Vacaville Organizer-stepping away

Hello organizing friends! After a great deal of contemplation, I have decided to no longer accept new clients or book consultations through the end of the year. This change is effective 9/1/16. I appreciate your overwhelming support, referrals and partnering with many of you with your organizing goals.

Happy Organizing!-Lorinda, owner of Vacaville Organizer

Vacaville Organizer and LuLaRoe

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I see a lot of closets. Just recently, I helped a client edit and organize a closet which yielded 18 black garbage bags in donations. Closets are a woman’s inner sanctum…the place we let few people see. Why? I think it is one of the most personal spaces in the home. Our closets are full of memories-both good times and bad. Closets usually house our various sizes; I would say most women have at least three sizes in their closet. There is often regret about garments with the tags still attached. It is, generally, a place that I am not invited to organize with a client until a relationship is established. Revealing our closet contents makes us vulnerable.

Working with clients has made me realize that there is a need for comfortable, modest clothing. How many times have you purchased a stylish outfit and counted the seconds until you could take it off and get comfortable again? I see closets packed so tightly that you can’t remove a hanger, yet the client truly feels that she doesn’t have anything that suits her. Accessories are brimming off of the top shelves and piled on the floor in an attempt to put “your individual” stamp on mass-produced items.

I share this with you because I can relate personally. In fact, I was so frustrated with finding clothing 6 months ago that I considered sewing the skirt myself! (Sewing is an amazing skill, but not when you don’t have the time, talent or proper equipment.) It is about this time that I was introduced to LuLaRoe. I fell in love with my first item. I couldn’t stop talking about it; I wanted to tell everyone. There is nothing like it on the market.llrspring2016_188

This unique company offers on-trend, modest and comfortable clothing. Only 2,500 items of each print are ever made so you won’t see your shirt on every corner. I love that this company embraces all sizes of women by offering sizes from a 0-24. There are solid, conservative styles and fun patterns that suit the most creative personalities. Pencil skirts, dresses, “buttery” leggings, shirts, tunics, maxi skirts and more in every woman’s size.

Further, LuLaRoe clothing can enable women to edit their wardrobes down to simple basics that actually fit, make them feel good and express their unique style. When organizing a client’s closet, it actually becomes easier to dress with fewer items. A capsule wardrobe that travels well can free your time, budget and emotions.

As a professional organizer, I am excited to have a resource for individuals who are looking to simplify. As a LuLaRoe Consultant, I look forward to helping women bring organization to their closets through mindful editing, folding techniques, storage ideas and space planning. Organization and mindful clothing selection go hand-in hand.july4th_llr_85a

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Inventory and exciting things are coming in August! This blog, my LuLaRoe Facebook page and Instagram will all have updates about organized, comfortable clothing.

 

-Lorinda, Organized Fashion Consultant

 

Could a baking center help you get organized in the kitchen?

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Does it take you 15 minutes to grab all the ingredients to make a simple batch of cookies? Do you often begin a recipe only to find out that you are lacking a simple staple? Does the way your kitchen is set up deter you from cooking?

Maybe a baking center would help.

It is no secret that I have an affinity for organizing kitchens. I love the huge difference that a few hours can make. I work in a full spectrum of kitchen sizes and with a different budgets/needs. The size of your kitchen does not limit its ability to work hard for your family. If you enjoy baking and cook frequently, a baking center could greatly simplify your life.

Kitchen Zoning

The concept of a baking center is centered around setting up “centers” in your kitchen. Julie Morgenstern, author of  Organizing From the Inside Out, does a terrific job illustrating the various kitchen zones. Delineated areas within the kitchen should be centered around the family’s natural activities. I encouraged clients to list the various activities that occur in their kitchens. Some of these zones may include:

  • coffee zone
  • baking zone
  • lunch/left-over zone
  • beverage/bar zone
  • trash/recycling zone
  • food preparation zone
  • food storage zone
  • daily cooking zone
  • arts and crafts zone
  • home school zone

A Baking Zone

The baking zone could be set up in a cupboard, in the walk-in pantry, on a set of kitchen shelves or on a rolling kitchen cart. The mindset behind each of these zones is the same-to consolidate the necessary items required for tasks and simplify storage. An organizing fundamental that consistently works it to put like items together.

