Guest Friendly Mudroom Tips from Closet Works

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Create a Guest-Ready Mudroom Before The Holiday Season

For many of us, the holidays are a joyful time that that also brings a bit of stress because it means hosting guests. There are so many things to take into consideration. This is no small feat when you and your kids are on the move with work, school, extracurricular activities, cooking and homework every day.

One of these spots that could use some extra attention is your mudroom—the entryway space that becomes a catch-all for you and your kids’ bags, coats, mail, homework assignments, sports equipment and shoes. If you find yourself spending 30 minutes at the end of each week organizing and reorganizing this high-traffic space, it may be time to give it some extra attention before the holiday season.

Here’s how to create a clean, organized and guest-ready mudroom this season.
pet home organizing
pet home organizing
Start with a deep clean

Getting your mudroom ready for the onslaught of relatives and friends starts with a good cleaning.  Check out our step-by-step tips on cleaning your mudroom.

Store items in closed storage

Your entryway is a drop zone for you and your family’s need-it-everyday-things. But there are some items you might want to remove before guests arrive. Having a mix of open storage like hooks and shelves, and closed storage like cabinets and drawers, give you the option to stash many items!

shoe storage seatAdd hooks and drawers for winter gear

Storing guests’ coats, gloves hats and other winter gear in a far-away bedroom is not only time-consuming, it’s also inconvenient for guests who need to get to their coat or bag while at your house. Add enough hooks in your mudroom for family members and guests as well as plenty of drawer space.

Encourage guests to remove their shoes

The last thing you want is guests tracking snow, dirt, leaves and anything else through your house. Encourage them to remove their shoes in your mudroom by providing bench seating and cubbies, under-bench storage or a boot tray for wet shoes.

For the full article and more information on redoing your space, visit Closet Works

For help decluttering your home before the holidays, reach out to Organize Me!

Laundry Room Storage Tips

What You Should Store in Your Laundry Room

The task of completing laundry is a time-consuming and tedious tasks you’re likely stuck doing at least once a week—if not more. But having some sort of laundry room in your home—or just a small nook—can make it much easier to corral clothes and get laundry done in a more efficient way.

Clearly, you should keep your laundry detergent near the washer and dryer, but what else should be stored in your laundry room? Here’s what to keep there to make cleaning your clothes a little easier each week.

Laundry supplies

Keep your laundry detergent, stain remover, fabric softener and bleach nearby in a cabinet above your washer and dryer. If you’re short on space, a slim cabinet with roll-outs that take advantage of the depth of the cabinet could work.

Cleaning supplies

We’re big advocates of storing things where you use them. An omnitrack with hooks near  your washer and dryer can hold paper towels for spills and other cleanup. You may also want to keep hand soap nearby if you’ve got a sink, as well as any cleaners you use in or near your laundry room.

Linens

Your laundry room can be a great place to store some old towels just in case you need to clean up a mess. It can also serve as a backup storage spot for other linens that don’t fit elsewhere in your home. Towels and other linens can be stored in cabinets, in a wire basket or on custom shelves

Ironing board, iron and supplies

Ironing is another chore that many people loathe—but one thing that can make it a little bit easier is having your ironing board, iron and any supplies within easy reach. A wall-mounted or drawer-mounted ironing board in your laundry room can make it easier to iron your clothes before they ever go back in your closet.

Drying rack, rod and hooks

Delicates that can’t go into the dryer are usually meant to dry flat. Adding a pull-out drying rack to your laundry room is a great way to help your garments keep their shape and dry without getting ruined on a hanger or in the dryer. For garments that you may want to hand wash and drip-dry, a rod installed over the sink is the perfect place to hang things while they dry. Hooks are perfect for hanging a variety of things like mesh dry-cleaning bags or totes or organizing freshly laundered clothes.

Hampers and baskets

Outfitting your laundry room is one way to separate your clothes into lights, darks and dry cleaning before they hit the washer. Add a few tilt-out hampers or a roll-out removable hamper that’s easy to lift out when you need to carry clothes from one spot to the next.

