Friday, July 27, 2012

Guest Blog Post: How to Declutter Your "Blank"

Decluttering just got easier thanks to Jennifer Lee and her brilliant brainchild, ClosetDash. ClosetDash makes it fun and easy to list your items, showcase them and get offers online.

It’s simple: create a closet, fill it with photos, and start trading. The social network and invitation-only aspect of the site make it a unique online experience and keeps the quality high. For items you can’t sell, ClosetDash features a donation section where users can donate their items to one of ClosetDash’s non-profit partners.

I met Jennifer during my small business networking adventures and was immediately impressed with her vision and passion to help people across the country simplify their lives through decluttering. Needless to say, we have a lot in common.

Don’t miss her tips in this week’s guest blog post.

How to Declutter Your "Blank"
By Jennifer Lee

Thinking about decluttering your closet, your home, your commitments? You’re not alone. The decluttering movement is rapidly gaining momentum as hoards of shoppers turn their noses up at traditional consumerism and embrace a more minimalist and simple way of living. To join in the new movement, repeat, “Less is More” after me and follow these five steps.

Step 1: Pull everything out, clear everything off and place it in a pile. In the case of decluttering your commitments, make a list.  If you’re tackling a large project, you may need to divide the project into sections.  For example, if you’re trying to declutter your whole home, go room by room.

Step 2: Start sorting into piles: Definitely Keep, Definitely Get Rid Of, and Unsure. Try to keep the Unsure pile as small as possible.  With your commitments, go through each one by one and determine how much joy each adds to your life and whether it’s worth the time you commit to it.  Keep those that add a lot of value to your life and get rid of the others, freeing up more time to spend on those activities you really do value.

Step 3: Thoroughly clean the space and put away the Definitely Keep items. You can arrange them in organized piles or clearly labeled bins.  Box up the Definitely Get Rid Of items and consider which items to sell, swap or donate.  ClosetDash is a one stop website for all the items you decide to get rid of.  On the site, you’re able to list items to sell or swap as well as arrange a donation with our premium donation partners.

Step 4: Scrutinize the Unsure pile. For those items that you really can’t make a decision about, pack them in to a box and keep them out of sight for six months.  If after six months, you haven’t longed to pull them out of the box, get rid of them.

Step 5: Keep the newly decluttered space as neat as possible. To do so, repeat these steps twice a year.  Continue to follow these steps to declutter other areas of your life and before you know it, you’ll feel free of unwanted items and commitments.

Jennifer Lee, founder of ClosetDash, escaped from the world of Wall Street by digging a hole under her desk during her very short water breaks into the A/C vents. After miles of dark tunnels and dust bunnies, and Bailey her Pomeranian as her guide, she emerged in Brooklyn and began on her quest to help people clear their closets of stuff! She calls both California and New York her home and enjoys cooking large Korean meals for her friends. Check out ClosetDash on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Organizing Obsession: Travel Jewelry Organizers

Summer is a busy travel season for sure. In fact, last weekend was the first I've spent in NYC since mid-May. Needless to say, travel is on my mind, including a not so fabulous memory I have to share.

I lost a diamond stud earring on a quick trip to Washington, DC last year. I was completely sick about it and then had to break the news to my husband. Yikes.

At the time, I organized my jewelry in a zippered bag for travel. Lesson learned! I quickly invested in a proper travel jewelry organizer that protects all my gems. I'm now obsessed and wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Clos-ette makes the mother of all travel jewelry organizers. Just right for the accessory-obsessed. It's perfect for a longer trip or use on an everyday basis in your home to to contain a smaller jewelry collection.

Photo Courtesy of Clos-ette

If you like to travel light when it comes to your jewelry collection, these two versions are your best bet.

Stephanie Johnson's cases come in the fun patterns and are durable and functional.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Johnson 

This case from is perfect if you're into earrings. You can secure your earrings through the little holes, which is a rare find in smaller travel jewelry cases. Plus it can be monogrammed!

Photo Courtesy of

Here's to relaxing and organized travel this summer. And no more missing earrings!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Organizing Obsession: Magnetic Strips

Magnetic strips are a seriously awesome organizing tool. 

