Every year, one in five American families makes a move --- and this year, it'll be your family on the road.
No doubt about it, moving can present the organizational challenge of a lifetime.
Every habit, every routine, every tiny piece of the mosaic of your life is tossed at random into a huge, cluttered van, to be shaken out and reassembled at the other end.
It's a daunting task--but you can get organized and cut stress when the moving van arrives.
Moving on? Try these road-tested tips for an organized move: More »
How to handle household storage? It's a battle!
You, the innocent home manager, want only to find holiday decorations or seasonal clothing.
Your nemesis? Bins and bags and boxes. Crammed cabinets, bursting basements, and inaccessible attics. The Garage from The Black Lagoon. For most of us, an efficient household storage system seems like an impossible dream.
Squeezed by the storage shuffle, many home managers yearn for larger quarters. Let me burst the bubble (as one who knows): a bigger house is not the answer. Stored stuff has an amazing bread-dough quality--it rises to fill the space available, and then makes a sticky mess as it slops over the sides of the container. No matter how many closets, cupboards or square feet of attic space, surplus stuff will find a way to take over while your back is turned.
The answer? A household storage plan. Yes, it will take some work, but the principles involved are as easy as ABC: More »
Garage sale, tag sale, yard sale--whatever you call it, the garage or yard sale is part and parcel of the American way of life. On sunny weekend mornings, slow-moving cars ("I brake for yard sales!") circle suburban neighborhoods as their occupants hunt baby toys and panini makers, auto parts and cocktail shakers.
If you're in active declutter mode, the next stop is your house! A yard sale can clear clutter and score some cash, but it helps to have a road map. Getting organized for a garage sale can mean more money and less stress.
It's the battle cry of millions of parents: "Clean your room!" Will it ring out in your house today?
Seasonal events like birthdays, the holidays or a new school year bring fresh motivation to the drive to get kids organized--and nowhere is the battleground more intense than in the children's bedrooms.
How do you help your child organize and clean up life in the bedroom?
Try these eight easy organization strategies to calm clutter and bring order to kids' rooms: More »
The tax man cometh, and cometh soon! Do you know where your tax records are?
Chances are, they're swimming in a stack of paper ... somewhere.
Rafts of paper flood into the average home each day. The mailbox discharges letters and bills and bank statements. Briefcases explode with professional journals, pay stubs and calendars. School backpacks unload children's artwork, meeting notices and sports schedules.
Paper clutter costs money, time and stress. A missing permission slip derails the entire family on the way out the door. Hide-and-seek bills lead to late payment fees. Lose the roster, and it's back to the Yellow Pages each time you need to contact the soccer car pool.
Without a plan for paper management, a household can drown in a rising tide of paper. Take back your time with these simple tips to pull the plug on paper clutter. More »
Wheeling my shopping cart down the aisle at the supermarket this week, I was forced to take notice that it was, indeed, football season. With my attention distracted by a flashing soda display, my cart crashed into the corner of a miniature football field, constructed entirely out of beer cases.
Untangling my cart (and trying to shove the cases back into line before anyone noticed that I'd creamed the goalpost), it occurred to me that I could learn a lot about goals from football players. More »
Face it: it's January. Dreary weather is matched only by the dreariness of a house stripped of holiday decorations. Children slog through the great dull stretch between New Year's Day and Spring Break, no longer distracted from their schoolwork by the excitements of the holiday season.
December's crowded calendar gives way to January's social slump. Video rentals soar as comfy sweats replace dress clothes on Saturday nights.
Take heart! There's another side to January!
The freshness of a new, un-scribbled calendar. The clean lines of household furniture, freed from December's tinsel, trash and clutter. The sweet silence of a second cup of coffee after the children mount the school bus. The delicious feeling of energy to spare, energy released, but not expended, by December's holiday frenzy.
Tap that energy to get organized in the new year! More »
Who among us hasn't squandered a happy afternoon in a store specializing in organizing products? Drifting from aisle to aisle, we make a mental list: this for the bathroom clutter, that for the computer desk.
All is bliss until we consider the bottom line. Specialty organizers can be costly! Someday, we vow, we'll get organized at home, but for now, budget realities step firmly on organizer dreams.
Stop the presses! Over the years, these top tools have proved their value, and they cost a fraction of the price of specialty products.
Everyday products from office supply and discount stores can take us 80% of the way to total home organization--for 20% of the price. It's a frugal application of the 80/20 rule.
Ready? On to the power tools for home organization! More »