Saturday, December 20, 2014

How to Organize a Cluttered Car

Anyone can end up with a cluttered car. It can plague soccer moms, businessmen, students and everyone in between. It can be minor and just a little disorganized or it can border on unsanitary from the accumulation of fast food trash. There are a lot of reasons people neglect to clean out the interiors of their cars and all sorts of things can accumulate there over time from trash to important items.

An organized car decreases stress while you drive and also makes more room for cargo and passengers. The most cluttered of cars are weighed down to the point that it can even negatively affect gas mileage. Attempting to de-clutter your car can be overwhelming and you may not even know where to begin.

Getting Started

The absolute first step to organizing your car is to park it in a place with plenty of light. You need to be able to see under all the seats and into any little nooks where junk can hide.

The Three-Box Method

The three-box method (or three-pile method) is an organization technique you can use for anything that has become cluttered - from your basement to your office desk. It also works wonders for a cluttered car. For your car you want to have a box for "Trash," a box for "Car" and a box for "House." You'll keep the "Car" items in your car and take the "House" items inside because they aren't trash, but they don't belong in your car. Feel free to bring out your recycling bin if a lot of the garbage looks like paper, plastic or other recyclable items.

Start pulling everything out of your car wherever you'd like, but be sure to have a method to your madness so you don't overlook anything. You may prefer to start with the driver's seat and work your way around clockwise or you may want to begin with the trunk and work your way forward. Remove everything and be sure to check the glove compartment, center console and underneath each seat. Sort the items accordingly into the correct box.

Take Advantage of the Emptiness

Before you start putting anything back into your car that goes there, you should take the opportunity to vacuum it out. This will get rid of food crumbs and dirt that may have been hiding under the clutter. Track down odors and clean up stains. Having a car that looks and smells fresh and clean will remind you to keep it tidy. This will help you stay organized after you've de-cluttered.

What To Keep in Your Car

There are a few obvious things you should keep in your car like your registration and insurance information. Most people keep this paperwork in their glove compartment where it is easily accessible. Be sure you keep your glove compartment clean so you can find the documents quickly if you need them. Anything else you opt to keep in your car needs to have its own specific place that makes sense to you.

Create a Set of Rules to Stay Organized

Rules help you avoid another cluttered car situation. Create rules that are right for you that you can keep. You might want to consider not eating in your car if you had a lot of food trash. If you found that you had a bunch of junk mail in your car then don't allow mail in your car at all and take it straight inside. You may also consider a more regular de-cluttering schedule as a rule. Reserve a bit of time on Sundays for maintenance and get items out of your car that shouldn't be there.

Follow these simple steps and you'll have an organized car in no time. It'll also be easier for you to keep it organized and looking its best. A car full of clutter can be embarrassing if you carpool or a friend needs a ride. You also want to maximize your gas mileage by not transporting around pounds of unnecessary junk. 

Robert Mizrahi is the CEO of Chaos Commandos, a professional organizing service for homes and business. Learn more by visiting his website at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Organize Your Photos into Albums

Organizing photos into an traditional photo album
Photographs are memories. They remind you of where you came from, who you were with and how you and your family have grown. People have piles of photographs from years of memories. When you want to find a particular photo, it can be difficult to sort through the piles, which is why organization is important. There are many ways of organizing photos into albums, both traditionally and technologically.

Traditional Photo Albums

Traditional photo albums are books where you place your photos in a clear protective sheath. They generally offer inserts for multiple photos per page so you can look at a few at a time. With this type of album, you can organize by time, place or person.

Example: When deciding how to organize photos of children, one way to do this would be to place all photos of one child in one pile and another child in another pile. Then organize in other elements, such as the year, the season, etc. If you want to chronologize your child's life from birth until they are grown, you start by placing baby pictures in the beginning and go from there. Always label these albums with who was there, what you were doing and when it was taken. This will help you find the photos easier when you want them.

Computer and Mobile Albums

One thing technology has given us is the ability to organize everything, including pictures. Most operating systems, Windows, Android and Apple, have the same style of album options so it is fairly simple to streamline the digital organization process.

