Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Is is just me or has 2011 flown by?!  
What an incredible year it has been...

1. Bought my beloved CR-V that helps me 
load up tons of organizing products for my clients.
2. Visited Austin for the first time to surprise my 
best friend for her birthday.
3. Got engaged!!!
4. Worked with more clients this year than ever before
and was so inspired by their hard work.
5. Took my fiance to Europe and ate a ridiculous amount of
chocolate and french fries.
6. Traveled to Washington DC three times to visit with my future family.
7. Hosted some fun parties for my lovely friends... 
and was shocked when they surprised us with our own celebrations.
8. Spent way to much time on wedding blogs and Etsy.
9. Danced in my living room with my Wii videos.
10. Held my nephew for the first time who then gave me a big ol' burp!  

Phew!  This year has been filled with love and laughter, challenges and obstacles.  
Thank you for reading my little blog and supporting me and my nutty obsessions.
Here's to 2012 being the best year yet!
(photo credit: RIVA)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Putting it all back

Is anyone dreading having to pack up all of their holiday decorations?
Let's be honest, it's so much more fun taking everything out and making the house look festive than putting it all back.

To help you make the clean up a bit easier,
here are some of my favorite Holiday Organizing products:

These ornament drawers not only keep things organized, but they make it so much easier to see what you have.  The labels on each drawer and the side handles are great added features!  

The Container Store

This wreath storage box is NEW at the Container Store.  The fact that it stands upright and has a top handle is so great for storing in small spaces.  They can also stack.
I love this stylish china storage box.  They come in all the sizes you would need and look great stored away.  You can also fold them up when not in use.

So, what are your favorite Holiday Storage items?  Anything you are struggling with?  Tell the truth, how long do you keep your decorations up?  Please don't tell me Valentine's Day!  


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hello everyone!  
I just got back from a wonderful trip to Washington DC visiting family and celebrating the holidays.  
It was such a fun trip, and not too chilly.  Yay! 

Festive decorations at the White House
Adorable name cards for our interfaith family
Our stockings stuffed with goodies!
Cozy Wine Glass Slippers

We spent the last five days snuggling with our new nephew, eating delicious food (and lots of sweets!), and exploring the city.  It was a great trip, but I always try to make some notes about what worked and didn't work.  Remember my Thanksgiving Wrap Up?  
Well, here's my Holiday Wrap Up: 

1. When traveling across the country with gifts, try not to buy bulky items that are hard to pack.
2. The gift totes I bought from Michael's worked perfectly for fast and easy wrapping.
3. Uggs are great for traveling to cold weather locations and so easy to slip on and off at security.
4. Make notes about gifts right away so that I don't forget anything when writing my thank you's.
5. Bring more travel space bags for sweatshirts and other bulky items in my suitcase.

Now that the holidays are coming to an end, I have lots of clients who are looking to streamline their gift wrap stash and re-work their decor storage.  I would encourage all of you to evaluate these areas now, so that next year you can spend less time dealing with holiday messes and more time eating holiday cupcakes... I mean spending time with family.  :-)

(photo credit: smswigart)

Friday, December 9, 2011

All Tangled Up

It seems like everyone is talking about holiday decorating right now... 
and joking about how it can be such a tangled mess!  

Even Ellen's mascot for her 12 Days of Giveaways is "Hot Mess," a ball of lights that skips around her studio giving out presents to all the screaming guests.  And last night on Whitney, her friends tried to help untangle their string of lights and completely gave up... they just stuck the whole bunch on the front.  I couldn't stop giggling!  

But you don't have to deal with your own hot mess at home.  Your lights can be easily organized and stored with these organizers:  

Wing-lid Light Storage Box
 The cord wrap organizer keeps those lights from getting into a big, messy ball.  It also makes it much easier to decorate your tree and home.  To keep the lights protected during the rest of the year, store them in this hinged, wing-lid bin.  All from The Container Store.

This year, let's leave the hot messes to the sitcoms!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Scattered Brain

Lately, I feel like my mind is overflowing.  I have a million things going on in there at all times.  Probably not the best way to be efficient and get things done!

So, before I allowed myself to get too frustrated, I got my butt into a yoga class.  
Just sitting on my mat and clearing my head was so centering.  I also realized that when you are in the midst of chaos, it is helpful to remove yourself to get some perspective.  
This is exactly what I tell my clients! 
Maybe I should start listening to my own advice.  :-)

Tell me, what do you do to help de-clutter your mind? 

(Photo Credit: J_Laen)

Monday, December 5, 2011

A lovely weekend

(Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor)

Did you guys have a nice weekend? Ours was fun and relaxing... It started off with a two-year-old birthday party (absolutely adorable!), a trip to the local farmer's market, lots of work on a jigsaw puzzle, playing with our sweet (furry) son, giggling over videos of our newborn nephew, and a cake tasting for our wedding. 

