Articles & Advice

Too many things to read? Organize Your reading Material

Magazines

Solution: Create temporary storage for the items that come & go in your life, such as magazines & newspapers. A bin or basket by your bed or favorite reading chair will keep these items h & allow you to sit down & read without having a scavenger hunt. Once you read the article, discard in the recycle bin. Note: don’t feel obligated to read yesterdays news, if you miss a day, toss it out when you throw in today’s newspaper. This bin also makes a great place for those mail order catalog’s & interesting articles that you want to read later.

Bonus Tip: If you find an article that you wish to read but don’t have the time when you first see it, tear it out & drop it in your to read bin, Don’t save the entire publication, you will forget what you wanted to read. Once it’s torn out, it reminds you to read it when you look into your bin for something to read.

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Extreme Organizing For Travel – one carry-on bag and a satchel

Carry On Luggage

The key to packing lightly is to choose one main color palette, black, brown or navy and you are already halfway there! Include classic wardrobe elements and you will be able to mix and match most of the items that you pack.

Choose a dark hue for your basic slacks, jeans, jacket, and skirt. They will look fresher longer during your tour with less frequent washing. Use shirts and accessories to splash color into your wardrobe.

Leave your expensive jewelry home; you don’t need the ongoing liability and concern as you travel. Consider leaving all of your earrings at home and wearing only your favorite pair of stud earrings the entire trip. Pack a few bangles, necklaces and scarves to add variety to your clothing combinations.

Pack 2 pairs of basic slacks, 1 pair of jeans, 1 lightweight jacket, 2 lightweight sweaters that can be layered together, 1 skirt, 1-2 Pashima wraps, three casual shirts (2 short sleeve, one long sleeve or vice versa if you tend to run cold), 11 pairs of underwear, 1 bra, 1 sleeveless shell, a dressy blouse and a sheath dress that doesn’t hold wrinkles. Also include a swimsuit and wrap if you will have pool/spa facilities. Plan on doing a load of laundry half way through your tour.

Pack a pair of sandals and pumps with kitten heels. The secret to sexy kitten-heel pumps is that you can wear them comfortably all day and they dress up elegantly for formal dinners with your sheath dress and wrap.
Wear jeans, walking shoes and your heavy sweater during the flight. Carry or wear your coat on board to save space within your suitcase.

If you decide to check your suitcase, make sure to pack enough clothes and toiletries for an entire day and night in your carry-on. Avoid feeling miserable if your luggage takes longer to arrive than you do. An extra blouse, underwear, pajamas, makeup and toiletries are essential elements for your carry-on bag. This habit also helps you pack a few more clothes without breaking the ‘one suitcase rule’. Pack a lightweight collapsible shopping bag to use on side expeditions throughout your trip.

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Darker Skin Tones and Hair Color

Dear Kathi,

I have attached a picture of me, please tell me what color would look best with my skin tone. I want to go lighter, maybe honey blonde or a lighter brown with highlights, what do you think would look best?
Erika J. Rivera
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Major Crimes Section

Erika,

It would help to see your hair down in natural lighting in order to be certain about my reccomendation. With this photo as the example, I would suggest keeping your hair dark black or dark brown. If you want to weave in highlights, use a caramel or wheat highlight color. Both of these look great on darker hair.

If you decide to go light brown or blonde, you will not find any consumer mix light enough so don’t even think about trying to do it on your own. My makeover hairstylist, Lisa Knight of Orange Salon, says that you will end up with an unpleasant ginger color. If you do go blonde, you will absolutely have to step up your makeup routine and wear (at the minimum) eyeliner and mascara all of the time to pull it off.

Have fun and send me your ‘after’ photo!

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Finding the perfect suit

suit

The era of the three piece suit is over for the time being, except perhaps in the fields of banking and high finance. Tuxedos are also in less demand, and are readily available to rent for occasions that demand black tie attire.

That being said, at least one nice suit should still be an essential part of your wardrobe, and this is definitely an item worth spending a little extra on. There are several things to consider when buying, so don’t wait until you absolutely have to wear one tomorrow to select a suit.

Pick your basic color. Men with black hair and a pale complexion look striking in black. Blue eyed blonds or redheads look great in navy; dark-eyed men with red or brown hair generally favor brown. Try on several shades and styles to find the color that suits you best.

