Reorganizing My Office “Before”

January 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Decorating, DIY, How To Organize, Offices

The Before Shots

I may be an organizer, but I’m a very busy organizer, and things can get out of hand in my home too. So don’t feel like everyone else has perfect places. I’m going to show you I am human and very much like you when it comes to things getting out of hand.

I have a very small office and share the space with my husbands desk and the kids computer.  We have 2 huge desks, 3 file cabinets, 1 large bookshelf and lots of cubbys.

messy office Here is my mess of a desk. As you can see I don’t use it very often.  I normally always set out in the living room so I can keep my feet up. If I have them down too long I have problems with my feet swelling ( getting old and being too heavy). I come in here mainly to do bills and send out my pouchee and Card Cubby orders.  I have an extra computer screen because I found out when I got my Mac Book Pro that I could hook up another screen and use duel screens. But, I’m not in here enough to use it and hadn’t purchased the cable.

This picture is directly behind my desk, so I can turn my chair around and get to the 2nd set of file cabinets. These are my main files. But as you can see, my papers have taken over and are way overdue for filing.

This is to the right of my desk. Printer and large file cabinet. I have extra paper sitting on top of that. Then you can see the corner of my husbands desk.

messy officeThis is his space and I don’t bother it. Although he wasn’t using it much either.. the kids use the computer. But the flag poles and whatever else that other stick is there (lol) and the boxes on top of the 2nd file cabinet are his. I try to give him his space. But now we have made him his own office and work area in the basement and it is time for this to go.
messy office

Now on the other wall when you walk into the office is the big book shelf. It has a combination of his stuff, my stuff, the kids stuff on it. You can see how congested it has become.

book shelfThis is that same corner when you walk in, I set up cubbys so that I had more space to put my product samples etc for reviews.

You can see how crowded it all is.

And then another view from the doorway of what the file cabinet and my paper system looks like behind my desk.

Pretty bad huh?  Sharing a small office space is not easy.  And when I worked in here, the system worked for me with being able to access what I needed to from my chair.  But…. it was driving me crazy.

I really had it … I wanted to figure something out. I would try to work in the living room and with the TV going if the kids and hubby were home in the evening etc.. it was just not easy for me. I would put on headphones with music. I have to have quiet….to really concentrate.

I sat down on the 31st and decided I was going to rearrange the office.

Step 1: Get out graph paper and measure your space. Measure what will stay in.
Step 2: Plan what you want your space to look like. Do you need to purchase anything?
Step 3: Move everything out. Decide where to put the big items that aren’t staying.
(example, trash, donate, another room.
Step 4: Clean the space (paint if you are going to before you clean.. lol – No painting for me)
Step 5: Sort all the little stuff. Clean as you go
Step 6: Decide what items are needed, now that you know what is left to put back in
Step 7: Move your big furniture back in, or move to where it needs to go in the room.
Step 7: Purchase your items
Step 8: Complete moving in the smaller items that have been sorted.
Step 9: Customize it so it works for you. This may take a few weeks of changing it up.
Step 10: Sit back and smile because it feels SO much better when it is finished!

The Clearing out

I decided I was doing this on the 31st of December and started that day! I was trying to figure out a better solution for my living room, but did a 180 and decided to redo the office. My two oldest boys were home from boot camp and were leaving on the 2nd. Dave had a sore arm and wouldn’t be able to move much. So… I decided I need to do it now while I had help, otherwise it wouldn’t happen. Let me tell you…. they weren’t so thrilled that I was interrupting the Rose Bowl. lol

First step was to decide what to do with my husbands desk. It was going to go in the basement to provide him with extra desk space in his new office.  But…. it wouldn’t fit down the basement steps. They tried to take it apart and it just wasn’t going to happen.  We had no where to store it… so …yes.. out to the curb! I told you I was determined.  We knew someone would pick it up before the trash men got it.

deskFirst to clear off everything off my this massive heavy wood desk. Then I cleaned it all up.

Cleared off the bookshelves.empty bookshelf

Next step was to move the bookshelf. It went down to the basement for my husband to use.  Then we got the vacuum out and vacuumed the empty space .. and cleaned up the walls behind and baseboards.

We took the black 3 drawer file cabinet down to the basement also. That cleared out the spot for my 4 drawer file cabinet.

Of course vacuuming and cleaning had to be done. Only one flaw in my plan, I was going to be covering up the vent. oops

Because it was my space, I didn’t mind. I knew I could use a blanket to stay warm if I needed it.  I was too determined to make my idea work. Something as minor as a vent wasn’t going to deter me! lol  (now if it were a clients home, I would have figured out another solution, but I was ok with it in my home)

Next thing was to clear off the file cabinet that was behind my chair and take out the drawers. This furniture is SO heavy! So glad my boys were there to help move things.

File drawers

Now of course you realize that I am making a huge mess in my dining room. Piling everything up that I will need to go through. I told my husband for at least 2 days I was taking it over. So we adjusted. I could get a lot of stuff out right away, but I was going to go through everything before it went back in.

This was just the beginning and the area around the table had all kinds of stuff too. Unfortunately when you clear out a space, you have to deal with more mess before it gets better.

File cabinet in place. I made sure to plug in the lamp before we moved it back to the wall and put the drawers in it. It is too heavy to even budge when the drawers are in.

The desk was moved on the wall where the bookshelf used to be.  My big 4 drawer file cabinet in the corner stayed put.

Next step.. Trip to Ikea for the wall unit I have been wanting forever!! (I really wanted white, but they were out of stock, so I got the walnut to match my furniture.
Step 2 – Dave was to bring back a recliner that I used to have in my living room from our farm.

I know.. you are thinking.. a recliner in your office?  Yes…. I told you I have the problem with having to keep my feet up, I solved that problem!

Stay tuned!!

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Reorganize Your Office

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above.  Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I linked this post up to:

Keeping It Simple

Sumo Sweet Stuff


handmade projects

Organize and Decorate Everything

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Organizing Mission Monday – Week 7

How are your office Missions coming?

organizing mission mondayHave you started working on your offices?  Take small steps.  I have several posts that will help you work through just one thing at a time. When you do, link up your blog post so we can all enjoy it with you!

Here is the list of the Office Missions that I have done so far:

1) Your Files
2) Your Mail System
3) The Shredder
4) Pen & Pencil Clean Out
5) Organizing Your Desk Drawer

This week we will be going over your Paper System. What to do with all those incoming papers.  Also redesigning your office space.

Here are my Featured Bloggers for This Week

I have a few people who have started working on their offices. Yeah! Thanks I love it!

Mom Starting From Scratch – Daily Declutter Challenge #8 – A Special Kind of Chaos

Lynn takes these papers and makes organized binders for them.  She has a special kind of chaos because she is the mother of a special needs daughter. I know too well what these parents go through. (I used to case manage the pediatric home care cases for special needs children).  If you think you have a lot of paperwork coming into your home… then triple it (at least) for a special needs child. Check out Lynn’s blog. She is new to blogging and it would be great if you could stop by her blog.

mom starting from scratch

I Forgot What I Was Doing –  “Organizing To DeStress”

I totally agree!  Organizing is such a destresser for me. I feel like when I get all irritated, many times it is when things aren’t organized.  Once I get things in order… I feel better

She worked on her pens – and found some change and realized that not all of them do work. (imagine that!)


Mom Nonstop – 21 Day Organizing Challenge – The Mail Station

Cris worked on her mail station. She has a different way of keeping track of how she pays her bills. Be sure to stop by her blog and check out the rest of her post.


