An Olympic Gold Pantry Makeover

An Olympic Gold Pantry Makeover

We are so excited to introduce the author of this blog, Owner of Bee Organized San Francisco, Trish Hodson.  Trish launched this Fall and would you believe one of her first clients was none other than Kristi Yamaguchi?! We are so proud of Trish and excited about the buzz she is creating in the Bay Area! 

Kristen & Lisa


Bee Organized had a blast working with Olympic skater, Kristi Yamaguchi, to deliver her an organized pantry befitting a gold medalist!

Of course, every new job brings with it memorable experiences and teachings. Just the sheer fact that this was Kristi Yamaguchi’s pantry was memorable enough, but we learned quite a lesson…NEVER purge the empty Wheaties box with your client’s face on it!

Don’t fret! All is good. Kristi caught our error before it hit the recycling bin but we did have a good laugh…and a chat about memorabilia not belonging in the pantry!


When you’re as busy as Kristi, having a Pinterest-perfect pantry just isn’t a top priority. Calling out an organizing S.O.S. is nothing to be embarrassed about. We tell our clients to think of their disarray as a badge of honor representing a life that has been spent making memories and being present with loved ones and pursuing their passion. As a busy mom, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist with Always Dream Foundation, Kristi embodies this philosophy. 

So give yourself a break! Your unorganized spaces can be transformed into beautiful and functional spaces with just a little help from the Bees.  

Bee Organized approaches each project with sustainability in mind. A lot of thought is given to how we rework a space so that the family can easily maintain it and it doesn’t revert back to its “pre-Bee” state!

Our goal for Kristi’s pantry was to provide customizable and sustainable solutions so she and her busy family could maintain it without a lot of effort and thought.

The first order of business was to purge any expired food (just not that old Wheaties box!).  Lots of valuable real estate can be found hiding behind those stale crackers and pre-war Halloween candy. And while Kristi’s pantry didn’t have a lot of expired food, we still needed to create more space for everything she needed in there.

At this point, we made another interesting discovery…preserve jars that had Kristi’s pals, Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano, on the labels! Like I said, every job brings memorable experiences.

We had Kristi look at the bulky, non-pantry items and decide whether there was a more logical space they could be relocated. Turns out the crockpot wasn’t getting much use in the wine cellar…so, voila…out went the holiday bowls and serving platters and in came the crock pot!  The holiday platters joined their friends in a kitchen cabinet dedicated to similar pieces. Sometimes something sits in a space so long, you forget that logically, it doesn’t belong there. Bees are insightful little creatures, aren’t they?

With the purging and relocating of items behind us, it was time for Kristi and me to get to the fun stuff…ORGANIZING!  We dove right in sorting foods and putting likes with likes. We also had to determine what needed to be contained and how best to contain it according to the inventory Kristi and her family usually keep on hand.


I explained to Kristi how the Bees love clear acrylic containers for the pantry because you can see what is in them without having to rifle through them.  Kristi loved our space-saving tip of using “stadium seating” for her canned goods.

“Eating is a necessity but cooking is an art – and so is having an organized, functional and pretty pantry!”


Speaking of a pretty pantry, I reminded Kristi that whenever possible you must decant! We got all of those ugly boxes and plastic bags out of there and replaced them with sturdy and easy to clean containers. Having items like cereal, nuts and grains in plastic or glass decanters makes inventory easier to track and keeps your food fresher longer AND makes your pantry look so, well, organized!


Finally, label, label, label.  Having a label on every container will ensure everything is returned to its dedicated space, eliminating piles of food from accumulating.  Kristi loves the aesthetic of neatly labeled containers when she opens her pantry door.



The end of an organizing project is always so fun because you see the fruits of your labor come together…maybe a little bit how Kristi felt when she nailed a new jump on the ice? Although no one was throwing roses on the floor of the pantry when we finished, Kristi felt like we had achieved gold-medal organization and THAT’S a win for everyone!

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Your Life, Simplified! Bee Organized Was Interviewed on Mariner Wealth Advisors’ Podcast!

We want to thank Mariner Wealth Advisors for inviting us to be guests on their newly launched podcast titled Your Life, Simplified.

Your Life, Simplified “focuses on topics that can help make your life easier…from finances and wealth planning to your health, travel and organizing your life. It’s not just about holistic wealth advice…it’s a podcast about putting life in perspective and having a game plan.” We love how our two companies’ messages align and are geared toward simply making your life easier.

