Guest Blogging for The Charlotte Moms…

I’m guest blogging this week over at The Charlotte Moms talking about ways to maximize storage within your home by utilizing furniture.

The Charlotte Moms

It is a 2 part series; please feel free to drop by and check it out! 🙂

Using Storage To Maximize Furniture | Pure & Simple

Organizing with Furniture & Baskets | Pure & Simple

Part 1:  Using Furniture to Maximize Storage In A Room

Part 2: Using Furniture to Maximize Storage In A Room

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Monthly Goals {April Check In}…

There must be something about spring that has me all off.  This was by far the hardest month in keeping with my monthly goals.

April Resolutions

  • January Goals (eat better, drink more water, and exercise on the reg)
    • I craved soda more days than usual during the month of April.  I gave in a few times. :/
    • Eating … relatively consistent.
    • Worked out 11 days.  Better than my previous months.  Maybe that is to balance my increased soda content. 😉
  • February Goals (get up earlier)
    • My average wake up hour was anywhere between 7am and 7:20am.  Not sure why that is considering the sunrise is well before that now.
    • I definitely slept in on the occasional day more so than before.
  • March Goals (read one new book a month)
    • I finished my new book for the month in under 15 days.
    • In keeping with my goal, I didn’t move on to another book.  One.Per.Month.
    • Completed the book review for Rhinoceros Success.  On Chapter 7 of Getting Things Done book review.

April Goals (make time a priority).

Rough month with minimal progress to show for the goal.  True to form, I found my calendar over ran with appointments and commitments that (to be honest) I didn’t really want to participate in.

We all have a life to live that we signed up for.  Commitments that we simply cannot change.  Take for instance my networking group.  I have two monthly commitments (minimum) that I cannot change.  I must work around those.  Other requests must be filtered through my priority funnel before answering.

A few weeks ago I had a long conversation with Dwell by Cheryl about time, appointments, requests, and the like.  She offered some great insight.  I recently read Laura Vanderkam’s new ebook; she also had a great point of view.

We are in charge of our time and no one else.  People will ask for lunches, coffees, meetings, ideas, etc.  Only you can determine if that fits your priority list.

We must be stewards of our own time.  I’m getting much better about this.  But it is very slow progress.  Remember Jennifer, Must.Not.Die a slow death from a thousand opportunities.  Just because someone asked, doesn’t mean you have to say yes.

If I say no to your request, then please don’t take it personally.  I’m just learning to manage my time as it slips away so quickly.  Hello, April 30th!

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Guest Blogging for Habitat Restores…

Recently I was asked to participate as a guest blogger for the Metrolina Habitat ReStores.

Pure & Simple Organizing | Metrolina Habitat ReStore

I’m in great company with 3 other bloggers!

This week I’m showcasing a very easy and affordable DIY project.  TV Armoire turned to Children Dress Up Closet.  🙂

Feel free to drop by their website and check out the posts.

In other news, I was also asked to appear on Charlotte Today (again 😉 ) on behalf of the Habitat ReStores.  I gave some ideas on how to creatively use items found at the ReStore for organizing projects.

Be sure to watch the video! 🙂

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Creating An Outdoor Space…

I am a seasonal kind of girl.  I love everything related to a particular season and embrace it whole heartedly!

My current season is spring transitioning to summer.  aka Obsessed With Outdoor Spaces

I blogged about my love for Dearness Gardens here.  I also blogged about my Summer Bucket List here.  The theme:  I like pretty outdoor things?

I will be posting about our patio soon!  I have some window boxes to make with my dear ole’ dad before I can snap pictures and reveal. 😉

In keeping with the seasonal theme, I thought it would be fun to write about ways to create a beautiful outdoor space.

Creating An Outdoor Space

Essentials:

  • Sitting area
  • Lighting
  • Plants/Flowers
  • Shade
  • Curtains
  • Outdoor Rug

When it comes to flowers and foliage, I think a combination of both is beautiful.  Also consider planting some in containers to spread around the patio.  The more the merrier!

Using Flowers to Decorate

Flowers in the ground seem to require less maintenance than flowers in containers, but I love the combination.

Go for flowering shrubs to take up more room in the ground.  When planting in a container, vary the heights.  Vary the height of the flowers within the container.  Vary the heights of the containers with plant stands.

You can find very decorative metal stands at Home Goods, Ross, and the like.

My two favorite style of containers/planters are the traditional terra cotta pots and classic urns.

Don’t forget about windows!  Purchase or make window boxes to dress up the back of the house.

How do you create and decorate your outdoor space?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

{Guest Post} The Year Of Organization Part 2

Hope you all are having a great week!  I’ve got a busy rest of the week staring me in the face.

Charlotte Today Show Pure & Simple.jpg

Set your DVR to record the Charlotte Today show tomorrow!  I will be making my second appearance! 🙂  This time on behalf of the Habitat ReStore and all things organizing! 🙂

WCNC 11am-12noon

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Back to the topic at hand, Sally wrote her guest post Part 1 a few months back.  You can read that here.  She sent me Part 2 last week, and I have been dying to share!  There will be a Part 3 so stay tuned! 😉

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Jennifer and I were just reminiscing that we have “known” each other for an entire year now!  And of course that reminded me that I needed to get my butt in gear and send her the follow up post to My Year of Organization as I am sure some of you are waiting to see some before and after pictures!!

So let’s dive into 3 of the main projects I worked on in my Year of Organization.

1st Project: Linen Closet

First, I took a look at my linen closet and found it was certainly not being used to its fullest potential.

Linen Closet Before | Pure & SImpleAll of my bed linens and towels were crammed into the top few shelves and the bottom was a mish mash of toiletries.  I hardly knew what we had and was always over buying on my trips to the store because I didn’t have a good system of keeping track.

First, I pulled out everything and started with a clean slate.  I decided to start folding my towels in a way that gave me more space and better access.  I know it seems tedious, but it really did make a difference and has enabled me to keep it neat and orderly.  Then I went out to my local dollar store and purchased some white containers.  I purchased the drawer at the bottom from Target.  (I love those drawers because you can get multiple units and stack them.)  Although these bins are not cute and decorative, they do the job for me.  They are easy to keep clean and you can see everything that you put in them.

I went a little overboard and labeled the bins as well, to keep tabs on what items we were running out of and what we had a good stock of.  Now before I head to the store, I open the closet and take a quick scan to see what is low.  If you walked into my house at anytime, the closet still looks exactly like this (give or take a few towels that are in the wash).  It has shown me that taking the couple of hours to sit down and figure out a good system can withstand the test of time.

Linen Closet After | Pure & Simple

2nd Project:  Master Bedroom Closet

Next, I tackled my Master Bedroom Closet.  In our house, we don’t have the amazing luxury of a walk in, so I had to work to utilize the space I have in the best way.

Master Bedroom Closet Before 2 Master Bedroom Closet Before

I had some MAJOR work to do in there!! It was a mess as you can see.

I was just piling up the sweaters on the top shelf.  I had hanging dividers on the left side, but most of the clothes in them were from when I worked in an office job 4 years ago, so they were not even being touched.  The box in the front held my leftover pregnancy/post-pregnancy/nursing clothes that didn’t need a permanent space in my closet.

So I did what Jennifer suggests and took out everything.  I did a first sort through my clothes and made three piles. Keep, donate and sell.  Items that I found that were not being used currently and that were seasonal were moved down to our cedar closet for better storage.  I then went through the clothes a second time and made sure that every article of clothing that I put back in my closet fit me perfectly, I was not going to make any excuses as to why I needed to keep them. (INSERT- Proud Jennifer!

Once I had all my clothes sorted, I started to work on the best way to put them back into the closet.  I decided to use some Bed, Bath & Beyond linen bins to put on the top shelf.  They can hold more clothes and make them easier to get at when I am deciding on what to wear.  I decided to fold my clothes and place them in the bin top down so that I could maximize the space.  I know exactly what is in this bin because the front is labeled Long Sleeve and then when I pull it down I can see every shirt.   When I am finished, I just put it back up in the closet.

Organized Bin of Clothes

I also repurposed a wire shelf unit that was moved from the arts & crafts closed to the left side of the closet and put some additional linen bins for accessories, skirts and capris and labeled them as such.  I like this better than the hanging dividers because I had cut out a lot of my skirts, so I needed to dedicate much less space in my closet for it.  I then moved all of my jeans, which I wear on a daily basis, to the left side of my closet on hangers.

