Episode #37: More Tips for Organizing Your Life

On today’s show, we are sharing even more tips for how you can get better at organizing your life.  On this week’s episode, we are revisiting a topic that many listeners have reached out to us about asking to hear more. Today, we are sharing even more tips for organizing your life. For those...

On this week’s episode, we are revisiting a topic that many listeners have reached out to us about asking to hear more. Today, we are sharing even more tips for organizing your life.

For those that didn’t know, Mika ran a business as a professional home organizer for many years, and organization is a topic that she is still incredibly passionate about.

After we published our first episode about home organization, many listeners have reached out to us with specific questions about how they can better organize their lives.

On today’s podcast, Mika is answering those questions, as well as sharing even more tips, tricks, and advice on how to stay organized.


In this episode, you will learn:

• The difference between minimalism and being organized.
• How to get your family to buy into organizing.
• Tips for organizing your garage, backyard, car, and more.
• Why being organized and being clean are two different things.


Mentioned in this episode:

Russ Perry on Instagram
Mika Perry on Instagram
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
The Russ Perry Show
Episode #18: Tips for Home Organization
Episode #30: Improving Your Sleep Hygiene 
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
The Container Store
Our Home: Homework Station / Mom’s Corner – MikaPerry.com
Open Shelving from Costco
How I Use a “Week Start Checklist” to Organize My Week Ahead – MikaPerry.com
Magazine Files from The Container Store
How to Fold a Fitted Sheet – Martha Stewart

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for this show? Send us an email at Hello@GoodtoBeHomePodcast.com!



Russ Perry: I’m Russ Perry.

Mika Perry: And I Mika Perry and you’re listening to Good To Be Home.

Russ Perry: Good To Be Home is a weekly exploration of entrepreneurship, family, marriage, sobriety, and how we balance our business and life.

Mika Perry: From our family to yours. Thanks for joining us and welcome to our home.

Hi every one, welcome to Good To Be Home. My name is Mika Perry and I am here today for a solo episode on organizing. Now this is a topic that I have talked about in a solo episode before, it is episode 18. That episode is actually one of our most popular episodes we’ve had to date and that was very encouraging because it’s a topic that I’m very passionate about. Some of you may already know I was a professional organizer and it just something that throughout my entire life I’ve really enjoyed and I’ve picked up a lot of information and lots of experience on it and it’s something I always loved sharing on. And so I’m excited to be here with you today to continue the conversation around organizing in a part two of my organizing tips. So these questions that I’m going to go over today, it’s almost like a Q and A.

I got from Instagram. It’s what I did the first time I talked about organizing and had such a great response that I brought that back ask my followers, what questions they had about organizing and I compiled them in a really long list here that I have consolidated to create an episode for you that touches on all aspects of organizing including general thoughts around it and strategies to specific areas of the home.

Lots of questions about the kitchen and then so many spaces like the laundry room, the garage, teen room, medicine cabinet, jewelry organization, your car, back yard, recycling, your capsule wardrobe in the closet, all sorts of Info here for you. I will also be addressing some cleaning questions that I got and I will get into specifics when I get there and I am excited to get this started. All right, so I first want to go over some questions that I got from you that I have addressed on other episodes.

So episode 18 is our first episode on organizing and in there I discussed things like paper, things that come home from school, a lot of listeners and followers asked about what to do with all the paper that comes home from school. It can get overwhelming so that as well as switching out kids clothes for the seasons and toy organization, playrooms, how to keep your playroom clean? The kids bedrooms organized? That is all in episode 18 so I am not going to go over it again simply for the sake of time because I have a lot of other topics to cover here today, so be sure to go back to episode 18 and take a lesson there. And then if you have any further questions feel free to email me. hello@GoodToBeHomePodcast.com so if you have any questions on those specifics, send them there or you can always send me a DM on Instagram, I am @MikaPerry.

Another question I got was on bedroom is specifically how to make your bedroom an oasis and how to make it simple. Now that I addressed on a joint episode with Russ, it was episode 30 on creating healthy sleep habits. I actually gave kind of like a verbal tour of our master bedroom and how I have that set up to become an oasis, a calming place. So definitely go back to that episode, episode 30 to check that out. Okay, so I want to start with some questions I got that were more broad and general about organizing. Now it’s January when I’m recording this and the new Marie Kondo Konmari method of organizing documentary just released on Netflix. I think it was super timely for the new year organizing is at the top of a lot of people’s like New Year’s resolutions and lists. And I know when that came out, I had so many messages about that show saying, have you seen it? Have you read the book?

