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

Greeting Cards Organized in Hanging File Folders

A client of mine loves to give gifts and send greeting cards to friends and family.  She had been keeping her cards in several baskets but they were not in any order.  After sorting the cards into similar categories: birthday, holiday, sympathy and so on, and purging some cards that she no longer cared for (especially the free cards sent by charitable organizations as a thank you for your donation) we needed a way to organize the cards.

card drawer

The volume of cards was considerable so the card storage boxes that can be purchased at Hallmark would not cut it.  My client already had a two-drawer filing cabinet in her bedroom that was not being utilized.  After emptying the filing cabinet, we madefile tabs with her categories and put the cards in the hanging files.  This makes it much easier for her to see the collection she has and choose a card to send. read more

Real World Organization: Wall of Games

My husband and I have some friends who like games just as much as we do.  I’m talking about board games.  While this is a great hobby, it does create the need for a way to store a large volume of boxes and game containers.

Games.thumbnail

My friends created this awesome shelving system to store and display their games.  Long pieces of wood shelving were attached to L brackets attaching the shelves to the wall.  The open concept makes it very easy to see all the games that are available and easy to put away after playing. read more

Simple tips: Bathroom products

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by clutter and don’t know where to start? Sometimes just picking one type of item or one small area of a cluttered space and organizing that is a great start. Small organizing projects can usually be finished quickly, and it’s easier to focus on one small part of a big task than to tackle the whole thing at once.

I have a few simple tips that I’ve found make a huge difference for a lot of us. You might not find every single tip useful for your space, but I bet you’ll be able to take advantage of one or two. read more

Less is more

Because I am an organizer many people think I hate stuff, that I despise things and belongings.  When working with a client one-on-one I am able to dismiss this assumption pretty fast.  I don’t hate stuff and I do not disregard other people’s precious items.  What I try to help people see is that relationships and quality of life are so much more important than anything we own.  Organizing is often not about the physical stuff so much as it is about our perception of those things.

If disorganization, clutter or a lack of systems negatively affects you and those around you, you are being held captive by what you own and allowing it to control you.  This will cause stress in your life and ultimately your relationships.  Sometimes people have simply acquired more than their space can comfortably contain, but the belongings are relatively current.  Other times clients are drowning in an avalanche of memorabilia or things associated with memories.  This habit will hold you in the past, keep your present from being enjoyable and even your future from moving forward. read more

The One Month Cardboard Box Test from Peter Walsh’s book It’s All Too Much

In his book, It’s All Too Much, Peter Walsh offers a simple test to determine what kitchen utensils you are using and what can go:

Not sure what you use and what you don’t?  Here is a tried and true way to find out.  Empty the contents of your kitchen utensil drawers into a cardboard box.  For one month, only put a utensil back into the drawer if you take it out of the box to use it.  At the end of the month seriously consider discarding everything that’s still in the cardboard box.  Face it: If it’s still in the box after four weeks, you don’t need it! read more

Creating a Home Mail Center

We may not be sending handwritten letters to our friends anymore, but there’s always something still in the mailbox.  I wanted to give you three tips on how to create a home mail processing center.

1. Assign a home for incoming mail.  Whether it’s the corner of the table in the hallway or a paper tray on your kitchen counter, you need a specific, designated spot for the mail once it comes into your home.  Nothing else lives in that spot. Whether you process your mail daily, weekly, or whenever you get around to it, at least you know ALL the mail is right there waiting for you. read more

Spring Organizing Tips

Happy Spring! The calendar tells us it’s upon us, even though there’s still a bit of snow on the ground. However, I did spotted a robin on my walk the other day. I get inspired by spring, the bright yellow daffodils and crocus, the chirping peepers, the fuzzy pussy willows, and the return of the song birds. It encourages me to start something new and freshen up my space. What about you? If so, I’d like to share a few spring organizing tips:

1. While you’re getting out your spring and summer cloths purge those items that you didn’t wear last year and any items that are a bit too snug. Donate to a local charity or look into a consignment shop. read more

Does your space need a tune-up?

I suppose even a professional organizer can become stuck in a rut. A couple months ago I tried to stuff some unruly plastic bags back inside themselves under a deep kitchen cabinet. Suddenly, I asked myself why on earth I had not purchased a plastic bag sleeve? Then I asked myself why this imaginary bag sleeve was not hanging on the inside of my kitchen cabinet?

This solution, while so simple and intuitive, seems to have evaded me for the first year I have lived in my apartment. The irony is that in a client’s house I would have seen the same issue a while ago and made the proper storage suggestion. Why did it take so long? Even organizers can get stuck in a rut. We all do it. We are used to using our space a particular way. We are accustomed to viewing it a certain way. This means that every space, even one belonging to an organizer, needs a tune-up every once in a while. read more