If you’re ready to create a laundry area that’ll help you work more efficiently, reach out to Closet Works and view the full article here!

organize me logoWhen you need help getting your home organized, reach out to Organize Me! We can tackle your laundry room together.

Getting Rid of Tech Clutter Safely

disk cd recycling
How to (Safely) Get Rid of Old Tech Clutter

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Electronics are far more disposable than they were decades ago; when technology advances or when something breaks, we tend to replace old devices instead of getting them fixed. Unfortunately, old computers, music players and peripherals like cables and hard drives can’t or shouldn’t just be thrown in the trash. These things need to be recycled properly so that your personal data stays safe and so harmful components don’t become environmental hazards.

Here’s how to safely get rid of all of those tech devices.

Just like any major decluttering project, the first step is gathering all of your electronic devices and putting them in one spot. That likely means it’s time to clean out your home office desk drawers and cabinets, your nightstand drawers, your closets, the home entertainment center, that junk drawer in your kitchen and anywhere else tech clutter may be hiding.

Look for things like:

  • Cellphones
  • Cables for your TV, stereo, camera or MP3 player
  • Controls for devices you no longer use
  • Speakers
  • Digital cameras
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Laptops, monitors, computer towers
  • Keyboards, mice, webcams, external hard drives
  • Game consoles and controllers
  • CDs, DVDs, floppy disks

disk cd recyclingSeparate everything into two piles: keep and recycle. Importantly, if you discover that a piece of electronic equipment still works, but you no longer use it, you may consider selling it if it’s still worth something. As you review each item, figure out if the item still works, if anyone in the family still uses it and if it’s of any use to you.

Items you’ve decided to keep

You’ve decided to hang on to that digital camera or portable speaker—make sure it’s stored properly. Whether in a cabinet in your home office or in your reach-in closet, it’s best to store devices in a protective bag, to keep it free of dust and dirt. Use bins and baskets to store these items in one place. If it’s cords you’re holding onto, you may want to label them for future use. DVDs and CDs should be stored in their original cases or in a CD book.

Recycling through retailers

The easiest option for getting rid of computers, small speakers, peripherals, gaming consoles and most other small electronic devices is to turn to big box electronic retailers like Staples or Best Buy. You’ll likely have the most luck recycling these devices there because they accept a variety of devices and their associated cords and chargers. Check out Best Buy’s Recycling Program and Staples’ Recycling Program.

Importantly, if you’d like to recycle an old computer monitor, you may be charged a fee.

Cellphones are even easier to recycle. While big box retailers will accept these devices, you may be able to stop by your local grocery store or department store to recycle your phone. Look for recycling bins at your local Whole Foods or even in your shopping mall. Your phone manufacturer may also accept old tech you no longer use. Check out Apple’s Recycling and Trade-Up Programs that allow you to recycle or even get a gift card for your old cellphone, iPod, laptop or electronic device.

Similarly, the major phone carriers provide an easy way to recycle or trade in old devices. AT&TVerizonT-Mobile and Sprint will walk you through trade-in and recycling options.

Recycling through charitable donations

Charities also accept electronic devices. If you’ve got a few cellphones you no longer use, consider donating them to Cell Phones for SoldiersGoodwill and The Salvation Army also accept some electronic devices in all conditions.

How to recycle CDs and DVDs

Getting rid of old CDs and DVDs might seem like a no-brainer—they’re not bulky and they’re plastic, so you can toss them in your recycling bin, right? Wrong. CDs and DVDs are made from a special type of plastic that most likely can’t be recycled with other containers. Instead, you can donate music and movies to local thrift shops or charities, or send them away to be recycled safely through programs like GreenDisk and the CD Recycling Center. There may be a small fee involved to cover the cost or recycling these items.

Getting rid of personal data

Before you recycle laptops, digital cameras, hard drives or cellphones, remove all your personal data and restore the device to factory settings. The process for doing this is a little bit different for each device; however, it’s important to note that simply deleting files on a computer isn’t enough. To purge your device of things like saved passwords and other identifying files, you need to completely reset it.

