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Cool Product: OXO POP Containers

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Last summer, I went on a field trip to The Container Store with my colleagues from NAPO-NNJ. As you can imagine, the bunch of us that attended had a blast! We saw a few demos, learned about some new products, and had a chance to roam freely through the store. While I was roaming, I happened upon these: OXO Good Grips POP Containers

Cool Product: OXO POP Containers. So easy to open and close--I don't know who likes to use them more--me or my kids! I organizedartistry.com #OXOPOP

They were so cool! You’re probably thinking that I bought out the store…but I controlled myself and didn’t. Even though they were ‘cool,’ they were a bit pricey. I left The Container Store without them in my hand but those POP containers lingered in my brain and heart…

Here are a few reasons why I thought these were a ‘Cool Product.’
• Their square/rectangular shapes fit well side-by-side on shelves
• They stack!
• Easy open/easy close
• Aesthetically pleasing

Fast forward a few weeks. I was shopping in TJ Maxx and found a shelf in the Housewares Department filled with OXO POP Containers! And, in TJ Maxx fashion, they cost less than the ones in The Container Store–jackpot! I brought these two babies home with me, gave them a good washing, and put them to work in my pantry closet.

Cool Product: OXO POP Containers. So easy to open and close--I don't know who likes to use them more--me or my kids! I organizedartistry.com #OXOPOP
Here’s how they open and close… This is the lid when closed. That big button gets pressed to open the container. Press down and…

Cool Product: OXO POP Containers. So easy to open and close--I don't know who likes to use them more--me or my kids! I organizedartistry.com #OXOPOP
It opens!

Cool Product: OXO POP Containers. So easy to open and close--I don't know who likes to use them more--me or my kids! I organizedartistry.com #OXOPOP

When that big push-button is in the ‘up’ position, the lid is loosened and can be lifted. The push-button also acts as a handle! I thought that was pretty cool, too.
Cool Product: OXO POP Containers. So easy to open and close--I don't know who likes to use them more--me or my kids! I organizedartistry.com #OXOPOP

Push the big button down again to create an airtight seal with the pressure of a few fingertips.

Right now, I’m using the two large POP Containers for storing pretzels and Tostitos Scoops. I also bought two tall, slim containers that are holding Twizzlers and small cookies. I purchased one smaller POP Container and it fits an entire package of Fig Newtons perfectly. It’s so easy for my kids to operate them. They are able to get their own snacks and nine times out of ten, the lid goes on and nothing goes stale. That’s pretty good odds for a 4 and 8 year old…

If you’d like to try one out for yourself, check your local TJ Maxx store. I have seen one or two floating around Home Goods but I haven’t seen any in Marshall’s. Want to spring for a 10-piece set? They are sold at The Container Store, Amazon and other home stores. If you have a 20% off coupon, consider purchasing them at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Try one–I think you’ll get hooked on OXO POP!

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Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom

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The last week of November was a busy time in my household. It was Thanksgiving. It was Hanukkah. And it was also my birthday. Lots of food and festivities. Not a lot of downtime.

But, my hubby and I chose to carve out a small amount of time that weekend to make our home more organized. The colder weather was upon us and we had to come up with a solution to a recent organization problem.

We have a front door and an entry-way closet next to that door. Coats, shoes, umbrellas and accessories are kept in that closet.

Problem: My children and I enter and exit our home most days through the garage, not the front door. No closet next to that garage entrance door. Instead, we have a tiny laundry room with an even tinier broom closet that we converted to a storage closet years ago. We installed a row of hooks across the top and at the bottom of the closet we store shopping and recycle bags of varying sizes.

Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
On this closet door, we installed a 4-pocket organizer from Babies R’ Us which has proved to be an extraordinarily helpful organizing product. Each of us has a pocket to store accessories and one is for infrequently used items like snow gloves.
Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces

This worked well for a while. My children were young and had little coats and my jacket fit just fine next to theirs. Now, my kids are bigger and so are their coats. They have more hats and mittens, too. With all three of our winter coats in there, the closet door no longer stayed closed. And the hooks were so high, I was the person in charge of hanging everyone’s coats.

What to do?

I had suggested a hall tree for the room adjacent to the garage which just so happens to be my home office. It wouldn’t thrill me to have coats and backpacks hanging in my work space but it was better than having them spill out of the storage closet–especially when I was doing the laundry.

My husband did not like the hall tree idea for two reasons:
1) He thought a hall tree would have looked messy. (I agree)
2) The hall tree would have to stand in the space currently occupied by his grandmother’s table which he loves and it would not fit in our attic.

