Back-to-School Organizing Tips

Whether you have a child in grade school or college, organization plays an important role in getting good grades; leaving in the morning with everything you need for the day; and getting out the door in the morning stress-free. Our tips below will help your student develop good organizational habits, but may we suggest that every parent applies the tips to their own life to be more organized and productive.

Good grades are much easier to achieve when time management practices are in place. There’s no better way to develop time management skills than by using a planner. A planner allows you to see the “big picture” of your activities, commitments, and assignments due. When you see the “big picture,” you can adjust your schedule to insure completion of assignments and studying. Our favorite planner is the Academic Planner by Order Out of Chaos. Use coupon code PLANNER20 for 20% off your order.

A day starts off better when you get out the door stress-free and with everything you need for the day. To make for the easiest of mornings, prepare the night before. Put out every article of clothing from socks to underwear that you need in the morning, and have ready everything that you need to take with you from a packed backpack, and a lunch waiting in the refrigerator.

To test yourself on morning readiness, ask yourself if you did everything you possibly could the night before so you only have the bare minimum to do in the morning. If you overslept, you should be able to be out the door quick and easy.

To simplify the process of getting everything ready the night before, consider using a sweater hanger in your closet with a compartment for each day of the week. The night before, fill up the compartment for the corresponding day. You also can put items in the compartments as you come across them throughout the week.

If a sweater hanger won’t work, consider putting a large Command hook on the back of your bedroom door to hang your clothes on. Along with your clothes on the hanger, put your socks, underwear, and accessories over the hanger.

To help you keep you organized and on track, consider putting a dry erase board or dry erase week-calendar on the back of your bedroom door where the hook is. Jot down things you need to remember to take with you or do in the morning. This way when you go to get your clothes you will see the reminder.

If you need to take something to school that you can’t put with your backpack the night before, consider putting a Post-it-Note on your backpack. Previously a Post-it-Note may not have stuck well, but 3M now makes Extreme Post-it-Notes that will stick to wood, brick, hot/cold, and wet surfaces.

Nifty and neat are three products that make getting ready in the morning a bit easier. The first is a Tooletries holder for a toothbrush, toothpaste, and razor that grips to shiny surfaces. The second is a Tooletries anti-fog mirror that sticks to shiny surfaces. Lastly, is a sleeve to lay a hot curling iron down which when folded becomes a stand for your curling iron.

If you’re on the top bunk at college consider using bedside pockets to store your phone, glasses, remotes, tablet and tissues. If you’re not on the top bunk but don’t have a nightstand nearby, consider the using bedside pockets as well!

Happy back-to-school organizing!

Packing Checklist

Save time and stress by using a packing checklist each time you travel! Print multiple copies or save to your computer. Keep extra copies with your travel items or in your luggage. Use our free packing checklist for a business trip or personal travel.

Free Packing Checklist

How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Organizing a kitchen is challenging. There is so much to store and typically not enough space. Follow our step below and  take it one step at a time so not to overwhelm yourself. If you struggle or prefer not to do it all, consider hiring a professional organizer.

Upper Cabinets, Standard Depth:
The best items to store in standard depth upper cabinets are items that take up the whole depth of the cabinet such as plates, bowls, or small items that don’t matter the order of use such as drinking glasses or mugs.

Items that are challenging to store in these upper cabinets are small items such as spices, oils, or baking items. It is difficult to see one item behind the other and you have to leave  “air space” above items to see and reach in the back to pull them out. If you must store these items in the upper cabinet, put them in clear containers that are the depth of your cabinet. This way you can pull out the container and have access to all the items.

Wasted Space:
If you’re looking for wasting space, look for “air space” above items. Then, if your shelves are adjustable, lower the shelves to get rid of the “air space”.

To determine how low your fist shelf can be, look at the shelf pin holes on the side of your cabinet. You’ll want to lower your shelf as low as the bottom hole. Then store on that first shelf items that are as tall as the space. Hence, eliminating air space.

If the space isn’t very high, store coffee mugs or dinner plates on the shelf. Then, lower the next shelf above to accommodate items such as drinking glasses. Then lower the next shelf. You’ll normally want your tallest items on the top because you only have to reach the bottom of the items to take it off the shelf. For example, it is better to have drinking glasses above coffee mugs.

For challenging items, such as spices or smaller food items, use the clear bins as mentioned under “Upper Cabinets:

Lazy Susan’s:
Lazy Susan’s are ideal in corner cabinets, both upper and lower. You can only put in a Lazy Susan in a cabinet if your cabinet is square. If your base corner cabinet is rectangular, then you have a blind corner and can’t put in a Lazy Susan.

On your upper Lazy Susan, on the first two tiers, store small items such as spices, medication, or baking items. Since the Lazy Susan spins around you’ll easily find these items. Store larger items on the highest tier such as a brownie mix box.

On the lower Lazy Susan store items that take up the full height of the shelf, thus maximizing your space. Ideal items to store here are small appliances or pots and pans. Don’t store small items like spices or food items.

Blind Corners:
If you have a blind corner in your kitchen cabinet you already know how difficult it is to see in the back. Plus, you’re losing storage space because the upper shelf does extend the full depth of your cabinet.

We do have a blind corner solution consisting of pullout shelves that take up the full space. E-mail us or call for more information, Organize@DianeAlbright.com or (610) 782-0636.

Base Kitchen Cabinets:
In base cabinets consider storing large items such as pots and pans or appliances. It is preferable to have pull out shelving in your base kitchen cabinets. It will provide you access to everything in the back and increase your storage space since the pull out shelves extend the full depth of your cabinet.

If you need help organizing your kitchen or maximizing space, Contact us. As professional organizers we can work in your home or work with you virtually. We also are designers of custom pull out shelving for your cabinets. We offer free design consultation. E-mail us or call for more information, Organize@DianeAlbright.com or (610) 782-0636.