To reset most cellphones, take a look at this CNET guide or these instructions from Apple. If you’re donating or recycling a digital camera, be sure to first remove the SD card. Laptop and computer hard drive resets vary from operating system to operating system, but you can usually reformat and wipe a hard drive through Settings. Check out this guide from Consumer Reports.

If the laptop or computer you’re recycling no longer works, you can also manually destroy the hard drive before recycling it—just remove it from the computer, unscrew the hard drive and use a hammer and nails to break the actual hard drive. Just be sure to wear safety goggles before you get started!

This article was wrtten for Closet Works Inc. For the full article, follow this link: Tech Equipment Recycling

organize me logoFor help sorting through your electronics and coordinating their donation, visit Organize Me! LLC 

How to Deal With Your Parents’ Stuff

grandparents aging downsize

A Parents’ Belongings

How to deal with it when they die

old hands aging

Cleaning out a loved one’s home after their death can be a series of chores that can be emotionally, physically, and financially overwhelming. And what makes the whole task even worse is that it’s difficult to know where to start. The decisions around what to keep, donate, recycle, toss, or sell can be lengthy and depressing.

Fortunately, there are people who will hold your hand through every step of the process. There are professionals who specialize in “bereavement cleanouts,” or the lengthy and stressful task of emptying a loved one’s house after their death. I spoke to a couple of experts in the matter on the steps you need to take to sort through your family member’s belongings after they die.

1. Look at the Will. 

It seems obvious, but read the will, says Matt Paxton of Legacy Navigator, a company helps families with estate cleanouts. “A will is not an opinion, it’s a fact. You don’t get to keep the piano just because you want it, even if you’re the one doing all the work.”

 

2. Get in Touch with an Estate Lawyer and an Accountant

Hopefully your parent already had an estate lawyer and an accountant. If not, ask around for local recommendations.  If you’re settling the estate, you’ll need to get the ball rolling with an estate lawyer, and you’ll need to file taxes for the estate. An accountant can help with this. As you clean, keep an inventory of anything of value, and if you anticipate the will being contested, make it a pretty detailed inventory.

 

3. Set a Realistic Timeline

Paxton says his company estimates that one person can clean out one cubic yard (about the space of a dishwasher) per hour. That means you and one helper can deal with about 16 cubic yards per day. Use that math to estimate your time and how much help you need. Make a trip to a big-box store for contractor’s bags and cardboard boxes. You’ll probably need to go a couple of times once you get a handle on how much stuff there is.

 

messy home office4. Pick a Room

Deborah Goldstein, a professional organizer who specializes in hoarders and bereavement cleanouts, recommends working your way room to room rather than tackling the whole house at once.  She suggest starting with a room that is storing mostly junk, like the attic, basement, or garage.

 

5. Make Piles

As you go, make four piles or staging areas: one for stuff to go to the trash, one for donate/recycle, one for sell and one for consider keeping. “As you work through each room, you’re getting rid of the junk and you’re putting aside things to think about. Most people start with a lot of things in the “things to think about” pile, but as they work, they go back and do different edits,” says Goldstein.

5.5. (Maybe Stay in a Hotel)

It can be emotionally taxing to stay in the house you’re cleaning out, especially if your relationship with the deceased was not ideal. “If it was really toxic relationship, I think a hotel is worth it,” says Goldstein, though of course she notes that that decision depends not only on your finances but also on the state of the house.

 

6. Draw Straws and Have An Hourly Show and Tell

If it’s not clear before your parent’s death who gets what items from the house, says Paxton, “literally draw straws as to who gets to pick first an item to keep.” He recommends, if you’re working with helpers, to work in the same room together at the same time.—This will minimize suspicions that someone might be pocketing something.

 

7. Touch Everything. Literally Everything

Everyone I spoke to stressed that you have to check every pocket, every file cabinet, the toe of every shoe to find squirreled-away cash and valuables. “I’ve found diamond rings, safe-deposit box keys, cash,” says Goldstein. Says Paxton, “Check all the pockets, check every medicine bottle, check the freezer, check the toilet tank. We find a lot of money.” His compan

y will even run a metal detector over the backyard.

