Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Before and After-Sewing Room

This sewing space is a dream room for a quilter but had turned into a nightmare.  Beautiful ladder racks were filled with collectibles instead of practical storage. The large cabinet had lots of wasted storage space.  Stuff was never given a home, so it piled up. When organizing any space, ask yourself questions.

What is my vision for the space?
Will the items I am wanting to put into the space help with the vision I have?
Do I need the items? Keep only your favorites.
You can't fit 5 items in a space that only holds 3.



The newly-organized space utilizes the ladder racks for projects in bins. A few collectibles are intermixed. The cabinet is now utilized for storage and everything sitting out has a designated space. The biggest challenge for the newly organized is putting things back where they belong.
Do not put it down, put it away!                                                                       

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tip to stop procrastination



To get a handle on procrastination, start writing. Use a spiral notebook, planner, or to-do list on your cell phone to keep a master list of all your tasks. Then, each evening, make a smaller “to do today” list for the upcoming day. List only the most important things you need to accomplish that day and keep the number of tasks realistic and attainable.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What to do with.......Crystal and Dishes?

How many sets of dishes and crystal do you own? How many do you use? We gather dishes from our parents (one set) or grandparents (possibly two sets). I do have room to have my parents' dishes and I use them on holidays and other occasions.  A friend mentioned once, "If those dishes could talk" and that made me think of the countless numbers of relatives and friends who ate off of those dishes over the years. Many of those people are now gone so the dishes have new meaning for me.
Most of the dishes we are collecting are not worth much to most people but they do take up space in our homes and when space becomes a premium, decisions must be made.  An option is to keep a functional piece such as a small bowl to hold jewelry or tall glass or vase to hold toothbrushes.  You can still have the memory of the dishes or crystal but no longer have boxes taking up space.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

What to do with.....Trophies?

The trophies that were so important at one point are now collecting dust or stuck in a box and forgotten. But you can't part with them, right? First, ask the owner of the trophies if they want them. If the answer is yes, give them to the person. If they say yes, but have no room to store them, then you may go for the next option. Take a nice picture of all of the trophies and then discard the trophies and give the owner a nice photo of the trophies. The memories are still there but in a much smaller footprint.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Archive Your Files Month


If your filing cabinets are running out of room (and you’ve already purged all you can), take time during Archive Your Files Month to box up inactive files and store them in the basement or off-site.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tidy up the bathroom


Toss expired medications, sunscreens, cosmetics, and anything you no longer use. The room will look fresh and clean without countertop clutter, so stash make-up, cleansers, and hair accessories in drawers (divide with small boxes or trays and label) or corral it all in attractive, labeled baskets.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

In with the new. Out with the old.



Commit to the one in/one out rule for everything in your life. If you buy a new pair of shoes, donate an old pair you don’t love. When you upload a new app to your smartphone, delete one that you never use. When you or your family adds a new activity to the schedule, evaluate what you could remove from your calendar. Remember, there is a finite amount of space and time in our lives.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The second Monday in January is Clean Off Your Desk Day


Less than one week away for Clean Off Your Desk Day.

If your office is small, it’s easy for your desk to become overloaded with clutter. Try to think vertically, rather than just horizontally, to maximize space. Install pegboard or a wire grid on the wall to hang supplies up and off your desk. Install shelving over your desk to hold books and reference materials. If you have a door, don’t forget to use the space behind it — hang a clear, plastic shoe organizer, and fill it with office supplies.


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Reorganize Today for an Easier Christmas Next Year

While the memories of Christmas last year long, the decorations need to come down. By organizing them as you put them away, it will make it easier to use them next year. Do not rush out and buy containers yet to store things.  Just like any organizing project, you figure out what needs to be stored and then figure out storage systems. The task is not so daunting when you break it down into simple steps.

1. Separate items into categories.
2. Find storage containers for those categories.
3. Label containers.

The first thing is to look at all of your items, especially those that did not get out of the boxes this year. Do you still have a strong attachment to those decorations? Sentimentality is a large factor of Christmas but if you do not really love the item, it is time to share them with others who truly will love them. Set aside a box for donations as you begin the packing process.

Sort items into categories and pack similar items together so it will be easy to find all of the like items next year. Remember not to pack delicate items on the top or bottom of boxes.
1. Inside decorations: garland, greenery, lights, silk flowers, collectibles

2. Outdoor decorations: garland, bows, lighting
3. Ornaments.
4. Greeting Cards.
5. Fabric related items. Towels, linens, wall decorations.
6. Dishes. Can they be stored on a shelf in the kitchen or dining room? If not, pack securely using some of your towels or linens to help cushion the breakables.
7. Wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, bows. -Shop for next year after Christmas.
8. Artificial Christmas trees. Store in the original box or purchase a Christmas tree bag for storage.
9. Candles. Wrap each candle to avoid scratches. An old sock works.
10. Keep track of things needed for next year.

