How To Organize Photos

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Hey guys! I am coming on today to talk to you about organizing your pictures. Photo organizing is very important as your collection can quickly get out of hand. If you’re my age or older, we went through years of printing pictures. Many of my clients in their 30s and above have a mass of printed pictures that they don’t know how to store. Today’s blog is going to give you some tips to tackle it yourself. 

Tip #1: Make some time

Block out a good amount of time to handle the job. Picture organizing takes time. It’s not something you can just hand off to an organizer to take over. There are some organizers that focus explicitly on photo collections, but in my opinion, it takes somebody helping alongside you to go through each photo individually. There’s no other way around that, unfortunately. 

Tip #2: Determine your process from the start

How are you going to organize the pictures? Will you organize by a specific timeline, in chronological order, by family member, or by location? I’ve even organized by state, and it worked well for my client. She had moved around throughout her life, and we created a box for each state that she lived. You can also organize by events, such as family trips. Your organization method will depend on what your photos contain and how you want to access them in the future.

Tip #3: Identify and document your photo categories

Fast forward a year from now: if you are looking for a specific picture, mentally walk yourself through the system to locate that photo. You have to plan a system that will make sense to you both now and in the future. Let’s say I took a picture of my son when he was two, and I want to find that one specific picture of him messily eating an ice cream cone. I need to figure out where I would have put that picture to be able to find it again. Is that going to be in the family vacation binder, or are we going to put it in boxes where I have to dig through the “Luke” box? Will I even want to dig through the box of pictures for that specific child, or should I separate out the pictures into favorites instead? Maybe this particular picture is a favorite, so I keep it in a separate area. Another option to consider is how you’re going to store them. Are you going to keep them in photo boxes, or are you wanting to transfer them to albums? There is so much to consider! This is why having a plan is essential! Make a list from the start and physically write out these questions to determine how you’re going to organize your pictures. In addition, create categories ahead of time. These categories can shift or change during the process, but creating categories at the start will give you the framework to move forward when sorting photos. 

Tip #4: Be realistic about what to keep!

You can always scrap it altogether! I know this is silly and may not seem like the best advice, but ask yourself, “when am I going to look at these pictures?!?” Answer it honestly. The answer for most printed photos is typically ‘never’. Fortunately and unfortunately, because of phones, people do not pull out their boxes of pictures to reminisce. To counter this problem, I am in my 8th year of using a photo book company to help categorize our pictures and keep them accessible. Every year I make and print a photo book – our family yearbook – using an online service. I personally love Chatbooks, but there are many different companies that provide a similar product. Chatbook connects to both my social media accounts and my phone chronologically, so our family yearbook starts in January from the previous year. I go through every single month and determine how many pictures I want to include. I can also add the date or a caption! It’s insanely easy. For example, our book for 2021 took me about two hours to create. That might seem like a lot a lot of time, but the value that my children get out of these books is worth every minute and every penny spent on them. My children grab the books all the time and share memories with the pictures. Now that Emma can read, she will read the captions on the pictures and it’s just so rewarding. My biggest tip is to spend time creating meaningful books of your memories. If you’re interested in ordering your own Chatbooks: click to start yours! (affiliate link)

These are my photo tips from a real professional organizer and a real mom.

I hope you guys have a great day. Happy organizing!

~Steph

Ring in the New Year with an Organized Home!

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If you have set a goal to get organized this year, congratulations! Wanting to get organized is the first and most important step.

To help you achieve this goal, we have collected some of our favorite quick and easy organizing hacks. These tips will transform your space with small wins, while providing a sense of accomplishment to encourage you further. As you organize, keep in mind that our homes should not be regarded as storage units. Try to keep what you use and save what you love, but there is no need to hold on to those items that you “may need someday…”

Begin with a drawer

Pick one. It can be any drawer in any room. You can even start with the silverware drawer. 

