Fact Friday: “Spring Forward” Hurts the Sleep Deprived

On March 30, 2012, in Fact Friday, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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“This time change is much trickier for our bodies to handle…so many of us aren’t getting enough shut-eye to begin with, and being robbed of an additional hour can put us over the edge.”

Read More:

Daylight Saving Time 2012: Could ‘Springing Forward’ Hurt Your Health? |  HuffingtonPost.com | 3.10.12



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4 New Organizing Products for the Home

On March 27, 2012, in NAPO, Organizing Products, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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If you’ve visited my Facebook page recently, you know that I was in Baltimore, MD last week (and through the weekend) at the Annual Conference hosted by NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers. Yes, all 4k+ of us – we have our own association. =)

While there, I found about four new products that will:

  • Make your life easier
  • Help you keep things in order

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Up first, Pliio. [#1]

Sound familiar? It might. I discovered it at the NAPO 2011 conference, but it still falls under the “new” category because now it’s actually available for purchase on HSN. Isn’t that nice?

What does Pliio do? It helps you with your filing. Not paper filing. It helps you fold and file away your clothes so that you can keep them nice and neat. It’s super easy to use and is a great way to get your kids to help you with laundry. Have a look at how it works in this video featuring Pliio creator, Clare Kumar.


How would Pliio help you?


The next three products come courtesy of Rubbermaid. You know I love this company and I’m one of their featured bloggers. After seeing them at this year’s conference, I love them even more. And, here’s why…


LunchBox™ Containers [#2]

Ok, so technically this item is really for “on the go,” but you have to start at home first, yes?  ;) Like their Easy Find Lids, the lunch containers snap together (makes finding all the parts a lot easier) and stack vertically to fit neatly in your lunch bag. Did I mention how cute the containers are? You will love various sizes and so will your kids.


Flex Totes [#3]

I love, love the  Ziploc flexible totes and I’m thrilled that Rubbermaid now has a similar product. Use them under your bed to protect your extra linens or take them with you on your next road trip, like I did. They are clear and fold flat when you’re not using them. And, you can easily add labels.


2-in-1 Recycler [#4]

I’m all about recycling, but sometimes, we keep the stuff we want to recycle lying about and they turn into clutter. Rubbermaid makes the process easy with their new 2-in-1 Recycler (features: removable lid, all in one station, great for small spaces). I caught up with Erin at the Rubbermaid booth while at conference and she was kind enough to give me a quick demo. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to use.

Which Rubbermaid product would help you the most?

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Quick Tip: Drive With a Designated Texter

On March 27, 2012, in Wellness, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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I’m still on that mini-sabbatical, so while I’m gone, check out this post about designated texters.

Today’s quick tip is a no-brainer. Friends don’t let friends drink and drive and they shouldn’t let them text and drive either. Think about it. If you’re in the car with someone who’s texting, aren’t you in danger?

If you’re the passenger, why not volunteer to be the designated texter? Is there a designated texter in the car with your son or daughter? 


Simple Time Management: Control Your Day With a Time Plan

On March 25, 2012, in Time Management, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Do you sometimes get to the end of a day and wonder where the time went? You were busy and it seemed that you did a lot of things, and yet, you didn’t seem to get a many things accomplished.

Instead of wondering where the time went, you can gain more control of your day by creating a time plan. It’s a simple concept that starts at the top of your day. Take 15-20 each morning to plan your consider how much time you will need to successfully manage each part of your schedule.

Do you really need to make a time plan at the beginning of the day? Yes and no. Creating a plan will help you get more done, but you can start working on it the evening before. Simply end your work day 20 minutes early and review what’s coming up for the next day.

So, as you create your time plan:

  1. Come up with a realistic estimate of how long each item (e.g., task, meeting, call, etc.) will take.
  2. Look for ways you can connect two tasks to each other (e.g., go to the bank and post office that are close in proximity to each other).
  3. Find opportunities to share tasks or remove something from your plan by delegating it to someone else.
  4. Do you need to build in time for interruptions? Add a block of time to respond to queries you put off because you were actively working your plan.



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5 Minute Organizing Challenge

On March 24, 2012, in 5 Minute Organizing Challenge, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Organize five things in five minutes | Organize to Revitalize BlogIt’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.

