Tuesday, November 5, 2013

confessions of an overwhelmed organizer

I will be the first to admit that I do not have it all together.  Despite the fact that I am extremely organized, I still drop a ball or two every now and again.  Ok. . .I drop balls more than I care to admit.  This blog is a perfect example.

When I was launching my business last summer, I was determined to post multiple times a week with clever, insightful organizing tips and tricks that would inspire my readers.  On my most motivated days, I even considered buying a fancy camera and taking a photography class.  I attended a conference for bloggers and made lists of potential blog posts.  I scoured the web for inspiring organizing blogs from which to glean wisdom and inspiration.  And then reality set in.

In reality, I am an organizer. . .not a blogger.  I don't necessarily enjoy the creative process of writing.  I would much rather be reorganizing food items in your pantry than words on a page.  I will do LOTS of other things to avoid the task of sitting down and recording my thoughts.  It's somewhat comical to see the countless entries of the word "blog" in my dayplanner to-do column.  Each time, the word is neatly crossed through with pen (my indication that the item did not get accomplished and should be moved to another day).  It has seriously been an ongoing to-do item since June.  At one point, I sat down and scheduled several months worth of "Quote of the Week" posts.  This was a strategy to encourage myself to blog between the weekly automated posts so that my blog would not become a string of "Quotes of the Week" with no other content.  But guess what?  That is exactly what happened.  I'll admit I am tempted to delete all of those postings in an effort to "clean up" my failure, but I will not.  Hopefully you will find some humor in my shortcoming.

Also, another reality check came in the form of an unexpected career development.  While I dreamed for months of making SORT my full-time career, I knew when I launched that I was not ready to take the plunge into full-time self-employment.  In August, I started a new teaching position at an elementary school, working with struggling learners and students with dyslexia.  My intention was to stay in this role for one year while I got my feet wet in the organizing business.  But guess what?  I LOVE my job.  I cannot imagine leaving any time soon.  My daily 9 to 5 is challenging and stimulating and lots of fun.  I use my organizing skills every day to structure 30-minute lessons for the numerous groups of students who cycle through my classroom.  It's taken a great deal of energy and attention to learn the ropes in my new role, but I am finally at a place where things are running smoothly and I don't need to work long hours to keep it going.  I am ready to turn my focus back to SORT, but with a different expectation for where my business is going.

Another reality check came the week before I started my new teaching job.  The love of my life asked me to marry him, right as the summer was winding down and school was starting again.  Of course, I said yes!  And with that "yes" came a whole lot of planning and organizing.  A wedding is a huge organizational feat in itself, especially when you are working with a small budget and two very different personalities.  Then there's the planning and organizing that comes with combining two households and making decisions about our shared future as a family.  When Chris and I marry, I will become step-mom to my favorite eight-year-old in the world, and while all of these life changes are welcomed and exciting, they've all coaxed my attention away from SORT and onto other parts of my life.

So here's my confession: I can only juggle so many balls at a time, and this blog has not been one of them.  While my business with clients has remained steady, I have totally dropped the ball on blogging, posting to Facebook, networking, marketing, etc.  It feels like I am just reaching a level of calm in my personal life where SORT can move back to the front burner, but even still. . .no one can do it all.  So my reality probably looks a lot like yours.  I dream big and love life.  I feel incredibly blessed by my jobs (both teaching and organizing), my family, my future husband, my health, etc.  But at the end of the day, I still have dog hair on my floor, mounds of clean laundry to fold, and an empty fridge.  Oh, and I haven't been to the gym in a month.  And it's probably time to start thinking about Christmas shopping.  And I can't remember the last time I actually completed a book. . .

So while I HOPE to blog more consistently, I know that it will continue to be a struggle for me.  It's just not a priority that often rises to the top.  I am setting a goal for myself to think small and post small.  Hopefully you will soon see posts about how I am organizing everyday, and from that you can find some inspiration for your own life.  Thanks for bearing with me as I SORT it all out.

