Column: Four tips for keeping some of your stuff organized |

Column: Four tips for keeping some of your stuff organized

Evan Zislis

I’m a life hack junkie. As a professional organizer, it’s my job to know 1,000 creative DIY (do-it-yourself) projects that make organizing stuff around the house quick, simple and fun. Now’s the time to get your organizational groove on, so I thought I’d share the last four tips I used with local clients — using stuff you probably already have around the house.

1Booty bar (Sculpt your tush at the gym, hang your boots on your booty bar.)

My clients have a thing about shoes — specifically, boots. I always ask them, “How many feet do you have?” When it’s time to purge footwear, there’s no separating a woman from her favorite boots. So, instead of piles at the bottom of every closet, here’s a quick fix to keep everything organized and off your floors. Suspend a tension (bathtub style) rod at the bottom of your closet. Use the squeeze-type hangers you use to hang your pants to pinch the tops of your boots together, and hang them so everything is a few inches off the floor. Your sassy kickers stay neatly clipped together, clean and ready for the rodeo or the dance floor. Giddyup!

2Ribbon rack (For greener gifts, all you need is a well-tied ribbon.)

Spring and summer are for parties, but endless gift wrapping can be such a downer (for you and the environment). Take a cue from Patagonia’s pristine packaging and give your next gift — just as it is — nude, with a well-tied ribbon. Collect your favorite styles and stack them, either horizontally or vertically on a paper towel rack. Give the ends an artful snip-snip, tie a generous bow, and you’re done.

3Fun in the fridge (Hey, ditch the chips.)

Beach bodies start in the kitchen. Organize your fridge, and you’ll feel more inspired to eat healthfully. Try labeled transparent bins and you’ll be able to see your inventory at a glance. That means wasting less food and saving big money at the market. In our fridge, we use empty spinach tubs labeled for fresh fruit, bread, meats, cheeses and snacks. Remember my first rule of organization, “like things together.” Clearly label your tubs (and your shelves) so everything is easy to find and everyone will know where to put stuff away. Give your fridge (and your pantry) a makeover with lazy-susans, and give your condiments a spin. When you can see what you’ve got, you’ll be more inspired to prepare healthy meals and snack on fresh fruits and vegetables. Does this watermelon make my butt look big?

4Jewelry junkie (If you’re like most of my clients, you’re a jewelry hound.)

Quit trying to cram all your gems into that jewelry box from the eighth grade and graduate to an adult solution worthy of your prolific collection. Find an empty, well-lit wall where you’re likely to be getting ready for your next big shindig. You’ll want to find several flat pieces of wood about two inches tall, an inch deep, and about a foot long. Load them up with small screw hooks available at any hardware store. Plan what you’re hanging and space your hooks accordingly. Sort your jewels by type and size for earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces. Screw each rack into the wall with a couple of screws on either end. (You can buy these ready to go; they’re usually made for hanging keys. Add a few extra hooks and you’re done.)

Simplifying your life starts with needing less, organizing what you love and creating systems that keep you inspired. Remember to look for opportunities to repurpose your stuff, share with others, and save your money for quality items you absolutely love. Make friends with the good people at your local thrift and consignment stores, and get rid of at least three or four things for every new thing you bring home. You’ll save money and help promote the second-hand economies that support your local community.

Evan Zislis is a professional organizer, social entrepreneur and bestselling author of ClutterFree Revolution: Simplify Your Stuff, Organize Your Life & Save the World. For hands-on assistance simplifying your stuff and organizing your life, call 970-366-2532, email, or join the revolution at For more information, visit

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