The first step is to find all of your pictures from your camera, tablet and computer and put them together on one device as well as a backup device such as an external hard drive. Then, organize the same as your traditional album. Start by labeling your new album either by date, place or person, just a name you can remember. Then, go through each photo and add it to its corresponding album. As you go through the photos, you can put one photo into multiple albums. So, if you have one album of a place and another of a person and one photo that has that place and person, that photo can be used in both albums.

If you have traditional photos to add, you can scan them as well. You can scan the pictures with a scanner linked to your computer, take a photo of them with a camera phone or use a photo kiosk and save them onto a memory card. Once the photo is saved, it can be used in a digital photo album. This is a great way to salvage old photos that could otherwise be ruined.

The Cloud

The Cloud is a tool used to keep important files online instead of on your device. Everybody has had that moment when their phone is lost or the computer crashes, taking all of their irreplaceable pictures with it. When you add photos to the Cloud, they are saved virtually, not on your device. You can access them anywhere, anytime, even if you don't have the device. There are options for storage on the Cloud. Google and Microsoft both offer free Cloud storage to a certain limit. Once you reach your limit, you need to pay for more.

Another option is social media. Google+ and Facebook both allow photo uploads and neither have a limit on space. Social media lets you organize into albums so they are still easily accessible. You are also sharing your photos with friends and family immediately so your loved ones don't have to wait to share your experiences with you. Both Google+ and Facebook also offer privacy settings so if you don't want others to see your photos, they won't. These settings can be set so that your photos can be seen only by you, only by friends, friends of friends or everybody. The limit is up to you.

Organizing your photos is simple, although it can be time consuming if you have many photos. By using online methods, you are also saving your photos. When people lose everything in a house fire or robbery, they say that the worst thing they have lost is their pictures. When pictures are stored in the Cloud, they are there forever. The end result of organizing pictures is worth the work you put into it, making your memories once again come to life.

Robert Mizrahi
NYC Professional Home Organizer

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tips for Organizing a Large Basement

Organized storage area in a large basement
Our basements are one of those places in our homes that are inclined to become overwhelmingly cluttered. The basement is a room where we tend to store all of the junk we've accumulated that we think we might need one day or we put things there just to get them out of the way.

A large basement provides an even larger dumping ground for even more items. It can be next to impossible to find something you need in an unorganized basement. After years of treating your basement as a big storage facility it can seem daunting to even get started organizing it. Here are some tips to get the job done:

1. Eliminate Clutter

The first step to organize any room, including a basement, is getting rid of the clutter. Depending upon how much you have accumulated over time it can be a monumental task in itself and by far the most difficult part of getting organized. Not only can the sheer mass of items in your basement make de-cluttering difficult, but you also have to address sentimental possessions as well as the items you do actually use like sports gear and holiday decorations. Start by sorting and you can make this easier by using labelled boxes. You want boxes for items to donate, boxes for items to sell and boxes for the things you want to keep. Keep your recycling bin and trash bags on hand for the items that simply need to be thrown out.

When you are working in your basement you may want to have a clear space to put your sorting boxes. This way you don't have to keep carrying things up the stairs and coming back down. Instead you can just take up all of the boxes up when you've finished. Going up and down the stairs can make the process a lot more work than it needs to be and you are more likely to become discouraged and less likely to complete the task.

2. Make a Plan

Once you've downsized the clutter it's time to make a plan. Figure out what exactly you want to use your basement for. Do you actually want to use it for storage? Would you rather it just be a place for your utilities or do you maybe want to remodel it into additional living space? After you make this decision everything else you do in your basement should be working toward that goal. A large basement can easily become a multipurpose room that serves all of these different functions.

3. Create Zones

When planning you should designate zones. Your zones are going to be bigger areas of organization and each zone serves a purpose. A utility zone should logically be located near your hot water heater, furnace or other basement appliances and utilities. Keep your utility zone easily accessible in case of an emergency and resist the urge to pile storage boxes there.

Your storage zone should be separate and it's the place where it is acceptable to put all of those items you decided to save as you were de-cluttering. Break your storage zone down into smaller zones so that everything is easy to find. Have a certain place in the zone for your holiday decorations that is separate from your camping gear, for example. A living area zone would include furniture, electronics or maybe a pool table or other form of indoor recreation.

