Tag Archives: organization

Winter Organization!

With the start of a New Year, most of us will go through our homes or work to evaluate how to make this year even better than the last.
Everyone would like more organization in their lives; we are so busy with our daily activities that sometimes we tend to neglect the obvious. Fortunately, the solution to organizing the chaos is easier than you think.
The first step is to purge! This is such a difficult word to some people. We hold on the materialistic items and get too comfortable in our surroundings. Ask yourself a few questions about each of your belongings:
Can I live without it?
Does it make a statement about my personality or lifestyle?
When is the last time I used it?
These questions will work when deciding on furniture, clothing, books, and even collectible items!
Next, let’s tackle organization tips for mail, magazines, and types of paper. Functionality and creativity are important. For example, if you have room for a small table at the entry way– have decorated baskets to collect the type of paper that makes its way to the home or office.  Baskets are a wonderful asset for any storage solution.
One of the biggest obstacles we encounter is what to do with an item that is not working for us. Some items will need to go to one of the many organizations in our area that collect clothing and other goods for those in need (like women’s shelters). Make sure you also check out consignment shops like The Golden Shoestring and EuroExclusives. The extra cash for items you aren’t using can really be helpful for the start of the year.
Finally, decide on presentation. There are endless possibilities for organizing your remaining items like baskets, shelving, hooks, and trunks. Make it simple or elaborate—a true reflection of your style. Check out our Pinterest page for DIY ideas!
This opportunity can lead us to establish better habits and find what we need to make our lives more productive. All you need is time, commitment, and ability to follow through and create your own organized space. Have fun, be creative, and remember: organization can be a positive adventure!

Written by Diane M. Straub

Bella Loves: The Happiness Planner

Mindfulness and positivity–we are all about them in 2016! There are thousands of products out there that promote both, but one of our favorites is The Happiness Planner.

moMo Seetubtim, founder of BrandMentalist and The Happiness Planner, began making planners with the goal of helping people who were struggling to learn to be positive and happy.

“I want to inspire people to adopt the growth mindset because everything around us was made, created, and invented by someone–and you, too, have the power to change the future,” she says.

plannerThe Happiness Planners are definitely inspirational. The 2016 version begins with a “happiness roadmap” complete with exercises that will help you reflect on yourself. That way, you can plan ahead and integrate happiness habits into your daily routine.
It allows you to ask yourself what makes you happy and then schedule more time to do those things. In addition you can record your meals, appointments, to-do list, daily goals, and more!

Go to www.thehappinessplanner.com to learn more about their planners. Visit our Facebook page for a chance to win one of your own (currently sold out at the time of this post)!

Remove Clutter Before the Holidays

bellaweb4You’ve reached your breaking point. You’ve tripped over the same thing in the living room too many times. Now you’ve picked it up to finally put it away and you realize – you have nowhere to put it. You have too much clutter in your home. So what do you do? How do you decide where to start so you can reduce the clutter and make your walkways safe once more?

Getting started is easier than you think. If you want to take control of clutter, get a few boxes – start with one for each room in your home and begin organizing one room at a time.

Begin this initiative by removing everything on top of your cabinets, tables and in bookcases, and then place it all in a box. If there are other random accessories in the room, remove those, too. Keep just the basic furnishings. Now sit with the room in its simplest form for a short time.

After a day or two has passed, go back to the box and look for items that define your personality, or will be noticed by guests visiting your home.

When you look at your well-designed room, you should see positive elements, as well as appreciate the possibility for negative space by removing unnecessary pieces that don’t add to the design composition.

Interior design students at The Art Institute of York – Pennsylvania are taught to help their clients step back and ask themselves: Is it finished now? You can err when you go shopping and purchase nice pieces for your home, because before long you may have accumulated too many of those nice things. Take a hard look at some of those things you don’t really want or need; it might be time to share that stuff with your local Goodwill.

Sometimes, you might think you have to keep memorabilia or outdated gifts from Aunt Ethel in your home all the time. Place these items in storage. If you get a call from Auntie when she plans her next visit, head to the attic and put those old Beanie Babies she gave you when you were a fanatical collector decades ago on a shelf in your den – temporarily. She’ll be happy for the gesture. When she leaves, feel free to put them back in the box of memories until her next visit.

After you complete this exercise in each room in your home, you’ll notice that the clutter has disappeared. Now you can recognize how attractive the remaining items are in that same space. This initiative takes determination and focus, but when you’ve completed the exercise, your focus can be on the lovely space you’ve recreated.

