All posts filed under: Organizing

Monsters Inc.

Kicking the Decorating Rut–Part 2

Here we are ladies and gentlemen, to your left is ugly, to your right is does not match, behind us is what was I thinking, and upstairs is where the really rejected goes to hide. We are in the belly of the beast. Please, hold small children by the hand and stay with the group–this is no where to be alone. We will be passing out garbage bags. Your job is to fill the bag with the broken and useless remains around you. Please do not multitask as the monsters around will vie for your attention rendering you paralyzed. Once we finish we will be doing a second pass. Please follow the signs which will be visibly posted: This is not a drill. I repeat this is the real thing. Please follow directions and we will all get through this together. ************************************** Decorating Rut Part 1, Organizing and Fear    

Paper must look PURPOSEFUL!  Contain it or Hide it! Found at Lucketts in Leesburg, VA.

#PaperBeGone!

  Every Tuesday my kid’s elementary school sends the equivalent of one phone book’s worth of paper home with my kids. Times two. No, seriously. Actually they are the collection agency for “Lots of Paper Without Homes”, then they divide the paper by the students and send those papers home.  Really. Ok, all joking aside, the school is actually a recycling plant for paper and they recycle millions of pounds a week using secret people and the kid’s backpacks. 25 sheets = 1 quire 500 sheets = 1 ream 1,000 sheets = 1 bundle 5,000 sheets = 1 bale We should just familiar ourselves with these measurements so we can communicate more efficiently with one another.  “I had about one bale in little Johnny’s backpack today.”  “Oh, you did? We have been only getting 3 bundles lately.” “REALLY?! I heard that that other school is only sending home 2 quires!” “NO!” “YES!” “Stop it!” “I know, right?!” My kids are in on it too.  They take a piece of paper and scribble a line on it …

Organizing and Fear

  My dear friend Amy Volk, in Virginia Beach, has an amazing business and blog–Simplified Living.  She writes about living better, and who can’t embrace that?  I love her blog posts everyday but yesterday’s struck a huge ginormous YES! in me when I read it.  I asked her if she would do a rerun over here and she said YES!  So without further ado I would like to introduce Amy Volk.  Make sure you stop by her blog and pay her a visit.  You’ll be glad you did.  Love to you Amy! There are a lot emotions tied to organizing and getting organized. I’ve talked a lot about perfectionism and  how paralyzing it is to getting organized, but the other insidious current lurking around is fear.  Fear happens for many reasons and because I’m no therapist, I won’t even try to figure it out, but I do see it crop in my organizing sessions with folks. Often when we acquire things, we feel good about having them.  Over time, these things may or may not be useful, but still we feel …

The War on Clutter

Oh. My.  We moved into this house 3  1/2 months ago.  I did so much purging and clutter delegation when we arrived.  Our house is big.  I am organized.  I pick up and clean all the time.  Why, oh why, Clutter have you taken over?  Ok maybe not taken over but you are trying to stage a coup.  I know your tricks.  I have company coming.  I am busy.  Clutter leave me alone!  You leave me no choice.  I am sorry. I’m not going to over think it.  I’m just going to dump it. So after 10 minutes this is what I came up with.  I felt it was pathetic. So I did another round.  Which turned into 5 hours later…   Ok, it isn’t as impressive as it looks.  And yet it is…  Much of this is packing paper that I held onto for when I decided to do this….   …sort, sell, goodwill and purge my staging props.  What you aren’t seeing are the boxes of things I am giving away to family…which …

