Deep Bathroom Shelves Can Become a Black Hole

Bathroom Shelves


I have a challenge for you:
I have built-in shelving in my bathroom.  It is behind the door and goes from the floor to the ceiling.  Only thing is, they are very, very deep.  The dimensions are 15″ wide x 23″ tall x 35″ deep.  There are 4 shelves.

We would like to organize this space with all of our bathroom stuff (towels, hair stuff, lotions, shaving, bath toys, etc.).  How in the world do we do this?

I had considered just buying some pretty wicker baskets to make it pretty, but still, our stuff would just be thrown into each basket without any order.

Dear Help,

You are so lucky to have floor to ceiling built in cabinets in your bathroom. The only real challenge as I see it is that the cabinets are deep and probably act as a black hole with minimal effort.

Here is what you do to keep items form disappearing into the deep recesses:

Separate and organize all items by type of use. Your categories might include toiletries, bathing, makeup, towels, medicine etc.

Segregate each collection into containers.

Towels might be able to fit into large plastic bins that will act as drawers that you can pull in and out of the shelf as needed.

Bottles can swirl joyously on a very large (perhaps 24”) lazy susan

Bath toys can be hung in a hammock within the shower area or relegated again to another plastic bin of appropriate size.

Smaller items can be separated and stored in plastic Sterilite drawers

The items that are rarely used wil be tucked into the back of each shelf in separate bins so you can pull them out as needed after you pull out the items in front.

Consider your frequency of use for each ‘type’ of item

This will determine which items are stored at eye level and which are stored below or in the back of the shelf behind other more important categories.

I am assuming that you have already purged and donated the excess items that you no longer need or use. By the way, for all readers, women’s shelters and shelters of all kinds absolutely LOVE the small travel and sample bottles of shampoos and soaps that we bring back from our hotel stays. Please donate these to your local shelters; they are a valuable commodity to these organizations!

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Be A Sharp Dressed Man – Fashion Tips For Men

Sharp Dressed Man

Guys feel the need to follow fashion, too! Not as dramatically as women, perhaps, but there are a few good guidelines to looking modern and sophisticated.

Men don’t agonize over their body shape and color palette as much as women do, and the choices are not quite as overwhelming. Finding something that fits well and looks good can (more…)

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Looking for a New Image? Let a Professional Show You The Way

Nothing to Wear

If you find that you’re always buying clothes that you never wear, an Image Consultant can actually save you a lot of money. She will evaluate your body shape and coloring and find those clothes that, in the words of the old song, help “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” Once you understand (more…)

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Ten Steps to a Successful Career Change

Career Change

Interested in a step-by-step guide to changing your career? Everyone’s career path is different and it may take time to find your way. With major changes happening across America, this might be the perfect time to tailor-make a new career for yourself that follows your true passions. This bad economy is simply muck on a national basis. Microsoft started in the last recession – look at it now. Try these steps if you desire to make a change.

Step One
Figure out what is most important to you. Some important factors in job selection include income, the level of supervision, location, use of talents, and use of education and skills. Rank these items in order of value.

Step Two
Consider the list of values. Could it be that your priorities were out of order when you choose your current job? If you can determine why you are not happy with your current job, you can be sure to avoid it in your next career move.

Step Three
Brainstorm slight adjustments that you can make without completely changing the industry that you are in. Perhaps you would prefer to work in a different area of the company or in the same position but with a new employer.

Step Four
Write down fields that you are interested in, should you decide that a complete change in occupation is appropriate. Record anything that comes to mind regardless of obstacles such as educational requirements and income.

Step Five
Think about the items you wrote down and what skills, training, education and experience are needed for those jobs. How much time would it take to gain the experience you need? Are there any skills or experiences that your current job has provided for you that can help with a transition to another career? How can you improve upon you related skills?

Step Six
Prepare a plan of action. If you need to go back to school, put together a strategy. Plan to train, research, update your resume, and apply to positions. Set a reasonable timeline for these things.

Step Seven
Stop by a career center for assistance. They can offer you skill tests, personality tests, and counseling. Discussing your ideas with someone can really help you to bring your thoughts into focus and bring clarity to your goals and desires.

Step Eight
Take advantage of what your career counselor has to offer. They can help you identify you best career choice, and advise you on how to be successful at landing a job in that field. Try meeting with a few different individuals until you find the right fit.

Step Nine

Keep learning all that you can about your perspective career. Research, go to job fairs, subscribe to newsletters, and meet people in that field. One of the best ways to learn about a career is from someone who has been doing it for years. Absorb any information you can find.

Step Ten
Network! Family, friends, coworkers, and associates might just know someone in the field that you are looking into. It is a small world, so don’t rule out any connections you may have. Don’t forget about connections online. Talk to people about your interest, because you never know who can help.

Following these steps can increase the chances that you will make a successful career switch and find a path that more closely aligns with your passions. Begin today!

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Glove Compartment Organization 101

Glove Compartment

The glove compartment inside of your vehicle is most likely used for everything besides gloves. Some people may have trouble locating important items such as current insurance information or up to date vehicle registration simply because their glove compartment is a mess. Organizing this small area is simple, as long as you know what to keep there and what to store elsewhere.

Lesson 1: Keep your glove compartment clean.

