Welcome To Dawn Falcone Lifestyles
The leader in transforming your home into a personal paradise.
Are you tired of searching for your misplaced belongings? Feeling overwhelmed by your clutter?
• Clearing clutter will give you room to breathe, not only in your home but in your mind as well.
Does the look of your space feel unfinished or incomplete? Are you ready to redecorate but don’t know where to start?
• Your home can be become a true reflection of you, your spirit and all you’re trying to achieve.
Personal Organization and Interior Design Go Hand In Hand
Dawn Falcone’s knows that a clutter-free and beautiful environment have a huge impact on many different areas of your life and well-being. She has pledged to work with each of her clients to get organized once and for all, clearing clutter while teaching the skills required to maintain this newfound clarity on their own.
Focusing on a home’s aesthetics, and digging deep to find the true spirit and personality you want your home to convey, Dawn can repurpose or reuse much of what you already own, or will start anew based on your preference. Either way, you can be certain the result will be a space that’s not only clear of clutter, but a true reflection of the very best you.
How do you know if you are in need of Dawn Falcone Lifestyles? Can you relate to any of these home makeover situations?
• You’re busy New Yorker whose laundry list of responsibilities has forced the upkeep of your home to take a back seat. You’re tired of walking into clutter after a long workday, but don’t know where to start. You need a professional organizer to work with you through the process.
• Your career is on the rise and you finally have time and finances to think about a home makeover. You have a good idea of what you’d like to accomplish but need an expert’s eye and design advice to make it a reality.
• You are rocking! You just purchased a new space or are renovating your current one. You’re ready to immediately get after it. You want organizational systems put into place that are easy to maintain. You also need expert design help to assist in choosing paint colors, art, accessories, furniture and anything else that will make your new place special.
Now’s the time to get your home & life on track
There’s no time like the present. Contact Dawn and see how she can best help you to achieve the look, feel and function you want in your home and need in your life. Set up an “Organize Your Home, Decorate Your Life” assessment in order to get to the heart of what’s really important to you. Or, check out her blog for regular interior design and professional organization tips and inspiration. At the end of the day, you never know what will motivate you to make the changes you’ve been longing for.
You deserve the best, not only in the future but right now!
May 2nd, 2013
What the heck is redesign? I get asked that often. Redesign is recycling, repurposing or reusing what you already own to create a new look, feel or function. Some designers specialize in “redesign” which means they’ll come in (one day room makeovers) look at your space and create a whole new room by rearranging furniture, art, accessories and shopping (or bringing) pieces in from other rooms. It’s very green. I’m a huge fan and love redesigning for clients. It’s far more challenging to make a space gorgeous with existing pieces than start from scratch.
I was honored to present this subject to my fellow organizers in NOLA at NAPO’s National Conference. For me, design and organizing go hand in hand and I think it’s true for many of my colleague because we had a full house. Today I want to share with you some points about furniture placement from my talk. And if you think this is a field you may be interested in than keep reading because I’m also going to share some valuable resources.
- Determine the main function of the room.
- Clear the space by removing all accessories, art, area rugs, lamps and small pieces of furniture. Then slide the largest pieces to the opposite side of the room.
- Clearing the space helps clear your mind to give you a blank canvas to create. It also helps you see the true shape and size of the space. And it makes finding the focal point a breeze.
- Find focal point or the dramatic element that draws you into the room.
Common Focal Points
- Windows or doors with a view
- Built-in book cases
- TV (NOT my fav)
No focal point? No problem. You can create one with:
- Large pieces of art or art groupings
- A large or unique piece of furniture
- Non built-in bookcase or shelves
- Colorful area rug
- Now that you have a focal point place your main piece of furniture in a way so that it will address the focal point. If it’s a living room then place your sofa or sectional so that it has a view of the focal point. Now bring in your area rug (if you have one), coffee table, loveseat and chairs, side tables, lamps, art and last is accessories. Viola! You’ve got a brand new room!
