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March 13, 2012

Celebrating Organized Closet Bliss

OK, it’s a party over here! I am big time celebrating, because guess what? My closet organizing project is D-O-N-E. And, oh my goodness, I completely love it. Even though the Organize Your Closet workshop begins today, I was able to take the workshop materials (plus expert advice from our dear professional organizer, Aby Garvey), and get a jump start on this. Here was a view inside my closet just two weeks ago.



And here is that same view today. Ta-da, right?




If you’ve been following my progress on the blog, you might recall in my last update that I was trying to decide whether to invest in a closet organizing system or not. You can see here that I did invest in a wire system that we installed ourselves. OK, that’s not entirely true… my amazing, handsome, loving, generous husband installed it himself. For Valentine’s Day this year, he treated me to this closet reorganizing project. Untraditional? Sure. But I think it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts he could have given me, especially because he even did all the labor! Ah, I love being married to a guy who is both romantic AND has some mad DIY skills! 


I did grapple a bit as we weighed the options of completing this project with what we had and perhaps adding another shelf or two vs. installing a closet system. I’m a very thrifty girl, and I get a real rush from repurposing and reusing. I knew that along with the Organize Your Closet workshop, I could invest just a smidge of money in some storage solutions and make this closet really work. In the end, I decided on the closet solution because:


  • I realized it would be far more efficient to use the one long wall as my main storage wall, rather than using the shorter walls.
  • After I visualized how functional it could be, I knew I would always see it as less than it could have been had I not purchased the closet system. 
  • The timing was right. There was room in our calendar and budget to take this on, and believe me, the stars don’t always align so well for us!


So after a wee bit of shopping around, we chose the Rubbermaid system from Lowe’s, and forged ahead. Here’s my closet once it was completely gutted.




After clearing everything out, we cleaned, patched and painted the walls. (Wow, what a difference even that much makes!) Then it was time to do installation, and even though I only supervised this part, I am amazed at how easy it really was. Next came configuring it all, and like many systems this gives me the flexibility keep changing the racks and shelves to suit my needs. (Love that!) Take a look at it now, why don’t you?




I’d say I’ve made much better use of the space, wouldn’t you? Even the space above the door is being used! (And by the way, my children think I am a complete genius because of this.)



I’ve got a few minor tweeks under way, like setting up my jewelry/accessory station and swapping out a few of the storage solutions. I just may have to show those finishing touches off as well. But other than that, this project is complete, and the result is the most highly organized and functional closet I have ever had. OK, just for fun, let’s take a nice before + after look, shall we?


And just one more before + after…



Ah, total closet bliss, my friends. Want a little bliss in your own closet? Organize Your Closet starts today! And what’s more is that this is the very last time this workshop will be offered as an online workshop this year, so don’t miss out!


Happy Organizing!

  Jens signature black


March 09, 2012

Freebie Friday - Jewelry Organizing Challenge

There’s something in the air for sure. I have a *major* itch to ruthlessly declutter and re-organize my home. I think it’s a spring-cleaning thing, but boy have I got it bad. Has the bug bit you, too? If so, then you’ll definitely want to get in on this week’s Freebie Friday. This week we’re adding a twist that’s kind of like merging Finish It Friday and Freebie Friday. Here’s how it’s going to work. Instead of simply leaving a comment in the post to participate in the giveaway, we’re issuing a challenge to declutter and organize your jewelry! Sound fun?


Here's how it's going to work. Email us a photo and a brief description of your organized jewelry. When you do you’ll be entered to win a spot in an upcoming workshop of your choice, such as…

Organize Your Closet:   This workshop makes it simple and fun to create an organized closet (and wardrobe!) so it’s easy and fun to get dressed in the morning! Jennifer transformed her closet using the process I teach in this workshop, and you can create similar results, too, regardless of the size or configuration of your closet. (By the way, Jennifer was going to show us the big reveal yesterday, but she got bit by a different kind of bug. Poor thing!)  


Quick & Simple Clutter Control: This workshop shows you quick, simple and effective cures to your clutter woes. Includes time-tested clutter control solutions and daily prompts that make it simple and fun to declutter and spring clean your home. 

It's About Time: This time management workshop shows you how to get control of your calendar and to-do list so you can have more fun and get more done.

Organize Your Kitchen Video Workshop: If your kitchen leaves you craving something more, then this is the workshop for you! In our first ever VIDEO workshop, you won’t just learn how to organize your kitchen—you’ll see the process in action as I invite you into my kitchen organizing project. The videos are segmented into short viewing sessions so you can stop and apply the concepts in your own kitchen! Whether your kitchen needs a simple organizing tweak, or a complete overhaul, this workshop is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Before we get into the details about how to enter the giveaway, here a few quick tips to help you declutter and organize your jewelry.

Jewelry Organizing Tips:

Step 1:  Pare down. Jewelry is one of those things that can get overlooked when decluttering. It’s small and often valuable, so it doesn’t seem like there’d be much clutter lurking in your jewelry box. But, if you haven’t recently looked at your jewelry with an eye for decluttering, then you may be surprised by what you find. Our taste in jewelry, just like our taste in anything else, changes with time. And that’s one of the ways clutter happens—when our tastes change but we don’t edit our stuff to reflect this.

A while back I participated in one of my online workshops daily action challenges and decluttered my own jewelry box. It had been a while—a long while—and there was definitely some low hanging fruit hanging out in that box! So, before you change how you organize or store your jewelry, declutter. Let go of the pieces that no longer suit your taste or feel like who you are today.


Step 2:  Decide on an organizing scheme.  You could organize your jewelry by type (necklaces together, rings together, earrings together, etc.) or you could organize by color or you could keep matching sets together. You might also decide to separate your fine jewelry from your costume jewelry. But knowing how you ultimately want to organize your jewelry will help with the next step:  selecting storage.


Step 3:  Select a storage solution for your jewelry. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when deciding how you want to store your jewelry. First, you’ll want to consider where you will keep this jewelry storage system. In other words, what space do you have available to store your jewelry? In my bedroom, for example, there is no wall space available for a hanging jewelry storage system. If there was, I would probably lean toward something like this shadow box. Delightful, right? But in my bedroom, my dresser is really the best place to store my jewelry, either on top in a jewelry box, or in the drawers using an organizer like these stackable jewelry trays.  (Jay got me a jewelry box as a gift many years ago—so my choice is pretty simple.)

But if your storage system isn’t working well for you, start by figuring out the overall location that works best for you first. Next, decide if you want to keep your jewelry out in the open so you can see it, or if you’d rather be able to hide it behind closed doors or drawers. This will help you narrow down your storage choices, and select the best choice for you! Remember, ideas abound on Jennifer’s pinboard and mine. And if you aren’t feeling crafty, the container store has some great options, too.


How to Enter for a Chance to Win a Spot in an Upcoming Simplify 101 Online Workshop:

1) Email a photo of your own jewelry organizing system or solution to jennifer at simplify 101 dot com. Your submission must be an original photo taken by you of your own jewelry organizing system. The winner will be selected at random, and if we see some super unique or creative ideas, we may just post them in an upcoming blog post. (So you could see your jewelry organizing ideas featured here.)


2) Post a link to your blog or website showing your photos of your jewelry organizing solution. 


Submission deadline is next Friday, March 16, 2012 at noon central time. You’ve got a week to declutter, get organized and if you want—get crafty! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Happy organizing!


** comments are now closed. thanks for entering! **

March 07, 2012

Jewelry Organizing Solutions

Where and how do you store your jewelry? Mine is in my closet. And right now, I am semi-obsessed with jewelry organization! I am sure my latest obsession is partly because I’m immersed in in my closet reorganization project, and partly because of the amazing ideas I see on Pinterest! I seriously have amassed such fun and functional jewelry organizing pins that it has been really hard for me to figure out which option I wanted to do! Check out my pin board, and Aby has a great collection of pins, too!


Aby often suggests jewelry tray organizers to clients, and these are great because they can be stacked on a shelf or placed inside a drawer. You can get as many as you need, so it’s a very customizable solution. But she also stresses that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and people who are more visual (like me) need to see what they’ve got.


Jewelry storage also depends largely on the type of jewelry collection you have. Fine jewelry, costume jewelry, earrings, cocktail rings, bangles... I seem to have a little of everything, but mostly I have a large collection of necklaces. A few years ago, I got frustrated at the lack of space and functional design of jewelry boxes. (Why does the height never match the length of an actual necklace? Should I honestly only have 4 necklaces?) I also wanted to be able to easily see what I had. So I whipped up two of these babies.



I cut squares of foam board, covered them with fabric, poked in small hooks, and strung picture wires on the back to hang them with. It was easy, cheap, and accomplished what I needed. But my collection has outgrown these, and now with my closet re-do, I have more wall space to play with.


So, will I go with the clever idea of silverware drawer organizers mounted on the wall? A framed, fabric-covered peg board? Shower rod with s-hooks? Repurposed rake? Oh, the possibilities! Though it was hard to choose just one, I have started a new, "pinspired" jewelry hanger. It’s not ready for the reveal yet, but I promise to show it off when it’s all done. I’m pretty excited about it!


Do you have jewelry storage solutions you love? Please tell us about it in the comments, or link to pins of what you have created and/or love.


Happy Organizing!

Jens signature black

March 06, 2012

Organize Your Closet Giveaway Winner + Coupon Code

Simplify101-organize-your-closetGraveyard, holding cell, landmine, black hole, dumping ground, disaster... those were words some of you used to describe your closets in last week's Freebie Friday giveaway! That doesn't sound good, friends. Luckily, we've got this handy dandy coupon code for you to use towards the Organize Your Closet online workshop! Not only can you whip those closets into shape, but you can do so while saving 15%. Sweet! To take advantage of this offer, enter CLOSET12 during checkout. This coupon is good through March 9, 2012 and may not be combined with any other offers.


And now for our winner... Congratulations to Judy, who commented, "My closet is small and cramped so takes time to find anything. Time wasted looking for things to wear. I need help! Love your tweets.  ;)" Judy, watch your email for details on getting enrolled!


Thanks so much to everyone who entered this giveaway. We always enjoy reading your comments and hope to see many of you in the workshop!


March 05, 2012

Monday Check In!

Here’s the place to share your updates from the past weekend! Hope you had a great one! Here’s my update. 


Play List

  • Go to Dewey’s. Dewey’s did not disappoint. Jay and I had a great time, and the food was delicious! We’ll definitely be going back…a lot. :)
  • Basketball, basketball, basketball. That really should have read basketball, basketball, basketball, basketball, basketball, basketball. That’s right, six games this weekend my friends. So check, check, check, check, check, check! ;)
  • Run. Check!  
  • Organize with my friend Janine. Check! It was so fun…and we made great progress on my office closet.  


To Finish

  • Laundry. Check! The hampers are empty once again. Hooray!
  • Finish organizing my office closet. Almost a check on this one. I have a few little things to finish up…but I’m getting there. 

So there’s my update! Can’t wait to hear yours… 


Have a happy Monday!


March 02, 2012

Freebie Friday: Organize Your Closet Online Workshop

Oh yes, oh yes… It’s Freebie Friday time plus a coupon code, friends! Who wants a spot in our upcoming Organize Your Closet online workshop?? If you’re looking for quick and simple ways to transform your closet into an organized and supremely functional space, this is the workshop for you! In just two short weeks, you’ll learn how to completely organize your closet, making it easy to find and access all your favorite clothes. You’ll get the help and guidance of a professional organizer and the support of our amazing online workshop forum. The workshop begins March 13, 2012, and you can view the workshop syllabus here.  Isn’t it time to say goodbye to jumbled piles of shoes, clothes and purses, and say hello to closet organizing bliss?


All our readers can get 15% off enrollment in the Organize Your Closet workshop. To take advantage of this offer, enter CLOSET12 during checkout. This coupon is good through March 9, 2012 and may not be combined with any other offers.


One lucky reader will win a spot in Organize Your Closet! Here's how to enter:

1) Leave a comment sharing why you need to organize your closet.

2) For a second chance to win, mention this giveaway post with a link on Twitter. Then, leave a comment telling me where you mentioned this giveaway.

Simplify101-organize-your-closet3) For a third chance to win, pin this Organize Your Closet graphic on Pinterest. Then, leave another comment telling me you did.

Post your comment by Monday, March 5 at 9 PM US CST. Winner will be selected at random and notified by email!

***comments are now closed. thanks for entering.***

The Final Finish It Friday…for a while anyway

Hello my Finish It Friday friends. I hope you all had a fantastic week. Before we get to sharing our lists for the week, I wanted to let you all know that it’s time for me to take a break from Finish It Friday. My weekends are getting very basketball heavy…which means I need to shift even more of my to-do list to weeknights…which means there isn’t all that much to talk about in my Finish It Friday posts. The upside to all of this is that this will give us more space for Freebie Fridays and other fun blog posts that Jennifer and I have been dreaming up. So, while I know some of you are going to be disappointed in this decision, it is my hope that you’ll enjoy the new stuff we’re cooking up.


Alright…onto my list!


Checklist-copyright-simplify101Play List

  • Go to Dewey’s. Okay my local friends, this is big news. Have you heard? Dewey’s Pizza is coming to Edwardsville! And when I say excited, I mean I’m a bit nuts over this news. I have been driving by the building for the past couple of months, just to check on progress. Yep, I’ve got a thing for Dewey’s. If you haven’t eaten at Dewey’s before (they have a couple of locations in St. Louis), then you're going to be in for a big treat. The doors open to the public on March 5th, but thanks to Jennifer we got a friends and family reservation this weekend. Hooray! I can’t wait. I can't wait! I can't wait!
  • Basketball, basketball, basketball.
  • Run. Not sure how I will fit this in...but I need a run. :)
  • Organize with my friend Janine. So fun—this time Janine is coming to my house to do some organizing. Hooray!


To Finish

  • Laundry. It just wouldn’t be Finish It Friday without some laundry discussion, right? This week, the hampers are quite full on Friday, even though I did quite a few loads during the week. Guess it’s still the backlog from being gone so much last weekend.  
  • Finish organizing my office closet. Yes, this is double dipping on my to-do list…but it’s fun and something I want to finish up this weekend and definitely the main thing I will be doing during my pockets of free time.


Okay friends…now it’s your turn. What’s on your to-do list this weekend? Thanks so much for sharing. I hope you have a fantastic weekend!


March 01, 2012

One Week Closer to Organized Closet Bliss

Woohoo! I am so excited to update you all on the progress I have made in my closet. I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel after just one week! Now, keep in mind that I am not finished! And I am OK with that, because I have much progress to share and celebrate. The first thing I want to share with you is this.



I know, it’s a disaster, right? But, the good news is that piles like this always mean that progress is underway! More good news is that those piles aren’t there anymore. In fact, they were only there for 1 day until I could get things off to the donation center. I feel so much lighter just seeing how much I was able to get rid of! And that isn’t even all of it. Take a look at this pile of hangers – further proof of my pruning.




Before I began this process, I wondered just how much I was actually going to get rid of because I have learned how to prune my wardrobe on an ongoing basis, but Aby’s Organize Your Closet workshop process and worksheets have been amazing at helping me realize exactly what and how much I need. I have made some tough decisions, including getting rid of these items that I love, love, love.




I came to terms with letting them go because they simply don’t fit my body, lifestyle or needs right now (and honestly never have.) I found dear sweet friends to provide good homes for them, and that actually made letting them go feel great. I like giving things to people I love! After I got down to just the clothes I am keeping, I swapped out all my mismatched hangers. And now, let’s take a look at my main clothing rack. Ahhhh, so much better!




Along the way, it’s been awesome to have access to Aby when I run into stumbling blocks. Like right now, for example, I’m at a crossroads. I could do some simple, inexpensive things to make the space a lot more inspiring and functional. Or, I could opt for a new closet organizing system and really maximize the functionality. I have thoughts and ideas, as does my husband, but being able to access a professional organizer to help when I get stuck is just incredible. Tune in next week... hopefully I will have made a decision by then! And either way, I will most certainly have some great progress to report.


Happy Organizing!

Jens signature black


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