Giving Yourself Permission Series

Giving Yourself Permission Series

Too often, you and I don’t give ourselves permission. We feel obligated to do anything and everything, and in the process, we wear ourselves out. Most of the time, that’s to our detriment.

With that realization came the idea to write a special series about giving ourselves permission:

You may be asking….what does any of this have to do with getting organized? Well, organizing isn’t just about the physical organization of your stuff and your spaces. It’s also about ordering your whole life so that you can pursue the hopes and dreams you might have.

And that’s what I want to focus on with this series – life organization – and helping you find the balance in it. I honestly believe that can be achieved by giving yourself permission in these areas.




My $5 Jewelry Storage Makeover!

My $5 Jewelry Storage Makeover

While I’ve never claimed to be perfectly organized, I know that as Professional Organizer any type of disorganization on my part is often frowned upon. That’s why I recently shared the “dark” secret of my most disorganized space (my garage) and the story behind it.  Now I’m revealing my second most disorganized space – my jewlery storage – and showing you exactly how I organized it, and spent less than $5 in the process!

My hidden jewelry

When we moved into our new house 2 1/2 years ago, one of my biggest issues was how to store my jewelry.  In my old house my husband had built a pegboard storage system in my closet so I could easily choose which pieces of jewelry I wanted to accessorize my outfits with.  Sadly, I didn’t get to bring that pegboard system with me to my new house.

I didn’t sulk over it too long because I assumed I would just go back to the hardware store and start over with a new pegboard.  However, my new closet and bathroom configuration didn’t leave any wall space for a jewelry pegboard organizer.  So rather than come up with an alternate solution, I simply stashed my jewelry in a cabinet and left it there.

A tangled mess

There were several problems with my lazy solution:

  • The storage unit where I haphazardly threw my jewelry had doors on it so I never saw my jewelry.  Out of sight meant out of mind, and because I never saw my pieces, I never wore them.
  • Because I didn’t take the time to lay out my jewelry, it became a tangled mess, giving me another reason not to wear any of it.
  • Clutter expands to the space you give it.  Because I just threw my jewelry into the first available space I could find, it somehow took over more space than I had originally intended and seemed to be everywhere.

Here’s a picture of the chaos known as my jewelry storage:

Jewelry storage makeover

Frustrated by all the mess, I knew it was time for me to do something.

A jewelry storage makeover

With my limited options I had to think of a solution that would work in the space I had, without breaking the bank.

As I surveyed both my closet and my bathroom space, I knew that the only real choice for me was to take advantage of any vertical space I could find.  The bathroom had none available so the closet was my only hope for a solution.

The back of my closet door would have been the ideal location for an over-the-door organizer to hang my jewelry, but my closet doors are unusually tall and no commercial organizer from Elfa or Closetmaid would work for me. With the back of the doors no longer an option, I started looking at what other vertical space I had in my closet.  My only other choices were the sides of the built-in shelving units.

When I told my husband about my idea to hang a pegboard system on the side of one of the built-in shelving units, he wasn’t fond of that idea.  Although he wanted me to have an organized jewelry system, he didn’t really want me drilling holes into the units to make that happen.

Another plan shot down.

So I went back to the drawing board.  I considered quite a few options until I realized that I was making it more complicated than it needed to be.  After several days of looking online and just staring at the space I had, I came up with an idea that wouldn’t cost me much money and would allow me to repurpose some items I already had around my house!

From mess to magic: the process of getting organized

The answer to my messy jewelry problem came in the form of Command Hooks.  I knew that they came in a variety of colors and sizes and would allow me to hang my jewelry on the side of the built-ins without causing any damage to the surface.  So I decided to purchase a package of small, clear Command Hooks to start.

While I was at the grocery store I decided to pick up a package of the hooks there. The only package option that was available was a 6-count, so I grabbed two packages.  Fortuntely for me, the Command Hooks were on sale that day – buy one, get one free! So I was able to spend $3 ($2.88 + tax) for 12 hooks.

With my purchases complete, I set out to restore order to my beautiful jewelry once again.

First I pulled all my jewelry out of it’s dark dungeon and placed it on a work space:

Jewelry storage makeover

Next, I sorted all the pieces into like groups (by style and by color). Then I purged the pieces I no longer liked, used, or that were broken, and set them aside for either donation or the trash.

