Saturday, September 29, 2007

Because, I'm the Mom

My friend, Leasa Maxx, forwarded this hysterical video to me.

"Strap on your seatbelts" .... Watch, laugh and enjoy!

Credits to Anita Renfroe for putting this beauty together.
You ROCK!!!!

I know I heard every single line from my mom.

Did you laugh?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Closets, Cabinets and FLAJ?

Working with whatcha got.
Sometimes you have no choice.
Other times you don't have to, but why get more.

Some organizers will have you buy all sorts of stuff to get you organized.
The thing is: if you ain't organized to begin with,
more stuff isn't going to help.

I'm a minimalist.
Not in the form of visual art, architectural design or literal sense.
I encourage my clients to use what they have, before running to IKEA to buy the so-called next greatest plastic container.
(I give you the FLAJ. Hey, I don't get it either, it's a plastic box)

When I was asked to help Carol with her closets, I was excited she wanted to use up some stuff she had around her home. She lives in an awesome older home, with small closets having the standard single hanging rod.
Carol asked me to purchase new rods to double the hanging space. And to use the wood in her garage to mount those bad-boys to the walls. (oh yeah, power tool project -- happiness)

I tore out the old hanging rod. Installed two shiny, new rods.
And raised the top shelf for storage.
(Tools req'd: circular saw, electric drill, & stud finder)
Much more room now to hang clothes.

Now, the COOL part of this project.

Carol has these built-in cabinets, but didn't like how they were open. She was thinking of hanging a curtain or sheer in front of them. Then I mentioned rigging up some cabinet like doors. Which then made her think of these shutters she had in her basement. Now, I'm figuring out how to get these 60 inch plastic shutters to become doors.

First, will the plastic shutters hold the hinges? Yes! (I used to be a plastic components engineer at Ford) Now, build up the frame to hold the new shutter doors. Again using wood from Carol's garage supply. Cut the shutters down to fit the cabinets.

Finally, mount the rigged up doors,
to the rigged up cabinet frame.
Ending up with a neat way to hide the shelves, using supplies that Carol already had. She needs to just paint and it will look awesome!

What a fun project!!
Power tools, design work, home improvement
and most important.....A delighted client!

What successful project have you used stuff in your home?
Bonus question: Anyone ever buy a FLAJ?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Clean Out Your Closet

Fall is here and it's the perfect time to get your clothes closet organized and fresh for the new season. But how do you decide what to keep and what to part with? Here are some steps you can take:

1. It's too big or too small. Get it out of your closet and donate it so that someone who DOES fit into it can wear it. Even if you're trying to lose or gain a few pounds, it's not worth keeping it. Live in the 'now', and once you reach your goal, you can always reward yourself by shopping for a few new outfits to fit your new figure.

2. You don't like it. This is a no-brainer. We all have clothes like this in our closet. Get rid of them today.

3. It's stained. If you really like the garment, but can't wear it because it's stained, spend some time this week getting that stain washed out. If you can't get the stain out, bring the garment to your local dry cleaner. If they can't get the stain out, and there's no other way for you to hide the stain, such as a patch or accessory, then bite the bullet and part with this piece of clothing.

4. It's ripped or torn, a hem needs to be sewn or it needs to be taken in to fit. Either repair it yourself, have someone else repair it or get rid of it if the price of the repair is not worth it. Make one of these choices today, rather than allowing this damaged item to take up precious space in your closet.

5. It's a wear-once outfit. If you have a wedding dress, prom dress, tuxedo or other wear-once dress in your closet, you have an emotional decision to make. If you can't bear to part with these items because they bring back happy memories, then you may have to just keep them. However, if you have photographs of yourself in the wear-once outfit and that's good enough for you, consider parting with it so that someone else can make his or her own good memories in that outfit. On the other hand, if they bring back bad memories, by all means get rid of them. Bring them to a consignment shop, sell them at your next garage sale or donate them.

6. It's a special occasion outfit. If you have an outfit that you'll only wear if you plan to attend a special occasion, like a wedding or baptism, keep it. But only if a) you love it, b) it fits, c) it's in good condition. If you never or rarely attend a special occasion, why not set a special date with your spouse or a friend and go out on your own special occasion dinner?

7. It may come back in fashion. This is a bad reason to keep an outfit. It could take years before clothes come back in fashion (if they ever do). What if there's a theme party someday? You can likely recreate the look by visiting a local thrift shop.

