Do not wear your spring clothes yet!

While it’s tempting to toss all of your sweaters and heavy clothes in back of the closet in exchange for lighter spring clothes, you need to stop! You need organize your winter clothes first, before you greet spring with sandals, lighter colors, and white jeans. This means putting away heavy sweaters, boots, coats, scarves, etc the RIGHT way first. Your life will be much easier when the temps turn cooler in the fall if you take a little time to properly organize your winter wardrobe. 

If you don’t put winter away first, you run the risk of ruining your clothes, shoes, boots, coats, etc. and losing an investment you made in your wardrobe. This happened to me several years ago. The drawer where I had stored my sweaters had a moth infestation soandI had to throw away every single sweater that was in it. Not fun or cheap to fix.

This is what you need to do to take care of your winter clothes before you switch to spring 

  1. Clean your clothes. I wash my wool and cashmere sweaters and scarves in mesh bags on the gentle cycle in my washing machine with gentle sweater detergent. After they dry on every flat surface in my bedroom, I fold them and put them away in a dresser. 
    DO NOT store sweaters or winter clothes in plastic bags, like the ones from the dry cleaners. They are natural fibers and need to breathe. Store in cotton zip up bags if you need to contain them.
  2. Don’t forget to clean your scarves and shawls. These sometimes get overlooked in the coat closet but the same applies: they need to be cleaned before putting away.
  3. Dry clean winter coats and hats that can’t go in the wash. If you wore it, clean it. Check pockets, too, for forgotten treasures.
  4. Evaluate your winter wardrobe. While you’re cleaning, this is the perfect time to evaluate if you want to keep these winter clothes. Did you wear everything? If it doesn’t fit or flatter, think if there is something you can do to alter it to make it work. If not, it’s time to pass it on to someone else. What’s the point of letting it take up valuable real estate in your closet if you don’t wear it or love it? Give to a friend or donate to charity.
  5. Match up gloves and mittens. I can’t tell you how many hall closets I’ve worked on that had a bin of single mittens and gloves. Make a concerted effort to find the mates and then get rid of any remaining singles. 
  6. Clean your boots and other winter shoes. This is so important, especially if you’ve gotten salt and mud on them. Depending on the condition of the boots or shoes, you may have to get them professionally cleaned but you can at least get all of the dirt off the heels and soles. Now is the time to evaluate if they need repair like new tips or soles.
  7. Store away. All of these clothes that you’re not going to wear for a while can now be placed in a less convenient location in your closet or home. Everything that you’re currently using and wearing should be at eye level or have the easiest access. Fold your sweaters to avoid permanent creases on the shoulders. Use lavender or cedar sachets in the drawers or fabric bins to keep them smelling nice and to ward off bugs. I’m not a fan of mothballs but they are great for warding of squirrels in your garden or attic.

It seems like a lot to do at once but if you put winter clothes away properly, they’ll be ready to wear when cooler temps return. You’ll know exactly what you have and where it is so you don’t waste time looking for your warmer clothes when you need them.

It’s ok if you’re not organized

You know, I’ve been doing this organizing thing for 9 years professionally and basically forever un-professionally.  😅 Ok, not professionally as a business; that sounds better. But I am here in your inbox today because I want to share an important secret with you.

EVERYONE is disorganized about something. And the inverse is true:  everyone is organized about something. 

Some people have immaculate homes but their offices are disasters. 

Some people keep piles of stuff everywhere but are never late for an appointment or sending a birthday card. 

Some people keep meticulous records in their files but their closets are overflowing. 

And it is all ok. Nobody is an expert at everything. 

Some people are born organized. They naturally gravitate to it like second nature. Most of us have to learn that skill just like multiplication tables and how to boil eggs. Neither is more valued than the other. 

So don’t be embarrassed if you have to call in a professional to help you get organized. A true professional will not MAKE you do anything you don’t really want to do. It is not their job to shame you or make you feel bad. It’s actually the opposite:  to help you feel comfortable and able to achieve your goal of having an organized home. 

Almost every person I have worked with starts a variation of the following phrases:

“I am so embarrassed for you to see this”
“I can’t believe my home looks like this”
“I used to be organized but then I had kids/ got this new job/ had a tragedy in my life/ moved”


And it’s all ok. Life throws us curveballs and we have to react quickly. Shifting our priorities to more important things means sometimes our good organizational habits slide. Or we never learned those good habits and need to now. Or we need to make adjustments to our current systems to make them work for our changing circumstances. Either way, there is nothing wrong with you. 

