Saturday, March 28, 2015

Organize Your Digital Photos

Many of us now have our photos in albums on our computers, smart phones and other devices. While they do not take up any space physically, they still need organizing to make retrieval easier. 

This is a fun organizing job, and unlike organizing printed photographs, if you run out of time you don't have a huge mess to clean up. Just make a note of where you are up to.

  • Set aside some time in front of your computer screen.
  • Create folders on your computer with meaningful labels. It could be a Month, Location or Event.
  • Go through your pictures and edit them. Delete blurred or bad photos. Crop and remove red eye. Add descriptions and locations, if you can remember them.
  • Move edited photos into your new folders.
  • Transfer the folders onto a flash drive for safekeeping and to free up space on your computer or device.  
  • Using online services, like Shutterfly or Snapfish, create albums and brag books for family and friends. They make great gifts.  Check Groupon and Social Living for coupons for these sites.
  • Order actual prints of your favorite pictures to update the photo frames in your home. Try the different color options available for a change.

Not Sure Who to Order From?
 Check out this great website that shows comparisons for many sites that offer online services.

Shutterfly books.jpgshutterfly2.jpg

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Organizing Tips for a Small Bedroom

Tips to make a small bedroom look and feel larger and uncluttered

Remove all clutter;

Avoid too many throw pillows on the bed.

  • Instead of placing photo frames on your bedside table, wall mount your favorites.

  • Store your phone, keys, sunglasses and change etc in a drawer.

Use decorative magazine holders or boxes on book shelves for untidy paperwork.

Avoid bold patterns on your bedding and window dressings, as they draw the eye and can make a room look untidy.

Use Natural colors for a serene look, compliment with one or two small accent pieces or a single throw pillow on the bed in a bolder color.

Plenty of Light Is very important to make a room look larger, window dressings should be light and airy.  Choose blinds in the same color as the window frame, for privacy, without losing the natural light coming into the room.  Add one to two lamps and wall mounted mirrors to reflect light around the space.

Storage Solutions
  • An upholstered storage ottoman
  • Roll out under-bed storage makes a great horizontal bookcase
  • Bed with built in drawers underneath
  • Bedside table with drawers

Use vertical space and walls
  • Wall cabinets, tall bookcases, photos, mirrors, pictures
  • Wall mounted TV
  • Avoid high beds, or four poster beds

For more images of products described in this article visit my Pinterest Board "small bedroom organization"

Monday, March 23, 2015

Easter/Passover is Next Week

Easter Sunday April 5th
Passover from April 3rd to 11th

What's on Your To Do List?

  • Confirm your plans
  • Make reservations 
  • Decorate your home
  • Plan menus 
  • Purchase special holiday food and other items
  • Make holiday treats
Cadburys Eggs.jpg
Buy Your Easter Eggs
Visit The Scottish Mill in Bluffton for Easter Eggs from the UK

Around Hilton Head Island there are several family events for Easter Fun. Check out the following links:

Water Side Walk Sale

Spring is here and we're celebrating with a sidewalk sale on the waterside! It's all in a day's play this Easter weekend at Shelter Cove Towne Centre, Hilton Head Island's premiere waterside destination.
Friday, April 3 & Saturday, April 4

Easter Eggstravaganza

A huge Easter egg hunt will begin at 11am sharp, followed by an afternoon of moon bounces, games and music. Easter Eggstravaganza will be April 4, 2015 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm at Shelter Cove Community Park. Easter Eggstravaganza will be April 4, 2015 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm at Shelter Cove.

Enjoy Your Holiday!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Warming Up to Spring Cleaning

Here in The Lowcountry, Spring is definitely in the air and so is the pollen! Our Live Oaks are shedding their leaves as the new leaves begin to grow. The warm sun makes being outside, cleaning up, a pleasure.
My Beautiful Live Oak - Complete with Resurrection Fern and Spanish Moss
leaf blower.jpgThe RYOBI 40V Jet Fan Blower features Gas-Like Power™ without the hassle of gas and oil helps me to keep my deck and driveway clear of leaves and pollen. A gift from my hubby two springs ago ... and I LOVE IT!

The early blossoms, that have started to appear around my neighborhood, remind me to begin my Spring Cleaning inside, just as nature is taking care of the outside. Start by de cluttering all your public rooms, donate, gift or consign unwanted items.  Pack away your warmer colored decorative items, such as cushions and throws and switch to your spring/summer colors.  Vacuum your upholstery, getting under all the cushions.  Deep clean carpets or have them cleaned, to freshen them up.  After a winter spent curled up on the couch reading, watching movies and probably snacking, a spring clean may be just what your living room needs!

carpet cleaner.jpgIf you have children or pets you might want to invest in a carpet cleaner.  They are easy to use for accidents and spills and great for semi annual carpet cleaning. When you consider the cost of hiring a professional to clean for you or renting a device to do it yourself, having your own machine is a sound investment in the long term.  I use a Hoover Spinscrub 50 -  It removes common spills and stains, using its multiple rotating brush system to achieve a deep and thorough clean. It also has an attachment for cleaning stairs.  Dual tanks allow the Hoover SpinScrub carpet washer to keep the cleaning solution and dirty water separate.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Cleaning Your Inbox

Having an overloaded email inbox is not unlike having an overstuffed closet.  Items are difficult to retrieve and time is lost trying to locate items you need, raising stress levels. When stress levels are raised it causes chemical changes in our brain, causing some areas to shut down while dealing with a stressful situation.  In mildly irritating situations, such as not being able to find something you need in a timely fashion you might feel "flustered" when it seems as if the harder you try, you just can't function and you feel like you just can't think.  This has a profound effect of our productivity and self esteem.  

