Tag Archives: organizing

Bath Organizing – Small Cabinet Results in Big Storage

Custom Cabinet
Replaces Lack of Counter Space
If you have little or no counter space in your bath, a cabinet just 6″ deep can mean lots of storage for your cosmetic needs. Similar cabinets are available in home stores, but here we matched the existing vanity and designed narrow to give the feel of a larger room. The lower open shelf holds decorative containers with soaps, cotton balls, and q-tips.

First Impressions Important for Staging

Make the Entry “Pop” With Color

You may have a valuable property, but do buyers want it upon the first look?
All it takes is chipped paint or an empty porch to give an impression that cannot be improved no matter what is inside.

Keep the outdoor “clutter” away just as you would inside.   Touch up areas needing painting and clean furniture.  Make use of plants for added “pop of color” and replace old, worn cushions.

If planting beds are overgrown, replace with mulch and easy to maintain ground cover.  Have gardens at their peak during beautiful summer months.  It does not take much to have your property the most desirable in the area.

This Knoxville – Tennessee River – property is available through Tom Pettitt, Realty Executives, 865-588-3232.

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.

Before the Storm

Make sure you have everything needed for Every Occasion

While driving in the Tennessee snow last month, WIVK-FM’s Andy and Alison were joking that no winter gloves were to be found in Knoxville after the city turned white.  One even said they could not find boots so their kids could go sledding.  But with a chuckle they noticed the stores had a huge supply of spring bathing suits.

This is one reason last month was Get Organized Month.  It’s a time to realize that getting organized is more than having everything in a certain place or being free of clutter.  Being organzied is about saving time and being prepared for what happens in life.

Here in Los Angeles we don’t have to worry about snow shovels, but what about this weekend’s rain?  Did anyone buy their umbrella after the skies turned dark?

Don’t wait for the next storm to come in your life.  Make your list of what may be needed in the coming months and save yourself both frustration and time.

Garde Robe – A Personal Valet for Your Wardrobe

Garde Rob Luxury Service

If you have more couture than you have closet space, Garde Robe is at your service.  This luxury service started in New York and is now in southern California.    Not only do they provide storage for your garments in climate controlled facilities, a photographic inventory is created which is available online for clients making easy retrieval for what is needed.

Heading to your Sun Valley residence and don’t want to pack?  Let Garde Robe know what you need and the items will arrive to meet you cleaned and ready for a night on the town.

Store your out of season clothes

Check out their portfolio and visit their website at www.GardeRobeOnline.com.   This “white glove” service will give you more space by storing your out of season clothes, footwear and accessories.  While in their possession your garments will be inspected and even repaired if needed.

Frequent travelers, multiple home owners, and those who want their wardrobe to be in the best condition should check this service out.

Home Staging Tips for De-cluttering for Your Open House

While your home may be comfortable and beautiful for your family, can a potential buyer see the house that may become their home?  Recently we were called in by John Barrentine to help a family get ready for placing their house on the market.

The house was a lovely setting for any family.  Not overly cluttered, but lived-in.  By simply removing a few extra pieces of furniture, the rooms looked much larger.  In closets, we reviewed items the family did not need until after the move and more space also quickly appeared.  Over-the-door storage units were removed.  While these items may provide extra storage space, a potential buyer will see these and think the closets are not large enough.

Removing all your family photos will allow visitors to have an opportunity to imagine their images on the walls and shelves…thinking “this could be my home”.  And don’t forget, you are not there during the Open House.  Buyers will peep in drawers and cabinets to see if you have enough room.  We quickly reorganized all the bath vanities and other cabinets throughout the home.

Within a week John shared “thank you for helping to get it together over here.  Here now for more showings and just today someone exclaimed ‘wow so organized.  I would love to live this way’.  Seven offers now and more coming.”

Walk through your home as if you were a stranger and realize even a stack of magazines might be a distraction to others.  All the work you do will make the sale quicker, and all that has been packed away for storage is just that much work already done for moving day.


Award Season In Hollywood Included the Stars of Organizing

The Grammys have nothing on the Orgies.  That’s right – the night before the music industry celebrated in downtown Los Angeles, the 5th annual Los Angeles Organizing Awards, or “Orgies”, were held at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.  This Red Carpet evening was the climax of Get Organized Month for the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO-LA).  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVeuCjhgkDY]

Chris McKenry, Rachel Eisner, Kim Coles, Carolyn Judson, and Joe Clapsaddle

Industry leaders from as far away as Australia were in attendance.  Colleagues caught up with each other, made new friends, and celebrated the best products, services, media, authors and people in the professional organizing industry.  Kim Coles was the evening host and the program featured Peter Walsh, from The Oprah Winfrey ShowJulie Morgenstern, celebrated author and time management expert, Dorothy Brenninger and Standolyn Robertson, both experts from the new A&E “HOARDERS” hit show, plus many more.  Get It Together LA! was a finalist for “Best Closet Design” and “Best Garage Design” this year.

Interiors by Connie McCreight Interior Design

I was especially honored to have as my guests Senior Designer Carolyn Judson and Design Assistant Rachel Eisner of Connie McCreight Interior Design.  At times, organizers are fortunate to work alongside other professionals on client projects.  In the past couple of years we have been included on several of the Connie McCreight Design Firm’s projects.  From Bel Air to the Hamptons, Get It Together LA! has had the opportunity to watch these designers create residential masterpieces.  They mention working with Get It Together LA! in their blog post, “Everything in its Place”.  Connie suggests “when thinking about refreshing your space, focus on two or three items that will make the most impact…add drama with new paint, a bold graphic rug, or eclectic artwork”.  Even rethinking furniture arrangement can make a difference.  Add in some new accessories like a statement mirror, or swap accessories you already have within the rooms of your home.

Along with beautiful design, the style of the road was also represented at the Awards gala.  Event car sponsor Joe Clapsaddle, of Hornburg Jaguar, was also at our table.  Joe is past chair or the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and a very active community leader.

Hornburg sponsored a drawing for a Weekend in Hollywood giveaway featuring the use of a 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged, which was also parked on the Red Carpet as the evenings’ guests received superstar treatment on January 30.

Luxury roadsters, sophisticated design, and skillful organizing all merged at the Los Angeles Organizing Awards.  Professional Organizers and their friends enjoyed celebrating a year of clutter-clearing work.  If you missed it, plan on coming next year.  We had a great time and wish to congratulate all of the 2010 award winners.

Help for Soon-to-be Parents



Newborn babies bring joy, but with the joy comes stroller, cribs, toys, diapers, gifts, changing tables, more diapers and clothes, car seats, more gifts…well you get the idea.  Recognizing new parents need to be organized as they prepare for their family addition, Kijiji.com has partnered with us to help educate parents on the best ways to organize and maximize space for their “Baby On Board” campaign.

Kijiji.com is a free, family friendly site that is easy to navigate and a great place to buy and sell items for the home and find necessary services.  The name Kijiji is Swahili for village.  This is really a community to share information and resouce to get rid of unwanted clutter.  In their online survey, it was discovered that only 7% of parents resale baby items once they are no longer used.   So 93% of families have the opportunity to gain more space and raise some money by selling these unused items.

Check out our tips and let your baby develop organizing principles that will last a lifetime.

What a Night for the Stars of Organizing

The Organizing world gathered in Los Angeles last week for the 2009 Los Angeles Organizing Awards held at the Luxe in Bel-Air.  Time management guru Stephen Covey received a Lifetime Achievement Award for helping us better organized our time through his books, products and seminars.  In a special taped “thank you” he noted how important it is to stand back and look at what is in our life.  Covey went on to say many times, upon examination, even our time is cluttered with events and activities that may not be as important as we think.

Chris Mckenry, Mary Ann Pate, and Janine Sarna-Jones

Chris Mckenry, Mary Ann Pate, and Janine Sarna-Jones

The Awards were presented by the National Association of Professional Organizers-Los Angeles chapter and event sponsor The Office Depot.  Over 150 professional organizers, product representatives and service providers attended.  Caught on the red carpet before the dinner and awards show were Mary Ann Pate, Past President of NAPO-San Francisco, Janine Sarna-Jones, Past President of NAPO New York and member of the NAPO Board of Directors and Chris McKenry.  McKenry, and his board in 2006 created the Los Angeles Organizing Awards.

Robin Davi, Donna McMillan, Dorothy Breininger, John Trosko, Dolores Kaytes, Hap Sparks, Christine Reiter, and Chris McKenry.

Robin Davi, Donna McMillan, Dorothy Breininger, John Trosko, Dolores Kaytes, Hap Sparks, Christine Reiter, and Chris McKenry.

The current and past president of the Los Angeles Chapter of NAPO joined Hal Sparks on the red carpet.  Sparks of “Queer as Folk” was the host of the evening.  Pictured from left to right:  Robin Davi, Donna McMillan, Dorothy Breininger, John Trosko, Dolores Kaytes, Hap Sparks, Christine Reiter, and Chris McKenry.

Also attending was Jodie Watson, star of Real Simple.Real Life and NAPO-LA Vice President and Awards chair.  From around the country guests included NAPO National board of directors;  President Standolyn Robertson and board members Angela Wallace, Pam McCutcheon, Janine Sarna-Jones, Allan Young, and Sandy Stelter- all celebrating the glamor of organization.

photo credits:  Sara Getzkin and Michelle Clooney

Hear McKenry on Home Wizards Saturday

Get Organized Month is just days away and getting organized is recession proof.  Organizing Expert Chris McKenry will join Cindy Dole on her show, Home Wizards Saturday, December 27 at 8 am.  The show can be heard on News Talk 870 KRLA or found live on the web at www.HomeWizards.tv.

“The New Year is upon us and this segment will help us get our act together from our paper files for taxes, to the rest of the home,” states host Cindy Doyle.  You can call into the show and ask your questions about getting organized for your most productive year by dialing 1-866-870-5752.