Remodeling & Renovation Tips

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in DIY, Problem-Solved!, Sanity Savers, What You Need & Where to Put It | 0 comments


Keeping your home organized during a remodel/redesign 

When you are remodeling or redesigning your home you will have construction equipment, materials and people everywhere. It can become chaotic quite quickly as you can imagine. You can keep the chaos to a minimum if you organize and plan well, which will also help the process to much smoother and keep you from pulling your hair out!

Create a calm place

You will want a place that you can go when you can no longer tolerate the hammering and drilling going on in your home. If it is summer time, you may choose your patio, porch or deep in your backyard. The key is that this space is comfortable and that you can relax here. If it is cold out, go for an area in your home as far away from the work as possible. For example, if the work is happening in your kitchen which is downstairs in the back of your home and your bedroom is upstairs in the front of your home then this would be ideal. You can shut the door and enjoy some peace and quiet. Make sure that there is no clutter in whichever area that you choose. You are trying to get away from all of this.

Clean as you go

Whether you are doing the work yourself or not, you can still keep things clean as the work progresses. For example, if you are having a kitchen remodeled, there is going to be dust that gets tracked and carried throughout your home. Take a little time each day after work is done to wipe things down by either sweeping or vacuuming, then there won’t be accumulation that builds up resulting in a major clean up project later. This will also help you have a sense of control over what is happening in your home and provide you a little peace of mind.

Moving things temporarily

Now, when a room is being redone and everything needs to be moved out, try not to just grab things and put them wherever you can. You want to be strategic and organized during this process. For example, if your bathroom is being redone, create separate boxes for hygiene products, washcloths and towels, cleaning supplies and toiletries. Keeping these separated will make it so much easier to put things back into place once your bathroom is done. Then, since everything is neatly in a box you can easily stack these in a closet or in a corner so that you do not have boxes laying around everywhere. There may be some cases where the renovation or remodel is so extensive that you need to move your belongings out of the house entirely. That would be a time when using public storage is encouraged because it’s temporary.

Create Temporary Work Spaces

Things like cooking, paying bills and getting work done have to be done regardless of whether or not you are in the middle of a remodel. For example, if you are having your home office redone, you’ll still need a space to do office-related tasks. Create a temporary space if you have some extra kitchen counter space, a little nook that you really do not use in your living room, or a spare bedroom. Make sure the temporary space doesn’t overflow into your common living space, which could cause you to feel cramped and uncomfortable during the remodel. Staying organized will ensure that the rest of your home does not feel like it is being taken over.

home rennovation

When You are Doing the Work

If you are working from home during the  remodel or redesign, create a realistic renovation schedule to stay on track. For example, if you are totally gutting a room, give yourself more than a single day to accomplish the demolition. When you set reasonable goals and meet them you will feel a lot more accomplished and motivated to stay on track. Also prepare for unforeseen issues. It could be something simple like being one gallon of paint short or something bigger such as not being able to fit an appliance into its designated spot. Allowing room in the renovation schedule will help if you do wind up running into an unexpected glitch.

These tips brought to you by the storage and organization experts at Next Door Storage. Connect with them on  Facebook or Google+.

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Organizing Business Cards

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in 5-minutes-a-day, DIY, Easy Organizing, Organizing Products, What You Need & Where to Put It, Where I’ve Been | 1 comment

Over the years, I’ve collected lots of business cards. Between attending networking events, conferences and trade shows, I’ve managed to accumulate a nice collection. Although I’ve entered all the contact information into a database, occasionally I still like to go through the cards because they remind me of the experience of meeting the individuals and the type of business they run.

At a recent networking event, where I had the honor of participating as a Table Topic Coach on Organizing, one of the business women at my table asked about organizing business cards. She too had quite a collection and enjoyed keeping them because there were so many that were creatively designed.

Here’s are suggestions for storing business cards:

  • Sort the cards by event (Take an envelope or Ziploc bag with you to the event, conference or trade show. Toss all the cards in and label the envelope so they are immediately sorted).
  • Enter the information into a database that allows you to indicate where you met the individual and gives you the ability to more easily follow up.
  • File the cards*

*Here are several methods for filing and saving the cards:

1. Use Loose-leaf Binder Rings

Punch a hole in each business card, attach to a ring, add a label and put in a basket or clear jar with other cards you’ve collected.

Business Cards with Loose-leaf Rings

2. Business Card File Box If you choose this option, decide whether you’ll file by company name or individual’s name.

Semikolon Business Card File Box from SJW

3. Crafty Solution

If you want to take Idea #2 a little further and get crafty, here’s a DIY box from I Heart Organizing that allows you to sort by category or subject, whatever is pertinent to your industry.

I Heart Organizing Biz Card Holder


4. Of course, there’s the tried-and-true option of putting the cards in a binder. Again, you can sort alphabetically or by category.

