Tag Archives: Professional organizer blog

Thank You New Year Resolutions!

Boy, I have been busy! I think because of New Year’s Resolutions, I have new clients and they have less clutter and the ability to focus on more important things in their lives.

February was exhilarating for me.  I was so busy, I lost a couple of pounds. I went to San Francisco for a mini-vacation – very rejuvenating.  Look what I found sitting on the dock of the bay at Fisherman’s Wharf.



I organized my first child’s room.  The little boy had so many toys and I didn’t know what many of them were. He had to tell me whether it was an action toy, a part of a game, or whatever to help me organize the toys into categories.  He probably thought, “This lady is really dumb.”  Do you know there are Legos called Lego Ninjago?

One of my passions is delivering Meals on Wheels for the Nashville Fifty Forward Program [ http://www.fiftyforward.org ] .  I deliver on Fridays and that’s when I get hugs and lots of Thank You’s which makes me feel extra special.  Last Friday, I stopped by the Director’s office to say hello. Being an organizer, I usually look around to see how a person organizes their space.





I was so impressed with her repurposing empty spice containers from the pantry, I had to take a photo.  How clever!



Pretty and Practical Organizing Products

Big Lots fabulous find

Found at Big Lots

Everything A $ Store Find

Everythings A $ Store Find

Shopping for items to organize a client’s space is one business task I enjoy more than the bookkeeping. When a client hires me, I’ll request that they do not purchase any organizing or storage products before we start the job. The reason is that most often, what you need is already in your home. It may take a creative mind to see how to reuse an item for organizing, such as repurposing a small bookshelf into a storage unit to hold towels and toiletries in a small bathroom. However, after the clutter is cleared, you may have to purchase some things. It’s important to include organizing and storage products in your budget when you plan to organize your space.


When I saw these cute storage bins at Big Lots, I thought one could be put in an entry closet to hold hats, gloves, scarves and other items you would store in an entry closet. Or,  perhaps you have a small child and one could be used as a dresser to hold underwear items. It’s hard to find a dresser for $29.99 and it can be repurposed as the child grows.  I went to the Everything’s A Dollar Store to stock up on things that I may need at a spur of the moment, such as sympathy cards and cheap batteries.  I found they had many shelves stocked with organizing items. These little silver and black bins could hold hair bands in the bathroom or paper clips in the home office. The best thing is that the items I saw were very practical and only $1.00!

When I attended a workshop last year, I met Teauna Upshaw, Independent Director for Thirty One Gifts in Nashville, TN. She recently sent me a .pdf that had organizing products to create a wonderful home office space. I wanted to redesign my office immediately!  Their products are a little bit more than Big Lots or the Everything’s A Dollar Store but if you have the budget, I’m sure you’ll find something you like so I’m sharing the .pdf and their website:

January Customer Special 2013 .pdf: ThirtyOne catalog January Customer Special 2013

Teauna’s website:  www.mythirtyone.com/43484 .

When you’re shopping, take a look around to see if you can find pretty and practical organzing and storage products and let me know what you find. I could use a little help with my shopping task.

Organizing Our Medical Information

October is National Organize Your Medical Information Month. The Internet will probably have lots of information and resources during the month. Although I couldn’t find any information from the American Medical Association on how to organize your medical records, I’m sure physicians will agree that since our medical information is an important aspect of our lives, we should take the time to get it organized and put in a place where everyone in our household will have access when necessary.

According to a blog article written by Audry Thomas for Smead, here is a list of medical information we should keep track of:

  1. Current medications – include the name of the drug(s) as well as the dosage. Also include the name and phone number of your pharmacy.
  2. Immunizations – Children, as well as young adults entering college, need to have up-to-date information on their shots. It’s recommend that adults get Tetanus shots every ten years so this is the perfect place to make note of this information.
  3. Allergies – include information on all drug and/or seasonal allergies.
  4. Health history – include information on past procedures/surgeries, illnesses, injuries or family history of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.
  5.  Test/lab results.


Here are other resources I ran across on how to manage our medical information:


Organizing a Child’s Medical Information:


You can purchase a Medical Organizer kit or make your own using a three-ring binder or an expandable file folder. You can, of course, conduct your own search on the Internet to find more resources.

Do yourself and your family a favor and take the time before the holidays to organize medical information for you and/or your family.


How You Can Organize Your Life and Save the Earth!

Earth Day this year is Sunday, April 22. Many of us will celebrate in some way either by attending events, or the promise of doing something to become more eco-friendly.  Whether you recycle, downcycle or upcycle, your efforts will be rewarding. Not sure what’s the difference in these terminology, check out this blog:


There’s probably not much use for a cassette holder these days. If you or someone else has finally transferred the tapes to digital, don’t discard the cassette holder. Here’s an upcycling idea for a new use – an earring tree!

Make an effort to organize eco-friendly.  Save money and save the Earth!

Contact me for more ideas or information.

Easy Bill Paying 1-2-3

After you’ve created a household budget, it’s time to pay the bills.  I hear the groans but it’s a necessary process of living.

Some of us utilize technology to pay our bills online. However, if you’re more comfortable and still prefer the paper system, following these three easy steps to avoid late fees, credit problems and stress will help you pay your creditors on time:

 1.  Find a location in your home to set up a bill paying station.

2.  Pay your bills regularly by setting up a system.

3.  File the statements, receipts or confirmation of payments.


Contact me to help you set up a simple process for bill paying, keeping you credit worthy and your creditors happy.

The Animal House Series, Article 1 – What’s Hogging Your Closet?

 Article 1 in a Series of 3

(Are those…   canned goods…  in your closet?!!!)

    After leaving my job in Washington, DC, I returned home to stay with my Mom until I could find a place to live in Nashville, TN. With time on my hand, I did the thing that was most natural for me. I found tasks to keep me busy and to “earn my keep” while my Mom was at work. Although semi-retired, she still runs her own housecleaning business.

I opened my Mom’s clothing closet, and not to my surprise, I found stockpiled can goods and staples. I wasn’t surprised because my Mom is from the Depression era and she always stockpiled food during my childhood.

After sorting the food items, I put quite a few rusted, expired cans and a couple of old bags of rice and macaroni in a  box and placed them on her back porch  (to assure her they were expired before I threw them away). I then organized her kitchen cabinets placing the food items from her closet into them. When she came home, I showed her my work. She politely said she knew she probably had a lot of expired food, that some had been given to her and some she just forgot about.  She wasn’t quite sure if she liked the newly arranged cabinets but thought she could live with the change. However, I think she wanted permission from someone else that it was okay to let go of some things people give you.

Change doesn’t come easy for many of us. Lesson learned for me–always ask before proceeding to make changes to someone’s home, even if I do have good intentions and even if it is my own mother!  Let me assure you, as a professional organizer, I will work with you and will never intrude into your space to discard anything or make any changes without your permission. I hope she’ll let me organize that closet soon.

We all know that food products have an expiration date. However, if we’re keeping food in our closets, or places other than our pantries, and don’t use before expiration, we’re wasting money, space, and  a possible health risk if we eat expired food, according to WebMD. You can get more information on food product dating from USDA Fact Sheets: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Food_Product_dating/index.asp. Whether we stockpile food because we grew up in a less prosperous time, or because we feel obligated to keep what others have given us, letting go or using food items before expiration can be a weight off our shoulders. In fact, it may feel a bit like hog heaven!

Click here to download a free printable Grocery List!