Thank you featured bloggers.. don’t forget to pick up your button on my sidebar!

Link up to my Link Party

Rules- Just a couple basic ones.  Your link doesn’t have to be office related, just organizing… but I will be looking for the office related on this Office Mission for my Featured Bloggers. Thanks!

1) Link back to my blog with either the button or my link. (Use the Organizing Mission button on my sidebar)
2) Would also love it if you could follow me on google or FB
3) Blog posts related to Organizing or Cleaning please.
4) Family friendly (or I will delete)
5) No sales pitches or web sites please.

Be sure to check out my list of link parties! If you have a link party.. please link it up! Underneath the daily buttons there is a list of links I have compiled of link parties.

If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple.

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Pens & Pencil Clean Out

How many pens and pencils does one household need?  We are going to be cleaning out a desk drawer next, and this is part of that. But I wanted to break up the post.

pens and pencilsWhen you open that desk drawer, or junk drawer – do you always find a bazillion pens and pencils?  But of course when you are on the phone and need to take a message or you are in your car… can you find that pen in your purse or car? Nope… never. lol

I want to share with your my simple way to help decrease some of the pens/pencil clutter in your home.

pens and pencilsWhen you are cleaning out that desk drawer I want you to gather all the pens and pencils together in one place. Markers too.  (My markers are in another basket)

Now, often when we are organizing we gather all of the pencils and pencils that are everyone in the office, in the drawers, on the floor etc.  and just put them in a basket like this and close the drawer back up. I would bet that the majority of these pens haven’t been used in quite a while.

Do they work?

pensI want you to get some scrap paper and get ready to test them… yes… all of them!  I am willing to bet you that at least 25% of them don’t write, or are broken or leaking.

Do the fast test, don’t sit and work to make that pen write. Grab it and try it, if it doesn’t write a nice line within the first few squiggles… pitch it. Are you going to use it? No, you will grab it.. try to use it, get frustrated.. put it back and grab another. So … you are just getting rid of the frustration first.

markersDo the same for your markers.  If they write like this pink one.. pitch them.  Ok… so you can’t stand to pitch it until it is completely empty?  Are you going to want to use it?  If you WILL use it… ok, then keep it.  If you just can’t stand to waste it, but know you won’t use it… what about your kids? Can you put it somewhere they will use it?

pen squigglesThis was my paper tester when I went through my pens and markers.

highlighterI had several pens and highlighters….. that went into the trash

pensThis is my trash can (dumb question…. can you recycle these?)

pensAfter I sorted out the pens that were dead or dying… and got rid of those, I still had a lot that I didn’t need.

I put several in the drawer, several on top of the desk in the green bucket and I didn’t need these. I mean really…. they have been sitting in that desk drawer untouched for how long?

I can do several things with them (and would love to hear more of your ideas in your post about organizing your office)

1) Put this bag of pens in your car, so you have a pen when you need it
2) Donate them to a local school, shelter or nursing home
3) If they are all pens you have brought home from work, return them to your office
4) Donate them to the troops
5) Disperse them through out your home (only if you need them) by the phones or bedside.

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Declutter those pens and pencils!

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

Just take a half hour and declutter those pens and pencils. Take some pics and join the party.  I’d love for you to link it to my Organizing Mission Monday link party. This link party will be left open for a month to go with the Mission – Office that I am working on with my link party.

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I am linking this post up to:

BCD 125


Beyond The Picket Fence


The Trendy Treehouseorganizing junkie

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What Would Sandy Suggest – Week 5

I’m in an Office Mood I think

When I think about what I would suggest when I walk into a room…. I have to stop…. and think.

cluttered room You first off have to find out what the client wants out of the room.
1) What do they want to use this space for?
2) What is their vision for this room?
3) What storage is available?

You can’t fit 20 gallons of gas into a 10 gallon tank right? So if you have too much “stuff” and not enough space to store it… then something needs to go.

Organizers aren’t miracle workers, we can’t create more space in a home. We can help to utilize the space that there is to the fullest.

“Life” happened to this person. A spouse died expectantly a year or so before, and things went kind of crazy. But they wanted some help and guidance.

There were several cats in the home, and thank goodness I didn’t have allergies. But getting used to the smell wasn’t easy either.


1) Sort through the Clutter. Separate into A) keep B) Donate C) Store D) Trash/Recycle

2) Rearrange if needed to make a usable space – Move bill area to the sturdy desk and decrease need for the folding table.

3) Use existing supplies (client didn’t have finances to purchase new)

4) Clean the space (cat droppings, dust, dirt)

5) Support the client in her decisions

It was a very long day but we were able to accomplish making a livable, usable space. Simple but workable.

If you are wondering… this person was not a hoarder. The rest of the house wasn’t not this bad. This was the “catch all” room that got out of control.  They were open to getting rid of stuff and were very excited to have the room back.

What Happened:

1) We cleared out most of the clutter.

2) We kept the arrangement of furniture the same. The client liked having 2 separate desks and was not open to combining the work spaces.

3) We did basic cleaning. (Carpet cleaning and deep cleaning were still needed)

4) We separated paperwork into boxes  to go through later.

5) There was still several boxes to the left of this picture that the client had to go through. The budget did not allow for me to come back to help as we had planned. But I gave the client the basic knowledge so that they were able to ask themselves the same questions that we did when we worked together.

Not every space has to be organized to be “pretty”.  Being able to help people with the basics and to utilize what they already have is important. Often times I go into situations that the client really needs help. They might not have the finances to do anything but get the help – meaning… we work with what they have.

So… keep that in mind if you feel you don’t have the “money to organize”. I have heard that so often. Going through your things and deciding what to keep or give away doesn’t cost a dime. It just takes time.



You can do a lot in one day. It wasn’t perfect, and there was still more work to be done… but together we were able to accomplish a lot.

If you have any spaces that you would like help on and would like to be featured in an upcoming week, please leave me a comment that you would like some help.

If you have any blog posts of an office that you have reorganized and would like to link it to my Organizing Mission- Monday link party – please add it to my Link party by clicking my button

I also would LOVE it if you could vote for my blog.  You can vote once a day!


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The Shredder

January 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices, Paper, Products for Organizing

Mission Office – The Shredder

The mission today is to discuss the shredder. I think every office should have a shredder.  It is just a good idea to get rid of all those papers with account numbers on them etc.  I’m going to share my new shredder experience with you and a little tip that worked for me. But I’m open to hearing your ideas.

shredderI got a new shredder.  I had been using a very small desk top shredder that could only handle 1 piece of paper at a time.  But I kept it out by my “mini office” in the family room, so it worked out great.

After I rearranged my office (you will see in coming posts) I was going to be using my office and had an area underneath the desk and next to my recliner (yes… recliner) that one would work.

shredderI know this isn’t a very pretty picture.  It is under the desk and behind a file cabinet, so not seen from the front of the desk.  The box is all the papers I need to shred, after cleaning out my files.  See how this shredder is long and narrow?  I thought it would work out great in this space.

So…. I started shredding away.  It was working great.  Then it slowed down… ok time to empty

Yes… it was full.  I grabbed a trash bag, and got back behind the chair to empty it.

Ok..I could see this was not going to be pretty.  As careful as I was … the little shreds of paper still went all over.  It reminded me of the big cool shredder we have at work (yes… I think it is fun to use). But every time it gets emptied… it is such a mess.

