Thanks to social media and reality TV, professional organizers like Marie Kondo and The Home Edit have become famous from their art of home organization.
Professional organizers make it look easy for our Bay area customers to organize their homes, but sometimes it’s hard to get started…and even harder to keep up. We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be.
The benefit of home organization is that it saves you time, money, and energy if done right. So today, we’ll help our customers across Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area jump-start their home organization goals, all while saving energy and maintaining an efficient HVAC system.
Does it feel like you’re always doing laundry? The never-ending pile of dirty clothes takes a lot of time and effort to manage, and once the clothes are washed and dried, it’s usually time to fold, put away and wear them all over again.
One of the easiest ways to organize your laundry is to use a laundry sorter versus a traditional hamper. Sorting your clothes into separate bins helps you organize by whites, darks or towels, while also helping your laundry room, bathroom or bedroom feel clean and tidy. See examples of laundry sorters from the Container Store or the Home Depot.
To save on energy use in your home, only wash clothes and towels when your laundry bin is completely full. The larger your loads, the less wash cycles you’ll run, and the less home energy you’ll use over time.
Try giving your hot water heater a break by washing laundry on the cold or cool setting, which saves energy. We recommend washing and drying clothes in the evening when it’s cooler in Florida—especially as the weather starts to warm up. Doing laundry in the evening cuts energy costs and even helps your HVAC unit not work as hard to cool your home. (The mix of a hot house and a hot washer and dryer is something you should always avoid.)
Contact Air Care for more energy-saving HVAC tips.
Just like its name, your living room is the most “lived in” room of your house, condo or townhome. (If you don’t count the time you spend sleeping in your bedroom, of course). Compared to other rooms, the average person spends more than 20% of their time in their living room. Because of this, it’s easy for it to feel untidy and unkept.
To help you get organized, take time at the end of each day for a quick tidy up your living room. Have places to store clutter and items you use frequently. A few examples include a storage basket or ottoman for blankets; an entertainment center for technology (players, DVDs/Blu-Rays, speakers, etc.); storage side tables for remotes, coasters and magazines; and if you have young children in your home, storage cubes or baskets for loose toys.
In addition to storage, consider adding indoor potted house plants to boost your home’s aesthetic and freshen up your space. Pothos are popular plants for Clearwater-area homes and can easily be found at your local nursery or home improvement store. See tips on great house plants from Good Housekeeping.
Always make sure your storage bins, plants, rugs and furniture do not block HVAC vents, which can restrict airflow in your home and cause your AC unit to work harder. You should also clean your air vents regularly to make your home feel tidier and promote energy-efficient cooling and heating in your home.
When the weather is chilly outside, keep plush blankets in baskets close by to cuddle with instead of adjusting your thermostat to a warmer setting. This will help you save on HVAC costs throughout the Florida winter months and as you cool your home all year long.
Keeping a neat kitchen can be tricky when you prepare meals and wash dishes daily. However, we have a few tips that can make your refrigerator and pantry feel more organized, all while uncovering energy savings for your home and HVAC system in the process.
First, start by creating a simple meal plan for the week. Not only can this save you time and money, but a meal plan helps you simplify grocery shopping, especially if you use common ingredients across breakfast, lunch and dinner. Common ingredients are also easier to organize in your refrigerator or pantry. Consider investing in clear storage bins in various sizes to better see the foods in your fridge and prevent food rot. See Good Housekeeping’s “Best Ways to Organize Your Fridge” for more ideas, and watch the video below on “How to Organize Your Fridge and Pantry” with Joanna and Clea from The Home Edit.
You can even organize your refrigerator with “lunch bins” or “dinner bins” to keep meals extra efficient with grab-and-go options. This will also minimize the amount of cold air that escapes from your fridge when opened multiple times throughout meal prep.
We recommend cooking several meals together on a “prep day” each week to help you plan for weeknight dinners. These ready-made meals will help you save time cooking dinner after a long day and prevent you from using your stove or oven as often, which uses a lot of energy. It will also lead to lower HVAC cooling costs versus combating the heat of a stove or oven each day.
If your AC has trouble cooling your kitchen during cooking, contact Air Care today.