Baking Zone In An Existing Overhead Cupboard

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This wonderful client loved to bake and already owned most of the pieces we used to assemble her baking cabinet. Building upon her existing Rubbermaid storage set, we adjusted the cabinet shelf heights, gathered all her necessities next to the stand mixer below this cabinet and a baking cabinet was born.

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This client designated an over-head cabinet in her newly built home for her baking necessities. It is important to take into consideration the largest size quantity of any baking staple you normally purchase and choose containers to accommodate this size bag. An organizer can help guide you to the correct pieces and capacities.

Baking Center in a Walk-in Pantry

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A professional can not suggest storage solutions and its dimensions, but also tie the items together with custom labels. The perfect labels are not only a visual incentive for things to return to the correct place, but they also unify the various zones in the kitchen to reflect the client’s style.

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 Keep A Modular Footprint

A common mistake many homeowners make when setting up a kitchen baking zone is not using uniform containers. The containers do not need to be expensive, as is seen in the next photo using dollar store options, but they do need to all be modular.IMG_2756

Sometimes you don’t have to purchase any new containers. This client only needed a couple of extra containers to make her existing set work after we searched her kitchen. A quick wash and repurpose and we had a baking center.

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Think Outside the Cupboard With Your Baking Center

I love to use this inspiration photo to set up baking centers when there really aren’t any cupboards or a pantry to use. This is often the case with apartment and condo clients and those renters who need to customize their rental for a short period of time. I love this chrome shelf option because it can later be reused in a variety of spaces in the home and garage. Source: http://theeverygirl.com/feature/alaina-kaczmarskis-chicago-apartment-tour

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A rolling cart also makes a fabulous baking center and can move to various spaces. This is my present inspiration for a darling client with a love of baking.

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Do you love to bake? Vacaville Organizer would love to help you create a wonderful baking station in your home. Consultations for local, Vacaville residents are free. Call (530)902-5960.

Happy Organizing!-Lorinda, owner of Vacaville Organizer

The Magic of Two Hours

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Where does the time go?

Two hours can pass so quickly. In two hours you can watch two evening television programs, one movie, wash and dry a load of laundry, make and serve dinner, drive back and forth to work, go to the dentist or a myriad of other seemingly ordinary, mundane tasks. Do you ever ask yourself where the time went at the conclusion of a busy day? You may feel exhausted, but you look around and get discouraged that more of your goals weren’t accomplished.

You are NOT alone.

The majority of my clients describe their daily life as “over-whelming”, “exhausting”, “fast-paced” and “difficult to manage”. These same clients are successful in their professional lives and at home, but lack the time to tackle projects that would improve their quality of life. A recent business article entitled, “12 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast” by Jenna Goudrau will surprise you….specifically #4 and #10.

Working on a Personal Project

Strategizing and Planning

 

The Silently Overwhelmed

I recently had the privilege of working with a lovely, successful and gracious client. This client had worked hard to develop her professional career, devoting 8 hours or more daily at the office, extended education, travel and working into the night at home fielding calls, doing reports and managing her team. She is a single mother who runs the household, is an attentive and nurturing parent and has more friends than most. She is fun. She is talented. She is career-driven. She is also over-whelmed, but you would never know it looking from the outside. She may be just like you….quietly drowning. 

“Throw me a life preserver!”

I share my lovely client’s struggle because she is like so many clients that I am privileged to be invited into their inner-circle to help. She may even be a little like you…the “you” that doesn’t come out at dinner parties or at work. I want to tell you that there is a life preserver that can help “drowning in clutter, projects, unfinished business”. It is two hours. In two hours, magical things can happen partnering with a professional organizer. At the two hour mark, we can dig you out of a proverbial hole and you will begin to see headway. Two hours of concentrated and planned work can lift your spirits. Those same two hours can give you the encouragement to press forward. Successful people realize the importance of their own projects and strategize how to devote time to get them done. In Goudrau’s article, she outlines that successful people plan to be able to do things that are important to them. As a professional organizer, I would add that doing those nagging clutter-clearing projects that make your life difficult will give you peace. Two hours can throw you a life preserver in a sea of chaos.