We had a great time with host Brian Leitner as we shared our passion for organizing, mixed with the psychology as to why we all buy and keep what we buy and keep! Brian was fascinated by the concept of a professional organizer. We hope we accurately explained the processes we go through with our clients and the benefits being organized can provide to one and all.

We have giggled more than once about how much Kristen over talks Lisa during the podcast (this is a trend that has been in action ever since the two were in the seventh grade). But the truth is, Kristen and Lisa are BOTH crazy about organizing and could BOTH talk about it all day every day!

Actually, ALL of the Bees in our hive are crazy about organization because we see the benefits of getting organized come alive on a daily basis with our clients. We see families experience increased efficiency and peace with cleared living spaces, we see widows’ shoulders lift when we help honor their loved ones by passing along their belongings to people in need, we see young moms feel empowered to sustain daily order through realistic organizing systems and we see overwhelmed retired couples turn from feeling dread to excitement about their upcoming downsizing move when we work with them and break the process down into bite-size pieces.

However, instead of talking all day about organizing, we will simply invite you to listen to Your Life, Simplified and hear for yourself all of the ways Bee Organized can Simplify Your Hive! Go ahead and smirk a little at how Kristen hardly lets Lisa get a word in edge-wise but know that it is just a small example of the magical yin and yang combo that makes this organizing duo buzz!

THANK YOU Mariner Wealth Advisors for hosting the Bees of Bee Organized and allowing us to spread our organizing passion with you and your listeners!

Mariner Wealth AdvisorsMariner Wealth Interview With Bee Organized

The Woes of an Unorganized Garage

It had been a long and tiring week, so when Scott was heading out his front door that chilly Friday morning he was especially happy that the weekend was almost here. Scott carefully picked his way through the snow and ice to his parked car in the driveway, congratulating himself for not falling or spilling his coffee. He had started his car with his remote starter inside but it still needed some manual scraping. Having cleared a nice patch from his windshield, he could see that his console was standing open. He figured one of the kids had left it open but continued scraping ice from his windshield. With frigid hands he began making silent promises that next winter he will make room in the garage to park.

As Scott finally lowered himself into the warmth of his car, he realized his glove box was also open and its contents were strewn all over the front seat. Scott’s stomach dropped as he remembered that he had left his wallet and laptop in the car last night in a haste to get inside and dig through the messy garage to find sidewalk salt before the weather turned worse. Sadly, of course, no laptop or wallet were to be found.

“It’s one of those things you never think will happen to you” Scott has sheepishly explained. Scott reported the incident to the local police and quickly learned he wasn’t the only one who had his Friday morning turn south. “The police told me that three other cars in my neighborhood had been broken into that night.” The police explained to Scott that criminals cruise through neighborhoods scouting out the houses that routinely have cars parked in the driveway knowing that owners foolishly leave valuables inside. According to Kane County Connects, 92% of vehicle burglaries occur on a residential street or a residential driveway.

“The police told me that three other cars in my neighborhood had been broken into that night.”

All of the sudden, his wife’s ongoing pleas to clean out the garage made more sense to Scott. Not only would his car not have been broken into if he could park it in the garage, but he wouldn’t have to scrape or walk through ice on a hurried weekday morning. And, Scott hadn’t even begun to measure all of the benefits he would experience from parking his car in the garage.

Check out these Top Ten Benefits of Parking a Car in the Garage by Mr. Clean where being Less Likely to have Theft or Vandalism is only one of the many perks of parking your car in the garage.

Scott is a smart guy and knows that his garage mess had mushroomed out of his control. When Scott called Bee Organized and told us his “messy garage woes,” we quickly assured him that he wasn’t alone. Garage projects make up a large percentage of our business because the garage tends to be a natural dumping ground. At Bee Organized, we love to help our clients take back control in the garage and reap the many benefits of having an organized garage.

Check out what Bee Organized client, Stacie of Leawood, KS, had to say about hiring Bee Organized to organize her garage:

“After years of squeezing my car into my cluttered, dirty, and jam-packed garage and feeling the stress of a project that I never seemed to be able to tackle, the Bees at Bee Organized worked their magic.  They helped me get rid of what I didn’t need, organize in a way I could not have imagined, and create a space that truly put a smile on my face every time I entered it.  Who would have thought a garage could bring so much happiness and take such a weight off my shoulders?!  I’m so happy I made that call to Bee Organized and will always be grateful for the work they do!”