Monday, September 23, 2013

quote of the week ~ September 23, 2013

When you purge unnecessary possessions and open up your space,


you feel more energized, focused, and motivated.

~ Peter Walsh

Monday, September 16, 2013

quote of the week ~ September 16, 2013

With all the things you have in your life,

are you any more happy than your dog?

~ Ramesh Balsekar

Monday, September 9, 2013

quote of the week ~ September 9, 2013

Science is organized knowledge.  

Wisdom is organized life.

~ Emmanuel Kant ~

Monday, September 2, 2013

quote of the week ~ September 2, 2013

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! 


Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.


Monday, August 26, 2013

quote of the week ~ August 26, 2013

Have nothing in your house 
that you do not know to be useful,
or believe to be beautiful.
~ William Morris ~

Monday, August 19, 2013

quote of the week ~ August 19, 2013



Organizing is what you do before you do something, 

so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.


~ A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh ~


Monday, August 12, 2013

quote of the week - August 12, 2013

May your walls know joy;

may every room hold laughter

and every window open to great possibility.

~ Maryann Radmacher-Hershey ~

Monday, August 5, 2013

quote of the week ~ August 5, 2013

The world is full of individuals who could have made a difference


but were never ambitious or prepared enough


to show the world what they’re capable of.


~ Dan Schawbel ~

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

a secret about your things

I loved this passage from the book Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer, so I thought I would share.  He titled this section "The Secret".
Things will not make me happy.  Repeat this phrase many times.
We try to give our lives significance by filling them up with things.  But it just doesn't work.  You never feel there is enough.  By discarding things that are important to other people but not to you, you start to live more spontaneously, and your natural joy comes through.  Now is the time to be self-reliant.  Now is the time to let go.
Hanging on to things is a way to avoid change.  Change is inherent in every cell of your body.  It occurs every second of your life.  Nothing stands still.  You can pretend change is not happening by distracting yourself with things that don't matter.  But that doesn't suit you.  You've been anesthetizing yourself with things to create a false sense of stability; meanwhile, change is going on inside and around you all the time.  
When you begin to let go of the old useless artifacts of your past, you accept change, and you discover a profound peace of mind because you are going with the flow of life.  There's momentum and power in that.  That feeling of personal mightiness replaces the need to acquire things.  Many of us own things to suppress feelings that we find difficult to face.  But you cannot permanently suppress them.  Now is the time to let those things go.  The world misses you while you're in hiding.  Come out.  It is safe. 
Do these words resonate with you?  I have been working on looking critically at my belongings and hanging on to only those things I find beautiful or useful (see my posts on my recent Purge Project).  I had no idea the extent to which my "old useless artifacts" were holding me to my past.  The wedding dress I wore nearly a decade ago has been following me around for years, reminding me of a marriage that failed.  Many of the decorative items in my home came from a different decorating taste and period in my life, and I am loving the empty space I've created by letting some of them go.  It's amazing how a white wall is so much more inspiring than a painting I didn't love, and a clear tabletop is so much more attractive than one covered with knick-knacks I would never choose.  We may not acknowledge it often, but the stuff we surround ourselves with has a profound impact on the feelings we experience in that space, and clearing the clutter provides wide open spaces for new possibilities.

Monday, July 29, 2013

quote of the week - July 29, 2013

Staying organized is like gardening.


You are constantly weeding, it's part of your routine.

~ Peri Wolfman ~

Thursday, July 25, 2013

SORTed lives ~ woman's closet

 Disclaimer :: these aren't the greatest of pictures, and thye certainly don't do justice to this closet makeover.  I was just so excited about getting everything sorted that I guess I wasn't focused on capturing our transformation on film!

