Spring Organization: One Day at a Time

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner! No one wants to stay at home and organize during the summer, so now is the time to do some spring cleaning and organizing and you will be ready for … Continue reading

10 Tips To An Organized 2014

Some of you may have made a New Year’s resolution to become more organized in 2014.  I personally am going to lose a few pounds, try to be more patient with my kids, and grow my fingernails.  These are pretty … Continue reading

Christmas Craft Paper

I know I’ve said it before, but now more than ever do you need to heed this advice- use CRAFT PAPER for wrapping this time of year!

Go ahead and refer back to my post this summer about Consolidating with Craft Paper.

Craft Paper Dispensor

Please people, don’t fall prey to those gift bags at Michael’s or rolls of paper at Target just because you feel “ahead of the game” and you got the best Santa pattern.  Stay calm, and craft paper it!  Get the kids involved.  Threaten them by way of their Elf!  (by the way, if you are reading this and it’s dark outside, move it! The Elf that is)  I promise that you will have a much better result by way of the Earth and Economy!

Go here for supplies…The Stand by Crate and Barrel plus Paper by Crate and Barrel.  One stop shopping and 15% off of SHIPPING using coupon code SAVE15!

Tis’ the season!

DIAR Signature

Recycling Made Easy….er

Today was recycling day in our neighborhood, and all of my neighbors proudly rolled their Big Blue trashcan recycling thingy to the curb.  If you are unfamiliar with this thingy, just picture your huge curbside trash can, but blue.  And … Continue reading

Creating a Family Drop Zone: How to Get it Done

As school begins, we start to get busy with homework and projects, but we are mostly busy with all of those after school activities.  You know what I am talking about.  PTA meetings, soccer practice, soccer games, flag football practice, flag football games, ballet, The Little Gym, and the list goes on!  Your leisurely summer schedule comes to an abrupt halt and the need for an organized after school schedule becomes imperative!  Since this is the first year that my little guy can actually participate in fun “after PRE-school” activities, and my daughter is in school all day, I have a new “game-on” time which is the 3:00 to 6:00 hours.  We need to pack those three hours with a little “homework,” fun outdoor activities, and a bunch of transporting and unbuckling of car and booster seats!

So, lately I have especially seen the need to create a sort of “command center” or “drop zone” in our home so that our whole family knows who is going where and who is doing what each day.  I also needed  a nice spot to place all of the items coming in and out of our home and make it look organized.  It’s the place where you put the lunch boxes, backpacks, shoes, papers, mail that you promise you are going to go through tomorrow.  I have been eyeing all of those cool “command centers” and luxurious entryways to homes in Pottery Barn and Pinterest.  Some have their own built in cubbies for each child, and some have awesome calendars, to-do lists, grocery lists, etc… all posted and displayed in the most organized and decorative way.  Let’s get real here…most people that I know don’t have that perfect spot in their home, so they are left to create one on a small wall or spot that may not be perfectly ideal.  That is my situation, and I decided to create my own drop zone in the most ideal spot in my home, which is actually my very small mud room/pantry/laundry room.  Let me begin by saying that even though I am a very organized person, I am not a very crafty person.  I do love a beautiful (and clean) home, but I am not going to create things from scratch and sit on my computer for an hour to make a pretty color-coded child calendar (although, I might like to do that if I had a lot more time on my hands and certainly if a client requested one).  Anyway, the thing is that you can get as fancy or go as simple as you want.    Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to create your own command center.  But most importantly, if you add these 4 parts to your drop zone you will be well on your way to an organized school year:

1.  A spot for lunch boxes, backpacks, and shoes

2.  Calendar area

3.  Spot for papers for each child

commandcenter2

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

commandcenter3

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Photo Courtesy of Organize Magazine

Photo Courtesy of Organize Magazine

You can add as many things as you want to your drop zone/command center.  This last picture is of my simple but functional command center.   I also added my children’s chore charts and used some little Command hooks to tie some burlap and use clothes pins to display their artwork that comes home.  Notice there is a trash can there as well (which is where most of the artwork goes…not all, but most…Shhh! ) after it has been properly displayed for a nice period of time.

My simple drop zone

My simple drop zone

Attack of the Snackers!

My husband and I are in an ongoing battle over the kids’ eating habits. He thinks they snack too much leaving them not wanting their meals. And sees all of the excessively useless eating as the reason why we won’t … Continue reading

It’s Summertime. Do you know where your beach toys are?

The Fourth of July has come and gone, but what remains are the memories of surviving one of the year’s most intense beach days ever! If you are like so many other families you had the pleasure of schlepping not … Continue reading

Confessions of a Binder Hoarder

The other day I started thinking about all of the binders I am hoarding!!!!  I decided that I am a binder hoarder/organizer!  Let me just show you a few pictures from around the house……. As a Professional Organizer, I can … Continue reading

Here come the houseguests!

