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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Green bags

In most of the homes I work on keeping and storing grocery bags, whether paper or plastic, is a big problem. They end up stashed in drawers and cabinets or wedged between the refrig and the stove and often times stuffed into water heater closets. Where are they in your house?

My favorite reusable shopping bag comes from Whole Foods. There is just something right about their "green bag" that works for me. I like the soft light weight material, the hard bottom piece, the size that's perfect for me to lift and carry. I keep a pack of these in my car and use them for carrying groceries, organizing supplies and other misc. stuff. They run about a $1.00 at Whole Foods stores.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting ready to sell

My clients are getting ready to sell the home they have been in for 20 years. This means decluttering the entire house, starting with the 3 car garage where things have been piling up for years.


We dove in, creating piles of things to donate, discard, pack up for storage and a few things to leave out for use while they are still living there. Discard went to the dump, donate went to charity and what's left are packed boxes that will be taken away to storage before the first open house.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What does this go to?

I spent the day on the floor in my client's office weeding through hundreds of electronic cords - every size, shape and color - and no one had any idea what they went to. Most seem to go with equipment that they no longer even own.

When you take your new toy out of the box and you find there are cords and other miscellaneous pieces that you won't be using, put them in a ziplock bag, write the name of the equipment on the bag and then you can safely stuff them away.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Of Cats and PODS

According to Mobile Self Storage Magazine, an increasing number of cats are being found in PODS and other mobile storage units weeks after the units have been packed and sent off to the holding facilities. Apparently cats love to crawl in when no one is looking, get locked in and then taken away. So, before you lock up your POD, check to see if your neighbor's cat has wander in for a nap!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Area Rugs

My friend and favorite designer, Toni Berry of Marie Antoinette Custom Home Interiors, puts out a terrific monthly newsletter. This month she talks about a subject dear to me, area rugs. Here's her suggestion:

The 3 Rug Rules...

Area rugs are a valuable addition to almost every living or family room.The addition of an area rug anchors the conversation area, especially in today's open floor plans where the furniture can be "floating" away from the walls. Three rules to keep in mind:

Make sure the rug is large enough for the space - for most living rooms, an 8' x 10' or 8' x 11' rug is best. (Definitely no smaller than 5' x 8'!)

Place at least the front legs of the seating pieces on the area rug - there should be no "gap" between the rug and the front of the furniture.

When placing an area rug in a dining area, it should be at least 6" wider than the space a chair pulled back would take up. When in doubt always go up in size, not down!

You can sign up for Toni's newsletter by emailing: or call Toni at 925.862.9064. Tell her you read about her on my blog.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Organizing photos

Q: I've got photos stuffed in drawers and tumbling out of cabinets, how can I get them organized?

A: I am all about simplicity on this one. Most of the people I work with always say the same thing, "I'm going to organize these photos into scrapbooks someday." Very few people actually have the time and energy to keep up photo "scrapbooks". Yes, you get started, yes, you buy all the stickies and scissors that cut paper into the shape of the Eiffel Tower, but no, you don't finish and then you're left with a bigger mess and more stuff to organize. So stop already!

My favorite way to keep photos is simply in acid free photo boxes. Just put the photos in and don't worry about the order for now. It's actually more fun to be able to grab a handful of photos and randomly view your family history. The photos are kept safe and clean. Later on you can take one box at a time and group the photos behind the dividers that are included in the box and separate the boxes by year or subject matter...or not!

Acid free boxes can be purchased at craft stores, Michael's,  Target and The Container Store.
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