EATING AN ELEPHANT

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One Size Does Not Fit All in Organizing

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | 2 Comments

I think we can all agree that Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse.  As a whole it provides amazing ideas, recipes, inspiration and laughs (I could spend all day on the humor page), but it also gives an incredble influx of information that not everyone can handle and sometimes (okay a lot of times) makes us ungrateful for what we have, jealous for what we don’t have, envious of someone else, and sometimes we spend more money than we should, just to keep up with what we see on Pinterest.  I’ve searched MANY Pinterest pages and boards looking for ideas and inspiration for my clients and if there’s one thing I’ve learned , it’s that, when it comes to organizing, you have to create your own system.  You can’t copy someone else’s work and expect it to work flawlessly for you.  Yes, you can grab ideas, find bins, labels, organizing tools and more but don’t find a picture on the internet and say, “This works for them therefore it will work for me.” It’s not going to happen.  Each space is as unique as the person/family using it and should be organized that way.

Here’s why – your space won’t have the same items the other space has, your needs and expectations are different from the other person’s needs and expectations, and your space as a whole is probably different, even if it’s just slight.  Or maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s a cookie cutter build and you have an exact match to a space you love but guess what, you’re not that other person!  You’re you!  With your own life to live and with your own life that will fill that space differently.  No two closets I’ve worked in are ever the same.  My clients have different preferences.  There may be similarities, but never identical in the items they hold.  No two pantries are the same.  Again, there may be similarities but I have never come across an exact match for any pantry I’ve seen or worked in.

And I don’t know about you, but I love that.  I love the challenge of coming up with new ideas that will work for my clients.  I love the process of transforming their space to fit their specific needs.  I love seeing the satisfaction on their faces when it’s done and they realize what we’ve done can be maintained after I leave because it was organized with them in mind!

So yes, do your research, find ideas that will work for you, get inspired!  But when it comes down to it make sure the way you’re organizing fits you and your lifestyle.  You’re unique and your space needs to reflect that.

Have any stories to share about your own way of organizing?  If you do, share it with me! Let me know in the comments below!

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My Favorite Product for Spices

By | Most Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | No Comments

Okay, being perfectly honest I don’t know how recently this organizing product came in to existence.  I never heard about it while I was growing up (and no offense to my mother, that’s not really surprising.  Love you mom!).  I first learned about this awesome organizing helper after I started Top Shelf and researched “spice storage”.  Let me tell you, after looking on the internet and working with lots of clients in their kitchens, an overwhelmingly large number of people have horrible spice storage.  And they know it!  Sometimes they use a spice step (which, if you’ve been a reader for a while you should remember my post about why I don’t like spice steps); sometimes they use an in-cupboard shelf (click here if you don’t know what I’m referring to), but most of the time the spices are just randomly packed into a cupboard, which means finding the one spice that is needed can take a bit of time if it’s not used frequently.  Well, let me give you three little words that can erase your spice storage dilemma:

Spice.  Drawer.  Organizer.

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have enough drawers for that” and if that’s you and that’s true then click the link in the above paragraph to find some great solutions for your spice storage problem.  But, if you DO have enough drawer space, or can create drawer space, then this product may be for you.

Spice drawer organizers are exactly what they sound like – an organizer for spices that fits in a drawer.  Just think, no more shuffling through the random spice containers, no more knocking them over, no more wondering where the heck your ground nutmeg is… With this product you can see all of your spices in one sweep!  I’ve had several clients use this method and every single one of them loves it and says it’s wonderful.

Naturally, there are several different options to choose from:

Spice Rack Organizer
Spice Liner
Expandable Spice Tray Rack & Drawer Organizer

Another option would be to forgo the organizer entirely and simply lay your spices in a drawer, label side up, so you can see them all.  I have clients who are just as happy with this method as those with the actual organizer.  The spices do have a greater tendency to move around, since there isn’t anything holding them in place, but if you’re okay with that, then this idea would work just as well.

