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Archive for the ‘ Office Products ’ Category

Organizing Quick Tip: Shopping List Post-it


How many times have you gone to the supermarket with your shopping list written on a piece of paper and any of the following happens:

• you lose it

• it drops somewhere in the cart and gets trapped under your heaviest item

• you have to carry the list while pushing the cart because you think you might lose it or drop it

Your trip to the supermarket is about to get easier…

Today’s Organizing Quick Tip:

Use large post-its for your shopping list and stick them to the
front compartment of the cart.

Organizing Quick Tip: Shopping List Post-it I #groceryshoppingtip

No more fumbling for your list. No more balancing your list and a bag of bananas. Your list is right in front of you making shopping easier and less stressful–that’s what organizing is all about.

I like the fact that these post-its have lines to write on, making your list easier to compose and read. By placing the list in this spot, it also makes it easier to cross items off your list with a pen. You can find these lined post-its in most office supply stores–or Amazon if you need a few extra dollars to make that free shipping limit…

For those of you who have small children seated in that front compartment, I know you can’t stick your shopping list in the spot above–I’ve been there. My kids’ shopping cart cover had side pockets for bottles/snacks and while my sons were little and sitting in that front section of the cart, I’d put the big post-it shopping list in one of those pockets. Yes, sometimes my child would grab it and I’d have to move it around (and sometimes even stick it to myself) but that period of their lives won’t last long. Soon you will be able to stick your post-it shopping list on the shopping cart.

Who’s going shopping the organized way today?


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Organizing a Backpack

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Students from preschool to college love to use backpacks. They come in a multitude of sizes, colors and price points and can hold a ton of books and supplies. My guest blogger, Amber Kostelny of Amber’s Organizing knows that a backpack has the potential to be a black hole or bottomless pit so she’s offering some of her best tips for organizing a backpack. Read on…

LL Bean Turbo Transit Backpack

Organizing a backpack and keeping it neat and tidy is not much different from organizing something else in your home or office. Similar principles apply. Here are my top tips! (and if you’ve got some to share- please comment! We’d love to hear them.) 

Use pouches that are colored and clear. This may sound confusing, so let me explain. Seeing through a container or pouch makes finding pencils, pens, and erasers a lot easier. If they are tinted a color, that’s even better. Over time, your child will for example associate blue for pencils and red for note cards. This makes it easier to grab a pouch out of the bag. Avoid loose crayons, highlighters and erasers. Everything should be in a pouch or small bag.

Assign each pocket in the backpack its’ own function or use. For example, maybe the front small pocket will always contain the pencil case and the first large pocket- folders and paper, where as the second large compartment or pocket will house the books. Again, over time your student will instinctively associate certain pockets with certain contents. They’ll never have to guess where something is if everything “has a home”.

Clean it out regularly. This step is the most important. I recommend each and every night, clean out and tidy up the backpack. This may not be realistic for your child but if you can get into this habit, it will really help. Otherwise, shoot for once a week. That will help keep the mess at bay.

Label everything. Cases, pouches, books, folders and just about anything else you can think of- label it! Although kids like to write the label or title out themselves, encourage them to use your label maker. It will make it easier for everyone if the labels are clearly typed out.

Color code folders, binders, and notepads. Choose one color to represent one subject. Perhaps your child’s math book has a book cover. Then stick to a blue folder or notebook to match it. All of these little changes can sometimes make a huge difference if you child identifies with colors to stay organized.

Amber has been serving the Chicago area as a professional organizer since January 2004. She is a Certified Professional Organizer® and specializes in residential and small business organizing. She especially enjoys working one on one with clients to customize the organizing solutions and systems to add efficiency to their space or business. Helping people problem solve difficult spaces and creating productive work spaces is very rewarding to her. Amber is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers as well as local member of the Chicago chapter.


5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Label Maker


You’ve seen them in the store. All those little buttons. The tape cassettes. The promise of perfectly lined up words and phrases, phrases you will stick on files and bins that will keep you organized for eternity…

You’ve may be hemming and hawing and asking yourself–do I really need one?

Should you buy a label maker?

You don’t need to be a Professional Organizer to own one. I’m here to tell you…


I’ve had my Brother P-Touch for over ten years. Like a Timex watch, ‘It takes a licking and keeps on ticking…’ I think I’ve changed the batteries less than five times since I’ve owned it. A doctor uses a stethoscope. A tailor uses a sewing machine. A professional organizer goes nowhere without a label maker.

There are a few different brands of label makers, but I prefer the products made by Brother.

It has been an indispensable tool in my organizer’s work bag. Clients love when I take it out of my bag and place it on their table. I’ve seen small children and animals mystified by the tape that comes out of the side of the machine.

Have I convinced you yet of their wonderfulness and that you need to own one? If you’re still reading this post then I guess you haven’t darted off to the store. OK, here are…

Five Reasons Why You Should Own a Label Maker

1. Label makers make our lives easier . They’re light, portable and those labels help us identify items quickly–saving us time and energy. Label makers are especially helpful to those who have illegible handwriting, too.