Maybe you have a room, a garage or a corner in your home like this one.

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This photo was actually taken about twenty minutes into the clearing process, when we could actually swing the door open. This was a weighty project on another client’s list. His adult child left home AND a big mess. Over a few months, this morphed into a completely unusable room and a great deal of stress for the homeowner. The project became more unmanageable and unpleasant to consider beginning. Work, the holidays, travel for work and family obligations seemed to fill up every opportunity to tackle such a big project. The client decided to book an appointment with me for four hours. He planned to make this personal project a priority, just as Goudrau described. At the two hour mark, we snapped these photos of the room:

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after2_4174What a difference two hours make.

I give high marks to this client. He was ready to make decisions and a hard worker. We took bag after bag of trash, donation items and things to be relocated out of this space. We had a strategy, we set aside the time and just dug in. Amazing things can happen in the span of a few hours. Nothing was purchased for this project. The only tools required were different colored garbage and donation bags. The room was now functional again! More importantly, the burden of clearing out this space was removed from my client’s list of things that were weighing him down, causing him stress and even disturbing his sleep. This room was no longer a daily irritant.

Vacaville Organizer books appointments for a minimum of four hours. This enables us to build in time to strategize, clear out the space and get it to a point of equilibrium before we leave. I am always so excited to reach that magical two hour mark with a client and see encouragement in their face. Two hours can make a difference in even the largest of projects. At four hours, there are usually high fives all around!

Do you have a Monster Project looming over you?

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Do you feel overwhelmed, over-worked, under-appriecated and without hope due to a situation of excess? I would encourage you to develop a plan and set aside time to work toward your goal. Your plan may involve partnering with Vacaville Organizer, hiring a babysitter to help with the children so you can work uninterrupted, taking a day off of work or another creative solution. Then set your phone’s clock for a two hour alarm and dig in.

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You’ll be surprised with how much you can accomplish in just a few hours.

Read, set, organize!

-Lorinda, owner of Vacaville Organizer

 

 

 

 

 

The Myth about Storage Bins

 

storage bin coverStorage bins, baskets and containers are everywhere after the holidays.

They are alluring.

They are on sale.

They come in great colors.

They are offered in a dizzying amount of sizes and styles.

They illicit thoughts of neatly organized spaces.

Don’t buy a single bin until you read this.

Our homes are over-run with storage, yet we are not more organized as a result. You may ask yourself, “why”?

It actually isn’t your fault.

We are all fed a nefarious lie every January. Retailers would love you to believe that your home will be organized by simply purchasing their products. They seduce you by the neatly stacked displays. They remind you of your resolution to become more organized. (Becoming more organized has been consistently in the top 5 most popular New Year’s resolutions for the past ten years.) If you pay close attention, you will see organizing products in nearly every cart as you leave Target and Costco in early January. It happens every year.

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Buying more bins alone won’t make you more organized.

In every home or business I have organized, there have already been storage bins and boxes present. In fact, those individuals who often need the most organizational support have MORE bins than they could every use. It often looks like a “container graveyard” in their space. Clearly, valiant attempts have been made to use the organizing items my clients have purchased. A lot of money has often been invested. However, the retailers have left out some crucial information to make you successful when you purchased your bins.

What you need to know before you buy another bin, box or basket this year:

1. Edit

You won’t know what needs to be stored until this vital step is completed. Before you put away your holiday gifts or pack up the Christmas decor, consider if those items truly fit your lifestyle and taste. Local charities could be blessed by your duplicates or excess.

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Are the items in poor repair? Don’t hesitate to toss them. Space is a valuable commodity. Choose what stays in your home carefully.

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2. Consider the storage location

Will the items be stored in the rafters? Heavy-duty bins that withstand heat/cold temperatures will be essential with visible labels. Will the bins be stored in closets? Measure the space you have so that they stack neatly and work with your space. Are pests a factor? Make sure the bin you choose closes securely for dark, deep sheds and garages.

