5 Unique Organizing Tips From a Professional Organizer

5 Unique Organizing Tips From a Professional Organizer

There are lots of tips on organizing on the web, tv, radio, and podcasts.  What makes these unique organizing tips?  Well, it is because these tips were created as the client and I needed it.  All of these tips and photos are photos from my consultations with clients.  Read on and you can see how we came to this sort of organizing tip.   I hope you enjoy it.

 

Unique Organizing Tip #1: In small drawers, use customized drawer organizers to maximize the space.

This tip came from looking high and low for smaller drawer organizers.  There are very few that are less than 18 inches wide.  So, we decided to make a customized one for all the flatware we had. 
In small drawers, use customized drawer organizers to maximize the space.

 

Unique Organizing Tip #2: Label solid color bins to remind you what are in them.

This unique organizing tip came from clients getting annoyed when they couldn’t remember where an item was in their storage room or kids playroom area. They would know the system when we would set it up.  But, when they had to find something, it was torture remembering everything. They couldn’t remember where things were at all.  As a result, I realized that for the most part, my clients worked on the philosophy, “Out of site, out of mind”.  So, you can see how difficult colored bins with no labels would be for them.
Label solid color bins to remind you what are in them.

 

Unique Organizing Tip #3: Only Have One(1) Inbox in your home office.

This unique organizing tip came from a few of my male clients projects.  They felt the need to put papers in baskets in their home office just so they were in a bin.  Each bin didn’t necessarily have a purpose.  Making one bin be their “go to” bin is important.  The in bin only holds items you haven’t looked at.  It’s that just came in.  After you look at the piece of paper in the bin, it then gets moved to another bin or file or recycled.   
Only Have One(1) Inbox in your home office.

 

Unique Organizing Tip #4: When you want to sell an item in your home, but it is too heavy to move, hang a sign and write what you want to do with the item.

This unique organizing tip came from a client need to get rid of extra furniture and other bigger items.  Since they couldn’t be removed right away, we needed to remind her what action needed to be taken with a particular item.  So I created these signs that would help her remember.  It worked beautifully. 
When you want to sell an item in your home, but it is too heavy to move, hang a sign and write what you want to do with the item.

 

Unique Organizing Tip #5: Use pull out drawers in lower cabinets.

This unique organizing tip came from my clients and my home.  The back of the lower cabinet space was always a pain to get to and it helped if we could pull out the items to help us get to them.  I added additional items to the pull out to make they pull out more customized and organized for the client.  These additional items that were added could be from the dollar store or re-purposed items so the pull out drawer wasn’t a mess when we did pull it out. 
Use pull out drawers in lower cabinets

Stay tuned for many more unique organizing tips from me.  Join the conversation, what is your favorite organizing tip that you created in your home?  Please leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.

 

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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10 Toy Organizer Ideas

10 Toy Organizer ideas - Playroom Organizing a playroom is important.  It helps everyone. Your children will know where every toy goes and after you have labeled all the bins, you will be able to direct them on where the toys will go. Here are 10 toy organizer ideas to help you with your kids toys in their playroom. Put heavy toys at the bottom of a shelving unit in bins with wheels so children can roll them out when they want them.  Here is one from Amazon. Strap the back of tall bookshelves to the wall.  If you furniture doesn’t have a strap with it, you can buy them separately. Here is one from Amazon. Organize Computer game cases in a box standing up so you can see the titles.  Here is an example of one at Amazon. Have craft supplies all in one area.  A craft supplies cart would work to hold all your supplies.  Here is one from Amazon. Create a great dress-up area for girls or boys. Use wooden pegboard to hang scarves and hats and closet shoe shelves to hold the different dress shoes. This one I thought looked cute from Amazon. Sort Lego by color. It helps when the kids want to build something that is one color.  Here is an example of my Lego Bins that we created for our kids. Kids Lego Bin Place outdoor toys in the garage area for easy access. Store balls in big tote bins.  Here is a great bin for balls that can be stored in your garage.   I used one similar to this one for a client in the past.   Lay larger board games on their side to saves space on  shelves.  Stand the boardgames on their side to save space. Store kids movies or shows on Apple iCloud or any other provider you may use so you can access them anytime and anywhere. iCloud for Movies Label with pictures and words for kids that can’t read yet.  Here is an example of what a label could look like: Hats Label - create labels with pictures for bins to help kids know what is in bins.   Whatever you decide to do with your playroom, be sure to have everyone’s input, especially the kids using the plan room.  They can also help you set up the space.  Have them pick out colors and make it fun for them so they see organizing as a fun task not a boring one.  Enjoy the process. Note: I have not purchased or used these exact items before.  They are just for a visual example.  Please do some research on any and all of these Amazon products if you decide to purchase them.  I get a percentage of the sale only if you purchase an item when clicking through to Amazon.

