National Magazine Seeks Organizing Tips from Real Women

Do you have a special organizing tip that helps you get organized and stay organized?
If you have something – a routine, a hint, a method for keeping your home neat and tidy – a national women's magazine wants to know! They are looking for fresh ideas from real women around the country.

Send your submissions to Leslie Pepper at LeslieLido@gmail.com by Friday, July 3rd. (BTW, pro organizers can submit as well, but keep in mind that only your name, city, and state will be included in the article, not your business name or website.)

Once your organizing tip is approved, you'll find out what magazine it is! And it's big…

Don't forget to share your ideas here! We'd love to know the scoop.

Reader Hack – Insight from Experience

lilyOh-so many of us try to "fill a hole" by purchesing stuff, only to learn the hole remains.
Our Son (42) passed away 2 years ago. Except for buying what do not need, I don't remember much else in these 2 years.

Now it makes me sick when I look at piles, knowing that they need to be somewhere else beside the floor! When we go out, I hate the thought of coming home. Read more

Reader Hack: Re-use Boxes

kleenexI used Kleenex lavishly to keep after my kids messes and saved the empty boxes. I cut open the top leaving a half inch all around and then stapled the ends for added strength. I made (or had my older kids make) large labels for the box ends. These fit nicely on most bookcases and have made wonderful free organizers.

I used them for sewing notions, household items such as batteries, tape, glue, string, hair accessories, dog "things", tools, workroom items, such as sandpaper or paintbrushes, also for craft items and kids supplies such as pens, pencils , crayons, etc. the list is endless. Read more

Reader Hack: Homework Help

file_boxesHomework Clutter? I have two kids that get notes, homework, permission forms, etc and they used to be all over my kitchen island. They were mixed up, and I usually forgot things, which is a pain.

I now have two plastic magazine holders, one for each girl. When they come home from school, they put all their homework, agenda, papers, etc into their own holder. After dinner we look through to see what needs to be processed for the next day. Once the item is complete, it goes into their backpack.

If the bin is empty, there is nothing to do re: homework or school stuff.

Hope I helped.

Submitted by Lisa

Overwhelming Clutter

lav_flowerThis was submitted by Linda Kessel. It's not really a reader-hack, but I figured she needs an answer.

I'm at the end of my rope, looking at the clutter in my home and unable to ever catch up. I'm disabled and I physically can't move the mess. My partner recently underwent back surgery so he's not able to help. The mess is overwhelming, and all my counselors can say is to pace myself. But at this rate, I'll never have a comfortable home to live in. Please, I NEED HELP!!!

Linda,

There is something to be said for pacing yourself and having patience. But I understand your frustration! It sounds like you and your partner need to call upon the kindness of family and friends for some help and support. You could have a clutter-buster party! Maybe provide some snacks and beverages? You might be surprised at how people will step up and help out when you really need it!

Any other words of wisdom for Linda?

Reader Hack: Art Supply Storage

art_closetWhen the kids art supplies began to get out of control, I had to get the stuff off the floor and the kitchen table. I began to consider the unused spaces in my home, and came up with a solution that takes up very little space, but yields mondo storage capacity for small items. It is a behind-the-door pantry rack that installs in about 15 minutes. I think I'm going to install one on the back of every door in my house now!

Thanks to Gear Freak for submitting this tip!

Reader Hack: Taming Closet Clutter

neat_closetHere's a suggestion for keeping your closet and clothes under control:

When I buy a new item of clothing, I get rid of three items of clothing. This way my closet is not bursting at the seams. Generally, most people have clothes that they just don't wear or haven't even looked at for the past two years.

It's also a good way to donate or give away items that you're not using, can't wear, or don't wear. In Feng Shui practice, you must always clear out to receive something new!!

Submitted by Sandi

Reader Hack: Better Looking Storage

basketsUse “opaque” storage, not see-through. Example: Put your items on your shelving units into nice baskets, “leather” boxes, magazine holders, etc.

It looks MUCH less cluttered than than the same items stacked on those shelves and even the same items in “see-through storage” like plastic or acrylic containers.

I know there’s something to be said for being able to “see what you have” but that’s not always a good thing! Use a label maker and label opaque storage containers instead!

Contributed by Trysha

Clutter Hack: How You Can Make the Most of Your Small Space

oven-dishesAs someone who lives in Tokyo, small is the only way you can live. In general, I recommend taking advantage of "dead space" with rolling pieces of furniture. I also suggest using a few big pieces of furniture rather than a bunch of small ones.

Look for "wasted space' in less obvious places. If you have free space above your glasses in your cabinetry, for instance, you can hang items on hooks above them. If your shelves are tall, put in racks to divide the space efficiently. This will help you fit more into the space in a tidy fashion. Read more

Reader Hack: A Great Kids' Art Supply Storage Solution

art cabinet1I’ve been told I’m a certifiable neat freak. Please forgive me; it’s most likely a result of my upbringing and my mother, Mother Immaculate. Just ask my older sister; she’s even neater than me.

