Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"You're One Pant Away From the Perfect Day."

I truly support BornFit and love their clothing. I met the owners at a Fleet Feet training walk and became impressed with their line. They were one of the main supporters of the Rocky Mountains Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, which I participated in last summer. I wore one of their Oxford Skorts for the 1/2 marathon and loved the cute, comfortable design.

Check out this great deal on their Crestone Charcoal Pants. Now only $24! http://0201004.netsolstores.com/newoxfordskort-2-2-2.aspx

Not only are they great for, as they say, going shopping and running after the kids, but for ORGANIZING in too!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Z Gallerie is going out of business - everything in store is 40 - 70-% off‏

My friend was running errands today and stopped by the Boulder 29th Street Mall. She noticed a 40% off sale sign in the window of Z Gallerie, and realized everything in the store was 40% - 70% off. The salesperson told her that they are closing the store at 29th Street Mall on March 15. She got some really great deals on glassware, bedding, incense, picture frames, etc...

Take a field trip to Boulder's 29th Street Mall. If you don't have time, go on line, and then ask a friend who lives in Boulder to take a field trip for you!

With spring right around the corner, consider swapping out throw pillows/comforter covers/silk flowers/candles/etc. for a fresh look. Just a dab of color can refresh a room, at a low cost, and you can feel rejuvenated by your living space.

Remember: One item in = one item out. Take this opportunity to clean out your linen closet or kitchen; YES, AGAIN!

Don't roll your eyes at me! Look at your closet/cabinets with an organizer's eye. You may be able to let go of something now that you were holding onto before.

Check out: http://www.couponalbum.com/coupons/z-gallerie.htm
if you just want a Z Gallerie coupon, for a store near you.

One Item In = one Item Out!

My true philosophy is: one in, three out (Clothes). But, when it comes to linens and glassware, etc., it can be an even trade. Don't hold onto an item for "Some day..."

Yes, this is a phrase that needs to be repeated over and over, because we all know how we can talk ourselves in or out of something - quite easily if we want to!

So, when the next sale comes up, remember this phrase: "One in = one out!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

As Seen on Oprah

The Container Store is having a GREAT SALE. Check out the link for excellent deals on items to help you stay organized; colorful files for that "Ten A Day..." organizing task I suggested. Elfa is having 1/2 off selected items too - for "Front Entries..." and closets.

There is a 20% off coupon to download. Have fun shopping - for items YOU NEED!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tip: Photo Albums...I'll Get Around to Them One Day.

"Organize and Protect Your Entire Photo Collection in as Little as 10 Days...Without Losing Your Mind. Have you got years and years' worth of photos that have never even made it out of the film developers' envelopes? Worse yet, have you got rolls and rolls of film that haven't even been developed? Perhaps you're up to your eyeballs in boxes and stashes of photos that are a jumbled mess? You're not alone . . . and there is help." Visit:http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=P5hhl&m=1cIKBdoSdurpYX&b=mlXNudOp2Io.ufAhGTf6PA

GetOrganizedNow.com's Challenge of the Week

"Organize your messiest drawer. Your challenge this week is to locate the messiest drawer in your home or office--a junk drawer," underwear drawer (Panties in the back, that never get worn), "sock drawer, tool drawer or whatever--and clean it out. Ditch the trash, relocate the stuff that doesn't belong there, and reorganize the keepers back into the drawer." (Socks make excellent dusting puppets!) http://www.getorganizednow.com/organizing-challenge.html

Sunday, February 15, 2009

10 File Folders a Day!

Home Office: Weed out your filing cabinet. Too big of a job to do at once? No problem. Just go through 10 file folders each day until you're done. Before you start, have three bags and a plastic file box next to your chair; trash, recycle, shred, archive. Get rid of anything that is outdated or no longer necessary to keep. Purge your home files/utility bills every year; ex: April to April; same goes for your bank statements. You can always get a copy from your bank if need be. Shred any paperwork that contains personal information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers. Check the bottom of the back right corner; generally, your account number is posted again. Remember, you can't recycle shredded paper. Only shred what's important; rip off the rest of the statement to recycle. Archive important documents that aren't needed at a daily fingertip's reach. Label the box and store in a out of the way space - loft in garage, crawl space, attic, etc. (That's why it's a PLASTIC file box.) You'll be surprised at your momentum, once you get started, and you'll complete more than ten files a day.

