Organizing Posts for Emily Henderson

i got to experience Emily Henderson’s designing prowess when i attended a baby shower in a home she had just finished designing. it was one of those homes where your mouth just stays open. at every turn i was ohhhing and ahhing at all the wonderful design choices. after that, i was like, okay. i got to get some of her style into my home. so of course i immediately followed her on IG, twitter and the like–where i then spotted that she was looking for a collaborator and contributor for her blog to do some organizing content. sign me up!!! turns out, we had friends in common and it was a match made in project heaven.

so below, i give you two of my first organizing posts for Emily. the first one is wood jewelry blocks which are so freaking simple to make. in my first brainstorm, they actually started off as something completely different (which i may still try and make for the heck of it). Emily wanted something lighter and a little more minimal which turned out really great.


this second DIY which is featured in this months Redbook Magazine is my all-time favorite organizing tool for active paperwork–the clear wall pocket. i always have left them plain and used fun file folders to make them attractive but Emily suggested we take it up a notch and go all out with our own design. I did some research and found some neat patterns and went with a minimal color scheme that has a big impact.

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we have some other really cool organizing projects coming up–so excited to share them over the next few months!!

Going Paperless: A Journey Worth Taking

A guest blog by Bneato team member Lauren Mang.

I’ve been working with Beth at Bneato for a little while now, and have attended not one but three of her No Mess No Stress Paper Bootcamps (I highly recommend you attend one in your area). It was at my first bootcamp that I learned the term ‘paperless.’ Beth had brought her Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M Document Scanner for Mac to the bootcamp in case anyone wanted to start the process of going paperless by scanning their documents on her super efficient machine (50 pages per minute; front/back and in color). She also brought two shredders so we could walk out without any extra ‘stuff.’

Now, I’ve been pretty organized my whole life, but even I learned my paperwork system was not efficient. Once I streamlined my files, Beth came over to see if I had any questions. She saw I was holding onto a file of documents (which included dog training lessons, tips/tricks and fun facts for dogs). She asked me if I planned to use them and I immediately responded, ‘Well, some day.’ As soon as the words came out I knew I had uttered the dreaded words: ‘some day’ indicates clutter and it is something you should rid yourself of. However, in my case, I was going to use those documents the next time I got a dog, as they had worked so well for my current dog. But I didn’t want to hold on to all that excess paper so Beth said we could scan them and then I could shred them. Immediately, I was hooked.

The next time we had a bootcamp I had just completed a Last Will & Testament which I was then able to scan/shred and even email to my choice of executer. It felt so freeing and was so easy! Since it’s January, I decided it was time to go through my file cabinet – which had been organized only a few months before – and clear out any papers I didn’t need. I shredded statements for my auto lease, credit card statements that were paid off, and my Time Warner statements, among others. It was then that I realized I was holding on to a lot of paper that I didn’t need, but wasn’t necessarily ready to let go of – like my offer letter for my dream job that I landed in 2008, only to get laid off thanks to the recession in 2009. And then, of course, there were the documents that I did need: medical/dental documents, real estate related documents, vet bills/statements, etc. But did I need paper copies of these?

I asked Beth if I could use her scanner once again (I do plan on investing in my own as soon as Staples comes out with a 25% off coupon that will apply), and of course she obliged. She even recommended I read an e-book called Paperless by David Sparks. He recommends the Fujitsu scanner, among others, and gives great tips on how to digitally file your paperless documents. I spent 2 hours scanning documents that I organized into folders on my computer. Naturally, I keep things backed up on three different back up drives (two external and the Time Machine), but I’d rather the files be digital than in paper form. You can also back up to the cloud, or to Dropbox. The next step was shredding all those documents – at least one ream of paper, if not a ream and a half.

During the most recent bootcamp, I caught a tip that Beth had given out many times before, but this time it clicked: instead of saving assembly instructions and product manuals, why not find them online and bookmark them, download a PDF from the manufacturer’s website, or scan any items that you can’t locate online and save to your computer? I had a giant file of these that I didn’t want lying around. Now, I’ll admit, it took several hours to locate information on approximately 25 of my manuals/instructions, and for another handful I had to scan them in myself, but it was worth the time!

About the time I was going through the paperless process (and literally feeling lighter because of it) I was offered a job up in the San Francisco Bay Area which would mean a move north – and a quick one at that. I was so thankful I had already unloaded what would’ve been at least one large box that I would’ve had to schlep to my new digs. And what’s better, the shredded documents have acted as great packing material for my dishes and other fragile items!

Going paperless probably seems like a very daunting and time consuming idea. We tend not to trust technology as it has failed us before, but if we back up, do things right, and invest the time to get our system organized, it will make our lives lighter and easier. Buh-bye files/manuals, I’m living the paperless life now!


