Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: How does the organizer stay organized?
Published 04/19/2012 at 9 a.m.
Get Organized appears on the first and third Fridays of each month. Naples-based professional organizer Marla Ottenstein is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.
Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: Staying clean after four months
Published 02/17/2012 at 4 a.m.
After three months of our contest winners living with their reorganized closet, we wanted to know: Could they maintain it?
Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: Keeping track of birthdays & theater tickets a never-ending, but manageable task
Published 02/02/2012 at 3:32 p.m.
Dear Marla: As a die-hard thespian, I attend a lot of concerts, plays and ballet productions. My biggest problem is keeping track of the surfeit of tickets. So far, I haven't lost any, but there have been a few close ...
Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: Don't wait to declutter your desktop and desk top
Published 01/26/2012 at 11 a.m.
Marla Ottenstein's Get Growing appears every other Friday in Neapolitan.
Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: Velcro, Command hooks and a killer backhand — all reasons to be thankful
Published 11/18/2011 at 4 a.m.
As I write this column, it's the middle of August and for some strange, indiscernible reason, I'm dreaming of Thanksgiving. With thoughts of turkey and cornbread stuffing clogging my brain, what better time to list those things I'm thankful for?
Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: Collier County celebrates America Recycles Day
Published 11/04/2011 at 4 a.m.
Waste not/want not as Collier County celebrates America Recycles Day
Marla Ottenstein’s Get Organized: A well-stocked tennis or golf bag is a cinch with this list
Published 09/30/2011 at 6 a.m.
On the courts or on the links, everyone has their own list of “must-haves” when packing his or her tennis and golf bags; some things are a bit quirky and some not so unusual, but nonetheless, things we can’t live ...
Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: Messiest closet makeover winners
Published 09/22/2011 at 3:29 p.m.
Reality TV is a sham. Do people really think a team of smiling organizers; contractors and flower-in-their-hair television hosts will show up at their door; take one look around before sending them on their way with a kiss on the ...
Marla Ottenstein’s Get Organized: Tools to get better organized
Published 09/01/2011 at 2:05 p.m.
If you ask me to name the three greatest inventions of the past 50 years (costing fewer than five dollars apiece) and I’ll give you an answer quicker than a chicken can cross the road to get to the other ...
Marla Ottenstein’s Get Organized: Back-to-school backpack packing is elementary if you plan in advance
Published 08/11/2011 at 11:15 a.m.
Until eBooks are de rigueur in the classroom or pigs learn how to fly, packing a backpack for your kids’ foray into elementary school might seem the challenge of a lifetime. But trust me, it’s nothing compared to the BIG ...
Marla Ottenstein’s Get Organized: Less is more when it comes to what’s kept under the kitchen sink
Published 08/03/2011 at 1:43 p.m.
For some reason, the area under the kitchen sink is one of the most abused spaces in our homes. It tends to be the spot to hide all those “seen-on-TV” products that, in reality, never work as well as they ...
Marla Ottenstein’s Get Organized: Organization runs in the family, transcends generations
Published 07/15/2011 at 6 a.m.
Dear Marla: I’m moving into my first apartment and want to put together a small tool box in case I ever need to fix something myself.
Marla Ottenstein's Get Organized: Car travel essentials
Published 06/30/2011 at 10:35 a.m.
No matter if you’re taking a family vacation or just running errands, anyone old enough to drive should think smart and keep a few fundamental items in his or her car at all times.
Get Organized: Pack your hurricane kits now and be ready
Published 06/02/2011 at 12:30 p.m.
Dear Marla: It’s that time of year again when I run around shopping for flashlights, batteries, canned food, bottled water and a bunch of other things in case of a hurricane. I’m always afraid of forgetting something; do you have ...
GET ORGANIZED: Spring cleaning isn’t that hard
Published 05/20/2011 at 9:03 a.m.
