Ten Pretty Great Organizing Hacks

Since the introduction of Pinterest, home organizing has never ben so simple.  Apparently there are a lot of people out there with really clever ideas on how to maximize space and efficiency in your home, using everything from cardboard boxes to old jars.  It’s pretty incredible.

While I definitely suggest you should jump on and check it out for yourself, here are a couple pretty cool ideas to wet your whistle:

  • Instead of throwing out those little jewelry cardboard boxes (you know you hate to), clip them together, side by side, to use as drawer organizers for small office supplies, craft supplies, or jewelry.



  • Baby food jars make amazing woodshop/tool bench organizers. There’s a reason you saw old jelly jars full of nails in your grandpa’s garage back in the day.  You can even attach the lids to the underside of a shelf so that all you have to do is screw and unscrew the jar.
  • Shower curtain hooks hanging from your closet bar are an awesome way to store purses.


  • This is one my favorite: those tissue cardboard boxes with the hole in the middle?  Save them!  And then stuff them with plastic bags and keep one under each sink in the house.
  • If you are big into gift-wrapping, or scrap-booking, a paper towel holder makes a great post to hold your spools of ribbons.
  • If you have the extra space, you can use a dish-drying rack to store coloring supplies. Put the coloring books where the plates would normally go, and then fill the utensil caddy with markers or crayons.


  • Plain old Velcro makes a great electric cord organizer. You can buy all sorts of crazy, inventive items to help do this same task, but why not just spend five bucks and keep it simple?
  • Once again, if you are into gift-wrapping, scrap-booking, or all other types of craft-making, using a pants hanger to hang up gift bags, sheets of wrapping paper, or pieces of cloth is an awesome solution to making sure that nothing gets crinkled or ruined.
  • Using a desk organizer to sort your cutting boards and cookie sheets on the counter top is an awesome clutter- (and noise-) free option.


  • Assign a bin to each member of the family where you can put things that you find laying around, or where you can prepare for the day ahead of you. Like Katie’s pair of sunglasses goes in Katie’s bin (if you are feeling generous), or Katie’s signed permission slip goes in Katie’s bin.

Four Stages of a Stress-free Move

People consider moving to be one of the most stressful moments of life.  From trying to find cheap moving boxes to trying not to get ripped off by a moving company, it really is a harrowing time.  However, there are definitely things we can do to walk ourselves through the process with as little hair-pulling as possible.  When we are prepared and organized it really diminishes a lot of the feelings of chaos, and that is a really important thing to keep in mind.


Here are the four stages of moving and how to manage them with the least amount of stress:

Stage One: Preparing

This is the part of the “move” where you want to be procrastinating because it doesn’t feel like a move yet.  This is also the part of the move that is going to make it or break it for you.  Moving is not as simple as packing up your house and unpacking in a new one.  One of the first things you should do is start calling your insurance providers, and anyone else that sends you a monthly bill, and notifying them of your change of address and when its taking place.  This is also the time to start trying to find a reliable moving company, or the best deal on a moving truck.  Keep the lookout for cheap moving boxes (ask department stores, Craigslist, and other freeby sites).

Stage Two: Packing

You should start preparing to pack long before it’s time.  This is also going to save you some serious grey hairs.  If you start packing early enough, you should be approaching moving day with a much lighter heart.  This is when you will become thoroughly grateful that you gave yourself plenty of time to get your hands on cheap moving boxes, because moving boxes are NOT cheap, and you wind up needing WAY more than you think you will.  Purge your belongings and hold a garage sale.  Pack as you.


Stage Three: Moving Day 

Be prepared that things are not going to go as smoothly on moving day as you would like.  This doesn’t mean to have a negative attitude; it just means to have a realistic attitude!  And then, if things go positively swimmingly, you will be pleasantly surprised and incredibly relieved.  If they don’t, you will be no worse for the wear.

Stage Four: Unpacking

In your new home, as you begin to break into all of those boxes, and a giant pile begins to accumulate, you are going to be really glad you saved so much money on them.  Because after the move is over it all just feels like a giant waste.  There’s no rule that says you need to be unpacked immediately.  Take some time to explore your new surroundings!



