Sunday, March 25, 2012


Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.  A.A. Milne
Flowers from Pinterest

 There are a lot of organizing blogs and web sites out there but I decided to start this one to help me get MYSELF back on the organizing track as well as share some things that have helped me be more organized over the years. I've kind of yo-yo'd back and forth like a diet with being organized. I was the MOST organized when my kids were growing up because I felt I HAD to be to maintain my sanity with all the busyness of an active household!
 But if I go back even further I was a very orderly little girl. My room was ALWAYS neat and organized. I made my bed before I  even got out of it! I had a happy, secure childhood and I think that my desire to keep things in my personal little world happy and ordered reflected that.

 My disorganized years were:  when the kids had moved out and I was working full time ( more about THAT crazy lifestyle later );  and when my husband retired and we "relaxed" a bit too much. Having run the gamut of the organizing cycle, I've learned some things that I'd like to share about the benefits and thus the JOY of being organized:


1) Being organized brings CALM, SERENITY, and BEAUTY to your home.
2) Being organized FLOWS OVER into other areas of your life including your finances.
3) Being organized helps you be more IN CONTROL of your life.
4) Being organized gives you a lot MORE TIME to do what you want.
5) Being organized helps you and your family FEEL HAPPIER  and MORE SECURE.
6) Being organized helps you to REMEMBER important things.
7) Being organized helps you live more IN THE PRESENT MOMENT.
8) Being organized helps you to ENJOY LIFE more.
9) Being organized brings ORDER to your life
10 ) Being organized helps you APPRECIATE the DETAILS and LOVELY things in life.
Flowers from Pinterest

With a list like that of the good things that organizing can bring, how can anyone NOT want to get organized.  Right?  But wait... I'll not only be sharing  about being organized in your home, car, and yard ( the SPACES in your life )  but bringing ORDER to your WHOLE LIFE including your time and your finances. But wait... ( OK now I'm sounding like those TV commercials ) I'll also be sharing how to know when to LET GO and RELAX and ENJOY your life and home! Can you REALLY have it ALL? YOU BETCHA!

One of the" themes" that will be running through my blog here is to always add beauty to your home and life. So I've added some spring flowers here for you to enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012


From Martha
I'm a Gramma now  but I'm still always looking for great organizational ideas for kids rooms. Since I have the reputation for being the "Organizing Gramma" my granddaughters like to have me over from time to time to help them organize their rooms. I think they just want to get some extra help in  cleaning their rooms but I love to do it. So I'm always on the lookout for great ideas. They both have a lot of books so this project from Martha Stewart caught my eye. This one shows items for a little boy  but I think this still would work for older granddaughters as they can put magazines in them as well as books and cute treasures that are important to them.
It also looks "doable" for a Dad and Grampa who are "not-so-handy-handymen". My husband would LOVE to be handy but alas,  he does not have the natural talents that his "oh-so-handy" Father had.

 Once he was trying to fix our bathtub faucet and he felt very accomplished at being able to unscrew the faucet of the tub. Unfortunately he had forgotten to turn off the water and it was like opening a fire hydrant! The water shot out of the now "hole in the wall" with such force that it blasted straight  ahead until it hit the wall on the other side of the tub. Before he could find the place in the basement to turn off the water, we had water spilling out of the bathroom and into the hall. You'd think it would have gone down the tub drain but the force  of the water caused it to blast onto the wall and then flow to the floor and out into the hall! It was a MESS! But after the water was turned off and most of the floor mopped up we sat down and laughed until we cried!  It really looked like something you'd see on a comedy sit-com. My husband decided , rightly so, that this would be his LAST "fix-it" job. But 30 years later, his memory not so great any more, he thought he could tackle fixing our son and daughter-in-law's  toilet and save them some money. Long story short, we had to buy them a new toilet and hire someone to put it in.

Now that I think about it,  maybe my daughter-in-law and I should tackle the bookshelf. It might take a while but I'll post the results here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012



 We live in a consumer oriented culture. Everywhere we turn we're bombarded with messages that tell us we need the latest gadget, trendiest new fashions, updated furniture,  and on and on... It's hard to resist! But the end result can be a cluttered home, overspending, and too much time spent just taking care of all of our "stuff". So spring is a good time to de-clutter, simplify, prioritize, and  re-organize our lives.

So today I'm focusing on DE-CLUTTERING...everything but clothing...that's for  another time.

