5 Ways to Help You Love Home MORE!

love home

One of the saddest things I have experienced working  in the organizing field is when people don’t enjoy their home.  What is even sadder to me is when people do not feel happy and peaceful when they come home.  Our home is the one place in the universe that is specifically for us and our family.  Should’t we love coming home?  I recently talked about this on the show I do in Buffalo called: Winging It, Buffalo Style…check it out below:

 

5 Ways to Help You Love Home More:

1. Evaluate each room in your home: Sit down in the room for 10-20 minutes and look around.  Ask yourself:

What do I love about this room?

Can I play that up even more? How?

What do I hate about this room?

Can I change what I hate?  How long will it take to change this? When can I begin?

Write down the things that you want to change.  Then come up with a plan!  Maybe there are some big projects that need to be tackled.  That is OK.  Break them up into smaller steps.

Now grab your calendar or your planner and schedule time in the next 3-6 months to tackle these items. No I am sorry I don’t have a magic trick to make this go faster but I do know that you finish a marathon one step at a time.

2. We all have projects that we want to get done around the house.  The challenge is making time to complete these projects.  Don’t let that get you down though!  It CAN happen if you commit to a plan.  Trust me; getting these projects done will not only make you feel happier it WILL help you love your home more!

I challenge you to walk around your house and take notes about the projects you would like to do within the next 3 years.  Then grab a notebook or type up an excel document and make a list entitled “Home Improvement Projects”.  

Tip: When we are about to tackle a new project in our home I like to set up a private board on Pinterest or a notebook on Springpad.  

3. Give up one night of media (TV or web surfing) each week to commit to the projects you listed on your list.

4. Create open space in your home.  This may be the quickest thing you can do to immediately make your home look less cluttered.  

-The first way to create open space is to clear flat surfaces (tables, shelves, countertops etc).  

-The second way is to leave floor space open.  Many times rooms have too much furniture and things on the floor which makes the room look smaller.

5. Get creative! Be brave enough to express yourself in your home.  Don’t just adapt to what someone else set up or give up all together.  Maybe that formal dining room would be best used as a play room off the kitchen or an office. No matter what you choose be sure to make your home work for you and your family.  

*For more tips on how to create a nurturing and inspiring home see Chapter 30 in my new book: Organize Now! Think & Live Clutter-Free

Jennifer Ford Berry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

home inspiration

Spring Organizing Tips

Yesterday I appeared on the Winging It, Buffalo Style show.  I talked about tips and tricks you can do to help you get your home ready for Spring.  Here are some of the Spring Organizing Tips  that I mentioned on the show:

  • Come up w a plan: one room per week etc. Make a checklist!
  • Pair down so you can clean less during the summer: less knick knacks, picture frames, throw pillows, stuff on the kitchen counter, maybe remove window treatments.  Set up your home as simple as possible for the summer months so that you spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the nice weather!
  • Ask for help! If you can afford it hire someone.  Otherwise make it a family project.  Explain to the kids that the more we complete now the more time for fun we will have over the summer.
  • Spring Cleaning Tips:
    • Furniture coasters: great for moving those big pieces so that you can clean behind them.
    • online slots font-size: 16px;”>Wool light: to wash curtains Tip: hang them outside to dry and they will be easier to iron.
    • Leave the bathroom light off when you are wiping the mirrors (less streaks).
    • Mr. Clean Erasers: doors, baseboards…I love these little guys!
    • Clean cobwebs with a broom and an old T-shirt for great results.
    • Clean your washing machine: 2 cups bleach in hot water run through a cycle. Then 2 cups of vinegar in hot water and run this through another cycle.
    • Clean your stove burners: Place ¼ cup of ammonia and the burners in a zip lock bag over night. The fumes from the ammonia will leave them sparkling clean!
    • Clean your refrigerator: baking soda and warm water for a fresh clean smell.
    • Open the windows: nothing smells more like spring than fresh air!

 Jennifer Ford Berry

5 Ways to Make Your Home a Reflection of Your Best Self

self2

If I were to walk into your home today what would I learn about you? 

Every home tells a story about the people who live there.  Shouldn’t your story be the reflection of your BEST self or your BEST family?

