Category Archives: Community

Diary of a Move
from city to village

Long time clients recently moved to the east end of Long Island.  In her blog, MyFoodVoice.me, Louise shares the story of their transition and gives insightful lessons for letting go.  She relates the difficulty of moving across country and the weight possessions have when holding onto things only because of the memories they carry.

Louise loves cooking and has become a talented knitter and needlepoint artist.  Her husband is an avid gardener, grill master and enjoys his well organized garage.  They truly understand the benefits of an organized life.

IMG_2389Our paths first crossed in 2007 when interior designer Connie McCreight contacted me to assist with the organizing needs related to their Los Angeles home remodel.  Since then, my team has enjoyed working on the first move to their second vacation home, then later when they decided to make the east coast their permanent home.  Along the way, we have helped with other projects including decorating for Christmas.

I left LA for Knoxville just before the move was to start, but colleagues John Trosko and Ros Lakomy took over the California end of the final move.  When I joined the team for the unpack in New York, it was a “working” reunion for clients, organizers and designers.

After reading “The Art of Moving – Letting Go and Embracing Change” check out the rest of the blog for delicious recipes and tips for food buying and entertaining.  I did mention she is a talented cook?

Thank you for sharing your story Louise.  Many will benefit from your moving experience.

 

Mr. Vanderbilt’s Organized Moved


I love Biltmore, the largest home in America and just 2 hours from Knoxville.  It is a beautiful study of a different time, grand entertaining and gracious living.  The article below shares the struggles George Vanderbilt had in 1895 as he made his dream a home.

His struggles were the same as our moves are today.  What is going to the new home?  What room will the boxes be unpacked?  Where will things go, where to start?  How will the household run once completely moved and settled?

George Vanderbilt’s 250 room house had a large staff attending to every need of the family. Today, a professional organizer is available to help simplify the details of your move into your personal “Biltmore”.

Read “Moving Into Biltmore House, October 1895” from Biltmore.com

 

 

Tailgating Starts in a Organized Home

Football season is here (what happened to the summer?)!  That means fans from Neyland Stadium to the Rose Bowl are ready for Tailgate Parties.  Menus need planning,  supplies will be bought, but is your home field organized?

Here are some simple tips for successful Tailgating season:

1.  Team effort – get family involved and delegate tasks.
2.  Home field advantage – clean out and organized the refrigerator and pantry.

CT2A2117_LR
3.  The field house (garage) – have space in garage to keep dry goods stored for each weeks game – paper goods, coolers, folding chairs, etc.

CT2A2211_LR
4.  The pre-game Stadium (your car) – get that trunk cleared out and find containers that can go from garage to trunk for quick set-ups.

With just a little planning the Vols will not be the only ones running through the “T” this tailgating season.

Clear Your Clutter, Help A Cause – KARM

You have started the process of having an organized home.  Good and tough decisions have been made and you are ready to let go of the past, but what can you do with that unwanted stuff?

DSCN0331Donate unwanted, unused items that are in good condition to your favorite charity.  In Knoxville, a great place to consider is KARM – KnoxvilleArea Rescue Ministries.  Over 18 thrift stores in east Tennessee will turn your clutter in to treasures for the homeless in our area. They offering pick up services, even for businesses.

Don’t let your clutter stay piled up in the garage, get it out of the house.  And remember, this is a process.  In a few months do a quick check around the house and see what is in your way.

Keep it organized!

Easier to Clear Clutter
Thanks to Waste Management

Have you been putting off getting an organizing project started because you did not want a large metal unit for the recycled waste in the front?  Waste Management has a new service called Bagster – Dumpster in a Bag.

You purchase a large bag at your local home improvement store that holds up to 3,300 pounds of unwanted, unusable clutter and waste.  Then schedule collection pickup on online or call for a time.

To see if the service is available in your area, click here.  This will work for small renovation projects as well.  The first and most difficult step in the organizing process is clearing out the excess, making hard decisions about things that are now clutter but seem to say in the way.  Looks like Waste Management is making the job a little easier.

 

Cocktail Parties –
Organized, Free of Clutter, Fun for Host

Big Entertaining in Small Spaces

Cocktail party food 2

Even a small galley kitchen doesn’t have to restrict the size and ease of entertaining.  By thinking ahead and being organized your party will be fun and easy. Plan your menu to include simple items that are prepared in advance or purchased ready to serve.

Table scaping  doesn’t need to be extravagant to give style and flair to your party.  Small bud vases with roses from the neighborhood grocery with contrasting color flowers in the center will draw attention to the hors d’oeuvres prepared for the evening.

