Wednesday, December 12, 2007

1-2-3.....Get Organized!

I know I've reviewed a few organizing books in a row now but I've got another great set to tell you about that I think you're going to like. Professional Organizer Beverly Coggins has created a 1-2-3...Get Organized series of seven mini books to help you organize your life one book at a time.

The seven books are as follows:
  • Three Steps to Organizing your Child's Room
  • Three Steps to Decluttering
  • Three Steps to Organizing your Kitchen
  • Three Steps to Organizing your Office
  • Three Steps to Time Management for the Stay-at-Home Mom
  • Three Steps to Clever Cleaning
  • Three Steps to Time Management at the Office
Each book consists of three main steps with each step offering plenty of tips and advice broken down into quick and easy to read points.

I'll tell you what I love most about these books. Not only are they small but the plastic glossy pages are wonderfully durable making them perfect for throwing into your purse to take out and read whenever you are stuck in a "hurry up and wait" situation. I also love the colorful pages as presentation is very important to me.

For those a little bit more ambitious and wanting to really get serious about getting organized she offers a workbook series that comes complete with checklists, questionnaires and templates on CD. Some of the titles include Three Steps to Downsizing to a Smaller Residence, Three Steps to Time Management for the Working Mom and Three Steps to Planning Dinner. These do-it-yourself guides are very thorough with Bev carefully walking you through each step of the process.

Now I've saved the best for last. One of the other things Bev includes in some of her packages is a Hassle Free Dinners CD. This CD is a menu planners dream and you all know how I feel about menu planning! It offers 52 dinner menus complete with step-by-step instructions and recipes along with coordinating color-coded weekly shopping lists. I am very impressed with how much work this must have been to put together especially since everything you need to put quick, nutritious, sophisticated meals on the table is included! She also didn't repeat an entree for the entire year either! Well done Bev!

On the 1-2-3...Get Organized site you'll also find a page listing the February sales so if you are interested be sure to check that out first! Next week I'm going to be giving away a set of these mini books as part of a special organizing giveaway I'm doing so keep your eyes open for that over on I'm an Organizing Junkie sometime on Monday.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Life Less Cluttered

Updated to add: Christine is offering free shipping on her book until December 31st!

I'm happy today to review for you another organizing book although this one isn't your typical organizing book. A Life Less Cluttered, written by Professional Organizer Christine Rice, isn't an organizing "tips" book but rather a book that focuses on the characteristics necessary to getting and staying organized. Christine's book takes you on a journey through answering the "whys" of disorganization to exposing the traits common to highly organized people in order to aid you in adopting them for yourself and reaching your own organizing epiphany.

I've always said that I'm not a born organizer. My organizing skills and abilities didn't develop overnight but were gradually acquired out of necessity, practice and a desire to lead a more simplified life. Christine feels the same way and she will also tell you that she wasn't born with the "organizing gene". She offers this encouragement in the very first chapter:

Organizing doesn't always come naturally but with help it can become easier. This is where you need to let go of any lingering guilt you may have regarding your current disorganized status and what originally brought you to that state. You've always had the capability to learn, you just didn't have the guidelines to follow. That is, until now. Open yourself to learning at the highest level possible. Accept your new reality that you, too, can be more organized.

Christine also offers one of the best definitions of what being truly organized means and it may surprise you:

Life happens. It's not as if finally being organized brings with it a guarantee that your home or life will never again be turned upside down. The difference is when you are better organized you can more quickly remedy the situation when things are a little out of control. It means living an easier, less stressful lifestyle and being able to locate important papers or belongings at a moment's notice. It usually means there is nearly a place for everything and almost everything in its place most of the time.

Did you get that? It isn't about being perfect! Amen to that!

I found Christine's book absolutely refreshing and eye opening. I never thought to approach organizing in this manner. Not only does she explain in detail what the traits are of highly organized people are but she also shows you how to adapt and apply those traits to your own life and surroundings.

This is one book I can't recommend more highly. It isn't heavy or complicated reading either because believe me most of those types of books I never end up finishing. This book just makes sense and is so uplifting and encouraging at the same time. I'm very impressed.

Christine offers her book for sale on her website in both paperback and ebook. More information can be found here. Check it out for yourself, it just might change your life!

You can also find Christine over at her blog Organizational Enlightenment.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And the winner is.......

The winner of The Organized Life by Stephanie Denton is......


Congratulations Jynell, please email me your address!!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Organized Life and a giveaway!

Back in September I wrote about the book The Organized Life by Stephanie Denton that had been sent to me from Marcia in South Africa. This book is making its way around the world and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review it.

