Sunday, June 03 2018
It's been a while since my last blog. Besides working with my client's, this year I am working to declutter and update my own home, from top to bottom. I am giving myself this entire year to do so.
My son recently moved out and that now leaves me with an extra bedroom. I took my time to figure out what I wanted to do with that room. About a month ago, I decided to create a reading room with a beach theme.
Two of my passions are the beach and reading. Since I live in suburbs outside of Philadelphia, PA, our beach season does not last as long as I would like. Therefore, I am extending that feeling of calm and relaxation within my own home.
I have painted the walls a sandy beach beige. The carpeting is dark blue and I am leaving it that way. (It will represent the sea.) I will be putting a small area rug in front of the love seat I am repurposing from my family room with a beach theme inspired design. I purchased new window treatments with decorative sea shell beads along the top, a seashell filled lamp, a wicker end table and new bookcases to fill with books that I treasure. I will be purchasing some wall decor and other items to complete the look.
The reason I mention all of this is that I want to make a point.
It is very important that, as we go through life changes, we make sure that our real estate reflects those changes. Whether it's a child moving out the home, like mine, or the birth of a new baby, a marriage, a divorce, the death of a spouse or elder parent who had lived in the home, we need to be sure that the real estate we own is being used to its best potential.
Time and time again, when working with new clients, I always make sure that all of the areas of the home are being used. Often I find that there are bedrooms that lay idle and become a dumping spot for clutter, or a basement is not utilized as good storage space, a garage is so cluttered it does not have enough room for a car.
Over the years, I have transformed many under-utilized rooms in my client's home into something they can use and enjoy, creating a space that reflects their interests.
When life creates change, be sure that your home reflects that change. Reassess the rooms in your home and transform them into something you can use and enjoy. Leaving your precious real estate idle is a waste of space and money. You paid for the real estate; use it.
If you are overwhelmed with the prospect of creating a new purpose for an old space, don't hesitate to contact me. I can not only help you to visual a room to meet your needs, but help eliminate the clutter, get it organized and take the steps needed to see it come to fruition.
It's all about having A Better Space!
Wednesday, March 15 2017
Almost every woman I know or have met has created a crazy, busy life for themselves. They tend to have a house, husband or significant other, kids, full-time job and lots of responsibility around the house and obligations to their family.
Life is complicated enough. We don't need it to be high maintenance.
What do I mean by that?
Often times, there are ways that we can streamline our responsibilities and our possessions to make our lives easier.
As a professional organizer, one of my responsibilities is to help my clients identify where they can change either the way they do things or reduce the amount of possessions they have in their life. Sometimes, we can identify items we possess that could be replaced by items that are simply easier to maintain and use.
Some examples could be:
1. Vacuum cleaner - Is your vacuum cleaner easy to use? Is it portable enough that you can easily move it from one floor to another? Are there tons of attachments? Is the bag easy to replace when full? Does it store away without taking up a lot of room? If not, you might want to consider purchasing another vacuum cleaner that would be lower maintenance.
2. Paper Shredder - Is your paper shredder sufficient for your needs? Does it shred paper efficiently? Does it accommodate credit cards? Does it have a cross-cut feature to ensure confidentiality of your paperwork? Does it jam easily? Does it overheat quickly? Consider these points to avoid wasting time and energy when it comes to shredding your paperwork.
3. Clothing - I don't know about you but I do not like to iron. (I have had the same iron since 1983!) I do anything possible to avoid ironing. One way you can reduce the amount of time you spend ironing is to purchase clothing that is not 100% cotton. Another time-saver is to put your clothes into the dryer - even on a low setting - and hang it up while it is still warm so the wrinkles fall out.
4. Kitchen - One area of the home that tends to accumulate clutter is the kitchen. How many times have you purchased a small appliance only to determine that it is never used and it just sits on your counter, collecting dust and taking up space? How many items are you not able to put into the dishwasher to clean and have to manually wash them? Do you have a set of silver from your grandmother that sits in a box and is never used?
5. Knickknacks - An abundance of knickknacks could easily qualify as a high-maintenance item. Do you have a collection of knickknacks that someone gave you and youa re not even fond of? An abundance of knickknacks can mean having to take more time to dust. Consider downsizing your collection to reflect only your favorites and truly special to you.
Items that are hard to maintain are often unused.
What items do you possess that are more trouble than they're worth? Take a look around and share your thoughts. I bet a lot of you have the same type of items!
