When Bad Habits Attack, Should You Fight Back?

On October 31, 2011, in Home Organizing, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Bad habits can be difficult to change. But, there are some habits we never want to get rid of because they work for our lifestyles or personalities.

Like putting like things together.

Like color coordinating the clothing in your closet.

Like using labels on shelves.

Like putting things back immediately after using them.

Do these work for you? They really work for me.

Well, when you put two people with two different sets of habits together, and both think their way of doing things is fabulous, who’s right? Especially, when one of them (me) thinks the other one (not me) is wrong? Does it really matter who’s right (yes)?

Aaaand, is there ever a time to keep a bad habit just because it’s too hard to break? Instead of breaking it (even though it’s wrong), maybe a work-around is better? So, if someone (not me) has a habit of not using hooks for clothing and prefers the floor instead, should the other someone (me) force that person into submission?

Or, should that person (me) find a work-around like this?

This chair by Lunar, that strikingly resembles a hanger, was designed to “honor, celebrate and playfully interact with those [bad] habits through their design.” Would some of us (me) find this, er, solution acceptable? Do we really want to “honor” a bad habit? Hmmm… Did I mention that these are the same folks who came up with the hamper chair?

This is just one of many bad habits that are out there, right? What about the others already invading your life? Should you look for an alternate solution or keep the fighting the good fight?

But perhaps the most important questions is this: Who’s right? The person celebrating life’s less organized activities or the person (me) who likes order…and using hooks?


Fact Friday: Noise and Stress Go Hand in Hand

On October 28, 2011, in Fact Friday, Wellness, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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“Noise activates the body’s stress reaction, and living in an environment of chronic noise pollution leads to a condition of chronic stress. Research shows too much noise can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It interrupts our natural sleep cycles, which creates even more stress.”

Read More:

Concentration and Silence | HuffingtonPost.com | 7.24.11


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Use GroupMe App to Keep Your Team On Track

On October 26, 2011, in Technology, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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I recently started a secret Facebook group (yes, I have secrets) and love that I can communicate with the members of that group using my Facebook mobile app. Very convenient when I’m out and about.

It’s a great way to connect with a select number of people and can work really well for business groups and teams. But, if you’d rather not go the FB route, check out the free app, GroupMe.

The folks at GroupMe are spreading the love and have an app for iPhone, Android, Windows 7, and BlackBerry.

The app lets you connect with people already in your phone’s address book. Simply add specific people to the groups you create. When you contact them, they will immediately get any messages you send. You can even ring them up for conference calls (every group gets their own unique phone number).

Seems like a great way for people working on a project to keep in the loop and stay on top of things. Have your tried this app? Tell us what you think.



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5 Minute Organizing Challenge [October 2011]

On October 25, 2011, in 5 Minute Organizing Challenge, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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It’s time for a new 5 Minute Organizing Challenge! What can you do in 5 minutes to gain a little order in your life? You can put a few things back in place or gather your important items. Here’s a new set of five things for you to consider adding to your routine this month. Try them on for size and feel free to suggest a few of your own.

 1. Feel your boobies. Why?

2. Send a text telling your friends – even your guy friends – to do a breast exam.

3. Make an appointment for a mammogram.

4. Make a note to check out your family history. Have immediate family members had to deal with breast cancer?

5. Add “feel your boobies” to your to do list for next month.


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 Check out the September 2011 Organizing Challenge

Product Review & Giveaway: Rubbermaid Bento™ Boxes

On October 24, 2011, in Book & Product Reviews, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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*This contest is closed.


I love getting new products to review, and this month, I’ve received two to test out. Today’s review is brought to you by Rubbermaid. And, by that, I mean they sent me one of their newest products free of cost* so I could have a closer look. I know, awesome, right?

Confession: I’ve known about this product since April 2011 where it made its debut at the NAPO 2011 Annual Conference. I fell in love with the Rubbermaid Bento™ boxes but was sworn to secrecy (as were the other seven hundred or so attendees) since it wasn’t on the market yet. Well, now I get to not only tell you about them, but you can get in on the action, too.

