Green Up Your Act! Getting Your Gardening Zone in Shape

Spring always seems to lead the charge when it comes to getting things in order. Maybe the inspiration comes from opening windows long closed against winter’s chill and feeling the sunshine flood in; maybe it’s hearing the robins’ song as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. Regardless, a true spring clean is never confined to just the inside of your home. It extends outside as you clear debris out of garden beds, cut back dead growth, and generally give the outside of your house the same facelift you gave the inside a few weeks back.

Getting your gardening gear in order makes all the difference to the success of your project. Whether you have a shed or a simply a dedicated area in your garage, here are a few tips to whip your green thumb zone into submission.

One of the most useful organizational tools for a gardening area is a bulletin board. Here’s where you hang your calendar of events: what you planted, when you fertilized, what’s coming up in your veggie garden, what tasks are ahead. You can also use it to tack up labelled envelopes for used seed packets, plant info stakes, or receipts for plantings that come from stores with a 12-month survival policy (like Home Depot). Having a simple gardening HQ keeps you on top of your home’s curb appeal.

Photo by AlexRaths/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by AlexRaths/iStock / Getty Images

A ready-when-you-are garden carryall is a real timesaver. Anything with a handle is perfect for this--a basket or even an old-style milk delivery crate will do the trick. Stock it with gardening gloves, clippers, weeder, knee pads, and any other tools you always like to have close by. You may be surprised how much quicker it is now to weed the petunia bed!

Keeping as much off the floor as possible is key, so designate a hanging area for shovels, rakes, and hoes, and a few shelves with containers for smaller items. If you have space on the wall or the back of a door, a compartmentalized cloth shoe rack works well to store full seed packets, gardening stakes and twist ties, and smaller hand tools. Keep hoses and extension cords for power tools well coiled with Velcro straps.

At a certain age a potting station (which can be as simple as two sawhorses with a piece of wood or counter across them and a lattice against the wall) is the only civilized way to work on your planters and window boxes. It also provides storage underneath for soil, compost, and fertilizer. These large bags are best stored off the floor either in oversized plastic tubs or on a shelf. If you use chemicals in your garden, you might consider a locked box or high cabinet to ensure curious children can’t get at them.

Because soil is an integral part of the equation whenever you are talking gardening, your shed or garage gardening area is going to--you guessed it--attract dirt. Keep a small broom and dustpan on hand in this area to keep dust, dirt, and cobwebs at bay.

Any project you tackle, inside or out, is always easier when the required tools are organized, visible, and easy to access. It’s amazing how much easier it is to head out to the garden when you don’t have to spend fifteen minutes searching for those elusive clippers. Give your green zone the same love you show the inside of your house and get paid back every day with a healthy, thriving garden.

Happy Organizing!

Sheryl

 

Getting Your Move On: Purging, Preparing, and Packing

Moving is high up on our stress lists, isn’t it? And it’s an inescapable part of life: Americans move an average of 11.7 times during their lifetimes. Just thinking about a move is overwhelming: there’s so much to do, and where to begin?  

At Org & Relo we specialize in relocations, and we love them. We handle everything from recommending and coordinating the movers to helping you de-clutter before you pack to unpacking and organizing your new space so that it works for you. I can’t tell you how much happiness and immediate satisfaction results for all of us at the end of a successful move! My clients especially love how stress-free a move with us can be. One of them recently said: “With the help of your company, the physical and emotional stress of our move was so minimal. There is something about uprooting that sends your brain into a whirl. I will never forget the end of our first day with you. We retired to our bedroom to find our bed made and all of our clothing neatly organized. It was such a "zen" moment and just what we needed.”

My best advice is that it’s never too early to start preparing for a move. Leaving it all to the last minute is stressful and taxing. You’ll just be flinging things in boxes, labeling them “misc.” (or not labeling them at all), and filling your new garage with a depressing hodge podge of stuff. Pre-move prep can make the current space you are living in calmer and less chaotic as the pressure of the move builds. 

Approach it methodically. Prior to packing, start purging your stuff. Why pay to pack it, pay to move it, pay to unload it, pay to unpack it, and pay to get rid of it? I know letting things go can be challenging, so maybe asking yourself my three magic questions might help:

•  Do I use it?

•  Do I love it?

•  Do I appreciate it?

