Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Before and After: Kitchen Drawer with DrawerDecor

You are not alone. Even a professional organizer has some room for improvement. Namely, my kitchen utensils. So when I won the DrawerDecor at the National Association of Professional Organizers’ Conference back in March, I knew I would put this little gem to work in my home.

Some before and after photos…

Before: Way too stuffed.

Before: Just a jumble of stuff.

After: Easy to reach my essentials.

After: Oh so organized. Love.


Before conference, I hadn’t used this product, but now I’m hooked. The best part is that it’s easy to install. Just cut the basemat to fit your drawer, arrange the utensils in your desired layout (like with like), and use the divitz as separators to hold items in place. And don't forget to do a little decluttering for items in your drawer that you haven't used in a year.

So, get creative! You can use DrawerDecor for bathroom drawers, desk drawers, and toolboxes, just to name of few places. It’s particularly great for weird, shallow drawers that are so common in New York City apartments.

Disclosure: Urban Simplicity was not compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Recycling Events

Earth Day is upon us. That magical day, April 22, when we reduce, reuse and recycle with reckless abandon. So this week’s blog post is devoted to just that.

Yet another reason New York City is greatest City in the world… There are so many free recycling and safe disposal events scheduled this spring. Between the events hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the New York City Department of Sanitation, you’ll find an event near you.

So, gather your unwanted stuff, and don't forget to mark your calendars!

SATURDAY, APRIL 21

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – Poly Prep Country Day School
7th Ave at the Baseball Field, south of 92nd Street
Click here for a full this of what’s accepted.

Electronics and Textiles Recycling, 12pm-5pm
Upper West Side, Manhattan – PS 87 Tecumseh Playground
West 77th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam
Click here for a full list of what’s accepted.

SUNDAY, APRIL 22

NYC SAFE Disposal Event, 10am-4pm
Union Square, Manhattan - North Plaza
South of 17th Street between Park Avenue and Broadway. Cars enter at Park Avenue and 18th Street.
Click here for full list of what’s accepted. Basically everything you’ve got!

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn – PS 29 Schoolyard
Baltic Street between Henry Street and Clinton Street
Click here for a full list of what’s accepted.

MONDAY, APRIL 23

Textile Recycling Day, 10am-3pm
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – Shore Hill Housing
9000 Shore Road (91st Street between Shore Road and Colonial Road)
Bring clean and dry clothing, paired shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts, fabric scraps 36" x 36" or larger and other textiles. Rugs or carpeting are not accepted. 

SATURDAY, APRIL 28

NYC SAFE Disposal Event, 10am-4pm
Queens – St. John’s University, Alumni Hall Parking Lot
Corner of Utopia Parkway and Union Turnpike. Cars enter at gate 4 on Union Turnpike and 175th Street.
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Forest Hills, Queens – P.S. 101Q
Standish Road between Slocum Crescent and Children’s Lane
Click here for a full list of what’s accepted.

MONDAY, APRIL 30

Textile Recycling, 3pm-7pm
Astoria and Woodside, Queens
Broadway Library: 40-20 Broadway between 41st Street & Steinway (Astoria)
Steinway Library: 21-45 31st Street between Ditmars & 21st Avenue (Astoria)
Woodside Library: 54-22 Skillman Avenue between 54th & 55th Streets
Bring clean and dry clothing, paired shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts, fabric scraps 36" x 36" or larger and other textiles. Rugs or carpeting are not accepted. 

SATURDAY, MAY 5

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Chinatown / Two Bridges, Manhattan – PS 126/MAT
Catherine Street between Monroe & Cherry Streets
Click here for a full list of what’s accepted.

SUNDAY, MAY 6

NYC SAFE Disposal Event, 10am-4pm
Brooklyn – Prospect Park, Park Circle
Corner of Parkside Avenue and Prospect Park SW. Cars enter from Parkside Avenue.
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Park Slope / Gowanus, Brooklyn – The E-waste Warehouse
469 President Street at Nevins Street
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

SATURDAY, MAY 12

NYC SAFE Disposal Event, 10am-4pm
Bronx – Lehman College, South Lot
On Goulden Avenue, south of Bedford Park Boulevard West
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan – Manhattan Plaza
South side of West 43rd Street between 9th & 10th Avenues
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

SATURDAY, MAY 19

NYC SAFE Disposal Event, 10am-4pm
Staten Island Mall, Parking Lot F
Near main entrance, 2655 Richmond Avenue
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Smith Street between President Street and Union Street
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

SUNDAY, MAY 20

Electronics Recycling Collection, 10am-4pm
Stuyvesant Town, Manhattan
14th Street Loop (enter at 14th Street & Avenue A)
Click here for full list of what’s accepted.

