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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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Clear Space - the book!

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Clear Space - the book!

Thanks for your patience as I’ve been diligently working on my book over the last 6 weeks. 

I will be on hiatus with the newsletters until the book is finished. Please watch the video for more information and join me in the Creating the Clear Space Book - Cheer Me On facebook group by clicking here. I'd love your support! ❤️

 
 

The newsletter will resume in the new year - hope you will join us in the group - have a great week!

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How to green up your mani pedi

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How to green up your mani pedi

As you may recall, this past spring I decided to get rid of all toxic items in my household, primarily cleaning products, medicines and cosmetics. This started while my husband and I were recovering from Pertussis and I noticed how certain fumes now irritated my throat. I was able to replace many things with essential oils, and since it wasn't flip flop season, knowing nail polish was fairly toxic, I simply stopped wearing it.

Now that it's summer and I'm baring my toes and skin daily, I explored green options for nail polishes and sunscreen. While searching for eco-friendly nail polish on a reliableblog, this led me to learn a shocking fact - I found that my old nail polish shouldn't even be thrown away in the trash. They need to be taken to a SAFE disposal event or site which I've talked about many times in this very newsletter. Who knows this? Do you think nail salons know this? Yikes!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers nail polish hazardous waste, along with paints and solvents. That certainly makes sense considering the fumes, but I never really put it in the "hazardous waste" category. 

My experience with essential oils led me to understand that anything that I applied to my skin would instantly be absorbed throughout my body. I had some powerful and instantaneous positive reactions which then really got me thinking, what am I putting on my body?  Although sunscreen is necessary, is ultimately toxic to our health. Years and years ago, my father-in-law's business partner once told me he wouldn't wear sunscreen for that very reason, I decided that he was crazy. With my fair complexion, I'm not willing to go without. Here's my favorite least-toxic brand of sunscreen.

So, let me repeat myself: your skin is your largest organ and whatever you are putting on your body will be absorbed--whether it is a positive or negative substance. Becoming aware of this put a lot of things in perspective for me. How about you?  What are you putting on your body? How long have you had it? Is it possible that it has expired? Is there a safer product you could be using? How should you dispose of it?

I've given you advice on how to keep you healthy, how about an organized strategy to keep your home and the environment healthy? What I suggest is that you keep a bin specifically for hazardous items and then take them to a SAFE disposal event - they happen in all 5 boroughs 2x per year, or in other areas of the country do a web search for hazardous waste facilities. put the date in your calendar and a reminder a month or 2 before. You will be doing yourself, your children and the environment a favor. It's also a great way to stay on top of your household products and not get overrun with toxins in your home.

For more information about eco-friendly nail polishes, check out Wellness Mama's blog post on the topic, plenty of info and sources of where to buy. This summer, I still get my painted toes and vitamin D while keeping things green. 

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My New Favorite Drawer

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My New Favorite Drawer

Here’s my latest favorite solution to a crowded desk. A drawer dedicated to be empty most of the time, which allows me to unpack my handbag, store my laptop, consulting tools and notebook, all the items that regularly took up valuable real estate on my desk. I have a large desk, about 6′ long and it was generally full. The struggle started with both cats laying around any open space, and then my laptop and handbag contents would eventually end up on my desk.

It never occurred to me how amazing this solution could be until after I installed these elfa drawers and realized that I had an empty drawer. Now, don’t misunderstand, this could have easily become a drawer for extra notebooks, tools, etc, but the whole reason for having this new system was to have the things I need readily available at my fingertips, allow storage for supplies I removed from my closet to make way for coat storage, and to have a clear desk surface to focus on the project at hand.

I am a big handbag switcher as I like to coordinate with each outfit and I don’t like forgetting any of my essentials.  I picked up these cute mesh zip pouches to keep all my bags organized and allows me to be my brand when I need to find a pen, lip gloss or a business card without having to dig through a bottomless pit.

My last favorite drawer (still a fav!) inspired this idea. This is the drawer I go to whenever I leave the house – it holds my keys, gloves, sunglasses, all the necessities:

If you find yourself scrambling to leave the house and forget your keys, phone or lip gloss regularly, putting systems like these in place will change your life. Try it out in the new year!

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