So a lot of interest out there right now on organizing and I love that so much. And the question I got was purging tips and living more minimalistic. I definitely addressed this in episode 18 but I want to bring it back because I think it’s super important here too. Just to kick us off. I think there is a difference between minimalism and organized. Minimalist is that you’re proactively and purposefully trying to live without a lot of things, organized means that everything that you own has a place and a home and you can easily find things and easily put away. You have systems that work. You can still be minimalist and be disorganized if you just have zero systems. On the flip side you can be organized but maybe have still too much stuff, meaning that you’re kind of like bursting at the seams in your home of what you have.

And while you do have some systems, maybe your system gets overwhelmed or cluttered really easily. It’s not easily maintainable. So I think in a conversation it goes hand in hand to think about how to live minimalists and also be organized. But I think rather than minimalist, I try to adopt like a simplistic philosophy. I don’t want to live like without things I enjoy and I love and I think there’s a place in a time for material items in your life just to enhance your quality of life. So instead of being minimal and sparse in the home and not have a lot, it’s just like simple, just keep the things that you love. Marie Kondo says the things that spark joy. A lot of people made fun of that when that first came out. But I think you don’t have to sit there and hold and like think about each thing like she suggests.

But you do want to just keep the things you like and if you are feeling a lot of the questions I got were like, I could sense a tone of overwhelm like you have how do I get rid of things? How do I declutter? It all comes down to just too much stuff and you’re holding on to things. It’s crazy how things accumulate. So I think thinking about what do you really need? What do you really love? I’ve never heard anyone be very regretful about all the things they got rid of that they were scared to get rid of and more have heard of people be happy and excited about simplifying and decluttering and letting go of the items to create more space in their home. One question I got was tips on getting kids to help clean up, how to get your husband and buy in on organizing.

What’s a strategy around that? I am the only organizing fan in our family and over time I have trained and taught the rest of my family, including Russ to be more organized. Now one way you can do that is just you yourself set up the systems in your home like you go for it. You don’t need to involve your kids, you don’t have to involve your husband, just go for it, but then once you have it set up, take them on a tour of the space. Like I recently relabeled the play room after Christmas because we got different categories of toys. I cleaned some out. I just freshened up the whole space and redid the labels and I took Reese on a tour afterwards and she can read now and I had her read all of the labels so she knew where things went. Russ has really improved in his organizing.

I think I have shown him the importance and the benefits of being organized and so now I’d say he’s awesome at it, both at his office and at home. I’ve really seen an improvement there and he’s creating little systems for himself now. It’s kind of cute like how he takes care of his shoes and where he puts them away and all that. I really love it. Also, Reese has picked up color coordination or color arranging in rainbow order. The other day I had my essential oils and she redid them by color. She’s helped organize the books here at the office in color order. Anytime she sees something that could be color arranged, she does it and I think it’s so cute and obviously makes my organizing heart very happy. Maddix our 13 year old recently I went into her bathroom, she had taken a dry erase marker just like a teen would and wrote all over her big mere bathroom, but she wrote out a schedule of her day and she organized time wise, what she needed to do in the mornings and what she needed to do in the afternoon and I thought that was so great to see and she has even put in her 2019 goals to be more organized.

So she’s seeing the benefits. She is not a naturally organized person at all. In fact, I remember when in first grade I went to her classroom and her desk was that desk, the one that was crammed with stuff on the inside. There was trash in it. There was trash on top of it. I mean just she at times I thought is she a hoarder? But she is comfortable with items all around her. It doesn’t bother her, but as she’s gotten older and has had to be more responsible for her own things, she’s realizing mom and dad aren’t going to help you find something. She needs to look for it herself. Then I think as she gains more pride in her environment and her belongings, that has naturally evolved to be more inclined to being organized. But she’s a teen, I’m not going to hound her on it I need to give her a little bit of grace to so. Organizing on a budget, now you know that I love going to the Container Store.

That is where I buy a majority of my organizing products, like bins, labels, dividers for the drawers, all of that. But the reason why I go to Container Store is because I know the store really well. I know their products just from experience and it’s a really easy place for me to shop. I did get a question on how to navigate the container store because when you go in it’s like mind blowing and you don’t know where to start. For me it’s the opposite. I just have been in there so much that I know it really well. So that’s beneficial for me. And I also just know that they’re going to have certain things in stock usually. So then I can count on that when I’m creating the system at the house to know that that’s where I can find what I need. I can kind of envision, okay, I’m going to use this white cottage bin in the laundry room because it’s going to fit.

And I know they have a small, medium, large, so I plan in advance for it. Lately Container Store has been sold out of a lot of things, but I think it’s because organizing has gained popularity there shows like the Marie Kondo one, there’s other ones. It’s gained a lot of traction. So I think more people are going out there, copying what they see, being inspired doing it their selves and it’s awesome. The only downfall of that is that product seemed to go really quickly. But other than that, I really enjoy shopping there. I’m not sponsored or anything by them. Wish I was, but maybe, maybe I will. I know that the Container Store is not cheap. It is mid, high level range in prices and really generally even if you go somewhere like this county for organizing products like Amazon or like I don’t know Target, it really adds up and that’s where it gets challenging when you’re organized.