4. Appropriate Storage

In your storage zone in particular you need to decide exactly how you want to save and put away items. Invest in some of those affordable plastic bins or tubs as well as an organizer for them. Label your storage containers and then work to keep them accessible. If you play a lot of different sports year round then you will want your sports equipment to always be where you can find it and get to it.

You only need your holiday decorations during the holiday season so you may want to keep those bins in a less prominent location. To help avoid clutter be sure to put your items away according to your mini-zones and your labels.

Robert Mizrahi
Professional Home Organizer
Chaos Commandos

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tips to Set Up and Organize a Garage Sale

Garage Sale sign advertising a yard sale
A garage sale is a great way to de-clutter your home while also helping people purchase much needed items at reasonable prices. A successful garage sale depends on successful planning. To plan a successful garage sale, simply follow these tips.

Place Items for Sale in Plain View

Place items for sale within plain reach and view of customer's eyesight. For example, if you have a stack of magazines, fan them out on a table as opposed to stacking them on top of each other, so each magazine is in plain view.

If you choose to display items on your lawn, create a pathway that people can walk between and catch a glimpse of each item from all angles.

Move Items Not For Sale Far Away

Move any items that are not up for sale as far away from the sale items as possible to avoid confusion. Or, simply cover the items with a blanket or tarp etc. so buyers know these items are not for sale.

Place Items Close to the Street

Place large or your "best" items as close to the street as possible. This way, people can get a glimpse of what you're selling as they pass by which will hopefully lure them in.

Clearly Mark Your Prices

Place a price sticker on each of your items so you don't forget the price. This will help make your job easier, and people will know exactly how much each item costs.

Having a lot of lower priced items (for example, .25 cent items) may encourage people to purchase more items and even encourage them to purchase higher priced items too, because they feel like they are getting a deal. Price items at yard sale prices, unless the item is brand new with the tags still on.

Collecting Cash

Some sellers prefer to station their cashier's table at the end of their merchandise section to make it easier for customers to pay for their purchases as they leave the sale. This way, customers are free to accumulate a variety of items and pay for them all at once.

You may think about offering carrying baskets etc. to help make it easier for them to carry a large number of items at one time, or simply hold the items for them until they are ready to check out.

Your cashier station should have a ledger for recording sales and enough cash to give change.

Advertise Well

The marketing of your garage sale will generally determine the success of your sale. Put time and effort into making high quality, easily readable signs that will catch people's attention. The bigger and brighter the signs, the better.

Many people experience success on free sites such as Craig's List. The more details you put in your ad, the more likely your items are to show up in searches. Focus on your hottest sellers, and list specific details such as sizes and brands etc.

Teach Your Children Entrepreneurial Skills in the Process

Help your children set up a bake sale and lemonade stand so they, too, can share in the entrepreneurial spirit. If it's fall outside, your children can serve toasty treats such as hot chocolate with marshmallows, coffee, S'mores or even fresh cinnamon rolls which will go a long way in making your customers feel appreciated, especially on a cold Saturday morning.

Getting Organized for Your Garage Sale

  • Collect Clutter Year Round- When you come across clutter you longer need, stick it in a box. Once the box is full, fill another one and so on, all the way up until garage sale day.
  • Timing is Everything- Choose a time of year when the weather will be pleasant. Check the weather forecast ahead of time to be sure the weather is clear for that day.
  • Select a Location- If possible, select a location that is near a busy intersection or a location that is easy to get to.
  • Plan- At least 2-3 days before the garage sale, take a day and price and organize everything, and post your ads on the internet. The day before your sale, get your cash together, and post your signs.
  • Displaying Your Items- Do you have enough space? How are you going to display your items? Ladders, clothing racks, tables, TV trays, upside down cardboard boxes, crates and even the patio are great ways to display your items. However, it is best to display your items off the ground to avoid ground moisture or dew.
  • Select Themes- Group your items in themes to help make them easier to locate.
  • Have fun!

Robert Mizrahi
Home Organizing Services

Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Organize An Efficient Student Study Area at Home

Kids organized desk space for homework
The busy schedule of today's families can have a direct impact on the quality of study-time a child can dedicate to homework. There's so much going on. Family members stomp around the kitchen looking for a glass of juice, and little brothers and sisters invade bedrooms, but there are alternative ways to create an efficient study area through planning.

