Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time to Win Back Your Space

By way of introduction, my name is Kitty Grubbs, and no, I am not a professional writer. I am, along with my husband, Joey, however, a personal organizer as well as a professional musician by training and education. You may ask how I got invited to speak with you about organizing...that would be through my friend Debbie Kaufman, with whom I have had the privilege of working in her home. I hope that I will be able to offer you a number of organizing tips as well as enabling you to contact me with any questions regarding your personal workspace.

Recently, Debbie posted a blog about her former and present desks and how she works most effectively. I believe my job as a personal organizer is to find out how your work best in your space.

Now, I would like to show you my desk and some of the tools that are effective for me. I love to use baskets to organize "like" items in my desk area. Some of my baskets include items such as pens and pencils, batteries, scotch tape, glue sticks, scissors and notecards.

One of the shelves pictured in my photo includes an organizer for cards and receipts. Adjacent to the organizer is a row of "blank books" that I use to organize data for the many activities I participate in weekly. I also use these books to record the contents of my storage bins so that I know what I have available to offer others or to use myself. I also have a calendar stored in this area on which I pencil in appointments for the week.

On the third row from the top I store my budget notebook in which we keep track of our spending. This versatile desk unit additionally includes "hidden" hanging files. There are great books available on organization that include tips for workspaces that promote bulletin boards, labeling, and other useful ideas for making your space your own.

Our motto at Let's Get It Together, LLC is "Let Us Help You Win Back Your Space." May 2010 be your most productive year ever! I can be contacted with questions or to arrange a free quote at
Kitty Grubbs


Marilyn Baron said...

Thank you for blogging with us. You have a lot of nice shelf space in your office. I'm afraid if I did add more shelf space, I'd just clutter it up.


Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks for stopping by. I feel just a little more organized through your aura. : )

Do you have any hints for children's artwork? I have two regular Picassos over here, and that's a good square yard or two of what's going to be my office.

Kitty said...

One idea is to hang something like a "clothesline" with clothespins to change out art can paint the clothespins to coordinate with your color scheme. I also like the easy "pop-out" out picture frames that allow you to rotate your children's creations. When you accumulate a lot of can take digital pics to save them...rather than saving all the actual drawings.

J Perry Stone said...

Great idea about the baskets. I'm swiping that for my kids' rooms. Thanks.


Susan May said...


Thanks for joining us today. I have to go through everything in my house about every 5 years and clean it out and reorganize The baskets look a lot better than plastic boxes I've been using.

Sandy Elzie said...


I currently use oblong plastic buckets w/ lids for pens, pencils. Your baskets look prettier...I like the idea.

I'm also planning to put a small....something to hold my clutter of papers. I tend to be working on 2-3 writing projects at a varying stages, plus Petit Information, GRW information, etc. I have drop files, but I want it closer, more at-my-fingertips. I was thinking maybe a graduated level file? (Something where colored tabbed file folders can sit and be seen?

Any suggestions? It can't be on the desk...(that's what I'm trying to clear off!!!) must be off to the side.

Thanks, Sandy

Kitty said...

Hey Sandy, What about hanging some of those neat aluminum looking "files" in front of you on the wall above your desk...they are individual and could separate your projects as well as look neat and keep your papers organized. Of course, there is always just a small plastic box with hanging files that you could slip under your desk...a little boring, humm?

Dianna Love said...

Great information, Kitty.

I have a deep recess under my desk and found a 6 section unit with spaces 12 in square that has been a huge help. I hate piles, because important info gets lost or forgotten, but some develop on occasion so having this unit and plenty of file drawers handy has made life somewhat easier.

I'd like a better plan for misc items that do not have a file yet because they haven't been deemed important enough or "staying." Got any thoughts?

thanks Debbie for bringing in a Pro.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hi Kitty:
I'm going to be starting from scratch in my new house, desk included. While I've gotten better about my piles, I still fear that the same thing will happen again. Any thoughts on starting from scratch?
Oh, and I'm already going through those boxes of paper clutter and creating files for the things I want to keep!