In the meantime, if you are struggling with "too much" and your life is "high maintenance", it might be time to declutter and organize your home. Give me a call or send me an email and lets talk about your "high maintenance" life. I can show you how to have A Better Space instead!
Wednesday, March 02 2016
As a professional organizer, I work with a lot of very creative people. Many of my clients have so many creative talents or have a passion for creativity, including artwork.
One of the more common issues that comes up is how and where to display their artwork.
I love art in many forms and can appreciate the passion to collect it. However, it can become clutter.
It is very important to keep in mind, when purchasing artwork, that you are able to visualize where it is going to live when it arrives in your home.
Just like everything else in life, all of it cannot be your favorite. If you tend to hang everything you own on all of the walls in your home, you are defeating the purpose of featuring the art that you love. It just becomes clutter. Artwork needs to be appreciated and it cannot if it is surrounded by lots of other pieces. It does not stand out from the crowd. When viewed, you are distracted by all of the other pieces around it. It is important to hang your artwork sparingly and in a way that complements your decor. You want to be particular about what you display on your walls
Here are some basic rules to follow:
1. Use your artwork to balance your room's visual space. Sometimes large art can feel overwhelming but, if you are aiming for it to be your room's focal point, the rules can change. Rows of smaller pieces in idential frames and mats make the arrangement a piece of art in itself. The symmetry draws your eye into the frame itself, emphasizing the art inside. For a more eclectic arrangement, try mixing and matching size. Also, aim to keep your art at eye level. Most people tend to hang their art too high to be truly appreciated.
2. Determine the format you wish to use. Most interior designers airm for a rule of three or an odd number when hanging art arrangements. Interestingly enough, odd numbered displays tend to feel more balance. If you choose to go with even numbers, a grid can help balance out the display's visual space. If you want to make the room look longer, make the display horizontal. If you want the ceilings to look higher, hang your display vertically. The other alternative is to simply arrange your artwork organically. Just do what you think looks best, but be sure to plan it out first. You can arrange the pieces on the floor in front of your wall first, and then move to the wall and mark their places lightly with a pencil.
3. Select your style. You can stick with one style, color or artist for a more cohesive look. This tends to work best in a more refined space with a single framing style. If you want to be more playful, hang clocks and mirrors on the wall along with other 3 dimentional elements. Although variety can be interesting, try to find a way to have some elements tie the display together, whether it is frames of the same color or art with the same type of finish.
4. Tell a story. A gallery wall should depict who you are and what makes you happy. Be sure to build your wall with meaningful items. Start by using one inspirational piece that can be the guide to choosing all of your selections. You don't necessarily need to put this piece in the center. Be creative!
5. Now you are ready to hang it up. Groupings look best when the items are spaced close together (approximately 1 to 2 inches apart). Begin by hanging your middle pieces at eye level (about 5 feet off of the floor) and then build around them.
Artwork is an easy way to enhance your home decor if it is done correctly and does not end up looking like clutter on the walls.
Tuesday, January 12 2016
I know it's been a while since I last wrote a blog. I have been spending some much needed time on my own home for a change.
I decided at the end of 2015 that I was going to go through my home and thoroughly declutter, clean and organize each and every room of my home. I had been so busy last year organizing others that I, unfortunately, neglected my own home. It was quite an undertaking, I must admit, but the results are great!
I feel so much better when I walk throughout my home now. I went through my second floor in November and the first floor in December and am finishing up my basement this month.
I took time to assess my possessions and ask myself if I really needed everything I had. The answer was an astounding "NO"! I went through my wardrobe, including my collection of shoes and accessories, got rid of old nick knacks that no longer represented who I am, organized closets, cabinets, shelves, drawers and hung some new artwork. I gathered quite a large number of items for donation and for sale and a lot for the trash.
I organized my home office to get ready to rock it in 2016 and moved old files and paperwork into my storage area of my home to archive. I went through all of my filing cabinets and got rid of four boxes of paperwork at a recent shredding event too.
One of the things I paid attention to was whether or not I needed to repurpose any of the areas of my home.
When was the last time you did that? When was the last time you looked around your home and identified areas or rooms in your home that no longer serve you?
Have your children grown up and no longer need a play room? Has one of your children gone off to college or gotten married and no longer lives at home? Is that well-intended exercise room no longer being used? Do you no longer spend time in the living room, but rather use the family room instead?
It is so important to use your real estate. If a room in your home is no longer being used as it was originally intended, it's time for a change.
