Inside the Life of an Organizer

I’ve been sending out this newsletter for the past five years and decided it was time for me to get up close and personal with you.

If you have been reading my newsletters for awhile you know that I always post the latest before and after photos of our most recent work.

This month I’d like to share with you some photos of some of the areas in my home.


Yes, it’s a bit over-the-top but, as most of you already know, I do have OCD (which is the acronym for Organizing Concepts and Designs). While I don’t expect that you should keep your closets and cupboards this way, I do. I can’t help it. It’s what I do, it’s who I am!

When I work with you (my clients) I don’t pass judgment on you so I’m hoping that you will extend the same courtesy. However, if you can laugh at this insanity, go for it! I’m good with that. Laughter is a good thing.

On a serious note, here are five tips to keep your s**t together!

1. Do a little bit every day. Something, anything will suffice.

2. If you take something out, put it back in it’s proper place.

3. If it doesn’t have a home, find one or donate it or toss it.

4. Keep like with like (glasses with glasses, cups with cups… you get the idea)

5. If you buy something new, get rid of something old. One in, one out. There’s just so much space.

How to organize your closet

Above is a video that I did for to show you how to organize your closet. For those of you who’d rather read about it than watch the video, here’s some tips on “How to Organize Your Closet.”

  1. The first step is make sure that you have the right supplies on hand before you begin. You will need:
    1. Sturdy bags for donations or for those items that need to go to the dry cleaner.
    2. A full-length mirror so that you can try things on in the process to help you decide between “toss” and “keep.”
    3. A basket for loose change, papers, rubber bands, hair clips, and other things that you might find in the process. You don’t want to have to stop to put away these small items so just put them aside for now into your catch-all basket.
  2. You might also want to consider investing in:
    1. Over-the door organizers
    2. Stackable shoe bins
    3. Drawer dividers
    4. Under-the-bed bins. (You can store some of the rarely worn or used items that were in your closet under your bed and free up some valuable space).
  3. The next step is to empty the closet completely. Yes, completely. Everything out! It is best to have a clear, clean space to plan and visualize how you’re going to re-organize your closet.
  4. Next, you need to decide what to keep and what to toss or donate. To help you decide, ask yourself these three questions: Do you love it? Do you wear it? Does it fit?
    1. If the answer is YES to all 3 questions, then you can place those items into the pile of things to keep.
    2. If it doesn’t fit, put it directly into the donation pile along with other items that you no longer like or want.
    3. If you have haven’t worn something for more than 6 months, it is probably time to toss it, sell it, or donate it.
  5. The next step is to sort through everything and group like items together. For example, put all jackets together, all socks together, dresses with dresses, etc.
  6. Now you’re ready to put everything back. The important thing to remember is that you should put things back in a way that makes sense to you. This helps you utilize all of your available space and is easy to maintain. For example, you might want to reserve the front and middle of your closet for clothes you wear most often, making sure your work clothes are easily accessible. Lesser-worn items like formal dresses may be put towards the back of your closet, out-of-season clothes towards the back or on the upper shelves.
  7. Finally, I recommend completely re-organizing your closet once a year. Or, you can break it into smaller pieces by organizing seasonally. If you choose to reorganize once a year, choose a date that you’ll remember and make a habit of sticking to it the same time each year. If you choose to do it by season, the first day of each season should make things easy to remember!

Remember to keep it simple!

Call us today at (310) 560-5060 to help you get your closet organized.

How to organize a junk drawer

Above is a video that I did for to show you how to organize a junk drawer. For those of you who’d rather read about it than watch the video, here’s some tips on how to organize a junk drawer.

Even though it is supposed to be a “junk drawer,” you still should be able to locate items that you keep in there. Believe it or not, your junk drawer can still be “somewhat” organized!

  1. The first thing I like to do in any area that I’m going to work on is to empty it out completely. Yep, I’ve said it before and I’m sayin’ it again – empty it out, completely.
  2. Then, measure the interior of the drawer and decide which organizing solutions you can use to divide your items. I like using the trays that most people use for their cutlery. However, drawer dividers will do just fine. I also use the boxes that checks come in to help keep the smaller items contained.
  3. Begin by purging and tossing any broken items or items that you no longer use. Then put aside anything that doesn’t belong in the “junk drawer” and can be put somewhere else in the house that makes better sense. For example, if you find your checks in there, perhaps you can put them back in your office where you pay your bills. The great thing about junk drawers is that everyone has their own unique junk. However, remember that if you haven’t used it in a few months, it’s just wasting space.
  4. Next, start placing all like items together by either category or function. For example, all small tools should be together in one place, all pens and pencils should be together, all small pieces that need to be glued or fixed should be in one place (or maybe even thrown away if you can bring yourself to part with them). You get the idea.
  5. Here comes the good part! Put everything back using the trays or dividers by grouping like items together. Even if the contents of your drawer is an array of odd items, the key to an organized drawer is to be able to see what’s in there quickly so that you can grab it when you need it.
  6. Upkeep is crucial so go through your junk drawer on a regular basis. If you do, you will always have a general idea of its contents.