When every nook and cranny of your home is full of stuff there’s no room for new opportunities to enter your home or your life. When it comes to decorating an inspiring home, less is more. Too much of anything will make things look cluttered. Above all, you should feel comfortable in your home.  I have included some steps you can take to create the best home for you and your family.

5 Goals For This Week

1. Make a conscious choice to be intentional about what you bring into your home. If you are not 95 percent positive that you will love something or use it, wait one week before you purchase it. Even after you make the purchase, hang onto the receipt for a month after you bring it in the door.

2. Update the family photos in the house.  Are they current? Do they represent who you are now?  Or who your family is?  For example, maybe you have family portraits that are missing one or more of your children.  If I walked into your home today could I get a good picture of all the members in your family?

3. Place something special in your entryway that tells guests who you are, what you believe in or what is important to you.  This could be a sign with your family name on it, an inspiring quote, the “family mission statement” or even a wall of artwork your children have created.

4.  Cut down on the amount of decorative clutter you have in the room.  Then highlight a few of your favorite pieces.  Too many things in a room start to make it difficult for any one or two things to truly stand out.

5.  Listen to your heart when you are decorating instead of strictly going by the latest trends in home magazines.  Consider adding a couple of DIY projects that are unique pieces.  Check out your local consignment stores for items that aren’t being sold in the usual home decor stores.

 Organizing Tip of the Day

* Instead of wasting time wishing you lived in a different home spend your energy making your home the best it can be. I believe that the universe will not bring you a bigger, nicer home until you prove that you can take care of the one you are in.

* Make sure your home reflects your personality of you and your family members. Listen to your heart when you are decorating instead of strictly following the latest trends in home magazines.

* Inviting guests into your home will motivate you to clean and organize.

Time for Reflection:

As many of you may know, (if you follow my blog) my husband and I had the privilege of building a home from the ground up recently.  At times it was an overwhelming and stressful experience. But there is nothing more inspiring that living in a home that we created from scratch with our own ideas and tastes.  This is our third home. The first was built but we were only able to pick out the interiors.  The second was an older home that we had to remodel.  My idea of a nurturing/inspiring home is one that is cozy, organized, filled with nature and natural light, one where our children, family and friends always feel welcome. One that is clutter free: only filled with items we LOVE or USE.  This makes it easier to focus on what life is truly about.

 I want to point out here that bigger homes are not always better.  We live in a society that tells us if you have a big home you have “made” it.  Many people can not handle the responsibility and maintenance that comes with having a lot of space.  If you are a person that does not find cleaning, organizing and projects enjoyable it may be time for a smaller home.  

Jennifer Ford Berry

Pantry Organization: For A Busy Mom’s Life

Pantry Crashers  Another segment of Pantry Crashers is here!  

This time we crash busy mom, Jessi Boardman’s pantry.  As you will see she is not over joyed about this at first but she soob gets super excited about the end result!

Being a mom puts a whole new spin on organizing a pantry because this means you have more people to feed and because this means more people are in and out of your pantry on a daily basis. (= more mess!)

So if you are tired of your pantry looking like a tornado touched down…this is a video you must watch!

Organizing Tip of the Day In this segment of Pantry Crashers I discuss the following pantry organization tips for busy moms:

Tip #1 Keep treats and snacks for the kids at their height level so that they can easily grab what they need.

Tip #2 Inexpensive plastic containers work great for snacks.

Tip #3 Use clear storage containers for items like: crackers, cereal and chips.

Tip #4 Use the top shelf for items that are currently off limits (like doubles of items that are already opened)

Tip #5 Always shop from your own pantry before you go to the grocery store.     This will help you use up what you have and not over buy.

Tip #6 Place all like items together.

Tip #7 Keep canned good together in rows. Always put your newest can in the back of the row.

Organized Bedroom: Tips for Tranquility

Organized Bedroom

Believe it or not we spend a third of our life sleeping! This is why it is so important to give yourself the gift of a tranquil bedroom. Clutter in your bedroom interferes with your sleep and even cause problems in your relationship. I cannot think of anything worse for a good night’s sleep then staring at stacks of clutter before I shut my eyes!

As you start this week, ask yourself these questions:

What is your vision for your bedroom?

What does your dream bedroom look like and what will you need to do with your current room to meet those needs?

This week I will help you create an organized bedroom that provides the peace and tranquility your soul deserves!