3. Be honest with yourself about your needs.

We only access 20% of the papers we file. We wear less than 20% of our wardrobes. Children play with only a small percentage of the toys they own. Before you purchase bins or storage systems, truly consider WHAT you are storing. Perhaps that nifty, new file box isn’t the best answer and buying a scanner would fit your paper needs better. You may surprise yourself and enjoy the found space removing ill-fitting clothes/shoes provides rather than the newest closet system. Maybe rotating toys into your child’s space would benefit your family more than purchasing bins for every new Christmas toy. In short, careful and creative consideration is much more valuable when organizing than a bin ever could be.

Bins are not “the answer”, just a tool.

Consider editing, the storage location and being honest with yourself about your storage needs before purchasing any more bins. You will save yourself valuable money, time, aggravation and space by carefully considering your personal needs. “Bin” there, done that!

Vacaville Organizer would love to partner with you on your holiday storage project through vacavilleorganizer.com, directly at (530)902-5960 or by using the contact form below. Local consultation are always free.

Happy Organizing!

Lorinda with Vacaville Organizer

Free, In-Home Consultations

baking season adI saw them setting up the Christmas isle in Target yesterday. Holy smokes! Yes, the holidays are just around the corner. Baking, parties, family gatherings and big dinners are a part of the fabric of many families during the holiday season. Ask yourself-

Is my kitchen ready for baking?

Would I feel comfortable having holiday guests?

There is plenty of time to schedule a free consultation with Vacaville Organizer before the “holiday hustle” begins.

Why not give yourself a little help this year? 

Most of us juggle work, sport schedules, demanding careers, family obligations, children, church responsibilities and community work. There is a lot on your plate. Vacaville Organizer would be honored to set up your pantry, get those counters cleared, find a home for all your paperwork, get your laundry room functioning better, clear out the toys to make way for Santa’s offerings and shrink your personal “to do” list. You work hard and deserve a bit of help too.

We hire other professionals in our life to support us. An organizer is simply another member of the team.

Gardeners, accountants, piano teachers, repair people, house keepers, dog groomers, hair stylists and the list goes on of people who are our “helpers”. Many people don’t realize how a professional organizer can help. Some of my recent projects included:

  • setting up a baking center
  • organizing two decades of back-logged business paperwork
  • creating gorgeous pantries (our specialty)
  • a linen closet over-haul
  • making a laundry room function
  • creating a drop-zone for a busy family

There is never any judgement. I often work independently, after the client has given instructions, so you do not even have to be present for the entire work day. Your identity can remain closely guarded. Some of the clients I work for never want a photo taken or others to know that I was there…working behind the scenes. I love making others look good!

An “organizational boost” can make all the difference.

Sometimes my work with a client is just the little “organizational boost” they need to feel better about their space. Once we complete one area together, I often hear back from them and they have gone on to complete other areas on their own with great success. They are excited, energized and full of hope.

Families are busier than ever. My clients are accomplished mothers/fathers, business owners and professionals. An organizer’s support simply gives them more time to devote to the more important areas of life, while I quickly catch them up on the clutter back-log that occurs when families are busy.

Professional organizing services are more affordable than you may think.

Local consultations are free. From there, a few hours of support may be all you need to take a deep breath and cross off a big area on your to-do list.

Vacaville Organizer’s services make a great gift.

This season we have beautiful, new gift certificates that are ready for gift-giving. This is the one gift that won’t end up at the back of that cluttered closet! I would love to talk with you about your ideas for business client, friend and family gifts.

It really is that easy. I know that this holiday season can be one that you can enjoy, free from stress. Vacaville Organizer can assist you with your mental list that is already beginning to grow. I would love to talk with you today through my Facebook Page, text/telephone at (530)902-5960, company website or this blog. Let’s chat about my favorite topic….your organizational projects and ideas!

Happy “almost” holidays and happy organizing!

-Lorinda, owner of Vacaville Organizer

 

Food Storage Containers…You Need LESS

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I promise you that you need less food storage containers than you think.