  • Take everything out and clean the space. 
  • Toss or donate anything you no longer need or do not use. We promise this is easier to do in small batches. Analyze just one item at a time. 
  • Assess your drawer containers if you have them. Does the insert keep items tidy and contained? If not, it may be time to look into an upgrade. Here is the one we use (affiliate link), also pictured above!

The Container Store offers a station in each store to measure out different containers in a simulated space. It’s #genius! Measure your space, analyze what you have, and only purchase what you need. 

After
Before

Spruce up your fridge

It might seem daunting, but it is not nearly as difficult as it looks! Focus on cleaning and the organization will naturally follow. 

  • Take everything out and clean the space. Most fridge drawers are completely removable. 
  • Toss or donate anything that you no longer need or do not use. 
  • Look at EVERY expiration date. These are not merely suggestions from the manufacturer; it is also an excellent indication of how long you have owned the item and whether or not you are still using it. 
  • As you toss expired items, make a list of those that you would like to replace at the grocery store. 
  • Assess your items and think about whether it could become a category. For example, we are a ‘sauce’ family! Everything that we eat comes with a sauce. To accommodate this, I created a separate area for condiments in our fridge. 
  • Add a turntable. This is my ultimate suggestion for the fridge. Turntables can be life-changing, and they will make it so much easier to access the back areas of your fridge. Here is a great option:iDesign Turntable with Handles (affiliate link)
  • Bonus points for labels! You can even use a chalk marker, like this set (affiliate link), to write temporary labels and re-write them as contents change. 
After
Before

Linen Closet Upgrade

The most crucial tip for linen closets: toss, toss, toss! 

We can’t tell you how many clients have sheets that are over 10 years old. Even more have sheets that they do not use or sheets to beds that they no longer own (such as twin sheets, but the twin bed is long gone). 

  • Donate unused linens ASAP. Did you know that animal shelters use bedding for incoming animals? This can be an excellent, tax-deductible solution for your old bedding. 
  • Toss anything that is torn, stained, or old. Goodbye! Simply following this step can eliminate half of the items in your linen closet. 
  • Find a way to contain various linen sizes. We love using simple bins like these from The Container Store (affiliate link), but you can use almost anything. The number one suggestion is to add labels. If you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before the sizes are mixed together again. 

Good luck, friends! Be sure to tag us on your organizing journey! 

Home Organization: Sharing a Common Goal


Today we are going to help you navigate a tricky situation. You might be trying everything in your power to get organized, but your spouse, partner, or child is opposed to the process. There are typically three reasons that we encounter conflicting goals when it comes to organization: money, upkeep, and benefit. When organizing, we always try to ensure that everyone is on board and if not we identify and appeal to their opposition. We always want the process to be enjoyable and sustainable for as long as possible.  


First Opposition to Organization: Money
The first rebuttal to getting organized or hiring a professional organizer is financially based. They don’t want to pay the cost, and this is usually because they don’t understand why the spouse/partner is looking for help or needs to invest in storage solutions. 

In many of these relationships, we find, that the partners have opposite organizing personalities. For example, an organized person partners with someone who isn’t as organized, and they both struggle with why the other person is not exactly like them. In a lot of these relationships, organization is a desire that often gets ignored because it isn’t worth the struggle or the stress. We encourage clients in this situation to understand that it is that it is always okay to ask for help. Asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness or inability. Most organizers can scale their services to meet a budget, helping both parties feel comfortable with the investment. 

When you book with The Simplify Team, we discuss project needs and budget goals. There are always ways to stay within a certain budget. This can mean starting with a specific block of time and limiting the amount of product used. For example, booking a flat four hours of organizing is more affordable than you may think, and clients are consistently amazed by how much The Simplify Team can complete in a short period of time. We always strive to be clear and transparent about the financial aspect of organizing. We do not ever charge more than is necessary and our main goal is ALWAYS to help. Period. We also provide tips on consignment to help balance the cost of organizing. 

Ultimately, organizing means you will know what you have and where your things are located! This is a huge time and money saver. When you know where to find next season’s clothing or that extra set of product you bought on sale, you will avoid wasting money rebuying items that you already own. 

