Organizing Links + Resources

General Organizing Products + Services

The Container Store–If it's related to organization, chances are the Container Store carries it.

Easy Closets–An online source for custom-designed closet systems that can help you maximize the efficiency of any closet in the house. 

Evernote—Save notes, documents, webpages, photos, and other information online and access your stuff from anywhere. Evernote has helped me radically reduce the amount of paper I keep, and also makes it easier to get my hands on the info I need when I'm on the go.

Ikea–One of my favorite sources of inexpensive storage solutions. 

Organize.com–Organization tools, gadgets, and accessories.

Room and Board–Beautiful, high-quality, customizable furniture, including bookcases, sideboards, entertainment centers, and other storage solutions.

Scan Digital–Tackle those piles of old photos, slides, negatives, and home movies by sending them to Scan Digital to be digitized. 

SKS Bottle & Packaging–A dizzying array of plastic, glass, and metal jars, boxes, bins, and containers. Downside: you'll need to buy in bulk (at least 10-20 pieces). Upside: great prices and impressive selection.

Stacks and Stacks–Furniture, storage solutions, and organizing accessories.

Organizing Groups + Sites

ClutterLess–Information on the ClutterLess support system (including an in-person group in Northern California), designed to help people who struggle with clutter.

Messies Anonymous–Sandra Felton's Messies Anonymous program is aimed at helping those who have struggled with disorganization make the first steps toward getting organized.

Mental Health Association of San Francisco—MHA SF's Institute on Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering (ICHC) is an excellent resource for information, education, support, and treatment for people who hoard or clutter in San Francisco.

NAPO–The online home of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

ICD–Learn more about ADD, hoarding, and other topics from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.

Tip of the Week Archive–Browse past Tips from The Organized Life.

Office Organizing

Russell + Hazel–Simple, stylish storage containers, notebooks, binders, and office supplies.

See Jane Work–Supplies for managing paper, time, and stuff stylishly, at home or in the office.

Storage Supplies at Office Max–This page gathers Office Max's boxes, bins, file storage supplies, shelves, and drawer units for easy browsing.

Organized Travel

eBags–Time to upgrade your suitcase, backpack, laptop bag, briefcase, or purse? Browse eBags for inspiration.

Flight 001–Luggage, supplies, and gadgets for stylish, organized travel.

Minimus–A great resource for travel-sized toiletries and snacks.

Tango Diva–Travel articles, advice, and gossip for women.

Top 10 Organized Travel Tips–Ideas from The Container Store on staying organized and stress-free on your next trip. (Be sure to read the comments for more great suggestions, too.)

Travel Checklist—Create a personalized, printable checklist of everything you need to pack with this free tool from Flight 001.

Travel essentials from the Container Store–Packing cubes, toiletry kits, and other accessories to make packing easier.

TSA Traveler Information–Recommendations, information, and checklists from the US's Transportation Security Administration

Time Management

Calendars That Work–Choose from a wide variety of free calendar templates to customize and use with your time management system, or subscribe to a service that lets you create and print your own calendars.

Commit30—More than just a To Do list tool, and way beyond a calendar, the Commit30 planner is designed to help you commit to and achieve a challenging goal each month (such as 30 days of healthy eating or 30 days of decluttering) for a full year.

David Allen Company–Inspired by Getting Things Done? Get a bigger David Allen fix on his web site. (I especially like the collection of free articles.)

Franklin Covey—The granddaddy of all time management systems.

Getting Things Done—David Allen's seminal work on creating and managing effective time- and task-management systems is a worthy read. 

GTD Connect—An interactive, multimedia service (including videos, teleseminars, whitepapers, interviews, and newsletters) from the David Allen Company that goes into serious depth on the principles of the Getting Things Done methodology.

Pomodoro Technique—An in-depth look at a time management methodology that encourages you to tackle tasks in 25-minute increments.

Time Audit Chart (PDF)—Use this chart (an exclusive from The Organized Life) to perform a week-long time audit for a detailed look at how you're spending your time.

Time Management from the Inside Out—A realistic and easy-to-follow time management plan from Julie Morgenstern.

43 Folders–Loosely based on the GTD system, Merlin Mann's 43 Folders features musings, links, and ideas on creativity, time management, personal productivity, and making life better.

Financial Organizing 

Mint–Free, easy-to-use, well-designed online personal financial organizing program.