Kitty said...

Dianna, Are we talking about papers when you refer to misc. items ? Debbie, I like baskets because I can see what is in them..I also like the divider kits that you can buy where you customize your drawers with the type space that works best with your items rather than the standard drawer "desk item holders.
" I believe that 5 minutes every day to "pick up" and return items to their homes prevents the "pileups" that so routinely happen in homes...and cause everyone to "freeze" when it comes to organizing their stuff. Dianna, I just talked to Debbie and she does feel you are referring to "papers." What about just a 3 ring binder with divider pages with tabs? It wouldn't take up much space and it would be easy to organize your misc. info that you might use for research or referral.

Betsey said...

Good job, Kit! (And yes, her house is ALWAYS organized!)

Barbara said...

Kitty, loved your blog, and tips...You always amaze me with your talents! Great job!

Dusty Takle said...

Awesome tips! Also, for kids' artwork, I have 2 suggestions:

1 is nailing those chrome clips to a small piece of wood molding. You can paint the molding & a Lowes can cut the length you want. Then hang the molding to the wall with the clips. This is great for bonus rooms & hallways.

2 is a galvanized magnetic board. I am doing this for my 5yo now sooo cheaply! I took an old frame I no longer use. I let my 5yo pick out what color paint to paint it. Hot pink of course. I had a sheet metal company locally cut me the galvanized metal board to fit the frame or less than $7. I'm taking it to Hobby Lobby to have them nail the board to the frame, but you can DIY. My daughter & I are making our own magnets for it for fun. Cheap & easy from Hob Lob. We will hang finished project on wall in her room. She can store her favorite art pieces, pictures, etc on it.

And my fridge & counters stay clean! Btw, the frame is 24x30.

Dianna Love said...

Kitty -
Yes, Debbie's right. I'm talking about mostly papers plus other things that relate to creating a story. I tried filing them but found they would still pile up on a corner of my desk because I didn't want to lose them but I also didn't want to commit to filing. ;) I'll try a binder, maybe with the plastic sleeves so I can flip through to easily look at what I have.


Cyrano said...

Thanks for giving us a quick run down on organization. And thanks for taking time out of your schedule to share some great tips.
We writers can use all the advice we can get on managing time and office space wisely.

Have a great afternoon,

Sally Kilpatrick said...


Thanks so much! I can't believe I didn't think of taking pictures when that's just the advice I gave to my mom a few weeks ago! I like the clothesline or the chrome or magnetic board ideas from Dusty Takle.

Can we talk about organization every day--it's like when I used to watch Clean Sweep while the babies napped.

Kitty said...

Sally, certainly looks like a subject that interests a lot of people. I would be glad to "come back" and discuss other ways to organize your leave you more time to pursue your dreams! :) Kitty

Ana Aragón said...


Just getting in on the conversation. I'm a real packrat but every so often I go in and organize myself. I like the idea of baskets to hold everything. And I wish I could get myself in the habit of that 5 minutes to straighten everything up. I do it in my classroom, but I'm not so good in my office.

Thanks for sharing your expertise with us!


Tammy Schubert said...

Thank you for blogging with us today. I'm always battling the war of the piles. Your idea of using baskets to help with clutter is great. I'm going to have to borrow that one.

Maxine Davis said...

Thanks for the post. I really enjoyed it - and needed it. I'm pretty busy till mid-March, but I do plan to do some throwing out and organizing. I may talk to you about bringing my work area to no more than knee-deep!

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Yes, I would say that we would welcome you with open arms to discuss any number of other topics! Thanks, again.

Tami Brothers said...

Thank you so much, Kitty, for blogging with us. This is great advice. Debbie once mentioned a container store. I think I need to visit one of those. I may need to wait for pay day before I do though...grin...


Tami Brothers said...

Thank you so much, Kitty, for blogging with us. This is great advice. Debbie once mentioned a container store. I think I need to visit one of those. I may need to wait for pay day before I do though...grin...