I promised my NOLA attendees that I would share some resources. Many of them may be helpful for you, too.
Tools of the Redesign Trade
- Furniture sliders – helps save your back when you rearrange furniture
- Picture hanging hooks
- Rolling tool box – perfect for carrying everything you need
- Great tools with a touch of style
ADE – Association of Design Education offers virtual & hands-on classes as well as many benefits for members
Check out their education affiliates to see if there’s a teacher near you
Space Planning Tools – great even for non designers to help put rooms in your home together
Space planning software
Magnetic space planning board
Ultra High End Retailers
The D&D Building in NYC is my go to place with over 120 showrooms
Some of my favs are Holly Hunt New York, Knoll Luxe, Stark & Patterson, Flynn & Martin (P, F, M – one company)
April 9th, 2013
Your closets are bursting at the seams yet you still do not have a thing to wear. These simple tips can help.
1. Define Your Current Style – Really take a step back and think about what style of clothing looks best on your body now. What do you feel good in? It may be time to let go of those ripped jeans from college or boho chic dresses. If you’re struggling to define your personal style and pull from your closet the 5 outfits that you wear the most. What is similar about these pieces? You can build from there.
2. Create “Donate or Giveaway” Piles – I find with my clients that it’s easier for them to let go of things if they have a place to donate to. Many people have emotional connections to clothing so knowing that it will go to a good home and be used again makes all the difference. Do some research on local donation centers before you start purging. There are lots of organizations in need of business clothing, sportswear and formal wear. Goodwill, Salvation Army and local churches are always excellent options.
3. Try Those Clothes On – Sometimes we hang onto things that do not even fit us. I understand that weight can fluctuate and you do not want to get rid of all of your clothes just because you are up a size, but be honest with yourself. Are you holding onto something that hasn’t fit you in years? You may get motivated, lose weight and be able to get back into your skinny jeans – I’m all for that but, how many articles of clothing from a smaller you do you really need to keep? I want you to live in the now and feel great about yourself right in this moment. A closet full of of stuff that doesn’t fit will not help your self esteem. Keep one or two things and let the rest go. Guess what? When you fit back into your skinny jeans, reward yourself by buying new clothes.
4. 2 Year Rule – This is really simple – if you have not worn something in at least the last 2 years let it go. This goes for things only worn once or even the stuff that still has price tags on it. No more saving an outfit for the perfect occasion. This is tough love time – say goodbye.
5. Ripped, Stained, Faded Or Needs Alterations – I use this rule with everything from kids toys to furniture – if it’s broken (ripped), stained or faded let it go. Now you may have a great fitting pair of faded jeans that you love – keep those. Faded wool coat – bye bye. What about that pile of clothes that needs some new buttons, zippers or alterations? How long has it been in that condition? If it’s 2 years then out it goes. If it’s less then try it on to make sure it still fits and you like the way you look & feel in it. Then think about the cost to have everything fixed. If you do not love it or will not wear it then add to donation or clothing recycling pile.
6. Organize By Color or Casual vs. Dressy – There are lots of different ways to organize your closet once the purge and sort are complete. You can group like items together like all capri pants, dress pants, jeans, etc. You can put all casual clothing toward the front of your closet and work/dressy clothing toward the back (or vice verse). I’m a huge fan of organizing by color. In my own closet I begin with my white shirts. I place all camisoles or sleeveless shirts 1st, then short sleeve white shirts and then long sleeve white shirts next. Within each color category I put casual 1st and then dressy next. I work my way through the rainbow.
7. Get Some New Closet Accessories – No more wire hangers! Invest in some nice hangers and other accessories like shelf dividers if you fold jeans or sweaters. Get something to hold your belts. Come up with storage solutions for your purses and scarves. Invest in some closet organization tools after you do the purge and sort so you have a better idea of what you need.
Here’s an eye opening statistic – the average woman only wears 20% of the clothing in her closet on a regular basis. Keep that in mind during the purging process.
