Thursday, July 31, 2008

Organizing Your Comic Books


If you are a comic book collector or know a comic book collector, this product is right up your alley.

One of the main reasons I went to the San Diego Comic-Con last week was to find the Drawerboxes for Comics booth. The booth was run by Richard Vincent of The Collection Drawer Company of Denver, Colorado. I spoke with Mr. Vincent at length about his product which he was happy to demonstrate for me.

These drawer boxes are made out of heavy duty corrugated cardboard with triple layer construction which makes them easy to stack vertically and horizontally. They are the perfect size for a closet. It is never recommended that comic books be stored in a garage or other outdoor storage area due to changes in weather and humidity.

There are two sizes of drawer boxes - short boxes at 18" deep and long boxes at 26" deep. The long boxes hold approximately 245 standard size comic books. A set of 5 long boxes is priced at $48.75 plus shipping; the short boxes are $42.50 plus shipping for a set of 5.

The handles on the drawer boxes are reinforced to withstand continued opening and closing and the drawers are designed with stops to keep them from opening too far and falling onto the floor.

Recently The Collection Drawer Company has added Boxlox Box Anchors which are small plastic anchors that connect two side-by-side drawers together so when you open one drawer, it doesn't move any of the other drawers surrounding it.

Another new introduction is the Box Sort Upright Dividers which are assembled inside the drawer to keep the comic books from falling back or forward and make it easy to label the dividers if you want to keep your Spider Man comics separate from your Superman comics.

The Collection Drawer Company can be reached at 303-368-7873 or you can email them at:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Creating/Restocking Your Earthquake Kit

For those of you living in Southern California, what happened yesterday may be familiar to some and very new to others. A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck just northeast of downtown Los Angeles yesterday morning around 11:45 a.m.

I was sewing in my family room while my daughter was reading next to me. She is 16 and was only 2 years old when the Northridge earthquake struck so this was very new to her.

The earthquake reminded me of something I've been working on for the last few months - something that should be complete and ready at all times - the earthquake kit.

It's been 14 years since the last big quake here in Los Angeles and we all tend to get complacent about disasters over time. However, being prepared for a natural disaster is very important so I'll be giving you some basic recommendations to refresh or start an earthquake kit in your own home.


The most important thing we can have in our homes is fresh, bottled water. I always replenish my stock of bottled water each time I go to the market I place them in the back of my water storage cabinet, using the older bottles first. I keep 10 one-gallon bottles in this cabinet at all times.

The recommendation is one gallon of water per day per person. Remember to store water for your pets as well - no one will be able to drink the tap water in the event of a major earthquake.

The alternative to storing bottled water is to store a bottle of regular household bleach. Do not use bleach with any scents or additives. The bleach can be used to purify tap water (okay, which would you prefer to drink - bottled water or water with bleach added). 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water is recommended - then let the water stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight odor of bleach at that time, repeat the process. Again, get the bottled water....

First Aid:

** Assorted sizes of sterile band-aids (bandages)
** Sterile gauze pads (various sizes)
** Bandage tape
** Safety pins
** Scissors
** Tweezers
** Medicine dropper
** Latex gloves (3-4 pairs)
** Neo-sporin
** Non-prescription pain relievers, antacid, anti-diarrhea medication, syrup
of ipecac
** Moistened toweletts
** Thermometer
** Purell or other hand sanitizer
** Sunscreen


** Cans of vegetables, meats & fish, fruits, beans
** Canned juices (vegetable, fruit), soup
** Parmalat or packaged soy milk
** Spices - sugar, salt & pepper
** High energy foods - crackers & peanut butter, trail mix, granola bars
** Vitamins
** Food for anyone in your family with special dietary needs
** Pet food

Remember to replace these foods once a year.

