Tag Archives: Get It Together LA!

Kitchen Clearing Clutter Game

Play High, Low, or Let It GO!

Kitchen Upper

If it is difficult to edit the clutter from your kitchen, try a fun exercise I created when helping a client organize her kitchen. The new custom home was finished and the move-in had just begun.  After the long anticipation my client found it difficult deciding what to edit and where to place the keepers.

So in the kitchen, I mounted the step ladder with items in hand. After creating the zones for kitchen work – food storage, food preparation, cooking, and cleanup – I simply asked “High, low, or let it go?”  Things needed for daily use were placed in the lower part of the tall upper cabinets.  If they were seldom used, but needed for entertaining they went high.  Quickly, she realized that if items did not fit into either of the first two categories, there were easier to pass on to others and clear the clutter.

After ten minutes, she said this made the process into a more enjoyable game.  If you have had a time editing your excess, try “High, Low, or Let It GO!”

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

 

 

Elements for an Organized Closet

Sure there are basic things every closet should have…uniform hangers are the first to come to mind.  But there are other elements that will keep clutter under control.

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Belt Hooks – placed on end panel or side of closet
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Tie Rack – on an open wall space (ties sorted by color)

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Waste Basket and Laundry Hamper – will keep dirty laundry together and give place for waste from pockets at end of the day
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Velvet Lined Jewelry Drawers – necklaces can get tangled in a box and other jewelry is quick to find when organized
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Valet Rods – allows the next days wardrobe to be prepared early

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Many times these elements can be added to an existing closet.  If not, the principles discussed can still be included when organizing your space.  Getting organized is not about “things” as it is the way we think.

Keep your clutter under control and your closet can be your favorite boutique.

note:  this closet was organized by Knoxville organizing firm Well-Kept Spaces and designed by east Tennessee’s Closets by McKenry.

Knoxville’s Professional Organizer
for Your Well-Kept Spaces

Well-Kept Spaces comes to Knoxville with 15 years experience organizing homes and being a leader in the professional organizing industry.  While in Los Angeles Chris McKenry was president of the LA chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). During that time he created the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and served on the national board of NAPO.Featured imageNow we are thrilled to return to Knoxville with a new name and a new sister business, Closets by McKenry – for custom closet & garage design.  Recently we work with a client of Interior Designer Todd Richesin.  The beautiful new home was nearing completion and Todd turned to Well-Kept Spaces to unpack and organize the new home for the family.  We even helped plan this beautiful play area for the kids.  Notice the cut-out containers in the desk top for crayons and even the seats are storage bins.

 

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Professional organizers never forget labels.  When using beautiful baskets, gift tags can help identify contents in the gift wrap closet.

To see our “brag book”, as one client called it, click here.  It might give you an idea for your Well-Kept Spaces.

Food, Glorious Food from a Professional Organizer

IMG_0956 - CopyCelebrity chefs, busy moms, and hungry single executives all have one thing in common when they cook…the need for an organized pantry.  Like any storage area make it an inviting space. Create your own personal market that is organized into food groups.

High shelves can hold decorative trays and other items not often used, creating a focal point. Heavy small appliances and cookware stored lower allows the handy, visible center of pantry for most needed items.

Wicker baskets container food groups and give the open air market feel.  Baking goods kept in clear, labeled containers allow easy inventories to be taken and keep supplies from running out.

thanks 5An important element of an organized pantry, is not to over buy.  When stocking for large events, keep overflow items in the garage.

Mark your calendar to review out of date foods every 6 months.  This will help to maintain your organized pantry.

 

 

 

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

Big Entertaining in Small Spaces

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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!

 

 

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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.

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.

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.

Are You Ready for the Purge?
Clear Clutter with a Professional Organizer

While the movie may be scary, real life purging doesn’t have to be. Letting “go” is the first and most important step in getting and staying organized. In the movie it happens once a year. An annual edit around the home and office is a great idea.
Ask yourself hard questions, and don’t be afraid to let go. You have permission to let things go that are no longer used. Donating your clutter will allow those “black hole” items to go to others who could use them.
So July 18th, celebrate The Purge and free your space for the future.
If you are not sure how to Purge, we have organizers ready to help.
The Purge sign