The Ultimate Linen Closet Organization Guide

As a professional home stager, I love great organization techniques. I really wish that I used more of them in my own home, but I’m getting better. Someday maybe I’ll become Alejandra, but probably not. That said, when selling, after we reduce our closets to the minimum that we really need to keep in there, they need to be extremely organized. There are many reasons for keeping well organized closets, most of which end up revolving around the idea that you will in fact get more for your home. It’s a psychological game, one that you really want to win.

Organizing a small linen closet

This is a helpful video from Alejandra on organizing a small linen closet. I love the ideas of keeping your sheets in baskets with small labels on them so that you always know the size and the messy look of the fitted sheet doesn’t muddy up an otherwise beautiful space.

While it may seem like spending this kind of time organizing a linen closet is a waste of time when you are selling your home and there is so much to do, the truth is that once buyers are inside the home, white glove clean and well organized will do more for receiving good offers than almost any other activity.

How to perfectly fold your towels

Whenever you look through Pinterest, Houzz, or any other photo gallery of beautiful bathrooms and laundry rooms, you’ll find stacks of beautifully folded, luxurious towels. There isn’t much magic here, but there is a fair bit of psychology. Learn what the folded towel really says to home buyers, then use the video below to help you create it.

How to fold the perfect fitted sheet

Now that you’ve got a plan for organizing your linen closet and you know how to fold the perfect towel, it’s time to learn how to fold the perfect fitted sheet. Even if you are going to store it in a basket, it’s still a neat trick to learn (especially if you are a home stager and may have to fold several of these on a daily basis).

There, now you know how to have the best looking linen closet of any other home potential buyers will use. If I could make a suggestion though, if your home isn’t for sale, you should start implementing these techniques now. One, you’ll actually get to enjoy how great your spaces look before you sell your home and two, you’ll have less to do when the time comes.

Learn more closet organization tips.

Home Staging for Living in a Small Space: Think Multipurpose

Living in a small space can take some real planning. A Home Staging and Redesign professional may be able to help you create a good organizational and space plan. Great multipurpose furniture may also be of significant help.

Multipurpose furniture to make small spaces more functional

When purchasing home staging inventory, it is important to be sure that many of our pieces are neutral and multifunctional. Side tables must also be able to be used as night stands. Dressers should provide dual function as buffets or sofa tables. We’ve even had smaller dressers function as night stands in very small bedrooms. It may be a good idea for those living in small spaces to take a page out of our book and look for furniture with multi-purpose design.

Resource Furniture, a New York based furniture company has created some intriguing solutions.

Organization can only be effective when it’s easy to keep up

The key to living in a small space is organization. I love some of the storage solutions offered by Resource Furniture. The idea of having bunk beds close into 18″ or less of space, while never even having to clean off your desk to pull them out is phenomenal. The problem with most murphy beds, or convertable furniture is that you have so much to do to ready the space that they lack function.

Function and ease of keeping a space organized is the only way to keep an organized space sustainable. When you have too many moving parts or hoops to jump through, stacks begin to appear and small spaces eventually becomes a mess again.

When purchasing organizational tools, or furniture with multipurpose or built in storage, consider whether you’ll easily be able to access whatever you need without having to do a lot of other things first. It’s easy to build in tables that attach to the wall and fold out of the way, but having one that levels down the the floor, under the bed without having to clear it off first, means you’ll probably actually use it. Having a storage closet that rotates into the wall, behind the bed, means that you haven’t lost the storage wall from the bed.

I have a murphy bed in my home, but we have to move half the room around to get to it. That’s not effective and in the 2 years we’ve lived in our home, we’ve always pulled out an air mattress when we’ve had company. 

living in a small space functional furniture

Home staging for living in a small space.

Multipurpose items are good purchases for both home stagers and those living in small spaces, or in need of multi-functional rooms. Pay careful attention to not only function, but whether or not you’ll be able to regularly maintain access and ease of use.

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What do those symbols and pictures mean on the laundry label

Have you seen the new laundry labels? They are full of symbols and pictures with nothing to tell you what they mean. Tonight my husband handed me a new pair of bike shorts and asked me what they meant. (He was going to wash his own stuff…. whoa!) I stared at the symbols and could only figure out two of them. What exactly is an envelope looking symbol or a circle with an x through it supposed to mean when it comes to laundry?

