Monday, May 31, 2010


A lot of people use their basement as a “catch all” room. Anything that doesn’t have a place anywhere else gets dumped in the basement.

Cleaning supplies, sports equipment, storage boxes, memorabilia, photo albums, holiday decorations and lots of other things…..

When storing things in the basement you need to consider the moisture that a lot of basements have. Also be sure to keep everything off of the floor (at least a few inches). You never know when you might have some flooding after a heavy storm. The one year that I decided to “hide” my Christmas presents in the basement we had a really bad rainstorm and the basement got a few inches of water. Of course I had all of the presents on the floor, lined up in a perfect line, wrapped perfectly, in perfect bags, all ready to go. I lost just about everything and learned a very valuable lesson (no, not the one about being too organized).

I learned that basements flood ! (and no, I’m not telling you where I hide my Christmas presents now…).

If you put any type of shelving units in your basement be sure that the bottom shelf is at least three (3) inches above the floor to be safe.

Keep in mind that mold, mildew, water and little critters might play a role in how you organize your basement and what types of storage bins you use.

It’s best to keep things in plastic boxes with tight fitting lids. Be sure to label the boxes so that you know what’s in them…but do not put the label on top of the lid, put it on the sides.

If you stack the boxes make sure that the heaviest boxes are on the bottom.

You need to decide how the basement is going to be used. Storage, workshop, office, playroom….. If the basement is going to be used for more than one purpose break the area into “zones” and section off each zone. For example, if the basement is going to be used for both storage and a playroom use some type of divider to keep the kids out of the storage area.

A dehumidifier might be a good idea to help remove the moisture in your basement and to help get rid of the musty smell.

Be sure to keep things away from the heater.

Remember, organizing any room that is cluttered is going to take time. Give yourself a break by setting a time limit (one or two hours) so that you don’t exhaust yourself and get frustrated and give up.

I’m sure that it didn’t get disorganized and cluttered overnight and it’s going to take some time to get organized.

Once the room is organized the maintenance to keep it that way will be minimal.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 24, 2010


Balance in your life. Yes, having an organized home is important. But if you have children, remember that the dust will be there tomorrow. Don’t lose sight of the important things in your life – like playing with your children and going to the beach on a sunny day. Don’t put off the dusting for too long – but your children won’t be little forever. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes priorities aren’t as obvious as they seem.

* Summer basket: In the summer I always keep a basket filled with “picnic” items near my front door. Take advantage of the warm weather and eat dinner at the beach or the park. It’s amazing how going to the beach and eating dinner on a picnic blanket (which I always keep in my car for spur of the moment picnics) can relax you after a hard and stressful day at work. It’s like a mini vacation rolled up in a few hours. Looking out at the water and watching the sunset works wonders on relieving your stress.

In my basket I keep a supply of paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic silverware, salt/pepper, wet wipes, plastic bags for garbage, magazines, sunscreen.

I throw in some bottled water and grab some sandwiches (you can also get them at a sub shop on your way to the beach) or KFC (yes, it’s bad for you but it’s part of our summer tradition).

I always keep a bag of baby carrots, cut up vegetables, and some fruit in the fridge during the summer for quick healthy snacks….and these can be tossed in your basket too.

If you have little kids keeps a bag filled with a couple of buckets and shovels in your car for those “spur of the moment” trips to the beach. Keep an extra set of beach towels in your car and you will be ready to go at a moments notice.

Try it …. And see how much less stressed you will feel after an hour at the beach. We live less than 20 minutes away from the beach yet most people never take advantage of this great opportunity for a “mini vacation” during the week.


* Emergency Kit: Instead of having band-aids and other emergency medical supplies spread out throughout the bathroom make up an “emergency medical kit” so that everything can be in one easy to find place. Use a container with a lid that has handles and when an emergency arises you can just take the entire kit with you and have everything you might possibly need at your fingertips. You can keep one kit in the house and another in your car. Some items that you might want to include are:

* Anti-biotic ointment
* Anti itch ointment
* Alcohol wipes
* Aspirin
* Band-aids
* Cotton swabs
* Eye drops
* Instect Repellent
* Hand Sanitizer
* Sunscreen
* Tissues
* Tweezers

Have a great summer..... be prepared for fun !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 17, 2010


Yippee ! Schools out ! The kids are beyond happy. Summer is almost here. Fun in the sun !

As you look around you see backpacks on the floor with the contents of their locker /desk strewn everywhere. Your office / desk / refrigerator is already bursting with their “art work” and crafts. How did you accumulate so much “stuff”?