If you have more spices than can fit in one single drawer but you don’t have extra drawers to do this then I what I tell my clients to do is to put the spices that are used most frequently in the drawer (ideally one next to the stove) and the ones that are rarely used can go in a nearby cupboard.  Again, I have had clients do this and they are totally satisfied with it.

Spice storage is a pain and seems to be a problem for a very large number of people.  If you are one of them, this may be exactly what you need.  Look through your drawers, determine if there’s a way to free one up for your spices, and give this tip a try.  I guarantee it’ll make cooking more enjoyable and you may even use some of those special spices you’ve forgotten about in the back of the cupboard.

So what do you think of the post? Let me know in the comments below!

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Happy Labor Day

By | Weekly Tip | No Comments

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”*

As a small business owner I’m grateful for all the hard work that has gone in to building this nation and feel blessed to live in a country where workers are celebrated.  Enjoy today!

*www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history
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5 Simple Tips to Organize Your Child’s Closet

By | Guest Post, Weekly Tip | 2 Comments

It’s the last week of the month and that means I get to highlight another organizing blog/blogger and one I love to showcase is Morgan from Morganize with Me.  She always has great advice and simple, easy-to-follow tips that everyone can do.

This month I wanted to feature her post on keeping her kids clothes organized for all those parents who have kiddos in their home.  With the new school year starting things are probably a bit chaotic around the house right now but even if they’re not chaotic this is a great article.

If you don’t have young kids at home I’d still recommend you check out this article.  These tips could come in handy for a friend or family member, or you can apply the tips to your own closet (well, 3 of the 5 you can).

So, check out 5 Tips for Organizing Kids Clothes and today, try to apply just 1 of the tips.  I guarantee doing just 1 of them will make a difference.

Do you have small kids and love this post?  Or do you have another way to keep your kids clothes organized?  Let me know in the comments below!

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A Simple Test to See if You Have Too Many Clothes

By | Least Favorite Organizing Tools, Weekly Tip | No Comments

It’s now mid-August.  Most summer vacations are over, or are just about to end, and everyone is mentally gearing up for the fall and all that comes with it: school, colder weather, cute boots, football…  But wait, is something drawing you back to that vacation you took earlier in the summer?  It’s not the pictures on your phone, the amazing tan you got, the great souvenirs you purchased (which, by the way, did you REALLY need to buy them?) or even the wonderful memories you made… No, what’s drawing you back to that vacation is the unpacked piece of luggage that’s sitting in your closet. It’s drawing you back along with giving you a sense of guilt every time you look at it.  Maybe it’s wide open with clothes spilling out, or perhaps it’s still closed and you don’t even remember what all is in there, but there it sits… for weeks… And the more you look at it the more you think, “I really don’t want to empty you”, so you don’t.  Instead you just ignore it and wear whatever clothes are available.

So, here is this week’s tip: DON’T let your suitcase sit unpacked for more than 12 hours after returning from your trip.  If you get home and simply can’t get to it right away because of work or it’s late at night and you want to sleep I completely understand.  But if you arrive home from your trip and have time to unpack, then just do it.  The most it’ll take is 10 minutes, and that’s assuming the clothes are clean and you’re putting them away.  It will take less time than that if you just dump everything into your laundry hamper.  Once it’s done you can sit and relax without it hanging over your head.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Yes!  It does!  You can’t deny it!

So the next time you get back from a trip, however long it lasted, give this tip a try just to see how quickly unpacking takes.  I promise you, you’ll reap the benefits of having all of those clothes out of the suitcase and you won’t have to suffer the guilt of looking at the unpacked luggage for weeks on end or the disappointment of throwing something away that was wrecked because it was packed away too long (hello moldy, musty smelling, stinky clothes).

Do you agree with this post?  Or do you have a very good reason for keeping your clothes trapped in your suitcase?  Let me know in the comments below!

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