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February 29, 2012

Storage Solution of the Week: tiered slack hangers

What it is:  Tiered hangers designed to hang slacks.

Where I got it:  Deals, but they can usually be found anywhere that sells hangers.

Why I love it:  It's an inexpensive, multi-purpose solution.


I originally bought my tiered slack hangers for slacks, but honestly they didn’t serve me well. It was truly too cumbersome to get my slacks on and off the rungs. Capris, on the other hand, work great like this. Are they super easy to get on and off the hanger? No, but it’s a trade-off I am willing to make. I save valuable inches of space in my closet in exchange for a few extra seconds spent finagling capris.



Since the hangers didn’t work out exactly as I’d planned, I had a few spares that have been put to good use. In the summer, I store one in the hall closet for our clean beach towels. It's a convenient spot for those big, bulky towels, and since there are no winter coats in the summer, we definitely have the hanging space.


This winter, I kept that hanger in the hall closet and used it to corral miscellaneous scarves. It kept them accessible but out of the way, and everyone’s scarves fit nicely on the one hanger.




But my most favorite use of these hangers is in my laundry room! (I use the word “room” loosely as it is more of a closet.) Space for things to line dry is very limited, so these hangers are a great solution. Exercise clothes, delicates, bras, and anything else that is thin and/or dries quickly can easily be draped over the rungs. And because the hangers are flocked, items stay in place and don't slip off, which is a definite plus.




Do you use tiered slack hangers? Do you love them for slacks or have you found other uses for them?


Happy Organizing,

Jens signature black


February 27, 2012

Monday Check-in

Hello my friends. I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was…well...clunky. Things just didn’t go smoothly, pretty much all the way around. Ah well, that's just how it goes sometimes. Right? So I hope you had a fabulous weekend that was smooth sailing. :) Here’s my update.  


Play List:

  • Boot camp. Okay – that went great.
  • Basketball.  Check. 
  • Relax! Check (sort of.)
  • Spend some time pinning! A big check here. I had quite a bit of time in the car this weekend driving to and from basketball games…so I was pinning on the go. I think that was probably the highlight of the weekend.


To Finish:

  • Make a Target run.  Check. But one of the main things I needed to pick up was the Fels-Naptha for my laundry detergent. But Target doesn’t seem to carry this. So, on Sunday I went to Walmart (where I got it before) and they were totally out! because of this , no check on this next task.
  • Pinterest to-do:  Make more laundry detergent.  (Nope.)
  • Start and finish a load or two of laundry. Check! Lots of basketball uniform washing. ;)
  • Plan weekly meals. This didn’t happen. Today…it must…or some people I know will be going hungry this week.
  • Wash and vacuum car. This was an add on. I did it yesterday after spending lots of hours in the car this needed it badly. Boy how I love a clean car after a long, grimy winter. ;)


How did your weekend go? Hope it was great! See you back here on Friday for another round of Finish It Friday!


February 24, 2012

Are you ready to get organized for the weekend?

Whew, I am! I think I’ve finally rested up and recovered from last weekend, and I’m ready to do it all again. I hope this Friday finds you happy and healthy, and excited about the weekend ahead. For me, it’s going to be another basketball-rich weekend, but it won’t be nearly as intense as last weekend. But…my lists are still much shorter than my wide-open weekend lists. Here they are: 

Checklist-copyright-simplify101Play List:

  • Boot camp.
  • Basketball.
  • Relax!
  • Spend some time pinning!


To Finish:

  • Make a Target run. 
  • Start and finish a load or two of laundry. I’m in good shape again this weekend – hooray! But I’m sure I’ll be doing a load or two this weekend, and somehow putting it on my list here makes it more rewarding when I do it. ;) 
  • Plan weekly meals.
  • Pinterest to-do:  Make more laundry detergent via this pin.'s your turn. :) What's on your to-do list this weekend. Thanks for sharing...and have a wonderful weekend!


February 23, 2012

Getting Ready for Organized Closet Bliss

You know that place in your home that you would really only let your very best friend come into? And even then, it would be only after you had known her for 15 years and you were bedridden and had no choice but to send her in for that necessary item? Well, let’s all just pretend that I am sick in my bed and all of you are my lifetime BFFs. Deal? You have to agree, because I am about to let you into…(gulp)…my closet!