Now my tips for organizing on a budget is whatever items you use, try to get it so that everything is streamlined and matching. Now that doesn’t mean you have to go and get all new bins. You can create a cohesive look with just matching labels. You can also, if you’re doing like a pantry or shelves, create zones and within those zones take into consideration color and height and sizes because visually if it looks streamlined, it’s going to look good. And a lot of times it doesn’t matter if you went budget or not. So there are ways that you can repurpose the things you already own. But try to group the like items. If you kind of scatter them throughout the space, you may find that no matter how well organized it is categorically visually just going to still seem cluttered. So that’s something you have to play around with.

But I think labels all matching is one great way to organize on a budget. How do I balance new purchases with existing things example, monthly donation pickup. So I think this question is referring more to how to kind of keep that rotation of things coming in the home balance with things going out, like sending them out to donations or tossing them. I noticed one time I was at Target surprise, I go there quite often but I even thought I was like, Gosh, I’m here at Target a lot am I shopaholic, do I shop too much? But then I looked in my cart and I analyzed the next few times I went out to shop. Most of the things that I’m buying or consumables, band-aids, medicine, food, Ziploc bags, even like kids clothes in some ways they don’t stay in them very long.

So they have kind of like a shorter shelf life than some other items. And we bought our home last year, so I am still finishing spaces. So that’s why I’m buying some home items as well because we came from a smaller place. We did a huge purge and cleansing before we moved into this house. So when I was out there not to justify my purchases, even if it might sound that way, I was like you know what actually I’m usually out shopping for consumable items. Now for new purchases I know some people have the one in one out role. I personally have never followed that because I can’t keep track of what is one in one out. For example, if I go to a store and come back with like five clothing items, I mean not immediately put that into the closet or I’m traveling so I put one in the suitcase and I just don’t have that time or mental space at the moment to be like, okay, so I have five items right here. I’m going to take five items out and make that decision on the spot.

But I think a good way to think about that is just to keep an eye on how stuffed your spaces are really. That’s a really good reminder of that you know what? I think I might have too much now I’ve changed styles or sizes or the foods we eat in our pantry has evolved and changed things are expiring. Really tried to edit it out as consciously as you reasonably can. It’s not going to do it on its own so you have to go in and do that yourself or someone in your family. But someone has to do it. As far as donations, I don’t have a routine. It really is just when I get to a certain area of the house and I’m reorganizing it or creating a new system or doing that, then if I do have donations I’ll either take it to goodwill or we have used a pickup service for clothes, for kids clothes that they’ve grown out of.

I have a neighbor that has a girl, so I pass it along to her. I’ve given some to other people. I just think at that moment what would be the best choice and send it along that way. And one thing I will say about donations is this is from when I would organize other people’s spaces is it’s okay to throw out things. Don’t feel guilty about not donating everything because a lot of items, they don’t want it at goodwill. They don’t want to accept it like think about what someone would want, so broken items, things that are just way past their use, they’re so worn out. Don’t even bother with the time and effort of donation and just recycle or toss it honestly. Okay, how do I even figure out a system in the home? Now this is not one I can answer right here on the spot because the answer to that is that it is custom to each space and person and home and family.

It depends on how big your space is, what your purpose is, what are the items that you have, how are you going to use it? There are so many things that go into organizing a space that it isn’t a one size fits all solution. However, when you are looking at a system, I do go into this in episode 18 so I won’t get into it too much here, but you have to think about what the purpose is of that. What is working, what isn’t working. I always take everything out and then place back the items that I want and then that’s when I figure out, okay, what kind of labeling, what kind of products, what would make sense to create that system there so I know where things go, I know where to find them. I know when I’m cleaning up, where to put things back.

So that, in a nutshell, is how I would answer that question. Professional organizing as a career. I got a couple of questions about that. I think you can go back into some of our episodes on business, launching a business, running a business, growing a business that we have done in the past. But I will say here that that also is a personal choice. I had run my professional organizing business under an umbrella of a larger brand. And that was great because as starting out not really knowing it as a business, I knew it personally in as a hobby, it’s something I love to do, to transition that into a business can be challenging. And so doing it under our umbrella of a brand was really great because it was a huge kind of like a support system. I have heard of lots of organizers is doing it as a one man, one woman show, Solo entrepreneur type of situation and that works really well for them too.

