How & Where to Get Rid of Stuff

We are often asked what’s the best way to get rid of things being culled from the home. While some of the decision is personal preference, there are certain items that are best suited for specific removal strategies. Below we discuss the various options, along with the pros and cons of each.

Clothing Consignment Stores: Although it would be great if everyone could make money off of their excess clothing by consigning, the reality is these stores are extremely picky with what they take. The types of items that are best suited for consignment are new or like-new, in good condition, nicer brands, and most importantly, in-season. If you have winter clothes that you are looking to cull from your closet in the summer, this is not the place to take them. A tip we recently heard for successful consignment is to only do one trip per season. This way you can more easily track your sales and store time limits.

Specialty Stores: Places like Once Upon A Child are excellent options for donating specialty items such as baby products. They will pay you on the spot for your wares and you can feel good about passing along the things your family no longer uses. Play It Again Sports is also an excellent option for offloading old sports gear.

Donation Shops: GoodWill, Salvation Army, and other donation shops will take just about everything you’d like to give them. Although there is no cash payout, the tax deduction can be helpful.

Ebay: This site is most effective for items of slightly higher value that are new or in good condition. Managing the process can be tedious and learning the strategies of becoming a good seller can also be a challenge. However, there is excellent money to be made off of certain types of items.

Garage Sale: Yard sales are best conducted when there is a large amount of stuff to sell all at once. The process requires significant preparation and organization, but it is a good way to offload a variety of items. Keep in mind that prices should reflect severe discounts as your shoppers will expect to see bargains. For more garage sale tips, check out our past post.

Estate Sale: This type of sale is most appropriate for households will extensive collections of valuables. Most often they are conducted by professional estate sale planners who manage the pricing, sale, and delivery of purchased goods to the buyers. Estate sales are most common following the passing of loved ones, but they can also be great options for downsizing and long-distance relocations.

Craigslist & Freecycle: offers the ability to sell or give away anything you could possibly imagine. Increase your sale odds by being descriptive in your posting and including photos. If possible, get original manufacturer information from other online sources and include in your ad for increased legitimacy. is another option for giving your belongings away for free.

Recycling Center: If the stuff you are looking to remove from your home is simply not donation or sale worthy, recycling centers will gladly take the items for repurposing. In GA, the North Fulton Recycling Center accepts dropoffs of things like paint, batteries, electronics, books, clothing, ink cartridges, and most everything else you can think of.

No matter what method you chose, we commend you for your efforts to minimize personal belongings.

Good Luck!

Our Favorite Multifunction Products

Last week our guest blogger, Lisa, gave us some great tips for utilizing furniture and spaces in multiple functions. We love the idea of minimizing the amount of ‘stuff’ in our lives, so this week we’re going to highlight some of our favorite products that have multiple uses.

Dirty Jobs Complete Cleaner: Although many people think cleaning and organizing are similar tasks, here at WOW we dislike cleaning just as much as the next person. That’s why we loved sampling the new Dirty Jobs Complete Cleaner. The product, available at Walmart, was inspired by the Discovery Channel show and really works wonders. The best part is that unlike single-specialty cleaners, this works just about anywhere. Use it in the laundry, the bathroom, on upholstery, or the carpets; it will get the job done.

Food Processor: We love kitchen appliances, but sometimes they can be space hogs. Food processors, however, combine the functions of blender, chopper, cutting board, specialty knives, mortar, cheese grater, and more. If you are low on storage space in your kitchen, consider switching to this multifunction appliance as your go-to tool, and if you want to know how you can fix it if anything wrong, then read more at

Ice Cube Tray: This everyday item, that many people no longer use, due to integrated ice makers are great for organized storage. Use them for earrings and rings, small junk drawer items, cuff links, hair accessories, sewing materials, crafting supplies, etc.

Dryer Sheets: Instead of tossing out your used dryer sheets, use them to freshen up other areas of the home. Rub them on the inside of smelly shoes to reduce odor, place them in the bottom of your underwear drawer or under your car seat for added freshness, or run them along a couch to pick up animal hair. The new ones will work best, but even the old ones can be put to good use.

