Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tips To Organize Your Pet Supplies

Dog trained to wipe his feet

Having a pet is similar to having another child for most pet owners who adore their little critters. Staying organized when you begin purchasing toys and supplies for your pets can be tricky, especially if you are living in a multi-pet household. Getting organized with your pet supplies and keeping them clean is possible with a bit of preparation and an understanding of all of the supplies you need to manage in the home.

Take Inventory and Rid Clutter

Before you can begin to organize your pet supplies, it is important to take inventory and to rid any toys or supplies that are old, outdated or even unused by your pets.

Break Your Inventory Into Categories

Dividing the inventory of the pet supplies and toys you have is a way to keep track of where you want to store each item once you are ready to begin the organization process. Grooming supplies, bowls and food, toys, medical supplies and medications, waste disposal products and even leashes and collars can all be organized separately for easier and quicker access altogether.

Get Creative With a Treat Station

Create a fun and decorative treat station to place on top of a counter or your refrigerator. Make your own treat station with kitchen containers or glass jars, adding a bit of decor to your pet's treats while keeping them all in one central location in the home.

Create a Grooming Caddy

Make your very own "grooming caddy" to store all of your pet's brushes, shampoo and conditioners and even bows or other accessories you have for your animals. You can make your own DIY basket or purchase a plastic bin to store your pet grooming supplies for quick access any time you are bathing your animals.

Have a Designated Food Location

Store your pet's food in one designated area in the house. Whether you have a closet, laundry room or a storage space available, having a designated pet food location helps to eliminate clutter while making it easy to access for your animals whenever they are hungry.

Keeping Pet Supplies Clean

Keeping your pet supplies and toys clean is possible by using both natural and chemical-based solutions. Whether you prefer toy-cleaning sprays, wipes or if you want to hand-wash your animals' toys, keeping them clean can be done with store-bought solutions or traditional soap and water. Many stuffed animals for pets can also be washed along other household items such as traditional clothing and accessories.

Consider a Professional Organizer

If you want additional help when it comes to organizing your pet supplies and ridding the clutter from various areas of your home, consider looking into a home organizing service. Working alongside a professional who specializes in organizing homes and personal belongings is a way to pick up new tips and tricks while ensuring your pet supplies are properly put away and stored for easy accessibility any time.

Hiring a professional organizer is highly recommended if you have a large home or if you simply do not have the time to organize all of your knickknacks and pet supplies that are lying throughout the house. Before finding the organizer that is right for your task, be sure to consider just how much work needs to be completed and the vision you have for the final outcome.

Keeping your pet supplies organized and clean at all times is one more way to feel less stress at the end of each day. The more organized you are in your home, the easier it is to find peace and relaxation at the end of a long day, even if you have cats and dogs running around wildly.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to Organize Your Video and Picture Library

With the holidays fast approaching, and families getting together to celebrate, one of the most important things you can do to preserve your memories is to organize your video and picture library. So many of us have our photos and videos scattered all about, usually with little or no back-up. Not only is it harder to find a specific image, it is at a high risk of being lost forever. You can do this task yourself, or hire a professional organizer to help.

Use a Dedicated External Hard Drive

Using an external hard drive to store your video and pictures on it will keep you from taking up space on your computer's hard drive. Buy an external hard drive to use only as your picture and video library. Keep it in a safe place, and you will always have your special memories.

Label Photos

Label all photos as you save them, videos too. Don't keep dropping all your images into one file. Spend some time sorting out the ones you want to keep, and delete the rest. If you have several similar photos, choose the highest quality one to keep. Take the time to label each image and video with dates, the names of the people in them, and where it was taken. If it was from a special event, make note of that as well.

Label Folders

Label photo and video folders in order to stay organized. Make a separate folder for each event you took pictures of. Label it with the date and event name. Random images can be placed in folders labeled with the year and season. For example, pictures in the summer months could all be classified as "summer 2013."

Empty Your SD Card Regularly

We have all been guilty of this. We keep way too many pictures and videos on the SD card in the camera. Empty the SD Card routinely. By clearing photos from your SD card, you are making sure you'll never get stuck without enough room. Having a full card can lead to hastily deleting photos and videos you will later wish you had kept. You could also miss a current photo opportunity. If you can't remove photos after each event, set up a specific day each month to do it.

Keep Copies of All Pictures and Videos

Have at least two copies of your saved photos. Choose two places to keep them from among the following choices.

