Organization Tips from Aunt Ger

Ever wish you could have organizational guru, Peter Walsh, spend a week at your house?  Well it turns out we are related to the female version of Oprah’s favorite declutterer.  We’d like to introduce to you Geraldine Chandler, a.k.a. Aunt Ger.  


This woman doesn’t just organize. She is a cleaning machine.  We have seen her completely clean and organize an 8 room home in just one month. Her friends and family have told her this was her calling from God and even though she swears these are all learned skills, there is no doubt she has a true talent. 

We knew her coming to our apartment would be a huge help, even if she only had time to tackle the linen closet.  However, this is Aunt Ger we are talking about and she had the linen closet finished in one afternoon.  In the week she spent with us she transformed our entire apartment and still had time to see a Broadway show.


Linen Closet Before & After (this is only an example, this is obviously not our linen closet, we would never be so messy)

Organization and efficiency are two things that make us extremely happy.  The flip side to that is when things aren’t organized and efficient we couldn’t be more frustrated.  As a mother and grandmother, Aunt Ger understands the importance of these two things and had many tips to help us make our life happier.  She said there’s no reason to fumble around, waste precious time, and get stressed out when you can take control…and that she did.


We were using our “tiny Brooklyn” apartment as our excuse for our clutter, but Aunt Ger says “It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to squeeze into a studio apartment or moving into a mansion, the key is to have a place for everything.”  We try to live by these words, because we understand this concept, but we had come to a point where we couldn’t find the space. Aunt Ger solved that problem.  By moving some furniture, creating “work areas”, and making our entryway a welcoming space she made some big improvements to our home.

Just like Oprah has shared her master of organization with the world, we didn’t want to keep Aunt Ger and her talents all to ourselves.  Here are The Basics of Organization According to Aunt Ger.


1. Remove everything from the closet, drawer or room that you will be organizing. 

2. Always have a bag for trash, a bag to donate or yard sale, and then a bag for stuff you have no idea where it should go at the moment. (genius! we always get overwhelmed by those random items)

3. Lay it all out on a table or bed or if you’re still limber, on the floor.  Start your organizing right there.  Put like things together. 

4. Fold things so that they have a minimum foot print, unless you’re organizing for that mansion we talked about earlier. 

5. Have boxes, containers, baskets, wide mouth jars and zip lock storage bags at the ready.

6. If you’re organizing your linen closet, use the storage bags that collapse your pillows and blankets.  Then your tiny little shelf will be able to accommodate pillows and blankets all in one area.  If you have different sized sheets, put them in separate piles.  After folding sheets and pillow cases, put the set inside one of the pillow cases, then when you’re pulling out bedding for your guests, one tug and you have it all together.  (we love this tip!!)

7. REMEMBER, when storing chemicals, cleaning products, tools, or even beauty products, if you’ve got kids that have inquisitive minds, put a childproof lock on your closet.  

8. When putting things on a shelf place them in either a box or a bag, so that when you need to get something in the back of the closet, you can simply pull out the box instead of moving around all the items, wasting precious time. 

9. If you are one of those people who has just too many things and too little space and things have to be put with other things that are not related…. Make a map for the inside of your door.  Then you’ll know exactly where it is without pulling everything out.

10. And, for Pete’s Sake…. Once you have it organized, take a moment and put stuff back in its place, you will be glad you did, and so will your family.


That last tip might be our Achilles heel, but we promise we’ll try.  With these 10 tips, taking a lazy Saturday to reorganize a room or closet in your house could be a fun day to feel a little more accomplished. Plus, think about all the time it will save you in the future.  Since you have a week until you can get to that (and we love shopping for things to organize with as much as we love organizing) we complied a list of some of our favorite organizational items.

Ikea & The Container Store are a must! We could (and have) spent hours in both of these stores.  One of our favorite storage items from Ikea is this hanging mesh basket. The amount of stuff we can smoosh in there is unbelievable. Because of this one item we can clean up Georgia’s room in under 5 minutes.  Extra bonus: she has made a game of taking it all out. We are working on the follow up game of her putting them all back in.  We use these see-through shoe storage bins for just about everything…shoes, crafts, tools. Being able to see inside eliminates all rummaging.

We love cb2! These translucent office organizers keep things in their place without over crowding your desk.  The Land of Nod is our newest discovery and we can’t get enough of it.  There is no way your kids won’t love organizing with all these cute bins, baskets, and boxes to choose from.  They also have a great blog that recently featured how to turn a simple bookshelf into a designer dollhouse! Love!

Happy shopping and organizing!  We owe a huge thank you to Aunt Ger and we hope you will be using some of her tips and thanking her soon as well! Have a great week.



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