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Archive for the ‘Organizing Tips’ Category

Real Simple magazine came up with this “2011 get-it-together handbook” that I thought was a lot of fun.

The idea is to stop procrastinating. Even if we only have five minutes there is a lot we can do, so pick a task, any task! These mini chores will give you that juicy accomplishment buzz while making the most of sudden downtime.

Call you dad;

Floss your teeth;

Sew on a button;

Test pens and toss the dead ones;

Put to-be-donated clothes in a bag by the door;

Arrange your hangers so they all face the same way;

Write a thank-you note that you’ve been putting off;

Remove gum wrappers, receipts and ATM slips from your purse;

Throw out all expired coupons;

Check your stack of magazine and eliminate half;

Look in your shower stall. Ditch any shampoos or body washes you haven’t used in forever;

Neat up the freezer;

Scan your sock drawer and put away any one-offs.

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If planning a small event can be a hassle, imagine planning your own wedding… But don’t worry, during the next few weeks this blog will be here to help! And we are not alone: Our first guest blogger, professional organizer Stacey Murray, is here to give tips on how to keep an organized Wedding Binder. Here’s what she told us:

“A few years before I became a Professional Organizer, I got married. Now, I’ve always been an organized person but I knew that planning a wedding would be a huge task. I had to stretch my organizing skills to their limits if I was going to succeed in keeping track of vendors, contracts, and wedding-related appointments while working full time. In order to do this, I created a ‘Wedding Binder.’

What is a Wedding Binder? A Wedding Binder is a home for all wedding-related information. By having a ‘home’ for all of the papers having to do with The Big Day, I was always able to find them when I needed them whether it was the catering contract, a picture of my gown, or the telephone number of the florist. I purchased a large three-ring binder with dividers and pocket folders (just like high school!) and labeled each divider and folder with a wedding-related category such as Caterer, Photographer, Honeymoon, etc.

Whether it’s a small or large affair, weddings cost a lot of money. When I met with vendors with that binder in hand, I felt prepared to compare prices and make educated decisions. I would not have felt so confident if my contracts, guest list, and tear sheets from bridal magazines were in a pile or strewn across my dining room table. Creating a SYSTEM for the flow of wedding-related papers was the key to my success.

Don’t stress! Here are some organizing tips to keep you from losing papers and losing your mind while planning for The Big Day:

• Place the categories in your binder in order of importance. If you’re constantly calling your caterer, put that folder in the front of your binder. If you finished picking songs with the band/DJ, move that category to the back of the binder.

• Use plastic sleeves to hold contracts for each vendor. This will make retrieval easier and protect them from food, drink, or other stains that could damage the document.

• Sort and purge your binder every few weeks. Get rid of any information you don’t need anymore. Either toss it or pass it on to a friend or relative who might be walking down the aisle in the future.”

Get here your own Wedding Binder:



Find here more information on how to organize your Wedding Binder.

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To arrange your books by colors is the perfect solution for a decoration magazine picture! But it’s hardly the most practical or functional solution for your home, if you are looking to be organized.

What you should do at home is separate your books by categories, genres or subjects. After that you can arrange them the way you want, even by colors. Display you cook books in a kitchen shelf and your language books and dictionaries in the study room. Or, if you do have a library or reading room, just separate the categories into different shelves.

Labels are always a great idea as well: fiction, biographies, classics, gardening… you name it!

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Here are some ideas to throw a stress free dinner party during the Holiday Season.

1- Ask your family what traditions they love, and what they wouldn’t miss if they were gone. Focus on the favorites; nix the rest.

2- Include an easy-to-assemble crafts project at the kid’s table, so young guests have something to occupy them.

3- Let yourself off the hook and skip the “everything from scratch” mentality. Go boxed, jarred or purchased for items that are not the most important items on the table.

4- Serve a specialty drink or ask one of the guest to be responsible for it.

5- Keep it simple. The simpler the plan, the more you will enjoy the holiday, too.

6- Start cleaning the place in advance. Clean the main rooms, a little each day. Even set the table a few days before if you don’t use the dining room daily.

From Better Homes and Garden magazine.