One Year to an Organized Financial Life—This book, written by a professional organizer and a certified financial advisor, is aimed at making tasks like budgeting, expense tracking, and managing financial paperwork less daunting and less painful by helping you tackle them a week at a time over the course of a year.

Putting your financial house in order online—Bankrate.com's guide to making sense (and the best use) of the crowd of online financial tools available, from banking to bill-pay services.

What financial records to keep and how long to keep them—Another great resource from Bankrate; this one offers guidelines on how long you need to keep the flurry of financial papers cluttering your file cabinet/desk/dining room table.

Kitchen Organizing + Meal Planning

Kitchen organizing checklist from Real Simple—This free printable/savable checklists offers a detailed step-by-step guide to whipping your kitchen into shape, from clearing out what you don't need to creating zones to reorganizing your fridge and freezer.

The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens, and Tips to Inspire Your Cooking—Yes, it's officially a cookbook, but a good third of this book is dedicated to tips and suggestions on stocking, organizing, and cleaning what's probably the busiest room in your house. Plus, the recipes are clear, easy to follow, and clever.

Pantry organizing checklist from Real Simple—It's easier to cook at home if you know what you have and can access it easier. This free checklist walks you step-by-step through the process of getting your organized.

Plan to Eat—Save recipes from anywhere online (or add your own from), easily drag-and-drop them onto a calendar to plan your meals, and get a customized grocery list based on what you're cooking. I use and love Plan to Eat!

Emergency Preparedness

Ready.gov—The online home of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) includes comprehensive info on preparing for natural and man-made disasters of all types, including checklists for creating emergency preparedness plans and kits.

Recycling, Re-use, and Selling 

CalRecycle—Information from the California state government about resources for recycling or safely disposing of everything from mattresses to motor oil.

The Complete Garage Sale Checklist—An amazingly comprehensive collection of links on everything from pre-sale sorting and weeding to planning for your sale to pricing your items

Donation Town—Use this site to search for and schedule with local charities that will pick up items you're ready to donate. The site's matchmaking service is free both to you and to the charity you choose.

Excess Access—An online resource that matches donors with non-profit organizations looking for specific supplies.

Freecycle—A huge (and growing!) network of communities around the world dedicated to keeping things out of landfills

Green Citizen—Responsibly dispose of used electronics (from computer monitors to cassette tapes) at various Bay Area drop-off locations, or have the company pick your stuff up. 

GreenDisk—This company offers convenient, shippable "trash bins" for used electronics; it recycles or reuses much of this e-waste.

How to Recycle or Reuse Anything—From Real Simple magazine, a collection of articles, links, and tips on donating, repurposing, or safely disposing of the stuff you no longer want or need.

International Book Project—Accepts donations of a wide variety of books, including textbooks and encyclopedias, for use in literacy programs within the US and in developing countries.

Music & Memory—Donate that unneeded iPod taking up space in your drawer to Music & Memory, a nonprofit that offers music-based therapy to seniors living with Alzheimer's, dementia, and other mental or physical impairments.

Recycleplace—Get paid to recycle your empty inkjet printer cartridges.

San Mateo County RecycleWorks—One of the best recycling, re-use, and green living resources I've found, this site features info for San Mateo County and beyond.

Soles4Souls—Donate your gently worn shoes to people around the world in need of basic, decent footwear.

Sonoma County Recycling Guide—Recycling and safe disposal info and resources for Sonoma County.

Steel Recycling Directory—Search for local resources for recycling all types of steel, from cans to appliances to cars.

Stopwaste.org—Alameda County's repository for information, links, and resources on recycling, safe disposal, and waste reduction.

Think Outside the Bin—Ideas and resources for donating or recycling everything from Halloween costumes to artwork, from bridal gowns to cell phones

Tyvek envelope recycling—Send Tyvek envelopes (the kind used by FedEx and other shipping services) back to the manufacturer for safe recycling.

Moving + Relocation

Bay Area Box Express—One of my favorite moving-related resources in the Bay Area, Bay Area Box Express offers discounted (but high-quality) moving boxes and supplies, all of which they'll deliver.

Organizing for How You Think + Learn

ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life—Written by a professional organizer (Judith Kolberg) and an ADD clinician (Kathleen Nadeau), this book was one of the first to offer specific and effective techniques for getting organized around some of the challenges of living with ADD, and was updated in 2012.

Organizing for the Creative Person—A guide to getting and staying organized as an "arbi" (right brain) thinker. (Nope, you don't need a spotless desk or a minimalist home to be organized!)