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Holiday Organizing Tips

holiday organizing tips

holiday organizing tipsWait, what?…what do you mean it’s almost Thanksgiving!? Yes, the holidays have sneaked up on us again. Ready or not, here they are.

But, have no fear! We’ve put together eight simple holiday organizing tips so that you can do the holidays right this year!

With a little planning and organization, you’ll save a lot of time and energy. Imagine being able to relax and enjoy the holidays for a change. Of course, this depends on how long your in-laws are staying with you. :-)

We hope these tips will help you get organized and holiday-ready!

 

Tip #1: De-clutter.
Take time to sort through and get rid of items you no longer want or need. This will help make room for the influx of new items you’re bound to receive over the holidays. This is especially important for those of you with children.

Tip #2: Create a holiday planner.
Use a basic multi-subject notebook. Create sections for gift lists, holiday card lists, menu planning, decorating, coupons, etc. Bring it with you everywhere, so you can always reference it or add to it. If you’re tech-savvy, go digital with your lists and planning. Rest-assured, there’s an app for that.

Tip #3: Take inventory.
Dig through those piles of wrapping paper, decorations, lights and cards to see what you have on hand. Make a list of things that you need to buy or replace.

Tip #4: Do a wardrobe check.
Make sure you have the perfect party outfit. Stock up on a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched.

Tip #5: Buy in bulk.
If you are attending several holiday parties or have a long list, pick up a case of wine or chocolates. This way you’ll always have something for that last-minute invitation or forgotten gift.

Tip #6: Secret Snowman.
If you have a large family, suggest picking names from a hat, so that each person only has to buy one gift.

Tip #7: Make a list.
Make a list of the extra people you buy for: children’s teachers, coworkers and bosses, letter carriers, neighbors. Carry it around in your wallet for the few weeks before Christmas to avoid last-minute scrambling.

Tip #8: Plan your holiday menu ahead of time.
Try to find recipes that can be made in advance and just re-heated. This will allow more time to spend enjoying the party instead of in the kitchen.  

 

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Clutter Free Gift Ideas

Clutter-Free-Gift-Ideas

Clutter-Free-Gift-IdeasNo need to worry about creating more clutter this holiday season. Our friends at Getting Organized Magazine have put together a great list of clutter-free gift ideas.

There is something for everyone on this list! And yes, Professional Organizing Services is one of them…Now that’s a truly clutter-free gift!

Download the list here. Happy shopping!

 

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Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429

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Organizing Product Pick: Elfa

elfa

elfaThis week we have been talking about closets and clothing and to go along with this, we want to tell you about our most favorite organizing product: elfa solutions from the Container Store. Not only is elfa the Container Store’s best-selling product – it’s the product we use more than anything else in our organizing work.

Elfa solutions are customizable shelving, drawer and storage solutions that you can use in any space of your home and office. They’re not just for closets! Elfa allows you to organize any space in your home and office. Elfa is extremely versatile!

Elfa comes in a variety of colors and finishes. You can choose from wire, wood, or wood trim and really customize it to fit your space and style.

Why do we love elfa?

  • You get a free custom design of your space
  • You can use it anywhere – closets, kitchens, basements, garages
  • It looks great
  • It is sturdy and high quality – not like other ventilated shelving that we won’t mention by name…
  • You can move it around and switch out components if your needs change (or if you get more stuff!)

Here are some of the fun things we’ve done with elfa:

  • We transformed an empty foyer into a homework room for two kids, including desks, shelving, drawers and a place for coats and backpacks.
  • We turned a small spare room into a dream walk-in closet using freestanding elfa.
  • We created a storage solution for a basement toy room.
  • We maximized space in a small kitchen pantry using an elfa wall rack.
  • We created a shoe closet out of a closet that was not deep enough for hanging items.
  • We tricked out a linen closet complete with shelves and drawers for bulk items.
  • We created a functional home office with elfa desk components.
  • And I personally have elfa in my own closets and garage as well!

And, even better, elfa is on sale right now! Visit the Container Store and learn more about this amazing organizing product!

What makes us stand out?

Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429

Today's Blog Post

Clever Closet Decluttering Tips

clever clothing decluttering tricks

clever clothing decluttering tricksIn our last post about decluttering closets and clothing, we suggested six questions you can use to help you decide what should stay and what should go when it comes to weeding out your closet:

  1. 1. Do I need it, do I wear it, do I love it?
    2. Do I have more than I need?
    3. Have I worn it in the past year?
    4. Do I have something better or could I get something better?
    5. Does it have a hole or stain?
    6. Does it fit me now?
    7. Could I do something positive with it?

