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Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area | Gayle Grace, 510-654-7983

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vacation memories

Unless you are really desperate for a plastic keychain that says "Surfs Up" or another refrig magnet -- don't buy it! Find things that are more meaningful and lasting to remind you of your visits to great places. A few shells collected from the beach or a small rock from the top of the mountain will last longer, cost nothing extra and will give you more pleasure in the long run.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What's the best way to move furniture?

Question: "How do we move our furniture without damaging it?"
Answer: Here is a series of photos showing the best way to move your furniture...

First, this dresser is being shrink wrapped to keep the drawers from falling out during the move.

Second, the dresser is then blanket wrapped.

Finally, the blanket wrapping is taped in place the piece is carefully taken to the truck for loading.

Certainly, wrapping all your furniture takes extra time, but in the end, it's worth it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Not all organizers are created equal

I heard 2 disturbing stories this week about "professional organizers". One involved a new organizer who took a job with a client whose needs he/she could not serve. The second story involved someone advertising themselves on Craig's List as a professional organizer and turning out to have been convicted of theft.

So, here's the thing. These days anyone and everyone can put up a fairly convincing website or post an appealing ad calling themselves "professionals" and "experts" and "specialists", when in fact, they have few or none of the skills they profess. As always, it is imperative that you check references and credentials of those who you invite into your house.

I wish I could tell you that being a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) was a sure sign of quality, but alas, I can not. While I believe it is important to be a member of this group, it does not assure that an organizer has the skills to solve your particular issue or will abide by the NAPO code of ethics. Many people simply pay the dues, put the logo on their site and hope that you won't ask about their training and experience. I'll be posting a list of questions that I think everyone should consider asking when they are interviewing organizers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dry cleaning

Return wire hangers to the dry cleaners for reuse and ask that my clothes be bundled together under the plastic covers, rather than each one covered in plastic separately. Better yet, only my white or light colored items need to be covered in plastic at all.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stackable containers

I absolutely love stackable storage containers. I use them for food, crafts and sewing items, bathroom supplies, herbs and spices, and my vitamins. These small containers came from The Container Store.

These larger containers are OXO's Pop Containers from Crate and Barrel.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Alternative cleaning supplies

Alternative cleaning products is now a big business. And when business gets big, it also gets confusing. The bottom line is that we need to look for products to use in our homes that are good for the earth and better for our health.

We have a choice of purchasing ready to go products, such as those seen here or mixing our own. Obviously, the ready to go products are convenient. Mixing your own can be as simple as water and baking soda or get complicated with several different ingredients. More importantly, you need to know what NOT to mix with what. For those who want recipes, try or You can also find dozens of books on the subject at Amazon or your local bookstore.

Choosing less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g., biodegradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, low life cycle energy use) is ultimately the goal.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"No, thank you"

To cut back on the amount of useless stuff that enters our lives, here are a few suggestions:

1. Say "no, thank you" to people handing out flyers on the street.
2. Do not pick up the free papers, booklets, book markers and other tempting info at events, galleries or activities.
3. I believe that those stupid tags that pizza restaurants hang on door knobs or that restaurants and shops put on car windshields should be illegal.
4. Check what's in the bag before you leave the store or restaurant - no, I don't need your latest sales catalogue and I don't need the plastic spoon you added to my order.
5. Try sharing magazine subscriptions with your family or neighbors. I share my Martha Stewart Living with my neighbor and after she's read it she drops it off at our local Senior Center.

What's on your list???
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