August, 2012 browsing by month


Product Review: Bento box

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The bento box is another new product introduced to organizers at the 2012 NAPO Conference. I finally saw a display in Target this past week and love the versatility these boxes offer!

Simply put – the bento box has flex dividers you pull out or push back depending on what you want to store.  for instance, you could store coloring books on one side of the box and then pull out flex dividers to hold crayons in one corner and markers in another.

Box toppers, sold separately, can be used as a tray or a lid. The boxes are neutral and decorative so can be used in any room.

We are always looking or containers to hold stuff. These containers serve two purposes:  hold the stuff and organize it inside!

Bento boxes come in four sizes (sm-xl) , range in price from $9.99-$26.99, and are available at, Target, Joanne’s, fred Meyer,, and Macy’

Watch the video to see colors and possibilities.

Are You Wasting an Hour a Day?

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

One of the biggest mistakes I see when working with my organizing clients is there is not ONE place to look for a particular category of items.

Say you want to find a black Sharpie® . There are often two or three (a dozen?) places you have to look. Can you see how this would be a problem?  You waste time looking and waste money to buy a second (or third) when you can’t find the first.  Multiply this a few times and you can see why you are stressed out/ frustrated with the whole process.

That’s why organizers want to:

  1. Sort belongings by category putting like with like.
  2. Designate “action zones” and store the supplies needed to get the job done within arm’s reach. Even if you decide to work elsewhere you instantly know where to find the supplies you need.
  3. Use containers to keep everything in order and visible in the defined spot.

Some “action zones” to establish in your home along with the corresponding supplies are:

  • Entertainment – TV, stereo, DVD/VHS player, CD’s, DVD’s,  remotes
  • Dressing – clothes, accessories, shoes, jewelry
  • Mailing  –  greeting cards, envelopes, stamps, pens, packing tape, Sharpies®
  • Housecleaning – Cleansers, sponges, rags, paper towels, broom, dust pan.
  • Reading – bookshelves and books, a comfy chair and ottoman, task lighting, a throw blanket, a side table with coaster for hot drink.

Once you have established these zones you can always have “outposts” – places where you keep a duplicate supply where you use it often. Just be sure to honor your designated main supply area.

Here’s your quiz. Set a timer and try to gather these items within 5 minutes:

  1. Your DVD remote
  2. 3 Rubber bands
  3. Tooth floss
  4. A pair of matching athletic socks
  5. A ruler
  6. Windex®  or other window cleaner
  7. A drink coaster
  8. A blank birthday card
  9. The dust pan
  10. That elusive black Sharpie®  or other black marker

Did you make it? The goal is for you to know the area where that category is so it takes you less than 30 seconds to locate any item in your home.

This statistic is from a 2004 survey: “The average American burns 55 minutes a day – roughly 12 weeks a year – looking for things he knows he owns but can’t find.”1 My desire for you is to not waste your time searching when you can be doing something you love!

Sure you can email and ask what my time was. Remember I live in a 2 bedroom condo so it’s not really fair. J


1Newsweek, 6/7/04. According to a Boston Marketing firm survey in 2004.

Can Someone Use This?

Friday, August 10th, 2012

One positive result of the economic downturn in the U.S. (and around the world) is that you and I are more thoughtful about purchases. We are stopping to think, “Do I need that?”

We also are not as quick to just throw things in the trash. Often someone else can use that item, or the materials can be reclaimed and used again. More people are using these options to avoid loading up the garbage can: sell, donate and recycle.

I’ve listed a few resources in each category just to get your brain juices flowing. Choose the reuse option that resonates with you – you will be more likely to carry through with your intention that way!

[NOTE: A few of these resources are specific to the Columbus, OH area. Look for similar outlets where you are.]


SELL - Outlets that will purchase your used items.

One More Time - men’s and women’s clothing, purses, accessories

Clothes Mentor - women’s clothing and accessories

New Uses - household décor, small appliances, linens, gift items, limited furniture.

ReTag It - electronics, furniture, tools, medical gadgets, sports equipment.

Gadget Ease - electronics, photography, media, home entertainment, computers.


DONATE - Charitable giving with tax deduction.

Dress For Success - empowerment books, pro clothing, accessories, cosmetics

Salvation Army - cars, clothing, furniture, household goods,

Good Will - new or gently used items: clothing, appliances, electronics and furniture

Furniture Bank of Central Ohio - furniture, appliances


RECYCLE   Earth 911 - recycling centers by zip code

The Waste Not Center - supplies for teachers, artists

Soles4Souls - shoes




Click Here to find how you can get a discount at Macy’s AND Give the gift of 5 PAIRS of Shoes!





I’m sure you can add to this list. The Ohio Chapter of NAPO has compiled a list of Reuse and Recycle options that we organizers use with our clients. As an O4L reader, I would be happy to email you that resource.

Product Review: Organizables

Monday, August 6th, 2012

My granddaughter, Melanie, began attending an elementary school that required uniforms this year. I know she was sad that she couldn’t wear her bright colors and butterflies, but Mom – Sarah – benefits from having a set choice of clothing to prepare and no arguments. Sarah doesn’t need this product on school days, but maybe vacations? Hmmm…

Organizables® Children’s Clothes Organizer can save the headaches of last minute scrambles in the morning trying to coordinate shirts and slacks, socks and shoes. Five colorful hanging bags labeled by the day of the week hold the week’s worth of outfits, ready to put on in the morning. Planning ahead to save time and frustration works for me.

Features I love about this product:

  • Soft material folds easily to pack in a suitcase for travel
  • Hanging bags are lightweight and water repellent
  • Center zipper for easy access
  • Pockets keep shoes, socks and accessories in one place
  • Clothes stay neat, clean and wrinkle-free. Better than shoved in a drawer!

Weekday sets come in pink for girls and blue for boys, @ $34.99 per set. Weekend sets include 2 anytime bags and 2 special activities zipper bags – purple for girls and lime green for boys – @ $24.99 per set.

These would make a super gift for kids, or better yet for moms! I’m just sorry I didn’t know about the product until it was too late to help Sarah with her weekday morning crush. Maybe the weekend set?