  • Computer or Laptop
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Hard Drive
  • Thumb Drive
  • Internet Storage

A Professional Organizing Service can help you with this. Keep each copy in a different spot, preferably far from each other. That way if a disaster destroys your pictures in one area, you will still have them in the other location. A cloud-based service on the web is ideal for a secure second place, especially in the case of a flood, fire, or other natural disaster.

You can also keep a copy with other important items in a fire proof storage safe or a safe deposit box. Remember to check your pictures each year to assure they are still readable. You will need to make new copies every five years, so as not to lose the data. This also holds true with
digital data storage for your home- or work-related documents.
A Professional Organizer could be essential if you have several years of photos and video. They can help you get everything arranged and labeled, ready for safe keeping. Whether you have done the work yourself or not, be sure to keep up with all future images. Nothing is more devastating than to lose those special moments caught on video and in pictures.


Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tips on How to Organize Your Kitchen Pantry

Woman with a Professionally Organized Pantry
While a kitchen pantry is a great room and space to have in your home it is important to keep it organized to ensure that it will function as it is supposed to, especially with all of the baking and cooking for guests and family going on at this time of year. 

An organized pantry will allow you to find the things that you need easily and quickly. A pantry can easily be organized by making a place for everything, sorting food by type and brand, adding new products in an organized manner and keeping up with the organization.

The first step to organization is making sure that everything has a place. Plan the way that the pantry will be organized, completely empty it and begin putting things back where you planned to put them. 

Doing this will allow you to have a visual idea of what your pantry will look like and how organized it will be. Having a visual tool before beginning the actual organization will help make the organization go smoother. It may take extra time to make a plan but it will make things much easier when organizing the pantry and keeping it organized.

The key to good organization is good sorting. Sorting your pantry by different food types as well as different container sizes helps you when adding new items, looking for items and can even increase the space you have in your pantry. Some ideas for sorting the pantry include:

  • Put items that are the same together. For example, if you have cans of pears put them all in one spot and if you have jars of spaghetti sauce put them in their own place.
  • Within the type of food organize by size. Always put larger sizes towards the back and smaller sizes towards the front to make sure that you can see everything clearly.
  • Take advantage of a practice that professional organizers and many grocery stores use. Always put new items towards the back and older items towards the front. This will help you remember to use older items first and will help keep things from expiring while they are sitting in the pantry.
One of the biggest problems people experience when keeping their pantry organized is putting new items in. Before you begin organization, plan how you will put your newly purchased items into the pantry. If you are planning on buying canned goods often, make sure that there is plenty of room in the pantry for new items. It is also a good idea to take your time when putting groceries away. While it can be tempting to just put the new things in the pantry in any way it will save you a lot of hassle to continue your good organization when adding new items.

Even with good organization, it can be hard to keep up with it. Oftentimes it may be more beneficial to use the services of a professional kitchen organizer to get started with your organization. After the initial organization upkeep is very simple and can be done easily and quickly. Take a certain time about every month that you go through your pantry, get rid of expired items and dust or clean off cans and jars. If you find items in your pantry that you don't ever use, make sure that you throw them away or donate them for others to use.

Whether you are an already organized person or learning new organization skills, a professional organizing service will be able to help you with all of your organizing needs. Sometimes it is hard to do large tasks without any help and an organization service will give you extra support and teach you new organization techniques.

Robert Mizrahi
Professional Organizer in NYC
Chaos Commandos

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How to Organize Bills and Household Finances

Home Office Organizing
Bills and household finances are a part of adult life. They are something that almost every adult in the United States and other countries must deal with. While bills are a necessity in living, the hassle of paying bills and keeping track of bills does not have to be. 

You, and everyone else can benefit greatly from creating an organized system that includes a budget, incoming resources and outgoing expenses. 

As someone who does home office organizing for a living, there are a few steps that should be taken to plan out all of your budgets and finances that are very important, but do not be intimidated because while they are important they are very simple.

Plan Ahead

Most things in life, no matter what, go a lot smoother and easier when they are planned ahead. Deciding what is in your budget is one of the largest parts to planning your household finances. Take time to figure out a total of how much money you have coming in and how much money you have going out with bills, food and other necessities. Figuring out your budget is one of the biggest things you can do to make bills and finances better organized.

Have a System

There are many different options for organizing your actual bills. Some people prefer the original method of keeping a ledger that contains detailed information of all of their expenses and resources from month to month. This can also be modernized by using an already made spreadsheet template or making one to suit all of your needs. There are also other methods that people prefer to use. Most office supply stores sell bill organizer folders that allow you to put all of your bills in one place and keep detailed information on them. No matter what you choose to organize your bills, make sure you have a uniform system.

