Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 2/11/2019

So, you want to create a command center to enable your family to all be on the same page once in a while. The ideas online are as numerous as they are creative. Your supply list grows along with your doubt; maybe this wasn't such a good idea. As thoughts go, a command center is a great plan when you have several people on different schedules and many activities to attend. A command center doesn't have to be large to be effective. The size all depends on what and for how many people you need to keep track.

What to track

Common things you will see command centers track are:

- Weekly Menus
- Calendar
- Budget/Bills
- Keys/Leashes/Umbrellas
- Chore Lists
- School Bags/Homework
- Quotes

To keep the command center as simple and easy to use, limit the number of things you track to five or six. This way there is a better chance your household will adapt to using this tool and not be overwhelmed. 

Where to set it up

Most of the command center examples show them set up in and around the kitchen area. The kitchen is one place you know everyone in the house will at one time frequent at least once a day, hopefully. Other locations could be a small corner of shared space or even an exposed side of the refrigerator. A mudroom or entryway could work as a more substantial drop zone and command center. Anywhere that you know it will be seen and utilized will work. The key is to make sure the accessibility is appropriate for the entire household, keeping the age of all users in mind. 

How to put it all together

Now that you have a scope of the things you want to incorporate in your command center look around your home and see if there are items you can use before you rush out and start purchasing new things. Old clipboards and corkboards are great for hanging up and controlling papers. Use whiteboards for making menus, tracking chores or writing those inspiring quotes. Even old picture frames with glass can house an updated calendar page, and with a dry erase marker you can create your family calendar. Layout all the pieces on the floor before you hang anything up, that way you can play around with it before you commit.

Visit some open houses this weekend and look for places a command center would be useful. Contact your local realtor for a list of open houses.





Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 5/14/2018

The thought of trying to declutter your home could stress you out. If you put off the act of organizing, however, you could end up even more stressed out. Clutter in the home is proven to be a cause of stress. Not being able to find what you need can cause you to feel that youíre living in chaos. Thereís a few tips that you can take into consideration to help you declutter, destress, and get organized for good! 


When Planning Storage Solutions, Measure First


If you shop for containers and other storage organization tools first, youíll never know what will fit properly. Taking the time to measure things out and get the right size containers can help you to avoid creating more clutter for yourself. Measuring spaces helps you to come up with a plan for what your vision is for that space.


Declutter For Less


You donít need to go into a huge debt to declutter your home. You can shop at the local dollar store to find containers, hooks, and bins to help you stay organized. Organization doesnít need a lot of fancy tools. 


For Kids, More Is Better


When it comes to finding containers and bins for a childís room, more is definitely better.  Having many separate compartments really helps the kids to stay organized and find what theyíre looking for when they want it. 


A Junk Drawer Is Actually A Good Thing


You can actually keep that junk drawer or bin that you have in the house. A junk drawer is a great place for collecting items. Just learn to keep it organized. If you have a bin, make sure that you clean it out from time to time so that tons of things donít end up building up there in a pile. If you have a junk drawer, try to compartmentalize it with categories and separators for a ďlost and foundĒ or ďthings that need to be put away.Ē


Every Door Is An Opportunity


In your home, think of each and every door, cabinet door, or closet door as an opportunity to create more storage. You can hang things on the backs of these doors including spice racks, shoe racks, hooks for coats, and so much more. Donít miss out on a simple yet very effective space saver.


  

Create Zones


In each room, thereís places where the same activity is done over and over again. Creating zones helps to reduce clutter and increase organization. In the kitchen, for example, you probably have a dedicated prep space along with a clean up station. In bedrooms, thereís a place where you get dressed, throw your dirty clothes, and get ready for the day. Have everything that youíll need in each ďstationĒ or ďzoneĒ so that you can stay on top of being tidy.





Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 6/19/2017

Your attic; itís a great place for storing things that you need to keep out of the way for most of the year. Maybe a little too great. If your attic is anything like most peopleís it quickly has become overridden with anything and everything you canít quite let go of or donít know where to put. Perhaps itís overwhelming to even think about your attic. If you are ready to make your attic more organized or need an idea of where to start, keep reading. If you are planning a major overhaul on your disorganized attic consider breaking up the following tips over a longer span of time than just the weekend to avoid being overwhelmed. The process of sorting through the items that find their way to the attic can be mentally draining as well as physically. Start with a decluttering process. Create a blank slate by pulling everything out of the attic and get rid of everything you no longer want to hold onto. Holding a yard sale or donating items are both ways of giving things you no longer want a chance at a second life and keeping them out of the dump. This is also a great time to figure out what should stay in the attic and what can be moved to other places in the home. Some types of household goods are best not stored in an attic. Once you have settled on what will be staying create an inventory of what is left and create categories for the items you will be storing in your attic. Themes should become apparent such as Christmas ornaments and nostalgic items. Group these similar items together so the next steps will be easier. Now that you know what items are staying and what categories you have you can start thinking about storage arrangements. If you have been keeping everything in cardboard boxes or just strewn about consider investing in some plastic bins for safer storage. Plastic bins can help protect against any roof leaks or other unexpected damage. If you have enough vertical space installing shelving units will help maximize the space available in your attic and allow you to easily organize everything. Be sure to properly store things (Christmas ornaments are wrapped, documents are in file folders, etc.) and label each box accordingly. Designing a layout plan for where containers are placed in your attic will set you up for success in the future. Place lower priority items towards the back of your attic space and/or in harder to reach areas while placing more frequently used items in easy to reach areas. Extra steps for the dedicated: Create an inventory of what is in each box and number them, add this list to a home organization binder or somewhere handy to reference. This will allow you to know what is where in your attic and eliminate opening every box each time you want to find something. Color coding bins by their category and/or numbering them will allow for easy inventory creation and knowing which bins contain holiday decorations or seasonal clothes. While the thought of organizing your attic might fill you with dread taking the time to do so will allow you to create a storage space in your home that is stress-free and easy to access. With a clear plan in hand and spreading out your organization project over several days planning out your attic storage might even become an enjoyable task!




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Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 12/5/2016

Do you have countless pairs of pants, shirts and shoes? Do you ever wonder where you put that favorite top? Or why all of your pants fit in a certain space last month but they donít now? Closet struggles are common but there are ways to fix those problems. Here are a few favorite tips for making the most of your closet: Donate, Sell or Toss: First and foremost, go through everything in your closet. A good rule to live by is to get rid of anything you havenít worn in the last year (unless itís a specialty item such as a dress for a wedding). We tend to hold onto things that we hope one day will fit again or will come back into style but those are not wise ways to think when you are trying to optimize space in your closet. From there it is up to you what to donate, sell or toss. Organize: Next is to organize. Make piles of whatís left based on clothing type and then organize by color. This will make your life so much easier when it comes to looking for clothes. Youíll know exactly where each type of clothing is if you put them all together and if you categorize by color youíll always be able to find what youíre looking for. Systems & Layout: If your current layout isnít working for you then maybe itís time to reassess and purchase a new closet system. Simple systems can be found at many retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot. If you are looking for more intricate pieces and systems that arenít too costly then your best bet is IKEA. Consider adding a wardrobe or additional closet to your space if everything wonít fit in your current closet. IKEAís closets and closet systems are fairly customizable so you can choose for what works for you. Best practices: For drawers, fold clothing and stack vertically so that they are stacked from the front of your drawer to the back. This will allow you to see each piece of clothing in your drawers so youíll never need to dig through to find what youíre looking for. Clear storage boxes are perfect for shoes, belts and accessories. Youíll be able to see inside and wonít lose track of your stuff. Itís important to take into account the size of your closet, if you have additional space to add in other furniture for storage, and the type of system/storage that will work best for you and your wardrobe. If you have a lot of items that need to be hung or you just prefer to hang your clothes then you will want to go with a system that has more hanging space than drawer space and vice versa if you like to fold your clothes and store in drawers. Be mindful of your space and your stuff and youíre on you way to an organized closet.





Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 5/2/2016

Buying a home is still one of the best ways to build wealth. If you are looking to add value to your home without breaking the bank there are many projects that will increase your home's value for less than $1,000. One thousand dollars can go a long way when it comes to home improvement projects. If you think and plan smart your profit should outweigh your investment. Here are a few projects that will give you the most bang for your buck. 1. Organize Your Home Declutter your home by organizing closets, cabinets and pantries. Add bookshelves for more storage. Maximize space in the kidsí rooms by installing platform or bunk beds. A neat and organized home is easier to live in and shows better to potential buyers. 2. Make an Entrance Simply updating and replacing your entry door will spruce up your curb appeal. Not only will the new door look great it can also help save money. †Adding a steel door will save on energy. Most of the new steel doors are made to look like wood. A new door will cost approximately $400. 3. Install a Programmable Thermostat. Another way to save money is to switch from a manual to a programmable thermostat. Prices vary greatly on these thermostats but don't expect to pay more than a few hundred dollars for a high end model.††A programmable thermostat can save you†$180 a year in energy costs. 4. Update your Cabinets Cabinet hardware makes a huge difference on how new your kitchen looks. Simply update the cabinet hardware by installing new knobs and pulls in more modern metals and looks. Most large hardware store have a large selection of hardware you can usually buy a 10-pack for approximately $20. 5. No more Bathroom Blues Bathrooms can be one of the most expensive updates in a home. You can give a bathroom a quick facelift by replacing old tile. Vinyl tiles are inexpensive and easy to install or with ceramic tile can cost as little as $3 per square foot for material and installation.