If you’re not getting a resounding “Yes!” to any of these then you know what your answer is--time to give away, donate, trash, or recycle. One way to reduce clutter at the outset is to be really careful about what you bring into your home. (True story: I pondered a slow cooker for two years before I took the plunge and bought it.) And any item of clothing that is invited into your closet should be adored as it was in the store, since that’s the mirror in which it always looks best. Avoid half-hearted purchases; those are the ones you’ll be wanting to get rid of before the year is out.

Another way to ease the letting go is to figure out where an item is headed. Gifting a box of beloved kids’ books to your sister for her new baby or passing on a great jacket you rarely wore to a girlfriend who always admired it can make a purging decision easier. Consigning is another great option, and Boulder’s own Clutter Consign is a fabulous place for much-loved treasures. Look up consignment stores in your area. Once you’ve decided to get rid of something, do yourself a favor and get it donated or recycled immediately--not stashed in a pile in the garage. The energy in your house will thank you... and so will your to-do list.

Stay ahead of the curve early on by pricing out moving supplies, or checking curb alerts on Craigslist for used boxes and paper. You can start packing long before move day arrives--low-rotation areas, like the linen closet, kids’ toys, sideboard items, books, etc. These boxes can be packed and stacked neatly in the garage to minimize the rush. Keep all the boxes for each destination (kitchen, basement, playroom, etc.) grouped together to make the loading and unloading more efficient. When packing boxes, labeling is key. Use a Sharpie to label the designated room in ALL CAPS on the same place on each box, and list what’s in it underneath. As the move approaches, pack up as much as you can before getting to the high-rotation rooms, like kitchen and bedroom, at the end.

A few other things to tackle ahead of time:

· Get move estimates from reputable moving companies (if you are moving between Memorial Day and Labor Day, moving companies are often overbooked).

· Think about what’s in the freezer and pantry, and plan meals around those items so you don’t have to pack or toss a lot of food.

· Contact us for a detailed list of what to do in the last few weeks like address changes, booking pet sitters, safely disposing of household chemicals, and more.

Closer to move day, you’ll want to pack (and label!) your “Essentials” boxes, such as sheets and towels, and make sure they’re last on the truck and first off. You’ll also pack suitcases with personal items like clothes and toiletries (this is also a good place for jewelry and important files) and transport them yourself.  Take anything you consider valuable with you.

 A move doesn’t have to be one of life’s great stressors. With a little planning, time, and attention, you can pull it off without a hitch.

 Happy Organizing!

 Sheryl

How Do I Choose A Good Moving Company?

Imagine this: you’re standing on your front steps with every single thing you own locked up tight in the moving truck parked outside. The mover walks up to you, says there are extra charges for this, this, and that and, until you pay what he asks, he won’t relinquish your stuff. Or, even worse, the final box gets put on the truck, it drives off into the sunset, and that’s the last you ever see of your worldly possessions.

Researching movers is worthy of a serious time investment. While the majority of moving companies are legitimate and above board, the mere fact that a website exists called “moving scam” is proof enough that they can’t all be accepted at face value.

The best time to move is between October and April; moving companies aren’t as busy then and are more willing to negotiate a better rate. If life dictates that you have to move during the summer months, book your movers way in advance. And if you’re unlucky enough to have to move the last week of July--always the busiest week of the year--try to work at least three months out.

Getting recommendations for reputable movers from friends, colleagues, professional organizers, or realtors makes a lot of sense. If that’s not an option, ask the movers you’re interviewing for customer contact info to help with your decision. At Org&Relo we work with many different movers, and we definitely know the ones who set the bar high. For example, any mover who slides a box across a hardwood floor is off our dance card!

Don’t accept an estimate over the phone. The only way you can get an accurate accounting of your moving costs is to have a real person walk around your house while taking notes. Show the estimator everything you want moved, including items in the attic, storeroom, or outside shed. If on moving day the foreman thinks you have more than was calculated, he can challenge the original estimate before it’s all loaded on the truck.

Make sure the estimator knows about any challenges in the destination home like stairs, narrow doorways, or unusual distance from the front door. Find out whether estimates are binding or non-binding (this often depends on whether you’re moving out of state). Request specifics on the company’s insurance policy--there is always a deductible unless you pay an additional fee. When you get your estimate, ask clarifying questions about anything you don’t understand. Don’t make assumptions that something is covered if it’s not written down. Cross anyone who requests a cash deposit off your list.

