As soon as Memorial Day hits and the warm weather is constant, our family spends the majority of our free weekend time at the pool. Whether you’re a pool-goer like us or you’re planning a fun trip to the beach this summer, an organized bag is a must-have to corral the essentials. So long are the days where I could just toss in sunglasses, sunscreen, and a good magazine for me and call it a day. If you’re a parent like me you know that we double as pack mules and some days it feels like we’re carrying everything but the kitchen sink in our totes.  

While I can’t necessarily lighten your load, I am here to share with you how I organize my bag so that the essentials are always easy to find and so that I can have everything I need (and some things that I might need) in one spot.

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How to Get Your Kids Organized for Sleepaway Camp (and make sure that they write you every day!)

My girls are heading to their first summer of sleepaway camp this year, which has brought a lot of emotions (they’re beyond excited, but Jon and I already miss them!). Once we made the decision that they would be headed out for a month of adventuring and lifelong memory-making, it hit me that there would be a lot to get done to prepare. I’ve packed my kids for plenty of family travel and quick trips, but never for such a long time period, so it was time to get in full-on organizing mode!

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The online store that has completely changed the way that my family shops

When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, I was given a list of things that I could no longer eat, ingest, apply to my skin, etc.*. To say that I was overwhelmed would be a vast understatement, as the list was not only extremely long, but also included a lot of ingredients that I wasn’t familiar with. After further research, I realized that the ingredients that were found in my shampoo, lotions, storage containers, down to the type of cotton balls I use were no longer safe for me to use. Around the same time of my diagnosis, I saw an ad on Instagram for Brandless. Have you heard of the company?

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4 Ways to Organize Your Playroom to Inspire Creativity

I remember years ago during one of the first days of summer after my girls had started elementary school I heard the dreaded words: “I’m bored”.

As adults, it’s common to walk into our closet and complain that we have “nothing to wear”. I’ve been there, my clients have been there, and chances are you’ve been there on a regular basis as well.

See, for kids, their version of our closet complaints is oftentimes their play space. So many options, but for (what seems like) the majority of the time nothing seems appealing. More than likely, there are dozens of toy options at their disposal and yet as parents we hear the dreaded “I’m bored!” more often than we would like. It can be frustrating to stare at a room full of puzzles, board games, dolls, legos, and more, and  think about how they can’t find something to do, but it’s possible that it’s not what the options are but how they are being stored. Yes, believe it or not organization--or lack thereof--could be the culprit behind your kid’s boredom.

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End of year gifts for your A+ teacher

Is it just me or does it feel like I was just talking about back to school organization? How are we only one month away from another school year coming to a close! I’m probably a broken record at this point, but where does the time go? Before I know it my girls will be packing up and heading off to camp for the summer (don’t worry, packing lists and prep on that topic are going to be on the blog soon enough), but I’m trying my best to stay focused on the now. I know that once summer comes that means farewell to our school routines, after school activity drop-offs, and evening quizzes of spelling words that I can barely pronounce!

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My Favorite Design and Organization Hacks for Your Small Space

Have you ever felt that your home’s square footage--or lack thereof--was keeping you from getting organized? While I can’t help to change the footprint of your home, there are many ways that design and organization can help to maximize the usable (and visual) space in your home. Take a peek at the tips below and let me know which design and organizing hacks you are going to use to transform your small space. I promise you that even the smallest hacks can be life changing and change the way that you live and operate in your small space.

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6 Yard Sale Tips to Create a Better (and More Profitable) Experience

I remember years ago when I hosted my first yard sale. The neighborhood was hosting a big event where you can go between driveways to shop, making it the perfect opportunity to clear your home of unwanted items once and for all. My girls were excited and ready, because with yard sales meant a lot of fun, like lemonade stands, learning about money, earning money, and finding new homes for old things. I had organized all of our items into boxes, did an insane amount of decluttering (okay, a little more than usual), and what happened? It rained.

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Client Before and After: Personalizing the layout for a busy working parent

If you don’t love your closet then you can probably relate to the “band-aid” fixes. You know, the products that you think will solve your problems and while they might work a little bit, sometimes it’s the closet itself that needs to get re-done.

We recently redesigned our client’s closet because--like many of our clients--she knew that there had to be a better layout which would make it easier for her to keep up with. The thing is, not all closets are created equal. Some closets have a combination of long hang and short hang, shelves and shoe racks, but more often than not is a closet perfect for your needs without a little bit of tweaking.

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5 Desk Organization Tips to Boost Productivity

I’ve noticed that having an office space that is beautifully designed and organized isn’t just a trend. Companies seem to be taking the time and are investing more in their employees and their surroundings by bringing in experts to create better work environments. From how the furniture is designed to the office, companies have taken notice of the positive impacts that organized office spaces can have on their employees and their productivity.