 

 

cocktail party food 1Remove chairs from the side of the dining table that faces the guests. this makes it easier to get to the food. Organized refills before company arrives in the refrigerator and pantry so it is quick and simple to replenish serving plates as they empty.

Once guests arrive, place the second round of food to be warmed in the oven.  And be sure to trash or hide any containers so your guests will think you have been cooking all day.  It’s our secret!

 

 

cocktail party drinks

Set up drinks at the end of the kitchen nearest the dining area.  Make your guest feel at home and ask them to help themselves to their favorite dring.  This allows them to feel welcomed and allows you to enjoy your event.  Bag ice from your ice maker several days ahead and leave in freezer.  All needed throughout the evening is grabbing Ziplock, prepared ice for the bar.

Now see how easy a gathering of friends can be.  Make your quest list, plan a simple menu and set a date.  Let us know how it goes.

For more ideas for organizing your next party check out this month Get Organized Tips.

Organizer’s Dream comes to Farmer’s Market
The Container Store
Opens New Location August 9th

ContainerStoreNewWhile professional organizers never encourage buying for the sake of buying, I would like to share some exciting news. For our friends in the west Los Angeles area, if you need innovative, stylish, fun containers for your home or office organizing needs The Container Store is coming your way in the historic Los Angeles Farmer’s Market, adjacent to The Grove.

During the opening weekend, August 9 and 10th, this retail giant will donate 10% of the all that locations sales to Step UP – inspiring women to inspire girls. Since the company began in Dallas in 1978 they not only created the storage and organization category for retail, but have nurtured an employee-first culture along with high level of customer service. It is listed in FORTUNE magazine’s top 100 companies to work for. Many of my colleagues would call the store the Neiman Marcus of containers.

Now about the Farmer’s Market location…
-20,000 square feet of shopping with more than 10,000 mulit-functional and innovative products.
-Products organized in 16 signature lifestyle departments
-Employee knowledge, each full-time sales person receives more than 263 hours of training (part-time employees receive 177 hours) in their first year.

Join the Los Angeles design and organizing industry in welcoming this newest location.

De-Cluttering Your Networking Group’s Business Card Box

Bni4success

Every weekday morning, entrepreneurs gather in cities around the world to network and grow their businesses by passing referrals to each other.  Most of these networking groups keep members’ business cards collected in a container to be passed on to colleagues who need their products and services.

You have probably seen these card boxes at BNI (Business Network International), Le Tip, or your chamber of commerce.  Most I have seen are haphazardly arranged, making it difficult to find the services needed.  If this reminds you of your group’s business card box, check out this easy solution.

From the Container Store

The Container Store offers an acrylic Baseball Card Case with adjustable dividers and lid.  Simply cut card stock for your category dividers and label with printed file labels or by using a label maker.  Arrange members’ cards by their professions.  It is easier to think of the services needed than an individual name.  After all, that has worked for the Yellow Pages all these years.

Even if you are not in a formal networking group, you can organize the cards you collect and become a better referral source to your clients.  The results of organization in your networking group will benefit everyone’s bottom line just as your organized closet or desk makes your life easier.

Designer Donna Livingston Honored by Cancer Fundraiser

Donna Livingston

Donna Livingston

Several thousand poured onto the Paramount Studio back lot last Saturday for the Concern Foundation’s annual Block Party.  This year’s Block Party honored one of LA’s top interior designers Donna Livingston.  Donna Livingston Design was establish in 1980 and her spectacular projects are found around the world.  She is on the list of “Top 100 Interior Designers” named by Architectural Digest and is a supporter of the American Cancer Society.  Cancer Research is a cause dear to her heart.

Also honored were Mary Moebius, M.D. a Child and Adult Psychiatrist in private practice in Tarzana since 1997 and Susan Inwood, CIMA a Senior Investment Management Consultant with Smith Barney.

Concern Foundation block party 09 001

Block Party and Silent Auction

The Concern Foundation has raised over $41 million dollars to fund cancer research since 1968.  Only 5% of funding goes toward administrative cost which means 95% of funds go directly toward cancer research.

We all have been, or will be, effected by cancer.  My sister-in-law has survived breast cancer, but unfortunately I lost my brother this past year to bladder cancer.  If you have not known someone with this horrible disease, chances are you will.   Even if you missed the 2009 Block Party, you can still contribute to this worthy organization.  Thank you 2009 honorees for raising awareness and funding to help win the battle against cancer.

To make your contribution, click here.