It’s the day before a major holiday so I’ve decided to recap some of the “5 Minute” challenges that we’ve shared over the past year.

If you’re planning a holiday event or just need to declutter a bit, take a look at these things that you can quickly cross off your list.


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Quick Travel Tip: Organize Your Stuff With Packing Cubes

On March 23, 2012, in Travel, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Packing (and unpacking) for a trip doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you use packing cubes. They can help you keep dirty and clean clothing separate from each other. And, if  you’re sharing a suitcase with someone,  you’ll be able to easily find your stuff. Did I mention that they come in a variety of colors? So if you wanted to organize clothing/items by person or even activity, you could do that easily.

Depending on the brand you select, you can either purchase individual bags or a three-set collection of varying sizes.

eBags Packing Cubes, 3-Piece Set                   Eagle Creek Pack-It Quarter Cube                                                                                               

Each bag has a mesh top panel for easy identification of contents and ventilation.

Use packing cubes to keep your t-shirts, jeans, underwear, socks (or anything you’d like to take along with you) organized.











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5 More Essential Items for New Parents

On March 23, 2012, in Home Organizing, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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From the OTR Archives

Last week,  I shared the first of five items that every new parent should consider purchasing. You’ll notice that cribs, bottles, breast pumps, bibs, and layette are not on the list. You probably already have those items figured out already. The items on my list are things that you might not have thought about yet. So, check out the final five in my line up of “must-have” baby products and let me which ones you decide to try.


[See #’s 1-5]


6. Brica Fold ‘n Go Travel Bassinet

You may not think about this immediately, but, at some point, you’ll be traveling with your baby. Whether you’re staying overnight at Grandma’s house or in a hotel, a travel bassinet will be very helpful to have on hand. You can also use it in the room in your home that you spend most of your time in. The Brica Fold ‘n Go is very light, folds easily, and has a handle for easy carrying.  It does come with a lightweight mattress and a sheet.


7.  Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym and Play Mat

The activity gym is a wonderful way to introduce your baby to new sights and sounds as well as tummy time, which ultimately helps your infant to strengthen the muscles needed for rolling over, sitting, and crawling. You can also take the activity gym with you when you travel or to the babysitter’s house. It folds down easily and pops back up with a “key” at the top of the gym.


8. Mamas & Papas Baby Snug Chair

This comfortable chair helps your baby sit up once she has better control of her head.  It’s a sturdy chair that grows with your baby. Simply remove the foam insert as she gets older and needs more room. It also has a removable tray for easy washing.  Your little one might like sitting in the chair when it’s meal time or when she’s playing with a few interesting toys.



9. Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier

This humidifier doesn’t take up a lot of room and has a pretty nifty design. It helps to add moisture to the air in the room that your baby sleeps in and can help relieve coughing and nasal congestion. It also comes in five colors, including pink, blue, white, orange, green, and white and blue.

10. Gro-Egg Color Changing Digital Room Thermometer

This little device lets you know how hot or cold your baby’s room is simply by changing color. Yellow means that the temperature is just right, blue means it’s too cold, and red means it’s a bit too hot. Knowing the temperature can help you adjust your baby’s clothing or remove/add a wearable blanket. The glow from the Gro-Egg can also double as a soft night light.


[See #’s 1-5]

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5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Home

On March 22, 2012, in Home Organizing, by Sarah Heckle
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When it comes to taking on home improvement projects, words like daunting and impossible come to mind. There are little changes you can make, though, that will improve the appearance of your home without too much effort. Here are five easy ways to give your house a facelift:

1. Declutter — Go into every room and closet of your house and remove five items. No cheating — removing trash does not count (although, go ahead and remove garbage while you’re at it). Take out five items that are taking up space that you don’t really need. If you can’t remember the last time you used something, get rid of it. Having a clean and clutter-free space will instantly improve the appearance of your home — it will also help you feel calm and relaxed in your space. Donate these items to charity or Goodwill.

2. Shelving & Storage — Shelving and storage are great ways to add some organized flair to your house. If you have a lot of knick knacks sitting around your home, display these on shelves to keep your living space clean and decluttered. Shelving can also can make a room appear larger by drawing the eyes upwards. Plus, it serves as wall art!

trinket shelf

3. Window Treatment — Window treatment can do absolute wonders for making a room look complete. Your window treatments don’t have to be expensive. Simple, inexpensive, or even DIY drapes liven and brighten any space. Choose bright and cheery colors to liven up a window. Check out this tutorial on how to make a DIY cornice — this window treatment is perfect for above a kitchen sink.