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As a professional organizer, I’m always asked if I “make” my clients get rid of stuff while helping them declutter. In case you’re wondering the same thing...the answer, in short, is: absolutely not. In recent years there has been a growing interest in minimalism and a greater emphasis on “less is more”, but before you jump on the bandwagon and rid your home of anything that doesn’t bring you joy, take a moment to carefully review a couple of categories before letting them go.

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Who has issues in the morning and would to shave off a few minutes from their morning routine? There are so many ways to make the most out of your confined space in a shower so that you are not only more organized, but you are able to speed up your daily routine (win-win!). Similar to every area of your home, organization can streamline your daily routine and help you save time, money, and frustration in the long run. And all this while in the shower!? Yes. It’s possible.

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Spring Organizing Favorites

The weekend is a time where I’m able to focus on a couple of projects from my ongoing to-do list, and I’m looking forward to getting my house totally back together after our spring break trip (I mean, I always forget how much laundry it entails!).

What’s on your to-do list this weekend? Whether you’re somewhere warm or in the DC area like where it’s calling for snow, I know that a lot of you are in spring cleaning/organizing mode!

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Regardless of the size of your home, your under the sink storage is probably far from ideal. These kitchen and bathroom spots are great for the added storage opportunity, but due to their awkward and small footprint they can often become a dumping ground for your supplies, grocery bags, and bulk cleaning sprays. 

The good news for you is that under the sink organization is one of the quicker spots to dive into during spring organization. Sure, there are pipes and short dimensions to deal with, but a couple minutes of dedication to this area will make it a small but mighty powerhouse for your storage needs.

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While it can be tempting to think of how you can transform your entire home during spring cleaning/organizing, it can also be overwhelming and time consuming. Instead, narrow your focus to a few select areas that will make the most impact, like your kitchen and pantry. When you set out to organize your kitchen and pantry, make sure to avoid making these common mistakes so that you can save on time, money, and ensure that you make the  most out of your available space.

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Spring Organizing Series: Garages + Storage Rooms

Basements, garages, and attics can quickly become full of clutter because of how much can be packed inside and the lack of upkeep that it requires (function definitely trumps design in these areas so it's easy to make excuses for their disorganized state). Think of each of these spaces as another room in your house--a place where everything should be purposeful, visible, and where you can still walk around to access everything. At least once every year pull every content out of the storage area and review what should stay and what should go.

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Spring Organizing Series: Closets

A few months ago I hosted a workshop event called Cleanse Your Closet with the consignment gurus from The RealReal. The workshop was held at the inspiring BUREAU coworking + event space, and we spent the evening chatting all things closets, including how to create the best closet layout for your space, how to organize your clothing, and how to handle situations like knowing when to consign an item, how to handle sentimental items, and how to store out of season clothing.

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Single Mom Nation Podcast: Getting Rid of the Marriage Crap (and really any kind of crap you have!)

I recently spoke with Jessica Ashley, host of the Single Mom Nation podcast. It’s an honest girlfriend to girlfriend conversation where we talk about...well, marriage crap.As a former single mother, I discuss with Jessica Ashley how to move forward with you life when you are single parenting and have to deal with the mental and physical clutter that is left over from your marriage. I was a single mom for many years and have helped other individuals going through divorce or loss, so this topic is one that deeply resonates with me.

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Spring Organizing Series: Your Spring Organizing Checklist

The thing about spring cleaning/organizing/whatever you want to call it is there is so much build up around it. There is no official “spring cleaning” holiday per se, but instead it’s the general time of year where we are all supposed to buckle down and get our stuff in order.

To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I mean, as a type A person to my core there are few things I enjoy more than a good list to check off and for everything to have its place. But, even though everything has its place doesn’t mean that everything needs a place in your home.

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Spring Organizing Series: Tips for Organizing Kids Spaces (from kids!)

It’s officially spring and with that comes the start of spring cleaning and organizing. This year I’ve created a Spring Organizing Series here on the blog, which will be a collection of blog posts dedicated to getting specific areas of your home organized. First up in the series is the topic that I get asked about most often: kids stuff!

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Spring Cleaning with Grove Collaborative and Finally Letting Go of My Baby Shower Dress (10 years later!)

As a professional organizer, I should probably tell you that I love Spring cleaning, right? I should probably tell you getting things organized for Spring is a breeze in my home because every room is already perfectly in place and that since we don’t have clutter the process takes minutes to keep up. I mean, it’s literally my job to help people declutter and get their homes in order, but that doesn’t mean that my home always is neat all the time. We are an active family of four and we LIVE in our house. It will never be perfectly neat and that is ok with me.

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