I moved the box out of the way, vacuumed and then got a black trash bag.  I considered getting a plastic bin to put underneath of it.  But, with this being long and narrow, I would have to pull it all the way out from under the desk…. anyway… logistically that wasn’t going to work. The drawer wouldn’t have pulled out without being out of the bin…

I also knew that putting a trash bag liner wasn’t going to work. The drawer wouldn’t have been able to close, and if it isn’t closed all the way, then the shredder won’t turn on. So.. although it isn’t pretty… it should work.

Let’s see if this is going to work. I filled it again with shredding
Still a little messy, but it is contained in the trash bag now. I got a separate trash bag to empty the bin into and left the one underneath the shredder. I am also going to use a clear trash bag next time underneath the shredder.  Even though no one sees it but me, it will still just look a little nicer.

Some paper dust… but ready to shred some more.  Once the box is empty, I will probably put a nicer basket or plastic bin to the right of it to put the shred pile in. There are times that you have more shredding to do than you have time for, or in my case the shredder heats up enough by lots of shredding and it turns off. Until it cools it won’t work.   So there may be times you have to have a storage area for the shred pile.

Do you have a shredder?  Do you use it?  Do you have problems with it being messy when you empty it?  What do you do to take care of that?  I would love for you to share any shredder posts that you may have… and if you don’t have any yet, why don’t you make one?

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Show Me Your Shredder!

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

If you have a blog post on your shredder or lack there of & how you use it, I’d love for you to link it to my Organizing Mission Monday link party. This link party will be left open for a month to go with the Mission – Office that I am working on with my link party.

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I’m linking this post to:

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Organizing Mission Monday – week 6

Your Mission is:  The Office

organizing mission monday

I have decided to change up my link party a bit.  I can see that so many people have been inspired to be organized and they need some encouragement!  So I decided to break each area of your home down into small bit size pieces to work on through the week.  Since I am starting this so far into January I decided to make the first real week of the Organizing Mission a 3 part series.

I have already done posts on 1) Your files –


Your Mail System – #2


And tomorrows post will be  #3 Shredder and how you can use it.

I would love to see how you been inspired and have organized these areas of your home along with me.

But you can still feel free to add other organizing links onto the link party.  I will be keeping each of them open for a longer period of time so that you can have a chance to work on that area of your home without having to worry the link party will be closed.

I want to show you my 3 Featured Organizing Blog Posts from last week.

If you have been featured, please be sure to pick up the button on my sidebar – “Proud To Be Featured” button!

Let’s Go Fly A Kite – Pantry Chalkboard Labels And Remote Control Organizer

Chalk board labels KJ was given mason jars from her Grandmother. She then decided to make these labels out of chalkboard paint. Don’t they look great?

She also made this remote Control organizer in the same post.

remote control organizerBe sure to check out her site “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” and check this post and her others.

The Stucco Bungalow Family Work Space

The Stucco BungalowErin and her husband built this whole wall unit in their dining room.  She used to have a desk in the left corner, and it just didn’t fit the look of the room. Now they have this wonderful built in “office” . Be sure to stop by to see the before pictures and the rest of the area on The Stucco Bungalow.

Delightful OrderGift Wrap Station

DaNita has made this really cool craft closet with this gift wrap station in it.

delightful orderShe shows how easy it is to use curtain rods on the pegboard. Be sure to check this out, and her other blog post that she links to showing the whole craft closet.

Thank you featured bloggers.. don’t forget to pick up your button on my sidebar.

Now to Link up to my Link Party


1) Link back to my blog with either the button or my link. (Use the Organizing Mission button on my sidebar)
2) Would also love it if you could follow me
3) Blog posts related to Organizing or Cleaning please.
4) Family friendly (or I will delete)
5) No sales pitches or web sites please.

Be sure to check out my list of link parties! If you have a link party.. please link it up! Underneath the daily buttons there is a list of links I have compiled of link parties.

If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple.
I would love it if you could vote for me! You can vote up to once per day.. it’s easy. Thanks!

I’m linking this post to:

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Link Party Tutorial

How to Link Up to a Linky Party

I know most of you know this, but for those of you who are new to blogging, or new to link parties, I wanted to share a tutorial on how to link up. I’m not techie and I’m always looking for help from others on how to do things.. so hopefully this will help you.

They have several different names but one thing in common. They bring bloggers together.

But what they are is a way to link your post to a “link party” to gain more exposure for your blog post. It also gets more readers to the blog you are linking up on.. a win – win.

A blog hop is a little different. You can copy the code if you want to have the blog hop on your blog too and you can have the same lists. But be sure to read the rules of the blogger who starts it (we aren’t going over that today)

It is great if you are looking for a specific topic… say “organizing” for example. Or crafts, DIY, cooking, etc.

Step #1

Go to the bottom of the blog post (most likely under other thumbnails that have already linked up and look for the “You are next…..Click up Here to enterClick on that…

link party tutorial

Step #2

Find the url of the specific blog post you want to use. Click on your blog post (don’t just put your blogs url… there should be more after the normal url… so that you know you are on the specific blog post. Otherwise when someone several weeks later clicks on the link party expecting to find your post on organizing a craft room… they don’t get your main blog page showing how to organize a garage.. and then they have to hunt for the craft room post on your blog. (plus many linky party owners will delete your entry if you don’t have it linked to a specific post)

The top arrow shows you were to find your url.

linky party tutorial

Step #3

Now click on the “enter the linky party” from Step #1 and a page like the one below will come up.

linky party tutorial

1) In #1 the first box it says “link it to” – Just put the url of your specific blog post. You can copy and past that link.

2) Caption or Title – What is your blog post titled or what do you want the readers to see under your picture

3) Your email- that is simple

4) You can either check “From File” and this will take you to your computer info where you can pick a picture. Or you can pick “From Web” . This will take you to pictures from your specific blog post and blog. This is the one I usually pick as there is much less searching to do for a picture.

Here is an example of “From Web” from the post I had above. These pictures are from that page, they include buttons from my sidebar etc.. but also specific pics from that post.

link party tutorialI don’t know why there area all those empty spaces inbetween the pics (and yours may look different)

I think pic a picture… I will pick the laundry baskets that the arrow is pointing to.

5) Once you pick your picture it takes you to a screen that looks like this. You can move the box to show what part of the picture you want. then just click “OK” at the bottom of the picture.

linky party tutorialYou are almost finished! You can now go back to the bottom of that link party and see your thumbnail link added.

My Mission link party is actually going to have the same link list through out that Mission (office, kitchen etc). You will be able to link up several times for each post. See my Mission party agenda here for more explanation on that.

Last step – Be Courteous!

This next Step is to be Courteous if you are linking your post – you need to read the bloggers rules, but almost all of them will ask you to add their button or a text link back to their blog. Many will also ask you to follow them etc…

I use Word Press, not blogger…. so my screens may look different from yours. But this will give you a basic idea.

Stay on the blog that you just linked up to. Look for that bloggers button for their link party. Look on their sidebar, and if you can’t find it there – most likely they have a tab across the top of their blog, or maybe on their sidebar that says, “Button” or Pick up my button.. etc..

link party tutorial

Copy that code for the button and now go back to your blog. If I go into my blog post.. You can where I have added other buttons that I have linked up to. But I am in “visual” mode. You have to be in html to add the button (in wordpress)

link party tutorial

So just click on the “html” tab and it will put you into the html code of the blog Scroll down to the bottom of the post (or where ever in the post you are adding the button or link) and add it in.

I highlighted where the beginning of where I link my buttons to.

link party tutorial

So have fun….and link up. Free free to link to this tutorial on your blog, but please don’t copy and use it as your own on your blog. Thanks!

I’d love to know if this helped you at all.

