Simply Savvy Guest:: 9 Easy Ways To Make Your Home Feel Nicer

Welcome guest Annie Traurig, Professional Organizer and founder of Live Simply by Annie.  I know you’ll enjoy these simple reminders that you can implement- love the space you’re in!

 {Live Simply by Annie}

Many thanks to Julie for having me here today. Before I launch into things, I should point out that the nine rules I’m about to lay down are nine of the most obvious ones out there. They aren’t secrets, and they won’t be things you’ve never heard before. Rather, they are guidelines you will be almost innately familiar with. So why write about them at all? Well, because we can all use a little reminding from time to time.


1. Make your bed

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your mom was right to nag you about making your bed, all along. Nothing is more transformative for making a room look neat and orderly than a made bed, regardless of the state of the rest of the room. Similarly, nothing makes a room look more undone than an unmade bed. Even if everything else is in its place, if your bed isn’t made, your room will look slovenly. It takes about 30 seconds, so just do it.


2. Do the dishes

An empty sink, free of dirty dishes, operates much like that made bed. Do the dishes and the whole kitchen will feel cleaner. Let them stack up, and the result will be an overwhelming “ick.” Find ways to make this chore less tiresome or grotesque for yourself. I, personally, am grossed out by the idea of touching all the dirty dishes. The solution for me? Rubber gloves. If boredom is your main gripe, try watching TV as you wash, etc.


3. Clear the counters

Counters play a large role in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. If your primary surfaces are nasty, chances are high that the entire room will feel that way. While it can be tempting to let things accumulate on them, make it a habit to regularly clear the counters of any items that can be put away elsewhere. Likewise, regularly wipe down the counters with a cleaner of your choosing.


4. Vacuum/ sweep the floors

Crumbs and dust under foot never feels or looks pleasant. Though it’s a small thing, clean floors really affect the overall sense of cleanliness of your space. When you take the time to sweep or vacuum, you’ll be amazed to see how much dirt you pick up.


5. Light a candle

Candles are on of my favorite ways to instantly improve the ambiance of your home. They work to combat any sketchy odors by adding a lovely scent into the air. I find that having one lit, even if you have other lights on, really adds a soothing vibe as well. Look around, smell lots, find one you love, and then treat yourself to it. Light, enjoy, repeat.


6. Buy some flowers (fake or fresh)

Flowers make any room feel nicer. Why that is I’m not quite sure, but I do know it’s undeniably true. Fresh flowers are obviously preferable because they’re, well, fresh. If money is an issue, I find that fake flowers will do the trick just as well. They work to inject a sense of color, energy and joy into your space.


7. Take out the trash

Overflowing trashcans are a serious no-no when it comes to cultivating a serene and clean home. Regardless if the trash is smelly or full of odorless tissues, the sight of a whole lot of garbage doesn’t look or feed good to surround yourself with. Take it out.


8. Do the laundry

This is important for two reasons. If you do the laundry you’ll have clean clothes to wear, thus, you’ll feel better no matter what space you’re occupying. Also, the sight of a brimming dirty clothes hamper is such a turn off. Make a schedule for laundry if needed to ensure that it gets done routinely.


9. Open the windows

When in doubt, air it out. Fresh air is one of the best cure-alls for any home that feels tired, stiff, smelly, anything really. Open them wide, and welcome that fresh breeze right in!


Thank you Annie! Be sure to check out her blog and follow her savvy solutions, design ideas, and organizing tips.


I love having fresh flowers and a made bed. What area can you improve on? What gives you a joyful feeling? Share with us.


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organize your space::tips to starting small

I hear it often, and feel the tension with comments; such as, I don’t know where to begin-  It’s overwhelming – I can’t get anything accomplished. I hear it from clients, from friends, and from readers– I can get that way too. My words of wisdom (following a big hug,  a deep breath, and possibly a brisk walk) is to start small.


I believe writing down your needs, making a list of things to accomplish, and then prioritizing these tasks is step 1 for success. But, even the visual nature of a long list can make you feel frozen and unable to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. By starting with a small task, you gain momentum and feel accomplished. I’m referring to things that are quick fixes, take little effort, little time, and little thought. The success of completing something small feels good, improves your mood, and the feeling of being stuck in a rut lessons. It’s true for me with most things…exercising, house-cleaning chores, meeting new people, networking….


I hope this post will encourage you to start small and pat yourself on the back every step of the way.  You’ll want to think about how to containerize and label, but to get going, just get going! Here are some GREAT project ideas to help you get started and hopefully will inspire you to see the bigger potential of each space. Start small, but think big and love the results!


Beauty clean-up: Get rid of old or unused beauty products that you’ve held onto, and wash your make-up brushes.


Simple and organized by, Made By Girl



Streamline your media: Pull out your CDs, DVDs, and games and make a pile of those you don’t use. Be sure to sell used media and make some $$! Replace in containers.


This look by Deliciously Organized, could be used to contain many things; such as, media and magazines. It’s flexible, functional, and stylish.



Kitchen container clean-up: Empty your storage drawer and remove unused and unmatched containers. Place remaining items inside one another for instant containers.


I {heart} i heart organizing and her organized, easy-to-find solution for kitchen items.



Sock and underwear drawer: If it’s a messed up mixture, just dump and sort the unused, unmatched, and too small digs. Replace by rolling underwear, and folding in matching socks. Make a note to get a drawer divider next time you are out.


This drawer in order by tatertots & jello shows you how having the right organizer, allows you to see your necessities–so nice.



Closet order: If your clothes are falling off the hanger, unbuttoned, and hard to find, take a few minutes to rehang, button-up, and color order your clothes. It makes a visual impact when you walk in your closet. If you need to purge unused clothes and store out of season items, divide your closet clean-up project into two parts- (1) purge session (2) order session


Tidy, fresh, and color coordinated.  Always perfect when it comes to Real Simple.



Laundry procrastination: If you’ve got the laundry room overload blues, here’s a few tips: Agree to fold for ten minutes, and then see what you actually accomplish-Just pull out large items like sheets and towels and see the pile shrink.  Also, wipe off the tops of the machines and counter to spruce it up. Trash the old, empty, and duplicate products-creating space and simplifying makes a huge difference.


The laundry room is one of my first rooms to organize, since I am in it daily. This transformation by Young House Love has to be worth it–simply lovely.



The list of ways to jump start your home organization is endless: email clutter, magazine clean-up, garage sweep, download phone photos, streamline dishware, silverware purge…I will be providing greater detail and tips for organizing each of these spaces and so much more. If you need even more ideas, see if the Simply Savvy Pinterest boards inspire you too.


Do you have a quick task that made you feel accomplished and simply happy? What tips do you have? If this kick-starts you to get organized, come back and share that too! Love to share back with readers.


If you need some extra help, submit your question for You Asked, I Answered.

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