Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How old is the Spaghetti in the back corner of your fridge?

If your fridge is not organized, who knows what could end up lurking in the dark, lower back corner.

Next thing you know you have an awesome science experiment underway and you hear,
"Mom, when did you order cheese pizza with blueberries?"   (I know, gross)

Here is a slick little trick to get your refrigerator organized using, of all things, a plastic shoe box:

These plastic shoe box containers can be found at most dollar stores and are fantastic for keeping all those little items organized in your fridge.

What's in the back of your fridge?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let Go and Enjoy

Want to truly enjoy your new 
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Festivus gifts 
that you will be receiving soon?

... Take this weekend to "Let Go" of items in your home
that no longer make you smile & feel wonderful
(or that you are tired of dusting)

What did you "let go" in your home?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Honoring Your Loved Ones Memory

This is one of my favorite organizing project stories ever. Love this story, and so appropriate for this time of year. Enjoy.

"Terry" admits she get overwhelmed in attempting to stay organized. Like many of us, the dramas of life can take over and the last thing on your list of things to care for is yourself.

Terry had been hanging on to a gift certificate for my services for 11 months. The certificate made her feel good when she received it and if she used it, Terry felt it would be gone. Finally, she broke down and we met.

We talked a bit about her goals. I gave her some ideas about managing tasks to get and stay organized. Then she told me about a craft box in her attic.

This craft box was her mother's. Terry cherished this box of craft supplies. The thing is, Terry's mother passed away 11 years ago. Yes, 11 years this box sat in her attic collecting dust and funk.

She finally decided that the time had come to part with it. Terry told me she believed,

"If you release what is holding you back, good will come back."

A woman came to Terry's home from Freecycle to pick up her mother's craft box. The next week, there was a knock on Terry's front door.

The woman had returned to give Terry this Christmas display for her home. Made only from the items found in the gifted box. Terry immediately recognized certain parts of the arrangement that her mother decorated with. Needless to say, Terry was beside herself with joy and happiness. I got the chills when she told me the story.

Memories of a past loved one are good. They should be honored since they played a loving role in your life. Though if you have them cramped in a dusty, funky smelling old box in your attic, is that really a positive way to remember them?

If you are not enjoying them, perhaps it is time to part with them.
Another person will find joy in the items you give.
........ And good will come back to you.

What's in your attic?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Pens, Pencils and Markers ... Oh MY!

I bet you use the same couple pens or pencils every day.

Yet, you may have 1, 2 or more crammed pencil holders on your desk.

Likely there is a drawer that is stuffed with more writing devices that just somehow came to be. After all, you never know when you are going to need a pen ... right?

See that's just it ... you only need A PEN (or pencil) to jot something down.

It may not sound like much, but getting rid of the unused excess is a very good thing.

Gather up your pens surrounding your desk area and whittle them down to a select few in ONE holder on your desk top or drawer.

Do the same in each area where you have squirreled away a lifetime supply of writing tools.

Bag up your extra supplies and see if your local school or daycare would be interested in your collection.

How many pens and pencils did you let go?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm Lovin' this Project Organizer

Smead Manufacturing Company was founded in Hastings, Minnesota in 1906 and has been a woman owned business enterprise since 1955. (Girl Power!)

Recently they sent me a sample of their new "Project Organizer" to review and I gotta say I love it!

Sure it will get you organized and keep you focused on your projects. This organizing tool is pre-printed with templates for optimal organization. Keep track of your project's process, contacts and notes with 10 expanding pockets.
• Quick & easy pre-printed dividers to access project information, tasks, contacts and notes
• Reinforced Tabs
• 10% recycled content, 10% post-consumer material

But why do I love Smead's Project Organizer:
1. It feels durable. It is a paper product, but Smead did a great job making it strong. If it's intention is to be a used for a project, this needs to be able to withstand wear and tear.
2. The tabs are reinforced but also nice and wide, allowing you to clearly label each one should you choose making this item customizable.
3. Great pre-printed areas that will guide you to stay organized and avoiding lost phone numbers, missed deadlines with plenty of room to jot random important notes or changes involving your project.

Though I'm going to go a step further, because there is the potential for personal home use, too:
- You could use it in your kitchen to keep track of take-out menus, receipts from recently purchased items, bills to be paid or items to be filed. Instead of piles on your counter or papers covering your fridge, all those papers can be neatly organized in this expanding set of folders.
- Assign a row of folders (1-3, 4-6, 7-9) to keep track of your kids important school papers, schedules, sports, etc. No more wondering what hour your son has lunch or when the next random day of school the kids will have off.

