Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In a Funk about your Organizing Goals?

In a Funk? Let's chat...

All right. It's just you and me here. Me typing on my end and you
reading on your end. Let's ignore the other 9900 people on the SC list that
read this at other times during the day and chat a minute.

You and me being real.

As the moderator you hear my little speeches and emails almost daily. I
try to encourage everyone as a group every day to MOVE toward those
goals that we have in common. Now, I am just talking to you. You may not
know me in person. But I can tell you are waiting for something. You are
waiting for some sort of a 'go' signal from the cosmos, from me, from
the groups you belong to, or from yourself before you really kick start
yourself and make a change. You might say you are waiting for the loved
ones in your life to do x, y, or Z before you tidy up your life. You
might be waiting for a raise before you can 'afford' to organize. You
might be waiting for the kids to move out so you can have more space.
There are lots of little things that CAN stand in your way mentally
before you give yourself the psych up mentally to actually start getting
things in gear.

Let me just say, woman to woman (or woman to man as the case might be) that you should NOT wait for the cosmos or your family --or life-- to give you the "go" signal. You MUST give it to yourself. Life is full of little hurtles and procrastination points. BUt there is something that can move mountains. And in our case it is mountains of clutter. That one thing is-- believe it or not--YOU. I have seen firsthand how telling yourself YES can yield great results.

Yes Rock is talking to me.
Yes I do need to get moving--even if just for a little while today on
one bookcase or drawer.
Yes I might be able to do this again tomorrow.
Yes I see how just getting started made things better this week.
Yes I can do this if I don't think TOO hard about it and put obstacles
in my own way.
Yes it may mean I have to stay up late one or two nights if I am on a roll.
Yes I can take a look at what I have in my own home that I can
re-purpose or recycle to get the job done.
Yes I love how doing something for myself and my household makes me feel.

Yes I am proud of even a little progress this week. Damn right.
(pardon the swearword)

I will not wait for the cosmos to tell me "go for it" because I can tell
myself and BEGIN the process of clearing out. If I was there with you I
would look you in the eye and say Yes YOU can do this too.
Sign off this computer and go sort and get started! You'll be so glad
when you do. You don't have to do it all in a day...just do a little
And if you need a pep talk write me privately
We WILL do these challenges together so that your goals can be met.


Dining Room- balance

Make sure you keep a sense of balance in the room. Don't weigh it down with furnishings or with wall clutter or with too heavy a drape. Rugs pull a big room together but are not as vital in a small dining room. The color of the wood doesn't matter as much as getting rid of the 'extras' in the room. Let a few pieces shine instead of filling the room up. Be picky. Put out only your best.

I like the balance in these rooms. They have very different decor styles and budgets--but still look nice. Do you see how even the red Victorian room looks cohesive-- but not cluttered?

Room 1 Entrance and Dining Room

The first week of April we will tackle the Dining Room

(using the Flylady schedule and tips here: )

Remember that decreasing everything in this room overall by 50% is the goal. If you have more than ten to 20 things on the walls in here, take down HALF the items. Keep only the best.

In each room we go through this month let's start at the top. What's on the walls?

Wall art Keepers: What's hanging in your Dining Room?

In the dining room keep it washable!

Black and brown anything is classic.

original art or sculpture by known artists -as long as you can clean it

truly good paintings by family members IN FRAMES behind glass!

one floating shelf of perhaps 1, 3 or 5 BEST items- wipe-able of course

Move to other rooms anything that can get dirty but you want to keep

vintage needle art/heirloom needle art

Family heirloom photos in GOOD frames. --Not those old metal clunky things that are rusting.

Wall art -Rethink it:

clashing themes-- Pick a style/theme. But don't go toooo themey. Think upscale not cutesy.

posters in cheap frames

silk flowers and silk plants

bulk art from discount stores if it is more than 9 years old

tie dyed anything

something aunt susie gave you in 1982 and you hate it

Shelves and shelves of knick nacks- pare it down to 5 items.