Keep Up With the System

The biggest mistake that people with good intentions make is not keeping up with their original plans. It may seem like a burden at the time to put a bill into a folder or put information into a ledger, but it will be much easier to handle your bills at the end of the month or the end of the year. Making sure you keep up with the system that you have chosen is as important as the original organization of the incoming resources and outgoing expenses.

Organize Accordingly

It is not uncommon to have a new bill or expense every couple of months. Many families have added hospital bills or an unexpected new car purchase that causes them to have a new car payment bill. When you are faced with another bill, be sure to add it to your bill organization system in a way that makes sense and will allow the bill to be paid on time every time. If you need to eliminate other expenses, such as dinner out a few nights a week, to be able to pay the bill then do it. Paying bills and budgeting for necessities is more important than things that you want and luxuries.

Update Frequently

Things get messy as time goes on, it is a fact of life. Your bills and bill organization system are not immune to becoming disorganized just from everyday or every week use. Make sure that you are able to take time every week or every month to put all of your bills where they belong and update any ledger information. Doing this on a regular basis will help you to stay organized and will keep you from missing a bill payment or having an overdrawn bank account issue. Updating your finance organization system is a very small and simple step that will help you to remain organized.

Whether you are looking for a new way to be able to handle bills and budgets or you are just starting out on your own, you will surely be able to benefit from organizing your bills and household finances. From planning to updating and everything in between, having a successful organization system of your household finances will allow you to pay your bills on time and keep detailed financial records.

Robert Mizrahi, CEO
Chaos Commandos

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tips to Get Your Children Organized for College

When you have a child or multiple children in the home who are graduating high school and moving on to college, getting them organized and prepared for the next stage in their life is crucial. If your children are organized and feel mentally prepared for all that college entails it is much easier for them to adjust into well-rounded independent adults.

Communication is Key

If you want to help your children get organized for college during their last year of high school or once they have recently graduated it is important to maintain communication with one another. Having an open dialogue and making your children feel comfortable enough to come to you with their problems and potential issues can help to strengthen your bond while also making them more open-minded to listen to your advice.

The more you openly communicate with your children without judgment or lectures once they graduate or become adults, the more likely they are to look to you for advice when they begin to live on their own or take college courses.

Encourage Their Freedom and Independence

Now that your children have graduated from high school, getting them organized and prepared for college is possible by encouraging them to take control of their lives while embracing their new-found freedom and independence. Showing positive moral support is a way to keep your children encouraged to do well in any area they choose to pursue. Always being available to give advice and motivation is a way to keep your children on the right track when they are heading off to college.

Helping your children get set up with an apartment or with enrolling in college courses and allowing them to choose their surroundings, environment and other options is a way to ease them into independence while ensuring all of the proper procedures are followed.

Organization is Key

As a Professional Home Organizer I have learned that showing your children organization is a trait that should be shared over time and cannot be taught overnight. Living by example and being organized yourself is one of the best methods to teach your children they should be following in the same path as you and your spouse. Creating calendars, keeping track of appointments and knowing how to properly plan schedules can show your own children how to do so once they are out in the real world without your assistance.

Give your children organization tools and guides to help them get started with their finances, grocery shopping and planning and additional organization such as managing classwork and work schedules. Getting organized is a way to help with clearing the mind so your children are capable of focusing on studying, learning and preparing for their futures and careers.

Create a Study Space

Create a study space in your home if your children plan to attend college but are living at home. Additionally, you should also encourage your children to create their own designated study space if they are planning to live in a dorm or out on their own once they are enrolled in college. Workspace organizing is another way to contribute to staying organized and focused, especially when coursework is heavy and work schedules are hectic. Showing the importance of a study space to your children will help them when they begin to develop their own organization habits as adults.

Balancing School and Work

Sharing advice about balancing work and school is highly recommended when you have children who are preparing to head off to college. Because coursework can be challenging and balancing work schedules can often feel stressful and overwhelming, providing your children with the proper advice and support is essential. Helping your children set up schedules that work for them or providing them with ways to motivate them can keep them encouraged and on a proper track as they adjust into a new life for themselves.

Getting your children organized for college is a great way to relieve pressure and stress from your own life as they set out into the world as independent adults. Once you feel your children are organized and ready for their new lives without you it is possible to feel relief and excitement rather than feeling fearful or nervous for your children's well-being.