So, for a while we thought about it, spent the summer leaving camp bags in the garage but then Autumn came and the problem was back. Backpacks and diaper bags were dropped as we entered the house and coats were dumped on a couch that sits opposite my desk in this room. (No picture is available–too embarrassing for this Professional Organizer to admit!)

Besides the fact that it looked terrible, it didn’t exactly instill the importance of being organized to our two young children.

Once again we asked ourselves, “What to do?”

Solution: One day, my husband looked at me and said, “What if we move the ironing board and vacuum cleaner out of the laundry room and use that space as a mudroom? I measured the space. It was 24” wide. I was skeptical but I grew up in a 5’x12′ bedroom. I knew I could make this work.

Challenge accepted!

Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
I’ll give my husband credit for thinking of utilizing this space. I probably never considered it because my husband likes to iron despite the fact he doesn’t do it much anymore (Yes–he does laundry, too. I’m a lucky lady…). We had not hung an iron in the iron holder since our first child started crawling six years ago. It was a great iron/ironing board organizer from Rubbermaid but it’s time was up. We relocated the real vacuum to the garage with the ironing board and the toy vacuum went to the basement playroom.
Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
I thought to myself, “Where am I going to find what I need to fit into a two-foot wide space?”
I looked in Home Goods and online and didn’t see much that would fit my tight secifications. Then one day, I was in Target and went to check out their Closetmaid collection. I’ve used their products in the past for organizing my kid’s toys and got to check out their new products at the NAPO Conference last year.
I walked down the aisle and not only did I see what would work for me, it was on sale!

Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
The Closetmaid 24″ Horizontal Stackable Organizer

 

Twenty four inches wide, too! What luck! My plan was to have the boys keep their backpacks on the top shelf, store their sneakers on the middle and bottom shelves and since their feet aren’t too big, maybe there would be room for a basket to hold accessories.
Now, I needed to figure out the second half of the mudroom–a place to hang coats. There are so many hook choices out there from the simple to the whimsical. We just needed simple. And, we needed more than one set of hooks. One was to be placed at the top of the space for my coat/handbag/hat and the other was to be placed so my kids could hang and retrieve their own outerwear.
Before Thanksgiving, I attended the holiday party for the local organizer group I belong to–NAPO-NNJ. Besides a lovely dinner, we had a Yankee Swap. The table was filled with gifts and I had pulled the last number for picking. By the time it was my turn to pick, there was one gift left on the table. You’ll never believe what it was?
A SET OF HOOKS!
What else do you think Professional Organizers would bring to a Yankee Swap??? It was meant to be!
And, the person who bought the hooks hadn’t removed the price tag entirely. They were from Bed Bath and Beyond. You can’t imagine how giddy I was over a set of hooks!
The next day with my trusty 20% coupon in hand, I bought another set. I was ready for construction to begin.
We charged our electric drill, connected with our inner Bob Villa, and made Mudroom Magic. Hubby and I put together the Closetmaid shelf in less than ten minutes. We measured and hung the hooks making sure they were straight with the iHandy level on my iPhone.
Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
Measure twice, make hole once!

 

My kids tried putting their backpacks on the bench–plenty of room!

Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
Hooks were hung and so were the coats. The laundry room is tight–here’a a few pics of what it looks like now.
Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
Organizing MY Home: A Two-Foot Wide Mudroom | Organizedartistry.com. See how my husband and I took 24" off our laundry room to create a space for coats, shoes, and backpacks... #smallspaces
My kids have been using it everyday–I am so proud of them! Sometimes I find my husband staring at this space with a big grin on his face. I love it, too. No more coat clutter. It looks great. It keeps us organized. Twenty-four inches of space. Challenge accepted. Challenge met. Challenge complete!
What organizing challenges have you resolved in your home recently?

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Organizing Help for Back to School

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Some of your children may have started school already. Some may still be anticipating the first day. Despite their start date, my guest blogger, Linda Samuels of Oh, So Organized! wants to make sure your child’s school year is a happy and organized one. Read on for her top tips for creating simple systems for getting and staying organized throughout the school year.

It’s that time of year. Leaves are turning, classes are starting, and new school supplies are flying off store shelves. The other day I came across an old pre-printed pad, “A Note to School from Linda Samuels,” which I no longer use since our daughters are in college and beyond. Seeing the notepad made me think about all the years of excited anticipation we had preparing for school to begin. Are you and your kids ready for the transition? Take a deep breath. Getting that organizing piece working for you can make a big difference in having your days run more smoothly. Here are my top tips for an organized, joyful school year.