8. Deal With Paperwork As You Go

If you’re lucky, your parents were organized and had all their estate planning in place before they died, and that paperwork is neatly filed. But no matter what, you’re going to be handling every piece of paper in the house. Goldstein recommends designatinorganize paper pilesg one wall or area for paperwork and stashing it there as you clean out the rooms. Make piles by category.

 

9. If You’re the Executor, File What You Need to Settle the Estate

Regina Kiperman, an estate-planning attorney in New York, suggests getting as many copies of the death certificate as there are accounts to settle. Then, as you clean, you need to keep birth certificates, social security cards, military records, recent bank statements, medical and pharma bills, any stock or bond certificates, annuities, and life-insurance policies. Shred everything else if it has identifiable information. Keep an eye on the mail through the next tax season to see if there are statements or 1099s coming in that you didn’t know about. If you don’t know how to deal with computers or online accounts—like you don’t have the passwords—ask the estate lawyer for advice on how to proceed.

10. Haul Stuff Away

Paxton says his company tends to donate to local charities, like those that provide clothes to people getting out of prison. However, big charities will sometimes haul away furniture if it’s in good shape. For auctions, he uses Everything But the House. If you need local assistance and/or advice, you can google “estate cleanout + your city” for businesses that specialize in this kind of job.

And take it easy on yourself. It’s an emotionally fraught time, even more so if you’re dealing with this with siblings or other family members. “Try to be understanding of your siblings,” says Paxton. “And at the end of the day, it’s just stuff. Don’t lose your family over it. I’ve seen families break up over Beanie Babies.” He pauses. “Oh, and another thing: Beanie Babies are not worth anything.”

For the full article and to get more tips, visit Life Hacker

When you need help sorting through your parents belonging, reach out to Organize Me! A patient hand is waiting to help you!

Organizeme! Frederick, MD

7 Steps for Minimalist Living

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7 Tiny Steps for the Beginner Minimalist
Considering a lifestyle change?

If you’ve ever thought that you’d be happier with less stuff, then check out these tips to get started. Changing takes time and effort as well as bold moves. Follow the link at the bottom of the article to get help at any point during your minimalist journey!

1. Write it down. Make a list of all the reasons you want to live more simply. These are your whys and your whys will provide great leverage when you think it’s too hard to keep going. Your whys will help you remember what matters.

2. Discard the duplicates. Walk through your home with a box and fill it with duplicates. If you have two sets of measuring cups, put them in the box. Copies of the same book or DVD? Put one in the box. Once you fill the box, label it “Duplicates” and put it out of sight for 30 days. If you don’t need anything or don’t remember what was in the box, donate it.

 

3. Declare a clutter-free zone. This area could be a kitchen table, your nightstand, a counter top or a drawer in your kitchen. Use that clutter-free zone as inspiration to live with less. If you enjoy that clean, clear environment, expand the zone a little bit each day.

family outside organize

4. Travel lightly. Travel always renews my love of minimalism and living simply. The next time you take a trip, pack for 1/2 the time. See how it feels to carry less baggage.

5. Dress with

 Less. If you haven’t considered Project 333, dressing with only 33 items for 3 months (clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories) sounds extreme, but thousands of people know that it actually makes life easier instead of more challenging.

6. Eat similar meals. When you think about how much time you spend thinking about what you are going to eat for lunch, make your family for dinner, or what you need to pick up at the grocery store, it’s clear that food is not always simple. Try eating the same breakfast and lunch all week and have 2 or 3 dinner choices that rotate throughout the week.

7. Save $1000. An emergency fund simplifies everything. If you are paying off debt, only pay your minimum payments until you can save $1000. If you aren’t in debt, but still spend what you have, set aside money every day or every week until you reach $1000. Try the 52 week money challenge and in 45 weeks, you’ll save more than $1000 without ever contributing more than $45 in a week. Money for emergencies reduces stress and emergencies.

 

For information on getting your minimalist journey started, visit Be More with Less

When it’s time to sort through and remove your clutter, reach out to Organize Me!