Start to re-purpose a room by eliminating what no longer suits you. Determine how that space can be better used and re-create a room that you love. Add a fresh coat of paint and perhaps an area rug to give it a fresh look.
Perhaps you do not have a home office and the paperwork in the home ends up everywhere. Wouldn't it be great to have a dedicated room where all of the paper management in the home can live? You could turn your unused living room or a bedroom into a home office.
How about that sitting room you have always wanted? How about taking an unused bedroom and creating a dressing room? The possibilities are endless.
You don't need to have a living room if you don't use one. You don't need to keep a bedroom unused. It could become a home office, a work-out room, a sitting room or whatever you have envisioned that you would like to have.
Take some time and go through your own home and look at it with fresh eyes and see how you can repurpose your home. "The purpose" of your home is to create an environment that you use and love to spend time in.
If you need assistance creating a room that you love, some interior redesign might be the solution. Feel free to contact me to talk about your particular situation.
Until next time, happy organizing!
Friday, January 24 2014
Sounds crazy, right? Why would you want to "maximize" to minimize. Is that an oxymoron? Not when it comes to organizing!
When getting organized, the focus is on eliminating clutter and organizing items or thoughts in a way where we maximize the potential of what we have. Whether it relates to the items themselves, the space they occupy or what's going on in our heads, we want to focus on maximizing in order to minimize.
Any space can be maximized to create an environment that is more "user friendly". We want to create a place where everything is easy to find and easy to put back. We want to create a space that makes sense, based on how we function. That doesn't mean we need to make it bigger by adding on an addition. It means we use the space we have to its best potential.
Everyone functions differently, but there are some general rules that can apply to everyone.
For example, when it comes to "maximizing" the hanging space in your closet, it is best to choose the correct type of hanger. Using matching hangers for an entire closet is best. This might sound petty, but it is more than just aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
It makes it easier to locate your clothing when all of your clothes are hanging at the same height. Using the correct hanger will protect your clothes from damage and keep your clothes from sliding off the hanger, onto the floor. Hanging like-things together will help also. Some people hang their clothes by color, some by type. That is a personal choice and both can work well.
When it comes to "maximizing" in order to minimize, you are focusing on the use of the space itself and the contents within it. How we store items (or even information) is so important in how we function on a day-to-day basis.
I suggest that you start paying attention to the space in your home, your office and your head to figure out where you can possibly maximize their potential in order to minimize your clutter.
If you need assistance in figuring it all out, I can help. You can utilize my knack for minimizing the clutter and maximizing the space, no matter where it is and making sure that the system you put into place will work for you.
In the meantime, happy organizing!
Wednesday, August 21 2013
When was the last time you took a good look around your home? Is it time for a change?
I recently met with a new client who has lived in her home for about 18 years. She lives alone.
As we went through the home I learned that she does not use her dining room in the traditional sense. She does not have dinner parties or sit-down dinners with friends or family. She uses the space to gather paperwork as it comes in the door.
This prompted me to ask her if she would be interested in converting this space into a home office. Upon some consideration, my client decided this was a good idea. As a school teacher, she has a lot of paperwork to process and needs a larger and brighter area in which to work, rather than her current space in an area of her basement.
The dining room is spacious enough for a long table or desk and a filing cabinet to store her personal paperwork and school work. It is set off from the foyer so it is not the first thing you see when you enter the home. It's the perfect solution as it would eliminate the need to go downstairs to the small cramped area in the basement to work. My client would have easy access to the kitchen and powder room as needed.
When I purchased my home, the builder had intended the room next to the kitchen to be a family room. I already had a living room on the first floor so another family room would not suit my personal needs. Instead of having a small dining area divided by a pony wall in the living room, I decided to make the intended family room into a nice-sized dining room where I could easily entertain and serve my guests from the kitchen.
Just because a room is originally intended for a certain purpose does not mean that is what you have to have it be. Change a dining room into a home office! Change a family room into a dining room! It's okay! The point is to create a home that suits your personal needs - and this might change over time.
So, I suggest that you take a look around your home. Are there areas of the home that are not being used because their original intent no longer fits your needs? Is it time for a change?
If you need assistance in creating organized and functional spaces in your home, I can help. You deserve A Better Space.
In the meantime, leave me your comments about the areas of your home that you would like to change or have already changed to accommodate your current needs. This might inspire others to do the same.
Have a great week!
Monday, July 01 2013
Is there such a thing as a fake de-clutterer? Yes, there is!
As crazy as it might sound, it's true.