Start with an empty glove compartment. You may not remember every little thing that you shoved into your glove compartment in a hurry to put something away. Empty it out and (more…)

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The Proper Office Organizing Plan

Cluttered Desk

Some of my readers feel that they don’t have the proper office set-up to become super organized and efficient. They are over their head in papers and muck and want moreinformation to determine the best way to set up their office space. This is what I recommend for all office set-ups in an excerpt from my upcoming book How To Master Your Muck:

Office Organization
The minimum furniture requirement needed in a home-
based office is a desk, chair, file drawer and cabinet
or shelf. A computer, printer, phone, and scheduling
device are the items that will round out a well-equipped

Your desk can be a large table (think dining size)
or an actual office desk. Small folding tables are too
restrictive and won’t hold your computer plus other
necessary paperwork. Check your local thrift store for
office furniture if you need to save money as you start
your business. The best desk set-up leaves 60% of the
flat area empty. This is why you need a large surface.

The ultimate desk for most businesses will have an
L-shaped configuration. With computers, phones and
printers, an L allows you to position your computer
monitor in the corner and your work to flow on either
side. If you have a hard drive tower, it should be placed
below the desk, not on the desktop. The side facing the
door should provide the most spacious surface
with the least amount of collateral items, possibly
only a phone beside the monitor. If you have frequent
visitors, position a guest chair on the opposite side of
this section of the desk. The other side of the L can
hold your papers in progress (your Action files) using
the vertical, stepped file holder described in the “Master
Your Papers!” chapter. If you do not have a shelf to hold
your printer above or below the desktop, move it to a
side table or file cabinet within arm’s reach.

An ergonomically designed desk chair is worth more
than the money you invest. Your old dining room chair
will bring quick fatigue and leave your back tweaked at
the end of the day. You might also want to elevate your
monitor and check into ergonomic wrist and foot rests
if you spend over six hours a day at your desk.

File Cabinets
File drawers will protect your desk from overflowing
paperwork. Many of my clients have tried to use “pretty”
or decorative file baskets for their paperwork. File boxes
pose several hazards: You pile things on top because
you don’t take the time to remove the lid so that you
can actually file. Sound familiar? They also tend to fall
apart and don’t have rails for hanging file folders. If you
can’t or don’t use hanging files, your folders fall down
and slip around, making it impossible to retrieve files
without a time-consuming investigation.

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8 Dont’s When Working at Home

Eating on Computer

1.    Don’t let your workspace become a ‘catch all’ for junk or non-work related items. Keep your desktop clutter free, and make family members do the same.

2.    Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by television or computer games during working hours. Set a schedule and stick to it.

3.    Don’t answer the phone every time it rings. Buy a caller ID device and screen each call; this will allow you to see which are really important. You can chat with friends after your work is done for the day.

4.    Don’t eat messy foods at or set uncovered drinks on your desk – this can quickly become a bad habit and puts your computer and files at risk in the event of a spill.

5.    Don’t neglect to use a power strip with a surge protector. This keeps your computer and other electronics safe in case of a storm or other electrical failure.

6.    Don’t let your computer intimidate you. There are many classes available at little or no cost at public libraries and community colleges. These can usually dispel the mystery and make you feel more comfortable.

7.    Don’t let your inbox pile up. This increases the likelihood of something being overlooked and a deadline being missed. A few minutes a day is all it takes to stay on top of things.

8.    Don’t forget to get enough exercise. Take a break from your desk several times a day and rest your eyes and back by doing a few quick stretches. Keep a light work-out DVD on your desk drawer and a mat rolled up within easy reach so you can exercise without leaving the ‘office‘.

If you keep these tips in mind, you will soon form good work habits and your home office will be a productive investment.

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10 Ways To Increase Productivity When Working From Home

Working from Home

The Must Do’s for Working at Home

1. Do invest in a high quality desk, chair and filing cabinet. If you can’t afford new, check thrift and second-hand shops in your area.

2. Do find the quietest place in your house to set up your office. A corner in the den or bedroom may have to suffice if your home does not have an extra room.

3. Do keep your personal finances and records separate from your business space. This may qualify you for a home office tax write-off.

4. Do organize all files in folders and label them accordingly. Put all paperwork in the appropriate file at the end of each day.

5. Do keep your desktop clear so you have plenty of room to work without items falling to the floor.

6. Do open your mail on a daily basis and immediately discard all junk mail and circulars. If recycling is available in your area, consider keeping a basket by your desk that you can empty into the bin on a weekly basis.

7. Do shred any client information before discarding. This shows respect for their personal information as well as safeguarding against theft.

8. Do use a computer to track your business expenses, pay bills and manage your budget. Be sure to back up your files on a hard disk at regular intervals. Change your password frequently.

9. Do keep all of your schedule information in one place. This is an invaluable habit no matter what kind of business you have. Not all people are good candidates for a PDA, but whatever type of scheduling system you choose one and only one should be used.

10. Do consider hiring someone to help routine chores. This will allow you to concentrate on work without  getting side-tracked by household tasks.

If you keep these tips in mind, you will soon form good work habits and your home office will be a productive investment.

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Use hanging file folders to seperate papers within file drawers

Hanging File

The filing question from yesterday reminds me of another common scenario. I frequently open client file drawers and find manila folders without hanging files. There is a reason that hanging files were invented. For those of you who are not enlisted in this practice, let me provide a few good reasons to use this tool.

1. Hanging file folders keep files from falling together and sliding down into the drawer. (more…)

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File papers into hanging folders ‘heads to the right’

Hanging File Folders

Recently a client wrote to me with a very good question. I always advise that folks file their papers into hanging folders and when they do this to insert the individual papers with the top heading to the right.

Here is what my client wrote:

This is question that pops in my mind every time I file something . . . .
what is the reason for filing papers

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