Category Archives: Home Organization

Summer Cleaning: Top Things to Get Rid of and Not Store This Summer

If you’ve let the spring cleaning season go without attacking some of that household clutter, no worries. There’s always summer cleaning!

In fact, summertime can be an even more motivating season for getting rid of stuff because the school year has ended and you have more time. You’re also pulling out dusty suit cases and digging through closets to prepare for vacation.

In all that foraging for old swimsuits and stored floats, you’re probably stumbling over things you haven’t looked at it in years. In the spirit of summer cleaning, it’s time to ask yourself: can I get rid of it instead of storing it again? Let’s look at some summer cleaning top things to get rid of and not store this summer.

Summer Cleaning Item 1:

Old reading material. Do you keep piling up the latest magazines and books you’ve read but weren’t that excited about? Take this time to just ditch it. Box it up and take it to the local thrift store.

Summer Cleaning Item 2:

Old kitchen items. If you feel a bit crowded in your own kitchen, it may be time to sift through it. Getting rid of old plastic ware is actually a good idea because it deteriorates over time. Also consider giving away appliances you haven’t used in years, like a juicer or meat slicer.

Summer Cleaning Item 3:

Stained fabric kept around as cleaning rags. Sometimes it’s tempting to keep stained sheets and towels around for messy activities, but if you haven’t used them in a while, you probably don’t need them.

Summer Cleaning Item 4:

Clothes no one wears anymore. This is an item every household has and which every household needs to go through now and then. Take out each piece of clothing one at a time, and if you haven’t worn it in the last six months, put it in a giveaway box. This includes tee shirts, which we all seem to collect without meaning to.

Summer Cleaning Item 5:

Items stored under the bed. You may keep duffel bags and baseball bats down there for safekeeping, but if you remove these items and they’re caked in dust, take them out of the house.

In all this summer cleaning, you might find some keepsake items. When you discover things that you want to keep but don’t have anywhere to store it, call on us at Stow Simple. We offer easy delivery and pickup of storage in the Miami area!

8 Thanksgiving Space Saving Tips

It’s that time of the year where good cheer, and friends abide. But if you live in a tiny space, how do you make room for all your guests? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with these 8 Thanksgiving Day space saving tips.

Tip 1. Say hello to the space saving bench

If big, bulky chairs are occupying more than their fair share of space in your dining room, consider using a bench along one side of the table to accommodate one or two additional guests. It’s a family holiday, after all; closeness is fitting.

Tip 2. Don’t be afraid of mismatched seating


Don’t go crazy trying to secure enough seating for everyone. Chances are you won’t find all of what you need in one place — and if you do, you’re probably not going to want to pay the hefty price tag to buy it (and then store it). Instead, be practical. Use your couch, your loveseat, and bistro chairs, and create clumps of seating. Rid yourself of the idea that you’ll all fit together at one long table.

Tip 3. Extend that table


Most dining tables are made in standard sizes of 36″W x 72″L with one leaf. You can extend the width one foot and the length an extra 24 inches by simply placing a sheet of standard plywood on top. With a tablecloth draped over the surface, you won’t know the difference.

Tip 4. Stick to your guest list


Just say, “No.” When you’re dealing with minute square-footage, you don’t have the luxury of making room for everyone and their mom (literally). Keep the guest list intimate. Meet all the extras for drinks afterwards.

Tip 5. Rethink your space

If your extended table is a tight fit for your dining room, brainstorm ways to position it differently. If you position the table diagonally, it might give guests on the end a little more breathing room, or even free up space for a couple more chairs

Tip 6. Put your plans on paper first

Before you so much as think of inviting anyone, put your plans to paper — and get comfortable with the idea that you’re going to have to try a lot of different options before finding a layout (and a head count) that you’re comfortable with. Just keep in mind that there should always be a clear “route” to the kitchen and to the bathroom from no matter where your guests are seated.

Tip 7. Double up on the dinner buffet


Create multiple buffets, and reserve a few dishes for the tables. That way you keep hungry guests happy. When possible have a buffet that guests can access from multiple sides to limit the time waiting in line.

Tip 8. Less is more

If the dining room is filled with non-essentials—clear them out before you start decorating and arranging. This will make the room seem more spacious, and a spacious room is more comfortable. Also, removing unnecessary furniture will place emphasis on the table, which seems only right. If you don’t know where to store your stuff, contact an on-demand storage company like Stow Simple. They’ll pick up that extra chair or box of stuff for free and deliver it back on-demand. Storage prices start at $25/mo.



Images: The Kitchn; Flower Factor, Phil Dragash, Brooklyn Bride,Vintage Revivals, fyrefiendJay Vice/Flickr; The Effortless Chic (3); A Beautiful Mess

4 Japanese organizing ideas for Tiny Spaces. We need this Miami.


Stow Simple hits Japan
Stow Simple hits Japan

Japan is the land of creative storage techniques and organizing ideas. The average Tokyo resident has less than 1,000 square feet of living area and have had to learn to live with less stuff in their lives. Japan is also vulnerable to lots of earthquake shaking so not only do they have to own less stuff, it also has to be organized and stored securely.

