5 Best Things to Do Before Getting Organized!

Over the years as a professional organizer, you start noticing trends. Trends with people’s expectations, actions, and habits. Here are my 5 best things to do before getting organized!

5 Things to do Before Getting Organized

Let Go of ‘Perfect.’

  • No one’s home is perfect – not even the homes of professional organizers. We juggle jobs and spouses and kids, too!
  • One universal truth about perfectionists: they are never done, and are rarely happy with their progress.
  • Stop looking for perfect. Start looking for functional, efficient, under control.

There is no ONE way to Organize

  • Just as we’re all different, there are endless ways to organize just about anything. As a professional organizer, it’s a key part of our job to discover the right way for you.
  • This is why many people will try several different products, fail, and then believe that they ‘can’t’ get organized.

Define your Goal(s)

  • You have to know what the destination is before you start driving.
  • Think of what you want your end result to be.
    • For your kitchen, is it ‘being able to cook dinner in less time’? Is it ‘I want a pantry that promotes healthy eating’? Is it ‘I want all my kids’ stuff off of my kitchen island’?
  • Having a clearly defined goal to work toward will help keep you focused and help make the tough decisions.

Commit to the Process.

  • Getting organized is very similar to hiring a personal trainer. If you only go the gym every once in a while, you don’t expect great results, right?
  • If you want real results that last,  commit to the process.

Yes, It can be fun and enjoyable!

  • Client Lisa: ‘My favorite part is seeing all of the clutter leave my house – it’s like a huge weight off of my shoulders!’
  • Client Denise: ‘This is better than therapy! It’s the best birthday present I’ve ever bought myself.’
  • Client Elise: ‘I always feel better after we’ve worked together.’
  • Client Joy: ‘I was dreading this project, but you made it so FUN!’

Related: Problems with Perfectionism – Does Perfectionism have you stuck?

Related: Organizing for Healthy Eating

Keep Critical Documents Safe: What to Know

A friend reached out to me over the weekend and asked about the best way to keep critical documents safe. Great question – and one that many people don’t put a lot of thought into until their home catches fire or gets burglarized.

What falls under the category of ‘critical documents’, you ask? Anything that someone can use to steal your identity or would create havoc if it were to go missing.

Critical Documents include:

  • passports
  • marriage licenses
  • birth certificates
  • divorce settlement and child custody papers
  • Original Social Security cards
  • Life insurance policies
  • Homeowner’s insurance policy
  • Copies of your will(s) – originals are best kept at your attorney’s office

So what are your best options to keep your critical documents safe?

Safe Deposit Box

Ah, the safe deposit box. The stalwart of security. While safe deposit boxes are still used and are generally secure, there are things to keep in mind. Access can be inconvenient (only during bank hours) to disastrous (you can’t access a living will immediately) depending on the situation. Also keep in mind that the contents of a safe deposit box aren’t insured by the FDIC.

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Photo Credit: Flickr User -JVL- https://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/

At-Home Safe

More and more people are investing in an at-home safe to keep critical documents safe. Access is certainly more immediate, for sure. Most safes are insured by your homeowners’ policy, but always check with your insurance agent to make certain. And there are several things to keep in mind when purchasing a safe. The awesome people at Freshome have a fantastic article to help you out.

Photo Credit: Flickr User Dave Jones. https://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/

Photo Credit: Flickr User Dave Jones. https://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/

How do you protect your critical documents? Did you decide to go with one of these solutions or did you come up with something different?


How to Fold a Fitted Sheet: Just don’t!

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What are the first words you think of when I say ‘fitted sheets.’? Aside from some cursing, I generally hear fewer words and more groans and griping. Does anyone know how to really fold them, aside from Martha Stewart? It’s one of those skills we think we should know, but we’re not quite sure why. So many clients ask me how to fold a fitted sheet!

