Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's up next?

For those who think organization is only for the tangibles - let me share a little about this blog.

I have my posts prepared and mostly written at least a week in advance.  There are often times I find something I want to blog about immediately - and I will rearrange my posts to fit in my "real time" blog post.  I can do this, because I try to keep things organized.  I don't like to fly by the seat of my pants.

I have several blog friends who area also very organized and have much to share with you.  Starting tomorrow I am hosting Friendly Fridays around here.  I will be hosting guests from other blogs to share great stuff with you.  

I hope you'll welcome them.  I know you'll love these ladies as much as I do!

Stop back tomorrow for our first Friendly Friday!

Also, because February is the month of 'love" I am going to spend the first two weeks talking to you about marriage building.  You won't want to miss it!  I've been polling men I work with and live near for information about what they need from a wife.  Their answers will astound you!

Until then,

Only By His Grace,


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January organize-a-thon is almost over...

Today is January 30!  I can't believe how quickly this month has flown! I want to tell you how proud I am of the work you've accomplished.  I get emails every day telling me that one particular thing worked for someone, or how much better another one feels since they purged a specific area... It's been very rewarding!  I hope you've been working along with us... 

I want to encourage you today to keep up the good work.  It's hard work getting organized, and it's disappointing if you don't maintain it after all that effort.

Here are a few tips I want to leave with you:

1.  Keep up the good work.  After the initial time you've spent,  maintenance should take you 15 - 20 minutes a day. You have a place for everything, make sure you use that space!

2.  Don't get discouraged if you fall off the wagon!  If you find your hall coat closet is getting disorganized again (like mine frequently does) just determine a time when you can straighten it back up...  Honestly, I have to rework mine about ever month or so. 

3.  Don't feel you have to be perfect!  There is NO SUCH THING as perfection!  You'll not achieve it in this lifetime - so stop putting so much pressure on yourself.  
      We recently had dinner with our friends, and she mentioned to me, "Don't open my drawers... they're not organized!"  It occurred to me that because I blog about home organization, people must think I'm actually organized!  Well, let me assure you, right now there are pillows on the floor, books out of their baskets and crayons on the coffee table.  It's called life - and we live it just like you do!

4.  Be mindful of what you bring in.  You've spent all this time purging and removing, now it's time to reset your thinking and become more mindful of what you allow inside your home.  Granted, you can't control it all, but you can decide to be more organized!  Before you buy that table for $10 at a yard sale, determine if you need it, what it will replace and if you actually have a place for it!

5.  Keep up the good work!  Yes, I know I already said that, but it's worth repeating.  A quote from one of our favorite movies, "Never give up, Never surrender!"  That's my take on clutter.  Either you will control it, or it will control you!  

I've enjoyed this time together - I'd love to see pictures...

Let me know how it's going!

Only By His Grace,


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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Organized Wardrobe for the work week...

As promised, I'm going to talk to you today about organizing your wardrobe for the work week to save you time and hassle during the busy morning hours.

Yesterday I talked to you about my master closet organization.  I have my clothes organized by type: scarves, skirts, pants, blouses, cardigans and jackets and blazers.

My shoes are all together, my jewelry is all together, my purses are all together.

Today I'm going to show you why I organize my closet this way.  I like to think through my outfits.  I work 3 - 4 days a week outside of my home and need to dress appropriately.  I don't like to wear the same colors twice in one week, and so it takes me a little more thought than it would most normal people.  :)  

Myself, I start with my shoes.  I build my outfit from the bottom up.  Here's outfit one!

Black and white zebra print shoes with red accents.

 Add black knee length skirt

Add white blouse

 Add red jacket.

Here's the whole thing.

Last step, choose and add jewelry.

Out fit two:  Pink shoes!

Add brown tweed skirt

Add brown blouse

Add pink and white cardigan sweater

Add pink and brown jewelry!

Outfit three: Black furry, gold heeled pumps

Add gold and black patterned skirt.