(Yeah, that's me far left w/my college roommates)

8. You don't have anything to match it. Perhaps you have a shirt that you love, but can't seem to find pants to match it--or vice versa. Make it a point to go shopping this weekend in search of that perfect match. Remember, neutral colors such as black, brown, beige and gray go well with most other colors. You might even want to bring the piece you have to the store with you and have a sales clerk help you find a good match. You'll be thrilled that you can finally wear that shirt that's been sitting in your closet!

9. You never wear it simply because you have too much. If your closet is packed with clothes and you have outfits you never wear simply because you can't find them, you may want to consider purging so that your closet doesn't feel so stuffed and cramped. One thing you definitely should not do is go clothes shopping. Another possibility, is to have a professional closet system installed. These systems help you to organize and separate your clothes well so you can see everything you have at a glance.

OK, Now turn on some music, pour your favorite beverage, get a few garbage bags for donations.......and clean out your closet!

What "why do I still have this" item did you find?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ringtone Fun

I noticed something the other day.
There are endless choices for ringtones.
I think it is pretty cool that you can show a bit of personality by your cellphone ring.

Maybe you just want the basic, standard ring and that's OK.
But I find it interesting to hear all the different ringtones people CHOOSE to have. Downloaded songs, quick comic lines, dogs barking, lions roaring, cannons firing, etc.

My ringtones are downloaded songs and depending on who you are you may have a special ring:

My standard ringtone --> "Sweet Home Alabama"
One of my favorite songs, people smile when they hear it.
My girlfriend ringtone --> "Shake, Shake, Shake (Shake Your Booty)"
Just a fun song, let's me know my friends are calling, better get it.
My man ringtone --> "Brass Monkey"
Let's me know a guy is calling me.
My ex-husband's ringtone -->
"Dueling Banjos"

(yep, that song from Deliverance)
Puts me in a smilin' mood before I have to chat with him.

My ringtones are fun for me. They make me smile and laugh.
And for me, It's all about having fun!

So, what's your ringtone?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Garage Job

I've been putting off this post due to the abundant sunshine lately.
Gotta get it all in before the gray days of winter arrive.

So, I have been working on this BIG garage project. Great, big 4 car garage with no means of storing stuff except all over the floor. My client, "Carol," asked me to help her out with a plan. She has some built in shelves, however they are narrow for many bulky items.

First step was to take one side of the garage and install 16 inch deep shelves. This allowed Carol to store household supplies, cleaners, sprays and other items not used often. Keeping these items away from her two young children's reach.

The next step was utilizing the height (10 ft or 3 m) of her ceilings by installing (4) ceiling racks. These babies are awesome! They hold 250 lbs each (114 kg). I also installed some hooks to store the bikes along the back wall.

Then, there was this little "cubby" area, not sure why it was built that way. Too small to store long handle items, yet a neat little tucked away spot. I suggested installing some short shelves to utilize the space better. Definitely gave that spot a purpose in Carol's garage.

Finally, I assembled a storage shelf. I love this item. You can assemble it at a 5-tier shelving unit, or split it into two side-by-side units. By doing this you end up with a great work surface area, plus the ability to store stuff.

This was a great project. Great day since I got to use some power tools and my engineering brain.

It's a sunny day again.....gotta get outside and enjoy it!

What tool do you love to use in your business?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Organized Solutions Meets LA

Exciting news today!

Organizing LA, a Blog by John Trosko has listed Organized Solutions in his "Blog roll."

Based in Los Angeles, CA, OrganizingLA is a professional organizing and lifestyle consulting firm proficient at both home and office organizing projects. John Trosko and his company manage the spaces and schedules of those Angelinos with discerning palettes and little time.


One small step toward Oprah, one giant leap for Organized Solutions.
(C'mon....I am a rocket scientist)

Thanks John.
You ROCK!!!

No Question today. My boys are in bed. I'm having a beer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Songs

I'm a music chick.
Music is on FAR more than TV in our home. There are many songs that just make me smile. I have to sing along with them.

Before I do any presentation,
I belt out songs in my car like I am Celine Dion.
(probably sound more like Sanjaya)

I don't care. It pumps me up.

I bang on my drumset to work out stress/get creative/jam with my boys--Jacob on piano, Matthew on electric guitar.

By all means, this is NOT a complete list of my Happy Songs:
(the links go to videos.....enjoy)

"Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood
"Suddenly I See," KT Tunstall
"Paradise By The Dashboard Lights," Meatloaf
"Travelin' Man/Beautiful Loser," Bob Seger
"Suspicious Minds," Elvis Presley
"Musta Got Lost (w/intro)," J. Geils Band
"Fat Bottom Girls," Queen
"Sweet Home Alabama," Lynyrd Skynyrd

What songs do you love singing as you're cruisin' down the road?

