Thursday, August 17, 2017

Before and After of the Month-Storage Room


This storage room had plenty of space but over time more was added without thought of where things should go. Not much was given away but just organized by location. One large extra Christmas tree box was recycled and an old table was given away but otherwise it was a matter of finding spaces to put things. The shelving unit had items that did not need to be there which saved room for other items. It did not take long and the client was amazed at seeing the floor again. His comment, " Won't the air conditioning guy be surprised as he will not have to work an obstacle course to get to the unit?" Again, making life easier by being organized.

Reorganize Today...for an Easier Tomorrow.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Quick Tip for the Week. Do you procrastinate?

Tip to stop procrastination:
If you’re feeling sluggish, complete an easy job first, to get your momentum going. Also, do the toughest tasks when your body is most alert — some people function better first thing in the morning, while others perk up later in the day.








Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Simplify Your Life Week is the first week of August.

 You can find tips to simplify just about any area of your life by visiting Pinterest. Once there, you can search for general life simplification tips, or even search by specific area of the home. (A great one to peruse is how to simplify your laundry routine.) You’ll be amazed at all the creative ideas to maximize your space and time.







Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.
This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

E Tip of the Month

Hold a Pencil Round-Up


Gather all loose pens and pencils in your home. Test them, and if they don’t work, toss them. Sharpen all pencils. Toss pencil stubs. Put pencils in one container and pens in another. Label.






Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This Week’s Easy E-Tip: Make Your Bed Beautiful



Make your bed first-thing, every single morning. Take an extra moment to smooth out the comforter and fluff pillows. Remove garbage or drinking glasses from your bedside table. This pretty place will inspire you to continue creating beauty throughout your home all day long.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Should I keep it or not?

Are you a collector? To 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 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. 



Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.
This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Father's Day Special Gift

This Father's Day, make dad's life easier by organizing the garage. Think in terms of zones: automotive, gardening, sports, tools, toys, etc. Consolidate items for easy retrieval, placing items as close as possible to where they will be used. For example, keep gardening accoutrements in a large basket by the outside door. Set recycling bins right next to the interior door. Put tools near the workbench. And make it easy for kids to access and put away their own stuff. A tall can will neatly old hockey  sticks,
baseball bats, and other long items.  Corral balls in a large bin.                                                                                      





Friday, May 26, 2017

Tip of the Month: Stop procrastination


For truly unpleasant tasks, set a timer for 15 minutes, and just do it. Nearly anything is palatable for a quarter of an hour. It’s also helpful to see that most unpleasant things don’t take nearly as long as we think they will. You may hate going through your in-basket at work. But just 15 minutes each morning and evening is enough to review, sort, do the quickie tasks, and assign the longer ones to your planner.

Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

A very special Before and After-A new baby's room


I arrived at my daughter's to help get ready for the new arrival. Fortunate to receive many items from others, the room was a holding tank for baby stuff. We removed everything from the room except the main furniture pieces and cleaned the space. Then put things into place based on need. A large double closet is perfect for storing things  not needed right away such as toddler toys, porta crib, baby support pillows. The room is small but we accommodated most items in the room. We cleared a dresser in an adjoining room for older clothes based on size. 6 month together, 12 month in the next drawer etc. As new clothing is acquired,  they can easily be organized. A small bookcase that my daughter had growing up, moved from the guest room while a tall secretary, given a new look by removing the doors on the top, took the place of the short bookcase. The style did not suit my daughter and husband and they were going to give it away. I am glad they did not as it is perfect in the guest room now and the books are much easier to access. Win Win for all. An unused touch control lamp is now a nice soft light for the room. The room is now ready for baby as are we!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Boxes to the rescue.

Ready to start cleaning or decluttering an area of your home? Start with labeled boxes so you instantly sort as you go through items. Here are some categories to get you started.

Ebay, Shred, Repair, Keep, Recycle, Return, Trash, Donate, Not sure (Everything can't go in that one!), Belongs Elsewhere.

Ask the questions: Do I use it? Do I love it?
 If you do not use it or love it, you do not need it! Easy!
 If you are saving something for your children, ask if they want it instead of assuming.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Where do I recycle ________? (Fill in the blank)

Wondering what to do with your broken-down BBQ grill? Curious if you can recycle candy bar wrappers? Nearly everything can be recycled, but the trick is to figure out where. Luckily, there is a neat app called iRecycle, which can tell you how, where, and when to recycle just about anything. The app is free and can be found by searching for "iRecycle" on the App Store.






Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Is clutter controlling you?

If your entire household or office feels clutter-covered, create some white space. Pick one surface — such as a bedside table, desk, shelf, or end table — and remove everything. Toss, donate, recycle, or redistribute to its proper home as necessary. Wipe the surface clean, and put just one lovely thing on that space to remind you to keep it clear.

I have many areas of my home that are usually clutter free (go figure!) but one area that is consistently cleared off before going to bed is the kitchen counter. That way the first thing I see in the morning is an oasis of calm. A full counter means work is somehow involved and starts the day off the wrong way.


Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.
This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Top Tip of the Month-Helping Others

Chances are, at some point in your life, someone close to you will suffer from a life-changing illness, tragedy, or injury. Instead of saying, “What can I do to help?” consider being proactive and setting up a “meal train.” This free website allows family and friends to create an organized plan to bring meals on specific days. An email reminder is sent the day before each scheduled meal. Visit www.mealtrain.com for details.





Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Before and After of the Month-Sewing Closet

This closet had fallen into disorganization for various reasons and I was called in to create a functional space for the client. We did share a lot of no longer needed items with the local thrift store-- recycled what we could-- shared some with family--and had the smallest amount of actual trash of any client I have ever had. Part of a small waste basket was all that went in the trash. Amazing when you look at all of the stuff!
She still has a lot but she knows where everything is and can access it easily.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Clean Out Your Closet Week





That time of year again and it falls in March for a reason. Spring is coming and with it a change of wardrobe for a good part of the country. What better way to greet spring than with an organized and refreshed closet. Having empty space in a closet is a good thing. Just because you have space it does not have to be packed to the brim. Clothes like to hang freely and not be squished together!

It is time to assess the clothes in your closet and see what is being worn and what is not. One good question to ask yourself: "If I were shopping right this second, would I buy this?" If the answer is no, out it goes. Does this question help?





Friday, March 17, 2017

Clutter Awareness Week

Did you know that this week is Clutter Awareness Week? Make it easy to get rid of clutter this week — and all year long — by setting up a handy donation station. Stash a basket in an easily accessible location, such as the front hall closet. When you come across clothing that doesn’t fit, toys your kids don’t love, gadgets you don’t use, or DVDs you no longer watch, drop them in the basket. When the basket is full, drop off its contents at your local thrift shop.




Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.
This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

E tip of the Month- Gather Gifts

Make It Easy to Gift Others

Set up a handy gift station at home. Whether it’s a shelf in a closet or a box stashed under your bed, dedicate a space to gather perfect gifts for friends and family throughout the year. Log gifts in a notebook as you buy them. Stash gift wrap, ribbon, scissors, tape, and cards together for easy wrapping.






This photo was taken at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground GA. Daffodil season has started in Georgia in February. Lovely!




Friday, February 17, 2017

Top Tip of the Month-Lighten Laundry Labor

If you feel like you’re getting behind in laundry duties, a couple simple tweaks may help. To make laundry day easier, instruct your family to place whites in a white basket or hamper and darks in a colored basket. You’ll never have to sort again! If you dry clean frequently, add a separate basket for that, as well. Then, place clean, folded laundry in color-coded or labeled laundry baskets. Have family members retrieve their baskets from the laundry room, or deliver them to their rooms, so they can put away their own stuff. Many hands make light work!


Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.
This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Corral clutter

Stock up on clear, lidded boxes. The small, shoebox size is nice not only for shoes, but also for accessories like belts, scarves, rolled ties, and small purses. The 18 to 30 gallon tote sizes allow waterproof storage in the garage, attic, and basement. These boxes make storage on shelves neat as a pin and easily accessible. The functionality of clear plastic allows easy viewing of the contents without needing to open the lid, making retrieval a snap.




Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.


This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Before and After of the Month-Mom's cabinet to my cabinet



This yellow cabinet housed my mother's cookbook collection. Yes, she had a lot of cookbooks. I often think that, if she was still alive, how she would be thrilled by the amount of recipes available on the internet! The yellow color and hardware were not working for me so I removed the door, stripped the paint and repainted it a soft green. I did not do much to the inside as I liked the markings created by the cookbooks being removed and replaced. Now Mom's cookbook cabinet is my display case in the living room. Maybe you have some family pieces that could use some recycling.