I’m linking this post to:

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Organizing The Mail

Check out My Mail System

mail box

My mail generally comes around 10:15 am.  I don’t always rush right out to get it, but at some point during a break in my day… I’ll head out.

mail boxIsn’t it kind of fun to open that box and see what you’ve gotten for the day? Usually it is just junk mail or bills, but every once in awhile you get that surprise letter or check that just makes your day

footprints in the snowWith the newly fallen snow (and more to come) I just thought this was fun… out to the box.. in to track in my house (not really…shoes off)

mailI sort out what is my husbands and what is mine.  He likes getting mail too… so I don’t open his.. even though he wouldn’t care if I did (unless its a bill…then I take it)

mail centerThis is our command center by the front door. Below this area are the cubbys that the kids use. My hubby just moved his office down to the basement (his man cave) and we started using this mail slot that has previously gone unused for his mail.

command centerIt seems to work alright if he picks it up. But he tends to let it build up… which drives me a bit crazy to have to see when you first walk in the door.  I tried to talk him into a plastic slot that could go on the wall on the way down the basement steps, but he felt that people would hit it. So for now.. this will work.

mail in box My mail goes into my “in” box sitting on my desk.  I usually try to take care of it right when I get it, but if I am too busy or I’m not home, then it goes into this clear tray.

mail in boxNow.. when I am home, what I normally do is to sort it right then.

The junk mail that has information that could be harmful to us.. ..goes into the shredder.

shredderThen the envelops or any other junk mail goes into my trash can by my chair. I will then take it out to the recycle bin when it’s full.

trash can

Then the bills and any other pertinent mail that I have to deal with, will go into my “bill box”

mail in boxWhich is a new section of my Ikea wall unit (that you will be seeing before long when you see my office make over.

I tab them with the date they are due and put them where I can work on them once they are due.

mailThis system works for me.  I love the daily reminder bill files, but I don’t have the space for one with the new office set up I did. That is fine for me… I like this system.

I was inspired to do this post because of Toni’s A Bowl Full of Lemon’s 21 day challenge. I haven’t been participating in the actual daily challenge, but I’ve added a few links but sure love looking through them.

organizing mission mondayIf you have a blog post on your mail system, I’d love for you to link it to my Organizing Mission Monday link party.  This link party will be left open for a month to go with the Mission – Office that I am working on with my link party.

I would love it if you could vote for me! You can vote up to once per day!

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Organizing Your Files Drawer

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices, Paper

Paper Clutter… yuck!

I don’t know of anyone that really likes all the paper clutter.  We have SO much coming into our house all the time. From the daily mail to the kids school work, things we need to print from the computer.  It is never ending and easy to get out of control.

I have recently reorganized my office and with that I finally went through and reorganized my files.  They were a mix match of file folders and hand printed labels.

I pulled together all my purple files that I purchased several years ago and decided to only use those (cuz their pretty! lol)

Before Files

filesKind of all over there aren’t they?

Here is another drawer
files messySome tabs and folders from my husbands files when we got married… came over to my file drawer.

messy filesThe kids files were a mess too.

My husband recently made his own “man cave” in the basement for his projects and added an office space. So we were able to move him out of this main office upstairs. He took all the tax info and some other financial family info downstairs.  He had already started files for his 4 kids.. so we decided to merge those. So his kids files went downstairs with him.

file cabinetHere is the file cabinet I mainly use. It goes with this big stinky cool desk I have.  It is a little worse for the wear.. but hey… it works great.

So I emptied everything out of it.. drawer by drawer

and of course had a bigger mess then I started with for a day

office filesI was in the middle of the entire office reorganization in this picture… (see all the stuff in the back?)

files and taxesI was also working on taxes.. that is what this picture is of.  But.. while I was reorganizing the files.. it looked much the same.

labelerGot out my old but reliable labeler that I had the right color (and enough of it) label tape to complete the project.

file tabsI labeled the tabs.  I had several different kinds of tabs…. but I didn’t want to go and purchase anymore of one specific thing.. so I had no problem that some look just a little different than the others.  I tend to be more practical than anal.

I went through and sorted.  I kept all tax info of course. Also major purchases, policy info, records for kids and dogs and the rest of us for medical purposes.

One thing I did get rid of was all the bill stubs from bills I paid.  I have kept them for years.. and the reason for that was because I went through a divorce. If they want to reconfigure child support… I have had to come up with things that go back 2 years.. in all my bills.  But, since my youngest will be graduating this year, I don’t have to worry about that any more! (yippy!)  But I did keep the visa bills, just to follow up on if need be for a purchase or credit.

organized files

Here is the kids file drawer with only my boys and my file in it.

filesAnd look at this!!!

empty file drawerI have an empty drawer!!  Wow!!

So lets review…

Before File Drawer

After File Drawer

Tell me about your File Drawers!

organizing Mission Monday If you have a blog post on your file system, I’d love for you to link it to my Organizing Mission Monday link party.  This link party will be left open for a month to go with the Mission – Office that I am working on with my link party.
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What Would Sandy Suggest? Week 4

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices

The Make over of Another office

what would sandy suggest I really am not the queen of office make overs.. lol  But I do want to share another one that I helped a client with. I shared with you last week Jerry’s office.  This is his wife kathy’s office. She has a small 10×10 office just off their family room.

The Before

cluttered officeThe really dark blue walls, and heavy furniture made this small office, seem even smaller.  All the little pictures made the walls seem too busy cluttered officeThere didn’t seem to be a system.  Where did the papers go? cluttered office Without a system, there wasn’t specific places to put things, so things just kept getting piled. cluttered office This area behind the door became a catch all for supplies cluttered office There was hardly any place for her to actually work. cluttered office There was yet another big piece of furniture in front of the window.

What the Client wanted

1) She wanted a system for her paper 2) She wanted storage that looked nice 3) She wanted (and I promised her) a place to wrap her gifts and do her son’s scrapbook for his graduation in 6 months.

My Suggestions

1) Move out the heavy furniture. 2) Paint it a lighter color 3) Sort and declutter 3) Buy or have Jerry build two long desks/tables 4) Put shelves up on the walls above the desks 5) Move the bookshelf to the other wall

They took most all of my suggestions.

1) They wanted the walls to match the living room and so they used the teal and tan paint to match. 2) Kathy and I went shopping for storage containers. Kathy picked out the styles and looks that she wanted for her office. 3) The credenza went upstairs and we used it in Jerry’s office. 4) Jerry built two desks 5) We got shelves for above the desks (I would have liked several more) 6) We went through and decluttered 7) We got a magnetic strip and ribbon organizer for the wrapping station office afterDon’t the desk look great?  We made them long enough to go from wall to wall.. so there was plenty of space for working office afterThe basket hanging under the bulletin board was for incoming mail.  There were 2 shelves hung and cute boxes and baskets that Kathy picked out were used for storage. We labeled them so she would know what was in them. office afterI personally would have preferred clear containers, but she loved the look of these… and assured me she would know what was in them. lol office afterThis was the gift wrapping area and also where she could work on her son’s scrapbook. She wasn’t a full time scrapbooker, she just wanted to finish this project.  Her supplies are in the “luggage styled” boxes on the shelf since she didn’t need them all the time. She did keep a couple of her very favorite things on the wall, but I was able to convince her that with all that she had up there before, none of it was really appreciated. We turned the bookshelf on the other wall.  We went through and cleared out a lot of things that weren’t being used to make space for things in the office that she wanted to keep there. This was the space behind the door. We turned that shelf on the other wall. It then opened up space that we could put her wrapping paper bin behind the door.  We also later made a hanger on the wall behind the door for her gift bags.

