My Organizing Obsession Keepsake Boxes

keepsake boxes


Throughout the year 2020, it has become clear what is most precious to us. As we think about connections, family and friends, we know that relationships are by far the most precious. There are some small significant items that are priceless to us. These may be a baby birth announcement, a lock of hair, a college honor society pin or a note from a parent.  My organizing obsession is a place to keep these precious items and honor them.

  • Keepsake boxes come in all sizes and shapes. These can be decorative or plain, locked or keyless.  The concept is that every item needs a home and precious keepsakes are no different. You decide what is to be stored in this box because of it’s value to you.
  • Every member of your family should have their own box to keep what they consider precious.  Store this box on the top shelf of that person’s closet. It’s easy to place items and retrieve it when you want a happy boost.
  • What if your items are larger than the box? Take a photo and print that to keep in your box.

What is in my keepsake box? My mom’s gold wedding band, a shell from my first trip to the beach with my husband, small trinkets my children gave me when they were little and pins of all sorts from all different times in my life.


Too many times have I seen my clients’ precious items mixed in with what’s not precious.  I love that these special items have a special home.


My Organizing Obsession: Carts

My organizing obsession carts


My love of carts has me extolling their use on my blog! Carts can add an extra storage space for stuff and papers. It’s rolls to where you are to work. It adds an extra space for your papers.


rolling file cart

The rolling file cart gives you options for accessible file storage.  Highly visual, you can see your files so that it’s easy to remember your filing system set up.  A file cart with storage below adds easy access to frequently used office supplies or tools.


utility cart

A cute utility cart adds storage for a craft room, office or classroom. Three tiers of storage gives you much more access to supplies.  It adds pizzazz to your space depending on the color you choose.  There’s so many uses and ways to organize.



An accent cart can add storage and decor to any room in your home. Often it’s a great spot for either keepsakes to display or to add function in a serving piece.   The fun of adding a cart in your main rooms is to add one more bit of whimsy, style and function to a space.


What are your favorite carts and where do you use them?  I love learning about your organizing obsession.  Don’t miss out on my other favorite organizing products!

My Organizing Obsession: Holiday Ornament Organizer

my organizing obsession holiday ornament organizer


When the holidays are here, we love decorating our tree, our special ornaments from each year and enjoying the joy of the holiday. To keep our joy, holiday decorations need organizing or these get overwhelming.  Our precious holiday ornaments need careful storage. Their value is priceless as they are gifts, memories and traditions bound into one element.  I love holiday ornament organizers for this reason.



ornament storage holiday organizing


ornament organizing holiday organizing



Both of these organizers have individual sections for each ornament. The cardboard dividers can be used as needed depending on the size of the ornament.  The durable exterior keeps ornaments safe and clear during storage.


For your most precious ornaments, you can wrap the ornament in tissue and then store it in a center section of the organizing box.  Mark your box fragile so all those who help you store and carry know the value of the contents.


More of my organizing obsessions here!



My Organizing Obsession: Totes

organizing obsession totes


I think we all have a bit of an organizing obsession with totes. I see many of them, perhaps a bit too many, in my clients homes. When used well, totes are an amazing organizing tool.


Tote requirements

All totes must have multiple pockets.  The pockets are slots for the different items I carry in each.  There is a zipper pocket for items too just so nothing falls out! I categorize items, group them together and assign a pocket for that category.  Like I say about purses, I can tell how organized you are by your tote.


Travel tote

A travel tote is a necessity! Mine is black, with gray interior pockets for technology and my planner.  I keep basics, such as gum, travel mouse and an extra set of cords to charge all my devices.  It fits under my airplane seat so I can reach it during travel to work.  (I have found that working on an airplane is highly productive!) Travel and Leisure has many attractive, functional totes.


Work tote

Traveling between home and office often requires a tote. Keep it simple and travel with as little as you can.  If you are bringing paper back and forth, and never working on it, eliminate that paper.  Remember the essentials like your work badge, keys, and makeup basics.  In Style has polished work horses!


Off work totes

It might be your bible study, CEU class, or other materials.  You need a tote for the different activities and classes to carry your materials.  With a single tote devoted to an assignment, you never lose track of materials. Rather than a shopping bag, a tote is a fun way to keep items together.


Kiddo totes

Your kids need totes too!  During school it’s a back pack. This should have 3 pockets as well, one for each of notebooks, books and school supplies. For each of their activities, there should be one tote per activity.


What, when and where of tote management

Totes are stored in the landing strip, by your home entry.  The same space is used for your kiddo totes too.  Your travel tote is stored with your luggage.


Keep your totes up to snuff with weekly maintenance.  Store receipts, dump trash and replenish items at the end of each week. Do the same with your kiddos and their totes too.


Be sure you are keeping just enough of the totes you love.  If you find you are overloaded, this is a great area to eliminate what you are not using.


More of my organizing obsessions here!

