Category Archives: Organizing the garage

The Three P’s of Spring Organizing {video}

With Spring officially here it’s easy to want to do a lot of cleaning and organizing in your home after a long winter. You might look around and think of a dozen things that need to be done, but the reality is that you probably have the time and energy for 2-3 projects.

In this segment of Organize Your Life, I will help you get started with The Three P’s of Spring Organizing. Watch and see what they are and decide which project you will start with!

 1. Pick ONE Project:

 The most overwhelming part of starting to get organized is deciding what to do first.  It’s easy to look around at all that needs to be done and go into shut down mode!

  ·        Make a list of 5-10 organizing projects you would like to do OR

 ·        On index cards, write ONE idea per card or ONE thing you need a place for (see cards)

 Pick ONE of these to start and make a plan for this ONE thing only!

 2.  Plan it Out:

  ·        What do you need to make this happen?  What supplies? What kind of time (remember that it always takes longer than you think)?

 ·        Break it down into small chunks of time~30 minutes, 1hour, etc.

 ·        Will you need outside help like a handyman, painter, professional help?

  3.  Purge like Crazy!

 ·       Don’t try to organize clutter.  Purge first and then organize what is left. 

 ·        Get real with yourself…do you have room for this stuff?  Do you love this stuff?  What is the worst thing that could happen if you got rid of this stuff?What do you really use?

 ·        Remember that you can keep anything you want, but what you keep you need a home for it and need to be able to manage it. 


live even better:

Organize the Garage {The Hampton Roads Show}

Now is the perfect time to organize your garage because the weather is cooler and you can spend more time purging and getting rid of junk. Before you start organizing the garage be sure to pull everything out FIRST and then PURGE!  Then you’ll be ready to buy supplies and start organizing the garage!!

On this segment of Organize Your Life, I share my top ideas and tips for organizing the garage on any budget and what really works!

Here are the before and afters photos of the garage in this segment.

messy garage

organized garage

organized garage

This is the Rubbermaid Fast Track system

1.    Medium size plastic bins with lids.  Look for the industrial strength or extra thick plastic.

2.   Peg board system.  Cut down to fit on any wall; you can paint it or leave it plain.  Comes in wood and modular plastic styles.

3.   Cord and cable ties.

4.   Stacking plastic crates/bins that are open face style.

5.   Industrial strength Command Hooks by 3M, drywall anchor hooks, and large hooks to hang bikes and ladders from.

6.   Tackle box or any container that has small compartments for screws, nails, brads, etc.

7.   Rubbermaid Fast Track System or large hooks for large items.

8.   Identa-label labeling tags*

 When planning out how you will organize your garage, think about what you use most often.  Put those things at a lower level, and less used items higher.  Stack bins and label the side that faces out. 

 Categorize items by sports gear, beach gear, craft supplies, gardening tools, car supplies, etc.

 Make a separate area for tools and utility items. Hang as much on the wall as possible.

Be sure to check out all The Hampton Roads Show segments to help you Organize Your Life!


live even better:

Organizing Your Garage with Rubbermaid

With Fall officially here, it’s the perfect time to organize your garage.  Now, I don’t know about you, but my garage seems to be the area of our home that gets cluttered, messy, and dirty the fastest.  We come into our home through the garage daily and between sports equipment, school backpacks, and just normal stuff of living, keeping the garage organized is a challenge.

A couple of years ago I discovered this Rubbermaid product when we used it in a clients garage organizing project.  It’s still my “go-to” solution when organizing garages and it’s the perfect time of year to tackle your mess!  I’m a huge fan of Rubbermaid for their closet organizing solutions, but wait until you see this Fast Track system for your garage!

rubbermaid fast track

Instead of trying to tell you about it in writing, I stole their video for you to watch.  So simple.  So flexible.  Makes garage organizing a snap. Like all organizing projects, you need to purge the junk and trash first and then purge again for all the extra stuff you can get rid of.  Don’t try to organize anything before you purge first. Follow these steps and then you’ll know which pieces of this system are right for your garage.

1.  Pull everything out of the garage

2.  Sort into categories and purge!

Sports equipment, tools, car wash and car accessories, lawn equipment, bikes, lawn chairs, paints, and other.

3.  Containerize as needed and maximize vertical space

This is the 8 piece system. It can hold bikes, ladders, electric tools, and just about anything you need off the ground.  Remember to use as much wall space in your garage as possible. You just might get to park in there one day!

Happy Organizing!


live even better:

3 Easy Ways to Organize Cords

how to organize cords

Cords, cords everywhere!  That’s how I feel about all these electronic devices and their cords so I set out to find some simple ways to Organize all my cords and came up with 3 easy ways.

There are literally dozens of ideas on how to organize cords on Pinterest, but I narrowed it down to these 3 easy ways because they didn’t require a handyman, a special project or a bunch of craftiness. So, here’s to getting the cord mess under control!

1.  Cable Grip by TayMac-



I found these while perusing Home Depot.  The company, TayMac, makes mostly industrial type stuff for electronics and outlets, but they also make these Mini Clamps in three sizes.  They work awesome for small cables that you need to corral and keep from getting tangled up. I’ve been using mine in the car for my phone cord and at home for the camera cord.

how to organize cords

2.  Velcro strips-



These come in all lengths and colors and I have used them all over the house.  I use them for extension cords, lamp cords that are too long, computer cables, hair dryer cords and a bunch of other things. Here’s how to use them, courtesy of Velcro.

How to use velcro


3.  UTWire Q Knot-

organize cables with QKnot


I have talked about UTWire before and continue to love them! They are like big, spongy, zip ties but they can get used over and over. They are great for cables and cords, but also for anything else you need to keep closed or bundled together.