When you have a shortlist of three or four companies that look good, do an initial screening by checking with the Better Business Bureau and Moving Scam. You can also scan reviews on Yelp. If the company is local, do a drive by and see if they look established and legit. Next, check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to find out about consumer complaints. SAFER Web can provide you with safety and licensing information.

A good thing to pay attention to with movers is whether or not you feel you’re being listened to. Are the people you’re interacting with attentive to your needs? Moving is a stressful, time-consuming undertaking. You want to work with an organization who respects all aspects of the process--including any anxieties you may have or special details you want addressed.

Do your research well in advance so that you don’t have to make a rush decision about this important aspect of your move. Once you find a good, reputable mover, you’ll be able to sit back and let them take charge. That’s worth more than I can say.

Happy Organizing!

Sheryl

Is Your Office a Hot Mess?! It Doesn't Have to Be!

“You’re not on top of things.”

That’s the message a disorganized office sends to your boss, your colleagues, or your family if you work at home. A messy office screams “constant overwhelm!”--probably not the foot you most want to put forward professionally.

In one of the stranger twists on the modern workplace, as technology improves many of us feel less productive. In some ways, all the tools we now have at our fingertips lessen our ability to accomplish things. How often do you say (or hear) that there are too many meetings or too many emails to get the basic elements of your job handled day by day? To say nothing of the Internet lurking in the background to snatch you away from focused time with Facebook, Flappy Birds, or Kevin Spacey’s twitter feed.

If you follow this blog regularly, you already know some of my tips and tricks from previous posts: declutter, purge, clean, label, etc. So let’s just assume those crucial basics are all part of whipping your office into shape. Now let’s go deeper than that and talk about other lesser known measures that will improve your personal organizational style--and send an alternate message to the world at large.

Plot your master calendar

There’s nothing like seeing deadlines written or typed in to a calendar to make them more real than dates that drift aimlessly around in your head. Whether you keep a digital calendar or an old-school paper version, get used to listing all important dates and deadlines as far out as you can go. You’ll feel more committed to the outcome--and things won’t fall through the cracks.

Find your sweet spot

Some people are most productive in the wee hours when the office is empty or the house hasn’t yet started humming; others don’t really get their creative juices flowing until their three o’clock cup of coffee. Get a leg up on your productivity by determining your sweet spot and how you can best harness it for your work day.

Exercise the “two-minute rule”

Productivity consultant David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, encourages us to relieve stress and make progress by identifying what can be done in two minutes and simply doing it. Whether it’s a phone call, a brief return email, filing some stray papers, or making an appointment for your dog at the vet, small tasks that can be done quickly and efficiently reduce our mental and physical clutter.

Keep notes

Keep track of calls, notes from phone conversations, and any other important “small stuff” in your work day in a spiral-bound notebook. No more random Post-it notes in random locations that never turn up when you need them! When you have these things captured together in the same place, it makes it super easy to backtrack and pull up info quickly. Or, if you’re only wired for digital, you can always use the “Notes” section on your smartphone or Evernote, which will sync notes, projects, photos, and files across all your devices.

Nurture your flexibility

The world changes fast these days; faster than it ever did before. One way to keep on top of things is to learn how to flow with change--and to have a sense of what Plan B might be if a client flames out or you have to scramble to do a presentation for a sick coworker. Instead of using your mental juice to be upset, judgmental, or resentful, channel your energy into embracing the change; it’s much easier to shift gears and move forward that way.

Clean up before you leave

This is so simple I can hardly believe I’m recommending it, but it’s one of those “so obvious you could miss it” kind of tips: arriving at an organized desk every morning gives you the sense that you’re ready for the day and what’s ahead. Even if all you do is put away files, neatly stack your in-box, and wash out your coffee cup before taking off at the end of the day, the energy of a fresh start awaits you in the morning. Use the last few minutes of your day to give yourself that gift.

Like management consultant Peter Drucker said, “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” How great would it be if your hard work in “organizing” your office started broadcasting something different every day, like “Wow, you’re really together,” or “I can’t believe how much you can get done these days!” Give your workspace and your personal work habits a tune up, and let the compliments roll in.

Happy Organizing!

Sheryl

Are You Spring Ready? If not, read these tips below!

With the onset of spring; now is the perfect time for a little spring cleaning and organizing. 

