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

The Ultimate Garage Giveaway!

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


Official Terms and Conditions

I am so excited to share this with you! My good friends at Organized Living are partnering with SBO on our biggest contest to date!  We are giving away a $750 garage system, plus a FREE consultation with yours truly!

No strings. No spam. No joke.

The contest will run between June 5th-June 18th, and the winner will be announced via email on June 21st.

Click HERE to enter to win!

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




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



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!



Are you Functioning on Autopilot?

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

Busy schedule

Yesterday, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I stayed home to play catch up.  Since I spend most days on-site with clients and most evenings running from activity to activity, my own to-do list often takes a backseat.  

Whether you’re stressed with a demanding job, busy taking care of your kids all day or helping with aging parents, we often spend days, even weeks, running on autopilot. The trouble is that functioning in survival mode can only last for so long.

Sound familiar?

There are certain things (like writing this article for one) that requires thought and uninterrupted time; A novel concept for most of us.

So how do you get ahead when you spend every day catering to everyone else?

1. Just Say No. Have you ever noticed that it’s always the same group of people who volunteer at Church, school, or extracurricular activities? The more you do, the more people ask of you. There is only so much time you have to spare, so it’s ok to be selective. Don’t feel compelled to say “yes” to everyone who asks, especially if it comes at the expense of your sanity.

2. Schedule a day to catch up (and I don’t mean taking a vacation). Vacations are great, but they don’t address the root of the problem.  Getting away is a nice distraction, but eventually when you come home, you’re walking into the same chaos as when you left. The only way to truly breathe a sigh of relief is to schedule a day to play catch up in your home.

3. Lead by example.  If you want your kids to make their beds every morning, make sure that you make yours.  If you want them to put their backpacks away, don’t leave your purse on the table.  If you want your kids to pick up their toys, don’t leave piles of clutter around the house. You see where I am going with this?  Kids mimic the behavior they see. The best thing you can do for your family is to empower them to pitch in and help out.

Life is like a roller coaster, and it isn’t going to slow down for you. Sometimes it’s best to sit out the ride until you get your bearings.

Happy Organizing!