Managing Study Time

Coordinate the block of hours your youngster uses for diving into textbooks. This way, they can balance their time with a sibling. Back this strategy with a notice on the door to let everyone know the youngster is at work.

Use the Right Setup

The bedroom is an excellent area to read and write in peace, but the bed itself should be avoided. The vertical surface is tempting, but it's lumpy and giving, not an optimal place to situate pens and the paraphernalia associated with studying. Also, the bed is comfortable, providing too much temptation for a nap.

Study Surface Basics

Opt for a comfortable chair and a wide table, even a foldaway table will do the job, but a solid construct is preferable. Flimsy tables and chairs can cause distractions due to one leg being shorter than the others. Stabilizing the work surface is an easy issue to fix, but the point here is to minimize distractions.

Expanding on Desks

A modular desk setup allows for a basic selection of textbooks and office supplies, and the structure will grow as the child matures, providing extra drawers for sticky labels and stationary. Over the years, this modular approach can be expanded upon, adding more lighting and shelving for heavier textbooks.

Remove Clutter

Children have notoriously short attention spans. Remove toys and smartphones from the study area, promising access to the confiscated items once the work is done for the night. If necessary, move the desk away from the window and take down distracting posters. Clear the desk of any distractions.

An Environmentally Sound Study Space

Maximize the effectiveness of this developing space by adjusting environmental factors if possible. Pull a shade down, and position a bright lamp on the desk, closing windows to mitigate outside noise pollution. Weigh the cost of adjusting the air conditioning against a clear and cool mind.

Dividing the Study Load

Divide the classes your child is studying into manageable chunks. Create a study table and calendar of upcoming academic exams, prioritizing each subject and color coding the schedule for the benefit of young eyes. Print out the schedule, and pin it up on the wall above the new study area.

The Office Supply Visit

Ensure a period of focused study goes uninterrupted by providing all the supplies the student needs. Paper, pens and pencils should be close at hand on the actual work surface. Keep secondary items such as pencil sharpeners and rulers nearby, but remember the clutter rule. Clear space equals a clear young mind.

The Strategic Placement of Secondary Items

Allocate written material to the study area, placing textbooks and study notes in their designated slots. Slowly shift this responsibility over to the child, using this technique to teach organizational planning to the student. In time, this will show the young mind how to manage resources without being overwhelmed.

Energize the Study Area

Studying is hard work. Even putting work into the efficient setup of a study space is a laborious task. Feed the creative spirit of the youngster. Add a flowering plant to all of this study material, and pin up an inspirational poster adjacent to the schedules. Finally, add a glass of water and an energy snack to the newly configured study space, and leave your child to get on with the work. You may be that final distraction, after all.

Robert Mizrahi
Professional Home Organizer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How To Organize Your Kid's Playroom

Organized Child's Playroom at Home
Organizing your kid's playroom is a lot easier than you might think. Regardless of how many kids you have and how many toys need to be organized, there is a way. You simply have to figure out how you are going to organize - which may involve being a little creative so that you can keep the room looking clean, while your kids will be able to get behind the organization that you have put into place, all at the same time.

Sort What They Don't Play With

Your kid's playroom likely has all sorts of stuff in it - and some stuff may not even be played with anymore. You need to get rid of anything that isn't being used so that it doesn't clutter up the room. This is where you may want to involve the kids. Go through everything. If they haven't played with it in the past three months, donate it, sell it at a garage sale, or toss it to the curb.

If there are any seasonal toys, then you may want to set these aside in a different area of the room. This can include anything from Easter coloring books to Christmas puzzles. Place them in a tote or something that is marked seasonal so you know to bring it down and into the playroom when the holidays approach.

There may also be some broken items that have made their way into the playroom. Either fix them or toss them. Many parents are surprised by how many items are still lingering in the kid's playroom when they start to organize. Just because you told your kids to throw something away a few months ago doesn't mean they actually did.