So once again. The Before

And the After

What do you think ?  Look a little better?  I  think so. If you have an area of your home that you need help with, just leave a comment and I’ll try and feature you in coming weeks.

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Dymo Desktop 360D Label Manager Review

Organizers Love Labels!

dymo desk managerI explained last week how labeling  your office at work can really benefit you. I used the Dymo Rechargeable Desktop Label Maker that I was sent.  Let me tell you about the actual label maker

dymo desktopIt came with 3/4″ tape, an ion battery pack and wall charger, along with the label maker of course.

Here is the cartridge that you use.

The Li-ion battery just fits down in the bottom without any problem.  So once it is charged it holds the charge so you don’t have to keep it plugged in or worry about it eating up your batteries.

dymo deskWhen you first turn it on you have to do some simple programming. But I left it like it was and it was just fine.

I like how clear and easy the screen was to see.  I liked that the set up was simple. One of the things I didn’t like was that to use the caps you hit the alt button to go to caps… but then you have to hit it again to turn it off. I tried holding it just to press the letter… and that didn’t work. You still had to hit it again to turn it off. That was a bit annoying.

dymo deskThe print button was easy to see and that was nice.  But every time I wanted to print it asked me how many copies I wanted.  So I had to hit the print button a 2nd time every time.

Once I hit the print button I couldn’t find the label at first. lol It came out the back.  Not sure why they did it that way. This is meant for a desk, so you have to reach behind to find the label. Or lift the unit up to see it.

But if you have a short word like the word “cord” it is hard to even get to. It comes out a little curled and lays against the you have to get the edge of it underneath. Remember… this is the back, so the whole time you are lifting it up to get to it.

I love the cutter.  It is on the side (where I think the tape should be coming out too) and just presses down nice and easy. It cuts it nice and clean.

The print is nice and bold and looks good.

This is also another nice feature. The tape is split on the back so you can easily feel off the backing. My other older labeler that I still love has a little tool that you have to “curl” the tape to get the edge lose from the label to peel (does that make any sense?)

Looks good!

The “Income” on the left ended up the size I needed it, but the “expenses” was a little long. Rather than cut the edges I just stuck it around the corner.

I decided to try them on my cubbys. I wasn’t sure that they would stick, but I decided to try.

But alas… a couple days later…

Just as I thought…. it didn’t stick.  But this was also fabric, so I can’t complain that it didn’t stick.

But the edges of the “expenses” also did not stay stuck either.

But this one stayed stuck without any problems.

Here are my honest thoughts over all.

1) I liked the side of the desktop manager labeler.
2) I liked the ease of set up and use
3) I liked the print and the look of it.
4) I like the cutter
5) I like the split back of the label for ease of peeling
6) I like the Ion battery and that it also has a wall plug

1) I don’t like that the caps has to be hit x2 to turn off/on
2) There wasn’t a “-” sign. If there was, I couldn’t find it with ease
3) I didn’t like that the label came out the back, it was hard to get to
4) I didn’t like that I had to hit print twice to by pass the “number of copies”
5) I don’t like the cost of the refill tapes.  The 1/2″ was $19.00 and the 3/4″ was $26.50.  If you are working in an office, and the business is paying for it, that might be one thing…but so often we like to have these label makers at home and I know that would be over my budget to use.

Keep in mind that I did not study the owners manual.  There more than likely are ways to take care of many of the issues I had problems with the caps, the “-” sign etc..  but I don’t like to look at the instructions on purpose when I do a review. I want to see how easy things work without having to spend a lot of time reading.

Would I recommend this for an office. I more than likely would not…. and the main reason would be because the label comes out the back and it is hard to get to. I think most of the other issues more than likely can be solved… but for a unit that is meant to sit on a desk, to have to reach behind to get the label.. and most cases I had to lift the unit up to see what I was doing to find it and reach it.  In my opinion this was a poor set up in the design.

Disclosure: I was given this Dymo label maker to review and I am also being compensated for the post. The pictures are my own and the opinions are my own.

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Cleaning – Reviewing Mr. Clean

Everyone Knows Mr. Clean Products!

Mr CleanOrganizing is my thing.  Cleaning… well… isn’t as much. (hate it!)  Yes.. you do clean when you organize, but the general house cleaning… and deep cleaning are no fun for me. I do wish that i was a bit OCD about it (only a little) and kept on top of it like I would love to.

I will admit that my husband got me the best early birthday present ever! I had a (almost entire house) deep cleaning done professionally.  There were 4 people that came in my house and were here from 9am-7:30pm!  Honest!  Everything… vents on walls, lamp globes and shades, behind the washer & dryer and refrig and oven! They did the windows!  I have been so busy and my house needed it… and I was getting more and more frustrated because I couldn’t get it done.  I’m not superman…. I can’t do it all!

I recently was asked to review a couple of Mr. Clean products. Mr Clean.. Mr. Clean… (can’t you just hear the song in your head?  Ok…if you can’t it’s because you aren’t old enough.. sigh)

Mr CleanFirst thing I did was the downstairs bathroom.  It needed it.

Mr CleanThe first thing I noticed was the smell. I even looked at the bottle again. Oh..that is right it has Febreze in it! That is why it smelled so good.  Clean with a fresh smell… ahhhh..

Mr CleanDon’t forget those pesky tools you hide behind the toilet…

Mr CleanIt says that it kills 99.9% of bacteria…. that I like!

Especially when cleaning these areas.

mr clean

Now upstairs to the master bath.  Here is something that I have been using daily.. but not too fond of at the moment… lol

Mr Clean

The shower track. Oh… what a pain that is to clean. But how nice it is to have clean.

Mr Clean

They also sent me a Mr Clean Magic Eraser bath scrubber.  I love these things! They are amazing!

Mr CleanThis is bigger than the normal Magic Eraser, and has the little texture to it. Plus a curved edge to help with the grip but also makes it easier to get in the corners.

mr clean magic eraseThis also came with that nice scent of Febreze!  The other thing that I liked about it was that it wasn’t falling apart when I scrubbed hard. That was the only negative thing about the Magic Eraser was that it kind of fall apart as you were cleaning.

mr clean magic eraserThis is one area of our shower that gets so much soap scum. That bar of soap drains down the side and leaves a terrible soap scum.  I love that I have the new Magic Eraser Bathroom scrubber to keep on top of it.

A clean bathroom is a happy bathroom.. is a happy mom!!

Disclosure: Mr Clean sent me 1 bottle of the Mr. Clean with Febreze Disinfecting Bath Cleaner and 1 box with 2 Mr Clean Magic Eraser Bathroom Scrubbers.  I was not compensated in any other way for this post. (other than a clean bathroom) The pictures and the thoughts are my own.

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 5

You Can Leave a Post or Find a Post!

organizing mission mondayAnother great week with some really fun ideas!  I am loving this!  You all have some really creative ideas and I will be using a few of them in my own home.

Here are my Featured Blog posts for this week.

Please pick up my “Proud To Be Featured” button from my sidebar.  (for whatever reason the coding of my buttons are going wacko when I put them in a post. Until I get someone to fix them for me, I’ll ask you pick up the buttons from the sidebar – Thanks!)