But what if you’re still having trouble letting go of clothes, even though your answers to these questions would suggest you give ‘em up? Sometimes you just need a clever little trick to help you with an honest wardrobe review. Here are a few clever clothing decluttering tricks to help you let go of the clothing you no longer need, use or love.

  • The “Backwards Hanger” Trick – Hang all of the clothes in your closet the “wrong” way, so that you are hooking the hangers from the back of the rod. If you wear it, hang the item back up the right way. Anything still left on a backwards hanger at the end of the season should be donated or consigned.
  • Assign an Expiration Date – If you’re having trouble deciding whether to let something go, give it an expiration date (anywhere from a month to 6 months) – literally write the expiration date on a colored dot sticker, stick it to the clothing item and move on. If you haven’t worn the item by the expiration date, let it go.
  • Stow the “Maybes” – Similar to the expiration date trick, pack all your maybe clothing in a box and put an expiration date on the box. If you haven’t been tempted to get any of the clothes out by the expiration date, go ahead and donate the whole box.
  • Give the Underdogs a Chance – We all know that we tend to wear a few favorite articles of clothing all the time. Give your other clothes some love and make a game out of trying to wear your underdogs instead of just your favorites. You will find some new favorites or some major “oh, that’s why I never wear this” clothing that you’ve been holding on to – you won’t know until you try. This trick pairs really well with the backwards hanger trick.
  • Pack Your Bags – Another great trick is to pretend pack for a week or two long trip. What would you take with you? This gives you a chance to put together your best and most versatile outfits and pieces of clothing. Now take a look at what’s left behind – if you didn’t want to pack it, why? And why are you holding onto it if it didn’t make the travel cut? This will help you get rid of clothing you may be holding onto for no reason.

You can try some or all of these clever clothing decluttering tricks and see which ones work best for you. You’ll free up space in your closet for the clothes you really wear and love!

 

What makes us stand out?

Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429

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Clothing Consignment Tips

clothing consignment

clothing consignmentWe all are guilty of buying clothing that we “will fit into someday” or “will have the occasion to wear someday”. These particular articles of clothing seem to be the ones that are hardest to let go of. After all, we paid good money for it and never, or hardly ever wore it! And maybe, just maybe, we might fit into it, or have the occasion to wear it…someday…maybe?

Well, if you’re reluctant to let go to of that never, or seldom worn item, we have a solution for you….consign it! By consigning clothing you are at least getting back a portion of what you paid for it, so it’s not a total loss.

Also, it’s easy!. You just drop off your clothing and they do they selling for you!

Here are some clothing consignment tips:
Consignment shops all have their own guidelines as to what they will and will not accept, but here are a few general rules.
It must be in current fashion (within the last year or two)
It must be in new or like-new condition and clean- no pills, stains, wear, tears, etc.
Clothing with the tags still on it will sell for more $.
It must be appropriate for the current season, or upcoming season (consignment shops will not accept winter clothes in the spring, summer clothes in the fall, etc.).
Clothing must be on hangers
Some places will require an appointment and/or a minimum number of items.

What you’ll get:
Usually 40-50% of the sale price.
Some shops will offer more if you accept in the form of a store credit. Be careful here! This is a slippery slope to accumulating more unwanted clothing. Just take the money and run!

So, go ahead, let those clothes go, make a little money and free up space in your closet for things you love and wear!

What makes us stand out?

Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429

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Organizing Success Story – Boston School Teacher Office

Before and After School Teacher Office

Before and After School Teacher OfficeOver the summer, the Organizing Boston team was called into a Boston school to help organize their teachers’ shared office space. 15 school teachers shared a large, open office space. Desks were piled with paper, book shelves were falling apart, the walls were painted an awful, bright yellow. The room was “a disaster zone”, as one teacher put it.

So, we transformed this disaster zone into a functional and organized room where the teachers could be focused and productive.

Step 1: De-clutter
We worked one on one with each teacher to go through their piles and get rid of all the old paper and trash and pack up the items they were keeping to be put aside while the space was transformed. We had the old furniture hauled away and donated.

Step 2: Measure and plan
We took measurements and created a layout and plan to fit enough desks, file cabinets and shelving to organize all the teachers and their school supplies.

Step 3: Prepare the space
The maintenance team at the school painted the walls of the school teacher office a pleasant color and replaced the carpets.

Step 4: Install shelving and desks
With help from the Container Store’s installation services, we installed shelving on the concrete walls and assembled 15 desks, file cabinets and elfa drawer systems from the Container Store. We even included drawer organizers, so the teachers could organize their school supplies.

Step 5: Unpack and organize
The teachers returned with their pared-down boxes of school supplies and we worked with each of them again to set up a system using their awesome new drawers, desks and organizers.

