Getting There on Time: The Secret to Punctuality

Much of the work I do is focused on helping clients manage their space and belongings in a more efficient way. However, personal organization, including time management, can be just as important. One thing we as aspiring organized people forget to lump into the time management category is actually getting places on time. In fact, this can be one of the greatest organizational challenges people face on a daily basis.

I myself struggle with being punctual now and then, but I do believe it is extremely important to put your efforts towards arriving to events, appointments, and outings with friends on time. It gives the right impression to colleagues, clients, and pals that you respect their time and take them and yourself seriously. For your children, modeling punctuality instills a healthy respect for structure and routine, thus setting them up for success in the future.

Easier said than done, I know. Sometimes, the odds of public transportation, traffic or your never-ending to-do list simply keep you from making the punctuality grade. And that is okay now and then, as I said before. Things happen! However, there are a few tricks we can each use in our day-to-day lives to increase our on-time factor and decrease the self-created factors the keep us from getting where we need to be.

The most helpful advice I can give is to work backward. This is a tip I’ve recommended before in previous posts. Think about when you need to arrive to pick up your children or to meet your girlfriends for evening drinks. From there, allocate your time based on one-two hour increments backward from the time you need to LEAVE to get there, RATHER than the time you need to BE THERE. For example: To meet your girlfriends across town by 6:30pm, you should leave your house by 5:45. Give yourself one hour to get dressed and touch up your makeup and hair, starting at 4:45. If your day starts at 7:45, that gives you 9 hours to take care of your work, chores, etc. Your half-way point is 12:30pm. Also, don’t forget to build in a few breaks for lunch, personal tasks, and brief moments of me-time.

If you are a person on the go, use the alarm function on your phone to signal the end of one of your 2 hour time increments. When the alarm sounds, move on to the next task – unless you are on a roll of course! If you’re a person who sits in front of the computer all day, use your calendar as a to-do list, so that you are always aware of the time you’ve given yourself to complete necessary tasks. Build travel time (and potential traffic delays) into that plan to set yourself up for successfully arriving to your desination on time.

As you can see, I believe that managing the time in your day will help you to view getting places on time as another ‘to-do’, rather than optional. By adopting a few of these suggestions, you too can work towards the goal of getting there on time. You’ll be surprised at how gratifying it feels to arrive at the right time and your friends, family and colleagues will appreciate it too.

Good luck!

Shoe Storage & Organization

We often receive questions about the best way to organize and store shoes. While there is no ‘right’ way, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure success when designing your shoe organization strategy.

First, take an assessment of your shoe collection and storage space and ask yourself the following questions.

  • How many pairs do you have?
  • What types do you have (heels, flip-flops, flats, large or small sizes)?
  • How many more do you think you will acquire in the near future?
  • Do you have a large space or small space for storage?
  • Is there a dedicated shoe area or will storage need to be creative?
  • Do you have space for seasonal shoe storage or does everything need to fit in one place?

At this time you should also determine if any shoes can or will be purged before implementation of the new organization strategy. Once you have thoroughly assessed the situation, take a look at our list of favorite storage solutions below and select one that will work for your collection and space.

Our Favorite Shoe Storage Solutions:

  • The modular shoe organizing system can be scaled up or down depending on needs.
  • Clear shoe boxes protect shoes from dust and work well on built-in shoe shelves. For easy shoe identification, consider taping a photo of the shoes to the front of the box.
  • The 30 Pair Overdoor Organizer is great for those with limited space. Place on the back of your closet or bathroom door for discrete and space-saving storage.
  • Shoe cubbies are excellent for closets that only have room below the hanging racks.
  • Under-bed chests can be used to store out-of-season shoes in an efficient manner.
  • The 10 tier (50 pair) rolling rack may be a good solution for those with larger collections and amounts of space.
  • Boot holders are designed for hanging closet rod storage and help with shape maintenance. 

No matter which storage solution you purchase, it’s important to take the time to arrange your shoes in a manner that promotes function and organization. Ideally, shoes that are worn most often should be stored in the most accessible space, front and center. Shoes that are seasonal or rarely worn should be housed in the less accessible spots (back, sides, high, low). If possible, group like shoes together. For example, all flip flops and sandals are on one shelf and all heels are on another. Finally, take care to protect your collection by utilizing accessories like cedar shoe trees, which help to retain shape and minimize odor.