Megan from Polish The Stars has creative this awesome craft closet out of a utility closet.

empty closetShe took this utility closet and decided to create her craft room!  It went from bare to craft closet beautiful!!

craft closetIs this too cute or what? Look at how she even incorporated the water faucets to make it look cute? She didn’t try to cover them up or anything.. they just look like they fit there. lol

craft closetI love this method she used to hand her ribbon also.

ribbonBe sure to stop by and check out her full blog post to see the rest of the pictures she has.  Also check out the rest of her blog Polish The Stars

House on Ashwell Lane has some unique organizing solutions that I liked.

gutter for bookLooks like just a normal book shelf on a wall doesn’t it?  But it is house rain gutter!  Isn’t that a neat idea?

This is my favorite idea of hers.  So easy.. and no cost!

toilet paper rollsI think this is such a neat idea.  I am actually collecting empty rolls right now because I need a better solution for my cords by my chair. I am thinking of stacking and gluing them together… and making them like a pyramid.

Be sure to check out House on Ashwell to see the rest of her Clever Solutions.

Michelle from Sustainabley Chic Designs got my attention with this homemade washer & dryer pedestal

Her husband took it from this

washer dryer pedestalThen to this:

washer and dryer pedestaland finally to this:

washer and dryer pedestalIsn’t this awesome!!  She took a basement laundry room with brick walls and turned it into a cute little laundry room. Love the colors! Look at the complete guide on the rest of the laundry room make over at Sustainabley Chic Designs

Link Up!


1) Link back to my blog with either the button or my link. (Use the Organizing Mission button on my sidebar)
2) Would also love it if you could follow me
3) Blog posts related to Organizing or Cleaning please.
4) Family friendly (or I will delete)
5) No sales pitches or web sites please.

I ask that you please link back to me with my button or my link (or both!) Thanks!

Be sure to check out my list of link parties! If you have a link party and I don’t have you listed, let me know and I’ll add you to the list.

Not sure how?  It is simple….

1) In the first box it says “link it to” – Just put the url of your specific blog post. Still not sure? Click on your blog post (not your blog, but specific post) You will see the http://your blog name/your blog post name up at the top. Just Copy and past that link.

2) Caption or Title – What is your blog post titled or what do you want the readers to see under your picture

3) Your email- that is simple

4) You can either check “From File” and this will take you to your computer info where you can pick a picture. Or you can pick “From Web” . This will take you to pictures from your specific blog post and blog. This is the one I usually pick as there is much less searching to do for a picture.

5) Once you pick your picture it takes you to that picture and you can move the box to show what part of the picture you want. then just click load or start at the bottom of the picture. Your done!

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Organize Your Office Using Labels

Does Your Work Place Use Labels?

labeling the officeDoes your office at work need some New Year Cleaning?  Do you have the same problems there with people not putting things where they belong?  Using your stapler and not returning it?  Opening every drawer of a file cabinet because you can’t remember what drawer has the file you want?

Personally I feel that labeling makes things easier. Office organizing is so much easier when using labels.  Do I think office work places should label?  Yes!!  Why?  I’ll give you 6 reasons why…

1) It gives a professional appearance
2) There is no question who an office accessory belongs to (stapler, hole punch etc)
3) Everyone will know what is in a specific drawer without having to open them all.
4) It makes more efficient use of everyone’s time. Not so much time is lost hunting in the wrong cabinets or files
5) It makes searching through the files a breeze
6) It makes it clear exactly where to return an item, or which shelf to store your stock on.

store room shelfHere is an store room that has supplies from a Dr. office. It needs some organization.  It is actually a store room that I organized a few years ago.

store roomI went through and reorganized were things were to go. I did a chart that had a location item, what shelf it belonged on and where it went.  There were several store rooms in this 2 story office and knowing which store room and where it was located was a problem.

What I did was to establish numbers for shelves and names for each store room.  After I had gone through and taken items out of boxes to make them quickly accessible to the Doctors to grab quickly – I reorganized them on the shelves.

What I did use to label was hot pink paper to label the names of the shelves.  I wish now I had used labels from a labeler.  I think it would have just looked neater.

dymo 360D label managerThis is a nice desktop label manager from DYMO.  It isn’t too large to carry around with you, but is a nice size to put on a desk.  I think this would be a nice thing to keep in an office, in a place that everyone could have access to it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your stapler labeled?  No one would take it off your desk anymore! Just little touches like that can make an office run more efficiently.

labelsIt could make sprucing up your office or cubicle at work…. really nice!  This is the 3/4″ size tape. Large and easy for anyone to see. Don’t you think it is going to look great?  I know I just finished my home office and I labeled all my files,

So let me know… does your office at work label?  Do they use a label maker or do them by hand?

Disclosure: I was sent the Dymo 360D labelmanger to review (review on the labler will be coming up next week) and keep also compensated for my time. The pictures and opinions are my own.

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What Would Sandy Suggest? Week 3 – Office

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices

Does Your Room Need Some Organizing?


I had only 2 readers from last week that need some help. Wow… I’m amazed.. you all have it together.  lol

I offered help via to 1 person who linked up on my linky last week.  Since there were only 2… they both had 50% chance of winning!

But the winner according to was #2. Handy Man Crafty Woman

So Crafty Woman… let me have it!  Send me a space that you need some help organizing and I’ll give you my suggestions.

But for this week – I am going to show you some before and after shots of one of the first offices I organized for a client.  They were my guinea pigs when I was just going  into organizing as a business.

Office beforeThis room used to be one of their kids bedrooms.  Jerry began a business building houses and ended up turning this old bedroom into an office and his business took off.  So fast that he didn’t have time to really make it work.  He brought in extra pieces from homes he was building thinking they would help his office.

office before organizingThey were really neat kitchen pieces… but the way they were, they were not providing what he needed for his office.

office before organizing He had his desk positioned by the closet to utilize it.  Not a bad idea, but again, it wasn’t really working for him.

Part of the problem.. the office wasn’t entirely his.  There were still kids books on the shelves, his wife had wrapping paper and supplies left from Christmas still all over the floor and in the closet. There were still clothes in the 2nd closet.  office before organizing

office before organizing His wife was also requesting to still have a table set up in here so that she could do her son’s scrapbook for his up coming graduation in 6 months.  I polity but firmly told her, “No… this is going to be Jerry’s office, and only Jerry’s office.  When we do your office downstairs next… I will provide you a wrapping and scrap booking  space.” She was good with that.

office before organizing Notice the kind of shelf to the left. It is more like an open box… there is a bottom shelf, but really not serving much purpose.. I’ll show you how we used it in upcoming pics.

What the problems were:

1) It wasn’t Jerry’s office. There was clutter from other family members that weren’t business oriented in his space.

2) The nice kitchen cabinets were not functional for what he needed.  It seemed a shame not to use them, but without the proper shelves in them they were actually just taking up space.

3) The layout wasn’t working for Jerry.

4) Because of the mess he couldn’t bring clients into this office, and even if it were cleaned up he didn’t have the space to spread out house plans to show them.

What Jerry requested:

1) Have a surface that he can spread out plans and have clients be able to go over with him.

2) Clean it up of course

3) He wanted storage that he could lay his house plans out flat for the ones he was currently working on. He didn’t want to have to roll them all up.

4) He wanted older plans within reach

5) He didn’t mind going out and buying all new furniture.

What I suggested:

1) We take out all the big kitchen cabinets

2) We rearrange the desk so he can see who is coming in the door.

3) We either buy or make a conference table

4) We get out all the “non-Jerry office” items out of this office.

5) I’ll figure out storage for his house plans

6) We put up some shelves above the desk and move him away from the closet.

7) We bring up the credenza from his wives office downstairs (which was way too big for her office) and utilize it in this office.