2. Label makers make getting organized enjoyable. Label Makers make people happy. Thus, people are happy when they are getting organized, making the process more enjoyable.

3. You can express yourself with label maker tape. Do you know the phrase, “It’s not all black and white?’ Well, neither are the label maker tape cassettes. Most often, I use black text on white tape but there are other options such as black text on clear tape, black text on yellow or black text on red tape.

4. Printed labels make you feel organized. Printed labels are easily identifiable and readable–close-up and from far away. They create order where they may be chaos.

5. You’ll be the envy of all your friends! They’re going to wish their files and bins could look as great and be as organized as yours with that labelmaker in your hand!

Did you make your decision–to buy or not to buy? If you said, ‘BUY!,’ you won’t regret this purchase. Check online and in local stores for different models/features and the best price. I bought my label maker in Costco back in 2001–don’t forget to check in those type of stores, too. Buy the tapes in bulk from an office supply store or use a coupon to bring down the price.

Happy Labeling!

Cool Product – 3.5″ Hanging File Folder Tabs


You’ve decided to organize your files–that’s great! I’m so proud of you.

You purchased hanging folders for this project, right? Good. You’re on your way!

Open the box of hanging folders. Somewhere in the box is a plastic baggie filled with plastic tabs and paper inserts.

Take a close look at the tabs. They’re small–only 2″ across. You can’t write much on them. I’m going to tell you right now–they’re going to frustrate you to no end as you attempt to use them for your filing project.

I’d like you to consider NOT using them.

I know you paid for them. But, I’m going to ask you to spend a little more money on your files.

The ‘Cool Product’ that will make it easier for you to locate, retrieve and store your papers is…

The 3.5″ Hanging File Poly Tab

Photo: SMEAD

What are the benefits to using 3.5″ tabs?

– they have more room to write on
– larger tabs means you can write larger on them or create labels with large letters for easy readbility
– find files more quickly with a larger tab

Whenever I work with a client on getting their papers organized/setting up a file system, I always recommend they use 3.5″ tabs. I pull a pack of these out of my ‘magic’ bag of organizing supplies, and people are amazed–most have never seen the 3.5″ tabs. They only know about the 2″ tabs that come in the box of file folders. Happiness abounds. Joyful categorizing and labeling begins. Another client’s life made easier with a Cool Product…

Thinking of switching to 3.5″ tabs?

Anthropologie has Organizing Products!

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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 décor 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…

SMEAD – Poly Translucent Slash Jackets

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Another product from SMEAD has arrived in my mailbox!

January’s product review is for the Poly Translucent Slash Jacket. It sounds like a great name for a punk rock band to me, but it’s not–it’s really the name of an office product.

The ‘Slash Jacket’ comes in ‘clear’ or a pack of assorted colors. SMEAD sent me one in a nice baby blue. It’s very pretty…

They are…
– translucent
– 3-hole punched for standard three-ring binders
– letter size
– acid free, archival quality
– closed on both sides and on the bottom

And they have pockets on both sides – great for storing lots of papers!

The ‘Slash’ part of this product is what makes it functional. Papers are kept safe and at the same time are easy to retrieve and put away. Try doing that with a full plastic sleeve–not as easy…

I wouldn’t use them for recipes but I could see using them in a binder of information that requires easy access such as...

– A Wedding binder – one side for ideas, one side for vendor contracts
– A Decorating/Adding On/Building a New Home binder – one side for each room of the house
– A binder for Students – one side for tests, the other side for important class notes

No need for a hole puncher. No little, punched-out circles all over your desk or floor. The Poly Translucent Slash Jacket is a perfect solution for organizing, storing and retrieving papers in a three-ring binder.

Related Posts:

SMEAD – Secure Pockets with Easy Grip
SMEAD – Super Tab Folder
SMEAD – ‘My Organizer’ Products

SMEAD – Secure Pockets with Easy Grip

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If you’ve read some of my past posts, you know that just about once a month, the office supply company, SMEAD sends me one of their products to review on my blog. I’m always excited to rip open the package to see what it is.

SMEAD has sent me what I think is a very efficient office/home office product–the Secure Pocket with Easy Grip.

Have you ever put a bunch of papers in a folder and had them fall out all over the floor? I think all of us at one time or another has had that happen. It’s no fun!

Enter the SMEAD Secure Pocket with Easy Grip. This pocket folder is designed to provide twice as much grip as other pocket folders. I’m not sure even a tornado could blow papers out of these folders.

These straps you see in the picture are strong! You’re going to need to eat a bowl of Wheeties or head to the gym before stretching these straps out! I tried pulling them before I had my breakfast and I had to exert more energy than I usually do when securing paper into a pocket folder…

It fits beautifully in a file cabinet and has Tyvek reinforcements on the side to make the place where you put the straps practically tear-proof. Yea–no raggedy looking edges! It also has a barely noticeable grippy material running across the top of the folder–this makes it easier to pull out of your file cabinet. Love this feature!

