Home Org Tips

Mail. It’s basically the best and worst thing ever. How fun is it to receive a letter or an invitation!! And open it as soon as you see it, probably dropping something in the meantime. Then squeezed in between are the inevitable bills and junk mail. Womp womp. You go through and open a few more and toss them haphazardly back in the envelopes. Leave the stack piled on a miscellaneous table or desk that you will eventually get back to (hopefully before the bills are due!). And before you know it, a nice little paper mountain has formed and you are overwhelmed at the sight of it! Sound about right? Instead of getting to that point, these few simple steps should help to minimize the paper clutter and save you valuable time.

Paper clutter organization
Centralized space. Create a specific location for the mail and ample space to go through it. This way if someone else happens to get the mail, they will know where to put it and it won’t be scattered throughout the house. Creating a command center is a great way to help keep everything you carry in the door organized and in one place.

Sort the mail right away. The longer you let the mail pile up, the more daunting of a task it becomes. Instead, take it day by and day and make it a habit to sort through it all as soon as you get it. Toss the junk mail and divide up the rest.

Create an organizational system. Once you sort through the mall you will need to create a system to keep things tidy and organized. Designate a wall- mount organizer, filing system, or letter trays to differentiate the mail and label accordingly (to pay, to do, to file). Bills and timely mail (ones that have due dates) usually need to coincide with when you get paid, so file them in a section that requires action and set a reminder on the calendar!

Stick to it. Any organizational system is not going to work unless you make it a routine. Find out what works for you and your family in order to succeed and make it happen. It’s also a good idea to keep the items inside their envelopes to keep things orderly and in case there are addresses you may need to reference.

Create a system for organizing bills and mail
Don’t overthink it. A system, trash bin, calendar, pens, envelopes and stamps are all you really need to put the process into action. By staying on top of it, you reduce the chance of misplacing important items and can enjoy the good mail without having a pile of papers staring back at you!

{Shop here to organize the mail center}

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Laundry Room

We can all agree that any room can end up being a catch-all for whatever it is that doesn’t have a place or isn’t put pack in its place. But we think it’s safe to say that the laundry room is definitely on the top of that list, where things just seem to accumulate. Start by taking everything out and relocate items that just don’t belong in the laundry room. Once you see what you do have, it will be easier to create an organized setup that works for you.

5 tips on creating a laundry space that works for you
Separate laundry products from cleaning products and so on. Find a container/bin without a lid for easy access and keep them in a convenient location (above/next to the washer). Containerize the remaining products and put a label on them so you won’t forget what goes where AND to make it easy for someone else to do the laundry! (wishful thinking??) Same goes for sewing essentials, towels, robes or anything else you want to keep in the laundry room.
How to keep your laundry room clean + organized
Make the space work for you. If you are constantly finding pockets full of treasures, a basket or bin can work as a lost and found for miscellaneous items. Use another basket for those few socks that always seem to go astray and at the end of each week reunite the items with their previous owners.

Simplify the process and pre-sort dirty clothes with a dual hamper that has two separate sections for lights and darks. It’s an easy way to cut down laundry time and eliminates the piles scattered all over the laundry room floor.

Laundry rooms aren’t usually the biggest rooms in the house. So when it comes to hanging clothes to dry, save some space with a wall mounted drying rack. This way, if there is a counter, you can actually use it to fold clothes!

Eliminate the guessing game and free up some brain space, by creating a master laundry list. Designate a day per week and make note of what should be washed each day. Towels on Tuesday. Sheets on Sunday. Write it on a chalkboard or print it out and hang it so everyone knows the washing schedule.

Since doing laundry is inevitable, might as well create a space that is enjoyable to be in and is on the latter end of the dirty/clean process.

Follow Life in Jeneral on Instagram and Twitter for more organization ideas!

[Shop here to start organizing your laundry room]

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Clothing Storage

Space can be hard to come by, let alone storage (especially if you live in the city!). So anything to get a few inches of more storage space sounds like a win in our book!

