New blog address for organizing tips

Thank you for reading this blog full of organizing magic.

It will be continuing at a new address:

Click Organizing Tips or paste this in your browser

Head over there and please follow the blog at the new address by clicking one of the follow buttons on the Right side of the page.


Nonnahs and Get Organized Already!


Organized Christmas decorating

decorating like Buddy

Ever since I saw the movie “Elf” I’ve been wanting to make paper chains like this. (Haven’t you?) And every year I don’t get around to it. The holidays are like that–plans of perfection and the desire for dreamy; lots of hopes and visions of a movie-worthy season that turn into me, stuck in traffic for 40 minutes on December 23rd because I ran out of wrapping paper.


good enough is better than therapy

Sometimes it’s better to use some old newspaper for wrapping gifts than to try and make everything so impressive. And speaking of recycling and letting go of perfection, check out my idea for easy, green Christmas decorations. Every couple of days save any white paper from your recycle bin and cut it into strips.

getting crafty

pro tip: Re-purpose things for decoration.

recycled paper chain

recycled paper chain

Use homework papers from school, old grocery lists, packing slips from all of the Amazon orders you keep getting in the mail. Any white paper will work for a paper chain that would make Buddy proud. Less than perfect is so much better than nothing.

adding to the clutter?

I heard someone on the radio the other day saying they hesitate to decorate their home because it feels like adding a bunch of clutter to an already crowded room.

pro tip: For every holiday decoration you put out store an item of similar size.

You’ve heard the one-in-one-out rule. This can work for the Christmas tree, too. Take something out of the room–maybe a chair. My kids’ lego storage unit is the thing to go in our house. Which tells you how many Legos we have. (too many a lot!)
If you have a lot of family photos in frames, or have some other collection on display year-round, consider putting them away for the month. Removing a collection will open up a lot of space and when you bring them back out, you’ll appreciate the items even more.

Finally, if you live in Hollywood and you’d like some extra elfin magic in your home this month, call me. I’ve got a workshop full of elves who can wrap, decorate, de-clutter, and organize for you. Delicious!

Those are all the tips I’m handing out today because I have got to get to wrappin’.

Happy Holidays!

Nonnahs  323.230.0297

Turkey Day Preppers

Get Organized Already

Photo credit to Vicki Nikolaidis via Flickr

Preparing for Thanksgiving is kind of like preparing for the end of the world. Everyone is hoarding food, the store shelves are stripped bare, and everyone is running around like they are never going to see the light of tomorrow.

The biggest stresser is timing. I mean, the turkey takes hours, the gravy takes minutes. There are sides, and salads, desserts, and cocktails. How in the world are you going to make sure everything comes out at the right time?

Plan ahead.

This important step may add a little more time to your prep routine, but it will be worth it. It’s something I have done to keep me from losing it every holiday season. Plus, once you have your routine down to a science, you can it apply it to other times like birthdays or the super bowl party your other half springs on you a week before.

First things first: The guest list. You can’t possibly know how much to make if you have no idea how many people are coming.

Once you have your list, prepare 1.5 servings per person even for children, because while they may not eat their allotted serving, that extra will be there for the person who comes back for their third plate.

Get Organized Already

Photo credit to Bruce Turner via Flickr

Next thing: Grocery list. Decide ahead of time what you’re going to make and write a list of food items with each one’s ingredients underneath. You don’t need to include measurements in this list. Go through your pantry and cabinets and cross off what you already have on hand. Eggs, butter, and milk are things to buy even if you have some on hand. Chances are you’re going to need more than what you have.

To make your big day easier, prep some of your food the day before. Assemble the baked macaroni so all you’ll have to do is pop it in the oven while the turkey is resting. Boil your potatoes the day before and mash them on the day of. You can even put pies together, refrigerate, and bake them while everyone is eating.

How much early preparation you do depends on your comfort level and what you’re making. To make it easier (and because I’m a huge list person), write out everything you will be making the day before. List all of the preparatory steps one food item at a time. The list will keep you from feeling frazzled, and going in circles.

What are some Thanksgiving cooking tips and tricks you find helpful?

Or is this your first Thanksgiving? If so, what are some concerns and worries you have?

Help! There’s a ceiling fan on my dining room table!

There really is. Ceiling fan in a milk crate

There’s a mattress in my living room, propped up against the couch. There’s a filing cabinet out on my front porch and a rug rolled up against the wall of my bedroom.

It’s all-out-MAYHEM! And it is making me mental.

This fall we had a studio built out back for Jeff so that the kids can spread out into their own rooms. But of course the old indoor studio needs to be cleaned and re-painted with some appropriate 9-year-old girl colors before Darla will move in there. So, we are spending our spare time (lots of that around the holidays, right?!) painting her room and accepting incoming Christmas presents like rugs, bed frames, and desks.

Only we have no place to put it all until the room is ready! OH-EM-GEEE going crazy over HEEEEERE!

Every time I go to work on someone else’s clutter in these last few weeks I feel so jealous. My little elves and I swoop in and organize someone else’s office space so I can come home to office supplies in the BATH TUB?! Where is the justice? I can’t wait to post some after pictures of this whole business. Stay tuned.

My front porch AHHH!

My front porch AHHH!

Until then, I give you:

Just in time for December! Time Management Tips

The holidays are here and your To Do list just got an augmentation to make Dolly Parton proud! So, since we are all adding stuff to our days I have one question:

What are you subtracting from your list to make room for the Christmas chores?

Do you think you can just pile the decorating, shopping, wrapping, writing, singing, and event attending right on top and the peace and joy of the season will magically just happen?  YOU CRAY-CRAY!

Something has got to go and if you don’t plan for it, the thing to go will probably be your sanity. 

Being organized simply means being prepared. So, plan ahead a little for December right now. Think today about what you really love about Christmas or Hanukkah. What do you look forward to?

Put that thing (or, if it’s a feeling, an activity that invokes that feeling) on the calendar. Maybe tomorrow in the shower you think of another thing. Put that on the calendar, too!

Now you’ve given the good stuff some space in your month to happen. Step two, what can you cut out that you aren’t so excited about? Maybe something you always do because your mom did it, but for you the ROI isn’t worth it. Maybe something you do all year but could afford to take a break from for a month. How about the Facebook? Take the app off your phone for a week. See how much time you gain. Maybe none. Maybe a lot. You’ll never know til you try!

How about TV during a part of the day? Turn it off and put on music while you do holiday things instead.

How about the gardening? Dry cleaning? etc. Let it go for a month if you can.

Let me know what you are going to do to make room for your holiday pleasures.