We’re hosting a giveaway (yes, there are rules – scroll down) which means that you will get a chance to win a set of Bento boxes. But, first, my thoughts…


What I Like

Colors. I really like all the colors, especially Paprika. It’s bold and vibrant but if you want subdued, Bento also comes in two lighter shades, Chadwick (checkered khaki) and Loose Linen (light khaki).



Nest When Not in Use. The boxes nest inside each other (kinda like their Easy Find Lids food storage system). Did you notice that the boxes also stack? This is a fabulous way to store your stuff and make use of vertical space.

Divide Up Your Stuff. What you may not have seen are the flex dividers inside each Bento. The dividers are really the star of the show. They let you store your items together nicely in one box. Sometimes you just don’t want your stuff to mingle. Muddies things up a bit. These dividers solve that problem easily.


Durable. Another plus – Besides having a great texture, they’re pretty tough. They’re not flimsy so no worries about them falling apart…and each box has four little feet underneath. Nice finishing touch. I love it when companies pay attention to details.

Multiple Uses. And, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s another fabulous feature. The Bento Toppers can be used as a stand alone product or simply to cover your boxes.

The boxes also come in a variety of sizes for just about everything you have in your home or office. Try out the small boxes for hair accessories and see how well your file folders fit in the larger ones.

Rubbermaid Bento in Paprika


Green. The Bentos are CARB-certified MDF covered in durable polyester fabric. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, so I turned to my friend Google and found this and this. What I did understand: Rubbermaid is following the rules and that’s a good thing.

What Would Have Made Them Perfect

• More Colors. This is a new product so I’m sure more colors are coming soon. I’m thinking some kid friendly hues would be great.

Odor. There is a slight odor when you first open the package. My nose is super sensitive these days, and though it’s not unusual for your olfactory sensors light up when you open new products, my nose really wasn’t very fond of the whiff it got. Good news: the smell doesn’t last very long.


Ok, so on to the really good stuff! Here’s how you can enter to win your very own Bentos. 


1. Subscribe to our blog  by entering your e-mail address (see the upper right side of page – “Enter Your Email Address” and click “Submit”) or via RSS feed (see upper right side of page – click icon under Twitter bird)


2. Leave a comment on how the Bento boxes would help you rock being organized. How would you use them? *See below for bonus entry option.

3. Contest ends on November 14, 2011 @ 11:59 pm.

4. One winner will be selected randomly. 

5. Winner will be notified via e-mail (don’t forget to leave your e-mail addy!) and must claim prize within 48 hours. Otherwise, a new winner will be chosen.


*Bonus Entry*

6. Finish this sentence on our Facebook wall: “I need Rubbermaid Bento Boxes in my life because __________________.” 



*Disclosure We don’t give positive reviews for anything we do not believe in, and we’re always honest in our appraisal.  Our content was not edited or directed in any way by Rubbermaid nor were we compensated for this review.

Fact Friday: Delegation Equals Sucess

On October 21, 2011, in Fact Friday, Time Management, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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“The more you delegate tasks to others, the more time you should have to spend on paving the way for your company. However, delegating only works when done effectively. Find your super strength and exploit it, and let others take care of things that slow you down.”


Read More:

Dear Entrepreneur: You Can’t Do It All | TheYEC.org | 8.24.11


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My Sister’s Wedding Was a Wreck

On October 20, 2011, in Guest Posts, Wedding Planning, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Don’t you hate it when things don’t go according to plan? Today’s guest author explains what to do before things get turned upside down.

Being a part of a big family, I have been to a lot of weddings. I have been consulted on a lot of weddings because of it and have, without a doubt, witnessed some great marital moments. Now, who would have thought that the worst wedding I would ever go to would be that of my very own little sister?

Now, although my family didn’t have any trouble paying for the wedding, it still turned out to be a huge wreck. See, my sister felt like she should do everything on her own in order to ensure that everything would end up the way she wanted it. Unfortunately, since she had no outside help, her wedding ended up being a complete disaster and my sister ended up screaming about how she would kill someone all morning.