File folding. We have mentioned this before, but we can’t stress it enough! The file folding method is a way of folding clothes to save space and keep logos or patterns displayed. This makes everything easy to see and utilizes all of the drawer space. Whereas piles you can only see the item on top and tend to forget about everything underneath (or crammed in the back).

use the dead space under the bed  for more storage
Dead space. These under the bed storage drawers are AHHMAZING for anyone who needs more storage (or anyone for that matter!). However, these under bed storage bags also do the job! This is a great place to keep seasonal or bulky clothing that tends to take up more space (like sweaters!). The back of doors and wall hooks are also great options for outerwear and hats.

Keep a seasonal drawer and rotate throughout the year
Hangers. Having the same hangers (we love these thin non-slip ones) may seem like a small detail, but when they all align perfectly and there are no hangers sticking out or caught on another piece of clothing, you will actually gain a considerable amount of space. And to gain a few inches in a small closet makes it totally worth it! It also makes the space look clean and cohesive.

Think vertically. Add a shelf above a clothing rack, in between (pictured) or even raise the clothing rack in order to create ample space underneath for a shoe rack or small dresser. Since pants/jeans can take up quite a bit of space on a hanger, fold and stack on shelves. Or file fold into a drawer/basket/bin to keep them contained and easy to see. If you don’t have a closet or you’re just looking for extra storage, a sleek stand-alone clothing rack should do the trick!

Different ways to store clothing and make the most of your space
It is always a good idea before you begin organizing/storing clothes to go through your closet every few months or when the seasons change to help clear the clutter. It will be easier to organize and store your clothes (& quicker to get dressed!) knowing you love everything you own. Take a peek at our closet clean out post to start de-cluttering your wardrobe!

Follow Life in Jeneral on Instagram and Twitter for more organization tips!

(Shop here for storage options)

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1 drawer, 4 ways

Organizing drawers can be a lot like a real life version of Tetris. Configuring and re-arranging so everything can fit just right. Some drawers need all the compartments they can get and others may need just one or two. We like to measure the drawers, gather everything that we want inside each drawer, and head to the store to find the perfect compartments. Not too long, extra long, not too wide, acrylic, bamboo, all depending on the size, client’s style, and purpose of the drawer, our goal is to find the goldilocks of drawer organizers!

We used the same drawer to organize makeup, nail polish, baby essentials, and tea. Each time trying to make the most of the space and the items inside. All while having fun with different materials, shapes and styles!

organize the nail polish
1 drawer, 4 different ways

Remember, there are no rules. If you find the perfect “desk organizer” for your bathroom drawer, guess what! It is now a bathroom essentials organizer! It is all about making items visible, accessible and knowing where everything is. It will also save you time, since you won’t be running around looking for all those items you once misplaced!

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Jenerally Speaking

organization tips, organization questions and answers

1. Any tips on how I can organize sentimental items without throwing them all away?

We understand it is difficult to get rid of sentimental items that carry a lot of memories with them. Take your time when going through these items and give yourself permission to get rid of anything that may not be as important anymore or are strictly being stored. Ask yourself a few questions; what is significant about this particular item? Can you condense and keep one item that represents many? Would a photograph of the item/space suffice? Do you love it enough to display it? We encourage clients to enjoy sentimental items and display them in a shadow box or frame instead of storing them in a bin forever. Another option is dividing up pieces that would be loved by other family members or friends. Keep sentimental items in a plastic bin and store in a dry and secure place.

2. I can never seem to keep my sock and undergarment drawer organized! Any ideas?

We are filled with ideas! Drawers with various items inside can easily get mixed up and that is where drawer dividers (or honeycomb dividers) come in. They allow you have separate compartments within your drawer, making sure things never cross over unintentionally. There are also folding methods that keep items in their specific place and allow you to see every item, instead of stacking items on top of one another. Take a peek at this video online to learn the basic folding method by Marie Kondo (author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up).

