March 2, 2015

Get Organized For Tax Season (& More) with Samsill + A Giveaway!


Happy Monday! Not sure about you, but I love starting a new week here on the blog by talking an awesome organization product AND an incredible giveaway. I love connecting with organization companies...but what I really love is spoiling you!

Do you have your tax papers organized for tax season? At the rate this year is flying, April 15 will be here before you know it. My new friends at Samsill have just the product to help you get those tax papers gathered up and ready to go. But before I share it with you, I wanted to mention that they offer a whole lot more to their customers!

Samsill Corporation is one of the World's largest independently owned manufacturers of business accessories, laptop cases, media storage, ring binders and sheet protectors. Samsill's mission is to provide innovative office solutions which protect, organize, present and transport information and digital accessories. They are constantly pursuing excellence in people, products and performance. And the company is rooted in a strong set of standards and values.

This is my kind of company! A great company and great products!

Now meet their Trio Binder...

This is one of those products that made me smack my forehead and say "Duh! Why didn't I think of this?!"...


The Trio Binder combines a 3-ring binder, 7-pocket accordion file and hanging file management into one binder system. Hello genius!

Binder...

Accordion file...

And see these little orange gems...

Simply slide out the retractable hangers to easily hang your binder inside a filing / desk drawer...

The Trio Binder is perfect for tax season because over a year's time you can contain everything for that year in one, easy to locate, organized place. No more searching around the house for those tax donation slips, receipts and more come January. Ahem...not pointing fingers.

Samsill generously shared a few binders with me to test out and when they arrived I knew I'd be using these for a whole lot more than tax papers. But I collected myself (which is hard for this girl to do when you put fresh new organization products under my nose) and got to work gathering up my tax papers for a Trio Binder...

After sorting through tax papers and getting them put away, I also organized our family trust paperwork as well as my son's IEP paperwork (which happens to have been finalized in the last few weeks). For those with children that have an IEP, you know how much paperwork is involved. The Trio Binder is great for corralling a volume of papers, while keep them contained and easy to find in one spot. Also easy to grab and go.

The Trio Binder comes with paper labels for you to customize...

And pop into the accordion file...

Once everything is secure in the binder, slide out the retractable hangers and hang inside your drawer. Easy!...

I added a small strip of washi tape and wrote a quick label. No need for a fancy label maker...

I love these!...


Samsill binders come in a variety of gorgeous colors too! So, if you're a color freak, don't fret...they've got you covered...

Samsill offers a wide variety of binders beyond the Trio. An example is their Duo binder. If you like the idea of a binder combined with an accordion file, but don't need the hanging system - the Duo is your answer...


Be sure to check out the Samsill website to see all of their great products!

But as I mentioned in the beginning, there was a giveaway involved here! Samsill has generously offered 2 Simply Organized readers the chance to win 3 Trio Binders....that's 3 Trio's for 2 of you! Thank you, Samsill! Entry into the giveaway is easy by following the requirements inside the Rafflecopter gadget below.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

February 25, 2015

Simply Done: In 3 Hours Time...


It's a happy day for this lady because I have a free hour to write a blog post. What? How did this happen?! You guys, I am loving my little business and the impact it's making (and I LOVE meeting new people / families!)...but I'll be totally honest and admit I sometimes long for those simple ol' blog days. Where I came up with a few projects a week around this house and shared it here. Not worried about it though. I'm actually very happy and know I'll soon find the balance to share both things happening here as well as projects completed with Simply Organized clients. And of course I love sharing giveaways with you guys....and speaking of, I have quite a few of them waiting in the wings. Just need the time here to get them up!

With that said, I do believe sharing other spaces besides my own keeps it real and true to life here on the blog. What and how I organize at home is completely different in someone else's home. Everyone puts things away differently. I would never expect the way I keep my home to be the "gold standard of organizing" for you in your home. When I share a project or idea it's because it works for us and maybe it will work for you too. If that's the case - great! But maybe it doesn't work for you. While my solutions and ideas resonate with my clients, many times I'm coming up with something totally different to solve their organization issues. And a big one...everyone has a different budget to work with.

Anyway, I could go on and on...my point is - I hope sharing the work completed with clients is a help to all of you.

And, matter of fact, today we're talking about a client space. This is the sweetest mother of three that I' had the pleasure of working with for about 5-6 weeks. I enjoy sharing her spaces because it's proof that putting aside 2.5 to 3 hours just once a week can make a huge positive impact in your home...and with your stress level. She has a busy home to run, a husband that works all day, 3 young children with varying school and after-school schedules...and one little guy that isn't even in school yet. If she has time to set aside 2-3 hours a week...you do too!

The day I was scheduled to work with her, we had plans to tackle the laundry / mudroom. But when I arrived, she was fired up to go after this closet...


I love a good fire!

She has many hot spots around the house we've been working on, but she recognized she could go another week without doing anything in the laundry room...and instead wanted to focus our morning in here. Her 2 little boys share this closet and I'd say she'd done a great job of keeping the clothing to a minimum. There isn't a dresser in this bedroom, so I applaud her for not having an abundance of clothing crammed into this closet.

The other issue she was faced with was her son and husband's passion for baseball cards...

That blue bin you see. FULL (to the top) of baseball cards and recently delivered by her husband's mother. (We love mother-in-law's!) The cards belonged to her husband when he was young...I love this! There are binders and boxes and bins full of baseball cards. At some point I'd love to help her get them super organized, but that is going to take more than 3 hours. For now, she had the room to get most of them into the closet. It was a matter of sorting out the closet contents first to make that space.