Can you get addicted to puzzles?
Someone thinks this is a perfect spot to sunbathe
Even the samples have labels!  I was so giddy!

 Now that it's Monday, I am feeling pretty motivated to get some work done and cross things off my list.  I am excited to work with some new clients on their holiday storage, which can be a daunting task.  But who doesn't want a little less stress during the holidays?!  

What are you doing to ease the stress during this time of year? 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tori's a Hoarder?!

Guilty pleasure alert: 
I watch Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood

On this week's season premier, Dean exposes Tori's "hoarding" tendencies and attempts to stage an intervention to get her stuff out of their garage.  

They reveal later in the show that Tori has also been holding onto EVERY SINGLE piece of furniture she has ever purchased... resulting in hundreds of storage units!!  Whoa.  

This reminded me of that section in US Weekly called "Just Like Us!"
Even celebrities have messy garages and are hoarders!  

Her solution was to open a store to sell her collection... maybe not a solution that most of us regular people could pull off in only one month, but I commend her for letting go.  

Who knew that Tori Spelling could be such an inspiration to all of us out there!  
(Eye roll)

To see more pics as well as video clips of the show, click here.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Curb those shopping sprees

Is anyone else tired of looking at their computer screen after Cyber Monday??
I decided to avoid all the crowds and craziness this past weekend and just do my best to get some good deals online yesterday.  But boy, my credit card is aching!  

I realized that now that my holiday shopping is done (yay!), I am going to need to be on a stricter budget for the rest of the year.  That's when I saw these adorable pouches on etsy!  Instead of using plain paper envelopes to keep track of your cash, you can have these pretty ones instead.  Now, I get it that you are buying MORE things just to budget, but at least these will last you many many holiday seasons.  

What are you doing to budget yourself this year? 


Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Day Wrap Up

So, how was your big FEAST this past week?  
We had a great time cooking some of our favorite dishes, spending time with family and friends, and just lying around on the couch as we tried to digest all that yummy food.  

Despite all of our efforts to make the preparations as smooth as possible, there are always little "hiccups" that are just unavoidable.  For us, like most people, the last 20 minutes before dinner are just NUTS.  Trying to get all the food out on the table and hot almost seems impossible.  And there were some things we definitely would have done differently...

So, to make sure next year's Thanksgiving is even better, I am going to make a list of what worked and didn't work while it is still fresh in my mind.  I'll put this list right next to my Turkey recipe so that it will be easy to find next November.  Here are a few things that will be on our list:

1. Buying the fresh turkey a few days ahead of time was 
MUCH better than getting a frozen one.
2. I need a bigger cuisinart for grinding up the cranberries 
(that was a huge mess I would not like to repeat!)
3. Dinner rolls are yummy
4. Buy extra disposable tupperware for leftovers
5. Create an oven schedule- heard about this from our cousin 
and thought it was genius!

What is going to be on your list??

(photo credit: Lockette)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This morning I woke up feeling so much gratitude.  
I have so many things to be thankful for... 
San Diego sunrise
 My amazing fiance who gives me undying support and encouragement every single day. 
(and also makes me giggle!)

Our beautiful home- and this gorgeous city!

My incredible friends who completely spoil me and who are always there when I need to talk, cry, or better yet go out and dance.  :-)

Lovely clients who open up their homes and trust me to help them sift through their stuff.  

The most adorable nieces in the world who continue to amaze me with their wit and unconditional love.  And our newest little nephew who makes the best faces!

And this week, I am grateful for a "normal" turkey instead of the poor amputee that we had two years ago... we certainly learned our lesson when we after we tried to have Thanksgiving in January (Why not?!) and there were NO turkeys anywhere!  
Last but not least, I am grateful to YOU, my readers who indulge me in talking about my nerdy hobbies and organizing obsessions.  
Thank you for letting me be me. 

(photo credit: Jim Nix)

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Weekend of Birthdays

Two of my closest friends had their birthdays this weekend.
I always have so much fun shopping for them (their favorite stores are also my favorite stores!)

I am usually very prepared with lots of birthday cards to choose from- as you could guess, I have a box of greeting cards ready to go for any occasion.  But this time, I just didn't have the right cards for these sweet guys.  I just wasn't as prepared as I thought I would be.

There are certainly worse problems than having to go to the store to pick out birthday cards.  I'm always the weird gal laughing by myself in the card aisle. 

Maybe you don't always have to be so prepared.  
If it means I get the chance to laugh in the middle of the day, then I'll take it! 

(photo credit: Chez Larsson)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Big Discounts for YOU!