3 Spring Organizing Tips:

1.  An organized closet is the first step to an organizing the rest of your home. You've heard it before, take action NOW and get rid of unused clothes and accessories (there are so many people in need of clothing if you are not wearing it!) If you haven't worn it in a year, you probably never will. Organize by type & color or just by color depending on how you function. Either way, your closet will look more appealing and your everyday routine will be easier.

2. Bookshelves are a great project for an immediate impact. Start by removing all the books and determining which you are keeping or donating (hardback books are like a piece of art, paperbacks are not as pretty). Changing the way you display books or accessories is a great change of energy to your space. Clean the shelves by using a soft towel to dust each book. You can organize your books by color and organize some vertically and some horizontally in a rhythmic pattern. This will relieve the monotony of rows and give a fresh, clean, and new perspective to your room.

3. Be ruthless when it comes to decluttering; If you don't love it, and/or you don't use it, it's clutter. Spring is the perfect time to embrace the Feng Shui art of uncluttered living. Feng Shui teaches that if energy can easily flow through a room, your life will be more harmonious and happy--and clutter is an obstacle to reaching this relaxed and calm state.Make it a quest of yours to be ruthless when it comes to your decluttering efforts. You'll have less to dust, less clutter to look it, an easier time finding the things you do use and less stress in your life.

Optimism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

You have two choices: look through cloudy glasses or wipe them off and see the beauty. The world will not stop spinning in 2017, nor 2018, just as it did not in 2011 nor during the great Y2K scare.

Redwood trees surround us. Water flows, peacefully along the Russian River, and arrives at our Pacific Ocean to a life of seals, salmon, surfers, and sharks. Today's gloomy rain and cold provides the life for the apples, grapes, peaches, and flowers we crave so much. Tomorrow's sun brightens and reflects the new growth on the fir trees and encourages the daffodils to move forward in their quest to bloom from now until March. Meanwhile, ladybugs burrow in the Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia) waiting for warmth to reproduce and protect the garden and spread beauty.

Continue reading John's article on the Sonoma County Gazette, here!

Springing Forward!

St. Patrick's Day is coming, but not before we have to change our clocks for daylight savings time! Are you feeling over-whelmed with all of the SPRING CLEANING that must be done?! Don't stress! Start off by reading our tips, but if that does not help - you could always reach out to us and we can help you SPRING into this new season! Check out our monthly newsletter for more informative tips and remember: How LUCKY are YOU to have all this STUFF?! We all have stuff - but we should take time to be thankful for all the STUFF we collect over time!

How LUCKY are YOU to have all this STUFF?!

With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, we encourage you to take some time to reflect and be thankful for all the STUFF we are lucky to have!  Are you managing your possessions with thoughtfulness and efficiency?  Are you feeling burdened by your belongings?  Read further for tips to give you a jump start on appreciating what we are so fortunate to have.

3 tips to jump start control of your stuff:

  1. Only keep and display what you love and appreciate.
  2. Keep your flat surfaces clear.
  3. Take 10 things to a donation center today!  Spread your luck!

Spring Cleaning Tips!

"Spring has sprung, The grass is riz, Wonder where the flowers is?" Ogden Nash

Isn’t it amazing how every year after the snow melts (or sometimes before!) the same thing happens? Spring shows up again. However, where you might be seeing daffodils, tulips, and sunshine, I’m seeing cobwebs, dust bunnies, clutter, and dulled windows. That’s because this season has “spring cleaning” written all over it for me.

Organizing and cleanliness are very tightly linked. Let’s face it, if a space is dirty, no amount of organizing is going to make it look good. And while the regular cleaning we do to keep on top of the daily build-up works great, there’s nothing like a full-on swan dive into the bottomless pool of spring cleaning that really gives us the opportunity for a fresh start.

Here are ten seasonal cleaning tips that will make your house look like a million bucks--and might even make you glad you dove in for the deep clean!

Set Yourself Up for Success

•  Grab a bucket or caddy and stock it with all the supplies you need before you begin; microfiber cloths, multi-surface cleaner, abrasive powder, squeegee, duster, rubber gloves, etc. Don’t ruin your momentum by having to retrieve something from somewhere else.

Break Out Your Ladder

•  Start with your ladder or step stool right beside you so that you can easily and safely access tough-to-reach areas. Use an extendable pole if needed for awkward corners.

Work Top to Bottom

•  Begin at the top of a room by dusting ceiling corners, light fixtures, and fans and work your way down by cleaning walls, windows, and surfaces before vacuuming up all the dust you’ve dislodged. If you do it the other way, you’ll have to vacuum twice.