Do you find that you are telling people you are organized, but instead you are just moving the clutter from one room to another? This is not de-cluttering. De-cluttering involves the elimination of items that are no longer needed or wanted, not just moving them around. You still end up with the same amount of things, they are just located elsewhere.
Does your home appear neat and organized until you open up a closet door and it is crammed with stuff? This is not de-cluttering. It's hiding. Even your closets, drawers and cabinets should be clutter-free. How many sets of linens or towels do you have? How much clothing is crammed into your closet that you don't wear? Is your pantry filled with expired food?
Is the first floor and second floor of your home in good shape clutter-wise but your basement is another story? Is your garage a dumping ground for the items you just don't know what to do with?
Even if you have items categorized and neatly organized in plastic containers or boxes, you can still have clutter.
Do you just have too much "stuff"? Perhaps you have a container with hundreds of twist ties. There is no problem keeping a certain amount, but you need to pay attention to the quantity of like-items you are keeping.
For example, do you have a lifetime supply of pens, pencils, notepads, grocery bags, hotel shampoos and soaps? (Just to name a few.) Anything in abundance can be considered clutter.
Keep in mind that you are not ridding yourself of clutter if you simply move things around to different locations, hide it or make everything look neater. It's still clutter. If items are useful but not being used by you, that's clutter too.
Here's what you can do:
1. Figure out why you are keeping certain items.
2. Think about the purpose of each item.
3. Create a plan and take action.
This doesn't have to be a difficult process. If it seems overwhelming to you, that's okay. With the help of a professional organizer like myself, you can eliminate that clutter and get organized once and for all. Don't be a fake!
Enjoy the upcoming 4th of July holiday and declare your independence from clutter! If you need my assistance, don't hesitate to contact me. I am here to help.
Monday, June 03 2013
It's very common to add more to our lives by adding something - a bigger home, more clothing, more decorations, more, more, more...
However, the funny thing is - less is actually more.
Last weekend I decided to declutter and organize my own home. I had been spending so much time helping others get organized, I was neglecting my own space. Over time, things built up and it was time to do something about it.
Being a professional organizer, I know all too well that less is more. When you clear out the clutter in your home and in your head, you clear out the clutter in your life.
Sometimes, our clutter means that we have too many time commitments.
I decided to commit Memorial Day weekend to my own home and did not commit to any social activities. I knew that if I committed this block of time to this project, I would be able to enjoy the rest of the Summer. That was my motivation.
I systematically went through my home, starting on the second floor and moving down to the first floor, one room at a time; just like what I do when working with my clients when they hire me to organize their homes. I cleaned, I decluttered, I organized. I worked 12 hours a day for two days. It was a lot of work, but, oh, it felt so good! During this week, I am going to work on my basement and storage room. Then, my entire home will be organized!
Here are four steps you can take to create more with less:
1. Enlist an "accountability partner". Select someone who is committed to supporting you and perhaps creating change in their own life. This "accountability partner" can be a friend, family member or even a professional organizer like myself to keep you focused and moving forward.
2. Make a list. Break down the various areas of your home that you wish to tackle and create a chronological list so you can check them off as you go and get that wonderful sense of accomplishment at the end. As you think of things you need to do or want to purchase, write them down as well. This will keep you on track.
3. Subtract as you go. Look closely at what you have and eliminate the excess. It could be clothing, paperwork, old linens, pantry food items, etc. Take the time to truly evaluate what you need and will use. Don't create excuses for keeping something you know you will never use.
4. Find the additions. This does not mean that you find more stuff to keep. It means finding the joy in having less. Celebrate your successes by inviting people over to see what you have accomplished. Enjoy your new space and "live" in your home. Your have now created more space for good things to enter your life.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized and need assistance in creating a home you enjoy living in and are ready to eliminate your clutter, once and for all, contact me. I can help you to create a step-by-step system so you can have A Better Space.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Thursday, April 18 2013
Finally, Spring has arrived and with it Spring Fever. It's a time for fresh starts. For me, I am moving up. I am taking my office space from the basement which has no natural light and moving upstairs to a spare bedroom. This room has soft neutral tones on the walls and a big window that provides a nice view and, best of all, that natural light I desire.
I ordered new furniture that will provide me with more room in which to work. It is expected to arrive in about four or five weeks. In the meantime, I have contacted my handyman who is going to install a new ceiling fan/light fixture and I am in the midst of arranging the room so it is condusive to my productivity.
One of my passions is books and I love to surround myself with them. They make me feel warm and cozy. I love to hold a book in my hands and feel the paper's texture and get lost in the pages. I am not a fan of Kindle for this reason - just a personal choice.
