3 Tips to Organize Your Backyard for Year Round Fun

3 tips to organize your backyard for year round fun



We’re enjoying our backyards and home exteriors more and more.  These spaces give us room to spread out and room to connect to others in the sunshine. Summer and hot weather invite us back into our yards to enjoy time together.  Your yard might include gardens, decks, a pool or a solely a green space. No matter the use, you are creating an organized and functional space to enjoy for the season. Spend time enjoying this space more with these simple organizing ideas and additions.


Freshen up

Your space needs freshening up. That might be power washing, pruning or general maintenance.  Make a list of what needs to be done. Decide if you are going to do the work or if you are going to delegate it.  Set a date and time on your calendar after excessive pollen has ended or other inclement weather.  Working with a team makes this work move quickly. Freshening up gives your patios and gazebos appeal.


Get organized with your tools for freshening up. Set aside a space in  your garage specifically for your outside tools.  It’s easier to work when everything is together and ready to use. Use vertical shelving to keep your garden tools and sprays together.


Organize your zones

Just like inside your home, your outside has many different uses.  Organize by zones for entertaining and activity.  If you have seating, be sure you have company comforts like tables to place food or drinks.  If you have sports, be sure you have bins to store rackets, balls or other accessories.  Sit or stand in your spot and think about what you will use there and how to store it.

Large covered chests can help you store items.  Be sure you use one chest to store a single item. Use a chest for pillows, a chest for toys and a chest for sports.  Small items fall to the bottom so add a small shoe box size plastic bin to hold these.  Be sure you have ample garbage cans for trash.



Amazon deck box storage



Amazon bench and deck box

Amazon bench and deck box


What’s new this year for your family?

  • We’re adding more seating and community spaces to our green areas. Most popular is a fire pit with Adirondack chairs. Add small tables for placing drinks and snacks.
  • Outdoor games like corn hole and bad-mitten are fun family activities. Store these in your garage or a shed for easy access.
  • String lights or bring out candles for an invitation to meet after dark.
  • Inflatable pools or a sprinkler help you celebrate the joy of water.
  • Bring music to the party with blue tooth speakers and Yacht Rock or other summer Pandora station.


Maintain your space

Every space needs a little work throughout the season. It may be small repair or damage from storms or wind.  Keep you space maintained with a quick weekly walk through that gets all items back to where they belong and organized. Have a weekly green space routine with mowing and edging your yard.  Use your blower to keep the deck and chairs clean and dusted. These maintenance steps make sure that your yard is company ready.


Our back yards are becoming an oasis with freshening up, organizing and maintaining the space.  You can enjoy this all year round!




Baskets, Bins and Boxes

baskets, bins and boxes organizing products


Organizing is certainly not about the baskets, bins and boxes. Having the perfect bins does not make for a perfectly organized home.  Baskets, bins and boxes can help you categorize, store and contain though.  Many times there are already containers that you have in your home that you can reuse and recycle to get organized.  Already handy and products you love, baskets, bins and boxes can be used many different ways to organize your home.



  • Baskets are attractive storage inside a closet, on a shelf or on the floor.
  • Best for toys, crafts, scarves, or shoes at the back door.
  • Open baskets make it easy to drop items in.


Bins, especially clear bins

  • Bins are durable, water proof storage and can be used inside or out.
  • Best for pantries, garages, or bathrooms.
  • Plastic bins should not be too big for you to move when filled.



  • Shoe boxes are inexpensive organizers.  These are uniform and have lids for easy stacking.
  • Best for over flow office and school supplies, extra travel size toiletries, or kids’ keepsakes under a bed.
  • Boxes can get out of control easily. Set a number to keep and recycle the rest.


 Generally speaking

  • Gather all your options together.  See how many of the same types of containers you have.  Use similar size, shape or color containers in the same spot to organize. Consistent containers make for a more organized appeal of that space.
  • Use attractive containers throughout your home or office. Use clear containers behind doors, inside cabinets, or under sinks.
  • Always use one container for one category you are organizing.  Single category organizing makes it easier to maintain.
  • Label your containers.  Even if you can see in the container,  a label makes it clear what it contains.  Key tags tied with string, chalk board labels and binder clips


Tempted by a new basket, bin or box?  Keep a small area where these can be stored for you to easily find and use what you have first.  Yes, you can have too many organizing products. Be sure to keep just what you love and use.  You can donate your unloved products because someone out there will love those!


