Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Organizing What You Have

"I hate it. I just hate it" This is a cry of frustration.

A wonderful big open basement for storage, yet the items have taken control of the space. Haphazardly brought into the basement for storage, shut the door and you don't see it. Right?

Well, next time you go into the basement to get something you DO see it and think "Aaaahhh!" Think about the stuff you have and come up with a plan to get it organized: home improvement, tools, sports equipment, outdoor decor/furniture, kid's toys etc. Remove any boxes that are empty. What is it with guy's and keeping empty boxes?

You might think, "Oh, we are going to have a HUGE garage sale and get rid of all this stuff." But you do use these items and want to keep them.

If you know what you want to see when you walk into the room, then you have the answer to your organizing dilemma.

Use the walls. Get things up and against the walls to O-P-E-N up the space. In this case, there were wall hooks not being used for anything, so we hung the chairs and ladder on them.

Move the shelving units against the walls for easier access. One for outdoor items and another for kids toys and sports equipment.

A shelving unit from the furnance room was used to store all the paint and home improvement supplies. The tool and home improvement items were organized on the last shelving system.

All of a sudden you have TONS of room!

Every item has a spot in storage.
You can easily find what you need.
Enjoy your newly organized basement.
Most importantly, treat yourself to something special.

You deserve it!

What did you organize?
Better yet: What was your treat?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shall We Dance?

In honor of the Big Dance going on this month, I found this little quiz that has absolutely nothing to do with college basketball. Go Boilers!!

You Are Break Dancing

You are a rebel and a rule breaker.

You are uniquely you,
and you expressing your individuality.

And while you're different and a bit weird,
you're no slacker.

You're extremely hard working.
Having unusual talents is not as easy as it looks!

Wanna find out what dance you are?

I'm not sure I would consider myself a rule breaker, more of a loose interpreter. Everything else is spot on me!

So ... What dance are you?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Do You Really Need To Be A Rocket Scientist To Get Organized?

One area I find I can help clients with the most: optimizing their space.

Perhaps my rocket science degree (BSAAE from the BIG TEN BBall CHAMPS, PURDUE UNIVERSITY) gives me the edge at looking at an area and seeing how to make it work a bit better. I dunno. Everyone has a gift or two. Me, I've got these really cool grippy toes and the ability to quickly solve an organizing dilemma.

See the problem, listen to your needs, create the solution.
You need these three steps to solve any problem.

When "Jennifer" showed me her storage room, there was plenty of space. It just was not being used efficiently: an undersized storage unit, stuff stacked on the floors and 3 great walls left nearly empty.

First thing, clear out the room to make way for some shelving and wall racks. You can see the all the great S-P-A-C-E available!

Look at these great shelves: 18 inches deep, mounted right to the wall and adjustable.

For the other two walls, Storwall was installed right to the studs. Now, Jennifer can use a variety of accessory hooks to hang her long handle tools, baskets for items, hooks for tailgating chairs and plenty of room to spare.

Jennifer was blown away by the difference:
"Holy moly, now I can see what I've got."

You don't have to have an engineering degree to come up with a solution. Just listen to yourself and the solution will present itself. If you're still struggling, gimme a call. We'll have some fun getting your problem solved.

What's your little gift?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You Can Almost Smell The Worms


Like the smell of worms in the morning crawling across your sidewalks, getting your garage cleaned up from the winter funk is a sign of warm sunny days to come.

Getting that first garage organizing project underway is a good thing. There was plenty of space in "Robert's" garage, just wasn't being used efficently.

This was a small area that Robert used to store all his lawn equipment and tools. Anything in here had to be sturdy to hold a lot of weight. He also was not using the walls to hang up his long handle tools and grass trimmers.

To hold the heavy loads of dirt, cast iron hose reels, planters and such a couple Muscle Racks were assembled. These bad boys hold 1,500 lbs on each shelf. Then installed a few racks onto the walls to hold Robert's long handle tools (yeah, got to use my hammer drill).

Now, this shelving area that was a catch-all for everything dirty and fertilizer smelly, is available for fishing, boating and other outdoor items.

"Holy mackerel! This is amazing!" Robert exclaimed when he saw his new garden garage.

Always glad to help a client love their space again.

What is your first sign of Spring you look forward to?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Now Where Did I Put That ...

IKEA has some great commercials showing a few reasons why being organized is beneficial. Watch and enjoy!

Here's the post from last year for more laughs (click here).

Enjoy the day!

What have you searched for in your home?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have An Apple, Give An Apple

Today has been deemed Johnny Appleseed Day.

Born John Chapman in 1774, Johnny Appleseed was a conservationalist and pioneer who introduced the apple to parts of the midwest. He was a roving philanthropist. He travelled the country giving away clothes, land, horses and trees.

As I read this, I thought about a recent trip with my college roommmates. We are all turning 40 years old this year and for 20 years we have been talking about going on a trip. Our destination was the Dominican Republic and it was spectacular! Nothing but soaking in the warm sunshine with the crashing ocean waves around us.

