Category Archives: Residential

Declare Independence From Clutter!!!

Have a yard sale this summer to get rid of clutter in your home. Here are 5 basic things to know to help plan your yard sale.




What is the purpose?

First, decide on the purpose for having your yard sale.  Is it to declutter your home?  Or, are you trying to make money?   Whatever the reason, any items you don’t sell should not go back into your home, garage, attic or storage space. Donate or give the remaining items away.

Know the legal stuff.

Your community may require a permit to have a yard sale which will include how and where you can place signs. Check with the appropriate local governmental agency in your community.  You are responsible for what you sell, therefore, make sure items such as sports equipment, toys and baby items meet federal safety standards.

Clean up, then price.

Inspect everything carefully and clean it up – dust, wash, launder or vacuum everything that’s for sale. Most dirty items do not sell well or at all.  Also clean what you use to display your items.    If an item needs batteries or inexpensive repair, let the customers know by putting a sign on it. A good notation would be “selling as is.”  Yard sale items are generally priced at 10-40% of the original price depending upon condition. Price low if you are trying to get rid of everything because of clutter.  Check the Internet (eBay, Craigslist, etc.) and other yard sales to get an idea of what you may be able to get for certain items.  Valuable items may require a little more research. will give you some guidance also –

Know the competition, then decide on a date.

Check the Internet and newspapers for competing yard sales in your neighborhood.  You may find neighbors to join forces with you to have a multi-family sale. Try to avoid having one on holiday weekends.  People travel or spend their money on holiday activities.

Preparation! Preparation! Preparation! 

  • Look in every room of your home and storage areas for items you no longer want or need or take up too much space.
  • Put a price sticker on everything – don’t let your customers put an item down because there’s no price. Also, you want have to spend time answering the question, “How much does this cost?”  Of course, you will have someone bargaining a lower price.
  • Have enough cash, shopping bags, and other essential supplies on hand.
  • Decide beforehand if the early bird will get the worm – will you meet and greet people who show up before your start time?
  • Arrange for charity a pick up as soon as possible so that you won’t be tempted to put things back into your home. Itemize the items you donate to add to your tax deductions.

The only thing left to do is to let the customers buy you out and set you free from clutter!

National Organize Your Home Office Day – A Gentle Prodding

MeshDrawerOrganizerSlvr2512G_xThis is where my expertise shines – organizing offices!  I think it has been devine intervention in that most jobs in my career working in nonprofit or the corporate environments required me to organize or re-organize the work spaces.  I’ve worked with some brillant business professionals who happened to be a little disorganized or held onto to much paper, therefore, I was a complement to them because I was organized.

For my own business, I spend a lot of time in my home office, of course. I keep less paper in my office as permanent documents but that doesn’t mean there are not temporary or permanent files in my office.  Some are paper, some are digitized, some are computer files.   I’ve always liked my desktop to be organized. Items on my desk that I use daily are within reach such as my tickler file, my telephone, pens and small reference books. My utility items such as my stapler, tape, paper clips, etc. are in my top desk drawer. I remember one of my professional colleagues commenting that my desk was always clean. That was because everything was in order. At night, I cleared everything from my desktop so that I could come back to the office with a fresh start.  I still do that now.

I like mesh desk drawer organizers.  You can line your desk drawer and dirt and trash will fall through the mesh then you just wipe the inside of the drawer, instead of having to always clean the drawer organizers. The ones shown above are from Container Store and range in price from $2.49 to $5.99 each.

Most of my organizing business has been helping clients organize their home offices.  Most of their offices were organized in some way and only needed to be refreshed or tweaked.  The biggest challenge for most of them was keeping way too much paper in sight which was a cause for clutter in the brain.  Too much clutter equates to less functionality.

Here’s the link to 4 Steps to Make the Most of Your Home Office from Smead. and Quick Tips to organize a home office from HGTV.

Today is National Organize Your Home Office Day. I want to encourage you to do start the process, even if it’s only to clear off your desk.

How to Get an A+ in Back to School Organizing

I know, I know, school has probably already started for most of the country, but were you on top of everything that very first day?  Even if you were, I have found some tips that will help you throughout the rest of the school year.  It’s been a while since I’ve had children in school but I do remember all the before, during and after preparations for the school day.

Back to school checklist by EP


Here are 5 links to web pages  that I found that will help you get an A+ in keeping you and your children organized all year long.






6 Back to School Supply Tips from Teachers, Bankrate article

Mom Agenda Back To School Solutions Printables – Organizing Tips for a Smarter School Year

Avery’s 5 Tips to Get Ready for  Back to School

Easy Organizing: Back to School Prep by Good Housekeeping

Keep me posted if you use any of the tips and if they helped – or not.













Is Time Management Good For Your Health?

Is time management good for your health?  Most assuredly!  I ran across the following article written a few years ago but probably more relevant today than when it was written.  What I got most from the article is:

Good time management will help you to:

  •             Reduce your stress
  •             Improve your sleep
  •             Improve your attitude
  •             Improve your stamina
  •             And, extend your life and improve your personal productivity.


Here’s the article, in its entirety, “Time Management and Improved Health” by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore.



By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

In the United States alone there are approximately 2.4 million deaths each year and 75% of those deaths are from causes within your control. You know what you should be doing to enhance your health and live longer and more productively but a lot of things come along to crowd out what you know you ought to be doing.

Did you know that 90% of the people who sign up at health and fitness clubs today will stop going in the next 90 days? See, what happens is, with all the good intentions, they sign up for the health club and during the first few weeks they attend regularly, feeling better in the process. Then not long after that something comes along keeping them from going, thinking to themselves, “I’ll get back into it next week.” But then something else comes along and they abandon the routine all together.