Sanitary Products:

** Toilet paper
** Paper towels
** Feminine supplies
** Toothbrushes and toothpaste
** Plastic garbage bags with ties
** Disinfectant
** Plastic garbage cans with lids


** Sturdy shoes/work boots (keep a pair of sturdy shoes under your bed
in case earthquake occurs at night - there may be broken glass on the floor)
** Warm clothing - sweaters, underwear, extra socks, sweatpants
** Sunglasses
** Rain gear


** Cash ($100 in small bills for necessary purchases since ATM's
and computers may be down for a few days)
** Flashlights with extra batteries
** Portable radio with extra batteries
Replace batteries yearly as well
** Off or other insect repellant
** Non-electric can opener
** Plastic utensils, cups and plates
** Reading glasses
** Tent (you may have to sleep outside for a few days)
** Blankets
** Screwdriver, pliers and wrench for turning off gas and/or water meters
** Matches (keep in plastic, waterproof container)
** Aluminum foil

It is also important to have a safe place for your important documents and records. I will cover this in another blog next week.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Slipper Genie - Do They Work?

I just came across these online and thought I'd share them with you. The Slipper Genie is a slipper you wear on your feet and, while you walk on hard floor surfaces, the Slipper Genie will pick up hair and dust and hold it in the chenile fibers on the bottom of the slippers.

Here is's description of the Slipper Genie:

Just slip on Slipper Genie and they'll do the cleaning on hardwood, linoleum and tile flooring. Chenile soles provide an extra soft dusting material and are removable for cleaning in the washing machine.

As far as reviews go, GirlyGirl writes:
Love them! Not only are they comfortable on your feet- walking barefoot on hardwood floors is harsh on your soles - they keep your floors cleaner by picking up dust as you go about your day.

And Dr. S. Van Laar writes:
I sent these to my mom as a gag gift but she thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread. She likes to wear them and says she has the cleanest floors in town. They go into the washer and dryer for a quick cleaning. Fun and useful product.

Have you tried these yet? I'd love to hear about them.

Comic-Con Adventures - Successful Shuttles

I was one of the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con attendees who stayed far enough away from the convention center to require shuttle transportation.

I'm happy to say that the shuttles arrived and departed on time, were clean, and the drivers were friendly and courteous.

The bus routes are color-coded (ours was pink). The schedules are clear and easy to follow.

An organizational home run for San Diego. Thank you!

Comic-Con Adventures - Part Two

A convention is a huge event which requires amazing organization on every level. I believe the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con was successful in this endeavor.

However, with over 125,000 people gathered in one place at any one time, chaos is bound to ensue.

Case in point, trying to attend the various TV, movie, and author panels held throughout the "Con". Imagine, lines snaking down convention halls, out to convention patios, down stairs and around convention buildings. Now we all know convention halls are huge, but this is ridiculous. Every panel I tried to attend was filled hours earlier than the actual start date. Now I know some people like to spend hours in lines, I'm just not one of them.

I'll still enjoy the cool displays like the one below. I imagine this will be gracing my living room in the next year or so:

In conclusion, I believe the Con is doing all it can to cover all the bases when it comes to interesting panels to attend, I'm just not going to be one of those people who sees them anymore.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Comic-Con Adventures - Part One

It's early Friday morning and we've arrived in San Diego for the 39th Annual San Diego Comic-Con.

I will be attending "the Con" this afternoon and will post my thoughts on organization and find some cool displays to share with you.

I hear it's terribly crowded, so wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

L.A. Dodgers Going Green and Getting Organized!

Just heard that the Los Angeles Dodgers are going green. They've re-introduced the Dodger Trolley which will run from Los Angeles Union Station to Dodger Stadium

Here is the press release:

The City of Los Angeles has restored public transportation to Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers are encouraging fans to "Think Blue, Act Green" by utilizing the new Dodgers Trolley and taking public transit. This service will make getting to the stadium even more convenient!

Free round trip service between Union Station and Dodger Stadium

The service is provided on Game Days, starting 90 minutes before game time and concluding 60 minutes after the game ends.

When: Shuttle service begins Friday, July 25 and will operate for the 32 remaining home games in the 2008 season.

Where: Route begins in front of Union Station on Alameda St. where shuttles connect to the MTA Red, Purple and Gold Lines, Metrolink and Amtrak. A shuttle will leave Union Station approximately every 10 minutes.