RELATED: Organizing Towels & Sheets ~ 30 Day Challenge

So here’s one of my favorite tips about how to fold a fitted sheet – Don’t! No, I’m not suggesting balling them up and shoving them into your linen closet. I’m suggesting you eliminate the problem at the source.

Most of us put fresh sheets on the bed every week. And most of us do laundry several times per week. That tells me you need one set of sheets on the bed, and one set in the laundry. That’s two sheets sets. Neither of which you need to fold because they’re always either in the laundry process or they’re on the bed, right?

RELATED: Kids & Laundry ~ #ThinkAboutIt Thursday

So why do most of us have a linen closet stuffed to the gills with sheet sets, even though we only put one set on each bed at any one time! So, take an honest look at your linen closet. Choose the two nicest sheet sets for each bed in your home. Donate the rest to your closest animal shelter.

And never fold a fitted sheet again!

12 Ideas for Holiday Storage

(Clutterninja Note: Throughout November and December, we’ll be featuring guest posts from my awesome organizing colleagues across the country – kind of like Guest Ninjas. Enjoy!)

12 Ideas for Holiday Storage

by Kirsten Fisher of Imagine Home Organization

In our community, we celebrate every holiday to the fullest making for joyful occasions and storage hassles.  These ideas will ensure your decorations look their best every year while saving you time, expense and holiday stress.

  1. Use color appropriate boxes for storage so you can easily identify which box is for each holiday.
  2. Use multiple boxes to avoid heavy lifting and awkward storage configuration. Sort and label by the location you use so you can pull out only what is needed or can assign specific tasks to family members.
  3. Store ornaments and small holiday figurines in specialized containers with adjustable compartments to protect from damage and maximize space. While many choose to box in the original packaging, this is not the most space or time efficient method.  For especially delicate items you can place bubble wrap or tissue within the compartment.  Place hand-made and food craft ornaments in a sealable sandwich bag to protect from humidity.
  4. Invest in bubble wrap to protect decorations. As you wrap each item, use a Sharpie to label the wrap for future years.
  5. In order to keep cherished memories, use a Sharpie to label each ornament or decorative piece in a discreet location with the year received and from whom.
  6. To avoid the time and stress wasted on detangling, store lights on a spool and label the location they are used with a tag made of masking tape and Sharpie.
  7. Store your holiday dishes, table cloths and silver with your decorations to avoid overburdening your kitchen or pantry with items you rarely use.
  8. Store boxes in out of the way places since you only access once each year. Can’t find space?  Install a system to allow you to use the ceiling of your garage.
  9. Hang your wreaths in a garbage or garment bag to avoid dust and crushing. Use a specialty storage case if hanging space is limited.
  10. Invest in a gift wrap center appropriate for your level of interest in wrapping. From a small container that fits under the bed to an elaborate craft station, the important thing to remember is to have all required tools in one location including paper, tissue, ribbon, embellishments, tags, tape, scissors and markers.
  11. After you open gifts, shred the paper to be used for future gift filler (Real Simple magazine)
  12. If you have more decorations than storage space, review your items and give yourself permission to donate those items you don’t use or don’t love.

About the Author: 

Kirsten Fisher Headshot

Kirsten Fisher, Founder & CEO

In nearly 20 years of sport & entertainment marketing, Kirsten built brand equity, generated revenue growth, managed agencies, activated global sponsorships, supported charitable relationships, developed advertising campaigns, generated media value, managed staff on three continents, launched the Asia-Pacific corporate office of a global governing body and started her own business.  How did she accomplish all of this?  Organization and efficiency have been her greatest strengths.

She is now able to turn those strengths into assets for doing something she loves, home organization.  They also serve her well as a wife and the mother of two toddler boys. In addition to her own organization experience, she is also a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, has a certificate in Interior Design and Home Styling and is a member of the Business Council of Shorecrest Prep. in St. Petersburg, FL.