Cycle – Giving closure to the previous school year helps us get ready for this year. Sort through last year’s school papers (preferably with your kids.) It’s a great opportunity to review what was accomplished and what they were most proud of. It gives you a chance to create a mini time capsule representing last year. Be ruthless when you sort. Save what’s important and recycle the rest. Store the “keepers” in a large envelope. Write your kid’s name, grade and year on the outside. Store the envelope in a larger container. Add a new envelope at the end of each school year.

Capture – Establish a place to put the current school papers as they enter your home. You can use bins, binders, boxes, or any container that’s easily accessible. As artwork, graded papers, or programs come in, put them in their designated spot. You might want a separate container for each kid. When the container gets full, you can do some editing. Then the “keepers” can be stored in their year-end envelope, as described above.

Classic Stockholm Magazine Files from the Container Store are helpful for organizing papers


Land – Create a place for backpacks, coats and notes to reside. When kids come home, they will know where to put their belongings. Cubbies work well, as do hooks. Make them easily accessible both in terms of their physical placement in the home and the heights that you place things. The easier you make it, the better chance you have for creating the “place it here” habit. Consider adding a white board or other communication center in this area to leave notes, messages and important items for kids to remember. Before bed, have your kids make sure that all needed items for the next morning are reading in the “land” area.

Center – One of the essential ingredients for school success is establishing a place to do homework and have school supplies readily available. When it’s time to do that science project, it’s no fun to have to hunt for the markers. Review your current supplies to see if there are any items that need to be replaced. Create a zone for the supplies to reside. If your kids like to move around to various locations for doing their homework, then put together a portable tote or crate to hold the supplies. Whether they prefer working on a desk, their bed or the kitchen table, the supplies can “travel” with your kids.

Pottery Barn Schoolhouse Craft Desk


Assess – Fall is a natural time to review clothing needs. Organize with each kid separately. Go through their closets and drawers. Remove any items that no longer fit, they won’t wear, or need repair or cleaning. With the “do not wants or fits,” donate or save for younger kids if appropriate. Make a shopping list of items that are needed. Remember that less is easier to maintain than too much. Factor in how often laundry is done. Especially if it’s done frequently, you many not need as many clothes. Getting dressed is so much easier and less stressful when everything fits, is clean, and organized.

Resources – This is the time of year when back to school tips and suggestions are abundant. Many of my organizing colleagues have great wisdom to share. Some of my favorite tips and posts are Lorie Marrero’s video about using a binder for organizing school papers and more, Leslie Josel’s Student Organizing Pinterest board, Clare Kumar’s 5 Tips for a Better Back to School, Helena Alkhas’ school paper organizing system, and Ellen Delap’s Back to School Tips to Organize Your Home.

Perspective – With transitions come new patterns, more to dos, and extra stress. Reminding our selves to enjoy the moments can be helpful. They go so fast. A few years ago I wrote a guest post for Working Mother, Moms’ ‘To Do’ Lists, about getting things done, parenting and appreciating the various stages of our children’s lives.

What are some of your favorite ways to stay organized for the school year? Come stop by to share your best tips and resources.

Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® is a compassionate, enthusiastic professional organizer and coach, founder of Oh, So Organized! (1993), author of The Other Side of Organized, and blogger on organizing and life balance.  In July 2013, Linda joined the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) Board of Directors as President-Elect. She has been featured in The New York Times, Woman’s Day, Bottom Line Personal, Westchester Magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and Enterpreneur.com. Connect with Linda on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blog, or website. Sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter with bonus tips at ohsoorganized.com.

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.

Links:
ambersorganizing.com
chicagoprofessionalorganizer.com
facebook.com/ambersorganizingllc
twitter.com/luvtoorganize

Cool Product – Artkive

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Looking for a digital way to store your kid's artwork? Try the Artkive app! My dining room table is artwork-free! I organizedartistry.com #kidsartwork

 

 

I know it’s summer, and no one likes to mention the word ‘school’ during the summer, but I want to prepare you for what is coming. I bring up the topic of ‘school’ because just like kids, parents need to start the school year with tools to make their lives easier.

I’ve started using an app for de-cluttering my house and I wanted to share it with you so you’re ready for the day your child brings home this:

and this:

And enough three-dimesional pieces of art to fill an exhibition space at the MOMA.

