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Moving

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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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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Research & Plan

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Research & Plan

Much of my success with projects not only has to do with my experience, it also has to do with stopping and taking time to plan. All of the previous mistakes I have made by not planning has also taught me how many problems and additional time can be avoided by really thinking through the project from start to finish. For anyone who haven’t done a particular project before, research is your best friend.

I have never wallpapered. My mother wallpapered every wall in our home except for the kids bedrooms. I remembered it seeming like a pain in the ass at the time. Wallpaper has always symbolized “old-fashioned” to me and I’ve never really considered it. Over the past few years there have been great strides in this market with cool graphics and inspired modern designs. 

As I mentioned last week, wallpaper was not my first solution. I went with the super creative and overwhelming idea to paint a mural of birch trees. Wallpaper was the best solution with the time and resources I had available. I know removing wallpaper is a huge nightmare, so the self-adhesive option was the only way I would consider doing it, especially since I know that I get bored easily and didn’t want to be locked in. 

Before purchasing the paper, I read hundreds of reviews wanting to understand other people’s perspectives. What’s interesting about reviews is you have to read between the lines to consider: a. if the person writing speaks intelligently and offers helpful insight, b. the complaints are not just from one or two reviewers and c. that the person writing isn’t just being a jerk. It’s a tricky process but I do it before any big purchases and even some small ones. 

After reading many reviews on Amazon, there were some comments that made me realize I wanted a textured wallpaper that added depth to the overall effect, which they weren’t offering. I didn’t even know textured was an option.  One reviewer had mentioned the peel and stick wallpaper at Target and the reviews were mostly favorable, so I went for it.

Another website had a calculator to know how many rolls to order so I used that to find the quantity I needed. One of the reviewers said it was important that all of the lot numbers matched, meaning they were printed at the same time to avoid color or printing variations. I could only find the 4 rolls I needed online and when they arrived, there were 2 different lot numbers. I called my local store, and they said they had 2 rolls with one of the lot numbers I already had. When I went to pick it up, none of the numbers matched. I opted to keep what I had and hoped for the best.

Other reviewers said it was impossible to match up the pattern of the brick - super important to make it look good. I am extremely patient with this kind of stuff, so after reading a few more reviewers who explained how many inches the pattern repeated, I knew I could figure it out. I finally found a couple of hours one Sunday when I was supposed to be editing my book, and decided it was time to do this project. At least my procrastination helps me be productive in other areas of my life.

I went on YouTube to find step-by-step instructions and step one was to wash the walls and wait 24 hours. UUUUGGHGHGH! But I wanted to do it now!  I had to really talk myself out of proceeding, and the key reason I didn't move forward was because of all of the reviewers who had posted photos of their wallpaper that fell down overnight. That was my biggest concern but I quickly realized that probably happened because they didn’t follow the instructions. 

As you will see in the time lapse video below, This really was a breeze for me to do. I think beginning to end it was 3 hours, although I had to take breaks to speak with a few clients that afternoon. The hardest part was matching up the last three areas. It wasn’t easy, and you will notice, I spent as much time on those last spots as I did on the whole wall.

 
 

Overall I am beyond thrilled although I still have some work to do to complete the space. I am happy to report that I have meditated, done handstands, yoga and even mini trampoline workouts here. The space already feels refreshed and I’ve even spent time working at my desk!

Please share in the comments: Have you ever wallpapered? Would you? Why or why not?

 

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Moving Tips!

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Moving Tips!

 

Happy Thursday,

Check out this week's video about the top 2 most valuable items needed when planning a move.

Have an amazing weekend!

 
 

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Got junk?

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Got junk?

 

Happy Thursday!

This week I'm celebrating the return of my husband after 6 weeks.  I'm also celebrating my amazing experience with 1-800-got-junk. Check it out!

Have a lovely weekend!

 
 

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Make Your Move Smoother

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Make Your Move Smoother

This week I'm sharing what was extremely helpful in packing up, driving 1200 miles and unloading my mom's home in a week. I don't suggest doing it on your own at that pace, but if you have the right crew, here are some helpful tips to get you through the tough bits:

1. Declutter before the move: Generally, you don't decide to move overnight. There is always some lead time and most people think they will just "deal with it" when the move happens. Save yourself some stress by purging everything you know you no longer need, use or are inspired by as soon as you know you want to move. This is a trick I've used with people I've worked with who weren't even planning on moving, they just knew the current space wasn't "home". Strong signals go out when we stir up the stagnant energy in our homes, I've had many a client who ended up moving before we finished our work together. It's all about intent. Don't let not knowing where to bring your unused stuff be an excuse to not do it, shoot me an email if you really have no idea how to get the stuff out of your house and I'll share my favorite donation and pick-up services. Check out the info below about how the Container Store is helping folks declutter over the last 2 weekends of April.

 

2.  Plan a day to pack the kitchen: Back in January, I helped my mom take 3 carloads of stuff from her kitchen to Goodwill. I would have needed 2 days to pack the kitchen had we not taken this step 10 weeks prior to the move. We never would have had the time to bring anything else to Goodwill if we waited. I started packing the kitchen at 9:30 am and finished about 12 hours later, and I was working at a good pace. I learned my lesson the hard way 8 years ago when we moved. I thought that packing up the kitchen last was a smart idea, keep using the kitchen up until the end. Wrong. We ended up exhausted, not able to finish in the wee hours of the morning of the move and ran out of good boxes. The result? Almost all of my wedding gifts were destroyed in the move. While it may seem inconvenient to "close the kitchen", the alternative is much, much worse.

3. Use small boxes and label each box: Get your boxes from the liquor store. They are free, they are sturdy and if you pack them with heavy items, no one throws out their back. Create codes for the outside of each box and write it on each side of the box. K for kitchen, LR for living room, you get the idea. This is helpful not only for you while unpacking, but whoever is helping you move, doesn't have to ask where you want everything. You just explain the codes before they bring the boxes in. I do take the extra step and write a few keywords of the contents of the box as well so I can find the important stuff without having to deal with miscellany.

Moving is filled with emotional and physical stress. With these 3 simple steps, you can make make your move a bit easier.  

 

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