If you're ready to take on a big challenge, color code your files: Green = finance, Red = medical, Blue = house, Yellow = personal, Purple or Orange = second house, etc. Purchase the same color for file folder, hanging folders, and labels. (Even colored pens to match too!)

Also, create a TO DO file and place at the front of your filing cabinet, for the items that need attention within that week/month, to keep them off your desk top!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Impressions

What does your entry way reveal about you? Besides the smell (see What Does Your House Smell Like?), the entry way (no matter which one) is the first visual impression of how you live. You may have two main entrances - one for guests and one for family (garage.) You may be saying to yourself, " We never go through the front door. It's decorated beautifully." But, how many times have you said to someone entering through your garage, " Oh, just close your eyes and come on in"? Generally, the entry way (no matter if it's your front door or garage entrance) is a major dumping ground. How do you get passed the entrance with out creating an overwhelming obstacle course? Baskets and hooks; they are a phenomenal addition to any entrance, AND organization!

Believe me, I have been in too many homes to count, that have the right tools - baskets and hooks - but they don't have a system down. First, there are tooooooo many items. PURGE!!! Someone else will truly benefit from the next coat drive - or Safe House. Second, the tools aren't in the right location for optimal use - too high, tucked behind loose items, wrong size, etc, and item start sneaking their way into random places - window wells, book shelves, dinning room tables, KITCHEN COUNTERS!
Every household is different, and so are their needs. I live a very simple lifestyle -
LESS IS MORE! - yet, my family is like every other, Drop and Go when you enter the home. I'm 5'5, my husband is 6'5, and our son is 46 inches; we have different needs for the front entry closet space. My husband decided to raise the coat hanging bar and top shelf in the closet and utilize the lower space better. He added hooks onto the wall (next to the three level shoe rack) and on the door for our canvas shopping bags, son's coats and backpacks, etc. Everything has a Happy Home.
Plus, now we've removed the bags from under the entry table (no matter how simply placed) and hung them on the closet hooks. Each one of us has now has our own basket, vs just one. Funny how you have to reconform your space as the children get bigger and so do their clothes/gear.
Remember, only one pair of shoes is allowed out. We take our shoes off as we enter the front door (or leave them on the second shoe rack in the garage) and allow them to dry (and air out) on the tile - or under the entry table - before putting them away. If your shoe racks are overcrowded, it's time to LET GO! And, EVERYONE needs to be responsible for their OWN items! One more GREAT organizer for winter gear/individual items is a Hanging Shoe Rack that hangs on the inside of the closet door. Instead of shoes, place gloves, hats, goggles, sunscreen, etc in the shoe slots. Canvas can be better than plastic, so you don't see everything in the slots, but, plastic can be wiped out with a (cleaning) sponge.
Just because it's in a closet doesn't mean it can't have an effect. Your entry is the first and last part of your home that you see. The space's energy can be very persuasive in your mood.
Give it a go! Let me know if you still need help designing, purging, and organizing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Drink or Not to Drink

Here's the next task to accomplish, your Liquor Cabinet. This is the perfect time to go through your liquor cabinet - if you have one. Anything that is opened shouldn't be kept any more than a year or two. Colorings, flavors and other additives begin to break down as soon as they are exposed to oxygen. If you do entertain on a regular basis, keep a basic bar available with red and white wine and a few select bottles you might think you will need--such as vodka, scotch and tequila. If you don't know anyone who drinks gin for instance, don't buy gin. (If you did buy it, give it away before it goes bad!) How long has that bottle of vodka been in your freezer? There's no reason to keep something around, "just in case." Same goes for your bar equipment. Keep only the basics that you actually use, not what you think you might. (Get Organized Now!)

Have an "I'm Emptying Out the Liquor Cabinet" party and serve all the up to date liquor you don't want to keep. Or, serve it at your next Book Club. Plus, lay out the unwanted bar equipment with a sign, "Up for Grabs." (This is also a perfect time for a clothing swap. Have everyone gather up and bring gently used clothing they'd like to share/donate and have a swap. Anything not chosen goes to a charity. You and your friends can bring the items from your 365 days bin!)