This Week’s Goal’s:

1. Remove everything in your bedroom that:

  • does not belong
  • you don’t love

2. Keep a minimal amount of furniture in your bedroom. You’ll have more open space and few places to lay clutter.

Reduce the furniture you need by:

  • Mounting your television to the wall
  • Maximizing vertical space by using tall shelves or an armoir
  • Eliminating comfy chairs—they are typically used as a clotheshorses instead of seats making them eyesores
  • Using bed raisers to increase under-bed storage space
  • Finding a different room to store exercise equipment—it’s not restful and again is used as a clotheshorse

3. Choose colors and patterns for your bedroom that feel restful and peaceful to you.  You can post a picture on www.houzz.com and interior designers will give you their free advice and input!

4.  Keep the top of your night stand clutter free!

 

Organizing Tip of the Day

*  Make it a priority to make your bed every single morning. Your room will look better and crawling into a neat bed will feel much more rest at the end of a long day.

*  Invest in bedding that makes you feel special and helps you look forward to getting into bed at night. Cozy blankets, soft sheets and comfortable pillows are so worth it, higher quality, higher thread count items last much longer, saving you money long term.

Reflection:

I have waited a long time for a grown-up, tranquil bedroom and I finally have one.  So many places I have lived provided a nice bedroom but not one I would have chosen.  When we built our home I had the privilege of designing a bedroom that could be just for my husband and I.  When building a home with someone it is a series of give and take to incorporate both people’s wishes.  My husband wanted a front porch; I wanted a porch off of my bedroom so we have both.  I wanted our bedroom to be personal so we have photos of our wedding, him and I together when I was pregnant and one of our honeymoon.  We have a sign that says “Love Captures Us in a Moment and Changes Us Forever”. We have a silver “J” and “B” hanging on the wall because that is both of our initials.  We don’t have a ton of décor in there but what we do have is very special to us as a couple.

I recently switched to all white bedding…a little scary at first but it really makes the room look clean and fresh! Plus, since I am a person that gets bored with things quickly; I can easily switch the look with new pillows and décor whenever the urge arrives.  How do you feel about your bedroom?  If you are brave post a picture here and share with me. I will be happy to give you input!

*To read my entire chapter on how to organize a tranquil bedroom pick up my newest book: Organize Now! Think & Live Clutter Free.

Happy Organizing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

home inspiration

Organizing For Tranquil Bathrooms

 Organizing For Tranquil Bathrooms

Bathrooms are busy but small spaces. They often are the first rooms you see in the morning and one of the last rooms you see at night. All of these are excellent reasons to organize a tranquil bathroom that is clutter-free. You’ll start your days with a positive outlook and end them with a relaxed, peaceful feeling.

You have limited space in your bathroom, so purge items frequently. If you haven’t used a product for a month, toss it. If you haven’t used a beauty item (curling iron, hair dryer, etc.) for six months, get rid of it or move it to a high shelf in your linen closet. Cut down on clutter by keeping only the items you use on a daily basis in your bathroom.

4 Goals for This Week:

1. Keep those counter tops free of clutter! Use drawers, shelves and under-the-sink space to store your products. Keep only hand soap and maybe the toothbrushes out on the counters.

2. Set a strict limit for how many products you can have in your shower: one shampoo, one conditions, one body wash or soap, one razor and one shave gel. Keep extras in a drawer or shelf in the bathroom. Set a rule that you must finish the product you have or throw the remainder away before you can open a new one.

3. Pick a relaxing or inspiring theme for your bathroom décor. Place candles near your bathtub.  Choose paint and accent colors that you find relaxing and soothing.

4. Invest in some cozy, fluffy towels. They make bathing more enjoyable and relaxing and if you invest in high quality they will last longer and give you continued enjoyment for years to come. Assign each family member his or her own color of towel and washcloth so it is easy to reuse towels and cut down on laundry

Organizing Tip of the Day

* If you get bored with soaps and shampoos and like to change scents frequently, buy the smallest size possible so you use it up before you want to move on to something new. What you don’t use is a waste of both space and money.

* Purchase bathrobes or bath wraps for everyone in your house. You’ll use fewer towels and stay warmer, which will keep you more relaxed and comfortable.