Here are three steps to DE-CLUTTER:

1) Find three large boxes and label them: DONATE, THROW, SELL
2) In deciding which box each item should go in, ask the following three questions:
     a)  Do I need this? ( ie Have I used this in the last year? )
     b)  Is it useful?
     c)  Does it add beauty to our home?
3) Take one room at a time and put items in the appropriate box.

Involve the whole family in this in areas where they need to give input ( their rooms, for example ). Don't spend too much time deciding what to get rid of. If it doesn't fall into one of the three categories, let it go! You will feel so much better when you finally get all that clutter out of the house and have more room to breathe!

1) Salvation Army or Goodwill. Some Salvation armies come and pick up your items. You will also receive a tax deduction for your donation.
2) Magazines and Books can be donated to the local library.
3) Give to friends who might appreciate some items. You'd be helping THEM out as well we yourself.

1) Consignment Stores are great places to take your nicer items.
2) Some florists will pay for your used flower vases.
3) Craigslist and ebay
4) Garage Sales can be a good way to get rid of your man's trash is another man's treasure! You can make some money and teach your children some business skills by getting them involved.

1) Spend money on EXPERIENCES instead of THINGS.
2) Decide that when you make a purchase ( a new piece of decor, for example) you have to give up one item to give or sell.
3) Have an exchange party where each person brings a nicer item to exchange with another person. Everyone goes home with something "new" to them but doesn't add MORE  STUFF to the household in the process. Kids could do this as well.
4) Decide to donate to worthy causes instead of adults exchanging gifts.
5) Make an intentional decision not to buy more than is necessary.
6) Choose to GIVE  AWAY more of your money to worthy causes and in meeting needs in the community.

Make this a fun exercise in giving to others, learning how to sell your items, and teaching about saving our environment by not making so many purchases of stuff that just fills up our landfills. There are so many great learning experiences for kids in this process. You can also reward everyone with something special with the money made on all the sales for their hard work. The reward could be decided upon in the beginning so that would be an incentive. But the de-cluttering and the experiences learned are rewards in themselves.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


It's that time of year again! Time to let in the FRESH AIR OF SPRING! Spring Cleaning may not be the first thing you look forward to with the coming of SPRING  but I'm hoping that with a little "creative coaching" you can put some SPRING LOVE into your SPRING CLEANING!

First of all you need some...

1) FLOWERS  Decide you will reward yourself with a small bouquet of fresh flowers when you're all done. SMILE!
2) FRESH COLOR   Visualize how you might bring in some fresh pastel colors into your living space to brighten things up for spring. Maybe it's as simple  as moving some pillows into the living room from another room. Get ideas from magazines or the internet. DREAM!
3) FRESH AIR   Open a window and let the fresh air of spring inspire you!  INHALE!
4) VISUALIZE  NEW SPACES  Sit down in your favorite spot with your favorite spring beverage and visualize your home as being FRESH AS SPRING! Maybe this is the time for rearranging your furniture to make your rooms look NEW! Or painting a room or piece of furniture. IMAGINE!
5)  SPRING DECOR    Now is the time to bring out your Spring decor. Or find NEW inspiration on PINTEREST for crafting something new!  CREATE!

Whatever INSPIRES you about spring, begin to SMILE, DREAM, INHALE, IMAGINE, CREATE! Who wants to START ANEW with a stale, stuffy, drab, wintery- filled home? NOT ME! I want to begin this NEW FRESH SEASON OF NEW BEGINNINGS with  A FRESH, CLEAN HOME! I'm feeling it now!
How about YOU? Are you feeling like tackling that spring cleaning yet? Ahhh, but wait!  You first need to get these good feelings down into your whole body, mind, and spirit! Begin creating this new FRESH SPRING HOME IN YOUR MIND before you take the next step! Let it sink down deep until you can't wait any longer to GET CLEANING! But you STILL have to wait! There are more steps to come before you jump in! For now, just enjoy seeing and feeling the end result in your mind and thoughts! The cleaning can wait....

Saturday, March 10, 2012


You've probably heard that having an organized and  well ordered home brings a sense of calm and serenity into your life. That is SO TRUE!  But we who love to organize can lean a bit toward perfectionism at times. And perfectionism can lead to stress!  OK I was speaking for myself there. I know that I can easily tend toward being a bit perfectionistic at times! But even if that's not YOU, we ALL can experience stress in this fast paced world and I like to address that when helping women get their lives in order. Ordering your life is more than organizing the spaces in your home. So what we need, in order to have a well ordered life is to include in our lives WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS!

