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  • Michelle Jones

Updated: May 18, 2022

Over the years I've come to love organizing garages. They tend to be large, but mostly uncomplicated, puzzles.

And a tidy garage,

👉one that is organized with cohesive systems and fits your car(s),

👉one you can walk freely in and know just which tote to open to find your seasonal decor, because it's clearly labelled,

… is extremely gratifying.



In this post, I'm sharing what I consider to be the 5 most important factors for an organized and visually cohesive garage.


#1 - When desiging your layout, Consider accessibility.

IE. If you have a small garage and you'd like to store your car it it, but it's a tight fit, then consider the space you need to open your car doors and keep that space open when creating your organizing plan.

You can still use the wall to hang items and add your shelving around it, like we did here:

(Shown:Rubbermaid Fast Track Rail and Muscle Rack)


#2 - Stick to the walls and go vertical (UP) when you can!

For tools, bikes and machinery, I love the Rubbermaid Fast Track system. For shelving, it’s Muscle Racks Metro Shelving or The Container Store’s Elfa system.


# 3 - Get matching containers for visual consistency and use labels.

I love the Sterilite containers with the purple handles and the Sterilite Latch and Carry line -I've found both at Menards and both are linked on my SHOP page.


A little tip I've learned over the years: If you organize and you do not label, you are setting yourself up to fail.


It may seem plain and obvious to you in the present moment, but if you fast forward 3 years: no label =

wondering, "what the heck did I put in that tote?";

"where can I find those furniture slides?" Who the heck knows!

Trust me on this: Labels are your friend. I prefer to use chalk board labels for consistency and ease of changing them as needed.


# 4 - Zone it out.

Keep your Lawn and Garden items together, your memento boxes together, your craft supplies and/ or seasonal decor together to avoid (or at least narrow down options) getting a case of the "where the heck did I put the..."-s!

When you have zones and your put like items together, its so much easier to find things.

Even if you -ahem- didn't put it back quite, exactly where it belongs, 👀 I see you.


# 5 - Finally and perhaps most important, Always keep the following question TOP of Mind: When and how do I use this?

  • Often? Keep it close.

  • Rarely? Store it up high.

  • Outside? Keep it near the garage door.

Sorted Garages happen between March 1st and May 31st, I'm currently booking for April 2022 - You can schedule your free discovery call here!


  • Michelle Jones

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

When you can open your closet and smile, because everything inside highlights your unique style and is displayed so nicely that it makes you feel like you’re shopping at your favorite boutique- That, my friend, is a curated closet. And anyone can have one!

Yes, anyone. I'm lookin at you. Now, In case you’re thinking, "That’s cute, Michelle, but my closet is outdated and awkward." or "My closet is stuffed to capacity and I actually feel a sort of tightness in my gut when I open the door because it's just so... much."

I hear you. And I’m Still lookin at ya!


So, what does it mean to curate your closet?

After all, fashion is art, so I believe it's appropriate to use an art world word - and you will never go to an art museum and find all the art that the curator "kind of liked" just thrown up there on the wall, hanging haphazard under the lights.


Nope. Definitely not! The pieces are selected carefully. They are hung under lights and with perfect symmetry. They have lots of room to breathe so you are not seeing anything except the art piece.


Your closet deserves the same careful care and selection.


If you're ready to be sure that your closet is only filled with things you wear and love, it's probable you're going to need to let go of a few things.


So pick a day or two, depending on the time you have available and the size of your closet and collection and schedule it. You probably want to set aside 3-6 hours each day - again, this depends entirely on you and your stuff.


It's a simple process, but we both know that simple does not mean easy. This will take some work, but it will be absolutely worth it! Are you ready to create a closet that makes you smile!?


Read on, my friend. Let's curate your closet.


ONE: PREP

Clear off your bed (and/ or couch, chairs, etc.) and tidy up your room. You're going to need a lot of space to pull everything out of your closet and sort it into categories.