Look for quality both in the material used and the workmanship involved. The seams should be smooth, and securely sewn. The pants should fit comfortably and fall straight – they should be no shorter than the top of the heel of your shoe in back. The jacket should hang naturally; it shouldn’t bunch or pull when buttoned. An unlined jacket is a good choice for warmer climates, and may often show superior quality; there is no lining to cover up substandard work.

While having a tailor alter an off the rack suit for a perfect fit may add to your initial outlay, the resulting impression is well worth the additional cost. Ask the salesman to recommend a master tailor if possible. Once your suit is perfectly tailored, you can select the rest of your wardrobe.

Try on a selection of shirts in different shades and patterns. You will probably want at least one white dress shirt for more formal occasions, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Casual business attire trends have made it acceptable to wear a high quality t-shirt under a suit in many cases.

This is a good time to pick out a tie, too. Make sure the length of your tie fits you; your height and weight can affect how a tie looks. It shouldn’t be too garish; leave the cartoon characters to those with less discerning taste. The safe tie width these days measures about three inches across at the widest point.

The right shoes and matching belt help finish your look. These are investment items; buy the best you can afford for maximum quality! You might need a pair of black dress shoes if your suit is black or navy, but every man should have a pair of stylish brown shoes as well. Dark brown is preferable to light. Make sure your socks match; they should be the same color as the suit, but a shade or two darker.

Buy a nice watch and a money clip. These will go well with anything, and it is safer to keep your money in your jacket or front pants pocket anyway. Get rid of your bulky wallet and use a flat credit card holder instead. This will cut down on nonessential junk in your pockets that could ruin the line of your suit.

Once you have acquired the perfectly tailored suit and matching accoutrements, you will be ready for any occasion!
by Kathi Burns – addSpace To Your Life!TM,
a Professional Organizing and Image Consulting Agency
Want to get better organized and look your best?
Get more quick tips by visiting the addSpace To Your Life!TM website.
Request Free addSpace eTips by clicking on the top right button.

http://www.addSpaceToYourLife.com

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Image Tips for Men

Polo Shirt

Dear Kathi,

I often wear ties to business receptions. I always wonder how high or low I should wear my tie clip.

How do I know if a pair of shoes goes well with a suit?

Also, I have a question about polo shirts. Should I wear a t-shirt with my polo shirt? Does it matter if I wear it with or without a tee? Do I tuck them into my jeans?

James, San Diego

James,

Tie clips are now back in style! Wear your clip at mid center by button holes 4-5 midway between your pec and your abs. For a younger look, you can wear it placed between the third and fourth button of the shirt and angled slightly down. Whether or not to angle your tie clip is always controversial and has been seen latley in fashion for younger men. Always choose a tie clip that is narrower than the tie.

You can also use a tie tack. Choose a simple design and secure it from 1/3 to less than 1/2 the distance below the knot.

The shoes that go best with suits will have leather soles and hand stitching. Wingtips are always a safe bet as they go well with suits and more casual sport coats. A tuxedo can dress up an Oxford. Oxfords also look sophisticated and fabulous with a suit. The Cap-Toe Oxford, the more casual version of the original Oxford, sometimes has tiny holes along the seam.Choose a shoe that is darker in color than the suit. Coordinate with the neutral color of the suit. For instance, if your suit is brown, wear brown or cordovan shoes. If it is black, wear black shoes. Navy suits can be paired with black or dark cordovan shoes.

Socks should be matched to your slacks, not your shoes. This will give you an elongated leg line.

Polos can be worn with or without a t-shirt. If you choose to wear a t-shirt, wear both shirts untucked. Never tuck both in at the same time, always keeping the polo on top, untucked.

When layering shirts, wearing the darkest color on top makes them easy to coordinate. You can wear a lighter color shirt on top, but have to consider whether or not the shirt below shows through, which makes the whole process of getting dressed more complicated.

Layering is currently in style, and also provides versatile climate control, especially with the temperature variations throughout the day in San Diego. So live it up and layer!

