February 25, 2013

Anthropologie has Organizing Products!

Have you ever shopped at Anthropologie?

According to their website, "Anthropologie remains a destination for women wanting a curated mix of clothing, accessories, gifts and home d├ęcor that reflects their personal style and fuels their lives' passions, from fashion to art to entertaining."

It's one of the most beautiful stores I've ever shopped in. I feel like I'm stepping into another world every time I walk inside of one. Anthropologie (or 'Anthro' as some shoppers like to call it) sells more than just clothing for women. It also sells shoes, accessories, books, and decorative items for the home.

Back in late December, I hit an end-of-year sale at Anthropologie (Chelsea Market, NYC) with some friends. I picked up a few beautiful tops and a dress that I can't wait to wear. While strolling thru the home decor department, I noticed an area that had office supplies. Office supplies? Never expected to see those at Anthropologie!

I couldn't resist and the price was right! What did I bring home with me besides clothes? I brought home...

1950's Floral File Folders
The packaging reads, " Style before order, or order before style? Now you don't have to choose. Paperwork is rarely fun, but it can be chic when combined with these stylish file folders." The patterns are 1950's-inspired British textile designs. Four designs and eight file folders in the package--labels, too by Galison New York. Can't wait to start using them!

Today is the Day Notepad
I saw this pad and couldn't believe my luck! The 'Today is the Day' Pad by Onecanoetwo was made for me! This is exactly how I plan my day. I make a list of what I want to accomplish in the morning, in the afternoon before picking the kiddies up from school, and at night after they go to sleep. I'm going to have to buy more of these when I run out!

Monogrammed Sticky Notes
Post-its. With my initial on them. Couldn't resist them. Loved the colors. Loved the case they came in. They had to come home with me and live on my desk. Also by Galison. Artwork by Samantha Hahn.

Did I mention that all of these organizing supplies were reduced and then an extra 30% off? Woo-hoo! Makes my heart skip a beat...

And because one Anthoplogie was not enough for me, I felt the need to also check out the one in my backyard in Paramus, NJ. Got two more beautiful tops on sale and spotted these--animal and garden-themed post-it flags. Not on sale. May go back and buy them anyway. When I read a non-fiction book, I use flags to mark sections I'd like to refer to later. These would definitely make my bookshelves more aestheically pleasing. 

So, next time you go shopping for clothes or shoes or groceries or motor oil, keep your eye out for organzing supplies. You never know what you'll find...

February 18, 2013

Can Organizing Supplies BE the Clutter?

I'm always advising my clients to sort, purge and inventory their belongings before purchasing organizing supplies. My guest blogger, Moreen Torpy of De-Clutter Coach in Ontario, Canada thinks that sometimes organizing supplies that are supposed to help us are in fact cluttering our homes! Read on to see if you recognize some of the signs of this idea in your home...

Many times when I go into clients’ homes, I see they’ve purchased any number of organizing supplies and books. What they’ve actually bought is the dream of being organized, not the reality. This may seem a bit harsh, but stay with me for a bit.

Cubbies containing enough shoes to stock a shoe store isn’t organizing the shoes. It’s simply showcasing the quantity. Who really needs a hundred pair of shoes? My question is whether all this footwear is actually being worn, especially when there are large numbers of children’s shoes. Because kids grow so quickly, how do they even have time to wear all of them before they’re too small. In this case, the cubbies intended to organize are really contributing to the disorganization.

Empty bins stacked or not, intended to store off season clothes, are useless unless they contain something. Before buying bins, why not prune your wardrobe, holiday decorations, and anything else you intend to store, then decide what kind of storage is needed. Spending money on unnecessary bins adds to the clutter rather than reducing it.

Adding storage baskets to closets to hold clothing that hasn’t been worn in years isn’t the answer. I suggest weeding out items that aren’t being worn on a regular basis and reduce the number of storage baskets to de-clutter that closet.

Containers for gift wrap can be a trap. Paper deteriorates with time, so having a large supply, even if it wasn’t expensive, doesn’t serve in the long run. Carefully storing all that paper in containers made for gift wrap is often a waste of time, especially if you run out the day after Christmas to grab more gift wrap on sale to add to the collection. Decide on two containers, maximum. One for holiday wrap, and one for other occasion wrap. These will be plenty for a normal household.

And we can’t forget all those plastic food containers! Whether they’re fancy take-out ones or recycled ones (margarine, yogurt, etc.) or new ones, they’re still clutter if they’re not being used. A rule of thumb for food containers is to have only the number that will fit in your freezer. Logically more than that won’t be used because there’s no place for it. And I won’t even go into the containers with missing lids or the covers with no bottoms. The only thing to do with these is to get rid of them. It’s a well-known fact that they multiply behind closed cabinet doors. Beware the unattached pieces!

I’m not advocating adding anything to the landfill that can be diverted—just saying to think ahead and not bring them into your home at all. We can only repurpose so much in the existing space. To my mind, adding space to accommodate clutter is unproductive and wasteful.

So you have organizing supplies that have become clutter? What’s your plan to eliminate it/them? Please share your solutions—we’d love to hear from you.

© Moreen Torpy

We would be honored for you to reprint this article. If you do, please include the resource box below with the hyperlinks intact.


Moreen Torpy is the De-Clutter Coach, a Trained Professional Organizer, Author, and Speaker. Her new book is Going Forward: Downsizing, Moving and Settling In. See www.GoForwardDownsize.com for more about the book including where to purchase it, and www.decluttercoach.ca to learn about her organizing services and other books.

February 6, 2013

10 Organizing Projects to Tackle While Watching Television

Do you watch TV? What's your favorite television show at the moment?

American Idol?
Downton Abbey?
The Amazing Race?

Watching television can be a great way to relax, learn a new subject or be entertained. But, I'll let you in on a little organizing secret:

Watching television can be a great way to get organized.

You're probably thinking, "What? I can organize my house while watching TV? Hook me up!"

Well, I'm about to...

As I've discussed in past posts, in order to reach an organizing goal, one must have a plan in place and mini-goals set to eventually reach that goal. Some of these mini-goals or projects can be accomplished while watching television. Sitting down. In your bunny slippers. With a glass of wine in your hand--if you'd like.

Photo courtesy of: rolalaloves.blogspot.com

Before you plop down on the couch in your pajamas with or without a glass of liquid inspiration, bring an organizing project with you. Here are ten organizing projects/mini-goals you can easily tackle while watching television, getting you one step closer to the organizing finish line:

1. Empty your wallet and go through receipts, business cards, cash, etc.

2. Put your sock drawer (T-shirts/underwear/you get the idea) on your lap and sort/purge/organize

3. Put your kitchen junk drawer on the floor/coffee table to sort through, purge and reorganize

4.  Sort through, delete or update apps on your smart phone

5. Organize recipes into categories and place in plastic sleeves in a binder

6. Sort/Purge a stack of papers from your file cabinet/dining room table/pile on the floor

7. Group photos by event, person or chronologically and put into albums

8. Sort through old magazines

9. Sort/Purge expired coupons

10. Fold laundry and put away during commercials

What will you be watching and organizing tonight?