Latest and Greatest Organizing Products (NAPO Organizing Expo 2010)


  • Love lists and don’t want to reinvent them? Then ListPlanIt is for you!   I was thrilled to meet Jennifer Tankersley and purchase a professional subscription to ListPlanIt.   To quote their website, “ It is a place where those who simply love lists and those in need of a little assistance in mental organization can both find what they need.”  Purchase it at
  • For organizing knick knacks, crafts, or small toys, Ziploc® Brand products help you get more out of anything you want to store. Find these at
  • Modular canisters make a big difference for our humid Houston weather!  As it says on the Rubbermaid website, “remove those bags and boxes of pasta, cookies, chips, baking supplies, etc. and put your ingredients into Modular Canisters whose space efficient design maximizes shelf space. Lids snap tight for a secure seal to help keep items fresh.”  Find these at
  • I love labelmakers! Here is the newest one from Dymo.  It looks so sleek, so stylish and so user friendly.  And it makes finding your stuff so easy, as well as fun!  Find it at
  • Other favorites include for storage and for the most organized purse ever!   

 Have a product you love? Share it with me and what you love most!

Organizing Kids’ Clothes

This guest post is written by Meredith Delap, an amazing organized mom who inspires me!

When it comes to staying organized with our small childrens’ clothing, there are so many challenges.  If you can somehow manage to figure out a laundry system that works, you still have to deal with the ever-present problem of outgrown clothes.  It is shocking how quickly my son’s onesies start getting too tight to snap and how a modest skirt on my 4 year old all of the sudden becomes a mini skirt.  It’s something we all have to deal with ALL the time, it’s not like you can organize once or twice a year and be set. 

What’s tricky about this is that it’s not clear cut where things either fit or don’t fit – there are varying degrees of fitting-ness.  All you moms know this, there are the items that fit perfectly (today at least), the items that are a little small but she can still squeeze into it so it works, the jeans that only fit if you roll the waistband and cuffs up, and often the items that you’ve received as hand me downs that kinda fit but are really a tad big.  Now, it really isn’t a problem when I’m the only one making clothing decisions, but when my husband is helping out in the evenings or weekends (or my fashionista 4 year old is picking out her outfit) I am often saying “That doesn’t fit anymore!”  or “Don’t put those jammies on Sam, they’re way too small!”  To which my husband responds, “If they don’t fit, why are they in the drawer?”  Good question. 

So I try to stay on top of this issue by going through their wardrobes often, definitely with each season change and sometimes a few extra times too.  I pull EVERYTHING out and lay it on the bed and put back in the drawers only the clothes that fit or still have room to grow.  What’s unpleasant about this task is that things have to get so much worse before they get better…..but I guess that’s true of most organizing projects.  It’s amazing how nicely everything fits back in once I pull out the things they weren’t wearing.  And I like the independence it gives my preschooler because she can find something to wear and I know I will be happy with her choice (because it won’t be her favorite pink fleece snowman sweats in size 3T when she currently wears a 5T.  She would wear those high water pants if they were still in her closet). 

The outgrown clothes go into boxes and storage for me because 1) we aren’t sure if we will have another baby or not 2) my husband and I both have several siblings that may have kids in the future and we would like to share with them our over-abundance of baby/toddler clothes.  Once we know our family is complete and we have shared the good quality clothes with our nieces and nephews, I plan to give everything else to friends who want hand-me-downs and donate what’s left. 

This is just one of the many things we have to stay on top of to keep our homes running smoothly.  I think it’s important though because it sets the stage for clothing organization early on.  I’m trying to teach my kids that we treat all of our things nicely and take care of them, and for clothes that means hanging them up or folding them and putting them away.  My daughter is pretty used to a (usually) tidy closet now and I like to think this will help her as she gets older and her clothing becomes more of her responsibility.  Or maybe I’m in denial and just don’t want to think about those messy teen years ahead.  And the verdict is still out on my son, who is not even 2 yet….he may be a major slob and have my pulling my hair out.  Oh well, we can always call Gigi – one of the perks of having a professional organizer for a mother-in-law!

Teachers Team up to Organize

This weekend I worked with a team of teachers to organize a storage closet they shared.   The closet had become totally unfunctional, being blocked on the floor with extra supplies and other clutter.    I had high hopes for this project, but the teachers exceeded my expectations! In 2 hours they had cleared the clutter completely!  How did this happen?

Start with a common goal. Together we defined what was clutter and what was not. Donations were designated for charity or other schools. 

Put a team plan in action. We divided the room into areas for specific content.  We labeled each section of the floor for  math, language, science and geography . One teacher stood at each spot to assess keep or donate.  The donate piles were labeled charity or school.  Runners took items from the closet to the designated areas.

Many hands make for light work. Ten teachers arrived that day ready to make a difference for their school.

So how did we accomplish so much? We stayed on task, partnered, and made excellent decisions. As you can see from the before and after pictures, now the closet is ready for more materials. 

How will it stay organized? Each teacher knows the new rules for what to keep, each teacher has their own shelf for their materials, and we labeled each area to know where to replace materials. 

Have a big project at work? Set the date, gather the team, set the goals, and go for it!

Green Organizing Baby Steps

Reduce, reuse and recycle are the buzz words for all of us.   Everyone is recycling these days! It is no longer just a trend.  It is what we are focusing on as we are all away of the limited resources and overconsumption.  How do we take this to the next step in green organizing? Here are a few baby steps for being even more environmentally friendly.

Set up your command center with a recycling bin right there.  How easy this makes recycling!  Have a paper and a shred bin right at that spot.  

Turn off your computer each night and lights during the day.  Save energy and money!  Check out this site for the costs and savings.  Thanks to the for this enlightening post!

Wash laundry with full loads of clothes. Using this sorter, you can see when it is time to do a load.  This keeps the load together, ready to go.

Establish a regular routine for recycling.  Have a bin for plastic, a space for paper, and a garbage can for aluminum.  Set these up in the garage right near the door.  Take your recycling out to the curb or to the center weekly.

Eliminate electronics and make money too! Here are several resources for selling electronics.

What baby steps are you taking for green organizing?

Eva’s Note

Not sure what this note is? My four year old grand daughter Eva wrote it last week for herself. It says “choir.”  She said to her Mom and me, “I want to be sure I remember that I have a choir performance on Sunday.”  She wrote several of these notes through out the week to herself, each more adorable than the next.

There really is something to modeling organizing! Eva sees her Mom, Dad, Paps and Gigi (that’s me!) write notes to ourselves to remember things all the time. She sees us make lists for grocery shopping, dinner menus, recipes, and dates in our calendars.  It was very natural for her to want to help herself remember in this way.

 Eva and her mom decluttered her closet last week too. Eva brought her outgrown clothes to a friend at school to share.  She was especially excited to share a pink tutu with a dance friend.  Eva is already starting to recognize how to organize her closet!  

 Next time you are thinking about your family and getting organized, remember how powerful your actions are.  Moms often ask me how can they help their children get organized.  It is all about your being a role model for all types of organizing.

What powerful actions are you sharing with your family?