Tag Archive for: organize your home

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!

Organizing your Teen

Organizing your teen might feel a lot like herding cats.  Are you really making a difference?  Approaching organizing can be overwhelming, distracted and extremely frustrating! But with a few tips, you can make organizing happen. 

Start by establishing a work plan that appeals to your teen.  Set a time that you can both work and require mandatory attendance. To work together, you need their input to know what to keep and what to eliminate. Set a time that your teen can really be on target in making decisions.  Work for 2 hour segments as well so you keep on task and get things done.

Help your teen establish a boundary for keepsakes.  Having attractive boxes for keepsakes and plastic 66 quart tubs for alternative storage make for great options.  There will be keepsakes for sure! Having these options gives your teen a boundary for how much to keep, helps them start making decisions, and also allows for safe storage. Attractive boxes can hold paper keepsakes, while storage bins hold models, dolls or other precious items they have outgrown but not out-loved.

Add energy to the project with food and music! Adding a professional organizer in the mix adds objectivity, focus and project management too!  In just two hours, here is what a mom, a teen and I knocked out in two hours over spring break!

What is your organizing challenge with your teen?

Using Vertical Space

Using an “organizer’s eye”, there is often space in a home, closet or office that is unused.  Vertical space can be a great asset for organization.

  • Use a section off your kitchen as an office nook with calendar, bulletin board and wall pockets for information.
  • Use a narrow bookshelf with baskets at your back door to keep all the last minute items you need.
  • Use a mud room installation at your entry for backpacks and shoes.
  • Use hanging canvas organizer in your closet with plastic bins to hold lingerie, pajamas, and socks.
  • Use decorative hooks on a wall to hold hats.
  • Use clear push pins near the bathroom mirror to hold jewelry.
  • Use a wall pocket just inside your office door to hold unprocessed papers before cluttering your desk.
  • Use a dry erase board to list projects at your office.

What clever uses of vertical space do you use?

Kitchen Organizing: The Heart of the Home

kitchen organizing


Our kitchens are the heart of the home!  We want to nurture and communicate with our families, have dinner together, and make this hub of activity more efficient and less cluttered.   Take a simple, step by step approach to making this space more effective. Kitchen organizing makes family life more cohesive, less stressful and more fun!

  • Pare down to what you need by assessing what is in each drawer and in each cabinet.  Keep the multi-function tools and donate the single use tools.  Do this in baby steps, just drawer by drawer.
  •  Arrange your kitchen tools by use.  Keep food preparation items near the sink, food storage items near the refrigerator, cooking items near the stove, and plates and glasses near the dishwasher for easy retrieval and storage.
  • Be brutal about your food storage containers. Keep all the rectangular containers nested together with the lids nested in a separate container and then the circular containers nested together with the lids nested in their own container.
  • Group small appliances together for easy access and improved storage.  Assess when was the last time you used your bread maker or waffle iron  and donate these if it is a while ago.
  • Establish work zones for frequent tasks.  A lunch zone is great for getting your kids’ lunches together, including sacks, Ziplocs, and snacks that go into the bag.  A coffee zone for the morning java might include coffee pot, coffee filters, mugs, and sweetener.
  • Your “command center” for paper keeps piles from forming.  Use a desk top sorter with hanging files for categories such as Action, Pay, File, and then one slot for each of your kids and husband or wife. Drop paper in when it arrives and then take an hour once a week for administrative tasks.
  •  Add a calendar space for your family calendar.  Be sure to hang this where everyone sees it regularly and add information during your family meeting to keep it up to date.
  • Review the expiration date of food in your pantry.  Set up the “grocery store” on the shelves and put a label where food goes.    Remember to keep a section for healthy snacks for your kids to easily grab and go.

Come see me at The Woodlands Home Show

5 Steps to Simplify and Organize Your Home

Downsizing? Right sizing? Empty Nester? Transition with a new baby? Learn the simple ways to make a difference for your home and create peace of mind for you and your family!


August 29 & 30, 2009


Saturday from 9am – 7pm
Sunday from 10am – 6pm

Presentation on Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 2:30 pm

Happy Organizing and see you there!