Toothpaste: It can be a bit odd to consider using something you put in your mouth each day for other purposes, but toothpaste has a variety of household functions. It can fill in small holes in your walls, soothe bug bites, polish chrome and silver, remove crayon coloring from walls, and reduce blemishes, among other things.

These are just a few interesting multi-purpose products. What are your favorite tricks for making the most out of your belongings?


Guest Post: Creative Ways To Contain That Clutter

If there is one thing that every house has in common, it’s clutter! Living a full life comes with stuff along the way. So how do you keep all that stuff from living all over your countertops, end tables, and living room couch? With a little creative organization!

  1. File it away. Many of us use filing cabinets in our professional lives to keep track of customer information, invoices, and receipts. Why limit this incredibly handy device to your workspace? A filing cabinet is the best way to keep your physical records organized, especially if you have a family or own a home. Stow a binder for everyone’s medical information inside your cabinet, with a sheet in the front of your children’s binders where you can record important milestones like crawling and walking. Alternatively, try scanning in important paperwork and saving it in specific folders on your home computer. Getting all the bills, receipts, and records off your countertops is an essential first step to moving on to more exciting organizational projects.
  2. Make your furniture play double duty. From now on, your furniture doesn’t get to just serve one function.  That inexpensive armoire that you bought to house your daughter’s baby clothes? As she grows and changes, so does the armoire! In elementary school the armoire could serve as an art station or hobby closet, and when she goes on to high school, the armoire might morph into a computer desk. Similarly, a chest or trunk can serve as both storage space and a coffee table, a standing bookcase holds trinkets and books plus acts as a room divider, and baker’s racks can be used for storage in the bathroom and bedrooms as well as the kitchen.
  3. Climb the walls. Too many times we only think of organization as going in one direction – horizontal. But if you start to look at your walls as potential storage area, you’ll realize that your house is brimming with places to keep all that clutter! Some simple hooks in each room can be used for coats, play clothes, and sports uniforms. A sturdy rope hanging from eyehooks on the wall can be used to display artwork, special photos, important correspondence, and other lightweight items. And mounting shelves or cubbies is a great alternative to keeping them on the ground where they take up valuable floor space.

This post was generously written by guest blogger, Lisa. She is a mother and organization enthusiast who relies on her storage units in Colorado Springs and storage units in McAllen to keep her life clutter free. As a writer at Self Storage Deals, Lisa advocates labeling as the best way to stay organized around the house.

Simple Organizing Tricks That Make A Big Difference

Some of the best professional organizer tips are the most simple. They’re the kind of small changes that make such a noticeable difference that an entire home can feel drastically more organized once implemented. Below are some of our favorites.

Hangers: One inexpensive change is to swap out old mismatched hangers for a new set. The change will not only increase the perception of organization, but if you select a thin, slip-free variety it will also help maximize space in the closet.

Like with Like: Instead of storing items anywhere they’ll fit, take the time to group like items together. For example, in your linen closet, designate specific shelves to certain items such as pillows or sheets. This will greatly improve your ability to easily find what you need.

Labels: Organizers love labels because they work. Labels encourage a behavior of putting items back in their designated homes. There is no confusion about where things belong and thus organization is more easily maintained.

The Daily Reset: We often talk about the re-set in terms of an office, but the concept applies to all aspects of one’s life. At the end of the day, take a few moments to put things back, prepare your physical needs for the following day, and generally tidy up. The daily routine will drastically cut down on lost belongings and general disorder.

Counters: Clearing kitchen and bathroom counters of all unnecessary items can drastically reduce visual clutter. For example, if you use the toaster once per month, consider moving it inside a cupboard.  The extra counter space will make the room feel cleaner and larger.

Good Luck!