Photo Courtesy of Three by Three Seattle 

I have been more than a little obsessed since I  starting using these by Three by Three Seattle near my desk space. Now I’m dreaming about other ways I can use theses strips as a creative solution to maximize unused space and declutter countertops and drawers.

Here are some fantastic examples.

On the back of the bathroom cabinet or door to hold bathroom essentials.

Photo Courtesy of Simplified Bee

On the back of a kitchen cabinet door, empty wall space, or fridge to hold family documents or kitchen essentials like spices or even knives.

Photo Courtesy of Casa Sugar

On walls near a desk. To avoid clutter, use them to hold only the most essential items like daily checklists and checks to deposit. 

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Where would you use magnetic strips in your home or office? 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Steps to Organize Your Greeting Cards

In this day and age of e-cards and Facebook, it seems like we’re sending fewer greeting cards via snail mail than ever, but I’ll bet you still have many of the cards you’ve received in years past.

This topic is definitely on my brain. Just this week I’ve talked with two clients about organizing their cards and letters. 

So, here five steps to get your old greeting cards organized.

Step 1: Gather them up. Without an organizational system for your cards, it’s likely they are in various nooks and crannies around your home. Grab a shopping bag and go hunting.

Step 2: Set Keep / Toss Guidelines. This can be the toughest step, so here are some basic ideas.
  • Keep cards in which the sender wrote a meaningful personal note.
  • Only keep one type of card from each year. For example, keep your favorite birthday card or anniversary card and toss the rest. 
  • Get rid of holiday cards (even if they have photos), because you’ll receive another one next year.
  • Only save wedding invitations for your best friend and siblings.
  • Recycle all envelopes.

Once you have identified your Keep / Toss Guidelines, write them down for future reference.

Step 3: Sort into categories. Before you can begin purging, you’ll want to sort the cards into broad categories. For example: birthday, spouse, anniversary, holiday, wedding, wedding invitations, sympathy, and get well. As you sort you are likely to create additional categories. Write each category on a Post-it note so you can quickly identify the cards as you sort.

Step 3: Purge, purge, purge. Now that you’ve gathered and sorted all the cards, it’s time to put the guidelines you set into effect. First, set up an area to work. Clear off the dining room table, grab a snack and some water. During the purging process, don’t get stuck by reading every card. You want this process to move as quickly as possible. 

Step 4: Containerize your cards. It’s now time to identify the best container to store you cards. The container you use should make it easy for you to read and enjoy the cards going forward.

Both of the options below are great because you can separate each category of cards with the tabs in the boxes. Remember to label the tabs.

White Greeting Card Organizer
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

Clear Card Keeper
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

You could also use a decorative box that stacks easily. Depending on how many cards you have, you could use a box for each category of cards.

Our Bold Box
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

Bright Stockholm Office Storage Boxes
Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

Before selecting any container, determine where they will “live” in your home and measure the dimensions of that space.

Step 5: Enjoy it. Setting up this organizational system will allow you to enjoy these special memories for years to come.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Organizing Obsession: Like-It Drawers

I have to tell you how much I like the Like-It Drawer line. 

Photo Courtesy of The Container Store

In the past month, I’ve used this line for clients in closets and pantries. I also love the idea of using these stacking or modular drawers in an office space, craft room, or even to organize children’s toys. They are super sturdy and the drawers glide in and out with ease.

I’ve found they are incredibly versatile in deep spaces and shelves since the stackable drawers are 20.5 inches deep and the modular drawers are 18 inches deep.

Where to find them? Well, The Container Store, of course. And better yet, the stacking line is on sale now. 

So many reasons to “like it.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4

Hello friends, here’s wishing you a Happy July 4 and hoping you get some (organized) time by the pool. This photo is my inspiration of course...

Photo courtesy of Things Organized Neatly

I will be missing in action until next week, enjoying some time completely unplugged down in the islands.

Until then, if you’re getting ready to travel don’t miss some of my favorite blog posts on the topic.