* Shuttles will make two stops along Sunset Blvd. on their way to the stadium:
o Figueroa St., with a connection to MTA Lines 2, 4, 55, and 60; Metro Limited Lines 302, 304 and 355; Metro Rapid Line 704; and DASH Lincoln Heights/Chinatown service.
o Marion Ave., with a connection to MTA Lines 2 and 4 arriving from the west.
* The shuttles will drop passengers off inside Dodger Stadium behind behind Center Field, and will run the same route in reverse after the game.

For more information, call 323-224-1507.

Finally, a solution to the disastrous parking situation at Dodger Stadium. When they "re-organized" parking last season, it was a big mistake. This will be a solution I will definitely utilize when I attend Dodger games.

Book Recommendation No. 2 - Weekend Makeover

Weekend Makeover: Take Your Home from Messy to Magnificent in Only 48 Hours!!

Don Aslett's "Weekend Makeover - Take Your House From Messy to Magnificent in Only 48 Hours" is my 2nd book recommendation. This book is perfect for someone who is trying to get a handle on their own clutter and is ready to make that a reality.

Aslett states that the best place to start decluttering is somewhere that's easy - a place in your home you have no real attachment to. For example, the guest bedroom where extra luggage, craft supplies, old work-out equipment and holiday decorations have come to roost. It's that sore spot in your home - the one place you can no longer tolerate.

Start with a plan - a place in your home where you'll get quick results. Last week I purged through my DVD collection which made room on the shelves to store the remaining DVD's, and allowed me to arrange them in alphabetical order.

Pick a clear block of time - say a Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.

Friday night is planning night. Gather together some containers (old boxes or large plastic storage containers) and label them "trash", "recycle", "to keep", "to store", and "to donate".

Saturday morning is "purging time". Get up early and have a light breakfast. Begin purging - starting at one end of the space and working your way around. Remove the trash, recycle, donate and store containers as soon as they are full.

Remember to keep hydrated by drinking water and eating small snacks/meals throughout the day to keep your energy up.

Keep working until the room is cleared of excess clutter. This will give you an idea of what's left and how to begin organizing.

Sunday is your day to start organizing what remains.

Aslett includes chapters on reasons to dejunk, a room by room guide to clutter, the costs of clutter to our lives, and how to continue living junk-free once you've finished dejunking at home.

This book is an easy read and will really motivate you to get started de-cluttering your rooms and your life.

100 Thing Challenge - Week 3

This will be a shorter list since I'm off to San Diego tomorrow for the Comic-Con.

1 nightgown
2 skirts
1 pair pants
1 top

3 pot holders
1 pasta pot
2 plastic food storage containers
1 trivet
1 grater
1 night light

18 books (donated to public library)

That's it this week. How are you doing with your challenge?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mindmap - Organizing Your Records

I came across this blog - "The Mindmap Blog" the other day. The "Mindmap" is a template for organizing your personal and financial documents more efficiently.

Chance Brown has created this wonderful Personal and Financial Records Mindmap. Read his blog and see if this template can work for you.

Click on the picture below to see an enlarged image of the Mindmap.

Mr. Brown has organized the Personal and Financial Records Mindmap into four major categories:

***Records you Carry With You

***Current Active Records

***Permanent Active Records

***Safe Deposit Box

It's important to store your important personal papers away from home in case of fire, flood or theft. Make photocopies to keep at home but put the originals in a bank safe deposit box if possible.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Even Facebook is Cutting Back on Clutter

I just saw this article about Facebook and how they're reorganizing our Facebook pages to cut down on all the clutter and find specific applications quickly.

I can't wait to see how this reorganization works because with the current layout, you have to scroll down continuously to find specific applications which takes way too much time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Organizing in 15 Minutes - The Junk Drawer

What can you do with 15 minutes of your time? This will be the first of many blogs which will spotlight organizing in 15 minutes:

Junk drawer

Today we'll focus on that staple in just about every kitchen - the junk drawer. Take 15 minutes and clean out your junk drawer. Take out everything and place it on the counter. Throw away all the old straws, gum wrappers, ancient rubber bands, bent paper clips and nails, old nail files, and anything else that isn't useful and doesn't belong in your kitchen.