It is so important to allow time in your life for those things that can help you slow down, be present and IN the moment, and relaaaax. My friend, Sherrie, and I have just released an e-book for women entitled, "30 Ways To Reduce Stress". In it we share 30 SIMPLE TIPS to help you do just that. These are habits that can be developed over a period of 28 days. Because it takes 28 days to develop a new habit, we encourage you to INTENTIONALLY and DAILY put these simple habits into practice. These are things that maybe you are already doing but the KEY is to make sure you are in the PRESENT MOMENT when doing them and that you do each one DAILY for the full 28 days. We have tested this out for ourselves and IT WORKS!

The e-book is being sold on for only $2.99! It is set up as a "kindle addition" so you have to download kindle to  your computer if you don't already have kindle on it. It is FREE to do this and you can do it right from the site where you purchase the e-book. Here are two ways to get YOUR COPY of the book and start de-stressing NOW! It takes under a minute to get your copy!

1) Go to my other blog, Hob Nobbers, at On my blog, go to my Book Shoppe on the right sidebar. Find the book under the "wellness" category. And while you're there check out my blog and the other goodies in Sandy's Book Shoppe.


2) Go to and fill in the space with the title, "30 Ways To Reduce Stress". We're the third book down after they pop up.

Don't forget to tell your friends! Or get them a copy as a gift! Only $2.99!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Great example of  a Family Communication Station
In a previous post I mentioned " FAMILY COMMUNICATION STATION". Guess I better explain what I mean by that. We all know how busy life can get with everybody running in different directions. Therefore, we need some place where we can leave messages, post appointments and events, and generally stay connected with what is happening in the lives of family members. This is not to take the place of ACTUALLY TALKING to each other, however. But it's nice to have one area where everyone can find out "what's on the agenda" and I call this area, THE FAMILY COMMUNICATION STATION. Here are 6 items needed for the...


1) Desk or large area where you can put all items that will help keep your family organized
2) Calendar where all family appointments, special events, and holidays can be written down
3) Bulletin Board to post reminders, notes,school lunch menus, chores list, etc.
4) Grocery List where all family members can add items needed for next shopping trip
5) Places to keep kids' special papers that need to be signed and sent back to school and other school related things
6) Containers for pens, pencils, and paper for writing notes to each other

Here's a simple COMMUNICATION SYSTEM to ensure everyone is using the same way to communicate:

1) Plan weekly family meetings
2) At the family meeting everyone fills in the family calendar with that weeks events and happenings, and all important phone numbers are posted
3) Chores are discussed and posted, decisions are made on school lunch menus
4) "To Do" lists are posted
5) Schedules are gone over
6) Everything that is planned throughout the week is gone over so everyone knows what is happening that week
7) Every family member checks the calendar in the morning and after school as reminders and to take action as needed
8) Older kids should have their own calendars to keep track of these things also

This is a simple way to have one place to keep order in the things that are happening in the family. It's a central location for both family and individual events. This also helps everyone feel a part of something bigger than the individual: A PART OF A FAMILY. It also helps everyone feel more secure knowing where everyone is and how they can be reached. It's a helpful tool for busy families to use to work together and maintain some order in their often hectic lives. It will help provide more calm and less stress. So do yourself and your family a favor and get started to INTENTIONALLY make a decision to work out YOUR family's COMMUNICATION SYSTEM.With systems in place there should be less anxious moments of kids saying things like "I forgot to have you sign a paper, Mom, but I don't know where it is!?" With THIS system and the STATION in place kids learn to go to the station and leave papers in the place provided to be left for a parent's signature. Mom knows to check for these papers, sign them, and put them into school bags. Of course, new habits take time, but once everyone sees how calming this new system is they'll be routinely following through and enjoying the calming order it brings. If you have to start out by giving "rewards" for follow through in the beginning don't be afraid to do it. But in the long run the reward should be the feeling everyone gets in feeling more in control and relaxed all at the same time!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


You've probably all heard that it takes 28 days to create a new habit. With this bit of information you can develop 6 EASY habits that you can do in under a minute and find yourself living in a tidy home!
Tidy room taken from PINTEREST.