So, what’s the moral of the story here? Listen to the people who have had experience with weddings before and ask them for help. In the end, we all banded together to salvage the seemingly impending disaster, but the point is that my sister could have avoided all of that trouble from the beginning if she had only followed the very first tip for wedding organization and planning: get help. It doesn’t even have to be professional help. Just make sure you are ready for the worst but plan for the best.


When it comes to weddings, the thing you should really get out of the way first is the place of your reception. Ideally, you should book the place that you want a whole year in advance, but don’t forget to think about the amount of people you will be inviting, either. It would be very important to have enough space and it would also be important to have a backup plan if you are having it outdoors – you know, in case it rains!

Next, choose the right kind of music – preferably the kind that you actually like. Then, work with your wedding band or wedding DJ and choose songs together that mean something to you and your significant other.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the food and drinks, either – most importantly, the wedding cake. Your cake is what will make your wedding extra special, after all, so make sure you choose the right size, the right flavor and even the right cake topper. Work with cake designers and have some of your guests come to the taste test, so you can choose something unforgettable that everybody will like.

Remember: weddings are extremely special events, so don’t take a chance on the reception turning into a complete wreck. Turn to somebody with experience and don’t be afraid to boss people around. It’s your wedding day. They’ll forgive you.


About The Author

Derrick Webb is an experienced writer and a blogger that is generally focused on relational database design and database development. He is also a writer for Toledo web design, a firm that provides SEO services and web design for small businesses.


Small Business Owners! Write Your Business Plan with Enloop.

On October 19, 2011, in Business, Technology, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Business plans are fun, aren’t they? Such interesting reading. Engaging. And, the best part is, they never need updating. The preceding statement is, of course, completely slathered in sarcasm.


Just because you might not like writing a biz plan, doesn’t mean it’s not helpful. The plan is exactly that. A plan. A guide that’s flexes as your company flexes. It also comes in very handy when you’re seeking money to help with your business. So, put on your big girl pants and just accept that you need get started, if you haven’t already.

And, let Enloop help you out.


“Enloop lets you quickly create bank- and investor-ready business plans. Sales, Profit & Loss, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet forecasts are all generated on-the-fly, easily updated at any time.”


This program does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Like writing. It has an auto-write feature that will pull together text based on the data you input. You can adjust the info as needed and it will automatically update your plan based on those adjustments.

Not so good with numbers? Enloop will help with create customized financial forecasts for you, from simple to the most complex. Of course, it can’t do that until you input some info first. But, since Enloop is doing a lot of the hard work, this should be fairly easy for you to do.

Those are just two of the assists you get from Enloop. There are several more features, so visit their website to get all the deets and check out their plans & pricing, including the free version. 

Let me know if you think you’ll try it out. I’d love to hear how you like it.



Project: Organizing Children’s Rooms [Photos]

On October 17, 2011, in Before & After Pictures, Closets & Storage, Clothing, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Kids and parents have their own idea about what “organized” means. Usually, I tell parents to relax if their children can find what they need with relative ease, even if mom or dad hates how “messy” the room looks.

On the other hand, when children start to complain that their stuff is lost or that they can’t tell the clean clothing from the dirty ones, then it’s time to take action. These pics from a recent client project really showcase the dramatic change that can be made…and maintained!


Goals: See more floor + decide what to keep and what to discard. Both parent and child were open to repositioning a few items. Notice that the green & pink cubes are now…


…stacked vertically and being used as a night stand. Why not repurpose something you already have instead of buying something new?


Children’s clothing & shoes can be color coordinated, too. For younger kids, this will be easier on mom or dad and older kids will be able to find what they want when they want it (read: leave on time for school).



Fact Friday Quote: You Can be Organized with 7 Children

On October 14, 2011, in Fact Friday, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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“People think that with seven kids you can’t expect anything but chaos, and that’s not necessarily true. It just means it’s more important than ever to have order. It is important for each kid to know they belong in this family. This is my locker, my bed, my cubbie. But also teaches responsibility – to take care of your things.” ~Sarah Evans & Jay Barker

Read More:

Sarah Evans Shares Her House Rules | People.com | 9.23.11



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