When you consider all of these challenges: the time lost searching for items, the money spent re-buying, and the stress added to your relationships, the total cost of organizing is much more worthwhile. 


Second Opposition to Organization: Upkeep
Many people that struggle with organization don’t believe it is possible to maintain that level of order in their space. We hear often that it is specifically a waste of time to organize their children’s items. Clients will comment, “Gosh, I really want the playroom done, but my kids are just going to ruin it that same day.” This is not true! Yes, even children’s spaces can be organized! 

Consider a daycare or a school, the items in those spaces are organized. Different classrooms will always have varying levels of organization, but kids rise to the expectations that are given to them. If they can learn where they are expected to put pens/pencils, they can learn where their toys belong. 

The primary difference at home is that they might not have an explicit answer for where something “belongs.” If there is not a specific place for dolls/cars, a child will not know where to put those items. When this changes, children learn where to put their items. Categorizing, labeling, setting expectations – all of these things make a huge difference in the long-term outcome. 

Another tip is to create a routine for upkeep. All schools/daycares do this. When it is to time to wrap up an activity, children are instructed to do a quick clean-up with clear instructions. This not only helps with maintaining organization, but it also teaches responsibility as they care for their space. 

Yes, you can maintain organization of even the most difficult areas. It takes effort, and possibly a few tweaks in routine, but it is definitely possible. 

Labels are another game-changer. They make all the difference in every area of the home. It’s something you would have to deliberately ignore if, for example, a container is labeled ‘bread’ and you choose not to place bread there. Labels make a world of a difference when used properly. 


Third Opposition to Organization: Why? 
Some people just don’t see the benefit of organizing. These people feel like they know where things are, their environment doesn’t stress them out, and they are just not interested. When encountering this type of attitude, our response depends on who has this opinion and what their relationship is to the client. 

If this person is a spouse/partner, and they are opposed to organization because the benefit is unclear to them, the discussion turns into a happiness plea. Explaining why you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by disorganization will communicate your need or desire for a change. Your household members need to know how organization, or the lack thereof, impacts you personally, mentally and emotionally. 

We are all different. We have to do what enables us be the best version of ourselves. If disorganization is standing in the way of that, you need to be clear that it is not about the clutter – it’s about the impact the clutter has on you. If that message isn’t well-received, you can go the route of all of the above. “Paying a professional organizer will help me save money by not losing items, re-buying things we have, and purchasing items due to stress.”

We hope this helps get everyone on board with your next organizing project. Whether you are tackling it solo or with the help of a professional, it is always best if everyone that uses the space is as on-board and welcoming of the change as possible. 

Happy Organizing,
The Simplify Team 

Decision-Making While Organizing

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I was in a client’s home today, and it made me think about the decision-making aspect of my job. The client was having difficulty making decisions. It was challenging for her to identify what to keep and what to donate. It truly is the unspoken “hard part” of organizing. It can be so hard to decide what to do with an item, and if you keep it then where does it go? This indecision can be debilitating for so many people and is often a roadblock to getting your space organized. Today I am going to give a few quick tips to help with decision-making while organizing. 

Tip #1: Take away the pressure.
You do not need to fear your decision! A decision is not the end of the world. It can be undone and/or re-decided. For example, for a client we assigned a drawer to be the “tools” drawer. The client questioned why I selected that specific drawer, and we discussed my thought process. Ultimately, even if that drawer doesn’t end up being the “right” drawer for the client, it can be changed quickly and easily. Drawers can be swapped. The decision to cull three separate tool drawers into only one tool drawer for this client was more important than overthinking the location of the drawer.

Tip #2: One decision at a time.
Have you ever heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”  It is the same for organizing; you have to focus on one decision at a time. One thing. One goal. Put blinders on and focus on one shelf, one drawer, one “do I keep this…” and then move on to the next. By tackling multiple items or spaces at once, you will become overwhelmed. Please know that I do not discredit the weight or heaviness that comes with making these decisions. It’s not always easy, but I want you to focus on the fact that you can do it! You can make a decision about one item. One decision at a time will add up as you progress, and it does get easier.

