An Organized Office: Before & After

Did you know that paper is the #1 request when it comes to getting organized.  Put the summer to go use and banish the paper and clutter that blocks you from getting through your mail, paying your bills on time, or missing an important deadline.  An Organized Life teaches you how to banish the clutter for good and take control of your life and your office.

Before Office 

After Office 

 

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Laundry Room Organization: From Disorder to Beautifully Functional

Disorderly laundry room?  Change it from mixed categories of stuff everywhere to beautifully organized and supremely functional.

 

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Too Much Stuff? Organize it in your basement!

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Beautifully Organized. 

Got too much stuff in frequently used spaces like your kitchen?  Create an overflow station in your basement – make it organized, make it beautiful, make it functional.

Before

 

After

 

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Best New Way to Sell Things

Great new resources on the best way to sell things – thanks NBC News.

THE NEW EBAY/AMAZON

If you’re selling something unusual – or quirky – Bonanza is the place. You’ll find rocks and fossils, Elvis platinum records, vintage lunchboxes, and just about everything else. Sellers love it because the ratio of people shopping to people selling is exceptionally high.

THE NEW CRAIGSLIST

LetGo, OfferUp, Close5, and Facebook Marketplace are all focused on helping you sell in your local area. Both LetGo and OfferUp have raised considerable money from venture capitalists. LetGo says it has more than 20 million active monthly users.

As always, if you’re selling locally try to meet the buyer in a safe, public location. More than 450 million people buy and sell on Facebook every month. And Close5 is owned by eBay.

THE NEW CONSIGNMENT STORES

TheRealReal, a luxury consignment store, and ThredUp, which is more mainstream, will both take your merchandise and then pay you a percentage of the sale price when it sells.

Poshmark allows you to post it and set the price yourself. You can then interface with the seller and pay the site a fee of $2.95 if it’s under $15, or 20 percent if it’s over $15.

THE NEW BEST FOR OLD TECH

Big stores like Amazon, Apple, BestBuy, and GameStop all have trade in/trade up programs. But you may do better by selling independently. Look at Decluttr, USell, Gazelle, NextWorth and Swappa.

 

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An Organized Suitcase: Best Way To Pack

The Best Way to Pack a Suitcase

Experts reveal their trusted, time-honored solutions.

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Your Clothes

Step 1: Gather all the garments you anticipate needing. Then put half of them back. Select clothes in the same color family, packing more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip, you’ll likely need five shirts, two pairs of slacks or jeans, and one skirt, says Kathleen Ameche, author of The Woman Road Warrior ($15, amazon.com). The average 22-inch check-in bag fits roughly two pairs of jeans, three sweaters, two dresses, and five shirts.

Step 2: Choose knits, wools, and cottons. These fabrics tend to resist wrinkles and are versatile (some garments can do double duty, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas).

Step 3: Roll softer garments and fold stiffer ones. Underwear, T-shirts, jeans, cotton pants, and knitwear won’t wrinkle when rolled tightly, says Judy Gilford, author of The Packing Book ($13, amazon.com). Stiffer fabrics, such as starched cotton shirts, blazers, dressy pants, and skirts, should be carefully folded.

Step 4: Arrange rolled items in the bottom of the bag. Think of your suitcase as a three-layer cake. The suitcase is the icing; the rolled items make up the first layer.

Step 5: Place folded garments next. For your (cream filling) middle layer, start with the longest items, like skirts and slacks. Stack the garments on top of each other, alternating waists with hems. Position the pile flush with the suitcase, draping leftover fabric over the opposite end. (This conserves space since thick waistbands won’t be piled on top of one another.) Wrap the draping ends of the pile into the center. Next, lay collars of shorter items, like shirts, at the hinge with the ends over the handles. Fold the collars and ends over once and fold the arms in.

Step 6: Cover the pile with a dry-cleaning bag. It’s like Botox for your clothes. Because of the bag’s slippery surface, folded clothes don’t stay in one place long enough for creases to set. Easy upgrade: Place a bag between each layer of clothing. To get to a certain layer easily, simply pull the ends of the bag up on either side.

Step 7: Top the pile with the clothes you’ll need first. Anything goes with your top layer―a bathing suit or pajamas.

Step 8: Snake belts around the perimeter of the bag. This cradles your three layers.

Your Shoes

Step 1: Follow the rules of three. Consider one casual sandal or loafer, sneakers, and an evening shoe to be your holy trinity. “Because of their shapes and heels, shoes take up the most room,” says Marybeth Bond, author of 50 Best Girlfriends Getaways ($16, amazon.com). Wear the heaviest pair and pack the other two.

Step 2: Stuff shoes with sunglasses and electronics chargers, says Anita Dunham-Potter, a cruise columnist for MSNBC.com.

Step 3: Slip shoes into one-gallon-size resealable bags. Then set them along the sides of the bag, says Gilford.

Your Beauty Products

Step 1: Opt for travel-size multitaskers. Choose a tinted moisturizer that serves as foundation, a soap, and shampoo in one, and wipes that clean hands and face. (If you’re flying with a carry-on, check current regulations for liquids at tsa.gov.)

Step 2: Fill empty bottles with your favorite brands. Evelyn Hannon, creator of journeywoman.com, a travel-advice website, swears by Japonesque’s Gotta Go Weekend Travel Bag ($20, amazon.com). A mere four inches high by four inches wide, it’s stocked with eight clear containers for lotions, contact-lens solution, and the like. Fill them three-quarters full. “The storage department on a plane is not pressurized, so items filled all the way to the top will overflow,” says Bond, who learned that the hard way when a sample of Pepto-Bismol exploded all over her clothes.

Step 3: Protect your belongings from ugly mishaps. Denise Boyd, a flight attendant for JetBlue, slips socks over her coarsely bristled brushes that “can tear into clothes and cause snags.”

Step 4: Group similar products in sealed resealable bags. Designate one sack for your cosmetics, one for your hair products, and one for skin-related items. Tuck the bags in the side corners of your suitcase or in a zippered outside pocket.

Your Jewelry

Stow inexpensive pieces in a seven day plastic pillbox. Or store them in a 35-millimeter film container lined with tissue. If you must take precious gems, wear them during your travels to reduce the risk of loss or theft, suggests Gilford.

Your Breakables

Wrap fragile items in sturdy clothing. Place them in the center of your bag surrounded by a buffer, says Laura McHolm of NorthStar Moving, a Los Angeles–based company that relocates 5,000 people (and their precious porcelain) each year. If you’re carting liquor bottles, secure them in the bottom center of your bag.

Your Dirty Laundry

Shrink it. Jessica Ellis, a graphic designer who travels between New York City and Chicago every other week, piles clothing into Eagle Creek Pack-It Compressor bags ($10 to $26, rei.com). “Zipper them, and they take out 80 percent of the volume.” Warning: This can have wrinkly consequences, so if the clothes don’t yet require laundering, lay them flat and place fabric-softener sheets between them. Consider your fresh-smelling clothes a welcome-home present.