3. We have so many kitchen utensils; any storage options you recommend? 

Keep the most frequently used cooking utensils close to where you constantly use them. Storing utensils in a fun jar close to the stove makes for easy accessibility, just be realistic about how many spatulas (and so on) you really need stuffed inside. If you have a free drawer, they can be separated into categories within compartments. Short on space? Use hooks inside of cabinets or a pegboard to hang utensils.

4. I keep hearing about washi tape, but still not quite sure what it is and how to use it.

Washi tape is essentially a decorative paper tape that can be easily removed without leaving a sticky residue. It can be used in so many ways, but some of our favorites are for labeling folders, cords, and containers, as well as decorating walls, planners, and cards. As you can tell, you can get pretty creative– check out LIJ on Pinterest to see all the ways to use washi tape.

5. We have a large DVD collection, but no place to store them. What to do?

If you do not have enough room to store them all, there are some great options that really cut down on the amount of space they take up. If you prefer keeping them in their original case, a wall mount holder that can be stacked side by side or lengthwise is a great option. If you want to condense them even further and do not mind taking them out of their cases, grab a DVD sleeve case and store! PS. A great way to organize DVD’s is either alphabetically or by genre!

Do you have any organization questions? Comment below! In the meantime, check out our previous Jenerally Speaking posts here, here, and here.

{Shop organization products here!}

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Personal Gym Organization

Workout in pajamas? We’re in! That sounds awesome, but we realize it is a little more than that. Creating a home gym space that is consistently neat and motivating is quite the task. There are so many different pieces of fitness equipment that one can own (shake weight anyone??) that can quickly take over the space and leave a cluttered mess. Keep it simple and utilize vertical space to create an environment that works for you and your physique!

Exercise room organization
Organize your home gym
Make the most of your space.
If you are able to dedicate a whole room to fitness or a corner in the garage, make the most of the space you have. Either way, vertical space is your best friend. It keeps things off the floor and makes everything easy to see. A hanger organizer works great for resistance bands and jump ropes, and also keeps them from getting tangled. You can also use wall space for a calendar or workout schedule! If you have a variety of dumbbells opt for a vertical rack to save on space.

Keep it simple.
Less is more here. If you have the space and constantly use the treadmill, bike, elliptical, and stair master, than more power to you and you should keep them all! But the same quality of workouts can be done with less equipment. Choosing multi-functional equipment or opting for one bulky piece will help to keep the space from getting over-crowded.

Configuring what goes where in order to utilize all equipment can be a daunting task. Depending on your workout routine you can either organize by activity or by frequency. If you are an avid yogi, it may be a good idea to get a large basket or bin to keep all of the tools in one place. Same goes for boxing (spin, tennis, etc.) equipment, as well as keeping all the towels or workout videos together. Another option would be to keep the most frequently used items together in one space. If you use a set of dumbbells for every workout and a stretching band, make them easily accessible. If you like to keep your workout shoes in your fitness space, a bench (with or without storage) would be a great place to store them.

Personal gym organization
An easy but effective way to keeping an organized fitness space is to return all equipment to their original places after each workout. This will help to maintain a clean, clutter-free and balanced space.

Follow Life in Jeneral on Instagram and Twitter for more organizing tips!

{Shop here to start organizing your personal gym}

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Closet Clean Out

Spring has officially sprung!! And that means fun pops of color are back and we can push those coats aside! Although our people in L.A. may not feel the weather change as much as others, it is still a great time to hit the refresh button on our wardrobes. Beyond the weather change, clothes have probably been accumulating throughout the past seasons and the phrase “I have nothing to wear” emerges as we stare at our overstuffed closets. If this is the case, it may be time for a good closet clean out. Time to shed a few layers and come out lighter and brighter!

You will need to dedicate a good amount of time in order to completely overhaul your closet. Set aside the time to go through every item and be mentally prepared to touch and try it all on. If the thought of going through everything is a little overwhelming, take it one category at a time (shoes, tops, pants, etc.). When beginning to clean out your closet, gather all of your clothing into one place. It is important to lay everything out at once so you are aware of everything that you have (don’t forget the hall closet and anything hiding in the nooks and crannies of your closet space).

