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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

February Freedom

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Did You Know…?? February 1st is observed as National Freedom Day.  On this day in 1865 President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery.  This Amendment was ratified on December 18th, 1865.

I am amazed that a separate amendment was needed to declare that men and women who came from another continent and who had a different color of skin were people who merited the freedoms our U.S. Constitution guarantees to “every man”.  Then another amendment giving women the right to vote as “equals” to men was not ratified until August 26, 1920 after a 72 year struggle! Wow!

Today I am standing, rejoicing in the freedom I enjoy as a result of tremendous sacrifice by so many others – military, civilian, parent, child, man and woman. Why, then, do I not always feel free?

In my life, the answer goes like this: “I have met the enemy and he is… Me!”  Perhaps you have experienced your world constricting and choking you as well.

  • You have a hard time saying, “No”, so volunteer for more than you can do well and on time.
  • The possessions you own really possess you in maintenance, repair, and space consumed.
  • Paper piles up faster than you can sort and make decisions on.
  • You fill your days until there is hardly time to breathe between the “must do’s”.
  • Mind clutter resulting from physical clutter around you is paralyzing; making it impossible to know where to start, what to do next.
  • You feel defeated in one area of physical well-being – health, finances – and it affects you daily.
  • Tyranny of the urgent crowds out the freedom you want to enjoy and use to make a difference.

The ironic thing is, to enjoy more freedom we have to impose limits… on ourselves!

To make this practical, choose one area you struggle with and feel stuck in:

  1. Physical surroundings
  2. Time schedule
  3. Health
  4. Finances
  5. Information management (paper or online)
  6. Other

As your personal organizer, I challenge you to write down 10 enemy actions you habitually commit in this area.

Now, next to each of your 10 self-defeating actions, write a limit you will impose as MANAGER OF (your name)’S LIFE. If a limit doesn’t make sense, name the exact opposite action to perform as your goal.

For example, the area you feel stuck in is Health, and specifically lack of exercise. A self-defeating action you recognize is spending more time driving than walking. You purpose as MANAGER to park at the far end of the lot at work so you will traverse that distance at least 4 times per day.

I will ask you to limit yourself to working only on that one area for the next month. Then take your freedom pulse again.

Email me and ask me what my area is. Accountability is a good thing!

Product Review: Urban Eco Trash Can

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I do not have a good poker face.

So, when I opened my Christmas present from my oldest daughter, I know my face showed exactly what I was thinking. “You’ve got to be kidding! My daughter just gave me a trash can for a present!”

Sarah was quick to say, “I know it’s a trash can, Mom, but I know you of all people will appreciate how it works.”

Once I saw how the molded plastic arms easily store and use plastic grocery bags for quick disposal, I was thrilled and want to share the website where you can get one (or more) for yourself.

This Urban Eco Trash Can comes in either black or lime green.

To store the bags, place handles over the side arms. Then pull up and hook the handles over the inner tab to form a new liner. I love both ease of use and the excellent way to reuse those grocery bags.

Sad to be excited about a trash can, isn’t it? I do love my present, Sarah!

Hope you had a joyous holiday!

Book Review: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life

Friday, September 16th, 2011

I am a big fan of Julie Morgenstern’s books. She has a way of boiling down a hairy problem to the essentials and then providing a step-by-step process for walking a person through the solution.

Julie’s original work Organizing From the Inside Out, is a great place to start if you want to do DIY organizing. I use this book as a basic text for the group program “Clutter Management” offered twice a year.

Julie’s latest offering, SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, is a timely message for those of us realizing there is more to life than status, things, or even security. We yearn to make a difference, to become a force for change, to be light in a dark world.

This answer to the question “What is SHED?” from Chapter One will give you some insight into how this book can impact your future:

SHED is a transformative process for letting go of things that represent the past so you can grow and move forward. The four steps of SHED (Separate the treasures, Heave the Trash, Embrace Your Identity, Drive Yourself Forward) provide a framework for proactively managing change, transition, and the feeling of being stuck and unsure. By releasing the defunct, extraneous, and burdensome objects and obligations that are weighing you down, you create the space to discover what’s next and gather the energy and courage to move forward.

I have not finished the book. This is not one to rush through, but to thoughtfully and actively immerse yourself in the process as you go. I heartily recommend this read!

Advantages to Downsizing BEFORE You Have to Move

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Simplicity is the answer to chaos.

Whether you intend to downsize your residence or to streamline your current space, there are benefits in starting now. These are four great advantages to downsizing possessions BEFORE you have to move:

1. By letting go, you actually save money!

When you accumulate for years without weeding out less-used possessions, it becomes very difficult to keep track of where you have stashed things. Often that means buying a 2nd item when you know you have one somewhere.
Eventually you will max out on available storage. Then what? You may decide to rent a storage shed. That can mean hundreds of dollars per year spent on storing “stuff’” you never use.

2. You enjoy increased health and safety

When a house is filled to overflowing, floor space slowly disappears. Furniture, piles of papers, magazines, boxes and bags can slowly narrow walkways and stairs. Emergency workers are adamant that clear walkways and stairs are a must for safety.
The other hazard of a cluttered home is that effective cleaning is impossible. Your home becomes a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew as the dust and dirt collects. You will breathe easier – literally! – once the excess is gone and regular cleaning is restored.

3. You control the process

When you are able to downsize your possessions over time, valuables won’t be overlooked and discarded by helpers. You will be the one choosing what to keep, give, sell, and donate. If you have a charity you feel strongly about, you will know your donations are helping that cause.

True story: A friend who is a busy business owner gave in to her children’s desire to de-clutter her home. The children rented a dumpster and she watched them enthusiastically pitch many of her recently deceased mother’s possessions. Fine jewelry considered “only Grandma’s baubles” were some of the “junk” that was not worth keeping in their eyes.