Friday, January 13, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

If you make a New Year’s goal, the key to keeping it is to define ways to measure your success. By using a timetable, you’ll force yourself to be accountable. Look at your goal in the short-term, mid-term and long-term. For example, don’t say, “I will get organized this year.” Say instead, “I will organize my closet this week,” “I will evaluate my overloaded schedule next month,” and “I will ask someone to help me organize my paperwork by the end of March.” 




Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Quote of the Month- Stuff, stuff and more stuff

If you have to buy stuff to store your stuff, you might have too much stuff. bemorewithless.com










Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Storing Christmas Decorations

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.


Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas



Christmas Greetings to you all wherever you celebrate the holidays.













Christmas Log Cabin by Gretchen Hudock

Friday, December 16, 2016

Simplify, simplify, simplify





If you could delegate just one task this holiday season, what would it be and to whom? If you could delete one activity this holiday season, what would it be?















Cardinals in the Snow by Gretchen Hudock

Friday, December 9, 2016

Gifts that come from the Heart for those with limited mobility


Bird feeder and seed
"Forever" stamps

Plan a day to bring dinner and do odd jobs around the house.

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.

Christmas Log Cabin by Gretchen Hudock


Friday, December 2, 2016

Gifts from the heart for children, teens and young parents

Children:
Share the gift of time
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
Magazine subscriptions for little ones. My grandsons really enjoyed Hello Baby and now like High Five. Both from the Highlights for Children Magazine. Now that they are older they enjoy getting mail monthly.





Teens:
Share the gift of one on one time by planning a special event
Tickets to a sporting event
Tickets to a concert
Spend a day cooking together
Movie or bowling passes
Cell phone gift card
iTunes gift card

Young parents:

Netflix subscription-don't forget the snacks
Coupon good for babysitting or a homemade dinner
State park sticker for the upcoming year
Coupon good for a few hours with household help
Season pass to the zoo
Date night in a basket-movie, wine, cheese




Friday, November 25, 2016

Gifts for Teachers. Suggested by Teachers.


These ideas came from teachers. Wish lists for a teacher may vary by how long they have been teaching. One school has the teachers fill out a “Favorite Things” questionnaire that is available for parents and students. Parents are given the opportunity to contribute to a joint gift and then a room parent 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 of my teacher friends. To make it personal, include a heartfelt note of thanks to the teacher for teaching your children. Have your children write in the note too.
            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)
            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.

"All is Calm" quilt by Gretchen Hudock. One of a series of Christmas Card Quilts.






Friday, November 18, 2016

Gifts that come from the heart-not just from the store.


As the Christmas season shopping gets underway in gusto in a week I wanted to share my annual list of gifts for family and friends. Some of the most meaningful gifts are not purchased at the mall.

    





     · Health club or museum membership
     · Date night in a basket-movie, wine, cheese
     · 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 home made 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

"Majestic Beauty Poinsettia" by Gretchen Hudock. A stained glass quilt.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Before and After of the Month-Garage Makeover




Which garage would you prefer to drive into after a work day? It was another of those "it was easier to store them than make decisions on the items". Once the decisions were made it was easy to find space for the important items to be available when needed.

Peter Walsh of organizing fame says:

"Each pile of clutter is a monument to a series of small procrastinations."  

Friday, November 4, 2016

This Week’s Easy E-Tip: Tidy the Pantry

The holidays are upon us. Take a few minutes to get on track in the pantry.

Open one kitchen cupboard and take out all food items. Toss out anything expired. Remove anything that you had good intention to eat but never did, and donate those items to your local food shelf. Wipe down shelves. Group similar items together (canned goods, pasta, cereal, etc.) on shelves.




Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.
This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, October 28, 2016

This Week’s Easy E-Tip: Set up a Coffee Station


If you love your morning cup of joe, create a coffee house feel by gathering all necessary supplies on a cute tray in the kitchen next to the coffee pot. Stock coffee grounds/beans, filters, grinder, sugar, and your favorite mugs so that making your morning wake-me-up is effortless.



Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Do you think this is true?

The National Soap and Detergent Association says 80% of household clutter is the result of disorganization, not lack of space.


Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.


This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Top Tip of the Month-E mail time management

Resist the urge to continually check email or voicemail. Instead, set specific times — perhaps once in the morning, once after lunch, and once before you end the day — to do this. You can set the sender’s expectation in your signature line, saying, “I check email 3 times daily. I’ll respond to your request as soon as I am able.”








Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.


This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.