Many of us start of the new year with resolutions that have something to do with organizing – even I do! I’m always trying to find better ways to be organized (go ahead, roll your eyes at me ? … I’m rolling them at myself, too). However, this year I made a shift in how I approach a New Year’s resolution and leaned into it with positive intention. It’s such a small change, but it felt so good, and still feels good. Rather than put pressure on myself to list more things on my to-do list, I set intentions to create positive change in my life.
Whether you took a resolution or led with intention, we are now 6 weeks into 2018, which means some of us may be asking ourselves if we’ve moved in the direction we hoped. If you have, that is stupendous! Know that I am sitting here giving you snaps and claps ? for your success, just as I am doing the same to cheer on those of us who have not gotten as far as we hoped by now. If you are working towards (or hoping to work towards) more organizing in 2018, I have something I want to share.
Just before we lept into the new year, I had the pleasure to chat with Susan Brickell of Real Simple to discuss someExpert Organizing Tips for the New Year – things to help make organizing a little bit easier for all of us. Things like… how to get started with our organizing goals… a super helpful tool to make your organization ‘stick’… one of the messiest rooms in our homes (as well as how to start organizing it)… and my top tip for successfully getting and staying organized.
So hop on over to RealSimple.com to take a read. Then, let me know what you think. I hope that you find it helpful and that it provides you with some good insight and inspo on your organizing journey.
12 Days of Neatness Throwback – DIY Cinnamon Stick Vase
If you’ve been following me for the past several years then you are familiar with Christmas being one of my favorite times of the year. You are probably also familiar with the 12 Days of Neatness– my neat little holiday guide for gifts, DIY ideas and recipes. I originally started these neat days back in 2013 and have evolved them over the past 5 years from blog posts to short videos.
Unfortunately, this year I had to press pause on the 12 Days of Neatness because of some other exciting projects I’ve been working on (some of which you’ll be seeing in early 2018 – yay!). I’m so sorry! I’ve been really bummed that I wasn’t able to create a new series for you this year. However, this neat holiday tradition is far from being over. So, until next year, let’s enjoy a little fun from years past! Here’s a throwback to one of my favorites from last year – an easy and beautiful DIY cinnamon stick vase ?. I promise it is sure to be the perfect floral, festive and fragrant addition to your holiday decor! Plus, it’s super easy to throw together last minute and can even be a wonderful host/hostess gift!
I hope you enjoy and that you make one of your very own! If you do, please, take a photo to show me! Simply tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use the hashtags #12NeatDays #JPtips #JPholiday. I’d love to see your beautiful holiday arrangements!
It’s been a while since we did a little decluttering together, so I figured it’s time for a little #TossItTuesday fun! This week, I’m pulling my hoard of paint out of the closet to talk about how to store and dispose of paint… properly and safely.
If you’re like most people I know or work with, paint ends up sitting around because we A) may need it for touch-ups and future projects or B) because we don’t know how to dispose of it so we choose to ignore it. Well, today I have some simple answers for you so you’ll know exactly what to do to get that paint clutter out of your home. I promise it’s actually easier than you think.
Watch the video above to learn how to properly store paint, one of my favorite tips to neaten up your paint stash, as well as how to safely dispose of both latex & oil-based paints. I hope that you find this #TossItTuesday video to inspiring and educational. If you do, please click the ‘thumbs up’ button after watching, share it with someone who you think would also enjoy it & subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss a future video.
IT’S NATIONAL SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK
WATCH MY #TossItTuesday PLAYLIST FOR INSPO TO SIMPLIFY!
You guys! Did you know that it’s National Simplify Your Life Week? I am slightly embarrassed to say that, despite my passion for simplifying life, I had no idea this week existed! A friend of mine told me about it yesterday and I think I had a simultaneous reaction of my mouth dropping open in shock and bouncing in my seat with excitement! Who knew we could celebrate such a fabulous mission for a week?
Okay, but seriously… given my love for simplifying life… I really can’t pass up the opportunity to give a shout out to this special week that observes such a positive mission. So in honor of my new favorite week of the year, I’m doing a #throwback on this Thursday to my #TossItTuesday playlist on my YouTube channel. ? If you aren’t familiar with what #TossItTuesday is, please take a few moments to watch my video above, which explains one of my favorite days of the week. Then, continue to watch the other videos from over the past year to inspire your mission to simplify your life, as well as give you a little chuckle!
It is December first, which means the holiday season is officially here, and that it is the first day of the 12 Days of Neatness, my own little holiday gift guide.
