Archive for the ‘Organizing Your Keepsakes’ Category

Closet Organizing – How to Sort & Downsize Your Closet Clutter

Monday, July 6th, 2009

This is the fourth video in a nine-part series of “How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro”.  In this 5 minute video, I’ll show you how a professional organizer sorts through clutter found in a closet.  Treasurers buried in this closet include an old “Born To Kvetch” desk calendar, tons of stationary, $150 of new gift cards, unopened mail, magazines, unused electronics, trash, you name it! We’ll sort these items into suggested three categories; Keep, Donate, and Trash. The homeowner will need to review the piles we’ve sorted and make the final decisions on what items he’ll keep. The bottom line, most of what we found in the various bins did not belong in his bedroom closet.

Additionally, in this video, I highlight a photo scanning service called, Scan My Photos. They’ll scan approximately 2000, 4″ x 6″ photos at 300 DPI and return them to you with a DVD of the images for $124.95. Check here for the full details on this service. Scan My Photos isn’t the only memory preservation company available online. In a future blog post, I’ll do a side-by-side comparison of this company with similar vendors.

I hope you’re enjoying this how-to video series.  If you missed the prior three videos in the “How to Organize Your Closet Like A Pro” series, you can view the following posts.

Organizing Your Closet – A How-To Series

Organizing Your Closet – Measuring and Planning Your New Closet

Closet Organizing – Removing the Old Closet

Get Organized At Home With These Helpful Products & Services

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

I recently attend the National Association of Professional Organizers Washington, DC – Metro Chapter’s June meeting.  Members featured new products and resources from the NAPO Conference in Orlando, Florida which I attended this past April. One by one, members demonstrated various products and explained the highlights of some new services. Everything shown was new, unique or a great resource. Below is a list of eight items featured. I’ll blog about the other five items in a future post.  Thank you to all the companies who donated their product.  Each product was given away as a ‘door prize’ at the end of the meeting!  Read on to discover which item I won.

Shelf Improvement Rollout Shelves
Shelf Improvement makes glide out shelves which only require four screws to mount and have a “2 minute” estimated installation time.  They were very solid in construction and had beautiful dovetail corners.  I was very impressed with the quality and price.  The glide out shelves are $79.00 plus $10 shipping for any size.  The widths available are: 10″-30″ wide increasing in 1″ increments and the depths are 21.5″, 18.5″, or 16.5″.  If you’re a do-it yourself type, check out these glide out shelves.

Clearly Noted
These designer note cards were created specifically for Professional Organizers.  They are the concept of my friend and colleague, Jill Revitsky of Discover Organizing from Pittsburgh, PA. The designs are fresh, unique and feminine in style.  They’re also very reasonably priced at $15.30 for a 6-pack.  If you’re an organizer and need stylish stationary to stay in touch with your clients, buy these cards!

SaveMyPix.com
The owners of SaveMyPix.com, Maxx & Monica attend the meeting as guests.  Their unique service will scan your precious photos, old slides, and convert your old VHS Tapes and 8 mm film to DVD.  I love the idea of their service called – Stuff ‘n Send. A prepaid box which will hold up to 1600 photos. The photos are scanned at 300 DPI and returned on your choice of digital medium for the current sale price $99.95. They really couldn’t make it any easier.  Make this your Father’s day gift!

Brother P-Touch 1230PC
This easy to use label machine connects to your PC via USB.  You do not have to load software on your PC because it’s preloaded on the machine.  You can conveniently design durable, laminated labels up to ½” wide using your PC keyboard and monitor.  The labels print on their TZ label tape which comes in white, clear, and various other colors.  You can load additional logos or any True Type Font on the machine.  Brother says it’s “Perfect for home or home office labeling needs.”  I won this label machine in the ‘door prize raffle’ at the end of the meeting but I’m a Mac user – so, it’s not so perfect in my opinion.  For PC users, at $49.99, you could use this label machine – a bargain in my opinion.