Call a professional. The right one will be delighted to help you and share her skills, secrets, and tools with you. She won’t judge or make you feel bad. She’s seen worse, trust me. 

Lastly remember that your version of “being organized” may be different than what you see on Pinterest or Instagram. We can help achieve your best version of organized! ☺️ 😊

photo by Canva

Uncomplicate life: Get organized so you’re never late

don't be late to your son's wedding

Is there ever enough time to get everything done in your day? Even without traveling, commuting, and going out much it feels like there is always something else pulling our attention that seems more important than what we are currently doing. The inability to focus is just one part of the problem. We are ALL juggling more these days and being organized is part of the solution.

One of my pet peeves is being late. ME being late and others. It just seems like in this day of navigation apps and audible reminders it just should not happen but it does. I feel like I am disloyal to my profession if I am late and that just feels so disingenuous.

But let’s not tell stories about me. Let me tell you a story about being late to your wedding. 

Of not, your own wedding. But your son’s wedding. Almost late. Like the last- possible- minute- and- we- are- starting- without- you kind of late.

(yes, I have permission to tell this story)

My sister Laura is just like me in her feelings about being late. She makes plans and lists and is a very thoughtful and considerate person. She is not flighty, scatterbrained, or unfocused. 

She would never be late for an event as important as her only son’s wedding. But she arrived at 10:59:32 for his 11:00 am wedding service. 

Here’s what happened:

10:40 My husband and I arrive. We’re early but there was no traffic. Socialize with early arrivals.

10:45 Everyone assumes I am Laura and starts telling me what I need to do as Mother of Groom. I remind them that I am not she. Eyes of all wedding participants widen in shock and horror.

10:46 First of 180 inquiries “Where is Laura?”

10:48 Her daughter asks “Where’s Mom?”

10:50 Groom asks “Where’s Mom? Maybe you should call her.”

10:51 I call her. No answer. I naturally assume she and her husband must have careened off the bridge and are currently drowning.

10:52 I call her husband. After 4.5 rings, he answers. He sounds very calm (monotone) and says “We will be there soon.”

Soon?! Are you kidding me? People are nervous here! 

10:57 Is she here yet?

10:58 When will she be here?

10:59 Um, anyone know where she is?

10:59:32 Car comes screeching in to the parking lot (no exaggeration). Everyone lines up and the wedding nuptials take place.

I wisely decided to wait until after the wedding to ask what happened. 😉

It was a tale of a series of errors that became more comedic as she progressed. 

  1. Waited (patiently) for husband to get out of bathroom. Not in a rush here so why make him expedite his routine?
  2. Although the skirt purchased 5 months ago was hanging in the closet the entire time, it still had wrinkles in it. Bad wrinkles.
  3. Steaming didn’t get the wrinkles out. Must find iron.
  4. Take out ironing board and iron skirt.
  5. Top purchased to go with said skirt for wedding was suddenly missing. 
  6. Must spend time trying on other options to find suitable substitute.
  7. Belt selected specifically for the outfit also missing.

Just writing this makes me feel anxious.

While none of those things by themselves would have caused any problem, it was the compounding of ALL of them that raised pulse rates.

The extra stress that was experienced by so many wedding participants was 100% avoidable. Not to say that mistakes don’t happen but all of these could have been avoided with a little advanced organization. 

I’m not saying life has to be perfect. In fact, it’s the things that go wrong that have made the best and, in this particular case, funniest memories. We are all laughing about this now and I hope you are, too.
If you are ever hesitating to organize that drawer or closet, do it. Make the time and get it done. Or hire someone to do it for you. 🙂

Life is too short to spend any more of it than we have to overwhelmed, stressed, or angry at ourselves for NOT getting things in order. 

When you’re organized, you’re free to experience more of life because your’e not wasting your time looking for the iron or sweater or risking your life to speed to get to the church on time!

Uncomplicate your outerwear

I trust you put away your Halloween decor this week. What’s nice is that pumpkins can segue nicely to Thanksgiving but you do have to get rid of the spiderwebs and other scary stuff. Just make sure it’s clean and dry before you put it away in your clearly labeled “Halloween Decor” box. 😉

Speaking of putting things away….when was the last time you decluttered your outerwear like winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves? My guess is you put all of these away last year not even thinking if you would still be wearing it this year. Or you just closed the door on the coat closet 9 months ago and didn’t give it another thought.

This week, I want you to spend 15 minutes going through all of your winter outer wear. This means coats, gloves, hats, and scarves.

