by Brandy D. Anderson
Another year has begun, and according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, ‘Getting Organized’ is the second most common New Year’s resolution (right behind ‘Losing Weight’). For everyone who wants to get a better foothold on organization, I’ve gathered four of the best ‘go-get’em’ web sites out there!
Real Simple is a comprehensive web site that covers food (recipes, cooking, kitchen tools…), fashion (clothing, accessories, hair…), lifestyles (etiquette, health, family, money, etc), holiday planning, gift giving, and matters of the home. For the home-sphere, we have the options of “organizing”, “cleaning”, “decorating”, “gardening”, “green living”, and “home improvement”. If you click on the “organizing” option you’re taken to a page where you can scroll down the list of article links, each has a quick informational hook beneath the title.
You can find out the “6 Smarter Ways to Organize Your Kitchen: If your cooking space turns to chaos every time you scramble eggs, a quick reshuffling is in order. These guidelines will point you in the right direction”. There are “6 Dishwasher Do’s and Don’ts: Fork tines up or down? Plates facing right or left? Two pros cycle through their dish-loading directives”. Another article shows you “5 Pantry Space Savers: These picks from organizing pros will keep your goods neatly sealed, stacked, and in sight”. If you often have overnight guests, you’ll want to check out: “How to Make a Bed Your Guests Won’t Want to Leave: You can’t blame them for sleeping in when their room is this comfortable”. Parents will appreciate: “10 Things to Toss From Your Kid’s Room in the Next 10 Minutes: In less than the amount of time it takes to hard-boil an egg, you can clear your kid’s room of clutter. Just whiz through this list”.
This easy-to-navigate site has it all to help you whip your home back into shape. By using the separate tabs at the top for “Cut Clutter”, “Clean House”, “Get Organized”, “Kitchen Tips”, “Seasonal Spin”, “Free Printables”, or “Home” you can fine-tune your cleaning plan in seconds. If you’re not sure where to start, you can simply scroll down on the Home page because all of the articles neatly appear in one long scroll-as-you-go list, with large thumbnails and info blurbs for each article link.
A neat feature on the Home page is the “Organized Tip of the Day” on the left-hand corner. Today’s tip: “Insurance Policy: Wallet, Meet Scanner: Bounce back from the pain of a lost or stolen wallet: make a quick scan of wallet contents. Lay credit cards face down on the scanner to create a reference record in case of loss. Kept in the safe (or safety deposit box); you’ll know at a glance what was in your missing wallet”. Some of the articles include: “Winter Preparedness Checklist: When wintry weather blows, will your family be prepared? Winter brings special seasonal challenges to an organized home…”, “Take the New Year Cleaning Challenge: Christmas has come and gone… and left a mess behind. Looking around, you wonder how you’ll ever dig out in time for Spring! Solution? Take the challenge!”Another one: “Resolutions Rescue: Clean Out the Refrigerator: Standing in line at the supermarket check stand, nobody can deny that we’re on the dreary downside of a new year. Tabloid headlines scream the weight-loss secrets of the stars, while traditional women’s magazines sing siren songs of money-saving, belly busting, speed-cleaning tips and techniques. We ourselves? All those resolutions that looked so basic, so easy, so noble through the champagne haze of New Year’s Eve have lost their rosy glow viewed in the stark light of a morning cup of coffee…”
When you first visit this page you’re invited to “Create a Happier, Healthier, More Fulfilling Life with Maria Garcia”. Garcia boasts an impressive list of references: USA Today, The Business Journal, Woman’s Day, Barnes & Nobles, Better Homes, Fox News, Staples, and Reader’s Digest. This site also claims to be “The Original Get Organized Now! Website. Since 1997”. Garcia promises to help you “Organize your home. Organize your office. Organize your life”. She goes on to say that her page will also help you to “Beat the clutter and find more time for the things you love”.
While the page may look a bit cluttered at first glance (not a good thing for an organizational site), it does make up for it with solid content and easy to use jump-links clearly located at the top of the page. You can jump to “Quick Tips”, “Reader Tips”, “Checklists”, “Challenges”, “Ask Maria”, “Recipes”, “Inspiration”, and “Blog”. You can also choose to go to “Home”, “About Us”, “Contact Us”, “Affiliate Program”, “Free Newsletter”, “Free Resources”, and the “GON Store”. If you simply scroll down from the main page, you’ll see a variety of large thumb nails with articles mixed in with adverts. Some of the article series include: “GON: Is it worth your time? (“Is it really necessary to flip your mattress? Find Out!”), “GON Inspiration Quotes”, “GON Organizing Checklist” (“A new year… a fresh start. Make the new year your most organized ever!”), “GON Reader Tip” (“Here’s what I do to keep my junk drawer organized”), and “GON Repurpose & Transform” (“Display holiday cards beautifully… here’s how!”).
When you first get to this page, you’re asked to personalize your experience. “To get started, tell us what you’d most like to organize”. Your choices are office, household, children, time management, and financial records. The page explains, “Organize Yourself is an online service, based on my [Ronni Eisnberg] best selling organization books, that is personally customized to your hopes and strengths [sic]. By allowing you to concentrate on just one thing at a time, this service makes it easier than ever to get organized. Don’t miss the chance to start changing your habits and become better organized. You can master a valuable life-long skill without wrenching changes.”
After you make your choice, you’re directed to a short series of questions. For instance, if you chose “household” as your principle area of concern you’re asked to rate each statement with “never”, “sometimes”, or “always”. The statements include: “I’m proud of how my closets are organized”, “My refrigerator gets cleaned out well”, “I plan my meals at least one week in advance”, and “Clutter is a problem for me”. After you complete that portion, you’re taken to a new screen which will tell you the percentage of how organized you are based on your responses. You’re also asked if you want to be mailed “your customized Personal Plan risk-free” with the promise that you’ll receive “guidance… focus… insight… solutions… inspiration… strategies… ” and “connections”.