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organize me home organizing

Benefits of an Ample Mudroom

shoe storage seat

Benefits of an Ample Mudroom

From Closet Works

pet home organizing

The chill of late fall and winter is finally here, which means bundling up. When snow falls in a few short weeks, you’ll add winter boots to the mix, too.

The best place to keep all of this gear is near the door. It makes sense to create a storage area near the entrance you use every day.

Entry storage solutions aren’t just for homes with a dedicated foyer. As long as there’s enough space near the door, you can create an area where everything has its proper home.

First Things First: Banish Clutter

Before you begin planning your entryway or mudroom storage, get a good idea of what you need to store. If your entryway is a landing zone for things that you’d ultimately like to store someplace else, clear those things away before assessing how much and what type of storage you need.

With the addition of baskets, drawers or rollouts, any small items that pile up can at least be stored neatly before they’re put away. If items end up getting stored in your entryway —your mail or your kids’ lunch boxes, for example—then you should plan to incorporate storage for them. A shelf or some rollouts will do the trick. Maximizing space and creating enough storage will help your entryway stay clutter-free.

A Bench with Shoe Storage is Smartshoe storage seat

What happens when you walk through the door? If you’re like many people, you kick off your shoes or even place them neatly together against the wall. If you add an entryway bench with storage underneath, the whole area will look tidier—and it’ll help you keep your family from tracking dirt and snow through your house.

Coat Storage Can be Hidden … or Not

Adults usually have no problem taking off a coat and hanging it in a closet or wardrobe. But in a household with kids, hooks in open areas function better. They’re easier to reach and require less effort.

You can also have both a wardrobe-style closet plus a row of hooks. This is a good idea if your storage area is smaller and the hooks are mounted above a bench. Short jackets can hang above the bench, and longer coats can go inside the wardrobe.

Add Cabinets, Shelves and Rollouts for Everything Else

You’ll also have to consider everything else you take with you when you leave for the day—hats, sports equipment, gloves, scarves, pet accessories and more. If you’ve got the room, add a cabinet or two, some shelves and baskets or a few convenient rollouts. Corralling odds and ends near the door creates a place for them to live and minimizes the chance of losing one glove or misplacing the dog’s leash.

Entryway or mudroom storage doesn’t have to be elaborate, and it doesn’t have to be built in. Even a few feet along a wall is enough space to create an attractive, hardworking organization center that everyone can use.

When you work with the Designers at The Closet Works, you’ll end up with the right components in the right size for the space that you’ve got. It might be nothing but a bare wall right now. But once installed, your entryway storage system will look like it was born to be there. Because it was. Schedule a free design consultation today.

When you need help getting organized, reach out to Organize Me!organize me logo

 

Closet Organizing with No Space

shoe storage seat

Closet Organizing

A lot of Clothes in No Space!

General Tips
  1. Use ALL available space, but keep it organized.
  2. Keep out-of-season (winter/summer) clothes out of the way.
  3. You’re more likely to wear something if you can see it.
  4. Keep 1-2 hooks empty for quick-n-dirty clean up
  5. Don’t forget the backs of deep shelves, and high-up places.
Hanging Clothes

1. Try installing a second closet rod above your main one. Buy a stool or a reaching rod for access.

2. Matching hangers makes everything look so nice.

3. Cascading hooks are genius and work with almost any hanger. Use two at a time!

4. You can get a tiered hanger for skirts.

5. Skirt hangers with spring-clips and smooth rubber grips are best.

Folded Clothes

1. Fold all knit items to prevent hanger bumps.

2. Got deep shelves? Fold clothes appropriately. If you still have space behind your folded clothes store your out-of-season sandals/sweaters back there.

3. If you are using a dresser or other drawers, stack clothes vertically rather than horizontally.

5. For open shelving, be sure not to stack so high that it tumbles.

shoe storage seatShoes & Boots

1. Use an over-the-door shoe organizer. Ideally, look for ones where you can put both shoes in one slot.

2. Small cheap bookshelves are great for boots. Check your local Craigslist for cheap ones.

3. Some people love keeping their original shoe boxes but this can add to clutter

Bags

1. Stuff bags with tissue to keep their shape. When using a bag, leave tissue as holding space.

2. Sit them on a shelf rather than hanging them to prevent handles from stretching out.

3. Use bookends to keep them up.

4. If you must hang, use an over the door coat rack to hang bags, and even hats.

5. For less often used bags, create a drawer out of a long boot box. Line them up in the box, and slide it into a shelf

6. I love having a junk bowl or box for the things that I often but not always keep in my purse like hand sanitizer or a different sized wallet.