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Explaining Needing and Wanting to kids

Explaining Needing and Wanting to kids

So, I sat down with my son and daughter sometime ago and planned on explaining needing and wanting to them.  This explaining needing and wanting to my kids post is how I did it.

I first explained to them the difference between “needing” and “wanting” to keep items.

“Wanting” is wishing to keep something because there was a connection to it in the past. For example, wanting to keep a doll because their aunt gave it to them.  But, they have not played with it recently, or it is no longer their favorite and it is stuffed in a box stored away somewhere decaying.  They won’t need to replace these items.

Wanting Definition

 

“Needing” is when items that they use more frequently and will use in the future; like, their toothbrush, their school clothes, their reference books or school supplies.  Usually when these items get worn or used up, they will most likely replace them.

Needing Definition

I decided explaining needing and wanting to the kids in very simple terms as I described it above.  This helped them be less anxious about the process.   Since children look to their feelings first when deciding to keep an item, I decided to help them group items from bins in the back of the closet or items stored in another room. This way, the emotional attachment wasn’t as clear since they haven’t seen the toy recently.

It was time to jump right in and start purging! I was so excited!  

We pulled out the oldest bins and reviewed each item, and I asked these questions:

  1. Is there little or no dust on the object? I explained to them that if it had a lot of dust that usually means they hadn’t used it in a while because dust settles on items that have not been moved.
  2. Do they remember the last time they played with it?
  3. Is it a toy for their age?
  4. Does it still fit them?
  5. Does it look like new?

If they said, “no” to any of these questions, chances are, they could get rid of it without regret.  Though sometimes they decide that they can’t live without an item, so to not break the purging process, I gave in and told them to put it aside.

After going through their rooms, we were able to fill 12 bags of toys from games to large figures using this method. To help them let go of those items that were borderline need and want, I promised them I would give those toys to younger children who are unable to buy them for him or herself. This helped ease their mind. So, to keep up my end of the deal, I emailed my friends and family to see if they wanted any of the toys/games.  Any item that was left over was brought to Goodwill for donation.

Another way to deal with not wanting to get rid of toys is to make a deal with your child that you would get them a new toy if they got rid of 10 or 20 items.  This way they get a reward for getting rid of toys they don’t use. This will also show your child that you understand his/her feelings about letting go of items. This will give him/her the incentive to purge. Chances are as they go through the purging process, they will get excited and start to get rid of a lot more than the number you indicated. Try it and see.

As life changes, the new organized room and items should be reviewed and purge again. After all, organizing is a process that consistently needs updating. For this reason, I never get bored with organizing! Let me know how you are explaining needing and wanting to kids.  I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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September’s Monthly Organizing Challenge:Living Room Organization

September’s monthly organizing challenge is to go through your living room organization.

Here are the areas you need to go through to really complete this challenge.

  1. In the entertainment center: Go through your DVDs, CDs, and Photos. Store items in bins. Buy bins as needed.
  2. In the kids toy area: go through and donate any toys that your children do not use. Get new storage bins if needed.
  3. In your coffee table and end tables: clear out the drawers and bins in them. Get rid of unused items. Replaced broken bins or containers.
  4. In your coat closet: clear out any coats that are not used and donate them. Buy baskets for gloves. Get hooks for hats, assign a place in the closet to hang the hooks for hats and bags.

