My friend Kim recently told me about a closet in her home that never seems to be totally under control. The closet, she explained, is used for school supplies, family files, miscellaneous electronics and office supplies. It is used by her entire family. I went to her home to take a look and saw that Kim had done a great job of straightening it up, but I could see, that after a few weeks of use it would return to its chaotic state. How did I know? It’s simple, the closet lacked definition. Organizing is about eliminating excess, defining spaces and creating systems that are easily maintained. Use the picture of my very own supply closet to inspire you. Still overwhelmed? I would love to help. Just visit www.simplyputorganizing.com to find out more…
Ok Moms, you are going to love this one if you’ve struggled with how to organize and store your child’s stuffed animals. Plush toys are odd shaped and bulky and very hard to organize. I ask my daughter to donate some of her animals before birthdays and Christmas and she complies without complaint. She’s grown up with the habit of regular editing and donating so she doesn’t think twice about it. The problem was that so many of the stuffed toys are special to her. She is a mere nine years old so I am not ready to insist she gives up the furry little things she loves so much even though trying to store them in her small room was driving me insane. I know that the day will come when Caleigh is an adult and most of the stuffed friends will have journeyed to new homes, but until then they needed a place to live in our home.
One day I was flipping through a Pottery Barn Kid catalog admiring the great bean bag chairs when I noticed the covers were sold separate from the inserts. I thought, wouldn’t it be great to stuff that chair with plush toys? So, I ordered a cover and stuffed it with my daughter’s furry friends and voila,instant order!!
Caleigh loves the fact that all her stuffed animals are still with her, safe, secure and neatly organized.
Take a look…
I am so happy with the results as the chair has lots of room for future friends (I no longer cringe when Caleigh brings home a new stuffed animal) and we have an extra seat!!
BTW, I have already tried this with several clients and they love it too…
I found the a great resource last night while researching an article I was writing: Mail Stopper. Here’s what it can do for just a twenty dollar annual subscription.
- Stamp out junk mail.
- Un-Clutter your Life. Stop up to 90% of your junk mail with MailStopper – in just 90 days. We work with over 6,500 direct marketers – to make sure you get only the mail you want.
- Catalogs. Credit card offers. Grocery store circulars. Not only does junk mail pile up – it also can lead to identity theft. With MailStopper, you’ll save time, reduce waste, and protect your privacy.
- Think green. Plant trees. When you join MailStopper, we plant 5 trees on your behalf. Combined with the paper you save, it’s like growing your own tiny forest.
I love the fact that they plant trees on your behalf. I have signed up and I’m really looking forward to ending the paper nightmare that is my mailbox.
I would love to get feedback on this if anyone else tries this service…
Love this product!!! I found this at spacesavers.com and I added it to my shower curtain about a month ago. After giving it a test drive I am happy to report that it works great!! I have nothing around my tub and I don’t have to deal with an annoying metal unit hanging from my shower head. My shampoo, conditioner and all my other things are within easy reach and the best part is I can throw this organizer in the washer if and when it gets gunky. All this for just 8.99!!
I love doing television segments!! My only frustration is that it is extremely difficult to boil down a complicated topic, like paper, to fit into a three and a half minute segment. So here’s what I didn’t get to say about paper. The best way to keep it from piling up is not to bring it into your home in the first place. Think before you hit the print button on your computer. Do you really need the piece of paper? If you need it do you have a place to keep it so that you can retrieve it when needed? If not, don’t print!! If you are worried, as I once was, about losing information if your computer should crash check out this remote backup service, www.carbonite.com. For a small monthly fee it continually backs up your computer files. How do I know it works? My computer crashed!! When I bought a replacement computer, I went to my carbonite account, it asked me if I was on a new computer, I answered yes. It asked me if I wanted to restore my files, I answered yes and voila, done. All my information was intact. I no longer print anything that is stored in my document files on my computer. Complete Freedom!!
Another way to keep piles at a minimum is to keep a spiral notebook or a journal by your phone or in one or two easily reached places in your home. Instead of writing down messages or thoughts on random pieces of paper jot them down in the notebook and periodically date the pages for future reference.