Storage Containers:
Once your items are sorted then look at storage options. Clear boxes make it easy to see the contents but cardboard boxes may be the thrifty way to go. Special boxes for ornaments are a great investment as they keep the ornaments separated or use layers of batting to separate your ornaments in a covered box.

Label the boxes. A general name on the outside of the box and then a list inside with specifics.



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Gifts outside of the Box-from the Heart for our Older Friends

It is that time of the year again to share my lists of gifts that come from the heart and not from the mall.  

Baked good of the month certificate-homemade goodness all year long. My friends even gave me the box back each month so I would not forget the next month.

"Of the Month" gift-fruit, flowers, etc.

Take them to lunch or dinner.

    Bird feeder and seed

"Forever" stamps

 Plan a day to bring dinner and do odd jobs around the house. This is a special one! 

Is there a car that has special memories from the past? Arrange for a car collector to take them for a ride in that car

Is someone residing in assisted living? Invite them to your house to do
some seasonal baking or summer canning.

Plan an outing to see seasonal decorations or a parade.

One or more sessions with a cleaning service.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Gifts outside of the Box-from the Heart for Family and Friends

It is that time of the year for my annual list of gifts that come from the heart and not always from the store.
  • Date night in a basket-movie, wine, cheese
  • A health club or a museum membership
  • Gift cards
        Restaurants
        Events -Ticket Master has gift cards
        Local Events-plays or concerts
        To supplement their hobbies - spices, fabric, sports
        Massage or spa treatment
        Lessons for a special hobby-music, ceramics, dance
        Garden Center

  • Magazine subscription
  • Baked good of the month certificate-homemade goodness all year long
  • "Of the Month" gift-fruit, flowers, etc.
  • Cooking lessons at a local cooking school. Make it for two and go along
  • Gifts of homemade food - frozen so they can use it when needed
  • Gift of food or drink: specialty coffees, wines, teas, chocolates, cheese
  • Gifts of time-Plan a group activity
  • Make a donation in honor of someone to their favorite charity
  • Coupon for a free car wash/detailing-by yourself or a professional
  • Think summer activity
  • Plan activity from someone's Bucket List
  • A special day with winery tour/s and lunch
  • Electronic toll pass for the travelers
  • Hunting/fishing license for the sportsman
  • One or more sessions from a cleaning service

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Gifts outside of the box-from the Heart for Children

It is time for my annual list of gifts that come from the heart and not always the mall.

Children:

Share the gift of time and experiences. 

Summer or sports camp registration

A season pass to the zoo/museum


Special one on one day with grandparents
              Baking
              Sharing a hobby
              Manicure and lunch

Membership to the local YMCA

Coupon book for activities throughout the year: special one on one time, go out for ice cream, go bowling. The ideas are endless.

Indoor water park tickets

Music lessons

Magazines-We started with the Hello Baby magazine when the grandchildren were small and then age up appropriately. We are into Highlights now.

A box of dress-up clothes

Art supplies. Even pads of paper and new markers or tape. My grandsons spend hours creating with tape, paper, and markers.


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gifts outside of the Box-from the Heart for Teachers

Image result for free christmas images
The time of the year for my annual list of gift-giving ideas that do not necessarily come from the store.

These ideas came from teachers. Wishlists for a teacher may vary by how long they have been teaching. One school has the teachers fill out a “Favorite Things” questionnaire (see sample below) that is available for parents and students. Parents are given the opportunity to contribute to a joint gift and then a room mom does the shopping based on this list.

Any gifts that can be used up!  As much as some feel that a gift card is impersonal, teachers really like them. This was a top pick for my teacher friends. To make it personal, include a heartfelt note of thanks to the teacher for teaching your children.
            Gift cards for teachers favorite store/s
            Movie passes
            Magazine subscriptions
            Items from the teacher’s wish list for classroom supplies (most teachers spend their own money on non-budgeted items for the classroom)
            A cozy evening at home basket-favorite beverage and snacks in a basket
            Movie night at home basket with snacks and movie
            Manicure/ pedicure/hair salon gift certificate
            Do you know if a teacher likes to cook? Give an opportunity to take a cooking class. Loves art? Membership to a museum would be an appropriate choice.

Give the gift of time. In a teacher’s case, it would be to save them time.

            Easy to prepare meal in a basket or a ready-made meal brought to school on a scheduled night to save the time of cooking a meal. Give them a personalized coupon that they can redeem at a future date. Have your child create the coupon.
            Christmas cookies to save the teacher the time of baking
            If allowed, bring a special lunch for the teacher and watch the students while the teacher has some alone time.

           
“Favorite Things” Questionnaire

Favorite color:
Favorite hobby:
Favorite fast food:
Favorite snack:
Favorite stores we shop at:
Things we collect:

Any special wishes:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

80/20 Rule. Again.


