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The Home and Office Organizing Blog
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Organizing Photos

Can't keep up with sending out your holiday cards, birthday cards or sharing photos? Check out Smilebox.com from Hallmark. I think its the best site for creating and sharing your memorable moments. It has templates for every occasion, just upload pics and send. Not finished with your card? Just save it and Hallmark reminds you about your project. So start your Christmas letter now and add throughout the year! Its fun, its easy and a great way to keep your pictures organized. Of course my favorite part about Smilebox...its free!

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Clean and Organize Each Season

Warm weather is on its way and although its still cold here is Chicago the heavy down jackets, snowsuits and Uggs may be done for the season.
A little stretch of weather change its a great time to organize and reassess your outerwear. Its not only the perfect time to decide on what to keep and what to get rid of but to also start getting everything cleaned up and ready for next year. Take your heavier coats to the dry cleaner and shoes to the shoes repair. Then start washing some of your delicate items. By the time you get these items cleaned and repaired it might be time to actually store them for next winter.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Organize Your Online Music

Spending too much time changing songs on your Ipod or cd's just to hear one musical genre? How about picking one song you like and have an website find similar music for you? Now thats was I call organized listening! Check out the website Pandora.com to stream music to your PC. The best part about Pandora...its free!

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Monday, April 13, 2009
Improved Cell Phone Photos

Capturing precious moments is priceless! I swore that I would never use my blackberry camera to take pictures because it was not the best quality and the prints never really turned out. But sometimes you don't have a camera available and your cell phone camera is the only option. Every once in a while I would get a great shot but still wonder how much better it would have been with a "real" camera.
Just recently I took some shots and was so upset at the quality.
I started to do some investigating and thought "I wonder if the lens is dirty"? I got out the trusty q-tip and wiped out the lens.
After the cleaning the picture quality was so much better!
I am happy to say I will continue to use my cell phone to take pictures but keeping the lens clean is a must! If you keep your phone in your bag or your purse you might want to pack a few extra q-tips to keep the lens clean. Another option is to keep you phone in a case.
Now if the blackberry could only do action shots!

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Monday, March 30, 2009
Save Energy, Save Money And Get Organized One Computer At A Time!

At the end of the day, take a few minutes to organize your office space. Put everything away, make a "To-Do" list and please turn off your computer! Computers eat up a lot of energy when left on over night. Try about 2.8 billion a year and that is just the U.S! Computers that are kept on overnight and on the weekends omit 20 million tons of carbon dioxide. Yikes!
So please, start a new office organizing habit this spring and turn off your computer at the end of each day. Your computer will run better, you will save some money and get organized at the same time.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008
It Pays To Recycle Your Computer

If getting money back on your cellphone wasn't enough, how about getting money for your old computer! Check out myboneyard.com an electronics recycling company where they recycle old electronics the eco-friendly way. Follow their simple steps by entering your computer information to find out how much your computer is worth. Send it in with free shipping and keep track of your submission status online.

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Monday, June 09, 2008
Receipt Madness

Need some help with all those receipts cluttering your life? Check out Shoeboxed where you mail in your receipts and they scan all of your paper making it easier to organize your finances. Information can be uploaded to a spreadsheet or exported to Quicken. This service can be used for your home or business.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Paper Collections

We love to have paper supplies on hand especially when we are in a hurry. Say your on the phone and just need something to write a phone number on? Where do you keep this paper? If you in the kitchen, living room or office its nice to have a pad of paper accessible. In a drawer, on the desk or somewhere in your kitchen. But you just need one per room. Try not to over stuff your drawers, desktop or counter space with an overstock of supplies. Keep a storage bin full of post it notes, 3 ring binders and other paper products in one place so you can access when you need.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Crayon Crazy

The kids are getting out of school soon. But before they unload their book bags full of crayons, paper, rulers and calculators find out what they need for next years supplies. Recycle this years supplies for next year by storing them for the summer away from the other art supplies. You may have to buy a few things things this fall but you will not end up with duplicate items that barely get used. You save money in the process and shopping time.

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Monday, May 26, 2008
Hang It Up

Save a little space in your closet by getting rid of used hangers. Go through your closet and pull all of the empty hangers. Now take a look at the pile. What do you have? A lot of wire hangers, trouser hangers or clip hangers that you got with your last department store purchase? If you are not using these in your wardrobe let them go. Wire hangers from the dry cleaner can be recycled so bring them back on your next trip. Those small trouser hangers are of no use to you if you fold your pants over a hanger. Finally those freebie plastic hangers from the department store should never come home with you if you are not using.

