Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cleaning Up Arizona - Part II

Hello Friends,

Remember Part I from last year?  Let's begin where we left off.

I went back to Arizona in February to help my mom get "unstuck" as she put it.  

The huge storage trailer was still sitting on her land and while the contents had been sorted and stored in there, she was anxious to take the next steps to get rid of it all.

But first we worked on the inside of her house, by decluttering her living room.  She lives in a tiny house - 467 square feet!  To say space is at a premium is an understatement.



Little details made a BIG difference, like covering up the fuse box with a beloved print that we framed and using one of her drums for a table.  Everything in this space brings her JOY!

We had a lot of fun shopping to finish off the details of the space.  The shopping is always what clients want to do first, but it's actually the last step in the organizing process - and the most fun!

Inside the wicker basket is all sorts of musical instruments that are brought out to a campfire gathering from time to time.  The instruments were stored in dusty grocery bags, shoved under furniture before.  Not anymore!  They are now in this cute and practical wicker basket with a lid.

We gathered a collection of small pottery bowls that were displayed in every room and put them on the windowsill.  Collections are sometimes best displayed together.  

The tiles were found stored in a shed on her property, leftover from a project.  They fit perfectly on the windowsill, end table and TV stand!  Shopping from your own home is the BEST!

Don't you love how clean it all looks?  A lot of stuff went out to that storage trailer!

We also made some other little changes in how things were stored in other parts of the house.  These were in a heap behind the door on the floor.  So much easier to clean when the tools are easy to grab and go.

And we found this cute tiled tray to hang up on her house.  It looks so welcoming.

While we worked together we had many conversations about the other trailer on the property...the one we sorted out the last time I visited.

The conversations centered around having a yard sale/not having a yard sale, getting a dumpster/not getting a dumpster, giving everything away/selling everything, and having the trailer hauled away or dismantling it and hauling it to the dump.  There were a lot of decisions to make!

So I left to go back home with nothing decided, but her living room sure looked great!

Then this happened!

I simply LOVE when my clients make a BIG life-changing decision and take ACTION!

It was a 3 day yard sale and she got rid of it all.  Just.Like.That.

AND best of all, she had help!  I LOVE when clients ask for HELP!  
Her BFFs rallied with her and they had a really good time.

Then I held my breath...what about that trailer?  I can hear you asking, Yeah, what about it?

Next thing you know...

The tires had to be dug out of the desert.

The pop-outs couldn't be popped in, so they had to be dismantled.

There were some late nights and there may have been a broken axle involved.

Teddy Roosevelt once said, 
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…"

But OH was this worthwhile!  Look at all that clear space!

I'm proud of you Mom, well done getting yourself and your trailer, unstuck!

What's big decision surrounding organizing that you've been putting off?

What needs to happen for you to get "unstuck"?

*I may be able to help, contact me to set up a free phone consultation.*

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dinner in a Dash!

Hello Friends,

This post has to do with organizing recipes.  I promise it won't make you hungry!  My son's girlfriend put out a cry for help on Facebook.  

"Looking for some yummy dinner suggestions that can be made within 30 minutes to an hour!  Any help is appreciated."

She and he have summer internships and I imagine there are many "hangry" moments when they arrive home from work without a plan for dinner.  This tense moment often leads to fast food or junk food rather than practicing good nutrition as well as a relationship buzz kill.

Dols Apparel

Their friends responded by recommending a lot of Mexican food recipes that involved tacos, burritos etc.  She posted that she already had those types of recipes in her repertoire.

So, I got to thinking...I had been wanting to put together recipe books for my kids that contained all of our family favorites from all through their growing up years.  I cook so differently for myself now and in the midst of my "Tidying Festival"  I had conveniently skipped over sorting out my cookbook shelf because...honestly it's kind of a mess. 

That yellow binder has nothing in it and that pile of white papers are actually a large pile of recipes that never found a home.

I decided to carve out some time and create a recipe book for her and my sons.  As with most fun projects I dream up, it took on a life of it's own.  I'll explain later.

First I went through all my favorite recipes!  Many of them are categorized in labeled binders such as Pork, Poultry, Desserts, Salads etc.  I had made these years ago to save my sanity cooking for our family on a nightly basis.  

I chose those that our family liked and only if they could be cooked in under 30 minutes.  I guess I'll have to make another book of recipes for Lasagna, Beef Bourgignon etc.

Then I typed up all the recipes.  I know, right?  It took some time.  Turns out when I counted, there were over 50 recipes in 8 categories!  I was excited!

Then I decided to raid my office supply cabinet and found binders, tabbed dividers and clear plastic sleeves.  I love when I don't have to buy anything for a project.  Don't you?

Finally I labled the tabs with my handy, dandy label maker.  If you don't own one, get one!  There is also this nifty product available now.  Who knew?  

Be sure to label the tabs on the front and back. This makes the book more useable.

Then I typed up a Tricks & Tips sheet.  These are things that I've learned the hard way that make dinner time a whole lot easier.  

For example:  On the weekend, pull out 3 dinner recipes.  Remember you'll have leftovers! and shop for those ingredients.  Then carve out a couple of hours and prep all the food; cook the chicken, rinse, chop all the vegetables, make the rice etc.  Store it all in plastic/glass containers in the frig with labels for each recipe.  Put a menu on the frig. 