Add taupe blouse (you can't see it from the photo, but there is taupe in the pattern of the skirt)

Add in black cardigan with gold embroidery detail.

Whole outfit.  Minus jewelry this time.  With this much gold patterning around the bodice of the sweater, I find adding jewelry makes the outfit too busy.

This week I work three days - next week I'll work four.  But each week, on Sunday night, I process my wardrobe choices for the week.  That way, when Monday comes screaming in, I don't have to worry about what I'm wearing.  I already have my options laid out. 

As you can see, I dress in layers.  I find our office to be on the chilly side - I stay cold, so I like to have at least a sweater or jacket worked into each day.  If I get warm, I can remove it - but I like knowing I have options for warmth.  If I choose to forgo the sweater, I will choose a scarf in it's place.

Here are a few inspirations I found on pintrest.  What I like the most is the base for each outfit is neutral.  If your basics are neutral, you can add in color and splash anyway you like; jewelry, scarves, cardigans, shoes!  The choices become endless... take a look.  Which are your favorites?

If you don't organize your wardrobe for the work week, I encourage you to give it a shot.  I think you'll find your mornings go a little smoother and you'll have extra time for just one more cup of java!

Only By His Grace,


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Master Closet...

A few days ago I had you go to work on your Master closet. Today I want to show you my closet - it's not decked out with matching bins and boxes.  It didn't spend hundreds of dollars to have a closet organizer company come in and detail it all out.  I just simply determined what I needed, and took a little trip to Wal-mart and Target.

Here is my closet - it may not look like much, but it packs a big punch!  My husband shares the side I'm standing in.  It is NOT organized...and I will spare you the ugly details of this area :)

The area you're looking at is for my shoes.  I know, it's a lot to take in, but most of these shoes have been with me for 15 - 20 years...  Baskets above hold scarves, ponchos, sweaters I don't hang, and neck wear (like tiny scarves).

I have a stack of jeans on the shelf to the left, and to the right is my jewelry area. 

All of my clothes hang from the bottom bar.  There is a very specific reason for this - and I'll show you more about that tomorrow.  

The way this area is categories is:  Scarves, then skirts, then pants, then blouses, then cardigan sweaters, then blazers and jackets.

The top bar is usually empty - I use it organize my weekly work wardrobe. 

The shoe hangers I purchased for $10 each.  I have 4 - and I didn't purchase them all at once.  I purchased them as I needed them.  As you can see, the bins above don't match and are different sizes.  I either used what I had, or found baskets that weren't being utilized to their full potential.  No cost - high organizational impact.  Obviously, if you wanted everything to match you could purchase matching sets.  It wasn't important to me, so I went with what I had, that would work.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow as I show you how I organize my work wardrobe for the week.  Because my closet is organized the way it is, I put together a week's worth of outfits in less than 10 minutes.  This saves me lots of time during the morning rush and I can think through my choices with purpose.

Stay tuned tomorrow!  You don't want to miss it!

Only By His Grace,


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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Home Stretch...

You're in the homestretch now.  You've been working really hard to get things out of the house, to tidy up cluttered areas, to purge your closets and maintain what you've already accomplished.  From the emails I've received touting  your successes - I'm so proud of each of you!

I know that there are areas we didn't even begin to cover in this series - the garage, the tool shed, the basement storage closet... those things generally go unseen, and are usually the biggest offenders, in my opinion.  However, it's also been my experience that each person's storage is his own beast to tame.  Therefore, I have purposefully chosen NOT to try to tackle those areas.  I've given you the tools you need to sort, purge and distribute accordingly - now it's up to you to take charge and tackle those areas.

So today, I want to talk to you about personal spaces.  More specifically, your purse and/or laptop bag.  Now, I must admit, I'm a big purse lover.  The bigger the purse, the more I love it.  But that usually gets me in trouble.  

