The Go-To Shelving, Closet & Drawer System

As  a professional organizer, there are certain products and services that I consider my go-to resources – my tried-and-true favorites.  Resources make my list for reasons such as quality, efficiency, ease-of-use, value and company customer service.  For the past several years, one of my favorite products on this list is the Container Store’s Elfa shelving and drawer system.

From creating a versatile closet system to a functional home office work station, there are endless possibilities for this system.  The various Elfa components allow you to create customizable solutions to fit your closet, kitchen, garage, pantry, office and playroom.  Whether you are looking for drawers to house snacks in the pantry, or racks for shoes in your closet, Elfa has the answer to help you get your belongings more organized.  In addition, the versatility of the system will allow you to continue to edit your storage solution as your needs change.  Maybe right now you need a system to organize all your children’s toys, but in the future you will need it to organize their clothing… not a problem.  You can reconfigure the components you already have (including bringing pieces back to the Container Store to have them cut to fit) and you can buy new components to add-on to your current system.  This makes Elfa a great value solution, as you will be able to continue to benefit from your investment for years to come.   You can even take the system with you if you move into a new home and reconfigure it for the new space.  So while it is built to look like a permanent system, its semi-permanent nature will allow you to easily take it with you so you can continue to keep yourself super organized.

From the beginning phases of designing your solution at the store to the installation in your home, the experience is seamless.  I strongly recommend that you check out Elfa to help you get organized in 2011.  Plus, if you shop before February 15, you can save 30% on your system and installation.  A deal that only happens once a year!

Example of a walk-in closet solution with double-hanging for clothes, drawers for shirts, sweaters and undergarments, and top-shelf storage for purses and seasonal items
The jewelry tray component allows you to keep earings, pins, rings and clips separated and visible
The pull-out tie rack component allows you to keep your ties organized and easily accessible
Two different shoe components allow you to maximize storage for both high heel shoes and flats
Several shelves create a simple storage solution for a home office closet

The Container Store’s Elfa Shelving & Drawer Storage System


Clothing That Grows With Your Children

As a child, I remember my mother always buying clothing for me that was a bit too big so that it would fit me for more than season.  While I may have looked like I was drowning in fabric one year, the following year it was almost guaranteed to fit perfectly.  Even though I always wanted my clothing to fit properly from the beginning, as I look back I really can’t blame her for doing this as it was cost effective and efficient (two characteristics that I now have a business focused around).

Today, despite not having children of my own, I know that this issue still plagues mothers and their children as they shop annually for new sneakers, sweaters, pants and jackets while trying to beat the inevitable growth-spurt.  This is one of the reasons why I was so fascinated to discover the Lands’ End Grow-A-Long coat when I was recently visiting a friend during his sons’ play date.  I was so excited to find that Lands’ End had created a jacket that will grow with your son or daughter to allow for at least two, maybe three seasons of wear!  Finally, someone had incorporated efficiency and functionality into clothing in a way that went beyond just versatility.

The Grow-A-Long feature, available in both snow pants and jackets for boys and girls, allows the garment to grow up to an additional 2 inches on the sleeves and pant legs.  The extra material hides unnoticeably inside the sleeve or pant leg and is easily released by snapping a thread.  In addition, not only are the garments efficient, but they are also stylish, warm and versatile.

This amazing feature, coupled with the quality that Lands’ End has come to be known for, makes this line of clothing an excellent choice for children.  It will not only save families money, but it will also save them from the build-up of out grown clothing and trips to the local donation drop-off.

Lands’ End Grow-A-Long Clothing for Boys and Girls

GO Month

Year after year, Americans list “getting organized” as one of their top 10 New Year’s resolutions, which is why the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) declared January as GO (Get Organized) MonthSM.

With this January marking the 7th Annual GO Month, Professional Organizers and NAPO chapters across the country will be hosting public events during the month to help individuals and companies get organized.  Our local New York Chapter of NAPO will be receiving an extra special recognition this year, as Mayor Bloomberg’s office will officially proclaim January as GO Month for all of New York City.  This special announcement, which will create more awareness for New Yorkers to understand the importance of being organized, will take place on January 21, during NAPO-NY’s GO Month event with Literacy Partners.  This is a truly exciting moment for Professional Organizers throughout the city.

As you settle back into work today, take a moment to think about GO Month and ask yourself, “what am I going to do to get organized in 2011?”  This is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean, change some habits and start fresh.  Contact ocd4life for help getting started.

Happy New Year and Happy GO Month!

A Drip Free Bottle

Christmas and New Year’s are almost here, which means the wine will most likely start flowing a bit more freely.  And, while we all love the wine being poured into our glass, we don’t really love the drips and run-away drops that glide down the bottle onto the tablecloth or counter.