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Yeah, yeah, it’s that time of the year again! Time to put away sandals, bright dresses and shorts and to bring back coats, hats and boots. I admit that I don’t like Winter at all, but I can’t deny that the fashion styles on the windows and magazines (and of course, the streets of NYC) are as elegant as it can be.

To help keep us fashionable during the coldest (and “most chic”) season, I invited the Image Consultant and Personal Shopper, Maria Silvia Scigliano to give us some tips on how to update our winter wardrobe.

Here’s what she said:

– So, let’s start by cleaning the wardrobe and separating your clothes in 3 piles. Your accessories should also be sorted:

YES: clothes that you really love and wear a lot;
NO: things that your haven’t used for the past year or two;
MAYBE: pieces that you are not sure. Try to think about some alterations, or buy new pieces to match them, creating new looks. If not, move them to the NO pile.

Don’t be afraid to donate your clothes! If they are in good quality, look for a Vintage store in your neighborhood or in the internet.

Now, try to draw some conclusions from this process, why do you wear this more than that?… is it the color, the style, the fabric?? (Image Consultants can help you a lot with these questions). So next time you go shopping, have that on mind!

– Invest on good quality, warm and practical coats. Neutral colors, like black, gray, brown or beige are traditional hues for winter;
– Have also 3 nice leather boots and warm socks;
– At least 2 sets of hat, scarf and gloves, which don’t need to match, but should have a link between them. Depending on your personal style you can add here some trend, fun and your favorite color, specially on the scarves which will reflect beautifully your face features.
– Underneath your heavy coat you can wear pretty much anything but avoid clothes that are too warm, like cashmere sweaters and wool pants, once most indoor places have heaters.
– If your questions are about matching colors, think about joining warm, or cold tones together. For example, combine brown and orange, or blue and pink.

Important note: even living in a “fast fashion” country, I suggest that you don’t think fast in fashion, try to think long lasting pieces. It will be worth for your financials and much better for the planet too, trust me! Thinking “green” has never been so cool!!

If you want to learn more about Silvia’s services and get personal tips from an Image Consultant, just leave us a comment and it will be forwarded to her.

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A wallet can pretty much reflect one’s personality and life style… That being said, are you embarrassed of opening up your cluttered wallet or are you proud of your neatness skills?

It’s up to you, of course, but if you are trying to make your wallet organized and slimmed, you came to the right place. I too think that a wallet pocket bump does not look nice!

Here are simple steps towards slimming down your fat wallet:

1- First of all get a new wallet! It has to be a small one, with a few cards pockets. Avoid those huge pretty wallets, with many tempting compartments that call for stuff inside of it.

2- Take out any unneeded clutter. Old business cards, receipts, pictures and notes. Trash what’s unnecessary and try not to keep temporary pieces of paper in your wallet;

3- Receipts, gift cards, membership cards and business cards go into separate containers, like a mini accordion file for cards. And there’s no need to be carrying them around every day.

4- If you carry lots of cash, try to pass on the one dollar bills fast. Keep only larger bills whenever you can;

5- Never put change in your wallet. It adds weight and deforms the wallet. Even if it has a pocket! You can use the pocket for an emergency key or even one lucky penny.

6- Take all of the cards out of the wallet and lay them in front of you. Just put back what’s really important like: ID / DRIVER’S LICENSE / MEDICAL CARD / METROCARD

7- Do the same with credit cards and debit cards. Just keep the ones you use daily, and for you own finance and security sake, don’t apply to as many as you can!

This post was inspired by a friend visiting NY last week. She kept in her wallet her “CPF, carteira de identidade e título de eleitor” besides a lot of unnecessary pictures and papers. Her hand bag was heavy and she was running the risk of a terrible headache in case something happened to her wallet. Immediately I took her shopping for a new wallet and helped her with the clean up.

THOSE ARE WAY TOO BIG!!

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– If the kids get a new toy, donate an old one;

– Keep only the amount of toys that can fit in the containers;

– Rotate the containers (keep one in the room and another in the storage), they will believe they are getting new toys every time;

– If the kids can’t read, label the containers with a picture.

Ps. Sorry about the quality of the video. I couldn’t fix the problem when uploading it…

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