Check out the office “After” Pictures

office after organizing

What we did: (I am pretty sure they pained the room

1) We cleared all the clutter out.  Took everything that didn’t’ belong in his office out. No more kids books, wrapping paper, clothes, kitchen cabinets.

2) We brought up the credenza from his wives office (see the far wall underneath the house plans)

organizing house plansIt fit perfect in this space and made a good table for the house plan system I created.  I was frustrated with this because it wasn’t deep enough for the plans.  I would have loved to have gotten him this drawer system to lay plans flat.  But he didn’t like that idea. He didn’t want to have to open the drawers to get to plans he was working on frequently.  I showed him this idea and he loved it.  The rolled plans are ones that are in the works, but he isn’t’ working on at the moment.  The bottom shelves were measured so that the could lay his plans flat like he wanted.

storage for house plans The closet is being used for storage of office materials and older house plans.  Check out how what those plans are in.  They are boxes that we stacked… Great solution… no cost!  His wife actually came up with this one!  It worked great.

organized office Jerry decided he wanted his desk against the wall… not facing out like I suggested. And that is ok.. this is his space.. he works her everyday – not me.   But we put shelves up on the wall for him to utilize.

organized office Remember that shelf I told you to pay attention to?  See it?  Jerry used it to build this conference table (remember he is a builder) He used it as his base.  It is long enough and wide enough for him to spread his plans out on.  Also 2 chairs will go on the opposite side so he can have clients view the plans with him.

organized office This is the same shot where I showed you the piled high kitchen cabinet? The very first picture.  We cleared off the book shelves. Got magazine holders for all his building magazines.  He was going to frame his house pictures on the wall, but just tacked them up to figure out where he was going to put them.

So what do you think?  I was very pleased with it.  It is officially his office.  I’ll show you his wife’s office on another post. Hers came out great too.

Since the link party didn’t seem like a popular thing to do… if you leave a comment that you would like help with a space, I’ll still do a random drawing for those who asked for help to be featured.

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Sandy’s Kitchen Cupboard Organization

January 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Kitchen

See how I organize my Kitchen Cupboards

I thought I’d show you how I organized my kitchen cupboards since my remodel.  They are now sorted, cleaned and in the proper place.  Let my kids and husband put dishes away a few times…and they won’t look as neat – but that is part of what we deal with.

kitchen cabinet

Our plans are to remodel the kitchen at our farm next and move there in another year.  Going through this kitchen remodel was necessary in order to sell this house… but I’m glad we did it when we did. We will get to enjoy it for a little bit before we move.

When I went through my things as I cleaned out the cabinets and also as I was putting things back in, I had time to look at each item.  I went through the same thought process that I teach you and my clients.  Do I need it?  Do I use it?  Is it worth keeping and taking up valuable space?

I didn’t take a lot of time on each item, I moved quick…and did end up with a box of things to donate.

With my plastics, I made sure I had lids that fit the bowls. If there was a lid without a bowl….or a storage container without a lid …then it is outta here.

I don’t use expensive organizational products, I like using baskets to help separate items and keep things neat.  I can find those at the dollar store… so yeah for that.  You don’t have to have  highfalutin things to be able to organize… use your imagination.

You got to see my kitchen freshly organized… by the way I do use my counter tops.  I know some people like to have completely bare counter tops… Not me. I don’t like too much up there, but our toaster gets used daily, the coffee put is out, my kitchen knives and kitchen utensils  sit on my counter.

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Organizing hats and gloves

January 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Closets, How To Organize

Are your Closet Shelves Over Flowing with Hats and Gloves?

closet before Do your hats and gloves need organizing?  This has been a frustration for me.  With 7 people in this house… we have many hats and gloves… and not just in the winter.  We have the ball caps in the summer too. (fuzzy pic, but I took it awhile ago)

I still don’t feel like I have the best system down for all this mess….but I’ll show you a few things I have done.

closet organized Here is one solution.  Use baskets to organize the hats and gloves.  This works pretty well for the ball caps.  However… a couple things that I didn’t like with this idea.  Stacking the baskets didn’t work at all.  No one is going to take the time to actually reach up and lift the top basket off to put anything away.  Plus this is not a good option for younger kids who can’t reach.    The cubby’s are a possible solution to this.

cubbysWe use these for a catch all option for the kids as you come into the house.  They can be used for the hats and gloves.. and they do- along with all kinds of other things.  Keep in mind this was right after I cleaned them completely out last week.

This is my latest attempt to organize these pesky hats and gloves.

hat and glove organizing I have this hung at the landing of the basement stairs.  Since we have such a small entry area and small hall closet, we have issues with book bags and  coats too.

hat and glove organizing
This is the view looking from the top of the basement steps.
bin for bookbags I have tried hooks inside the closet door for the book bags and coats. As the kids get older the book bags are just too heavy for the hooks now.  Since they always want to throw their book bags on the floor anyway…I am just trying to help them a bit by having a big bin for them to put their book bags in.

coat hooksWe have hooks on the wall for extra coats.

This basket is another tool I use to help with the clutter and stuff that have to go downstairs.


This is not for the kids to put hats and gloves in. This is for me to use. Small things that have to go down to the basement go in here. Then I grab the basket on my way down to the basement and can put them away.

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 4

Where you Can Leave A Post or Find a Post

organizing mission mondayThanks to all of you who linked up last week! There were some really neat ideas. I have been working hard on my office in between all the fun craziness of the social media world I work in.  I plan to start sharing pictures of my reorganization later this week.

Here are 3 blog posts that I really loved!  Please grab my “Proud To be Featured on Organizing Mission Monday” button! There were a couple posts that I was going to pick, but since they didn’t have my button or link, I didn’t think that was fair to those of you who did. So next week be sure to grab it!

Jennifer from Peas and Crayons had a really cute closet makeover to check out.

closet makeoverShe shows several things she uses in order to bring order to her closet…and does it with humor.

Megan from Polish the Stars posted a desk drawer organizing post.

organizing connectorsI loved what she did with all her little electronics and cords.

Lori from Paisley Passions made a Shoe Rack for her Mud Room.

homemade shoe standGreat idea! She refinished it and added contact paper. Cute huh?

Here is the Featured Button for each of you I featured this week.


1)    Link back to my  blog with either  the button or my link. (If you aren’t sure how to do it, please let me know and I’ll help)
2)    Blog posts related to Organizing or Cleaning please.
3)    Family friendly (or I will delete)
4)    No sales pitches or web sites.

I ask that you please link back to me with my button or my link (or both!) Thanks!
I am having trouble with my button being messed up on here. I don’t know why. But… the button on my sidebar should work fine for you.
Please let me know if it isn’t. Thanks SO much!

Be sure to check out my list of link parties! If you have a link party and I don’t have you listed, let me know and I’ll add you to the list.  There aren’t many buttons on the list yet, but there are more links below)

It is simple to add your link….

1) In the first box it says “link it to” – Just put the url of your specific blog post. Still not sure? Click on your blog post (not your blog, but specific post) You will see the http://your blog name/your blog post name up at the top. Just Copy and past that link.

2) Caption or Title – What is your blog post titled or what do you want the readers to see under your picture

3) Your email- that is simple

4) You can either check “From File” and this will take you to your computer info where you can pick a picture. Or you can pick “From Web” . This will take you to pictures from your specific blog post and blog. This is the one I usually pick as there is much less searching to do for a picture.

5) Once you pick your picture it takes you to that picture and you can move the box to show what part of the picture you want. then just click load or start at the bottom of the picture.