Since our luggage was going to be light for the trip, I ask my friends to fill their bags with school supplies for donation to the Dream Project.


I was blow away by the amount of stuff everyone brought along. We ended up with more than 80 lbs of pencils, markers, glue sticks, pens, erasers, highlighters, crayons, sticky notes, etc.....

My challenge for you this week, in honor of Johnny Appleseed, is to give out a random act of kindness.
Hold the door open for someone
Give away the better parking spot
Let the person with milk and eggs check out ahead of you
Make a donation to a local charity at your spring break destination ........

Imagine what will happen if we all give just a bit.

What was your random act of kindness?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Let's Break It Down ...

Your house is filled, stacked with stuff.
You'd like to smile, but it's kinda tough.

Finding the time to clear this mess,
is making you feel like you're in distress.

Have no fear, help is here.
My help for you is true and dear.

Let's break it down one box, one room.
Then you'll feel like you're starting to zoom!

OK....that's my attempt at rapping (I know don't give up my day job).

With winter slowly coming to an end, you have been cooped up in your home for many months now and things aren't looking like you wish them to be. The overwhelming sense of hopelessness may be setting in. You have got to SNAP out of it!

Give this a shot:
Grab a pad of paper and your favorite writing instrument (mine is a bright red crayon because it's fun). Walk through each room and write down what you done. Any little thought that comes into your head ... write it down.

-hang clothes
-remove kid toys
-clear desk
-shred old papers
-hang pictures

Now don't be alarmed if you end up with 3-4 pages of stuff. It's OK, really it's perfect. You now have a plan. It may be a lengthy one though you can't be successful until you have a plan.

Look through the list and decide which room to start. If you just don't know, choose your bedroom. Nothing beats a tidy bedroom to aid in a great night's sleep. Second biggest hurdle is accomplished: Deciding where to begin.

Pick an task and knock it off your list. Even cross it off as you go. This will feel like you are making progress. As you make progress, you gain a sense of accomplishment. Which in turn encourages you to continue the project toward completion.

Very important point: Do not look at the entire list and begin to think, "Oh I am never going to get this done." Stay positive in your thoughts and see the progress you are making.

Little by little your home will feel better and better

What's your favorite writing instrument?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hot Damn ... I'm 40!


I feel a heck of a lot better now than I did when I was 30.

Birthdays are HUGE in our home.
For me they are s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out to last the whole month.

Matthew and Jacob have been making me little gifts all week long. I love our bond. At dinner last night, one woman came up to me and complimented on how polite and well behaved my boys were. Then as we left, my boys held the door open for me and another couple, "Wow! You have two amazing young gentlemen."

The best part: Matthew and Jacob began talking about all the people they made happy by just doing the right things. I was beaming with pride. They made my 40th birthday very special.

Thank you boys. You ROCK!!
Peace babies.

How have your kids made you proud?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Find Your Parade of Success

Jonny Lang's music is amazing. Period.
You won't hear him on the radio, which is sad because his message is wonderful.

He has some great songs, though my favorite is "Anything's Possible".

"Don't ...let em tell you can't be, Anything you wanna be,
Don't be deceived, Anything's possible,
If ....you will just believe, Then you can succeed,
It might not be easy, But anything's possible."

The challenges and trials of life are what push you to grow beyond your limits. There are reasons for all bumps in the road and lessons to be learned from every twist.

If there is someone attempting to bring you down,
they are not happy themselves.
Remember: Negative people do negative things.

"The main reason people rain on my parade is
because they have no parade of their own,"
Jeffrey Gitomer

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Becoming A Human Vacuum

A Nerf gun here and a lonely sock there, next thing you know your kid's have infiltrated EVERY room of your home. As you walk around the Nerf darts scattered about your livingroom, realization sets in that things are a bit out of control.

"Holly! Evan! Pick up your toys!" you call out. The kids answer, "Well be right there." Time passes. Nothing.

Time to take matters into your own hands.

You are the parent. They are the kids.
You are in control ... or at least you should be.

Perhaps the next time you have a moment with your family, mention that you are frustrated with the items misplaced around the home. You have asked them to help pick-up with no avail.

Pick a time that works for you and state your Human Vacuum Plan:

"I would like you guys to pick up your toys and items by 7pm tomorrow night. After that time (and you MUST stick with this), I will walk through and any of your items that are not where they are suppose to be will be placed in this large, black garbage bag for donation. "

This may take 1-2 cycles for your family members to catch on. Eventually they will and you will gain control of your home again. Now, if you come across a particularly special item that has been left behind, that item becomes yours until you see fit to return the item to the owner. Provided the owner is ready to put it away properly.

Yes, there may be an item or two donated that your son will be upset about. Perhaps the next time you announce you will becoming a Human Vacuum, your kids will pay a bit more attention to their items.

You will gain control of your home over time and your organized home will feel wonderful.
Stick with your plan, be consistent and you will be successful.

What did you suck up?