6 Ways to Deal with Inherited Holiday Decorations!

(Clutterninja Note: This is a guest post by my wonderful colleague Nancy Haworth of On Task Organizing. Enjoy!)


(Photo Credit: Flickr User ‘LadyDragonfly->;< via Creative Commons license, http://bit.ly/1NGltHV)


Did your parents or grandparents pass down holiday decorations to you?  Organizing and storing your own decorations can be difficult, and even more challenging if you’ve inherited boxes of old decorations and ornaments from loved ones.

Rather than taking up space in your garage, basement, attic or storage unit, tackle those boxes and bins this holiday season.  If you will never display the old decorations, here are some ways to put them to good use.

Keep a few favorites.  Sort through the ornaments, and only keep those that mean the most to you.  Try to limit this to one box, or the amount of space still available on your own tree.  Did your mother or father collect a certain type of ornament?  Pick just a few you cherish most to represent those people or holiday memories.

Give to charities. Donate old sets of lights, trees and holiday decor to charities.  Older ornaments that you know no one in your family will want can also be donated.  Needy families would make good use of the decorations.  For collectible ornaments, check prices on eBay, perhaps you can sell those.

Share with other family members. Determine if certain ornaments should be given to other family members.   This year, maybe your sister or brother would like to open a box of favorite ornaments from childhood Christmases.

Create a photo scrapbook. Before donating or selling, take a photograph of each item for your own keepsake. From those photographs, you can create a scrapbook using a site like Shutterfly, and make copies for your relatives.  Each member of your family can enjoy a treasured keepsake they can look through each year, rather than one person being burdened with boxes of decorations gathering dust in storage.

Create holiday cards. You can also create your own holiday cards with a favorite holiday decoration from your family’s past displayed on the front of the card.  Family and friends will enjoy the nostalgia of your holiday greeting.

Use proper storage containers. Be sure to properly store the items that you do keep in watertight containers with packing material.

Once your collection is narrowed down, you can enjoy displaying a few select decorations each year to remember past holidays.

Author Bio: Nancy Haworth is a Professional Organizer and Owner of On Task Organizing, LLC located in Raleigh, North Carolina. She assists residential clients throughout the area in organizing homes, decluttering, moving, and managing time. She has been a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers since 2011. Website: www.ontaskorganizing.com Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ontaskorganizing.

How to Have a Low-Stress Move

Clutterninja Note: Throughout November and December, I’ll be sharing guest posts written by friends and organizing colleagues. Enjoy!

How to Have a Low-Stress Move

by Suzanne Holsomback

I recently moved, both internationally in 2014 and inside the state of Texas in 2015. Both moves had their unique set of stressors, remedies, and outcomes.

The international move demanded a purge like none that I have ever experienced in my life. Some things I was not ready to part with yet, but they had to go since we were paying for the move in weight. Yes, my four 3″ ring binders full of readings and notes had to go to the recycling bin.

My in-state move was less weight dependent, but needed to fit into our rental truck and able to move with just two people. I was also moving during the remnants of a massive hurricane that smashed into Mexico – so basically boat loads of rain. And let me tell you, if you’re going to rent a moving van, make sure it is waterproof. Soggy book boxes make everyone unhappy!

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But after these two mega moves, I wanted to share with you some thoughts on how to have a less stressful move. A stress free move is pretty much like a unicorn – lovely, hoped for, but not real!

My handy tips for a lower stress move:

PREPARE yourself and family for the move by getting each member of your family to dream about what they want their new space to be like. Even collect pictures on Pinterest or a vision board. It helps get everyone excited and can give ownership of the process to each member of the family.

PURGE!!!!!!!! Please, for the love of all things from the Container Store, DO NOT MOVE WITHOUT PURGING. I beg of you. You will save yourself thousands (yes $$$$) if you purge before you move. I’ve unpacked trashcans full of trash, so please, purge first. If you don’t know where to start in purging, call a friend/family member/professional organizer and they will help you in this process. Sometimes it is as simple as opening one drawer and beginning.

THINK about what is in your current space and then where you want items in your new space. Then collect items that will go together in the new space, boxes them together, and label the box on where it needs to go. Then when it is moved, it goes in its new home and you can just unpack it in the room it will now live.

PURCHASE your supplies ahead of the big pack. Buy a little extra of boxes, tape, packing paper, and bubble wrap. Some moving companies will buy it back if not used. This will help you by having all your supplies ready, so you’re not digging through other people’s trash at 10pm. I’ve been there and done that and I don’t suggest it.

WORK in advance and in priority zones. If packing your house in one day isn’t doable, break down the project into priority zones. What is the least used items in your home and start packing there, well in advance of your move. This way, they are all boxed and ready and you can pack the most frequently used items closer to your move date.

FILL boxes purposefully. Arrange things so they fit well and will use the box space to its fullest. This also ties nicely with the THINK point above. Packing boxes diligently will save space in the moving vehicle and money since you won’t unnecessarily use boxes and tape.

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NUMBER the boxes and keep an inventory of what is inside, then store the printed list in an opaque folder or ring binder. This way what is inside your boxes isn’t advertised on the outside of your box. This is particularly useful if you are moving internationally where you have to have an inventory list for customs. But it is also helpful once you have arrived to your new home and need to find something in a box and don’t want to open twenty to just find a spoon.

PACK a small suitcase for toiletries, linens, and clothes that you’ll need the day after your move. This will save you from franticly digging through boxes to find underwear or shampoo. Also, keep snacks and water out so you have sustenance for the move.

HIRE someone to help! Don’t be a hero and try to do it all yourself. If the very idea of packing a box stresses you out, then hire professional movers or professional organizers to help you purge, pack, and unpack. Professional movers won’t purge, they pack everything (hence the packed trash can full of trash mentioned earlier). Professionals are here to help. This is what we do. Let us help you, help yourself!

I hope these tips and ideas are helpful. As always, if you have questions, do let me know. I’m here to help in any way that I can!

About the Author: Suzanne Holsomback is a professional organizer based out of Houston, TX. She specializes in working with clients who are disorganized due to illness or chronic health issues or care-giving responsibilities. She is a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Check out Suzanne’s website at SuzanneHolsomback.com.

Being a Conscious Gift Giver

(Note: Throughout November and December, I’ll be sharing posts from my organizing colleagues – kind of a Guest Organizer theme. Enjoy!)

Being a Conscious Gift Giver

by Lauren Mang of Let Me Organize It

I love giving gifts! In my younger years, I would buy little trinkets for friends whenever I would travel, so they’d know I was thinking about them. I spent way too much money on gifts that my friends and family might not have even kept or wanted. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was really gifting was clutter.

After getting involved in the professional organizing industry, I became even more conscious of the types of gifts I gave. This was only apparent after I started looking into my own collections and belongings, and realized I had a lot of stuff: things that people had bought for me, or I had bought for myself. Most of it wasn’t adding anything to my life, and in fact was creating clutter. I came to terms with the fact that while I loved the gestures behind the gifts (and of course the people who gave them), I didn’t always love the gifts themselves. I decided that if a gift wasn’t adding to my life, I would let it go. This new rule freed me from clutter, and allowed me to live with less. This is when I shifted my focus on givings gifts that people would truly want, love, need or use.

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Photo Courtesy of Lauren Mang

In today’s society, we are bombarded with messages of consumerism. We are urged to buy too much and over-fill our spaces. It’s no longer acceptable to give one gift, you must give an abundance of gifts to show you really care. Objects now define our identity more than ever before. We’re led to believe if we own certain brands or expensive items, we’ve made it; we’re somebody. This more benefits the economy than it does our individual lives. We’ve been tricked: living with more doesn’t make our lives better, it actually makes our lives more complicated. Objects don’t define our identity – our values, experiences and relationships do. But it’s hard to separate from ourselves from our stuff, and that’s why there are so many issues of hoarding, or cases where a psychiatrist is needed to help people let go of their physical belongings.