Group the Toys

You need to start making piles with all of the toys for some kind of classification system. You may want to label things as dolls, make believe, arts & crafts, and various other categories based upon what you have in front of you. It can also be a great idea to take advantage of a home organizing service where someone will come in and do all of this for you.

He or she is likely going to help you not only with the playroom but also in other areas of your home. This ensures that you don't end up with an "overflow" room where things simply just appear because they don't have an actual home within your home. This is often what happens when kid's toys start piling up in a room. They do so because your kids just don't know where they go.

Get Creative

It may be possible to use the closet as a way to store many of the toys and odds and ends. This may include milk crates, shelves, or various other forms of organization. You have to work within your budget, so you may have to get a little creative in terms of what you can store things in. That labeling system is going to be your best friend so that everyone knows what's inside without spilling the contents onto the floor.

A closet organizing service can help you to understand what needs to be done within the playroom. There are all sorts of creative ways that a professional home organizing service can help you so that children know where everything goes and keep it nice and neat moving forward.

Organizing a playroom always comes down to what works best for the kids. Since they are the ones spending the most time inside the room, the organization has to work for them - and make sense to them. If they don't like what you did to their room, it's only going to be a matter of time before everything is right back to where it was.

A professional home organizing service can help you to make sense out of the chaos. They have experience with organization and can help to determine what's going to be best for your kids - which often includes asking your kids what they want to see for their toys. And regarding your budget, they can help find an affordable way to keep the toys organized now and in the future. Your kids may even find toys that they forgot existed once it is all clean and labeled.

Robert Mizrahi
Professional Organizer in NYC
Chaos Commandos

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How to Organize Your Recipes

Organizing Your Recipes
Are you a person who loves to cook, but loathes the dreaded recipe search? Organize your recipes for a cleaner counter top, to protect your heirloom recipes, and to create a more inviting space for entertaining and a more enjoyable cooking experience! You can even enlist the aid of a professional kitchen organizer to help you organize your kitchen space and your recipes.

The Benefits or Organizing Your Recipes

Over the years, recipes passed down from your grandmother or mother, torn from magazine pages, or even printed from your favorite online sites can really begin to add up. Then, when it comes time to finally trying them, you can't locate them, or it takes you forever to find them, which can really zap the fun and energy out of cooking.

Organizing your recipes helps take the stress out of cooking by helping you organize and manage your recipes for easy retrieval every time. Well organized recipes can help unclutter your counter tops, junk drawers, cookbooks, and recipe boxes and make using recipes adventurous and fun, the way they were supposed to be. And you'll spend less time searching for recipes and more time doing what you love... cooking!

Tips for Organizing Your Recipes

According to professional organizers, one of the best ways to keep your recipes is to store them in a 3 ring binder. The binders will help make your recipes easier to find, and the sheet protectors will help protect your recipes from sauce spills and the flour, egg and grease splatter that often occurs while cooking. Separate your binder into categories such as breads, cookies, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas meals, appetizers, soups, and salads etc. so you'll know exactly where they are when you need them. You may even use a separate binder for each food subject, if you'd like.

Organizing Your Cookbook Recipes

Do you have a scrumptious recipe that you've tried from one of your favorite cookbooks that you would like to cook again, but you can't figure out which cookbook it's in? Experts suggest marking your favorite cookbook recipes with sticky tabs to make them easier to locate. Writing notes on the pages of the recipes you've tried, such as ingredients added or omitted and variations in cooking times etc., can help ensure that your favorite recipes are pulled off without a hitch, every single time!

And for those counter tops and cabinets that are cluttered with cookbooks, professional organizers suggest purging the cookbooks you don't use, leaving only the cookbooks you truly love. Simply donate the unused cookbooks to places like Goodwill, and you'll have more space for lounging and food prep. Experts suggest rearranging your cookbooks, periodically, to make the cookbooks you use the most during each season or occasion easier to locate. For example, the soup recipes you used all winter long can now be moved to the back to make more room for the grilling recipes you need this summer.

Professional Kitchen Organizer

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with organizing your recipe collection? A professional kitchen organizer can help you unclutter your kitchen space and your recipes to help make your kitchen more comforting and inviting. Professional organizers act sort of like a coach to help you manage dreaded organizing tasks. They access your space, based on your concerns, then help you establish a system for uncluttering and preventing future clutter from reoccurring. A professional home kitchen organizer usually charges by the hour, but some charge by the day or by the project.