Could you benefit from a better night’s sleep? 75% of people complain on a regular basis that they are flat-out tired. If you are tired today, your productivity will suffer.

Now, some people have challenges that medical professionals can help with but many are tired because they simply do not get the quantity of sleep that they need. They are overwhelmed with responsibilities and they meet those obligations by spending more time, staying up later, sacrificing sleep time.

Others may get the quantity of sleep but fail to get the quality of sleep their bodies require because their time is not being controlled and their days are filled with stress and crisis keeping them from getting that deep nutritious sleep.

Good time management then is not doing the wrong things faster. That just gets you no where quicker. Good time management is doing the right things, the important things first and nothing could be more important than your health. If you use practical time management tools and techniques to manage your time to keep yourself in peak physical and mental health, you probably are going to live longer and therefore have more time to manage.

So here are some tips to manage your time more wisely to improve your health.

  • Schedule exercise time. Create an appointment for yourself. Appointments do not always have to be with other people.
  • Plan good, nutritious meals so when you rush home you do not default to eating junk food.
  • Plan goof-off/fun time. This is just as vital as the work you do. The most powerful time of your day can be when you give yourself nothing to do but watch the clouds drift by.
  • Schedule maintenance time with your health professionals for your annual physical.
  • And finally, schedule time to read and study health issues and become better informed.

Good time management will help you to:

Reduce your stress

Improve your sleep

Improve your attitude

Improve your stamina

And, extend your life and improve your personal productivity.


Remember, you have to take time for health and fitness today or you will have to take time for sickness and illness tomorrow.

Would you like to receive free Timely Time Management Tips on a regular basis to increase your personal productivity and get more out of every day? Sign up now for our free “TIME MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION LIST”. Just go to: and select “subscribe”. We welcome you aboard! Dr. Donald E. Wetmore-Professional Speaker Productivity Institute-Time Management Seminars 127 Jefferson Street Stratford, CT 06615 (800) 969-3773 (203) 386-8062 fax: (203) 386-8064 Email: website: Professional Member-National Speakers Association Copyright 1999 You may re-print the above information in its entirety in your publication, newsletter, or on your webpage. For permission, please email your request for “reprint” to:

Edited Places Organizing is Celebrating 2 Years in Business

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention!” — According to Wikipedia (and other sources agreed) The author of this proverb is not known but, sometimes, the proverb is ascribed to Greek philosopher Plato. This phrase was familiar in England, but in Latin, not in English. But, the earliest actual usage of the proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention” is sometimes ascribed to Richard Franck who used it in his book “Northern Memoirs, calculated for the meridian of Scotland.

No matter who created the proverb, it certainly rings true in the invention of Edited Places Organizing Service. I lost my job of 15 years in a large international nonprofit in Washington, DC and returned to Nashville, TN in 2010. I did not have any success in finding a full-time job for two years!  I had considered starting my own organizing business while living in DC  and had watched all the organizing TV Shows early in the years of the 2000 decade.  The organizing gene was deep with me. Most of my job performance evaluations had high ratings about my organizing skills.  Although in my research,  I found so many organizers, organizing blogs, organizing retail stores, organizing products for those of us who want to do it ourselves, I felt there was always room for one more to help someone renew their lifestyle.  I decided to ‘just do it!’ On January 26, 2012, with Necessity, Being the Mother of Invention, I walked out of the Davidson County’s Clerks Office with my business license in hand.

Boy, what emotions I felt that day —  happiness, anxiety, confidence, concern, creativity, patience, endurance!  I still have those feelings today. However, supporting me today, I have clients that put their trust in my abilities and skills to let me come into their home or business, and family and friends who encourage me.  Thanks to all of you, while enjoying  a life of purpose, lessons learned and being fulfilled, Edited Places Organizing Services is celebrating 2 Years in service!

Photo Organizing – A Good New Year’s Resolution!

I recently had someone ask me if  a professional organizer was like a hair stylist, stating that they do fantastic work on styling someone’s hair but their hair style usually isn’t the best (her words and no disrespect to hair stylists). I was happy to reply that although my home is not picture perfect with beautiful, expensive organizing products, everything has a place and 98% of the time, everything is put back in its place.

Most people think that professional organizers want you to get rid of everything, but we have collections also.  I have a pretty substantial collection of CDs, and I know they can be digitized onto my computer,  I don’t want to get rid of them. As long as I own a small CD player, I will keep my CD collection.  The collection doesn’t take up a lot of space the way I have them organized and containerized.

So when I started looking around my home, I found one project that I have neglected organizing is my massive collection of photos.  I have them semi-organized, but the system could use some improvement.  One positive thing about my collection is that it is organized in some fashion. I have photos on negatives, smart media cards, disks and USB drives. I have them in photos albums and, I hate to admit, just piled into into photo boxes. 




















I don’t keep a lot of photos on my camera, smartphone or computer.  I read that the memory card in your camera has a life span. Most recently, I really try to transfer all photos I take to a USB drive.

Since I make memory books, I  print photos at home and  I also take advantage of the online photo printer services like Shutterfly when I want to create an album for someone else. When I’m in a hurry to get the photos, I’ll upload them to Walgreen’s so I can pick them in an hour or so.  It’s cheaper to print a large quantity with a photo service provider than printing at home.

With so many printed photos – a lot of duplicates and bad photos –  I’m seeking help in getting those better organized. I found this Ideabook on organizing photos on Houzz.  Let me get started.  I’ll show you the end result.  If you have a great system, send me your ideas.