Tip #3: Call in support.
Know when you need a helping hand and reach out for assistance. This might be a professional organizer, but it doesn’t have to be. If you struggle making organizing or purging decisions about your things, call in a friend or family member to help with the process. You know in your mind who would be the one to call…lol. We all have that friend/family member who is a keeper of all the things – don’t call them! Call your honest, realistic, minimalist friend who only keeps the important things, and set some boundaries before you begin. If I can tell that a client is struggling with decision-making, here are some sayings that I use to help with the process:

“We can stop when you are feeling overwhelmed.”
“Let me know if you need a break or to refocus on another area.”
“If you want to keep something, it stays…no questions asked.”

Good luck and happy decision-making!

~Steph

Managing the Mundane with Ease

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The topic of tackling everyday chores came to me today as I was doing the dishes. I HATE washing dishes. It is my least favorite task. I wish that we could use paper products for everything and never dirty any dishes, because I truly hate them that much. To overcome these feelings, I am going to share some of my tips for making mundane tasks feel less annoying. 

Tip #1:
The first tip is to NOT let the chore get out of hand. It always is 100% worse to procrastinate dreaded activities until the last second. If you despise laundry and wait until everyone is out of clean underwear LOL, it is going to take much longer to get all loads of laundry finished. If you complete a little at a time, you won’t be forced into your least favorite jobs.

Tip #2:
Figure out a way to multitask while performing the routine task. For example, while I am doing laundry, I go into the guest room and put on my favorite Bravo show to watch while sorting and folding clothes. The show itself makes the activity more entertaining. Folding is a somewhat mindless activity, so I don’t need to be mentally zeroed in while I do it. The show also makes the time go by faster because I am getting something done while catching up on shows I enjoy. Need to move around the house to complete a chore? Download a podcast or audiobook; it is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. 

Tip #3: 
Set a timer! I use this trick with my children as well, and it is a miraculously simple tool. If you struggle with a task, set a timer for ten minutes and instead of finishing the job completely, you work within your time limit. Tell yourself, “I am going to pick up this room for the next ten minutes…whatever I get done, I get done.” It works y’all! It’s incredible. All of my clients report that the timer tip helps them feel more productive and successful. Ten minutes out of your day is not a lot of time, but ten minutes spent devoted to one task is manageable and life-changing. You can get so much done within this time frame. The key is to be hyper-focused on doing exactly one task. If you get distracted easily, lower the amount of time you set on your timer. 

Tip #4:
Get others household members involved. For example, my littles have been practicing helping with laundry and are doing a great job. The key to allowing help is to let go of some of your expectations and adjust your standards. When my kids put their laundry away, it is in the right drawer. Period. That is a success. 🙂 Will it look like I organized their drawers? Not always, but the chore is done. Let go of some control, ask for help, and be open to help. Your household is a family unit, and everyone helps to add to the health and happiness of the home. 

Tip #5:
Have trouble getting distracted while doing household tasks or just need some extra hands? We can help you be productive. We offer a program called maintenance organizing. Maintenance organizing means that we come routinely (weekly, biweekly, monthly, or seasonally). Organizing is not a “one and done” activity. We can help unpack pantry foods, tidy rooms, and re-sort closets. We also help with seasonal decorating and take-down after the holiday! If you need a little extra help from our team of experts, let us know: Click here to book.

These are my tips for getting through those everyday tasks with a little more ease.  

Good luck and happy organizing!
~Steph

Back to School Tips from a Professional Organizer!

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

It’s that time again! I cannot believe my little girl is going into 1st grade! It’s cliche to say, but time does pass so quickly. Even though this is only my second year sending my child to school, I have ten years of experience as a teacher and know how important it is to start the year on the right foot. Here are a few tips that I have learned as a mom, professional organizer, and former teacher.

