These are the 10 things professional organizers really wish their clients knew!

The secrets of professional organizers!

The work of professional organizers may look like lots of pretty ‘after pictures’ after some ridiculous before photos. But to get to those pretty after photos, we see a lot of stuff. I mean a lot. ¬†I get it. I’ll admit there’s spaces in my house I don’t want anyone to see. But there are some tried and true tips that really make a huge difference in keeping your home clean and organized. Here’s the biggest things that most professional organizers cringe when they see.

Secrets Professional Organizers Wish You Knew

1 Not respecting capacity limits

Yes, there should be a home for everything, but that home shouldn’t be cramped. My rule of thumb is that no container or basket is my house is more than 75% full. Not only does it make it easier to find what’s inside, it allows for a margin of error (aka – when you need to fill it just a little more). Hey, we’re not perfect 100% of the time ūüôā .

2 Keeping unwanted items

You know what items I’m talking about … the ‘what if someday my toaster breaks and I need a new one’ scenario. Just saying. There’s a common rule with clothing, if you haven’t worn it in 6 months, get rid of it. My rule for non clothing items: if you don’t use it in the last year, it needs to go (I’m accounting for seasonal items). And that’s pretty lenient. Oh and this includes gifts from relatives that you never use, the paintings that you’ll eventually get around to hanging on the wall, etc. If it’s been over a year, it’s out.

3 Holding on to something because it cost money

¬†Now one rebuttal I often hear when purging is “but it was SO expensive”. ¬†I get it. I hate wasting money. Hate. An expensive dress that I only wore to one wedding 4 years ago. Extra suitcase sitting in storage that hasn’t been used in a decade. But let’s think of it a different way: how expensive it is to waste that storage/closet space with something you’re not using. That becomes a pretty expensive storage space.

Professional organizers spill all their secrets

4 Not putting things away

Ahhhhh. It’s like nails on a chalk board to me. Once you use something, put it in it’s home. Or at VERY minimum, have a junk drawer to get those items off the counter and tables. The better option is to simply put items away after you use them, but I’m giving you a little slack with the junk drawer. Your welcome.

5 Full refrigerator

I’m not talking about the inside. I’m talking about all those magnets, photos, art projects and mail that’s hanging all over the outside of the fridge. Get rid of it. No matter how clutter free the rest of the kitchen is, when the fridge is full of papers, the entire kitchen is a mess.

6 The messy entryway

First impressions are a real thing. And a messy entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. Whether it’s baskets, hooks, cabinets, you name it. Find a way to get that clutter away. Remember, not everything needs to be stored at the entryway. Keep the essentials – coat, shoes, hat, key, sunglasses, bag. Move the rest to a more appropriate spot.

7 Entryway paper clutter

Speaking of the entry way, this seems to be the popular spot for paper clutter. Now I’m all for placing mail and paper documents near the entry way, but, there’s got to be a system. So next time when you grab the mail and need a place to stash it, it won’t have to go on the kitchen counter. It will go in the entry, via an organized process.

top pet peeves that professional organizers really want you to know!

8 First shopping then organizing

If I won the lottery, my first stop would be splurging at the Container Store. I’m a sucker for the latest organizing gadget as much as the next person. But and there’s a big BUT …. more organizing products don’t make a room more organized. Organizing makes a room more organized. Before rushing out to the store (or Amazon) to solve your clutter crisis, really evaluate your STUFF. So often, it’s more a matter of purging, grouping like items and finding a new place to store them that solves the problem. THEN if you do end up needing more baskets or bins, you’ll have a better grasp of what to purchase.

9 Not utilizing labels

So obviously I like labels. My master closet has almost a dozen of them. Joking aside, labels not only help you keep your system working, it’s hugely beneficial to others in your family that may not be as excited about organization as you are. Surprise surprise, Joe doesn’t share my enthusiasm for labeled baskets in our master closet. But he does know where things go.