List Planit
Jen Tankersley has branded her company as “List to Put Your World in Order”, and I agree!  List Planit has over 400 attractive, printable lists and planning pages for you to manage life.  They’re conveniently organized on their site by categories – life, business, kitchen, finance, etc.  They have three types of membership – print, download, or professional ranging from $20 – $50 yearly. That’s If you like paper lists, I highly recommend this service.

Time Timer®
If you saw the episode of Time Makeover on The Fine Living Network when I worked with the Lucchesi family, you would have learned about the very cool, Time Timer®.  Their products demonstrate how much time has elapsed.  If you see the color red on the face, that shows you how much time remains.  If you have trouble managing time or if you’re teaching the concept of time, there is no better tool than a Time Timer®. Their website boasts “This innovative tool constantly reinforces the sense of elapsed time in order to promote better time management.”  You can buy the 3″, 8″ or 12″ version or their handy wrist watch style.  They even have a new PC/Mac software that runs on your computer screen.  I’ve been using it since April to help manage the time I spend on Facebook and Twitter.  Prices start at $30 and I recommend you purchase the timers with the optional audible signal.

Recipe Nest® by Recipe Relish
I’m in love with this concept because I frequently tear recipes out magazines, dreaming of the day I’ll learn to cook.  The Recipe Nest® is perfect because it’s designed to store full-page recipes from your printer or from magazines.  They’re organized with tabbed dividers.  No more trying to punch holes in the flimsy magazine paper!  The built-in easel easily folds out and works with the clip-on the front to display the recipe you’re using.  This keeps my dirty hands off the recipe when cooking and I use a plastic sheet protector, or you can buy the specially designed ‘Recipe Sleeve,’ to keep the recipe clean as you cook.  The surface of the Recipe Nest® is also spill proof, so you can splash and splatter all you want!  There are great colors to choose from and the Recipe Nest® easily fits inside most kitchen cabinets or on a bookshelf.  Choose the color that matches your unique style.  Mine is Kiwi Green!  This is perfect for anyone who likes to cook at $38.95.

Easy Find Lid Food Storage Containers by Rubbermaid
I blogged about these Easy Find Lid Food Storage Containers by Rubbermaid back in September 2008 which I featured them on a WUSA 9 TV Appearance.

Their unique design allows you to snap the lid to the base of the containers.  You’ll never lose a lid again!  They come as small as .05 cup up to 2.5 gallons and all sizes in between.  With this graduated size design, they easily nest together. I’m a huge fan of square storage containers because they optimize your storage space.  Yes, you can microwave and freeze meals in these containers.  A 20 piece set is around $15.99.  I’ve seen them for sale at Target, Harris Teeter and Giant.  Click here to download a coupon for $1.00 off your purchase.

We had five more products featured at the meeting which I’ll feature in a different blog post.  Did you find anything above that would be helpful to you at home or that would make the perfect gift for anyone?  Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts and ideas.
Thanks,

Oprah Visits Washington, DC To Help Declutter Your Home With The Help of Peter Walsh

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Oprah has once again teamed up with clutter expert Peter Walsh, to help America “clean up your messy house.” This time, they’ve partnered with my church favorite store, The Container Store and they’re coming to the nation’s Capitol! They are looking for the messiest LIVING and FAMILY ROOMS and BEDROOMS in Washington, D.C.

The Oprah crew is looking for a willing DC area resident to show their clutter on National television and let Peter Walsh solve all your troubles. If your home isn’t messy, you can turn someone in. If you’re the one who needs help, what space in your life needs a MAJOR decluttering makeover?

They will be making our decision ASAP, so the sooner they hear from you, the better your chances!

For complete application instructions click here.  Who knew there would be a music video about cleaning your house!  Watch the clutter bug kick-off tour video.

Peter Walsh is best known for his on TV decluttering on TLC’s Clean Sweep and his books, most recently Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat.

On Oprah’s November 12 episode, The Container Store offered a 20% off your purchase coupon available for download from Oprah’s website.  It’s good until November 19, 2008.  Click here to download.

