Garage storage options that really work

It’s mid-summer and you’ve probably been using your garage more than usual. Now that you’ve put it through its paces, is the way it’s organized working for you?  If  getting to the items you need involves moving things around or digging through piles, putting a system in place will not only keep your garage tidy, but it will also protect your tools and toys so you can use them for years to come. Whether your garage needs basic organizing or a complete makeover, these articles feature advice from NAPO professional organizers that will keep all your tools and toys organized and easy to access so you can spend your time enjoying them rather than looking for them!

Garage Storage for Kids' Gear

Garage Storage: Keep Kids’ Gear in Check

Storing Sports Gear in the Garage

Garage Sports Gear Storage

Lawn & garden tool storage from

Organize Lawn & Garden Tools in the Garage

Barry Izsak_Get gar-ranged_Costco Connection

Get ‘gar-ranged’

Summer Organizing Tips Contest – Topic 3: Planning for a quick getaway

Family embarking on day trip

Heading to the beach, a weekend camping trip in the mountains, taking in a baseball game,  a day at an amusement park, a road trip to visit family or friends–just getting away for the day or two is one of the joys of summer. While it would be great to be able to just jump in the car and go, even short trips are much better when you’re organized. We’ve asked NAPO Professional Organizers to share their tips for successful day trips and long weekends; click the smiley face below to see their expert advice!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite post; the one with the most votes gets a prize, and moves on to the grand prize round to determine the summer’s best organizing advice! Click on the link below to see the entries, and then click on the heart icon in the upper right corner of  the thumbnail of your choice to vote!

What’s your closet clutter personality?

In the Wall Street Journal article, The Psychology of Clutter, psychologists suggest that the way a person’s closets are organized (or disorganized) can provide clues about his or her emotional health. Which category best describes your closet personality, and your thoughts and feelings about your stuff?

Source: by Jean Tuttle



Summer Organizing Tips Contest – Topic 2: Hosting Houseguests

Image courtesy of photostock /

Image courtesy of photostock /

Summer is a natural time for families and friends to get together, which often means hosting overnight houseguests. Whether they’re staying for a weekend or a while, preparing for their visit not only makes your guests more comfortable, but it allows you to enjoy their stay as well. We’ve asked NAPO’s organizing professionals for their best advice for playing host to overnight guests–from menu planning to accommodations to activities–so click the smiley face below to check out what they recommend!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite post; the one with the most votes gets a prize, and moves on to the grand prize round to determine the summer’s best organizing advice! Click on the link below to see the entries, and then click on the heart icon in the upper right corner of one of  the thumbnail of your choice to vote!


The Best Tip for Throwing a Backyard Bash is . . .

We have a winner for the first Summer Organizing Tips Contest topic!  Jessica Litman, “The Organized Mama” provided the best advice for throwing a backyard bash, as voted by visitors to NAPO’s Get Organized Blog.  With so many party details to manage, she recommends creating a planning sheet, as shown below, to help organize everything from the menu to the back-up plan in case it rains.

Click the image below to read her winning post:

“Organizing a Backyard Bash” from The Organized Mama blog

Congratulations, Jessica — you’ll receive your prize in the mail soon, and your winning tip will be eligible for the Best Organizing Tip of the Summer vote next month!

Stay tuned for our next topic–voting starts July 14!

Fear not the judgment of an organized person

Dirty Dishes by Sink - Mike Watson Images via Getty ImagesThis recent Huffington Post article may ease the minds of those whose hearts fill with dread when an organized person visits their home–apparently re-arranging your kitchen may not be the first thing on their minds.

What An Organized Person Thinks When They Enter Your Home

If you don’t consider yourself organized, does this make you feel better?  If you are highly organized (or a professional organizer), does the article ring true?  Wherever you fall on the organizing spectrum, we’d love to hear your comments!


Summer Organizing Tips Contest – Topic 1: Best Tips for Throwing a Backyard Bash

Banner without Member Reference

Last year, we had so much fun with our Summer Organizing Tips Contest, we decided to do it again!

Here’s how it works:

  • Every other week throughout the summer, we’ll host a week-long link party where NAPO member bloggers can submit posts that offer their best organizing advice on a typical summertime activity.
  • Visitors to NAPO’s Get Organized Blog will be able to vote for their favorite post from each link party. The post that receives the most votes at the end of the voting period (7 days after the link party closes) wins, and the member who provided the winning post will receive a prize.
  • At the end of the summer, blog visitors will vote for their favorite overall post from the winning posts selected during the contest.  The member who provided the overall winning tip will receive a grand prize!
  • 2014 NAPO Summer Organizing Tips Contest Rules.