Open your food storage cabinet and take a peek for yourself. I can give a pretty good guess what it will contain:

  • A huge stack of disposable containers
  • A pile of mis-matched Rubbermaid bowls. You have about half of the matching lids
  • A few good TupperWare pieces. You only have one or two of these lids. You know where each of these came from.
  • Most of the contents are stained.
  • Over half of the storage containers have dishwasher spots and very visible wear.

You will insist that you need ALL of them for various reasons. 

I can attest that you do not need all the food storage containers in your cupboard. Perhaps you will argue that you do. Here’s a few points to consider.

How many left-overs do you have, at one time, in your refrigerator?

If you are like most of my clients, you have about two meals worth of left-overs that are fit to consume in your refrigerator. You would need just a handful of food storage containers to accommodate this many meals.

Letting go of excess food containers frees up valuable kitchen space.

When I help clients evaluate spacial concerns in the kitchen, I like to gravitate to the food storage cabinet. Inevitable, there is lost space to claim if careful editing and organizing is done here. Very often, food storage frustrates the client and the containers get tossed “willy nilly” in frustration and end up taking up a lot of space. That space could be used for so many other things that would benefit the client more in terms of kitchen storage and meal preparation.

How often do you do the dishes?

Most of us do the dishes every day or pretty close to that. There is no need to keep a month’s worth of food storage containers in reserve, just in case the ones we are using are dirty. In fact, since food storage containers are so much easier (and more pleasant) to clean right after they are used, keep the bare minimum and wash out what you used if you need to refill them. Once again, this helps with storage as well.

I need to keep a huge stash for my family to use for packing lunches. In fact, I have two sets of everything…the old, disgusting set that goes to work/school and my “real” food storage pieces.

Do you realize how many pieces were are talking about? This mindset will fill your cabinets and drawers in a hot second! A few, inexpensive plastic pieces are reasonable to keep for this purpose. Consider having enough for each member of your household to pack one lunch…no more. Additionally, this “disposable” mindset conveys to the family members that you don’t care about the food storage pieces because there are so many. Who cares if they empty their lunch boxes when there are 100 more containers in the cupboard? Who would even notice if they lost your nasty, old CoolWhip container?

What if (gulp…) I don’t have enough storage pieces after I purge?

I can see the look of terror in your eyes. Firstly, this will enable you to know what sizes you truly are missing. Are you running low on a piece to put extra salad in? Is it a larger container for a side dish you are missing? Maybe you need a container to take a left-over to work. Instead of purchasing large sets with many sizes you will never use, consider purchasing the sizes you truly need. There is very little difference in cost because you are only investing in the food storage pieces you use most. Additionally, if you really get in a pinch and the panic begins to set in, you can:

  • use disposable storage bags as a temporary solution for many items. This actually can conserve refrigerator space if you need to store a lot of leftovers.
  • clean your fridge and reclaim storage containers by dumping unused left-overs. We all have them.
  • Canning jars make wonderful storage containers for many items. Don’t be afraid to get creative when you are in a pinch.
  • Cover a plate/dish with wrap or foil until the proper container can be acquired.

I don’t want to spend a lot of money.

I hear you. Food storage doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to buy everything you need at once. Once you have determined what you use and need, I would advise you to also consider five important points:

  1. Buy square or rectangular pieces. They maximize the space in your fridge and lunch boxes. They also stack much better in your refrigerator and cupboard.
  2. Purchase glass storage containers for left-overs. They are a little more expensive up front, but will not stain or get that “container funkiness” that plastic often does. Glass is dishwasher friendly, doesn’t leach chemicals when you warm it up and will last exponentially longer than plastic.
  3. Research before you buy a big set of anything. Check on Amazon reviews or with friends. What sets wear well and avoid leaking? If you really won’t use all the pieces in a larger set, consider gifting the extras to someone else or purchase the pieces you need individually.
  4. Ensure that your food storage containers are easy to clean and store. You want a type of container that is easy to maintain. Consider where you will be storing these new containers and make sure there is room to spare. A few dollar store baskets to contain lids or small, lunch containers is often helpful.
  5. If you have difficulty using your hands or small children will be using the containers, make sure that the latches are easy to open and close.