... Get creative and see how you might be able to use this great item.  Just because it says "Project Organizer" doesn't mean that is its only possible use.

What project are you going to get organized?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Someday" May Never Get You Organized

Do you find yourself saying you are going to get organized someday or later?

Of the seven days of the week, there is no "Someday" or "Later."

If you are really going to get organized, you must set up an appointment with yourself and make it happen:

If you are going to go to the dentist, doctor, school function or birthday parties, you likely place the appointments on your calendar.

You need to follow this rule if you are struggling with getting organized. Make an appointment with yourself to get it done! I guarantee you will feel better.

When is your appointment with yourself?
... and better yet, what are you going to do?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Batteries ... Are Yours Organized?

Batteries are so important in today's world.
You practically need some sort of battery for everything you touch.

So, organization of your batteries is very important.
No one wants to be struggling, getting frustrated, looking for the correct battery when you desperately need it.

You want the right battery available quickly.
.. and, gasp, if you should not have any of the correct battery size available in your home.
Ugh! ... Now you have to make a trip to the store.

Here's a quick video on an organizing trick for your batteries:

Now with all your batteries organized, you should have more time for yourself, family and friends.

Get out and enjoy life ... You deserve it!

What is your favorite battery size?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Organizing blah, blah, blah Your blah, blah, blah Pantry

Mid-week blahs may send you out after a work to grab something quick to eat.

Though it will likely not be the best choice and you have plenty of food in your home.

Think about making a meal out of your pantry items
... especially if you feel overwhelmed looking at your pantry.

Here's how you can work toward organizing your pantry, save money and time going out to eat and feed your family ... 3 positive actions for the price of one choice = AWESOME:

Using items frees up space and saves you money, time, effort from going out to eat.
Likely it will be healthier for you and your family too!

PLUS ... less food frees up space which makes it MUCH easier to get organized.

What did you find for dinner tonight?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Is Your Linen Closet Throwing Up on You?

As you open up your linen closet to grab a fresh towel for your luxurious, relaxing batch, items just begin to tumble out onto you.


... So much for relaxation and calm.

No need for this to happen any longer to you. Here's a great clip from Your Rocket Organizer on how you can get your linens under control and organized:

Take a hard look at the items in your linen closet:
Do you really need 15 washcloths for 4 people?
You no longer have a double bed, so why do you have the sheets?
Ah, you found a long lost shirt jammed in the towel.

Bag, bundle, box up all your linens that have lost their fluffiness or happy purpose in your life and take them to your favorite animal shelter for donation.

A puppy or kitten would love to cuddle up in a those items.

OK ... how many bath towels do you have?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Organizing Your Scary Halloween Decorations

Is your home all ready and organized for all those creepy, scary little monsters to ascend upon your home requesting tasty treats?

If your spookiest decorations do not make it out of the storage bins this year,
they will likely not make it out next year.  You may even have a few items rolling around in there that are a few years old.

Let them go.

Here's a quick 40 second video clip to help encourage you to release your unused decorations
 ... so they don't "haunt" you next year:

Remember: less stuff = more space

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gorgeous Disorder

Today's post comes from Debbie Stanley owner of Thoughts In Order Counseling and Consulting. She has worked with chronically disorganized and hoarding clients since 1997, originally as an industrial psychologist and professional organizer and now as a licensed counselor. Debbie practice includes in-office, in-home, telephone, and Skype counseling, coaching, and corporate consultation.

Here in Day Two of the deluge of tributes to Steve Jobs, I’ve found a photo that makes my heart sing:
Steve Jobs in home office Dec 2004 - photo by Diana Walker

If you didn’t know before his death, you’ve had ample opportunity now to learn that Steve Jobs was brilliant–so much so that to call him brilliant is becoming an awkward understatement.

Now, look at his home office. Notice the rafters and the brick walls … looks like it’s in the basement. Notice the furnishings… as basic as it gets. And the books, in their gorgeous disorder. And the piles of stuff on the desk, under the desk, on the floor…. Beauty.

I’m in the business of helping people to find clarity through organization. Why does this photo please me? Because it proves that genius can thrive in an imperfect environment. Some people already have clarity without spatial organization. To tidy up would not help (at best) and might interfere (at worst). For them, it is a truly fine mess.

Thanks to photographer Diana Walker and her willing subject, this is no longer just my opinion. If you are excellent at what you do, and you do it at a messy desk in a messy office (with which you’d be perfectly content, if not for the nagging), your boss and your family don’t have to take my word for it that you’re fine as you are. They can look at this photo and recalibrate their opinions.

