NAPO Michigan Blog / Media Center

The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers invites you to explore this blog so you can be informed of the latest news, events and trends in the organizing industry.

July 15, 2013

Save Cash and Space: Reuse Containers to Organize Your Home

We organizers love for there to be “a place for everything and everything in its place.” And very often that place is a box, bin, basket, or bag. Now, if you were to buy such a thing for every category of item you own, you’d break the bank! Being organized is all about using resources wisely, so we advocate saving money (not to mention energy and materials for manufacturing) by looking around and using containers you already own to corral your vitamins, light bulbs, and pencils.

The possibilities are endless.  Here are a few examples:

Drawers – An open shoe box in the center of a medium-depth drawer divides the drawer into three sections: the middle and either side of the box.  Use each to store a different category of accessory – e.g., light socks, dark socks, and underthings.  Use the shoe box’s lid the same way in a shallow drawer.

Cabinets – If you’re short on drawer space in the kitchen, a 6-pack carrier can hold plastic wrap, foil, wax paper, etc.  Stand the boxes vertically and stow in a cabinet.  Also, the cardboard core of a toilet paper roll, cut lengthwise down the middle, fits around a roll of gift wrap to keep it from unraveling.

Floors – The previous examples may not need to be pretty since they’re behind closed doors, but you can easily spruce up a out-in-the-open box by covering it with paper as you would a gift.  A medium-sized shipping box covered with a kid’s finger-painting masterpiece makes a great toy box for the corner of a room.  A newspaper-covered box can hold reading materials.

One last tip – create a “home” for storing reusable containers until the right purpose presents itself. If you have room for one box on a high shelf, that’s your limit; recycle whatever doesn’t fit there.  If you have more space, curate a rotating store of organizing possibilities!

 For more inspiration:

Article submitted by Chapter Vice President Molly Boren of Simplicity Works Organizing Services:

July 1, 2013

Tips for Organizing Your Bathroom

The bathroom is the one place in the home that everyone uses at least once a day.  For lots of us, bathrooms can be used so many times in a day by so many people that it can be hard to get or keep it organized.  They contain so many big and small useful items that finding the best home for these things is sometimes difficult.

Here are some tips and products to help you get and keep order in your bathroom:
1.   If you have a vanity, the open space below it can be doubled by using an adjustable under sink shelf.  This is perfect for cleaning supplies but take care with placement on these if you have small children or pets in the house.   
Extra rolls of toilet paper can be stacked here.  Shallow baskets here can also corral the smaller items such as extra toothpaste, floss, etc.

They also make over-the-door hooks for vanity doors to hold a hair dryer or curling iron.
2.  If your vanity also has drawers, you can use a cutlery or office supply drawer organizer to keep these things handy.  These can be found at Bed, Bath and Beyond or office supply stores. 
3.  If you need additional storage space, putting shelves, a cabinet, or a storage tower over the toilet can really make the difference.  Use this new space for your daily use products so they’re handy when needed.  Cleaning supplies kept nearby can make daily cleanups much easier.
4. In the medicine cabinet, besides the option of adjusting shelf height, OXO makes great narrow organizing containers and shelves that I use to help maximize this space.  Check them out at
Medicine cabinets should be used only for your daily use items as well.  Having them handy without having to search for them will really speed up your morning routine
Putting a magnetized strip inside the cabinet door for tweezers and other light metal items puts them front and center when needed.
5.  In the bathtub, there are many heavy duty baskets and nets that go on with suction cups that can straighten this area up.  Bath toys can dry when hung in a net from the walls.

There are also lots of shower organizing caddies available that will give your bath and shower products right where you need them. 
6.  Whenever possible, remove items such as Q-tips or cotton balls from their original packaging and place them in a sealed clear container.  This will ensure they stay sanitary until needed. 

These tips will enable you to find your bathroom items when you need them which will get you out the door in a much better mood. 
For more organizing tips, go to

Article Written by Chapter member Cindy Greenleaf.  Find out more about her at