So I will say that it’s not as easy as you might think it is. It takes a lot of time, both in the actual job of organizing. It takes a lot of hours and manpower. It’s tiring and it can be hard to get clients. I think it’s easier now than it was when I was organizing simply because there is a lot more awareness around organizing as a service. You can hire out. When I was marketing and trying to get clients like I ran into all the time people are like, why you do what? You organize? Are you a cleaner? Are you a house cleaner? What is it exactly you do? What does that mean professional organizer? They thought maybe I just like help offices, crate filing systems, but now there’s a lot more education around it and the success of the Marie Kondo documentary is a testament to the interest and knowledge out there.

Now that professional organizing is a thing and there’s a lot more awareness around it. So I think if you’re going to start professional organizing, this is a much better time to start than it ever has before in the past. Okay, so inside the fridge freezer, how do you make it not look chaotic but still be functional? I think regular clean outs of the fridge using matching containers, putting time into meal prepping, even adjusting your freezer shelves can make a huge difference. You can also label inside of your fridge and freezer too. I do that in both the fridge and the freezer. You can check out my blog. You can check out my Instagram and see examples of that. Things to keep downstairs with the kids. I know you have hair things in your kitchen also where to place a mom station like yours if you don’t have a place in the kitchen.

So I have a blog post called Our Home : Homework Station / Mom’s Corner. So this is an area of the kitchen because that is the place that I spend a lot of time throughout the day. Especially mornings and evenings and afterschool. I have to have all the essentials for whatever the kids need. So I have homework supplies, I have hair stuff for the morning so I don’t have to go back upstairs to get everything. I have these types of like kits in the kitchen set up. Other items I have down there, I have their vitamins, I have like a first aid kit that’s all in the post. So go check that out. I don’t think there’s a hard rule of thumb, like whatever you find yourself running upstairs for often and that’s taking up a lot of time. Or if you have a one store the other side of the house, see if you can create like a mini little station or a version like a kit or a set in that area just to make it easier, where to place that if you don’t have a place in the kitchen.

Before our house now we lived in a really small apartment, which meant a really small kitchen, but I needed a place that had a command center, had hooks, kind of the function of our mudroom innocence, but I had a wall that just faced where you entered our house. We have like a stairs leading up to the rest of our house from downstairs, we lived on the second floor and so on that facing wall I had a ton of items there. That kind of function in that way, I had a calendar. It just really, again, no hard rule of thumb on other mom’s station. If you have a mud room, we have an entryway. If you have an office, if there’s some place in your home where you can have a cabinet, a shelf, use vertical space, create as little center, you can do that anywhere.

It doesn’t have to be in your kitchen. So similarly, how do I organize if I don’t have a pantry. In that apartment, that was the first like pantry with a door I’ve ever had, but it was narrow. It was small. And then the house before that had a big kitchen but no pantry. And so for that one I use two or three upper cabinets. I had to be creative and that’s my suggestion for you is just be creative. You do not have to have a walk in pantry to have a functional pantry space. There’s really good slim food storage containers that you can find at the Container Store. And they’re pretty economical too. So in our last home, that’s what I used. That pantry with a door was really narrow and they’re stackable. So I use those to maximize the vertical space that I had.

And you can use any cabinet, any space, and transform it into a pantry with smart planning and smart use of labels and containers. In the pantry or the kitchen, what do I do with overflow food items that don’t fit into those containers? I think that’s a great question. In our pantry, I have two bins on the bottom that say bulk, so that means that the bag of chia seeds that still have chia in it, and I put it into the two containers that we have in the kitchen and in the pantry for chia seeds, I’m just using that as an example. I put the rest of the bulk items in those baskets. So you can also, I know when I had that small pantry I put the rest of it in a bag and put it behind the food storage container and you may say, okay well that’s like redundant, why do you need to do that?

But the thing is that like you want in your organization for it to also be visually appealing. So instead of having boxes of cereal in their box with usually the top is like open and even if it isn’t the bag inside of it is like crumpled up and rolled up and really it isn’t that like airtight and fresh. The food storage container topic comes up. I get the question of like, well does it really keep your food fresh walt? So does your open cereal box you know what I mean? So I am not to knock on using just nothing and having your cereal there, that’s fine. And if you’re on a budget that makes sense. You have to pick and choose where you’re going to use products. But having things in food storage containers, the benefit of that is that you see it and therefore you use it when you have a bunch of boxes of granola bars and cereal and bags of flour and baking mixes and chia seeds and Rice-A-Roni and pasta all in boxes on shelves in the pantry.

