Home Organizing Challenge

Welcome to the Baltimore Home Organizing Challenge!

I love an organized home and this isn’t news to many of you! I love it so much that I decided to create a facebook group to inspire other people to do the same. All this is because I truly believe that having an organized home alleviates the stress and create more opportunities for families to spend quality time together.

How will this work?

In the group, Baltimore Home Organizing Challenge, I will give you a weekly task in order to motivate and hold you accountable to keep your New Year’s Resolution of getting organized. We will have some lives, giveaways, workshops, etc.

I want to show you that by getting one part of your house organized at a time, you will achieve your long-term goal, and prevent burnouts. You can totally work on the task for 15-20 minutes per week, on the day that works best for you.

Every Friday I will give you a task to be completed and you have one week to do so. Come join me! Invite your friends to join us as well! I will see you there!

Home organizing challenge

 

 

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.

Have you ever heard the phrase “less is more” some time in your life? With the holidays around the corner, that is exactly what I had in mind when I decided to create this clutter-free gift ideas list for you. You probably are in the journey of decluttering your home and don’t want more stuff around or just want to gift your loved ones with meaningful experiences. These items won’t only make your holiday shopping easier but also be appreciated by anyone on your list.

Of course, there are good practical gifts {items that people really need}, that is not what I am talking about here today. I just want to get your attention to do not spend your time and money shopping for “stuff” that is cute but will just take up space in someone’s house.

If you are in the process of creating a shopping or your own wishing list, think of providing good memories and stories that everybody will remember for years to come. I have learned to enjoy gifts that don’t create clutter, don’t take valuable space in people’s lives and are useful. Follow below some great ideas and some even greater options if you live in Baltimore, MD, and surrounding areas. I divided the list into kids, women, and men.

Let’s get to it!

KIDS

DONATIONS-Even small kids understand that other people and animal need help. You can check with your child how they would like to “save the day”. I am pretty sure they will feel like they have superpowers of some kind. One of the donations options I like the most is the World Wild Life. The kids can choose which animal they want to help to save and for $55 donation they receive a stuffed animal representing the animal they helped to save and a card with information about the animal. To check it out, follow the link: https://goo.gl/ysPtv6

EXPERIENCES – Give the kids an opportunity to try a new sport, a dance class, music lesson, etc. Here in Baltimore two good places to check out are the YMCA {https://goo.gl/UdQ8K9} and Coppermine {https://goo.gl/SPe7PR}

MEMBERSHIPS – Baltimore has so many cool places to take the kids to. I love taking the kids to the Maryland Zoo {https://goo.gl/LUFxjr}, Port Discovery {https://goo.gl/cE7frW}, National Aquarium {https://goo.gl/484drS}, B&O Railroad {https://goo.gl/AoAg7a}. These are great memberships options! They make a great gift especially for little kids (0-2 years old) that don’t really get all this opens presents idea yet. If you are not in the area, you can get something similar in your area, too.

SUBSCRIPTIONS – My son loves his High Five Magazine {https://goo.gl/VZMXgJ} and looks forward to receiving them in the mail every month. Another subscription idea is Sling TV {especially if you have cut the cable because you, as a new parent, don’t even have time to watch anything anyways}. With the Sling TV kids can watch Nick Jr and Disney Junior at anytime {https://goo.gl/et1cLJ} Ah! Another option is ABC Mouse for preschoolers. It is a great investment! {https://goo.gl/8gShtH}

GIFT CERTIFICATES – Support local business by giving the kids a gift certificate to their favorite Coffee shop or Ice Cream store. In Baltimore, we highly recommend Play Cafe {https://goo.gl/kXCM8mand Charmery {https://goo.gl/m3QV3A}

WOMEN

DONATIONS – Thinking of asking for a donation in your name to support a special cause? I have a special desire to help other women in need. A well-known charity with an office in Baltimore is Dress for Success {https://goo.gl/sVf7Za}. You can make donations in form of clothes and money as well.   

EXPERIENCES – Giving or receiving the gift of experiences is a great opportunity for women to pamper themselves and enjoy some “me time” with something that they have always wanted to do but never get to themselves. Great ideas are massages, pedicure, painting classes, etc. Last year my mother in law gave me a gift certificate to Charm City Skin {https://goo.gl/QkukHx} so I could take a makeup class and it included her to babysit!

MEMBERSHIPS – How about making the woman in your life to have a dedicated “me time” by enjoying herself during a yoga, fitness class or something else that she really loves? Give them a monthly or yearly membership to a great studio or gym. Check out Charm City Fitness {https://goo.gl/VD53yd}, they offer a variety of classes and personal trainers.

