Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Jamie Novak on Organization

Jamie Novak
Stop Throwing Money Away
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Pub date: March 2010
Agent: Jessica Faust

(Click to Buy)

Three Insider Secrets from a Professional Organizer

I want to thank Jessica for allowing me to be here today to clear up a long-standing myth about professional organizers. Our homes and offices are not picture-perfect 100% of the time.

In fact, to be perfectly honest, if unexpected company stopped by right now I’d have to leave them out on the porch for a few minutes while I (1) pulled the door to my office closed and (2) ran around to the other rooms scooping up clutter into a bag and stashing it in the closet.

What can I say, it’s been a busy few weeks, my new book Stop Throwing Money Away: Turn Clutter to Cash, Trash to Treasure and Save the Planet While You’re at It is out today and my desk is a sea of papers, clippings and sticky notes.

Secret #1: all my clutter has a home

Sure, I may have left it out planning to put it away later (then later never came), but when I do make the time I can put it away. That’s the difference, if I didn’t have a place to put it then I would not just be messy, I’d be disorganized.

Secret #2: organizing does not have to be expensive

Sure, you could invest in pricey drawer organizers and costly closet solutions or you could re-use common household items instead. I call it shopping from home or from a friend’s home, because what one of you doesn’t have the other one is bound to own.

I dedicated an entire section of my new book Stop Throwing Money Away (out today) to clever re-uses for stuff you already own. You can organize your entire home for under $100!

Here are some of my favorite re-uses:

Cardboard Paper Towel Insert
For cords. Bend the extension cord back and forth then insert into the tube. Don’t forget to label the tube so you know what’s inside.

An Egg Carton
As a drawer organizer. In a desk, makeup, or junk drawer, egg cartons make great organizers. They are shallow enough to fit in a slim drawer, you can leave the lid open to hold larger items or cut the lid off and just use the “cups.” You can even customize the size by trimming down the number of cups to suit your needs.

For socks. Do you have a pile of unmatched socks? Most of us do. Instead of trying to match socks after they’re laundered, keep them together through the laundering process by clipping matches together as soon as you take them off using a clothespin.

CD Cases
For necklaces. Keep your necklaces tangle-free by placing them in a CD case prior to traveling. Not only will they be protected, they’ll lie flat and will not be tangled into those disorganized knots.

In the medicine cabinet. Adhere a magnet to the inside of the medicine cabinet door or under one of the shelves. Then you can stick tweezers or clippers to the magnet so they are within reach.

Secret #3: the average home has 25 items (clutter) of value you can sell

In my new book Stop Throwing Money Away (out today) I help you find the items and show you exactly how to sell them for the most money (and no, eBay is not the only option.)

When working with a recent client, Susan, we applied the steps in the "make money" section of the book and she made a whopping $3,500! Now, Susan had an above-average amount of clutter (oh, I mean treasures), which she was ready to let go. Susan was paying for two extra-large storage units; she also had stuff stashed at her parents' home, and her car had not seen the inside of her garage in more than a year. As you might imagine, Susan was thrilled with her payday!

I hope you’ve enjoyed an insider’s look at the secrets of professional organizers. If you’re looking for ideas, support, and free classes by phone, I invite you to join me over at, where you can also read the missing chapter from my new book Stop Throwing Money Away.

Wishing you a clutter-free day, Jamie


Joyce Tremel said...

Boy, do I need this book.

Kimber Li said...

Awesome! I'm always in need of this kind of advice.

"Cleaning house while children are young is like shoveling while it's still snowing." (((sigh)))

Books Which Sell Great to Women Like Me:

1) household organization for families
2) healthy food which can be bought cheap and cooked fast.

Wendy S Marcus said...

Thanks for the great tips Jamie! Every year I do a big Thanksgiving feast for 28 people. And every year cleaning the clutter out of the kitchen beforehand is the worst part. Hopefully your book will help! Good luck!

Jean Wogaman said...

Sounds like a book that pays for itself.

Jan Cline said...

Very timely post for me. I just told my husband yesterday that we needed to organize his home office. Truthfully I dread it. I'll certainly use your information.

Stephanie Damore said...

I love organizing my home! I'm always cleaning out drawers and looking for clever ways to tidy up. Thanks for the tips.

Kate Douglas said...

Joyce, my sentiments exactly! My biggest problem is unfinished projects, where I can't put things away until they're done. Some of them have been on the worktable in my office for over a year. I've decided it's my nature to clutter--luckily I'm married to a neat freak!

Mira said...

This is a fun post and topic - thanks Jaime. And I always appreciate someone who thinks differently than I do. I couldn't come up with these suggestions in a million, zillion years. So, it's cool that you share them!

I love your emphasis on saving money while getting organized, too. You really sold me on this book, Jaime. :)

Best of luck with your launch, I hope it goes really well!

Anonymous said...

My family used safety pins to hold socks together. It seems like they might go through the wash better. Great ideas though!

Anonymous said...

Great tips. Your books sound interesting and extremely useful! :O)

Anonymous said...

What a camp.