The holiday season is such a special time of year. Cooler (or freezing cold) weather brings us inside to cozy up with our loved ones. Holiday get-togethers allow us the opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends. Yes, December brings joy and excitement, but it can also bring stress!! Shopping can be overwhelming due to time and money constraints. Gifts (wanted and unwanted) pile up under the tree. What do you do with all the stuff that you acquire? Here are 6 quick ways to reduce the stress of the holidays:
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday!
San Francisco Baby
I was recently asked to help decorate and organize a nursery in San Francisco. Although space was limited, my goal was to make the nursery functional, warm, airy and inviting. This was accomplished by my choosing modern furniture, hanging black-out curtains, selecting bedding, framing the parents’ San Francisco themed art, and painting a mural of the Golden Gate Bridge above the crib. I then organized all the baby gear so everything was in an easily accessible place.
Expediency was needed when the baby arrived two weeks early! Despite the unexpected rush, the project was completed by the time the baby came home. The new mother burst into tears (of joy) upon entering the nursery. She said, "I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the room! It's so pretty (I cried). Thanks so much for having everything set up. It’s perfect! It was great to come home with the baby".
My goal is to help you create your perfect space!
On the Up-and-Up
Getting clutter off the ground can be beneficial in several ways. Tripping over clutter is a major contributor to falls in the home. Falls can cause head injuries and broken bones like wrists, arms, ankle and hip fractures. Tripping hazards can include toys, rugs, small furniture, cords, stacks of newspapers or magazines. The first thing to do to prevent falls is clear the clutter and look for storage upward where space is not being utilized. Here’s a recent situation where we did just that.
A client needed some help getting her laundry room in working order. The space was not functioning for her and her family. When I was surveyed the room, I noted the following:
Three out of the five issues were tripping hazards. To start off we installed shelving above the washer and dryer. One long solid shelf up top for the laundry baskets, one short one below for the laundry detergents, and a bar to hang clothes. We put a smaller trash can in one of the bottom cabinets, this allowed the door to open fully and allow more space to move around. The laundry baskets we selected are light, durable, and add some fun pattern. We also installed a wall attachment for hanging the mop and broom. Everything is off the floor and easy to access. My client said, “I’m seriously happy to do laundry now”.
My advice is to take a look around your space. Make sure you floors, hallways and stairs are clear of clutter. Try and store items vertically to prevent falls and to help keep your loved ones safe and sound.
5 Min in the Closet: Teen Clean
I recently had the opportunity to help a darling teenager organize her room. Like all teenagers, her room is a reflection of her style, filled with pictures, awards, art, books, and jewelry. The last thing you want to do is remove the personality from the room. But things can quickly become chaotic after collecting so much memorabilia.
I decided to start with her closets. At first glance, they didn't seem to be the biggest problem area in her room. But as we dug through and reviewed every single item in her two closets, we were able to get rid of over a dozen bags of clothes, games, and stuffed animals. Her mother was literally shocked at how much had been crammed in the closets and how many unused, outgrown, or forgotten items we removed!!
We didn't need any additional storage bins. We actually had several empty bins when we finished. You really don't want to be storing things that you never use. Once they're packed away, they're out of sight and out of mind. This is ok for seasonal items, but not for everyday use.
We still need to address her desk, bookcase, and bedside tables. But as I left her, she was so motivated that she was tackling her dresser drawers. It feels so good to take inventory of all your belongings and have them organized in a way in which you can quickly find what you are looking for. And it's a good lesson for teens as they enter into adulthood. You need to appreciate and be thankful for everything you have in your closet and in your life.
Before moving to the East Bay, I lived in San Francisco for six years. And if you've ever lived in or visited San Francisco, you know that it's imperative to dress in layers. Warm days quickly turn into chilly afternoons when the fog rolls in. One of my favorite layering accessories is scarves. And boy-oh-boy, I had no idea how many scarves I had collected over the years. I had stuck my scarf rack in the corner of my closet, and tried to ignore it for the last five years. Motivated to Spring-clean, I was inspired to examine the "collection".
I was immediately surprised at how HEAVY they were. I'm surprised my clothes rack held them for for that length of time! I had to count. 32 scarves!! I took them all off the rack, and went through each, one-by-one. Lots of good memories came to mind..
The green scarf I wore to the St. Patrick's Day street party in North Beach...
The orange scared I wore to the Giants World Series game...
The ivory scarf I wore at my wedding...
Such good memories!
I ended up donating half my scarves. It makes me happy knowing they can bring good memories to other people. Now my scarf rack is now under control. No more cluttered corners in my closet.
Spring has sprung! (At least In Northern California) It's the time of year when people are inspired to clean out the old and make a fresh start. Personally, I've been working on my bathroom. It's easy to accumulate makeup, lotions, soaps, and hair supplies. To kick it off, I removed everything from the drawers and cleaned out the bottoms. I tossed a lot of eyeshadows I never use, lotions I don't like the smell of, and expired makeup.
An Italian philosopher, economist and sociologist, Vilfredo Pareto, in the early 1900's observed that people use 20% of their goods, 80% of time. That translates to owning a lot of clothes, accessories and skin products that are just taking up space. We say that we'll use them one day, and feel guilty about getting rid of "perfectly good" products. We also tend to forget that makeup and skin products have a life span. For example, old sun block loses it potency.
Here's a quick reference guide to how long you should keep your makeup:
It feels refreshing to open my bathroom drawers everyday to find them clean and organized. Plus I can quickly find what I'm looking for. I have only what I need and use.
Home furnishings merchandiser turned professional organizer, Katie DeClaire knows how to make your home look and feel good.