Business Card Binder Organizing Junkie

A couple of tips if you’re attending a trade show or conference: Establish a system beforehand so you can be sure to effectively follow up with specific people. For example, if you have a conversation with someone and it looks like that could develop into a business relationship, make a few notes on the card and put it in an envelope or file that is marked “Important Follow up” (or something similar that resonates with you). Create a secondary envelope or file for “Not so Important Follow” (again, or a similar label to indicate that you want to follow up but it’s not as critical).

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Bulging Wallet Syndrome

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in 5-minutes-a-day, DIY, Easy Organizing, Problem-Solved! | 0 comments

sjw bag

After all the holiday shopping and, let’s face it, simply ignoring a routine clean out, is your wallet bulging at the seams?

Lightening your {purse} load takes just a few simple steps and can have you breathing a HUGE sigh of relief in just minutes.

Start by eliminating the obvious:

- Social Security card: Not a good idea to have this (especially if it’s your original) in your wallet at all times. You likely have this number memorized anyway, so remove it and stash it with your important documents.

- Bank checks: These days, you can pay for most everything with a debit or credit card. Therefore, don’t take the chance that the check can be lost and someone has your bank routing number AND account number. Remove it!

- Business cards: If you’re a collector of contact information and it happens to wind up in your wallet, you now have permission to remove those cards, take time to input them into your smart phone and either toss or file the cards.

- Pictures: Yes, keep one or two of your family, but to lighten your load, take a picture and keep in your camera roll of your smart phone.

- Store bonus cards: Most stores can lookup your rewards number by your phone number.

Okay, so now that we have the bulging offenders out of the way, here’s what you need in your wallet:

- Money

- Identification (drivers license and one other picture ID)

- Credit Card(s) Whittle this down to one. Cancel store cards and use a VISA or Mastercard that offers you points.

- Debit Card(s)

- Insurance Card(s)

- Auto club card, if you’re a member

Avoid accumulating receipts in your wallet. Set up a system to go through your wallet at least weekly and put the receipts in an envelope at home (or in your car) so if you need to return something, you can, but once you’ve committed to the item (unless it has a warranty), toss the receipt.

Empty the change from your wallet regularly to also eliminate bulk. Put the change in a jar and save for something specific so you have a motivator for emptying your purse and filling the jar.

Ready, set, go!

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Baileys Hot Chocolate Gifts

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in DIY, Holiday Organization, Holidays, Problem-Solved! | 4 comments

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Jeanne Verbel, the mastermind behind the Scrumptious Cupcakery (Flanders, New Jersey). 


Hello! My name is Jeanne. And I am NOT ashamed to admit that I’m a Pinterest addict! I am SUCH a creative creature, and Pinterest, with all of its recipes, decorating ideas, and DIY projects, is simply irresistible to this girl’s creative spirit! I especially love to peruse the Pinterest pages this time of year because of the plethora of homemade gift ideas. I simply adore receiving gifts that someone has made for me because I love the idea that they were thinking of me while they were making it, which, when you really think about it, is the most precious gift of all. And I love making homemade gifts even more!

I have a large extended family and we put aside exchanging gifts many Christmases ago. However, I always arrive at my parent’s house on Christmas day with a large basket of assorted little homemade gifts from which each family member can choose. This year, one of the gifts I have made for my basket is the Baileys Irish Cream Hot Chocolate Mason Jar…and I found it, of course, on Pinterest! I added my own personal decorative touches and for a little under $4 a gift, I have a gift that I’m excited to give and I’m sure my family will be happy to receive!

And the best part? There’s still time for you to make some, too! And it’s EASY! You’ll need:

  • Pint sized Ball Mason Jars with lids (most craft stores sell these for $1 a jar. If, like me, you have Amazon Prime, you can order them and have them in two days…for even less per jar!).
  • Holiday colored raffia ribbon (available at crafts stores and yes, on Amazon! I chose natural and burgundy).
  • Butcher twine (or any thin twine, which can also be found at a craft store).
  • Your favorite hot chocolate mix (I am ALL about the homemade so I experimented with making my own hot chocolate mix, but found that I liked the taste of my favorite store bought brand better!).
  • Baileys Irish Cream shooter bottles (available at most liquor stores). Substitute candy canes for the Baileys if you choose to do the non-alcoholic version.
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Tea stained tags (available at most craft stores, usually in the scrapbooking section!).
  • Mini holiday stamps (available at most craft stores).

Once you have all of your supplies, make yourself a mug of hot chocolate, add a Baileys shooter and some mini marshmallows. Take a sip, sigh, and then create a clean, large work station to assemble your gifts!

image (9)

It is best to stamp all of your gift tags before you begin.

DIY Gift Tags

Once your tags are done, set up an assembly line….mason jars, hot chocolate, marshmallows, Baileys Irish Cream shooters, raffia ribbon, and gift tags.

