Bath Essentials

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Bath Essentials

During the winter, I may have up to five epsom salt baths each week. A couple of years ago I had learned that this was an excellent way to draw toxins out of your system and for the past few winters, I have made it through without a cold or, knock on wood, the flu. Regardless of the time of year, these baths have become my go to self-care ritual, especially for the New and Full Moons each month.

With the help of the Emotions & Essential Oils guide, I make a unique blend depending on my current mood, whether it needs improvement or I simply need to chill out. Since giving up drinking almost five years ago, this is a surprisingly good substitute for the mixology of cocktails I loved to create. There’s a little bit of mad scientist inside me and playing with these oils not only offers me a positive distraction from whatever is going on in my mind, these botanical extracts offer support on so many levels of my emotional and physical state.

There were many times that I hopped in the tub, enveloped by the beautiful bespoke blend only to have forgotten all of the ingredients once my bath had ended. A few months ago, it occured to me to start a journal specifically for my essential oil blends crafted for each bath that I take. The process of choosing the oils is very serious business and sometimes I laugh at myself when I realize the bath is filled and I’m still choosing oils.

In this journal, I include the date and any significant information from the day that may correlate to my current state of mind. This has become super helpful as I can now simply scan the journal and grab one of my existing recipes when I don’t have the time or motivation to concoct something new.

Below is the recipe of my most recent blend to feel nourished, grounded, in-tune, rested and strengthened. I was not excited by this blend as I do it specifically by emotions rather than scent. I’m not a fan of Pachouli and I thought Basil was weird. When I slipped into this bath it felt like I was having dessert. It was delicious.

 
  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts

  • 1 TBSP Sunflower oil

  • 3 drops Grapefruit

  • 3 drops Pachouli

  • 3 drops Fennel

  • 3 drops Basil

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After filling the bathtub, add the baking soda to the water. In a tall container with a lid, add the epsom salts followed by the sunflower oil. Add the essential oils by dropping them on top of the sunflower oil. Put lid on and shake vigorously until blended well. Take a few deep breaths from the container and then add to the bathwater. Put on your favorite chill music, light a candle and set the timer for 20 minutes. You’re welcome.

Click here for more information on where to find the guide, EO’s and all you need to create this at home.

What are your best self-care rituals? Please share in the comments!

 
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A Beautiful Mess

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A Beautiful Mess

Oh, the cherry blossoms, such a sight to behold! Each year I delight in the few trees I am lucky enough to have on my block. Of course, I love to catch them in full bloom, but seeing the beautiful mess they leave behind makes me happy too. It’s nature’s confetti, perfectly biodegradable and celebratory all at once.

I consider moving to be a beautiful mess. The mess part is obvious and the beauty is in the possibility of a fresh start. A clean slate. We get to begin again.

As we’ve all heard, moving house is ranked right up there with death and divorce as one of life’s biggest stressors.  Having helped many of my clients prepare for moving as well as getting them settled in the new space, I’m happy to share with you my best tips for making this monumental task manageable.

  1. Plan ahead: the last minuteness of a move is where the chaos is created.   The best way to begin is by decluttering and purging as soon as you decide to move.  This energetic shift creates momentum for the upcoming move and gives fresh eyes on all that you own. When we can look at what we are holding on to objectively, we are able to make better decisions about whether or not it’s suited for the new space.  When we wait until the last minute, we are too distracted and emotionally sensitive to make all of these decisions at once and typically, we will move unnecessary items that may live in boxes for years to come.

  2. Get help: Should I pay for the movers to pack up my home? YES!  Should I pay for the movers unpack? YES! Should I hire someone to oversee the move? YES!  

    Many of my clients are overwhelmed by the cost of moving and it appears that every “little” thing has a fee associated with it. While this may be true, what you’re paying for is the time it saves. Certainly, you are capable of packing up your home, but I guarantee you will underestimate how long it will take. Unpacking also seems doable, but when facing piles of lingering boxes after an exhausting day of moving, most households who unpack on their own report taking at least a month to get settled.

    By hiring an organizer that specializes in moving management, they direct and coordinate all facets of moving day from where to put the boxes, making sure they’re emptied quickly and removed by the movers, and strategizing solutions when a Plan B is needed. The expertise of organizing helps the home start off on the right foot as everything will have a place to live. Because the management team isn’t emotionally involved, they have the ability to expedite a 3500 square foot move-in project in 2 - 5 days. When weighing the moving costs, figure out how much a month of your time is worth first.