Stow Simple in Tokyo!
Stow Simple in Tokyo!

Last summer, one of our Stow Simple Team members had the opportunity to travel to Japan and take notes on clever storage techniques and gathered several organizing ideas that could be utilized in Miami’s tight condo spaces. Here are four tips we should all be using right now.

1. Pull-out drawers and pull-down cabinets

Japanese homes really use lots of long, narrow pull out drawers in as many spaces as possible, especially kitchens where counter spaces are limited. They are awesome.  Use them.

Home Kitchens/08 KW House
Look up!  Don’t forget about all the unused space in top cabinets or up on your walls, especially in the kitchen. Many Tokyo apartments have pull down cabinets to maximize kitchen storage. Although, not all are as cool as this one:

2. Organize with semi-porous baskets or labeled boxes

If you have ever been to Japan, you have probably dived into a 100 yen store (sort of like a dollar store on crack.)  You can pick up just about any kind of household item for organizing. There a wide variety of plastic bins with handles to help organize items together in cramped spaces and cut down on disaster zones of clutter. If you live in any major city in the US with a notable Japanese community (LA, San Francisco, Seattle, New York– you’ll find a Daiso that carries these items).

Japanese dollar store bins-every organizer's dream store
Japanese dollar store bins-every organizer’s dream store
Seriously, amazing.
Seriously, amazing.

3. Organizing ideas that show off quirkiness

Sometimes we just don’t have a place for everything so some Japanese display stuff with quirkiness. Have fun and be lighthearted and showcase it in a neat way.

Ultra minimalism at its best
Ultra minimalism at its best


Fun storage--display it in a quirky way!
For the non-minimalist–display stuff  in a quirky but neat way!
Quirky "Rilakuma" (Relax Bear) file boxes
Quirky “Rilakuma” (Relax Bear) file boxes

4.  Use textiles

Don’t forget about textiles when organizing.  They give small spaces movement. In Japan, the changes of seasons are celebrated more prominently than in the US. Residents and business owners change their “norens” in their homes from season to season. These rectangular pieces of fabric with one ore more vertical slits are hung in doorways or windows. Sometimes they are used to divide the space between cooking areas and dining areas. For example, a breezy linen cloth with bright flowers can be used in the summer to make people “feel cooler” with the visual cues of summertime themes.

They can also be used to give a small room a feeling of flow and movement, especially if they are made of linen or hemp.

organizing idea-norens to hide clutter
Norens can hide clutter and also make you feel in tune with the seasons.


Our Stow Simple friend, Kim Hyacynthe, recently moved to Tokyo to start business school and shared her short tour of her tiny apartment with our team. You can get a sense for the lack of space and we are looking forward to her new tours after she gets fully moved in and organized!

Combat Clutter with these 8 Colorful Hacks

Add a pop of color while you combat clutter. These 8 colorful decluttering tools will not only help keep you organized, but also bring a smile to your face (Punky Brewster approved).

Combat Clutter Hack: #1

Need a cute reminder where to leave your purse and keys? These bright beauties will ensure your bag and keys are always within reach.Keep Keys and Bags in One Place, $23.99. Get them here.

Combat Clutter Hack: #2

The ultimate collection of practical, space-saving kitchenware, this colorful set comes with mixing bowls, measuring cups, a sieve and strainer that all happily stack together.

Colorful Nesting Bowls, $50. Get them here.

Combat Clutter Hack: #3

Keep important tools handy with these colorful magnetic stickers.

Tools for your Tools, $14.99. Get them here. 

Combat Clutter Hack: #4

Better than a basket, try this cozy remote tidy to keep your remotes all in one finable place.

Remote Control Caddy, £12.50 . Get it here. 

 Combat Clutter Hack: #5

Craft, art supplies, toys, office items and more are wonderfully organized with this ingenious, portable system. The multiple colors can be used to color code contents or simply to add a burst of interest to a room.

Combat Clutter Storage container, $12.99. Get them here.

Combat Clutter Hack: #6

Have a favorite color? We love cyan. These silicone cyan kitchen utensils look great in our Stow Simple kitchen. They are sure to brighten up your kitchen too.

Combat Clutter Utensils_blue, $14.99. Get them here.

Combat Clutter Hack: #7

Need a mobile way to keep things organized? Try this 10-drawer organizer. Assign each color a theme to easily remember what you have stowed.

colorful files, 39.99. Get it here.

Combat Clutter Hack: #8

Keep all of your desk accessories under control. This four piece set allows you to organize all of your small accessories from pens, pencils, and markers, to rubber bands, paperclips, sticky notes, pushpins, and more. They are available in almost every color of the rainbow.

RedStockholmDesktopOrganizerRed, $11.99. Get it here.