Packing & Unpacking Strategies That Won’t Stress You Out!

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Getting Organized, Organized Home


Today’s post comes from one of our SBO Partners, Jenna Nelson, founder of Top Shelf Organizing In Nashville, TN

Moving. Ugh. Doesn’t that word just make you cringe? I’ve moved 8 times since graduating from college in 2006 and 6 of those moves were to different states. At this point in my life I feel like a packing pro which is a skill that has come in handy with my organizing business. I love helping my clients get organized, and that includes people moving from one home to another.

I know packing can seem overwhelming when you look at your house as a whole, and if that’s how you approach it, it will be overwhelming. So don’t do that. Instead, look at one space at a time, even if it’s just a drawer in the bathroom, a shelf in the pantry or a section of your closet. Typically when moving you can’t pack up each room completely because there are always certain items you need to use as long as you are living in the home, but I guarantee there’s a lot you DON’T need during that time.

Here’s a list of items you can pack up immediately without affecting your daily life:

  • Out of season clothes and shoes
  • Extra bath towels and sheets
  • Rarely used bathroom items
  • Memorabilia
  • Personalized items such as pictures and diplomas
  • Handmade arts and craft items
  • Rarely used kitchen tools and appliances
  • Rarely used kitchen dishes, plates, utensils, glassware
  • Rarely used cooking and baking dishes
  • Extra kitchen hand towels and washcloths
  • Books and dvds that won’t be read or watched
  • “Guest” items stored in closets
  • Paperwork you don’t need access to

Listen to Jenna’s interview on This ORGANIZED Life

Another simple tip when moving – this is the BEST time to purge. When else are you going to have the chance to go through every space in your house? When are you going to MAKE time to go through every area of your house? Take advantage of packing and do a total purge/clean out of each space, getting rid of items you don’t need or want anymore. Why should they take up space in the moving boxes if you no longer use them? Bonus, and I know this sounds obvious, but the more you get rid of the less you have to pack and unpack.

When you pick up an item you aren’t sure you really need, ask yourself, “Do I want to find a place for this in my new home?” If you do, keep it. If you don’t, get rid of it. Don’t ask yourself, “Do I want to pack this item?” because there are some items that really aren’t fun to pack (I’m looking at you KitchenAid mixer) but you need them/use them, so getting rid of them isn’t an option.I know moving can seem completely overwhelming but hopefully these simple tips will help make the process a little easier.

For more organizing tips and inspiration, follow Top Shelf Organizing on Facebook at Top Shelf Organizing, Instagram at @topshelforganizing, and on twitter at @TSorganizing or visit her website

Growing Pains for Parents

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized

I often joke that I am dead inside because I don’t cry-like ever. I’ve always been more practical than emotional. I’m an ENTJ for all you Myers Briggs geeks out there.  Do I look back on facebook memories and think how cute my kids were, no doubt.  However, I was never the mom crying at the bus stop because my baby was going off to Kindergarten.

As my girls started hitting more milestones, I celebrated each accomplishment, as if I were checking an imaginary box in my head, like “yes! another parenting win!”  Whether it was potty training, riding the bus for the first time, going to middle school, starting high school, or learning to drive-I actually felt a sense of relief that I had gotten them one step closer to independence, relishing that my kids continue to display a sense of maturity and self-reliance.

I look around at many of my friends who are preparing to send their kids off to college this year or next, and they talk about wanting to stop time, and are sad-almost to the point of needing a Xanax or two.

I’m confused…Aren’t we supposed to raise great kids, so they grow up to be responsible young adults? Instead of  being sad, why not pat yourself on the back for a job well done and look forward to seeing what the world has in store for your kid as they embark on the next chapter of their lives?

Next year, when Zoe prepares to leave for college, will I be sad (maybe a little), because I don’t just love her, I LIKE her. I will miss seeing her smile and feeling her calming presence in our home each day, but my gratitude outweighs my sadness.  She is the best part of Josh and me, and has so much goodness to offer the world, that it would be selfish to want to keep that to myself.

I love my kids more than anything, and although I want to be a part of their life, I don’t need to be the center of it.  They are not my possession, but rather a gift that I was given for a short time, to help nurture and grow.

When Zoe was only 6 months old, Josh said the following comment that continues to resonate with me:

“Make sure you always have your own identity. Don’t allow our kids to define who you are, because one day they will grow up and not need you the way they once did, and when that happens, you will end up feeling lost and resentful.”

I’d like to believe that someday my girls will look back, not saying that my mom did everything for me, or my mom always told me I was the best (because I didn’t), but rather, my parents were loving, honest, trusting, and empowering. These are the characteristics that I hope they carry with them into adulthood.

5 Hot Closet Trends You Need Right Now

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Closet Organizing, Closets

Closets, we all have them and we all most certainly wish they could be better. Whether it’s storing more clothes or doing double-duty as a dressing room, we all want and expect more from the space. Thankfully, Organized Living is here to help with the five closet trends that are all about making life easier.