With the onslaught of reality TV shows like “Clean House” and “Hoarders,” most people assume the parallels between disorganization (organization) and cleanliness are indistinguishable, which, in some cases, may be true, but not all the time. Scary as it may ...
GET ORGANIZED: Preparing to sell your home? It’s not hard if you listen
Published 05/05/2011 at 9:59 a.m.
Dear Marla: As a Realtor, it’s frustrating when customers don’t take my advice when I tell them what needs to be done to speed up the sale of their homes. Then, when the house doesn’t sell, it’s my fault. Maybe ...
Get organized: Planning makes tax year less painful
Published 04/01/2011 at 1:19 p.m.
Dear Marla: Many of us need advice on how to get control of and organize our files, paperwork, bills and receipts so that next year, when tax season rolls around, we are more organized. It’s a vicious cycle, don’t you ...
Get organized: The organizer comes clean about closet clearance
Published 03/17/2011 at 5:05 p.m.
My best friend Dennis is an executive with a famous department store in New York City where all employees are required to wear black with a dash of attitude thrown in for good measure. It goes without saying that my ...
Get organized: A great plan for organizing pants
Published 03/03/2011 at 6:16 p.m.
Between skinny legs, wide legs, bell-bottomed and boot cut; flat front or pleated (yes, unfortunately pleats are making a comeback); low- rise, high-rise or waist-cut; “feeling skinny” or “feeling fat” pants, it’s almost impossible to decipher one pair of black ...
Get organized: Storing some items takes a bit of ingenuity
Published 02/17/2011 at 6:09 p.m.
Dear Marla: Shoes, shoes, shoes and more shoes! I have more than 400 pairs of shoes, and before you ask, I refuse to get rid of any of them! I live in a two-bedroom condo and am literally surrounded by ...
Get organized: Travel essentials
Published 01/20/2011 at 4:15 p.m.
Dear Marla: Suddenly, I seem to have more electronic devices than I know what to do with. The problem is what should I take when traveling here and abroad?
Get organized: 20-minute solution to the New Year's resolution
Published 01/06/2011 at 4:30 p.m.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, while most people are caught-up in the festivities of welcoming in the New Year, others are hard at work making a list of New Year’s resolutions they are determined to accomplish within the first ...
Get organized: Great storage tools make great gifts
Published 12/16/2010 at 2:22 p.m.
As the song goes, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” are some of Maria von Trapp’s favorite things. But my favorites — with the exception of tennis, Colorado peaches and Paris — tend to be a bit more ordinary ...
- Get organized: Add more time to your day Published 12/03/2010 at 4:26 p.m.
- Get organized: Get rid of what you don't need Published 11/05/2010 at 2:44 p.m.
Get organized: Prepping your home for sale
Published 10/22/2010 at 2:10 p.m.
Most real estate professionals recognize the benefits of having an expert help prepare their clients’ homes to be listed for sale. The idea of creating space by eliminating clutter and putting away as many personal effects as possible allows prospective ...
Get organized: Taming the overstuffed purse
Published 10/07/2010 at 6:17 p.m.
I have a girlfriend whose handbag is the size of Rhode Island — on steroids! When I asked why she carried a year’s supply of cosmetics, not to mention a large jewelry roll; full set of rollers and an assortment ...
- Get organized: Keeping mold at bay Published 09/16/2010 at 5:10 p.m.
Get Organized: Teach your college-bound teen how to be financially responsible
Published 08/26/2010 at 6:59 p.m.
Thankfully, before I went to college, my parents taught me how to plan and implement a budget and how to handle my personal finances in a confident and organized fashion. Their advice and guidance have inspired me throughout my life.
- Get organized: getting your kids ready for college Published 08/05/2010 at 5:20 p.m.
Get Organized: Organizing kids’ rooms needs their investment in the goal
Published 07/15/2010 at 4:35 p.m.
No sooner do I clean and organize my kids’ rooms, than the kids come home from school and within minutes the place is a total wreck all over again. Nothing short of a book of matches will make it go ...