Other Accessories

1. Hang scarves on towel racks

2. For beltsjewelrysunglasses, and basically everything else ever, buy some screw in hooks in bulk at the home improvement store, and leave no wall or cabinet space uncovered.

3. Corral smaller items into open boxes, jars, and cups purchased at thrift stores.

4. Items that you intend to use infrequently can be hidden away in boxes. Those are Ikea, and hold travel organization tools, special occasion undies, and hats.

messy laundry closet

For the full, informative article, visit Life Hacker.com

To get help fulfilling all of these organizational dreams, get in touch with Organize Me!

How to downsize – Empty Nester’s Guide

organized home office

How to Downsize

An Empty Nester’s Guide

organized home office

If you’ve just returned from dropping your children off at a university, or they graduated in May and are officially out of the house for good, downsizing your space might be on your radar.

Selling a large home and moving into a smaller one not only holds the promise of making life easier to manage, it can also be more cost effective. But if you’ve been in your current home for a couple decades, you’ve likely amassed a lot of stuff. When is the last time you cleaned out your attic or garage?

The key to downsizing effectively is taking a systematic approach to planning your move and organizing the space. Here are some tips.

Declutter First, Slowly

Getting rid of things you no longer need or want isn’t for the faint of heart. To manage the process of first reviewing your stuff, use these tips:

  • Tackle cleaning out spaces slowly over time. You don’t have to tackle the basement and the linen closet on the same day.
  • Make three piles: “Keep,” “Donate” and “Trash.” Don’t make a “Maybe” pile
  • Decide if you want to include a “Sell” pile (only if you actually intend to sell items).
  • To help you make decisions, ask yourself questions like, “When is the last time I used this?” and “What purpose will this serve in my new home?” If you can’t remember the answer to the first question or you don’t have an answer to the second question, it might be time to part ways.
  • Choose where you’ll donate what you no longer need. There are many options depending on what you have to donate. Check first—some donation centers prohibit specific items.
Use Space Wisely

If you’ve made the decision to downsize, you might be concerned about keeping your new space clutter-free—whether it’s a smaller house, a condo or an apartment.

To make the most out of less space, use it wisely and consider storage options which make the most out of your closets.

  • More hanging storage – If you’ve got small reach-in closets with one rod and a shelf, you can likely add a second rod to double hanging storage for your clothes.
  • Hooks and racks – Add hooks behind the door or on the side wall of your reach-in closet or in your walk-in closet to hang bags or accessories. This is also a good spot to add a tie rack or belt rack so you’re not taking up valuable space elsewhere in your closet.
  • Shelves and cubbies – Adding shelves and cubbies to a reach-in or linen closet is an excellent way to add storage that helps you avoid piling items on top of items, which can quickly contribute to clutter

hanging clothes neatIf these solutions seem appealing to you, you could also go with a completely custom solution, where a professional Designer reviews the space and helps you maximize it. It’s a better way to ensure that all of your things have a place in your new, more compact home.

Think Multipurpose

Beyond considering where you’ll keep all of your stuff, it makes sense to think multipurpose when downsizing. The spaces in your new home—and the furniture in those spaces—can pull double duty so you can get more out of them.

For example, choose an ottoman that doubles as a storage bin. Consider a kitchen island with cubbies on the side for small appliances or cook books. Maximize under-bed storage with containers or a bed with drawers below it.

And when it comes to sleeping arrangements, you can opt for a sofa bed or even a Murphy bed.

For the full article, visit Closet Works

When you need help getting your empty nest organized, reach out to Organize Me!

