Double Take Organizing

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My favourite organizing products

Organizing products can range in price, size and function but ultimately once you have sorted your stuff you need somewhere to put it. As a professional organizer I have a huge list of products that I recommend to my clients but here are some of my favourites.

The over the door shoe holder – This thing is amazing! You can use it in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and pretty much everywhere in your home that has a door. It is a great solution for storing small items.

The magazine file – To be used for so much more then magazines. They are fantastic in offices and can be used to organize all sorts of different types of papers, office supplies, electronics. The list goes on and on.

The clear shoe box – These are the perfect size for so many things besides shoes. I have used these in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, closets and even garages.

The Martha Stewart file pocket – These are my go to when parents are looking for a place to put school forms and notices. They hold a lot of paper and are strong if mounted correctly.

The plastic shelving unit – You can’t go wrong with these units. They are inexpensive, easy to set-up, strong and great for basements and garages.

Baskets and bins – There are so many options out there when it comes to baskets and bins. You can even sew and make your own. I love how you can add your own personality to a space by purchasing bins with different colours and designs. They are the perfect product for function and design.

The closet organizer – I truly believe that every closet can benefit from a closet organizer. There is often tons of wasted space in a closet and the more shelving you have the better. Added bonus, I can install these for you! I really like the organizers with adjustable shelves. They are a bit more expensive but worth it as the people living in the room grow or the needs for the space change.

Happy Organizing!

Laura

*Double Take Organizing did not receive any payment for recommending these products.

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Organizing Tupperware, one of life’s little mysteries

I am going to start this post by saying that I have never found an organizing solution for Tupperware and other containers that doesn’t require work. It is a constant organizing process that starts when you buy it and ends when you throw it away.

In order to get your Tupperware in order, go into your cupboard and find all the Tupperware you don`t use or bowls and lids that don`t match. Some how or another, especially when you have children, lids and bowls part ways and if you don`t have a matching set anymore you are just going to route around for the same lost lid or bowl, again and again and again.

You can then toss the un-matching lids and bowls or repurpose the bowls to serve some other storage function in your house. Be creative and see what you can come up with! I have used the bowls that no longer have matching lids for everything from holding bathroom products, jewellery, socks in my kids dresser, batteries etc.

The only system that has really worked for me in the kitchen is to separate the bowls and the lids. I have one large plastic bin with lids and one with bowls. The advantage of this is that they slide in and out of the cupboard which is nice because I can pull them out and place them on the counter to look for the Tupperware I need.

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Another great idea I have seen, that I can`t take credit for, is placing a tension rod or  other type of space divider into a drawer which holds all the lids in place on one side and the bowls on the other side. This works well for pots and pot lids as well! I wish I could do this in my home but I have a terribly designed L-shaped cupboard that is pretty much useless.

There are some people who stack their Tupperware with the lids on and that works but it takes up a lot more space. Even if you have the space, the Tupperware always needs to be put back in a pair and if you have a crazy house like I do, sometimes the bottom and top don`t quite make it into the dishwasher at the same time.

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Other storage container options instead of Tupperware include different types of glass jars and mason jars. These are great because they are environmentally friendly and they are handy when organizing because displaying them on a shelf can be decorative as well as functional.

Happy organizing!

Laura


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What the heck to do with kids toys! 7 steps to an organized playroom

Before I had children I had no idea how many toys I would accumulate. By the time my daughter was two years old we had enough toys to fill an entire room, which when you think about it is pretty crazy. From baby shower gifts to birthday parties to Christmases to other parents who wanted to get rid of their own toy collections and were so nice to pass them onto me, the toys just kept coming in. At one point I put half the toys in a box just to see if they were missed and my daughter never even batted an eye. It was then that I decided to donate.

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So here’s the 1st step:

1) When someone gets your child a new toy, an old toy makes an exit, this is a great learning opportunity for your kids too. A person really only needs so much stuff. This applies to adults too!

Another organizing challenge for parents is to get your children to actually put toys away. I know what you’re thinking but it is possible. It is not always easy but if you keep at it kids will learn and they will learn to put things away. In order to simplify this for them here is step number two and three.

2) The toys that you do intend to keep must be stored in containers that the kids can easily reach. The 12 bin bucket organizer seen in many kids rooms and playrooms is a great option.

3) The containers must be clearly labelled so kids know where toys go. I love the idea of labelling with pictures instead of words for kids that don’t know how to read yet. Color coding when kids are older is also a good option.

This goes hand in hand with number two and three but step number four is,

4) Teach your kids to put things away after they are finished playing with them. Motivating your kids to put things away can be fun with games like Simon Says. Simon Says put the Barbie in the Barbie bucket for example or who can clean up the fastest!

Inevitably children will drag toys everywhere in the house EXCEPT the play room. So here is step number five.

