Friday, May 30, 2008

Anything A Guy Can Do, A Chick Can Do Too

A very good friend of mine keeps commenting on how amazed he is at how I just get stuff done. To me I see something that I want to do or needs to be done, so rather than dwell over it, just do it. Done.

Home improvement projects are something I love to do. Sometimes the project is chosen like painting a room or changing the landscaping. Other times, something happens that results in the project needing to be done like a leaking faucet or a broken ceiling fan.

My recent project has been lingering for about a year or so. The toilet on the main floor had a small leak and I replaced the bolts/washers thinking that would do the trick. Well, the bolts became gross, black and smelly due to the leak continuing over the past year. I thought I would try to replace the bolts/washers again for $5 rather than $200-300+ for a new toilet. Plus I had no idea how to replace a toilet.

Well, after spending an hour trying to get the last bolt free from the tank I let out a "Aaaahrrrgg! That's it!" Jumped into my car and headed to Lowes for a new toilet. Walked right up to the plumbing person, Heidi (yeah a chick, how cool is that?), asked her to help me.

TIP: When in doubt, just ask for help.
It will save you time and hassle.

Heidi was awesome. She hooked me up with a complete toilet kit for $225. I was a bit nervous about installing it. I hate plumbing jobs because you can't use duct tape or painter's chalk to hide your oopsies.

A few things I learned:
1. Toilets are not as heavy as I thought.
2. Installation is so easy, under one hour from removal of old to flushing the new.
3. Don't be itimidated by ANY challenge.

No. I am not adding plumbing services to my organizing services. Just because I can install a toilet, doesn't mean I want to do it again. I still don't like plumbing projects

Don't think because you have never done something you can't. Most tasks are NOT that difficult. The worst that will happen from your attempts is you won't be able to do it and you'll likely learn something along the way. Think about how great you will feel for giving it your best effort and completing it.

What home project did you tackle recently?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Time Has Come to Clean-up Your Garage

Getting your cars parked in your garage may be a dream to you, though now is the time to get your garage organized. Seems everyone is out there, cleaning out from the change of seasons. Getting ready storing away the nasty snowthrower and dusting off the lawnmowers. Beginning the project, for many people, is the toughest part.

You see the piles of stuff and the shelves overflowing with items randomly tossed about for storage. Here's how you can go about organizing a garage:

step #1: Notes - Look at every wall or area and right down notes on items seen, comments made by my client or in your case little thoughts that drift into your head. It's OK to write, "absolute disaster" or "hopeless mess." Just get it down on paper. Doesn't have to be a novel, random notes are perfect.

step #2: Ideas - Envison what your garage would look like. Use your walls for storing as much as possible. Think shelves, racks, hooks, bins, bags, etc. All of these ideas can be attached to the wall, getting your stuff off the floor.

step #3: Plan - Maybe take a bit of a break and let your thoughts simmer. Come back into your garage and plan what you are going to do. Take some measurements for shelving. Remember to use the studs as much as possible, this will keep your stuff on the walls. Studs are typically every 16 inches along the wall length.

step#4: Action - Get your garbage bags ready, boxes for donations and rev up those power tools ... the organizing party is about to begin. Hang up your shelves first, if possible. This gives you space to store the items you use. Items you do NOT use do NOT go on a shelf, trash or donate. Work around your garage and find homes for the things you use. You will be left with stuff that is has no use in your home.

step #5: Clean Up - You will be left with stuff that has no use in your home. Donate or trash it. Get it out of your life. It's OK to part with stuff. Sweep up the floor and pull your car into the garage. Reward yourself for a job well done!

What random thought do you have about your garage?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Playing Hooky

I never skipped a day when I was in school.
Guess I was just terrified that my mom would find out, though not really sure what my punishment would have been and likely she would have not been the wiser to my fun and frolic. So, what I was unable to do in my childhood I recreate through my boys. Hey if throughout my boys life I am going to cause psychological damage such as "just add it to their therapy list" moments, why not create some unforgettable smiles that are ear-to-ear moments?

Jacob and I went to Cedar Point for his first introduction to rollercoasters. Cedar Point is THE Roller Coaster capital of the world. I have created a MONSTER! This little dude, just at the minimum 48 inch height to ride (I told him not to fart or he'd be too short), rode hands up, first seat on the Millenium -- 300 ft vertical drop, 80 deg decent, near 100 mph. Since we went on a Thursday, we rode all the coasters over and over, closing the park. He crashed within 10 minutes on the ride home.
"This is the best day of my life" he said to me.

Matthew wanted to go hiking, so we spent the day exploring Farnsworth Metropark which he had never visited. He loved it! We saw some huge fish, 10 cranes and found one toad. The best part came when we came across the rock cliffs along the Maumee River. His eyes just lit up.

"Do you think I can climb up there?"
"Matthew, you can do anything you believe. Go for it."
OK, I was a bit scared watching him climb 20ft up.
This isn't something Matthew has done.
The pride on his face when he reached the top - PRICELESS!

My boys both understood this was a very special day they each had. Skipping school is not something that I condone. Though you bet we will be playing hooky next Spring to ride some coasters, climb some rocks or do whatever activity that day brings.

What do you do when you play hooky?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can You Breathe In Your Office?

Sweet home Alabama,

da dadah da dah da dah.
Where the skies are so blue ......

Hearing this song I reached for my phone, it's not ringing?
Odd...that's one of my ringtones.
But it wasn't me it, was Michelle's phone.....We have the same ringtone. How crazy cool it that?!

Michelle has a home office where she runs her photography business GSK Creations. She creates customized action sports posters for a school sports teams. With the school season coming to an end, she is quite busy and her office had gotten out of control.

