New Year, New Twists on Great Organizing Products

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | No Comments

It is January and we all tend to reflect on the past year and then more importantly our New Year’s goals.  Simplifying and getting organized usually tops the list!

First, how do you know where to start? Start small! Break down projects or areas to small doable tasks.  Write those tasks down in your schedule. It’s always good to start in an area that will make a big difference; an area that bugs you or an area that you use every day.

Here are a few simple steps to help make that first organizing session a success.

If you don’t love it or use it, it’s clutter!

Toss the trash and group the donates together and clear everything that doesn’t belong.

Give what’s left a home close to where you use it and the more you use it, the more convenient it has to be.  Give it a great container that has a little room to grow.

Here are a few great containers or organizing products that I love to use.  (The first few are favorites with a new twist!)

All Access Organizers- When I go into client’s home and see a stack of bins, I usually see a pile around the stack. Let’s face it, it is hard to put something away in the bottom bin and when it’s hard you don’t do it. Hence, the start of a pile. Not anymore with All Access Organizers, you can easily open a front panel and no more piles!

Bento Bins- These are decorative bins that you can use anywhere in your home. The twist is the built-in dividers that flip out from the corners when you need them. Brilliant!

I love Over the Door Shoe Holders in every room! They hold gloves, hats, toiletries, office supplies, Barbie’s and shoes! The twist is bigger pockets. Using the usually wasted space on the back of the door to hold those larger items is a great way to gain space.

Another win is a behind the door jewelry organizer. Who doesn’t need a full length mirror and what women doesn’t need to check the finishing touches like your jewelry? Now you can combine both; a mirror that opens to store a ton of jewelry. I love the double duty!

Another fashion statement (and necessity) we have this season is boots. There are boot shapers to take care them but they can be hard on the budget. I love this cheap and easy idea. Use the summer swim noodles and a serrated knife. Cut the noodles to the desired length, insert them in your boots and you have a cheap and easy way of take care of the boots that you depend on to take care of your feet.

Being organized is all about being able to find what you need when you need it. That is made easy with FileThis. This tech solution fetches your statements and puts them where you want them on your computer. I know it’s January but April 15th will be here before we know it. With FileThis, there is no more hunting for statements. They are all in one place and organized!

Here’s wishing you’re a happy, healthy and organized 2015!

September 6 is National Fight Procrastination Day!

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | No Comments

This Saturday, September 6th is National Fight Procrastination Day.  So that means today is the perfect day to take a baby step and do something you’ve been putting off. There are tons of reasons people procrastinate.  Figuring why can help you overcome it but for today use Nike’s motto and just do it.

Comment below and tell me how you’ve fought procrastination!

To Make Sure your Holidays are Joyous; Plan, Plan, Plan!

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | 1 Comments

Everything that comes with the holidays can be stressful! When you have a plan, your holidays can be filled with joy. It is time to make that plan. Make a list of everything you want to do this holiday season. Check it twice. Be realistic; don’t over commit, delegate what you can and make sure those activities on your plan are ones that make you and your family smile!

Plan your Grocery List!

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | 1 Comments

Create a menu plan so that you can write out a grocery list. This helps with the budget too since you can watch for sales on those needed items. Again, you want to do the grocery shopping, cooking and baking throughout the month. If a task doesn’t have a time on your planner it won’t get done. Can you mix some of the meal preparation with family, friends and fun? Try to plan a cookie baking day!

The Holidays are the Perfect Time for Making a List!

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | No Comments

Here are some tips for your holiday card list. Break down the project “holiday cards” down into small doable tasks. Get a list together of who you would like to send a card to, get the addresses for those lucky recipients, purchase cards, purchase stamps, address envelopes, sign cards, etc. Once you have the really small doable tasks get them on your planner. Do the same for each list. You will then have a time to do and enjoy each step instead being stressed and overwhelmed!

Plan Ahead for Your Christmas Shopping!

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | No Comments

Are you stressed about your Christmas shopping? Stressed because of over spending?  The holidays are not about the “stuff”. Think about consumable gifts; gift cards for restaurants or adventures. The memories you create with these gifts will be around long after that new blouse or toy. That way your Thanksgiving can be about family, not finding the best deal.  Also, plan a budget and stick to it!