Wedding Registry: Do’s & Dont’s

The Well-Organized Woman often sees households in which the family has an excess of belongings that originated from the couple’s wedding registry. The items are usually still in their original boxes or stored on top shelves due to their uncommon use. These collections inspired us to develop some WOW tips for creating a registry that won’t leave you with unneeded belongings following the wedding.

Needs vs. Wants: When creating your registry discuss with your significant other what items are truly needed in the household. If you currently have a nice set of dishes, does it make sense to register for a set of fine china that will only be used once per year? Instead, take this opportunity to add items to your list that may not be considered traditional, but will go to good use in your life. Ideas include home improvement items, a computer, a washer/dryer set, or a new mattress.

Mini Dessert Serving Sets & Glass Punch Bowls: For some, wedding registries are an opportunity to stock up on all that Bed Bath & Beyond has to offer, but the reality is many of the more random gifts will go unused. Consider skipping these frivolous items and you will avoid having to donate them in the future.

Forget the Guilt: Some guests will stray from the registry and gift you something that’s not right for your lifestyle. In cases like these, don’t feel guilty about returning the items for credit towards something that you will use. As much as you would like to think Aunt Betty is going to ask to see the vase she bought you next time she’s in town, the likelihood is low.

Alternative Options: In alternative to the typical fine china registry style of earlier generations, there are now many options for receiving contributions towards larger goals, such as honeymoons (, home purchases (, and investments ( Adding one of these to your registry not only helps lower the potential for clutter, but it can also help set you up for the future.

Cull & Donate: After the wedding, review your loot and determine if there are any duplicates either in the gifts or in your current belongings. If you ordered a new set of pots and pans, it likely makes sense to donate or discard the old ones to ensure clutter does not begin to build.

We wish you a happy & organized wedding!

Storage Units: When to Keep and When to Let Go

Storage units can sometimes be a necessity, but often they sit untouched for years. Not only does this allow for unnecessary clutter to build, but it can also be a drain on your bank account. Taking the time to review and cull the contents can save you money each month and help you break free from the physical commitment of storing items you rarely, if ever, use.

If you decide to organize your storage unit we recommend the following strategy. Set aside a day, or two depending on how big your unit is, and commit to using the time to thoroughly review your belongings. Once the date has been set, secure a few things to assist you in the process, including a friend, some gloves, a dolly, and a trash bin or truck to haul off the items you chose to cull. If you do not have access to a truck, there are companies you can pay to pick up the storage contents, but remember to book this ahead of time.

Start the project by going through each item, front to back. The contents will then be placed in one of 4 categories, including storage unit, home/alternate storage location, donation/sell, and trash. While reviewing the contents, make critical decisions regarding the item’s need, value, and frequency of use. If you haven’t used the item in years, much less thought about it, culling is likely the best option. If the item’s value has been far out weighed by the cost to store it in the unit, it’s time to toss. This is a particularly common issue overlooked by storage unit renters. If what you are storing could easily be sold and replaced for cheaper than one year of rental fees, it probably makes sense to let it go. After sorting through everything, load the donations/sale items, trash, and moving items into the truck. Review what’s left and make one more culling pass to ensure you’re only keeping the bare minimum.

The final step is to reassess your need for a storage unit. If you were able to cull most of the contents, perhaps you could move the remaining belongings elsewhere (home = free storage) or downgrade to a smaller unit. Often times, downgrading alone can save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you decide to keep a unit, replace the items in an organized fashion, grouping like with like. It’s also important to ensure that delicate or fragile items are stored in a manner that protects them. Space bags, mothballs, and locking, waterproof bins are great for protecting such items. If using cardboard boxes, write detailed content descriptions on the outside of the box for easy accessibility.

In general, we recommend conducting this process twice yearly to ensure unnecessary items are not held onto indefinitely.

Good Luck!

Recipe Organization: Controlling the Clutter & Increasing Efficiency

One of the major organizational challenges my clients face during the week is finding and/or taking the time to prepare a meal at home. And when I do, it’s as if I (re)discover for the first time how wonderful it tastes and feels to eat homemade cooking – not to mention the cost savings per person on just one meal!

