Out Of Office

Monday, June 11, 2018

It finally happened.

On Friday evening, after I-genuinely-lost-count of how many back to back residential moving projects, I had the finish line in sight. Just one more drop off of boxes at a new apartment, and I would have officially made it to vacation.

And then, in the midst of hurriedly juggling key cars, a building key fob, my phone, the apartment key I’d been lent by the building manager, and a cart stacked high with boxes, I locked myself out. I locked myself out. I locked myself out of the apartment to which there were only two keys: one, tucked into the pocket of a bag belonging to my client, on the boat he was currently aboard for the next four days, and the original, which was sitting on the counter of the locked apartment–the locked apartment where my purse was now captive.

Editors, if ever there was a sign that someone is desperately in need of a vacation, it is surely when The Organizer makes such a classically disorganized move as to lock themselves out.

Yeah.

So that’s what I’m off to do. I’m taking the next two(ish) weeks off for Grecian Funnymoon round two.

I predict I shall return refreshed, reinvigorated, and wholly, even more meticulously organized.

In the meantime, the blog archives are at your disposal. 

Catch up on Meditations you may have missed.

Take a crack at some Simplifying assignments. 

Even better, commit to whipping that closet into shape.

Live it Simply, friends.

xoxo

-A.T.

The Ideal Kitchen: Pull Down Shelves

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

If we could build the perfect house from scratch, what would it look like? What features would it contain? Let’s have ourselves a little daydream…

The other day, I had a big mound of clean laundry to fold. Before I began, I pressed play on a youtube video, as one does. Olivia Munn was surprising her tiny, asian mother with a kitchen renovation. (Stars: they’re just like us! Their parents live in ugly, outdated hovels!) 

I folded, and Olivia blapped on to the designer helping her about how much her mom cooks, how she’s 4footnothing and can’t reach anything, and how intuitive and resource-rich, the website sponsoring the project.

I was nearing the end of the pile. Olivia, meanwhile, was taking her mother on a tour through the new space. “And see, mom? All the cabinets pull-down, so you can reach everything.”

They do what now? 

I put the shirt down and hurriedly clicked backwards in the status bar.

I watched as Ms. Munn demonstrated pulling the whole set of shelves within the counter-to-ceiling cabinet down to reachable height. Then her mom tried it for herself. Everything that had never been was finally within her grasp.

UMMMM, EXCUSE ME, OLIVIA? How did I not know about this, and why did I never expect you to be the person from whom I learned such invaluable kitchen design lesson? And how is it that having such a feature isn’t even complicated, it’s just a matter of buying the thing?

Pull down shelves in the kitchen change EVERYTHING. Adding this to the dream kitchen must-have list.

Image credit unknown

Pull down shelves in the kitchen change EVERYTHING. Adding this to the dream kitchen must-have list.

Image credit: Rev-A-Shelf

Pull down shelves in the kitchen change EVERYTHING. Adding this to the dream kitchen must-have list.

Image credit: Rev-A-Shelf

Pull down shelves in the kitchen change EVERYTHING. Adding this to the dream kitchen must-have list.

Image credit: Houzz

 

In conclusion, thanks for giving your mom a new kitchen, Olivia. Way to pay it forward. To all of us. 

 

Ahead Of The Pack: 8 Essential Products For Organized Summer Travel

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The conclusion of the school year is imminent (much to the partial chagrin of parents everywhere, which I personally find hilarious), which means that the long stretch of summer is, too. In between weeks at home, during which parents will sweat over how to keep their children occupied, there will be, for those fortunate enough to afford the luxury of getting out of town, plenty of travel plans. 

There’ll be summer camp, and family trips to Italy, and weekends with relatives across the country. And all of these excursions will call for the dreaded P-word: packing.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who actually enjoys packing for travel. It’s stressful trying to remember all of those small details! It’s anxiety-producing forcing oneself to commit to such a meager sampling of one’s belongings. It’s inhibiting! Boring! A chore!

But maybe, just maybe, the lack of joy in the process comes from a lack of joy in the system. From everything I’ve observed, most of us are genuine nerds at heart. We really do love having a system to adhere to. We love knowing this thing goes here and that thing goes there. We excel when we have brought a level of intentionality to an activity. The thing of it is, few of us have a sufficiently established system for packing. Without a playground for our inner-dork to delight in, we’re left floundering and flying by the seat of our pants.

So what does one do, to travel Simply? Get a system, dummy! 

operation organized summer travel coming true with these packing essentials.

 

1. luggage tags – The easiest, most stylish way to ensure your bag stands out in a crowd…ed bag carousel. 

2. cosmetics containers – My absolute favorite way to transport cosmetics. Zero leakage, zero problems getting the contents out from the bottle.

3. cable turtles – These brilliant little, colored wheels make corralling your cords a non-issue.

4. packing cubes – Compartmentalize, condense, color code. Packing cubes will change your travel game. Plus, these come in a bevy of colors and patterns (even more here), meaning that every member of the family can have their own set. 

5. shoe bags – Because. The end.

6. pill organizer – A pill box small enough to travel with, but big enough to fit those horse pills we all take for greater vitality. 

7. wet bag – A travel necessity. A place to stow a wet swimsuit, a sweaty workout top, or even a piece of clean laundry that’s not yet fully dried. 

8. Seat pak – Pouches are the answer to travel sanity, and this one is ideal to keep with you at your seat.