Get Organized: Organizing yourself isn’t an instant process; take it in small steps
Published 07/08/2010 at 5 p.m.
Every time I say I’m going to get organized; something always comes up, which makes it impossible to finish, let alone start, my decluttering projects. Then, the next time I plan on straightening up and really getting my life in ...
Get organized: Organize your laundry for easier washdays
Published 06/17/2010 at 3:13 p.m.
One husband, two athletic daughters, one dog and way too much laundry! What’s a working mother to do? I’m in desperate need of a reprieve. Can you help?
Get Organized: Your car needs these essentials for any road trip you take
Published 05/20/2010 at 5 p.m.
When most of the neighborhood kids were packing to go away to summer camp, my family was loading up the Vista Cruiser and gallivanting off on one wild camping adventure after another.
Get Organized: You too can write an effective ‘to do’ list
Published 05/06/2010 at 4:09 p.m.
Dear Marla: I’m a full-time wife and mother with a part-time job. Between taking care of the house, driving the kids to and from school and to all their after-school activities, I barely have time for myself, let alone things ...
Get Organized: Next tax year will be easier with some planning
Published 04/15/2010 at 4:59 p.m.
Many of us need advice on how to get control of and organize our files, paperwork, bills and receipts so that next year, when tax season rolls around, we are more organized. It’s a vicious cycle, don’t you think?
Get Organized: You need an organized, not a built-up, garage
Published 04/01/2010 at 5 p.m.
My garage is a mess! I’ve seen lots of fancy garage organization systems that are measured, fitted and installed by a team of professionals, but they can cost upwards to $10,000. What do you suggest as a good (sturdy) alternative? ...
Get Organized: Tackling off-site storage ... is it really needed?
Published 03/18/2010 at 7:41 p.m.
When contemplating off-site storage, the most important decisions are: can you afford it and do you need it? Although one decision is not necessarily predicated by the other, once you consider the cost, you might come to the conclusion you ...
Get Organized: Organized in 2 homes? It's possible
Published 03/04/2010 at 11:13 p.m.
I know a woman who travels back and forth between three homes. She was so stressed out trying to remember what she had and where it was, that now she buys everything, from pots and pans, shampoo and conditioner to ...
Get Organized: You can pack a practical carry-on
Published 02/18/2010 at 9:58 p.m.
When trudging through an airport, do you enviously stare at those annoyingly “perfect” people who can pack for a trip, no matter how long or short, in just one bag? The secret to packing light is simple: plan in advance, ...
Get Organized: How does the organizer stay organized?
Published 02/04/2010 at 11:01 p.m.
As a professional organizer, how do you stay organized? Do you keep a journal or create a list of things to do? Should I do this in the morning or evening? Is there a method to conquering this madness in ...
Get Organized: A manageable closet is only a few simple steps away
Published 01/28/2010 at 10:48 p.m.
With the New Year in full swing, it’s time to admit, that some of the “things” we hold onto not only clutter our closets, but also our lives. When it comes to cleaning and organizing our own wardrobes, the tricky ...
Get Organized: Stop the kitchen proliferation with these steps
Published 01/21/2010 at 10:23 p.m.
The good news is that bottled spices and herbs don’t spoil; the bad news is that they will lose their flavor after about six months. My advice is to take an inventory of what’s in your spice cabinet, pantry, refrigerator ...
Get Organized: You can tame that home office in small daily increments
Published 01/14/2010 at 8:38 p.m.
By sorting through the masses of papers and dividing them into smaller, more manageable piles, you should be able to clear off the top of your desk in no time. Try using Post-it® Notes to label the different stacks, for ...
Get Organized: Organization starts with holiday decorations
Published 01/07/2010 at 9:30 p.m.
When it comes to our personal surroundings, each of us has a distinct comfort level and sensitivity as to how we would like things to be. Most of us embrace the inherent desire to live and work in an organized ...