To help you save those little drips and make sure that every delicious drop gets into your glass, head out to your nearest BedBath&Beyond and pick up this sleek and sophisticated wine stopper/pourer from OXO.  This nifty little gadget helps any host/hostess or avid wino accomplish the following important things…

  1. Reducing drips and spills while pouring the wine to help keep your tablecloth clean of deep red dots throughout dinner
  2. Creating an even and consistent flow, as well as aerating the wine while pouring it to ensure that your taste buds get the best experience
  3. Sealing the bottle for short-term storage with the easy to use lever to make sure that the wine stays as fresh as possible

This little gadget will not only save you some agony during the clean-up process by keeping your tablecloth free of wine stains this holiday, but it also serves as a perfect stocking stuffer for your fellow wino.

P.S. – Remember to drink responsibly this holiday season, and on every other occasion.

OXO wine stopper/pourer

A Golden Glow


I was recently walking around a holiday gift fair and stumbled upon these gorgeous stone candle holders made of a rare, golden-orange, onyx calcite.  When lit, these unique candle holders emit the perfect golden-amber glow that will add to the ambiance of any room in your home.  They will also make a great gift for birthdays, holidays or housewarmings.

Unfortunately, Golden Glow Candle Works, the company selling them, does not have an e-commerce portion to their website yet.  However, they are hoping to sell online towards the end of winter.  In the meantime, you can call them or submit your email online to learn about their line of gifts and products.

Golden Glow Candle Works

A Gift for the Handbag Lover

Need a small gift or stocking stuffer for the handbag lover on your shopping list?  Checkout the Purse Hook from Red Envelope.  This simple little invention will help you, or your BFF, keep your vintage, Gucci handbag off the floor and safe from dirt and debris.  It easily folds up into a small disk for convenient travel so whether you are at work, a restaurant or getting a manicure you won’t need to worry about setting your handbag on the dirty floor.

Purse Hook from Red Envelope

Green Greetings

The holidays are around the corner and your shopping is almost done, but you still haven’t taken the time to sit down and write out the holiday greeting cards that mom insists should be sent.  Secretly, you are probably hoping that Santa’s elves will come and take care of it for you, as you still don’t know when you will fit in writing and addressing those thirty, sixty or one hundred cards.

My favorite solution to this dilemma at holiday time, or any other time of year that you require greeting cards or invitations, is Paperless Post.  This convenient, affordable, easy-to-use, green service allows you to create beautiful custom cards online in minutes.  However, these are not your typical online cards, as they are designed to look like beautiful, hand-made stationary and are free of advertisements and pop-ups.  Their unique designs and luxurious feel keeps these cards personal.

For $12 you can send 150 cards or invitations to the most important people on your list and confidently know that they will be delivered.  The online Post Box in your account allows you to track each card’s delivery to ensure it was delivered successfully, and even allows you to receive personal messages from the recipient.

So, make mom happy and send out those cards, but check out Paperless Post and use the time that you saved to attend another holiday party.

Paperless Post

Personalized Gift Boxes

Sharing homemade baked goods and treats is one of my favorite things to do around the holidays.  It is a thoughtful gift that allows you to share some of your favorite holiday recipes and family traditions.  Whether it is for a friend, colleague or party host, it is an excellent way to show someone that you care and appreciate them.

When sharing these special treats, have fun with packaging them.  You can get creative and make something on your own from scratch, or use these Williams & Sonoma Custom Gift Boxes that I recently discovered.  These easy to assemble, boxes are a quick and convenient way to finish of this special gift.  And, you can even monogram the boxes for a little touch of luxury and personalization.

P.S. – If you want these boxes by Christmas, be sure to order them by Thursday, December 16!

Williams & Sonoma Custom Gift Boxes

Keep ’em Stiff: A Gift for the Prepster

Being organized is not just about the space in which you live or work.  It is also about your appearance, which is why I think Würkin Stiffs are a necessity for any button-down wearing man.

I was introduced to these simple, little, gems over a year ago and I love them for helping me tackle one of my biggest pet peeves  – a limp, flared collar.  Würkin Stiffs transform any dress shirt collar into a hidden-button-down collar with the use of a super strong magnet and a high-tech alloy (the same material found in aerospace engineering).  They are quick and easy to use, airport friendly and they are fully adjustable so you can wear your shirt collar however you like (see how in their how-to video).

Würkin Stiffs make a great gift, and they will always leave the man in your life looking fresh and crisp.

P.S. – I am also thrilled to say they now make a version for polo shirts!  Bye, bye curling collars!

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