Organizeme! Frederick, MD

How to Organize Your Desk

organized desk

Here’s how to organize you desk

Your desk is your command center. How well it’s organized can help set the tone and productivity level

“Surveys show the average person loses an hour a day to disorganization,” said Lisa Zaslow, a professional organizer in New York City. “It takes much less time to get and stayed organized. Think about how frantic and stressed you are when you can’t find something.”

organized home office

Here’s how experts suggest organizing your desk for maximum efficiency and productivity:

Get your layout right

Your monitor should be in front of you at eye-level and about 17-inches from your body, according to Zaslow. Put frequently-used items, like the phone or supplies, on your dominant side to avoid having to reach across.

Mind your office supplies

Supplies used every day can go on the desk. Items used a couple times a week should go in a drawer under or to the side of a desk. “Getting up even just once a day for a pencil or paper clip is shutting your brain off a project you are working on and you will have to come back and re-center,” said Amy Trager, a professional organizer in Chicago.

It’s also best to group like items together. “All your office supplies should be kept together, not split up in multiple drawers,” said Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer.

Go easy on reminders.

When it comes to sticky notes, moderation is key. Framing your monitor with notes isn’t the most effective. “They’ve lost their usefulness at that point,” said Trager. Use them for important short-term reminders.

Don’t go overboard with personal knick-knacks

Maintaining work-life balance is hard, especially on your desk. Family pictures, vacation souvenirs and other trinkets can provide positive feelings during the work day, but too many mementos can be a distraction.

“Our eyes pull every single thing in front of us and our brain processes it — even if we don’t realize it,” explained Zaslow. A desk full of stuff means “that is a lot of work and editing for you.” She recommended keeping no more than three personal items on a desk.

Control your inbox.

E-mail is a convenient way to communicate, but it can also be a major distraction. If it becomes too much of a distraction, Trager recommended designating certain time periods throughout the day to check and respond to email. “The rest of the time is for work.” Also, don’t be afraid to disable the pop-up notices of new mail if it interrupts work flow.

Embrace white space

Keep a paper-sized free space to your dominant side as a designated work space to make it easier to review or sign documents.

Prioritize your work flow

Only keep relevant and active projects and documents on your desk. When work gets backed up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stall productivity, so here’s how Trager recommended grouping projects to prioritize:

1) Important and urgent

2) Urgent, but not necessarily important

3) Important, without urgency

4) Non-urgent, and not important

She added vertical file holders help avoid stacking folders on top of each other and overlooking the ones not on top.

Reassess frequently

Keeping a desk organized requires frequent upkeep and assessments, so be sure to take a weekly scan of your desk to make sure everything still deserves a spot on your work space.

When you are ready to get your home office in order, contact Organize Me!

For the full article by CNN Money, click here

The Ultimate Moving Guide

house showing clutter

The Ultimate Moving Guide

Moving is stressful. Here’s some help

Moving home can be a hectic and stressful time, so it’s important that you are completely prepared and have the best plan in place beforehand! And when you need help with your move, contact Organize Me! View all the details of The Moving Package here!

1. Make A Calendar 

Being as prepared as possible will make the transition a lot easier. Make sure you have all the equipment you need such as usable boxes and some extra cash at hand for surprise expenses.

2. Measure The Space

There’s nothing worse than moving all your stuff to a new place where they won’t fit!

3. Clean Up First

Make sure your new place is clean before you start to move your things in.

4. Order Utilities And Furniture In Advance

You don’t want to get into your new place and find you’re having to wait a fortnight for your bed to turn up.

5. Change The Locks

For extra security.

6. Pack The Essentials Box.

This box will contain all the things you’ll need on the first night, so you don’t have to root around in boxes looking for a bowl.

7. Decide How You’re Actually Going To Move Your Stuff.

You can move your stuff by yourself by asking family and friends to help you, or if you’re on your own a dolly cart. You could also hire a rental tuck with a driver that simply moves all your stuff from point A to point B, or you can acquire full service movers. It’s all about what’s most affordable really.

View the step by step diagram here: Ultimate Moving Guide For stress relief during your move, purchase Organize Me!’s Moving Package here: The Moving Package