SUBSCRIPTIONS – There are so many types of box subscriptions out there that it is hard to do not find something you will love: snacks, clothes, makeup, etc. Not long ago I came across My Garden Box {https://goo.gl/Hfykvd} and thought it would be perfect for Christmas gift. You should definitely check it out!

 

 

 

GIFT CERTIFICATES – A better work/life balance is what many of us look for. Having an organized home alleviates the stress and you can focus your time and attention on what matters the most to you. Di is Organized offers a variety of services to achieve anybody’s home organization goals.  You can gift somebody with our gift certificates or put them on your wish list{www.diisorganized.com}

MEN

DONATIONS – Following the same idea of helping other people in the area, Sharp Dressed Man {https://goo.gl/R7SaBE} is a non-profit organization that fits men in Baltimore with recycled suits to help them get back on their feet and live a better life.

EXPERIENCES – If the men in your life enjoy sports you could give them tickets to watch a baseball in the spring, a football or a college basketball game, etc. You could also give the experience to play a golf tournament, watch a concert, go to a play, etc. I really recommend Orioles gift card and tickets to Centerstage {https://goo.gl/p3oxKW}.

MEMBERSHIPS – There are many options for memberships out there that would make many people happy. For those who love doing activities outdoors, a great addition would be a Maryland State Park Passport {https://goo.gl/FWqX1y}. The Passport includes an unlimited day-use entry for up to 10 people in a vehicle to Maryland’s state parks; unlimited boat launching at ALL State Park facilities by displaying this pass on your dashboard; and a 10 percent discount on state-operated concession items and boat rentals.

SUBSCRIPTIONS – Electronic subscription to their favorite magazine or newspaper are great. Other ideas are the monthly boxes. For men, the choices are shaving club, clothes, snacks, etc. Do you have a coffee lover on your list? How about a monthly subscription to World’s Best Gift Coffee? {https://goo.gl/kDZ3ZP}

GIFT CERTIFICATES – Gift certificates to car maintenance, detail clean, and again sessions with a Professional Organizer to help them to organize their home office, tools, garage, car, closet, etc. Visit our website to check our package options {www.diisorganized.com}

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.

PANTRY ORGANIZATION TIPS FOR AN EASIER LIFE IN THE KITCHEN (1)

To me, it all begins with a good weekly meal planning and a shopping list. However, I understand that every household is different and being able to adjust systems to fit your family is important. I will cover tips on meal planning soon. Stay tuned!

Let’s focus on the pantry today!

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Discard any expired food and any item that your family didn’t like or is not going to eat.

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Keep like items together. Think of baking, breakfast, kids snacks, pasta, canned goods, etc.

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Make things easy for everybody in your family to maintain and find what they need. Label, label, label!  Use clear containers and pretty labels. Eliminate the packages.

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Keep snacks and healthy food on kids level so they can help themselves and even get their school lunch together by themselves.

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This is a simple process that many people can do themselves, but one of the advantages of working with Di is Organized is that we can do it all for you. We work with every home decor, lifestyle, and budget. We help busy families to have a more enjoyable life by working on the core of their homes. Check out our services!

Check out this video collab I did for organizing a pantry and fridge!

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6 tips from a Professional Organizer for a better work-life balance

Having a better work-life balance is what we all want and look for. However, most of the time, we feel like we are not doing things right, especially us moms. We always feel guilt, don’t we? {I hope that isn’t just me}.

I get asked many times how do I do it all – running a business from home with two little ones, having time for myself, and doing activities with the kids, etc. My answer is that sometimes it can get really hard, I am not perfect. What helps me is to have a schedule to follow.

It is important to remember that the meaning of success is different for everybody. Some people define success by the amount of money or things they have. Others, by the job title they have or the company they work for. Yet, some people think success is being well-known by a lot of people. Whatever your personal and professional goals might be, having a well balanced life is key to be healthy and happy.

I don’t know what you do for work but, I am a Professional Organizer. My work day includes working at my client’s homes, plus some hours in my home office. I have the privilege of setting up my own schedule, working with the most enjoyable clients, and doing what I love. Success to me is not just having happy clients that will have an easier life after working with me. It is that, plus having well fed, healthy, happy kids; a clean and organized house to spend quality time playing with my kids or watching a show with my husband; taking my kids to the playground and other activities; having healthy, homemade meals on the table most of the time; and spending time doing the things I love for myself.

There are so many things I could include in this article about how to have a lifestyle in which your physical, mental and emotional needs are met, such as: the importance of exercise, learn how to say no, leave work at work, etc. What I want to do instead is to give you practical tips to organize your life in order to achieve balance.

