Kitchen Harmony: How to Organize Your Kitchen for Maximum Soul

Erika Salloux Living Harmony LLC

We often hear “You are what you eat.”  I’m going to take you a lot further today, and say that not only is this very true, but we are also how we eat and where we eat.  So when we order our kitchen and regularly engage in certain food practices we order ourselves and consequently generate more harmony in our lives.  Here are the top eight tips that my clients find most helpful when I work with them to reorganize their kitchens to create physically and spiritually nourishing spaces: read more

Get Organized for the Holidays

Judy Eisenberg, Clutter Clearer Coach

I remember when I was growing up during the 1950s and 1960s, how our family, especially my mother, always looked forward to winter holidays. My family wasn’t very religious, but liked celebrating the food and customs of the holidays. There was always so much to do; but my mother succeeded, stress free, in organizing the food and gift shopping, cooking, cleaning, and decluttering (I helped with the cleaning, and my father wrapped the gifts) and getting it all done in a timely manner. Everyone marveled at her organization skills. read more

Value of Labeling

by Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
While on vacation I read an article on the plane about David Beckham.  Did you know he’s really into Legos?  While reading, I was reminded of a client of mine.  I helped her organize her son’s room and his large Lego collection.  He liked them sorted by theme, so we put different themes into different containers.  That action would have been futile unless we labeled them.  We labeled the containers in two ways, with words and stickers that related to the themes.  Labeling is an important part of organizing, because it clearly indicates where an item belongs, and reinforces where an item needs to be returned. Do you think David Beckham had his Lego containers labeled? read more

3 Simple Ways to Make Your House Guest Friendly

With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner now is a great time to scrutinize your home with the eyes of a guest. I have listed three rooms that are focal points while entertaining and can play a large role in hospitality:

1) The entry– Make sure it is clear and easy for people to move through. You do not want your guests to feel as though clutter is leaning in over them as they enter your house. Create a home for all your jackets and shoes, and set up an area where you can quickly hang visitors’ jackets. read more

The Simpler the Better

Receiving a thank you note in the mail is pleasant. It’s even more pleasant when you’re being thanked for something you didn’t realize would make an impact on the other person. This happened to me when I offered a simple organizing solution to a Realtor I had met at a networking event. She asked me if I had any ideas how she could keep all her real estate forms portable and organized. I suggested a portable accordion file. The next thing I know, I’m reading a very sincere thank you note that makes me smile. It just goes to show you, sometimes the simplest organizing solutions are the best solutions. In this case, find a good home for paper and things. read more

Gift cards, love ‘em or hate ‘em

Ahhhh, summer in the air brings high school graduations, college graduations, birthdays, weddings, even times to appreciate your staff – and that means gifts. Sometimes all those presents come in extremely small packages… gift cards.

Gift cards, in my opinion, are both a blessing and a curse. The reason I say this is because it is a fabulous gift to allow people to choose what they want. In addition, the cards are easy to mail and don’t require tons of boxes or wrapping paper to make them look like presents. They are a curse because people forget about them or lose them in piles somewhere in their homes. I’ve encountered this a number of times, not just with clients but also among friends and family. read more

Yard Sales

Selling what you no longer want or need is one way of bringing in a bit of extra cash, so long as you know what you’re in for. Yard Sales are a lot of work. If you want to give it a try here are my top 5 tips:

1. Spread the Word – if no one comes, you won’t be selling a thing. List your sale locally, both on line and in print. Share the date with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.
2. Price to sell – remember people are looking for bargains. Group things together by price and have a colored sticker code. This beats having to print up or write up price tickets.
3. Get a permit – some towns require a yard sale permit. You don’t want to have to pay a fine, if your town requires a permit, and you don’t have one. Check with your town hall before you plan a yard sale.
4. Donate after the sale – establish the rule that nothing from the sale goes back into the house or garage. Instead pick a donation location before the sale and set up a pick up date or drop off date.
5. Have cash on hand – make a trip to the bank before your sale so you’re prepared. Only accept cash as payment, and have plenty of change and singles to make for smoother transactions. read more

Piles on the Stairs: Proceed with Caution

The other day, I put a couple of papers on the stairs to take up with me next time I go up.  I told my husband that’s why I put them there.  Then he asked a very sensible question: “Should we get a basket to collect things on the stairs?”

NO!

Right now, those papers are intruders on the stairs. They are the only things there, and they don’t belong. I’ve made a pact with myself that if something is on the stairs, I MUST take it up with me the next time I go.  But, if there is a basket there, I know that things will begin to “live” in the basket.  The basket gives those papers, socks, gadgets, etc. permission to be on the stairs. Once things have permission to be there, the longer they will stay. read more

Real World Organization: Wall of Games

My husband and I have some friends who like games just as much as we do.  I’m talking about board games.  While this is a great hobby, it does create the need for a way to store a large volume of boxes and game containers.

Games.thumbnail

My friends created this awesome shelving system to store and display their games.  Long pieces of wood shelving were attached to L brackets attaching the shelves to the wall.  The open concept makes it very easy to see all the games that are available and easy to put away after playing. read more

The Reach Ability Factor

Reach Ability Factor
by Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®

In organizing, just like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.  Where we permanently and temporarily place our belongings, papers, projects and information, is important because it helps us find what we want when we need it.  The Reach Ability Factor is a system that helps us decide the best location for things based on how frequently we use them.  We have 4 sections.

  • Section A:  Items in this section are things we use daily, like our toothbrush, our favorite coffee mug, and underclothes.  Everything in section A is easy to reach, all we have to do is reach out an grab it.
  • Section B:  Items in this section are things we use weekly but not necessarily daily, like our workout clothes, and specific utensils or dishes.  Everything in section B requires us to move a little, but still within comfortable reach.
  • Section C:  Items in this section are things we use occasionally, like suitcases,  a food processor, and extra blankets.  Everything in section C requires us to exert more effort to reach, like bending down or using a step stool.
  • Section D:  Items in this section are things we use once a year, like holiday decorations, or things you can’t part with like our wedding gown.  Everything in section D would be in a remote storage area like the basement, attic, or a cabinet that is more difficult to reach.

The Reach Ability Factor is meant as a guide to help individuals evaluate the best location for their belongings.  What is a perfect spot for one person is not the best spot for another.  Organizing is personal.
Please note that it’s important to concentrate efforts on one’s current lifestyle and reevaluate the placement of items once a year. read more