That’s Steve Jobs in the picture. If it were a regular Joe, or even a regular genius, many (maybe most) people would see it as just another messy-office guy struggling to keep up. Maybe they would see a self-employed contractor or architect or web designer who has to work in his unfinished basement to save money, and whose work is inferior because he’s disorganized and stressed. They probably wouldn’t imagine that the guy is a billionaire whose work changed the world and the house above his head is a mansion. But they are.

Thanks, Steve Jobs, for putting a ding in this stereotype.

Thank you Debbie for sharing your blog post.
You ROCK!!

Messy desk or clean desk ... It all depends on what works for YOU.

 I will admit, I'm pretty much in the middle on desk organization.
... and I'm cool with it.

How do you feel about your desk?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Organizing Your Jewelry with Ice Cubes

Here is an amazing little organizing trick using an ice cube tray to keep your earrings, small necklaces, pendants and rings organized. The great thing is you can store the tray in most drawers, rather than having 3-4 bowls filled with a tangled mess of jewelry:

If you want your "jewelry tray" to look less like an ice cube tray, grab a can of your favorite spray paint and jazz it up a bit.

What is your favorite fun jewelry item?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Say Good-Bye to your Beloved Cassette Tape Collection

If you own any cassette tapes,

you likely do not have a device to play these little music gems

... it's time to let them go.

Seriously ... It is 2011.

Yes, this includes your collection of Whitesnake, Depeche Mode, Wham!, Culture Club, Dokken and Men At Work

... especially your collection of "mix songs" made by your high school sweetheart

What was your first cassette tape purchase?
(mine: Michael Jackson, "Thriller")

Monday, October 03, 2011

One ... Two ... SCREAM!!!

When was the last time you screamed?

I'm talking:
-eyes closed
-fists clenched
-teeth exposed
-neck strained

Screaming is a great way to release a TON of energy from your mind and body.

You might think this is crazy, but I'm telling you it is awesome!

Close the windows, crank up the radio in your car and belt out the loudest noise you can conjure from your inner soul until your throat hurts.

... yeah baby!

How great do you feel now?

Friday, September 30, 2011


In through the nose
... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose
... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ...... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ....... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ....... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ....... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ....... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ....... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ....... Out through the mouth.

In through the nose ....... Out through the mouth.

It's been one of those weeks for me, too.

Do you feel better?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's OK ... You can say "No"

No time.
Too busy.
Other stuff to do.
... Are you crazy?!

Yeah, we all gotta work to pay the bills, though you should take care of yourself first. Take a moment and evaluate your commitments. Look where your time is being spent vs. what benefit are you getting from it. It's OK, be a bit selfish. This moment is all about you baby!

Let's look at a week: (warning math lesson ahead)
24 hours/day = 168 hours/week
168 hours/week - 56 hours sleeping/week = 112 hours/week 
(8 hours/night sleeping)
112 hours/week - 40 hours working/week = 72 hours/week
72 hours/week for everything else that is life.
WOW! I hope you are making the most of your time.

You can't do everything. You can try, though you will certainly burn out at some point likely resulting at screaming at your kids for leaving their mud covered soccer shoes on while running through the house like monkeys 
(not like that ever really happens).

It is OK to say 'No.'
Here are a few tips on saying 'No:'

1. You deserve to take priority. Take time for yourself. Make sure you give yourself some free time to pamper yourself, just relax, or work on a hobby. Perhaps it is only 10-15 minutes, better than zero. In our home, my boys know that "if mommy is not happy, no one is happy."

2. Do not make excuses for 'no.' People respect honesty and hate hearing excuses. Treat yourself right and you can't help but treat others right too. If you need to use humor to lighten the 'no', do it!

3. Do not make commitments you're not prepared to keep. Saying 'no' is only a refusal of that particular request. Taking on a task that may overwelm you will only result in added stress in your life and resentment toward the commitment. Much better for you to say 'no.'

4. Remember you don't have to give a reason. We don't give reasons when we say 'yes' so why should we have to give a reason for saying 'no.' A simple 'I appreciate you asking, but no thanks' will often do the trick. Kick your guilt to the curb!

5. Set limits. If you are only available to help for 4 hours on Saturday, tell them that and stick to your limits. Keep in mind to be firm but polite. You need to recognize how much you can reasonably do.

6. Delegate. If nothing else works or you begin to feel a bit a stress building, remember to ask for help. Perhaps delegate some of your commitments to others. Delegation is the key to being a good leader. Break up things among family members, friends, organizations, or co-workers. Allow others to help you.

I guess if all else fails next time someone asks you to do something you really don't want to do, and feel like you can't come up with something quickly, just tell them "Oh, I'd love to, but Angie said No." 
I'll take the heat for you.

