Operation Organization in Ten Minutes

When we think of undergoing an organization project in our home, we think of it as a daunting, long task that will take up a lot of our day. While organizing areas in our house, the mere thought of beginning these tasks can influence us to procrastinate. However, what if you could organize areas in your home in only ten minutes We all have ten minutes in our day to spare. While this may seem too good to be true, you would be amazed at how much you are able to accomplish in your home in just ten minutes. Now, you will need to stay focused and keep moving, but with our Ten Minute checklist, you can quickly get your rooms reorganized. Here is our Ten Minute Checklist to help you reorganize areas in your own home:

Break Larger Projects into Smaller Tasks

Some tasks can be very overwhelming at first. Maybe you want to organize your bathroom, clean a closet, or declutter your garage. These larger tasks can take time. Try to look at areas then break them into smaller projects. For example, maybe you have been procrastinating organizing your bathroom for some time. You have clutter drawers, unfolded towels, and toiletries that have no designated homes. Instead of tackling everything at once and deep cleaning the room, try to find a more obtainable task. Tell yourself you are going to organize one drawer every day. Using this simple tactic is a great way to start making some serious headway on big projects.

Declutter

When you find the task that you are going to accomplish, start by decluttering. A cluttered drawer or closet can visually be overwhelming. Pull everything out of the space you are working on cleaning. By spreading the mess, you can quickly identify what goes where. Since clutter is one of the main visual intimidations that prevent us from starting a task, you can begin by decluttering the area that you are more likely to accomplish.

Trash/Donate

Once everything is pulled out, decide what trash is and what will stay. By eliminating items and belongings that were once cluttering the area, you will be able to put the area back together into a more organized look. Decide if any things are no longer of value to you. Maybe they are still valuable and worth donating to others. Some items may just blatantly be in the wrong spot in your home.

Organize

Lastly, with your time remaining, put everything back into your drawer. Using bins or baskets is an easy way to organize belongings. Return everything to the original spot in a more focused and organized manner. You will be surprised what some focus and ten minutes can accomplish!

Do you have areas in your home that demand attention Try this organization checklist to help get you started. You will be amazed at what you are able to get done in ten minutes. For more great tips, visit us at Fulton Homes.

Design Center: Pot filler

4 Pot Filler Design Center 016Would you appreciate never having to haul a heavy pot of water between your sink and range again? If you enjoy pastas, soups and stews, you may find that a pot filler reduces back strain, prep time and makes meal preparation that much easier.

Even your largest pasta pot will fit under this faucet. Its hinged design means that you can push it out of the way when you don’t need it and grab it easily when you do. Whether you use it to fill large pots or just add water to your saute pan to slow down the cooking, this pot filler will save steps.

By adding metallic tiles to the backsplash, this pot filler is well integrated into the kitchen’s design. The structure allows you to pour water as needed for any pot or pan on your stove.

Are you not sure how much you would use this? Try an experiment. Put a post-it note above your stove and jot a check for every time you fill a pot, pan or kettle with water from the sink before you bring it to your range. You may be surprised at how often you could save yourself the steps if you could access water right at your stove. Now, multiply that by 52 – and don’t forget to factor in holidays, parties and family gatherings which will only add to the sink-to-stove trips. And don’t forget that all those trips include hauling heavy pots filled with water around!

Well, is it worth it for you? A pot filler may be one of your smartest kitchen features!

Home Tech Center Keeps Life Organized

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Fulton Homes Starlight Model

As we become more and more connected to the outside world through numerous devices, our homes need to make adjustments to fill the requirements of today’s lifestyle.

In many homes, the opportunity to charge phones, tablets and laptops requires a shuffling of electrical outlets while ensuring that the morning rush doesn’t lead to leaving the essential communication tools at home.

At the same time, managing a home and family becomes easier if the home itself provides support for coordinating everyone’s briefcases, homework, and electronics.

Take a look at the Fulton Homes solution – a tech center that provides space to charge electronics, room for book bags and notebooks, and a center for other home administrative tasks.

All this space needs is a laptop to support online bill paying, homework Internet research, space for books and school projects, and a staging center for getting everyone out the door in the morning with a minimum of frustration and fewer searches for lost keys or other essentials.

Without a center like this, the kitchen often becomes the default center for the odds and ends of our to-and-fro lives. Mixing papers and books with breakfast can lead to spills and too many items unthinkingly moved out of sight in the energy of getting dinner or breakfast ready. With this tech-rich drop center, everyone can have the space to keep track of their own materials.