Remember to keep it simple!

Call us at (310) 560-5060 to schedule a ½ hour consultation.

How to organize a bathroom vanity

Before you start, make sure to have all of your supplies ready. There are so many great organizing products on the market, however, I like to try and use items that I already have. For example, you can use a lazy susan to make things easier to reach under the sink. You can hang a hook inside the cabinet door to hang a hair blower, use empty bottles to corral small items, store toilet paper in a basket, or use a bucket to corral cleaning supplies under the sink. Of course, bins are always a good option as well but make sure they’re clear so you can see the content. If you’re handy, you might even consider installing a roll-out storage shelf under the sink.

  1. The first step is to empty everything out completely. Yes, completely. Everything out! This is important as it allows you to see everything that was in there and determine what should and shouldn’t go back there.
  2. Next step is to sort everything into categories keeping like item together: all lotions together, all hair products together, all grooming supplies together. You get the idea.
  3. Now go through everything and purge! Toss out any empty bottles, expired lotions and, of course, anything that you no longer need or use.
  4. Utilize your organizing products to corral the items that are similar (see #2 above).
  5. Now for the fun part, at least for me, is putting everything back in an organized way so that you can see what’s there and get to it easily.

Remember to keep it simple!

Call us at (310) 560-5060 to schedule a ½ hour consultation.

How to organize a linen closet

The first thing to do in any area that you’re going to work on is to empty it completely. Yes, completely. Everything out. This is important as this allows you to see everything that was initially in there and determine what should and should not go back there.

Once everything has been emptied out of the closet, sort everything into categories. For example: all the towels in one place, all the sheets in another, etc.

Now it’s time to purge. This means that anything either ripped or stained or no longer in use needs to be thrown away. If you still have twin sheets but no longer have a twin bed, it’s time for those linens to become rags or be donated. By the way, a great place to donate used linens is pet shelters.

The fun part is putting everything back in an organized way so that you can see what’s there and get to it easily. Before you start putting things back, take a minute to think about how you want this space to look when you’re done. There are two ways that I recommend organizing linens:

  • One is to tie a ribbon around a set of sheets so that they’re all in one neat package.
  • The other way is to put a set of sheets into one pillow case so the entire set is in one easily accessible bundle.

I suggest keeping two sets of linens for each bedroom so that there’s always another clean set. You can also change linens without having to do laundry right away.

As for the towels, there are several ways you can organize them.

  • If there are several people in the house, I recommend assigning each member of the family a certain color so that everyone knows which towels are theirs. If this sounds right for your family, assemble sets so that each one includes two towels, one hand towel and a washcloth.
  • Another way is to just put all the bath towels together, all the hand towels together, and all the washcloths together.

Put the items you don’t use frequently on the highest shelves, like your extra blankets and pillows.

Then begin putting the rest away by grouping similar items together; sheets on one shelf and towels on another.

You may want to invest in shelf dividers. Having the ability to divide blankets from duvets and comforters is a nice touch and will help make everything easier to find as well as just make everything look a lot neater.

Finally, don’t forget to label the shelves so that anyone can find what they’re looking for and put them back where they belong.

Call us at (310) 560-5060 to schedule a ½ hour consultation.

How to organize an entertainment center

You may want to consider getting some supplies for the process. I like to use pull out drawer systems, like the Elfa Systems, as they are easy to put together and provide easy access to everything.

The first thing we need to do is to empty it out completely. Yes, everything out. This is important as this allows you to see everything that was in there and you can then determine what should and should not go back there.

Now that everything is emptied it out, start to purge! Go through your old tapes, CDs, and DVDs. Toss or donate the old tapes if you no longer have a tape deck in your home or car; donate the CDs or DVDs that you no longer want or need. While you’re at it, toss the clickers from old TVs or other electronics that you no longer own.

The next step is to sort the remaining items into categories keeping similar items together. For example, keep all remotes in one place, all CDs in another, and so on.

You can now start putting everything back. The important thing to remember is to keep similar items together.

Depending on the amount of room you have, you may want to use one shelf for your CDs and the other for DVDs so that you can find them easily. You might even consider breaking it down further by alphabetizing your CDs by the last name of the artist or sorting them into musical categories.

Finally, remember to label the shelves or drawers.

The most important thing is that it should be organized in a way that is easy for you and makes sense to you. Remember to keep it simple!