What did you say 'No' to?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time Management Strategies for the Digital Age

Do you find yourself thinking? 
“I’ve Got the Technology.
Now Give Me Back My Time!”

If you are disappointed, frustrated, or downright infuriated at how much LESS time you have now, despite all of your gadgetry and apps, make time for this special event:
The National Association of Professional Organizers in Michigan proudly welcomes
Best-Selling Author and Internationally Renowned 
Time Management Expert 
Harold Taylor
Technology, speed, multitasking, & 24/7 connectivity have erased the boundary between work and personal time. Harold Taylor will discuss the impact of technology on the way we manage time, the increasing importance of holistic time management, ways to control the hectic pace of the digital age of speed, and much more.

Thursday, October 20, 2011, 11:30 am-3 pm
Red Olive Banquet Center, Plymouth, MI
 Lunch Included
$55 non-members ($65 after Oct. 13)
$25 NAPO-MI members ($30 after Oct. 13)

Limited to 100 guests. Make your reservation at

Red Olive Banquet Center is located at 
1051 W. Ann Arbor Rd. 
(between Main & Sheldon), Plymouth, MI 48170.
 For more information: contact Susan Carmody

Learn more about Harold Taylor at

What is your time management trick?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Conquering Your Closet Clutter

With the changing seasons, comes a change in your wardrobe.Leading to a perfect time to get your closets, dressers and drawers sorted and purged.

So put on some comfy clothes, turn on some music tunes and grab a few (alright several) bags to begin loading them up with donations.

BIG THANKS to The Courier out of Findlay, Ohio for putting together this awesome article below filled with tips and tricks for getting organized. You can read the article below (which is a bit fuzzy hard to read) or you can go directly to the nice big, easy to read article here.

Remember, to give your items a hard look. Just because it is your favorite shirt EVER, doesn't mean that 4+ years later it loves you. You want clothing that looks great on you and makes you feel good.

What is your favorite shirt EVER?
(yes that top picture is me from 3rd grade.  That was a favorite shirt)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Organized Solutions!! We're giving away FREE Professional Organizing

In your weakest most vulnerable moments, greatness is there if you are strong enough to see it.

Crazy when I think about it.
-Brand, spanking new single divorce mother of two boys, 6 and 4 years old.
-Been a stay at home mom for 5 years, after leaving a senior engineering position at Ford Motor Company.

Everything I had worked so hard for in my world, shattered apart. Gone.
At least it appeared that way ...

For at that time, I felt an opportunity was at hand.
"Well, if I'm going to start completely over in life. Let's make a difference and have some fun with it."

Single mom, 2 boys, unemployed, HUGE mortgage, alone, family living 2 hours away ... Yeah, let's start a business. All I knew was my whole life I loved to help people and I was learning again how much I loved to have fun. Guess the combo worked!

Organized Solutions is 7 years old today!

Hot Damn!!

I am so thankful for all the people I have met, clients who I have helped and companies who have contacted me. Thank you for reading this blog and commenting.

None of this could have been possible without my boys in my life. These dudes rock my world and keep my head on straight. They have been the best business partners anyone could ask for. It is so awesome to see their enthusiasm for our business.

To celebrate, we are giving away 4 hours to someone in need of getting organized. We need to hear your story. This could be yourself or someone you care about. Send me your nomination by September 30, 2011 and my boys and I will select our recipient. We need to keep this local to the surrounding Toledo area, though I will work to find help for those out of the area. I know professional organizers across the country who can help you.

My email address: angie "at"

Thank you for all your help and support.
You all ROCK!!

Who do you need to thank for your success?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Organizing your Car's Trunk

As you make a turn in your car, do you hear the tumbling of water bottles, soccer equipment and empty beverage cans/bottles bouncing about behind you?

If you don't have a plan to contain these items, every time you go to place your groceries into your trunk you will be greeted with chaos leaving you no clear area to plop your newly purchased items.

Here is one quick organizing solution for getting your items organized in your car trunk:

(Now, I never said "Junk," nor as a professional organizer would I refer to your items as such.)

With your new plan to keep your daily trunk items in one place, you now have lots of free space for all your shopping needs.

What is the oddest thing you found in your trunk?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Do You Seriously Dust Your Magazines?


Who knew these innocent little reads could cause such headaches as the pile up around you, if you do not keep them in control.

Here's a quick organizing video from Your Rocket Organizer to help encourage you to get your magazines purged and organized:

Grab a brown paper grocery bag and start loading it up with your old magazines. Any magazine over 3 months has got to go. Most articles are available on-line if that is your justification for keeping it. If there is a layer of dust on them, it has got to go. (plus do you seriously want to dust a magazine?)