You have to kind of pick up each thing and see what it is and it gets really cluttered looking. I think what I’m talking about. These are like the before pictures of pantries, right? And after you organize them put everything into a clear container, you can see your ingredients and that’s going to encourage the use of your ingredients and then you won’t have expired ingredients because you’ve used them all. If that makes sense. Back to that book thing, just find a place that you can put them and designate it as your bulk items space. Some people won’t have bulk items if you don’t like shop at Costco, we do. That is something that I have to deal with in our pantry and that’s how I’ve solved that problem. Next question. Tips on nightmare of pots and pans storage, that is verbatim. I think if it is a nightmare, then you have too many. That’s my simple answer.

For pots and pans, I know it’s a huge investment, but if you can get all the same brand, it can create a much more streamlined look. They will nest within each other much better. So using it as an opportunity that you might have like asking for our new Christmas present of all matching pots and pans or when you move, that’s what we did is we got rid of all of our mismatched pots and pans that we’ve collected over the years and just invested in a big set of awesome ones and it’s been really helpful. Along the same lines of question as kitchen items, how do you limit items like serving pieces, Tupperware? It all depends on what you really need and use and what kind of space you have. You can keep more when you have more space you need to pare down when you are tight on space, so you have to think about your priorities.

Do you want everything that you want, all those Tupperware pieces, all the serving utensils and have a kind of a jam packed situation there. A drawer, a cabinet a kitchen or do you want to have more space but maybe just pare down to the essentials. That’s a thing you have to decide on your own I think. Tupperware similarly to pots and pans, when you have a matching set, a collection, they just nest within each other so much better and utilize the space much better. So I would really suggest that investment. It is insane. The visual and functional change and difference it can make to have matching pieces, whether that’s Tupperware in the kitchen or your pots and pans or even like hangers in the closet when they all match, it makes a huge difference. So you don’t have to deal with, do I use this one or do I use that one?

They’re all the same. Okay. Let’s get into other spaces of the home. I have a lot of them. I think there isn’t a space that I didn’t get a question on I don’t think. I even have backyard storage, the garage. So we’re even going outside of the home, the car, the purse. So I will try to go through this as quick as I can and there are some questions that I left out because I just consolidate a lot of them into one. So first spot is the garage. I didn’t have like questions on it. People just said garage, so I think the question is can you help me in my garage. Garages are tough, there’s a lot of weird size, big and small and utility ugly things that you only use a few times in your year to incorporate into that space. Our garage right now we have open shelving from Costco and then we also have the Elfa wall mounted kind of configurable system in the other spots.

The garage I think is a super important place to try to do that. Streamlining, same labeling, same container type of thought process or philosophy. Apply that to the space. When you start having all sorts of different colors of bins, all different kinds of labels, no labels at all. It is just a confusing mess so I would consider if you are going to clean out or organize your garage, really try to weed out the things you don’t need a news. That’s a great place for people to just pile and stack up things that they’re like, well, I don’t need this right now, but I might later, or oh, maybe next year or it’s very like occasional items and those can really add up even if you don’t mean for it to add up. It even adds up in our own garage, so we really have to continuously make sure to keep the space as clear and clean.

Linen closet organization. How many towels, sheets duvets are needed? in our house I have one that’s on the bed and one that is the backup one and that’s it for all of our beds, including the guest room. I don’t have multiple seasonal ones. You might have to, if you live in a area of the country that has really cold winters and really warm summers. For us in Arizona, we luckily don’t need a lot of heavy bedding, so I just keep the same type of like percale sheets throughout the year. I think linen closets are another place I can really get out of hand and as a place that has a worthwhile going through. Like a major edit. I recently edited through our towels so we had all different types of towels just for each different bathroom, mostly white, but for the kids even they had ones that had this like pretty peach and blue light trim on them and you may have seen on my Instagram I went and bought these ones I liked from Target that had really good reviews and I switched out all the towels in her house to be these towels.

I found out that I really liked them and just switched them all out that way it’s not thinking about, okay, did these go here in Maddie’s bathroom or for the guest bedroom or for the master it’s that’s it. Just one type and it’s really made it really easy. Photo organization, that is what I do occasionally get random questions about and really isn’t one that I have invested a lot of time into. I don’t have printed photos. Everything is digital, so a lot of you may be asking about photo organization from a digital standpoint. At one point I did organize them into different albums but with how many photos I take though now I can’t do that but at the same time I think systems like the photo application on my MacBook Pro, it kind of naturally organizes it for me so that if I need to search anything I can search it by even geolocation, the date, it’s all already done for me so I really have not prioritize spending time into for the organization.

However, there are two times that I do tackle my photos. One is whenever like on the weekend when I have time I will go through and delete ones that I don’t want because it really adds up. I have a lot of photos stored on my phone. I need them for like the blog for Instagram and I just love taking photos so I have a lot. I have upgraded my photo storage to a pretty high, like whatever, I don’t know megabytes, I don’t know the word, but you know what I mean. Storage size, I’ve upgraded it. So I will suggest going through editing whenever you can just delete them because we don’t need every single photo we’ve ever taken. Another thing I do organize into albums is whenever I do a photo shoot, I will take those and create its own album and label it by either the location that we took it out if it was on location somewhere or the month, and I have it organized there.