With the holidays approaching, I will need to be prepared for baking and large gatherings with reserve containers.

I advise my clients to purchase disposable containers for each event and not to store extras. Who wants to have Holiday themed GladWare set stuffed in their cupboards for the other 11 months of the year–just to be sure you have enough on hand in December? With the exception of clients who live in remote areas, far from shopping resources, consider purchasing disposable storage containers with your specific event in mind. This will enable you to also get the exact sizes and patterns you will need and not “make do” with whatever you discover in the back of your TupperWare cabinet.

Place more value on what you have and you need to own less. Toss those food storage pieces.

Here are some resources for left-over storage solutions. (Plastic may be preferable for packing lunches/child use.)

These are not affiliate links.

Amazon 20 Piece Snapware set

Amazon PopIt 12 Piece Storage Set

Amazon Glasslock 4-Piece Rectangle Set

Happy Organizing!

-Lorinda with Vacaville Organizer

NEW! School Memory Book Service Offered

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New Service:  School Memory Books

In nearly every home I encounter bins of school papers. The most common explanation as to “why” families haven’t done anything with their children’s paperwork, school photos, artwork and memorabilia is two-fold:

  1. They simply do not have the time. These are busy, dedicated mothers and fathers who often have more than one job and adding to their already lengthy daily “to-do” list simply isn’t possible.
  2. They don’t know what to keep and what to toss. As a result, they simply keep EVERYTHING.

Would you like to eliminate the guilt of collected school memorabilia for your child?

 

Would you enjoy being able to access those memories/photos/papers to enjoy them now…rather than in 20 years?

Vacaville Organizer is offering a limited time service of creating memory books for clients. The process is a simple 3 steps.

  1. Make an appointment to Vacaville via phone, email or text.
  2. Vacaville Organizer will come to your home (within our service area of Fairfield, Vacaville, Winters an Dixon) to pick-up your items, in a sealed tub. We will provide you with protective envelopes in which you can sort your child’s art/mementos/photos by year in school.*
  3. Within two weeks your finished product will be returned to your home.

*There is a $40 deposit required for each book.

What do the books look like?

Vacaville Organizer uses crisp, white 2 and 3 inch binders with acid/archival free page protectors. The outside of the book will be customized to your specifications. Some clients choose a “school theme”, while other prefer a simple color that matches the decor of the home. Dividers are placed to delineate each year in school. The format includes a school photo, class photo, reports cards and then any artwork, reports, certificates and school memorabilia for each year in school.

Generally, it takes (1) or (2) 3-inch binder(s) to cover grades K-8 and one 2-inch binder for the high school years.

What will be included in my binder?

All school photos, report cards, 8.5X11 artwork, personal writings, certificates and anything with a hand print will always be included. Generally, workbooks, mass-produced art, tests and things that are not personal in nature will be put aside and returned to the client in a sealed enveloped.

What if I have over-sized items that I would like to include?

We can absolutely do that. Our answer to those bulky items it to take a photo of the trophy, diorama, jersey or oversized art piece and include that in your memory book.

Can you scan it?

YES! Vacaville Organizer uses a high-powered, professional Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner. We can scan your entire school memory book for you and provide you with a disc containing the image of each page. You can their ensure that these memories will last a lifetime, you can share their memory books with loved ones and store a digital copy of their books in a different/fire-safe location such as a safe or safe deposit box.

The cost is for scanning each book ranges from $75-100 per book, depending on the amount of pages in each book.

What if I later want to scrapbook these items?

If, at another point in life, you decide that you want to make a scrapbook for your child, the School Memory Book Vacaville Organizer creates will have preserved the integrity of all of the important photos and artwork for you, in chronological order.

Let go of the guilt today.

I help many families who are simply overwhelmed by the task of creating a way to enjoy their children’s keepsakes. Vacaville Organizer would be honored to partner with you in creating a keepsake that can be easily displayed on a bookshelf and enjoyed with your children for years to come.