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Dressing Casual at Work

Business Casual

Our style of dressing at work and elsewhere becomes our trademark. We get used to wearing certain types of clothes and if there’s a change in dress policy at work, which forces us to change, we get kind of lost, and wonder what to do. For example, take the case of Diane. Diane is 46 years old, and has been wearing jeans to work for the longest time. A new rule has made it compulsory to dress casual, and no denims. Diane seems to be quite perplexed. She can’t imagine what she’ll do without her comfy jeans. Well, right now she has no choice but to follow the rules. One of Diane’s problems is that in her office the heat and A/C are not really controlled. Thus in Winter, it ends up being too hot and in Summer it’s icy cool. What’s confusing her is that she has no idea what to wear, so that she doesn’t end up being too hot or too cold throughout the day. In a way, that’s understandable, since we always want to be comfortable on the job.

Kathi Burns, a Professional Image Consultant and Board Certified Organizer, gives sound advice to Diane. Kathi says, that the best thing to do is go for layers!

She explains that there are a variety of different lightweight sweater fabrics that are available in the market. You can wear a couple, then as the temperature in the office raises or lowers, you can either remove some layers, or put on extras. The trick is to buy different sleeve lengths, and it’s best that the last layer, that is the first you put on, is a sleeveless shell.

Another thing to watch out for when layering are the necklines. Your tops should not compete with each other. Strong colors are easy to mix and match. If you’re wearing a printed top, it’s best to keep it simple and basic. It’s also preferable that you use the same color family as the other layers, and restrict the print to one layer only.

Yet another thing that you can use to your advantage is a ‘shirt jacket’. These shirt jackets are essentially shirts that you put over sweaters or other shirts. Most often these shirts have button fronts, shirt tail hems and long sleeves. These are handy to keep at the office, in case you find it getting too chilly for comfort. You can then throw it on to keep you warm.

True, it’s hard to replace jeans. But you could try a sleek pair of tweed slacks or a classy corduroy. In fact, if you get something that you’re comfortable with, you won’t miss your jeans. A good thing about tweed is that it does not wrinkle easily and it won’t go out of style. It’s important that you take time to find the perfect fit and invest in the best fabric. You should note that there are different types of tweeds. Go for the heavier tweeds with lining if it’s too cold. The lightweight tweeds are best for a hot climate.

Another useful tip is keeping a pair of socks at work. Whenever your toes are feeling the chill, just slip on a pair to feel warm. Though it’ll be a little tricky finding shoes that you can wear with or without socks. While flat mules may be comfy, it’s best to wear them without socks and slacks only!

Hopefully these tips will give you a strong head start. Over time, you’ll be able to explore and hone in on your style and most importantly find out what you are comfortable wearing. Spend the time to buy the right clothes for your body and lifestyle, It’s a solid investment for career advancement and increased self-esteem.

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The addSpace Guide to Ridding Your House of ‘Kid Clutter’

Kids organizing

The kids hit school age, and suddenly everything they own is underfoot. Between extracurricular activities and weekend events, finding the time to keep up with school supplies, sports equipment, shoes and basic clothing items can be difficult. Cut down on wasted time and frustration searching for missing articles by implementing a few simple ideas.

Create a ‘drop zone’ near the entrance of your home. This can be as simple as a row of pegs to hold backpacks and jackets, with a rack below it for muddy footwear. A large basket can catch sport gear or outdoor toys, and a bench with storage under the seat can make all the difference. Don’t forget a hook for keys.

Sort your children’s clothing at the end of each season and donate or discard items that you won’t use the next year. Rotate their off season clothes to the back of the closet, or install a two tiered rod to increase your closet space. A low shelf or rack can hold footwear and a higher one be used for hair ribbons or baseball caps. Use drawer dividers to sort socks, underwear and pajamas, or set up small plastic drawer units for smaller tots.

Utilize labeled boxes and bins with easy to open lids for games, hobby items and toys. Rotate toys regularly to keep a fresh assortment available and cut down on boredom. Consider separate shelves for each child to ensure each one will be responsible for his or her own possessions. For preschoolers, labels with pictures of the appropriate toy or game can be used to mark the spot where it belongs.

Get the whole family involved in charity; designate a box for ‘give away’ items and place it in an accessible place. Ask your children to put an old toy in the box every time they get a new one. You can take them with you to drop the items off at a donation center when it becomes full so that they can see where their items go. Explain how the donation process works, and how others can benefit from their cast-off items.