Laundry Symbols and Photo on Labels

Thankfully Google Search isn’t far behind and someone else already has done this same query. (Probably lots of them given how quickly it came up in the auto-fill search bar.) So, in case you haven’t seen the new laundry label symbols, you may want to do what I’m doing it and pin it under your Household Ideas board.

symbols and pictures on laundry labels

What do the new laundry symbols mean anyway

Thankfully I was able to determine from the new laundry symbols that my husband’s bike shorts needed to be washed in cold water, line dried (that was the envelope looking picture), do not iron, do not bleach, and do not dryclean. Too bad almost none of that made sense with out a laundry symbol decoder!

Home Staging for Living: Organizing Your Home Infographic

Home Staging isn’t just for home selling. Often when professional stagers leave a property, sellers wonder why they didn’t live like this all along. If you want to add a touch of home staging for living, this infographic by Greatist my be of great help.

Expanding on Home Staging for Living Tips from the infographic

Following the organizing infographic below will surely start to get things uncluttered. Here are some tips that I use.

how to be an organized professional home stager

Organizing computer files how you’ll look for them

Organizing your computer files can be a daunting task. The infographic below recommends that you organize your files on your computer. Often the best way to do this is to consider how you think about them. Is the item related to your home, office or child’s school? Begin by labeling your digital folders accordingly.

Subfolders come next. In your “Home” folder, you may have subcategories like, warranties, mortgage docs and decor ideas.

Be sure to rename the documents or files to what you’ll be able to remember at a glance. Don’t try to get clever. Think, “If I can’t remember this file location, what will I look for?” It’s kind of like searching. How do you google? Will you try to look for Main St lease when you are trying to find your last rental agreement, only to find out that it was listed as 2012 Rental Agreement Main St? Consider how your mind works when discussing them and name them that.

Finally, consider keeping your files in a cloud instead of your hard drive. Not only will you feel less stressed when a computer crashes or a hard drive fails, but you’ll usually be able to access it from other new devices and ultimately save hours when you upgrade to the latest and greatest technology.

Digital file management can actually be one of the hardest tasks because we often don’t feel in control of where the files are downloaded (usually to the download file). Taking a few minutes a week to organize this will keep it manageable  It’s just like keeping anything else in your home neat and tidy. It’s usually best not to wait until everything is a complete mess before you clean it up.

{keep reading, there is more below the infographic…}


More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

Home Staging for living: Move out to move in

One of my best tips, which covers every area in the organizing your home infographic, is to make a promise to get rid of something in your home every time you bring something in. When purchasing a pair of new shoes, consider which old pair you will get rid of first. It may not just save your closet space, but could also save you some money.

Remember to go vertical in your home organization. There are tons of organizers  you can hang behind the bathroom curtain, behind doors, so on and so forth. Figure out how you can best use your space and don’t be afraid to think out of the box.

Spend the money on boxes, bins, and totes. Believe it or not, you will be able to do more with the space if you spend some money on organization tools. You’ll also enjoy your space more. Here are more ideas on how to organize your home.

Organization is all about how you’ll look for it later

Home Staging helps home buyers feel a connection to the property they are viewing. Home Staging for Living is all about creating a connection to the home you live in. Organization will help you reduce stress and often times save money. (You’ll replace things that you already own less frequently because you’ll know where it is, or you may buy less because you know that your space is already well organized and you don’t want to throw off the balance.) Why wait until you sell to enjoy the beauty and lifestyle of your home? Organize your home and find out what home staging for living is really all about.

Home Staging Training: Organizing your Digital Files and Photos

What you may not have learned in your home staging training class is how to run the day to day tasks of your business. Sure, you found out how to discuss the consultations with your customers, you learned how to price your jobs properly to earn a profit, but did you learn how to actually function inside your business?

Here are some organizational tips that I learned over time that I wish I had known from the beginning.

Organizing your digital files, what they didn’t teach you in home staging training

Status of the job – When organizing your home staging digital files, I recommend that you keep a “Current bids”, “Active Staging Jobs”, and “Past Staging Jobs”. As you move through the process in each job, you’ll know exactly where to find your documents.

how to organize your home staging digital filesOrganizing by location, not address – Consider labeling the files by SUBDIVISION or TOWN, then STREET name, HOUSE number . Naming your photo Golf Club Plantation, Main St, 122 will help you locate your information much more quickly. Over the years it will also help you see which homes you have done in given areas, helping you more specifically market to them. Inside of each file, you should also have sub-folders that include, “photos” and “contract documents”. Also, be sure to include your statistics in the general file for that home so you’ll have quick access to it later. You can easily do this by using, “Notepad”, or the equivalent, available on most computers.