1. Labels!

These are life. Especially in the lower grades and Pre-K, labels can help save you time and money. I personally use the company Name Bubbles, and I am obsessed with the durability, customization, and cost of these labels. I use them on everything that I buy for my kids. Pro-Tip: Keep some extra labels around for field trips, shoes, or any other items that are purchased throughout the year. 

2. Create a set “drop zone”.

You do not have to have a custom mudroom, but you do need to think ahead about where you would like to create your routine. I promise it helps to think through these steps: When you come home, where do kids typically put their bags? Is the current system working? If not, how can you adjust this system to alleviate some of the morning and after-school hassles? For us, this meant adding hooks and a bulletin board by the garage door. Even if we do not come in through the garage, I make sure to remind my children that bags are put up by that door. Even at age five, Emma was able to follow the process and it was a huge help! We never lost a backpack or spent precious morning moments searching for school items. Sometimes all you need is a few hooks to create a system. The other key to “drop zones” is consistency, especially in the beginning. Remind kids each day where their shoes, bags, or clothes go, and it will start to become a habit…eventually. 

3. Go through your kids’ clothes before the school year begins. 

Eliminate early morning issues by weeding out clothes that are too small, stained, or otherwise ruined in some way. This has been the biggest help for my children and my clients’ children as well. If you take out clothes that cannot be worn, it makes getting dressed so much easier! 

4. Rethink your routine.

Many of my clients have children in private school, and often we create a separate closet for their uniforms. It might seem silly, but it saves so much time keeping uniform pieces together! No one needs an actual coat closet in Texas, lol, why not turn it into the school uniform closet? Or use that closet for school bags and supplies? When you start to think outside of the box, you can rework your routine and reduce some of the daily stressors in your life. 

5. Stock up on extras but don’t go crazy.

Your child will most likely need extra pens/pencils throughout the year, but you don’t need to overbuy much else. I frequently find long forgotten school supplies in clients’ homes. This can be a waste of space and money. If you do want to stock up on supplies, make sure to put them in a place where you will remember what you have. I’m all for a good sale, but try to only buy what you will actually use. 

I hope these tips help you and your families to have a successful school year!

Love,

Steph 

Fighting the urge of excess – updated for 2021!

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

2020 is over and 2021 has had it’s share of ups and downs. What we’ve gone through is nothing short of traumatic. Hoarding and overbuying are classic responses to stress, and we’ve all been under high levels of stress. Collecting items without reason is not healthy for us or for our homes. One key problem with overbuying is storage; most of us cannot store the excess things that we have purchased. 20+ rolls of paper towels sounded like a great idea until the purchase was brought home and there is no room for it. Excess goods then further increase the anxiety that originally lead to the overbuying. Whether you keep your home in near perfect condition or don’t mind the “we live here” look, when things start piling up it creates significant mental clutter.

Three tips to stop overbuying:

1. Make a list for the grocery store:

Be specific and only buy what you need. Cancel auto-shipment of grocery items until you actually need them again.

2. Be creative to use the excess:

If you don’t make use of what you’ve purchased, it’s going to expire and further the waste. Overbought rice or pasta can be worked into your weekly menu. Don’t just ignore a crowded pantry. Be creative with recipes and think about the items you’ve already purchased; it can save your family space and money.

3. Resist the urge to continue:

It’s easy to get pulled into buying excess. It becomes a way to feel ‘safe’ and gain emotional control over an uncontrollable situation. Did we buy extra toilet paper when all this started, yes, absolutely. Are we still buying it? Nooo! We all have enough toilet paper. I’ve started adding a “Do not buy” category to our shopping list each week. I add items that we habitually buy, but aren’t needed that week. “Don’t buy toilet paper, rice, or great beans.” This may help you and your partner stay on track.

Are you overbuying? If this is a concern for you, take time to consider why. Do you need to talk to someone about your concerns? Managing emotional responses is hard, but it is so worth it. Spend some time today taking care of you, and let’s all put an end to overbuying.

