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

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

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

What’s for Dinner?

I am not a cook…..a cleaner and organizer, yes!  I always have great intentions to cook healthy dinners for my family, but I usually end up coming home in the afternoon, entertaining children, and dealing with one child crisis after … Continue reading

Welcome Cara Applegate to Ducks in a Row!

This is an exciting post because one of my long-time and dearest friends is my new partner at Ducks in a Row!  Cara is honestly one of the most organized people I know, and I couldn’t think of a better person to work with, and I am so proud to welcome Cara Applegate as my partner!

cara

Cara holds both a B.S. in Business Administration from the College of Charleston and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The College of Graduate Studies at The Citadel. She spent 10 years of her career as a licensed sales associate in the financial industry and as a financial manager. After taking some time off over the last several years to raise her two young children, Cara has decided to focus her energy on assisting people in creating a manageable and effective work environment. Home offices and professional offices alike require a space that is well organized in order for you to become successful. Her years of work experience in a high demand environment have given her the insight needed to help you find a balance as well. Cara will help create a system that works for you and organize your office so that you can focus on being productive.

We have so many new and exciting plans for Ducks in a Row!  Check out are new and improved website:  Ducks in a Row Charleston

While I focus on the home organizing side of things, Cara is going to be focusing on the professional and home office side of organizing and will specialize in these services as well as much more!

  • Quicken and QuickBooks Set Up
  • Bill Pay and Auto-draft Set Up
  • Archiving
  • General Office Organization
  • Online/ Computer Photo Organization
  • Music and Video Cataloging​
  • Paperless Processing
  • Calendar and Scheduling System
  • New Office? She will help you create a highly functional environment

Don’t forget that we are offering a spring organizing special where you can get 3 hours of hands-on organizing for $100 if you schedule before April 30th!

We will also be offering several new a la carte such as real estate services where we can do the following:

  • Downsizing-We will help you room by room designate which items you will need to consign/donate and what you will be packing to take with you.
  • Home Listing Preparation-We will help you remove the clutter that deters buyers. We will consign/donate items for you. Also help you with design appeal for showings.
  • Move-In Assistance-We will help you unpack and place your furniture and personal effects.
  • Annual Family Photo Book
  • Entertainment Preparation- Help get your home or office party ready!
  • Consignment and Estate Sales- We can organize and execute all of your consignment or estate sale needs.
  • Moving Day Management-We will oversee your move so you can enjoy the big day and not stress about it!

Be sure to stay tuned for more details and exciting things happening to help you get your Ducks in a Row!!!!

10 Tips for an Organized 2013

Some of you may have made a New Years resolution to becoming more organized in 2013.  I personally am going to lose 10 pounds, be more patient with my kids, and grow my fingernails.  These are my resolutions almost every … Continue reading

Getting Things Done: Time Management Tips

1.  Tackle your biggest challenge first thing in the morning I don’t know about most of you, but my mornings are usually pretty crazy getting the kids fed, dressed, and out the door.  By 9:00 a.m.,  I am usually exhausted! … Continue reading