Use a trunk or hope chest at the foot of each bed to save keepsakes for your children as they grow. If your space and finances are limited, an under-the-bed box will serve the same purpose. Again, let your children take an active role in deciding what to keep throughout the year. Each summer, help them go through the contents and discard those items which have lost their importance. The goal is to have only one box of memories by the end of twelfth grade. When the kids leave the nest, they will love having their childhood treasures intact.

A box or caddy for spare school supplies can make finding any replacement items easy on rushed mornings. Another box can be set up to file school papers throughout the year; review them each summer to identify ‘keepers’ for scrap booking. A shoebox with cardboard dividers can store photos until you can put them in your album.

Prize ribbons can be easily kept in your photo album as well, and photographs taken of victors holding their trophies to keep as a remembrance of past accomplishments. Peel off the placard with their name or achievement to use in your photo album alongside the picture, and donate the trophy itself to a school fundraiser. These are popular items at thrift sales, as children love to dream of their future triumphs and act out winning and receiving their prize.

Once you have your children’s belongings well organized, have them take the responsibility for keeping their rooms clean. Set aside a few hours each weekend to have a ‘family cleanup’; many hands make light work. Once you get in the habit of putting things in their designated places, keeping your house clutter free will be a matter of course.

by Kathi Burns – addSpace To Your Life!TM,
a Professional Organizing and Image Consulting Agency
Want to get better organized and look your best?
Get more quick tips by visiting the addSpace To Your Life!TM website.
Request Free addSpace eTips by clicking on the top right button.

http://www.addSpaceToYourLife.com

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How to organize your home office

Home office

Once you decide to work from home, designating an office space is mandatory. Even if it is just a large table in a corner, the key is to make it an exclusive work area – nothing unrelated to your business should be allowed. This will allow you to stay more fully focused on your business at hand, and keeping your other paperwork such as private financial records separate may even qualify you for a home office tax write-off.

Organize your desk properly from the very beginning and make sure to spend at least ten minutes a day keeping it that way. Just a small investment of time will save you countless hours of frustration looking for misplaced or lost papers or trying to do paperwork on a hopelessly cluttered desktop. Make use of desk and drawer organizers to keep pens, paper-clips and sticky notes handy.

Be certain you have a trash basket by your desk to dispose of unneeded paper and discarded envelopes or mail. This will reduce mess and help keep your workspace clear. Have a vertical inbox on top of your desk to hold papers or files that require immediate attention, and an outbox somewhere by the exit of your office for mail and packages that are awaiting pickup or a trip to the post office.

Make sure your file cabinet is industrial strength. If a brand new one is outside of your price range, check thrift and second hand stores for a gently used, well made cabinet. Likewise, try to find a desk large enough to hold your computer and leave plenty of surface space free for work. These items are worth investing in; good quality cabinets will last you for years. Likewise, an ergonomic chair is almost a necessity if you want to avoid fatigue and back strain.

Form a habit of filing papers as you handle them instead of letting them stack up on your desk. Decide on a categorizing system and label all files accordingly. Use the same approach for your daily mail; open it all immediately and discard the junk, then file remaining mail (invoices, bills, etc) in the appropriate place. Have a special folder for business expenses and keep every receipt for business related items – these will be useful when tax time rolls around.

Take an hour or two each week to enter any new contact information into your database. Handheld computer scanners are available to make entering business card data quick and efficient, or you can use a regular rolodex file and simply staple the business cards to the blanks provided. Many businesses depend on accurate, up to date contacts, and you will benefit from having this information at your fingertips.

If you are working more than 40 to 60 hours a week, or are having difficulty finding time for family, consider hiring help for lawn care and housework. This will cut down on stress, and may even increase your productivity to the point that such a proposal can pay for itself.

Working from home is an incredible experience, but requires a high degree of organization to be fully effective. By designating a section of your home as a special work zone, you will enable yourself to work without distraction and reach your greatest potential.

by Kathi Burns – addSpace To Your Life!TM,
a Professional Organizing and Image Consulting Agency
Want to get better organized and look your best?
Get more quick tips by visiting the addSpace To Your Life!TM website.
Request Free addSpace eTips by clicking on the top right button.

http://www.addSpaceToYourLife.com

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Organize backyard garden shed

Garden Shed

As summer arrives and the yard and garden beckon, the problem of the jumbled storage shed becomes apparent. Fortunately, a few easy tips can help you make your shed an asset instead of a hindrance.