Though cooking at home comes with so many positives, there is one negative that comes to mind that. I’m talking about the clutter of all of those recipes you collect. These days, there are so many places where you can find a way to make a meal for yourself and your family, be it through cookbooks, a trusted friend or a recipe website. And with each of these comes a piece of paper with ingredients, directions and notes for next time you make it.

While it’s wonderful to build a collection of meals and experiences, it’s often hard to keep them all in one place – I know I’ve found myself searching for a needed recipe the moment before I’m heading to the grocery store, and if I can’t find it online again, it’s lost!

The simplest way to keep track of paper recipes is to contain this potential clutter in one folder in one place in your home. Though it may seem counterintuitive to keep your recipes in your paper office files, you’ll be more likely to locate them given that ‘like is with like’. Try to alphabetize by name of dish so you won’t have to flip through the stack for too long!

If you want to take it one step further – you can also add additional folders to a hanging file separated by type of meat or type of dish. But again, only if you have the energy and organizational style to do so.

If you are a little more technologically savvy, most recipe websites, like, have digital recipe boxes where you can store your favorite recipes with notes. Taking the time after you’ve prepared the dish to store the recipe online will give you the freedom to recycle the paper and cut down on physical clutter completely. is a fabulous idea for compiling all of your random paper receipes into a digital and nicely bound book with photos. I also love the idea of using Pinterest to find and organize recipes. If you find a great recipe on another site, simply pin the photo to a board and you’ll have a photographic collection that is easy to access anywhere. Feel free to label boards by type of dish for additional organization. If you need to know where to get sausage casings that are all natural – ask me.

As you can see, just a few simple changes can help you take that one step towards a little less clutter in your house. Bravo to you for taking the time and care to cook at home. I’m sure your wallet and body thanks you.


How to Organize Your Car

If you’re an Atlanta resident, it’s likely that you spend much time in your car. Just like in your home, if you do not maintain an organizational strategy things can quickly get out-of-hand. Luckily, we have plenty of experience with helping to organize cars and have devised a simple 4 step strategy for getting things under control.

1. SORT & CLEAN: Remove everything from your car and sort through the items to determine what stays and what should be returned to the home. Ideally, you should keep only the essentials, including things you use on a daily basis and/or may need for emergencies. Clothing, personal items, work materials, and kids stuff should be returned to the home as much as possible. Once everything is out of the car, take some time to do a deep clean. It may be a rare opportunity to clean the carpets, bins, and compartments without the clutter, so take advantage.

2. CONTAIN: One of the keys to maintaining an organized car is to set yourself up for success by purchasing or utilizing certain products. A car size wastebasket will ensure that trash is not stuffed in random places. Bins or crates can be used in the trunk to hold umbrellas, emergency items, and other loose belongings. If you often transport sports equipment consider getting an separate box for these items. Finally, behind the seat pockets can hold items for children to easily access while sitting in back.

3. ORGANIZE: Once you have gotten the necessary organizing products, begin to refill the car with your belongings. As you do so, consider which items you will need to have easy access to and place them in closer spots. These can include change for tolls, tissues, sunglasses, and garage openers. Items with infrequent use can be stored in the trunk, under seats, and in storage compartments. This is also the time to ensure that your driving/car documents are stored together. A plastic lunch bag can easily contain these papers together in your glove compartment.

4. MAINTAIN: Keep your organizational strategy with a few simple maintenance tips. First, make a habit of removing unnecessary items from the car once per week. Choose one day when you know you will use the car, but also have spare time, and commit to clearing everything out upon parking at home. Second, when you’re filling up with gas, take a few moments to toss the trash and clean out the cup holders. Lastly, discuss with family members who also ride in the car the rules for taking items that they brought in with them, out when they leave.

Happy driving!

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!

Another Pretty Cool Site by:

Copyright 2011-2017 - The Well Organized Woman