  3. Be flexible: Nine times out of ten, moving day will not go as expected. While our emotions are in overdrive, it’s easy to freak out over small things. Take a moment to process whatever obstacle arrives and then ask the person who delivers the news, “What can we do?”.  This takes us out of the problem so we can be open to solutions. Very often, things are working in our favor when we are open to that possibility.

The discomfort of uncertainty and vulnerability that comes along with this stressful time is easily balanced with the right mindset and help leading into it. It’s a temporary situation. Before you know it, you’re back to the routine of life. The choice that needs to be made is how long you’re willing to live in the temporary mess and whether or not you can see the beauty in it.

Have you moved recently? What’s your best tip?

Please share in the comments!

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If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .

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If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .

Many times I hear from my clients that getting organized doesn’t work or they tried and it was a mess. This is because they approach being organized like there is a right and wrong way to do it. Like many things in life, this is not a black and white situation. The many shades of gray can be intimidating, especially for those who like to do things correctly.

While I can be put in the camp of always wanting to do things “the right way”, for some reason, with creating order, I open up my mind to various scenarios. When one attempt doesn’t work out, we just try other way. I have to work hard to stop thinking “how could this be better?” once I have an area organized, because there is always another way to solve what’s needed.

I had to remind myself of this on Sunday, after the Overcome Clutter by Changing Your Beliefs webinar ended and we realized that it wasn’t recorded. I know I promised many of you the replay if you signed up and I apologize for that mishap. It felt like a really big deal, but then I thought, things happen for a reason and maybe there is more for me to share.

What I have decided to do is run this FREE webinar again, this Sunday, May 5 at 11am. This should be early enough for those who want to get their Cinco de Mayo on after. I hope you will join me live as I love being able to answer your questions live. It gives others not only the perspective that they are not alone in their struggle, but it also helps me share the information on a more personal level, and that’s where the real learning is.

If you signed up for the last one, you will automatically receive the reminder email on Sunday with the link to join. If you haven’t signed up, the link is here.

I look forward to the encore on Sunday and hope to see you then!

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Believe it or not

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Believe it or not

During the past six years since Clear Space came to be, I’ve been in a continuous state of transformation. Some of the transformations have been exciting and others were like being dragged through mud. When I first started my business, I said “Everyday I take a step and hope there will be something to land on”. It was scary and filled with lessons and a lot of growth.

Over the past 18 months, while writing and editing my book, Clutter Free Forever, many, many, many times I wanted to quit. Repeatedly, I’ve said to my editor, “I’m so glad you care more than I do” as he pushed me to clarify exactly what I am trying to say.  I like fast transitions and completions and this book wasn’t allowing me to have that experience.

And then I wondered, was it the book, or was it my belief that getting a book out into the world was hard? After doing some deep digging around this, I did find my limiting beliefs and I was able to move forward again.

Over two years ago I became a certified practitioner in Theta Healing. The way I apply this training in my work with my clients and myself is by working on a deeper level of consciousness. By addressing the subconscious mind, we’re able to create rapid and miraculous changes where we find stuck energy.  

It’s wonderful that changing core beliefs is becoming a mainstream conversation. What I like about what I’m doing is by addressing beliefs on all of our levels: genetic, historical and soul, we can make radical change in our lives. Many of these beliefs come up often when we are setting up a new home, how we use our home and the stuff we keep in it. By deeply questioning “what is”, my clients have fast and powerful shifts in beliefs they didn’t even know they held. This allows them the freedom to let go of the items from their past that aren’t serving them and choose how they want to be living in the present.

This Sunday, April 28 at 11am EST, I hope you will join me for my free webinar: Overcome Clutter by Changing Your Beliefs where I will go more deeply into how our beliefs hold us back from living the life we want to live right now. I’d love to share this valuable information with you!

Sign up below for the opportunity to chat with me on this engaging and interactive Zoom session where I will share my strategies for shifting the beliefs and habits which is the key to creating the clutter free lifestyle you’ve been longing for.

Please share this FREE CLASS with your friends and family as the more people who are on the call will help us create a bigger shift for ourselves and the world!

The session will be one hour with plenty of time allotted for your Q’s & A’s.

Please note that this will be a zoom call. If you have not participated in a zoom call in the past, please plan on signing on 15 minutes early so we can help you with any technical help you may need.

I can’t wait!

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I Have Nothing To Wear

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I Have Nothing To Wear

I couldn’t help naming this post “I Have Nothing To Wear” because this is one of those anxiety-fueled beliefs that many women practiced from a very early age, myself being one of them. The funny thing about it is we we always find something to wear. The more appropriate statement might be “ I can’t find what I’m looking for” or “I forgot to do the laundry” or “I’m having some feelings and this is the only way I can express it”.

