Guest Post, Review and Giveaway – Growing Up Organized

Did you know January is Get Organized Month- recognized by the National Association of Professional Organizers? One of my new Year’s resolution is to get organized! And boy do I need help. I’m one of those people that do a little here and little there and it never seems like I accomplish much.
I’d like to introduce Lea Schneider author of Growing Up Organized. She is my guest today with some help on my garage. She’d also like to give one copy of her new book Growing Up Organized to one lucky reader.

That dang garage! It is so useful yet such a chore.

Mommy Has to Work shared with me that her trouble spot is her garage. I guess it wouldn’t help much if I replied and said “Yeah, who doesn’t have that issue?” At least she’d know she’s in good company!

As a professional organizer who wrote a book on teaching children to be organized, (Growing-Up Organized,, $14) I’ll confess that I don’t get asked about garages very often. Yet, garages are a big space and a big issue. I often joke that you know you are cluttered when you keep a car worth thousands out in the driveway in the weather because you have a bunch of worthless junk staying nice and dry and filling up the garage!

Mommy Has to Work wants some tips for the garage and I am willing to oblige. Here goes a buffet line of ideas. Just pick and choose what might suit your family and space.

1) Make the kids responsible. That is one of my big mottos. Now that doesn’t mean they have to clean the whole garage! However, if your garage is filled with sports equipment, toys and bikes that belong to the kids, they can and should help get those areas organized.

2) Garages serve many purposes. Divide your garage into zones. Put like items together. For example, put tools in one area, gardening supplies in another, toys in yet another and storage items in another.

3) Label the areas. Part of the problem is that once you organize it, other family members just stick stuff any old place. Label everything. Stick signs on the wall for your zones. (Gardening Gear Here!). Label tubs. Label shelves. Even use masking tape to mark off the floor for riding toys or mowers. Everyone, even the kids, should be able to park their gear in the spot chosen.

4) Be aware of the Just for Now Syndrome. This is where you set something down, just for now, and it becomes tomorrows clutter that you hate to deal with. Catch yourself setting things down, just for now, and stop. Take the extra minute to just put them away.

5) Most of us have a routine for cleaning house – or at least we want to have one! Just think, your garage is probably a third of your house yet where does it fit in the routine? Just as you tidy the house, make sure to tidy the garage. When you do a major house cleaning, make the garage another room to tend to. Just walk thru and put things back in their place and sweep the floor. If you go in and out of the garage, that is where a lot of sand, soil and gunk gets tracked in to the house. If you do tidy regularly, it will stay pretty organized. The problem is we let it pile up and up and up until a major overhaul is needed.

6) When sorting your garage, ask this about each item: “Do I love it, use it or need it?” If you don’t love it, use it or need it, why is it in your home taking up your time and space?

7) Think vertical. Add shelves. Add hooks to the wall. Use the ceiling.

8) The garage wall can be a great launching pad for kids and their gear. Add a coat hook for each child and a tall trash can under the hook. The use can change seasonally. In the summer, the hook can hold beach towels and bathing suits. The tall trash can will hold flippers and swim noodles. You can put baseball mitts on the hooks and bats in the cans. In the winter, you can hang sleds or snow suits.

9) Be sure that items you use frequently are in the easy to use and reach location. Store seldom used things, like holiday decorations, in out-of-the way spots.

10) Make sure to look at your garage from a safety view. Are shelves attached to the wall so they won’t tip over? Are chemicals stored safely and away from children’s reach? Likewise for dangerous and sharp tools!

You’ll find more organizing tips at my blog, and my website,

To enter , visit the website above and learn something.

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2 extra entries – Subscribe to my newsletter. (leave 2 comments)( you will need to activate your subscription in order for entry to be valid)
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Contest ends Febuary 2nd at 9:00pm EST. Winner will chosen by and will have 48 hours to respond. US only. I was not paid to do this review, however I did receive the above mentioned products.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. Oh Lordy do I need help getting organized. Im trying I really am, but it keeps getting away from me!