Great tips at this site:

Wall Decor by Michael Holland
Home Decorating Made Easy
"Creative Interior Decorating Solutions"

Even if you have the perfect furnishings, your rooms will appear incomplete without suitable wall home decor. So, how do you choose it? How do you find the perfect look? It's actually quite easy:

One: choose what fits. You have style and, even if it changes from room to room, each area has a specific look. Your wall decor should match that. If you love country decor, but select contemporary pieces for your walls, it will clash.

This is just common sense. Your wall home decor should be a continuation of your style, not a new version of it.

Two: keep the room in mind. If you are decorating a living room, you would select pieces that suit it. These same pieces would not be found in a home office or bathroom. Your wall home decor should match the room it's in.

While you may find a beautiful piece to hang, you should never assume that, if it matches the style, it must match the room. Just because you carry on a certain theme throughout the house does not mean that all wall decor will apply to every area.

Also, some rooms will require certain pieces. For example, a home can always use shelving. This counts toward you wall home decor and, without, the room would seem odd.

Three: create variety. Your wall decor should never become monotonous. Just because a certain picture looks good does mean that you should buy tons of prints just like it.

Your rooms need variety. To accomplish that, you should chose from the wide selection of wall home decor. Some of these include:

- Friezes
- Sconces
- Mirrors
- Paintings
- Pictures
- Wall Fountains
- And more!

Of course, your wall home decor is not limited to just items. It includes the color you choose from the walls, any borders or wallpaper you hang, any stencil or mural work you do and anything similar. Combining these ideas always adds the right amount of variety.

For example, if you chose to paint three of the four walls one color and then used the fourth to showcase a mural, it would make the area pop. Your wall home decor should never be dull.

Commit these suggestions to memory for they will make it easier when you need to go shopping for the perfect wall home decor.

No room is complete with bare walls--even with the most minimal of styles, you still need something to draw attention to the entire room, not just the furnishings.

Whether you simply want to paint, or fill your walls with extras, the choices are endless. Just be sure to make a choice. You need wall decor. It's not just a continuation of your style; it helps complete your rooms, making your home seem...well, like a home.


For more dining room ideas, see Rate my Space

or HGTV kitchens and dining rooms here

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

April Challenge: Household Halfsies

From our discussions this am --and from other talks with friends lately-- I think we need a Halfsies (50%) Household Challenge.

What is that?
Is is an aggressive Spring Cleaning challenge for those of us who have waaaaayy too much stuff. A room or a whole doesn't matter.

If you can't walk through your home and say that it is pared down and perfect, join us!
Do as much as you can.

If you feel overwhelmed by your belongings and your household disarray, join us. If you feel like no one can come over because things are a wreck, join us.

If you just want some focus and encouragement in each room, join us.

If you can truly say with an objective eye that HALF the stuff you own (50%) has to go for you to get back to happy, let's do it!

April will be HALFSIES month. We will go around the home room by room and cut in HALF our inventory inventory in all the places we can.

You may not even realize yet that you have as much in each category as you will find....

Half the bedsheets. Half the towels. Half the dishware. Half the plastic cups. Half the pens and pencils. Half the stockpile of soap in the pantry. Half the books you have already read.
Half the shoes. Half the toys. Half the throw pillows. Half the furniture!?! Maybe!
Half of anything you feel you can and need to tackle!

Get the idea? Wouldn't that be grand for some of us to actually minimize the
way we want to? Going green isn't just about consuming's also about a different focus on a simpler, streamlined life.

Let's help Fran and all the others and just DO IT! April is a great time to clear and donate and do the Halfsies Challenge here on our list. So many people need our home items right now in other places....flood victims, storm victims, homeless and unemployed...Bring on board a mindset of giving as well as streamlining.

I'll do it too....
I wonder if I can get rid of half of hubbies 7 snow shovels in the garage!!! I know we don't need 7 even if we do live in Minnesota!