6) Then grab my button code and enter that at the bottom of your post or on your sidebar or link page… or you can use a text link too.

Your done!
I linked this linky party to
Someday Crafts – Anything Goes Wednesday
Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Monday

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What Would Sandy Suggest? Week 2

January 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices

Part 2 of Mel’s Office

mels office before

Be sure to check all the way to the end of the post! I am making this a link up so that you could have a chance to have your space featured too and hopefully I can give you some suggestions to help organize your own space!

Mel from Mama Buzz has been gracious enough to let me feature her space first! This is Mel’s office.  Last week on “What would Sandy Suggest” was part 1 and I went over some basics on what I thought she should do to organize her office.  Much of what she has is just clutter that won’t be hard to clean up. But like many of us.. it has has taken over enough that Mel wasn’t even using her office.

I will try to give advice on what I think would work…. without making a major overhaul of your space… and suggesting things that are out of many’s price range.  Of course I could tell her to get all new furniture and start fresh… but I know if someone told me that.. I’d tell them to take a hike because that wouldn’t be in my budget.

See that 2nd file cabinet underneath the games?  Remember that because I plan to move it.

Mel office This is the other side of the office.  It is her hubby’s desk.  I was trying to figure out what the 2 big black things were on his desk and then I realized they were both computer monitors….

mels office - bookshelf

This is the doorway in and the bookshelf close up.


1) Hubby has no desk space. It is full of computer monitors, computer, printer and keyboard. Where does he write?  Where to papers go that come in?

2) I like the little shelf above the monitors, it just needs to be cleaned off.

3) The bookshelf facing the door seems to have little purpose other than to be a spot to put things. (That so often happens, we all want a “drop spot” in a room)

4) It looks like children books on the bookshelf.  This is a working office.  There should not be any children’s supplies in this office. (I understand if the kids come in while you are working, but let them bring in 1 book or 1 game to keep them busy – and then those items go back to the kids area when they are finished with them.


1) Declutter first. Go through the sorting system that I gave Mel last week.

2)  Move the bookshelf out of the office.  It is small and I’m sure could be of use in another room, maybe even at the end of a hallway. The kids book could go in it there.

3) Move the desk down away from the wall enough to move that computer unit down onto the floor to the left of the desk.

4) Move that 2nd file cabinet from Mel’s desk over next to Hubby’s desk.  Mel – you can move your scrapbook organizer up to one of the shelves. If you use it frequently, I think once you have sorted through the things on your desk, you would have room for it.  Maybe you could move the circuit cutter or laminating machine up to the shelf and move the organizer over there.

5) Move the printer on top of the file cabinet to the right of the desk.

6) This frees up some valuable desk space.

7) I also would recommend putting in shelves over hubby’s desk like you have over Mels. If there were books on that book shelf that you removed that you need, they could go up there.

mel office - closetNow for the closet area.

cluttered bookshelfAnd a closer look at that bookshelf


1) Many more things that do not belong in an office are adding to the clutter. The boxes and keyboard or exercise equipment (can’t really tell…lol) need to move out.

2) The bins in the closet need to be gone through. I talked to Mel and she said they were going through them and there was a lot they could get out of there.

3) The bookshelf is completely full.  Again – a good sort will more than likely free up a lot of room on this bookshelf. They should all be books related to what takes place in this office.  Mel’s business, Hubby business, computers, scrapbooking, finances.


1) Clear out the clutter.  If it doesn’t belong in the office… move it out.

2) Clean off the bookshelf. I suggest taking everything off it… I know.. there will be a big mess.  Clean the shelves good.  Then go through them one by one.  Ask yourselves these questions as you go through the books:

A) Does this relate to what takes place in this office?  – if so… keep  If not… move.
B) Have I read this already? If so.. then donate.
C) Will I read it again?
D) Is it a reference book I will refer to again?
E) Will I ever read this?  Be honest… if you know you won’t.. donate it. Don’t feel guilty over it.
F) What purpose does this book serve here?

3) Go through the knick knacks on the shelf. Are the pictures out dated?  Do you even notice or look at them where they are?  If they are out dated you can do a couple of things. Put a new picture in, or just removed it completely.  Again…. you don’t have to feel guilty about moving a picture or taking it down.  But, if there is some space on the newly cleared out shelves above Mel’s desk then a picture or two might be nice.  Same with the other things, decide what purpose it serves. Keep a couple special items if you would like, and move the others to another room, or donate them if you realize you really don’t need them.

4) The closet – I could see something really neat here.  There are a couple of options:

A) Take out those bins first of all and take off the hanging bar.  Now… you could take off the doors and add in a cubby unit (be sure to measure first!!) This could give this office a really neat feel.

expedit bookcase

You could then put in something like this from Ikea. This is the Expedit 5×5 bookcase. It is 72″x72″.  I just got one in the Walnut color myself for my office… They cost $199.00.

With that in the closet you could maybe get rid of that big bookcase in the office and it would open up the office a lot.  This could also be used for storing other items from the office.  Mel’s scrapbooking supplies, hubby’s computer disc etc..

B) Take the doors off the closet and remove the hanging bar and move the existing bookshelf into the closet. (measure first).  Again this will free up the space in the office and make it feel more open.

C) Leave the doors on the closet and move the book shelf in and be able to close it off.

D) Leave the doors on, take the hanging bar out and build shelves into the closet. Make several at different heights maybe.  One larger one that could hold the bins. Some at medium heights such as 12″ that baskets could fit on for office supplies.  Then some closer together that books or papers could be organized on.  Maybe don’t even take them all the way across the closet – leave an open tall space on the end and if there is no other place to store the vacuum or something taller, it could fit in this space.

I could go into much more detail with things, but I don’t think anyone would want to read it all.  LOL  These are my basic thoughts for Mel’s office…

Please be sure to send an “after” picture once you have organized it.  Don’t worry if you don’t use any of my ideas… lol  Remember they are just suggestions.

Do You Want Me to Help you Too?

Just leave a comment below that you have a room or space you would like me to give you some suggestions on.

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Organizing the Cubby’s

Organizing needs Maintenance.

cubbyI use these cubby’s at our front entry way for a “drop zone”. But they needed some organizing in a bad way.  I am in a cleaning and reorganizing mode… so I decided that instead of letting the kids go through them…. and leaving too much in them – they were getting a total dump and clean!

Each child has their own color cubby. They can use them from a drop zone (supposed to be temporary drop zone) for little things, hats, mittens etc. They routinely clean them out. But.. that has gotten a little lax lately and they were all stuffed to over flowing. Time to clean them out.

cubby clean out Look.. an empty pop bottle in my teenagers. I mean.. really?  I guess he decided this was his temporary trash can!

cubby clean outIt must be contagious.. because my other teenager had one too.  ugh..

cubby clean outAt least there is no trash in this one.

In come the trash bags…..

plastic bagsDon’t worry… I am not doing what I felt like doing… and trashing it all.  That is why I used clear plastic bags. For one to tell who’s bag is who’s before I put it in their rooms. Also so that it didn’t get thrown out by accident.

trash bagsI just dumped the cubby content into it’s own clear plastic bag.  Then I distributed them to their rooms… and when the kids got home, they went through them.

cubbyAhhh… so much nicer.

cubby clean outDoesn’t that look great?  The only thing in there right now are my shooting gloves in the purple bin.

Organizing requires maintenance. Just like most any task in the house…. once is not enough. It is best if you keep up on it and not let it get out of hand… and it’s much easier to deal with.

If you let it go too long… it becomes this monster that you are scared to deal with… so it keeps growing and growing!

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