Archive for the 'Household' Category

Organized for Student Success, Part 5: Organize Their Space

An Organized Student is a More Successful Student

As your student(s) begin their new school year, take the opportunity to work with them in organizing their bedroom and clothing. Use the same basic steps outlined in Organizing a Study Area, in my previous post; Organized for Success, Part 4: Organize the Student .

  • Think through how you want your space to look and function
  • Empty out drawers, clothes and any bins that are storing clothing
  • Group like things together. Create sub categories such as Underclothes, Sports Clothes, Uniforms, School Clothes, Dress Clothes etc.
  • Toss old or worn clothes and donate outgrown, seldom worn, or out of style clothes. The biggest pitfall is keeping more clothes than you actually can use or have room for. Be realistic in what you are keeping.
  • Return the keep pile to the space and think through what, if any, storage accessories or containers you may need. Assign a specific space for each sub category of clothing.
  • Store often used clothing close at hand, while utilizing harder to reach space for seldom used items. Store off-season clothes in a clearly labeled bin or under-the-bed container.
  • Be careful not to over-stuff drawers and closets. You will go a long way in helping your child stay organized by actually providing a space for all of their belongings and then making it both easy and accessible to put them away.
  • Make use of storage space, which is often overlooked, such as the backs of doors or inside of closets to mount hooks, racks, or pockets. Use hooks for storage

    Beautiful and Functional Possibilities by The Container Store

    of everyday items such as sweatshirts, pajamas, robes, and towels. If your child doesn’t have many hanging clothes, install shelves in half of their closet for additional folded clothes or for toy storage.

Now that you know what your child owns and what needs they may have, you can still take advantage of summer clearance sales.

Happy (and Organized!) School Year!


Be sure to check out all of the articles in the Organized for Student Success Series;  Part 1: Saving on Supplies Part 2: The College Years, Part 3: The Traveling Student, Part 4: Organize the Student and Part 6:  Organize Their School Memories.

Organized for Student Success, Part 3: The Traveling Student

In my previous post, The College Years, Get in Order for Dorm Living, I talked about getting ready for and packing for life in the dorm. What to do if you are heading across the country, or across the state, for that matter? How do you fit all that stuff in your car and still have room for the people? Bed Bath and Beyond has come up with the perfect solution with their new Pack and Hold Service.

Get Organized for Success with Bed Bath and Beyond!

Their Pack & Hold service allows you to shop either online or at your local Bed Bath and Beyond store and have your purchases shipped directly to your school. Alternatively, you can have your order shipped to the Bed Beth & Beyond store that is nearest to your school and pick it up when you arrive in town.  In both instances, shipping charges do apply, but keep in mind that you are bypassing the headache of bringing home, packing up, and shipping these items yourself.

Bed Bath & Beyond has almost everything you will need for a dorm room, as well as packing advice, checklists, and practical solutions to common problems in the dorm. Check out The College Insider with links to helpful college websites, and products organized by sections.

To take advantage of the Pack & Hold service, you will need to know:

The Dorm Room Address

Be aware that many colleges and universities use their gym or other large facility to store all  shipments received before move in date. You will want to call your school and confirm exactly where your packages should be shipped and where you should pick them up.

The Ship Date

Colleges and universities usually have a window of time in which they will accept deliveries for incoming students. Again, you will want to call your school and determine this time frame. Next, keep in mind that when you select your ship date with Bed Bath and Beyond, that you are selecting the date when your order will actually ship, not the date that it will be received by your school. So, factor in an extra 3-8 days for standard shipping methods within the contiguous United States, and 5-10 days for shipments to Hawaii or Alaska. An exact shipping date cannot be guaranteed, so it is important to communicate with your school as you are making your plans.

Thanks Bed Bath and Beyond! You have started a good thing. I have a feeling other stores will be following suit.

Looking for a gift for a college bound student? Keep in mind that Bed Bath and Beyond does offer a College Gift Registry. Not registered? A gift card makes a perfect gift!

Happy (and Organized) School Days!


Be sure to check out all of the articles in the Organized for Student Success Series;  Part 1: Saving on Supplies, Part 2: The College Years,  Part 4, Organize the Student, Part 5:  Organize Their Space, and Part 6:  Organize Their School Memories.

Drink, Chat and Get Organized!

Join me, Tuesday, April 26th,  for the last Coffee and Conversation of the spring.

What:    Coffee and Conversation

Why:    To Get “In Order for Life”!