Tip* If you have some items in your closet like a silky blouse that falls off the hanger, get a specialty hanger with a non slip surface that keeps clothes on the hanger.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008
Organizing Your Dining Life

We all love our grandma's china and now that you've inherited it you get to keep it forever. The problem is it never gets used and its taking up a lot of space in your already cramped dining room. Some of the reasons why the china never gets used is because you already have a set of china and you don't have a lot of formal dinner parties of 12. If the dishes are taking up too much space consider packing them up in padded china storage bins and moving it out of your immediate storage space where they are not going to get damaged.
If you would like to occasionlly enjoy a cup of tea in from this beautiful set keep a tea cup and saucer out so you can see it, use it and remember grandma.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008
Mechanical vs. No 2 Pencils

Here's a quick tip on keeping those office supplies organized. Do you have a lot of pens and pencils in your office supply? How many pencils do you have in the collection? Do you have both No. 2 and mechanical pencils? If you dont use pencils that often and you are short on space I recommend switching mechanical pencils only. The reason for this is you dont have to sharpen the mechanical pencils and you dont have to store the extra pencil supplies like the manual sharpener or electric sharpner. Both either take up desktop space or drawer space.

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Monday, May 05, 2008
Short On Space But Need To Shred?

Sometimes we just don't have enough space for another garbage can/shredder. But you still want to organize that incoming paperwork everyday like the daily mail. So, get through those papers everyday by tossing the junk mail and shredding the other paper that might have personal information like account numbers. If you don't have a lot of space try a handheld shredder you hold over the trash.
Check out Innodesk handheld shredder that cuts 3 folded sheets of paper including the envelope. Its so small you can then store the in a drawer.

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Friday, May 02, 2008
Tame The Cords

When was the last time you went through that box of electronic parts and cords? If everything in your home is working, everyone has their phone and ipod charger what is happening with that box of miscellaneous wires etc? Time to take stock, get rid of all the unnecessary items and organize those electronics!
If you find 5 pieces of a digital camera put them all in a plastic Ziploc bag and write "digital camera", same goes for the cell phone accessories like car charger, ear buds and usb cord. If you can separate the electronics from the computer stuff that would be great! But if you don't have extra room, keep them all in the same storage bin.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008
Saving Time And Money...Shop Online!

We are all busy these days, its no secret and we have a million things to do. Plus we also want to save time and money. Make sure you organize your work, food and fun essentials to help you get through the week.

#1 Work - Don't get stuck without a full printer cartridge just before you have to print 50 pages of a presentation in color. As soon as you printer tells you your running low on ink, order a replacement online and have it shipped. You will be happy to have it when needed. You can also stock up at office supply stores like office max.

#2 Food - Online grocery shopping is the best time saver around! You can set up your delivery date and time, its saves all of your shopping lists and you can shop by price. We don't have to spend the time shopping, driving to and from the store, packing and unpacking the car. I can shop in 5 minutes and its done!

#3 Fun - Subscribe to online movie rental like Netflicks - Put as many movies as you wish on your list and you don't have to get stuck without a movie for the weekday or weekend. When a new movie comes out to the theater add it to the list. Sometimes we forgot to see them at the theater and before you know it its on video.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Save Money By Eating Seasonal

Groceries are getting pretty pricey these days so save a little money by eating what is in season. For a list of fruits and veggies check out the Food Networks guide to seasonal fruits and veggies
Before you head to the grocery store, get organized in your kitchen by making a list of everything in your pantry so you know what staples you have on hand and what needs to be replaced. This can be a big money and time saver.
With your list of seasonal fruits and veggies along with your staples on hand check out the food network, allrecipes or epicurious websites for recipes.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Home Office Organizing For The Spring

Here are a few tips on organizing your home office and other papers for spring.
  • Spring also means tax returns, so it's a good time to set up your 2008 tax file. After completing your 2007 taxes, make a list of the documents you submitted. Include a copy of this list for your 2008 taxes as a guide.

  • Lighten your paper load in other areas. Toss magazines and catalogs, old newspapers from the fall and winter. Rule of thumb: only keep magazines from the current season.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Organizing Your Bedroom and Linen Closets

Here are a few more spring organizing tips for your linen closet and bedroom.
  • Replace flannel sheets and heavy down comforter with cottons and a lighter weight bedspreads.

  • Break out the beach towels!

  • Match up your bedding sets, pillow cases, fitted and flat sheets. Get rid of any ripped or un matching items.

  • Store winter comforters in plastic bins or space bags

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Monday, April 07, 2008
Organizing Your Closets For Spring

Spring is finally here! Here are a few recommendations on getting started on your spring organizing

Closets

  1. Change out your wardrobe – Put away your heavier fabrics such as velvets, heavy wool, and winter coats to make room for spring and summer clothing - BUT It still gets cold in Chicago, so keep one warm jacket handy until Memorial Day.

  2. Before storing clothes - go through items and purge any that did not get much use the last season.

  3. Toss out mate less gloves and socks.

  • Storage Tip: Clean clothes before storing - dirty clothes are more likely to get moth damage or become permanently stained.

  • Storage Tip: Use plastic bins to make it easy to see the contents and space bags are a great way to get more into a little space.

  • Storage Tip: As you sort through clothes, make a note of items you’ll need for next winter, such as gloves or a jacket. Then use the list to hit end-of-season sales. If you can’t find what you need, slip the list in with your stored clothes, so you’ll know what to look for next year.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Spring Cleaning Tools

We all love spring especially after a long winter. There is nothing more exiting than opening up the windows to let in the fresh air to welcome the spring. One of the most common tasks during this time of year is "Spring Cleaning". Nobody wants to spend a lot of time doing this so I recommend quick clean ups using Clorox wipes. If you are looking for some tips on how to clean rooms in your home, establish routines or download a checklist check out the site tipshealtyhome.com

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Sunday, November 25, 2007
Favorite Holiday Decorations

Do you have a few absolute favorite holiday decorations in your collection? Maybe a few pieces of tinsel, strands of beads or figurines handed down from Auntie Liz? This is the year to decide which holiday decorations are going to make the cut into your official holiday decoration supply. Yes! This is the year to purge out the so-so decorations that your just not that into anymore. If your decorations don’t match the theme of your other decorations, don't fit anywhere or you haven't displayed them in years its time for them to go. Crushed, cracked and broken items are a no brainer for the trash can.
As you start decorating this year really think about each and every piece and ask yourself if you LOVE it. You want to surround yourself with items that make you happy. Donate the decorations that you don’t want to someone who would enjoy them a little more than you.

Have fun decorating.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007
Cleaning The Supplies

I saw an episode of friends where Monica was vacuuming the outside of her vacuum cleaner with a dust buster and it got me thinking “When was the last time you cleaned your cleaning supplies”? Sounds strange but how long have you had those scrub brushes or sponges? Have you ever used a broom out in the garage and then back inside on your kitchen floor? Or when was the last time you changed the filter in your vacuum or even the bag! There are so my cleaning tools we assume are keeping our home clean but you might want to take a closer look – “Do you need cleaner, cleaning supplies”?

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Thursday, May 03, 2007
You might be a professional organizer if...

1. you are on a first name basis with both the morning and night shift at the Container Store.

2. you type 80 words per minute on a label machine.

3. you can tell at a glance if your husband tried to swipe a Rubbermaid from your stash.

4. you can actually pack 10 pounds of stuff in a 5 pound bag and make it look like there is room for more.

5. you consider moving into 100 sq ft condo because you think the challenge would be fun.

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Monday, April 30, 2007
Getting organized a new national pastime - CNN.com

Getting organized a new national pastime - CNN.com

Here is a wonderful article on CNN by Manav Tanneeru that discusses theories from Barry Iszak the president of the National Association of Professional Organizers as well as Peter Walsh, the host of TLC's Clean Sweep. Theories range from our nation's need to gain better control of our lives post 9/11, super consumerism, and more women joining the work force that skipped lessons in maintaining the home. In reality the growth of the organizing industry is probably a combination of all the above changes in the United States plus fewer barriers to entry for small businesses and advances in technology such as cell phones, online advertising and easy to use business software. The combination of a changes in culture that increase demand for organizing services and products with technology helping to keep overhead down in servicing that demand is a sign that the organizing industry is set for strong growth. In addition TV shows like that of Peter Walsh's Clean Sweep are helping to show the benefits of hiring outside professionals. Every success story helps to soldify the profession of organizing and make it a valuable service to home owners and businesses looking to get more out of their spaces, save time, reduce stress and upgrade the appearance of their environement.

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