Isn't this Button Box adorable?!  What a cute way to store all the little necessities needed to sew back on that loose button.  So cute! 

Well, it could be yours for 25% off! 

See Jane Work has lots of new products on their website and they are offering this great discount ONLY TODAY.  Just type in NEWSTUFF11 during checkout.  See all of their new stuff here

I have my eye on these cool things myself: 
This Memo Mountain just cracks me up!

And how silly is this memo pad!  What a great motivator to try new things.  Perfect for kids AND adults.  Love it. 


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Turkey Day Prep

Has anyone started planning their Thanksgiving meal?  
We have!  

For the most part, we are just dreaming about all the delicious food we are going to EAT. 
But we have also started making lists for the grocery store and looking up recipes.  

And then there's planning the decor... what fun, new things can we do for our table this year?  

But anyone who knows me won't be surprised to hear that I'm mostly thinking about dessert!
How cute are these turkey cupcakes?!

What are YOU doing to prepare for next week?

(photo credits: Mom Prepares, Miss Molly's Designs, Wish Upon a Cupcake)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Just when I thought that my addiction to The Container Store was subsiding.... 
This arrived in the mail.  Jeesh!

Stocking Stuffer Catalog!
How am I supposed to resist that place when there are adorable and fun organizing products like this, just beckoning me to drive over there and buy them all?!

Ninja Flash Drives
I mean, seriously?  Are these for real?? 

Page Pockets
So perfect for my new notebook!

Phone Bunjee
I MUST have this!  I can't be the only person who loses her phone in her big purse, right?  

So, should I give in to temptation and go back to that lovely and amazing store?  Or should I just sit at home and pine over all the incredible things that I'm trying to resist??  
Bah!  I'm already out the door...


Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Organized Friends- Day 4


Mom-extraordinaire and seriously one of the most organized people I know; 
my dearest cousin is like my big sister.

To keep her adorable daughter's toys in order, Lindsay uses canvas bins from The Container Store.  The various sizes are perfect for small toys, books, and stuffed animals.  She swapped out the labels for a fun color that matched her living room decor.  And now my little baby cuz is learning to put her own toys away!  Organizing skills starting early... I'm so proud!  

And just for fun, here we are during a fun celebration for our grandparents' anniversary (circa 1991??).  I'm lovin' the HUGE glasses and the scrunchie.  Sorry, Linds, I had to do it.  Love ya!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Organized Friends- Day 3!

My soon-to-be cousin (in less than six months!) who is incredibly creative 
and loves Anthropologie just as much as I do. 

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Amanda's apartment in South Park three years ago was that her bookcase was color-coordinated! Not only had she grouped her books together by color, but she also added matching tchotchkes and souvenirs from her travels. 

It is as if each shelf tells a story of her life and her experiences... and the books look so much more organized than if they were just placed randomly. 


She and her husband throw pretty fun parties ("Guac-Off" anyone??) and I'm not the only one who ends up gazing at their bookshelf to see all the cool stuff they have collected.  
But maybe I should learn to mingle more and do a little less snooping!  


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Organized Friends

Welcome to day two of my organized friends!


The sweet and oh-so talented photographer I met at my best friend's wedding.  She captures the most precious moments between newlyweds, silly kiddos, and loving dogs.  
Click HERE to see her work.

Her studio, just behind her house
The first time I saw these photos of her new studio I almost fell over!  Not only are the photos gorgeous (of course!), but the whole space was so beautifully decorated and organized. 

Meredith's desk
Take a look at her desk... made out of an old door and a piece of glass, this funky desk is a perfect focal point for her studio and a great spot for her to get her work done.  Meredith also utilizes a letter tray to corral loose or small items on the desk.  Keeping her desk clean and tidy is not only important for running her business, but it also helps to give a great first impression to new clients. 

I can't wait until January when I get to visit Maine for the first time.  I hope that we can stop by Meredith's place so I can see her studio in person. 

To see more of Meredith, her studio, and her lovely home in Maine 
check out this cool video HERE


Monday, November 7, 2011

My Organized Friends!

Today kicks off a full week featuring my organized friends! 
I'm so excited to share some of their photos with you.  
Each one has their own style and loves feeling organized, just as much as I do. 

My fun-loving, adorable friend who is always up for a trip to West Elm or to World Market.

Multi-purpose bins and baskets
Look at how amazing his hall closet looks when all of his miscellaneous household items are contained in these clear bins!  The handles make it easy to pull out the baskets and the clear containers are great for visibility.  All from The Container Store

elfa drawer units
Here is his organized pantry where he uses elfa drawer units (again, the Container Store) to keep his yummy snacks and ingredients in place.  The drawers are great for those deep cabinets!  

elfa decor closet
And last but not least, his incredible closet!  Seriously, his closet is a part of his home tour when new people come over.  He even took the doors off!!  And I can bet you that it looks this amazing any time of the day.  Inspiring or what?!  