When:  Tuesdays, April 26th, 9-10 AM

Where: Birdie’s Cafe, 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD

This week we will be chatting about kitchen organization. Our kitchens do tend to be the heart of the home. It’s the one place the family is likely to gather. It where we land when we come in the house, and we are inclined to spend many of our home hours.

As the kitchen goes, so goes the home…………

Does the heart of your home feel more like the bowels of disorder? Come share your organizing successes and struggles, and learn tips, habits, and tricks, to tame the chaos in the heart of your home. Come rediscover the heart in your home, bring calm and efficiency to your busiest room, and revitalize the Joy of Cooking once again.

Coffee and Conversations will resume this fall. Watch my website for details. Is there a topic you would like us to cover? Send an email to

Happy (and Organized!) Days!


Join Me for Coffee and Conversation!

Are You Ready to Get Organized?    Are You Ready to Simplify?

Then, You are Invited!

Join me for Coffee and Conversation this Tuesday morning from 9-10 AM at Birdies Cafe, in Westminster. This not-for-profit, group is for anyone who struggles with organizational challenges (all of us!). This week we will focus on closets.

Are your storage areas and closets bursting at the seams?

Do you feel the need for more closet and storage space? Chances are no one will be building you any in the near future! So, come discover tips, tricks, habits, and products to make the most of the space you have. Imagine peace and calm as you retrieve that perfect outfit, hang your guest’s coats, and utilize your storage areas, day by day!

What:    Coffee and Conversation

Why:    To Get “In Order for Life”!

When:  Tuesday, April 19th, 9-10 AM

Where: Birdie’s Cafe, 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD

These fun, interactive chat sessions will help you discover how to clear the clutter, conquer the chaos, and learn simple organizing tips, tricks, habits, and strategies to get your home, your family, and your life in order. It’s the perfect time to get a handle on some of your most distressing organizing challenges. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and share those solutions that are working in your life and home, in this casual, cool atmosphere.

Mark your calender for our last spring session, next Tuesday, April 26th, when we will chat about kitchen organization. We will look at how an organized kitchen can lead to getting those meals on the table, day by day. Then, watch my website for the upcoming fall session.

Just $3 per session, paid to Birdie’s for your refillable coffee.

A Full Menu of Coffee Drinks, Teas, Baked Goods, and Sandwiches available to purchase.

Join Me for a cup of simplicity!

Happy (and Organized!) Days,


Do the Great Exchange!

Spring is coming......

Happy Spring!

Spring is in the air (well, at least it was yesterday!).  Rest assured, it IS coming (and I can’t wait!).

But, wait we must. And while we are waiting, there are a few things we can do to prepare for it.

It’s time, once again, to do “The Great Exchange”. Make life easy on yourself and take an afternoon to prepare for spring and summer. It is the time of year to pack away the fall and winter clothes and equipment, and unearth your spring and summer apparel and gear.

Begin with your clothes. While you’re at it, take a few extra minutes to sort and purge before you pack your fall and winter clothes away.

Ready for spring

Do you remember the old 80/20 rule? It’s true! We do tend to wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. As you take the time to sort and purge you’re off season clothes, make it your goal to purge a higher percentage of your clothing so that you LOVE and KEEP what you will actually wear. Don’t you love it when you’re on vacation and you have a suitcase filled with all of your favorite clothes? It simplifies both your choices and your laundry.


If you’re having a difficult time figuring out if you should keep a specific item of clothing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the item in good condition
  • Does it have stains or tears or is it too worn? Can it (or will it) be mended?
  • Is it still in style? Is it YOUR style?
  • Do I love it, or even like it?
  • Does it make me feel great to wear it?
  • When was the last time I wore this? If you didn’t wear it last season, you probably won’t wear during the next season!
  • How many do I currently own of this type of item? How many do I realistically wear or need?
  • Does it fit? If not, is it within a reasonable number of size ranges of my current size to keep it?

Now that you have determined which fall and winter clothes you will be holding on to, it’s time to consider where to store them. If space allows, simply move the off season clothing to the back of the closet, bringing the spring and summer clothes to the front of the closet. Then, rotate them back as the season’s change. Alternatively, you can move off season clothes from your closet to a spare closet. If you don’t have room within a closet, consider purchasing a freestanding closet to store in your finished basement, finished attic or guestroom. Finally, you can store your off season clothes in a bin labeled with your name and “Fall/Winter Clothes”.

Before storing away off-season clothes, take these 3 simple steps to protect them: Clean, Contain, and Repel.