Keeping room by room portfolio – I recommend that you have an additional photo folder for your best portfolio photos broken down by room. This will help you when you are ready to find that bathroom before and after set four years from now, but you don’t recall the street address.

By using these techniques, you’ll find as your business grows and develops that you’ll be able to access information much more quickly. I hope that this blog, Home Staging Training: Organizing your Digital Files, will help you stay more organized allowing you time to accomplish more in your day.

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Yes, Size Matters, How to Fake it and Making up in the Bedroom.

Home Staging in the bedroom can be one of the most important decisions a seller can make. The bedroom is a wrought with opportunities for making a home feel luxurious and inviting. When selling your home, getting it right here is a must.

how to create the perfect bedroom when selling your home

Nothing says more about the homeowner than what happens in the bedroom

You can infer a lot of things, but the truth is that for most people, the bedroom is a sacred space. Most of us even feel awkward walking into someone else’s bedroom. It’s the room we are the most vulnerable. It’s the room where we most often close the door because people are in our home – effectively keeping them out of our private business. When selling your home, it is not only one of the most important rooms for home buyers, but it is the room that most home sellers are least likely to want to change anything in.

Still a few changes will make all the difference in the world and the place this begins is by making the focal point of the room – which is almost always the bed – as inviting and luxurious as possible. The video below by Plano Texas Home Stager (and SAR Instructor) Karen Otto, demonstrates how easy it is to create the perfect luxurious bed. {Videos by Lance Selgo of Unique Exposure Photography}

Home Staging a Vacant Bedroom

While personally I recommend to all of my homeowners that even in vacant (empty) homes that the master bedroom have a real bed (sometimes we’ll use two boxsprings to save on the budget), blow up beds can be a good option for additional bedroom. Many home stagers will tell you that the other bedrooms aren’t important but it really depends on the room size and potential buyer. The average buyer typically feels that beds are significantly larger than they are. Not having a bed in a bedroom may mean that they’ll think the room is too small for what needs to go in there. By choosing the correct bed size, and showcasing it beautifully, you are more likely to create a quick purchase for your customer.

My home staging company actually pulled records and did a study after we began offering full service staging in all rooms of the home vs only the primary rooms. (Our previous contracts only included living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen, master bedroom, and master bath.) What we found was that our statistics for homes that had the entire home staged was dramatically better than when we only staged the main rooms.

Keeping the budget to an affordable level, not to mention storage requirements for many home stagers, means getting creative. Again, Karen Otto showcases how to fake it in the bedroom with blow up beds and file boxes.

How big is it? Why size does matter in the bedroom.

When you are trying to create a luxurious bedroom, there is nothing worse than ill fitting linens. When you are trying to prepare for a home staging job, there is nothing worse than going through all your linens trying to figure out what size they are. I’m not quite sure why manufacturers sell them by twin, full, queen, and king, only to turn around and only add the dimensions, not the name to their sewn in tags. While we’ve tried to get into the habit of taking a sharpie marker to each and every one and labeling with a T, F, Q, or K, sometimes they escape us. When they do, or when there isn’t a tag anywhere to be found. It’s time to rely on this measurement chart.

Bed measurements Fitted sheet Flat sheet Duvet/quilt cover Comforters
37.5 in × 74.5 in (95 cm × 189 cm)
39” x 76” x 8”
(99 x 193 x 20 cm)
72” x 102”
(182 x 259 cm)
59” x 79”
(150 x 201 cm)
80” x 106”
(203 x 269 cm)
54 in × 75 in (137 cm × 191 cm)
54” x 76” x 8”
(137 x 193 x 20 cm)
87” x 102”
(221 x 259 cm)
79” x 79”
(201 x 201 cm)
100” x 106”
(254 x 269 cm)
60 in × 80 in (152 cm × 203 cm)
60” x 80” x 8”
(152 x 203 x 20 cm)
105” x 110”
(267 x 279 cm)
88” x 86”
(224 x 218 cm)
106” x 106”
(269 x 269 cm)
76 in × 80 in (193 cm × 203 cm)
76” x 80” x 8”
(193 x 203 x 20 cm)
110” x 114”
(279 x 290 cm)
102” x 86”
(259 x 218 cm)
112” x 106”
(284 x 269 cm)
California King
72 in × 84 in (183 cm × 213 cm)
73” x 85” x 8”
(185 x 216 x 20 cm)
110” x 114”
(279 x 290 cm)
102” x 86”
(259 x 218 cm)
114” x 106”
(290 x 269 cm)

What happens when it’s time to take the home staging inventory home?