10 Not finishing the laundry

We all have good intentions when we start the laundry, whether you’re the type who does laundry daily or has a weekly routine. But starting laundry and finishing laundry are very different things. Nothing screams ‘I’m disheveled and I can’t get my house organized’ like unfinished laundry. ¬†Yep, it’s one of those unfortunate things that you don’t get credit for accomplishing (no one says wow your house looks so great and is free of half finished laundry), but everyone notices when it’s not finished. Finish your laundry. You’ll feel better.
These are the top 10 pet peevse that all professional organizers wish their clients knew! They're easy quick fixes that make a huge difference!

 

 

 

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We all know those people. Those people who look perfectly put together. Those people who are never flustered. People who always arrive on time. Scratch that. Those people who are always early.

Yes, some people have more on their plate than others. Some people spend more time getting ready than others. And some people are just perfect. (We hate those people.) But for the majority, those that are always on time tend to follow these rules:

1 Google Maps

They LOVE Google maps, not only so that they know HOW to get to where they’re going, but so they know WHEN to leave. Google Maps will show traffic and public transportation delays, which becomes immensely helpful in determining WHEN to leave the house. But as great as Google Maps is, it’s far from perfect. In fact I don’t know anyone who can walk as fast as Google or any buses that show up on time like Google says they will. So plan accordingly and add at least 10-15 minutes to your Google Maps directions.

2 Entryway

They designate one place to leave their jacket, work bag, headphones, and any other items that are carried every day, whether at a command center or near the front door. Same goes with keys. There’s ONE spot that their keys live ALL THE TIME. They know that they will forget where they put them if it’s not in that same spot. Skip the morning drama and have these essentials right by the front door.

Top 10 ways to arrive on time to everything, including remembering where you put your keys!

3 Mornings

Speaking of morning, they skip the snooze. Yep, that’s right. The alarm goes off and they get up. Let me repeat, alarm goes off and they get up. That extra 5 minutes of not so great sleep isn’t worth starting the day off behind. Mornings are too important to snooze.

4 Scheduling

They’re not scheduled back to back to back because they know SOMETHING will run late and alter the entire day. Those people who always arrive on time likely also love to be productive and gets lots done throughout the day. Yet they know that one late meeting or traffic jam could toy with the entire day’s schedule. So they’re smart about their time. They never schedule events too close together. And if they’ve got extra time before meetings, they know how to fill it.

5 Downtime

They’re OK with downtime. Meaning that they know how to fill the time when they arrive early for a reservation or show up to a doctors appointment 15 minutes ahead of time. Not only do they know how to use that time, they use it productively. They’re updating a grocery list, they’re responding to emails on their phone, they’re cleaning out their purse.

6 Alarms

Alarms aren’t just for waking up. People who arrive on time often set alarms for important events during the day. They have an alarm letting them know when they need to leave a social gathering, when they need to call an Uber or when they need to start on a project.

7 Plan

They plan EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. Calendars aren’t just for important events. Punctual people not only show up on time, but they plan out their days. This includes travel time, down time and those not so exciting activities (think laundry). They also know that just because something is planned doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Flexibility is key when planning out their day. Adding activities to their calendar creates the best chance of accomplishing everything they want to do.

8 Time Suck

They’re not late for events because they don’t check their email or voicemail right before they leave. They also don’t check Facebook. Let’s repeat, they don’t check Facebook right before they’re supposed to go somewhere. Whatever your guilty pleasure, what we think will only take a minute or two often sucks you in for much longer. Don’t let yourself get sucked in. Especially right before you need go to somewhere.

9 End

People who arrive on time end their tasks on time. You can’t be on time for the next activity if you linger to long on the current one. They map out their day in advance, taking time to really think about how long each activity / event will take before adding it to the calendar. And if an event starts to run long, they find a way to wrap things up.

10 The Unknown

They fill up their gas tank when it reaches 1/4 tank. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, this is tip#10. But not just the gas tank. They always have a snack with them, they keep napkins in their car. Simply put, they prevent the unknown last minute delays the best they can.