February 8th, 2013
by Financial Advisor Dan D’Ordine, CFP
It’s almost April 15th – do you know where your important financial documents are?
Do you know which of your financial documents are important, and which can be discarded? Are you standing on a pile of your documents as you read this? Then it’s time to get organized, and the only way to accomplish this is to do the following:
1) Know what documents you need to keep – and for how long,
2) Follow a reliable system of filing and organizing your documents,
3) Update and purge regularly (preferably annually).
Why do we need to keep what we keep? One word – TAXES. The IRS can audit your return for good faith errors for up to three years after the filing date. They have six years to challenge you for under reporting gross income by 25% or more. Keep any tax returns and supporting documentation\ for seven
years. After seven years, you can shred the supporting documents, but should keep
the tax return permanently.
Making the pile go away. The first step is to get organized, and file your documents so you can easily find them. I suggest using a filing cabinet, one
Pendaflex hanging file folder for each document category (as space requires).
Save space by NOT using manila file folders. Rather, separate sub-?categories of documents using paperclips and binder clips, like multiple life insurance policies in your Life Insurance folder. General categories can include Bank Accounts, Retirement
Accounts, Investment Accounts, Insurance (Life, Disability, Long-?term Care, Health,
Auto, Homeowners), Estate Documents, Credit Cards, etc. Utilities, phone, and cable
documents can be kept in one folder – only keep documents related to the account
opening and closing. There is no need to keep every utility bill!
What about backup copies of documents I need to keep forever? If
you’re storing all of your documents in a well-? organized filing cabinet, the documents are still vulnerable to fire and water damage. So, for really important items, keep additional copies in a location other than your home filing cabinet.
• With a family member: Storing a copy of important documents (estate documents, passport, real estate documents, and a list of all your accounts) with a family member is an effective method.
• Copy with your professionals: Store all estate documents as follows: Your Last Will and Testament with the Executor of your estate; the health care proxy and durable power of attorney with the person you’ve assigned; trust documents with your attorney and the Trustee; burial instructions with the person who will be managing that process. Copies can be kept with your financial
• Safe Deposit Box: A good solution, but remember that banks maintain extremely strict security standards, so if you opt to store any important documents here (wills, trusts, etc.), be sure to give another person access to the box as well, such as a spouse or trusted friend or relative. This is not a good place to store burial instructions, as there may not be enough time to access
the instructions from the bank prior to burial.
Remember, if you try the off-?site, multiple copy backup method, be extremely careful with version control. Remember that the only valid copy of your Will is the
original, signed, stapled copy.
Interested in working with Dan of DDO Advisory Services? You can contact him at (212) 836-4732 or dan@DDOadvisory.com
January 4th, 2013
Happy 2013! I do not know about you but I’m really looking forward to the new year. And I’m not going to freak out about the number 13, it’s going to be lucky. Do you have lots you want to accomplish this year? Me, too! Have you made your resolutions? So have I! Have you already jumped in feet first and began those resolutions? STOP!! Hold your horses!! I never begin my resolutions in the beginning of January. I know that may sound strange but keep on reading and I’ll tell you why & maybe you’ll agree with me.
36% Of All New Year Resolutions Are Abandoned Within 30 Days
Yup that’s the honest truth. And by the 6 month mark over 50 percent of people have called it quits on their resolutions. I’m pretty convinced that starting these new life habits; whether it’s to lose weight, quit smoking, or my personal favorite – get organized, should not be attempted in early January. Here’s why:
1. Many of us are still worn out from the holidays. I mean they JUST ended. We need some recovery time. Who wants to start exercising when what we may really need is a nap?
2. The Christmas tree is still up. At least it still is in my house since I’m waiting for my neighborhood’s annual mulch fest this weekend. You cannot begin anew with a sparkly tree staring you in the face.