You'll be determining what to keep, toss and donate, so it helps to get your supplies ready ahead of time. You might want some or all of the following:

  • a sharpie or colored post its and a pen

  • bags, boxes or totes for 5 categories: 01 toss; 02 donate; 03 "this belongs in another room"; 04 "maybe?/ I can't decide" and 05 sentimental items, not in use.

--->I prefer to use these lawn + leaf bags, because they stand tall, are sturdy for carrying donations and trash away and are easy to label with only a sharpie. You can pick them up at any grocery or hardware store or of course, just use what you have on hand.

  • coffee and/or water (if you're like me, maybe a mango flavored Monster Zero!)

  • music playlist - This is can be fun. You're clearing space for what you love and upleveling your closet design at the same time!

Start by getting your head in the right place with your motivational mantra statement, and maybe find an inspirational closet or 2 on Instagram #closetinspo ought to get you excited!


TWO: REMOVE EVERYTHING

Take everything out of your closet, starting with your hanging clothes.

As you pull out your hanging clothes, place them on your bed and begin to categorize "like items". This means: sleeveless tops, short sleeved, long sleeved, blazers, sweaters, jeans, etc.


Every category gets a pile.


Got a lone sweater vest? Categorize it based on how you'd wear it: IE as a tank (add to sleeveless) or as a layered piece (add to sweaters or cardigans).


Move on to your shelves and then finally the floor. With each section, don't stress over the items you're finding or whether or not they should be in your closet. Don't judge - it's counterproductive! Just get it out of the closet and add it to the appropriate pile.


At this point, it's probable that you'll start finding items that don't belong in your closet. DON'T leave what you're doing to put them away, yet!


Just put the item in a pile (or a box, tote or bag, if you prepped last night) for "items that belong in other rooms". Bonus if you have a box or bin for each room or for "upstairs/ downstairs" - whatever makes the most sense for your home + is easy.


When you're finished with your closet, you'll take the whole bag or bin to the appropriate room.


You're still in your room, right? Take a good look around you. How do you feel? Overwhelmed? Excited?*This is to be expected. Take a deep breath and then let it out, because you're about to get it Sorted.


THREE: RUTHLESSLY EDIT

Ready to let go of some things? Go back to the first pile you made and begin to really go through + examine your items.


This looks like:

  1. Touching the fabric - does it feel good? scratchy?

  2. Examining for stains and flaws

  3. Trying it on to assess fit + flatter of the item.

Questions to consider:

  1. Do I love this?

  2. Do I wear it? How often?

  3. Does it fit + flatter my body?

  4. Does it fit my style?

  5. Would I buy this again tomorrow?

  6. Is it dingy or mangled in any way?

  7. Does it have sentimental value?


If you answered "no" to 01-05 and the item is not sentimental, donate or trash the item. If you answered "yes" to 06 and the items is not sentimental, donate or trash the item. *If it is sentimental, there are posts coming soon to guide you through how to make hard decisions and another on how to store sentimental items.


BE RUTHLESS here. If you love it, use it and it checks all the boxes in the questions listed, put it back in the closet. Only the best of the best, should remain!


FOUR: PUT IT ALL AWAY!

You're almost done and I am so proud of you for committing to making your closet a place that highlights your unique style! By this point in the process, I hope you're feeling really great and proud of yourself.


OK, now it's time to put everything back in the closet. You don't want to be living in a mega mess! This part is important both for navigation and for ensuring you're sorted in style. Do the following and you will immediately level up your closet.


Shirts organized by type and then by color.

As you hang your items back up, hang them by type (aka the piles you made): left to right and short to long. *If you're left handed, you may want to do this right to left.


Then within each type, sort by color. I like white/ gray/ black/ r/ o/ y/ g/ b/ i/ v and I keep patterns together within their dominant color group. And of course, this can vary by preference.


Organizing by color alone will result in a visual disaster, so always use color coding as a 2nd strategy. The first should always be "type" or "like items". Besides, I'm willing to bet you don't wake up and think, "I'd like to wear orange today!" But you may think something like, "Hm, I'll wear my black cropped pants with my new black cardigan and a sleeveless top... maybe the orange one!"




