November is the month to...
November is the time that we begin to think, plan and take action to get ready for the holidays. Since there is so much to do in such a short time, it is best to make lists and schedules to keep organized and stressed-free.
Imagine how you want your home to look and feel. Now is a perfect time to not only envision it, but to go ahead and do it. With family and friends in our space for the holidays, it's time to finally declutter what is in those hide-away corners. Whatever we have been saying "I have to," we now can do.
De-Clutter Your Home and Office.
When I work with clients and they want to get organized, the first thing I tell them that we need to do is de-clutter. Clutter creates too much to look at, overwhelm and often, a feeling of despair. I know...people will say that they are too busy and want to spend quality time doing other things. Working with clients for almost a decade, I will share that every one of them has told me how much better and more relaxed they feel after they go through the process. Clutter can suffocate us visually and emotionally, not to mention make it impossible to find things and therefore, wast time that we could be spending doing what we love.
Here are some quick ideas:
- Go through your kitchen and de-clutter anything that looks old or is expired. Putting "like with like" together will show you how much food you have, so you can use what you already own and stop wasting money buying duplicates.
- Clothes are there to help us present the image we want to present to the world. This means getting rid of anything that doesn't fit, is stained or for whatever reason, we don't feel comfortable wearing.
- Bathroom stuff piles up. We buy more. Cosmetics expire and they cost a lot of money. Same as with food, organize and use what you have before buying duplicates.
- Many of us work from home or use a home office for our personal affairs. I have worked with many, many clients over the years that don't know all the things they have that are now stuffed into drawers, many of which they have been looking for (including cash!). Avalanches of papers are scary, but we need to take a deep breath go through them to trash or shred what we don't need. This is hard to do alone, so feel free to reach out if you need a helping (non-judgmental) hand.
- Organizing is an ongoing process, but first have to de-clutter and keep de-cluttering. I can help you trash what you don't need, donate what others would see as treasures, find a place in your home or office for what you will use and give your processes and mindset to keep going. Contact me for more info!
Fall Wardrobe Essentials.
One of the things we get caught up spending too much time on is deciding what to wear. Editing down your closet to essentials will help you get dressed quickly and look chic, sophisticated and effortless. Here's some tips on what to have handy for the fall (and edit what no longer fits, feels right or makes sense for you):
- Trench coat that is not too heavy or bulky for the season's cold, wet days.
- Cardigans to easily add color and mix up staple outfits.
- Cozy scarfs that you can use as a style statement. as well as wrap yourself up in on cooler days.
- Fitted blazers always adds polish to any outfit, including jeans, dresses and slacks.
- T-shirts to layer under blazers and cardigans.
- Versatile all-season dresses, also great for layering under jackets, sweaters and scarfs.
- Figure flattering jeans (always needed!).
- Black pants and leggings that you can wear anywhere (leggings look great under dresses too).
- Neutral colored boots to add sophistication to any outfit.
- Tailored khaki shorts or pants work great for men of all ages. They go almost anywhere.
- Dark denim jeans, and for a bit more dressed up occasions, dark colored corduroy's.
- Heavy blazer for warmth and style.
- High quality cashmere sweaters. They are soft to the touch, super comfortable, warm and look sophisticated.
- A structured T-Shirt that looks neat and stylish and is super easy to layer.
- Wool ties for the new season.
- Bomber or flight jackets for a more casual look.
- Darker colored dress shoes for sophistication and comfort.
Organize your closet.
- Before you organize what you have, de-clutter what you don't need. Go through your closet, and being completely honest with yourself, ask if what you have is something that makes you feel confident, put together and shows your true self. If not, don't be afraid to de-clutter. Once things are out of the house, you'll feel a sigh of relief. If you are like most of my clients, you'll also feel like you lost twenty pounds!
- The next thing to do is make sure you have all the tools you need to have a closet that makes sense for you. Although I am not a big fan of spending lots of money buying organizing tools to keep organized, I do suggest using non-slip hangers that give you more room and also make your wardrobe more organized.
- Color coding your clothes makes a huge difference. You'll be able to see what you have and decide what to wear more quickly. I organize my clothes by type, including sleeve length and fabric within color.
- I'm also a proponent of keeping your shoes out of boxes so you can see what you have. Things hidden doesn't allow us to see, and use, what we own.
- If you're like me and you have tons of colorful scarves to update and brighten an outfit, hang them on hangers and organize them by color so they are accessible for a quick lift.
- If you try something on, and it just doesn't look right, release it. I keep a bag on the bottom of my closet so I can quickly put it away for the donation bins. Let someone enjoy and benefit from what you can release.
- If the process makes you feel overwhelmed, and you don't know where to start, contact me for an appointment. Working side-by-side with a professional makes all the difference!
Bring Nature Inside with the Flower of the Month:
The vibrant marigold comes in a range of colors including white, gold and yellow. There are two types of marigolds, tagetes and calendula. The calendula can be eaten in salads or as a substitute for the much more expensive saffron spice.
The marigold is the symbol of passion and creativity, and in Asia, garlands of marigold flowers are used to decorate religious statues, and during funerals and wedding ceremonies.
How to grow them:
According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, Marigolds thrive in full sunshine and moderately fertile, well-drained soil. After planting, thoroughly water each plant. If planting in containers, use a soil-based potting mix. Either mix in slow-acting granular fertilizer at planting time or plan to water in diluted liquid fertilizer periodically. Take care to space properly; marigolds grown in containers can become crowded. For more information on planting these beautiful flowers, check out https://www.almanac.com/plant/marigolds
Fun, useful fact:
Another great use for the marigold is as a natural insect repellent. It’s strong scent helps keep mosquitos and aphids away from vegetable gardens, and placing a potted plant near a window will keep flies and mosquitos out of your home.
Feng Shui Your Life.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice of creating harmony in our lives through balance of ying and yang. We can express our creativity to reflect our unique nature through our homes and offices. When we clean out clutter, many hidden things are found. That can be anything from a scarf to a bank book with a balance that we have lost (yes, I have found these when de-cluttering with clients), to hidden blessings. Each month, I will focus on one area of the home or office that can help you have a better relationship to your space.
This month: "Relationships"
To maintain harmony and balance in relationships, it's important to check out the corner of your upper right when you walk into the doorway of a room (think 1 o'clock on your watch). Are there solitary figures or couples having fun? Energize the area with lighting, plants or a mirror. Bring nature in with flowers, plants, candles. Soft lines are preferable, avoiding furniture with hard, unyielding quality. Soft covered, comfortable chairs facing each other would be ideal. Introduce the warm colors (above) and add a little red to enliven passion.