The key is organization. Four walls and a roof will protect your tools from the elements, but finding what you want when you want it may be a chore. Often sheds are used as extra storage space for items which, upon reflection, are not really needed at all. Cleaning out your shed and adding some built in organizers can make all the difference.

The first step to a better organized shed is to clear out the rubbish. Items that you really need to keep may be better stored in your house. Anything you haven’t used in over a year may be unnecessary to your life! Consider carefully each item and its use to you. Does it pull its weight in exchange for the space it occupies?

Sentiment often makes us hold on to belongings that would be better off finding new homes. Consider donating items you simply cannot bring yourself to throw away; some-one else may be grateful to have them and you can enjoy the thought that they still have value. Check with your local charities, or see if your community has a trade off recycling program.

Any items that remain to be stored can be put in identically sized bins with lids, and filed away for future reference. Any shelving you install can be easily customized so that the bins will fit neatly. This makes retrieval a snap! Label the visible sides, and post a list inside the door that will help you remember which bin holds what.

Once you have narrowed down the items you need to store, you can begin to plan your new shelving system. Wall to wall and ceiling to floor shelves yield the maximum storage space. Depending on the size and shape of your shed, your best bet may be to install this type of shelving on the back wall as well as along one side.

Long-handled tools such as rakes, spades and shovels should hang on the remaining wall. A pegboard can be installed for smaller tools. A garden caddy can hold miscellaneous items: gloves, seed packets, and even a tube of sunscreen or a hat.

If you do a lot of gardening, you may wish to customize your shed a little. Adding a small potting bench or table can make a corner into a handy workstation. Add shelves above to store pots, and bins below for soil and fertilizer.

If your shed is too small for such project, consider building one on the exterior against one of the walls. Mount a piece of lattice to hang your tools, or add hooks to the sides of the bench itself. A waterproof bin can be utilized for soil and additives.

Once you have organized your shed, every lawn and garden chore will be that much easier. By utilizing your space to its highest potential, you avoid wasted time and frustration. The hours saved by not having to dig through the shed for an elusive tool can be spent on that special gardening project instead!

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Lupita Nyong’o looks radiant in teal

Lupita Nyongo in teal

Lupita Ngony’o wore a stunning teal Gucci dress to the SAG Awards this year. This is a perfect example of how gorgeous bright colors can look on darker skin tones. She also pulls off matching teal eyeshadow without looking overdone or too matchy. If you have dark skin, you may find that you can easily pull off bold colors that might overwhelm other people’s complexions. The key is finding colors that complement your skintone and make you look healthy and radiant, rather than washing you out.

No matter how light or dark your features are, you are most likely either ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ toned, and will find these colors complement you accordingly. The easiest way to determine this is to pull your hair away from your face, take off any makeup or jewely, and drape colored cloth around your face to see which colors make you look healthy and radiant, and which colors make you look washed out, grey, or sickly. You may want to enlist a friend or family member to help. Try colors like silver (cool) vs. gold (warm). Or a bright orangey red (warm) vs. magenta or violet (cool). Try bright crisp white (cool) vs. ivory or offwhite (warm). With enough tries, you should get a feel for whether you are warm or cool toned based on which colors really brighten up your features. Here’s a guide to warm and cool colors that should help:

Warm and Cool colors

Once you determine whether you are warm or cool toned, try experimenting with bright, bold colors when shopping for tops, dresses, makeup, and statement jewelry. If you have dark skin, you may find your features really come alive and your skin looks radiant and glowing in bright, saturated tones of your best colors.

Celebrities in Bright Lipcolors

Keep an eye out for celebrities and models who share similar coloring to you and also look their best in these same colors. You can then do an image search for that person and see what they wore to different events. Celebrities have some of the best stylists and makeup artists working for them, especially for red carpet events. Take advantage of the work they’ve done to make this celebrity look their best, and try to replicate aspects of their look that you think works well for them.

Lupita Ngony'o Makeup

If you’re lucky enough to have similar coloring to Lupita, you’ve got a treasure trove of gorgeous looks to be inspired by. Keep an eye on this beautiful woman because she is consistently knocking it out of the park!

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