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Clutter-Free Gift Ideas

Need some clutter-free gift ideas? You have come to the right place. As a Professional Organizer, I am constantly dealing with people’s belongings. It is not surprising to me that many times the items that they hold onto the most are the gifts they got from a loved one. That is because they don’t want to hurt those people’s feeling, and that is how clutter starts to build up.

Pantry Organization

Pantry Organization is one of my favorites spaces to work on {it is actually hard to say what spaces I don’t have fun organizing}. The kitchen is the heart of the home and making things easy and accessible to everyone is always my goal. By having an organized pantry and fridge, families can save time and money, eat healthy homemade meals with frequency and always have good options ready to go.

Back to school: Arts and Crafts Closet Organization

Closet organization – Timing couldn’t be better for me to share this small make over I did in a closet at my house and maybe inspire you to get a project like this done in time to back to school. 

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If you live in Baltimore City (MD), you probably live in a rowhouse. If you live in a rowhouse, you know the struggles to make every single space of your home useful. Finding spaces and organizing them has become my “expertise” since I moved to Baltimore, haha.

When we moved to our house, about two years ago, I knew the potential of every space. Every year we tackle a couple of projects to make our spaces useful to suit our family best.

A couple of months ago it was time for me to turn a small closet in the basement {our multipurpose room} into an arts and crafts closet for the kids. 

This closet is actually where our water meter and water filter are located so this is just a space that hides all the ugly utilities from the finished basement. Anyways, to me it was a waste of space and I knew I could use it better.

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This is the space before the project. My husband added some 2×4 to the frame so I could use them as shelves. 

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It all started with a nice coat of white paint on the walls. What a difference it made already. Next I used some leftover vinyl flooring from another project and voila!  

This is how I transformed an ugly useless space into a craft closet! Now comes the fun part, organize it =) 

Since it is an utility closet I couldn’t build any permanent system, in case we need to get some work done in there. 

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I decided to use this colorful storage cart to store most of the items. There we have: ribbons, craft supplies, learning materials, paint, paper, stickers, markers, etc. 

On top of the cart I have a bin where I put all the daily materials we use for “mommy school”, as my son calls it.   

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On the side shelves we have more paint, balloons, learning material, glitter, etc. I use free containers {peanut and lunch meat packages} to organize everything. 

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I put some 3M hooks on the wall to hang aprons and the white board my son practices his letters. 

This project was very easy to put together and it makes a huge difference on our routine. I hope you like it!

Kids’ Travel Kit

Even though every store you go to is in back to school supplies mode, SUMMER IS NOT OVER! And that is why I am here, still talking about summer plans and organization like this travel kit I put together for my kids.

Do you still have a long family trip planned? We do! The best part of going on vacation is all the excitement and preparation to go on vacation. Does anybody else agree with that?

Long car rides and flights aren’t much fun for kids though. They get bored, tired, cranky, etc. So, having activities and snacks handy for them are a must in order to make things easy to us parents as well.

I would like to share my “travel kit” with you all and maybe get you inspired to do the same. I get a few new things so they look forward to playing with them and I also pack some of their favorite toys.

For my preschooler boy I like to have: his activity tray, magazines, sticker books, a bingo game {we got it at dollar tree}, magnetic letters {learning while you play is always good}, some cars, portable DVD player and a couple movies.

For my toddler girl I have: magnetic books, pompoms {her favorites}, stickers, coloring book, crayons, figurines, a doll, and a notebook.

I use a basket from dollar tree to keep everything handy and in order.

One activity I like do with them after we get back from vacation is to capture their memories of the trip in a “Vacation Journal”. My son tells me what he enjoyed, I write it down and after that he draws it. It is such a cool keepsake. If you like this idea, you can download the “My 2017 Summer Vacation Memories” here.

I hope you are enjoying your Summer until the last minute!