As neat as I may be, there are definitely times when messy is good — like when my kids are finger-painting and making paper-mache.

As my kids got older, the art supplies became more numerous. Soon I had art supplies all over the kitchen and they began to overtake the top of my refrigerator.

I had to come up with a solution. Read more

Reader Hack: Trade in Your Books

bookswapI just moved to a much smaller house and have had to get just plain mean with myself regarding my CDs, books and clothes. I used to think I had to keep all books I enjoyed. NO MORE!

You can trade them at paperbackswap.com or titletrader.com for books on your list (which you can read and then trade or pass on!)

I figure if I give something away that I later want, I can always check it out at the library…happy decluttering

Submitted by Renee, publisher of Mom, Interrupted Blog

Reader Hack: Use Different Color Suitcases for Each Family Member

colored_bags1.pngI use packing cubes from eBags.com. Same kind of idea as the pack it envelopes.

I have 3 sons, and we go from Boston to Disney World every year. I use a different color packing cube for each kid. Cuts down on unpacking time, too, as I just drop the cubes in the drawer and I’m done.

Once, at the Orlando airport a skycap said our bag was too heavy. He brought me a cardboard box and I opened my suitcase, whipped out a few of the cubes, and my repack was done. He commented it was the fastest he’d ever seen. Read more

Readers' Clutter Hacks: Five-Minute Clutter Relief

hurryYou suggested 10-minute clutter relief. I do it in five- minute spurts. Five-minute projects are clutter clearing that you can do while you're waiting on hold, waiting at appointments, waiting for the repairman, waiting for the meeting, waiting for the bus…well, you get the idea.

My list ranges from cleaning out my wallet and purse to sorting though magazines on the bedside table. I also file papers, do a quick check of e-mail, wipe off my computer screen and keyboard, and throw a load of laundry in the washer. Read more

Reader's Clutter Hacks: Unveiling mysteries, one item at a time

one_at_a_timeHow quickly have you turned a blind eye to a stack o’stuff that has become something to avoid like the plague? It’s funny how quickly the brain will choose to ignore the existence of something that it can’t identify at a glance. The piles on the shelves in the office, or on the kitchen counter, or in the closet…

Last week found me in standing in front of a clothes bag hanging on the closet door outside my office. While I’d turned a blind eye for a month, I was finally ready to see the light. The bag was on the floor in seconds revealing… a skirt and two lonely hangers. Oh! I was wondering where that skirt was! The skirt went to the bedroom closet and the hangers got hung. Read more

Reader Hacks – Purse Control

purse organizeFor my purse, I use zippered pouches with different colors and different textures. Black is a bad color, can’t find it! (And if you have the chance, get a purse with a light color lining.)

I have a little rubbery light blue pouch for pills, doctors’ business cards, insurance cards, cough drops, Pepto, eye drops, you get the idea. And I have a black & white silky pouch for toiletries. I can find them by sight or by feel.

Other stuff goes in designated pockets – I have to have pockets!

Submitted by Martha Bun

Related Products:
   • Purse Brite
   • The organizer in the photo is from Dawntreader Designs

Reader Hack: Make Your Grocery List Do All the Work

get beerHere’s one of my simple solutions that has paid off in happiness and convenience.

Several years ago, I created a grocery list on my computer of all the things I normally buy. The items are grouped by category and arranged in the same order as the aisles in my grocery store.

I keep several copies of the list in a binder, along with my recipes, list of favorite meals, a highlighter and a pen.

Once a week, I sit down with my binder and plan my meals for the following week. I highlight the items I need and write down any “special” items that aren’t listed. Read more

Beth's Hack: Trash Bag Tango

tangoI found this at “Liz’s Eyeview” where Liz was reading “It’s All Too Much” by Peter Walsh. Mr Walsh suggests:

   • “…Grab 2 trash bags. Everyday for a week take ten minutes to go around your home and fill one bag with trash – old papers, torn and unusable clothing, out-of-date magazines, anything that you would classify garbage.

   • Fill the other with items you want out of your house. Maybe you want to give them to a friend or family member or charity.

Just a consistent 10 minutes a day is all this technique asks of you. Commit to this and you will see significant changes.

   • Do this everyday for a week and you’ll notice a huge difference. Do this everyday for one month and everyone else will notice a huge difference. Do it everyday for 3 months and you’ll conquer the clutter in your home.”

I “scheduled” this into my housework to-do list on MWF for a month and it has made a H-U-G-E difference in my home which includes 2 toddlers and 2 parents with ADD/ADHD! *wink*

Related Stacks and Stacks product: Roll-Out Trash Container System

Submitted by Clutter Control Freak Blog Reader Beth Sundman