Tag Archives: guests

5 Organizing Gifts

Stuck on what get that special someone for a gift this holiday season? Here are a few of our favorite organizing gifts in no particular order:


Purse Organizers

These handy bags are ideal for the organized person who likes to use different purses and bags. It sits inside a satchel, keeping items separate and lifts out easily to transfer contents to another tote. They come in a variety of colors that appeal to both women and men.

 Purse Perfector®

InBag handbag organizerInBag® Handbag Organizer


Label Maker

Labeling containers makes knowing where to put things back clear and easy. Don’t forget to include batteries and label tape! Label tapes come in ¼”, ½”, and ¾” widths. The 3/4″ width tape is our favorite for large containers…and the tapes come in a variety of colors!


         Brother P-Touch®

Charging Station

There are many different styles and sizes of these. They can really help to minimize device and cable counter clutter. Consider purchasing short charging cables that stay with the station and save the long ones for travel.


Griffin® PowerDock-5

Bedside Organizer

These are a handy way to keep nightstand clutter down. They’re also available for couches!

Richard’s GearBox


Clip and Keep Sofa Organizer

BONUS! Stocking Stuffers


gift-GuardYourIDPLUS brand GuardYourID Roller: An easy way to get more paper clutter into recycling instead of keeping a pile for shredding…


Post-Its® Super Sticky Pads are fun for the whole family!

Belkin® Cable Ties are handy little chaos-tamers

We hope this helps stimulate your brainstorming while shopping for the best gifts for your friends and family.

Next week, we’ll showcase some consummable presents we think are pretty special.

What are your favorite practical holiday gift ideas?

Leave a comment

Filed under Decluttering, Holidays, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies

Organizing Products for Overnight Guests

Guest rooms can be useful for more than the occasional guest

Be prepared to welcome guests without losing your spare room

Is the work to prepare for hosting guests overwhelming? Do you feel like a whole room in your house is dedicated to occasional visitors?

A few simple organizing products can help free up your extra room to be used mostly for your routine needs AND to keep guests comfortable and self-sufficient; making your job as host easier:

  • Clothes
    • Instead of dedicating an empty dresser for guests clothes, a foldable luggage rack creates an instant home for a suitcase or bag and stores away when not in use.
  • guest-luggage rackCreate some instant shelving in a closet by using hanging sweater shelves:

guest hanging shelf

  • Sleeping
    • Consider using an inflatable guest bed instead of a permanent bed. They come in a large variety of sizes and heights: guest-bed
    • A larger investment in a guest room is adding a Murphy Bed. They are sold as cabinets that can be attached to an open wall. A simple google search will yield many different vendors:


  • Toiletries
    • Keep a dedicated container (shoe box size) to store a few extra supplies for guests. Stock it during the year as you do your regular shopping or use extra hotel travel size supplies. When guest arrive pull out the box and use a decorative container on the sink if desired.
  • guest shoe boxActivities
    • Keep an extra supply of maps and a list of places of interest in a binder or oversize plastic envelope that you can pull out when guests arrive. During the year you can add to the envelope or binder – include a section for freebies – extra gift cards, BART tickets, guest passes.

guest doc envel.

  • Food – stock up with some easy snacks such as nuts, crackers, protein bars, cheese sticks so guests can take care of themselves between mealtimes.

Follow our tips on getting the room clear enough to be a welcoming host. A little advance preparation will free up your time to enjoy the company of your guests and making hosting a breeze.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bedroom, General Organizing, Holidays

Decluttering for Guests

Prepare for house guests & accomplish your declutter goals

Prepare for houseguests & make progress on decluttering

Do you dread the thought of family or friends coming to visit because your spare room (if you even have one) is overloaded with “stuff” you’ve been meaning to deal with?

You’re not alone.  We estimate that 75% of families with spare rooms have no capacity for hosting spare people.

If you want to make a room usable in a short amount of time, you can employ some basic organizing strategies.

Your guest room is a jumble, where do you start?  Many people load up paper bags and stuff things in closets.  There may be a better way.  It involves changing your mindset from immediate gratification to long-term goals.

