When my daughters were little, they only had four toys. Organizing them sure was easy!
OK, that’s not exactly the full story. When my kids were six and one, we lived in Italy for two months while my husband was at an artist’s residence. For those months, the only toys they had were a doll, a stuffed animal, a miniature set of blocks, and a box of crayons.
It was a great experience, not only of living in another country but also of living with less. Packing for that trip was a real test of my organizing abilities! To make space for my husband’s art supplies and still fit into our teeny-tiny Italian car, our personal belongings were relegated to two carry-on suitcases.
So, I packed minimal toys and one storybook treasury, so we’d have all our favorite books in one relatively compact volume (This was a pre-Kindle, pre-iPad trip)! To supplement the toys, I printed out this kite template for us to use.
Have you noticed that during this pandemic, many people have turned to crafting to soothe the soul and alleviate boredom?
I love this trend, as I've always been an avid crafter, trying just about everything from millinery (my former profession) to tatting.
My current focus is on making face masks. It's gratifying to make a few each day and to see people help themselves from the bag at my front door.
In addition to my mask factory, I've also been knitting, making things with my daughters, and playing with ideas for retrimming some summer hats. With all this activity, my craft studio is a mess!
With all the time you’re spending in your home these days, you’ve likely noticed that there’s plenty of items lying around that you hardly use, or food that’s gone bad but is still sitting in the back of your fridge. However, with this extra downtime and lack of visitors, now is the perfect opportunity to finally get your house in order. So, it’s time to toss out any junk that’s managed to sit on your nightstand for far too long, and throw out those old, expired salad dressings to go, along with the broken can opener that still hasn’t made its way to the garbage.
While the thought of decluttering and reorganizing your home can be overwhelming, it’s much more doable than you think. Better yet, it can all be done without needing to purchase anything new. To help you get started, we pulled together tips from decluttering and organizing experts living in Nashville all the way to professionals living in Vancouver, BC (and many more in between). Here’s how to get your house in order without buying anything new.
Paperwork, filing, taxes -- there must be some people who enjoy dealing with these, right? I’m not one of them and I suspect you aren’t either. Unfortunately, with tax day coming up next month, piles of paper are a reality for many of us.
What are the top causes of this paper pileup?
What are the solutions to these problems?
The middle of winter with the lousy weather and post-holiday lull is such a cozy, indoor time. Not surprisingly, this is why TV consumption peaks in the winter. So... what are you binge-watching this month?
Have you seen my new favorite Netflix find, the BBC’s The Repair Shop? It’s a sweet show that reminds me of if Antiques Roadshow met How It’s Made crossed with The Great British Baking Show. Its charming personalities, beautiful thatched-roof barn, fascinating antiques, and stories of family history make for a “can’t-stop-watching” program!
Let me tempt you with the show’s intro:
“Welcome to The Repair Shop, where much-loved but broken treasures are brought back to life. Furniture restorer, Jay Blades, and a dream team of some of the country's most skilled craftspeople bring their talents to bear on beloved pieces of family history. Utilizing expertise passed down the generations, transforming priceless pieces of family history, the Repair Shop team will resurrect the items, the memories, and the stories behind them.”
At the beginning of every year, there are a lot of ideas rattling around in my head of new things I'd like to do and others I’d like to refresh or revise. The problem is that it can be hard to change habits and make a fresh start, right?
I don’t want to end up next December wondering where my time went and what happened to all those things I’d hoped to get done. So, I came up with a new event to help me achieve some goals.
Getting into the spirit of giving at the holidays is so much fun! You get to spend time thinking about those you love and dreaming up gifts to delight them.
Unfortunately, Americans will spend $15 billion this year on unwanted gifts. This year, instead of giving unwanted clutter, put on your thinking cap and get creative!
To help you along, I’m going to let you in on my secrets for coming up with the best clutter-free gifts. This list is by no means exhaustive, but consider it a jumping-off point to spark your own ideas.
According to The Harris Poll, Thanksgiving is Americans’ second favorite holiday (Christmas is #1). Thanksgiving’s popularity may be due in part to the fact that it’s one of the few holidays we celebrate that involves no gifts, not even candy. No gifts equals no wrapping paper to throw out, and no abundance of new stuff to incorporate into the house like at birthdays and Christmas.
In her indispensable, bestselling book Organizing from the Inside Out, organizing and productivity expert Julie Morgenstern introduces her SPACE acronym to define steps of the organizing process.
SPACE stands for Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize, and Equalize.
My organizing format incorporates the SPACE tasks, while grouping them into phases: Discovery, Take Shape, and Live & Learn. Each phase takes into account the bigger picture of what you wish to accomplish so you can truly organize your home for the life you want.