After clearing out your space, move your furniture and clean underneath and behind each piece.

Your room will be much more functional and user-friendly for everyone in your family when you clear the clutter and assign homes for items in your living room.

Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you.

Till next month, happy organizing!

monthlyorganizingchallenge2

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Organized Kids in Training

Organized Kids in Training When your children are toddlers, you need to set the standards of what you are looking for when it comes to keeping your house in order.  Here are some quick tips to help your toddler be an organized kid.

  1. Store the kid toys and clothing at their eye level so they can put away their own toys.
  2. Get containers that have wheels to move around easily.
  3. Hang additional rods below the existing rod to help maximize the hanging storage in the closet and allow your toddler to help put away clothes.
  4. Clear plastic picture labeled bins are great for young kids.  They can see what is in them easily and be able to put them away.
  5. Show by example: show your child that you too know the importance of putting stuff away.

REMINDER: Make sure they are putting away their stuff after every play time.  If it tends to be a problem to get them clean up right after they are done playing with them, schedule a time at the end of each day before bedtime, to put away the toys. Showing your children the importance of keeping their space clean and neat will teach them to take pride and responsibility of the things they own.  As a result, when they take care of their stuff, you will save money and time since you will not have to repair or replace items.  It’s a win win for everyone.  Let me know what you do to teach organization to your child.  Please leave a message below.

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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August’s Monthly Organizing Challenge: Organizing Children Rooms

This month’s organizing challenge is to go through your child’s / children’s room(s) to get them ready for school. Kids love structure. Making their room a well-organized space and you will empower them to keep it that way.

  • Decide where they will be studying. Will they have a desk in their room to study or will they be at the kitchen table?
  • Do they have all the supplies they need in their desk area? If not, make a list and be sure to get the missing items prior to school starting.
  • Organize the child’s toy bins. Are the toys sorted by type? Have the child help you organize the bins. Label the bins to help remind your child where to put the toys.
  • Organize the books in your child’s room. Are there books that can be removed and donated? Are there any books that they need for school? Are they easily accessible?
  • Check under your child’s bed. Are there items under there that need homes?
  • Organize your child’s closet. Do they wear all the clothes they have in there? Does anything need to be replaced?

As always, divide the tasks throughout the entire month. Do a few tasks each week and you will be able to get your child’s/children’s rooms ready for a successful school year.

Happy Organizing! Till next time.

monthlyorganizingchallenge2

 

 

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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July’s Monthly Organizing Challenge: Organize Basement

With this warm weather, it’s a great time to organize your basement.  This month’s organizing challenge is organize basement and your space.

Make a list of the areas you want to organize in your basement and decide which area you will be working on each week.  The goal is to finish the area by the end of the week.  Here are some suggested areas to organize in your basement.

  • Long-term Storage area
  • Laundry area
  • Family room area
  • Toy area
  • Bathroom area

Go through the entire area, remember to take everything out of bins and cabinets.  Go through the content and then place back only the things you will use.

Happy Organizing!  Let me know how it goes.

 

monthlyorganizingchallenge2

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Organize Your Kids Playroom Tips

Organize Your Kids Playroom Tips

Children play rooms are so much fun to organize!  It’s one of my favorite places.  There is no restrictions on how to do it.  Kids are very flexible when it comes to their space.  Here are my quick tips to organize your kids playroom.

  • Small bins for small items: Store items in the bin and be sure to label the front of the bin.  If your child can’t read yet, use a photo of the object that is inside.  If you want to help them associate words with objects, add the name to the top of the image.
  • Craft area should have smaller bins that hold crayons, pencils, markers, etc… Here is a set of craft area labels I used when my kids were smaller  in their craft zone. Tip: Click on the link and print them out on sticker full sheet labels and cut them into smaller squares, then affix them on the bins(plastic bins work best) you are using for these items. In the craft area labels file, I added some squares you can use to customized your bins.
  • Legos organization:  Watch your child play and identify how he/she plays with them. Does he group them by color or by size?  Then, determine how you are going to store the Legos. This post is the way I organized my kid’s Legos. Check it out. Organizing Your Child’s Legos.
  • Electronic games: Organizer that will hold controllers, headsets, games, and other items needed to play the games.
  • Larger toys and pretend zones:  Having zones like, dress-up, playing house, Barbie world, allow the kids to really get emerged in the pretend play experience.  My kids loved it when they had all their things around them in these area.  For larger toys, setup an area of the playroom for them.  If they are really outside toys, store these items in a garage or shed.