  • Clean – Moths and carpet beetles are the primary pests that can cause damage, and they are attracted to natural fibers like wool and cotton. They also feed on organic stains. Always clean clothes before storing them away.
  • Contain – in a clean, dark and dry location, such as a closet, freestanding closet, storage box or bin to deter pests
  • Repel – Use all natural cedar to repel pests

It’s also the perfect time to take note of any clothing needs for next fall and winter and take advantage of those last winter clearance sales.

Next, switch out the snow suits, gloves and hats for the beach towels, goggles, and suntan lotions. Find a home for these items near the front door, where you will be coming and going all spring and summer.

Clean off the snow boards, skis, and sleds and store them away for the summer, while pulling out the volleyball nets, croquet and badminton set, lawn chairs, and charcoal.

Relax and Enjoy!

The spring weather promises to reappear, and when it does, you will be ready to enjoy it!

“The Great Exchange” was originally posted May 9, 2009

Happy (and organized!) Spring.


Blog A Job! 2011 Part 3, The In-Home Consultation

If you have been following my blog, you met Jutz last week and you have gotten a glimpse of both her space and her personality.  This IS going to be a FUN job!

Life is Difficult for the Organizationally Impaired!

Always a girl with a sense of humor, during our 1st appointment, Jutz offered me a cup of tea. She handed it to me in a mug that read:

Life is Difficult for the Organizationally Impaired”!

But seriously, she is well aware that her organizational challenges are interfering with her productivity in her business.  And she is ready for that to change!

A Peak Inside!

Work Area is Lost to Clutter


We will be focusing on her studio space.  She works from her studio within her home, which houses her business, JCM Studio of Decorative Arts . JCM Studio of Decorative Arts provides Decorative Painting and Faux Finishing. This creative, inventive, and inspired studio space will be the focus of our organizing work and the 2011 Blog A Job!.  During the In-Home Consultation, Jutz shows me her studio space, which is literally crowding her and her business out. Because of the accumulation of clutter, she is not able to function as she needs to run her business.

The consultation is a time for me to ask many questions, as I get a feel for what she needs to accomplish in the space, how she works, what systems she currently has in place, and how we might improve on them or create new systems. At the same time I’m trying to get a picture of her vision for the finished project. How would she like this room to function? What tasks will be accomplished in this room? I take pictures, both to refresh my memory throughout the process, and to motivate us both along the way.

Surrounded By Her Flair!

Style Shines Through the Chaos!

As you can see, even in the midst of the chaos, Jutz is a woman with flair and style. As we were talking about her space, she said:

if given a choice between form and function, I choose form every time.

This is not a surprising quote coming from such a creative soul. In other words, she is almost always more concerned with how her space looks, rather than how it functions. So, clearly, my job is not just to strip it of all the “stuff”, but rather to create stylish, cool, and appealing organizing solutions that Jutz will be able thrive in. In the end, it needs to be both appealing and functional!

With this information in hand and pictures in my camera, I can begin to create a plan of action.

During our next appointment, the hard work will begin. Next week we will get down and dirty.

It generally gets worse, before it gets better. But, as you will soon see, the results are definitely worth it!

Check out  Blog a Job! 2011 Part 1: Watch a Professional Organizer in Action!, and Part 2: Meet Jutz!, and then check back next week to see how our work progresses.

Happy (and Organized!) Days!


The Clever Container Company Has Arrived in Carroll County!

It’s Party Time!

Cheryl and In Order for Life, LLC have teamed up with The Clever Container Company, the nations first and only direct sales company focused entirely on Organizing Products and Learning Parties. Clever Container Company fits perfectly with my vision, learning realistic and easy ways to organize and simplify your life, your home and your family. The result will be more of what you really want: time to do the things that are important to you.  The Parties provide hostesses and guests with a light, fun workshop on organization while demonstrating high quality, yet affordable, items to make living easier.   I am thrilled with this new partnership and complement to my business!  You will be too!

Now is the perfect time to start the year out right!  Have a party, and gain inspiration, while learning simple tips on how to gain more time, and be more efficient!  Then, spend less time on the things that you have to do, and more time and energy on the things you long to do.  By hosting a party, you have the opportunity to earn free and discounted stylish, top quality, organizing products.

For several years now, I have been offering Organizing Workshops through the Carroll County Department of Parks and Recreation. I will now be teaching this same information in the format of Learning Parties in the comfort of your own home! These fun, informal, interactive Learning Parties combine high quality, chic organizational products with time saving tips and ideas to help you get your home, life and family “In Order for Life”!

