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I love organizing kitchens, so I was thrilled to be able to contribute organizing ideas for Food Network’s article, “13 Kitchen Organizing Mistakes and How to Fix ’em!” Here are the ideas I contributed:

The mistake: It’s always a bit dodgy to eat the leftovers in the fridge because no one can remember how old they are.

The fix: Use a dry-erase marker to write the date on your clear glass leftover containers — you don’t even need tape. The marker washes right off in the dishwasher, and you can get a magnetic marker that sticks to the fridge. “Our family has been writing on clear glass leftover containers for the last year, and it’s been great,” says MaryJo Monroe of Portland, Oregon-based reSPACEd. “The dry, cold atmosphere of the fridge sets the ink, making it harder to smear without deliberate force.” And glass containers are also handy because they save you the step of transferring leftovers onto a plate for reheating.

The mistake: Oils and vinegars drip into your cupboards, making shelves a slippery, sticky mess.

The fix: A shallow plastic tray, plate or cutting board inside your cabinet can hold all those messy bottles, and you can easily run it through the dishwasher when things get too greasy, says Monroe. Just be sure to set it up away from the stove or the top of the refrigerator — the warmth radiating from your appliances can quickly turn oils rancid.

Want to read the whole article (it includes lots of lovely pictures!) Click here. 

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9 pretty darn awesome reasons to get organized

by respaced on February 19, 2018

Why get organized? Why invest the time, energy and money into home organization? Here are the reasons I hear the most from clients, plus some of my own observations.

So you can find things.

The more stuff you have, the more hiding places you have in which to lose things. So it stands to reason that if you own less stuff and organize what you have, that lost notebook or mate to a shoe will suddenly appear.

So you can improve your mood.

Studies have found that living in a cluttered environment negatively affects our mood and elevates our levels of stress hormones. It’s depressing to look at all of our clutter!

So you can have visitors over.

I hear this one a lot from clients. They want friends to be able to drop by at a moment’s notice without feeling a sense of panic about what they might see in your home. Some of my clients haven’t had family come visit them in years due to the client’s shame about their clutter. It’s not good to spend all of your time in isolation, so let’s you get organized so you feel comfortable having guests visit.

So you can end strife with your spouse or children about clutter.

This one of the most common reasons clients reach out to me: They are tired of having their spouse nag at them about their clutter. And the clutter can be a big source of squabbles about whose stuff is sitting around, who is shopping too much, who lost the TV remote, who never cleans up after themselves. Just getting started on an organizing project — making a good faith effort — can improve your relationship with family at home.

So you can move safely around your house — and escape in a fire if necessary.

It’s dangerous to get up in the middle of the night and trip over a handbag or pair of shoes left on the floor. In some cases, clutter can turn into hoarding, and the home can be too packed with stuff to escape from easily in an emergency. Too much clutter also poses a safety risk to first responders, who have to navigate through all of your stuff to reach you.

So you can feel more peaceful in your home and relax.

Many people report that they can’t relax in a cluttered house. It’s especially hard to relax when piles of unopened dishes, un-put-away Christmas presents, and unwashed dishes are staring you in the face. Your home should be your refuge from the world, so let’s put some organizing systems into place in order to make it that refuge you deserve.

So you have space to engage in hobbies, games or activities.

If all of your flat surfaces are filled up with stuff, then there’s no room to work on your woodworking project or cut out fabric for a new set of curtains. If the floor space is ankle-deep with toys, then there’s no room for the kids to play. Let’s clear some space so you have room to do the things you love best!

So you can be aware of what you own and stop over-buying.

If you have a closet crammed with clothes, you might find it hard to remember every clothing item you own, making you more likely to unwittingly buy something nearly identical to what you already own. Oftentimes when I work with clients, they say, “I forgot I had this!” as we go through their closet or garage. Living with less means it’s easier to see what you own, so you don’t inadvertently buy it again at the store.

So you can live in a beautiful home.

Most people want to eat, sleep and live in a beautiful environment. Just one look at all of the home magazines in the grocery store check-out aisle makes that obvious. So let’s make a beautiful home for you by clearing out the clutter. Everybody deserves to live in a lovely home. Ready to get started?

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Want to know a secret? My favorite room to organize is a playroom! I like organizing any space in a house, but playrooms hold a special place in my heart because they are where the FUN happens in the home. I find myself referring clients to the same organizing solutions over and over when we work in their kids’ playrooms or bedrooms, so I thought I would share them with you here:

Wire hamper for storing stuffed animals. Because your child is going to insist that his or her stuffed animals have breathing room (sigh …). I like the vertical shape of this hamper, which makes it perfect for fitting into tight corners in a child’s bedroom. Flea Market Orange Wire Ball Bin @ Land of Nod. $39.

Cubbies for various categories of toys. Kids like to be able to see all of their toys at once, so I have found cubbies to be vastly superior for toy storage over boxes or bins with lids. Each cubby can hold a different category of toy (e.g. cars and trucks, dolls, balls, etc.) White Nantucket Stackable Storage Bin @ The Container Store. $99.

Bookcase for holding games, puzzles and Melissa and Doug puzzles. This bookcase is PERFECT for keeping games and puzzles from becoming one towering stack of shallow boxes! Store long game boxes in the top half, and place square puzzle boxes and Melissa and Doug puzzles in the bottom half. Fulton Street White Bookcase @ The Land of Nod. $599.

Treasure box. THIS is the answer to how to store all those little pinecones and eggshells and friendship bracelets and other treasures that your child loves so dearly, but seem to end up all over the house. A treasure box for their treasures! The wood is unfinished and ready for painting or staining. ArtMinds Ornate Wood Treasure Chest @ Michael’s. $12.99.

Stacking baskets. Does your child have Nerf guns? Building blocks? These plastic stacking baskets are wide enough to hold large toys such as those, yet small enough to tuck into a closet or under a window. Best of all, they are a steal at $8.99 each! Our Large Stackable Basket @ The Container Store. $8.99

Like this post? Then like our Facebook page. In need of professional organizing services in the Portland, Beaverton or Lake Oswego area for your home or office? Contact us for a low-cost assessment and get a bid on your project here.


Paper Organizing Secret: All hail the Hour of Power!

February 13, 2018

I was recently working with a client who struggled to keep her counter tops clear of paper piles. The paper mostly consisted of mail, magazines and catalogs she wanted to read, documents she needed to sign, flyers for classes she wanted to sign up for — all the usual papers that we all end up […]

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respaced featured in NW Kids Magazine

February 9, 2018

I recently wrote an article for NW Kids Magazine called “10 Tips to Help Your Family Get Organized in 2018,” and I’m really proud of how it turned out! They included one of our photos of a project we worked on earlier this year, and there was even room for a pic of my son […]

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The daily planner professional organizers love the most

January 29, 2018

I get asked a lot about how I keep track of my schedule, to-do’s and calendar. What system should I use? is a question just about all of my clients ask. The first thing I tell them is, you don’t have to go digital! Digital is just one option out of many. I personally prefer […]

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How to find a professional organizer who is right for you

January 26, 2018

Are you ready for an organizer? If so, what are you looking for? • What kind of organizing help do you need? There is a wide-range of organizing specialties. Some organizers specialize in residential or business organizing. Some organize papers while others orchestrate moves. Some organizers are generalists while others specialize in working with chronically […]

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Professional organizer tricks for getting your bathroom cabinet whipped into shape

January 23, 2018

I feel really fortunate to be featured in Prevention magazine online again, this time for an article about organizing your bathroom/medicine cabinet. When was the last time you cleaned your medicine cabinet? It’s likely been a while, huh? Well, there’s no time better than the present to get it done. Even though you’re probably not […]

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The 6 kitchen organizing products we recommend again and again

January 8, 2018

Here at reSPACEd, our organizers organize A LOT of kitchens. It’s one of our most requested organizing services. So we have learned over the years that a few key organizing products can make all the difference in getting your kitchen organized — and keeping it that way! Here are the 6 products we find ourselves […]

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reSPACEd featured in Prevention magazine article on organizing family photos

January 3, 2018

I was honored to have Prevention magazine feature a few of my organizing tips in its online article “How to Organize Your Family Photos — and Why It Will Make You Happier” this month. You can read the whole article here. If you want to see my tips specifically, scroll down to Tip #5. Organizing […]

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