Purchase a divided drawer organizer - measure your drawer first - and organize accordingly. Here's what's in my junk drawer:

Screwdrivers - separate compartments for Phillips and straight
Scotch tape
White out
Thumb tacks
Box cutter
Swiss army knife
Eyeglass kit
Electrical tape
Matches & lighter

The key to keeping an organized junk drawer is to evaluate everything that goes into the drawer. Otherwise, the junk will begin to pile up again.

15 minutes is all it takes to tackle any small organizing job.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Organizing A Teenager's Bathroom

Okay, I've pretty much had it with the state of my teenager's bathroom. When I was shopping at Linens 'N Things going-out-of-business sale the other day, I picked up this clear lucite makeup organizer.

As you can see, this is a space greatly in need of organization. Here are the before pictures:

Here is the work in progress:

And here is the end result. Pretty nifty, huh? Let's see how long it stays this way....

Friday, July 18, 2008

Scanalog - Cataloguing your Magazines

I've heard about this software from Scanalog that catalogues your magazine clippings into subject headings based on your interests.

If you're like me, you've probably torn articles or pictures out of magazines that interest you. What do you do with yours? I love to tear out pictures of cottage themed rooms or gardens I like. I place the pages inside plastic page sleeves and file them inside a large notebook. It makes a nice pictorial book which I enjoy looking through from time to time.

However, if you find yourself with piles of magazine clippings without any rhyme or reason to them, this Scanalog software may be just the thing for you. The software is loaded onto your computer and then you can scan your pictures and categorize them by room, theme or project.

I haven't tried Scanalog myself yet but I'd be interested in hearing from someone who has.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The San Diego Comic-Con - Organized? Sometimes Yes, Sometimes Not so Much

San Diego Comic Con logo

I will be traveling down to San Diego on Thursday, July 24th to attend my 18th San Diego Comic-Con with my family and a few friends. Boy, has this convention changed over the last 18 years. Used to be, you could barely walk the narrow aisles filled with row after row of comic book sellers and buyers. There were a few toy sellers and some larger exhibits - that was it.

comic con 2007

Then it became a comic book/toy/action figure convention with larger aisles filled with toy sellers displaying their MIB (mint in box for the novice) Star Wars action figures and ships and other collectible figures along with fewer rows of comic book sellers.

Exhibit hall

Now, the Comic-Con has about 10 rows of comic book sellers, lots of t-shirt/poster sellers and large exhibits put together by major movie studios (Warner Brothers, Universal) and action figure companies (McFarlane, EFX, Sideshow Collectibles).

San Diego Skyline

Each year, we've been able to reserve a room at one of the hotels close to the San Diego Convention Center - Hyatt, Marriott, Embassy Suites, and Omni. However, because more people are attending this convention than ever before - last year over 125,000 over the 4-day event - we can't even get a room close to the convention even though last summer we tried to reserve a year in advance.

So, we've chosen to stay a little farther away and were able to make a reservation independent of the Comic-Con's Hotel Reservation Department (which is a joke - just ask anyone who tries to call that one day in March when they open the lines). More about this in a future blog.

I'll keep posting to my blog while I'm at the convention about some organizational ideas for collectors - you know who you are!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

100 Thing Challenge - Week 2

Well, I'm still hard at work purging some things in my own quest to downsize my "stuff". Here's the list of what I'm getting rid of this week:

2 sweaters
3 skirts
1 denim vest
4 blouses
2 t-shirts
1 mixing bowl
6 drinking glasses
45 DVD's
22 CD's

I'll be taking the DVD's and CD's to a local store that buys them used. Hopefully I'll make a little cash for my efforts.

Have you purged any "stuff" this week?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Organizing your classroom library

Two days a week during the school year, I work as an elementary school librarian at a small private, progressive school. I am always looking for creative ways to organize my library and, as an organizer, I recognize that sometimes the best source for information is from other organizers.

As such, I am posting this link to a wonderful webpage which features some outstanding organizing tips for organizing a classroom library. I am definitely going to incorporate some of these ideas into my library which I will feature here in a future blog.

Let me know what you think of this webpage:

Organizing Your Classroom Library

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Organizing Your Mail

Six days a week it comes in. Six days of junk mailers, catalogs, bank credit card offers, real estate postcards, and, unfortunately, bills.

