Thursday, September 3, 2015

The change of seasons around here has been noticeable, to say the least. More concerning than the fact that the sun disappeared in favor of overcast grey skies with that special Seattle drizzle is this:

After a summer of fans blowing the air around and breezes blowing through open windows, the accelerated Fall weather conditions and the related repercussions (every window closed tight, no sunlight, et al) have this way of making a space suddenly feel stuffy, stale. Also: dirty.

Two days into The Rains my skin practically started to itch with an irrational feeling of being grossed out by my surroundings. There was no other option but to go on a mid-day cleaning/ refreshing tear, and afterwards, I’ll tell you, I felt better about the inside I occupy.

I get the whole Spring Cleaning thing, and personally, I’d like to lobby for Autumn-Spring Cleaning to also be a thing. Because shouldn’t we do all the scouring we can before we enter the imminent hunker-down stage, as well as after?

Listen, I don’t mean to be the grinch who stole Labor Day weekend, I’m just saying, maybe carve out a little time in there for some seasonal interior refreshing.

weekend plans: refreshing my space for fall!

 

So, what do I do?

A list of suggested refreshing tactics, just for you:

– Swap out throw pillows and blankets. These elements are an easy ways to reflect a seasonal shift in your space.

– Swap out your candles, your and home diffusers. Ditto the explanation above.

– If you have a seasonal system happening in regards to your household linens, get that process going.

– Move things around. For the sake of enjoying a change. For the fun of it. For the better flowing of the energy in the space, my dear.

– Clean. Right, cleaning is the best way to up the fresh factor. Recommended and oft neglected focus areas:

  • Inside drawers
  • Shelves
  • Kitchen cabinet doors
  • Hard to reach spots, like on top of the fridge, under the stove, behind the place and between the things.
  • Vacuum rugs; the top-then flip over like a woven pancake and hit the under-side. Consider reversing the rug for a while after realizing the pattern you’ve been enjoying is equally pleasing in opposite land. Vacuum the floor underneath the rug.
  • Keep the vacuum out, move all the furniture out of place so you can get the full grown ‘bunnies roosting underneath.
  • ETC.

 

Pssst:

Want more in depth explanations of how a person might refresh their space easily and affordably? Skim this one.

Need a review of the basics you’ll need to get your clean on? Right this way

Get on a tear of your own and want even more deep cleaning assignments? Why not clean your washing machine?

And then! Take advantage of your washing machine’s ability to clean all these surprising things.

 

Image credit: Feather & Twine Photography via Ruffled Blog

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Working hard to Live Simply but still feel like letting things go is a process akin to giving up your own limbs? Here’s a tip: stop thinking about your loss and start focusing on another’s gain.

 

fair warning: you're about to develop a passion for donating.

It’s understandable that dropping off bags of things you once loved at a donation site belonging to a charity whose mission you don’t feel connected to may feel less than amazing.

You think you’ve done good, but you aren’t sure how the donation process works or even what happens to your stuff after you pull away. The best way to remedy this and to make giving away a more fulfilling process is to get more intentional about where you donate to.

(And I don’t mean handing things off to your mom or sister or uncle, because chances are, they have very much of their own stuff to deal with already.)

When you’re crystal clear about an organization’s philosophy and method it becomes easier for you to envision how and where and by whom your passed on belongings will end up, or how they’ll benefit various individuals.

So take to The Google and find an organization that speaks to you. It might be one specific to your community, or one which helps people with a specific illness or challenge.

Maybe you feel great about your items being sold, and those monies funding various aid programs. Or, maybe you’d feel better if your items were donated directly and freely to those in need.

Whatever makes you feel like your efforts to Live Simply have made not only you, but also the world better, donate there.

Even better if the organization speaks to your heart and accepts a wide range of items, since that’ll mean one less drop-off for you to do.

If you have friends who are similarly invested in a charity, consider instituting a donation carpool system; each month a different person picks up each member’s items for donation and drops them off at your chosen charity.