Most of my clients find that once we do a heavy purge, and we’ve reduced their clothing down to what fits, their clothing becomes a non-issue in the anxiety department.

Why? Because they actually know where everything is and can access it without going down memory lane, digging through all the clothes that don’t fit anymore when they are getting ready in the morning. Not the best way to start the day, let alone get ready for a first date.

Those that do feel motivated to clear out sometimes get so excited about getting rid of old clothing that they throw them in the trash because they aren’t in the condition to be reused or they fall into the undergarment category. Like the socks with holes in them? And what about the stuff that's got terrible pit stains, or what about things that have a rip that can't really be repaired? People throw that out. If everything was made purely with organic natural fibers, we wouldn’t have a problem. The reality is that most items are blended with a synthetic fiber which in its essence, is plastic, and therefore adding to our already overwhelming pollution problem.

With spring cleaning in full effect, here are my favorite ways to get rid of your old and tired clothing that isn’t “donate-able”:

H&M - This company is in the hot seat due to their “fast-fashion” industry. I believe more companies need to take responsibility for their actions like this. Textiles that are no longer suitable to wear are converted into other products, such as remake collections or cleaning cloths. Textiles that can’t be reused get a new chance as textile fibers, or are used to manufacture products such as damping and insulating materials for the auto industry.

DSW - Their program allows VIP members (free to join) to donate their old shoes or reward points to communities in need. This keeps shoes out of the landfills and put shoes on the feet of those who need them.

NIKE - If you live near a Nike store, most will accept any brand of athletic footwear for their Nike Grind program. Nike Grind materials are created from recycled athletic footwear and surplus manufacturing scraps to make performance products, ranging from new footwear and apparel to sports surfaces. Premium sports surfaces include running tracks, courts, turf fields, gym floors, carpet padding and playgrounds.

Do you know of any other ways to give worn out clothing and shoes new life? Please share in the comments!

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 Go For A Small Win

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Go For A Small Win

This past Sunday, my husband and I loaded our car with old paint, cleaners, toiletries, medications, electronics and cables and brought them to Prospect Park for the bi-annual SAFE Disposal event. We’ve been doing this for several years and it’s perfect motivation to get our spring cleaning into gear. While we don’t hold on to clutter, it always amazes me how much builds up year after year.

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What I noticed about preparing for this event was that it was very easy to focus only on the items they take. I simply focused on the places in my home where we store these items. For us it was predominantly the downstairs closet, laundry room and bathrooms. It made me think that those who are having trouble with overwhelm in dealing with their clutter can simply focus on one category to recycle. We want to find ways to celebrate an easy win, that offers some relief and also creates momentum.

One of the top clutter causes I see are plastic bags, known in the recycling world as plastic fIlm. These can’t be recycled with your regular recycling as it will jam up the machinery. Try this: focus for 10 minutes in each room and closet of your home and collect all the plastic bags, bubble wrap and used (but clean) ziplock bags. Bag them all up and check with your local supermarket to see if they accept them - most do. I take mine to the Whole Foods Customer Service counter, easy peasy.

After the first big purge of plastic bags, you will want to designate an area to collect other plastic film until your next trip to the market. Once you start to recognize how much and how often plastic film is coming in, you may be surprised at how this awareness shifts your purchases.

By introducing this as a habit in your home, you can make it a bit competitive. Whoever brings the most plastic film into the home each week has to make the trip to the store to return them. I introduced this in my home and it actually changed our pattern of behavior. We started to cook more because if neither of us wanted to suggest ordering in because neither of us wanted to take responsibility for the bag. We now carry totes or just use our backpacks to bring groceries home. This hasn’t become a burden, it’s just a new rule we both have adopted.

With these small changes and by creating easy rules for protecting the planet, you may be surprised at how easily you start to lighten up in your home. Check back next week to learn about responsible clothing recycling options.

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Vertical Storage Ideas

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Vertical Storage Ideas

Over the years working with my clients, some of my biggest thrills come from utilizing vertical space to solve a problem. I love my search for these solutions big and small. If you are not someone with spatial awareness, this can be a magical experience for sure. It’s hard to believe how much volume can be placed in a small vertical area. Below are a few of my favorite solutions that I’ve used time and time again:

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In a small galley kitchen with limited counter space, we needed a magnetic knife holder, but we had a hard time figuring out a safe place to put it. With these deep window sills, the knife holder couldn’t hang horizontally which is how it’s intended, There was no reason why we couldn’t turn it vertical and have the handles at easy reach above the cutting board.


