Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guest Blog Post: Five Tips to Make Your Space Look Larger

In New York City, it’s all about working with what you’ve got, especially when it comes to our small living spaces. Part of my job as an organizer is to help clients make the most of their small spaces through organization, furniture layout, and storage pieces that can do double duty.

So this week, while I’m on the road working on a special project, I have a guest blog post from Betsy Helmuth, owner of Affordable Interior Design, a firm that gives clients of all income levels a beautiful space that reflects who they are. I love that Betsy is making interior design accessible and doing it with style.

Check out Betsy's brilliant tips to make your small space look larger. Plus, a bonus tip from Urban Simplicity: Cut the clutter.

Five Tips to Make Your Space Look Larger
By Betsy Helmuth

I know small spaces:  I lived in a 250 square foot studio in the West Village, a 90 square foot apartment in Hell's Kitchen, and a 30 square foot chambre de bonne in Paris – that's right, 30 square feet!  I survived in these cramped quarters with these tips:

1. Get Air Under There
Select a sofa and chairs with exposed legs and open arms.  These open areas allow air to circulate and make the furniture feel less heavy.

2. Work the Wall Color 

Make the larger pieces the same color as the walls.  Bulky items like futons and armoires will blend and widen the room if they are the same hue as the wall paint.

3. Get Down with Diagonals

The longest line in any room is the diagonal.  So putting something at a slant will draw your eye to the longer distance. Additionally, you’ll get corner space for a lamp or plant.

4. Concentrate on Clear

Glass tables, acrylic chairs, and plexi pieces will allow light to pass through them, creating the appearance of less and lighter furniture.

5. Allow for Luxuries

Living in tiny place can feel anything but luxurious.  Splurge on a few things that make you and your guests feel you are somewhere grand.  Get great linens, tableware, or lamps.

For more tips form Betsy, check out her blog here, where she features her sales on her favorite home furnishings. And learn more about Betsy and Affordable Interior design at affordableinteriordesignnyc.com.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guest Blog Post: ListProducer.com

Back in July, Paula Rizzo with ListProducer.com was kind enough to write a guest blog post about vacation planning while I was vacationing out in Palm Springs. By the way, now is the time to plan a winter getaway, so check it out here.

This week, I’ve written a guest post for her blog, which was recently named the Most Valuable Blog in New York City. Seriously impressive! So I’m honored to be featured on her site and to share six financial incentives of getting organized with her readers and with you. You can read it here.

On another note, I am all about writing guest blog posts, so if you write a blog or know someone who does, please reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Five Simple Sanity Savers

It’s the little things that keep me going. Like a good play list during spin class or Haribo sour gummies after dinner.

This week, I’m sharing five simple systems in my home that keep me sane. These are the little things that make my days more efficient and my evenings at home more relaxing.

1. Shoe organizer on the back of my coat closet door. So simple, yet so effective. The coat closet in our home is right by the entry to our apartment, so it’s a great place to stash all the things we grab on the way in and out like umbrellas, grocery shopping bags, cold weather accessories, and gym stuff. An over the door shoe organizer is a cost effective way to keep things organized, and it makes the most of that dead space.

Photo courtesy of Real Simple

2. Home operating station in my kitchen. This is the secret to keeping my entire home / personal life organized. First, I created file folders for the main categories of paper that come into our lives: a “To Do / Pending” file, a “To File” file, a “Home D├ęcor” file, a “Diet / Food Journal” file, and an always expanding file for our 2011 taxes. In the box, I keep notepads, pens, and incoming and outgoing mail. My brilliant ideas often come to me while I’m in the kitchen or the living room, so it’s great to have my To Do list at hand. And the box keeps everything contained and in one place.

Photo courtesy of Beyond the Baby

3. Recipe and meal planning binder. People that can cook without following a recipe amaze me. That is so not me. I can make a recipe over and over and still not recall it. So, once a week, before I go grocery shopping, I quickly pull out my recipe binder, flip through the pages, find recipes for the week, and make my shopping list. Then, the binder goes right back on the shelf, only to be pulled out again when it’s time to cook. Having everything in one place makes it so easy. Here are some tips on building your recipe binder.

4. Uncluttered nightstand. It’s the last thing I see before going to bed and the first thing I see in the morning, so it’s all about keeping it simple and uncluttered. I only keep what I need on my nightstand: my Kindle, alarm clock, lamp, and a catchall for hairpins. No Blackberry!

A client's now organized nightstand.

5. My organized husband. Clients always ask me if my home is insanely organized. In all honesty, it’s pretty organized, but there is always room for improvement and like all homes, it’s a work in progress. That said, I have to give my husband credit. He’s one of the most organized guys I’ve ever met, so he makes my life easier in so many ways. He’s going to kill me for writing about him here...

What simple organization systems make a big difference in your life? I'd love to hear from you!