Here's the closet BEFORE.  The client had already done quite a bit of work on her own.  She went through all of her clothing and purged about 4 or 5 bags of items to be given away or donated.  Much of her "keeper" items were stored in a closet in a different room.  The client complained that the closet was too jam-packed when all of her clothing was in there.  She had some products in place to help maximize space, but they weren't really working for her.  In the picture on the left, you can see a double closet rod was added below the shorter hanging items, but it was wobbly and not very functional.  There was an obvious need for some kind of shoe storage as well.  One huge structural plus to this closet is the built-in shelves, which were being used to store cleaning and toiletry supplies (the closet is off the master bath), but they were clearly under-utilized.
What made all the difference in this project was adding some space-maximizing products.  Here are the products we used, all purchased at Bed, Bath, and Beyond or The Container Store.

Our main goal in this closet was to increase the hanging "real estate" so that clothing would not be wedged in too tightly.  We used the products pictured above to accomplish this goal.  Previously, the client had all of her t-shirts on hangers.  Instead, we used labeled canvas bins (1) to sort her t-shirts into categories and placed them on built-in the open shelving (see AFTER picture below).  We used more open canvas bins in various sizes to containerize bulk cleaning supplies, handbags, leggings, scarves, camisoles, and even boots!  (For the record, I love open bins
 . . . here's why.)
Bulky denim jeans were also taking up a lot of the hanging room, so we folded them down and placed them in short stacks below this expanding closet shelf (2).  On top of the expanding shelf we placed more canvas bins, making better use of the closet's vertical space.
To increase hanging space even further, we added this double hang closet rod (3) and utilized a variety of hanger types (4-6) to increase vertical hanging space versus creating more side-to-side bulk.
Instead of taking up shelf space for shoes, we added this shoe rack (10) on the ground, then used shelf dividers (9) to organize sweatshirts on the shelf above the client's athletic wear. 
It's not visible in the AFTER pictures, but this awesome little cart (7) fit perfectly into the awkward space betwen the open shelving and the wall (the cart is only 6 3/4" wide!).  It holds the client's bulk toiletry items, as well as bath and body products she saves to give away as gifts. 
The cleaning supplies remain on the open shelving towards the top, and we added this turn-table (8) to make items in the back more accessible.
Here's a glimpse at the results!

Monday, July 22, 2013

quote of the week ~ July 22, 2013

Start by doing what's necessary;

then do what's possible;

and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

~ St. Francis of Assisi ~

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

30 day Purge Project wrap up

As of today, my 30 day Purge Project is officially over.  I started out posting daily about what I was purging and why, but after about 20 posts I decided I didn’t like the way the posts were cluttering up my blog, so I removed them and decided to do one final post when the whole thing was over.  Here’s what I purged in the process:

Monday, July 15, 2013

quote of the week ~ July 15, 2013

A man can succeed at almost anything


for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.

~ Charles Shwab ~

What goals do you hope to achieve in the next week, month, or year?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

SORTed lives ~ garage

This lucky home owner has a large, walk-in closet with ample shelving located in her garage. . . perfect for storing holiday decorations, luggage, camping and skiing supplies, hardware and tools.  The family had like items grouped together on this open shelving, but the lack of clear boundaries and insufficient storage containers made it hard to maintain order. 

Garage Shelves :: Before
Garage Shelves :: After

We started by removing everything from the space and grouping like items together.  Some items, such as a few rogue holiday decorations, already had a home elsewhere in the garage.  These items were returned to their true homes.  Everything else was grouped into categories, and we used post-it notes to name each group.  Once everything was cleared out, we gave the shelving a quick wipe-down.  Then, we began the task of choosing containers for each category based on how much we had of that item and when/how it is used.  Closed containers with lids hold less-often-used supplies, helping us to take advantage of more of the formerly wasted vertical space.  Open containers were used for more frequently used products.  These labeled bins act as drawers, so homeowners can pull them out to see all the contents inside.  Once everything was sorted, we no longer needed the large space-eating bins on the left in the "Before" picture, which opened up quite a bit of floor space and made the shelves more accessible.

Garage Shelf :: Before
Garage Shelf :: After

This shelf just outside the kitchen door holds flower pots, glass vases, kids' art supplies and toys for the pool. In the "Before" picture, you can see that lots of vertical space is lost on the vase shelf, and lack of boundaries makes other items hard to access. Overflow items end up on the floor or wherever space can be found.

