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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 recommending again and again:

Clip on labels for pantry shelves

If you want your family to be able to help you put groceries away, it’s essential that they know which shelf things live on. These clip-on shelf labels do the trick quite nicely. Label your shelves with categories such as Snacks, Desserts, Beverages, etc. and make your pantry look like an extension of your grocery store. $59.95 for 100 on Amazon.

Bamboo Drawer Organizers

These come in a package of 2 from The Container Store for $19.99. What I like about them is their versatility — because they are spring-loaded strips of bamboo instead of a rigid box, you can adjust the size of the compartment to fit any size of utensil. It also makes it easier to clean out your drawer when it inevitably gets filled with crumbs.

Stair-step risers for spices

When your spices come in containers of all shapes and sizes, we have found that the best way to store them is on a stair step riser. Make sure your cabinet is high enough that you can put your tall spices on the back row. We like to go the extra mile and alphabetize them on the rows, making it even easier to find them. $14.99 @  The Container Store.

Lid organizer

Pots and pans lids loose in a drawer are so irritating! You hear a crash of cymbals every time you try to make spaghetti. End the noise with this lid organizer. Just be sure to measure the height of your tallest lid to make sure it will fit in the organizer in your cabinet. A steal at $10.99 @ Storables.

Clear bins for grouping small, similar items together

Linus Fridge ‘n’ Pantry Bins come in a variety of sizes and are perfect for grouping things together on your pantry shelves. On the baking shelf, we like to put sprinkles, toppings, candles and cupcake liners in here. They are also useful for corralling spice/mix packets or loose bags of tea. $8.99-19.49 @ Storables. 

Plastic bag organizer

No need for anything fancy here. This $1.99 plastic bag organizer from Ikea does the trick quite nicely! No more plastic bags taking up valuable real estate in a drawer!

Like this post? Then like our Facebook page. In need of home organizing or unpacking 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.

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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 family photos is a lot of work — but one that pays off with such satisfying rewards! It’s a joy to be able to look through a visual history of your ancestors. It’s a relief to not live with the dusty boxes of unsorted pictures and the guilt that goes with that. And other family members are usually quite grateful to be able to turn to one family member for copies of photos and answers to their family history questions.

I highly encourage you to start the process of getting your photos organized. And if the magnitude of this project overwhelms you, please reach out to us at reSPACEd. We love sorting family memorabilia and can even help you create a digital family tree. Happy Organizing!

Like this post? Then like our Facebook page. In need of home organizing or unpacking 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.

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Christmas is over, which means it’s time for the worst part of the holidays for most people: taking down and figuring out what to do with all of the holiday decor. You can always call in one of our organizers to take down and pack up your Christmas decor for you. Click here for more info about that service. If you choose to do it yourself, here is a round-up of recycling, composting and donation options for people living in Portland, Oregon.

Live Christmas Trees

Remove all tinsel, lights, ornaments, wire, nails, stands and other materials that cannot be composted. Trees covered in fake snow are not accepted for composting and must be disposed of as garbage.

Curbside Collection: Tree Pieces

  • Cut the trunk and branches into pieces less than 36 inches long and 4 inches in diameter.
  • Ensure that any tree pieces in your green compost roll cart do not poke above the lip of the cart. Weight limit is 135 pounds.
  • Tie bundles securely with string or twine. Weight limit is 45 pounds.
  • Put extra bundles or cans at the curb on your collection day for an additional $3.75 each.

Curbside Collection: Whole Trees

  • Put trees that are under 6 feet next to your green compost roll cart at the curb on collection day for $4.85.
  • Cut trees down to 6 feet to ensure driver safety.

Nonprofit Pick-up: Whole Trees

Fake Christmas Trees, wreaths, ornaments and other holiday decor

Many of the usual sources for donating fake Christmas trees do not accept these kinds of donations immediately after Christmas, because they are unable to store large holiday decorations for most of the year. Your best bet might be to donate it to Goodwill or schedule a service such as Pickup Please to come pick it up for free.

Wrapping paper, ribbons, bows 

Place paper items in the blue recycling cart — cardboard and gift boxes, wrapping and tissue paper, catalogs, greeting cards and envelopes. Bows, ribbon and foil-lined items belong in the garbage. You can also donate wrapping paper, ribbons and bows to non-profits such as SCRAP in SW Portland or Schoolhouse Supplies in NE Portland. Call ahead to make sure they are still accepting Christmas/holiday gift wrap.

Poinsettia Plants

Have a worn-out poinsettia plant? Bring it to any Portland Nursery location during the month of January to receive a $5 coupon good for a same day purchase at one of their stores. Best of all, they accept poinsettias purchased anywhere. 

Strings of Christmas lights

You can recycle these at any Far West Recycling Center for $5. Or if you don’t want to pay a fee, take them to Metro Metals NW on NE Columbia Blvd or to Free Geek on SE 10th Street for free.

Many thanks to the City of Portland website for most of this information.

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5 myths about working with a home organizer

December 11, 2017
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Working with a home organizer can be a positive, life-changing experience! But some people are reluctant to reach out for help because of misinformation about what professional organizers do. Here are 5 myths — and 5 truths! — about working with a home organizer. MYTH: Home organizers will make you throw things away. TRUTH: We […]

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30 Christmas gifts to give kids that are not toys!

December 4, 2017

I first wrote this list 5 years ago when my son was 7. He’s turning 12 soon (yikes! Where does the time go?) and I still find myself returning to this list each year, but now it’s to find something to give him other than Legos. Don’t get me wrong –we love Legos. It’s just […]

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How our home organizers work with clients with ADHD

November 29, 2017

Many of our organizing clients (about 65%) have told us they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), so our organizers have developed strategies over the years to make organizing sessions easier on these clients. Here are just a few of the tools that we use: 1. We schedule shorter organizing sessions instead of long sessions […]

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Home organizers organize tiny house in San Francisco homeless program

November 22, 2017

I was searching for a good Thanksgiving-related story to share with you on this blog when I came across this incredible act of kindness two organizers showed a houseless woman living in a tiny house down in San Francisco. These are fellow organizers in the same professional association I belong to. Here’s the story: Several […]

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5 ways reSPACEd organizers make home organizing fun (or at least more tolerable!)

November 15, 2017

Let’s face it: a dusty, musty room heaped high with long-forgotten clutter is usually a bit of a kill-joy. It’s so much easier to just close the door and tell ourselves that we will “get to it later.” But if you find that “later” never seems to come, then it’s time to find ways to […]

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This home organizer’s secret to getting her son to let go of his old toys

November 13, 2017

Many of you who have known me over the years know that one of my toughest organizing clients has been my own son. For a while there, the speed at which he was getting new toys, books, clothes and games far outpaced the speed at which old, neglected toys were leaving the house. That is […]

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Self-Test: Is your clutter out of control?

November 3, 2017

Boy, I love a good a self-test! This particular test is not one you will find in Cosmo magazine anytime soon. Instead, this test from ADDitude magazine helps you figure out if your clutter has become a Significant Problem (this is definitely not a test to determine a medical diagnosis, such as Hoarding Disorder. Instead […]

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