  1. Does your coat fit? Does it need repair? Will you wear it again? Does it need to be cleaned?
  2. Ditto for your kids’ coats. They grow so fast they may have outgrown last year’s coat already.
  3. Check the pockets of your coats for money, tissues, hair ties, and any other treasures you may have forgotten about. You’d be amazed at how much cash I find in coat pockets when organizing closets.
  4. Do the gloves and mittens have mates? Match them up if you can find them.
  5. Are these scarves and hats ones that you would wear and use again? 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions regarding wearing again, it’s time to donate to someone in need. If it’s just taking up space in your closet and you won’t use it, pass it on to someone who needs it. What you’re ready to let go of could be exactly what someone else needs!

You can donate gently used coats, gloves, hats, scarves to local charity and drop off sites. Check with nearby churches and synagogues who may sponsor coat drop offs for other charities like MUST Ministries in Marietta. You can also search for a local retail locations or non-profit that is accepting donations for the One Warm Coat Project.

Just spend a few minutes this week going through your outerwear and donate what you and your family no longer need. Your closet will thank you and so will a stranger who needed to stay warm!

Uncomplicate your appliance manuals and warranties

organized appliance manuals

Paper paper everywhere. Are you like me in being surprised that we still have so much paper? The more our lives migrate to the digital, the more paper we still seem to have to face.  As in junk mail, flyers, bills, statements, estimates, agreements, marketing letters, and don’t get me started on political ads in our mailboxes. 😣

Some paper is wonderful like love letters, kids’ drawings of their family, and marriage certificates. 😊 Some of it is awful like speeding tickets, explanations of benefits, and boring tax documentation. ☹️

But managing and organizing all kinds of papers is a necessary and very present part of our modern lives whether we like it or not.

The trouble is organizing it can all be overwhelming and anxiety ridden. Do I need to keep this? What if I throw this out? Will I need it again? 

I am here to help you answer the often asked question of “how long do I have to keep this” and this week I am just going to focus on one aspect of household paperwork:

Appliance manuals and warranties


I am frequently asked what to do with all kinds of papers. You may remember an earlier post this year that was all about mail. I want to answer ALL of your paper questions so let me know what you’d like to see covered by clicking here and dropping me quick paper question.

To help you #uncomplicate your appliance manuals, here are my tips and suggestions:

  1. Designate a location for them. They are not something you need to access often so they don’t need to take up prime real estate. They can go in a filing cabinet or in a bin on a high shelf. The location just needs to be labeled clearly. The bin in the picture is a multipurpose bin from The Containers Store and works perfectly for this purpose.
  2. Toss any that aren’t needed. These accumulate fast and technology changes quickly, too. We recently cut cable so there was no reason to keep any of the documentation pertaining to our cable provider. Go through your current inventory and make sure you toss any that you no longer need especially because you don’t have the device any longer. 
  3. Toss any in a language you don’t speak. Many times there are multiple manuals in multiple languages provided with appliances. Scan what you are about to keep and make sure you keep only the instructions that you need in the language you prefer.
  4. Toss excess papers with the manuals. And by excess I mean additional marketing or informational material you don’t need. The excess papers do not need to take up space in your home.
  5. Use folders.  If you have a lot of papers that pertain to one specific appliance like a refrigerator, put them in a folder. Name the folder with what it is and the date when you purchased it, where, and how much you paid. If you ever have warranty questions or replacement/ repair issues you will have to answer these questions.
  6. Toss the store receipts. They are printed on thermal paper with ink that fades so don’t bother keeping it. That’s why Step #5 is important for the big ticket items.
  7. Consider NOT keeping them. While I think it’s important to keep the manuals, instructions, and warranties for your big ticket appliance purchases (refrigerator, stove, washing machine, etc.) you may want to consider tossing the manuals for smaller, less expensive appliances. Once you know how it works, do you really need to keep the manual? Plus, most are available online if you ever need to research them in the future.   

Uncomplicate your cooking

organized refrigerator
….by getting your refrigerator organized. Raise your hand if you’re tired of cooking every single meal every single day! 🙋🏼‍♀️ And I love cooking!

But every day, day in and day out, it can be overwhelming and frustrating to come up with yet another meal…that everyone will like and not be too time consuming and not a repeat of what I made yesterday. And if your refrigerator offers nothing but sadness and overwhelm it’s even harder to get inspired to cook.

Plus going to the grocery store is not as enjoyable as it used to be. Some of us miss samples!

Being organized allows you to focus on solving the real problems of the world like what to make for dinner. NOT being organized makes any task worse.

Opening a refrigerator and not being able to find what you need or not knowing what you have is the worst. This is a huge obstacle for even wanting to prepare yummy and healthful meals. If it looks depressing, it’s going to feel even worse.