Again, our process involved removing items shelf-by-shelf and grouping like items together.  The homeowner decided to purge some of her vases and flower pots.  Once we identified the items to keep, we decided that flowerpots would remain on the top shelf. On the second shelf, we added a shelf extender, which decreased the surface area needed for vases by almost half. We then sorted children's art supplies and grouped them in bins and large 12x12 sterilite drawers. On the bottom shelf are pool toys and a pot too heavy for the top shelf, and underneath that are coolers and potting soil.  Everything is much more visible and accessible, and we added storage to encourage putting items back where they belong.

Here's a close-up of the art supply shelf:

Monday, July 8, 2013

quote of the week ~ July 8, 2013


In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

~ Bill Cosby ~

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

SORTed lives ~ medicine cabinet and kitchen drawer

Medicine Cabinet

Today I helped a dear friend sort a medicine cabinet that, according to her, has been accumulating for 20 years(!).  This medicine cabinet is large and deep, which is a luxury, but a lack of containers meant a loss of vertical space and made it hard to see the contents, especially towards the back. In addition, this woman and her husband travel internationally for mission work several times a year, and there are special toiletry items that they use only during these mission trips.  We knew we needed to create some boundaries by grouping like items together and containing them in a way that made them easy to access.

We started by taking everything out of the cabinet and sorting it into categories.  We threw out anything that was expired or not likely to be used.  Once we could see how much of each item we had, we chose the appropriate containers for each group.  Adding clear plastic drawers and open baskets (all labeled) makes it much easier to find what is needed. We sorted the contents into categories such as Cold & Allergy, Pain Relievers, Bandaids, Vitamins, etc. We were able to utilize the whole depth of the closet thanks to these awesome extra-deep baskets and drawers from The Container Store.  The AFTER picture shows how much organization a few containers added to this space.  Voila!

Kitchen Drawer

This extra-large kitchen drawer holds large grill tools, meat forks, and hot plate holders.  The home-owner admits that this is the least organized part of the kitchen, in large part due to the large size and awkward shape of many of its contents.  Adding customizable clear acrylic drawer organizers makes it easier to see and find utinsels, as well as making it safer to reach into this drawer of sharp objects.

Monday, July 1, 2013

quote of the week ~ July 1, 2013

When we throw out the physical clutter,

we clear our minds.

When we throw out the mental clutter,

we clear our souls.

~ Gail Blanke ~

Saturday, June 29, 2013

simple tool - bag hook for the car

Container Store just wrapped up their annual travel sale, and though I was VERY tempted by this bag, I managed to make it through the sale with only one tiny purchase.  It's a simple thing, but it has made my car feel much more organized, so I thought I'd share.

In Austin, one-time-use plastic bags have been outlawed.  Some stores offer paper bags, but mostly Austinites are switching to reusable bags.  I fully support the eco-friendly nature of this mandate, but it is HARD to remember to bring your bags into the store.  I leave mine laying in the back seat in hopes that I will see them on my way out.  This works for me because no one sits in the back on a regular basis, but it still feels kind of like a mess.  I want my bags to be in sight, but not in the way.  Here's the new gadget that solved that problem:

Now my bags hang neatly from the back of my driver's seat (I put all of my bags inside one skinny reusable bag so it's easy to grab the whole bunch when I head into the store).  Voila!  Underneath the bags, I use a caddy that is actually a scrapbooking organizer.  It houses an emergency first aid kit, coupons, umbrella, a bible, a lint roller, bug spray, sun screen, and extra set of glasses, a pen and paper, and some CDs.  The pocket behind the seat holds Stella & Dot catalogs in a plastic folder.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

planner love!

I know many people have moved to electronic methods of calendar- and list-keeping, but I think I will always be a paper/pencil kind of girl.  The act of writing something down helps me to remember it, and the act of crossing it off once it's accomplished brings a rush of satisfaction every time.  I don't care how "smart" my iphone might be...it just doesn't do it for me like a dayplanner.