Please consider dropping off your magazines to a recycling center or check with you local school to see if they may need them for art projects.

Remember getting organized is an investment in yourself.

Enjoy the day!

What's your favorite magazine?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Organizing for Back to School

Back to school can be a stressful time of year. Families must change from the laid-back summer schedule to the non-stop school and activity calendars that keep you jumping from one activity to the next without a moment's rest.

Here are some tips:

Plan Ahead - The only way you can command your time is to consciously map it. When you monitor your family schedule, you can then plan how and when to accomplish important back-to-school tasks, such as replacing clothes, purchasing school supplies, and attending back-to-school night. Stock your kids' homework stations with pencil and paper basics while purchasing classroom items.

Plan for Paper - Before you start stacking all those important school papers in a long forgotten corner of your kitchen, or on top of last month's bills, put your paper trail in place beginning with in/out boxes for each family member. Show everyone where to place their papers and then sort them daily with your planner at hand to note important deadlines and tasks.

Plan to Purge - We all do better with a clean, organized environment. If you haven't yet gone through everyone's closets, dressers, and bedrooms while evaluating wardrobes for school, do it as soon as you have your routine in motion. Make room for the year ahead by rounding up all outgrown items, discarding everything that can't be repaired, both in the toy and clothing departments. For items in good condition, arrange for a charitable donation or enlist your kids' help and plan a yard sale in late September.

School starts September 6th for my boys here in Michigan.
I'm working on our family schedule for the Fall.
I've got the paper plan down.
I need to dump out my boys dressers and see what fits.

Guess I better get to work......Ah, but it is a beautiful sunny day.
Back to school stuff can wait one more day.

Are you ready for the school year?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Big, Thick, Black ...

Either you make lists or you do not.

Chances are if you DO make lists, you are getting things done more efficiently and without the stress of:

"D'OH! I forgot the bread!"

In this clip Your Rocket Organizer (me ... smile), chats about lists and how they can help you get organized:

What's the funniest thing you have added to your list only to cross off?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Diaper Rash Ointment for your College Kid ... Really?

Sticky cough syrup bottles.
Deep blue, sparkly eye shadow from 1985.
Orange pills in a faded prescription bottle.
... diaper rash ointment!?! and your kid is heading off to college??

If you have similar items in your home, perhaps it is time to organize your bathroom cabinet. Remove all those bottles, jars and boxes out of your cabinet or drawer. Use your favorite cleaning method to wipe the area clean.

Here's a quick video from FOX Toledo featuring me, Your Rocket Organizer:

Now, seriously look at all the stuff you pulled out. Begin placing the items you use everyday back. Check expiration dates on the bottles and jars. If you are REALLY using it, then place it back. If not, then it's gotta go.

Remember all this organizing work is an investment in yourself.

What's the oldest bottle you found?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Using Some Thing for Something Else and Making Your Life Easier ... YEAH!!

Big storage bins are a wonderful way to corral and organize your stuff. Though these big storage boxes can become a black hole for many small items that easily make their way to the bottom

... Never to be seen again.

Thinking outside the box (pun completely intended), will give your deep, darkly hidden items life and purpose in your world. Plus you'll be able to find them quick and easy ... Hooray!!

Check out this organizing trick:

Sometimes the solution to your organizing and storage woes are outside of the area focus.
In this example: Using trash bins in a storage locker.

What's your favorite use of some "thing" for something else?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Organizing those Damn Legos!

Oh, if you have kids you have casually walked into a room (or perhaps even dashed), to only have a Lego building block attempt to pierce the ball of your foot as you begin to scream a list of expletives like a sailor.

@$*#&#   &%#@*!    %$&^*#@!!

Here's a great little trick you can use to help organize those little landmines:

If you give your kids some tools and guidance, they can be organized. They spend all day in school making sure all the pencils, papers and scissors all end up in the correct spot. Your kids can be organized at home too ... though you need to be an example to them, as well.

What's the worst toy you have stepped on?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gotta Love Kant

A recent organizing project client found this quote on her Dove candy bar wrapper:

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”
~Immanuel Kant

Being a rocket scientist I love it!
Adding the fact of being a professional organizer ... I love it even more!!

Just as Einstein leads us to believe that wisdom is a lifelong attempt to acquire it.  Being organized is ALSO a lifelong attempt to acquire it.

I am the first to admit.  My life is in a constant state of chaos, meaning also my desk at any moment (and sock drawer) is always at the brink of disaster.

Believe you will be organized and work at it as you can.
Be consistent with your purpose and you will achieve your goal.

I believe in you.  Do you?

What is your favorite quote?