Storing jewelry is always a challenge. Digging around in these little trays isn’t easy to deal with on a daily basis. I love these earring “frames” as they can fit in almost any space and make it easy to see what you are looking for.

 
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At least one of these Door & Wall racks end up in any home I visit. It’s a perfect solution for a coat closet keeping hats, scarves, gloves and umbrellas within easy reach.


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Keep ladders and step stools off the ground as in this case, it allowed for recycling bins to live underneath them. With different hooks I incorporate these tracks in utility spaces to keeps mops and brooms in their place.


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I love this low profile coat rack. It’s a great place for your guests to hang their coats if you are short on closet space. When not in use, it folds flat against the wall.


This lovely shallow cabinet stores an abundance of toiletries without taking up any valuable space.

 
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What are your favorite vertical solutions? Please share in the comments!

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Essential Focus: Oregano

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Essential Focus: Oregano

Today I’m highlighting a powerhouse of the essential oil world, Oregano. It is one of the stronger oils out there and needs to be used with heavy dilution of a carrier oil in order to prevent skin irritation when applying it.

In addition to being a popular cooking spice, Oregano also supports healthy digestion and respiratory function when taken internally.

I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t been sick with a cold or flu since I began using essential oils over three years ago. Oregano is one of the oils I rely on most when I’m traveling or even when I have a twinge of a sore throat. Because it runs the risk of making you smell like a pizza, I tend to roll it on to the bottoms of my feet before I fly. Sometimes I blend it with On Guard during flu season as well. When I’m home, if I feel a little run down, I will roll it onto my throat and inhale from my hands before I go to bed.

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A 2012 study reported by The New York Times mentioned that commercial chicken farms have begun to use cinnamon oil and oregano oil for chickens. Their natural antibiotic properties serve as an alternative to conventional antibiotics which is good news for anyone who eats chicken.

This beautiful oil is also easily used on surfaces as a powerful cleansing and purifying agent. Simply add 10 drops to a glass spray bottle, et voila!

What are your best tips for staying healthy in the winter? I’d love to hear, please share in the comments!




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Room with a View Pt 2

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Room with a View Pt 2

While Clear Space primarily focuses on creating systems and space, there are times when our styling services are needed to help a client who doesn’t know where to begin. I love being a part of the process of sourcing furniture because, for the most part, it’s easy to fall in love with impractical furniture. Any piece you see in a minimalist catalog or website has you dreaming of living a different life. But if you have any stuff, and most of us do, we have to make sure that certain pieces do triple duty: look beautiful, feel comfortable and have hidden storage.

The easiest part about this project was that we had a glorious view as the centerpiece and our goal was to create a beautiful space that allowed the NYC to be the focal point while making my client feel comfortable and not cramped. I advised my client to spend more of her budget on the living room as it was such an impactful part of the space. I’m a believer in mixing and matching price points as long as you know where to spend and where to save.

The highlight for me was upon finishing our work together, my client exclaimed, I have room leftover! With proper planning and understanding your needs and your inventory, it’s quite simple to set up a super functional and efficient home.

Click here to all the photos of the fun transformation.

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Room with a View

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Room with a View

At the end of the summer I was approached by a woman who was looking for someone who specialized in creating order in small spaces. Her new Brooklyn apartment was almost half the size of her home she was leaving in Portland, OR. While clutter was not her main issue, 600 square feet sounds extremely limiting to most people.  In addition, she had a home full of furniture and needed help deciding what to bring to NYC, what to let go of, and what was worth saving in storage for a future home.

We hit it off immediately and met up in her new space in Dumbo which has an incredible view of downtown NYC. She was prepared with photos of her current home, including the insides of all of her drawers and closets and measurements of her furniture. The closets in the new apartment were small, which immediately has me in search of valuable “dead” vertical space to create more storage while keeping it easy on the eyes.

We followed up with a FaceTime call so I could ask and answer more specific questions before her moving company arrived to pack her up. It was during this call I was able to really hear her worries about space, what items were non-negotiable and her biggest concern, her large sneaker collection.

Once we figured out how much furniture would be enough in her space, I was able to look at 2 empty walls that had the ability to hold about 100 square feet of her personal belongings. This space saving solution is hard to explain, but once I had The Container Store install the elfa shelving, my client was thrilled to see:

a. the unobtrusiveness of the shelving allowing it to showcase or constrain storage

b. the flexible of the shelving heights

c. how much of her stuff easily fit on these solutions

Check out these fun before and afters:

Bedroom wall: the best part about this for me is when you look into the bedroom from the living room, you can’t see the shelves because they are behind the door. My clients favorite part is that she can gaze lovingly at her sneaker collection from her bed ;P

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Living Room wall: this lovely console from Amsterdam was a no-brainer to hold the television but it felt lost in that nook and needed grounding. Creating the shelving around it feels custom yet invisible. My client is able to store all of the things that remind her of friends and family near and far on these shelves.