Upcycling and recycling are everywhere!  Check out my pinterest board on Sentimental Clutter. 


Want more ideas to keep you organized and productive?  Join my newsletter!

Houston Kingwood Texas Local Places to Recycle

Houston and Kingwood Texas Local Recycling


It’s spring and finally time to enjoy the outdoors by organizing your garage. There’s so many different things in your garage that can benefit others and can be recycled. Getting the big stuff out first helps you see progress and feel success in organizing your garage.  Here are some of the options as you are recycling and organizing your garage.

Old furnishings, clothes, toys, and tools 


Used and new building materials and appliances in working condition

Recycling and organizing your garage makes a difference for your family and benefits our community.  Take advantage of our fabulous spring weather combined with a sense of purpose for your family.


With the big stuff out of the way,  you are ready for a plan for your garage organizing? Check out this post to get a plan together!






Recycling, Upcycling and Repurposing

recycling and upcycling

Is there a little crafty in you? Do you find ways to use what you have for decor?  Are you on pinterest scouring ideas to upcycle, recycle or repurpose furnishings?  I love finding creative uses for what we have!

Upcycling is converting what you have into something wonderful, functional and creative.  The starting point is wanting to reuse or repurpose existing items. From there add a dash of possibility and off you go!

Some items can be repurposed without any effort.  Lots of people are upcycling.

  • Hang wine racks for towel holders in their bathroom.
  • Baby wipe containers are great to hold games, puzzle pieces or cards
  • Repainted tv consoles are great for a landing strip or kids armoire.
  • Use an old armoire for a small office space.

Even if it is a change of paint color to fabulous chalk paint or a robin’s egg blue, upcycling makes our interiors fun!

I love my connections on social media! Here is a roundup of ideas for recycling, upcycling and repurposing furniture from my social media and  Blog Elevated friends. 

One of the most powerful parts of social media are the connections we make!  I asked my social media peeps what helps them get started on their spring organizing and cleaning. – See more at: https://professional-organizer.com/WordPress/2014/03/#sthash.v84NqaLK.dpuf

recycling upcycling repurposong

Ashley Hill, The Hill Hangout, The Magic of Chalkpaint

recycle, upcycle, reuse

Photo courtesy of The Clutter Princess

Janice Simon, The Clutter Princess,  A Little Paint, Much More Function

upcycle, recycle, repurpose

Photo courtesy of Eat, Pray, Read

Kelli Hays, EatPray{Read}Love, Dresser Do-Over: I Got my Teal!

upcycle, recycle, repurpose

Photo courtesy of Untrained Housewife

Angela England, Untrained Housewife,  Repurposed Wall Lantern Terrarium


recycle and upcycle

Photo courtesy of Ginny G Furniture and More










Ginny G, DreamGinnyG, Repainted armoire


Want more ideas? Check out my pinterest page Recycling and Upcycling.

Don’t miss any organizing or productivity ideas! Join my newsletter!

Holiday Technology Tools

  holiday tech tools



The holiday buzz starts early! In October and November is the time to get started on our holiday preparations.  Not only do we need the time, it is tons of fun to stretch out the holiday spirit.  Why not add some new tools to your holiday preparations?  Get ahead this year with your holiday planning using holiday technology.  Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, I am surrounded (virtually) by amazing women entrepreneurs and bloggers.  I asked them to share what works best!


I use evite to organize all the gatherings for the end of the year holidays.  From guests, who will come or not, what to bring, attire and super cute templates, I just love this online tool year-round. I also love Shutterfly’s shared websites to organize the kids’ classroom parties. Once you create the event you can add a sign-up list of what to bring, and afterwards we all share our favorite pictures.  Having fun just got a lot easier with these tools!

 Helena Alkhas







Think about unplugging for a couple days during the holidays.  Use your technology to plan better, such as google calendar.   Automate as much as you can with holiday cards and automatic payments.    

Laura Rolands




Managing the way I read the news and any other topics I’m interested has changed dramatically thanks to my favorite tool – Flipboard.  It makes every story into a beautiful magazine-like page that can be ‘flipped’ through. Personally,  I love flipping through: news, art, culture, travel, style and lifestyle topics to name a few.  

Geralin Thomas







I use a binder designated Holidays and fill it with lists for cards, crafts, gifts, meals and recipes.  These are all printed from ListPlanIt, of course! 

