I love Elfa, the shelving/drawer system from The Container Store. I use it in my own home, in a closet in my office and to store my yarn stash. I also use three different Elfa file carts in my office, one for my business archives, one for my genealogy papers and one for my action files. That one lives under my desk.
Four years ago, I wrote this post about how much I love the little dip bowls from West Elm. My love for them has not diminished over time. And, amazingly, West Elm is still selling these little beauties, so I thought I’d repeat this post. The one thing I now use them for that I didn’t use to is dip! They really are good for that. But I like them for all sorts of things, including looking pretty.
I’m delighted to report that Brother has upped its label maker game and created the Brother PT-P300BT aka the Brother P-Touch Cube and it’s a game changer. The Cube is a bluetooth enabled label printer that uses a smartphone app to actually type and design the labels. You download the P-touch Design&Print app and use it to create your labels. (The app is available for Apple and Android phones.) Your phone communicates with the printer wirelessly via bluetooth. And it works like a charm.
This week, I had the opportunity to help a dear friend organize the storage spaces of her new apartment in New York City. Having just moved in, she didn’t need any decluttering, so I was able to get busy while she was at work. After I analyzed her needs, I went to the Container Store website and scoped out some products, making a Wish List.
In 2014, I made a huge improvement in how I store my jewelry and I blogged about it, complete with before and after pictures. I’m still using this system, though I have a very limited selection of jewelry, now that I’m doing “Project 333”: . Unlike my clothes, I have not packed away my jewelry. So I still select my earrings (from the few pairs in the collection) from that jewelry box and pluck the one necklace I wear from the rack. I wanted to share this post again, because this system has worked well for me and stood the test of time!
I’m channeling my inner Oprah by creating this post about eight of my favorite things of the past year.
If you’re in the market for shelving or Elfa, now’s the time to buy! At the beginning of every year the Container Store has a sale on Elfa, its fabulous shelving and drawer system. And then in the fall they have a shelving sale. If I’m remembering correctly, the only Elfa that was included in that sale was shelving.
When I attended the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers this year, the item in the trade show that got me most excited was the SuperTab Coloring Folders being sold by Smead. That’s right, coloring folders. File folders that you color on.
Several weeks ago, I blogged about organizing my coloring supplies. I enjoy coloring in coloring books intended for grown ups and I use colored pencils and Sharpies primarily.
In that blog post, I showed how I organize my dozens of colored pencils. (I use Prismacolor Premier pencils.) And I mentioned that I had yet to figure out a good way to organize my colored Sharpies. At the time, they were laying flat in a box all mixed together.
I jumped aboard the adult coloring book craze last June. I loved coloring as a kid and I love it now. It’s so wonderful that so many interesting types of coloring books are available. And the coloring supplies! When I was a kid, I used Crayola crayons. Now, I use pencils, pens, markers…it feels like the sky’s the limit.
One key to having a neat and organized garage is getting everything you can off the floor. I’ve seen a variety of options in my clients’ garages, but I hadn’t been exposed to Monkey Bar Storage before I saw them at this year’s NAPO conference. I was impressed by the strength and durability of the garage shelving systems I saw.
In 2011, I wrote a blog post in praise of Target’s Itso bin. I was inspired to do so because of a great post by my friend and colleague Aby Garvey on the Simplify 101 blog.
Organizing isn’t about great products. It’s really about great systems and habits. But sometimes you can introduce a great product into the mix that makes everything come together really well.
Labels are an important step in the organizing process. They help you establish a place for everything. They help you identify categories. They help you remember.
Right now is a great time to buy Elfa because they’re having their annual sale. All Elfa components are 30 percent off, as is Elfa installation. For many people, Elfa is easy to put together. But if you’re having a closet system put in, going with their installation service is a nice perk.
I have to admit I have never been very diligent about keeping my valuable documents/belongings safe from disaster. I think part of my problem is that I don’t like to think about disasters or believe that one will befall me. (I realize that this type of head-in-the-sand thinking is ridiculous and not at all helpful.)
