Thursday, September 26, 2013

Simple Is As Simple Does

An organized room doesn't have to be complicated.
In fact, simplifying is one of the best ways to become permanently organized!

Take this laundry room, for example:

On the bottom shelf, the laundry detergent and *fabric softener (distilled white vinegar) have been decanted into glass jars. Not only does this look clean and attractive, but it also helps you easily see when you're about to run out of something. Next to the iron, a perforated white basket holds surplus cleaning rags and a lint roller. The cleaning rags currently in use are simply tucked into the wire shelf (which provides plenty of air circulation and convenient access).

On the second shelf, the bulk paper supplies are nicely lined up next to a white tub containing spare light bulbs. Out of frame is another tub which houses miscellaneous tools and parts.

The top shelf holds a white tub containing car-care items and painting supplies. A gallon of distilled water is within easy reach (great for homemade personal care products). A medium-sized clear bin is used to store empty glass jars and bottles (to be re-used later in craft projects and holiday gifts). Finally, a linen basket resides atop the dryer to carry 1 load of clean clothes back to the closet.

You don't always need to spend hundreds of dollars on storage solutions.
Sometimes, "simple" is the answer.

* Using vinegar as a fabric softener, along with dryer balls, eliminates the need for dryer sheets (which are full of unnecessary & potentially toxic chemicals).  This combo is incredibly cheap and eco-friendly!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We Have Three Of Those Already

One of the best parts about being organized is that you end up saving tons of money!

Case in point: one of my clients got into a huge fight with his wife... over cereal.
He stopped at the grocery store on his way home from work to buy his favorite cereal. When he got to the house and his wife helped him unload the groceries, she became irate because they already had three boxes of the same cereal in the pantry. Here she was, watching every penny that they were spending - clipping coupons, and he had now bought a FOURTH box of cereal which would probably go stale before they could even use it.

Unfortunately, there was no way for poor Jim to know that... because everything was buried so deeply in their pantry that it was like a black hole of food boxes and cans. He just wanted his cereal.

It can work the other way around too: you might think you have plenty of something, but then when you get ready to use it, you realize you're all out. If you're a java-drinker like I am, being out of a staple like coffee will put a HUGE kink in your whole day!

The good news is, there is an organizational system to fit every pantry... and every family.

If you'd like to be able to see and use everything in your pantry, send your contact information to or call me at 214-509-8222.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Can Actually Walk In My Walk-In Closet

Last week, I helped a client who was struggling with an over-abundant wardrobe. This is one of the most common organizational dilemmas that most people face.

It wasn't that she didn't have enough closet space.
It was that she had too much stuff.

There are a number of different reasons why people end up with way too many clothes: some people form sentimental attachments to certain pieces; some people, because of the dieting roller coaster, have amassed a wardrobe in a range of sizes from 6 to 16; some people are hanging onto clothes that no longer flatter them or suit their current lifestyles.

Whatever the case may be, there is definitely a solution for each one.

My client, Sarah, ended up donating 25% of her wardrobe. She was able to take another 40% and vacuum-store it elsewhere (for when she inevitably loses weight again). All that remained in her closet was 35% of her original wardrobe! This allowed her to actually see what she had...that both FIT and flattered her. She has since told me that getting dressed is no longer a chore: 
"It's like I get to go shopping in my own closet every day!"

If you'd like to be able to go shopping in your own closet, send your contact information to or call me at 214-509-8222.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why Do I Have Thirty-Two Varieties Of Lotion?

If you've ever looked in your bathroom cabinets and found that you had at least a dozen bottles of lotion, or hair spray/mousse/shine, or body wash, or disposable razors... not to mention what's lurking in your medicine cabinet... then this post is for you!

When we imagine bathrooms filled with beauty products spilling out of every cabinet and every drawer, we often assume that they belong to a woman. But don't be so quick to assume.

I can't even tell you the number of male clients I've helped whose bathrooms had just as many products crammed into every inch of storage space available. Many of today's men (even men whom no one would consider "metro-sexual") use a lot more grooming products than their predecessors. And women -- well -- we're certainly no slouches when it comes to stockpiling beauty products.

There are actually two separate issues at play here:
  1. The first is simply an organization issue which can be solved fairly easily.
  2. The second is an issue surrounding how and why we purchase personal-care products.
Some clients want only to address the 1st issue, and that's perfectly fine.
But for those who are willing, learning solutions to the 2nd issue can:
  • be incredibly rewarding
  • save you money
  • increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your morning routine
  • improve your skin, hair, and overall health
  • eliminate toxins from your environment
  • ...and so much more...

If you would like help corralling and reducing your bathroom clutter, send your contact information to or call me at 214-509-8222.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oh Shoot! I Forgot To Pay The .....

Have you ever experienced that awful sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because you've forgotten to pay a really important bill? You rush into your home office to verify the "Due By" date.....

But you can't even find the stinkin' bill itself because it's lost in a sea of papers so deep that a whale could go swimming in it! And now, you're going to be stuck paying a huge fine or late fee -or worse- get a ding on your credit report for having a late payment. Uggggh.

Keeping your home office organized, just like everything else, requires that some systems be put into place. What kind of systems varies greatly depending on your personality, your computer skills, your schedule, the number of family members in your home, your habits, etc.

It is also important to determine whether you only use the space for personal matters, for both personal and work, or primarily for work.