MONDAY, MAY 21

Textile Recycling, 3pm-7pm
Astoria and Woodside, Queens
Broadway Library: 40-20 Broadway between 41st Street & Steinway (Astoria)
Steinway Library: 21-45 31st Street between Ditmars & 21st Avenue (Astoria)
Woodside Library: 54-22 Skillman Avenue between 54th & 55th Streets
Bring clean and dry clothing, paired shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts, fabric scraps 36" x 36" or larger and other textiles. Rugs or carpeting are not accepted. 


Do you know of any Earth Day recycling events in your neighborhood this spring? Please share details in the comments.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Six Tips to Make It Happen

It's only mid-April. You have plenty of time to tackle your spring cleaning. And what’s the toughest part about spring cleaning? Making it happen. With these six tips, you’ll be armed and ready with a simple and manageable plan to get it done.

1.    Set your priorities. If you don’t have time to spring clean your entire home, identify priority projects that are out of the realm of your weekly cleaning. 

2.    Make a list of projects. Then, rank the list in order of importance based on your needs and time available.

3.    Schedule it. First, estimate how long each project might take so you can hold the appropriate amount of time on your schedule. Be realistic about how much time you’re wiling to devote to getting it done. 

4.    Add some incentive. Like the light at the end of the tunnel once your work is done, treat yourself to a massage or that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. Just remember the one in, one out rule.

5.    Ask for help. Create a chore list so that everyone in the family can help. For bigger projects that you’re particularly dreading, consider bringing in a professional service to help you out.

6.    Create a spring cleaning file. Add helpful tips you find throughout the year. Also, keep your list of projects and tracking of how long each takes. Add check boxes next to projects so you can monitor your progress. Remember, if you don’t get around to vacuuming your drapery, there’s always next year. Just joking, who actually does that? 

Spring Closet Cleanse Special
After you’ve tackled every room in your home, bring in Urban Simplicity to give your closet a top to bottom overhaul. Our three-hour organizing session includes hands on advice to purge, sort, and re-organize every last item. We’ll also offer recommendations for our favorite products to keep your closet organized. Call 646-942-8676 or email kkb@UrbanSimplicityNYC.com to book today. (Price: $300)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Best. Conference. Ever.

Okay, so it was only my second, but the Annual National Association of Professional Organizers’ Conference in Baltimore was a smashing success. I’m a week tardy blogging about it, because I’ve been busy organizing clients. But I’ve also been working my way through all the amazing information and product samples I scored so I can share some highlights with you.

First, I’ll share two products that were all the rage at conference. And keep reading to hear my best conference story ever. Swear.


Pliio
Finally, here’s the answer to all your folding woes. Designed by Clare Kumar an organizer from Canada, Pliio officially launched on HSN during conference and sold out immediately, creating some serious buzz. The video explains is all…


  • Coolest Feature – It’s just so easy to use.
  • Why Use It to Organize? – With Pliio, you can “file” your folded shirts vertically so you can see everything you own.
  • Bright Idea – Use it for travel as a major suitcase space saver.


NeatFreak’s Closet Organization Systems

I often work with clients that don’t own their apartments and are hesitant to invest in expensive, custom build outs. Insert closetMAX and neatKids. These products are sturdy, high quality, and affordable. NeatFreak’s systems are available at Macy’s, Organize.com, and Kohl’s.
  • Coolest Feature – Double hang without construction. Need I say more?
  • Why Use It to Organize? – Because you know your closet could always use some help.
  • Bright Ideas – Don’t spend big bucks building out kid-friendly closets they’re going to outgrow in several years anyway.


Best Conference Story Ever
Me, "Pinned" at 
conference. Also cool.
After the closing keynote address where a motivational speaker juggled some crazy knives on a unicycle (I’m not kidding), the NAPO bosses announced that one lucky winner would receive a conference registration for 2013 in New Orleans. The drawing was held, and I did not win.

When suddenly, they announced a surprise. Everyone in the crowd was told to check under their chair and if they found a Mardi Gras mask, they would also receive a 2013 conference registration. Sure enough, I reached under my chair and pulled up the mask. Amazing! I sprinted to the front of the room waving my mask. 

So you can bet I’ll be blogging about the New Orleans conference next April.  I’m already looking forward to it!  

Disclosure: Urban Simplicity was not compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.