Pour 4 or 5 packets of hot chocolate mix into a mason jar.

image (6)

Fill the rest of the jar with mini marshmallows and then put on the lid.

image (7)

Use a 12 inch piece of twine to attach the shooter bottle to the mason jar. Wrap four two foot pieces of colored raffia ribbon (two two foot pieces of each color) around the lid of the jar and tie in a bow.

image (5)

Slide a tag onto one of the ribbons of raffia and ….. hooray! You have a pretty (and pretty delicious) homemade  gift to give!

Finished Hot Chocolate Gifts

Now sit back and enjoy the rest of your Baileys Hot Chocolate while basking in your creative awesomeness!

image (8)

Wishing a Merry and Happy to all!


Scrumptious Cupcakery

Jeanne Verbel, a.k.a. the Gourmet Cupcaketress, is the mastermind behind the Scrumptious Cup Cakery (Flanders, New Jersey), who bakes a seriously scrumptious line of gourmet cupcakes. Seriously. Scrumptious. She is a home-based baker who urges you to indulge your sweet side and peruse her list of cupcake creations. Give yourself some time…it’ll be hard to choose! But when you do, email ( or message her on Facebook and she’ll be happy to help you indulge your cupcake craving! 

Follow Jeanne on Pinterest

Scrumptious Cupcake Pinterest Board

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Giving Thanks

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Easy Organizing, Holiday Organization, MomSources™ | 1 comment

This morning, I had the honor and pleasure of participating in a Google+ Hangout Holiday Organizing Summit with some amazing woman…and two pretty cool men. The end of each year is a time of reflection. Personally, this year has been a big growth year and today showed me that I’m right where I’m supposed to be! My feeling is that when you get closer and closer to being who you are really meant to be, the gratitude is hard to contain and life gets very exciting…that’s where I’m at!

So, let me share with you a little something I learned from each speaker and say a BIG thank you to everyone who I had the pleasure of listening to this morning (I was listening even though I wasn’t technically “on” the entire time…thank goodness I have unlimited 4G access on my iphone after my wi-fi lost connection)!

Summit Speakers

In order of presentation:

Carolyn Herfurth communicated the importance of having a plan. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, knowing where you’re headed is very important.

Ann McDonald lives outside the box! She demonstrated how to create an amazing holiday card holder and systems for managing your holiday card list. After visiting her site, I realized there’s so much more to Ann than holiday card organizing. She coaches and appeared in one of my favorite design magazines of all time: Elle Decor.

Cynthia Sanchez in the Pinterest guru of the group. Loved her tips on using Pinterest to plan a trip and using the new mapping feature to plan where you will eat, visit and stay when on a roadtrip. I paid careful attention to her public speaking skills and learned that I need to slow down a bit when presenting. :)

Stevie Wilson approaches shopping like a sport! She is the queen of a bargain and efficiency, telling us that you should always ask for a discount! I appreciated her honesty when she talked about the holidays being so commercialized now and how you can avoid shopping centers by planning purchases in advance.

Neelam Meetcha is a Brit. First off, I loved listening to her because her accent is music to the ears. She conveyed that claiming your expertise is important to be a leader in your industry. She also provided some fantastic gift wrapping ideas and how using ribbon with wire adds the WOW factor to a wrapped gift. I really want to see a picture of the dress she created out of ribbon and bows!

Collette Shine, the certified photo organizer of the Summit, says that photos tell the stories of our lives and that people have the most anxiety about organizing these precious memories. She says to get the pics off the phone and camera (don’t delete just yet) and back them up (then delete from your devices). She suggests a service like, then decide your goals for the photos. For example, put in a book or on a digital photo frame. Finally, do something with the photos!

Jennifer Ford Barry talked about what I love most. Focusing on giving back, expressing gratitude, and creating memories. Taking the focus off the commercialization of the holidays and being present with those you love and care for. What a great way to end the Summit with everyone feeling all gushy and re-focused on what’s most important. Thank you, Jennifer!

Of course, there are the two men who made this all possible!

John Paduchak the technical guru who is the Google+ expert. I’m new to Google+ and the Hangouts and plan on using it a lot in the future. John reminds me of the quote that “behind every great man there stands a great woman,” but in this case it’s “behind every great {online} presenter is a great technical person!”

Mastermind Adam Levine, who may not be People’s sexiest man alive, but he has invented “the greatest gift wrap storage bag…ever!” Thank you, Adam, for including me in this fantastic group! Wishing you much success with the Wrap iT gift wrap storage bag, which is a fantastic invention that will help anyone easily contain and organize their gift wrap. {Don’t miss out on a discount for pre-orders!}

Obviously, it was a fun morning and the energy was flowing. Click here for the re-play of the Summit. The schedule is also listed below so you can skip through to what interests you, although I would say watch it all if you have time. Each woman brought some great information for making the holidays fun and joyous!

Summit Schedule

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