Guess what time of year it is? Time for a seasonal swap of your clothes!

by , on
May 18, 2023

Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here!
I hung out with my grandma a lot while growing up. Most of the time when the weather was warm we were all kicked outside to go play. We built forts in the forest, swang from vines and would catch tadpoles in the pond!! Gram was always up to something…. Working in her garden, patching the roof, or building something.

When the weather would change and the cold air would turn warm, she would get all of her winter clothes washed up, fold the winter clothes up nicely and store them away. She would pull out all the warm clothes and give them a fresh wash (as they typically smelled like mothballs after their hibernation), and place them in drawers or hang them up in the closet.

In my mind (at the time) it never made sense to me…. Why take all the time and effort to do that – when she could just leave everything in her drawers and closets? To me it was a waste of time. You know how you were as a kid, you thought you knew everything!!

Now here we are…many years later…. And I am writing about it… Thank god it didn’t take me that long to grasp what she was doing and why she was doing it.

Yes – I know that doing all that work can be time consuming and the weather is beautiful and you rather be playing outside… But, as with all things Organizing – if you take the time now to do it, it will save you extra time down the road!!

Swapping out your clothes can be very beneficial:
1. You save time – It puts what you will be wearing regularly out in front of you so you don’t have to sort through all the sweaters and cold weather clothes – which will save you time in that morning hustle and bustle!!
2. You save Closet space – PRIME real estate!! The winter clothes get stored away and the warm clothes get put away allowing room for your clothes instead of having everything squished in together. Again – the clothes you will be wearing more often will now be front and center and easy to access.
3. Allows you to analyze your clothes – Is it ripped? Stained? Does it fit properly? – now is your chance to toss/donate it and not have to wash/dry/put it away again (again, saving you some time in the long run!!)
4. You are giving your clothes a breather. Yes, I know they are just clothes – but doesn’t everyone deserve a break? Give them some time away from the washer and dryer, or from hanging in the closet. Think like Kondo – say thank you and carefully pack them away and let your winter wear rest for the season.
5. It gives you something to look forward to next year!! Surprise – look – it is that sweater you haven’t seen all year – have you forgotten how cozy it is!!

Sounds pretty good right? So set aside some time this weekend or one night after work and:Sort through your clothes
1. Separate cold clothes and warm clothes.
2. Separate clothes that don’t fit, are stained, are holy, or you don’t care for anymore from the clothes you are keeping and love (for both warm and cold clothes).
3. Carefully fold or hang the warm clothes.
4. Pick a favorite top, sweater, hoodie, jacket etc. to leave out for possible chilly days/evenings.
5. Carefully store away the winter clothes.

It really is that easy. It’s more time consuming than anything. But again – it’s all about the long run…

Till Next time!!

7 Steps to decluttering your Inbox

by , on
Jun 1, 2022

Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here!

I don’t know where some of you are from – but here in Jersey summer weather is here!!! The AC has been kickin… the pool is getting used… and we are soaking up the sun!!  But, not every day is going to be a beach or pool day…

Today is one of them.  It is gloomy looking outside, it wants to rain any minute.  The skies are gray and it is humid out…. It is not a day to be hanging out by the pool!

So on these days… or when it is rainy…or even on the days that it is just TOO hot to go outside – why not take a minute (or a few) and organize your email.

Yes – I said organize your email.
I know I am not the only one who lets their email get out of control.
I know there are more of you who have hundreds if not thousands of emails just sitting in the inbox.
I know there are half attempts at folders that never got used…. At things that have been sitting in your inbox for over a year… just hanging out…. Doing nothing except taking up space!!

So – take the time to clear it all out!!  Below are some steps you can take to help you organize your inbox!  Have fun!!


7 Steps to decluttering your Inbox

  1. Unsubscribe – Go through the random emails and take a minute to unsubscribe from their mailing list.  This will cut down on the amount of spam coming into your inbox!
    • If – you get a ton of emails for coupons and such and you feel you CAN NOT live without them – you can:
      • A – Set up a new separate email specifically to be used for coupons and fliers and any other things that you get when a website asks you to enter an email address – see what we are doing here? This will allow you to still receive all the coupons and crap you want – without it cluttering your regular email account.
      • B-Use automation – Set it up so that when these emails come in they are automatically sent directly to a specific folder so that it does not sit in your inbox.

