I heart my professional organizer! a testimonial

A 2-minute video testimonial from Marge about working with a professional organizer from Get Organized Already–the fabulous Michelle!

We help nice people get organized.


Get Organized Already! promo video

I’d love to hear from you about your organizing needs.


Nonnahs (and the Get Organized Already team)

Organizing like Rumpelstiltskin: Cash for Gold!

Cash for gold? Are you kidding? Do I look that broke to you?

Granted, it feels a little like food stamps—really desperate. But wait a minute. What if my reasoning for talking about selling your gold is more about making room for more jewelry in your life? Like shoes—another precious, precious thing—gold that isn’t being worn is just sitting there, stagnant in your drawer, taking up space where new shoes could be.

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Curtsey of badgreed_records

Why would I do that?

Whether you think of selling gold as releasing old energy to bring in new, better things, or you think of it as free money is up to you.

Either scenario sounds pretty darn good to me and I’ve had clients request this service for both of those reasons.

So, here’s what you do.


Go through your jewelry to find the pieces you honestly have no intention of ever wearing again: pieces from HS and college boy/girlfriends, out-of-date patterns, etc. In the case of jewelry I’m going to loosen my professional organizer belt and say when in doubt keep it. Jewelry (unlike dishes or your wedding dress) doesn’t take up much room at all and your children may actually want it.

Use a magnet

The first thing the buyer will do is use a magnet. If you’d like to save some time, test for yourself before you leave the house. If any of your stuff sticks to the magnet, forget it. It’s crap. No gold there. Put it in your donate bin.

Some of the things (HS boyfriend’s ring) I thought were fake actually were gold. So, don’t assume.

Check current buying rates

Buyers will weigh your gold by the ounce and give you some percentage of the current market rate. If you need some motivation in the form of a dollar amount to get you into the store, check this site for rates CashforgoldLosAngeles.com and roughly calculate how much green you’ll be getting for your gold.

scrap gold 2

Head to the store

To combat the I-must-be-really-broke-to-be-doing-this vibe you may be feeling, put on your big girl shoes and an outfit you generally feel good wearing. Dressing well always helps in a new situation. Don’t you think?

Let me highly recommend Diamano Fine Jewelry at 642 East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena (at El Molino). According to my telephone research in Pasadena, they pay more than other buyers: 75 percent of market value. They round up on the weight of your pieces. And, most importantly, they are friendly, very classy, and courteous. It’s a fine jewelry store, not a place to send money orders or buy bus tokens. If you aren’t near Pasadena, find a reputable jewelry seller near you who also buys gold.


Wherever you decide to sell, make sure you will get paid right there. It is a crazy wild feeling like winning in Vegas. Let’s put it this way, I’m going to New York this weekend with Jeff and the recent haul I took in was worth more money than my round-trip ticket. Gulp. That stuff was sitting in my drawer for twenty years!

Treat yo’self

Don’t blow it on gas and groceries (unless you really need to). See this video clip (shown to me by Bos Organization) for inspiration.

Organizing your kids’ artwork

Rare is the home without this first-world problem: What do we do with all of these projects, artwork, and other creations our kids are making at school/camp/daycare?

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“Gum Sushi”

A few parents who have somehow overcome their American-sentimentality-tendencies manage to sneak a good portion of the macaroni paintings into the trash unnoticed. But even the most cold-hearted of parents may find themselves confronted by these piercing words from a kindergarten angel with a furrowed brow, “Mommy? Where are my turkey hands from school?” And maybe it’s February and you threw away the turkey hands when the cotton-ball snow collage came in in December. Or, maybe you have a box full of artwork and the turkey

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Darla’s invention

hands are mangled under 3 months’ worth of more recent masterpieces. Either way, you are BUSTED! How can this be avoided? How can you keep all of that artwork organized?

Go digital

My very favorite solution is to take a photo of the art project. If you have an iPhone, get the kidzibit app to organize art from each young artist in your life into their own galleries. You can even use kidzibit to keep track of awards and certificates they earn. You can save photos of 3-D projects as well.