One final note: Don’t fall so in love with your charity of choice that you begin to discourage others from donating to another reputable organization that you feel is doing “less” good in the world. Obstructing another from alleviating their burden and bettering the life of someone in need is a cardinal Live Simply sin.

Donated full stop trumps sitting in a bag in the basement every time.

Image credit: Clueless, duh.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Man, the practicality of this month’s favorites roundup is almost enough to bum a person out. Let’s get the party started!

6 must-have products hand-picked by a professional organizer!

1. Clip and Drip Hanger Clothes Drying Hanger Rack

I must have been living under some domestic rock, because up until this past month it never occurred to me that such things as lingerie drying racks existed. Why didn’t you guys tell me? Do you know how many thongs I’ve hung over hanger bars to dry, crossing my fingers they’ll stay put? Do you??

This is the most obvious invention to ever revolutionize my laundry game. Get one, for goodness sake.

2. The Laundress Sport Detergent

I do not subscribe to the whole “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” female workout mantra deal. I definitely don’t sparkle and I definitely do Sweat with a capital S. In fact, I worship in the house of “if your shirt isn’t soaked at the end of the workout, you’re doing something wrong.”

I also bow to the laundry gods which sayeth: though shalt launder thy sweat-soaked clothing separate from thy other clothes because those two things are now different species and shall not co-mingle, so help you.

Which is how I’ve come to be mildly obsessed with this sport detergent. It’s gentle on my workout wear, but injects a much needed freshness that surpasses that of other detergents.

I just ordered four more bottles.

3. Tide Travel Sink Packets

When cleaning aforeblogged clothing is necessary, but one is sans washing machine as one is traveling, one tries her very best to replicate the washing machine experience using her own two hands and a bathtub. And then one uses these Tide travel sink packets and her workout clothes somehow, mysteriously, end up coming up roses.

Seriously, my expectations couldn’t have been lower for a sink-bath-detergent. But these little packets are potent enough to pack a punch, and since they’re powder, there’s no worrying about liquid detergent leaking all over your bag.

I just ordered another 2 3-count packs for my upcoming travels.

 

4. YouCopia StoreMore Adjustable Lid Holder

I used this lid/bakeware organizer for the first time this past month in a client’s kitchen and it truly impressed me. 1. the dividers are adjustable; I positioned them closer together for the more slender trays and further apart for the thicker items like muffin tins. Don’t think this is some ho-hum, no-big-deal: I have come across very few–if any–other lid/bakeware organizers that allow for customization.

For 2. This guy has rubber feet that actually keep it in place. Like, you have to want to move that baby.

In a market of rickety, unstable lid racks, this version is obviously superior.

 

5. PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure

The purchase of this lunch bag was what inspired this month’s lunch boxes for everyone! It’s a small thing, but being able to pack a lunch and alleviate the worry about it getting gross/warm throughout the course of the day has been a big LS injector in my daily life.

This particular bag comes in every imaginable color and pattern, and stays cold for the entire day. When I come home, I unpack it and throw it in the freezer for tomorrow.

 

6. Easy Track Tie and Scarf Rack

I ordered two of these for my client’s necklaces, which had been super inaccessible previously. I wanted to ensure that not only would each necklace have a hook of its own (if possible), but that they would all be ridiculously easy to see and get to–thus the desire for a hook rack which pulls out.

Everything about this–from the online description to the directions were all, “it’s the easiest to install!” And, “You won’t believe how easy!” The more times I hear such claims, generally, the more suspicious I become.

So I went into that closet, unwrapped the rack, and put my dare face on. “Stupid easy, huh? We’ll see about that.”

And then it was: stupid easy. One euro screw and one screw and one iphone compass I barely needed at all later and that hook rack was gliding in and out like the jewelry organizer of my dreams.

And just to put my money where my mouth is even further: thereafter I bought two more of the very same thing for the same closet: one for Her belts and one for His. Ba-bam.