Tag Archives: Get It Togehter LA!

Organized Entertaining

Often when entertaining it seems that “four letter” words include host and work.  An organized event can mean fun for all, especially you!  With the holidays here, these simple tips should make entertaining fun for everyone.

Create an event journal for each occasion.  Include the guest lists, menu, shopping list, tasks to delegate and check list of activities leading up to the party.  Start in the pantry and clear all out of date foods.  Organize into categories – think of it as your personal market.  Then once the menu is planned, inventory can be taken to create your shopping list.

Plan “concierge area” for over night guests.  Most likely this would be the laundry room.  Show guests where supplies are kept and invite them to make themselves at home,  This way you will not feel like an overworked housekeeper.

Find ways to expand the entertaining area.  If weather permits, add gas heaters outdoors and add lighting.

Prepare as much food ahead as possible and set the table a couple days ahead.  Don’t be afraid to delegate,  Guests want to help…they just need direction.

Food, friends, and organization…a combination for happiest of holidays.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving…

New LA Container Store Opens TODAY at Farmer’s Market

My friends at The Container Store gave a sneak preview Thursday and now everyone can see and shop! And 10 % of all sales this weekend goes to Step UP.
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Audrey Robertson, vice president, gave an exciting tour to bloggers, then that evening I shared a moment with two of my favoriate colleagues, Standolyn Robertson – past president of NAPO and Jodie Watson of Supreme Organization.

Now open, the newest Container Store is ready for Los Angeles’ organized – and unorganized – shoppers. See you at the Farmer’s Market!

Do You Think Clutter Sucks?
Save Time and Receive a Complimentary Tote

Clutter Sucks

Have you been thinking about getting organized and you’re in Los Angeles? We are here for you. The average person sends up to an hour a day looking for things. So save up to six weeks a year by getting organized and get your Get It Together LA tote.

Free Tote Bag to First Five Clients

Call today and start saving time in your home or office. Remember the first 5 clients to schedule appointments will receive a complimentary Get It Together LA canvas tote!

Tote Bag

Is mail piling up in your home? Is the pantry stuffed? Are you constantly late paying bills because of the clutter on your desk? Let us create easy simple systems you can maintain and you too could see extra time for the fun things in life.

Contact me at 323-571-2134.

Two Master Closets Given New Custom Design and Purpose by Professional Organizer

A recent professional organizing project found a client with one small and one larger walk-in closet. Both, off the master bedroom, were over following and no room for shoes and purses. The smaller closet was narrow and hanging clothes made it impossible to walk into and reach what was needed.

Solution

Custom Designed Shoe and Purse Closet

We dedicated the smaller closet for just shoes, purses, and accessories. Drawers for jewelry were added on one wall. Without the depth of hanging clothes, this smaller closet has room to walk into and see everything inside. Backing was even added to end of the closet where the belts are hanging, giving a finished touch.

Wardrobe and Hats

The larger closet was custom designed with adjustable rods and shelves so storage is versatile as needs change. More space was given for hanging clothes with double hang. Now the client has more hanging space than before and room for all other items in her closet. When designing and organizing your spaces, create departments for your possessions. Now you can shop every morning and find your favorite things.

Limited Kitchen Storage Increased by Professional Organizer

galley kitchen
This galley kitchen works better than most would think considering its size. More storage was created in this home when we designed a unique bar/buffet. Holding stemware, china, liquor the buffet features silent closing drawers, bottom drawer designed for bottles, and lower convenient pull out shelf. The finish matches the dining table.
Custom Designed Buffet
China/bar storage
The looking at the closet across the hall from the kitchen, a custom closet was designed to be part pantry and part home office storage.
Pantry in Hall Closet
Now this kitchen has almost doubled its’ storage. The pantry was organized into zones just like grocery isles. Now there is more room and a place for everything this gourmet needs.

Organizing Gives Time for Holidays or Confessions of a Professional Organizer

treeIt seems strange to say, but I have already decked my halls for Christmas. Considering there have been recent years when I did not decorate some may think I am just catching up. But the truth is this is my first year in my new home. Also since decorating client’s homes for Christmas is part of our services, I have my “work” out of the way and can better enjoy the holidays after hours.

Professional Organizer Decorating Tips for You:

Before starting, if decorations are not organized spend a few minutes sorting like items together. It will make the process go much smoother. Even if you like to have your decorations up 2-3 weeks before Christmas, I urge you to consider a artificial tree. Last year our tree was brown a week before the Merry day. There are great buys online and a pre-lite tree makes the first, and hardest, step completed.
The secret to a stunning tree is fill it up with different dimensions of elements – in size and color. Keeping with a color theme is for the more stylish look, while multi-colors creates a more old fashion tree.

After lights, any draped strands should be placed next. Then add ornaments followed by ribbons or branches of color that can be inserted into the tree. The last element we added were pairs of candles placed throughout the tree branches.

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07 DSCN1682Mantels, banisters, outside columns are dressed for yuletide with garland. We like to dress up strands of greenery with lights and other desired items such as bunches of berries, ribbons and bows, and even ornaments.

villageChristmas is the time to make memories that will last for holidays to come. My brother and sister-in-law gave me Christmas village ceramic buildings every year. Now that they are gone this village is a wonderful reminder for me of family gatherings past. As you decorate this year, start making traditions that will be with you and your family for years to come.