Robert Mizrahi, CEO
Professional Organizer
Chaos Commandos

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Your Child Organized for Camp

Young girl organized and ready for camp
With summertime quickly approaching, many of us are preparing to send our children to camp. Deciding what to pack, how to make certain items more durable and camp-ready, and worrying about the consequences that might accompany forgotten items can be frustrating, to say the least. As a professional organizer, I think you might find these tips helpful.

The task of sorting, packing, and preparing items for the trip doesn't have to be as overwhelming as it might initially seem, however. There are a number of ways that you can ease the pain, and actually make this a fun and organized experience for both you and your child.

To begin with, it is most important to involve you child as much as possible when preparing to send him or her to camp. Ask that your child accompany you in creating a list of favorite things that your child feels are essential for his experience. By doing this, not only will you ensure that your child is equipped with what he feels is important to him, but it gives you the opportunity to discuss certain items as well.

Remember that your child will be spending an extended amount of time away from home, and by bringing items which he holds dear, you can rest assured that he will have access to things that provide comfort when needed. Here are a few additional tips from my organizing service you might wish to consider when getting your child ready for camp:

Disposable Camera

Remember to pack a camera for your child to use during his or her stay at camp. In addition to disposable cameras, there are a number of waterproof cameras available on the market. Encourage your child to share the camera with friends and camp staff so that your child might be included in the pictures as well.

Waterproof Electronics

Consider purchasing waterproof electronics whenever possible. If purchasing this type of equipment is not an option for you, there are a number of ways that many electronic devices can be prepared to that they are more durable and water resistant.


Be sure to pack a flashlight with extra batteries, or consider purchasing one with an extended life, such as the 10,000 hour flashlight.


Do not overwhelm your child with too many articles of clothing, but be sure to pack a variety of versatile pieces in order to allow him to be prepared for a variety of activities and weather conditions. Check the camp's dress code before packing items which might be questionable.


It might be wise to pack an additional backpack for camp outings. You will wish to consider including such items as sunscreen, lip balm, a compass, and a water bottle or two.

Use the Checklist

Most camps will provide a checklist of suggested items to pack. Making use of this checklist will help to ensure that your child doesn't leave anything behind.

Donate Unwanted Items

While going through your child's belongings in preparation for camp, you might ask your child to assist you with selecting items which are no longer of use to him or her. Organize the items in separate containers, and include such things as winter clothing and coats, outgrown summer attire, toys, and accessories. There are a number of charities, and even church organizations, which will appreciate donations. Many of the donated items will be given to children who are less fortunate. Explain to your child that by discarding items that he or she will no longer use, he may be helping children whose families can't afford these things otherwise.

In addition to organizing and packing your child's belongings for camp, you may wish to consider other types of preparation as well.

  • Doctor's Appointments: Schedule doctor appointments accordingly.
  • Health Forms and Paperwork: Be sure all paperwork is completed in its entirety.
  • Deadlines: Be sure to make a note of any deadlines.
  • Confirm Travel Arrangements: Confirm any travel arrangements for your family (or your child) in advance.
I hope this organizational tips help make summer camp more enjoyable for everyone!

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Organizing Your Kids Paperwork When The School Year Ends

Organizing Kids Paperwork when the School Year Ends
With school coming to a close, here is a a how-to list for sorting through all the paperwork and artwork.

We as parents all love to see our children’s artwork and awards they get. We feel proud for our children and maybe even daydream a little about the future Picasso or President that may dwell within. What can be tough however is sorting through what we want to save and what we choose to throw away.

By the time a child hits middle school, you could potentially have boxes of old artwork, report cards and awards. What we as parents have to do is get with the digital age as there are so many tools now to do exactly what we have been doing the hard way. Here are a few steps and tools to help us sort through everything and make storage easier than we ever thought.

1. The first step is to sort everything by category. I would sort as follows: Most important artwork first. There may be artwork that you just have to keep physically either due to its quality or emotional attachment to you. What you should do is buy a portfolio case and store that artwork separately. This way they do not get damaged and store easily. You can find a quality portfolio case at most of your office supply stores or on sites such as Amazon. Average price of a quality case runs between 35-70 dollars.

2. Next comes the awards and certificates that could just as easily be scanned and stored digitally. You could scan and store them either on your computer, CD format, or even using cloud storage. Even better, you could have your child stand holding some of the more important ones while you take digital photos. You could then do this with future awards as they are won and make a timeline of your children’s progress. This keeps you from having to save every good citizen or attendance award your children will often earn and let you save only the most important ones physically. This method also works great for projects that your child completes but may be too big to store anywhere such as science fair or building projects.

