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"If you want greater prosperity in your life, start forming a vacuum to receive it." - Catherine Ponder

When our cup/life/house is too full, we can't put more in...often we have to take something out or let something go in order to make space for something new to come into your life.

With the advent of HGTV and various popular home "makeover" shows on the networks, organizing and staging are more popular than ever, and resources abound. From fancy products to how-to books, there's something for everyone at every level. We'll be adding to this page, so check back!


Home Staging

Creator of the ASP program, Barb Schwarz is the undisputed queen of staging, having coined the term "staged" for the first time many years ago. The web site has a plethora of information for sellers, realtors and anyone interested in staging. Statistics collected by StagedHomes continue to illustrate the value of staging - over 90% of ASP staged homes sell in 35 days or less! Schwarz also has a book available, among other resources.

HGTV has several shows featuring staging, and their web site has lots of tips and tricks. For example, a top ten list from "The Stagers," a new show started in 2008, and prepping for an open house from "Get It Sold," another excellent program where host Sabrina Soto typically stages homes without the costly carpenters featured on "Designed to Sell."

Organizing Products

A few notes on those products out there that I've found extremely useful.
- The over-the-door shoe organizer with clear pockets is versatile and cheap. I've used them for everything from, yes, shoes, to tools, to art supplies for a 6-year-old. Make sure you get the ones with clear pockets so you can see the contents instantly.
- Most closets have one long shelf that really should be two or three shelves. The simple way to "build" those shelves you need is to add freestanding shelves, which come in a grid style or ones that semi-snap together for stability. The closet shelf kits sold in home improvement stores are much easier to use now, with one channel installed along the top of the closet, then runners that hang down... then you can install shelves (and even drawers) wherever you need them.
-Paper management is often a challenge. Corral those things you want around for easy access, like the local library events calendar or your gym schedule, in a basic magazine butler. They come in plain-Jane cardboard, plastic, wood or fancier styles in leather. Just be sure you label it - labeling is always key.


Julia Morgenstern is known as one of the industry's foremost experts and with good reason. She has two classic books that I would recommend to anyone looking to bring more organization into their lives. Organizing for the Inside Out and TIme Management from the Inside Out are both easy to read and very helpful for those looking to get better control of their surroundings and time too. Available at book stores and online.


Streamline U. is a proud member of NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers. The NAPO site is full of stats and organizing basics. It also has the Code of Ethics that NAPO members adhere to.

Here's a brief CNN piece from Nov. '05 on the industry.


First off, once you've decided it's time to organize, you need to be realistic about how much time it will take to get things in order. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Start with something small and contained, and be careful not to get sidetracked into other areas/projects (which is easy to do!). Work as long as you feel comfortable; if you don't finish, schedule a time to return to the area. It's OK not to finish everything all at once. Remember that those TV shows aren't showing all the many, many hours of work it takes to go from A to B! It takes time, but it's worth the effort.

More tips to come! Send us your questions... we'll try to answer them here!
Serving the Hudson Valley & Metro New York