4. Paint — I know what you’re thinking: “You said this would be easy!” Painting does take more effort than these other tips, but it can be cheap and easy if you’re strategic with your paint. Instead of painting your whole house, choose a couple rooms to add accent walls to. An accent wall is simply a wall in a room that has a different paint color than the rest. Start with a small wall that you’re confident you can handle. Find a paint hue you love that’s in your budget. When you’re done painting, arrange a collage of photos for a trendy touch.

wall collage and paint

5. Go Outside — Sometimes, we spend so much time worrying about the interior of our house that we forget about giving the exterior a facelift every once in a while. And while the inside is for you to enjoy, remember that the outside of your house is what other see on a daily basis. There are some simple ways to give the outside of your house a lift. Picking up debris and sticks in your yard is easy, and your kids can help with this, too. Sweep your entryway, get a new “Welcome” mat, and make yourself a DIY springtime door wreath. Add some bright springtime flowers, like petunias, around your house. Or, if you live in an apartment or don’t have a yard, add some potted springtime plants to the exterior of your home.

front door

Do you have any easy tips to improve the home?

Image Sources:   Made By Girl,  Inara Studios, Better After   

4 Easy Ways to Organize Your Scarves

On March 21, 2012, in Home Organizing, by Sarah Heckle
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These days, everyone is getting in on the scarf trend. And not just during winter. People are wearing scarves year round now. They’re collecting a bevy of colors, patterns, fabrics, and styles.

Now, this is good and all — but this poses a threat to our perfectly organized homes. Once your scarf collection reaches the double digits, how can you keep them tamed and manageable?

Read on for 4 ways to keep your scarves organized:

1. Scarf Hanger

scarves on a hanger

Hanging your scarves takes zero drawer space and it displays them nicely for easy access. They do sell “scarf hangers” that have holes to thread your scarves through. But honestly, I think these are a waste of your hard-earned cash. Instead, just drape or knot them across the bottom bar of a regular hanger.

Another option is to get a four-bar hanger that will let you store extra scarves without taking up space width-wise.

If hanging up your scarves, it might be wise to keep them under a clear plastic dust cover to protect them.

2. Scarf Drawer

scarf drawer

Now, if you have drawer space available, this is probably your best scarf storage option. Especially if your scarves are valuable or made of fine materials like silk, it’s best to keep them folded or rolled up in a drawer where they won’t become snagged, stretched, faded, or destroyed by pets. Rolling them is especially good because they won’t get creases.

Even if you don’t have a dresser drawer available, you could get a plastic tub with drawers for your scarf storage; this can sit tucked away in a corner or in your closet.

Whenever storing scarves in a drawer, make sure they are first clean. Storing a scarf that has food debris can attract bugs and other unwanted creepy crawlies.

3. Scarf Rod

scarf rod

If you have the right spot for it, you can suspend a tension rod and use shower curtain rings to hang your scarf collection. This is a perfect solution if you have a large collection, and you want to be able to see everything you have without having to navigate around clothes or sift through a drawer. Again, as with scarf hangers, be careful if your scarves are valuable. This method won’t do as much to protect them as a drawer.

4. Scarf Display

scarves as decoration

Perhaps you love your collection so much you want to display them as room decoration. Scarves are great for adding a pop of color or a splash of pattern to a room. You can display scarves on a headboard or foot board (like in the photo), draped on a chair, or even hung as a stand-in curtain. Although this is a pretty solution, remember that your scarves will be subject to damage from the sun, dust, and pets.

Do you have any tips for scarf organization?


Image sources: Organizing Made Fun, Scarves Dot Net, A Yellow Bicycle

Quick Tip: How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

On March 20, 2012, in Motivation, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Last week, I checked in with the folks who subscribe to my Facebook business page about their New Year’s resolutions. One brave soul admitted that not only had he forgotten about them, he actually didn’t have any to begin with!

If your resolutions have fallen off your radar, take a look at this “oldie but goodie” from 2009. In this video, I share with Angie Goff how to get back on track with your (not so new year) goals.