Then when you come home from work, pick which recipe, pull out the prepped ingredients and voila, you'll have it ready in 20 to 30 minutes.  No thinking required.  I know many of you are brain-dead when you come home from work.

I also added a clear plastic sleeve with a note to cover the recipe at hand with it to keep it protected from drips and spills.  Messy cooks unite!

Finally, I created a clever cover page and inserted it in the clear sleeve on the front of the binder.

Then I was so proud of my work, I posted it on Facebook.  Then things got a little crazy!
My peeps wanted to buy my book!

So, not wanting to disappoint, I made a few more.  Who knew this idea would be so popular?
Evidently many people want to spend less time cooking and more time on other pursuits.

After thinking about this concept more, I'd like to offer this as a service.  I take your family recipes, type them up, bind them or make a digital book with photos and you get your family history preserved to be used by the generations.  

This gets them off the dusty shelf into the hands and mouths of your family!

Who's in?

What's your favorite family recipe?

How do you currently store them?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Feng Shui Shift

Hello Friends,

Recently a Feng Shui expert messaged me on my Facebook.  She happens to be a friend of mine, Kim Julen.  She had responded to a post I had created about redecorating a bedroom. 

She said very simply, "We have to talk."  

I thought, what is she talking about?  I love my bedroom makeover!  It's a little too "girly" for my husband, but when he's home from working in another state, I simply switch out the bedding to apease his tastes.

Pardon the clothes piles, but you get an idea of how dismal it looked before.  

However, I like learning and I am interested in everything related to organizing, so I booked a 20 minute complimentary Feng Shui phone virtual coffee chat with her. 

Here's the link if you want to book one for yourself! 

For those of you who don't know much about Feng Shui, Kim says, "Feng Shui is based on the principle that your environment reflects and affects your life.  It is an ancient Chinese art and science which works to arrange your home in a way that is harmonious and reflects what you intend to manifest.  The placement of items within your space affects the energy or how the space feels."

These were my takeaways from my chat with her:

1.  Bedrooms = relationships/partnerships AND bedrooms also affect health, mood and obviously sleep.

2.  Have to have 2 nightstands, same size and weight.  2 nightstands bring relationships into balance.  I only had one nightstand!

3.  Solid headboards and footboards provide support in your life and relationships.  My bed has an open headboard & footboard which "cuts" my energy according to Kim and could cause health issues (mental, physical, emotional).

4. Avoid having large mirrors.  They give off a lot of energy.  

Check out this king of all mirrors that I have in my bedroom!  It used to be at the foot of my bed, that was terrible as I'd wake up and immediately see myself.  I hated that, so I moved it.  At least when I walk in the room, I'm not in its view so while it's not optimal, Kim said it could work.  

This mirror brings me joy, so it's staying.

The other points I decided to work on.  After all, who couldn't use a little more support and balance in their primary relationships?  I can!

First was the nightstands.  For years, we'd used the end tables from the living room.  They were heavy and bulky and the wrong size.

Then I purchased a vintage phone table from the antique store and I loved it since I could sit on it and put on my shoes on in the morning, but I had to put it on the other side of the bed as it the bulkier end table wouldn't fit in this narrow space.


So I started thinking about new nightstands; a matching pair.  

I started looking on Facebook sites that my town uses to sell things, I roamed the used furniture aisles at the thrift stores.  And then these beauties magically came into my life for FREE!

A local hotel was remodeling some rooms and put a large quantity of furniture out for the trash pick up.  It was my lucky day!  The universe delivered, God is good.

Kim says to clear used furniture with sage to "eliminate any negative energy they may have absorbed from their prior owners".  I didn't have sage, so I painted them and replaced the hardware.  This she states, "gives them fresh energy!"

I picked up some paint with the appropriate color named "Zen", how perfect! to match the leaves and stems of the peonies on my duvet cover. 

And I purchased some new hardware for the handles.  Be sure to measure first!

They were transformed!

Next was the headboard. Kim said I could wrap fabric around the spindles or paint the wall behind it, or tack something up on the back of it.  Weren't all those pillows enough? 

"No", she said, it had to be solid.

I thought about this for a long weeks.  Then it came to me.  I have a quilt that my great-grandmother made that I simply adore.  I have it on the bed sometimes, but because it's from the 1930s, I am really protective of it.  It was the perfect solution.

I swear I could feel the energy in the room shift, the moment I hung it and smoothed it on the rail. Wow!  Perhaps my great-grandmother is lending me some support?  I love this idea.

But there was still the footboard to cover....  I am currently crushing on this beautiful hand-stitched, hand-appliqued coverlet, but finances being what they are, I settled for a plain white sheet, doubled over, for now.

The difference is amazing!  Since adding these minor changes to my bed, I am sleeping very well and enjoying the best frame of mind.  JOY

When speaking about Feng Shui, Kim says, "I've seen more people embracing it recently.  They can feel the energy in a space.  You go into a space, and you know it doesn't feel good, but you don't necessarily know why.  This [Feng Shui] explains why it feels good, or why it doesn't.  People are a lot more open to finding things that will help them feel better in their homes and offices."

I agree.  Those mismatched end tables & phone table always bugged me and it's weird, but I really do feel much safer and secure with my headboard and footboard covered and who knows?  Maybe I'll see a shift in my relationship too?

Have you applied any Feng Shui principles in your home?

And, did you experience a shift afterwards?  I'd love to hear about it.

Kim can be reached at Kim@FindingYour and be sure to check out her awesome website