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Want to get organized but don’t know where to start?

One room at a time

Solution: Tackle one room at a time. For starters, take on the most frequently used room in your home. The space you create in this room will give you the energy to continue to other areas.

Bonus Tip: Do not dissipate your energies by clearing partial rooms at a time.

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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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Organizing bedrooms


Bedroom#1 Before and After

organizing kids bedrooms
Kids Bedroom Before and After

Your bedroom is your refuge away from the busy life you lead throughout your waking hours. This area should be a haven of peace and tranquility. Everyone needs a space to decompress and forget about the affairs of the world and their busy daily schedule.

The bedroom is the most natural space to unwind, have privacy and spend moments “doing a bunch of nothing” as I like to say. This is the room to sleep and rejuvenate for the next day of your busy life.

There is no room for clutter in the bedroom. Your bedroom should only contain items that help you prepare for the day, clothes etc and items to help you unwind at the end of the day. This sacred space is crucial to your well-being and attitude.

Get started and take a look around your bedroom. Discard or relocate the items that don’t belong in this room. Bring in items that you love to look at to help you to unwind and become restful. When you are finished clearing your clutter and reorganizing, paint the walls a new color and enjoy in your new-found refuge!

What Our Clients Say:

” I love my new space! It is the best present I have received in 20 years. Thank you- you are incredible.”

Peri Ness, Encinitas

“Kathi was indispensable. She changed the whole feel of my home and I’m not afraid to come home anymore. I knew I wanted to change but didn’t know how to start. She gave us the jump-start and the direction we needed. She rocks!”

Tiffany Taylor, yoga instructor”

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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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Bathroom Organizing Before & After

Bathroom Organization

( Move mouse over picture for after )

Situation: Papers and other non-bathroom related items clogging up the bathroom counter space. Duplicate items were purchased frequently because the back-up stock of items could not be located.

Solution: Clear off all non-related items. Make room in cabinets below for bathroom toiletries. Separate all his and her items and create a storage solution behind closed doors. We reused the towel holder to hold and display necklaces for easy access in the morning. The porcelain tray on the counter catches earrings and items emptied from pockets in the evening. The hair dryer and curling iron is tucked into a drawer while not in use but kept plugged in for quick access.

What Our Clients Say:

“My husband says now he feels that he has to keep his side of the bedroom/bathroom clean. He was really glad to see the change and loves it! I love my bathroom counter. I am motivated to put things away to keep it looking nice all of the time. The necklace holder works really well.

I have more drive and energy and we actually worked on the garage last weekend. I decided to get each family member to do only 4-5 things each. This made it really easy to get a lot accomplished.”

Debbie, San Diego”

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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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