Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How a Plastic Knife and Brownies Can Simplify Your Life

 I think we all know that brownies can be magical. Just broke up with your significant other? Brownies help that. Just had a baby? Brownies help. Feeling bored? Yup, you guessed it - brownies.

However, I've frequently found that brownies can be complicated to cut. If you cut them too soon, you don't get that beautiful square that you're going for. Wait too late, sometimes they can be hard to get out of the pan and they STILL end up not being the picture perfect brownies you want. Until...

The plastic knife. I keep one in my silverware drawer just for the purpose of cutting brownies. They are cheap and work just as good as any of those expensive "brownie cutters" out there. Just be sure that if you do get brownie on the knife to wipe it clean before you make another cut. You will get beautiful brownies the simple way.

Now that you've finished reading this post, go make yourself (or someone you know) some brownies!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Client's Linen Closet, Before and After

Here's the before:

And now the after:

If you want to simplify your linen closet, here's the how to:

1. Take measurements and buy bins/baskets/containers that fit in your space.
2. Take everything out. Toss what's in bad shape, you don't use, etc.
3. Put items in the bins and label (LOVE label makers, but a mailing label works,'s just harder to get off if you need to relabel the bin).
4. Put the bins back in a neat and orderly way.
5. Enjoy being able to find your favorite towels or sheets again!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Christopher Lowell's Last Hoarder Profile - 8

Whew. Last one.

Profile 8: True Shopoholic:

This is the person who uses shopping as their emotional fix. If you find that it's easier to shop than face any problems or issues, this may be you. Lowell recommends that you seek professional assistance since this tends to have properties of a psychological addiction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Christopher Lowell's Hoarder Profile 7

I recently read Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization. He gives eight profiles of people who are hoarders in some way or to some degree. Does this synoposis describe you?

Profile 7: Possibly Procrastinator:

These people are really good at explaining away their clutter. They see creative possibilities in things. The dirty old window could be a really cool piece of art. That shell of a sofa could be really neat if recovered. However, they tend to underestimate the time, energy, and money needed to fix or renovate that item.

If this is you:

1. Go through your spaces and pull out anything that fits into this category. If it's been over 6 months of "good intentions", do not keep it.
2. If it's meaningful to you and have overestimated your time or talents to fix it, pay for someone else to!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Christopher Lowell's Hoarder Profile 6

Only two more profiles! Profile six from well's Seven Layers of Organization is...

Profile 6: Perfectly Good Pack Rat:

Those in this category often find themselves saying:

"It's almost new."
"It's in perfectly good shape."
"It just needs a small repair."

Go look in your workshop, garage, or shed. If it's filled with items that you are wanting to "make a minor repair to", this may be your profile.

If you end up keeping something that you really don't like just because "it's in perfectly good shape", this may be your profile.

Now, I'm not advocating going out to buy a brand new chair just because your old one is well, old. But don't keep items that you don't like, work, or work in your space just because they "are almost new".

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Christopher Lowell's Hoarder Profile 5

If you've been reading this blog the past four posts, you know that these profiles come from  Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization. He gives eight profiles of people who are hoarders in some way or to some degree. Does this synoposis of Profile Five describe you?

Profile 5: Had to Have It Hoarder:

These people tend to never know what they want or like so they become very impulsive and feel like they need everything. If you notice that you have bought something and you end up not needing it or liking it - get rid of it! And only buy something if it solves an already existing problem. Just because you see a really cool paper sorting bin doesn't mean you need it...especially if you don't have a need for a paper sorting system.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Christopher Lowell's Hoarder Profile 4

The fourth profile from Seven Layers of Organization is: Keep It Till i Read It Pack Rat.

Does this synoposis describe you?

Profile 4: Keep It Til I Read It Pack Rat:

You are willing to throw things out...but not until you read them first (whether it's coupons, books, articles, magazines, newspapers, online things you've printed out, etc). Here's how to tame that trend:

1. Only keep material dated with that month.
2. If you've never referenced an old item, recycle it.
3. Get a file system. Then sort your items in a way that makes sense to you and for you to be able to reference again.
4. Have one basket of items to read. When it's full, you can add no more. So, either read something in the basket or toss the item that wants to come in.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Christopher Lowell's Hoarder Profile 3

The third profile from Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization is: 

Profile 3: Heartfelt Hoarder:

You love people. You love to save everything people give you because they gave it to you out of love. You don't want to throw away the sweet card that your aunt gave you 30 years ago because she gave it out of love for you. That flower that you pressed back in high school from your high school sweetheart meant so much to you at the time that you still keep it. Here's how to reclaim your house back:

1. If an item really means a lot to you, display it (frame, shadowbox, etc).
2. Create a memory box. Get a big plastic container with a lid and label the box "Memory Box". Put items in there that really are meaningful to you. Don't keep things because they used to be special or just because someone gave them to you.
3. Toss the rest. Most people would rather you enjoy your living space than be remembered by the card they wrote you years ago.