Thank you, Ryan, for letting us into your beautiful home.  By the way, did you see the new West Elm catalog??  SWOON!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Rainy Day

Today is a cold and rainy day... something that we are certainly not used to here in San Diego.  Instead of moping about the weather, here is what I have planned:

1. Check in on some of my clients to see how they are doing
2. Update my wedding planning binder; check some things off our to-do list!
3. Go through the drawers in my dining room cabinet and get rid of stuff I am not using
4. Look up some recipes for my slow cooker- I've been craving yummy stew!
5. Clear out my "To Be Filed" tray
6. Meet a sweet friend for tea

So, what do you like to do on a rainy day?

**Stay tuned for some fun posts next week featuring my organized friends.  They are truly inspiring!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sugar Rush

I have been eating WAY too much candy this week.
This sugar rush was fun on Halloween when I kept running back and forth between the living room and the front door to hand out candy (the kids were SO cute!).  But ever since Monday, I have been feeling that slump that comes when you start crashing from the sugary high. 

I have done my best to keep myself motivated, but it's been extra tricky this week.  The only time I felt energized was when I decided to tackle the bin my lovely fiance has been filling with odds and ends.  Now that was FUN!!!  

Let's hope the chocolate runs out soon.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Be Creative

Is this for real?!  Chairs as shelves... holy moly! 
Talk about fun and inventive ways to create more shelving in your home!

Learn more fun tips from See Jane Work's learning page and blog.


Monday, October 24, 2011


Okay, this one was a little embarrassing for me,
but I have vowed to be honest with my readers... 

I am a receipt hoarder!!!
It's true.  I decided to go through my stuff from working at the Container Store.
 I kept my notes from closet design training, my old name tags, cute notes from coworkers (my fiance included!), and all of my reviews.  

But then I found my receipts!  EVERY SINGLE ONE from the last five years of obsessive shopping for organizing products.  This enormous pile not only proves that I am a receipt hoarder, but that I have purchased way too many things from that store!  

Well, it only took 20 minutes to go through that pile of stuff and now it is all reorganized in a smaller folder.  I also tossed out all of the receipts.  Go me!

So, friends, if you see me driving up to the store (and you truly care about me) turn me away! 
Unless I am shopping for my clients.  They give me a great excuse to go to my favorite place.  


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Organizing hangover

Lately, I have been getting the urge to organize late at night... 
For some reason, 10:00pm seems like the perfect time to start a huge filing project,
to re-do all my bins of bathroom essentials, or to move my kitchen utensils.  

I've always advised my clients to organize when "the mood takes them," and to just follow their natural habits.  If you are a morning person, don't start a big project in the afternoon.  You will just wind up wanting to take a nap in the middle of your bins and labels!  

But my recent late night energy spurts have been making it very hard to wake up in the morning.  Every day, I stumble to my coffee (delivered by my lovely fiance) and shake my head.  
I am hoping this new habit will end soon... I hate feeling groggy in the morning!  

(photo credit: memohelen)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We want your shoes!

The local chapter of the National Association for Professional Organizers (NAPO)
is hosting a shoe drive this Saturday, October 15th to benefit Soles 4 Souls.  
Find out more about this amazing organization here.

Drop off new or used shoes in any condition (except wet) at 
Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
 Any size, style or condition of shoes can be used, even shoes without a match!

This is a great opportunity to clear out your closets and help disadvantaged kids.
Drop off shoes and enter to win great prizes! Tell your friends, neighbors, classmates and family.

I'll be there in the morning, so come by and say hi!


Monday, October 10, 2011


Two obsessions have come together:

Ellen and Portia DeGeneres.... and organized shoes!!!

This photo of their closet came from Architectural Digest...
click here to see more photos of their beautiful home. 

Aaahhh, swoon!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Busy, busy

Hello!!!  I am so sorry for my absence lately...
I have been busy working with some lovely clients, 
one of them being my incredible grandmother.

The gate to my grandmother's personal vineyard

We spent a few days going through her memorabilia and photos together.  
It was truly amazing to see all the things she has kept, including her war rationing booklet,
love letters from my grandfather when they were in their 20's, and original photos of our 
large Italian family.  We also giggled and reminisced... 

Some cool things I got to take home
Three generations... my great-great grandfather is in the middle

I was so glad that I could spend that time with her and assist her with some of her most 
treasured possessions.  I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is what I get paid to do!!

And now I am home and ready to share many more organizing stories 
and confessions with all of you. 
Please, catch me up on what you have been up to!