Do you want to know how I can get so much accomplished in my day in the most balanced way possible?

1. Know your priorities
I started by mapping out what my priorities are. What are the things I can not get away from? What do I have to do everyday? What makes me happy?

Download your customizable goals plan, print it out and keep following me.

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2. Create routines and stick to them
When I was younger I used to think that having a routine was something boring. That is one of the reasons I chose to be a journalist, at first. Later in life, and especially after I became a mom, I find them essential to my life. Even newborns need them and they know what to expect at every time.

Having a morning and night routine for you and your kids will help you to get your to-do list completed in less time. Make the thing you love part of your daily routine and create strong habits. I especially like my night routine. I try to prepare my day as much as possible, the night before. My husband and I take care of the kitchen chores after dinner time {clean the floors and do the dishes} Waking up to a clean kitchen puts me in a better mood early in morning.

3. Plan your week
Take a moment of your Sunday to get your week planned out. Start by adding the things you marked as your priority, moving down to the base of your pyramid. Make sure you have everything you will need for school, work, meals, etc. Schedule time for yourself.

 

Write down on your calendar: time for you to go to your favorite fitness class, to check out a new coffee shop or to just take a bubble bath. Chances are that if you don’t plan it, it won’t happen.

4. Meal Plan
I hear from so many people that meal planning is so difficult to start and keep up with but, I can’t emphasize enough how much money and time you will safe by doing so. You will always have healthy homemade meals without spending too much time in the kitchen.

5. Plan your social media and emails
I have to watch myself from time to time to do not spend too much time on my phone, checking my emails and social media. I do those with work purpose and that was taking a lot of time of my day that I could be spending relaxing, playing with my kids, reading, etc.

Recently I came up with a system where I check my work emails 3 times a day (early in the morning, middle of the day and night), and I post and engage with my followers on social media every morning. After that I disconnect to focus on other areas of my life.

6. Get your house in order
Having an organized environment with room to breath and relax is important to everybody. If you see yourself picking up after your kids, partner and even yourself too many times a day or you can’t keep a clean home, it is time to get everything in order. Get rid of what doesn’t serve you anymore.

I would love to know what are your tricks to a balanced life. Let me know in the comments below!

If you want more of my lifestyle & organizing tips, make sure to follow
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5 Packing tips for vacation

I love traveling! I mean, let me start over: I love visiting new places and seeing different things. Flying is not one of the things that I am thrilled about, but I love everything else related to traveling, including packing.

During my Au Pair years, I traveled a lot. I have even traveled by myself to New York, Vegas, Disney World and other places. Here are some pictures of places I visited back then. I love looking at them because they bring me so many good memories.

By traveling a lot, I have learned how to pack efficiently, to plan my outfits to take just the necessary, and to have a good system that works for me.

Nowadays, with two kids of my own, I have traveled with them, by myself, a couple of times to visit my family in Brazil. These trips were a little different. I had to pack more things than we usually need {pack n’ play and tons of diapers}, but I can proudly say I have done it.

Here are some tips to help you pack efficiently. I hope you find them helpful.  Boa Viagem! {Have a safe trip!}


Have a Master checklist – Create a master list with all of the essentials for the whole family. Print them out and put them in a plastic sheet protector. Use dry erase markers to check. Use and reuse the list.

To save you some time we already create a checklist for you and your family.

Lay everything out – Coordinate your outfits. Give preference for those that can be mix and matched. For the kids plan 1.5 outfits per day.

Use pouches – Use separate pouches to organize your clothes.Fold them nicely and make them visible like it was a drawer.

Pre-packed bags – For those who travel with frequency, keep toiletry and charges that you always need, inside your suitcase. You won’t need to re-pack them every time.

Carry-on (carry-all) – When traveling with small kids your carry-on will need to carry all. Think of snacks, toys, books, clothes for you and the kids, diapers, wipes, sippy cups, etc.

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Get Organized this Fall

Get Organized this Fall Season for gatherings with family and Friends. Since I moved to the USA, 9 years ago, Fall became my favorite season. I love the crisp air, the smell of apples and cinnamon, all the decoration and family gatherings.


To me, as a Professional Organizer, Fall is a busy season as well. Many clients want to get their home ready to welcome family and friends on the holidays, swap out their wardrobes, put away all summer related gears in a neat way, etc. 

Fall is a good time to declutter and organize your home before the Holidays as well. That is why I put together a checklist to help you stay on top of your to-dos. 