The other service I love is Lifelock. I use this service to eliminate my fears of identity theft. For those of you afraid to toss your junk mail this is for you. Check it out at www.lifelock.com. Signing up for the service not only protects your identity, it stops almost all of the financial junk mail such as preapproved credit card offers from coming to your home in the first place. I also, had my nine year old daughter’s identity locked.
Last but not least, get a shredder, a garbage can and a recycle bin and keep them close to the place you process mail and school papers. School papers…that’s another post.
Hello everyone!! I hope you’ll all watch me tomorrow on Sonoran Living Live, Phoenix’s ABC 15 at 9AM. I’ll be talking about paper and what the heck to do with it when it ends up in piles all over your home. Get a head start on restoring order to your environment with the article below. See you tomorrow…
Piles to Files
The fact about paper is that it is everywhere. It arrives daily in our mailbox. Our kids bring it home from school. We print out articles and pictures from our computer just in case we can’t find the website again. The list goes on and on. The problem with paper is that, if you don’t have a processing system, it can end up in piles all over your home. When that happens, digging out without a plan, feels overwhelming. As with any big project take it slowly, address a pile, or part of a pile, each day and create new habits for incoming papers.
Use the simple processing system below to restore order in your environment:
Think F.A.T. Paper falls into three categories, file, act and toss:
- File: Papers that need to be kept for reference; insurance policies, medical reports, tax information and any other critical document falls into this category. You will need a file cabinet with clearly labeled folders for this type of paper. You’ll also need a clearly defined place to keep your papers that need to be filed until you can complete the task.
- Act: Papers that need an action taken on them; invitations, coupons, projects, school assignments and anything else that is associated with a task. This type of paper needs to be stored in an action center. The action center should be in only one location in your home and needs to be checked daily. Checking your action center daily allows you to pull the items you need for that day and toss anything that is no longer relevant. Keep it current and file papers that need to be retained at least once a week. Three tiered sorters found at office supply centers are great for this purpose as the tiers can be labeled: to do, to file, and pending (papers that you’ve taken an action on and you’re waiting for a response).
- Toss: Most papers that come into our lives fall into this category. Always open your mail close to a recycle bin or trash can in order to eliminate them before they hit a hard surface in your home.
Organization is about defining your spaces and creating homes for everything, including paper. After defining easy access homes for your paper to live the key to maintenance is a well established system and a routine to follow.
If you feel overwhelmed and just don’t know where to start please call for help. I would love to work with you.
Simply Put Organizing (480) 659-2663
This is an armoire, in a client’s home office that we turned into a supply cabinet. This particular office did not have a closet space to store the items needed to support her business. Her supplies were scattered all over the house which made it difficult to be productive. Duplicates were often purchased because she had no idea what she already had. My client loves beautiful things so she had the inside of the cabinet upholstered. I added baskets with custom tags to reduce the cluttered appearance of the supplies. Armoires are great for storage anywhere in the home. The key is to give them a specific purpose and then organize within based on retrieval. I’m blogging on a Sunday morning, it is so peaceful in my own office. I could do this all day. However, my daughter just woke up….
I am officially a blogger! This is very exciting because there are so many things that I want to share with all of you but don’t want to compile them into a newsletter that, let’s face it, can be boring!!!
So, I hope you’ll all check my blog frequently for organizing inspiration, great products, services and fun.
I am blogging from Seattle which at the moment is cold and snowing. Because of this I am finally able to find the time to catch up on my to-do list and regroup. This is blissful for me because when I’m home life is non stop.
What i want to let all of you know right now is that I have posted some of my favorite links on my blog. One is to my website, simply put organizing, two are to great places to find organizing products; Storables and The Container Store, Gazelle is a great place to recycle your old electronics for cash and Remindr is a fantastic reminder service you must check out for yourself.
A big thank you goes out to my friend Alicia for her inspiration, advice and the little nudge she gave me to start blogging.