House Beautiful's Makeover Ideas

Here are three out of "30 Makeover Ideas" from House Beautiful, I found on msn.com today;

They coincide with my post, "What Does Your House Smell Like" and a mixture of other posts - go back and refresh your memory.

"I don't use fragrance normally, but there's nothing quite like Santa Maria Novella's potpourri. People walk into the house and say, 'Oh, what is that?' It's just incredibly clean and fresh." -Jackie Terrell

"I was visiting a friend in the south of France, and every night she would light a Jo Malone candle in my bedroom and close the door. When I walked in to go to bed, there would this waft of scent — basil, lime, and mandarin orange. Now, whenever I light this candle, I think of France." -Katie Ridder

"Make your bathroom feel like a spa. Get rid of the clutter. Buy fabulous over scale towels in a new color. Add a few small candles and light them at night when you have guests." -Mary Douglas Drysdale (Tuesday Morning is great for inexpensive, very nice towels - and other home items too.)

If you're looking for some fun, inexpensive ways to brighten up and change your home, check out what House Beautiful has to say.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Being pro-active is always the best when it comes to cleaning. Less is better! Using a make-up sponge keeps the soap scumb to a minimum. I only wipe out the dish and wash the sponge once a month. (My razor is actually resting behind the soap dish.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Little Housecleaning Tip or Two

I was asked for a few tips on how to keep a housecleaning routine ongoing, rather than feeling like, "I'm always catching up."

Here are a few ways I clean at my home, perhaps they will be helpful tips to you.

1.) Keep the house clean all the time, so it's never a big overhaul cleaning.

How do I do that, you ask???

- Keep the washcloth next to the faucet (as mentioned before), and wipe the bathroom counter/faucet down each use.

-Pick up the lint/crumbs as I walk by them. (Pick the crumbs up right when they fall - use of 2nd sponge, right! Or, I lick my finger tip and poke the crumb and wash my finger tip.)

-Keep a tiny dust pan and brush (the ones that connect - can be found at the Dollar Store) under the kitchen sink for larger spills. Kids love to use these and feel as though they have contributed with clean up after a meal/art project.

-Take shoes off at the door. Don't trace dirt around your home - especially winter chemicals from the street.

-Only eat at the table or counter (That goes for everyone!); and definitely not over any open drawer or cupboard.

- Keep a Swiffer ready to go (Duster and Sweeper) and use it while you're on the phone. If you know you call relatives or friends once (or more) a week (My mom on Sundays), then be prepared and walk around your house with a Swiffer as you're having a phone conversation. Mindless and effortless work being accomplished while doing something you enjoy.

-Put things away the first time (ONLY TOUCH SOMETHING ONCE!) If you're making sandwiches, put all the ingredients away before eating. Your kitchen should look like nothing just took place in its space. When finished with your sandwich, don't leave the empty plate on the counter or sink, open the dishwasher and pop it right in! Wash out your sponge every use, AND wring the water out completely - or mold will grow.

-Purchase a small ceramic dish or flat surfaced/no holes soap dish (mine is an olive oil dish to match my bath travertine stone) for your shower bar soap. Also purchase/use a flat, round makeup sponge to soak up any excess water/suds. The sponge is small enough to be hidden under your soap, yet will keep you from cleaning the shower's excess soap scum.

-Hose down your shower each time you finish. If you don't have a shower head hose, nor a handy family member to install one, leave a bucket/pitcher in your shower to collect the wasted water, while you're waiting for it to warm up. Toss the extra water over the walls and shower curtain. This simple task will conserve water and keep your shower walls from having to be scrubbed so often.
Take 30 seconds now and you'll save yourself hours in the end.

Okay, enough tips for now.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Get Rid of 365 Things in 365 Days"

Although the new year has had a running start, pick up your first of 365 items and place it in a donation bag/box. From today on, choose one - or more - items a day to donate. Get everyone involved! With your family members, choose a donation bin and a location, and start donating. Make a tally sheet and attach it to the bin (or a small calendar, to write down the items - for a tax write off.)