All right gal, now you know how to curate your closet to showcase your unique style by only holding onto only what you love and by displaying it w/ organization and style.


If you struggle with this or if you think it sounds amazing but you don't have the time for it, consider scheduling a Free Discovery call to see if working with Sorted's All Inclusive, Done For You Organizing service is what you need to finally get the curated closet you've always dreamed of.


I've also mentioned your unique style a few times here. I wrote an entire blog post on how I finally discovered mine in my early 30's. You can read that one here!


Finally, a BONUS:

If you take a before and after photo of your closet and email them to me at hello@sortedorganizer.com, I'll answer any questions you have about what to do next or how to work out any kinks. I'm here to help!

  • Michelle Jones

Updated: Jul 28, 2022


Let's talk about this word, MOTIVATION:


The word itself and our association to it trips us gals up. I experience it e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y. You say,


"I'm just not motivated."


"I don't know how to get motivated."


"How do I stay motivated?"


Sound familiar? As if it's some sort of ethereal force outside of your grasp? I've gotta tell you, it's not.


You're most likely psyching yourself out based on your (real or perceived) lack of desire to do the thing... and I totally get it. We all face moments - sometimes moment, after moment, after moment - when we resist the tasks before us.




Here's the thing though: some of those tasks are essential to: keeping your family well, keeping your job, keeping up on your personal health, etc.;

The tasks you're resisting? They still need to happen.


Read on and learn my favorite exercise for finding that force within you that will propel you to keep moving forward.


First, let's define what it means to be motivated:

Motivation is the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

That's it. The reason. I know you've got one of those. Let's find out what it is.

(I call this Motivational Mad Libs.)


Don't over think this + be honest with yourself:


01 - How do you feel when you look at your messy space?


02 - What do you dislike about it?


03 - Why did you decide to get your space sorted out?


04 - What do you like about your space?


05 - What pumps you up?


06 -What's the consequence of not following through with getting your space Sorted? How will you feel if you quit?


Grab a piece of paper, open up your notes app or click below to download your copy of Motivational Mad Libs and answer these questions. It works for all kinds of projects and procrastinations 😉.

I'm willing to bet that you're already gaining some clarity, simply by taking the time to unpack your thoughts around your "messy space".


Now for the fun and motivating part! Write out the following statement, using your answers to fill-in-the-blanks:


When I look at my messy space, I feel (ANSWER 01), because (ANSWER 02). I'm super pumped to (ANSWER 03) and to highlight (ANSWER 04)!

This is my mantra and my motivation. I'm going to (ANSWER 05) before I get started working on this project, every day for the next 5-7 days. I know I can do this and (ANSWER 06) is not an option for me. I'm ready to Re-Imagine my space and get it Sorted.


This is like unpacking something heavy, in the lightest way possible. It all begins by creating more attention and awareness to what's causing our thoughts, actions, reactions... and what we can do about the way it all makes us feel.


Let's talk about our words, spoken and unspoken, and the effects they have on us.


Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. writes, in Psychology Today, that "What we control, and where we really start to create our reality, is in how we perceive/interpret/think about the events in our life that generate our feelings about those events, and how we subsequently respond with our behavior.


You have the power to change your thoughts.



When you create clearly worded guidance statements for yourself and you actually use them, you begin to experience how your thoughts can change your reality. You begin to find that your hyperbolic, self deprecating thought + speech patterns are showing up less and less and you will find, you are actually getting things done!


It's not always about wanting to do a thing in a given moment. It's about becoming aware of the reason you decided to do it in the first place + keeping that reason top of mind while you do it.





Even if you don't have the skill set, time, energy, etc., it's still beneficial to work the statements in order to identify your motives and prioritize your project.


Once you've done so, you have 2 options: you outsource OR you level up and turn your motivational madlibs into a daily affirmational mantra, until your task(s) are complete.




You can do the exercise again and again. Your feelings and motives may change. In fact, they will change. That's why I included this download, so you can come back to your statement and tweak it as many times as you need!












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