December, 2012 browsing by month


Get Over It

Monday, December 24th, 2012

One of my wonderful organizing clients said to me yesterday, “Martha, I’m afraid I have regressed and don’t really know where I want to start today.”

My answer? “That’s life.”

We are all in the same boat. At the close of the year, we are especially prone to list all the projects we did not complete… again! We can think of so many “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s”. Let me give you an example.

Before I began working fulltime as an organizer, I joined a quilting guild. I was all excited and more so when I won nine Christmas blocks in a raffle. I was going to make such a neat wall hanging! It was too close to the actual holiday to get it done. Had to put the blocks and my plans away.

The next year, I got the blocks out, and noticed a couple of the blocks were not put together as well as I would like. I took them apart and repaired the errors.

The year following, I actually charted the layout and bought material for sashing and borders:


After storing the parts in my closet for several years, I finally thought,
this is ridiculous! I simplified the design, cut the sashing and borders, and sewed the top together.


The next year I basted the sandwich: top, quilt batting, and back. I am ready to quilt… any time now. Ha!

We all have regrets and wish we had done things differently. The best thing we can do right now, rather than “shoulding” all over ourselves, is to take a step back and evaluate what went right.
What is one intention that yielded results you feel good about?
Whom did you take that bit of extra time to encourage?
Where did you make progress where you never did before?
How were you able to use your talents and abilities to make a difference?
For those things that didn’t get done,
just get over it!

Even better, decide: How big a priority is it? Who can help make it less of a mountain?
Where do you want to go from here? Then make a plan.

This is mine. I have determined that I can reasonably hand quilt one block a month. That will put me ready to bind edges in October. Then I will finally be done – less than one year from now. Keep me accountable? I’m happy to do the same for you. :)

Holiday Storage Hints

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Store glass ornaments safely with one of these custom drawer inserts:





Diamond Drawer Organizer, $9.99 online from


Honeycomb Storage system by Real Simple available from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Watch video.

With the proper containers, you unzip and put the wreath and tree in place.


Treekeeper storage bag - $119.00


Wreath storage bag - $19.99 – $29.99




Using the right storage saves wear and tear on your décor and on YOU!

It’s Beginning to Look Like a Huge Mess

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

It’s December. Did you use the weekend after Thanksgiving to take down Fall and Thanksgiving decorations ? Are you contemplating what Christmas/Hanukkah decorating to do, or are you done already?


Whatever your answer, this is the perfect time to organize both fall/Thanksgiving décor and winter holiday trappings.


I like to ask the 3 E’s when approaching a task:

  1. Is it efficient? – Am I using a method that takes the least amount of time, effort and resources?
  2. Is it effective? – Is the job done right the first time?
  3. Is it easy? -Am I making it harder than it needs to be? Is there any way I can simplify with pleasing results?

Let’s keep these goals in mind while purging and organizing fall and winter décor.


1.  Efficiency (Check off as you complete.)

  • NOW, when you are taking down fall décor to store and BEFORE you put up Christmas decorations is the best time to look at what you actually use. Take time NOW to toss anything that is broken or tattered. Donate or sell the items that no longer fit your style or that you simply haven’t used in the past 2 seasons.
  • As you pack the box with autumn goodies, make a list of “must haves” for next year and look for those items while on sale. Leave the box open for 1 week, then put your remaining list on top before sealing and storing. You will know what to purchase next year.

2.  Effectiveness

  • Group together the winter decorations for each room, area, or tree.
  • Be sure you have all the tools and hanging hardware before you get started. Also, plug in all light strings to see if they work BEFORE hanging.
  • As you work on decorating one area at a time, make a list of anything you are missing and make one trip out to get those items.

3.  Ease of completion


  • Take your blood pressure reading. Are you stressed and uptight because decorating is so hard/takes too much time/no one will help? If so, that is a good indication that you are making it too hard.
  • Ask this question, “Who am I really trying to please or impress?” and one more, “What could I eliminate to make this process simpler?” Your peace of mind and relationships with family and friends are most important.

You can use the 3 E’s to examine other holiday activities you do each year like baking, writing Christmas letters, or buying gifts. Let’s make holidays a fun and relaxing time again. Plan simple treats for body and soul!