I think iCloud is awesome. So it syncs across all devices. Other than that, I think if you have loose photos around, that’s kind of a case by case basis. Medicine Cabinet, I don’t love medicine cabinets, but we do have them in the girls room. They have the built in like white wood medicine cabinets on each side and it was actually really cute because the other night Reese would not go to bed because she wanted to organize her medicine cabinet, which meant she wanted to take all the things that she liked and put them into her so that her sister Paige on the other side of the bathroom wouldn’t have those things. So they were fighting over nail polishes. She was basically calling first dibs on all the fun things that she liked. We did not have a medicine cabinet per se in our master bathroom, but we do have a drawer and honestly Russ and I don’t take medicine like prescription or anything, so we don’t have a lot of medicine.

We have some band-aids in there. I may have some homeopathic things and some Advil and that’s basically it. I think medicine cabinets are a place working at really cluttery and I think it is worthwhile to do regular edit and a little cleanse through that. Keeping your car and purse organized. I have a Instagram post on car organization and if you look on my feed, there’s a picture of me in front of my car. I have like a little microblog posts there where I go through how I organize my car. I also have a highlight saved on Instagram, on car organization in my organizing highlights. So you can check that out. For my purse, I utilize a thing called a week start checklist. I have a blog post on that, on my actual checklist I have perse organization or purse clean out on there so that every weekend I am cleaning out purses.

I think it is a space that can get very cluttery with lots of trash and I find goldfish crackers and lollipops and pens and lip glosses all over the place. So my tip for purse organization is regular clean outs. So jewelry organization when you don’t have a drawer. I recently shared my jewelry drawer. I think if you don’t have one, which I think this is the first time I ever had one, you can just utilize the shelf and I love using acrylic organizers and there’s lots of cool lake stands and stuff now, keep it simple, don’t get too gadgetry about it, but anything that prettily displays your jewelry I think is a good choice. You want to color coordinate everything I do a rainbow from left to right so that like earrings my blue ones are going to be on the right side.

My diamond sparkly ones are on the left side and with all the colors in between. Backyard organization, backyard toys. One thing that’s super helpful in the backyard are these like big metal, almost like bins or there’s like cylindrical usually and they’re open and that’s where you can put like balls and big toys and you can even like roll up towels if it’s a covered area. So it’s not going to get wet. You can put your beach towels or pool towels rolled up into those. So there are these kind of open air type of cylindrical baskets. They have them at the container store, they’re like white. And I think they go with a lot of styles. It’s pretty simple. So that’s a great choice. I think yeah, it can get cluttery the more you have items back there. So if you’re feeling like it’s overwhelming, try investing in those types of like corralling items, like a big wire basket to hold all those items.

And you can even label them if you like with the little tag. But otherwise they’re really, you can’t like hide or organize a playground like a play yard, like structure or anything. But I think smartly bringing out some bins to help with that out into the outdoors with plastic or metal that isn’t going to disintegrate out in the heat or in the weather with rain with moisture I think will help with that. In our house, I actually have a couple of drawers right next to where we go in and out to the backyard. We have a built-in system of shelves and drawers around in our family room, like the TV room and it’s right next to the door that leads out, so I use those even though they’re inside, I use those for like balls chalk for outside. I put in there, I have our pool towels in there instead of upstairs or in the laundry room or elsewhere in a linen closet.

I have those downstairs near the point of entry and exit to the outdoors. So if you can’t find a way to do it outside, bring it inside and find a place near perhaps where you go outside in and out that you can store those items.

Next question is ideas for teen rooms. So I don’t think there’s anything specific to teens that is different from any other bedroom. But I will say from our experience with Maddix, you have to let go of some control of how you want that room to look like by the time they’re teenagers, they want to put things on the wall. Maddie has even written on one of her nightstands with pencil thankfully, but you know how teens are. And you kind of have to let them go with that, create that space because they are developing their identity. And not to get into too much parenting here, but I think the best thing you can do for teens, kids encouraging organization again is to just model it for them.

I mentioned how Maddie now has like a schedule up on her mirror. Reese color coordinates things and they learned all that from just watching me. I didn’t tell them to do it and not like I’m trying to be boastful or take all this credit, but really like kids learn more from what they see rather than what they’re being told to do. And especially with teens, they don’t want to be told what to do. So the best thing you can do is just do it yourself, make it accessible, make it positive, give them help when they want help and then just let them decide to do it on their own. Okay. Accessories, scarves, purses, scarves. One thing you can do to do that is you can have hooks. You can also fold them kind of like the Konmari method if you’ve seen it, I do this too.

