Product of the Week: Luggage Rack to the Rescue

Designer Solid Oak Luggage RackWhen my mother-in-law gave us a Designer Solid Oak Luggage Rack for the guest room, I admit – I thought it was kind of a crazy gift. Even crazier than the ceramic chicken that she’d brought during her last visit.

I thought it was a strange thing to have, because last time I checked we didn’t have plans to open up a hotel anytime soon, and I’d only seen luggage racks during business trips. The only time I’d seen a luggage rack ins somebody’s house was during reruns of ‘Mr. Belvedere’. To tell the truth, it spent it’s first six months in our house buried inside the guest room closet. Read more

Qhick Tip: Getting Ready For Christmas

Holiday Card KeeperWhen I wanted to write about Christmas this week, I wondered if it was too early.Then I saw two Christmas posts on a couple of my favorite “intentional living” blogs and I felt like I was in good company.  So… onwards and upwards.

When you think about Christmas, what are the aspects that overwhelm you and stress you out?

For me, it’s not knowing what’s happening.

I’m a girl who loves a plan and I like to know who’s hosting the lunch and what I have to bring.

I also like to have clear in my mind what we’re doing about gifts and cards. Read more

The Organizing Tip That Will Change Your Life

Storage ToteSimple, but super: Never leave a space empty-handed.

Sometimes, it’s the simplest of things that can have the biggest impact on our lives. I know in my own life, in this fast-paced world we live in, it seems like there is never a time when something isn’t disorganized and out of place. Our homes, our cars, our offices, even our computers – they all have stacks, piles, bags and bits sitting around and cluttering things up with stuff that doesn’t belong.

Yet I’ve found one simple and proven way to take a powerful step toward streamlining your spaces and tackling your mess before it tackles you. That is to never leave a space empty handed. Read more

Tackling Photo Clutter

photo casesAre you saving photos of people you don’t know so you can pass them on to your kids…who also don’t know them?Are you keeping photos of places or events you have no clue about, so you can pass them on to family or friends…who also don’t have a clue?

Important Thought #1: OK, let’s start here. You are telling yourself that these old photos of people you don’t know are very important.
No, they are not. They are people you don’t know. NOBODY values those photos. Do you know why?


Spring Cleaning Tips From Rita Emmett

declutterHappy Spring (cleaning) time!! Are you ready to start your clutter-busting journey but don’t know how to begin?

When I first started, I knew I didn’t have the discipline or organizational skills to get rid of my stuff, so I asked my clutter-free friends for help. (You don’t want to ask your totally cluttered friends for help because they will just tell you to keep everything, right?) Different friends helped in different ways. Read more

Mail, Mail, Go Away! Easy Ways to Tame Your Mail Piles

letter_traysAs you may or may not know, I’m a contributor to FranklinCovey’s Get Organized Community, along with the likes of Dr. Stephen Covey (think: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). As a contributor, I recently answered a question about MAIL, and it’s so applicable to so many people, I thought it might benefit YOU.

>>>>>> Question < <<<<< Do you ever have those days when you barely have enough time to get your mail, much less sort through it? I do, and I’ve been having more and more of these types of days, which means my mail pile gets huge. Read more

Works for Me Wednesday: Do It Yourself Jewelry Organizer

jewelry organizer 2I had a nice long three day weekend for Christmas and was able to work on a little organizing project – check it out!

I was storing all my costume jewelry in my top nightstand drawer in a couple of plastic organizers. While this method works great, it’s just not for me. If I don’t see it, I don’t wear it.

So I came up with a solution: I used a cork message board that was currently not in use (this metal message board would work great for a more modern look), stuck plain short metal sewing pins into it, and hung it on the side of my bathroom cabinet where I get ready for work in the mornings. The top two rows are for matching necklace and earring sets. Below are random earrings and pins. The hook on the side is for necklaces with no matching earrings, and the peg rack underneath (still waiting for my daughter to find two of the pegs) holds bracelets and watches. I even hooked a couple of pins over the nails on the top to hide them!

Do you have any DIY jewelry storage tips to share? Leave us a comment!

3 Quick Tips on Decluttering – How to Declutter Your Room in 15 Minutes!

ding-dongYour visitors are ringing at your doorbell rather enthusiastically, and you find yourself in a bit of a panic. If you are in a rush to organize and declutter your room quickly, read further for some quick tips on decluttering.

So here are 3 quick tips on how to declutter your room in 15 minutes flat.