We can avoid dealing with having to fold fitted sheets at home by simply washing the sheets and throwing them back on the bed, rather than exchanging sheet sets with the ones in the closet. When we are unstaging a home, we don’t have that luxury. It’s not uncommon to have to face the idea of having to fold five or six sets of sheets all in a minimal amount of time, then figuring out how to take the minimal storage possible – not to mention trying to keep wrinkles, that we’ll later have to steam out, to a minimum. Learning how to fold a fitted sheet, the right way, can really help with this daily task.

Don’t worry. It’s really not that hard to fold a fitted sheet. Check out this video by Jill Cooper at Doesn’t she make it look easy?

When things are working in the bedroom, everything is better

As you can see, making things work in the bedroom doesn’t have to be difficult. It is important, however. Because your bedroom says so much about you, it’s important that it only say positive things. It’s important that home buyers think that this room can say good things both to and about them. They need to feel like can be vulnerable here too.

Wonder what other room is talking about you behind your back? Wait until you find out what your closets are saying about you!

5 Things Your Home’s Closets Might be Telling Buyers

Did you know that your closets are speaking subliminally to potential home buyers? What they say to them can not only make a difference in whether they make an offer on your home, but what kind of offer they make on your home. It’s neither a mystery or a surprise to most people to find out that storage and closets are one of the most important features that home buyers pay attention to, despite the fact that it is rarely listed on the “must have” list they give to their real estate agent. What is a surprise to find out is what they are really seeing when they are looking at them.

What your home’s closets may be telling home buyers

1)  Your relationship is having problems and we can probably get this house cheap. One of the most disconcerting things I see in master bedroom closets is when either his or her clothes have moved on to another bedroom. Sure, it’s not that big of a deal. He travels all the time so keeping his stuff in the spare room doesn’t seem like a big deal. Maybe she snores and has decided to sleep in the other room. It doesn’t mean the marriage is falling apart. But this is exactly how home buyers interpret things.

Never sell a home without his and her clothes in the master bedroom closets. When selling your home, even if you are having marriage difficulty, in order to maximize your advantage in selling your home, you simply MUST have both his and her clothing in the master bedroom closets.

2) This home is too small for these people. It’s probably too small for us too. Don’t pretend that you don’t stand in your closet on a regular basis, frustrated that you just don’t have more room. I see it, and so do buyers, even if you want to deny it. The fact that closets are stuffed together, shelves are full, and there is stuff all over the floor, making walking in the closet impossible, shows me clearly that this is not big enough for you.

I, as a buyer, could decide that you simply have too much stuff, or that you are disorganized, but that’s never what happens. Instead, I decide that you don’t have enough storage space, or surely you wouldn’t have this problem. If you can’t get your stuff to fit, how will I? I mean I’m buying this home to move up, that will mean I’ll want more stuff too.

One of the worst things that home owners can do when selling their home is have unorganized and packed closets.

3) There’s no place in this home to store my luggage & Christmas decor. Yes, I know that you have an attic, a coat closet, a linen closet, and even great storage space in your garage, but instead you insist in storing your extra, seldom-used items in the 4th bedroom closet. You see, I have three kids and when I put my kid’s stuff in that closet then where will I put these extra things? This is a four bedroom home and it must look like one. Even if you use that extra bedroom as a home office or guest suite, then you need to remember that home buyers will be looking at this space possibly to live in everyday. All of that extra stuff, they probably have too, but if this is where you store it, then they’ll think they don’t have a place to store it.

Put yourself in the mindset of a home buyer that needs to use every room in the home.

4) You aren’t good with your finances. How many boxes of receipts, taxes, and misc paperwork do you have in your closets that is pouring out onto shelves and the floor? Do you have stacks of envelopes and credit card statements in piles on your shelves? First of all, you should know that this is like looking at a car accident. No matter how much I know I shouldn’t look, it’s none of my business, my eyes also can’t seem to divert themselves from trying to determine how big your bank account statement, or credit card balances are. Can, in a glance, I determine that you are past due on your bills?

Get all private and confidential information away from the view of potential home buyers. If you must keep these handy, then buy some nice bins to put them in and simply pull the bin down when you are ready to do your bills.