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Next week I’ll share how we styled her apartment to feature, not compete with, her amazing view.

Have you had to downsize lately? What are some of your favorite space saving tips?

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The Space Between

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The Space Between

In early December Clear Space was hired to help a family move in to their beautiful new home. December typically being a slow time of year, and as we were planning on a quiet Christmas at home, I was available to assemble my team to help them get settled

This was the first year I had consistent business, one job leading into the next and at one point, 5 projects going at once. Between my clients and editing my book, I didn’t have much time to myself. Sure, I traveled a bunch and had great adventures, but those trips aren’t always as restorative as I’d like them to be.  By early January, I was pretty burnt out.

I asked my dear childhood friend Erinn if she wanted to plan a weekend escape but I already knew I didn’t have it in me to research and plan where to go. Within a few hours, I texted her back and said, “or I could just spend the weekend in your bed”.  Erinn lives in the Hudson Valley, across the river from where we grew up. My family moved away over 25 years ago and spending time with her is the closest thing I have to feeling like I’m going back home. We spent a lot of our teenage years laying around in her room, listening to music, talking about life and boys. It’s funny how easily we can time travel and enjoy the simplicity of laying around and chatting.

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That weekend was just the break I needed, the space to breathe and let go of all the clutter in my brain. I came back with clarity and a renewed vision for my business and my book. It’s so easy to look at this from the position of the work that I do, creating space. Whether physical or mental, we need the space between stuff, clients, thoughts and words. Music would be nothing without pauses. Because that is where the magic happens, when intuition lights up and says, “Hey! Over here!”

The value of going through the dark is that it’s becomes quite easy to see the light and find a new direction. While most of us believe this happens by continuously pushing forward, it’s actually through pausing, releasing control and allowing yourself to be guided that offers a new perspective.

Have you been wading and pushing through something in your life and finally let go? Please share with us in the comments.

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Essential Focus: Frankincense

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Essential Focus: Frankincense

Frankincense was one of those oils that made me uncomfortable to think about. It felt religious in some way because I knew it was one of the gifts, along with Myrrh and Gold, that were brought by the wise men when Jesus was born. I’m the first to admit that my knowledge and understanding of religion is quite limited, therefore I was prone to push anything away that stirred up any relationship to it. And how on earth could Frankincense be put in the same category as gold? And what was Frankincense anyway?

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When I first started posting monthly about Essential Oils, I mentioned that I began my journey learning about these oils when my mother was having shoulder pain and considering not one, but two surgeries. Knowing the recovery from these surgeries would be about 18 months, I had to investigate other options not only to keep her from the trauma of going under anesthesia but to prevent having to figure out how I could care for her post-surgery when we live so far from each other.

Essential Oils are not approved by the FDA, so making claims as to what these oils can do for our health is frowned upon. What I can do is share my mother’s story about her experience with Frankincense:

I had heard that Frankincense may support the reduction of inflammation which I understood to be the underlying issue of my mother’s shoulder pain. Frankincense was also known to promote healthy joint function. Her doctor was looking to do a full and partial shoulder replacement so clearly it was a joint issue.

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Prior to using the Frankincense, my mother propped herself up on 5-6 pillows to try and get comfortable in bed at night and wasn’t getting much sleep. Several months after applying Frankincense, diluted with coconut oil, to each shoulder morning and night, she was sleeping normally again without pillows or pain.

What I find truly interesting is that when I first received the Frankincense, I found the smell to be nothing short of revolting. Now, three years later, it is something that I crave. Similar to craving food, it’s like I can “taste” it and my body wants me to use it.

My journey with these oils began three years with the understanding that if I placed an order with doTERRA, I would get Frankincense for free. The $90 retail price was daunting for something I wasn’t sure I believed in and felt like throwing money away if it didn’t help my mother. Now I look at all of the EO’s that I’ve been introduced to that have:

  • replaced all of my first aid products

  • given me the power to take my health, and my family’s health into my own hands

  • offered me the opportunity to never have to go to the drugstore - the dangerous place that taunts me with my favorite candy bars at the register

  • given me non-toxic options to all of the cleaning chemicals I used to keep in my home

  • benefitted the environment by using natural resources

And for those who are still wondering exactly what Frankincense is: it’s the resin that come from the Boswellia species of tree and is native to Ethiopia, Somalia, India, and the Arabic Peninsula and has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese health practices.