How do you handle all that mail? Here are a few tips on reducing the amount of mail you receive and ways to dispose of the mail you don’t want.

No Junk Mail

Junk Mail: Contact the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service at to have your name removed from most mailing lists.

Catalogs: We all get them. Every time we order something from a catalog, it seems that the number of catalogs we get multiplies by ten. This month, set aside all the catalogs you get. Keep them in two piles – those you like and will order from and those you will never use. At the end of the month, discard any duplicates from the don’t want pile and spend a few minutes calling each company to request that you be removed from their mailing list.

Credit card offers: Open up the envelopes, and recycle the incoming envelopes and any other papers other than the actual credit card offer which should be shredded. Always shred rather than toss any documents containing your name and/or account number to prevent identity theft.

Magazines: If a month goes by and you haven’t read last month’s issue, it’s time to reevaluate how important that magazine is to you. Keep only those magazines you love and read each month. Cancel any that are being left unread or unfinished. Make sure you recycle your magazines after you’ve read them. I take mine to the nail shop down the street.

Other junk mail: Mailers from real estate agents, dry cleaners and other local vendors should be recycled as soon as they come into the house. If possible, contact the vendor and ask to be removed from their mailing list.

Bills: Unfortunately, we can’t ignore these. Try registering for online banking with your local bank, cutting down on postage costs. You can sit down and pay all your bills at one time and designate the amount and date on which you want the payment to clear. You can also request paperless billing as an alternative. Or, if online banking’s not your preference, set aside a specific area on your desk where “bills to pay” are kept. Set aside a time twice a month to pay your bills.

recycling bin

Begin to control all your incoming mail by handling it daily - preferably as soon as you bring it into the house. Have a recycling container handy where you open the mail. If you have specific spots in your home for your mail, (bills to pay, magazines/periodicals to read, etc.) you can learn to keep a handle on the incoming mail.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Organize Magazine - Ceasing Publication

I was so disappointed to find out today that Organize Magazine will no longer be published. Here is an excerpt from an email I received from them this afternoon:

Thank you for contacting us. We regret to say that we are not taking
subscriptions because we have been forced to cease publication. PLEASE NOTE:
Every attempt will be made to provide you with a suitable replacement for the
remainder of your subscription. The transition may take several months to
complete. Please accept our apologies.

If you need a change of address, please send a message with Change of address in
the subject line and we will make the change for you.

If you would like to order back issues of Organize Magazine, you can buy them
directly from our website at

If you have not received your current issue (May/June) of Organize Magazine, it
will be mailed within 7-10 days of your message and will arrive in a white
envelope via first class mail.

I am so sorry to see this magazine go so quickly. I enjoyed reading it and wished it could have caught on to the general public.

We'll miss you!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Messiest House in America - Can they Handle the Chronically Disorganized?

Wow, I just got through watching the 2-hour episode of Clean House's Messiest House in America on the Style Channel. They did a beautiful job on an incredibly cluttered home. But more than the clutter, was the absolute filth among the clutter.

As an organizer, I'm not at liberty to discuss my own experiences but when it's laid out for you on national TV, anything goes. Imagine if you will a bathroom toilet that probably hasn't been cleaned since 2002 and dishes in the kitchen with food that has spoiled so badly it has literally grown hair.

Conquering Chronic Disorganization 2nd Edition

Unfortunately, Clean House doesn't really delve into the issue of chronic disorganization. Judith Kolberg, the author of "Conquering Chronic Disorganization", defines chronic disorganization as "disorganization that has a long history, undermines one's quality of life on a daily basis and recurs".

Watch the episode for yourself. You'll probably feel as I do - that this couple will not be able to continue to keep their newly renovated home in its current condition until they address the underlying issues of why it got to be so bad in the first place.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Linens & Things - Out of Business Sale on Organizing Goodies

Linens N Things Gift Card

I was in my local Linens & Things store this afternoon which is going out of business at the end of July.

Everything was 20-40% off and they still had a few good organizing tools - drawer dividers, dish stackers, wooden hangers and bathroom racks. I believe prices will go down further in the next week or so. Check out Linens & Things going out of business sale if you're in the market for good quality organizing items.