Happy Organizing!

Beauty Products: Organization & Storage

Last week our blog focused on the medicine cabinet. This week, we’ll discuss another area of the bathroom that can easily become disorganized and out-of control, your beauty product drawer. Just like your medicines, proper storage of your beauty products can ensure safety and longevity. First, we’ll start out with a few basic tips.

1) Keep makeup in a dark, cool, and dry place in order to minimize degradation.
2) Hold to makeup expiration guidelines and you’ll decrease your risk of infection and/or undesirable effects (sunburns from use of expired sunscreen). An easy way to remember when products will expire is to label the product with date it will go bad (see photo). Use this list by Good Housekeeping to determine opened product expiration time-frames.
3) Don’t forget about applicator cleanliness. Just as makeup can harbor dangerous bacteria, so too can your brushes and sponges. Make sure to set aside time every couple of weeks to clean these items with appropriate solutions.

Once you are ready to organize your makeup, we recommend the following strategy. First, remove all products from your storage area or container. Review the contents and determine which to keep (currently in use), trash (expired/empty) or donate (unopened/new products). It’s common for women to stockpile beauty products, particularly freebies from hotels or gift-with-purchases; the problem is that most go permanently unused. Use this organizing process as a chance to clear these types of items out of your storage space.

The next step is to group like items together. Brushes with brushes, face products with face products, and so on. If you have different types of beauty products for different seasons, group them together and consider storing out-of-season items in a less accessible spot. For instance, you may not need your bronzer taking up prime real estate during the summer months when you have a natural glow.

Once you have categorized your collection, determine what type of containing system will work best for you. There is no perfect solution, but popular options include small drawer systems, trays, stacking bins, apothecary jars, chests, and bags for women who frequently travel. Ideally, the storage system should have multiple compartments to house your various categories. After organizing everything in it’s new homes, consider labeling the compartments for easy-returning of items.

This process should ideally be conducted once every 2-3 months to maintain continued organization.

Good Luck!

How to Scrapbook Efficiently

A scrapbook is one of the most personal ways you can organize your experiences, your memories, and your life. They can be touching gifts and powerful chronicles that surprise your loved ones or adorn your shelves at home. While these memory keepers can be truly beloved treasures, many often perceive them to be complicated, never-ending projects only suitable for those with a lot of spare time on their hands. The reality is that the books can be as easy as you make them.

Have you ever walked into a craft store and been so overwhelmed by all of the products and supplies before you? I encourage you to take a deep breath, and keep it simple. I learned this from my sister who, as a wedding gift, created a scrapbook of the items and mementos that represented that special day and the events leading up to it. The book was a contained story with a start, a finish and a theme to this little piece of my life’s history.

As the Well-Organized Woman, I took inspiration from this wonderful present and hope that you will do the same by following these simple steps.

1. Choose one event or period of time. For example: the first year of your relationship or your child’s life, a wedding or a vacation.

2. Make a list of what you need and stick to it. For example: you’ll need general supplies like scissors, glue and tape, as well as the fun things like stickers, photo corners, creative papers and colorful markers. Go to the craft store and buy only those things. You can always go back.

3. Develop and print the photos (and then some) you want to use ahead of time. If you’re working with a deadline, photo printing and development can take up a lot of precious time, so make this one of your first tasks. It is better to have more photos available than you think you’ll need – you’ll be surprised by the creative ideas that pop up when you get working, so give yourself room to go with it!

4. Dedicate time and make sure you have enough of it. If you are giving a scrapbook as a gift, you’ll need plenty of time to complete it by the day you need to present it. Set aside blocks of quiet time without major interruptions so that your creative juices can flow with the calm you’ll need to glue pictures and mementos in the right places.

5. Keep a box for collecting the items for your scrapbook. If your book will chronicle an entire year, you’ll need a place to keep mementos, photos and other items like movie tickets from your first date. The last thing you want is to tear the house apart to find that one photo or memento you must have for the book from six months ago – it could be anywhere!