My life has revolved around the school calendar since I entered kindergarten, so my "new year" really begins in August.  For that reason, I choose to use a July through June planner.  I've used the same eco-friendly one from greenroom (available at Target) for the past few years.  Needless to say, I start checking the shelves of my local Target around April in my excitement for the new line.  By May, they are usually available and I will snatch up a new one and begin plugging in important dates for the year ahead.  Here's the one I grabbed a few months ago:

The good: familiarity (since it's exactly like my old one), size (at about 6"x8", it fits into some of my larger purses and is easy to tote), sturdy cardboard composite cover, attractive, provides monthly and daily planning, plenty of room within each day's allotted space to write appointments, events, reminders, and to-dos
The bad: Though I love how much space is provided for each day, the lack of structure makes it a struggle to decide where to write what.  I try to separate to-do lists, events, and errands into separate parts of the box, but inevitably it becomes a big mess.  Here's a picture of what a typical week looks like. 
I highlight the list items I've actually accomplished and move those I haven't accomplished into the next day's box.  This system has been working for me, and my intention was to continue with it, UNTIL....
Ahhh.....I fell in love!  Check these babies out!!
I wasn't shopping for a planner since I'd already purchased mine, but I passed by this end cap and was immediately drawn to the color and design of these Blue Sky planners styled by designer Dabney Lee.  I picked one up, began to flip through it, and loved what I saw!  Though I'd already purchased one (and wrote in it, so it can't be returned), I decided it was worth it to replace the old version with this horizontal 8"x10" planner (see arrow above). 
Here's what I love about my new planner:
A large monthly calendar, flanked by a monthly Do/Call/Buy list for the month....love it!
Daily columns with bullets for listing to-dos and events...perfect for the way I used my planner! 
Here is how I plan to organize it:
The new planner does have some down sides ~it's larger and less durable seeming than the one I was using before.  Overall, though, I think this design is going to work so well for my needs. I can't wait until Monday, when I get to start using it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

quote of the week ~June 24, 2013

Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.

~ Pearl S. Buck ~

SORTed lives ~ little boy's closet

This motivated mama and I tackled her third-grade son's closet while he was away at Grandma's house this week.  Before re-organizing, there was clothing spread out over several hanging bars. Along the back wall, two large organizing tools (a wooden rack and hanging shelves) were inefficiently holding books, shoes, belts, and sports equipment. Crates and boxes underneath the clothing held books, and an overflowing hamper shoved in the back corner contained dress-up clothing. 


First, we removed the inefficient organizing tools. The clothing was sorted and much of it was purged or passed to little brother's room. Clothing was grouped according to type, and all of it fit easily on the bottom hanging rod. On the shelf above the rod, we added an 8-cube organizer by Closetmaid to hold shorts, bathing suits, socks, pajamas, shoes, etc. with canvas drawers to contain the smaller items. Underneath the clothing are two Sterilite drawers to hold books, making them much easier to access. An open bin holds socks.  The dress-up clothes were relocated to the dresser in the bedroom and the hamper will now be used for dirty clothes.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

SORTed lives ~ little girl's closet

I loved doing a closet makeover for this little cutie!  Her family recently moved into a new home, where her closet is much smaller than before.  Her mom indicated that the biggest problem in this closet was the lack of visibility and access for her first grade daughter.  As you can see, the family attempted to remedy the problem with a small step stool, but because the floor of the closet was pretty full, there was nowhere for the stool to "live" and the doors of the closet always stood open.

On the top shelf of the closet was a collection of blankets, purses, old lunch boxes and backpacks, electronics, keepsakes and jewelry.  None of these items are used often, so they do not need to be easily accessible to the little girl, but it would be helpful to create a system so that the contents of the shelf are clear.