When I was doing space planning for my new office space, I decided to incorporate two bookcases in the room just for my leisure reading. I love to see my collection of novels yet to be read - it is quite extensive.
However, I am aware, as you should be, that there is such a thing as book clutter. Piles of books laying around on a coffee table in your living room, on an end table in your bedroom, on your desk in your home office or anywhere on the floor is clutter.
The author of the blog Epic Write summed up the complex relationship she has with books in her post "Show Me Your Book Clutter":
"The problem is I have so many books I want to read. Or, that I need to read...Aside from my cluttered side table, I have digital and paper clutter where I have recorded books I want to read. From my "wants" list on Goodreads.com to titles scribbed on scraps of paper, I am overwhelmed with the amount of books I will get to someday. even with feeling almost buried by it all, I have no desire to change. I love books. I want to see books everywhere."
For me, I do not want to feel buried by my books. Although I have a lot of books, I do not have clutter. My books are lined up neatly in my bookcases with hardbacks in the back and paperbacks in the front, in alphabetical order by author. I can put my hand on any book I want within moments. If my books do not fit within these boundaries, I weed them out, which I recently did.
I want my new office to feel spaceous and calm because I know that it will provide me with the space I need in my head to be productive.
If you have a large collection of books, take the time to organize them in a way in which you can enjoy seeing them. Not on the floor in a pile, but rather, on a shelf or bookcase that can accommodate them. Do not hold onto books that you have already read (especially fiction). There are way too many books out there to still be read.
If you find that you have too many, donate them to a local library or pass them onto a friend who will enjoy them. Books are meant to be shared with others.
Clearly people love books and everything about them. But, it is possible to keep a reasonable number so that they don't contribute to clutter in your living spaces.
Honor your books by being selective about the ones you purchase and by keeping your collection in order.
If you are overwhelmed with your book clutter or any other clutter in your home, contact me. I am happy to help.
In the meantime, get outside and read a book!
Thursday, July 05 2012
Although the title of my blog might be evoking cooler temperatures on this steamy July day, I want to talk today about the current state of your home.
How long have you lived in your home? When was the last time you made some changes to the look, feel and functionality of your home? These are important questions to consider. Why? Because we tend to get "frozen in time".
Working in hundreds of homes over the years, I find it a common problem that people live their lives day after day, year after year, without making any changes. It's inevitable that your life has gone through changes since you originally moved into your home. However, has your home kept up with those changes? Have you gotten married, had children, become an empty nester, a widow or widower, gotten divorced? These changes effect your lifestyle and therefore, should be reflected in your home.
Do you have double the items because you have gotten married or become a blended family? Do you now have children you did not have when you bought your home and need to find room for their things? Have the children gotten older and they no longer need or want older toys, games or clothing? Have your grown children moved out (or back home) and you now have a lot more room or a lot less, depending on your circumstances? Are you now divorced or widowed and living alone with the items from your spouses past?
This are major life changes that change your needs and desires for what your home should reflect. It is important to keep up with these changes. Weed out the old to make way for the new. Use certain rooms for new purposes - ie, using a child's old bedroom as a gym or home office. Make sure to use the space you have to its best potential - otherwise it becomes a storage space and not a functional home.
Take some time to walk through your home with a new set of eyes and make sure that it reflects your current situation. If not, make the changes necessary.
If this means eliminating the clutter and getting organized, then do it! If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, contact me. I am here to help.
In the meantime, I hope you had a nice July 4th holiday. Keep cool but don't be frozen!
Tuesday, April 17 2012
Has your living situation changed recently? Have you decided that you and your significant other should now be living together? Congratulations! It can be a very excited time; the prospect of a new life together. However, it can bring challenges. One of them being blending two people (or families) into one.
I get contacted quite often as a professional organizer by people who have recently married or moved in together and are now struggling with trying to fit two households into one. We all know, we can't keep everything we own and still have room for someone else. It takes compromise, a concept we become so familiar with when in a relationship.
Perhaps it's you who is moving into your partner's home; perhaps your partner is moving in with you. Perhaps you are both moving into a new home together. Just how do we make it all work?
Communication is key. You need to discuss what is going to stay and what is going to go. You cannot expect that one person is to give up everything in order to move into the other person's home. It requires "blended organization".
