Like most of my projects, this one started with a phone call. There was a townhouse and two dads, two kids, two dogs, and way too much stuff. Could we help? Of course.
At the first appointment, we met Bill and Alvarro, two busy dads at their home in Brooklyn Heights which was beautifully decorated yet warm and child friendly. From the basement to the office on the top floor, we could see the evidence of a well lived life. Gifts, souvenirs from travel, photos, school projects, and books could be found in boxes and piles throughout the house. Bill and Alvarro craved better organization so that they could live with less clutter and less stress. After a walk through of the house, we made a plan: we would meet once a week, and tackle one room at a time, starting in the kitchen.
About a year ago, a friend asked if I would consider doing a project pro bono; Lisa Meshulam, a single mother of triplets, desperately needed help with organization of her one bedroom apartment. I was intrigued.
When I saw the apartment, it was piled floor to ceiling with storage boxes on wire racks. Cube furniture was filled with bins, books, and papers. Children’s drawings and photos were taped to the walls, and the kitchen counters overflowed with food that didn’t fit in the pantry. Lisa slept in a bed in the corner of the living room, sacrificing her privacy so the boys could share the single bedroom. While the boys’ room was cleverly outfitted with two bunk beds, it was overrun with clutter. Clothing spilled out of empty cubes and onto the floor.
I immediately agreed to help and started by enlisting ClosetMaid as a sponsor. Then, I assembled my team of organizers, and began operation organize.
It’s that time of year again; the holiday season is rapidly approaching along with a seemingly endless list of things to do, presents to buy, and parties to plan. If you entertain friends and family in your home, you want it to look its absolute best. I recently sat down with Paintzen, an online service that makes painting your home simple, to discuss how you can prepare your home for the holidays. You don’t need to go overboard. Instead, focus on the four key areas that will be most visible to guests: the entryway, bathroom, kitchen, and living room.
Resourceful Consultants clients can use code “RC100” to get up to $100 off of their first paint project with Paintzen! Here’s to a Happy 2019 from Paintzen and Resourceful Consultants.
I first reached out to Elizabeth Sutton in December after seeing her posts on social media. Recently divorced with 2 young children, Elizabeth had experienced a tragic loss: while displaying her works at Art Basel, two of her employees, also dear friends, were in a devastating car accident. One did not survive, and the other was seriously injured. In dealing with the aftermath of the accident, all of her artwork in Miami was haphazardly packed and shipped to her studio in Long Island City. In the process, many paintings were damaged, and she herself felt emotionally damaged.
When Elizabeth and I spoke, she talked about a feeling of chaos, both in her personal life and in her studio. And, she knew that the chaos would increase the following month when she would be closing a pop up store in Soho and sending all of the art and supplies there to the Long Island City studio.
Elizabeth also expressed how her art studio, once a place of great inspiration, was now filled with sad memories and completely disorganized. That’s when Resourceful Consultants got involved. Our goal was not only to organize Elizabeth’s Long Island City studio, but also to create a hip, fun vibe that would match the mood of the vibrant pop art that is Elizabeth’s signature style.
Elizabeth and I met in her studio the following month. We talked about the organizational challenges she was facing, and how Resourceful Consultants could help. Elizabeth demonstrated how labor intensive each of her paintings was by crafting a single butterfly, gorgeous and glittered, while we watched. We met her team in order to understand how they worked together and separately, so that we could determine how best to organize the physical space in the studio.
Over the past few years, I have become interested in wellness, particularly as it applies to organization. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to Julie Peacock who integrates essential oils into her practice of yoga, nutrition, and wellness. According to Julie, essential oils protect against seasonal and environmental threats. They are nontoxic and don’t pollute your home, water supply or the environment. They are also multi-purpose and inexpensive.
Here are 6 essential oils Julie identified that can be used to clean and refresh your home:
I recently became acquainted with Paul Denikin. While Paul was always interested in home improvement, he became an expert when his daughter, Maggie, was born with special needs. At that time, Paul realized he needed to modify his home so that it would be safe and functional for Maggie. He started his website, dadknowsdiy.com, to share what he’s learned with the rest of us. Here, he talks about how painting your home can improve its value and its appearance.
DIY home improvements are one of the most common ways home sellers will try to increase the value of their home. While some DIY projects can be complex or expensive such as redoing your bathroom, other projects are far less complicated. It may seem difficult to up the value of your home, but in reality, a few simple improvements can dramatically change how your house is viewed by potential buyers. The best way to make an impact without breaking the bank? Paint.
Over the past few months, I’ve had a number of clients ask me for help organizing storage units. Some clients have multiple storage units and some have just one. In some cases, the storage units are complimentary perks that come with apartments, and, in other cases, exorbitant fees are paid. Sometimes, the client knows exactly what’s stored in the unit and wants to make it less cluttered or more appealing. And sometimes, the items have been put away for years, and the client has no idea what s/he will find there. While I generally believe that a client is better off purging and living within his/her space means, here are some instances when a storage unit is a good idea:
Although we’d all love our homes to look like those pictured in magazines, not everyone has access to fancy decorators, spacious layouts, and expensive furniture. Yet, there are many stylish solutions for your organizing dilemmas that are as practical as they are pretty. Here are a few of my favorites…
Organizing Dilemma 1: My Bedroom Looks Cluttered
While I can’t comment on the piles of clothing, work projects, or toys you may have lying around, I can promise that white bedding will make any room feel more peaceful and calm. Make your bed with white sheets and a white coverlet, and your room will instantly be transformed to a Zen oasis. To add pizzazz, use brightly colored pillows and a colorful throw folded along the bottom of the bed. Keep in mind that you can change those pillows and throw blanket to get a different look any time you feel the urge. Try dark colors and heavy fabrics like velvet and corduroy for the winter months and lighter fabrics and colors for the summer.
Organizing Dilemma 2: I Don’t Have Enough Storage Space
When you think you don’t have enough storage space, you’re probably correct. The good news is that many manufacturers are designing pieces that look great and provide ample storage as well. So, say no to nightstands with nary a drawer or shelf. Instead, look for nightstands that have multiple drawers, particularly if you’re a “collector” of stuff (see picture on the left). The piece pictured on the right has flip down drawer fronts to accommodate a cable box or DVD player (or books as shown).
Organizing Dilemma 3: I Have Piles of “Stuff” on My Counters
If you’re prone to piles of random stuff, corral your clutter with a beautiful tray. Add a framed picture, candles, or a vase, and your remote controls, keys, spare change, and books become a fashion statement instead of a declaration of your mess. Place these trays on your dresser, night table, or coffee table, or wherever you stash your stuff, so you’ve displaced the mess. You’ll even have incentive to put items where they belong.
Organizing Dilemma 4: There’s No Room on My Nightstands for a Tray
When your nightstands won’t accommodate anything other than a lamp, move the lighting onto the wall by installing sconces. Purely practical, but sconces also provide an opportunity for a fashionable décor statement.
Organizing Dilemma 5: There’s No Room in My Kitchen for Large Pieces
Large serving pieces can make beautiful focal points for your kitchen. Instead of storing a large bowl, fill it with fruit and center it on your kitchen table. Instead of cramming that large pitcher in the bottom corner of your cupboard, put it out on display in a corner of your kitchen.
Do you have any ideas that merge organizing and decorating? If so, I’d love to hear them!