Our Clutter Free Gift Guide As Seen On 6abc

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

‘Tis the season!  

There’s a reason that it’s called the Spirit of Giving, it makes us feel good to spread joy to others. Yet somewhere along the way the tables turned, and the season of giving became a pressure-filled month of Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals where we end up buying more stuff that we don’t need.

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t give or receive presents. Who doesn’t like unwrapping a gift, or watching the look of excitement on someone’s face when you surprise them with something they weren’t expecting?!

This year I decided to make a clutter-free gift guide filled with ideas for the whole family. Last week, I shared some of my tips with Alicia Vitarelli, from 6abcactionnews.  You can check out the segment here:

1. Experiences:  Who doesn’t love tickets to a show, concert or sporting event?  This is a not only a great gift, but a wonderful bonding experience and a chance to make lasting memories. 

2. Classes: Ever want to learn how to play an instrument? Take a cooking class or learn how to Tango?  Sometimes our “bucket list” items take a back seat to everyday life, so why not gift your loved one something they’ve always wanted to try!

3. Memberships:  This is a great one for kids.  Think zoo, aquarium, or museum.  Think of all those winter weekends when you are trapped inside and looking for something to do?  Ongoing memberships are the gift that keeps on giving all through the year!

4. Self Care: Spa treatments, personal training or even a professional organizer (hint! hint!) are a few examples of luxury items that we would love to indulge, but time, money and guilt often stand in the way.  Why not use the holidays as an excuse to splurge your loved ones.

5. Subscription Services:  Everywhere you turn these days there is another subscription service on the market, why not give the gift that keeps on giving month after month? Who wouldn’t love getting fresh flowers each month, a free meal delivery service, or a 3 month subscription to a wine club.

6. Digital Gifts: There’s no mistaking we live in a digital age. From kids to grandparents, everyone has a device (or two). From phones, to ipads, to laptops we use our devices for more than phone calls and checking email.  Netflix, Audible, Kindle or eReader subscriptions to magazine or newspapers are wonderful gifts for the tech lover in your world.

7. Gift Cards: Think gas cards, a gift certificate to getting your car detailed, a pack of movie tickets or a starbuck’s gift card (my 17 year old would love that!)

8. Service Gifts:  We are all busy with our daily lives and sadly our weekends are far from relaxing. Don’t underestimate the value of a cleaning service, lawn care service, or snow removal service.

9. The Gift of Time: In this hectic world we live in, uninterrupted time is priceless. Don’t underestimate the value of an afternoon lunch date, a trip to the park, or a bike ride.

10. The Gift of Giving: Donating money to a charity, or gently used items to those who are less fortunate, is a great way for you to give to others in need. We recently partnered with Second Chance Toys, and organization that donates gently used toys to inner city programs. Not only does this help others, but allows you to declutter your house for  a great cause!

Whatever gifts you give or receive, always remember the real meaning of the season.  





P.S.  If you are looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, consider picking up a copy of my new book, HOT MESS: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized. A portion of all book sales each month are donated to charity. This month we are donating to The St. Baldrick’s Foundation which provides much needed funding for Pediatric Cancer Research.

WFMZ Segment: Must Have Products to Ease Spring Cleaning

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Favorite Products, Garage Storage, Getting Organized, Media, Organized Home

Spring cleaning is like the New Year’s Resolution of organizing. The hardest part for most people is getting started. I had the pleasure of spending the morning with one of my favorite peeps, Eve Russo from WFMZ, where we talked about some tips and products to help ease the overwhelm.

You can watch the clip HERE   

1. Standing Bike Racks:


I love have everything off the floor as much as the next person, but I’m also realistic. Ceiling or wall mount bike racks are great storage options for the off-season, but you need an easy grab-and-go option during peak times. This inexpensive expandable bike rack will keep you from tripping as you enter the garage and is simple enough that a child can do it themselves.

Available at amazon.com




2.  Wire Locker Baskets:

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, these baskets!  I have them in every color and use them both indoors for hats& gloves, as well as in the garage to store cleaning supplies, bottles of spray paint and other odds-and-ends. They are so versatile and inexpensive (I think I bought mine for around $14.99 each). Believe it or not, I found them at my local gardening supply store, but I’ve seen them online as well. As much as I love a lidded bin, there’s something to be said about the convenience of grab-and-go open storage.



3.  Sterilite Storage Tote:


Normaly you’ll hear me talk about the value of clear storage bins (which still holds true), but these are my new obsession!  I came across these adorable bins when I was re-doing a playroom for a client of mine. They come in 3 sizes (the smallest is not shown in the pic), but what makes these so great are the plastic snap on labels that come in 4 colors (blue and pink not shown).  They are awesome for all those little toys like shopkins, littlest petshop, barbie clothes, and of course legos! Write directly on the labels with a dry erase marker and easily edit as the contents change.

Available at Target.com



One little organizing tip:  schedule a donation pick up  so you have a commitment to get it done by a certain date, plus the donations will not be left in your garage/house indefinitely!

Leave us a comment to let us know some of your favorite organizing tips and you may be featured in an upcoming blog post.

Happy Organizing!



What Inspires Me

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in Media, Organized Home, Published Works

In my life at home and with SBO I am constantly looking for inspiration. Whether I’m looking at images on Pinterest,  reading articles about health and wellness,  researching parenting ideas or checking out where to vacation, I learn a lot from others.

I find people fascinating . Understanding what inspires someone is a gateway into who they are; making them all the more compelling.

I was asked by Blogger Tudor Davis from TerrysBlinds to shed some light into my creative process.  I shared with him my top product picks and sources of inspiration. If you have a moment, I encourage you to check out his blog which has great inspiration from designers around the world.

Here’s a snapshot of my interview:

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 6.37.27 PM

You can read the full article here.

I’d love to hear what inspires you to living a life more organized.

Happy Organizing!