And now for some good news…..

what your homes closet says when you are selling5) If I buy this home I could live like Oprah. What? You don’t think closets can say that? What if they looked like this photo? I’ll just bet that your closet isn’t saying that. What if your closets really could feel like Oprah Winfrey’s closet? Do you think that home buyers might get more excited about the idea of living here? Would they maybe pay more for your home?

Don’t discount the importance of making your home look like what home buyers are seeing on Pinterest, Houzz, HGTV, and other online magazines. There is a huge opportunity for making your home memorable and more valuable here.

Make your closets a reason to buy your home

This gorgeous closet may be completely unrealistic for many people. I know that I personally couldn’t live like this. Let’s face it. There are only about six shirts seven jackets, and seven pairs of pants/skirts hung in this. That’s only a week’s worth of clothes. I have more than that and wear it regularly. A beautifully organized closet doesn’t have to mean being unrealistic though.

Think about retail when organizing your closets

I tell my home sellers to think of their favorite retail stores (so long as they aren’t discount stores). What do stores like Dillards, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s do to merchandise their goods?

1) Separate clothing by style for an organized closet. Group your clothing by similar style. Hang dresses together. Hang pants together. hang tank tops together, etc. Once they are grouped together they’ll automatically feel more organized.

2) Organize your closets by color. Once your clothing is grouped by clothing type, group it by color. In retail we call this color blocking. I’ll never forget my retail beginnings as a 16  year old working at Lerners. Every night, I had to organize the clearance racks by color, then size. The fact is that even a hodge podge rack of different styles and sizes looks better once it is color blocked.

3) Use the same hangers throughout your closet. Not to sound like Mommy Dearest, but NO MORE WIRE HANGERS! I don’t care that they are free from the dry cleaners. Get them out of your closet when you are selling. If your home does not have a luxury price tag, then you can get away with white plastic hangers throughout your closet. If your home does have a luxury price tag, then invest in wooden or velvet slimline hangers. Either way, make sure they are all the same – on both his and her side of the closet. You’ll be shocked at what a difference this makes.

4) Nothing should be on the floor of your closet. Maybe you can get away with shoes on the floor, if they are really organized, but the truth is that if you invest in shoe racks to organize  them, you’ll instantly gain equity in buyer’s eyes – even though you are taking them with you. Seriously… I’m not kidding.

No matter what, get those boxes off the floor. When selling your home, closets are not the right place for storage.

5) Organize loose items in bins, baskets and boxes. Don’t leave rows of folded t-shirts and sweaters. Go spend $50 on bins, baskets, or boxes and watch how much more organized the space suddenly looks. Sure, it’s a little bit more work to get ready in the morning because you can’t instantly find your favorite Old Navy t-shirt but it’s OK. Your home will sell faster and for more money because of it.

So now you know what your home might be telling buyers and you know how to make these subliminal messages work for you rather than against you. What’s great, is that you don’t have to wait until you are selling to put some of these into action. Try it and I’ll bet you find that you actually love your closet more…. maybe you really can live like Oprah in your own home.


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When home staging experience works against you…

Starting a new home staging company with the experience of previously starting a successful one should give me an edge. Most of the time it does. Still, sometimes, what I know from before works against me. It is really difficult to go from having a large home staging company with a nearly 4000 sqft warehouse, staff members, a team of stagers, and nearly $750,000 in inventory at my fingertips to two 10×25 storage units, one part time team member, and only a few homes of inventory.

home staging inventory managementI have been getting busy, and recently staged an 8000 sqft, $1.375M home in Jacksonville. I have a builder model set up in World Golf Village. I have a few smaller individually owned homes staged. I’m currently working on another builder model and I have two others to do by the end of January.

This is where the trouble begins.

When home staging meets chaos, an inventory nightmare

Did I mention that I only have 2 10×25 storage units? I’ve been gathering inventory for 3 models in these units, plus what I had leftover from my sale of First Impressions (my previous staging company – I kept some of the inventory). I have been refinishing pieces to save on budget as well as having some unique pieces that you can’t just pick up anywhere.

Thursday was the day we were supposed to move everything into the home. Of course this meant pulling apart both of these units, nearly pulling everything out of them to get to the pieces that were for this home, not the other two models we are also buying for. Then, because the units were stuffed to overflowing, I had to have the movers come by my home to pick up items that were being stored in my garage, my dining room, and living room. Because they’ve been piling up here, needless to say the chaos extends where I live also.