You might have double the furniture - two bedroom sets, two living room sets, two dining room sets. You have to decide which sets of furniture will stay and which will go. Will they be sold, given to other family members or friends or donated? I discourage using a storage unit long term to solve this problem. It is an expense we don't need to incur if we make some decisions.
You might have multiple sets of pots and pans, dishes, silverware. Which sets will remain, which will go? This kitchen is a very common area in which blended organization comes into play.
You might have lots of artwork, nick knacks, collectibles. Do you have enough room to incorporate all of it? Does some of it need to be eliminated? I find that if someone is that passionate about something, you should do whatever you can to keep the collection in tact, but within reason. If it's a large collection, it just might need to be downsized in order to make it fit into the home. Discuss solutions that work for everyone involved.
My late husband was an avid record collector. We had a wall in our apartment and later in our home that had cabinets filled with record albums and boxes of 45's (all in alphabetical order by artist, by the way!) We agreed that the entire collection would stay in tact and we were able to come up with a solution for storage that did not intrude on our style of daily living. The key is to whether the items will take over the home. Remember, we need to own our possessions, not have our possessions own us.
Are you sharing closet space? If so, it's possible that you might both need to weed out your wardrobe to reduce its contents to make it fit into the designated area.
My wardrobe currently occupies my entire walk-in closet in my master bedroom and spare bedroom. However, I can tell you that if and when someone special comes into my life and we decide to combine our households, I will need to reduce the amount of clothing being stored to make room for that special someone. For now, I have the space to myself and can spread out. We need to live within the space that is provided.
The bottom line is that when you are combining households, you need to be sure to take the time to communicate about how each other's possessions will fit into the living space. It might mean eliminating things altogether or it might mean reducing the amount.
The other factor that comes into play is how each of you function but that is a blog for another day.
If you have questions about how to blend your home to accommodate each other, contact me. I am glad to help.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Tuesday, March 20 2012
Last time, l spoke about tips to get organized for Daylight Savings Time. Now that today is the first day of Spring, I thought it would be a good time to provide you with some tips for getting organized for the Spring season. After all, Spring is the time when we look forward to a fresh clean slate - in our homes and in our ourselves. Here are some ways to start off the season with some fresh ideas:
1. Clear the Cobwebs: We all have mental cobwebs after a long winter. The first thing to do is to clear them out. You can do this by taking a personal day for re-creation. This can be as simple as sitting outside and reading a special book or as elaborate as a day at the spa. The choice is up to you. There are many at-home' spa kits available to give yourself a day of pampering. Arrange with a friend to spend a spa day together. We all lead such busy lives that a day with a friend is a rare treat. Whatever you choose to do, take the time to clear out the mental cobwebs and get a fresh outlook for Spring.
2. Switch Out: Do you still have winter accessories out and about? Do you have winter accessories that you didn't put out? Before you trade and bring out the warm weather accessories, take time to pack up the items you didn't use for winter and set them aside for donation. You have a good idea of what you actually use, so donating the excess is the perfect thing to do. As you put your spring/summer accessories out, be aware of what you don't put out as it may be something you are ready to donate right away.
3. Lighten Up: Clutter can't be organized, so declutter, declutter, declutter. When your spaces are filled with things, your perception is that rooms are closing in on you. When we lighten up our spaces, they definitely feel brighter. So, pick a room to work on and lighten it up. The items that you choose to declutter can be donated to a charity or sold at a yard sale!
4. Spring Forward: With the daylight lasting later into the evening, now is a good time to re-organize your work-out routines. It's likely that through the winter you had your workouts restricted to indoors. With the arrival of longer days, it's possible also to shift the time of day you exercise. If mornings are hard for you to fit in a workout, an after-work or after-dinner walk is now a real possibility. Now is the time to change things up a bit and change your schedule with some new scenery and introduce a fresh state of mind for your workouts.
5. Cooking Confusion: Are your recipes and cookbooks in a state of disarray? Now is a good time to breathe new life into your cooking. The first thing to do is to go through your cookbooks and loose recipes and eliminate those you haven't used and don't plan on using. Be realistic about what you will actually try to make. Once you have eliminated those you don't want, make a plan to try a new recipe each week! Also, if you try a recipe and no one likes it--toss it! Look through your cookbooks with a critical eye to which ones you actually use. There are so many recipes available on the Internet now, that it almost makes it unnecessary to own cookbooks at all!
6. Trash Tattered Towels: Have your bath towels seen better days? Take time now to do a bit of Spring organizing and sorting of your towels. Those that are showing their age but are still serviceable can be donated to a local animal shelter like the SPCA. They will appreciate your donation. Take inventory what remains. Replace worn ones with fluffy white towels. These will give your bathroom a fresh spa-like look and feel.
