Friday, January 27, 2017

Resolutions 2017: We’re One Month In, Who’s Already Out?

How’s that New Year’s Resolution going? You were going to eat only healthy foods, work out every day and get organized among other things…you were going to fix all the things that are wrong with you. Sounds really…great. No wonder you lost steam already! Each year 42.4% of people never succeed with their resolutions according to StatisticBrain. The odds of you getting up on January 1st and changing your entire life are, well, not good.

One of the top resolutions every year is to get organized. My clients are always surprised how we begin organizing an entire house because we always start with these three steps:

      So many resolutions on based on beating ourselves up, pointing out where we are lacking, where we are not quite good enough. Look, your house didn’t become disorganized overnight and it won’t get organized overnight and that’s okay! Life happens and priorities shift - its part of the game.

           It’s a pretty lofty goal to organize your entire house. Start with a drawer or a cabinet or set a timer for 10 minutes and do as much as you can. Resolve to organize for 10 minutes every day or 10 minutes 3 times a week. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done and you won’t lose your enthusiasm.

Did you get that junk drawer cleaned out? Or did you make a dent in that pile of papers? Nice job! Celebrate yourself! Be your own cheerleader! Yes, paring down your coffee mugs and making the decision to donate that chair you’ve always hated are big deals - tell yourself “Way to go!” And keep it up…everyone loves a compliment!
      Can’t quite see yourself shouting “You’re a ROCKSTAR!”? Then call 21times Professional Organizing and we’ll do it for you!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Alexa, Organize Me!

I heard on the news about the little girl in Texas who told  “Alexa” she wanted cookies and a dollhouse. And what arrived on the doorstep? You got it! Four and half pounds of sugar cookies and a $160 dollhouse. As a professional organizer, I sometimes ask my clients to tell me a little about the boxes often piled at the front door. I think poor “Alexa” will become the scapegoat for many a spontaneous order!

“Alexa”, the voice activated digital assistant in Amazon’s Echo Dot will no doubt make life easier. You can use “Alexa” to purchase more stuff or you can let her help you get organized. It’s like your very own genie in a bottle - use it wisely!

Alexa can not only add things to your to-do list via Evernote, your shopping list via or your calendar via Google Calendar, she can connect to some of your other favorite apps enabling you to send an email to yourself or send a reminder alarm to your phone in case you wander out of earshot.  It’s like having an assistant follow you around with a notepad.
Need a little more hands-on help? Try this “Alexa, call 21times Professional Organizing.”

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What’s the Perfect Gift? Ask!

I know, I know, you want to buy the newest trend, the shiniest gadget and the perfect gift that will make you, the giver, feel great watching your giftee unwrap. Well, that’s partly true, right? Everyone knows it’s better to give than to receive…and it’s much more fun! Here’s the key, give something the giftee will love. And we try, we really try but sometimes…well, that new bike shines too bright and we just gotta get it because everyone wants a bike, and who doesn’t love blue?, and we should all get outside more and I’m not, I mean I just can’t - no I refuse to buy another stack of boring books…I want to mix it up.  

REALITY (we always forget reality): Aforementioned giftee is salivating in anticipation over a brand new stack of books and spending the next couple of months hibernating in the coziest chair in the house devouring them. And that bike’s going in the garage the first chance you get to put it there…and it ain’t movin’.

Sometimes in the excitement of buying gifts, overwhelmed with wonderful intentions, we can lose sight of what may make our giftee’s heart sing…which is the goal. Ultimately. We also become so determined to get that perfect gift that we forget something needed can be the perfect gift, too - from giftee’s-eye-view!

What’s the Perfect Gift? Only one way to find out - ASK! And accept the answer.

Years ago, when I was a young, starving actor living in Manhattan trying to make ends meet with gigs that paid in MetroCards and lunch. That first Christmas, when my mom asked me what I wanted I told her I’d read about an actor whose parents had given him a huge box of toiletries and other necessities that really add up and as only the MTA accepts MetroCards, that’s what I wanted!

She wanted no part of it. None. “Don’t be ridiculous. I’ll buy you shampoo. Give me a list and I’ll get you what you need. But what do you want for Christmas.”

Here’s the thing, when you’re young and determined and stubborn (very, very stubborn) everything is a handout, even when it’s not. So I finally convinced my mom that just buying these things for me was “supporting me” but for Christmas, they’d just be awesome gifts. She reluctantly (very, very reluctantly) agreed.

The actress, in college.

So that Christmas morning, Mom was pretty upset that she’d agreed to go along with my scheme. Mumblings of I’m so disappointed and I can’t believe this and there’s nothing under the tree for you could all be heard in her famous Irish whisper.