The Organized Life is a lovely and simple book offering quick, easy-to-reference advice to help you take control of your clutter so you can live every day with less stress and more free time. The organizing tips in this book are straight forward and practical and are presented on colorful pages that are pleasing to the eye and easy to read. As I said before I really do love how it is written in short snippets that I can read in quick bursts as I have the time. The tips are conveniently compiled into categories making it easy to find tips relevant to whatever space you are tackling in your home at the time. Each category contains quotes, checklists and easy-to-follow guidelines for organizing every part of your life, including:

Paper piles
Grocery shopping
Home office
Closets & clothes
Kitchen & pantry
Holiday shopping & storage
Bedroom & bathroom

Let me share a few tidbits from the book:

The key to fitting in a major undertaking is to realize it's nothing but the sum of several small tasks. Change your mind-set from "I have only fifteen minutes, I can't start anything," to "I have fifteen minutes, what one small piece of this project can I complete?" If an endeavor seems long in duration, break it down in your mind. Instead of swimming thirty laps, think of it as swimming ten laps three times.

Have one set of cleaning products stored in each bathroom so it's convenient to disinfect at any point in time.

Getting organized is not about getting rid of your memories. It's about making them more accessible.

Here are some sample pages from the book so you can see just how fun the colors are. I know they are hard to read but if you want a closer look and to learn more about the author click on over here.

Suzanne of Let's Talk Organizing from Arizona was the originator of this fun little book excursion and you can follow the book here. I'm going to keep the trend going by sending it on to Melissa from Breath of Life. How did I pick Melissa you ask? Well on my previous post about the book Melissa wrote this comment that made me laugh when I read it:

Everyone said they want to hear what you’ve got to say…I just want you to pass the book to me! It really does look interesting & useful!

You've got it Melissa, the book will be on it's way to Virgina next week. It'll be fun to see where it goes from there.

For the rest of you, Stephanie Denton has offered to giveaway an additional copy of her book to one of my readers. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, November 20th at 12:00 pm and I'll announce the winner shortly thereafter. Winner will be selected by random generator.

Good luck and thanks to Stephanie for a great book!!

PS: I'll also be adding a copy of this book to the 30 Day Organizational Challenge prize list. It's not too late to join!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Whomi ~ Planners that are fun AND functional!

When Whomi asked me to review their calendars/planners for busy woman I was more than happy to do so. You see I use a central calendar in my kitchen but what I can never figure out is why most calendars have all that wasted space on the top. I mean I guess it's nice to have a picture there but what the Whomi Color-Coded Family Calendar does is use both the top and bottom of the calendar to provide more space for monthly activities. Who couldn't use more space? Especially space that is color-coded at that. The monthly planner has one big white space per day PLUS there are three different color-coded smaller spaces per day as well which means you can designate a different color per kid for instance. Now that's smart! The price is reasonable too at $13.99 each.

Two other products I had the privledge of checking out was their Color-Coded Agenda and their What To Do Pad.

The Color-Coded Agenda is similar to the bigger family planner just smaller, suitable for those who might appreciate a more portable calendar. This one comes in TWO sizes to meet the needs of busy mom's, original and compact. If you want something for your purse though I recommend the compact size as the original seems at bit heavy to me to carry around in your purse. These agendas are just so pretty too and that my friends is important, who wants to pull out an agenda that's ugly or boring. Being organized doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Take a look at these pretty designs:

These agendas also come with a heavy duty plastic cover that all moms will appreciate especially if we keep one tucked in our purses where they tend to take a bit of a beating.

Finally the What To Do Pad just makes list making FUN! That's it in the above picture on the left. It's a portable spiral-bound notebook with three separate color-coded pads designed to make maintaining lists simpler because it's divided by task and each sheet is perferated so you can tear off a sheet as you need to. I love stuff like this I really do. I'd especially like to try out the What To Do When Pad as well.

Fun and functional makes me very very happy and I hope it does you as well!!

Thanks Whomi!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Bin Buddies

You know what I admire? Creative people who see a need and fill it, making our lives just a little bit easier. That is exactly what Gretchen from PacEasy has done with her fabulous and innovative product appropriately named Bin Buddies. Bin Buddies are a durable and washable insert for your household totes that offer handy pockets to keep everything tidy and organized for easy access. Bin Buddies come in various sizes depending on the size of tote you own.

I admit when Gretchen first contacted me about trying out this product I was a bit skeptical. I didn't really understand at first what this product was going to do for me or how it was going to make my life better. It wasn't until I opened the package and saw how it worked and all the glorious pockets inside that the lightbulb went off.

I immediately knew what I was going to use this product for. In our playroom, the kids have a Rubbermaid tote that we use to store all the little indoor hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and balls and balls of all sorts and sizes. I wish I'd remembered to take a picture of how it looked before. You have to imagine that the sticks didn't stand straight up and kept falling over and out and the little balls got buried at the bottom so the kids had to dump the entire tote to just to get one out. It was a headache but the gear was contained and so we lived with it. Until now.....