Monday, September 17, 2007

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

It took "Renee" some time to get up the courage to contact me. She saw an article about me in the Sylvania Advantage.
And thought ... enough is enough.
Then sent me an email in July.
I promptly responded and encouraged her to check out my blog.

A few weeks later, she took another step and set up a consult appointment with me. As Renee showed me her home, I watched and listened to her. She was tense, nervous, embarrassed, obviously upset she was showing me around.

The area I felt needed to be addressed first was her bedroom. Papers, bags, clothes and other items covered her floor.

Another area was her garage. She recently moved and the garage is where everything went that didn't make it into her home.

As she told me her story, I continued to listen, finally saying:
"This is a big job. I can help you.
There is no reason to worry about this any longer."

Why I love my job is people like Renee. When I showed up to our appointment, she came nearly running out the door:
"I am SO glad you are here!"

Now, she was stressing about her family arriving home and she was glad I was there to support her. This response to my arrival was WAY better than the first grumble,
"I can't believe I am letting you do this."

We broke down what needed to be done in small tasks.
Got the home in GREAT shape, then finished sorting through her garage.

Renee treated herself to a new bedding set.
And she thought she could get two cars into the garage.

We opened and sorted out all her stuff. Renee needs to continue going through some boxes and let go of many more things. She will, I'm coming back to check on her.

She made amazing progress.
She is extremely happy with her home.
I am very proud of her.
I saw how difficult this project was for her.
Best part is, Renee smiles a lot more now.

Thank you "Renee" for being brave enough to contact me.
And now, you have been blogged.

How have you helped someone overcome a fear?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Badges to Lessons

As most of you mothers out there,
we are all so very proud of our kids.
Saturday I had an amazing moment
with my boys.

Matthew is a Cub Scout. His burning desire has been to earn the World Conservation Award for the past 3 years. The big hang up has been the need to participate in a conservation project.

Saturday, Matthew, Jacob and I participated in The Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup. Volunteers along the beaches of Michigan and Illinois worked to clean up one of the world's largest coastal area. Matthew was the sole scout from Pack 771.

Both boys were ready to go out the door at 8:30am on Saturday with enthusiasm. They were running around excited about searching out trash along the beach, amazed at the number of beer bottles found, shotgun shells, paint cans and other stuff. The oddest find was an orange sled.

Jacob summed it up best:
"Mom, this is like a treasure hunt for trash. This is fun!"

As we walked back to our car to leave for a soccer game, I was so delighted at spending this cool, crisp Fall morning with my boys. Matthew admitted that he orginally wanted to do this project to just get this badge. However, he said that he ended up learning how bad people can be with their trash, and if we all just pick up after ourselves the enviroment would be "just fine."

It is moments like Saturday that make me the luckiest person alive.
I love you boys. Eeek!

How has a "want" turn into a lesson for your kids?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Let the Magic Begin

Last month, I had a client introduce her friend, "Rita," to me.
(story here.)

As I turned to meet Rita that day, she said to me:

"Angie, I have seen your magic.
Can you please come to my house?
I need your help."

I helped Rita with her basement by installing some shelves. At our consult appointment, I chatted with Rita about what she wanted to see in her basement. The first thing I saw was she needed to get rid of all the empty boxes. This would be a challenge because the boxes were saved by her husband from all their electronics and computers equipment. (why do guys need to save these??)

Rita was able to get her husband to toss all the boxes, which gave me plenty of room to install the new shelving. She was so excited, Rita began place items on the shelves as I was cleaning up from the project.

I also installed some shelves in another area of this basement storage room (Before and After pics above). These shelves are out of the way and a perfect spot for Rita to "hide" all those items that are rarely used.

Even came up with a neat way to get their golf clubs off the floor and out of the way for the winter. Bike hooks screwed into the wall studs.

Rita was just delighted with all the new storage shelves.
I love my job. Making people happy is great.

Why DO guys save boxes?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hey Oprah!

Organized Solutions
is 3 years old!!

A little idea that I had planned, researched, analyzed and developed for 6 months prior to launching it, is a strong little toddler.

Doubling my number of clients from last year.
Tripling my number of client hours.
(and I have 2.5 months to go in 2007)

I made that discovery preparing for my BNI presentation which was today. I know I did a FANTASTIC job!!

Back on January 1st,
I felt like the year was going to explode with success.
No doubt about it.....It has.

Hard work.
Strong will.
Belief in Success.

I must thank you for your support.
My Mom.
My Boys.
My Family.
My Friends.
My Clients.
My Referral Sources.
Thank you to all the people that shared their business and life stories with me, and took the time to listen to mine.