7. Outdoor Organizing: With warmer weather, many of us are turning our thoughts to the outside of our homes. Spring is a perfect time to plan your garden and yard care tasks. It's also a great time to take a look at the curb appeal of your home. Did the cement or driveway crack over the winter? Does your house need a new coat of paint? Organize your gardening tasks and cleanup tasks. Add at least one item to your calendar every weekend. Now is also a great time to order your seeds and plants for the garden you have planned. That should give you plenty of time to get your seeds started and ready to plant since all danger of frost is now past.
8. Organize Your Refrigerator: I always advise to do this before Thanksgiving but this is also a good time of year to organize the fridge. Organize your refrigerator for more room and greater efficiency. You can use small baskets or bins to group like items together. [CLEVER CONTAINER has a great line of bin organizers for your fridge and pantry. Check them out right on this website! Just look for the CLEVER CONTAINER tab on the home page. They are on Page 6 of the catalog.] Use them to put salad dressings in one basket, condiments in another, jams and jellies in another and so on. You can also put in a basket for fruit and another for vegetables. Not only does this free up space in your fridge, but you will also have things organized in such a way that makes it easier to find everything. Being able to find what we need in the refrigerator can be a welcome change!
Get Spring off to a good start but using the tips above and enjoy the season of new beginnings!
If you have any additional tips, we would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Tuesday, November 01 2011
When you think of getting organized, do you think it means that you have to "clean up"? Believe it or not, cleaning up and getting organized are two different things.
Cleaning up is more about how something looks. Cleaning up involves putting things away, or at least getting them out of sight. (That can mean different things to different people).
Cleaning up is what you do before your guests arrives.
Cleaning up means straightening up those piles or perhaps putting things into boxes or bags and hiding them away. (We're all sometimes guilty of that!)
Cleaning up can mean gathering up all of those magazines and articles that you have been meaning to get to and putting them into a nice, neat pile. That's not getting organized.
Getting organized is more about how it works or functions; creating systems that meet your specific needs. Organizing really has nothing to do with how it looks, although I still think that is important to create a nice look in a particular space or room in your home.
When you get organized, you decide, honestly, what you will use and how best to store it so that it will be available to you when you want it - quickly and easily.
Organizing is something you do for yourself - not your guests!
Are you ready to do something nice for yourself? Are you ready to get organized, once and for all?
You can! Take that small step and contact me. We can discuss your needs and I can show you how you can have A Better Space.
Sunday, May 22 2011
For most people, their clutter issues are on the floor, on a desk, a table or any other flat surface in their home. However, it is also possible to have clutter on the walls.
When was the last time you looked up? Take a moment to get a good look at what you have on the walls. When was the last time you hung a picture, a piece of metal art, a clock or put collectibles on a shelf? Have you really taken a good look at them lately?
After a while, we become so used to what we have on the walls, we don't see it anymore. Has the framed art been on your walls for years? Is the fridge filled with pictures your kids drew months and months ago? Is the sculptured art on your walls screaming 1980? Have the nick knacks or collectibles been on your shelf, collecting dust, since your trip in 2005?
Is the artwork in your home and office now just clutter, or is it something you truly value? Does it still inspire you? Does it make you smile or challenge you or create within you a sense of awe? Or, are you indifferent about it and it is simply there so you have something to hang in that space? Are these images ones you still love?
It is easy to become numb to the images we see every day, especially when those images are ones we don’t love, cherish, or appreciate. It’s also very simple for these items to become part of the invisible clutter in our homes because they usually don’t take up floor space — we don’t trip over the things hanging on our walls.
Take some time today and walk around your home. Look up and see what is on your walls. Perhaps, now, these items no longer bring you that joy, make you smile or evoke a fond memory. If that's the case, it's time to make a change.
Let me know what you see on your walls and what changes you intend to make.
In the meantime, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the thought of getting organized, contact me. I'll be glad to help.
Have a great week!
Saturday, October 16 2010
Does everything in your home "have a home"? Most likely not. The problem that most people run into is not only finding homes for the things they already have, but finding homes for the new things that come in the door.
Where is everything supposed to go?
You cannot expect to have an organized home in which to live if you don't have a place for everything. That old adage still holds true "A place for everything and everything in its place".
Whether it belongs in a drawer, a cabinet, a closet or a specific room, finding designated space for items you possess is vital in order to stay organized.