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I hope you have a great Fall and wonderful memories with your family. I will be doing the same =)

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Closet updates for Fall

Fall is here! Putting together a fashionable look won’t be a big deal with these Tips for closet updates for Fall.

Many of Di is Organized clients schedule sessions monthly or quarterly so we can help them to stay organized. Fall is a great time to swap out the closet and purge the Summer clothes. Check all the clothes you didn’t use or don’t love anymore, etc.

We contacted Fathia Savory, an expert Personal Fashion Stylist, to give us some tips on what to keep and what to add to our closets this season.

Enjoy the reading!

 

 

The other seasons aren’t too shabby but, Fall is finally here. Each year, I wait with anticipation for the beautiful rich colors of leaves changing. I love opening my window and smelling the fresh crisp air, and best of all sweater and boot season.

 

Long sleeve t-shirt + blue jeans (I like skinny and straight leg for my body shape)

You can easily transition your wardrobe to fall by starting off with just a basic white long t-shirt and jeans. From the t-shirt and jeans, you can build several different outfits by adding, layering, or mixing pieces. If you are wondering what to add to your shopping list, here are a few staple items to create or refresh your outfit for fall. Take a look at a few of the pictures below for inspiration to create an effortless fashionable transition wardrobe.

 

Out in stores and online, you probably have seen some of these top ten color trends according to the Pantone Color Institute. Color can be a little intimidating so this can be used as a guide in helping you play with color this Fall.

 

If you embrace any color, red is a definite must this season. There are so many shades of red, so have a little fun. If you are not used to wearing color start off small. Include them on your shoes, handbag, or scarf, like I did below.

 

 

Hi, I am Fathia Savory. I am a wife, mother, and entrepreneur! I am an emerging stylist, known for my effortless take on fashion. My goal is to provide each client with a personalized experience so they can embrace, embody and enjoy their true self! We provide several styling services such as personal shopping, event styling, complete style evaluation, etc. For more wardrobe tips or to book a consultation, visit fathiasavory.com

Favorite Fall Essentials

Hello, dear Di is Organized readers.

Today, to celebrate the first day of Fall in style, I have a talented interior designer, Laura Hodges, as a guest. She shares with us some of her favorite Fall essentials. Enjoy the reading!


Did you feel it yet? That slight chill in the air that instantly conjures images of the leaves changing colors and the feeling of a cooler season approaching. I love the freshness of Spring and the free-spirited Summer months, but Fall might be my favorite season for inspiration in color and style. It’s also a time when everyone starts coming together for intimate gatherings of family and friends. Let’s take a look at how Fall can inspire a more beautiful and functional home with a few of my favorite finds.

The colors of the Fall 2017 runway are perfect for bringing a little fashion and style into our lives. A personal favorite of mine any time of year, deep and velvety burgundy tones are easy to bring home in the form of a comfy throw, colorful tableware or even these gorgeous GreenTree tapered candles.

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Elegant, confident and sophisticated, burgundy wraps us in its warmth and comfort. Accented by vases of goldenrod or soft golden grasses, burgundy is a quintessential jewel tone that I love for transitioning to the cooler months.

Dark florals are another beautiful accent as the cooler seasons approach. A counterpoint to their fresh and vibrant Spring cousins, these moody and romantic floral print throw pillows from Lulu & Georgia are definitely on my favorites list.


Plaids of all combinations were all over the runways for the Fall 2017 shows and this trend is one I don’t mind bringing home since it’s a classic and tailored pattern. A plaid scarf, kitchen towel or throw blanket, like this Asher Plaid Throw from Lulu & Georgia, are simple accents and, combined with a faux fur throw pillow (or two), can really add some seasonal character to a room.


Switch it up by adding an extra layer of coziness and welcome guests to stay a while with a soft, chunky throw like this Henley Wool Throw from Serena & Lily.

What’s your favorite part of Fall? Welcome the color, style, and coziness of this season into your home and enjoy all that Fall brings your way this year.

Art meets function, beautifully.

Laura Hodges ACCLaura Hodges Studio is a boutique design firm in the Baltimore/Washington DC area where I focus on curating beautiful spaces that fully express my clients’ style and taste. Every project is developed with a concierge level of service and as the principal designer and owner, I am committed to creating spaces that are at once both sophisticated and welcoming. Art meets function, beautifully. 

 

Montessori Inspired Playroom

Do you want to create a Montessori Inspired Playroom on a budget? After becoming a mom I learned about the Montessori philosophy and fell in love with it. I have tried to implement some of what I have learned in my kids’ life to help them grow independent and confident.