 

Fresh and Tidy Pantry Organization

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I have the privilege of sharing a beautiful pantry today. This darling client I had the pleasure of partnering with had a clear vision for her pantry.

During our consultation, she expressed a desire for her pantry to have the following elements:

  • Tiffany-blue and grey color scheme
  • Canvas bins for bulky items (did not want to see ugly, larger bags of product)
  • spice and pantry staple storage located in the pantry
  • adequate cereal storage space
  • easy snack access for younger family members
  • clean and tidy appearance that would be easy to maintain
  • custom art piece

Having a distinct vision for your organization project is extremely helpful. Before embarking on any big organizing home project, jot down your own “wish list” for appearance and function. Reviewing this list will enable you to hone in on your goals as you work through the different steps of your project without distraction.

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Tour of the Pantry…before

This pantry was neat and tidy, but lacked systems for the homeowner. As a new build pantry, it was generous in size. The client wanted to add function, distinct areas for food and color/style to reflect her own great design sense.

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There were aspects of this pantry that WERE working. The spice storage functioned well for the client and simply needed to be expanded. Evaluate areas of your space that are easy to access, things get put away and are visually appealing just as they are. There is no need to re-invent the wheel when embarking on an organizing project.

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Identify areas of the space that are a source of continual frustration. These areas are generally hard to keep clean, family members are resistant to the systems presently in place or items are difficult to find or access. Efforts should be concentrated on these areas. This client identified a lack of storage for various food categories and a desire to use all of the shelves in her pantry more completely.

Consider Appropriate Storage

Working with a professional organizer brings a world of possibilities to you. Following the consultation, various storage systems were presented. A professional organizer will measure your space, take photos, do extensive research and provide various viable solutions from which the client can choose. The wonderful part of this is that it all occurs in your home, at your convenience, and the choices are presented to you. For this already highly organized client, careful consideration was given to systems that would function well for years to come. The client selected an affordable option for her cereal containers with these Rubbermaid containers:

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They were carried for a brief time at various Costco locations, but can also easily be purchased online. They are durable, kid-friendly and came in a complimentary color. The blue color was found at Costco, but can also easily be purchased through Amazon in this same Sky Blue color.  The angled side makes the container easy to grasp.

The client already had a few of these plastic, thatched baskets that have been popular in a grey color purchased for her pantry.

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I notice that Target’s online selection of these is now very limited. This line is most-likely being discontinued and is limited to what remains in your local store. After considering my client’s specifications and pantry plans, I purchased complimenting baskets in a Tiffany blue color to bring color and additional storage to the pantry. A professional organizer can provide options to compliment existing storage to make one cohesive system. In addition, options that are not readily available/known can be obtained through the organizer to make your pantry truly special.

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Establish “Zones”

Creating various zones for different types of food or to accomplish certain tasks is a huge time-saver and maximizes the use of your space. More specifically, this client requested a pantry staple area. My recommended storage containers are made by Snapware. I like their durability, price point, that they take up identical footprints so they can be modularly stored, that they are easy to grasp, they contain a flip top action and they are easy to manipulate with one hand.

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Lazy Susans are another way to establish “zones” in difficult to access corners or on deep pantry shelves such as the ones in this pantry. We corralled the clients oils, vinegars, sauces and spreads on a separate, rotating lazy susans for easy access and maintenance. This is my favorite brand with its fixed base and smooth as silk turning ability. These can also be purchased in either size from Amazon here. (NOT an affiliate post.)

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These Snapware containers work well in for clients with large walk-in pantries as well as those with smaller, cupboard pantry configurations.

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Keeping cans by category in these fabulous and sturdy rolling can racks further separates the pantry into zones and makes inventory a snap.

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“Personalize to Prioritize”

Adding your own personal touch provides needed encouragement to keep the pantry tidy. When you are personally vested in a space and it is visually appealing to you-as well as highly functional-the space is easy to maintain. The newly organized area becomes important to you. In this pantry, the gorgeous rug (selected by my client) performs the added function of preventing glass items from instantly shattering should little hands lose grip. A low pile rug that does not impede the function of the door and can be easily vacuumed (rubber backed) is a smart choice for a busy, young family.