When we began to unwrap gifts, I was so excited. Mom was not. Dozens of presents under the tree were wrapped and ready to be torn open. As I yelled, “Shampoo - the GOOD kind!” and gasped “Toilet paper!!!! 15 rolls!!! Windex - yes!! Oh my gosh, I totally needed new lipstick!!!” Mom’s smile returned and she became excited, too “Check your stocking!!!” I ran to my stocking like a little kid, “Mascara!! Toothbrush, oooooh the serious hand crème. A CVS GIFT CARD!!!!!!!!!!” It was a pretty great Christmas. Later I’d hear Mom saying, “Who would have thought shower gel would win the day?”

Ok, she did slip in a few other gifts and I’m sure they were great, but honestly, I don’t remember them. I remember the excitement of opening all the things I needed and had had to struggle to buy or do without completely. I remember not worrying (for months) that I was running low on laundry detergent. And I remember how great (and hard) it was for my mom to give up a little of her excitement in buying gifts to get me something I really needed and wanted.

So, I ask this holiday season that you remember that you should LOVE, NEED, and USE everything in your home and that you are buying gifts for people who should LOVE, NEED and USE everything in their home. Also, receiving a need can be as great a gift to open as a want. So yes, if your niece just moved to Minnesota, get her the hat that covers her ears…your heart will hear her whispered ‘thank you’ one early frigid morning as she tugs it down a little further.

Last night, as I pulled last year’s Christmas gift, a down comforter, over my shoulders I thought, “Thanks Mom, I really wanted this blanket and tonight I really need it.”

Friday, March 6, 2015

Aunt Tootsie here and I confess, I'm a freezer- I'll freeze anything (bread, jar sauce, pizza) but I never knew I could freeze lemons. I'm a little obsessed with lemons so I buy a lot and I always have some left over when I go out of town. It made me crazy to waste the lemons and the money. Last week, I popped them in the freezer. Upon my return, I defrosted them and the fragrance is amazing!!! Plus, they are super juicy and much more flavorful. They do seem a little soggy so I don't think you'd be able to use the zest. Love that there's no more waste and that I can have lemons on hand all the time! What do you freeze to make life easier? 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Organizing 101: Practice the one-in-one-out rule. It's an oldie but a goodie and quite possibly the universal basis for staying organized. Every organized person practices this rule whether they know it or not. It's pretty simple: every time you bring something new into your home, something of equal size needs to leave. You only have the space you have. Remember your limits and stick to them! Before you purchase something, like a pair of jeans, ask yourself if you love it more than all the jeans you already own, because one of them is going. Maybe you do and that's ok but maybe you don't and you realize you can save yourself some money. It's the great anti-shopping rule! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Take 10 minutes to TWEAK!

Take 10 minutes to tweak! Give your closet a quick once over. Is there anything in there that you wouldn't buy again today? Aaaaand donate. If you're not wearing it, you're just storing it...set a timer and get to it! Let us know, what didn't make the cut?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A car trunk is smaller than even the tiniest Manhattan apartment...

Reposting in honor of my 4th Anniversary of being a Los Angeleno...

So I decide to move 21times to LA. You need a car in LA, so I decide to drive my car across this beautiful country. Now, what can I bring? Hmmm, I guess whatever fits in my trunk....hmmm. Okay, it was time for some EXTREME downsizing! First, I invited everyone I know to come have a look at my "treasures" and take whatever they would use. What was left I would pop into my trunk! Well, maybe not. Time for some serious visualizing. I had already given a lot of thought to what I might like my new place to look like but now I had to get down to the nitty gritty. I started by developing a vision of what I wanted my "new LA life" to look like...right down to the silverware in the kitchen drawers. This was the fun part, because it could be anything- any life I wanted to create for myself. Then I took a good look at my "stuff". While it's sometimes hard to decide what to keep and what to let was really easy to step back and say "Does this fit into the vision of my new LA life?" Yes, no, no, no, weeellllllll- NOPE!, yes definitely, no, yup....and so on. Quick and easy! ; ) Ready to pop into the trunk....geez, I thought this trunk was much bigger! Okay, what do I NEED for my new life? I started to think of what I would have to replace as soon as I was there...Still too much??? Okay- what will I REALLY need to replace once I'm there? And voila` (sort of) it all fit. And, of course, a few things that are irreplaceable and I'm ready to go! The rest was off to my favorite thrift shop! I must give credit to Maureen, one of my fabulous 21times team members in New York,  for keeping me on track (it's what we do!).  ; )

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to School - Get Prepped!

It's almost back to school! Take a night to have kids try on clothes. Make it fun- 

smaller kids can have a fashion show...craziest outfits! You just want to see what 

fits and what you need to buy, alter, mend. Have older kids decide what they will 

or won't wear this year. No point taking up space in the closet for something that 

will never leave it! And don't forget the shoes!!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

21times is once again headed to New York December 18-27!! Book your appointment today!
Happy Holidays!!!! More tips to come shortly....