By following this well-organized process, you’ll reap rewards in the form of a beautiful and thoughtful scrapbook that will make a loved one’s day. So get creative, and get scrapping!

Good luck and enjoy!


Laundry Day: Managing the Routine

A recurring issue brought up by clients is the task of laundry. Whether it be getting clothes washed, dealing with dry cleaning, or regularly folding and putting items away, it seems that many struggle to maintain a functional system. We’ve outlined below some of our most helpful tips for optimizing your laundry routine.


  • There are two schools of thought on laundry scheduling and both are based on personal preference. For some clients, doing one load per day over the course of several days, allows them to not be overloaded and manage the folding/putting away process. For people with shorter attention spans or unpredictable schedules, this is a great option. For others, picking a specific day or time of the week for laundry ensures completion. If this is your preferred method, make sure to select a time in which no interruptions will cause half-folded laundry to remain on your couch for days. Calendar reminders are also great for this method.

Laundry Tips:

  • Cut down on the amount of laundry in your home by teaching family members to determine after each wear if the item can be re-hung or folded for another use, or if it is soiled and in fact in need of wash.
  • If you have the space, consider getting a tri-compartment laundry hamper to allow for pre-sorting. This will cut down on time in front of the machine.
  • For those with young helpers, post cleaning instructions, including proper wash cycles for various types of clothing, nearby the washer. You can also use a permanent marker to write “Cold Water” or “Air Dry” on the clothing label to ensure your clothes are not ruined on your kids watch.
  • Wash clothes that need ironing first, then iron while the next load is running.
  • Place a drying rack nearby the washer and hang clothes that cannot be dried immediately upon cycle finish to avoid wrinkling.
  • Use safety pins to pin dirty socks together prior to washing to ensure mates stay together.

Dry Cleaning:

  • Picking up and dropping off dry-cleaning can be a time-consuming weekly activity. For clients that hate the task or simply don’t have the time, I recommend several things. First, look into whether your home or office building offers free pickup. This will cut down on trips and is often similarly priced to regular cleaners. Second, is to invest in a pickup/dropoff service, such as Press Atlanta. They offer twice-a-week and will-call service for a reasonable cost. If neither of these options are a possibility, set a particular time and day of the week in which to conduct pickups and dropoffs at your normal cleaner.

No matter your feelings toward laundry, use these tips and the task will be just a bit easier.

Good Luck,

Prepping For Your Child’s Summer Break

If you’re like many parents that work full-time, your children’s summer break probably requires a lot of planning and organization. Although it’s still roughly three months away, it’s important to begin making arrangements now in order to meet enrollment deadlines and guarantee space.

To prepare for the impending break, first determine if your children will require full-time, part-time, or ad hoc child-care resources. Depending on the age of your children these resources could range from nannies to sleep-away camp. Once you decide which type of resource you will utilize, you can then begin research on your various options. We have included below a list of great websites to help with your process.

Summer Camps:

Local Kids Sports, Arts, & Educational Classes:

Summer Daycare Options:

When selecting your child’s summer plans, be sure to factor in frequency, location, time, age, child’s mental preparedness, and cost. Once you have chosen the best fit, mark on your calendar the deadlines for registration, deposit, and other requirements to ensure they don’t pass you by. Once the official requirements are met, you can begin preparation by making a checklist items or other things they may require (sports equipment, sleeping bags, art supplies, etc.). We also love this free, printable checklist for summer camp packing from

For those with children in their teens or early adult years, you can also assist with their summer plans, such as internships and part-time jobs. As with camps, these often fill up early, so it’s best to start the search now. We recommend collaborating with your older child on a strategy for identifying opportunities, developing necessary application documents, and conducting the actual search/interview process. Below are a couple of excellent resources for part-time job and internship searches.

Part-Time Jobs:

Collegiate Internships:

No matter your specific plans for your children’s summer break, just remember that early preparation and organization is key.

- TWOW Team

On the Go: Our Favorite Organizational Apps

In keeping with our recent theme of organizational resolutions for the New Year, let’s spend a little time going mobile! That’s right, your mobile devices and computers are great resources for helping you achieve your goals in the time management, organizational and financial arenas – on the go. Here are the best WOW-approved apps for keeping your life organized, no matter where you are in your day!