OK, before I let you in, let me tell you that honestly it isn't that bad. There is a whole lot going on in there that is right, but on the whole it is pretty uninspiring. And honestly, part of my issue is that I am an employee of simplify 101, so I know I can do better than what's currently going on in there.

I am lucky enough that my husband and I have matching closets. You should see how nicely he has his organized. In fact, if anyone comes to our house for the first time and is taking the “grand tour,” I only show them his closet! 


 But for you, my dearest friend, I open the door without further ado...



Not terrible, like I said, but it seriously could be oh-so-much better. The door hooks are overloaded. Scarves swing out into the door jam when I close it. My hats are eating up space on my shoe rack. The little cabinets in there don't work at all the way I need them to. I have jewelry stored in three different places. Two clothing racks are jam-packed and one isn't even half utilized. Items to donate are overflowing their basket. The shelves are overloaded and not efficient. See? It's just sort of one big botchy mess!


Look how the main clothes rack is so darn overloaded that it bows in the middle.



Notice how my collection of necklaces has completely outgrown the necklace hangers I have.



And last but not least, take a look at my stylish storage system for bags and out-of-season clothes. Yes, I do love to repurpose things, but somehow I feel I can come up with something a bit classier than a disposable diaper box. (I wish you could see how pink my cheeks are to share this one with you!)



I mentioned earlier this week that I could not wait for the Organize Your Closet workshop to begin. And by that, I meant that I really cannot wait! So I’ve already downloaded my materials and have begun taking my first steps towards organized closet bliss! The workshop doesn’t actually open until March 13, 2012, but hey, there are perks to working here. I can pick Aby’s brain as I go (just like the workshop participants will be able to do), but the one major downside to starting now is that I don’t have all the other participants in the workshop forum for added support and inspiration.


That is a bummer, so my work-around is that I’m going to share my progress on the blog over the next couple weeks. I will be looking to all of you to help keep my accountable and to give me a push if I get stuck on something. I hope you won’t mind. After all, you are my lifetime BFFs now, remember? 


Happy Organizing!

Jens signature black


February 21, 2012

Free Wardrobe Inventory Printable to Help Organize Your Closets

Where we live, the temperatures this week are definitely starting to feel like spring! And with the changes in weather come the changes in clothing needs. I often dread this because in my house, it typically means that we have a several weeks where it seems like our closets have exploded!  I’m trying to get ahead of things this year, though, and I’m starting with this handy dandy wardrobe inventory that we adapted from our Organize Your Closet online workshop. 


I’ll print one out for each family member so I can see what everyone has and still needs for spring. Then, when I’m headed out to the stores, I can take these along to make sure I’m buying things we need instead of things we already have.


For example, on my daughter Faith’s sheet, I am putting “capri pants, 6 slim” in the first column. Under the “Has” column, I wrote khaki, denim, pink floral. And under “Needs,” I listed white. As I do this, I’m making sure that she has shirts in the right size to go with these pants. So the next item I listed is short sleeve-tops, size 6, and then obviously what we have and what I’d like to find while shopping.


I’m pretty excited about this because I think it’s really going to help me avoid having too many similar items and not enough things to match them! Go ahead and grab this free wardrobe inventory printable for yourself. I’m keeping my inventories on a clipboard that I can carry with me from closet to closet, as well as to the stores.


This will be great for me, but the truth is that I need more help than one single printable can provide. Can you identify? Then be sure to grab your spot in the Organize Your Closet workshop, which begins March 13, 2012! For less than the cost of a new pair of shoes, you get the assistance of a professional organizer to guide you through the process of transforming your closet into an organized, functional space. I seriously cannot wait to start!


Happy Organizing,

  Jens signature black


February 20, 2012

Monday Check In + Freebie Winner

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was tiring but good. My volunteer project this weekend was working (for 26 hours!) at a basketball tournament that my son’s team sponsored. It was fun…but boy am I worn out today. As for my weekend to-do list, I did relax on Sunday night as planned, but the other two things on my really short list didn’t get done. (But I did do a couple of loads of laundry.) This weekend made me even more glad that I’ve changed up my cleaning and laundry routines. Having those new routines in place allowed me to be away from home for most of the weekend…yet not be too far behind on Monday. Love that! So often routines seem like they'd be the end of spontaneity, but as counter-intuitive as it may be, routines can actually allow you to be more spontaneous. Pretty cool. 


