These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

By Susan Stone http://susanstoneorganizing.com/

How much do I love my organizing tools? Let me count the ways! I had a hard time narrowing down my personal list of favorite organizing tools so I decided that I had to limit myself to ten “must-haves” that go above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis.

This list could go on and on – but here are my top 10:

  1. Smartphone – This is my hands-down “if you could have one thing on a deserted island” choice. From using the apps for visual time reminders to those that help you get off junk mail my phone is my #1 organizing tool.
  1. Brother Label Maker – This handy sized label maker is always in my bag (along with extra batteries and tape cartridges). No matter what you need to label – the crisp type gives a professional, clean, and organized look.
  1. Staples’ ARC Notebook System – This note-taking and paper calendar system allows you to move pages around with ease and is customizable for your needs.
  1. Command Hooks – Hang just about anything without leaving a hole in the wall. Great for going vertical, I love to have a selection of sizes on hand.
  1. NeatDesk Desktop Scanner and Digital Filing System – If you’re interested in making your life paper-free, this is a worthwhile investment.
  1. Banker’s Boxes – Essential for sorting items, easy to move and store, and great as a temporary hanging file holder.
  1. Colored sticky notes and black sharpies – I love using the bright colored stickies for labels, reminders, and so much more.
  1. Matching velvet hangers – Using these makes not only makes a closet look more organized, but their thinness gives you more space. I use black for my current clothes and red ones for new items that I’m still considering so that they grab my attention before the “return by” date hits.
  1. 3-ring binders and page protectors – These are wonderful for storing and organizing recipes, stuff torn out of magazines, warranties, and other bits and pieces of info. The page protectors are great forholding onto odd-size papers.
  1. Ziploc Plastic Bags – From snack size to XXL ventilated storage bags, these are great for corralling stuff everywhere – from purses to workshops.

About Susan

Susan Stone is a Certified Organizing Coach and Certified Professional Organizer who helps over-stressed and over-whelmed people create order in their lives to make room for joy. read more

Be Prepared Before You Hit The Road

Tricia Nelson Finely Functional Home Organizing

In my last blog, I discussed seasonal preparedness for your car, but what about the day-to-day? In this blog, I’ll discuss items that make our cars function well.

Shopping items – bags, coupons, gift cards, oh my!

We’ve all purchased cloth shopping bags with the intention of using them each time we go to the store….but….how often do we leave them behind? To avoid purchasing these on multiple visits (and amassing more than you’ll ever need), as soon as you unpack your groceries, return the bags to a designated space in your car. This is key and it may take a few fails before you form the habit, but you’ll be used to it in no time! Why not also keep your coupons in the car. There are all sorts of great coupon organizers on the market, many of which fit nicely into the pockets of a handy trunk organizer. Speaking of trunk organizers … I’ve even seen some that have a built in cooler, such as this one. read more

Kitchen Harmony: How to Organize Your Kitchen for Maximum Soul

Erika Salloux Living Harmony LLC

We often hear “You are what you eat.”  I’m going to take you a lot further today, and say that not only is this very true, but we are also how we eat and where we eat.  So when we order our kitchen and regularly engage in certain food practices we order ourselves and consequently generate more harmony in our lives.  Here are the top eight tips that my clients find most helpful when I work with them to reorganize their kitchens to create physically and spiritually nourishing spaces: read more

How City Living Makes it Easy to Be a Minimalist

Cheryl Russo, Organizing by Cheryl

By now you’ve probably heard the term “minimalism.” There are books, blogs, websites, magazine articles, and films dedicated to it. Maybe you have heard just enough to be intrigued and want to learn more about it. Maybe you’ve read about what it can provide in terms of less stress, finding direction, and focusing on what matters in life, and maybe that interests you. It definitely attracted me, and I’ve been reaping the benefits ever since I first learned about it. It’s something that once you’ve started, you don’t stop. You see everything you do through the lens of minimalism. You no longer just buy stuff; you have a method to purchasing. You think about each new item that comes into your home. You might even have a rule like, “if I buy something, then something that I have gets donated.” There are lots of resources out there for how and why to become a minimalist. read more

Too many tutus

I was shopping for baby presents and came across a cute book aimed at 1st graders, Fancy Nancy: Too Many Tutus, by Jane O’Connor. It caught my attention because it focused on tackling the overabundance of a particular favorite item.

Nancy is a young dancer who can’t fit new dance outfits into her stuffed closet. Over the course of the book, she learns to let go of some beloved, but outgrown, worn out and duplicate tutus in order to make room for the new ones. The book also includes a gentle lesson about sharing with friends and a younger sibling. read more

Everyday Orgnaizing

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®Upon returning home from getting my hair cut, I realized how many little things I organized. I can name 10 steps I took:

1. Hung up my keys
2. Hung up my coat
3. Put my gloves and hat away
4. Took of my boots and put them on the mat
5. Put my pocketbook away
6. Took my check book out of my pocketbook and put it back where it belongs
7. Put my book away (I brought a book to read at the hairdressers.)
8. Wrote my next hair appointment in my datebook
9. Tossed the hair appointment notice
10. Collected the mail and put it in it’s “to sort” location (I won’t go into the steps I took to process the mail. That’s a whole other blog entry.) read more

Value of Labeling

by Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
While on vacation I read an article on the plane about David Beckham.  Did you know he’s really into Legos?  While reading, I was reminded of a client of mine.  I helped her organize her son’s room and his large Lego collection.  He liked them sorted by theme, so we put different themes into different containers.  That action would have been futile unless we labeled them.  We labeled the containers in two ways, with words and stickers that related to the themes.  Labeling is an important part of organizing, because it clearly indicates where an item belongs, and reinforces where an item needs to be returned. Do you think David Beckham had his Lego containers labeled? read more

3 Simple Ways to Make Your House Guest Friendly

With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner now is a great time to scrutinize your home with the eyes of a guest. I have listed three rooms that are focal points while entertaining and can play a large role in hospitality:

1) The entry– Make sure it is clear and easy for people to move through. You do not want your guests to feel as though clutter is leaning in over them as they enter your house. Create a home for all your jackets and shoes, and set up an area where you can quickly hang visitors’ jackets. read more

The Simpler the Better

Receiving a thank you note in the mail is pleasant. It’s even more pleasant when you’re being thanked for something you didn’t realize would make an impact on the other person. This happened to me when I offered a simple organizing solution to a Realtor I had met at a networking event. She asked me if I had any ideas how she could keep all her real estate forms portable and organized. I suggested a portable accordion file. The next thing I know, I’m reading a very sincere thank you note that makes me smile. It just goes to show you, sometimes the simplest organizing solutions are the best solutions. In this case, find a good home for paper and things. read more

Gift cards, love ‘em or hate ‘em

Ahhhh, summer in the air brings high school graduations, college graduations, birthdays, weddings, even times to appreciate your staff – and that means gifts. Sometimes all those presents come in extremely small packages… gift cards.

Gift cards, in my opinion, are both a blessing and a curse. The reason I say this is because it is a fabulous gift to allow people to choose what they want. In addition, the cards are easy to mail and don’t require tons of boxes or wrapping paper to make them look like presents. They are a curse because people forget about them or lose them in piles somewhere in their homes. I’ve encountered this a number of times, not just with clients but also among friends and family. read more