We started the process by removing everything from the closet and sorting it into categories.  With like items grouped together, we assessed how much of each type of item we had.  We added a low hanging bar to the closet so that the little girl can better reach her clothing.  Her sleeveless and short- sleeved tops hang on the low bar, with pants and skirts above and long-sleeved tops and dresses to the left.  In the winter, long- and short-sleeved tops can swap places to make the seasonally appropriate clothing most accessible. We cleared the floor area, leaving only a trunk full of dolls and doll clothes, to make room for her footstool. 

On the top shelf, we containerized and labeled the infrequently used bags, purses, blankets, etc. so that items are easily seen and accessed.  These open bins take advantage of previously wasted vertical space and allow for visibility, even from below.  Plus, the pink adds a cute pop of color that ties together with the rest of her bedroom decor!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spotting Clutter and the 30-Day Purge Project

Over the past few days, I've helped unpack several clients after their relocations.  It amazes me how much STUFF people cart around with them when they move from place to place.  Although I am a generally organized person, these jobs made me wonder about my own stuff.  Since I live in a very small space with little storage, I really try not to hang on to things I don't need. Not only that, but I run a business in which I help my clients make decisions about their belongings, with the end goal of minimizing clutter. Be that as it may, I still end up with all kinds of odds-and-ends in my little condo that have no real function or value.

Monday, June 17, 2013

quote of the week ~ June 17, 2013

A man is rich in proportion


to the number of things


which he can afford to leave alone.

~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Bringing order to your chaos affords you the opportunity to worry less and live more.
If you have trouble finding the motivation or need some support with the process, hiring a professional organizer will give you the boost you need to transform your space, break free from clutter, and adapt your environment to fit your needs.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

simple tool - mesh lingerie bags

Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite household organizing tools, the mesh lingerie bag.
I prefer the Room Essentials brand from Target (pictured above) because the holes are much smaller than the ones you'll find at Container Store or Walmart, which helps to keep items with hook-and-eye clasps from getting stuck.  Last I stocked up, they were less than $2 a bag.
These bags have some great uses in addition to keeping your delicates from snagging in the wash.  Here are some of my favorites:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I'm in business!

Summer is finally here, and it is time to jump in with both feet!  I am so excited to have my classroom packed up and several months ahead of me to focus on my organizing business.  If you've been following my blog, I am sure you've noticed there hasn't been much to follow lately.  The end of the school year is always crazy-busy, and unfortunately SORT kind of got lost in the shuffle...but no more!  I can't wait to put my time and energy towards my passion for organization.  Though I've accumulated tons of organizing experience over the years with friends and family, and I have had the privilege of working under other professional organizers, June 2013 marks the official launch of my own business, SORT {simple organization. real transformation.}  There will be lots more to see here at Everything SORTed in the next few months.  This week I started my first big corporate job at one of my favorite places, Dane's Body Shop, as well as did initial assessment for several residential clients.  I have some exciting projects ahead.  I will keep you posted and share some before and after pictures soon!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

business cards...making it official!

So, I took what felt like a big step and ordered business cards today.  This was hard because I still feel like I am really far from having a design concept for SORT.  I'm in contact with a local graphic designer who is going to help me develop my brand and come up with a logo, color scheme, etc., but we are still in the very early stages and I really wanted something I could start using now.  I came up with this simple two-sided card on Vista Print so that I would have something I can start using right away.  I decided to go the cheapo route at first because it is likely that all of my contact information will change in the future.  Here's what I came up with...what do you think?

Friday, March 15, 2013

SORTing my own closet

Yesterday, I tackled another of my big spring break projects...cleaning out my closet!  I will say that it is MUCH easier for me to help someone else go through their belongings than to cull through my own.  It was a good reminder of how emotional the process of purging can be.  In the end, I got rid of way less than I planned to...but it still feels great to get rid of a bag full of out-date clothing and to straighten and organize the "keepers".  The Sticker System helped me see which items I haven't touched since last July, which made them so much easier to part with.  I would definitely recommend it if you have trouble letting go of things you might wear again someday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

finally...some progress made!