Tip No 1: Bin It

People trip over stuff lying around on the floor. It may be items of clutter, it may be magazines, old newspapers, the children’s toys or play things. Whatever the item is in question, you’ll need to remove the culprit off the floor.

Scan the floor of your room and take 5 minutes to remove any clutter off the floor. If its rubbish or junk, then place these items straight in the bin for disposal. Read more

Declutter Any Room In Three Easy Steps!

sorting basketsWe’ve all faced it at one time or another – that room so cluttered with stuff that you don’t know where to start. Don’t be intimidated – the process is easier than you think! Whether it’s a cluttered kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or kid’s room, the process for decluttering is the same. I’ll break it down for you here in three easy steps:

Pick Up:

I start with baskets. The number and size depends on the room I’m working on. Let’s say it’s my bedroom. I start with two laundry baskets, one for throw-away, one for give-away, and an assortment of smaller baskets (or boxes – whatever’s on hand). Read more

15 Minute Project – Hanging Sewing Organizer

sewing-organizedMake your own hanging organizer on the cheap! All you need are skirt hangers (the kind with clips), a small bag or tote for accessories, and a foot or so of closet space.

1. Lay out your fabrics, fold and clip onto the hangers. Tiered hangers are even better, taking up the least amount of space by taking advantage of vertical space.

2. Find a bag or tote Read more

5 Steps to Shoe Storage Success

vintage-shoesAre your shoes taking over your room? Do you have trouble finding the ones you’re looking for when you’re in a rush to leave the house? Do you have duplicates that you seldom wear taking up valuable real estate in your closet? By following a few simple steps, you can get your shoes organized and learn to keep them that way. It’s just one more step toward a stress-free morning routine – and who couldn’t use that? Read more

How I Reduced My Closet 50%

closetI am a master at impulse shopping for clothes, and then wearing something only once before it sits in my closet for years. Parting with clothes has never been one of my strengths. I know it’s illogical to own something for that long without utilizing it, but I always stump myself with the question, “But… what if someday I do want to wear this?” Come on, I know I’m not the only one who does that!

I just moved into a darling new downtown apartment, with lots of old fashion charm, and very old-fashion closets. Small closets, that is. My previous 6-foot long closet was packed wall to wall, so I had to do some painful – but necessary – purging in order to fit into the new one. Read more

Product of the Week: Baby Memories Box

Baby BoxThis may sound familiar to some of you moms and dads: it took my sister almost 3 years to pull together a baby book of her daughter’s first year.

Today’s busy parents have a hard enough time keeping up with the daily routine, so it’s no wonder that the keepsakes album gets put off until well into the toddler years, if it happens at all!

The problem with the traditional baby book, my sister found, is that it only holds 2 dimensional items. Read more

Product of the Week: Mario Batali Lunch Totes

batalitotes“Dear Mario, Your Lunch Bags Make Me Swoon!”

I used to carry my lunch in one of the many plastic grocery bags cluttering the cabinet under my sink, but ever since I started using reusable grocery bags, I ran into a little problem – no more lunch bags!

I may have outgrown my cutesie lunchbox, but I’m definitely not too old for a chic and class lunch tote. Read more

Space Treat: Clutter to Cash

iMacThank you to all who wrote in with congratulations and good cheer regarding my feature in last week’s Daily News! The writer, the photographer and the featured woman, Lisa, were absolutely delightful to be with so I had a blast doing what I love most – digging people, just like you, out from underneath their disorganization.

And since the focus of the article was about turning your clutter into cash, I thought I’d follow up today’s Space Treat and share the best tips for creating a successful listing on-line that sells!

Here you go: Read more

Making the Most of Your Cabinet Doors

small-kitchenI’ve lived in a lot of houses over my lifetime and I’ve had to deal with a multitude of different storage challenges, but the worst by far for me is a too-small kitchen.

I have always loved to cook and bake. I have a crock pot, a bread machine, a stand mixer, a blender, a food processor, a mini-chopper, an electric grill, a coffee maker, a toaster oven and a microwave oven to contend with in my kitchen. Plus a host of bake ware, serve ware and pots and pans. Just the standard stuff. 🙂

When storage space is at an obvious premium, unless you want to store the new juicer in the linen closet, you have to think outside the box. Read more

Product of the Week: Triple-Duty Bench – Part 1 of Our Multi-Tasking Furniture Series

StorageOttomanHave a look at my new weapon in the battle against clutter at home: Multi-Tasking Furniture!