So I am here to make the task of cooking a little easier for you and a lot less complicated by sharing tips on keeping your refrigerator organized. 

How to un-complicate your refrigerator
  • Toss expired condiments. Empty out your refrigerator door with all of the jarred and bottled condiments and check all of the expiration dates. If it’s past, out it goes. 
  • Toss any expired food. While you’re getting rid of expired condiments, toss out any old leftovers, fruits, veggies, milk, and anything else that has gone bad. If it doesn’t pass the smell or sight test, let it go. 
  • Group like condiments together. I love pickles and mustards so have several different types in my refrigerator. It’s so much easier to keep track of them when they are stored next to one another. It’s one less thing to remember!
  • Decant beverages. By decanting, I mean take them out of the external packaging whether it’s a box or plastic rings. Then you can line them up any way that works in your refrigerator. 
  • Use clear containers. If you have the pleasure of dining out and happen to bring back leftovers for later, switch the container from cardboard or styrofoam to clear glass with a lid. This makes the storage air tight and visible. Seeing what you have is half the battle!

I was introduced to a great resource for minimizing ALL food waste whether in your refrigerator, freezer, or pantry. Click here to read the Guide to Food Storage for Healthier Eating
It has all of the details on proper food storage and handling including what can be stored on the counter and what needs to be refrigerated and frozen.

Getting your refrigerator organized is the first step to un-complicating your cooking. Once you can see what you have on hand, you can start to build a better cooking repertoire and menus that are enjoyed by everyone.

Uncomplicate your closet…in 5 minutes for free!

I love to save time….almost as much as I hate wasting time!! 

And I love to share the sneaky tricks to saving time and getting organized without realizing it. Easier is always better, at least when it comes to clearing clutter and creating order.

So today’s tips are all about how to #uncomplicate your closet and these will take you than 5 minutes. I promise.

  1. Clear out all of the empty hangers in your closet. I’m talking about the metal hangers from the dry cleaners and the store hangers that held the dress that you bought that you no longer need. Unless there is something specific that lives on that hanger, get rid of it. Put it in another closet or give it away.
  2. Clear out all of the empty boxes. These can be shoe boxes, jewelry boxes, gift boxes, or delivery boxes. I’m looking at you, Amazon! Unless you store something in that box, get rid of it!
  3. Clear out any trash on the floor or shelf. Toss all of the old receipts, packing lists, and tissue paper. 
  4. Get rid of excess shopping bags. You probably don’t have as many of these because of online shopping but you can still look through your closet for any remaining. 
  5. Throw out and recycle dry cleaners bags. You know how I feel about these. 😩 Because it’s August you probably don’t have a lot of them in your closet but what you do have, you don’t need. They can be recycled at most grocery store chains.

See what I mean? Tossing these items should take you less than 5 minutes  unless it’s been a loooong time since you’ve last done it. 

Doesn’t your closet look better? And you didn’t have to make any decisions about whether to keep or toss. You just got rid of the stuff you know you don’t need! Yay, you!

Easy and painless is so much better, don’t you think?

Uncomplicate your inbox

Email went from a delightful novelty 20+ years ago to the mainstay of our personal and professional lives. Couple it with social media and you’ve got a major reason for why people are distracted and overwhelmed every time they look at their phones and computers.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION 

Decluttering your email inbox is a great activity you can do when you’re waiting in line or just sitting in the air conditioning trying to cool off. Deleting old, no longer needed messages is great but what if you just had fewer to deal with in the first place?

This week is a great time to #uncomplicate your email by unsubscribing to emails you don’t read, no longer want, or didn’t sign up for in the first place.
 

  1. Set a timer for 5 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in just 5 minutes!
  2. On your computer, I think it’s helpful to resort your inbox so you look at it with fresh eyes. Sort by “from” to see all your messages grouped by sender. 
  3. If you’ve got a lot from a real person, you may just want to select all from that person and delete.
  4. Notice the ones from stores, restaurants, magazines, or services you don’t use and start the Unsubscribe process.
  5. It is required that if you have people sign up for a newsletter, there has to be a way to opt out. Most companies put this at the bottom of the email with the word “unsubscribe.”  The text can be very small and sometimes hard to find but it’s there. 
  6. Delete the message once you’ve unsubscribed. It’s easy to delete a lot if you’ve sorted by sender. Click away on unsubscribe until your alarm goes off.   You’ll get through a lot more than you realize.