Elegant Custom Closets Designed for Any Size

Reach In Closet

Reach In Closet

Your wardrobe can still be in a beautiful space even if there is not as much room as a walk-in closet. When I design a closet I like to take into consideration the other cabinetry in the room or nearby area. In this condo, we matched the existing finishes in the Master Bath and this reach in closet is custom designed to get the shoes off the floor. The shelves hold 30 pair of shoes, hats bedding and towels for the adjoining bath. By double hanging the “short hang items” there is as much room as if we kept a single rod in the closet and still had room for 30″ of long hang items. And there is still room for a laundry hamper for worn clothes. Notice the difference using the same hangers makes for the overall look of the space.

Wardrobe Walk-in Luxury

If there is room for converting an extra room house your wardrobe the possibilities are endless for your custom designed closet. Center islands hold personal folded garments and framed glass doors could showcase purses or sweaters.
Shelves for shoes...

With room, shoes can be organized by heel size, color, and type of wear. Islands are also a great place to “hide” hampers and give a place for personal decorative items.

Don’t you deserve luxury? And I didn’t even mention how much easier your day starts with an organized wardrobe! We can also provide you with an environmentally friendly closet made from “green” materials.

Get It Together LA!

The Leader Unrealized – Chris McKenry’s Presentation to NAPO-LA

Last Monday, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers welcomed me as speaker for their annual Leadership Forum.  The presentation drew on my personal experiences of the past president of NAPO-LA, the creator of the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and past board member of the NAPO National board of directors.

I felt it important to show that anyone could and should be a leader.  My organizing business has grown since it’s inception because of my involvement in NAPO, the local chamber of commerce, and community in general.

The second portion of the program highlighted 6 leaders that have inspired or been in my life.  From my Dad and brother (Joe and Jody McKenry) to others from my hometown of Knoxville to national business leaders.  And the fact that my Mother served her fried chicken when Colonel Sanders came to dinner was one of the highlight’s of the evening.

Then the program wrapped up with a look at the book You Don’t Need a TITLE to be a Leader by Mark Sanborn and interactive excercises.

What was said about the night?

“Excellent – entertaining and inspiring.”
“Great topic & very engaging delivery, I feel much smarter.  Very easy for “just a mom” to feel invisible.  Much better to be a leader!”
“Chris brings humor and heartfelt inspiration to get hi pint across”
“Excellent, best program of the year.”

And I would like to add, thank you NAPO-LA for being a fantastic audience.  There is a leader in you, now make a difference today.

Does your organization need a speaker?  Let me know…
call 323/571-2134

 

 

Understanding Memory Loss

Imagine having a phone call with your best friend.  Then upon hanging up your wife tells you that the friend you just spoke with has been dead for 25 years.  How confusing and upsetting would that be?

This is how those living with Alzheimer’s feel when corrected.  I have experienced this in my family.  The impulse is your loved one needs to be corrected, but in truth the sense of reasoning is just not there.  They become confused, angry, and embarrassed.  When you experience an older adult with memory loss confused or just wrong in their statements gently find a way to just leave the topic.

The spring NAPO Organizing Conference in San Diego last week had several workshops to better understand the needs of older adults and those with memory loss.  My colleague and friend Margit Novak had an informative program on this subject.

Novak shared when moving parents, it is helpful to have the new space arranged as similar as possible in their new surroundings.  Other tips include facing older adults when speaking with them and cut out any competition – televisions or other background noises.

The best example I heard to understand how Alzheimer’s affects a patient is to imagine a closed fist is actually a brain.  As Alzheimer’s progresses, the fingers on the fist are not damaged but actually completely disappear.  The short-term memory goes first, but with proper medicines this can be stayed for a long time.

Understanding the fear and confusion being experienced by dementia and other related memory loss will be helpful in relating to your friends and loved ones.  It will not be easier, but patience and compassion will go a long way in sustaining their quality of life.

Changing Hangers and Dry Cleaners – Making Closets Stylish and Green

Since organizing my first closet, I have always encouraged using uniform hangers. Using the same style of hanger allows your wardrobe to hang at the same height.  Once clothes are sorted by “like with like” it is much easier to find the outfit you need each morning.

But you may be reluctant to make the hanger change because you do not want to have to re-hang the clean clothes upon returning from the cleaners.  Ask if they would use your hangers instead of the wire ones.  More and more I like to use the Huggable Hangers from Joy Mangano.  They are super thin, attractive, and the flocking keeps items from slipping off the hanger.

Many dry cleaners would be happy to save the cost of wire hangers and the ultra thin ones are easy for them to use.  Just offer to take the same amount of hangers into your cleaners with your dirty clothes.  If your dry cleaner is not able to accomodate, then try to return the wire hangers as you re-hang your clothes.  This will allow them to recycle, which is always a good thing to do.

Remember, it is Get Organized Month.  So see where clutter is keeping you from getting organized and tackle it one project at a time.