It’s the file folding. So you kind of fold things into little like squares that are substantial and thick enough that they can stand on their own almost. Obviously, a scarf won’t do that. A dish towel or a T-shirt could, but for scarves you can still fold them that way and then find a bin or a drawer and don’t stack them on top of each other, but place them into that bin or drawers so that their wind up from you going backwards to the back of it and you can see every single one from overhead. That way when you need something you are pulling one out and leaving the of them there.

Accessories I think bins are great purchase to help with that in your closet and you can label them however you like. That goes along with the aesthetics of your closet and purses for big purses you can stuff them so that they stand up upright and keep their shape and you can also use magazine file folder things that they have at the container store to kind of like filing your clutch purses.
That’s something I’ve done before. I have that actually in our closet for my clutch purses and it looks really good and creates like a display. Capsule wardrobes and keeping down clothing clutter, how do I do that? I do not have a capsule wardrobe, although I love the idea and I probably could do it and I probably also do operate on somewhat of a capsule wardrobe, but I find that there’s enough trips and events that I have that I need specific clothes for that I won’t rotate in my regular day to day wear, but I like having those. I also have a pretty substantial like workout wardrobe just because I love working out and so actually a corner of my closet is all workout clothes, shoes, pants, tops, jackets, hats. It’s all there in one spot. Keeping down clothing clutter applies to all the other things I’ve mentioned, which is just if it feels cluttery it probably is and you need to edit items out.

I am going to do a closet kind of clean up coming up soon. I haven’t really done that since we moved in. We had a custom closet built in. Once I put everything in there I really haven’t like gone through and edit out my wardrobe or anything. So I may do that just because I think tastes and styles do change even within a year. Even like denim cuts and things that I end up like not really loving as much and kind of get over it. That does happen. So I have in my plans to do that pretty soon. And so when I do that I will share that on probably Instagram stories. Laundry room, how do you handle laundry schedule cloths, towel, bedding, clean clothes organization. So this is the last topic as far as other spaces and then it’s going to lead to my next topic here in a bit about cleaning, so laundry, my laundry schedule is Mondays and Thursdays.

That’s when I do laundry. I start in the morning, a lot of times I’m doing it late at night. We have one washer, one dryer, and before I used to think that was ridiculous that anyone would need anything more than that, but now I realize why people have two or even three washers that they have a big family. Laundry does add up, so I get that like stress there. For clothes, towel, bedding, clean clothes organization. I mean they just kind of live where they’re supposed to. The closet and the linen closet, this is the first time we’ve had a laundry room. It’s not very big, but I love having the counter there. I use really simple baskets just to really regular like laundry basket. I have four of those white ones and I will keep one of those in the laundry room downstairs. It’s right by our kitchen and I will keep one of those on the counter pretty much all the time because then like dish towels, the kids’ clothes after they get home from school and will change or anything throughout the day.

Kids are always discarding items and you have spills and so you wipe that up with a towel or whatever, I have that. They’re just to hold that until the next Monday or Thursday that I’m ready to do laundry. So that brings me to my next kind of category. And this is the final one here and that is cleaning questions. So I’m not surprised that I got a lot of questions about cleaning because even when I was doing organizing professionally, it got mixed up a lot of times with Oh, so you clean too. And cleaning often gets mixed up categorically with organizing, but it is not the same thing. You can be organized and be not clean. Things can be dirty, you can be clean, but disorganized. They are not mutually exclusive. Obviously ideally you want to be organized and clean. And I think keeping a schedule is a huge, huge bonus and a big help in keeping a clean home.

So the questions I got were, do you have a house cleaning routine, your daily cleaning and organizing schedule? Do you have a home cleaning service? So to answer that, yes, we have a home cleaning service and they come every week. They are not there to pick up items. They’re there to clean the house. So I’m talking baseboards, flooring, tile. I even have them cleaning the outdoor furniture, the outdoor lights, wiping those out with Windex, spring out our garage. So like just cleaning, they’re not organizing the house and then picking up the daily stuff the clutter, the things that ended up in the wrong rooms. I do that, I clean that on a daily basis and I actually really like cleaning. So the daily wiped down of counters, sweeping. We have a Roomba, that type of maintenance. The daily cleaning I do happily, I like doing it, but the house cleaners come.

We’ve used the same cleaners for years now and they even cleaned our house when we had a small apartment. But that’s just because Russ and I value having a clean home and especially with this new home that we bought last year. It was very meaningful for us to buy this home and our goal was to keep it as nice as we could and really take care of it. And part of that is having that house cleaning service so that we don’t accumulate dust and grime and dirt and keep the base sports clean and our outdoor furniture that we invested in, those still look nice and sure I can spend all day cleaning, to do all that, but I don’t want to their other and things I want to and also have to do that I need to smartly allocate my time. And as far as the house cleaning routine, I even when we had house cleaners, I actually used to have a printable that I printed up and I framed and put on a wall.

