erindoland
Erin Rooney Doland is Editor-in-Chief of Unclutterer.com, a website providing daily articles on home and office organization, and author of the book Unclutter Your Life in One Week, published in November 2009 by Simon and Schuster.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, William Allen White School of Journalism, and her master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a writer, productivity consultant, and lecturer. She, her husband, and son reside in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

In addition to her work at Unclutterer, Erin is a weekly columnist here on SimplyStated. She has also been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, USA Weekend and the Wall Street Journal Online.

Recent Posts By erindoland

Repurposed Objects Make Great Organizing and Storage Solutions

Some of my favorite organizing and storage materials are repurposed objects. For example, I currently have a jelly jar holding all of my business cards on my desk. My cards are bright orange, and they make me smile whenever I see them. The jar keeps them contained, but visible — a perfect solution for my office.

Repurposed objects are great for organizing and storage because often they’re recycled from another area of your home (bye bye, clutter!), and they’re free (cha-ching!). These are five objects that have been repurposed in my home:

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Makeover a Closet While Elfa Shelving Is on 30 Percent Discount

My house has three closets — one in each bedroom and an itty, bitty, tiny one under the stairs on our first floor. Obviously, we use the one in our bedroom for clothes storage. My husband, my 19-month-old son, and I share this closet. The closet under the stairs holds digital media that needs to be climate controlled for my husband’s business. This leaves our second bedroom closet as the primary storage for our entire house.

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Unclutter Your Time By Not Judging Others for Their Clutter

As a child, my parents repeatedly told me that it’s not what is on the outside that matters, but what is on the inside. I was an extremely literal child, so I thought they meant that a person’s organs — like their lungs and kidneys — were very important. The advice was wasted on me because I didn’t know how I was supposed to see someone’s liver to make an evaluation of a person.

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Space-Saving Bookshelf-Desk

I’m always on the lookout for storage solutions that can work double or triple duty. I currently live in a small-ish space (less than 1,300 sq ft), we lived for the first five years of our marriage in a small place (850 sq ft), and, when we were dating, my husband lived in an itty-bitty place (400 sq ft). I know what it’s like to have your home’s size significantly limit your design and storage options, and finding great furniture can be difficult. So, when I see a stylish, multi-functioning object that includes a storage component, I want to scream it from mountain tops.

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Getting Your Bookshelves In Order

Marketplace, a show produced by American Public Media that runs on many National Public Radio stations, reported earlier this week that “Hardback books are still thriving.” Apparently, even though sales of electronic books have skyrocketed in the past 12 months, so purchases of hardcover books have gone up in both the U.S. and U.K.

If you’re a hardcover book buyer, you may be finding yourself knee deep in books and looking for some organizing solutions. Here are my tips for some rules to apply to your bookshelves to keep them clutter free and organized.

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Methods for Organizing Children’s Toys

My 18-month-old son’s toys are currently residing in our living room. We are rearranging all of the bedrooms in our home, so everything except for his crib has been moved into our main living space. Seeing his toys heaped into a giant pile has made me realize that we already need to unclutter his collection. He has toys he hasn’t touched in months, and he has a new cousin who would love to play with them.

I’ve also noticed that my son has difficulty recognizing his toys when they’re in a giant pile. He simply sees a mound of stuff, not dozens of individual toys. This is normal for children at his age, and even some adults. The aphorism related to this that you commonly hear is: “He can’t see the forest for the trees.”

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Emerging Organizing Products

One of the great contradictions about my life and career is that to be able to help people unclutter and organize their lives, I have to spend a lot of my time researching and learning about products. There are months when I visit The Container Store five or more times, and every day I’m “shopping” online. I help others eschew extraneous possessions, but spend my time focused on physical stuff.

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Three Year-End Organizing Queries

The last days of a year are great for reflecting on the past and thinking about the future. During this time, I like to ask myself a series of queries to help me draft resolutions and to help me remember the good things from the last 12 months. I noticed yesterday that a few of these questions are related to organizing, and thought you might be interested in them as well.

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Three Year-End Organizing Queries

The last days of a year are great for reflecting on the past and thinking about the future. During this time, I like to ask myself a series of queries to help me draft resolutions and to help me remember the good things from the last 12 months. I noticed yesterday that a few of these questions are related to organizing, and thought you might be interested in them as well.

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Creating Uncluttering and Organizing Resolutions for 2011

Many people enjoy setting resolutions, and at the top of many lists is: Be more organized. Unfortunately, without more concrete objectives, these resolutions run the risk of being unfulfilled.

If you’re setting resolutions and wish to include organizing or uncluttering goals to your list, consider one or more of these (I probably wouldn’t try to tackle all of them, though):

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