Thank you Stacie – your Bees had a blast working with you! Check out the before and after of her garage and the unique bike storage solution we provided. And make sure to see more before and after photos from garages across Kansas City!

garage bike organization

We hate that Scott had to become another statistic when his car was broken into and his valuables stolen. But he hopes the retelling of his “unorganized garage woes” will save other people from his same fate. Last week as we were finishing our garage organizing assessment with Scott, he lovingly joked that his wife not being able to continue to nag him about cleaning their unorganized garage is another reason he is so excited to have called Bee Organized!

**Stay tuned for before and after pictures of Scott’s garage organization along with his reaction and, more importantly, his wife’s reaction!**

So, tell us…what’s keeping YOU from parking in YOUR garage?

March Madness & Spring Organizing

In my house, March tends to trump even Christmas morning for some of its occupants. I guess it’s understandable since the month holds the promise of Spring Break and all the joys of warm travel and school-free days that come with it. But for my boys (husband included), it is the NCAA March Madness that gets them doing the happy dance! All of a sudden, our home and calendar is filled with brackets, bets, jerseys and watch parties that have become sacred events. From a very young age, my teenage son has declared that March Madness is “better than Christmas morning!”

Now, I have got to be honest with you, I am a basketball fan but I am not a FAN. I love following and watching the Kansas Jayhawks and of course, I don’t miss a good watch party. But the mouth-foaming-not-able-to-sleep-Christmas-morning-glee effect the NCAA March Madness has on my boys creates a bit of a more subdued reaction in me. However, I do love an organized bracket with appropriately sized logos and color coding!

Whether you have jerseys, flags, and team color cocktail napkins to organize or not, March is also the month that ushers in spring and the promise of rebirth and growth. For organizational geeks like myself, the impending newness of spring March provides makes us itch to tweak, rearrange and organize everything in sight to the tune of whistling birds.

So, while my husband sits studying team rankings and brackets, I work myself into a wild-eyed frenzy making plans and detailed lists to organize this, that and the other around the house whipping up my own kind of March Madness! Luckily through the years (and fails), I have become wiser in the way I approach my March Madness. I used to run around in circles randomly starting organizing projects in every room and then moving on to others before finishing in a flurry of very UN-organized organizing. Oftentimes, my excitement and joy of spring organizing got so out of hand that it was similar to the horror of a #2 seed getting upset by a #15 seed. The result was more frustration and mess than when I started. It seemed I was only making Madness in March!

If my old March antics sound anything like your approach to home organizing, let’s take a moment to review a more orderly and effective “game plan” for this March Madness we bring upon ourselves:

#1 MAKE A PLAN: Basketball players and coaches alike would never show up without a game plan. Make your own game plan and starting line up by prioritizing what spaces need to be tackled and in what order. Plan your moves and strategy BEFORE you start pulling things apart. Plan the plan…walk the walk. ONLY ATTACK ONE SPACE AT A TIME! Zero in on the space in your home giving you the most angst. There may be some things you pull out of that space that don’t belong there – set them aside, you can find homes for those items later. Stay focused on the space you are working on and don’t squirrel away to other areas, or it will just turn to madness.

#2 SET AN APPOINTMENT: Just like a basketball game with an exact start time and set minutes on the clock, set aside specific, uninterrupted time to tackle your space. Of course, you can call a “time out” and grab a diet coke but then get yourself back in there until that final buzzer! (I set my timer on my phone to encourage myself to stick with the project but stay within reason).

#3 BABY STEPS: I would imagine Coach doesn’t scream about last week’s game or fret about next week’s game while in the middle of today’s game. Take the same approach and don’t try to bite off more than you can chew right now, today. Your mess and disorganization didn’t happen overnight, neither will getting it back in order. Give yourself grace and focus on one step at a time.

#4 FOLLOW THROUGH: When basketball players line up for a free throw, they know they better follow through on their shot or they will hear “air ball” shouted from the stands for the rest of the game. Follow through with the job, get it done. Drop off donations, fix items, label those bins, relocate items that no longer belong in the space, throw the trash away. Follow through. Get it done.

#5 MAINTAIN: When the brackets are wadded up and thrown away and we turn the calendar page, basketball players don’t hang up their jersey and stash their shoes while they sit around waiting for the next season to start. They have to maintain their physical prowess and better themselves for the next season through practice and maintenance. The same can be said for your organizing. With just a small amount of attention and daily or weekly maintenance you can keep your spaces organized and working for you like a pro.

Yes, March Madness has a different meaning to different people but one thing is certain, you can take the Madness out of March in your home by following the above simple steps…er, game plan. And should you find that you need to add a few players to your roster in order to get it all done, call on Bee Organized and we Bees will suit up, tape up and join your team to help you Simplify Your Hive!