The app is called Artkive

Their tag line is: ‘The clutter free way to save and enjoy your child’s artwork’

I read about it in an article on apps for Moms about a year ago and decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did–I LOVE IT!

True Confessions: Despite the fact I’m a Professional Organizer, I still have to deal with the influx of my children’s artwork just like you do. What I’ve done in the past was display some of my son’s artwork, have him sort and purge all of it with me at the end of the year, photograph him with some of it, keep his best pieces and toss the rest. We still take pics of his artwork if he no longer wants to keep it but Artkive has made the process a much easier and organized one.

Now, artwork comes home from TWO children and as it comes out of their backpacks, I ‘Artkive’ the work of art and place them in each child’s room either for display or storage.

If you’d like to see the top of your horizontal surfaces this school year, read on–you can thank me later…

How to start…
• Download the Artkive app (for iPhone and Android).
• Set up an account with the name(s) of your child(ren) and their grade in school.
• Take a picture of your kid’s artwork or upload from your camera roll.
• Tag the photo with your child’s name, grade, date and title of artwork.
• Share with family and friend or turn into a book (coming soon: other products).

It’s just that simple. I haven’t created a book of my kids’ artwork yet, but it’s something I would definitely try out in the future. Currently, there are two options: 8″x8″ or 8″x11.” The cost is $25 for the first 20 pages–$1.00 for each additional page. Before holiday time, Artkive plans to expand to gifts like mugs, calendars and the like.

Why I love Artkive…
• It’s EASY to use.
• I can quickly email artwork to my husband or parents without having to first download the pictures to my computer and emailing them from there.
• All artwork is backed up in the ‘cloud.’
• It helps eliminate artwork clutter.

• It’s free. Go download it and set it up before the first day of school.

You’re welcome.

After you’ve used it for a while, come back and let me know what you think about Artkive!

CLICK HERE to sign up for Organized Artistry’s motivating monthly newsletter!

Morning Routine Secret Weapon: How I Get Two Kids Out of the House on Time

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How I Get Two Kids Out of the House On Time I organizedartistry.com #morningroutinesecretweapon

“I want to watch TV!”

“I want to play with my toys!”

“I’ll brush my teeth later!”

Have you heard these cries from your kids in the morning? They are direct quotes from my two children. And on occasion, I have been guilty of giving in to them. What did it get me? Some prodding, pleading and yelling, a mad dash out the door, and no one starting out their day in a good mood.

I like to start my day in a good mood–I want the same for my kids. It’s important to start the day off with a smile–especially at back-to-school time.

How did I turn our morning routine around?

My secret weapon: 
The ‘Business Before ‘Pleasure’ Method for Morning Routines

What does the ‘Business Before Pleasure’ Method involve? Its basic philosophy is that all morning ‘business’ must be taken care of before ‘pleasure’ (playing or watching TV). Morning business includes (in no particular order):

• Using the bathroom and washing face/brushing teeth
• Selecting clothes (if it wasn’t done the night before)
• Getting dressed
• Eating breakfast
• Cleaning up after breakfast
• Putting on shoes
• Checking school bag for everything needed for the day

My kids are 7 and 3. My big guy can do most of the ‘morning business’ himself by now but still needs a bit of prodding. My little one can be a bit of a ‘wild card.’ You never know what he’s going to do. For these reasons and more, it was important to create a set of ‘rules’ to dictate what needs to happen before they could play/watch TV and so I can get them to school on time.

What makes the ‘Business Before Pleasure’ Method an easier way of getting ready in the morning?
• Lunches and school bags are prepared the night before
• The weather report is checked and clothes are picked out for the next day before bedtime
• The kids know what they are responsible for accomplishing in the morning
• They are learning how to manage their time
• Their desire to have that extra ‘pleasure’ time in the morning motivates them and ensures me a little extra time in case of an emergency or glitch (ex. full diaper/last-minute requests/faulty coat zipper)

Thanks to the ‘Business Before Pleasure’ Method, our mornings are more smooth and less hectic now. And, yes–most mornings my guys get to play and watch a little TV  before leaving the house.

By the way, just saying the phrase ‘Business Before Pleasure’ drives my 7 year old crazy. But, better it drive him crazy for a fleeting moment than have Mommy crazy the whole morning!

CLICK HERE to sign up for Organized Artistry’s motivating monthly newsletter!