Now let’s kick off this summer’s contest!

This week’s topic:  Best Tips for Throwing a Backyard Bashcookout

Everybody enjoys a good cookout, picnic or pool party, but when you’re the host, the fun can be overshadowed by the stress of managing all the details.  Just in time for the 4th of July, NAPO’s organizing experts offer up their best advice for keeping your cool while juggling all of the activities before, during and after your event.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite post; the one with the most votes gets a prize, and moves on to the grand prize round to determine the summer’s best organizing advice! Click on the blue face below to see the entries, and then click on the heart icon in the upper right corner of one of  the thumbnail of your choice to vote!


Avoid Feeling “Boxed In” After You Move—An Unpacking Service Can Set You Free!

by Kathy Householder, On The Move Organizing, Marietta, GA
NAPO Moving & Relocation Special Interest Group leader and NAPO Golden Circle member

Let’s face it, moving is stressful! Everyone either has moved or knows someone that has moved, and very few people would consider it a pleasant experience.  One of the most
dreaded tasks is unpacking. Doing it yourself seems like a good idea and a real money-saver, but more often than not, you have unopened boxes in your garage or basement months (and sometimes, years) after you move. You’re busy with work and family on a “normal” day, so how in the world are you going to find the time to put all of your things away?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk out of your house the day after the move and know that ALL of your belongings are perfectly placed and the mess is gone? Believe it or not, there are professional organizers who offer unpacking services, reducing the stress of transitioning to your new home.

Boxes 1 by Avi

Image credit: Boxes 1 by Avi

What does an unpacking service do?

  • Unwraps all your items and unpacks all your boxes
  • Notes anything that is broken during the move so you can get any claims started with the movers
  • Wipes out cabinets and shelving as needed
  • Puts away all of your items in a practical and organized manner.  Having a home for everything.
  • Makes beds, puts up shower curtains, adjusts clocks, arranges furniture, if needed
  • Arranges closets to look like your favorite boutique
  • Flattens boxes and organizes packing material in the garage or other area for movers to pick up

How do they know where everything goes? 

Most un-packers are Professional Organizers.  They unpack for a living and have many hours of experience with solutions and also work closely with the homeowner to make determinations depending on the clients.

What’s the cost for an unpacking service? 

Prices vary depending on the size of the home.  Estimates can be provided and they can work within any budget.  Depending on the size of the move, many homes can be unpacked in a day.

Why should I hire an unpacking service?

  • Using an unpacking service is particularly helpful when you have a limited amount of time off from work, or you have to start a new job very soon after your move.
  • After completing the packing on your own, you dread the thought of facing all those boxes and where to put everything.
  • You have enough to handle with establishing new routines for your family, especially if you have young children at home, or in school.
  • Hiring an unpacking service eliminates the pressure you feel to be settled into your new home quickly.

Before your next move, talk to a professional organizer who specializes in moving and relocation services to see if unpacking service is right for you; it may be money well spent!

Take the Stress Out of Moving with Tips from NAPO Professional Organizers

Couple Moving into Home

Planning a move? Before you start packing, check out these tips from NAPO’s organizing pros, and avoid common moving headaches.

One of life’s most consistently stressful situations is moving. Packing, loading, unpacking, adjusting to a new living space–and often, a new city–is trying even under the best circumstances. Since May is National Moving Month, we thought we’d help you out with expert organizing advice from NAPO members that can help streamline the moving process from beginning to end, and make the transition to living in your new home easier.




Disorder at Work Can Make You More Creative? What the What?

Image from article – The Psychology of Messiness: How Disorder Can Make You More Creative

There has been substantial anecdotal evidence (as well as many studies) to support the claim that clutter causes stress. How many times have you been working on too many projects at once, and had to stop, if only for a few minutes, to restore some order to your desk so you could get your mind out of neutral and think clearly?  Well, according to Kathleen Vohs, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota with an extensive psychology background, we’ve had it all wrong–messiness and clutter at work apparently can increase creativity.

A writer from Inc. magazine contacted NAPO HQ earlier this week to get our take on this controversial concept, and our own Kate Brown took the study to task and explains in the resulting article, “The Psychology of Messiness: How Disorder Can Make You More Creative,”  how professional organizers and productivity specialists recommend appropriate solutions to achieve each client’s vision, and that job responsibilities often impact organizing needs as much as personal preference.

What do you think–does a cluttered work environment increase or decrease creativity?  Tell us about it in the comments!