October, 2012

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More Space, Less Filling!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

One reason for clutter is that we have too much stuff and too littlespace. Is the lack of space the real problem?

If you agree to live in one of the new micro-unit dwellings that Mayor Bloomberg is proposing for New York City – 300 square feet of livingspace - you could truly claim a small space!

Most of us here in the U.S. have plenty of room for the essentials – what we need to live. We even have room for beauty to feed our soul – art, fabric touches, pops of color.


So, what is the rest of the stuff we have crammed into our homes until we cannot relax? As you look around, do you see…

  1. Inherited items valued by someone else? Ask yourself “Am I the owner this item deserves?” Often the answer is NO, the item needs someone who will enjoy ownership, rather than seeing it as a burden.
  2. Things that remind you of the past? If the reminder is a good one, find a way to keep the memory (take a picture) but lose the thing. Bad memory – let it go.
  3. Information you want to chew on? This may be in newspapers, magazines, or books. However, you know you can’t read it all. Make a rule for how long you will keep each item: newspapers must go out on Sunday; take magazines to your DR’s office after 2 months. Choose to read books on a Kindle or borrow from the library so books don’t stack up.
  4. Projects you have started but never complete? Find someone who loves that activity and let him finish it
  5. Lots of those things you love? That may be clothes, knick-knacks, dolls, stuffed animals, or CD’s, whatever. If it makes you happy and you have a place to store it, keep it all. If not start now to pare down your collection.

At some point, too many possessions cannot be tamed even with the best Rubbermaid organizers. Your home can be a calm retreat oncemore as you gift those items you don’t need or love to someone else. Let’s go for: More Space, Less Filling It!!



Hidden Bed and Secret Doorways

Friday, October 12th, 2012

If I weren’t still a nomad, I would love to put one of these dual-use products in my home:

Hidden Bed - Desk that instantly converts to usable twin bed and back again. This is a wonderful way to maximize space in a child’s bedroom or office/guest room.

Secret Doorway - Turn the wasted wall space of a closet opening into a bookshelf.

Watch this video that explains these two products, now on display at the Organized Home Remodeling showroom, 885 W. 5th Ave, Columbus, OH.



Hidden Bed
Hidden Bed
Secret Doorway

Book, Friend, Foe?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Don’t you love checking out the bookshelves when you visit a home? The books that make the cut to “keepers” tell you a lot about their owner. When you recognize a book you love, there is an immediate feeling of connection to the other person! That makes for a great conversation starter.

With the Kindle and Nook, the day may come when we can’t be nosy anymore! Until then, you may struggle as I do with letting go of books you have collected along the way.

The approach I use at home and with clients is from Judith Kolberg’s book Conquering Chronic Disorganization. She advocates sorting books into three piles:

  1. Best Friends – Those books you love, refer to often, or plan on reading again (and again) are definite keepers.
  2. Acquaintances – These are the books you enjoyed at one time, but have no ongoing desire to revisit. Let a friend enjoy these?
  3. Strangers – Non-fiction you read half-way; fiction that one reading was enough. You have no problem saying goodbye and letting these go to another owner.

For book lovers, this personification of inanimate objects makes perfect sense!

Options for the books you don’t keep:

  • Share with friends
  • Sell at Half-Price Books
  • Donate to Better World Books   (shipping is prepaid)
  • In Columbus, OH area, call Rodger Williams of Crestview Books. He comes to you, makes an offer, then carts away the books you no longer need.

Now you are ready to put your friends back on your newly cleared shelves. Organize by size, subject matter, or author. A designer friend suggests shelving like-colored jackets as a group. Add photos or colorful accent pieces for eye appeal. Nice!