Have you had benefits from using EO’s for your wellbeing? If so please share in the comments. Questions about these oils? Add those to the comments too.

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I see dead spaces

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I see dead spaces

We live in a small pre-war walk-up building.  When we moved in, it was a new renovation and all of us were first-time homeowners. There are only 12 units and each one is unique with bits of original details from the early 1900s. In a condo like this, without a doorman or management on site, things can get a little tricky with personal property.

Our apartment is on the first floor and all of the other residents have to go upstairs to get into their homes. After a few years and a few babies, suddenly the hallway to our apartment was clogged with giant strollers. At one point, there were four of them that ran the length of the hallway to our door. Not being a mother, I tried to have compassion for the exhaustion and all of the steps to climb with children in tow but it was becoming an unsightly burden that we had to navigate daily. Ultimately this was a problem I needed to solve without making enemies.

All of the units in the building have a washer/dryer hookup and in the hallway right outside our front door was a small laundry room which contained another rarely if ever used ventless all-in-one washer/dryer and enough room for two people to stand inside the space. In a city known for the shortage of storage space and multiple laundromats a stone’s throw away, it seemed like a waste of space.

I was desperate to find a solution before making the problem the focus. While I hadn’t created my business yet, I felt confident about my idea. I spoke with one of the board members and asked them to see about moving the washer/dryer under the landing of the stairwell which would open up the laundry room to become a shared storage closet. I was told it wasn’t possible, but I didn’t accept it. I needed this to work.

I asked why:

-it won’t fit

Really? I measured both the unit and the landing. Let’s look again.

-not sure if the water pipe can be moved

How do we find that out?

-might be a problem if it leaks

Can we place the unit inside a tray for protection?

-heat will build up

What if we drilled holes in the panels for ventilation?

After speaking to another architect and the guys who originally renovated the building, I was beyond pleased to see my vision become a reality. My favorite part about it is that we were able to keep the integrity of the staircase panels and it’s a completely hidden solution. Not to mention a hallway free of clutter.

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One of my superpowers is my spacial awareness. I am so lucky to be able to use it for the benefit of my clients and contribute to many space saving and efficient ideas. I find in my business that there are some contractors and handy people who say something can’t be done in order to get out of doing the work or because they don’t know how. It’s always important to keep asking and to get another opinion if you are looking for home improvements to make your life more functional. Just because no one ever did it before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Have you ever been frustrated by a home improvement project you were told couldn’t be done? Email me some photos and I’ll be happy to offer suggestions.

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Before you go all Kondo…

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Before you go all Kondo…

Marie Kondo’s well-timed new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has kicked off the year with a bang for so many people who are ready to let go of the items that do not “spark joy” for them any longer. I have never seen such a response in this field that has so many influencers on social media singing the praises of the Kon-Mari method.

Obviously, this attention to the world of decluttering and organizing is amazing as it has so many people questioning the items in their home, learning how to create systems and even, how to fold clothes.  Whether you love or despise this new craze, I need to bring up something that seems to be missing from the conversation:

Responsible disposal.

I know. Totally unsexy. And even more overwhelming than decluttering or organizing. Please, just hear me out …

I understand this feeling on a larger level because of all of the homes I have helped declutter, purge, organize, unpack and set up systems for over the past 6 years. This problem goes super deep and I’m not going to stress you out with everything I could share.

What I’d like to do is start a conversation with some of the things we can all do right now that are simple and have the greatest positive impact on our environment. We can’t simply do a 180º and expect to all follow a zero waste plan. We also can’t spend weeks trying to dispose of all of the items that should never be in the landfill, it’s not realistic.

Starting this Saturday, January 26 at 12pm EST, I will be going live on my Facebook page each week to discuss the simple solutions we can implement to help us not only declutter our homes but also keep the discarded items going in the right direction.

Come join the conversation!

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Decisions, decisions

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Decisions, decisions

Ten days before Christmas I invited my team over to celebrate the holidays together. It was a great time to gather as we rarely see each other in person as most of our meetings are virtual. One of the women commented on how she was surprised that I had a real tree because of my environmental awareness. My response was, “well, where does a fake tree ultimately end up?”

My logic is:

  • Christmas Tree farms are a thing

  • the city collects the discarded trees to put through a chipper to create mulch for Prospect Park, so I can see the cycle of it.