Jen Tankersley






My favorite Holiday Tech Tool is SendOutCards. http://www.sendoutcards.com/11788.  I used to spend hours writing personal messages, stuffing, addressing and stamping envelopes for my Christmas cards. Every year, to try to save time, the list would get shorter and shorter. Then I found SendOutCards. I now send over 300 greetings, each with a personal message, in a fraction of the time. It allows me to send my love and well wishes in a big way.  

Stephanie LH Calahan – Business Vision Catalyst





During the holidays, I do much of my shopping online to avoid mall rage. (Closely related to road rage, but without vehicles.) I never shop for anything without first checking www.retailmenot.com to see if there are coupon codes for that site. I’ve saved on everything from ordering pizza to photos. Then I log into www.ebates.com where I get paid cash back to shop! The amount varies per store, per day but when I combine those two, I’ve saved sometimes up to 25% in discounts and getting cash back. Don’t shop online without these tools!

Kirsten Oliphant

@kikimojo (twitter, instagram, Pinterest)


Managing holiday music has never been easier with Pandora radio. It is an option for the smart phone or computer.  At www.pandora.com, you choose free music to play, choosing by artist or genre.  It creates “stations” with various artists. The most amazing aspect is the “mix” Pandora radio creates with your station.  The variety of artists is unlimited too! 

Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap






Join me for more holiday tips on pinterest  Happy Holidays.

Don’t miss out on upcoming organizing tips and techniques! Click here to subscribe to my monthly newsletter.


Spring Organizing: Garage Sale Savvy!

Thinking of a garage sale this month? Check out my blog post on Organize to Revitalize!


Organizing Tools: Plastic Storage


All too often I find that people view organizing as “I just need more bins!”  Sorry to say, this is not the real solution! However, great bins do make a great tool for organizing.

  • Use clear plastic, consistent size bins for your organizing.  Consistent sizes are shoebox size, medium size, and 66 quart size. Consistent sizes helsp to can stack bins, easily.  With consistent sizes you can move them around your home and office where needed and interchange their uses. 
  • Color code the bins for specific storage.  We all love the green and red bins for Christmas and the orange bins for Halloween. You can extend this concept to pink for spring and Easter, a color for each person in your home, or a color for the attic or basement.
  • Label 2 sidese and the top of the bins. Even with clear bins, it is more visual.  A bin “index” can help too!

Image courtesy of Rubbermaid. Its the new Rubbermaid Clever Store!

3 Simple Gift Giving Tips

Giving meaningfully is part of the holiday season.  Follow your inner guide to give meaningfully.

A Guide to Giving Gift From Erin Carlyle

Homemade gifts from texascottage.blogspot.com

Gifts of Random Kindness from littlelucylu.com

 For more ideas for simple gift giving, visit my pinterest page www.pinterest.com/EllenDelap  Happy Holidays board!

Wishing you a season of meaningful sharing and gifting!

Six Tips for Turkey Time

Time for the turkey trot~ the time of year to get your turkey and Thanksgiving dinner in order! Families and friends gather to celebrate a day of gratitude and connection.  What will make your day focused on thanksfulness?  Here are a few organizing ideas.

  • Get ahead with a list.  Having a plan makes all the difference. The list begins with who, what, where, when and how. Who will be attending? What will be needed? Where will it be held and what time? And HOW can everyone contribute?
  • Get the goodies.  Assign everyone a job, no matter if it is bringing the canned cranberries and rolls. Everyone wants to contribute so be a team player with assignments or step up and volunteer.
  • Get going.  Get ahead with your shopping list by going through your cabinets for supplies, including plates and utensils.  Shop early for items that are non-perishable. Shop in the evening early in the week to avoid crowds.
  • Set up ahead.  You can set up your food stations early in the week as well as tables and chairs.  If you are going out, call for reservations early too for best seating.
  • Time it all out. There are lots of goodies and only one oven so create a timeline for how you will cook. Remember that turkeys take time to thaw so plan on extra time for this.
  • Take time to be thankful. As you are preparing and enjoying your time together, spend a few minutes talking about gratitude.  

Happy Turkey Time everyone!   What helpful hints do you have for your family’s turkey trot?

ABC13 Back to School

Thanks to ABC13 for the opportunity to make a difference this fall for Back To School.

Healthy Breakfasts on a Budget


Best Lunch Boxes for your Money


Back to School Family Organizing