July is the month to...

July is the time of year that brings us vacations and pause to get ready for new beginnings that occur in the fall. Warmer temperatures and longer days make things more casual. The kids are out of school, many businesses slow down and we start spending more time outdoors.

How to make the most of the summer months? Imagine how you want your home (and life) to look like. Once you are able to see it, you can make it happen. 


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!

Streamline Your Wardrobe.

One of the things we get caught up spending too much time on is deciding what to wear. I believe in editing down your closet to essentials so you can get dressed quickly and look chic, sophisticated and effortless. Here's some tips on what to have handy for summer (and start editing the rest that no longer make sense for you):

Women:

  • Light colored v-neck t-shirts. There are many styles of t-shirts, so make sure you buy the ones that work for you. I find that an open neck is most flattering for most of us, making our necks appear longer and allowing us to feel more open.
  • Shorts in different colors are fun and easy. Most of us can't wear many colors close to our faces due to our natural coloring, but we can add fun color to our wardrobes that won't negatively affect the way we look.
  • Maxi dresses are fantastic because we don't have to spend much time matching them up to a top, skirt or pants, and they give us an easy sophisticated look. 
  • Speaking of dresses, I love sundresses. They are easy to wear and give us a breezy, easy look. Fun colors that may not work in the fall and winter can work in summer
  • Flowy pants are super popular right now (which I LOVE). I have a pair that feel like pajamas and I get compliments on them wherever I go.
  • White, crisp shirts look great. Not every style works for everyone, but with all the options and cuts out there, you can find one that works for you. There is nothing more classic and crisp as this look.

Men:

  • Tailored khaki shorts or pants work great for men of all ages. They are also light in color and go almost anywhere. 
  • Polo shirts are an all time favorite that never seem to go out of style. With more casual workdays, this style allows a man to go from work to play easily. 
  • Boat shoes also work in the office and out having fun. These can be a much better look than sneakers and just as comfy!
  • A structured T-Shirt that looks neat and stylish. It really is all about fit that makes us look put together and there are plenty of options out there.
  • Same for men as women, a fitted button down shirt is classic, comfortable and effortless.

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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!

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Bring Nature Inside with the Flower of the Month:            

Water Lilies

I confess - I chose this picture because I love water lilies and my favorite color of all time is pink. I love the brightness and softness of it, plus pink is the color often associated with charm, sensitivity, sweetness and romance.  Water Lilies are also so beautiful, that they are the subject of many spectacular paintings by Monet.

Symbolism:

Water Lily or Lotus flower is symbolic of rebirth, good fortune, peace and enlightenment. Water Lily also has prominence in design motifs.

But how do you bring them indoors if you don't have a pond? Don't worry, these flowers are as tough as they are beautiful.

According to Better Homes and Gardens, you can plant them  in a tub on the patio if not in ponds (of any size). Water Lilies grow from tubers planted in pots beneath the water and send up stems with rounded leaves and star-shaped blossoms that float on the surface. Click on the link to learn more and enjoy! 

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: "The Journey."

This is the area of the room in your home or office is in the center of the wall as you walk through your doorway (think 6 o'clock on a watch). If this area is cluttered or does not offer easy access, it will bring your dreams to a halt, as opportunity will be blocked from entering your life.  

To bring more fulfillment into your life and to give it purpose, liven up the space with water. If a fish tank won't work, try photos or paintings of water showing movement. This will help with the flow and communication.  You can add pictures of where you want to be (think a vision board) or add one of my favorite things, a map. This will help act as a symbol to help you find your way and bring you extra focus and energy to get there.