1) Make Your Bed    As soon as you get up in the morning, make your bed.  1 minute

2) Hang Up Clothes    As soon as you change clothes, put them in laundry bag, hang them up, or put in a drawer.      1 minute

3) Put Stuff Back    Always put everything in its place after using it.   1 minute

4) Wash Dishes    Whenever you use any dishes, rinse and put in dishwasher or wash and put away.  1 minute

5) Sort paper   Sort any mail or paper as soon as it comes into the house.   1 minute

6) Wipe Spills   Whenever you spill something, clean up right away.  1  minute

Do this for 28 days and they will become automatic, like brushing your teeth. Most will take UNDER a minute and when you realize (while you're doing them ) that they take such little time and effort and make lighter work later, you will LOVE these new habits! Not only will you have a tidy house but that will create a tidy mind.

So why do these 6 habits make a big difference? Each one is something that involves something you do every day: you get out of bed, you change clothes, you eat and use dishes, you have mail every day. If you can conquer THESE habits, the things that you  do every day, day in and day out, your messes won't build up. You will keep things under control. And once you get a taste of this kind of discipline you will gain momentum to move onto the next thing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Here are a few more ideas for your laundry room. First up a couple more laundry baskets that I really loved!  Aren't they cute?

Go to
Next up is a great tip about how to clean your washing machine. With Spring Cleaning coming up this is a good time to include that in your list of "to do's". The results are amazing!

How often have you said that you think your washing machine is eating the socks? Well, here are three  cute solutions for that...  little signs and places to hang those missing their "significant other".

 And how about trying a unique idea for drying racks. Here are a couple of options for that. This ladder hanging with hooks is a cute idea! 

This next idea is easy to make, a great DIY project! Another idea is to use a vintage crib siderail for this type of rack.

And there's always THIS  old favorite option. Hanging your clothes outside...a refreshing and sweet smelling way to dry! Add some of these  ideas to your laundry day and make it more creative, fun, and sweet! HAPPY LAUNDRY DAY!

Monday, March 5, 2012


I would LOVE a laundry room that looks like either of these shown here!  How about you?  As you're dreaming about what YOUR new laundry room might look like, I'm going to share with you here a SYSTEM for assuring that your laundry routine will be smooth and effortless. You see it's not just about having nice organized spaces... as nice as that would be!  You also need an organized  plan or SYSTEM for  assuring that your laundry routine is SMOOTH AND EFFORTLESS! So here are FOUR STEPS TO...

1)  Make sure there is a laundry basket in each bedroom, preferably hidden in the closet. Each person is responsible for putting his/her own laundry in his/her own basket. If you have younger children you might want to find a kid's laundry basket like the one shown here. These cute decorative baskets can be set out in their rooms as decor. You can purchase this one and others through by clicking on the Amazon button on my right  sidebar. For  less expensive options you can just pick up plastic laundry baskets at Walmart or even the Dollar Store. Make sure you either have a different color for each family member or put their names on their baskets. Towels, sheets, and other misc. can either be put in individual baskets or in separate ones provided in the laundry room. Here also is an example of a French style basket from Pottery Barn. There are other less expensive options available elsewhere of course.

2) Assign one day or more a week as" Laundry Day". You might even need to post a memo on your FAMILY COMMUNICATION STATION to remind everyone when laundry day is. On that day, each family member is to take his/her basket and put their clothes in one of three hampers ( white, light, dark ) provided in the laundry room. Delicate items and dry cleaning items can be handled separately. See one of the laundry rooms above for an example of the three hampers.  Make sure the laundry is done on that day by an assigned family member. Older children can be taught how to do laundry so this  need not always be done by Mom. Just make sure the person assigned this chore knows what their responsibility is and that it is posted as a reminder.       

3) The laundry person for that day does the washing and drying and then puts the laundry in each person's basket. Accounting for age appropriateness, each person is responsible to fold his/her own clothes and put them in their drawers. Towels, sheets, etc. can be put where they belong. This must be done on laundry day as well as each person  has to now use the laundry basket for the next round of dirty clothes.  

4) The delicate and "dry cleaning needed" clothes can be taken care of by the adults in a timely fashion.  
5) After washing and drying is complete, the person responsible for this chore should also take a bottle of spray cleaner and a rag ( left near the washer and dryer for this purpose ) and clean off the top of the appliances. This keeps things tidy and clean for the next wash day.  

Done this way, LAUNDRY DAY should not be an impossible burden for one person. If you have a large family and you have to do laundry often to get it all done, that's OK too. Just don't wait until you have so many clothes needing cleaning that you have clothes overflowing!  