EverNote: Let’s face it, it’s tough keeping track of everything you need to do and remember in your life. That’s why I LOVE and its mobile app. The majority of my day is spent out of the house and at appointments. Working is therapeutic for me –  I often do a lot of my best thinking during this time – which means I’m always coming up with ideas and to-dos for my own life. It can be tough to organize these goals, but with the Evernote app, I can easily whip out my phone and record such things as the books I’d like to read, movies I’d like to watch, articles I’d like to write, recipes I’d like to cook, webpages I’d like to revisit and new organizational tools I’d like to try. But what if I can’t remember the note once I need it? Well, there’s a tool for that, of course! Evernote has a search function that allows me to use keywords to reference the note or list I’d created for myself earlier that day or even two weeks ago. It syncs with my other devices, and I can even share notes with friends and employees. This app is my organizational lifesaver, and I recommend it to most of my clients.

Mint: Ever feel like you have so many accounts in so many places and no way to organize them? Fear not! does it for you in a safe, secure and mobile environment. Your Mint app connects and tracks information from each of your checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, loans and retirement funds. At any point in time, I can pull up my profile and see how much money is in each my financial accounts, all in one place. But what I love most about this app is the goal-setting function. You can set goals for paying off credit card and loan balances or saving for big purchases, on a self-determined timeline. The app shows you how much you need to pay or save each month to reach your goal. We all need a little help to reach our financial goals, and provides the encouragement and accountability you need to achieve an organized financial year.

PageOnce: is a wonderful app that helps you organize your finances AND pay your bills online, from one place. Like, you can view each and every account in your financial life, safely and securely, and you can pay your bills on time from your smartphone with the touch of a button. will also send you alerts and reminders when you have a bill due, which helps avoid late fees. You can even choose which account you’d like to use to pay that bill. I appreciate this function, as I can’t always remember every single log-in and password when I’m on the move and in between appointments. As a bonus feature, Pageonce will also import updates from other online accounts, such as travel, shopping, social networks, event management sites, and email. If you’re a busy woman, the Pageonce app keeps your online life organized and respects your time management goals – WOW!

Dinner Spinner: Whenever I decide to cook a meal that is unfamiliar to me and my kitchen, I head straight to for ideas that are quick and easy. I love to cook, but I’m also very busy, and so are my clients. Not only do I find what I’m looking for, but also points me to variations on the theme in the event that the first recipe I find isn’t the right one for me and my family. Dinner Spinner is the mobile app for, and it is compatible with both the iPhone and Android platforms. With this app, I can browse recipes, bookmark my favorites, share recipes with friends and create a shopping list. Cooking dinner at home helps me save money, a goal I set for my family every year. Being able to organize my meals on the go is just the icing on the cake!


Grocery Gadgets: Another app that saves me money and time on my way to the grocery store is Grocery Gadgets. It allows me to organize my grocery lists, recipes and coupons for free, on my phone. The app even syncs with every device in my household, which keeps my kitchen life managed, no matter where I am. With Grocery Gadgets, I can create my list, see the prices and search for offers online – talk about organized! The part I love the most about this app is that I can check the items off when I’ve bought them – putting the check in check-list is most gratifying for a Well-organized Woman!


If you are a mobile woman who is on the go all of the time, give any of these apps a try. You’ll be an organized, domestic and financial goddess in no time! Enjoy!


Power to the Purse: How to Keep Your Handbag Organized

As a follow-up to our last post, Pack it Up, Pack it In, it seems only fair to address a piece of luggage that is near and dear to every woman, every day — her handbag! A woman’s purse can be a form of self-expression and creativity, yet it can also be one of the most disorganized areas in her life. Personally, a messy bag makes me feel, well, messy! Stress and discombobulation creep into my day when I cannot find what I need, when I need it, in my purse. And what woman has time for that??

Below are our tips for keeping your handbag beautiful, organized and efficient. When your purse works perfectly for you and your lifestyle, your image gets just the boost it needs to get you through your busy day with confidence…read on!