After procrastinating all week, I finally tackled one of my spring break projects!  Today I made a simple flyer to put in the Great Oaks Elementary School Carnival Auction next month.  As a GOE teacher, I like the idea of being able to give back to the school community by donating my time.  In addition, this is a great way to get some exposure for SORT with parents and other teachers.  I am looking forward to auctioning off this 3 hour package and seeing where it takes me!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

procrastination at it's finest

In case you are wondering, even organizers procrastinate.  Take this week, for example.  It is Spring Break, so I am off of work all week long.  The goal?  To put in significant hours working towards my business launch...creating print materials (logo and business card), contacting a graphic designer and photographer, working on this blog, creating a facebook page, joining professional organizations and researching networking groups, trudging through more of my business books and making a serious dent in my organizing books.  Needless to say, I have done none of those things yet.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SORT your closet ~ the Sticker System

One of the biggest road blocks to a well organized closet is having TOO MUCH STUFF.  Most women have felt the despair of having absolutely NOTHING to wear - usually when we are getting ready for an important event and need to be out the door in a matter of minutes.  We truly believe that we have NOTHING to wear, even though our closets are crammed full of clothes. We drive ourselves crazy, while baffling and confounding the men in our lives (who often share our closets and KNOW we have clothing enough to take up the majority of the closet space).  We dash out on that frantic last-minute shopping trip and end up buying something we don't really like, probably will never wear again, and would never have purchased in the first place if we hadn't felt so pressured to come up with an outfit RIGHT THIS MINUTE. 

In reality, we really do have some great pieces tucked away in the tangle of hangers and clothes.  Its just that the gems get buried amidst our high school prom dresses and that style that seemed like a good idea, but only looks cute on junior high girls.  Enter the STICKER SYSTEM.  This is a solution for women who want to purge, but aren't sure which pieces to ditch and which to hang onto.  It takes some patience, but in the end it will give you a clear picture of what you actually wear and what items you'd never miss if they were gone.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

simple tools - open bins

One of my favorite "tricks of the trade" is to use open storage bins whenever possible.  It's amazing how a lid can deter the average person from putting an item back where it belongs.  Baskets and bins are inexpensive and easy to find.  They act as a drawer that you can pull out as needed.  And the best part?  What goes inside the bin doesn't necessarily have to remain neat and tidy, so long as you only toss in items that belong.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

getting started

I'm sure there are a billion things I should attend to while attempting to get my fledgling business off the ground.  I'll admit, I have no clue about most of those things.  I did pick up a few fascinating reads at the library - books with titles like The Woman's Small Business Start-Up Kit and How to Start a Home-Based Business - I know, I know...how will I ever fall asleep at night with such riveting reads on my night stand?!  But mostly, I have been thinking about the fun stuff.  What will my logo look like?  How about my website?  The hardest decision by far has been deciding upon a name.  I literally tossed and turned as I tried to decide on something that fit my vision.  I may have lost a few Facebook friends in the process, since I took my LONG and wordy decision-making process public through fb posts.  (Thanks to everyone who gave me input!)  Truth be told, I am still a little torn between "Everything Sorted" and "SORT {simple organization. real transformation.}"  I had some fun runner-ups to that I wanted to record here, so that many months from now I will remember the names that could have been.  Here were the ones at the top of the list, in no particular order:

Miss Orderly Conduct
The Missing Sock
Everything Sorted
I hope that as I move forward, SORT will feel more and more like the best fit for my business.  If not, I guess I am not opposed to editing. : /  In the meantime, my next big project is to come up with a vision statement for SORT.  Wish me luck!


Welcome to everything SORTed, a place for planting the seeds of the residential organizing company, SORT {simple organization. real transformation.}  Here I'll share my favorite organizing tips and resources, as well as my adventures in starting a new business.  I'm an elementary school teacher by day, a neat freak by nature, and an entreprenuer at heart.  I've been dreaming up ideas for SORT for at least 5 years, and while I've taken some *baby steps* towards becoming a professional organizer in the past, I am finally ready to take the PLUNGE!  My goal is to be organizing FULL TIME by the summer of 2015, if not before.  Thanks for joining me in the journey! : )