Reflection:

I am a tall lady.  After years of having so-so bathrooms and tubs that were way too short for me, I finally built my tranquil bathroom.  I have to say it is one of my happy places.  Complete with a 6 foot Jacuzzi tub that beckons me on cold, sick or stressful days.  I keep a bucket of fun supplies and oils right next to it.

When designing our bathroom I chose to go with a look that I would see in a earthy spa.  I personally don’t like the look of towel racks so I installed two adorable hooks next to the shower to store our towels. Everything I chose was with one thing in mind…tranquility 🙂 

*For more tips on how to create a tranquil bathroom read my newest book: Organize Now! Think & Live Clutter Free.

 Happy Organizing

Organize Books, Cds and DVDs

Welcome to the Organize Now Challenge! In this challenge, I started with 5 women that agreed to follow along with my first book, Organize Now! a week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life, and blog about what they learn and how they implement my organizing advice into their life. As with many of my clients, life sometimes gets in the way of getting organized so we are now down to 3 women. Please read on to see how these ladies are clearing the clutter out of their lives.

This week we are focusing on Week 19 in the book.

Organize Your Books, Cds and DVDs

This week I am featuring Linda of Tapas Lifestyle:
In the chapter, “Organize Your Books, CDs & DVDs”, I agree with Jennifer’s thoughts about how a large collection of books, CDs and DVDs can be visually disturbing and overwhelming. She recommends keeping your organization of these items consistent and to use attractive storage. I completely agree with her. When my boyfriend and I moved in together, we had to merge all of our belongings together and figure out a good plan of organizing our books, CDs and DVDs. Please take a look at our interpretation of Jennifer’s ideas. I hope that you get inspired and the ideas will help make your home more organized.

Jennifer helps by outlining the following goals:

  • Gather all of your books, CDs and DVDs from around your house and vehicle
  • Check to make sure each case contains the correct CD or DVD
  • Sort through your books, CDs and DVDs and make the following four piles:
  • Toss, keep, sell/donate, borrowed from someone else
  • Throw away the Toss pile and make arrangements to donate or sell items
  • Schedule time to return borrowed items
  • Divide the Keep books by size. Clean off your bookshelves
  • Sort and organize your CDs and keep in one area of your home
  • Sort and organize your DVDs and keep in one area of your home

We purchased the Expedit Shelving Unit at Ikea ($140) for our office. We like the ability to customize the use of this shelving unit/bookcase. We purchased the Expedit Insert with 2 drawers ($25) and two Knipsa Seagrass Baskets ($17 each) to help organize our belongings.

 books, cds, dvds

 

To read the rest of Linda’s post and to see pictures of more ideas click here

 

Read how our other ladies organized their refrigerators this week:

Bonne Donahue of House of Grace

Jennifer Dempsey of Motherthyme

Do you have a large collection of books and music?  How do you keep it all organized?

 

Organize Your Entryway

 organize your entryway

Welcome to the Organize Now Challenge!

This week we are focusing on Week 20 in the book, Organize Now! a week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life.

Organize Your Entryway and Mudroom

This week I am featuring Linda of Tapas Lifestyle

In the chapter, “Organize Your Entryway or Mudroom”, Jennifer contrasts a formal entryway that consists of a chandelier and a single table holding a vase of fresh flowers and the “real” entrance to a home where everything may seem to pile up and be cluttered. I found this week’s challenge, a little bit challenging due to the fact that we do not have a “real entryway/mudroom” because of the way our condo is setup. There is not much room around our entryways. We have two entrances, the front door, which we hardly ever use, and the back door, which is our main entry. Even though we do not have a formal entryway or mudroom, I was able to apply Jennifer’s tips in organizing the other areas/surfaces in our home, which were becoming our dumping grounds for everything we brought in from the outside.

I love a lot of family/friends pictures in our home. Due to spacial limits, I had to be creative in how I was to arrange pictures. We actually attached these wires into the walls, but if you live in a rental or do not want something so permanent, look at the following links for similar ideas…

To read the rest of Linda’s post and to see pictures of more ideas click here

Read how our other ladies organize this week:

Bonnie Donahue of House of Grace

Jennifer Dempsey of Motherthyme

 Do you have a formal entryway or a mudroom? Is it organized? If so, what are your tips?

Happy Organizing