This basement was truly driving its’ homeowner mad! The shelves and floor had become a dumping ground for outgrown, outdated and unwanted items making it hard to find anything or even navigate within the space.


The Bees came in and made sense of it all by helping the homeowner purge all of the items that no longer served a need for him and his family. After purging the unwanted, the Bees helped establish a simplified and sustainable system within the space that takes all “madness” out of the equation!


An Abundance of Gratitude

Abundance: a·bun·dance (noun); a very large quantity of something; the state or condition of having a copious quantity of something: plentifulness.
Gratitude: grat·i·tude (noun); The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

As we head into Thanksgiving week and look to the holiday season ahead, the words Abundance and Gratitude often come to mind. As we sit down at our Thanksgiving tables we reflect on all of the abundances we have and give thanks. However, when we are giving thanks for our abundance is it the adundance of our stuff we are grateful for? Most likely not. As we bow our heads we are giving thanks for our families and friends, our health, security, love, faith, etc. We acknowledge and give thanks for the abundance of the intangibles in our lives.

However, as professional organizers, we see an abundance of stuff on a daily basis and we work diligently to help our clients evaluate their relationship with their stuff so that they can move more toward plenty or even just enough, rather than an abundance.

Plenty: plen·ty (pronoun); A large or sufficient amount or quantity; more than enough
Enough: e·nough (determiner & pronoun); As much or as many as required or necessary

For when we shift to having awareness and gratitude for having an abundance of blessings (the intangible) and an awareness and gratitude for having plenty or even just enough stuff (the tangible) our ability to live simply and at peace increases greatly.

This simple shift of having Gratitude for properly placed Abundance, Plenty and Enough allows us to be open to others on a whole other plane and, more importantly gives us “a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness to others.”     

It is an absolute joy and honor to be on this journey with you as together we further define these words and how they relate to our stuff. We are filled with GRATITUDE for you and the ability to help you Simplify Your Hive.

Happy Thanksgiving from our Hive to yours!

Living In Vitality

There is something powerful about hundreds of women gathering together…the energy is high, the excitement and noise are even higher and the positive vibes simply bounce off the walls! It was this kind of exciting environment where we presented our organizing philosophy at Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s 20th Annual Living In Vitality (LIV) Women’s Conference. LIV attracts women from far and wide to spend a day learning and exploring ways to improve their Vitality in relation to their physical and mental health through a day-long series of breakout speaker sessions.

Bee Organized presented at last years’ conference as well and had standing room only in our session titled Bee Organized…Simplify Your Hive. We were so honored to be invited back again this year and given an even larger venue to accommodate the crowd. Once again, the room was packed! However, we would love to gush and say that it was our sparkling personalities, professional PowerPoint and complimentary honey sticks that drew such fantastic crowds both years but, alas, we are smarter (and humbler) than that. We know it is the subject matter that drew women to us in droves clamoring for tips and tricks of our trade to help them get a hold of their clutter and keep their home organized once and for all.

The women who attended our LIV presentations are not alone. All of us have too much STUFF. We don’t know where to begin or how to finish this battle with our STUFF. We beat ourselves up and get pulled down and frustrated by the disorganization of our homes – the one place that is supposed to welcome us and bring us joy, be a retreat and oasis at the end of a long day and help us live in vitality.

So what was our answer to this thickening crowd? It was simple yet very powerful…

“Organization is a Journey, not a Destination.”

Oh, of course, we yammered away about organizational do’s and don’ts, showed jaw-dropping before and after pictures, and regaled all with funny stories and shocking statistics about American consumption. However, we hope that it is this saying with the hope and compassion reflected in it that our session guests walked away with. A different and more visual way of thinking about this concept is the quote we often use with our clients, “You can’t eat a whale in one sitting.” All of our STUFF didn’t collect overnight so it will take a bit more than that to organize it.

I giggle every time I say this quote because I am reminded of the Shel Silverstein poem titled Melinda Mae…young little Melinda sat and ate a whale one bite at a time until she was old and gray and the table was filled with whale bones.

So there you have it…two quotes and a great visual to make you feel better about your STUFF and your level of organization and to remind you to Live In Vitality. Be gentle with yourself and if you need help eating that whale, invite us Bees in and we will roll up our sleeves, pull up to the table and help you out…one bite at a time!

PLEASE NOTE: In no way is Bee Organized suggesting that the eating of a whale (no matter how long it takes you) is a good suggestion for your health, digestion or a proven way to Live In Vitality! 🙂