  2. Use Labels and folders – Using Labels and/or folders is beneficial for items that you want to keep on hand/save.  Also, using labels will make things easier for you when you search for a particular email!!

  3. Automation – For unimportant things-have them automatically go to a specific folder.  I mentioned this above – but Automation is worth mentioning twice!  Automation allows you to receive an email and it will automatically put it in a specific folder you created.  It will not be in your inbox.  It will not pass go or collect $200.  It will go directly to the folder. Neat and Tidy!!

  4. Flag and Star – For Important items that you need for later – be sure to flag or star them! This will also help you find them much easier and at the same time give you a to-do list of sorts!!

  5. File items to keep – If you have emails from your mom of all the wonderful recipes you and her plan to create – make a folder for that (yes mom- every recipe you have sent me is in a folder – at least they should be). Seriously though – If it is important, create a folder for it to live.

  6. Trash items – Everything that is not in a folder, not flagged or starred… not a “to-do”…  go ahead and get rid of it!! There is no use keeping it.  Let it go!!!

  7. Maintenance – is KEY!!!!!! I would add a million exclamation marks to this if I could – as it is SOOO easy to let things get carried away and then before you know it you are drowning in a million emails again!!
    • For Future – when you get an email, take the time right then and there to read it and then decide what to do with it: Trash, Unsubscribe, Flag or Star as important, or label it and file it away for use at a later date!!!

See – now that wasn’t so bad was it?!?! Now-when the next rainy day comes…you will be ready to tackle your inbox!!

Till Next time!!

Perfecting your Pantry while helping others!

by , on
May 4, 2022

Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here! May has arrived… flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, it is warming up!! I love it!!  So – to keep in touch with the Springtime fun stuff… Last month we tackled spring cleaning and garages… Well today we are going to take a look at our pantries.  Why??? Well, it just so happens that May 14th is when the 30th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive will be held.

What is that?? In 1991 a small food drive was conducted by the National Association of Letter Carriers.  It did so well that they decided on making it a nationwide event.  In 1993 they chose the Second Saturday in May to hold the Food Drive, with one goal in mind – for at least 1 of the NALC branches in each of the 50 states to join in.  It was a big success and collected over 11 million pounds of food!  You can visit the NALC website to learn more about the history! And- Food Donations are tax-deductible (The food is given to non-profits) (Read more here).

What does the food drive have to do with Organizing?? Well – if that isn’t a kick in the butt to clean out and organize your pantry, I don’t know what is!!!

So let’s do it!!!

Ok… so “Pantry” is a loose term here… Not everyone has a pantry… So we are cleaning out pantries and cabinets and any other space where you keep bagged, boxed, and canned food.

Perfecting your Pantry

Tackle one area at a time… be it a cabinet, a shelf or what have you.  There is no reason to get ourselves overwhelmed (remember, baby steps!)!

We will start by removing the items from the space that they were stored in.
It is during this time that you will be reviewing the item.
Is it:

  1. Expired? Toss it
  2. Something you don’t really eat anymore or something someone gave to you that you will never use? Donate it!!
  3. Is it something you do use – but have a few extra of them and want to help out people? Donate it!!
  4. Is it something you are keeping? Then keep it.

See – that wasn’t so hard!!  Yes-you have a mess now, but you can’t organize your things without making a mess first – not if you are really diving in and doing a thorough job of purging and paying attention to what you have already.

Once we have emptied out our space we are going to clean the space out.  Wipe it down.  You do not want to put things back into a dirty/dusty/etc. Drawer, cabinet, closet, etc…

So-your space is cleared out and cleaned out.  You have purged out the things that you do not want/are expired/etc and you are surrounded by piles of your food items – now we can start the process of organizing!!