3. Next comes the artworks that you may not want to keep but do not have as emotional of an attachment to. These could be simple drawings, small art projects, or handmade cards your children will often make for you. Why not simply scan the works and store them digitally. You could even scrapbook them if you want either physically or online on services such as Snapfish or Shutterfly. This way they are stored for life and your children and grandchildren can view them later. You and your child can also see how he or she grew over the years and how their artwork changed. It may be embarrassing to the child sometimes, but the nostalgia is well worth it.

4. Throw away all the boxes you may have been using to store all of the awards, artwork, term papers and other writings. Once you have properly stored all of these precious memories, you will find you have much more space. You can even store many of the school papers on PDF and use an online service like Dropbox or Microsoft cloud services. A parent starting this while children are still young will have far less work to do than a parent of three school age children. You will find that you no longer have to feel badly about throwing away something your children made or wrote and will have more space as a result.

I know that as parents we often feel bad about deciding what to keep and throw away when it comes to our children’s artwork, school awards and papers. Thanks to the many digital options we now have, this is no longer a heart-wrenching experience. Since we often store our vacation photos and even photos of our pets digitally, this should be a snap for many of us. Simply take the steps to categorize and properly store each item and you can ensure that you and your children’s memories will be available for each generation to follow. Who knows, maybe your child does turn out to be the next Picasso and you get to show the world what your artist was like as a child, and maybe the next President is hidden in those old term papers and report cards.

I hope you find some value in these tips and I invite you to learn more about my Home Organizing Services by visiting my website.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Friday, April 12, 2013

A More Thorough Spring Cleaning List

As the snow melts and the flowers start to blossom, you may start to realize how much clutter has accumulated throughout your house. Although many things may be difficult to part with, in order to welcome the new season with low stress, a thorough, all-encompassing spring cleaning needs to take place. 

Don't know where to start? Here are some great tips and accessible resources to get you on the path to an uncluttered, stress free household:

Get Rid of Expired Medications and Pharmaceuticals

Not only are expired medications extremely unhealthy to ingest, but they also take up a lot of unnecessary counter space and produce clutter. Seek out community drug take back programs that enable individuals to bring their unused or expired drugs to a specific location to ensure proper disposal. You can find this contact information by looking up your city or county government's household trash and recycling service.

Some pharmacies even offer a drug recycling program. Do not throw your medications in the trash unless your pharmacist specifically advises that it is okay to do so - this can be extremely dangerous if done improperly. Also, prescription medications should not be flushed down the toilet or sink. They can add harmful toxins to the water supply.

What's In the Garage?

As a Professional Garage Organizer, I recommend you take a thorough and honest inventory regarding the stuff you can get rid of from your attic and/or garage. Many of us like to store items without any real value indefinitely to collect dust and take up space. Admit to yourself which items need to go - consider donating any items that are in good or fair condition to a local shelter or goodwill and dispose of the rest.

Be clear with yourself about which items actually carry inherent value - if something has not been touched in years, get rid of it without batting an eye. Engage in a thorough cleaning of the attic and garage to avoid any insect or critter accumulation.

Do You Need All of those Catalogs?

Take yourself off of catalog mailing lists. Not only is it doubtful that you actually read through all of the catalogs you receive, but the buildup of paper is not good for a clutter free household or the environment. See if any of the catalogs you are interested in still receiving have e-mail lists instead and sign up for those.

Having less stacks of paper around will automatically guarantee you less stress and keep your home looking well kept.

Organize Your Bookmarks

Remove yourself from all and any school related websites, e-mail lists, and user groups until the fall. It is not the beginning of the school year any more. Having children in school brings with it a whole slew of additional stressors, but you can hold off on addressing these until the start of the new year. Be kind to your e-mail inbox, also making sure to remove yourself from any newsletters or promotional paraphernalia that is no longer relevant to you.

Cleaning up your inbox will significantly clear your head a bit and prevent you from slumping in front of the computer for hours on end to tie up loose ends.

Join a Local Free Cycle Group

Join a local Free Cycle group and give your stuff away completely free of charge. This network is all about reuse and keeping stuff out of landfills and offers community members a free and easy way to move their old stuff along to people who genuinely want and need it more.

The website is extremely simple to navigate and not only will you feel good about diverting your old items from landfills, but your home will be one step closer to shipshape and someone else will benefit from your good will.

End the cleaning process with a spontaneous family get together or dinner and have everyone guess what Mom and Dad have been storing in boxes for tens of years. Give the family a chance to laugh and make a game out of it, while still sticking to your mission of ridding the house of all unnecessary items. Your kids may even want to keep some of your old possessions as keepsakes for their future kids.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos