Simply Savvy Celebrates One Year:: Thank You (and a favor!)

It’s so hard to believe that one year ago I decided to start my own business and a blog. I am amazed at the success of my business and am still trying to figure out the balance of work and family.  One year ago I also chose to create The Simply Savvy blog so that I could share what I know, what I learn, what inspires me, and what I love with others. My hope has been that the blog would be a place of inspiration for others to create a home they can be proud of. I never imagined the community of support- from other bloggers, businesses, friends, and followers.

I believe beginning this chapter was the start of new things for myself. I didn’t know exactly where this door would take me. This is a journey and I am so grateful that I am welcomed into homes and into lives–and that you are part of the journey.

I believe in THINKING BIG. I believe in TRYING. I believe in GROWING. I believe in SUPPORTING others.

I believe that Simply Savvy (the blog and business) will have a great year full of new opportunities, greater sharing, feature rich content, great collaborating, and become your go-to blog for all things organizing and home. It’s going to be a fun year.

A little Q & A

I want to know what you want to know! Please share with me. (Those that blog love receiving comments and sharing!)

1. What makes you return to a blog?

2. What topics do you love to read about?

3. Do you subscribe to blogs? If not, why? How do you prefer to receive information?

4. What is your favorite or most frequented social media? I know, it’s hard to keep up with!

5. Where do you prefer to share or leave a comment? Blog post, Facebook, Twitter, Google+..Other?

 

Be sure to subscribe to the blog– it makes a big difference. Share your thoughts on post–that’s fun and a great way to collaborate. Check out how Simply Savvy Services can help you! You don’t have to be local. It’s all on gosimplysavvy.com

I want to thank you more! So, I’ve got great giveaways in August- starting Wednesday! Subscribe so you don’t miss out.

 

Thank you so very much for supporting me and Simply Savvy. Love the space you’re in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Simply Savvy Quick Fix:: Door Space is Clever Space

If you find yourself limited on space consider the interior of doors. Have you maximized all of your spaces? Be clever. Here are some inspiring ideas:

Hang up your cleaning supplies for easy access.

 

bhg.com

 

This is a clever solution for organizing bath items. I love the use of magnetic boards to hold containers.

 

modernhomestorage.com via pinterest

 

Consider using a hall closet or a guest closet door for craft supplies, wrapping items, or school supplies.

 

bhg.com

 

AshleyWilliamsDesign.com shares this art closet that utilizes every space possible. Clever and savvy!

 

via CountryLiving.com

 

What do you hang on your doors? Share. Love the space you’re in.

 

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Simply Savvy Quick Fix:: Organizing Under the Kitchen Sink

I thought we should start the week off with one simple organizing task–create order under your kitchen sink. Take a few minutes and toss out the old or unused items. Then, you’re ready to categorize and contain what is left. In case you need some inspiration…

 

I use lazy susans in medicine cabinets, pantries, and under the kitchen or bathroom sinks. They work in just about every space and create easy access to hard to see items.

 

RealSimple.com

 

I also always use verticle space by adding sliding storage. This door storage is a great solution–and I love the liner. Take a look at more details on this post at Mini Manor and enjoy browsing while you’re there.

 

image via MiniManor

 

Even a simple task like organizing under the sink can make a big impact. So, there’s a good project for you to start your week!

 

Share your space and your tips! I love sharing back.

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Spring Cleaning and Fresh Home Series:: Organizing Dresser Drawers

In our effort to create a fresh home, we’re kicking off this Spring Cleaning series with Closets and Dressers.  I chose to start with these areas because they are frequently accessed spaces that can be frustrating.  I love the reaction my clients have when they see the space gained just by doing a few things differently. Your issue may not be lack of space, so first work with what you have. We’re ready to Get Real, Create Boundaries, and Choose Essentials from this weeks Product Picks.

 

Get Real

To organize any space successfully you must evaluate your behavior with your belongings–do you pile, stuff, fold, or hang. This helps you determine what systems, containers, or dividers you need and how you will use them. This get real moment is important for any family member. I always ask clients to describe their impulse reaction and preferences.  The impulse tendency may need to change, other behaviors just need a solution.  Also, see what alternative space options are available in the house- think seasonal clothes, area for bags….

 

A designated home creates boundaries

If items are designated a home they’ll likely make it back in the correct space. Containers or dividers create boundaries. You’ll soon discover that if it won’t fit, you don’t need more OR if one item goes in, one must come out.  For parents, this helps manage their fashionistas desire to have another sparkly shirt.