Some Helpful Tips for Adjusting after a Move

There are plenty of helpful tips and tricks out there about how to pack for a move and how to conduct a move.  If you hop on the internet you will find no shortage of blogs, articles, and posts all about organizing, ordering packaging supplies, choosing a mover, ordering packaging supplies, shipping via air or ground…did I mention ordering packaging supplies?  But what about after you move?  Does everyone just expect that you move and then you are happy because you moved?  Where are all of the helpful tips and tricks for how to adjust after a move?


Thankfully, there is some information, and the amount is growing.  Here are just a couple to help you along the way:

First of all, before we can go any further, we have to establish a positive mindset.  That might sound cliché, but it’s true.  If you want to have a healthy adjustment for your move, than you need to have a healthy mindset about the whole thing.  No, maybe you didn’t want to move, maybe it’s not ideal, and maybe you can find negative stuff all about it.  But there are definitely some positives, and the key is to put those positives first.


Be prepared.  Once you find out where you are going to be relocating to, try to learn as much as you can about that place.  It will begin to feel familiar before you even get there, and that’s the whole point.

Set up your home.  Prioritize setting up your home before you prioritize anything else.  You want your home to feel safe and inviting, so you need you to make it that.  Get fully unpacked so that you can begin to learn where everything is.  It will make you feel more at home to have all of your familiar surroundings around you, and it will be less stressful to have an uncluttered environment to go back to after you come back from exploring.

Make friends.  This is the easy part for a lot of people, and for some people this is the hardest part.  It is not cliché to introduce yourself to your neighbors.  In fact, it should set everyone at ease to become accustomed with your smiling, friendly face.  If there are work parties, or you get invited to a function by a colleague or fellow gym member, than go.


Be flexible.  A lot of this has to do with being open to new experiences.  A move is a really big change, and most of us don’t do well with change, so it helps to keep in mind that you are going to have change after change after change for quite a while after you move.  But don’t worry, it will all even out soon.  Enjoy those new experiences, but keep your favorites close, too.

Five Tips for Sending Holiday Packages

We are coming up no the holiday season, and that means lots of packages.  Lots of receiving packages, but also lots of sending them!  That means lots of time dealing with boxes, packaging tape, lines at the post office, and just plain old the cost of it on top of the cost of everything else…  Now is the time to start talking about all of the tips and tricks out there for shipping holiday packages.


Tip #1) Don’t procrastinate!  Sometimes we think we have plenty of time left to send our gifts but then we get to the post office and realize that everything ships slower during the holiday season because everyone is sending stuff.  Be sure to send your packages out extra early.  You should make sure that you already have a nice stack of shipping boxes off to the side so that you can pack your boxes at home, minimizing the amount of time you are going to need to spend in the post office.  By leaving yourself ample time for shipping, you can save a lot of money by choosing the slower routes.

Tip #2) Shop online!  Shopping online is one way to completely avoid post office lines and shipping costs.  Most online retailers off free shipping during the holiday season, and a lot of them even offer gift-wrapping at a small cost.  You could probably save money on the same item by buying it off the internet, too.

Tip #3) Choose well!  The shipping boxes you choose are going to set the tone for your shipping experience.  You want ones that are new and strong.  The USPS offers flat rate shipping boxes that will ship anywhere in the United States for the same amount, and these are a fabulous option during the holiday season.  You can stuff them to the brim and not wonder how much it’s going to cost you in the end.


Tip #4) Pack smart!  Choose packaging supplies that are going to work in your favor, and don’t skimp on them.  Make some investments in bubble wrap or packing peanuts.  There is no point for the gifts you are sending to wind up broken in transit simply because you skipped a step.

Tip #5) Be prepared!  If you are sending perishable items, send them at the beginning of the week so there isn’t a chance of them sitting around over the weekend.  Make sure that whatever they are can handle the extreme temperatures that will come from being shipped.  If you are sending expensive items, spend the extra money by sending them next-day.  Make sure the box is small, and get it insured through your own insurance company.  Obviously, don’t advertise what is inside of the box.