Here's our list of the top 10 things that people do who arrive on time. Incorporate these easy solutions to be punctual and organized throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

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The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

I’m a big Amazon shopper, aka shopping online and getting items delivered right to your door, for a couple reasons. First, Joe & I share one car and since I work from home and he works in an office, he gets the car on most days. Now that often puts my shopping and running errors for the weekend…. AKA the busiest days to shop. The second reason, I’m super frugal. I hate hate spending too much (or really any) money on something (OK anything). I’ve found that for MOST items, Amazon meets or beats prices at the close by stores in my city.

Here’s my favorites organizers (just click on the photo to get the details):

1 Under the Sink Storage Shelves

The majority of under the sink storage solutions are one size SHOULD fit all. But unfortunately that doesn’t work for most. I love that this shelf storage is adjustable to work around the pipes under your sink!

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

2 Mop & Broom Holder

I used to use individual hooks for our broom, dust pan, mop, and bags. Having ONE adjustable holder is easier, takes up less room and visually looks a lot better.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

3 Car Hanger Holder Hooks

It’s just as easy to hook my purse to the back of the drivers seat as it is to throw it on the ground of the passenger seat (which is what I would always do). Plus it’s a LOT less dirty AND nothing will fall out of your seat!

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

4 Headphone Holder

No more tangled headphones stuffed at the bottom of my purse. This tiny holder takes up very little room but solves a very BIG problem ūüôā .

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

5 Soap, Shampoo & Condition Dispenser for the Shower

This is an easy way to eliminate shower bottle clutter and bulky over the shower head holders. It stores shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Added bonus is that you can adhere this to any spot in the shower that you like! 

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

6 Towel Rack Hanging Holder

I really like the flexibility of creating a towel rack anywhere, even a mud room or laundry room. It comes in 4 fun colors and is easy to spray paint if you don’t find the right color for your room.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

7 Bedside Caddy

Admittedly I don’t really love the way most bedside caddies look. But I do LOVE this one. It’s sleek, contemporary and stores all my reading material. I prefer to put this on the side of the bed that’s closer to the wall so it isn’t visible. But I like the style enough that I would be OK if it was more exposed.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

8 Drawer Spice Liner

These strips hold up to 24 regular sized spice jars and are completely adjustable (no installation or permanent mounting needed). Being able to see the labels make searching for the right spice so much easier!

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

9 Computer Monitor Stand with Organizer

I love all the stylish desks that trending on the web. In reality though, I know I’ll need a couple extra accessories on my desk, which can look messy and cluttered. This contemporary bamboo monitor stand doubles as an organizer, which means less items on your desk! (and it’s surprisingly cheap.)

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get in now}

 

10 Folding Trunk Organizer

Most of us are in our car WAY too many hours in the day. I use this foldable trunk organizer to hold the some important essentials in our trunk. I like that this organizers fits nicely in the back of our trunk and velcros to stay put to the floor.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

Some of the links in this list are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I earn a little commission if you decide to purchase. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely recommend! Thanks for helping support this site!

 

 

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As I’m sure many of you can relate, some home projects are home runs and others are epic fails. Not every creative organizing solution I envision in my head ends up working out in reality. But then some of them do.

We wanted to take some time to show you our most successful 10 organizing projects of 2016. Some of these projects were a gamble … I wasn’t sure if it would be a hit or miss, but fortunately these were hits!

 

1 | Christmas Light Storage

Storing Christmas lights has to be the WORST Christmas decoration to store. And even worse to take out of storage. Am I right? I used a simple piece of cardboard to make the whole process A LOT easier!

The BEST way to store and organize your Christmas lights!

2 | Pringles Can Pen Holder 

This was a silly ‘hail Mary’ type of project that I honestly wasn’t sure if would actually hold up. Well over 9 months later, I’m still using these DIY pen holders in my craft closet. Added bonus:¬†You’ll be forced to eat all the Pringles first. You’re welcome!

Pringles

3 | Triangular Drawer Storage 

I could spend every last dollar I have on storage gadgets. I LOVE them. But unfortunately I couldn’t find any triangular drawer storage dividers to store small odds & ends next to our extra long grilling supplies. So I made my own. There’s a first time for everything!