Speaking of routines…you may be wondering who won the spot in Janine Adam’s online workshop Simplify Your Life with Habits and Routines. Well, it is evi who posted on February 19, 2012 at 05:55 AM and said: “just retweeted Aby's post (two of them, wasn't sure which one is the right one... ;->).” Congrats evi! (I don’t have your email address so email me at aby @ simplify 101 dot com to claim your spot!)


Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. And remember, class begins tomorrow, so there’s still plenty of time to get in on the fun and simplify your life with new habits and routines. If you played along with Finish It Friday this weekend, I’d love to hear how your weekend went. Thanks so much for sharing your updates in the comments.


Enjoy the rest of your Monday!


February 17, 2012

Yippee for Routines and Freebie Friday!

Guess what? The cleaning schedule I blogged about several months ago is completely not working right now! Here it is Friday, and I am sandwiching my Wednesday chores around my work hours. Agh! I’ve noticed that the week starts off well, but by Thursday I am really “behind.” Then it takes a lot more effort on Friday and Saturday to get it all caught up. I can’t say there was one single thing that caused this shift, but just gradual changes in schedules and activities have caused the current cleaning routine to be defunct, which happens to put me in a bit of 'da funk, too!


I could say, “Oh, well, cleaning routines don’t actually work for me!” But I realize that this worked great before, and I just need to alter it a bit so it works for me again. For example, it turns out that doing the laundry is more than I can accomplish in a single day. So that day spills over to the next, and so on. Clearly, I either need to have 2 laundry days or else do a load every day throughout the week.




Laundry basket-300


I also realize that I have overloaded the weekdays in an effort to preserve our weekend time. I do so love the weekend time to be free and clear, but honestly, that’s not realistic right now. All of us seem too busy to get everything done during the week, so I am going to switch it up to schedule more chores on Saturday.

Here’s one of the beauties of a routine like this… A routine doesn’t mean that we can never do anything fun on Saturdays because we are locked into housework. Instead, it means that if we decide we want to have the weekend for other things, we will know it requires us to get extra done either before or after. And then we are free to go enjoy the thing we wanted without feeling overwhelmed or burdened about what we were “supposed” to be doing.


Here’s another beautiful thing about a cleaning schedule. Seeing housework that needs to be done stresses me out and distracts me far, far less when I know there is a plan for getting to that task. Yes, the powder room is rather grungy at the moment, but that is a chore for tomorrow. Poof! I can let it go for today. Yippee for the freedom that comes from a routine!

Want another reason to give a big “yippee?” We’re giving away a free seat to give away for our Simplify Your Life with Habits and Routines workshop! This workshop is taught by Aby’s dear friend and fellow professional organizer, Janine Adams. Janine will take the mystery out of creating new habits and routines, so you can lead the life you want to live! Sounds pretty great, right?

Here’s how to enter for a spot in Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines:

1) Leave a comment sharing one positive habit you’d like to create.

2) For a second chance to win, mention this giveaway post with a link on Twitter. Then, leave a comment telling me where you mentioned this giveaway.

3) For a third chance to win, mention this giveaway post with a link on Facebook. Then, leave a comment telling me where you mentioned this giveaway.

4) For a fourth chance to win, like us on Facebook. Then, leave another comment telling me you did (or that you already like us.)

5) For a fifth chance to win, pin this post on Pinterest. Then, leave another comment telling me you did.

Post your comments by Sunday, February 19 at 9 PM US CST. Winner will be selected at random and notified by email!

Happy Organizing!

Jens signature black

Comments are now closed! Thanks for entering. :)

Are You Ready to Get Organized for the Weekend?

Happy Friday my friends! I hope you had a terrific week and are gearing up for a fantastic weekend. Are you ready to post your Finish It Friday list? I have a big volunteer project to work on this weekend, so I’m going to keep my list short and sweet, focusing solely on the essentials. The rest of the weekend will be filled (to the brim!) with the BIG volunteer project.  Here’s my short + sweet list: 


Checklist-copyright-simplify101Play List:  

  • Relax on Sunday night...after the big project is behind me.


