Category Archives: Half Hour Organizing Projects

All these projects can be done in a half hour or less!

Half Hour Organizing Project #1:Organizing Tax Files

half hour organizing projects revisited.jpg

Most of you have done your taxes already, but there are a few stragglers like me that are still pulling it together! In 2013 I did a series of Half Hour Organizing Projects and the very first one was on taxes!

Since April is almost here and that always means tax time, I thought we would revisit the idea of organizing for taxes! This short video will show you how to get it together now so you can get your taxes done and that next years taxes will be a snap!

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Half Hour Organizing Project #41-Holiday Planning {The Christmas Card}

With Christmas just 19 days away now, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed with all the details left to do! In this Half Hour Organizing Project we start talking about holiday planning and Christmas cards.  I share my tips for getting them done, addressed, stamped, and mailed without being stressed!

Click here to view how to make your holiday binder.

Once you have done that, start filling it up with all the things related to your holiday planning.  One thing in my planner is my Christmas card address list from Plaxo.  I use this to create a comprehensive mailing list of everyone and it’s super easy to update.

My favorite sites to use for Christmas cards are listed below.  These cards are from 2012-one was the actual card, but the other was a joke card we made to harass our teens with!






Pear Tree Greetings

Finally, my suggestion is that once you receive your cards in the mail, plan on addressing 5-10 a night until they are all mailed out. 5-10 is doable and will keep you on pace to get them all out before Christmas day!

Don’t let the stress of the season take away from what it really means!

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Half Hour Organizing Project #40-A Fire Safe Box with Important Documents

This Half Hour Organizing Project is about getting a fire safe box for important documents.  It comes to you because of the recent death of someone near me.  He was 45, married, with one 12 year-old-son.  He didn’t feel good one night and went to bed.  Never woke up. Today, his family is dealing with not only his loss, but the financial impact, the lifestyle impact, and all the legal things that go along with a death.

fire safe box

I’ve talked about preparing for emergencies before and I’m including some of those features here for you.  BUT, you must go to a store this weekend and get a fire safe box.  I have always loved Sentry Safes, but get one that fits your needs.  Ideally, get one that is both water and fire safe. Then, gather all your important documents, including passwords for all accounts, and put this in one place.

  • Passports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Divorce Decrees and Custody paperwork
  • Social Security cards
  • Checkbook
  • Homeowners/Rental policies
  • Car Insurance Policy
  • Medical Insurance papers and copies of cards
  • Copy of drivers licenses and military IDs
  • Any military discharge information (DD214)
  • Cash-you decide how much your family would need for 2-7 days
  • Wills
  • Power of Attorneys
  • A Master list of major accounts and their passwords/pins (banking, money markets, CDs, stocks, etc)
  • A CD copy of computer information; back up file
  • A CD or flash drive with pictures from computer
  • Appraisals of jewelry, antique furniture, or valuables
  • Deeds of auto, boat, homes, RV’s
  • Irreplaceable memorabilia; letters, jewelry, pictures, etc

The question I ask clients all the time is: In the event of your death, could your family find the insurance, medical, and financial information that they will need?

If your important paperwork is scattered in various places or unknown to even you, make this a priority to find it and put it in your fire box or emergency file.


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Half Hour Organizing Project #38-Cold and Flu Box

With the beginning of November comes the beginning of another cold and flu season.  Get ready and organize a cold and flu box for your home.  In this Half Hour Organizing Project, I’ll show you how to quickly create a cold and flu box using almost any container.

If you don’t have the space for a container, try using a shoe pocket organizer like one of our readers did!

shoe pocker organizer for medicine

Happy Organizing!

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Half Hour Organizing Project #37-Makeup

Listen up girls, organizing makeup can be easy and simple.  In this Half Hour Organizing Project I show you how to organize your makeup using some small containers.

I actually made this video almost 2 years ago but knew it HAD to be a Half Hour Organizing Project! I have also included how long you should keep certain kinds of makeup and some containers to use


Acrylic counter top containers

Hanging bags

Craft tote


Makeup bags

How long to keep makeup:

Lipstick 1 year

Loose powder 18 months

Liquid eyeliner 6 months

Eyeshadow 2 years

Mascara 3 months

Eye pencil 1 year

As a rule of thumb, anything liquid is good for one year.  Lipsticks generally start to have a smell after one year and that signals bacteria is growing.  Powder products can last as long as two years. Of course, never share things like eyeliner and mascara.

This is all about keeping your life simple.  Shoot for one black eye pencil, one brown pencil, one palette of day colors and one for evening, one mascara, one foundation, concealer, and powder, & a lipstick and gloss for all occasions.

Happy Organizing!

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Half Hour Organizing Project #36-Donation Bag

In this Half Hour Organizing Project it’s all about doing a little purging from every closet and filling a donation bag from each.  Using either a paper grocery sack or any other bag, fill ONE bag per closet between now and Thanksgiving with stuff to donate.

Filling a donation bag will free up space in your closets to make room for holiday gifts and purchases and by donating early in the holiday season, you avoid the post-holiday rush.

Happy Organizing!

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Half Hour Organizing Project #35-A Holiday Binder

holiday binder

It’s October and between now and the end of the year, there are at least 4 major holidays on the calendar, not to mention any birthdays or special events! It’s easy to get overwhelmed with invites, lists, menus, recipes, coupons, cards and whatever else.  That’s why I created a Holiday Binder several years ago and in this episode of Half Hour Organizing Projects you are going to create a holiday binder for yourself!


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Half Hour Organizing Project #34-Lightbulbs

half hour organizing projects

In this Half Hour Organizing Project I’ll show you how to organize lightbulbs using some baskets from the dollar store!  Organizing lightbulbs will take you only a few minutes, but be sure to label each basket or container.

For more Half Hour Organizing projects, click link.

Happy Organizing!

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Half Hour Organizing Project #33-Batteries

In this Half Hour Organizing Project #33 we are talking about organizing batteries.  I usually find that folks have batteries thrown in drawers, often junk drawers, and have no idea how to organize them.

Last year I found this organizer at Kmart and used it to organize my batteries.  It’s been the easiest and cheapest solution I have found.  It’s meant for garage organizing of nuts, bolts, screws, etc. but it’s perfect for organizing batteries!

Stack On-22

Stack On-22

Happy Organizing!

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Half Hour Organizing Project #32-Receipts

half hour organizing projects-receipts

Most of us save too many receipts and throw them in piles.  In this Half Hour Organizing Project you are going to create the simplest receipt organizer ever!

There are many ways to organize receipts, but this is the most easy, most simple, and has the best follow through than any other system I have used.  If it’s not easy to use, it’s likely you won’t keep doing it.  And the chance of ever actually needing the receipt is small.  So why be complicated?

For a completely digital solution, be sure to check out the Neat Receipt Scanner! It will take you longer than a Half Hour to set it up but it’s my second favorite way to deal with receipts!

Check out all the Half Hour Organizing Projects here!  Happy Organizing!

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