April Challenge: Household Halfsies!

First Francine wrote in to our big group the following. What a heartfelt note and how brave of her to ask for advice.

In ScrappersChallenge@ yahoogroups. com, "joeyenergy"
I have been in my house 14 yrs now, and CANNOT get the basement area
organized. I made the front room my scrapbook/studio and yes, I admit, I use the
floor A LOT and everything is making its way to the back room. I have been very
depressed and overwhelmed because I don't know where to begin, PLEEEEESE, can you
give me some suggestions as to where I should start??????? ?? Thanks so much.


Here is my reply--because I have been through this too! :)

> From: rockestertm
> Subject: [ScrappersChallenge] Re: Organizing- joeyenergy
> To:
> Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 10:16 AM

Good for you for tackling this! Take it on--but take it on in a better way
this time. :)
Sometimes organizing is not enough. By that I mean it is not enough to put
things back where we thought they should go in shelves, bins and drawers.

S0metimes (for me) a room can get jumbled up again so soon because I have too
WAY much supplies and stuff...not just because what I have is out of place and
needs to be put away. SO take a long hard look at how big the space is and how
much you are trying to keep inside it. You might have to purge and purge a LOT.
Think like the Clean Sweep tv show. (In moderation)

I am helping a friend right now with this too in her home.
We chose one room each week in her home to do. We just chose a side and
started on that side and worked our way around each room. I help her for 3 or 4
hours a week. She puts away and I sort. I hold things up and ask if it goes in
any of 3 baskets. If you are doing a room just apply these ideas in smaller

We had three laundry baskets and labeled them:

DONATE- pick a general charity like Goodwill, a womens shelter, or Salvation
Army or Savers or thrift store who will take almost any catagory so you don't
have to have 50 bags for 50 charities to drop off. ONE drop off is good per
week. Really be firm with yourself here. You don't need 3 tubs of baby books if
your kids are 24 and 21. You don't need 45 scarves and 33 pair of mittens
either. SHARE!

I could tell at first glance that from the amount of clothing she had in 4
closets that my friend needed to purge one half of all her wardrobe. She was
shocked at first hearing that--but then admited yes that might be about right.
She never wore half of it anyway but always had to dig through to find the good
half! So donate we DID! We donated basically two whole closets full! Now her
things fit her, fit in her closets--and she can find them. Plus someone else

MEND/Fix: Basically we want to encourage you to TOSS anything (see below) that is
broken and cannot be fixed. That would go in trash bin. However, this basket is
for ANYTHING that was a definite keeper --but needed fixing. Label it with the
date and use it for things to be mended. From mending clothes to childrens' toys
to torn books. If it is truly precious- fix the darn thing.
> Don't stop to mend it on purging day. But you should get to it within one
month of the purge date. If you then don't get to it by one month in that
basket, you don't really care about it all that much. Purge it! Be harsh. Don't
keep rubbish. Use it or lose it.

SEND/RETURN: We found a lot of things in my pals home that could be given back
to the friend or relative from whom they came. We also found a lot of things
that were meant to be sent at Christmas or a birthday that didn't get sent on
time simply because she couldn't find them. So into the SEND basket they went
and each week her 'homework' was to send them out with a little note. Everyone
loved getting the after-the-fact packages from her!! Don't be embarrassed, just
send it to it's new home and keep going!

KEEP- well on Clean Sweep show this is a separate category too. But in our
work I just handed these items to her to put away or hang up as we went through
the room.

TRASH: Well technically this was another 5th 'basket' LOL--we did get the big
trash can out for this. And we filled it two or three times per room. Use the
biggest trash can in the house when you purge. You will fill it! It's kind of
like 'if you build it, they will come" mentality. You don't toss as much if the
trash can is 6 inches wide by 11 inches tall as you do when the trash can is 1
foot wide by 4 feet tall.