Email in-boxes can rapidly become chaotic without some simple housekeeping and a one very helpful app. Often times we unwittingly sign up to receive newsletters and offers and before long our in-boxes are jammed with unwanted emails.  is a marvelous free app to clean up your inbox.  After you sign up, you will see a list of all your subscription emails. You can unsubscribe instantly from whatever you don’t want.

We also keep emails in our inbox because we don't want to lose them in archives.  Creating meaningful labels for Folder's for archived emails, not only helps with retrieval but enables you clear items from your inbox without fear.  Make your archive labels meaningful and broad.  You don't want to end up with as many folders as you have emails.  For example: 

  • FINANCE - all statements, notifications and alerts from banks, mortgage company and credit cards.  
  • FAMILY & FRIENDS for all personal correspondence.
  • SHOPPING - for all those order confirmations, shipping notifications etc. 

Once a year, each folder can be culled to remove really old emails that you no longer need to keep.  Or if that seems overwhelming, schedule one folder each month to clean up and edit.  Weekly housekeeping to label and archive new emails helps to maintain a manageable inbox level.

Once you employ these two tips how do you get rid of all the historical emails still sitting in the inbox?  It's easy, albeit time consuming, but worth it.  

In the search box, type in the name of an email subscription that you have been scrolling over and ignoring for ever, and hit enter.  It will bring up all emails from that source.  Press Select All. Scroll through to make sure that another email you want to save has not been included in the search.  If one or two have, deselect them  Press the trash can to delete the unwanted items.  You can also archive emails in bulk in the same way.  Select All, Move To (select a folder). Once you have most of the historical emails either archived or deleted your inbox will be easier to edit line by line, until it is EMPTY!


Select       Archive Report     Delete      Move To Label
All Box                                  Spam    Folder 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Think Beach!

Who's ready for floppy hats and flip flops?

To get ready for the season, here's a few items to check off:

1. Is it time to renew your Beach Pass?
2. Check the condition of your beach towels, discard any that are shabby or cut them up for cleaning cloths, even better, donate to your local animal shelters, they can always use towels.
3. Check the condition of your beach chairs, sunglasses, umbrellas, floats and toys. Donate unwanted items and throw out broken ones.  When shopping look for deals on summer goods such as sunglasses and suntan lotion. 
4. Organize your personal beach bag.

The perfect beach bag, organized and ready to go:
 You might need:
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Book
  • Sunglasses (mine are sunglass readers)
  • Hair Clip,  for your unruly locks after a day on the beach
  • Hat
  • Cash
  • Zip lock or dry bag for your phone/camera
  • Talcum powder - great for removing sand from between your toes
  • Cover up

Shown here is the Vera Bradley, Vera Tote, I love it because it has so many pockets inside.  With all the above items I still have room for my towel, snack and water bottle.

All you need on the day is your beach chair, umbrella and toys!

Extras to keep in the car include a first aid kit, change for parking and a dry change of clothes, for the ride home!

WTZ7 first aid.jpg

Vera Bradley is available at The Scottish Mill Shop in Bluffton, SC.  They stock a great variety of totes and designs!

The handy dandy first aid kit is available from 
and only costs $16.

Witz First Aid Kit case comes prepacked with: 
Large knuckle bandage (1)
Large elastic bandage (3) 
Small round bandage (3) 
Small butterfly closure (2) 
Square gauze pad (1) 
Ointment foil pack (1) 
Antiseptic swab (3) 
Sting relief swab (1) 
Antacid (2) 
Ibuprofen (2) 
Aspirin (2) 
First Aid booklet (1) 
Poly Zip bag (1) 



Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Organize Your Book Shelves

Summer is a popular time for reading, on the beach or poolside, Make space for your new books and organize your collection. 

First go through and pull out any you would like to donate, sell or gift and put them to one side.  

Decide how you would like to display your books: fiction, non fiction, travel, biography, special interest, how to, inspirational etc. Another option is to organize by color.  

Organize your genre stacks on the floor in size order,  until your bookcase is empty.  

Clean the shelves and gauge the space needed for the different sections. 

Dust the spines before replacing the books on the shelves.  

Alternate standing your books upright and laying them flat, to make it look more interesting.  If you have room, accent with decorative pieces.  

By Color
By Author

Gift Your Books To Your Friends ; Organize a luncheon and have everyone bring along a book or two to swap.