    I didnt "learn" this from the website, but I so agree with it….Why is it that our kids can put things in their place at school but not at home????I know, I know its my fault, but Ill be damned if I have the time…………4 kids…….parttime college….hubby in full time college…….ugh

  2. Lori Taube says:

    I learned that it can be helpful to put medication in clear labeled packets, in a hanging organizer!

    clctaube @

  3. Lori Taube says:

    I subscribe via email #1

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    I subscribe via email #2

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  5. Lori Taube says:

    I follow via GFC

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    I follow on Twitter – @clctaube

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  7. Lori Taube says:

    I follow via Networked Blogs – Lori Taube

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  8. funplayroom says:

    I am following you from MBC, would love for you to follow me back.

  9. I really need this as I'm tackling years worth of neglect this winter. She suggested setting up a card table where you can keep coming back to your project if you can't get finished all at once.

  10. I subscribe (1)

  11. I subscribe (2)

  12. I follow on google

  13. A Day In The Life says:

    I learned how to store my med's

  14. Jennifer H says:

    I learned that a great way to organize paperwork is by using a traveling tickle file which includes 31 folders, one for each day of the week. This would help me prioritize what comes first and keep everything in one place. Great idea! Jenprincess88 at aol dot com

  15. Jennifer H says:

    google follower-Jenprincess88 at aol dot com

  16. I learned I should try to "create a home for one thing at a time" for the things in my childs' rooms, with the children participating. I get frustrated that their rooms are always a mess and then I end up picking up after them. This might be a better strategy! 😉 Thanks.

    lmarston AT yahoo DOT com

  17. I follow you on Twitter (MamandeEDS).

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  18. I follow your blog.

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  19. I'm a newsletter subscriber.

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    Entry 1

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  21. I learned about (that website got bookmarked instantly!) also that cooked ham is only good for 3-4 days. I know my mom has kept it around for longer!

  22. I follow this blog!

  23. I follow you on Twitter (@EricaJulien)

  24. I follow you via Networked Blogs.

  25. I've never thought about having to organize my freezer. I just throw things in and hope I can remember I have them! Maybe I need more help than I realize!


  26. I'm a Google Friend follower.


  27. I'm an email subscriber -1

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  29. crazychristianchick says:

    I really need to organize my photos. I love her idea of having the kids put the photos into albums. Too bad I can't use it right now since my daughter is only 6 months old!

    dramaqueenjrb at yahoo

  30. crazychristianchick says:

    I'm an email subscriber #1

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  31. crazychristianchick says:

    I'm an email subscriber #2

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  32. I learned about Sticking With The Spot! I am so guilty of trying of not finishing up when I try to organize so I have so many little things that need done at the end of the day. I need to break it down and stick with one area until I am done.

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  37. love this tip: Keep a pad of paper and pen handy while you organize. Jot down things you remember you need to do instead of leaving your “spot” to go do them.

  38. follower

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  40. Pecans should be refrigerated & keep up to 9 monthes there…who knew

  41. Im an email subscriber of YOURS #1

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  43. I follow U on GFC

  44. It said to avoid unrealistic expectations-to write down a goal, to be very postitive

  45. follow your blog as jelaws5

  46. email subscriber # 1

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  48. That a better way to organize coupons to save money is to purchase a file box and create dividers and place new coupons in the back of the file and the soon to expire coupons to the front.

  49. Jackie at 3littleones says:

    i learned that kitchen counter clutter can prevent you from actually cooking dinner – isn't this the truth!!! i hate to cook w/ crap all over my counters

  50. Jackie at 3littleones says:

    i follow your blog

  51. Jackie at 3littleones says:

    i follow u on twitter @3littleonesblog

  52. Jackie at 3littleones says:

    i follow u on networked blogs

  53. Jackie at 3littleones says:

    i subscribe via email – (1)

  54. Jackie at 3littleones says:

    i subscribe via email – (2)

  55. Jackie at 3littleones says:
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  57. I emailed a friend about giveaway and cc mommyhastowork.

  58. facebook fan (michelle barrett)

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