The Bin Buddie fit inside my tote perfectly and now offers plenty of pocket space for the sticks to stand up straight as well as pockets for the small balls. I really am very pleased with it how easy it was to assemble and the versatility of it. I also love the idea of using it for picnics or camping as well. We already use Rubbermaid totes for all our camping gear but this product will help organize it even further for us.

Totes are an amazing storage tool.....Bin Buddies with handy pockets make them even better!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy Traveler Family Gear Bag

I am thrilled, just thrilled to introduce you to this next product. Anyone who has ever tried to travel with kids will appreciate this one. Back in July as I was packing to go on holidays for a month, I desperately looked for something that would be the ideal travel bag for the flight. I was flying with my under two son and I needed something that would accommodate MANY needs plus more. As you know when flying you are only allowed two carry-on bags. One of them for me was my laptop, the other one needed to carry everything else including diapers, wipes, snacks, baby blanket, baby stuffie, baby toys, sippy cups, my water, my purse, a book, sunglasses, camera, and the list goes on and on.

Prior to leaving I pulled out every bag I owned (which happens to be quite a few since I'm always trying to find the one) and not one of them seemed adequate. I finally settled on one though and then proceeded to be extremely annoyed the entire flight when I couldn't quickly find or grab what I needed while holding my squirming, you can't make me cooperate, one and a half year old.

I don't like to be annoyed.

I simply don't have the patience for it.

The success of travelling with babies and kids is based on organization. Organization requires a bag that stands upright on it's own, has multiple pockets for everything under the sun, meets airline requirements, and basically acts as my home on the go. Do you think I'm asking for too much? I assumed I was because if a bag like that existed I didn't know about it.


Happy Traveler Family Gear Bag

The bag of my traveling dreams has bright red no less. Family Travel Gear is a company that understands the needs of traveling families. Of that I have no doubt. When the Happy Traveler Family Gear Bag appeared in my mailbox I open the package with anticipation hoping that I wasn't in for another mediocre bag to add to my collection. Frankly I was pretty skeptical. First thing I saw was the big pocket on front, and then another pocket, and then another one, oh and what's that, another pocket! The pockets don't end it seems and I instantly fell in love.

THEN....I saw one pocket in particular and nearly wept with tears of joy. Ladies there is a pocket on the side of this bag.....are you ready for this....for the portable DVD player AND slots for the DVD's!! I'm seriously not kidding! I had a separate bag for the DVD player when I travelled and had one of my bigger kids carry it on but it was just one more thing to worry about.

On the other side of this is an insulated pocket for sippy cups or bottles plus there is also a pocket for my camera, a pocket for my wallet and airline tickets, a pocket for my magazine and did I mention that the glorious front pocket includes a FULL BODY changing pad and numerous pockets for diapers, wet wipes holder, ointments and more. Oh.My.Word. All this AND it meets airline carry-on sizing requirements. Get out of town.....literally.

And less you think this bag will just sit in the closet when not in use, think again. This beautiful bag of amazing possibilities can also be used as a back seat kid’s organizer/toy box and snack bag for car travel.

Family Travel Gear doesn't just sell bags either. They are a family owned and operated business inspired by their personal travel experiences with their own children and sell many other travel products as well to make your life easier. They claim to personally test all of their products and you know what, after seeing this bag and what it means for all my organized future travels, I believe they do just that.

Thank you Family Travel Gear!!

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Organizing Bags

So if you've read my blog for any amount of time or well even just this week (lol) you know I have this obsession quirk about keeping all things similar contained in one place. As many of you know this isn't always easy when you have kids. I have noticed that as my kids get older their toys get smaller so in an effort to keep all those little pieces together I use a lot of ziploc baggies. I like them for a number of reasons some of which include; they set boundaries for the kids and make cleanup easier for them, they are clear allowing you to easily see what is inside and they come in a number of different sizes which is helpful. However there are some downfalls to the baggie idea. This first being that using plastic baggies is obviously not a great idea for small children for safety reasons and the other is that they don't take a lot of abuse and quickly can get worn out and have to be replaced.

So when Lara my Lazy Organizer friend asked if I wanted to review the Organizing Bags she designs I jumped at the opportunity because I had a feeling they were going to be right up my alley and I was right! Let me just tell you that these came in ever so handy last week when I completely went through and organized the kids rooms from top to bottom to make room for all the new Christmas toys.