Wire Shelving & Linen Bins

Master Bedroom Closet After 2 Master Bedroom Closet After It felt good to have this space organized, but I must admit it is much harder to keep up with then the linen closet.  Mostly, because I am in it every single day taking out clothes and adding laundry, etc.  But overall, I have made an effort to put the clothing in the correct place and keep any misc. items from building up in front of the closet door.

Part 3 will be published next week where she talks about the 3rd project (Arts & Crafts Closet)! 🙂

Sally Sosler Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler
Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler is a photographer located in Orange County, New York. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SallySoslerPhotography or at her websitewww.sallysoslerphotography.com.

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Side note from the organizer:  staying organized is definitely work.  It doesn’t just magically stay organized.  It is easier to keep up than it is to catch up.

I think of it like losing weight the old fashioned way.  Exercise & eating right.

You lose the weight, look good, and feel good.  Then life happens.  You get busy.  You start to skip the gym.  Fast food becomes more common than it should for dinner.  The weight comes back on.

It takes consistent effort to keep the weight off … and the clutter piles eliminated.  Safe to say, it is worth it’s weight in gold though! 🙂

What are your questions for Sally?  Ask them below in the comments! 🙂

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Shopping at a Nursery for Plants {Dearness Gardens}

I wanted to be 2 things as a child:  interior designer and landscape architect.

I apprenticed with a designer a few years back and quickly realized I was not cut out for the industry.  Functional .. not fancy.

I never apprenticed with a landscape architect but I ruled that industry out many moons ago.  I am really really bad with bugs.

I still swoon over landscapes.  It might one of the reasons I love golf courses so much.

I will have a backyard that is to.die.for one of these days.  Until then, I will continue working on my patio (that post coming shortly).

Dearness Garden Nursery

Dearness Garden Nursery

Growing up, my mom would take me to nurseries while on the hunt for flowers and shrubs.  We rarely went to Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy what Ford’s and Laurel Hill had.

I loved going with her!  I might have even made recommendations on which plants she should buy.  😉

Beautiful Nursery | Dearness Garden

Beautiful Nursery | Dearness Garden

Last week, Raymond encouraged me to take a day off to regroup from a busy first half of the week.  I committed to an afternoon off and decided to “poke around”.

I happened upon Dearness Gardens and fell in a nursery coma.  I was in heaven.

What I like best about nurseries is their abundance of plants and flowers … and their friendly staff.  I asked a million questions and received two million answers.

Did you know that Miracle Gro is not the best fertilizer for container plants and hanging baskets?  Apparently it runs right out the bottom each time you water.  Slow release fertilizer is the way to go.

Shade Plants | Pure & Simple

They also sell plants and flowers that I don’t typically find at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Dearness Gardens | Phlox Plant

I started going hog wild (is that a southern term) and gathering plants as quickly as I could.  Then reality set in.  I still have some planning to do before buying too many plants.  I came home with a good assortment to get me started.

Dearness Gardens Bird Houses

And don’t get me started on their wide selection of birdhouses and bird feeders!  Let’s just say I could have dropped $200 just on bird accessories alone!

Dearness Gardens Birdhouse Love Dearness Gardens Bird houses

It was the best afternoon and that is just one of my stops!  I’ll be talking all things antiques, roosters, and farms soon! 🙂

Do you shop at a local nursery?  If so, where is your favorite?  Link in the comments — I would love to check them out!

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Guest Post (The Charlotte Moms & SouthPark Magazine)…

Hope you all had a nice weekend!  I spent it spring cleaning and reorganizing!

Shocking I know! 🙂

Aside from my wonderful and random blog posts, feel free to check out my organizing posts over at:

The Charlotte Moms:  Organizing Memories With Shadow Boxes

http://www.thecharlottemoms.com/how-to-organize-memories-using-shadow-boxes-guest-post/

SouthPark Magazine:  Organizing Kid’s Toys by Getting Creative

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/15/3983670/organize-kids-toys-by-getting.html

Be sure to leave some love .. if you are so inclined! 🙂

Until next time…

love-Jennifer