A move that should have been two hours, now ran to nearly four. Had I not known how quickly this should be done, with a well organized warehouse, this stress would not have started my frustration levels.

When home staging chaos costs time and money

jacksonville home staging inventoryDisorganization costs time. Time is money in business. As an experienced home stager, one of the worst experiences for me is wasting time because I simply can’t figure out what is available and where it is. In our old warehouse, we had sections where we could find everything. There was a wall of pillows, a mezzanine of accessories, rows of chairs, a packing zone and so on.

For me, a home staging job that should have taken one day seemed to spread out into 3 days, all because of disorganization. There was a lot of shopping needing to be done in the last two days. Shopping that I didn’t know about until after everything was into the home. I have no doubt that if I had everything organized prior to it getting into the home, and had been able to see everything, all laid out, that I would have better known what I didn’t have.

Home Staging in a box

You can see in the photo of our previous warehouse, that everything was where you could see it. When working out of a storage unit, in order to make the most of the space, everything is in boxes. Staging out of a box is just not easy. It’s another time waster. You either opt to just take all of the boxes to the stage (which is what I did) or you have to unpack and repack everything. Either way, as an experienced home stager, I know that there is a better way.

While an inventory management program, like MyDarby, helps you to know what’s there. Without a very large space, you still can’t see all of it. You just can’t put it all out. Wasted time = wasted resources = wasted money.

What I’ve learned

I’ve had a smaller warehouse because I was trying to save money by not diving into a larger space. I didn’t want to immediately outgrow my warehouse by growing too quickly and create another problem. Of course what I’m really finding out is that the money that I’m “saving” is costing me far more in the way of resources. I may spend more money on inventory pieces because I can’t find it or don’t have access to it. I’m wasting time, both mine, and the movers (and at $125/hr that’s definitely money).

A bigger, well organized space is worth the money. I can see a new warehouse in my future. Goodbye home staging chaos.

Closet Organization: How to fold a fitted sheet.

Closet Organization: How to fold a fitted sheet.

Want to know how to fold the perfect fitted sheet, so that your closets are tidy and organized? Elena Lai Etcheverry from Charity Wings shows just how easy it is to make it look just like it came out of the package, even if it just came out of the dryer.

The trick, of course, is finding the corners, and giving yourself enough room to move around.

Thank you for reading… Closet Organization: How to fold a fitted sheet.

30 Day Organize Your Life Challenge! Let’s get started… Labeling

I’ve always struggled with being organized. In the last year, downsizing and moving to another state, I’m finding that it is becoming more and more important. As the real estate trend shows families are ditching the McMansions and opting for smaller digs, finding a way to store everything is becoming more and more popular. Our culture isn’t a “do without” society, rather we have to find a way to make it all fit.

For the next 30 days we’ll be asking you to take 5 minutes out of your schedule, each day, and organize one small area of your life. It may be a junk drawer, a closet, your glove compartment or refrigerator.  Pick what is important to you. If, let’s say, your garage is your big problem area, don’t freak out and try to do it all at once. Instead, pick a single shelf that you can work on that day, or work on one pile for 5 minutes. At the end of the month you’ll be surprised what you accomplished.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Each day, we’ll also provide tips by organizational experts and show off some really cool organizational tools that may help you.

Today’s topic: Labels

Labels can be an effective way of keeping you organized. It’s much easier to put things away when you actually know where they go.

“Out of sight, out of mind’ is not just a cliché, It’s a hard truth. The moment you put something away you risk forgetting where you put it and then spending hours searching. Consider labeling those bins in the garages, the boxes in your closet, the freezer bags in your fridge, the bins of kid’s toys and even the canisters in your baking cupboard so that next time you need to find something fast, you’ll know exactly where it is. A simple label today can save you a serious headache tomorrow!” Peter Walsh, 

Jen, at, is also offering a whole selection of free printables. This will make organizing a snap! In her photo above, she used printed labels that were laminated. If you want to know about Jen’s favorite storage containers, be sure to visit her blog.

After having my craft room organized I found that labels were the secret to not only getting more out of storage that I already had, but knowing exactly where to put new toys products.

I used a simple tag, created using my Sizzix big shot, but you could use a store bought one. Binding rings hold the tags on the buckets.

A label maker will also make this task, quick, fun and easy. There are a lot of brands out there but look for one that will allow you to vary the size of font. This will allow you to more easily fit longer titles on your labels.