Love y’all!

~Steph

10 Organizing Items You Need from Walmart

Secrets from a seasoned Professional Organizer

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Guys, want to know my secret? I am obsessed with Walmart hacks! I know that some people have stigmas about shopping there, but I’m all for a good deal. I love saving money and saving my clients’ money is a win for everyone! 

Here are my top 10 items to buy exclusively from Walmart! 

  1. Shelf liner! (affiliate link) This adhesive liner is about $5 per roll. If you haven’t used it before, there can be a small learning curve. I LOVE the patterns, and the adhesive means it won’t move around. It is also super easy to clean. Don’t fret, it can also be easy to remove when the time comes, promise! 
  2. Moving Boxes! (affiliate link) Want to know the cheapest place to get moving boxes? Walmart! Prices can fluctuate, but boxes are typically $1. Yes, you read that right, $1!
  3. Canisters. (affiliate link) Who doesn’t love to decant pastas, cereal, and baking goods? This new(ish) trend is on the rise thanks to some great tv shows. My tip: don’t rush out to container stores to get high priced canisters. My favorite come from Walmart, and they’re under $20! 
  4. Clear bins. (affiliate link) There is so much you can accomplish with a large clear bin. My team uses them everywhere, and you don’t have to pay too much for plastic. Storage bins are almost all alike, but Walmart typically runs the best price. 
  5. Garage Organization. (affiliate link) If you have tools propped up against the wall, you need this stat! It’s only $16, AND it comes with the hooks. At other stores you will find this for around triple the cost, but this product is practically the same. 
  6. Bamboo Kitchen Organizers. (affiliate link) Bamboo organizers have the same quality from each store. Why overpay when you don’t have to? Walmart carries utensil sorters, drawer dividers, silverware sorters, and turntables for less than I have been able to find them anywhere else. Win-win!
  7. Vinyl and Silhouette supplies: (affiliate link) Did you know that Walmart sells Cricut products at a better price than your local craft store? It’s my go-to place for transfer tape and rolls of black and white vinyl. 
  8. File Boxes. (affiliate link) These Walmart file boxes are great for storage, but I also use them to create personalized Keepsake boxes. Click here to order your own! 
  9. Command Hooks and strips. (affiliate link) These are great for projects inside and out. Love them! 
  10. Velcro rolls. (affiliate link) These large rolls are perfect for handling pesky cords. Cut off as much as you need and save the rest for your next project. 

I hope these products help you and save you some money! Happy organizing. 

~Steph 

Organizing Children’s Keepsakes

Keeping the best and tossing the rest.

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Many of my clients are parents and, more specifically, parents of young children. Parenting comes with a lot of joy, but it also comes with a lot of stuff. It can be hard to say goodbye to belongings a child has outgrown or artwork they bring home from school daily. I want to share some ideas for organizing those special keepsake items in a way that honors the memory but will not clutter your home. 

Clients frequently ask me these questions regarding keepsakes:
What do I keep? 
Where do I store them? 
How do I throw away my kid’s work!?!

Getting artwork or school work under control from an early age, will benefit you in the long run. If you do not start out with a system from the beginning, it can feel overwhelming to take on the task at a later date. It seems like each year, my own children come home with more and more stuff! I’m willing to guess that many of you are in the same boat. 

To begin, I suggest creating a specific rule or guideline of what you will keep and what you won’t. This will help you calm the madness throughout the years. My own rule of thumb is to keep only uniquely personalized items. For me, this includes handprints, personal details such as ‘My favorite______’, and work that looks like it was time consuming for the child to complete. 

Why it is important to NOT keep everything?
Clients with adult children seek advice from us on what they should do with the items they have kept. They have held onto boxes upon boxes of items for their children, and now their children have no interest in collecting those items to store in their own homes and attics. It’s heartbreaking to the parent, to be honest, because they have taken the time to save this stuff for years. Parents often think a child will be excited to retrieve their long-lost artwork, but after twenty years of storing the keepsakes, parents more often learn it has been a waste of both time and space.