Create a Cozy and Clutter-Free Kitchen

Clutter can disrupt the flow of any home, bringing unwanted stress and frustration, especially in the kitchen. As one of the most prominently used rooms, maintaining a clutter-free environment will create a happier and healthier space for your family to enjoy. Here are a few tips to help you achieve and maintain a fully functional, chaos-free kitchen.

1. Look better, feel better. Whether you’re entertaining friends or just hanging out with family, hosting others at your house is fun, but can also be stressful. Even if it’s last night’s dinner dishes or wine glasses from your latest soiree, allowing clutter to pile up in the sink can negatively impact the look and feel of the entire kitchen. 

To make cleaning easier, find the best faucet to meet your cooking and entertaining needs. Try installing the Lindley pulldown kitchen faucet from Moen. Its traditional style creates an impressive focal point at the sink and increases performance with its high-arc pulldown spout and multi-function spray. Plus, the Spot Resist stainless finish resists fingerprints and water spots, keeping your faucet looking cleaner, longer. In addition, it comes with a coordinating soap dispenser to get one less item off your counter, which will make keeping the sink area clean and clutter-free a snap.

2. Organize chaos. Unused items, like the waffle maker that you desperately desired 10 years ago (but have yet to use), needs to go. To make some space in your kitchen, grab three boxes: one for garbage, one for donations and one for belongings you want to keep. Allocate a few hours and begin organizing. While separating items, ask yourself when did you last use this? With the exception of holiday-specific dishes and tools, if it’s been longer than a month, donate it or throw it away. Once everything is in a box, find the best spot for items you’re choosing to keep.

3. Get creative. Many kitchens suffer from countertop overload. This is where too many kitchen appliances and miscellaneous items, such as mail, phone chargers and car keys, seem to find a home. The solution to clearing this area is simple – get creative. Dish towels are infamous for cluttering countertops. They don’t have a designated home and therefore, are carelessly strewn about. Establish a special spot for this kitchen necessity: mount hooks, towel rings or towel bars, on the side of an upper cabinet, the end of the island or in another kitchen work space.

4. De-stress your life. It happens to all of us: your significant other informs you last minute you’re having guests for dinner, and the chores you need to complete before their arrival seem endless. To make this experience less stressful, spend 15 minutes each day maintaining a clean and orderly kitchen. Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down the countertops, sweep the floors, put away toys and tablets and file mail. Simply staying on top of these little tasks will make it easier to accommodate unexpected company and allow you to enjoy their visit.

Get Organized!

Keeping track of appointments by recording them in a planner allows us to see our lives from a more holistic point of view and reflect on our goals both accomplished and left unfinished.

With that in mind, we compiled a list of our favorite planners to help you stay both organized and focused:
The Emily Ley Simplified Planner features bright covers and rainbow monthly tabs that will keep a smile on your face during hectic times. Each day has its own full page, which is divided into an hour-by-hour planner, a to-do list, a notes section, and a place to record the dinner menu. The planner comes with an attached notepad with pages that easily tear out. For the busy mom, there is a place for weekly prep each Sunday, and a box to fill with short memories from the week that transform this planner from a simple agenda to a beautiful memory book.

Mom Agenda is full of organizational solutions that can take your life from chaotic to condensed in just minutes. The planner features full monthly views as well as yearly views and is bound in soft leather. However, the most unique feature of this planner is its daily layout. Each day has its own full page with space for an hourly schedule, specific appointments for up to three children, a spot to list dinner plans, and room for a to-do list. The planner comes in a full desk size as well as the Mini Daily size, which is perfect to slip into a purse or diaper bag.

New ImageThe Day Designer provides an innovative layout for women of all ages. Each day has its own full page, with plenty of space to write out hour-by-hour commitments. It has a “top three” to-do-list at the top of the page so that you never forget your most important tasks. There is also space for a running to-do-list, and a place to record a daily gratitude. Each day has an inspirational quote to keep you going if the gold corner protectors, brass spiral, and beautiful thick pages aren’t enough inspiration.

Editor’s Note: The Day Designer Planner is currently sold out on her Etsy website until September 15. However, if you can be patient and remember to order it at that time– it will be worth it!

Use your new planner to stay organized during the school year, professional life, or at home with your family! Let us know your favorites in the comments below.

Written by Eleanor Haeg