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I love this solution because it doesn’t take up physical space, and you can do this as you go. We always have our phones handy, right? So as soon as we are presented with the artwork, we can use this organizing tool right away. This will cut down, or eliminate the piles and build up of artwork and awards waiting to be displayed or filed.

Once you have a picture in your kidzibit gallery, you can use one of the following organizing strategies:

Make a physical gallery

Dedicate one wall to hangable art and one surface of your home to display 3-D projects.The key with this solution is to keep the pieces rotating.


Might I suggest being extremely selective about what goes into the portfolio. Have one portfolio for every 1-2 years, not every 1-2 months! When you went off to college or moved out of your parents’ house, did you want to take a few hundred pounds of childhood artwork? No. Remember that. You are saving this artwork mostly for you. Not for your children.

Play “pick your favorite”

Consider how long it took your child to create the artwork. Let that give you some perspective on how long you need to keep it. The fridge is a nice, very visible space to put this stuff. When your pumpkin makes a new pumpkin picture, ask him which one he likes better and wants to keep up on the fridge for this week.

Share the love

Get Organized AlreadyMailing a piece of kid-art to your parents or other relatives is a great way to keep the piles moving without any guilt. In fact, you actually earn brownie points!

Whatever you chose to do with the art in your life, don’t let it bog you down with guilt. Do what feels right for you. If your mom threw all of your stuff away you are going to be more of a saver and that is fine.

Kids’ art is amazing. Breathe it in and move on.

What other ways do you organize your child’s creations? I wanna know.

The first step to getting organized (it’s surprising)

Staying on top of the trash situation in your living area is the first, most important step to getting organized.

Don’t believe it is that easy? Well think about the organized homes you’ve seen. Do they have trash laying around? Have you ever seen an over-stuffed trash bin in “Martha Stewart Living”? So, see. I told you!

Considering the importance of taking out the trash, here is a public service announcement from Get Organized Already. (at no charge)

When you go to put something into a trash can that is obviously full, please empty the receptacle.

There is no good excuse NOT to do this simple everyday chore.

sample bad excuses

It’s someone else’s chore, not mine! Think about whether it’s easier to just take out the trash yourself or to let them know they have neglected their chore? Which is better: resentment or a stinky room? (tough call)

I did it last time! Thank you! Now do it again. Trash happens every day.

I live alone. Do you want to have to handle that mound of trash later as it overflows onto the floor and the dog knocks you over as you struggle to get out another trash bag for the mess that’s spilling everywhere?

Seriously, if you have to shove the trash into the can, it’s TIME TO TAKE IT OUT. And what better way to express your love for those you live with than to handle it before it gets ugly.

Thank you for listening and feel free to share this with other trash neglectors in your life.

organizing tip #1

cut and paste for your your home

How to organize your Tupperware

A video peak into my organized Tupperware cabinet

Did you have one of those lunchboxes?

Garage as recycle bin: Organizing in Altadena

Claiming my blog with Bloglovin

Basically I’m writing about this garage because the before and after photo is so amazing. (At least I’m honest.)

Garage Organizing Magic!

Garage Organizing Magic!

Lovely Altadena is home to  this hybrid-driving client who was pretty excited about the idea of parking in her garage. Ms. I <3 the Environment hates to throw boxes in the trash. She prefers to take them to the recycling center at Caltech. But (you know where this story is going) the pile of boxes waiting to be driven to Caltech grew and grew until it made the whole garage into an un-usable hut of bedlam and chest-high clutter!

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Seems like everyone does this with their garage. What are using your garage to hold until you get around to it: clothes to donate? things to give to your sister/mother/nephew? items to be repaired?

How we did it: Making room for a car in this garage required 2 trips to Goodwill, 3 trips to the recycling station and sending 1 old couch to the dump. After that, the Get Organized Already team organized and labeled until everything was easy to recognize and easy to reach.

Go Team!
Go Team!