My Organizing Obsession: Color


Organizing by color


Have you noticed how colors make us feel? It might be the color of your favorite outfit or the bright blue sky against a white cloud.  Color makes a difference for me and my clients and that’s how it became my organizing obsession.  I love that color makes us happy and helps us be organized and productive.  Here’s my long list of why I love color.



Color creates distinctions in how we view organizing and productivity. My clients rely on visual cues to help them create a category and maintain it. When filing, use files that are designated by color.  An example of this is using green files for money or financial related files.  Your filing system might be notebooks and you can use the green notebook for financial documents.  Each category for filing can be a different color and represent a different area of your filing.


Color is a common choice for categorizing clothes. You can easily organize your closet with ROYGBIV, colors of the rainbow. Use a single colored hanger to set off your color clothes or use a certain color hanger for a certain type of clothes. It’s remarkable how happy you feel when you enter your closet and how easy this is to maintain.


Big families often categorize their kiddo stuff by color. Assigning a color by kid makes it easy to keep their stuff together. As a twin, my color was blue and my sister Ann’s color was red.  For families, you can assign a color using waste baskets, laundry baskets, hanging files or whatever you need to keep organized.  It’s great for your family calendar to keep color coded by kiddo what’s happening this month.


It’s easy to use color for productivity too.   In your calendar and on your email, this is an easy way to categorize your tasks.  Not every task needs a designation. Your most important work or who you work  with can be a single color to keep your calendar simplified.   A key of your categories organizes who does what, your big picture goals, or important information from a colleague or boss too!


Color = happy!

Client after client has told me how they love and use color too. More often than not, I hear “I use yellow because it makes me happy.”  We pair happy colors with happy thoughts and happy outcomes.  When you think of the color of a space you work or live in, let’s make that space happier, more organized and more productive with a happy color.  That coat of paint might be all you need to be more effective and efficient.


Color coordinated baskets appear more organized. It’s a simple camouflage technique for areas that get a lot of use. Pair two happy colors in a space to maximize the organization there.  It establishes organization in looking coordinated and organized.  Carrying a color between two spaces is a visual clue for their connection.


A word of warning here on where I don’t use color: my label maker. Simple, single color labels make it easier to read. I use only white labels with black letters to make my labels with my label maker.



How have you used color to keep more organized?  If  you haven’t check out my pinterest boards to see how!


Check here for more of My Organizing Obsession!

My Organizing Obsession: Clear plastic bags

my organizing obsession clear plastic bags



In the past few weeks, garage organizing has been in full swing! Beautiful Spring weather is the best time to organize outside. As we organized, my clients and I have come to love clear plastic bags. If it’s small or big, clear plastic bags make it easy to organize.  There are several options I want to share with you.


Clear is always a good option for storage.

  • You can see what’s inside. Most of us are visual and out of sight is out of mind.
  • It’s easy to know what you have and how to use it because of clear storage.
  • It’s easy to group items together that are used together.
  • You can label the outside of the bag too.



clear plastic bags


plastic bag organizing


Clear plastic bags are a great alternative for organizing.  These extra large garbage bags can be used for all types of storage.  It’s especially helpful for light weight, but big items.  You can wrap floral arrangements, sleeping bags, holiday decorations and more with these bags. It’s an extra layer of protection for your items. Use these instead of black plastic garbage bags.


ziploc giant bags


organizing toys in ziplock

Ziploc big bags are a storage option for all sorts of items.  As shown here, it’s great for athletic items, holiday storage, out of season clothes storage, and shoe storage. These bags are heavier than the clear plastic bags and more durable. It’s easy to store items under a bed, in the back of a closet, in a garage or in the attic.


Thanks to Ziploc, there a zillion uses for small clear bags. Ziploc has ideas for spring cleaning and organizing, as well as ways to organize all around your home.  You can organize your purse, organize your junk drawer, organize your crafts and organize your office supplies. There’s so much you can do with ziplocs of all sizes that every home should have a large supply!



My Organizing Obsession: Labels

organizing obsession labels


Without a doubt, the one topic that I talk about at every speaking engagement, with every client and with every colleague is my love of labels.  I call myself an “over-labeller” because I know that I label inside drawers, pantries, bins and more.


My love of labels is both functional and cute.  When a spot is labelled, everyone knows where an items goes.  It’s easy getting your home or office reset and back to order.  Everyone can help put away groceries and toys when a spot is labelled.   In addition, labels set the tone of the decor.  I love faux chalkboard labels to appeal to our DIYers.  A simple black and white label keeps minimalists happy.  A cheery label brings a smile to all of us.


Download and print labels

With Pinterest, it’s easy to find labels to download and print.  Do a quick search to find what you need and print in color at home.  Labels are available for every type of project.


Avery labels

Avery labels

Avery labels are available at online and at retail outlets.  Run these labels through your printer to customize.  Sizes and shapes of all kinds are available and self adhesive too!


Brother P Touch Label Maker

labels and organizing

Brother P Touch label maker and labels are a simple way to add organization to your home and office.  The tape is purchased separately. Tapes comes in a variety of sizes and colors. To keep it simple, I use only black lettering on white tape.


