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I recently did a home organizing job out in Hillsboro. The client wanted me to reorganize the kitchen, specifically: The Gladware! Some call it Tupperware, some call it leftover containers. But we all have those little plastic tubs with the myriad lids, and for most of us, they are stashed in a jumbled drawer somewhere.

So this is how I like to organize clients’ Gladware. I separate the Gladware out by shape and nest square containers with square containers, circular containers with circular containers, etc. Then I store lids separately from the containers (with the exception of the little tiny ones that can get lost in a bin). And just like with the containers, I groups lids by shape too.

The result? This client can easily grab the leftover container AND the lid she is looking for quite easily.

One more hint: It’s easiest to store leftover containers that are all of the same brand, because they are meant to nest together that way. So if you are struggling to get everything to fit in a cupboard or drawer, start by discarding/repurposing elsewhere all the one-off containers.

Happy Organizing!

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I’m a professional organizer, but I’m also a mom, and my son is my guinea pig for all of my home organizing ideas.

As my son has gotten older (he’s 11 now), I’ve tried to walk back my role as the Summertime Entertainment Director in order to get him to take more responsibility for his own FUN. To that end, he and I resurrected his old chalkboard and brainstormed a list of things he can do when he is bored this summer. The chalkboard is prominently displayed in the kitchen.

It worked for the first two months, but now as we go into August, I can see that we need to update the list. He’s done all of those things and is — surprise! — feeling bored. But the beauty of a chalkboard is that he can erase those ideas and write down fresh ones.

The chalkboard has also served as the Chore List …

… and in the fall, it is the Daily Packing List:

Who knows what purpose it will serve next? But I’m sure glad I saved it. I now recommend to all of our home organizing clients that they repurpose their kids’ old chalkboards to use for family communication. It sure beats playing the role of the Family Nag/Reminder-in-Chief!

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Open shelving — that is, shelves that hold your collection out in the open instead of hiding it behind cabinet doors — is a SUPER popular look right now in home design, but it can be difficult to pull off. The tendency is for people to cram too much stuff on the shelves, which turns your shelves from magazine-worthy to crap-on-display.

If you know you have a tendency to live with a bit too much stuff in your life, then open shelving might not be for you. But if you really like the look (and it can look FABULOUS when it’s done right!), then open shelving can be a great addition to your home decor.

Here’s how to do it right:

1. Figure out what you are going to store on it, and stick to just that category of items. For example, you might want to stick to just books, vases and knick-knacks, like in the photo above. Don’t expand that category to include electronics, board games, DVDs, or empty plates and glasses. That’s when it starts to look like a catch-all.

2. Knick-knacks should be at least the size of a softball. In magazines, you will often see that the items on the shelf are even larger, more like soccer-ball size (think vases, plants, sculptures, etc.). The smaller the item, the more cluttered your shelf will look because you will need to group a lot of them together to have any sort of display.

3. Group items together rather than lining up everything in a row.

4. Leave at least 20 percent of the shelves EMPTY! That empty space is key to keeping your collection looking more like a display and less like the knick-knack aisle at Goodwill.

5. Don’t feel obligated to line up all of your books on end. In fact, they look more interesting if some are lined up on end while others are stacked on top of each, pyramid-style.

Follow these tips, and you will have open shelves like these pictured from The Container Store that look stylish, clean and uncluttered.

Do you have open shelving in your house? How do you keep it from getting too cluttered? Share with us in the comments below.

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/plastic bag storage solutions for the kitchen

July 5, 2017

While doing a kitchen organizing job out in Beaverton last week, I got asked about storing bags, particularly the bags that come home from stores like paper bags and plastic bags. I get asked about this a lot actually, so here’s a picture of how I store them in my house: Yep, that’s my 1990s […]

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An organizer’s system for getting laundry done

June 12, 2017

Do you struggle with managing laundry in your house? I have worked with many organizing clients, who struggle to stay on top of laundry. Here are two things I have found to be true after 9 years of working as a professional organizer with hundreds of people: The more clothing you own, the less frequently you […]

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Get unpacked after a move within a day!

June 5, 2017

Did you know we offer unpacking services? We recently helped a client out in Beaverton, Oregon get her condo set up and unpacked after her move. The movers came in first, dropping off all of the boxes and placing the big pieces of furniture. Then we got to work! We always like to set up […]

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Look for the SIGN, Mom and Dad!

May 22, 2017

I’m a big believer in the power of SIGNS. When you are constantly losing something or forgetting to do something, a big, bright, in-your-face strategically placed sign can help you remember. The signs pictured above are for clients who have a hard time corralling all the kids’ paperwork and artwork. They were missing important notices […]

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The perfect gift for a pro organizer

May 19, 2017

What do you get the professional organizer who has doesn’t want anything? (I realize I tend to be very hard to shop for!) How about custom-made bookshelves? That’s what my sweet husband Chad (pictured) made for me recently. Chad designed these shelves, prepared the wood, and did all of the metal work himself. The wood […]

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What can a professional organizer do for you?

May 15, 2017

So you want to get organized, but are wondering why you should hire a professional organizer instead of letting your super organized friend help? Here’s why: A pro organizer is a neutral third party who can help you make decisions faster and more easily. Your organizer isn’t burdened by the emotional baggage that goes with […]

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Happy Birthday, reSPACEd!

May 8, 2017

It’s my birthday today (hence the photo of my cute family up above). May is also the anniversary of reSPACEd. I have learned SO MUCH over the years about people, their homes, their behaviors and organizing in general. I’m a different organizer today than I was that May nine years ago. Here are some of […]

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