A week ago, I reviewed the Hands Free Tote from United Solutions and offered one up for a giveaway.
From time to time I receive emails from manufacturers of products that might interest my readers. They typically offer to send me a product sample, hoping I’ll review it. I don’t promise a review, but I often say yes and offer to give feedback on the product, which is mine to keep. When I really like a product, I’ll review and do a giveaway.
I don’t have a ton of jewelry, but I have my share. I wear earrings virtually day and on some days I also wear necklaces or bracelets. As a result, how well my jewelry is organized really has an impact on my daily life.
Every year, from just before Christmas to about Valentine’s Day, the Container Store has a sale on Elfa, their shelving/drawer system. That means that right now you can get 30 percent off on Elfa and on Elfa installation.
While on a trip, I wandered into a “West Elm”: store and was immediately entranced by these beautiful little Textured Dip Bowls. I don’t serve a lot of dip, but I immediately saw the potential for using them to store little stuff. (My friend Aby Garvey is rubbing off on me after all these years.)
I have a fondness for a nice notebook, particularly one with lined paper. I’m somewhat particular, but luckily there are a lot of notebooks that meet my exactly standards. Way back in 2008, I blogged about some notebooks I’ve been enjoying.
I love Elfa, the shelving/drawer system from The Container Store. I use it in my own home, in a closet in my office and to store my yarn stash. (I used an Office in a Closet kit for the office closet and a bank of mesh drawers for the yarn and knitting supplies.)
A couple of years ago at the NAPO conference I was given a small package of Filertek dry-erase hanging file-folder labels. To be honest, these reusable tabs seemed to solve a problem I didn’t have and I brought home the sample and then never used it.
Sometimes I start using an organizing product that makes my life better. And when that happens, I like to tell you about it, in case it will make your life better too.
Getting organized is not about buying products. It’s about letting go of excess, setting up systems, creating new habits and routines. Organizing products can help. Like most organizers, I recommend purchasing products after the decluttering process, when you know what you need.
I love my purse. I love that I can find what I want in it without searching. Everything has a place, due in large part to the Purse Perfector, the purse organizer that sits in the bottom of my purse and keeps everything close at hand.
Rubbermaid has created a new kind of storage bin, the Bento Box. Named after the divided Japanese lunch boxes, these storage containers have flexible dividers that fold flat against the interior wall of the box, if desired, or pop out to divide the box.
Up until a few years ago, traveling with jewelry wasn’t much of an issue for me. I had a few pairs of earrings and a tiny (2” by 3”) little oriental cloth zipper case I put them in when I traveled. Then I met Geralin Thomas who, among her many talents, is a wardrobe consultant. She’s helped me up my game in terms of clothing and especially in terms of accessories.
I love functional products. To me, function trumps beauty. But if you can make a product both functional and beautiful, that’s fantastic. Throw in fun on top of functional and beautiful and you have a glorious hat trick!
Three years ago, I blogged about how I loved my Butler Bag. This dandy little purse had a rigid compartmentalized insert in the bottom that allowed me to keep every in easy reach.
I love working one-on-one with clients (or supervising a team of organizers to help a client) and we get great results. But sometimes budgetary or geographic constraints make that impossible.
That’s why I’m glad to bring up some opportunities for ways you can tap into my expertise even if you’re on a budget or you don’t live in St. Louis.
Every year just after Christmas, the Container Store has its annual Elfa sale. And every year I’m excited. It’s on now.
Back in March, I did a review and giveaway for the My Life Matters planner for women. I think it’s a terrific planner for those looking for once planner for personal and professional items. It emphasizes self care and balance.
My friend Aby Garvey of Simplify 101 is such a smart organizer. Not only does she organize well and come up with innovative solutions, she also makes things beautiful. She helped me organize my pantry two years ago and I’m still in love with it.
I love over-the-door clear vinyl shoe pockets. I use them at home for shoes and have recommended them to clients for the inside of the coat closet for hats, scarves and mittens. (They’re great for families with kids, since the little ones can use the lowest pockets.) I’ve had clients who’ve used them in craft rooms and bathrooms as well.