Even more frustrating than having a disastrously messy office is: once you finally get your home office organized, a month or two later, it's all in shambles again. The reasons this usually happens is because the home-owner:
  • thought short-term instead of long-term
  • didn't take their own bad habits or foibles into account
  • dealt with the symptoms instead of the root cause
  • just "cleaned up" without creating any new systems
Everyone is capable of having an orderly office space... and keeping it orderly. It's just a matter of working together to find the right solution for YOU.

If you'd like to finally be able to actually see your desktop, send your contact information to or call me at 214-509-8222.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I HATE Doing Laundry

To loosely reference the fabulous Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets:
I *hate* laundry, very dangerous thing, laundry. Hate. I'm using the word "hate" here, about laundry. Hate.
And I know I'm not alone in this feeling.

Laundry is the bane of many people's existence (especially if you have kids). Ok - that might be a little dramatic, but still, it really is such a chore (both literally and figuratively). However, that being said, there are a plethora of ways to make it less of a chore.

If you have children who are old enough to physically operate the washing machine and dryer, then they should be doing their own laundry. No excuses. And even before that age, there are ways to help very young children start participating in the laundry ritual.

Parents benefit because their load is lightened
(no pun intended). The kids benefit by learning responsibility, to value and care for their things, the importance of routines/systems, what it means to be part of a team/family, self-esteem gained by being more independent... and so much more! I can't tell you how many adults I've met who still don't know how to do laundry because their mothers always did it for them. It might seem like a kind & loving thing to do for your child (or maybe you just end up doing it for them out of frustration), but it is actually debilitating in the long run.

So, besides getting the kids involved, creating organizational systems and schedules can make a dramatic impact on the hassle and time it takes to get the laundry done. Some people convert a spare bedroom into a family closet/dressing room. Some people build out their laundry rooms and turn the extra space into a large closet. Some people use color-coded baskets for each family member. Some people have a single large hamper that is kept in the laundry room. The possible options are endless.

The key is figuring out what works best for YOU and your family.

If you would like to get off the laundry roller-coaster, send your contact information to or call me at 214-509-8222.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our Mud Room Is So ... Muddy

Most homes in Texas don't have mud rooms, so if you do, count yourself very lucky!
But, of course, that fortune comes with a price: another room to keep clean and organized.

This is definitely a case where you should focus on being "glass half full". A mud room usually means a lot of extra storage for you and your family. And if you have kids, this space can be invaluable.

Mud rooms are a bit tricky because each one is SO different. Some mud rooms have sinks, some have built-ins, some are incredibly tiny, some are very spacious, some have bright windows, some are dark dungeons.

For those reasons, we first have to assess what can and cannot take place in your mud room. Maybe it will just be a place to leave your muddy shoes. Maybe you'll have enough space to hang coats and backpacks. Maybe there's even extra storage to hold holiday items and off-season clothes.

The next thing to assess is how you actually use your home:

  • do you enter through the mud room 90% of the time?
  • do you have to pass through the garage first?
  • do you tend to enter through the front door instead?

All of these questions will impact how the mud room is laid out in terms of storage and functionality.

If you would like help sweeping the dirt out of your mud room - and keeping it out, send your contact information to or call me at 214-509-8222.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Can't Fit My Car In Our Garage

Has your car, over time or all at once, been pushed out the garage? Now it lives on the street or in your driveway... which puts it at risk of being stolen, broken into, damaged by hail, rusting, and being continuously exposed to the elements - gathering leaves, dust, acid rain/hard water spots, bird droppings, bugs, etc.

It's time to *take back your garage*!
Easier said than done, yes, I know.

But it can be done. Having an orderly and functional garage is simply a matter of:
  • donating or selling what you no longer use (which, let's be honest, is probably at least half of it)
  • setting up clever storage & display units
  • having everything clearly marked/labeled/mapped out, so that everything has a specific place to live

Yes, it's true that if you want to create a perfectly organized and staged garage, you will need to spend a little money on some specific storage solutions. But you can also accomplish amazing things for FREE. It's all a matter of what your goals are.

If you'd like to be able to comfortably drive your car into the garage (perhaps for the first time ever), send your contact info to or call me at 214-509-8222.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We All Live In Our Living Room

The living room is very aptly named: it is the main space in the house (other than, perhaps, the kitchen) where you do most of your "living". Some homes have a "den" which gets tons of use, while the living room just sits and collects dust. And then there are those homes which have one big "great room".

Either way, having neat and tidy living areas is essential to keeping your from feeling overwhelmed and stressed the minute you walk in the door!

Living areas can have multiple functions, depending on your lifestyle. If you are single and don't entertain much, your living areas will require significantly different functionality from someone who has a large family and loves to have everyone over twice a month.

Assessing your needs and wants is key in this space.

Some people prefer to not have a television in their main living area. Some people have something akin to a home theater in their living area. Some people don't mind a tv, as long as it's hidden away and doesn't pull focus.

Some people have a massive library which they want access to in their living area. Some people have completely converted to digital books and no longer have a physical library at all. Some people have gone mostly digital but have a dozen or so special books that they'd like displayed prominently.

Some people have kids whose overabundance of toys so fully permeates the living area, that it now resembles a Toys"R"Us. Some people have pets whose chew toys and stuffed mice are strewn all over the place. Some people live alone, and without the embarrassment or guilt that accompanies being a slob around others, they have a hard time finding the motivation to keep their living area surfaces clutter-free.

Whatever your situation, there is a solution to address and resolve it.

If you would like help regaining control of your living areas, send your contact information to or call me at 214-509-8222.