My Love Affair with Command™ Hooks

If you’ve been reading my organizing tips for a while, it should come as no surprise to you that I love Command™ Hooks. If you’re not familiar with them, let me elucidate. They are a line of hooks, strips, and other products that can be adhered to a wall or other smooth surface without damaging it.

Command™ hooks are all over my house. Here are some of the ways in which I use them:

  • Outside the entryway closet door: a hook for a wet coat to dry out before going back in the closet.
  • Inside the entryway closet door: hooks for my handbag, shoehorn, and spare keys.
  • In the living room: Round Cord Clips to manage a speaker’s electrical cord.
  • In the kitchen: hooks on which to hang potholders, a strainer, and my frequently-used pans. (See my tips Keeping a Lid on Your Pots and Pans and Little Things Mean A Lot.)
  • In my bedroom closet: two Quartz Jewelry and Scarf Racks to hang my necklaces, and a hook for pajamas. (See my tip Hang Your Necklaces.)
  • Outside the bathroom door: a hook for a nightgown or bathrobe.
  • In my daughter’s bedroom: hooks on the outside of her closet doors to hang damp exercise clothes and handbags.

Command™ Bath Satin Nickel Hair Dryer Holder

In my daughter’s dorm rooms over the years, we used various Command™ products, including hooks for bags and Poster Strips for decorating the walls. They are great for a dorm room because everything has to come down at the end of the year, and Command™ products are so easy to remove. I’ve used Command™ products with many of my clients as well, such as the Broom Gripper, which keeps your brooms and mops handy and off the floor.

Some Command™ products that I haven’t used yet but which fascinate me are:

Command™ hooks come in multiple finishes, including white, clear, and metallic. I’m particularly enamored of the metallic ones, as they complement any decor.

You can see the full Command™ product line and FAQs on the official website.

Keeping a Lid on Your Pots and Pans

The other day, I was marveling at how much easier it is now to get out and put away pots and pans and their lids. It used to be such a struggle.

A few months ago, I reviewed all of my kitchen cabinets and drawers. I reacquainted myself with the contents, disposed of anything we didn’t use, and rearranged everything that was left so that the things we used the most often were easy to reach.

I made two big changes when we got to the pots and pans cabinet. Firstly, a major cause of the clutter in that cabinet was due to the wok. My husband got the wok several years ago but used it only a few times before the novelty wore off. It took up a lot of room in the cabinet, but because it was in the back, I hadn’t realized it was still there.

With my husband’s permission, we recycled the wok. That gave us the room to move the lesser-used pots into the back and keep the smaller, more frequently-used ones in the front.

The second big change I made was to take our two most frequently-used pans and hang them on the wall using Command™ Hooks. This keeps them easily in reach, and provides a lot of extra room in the cabinet. And I feel so satisfied every time I rehang the clean pan on the wall!

Are you struggling with pots and lids every time you cook? What can you get rid of? What can you pull out of the cabinet and hang somewhere in the kitchen — on a wall, or from the ceiling — to make access easier?



Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

A few years ago, Marie Kondo made a splash with her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. A Professional Organizer from Japan, Kondo exhorted her readers to get rid of any possession that didn’t “spark joy”. Her method of folding clothing vertically allowed for easy viewing and retrieval of items in drawers. (See my previous organizing tip: To Fold or Not to Fold.)

Kondo is back in the news with her eight-episode Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, which debuted on January 1. While I’ve only watched the first episode so far, I see some advantages of this show over other organizing shows from previous years.

Kondo demonstrates her method to the clients in the show and gives them guidance while she’s there, but it’s up to the clients to do the work, much of which occurs in between sessions. On other shows, the clients are sent off to a hotel for the weekend while the organizing team gives the home a makeover and then brings the clients back for the “big reveal”. In reality, Professional Organizers work closely with their clients. We don’t organize for them — we help them to become organized.

Kondo treats the clients with respect and compassion. She doesn’t belittle them or make fun of their stuff, as the organizing teams on other shows have done. One mark of Professional Organizers is that we pride ourselves on being non-judgmental. That is one of the things that makes hiring a professional different from asking a partner or friend to help.