You might feel a bit of resistance to labels.  Move beyond this emotion and do some labeling in one area.  Test this each time you replace items back in their spots. How easy did labeling make your work?  Feeling the obsession too?



My Organizing Obsession: Timers

organizing obsession timer



It may not surprise you about my obsession with timers.  A timer is a vital tool for time management. It’s a monitoring device as well as an accountability tool.  There are so many uses for a picket timer.  A slim, digital, easy to set timer can help you in a myriad of ways. Timers comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Keep it simple with an easy to use timer that fits in a pocket.



At home

  • Reminder to check the washer or dryer.  You may be in another part of the house and need an auditory reminder to move your clothes to the next step.
  • Reminder to turn off the the sprinkler.  You’re inside and the sprinkler is outside.  A timer helps you water the whole lawn.
  • Reminder to get ready for bed. You may need a reminder so you are in bed on time.
  • Set your timer for 10 minutes of daily distribution of items to put away with your family. Together you pick up the house and everything is back in order.
  • Set your timer for 10 minutes of paper management. Everyone can do 10 minutes of paper sorting.


At work

  • Reminder to make a phone call at a certain time. You won’t want to miss an important call to a client.
  • Count down to a meeting. You get busy and distracted and need a reminder of when to stop to in order to be on time for a meeting.
  • Pomodoro method working in 20 – 45 minute increments. You work for a specific amount of time on an important project and take a 5 minute break.  Do this for 3 sessions and see how much you have accomplished.
  • Stay focused for your power hour.
  • Schedule cage for a task.  A timer gives you boundaries to start and finish a task. These boundaries are just like a physical boundary, or cage, to help you stay on task.


For your student

  • Reminder to start homework.  Once your student is at home, set a timer to count down until homework time starts.
  • Beat the clock to finish homework.  Does homework drag on?  Help your student focus and work hard with a set time to finish.  A timer can also help your student break big homework assignments into manageable pieces.
  • Reminder to pick up and place the backpack by the landing strip.  Get everything ready for the next day with a timer.  Just 5 minutes and everything is ready to go.


I’d love to learn what you use your timer for!  What uses have you found for a timer?














My Organizing Obsession: Notebooks


organizing with notebooks

There’s so many ways to love notebooks to help you organize. Notebooks consolidate information about a single project.  You can keep these on a shelf together, with pages inside neatly ordered.


Here are some of my favorites.


I love family notebooks.

Family binders help you keep up with information about your family such as family calendar and medical for each person.   Pages can include your schedule, goals, birthdates, activities, and important information like social security numbers.

I love holiday notebooks.

A holiday binder is where you find all the calendars, recipes and information about your family holiday events and activities.  This notebook includes a gift list, Christmas card list and budget for your holiday.


 I love bill pay or money notebooks.

Paying bills and keeping up with money can be a chore without a binder to consolidate all your information.  Keep a page for passwords, account numbers and payment dates.  As bills arrive, tuck these into the binder for safe keeping.


I love project notebooks.

It’s easy to keep all the information together when you are working in a project, as an officer of a club, or on a remodeling project.  A project notebook has dates and deadlines, names and contact information for team members, and drafts of the project as it progresses.  A club notebook has the membership roster, dates and deadlines for the club, your role as an officer, and club bylaws.  A remodeling notebook has your budget, contact information for vendors, and ideas for your project.


I love small business notebooks.

A notebook is the best place to consolidate your information on your small business. If you are starting as a soloentrepreneur, you have research about the business and training for running your business. You might have a chart to track your success.  Small businesses revolving around sales have printables for you to keep.  A small business notebook keeps this all together.


organizing with notebooks



Other ways to use a notebook:

A gratitude journal is a powerful way to record your positive connections each day.

Keep a daily journal to process and reflect on the day.

Keep up with ideas and information in your notebook. You can make a list of places to visit, wines to drink or books to read. It can hold your bucket list.


Check out more of my organizing obsessions on Pinterest Organizing Products I Love.






My Organizing Obsessions: Wall Pockets

wall pockets organizing



From a young age, I loved adorable small boxes, neatly arranged closets and all sorts of planners.  Of course these obsessions molded choice of my profession!  I’d love to share my current organizing obsessions with you  ~ wall pockets!


Wall pockets are used for paper management in your command center. These can be in your office, kitchen or other places to keep paper clutter away.  You can label these with different categories for your paper, such as To Do, To Pay, or To File.  For your kids, there can be one pocket per kid for incoming school or activity papers.


Container Store wall pocket paper management

Container Store Wall Pocket Charleston style


Office Depot wall pocket paper management

Office Depot See Jane Work Wall Pocket


wayfair wall pocket paper management

Wayfair Wall Pocket


Here are a few ways to use wall pockets and see them in action!


office with all pockets


wall pockets command center



Match  your wall pockets to the colors of the space.  Be sure you have one pocket per category and be sure to label your pockets.  Happy organizing!



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