It goes without saying that each person is responsible for folding neatly and putting away his/her own clothes. Small children will need to have someone do it for them. This also will have to be assigned and posted on the FAMILY COMMUNICATION  STATION. Clothing organization in each room is another topic for another day. This system helps families to work together and  teaches older children life skills as well as responsibility. It also helps Moms out who work full time and need the help! It's a win/win for everyone!                                                        

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Are you disorganized, a "messy", or just wanting to finally get things in order in your life? The place to begin is in your thoughts and mind. YUP! You need to ORDER your mind  and thoughts before you do anything else! Sure you can get a drawer organized and even your whole house in order, but if your mind is cluttered, eventually things will move themselves back into the same old mess! Everything begins in the mind...even ordering your life!

So here are 4 steps to begin "decluttering"  and "reordering" your mind and thoughts:

     You must decide, once and for all, that you want order in your life and you are ready to take the steps necessary to make it happen. You know you'll enjoy the "FEEL" of finding more time to do the things you like to do with a well ordered life. You know the peace and serenity you'll experience when your life is more orderly. Make a list of the benefits of the well ordered life and read it daily. Really come to understand and accept how ordering your life can transform everything! You are READY!

      Consider and dream about how your life may work if all areas of your life are organized and running smoothly. Of course there are always going to be some minor setbacks but in general, try to visualize your life FINALLY WORKING. You awaken in the morning and everyone has time to calmly get ready for the day sitting down for breakfast together. If you work outside the home, your work things are ready to go on the table next to the door. Your home is neat and clean. You leave the house with your bed made, kitchen cleaned from breakfast and knowing you won't be coming home to a mess. You even had time to throw dinner into the crockpot and you anticipate the aromas you'll come home to. The kids were all ready and had their school  items waiting by the door. Now you're saying,"Yeah, right! Never going to happen!" Well, maybe not EXACTLY but you can get pretty close and who knows maybe it will  be EVEN BETTER than you imagined! To SET this well ordered life into your mind and thoughts, you'll need to write about it in a  notebook. It's important to start out with a NEW notebook to help you feel you're starting FRESH. It doesn't have to be an expensive one, however. Now, in your new notebook, describe the orderly spaces, the lack of clutter, the neat and clean house, the organized  family schedules, orderly finances, planned recreation and vacation times, and even having time to relax in your own little "COZY SPOT". Write this out in the present tense as if you're seeing it happen NOW and also describing how it makes you feel. Example: I come home from work and my home is neat and orderly. I know where to find everything because everything has a "home". This makes me feel relaxed and in control. I have time to sit down in my favorite "COZY SPOT" to have a cup of tea and relax before dinner. I feel happy that I have time for myself and our home is orderly and relaxing for my family.

       Find organized photos  from magazines of the spaces you'd like to create, a photo of someone sitting in their favorite spot relaxing with a book and a cup of tea, a photo depicting a favorite vacation destination, creative spaces you'd like to have, less stress about financial worries, anything that shows what you'd be wanting in a well ordered life.  This will be something that you will do on an ongoing basis to stay motivated  and to keep your thoughts thinking orderly. Whenever you find a photo that says to you, 'YES, that is how I want to live!", cut that photo out and put it in your book or on your board. You can also find ideas on my PINTEREST board!

          Order in your life requires that you PAY ATTENTION to detail. Stay on top of things by "being in the moment" so you can actually SEE the needs in front of you. To have your thoughts thinking of things other than what is in front of you leads to confusion and disorganization. For example, if your thoughts are on what you need to do tomorrow when you come home for work, you may: 1) drop your keys off somewhere without thinking and then not remember where you put them.  2) Forget about the time and not get dinner on as planned. 3) Answer the phone and get distracted from what you REALLY wanted to do. There are many things vying for your attention, but if you stay in the moment and focused on your plan, then you will be more in control of your life and will be better able to stay on the current task in front of you. If you DO INDEED have to work on something for tomorrow, you can set aside time specifically for that need and focus on that alone. You'll be better able to deal with that issue with your full attention instead of while on the run.

If you begin your journey toward a well ordered life by spending some time changing your thoughts, and planting those visions of your ideal organized life in your mind, you will be well ahead of the game and you'll have less set backs.

This is also a FUN exercise! So begin NOW having some fun! As you begin putting these ideas in your mind and thoughts you will also see yourself FEELING more and more excited about getting your life in order. Since your brain does not know reality from what you merely visualize,when you are planning your vision books or board you will begin feeling as happy  as if you've already become more organized. Can you imagine how you'll feel when you actually DO ORDER YOUR LIFE AND HOME? You'll LOVE IT!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...