Group like-things together when storing items so that it's logical and easy to find when needed. Don't keep your toothpaste in the kitchen. Don't keep your snacks in your bedroom. You get the idea.
Once you have created those places to store your existing items, you are now able to bring in new items. (Use the "one in, one out" rule as often as possible to help maintain balance.)
Always remember, when making a purchase, you want to ask yourself "Where am I going to store or place this item?" If you don't have an answer, then now is not the time to make that purchase. Create the space before you buy!
You might be able to afford the item, but if you don't have a home for it, it's not the right time. This is especially true for large items, for example, small appliances in your kitchen, snow blowers or ride-on mowers for your garage or artwork for your walls. Once you figure out where the item will live, you are ready to make that purchase.
I have plenty of suggestions on how to store your "stuff" so if you need some assistance, contact me. I'll be glad to help.
Want more tips on how to get organized, sign up for my free monthly newsletter "Organizing News You Can Use" right on the Home Page. Just look for the newsletter icon on the right.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Sunday, October 11 2009
Are you familiar with the term Feng Shui and what it means?
Feng Shui is an ancient art and science developed more than 3,000 years ago by the Chinese. The science of Feng Shui involves a complex knowledge that shows how to balance the energies of a space to insure the health and good fortune for the people living in that space.
Gentle wind and clear waters in the Chinese culture have long been connected with good health and a good harvest. Feng means "wind" and Shui means "water".
The Chinese believe the world is made up of "Chi" or energy. The outcome could be good or bad, depending on how the energy flows, particularly inside of your home.
The Ba-Gua is an octagonal grid used by experts to do an analysis of the home. Even though the process can be complicated and best left to the professionals, there are certain concepts the average homeowner can implement in their home. You can:
- Improve the air quality and natural light by opening up the drapes and windows, letting the sun shine in and the air flow in. Introduce plants that will help filter the air or use an air filter to remove impurities from the air. If natural light is not an option, full spectrum light bulbs can be used to improve the light in your home.
- The five Feng Shui elements can help you incorporate changes in your home. Each element is represented by specific colors, and by using these colors, you can bring about change in your home easily - WOOD - green, brown; FIRE - red, strong yellow, orange, purple, pink; EARTH - light yellow, sandy/earthy colors, light brown; METAL - white, gray; WATER - blue, black
- Learn your Feng Shui birth element which pertains to the year you were born. By using this element in your home, you can reinforce positive energy.
- Examine door placement. Your front door and back door should not line up with each other. If they do, it will cause the "chi" or energy to slip right through the home without bringing any benefits to you. You can easily solve this problem by placing a large plant or other obstacle beside one of the doors and place an angled throw rug to create a path in a sideways direction.
- Reduce clutter. (This is the one I am particularly partial too!) Lightening up the house is key to good feng shui. Clutter can trap good energy. Get rid of things you don't absolutely need.
Your objective is to create a positive space. Decorating your home with more light, music, water, air, plants, mirrors, windchimes, bright colors, household plants and flowers can activate the positive energy of joy and happiness in your home.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the clutter in your home and want to create more positive energy within it, take the first step and contact me at A BETTER SPACE. I will be more than happy to help.
Enjoy your week!
Wednesday, July 23 2008
Summer time is generally vacation time. It's time to take those photographs and create a collection of the memories of that great summer vacation or day trip.
Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to give you some suggestions on how to display those photographs after you have developed your favorites. Here are some Quick Tips For A Better Space:
Always keep in mind that visual clutter occurs when your photographs are in different frames and scattered randomly throughout a room. When displaying your photos:
Use a cohesive collection of frames that are similar in style and colour to display your photos to their best advantage.
A large collection of photos looks best grouped tightly — no more than an inch or two apart . I recently saw a picture of 24 identical white frames that were hung on a wall over a couch in 3 rows of 8 frames each. It looked great and provided a beautiful focal point in the room.
To enhance the cohesive look of the group of photos, the frames should contain images that all follow the same theme (i.e. weddings, babies, etc.)
When hanging photographs in your space, keep in mind that your choice of frame is as personal as your choice of photo or artwork.
Create a focal point on an end table by using either all metal frames or wood frames in various sizes to create a cohesive look.
Remember, too much becomes clutter. Don't put together too large of a collection. It will detract from the attention you want to bring to the space.
If you have any comments or questions about this topic or any other organizing issue you might have, feel free to contact me. I will be more than happy to make your place A BETTER SPACE!
Have a great week!