It was a dry erase marker type of situation and I had a daily cleaning schedule on top of the house cleaners coming because I wanted to sweep every day. I wanted to make sure that counters are cleaned up and take out the trash and the bathrooms were clean, the sheets were changed and all that. So I just went on Pinterest and found a few as inspiration and then I went and created my own. I typed it and printed it up. You can go as fancy or as basic as you want, or you can use one that’s already pre-made that’s out there. There’s so many out there. But because I know my way around, like word processing and creating visuals, I just made my own and that really got me into the habit of cleaning every day. I don’t even have to think about it now.

It’s kind of like I’ve had so much practice doing it. I’m used to it. So same with the laundry. I do it on Mondays and Thursdays because that’s just what I’m used to and it really helps just keep a clean home. Random questions I got, but I will mention here, since we’re talking about cleaning all SIS interior design. How to fold a fitted sheet? That I guess can fit in with organizing because we’re talking linen closets. There are great YouTube tutorials that show you that and I remember I saw one of Martha Stewart showing how to do it and she just said the best way is to just put it immediately onto a bed and I love that, that even she recognize that it’s challenging. Just go on YouTube and you can see because there’s no way in a podcast I can show you how to do that.

How do I enforce the no shoe rule with guests? I just don’t know where else on a podcast episode, I’m going to mention this, so I’m mentioning it here because it was asked as I asked about organizing, so we don’t wear shoes in the house. It’s partly cultural. I’m part Japanese and that’s something you do in Japan through sharing this that I do this I have found out that in Canada people do not wear shoes in the home. So they were like, wait, you don’t do this in America? So yeah, we don’t wear shoes in the house. And also from a clean standpoint, like I think shoes, when you think about it, are the grossest things when you think about all the places they’ve walked around and when you’re concerned about germs and keeping a clean home and your kids and everyone in your family healthy to bring shoes in everywhere.

Just, I don’t know, I can’t do it and I have no issues asking guests to remove their shoes. Everyone that comes in our house, I ask them to take off their shoes and they don’t budge, they don’t care. So I think if you just ask nicely they will do it. Last question is how to decide what type of furniture to put in an extra room area? How to arrange furniture and best ways for designing a room. So these are interior design questions which don’t have to do with organizing. So I want to just mention it because they are separate. Organizing is very specific. It’s not cleaning, it’s not design. Design, I’m not an interior designer. I just personally love to do it and I don’t have an answer for that. It just really depends on your room and your home.

But I think there’s a lot of great inspo out there in Instagram. Now you can save posts that other people post as inspiration into collections. It looks like a little flag or a little ribbon and you can tap that on the right corner of a post and you can save that. And it’s almost kind of like creating a Pinterest situation inside of your Instagram. So if you’re on Instagram, that’s a great way to collect her inspiration for furniture. And that’s what I do too. When I’ve built this home, I just collected a ton of images that really spoke to me that I really liked. They’re not copies of our home, they don’t look exactly like it. But I can take elements from that and use that in creating and designing spaces in our house. One thing if I have a tip is like to think about making your home comfortable and not like the sterile environment.

Even though we like to keep a clean home, I want it to feel like house. So it’s using layers and textures and colors and have a feel of home and some personal touches. I love to collect things when I travel and I have those in our office on the shelves. Another thing is to think about the lines of the home, not have everything be squares and straight lines but incorporate roundness and softness and circles and even the arrangement of your furniture in a round pattern instead of just all squares. Those things can make a difference and kind of give that like designer look. I realize now that I do have a lot of things I can share on design, but that’s just again from experience and just from loving it.

So I will stop this conversation here. I think I’ve gone through a lot of different topics and spaces in the home. I hope it’s been helpful for you. Don’t worry because this is not the last time I’m going to be talking about organizing, but this was just a second round of Q and A. There is plenty more coming your way as far as organizing systems in your life. More specific tips, things through the podcast, the blog, Instagram coming your way and I’m always an open book on this topic so you’re welcome to ask any questions at all.

You can send me a DM but that can kind of buildup sometimes I wish Instagram will learn how to organize it at that a little bit better so I don’t lose messages so I would … If you have a specific question just email me at hello@GoodToBeHomepodcast.com that comes directly to me so you can email me there. Thank you for joining me today on this organizing episode and I hope you can take a tip or two from this that you can apply to your own life and that it creates a really happy, healthy, efficient home for you. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good To Be Home.

Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.

Russ Perry: See you next time.