Studies show that 80 percent of what we use comes from 20 percent of what we own. That means that 80 percent of the things in our homes are rarely or never used. Look in your closet, garage, or even your sock drawer to test that theory. Before you buy, think about the time you’ll spend in cleaning, storing, and maintaining that item. If you absolutely must buy, establish a “new item in, old item out” system. For example, if you purchase a new pair of shoes, then send an old pair (or two) to the local donation center.



Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Helping others is what it is about.

Another note from a happy client.  I love my job and obviously others like what I do as well. Life is good!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Before and After- Garage

This was a typical garage where things got out of control because items were never given a designated space.  These clients have plenty of storage but it was not used efficiently.  Like before, we took everything out and started grouping like items together.

Fall decor was in three different cabinets and now one cabinet houses it all. That will simplify decorating.

Adjusting shelves to fit the items that one needs to store also helps maximize space. (Note second cabinet from the left.) If possible get adjustable shelving in any storage that you purchase.

Cleaning products are grouped together. It is important when buying bulk products to keep them together so you can always see what you have and when to buy more.

We also created a shelf to house power tools and misc. workshop items instead of having them on the workbench prohibiting a place to work.

The three cupboards on the right are filled with items that are needed for household chores.  It makes it easier to know where to look for items.

These clients are enjoying their space with items that are labeled and in order.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Before and After- Upper laundry cabinets




Two very nice size cabinets above the washer and dryer became a catch-all for items. The machines are front loaders which makes it more difficult to access the upper shelves without a step stool.

We began by pulling all of the items out of the cabinets and grouping like items. Once that was done, we assessed what was needed in the space and what could go elsewhere. Items needed infrequently are on the higher shelves while items needed often are on the bottom shelves.

I often try to use tubs and baskets the client owns if they can work in the space. If not, clear baskets with labels are helpful to know what is where
when needing something. Also utilizing a lazy susan in the laundry detergent area simplified access to different cleaning products especially in a space that is harder to access.

Which cabinet storage would make your life easier?





Tuesday, July 2, 2019

National Ice Cream Month


Take Charge of Change Week is the first week of July. What better place to start than by organizing your home? First, figure out how you — and your family — will benefit from an organized home. Come up with five ways your household will improve once you’re more organized. Then, ponder what will happen if you decide not to change, and what will be different once you make some changes.

After you are done you can celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month. What better way to reward yourselves for beginning the process of organizing your home?

 




Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Before and After- Master closet

This custom closet had many positive features. Drawers, shoe storage, adjustable hanging rods, and shelves. The clients had filled it all to the max when they moved in yet did not weed out items no longer liked or that fit. Once we went through every item in the closet, we were able to better utilize all the space.

A set of adjustable shelves was eliminated and replaced by hanging rods. See back right in the photo. (Look for easily adjustable shelving and rods when looking at closet systems as clothing needs change over time). More clothing needed to be hung to keep wrinkle free than folded on shelves. 

Color coding the clothing by type saves time in the morning as it is easier to find what you are looking for when you need it. Group all of your tank tops together from light to dark and repeat with your short sleeve tops. Repeat this process with all of your other categories.
The key to success is putting things back in the proper location. That dark t-shirt should go with the darks and not in the middle of the white shirts. This may be a change for you but after a while, it becomes a habit.

Seldom used purses stored downstairs were brought upstairs and now they are used more often. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Are you a collector?



Image result for royalty free images of collectablesTo help you sort the cherished treasures from ho-hum others, ask yourself, “Which of my keepsakes are really worth keeping?” For example, a teacup given to you by your grandmother may hold significantly more memories than the one you picked up at a garage sale. A rare baseball card worth lots of money might hold more value than entire boxes of run-of-the-mill cards. By clearing out those that you don’t truly love, you appreciate your favorites even more.





Wednesday, May 22, 2019

This Week’s Easy E-Tip: Organize Your Sheets



Gather up all the sheet sets in your home, and sort by size. Toss any that are past their prime or that you simply don’t love. (Really, all you need is two sets per bed.) Then, place each set inside its pillowcase, Where ever you choose to store them, make sure to label the area (twin, full, queen, king) so it’s easy to find the right size when you need it.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

How I spent my afternoon.


A four-hour afternoon session with a client changed this pantry closet chaos into a well-organized pantry where the clients can see all of their supplies. You are probably thinking, "They probably threw everything away."

We did move silk flowers into an under bed storage bin,  reduced and corraled the number of paper bags that kept getting thrown in the corner, and sorted and discarded food if outdated. It was then a matter of grouping like items, such as vases, or putting bins where they better used the space. Clear bins and labels make it easier for the clients to remember what goes where when groceries are added.