Recruit the Family

•  If you have kids, plan a family cleaning day where everyone has his or her job--set up a garage sale, use teams to move furniture, get everyone to purge winter clothes before they get packed away. Involving children empowers them to learn these habits at a young age. Plan a fun event at the end as a reward.

Purge, Purge, Purge

•  A spring clean is a fabulous time to get rid of stuff. Pay attention to things that haven’t been used or moved since the last time you cleaned them. Bring a donate box and a trash bag into each room as you’re cleaning, and talk yourself into letting things go.  Ask yourself: Do I use it, do I love it, do I appreciate it?

 Consider Systems

•  While taking this up close and personal view of your space, think about what systems you might use to further streamline and organize. How can I best maximize the space that I have? Is there a better use for an existing piece of furniture? Use this as an opportunity to make improvements. You have more space than you think.

 Do the Things You Never Do

•  Vacuum under & behind furniture. Clean the fridge. Wash or dry clean curtains, and wash or dust blinds. Break out a lint roller, and take it for a spin over the lampshades. Dust light bulbs. Clean under the beds. Wash windows. Clean tops of cupboards. Scrub light switch plates and floor vents. Look for areas that don’t get much cleaning TLC during the rest of the year, and make them your priority.

Pace Yourself

•  A thorough spring clean can’t be done in a single day--especially if you don’t have extra hands helping out. Be methodical. Plan certain tasks for certain days, and do them over a couple of weekends or several evenings. Give yourself the time you need so that you don’t succumb to overwhelm.  Remember, a lot can be accomplished in thirty-minute blocks of time.

Make It Fun!

•  Crank up the tunes. Listen to an audio book. Open the windows, and let the fresh air in. Have something special in the fridge to look forward to when you’re done. Do whatever it takes to keep you on task and motivated.

Take care of and take pride in your belongings.  Stay on top of scuff marks, dust, paint touch ups, loose hinges, or any small fixes as they happen.  Same goes for hiring a handyman to do any bigger jobs you don’t want to take on. Keeping things in tip-top shape in your home will save you money and time. Who doesn’t want more time these days?

Remember those spring flowers we talked about at the beginning? When you’re finished, buy yourself a massive bunch of tulips or daffodils, put them in your best vase, and set them up on your newly polished table. Then sit back in a sunbeam, and enjoy the view.

Happy Organizing--and Happy Spring!

Sheryl

Sheryl's Personal Experience - Relocating Her Mom

2016 brought a major move for my mom giving me a new perspective dealing with the emotional side of relocation. Los Angeles was home for my mom, Cissy Coberly Hadley, for 77 years; except for 4 years of college at Berkeley. While we always respect the emotions of our clients who are moving, it is different when it is your parent. Until the last few years, she never thought that she would leave LA, my brothers and I never thought she'd leave LA; after all, three generations of Coberlys were born at the same hospital in downtown LA. It's never too early to start preparing for a move, and my mom is always ready months ahead of time for everything. She easily gets rid of things she doesn't want or need, which makes my job easier! She officially hired Org & Relo to execute her move since even the most exciting of moves are always stressful and chaotic.

Despite her hiring professionals (my brother, John, works with me and for this important move, we brought Bill in too), the reality of all of our emotions of her leaving friends & family behind, downsizing to 680 sq ft from 1800 sq ft, moving from a house to "life care community" in Santa Barbara when she really didn't want to yet, was daunting.  Fortunately, for her children, she made a wise decision to relocate as the opportunity arose for a great unit, when she is physically and mentally able. Adding to the overwhelming emotion of this life change, are the tasks of going through family albums, history, laughing about childhood memories, treasures, and really prioritizing what's important to have around you in your home since memories are really in the mind. Then, there is finding a new grocery store, pharmacy, your way around town, and of course a restaurant where they all know you (what fun is it if the bartender doesn't say hi when you walk in?!). We got her packed up, movers loaded the truck, said goodbye to Los Angeles, drove up the coast to Santa Barbara, and had her unpacked, organized, and art hung in 1 1/2 days. Then John, Bill & I jumped in a UHaul to the Bay Area to drop off furniture & family heirlooms from my mom for their own homes to enjoy.

Although I have done this for 12 years, it reinforced the emotional experience that moving is for the entire family.  Thank you to my brothers for all their hard work and ideas to help our mom settle in. Even though she has daily adjustments to a new town and way of living, it felt like a home!