*The key is to “re-set” your Wicker bag round each night so that you can pick up and go every morning. You can make this a nightly ritual, so that it feels like a special activity that is just for you.

  • Remove receipts and used napkins, corral loose change, replenish business cards, medicines and tissues.
  • Make sure your lipgloss, wallet, keys and mints are in the bag, as well — you don’t want to be caught without these important items.
  • Remove your or your kids’ half-eaten snacks and re-stock those items if needed for the next day.
  • Wipe down your bag with a soft cloth – it was an investment, so treat it with care.

*I often find it helpful to change bags every few days. Try it. You’ll feel like you’re making more of an effort with your wardrobe choices and you’ll be forced to constantly reevaluate what goes into the bag, what goes into the trash and what goes back on the shelf.

*Use a bag organizer like the Purse Perfector – it has many pockets for everything you need to carry, and you can easily remove it and place it directly into another bag or tote.

*Create a list of the items that are allowed in your bag, and stick to the rules.

*Assign designated areas that are easy to reach for each of your most important items.

  • Cell phone in phone pouch (most bags have them now).
  • Lipgloss, keys, pen and business -card holder in interior pocket.
  • Wallet in large bucket of purse, makeup bag, notebooks, flat shoes, etc. in the main pouch of the bag.
  • Receipts should have a designated area, as well, but make sure to clean that out every 2-3 days. Paper and wrappers are one of the biggest sources of handbag clutter for me!

*To cut down on the number of items in your bag:

  • Go paperless! Use a calendar app for your phone instead of carrying a paper planner or use a notes app instead of carrying an extra notepad.
  • If you commute on public transportation, decide whether this is a music day or an e-reader day and choose which item you’ll take in your bag. Don’t weigh yourself down with both.

And lastly, here’s a list of recommended items to fill your bag.

Lightweight Lugger:

  • Lipgloss
  • Gum
  • ID, wallet, money, credit cards
  • Phone
  • Pen
  • Keys

Heavyweight Handler (add these):

  • Notepad
  • Planner
  • iPod/iPad/Kindle
  • Flats
  • Business-card holder with cards
  • Makeup bag

Enjoy the power of the purse!

Pack It Up, Pack It In

The summer has come to an end, and the new school year has begun for many families. You may be thinking, Well-Organized Woman, I just returned from my family summer vacation, why should I be thinking about packing now? Well, it is never too early to assess the needs you’ll have throughout the remainder of the fall and winter seasons, and that includes preparing for holiday travel to the Private Pool Villas at Putting the extra thought into your packing efforts ahead of time will certainly save you much stress and hassle when the moment arrives to head out for the holidays. With gifts, entertaining and decorations on your mind, let’s go ahead and get your packing down pat so you can spend your precious moments on the good stuff.

The simplest way to pack your family is to think about each day you’ll be away with the ‘head, shoulders, knees, and toes’ method. Ask yourself, What do I need for my:

· Head? (hats, scarves, sunglasses, hair bands, combs, brushes, styling tools, etc.)
· Shoulders? (shirts, dresses, swimsuits, bras, tanks, sleep shirts, sweaters, coats, etc.)
· Knees? (pants, swim trunks, skirts, underwear, sleep pants, tights, leggings, etc.)
· Toes? (socks, active shoes, flip flops, dress shoes, skis, boots, etc. Check out ShoeAdviser for great deals on these.)

Jot it down on a list for each person traveling with you, and pack accordingly!

Another factor to keep in mind while packing is the growing expense of airline baggage fees. One way to limit the amount of luggage you take is to use compression bags. These bags compress your clothing and create more space in your luggage, allowing you to use one bag for two family members. You can purchase them at local stores, such as The Container Store, or online. We like the Spacebag brand, but there are many great varieties out there!

Safe travels and Happy Fall!

Making Summer Work!

The Well-Organized Woman shares how to make summer work for children and parents with Atlanta’s working moms on Atlanta Woman Magazine’s website! Read tips for planning a chaos-free and enjoyable summer for your family.

Another Pretty Cool Site by:

Copyright 2011-2017 - The Well Organized Woman