She was also ready to remove the pack-n-play, which had morphed into a toy box over the last few months...

After only 2 hours of dedicated work, some purging and folding...

My favorite part of any organization project? Finding the floor! ;-)

The baseball cards her son plays with regularly are now on the bottom shelf. Now he can easily get to AND put them away. Most of the remaining cards are in the upper right corner of the closet.

We didn't buy anything fancy, or new bins, or a new closet system. Just used the space available and made it work hard for us.

After sorting through the pack-n-play, disassembling and tucking it away in the garage, we had room for this awesome train table....which was previously sitting in the garage waiting for a home inside...

Now the kids have plenty of room to play or sort through baseball cards...


Just 2 hours guys!...


In my final 45 minutes, we labeled the bins in her playroom. I'll be sharing her newly organized playroom in a few days, but here's a sneak peek. I found these adorable Avery chalkboard labels at The Container Store...

Getting organized doesn't happen in a day. Don't watch those tv shows and have unrealistic goals / expectations. Remember, these shows have teams of people working behind the scenes.

What's realistic?...

* Make a list of the spaces you want to organize and list them in priority order.

* Take on one space at a time. And don't go onto the next space until you have completely finished that space first.

* Worried you can't get it all done in 2-3 hours? Break down the space into smaller jobs. For example, if your space is a master closet...consider doing just pants one day or just the items hanging. Break it down so you can actually finish what you started and feel accomplished when you do. Take the time to try on everything and ask yourself if you love it, you ARE going to wear it and if you have worn it in the last few years. Don't get stuck in the "what if"thinking. I'll come pinch you if you do that.

* You don't need 3 hours. Maybe start with 1 hour, then see how you feel. Set a timer and focus on that one space. And try not to get distracted. If you find something in that space that belongs somewhere else, don't leave to put it away. Set it aside and keep working in the space you've dedicated yourself to.

Have a great day guys!


February 16, 2015

Simply Done: New Closets...Party of 3


Recently I had the pleasure of re-designing three closets in one home. This sweet little family was struggling with closet systems that weren't set up to truly utilize and maximize the entire space. And the closets in the girls' bedrooms weren't set up for the way the put their clothing away. One of my absolute favorite parts of my job? Making people happy by helping them re-design a closet or set up new simple systems that work. I wish you could all be there with me at the end of a job to see those smiles and hears those squeals! It's the best! I couldn't wait to help this family...especially since all three closets belong to the three ladies of the house.

When it comes to closet re-design, I try my best to first work with what we have. I mean, why ruin a good thing? It's not always the closet system that isn't working for you...it's the way you're using it. Or not using it, I suppose. All you may need is a little tweaking to get it just right. So it was perfect when 2 of the 3 closets already had elfa systems installed.

(pssst...I'm not getting paid to talk about elfa. It's really a system I've used time and again and it works. That's all!)

I LOVE elfa because it grows and adapts with you. You can update or change as needed. You can even tear it down and re-use it in a totally different space in your home. The family decided to stick with elfa for all 3 closets, so I simply re-designed the 2 existing elfa closets and added a brand new 3rd system for mom.

My favorite day? When the materials are here and installation gets going...

Let's start in the office. I think we all have one of these "catch-all" closets. In this room dad was keeping his cooking smocks, overflow work clothes, cooking magazines, heavy work books and luggage / travel related items. Mom was keeping work-out gear, camera equipment, office supplies and home decor items. What she was lacking was a spot in the house for linens and towels because the house doesn't have a linen closet.

At first glance I knew exactly what I wanted to create for her...

Out with the old. You can see just how much wasted space there is in here when you aren't using that entire wall...

Yep, everything out...

And in with the shiny new...


Have a look at their newly organized office / linen closet...

This transformation took a matter of 2-3 hours. Yes, no joke. How? By keeping it simple! She didn't need drawers or want fancy containers. Just a place where everything could be neatly put away. And she had the space for it...it was just a matter of putting her ideas / habits into action.

All of the swim towels, overflow towels, extra bedding and cleaning rags are on the left. In the middle, the elfa shelf baskets contain her husband's hat collection, camera equipment, extra work bags and books, and I used magazine files to contain his cooking magazine collection and extra office supplies...


Why stuff office supplies in a drawer or stack them in piles when you can get them upright into magazine files?...

And dad still has plenty of room in here for his overflow work clothes, jerseys and cooking smocks...

As you'll see, these 2 precious sisters couldn't be more different in terms of hobbies / interests. In M's sporty room, we went from this...


Why didn't those standard's go all the way down?? Don't waste your vertical space this way, friends...


To this...


She isn't the kid to hang items - instead she loves drawers. So we added more drawers and even a built-in laundry hamper to keep her floor space free to play ball.

I also had time to freshen up a corner of her room...

You guys know me, I'll find any way to re-use an organization solution. I used the old elfa free-standing drawer unit to organize some of her school supplies, stuffed animals, nerf guns and balls...

And in our dancer's room, we went from this...

To this...

Don't think for a second I wasn't in heaven in this pink room. Love!...

Using simple chalkboard labels (from Avery and I found them at The Container Store) helps R know exactly what's inside each of her pretty pink bins...

I refreshed her corner of the bedroom too by using her old elfa drawer system to contain her dance bags, purses, stuffed animals and desk supplies...

I spy an iDBeadz...

This project was too much fun to be called work!

Some before and afters...








Before you ditch the closet system you currently own, think about how you can instead tweak it to make it work better for you. You'll save money too!

Have a great day guys!