Consider adding an in-basket for every family member so that mail, homework assignments and other personal papers are contained in one place. Add a family calendar on the wall so everyone knows where they are supposed to be on any given day. Or make sure that everyone has their own drawer and files so that things can stay organized thanks to an organized space to work with in the home.

A Fresh Start on Organizing your Home: The Kitchen II

The large island with schoolhouse pendant lights, rich dark cabinets and light granite countertops combine to make this Fulton Design Center kitchen memorable.

The large island with schoolhouse pendant lights, rich dark cabinets and light granite countertops combine to make this Fulton Design Center kitchen memorable.

If you’re ready to organize your kitchen but are hesitant to engage in an all-out full-day redo, you can take baby steps that will leave you with a fully organized and functional kitchen. The following can be accomplished over a number of days or even weeks.

  • In a corner of your dining area or somewhere near the kitchen but still out of your way, place a large wastebasket and a box. These will hold your discards and giveaways.
  • Begin with one cabinet or drawer. Take everything out, wipe it down and put in new shelf paper if you desire.
  • Only put back those things that you want to keep there in the future.
  • Take a look at what’s left and discard or give away whatever you can.
  • Put the remainder on a corner of your countertop. If you want, you can stop here until the next day.
  • Choose your next cabinet based on what remains on your countertop. Which one is the logical place to put the bulk of what you have there?
  • Empty that cabinet and continue as before, wiping the shelves down and replacing what you feel belongs there, including those things that are currently waiting for their new home on your counter.
  • As you continue around the kitchen, are there certain groups of items that never seem to have a place? Perhaps you need to designate a specific cabinet or space for them. If they aren’t essential for your kitchen, consider another location such as the laundry room or garage.
  • Once you finish, do you still have leftover items on your counter? It’s time to decide whether you really want to keep those things or if they go in the giveaway box or boxes.
  • As you work, keep thinking of your specific needs rather than trying to follow arbitrary rules. For example, the bookshelves on the end of the island may be designed for cookbooks, but they may work better for your family as cubbies for the kids to put their homework and books for school the next day.

Yes, this process leaves your kitchen a bit up in the air for a while, but once you’re done you will have a space that matches your functional needs, with nothing extra cluttering up the room. So it’s worth it to bite the bullet and deal with the disorganization for a few days for the benefits at the end – a kitchen that works!

A Fresh Start on Organizing Your Home: The Kitchen

One of the kitchens on display at the Fulton Design Center

One of the kitchens on display at the Fulton Design Center

At first glance, getting your kitchen organized may seem like a daunting task. Chances are that when you moved in your goal was simply to get unpacked and able to make meals. Even if you had some plan of organization at the time, actually using your kitchen can help you discover that some items need to be rearranged. You have at least two ways to tackle your kitchen. See which one appeals to you.

Complete do-over. This is a full-day project, preferably with at least one other person to help as well. To make this work, try the following steps:

  • Clear off counters, placing any decorative items in another room for the day.
  • Have a bag ready for garbage and a box for giveaways.
  • Empty every shelf onto the counters and dining table.
  • Dispose of anything you don’t want or use in either the discard bag or giveaway box.
  • Wipe down counters and add or change shelf paper if desired.
  • Place the “sure things,” those items you already have a good place for, in their cupboards.
  • Thinking of function and utility, rearrange the other cabinets & drawers.
  • Determine if you need baskets or other containers for some items, and measure the space to know the size. Make a list for an upcoming shopping trip.
  • Measure your drawers for appropriate drawer dividers – these help keep drawers in shape once organized.
  • Compare the space left to the items left. Can you make them work? If not, consider more discards.
  • Put your kitchen counter accessories back, or not. Analyze what you actually want back in your kitchen.
  • Celebrate by going out to eat – you don’t want to mess up your newly-organized kitchen right away!

In our next organizing blog, look for advice on the second suggested method of kitchen organization. It takes longer but is less overwhelming.

Set Resolutions for your Home in the New Year

10254941_SWhen you consider resolutions for the New Year, how about making some for your home?

Most people have things that they want to fix, change or add to their homes, so you could make 2014 the year that some of those dreams turn into reality. Here are a few examples.

Small maintenance tasks: A dripping faucet, weeds in the yard or even light bulbs that are burned out are easy to ignore but can be a constant irritant. Plan a day to fix those little frustrations that always seem to be postponed. Getting those done will make your home more relaxing.

Safety checks: Have you replaced the batteries in your smoke alarms? Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen? How about a complete first-aid kit? Are some rugs or cords tripping hazards? It won’t take long to make sure your home is as safe as you can make it. You can find tips for keeping your home hazard free on the Internet.