3. Post holiday blues are still lingering. Yes, they do exist and it takes a couple of weeks to get over it.
4. We are just now getting back into our daily routines. Holiday parties, shopping/prepping/cooking, staying up late with the little kids, traveling, sleeping at relatives homes and no school for many days on end have thrown our daily sleeping, eating and exercise habits into a tailspin. My son just went back to school this Wednesday. We just finished all the left-overs tonight. I need a full week of normalcy to get back on track.
Right about now you’re probably thinking “OK Ms. Smartiepants. When should I begin my New Year quest for greatness?”
I’m a HUGE fan of easing yourself into it and making sure you are fully prepared both mentally and physically. Take the next week or so to realistically think about what you want to accomplish this year. Put it all down on paper. Be extremely detailed. Instead of saying “I want to get organized.” Be specific about exactly what that means to you and what area you want to start in. When will you accomplish each task? Write down dates next to these tasks to help keep you on track.
Do your research. Get books, look in magazines or YouTube to see just what accomplishing your resolution entails. Talk to friends that have done it and get tips. Seek out professional help if you really need it. Even just one session with a pro can make a big difference.
Once you have a step-by-step plan in place and you’ve given yourself a giant pep talk, then set a date on your calendar to begin. Don’t procrastinate. Begin no later than Valentine’s Day.
So here’s to 2013. With a bit of planning, I know your resolutions will become a reality. May everything you wish for come to you this year! You deserve it!!
December 7th, 2012
Everyone has lots on their plate. Whether you work in or out of the home, have kids or not, we have so many obligations. We’re volunteering, bettering ourselves, taking care of family. Then there’s the daily stuff like laundry, cooking, cleaning. Let’s add the holidays into the mix. What is suppose to be a happy time of the year can really end up feeling like a burden. I want to share time saving some tips to help bring the joy back. I don’t want you frazzled or rundown, ringing in New Year with saltines & ginger ale.
1. Create a Vision Statement for Holidays
What is the true meaning of the holiday for you and your family? What do you really want this holiday season to be about for you? Take some time to talk about this. Write down a detailed statement and post it where everyone can see it.
• It’s something that you can refer back to when the whirlwind begins to keep you on track/prevent you from over extending yourself.
• It good to work this out with your partner/family members so that you are on same page. You may be longing for a quieter more intimate holiday and they may want to party like a rock star.
2. Do Less – It’s ok to say no. This is key to help keep you from being frazzled.
• Daily chores – How can you make some of these easier for yourself? Cooking -use your crockpot, cook on one day and freeze some meals. Simplify. Trader Joe’s & other stores sell marinated chicken tenders, buy things like frozen veggie burgers or salmon patties which you grab from freezer and can cook quickly on stovetop. Hire someone to clean your place before your big party.
• Look at invites. Does this invitation fit within your vision statement if not decline.
• Some holiday parties you have to attend for political reasons like you business/work function. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend numerous hours there. If it’s something you dread than put in an hour or so & make plans for after. Book a reservation for a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Buy movie tickets in advance. Let the host know that you have a prior commitment – they don’t need to know that it’s watching Daniel Craig as James Bond.
“Do Less” – Buy less gifts.
• Large family – just purchase for kids, do a Secret Santa choose one person – buy one gift per family.
• Friends – rather than exchanging gifts put $$ towards a group dinner/night out.
• Go in on joint gifts with siblings for your parents. Do the same for your kid’s teachers.
3. Get a Holiday Calendar & share with family members
• Can be simple Google calendar or dry erase board type.
• 1st thing to add is some time for yourself. Couple of days in December for a 2 hrs each time. Get hair done, manicure – lots of functions to go to. Sit in a Starbucks & listen to music. This is your time to recharge.
• Next schedule family time to do fun holiday stuff. Can be an entire day on weekend or maybe it’s 4 or 5 hours if that’s all you can spare. This is to do some fun traditions like get & decorate your tree. Holiday movies together without feeling rushed. These are the things your kids will really remember about holidays.
• Pencil in all parties, school functions (with all household members). Add in travel dates, etc. Take a step back. Feeling overwhelmed? Time to decline some of those invites.