Organizing Success! The school teachers have been able to maintain their orderly office space and have reported better focus and efficiency thanks to organization!Before and After School Teacher Office Organization

 

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Phone: 617-744-1429

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Be Prepared for Back to School!

organization-labels

organization-labelsThis year, be prepared for the last minute project and homework panics by keeping a well-stocked school supplies emergency kit. This kit should contain school supplies your child might lose or run out of on a regular basis as well as the items that are usually needed for special projects.

Depending on your kids’ ages, your kit might contain basic arts and crafts supplies, school supplies like pencils, paper, an extra notebook, and computer/printer supplies such as ink/toner, paper, and a memory stick. Your kids’ teachers should be able to steer you in the right direction if they haven’t already provided a list of must-haves.

If you have more than one child, you can keep one kit stocked for everyone or make separate kits, especially if there is a large age difference. A clear bin with a lid and handle makes a good container. You might need a smaller container or pouch within the kit to hold small items like pencils and scissors.

What makes us stand out?

Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429

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Product Pick: Brother Labeler

brother labeler

brother labelerOur product pick this week is the Brother Personal Labeler. We have been using these for years now and find them to be the best labeler out there.

Why? Well, here are our favorite features:
- Lightweight – takes AAA batteries instead of AA
- Doesn’t print a lot of extra tape with your label – which is a waste of $!
- And speaking of label tape – it’s the least expensive size out there.
- Compact and easy to hold.
- Easy to type – the buttons are big enough for thumbs!

Get the best price on Amazon!

What makes us stand out?

Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429

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Five Tips for Back to School Success!

Back to school

Back to schoolHere are five back to school organizing tips to help you get a handle on things before the homework starts piling up.

Hint: For a smooth transition, make sure the whole family is on board. Kids are full of ideas, so let them to participate in the organizing plan.

1. Smooth Landings – Create a landing zone with hooks for backpacks and jackets, space for shoes and equipment and in/out bins or wall pockets for the flood of papers that need attention.

2. Make Space – Go through your children’s clothes and extra-curricular gear and purge anything they’ve outgrown. Donate what you can and replace only what your child needs this season.

3. Don’t Fall Behind – If you haven’t done so already, go through schoolwork, art projects and papers from the prior year and clear out anything that is no longer wanted or needed. Put items to save in a labeled bin. Better yet, go digital and scan or take photos of papers and projects.

4. Color Coordinate – Kids love color, so use it in their organizing systems! Color-coded storage areas, drawers, and other containers are a creative way of “labeling” your kid’s storage system.

5. Make it Official - A label on something makes it stick. Once a bin has a label that says “HOMEWORK” or a cubby is labeled ”SPORTS GEAR,” those become the official homes for those items. If school and activity supplies have labeled homes, there’s a much better chance everyone can find what they need, when they need it!

What makes us stand out?

Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429

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Destination Organization

destination organization

No doubt about it – organizing and decluttering have become household words – you say them and pretty much everybody knows what you’re talking about. But that doesn’t mean that everyone’s definition of “organized” is or should be the same. We all know that it’s easier to get somewhere when you know where you’re headed. So whether you’re on your own organizing journey or trying to help someone else, it helps to step back and think about your organizing vocabulary, most importantly, what it means to you to “be organized.”

When we organize, we create order and structure by putting some thought into how to set up our world – our space, our time, and our behaviors. When we organize, we get our “stuff” together, so we can be more efficient and intentional in the way we conduct our lives, leaving more space and time for what we enjoy most.

Being organized means something different to everyone. And it’s important to remember that people have different levels of organization that make them happy as well as different levels of tolerance for the amount of stuff in their space. Here are some examples of what organized means to different people:

  • Feeling in control of your space, possessions and time
  • Maintaining simple, streamlined and clean spaces
  • Having a place for everything and everything in its place
  • Making time to relax and pursue hobbies beyond the daily “work” of life
  • Meeting deadlines and getting where you need to be on time
  • Feeling calm, cool and collected

Clutter is generally anything that stands between you and your definition of organized. Clutter is a symptom of being less than optimally organized. It can be physical or mental, but we most often talk about physical clutter. Physical clutter is stuff you don’t need, use or love. Mental clutter is anything in your head that keeps you from moving toward your organized state. Going through the process of organizing your physical stuff will help you identify and work on your mental clutter too.

Decluttering, also known as purging or tossing, is the process of getting rid of items you don’t need, use or love. It is one piece of the organizing puzzle that can and should occur during all phases of the organizing process.

So whether you love piles or clear surfaces, getting comfortable with your destination organization will help you know what’s working for you and what you can work on to get there!

What makes us stand out?

Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation:

Phone: 617-744-1429