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 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 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!