There is Still Time to Change One Thing–Be Like Nike and JUST DO IT

Is anybody having company for the upcoming Holidays?  How about a nagging thing you really want to get done in your house before the end of the year? Wait.  OMG I just bored even me and I’m writing this. Listen.  I love decorating and even I get so bored reading about it.  Let’s cut to the chase.  It’s not about keeping up with the Jones’.  It’s about living in a place that is an extension of ourselves.  It’s about feeling good-and liking the skin we are in-the bricks and mortar we live in.  Don’t be lazy.  Don’t give up.  Don’t live in a rat’s nest.  Be a Nike ad and Just Do It.  For crying out loud.  Change your darn dining room light before you have the big dinner.  Or pull down the vertical blinds (NO ONE SHOULD HAVE VERTICAL BLINDS EVER).  Go to TJMaxx and buy 6 pillows to cover up your totally dated furniture.  (Buy the pillows in matching pairs.).  You have time.  You have time to do one thing before the year …

Surrender

  Sometimes you must say “when”. I’ve purged, sorted, purged, labelled, organized, and purged again my kid’s “stuff”.  Birthday parties, goody bags, the school lunchtime “store”, gum ball machines, arcade prizes, and the occasional grandparent have all undermined my attempts. It is imperative that my children have these treasures–rubber skelton, 1 inch skateboard, stuffed snake, zombie ninja playing the flute.  Fine.  I will not label, purge, sort, cajole, sort, move or rearrange.  I will buy baskets and dump. I give up. Have you fought a good fight?  If and ONLY IF you have tried to purge it and organize it and have epically failed then, and only then, can you retreat, withdrawal, surrender.  You are not a coward.  You have picked your battle wisely my friend.  I give you my blessing. Like things together be damned.    

Prime Real Estate—INSIDE Your Home

  Do you know where your prime real estate is IN your house? It’s the kitchen cabinets and drawers that are the most accessible.  The coat closet.  The inside of your bedside table.  The storage around your bathroom sink.  The areas of your closet that are the easiest to reach.  The top of your desk.  Your main desk drawer. So why are your coats and shoes not in the coat closet?  Because you are storing small appliances, your vacuum, wrapping paper and board games in it. Why are your counters constantly cluttered with overflow?  Because your cabinets are storing your Christmas dishes…AND your “entertaining dishes” (that you use once or twice a year)…AND your sunscreen…AND 47 cookbooks  (45 you NEVER use)…AND a mug collection you started in the 60’s (you also don’t drink coffee). Your bathroom cabinets are storing toilet paper to get you through the next 14 years….AND all your toiletries are on the counter. The inside of your bedside tables are storing awards, random paper, artwork from your kids, ticket stubs, purses, and …

Picture Dump

I’m determined to get this pesky project done that has been living on my to do lists for years.  Sort pictures.  Just typing that puts me to sleep.  I don’t want to do it.  BUT what is even more irritating is looking at the boxes of pictures, the envelopes of pictures, the piles of pictures that need to be sorted.  I abhor clutter and piles.  I keep trying to “organize” how the boxes, envelopes and piles “look”.  Maybe a bigger storage bin with label maker tape?  Or matching photo boxes with labels “For Album” will make this better.  My second son was born in 2007 and somewhere through that pregnancy all ordering of photos ceased.  My oldest son has many photo albums to see how he has grown etc… until 2007.  My youngest son….nothing.  I’m doing this for them and for the sake of my to do list.  And for gosh sake if you have any printed pictures of me and our family do not send them!  At least not yet. I have consulted many …

Cord Control

This is going to be one of the most riveting posts you will have ever read.  It is about how to hide electrical cords.  Yes. Amy Volk over at Amyvolk.com showed us how to Organize Cords on her September 9th blog posting.  I’m going to piggy back on hers–make sure to read it–and add an aesthetic version.  Amy, my lovely friend who is very wise, makes my job easy.  I can’t make your house look good if it is a disorganized mess.  She will clear your chaotic piles and cure your where-are-my-car keys-woes. She is your glue, and I am your glitter.  Yes. Cords are ugly.  Functional but ugly.  Hide them.  Buy Command Cord Clips.  They come in small, medium, and large.  I bought the large on Amazon for the first project. This is a cable cord that will not lay flat.  It drives me crazy. You are suppose to press the 3M removable tape for 30 seconds, then add the hooks and hold that onto the tape for 30 seconds. AND then wait an hour until …