I'm trying to pare down the size of my handbags and laptop bag as well.  Let me show you what I have so far... be warned, these photos are not pretty!

My Purses are usually this size:  This is my Kate Landry bag that I purchased for $10.  Yep, I had no idea what I was getting!  Score!  It's a lovely bag; lots of space, multiple pockets, snap closure.  Lovely!

However, it's REALLY large.  Let me show you the contents of this lovely bag.  Makeup, earphones, CD's wallet, cup cozy, paint samples, work ID tag, study guides from church, business check book... and junk...

This bag weighed in at 8.5 pounds.  That's a lot of weight to shoulder (no pun intended.)

I sifted through the contents and decided what I used on a daily basis.  These items got to stay - the other items found their rightful homes.

Here's the purse I downsized to and the items that I carry inside:  Hand lotion, hair spray, folding brush, lipstick and chap stick, cup cozy, id badge, wallet, makeup, a pen and a bag of propel packets (because I drink water all day long.)

It all fits neatly inside - and surprise, it still zips!

From This:

To This:

Now for my laptop bag.  This is my brown bucket bag.  I love it!  Short handles, deep pockets, even a padded pocket for an iPad or other tablet device.

Here's all the stuff that was inside:  I'm sure you'll get a good chuckle.  Laptop protective case, extra infrared mouse, Book, paper calendar, clorox wipes, yogi tea, lotion, salad dressing, more earphones, pens and pencils, fast flats and makeup.

I sorted and determined what I needed on a daily basis. Here's the bag I'm downsizing to.  Not much smaller, but more easily accessible.

What I kept was: lotion, makeup, book, clorox wipes, earphones and fast flats.  What I lost was my laptop protective case; this bag has a padded side area for my laptop.  SCORE!  

I'm very happy with my downsizing adventure.  My back and shoulders thank me, too!

Why have I showed you all this today?  Because I want you to see that the principles of organization can be applied to every aspect of your life!  What did I do here?  I emptied, I determined need, I purged and I downsized.  You can use these principles everywhere; desk drawers, linen closets, glove compartments, tool sheds, storage bins and purses.

What are you working on organizing today? 

Only By His Grace,


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sometimes is about moving what you have...

I thought I'd talk to you today about using what you have.  You've organized your pantry, your laundry room, your junk drawer and your linen closet.  You've sorted through baskets and bins, closets and drawers.  

Sometimes, even after all the work, you just don't feel that different.  Well, I started thinking about what organizing your home does for you: It gives you a fresh start!

That's when it occurred to me, that sometimes we need to SEE that fresh start.  We need to see what it is we've worked so hard to accomplish.

Today, I'm going to talk to you about re-arranging your furniture.  No, it might not be an organizational tool, per se, but it really can give you a new perspective and outlook.

I didn't rearrange all of my furniture and take photos for you - sorry to say.  But what I did do was use my room arranger software to give you some examples of what a new approach can mean to your family.

Here is what our great room looks like right now:
The sofa faces the fireplace but the television is still in sight. We have seating for 8 people, and can pull in additional seating for 6 from the adjacent breakfast area.

 Here are a couple of other options:  These are also very good for conversation and family time together.  We've used these both as well.

One of my favorite options, however, is one I've only used once or twice.  This option places our sofa in the far corner, facing toward the opening of the room.  It makes the room very inviting, and it feels so huge when the furniture is placed this way.

My point to you is this:  Use what you have.  Think outside the box!  For instance, I have a bookshelf in my front family room.  It holds 6 baskets for organizing school supplies, office supplies, greeting cards, electronics charges, etc.  This has stopped working for me!  It's NOT staying organized.  So I'm thinking of using my son's dresser instead.  He's ready for new bedroom furniture, and I hate to part with the piece he has now.  So I'm going to think outside the organization box and repurpose his dresser.  

Sometimes all you need for a fresh start is to make it look and feel like a fresh start!

Only By His Grace,


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