"Just have Angie come help you, it is so worth it,"
my good friend Cheryl told Michelle.
(thank you ROCK!)

Michelle explained to me how an old table was just being used to stack stuff on and a cabinet was for hiding items she didn't want to look at. Both of these were to be moved out of the room. We purged supplies that were not used and moved out the extra furniture. Slid a shelving unit and the room just opened up!

"WOW! I can breathe in this room again,"
she said.
There was much more space for Michelle to get her orders packaged for delivery. We talked about getting some track shelving on the open wall which would be perfect for Michelle's paper and other business supplies. And, these are something she can install herself. Remember: Just gotta catch those studs to hold the weight of paper!

If there is a room, or even a drawer, in your home that is feeling a bit suffocating, perhaps it is time to grab a few garbage bags and start purging.

Take in a deep breath,
You'll be amazed at the feeling of fresh air.

What's the coolest ringtone you've heard?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ooooh ...... We Have Shelves!

Sometimes it's the little things that make people get excited and smile. In this case it was new shelves in the garage that made "John's" wife happy. Seemed John forgot to tell his wife about the project, though she was quite excited about me being there. They had a great big garage, lots of wonderful toys, lawn gadgets, sports equipment, camping gear and pool supplies all kinda scattered about.
"Angie, you gotta do something about this. Can you help?"
John asked me

Getting some nice long shelves installed for storage was the first thing I suggested. This is a great area to keep items that are not used frequently: coolers, camping supplies and fishing poles. All John's long handled tools were scattered around the garage. So, a storage rack was hung on the wall along with his grass trimmer and blower. Added one of my favorite organizing racks, The Muscle Rack. This puppy holds 1,000 lbs (454 kg) of weight on each shelf - SWEET! Now, there is an area for all the yard and landscaping supplies.

On to this little cubbie area near the door to the home.
This is a great area to put in some little shelves for household supplies. Another Muscle Rack was used but split to provide storage place underneath and a working surface. Since this area is close to the door entrance, this is great for bottle water supply storage and other bulk item storage. The kids sports equipment is easy to reach, too.

Finally, the most active area of the garage.
This is where the bikes, trucks, scooters and such all move in and out constantly. Everything was pulled out. A few items set aside to be parted with, floor swept up and another Muscle Rack assembled in side-by-side shelves. The kids have the ability to get to stuff to play with and put away. The family outdoor games are moved to this area.

John was pretty pleased with the project and even more happy his wife was excited. They have a bit of work to sort through a pile of items that they are no longer using, though it won't take them very long. John's wife was excited about the new shelves, and John was happy to score a few "brownie points."

Honestly can never have too many brownie points.

What did you do to score some brownie points?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw Here

The Sex And The City movie is coming out on Friday! I'm excited to see how great this movie turns out to be. From the movie clips, I am just cracking up.

You are Carrie. You know what you want out of a relationship and you're not afraid to keep moving until you get it. Wit and charm are your biggest turn-ons, and you like guys who appreciate you for your mind as much as your body. You have fun playing the dating game, but secretly you just can't wait to find the guy who sweeps you off your feet and carries you into the sunset.

Which Sex and the City Character Are You?

"Life doesn't always turn out like a fantasy. That's why you need friendships to get you through it all," thank you Carrie Bradshaw!

Which character are you?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Better Tidy Up After Yourself

So, if you are trying to come up with your next excuse why NOT to get organized, perhaps these commercials from IKEA will help you to turn that thought around and just get organized.

They made me crack up.
Hope you enjoy them, too.

Thank you John from OrganizingLA for sharing.

What's your story from not being organized?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Proud Motorcycle

Women have a way of banding together to support one another. I'm not a guy, so I can't speak to what y'all do. Guys are great, I love um, especially when I have a really, really, really hard jar to open.

My friend, Julie Higby, bought me a motorcycle!! (see this post for the story why)
She shot right up my favorite friends list. Julie wrote:

I heard you decided against buying a motorcycle so thought I would
buy one for you. .... Stick this card up in your garage somewhere, at least you can brag you have a motorcycle at home.

How AWESOME is that?!
You bet my new motorcycle is going to be prestigiously placed in my garage. (that's 'gare-raj' as Julie says, crazy Aussie)
Julie you ROCK!!

Women are amazing. You give so much of yourself, sacrificing your needs before others, compromising when you should not, triumphing against life's challenges and pushing yourself to reach your dreams. The road you take is long, hard and at times lonely. In the end, you know to look around at where you came from, see what you have endured and you should be proud.

Take a moment and reflect upon what you are proud about yourself. This is not about what your kids/grandkids did.

This is about YOU.

Simple self pride.
It's OK to dabble in this deadly sin.

"Everything in moderation," is what I believe.

What three women are you proud of?
... ya need to go tell them.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Peace Baby!

Little surprise waiting at my doorstep this afternoon.
A box delivered from the USPS.
Hmmmm, who is this from. I have no idea.

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I start getting really excited and frantically search for the scissors to tear into the box.
It's a PRESENT.....from SOUL!!!!!

Little "Meeow Baby!" statue, now prestigiously placed next to Hong Kong Phooey on my desk.

Soul, I am beside myself with your thoughtful gift, kind words and love for my grippy toes. You are an inspiration to me, too!

"Peace Baby!" is something my Aunt Dottie started with me and now it's said daily between my boys and I. The peace sign is a non-verbal way to communicate with each other when we can't talk. "I love you" and "Peace Baby" are always said between the us as they run off to play, leave for school, or when we chat on the phone.

Try it out. "Peace Baby" just makes people smile.
...... and more smiles is what we all need in this world.

Please take the time to visit Soul
and throw out a "Peace Baby!" to her.

She made my day shine. Spread the smiles.