Just to test it out, I put some papers inside the Secure Pocket with Easy Grip. I placed the straps over the top of the folder, threw it up in the air and the papers didn’t fall out. I knocked the folder off my desk–no papers fell out.

With the SMEAD Secure Pocket with Easy Grip you’re practically guaranteed that your papers won’t fly out of the top and that you’ll get an upper body workout as well. Who could ask for more from an office product?

Organizing Quote


I’m guilty.

Guilty of not being able to keep up with reading my magazines. I’m now down to one subscription and I have a stack that I’m slowly chipping away at. See, even Professional Organizers get behind on tasks!

I just finished reading the March 2012 ‘De-clutter Your Life’ issue of O “Oprah’ magazine and really enjoyed reading an article called, “Journey to the Center of Gayle’s Closet.”

In the article, Adam Glassman, O Magazine’s Creative Director along with a small team of helpers assist Gayle King (Oprah’s ‘bestie’) with a closet intervention: sorting, purging and organizing her clothes closet.

It’s a great piece written by the very talented Lisa Kogan. She is so funny, I’d read the phone book if I knew she wrote it…

There’s a section at the bottom of the article showing products to help to organize a closet–that’s where I got the following quote from…

Quote: “What good are boxes and bins if you can’t easily tell what’s in them?” says Adam Glassman.

“People can last a day or two without food and water, but no one can live without a label maker!”

Loved that. Had to share. Who is running out and getting a label maker?

SMEAD – Super Tab Folder

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Last month, I started blogging about products from a company called SMEAD. If you haven’t heard of them, just walk into your local office supply store and check the shelves. They create products for document management. If you have paper, you’ve probably seen or used one of their products.

In August, I talked about SMEAD’s ‘My Organizer’ Products/MO File System. Today, I’m going to give you a tour of another one of their helpful products…the Super Tab Folder.

Have you ever started filing your papers and realized you didn’t have enough room to write what you wanted to on the folder tab?  I know, I have. You can squeeze just so many words in a small space! I guess the people at SMEAD heard that complaint a million times and decided to do something about it.

Here is a photo of SMEAD’s Super tab folder. (The reflection is of my light fight fixture and of me taking the picture.)

This isn’t any ordinary file folder. When you open it up–it’s also a folder with two pockets! You may be asking–what is that doohickey is at the top of the folder?

That doohickey acts as a clamp to hold your papers in place while the folder is being carried or filed in your file cabinet. Here it is open:

With a stack of papers in it…

The doohickey at the top of the folder is perfect for those prone to the ‘dropsies.’ If you accidentally drop this folder, your papers aren’t going to fall out all over the floor like they would from a regular file folder. That’s great news–especially for those who never put page numbers on their documents…
By the way–if you haven’t figured it out already, THIS is why they call it the SUPER TAB folder… 
That writing area is almost twice the size of a tab on a regular file folder. Ever try and fit everything you want to write on a tab but you’d run out of room? Not anymore with the Super Tab folder! I could write a novel on that tab!
I think the concept is great–the file folder is a 2-pocket folder with a built in paperweight. The only drawback to this product is its glossiness. After handling it for a while, my fingerprints were all over it. Maybe the cast of CSI should use it to file their papers and catch criminals!
Check back in October for my next SMEAD product post! I don’t know what it will be but I’ll be sure to let you know about more of SMEAD’s helpful paper organizing products as they come through my mail slot.

SMEAD – ‘My Organizer’ Products


While at the NAPO Conference in Baltimore this past Spring, I got to meet a lovely representative from SMEAD at our Product EXPO. She and I chatted about office products, ‘liked’ each other on Facebook and a few months later, she asked me if I would want to review SMEAD products on my blog.

What organizer can say no to checking out new organizing products?

A few weeks later, I received the MO File System.  MO stands for ‘My Organizer.’ There are three parts to the MO File system: a folder kit, a file case and a case wrap. Here’s a video with all the details:

I received three pieces: the File Case, the Case Wrap, and the Financial Kit. They come in different colors but I got the green pattered one which coincidentally fits in with the decor of my home office.

Besides the Financial Kit, the other kits sold are the MO Medical Kit, the MO Project Kit and the MO Starter Kit. According to the SMEAD website,

“MO file kits provide all the help you need to get organized. Each kit contains 9 letter size SuperTab folders, one label sheet with pre-printed and/or blank labels and a detailed instruction sheet.” 

The My Organizer system can be found at most office supply stores and on

Why consider the My Organizer File system for your paper organizing needs?

– It fits easily into a letter-sized file drawer
– It is easily transportable
– It’s a great way to organize papers for a particular project or aspect of your life

I haven’t started using it yet but here’s what I like about My Organizer File system so far…

– It’s compact
– The File Case slides out of both sides of the Case Wrap
– The Super Tabs on the file folders are huge! Plenty of space for writing file descriptions.

I have a lot of business and family-related papers that always need action or are pending so I’m going to explore the features of he My Organizer File system and give it a try on my desk. I’ll keep you posted!

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

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