1. Adjustability. Moving your closet around to fit your needs is the latest craze. People love to change their closet to fit their needs – whether it’s adjusting a shelf to accommodate thick, folded sweaters for fall or lower your hanging to be able to grab clothes easily – homeowners are about it. And not only do homeowners want to adjust their closet system, they want to keep adding accessories to it.




2. His and Her Closets. Create perfect harmony with your significant other with his and her closets and never worry about invading each other’s space again. Personalize your space to be uniquely you. We’re seeing men deck out their space with sports memorabilia, transforming their closet into a ‘man cave’. Women are adding touches of serious glamour with chandeliers and wallpaper accents. If you don’t have two closets, divide the sides in your closet for a his side and a her side.


Listen to our interview here!


3. Matching Finishes. Homeowners want a finish in their closet and storage areas that reflect the aesthetic of the home. If you’re looking to brighten up your closet, we recommend a white finish or something with a fun texture. If you want to go classic, a dark finish will bring an effortless elegance to your closet. We don’t like to play favorites… but we can’t get enough of our freedomRail’s Snowdrift Live and Driftwood Live finishes.




4. Ditch the Dresser! Bedroom furniture sets with multiple dressers are so last year. Homeowners everywhere are nixing their dressers and opting for drawers and open shelving in the closet to store their wardrobe. Say goodbye to wasted space and hello to a minimalistic bedroom. Gone are the days you have to run around the room trying to find the perfect outfit and here to stay is the one-stop-shop your closet has become.




5. Maximizing Every Inch of Space. Homeowners are no longer messing around with wasted space. They want to take advantage of every available space; after all, storage is a premium! Closets have nooks and crannies that were going to waste, but not anymore. Homeowners want shelving that maximizes space by going wall-to-wall. No wasted space!



Home trends may come and go, but adjustable storage is here to stay. Finding the right storage system to accommodate your needs can be quite the task. Organized Living’s adjustable freedomRail closet system is up to the challenge. With unwavering strength and complete adjustability, you can count on freedomRail to withstand active daily use for years to come. Learn more about how freedomRail can meet all of your needs and exceed your expectations by visiting today.

*this is a sponsored post from our good friends at Organized Living, the preferred closet solution for Simply B Organized.

The Results are In!

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Garage Storage

As many of you know, we recently partnered with Organized Living to giveaway–YES, GIVEAWAY, a $750 garage organizing system, plus a FREE consultation with yours truly.  Why would we do this?  Well, aside from that fact that we LOVE our partners at Organized Living, we at Simply B Organized, WANT YOU to feel good about your home.

Did you know: 50% of homeowners rate their garage as the most disorganized room in the house, yet it’s the most frequently used space by all family members.

That is a crazy statistic.

The bigger question is WHY?  Why do we feel that it’s acceptable to use our garage as a dumping ground for everything from old furniture, to unused tools, and everything in between.  The reason is two-fold:

•Most Americans lack the strategy of knowing what to keep and what to purge, making the whole process stressful.

•45% of all Americans buy products that don’t solve their problems, actually adding to their clutter issues.

Organized Living has the products, and Simply B Organized has the strategy, so together we are a perfect fit.  We had 293 applicants submit entries via facebook, twitter, Instagram and After a random drawing, Mary, from Boston, MA was our big winner!

So where does that leave the rest of you?

Send an email  to within the next 30 days with ULTIMATE GARAGE GIVEAWAY in the subject line and schedule a FREE phone consultation with me.  If after our call you decide that we can help you, I will personally take $100 off any SBO service offering you choose.

My goal is to help you reduce chaos and clutter from your lives, and I know that we often need a little nudge to give ourselves the permission to ask for help.  So here’s your nudge from SBO…No strings, no hidden agenda, I just want to help you get out of your clutter rut.

Happy Organizing!

Clutter-Free Father’s Day Gifts

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Favorite Products, Holiday Organization

On this weeks podcast, Erika and I chatted about clutter-free Father’s Day gifts. Below are links to our top 5 favorites.  If you haven’t listened to the episode, here it is!



1. Compartment Valet :  Why it made the list: a great catch-all for loose change, keys, cufflinks or collar stays. You can also have it personalized with a special message to the dad in your life. Starting at $55 available at




2. Trunk Organizer Why it made the list: Whether commuting to work, or dropping the kids at soccer practice, a trunk organizer is a must-have for anyone who spends a decent amount of time in the car. Put your personal touch on it by filling it with some of your dad’s favorite goodies. Starting at $15.99 available at



3. Tile: Why it made the list: The perfect gift for the techy dad who is always misplacing things. Click here to find out how it works. Starting at $25 available at




4. Google Home: Why it made the list: It’s basically like having a Google Assistant you can talk to. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things–even have it add items to your grocery list for you!  Starting at $109 available in a variety of stores including Target, Best Buy, and the Google Store.



5. Gift Certificates: Why they made the list: Treat your dad to something he wouldn’t normally do for himself. Choose anything from golf lessons, to learning how to play the drums. Maybe consider taking a household chore off his to-do list, and get him a month of landscaping services, or a room renovation with a professional organizer :).


If you’ve got a great clutter-free gift idea, we’d love to hear about it!  You may even be featured in an upcoming episode of This ORGANIZED Life.  Share your comments in our facebook group!