 

A Montessori space is created with the child’s needs in mind. You can implement Montessori Method of Education in every room of your house to involve and engage your child, from any age, to master the skills of daily life like: self-care, house routines, and education. To do so you will need size-appropriate furniture {chairs, table, shelves, etc}, all in the child’s level and easily accessible.

I believe that in our American culture is easy {not very expensive} to get kids toys at any time of the year, with no special occasion needed. That is why many households are overloaded with kids stuff all over the place. To minimize the number of toys your kids have access to is very important so they can focus and really play instead of just making piles and piles of toys on the floor.

I regularly motivate my clients to learn and be consistent about rotating toys. Display a certain number of different toys and learn materials on shelves for every couple of days or so and then rotate them. You should try to include a variety of toys like: sensorial, culture, math, language, practical life activities.

With this thought in mind, I helped a young dedicate mom to set up her son’s playroom. Maddie also has a Youtube Channel called Maddie and True, where I did a collab. You should check it out! I will link the video below.

Anyways, with the tips I give here, you will be able to implement the same concept in your home. I even created a shopping list with the basic items you will need. There are options for any type of budgets.

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Let’s get to work!

Purge and Categorize: eliminate or reduce the number of: electronic toys {anything battery operated}, duplicates {if the toy has the same purpose and you have many of them, just keep one}, non-realistic, and not age appropriate {too advanced or too behind}. Divide the leftover toys into categories like fine motor skills, pretend play, arts and crafts, music instruments, and others.

Store/Rotate: to keep a clean environment I suggest doing toy rotation. Store the overflow toys in labeled containers in a nearby closet.


Decorate: make the room inviting to the kids and pretty to the eyes. Add some art to the walls.


Display: showcase your toys in accessible shelves at your kids’ height. This will encourage free play.

Here is a phrase by John Bowman that motivates me to create organized spaces for the little ones: “Young children love doing activities right alongside you. Children seek out and work toward independence whether we help them or not. By involving your child in regular home activities, you can help create your child’s self-image to be that of a competent, confident person.”

8 Steps for an Easy and Organized Move

Are you planning on moving soon? Once I read a study that showed that a clean and organized house sells faster than the other ones and it also increases it values in more than 800%. I guess people like to imagine themselves living in a peaceful space. 

When clients contact me to help them with their move they share how overwhelming this process is. Sometimes, they realize they need a professional help when they are at their new place and that is a mistake since the process of decluttering would be easier if done while packing.

I actually love helping my clients during the whole process: before, during and after the moving day. I know how busy they are dealing with work, family, kids, school, and getting the pressure off their shoulders is something I am here for.


Today I want to share with you 8 steps for an easy and organized move. Let’s jump into it:

1. Moving is a great time to rethink all your possessions since you will need to touch every single item you own. With this thought, eliminate everything that you don’t love, need or use and can be donated, sold or consigned.

2. Decide what can be packed before the house is even on the market and where the boxes will go. Decluttering and depersonalizing your home is a step forward into staging to sell.


3. Create a “Moving Supplies” box and keep it accessible. Here is what I suggest you to have in your moving kit: shipping tape, sharpie, scissors, box cutter, clear plastic bags, bubble wrap, furniture sliders and felt pad, tools {screwdriver, hammer,tape measuring and level}, painter’s tape, wire ties, duct tape in different colors, and color-coded packing key.

4. Get moving supplies and color-code them. Use some different colors of duct tape and designate one color for each room. That make things easy to everybody and moving day will be a breeze. Click the button below to download a color-coded packing key template I made for you.

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5. Make lists. You will have so many things to get accomplished. Making many different kind of lists will help you to stay on top of things and do not lose any night of sleep. If you are a tech person, you can use an app called AnyList. This app makes working as a team easy since the lists can be shared with all family members.

6. Create two binders – the first one you can leave to the new owners of your house and it can include: paint samples that were used in the different rooms, manuals and warranties of the appliances in the kitchen and laundry room and maybe a welcome letter to their new home. The other binder you can keep ideas for your new place, receipts, manuals, paint ideas, a list of things you want to get done before you move in, etc.

7. Plan your meals – the weeks before and after the move are crazy busy. Preparing slow cooker freezer meals doesn’t take too much time to prepare and it saves you time in the future. Another thing you can do is to use up all/most of your pantry items before the move. You won’t need to worry about packing them and you get to have a new fresh pantry stock at your new place.

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8. Last things to pack, first to be opened – make sure you identify the boxes that contain the most necessary items. I like to use red tape to identify these boxes that contain: cleaning supplies, first night essentials, tool box and snacks.