Start categorizing your food and separating them into separate piles.  Baking Goods, Canned goods, boxed goods, kids snacks…. You get the idea.  You can’t start organizing until you can actually see what you have and how much of it.  You can have as many categories as you want.  Have fun with this – have categories that suit your style of cooking and kitchen use!!

So now that you have the piles laid out before you – you can actually see what you have a lot of and what categories are small, this will:

  1. Allow you to know how much shelf/cabinet/drawer/etc space you will need to hold each specific category.
  2. Allow you to know what size storage containers you will need/see if storage containers you already have will fit.
  3. Allow you to make a simple inventory of your non-perishables (which you can then update on a regular basis)

Now you can start putting things away.  Some simple rules:

  1. Location, Location, Location!! This term not only applies to Real Estate-but to Organizing as well.  Think about your Room, Closet, Pantry, Shelf as Real Estate and decide what is prime real estate vs not.
    • Things that you use the most – should be the easiest for you to access.
    • The things you use the least-should be in less accessible areas.
  2. Don’t forget vertical storage possibilities.
  3. Put heavier items in lower level areas.

Remember – you are organizing for YOU.  Just because you saw something in a magazine/show/online/etc and fell in love with it-doesn’t always mean you need to do the same thing-as that may not work in your space, however-you can always use the concept and adapt it to your individual needs!!

Now that your pantry has been cleaned out and organized and you want to participate in the food drive….you have a box of donatable goods but are unsure what to do…simply place it near your mailbox and your mail carrier will pick it up and transport it!  It’s really that easy!!

Till Next time!!

4 Simple steps to Organizing your Garage

by , on
Apr 1, 2022

Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here!

Well… March isn’t exactly going “out like a lamb” as these last few days have been frigid!! I do look forward to the April showers and all the May flowers!!

That being said – Now that the weather should be warming up – it is time to tackle your garage!! April is the Official Month for Organizing your Garage!! Yes -they really do have a designated day and month for everything!! But really-it does make sense… Think about it-there is usually still a little chill in the air (so you won’t be working out in the hot summer sun) -and possible showers- you are still outside but you are sheltered… April is the best month to do it!

So let’s do it? Where to begin?? Take a look around you. What is your garage filled with?

Is it already neat and tidy with your car parked in it and ample room to maneuver around your car? Totes or boxes neatly stacked? If so – good for you!! If not-well, that is where I come in!

Start by Separating
Start going through the items in your garage and separating them into piles. This is where the fun starts!! You will have a few piles- Keep, Toss, and Donate. However, the Keep pile will not just be one pile-while we are separating our items-we are also going to separate our items to keep.

You will break down your keep pile into different groups. What is your garage stored with? Camping/fishing items? Sports items? Tools? Gardening Tools? Leftover Pantry items? Pool supplies? The categories are endless-it all depends on what you keep in your garage (remember-every person and project is different!!).

Purge it all out
You made your piles… now what?? Now it is time to get rid of the items that you no longer need, use, and/or want. Now you can get all your garbage bags tied up, and your donation boxes itemized and set aside. Take a peek at your garage.. Does it feel more open? Do you have more space?? Unless you kept everything you went through – I bet you do!!

Now we get down to the real business.

Organizing all your stuff!!
How many keep piles do you have? Can some of them overlap or work together? How much storage space do you have in your garage? We are going to create work/storage zones within your garage. Take a minute and go grab a sketch pad-I’ll wait! We are going to lay out your garage zones….. it will make this a little easier-especially if you are a visual person! (I suggest grid paper if you have it-it will help you put a scale to your drawing)

Ask yourself these questions regarding your items and your garage:

  • How do I use my Garage?
  • How do I want to use my Garage? (Car, Storage, Man Cave, Workshop, etc?)
  • Do I need additional Storage for all of my items?
  • Which category do I have the MOST items in?
  • Which category do I use the most?
  • Which category do I use the least?
  • Which category needs to be out in the open for easy access?
  • Which category can be completely stored away in totes?

Once you have answered these questions it will help you layout your garage zones. You may have a workshop/bench area, a storage area, holiday decorations area…and that’s just to name a few.