Product of the day:

Overdoor Wall & Magazine Organizer – As Seen on Extreme Clutter with Peter Walsh

This is perfect in many rooms of the home, but particularly bathrooms & home offices. only $16.49 

• 600 denier polyester construction
• Deep pocket on bottom with 5 sections inside
• Mid-sized middle pocket for books
• 2 smaller top pockets for accessories
• 3 chrome hooks for hanging storage
• Easy over the door installation
• Mounting hooks included
• Color: Black

Size: 32″tall x 14″wide

Ready to organize your life? Let us know how you are doing… what you’ve been working on and feel free to share photos with us on your projects! We would love to see them.

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Tips on creating an organized home with Alejandro Costello & HGTV Clean Freaks

Having a beautifully organized home is becoming a popular home trend. It’s not enough for rooms that guests see to appear well designed and attractive, now we want spaces that are functional, beautiful and well organized. With such busy lives, productivity is a huge buzz word, even at home. Having a well organized home will provide just that.

HGTV’s Clean Freaks showcase one of the nation’s top home organizers – inside her home! Alejandro Costello shows off her favorite home organization tips, tools and practices.

Pantry Tips:

  • Use lazy-susans to store vinegar, oils, condiments, spices, etc
  • Use tiered shelves for canned goods
  • Dry goods should be stored in air tight containers
  • Use wipe board or chalk board stickers to clearly note what what items are stored
  • Use drawers for small items that aren’t easily contained on shelves (like pasta, nuts, chocolate chips)

Kitchen Cabinets:

  • Add a drawer divider to keep your silverware organizer from sliding back
  • Use double shelves to store more plates and bowls
  • Use sheet metal inside your cabinets for photos and notes – it keeps things clutter free
  • Store baking pans with vertical shelf dividers
  • Use lazy-susan to help organize your corner shelves

Organize your craft room & home office:

  • Peg boards are an efficient and cost effective way to organize
  • Consider using different color file folders for different types of documents to find & sort them easily
  • Use a vertical organizer to store gift wrap to keep them in good condition & easy to find
  • Sort small items in poly envelopes & hang using binder rings from the end of your shelves to keep them handy
  • Checklists and rewards can help you stay focused & organized
  • Use small trays in drawers to keep organized
  • Use one in one out rule to keep magazines and other similar items under control. When you bring one in, you must throw one out.

Closet organization:

  • Use jewelry trays to keep your smaller items organized
  • Hang a shower caddy in the bedroom closet to hold small items while hanging necklaces from the hooks below
  • Separate clothes by type and use clothes dividers to keep them separated
  • Color coded hanger snaps show at a glance what type of item it is
  • Use a bathroom towel rack to hang your scarves. They will hang nicely and be easy to pick out

Makeup, bathroom & laundry:

  • Use pocket shoe organizers for smaller items like hair accessories, makeup or hair products
  • Use magnetic organizers on inside of medicine cabinets to hang photos or other small items
  • For smaller spaces, choose a clothes valet to hang clothes to air dry or sort while doing laundry
  • Use a shower curtain liner with storage to save room & keep items handy
  • Use photo labels to show what’s stored in clear bins

Garage organization:

  • Use tackle boxes to separate small items like nails & screws
  • labels, labels, labels to keep things organized & visually appealing
  • Use small bungee cords to keep balls and loose items in place

For more tips, visit

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12 simple ideas to make your home & life easier

It is crazy how small and simple things can make our lives and our homes so much easier (and better). There are moments when you feel the light bulb really is flickering above your head. Seeing this {mock} infographic from Colby Almond today was one of them.

The last one really is the one where all I could think was, “Really? How did I not think of this before?” So simple and yet so amazing…. This one tip could save at least 30 minutes of my life, ever month.  Now I’m left thinking, “What else can I saran wrap?”

So… here you go, 12 simple ideas to make your home & life easier.


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Tips for Staging Multiple Model Homes – Organization and Preparation

This is actually Part 5 (the last!) in a series on Model Home Staging, so please be sure to read my previous posts before jumping into this one:

• Tips – Staging Model Units

• More Tips for Staging Model Homes

• Follow up on “More Tips for Staging Model Homes (Purchasing vs Renting Furniture)

and finally…

• Tips for Staging Multiple Model Homes – Part 1

Are you still there? Wow, that was a lot to digest! :) Ok, now for the stress-reduction techniques…

Consider using multiple rental companies (or purchasing the furniture)
If you are Staging more than 2 model units, AND you decide to rent your furniture versus purchase, you should definitely consider using more than one rental company.