Yesterday, I was discussing a kitchen drawer with a client. Wanting to show her a photo of the Rubbermaid interlocking drawer organizers I pulled out my iPad and showed her a blog post I’d written last year about organizing my kitchen utensil drawer.
I have trouble remembering to take my vitamins and calcium supplements. And at the moment, I’m having trouble integrating daily exercise into my schedule.
I think that’s why the My Life Matters planner appeals to me so much. It’s designed to allow women to pursue balance: there’s space to plan and note all aspects of your life: mental and emotional well being, physical health, spiritual well being, relationships, finances, work, life dreams, and passion.
I keep my task list in a Myndology disc-bound notebook with repositionable pages. I bought it at the Container Store. As I blogged about last week, I’m using Mark Forster’s SuperFocus task-management system, which I’m really digging. (Again, I promise a full review after I’ve used it for a little while.)
From approximately Christmas to Valentine’s Day each year, the Container Store holds its annual Elfa sale. Elfa’s their terrific modular shelf and drawer system to help you create custom closets or other storage areas. Now through February 14, 2010, you receive 30 percent off all Elfa products and installation.
Do you have trouble getting all the information you want onto file folder labels? Whether you use a label maker, labels printed on your computer, or handwritten labels, it can be tough to fit everything you want on the label to make it meaningful.
I’ve had to learn a new skill set. And I didn’t make it easy on myself.
I decided to sell downloadable products of my own creation on my website. By the end of the month, I hope, I’ll have organizing guides and an e-course for sale in a new Products section of this website. (And I’ll be offering a new coaching program.)
In our kitchen we have lots of drawers. One of them is a drawer full of miscellaneous cooking utensils and gadgets that we don’t use much. The things we use with any regularity are usually on top, but that’s the extent of the organization of the drawer. And that’s not really organization at all. That’s just physics.
At the Container Store the other day, I discovered the Cocoa Desktop Writeboard a rewritable surface that sits on your desk, allowing you to jot notes. I was intrigued. I balked at the $24.99 price tag, but went ahead and purchased it. (It helped that I used the 10 percent discount I’m offered as a NAPO member.) I’ve since discovered it’s available via Amazon for $17.99.for $17.99.
I really like Peter Walsh. I love that he provides straight-forward, common-sense advice on decluttering and organizing. I also like his innovative storage solutions. You’ve had the opportunity to see him on Clean Sweep, and Oprah. You may have read his books, including It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff. And now you can watch him demonstrate the principles in that book with this terrific new DVD, It’s All Too Much with Peter Walsh.
The Container Store is having its annual sale on Efla shelving, drawers and other products. Through February 15, 2010, you receive 30 percent off of Elfa products and installation.
There are so many ways to learn. Personally, I’m an auditory learner so I love audio. To me, the perfect info product comes in the form of downloadable calls or teleclasses I can listen to on my iPod Touch.
But many people are visual learners and seeing what is being taught is very helpful to them. That’s why I’m so excited about the new video learning opportunities being offered by my friends at Organizing Connection.
Any sale is fun, but a sale at the Container Store? That’s cause for celebration.
Back in early April I was invited to a blogcast that introduced Peter Walsh’s new line of office products to people who blog about organizing and parenting. They sent me product samples. I was wowed.
Through a circuitous but interesting path, I found myself at PocketMod. It’s a simple website with instructions and templates for creating a customized paper planner, printed on one sheet of paper and folded to create a little book that would fit in your shirt pocket (if you were inclined to put your calendar in your shirt pocket).
Raise your hand if you’re an office-supply junkie. You can’t see me, but I’ve waving my hand in the air. I love office supplies. I can (and do) spend hours in Office Depot and Office Max. I especially love beautiful journals and spiral-bound notebooks. I love the feel of quality paper against my pen. I love the look of gorgeous colors and lines that are just the right distance apart.
I love reading other organizers’ blogs. There are some great ones out there. One of my favorites is San Francisco-area organizer’s Jeri Dansky’s blog, Jeri’s Organizing and Decluttering News.