By identifying the items you use the most vs the least – it will help you decide where to store them, obviously things that you use the most and need the easiest access to will be stored in an area that you can easily get to – while items that only get used 1 or 2 times a year can be stored on a top shelf or in another area that is out of the way.

See how this works?? Things you need/use the most will be in areas that are in your viewing and reaching space… and the less and less an item is used – the more out of reach it is in the storage.

By laying out the zones on a notepad – you can get an idea of how much stuff will be stored and where. Now if you are using that graph paper – you can use one square to equal 6” – and you can guesstimate the sizes of totes, boxes, bikes, etc to allow you to sketch out a layout and really understand the amount of items you have as well as the amount of space you have-which will help you to decide if you need additional storage totes, shelves, etc.

Put it all back

Once you have an understanding of how you are going to organize everything you can start putting everything back in their new homes!!  Get creative here!! Re-use your storage totes and shelving systems.  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box……Peg boards aren’t specifically made for tools – you can use them to hang up other items you have laying around, Go vertical with your storage totes, Magnets are your friends, hang bikes on the ceiling instead of the wall.. A few ideas to think about!! 

Have fun- and do what works best for you!

Hope this was helpful for you all and that it gives you the encouragement you need to tackle your own garage!! Until next time!

Say hello to Spring and to Spring Cleaning…

by , on
Mar 16, 2022

Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here!

In like a lion…out like a Lamb.. we’ll see!! It is the middle of March….The clocks have changed… and in just a few more days Spring will officially be here!

With Spring… comes Spring Cleaning!! Now I know that is not the same as “Organizing”… but the two really do go hand in hand with one another. Whether you are organizing or cleaning – start one room at a time… one task at a time… and don’t let it overwhelm you!

Now when it comes to cleaning there are a few different ways that you can attack it…. Start by room or by task….You could pick the Kitchen and just do all the cleaning for that room at one time, or you could choose the task – say Dusting. Go through the house and do all the dusting at one time.

Below is a room by room list of Spring Cleaning items to tackle!! Now open up those windows – let the cool breeze in and help air out your house… and don’t forget to have fun!!

Entry (Including hallways) 
Dusting: wipe down crown molding, window trim, cabinet trim, wipe down cabinets, cabinet doors, and cabinet hardware, and base trim.
Glass-Clean all windows, Doors and Glass Cabinets.
Linens-Wash linens (Curtains, etc)
Surfaces-Wipe down all surfaces (Walls, Wall Switches, Countertops, etc.).
Floors-Sweep/vacuum and mop floor.

Dusting: wipe down crown molding, window trim, cabinet trim, wipe down cabinets, cabinet doors, and cabinet hardware, and base trim.
Glass-Clean all windows, Doors and Glass Cabinets.
Linens-Wash linens (Towels, wash cloths, curtains, etc)
Appliances-Clean all Appliances (Microwave, Dishwasher, Stove/Oven, Refrigerator).
Surfaces-Wipe down all surfaces (Walls, Wall Switches, Countertops, etc.).
Floors-Sweep/vacuum and mop floor.
Toss out any old or expired food items in cabinets and fridge/freezer

Living Spaces (Dining Room, Living Room, Family Room, Den, etc)
Dusting: wipe down crown molding, window trim, cabinet trim, wipe down cabinets, cabinet doors, and cabinet hardware and Base trim.
Glass-Clean all windows, Doors and Glass Cabinets.
Soft Surfaces-Vacuum Seating arrangements and rugs
Linens-Wash Linens (blankets, throws, Curtains, etc)
Surfaces-Wipe down all surfaces (Walls, Wall Switches, etc.).
Floors-Sweep/vacuum and mop flooring.

Dusting: wipe down crown molding, Grab bars, towel bars, cabinet trim, wipe down cabinets, cabinet doors, and cabinet hardware, and base trim, etc.
Glass-Clean all Mirrors, windows, Doors and Glass Cabinets.
Accessories-Clean toilet, sink, tub, etc.
Linens-Wash linens (Towels, wash cloths, shower curtain, curtains, etc)
Surfaces-Wipe down all surfaces (Walls, Wall Switches, Countertops, etc.).
Floors-Sweep/vacuum and mop floor.