 

Do you really need everything?

I always clear dressers and closets from all belongings, sort items, pair outfits, and then pull out donated goods. Think you’re done? You may find that seeing everything in good order often leads to more purging. It’s a good thing!

 

Ready Set – Get the Essentials {Dresser Drawers}

Once you determine what you are keeping, define what items need to be in the dresser and those that need to be moved to the closet.  Next, you’re ready to get organized.

 

I have used many of the Real Simple organizers for clients, purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond. However, they come in various materials, prices, and even in pink, so do what works for you.

 

Honeycomb organizers are great for rolled socks, folded bras, underwear or accessories.

 

Real Simple Honeycomb Drawer Organizer

 

Use dividers to section off items and keep them neat.

 

Real Simple 6-Piece Adjustable Drawer Organizer

 

Adjustable dividers like these serve many purposes. My favorite use is to fold t-shirts in a double fold with the crease facing up so that you can easily see the graphic pattern, style, or color. Dividers keep the shirts folded tightly, allowing you to sort by shirt type (long sleeve, short sleeve, print, colors…) Label the inner lip of the drawer and you’ll never guess where items go.

 

Bed Bath and Beyond Adjustable Dividers

 

You’ll be surprised at how much space you gain by using drawer organizers. There is simple joy in seeing what you have and being able to quickly access  belongings. Check the Simply Savvy Closet board on Pinterest for organizing inspiration.

 

Be sure to share your space challenges, questions, and fabulous transformations! I’ll be sharing Simply Savvy Reader Spaces and questions during the series. Subscribe to the blog and follow the fun on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing.

 

**{Sharing with:: Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now}**

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Spring Cleaning and Fresh Home Series {with Simply Savvy Reader Spaces}

Oh how I love Spring! It’s a time for outside play, planting in the garden, and enjoying the feeling of freshness and vibrance that comes from the outdoors . It also tends to be the time when we pull out warm weather clothes, put away winter blankets, deep clean our homes, and complete postponed house projects.

 

Spring is cleaning and creating a fresh home

 

To kick-start Spring cleaning, I’m going to be sharing a series of post on spaces that matter to you most–starting with:

 

 {Part 1} closets and dressers

 

Tips to follow:: organizing dresser drawers, how to gain space in hidden places, contain your items, fold and hang for space savings, my go-to products

 

Even better than my sharing is for you, my Simply Savvy readers, to share your questions, challenges, and images- either in this post, future post, or Ask Simply Savvy. I’d love to share your fabulous closet creation too! Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss this series.

 

Check out the Simply Savvy Closet board on Pinterest for some closet inspiration like this lovely and orderly find…

 

by Real Simple

 

 

As you prepare for cleaning, you’ll likely have some great finds worth donating. I am happy to be a contributor for the Organizing Oracle located on the ClothingDonations.org site. Search your area and see if a free home pick-up works for you.

 

 

 

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purposefully repurposed:: savvy organizing

As someone who does redesign for clients, I am very big on using what you already have in your home.  There are so many functions one item can have, just look at it for the possibilities and not just what it was intended for.  The best ideas are those that are creative, clever, and at no or low cost.  I move furniture, pull things from attics, and use forgotten and under-appreciated items that have been tucked away.  It’s great fun to hear and see the positive reactions-and add life to once loved items.

 

You do not have to be crafty or even like DIY projects to repurpose an item. It can be as simple as using a small dresser for organizing art, craft, or wrapping supplies, or set up as a family communication center or mail station in an entry way.  An old shutter found at a yard sale is an instant magazine rack, a clear bowl can hold soap for the guest bath or buttons for a sewing station, small tupperware fits as drawer organizers, and plastic baby wipe containers have endless possibilities. Be creative, open your mind, and use what you have.

 

Take a look at these creative solutions, some crafty, some using easy-to-find items, and some using common household items. What do you love? Does this spark an idea for your home?

 

This magazine rack was made by My rePurposed Life; however, take the idea and modify it with your yard sale find.

 

 

Clever game containers by Jazzie and Tahlia.

 

 

I had to add in a transformation for those of you that like DIY projects. Use some paint, new hardware, and paper or stencil for a complete furniture makeover.  This is a great example from Little Green Notebook of how to make a hutch feel current.

 

 

Simply change the function of a furniture piece to meet a greater need in your home. Turning a hutch into an family organization area, or needed book shelves is a great solution.  This before and after armoire on the blog Armelle is stunning (check out her etsy shop too). If you don’t want to do the work to update an item, just use it for a new purpose.

 

 

You may have seen the recent weekly product pick for the many uses of pegboards…a great item for many purposes. Have you used pegboard?

 

 

…and how about using these easy to find sweater hangers for craft paper, construction paper, fabric, linens…or clothes!

 

 

It just takes a bit of thought and creativity. Check out more inspiration of how you can purposefully repurpose on the Simply Savvy Pinterest board.

 

What clever uses have you created for your home? Leave a comment and share a link. I love sharing back!

 

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organizing craft supplies::a quick-fix

I am an organizer; however, my home has areas that get me frustrated and get neglected just like anyone else. For example, I had not truly organized the craft supplies and they were beginning to pile up and take over. In just twenty minutes, I pulled out everything from the storage cabinet, purged and containerized, and replaced items in a more orderly grab-and-go way.

 

I plan on creating a craft area that my boys can access independently; however, this overhead cabinet has worked fine for two younger children.  I still feel the need to have some control in this area!

 

 

I first spread the activity and coloring books across the floor-with a little helper eyeing each one. While the boys chose those they no longer wanted, I gathered learning books and moved them into another location.

 

 

This is what they were left with…

 

 

Next, I moved onto sorting and purging craft and art supplies. I already had some containers so my plan was to just use what I have for now.

 

 

 

In only twenty minutes the cabinet looks like this…

 

 

No, it’s not the prettiest art storage you’ve ever seen, it isn’t to me either; however, it is organized and streamlined. I can see what we have and grab the appropriate container depending on the craft.  My objective was to get one quick project done over the weekend that made a difference to me. This was it, and I succeeded. Getting organized does not have to look perfect– just start with something small.

 

What quick fix have you accomplished lately? Share your comments and your links. I love sharing back!

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maximize your space:: savvy solutions for organization

I have lived in a home where I felt that there was not enough space to manage my things, display my possessions, or allow me to function efficiently. I have been there and I find that to be a frequent statement from my clients–not enough room or they think they need to spend big money to address space challenges. This is why I love organization and redesign. I get to help clients transform their spaces by getting rid of clutter, reorganizing belongings, and repurposing and repositioning their things for better use and focus. These latest images from MarthaStewart.com  are a perfect example of how to make your things special and function for your home.

 

This caught my attention because I recently moved a clients trunk from looking lost against a wall to having a greater function as a coffee table. This simple move gave new life to a waisted trunk. The idea of utilizing the interior of the trunk for a filing system or desk storage is brilliant. Linens, seasonal blankets, or keepsake items can also be stored in a trunk, but this function is simply clever.

 

 

 

I also admired these orderly bookshelves because of their multi-functional possibilities. If you lack a home office, cabinet storage, or closet space, utilizing bookshelves (built in or not) is a great way to stash your things. By keeping the colors and storage solutions uniform the shelves look clutter free, stylish, and purposeful.  Use book covers and a variety of  bins to store magazines, media, photos, or office files and no one will know what’s behind that lovely book shelf–until you share your creative ways! Surround your storage solutions with your collections and you have a very stylish bookshelf–with true function.

 

Of course, the main benefit for adding bookshelves is the use of vertical space. They are the perfect solution for adding space and storage to your home. Be savvy and save by searching garage sales, craigslist or your local thrift stores for solid shelving–and get out the paint.

 

 

 

 

Love the space you are in, be creative and create a new purpose. If you find yourself stuck, I’d love to help-submit your question at You Asked I Answered.

 

 

How have you been creative in your home, utilizing what you have? Leave a comment and share a link, I love sharing back!

 

 

 

 

 

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organize your space::tips to starting small

I hear it often, and feel the tension with comments; such as, I don’t know where to begin-  It’s overwhelming – I can’t get anything accomplished. I hear it from clients, from friends, and from readers– I can get that way too. My words of wisdom (following a big hug,  a deep breath, and possibly a brisk walk) is to start small.

 

I believe writing down your needs, making a list of things to accomplish, and then prioritizing these tasks is step 1 for success. But, even the visual nature of a long list can make you feel frozen and unable to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. By starting with a small task, you gain momentum and feel accomplished. I’m referring to things that are quick fixes, take little effort, little time, and little thought. The success of completing something small feels good, improves your mood, and the feeling of being stuck in a rut lessons. It’s true for me with most things…exercising, house-cleaning chores, meeting new people, networking….