I once Staged all 4 units in a condo conversion project, and at the time I had only one rental furniture supplier. Though I followed all my own advice aboutcolor palettes, style and room usage we were still very limited in terms of furniture choices (especially dining furniture) for a very small space. The rental company had only one extra-small dining table and one pub table that offered solutions for a small dining area. Thus we ended up repeating the pub table in 2 of the units, which I hated to do. If you find yourself struggling to make each unit different, look into a second rental company. For a job this big (more than 2 units) you can afford the second delivery fee and you should still make the minimums with each company. It will be worth it.

Another option is to purchase the furniture instead of renting it. This will solve the repeat furniture problem, but it may also mean a hassle in terms of storage and moving of the furniture.

Either way, give yourself some options.

I am all about efficiency. I never take more than 1 day to Stage a home. And I once Staged 3 units in one day for a modern loft building in Santa Monica (with a lot of help!). But I will admit that the time we had 4 units in one building, it took us 2 days. We Staged 2 per day and it worked out wonderfully (there were only 2 of us). But the only way I am able to be so efficient in my Staging is throughorganization and planning!

As I said in the last post, choosing a different color palette can help with organization. That’s because as you “shop your inventory” you can put all the accessories for the red & black unit in one set of boxes, and the items for the green unit in another set.

1) Label each box with the unit number of the home it’s for. Even if you would use the same types of accessories for kitchens and baths in all the units, make separate boxes for each unit and label them. This way, as you and your team load in, you will be able to tell without even opening them which boxes go to which unit.

2) Post your design board on the door of each unit. Now many of you may not create digital “design boards” for your Stagings, but I do one for every vacant job. On one 8.5″x11″ page, I compile digital photos of my furniture and art selection for each main room in the home. They not only give my clients a clear picture of what they’ll be getting, but they help me in my shopping/prep and Staging as well. Here’s an example.

Design Board

By taping this design board to the front door of the unit, the furniture delivery people can easily see which pieces go into which space. And it’s a great visual cue for anyone working on the project to get a quick overview of the Staging plan.

3) Schedule deliveries so they don’t all arrive at once.

If you’ve followed my advice about using multiple rental companies OR if you’ve purchased the furniture for your model rather than renting it, you may have several deliveries coming to the job site. Stagger the scheduling so that there’s no competition for elevator space or parking and so you canfocus on one delivery at a time, making sure things go where they need to go. You running around like a crazy person from room to room trying to remember which sofa goes in which unit is not going to help anyone (trust me, I’ve tried it!).

4) Hire help!

A good rule is to hire one person for each unit you’re Staging. Brief them on the furniture layout and Staging plan as soon as they arrive,and put them in charge of making sure every box that’s been pre-labeled for their unit gets into the space. They can also be responsible for staying in the unit while awaiting any deliveries. Let them unpack all the accessories and work on the kitchen and bathroom while they wait.

Trust me, you will be running around like a chicken with your head cut off regardless. It’s great to have someone whose sole focus is fulfilling your vision for each space.


If you read my earlier post on things to watch out for when Staging a model home, you already know the many things that can go wrong on Staging day. Make sure AHEAD OF TIME that you have water and power in each of the units, that all towel bars and mirrors have been properly installed and that each unit is clean before you arrive. Put it in your contract and check back a couple of days prior to the Staging date to verify that everything is ready to go. Don’t take their word for it! Get yourself or an assistant in the unit to confirm. You will have enough to worry about without these added stressors.

Ahhhhh, alas the end of the series. I hope you’ll find the information helpful!

Happy Staging!


Annie Pinsker-Brown | Stage to Sell
Owner & Principal Designer

“We get you to SOLD so you can get on with your life!”

Stage to Sell is the premier West Los Angeles Home Staging Company.

Owner & Principal Designer Annie Pinsker-Brown is an ASP Home Stager, a member of IAHSP (International Association of Home Staging Professionals), an affiliate member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors and a member of the Culver City and West LA Chambers of Commerce.

Annie has Staged LA homes for Bravo’s hit show “Million Dollar Listing” and TLC’s “Property Ladder.” She has also been featured in recent articles on Home Staging in Los Angeles Magazine, The New York TimesCostco Connection andFrontiers Magazine.

If you would like to see more of our Home Staging work, visit our website. There is an extensive gallery of before & after photos, as well as a list of our Staged properties currently on the market.

This is a copy of the original blog created at:

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