5) At the end of the day, spend five minutes with your child to return toys to their home. Something that often works with my daughter is telling her, “You don’t want your other toys to be lonely do you, they’ll be so sad?”

Another option is to have toy bins in each room so that at least toys aren’t strewn everywhere in the house but I find that this doesn’t really solve the main issue, which is to go through and see how many toys you have and what can be tossed, sold or donated to charity. This brings me to step number six.

6) Before you buy your child a toy consider whether they really need it? Is it just going to make space in the bottom of their toy box in a few days or will they actually play with it for a long time.

And on that note here is step number seven.

7) If your child has a birthday or another celebration coming up, why not suggest activities like a zoo membership or swimming lessons in place of the traditional toy. Sports are great exercise for our i-generation and activities that you can do as a family are memories that will last a lifetime and get the parents moving too!

If you are reading all this and thinking, this is a whole lot of work! Here’s something to consider. Some people are naturally more organized but for most of us organization is a learned trait. Why not give the gift of organization to your children so that when they are adults they don’t need to hire someone like myself to come in and organize for them. You know the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

Here’s to teaching your kids how to fish!!!

Happy Organizing!

Laura


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Office Organizing 101

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After spending last weekend organizing a home office I thought it would be helpful to post some of the things that most people have problems with when it comes to organizing their office space and a few tips to help curb those issues.

1) Outdated manuals, binders – What happens here is that you go to a course, you get a wonderful binder full of information, you look at it a few times and then it goes on a shelf and collects dust until you eventually get rid of it. Or perhaps you purchase a printer that comes with a manual but then the printer dies but the manual sticks around. If you can get electronic documents over paper ones it is not only environmentally friendly but easier to get rid of once you no longer need it.

2) Extra office supplies – Most of us have office supplies we never use or no longer work. Case in point, pens/highlighters. How many of yours actually work? And furthermore do you really need 100 of them. Get rid of supplies that no longer work or that you have excessive amounts of. You only have two hands, unless you are really talented and can use your feet.

3) Papers scattered all over the desk – Often when you are working on a project it is inevitable that your desk will start looking more ragged as the day progresses but the trick is to have a place for all the papers you work on. Whether they go back into files, desk drawers, paper boxes, other storage containers or even the recycling so that at the end of the day you have a place to put all of those papers back into. Which leads me to the next point.

4) End of day clean up – When you have completed your work for the day, tidy your work space, usually this only takes 10 – 15 minutes but when you come back the next day you will be all set to get going and won’t be starting the day searching for things, such a stress buster!

5) Continual maintenance – Once a week, friday is suggested, take a look at what you are working on and how you can organize things so that the following week you are starting fresh again. If you have tidied up every day this shouldn’t take long and if you have missed a few days then this is the time to get things in order again.

Remember, it’s not just your office space that needs organizing, your computer desktop icons, electronic folders and email can also quickly become unorganized. Remember to delete things off your desktop when no longer needed, create folders when working on new projects so that documents are easy to access, delete unnecessary emails as you receive them and be sure to implement the end of day clean up to your computer as well.

Lastly, don’t get discouraged, getting organized doesn’t happen overnight. It can take a while before new behaviours sink in and things start to click.

Happy organizing!

Laura


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A perfectly organized Valentines Day

Ah, Valentines Day…a day when we are supposed to feel the love, get into the romantic spirit and surprise your loved one with presents, flowers and other lovely items. A time that everyone maps out months before the magical date of February 14th and organizes a wonderful gift for that special someone.

Umm, not so much!

That is why this Valentines Day is going to be different! Instead of scrambling at the last-minute, by entering my Valentine’s day blog contest you have a chance to WIN A VALENTINES GIFT BASKET WORTH $75 for your loved one(s). Sent straight to you by the 14th, completely organized and stress free! Not to mention, the 3 basket set can be re-used for storage and the giveaway will be shipped in a Rubbermaid Roughneck 53L storage container for even more organizing possibilities!

The giveaway includes:

Hershey’s Kisses, Cherry Cordial Flavoured Creme – 227 g pkg

Hershey’s Minatures, Sweet Notes – 227 g pkg

Hershey’s Huggs – 227 g pkg

Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate – 227 g

Sweet Notes – 32 g box

McCormicks Cinnamon Teddy Hearts – 44 g

Ferrero Rocher Fine Hazelnut chocolate – 100 g heart pkg

Cemoi, Assorted Fine Chocolates – 600 g

Valentines 4×6 Photo frame

All you have to do is visit https://www.facebook.com/DoubleTakeOrganizing and tell me, what you find difficult organizing? The winner will be drawn lottery style Sunday Feb 10th at 8:00 PM and contacted via Facebook for their address.

The contest is open to all Canadians.

Happy organizing!

Laura

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