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

 

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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

Pretty Pantry Organized

HappyPantry#1It is pantry season this spring with lots of inspiration to share! Most families face the challenge of managing food. An organized and functional pantry is at the top of the spring cleaning list. There are many ways to maximize storage, regardless of your pantry size and configuration.

I had the privilege of partnering with a wonderful client with her pantry organization project recently. Her pantry was absolutely typical for a busy family who cooks daily. It is full of healthy food that this busy mama uses to prepare meals. She kindly allowed me to photograph her pantry on a very busy day to demonstrate that even the neatest homes can benefit from a little boost in function.

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I appreciate gracious clients who allow me to see their spaces without tidying before I come. As a organizer, I use the clues left in this photo to develop a system that will solve problems and work long-term based on “organizational tracks.” By studying the photo, I realized that following areas/items needed to be addressed in our pantry organization design:

  1. Ability to assess shopping needs more readily
  2. Categories of food placed together for ease in meal preparation
  3. Small items corralled so they aren’t lost on shelves
  4. Baking items contained and easily accessible
  5. Access to daily snacks for the children
  6. Use of space under the lower cabinet
  7. Bag storage
  8. Art supply storage relocated for easier access
  9. Sweets put out of the reach of children

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We used rolling crates to contain shopping bags and vegetables such as potatoes. This was a great storage choice to maximize the space under the bottom shelf and works with the angled wall. This darling client doesn’t use many canned vegetables, so we placed them (by category) on a rolling can rack under the shelves. Adjacent to the cans is a light-weight grey and white basket. This basket easily slides out, adds texture and holds paper supplies for easy access.

Woven plastic baskets were used to organize the various categories of food. These basket are HEAVY DUTY, easy to clean and add the pop of “happy”this busy mom wanted.

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We further addressed storage on the shelves by adding striped baskets for snacks which the children can help themselves to. The baskets are at a level her children can reach and hide the ugly, big bags (i.e. beloved Pirate Booty) that were making her “crazy”.  We also contained all of her cereals in uniform containers to allow the children to pour their own cereal and to make shopping inventory a snap.

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Lazy Susans are used to maximize the shelf’s width and accessibility.

  1. The oils are contained here
  2. The various vinegars are contained here
  3. The spreads are housed here
  4. Baking staples are also housed in the pantry in this home. We placed them near the door-at the optimal level for the homeowner-so she could easily reach in and grab what she needed to bake. The airtight containers ensure that the shelves will remain flour/sugar free and that the ingredients will remain fresh between uses.

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As I said, this mama can COOK and she has the cookbooks and recipes to prove it! We used magazine holders to contain the lightweight cookbooks and odd-sized recipe books. This configuration allows the homeowners to pull out the books/recipes they need and the books won’t topple over. Tidy success is built-in to this system.

Designing a system that fits the routines, shopping habits, cooking patterns and invidiual family is paramount in pantry organization. Vacaville Organizer would love to partner with you in your own pantry “spring tidy-up”.

Happy Organizing!-Lorinda, owner of Vacaville Organizer

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A trip to Lowe’s with Vacaville Organizer this weekend!

A trip to our local Lowe's this week for organizing tools and favorites.

A trip to our local Lowe’s this week for organizing tools and favorites.

 

What would a beautiful weekend be without a trip to the home improvement store at our house?

I love home improvement stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot for organizing products.  The home improvement store is often a lesser-known resource for your organizing project.  We often consider the hardware store for building projects such as closets and shelving. However, they also have wonderful resources for other organizing projects!  Overall, the durability of many of the products at the home improvement store is superior too.  I’d love to take you shopping today and point out a few of the products that I seem to reach for again and again in my own home and those of clients.

This product has saved me MANY times and is worth its weight in gold.

I often talk about this product when giving presentations because it is such a huge time-saver for busy families.  Organizing is primarily about setting up systems to help families function more efficiently.  How many times have you been running out the door and not been able to find your keys?  Has the mail key ever gone missing?  Has another family member accidentally taken your set of needed keys?  Have you ever misplaced the keys to a shed or padlock?  Have you ever needed an extra house key to give to a pet sitter or babysitter?  Then this $4 beauty is a must.  I love to mount this to the inside of a cabinet with the enclosed command strip.  (I would suggest this cabinet be in a place where little hands can not reach it if you have children.)  Simply take all your keys to your local locksmith and ask for duplicates to be made.  Label each key fob with the appropriate key.  Problem averted.  The version pictured below has four key slots, but this same company makes various versions with up to eight key fobs. I love this product.lowes key

keyringSpeaking of keys, this item makes life much easier.

Many of us, sadly, now have a community mailbox and grab our mail on our way home.  In order to open the mailbox, you have to turn off your car ignition.  This quick release key fob allows you to remove just one key quickly, without fiddling with the ring.  This is a handy tool for anyone who has a singular key which they need to consistently remove from their keyring.

garbage canThis item instantly cuts down clutter. Period.

A garbage can seems like such a simple, boring item.  Consistently, my clients do not have usable/large enough garbage cans in the rooms we are working on.  Having cans labeled for “trash”, “recycling” or “shredding” can instantly encourage you to clear spaces and provide a convenient place to put refuse items that would otherwise become clutter.

kitchen collageSmall kitchen? These products CAN make a difference.

These space-saving items can make a tiny kitchen function much more efficiently.  I especially recommend the bakeware sorter (featured above with the red packaging) that allows you to store/sort your bakeware easily.  The expandable shelves are also wonderful for dividing various sizes and types of dishes and using your cupboard space to its maximum potential.  Another favorite item in this section are the Lazy Susans.  These rotating storage options are wonderful in cupboards, pantries and in refrigerators.  This is a great section to peruse to make your kitchen storage more efficient.

paintPaint can change most anything.

Last week I consulted with a client who wanted to replace her entire metal desk set.  She said that it functioned just fine, but that she really wanted another color.  She pointed out that the dull silver color of her pencil holder, filing cabinets, baskets and other items were boring and didn’t encourage her to keep her work area tidy.  She was a “hot pink” type of girl and I couldn’t agree with her more.  After examining her budget, we decided that painting the items was a better option and allowed her to stretch her funds.  Having a space reflect our personality and energy encourages us to keep in clutter-free.  Before your replace a picture frame, bulletin board or organizing item, consider painting it.  (The paint manufacturer prints guidelines on the can to help you choose the appropriate type of paint for your surface.)  Painting may allow you to get just the perfect color you are looking for pennies, instead of dollars.

lowe's bins

12 storage bin setbattery storageDivide and conquer-

These are great storage options for small items.  I also like the fact that they are made to handle nuts and bolts ,so they’re quite durable.  The larger stacking variety are wonderful for recycling (their intended purpose), but also equally great for corralling outside toys, clothes in kids’ closets, garden equipment and stacks of sewing material.  Craft supplies, small toys, Legos,  hobby pieces,  and batteries can be easily compartmentalized in the smaller versions.  My favorite use for the portable organizer featured above by Kobalt is for batteries.  Be creative when sorting!

bins #1 bin #2 lowe'sAnother resource for storage bins-the hardware store.

People sometimes forget that the hardware store is a great place to find a wide assortment of bins, boxes and totes for their organizing project.  Lowe’s has an amazing selection of different textures, sizes, colors and types of bins at great prices.  I was surprised at how this sections has grown in just the last year.

Magic slidersSlide over here-

Organizing projects often involve moving existing heavy furniture. These Super sliders (or Magic Sliders) are awesome for being able to reconfigure rooms without a body-builder beside you to help.  They are also excellent to use on the bottom of furniture that moves frequently like dining rooms chairs to avoid scratching the floor or encountering carpet resistance.  A more unconventional use for the small super sliders is to use them on the bottom of heavy, countertop appliances that you slide forward to use (i.e. KitchenAid Mixers).  Love this idea! If you find yourself heaving and panting to get a heavy item moved, these furniture sliders are a great answer. (Unless you are married to a buff/muscle-bound guy, of course!)

If you find yourself at the hardware store on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, you may just find the perfect solution to an organizing project.  Look for me-I’m probably just on the next isle!

I’d love to hear where you shop for your organizing projects.  Feel free to take the poll below:

Happy organizing-Lorinda, Vacaville Organizer

Drawer Organization Ideas…filing clothes?

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It is spring and I have a quick organizing tip! The problem with deep dresser drawers-especially shirt drawers-is that you don’t see what is at the BOTTOM of the drawer.  As a result, things get buried and wrinkled.  We even forget what is at the bottom of the drawer.  “Filing” your shirts and other clothing makes so much sense and saves a great deal of space.  Instantly, you can see what shirts you have and maintenance is a breeze.  As long as the drawer is relatively full, the little, folded bundles stay folded and upright without a problem.  I also really like this method for children’s clothing because picking out outfits is so much easier if you can see the colors at a glance.  Folding them into “file-able” bundles keeps them from getting so wrinkled and doesn’t take any more time than traditional folding methods.  Brittany from Darkroom and Dearly has a great tutorial on folding.  Basically, you fold the shirt vertically (the long way) and then in thirds or fourths.  That’s it!  Here’s Brittany’s awesome tutorial if you’d like more information:

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picmonkey drawer organization

If you look closely at the drawer you’ll notice one of my favorite organizing tools at the back:  Real Simple Drawer Organizers.  They are sold online here and at your local Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They are just awesome and coming in at under $10 (without a 20% coupon) they are a steal.  I like these organizers for a variety of reasons:

  1. They are economical.
  2. They are clear and visually unobtrusive.
  3. They interlock.
  4. They are fully customizable.
  5. They are durable.

A great photo of the contents of ONE kit.  It really is a fabulous product.

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Speaking of drawer organization……..these same boxes are awesome for socks.

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Men’s sock drawers can be tricky and difficult to maintain with the various textures and types of socks.  I love that you can easily see what colors of socks you have and if you are running low on a particular variety.  Weeding out anything with overt wear/holes is also essential.  Maintaining this drawer is a snap.

Would you like to get tips like this delivered every week to your email box?  If so, head over to my contact form  and follow me at vacavilleorganizer.wordpress.com.

I hope these quick, easy and inexpensive ideas whip your drawers into shape this weekend.  As always….happy organizing!

Lorinda, at Vacaville organizer

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