Organizing Family History

Lets talk about Organizing Family History. Today I took the morning off of organizing for my clients and decided to learn about genealogy and what to do with all the “stuff” that one day belonged to our ancestors. Plus, I often see that people want to have their memories preserved but not always know how to do it.

Some tips from Mary Mannix, Maryland Room Manager, C. Burr Artz Public Library, Frederick County Public Libraries are: “Organize your materials now! Whether it is family papers or your own genealogy notes. It’s never too soon. Label everything and do not use rubber bands or metal paperclips.”

When organizing your historical material (letters, pictures, research, interviews, etc) make sure you have copies somewhere else other than your own house and that close family members know how you want to preserve them.

If you find yourself in a situation that you prefer to donate your collections to an institution, a good source to learn more about it is the Society of American Archivists (SAA). You could start by reading this article: A guide to donating your personal or family papers to a repository.

Look at this paper a client and I came across the other day when organizing her files. These things were taught in schools and were expected behaviors from women back in the 50’s. Can you imagine it?

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I hope you found this information as interesting as I did. I always have a good time organizing family history.

 

Di is Organized – Youtube Channel

I would like to announce that Di is Organized is officially on youtube. This is a big step for me since English is not my birth language and I still have a lot to learn. But as human beings we always have things to learn in our lives and I just have to be brave, put myself out there and try to do things that make me happy. 

One fact about myself that you might not know is that my major is in Journalism and I have worked on TV before, while still in Brazil. 

Anyways, today I decided to do not let my fears overcome my dreams and see where this new project will take me. 

I have big plans for Di is Organized channel and I hope they come true, but for now I really would love to know your opinion. What do you think of this first video? 

Going Camping

We love going camping!img_4017-1

We don’t do it very often. Usually once a year, in August. But we really enjoy it.

For the past two weeks my son, who is 3 years old, didn’t talk about anything else but going camping.

So, last Friday we decided we were going camping that weekend. However, we couldn’t go for the whole weekend because I had a client Saturday morning and a meeting with an Interior Designer in the early afternoon.

Since we were just going to the Patapsco State Park {if you live in Baltimore you should definitely check it out} that it is less than 30 minutes away from our home, we thought we could do it just for one night and get summer camping crossed out of our bucket list for 2017.

Since we have all of our camping gear organized, packing the car and leaving wouldn’t take too long. In moments like this we can enjoy time together and not be stressed out looking for everything all over the place. Here is how I do it:

IMG_40071- We have a plastic box, that we keep on a shelf in the garage, filled with air mattresses, pump, flashlight, plates, silverware, mugs, picnic blanket and other little things.

2- Next to the box we have folding chairs, the tent, pots and pans easy to access.

3- Inside the house I have an Ikea storage box with extra blankets and linens that we just use when we go camping.

4- The kids summer stuff is already in our Summer bag kit and that should be enough for one night out, no problem.

5- So, the things we need to pack at the last minute are just food and a couple of things for my husband and I.img_4038

My point here is that if you spend some time getting your house organized it will payoff and it will save you tons of time later to do the things you love!

We had a great time hiking along the river, looking at the train tracks, cooking hot dogs and eating s’mores, sleeping in the tent {even though it was very cold over night}, the park even host a nature talk for kids in the afternoon and that day we learned about turtles.

What are the things you want to do and have been putting off because you can’t find what you need or have to get the house organized? Please feel free to download a Summer Bucket List to fill out with all the fun things your family want to do this year.

I hope you all have a great Summer!

I want to get Organized

Get ready for Summer adventures

It is the unofficial beginning of Summer. If you are a little bit like me, Summer means long days/mornings out with the kids, fun trips with the family, calendar covered with playdates, and tons of unexpected activities here and there.

To make things easy with the kids I keep an extra bag of summer essentials in the car. Are you curious to know that is in it? Today I will show you how I organize this bag and what I keep in it for smooth outings.

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That is it! Being organized is all about saving precious time (and space) for the things you love. In this case: my family!

We are ready for new adventures and create fun memories around town. How about you? What would you include in your summer bag?