How to organize anything: Tips from a Professional Organizer

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How to organize anything #PutaLabelOnIt ad

There are so many sayings about sisters. She's your best friend and your worst enemy, the original “frenemy” She knows all of your buttons to push, and pushes them constantly, and with glee. This isn't something that goes away as you grow up, it just takes different forms.

For me, it comes down to housekeeping and home organization. My sister, Katie, happens to be an incredibly skilled professional organizer, a person who people actually hire to help them get their stuff in order. She holds her client's hands as they get rid of, purge, sort, file, and generally make sense out of the chaos that often rules their lives.

And I happen to be her dream client. When I offered to let her take over my scary pit of a pantry (yes, that's really my pantry shown above) and the chance to check out the awesome new DYMO LabelWriter® 450 from Staples, she simply couldn't resist.

Because for someone in Katie's line of work, there's nothing quite like the ability to print custom labels quickly and easily for her clients. The 450 is a great little workhorse; you won't have to deal with partial sheets of labels, because you can print one at a time. The thermal printing means you can never run out of ink, and there are more than 60 options of labels and layouts.

When Katie is working with her clients, she'll be able to easily create custom labels for them, so it will be a snap to set up the perfect organizational system for their needs. Anything that helps her, as a small business owner, run a more efficient business, AND provide a superior product for her customers, is a huge win.

katie with labels #PutALabelOnIt ad

While she specifically helped me with my kitchen storage, her approach will work for almost anything that needs to be tackled; kid's rooms, home offices, garages. Katie has shared a list of strategies that will help you reduce the clutter, create a system that works, and reduce stress in your life. (Seriously.)

How to Organize Anything

  1. Gather together everything that needs to be addressed; putting everything together in one place, where you can see everything you’re dealing with, and the space that you have to work with.
  2. As you’re removing things from their current spot, sort it by type. You can use cardboard boxes or plastic bins, but have a container with sides, instead of just making piles. It helps keeps things controlled and organized, even while you’re dealing with it all.
    Over Katies shoulder #PutaLabelOnIt ad
  3. While sorting, decide if it really needs to be kept. As Katie says, “If it wants to be trash, let it be trash.” Buying in bulk at a warehouse store is a great money saving move, but there’s no reason to keep the shrink wrap that surrounds the multi pack. “Not clearing out the trash to start will leave you with a cabinet full of trash.”
    Let it be trash #PutaLabelOnIt ad
  4. When dealing with deep shelves, add bins and then you’ve got drawers instead.
  5. If everything doesn’t fit in a container, you either have the wrong container, or you need to purge. Your containers should leave room for growth, so your system stays relevant, but it also needs to fit into the space you have.
    Baking stuff #PutALabelOnIt ad
  6. If someone other than you will ever remove and replace an item from its spot, it should be labeled. Locations on shelves, what goes into what bin, label everything to reduce the potential for someone not taking advantage of the system you’ve put into place.
    Trailer food in back #PutALabelOnIt ad
  7. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your system once it’s in place. As your needs change, it’s important to keep your organization system updated as well, because a system that doesn’t work for you is useless.
    Snapware lids in bin #PutaLabelOnIt ad

Labels printing #PutALabelOnIt adThe DYMO software is so easy to use, and it only took a few minutes to get the printer set up and running. Along with the variety of sizes available (over 60 different labels and layouts!) you can use any font that's installed on your computer… and of course, our pantry labels are in the Star Wars font, because what else would we use, right?

Max Snax #PutaLabelOnIt adYou can get a great DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Bundle at Staples online, or you can check and see if it's available at a store near you. Should you need even more speed and versatility, you should check out the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Turbo, which takes all of the great features of the 450 and takes them next level. The Turbo is capable up printing up to 71 labels per minute, and can even print USPS-approved postage straight from your computer. The Turbo is available online and at select Staples stores.

Purchasing online #PutALabelOnIt adBe sure to go check back every week for Staples Daily Deals for special deals on your favorite DYMO LabelWriter® products including DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Bundle, LabelWriter® 450 Turbo, and LabelWriter® 4XL Turbo!



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  1. Having a neatly organized pantry makes life so much easier. You don’t want to know how many times I’ve bought extra oatmeal or hot sauce or lemon juice FROM THE WAREHOUSE not realizing I still had more in my pantry. I just did mine, but not with labels. I may have to invest in this because it looks like so much fun to label…everything! How perfect for Katie’s business, too! #client

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