As you go through your closet, touch each piece of clothing, try it on, and ask yourself a few questions: When was the last time I wore this? Does it still fit? How does it make me feel? Would I purchase this in store now? Be honest with yourself as you decide piece by piece.

Closet clean out

Once you make a decision on the clothing item, place it in the appropriate bin (or whatever you have): Keep. Toss. Donate. And Sell.

Keep. Only the items that fit right and make you feel amazing.

Toss. Anything with holes or items that are really worn.

Donate. Items that may not have great resale value, but you would feel comfortable giving to a friend.

Sell. Clothing pieces that are in good condition, but just aren’t for you anymore. See our how to sell used clothing post for some great options.

Clean out your closet

Be mindful as you put your clothing back into the closet. Investing in similar hangers, a shoe rack, or bins will make things easier to see and you will be more likely to wear everything you own.

Remember, they’re just clothes. And whatever you get rid of will have a new life with someone else. The idea behind a closet clean out is to get rid of clothing pieces that no longer serve their purpose, no matter the reason. The result is a simple, yet cohesive closet that is filled with pieces that make you feel good and that you enjoy wearing. It can also make getting ready in the morning quicker and more enjoyable!

“Opening up your closet should be like arriving to a really good party where everyone you see is someone you like” – Amy Fine Collins.

{Shop here for some closet organization}

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Spring Cleaning: How to sell your used clothing

Let’s be honest, most closets are filled with great clothing pieces that just don’t seem to get worn as often as they should. That also doesn’t mean we should continue to hold onto them, but it can be hard to just give away or donate clothing pieces when you spent a pretty penny for them. We get it. But what if you could sell them? These days there are so many options to selling your lightly worn clothing; you can sell straight from the comfort of your own home. There are also the traditional brick and mortar options. You can choose to be more involved in the selling of each item or put all clothing/accessories in a bag and send it off. It’s up to you!

urban outfitter

Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads:
(Other smaller consignment stores may be an option depending on where you live)
These are all relatively similar, you bring your clothing/accessories to sell and they sort through while you wait (some have drop off options) and they offer either a higher value store credit or a lower cash value.

They act as a consignment store online. First, order a cleanout kit and fill it with everything you are willing to sell and send it off. You will then be notified by email when received and how much you’ve earned. They also buy children’s clothing! They have a gradient scale of how much you earn depending on the price and brand of the item (ranging from 10%-80%).

This resembles more of an social setup, you first sign-up and create a profile (filling out shoe size, dress size, and brands you love) and are able to follow other “closets”–perhaps you like their style or are a similar size. Download their app and start uploading clothing images to sell. Once you list an item and it sells, Poshmark then sends you a pre-paid address shipping label to print out and send off and you keep 80% of the sale.

This is similar to Poshmark in that you list items directly online and only send out items (with a free shipping kit) when they are purchased. Tradesy takes around 9% of each sale.

A lot of re-sale stores do not take men’s clothing, so a site that solely takes men’s items is awesome. Create an account and upload a photo of the clothing item and you will be notified by email and Grail message when a question or offer is submitted. Once you agree on a price, you will then need to send off the items yourself.

Check out their websites for more details on what brands and styles they are currently purchasing and other specifics to their procedures. Keep in mind that a lot of these re-sale stores tend to buy pieces seasonally. But when it is all said and done, it ends up being an easy way to refresh your closet with the bonus of making some extra cash on the side. So whatever method you choose, it seems like a win-win to us!

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Spring cleaning: organizing kid’s art supplies/art room

Before the organization begins, you will need a child (or two), a few pieces of scrap paper, and a pencil sharpener. Have them go through all the markers by using the scribble test and toss any that have dried up or are goopy. It is also a great time to sharpen all colored pencils and toss any dried up paints & clumpy paintbrushes. Gather all the kid’s art supplies from backpacks, closets and anywhere else and plan to store them all in one practical location.

Playful storage for kids art supplies

Now onto the goods! Divide each art supply into separate categories and label the drawers accordingly. It is totally okay if you do not have enough supplies to fill each drawer, leave them empty until you find a reason to use them. A good rule is keeping one drawer per supply and not letting them overflow into multiple drawers—it will help to keep the clutter to a minimum and encourage kids to use what they already have. When it comes to storing kids art supplies, we wanted to keep it fun and playful, so we chose a large rainbow drawer set and added some labels to make things easy to find and put away. Side note: if you have younger kids (or even high schoolers ha!) you may want to store paint supplies out of their reach!

Organize the kids art room

how to store kids art supplies

We love a good #roygbiv organization, but it can be relatively hard for the kids to maintain, so having all the markers in one drawer is a win in our book!

compartment organization

These compartment inserts also make it easy to store glitter, sequins, or any other small accessories within the drawers. A more mobile option would be to create an art supply caddy. This is great for the essentials and can be stored in a closet where the kids can easily access it and bring it to the table or take it to a friend’s house. If you are short on space, an over the door shoe organizer (with clear pockets) for the closet can work great as well, just keep the kids supplies closer to the bottom so they are able to reach!

Whether you have a whole room devoted to arts and crafts or maybe just a closet to house supplies–keeping things organized, labeled and in their place will make for easier cleanups and more masterpieces to hang!

P.S. With all this organization and inspiration, it may be time to set up a place to display all the works of art that will be coming your way!

Follow Life in Jeneral on Instagram and Twitter for more organizing ideas!

{Shop here to organize the kid’s art supplies}


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Playroom Organizing Tips

We have seen our fair share of playrooms and it is safe to say that it is near impossible to have only 5 trucks or only 5 dolls. Holidays, birthdays, good behavior, whatever the reason, toys accumulate at such an incredible rate! With so many toys, kids can forget what they even have! The best storage options to get organized should make it easy for kids to find what they want and clean it up when they’re done!

Tips on organizing a playroom
Go through all the toys and toss anything that is broken, missing pieces, or doesn’t work. A good rule of thumb is when they receive a new toy or book, to donate an old one–so another child can enjoy it. Usually we love to make the most out of vertical space, but with a playroom it is important to keep everything easily accessible for the kids!

  • Keep categories together: trucks, legos, dolls, trains, wooden blocks, etc.
  • Depending on the space, designate cubby storage (various sizes) for each child or a larger one that can hold all the categorized toys
  • Organize books by color or type with the titles facing outward (car books, bedtime books, interactive books)
  • Label the bins/baskets with pictures (for kids too young to read!) and words
  • Use open bins for larger toys and stuffed animals
  • Use containers with lids for items with small pieces (so they won’t fall out!)
  • Games, seasonal items, and special occasion toys can be stored on a higher shelf, since they will be less frequently used
  • If you have a storage closet, this would be a great place to hang costumes and dress up attire. No closet? Hang a few hooks on the wall!
  • Use a collapsible storage bin with handle to make it easy to take toys over to a friends house or for travel
  • Make things new again by storing a handful of books/toys and rotate them every once and awhile (set a reminder on your phone to rotate every 3 months or so)
  • Define a space for creativity
    • Lego building prodigy? Organize and label pull out bins by color, with a tabletop for them to build and display their creations!
    • Love to draw? An activity table doubles as storage for supplies and has a table to create a masterpiece!
    • A less specific option is getting a short table (or coffee table) with storage underneath. This can work as a train table, space for a dollhouse, or a place to work on puzzles.

Regularly go through the playroom and toss broken toys or donate items that the kids have grown out of (or box up the special ones for younger kids/siblings). Have the kids organize and clean up with you, so they know the routine the next time they head to the playroom! The goal is to make things accessible, simple and easy to maintain.

Follow Life in Jeneral on Instagram and Twitter for more organizing ideas!

{Shop here for playroom organization}

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  • Hey! I'm Jen, founder of Life in Jeneral, and this is my blog (spoiler alert!). Here you’ll find tips on living an organized life textured with bits and pieces of other things I swoon over. Enjoy!

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