Jewelry storage makeover

Once I knew the amount of jewelry I had left, I could then determine the best way to organize and store them on the wall.  I laid everything out like it would be on the wall and measured to make sure I had everything spaced out properly.  Once I was certain everything was the way I wanted it, I put the hooks in place on the side of the built-in:

Jewelry storage makeover - Command Hooks

Once I was sure the hooks were secure, I brought in my jewelry and hung up all my pieces:

Jewelry Storage Makeover - necklaces

Now that the necklaces were take care of, I needed to focus my attention on my bracelets and earrings.  I remembered that my daughter had a bracelet holder in her bedroom that she left behind when she went to college.  It hadn’t been used in over a year, so I dusted it off and decided to give it new life in my closet.  For my earrings, I placed them in a small decorative bowl my daughter had made me.

The only problem was I didn’t have a flat surface in my closet to set the bracelet holder or the earring bowl. Then I remembered I had a small table outside that wasn’t getting much use and decided it would fit perfectly up against the built-ins.  Thankfully it did, and this is how it looked:

Jewelry Storage Makeover - bracelets

And here’s one final picture of it all together:

Jewelry Storage Makeover - final

Frustration alleviated

I absolutely love my new jewelry storage! Not only does it look great, but I feel so much better having my jewelry out so I can see the pieces I have and actually wear them.  Afer 2 1/2 years, my frustration has finally been alleviated.

In the end, I was able to create a jewelry storage system that only cost me a few bucks, I was able to use and repurpose items that weren’t getting much mileage in my house anyway, and I only spent about 30 minutes total on the entire project.  I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get my jewelry organized, I’m just glad that it is!

“It seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

How could my jewelry storage makeover encourage or inspire you to deal

with one of your less-than-organized spaces?

Follow me on Blogarama

6 Organizing Essentials for Summer Travels

6 Organizing Essentials for Summer Travels

Summer Travels.

While it may seem idyllic and carefree to throw some clothes and toiletries in a bag and head out the door, the truth is a bit of organizing and planning could make your travels safer, smarter, and more relaxing.

6 Organizing Essentials for Summer Travels

Since you probably have some seriously fun summer adventures planned, you’ll want to make sure you have the right organizing essentials to take with you:

1. Travel Cubes. I love using these to maximize space in my suitcase and to keep my items organized. You can buy them in different sizes and colors from Amazon and The Container Store.

2. Pack-It Folder. My husband never travels without this folder! It keeps his work shirts organized and wrinkle-free. You can purchase these for shirts and pants in a variety of sizes from Amazon and The Container Store.

3. RFID Blocking Travel Organizer. Protect your travel documents and your credit cards from identity theft with this RFID blocking travel organizer. Having traveled with friends who’ve had their cards compromised while on vacation, I know first-hand how important keeping those things safe can be! You can find a style to fit you on Amazon or from The Container Store.

4. eTools Organizer. Traveling with electronics is a must. But keeping all those cords, earbuds and plugs can be a hassle. Not with an eTool Organizer! Check out the GRID-IT! Organizers from Amazon and The Container Store to make eTool traveling easy.

5. Suitcase Checklist. Nothing is more frustrating than returning home from a trip only to discover you forgot or lost something along the way. Not anymore! Use my custom suitcase checklist to make sure everything you brought with you gets packed before you head home (or use it to help you pack!).

Bonus Tip! Not sure how to properly pack to maximize suitcase space?  Check out this video from The Container Store that shows you how to pack for 10 days in a carry-on suitcase:

6. A good book. A good book is a travel necessity. And reading one about organizing and/or decluttering while you’re on holiday can motivate you to restore order once you return home!

Wherever your travels may take you this summer, I hope these organizing resources make your adventures more enjoyable and orderly.

Do you have any must-have travel organizers you love?

Which of these organizing essentials will you take with you on your summer travels?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Do I Really Have to Label Everything?

Do I really have to label everything?

If you’ve ever read or listened to anything about basic organizing principles, then you know that labeling is a main component of the organizing process.

However, when I tell people this they’re quick to respond,  “Do I really have to label everything?”  While labeling as much as you can is not a set rule, it does have its benefits.  Find out what those benefits are, five different types of labels you can use, and the one label you MUST have to find true organizing success in my latest video:

Do I really have to label everything?

Resources mentioned in the video:

While you don’t “have to” label everything to be organized, hopefully, you’ll have found enough encouragement and insights here that you’ll “want to” label from now on!

Would you consider yourself to be a labeler? Why or why not?

Which labels appeal to you and motivate you to want to label?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Looking for more label ideas? Check out my Pinterest board, For the Love of Labels to inspire you even more.