With the rise of remote work in the last few years, more and more Clearwater and Tampa Bay area residents are working from a home office (kitchen table or converted corner of a room). According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa Bay also ranks in the top 10 for best places for remote work.
This change in the way we work has led to an increase in energy bills, AC cooling costs and the need for more home organization.
A simple way to organize your home office is to declutter your workspace from paperwork, excess office supplies and power cords. Start by scanning important documents onto your computer and use a digital device—like an external hard drive—to save the files. Always keep a backup copy in your company’s preferred online/cloud storage system, and shred papers with sensitive information before disposing of them.
As with other rooms in your home, invest in storage baskets, bins and containers for office supplies. You probably don’t use your tape dispenser and stapler every day, so store it instead. An office without filing cabinets and loose papers will also help you feel organized once again.
For more tips, watch the video below featuring Marie Kondo on How to Tidy Your Home Office.
It’s true that remote employees use a lot of energy at home, but there’s something you can do about that. Instead of powering on and off your devices manually, invest in smart plugs or power strips that can do it for you. Smart plugs and power strips work with other smart devices, like Amazon Alexa or Google, and will also arrange your cords to help your office technology feel more organized. See the “Best Smart Plugs and Power Strips for 2022” on PCMag.com.
Just like your living room, make sure your office furniture doesn’t block your air vents. Your home office may already feel warmer, since your devices emit heat when used regularly, so HVAC maintenance and repair is crucial to a cool home and office.
Contact Air Care to schedule a system tune-up or service appointment.
It may be tempting to overlook garage organization, but with a few simple adjustments, your garage can be just as organized as your living spaces.
The easiest way to organize your garage is to purchase shelving units or storage containers. Start by separating each item by its use, such as holiday decorations, sporting equipment, winter or summer clothes, etc. Then, choose clear storage bins—so that you can see the items inside—and label them accordingly. If you’re using shelving units, be sure to purchase the same sized bins to fit on the shelves.
The garage is often the hottest “room” in your house, yet it’s the place we store many of our valuables we don’t access as often. If your garage is too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer, it may lack adequate insulation. Take the Duke Energy home energy check to learn more or consider installing a garage fan to protect your valuables.
Once your home is organized, try your best to keep it neat and tidy. The best way to stay on top of it is to clear clutter daily (10 minutes), wipe down surfaces weekly (10 minutes per room) and deep clean and organize monthly (30 minutes per room).
Your HVAC system is often overlooked in this process, but we’re here to help you keep it organized, too:
- Schedule bi-annual HVAC maintenance. We recommend servicing your AC unit twice a year with a HVAC system tune-up. Contact Air Care to schedule yours today.
- Keep track of when you change your air filter(s). We recommend checking your AC filter every 30 days to ensure it’s clean and free of excess dirt and debris. If it’s time to change it, swap with a new one and mark the date down in your planner or a piece of paper taped on or around your indoor air handler.
- Clean your air vents. Like the surfaces of your home, clean in and around your air vents regularly. Don’t use harsh chemicals, just a soft cloth to remove dust and dirt.
- Check your drain line. The AC condensation line can sometimes get clogged in between maintenance appointments. If this happens, use a mix of one-part water and one-part vinegar to clear any clogs. Contact Air Care for more serious drainage needs.
- Remove foliage. Clear any weeds, leaves or plant growth in or around your outdoor condenser unit.
- Organize AC supplies. Use a bin or container to store HVAC system supplies, such as cloths or old towels for cleaning, air filters, AC paperwork, and more. Store in a moisture-free place.
Above all, be sure to contact your Clearwater AC professionals at Air Care for all of your AC service needs, including repair, maintenance and total system replacement.
“I know that calling Air Care will be the best choice I can make for the maintenance of my air conditioner. They are always reliable, friendly and efficient when they are dealing with AC repairs. I will always use them for future repairs and replacements.” – Passell of Seminole, FL
Contact Air Care today. We proudly service Pinellas, western Hillsborough and southern Pasco County homes.
NyTimes.com: Professional Organizers, Productivity Clutter
GoodHousekeeping.com: Best Ways to Organize Your Fridge
ABCactionnews.com: Tampa Bay businesses plan on more work from home opportunities post pandemic study finds