• And schedule in this:
4. My Big Fat Giant Prep Day – It can be just a few hours depending on where you shop. One day where you gather everything you can possibly need as far as;
• Wrapping & tissue paper, tape, bows/ribbons, stamps, holiday cards (making them then this is the day for it. )
• Gather boxes for shipping.
• Do an inventory 1st of what I already have.
• Everything goes together in one place – a box, bin or organizer.
• Why? Average person spend 4 hrs wrapping gifts. I think lots of that time is wasted looking for stuff you know you bought.
5. Gifts/shopping – Time savers
• Average person spends 10hrs shopping for gifts during the holidays.
• Instant time shaver – Tuesdays & Wednesdays are quietest during holiday season. Shop during lunch or if must use personal day before end of year take on of those days off. Combine it with some personal pampering.
• Find your stashed gifts and take an inventory.
• Make a list and check it twice – how you organize your shopping list is important.
- Start with general list (I do by family’s so I don’t forget anyone) List sizes, max budget and what they want
- Then I organize by store. My goal – shop at as few stores as possible.
- Have book with envelope attached & have store coupons in it, gift cards.
- Same goal even if shopping online – get all toys from same place to save on shipping. Online coupons codes listed.
- Try to do bulk of extended family in a couple of days- so you can spend a bit more time shopping for hubby/kids or other special people in your life.
November 21st, 2012
I often get asked by my clients, “How old does a child have to be to learn how to get organized?” I’m definitely not a child psychologist and I’m slightly biased, but start em’ as young as you can I say! How many moms out there have taken their tiny tots to a music class? No matter the age, there’s always a clean up song. All the children work together, even those just learning to walk, to put away instruments, scarves, costumes, etc.
I can only speak from my own experience so here goes – I bought my Monkey Boy baskets to slide under our sofa to hold books, trains & instruments when he was less than 2 years old. I didn’t put any picture labels on them, I just placed all like items together in the baskets. We’d sing a familiar clean-up song and work as a team. Within a few months he could do it with minimal help. Now he can pretty much put everything exactly where it belongs. In fact, sometimes he’ll correct me if I’m doing it wrong.
We also started purging toys before his birthday and Christmas. At first, he wasn’t involved at all and never noticed when things went AWOL. That changed a couple of years ago so the process got a bit more difficult. Still, we went on with it. I let him decide which items need to go. I ask questions like, do you still like this or want to play with it? My rules are simple; if it’s broken beyond repair or no longer functions or is missing key pieces, we must say goodbye, otherwise it’s Monkey boy’s choice to make.
A couple of nights ago we were making our Santa list. Yup it’s early, but I’ve been holding the kid off since September, so I gave in. Monkey Boy was very specific with his wants and everything on that list is giant in size. Mondo, swirly race tracks. Mammoth Thomas Train Adventure Worlds. I let him know that we really do not have room for tons of large things in our NYC flat. “Well, let’s make some room!” he said. And then he was off.
He opened his first toy box and started the purge completely on his own. I heard things like “Nah, don’t play with this anymore..This is for babies…This one is B-O-R-I-N-G.” He zoomed onto his second toy box in his bedroom. Then he hit under his bed, all of his books, his bath toys and finally the baskets under the sofa. He was moving so fast sorting into his keep or donate pile that I could barely keep up. This boy was on a mission. A mission involving dreams of new humongous toys.
Monkey Boy's Donate Pile
Out With The Old
He piled everything that he was letting go of on a chair and stood back to evaluate. “Mommy, let’s find more things to say goodbye to.” At that point I stepped in and stopped the purging. I didn’t want him to have regrets. We placed everything into bags and just in case he changed his mind about something, I left them on a chair in our living room for a few days. Monkey Boy did not change his mind. In fact, he was quite proud of everything he was giving away and asked when we were going to donate them to the kids without lots of toys. We took a trip to do just that yesterday.