As you approach a pile of unrelated stuff, notice that there are usually distinct categories of things in the piles.

  • Clothes and bedding
  • Craft supplies and tools
  • Paperwork
  • Photos/Memorabilia
  • Dishes and Decor

Do a “rough sort” with the things in the room using broad categories.

Determine if some of the items just need to be donated or if there are homes for them elsewhere in the house (is there room in your linen closet for those extra blankets and comforters, for example?)

Once you’ve decided what you’re keeping, procure banker’s boxes or plastic stackable bins—just enough for this project. Consider buying a couple shallow bins (usually 6” high) for storing things under the bed.

Fill the bins with “like” things.  Label them – noting the category of items stored, the location where the stuff came from and the date it was packed.

Use space under the bed and in the closet. Or dedicate some space in the attic, basement or garage.

If there is no extra storage space, you can employ the pop-up credenza technique.  I’ve made some make-do credenzas with bins filled with off-season clothes, boxes of books, trunks full of sweaters … even masses of canned soda cartons!  The credenza is created when an attractive bedspread, tablecloth or piece of fabric is draped over it and tucked in as if wrapping a package.

If you have no room for a credenza, you may have a free corner to stack boxes.  Use a folding screen to hide the stack.

Space bags can be very helpful when you have lots of fabric/bedding.  It can be put into a large bag and, with the air vacuumed out, it takes up a third of the space.

In any case, while preparing for guests, you’ll be halfway through organizing your stuff.  After your guests have left, pull out the bins and begin making those postponed decisions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bedroom, General Organizing, Holidays, Strategies

What Motivates Us To De-clutter?

Motivation can be generated ... here's some tips!

Where do you find the motivation to do the right thing?

When the overcrowding problem in your home is so overwhelming that you can’t find anything and you can barely open the front door, it may be easy to find the motivation to take action.

Once we “hit bottom,” we are more open to getting help…any help…to make changes in our lives and our living spaces.

But, what can you do to “raise the bottom” and find the energy to tackle the accumulation of unsorted stuff before it causes you too much suffering?

 Motivation can come from the inside or the outside.


Deadlines. Taxes due–April 15th is always a prod that can give you a boost.  It’s a reliable deadline to which most of us adhere to get our paperwork in order. And the deadline comes reliably every year.  A yearly purge of unwanted possessions and paperwork is a good habit. Think of it as “spring cleaning.”

Self-imposed deadlines. How about making a date to have the rugs cleaned?  Or inviting a contractor in to research a kitchen remodeling project?  Sometimes just having a fresh set of eyes looking at your spaces can help you see what we have in stark reality.

Impending house guests. Do you look forward to your family visiting?  Having guests come usually triggers a fresh look at what we have and how we are storing stuff. Even if the guest room isn’t overloaded with stuff that we’ve been putting off making decisions about, the idea of someone coming to stay helps us to see how our home is functioning…or not.

Relocation. The cost of moving stuff you don’t care about is a great motivator.  If knowing that the less the movers have to transport, the less it’s going to cost you, that could be an impetus for making some tough choices.

Family changes. The addition of another family member (sweetheart, parent or child) can provide a level of alarm that requires a fresh look at your living space. The transitions when children grow up provide natural prompts to do space overhauls.  And, when your child moves out (for real) repurposing a room is often what’s called for.

Job transitions. The need for home office space can prompt whole house revamp.


Therapeutic insight. A session with a therapist, coach, or professional organizer may remove roadblocks to the organizing process.

Medical diagnosis. An organized space becomes necessary for your health:

  • Allergies – clutter makes it hard to clean dust and pet hair
  • Disability or other medical condition which requires accommodations in your living space
  • Nutritional plan which relies on an efficiently appointed kitchen

Motivation of unknown origin. Some people suddenly just “see the light” and the goal is clear, along with the method.

Since you’ve read this post to the end, you’re probably not one of these “I’ve seen the light” people… So, what can you do?

Light your own fire!  Invite a friend over to stay, meet with a coach, make an appointment with a contractor or architect and take a small step toward a goal.

Leave a comment

Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Time Management