Dusting: wipe down crown molding, window trim, Base trim.
Glass-Clean all windows, mirrors, glass doors, etc.
Soft Surfaces-Vacuum Seating arrangements and rugs
Linens-Wash Linens (blankets, throws, Curtains, etc)
Clothes-Tidy up closets and drawers (fold/hang clothes, etc)
Surfaces-Wipe down all surfaces (Walls, Wall Switches, etc.).
Floors-Sweep/vacuum/mop flooring.

Keep in mind – this is a very broad list… It will get your house spick and span… but if you want to go a little deeper…try adding these items to your spring cleaning list:

Entry (Including hallways)
If you have an Entry Closet – go through it, empty it out and sort the items.
Apply specialty products to your flooring (if you have hard wood-polish, if you have porcelain or tile-check your grout, etc.)

Clean sink, faucet, garbage disposal
Set oven to “self clean”
Apply specialty products to your flooring (if you have hard wood-polish, if you have porcelain or tile-check your grout, etc.)

Living Spaces (Dining Room, Living Room, Family Room, Den, etc)
Clean window blinds/curtains
Shampoo rug/polish hardwood floors
Move heavy furniture and clean under it.

Check the expiration dates on items and toss what is expired.
Clean your showerhead
check your grout

Go through your clothes- donate/purge items that no longer fit/you don’t like.
Flip your mattress.
Shampoo rug/polish hardwood floors
Move heavy furniture and clean under it.

You can get as tough and gritty as you need to – it’s all up to you!! Take it a day at a time and you’ll get it done!!

What are your favorite spring cleaning tasks?
Tell me about them!!
I’ll talk to you later!!

How do you Organize your books?

by , on
Jan 19, 2022

Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here.

How has your January been? Have you been joining in on GO Month?? It has been a lot of fun!!! One thing that is NOT listed on the Go Month Printable – is organizing your books/library!!

Are you an avid reader??? Do you have a favorite genre? Or do you read anything and everything? 

I think I fell in love with reading in about 4th or 5th grade… Started out with R.L. Stine Fear Street books (I still have a collection of them!!) which were cheesy scary stories… from there – I moved on to Dean Koontz (I collect all his books – in his name – as well as in his other pen names) – again, more scary stories – but for adults instead of tweens.  I also collect Nicholas Sparks books.  I was in 10th or 11th grade when my cousin lent me “Message in a bottle” to read… I tell you – I have NEVER cried so hard from a book or movie or anything in my life.  I bawled.  Seriously!!  

Typically I do not save books.  I like to share them and pass them on.  In my family my grandmother tends to buy books at the local goodwill.  After she reads them she sets them aside… Once she has a good little pile they get passed along either to my mom or to me… and then we pass it on… eventually the bag gets back to gram and she gives them back to goodwill.

I have friends and clients who will collect and keep every book they have ever touched and on the other hand I know some people that do not hold on to any books….  There is a wide divide when it comes to keeping books.

For those that do keep books – storing them, showcasing them, organizing them… there are so many ways to do all of those things…. As always – the trick is finding out which way works best for you (you are going to hear me say that way too many times – FYI).

Are you a visual person? Organizing your books by their visual presentation may be the best way for you to keep track of your books…. How would you visually organize your books? Try:

Hard Cover vs Soft Cover

By Color

By Stacking books

Arrange by height and size

Separate and display your favorite books

Separate books you haven’t read

That is just a few ways that you can organize your books in a way to visually have separation or distinction between the books…. For those of you who are more analytical…. You may want a more systematic approach.  Try:

Organize by Genre or topic

Alphabetically by Title

Alphabetically By Author

Chronological order

Fiction vs nonfiction

There are numerous ways that you can organize your books… try a few out and see what works best for you.  Personally – I…well … I use a couple methods… I separate by Author…. Then I put them in chronological order from that Author.  I do that with the few authors that I collect.  All other books are grouped by Genre… and then I have a few of my favorite books stacked together….. This works for me.  If I am looking for a book I will find it very easily with my method.  You may find this bizarre and prefer to keep your books in color order.  This is also great! There is no wrong way – only the right way for you!!