O.K. Yes, I’m a proud mama. Proud that he’s not too attached to all things (just all things Thomas Train) and that he likes to give to those less fortunate. There’s been lots of donating in our house and neighborhood since Hurricane Sandy and seeing that must have helped. I’m not a child expert by any means. I don’t even play one on TV, but I think that if you start them young enough, organizing and letting go of items can become a positive habit. It can translate into less bickering about cleaning rooms, better time management skills and less of a chance they’ll end up on an episode of Hoarders. All good things.
October 22nd, 2012
There have been plenty of songs written about the first day of the work week and none of them are overly joyful. “Monday Monday, can’t trust that day.” or my favorite, “It’s just another manic Monday. I wish it were Sunday cause that’s my funday.”
Lots of us do not look forward to Mondays. We’ve got to get ourselves to work, the kids off to school and all of it in a short amount of time. In Mondays defense, Sunday is a pretty tough day to follow. Who doesn’t love getting the Sunday paper and leisurely reading it in bed will sipping on a cup of tea? OK. I haven’t done that in over 4 years since my beautiful Monkey Boy was born, but I can still reminisce about it. I actually spent this past Sunday with a client, but even when I have to work on the last day of the weekend, it has a different feel. It’s more relaxed and serene. How can we make Mondays feel less like the sucky first day of the week that it is? Here are my 5 Tips to Kick Monday’s Butt!
1. No News or Facebook in the A.M. Music Instead
I know this is tough. I too have to resist the urge to jump on FB or my favorite news site first thing Monday morning, but do we really need to read negative stuff bright and early? And who needs to read numerous posts on our newsfeed about hating the first day of the work week? Instead pop in your earplugs and listen to something that makes you feel good.
2. Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To
Plan or schedule something for Monday so you do not dread the entire day. It can be lunch or a phone/Skype call with a friend. Need a quick manicure? Make it a Monday tradition. Are you trying to watch what you eat? Save some calories so that you can have a Monday treat.
3. Do It At Night To Wake Up Bright
This has always been one of my favorite tips to start the work week off on a happy note. Take 15 minutes or less on Sunday to get ready for Monday. Pack your (or the kids) lunches, lay out clothes, or pack work/school bags. Let the entire family help with this. And I swear doing just one or two of these things the night before will save on the Monday morning chaos.
Did you think I meant something else when you read the title? That can’t hurt either;)
4. The 10 Minute Sunday Night Chill
I know that weekends can be simply loaded with activities, chores and errands. Everyone needs a little bit of time to mentality prepare for the start of the work week so take 10 minutes to chill on Sunday. Do whatever works for you. Take a short walk, sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed. Once Monkey Boy is asleep (and after I’ve watched The Walking Dead), I get into bed and just breathe deeply for 10 minutes.
5. Catch Some Extra ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ’s The Night Before
I know that this is not always easy to do if you have kids but it can make a big difference on Monday. Get to bed even just 1 hour earlier than usual on Sunday night. The extra sleep will make a huge difference once that alarm goes off the next morning. Try not to hit that snooze button. When the alarm clock buzzes get on up. Nothing makes Mondays stink more than being late and having to rush around.
October 16th, 2012
When I was a kid my mom often had garage sales. I love a good yard/garage sale to this day, but since I live in NYC and lack both a yard and a garage, flea markets are king. It’s takes a bit of planning to get a spot at your local flea market. You have to sign up months in advance and purchase a spot. Then you’ve got to load up your car & lug everything including your tables, but I did just that this past Sunday morning.
I was lucky to be placed next to an expert flea marketer. It’s what she does to earn a living. She spends her weekends all over the Big Apple selling her wares and she was pretty generous with her tricks of the trade.
Here Are Ms. Flea Marketer’s 7 Surefire Tips
– Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
I’m not just talking about making and posting signs or putting an ad in a local paper or Craig’s List. Ms. Flea Marketer says, “Tell everyone you know.” Put it on your FB page, email family, friends and neighbors and post it on your neighborhood family or school listserves.