When no deadline is looming, there is no time crunch. You can attack each room one at a time and at your own pace. Also, you are able to choose who will value precious objects and gift accordingly.

Two practical suggestions about gifting to relatives or friends:

  • Ask first if they would truly like to have that object.
  • Give treasures away NOW so you can experience the joy it gives both to you and to the receiver!

4. You give relief to your family

Sorting through 20+ years of accumulated belongings is a daunting process. That is why we put it off! Yes, downsizing possessions before it is absolutely necessary takes a supreme act of the will. Removing that burden from loved ones to face later is truly a gift of selflessness!

True Story: I was surprised when at age 72 my mom had already signed for an apartment in an extended care facility. She sold the family home and contacted her five children asking them to come take things that were meaningful to them. Whatever else she would not use in her one bedroom apartment was donated to charity.
I became convinced over time that the move added years and quality to my mother’s life. However, I did not know what a gift my mother had given us (her children) until her death. My sister and I were able to empty her 1 bedroom apartment in less than 6 hours. We were spared much physical and emotional pain as a result.

Downsizing now can also be a practical way to pass along a living family heritage. You know the stories behind the objects that make their history come alive. Writing down the stories is an even better way to ensure they survive intact.

Do you feel light and free of spirit or weighed down by too much “stuff”? What would you do with the time and money you can save by letting go of possessions you neither use nor love?

Leave me a note on my blog in the comment section below to let me know where you stand in the simplifying process. I love hearing from you.

ThuRsday Recycle and Reuse: Fabric, Sewing Supplies

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

ThuRs Recycle and Reuse

I like the bumper sticker that reads, “She who dies with the most fabric wins!”  I want to do more quilting in my golden years. Quilters, embroidery artists, and fabric crafters know you have to have a good “stash” for your palette.

But, what do you do when you have moved on to another passion (organizing, grandchildren, coaching, etc.) and want to let someone else benefit from your bounty? To whom can you donate such a wonderful collection of fabric and sewing notions?

These are three worthy organizations that will use donations of fabric to make quilts for injured, hurting or needy folks:

Columbus Area Linus Project

This organization’s mission is “to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers’.”

The Peanuts cartoon creator Charles Schulz approved the use of his lovable character in the cause of providing security blankets for needy children. Each blanket is marked with a Linus tag before it is given to a child.

Donations welcomed include:  washable cotton fabric, flannel or polar fleece, batting, yarn, thread, stamps, cash and gift certificates to fabric and craft stores.

Contact: Amy                         Chapter Website
(614) 327-1041                  [email protected]

Columbus Metropolitan Quilters

CMP members donate their time in the program “Kids Quilts”, by making and distributing baby quilts for the Columbus Board of Health. The CBH provides these “blankets of love” to a visiting nurse program and to the Ohio Health Community Outreach, a mobile unit that goes to schools to provide obstetric care for teenage mothers.

The quilts also make their way to infants who are considered at risk due to HIV infection, a mother’s alcohol or drug abuse while pregnant, or abandonment.

For more information about Kid Quilts or to donate your time or fabric, please contact Rita Herzberger, 614-213-3893.

Quintessential Quilters Guild

QQ has an ongoing relationship with “Choices“, a local women’s domestic abuse shelter. Since 1995, over 130 quilts have been made and given to individuals who seek this shelter’s assistance.

QQ also participates in the Quilt of Valor (QOV) program.  “The mission of the QOV Foundation is to cover ALL war wounded and injured service members and veterans from the War on Terror whether physical and/or psychological wounds with Wartime Quilts called Quilts of Valor.”

Email Quintessential Quilters with questions about how to help.

Donating your extra fabric and/or sewing supplies to any of these Central Ohio groups is a great use of the resources you no longer need or use.

Victory! Purged Clothes Lead to Organized Closet

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Recently I received this wonderful email from a friend and O4L reader. With her permission, I am letting you read over my shoulder. I hope you are encouraged and inspired to make needed changes in your life.

Dear Martha,

Here’s a praise report and some good [news] about how the LORD has given me the needed desire and encouragement to purge and organize my clothes and closet.

I had wanted to lose weight to be healthy and The LORD led me to a ‘diet plan’ that has really made a big difference.  I am down 22 lbs. and have reached my goal with 2 lbs to spare. In the meantime - the lost pounds and inches – meant lots of my clothes needed to go -  He has  given me a new mindset -  that this is the healthy weight for me and I’m making the lifestyle change to stay within two pounds of it.

So I no longer feel the need to save the larger sizes “just in case”. When I lost the first 10- or 11 pounds I gave away some of my ” too big for me but in good shape” clothing to friends and family.  It was a joy to pass things on to others (who were blessed) and to have less “stuff” cluttering up my closet.

Then two days ago – after losing this final 11 lbs - I tried on every piece of clothing I own – summer - winter – all of it and I’m actually purging at least 2/3 of my wardrobe!!

We have always had limited closet space and even though I’m not one to buy tons of clothes -I did save old ones for WAY too long and  I have had to use the  spare bedroom closet to store seasonal clothing.

Both the spare bedroom closet and our closet are so organized now. I  purged every part – old shoes – purses – belts you name it – WOW what a euphoric feeling on all fronts !!!  Also I’ve done what you’ve mentioned and used the summer sales to buy a few ‘nice replacement items’ in the new sizes – but only a few.

I still have to find homes for some of the clothing I think friends might like – but all that is decent and not something specifically thought of for individuals  is boxed up and in my car to be donated.

YOUR message is timely and I’m blessed by God’s grace to make healthy changes which I know are improving our quality of life.   MOVING Forward into a lifestyle of organization.  Thanks for your help and inspiration.

Blessings, Cyndy