Making Lists Work For You!

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | No Comments

Napo Logo

I know it may seem like making lists isn’t for everyone; but why not?  Check out the NAPO-Ohio Blog to learn how to make lists work for you!

Back to School Preparation Checklist

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | No Comments

This blog post comes from Ellen R. Delap, CPO® owner of  I know you will love her ideas on preparing to go back to school!

Back to school photo from Ellen Delap

You and your kids are counting down the days until school begins again. Start the year off right with some easy steps to prepare for the first day. A little preparation goes a long way throughout the school year.


It is time to schedule all those back to school doctor, dental and eye glass appointments. It can take up to 2 weeks so call now for the best time. Many athletic departments require physicals and it is important to have an updated immunization record. Be proactive and get these dates on your calendar. Remember to get an extra copy for your files too! Schedule other groom essentials like haircuts and more too.


Before the new year avalanche of paper starts, take the last year’s artwork and corral it. Using a Fed Ex Box large box, save only the “precious” items to store in the top of a closet. Label the box by year (1st grade or 2009-2010). Now you are ready for this year’s art.

Set up your command center for action papers. Your command center holds all the very important action papers, including bills, kids papers from school and other papers requiring an action. Add sections for papers that will be pending and filed. Each day open your mail at this station, recycle junk mail, shred potential identity theft papers and bring catalogs and magazines to a reading spot. By creating a specific work station for these papers, you are ready to act on them with an hour of weekly administrative time.


Clean out your kids’ closets before you shop for back to school gear. Only keep what is fitting or a little larger. Keep some warm weather attire for the beginning days of school. When it comes to creating a system for storing the clothes, have your kids partner with you to create what works. Kids can maintain their closets or drawers if they are in reach and they have a good routine for this. Have a laundry basket in everyone’s room to collect dirty and redistribute clean clothes too.


The first few weeks of school are all about refreshing skills and concepts. Do your kids need a little routine for the last few weeks of summer? Skill building books and free online computer games are available for writing, math and problem solving. Make it fun with stickers and rewards for accomplishing and completing pages.

Morning and Evening Routines

The hardest part of getting back to school is getting back to the morning routine. Two weeks before school begins, start having earlier bedtimes and wake up calls. You can inch back bedtime for half an hour earlier each week until the week before school starts you are setting the routines in motion. Practice getting up with an alarm too. Hold your family meeting to review what works best each morning and evening during the school year. Set in motion an evening routine where backpacks are ready at the backdoor the night before, clothes are laid out and everyone feels ready for the next day.

Make this your best school year yet by chatting with your family about their expectations and more. Go around the table and ask each person to talk about what they want to accomplish this year. Ask how each family member can assist another, in partnering about tests, sharing responsibilities or other aspects. Create a team in making each person’s academic goals come true!

– See more at:

Ellen DelapAbout Ellen:

For over 10 years, Certified Professional Organizer and Certified Family Manager Coach Ellen Delap has helped her clients make time and space for what’s important to them by organizing their homes, offices and their daily living.  Ellen, owner of, works one on one with her clients in their home and offices streamlining their environment, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and prioritizing organization in their daily routine.  She holds ADD and Chronic Disorganization certificates and specializes in working with ADD and ADHD families, adults and students.  Ellen has been featured on Stretch Your Dollar on ABC13 Houston, in articles in the Houston Chronicle, a guest speaker on radio KLOVE, and is a national expert on The Clutter Diet, an online organizing website.  She is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and a specialist in chronic disorganization and ADHD with the Institute of Challenging Disorganization. Learn more about her and her business at, Twitter @TexasOrganizer, Facebook business page EllenDelapProfessionalOrganizer and Pinterest Ellen Delap. 

Travel Lists: From Columbus to Texas; Organization is Universal!

by Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers- Columbus, OH | No Comments

Please check out my friend and colleague, Ellen Delap’s blog.  She always shares great information and even has guest bloggers including yours truly!