– Don’t Go It Alone
Group sales draw in larger crowds so talk with your neighbors and see if you can get them to have a sale on the same day. Why not have a block yard sale?
- It’s All In The Display
Cover your tables with something like a nice sheet or inexpensive table cloth. Make sure items are clean. Display items in a way that shows them off in a positive light. Hang or neatly fold clothing ala Gap-style. Set up books on an old bookshelf. Open items and set them up. Ms. Flea Marketer had an artificial Christmas tree to sell. It was brand new and in the box. It wasn’t moving so she set it up and put a few ornaments on it and within 20 minutes it sold. And remember as things sell you’ll have to adjust & reorganize your tables to keep them looking good.
– Use Something To Draw Them In
Place highly desirable or eye catching items toward the front of your table or near the street. I placed an almost new, shiny Radio Flyer bike in front of my table. Many people stopped to look at it and my stuff because of it. Ms. Flea Marketer placed bins with miscellaneous kids toys in front of her tables. Every child that walked by stopped to dig through so their parents stopped too – right in front of her tables.
– Be Friendly & Smile
This one may seem obvious but we’ve all been to sales where we’re not acknowledged or our presence seems to bother the seller. Smile, say hello and make some small talk. Ms. Flea Marketer was a master at it and that kept people looking at her wares for a longer stretch of time.
– Electronics – Make It Easy For Customer Or Don’t Sell Them
Have an extension cord handy or batteries to test all electronics. No one wants to give you money for something just because you say it works. They need to see it operate for themselves.
– Be Willing To Negotiate Price
Is your main purpose to make money, get rid of junk or both? Remember this a yard sale & people are looking for bargains, so if you have very high quality/priced items maybe eBay or Craig’s List would be a better venue. Ms. Flea Marketer gave prices but if people balked she’d ask, “What do you think a fair price would be?” Most of the time people came in just a couple of bucks below her asking price. Ms. Flea Marketer told me, “People need to feel like they have some control and that they just scored a deal so sell things for a couple of dollars less than asking price.”
October 5th, 2012
I shared these tips with the ever delightful Colin Lively on his weekly radio show. It was my first radio gig but Colin’s charm instantly put me at ease. I will pass along the link to the recorded version once I receive it.
These 6 tips are truly simple to implement and very inexpensive. Some will cost you nothing & even help save some cash.
1. Stop Paper From Flowing Into Your Home
– If you pay bills online make sure you sign up for paperless billing.
– Are you months behind on your magazines? Cancel those subscriptions.
– Stop unsolicited catalogs go to https://www.catalogchoice.org
– Stop unsolicited mail like credit card offers. Opt out for 5 years or permanently. 1-888-5 OPT OUT or https://www.optoutprescreen.com
2. Create An Entryway Drop Station
This will prevent things like shoes and backpacks from ending up all over the house.
– Use simple hooks to hang book & work bags
– Get a storage bench with storage underneath
– If you have a closet in your entryway make sure it works for the whole family. If all it has is a hanging rod consider reconfiguring it by putting up shelves and some hanging space. Get a basket for each family member to use for keys, sunglasses, hats, scarves, etc.
3. Stop Ignoring Prime Organizing Real Estate
The inside of non-sliding closet doors or back of bedroom doors is usually wasted space.
– There are all kinds of inexpensive over-the-door organizing products to maximize this space.
– Hang purses, shoes baseball hats and jewelry inside or on the back of your doors.
– Pocket over-the-door shoe bags are not just for shoes. Use it inside of a linen closet for hand towels, facecloths or toiletries. Use it in your entryway closet as a drop station for sunscreen & bug spray in the summertime and hats, gloves & scarves in the winter.
4. Make a Gadget Hangout Center
– Find one place to plug in & charge all small electronics like cell phones, laptops, iPads, etc.
– This will prevent you from leaving the house without one of your gadgets.
– Repurpose a piece of furniture to become your charging station. An old secretary or chest of drawers can work perfectly for this use.
– If your gadget hangout center can be placed in your entryway drop station then that’s a bonus.