In the past, if I knew someone really loves pigs and had a collection of little pig statues, whenever I saw a pig statue or something similar, I would buy it for them, without hesitation. While some people like this and appreciate the gesture, I’ve come to realize others do not, but cannot say so due to fear of being ungrateful. Take my Hard Rock Guitar collection for example. The point of my collection was to highlight my travels across the globe. People then began to buy them for me on their travels, but they were from places I had never been. I loved the sincere thoughts behind these gifts, but the gifts didn’t quite fit into the scope of my collection. These are things we don’t think about when we’re buying gifts for others. This is what I mean by being a more conscious gift giver.

I’ve been told by several people that I should be a personal shopper, because I always think of great gift ideas. Maybe it’s a special talent, or maybe it’s a skill I’ve honed over the years. I’d like to think it has to do with being a conscious gift giver. This doesn’t mean just being thoughtful, but really thinking through if the gift is a good match for the intended gift-ee. Here’s how I put the theory into practice.

The other day I was in a car wash of all places, and saw one of those inspirational quotes on a mini-canvas that immediately made me think of my best friend. It was horse-themed and her birthday was coming up so I decided to buy it. I started thinking about her style and where she’d put it in her home, and I realized it was not a great gift for her at all. I knew she’d appreciate the gesture, but she wouldn’t have loved the object itself, nor would it have gone with her chic decor. I only want to give gifts that people love or will use; things that will add to that person’s life in a positive way. I don’t want to add to the clutter that weighs people down, simply because I had to give a gift.

So how else can we become conscious gift givers? One way is to lead by example. It’s rare for someone to ask you directly if there’s something you want (what are we so scared of?). My family does this so I tend to ask this question to friends and co-workers. Most people do not have a wish list, unless they are newly engaged and getting married. I created a ’Things I Want’ board on Pinterest and if people ever ask me what I want, I send them the link. I urge you to start a wish list: a lot of retail websites have them; you can do one on Pinterest; or you can try a site like www.wishlistr.com. People would much rather buy you something you actually want, so help them out.

I used to be against the idea of gifting money or gift cards, because it was so impersonal. But I realized that it makes perfect sense: let people buy what they want or need. Plus gift cards do not expire, and are re-giftable (or sellable) in the even the gift-ee doesn’t use/want it. Another great idea is to stop buying objects all together and start investing in experiences and relationships. People will never forget great experiences. And in this day and age, all people really want is time with you, and to be more specific, your undivided attention (put that cell phone down!). That is a true gift in itself!

My last bit of advice is to follow the rule of quality over quantity. It’s ok to just give one, small gift. This doesn’t mean you love the person less. Remember, it’s the gesture that matters, not so much the object itself. Keep it simple, and make sure it doesn’t break the bank. I used to spend too much money buying for others when I was struggling financially. Once I started consciously gifting, not only did I budget better, but the quality of the gifts I gave improved. I feel good about the gifts I now give, knowing people will really love them. And whenever possible, I give the gift of my time to people, creating lasting memories that take up no space at all!

About the Author:

As early as middle school, Lauren Mang was was helping friends clean and organize their bedrooms, much to their parents’ delight. These skills continued to be useful in college, and Lauren prided herself on being able to unpack and organize her dorm room or apartment in just one day.

In 2014, Lauren decided to start Let Me Organize It and work with clients full-time. She also assists other local professional organizers on team projects, and is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of NAPO. In May of 2015, Lauren was appointed Director of Marketing for the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of NAPO for the 2015-2016 term. Lauren assists clients all over the west coast, from Seattle to Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. You can learn more at Let Me Organize It.