An article in the Washington Post speculates that Kondo’s new series has inspired many furloughed government employees to use their downtime to get organized, claiming “Donations at Washington-area Goodwill centers were up 66 percent over last year for the first week of January.” I’m happy for any show or book that brings Professional Organizing into the national conversation and gives people an idea of what it is like to work with a professional.

If getting more organized made it to the top of your list for the new year, check out Kondo’s show. If you want some personalized help, get in touch with me or find a Professional Organizer near you at

Little Things Mean A Lot

I made a small change in my kitchen yesterday and it is making me ridiculously happy.

What did I do? I used a Command™ hook to hang a strainer above my sink. It only took me a few minutes, but every time I walk into the kitchen, I am practically giddy.

kitchen-strainerYou see, I use this strainer almost every day. Sometimes I use it twice a day. I may use it to rinse blueberries at breakfast, or to rinse cherry tomatoes at lunchtime. Then I rinse it with hot water and put it in the dish drainer. That means that the strainer spends a lot of time in the dish drainer, making the already-small kitchen look cluttered and making it harder to put other things in the dish drainer. Sometimes it makes it back into the cabinet, but soon after, I’m taking it out again.

It finally occurred to me that if I had a place to hang it while it was drying, I could save space and have it readily accessible when I need it. I love Command™ hooks and use them all over my house, so I checked the Command™ web site to find out which hook was most appropriate for kitchen utensils.  The one they recommended was one I already have in my stash of Command™ hooks. I tried it out, verified that it would work, stuck it on the molding over my sink, and waited the requisite hour before adding the strainer. Voilà!

As household projects go, this was a very small one, and it took me only a few minutes to accomplish. The reason why it makes me so happy is because it will make a big change in the utility of my limited counter space. And seeing it hanging there makes me feel like a cook!

When you are tackling your clutter issues, rather than trying to do everything, think about what small changes will make the biggest difference for you. The goal should be to make your space more usable and keep your most frequently-used items at your fingertips.

And now I’m off to rinse some tomatoes!

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

Back in June, I wrote about a project on which I had done a good bit of procrastinating (see A Blessing and A Curse). To refresh your memory on the salient details, I was asked to record a 90-minute class I had delivered at a NAPO conference 6 years earlier, so that the class could be made available as part of NAPO’s educational offerings. I put it off and put it off, and finally got it done by setting myself a deadline. But as it turns out, that wasn’t the end of the story.

First, a little more background. Somehow, my first attempt at recording what had been a live 90-minute class came out to only 27 minutes. By going into more detail on some of the points in the class, I was able to extend it to 36 minutes – an increase of 33%. I was pleased that I could add more value to the class. But as Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

A couple of weeks later, my contact at NAPO headquarters let me know that the NAPO Education Committee wanted all NAPO courses to be at least 60 minutes long so that they could be used as Continuing Education Units (CEUs). As a Certified Professional Organizer® who needs to earn CEUs to keep my certification, I was sympathetic to the concept. But how was I going to add another 24 minutes to this class? Especially when I had already wracked my brain to extend it 33%? I guess I was going to have to do a little more brain-wracking.

The class is called “Less is More: Maximizing Small Residential Spaces.” I decided to add more examples of the guidelines I had included for small spaces. I gave more specific tips. I added photos of products. And I included more client anecdotes. I spent many hours researching more content, and I actually had fun coming up with new ideas. The number of slides in my presentation went from 18 to 42.

When I recorded the class, I was thrilled to see that it had reached 60 minutes and 51 seconds. Success!!

The class is now available on the NAPO educational website, NAPO University, for $45. While it is intended for Professional Organizers, it is chock full of content that is useful to anyone who lives in a small space and is looking for some pointers. Check it out here.

This experience was a good lesson for me that we do our best work when pushed out of our comfort zones. I started out by thinking “I can’t” but ultimately, I could — and I did.