Since beginning the 12 Days of Neatness in 2013, each year I’ve shared 12 of my favorite product finds from throughout the year that I felt made useful, thoughtful and neat gifts. I posted these neat finds here on my blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (if you haven’t started following me, please do so immediately! What have you been waiting for? 😉 ). This year I decided to take the 12 Days of Neatness to the next level by creating short videos with some helpful holiday tips in addition to those neat gift ideas.
So join me over the next 12 days as I post all of this festive holiday goodness to my Facebook and YouTube channels. Let me know what you think, and feel free to share some of your favorite tips and gift ideas for the holidays, too! I would love to hear from you! Oh, and don’t forget to share all this goodness with everyone you know 😉
Recently, I had the distinct pleasure to co-host a special #SpringCleanse event in the apartment of Lilla P. founder and creative director Pauline Nakios. The lively evening was filled with closet cleansing conversation to welcome in the Spring season. Take a look at some photos from the gorgeous event on Facebook (you may even spy some up close photos of my organizing mastery).
To help our guests kick start the organizing season we put together a gift bag filled with organizational wares. In addition to some gifts from Lilla P., Command (a brand I use in almost every organizing project I do) was kind enough to donate some of my favorite products. Thinking of YOU, I snagged an extra bag to give away to one lucky reader in the Jeffrey Phillip + Lilla P. Command Brand Organizing Products Giveaway!
To enter to win this gift bag full of wonderful goodies, please do the following:
Make sure you are following me on Twitter @jeffreyphillip. (You’ll get lots of #jptips, and I love hearing from you! Plus, I promise never to tweet about ridiculous nonsense like Kim and Kanye’s wedding.)
As I read the article it all made sense and I knew where the author, Lauren Piro, was coming from. The areas she confronted are a constant struggle for many of us so I completely understand sending up the white flag. And, to Lauren’s credit, leaving these areas disorganized is not going to prevent you from reaching your ultimate goals in life. However, as the person who comes in when these areas become overrun with clutter and cause daily frustration, I can attest to the fact that some level of organization is necessary. After all, organization is about making your life easier by living lighter and more efficiently.
All of this got me thinking… maybe we need to address some of these areas in a more simplistic way and just get real about the level of organization needed to make life easier and not add more work to the to-do list.
So, here’s what I have for those who would still like to have a little order to their chaos…
Junk Drawer – It doesn’t have to be perfect, but a junk drawer still needs to be manageable so you can find a 9volt battery when you need it. A junk drawer can easily and quickly be organized by dividing it into sections with drawer dividers and keeping similar items together (e.g. batteries, pens/pencils, office supplies, tools, etc.)
Photos – I completely agree with Lauren that many of us don’t have time to scrapbook (I know I personally don’t); however, printed photos in a box will never get looked at and they will only take up space. Don’t even bother printing them. Drop them into an online photo album that can easily be shared or printed into a beautiful book with the few clicks of a mouse. The book will take up less space, look great as a decorative accessory and be easier to flip through.
Laundry Room – While we don’t entertain in the laundry room, we do want to make it a pleasant place to be. After all, many of us don’t enjoy the task of laundry so it’s important to keep the space looking good so that we can keep ourselves motivated and so that there is enough space to work in the room. Using decorative bins for loose items is a simple way to remove the visual clutter from open shelves. Tidying up the space on a regular basis will keep the piles of clothes at bay, the dust to a minimum (in what can be a very dusty room) and keep you on top of your detergent and pre-treater levels so you always have back-up supplies.
Kids Play Area – Organizational skills can be taught at a very young age. While it is not the end of the world if My Little Pony gets put with the animal figurines, the play space will always become a disaster if the munchkins are tearing about the whole area looking for something that isn’t in its proper home. Keeping items in their home will make life easier and will teach kids the benefits of organization at a young age. Keep them involved in clean-up time so they become responsible for being able to find things. Staying on top of this type of work on a regular basis (even once a week) prevents things from getting out of control later and creating one of the most overwhelming and time consuming sorting and organizing projects you will ever encounter. (Check out my Springpad Notebook “Organize the Play Space” for tips on making over your child’s play space.)
Nail Polish – Sorting through 10 or 15 colors every time you paint your nails can be annoying to say the least. I’ve witnessed many of my friends’ and clients’ chaotic drawers/bins and the process they go through to find the color they want. Keep the colors neat and tidy by taking a Q-tip and dabbing the color on top of the lid. This way you won’t have to pull out every single nail polish to find what you want and you’ll easily be able to keep the colors in order.