Before and After: DIY-ing Our Office Closet


so we just moved—like halloween was our move-in day (i dressed up as a mover… bahdum tish!) and in this home, the beau and i decided to merge offices—well, at least office closets—the rest is open for a lengthy debate. but instead of bringing you into our quibble over sharing the office, i will let you in on the fun office closet that i maximized with leftover shelving from our old place…

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Nifty product alert!

A guest blog by Bneato team member Nicole Tenret

nifty (niftē)
particularly good, skillful, or effective
fashionable; stylish

What to do with all those iPhone, camera, USB, earbud, and various other electrical cords tangled up in your desk drawer? Coil them up and secure them with these Gear Ties by Nite Ize, available at The Container Store (although not on their website). Of course, you could always use bread bag twist ties in a pinch.

do you know about gump’s?!


ladies. dudes. i’m currently on my world tour… was first in austin for a week at SXSW, then made the trek to San Fran (where i discovered—or rather, was told, about Gump’s). now i’m in Baltimore for NAPO 2012 conference (for organizing fanatics only). but back to gump’s. my beau’s step-mom took us to this store and it’s kinda insane. it’s a little old school but in the best possible way. i, of course, found tons of things i wanted to take home (some are affordable but most will break your bank). the fact that the store is super fancy and called gump’s kinda seals the deal for me.

1  i want to rip every page out of this book and frame in my home! i will eventually buy this book and find a poster by Miroslav Sasak to frame so as to keep the book intact:)

2  golden rule. hmpf. how about a golden ruler?! it’s actually brass but who cares? it looks rad!

3  ercolano shou box (made exclusively for gump’s). super duper fancy and offered in black and white. i’ll take both.

4  well hello orange lacquered box. you’re so shiny and bold. come on over and i’ll fill you with jewelry or sewing stuff.

5  when i was in college, i got over a boy dumping me with good friends, a lot of alcohol and a huge puzzle that we put together in the living room. and while puzzles usually scream, “college dorm room!” this woodcut one screams, “you’re so cool. where’d you get that! let’s frame it and put it on display!”

6  i have a thing for stationary. and when i have loads of money to throw away, i might just spend some on custom stationary by charles fradin. until then, this recipe box would be a fun hostess or housewarming gift for a friend that cooks.

7  i love love love cane chairs. we had some in our old house that our cats ruined. thanks for that kitties! i’d have to keep this tote hidden from their little claws.


these binders are kinda Bneato


i love love love the look of these brown binders from rebinder. the black spine is super chic and would look stylish in any board meeting. you can also get custom binders printed (see the kiehl’s and dooney & bourke examples above). they’re also crazy eco-friendly. made from recycled cardboard and chipboard, these binders will make you feel like an environmental badass.

the pen to replace all others


when i’m helping clients declutter and organize their office spaces, one of the categories that is usually overflowing are run-of the-mill office pens. only you can determine what a reasonable number of pens is to own but i would suggest no more than 10. #srsly. and i think i’ve found my next purchase for when my pens are all dried up and no longer work…. the 7 year pen. apparently it packs an uber sized ink cartridge that can write for 7+ years (insane). the styles are adorable, they would make a great gift for  a friend—or display one at your own desk. the rest of the lot can be found here and for only $7.50, i’d say the 7 year pen is a steal of a deal.

industrial organizers + containers

currently working with a client that would like more of an industrial look to store office supplies and such. here’s some of the items i found (really liking number 5–looks vintage, no?) and let a gal know if you have your own sources for industrial organizers and containers. oh yea, shout out your favs from the above lot!

1. Wire basket

2. Stack N Nest Fiber Glass Containers

3.  Stacking Conductive Bins

4. Locker Bin

5. Steel Stacking Bins

6. Metal Paper Tray

7. Stackable Bin

8. Chrome Letter Tray

9. Black Letter Tray

fun office supplies


because sometimes you just need to keep it interesting at work. i happened upon this website after clicking on one of the items that daily candy editor crystal meers loves in this roundup. meers apparently has a penchant for japanese pens (and lots of other cool stuff). you’ll find plenty more neat office supplies when you visit jetpens site. just don’t go overboard (meaning limit your purchases to only stuff you really need). the rest of my faves after the jump! Continue reading

did i just find my new favorite hanging file folder?

i don’t love that smead left the “t” out of fast tab (i know and i get it but i don’t have to like it, do i)? anywhoodle, during the expo at conference, i spotted smeads fas tab file folders. i swear to the filing gods that staples doesn’t carry this line (i will check online right now).  whatever. it looks like they do carry them—at least on their website. i guess you can call me more of a classic filer and when i’m shopping in the store, i’ll typically zero in on the files with clear tabs. but i may be changing my tune. the only downfall that i can foresee is reusing the files. like what if the current label says “accounting procedures” and you go to reuse it with the category name “auto.” you can see where that might not work…. what do you use? are you a classic filer like moi? or do you change it up with fas tab?