  • fake trees are primarily made of plastic, require storage space and while they may be used for several years, once we’re done with them they become permanent landfill

  • I don’t really like fake shit

I’m not saying I am correct in thinking that all of the resources used to procure this tree are any better for the environment, we would all need part-time jobs to learn the truth of it all.

We have many choices in front of us on a daily basis and once we become aware of them, we can easily transform our habits for the better.

I am not asking that we all become perfect in every aspect of our lives, but if we just choose one thing to change:

  • carry a reusable water bottle

  • always have a spare reusable tote

  • stop taking free pens

  • and the very famous, say no to the plastic straw

We don’t have to turn ourselves inside out and make our lives harder to make a difference. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine not using a straw (my favorite way to suck down my smoothing or iced latte!) but seeing all of the plastic on the gorgeous Bahama beaches almost 3 years ago made it very easy for me to choose not to use them everyday. And yes, I may use a straw in the future from time-to-time and I don’t have to beat myself up about it. A daily habit being reduced to several times a year is something to celebrate.

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My latest decision is collecting all of the plastic bags, including plastic mailers, bubble wrap and sealed air and bringing them to Whole Foods to be recycled. Many people don’t realize that these can’t be collected with plastic bottles and other recyclables because it messes up the machinery. Now, this is a way to create awareness because I am now noticing the volume at which uninvited plastic builds up in my home. I made a deal with my husband that we are each going to keep track of the plastic we bring into the house (including Seamless orders!) and the person who has the most at the end of the week has to bring it to be recycled. This has already made us cook more because neither of us wants to suggest ordering in.

If you need more inspiration about how to reduce your plastic consumption, check out this article.

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Essential Focus: Protection

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Essential Focus: Protection

January is the perfect time to be talking about this month’s featured oil, the Protective Blend: On Guard. Three years ago, right around this time, I needed to break up with the chemicals in my home that were affecting my lungs while dealing with Whooping Cough. At the time, I was only investigating EO’s to help my mom. Learning that these oils could replace all of the cleaners in my home, plus the added bonus of getting support for my immune system rather than irritating my lungs, I was all in.

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This beautiful oil is made from orange, clove, cinnamon, rosemary and eucalyptus. A spicy and warm scent that’s lovely to diffuse in the cold winter months.

I love the idea of being able to clean my teeth, hands, floors and countertops with the same non-toxic EO knowing that there is no harm being done within my household whatsoever. I feel protected when I leave my home and use the sanitizing mist or soft gels too.

When I first started using the oils, I was making all of the concoctions myself. Now I order my toothpaste, mouthwash, foaming hand soap, and concentrated cleaner - which I mix in reusable glass spray bottles - when I need them.

If you are looking for a way to detox this winter, this is a great place to start. You can help your family and the planet by using products distilled directly from Mother Earth.

You can read more about the benefits of On Guard here. I’m happy to chat if you have any questions about the oils. Feel free to schedule a call with me anytime.

Have I mentioned that since using these oils I haven’t had more than a 24-hour cold or sore throat? Coincidence? I think not.

What chemicals would you like to remove from your home? Please share in the comments below.

Here’s to a happy and Healthy New Year!

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Today

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Today

Today is the day I begin
to feel peaceful
and possible
and powerful

to celebrate the wins
and to look for the opportunities
and the lessons
in the losses

to be humbled by shifting the focus
from myself
to others
who will benefit from my service

to anticipate magic
and miracles
and oneness

to honor both my efforts
and my rest
without judgment

to see manifestations
and abundance appear before my eyes
as I set my intentions
and turn anxiety into excitement

Today is the day I begin
and tomorrow
I begin again

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Easy does it

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Easy does it

As I mentioned last week, moving is a stressful time. While it seems silly to say ‘Easy does it’, let’s take a moment and understand that during these times of anxiety, we can intend our attitude to be easy about it.
By introducing your current things into a new space, all of a sudden you have to face a lot of stuff that you haven’t thought about in awhile. When we allow ourselves the time and ease to look at these items and thoughtfully consider how we really use them in our spaces, the easier it is to see how necessary they are in our lives. Once we know that they are truly wanted and needed, the better storage and function solutions we can come up with.

I’ve talked a lot in the past about using found items, such as shoe boxes, Tupperware containers, old mugs and glassware, anything that can contain smaller items, to see if containing like-with-like items feels better to you in the interim.

Then, take a couple of weeks to see how these items and your environment are impacted by having containment. You can later revisit with pretty containers that will look good with your decor.