Organizing your recipes could be the first step in organizing your life; once you tackle the kitchen, who knows what else you can do! A professional home organizer can not only help you manage your recipes, but they can also work with you to help you eliminate clutter, set goals, and stay organized. They come equipped with their own organizing materials, but can also utilize extra storage materials you may have laying around in your house. Professional organizers help organize your kitchen cabinets, drawers, refrigerator, pantries, and more.

Robert Mizrahi
Professional Organizer in NYC
Chaos Commandos

Friday, May 9, 2014

Proper Disposal of Common Household Chemicals

Disposing of Household Chemicals and Cleaners
A surprising number of products we use in our homes everyday contain chemicals that can be hazardous to the environment and even to us if used, stored or disposed of improperly. It is extremely important to understand the correct ways to dispose of these common chemicals. We encounter these chemicals so often that they can seem innocuous, but it is vital that you always keep in mind that they are chemicals and should be treated as such.

Just because a container is empty does not mean you can simply throw it into your trash, and you should never pour any leftover products down your sink. Always consider where these chemicals and chemical residues are going to end up after you have used them. In addition, you should always completely read usage instructions and warnings on labels. Store any chemicals out of reach of children and ensure that they are closed tightly to keep them from spilling or potentially mixing with other chemicals. Mixing products containing certain chemicals can cause serious health risks.

Products Containing Chemicals

Many everyday cleaners, like oven cleaners, spot cleaners and drain cleaners, use potentially harmful chemicals as do all aerosol products. Floor wax and furniture polish can also have chemical ingredients. Batteries also contain chemicals, along with paint, nail polish, hair dye and even fluorescent light bulbs. Keep an eye out for products labeled as corrosive, containing lye, phenols, petroleum distillates or trichlorobenzene. Bleach is both one of the most common as well as one of the most hazardous household products.

How Not to Dispose of Chemicals

Never pour any products containing chemicals down your sinks or toilets. Drain cleaners should only be used as instructed, and although they are intended to go down your drains, using these products can result in the chemicals seeping through your pipes and into the ground. There are other alternatives to chemical drain cleaners that pose less risk and these should be used whenever possible. You should certainly never dump any chemical products outside onto the grass, in ditches or bodies of water. The long-term effects of a lot of chemicals on the environment are still being studied by researchers. Not only do the chemicals affect plant-life and wildlife, but they can come back to haunt us as well in our groundwater and soil.

Empty containers also cannot just be put into your trash can. In many places, it is illegal to do so. Chemical containers can no longer be taken to the same waste locations with common garbage - again, this is due to their effects on the environment. They also pose a risk to sanitation workers who unwittingly come in contact with them. Putting products into the trash can cause the remaining material to leak out. Not only are most chemicals harmful in and of themselves, but they can also combine with other chemicals and have reactions. Some chemical combinations can result in explosions or even the creation of harmful gases that can hurt you and your family.

Proper Disposal Techniques

The key to dealing with products that contain chemicals is to treat them as hazardous waste - because that is what they are. When in doubt, read the instructions on the label. Most all products today include helpful instructions about how to correctly and safely dispose of them. Many communities have community hazardous waste centers or offer hazardous waste collection days throughout the year. Some have even instituted specific hazardous waste pick-up days for added convenience if you cannot drop off your containers and other products. This makes disposing of chemicals much easier and much safer for everyone. Check your community's website or speak to a town official to find out what is offered in your area.

Contact businesses in your area as well. Many businesses that work with a lot of chemical products engage in the recycling or collection of hazardous chemical material. Automotive service stations as well as paint stores are a good place to start because they regularly have to properly dispose of their own chemical containers and leftovers. These businesses will often allow others in the community to drop off their own household chemical containers.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Eight Tips for Spring Cleaning

Woman spring cleaning her shelves and cabinets

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition for many. The extensive de-cluttering and organizing that takes place as soon as the weather warms up can be quite the undertaking. Here are eight tips to make the most of your spring cleaning, and you can even use them to keep your home looking great at other times of the year as well.

Take Cleaning Seriously

If you fully embrace your spring cleaning, tackling it head-on from the get-go you will not be disappointed. You may have a lot to do, but you will benefit in the long run. The most important tip to keep in mind throughout the process is that the better job you do with your initial cleaning and home organizing the less work you will have to do later.

Start with the Closets

It can be hard to figure out where to get started with any big cleaning task. The best place to begin organizing your entire home is with your closets. Get rid of all of those unused clothes and other items you may have stashed there over time. Organize the remaining clothing by how you get dressed or by color. For hall closets and other storage closet organizing, you want to have the items you use most often where they are most accessible.

Do Not Forget Bookshelves

After sorting through your closets, the next best area to organize are bookshelves and other shelving in your home like your movie collection. Get rid of damaged dust jackets along with books and items you no longer need or want. Donate your unwanted books and then organize the rest by subject and size. This will ensure that you have room in the future for new books and collectibles.

Dealing with Stains and Odors

After de-cluttering your closets and straightening your shelving, move on to eliminating any smelly stains or large stains that you have neglected on your furniture. The first step to making your upholstery look great again is to blot up as much as you can of the troublesome stains. While doing so put a plastic liner like a garbage bag between the cushion and the fabric to avoid spreading the odors further into the cushion. Use cold water to blot, and to take care of lingering odors use a vinegar and water solution, rinse and repeat.

Managing Floors

Carpet stains can be removed with commercial carpet cleaners and odors taken care of with vinegar just like upholstery. Give all carpets a thorough vacuuming as part of your spring cleaning. Taking care of wood floors should be done with a damp mop and mild soap.

Addressing Countertops

Cleaning countertops can be as simple as a wipe-down of composite material or as a difficult as removing stains from granite. If you have the latter, you can remove most stains with diluted ammonia. After taking care of stains to get it looking its best again, get it re-sealed in the spring. Re-sealing will help to prevent future stains and make maintenance cleaning easier.

Pay Attention to Stainless Steel

Stainless steel looks great when it is cleaned and taken care of, but if neglected it gets spotty and dull. Spots as well as scum accumulation are easily wiped away. After cleaning and polishing all of your stainless steel faucets spray them with a very light misting of a wax-based aerosol. This will keep the fixtures looking shiny and their best for much longer. Wipe them down with a lint-free cloth and avoid using any oil-based products. Bleach should also be avoided because it contributes to a loss of that great luster.

Cleaning Tile

Bathroom and kitchen tile can sometimes be a hassle to take care of. You may have put off cleaning your tile only to find that the situation continually gets worse. Definitely give any tile a good cleaning this spring. A great trick is to use baking soda and water to create an affordable and highly-effective cleaning solution. Mix half of a cup of baking soda with two gallons of water and then apply it with a sponge. It will even take care of build-up in the cracks and can be used on grout.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Saturday, March 8, 2014

How to Organize Your Email Folders in Microsoft Outlook

Organizing Email Digital Folders in Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook is the email application that is part of the Windows bundle on all PCs. Outlook has a number of helpful tools to help keep your inbox and the rest of your email organized. Many of the tools are even automated to make the task even simpler once you set it up.
Many people unfortunately do not know how to use these great features or are just plain unaware of them. This can result in an over-abundance of unwanted emails which can prevent you  from finding that important email when you need it, or having your work emails lost in the midst of newsletters, spam and emails from your friends.

The Filter Tool

Filtering your messages allows you to see only the emails you want, and that meet certain criteria. You can then sort these emails into folders accordingly and have them automatically sorted in the future. To access the Filter tool just click on "View". A drop-down menu will appear and you can select one or more categories that have been established like Unread or even Social Updates, which are emails from Facebook and other social networks.

The Sweep Tool

Sweeping is how you send all of a certain type of email to a designated folder. An easy way to sweep is to do so by sender. For example, if you want all of your work emails in a separate folder, you'll want to use Sweep after selecting an email from your boss or co-workers. Click Sweep and then from the drop-down menu select "Move all from". After this you will be sent to another screen where you can select the folder to either sweep to or create a new folder. Sweep is great because you only need to select one email in order to send them all where you want them to end up.

The Sweep tool will also allow you to automate the sorting of emails in the future. All you need to do is select the check-box for "Also move future messages". Sweep can also be used to delete all of the messages from a specific sender. This feature is excellent for getting rid of all of your Facebook notification emails at one time.

The Schedule Cleanup Feature

Schedule Cleanup keeps your inbox and your folders from being overrun by old emails that are no longer relevant. It can be set to delete certain emails after ten, thirty, sixty or ninety days - whichever works best for you. This makes it so that you will only have to deal with more recent emails. You may also use Schedule Cleanup to send emails to folders and have them bypass your inbox entirely. Click on Schedule Cleanup and all you need to do is select the options that are right for your needs.

Turning to Professional Organization

There are also great professional organizing services that can do all of your email organizing for you. They will handle all of your digital needs to your specifications and get you started with staying organized in the future. They are great if you are less computer savvy, just do not have time to sit down and deal with the email clutter or if you are overwhelmed by the prospect. If you have just begun using Outlook and imported all of your emails from over the years it can easily become overwhelming.

A digital data storage organizer can take care of more than just Outlook. They can also help you with a cluttered desktop and help clear space on your hard drive. They will set up automation tasks within all of your programs, sort your folders and get rid of duplicate files. They will get the job done quickly and easily, so that you can get back to your business as soon as possible and never have to dig through your inbox for hours again.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How to Organize Your Makeup

Girl organizing makeup in her bathroom
Makeup storage can become a hassle even for the most organized makeup connoisseur. A solid makeup collection includes a variety of products and colors for all outfits and all occasions. We all know that sales are enticing and you often find yourself sometimes buying makeup you don't necessarily need. From your brushes to your eye shadow, lip liner and foundation, you can downsize the clutter and be able to find what you need when you need it. It can even be fun.

Sort Your Products

The first step to organizing anything, including makeup, is to sort. A fine way to sort makeup is by product. In other words, you want to have you mascara with your mascara. You do not want to have your foundation mingling with your lipstick and eye liner. Start by creating groups. For example, consider having your foundation and blush close to one another, and group all of your eye and lip makeup. Think about your makeup in categories and sub-categories.

Out with the Old

While some makeup lasts a while, you probably go through other types of makeup at what seems like a blinding rate. Liquid makeups can dry up and eye shadows become cracked and brittle over time. Unless you keep on top of your make up you will probably find you have some things that have seen better days. Getting rid of old makeup you do not use also cuts down on clutter and makes room for new products too. Downsize your collection, and you'll begin to see how easy it is to start getting organized.

Places for Products

After sorting and getting rid of old makeup you'll need a way to keep your groups of products together. A toothbrush holder or simple pencil case are good ways to store all of your brushes, for example. Put your eye shadow palettes together and your loose eye shadow in a container. Put your lipsticks and lip glosses together in a container as well. You can get a small plastic bin with drawers or separate individual bins. Get creative - whichever suits your style.

Getting Creative

When finding places for each of your products, feel free to use your creativity.  For example, if you are feeling particularly crafty you can glue small magnets to the backs of your eye shadows and blushes. Take an old cookie sheet and wrap it in your favorite decorative fabric then hang it on the wall by your vanity or make-up table. Stick your products there so you'll always be able to find them.

If you do not want to invest in a bin or buy trays from the store, you can easily take old boxes and make your own bins. Decorate them with paper or fabric and use a larger box to store your smaller boxes that contain each of your products. If you have a lot of boxes you can construct your own little chest of drawers for your makeup.

Call in the Professionals

What do you do when you find that you just have too much makeup? You may have makeup strewn about your entire bathroom and in every nook and cranny. The prospect of organizing can become completely overwhelming. You might have a collection of makeup that you cannot bring yourself to throw away even though you know you need to. When all else fails, you can contact a professional home organizer. A professional can help you throughout the process and get the job done for you.

Organization companies are a great option if you simply do not have the time or if you find yourself absolutely unable to get started. A versatile company will offer a wide variety of services, which will include a professional bathroom organizing service. They will take care of your makeup and anything else you may find creating disarray in your bathroom. Learn from them and they can help you stay organized in the future so you do not find yourself drowning in makeup again.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos