~Supportive Organizing Solutions~ 

Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely,
   "and go till you come to the end; then stop."

-Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland )

Lynne Maher


Start small

Begin with a small room, area, closet, or drawer.  Now look around. Which areas of the room need organizing? Now prioritize them one of two ways—

the most important - Tackling the most important will be more helpful in the end. the easiest - Tackling the easiest will make it easier to start.

Inquire why

This step is the most important.  Why is this area disorganized? When organizing a drawer or cabinet, take everything out. Think about the contents.  Why are they there? The answers will show you why it’s disorganized. One might think that “there isn’t enough space” would be an obvious reason, but space is a constant, and your stuff is variable.  It could be that you wrap gifts upstairs is in your bedroom, so all the wrapping paper and bows get stashed on your bedroom closet floor. Or perhaps you take off your shoes at the door, put others on later, then leave them at the door, so that area is cluttered with shoes all the time. Maybe you don’t remember what you have at home, so you re-buying things at the grocery or hardware store.  You need to know these things to know where they need to go back.

Make groups

Group like things with like things. If you are organizing your panty, for example, group all your soup together (and multiple cans of like kinds, such as tomato, together), all your flour together, all the candy together. 


Prepare to remove anything that's expired or unusable.  Along with this, identify anything that you are unlikely to use and put it in a donate box, the expired things in the trash, the items to give to friends in the “friends” box…etc.  Anything that needs to go someplace needs a separate box, bag, or pile.

Let go

Let go of the items above and throw out the expired and unusable items and donate the items to the food pantry or charity.  Let go of the items in the boxes and bags.  This is the very emotional part of the journey.  It’s OK - and be prepared to have feelings come to the surface.  I've had people cry, scream, throw things, even throw up.  The emotions that go along with downsizing can get intense and surprising.


As you put the remaining items back into place, remember that like things goes with like things. If you do not have room for all the remaining items, evaluate which are least important to you and donate them appropriately. Overfilling a space leads to disorganization, so do not overfill. 

That’s SOS’s SIMPLE method of organizing.  But lastly, be kind to yourself!  Organizing is not easy – that’s why there are Professional Organizers like myself who do it every day and are trained to help you through the process.


Time for a bit of technology today.  Part of being organized is keeping up with the latest hot ideas to organize your digital items and life.  This week I'm featuring "CUE".  An App from iTunes that combines all your messaging apps and calendar.  Running late?  Just hit a button and it sends an email to the participants a message!  Featured in Time.com, USATODAY, Bloomberg, Businessweek, and MIT Tech Review.                             


Have to keep your spices in a drawer or in a way that you can't see the front of the jars and you're constantly pulling them out one by one searching for the spice you want? Stop this by labeling thetop of each jar with the name of spice! You'll quickly be able to glace at what you need.  Then, if you're feeling really organized, put the spices together in alphabetical order.


 Need a way to keep your keys straight? Tired of searching for the right key? Don't want to spend money on expensive colored keys or key caps? Raid your nail polish and paint each head of the keys a different color! You'll never have to try key after key again!


Reverse-911 : This is a great service provided to us to alert us of emergencies in our area - it's all over the nation. The link below is for the Rochester, NY region. Whether it's a weather emergency or a shooting in an apartment complex, they can call you and let you know to stay inside, evacuate, any instructions. BUT you need to register your cell phone - your landline is already registered by the phone company. I urge everyone to do this! It could save your life.



Want to straighten up and organize all those plastic grocery bags you have stuffed under the counter? Here's a great tip how to do just that! And all you need is a tissue box! 
1) Pull the bag from each end.
2) Start to wrap one end around 2 fingers - like you're wrapping string or rope.
3) When you get to the end, tuck the end into the 'hole' where your fingers are. You should have a small ball of a plastic bag now.
4) Put the small ball into your empty tissue box!
5) Slide the tissue box neatly into any space.
Wa la! Neatly organized grocery bags! Be sure to only keep as many bags that will fit into the box. You don't need to keep all of them! All grocery stores take them back and some of them even pay you to reuse them!


How to organize / How to declutter – Here at Supportive Organizing Solutions, as a professional organizer, in addition to helping you organize and declutter,  I teach you how to organize.  One of the techniques I employ is my 6-step process I call the SIMPLE method.


Top 10 Reasons to Downsize

“Downsizing” seems to be the buzzword of the day.  Below are just some of the reasons my clients give me as a goal and a result of downsizing. 

  1. Having smaller quarters to take care of gives me energy for more important things.
  2. It’s easier to manage a smaller place and there’s no embarrassment when people visit.
  3. It’s a lot less expensive to keep up.
  4. My smaller home makes me feel younger.  In fact, I’m thinking of getting a pair of skinny jeans!
  5. I’m more open with my children and don’t hide stuff anymore.
  6. know my children will have an easier time when I pass.
  7. I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
  8. Do I miss dusting and cleaning all those extra rooms? Just like I miss having a root canal!
  9. When people come to visit, we do more things together.
  10. Supportive Organizing Solutions made downsizing so easy, I wonder why I didn’t call them sooner!2/18/13

Get those power cords under control and recycle at the same time! Use old bread bag ties labeled with the item the cord goes with - this works well when putting away cords also. Often I see clients with boxes and drawers full of cords to unknown electronics. Just clip them on and this will never happen again!


I will never do this to you!  And don't do it to yourself.  Make sure you know what you need before you go shopping for your organizing bins, baskets, and bags! Measure, measure, measure too!


Clever Storage Ideas 

Shower Hooks:
      Use S-shaped shower hooks to hang purses and other accessories on a clothes rod.  It keeps a mess off the closet floor.

Paper Towel Holder:
      Stack spools of ribbon on an upright paper tower holder.  Stack from largest to smallest and then tape the ends to keep the ends neat.  

Dish Rack:     
      Keep coloring and story books neat by stacking them where the plates go.  Then put crayons, pencils, and scissors where the utensils would go! 

Velcro Tape:
      Instead of spending beaucoup bucks on cord organizers for your computer and entertainment center, invest about $5.00 for a whole roll of Velcro tape.  It'll hold the cords out of sight, or hang a small hook and use a loop of Velcro if you have a bunch of cords that need to be hidden.  
                                                         (From Real Simple Magazine) 


More toilet paper roll ideas!  I got this one off of Pinterest.
(Check us out! http://pinterest.com/supportiveorg/).  Keep those cords under control and stored securely by wrapping them up in empty the empty tubes. 

It's the dreaded tax season, so I've put the document, "Conquering Paperwork," right up here at the top.  Organizing our paperwork is something we all struggle with this time of year.  You can download and print it here:

Download Here

We're on YouTube now!  Check out some Great Tips and Tricks demonstrated by Lynne!  

How the organizer stays organized:
                        Stay Organized with Notebooks

How to keep your keys straight:
                        Colorful Keys

Organize All Those Grocery Bags:
                         Grocery Bag Control

No More Wire Hangers!:
                          Slim Flocked Hangers

Supportive Organizing Solutions' YouTube Channel:

Click Here

Tips and Tricks from a Professional Organizer:

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~Tips & Tricks​​~