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Organize your nightstand using adorable tins

by respaced on April 22, 2014

My nightstand has been a clutter magnet for years, probably because it is tucked into the back corner of my bedroom, and I only see it for a couple of hours every morning and night. The rest of the day, it’s out-of-sight, out-of-mind. But then I came across a cute organizing solution and decided to try it out on my nightstand. Here is my nightstand before:

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And here is my nightstand after I came across some adorable tins for $4 each at a neighborhood sidewalk sale:

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I love how tidy my nightstand looks, and the tins add such a touch of colorful interest to my room! Here is how the clutter all fits neatly into my tin (below). The taller tin just holds my box of earplugs and my reading glasses:

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I highly recommend using tins to organize the little piles of clutter that pop up in your house. A few colorful tins clustered together look great. But be warned that if you go tin-crazy and start putting them everywhere, it’s going to look like you live in a thrift store. Fewer tins make a bigger design impact.

I found this AMAZING source of adorable tins here in Portland, Oregon. The candy store Candy Babel on NE Alberta Street offers the mother-lode of vintage tins, presumably to put candy in. But you can also snap them up to use as clutter-catchers! They range in price from under $10 to over $100. Here are some pictures I took in their store:

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Feeling inspired yet? Go get yourself a few coordinating tins and see what a difference they can make on your nightstand, end table or desktop. And check out Candy Babel at 1219 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211. Happy Organizing!


Easter organization tip for parents

by respaced on April 8, 2014

20140319 084511 Easter organization tip for parents

See how cute these Easter plush animals are, just staring out at you from the store shelf with their big, sad eyes? Wouldn’t your children just love a cute, cuddly, brand-new stuffed Easter bunny for Easter this year? Here is a bit of Easter-related organization advice:

If your kid is like so many other kids, who have a small army of stuffed animals collecting dust in their bedroom AND who refuse to get rid of any of them, then do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy your child a stuffed Easter bunny or any other Easter plush this year.

The reason is, all children seem to believe that their stuffed animals — and really, any of their toys that have eyes — are secretly alive.

Thus, the stuffed animals’ feelings would be hurt if your children gave them away.

Thus, your children will refuse to part with any of their stuffed animals.

Thus, you have to deal with stuffed animal clutter that takes up a lot of space, harbors a lot of dust, and causes battles between you and your children until they are about 18.

So be mindful this year to avoid adding to the stuffed animal chaos in your child’s bedroom. And get the word out to the grandparents and anybody else who buys your children goodies for Easter: NO MORE STUFFED ANIMALS!

Happy Stuffed Animal-Free Easter, everyone!


Cute little DIY organizing craft for the kitchen

by respaced on March 31, 2014

20140331 090513 Cute little DIY organizing craft for the kitchen

Do you have this problem: All of your cups and glasses look identical, so your family can never remember whose glass is whose on the kitchen counter? And as a result, everyone grabs a new glass whenever they are thirsty, so you end up with a dozen dirty glasses on the counter by the end of the day?

I figured out how to solve this! Nathan and I painted plain ceramic coasters with fun designs  (no two the same!) and then wrote our names in the middle of each coaster. So now, the coasters live on the kitchen counter and whenever we drink out of a glass, we put the glass on our coaster when we are done with it! No more of the Dirty Dozen on the counter each evening!

You can make these coasters too. (Coasters, acrylic paint and cheap-o paint brushes can be found at Michael’s.) And wouldn’t it be a cute Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift?


Super cheap Ikea hack for storing wrapping paper

March 20, 2014

The clever people at had the great idea to use a cheap-o Ikea plastic bag holder to organize their gift wrap. What a great way to save space in the closet while keeping the gift wrap from being mangled on the floor! Here’s another great way to store rolls of gift wrap: And here’s […]

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5 tips for teaching your children how to do chores

March 18, 2014

It probably makes sense that if you live in a house of, say, 5 people and you are the only one who cleans while the other 4 members seem to be the ones who make messes, your house will always be messy, no matter how much housework you do! Everyone in the family needs to […]

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Solved! Organizing pans and baking tins in the kitchen

March 5, 2014

I have been organizing a lot of kitchens lately, and it seems like the toughest thing to organize in the kitchen are the pots and pans! Those darn handles! So I love this solution using a few organizing products. Simple, inexpensive shelf dividers from The Container Store separate baking tins and trays up above, while […]

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What do you do when your child wants to keep every toy forever?

February 20, 2014

My work as a professional organizer often takes me into children’s rooms and play areas. Frequently these rooms look like they were hit by a toy hurricane. It can seem like an overwhelming job to bring order back to these spaces, but the thing to remember is this: If you get rid of the excess, […]

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How to overcome feelings of dread, inertia when starting an organizing project

February 18, 2014

Do you know what is often the hardest part of getting organized? Getting started! So often, we look at the room that needs decluttering and a feeling of dread and exhaustion overtakes us before we even pick up the first object. We think, “There’s no way I could go through every single thing in this […]

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Never walk on dirty clothes again! Tips for taming the laundry monster at home

February 12, 2014

Do you struggle with managing clothing in your house? I have worked with many organizing clients, who are stressed out about the clothing situation in their home.  See if you can relate to any of the issues below: Do you have large piles of dirty clothing in your laundry room (at least 3 loads-worth) that […]

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No-fail organizing tips for every room of your house

February 5, 2014

Sometimes you just need a few organizing tips to kick start your organizing project. I made a list below of many of the tips I tell my clients.  Kitchen 1. Store kitchen utensils and equipment near where they get used in the kitchen. For example, store your pots and pans near the stove. Store your […]

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