On the same show, Peter suggested you take photos of your child’s artwork, upload it to a website like Snapfish.com and have them create a scrap book.  If you’ve ever worked with me, you’ll know I’m often making this suggest too.   Especially for 3-D artwork or any craft projects created with food.  I also recommend making these scrapbooks of keepsakes you don’t necessarily have space to keep, but you want a visual cue to trigger the memory.  Snapfish has offered a free standard 20-page 8″ x 11″ custom-cover photo book per household.  Offer expires soon, so click here to redeem.

I wonder if Peter will need help when he’s in DC?  Peter, you’ve got my number – give me a call.

Organizing Products Reviewed on WUSA9

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I received a call from Lesli Foster, weeknight anchor on WUSA9.   She asked if I would join her live on the 5:00 PM news to discuss getting organized for the Fall.  Excited by the opportunity, I had just a few hours to pull something together and pitch the idea to Lesli.  Thanks to the Container Store, Rubbermaid, and HomeRule for providing the products I’ve suggested we feature.

Starting off, check out these amazing new food storage containers Rubbermaid provided.  They’re called Easy Find Lids.  After you’re done with those large, home cooked holiday meals, you’ll need some quality food storage containers for the leftovers.   Why not pick up a set that have lids that snap to the base of the containers so you can easily find the right lid.

They come as small as .05 cup up to 2.5 gallons and all sizes in between.  With this graduated size design, they easily nest together. I’m a huge fan of square storage containers because they optimize your storage space.  Yes, you can microwave and freeze meals in these containers.  They’re also dishwasher safe.  Now all I need is a dishwasher!  Buy these awesome containers at your local Target or most grocery stores.

The Container Store has introduced numerous eco-friendly storage products in their collection.  I’m loving the rich plum color of their Library office collection.  The Office Storage Boxes, Magazine Files, and Desktop File box would make a wonderful set for your home office.

They’re constructed of recycled
heavyweight fiberboard, have a linen weave fabric exterior, and a white paper-lined interior.  They’re excellently crafted and have a nice metal label holder to easily identify the treasurers you’re storing inside.

I challenge you to think “outside the box” about how you can use this collection outside the home office.  Perhaps the Office Storage Boxes would be good to store paper keepsakes, or one of those numerous art projects elementary-age children bring home, or a needlepoint or craft project on the sofa table.

The Magazine File would be a nice option to store papers to take to work or for outgoing mail you want to drop in the mailbox on your way out the door.  I also recommend a File Box for your kitchen counter if you need to have quick access to school papers, sport schedules, tickets, gift certificates, phone directories, and so forth.  Do you have any other ideas?

My church, uh, I mean The Container Store also has these awesome, multi-functional Feathergrain Bins.  I’ve used these with many clients who love their size, the light weight and nice quality. We’ve stored everything from pet supplies, toys, and magazines to craft items.  They come with handles or with lids.  I recommend you check these out A.S.A.P.

I have a few other suprises I’ll be sharing on the news segment, so tune in or set your Tivo.  The segment will air at approximatley 5:30 PM on WUSA9.

Valuable Beatles Video Found in Garage

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Film buff Richard Jeffs finally got around to cleaning his garage in South London, where he discovered a hidden treasurer that had been stashed in the corner for decades. Stacked in a dark, damp corner of his garage were 64 unmarked canisters, many rusted and damaged from years of neglect.

With a bit of detective work, he deciphered the scribbled label found inside the film can and determined the names of the two presenters who conducted the interview in 1964. According to a story by the BBC, the faded handwriting was incredibly hard to read, but with patience he was able to read the labels.

This is the story of how a lost Beatles interview once again found the light of day. It offers a revealing insight into Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s songwriting partnership. The nine minute interview took place in the studios of Scottish Television on Thursday, April 30, 1964.

It’s rather remarkable the film survived at all. It is now being stored safely in a professional archive in Milton Keynes, where temperature and humidity are carefully controlled.

Let this be a lesson to my readers. Don’t store ANYTHING in your garage or attic space if you can’t afford to have it ruined. The extreme temperature changes, humidity, and critters found in these spaces will likely damage your treasurers. Mr. Jeffs should consider himself a lucky man to discover this rare Beatles interview.

I wonder what is inside the other 63 canisters?