Back-to-School: Tips on Creating a First-Aid Kit for College

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We remember to pack sheets, electronics, and posters for the wall when kids go to college but what about medicine? Yes, there’s usually a medical center on campus but my guest blogger, Professional Organizer Heather Ahern of The FUNctional Home believes that preparing college students for minor medical issues is equally as important as preparing them for academics (I agree!).

When packing a student to live away at college, don’t forget to assemble a comprehensive first aid kit.  

Think beyond ibuprofen and Band-Aids when creating this kit for a dorm room. On campus the Health Services are often not available 24 hours a day and some things can be handled easily if the right supplies are on hand. Students need more than the typical pre-packed first aid kit that contains only one or two doses of medications and a few bandages. Also when stocking your own first aid kit, you can ensure the medications are your preferred brands and have a longer shelf life by checking the expiration dates.

A typical first aid kit should include the basic tools and equipment needed for cuts, bumps and bruises: 
Adhesive bandages in all shapes and sizes
antiseptic wipe packets
antibiotic ointment
sterile gauze pads
adhesive tape
hydrocortisone ointment
scissors
eye wash
instant cold compresses
hot packs
elastic (Ace) bandage
thermometer
tweezers

This kit will also be an extension of your medicine cabinet at home so it needs to include: 
Acetaminophen for aches and pains,
Ibuprofen for pain caused by inflammation and swelling
laxatives
anti-diarrhea pills
antacids in case of indigestion
Benadryl for allergic reactions
seasonal allergy medicine
some basic medications for cold and flu season.
Athlete’s foot medicine may come in handy as well.

A conversation on how to use all these new purchases will be helpful for many students living away from home for the first time. 

Before my son left for his freshman year at college we took an unhurried trip to the drugstore. We walked up and down each isle collecting what he needed, discussing why he may need it, with an explanation on how to use it. Being in a new situation, having an altered schedule and eating different foods can bring on a variety of issues in the first few months that many students may have never dealt with before. Take some time to clarify why you included Imodium or Dulcolax for example and the difference between them. You may want to cover when the “kit” is appropriate and in what circumstances the Campus Health Services would be a better choice.

Purchase a durable box to contain all these supplies after you have amassed all the items to insure everything will fit.  

Remove some items like bandages from their original boxes and use plastic zip-top storage bags to save space. Be sure to include a copy of their insurance card, the campus health center’s phone number, the phone number for your child’s physician and a list of any known allergies to medication.

Remember all first aid kits need to be restocked occasionally. Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents each year before heading back to school. This is a good time to do an inventory of your own supplies at home too.

Heather Ahern is a Professional Organizer living in Bridgewater MA
helping families and seniors “Make Sense of their Stuff and Create
Peace in their Home”.

For more information, tips and inspiration
visit TheFUNctionalHome.com  or follow Heather on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheFUNctionalHome.

My Top Ten Organizing Posts

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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!

CLICK HERE to sign up for Organized Artistry’s motivating monthly newsletter!

Teach your Kids to Do Anything–Even Organize!

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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!

Cool Product – Fridge Binz Part 2

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A year and a half ago, I discovered a product that revolutionized my sandwich-making abilities. No, I didn’t hire a chef–I bought a Fridge Bin for my refrigerator.

My food, especially my bread products, was getting lost, smushed and squashed. While strolling through the aisles of The Container Store one day (Yes, that’s where Professional Organizers stroll…) I happened upon the Fridge Bin. I thought the concept was great–but would it function well in my fridge?

If you read my first Fridge Binz post you know that it was a success. And, I’m happy to report that almost a year and a half later, it still holds my bread products and saves them from being mutilated on a daily basis.

That’s some of my bread products safely nestled in the Fridge Bin…

I was so happy with how it functioned in my refrigerator, I bought another one! This one wasn’t for keeping my bread organized–it was for baby food. Those dang jars and little containers are very good at hiding! And when they hide, the food inside of them goes bad. Can’t feed that to a baby…

I had tried organizing my youngest son’s food on the top right shelf of our refrigerator but somehow, it would all migrate across the shelf, and start hiding behind and mingling with other foods–not to be seen for days.

Back to The Container Store I went and here’s what I came home with…

It’s deeper and more narrow than my first purchase. It’s perfect for corralling my little guy’s food items and it’s BPA free, too.

It lives on the right side of the top shelf of my refrigerator–the spot where I had begun my organizing process. It’s a place for me to throw my son’s little containers, baggies of leftovers or anything I’m defrosting for him. No more lost toddler food which means the Fridge Bin is saving me money and time. I like that!

Another Fridge Bin success story!

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

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