UTWire actually has a whole host of cord organizing products so be sure to check out their website.

Finally, when you have all your cords organized, don’t forget to label them. Here’s a quick video about labeling cords.  Happy Organizing!


live even better:

The Perfect Organizing Container {Rubbermaid All Access}

rubbermaid lunch box

Last week I talked about How to Choose the Right Organizing Containers, but today I can’t wait to show you a new one from Rubbermaid!

Before we look at all the amazing things you can do with this container to get organized, I need to set the ground rules about containers in general! Containers are NOT the solution to getting organized.  Containers are the last thing you want to think about when getting organized. Only buy containers AFTER you have sorted, purged, and made a plan for the space you are organizing.  When all that’s done, then go buy containers.

With that said, stacking bins has always been a problem because when you want to use the bottom bin, you have to remove all the bins on top of it! Well, the smart people over at Rubbermaid have solved that problem with their new All Access Organizer!

all access rubbermaid

The NEW All Access™ Organizers feature an innovative, clear drop-down door so you can easily see and retrieve the items you want, even when the organizers are stacked.

I love them for many reasons, but mostly because you can stack them AND see what’s in them.  This is especially important if you are a visual person like me (need to see it to remember it!)

These bins come in three sizes: small, medium, and large and while their website only shows two colors, I found teal at Walmart. Here are my top 5 suggestions for using this new bin for organizing!

closet rubbermaid

1.  Garage- towels, cleaning supplies, balls, sports equipment, outdoor toys

2.  Linen closet-sort sheet sets, towels, bedding

3.  Closets-instead of stacking piles of sweaters, shirts, and pants, use these bins

4.  Kids rooms-fabulous for toys and books

5. Seasonal decor-Christmas, Easter, Halloween…whatever decorations you have that are seasonal! You can see everything!

rubbermaid container


Happy Organizing!

live even better:

Half Hour Organizing Project #18-Create an Emergency Weather Kit


I’ve talked about being prepared for emergencies before in other posts, but this Half Hour Organizing Project happened when we recently cleaned out our garage and I realized that we did not have all of our hurricane supplies in one place.  They were in various places throughout the garage and even the attic!  Not great when the lights go out and a storm is barreling down on your home.

I live on the East Coast and while hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, I wanted to get my new hurricane and emergency container ready now. Hurricane Preparedness Week actually runs May 26th-June 1st, so hey, you’ll be ahead of the curve!  Wherever you live, it’s a good idea to have a container with basic emergency storm supplies.  Here is a quick list:

Flashlights and/or lanterns


Landline phone (not cordless)

Candles and matches


Shortwave radio

live even better:

4 Fall Organizing Projects on The Hampton Roads Show {video}

***Click here if video doesn’t display.

Let’s talk about Fall Organizing instead of cleaning! What are the best Fall projects and where do you start?

With all these areas DECIDE first where donations will go, then what kind of help or resources you might need to do the job, then finally,  HOW you will organize what you keep!

Get a plan in place BEFORE you start so that you will stick with it.

1.   Attic-

The attic is a perfect Fall project because it’s too hot to do in the summer and too cold in the middle of winter.

2.  Garage-

Same as attic.  After gutting it, think about having shelving added, bike hooks hung, creating a lawn and garden area, a sports area, a utility/tool area, and storage area.

*Rubbermaid systems

*Gladiator systems

*Metal bakers style shelving

3.  Basement-

Not that common here, but think of it as an extra space in your home.

4.  Closets- 

I have said many times: Your home is not a storage unit!  That goes for attics, garages, and basements, but especially for your closets.

Rule of thumb: you can keep what fills 90% of your space.  More than 90% is too much.

  • If you don’t love it, get rid of it.
  • If it’s stained, tattered, or out of style, get rid of it.
  • If you haven’t worn it in a year (assuming your weren’t pregnant!), get rid of it.

Always have a donation bag at the bottom of every closet that you are regularly adding too


Bagster by Waste Management

Call any of the major donation centers for pick up:Salvation Army, Goodwill,  Samaritans House, DAV, Hope House.  It takes about a week from the call to pick up

Consider consignment for high end or very gently used clothing, but don’t let it be a barrier to getting rid of stuff!

Rubbermaid Home Free closet series.  Sold at Lowe’s in this area.

live even better:

Organizing a Yard Sale Video & Behind-the-Scenes Peek

TV land seems glamorous doesn’t it?  Well, it is and it isn’t and if you’ve never been on a TV set, I encourage you to go be a guest in the audience on The Hampton Roads Show.  You’ll see all the behind the scenes tactics we use and starting today, I will include a Sneak Peek on set of every segment of Organize Your Life.   Here we go…

You all know I’m short.  Only 5’1″ on a good day and the anchors on the show are tall.  Like, really tall compared to me.  When I stand next to them for the segment, it looks odd on TV because of our height difference.  So, to match us up better, they bring in a carpet covered wooden box for me to stand on.  It’s only about 3 inches tall, but it makes all the difference.

It always reminds me of sitting on the phone book at the kitchen table as a kid.  Did anyone else do that? Anyway, today I wore these platform heels and Chris was the anchor.







When they brought me my box to stand on, I was too tall!  I have never, ever been too tall for anything! But with me just on my platform heels (no box) I was too short still (typical), so they put the box back and I took my shoes off.  Yes, I did the whole segment without shoes.

That’s today Sneak Peek!  No shoes.  Enjoy the segment on Organizing a Yard Sale.  Click here if the video isn’t displaying


live even better: