Optimizing Storage So Your Home Can Breath

If you are like me and you haven't put your seasonal decorations away yet, take a little time to take a peek this weekend (yes, we will do it this weekend) at what else is in your storage area, and try to edit a little out.  This exercise will help you use your storage space more effectively this year so that you don't dread as much retrieving something you need out of there.  You will have a sense of accomplishment knowing you didn't just cram the seasonal boxes up there like most of us usually do.   Also, part of organizing any space, both storage or living, requires creating available space by making decisions of what to purge out because of condition, redundancy, or not needing or wanting it now. I don't do this kind of inventory in my main storage space (our attic) every year, but this year I intend...
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Happy New Year and Happy Organizing!

I think one of the main reasons there is an urge to get organized at the start of the year, is the desire to do more and to do it better. In order to do anything better and to accomplish more, we have to figure out how we may be wasting time, and we need to determine how to use our time more effectively. Time is a commodity that everyone wants more of, but it seems to allude us. We live in an age where advances in technology make us available 24/7 and the expectations of people are that we should be responsive almost immediately. We pride ourselves in being supreme multi-taskers and some how doing it all and most times doing it well. Over time this takes a toll and most people start borrowing time from leisure or sleep and inevitably come up short. The best kept secret to achieve...
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Holiday Shopping

Holiday Shopping Here it is December 10th and I don't have my holiday shopping list together. What? A professional organizer who doesn't have her shopping done, wrapped and ready to go by December 1st? I am a little bit behind this year, but being a very practical person, I tend to give practical gifts, so I figure it isn't going to take me too long to do my shopping. I also have been known to buy in quantity, if I like something, and then give it out as my signature gift. One year I gave everyone a coupon, saving Entertainment book tailored for their part of the country and another year everyone got a pizza stone with pizza fixings. Here are some ideas to wrap up your shopping quickly to minimize stress so that you can really enjoy this special time of year. 1. Think about giving some high quality chocolate,...
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Shopping Nirvana

What is the most exciting place for an organizer to hang out, relax, take in the sights and shop? Of course, The Container Store! I just got back from what I wanted to be a quick excursion to shop for a client, and pick up a few things for me, and of course it wasn't quick at all. We all know that there is no such thing as a quick in and out for an organizer in the mecca for organizing products. I find the Container Store to be an uplifting store, because the under-lying promise of a sense of order, stress reduction and control come with the purchase of the tangible products. I found most of what I needed, and a very helpful associate brain-stormed with me some ideas for categorizing quilt patterns, (my whole reason for being there in the first place), for my client's quilt studio. Together we...
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Look Out Here They Come...

I was in Lowe's yesterday picking up some mulch and other home improvement items, and I was shocked to see they had their full Christmas display up.  Why was I shocked you say and where have I been the past few years to not notice that holiday merchandising seems to go hand-in-hand with Halloween decorations?  My kids were off from school, so they were very excited to see all of the twinkling lights and Christmas greenery.   I didn't want to ruin their excitement, so I tried to be enthusiastic, and I don't think I quite pulled it off.   My son, who is nine did ask why the Christmas decorations were on display before Thanksgiving.    I was able to touch a little on consumerism and merchandiser marketing before his eyes glazed over. I can't help but feel that there is something sad in rushing time and to force feed us...
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McLean Green Day, A Green Halloween, and More

McLean Green Day logo
pumpkin
trick or treat bag
 Gearing Up for McLean Green Day! I keep hearing about visits to the pumpkin patch and discussions about Halloween costumes - it must be October! In fact, it's mid-October and we are just days away from the McLean Green Day hosted by Brooskfield School.       Here is why I am excited about McClean Green Day this Saturday, October 23 (9am - 12pm): Brooksfield has been working hard for over a year now to integrate green practices into their school operations and classrooms. Organizing an event like this for the community shows their commitment to environmental stewardship beyond their front doors. It will also give people a chance to learn more about what makes their school green. With over 30 vendors focused on sustainable and nutritious living - this will not only be a fun event for the whole family, you will leave with valuable information about green and healthy living. ...
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Personal Organization Contributes to Success

By now we have our kids in their school routines and we hopefully have adjusted to our fall schedules. I don't know about you, but it took me a little longer this year to transition into my fall schedule, and feel on top of it.   Some of this had to do with back to school chaos and my youngest starting Kindergarten, but I also think with our extra hot September I was trying to hold on to the more laid back summer pace, which doesn't work with a busier work schedule, volunteer commitments, two kids in school and many after school activities.   I do believe that doing my best to create systems to help the house function better will have a positive effect on my kids ability to learn and their school success.   Research supports that children learn better when areas are clutter free and organized. This summer, I participated in...
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Back to School Nutrition Ideas by Anita Capizzi, R.N., CHC

September is the month that takes us back to school, back to schedules and back to figuring out what is best to feed our children. Without a doubt, feeding them real food is the way to go! Organic fruits, vegetables and dairy products, free from pesticides and growth hormones will nourish and protect their growing young bodies. Grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs, wild catch fish and legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are good protein sources. Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and millet are excellent choices to substitute for white rice which has limited nutritional value. Sandwiches made on 100% whole wheat bread provide more nutrients and longer lasting energy than sandwiches made on white bread. Try out the recipe below for a sweet, natural dessert! Adapted from "The Cane Mutiny," New Age Magazine, March/April 1999. Recipe of the Month: Maple Fruit Compote with Honey-Ginger Toasted Nuts...
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Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products, Straight from Your Kitchen

three beaker flasks
cut lemons
After a busy summer of interns and putting together new green living resources, I am back to Brooksfield blogging and sharing green living tips good for people and the planet. If you ever have specific green living questions, please send a message to info AT greenlivingconsulting.com.  This month's blog is from a recent post I did on greendailygrind.com before a presentation at a local festival in DC.  Making Your Own Green Cleaning Products Many natural ingredients found in your kitchen can double as safe and effective cleaning products. These cleaners are inexpensive and non-toxic to use, creating healthier homes in the cleaning process. Why Should We Be Concerned with Our Cleaning Products? Well, here are a few facts that got my attention: There are an estimated 80,000 different chemical compounds in use, of which 4000-8000 are estimated to trigger cancer. The average household contains anywhere from 3 to 25 gallons of...
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McLean Green Day: Organic Food, Fitness and Fun Update

McLean Green Day at The Brooksfield School is really coming together nicely.  We have a lot planned for our themed day of, Organic Food, Fitness and Fun! Come taste some treats from Don our Organic Butcher and learn about the organic products our local organic butcher provides! Join us in some fitness exercises with Elm Street Fitness owner, Linda Rudd. Sip on some yummy organic smoothies with our local Citizens for Wellness ladies who are educated about organic food and nutrition.   Get informed at 10 am with brief discussions about :  our District's efforts to go Green with a talk by Supervisor John Foust  how to detox your home and create your own cleaning products that are safe and effective by, Addie Spahr, Green Living Consulting what our local Chamber of Commerce is doing to Green McLean by, Ghassan Abukurah, A2 Design, Inc.   There will also be Halloween Fun for...
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