Organization: Don’t feel obliged to get the entire house whipped into shape. Instead focus on a few areas that are particularly challenging. Maybe you empty and sort-out your junk drawer, or get your gardening tools organized in the garage. It could be time to dispose of all of those old cleansers and unsatisfactory cleaning products under the sink that you never use. Every place you make more functional will add to your pleasure in your home.

Special touches: Have you wanted to add scented candles to your guest bathroom? Maybe one wall is begging for some art. Pick out one or two areas that feel unfinished in your home and resolve to add those items that will make it look and feel the way you want.

If you include your home in your resolutions for 2014, your home will see improvement and you will find yourself happier living there.

China Cabinet Provides Great Home Office Storage

A home office that’s visible from other places in a home, particularly one like this one in the Fulton Homes La Quinta model at the Oasis at Freeman Farms community, needs to look like residential space. Metal file drawers and other evidence of a working space don’t suit most homes.

One smart solution for home office storage comes from the dining room – with a full-size china cabinet. If you choose one like this piece in the photo, the glass distracts from the office supplies within the cabinet, and it looks elegant and appealing in this room.

A china cabinet can hold files, paper and office supplies, as well as current projects. Combined with the simple desk and leather chair, the space feels more like a study than an office. Add a laptop that can be put away when you’re finished, and you have a fully functioning office that still works well in this residential environment.

With the help of a wireless router, peripherals such as printers can be located in another room with every computer in the house able to access them. The laundry-room countertop provides a great location for central access – out of the way yet convenient.

Be sure to decorate your home office with the same care you use in the rest of your home. Placing a floor lamp in the room allows you to work with softer lighting than a ceiling fixture. Art and accessories finish this space and connect it with the rest of the house. Window coverings should be selected to minimize glare on your computer screen.

With just a little thought and effort, you can have a home office that is functional and still suits your home’s style.

 

Post-Holiday Organizing

You can make next year’s holiday season easier if you think through the process of clearing up after this year. Here are a few organizing ideas for this week.

Put next year’s holiday card list together: Go through all of those envelopes to make sure no one has changed their address in the past year, and see who you may need to add or subtract from your mailing list. You may also want to pick up some cards on sale so you’re ahead next year. If you’re not up for the post-holiday sales, check online for discounts on holiday products.

Let go of unused holiday items: Are you finding that some things in those holiday boxes never get out? If you are not using some of your holiday finery – whether it is home decorations or that snowman sweater that makes you feel stupid every time you wear it – get rid of it rather than packing it up for another year.

Consider a light upgrade: LED lights are safer, very pretty, and use much less energy. On top of that you can string many of them together without creating a fire hazard. It may be time to move on to this newer light technology. The cost of these lights keeps dropping, which means that there’s a good chance that the warehouse and discount stores will have even more reasonably-priced options next year. You may even be able to pick up some that change color – quite a sparky option for your front yard!

Pack and label holiday items: Do you have to sort through the ornaments to get to your holiday plates? Is it a struggle to untangle your favorite bead garlands every year? It may be time for a holiday intervention. Consider containers, packaging and effective arranging to bring you holiday cheer next year when you unpack everything again.

Make next year’s holiday a little bit easier by planning ahead this year, creating a merrier season for you in 2013.

School Organizing

Are your children well prepared as they start school or are you dealing with missing assignments and notebooks that seem to disappear every morning?

You can help your children stay organized for school by setting up personalized “lockers” at home. These can range from space on a bookshelf to storage containers or bins. Even a small file cabinet would work. By making sure school materials have an assigned place, getting ready in the morning will be less stressful. Here are a few hints to make this work.

Choose a good location. Your children are more likely to use the assigned space if they pass it as they walk into the house. Find space near the front door or inside by the kitchen and label each child’s bin or area so there are no arguments. It’s OK if they just dump their books and papers inside. At least they’re all in one place.

Have one bin for school supplies. This makes it easy for everyone to stay stocked up.

Make sure the spaces are large enough. If your kids run out of room, the overflow may end up on the floor or a counter near-by, which defeats the purpose. Remember that they will accumulate more materials as the school year continues. You may need two bins eventually – one for current work and the other an archive for past notes and papers.

Leave a treat in each child’s assigned spot for the first few weeks. A mini candy bar or a small toy rewards your children for putting their school materials away. Be creative to keep it surprising and exciting. After three weeks – the time it takes to make or break a habit – move to occasional treats.

Have a clean-up day once a month. This gives everyone the chance to get rid of papers or notes that they will no longer need or move some things to the archive bin, keeping the current bin under control.

Why not try this approach? With just a few steps, you can reduce the tension of tracking down school materials and make the school year easier and more organized.