DIY triangular kitchen drawer divider step by step guide solves all my kitchen storage problems!

4 | Wine Tag Labels

One member of my family drinks the fancy wine and the other drinks lots of the cheap stuff. I’ll let you guess who is who, but to ensure I don’t accidentally grab the wrong bottle, I made these wine tag labels to easily denote type and price.

5 | Hair Dryer Storage 

Cabinet space is at a premium in our home, so taking up an entire bathroom cabinet for my hair dryer, straightener and curling iron wasn’t an option. Hair dryer storage products that I found in stores we’re just as bulky, defeating the purpose. So I made my own hair dryer storage¬†VERY frugally with a couple thrift store items.

6 | Wrapping Paper Drawer Liners

I love pretty drawer liners. It ‘beautifies’ any drawer (and everything inside)… in the bathroom, kitchen, dresser, or night stand. But sometimes it’s hard to find the right pattern. Fortunately there’s a HUGE supply of beautiful wrapping paper available in almost much every store. This step by step guide to covering wrapping paper with contact paper to create the pretty drawer liners was a huge hit on the blog.

7 | Portable Medical Binder 

Keeping medical documents organized might have been the most difficult organization project that I tackled in 2016. But it felt oh so good once it was accomplished. I finally found a system that works.

8 | Monthly Greeting Card Organizer 

Organizing my greeting cards by the MONTH I need to use them completely ROCKED my world. Each month I simply grab the cards from the current month’s tab to fill out and mail.

greeting card

9 | Lunch Prep Station 

I know that packing and making lunches ahead of time will save me both time and money. But it always seems like such a hassle as I’m rushing out the door in the morning. I created a¬†lunch prep station in my kitchen to make preparing lunches a breeze!

Lunch Prep Station

10 | Canvas Bags to Store Dirty Towels 

I hate running upstairs to the laundry room every time I needed to put a dirty kitchen towel away. These cute canvas bags hooked on the back of our kitchen closet made storing dirty towels SO much easier. Then once the bag was full, I do a load of laundry. (a win for organization and for this lazy girl!)

dirty towels

Here’s hoping that 2017 will be just as organized as 2016!

 

 

The BEST (and easiest) home organizing projects of the year!

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Due to popular demand I’m sharing all our favorite¬†organizing solutions with you!

It seems like there’s SO many products to purchase everywhere we look. We’re constantly bombarded with the option to BUY. How do we really know what’s the best product out there? ¬†Too many times I’ve bought something assuming it would make my life easier only to discover the opposite to happen. Ugh. #OrganizingFail.

So I rounded up the best solutions I’ve found over the years. These are the solutions that I’m¬†using on a DAILY basis so I¬†trust and love them.

Being as frugal as I am, none of these will break the bank!

Here’s WHAT we use and HOW we use it

(Click on any photo for more information)

ONE

I’m a huge fan of Rume reusable bags. They’re really high quality and last such a long time. I recently discovered that in addition to grocery and lunch bags, they also have a pretty wide collection of accessory bags. Since I’m not one of those people who uses the same purse day each and every day, I use the All Zippered Organizer to hold all my purse essentials. This makes swapping purses SO easy. In the smallest pouch goes my sunglasses. The middle pouch gets credit cards and cash. The top pouch (largest) holds my toiletries.

TWO

Even though I keep all my spice jars in a drawer completely out of sight, I still want them to be organized. Maybe no one else would know that they’re a mess, but I would¬†know. The Container Store has the perfect sized jars for spices. Not only do they look great, it’s¬†super easy to put labels on the lids. This makes grabbing the right jar SO much quicker! I wrote a whole tutorial about my¬†spice jar organization¬†process last year and they’re still holding up perfectly.

THREE

Since we don’t have a linen closet in our townhouse, I’m always trying to be thoughtful of how we store extra towels, sheets and blankets. I’ve been using these clear storage bags from the Container Store for years. The height is¬†perfect to slip under the bed and since they’re clear, its super easy to see exactly what’s inside. I use the small two pack ones for extra sheets, while saving the larger ones for extra towels and blankets. I’ve been really happy with how well these have held up over the years!