How to Create an Ideal Playroom

(Clutterninja Note: Throughout November and December, we’ll be hosting guest bloggers – colleagues of mine sharing their own perspectives and ideas on organizing. Kind of like ‘Guest Ninjas’! Enjoy!)

Creating an Ideal Playroom

by Kirsten Fisher, of Imagine Home Organization
Every parent can agree, kids collect limitless stuff.  There are toys, puzzles, art supplies, dolls, cars of every size, Play Doh, trains and games.  Everything seems to have a million pieces and for every “real” teacup, oven and lawn mower in your home, you probably have a small plastic version for the kids.  They collect junk, I mean “treasures”, and want to keep every piece of paper onto which they have ever scribbled a line as a masterpiece of art.   Yet with so much stuff, kids still complain “I’m bored, can I watch a show?”  Even the most organized parent can be left wondering how to contain the mess while providing a consistent array of stimulating activities to grow their minds and entertain their souls.

The ideal playroom can be a treat for kids and allow adults to reclaim other areas of the home.

  1. Start with a clean slate. Sort through all the above mentioned “treasures” and donate or throw away those items which are no longer age appropriate, are no longer used, are duplicates or just seem to offer little developmental value.  For kids under two, you can do this with them in the room.  Take out some toys a couple at a time to see what they use and what they ignore.  Swiftly remove ignored items and never put them in sight of the child again.  For older kids you can ask them what things are MOST important to them and explain they are giving the things that aren’t “their favorites” to kids who aren’t as lucky and don’t have so many toys.  Or for either age group, you may choose to quietly remove some things you know they don’t really need and think they won’t notice are gone.  I usually do a mix of both.
  2. Create categories. By creating customized categories such as dolls, moving vehicles, puzzles, art supplies, Legos, Play Doh and accessories, you can best assess what kind of storage is required.
  3. Create homes. Every category of toy needs a home.  Toys with a home are MUCH more likely to find their home at the end of a play session.  Younger kids need clear instructions for cleaning up and “all Legos must be in that basket before we can play a new game” is easier on the child and parents than “we need to get these Legos out of the way.”  Personally I like a combination of shelves, baskets and bins.  Items like Legos and other building blocks may need their own smaller bins while moving vehicles or dolls can all be stored in fairly large baskets.  Items that kids can access anytime can be placed on lower shelves while things you may want to restrict (ie paint, games with small pieces) can go on higher shelves.
  4. Get creative. The room should be fun and playful.  Let your kids choose the colors or an accent color if their choice is a bit too much of a commitment for you.  Paint is an inexpensive and dramatic change to any room whether on the wall or on the baskets.  Choose a dramatic rug that won’t show spilled marker, Play Doh or apple juice.   And don’t forget artwork – playful inspirations or your family masterpieces.
  5. Don’t forget function. Kids need a table for games, art and play.  Their ideal playroom should have one just their size.  Don’t forget your comfort and put in adult sized chairs for reading to kids or watching their play.  Try not to overwhelm the room with furniture and bins.  Kids need space to move around, imagine and bring out their toys.

About the Author:
In nearly 20 years of sport & entertainment marketing, Kirsten built brand equity, generated revenue growth, managed agencies, activated global sponsorships, supported charitable relationships, developed advertising campaigns, generated media value, managed staff on three continents, launched the Asia-Pacific corporate office of a global governing body and started her own business.  How did she accomplish all of this?  Organization and efficiency have been her greatest strengths.

She is now able to turn those strengths into assets for doing something she loves, home organization.  They also serve her well as a wife and the mother of two toddler boys.
In addition to her own organization experience, she is also a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, has a certificate in Interior Design and Home Styling and is a member of the Business Council of Shorecrest Prep. in St. Petersburg, FL. You can learn more by visiting Imagine Home Organization.

Home for the Holidays Special is here!

Home for the Holidays

Our annual Home for the Holidays special is here! We’re offering a 4-hour organizing session for just $199.