The best part of this exercise is that you can see results almost immediately. Your inbox number is smaller than when you started and you’ve got the hang of unsubscribing down. You’ll get fewer emails in the future and have to do this task less and less. 💪🏻

Challenge yourself this week to declutter your inbox AND unsubscribe from unwanted emails. You’ll feel much lighter and have less junk to look at (literally!). 

Uncomplicate your makeup

Being in the dog days of summer (which I just learned has actually nothing to do with dogs) a lot of us are probably not wearing as much makeup every day. Couple that with working from home, not traveling or going out much and I have found less desire to go through a whole daily facial routine.

Which makes now the perfect time to #uncomplicate your makeup and all of the myriad of products you have for your face. Let’s say goodbye to wasting our valuable time sifting through multiple creams, potions, tubes, and jars to find just the right one.

In the process of uncomplicting makeup you’re going to find you’re also letting go of the doubt and anxiety associated with seeing reminders of money spent on products that promised the moon and delivered less than stellar results.

Start up some tunes or your favorite podcast and make haste to your bathroom area, armed with your trash can and cleaning products.

  1. Take everything out of its current location. Whether it is all in a drawer or makeup bag, just get it all out on the counter in front of you so you can really see what you have.
  2. Toss old makeup. This is easier said than done but if you haven’t worn it since Christmas, chances are you never will. It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive Chanel lipstick, or a tube of not quite finished Great Lash mascara. I put together a Makeup Expiration Dates timeline for your reference here.
  3. Group like products together. Put your eye shadows, lipsticks, foundations, BB creams, etc. together. 
  4. Find appropriate containers. I like to store vertical items like mascara & eye pencils vertically in a repurposed candle container. Julep cups are a lovely option, too. What works for you will depend on what cosmetics you have and your storage options. 
  5. If you have drawers, divided drawer liners are excellent for categorizing and storing similar products together. I’ve used these for several clients and they work very well.  
  6. If you are storing items on the counter, this is a pretty and functional container to keep the essentials together but organized. 

The ultimate way to uncomplicate your makeup, though, is to invest in products that you know look good on you that you love. I advise getting your makeup done professionally at a store that sells the brands you like. I know this may not be possible right this minute but it is always wise to seek the counsel of experts especially when it comes to your face.

I also recommend seeing a dermatologist and aesthetician to take the best care of your skin. Invest in these services so you can allocate your budget wisely and not be swayed by the marketing promises of miracle products. They may work wonders but maybe just not for you. I have fallen prey myself to the claims of youthful, unwrinkled, perfect skin only to be disappointed by results inversely related to the amount of money I spent. 

The less you buy, the less you have to organize so invest wisely, whether it’s for your face, body or home. 😊

Uncomplicate your loungewear

Today, your loungewear is pulling double and triple duty. It may be the same as your pajamas, workout clothes, AND your work uniform! 🤣

As wonderful as it is to have more relaxed standards for what we wear everyday, keeping it all organized is essential for our mental health, sanity, and peaceful home life. Nobody wants to see a pile of possibly clean (?) clothes and have to select based on what smells the least bad.😝 

Uncomplicating your loungewear, like any other clothing you have, shows a level of self care as well as power in exerting control in a chaotic situation. 💪🏻

Seeing folded or hung clothes in order soothes your eye and relaxes your brain. 💆🏼‍♀️

Here are the steps to #uncomplicate your loungewear: 

  1. Pull out all of the clothes that YOU determine to be loungewear. It could be sweatshirts, t-shirts, dresses, leggings, shorts, etc. Whatever you would put in that category should go in this pile.
  2. Review each piece of clothing and toss anything that is in sad shape:   
    –clothes with holes or stained beyond repair
    –clothes with non functioning elastic 😳
    –clothes that you just don’t wear anymore, even for lounging or sleeping
  3. Create category piles with what remains: long & short sleeve tops, shorts, pants, etc.
  4. Fold each pile.

Now comes the fun part!
Designate a specific place to store these clothes. What I see most often in clients’ closets, and the reason why I created a system for uncomplicating your loungewear, is that nobody creates space for loungewear.

Loungewear morphs into pajamas or merges into workout clothes.

It doesn’t have a specific home. And anything that can be stored anywhere is stored nowhere. 

You don’t know where to put it away so you don’t. And there it sits in a nonspecific drawer or shelf. Or top of a dresser. Or floor. 😟

It’s a jumbled mess of randomness…..until today!

Select a specific place to store your loungewear. It doesn’t matter if it’s a drawer (or 2) or basket(s) on a shelf. Treat your loungewear like your other clothes with specific purposes. Give it a place in your closet so you know where it goes. 😄