Most importantly, choose your decor and color scheme before you start purchasing containers. Go with neutral or stick to one specific color (lavender and plum are not the same!) We don’t want to draw attention to them - they should become invisible in the space.

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Hold Your Horses

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Hold Your Horses

I’ve been quite lucky this year to help some of my clients move into their new home. I love this process as it’s a clean slate and an opportunity to look with fresh eyes and choose what to keep, what to let go of and what new energy to invite into the space to make it complete.

As we know, moving is a daunting process for most and full of stress. There are a lot of expenses that come along with a move but there is also an opportunity to spend too much simply to cross things off of the list.

This is understandable as living out of boxes and suitcases should not drag along forever and the longer it take to get settled the more frustrating the process becomes.

Here are my best tips for an easier and more successful move:

  1. Closets and storage: What are the needs of your storage spaces and are the closets in your new home set up properly for you? Many make do with what they have and then wonder why the closet is such a disaster. Something as simple as adding a set of shelves, a dresser or a second hanging bar in a closet can be a real game changer. The more you can put away (not hide) in the closets, the more space you have to actually live in.

  2. Furniture: Start with the larger items. This is your bed, the sofa, a place to eat with chairs. These are large in size and also the bare necessities. If you are purchasing a new sofa or furniture, realize that it can take 10-12 weeks to receive these items so planning ahead really matters.

  3. Patience, please: Wait for the larger items to arrive before rounding out the space. Prior to having a new sofa or chairs arrive, you are looking at your space from a 2D perspective. These items take up vertical space which is something you have to experience to know it’s right and how to determine the right size coffee table, accent chairs or shelving. The number one problem I see is not only too much furniture in a room, but also furniture that is too large for the space.

Moving is never going to be stress-free, but with a strong and malleable plan and the self-restraint to build up on what is working first, you can have a space that will make you happy for years that feels perfect for your needs.

Are you moving anytime soon? Please share your number one concern in the comments.

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Essential Focus: Lemon

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Essential Focus: Lemon

Next month marks three years that I have been using Essential Oils (EOs). Now that I am seeing so much misinformation and products that are being sold as “essential oils” that aren’t necessarily any safer than the chemicals in most cleaners, I feel the need to share what I’ve learned.

When I started using EOs, it was intimidating because I didn’t know anything about them. I was looking to help my mother avoid surgery so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to impact her health negatively by introducing a product I didn’t know a lot about. That’s a Frankincense story that I’ll save for another month.

Around the same time my curiosity struck, a dear and studious friend was sharing information about EOs on instagram. After an in depth conversation, and making sure I wasn’t going to get stuck with a bunch of products I didn’t want or need, I knew doTERRA was the right brand for me.

Over these last three years, I’ve not only rid my home of chemicals, I’ve also only used these oils for headaches, runny noses and body aches. I haven’t had more than a 24-hour cold since bringing these beautiful essences into my life, which in part lies in their natural antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Cleaning supplies and medications are a huge part of the decluttering process I have come across in my work. Think about how much space you use for cleaners, toiletries and pharmacy items and then know that I use less than one square foot for all of my oils that offer thousands of uses. In addition to all of the positive effects, I love these oils because they make me feel a bit like a mad scientist making new concoctions that ultimately save me time and money. I am also proud be using Mother Nature’s gifts instead of destroying her with the chemicals that get flushed into her system. With reusable glass bottle sprayers I can be one less source of unnecessary plastic going into the landfill and our oceans.

Once a month, I will share what I’ve learned about a particular oil to help you understand how easy it is to eliminate toxins (cleaners/medications/viruses) from your home.

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This month’s focus is on: Lemon

It can safely remove crayons from the walls, dirt and grime to make power cords white again and combined with vinegar in a spray bottle, a perfect window and glass cleaner.

This is a happy scent that feels fresh and clean at first whiff. I’ve used Lemon to remove sticky residue, to polish wood, and my favorite use, to make my white board white again - see in my video below:

 
 

This brilliant oil can brighten anyone’s mood. Instead of burning candles and using air fresheners that are known to be toxic, I’ve switched to only using diffusers and I have a fresh smelling home everyday, even with two cats in the house.

Lemon is perfect to pull you out of the winter doldrums and is also known as The Oil of Focus. Emotional benefits of Lemon include: restoring energy, calming fears and inspiring playfulness. It’s beneficial in cases of learning issues by counterbalancing mental fatigue and clears self-judgements of not being smart enough.

If the idea of introducing EO’s into your home feels daunting to you, believe me, I’ve been there. Feel free to schedule a call with me to discover whether they would be a beneficial replacement in your home and life.

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