look worse before it starts to look better. If you’re going to tackle that kitchen organizing project,  you may want to warn anybody living with you that things will look pretty messy before you put things away.

And it always takes longer than you expect.

No matter what you are organizing, create three piles.

  1. Keep – things you know benefit you and you will use in the future
  2. Trash – outdated, unusable, broken
  3. Donate – what you don’t need any longer, but could benefit another

Most excess clutter comes from things we don’t need or have purchased duplicates of because we couldn’t find the first (or second or third) item we bought for the same task. If you have the tendency to hold on to things, ask yourself if the space used in storing the item is worth the cost it would take to (and how accessible it would be) to replace it.

Once you have three distinct piles, get the Trash items thrown out. Box up the stuff in the Donate pile (and out of temptation’s way to sneak an item or two back in).

You are now ready to sort your Keep items! (Yay!)
Get organized in the new year

The Container Store

Start by putting similar items together in piles, stacks, or areas. This mess should be a little smaller than the one you started out with. You may actually find this “fun” because you’ll see some good progress.

You’ll need a place to store what you have kept – and, of course, we want it to look good too. One of my all time favorite places for storage items that are as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing is you guessed it, The Container Store. Target is another good place for cute storage solutions.

If you have a place to display things you love, take advantage of it and show off your treasures! This home office has beautiful built in shelves that are full of special mementos and memories.

Home office with a feizy shag rug, black and cream arm chair, gold floor lamp, wall lined book shelves, custom fabricut drapery, and a fiddle leaf fig. | ML Interiors Group

To see more of this project, search #ProjectMillerAve on Instagram

In the end, just remember to take your time and don’t spend a lot of money trying some fancy system that a salesperson swears is the best solution. Ease your way into the process and find out what works for YOU. The trick is to also maintain the organization. You have to put things back where you designated them and continue to mentally (and physically) maintain those three piles of keep, donate, or trash.

Don’t give up. Keeping your spaces organized and pretty is a really great feeling. Your home will become happier AND more efficient!

Reset! Get Organized

Did you know that January is National GET ORGANIZED Month? It’s a great time to throw out the old, sort through what remains, and organize what you are bringing into 2019.

This counts for thoughts as well. If you think “I’m not an organized person” – change that mantra! It’s not that you aren’t organized, you just haven’t found the system that works for YOU.

 

 

There is no ONE way to organize anything. And even if something worked for you 5 or 10 years ago, you aren’t the same person you were then. So don’t be so hard on yourself if your system isn’t working for you now.

Reset. Get organized for the new year.

Reset

No matter what you’re trying to organize, breaking the project into smaller steps is the best way to begin. For example, if you want to organize your kitchen, but feel overwhelmed with the task, don’t tackle the whole thing at once. Instead, start with your pantry and work your way out from there. Or start with one drawer if the thought of your pantry is overwhelming.

So whether you are trying to organize your kitchen, files, sock drawers, or your garage, here are some universal points on organizing anything:

The project will look worse before it starts to look better. If you’re going to tackle that kitchen organizing project,  you may want to warn anybody living with you that things will look pretty messy before you put things away.

And it always takes longer than you expect.

No matter what you are organizing, create three piles.

  1. Keep – things you know benefit you and you will use in the future
  2. Trash – outdated, unusable, broken
  3. Donate – what you don’t need any longer, but could benefit another

Most excess clutter comes from things we don’t need or have purchased duplicates of because we couldn’t find the first (or second or third) item we bought for the same task. If you have the tendency to hold on to things, ask yourself if the space used in storing the item is worth the cost it would take to (and how accessible it would be) to replace it.

Once you have three distinct piles, get the Trash items thrown out. Box up the stuff in the Donate pile (and out of temptation’s way to sneak an item or two back in).

You are now ready to sort your Keep items! (Yay!)
Get organized in the new year

The Container Store

Start by putting similar items together in piles, stacks, or areas. This mess should be a little smaller than the one you started out with. You may actually find this “fun” because you’ll see some good progress.

You’ll need a place to store what you have kept – and, of course, we want it to look good too. One of my all time favorite places for storage items that are as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing is you guessed it, The Container Store. Target is another good place for cute storage solutions.

If you have a place to display things you love, take advantage of it and show off your treasures! This home office has beautiful built in shelves that are full of special mementos and memories.

Home office with a feizy shag rug, black and cream arm chair, gold floor lamp, wall lined book shelves, custom fabricut drapery, and a fiddle leaf fig. | ML Interiors Group

To see more of this project, search #ProjectMillerAve on Instagram

In the end, just remember to take your time and don’t spend a lot of money trying some fancy system that a salesperson swears is the best solution. Ease your way into the process and find out what works for YOU. The trick is to also maintain the organization. You have to put things back where you designated them and continue to mentally (and physically) maintain those three piles of keep, donate, or trash.

Don’t give up. Keeping your spaces organized and pretty is a really great feeling. Your home will become happier AND more efficient!