My darling client’s initial wish list also included a custom sign featured on a popular HGTV television show. Although we were unable to find the original, antique tin sign, a custom piece was made especially for her pantry in her desired Tiffany blue color scheme.

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Label, Label, Label!

Labels often are viewed as clearly an aesthetic aspect of the organizing project. However, adding labels enables things to be returned to their correct area after use. Labels and bin/baskets help to set limits, preventing over-stocking a pantry. When clients work with Vacaville Organizer, custom labels are created to their distinct specifications. In this fresh and tidy pantry, custom laminated labels with brad fasteners were used for a polished, personal look. This type of label is not only durable, but also highly functional. Attention to detail and the extensive time spent creating custom labels are a complimentary service Vacaville Organizer offers clients at this time.

Pantries are the hub of our kitchens. Make yours truly special and “tidy” today!

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Vacaville Organizer would be honored to help partner with you to make your pantry truly special and function well for your family’s needs. Call or email Vacaville Organizer for a consultation appointment to bring your organizing dream to a reality.

Happy Organizing!-Lorinda, owner of Vacaville Organizer

Darling Dollar Store Pantry

Is the biggest obstacle standing between you and organizing your pantry money? Perusing Pinterest would give you the impression that it can be expensive to give the heart of the kitchen-the pantry-a facelift. Take heart..today’s post features a darling pantry done on a dime. What I like most about this pantry is the cute client’s sunny personality shining through. Let’s take a quick peek:

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Like every good project, there is a beginning and happy ending to the organizing story. I share with you the beginning to let you know that you are not alone in your efforts to keep your pantry organized. This organized client’s pantry has to serve a busy family and gets used on a daily basis. Considering the function of a pantry is foremost.

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After a client assessment, this on-the-ball client didn’t wait for me to get started. She emptied the entire pantry out, cleaned it, purged and had in painted in a matter of days. I was so impressed. Being able to do the ground work independently truly helps your budget and often allows the organizer just to come in to do the finishing/spacial work. This client saved a great of of her budget with this step alone. The bright,white paint provided the perfect clean canvas for this organizing project.

Another way we stayed within a small budget was to take advantage of what storage the client already owned. We re-thought her existing containers and moved all her staples into the Rubbermaid containers she already owned. The dollar store provided the three needed remaining containers for things like cornstarch, baking powder and cornmeal. Consider all of the containers you presently own and ways that you can use them differently. Sometimes the client already owns the perfect solution.

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Our big spurge (still only $26 dollars each) were the rolling can organizer racks which the client purchased from Amazon for the project (link here). Having the cans function better and finding a long-term solution to inventory issues was a priority for this on-the-go mommy. When making a budget for any organizing project, decide what items you can splurge on and what items you can save on. In this case, the ultra-narrow shelves were perfectly designed for bins found at our local dollar store. If your project centers around dollar store finds, consider allowing extra time in your timeline to acquire all the needed items. In this case, many trips to several different store locations over a few weeks enabled us to have the right combination of sizes/colors to complete the project. A little work on your part can save you plenty of money in your bottom line. Find out when your local dollar store receives shipments and don’t be afraid to ask the employees to help you find the items you are searching for. I have found that they are more than willing to help on days that the store isn’t too busy. (Asking sweetly helps too!)

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Choosing a cohesive color theme with labels and bins can tie a project together. In this case, the inspiration was this cute palette of blue and yellow against a crispy, white pantry backdrop.

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Finally, add a touch of yourself to your space. Not only does it give your newly organized space personality, but cognitively is encourages you to keep the space organized and tidy. I often refer to it as “putting your moon flag” on the new space. You are claiming it for your own!

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I encourage you to look at your space with fresh eyes if budget has been a deterrent. Find ways to recycle what you have, rethink the space, pay a visit to the dollar store and personalize your pantry with your own, special touch.

Robertsoncover#1Vacaville Organizer would be happy to help you with a budget pantry facelift. Local consultations are always free.

Happy Organizing!-Lorinda Childs, owner of Vacaville Organizer

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