This special is perfect for projects like:

  • Getting your pantry ready! Make entertaining and cookie-baking with kids more fun!
  • Whipping your guest room into shape! Make your guests feel welcomed and comfortable!
  • Clearing out clutter from your dining room! Enjoy serving your guests in comfort!
  • Setting up your holiday gift wrapping station!
  • Or even just finally finding out what it’s like to work with a professional organizer!

The Home for the Holidays special is open to both new and existing clients within a 20-mile radius of Suwanee, GA 30024. To book your appointment, please use our Contact Us page. Put ‘Home for the Holidays’ in the subject line.

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Your Home: Ready for the Holidays?

With only two weeks until Halloween, we’re getting ready to hit the holiday season full steam ahead. The holidays can be fun, but they can also be incredibly stressful. We have lots of extra errands and obligations on top of our everyday lives.

Preparation is absolutely essential to making sure your holiday is as enjoyable as possible. Here are 5 ways to get your home ready for the holidays!

home ready for the holidays

Photo Credit: Flickr User Channone Arlf

The Guest Room

  • Take a look around with objective eyes – would you want to stay there? Guest rooms are frequently neglected until right before guests arrive.
  • Are there any light bulbs that need to be replaced?
  • Ensure the bed has clean, fresh linens, plenty of pillows, and an extra blanket
  • Leave a few bottles of water and recent reading material for your guests
  • The best way to ensure the room is ready? Sleep in it yourself for a night or two! It’s amazing what you’ll notice.

The Guest Bath

  • Are you a collector of hotel toiletries or cosmetic samples? This is where you get to use them. Create a little basket full of extras – if your guests leave home without something, they don’t have to bother you at bedtime for toothpaste or face wash. This goes for women’s hygiene items as well!
  • Make sure that you stock the bathroom with fresh, clean towels that are in good condition.
  • If you’ve been holding onto an extra makeup mirror or blowdryer, set these up in the guest bath.

The Dining Room

  • Few of us use our formal dining room the way it was designed to be used. However, we do tend to use it for larger holiday gatherings.
  • Make sure that your dining table and chairs are in good working shape. If you have a separate children’s table, set this up a week ahead.
  • If you already have a headcount, make sure you have enough chairs to go around!
  • Make sure that your holiday table linens are clean, free of stains, and pressed, ready to go. You don’t want to have to wash or iron a large tablecloth the day of the event!
  • If you need to drop your expansion ‘leaf’ into your dining table, go ahead and do that now. Much easier than prying the men of the house away from the football game come Thanksgiving Day!
  • If you’re using silver, make sure those pieces are clean and polished well ahead of time.

Gift Wrap, Gift bags, & Supplies

  • Pull out all of your holiday gift wrap and really take an inventory. Most people are inundated with more gift wrap and gift bags than they could ever realistically use.
  • If you haven’t used that fundraiser gift wrap in the past, chances are you won’t ever use it. Donate it or recycle it.
  • Make sure you have enough of the supplies you generally run out of – Scotch tape, white tissue paper, and a good pair of dedicated scissors.

The Pantry

  • Even those of us who don’t cook frequently tend to do more over the holiday season. Preparing now will make the cooking and baking far more enjoyable.
  • If you bake over the holidays, make sure you have the key ingredients stocked and ready to go. These generally include vanilla extract, cream of tartar, baking powder and soda, brown and white sugar, etc.
  • Ever pulled out your cookie cutters to discover the metal ones are rusty, the plastic ones are misshapen, or otherwise just loved to death? Take a look now to avoid disappointment when your kids beg to make cookies.
  • Pull out and make sure your larger platters, serving dishes, etc. are in good condition and ready to use.

Are you in the Atlanta area and want a professional by your side to get your home ready for the holidays? We’re offering a limited time offer – 4 hours with the Clutterninja for just $200. Restrictions apply – click HERE to contact us for more information!

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