This is a wonderful time of year to go through your over stuffed closets and toy shelves. The holidays have passed and the closets have become swollen. Take time to go through your closets with a decluttering eye and let go of unworn items.
If you're holding on to that particular shirt/dress/pair of shoes because of fond memories, take a picture and keep the image on your computer - less clutter!
Purchase/create tags for each hanger. Write the date on the tag each time you wear the article of clothing. If the item hasn't been worn at least THREE times in a year, it needs to be passed on (with the exception of fancy dresses/clothes.) Plus, you'll start to realize which clothes you wear often - generally only about 30 items - and which clothes are just collecting dust.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure'!

"Viewing your home with an eye for decluttering helps you see more and more things you no longer need. It may also change your world view about possessions, clutter, and what makes a home." (Body and Soul, March, 09)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Do You Know What's in Your Laundry?

"Bacteria thrives in warm, moist places like the washing machine." says Weida, M.D.

If you're anything like me, I multi-task and do the laundry at random times in the day... or night. Until now! I just read an article from my Vigor Magazine; Healthy Living for the People of Colorado, and was dumbfounded when I read the article Home Clean Home. Three important facts I learned from Weida, M.D., were: (1.) "Be sure to dry your clothes quickly to avoid bacteria formation." Don't go off for three hours (or eight) and let your clothes sit in the wash; they aren't clean anymore! (2.) Wash your whites in hot water, using bleach, to kill the most bacteria (not just to turn them their whitest whites!) And (3.) - (most important and shocking!) "Wash your underwear separately from the rest of your clothes," he says. "Every pair of underwear contains about a gram of feces, and you don't want this transferring to other clothes." Who would have thought!

Now you need four separate bins for your laundry; whites, darks, misc., and UNDERWEAR!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm Simply Asking...

Did you follow my suggestions from my post last week, "Banish Paper"? If you haven't, here is another sweet reminder: Publications. It's time to toss all publications, newsletters, magazines, newspapers from 2008 and older. (I'm sure you did this when you ripped off the company address to send them a 'Stop Sending Me Your Publication' notice.) Resist the urge to say, 'but I might need it or have to refer back to it.' The bottom line is, you probably won't. You will continue to have more arrive and the pile will just get larger. If you're saying, out loud to me, "BUT, I HAVE TO KEEP THOSE ..." Then call/e-mail me and we'll set up a time to create a filing system - one that holds those 'have to have' articles/future purchases.

Ask For What You Want

Whether it's the "best price for a multiple night deal," an upgrade to a suite, or breakfast, at your next hotel, ask for what you want. There's a difference between being a "squeaky wheel" and asking politely, with a smile, for what you desire.

My motto is: If you don't ask (with a smile), you don't get!

I called the hotel where I would be staying last week, the day prior to my arrival, and asked for exactly what I needed for my client - who needs handicap accessability. After repeating my needs twice, I was guarantied that everything would be ready. Therefore, when entering my room, I was shocked that three of my requests were not met. I asked for a new room - AND BREAKFAST for three. The following day, when our second set of rooms were not acceptable, I asked for something more appropriate - I was given a SUITE. At a late dinner, I was cold and asked if the air conditioning could be turned down (only two other tables in the restaurant,) and I was told there was a problem with the controls and we were OFFERED TEA or COFFEE.

I want to add that I use Travelocity.com or Kayak.com for all of my travel plans; yet, I always call the hotel to ASK if they have any special deals going on at the time. (I travel every six weeks with a particular client, and numerous other times throughout the year.) For example; when I checked for prices on line one day, Travelocity's price was $284. A few days later it was posted at $168, same as the hotel's new price. When I called the hotel to inquire about multi-night deals, or any other deals, I was quoted $111 - if I was willing to for it to be nonrefundable. You bet I did! Representatives are not willing to reveal any deals unless you ASK.

I truly believe it's how you ask, and that this motto can be used in anything you do in life.
It goes along with my other motto: If you think you can, you will; If you think you can't, you won't!

Be assertive, not aggressive, and ask for what you desire - of YOURSELF and others.