Thank you to those that told me I was wasting my time.
Thank you to those that told me I needed to get a "real job."
Thank you to those that told me I was working below my ability.

In my introduction to my BNI chapter, I said my burning desire was to be interviewed by Oprah as one of the Top 10 successful women under 40.

Anyone know Oprah?
(click "Oprah", send her staff your comment about me)
Because she needs to meet me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Let's Have Some Fun

It has been awhile since I have posted something just for "Kicks and Giggles."
It's a sunny day, you should have fun today.

I have a MySpace page, which I don't use very much.
I think Facebook is a better fit for me.
On these profile type websites, many people have these little quizzes.

So let's try out a couple, they're harmless,
and will likely give you a chuckle.
Shall we? ... We shall.

What kind of beer am I?
I'm a Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.


What year do I belong in?
I belong in 1966

You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

C'mon, harmless, little crazy quizzes. Kinda like those little folded up paper cootie catchers we made in grade school......only not.

What kind of beer are you?
What year do you belong in?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


What were you doing?

I was rewiring my basement lights so I could flick a switch instead of walk around pulling a dozen little chords to turn the lights on. All the power was off. Matthew was at preschool. My husband had run to the grocery store with Jacob.

I had just finished the circuit and turned the power on. My phone immediately rang, my father-in-law who rarely ever calls.
"Where have you been? What are you doing?"
"Geez, calm down," I say, "I'm working in the basement."
"The Trade Center has been hit by a plane. We can't reach Adam."
(Adam is my former brother-in-law, living in NYC)

I turned on the TV and just sat, stunned like everyone as to what was happening. As soon as my husband came home with Jacob, I ran out to get Matthew from preschool. I just wanted my boys around me.

My boys and I talked about this day at breakfast.
It was time to tell them about that day.

What were you doing on 9/11/01?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Childhood Memories

Have you ever come across an item that triggers childhood happiness?

Today I did!

A book, "One Kitten For Kim."
(I think the book is out of print today)
As soon as I saw it, I just felt good.
I remember reading this book, over
and over
and over.

Kim is a little boy with a cat who has 7 kittens.
Mom and Dad send Kim out to find homes for the kittens.
Kim returns home without the kittens, however has quite a
surprise for his parents.

I cannot wait to read this story to my boys.
I hope they enjoy it as much as me.

What book triggers happy childhood memories?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fall Organizing Projects

Summer is coming to an end,
Fall is fast approaching.

Here are 6 projects you can think about:

1) Wash the windows. You want to be sure you're able to enjoy the colors of fall. So, grab a squeegee and window cleaner (bucket of water with vinegar). If you get really crazy, rinse off your screens with your hose. (Please remove the screens from the windows first)

2) Hose 'em down. Lawn mowers, plastic garbage containers, bikes and other items stored in the garage tend to get very dusty. While everything is out in the driveway, take the opportunity to sweep out your garage.

3) Have a closet session. Plan to go through your wardrobe from last fall and winter to see what you want to keep, and what you want to donate. Take your donations to a local charity. Once this is done, you'll be able to determine if there's anything new you need to buy to make my fall wardrobe complete. (yeah, shopping)

4) Old toys. My boys and I will go through their toys and have them put the ones they no longer play with in a large box. We'll then drive together to a charity drop-off to make our donation. Finally, we'll make one last stop at a toy store to pick up one new toy for them for being so kind and giving. (Hey, you just went shopping for new clothes. Kids deserve a little reward, too)

5) Skip the grocery store. Plan to skip going to the supermarket for one week (just pick up milk at the convenience store) and use up any food you already have in the house. You will be surprised how many meals you could scrape together from your refrigerator, freezer, cabinets and pantry. Before shopping the following week, give all of those food storage areas a good cleaning--it will be quick because most of the food will have been eaten!

6) Prune the perennials/Plant bulbs/Trim trees. You usually wait until late fall to do landscape pruning. Go out on a nice, sunny day and get it all done in an afternoon. Afterwards, go back inside and reward yourself. (OK, you've gone shopping, frig and pantry are bare, guess your reward may be a long soak in your bath surrounded by candles)

What is your Fall Project?
More important ... What is your reward for completing it?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

My Boys are Back!!

Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back in Town" has been running through my head all day!

Finally, after 23 days, Matthew and Jacob are home!!!

We have got some major cuddling to do.

Matthew wants to make me breakfast in bed, Jacob is his "wingman" making sure I don't get out of bed. We don't have any plans for tomorrow except catching up with each other.


It just feel great having them home.

Enjoy Labor Day!