Just remember – you have 12 years of this ! How do you get a handle on all of their “special papers” ? Don’t let the clutter overtake you. You will easily end up with more boxes of their “stuff” every year.

I know you and the kids are excited that school is out and the last thing that you want to do is spend hours going through their stuff. But it’s easier to just bite the bullet and get it done now and be able to enjoy the summer without having to look at the clutter all summer long.

There are a number of ways to go about this. One, get one (1) box or plastic bin for each child. Put in dividers for each school year. Pick one or two or three (no more or you’ll run out of room) great pieces to save. Put all of their report cards and awards into the folders.

Instead of a box, you can also use a large pendaflex folder for each child. You will need to explain to your child that you can’t keep “all” of their pictures because you just don’t have the room (trust me – my kids decorated an entire wall of my office with their art work and I left it up until they “begged” me to take it down when they were 15).

Do this at the end of every school year so that you are not overwhelmed when they are going away to college and you decide it’s “finally” time to clear our their stuff (trust me….they go from 12 to college overnight!).

Take a look at their backpack and see if it still is in good condition for next year. If it is, clean it out and store it for next year. If it’s, not throw it in the garbage.

Go through all of their school supplies and get rid of everything that is broken. Sort all of the “good” supplies into a box for next year. Make a list of what you have left over that can be re-used so that you don’t have to buy it next year.

Now you can relax and enjoy your summer…..that is until it’s time to “get organized” for the next school year. But that’s another article!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 10, 2010


Some people are morning people…and some people aren’t. I am. My sister, well you never want to call her before noon. I always laid out my suit the night before and made sure that my briefcase was all packed. I knew where everything was and I liked to get in to work early and get a lot of things done before everyone else got there.

There are a lot of things that you can do to make the mornings go a lot smoother.

Some ideas:

* Get your coffee maker ready the night before
* Pack your lunch before you go to bead
* Decide what you are going to wear and lay the clothes out before you go to bed
* Pack your briefcase / backpack the night before
* Put your briefcase / backpack in a designated spot (along with your car keys)
* For kids > pack their backpack with their homework & put in a designated spot
* Pour your breakfast juice in your glass & put in fridge
* Set the breakfast table
* Set out your box of cereal and fruit for breakfast
* Cook hardboiled eggs ahead of time so that you have them all available for breakfast
* Pre-cook sausages ahead of time so that all you have to do is microwave them
* Make pancakes ahead of time & freeze them so that all you have to do is microwave them
* Stagger your kids wake up calls so that everyone has a turn in the bathroom & no one is late

By getting as much done the night before as possible….. you will have less to do in the morning. And if you're not a morning person…. you won’t forget anything.

By just changing the timing of when you do things…. you can be more organized.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 3, 2010


When people think about organizing their living space they usually forget one very important “room” in their home ….. the garage. Unlike the other rooms of their house the garage serves many uses.

It stores their car… to keep it dry and warm and out of the bad weather.

It stores their lawn mower, gardening tools and lawn furniture.

It stores their snow blower.

It stores their bicycles and other sports gear.

Sometimes it’s even used as a workshop, complete with workbench and tools.

So many uses…..yet, it’s the least thought about room of the house.

When we go for walks around our neighborhood we get to peak into many people’s garages….since a lot of people leave them open. And I always says “those people need me !”.

Many people’s garages are packed from floor to ceiling with “stuff”. A lot of people can’t even get both cars into their garage because there is no room. Yet they have no problem letting the entire neighborhood see their disorganized space.

Organizing your garage is important because of the many functions that it serves. By stepping back and thinking about the various functions and organizing your garage into “zones” you can get the best use out of your space. Have a “sports zone”, a “garden zone”, a “tool zone” …and so on.

It is very important to remember that due to the various temperature changes and the humidity (and since most garages are not heated) you need to consider the types of materials (shelving, cabinets, storage units….) that you use. Plastic shelves and containers are probably better options than wood.

Don’t store things in paper boxes due to the moisture…. or you might end up with mold. Keep things off of the floor so that they don’t get wet.

There are numerous pegboard type systems out there that can be used to hang all of your tools and get them off of the floor. Remember to use your vertical space. You can also mount shelving to hang from the ceiling for “above car” storage. And there are numerous options to hang your bikes.

By using a combination of storage options for your various needs you can double or triple your space and have a garage that can also be used for your ….. car.

A company that has some great options to help you with organizing your garage is: Garage Outfitters

Another important thing to remember is that you should have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit in the garage.

Organize your garage…. and make your neighbors happy !

Organizational Consulting Services