Newspaper Columns from the New Britain City Journal

Entries in products (4)


Kitchen issues; what to do with all those photos?

Dear Les Is More:

I have kitchen issues!  Do you have any suggestions on keeping school lunches cold and instead of using post it notes or writing on tape how to keep dates on your food? I’ve looked for new products but do not know which ones to trust.


Dear Kim:

I am always trying out new products, so you have come to the right place. First, if you want to bring salad with the dressing in a separate container—you need to try the GLAD with interlocking lids. It comes with a small container that locks into the lid (hence the name) when you put the lid on your glad ware. This is great for nuts, sauce or anything small in size and it works wonders.

I also love the E-Z Freeze stayfit snack stackers with the freezer gel already in the container…freeze it and it keeps your food cold and fresh.

The last one I love is the digital day counter with attaches to a varity of surfaces and it lets you know how many days you did what you did to the food you are storing. Did you ground the coffee when? Did you store the baby food on Monday or was it Wednesday?  With this little counter you will never have to worry again.  Oh and it was on the Oprah Show…when Oprah was on. (

I have discovered a kitchen rug that is wonderful on your feet and makes washing dishes easier on your legs.  It’s called the Microdry Kitchen Mat ( and it uses memory foam and I have two to give away. Email me at and ask me a question about organizing and the best question will win the Mat.   

Have an Organized Day!


Dear Les Is More:

I have loads of photos and really don’t  want them sitting in a drawer and there is no way I am going to scrapbook them –ever.  I used your idea of putting them in a bowl but I want them more organized—any ideas?


Dear Lisa:

Glad you liked the bowl idea (fill a large bowl with photos and leave it on your coffee table instant- ice- breaker).

 I recently tried out a photo tray with built in frames from KangaRoom storage. This lovely leather tray holds 440 4x6 photos and looks great on a coffee or side table. It also can be stacked if you buy one for your family and friends and one for your travels. Its makes looking for a photo quite lovely. Check it out at

Have an organized day. 


What to do with built in bookshelves

Dear Les Is More:

I am sick of my built in bookcases. They never look like bookcases do in magazines or on TV.  Do you have any ideas what I can do?



Dear Lucy:

Yes.  I have plenty of ideas—thanks for writing in.  However, you don’t tell me the room it is in, or what material it is made out of –so here are my suggestions in no particular order. 

  1. 1.       Paint the inside or wall paper the inside of the bookcases and use texture rather than color to make them stand out.
  2. 2.       Separate your books by color (use the spine of the book as your color guide) and use a few shelves to showcase a different color. 
  3. 3.       Make a few of the shelves book free and use this space for decorative items.
  4. 4.       Use baskets to make the shelf organized.  I love Kaisa Grass Tray Basket (12.00) from SERRV International (  or  1-800-422-5915) this muti-purpose basket can hold magazines and looks great on a book shelf.  Using a few baskets such as Kaisa Basket Set which comes in 3 nesting sizes is great for different items and the handles on the baskets help you to move your magazines to your favorite chair. This is also a fair trade crafts non- profit organization and their products are the most beautiful I have seen in a while, and very reasonable.
  5. 5.       I love using unusual types of baskets such as the (DabneyLeeat Lucite tray which is sexy in all the right ways.  Designed by a New York artist, this tray is beautiful and is perfect for your bookcase.  Use it to house a favorite large scale book, or a favorite book and spare glasses for the bar. Anything from this company makes a great addition to any space.
  6. 6.       Paint the entire bookcase a bold color or stain it if it’s wood.

Good Luck with your design challenge and as a last resort,  you might want  to donate all of your books, take down the book case and buy a e-reader. 


Advice on finding the right purse to keep you organized

Dear Les Is More:

I read your last article and noticed you wrote about handbags being organized, but are their bags that do the trick for you


Dear Karen:

With Charlie Sheen in the news more than civil unrest in Libya, here in New Britain I have been testing handbags to come up with the best handbag that helps you get and stay organized.  I also found out my friends have handbag envy with the array of bags I have touting around.

Although I have only tested a few hundred in the past year I feel as a professional organizer I can finally narrow it to one Handbag Company and one handbag system.

The first one is the handbag system called HeddyFreddy ( and is designed to be a marriage of fashion and function. The core of the system is the HF module which is a purse organizer (or clutch) that glides into the handbag, purse or tote. It is the outside that is changed by YOU from a vast array of styles, leathers, buckles, trims and fabrics. You move the module to the handbag shell of your liking.  Best of all, this is made in Waterbury, CT at Waterbury Leatherworks and its upscale look is less expensive than a designer bag—and it all original for you-not mass marketed like everything else. This idea is not new but the quality and ease in which this moves from handbag to tote makes this the most wonderful handbag system in the world.  

The second bag is made by Ellington. (  these bags are beautiful to look at, beautiful to use and make getting and KEEPING organized a snap. I tested the “Hannah tote” and found it to be almost too roomy. A great excuse to go shopping to fill up my bag. I also tested the “Amelia In flight tote.”  What is amazing about this bag is I bought a heavier version of these 5 years ago and have used it for all of my travels since. It makes me feel more stylish then ever while using this bag. I love  the new lighter version and it slips over the handle of your rolling luggage.  I can hardly wait to fly again knowing I have the most perfect handbags around.  


keeping purses and cars clutter free

  • Dear Les is More: How do you organize the stuff in your car?

Thanks, Trey

Dear Trey:

Every night I want you to take out that day’s trash. The McDonald wrappers and the Dunkin Donuts coffee cups get tossed away—but do not stop there—when you have a moment (and it really only takes a few of these moments) decide what you want from your car—is it a home office or a mode of transportation. If it’s your home office then go to Staples and buy any one of the Peter Walsh organizers to help you (I do like the small receipt binder with the pockets, and notepad) get organized. If you spend 1 minute a day being organized in your car it will not look like a reactor accident when you need it to be nice on a date. Have an Organized Day! 

Dear LesIsMore: My hang bag is a mess. There are never enough zippers or spaces for everything I need—what can I do?

Sincerely, CeCe

Dear CeCe:

Do you clean it out nightly? What about cleaning it weekly?  That is the first step to an organized handbag. Get rid of the trash.  Stand over your trash can and purge, purge, purge. Now you are ready to put only the essentials in your handbag. 

Now for people who think their handbag is an extension of their car and need to shoulder 30 pounds of stuff in it—there are extra pockets you can buy to put in the middle of the handbag.  These are called “Purse Organizers” and there are quite a few of them.  My favorites are the “pouchee” ( and Plaid Doctrine ( –Now you can change your handbag and be organized in seconds. Each one has many many pockets and you can use the extra space to find your cell phone, keys and wallet in a second instead of hunting through your bag—you can see everything-because everything is in a separate pocket.  Genius- Have an Organized Day. Les Is More