5. Every Person Has A Different Organizing Personality
This is important because it can really help stop the bickering with kids, spouses, roommates, etc.
– You may be great at keeping up a filing systems or hanging clothing in a closet but for others in your household this may be foreign.
– Right-brain types are visual orientated. They tend to think in images rather than words. They focus on big picture rather than details and can be spontaneous.
– Left-brain types think in words. They are list makers, do advance planning & think in a linear way.
– Keep this different brain types in mind when trying to set up an organizational system for someone else.
6. Do It At Night To Wake Up Bright
I know what you’re thinking but that’s not what I’m talking about!
– The more prep you can do the night before the easier your morning will go
– Pack lunches for the kids.
– Put homework and books back in backpacks and place in the entryway drop station.
– Put together outfits for school and/or work the night before.
– If putting clothing together every weeknight seems overwhelming, take 15 minutes on Sunday and get your outfits together for the entire week.
September 7th, 2012
We made it through the first day of school. Phew. Our kids were sent on their way with new backpacks, supplies and clothing. September is a fresh start not just for your kids with school, but also for yourself. I know how difficult it is to balance work, kids, kid’s school activities, their non-school activities and everything in between. Wouldn’t it be nice to start your weekdays with less stress, yelling, and general anxiousness? I’m sharing some tips that I use with all the families that I work with to help ease some of that daily chaos.
Create a drop station right in your entryway
Kids need a place to dump their things or else they’ll end up scattered throughout the house. It can be as simple as a basket per child to place backpacks, umbrellas, hats, gloves, etc.
If you have a closet in your entryway, you can place the baskets on the floor or put up shelves.
Utilize the inside of your entryway closet doors. I’m a huge fan of over-the-door plastic pocket organizers. They can hold so much more than shoes. Use them for your kids hats, gloves, scarves, small umbrellas, sunglasses, etc.
Get your kids in the habit of pulling out important notices, permission slips or artwork that you need to view. Wall mounted magazine racks or baskets are a great place for this.
Create a homework station
It doesn’t matter if your kids have their own desks or if they work at the kitchen table, they need supplies at hand. It will help save time and prevent distractions.
Create a simple homework caddy to house pens, pencils, scissors, glue, workbooks or anything else they use regularly.
You can use a bucket with handles or caddy intended for cleaning supplies. You can go with a tote bag with pockets and compartments or a small box. Keep it portable for easy movement and clean-up.
Stock up on supplies while they are still on sale. Your kids will use them at home throughout the year. Plus you’ll have a head start on those January school supply lists.
Give your kids a nightly maintenance schedule
I’ve said it before, there is no magic fairy who will come in and pick up after your family. Organization takes daily practice to become a habit just like brushing your teeth. This does not have to be time consuming. I give all of my clients a brief nightly maintenance schedule. It takes 10 minutes or less.
Keep it brief and specific. Place all books and supplies in your backpack. Put all dirty clothes in the hamper. Pack any gym or sports clothing that you need and leave it in the entryway drop station…. You get the point.
Do it at night to wake up bright
The more prep you can do the night before the better your mornings will go. What did you think I was talking about?!
I know that after work, making dinner, getting homework and baths done you are spent, but take the extra 10 minutes at night to help have a smoother morning.
Pack lunches, fill water bottles and have them waiting in the fridge. You can get your kids in on the act too. Let them gather the snacks and fruit.
Have all backpacks with books and important papers zipped up and ready to go in your entryway.
Keep a separate bag to house athletic clothes or things needed for after school activities also ready the night before class.
Let your kids choose their outfits the night before school and place them on a hanger. I have a client that picks out an entire week’s worth of clothes for each child every Sunday night. She swears that this simple step has eased her morning stress substantially.
Here are some links to some of my favorite things to help keep you & your family organized throughout the year.
To house important school papers in your entryway drop station
Perfect for gloves, hats and accessories in entryway
Great homework caddy
Days of the week hangers for school outfits