Quick Tips: Controlling Kitchen Chaos!

1.    Unearth Secret Storage. Think outside the box.  Finding unique ways to use awkward spaces will help transform space that appears unusable to really useful

  • Use a Lazy Susan for storing canned goods, spreads and cooking oils.
  • Adjust your shelves to fit more contents.
  • Upright storage for cookie sheets and cutting boards, keeping everything in sight and easy to grab by adding a couple of inexpensive tension curtain rods inside a base cabinet!

2.    Customize Your Pantry.  Pantries are usually deep and awkward. Cabinet shelf dividers create more space

  • Use a Hanging Shoe Holder for storing kitchen tools or snacks!
  • Shelf Risers quickly help you find what you are looking for.

3.    Minimize Small Appliances. Keep you counters clear of clutter - only keep out what you use daily.

4.    Always Store Like Items Together. You will be surprised at how many of the same items you have, when they are all together!

5.    Get Rid of Bulky Packaging. Clear canisters let you see what have and what you are running low on

6.    Free Up Your Counter Space. Use hanging baskets to display fruit/vegetables, so that way you actually eat them; instead of letting them rot in the fridge or take up MORE space on your counters!

7.    Hang a Rack. Yes, just like the ones you have in your shower - but use them on the inside of a cupboard, underneath the sink to keep dish soap and sponges handy

8.    Too Many Cookie Cutters? Use a paper towel holder to store them!

9.    Pegboards. Hang a sheet of pegboard, add a few hooks and Voila! You've got plenty of versatile hanging storage!

10. Designate ONE junk drawer! Use dividers to maximize the space and maintain organization!

"100 Saves" Houzz Badge

 

Congratulations are in order!

The Houzz community has saved our photos to their ideabooks 100 or more times! Check out Organization & Relocation at Houzz.com.

Organizing Olympics!

What has 206 countries, 306 events, 42 summer sport disciplines and more than 10,000 athletes?

Yes, the Summer Olympics start a week from tomorrow and our evenings are about to be filled with highlights of the best in the world as they compete in swimming, cycling, volleyball, gymnastics and soccer with so much in between. The Olympics this year are in Rio de Janerio, Brazil beginning August 5th through the 21st. Let us celebrate and cheer on our favorite athletes as they live their passion and bring about “A New World”.

Org & Relo truly admires people who just go for it and who strive to be the best at what they do. Most, if not all, Olympic athletes fit that description. Think about the logistics of getting that many people, that many events, that many systems in place for things to run smoothly...and all on the world stage! This is definitely not for the faint of heart. Inspired by these courageous men and women, Org & Relo would like to invite you to join our own Organizing Olympics!

For 17 days, in a parallel process to that day’s Olympic events, we will provide an organizing challenge for you to tackle. Encourage your family and friends to participate and go for the gold!

Some of the challenges may only take a few minutes, and some may take hours. However, you won’t have to be in the best shape of your life to compete in these Olympics, and you won’t even have to travel to Rio! You won’t need a fancy outfit or sponsor. In fact, many of these challenges can be done in your pajamas. You just need your willingness and your determination--and maybe a container or two.

Your homework to get ready for the challenge is simply to think about which area of your home or office could benefit from your Olympic organizing effort. Is it a cluttered desk? A bulging pantry? The play room? A master closet with sizes you haven’t worn in years?

Here’s how it will work:

  • take a photo of your space before you begin the challenge
  • upload it via our social pages or email it to info@organizationandrelocation.com
  • take and submit a photo of your space after you’ve completed the challenge
  • submit photos as many times as you want
  • share your progress, questions, and insights with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn
  • we will select a gold, silver, and bronze prize for best organizational effort at the end of the 17-day competition
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  1. Gold Prize • 4 hours of professional organizing from Org & Relo (a $300 value)
  2. Silver Prize • 2 hours of professional organizing from Org & Relo (a $150 value)
  3. Bronze Prize • 45-minute phone consultation with Sheryl (a $67.50 value)
  4. Ultimate Gold Prize • A fresh, stress-free, organized space!

(*organizing services are for local (CO) participants only and may not be substituted for cash.)

Taking this on may not be easy but, in the end, you will feel like a winner. Just picture yourself in your organized space with the gold around your neck.

Ready...Set...GO!

Happy (Olympic) Organizing!