I am currently offering 4 distinct Learning Parties:

Your Children Organized! Is your home overwhelmed with the overflow of your child’s belongings? Come learn how to clear the clutter, reign in and organize the present, and cherish the past. From setting up a childhood memory box and creating a school and art archive, to reigning in and organizing clothes and toys, you will be well on your way to a more organized home!

Clutter Cutter What is clutter? It is a state of disorder or to run and move with bustle and confusion. Could this describe your life and home? If so, come learn practical ideas on how to use our products to solve some of the most common household organizational problems and alleviate your clutter hot-spots. Cut the clutter, and learn how to move through your life and home with freedom and efficiency!

Closet Clean-Up Are your storage areas bursting at the seams? Do you feel the need for more closet and storage space? Chances are no one will be building you any more closets in the near future! Come discover tips, tricks, habits, and products to make the most of the space you have. Imagine peace and calm as you retrieve that perfect outfit, hang your guest’s coats, and utilize your storage areas, day by day!

Kitchen Organization Does the “heart” of your home feel more like the bowels of disorder? Come learn tips, tricks, and product ideas to tame the chaos on the counter, in the drawers and pantry, under the sink, and on the walls. You will rediscover the “heart” in your home, bring calm and efficiency to your busiest room, and revitalize the “Joy of Cooking” once again.

Your Opportunity:

Clever Container Company is an up and coming company and new to this area. You have the opportunity to be one of the first to introduce this new company, their Learning Party concept, and their excellent, high quality products to your friends.

Simply gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! It’s that simple!

Hosting a Clever Container party is easy, fun, and rewarding!  With an average of $65 in free products for hostesses, and 75% of the catalog under $20, how can you resist!?!  Cheryl will make planning your show simply effortless, from sending out paper invitations to evites, she’ll take care of the details.  Set a date, choose your Clever Learning Party topic and you are ready to party!

Now Scheduling Clever Learning Parties for March, 2011

Call or Email Cheryl Today! 410-259-1466,

Your Reward:

Your friends will thank you when you invite them to a Clever Learning Party!  Whether you choose to have me teach about organizing a household of children, cleaning out closets, perking up the pantry, or introduce our Clutter Cutter workshop, you and your guests will leave the show with fun, practical tips to use at home.  Plus, you will have earned FREE and half-priced products, too!

As a Clever Hostess with a qualifying show of $250 or more, start earning FREE products right out of the box!  It’s easy, fun, and rewarding!

Additionally, you can earn $40 in Hostess Rewards on top of the standard hostess program! It’s easy! You will receive $10 in hostess rewards for each of the following:

1. Keeping the original show date
2. Gather $100 in outside orders
3. Have 10 or more people at your show
4. At least one booking at your show
5. An evening with friends and family = PRICELESS!

The hostess rewards go toward the purchase of clever container products and are entered on your hostess order form in addition to the earned hostess dollars.

Clever Container Company, It’s an Up and Coming Company!

During July of 2006, friends Karen Eschebach, a professional organizer, and Jennifer Weaver, a stay-at-home mom, had a light bulb moment! Why not bring organizing tools and techniques to those that can benefit most from it; EVERYONE!

The Clever Container Company was created in August of 2006. After a trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the Direct Selling Association (DSA) training for start-up companies, the concept of Clever Container continued to unfold.

Clever Container joined the DSA in September 2006 and obtained full membership in June 2008. DSA is the trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location. Clever Container supports the Association’s “Code of Ethics,” a promise to uphold the highest set of business practices.

After many successful vendor shows, Clever Container introduced their Organizing Party format in January 2007. Then a chance article in the Business section of the Detroit News brought forth interest from various states across the U.S. and in March 2007 they launched their first consultants. Clever Container continues to grow as more and more Consultants join this unique business opportunity.

Clever Container Consultants provide organizing tips, techniques and products to help simplify your life in a fun, relaxed setting. We will demonstrate the products, provide multiple uses, and share organizing tips which you can use as soon as you get home. Clever Container’s motto is “It’s not just the product, it’s the process.”

Clever Container is committed to providing top quality, unique products and solutions to reduce the stress of an organizational task. We have products for the kitchen, crafts, closets, drawers, children, storage, offices, and more.

Check out Clever Container Company featured on Good Morning America.

Check out Karen and Clever Container on Mom Invented.

Read More About the Clever Container Company

Check out the Current Clever Container Company Catalog

Happy (and Organized!) 2011


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NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email

My Favorite Things

Click here for my collection of favorites links for organizing products and other useful sites.

Reuse, Renew, and Recycle

Click here for useful tips and information to assist you in being environmentally friendly!

Proud Member of:

National Association of Professional Organizers