December 31, 2010

I'm a Guest Blogger!

I'm very excited to announce that today, I am guest blogging at great way to ring in the new year for my business. Dana Ostomel, the Founder of Deposit a Gift, offers her blog's readers an interesting and informative array of posts written by her and guest bloggers. I am honored to be among them. My post is aimed at brides and grooms and it is called, "Planning Your Wedding? Get Organized!"

Deposit a Gift is a cash gift registry service created to simplify and modernize gift giving. Know any brides or grooms to-be? Share the above links with them. After the wedding, they'll thank you for much more than your generous gift...

December 30, 2010

Holiday Storage

I once had a client who kept her artificial Christmas tree in a ratty cardboard box. She said to me, "Every year I take it out of the box and hope it (the box) survives another year. I just don't know how else to store it."

I also had a client who stored her tree ornaments between towels in a laundry basket.

To both of them, I recommended holiday storage solutions.

Why use holiday storage?
• It protects your holiday decorations from dirt/bugs/small creatures
• It holds the shape of holiday items such as trees and wreaths
• It helps to organize decorative items

Now is the perfect time to purchase holiday storage--before the tree and all of its trimmings get put away. Here are a few options at different price points that can assist in making next year's holidays less stressful and more joyous.

From inexpensive to high-end:

Christmas Tree Shop (or any similar discount store)
I saw an ornament organizer for less than $5 last time I was there.

The Container Store
Wing-Lid Ornament and Light Storage Boxes $14.99-19.99

Lillian Vernon
Wreath Storage Bag $14.98

Tree Duffel $69.95

The Cover Store
Rolling Tree Storage Bag (up to 15') $149.99

If anyone knows of menorah storage solutions, I'd be interested in seeing those...

December 24, 2010

Wall Street Journal Covers Gift Wrap Organization

Remember back in the 1980's when it was revealed that Candy Spelling, wife of the multi-millionaire Aaron Spelling had a gift-wrapping room in her home? I personally couldn't believe it but then again, I grew up in an apartment--who has room for a gift-wrapping station, let alone a room?

Growing up we had a gift-wrapping 'box.' It was a sweater box from the GAP and inside we had some wrapping paper, bows, tape, scissors and a few other decorative doo-dahs for wrapping presents. After reading about Mrs. Spelling, my mother said, "Well, it seems fitting that a large house has a gift wrapping room while an apartment has a gift wrapping box."

At a time when people are engaging in gift wrapping as a winter sport, the Wall Street Journal has run an article on Gift Wrapping Rooms and their new popularity.

Curious? Read "More Homes Making Room for Wrapping."

My gift wrap storage system is larger than a GAP box now but not quite the size of a room (it's housed in a small closet with the gas meter in my basement). Maybe someday I'll have a gift wrapping room. A Professional Organizer can dream, can't she?

December 12, 2010

Let Them Come to You

How's that Winter Cleaning comin' along?

The guys at Goodwill were happy to see me and I was happy to see more of my garage.

But what if you have more Winter Cleaning donations than your vehicle can hold? What if you don't have the time during the holidays to deliver them to the thrift shop yourself?

Certain organizations will pick up donations from your doorstep--rain or shine. Many of them place postcards in your mailbox a  week or two before they will be in your neighborhood. I just received a postcard from Big Brothers Big Sisters with the tag line: 'Yes. We want the shirt off your back.' I thought that was pretty clever...

Here's a short  list of organizations that offer free pick up of donations at your home:

Big Brothers Big Sisters (Northern New Jersey)

Vietnam Veterans of America
(Most US states)

(Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia)

The Salvation Army

Keep cleaning. Then pick up the phone and set up a time for a pick up. You'll be glad you did.

December 8, 2010

It's Outta Here...

I took my own advice and met a goal I had set for my second year of blogging.

In my Anniversary post, I said that I wanted to post more pictures on my blog. Here's a picture of  a bunch of misc. items. 

These bags are from my own 'Winter Cleaning' as I discussed in my last post. My husband and I recently spent five hours in our basement making it a more functional space for us as a family. While doing that, we found many items we no longer wanted and decided to donate. Tomorrow I'm loading up my SUV and making a trip to the Goodwill on Rt 17 in Paramus, NJ.

What's going to come out of your 'Winter Cleaning?'

December 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning in Winter

We all know about Spring Cleaning, but what about Winter Cleaning?

The Winter Cleaning I'm talking about has little to do with a dust rag and a mop. It has more to do with purging. Take a look around your home. Do you have a lot of 'stuff' you don't know what to do with?

There are many people who are out of work or who are living on less this holiday season. Consider donating your unwanted items to local thrift stores or international charities. Those toys your children no longer play with make inexpensive holiday gifts when purchased from a thrift shop. The clothes that no longer fit you will keep someone warm, dressed for work, and feeling good about themselves.

So when you're finished reading this blog post, think about what you can take to your local donation center. There's no need to wait until Spring to do a thorough 'clean-out.'