My definition of multipurpose furniture is anything that does double or even triple-duty work to simplify your life. Pieces like this Storage Ottoman are a great place to start if you’re looking to eliminate space-wasters and get organized.

Don’t underestimate its storage abilities, here’s a list of everything I was able to get off my tabletops and shelves: Read more

Space Treat: It Pays to Open Your Mail. Literally.

mailSeems like as far back as I can remember, a common inaction among my wonderful clients, is that they just don’t open their mail. For whatever reason (and there are many), they let it pile up on counter tops, boxes, drawers and even in shopping bags. I know some of you out there are relating.

Trust me, I really do understand how overwhelming dealing with mail is. Although it’s quite easy for me and does actually give me a great sense of accomplishment, I deeply understand how painful it can be for you and my clients so I write this with complete and genuine empathy. Read more

A Few Of My Favorite Things, Part II

Eva threw down the gauntlet last week, and I can’t say no to a good challenge! So it’s with this in mind that I bring you my list of favorite things (aka organizers).

Of course, in order for an organizer to make THE list, it has to be willing to give me 100%. I’m talking double and sometimes triple duty! I own and have used each of these items for at least 2 years, and each has exceeded my expectations. Read more

Organizing Fever

organizeOk, so the plan was 5 minutes a day, right? Well, recently this strange phenomenon has overtaken my brain. My “5 minutes” has turned into several days of wanting nothing but to clean and organize and rearrange everything in sight!

It happens only once or twice a year. Maybe it’s the idea of starting my New Year fresh. Maybe it was that my house had reached such ultimate grossness that I didn’t want to be home anymore– I don’t know. But I’m LOVING it!

To date, I have taken down all my Christmas decorations and stored them all in my shed in these moisture resistant Sterilite bins. Then I cleaned and rearranged everything in my living room. Read more

The Mighty Morphing Power Planner

binder(My title dates my kids, huh? lol!) For anyone who follows this blog, you know my love of sticky notes. Well, lately my system of sticky notes at work has morphed into something interesting.

I keep a my big work planner (a big black binder) open on my desk at all times. I have several sections for the different aspects of my job – projects, blogging, site banners, As-Seen-In items, information, etc. Read more

Space Treat: A Bag a Day Keeps the Clutter Away.

donationsWell, we’re deep into the holiday season now. I’ve been to quite a few parties and have more to come. Every time I arrive somewhere, I’ve always got gift in hand and so does everyone else. You know what that means, more stuff… and where is it all going? So even if you’re not hosting a party, you’re probably bringing some kind of gift through your front door this time of year. Read more

Paper, Paper and Still More Paper

pile-of-paperIf you’re ever going to keep up with all the paper in your life, you have to decide on a system and keep tweaking it.

Read more about how to deal with mail clutter and decide if my system will work for you as is, or if you need to make slight adjustments. I’m cool with that!

One of the biggest mistakes people make with organising paper is jumping to the filing instead of eliminating the source. Read more

Space Treat: Fresh Eyes

blossomEvery week when I meet a new client we start the session off with a house tour. Even if their initial priority is the home office, we’ll walk through the entire home.

This past week I met with a new client, Michelle. During her Phone Intake Consultation, we determined that setting up an efficient home office where she could store and access papers, schedules, mail, bills and files was her number one priority.
With that in mind we set out on a house tour. During this step we open all the closets, drawers and cabinets. There are 2 main benefits to the tour: Read more

Recycle Paper the Easy Way

I’ve always said that if you make something too complicated, it just won’t work, no matter how well-intentioned you are. That’s why it’s so important to make your systems easy, especially if you live with other people and you want them to live by your organising “rules“.
That’s true for designing a good flow for laundry in the home and also for recycling paper in the office. Read more

Clutter Control: Organizing Computer Passwords

passwordFor the longest time, I had the bad habit of creating usernames and passwords for different websites that I visited thinking, “This password is easy enough; I’ll remember it.” And for the first two or three, I did.

Then I started jotting them down quickly while I was creating them, only to misplace or accidentally toss them later. Read more

Where Did All These Shoes Come From?!

pile-o-shoesI did not know that a family of five could own so many pairs of shoes! I am always shocked at how many, and how quickly they pile up by the front door. And if you are one of the unfortunate ones (like me) who don’t have an entry way at the front of your home, the shoes wind up spread across half the living room if they aren’t kept in check. But how? With no entry way, I’ve had to get creative with our shoe storage.
Here are a few ideas: Read more