Well… that’s it for now!! Stay warm and I’ll talk to you later!!

Tips and Tricks to Organize your Computer….

by , on
Jan 3, 2022

Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here.

Happy New Year!!!!  Hope it was a Healthy and Happy one!!

So here we are… a new Year.. a new Month… and a new Day!! What are you going to do to celebrate this fresh start? What will you organize? What resolutions have you made?

Organizing drawers…closets…rooms in my house… for me that is pretty simple… but for some reason – keeping my electronics organized is a WHOLE other ball game!! My phone.. My email… my computer… ipad… It always gets crammed full of things… So I thought what better way to start the year – than starting it with neat and tidy electronics!!!

That is what I will be focusing on this month!!

I was reading an article and it made me laugh… it gave a list of items… Your desktop has a million icons, your document folder is filled to the brim, you can’t find files…and a few more… These are signs that your computer is not organized efficiently

And unfortunately…I could relate to some of these items!! Which got me thinking… I really need to sit down and organize my computer! So here we are!!  (click on the underlined text above to read the Article).   Now it goes a little more in depth with file naming and organizing… but it is a good read!

Let’s do it… let’s organize our Computers!!

First things first… we will Purge!! 

As Elle Woods would say… the Rules of Haircare Organizing are Simple and Finite!!  I am sorry for that… but sometimes you can’t argue with Legally Blonde!!  We will Purge out anything we can!!  We will remove any and all duplicate files that we have.  We will empty out – and by this I mean – temporarily file away and/or throw out unneeded files in – our “download” file folder.  

Next is figuring out a proper way to organize your folders.

Everyone is different.  There is no right or wrong way… just a “right way” for you. You have to find and build a system that works best for you! 

Is this a personal computer or a work computer? Or is it combined? Will you have personal files… Will you separate your business files by project or by client?  Will you keep “like with like” – all digital files together, all family files together, all business files together….These are all things you have to ask yourself when trying to create a system that will work for you.

My computer is both personal and business.  So I have a plethora of folders!! But creating the right folders and keeping them organized is where it gets tricky for me!!

I have read that it is best to have a few large main folders and a ton of subfolders within them, I have also come across the notion of having one folder on your desktop and within that folder having everything else – that way your desktop remains free and clear.  And I won’t lie-there is a big part of me who likes this idea and thinks I will have to try it!!

Another thing to think about is your naming and filing system.  You don’t want to have super long file names, but you also want to make sure they are easy to find.  For my Business files – I name everything with a date first.  2022-01-03_File Name.  This works for me and is my preferred method of file names.  You need to find which way works best for you!

But…. You need to be consistent with the file naming!!  Don’t change up the way you enter it…don’t forget to put a 0 in front of your single digit month.  These are silly little things but can make a big difference when you are trying to search for something!

Something you may be forgetting about… that you really should take advantage of…. is your Taskbar! Make good use of it! Pin the items you use the most.  Keep your most used folders pinned there for easy access!

The MOST important thing to do… and the one thing that I am …. Horrible at remembering to do…. Backup your computer!!!  Seriously… I don’t know why I haven’t learned by now… There have been a few occasions when my hard drive crapped the bed and I lost everything… I had some things in the cloud and some things in other places so I was (thank god) able to scrounge around and find things… but it was a pain in the butt and no one wants to spend time doing that!! Backup your computer!!!!! Can’t say it too many times!

Lastly – after you have combed through your files and they are in a pristine and organized manner… empty out your trash – or if you are nervous about it, wait a week.  See if you find yourself looking for something that you accidentally tossed.  After a week or two – if you don’t find yourself digging through the trash – get rid of it!

You can use these steps for your phone, tablet/ipad, etc…. 

How do you keep your computer organized? Do you have any tips or tricks you would like to share?? Let us know!!

Well… that’s it for now!! Stay warm and I’ll talk to you later!!

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