Hope your playroom turns out wonderfully.

 

 

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Talking with a Child about Purging and Organizing

Talking with a Child about Purging and Organizing
I wrote this about 5 years ago and felt I needed to re-post it since this month’s challenge is to Organize your playroom and toys. This post gives tips on talking with a child about purging and organizing.

During Memorial Day weekend, after climbing over lots of toys in the heater room, we realized we needed to replace our heater and a/c units. I went on a mission to purge the children’s unused items. With a son who wants to keep everything for the rare occasion his friends or cousins come over, it was not an easy task.

So, I sat down with him and we discussed making room for new more exciting toys! I first explained to him the difference between “needing” and “wanting” to keep items.

“Wanting” is wishing to keep something because there was a connection to it in the past. For example, wanting to keep a doll because your aunt gave it to you when you were younger, but you have not played with it recently, or it is no longer your favorite.

“Needing” is for items that you use today and will use in the future; like reference guides or a storage bin for loose toys and school supplies.

I decided to describe the difference in very simple terms so my 7-year-old would understand it. From my experience; children look to their feelings first to decide if they are willing to get rid of an item. This process helps them distinguish what they are feeling and what to do with the feelings.
It was time to jump right in and start purging! I was so excited! We pulled out everything from the closet. Then, each item we put our hands on we asked these questions:

  1. Is there little or no dust on the object? I explained to him that if it had a lot of dust that meant he has not use it for a while because dust settles on items that have not been moved.
  2. Does he remember the last time he played with it?
  3. Is it a toy for his age?
  4. Does it still fit him?
  5. Is it in good condition?

If he said, “no” to any of these questions, chances are, we could get rid of it without a major meltdown.

We were able to eliminate 12 bags of toys from games to large figures using this process.

To help him let go of those items that were borderline need and want, I promised him I would give these toys to other younger children who may not be able to buy them for him or herself. So, I emailed to friends and family and anything that wasn’t given away went to Goodwill.

Another way to help your child get rid of unused toys is to ask them if there is a toy they want to replace a particular toy(s). You can promise them that they could have a new toy if they get rid of a target number of old toys. This way, your child will also feel that you understand his/her feelings in letting go of items. This will give him the incentive to purge. Chances are, as they get going, they will get excited and start getting rid of a lot more than the target number you agreed on.

As life changes, the new system and items will need to be looked at and modified again. After all, organizing is a process that consistently needs changing depending on the situations and opportunities you experience in your life.  That is the main reason I never get bored with organizing!  The process always changes.  I can create new ways to organize the same space.

Enjoy the change!

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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May’s Monthly Organizing Challenge: Organize Toys

This month’s organizing challenge is to go through and organize toys.  Have your child do this task with you.  If you have several areas, do one or more areas throughout the week so the process is less stressful.toy

  1. Go through each section of the room.  Do a section of the room at a time to make it less stressful. Has your child played with this toy?  If you don’t know, ask your child if he plays with it recently.  If no, it would go in the donate pile if it in good condition.  If it is broken or in bad condition, it goes in the trash or recycle pile.
  2. After you have gone through the purge process and removed all the unwanted items.  Breakdown the areas in zones. Here are some zones to help you: Craft zone: Kids do allow and adult supervised sub-zones, Game zone, Pretend play zone, Exercise zone, Learning zone, and Outside play toys zone.  And, any other zones you may need.
  3. Then, start sorting into these zones.  Find bins that work for the amount of items you have to store in each zones.  Re-purposing existing bins save you money and time.

Let me know how it goes.  I hope this process helps you clear the clutter in your playroom!

Note: Stop back next week where I will talk about how I spoke with my child about getting rid of his toys.  Please come back and check it out.

 

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Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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