Serving & Cooking Utensils – Purging is always helpful, but even after a purge you may still be rifling through things to find what you want. Using drawer dividers, split the drawer into sections to easily organize the items you use on a regular basis (if you have more than one drawer, use one for baking utensils and one for cooking utensils). Then, put the once or twice a year items in a canister that gets stored in the pantry. After all, you don’t want to be without that turkey baster come Thanksgiving.
Well, here we are. The 12th Day of Neatness and it’s from one of my most favorite companies around. I’ve been a huge fan of Bluelounge for a long time and am always excited to see what new neat product they’ve put to market. The Sanctuary 4 caught my eye and it easily checks off several boxes on my neat-products-must-have list. Check this puppy out.
The Sanctuary 4 is a home docking station capable of charging several combinations of some of your most used electronic devices all in one go. The dock packs a 4-amp power punch to bring renewed life to 2 iPads, 1 iPad and 2 iPhones or 4 iPhones all at once while simply looking fabulous.
My favorite part: cord clutter is no where to be found! And let me tell you, nothing gets my eyes twitching quite as much as when I see a nest of tangled cords. Whether they’re in your office, your kitchen, your bedroom or your living room – messy cord chaos is usually among the first things I abolish when I start a home organization project. Cord clutter is my archenemy number one and I routinely lean on the folks at Bluelounge for their unbelievably smart, clean and thoughtful approach to eliminating messy cord catastrophes.
The Sanctuary 4 can do just that for your home all with a brilliant, compact and simple docking station that looks as good as it performs. I truly can’t think of a better, more appropriate way to end the 12 Days of Neatness than by encouraging everyone to bid adieu to their own tangled messes and give a quick power punch to those tech devices we love and adore so much.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed these 12 Days of Neatness and had as much fun reading them as I have had writing them. I look forward to a bright and exciting 2014 with all new, innovative and, of course, *neat* products and wonderful gift ideas to share with you along the way!
In all the neat gift recommendations over the last couple of weeks, I have yet to bring you something just for the little ones. Well, today is the day! On the eleventh day of neatness, I give you the treat for the most spirited recipients of all. Actually, it’s even a little bit of a two-fer since it’s a gift from LEGO® and a great storage solution from The Container Store.
The famous interlocking LEGO bricks have been around since 1949 and have been entertaining young, creative minds for decades—mine included. The most advanced set we had growing up in the ‘80s was LEGO® Airport, which must be why I feel qualified to scrutinize the layout of JFK terminals…but I digress.
The LEGO Group has consistently pushed the envelope of creativity by developing themed sets throughout the years, even launching several fantasy and sci-fi partnerships with Star Wars™ and the Lord of the Rings™ franchises, among several others. My absolute favorite, however, is the LEGO® Architecture theme they have on the market. They have taken the building and construction of LEGOs to an entirely new level. Now, kids can build everything from their very own Sydney Opera House™ to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater® estate. Kids can even build their very own miniature LEGO New York City, with cityscape themes of the Guggenheim Museum® , the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center® and even the United Nations Headquarters!
And for the extra special creative kid, this summer they released the brand-new, all white LEGO® Architecture Studio that ignites creativity and lets kids decide just what kind of buildings are possible. It’s an incredibly fun, challenging and always classically good time playing with LEGOs.
Now, to keep your living room floor from becoming littered with a thousand pieces of plastic imagination fuel, The Container Store has a fantastic solution ready to go! The fun LEGO® Head and LEGO® Brick storage bins are a great way to keep all those themed sets of LEGO bricks together in one place, plus they look really cool on a toy shelf!
Today’s neat product comes straight at us from the fabulously chic, organizing gurus at PurseN. With an incredibly sensical approach to carrying jewels on the go, PurseN has captured both style and efficiency (my two favorite things, which you may have picked up) with their Tiara line of jewelry cases. This trendy little tote gets all of your various jewelry essentials safely tucked up in one neat little place. Inspired by the Japanese art of Origami, these cases have separate compartments that unfold to ensure that precious metals don’t entangle themselves, scratch or pull on one another as you jaunt along whatever road you may be traveling. The best part is, these compartments are removable. That means you can customize your case to suit your treasure-toting needs. PurseN has a wide array of jewelry cases and travel cases that make organizing your travel essentials easy, stylish and more than a little fun!