Donate Your Unwanted Books; Donate to local Hospitals, Hospice and Assisted Living Facilities, Thrift Stores and Charity Shops.

See my August 2014 blog for more ideas at

Monday, March 9, 2015

Are You Ready for Spring?

As we spring forward with Daylight Savings it's a reminder that warmer weather is on the way and it's time to turn our attention to our wardrobes and our children's.  As you remove clothing for donation or consignment, make a note of items that need to be replaced.

Organize your spring/summer wardrobe and move winter clothes to totes or to the end of your rail on your closet.  Remember you want the items you wear most often in the “prime” location.

Take any spring/summer clothing that needs professional cleaning to the dry cleaners.

Have you considered consigning your gently used children's clothes?  It’s a great way to offset the cost of a spring wardrobe for your growing children. Here in Bluffton we have Sweet Repeats who hold seasonal sales in additional to their store hours.

sweet repeats.gif

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I don't have to check under the bed for monsters, there's no room for them!

Under the bed storage is like a bonus room for organizers! It can be used to solve many storage problems.

Here are my top five uses:

Stores 16 pairs
1. Shoes.  A shoe rack takes up quite a large area in a closet, vertical racks take a large area of potential hanging space. On low racks along the floor, shoes are concealed under hanging garments. 

Other options include over the door or back of the door shoe organizers, but these are "in your face" upon opening your closet door and unattractive.  This is when under the bed  is a great option.

Stores 6 pairs
Stores 12 pairs

Add Cedar planks to this
2. Seasonal clothing.  Placing your winter jackets or sweaters in under the bed storage during the summer months frees up space in your closet.  When you rotate and put away summer clothing in the storage box, as the seasons change, take the opportunity to purge and get rid of items that you won't be wearing again.

On wheels for east access
3.  Holiday decorations.  If you live in an apartment or condo and you may not have a basement, attic, garage or under the stairs cupboard, to store your seasonal items. Under the bed storage bins for your holiday decorations is a great option.  Providing you don't need the space for your closet overflow you can safely store your decorations and have easy access to them once a year.

Perfect for toys and games
4.  Children's toys, books, blankets.   Do your children like to snuggle with you on lazy weekend mornings?  Before long your room is littered with their favorite toys, books, games and blankies.  By storing a selection of their favorites in an easy pull out under bed storage box on wheels will stop the master bedroom from looking like another playroom.

5.  Archives.  If you are struggling to find room in the home office for seven years of tax returns and other important documents and papers, under the bed storage for archived files is a great option.  I recommend a clear plastic bin on wheels with detailed labels, for easy viewing and retrieval.  

In all cases, with under the bed storage your possessions are kept in a controlled climate, dust free and with easy access. The space under a king or queen bed allows for six or more containers. Potentially one box for all of the above and the sixth one for gift wrap?

just add wheels!
Check out these self adhesive wheels, then can be added to storage boxes and roll in two directions, depending on how they are placed.

To find out where to buy these containers and more ideas visit

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's National Clean Off Your Desk Day!

January 14th is National Clean Off Your Desk Day, what advantages are there to taking this initiative to cleaning off and organizing your desk? Many people will boast that even though their desk looks and is cluttered, that they know where everything is.  This is true, it's on the desk, somewhere!  By organizing and clearing space on your desk, you can give yourself space to work and focus on each item that has to be addressed in order of priority and have easy and instant access to other pending items, should you be asked about them. These tips will keep your desk clutter free year round.

The first step to creating order is to tame the incoming mail!  Reduce Paper clutter by sorting your mail into categories on your walk back from the mailbox.  Recycle unwanted items straight away.  Place mail into an expanding file that is sorted into six categories: Pay, File, Read, Call/Write, Hold Over, Coupons/Offers.  

Use a planner to remind yourself to re address an issue on a particular date, for example, if you have called a company to query a bill you have received and they say they will look into it and get back to you,  decide on a date that you want to re address this, and call back if your haven't heard from them, make a note in your planner and return the bill to the "Hold Over" section of your expanding file.  Make notes on a piece of scrap paper of actions, dates, names and other pertinent information and attach this to the bill/letter, for easy reference in the future.  

Another tip for de cluttering your desk area is to remove all the post it notes and useful reminders you may have stuck around your screen of pinned to the wall it to place all of this information into a folder, simply labeled "Useful Information". This might contain a list of most common phone numbers used, login ins and passwords, school calendars, "how to" instructions.

Basically every items that crosses our desk follows a process of being identified and read, acted on, maybe more than once and finally filed for future reference.  Filing systems are another subject altogether but the basic categories are
Finance - bank, mortgage, taxes etc
Household - receipts, insurance, warranties etc
People - work, school, medical, pets
Services - pest control, gardener, utility bills etc
Other - instruction manuals, Christmas card list, brochures etc

All other items such as stationery, accessories, check books, business cards can be corralled  into desktop organizers to provide easy access and keep your desk uncluttered.

 Makeover: Cluttered Desk, Small Space.