Thursday, January 29, 2015

For A Good Cause: Donating Kid Stuff

This is the first in a regular monthly series highlighting lesser known organizations in New York City and beyond that accept donations and pass them along to those in need. This is a topic I feel so passionately about: decluttering and helping others. I'm happy to finally share my insight with you. Thanks for reading along!

You might be surprised to find how difficult it can be to donate kids’ stuff. Often charities like Housing Works and many thrift shops won’t accept these items. I’ve found two worthy organizations that make it easy to declutter and streamline all your kid gear.

Room to Grow

This organization has a mission to enrich the lives of babies born into poverty throughout the critical first three years of development. In addition to the main programs that give developmental information and customized support to families, they also ensure that families have all of the needed baby items to ensure a healthy start for their child.

With programs in New York City and Boston, they accept donations of baby items, provided they are in excellent condition. See a full list of what they do and don’t accept here. For a tax-deductible fee they will pick-up items or items can be dropped off at their location near Flatiron. 

Baby Buggy

This organization, founded by Jessica Seinfeld (that’d be Jerry’s wife), works with networks of community-based organizations across the country to distribute new and gently used baby essentials. Baby Buggy’s product distributions are combined with comprehensive social service assistance, such as job training, financial literacy classes, and parenting support.

They accept donations in New York City and Los Angeles. Check out the full list of items they do and don’t accept. In New York City, you can drop off at their location on West 37th Street or you can arrange pick-up for a tax deductible fee. In Los Angeles, you can schedule a pick-up or make a drop off at locations across town.  

If you aren’t in NYC, LA or Boston, I encourage you to check with local religious groups and other community organizations. There are so many people doing this good work in all parts of the country.

And don’t forget to save those donation receipts for your tax deductions!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Organizing Tips Featured on Luxury Listings NYC

Whether you live in a luxury apartment or a cozy studio, the rules to cut the clutter are the same. Less is more! 

This month, we're a featured expert contributor to Luxury Listings NYC, a magazine that provides a cheat sheet on the latest trends, priciest sales and rentals, celebrity moves and new buildings that keeps readers up to date on what’s happening in their neighborhoods. 

Check out the full article with tips from US here

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Toss it Tuesday: New Rules for Electronics

Things I occasionally sit around and think about: mounds and mounds of old electronics piling up in landfills. Imagining it totally stresses me out. But there's good news. NYC is taking a step in the right direction…

As of January 2015, electronics can’t be discarded in the trash.

This includes:

So, what to do with all that stuff? Here are some options:
  • Retail drop-off programs are the quickest solution. Take electronics to any Goodwill, Salvation Army, Best Buy or Staples.
  • If you live in a building with more than 10 units, enroll for the Department of Sanitation’s e-cycle program for free pick-up in your building.
  • For working electronics, especially computers and laptops, consider donating to a charity you support.
  • For mobile phones, recycle using any of the options above or you can also take them to a wireless service provider.
  • Most appliances and housewares are metal or rigid plastic so can now be recycled with other rigid plastics and metals. Just be sure to remove any batteries first.
If you're not in the NYC area, I encourage you to look into rules in your local community for discarding electronics.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Organizing Obsession: Land of Nod Bins

My quest for perfect bins continues. One of my favorite bin sources for any space is Land of Nod. You’re thinking, that’s kid stuff. I’m here to tell you that their bins work on so many levels.

In the entryway storing shoes, umbrellas and gym bags...

In the closet for clothing and accessories...

In the kitchen to store all your pantry supplies...

Ignore the toys here, this is pretty storage for dirty laundry...


Mind blowing!

Of course, the toy storage options are fantastic. They can work with so many types of décor, and most are designed to work with your décor as your little ones grow. They also make some pretty great options for desk and art supplies.

Two more major positives:
  • They are always designing new bins. It’s like Christmas when I haven’t checked the website for a while and see new arrivals.
  • These bins are tried and tested, but don’t just take it from me. As I was reviewing the website, I noticed that almost all the bins have a top star rating.
To learn more about my obsession with bins, head over to my Pinterest page for an entire page dedicated to “Bins I Love.”

Image Credit: Land of Nod

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Battle of the Boots

Welcome to the frozen tundra we call January around most of the country. While boots pile up in entryways across the city, I’m sharing tips to help you beat the boot mess. You know what I’m talking about… That gross mix of dried snow and salt that coats your floors throughout the winter.

First, if you don’t already have a doormat, get one. Next, demand nicely that all your loved ones wipe their shoes before entering. You can take it one step further and keep an old towel tucked in a neat bin or in the closet for those especially messy days. Give those boots a good wipe.

Now, boots have been removed and piled. How best to proceed? Here are some options.

1. Tray - The rocks are an added touch to drain melted snow. 

2. Shoe Rack – Wall mounted to free up floor space.

3. Pegs Something so forehead smacking simple about this option.

4. Bin – Tried and true. Has the bin ever failed us? I’d go a step farther and line the bottom of the bin with a mat to make clean up easy. This is also a great option for kid shoes.

Any of these options could be installed in an entryway coat closet. Another simple tip, line the floor of the closet with these affordable IKEA mats for an added layer of gunk protection. You won’t feel bad about tossing them come spring.

If you don't have a closet, install one of these options in your (most likely) small entryway space. In New York City, the mudroom is an urban legend. Check out this entryway making it happen. The tip: camouflage storage options with pretty décor or under an entryway table. 

While you’re at it, check out last year’s post on Huffington Post’s blog with tips to organize all that other winter gearStay warm, friends! 

Image Credit: Martha Stewart, Real Simple, Not the High Street, Martha Stewart, The Curtis Casa

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year, New Focus

I never thought I would take a year off from blogging. As an organizer, you can imagine, I like routines. I like to know what tasks I need to complete each week and get them done. Crossing “blog post” off my list made me feel good – until it didn’t.

Here’s why… Last year, we moved and now live part time in Cincinnati, Ohio. I still spend a portion of every month in New York City working with clients and growing the business, but life as I knew it changed totally in 2014. And so did my routines.

It took me a while to figure out a rhythm and schedule to my “new life.” And after a year, I think I’m finally there. Yes, it took a year.

It hit me as I was reflecting on 2014 work that this is so often what I see with clients. Life changes like a new baby, marriage, divorce, death, and even a new job, a move – all these things effect our routines and, therefore, our organizational systems. Things feel out of whack and all the priorities from before just don’t make sense. We have to figure out a new way to live and work.

For me, 2014 was a year of wiping the slate clean and letting things go. I reevaluated the tasks related to my work and figured out how best to spend my time so that my business can continue to grow. It’s been a totally eye opening but painfully slow process.

Lesson learned: We can go it alone and figure it out eventually. Perhaps after a year, like me. But why not ask for help? Why not depend on others for support and advice? I realize now that I should have leaned on others a bit, and this transition could have been so much easier. More simple. 

That’s all the deep thoughts for now. Thank you all for reading along. Here's to a happy 2015!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Here's wishing you a happy, healthy and ORGANIZED 2015! 

All the best,