To Finish:

  • Plan meals for the week.
  • Grocery shop.


And that's it. Its weekends like these when I’m so happy about my new weekday laundry and cleaning routines. Hooray for that!


What’s on your to-do list this weekend? Please share your list in the comments and tap into power of friendly accountability! I hope you have a terrific weekend! 


P.S. Check back here later today for a fun Freebie Friday post! You won't want to miss it...

February 16, 2012

10 Ways to Get Your Organizing Mojo Back

Has this ever happened to you? You decide that this time it’s going to be different. This time you’re really going to get organized and stay that way, too. You start off with a bang and make great strides on your organizing projects for the first few days, weeks or maybe even months. Then, suddenly, wham! You hit the proverbial brick wall. Out of nowhere, something gets in the way of your progress. Maybe your kids get sick. Or perhaps your babysitter quits or you have to spend more time at the office. Perhaps you’re discouraged because the projects you’ve finished seem to be unraveling as you move onto the next project on your list. Whatever the cause, losing your organizing mojo is nothing short of frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the organizing journey. Here are ten simple ways to start shifting the momentum back in your direction so you can get your organizing mojo back. 

Read the rest here >>>

February 15, 2012

Get Organized Online with a Professional Organizer

Around here we’re gearing up for two online workshops that are starting in the next several days. The first is one is one I’ll be leading and it's called Organize Your Paper Clutter. This workshop begins tomorrow February 16 and has everything you need to put an end to the paper clutter in your home. Whether you’re overwhelmed by paper clutter or are simply looking for ways to streamline and beautify your existing paper-organizing systems, Organize Your Paper Clutter is for you. You’ll learn how to create a customized paper-organizing system that works for you and how you naturally do things! Put an end to paper clutter and the stress it creates in this action-oriented online workshop. Learn more here >>>


The second workshop is being taught by my friend, professional organizer Janine Adams. Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines begins Tuesday, February 21. In this workshop you’ll learn Janine’s proven strategies for creating effective habits and routines. By creating habits and routines for the little chores of daily life, you actually free yourself to pursue things you love to do. No more missing out on fun because you feel you should stay home and “get organized.” It may seem paradoxical, but habits and routines actually free you to live more spontaneously! Learn more here >>>



If you’re new to simplify 101, you may be wondering what these online workshops are all about. You might even be wondering if you couldn’t get the same information in a book. Sure, you could probably find similar information in a book, but there are same major differences between learning on your own with a book, versus joining an organizing workshop. Here are just a few of these differences. 


Answers when you need them. With online workshops if you aren’t sure how to apply concepts to your home or there’s something about your situation that is unique (maybe you don’t have much storage space, or you aren’t sure about the best way to approach your projects) it isn’t the end of the road. Instead, you can hop on out to the private workshop forum and post your question. You’ll get answers from an organizing expert, as well as ideas from your classmates, which means you can quickly get back into action and get your organizing projects done. 


Content that supports your learning style:  If you learn best by reading, books can be a great option. But what if you’re an auditory learner? What if you learn best by doing? Our workshops present material in three different formats to accommodate your preferred learning method. You’ll receive downloadable lessons with color photography, online materials, and high-quality audio to reinforce each exercise. Plus, lesson materials are presented in ways that make it simple to take action. 


Support + ongoing motivation. You’re not in this alone! When you sign up for a simplify 101 organizing class, you’ll receive inspiration from the ideas, support, and success stories offered by other students in your class. You’ll also benefit from the expertise of a knowledgeable, results-oriented instructor. We’re committed to keeping you accountable, motivated, and on track to achieve your organization goals, so much so that the upcoming sessions of Organize Your Paper Clutter and Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines include a full year of exclusive access to the workshop online community and lesson materials. This means you can stay in action and continue to support (and be supported by) your classmates all year long! (Just think how much paper organizing you’ll get done and how many great habits you’ll have in place next year at this time!)  


If you have any questions about our online workshops and how they work, let me know in the comments. I'm happy to answer your questions.


Happy organizing!


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