Org & Relo Team

 

Products We Love

Maintain Your Boots through the Summer

  • Aqua Boot Shapers! These are especially great if you have limited floor space. Maintain your boot shape and quality, while leaving floor space for flipflops and sandals. Purchase these at The Container Store.

 

  • 8-Section Shoe & Handbag Cubby. This cubby is also ideal for boots as well as large handbags. Call us today for the closet of your dreams! Purchase this steel, stackable cubby at The Container Store.

Editing Your Kitchen, One Gadget At A Time

I love food. I love cooking it, eating it, and sharing it. I also love living in a town with a killer farmers’ market, incredible farm-to-table restaurants, and where the word “local” means business. 

With my interest in all things food, it naturally follows that I love being in the kitchen. Cooking is relaxing for me, and the kitchen is the hub of the home--what party were you at recently that didn’t end up there? My point exactly. And since, like many of us, I work full time, I want to come into a kitchen at the end of the day where it’s easy to make a wonderful meal. 

At Organization & Relocation, we know the only way to make this happen is if the kitchen is organized, user-friendly, and lean. That means an annual purge and deep clean that sets the bar high--but not out of reach.

We start by emptying and cleaning every single drawer. Cleanliness always infuses a space with new energy. Next, we sort like items on the counter and look them over with a discerning eye. Is anything repeated? What is that ancient cherry pitter doing here, anyway? Are there utensils that don’t get used because a sharp knife will suffice? If so, I encourage my clients to give them away or recycle them. Not having to paw through your utensil drawer for five minutes looking for that elusive peeler is a beautiful thing. 

We then transform the drawers with clear organizing trays, simply by puzzling together different-size trays that best accommodate the contents of each. The clear ones work well because you can really see what’s in them.

A “junk drawer” is essential to every kitchen, and it’s a great place to store those pesky things that never seem to have an obvious home--matches, pens, scissors, string, Post-it notes, etc. After the purge I suggest that my clients reassemble these random items (singing bottle opener, anyone?) in a different way to make sure they notice what’s in there. And yes: the junk drawer gets organizing trays, too!

Next on our thorough clean and purge list are the cupboards. It’s amazing how obvious the lesser-used items become when everything’s out and similar things are grouped together. Why are there so many mixing bowls? When was the last time that wok was liberated from its shadowy corner? We always attempt to improve the layout, depending on the client’s habits and favorites, as we replace items after the purge. We encourage clients to use the Org & Relo mantra: “Do I love it? Do I use it? Do I appreciate it?” This helps to make decisions without sentimentality confusing things.

Then come the food zones. Food gets edited with a ruthless eye, especially the classic, “This looks cool, I’ll try it tonight!” that’s still sitting there a year later. Shelves are wiped down and we only put back the items the client will use, grouped by type. Ergonomics are key to organizing any space, so we order in a way that makes sense for your needs—healthy and most-used items at eye level, baking items all together, pet food on the bottom (if your pet can be trusted!), sweet treats for kids on an upper shelf, etc. In the pantry we use containers with typed labels to group smaller items.  

Keeping our kitchens organized and ready for action makes cooking a meal at the end of a long day a surprisingly stress-free experience. And you know what? That may be the most delicious local ingredient of all.

Happy Organizing!

Holiday Bark Recipe

Snow crunching underfoot, houses outlined in sparkly lights, the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting out of the kitchen — the holidays are here again!

To kick off this holiday season, I attended Lifestyle Publications cookie exchange. It was a fabulous time with good friends, holiday tunes and lots of cookies. I brought chocolate raspberry bark for my “cookie” submission, and it was a hit! Boulder Lifestyle is featuring my recipe along with a few others in their current issue. Check out the full article and see my recipe below. http://issuu.com/lifestylepubs/docs/boulder_2015_12_round3_final_print?e=10131829/31545989

 

Holiday Chocolate Raspberry Bark

10 oz chocolate chips (at least semi-sweet, preferably 60%)

1/2 c. freeze dried raspberries, crushed

1/2 c. cacao nibs, crushed

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir in raspberries and cacao nibs and spread on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer for approximately 15 minutes or until firm. Break bark into pieces with hands & enjoy!

**you can also substitute 3/4 toffee pieces (Heath) to stir in, spread on wax paper on cookie sheet, and generously grind sea salt on the melted chocolate before freezing.

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Whatever Holiday You Celebrate, and, of course, Happy Organizing!

Sheryl