This client cooks with fresh foods most often so that is the reason there are not a lot of canned goods to be stored. We actually were able to take a few items from other cabinets as we had space.






Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A picture says it all.

After a recent session with a client, I received this card. I smiled too as it shows that I am helping people create spaces to make their life easier. This client happens to like making cards. What a special note and thank you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Before and After of the Month- Storage Room


Do you have one of those spaces where you put everything that does not have a home? This was such a space and the owner had enough of the clutter. We worked together for a couple sessions and then the homeowners began projects that they wanted to handle themselves, mainly the family photos.

They love the new space and the momentum has helped them carry through to other areas of their home. I will get messages once in a while stating how much they learned and what projects they have tackled recently.

Giving yourself the gift of organization is a gift
that keeps on giving.
   






Thursday, November 29, 2018

Create Gift Wrap Central

Image result for christmas presents free images
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to get your gift-wrap supplies untangled and in order. First, gather it all into one location. Toss any wrap, bows, bags, or tags that are wrinkled, worn, or just plain ugly. Then, containerize for easy access. You could use a multi-drawer bin system on wheels, which is easy to move from room to room as needed. Or install a behind-the-door wire hanging rack organizer. You could even corral the supplies in an under-bed storage box. Any system is fine, so long as it’s easy for you to access.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Gifts outside of the Box-Gifts from the Heart for Family and Friends

  
Image result for free christmas imagesIt is that time of the year for my annual list of gifts that come from the heart and not always from the store.
  • Date night in a basket-movie, wine, cheese
  • A health club or museum membership
  • Gift cards
        Restaurants
        Events -Ticket Master has gift cards
        Local Events-plays or concerts
        To supplement their hobbies - spices, fabric, sports
        Massage or spa treatment
        Lessons for a special hobby-music, ceramics, dance
        Garden Center

  • Magazine subscription
  • Baked good of the month certificate-homemade goodness all year long
  • "Of the Month" gift-fruit, flowers, etc.
  • Cooking lessons at a local cooking school. Make it for two and go along
  • Gifts of homemade food - frozen so they can use it when needed
  • Gift of food or drink: specialty coffees, wines, teas, chocolates, cheese
  • Gifts of time-Plan a group activity
  • Make a donation in honor of someone to their favorite charity
  • Coupon for a free car wash/detailing-by yourself or a professional
  • Think summer activity
  • Plan activity from someone's Bucket List
  • Special day with winery tour/s and lunch
  • Electronic toll pass for the travelers
  • Hunting/fishing license for the sportsman
  • One or more sessions from a cleaning service

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Gifts outside of the Box-Gifts from the Heart for Teachers

Image result for free christmas images
The time of the year for my annual list of gift giving ideas that do not necessarily come from the store.

These ideas came from teachers. Wishlists for a teacher may vary by how long they have been teaching. One school has the teachers fill out a “Favorite Things” questionnaire (see sample below) that is available for parents and students. Parents are given the opportunity to contribute to a joint gift and then a room mom does the shopping based on this list.

Any gifts that can be used up!  As much as some feel that a gift card is impersonal, teachers really like them. This was a top pick for my teacher friends. To make it personal, include a heartfelt note of thanks to the teacher for teaching your children.
            Gift cards for teachers favorite store/s
            Movie passes
            Magazine subscriptions
            Items from the teacher’s wish list for classroom supplies (most teachers spend their own money on non-budgeted items for the classroom)
            A cozy evening at home basket-favorite beverage and snacks in a basket
            Movie night at home basket with snacks and movie
            Manicure/ pedicure/hair salon gift certificate
            Do you know if a teacher likes to cook? Give an opportunity to take a cooking class. Loves art? Membership to a museum would be an appropriate choice.

Give the gift of time. In a teacher’s case, it would be to save them time.

            Easy to prepare meal in a basket or a ready-made meal brought to school on a scheduled night to save the time of cooking a meal. Give them a personalized coupon that they can redeem at a future date. Have your child create the coupon.
            Christmas cookies to save the teacher the time of baking
            If allowed, bring a special lunch for the teacher and watch the students while the teacher has some alone time.

           
“Favorite Things” Questionnaire

Favorite color:
Favorite hobby:
Favorite fast food:
Favorite snack:
Favorite stores we shop at:
Things we collect:

Any special wishes:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gifts outside of the Box-Gifts from the Heart for Children.

It is that time of the year for gift giving and my annual list of ideas.
Image result for children cooking images free
Children:

Share the gift of time and experiences. 

Special one on one day with grandparents
              Baking
              Sharing a hobby
              Manicure and lunch
Summer or sports camp registration

Season pass to the zoo/museum

Membership to the local YMCA

Indoor water park tickets

Music lessons

Magazines-We started with the Hello Baby magazine when the grandchildren were small and then age up appropriately

A box of dress-up clothes

Art supplies