July 29, 2013

My Top Ten Organizing Posts

It's hard to believe but Organized Artistry is heading into it's 11th year in business. The time has certainly flown! In that time, I've written organizing tip articles for my website and almost four years ago, I started this blog.

In honor of 11 years of organizing, I share with you the top ten most popular posts of this blog--plus one bonus post to make it 11. I hope at least one of them will offer you an idea or a resource for creating and maintaining an organized life.

Curious as to what readers liked most?

Top 3 blog posts:

Best Products for Organizing Your Car
This post was the most popular by a landslide! Maybe I need to add 'car organizing' to my list of services...

Organizing Inspiration from Curious George
Who would think that a mischievous monkey could teach us a lesson on organization?

Peter Walsh Organizes Rachael Ray's Kitchen
She's got a smaller kitchen than one would assume. Peter Walsh makes cooking at home a more stress-free activity for the famous cook.

Cool Product blog posts:

Cool Product - Jewelry Organizer
Not your usual jewelry holder...

Cool Product - Cable Turtle
Wires! Wires! Wires! No more unsightly wire messes thanks to cable turtles.

Cool Product - Fridge Binz
If your fridge need organizing, check these out...

Other popular blog posts:

De-Cluttering Tips
Simple, basic steps to follow for de-cluttering...

Top Ten Helper Shelf 'Hot Spots' for Your Home
This was a popular post, too. I love helper shelves! See how they can transform your closets and cabinets.

Organizing Up and Down--a Vertical Makeover
My motto: "If you can't go outward, go UPWARD!"

Organizing on the Cheap: Target Dollar Spot
Love the Target Dollar Spot. You never know what organizing products (or other goodies) you'll find there.

New Baby? Time to Get Organized
These little people have a lot of stuff and require a ton of organization!

Bonus post: Some organizing humor...

Professional Organizer Humor
Yes, there's a bumper sticker for our profession, too!

My blog posts are written with the intention of providing information, tips, resources and sometimes a good laugh. I hope they have provided you with all that and more. Thanks so much for supporting Organized Artistry!

July 18, 2013

Organizing 'Quick Tip:' Take Action with Post-its

If you've been reading my blog for a while or 'Like' Organized Artistry on Facebook, then you know how much I love Post-its. I own and use them in different colors, shapes and sizes. Up until recently, I used the 'Stickies' program on my Mac (replaced now by the paperless, Evernote...). Truth be told, I just downloaded the Post-it app to my smart phone--I couldn't help myself...

I use Post-its almost everyday, both in my business and personal life. I use them as a place to dump my brain and to help me remember what I need to do. I find that they come in handy when dealing with papers that need to be acted upon. Today's Organizing 'Quick Tip' of the day is...

Use a Post-it to remind you to take a particular action.

For instance, I'm always collecting store coupons--especially ones for the stores where I buy my kids' clothing. They're always needing something in their wardrobe! When I get the coupon, I place a Post-it on top of it and jot down what I need to buy in that store. No need to comb my brain thinking about what I need to buy when I get a moment to shop. It's all there, ready for me to act upon.

A while back, I needed some picture frames and photo albums. I thought I might have trouble remembering what I needed once I got to the store--so I went searching for my good friend, the Post-it. I wrote on the Post-it above exactly what products I was looking for and stuck it to the coupon. By doing so, I spent less time at the store and no time trying to recall what I needed to buy.

Write the action that you need to take on a Post-it to remind you...

To pay a bill by a certain date.
To write back to someone who sent you a holiday card.
To create a new file for a stack of papers.
To donate or toss an unwanted item.
To follow up on an project you're working on.

What action will a Post-it remind you to take today?

July 8, 2013

Cool Product: Nalgene Leakproof Bottles

Have you ever packed your suitcase and opened it later to find a mess? I'm talking about shampoo spilled all over your clothes. How about a body lotion explosion?

Regardless of what can open, spill or explode, the last thing you want to do when you arrive at your destination or get home from a trip is deal with messy laundry and suitcase cleaning.

If you're traveling by plane, train or automobile in the near future, you're going to want to take a close look at these...

Today's Cool Product is: Nalgene Leakproof Bottles

Nalgene Round Leakproof Bottles
I first spotted them in the Travel section of the The Container Store. I bought a few to try--filled them with my bath gel, shampoo and moisturizer and took them on a trip. To my surprise, I arrived at my destination with no leaky bottles in my suitcase. Success! I bought more and have relied on them for peace of mind, 'clean' and easy travel ever since.

Besides different shaped bottles, Nalgene makes jars, too. I use jars for items with a thicker consistency such as diaper rash cream and my nighttime moisturizer. An example:

Nalgene Leakproof Jars

The bottles and jars come in different sizes but the 1 oz. and 2 oz sizes work best for airline travel.

I keep a few extra Nalgene bottles and jars in my linen closet for when I need one at the last minute. No more last minute trips to the store before a vacation!

Now that I have two kids, I don't go away often. But when I do, I take my  "I'm-ready-to-leave-the-house-at-a-moment's-notice" bag off the shelf. It has almost everything I need for a quick getaway--most of my toiletries are in Nalgene bottles labeled across the outside.

Which reminds me: Don't forget to label these bottles once you've filled them. You don't want to accidentally wash your hair with your face moisturizer... Use a label maker or removable labels by Avery. Blue painter's tape and a Sharpie will work, too if pressed for time. You don't want to miss your flight!

If you're planning to visit family or a far away country, get yourself a few Nalgene Leakproof Bottles and Jars. When you get back from your trip, I want to hear all about your adventures and your clean suitcase!

July 2, 2013

Teach your Kids to Do Anything--Even Organize!

Got kids?

Me, too.

Ever feel like you're constantly trying to pick up after them and maintain their stuff?

Hey, guess what--me, too. It's kind of like shoveling snow during a blizzard.

At my first NAPO Conference in 2004 (a few years before I had children) I took a workshop called 'Organizing the Family' given by Professional Organizer, Allison Carter of Digital Life Organizing. In that terrific workshop, I learned something that I still remember almost ten years later. I'm sharing this with you in the hopes that you will use it to make your life as a parent a little easier.

In the workshop, I learned the five steps to follow to teach your child mastery of almost any task.

Woo-hoo! Hallelujah!

Write these five steps on a post-it and stick it where you can see it. Or, write them in an app on your smartphone. Jot them down somewhere you can access them easily. You're going to want to refer to these steps often. Remember, they're going to make your life as a parent easier (If you're reading this and you're not a parent, pass them on to someone who is!). Here they are...

To Get Your Kids to Master  ______________ ...

Step 1. Demonstrate the task you'd like your child to master
Step 2. Do the task with them
Step 3. Supervise your child doing the task
Step 4. Let them do the task alone
Step 5. Supervise your child occasionally

What are some skills your kids can master using these five steps?
• Putting away their toys
• Doing/folding their own laundry
• Setting the table for a family meal
• Using a knife
• Sorting and purging their school papers
• Household cleaning/gardening chores

Each step will take some time, effort and patience on your part but in the end, the investment of time will be worth it. And believe me--your future sons and daughters-in-law will thank you.

Thank you, Allison Carter for sharing your wisdom!