I enjoyed these bags immensely for reasons similar to the baggie idea plus more:

1. they work great for containing "like with like"
2. they are clear on the front so you can see what is inside
3. they are durable and reusable
4. the zipper is on the side rather than the top which means that you can actually fit more inside since the inside stays the same size and doesn't get narrower at the top like a baggie does. It also means you can access items stored near the bottom quicker and easier (a plus for kids)
5. two sizes to choose from which is very nice
6. the bigger size bag has a handle - great for kids to carry around their toys (especially great for travelling)
7. not a safety hazard

Take a look at some of the ways I used them:

to organize my son's pirate men collection

to organize my daughter's Barbie petshop collection

to organize my son's Klutz pirate ship building collection (this set didn't even come with a box so I was really happy to have this solution to keep all the pieces contained)

Finally I created this diaper changing kit to keep in my church bag along with my bible, church library books, snacks, etc. This really works for me because it means I don't also have to bring the diaper bag with me and now if I have to take my son out during the service I can just grab this bag (love the handle) and go and my two older kids can keep the church bag with them since it contains their snacks/books.

To purchase these bags and to also see the different ways Lara uses her bags you can visit her site here or click on the link in my sidebar. Thanks for a great product Lara!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

DaysAgo Digital Timer

I kill house plants, there I said it! My husband is the gardener of the family and he makes me paranoid about over watering, so because I can never remember when I watered the plants last, I just usually don't. Once I see the leaves turning yellow I take a pretty good educated guess that it's probably time they had a little drink. Aren't I clever? Usually by then, of course, it's a little too late and they end up taking a trip to the D.U.M.P!

A fairly new product has come to my rescue! DaysAgo is the first and only digital day counter that removes the guesswork of knowing how many days ago a food container was open or in my case how many days ago I watered the plants! By "counting days up," the DaysAgo can track food products that spoil quickly, including baby food, sauces, salsas or just about anything else you need to keep track of.

Honestly, until the Company contacted me, I had never heard of DaysAgo so when they offered to send me one to try I was thrilled. Anything that allows me to free up brain space has got to be a good thing. Now that I've had the opportunity to try it out, I am happy to report I love it!

I particularly love that it is a simple gadget that is re-usable, versatile and easy to use. It also attaches to a variety of surfaces with a magnetic or suction backing. I just keep mine on the fridge and after I water the plants, it's quick and easy to simply re-set it and start again.

This device was inspired by the need to track freshness of baby food which lasts for only 2-3 days, but upon its invention, the list of uses expanded quickly to include pasta sauce, salsa, soup broth, leftovers, applesauce, etc... I know for myself how many jars of baby food I ended up having to throw out because I couldn't remember when I opened it!

All and all, this is a terrific product for a pretty good price. I found them online at Solutions for $9.95 for a pack of two.

Now I have no more excuses for killing my house plants, unless of course you count laziness!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Privacy Policy

The privacy of my visitors to is important to me.

At, I recognize that privacy of your personal information is important. Here is information on what types of personal information I receive and collect when you use visit, and how I safeguard your information. I never sell your personal information to third parties.

Log Files
As with most other websites, I collect and use the data contained in log files. The information in the log files include your IP (internet protocol) address, your ISP (internet service provider, such as AOL or Shaw Cable), the browser you used to visit my site (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), the time you visited this site and which pages you visited throughout.

Cookies and Web Beacons
I do use cookies to store information, such as your personal preferences when you visit my site. This could include only showing you a popup once in your visit, or the ability to login to some of my features, such as forums.

I also use third party advertisements to support my site. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on my site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP , the browser you used to visit my site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing New York real estate ads to someone in New York, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites).

You can chose to disable or selectively turn off the cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with this site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.

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My Review Policy

I love finding ways to save time, money and most importantly, my sanity! I am always on a quest to find new organizing products and containers that will do just that, not only for me, but for others as well. I am more than happy to review these types of products and share my reviews of the ones I love. I will be honest in giving my genuine opinion although I typically will not provide reviews on the products that don't end up meeting my criteria or I'm just not happy with.

Product reviews that I do as a result of a Company sending me their product will be done on this site only, separate from my main blog. I will, however, provide a link back to this site from my other.

Vendors may contact me to request a product review by emailing me at the address located on my sidebar.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

About Me

Hello! I'm Laura, the organizing junkie!

I’m a Canadian WAHM to three kids (girl 10, boys 8 and 2) who give me plenty of organizing material each and every day. Only recently did I turn my dream of becoming a Professional Organizer into a reality. I’m very excited about this next stage of my life!

What I love most about organizing is the “high” I get from it so I am always looking for my next “fix”. Crumbs on the floor wouldn’t bother me but a pile of papers on the table would drive me crazy!!

I love great organizing products of all sorts and here on this blog is where you'll find the reviews of many of the ones I adore.

For more organizing excitement you can also find me at my main blog I'm an Organizing Junkie!

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