FOUR

I can’t even count the times that washi tape is come in handy when organizing. I would have never thought ūüôā . It’s an easy & affordable way to label with a touch of color. One of my favorite parts is that washi tape is¬†completely removable without any skicky trace.

From labeling wine glasses for a party to organizing extra extension cords, these decorative tape rolls come in handy oh so often.

FIVE

If you’re going to invest in a label maker, and I strongly recommend you do, THIS is the one to get. Hands down this has been the BEST investment that I’ve made. I say ‘investment’ because it’s not cheap. But here’s why¬†I decided to take the plunge and buy it: I NEVER have to print my labels from my computer. Yep, read that line one more time. I hate hate hate hate having to run back and forth from my computer/printer to the room/item I’m organizing in order to make a label. With this label maker, you can completely remove your computer from the equation.

Keep all your family's medical bills organized with this easy to make portable medical binder. Even fits in your purse to take with to doctors appointments!

Oh and it’s CORDLESS. I repeat, CORDLESS. There’s an iphone app that you corresponds with the label maker. I create the label on the app, then hit “print” and the label is created in the label maker. ¬†I’ve stopped counting how many blogging projects I’ve done using this label maker, but my FAVORITES were: our greeting card organizer, portable medical binders, and battery storage solution.

SIX

Organizing a fridge always seems like a great idea at the beginning, only to find that after a week my¬†fridge is often back to disarray. I’ve learned to be really careful about the storage solutions I use for my fridge. Clear containers¬†seem to¬†work best for easy navigation. These clear ones are super versatile, which was key for me. We don’t always have the exact same groceries¬†in our fridge week after week. Besides the egg storage, pretty much anything in the fridge can be stored inside these clear containers!

Take a look at these tools in action at my full fridge cleaning and organization tutorial.

SEVEN

Speaking of the fridge, anyone else HATE cleaning theirs? It’s probably my least favorite chore. That’s why I started using these Fridge Coasters earlier this year. Incredibly easy to fit into any size fridge, these liners¬†absorb spills that would usually stain the glass of your fridge. This equals much fewer cleanings! There’s lots of fun colors and patterns to choose from to add a little decoration to an otherwise pretty boring space in the house.

It’s also one of my 5 solutions to easily clean your kitchen!

 

EIGHT

Yes, I love a fancy storage solution just as much as the next person. But sometimes you JUST need a bag. Am I right? I’m surprised at how often I opt for a strong clear ziploc bag as storage as opposed to something more elaborate (and expensive). Where it’s storing extra nails & tools or greeting cards, a clear baggie¬†can be a life saver. Just remember to opt for higher quality ones. I don’t often say this, but the pricier ones are worth the price as far as clear bags go! I’ve found freezer bags to the absolute strongest.

NINE

Clear contact paper may not be a typical item that most will think of when organizing, but it’s definitely on my top 10 list. So often it comes in handy to create DIY labels (a protective layer over a paper label) or a 5 minute drawer liner hack. ¬†While I LOVE pretty colorful contact paper, I’ve often had trouble finding the the extact style that I want. Placing clear contact paper over your favorite wrapping paper solves the problem instantly!

Think contact paper is too tricky to work with? Take a look at my step by step tutorial on the best tips to use contact paper.

TEN

Have you heard the the saying ‘Measure twice, cut¬†once’? You’ll appreciate it if you’ve ever purchased something that didn’t fit in the space you intended. That’s why item number 10 is a well made measuring tape.¬†Hear me out. Any time I work on a larger organizing project (reorganizing my¬†closet for example), I ALWAYS make sure to have a tape measure on hand. When I’m looking for storage containers, I always make sure to measure the space first before I go on my hunt for the perfect item. The disappointment that comes over me when I find that perfect organizing solution only to find that it doesn’t fit the space is 1) probably ridiculous & slightly unnecessary, but 2) so frustrating. Measure once, cut¬†twice.

 

 

 

really great ideas for good organizing supplies that I would have never thought of, especially #4

 

 

 

 

 

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