Once a lot of the excess is out, you can think about utility in the workroom.
Sit at your desk and ask yourself what DON'T you like about how it is right now?
Then rearrange tools and so on. I make work stations in my studio for various
tasks like rubber stamping, machine die cutting, computer, actual LO
scrapbooking assembly, and sewing.

Honestly it is just going to creep back to a mess if you don't downsize/purge
at the same time as tidying.

Good luck!


And Francine's response:

Dear Rock.

Thank you so very much for the help. I think my problem is that I have a mess
in every room and don't know where to start. I have a hard time parting with
things, have had organizers, friends and relatives help me, but it just goes
back to a MESS again. I never know which room to start in so I just avoid doing
it. I will definitely try your method and pray it works. Once again, thanks very


And my follow up comment to her and others with the same issues:

Fran and others

What has helped me in the past -and now my friend part with things when she and
I are sorting and purging in her home -is to remember with each item you touch
that the item is NOT the person who gave it to you and it is NOT the memory of
that person.

If the item is somehow sentimental remember the item is NOT the feeling of
comfort or contentment in itself . It is just an item we have assigned
importance to. We can also UNASSIGN importance to it. Take a pic of it. Save the
pic..... not the bulky item. If I have 125 things in my home from my
grandmother, I can decide which 35 I truly love most and gift away or donate the
other 90 knickknacks I don't care about as much.

Make ONE decision.... the first decision is a mindset of this clutter ruining
your life and hindering you--not helping you. Those items are not giving you
security or love. You assign that to them in your head. So reassign to FEWER
items that you truly love and are of the best quality. Your mind and heart will
thank you for making their lives simpler! :) :) Truly. I have been there, done
that and it works. Most of the battle is in your head...not in the room. Once
you decide and believe what you decide about material things not ruling your
life, the donating and gifting is easier.

Be strong in your own head and say I need to just do it. Yes or No. Stay or Go.
Other people may truly need this stuff more than we do. And it's not doing me
any good to have more household stuff if it drives me crazy to keep it tidy or
to look at the mess.



And in honor of all of who need it I am announcing the HOUSEHOLD HALFSIES CHALLENGE for April.
More info in a bit. :)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Graphic 45 DT Entry

Hey Hey Hey!
What's new today?

I want to share with you one of my recent projects/goals. One of my resolutions in 2009 was to focus on TRYING to stretch myself and really go for more of my creative and work-related goals. So when I saw the design team call out on Graphic 45's website, I knew this was something I had to try. I love their product line "Communique" a LOT. And I do use it in my year-long genealogy class scrapbooking/research series at our local store. When my dd sent me pics of her beau and their Valentine event, I knew what I was going to do!

So the motivation combined with the supplies and the creativity and well, let's just say this little book exploded out of the mix. :) Two other projects for the DT call were my triple clipboard and a two page layout--also shown here. The G45 DT call is closed now --and my entry is in for consideration. So now, I just have to wait and see! Here are the extensive pics for your viewing and inspiration! Don't you love Graphic 45?

The ABC's of You and Me
Valentine Book 2009 for Jenny (from MN) and Caleb (from NY)
One of my premises was to showcase old postcard images from MN and NY in the localities where the two kids are from. They come from very different backgrounds, but that doesn't matter. :) This project helps showcase where each comes from--as well as where they are now--together!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Jan and Feb Sketches and layouts :)

I am uploading a couple of layouts I did for our ScrapperChallenge Jan. challenges. I hope you enjoy them.

January's theme for scrapbook supply use on ScrappersChallenge was clocks and time elements or papers. Here is my layout on the right and my online inspiration on left.

Our other challenge is the sketch challenge and we are to use one photo in January since it is the FIRST month of the year. Here is my layout for that January sketch challenge --which is posted monthly on SC by Fran. (Thanks Fran!)

And while I am uploading pics, how about this CUTE pic of my son and his newlywed bride (July 08) at our home over Christmas break!

And one of my DD and her sweetie....

Just because I miss them all off at college. :)
Good luck on exams kids!!