School ends in less than a month (hold on while I cry and break out into hives at the thought of being henpecked for 83 days by my beautiful, sweet and loving children). So that means families everywhere will be on the move.  For my foursome that usually means an annual pilgrimage to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and one looong (hives are appearing again) car ride to the Florida Keys to visit family.  And somewhere in between all of that driving (and hives) and beach time we receive a handful of visitors here in our home town of Charleston.  It is the wonderful price you pay to live in this beautiful city.  Family, friends and one-offs alike call you up for a visit during the summer months so they can take advantage of our pristine beaches and award-winning restaurants.  Who can blame them?

Having said that, you had better be ready at the drop of hat for that phone call announcing a visit in, oh, 36 hours!!! I try to keep my house quasi-ready for those impromptu visitors.  If you follow these 10 simple steps it makes their stay at your home much more pleasant and reduces the amount of panic that comes over one who is unprepared!

Houseguests-Blog Post

1) CLEAN SET OF SPARE SHEETS– I always have a set of sheets ready to throw on our guest bed and a set available for a blow up mattress (especially when kiddos are in tow).  Since these sheets can sit stagnant for some time, place a dryer sheet in with them when being put away. Or  have a sachet next to them in the drawer or shelf.

2) EXTRA PILLOWS & BLANKETS-Especially for those cold AC nights in mid-July.  Nothing worse than freezing through the night while grasping at paper thin covers.  I’m cold just thinking about it. And plenty of pillows for propping up to read in bed.

3) FRESH FLOWERS– This does 2 things: 1. Let’s your guests know you went the extra mile and 2. Masks any pet odors that you may be harboring in your home.  You know the ones that you pet owners don’t know exist, but us visitors can smell a mile away? Subtle yet effective.

4) TOILETRY BASKET– We all know what a pain it is to fly with a collection of 4 oz. bottles of shampoo so be kind to your guests and have a mini CVS available in their bathroom.  It is so nice to freshen up upon arrival so please have on hand a selection of toiletry basics. If nothing else, a toothbrush! That is one thing they cannot borrow.

5) HOUSEHOLD CHEAT SHEET– This list contains the wi-fi password, gate codes, do’s and don’ts of the house and other nuances they’ll need to know about. It is additionally nice to put some magazines, maps and a list of a few recommended restaurants on their bedside table.

6) AMBIANCE CHECK– Make sure the lightbulbs in their room are working and that a nightlight for the bathroom is available (unless you want them wandering into your room at night).  And if you live in close quarters it might be good to have a sound machine available for them or else you might find yourself whispering to your spouse for 3 days.

7) EMPTY DRAWER AND CLOSET SPACE– It would be just plain rude if your guests had to work out their suitcase during their visit so please offer at least one drawer and a small amount of closet space including hangers

8) DECORATE SPARINGLY– This provides them comfort without clutter.  That was a nice way of saying that you should clear your crap out of the guest room.

9) MIRROR- A full length mirror and a make-up mirror (illuminated if you are feeling generous) are a very nice courtesy. Your guests will feel so much better if they are fully dressed when leaving their room to go out for dinner. Otherwise, they will be asking to use your bedroom mirror during their 32-outfit change and that is just a little too intimate and embarrassing.  Well, unless your guest is an old sorority sister and then it would be nostalgic.  But only then.

10) STOCK THE FRIDGE– I always try to ask my guests if there are any must haves (or have nots) that would make their stay more comfortable. Do they drink regular or decaf coffee? Do they have any allergies? Are they gluten-free like so many people are these days?

Well, you better get to it because, believe it or not, Memorial Day is in 2 weekends and we all know what that means…the first houseguests of the season!!!

A Hankering for Hangers

This is more like a plea than a lighthearted blog post so I’ll get right to the point.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me remind you of the easiest way to transform your closet from a cluttered, overstuffed mess to a seemingly styled, clothing heaven…

HANGERS

I just replaced the last of my plastic, slippery, chunky hangers (and the unmentionable dry cleaner hangers) with non-slip velvet hangers from Marshall’s Home Goods. They sell 18 packs for $9.99 in a variety of fun colors. These hangers do several things for you:

1) CREATE SPACE- They are low profile, which is key for most of us living with small closets. I reclaimed almost 12″ of hanging space!

2) REFRESH YOUR PERSPECTIVE- You can search through your closet with added ease and these hangers give way to finding clothes that ordinarily get lost in the shuffle.

3) PREVENT SLIP & FALL- I cannot stand finding an abandoned hanger in the closet only to look down and see an expensive shirt in a ball on the floor.

So here are a few suggestions on which hangers your should purchase NOW!!! Seriously, do it today!

Hangers-Blg Post

{1.  Close-ette }  {2. Real Simple }  {3. Huggable Hangers }

Have a great weekend! Enjoy the 139th Run for the Roses and Cinco de Mayo.