I strongly suggest that you focus on your child’s personality, even when they are young. Think about whether or not they are sentimental. I can tell within minutes of meeting a young client what their personality is like regarding their items. If you know that at 10 your child is not sentimental, chances are that will not significantly change as they age. 

Try picturing your child as an adult. Will they want thirty pictures of a star when they grow up? Or just one with a note attached that they went through a “star drawing phase” for a year. 

Saying it out loud will also help determine what to keep: 
Will my child want this in the future?
Will it last in storage?

I believe it means more to a child to hold the memory and not the ‘stuff’. Writing a note about what they went through and what it was like will be more meaningful than page after page of busywork. 

I also strongly suggest getting your children involved from an early age. I ask my children to look through their school papers individually. They tell me which ones are most important and what they would like to keep. Even my more sentimental child will typically only keep a few pages of work. I ask them which ones they spent more time on and what is most important to them. At age three, my kids could tell me what they wanted to keep and what could be tossed. Getting your child involved will help eliminate items you might feel compelled to keep. 

My daughter doesn’t necessarily understand what I am keeping and why, but she loves helping with the ownership of valuing her hard work. It also shows that we see her and love looking at what she has done. 


Finally, have a place for the things you decide to keep. I personally make and sell personalized keepsake boxes. Using a file box, I create tabs for each year. The box goes through senior high, and it is a manageable size. One benefit of its smaller size is that you will not have room to keep everything. It will help limit the amount of school work that is kept. I have also seen clients keep artwork in a large file folder, however this is difficult to sort and not contained. File folders do not have lids, so the artwork can fall out or become damaged over the years. 

Interested in your own keepsake box? We’d be happy to make one for you!

 I hope these tips help to cull your keepsake supply and allow you to focus on the items that are actually important to your child now and in the future. 

~Steph 

What’s Inside a Professional Organizer’s Tool Bag?

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

At each organizing job, you will see me carrying a large bag. It’s often called my Mary Poppins bag, and I embrace that description! I carry so many tools with me to every appointment, and you never know just what might come in handy on the job. My bag of tricks is my secret weapon on every project, and today I am going to give you a sneak peek into my organizing tool bag. 

Favorite Tools I Bring Everywhere: 

  1. The Hang-o-Matic (affiliate link). This thing is incredible. It makes hanging items a breeze and comes with a built-in level! It’s genius, small, and convenient. 
  2. P-Touch Label Maker (affiliate link). I actually bring two with me! The two models offer various sized labels and are equally vital for small and large labeling jobs. 
  3. Museum Gel (affiliate link). Not exactly sure why it’s called “gel” because it feels more like a silicone fabric, but this stuff is essential when adding in drawer organizers. Just a tiny dab on the bottom of a bin will keep it from sliding around in the drawer. 
  4. Thumb Scraper (affiliate link). This little tool makes peeling labels and picking at things a breeze! Plus it is so cheap. Worth every penny, even if you only use it once. 
  5. Painter’s Tape (affiliate link). I use this for everything. Add expiration labels to the bottom of a canister, test the dimensions for a piece of artwork, use it to equally space a gallery wall – the options are endless!
  6. A super sharp razor and scraping tool (affiliate link). We install wallpaper and shelf liner weekly. A sharp cutting tool is so valuable to our work, and having one on hand at home is also important. 
  7. Velcro tape for wires (affiliate link). Don’t spend extra money on fancy velcro rolls. You can do the exact same thing with the cheap stuff. Amazon also sells large rolls of velcro for under $10, and the roll will last you a long time! 
  8. A great bag (affiliate link). This bag is similar to the one that I use. Any bag with pockets in a style you enjoy will be perfect for housing your collection of organizing tools!

Even if your goal has nothing to do with organizing, these tools can be invaluable for a homeowner. 

Good luck and enjoy building your tool bag!

~Steph