 

I hope this post will encourage you to start small and pat yourself on the back every step of the way.  You’ll want to think about how to containerize and label, but to get going, just get going! Here are some GREAT project ideas to help you get started and hopefully will inspire you to see the bigger potential of each space. Start small, but think big and love the results!

 

Beauty clean-up: Get rid of old or unused beauty products that you’ve held onto, and wash your make-up brushes.

 

Simple and organized by, Made By Girl

 

 

Streamline your media: Pull out your CDs, DVDs, and games and make a pile of those you don’t use. Be sure to sell used media and make some $$! Replace in containers.

 

This look by Deliciously Organized, could be used to contain many things; such as, media and magazines. It’s flexible, functional, and stylish.

 

 

Kitchen container clean-up: Empty your storage drawer and remove unused and unmatched containers. Place remaining items inside one another for instant containers.

 

I {heart} i heart organizing and her organized, easy-to-find solution for kitchen items.

 

 

Sock and underwear drawer: If it’s a messed up mixture, just dump and sort the unused, unmatched, and too small digs. Replace by rolling underwear, and folding in matching socks. Make a note to get a drawer divider next time you are out.

 

This drawer in order by tatertots & jello shows you how having the right organizer, allows you to see your necessities–so nice.

 

 

Closet order: If your clothes are falling off the hanger, unbuttoned, and hard to find, take a few minutes to rehang, button-up, and color order your clothes. It makes a visual impact when you walk in your closet. If you need to purge unused clothes and store out of season items, divide your closet clean-up project into two parts- (1) purge session (2) order session

 

Tidy, fresh, and color coordinated.  Always perfect when it comes to Real Simple.

 

 

Laundry procrastination: If you’ve got the laundry room overload blues, here’s a few tips: Agree to fold for ten minutes, and then see what you actually accomplish-Just pull out large items like sheets and towels and see the pile shrink.  Also, wipe off the tops of the machines and counter to spruce it up. Trash the old, empty, and duplicate products-creating space and simplifying makes a huge difference.

 

The laundry room is one of my first rooms to organize, since I am in it daily. This transformation by Young House Love has to be worth it–simply lovely.

 

 

The list of ways to jump start your home organization is endless: email clutter, magazine clean-up, garage sweep, download phone photos, streamline dishware, silverware purge…I will be providing greater detail and tips for organizing each of these spaces and so much more. If you need even more ideas, see if the Simply Savvy Pinterest boards inspire you too.

 

Do you have a quick task that made you feel accomplished and simply happy? What tips do you have? If this kick-starts you to get organized, come back and share that too! Love to share back with readers.

 

If you need some extra help, submit your question for You Asked, I Answered.

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organizing with shelves:: weekly product pick

I was looking at the Spring 2012 issue of Storage magazine by Better Homes and Gardens and noticed several spaces that utilized an IKEA shelf.  There was so much I liked about the spaces overall; however, the simple and clean-lined shelving had me searching for product details.  They turned out to be the IKEA Ekby Bjarnum shelves; however, my product pick this week is any IKEA wall shelf with brackets. Adding shelves is such a great way to utilize the wall space for storage–we always love more space!

 

They are affordable, can be cut to size, and work with any style and in any space. The more, the better!

 

Ikea Ekby Bjarnum

 

See how stylish these shelves are in this dream office space? This is what originally captured my attention.

 

 

BHG with IKEA shelves

 

Take a look at the interest modular shelving creates–a great solution for a large wall needing a focal point too!  This adorable wall display is done by Honey & Fitz. Be sure to take a look at how they use their shelves in other spaces too. So cute!

 

 

They work beautifully in a small, transformed working niche. This very creative space is from Sarah’s House on HGTV. I enjoy her style, energy, and transformations. (I could not find the shelving info-they may be custom–but you can get the look with IKEA)

 

 

These create a very clean and industrial, modern vibe–perfect for displaying items. I love what Freckles Chick has done in her kitchen. Great solution.

 

 

Organized and stylized–lovely at re-nest.

 

 

 

Take a look at the Simply Savvy shelving board on Pinterest for more ideas! Hang it up for more storage and space solutions.

 

Has simple shelving transformed a space? Leave a comment and share a link!

 

Weekly product picks are products that are simply savvy and should be shared. They are not sponsor based or paid for features. If you are interested in being a sponsor, contact us!

 

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