This is 55!

Today is my 55th birthday (yes that’s a tough one to swallow) and although this blog is usually about organization I thought I would switch gears for today.

I heard a wise women once say if the younger generation would listen to the advice of the older generation their life would be much easier. The reality is everyone has to learn by their own experiences and their own mistakes. These are a few of the things I have learned through the years.

This too shall pass.
Everyone has heard this a hundred times but as you age you begin to realize how true this really is. If you think back two months, six months or even a year ago of something that had you so upset and now you can’t believe you wasted so much time and energy on it. I have learned no matter what it takes, take a breathe, be patient and time seems to heal it.

Nothing is meant to last forever.
Enjoy the moment instead of thinking of forever. This one has been especially hard for me because I’m a planner and thinking in the here and now is a newly learned skill. Whether it’s a job, a relationship or where you live, things change and thats okay.

Your family is everything.
I can’t say this enough. You may not agree with family members, you may get angry at them, you may even take a time out from the relationship but in the end they are the ones that will have your back no matter what happens. Mend those relationships because one day you will need them.

Marriage takes work if you want it to last.
I have been married for 29 years in November and I have learned that if you want to have longevity in a marriage it takes work. When your first married you are in the honeymoon phase with no responsibilities other than to each other but overtime real life takes over. Colicky babies, job changes, mortgages, elderly parents, health issues, aging and the empty nest. It’s not easy and there are some days I think why does this have to be so much work but I have to say there is nobody I would rather be sitting next to in my golden years than the man I married.

Listen to the advice your Mother gave you.
It took me a long time to get this because when you are young you think you know everything. You hear the advice and keep it stored but you really don’t understand the meaning behind it until you are older. I have learned so much from my Mom through the years and continue to this day. No one loves you like your mother no matter how old you are.

Even if I could, I wouldn’t turn back time.
I have to be honest their are a lot of things I miss about my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. I use to be able to stay up late, drink without getting a hangover, loose a few pounds in a couple of weeks and not have a wrinkle on my body. Would I give up what I have learned in my life to be young again? Absolutely not! My experiences have made me who I am today. I may not have always enjoyed the lessons I have learned along the way but it has made me a stronger more confident woman.

Supplements are important as you age.
I have so many people ask me how I keep my hair so thick and healthy at my age. I went through a period a few years ago that I saw signs that my hair was starting to change. It was not feeling or looking as healthy, thick or shiny as it use to. You may think it’s genetic but good genes can’t save your hair from aging. I did my own research and began using a hair, skin, and nail supplement and within a few weeks I noticed a big difference. If you don’t get everything you need from what you eat sometimes you need to supplement especially as you age. Just my opinion.

Make time for yourself.
As an organizer I often hear how over scheduled, tired and stressed out everyone is these days. Make time for yourself even if you have to schedule it on your calendar. Get a massage, go for a walk, take a bath or just have a glass of wine and listen to music. Take time for yourself and everyone around you will benefit.

Love what you do.
I can’t stress this enough. Whatever your passion is follow it. When you love what you do it’s no longer work.

Simplify your life.
Of course I had to mention this because less stuff definitely equals less stress. I think I have this mastered not just because of my profession but because I practice it in my own life. When you simplify your life you focus on what’s really important.

Find a form of exercise you enjoy.
I have tried almost every form of exercise you can imagine. Jazzercise, kick boxing, weight lifting, spin class and many more. You name it I tried it and then in my 50’s I found Pilates. It has changed everything about my body. I have better posture, muscle definition and most importantly flexibility. As you age you can’t do some of the things you use to do but you can still be in great shape. Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and youthful. Find something you love so you will look forward to it instead of dreading it.

Make your home a place you want to come home to.
I can’t stress this enough! In the world we live in today your home is your refuge from the craziness going on outside. If it’s an unwelcoming place that is full of clutter you will avoid it rather than embrace it. There really is no place like home.

Volunteer your time.
Nothing has been as rewarding as the time I have spent volunteering at the Sulzbacher Homeless Shelter. I have met the most amazing people and it has shown me a different perspective on life. Volunteering makes you feel needed and everyone needs to feel needed especially as you age.

Spend time with your girlfriends.
Have a few close girlfriends that you can count on when you want to talk or just be yourself. Men don’t understand woman like women understand women, end of story.

Take a break from social media.
I never grew up with social media so I know what it’s like to be without it. There are times I really miss the days of no social media. There is so much pressure and anxiety associated with it that sometimes you need a time out so you can regroup and reconnect with yourself and others.

Regret is not productive.
No matter how much you try to avoid it regret seems to rear its ugly head as you age. Where did the time go? What you should have or could have done differently can take over your thoughts. Write down your regrets and let them go. Nothing good comes from regret. You can’t change it you can just learn from it.

Your age is NOT just a number.
No matter how you slice it if you take care of yourself you will definitely feel better at any age but I don’t believe that 50 is the new 40. As you get older the signs start to appear that can’t be denied. You need glasses, you can’t wear high heels for more than an hour without being in major pain and you have to go to more doctors appointments just to stay healthy. With better cosmetic procedures we can look younger longer but there is no doubt everybody gets old.

Your health is everything and without it nothing else seems to matter.
I think many people take their health for granted until they don’t have it. Everyday you are healthy is a gift. In the past few years I have seen so many people get sick or die from cancer and heart disease. As you age you get very in tune with your body and you know when something is not right. Listen to your gut and follow it!

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” Ann Landers

Image: by Sarah Stone and Neatly Designed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips to finally clear that closet clutter

One thing I experience with clients is how difficult it is for women to clean out their closets.  

The “what if” questions take over and instead of  living in the present they are living in the past.

What if I were 10 pounds thinner? 

What if it comes back in style?

What if my kids want it when they are older?

As you age it becomes more difficult to admit what worked in the past doesn’t work in the present. Letting go is not easy even when it comes to clothes.

Clothing and shoe clutter can easily spin out of control. If you don’t get rid of old items as new items are purchased everything accumulates. You cannot see what you own and you buy more.

Most don’t know where to begin so they avoid the dreaded clean out.

Are you ready to clear the clutter in your closet?

These tips will help motivate you to begin.

1. Before starting the project make sure you have a closet system that fits your needs.
You can start from scratch by going to a home improvement store or use a professional closet company that will measure and install your new system.

Now is the time to decide what is not working in your closet and fix it. Make a list of what you need before you begin and have the items on site so you can complete the project.

2. Try to make it enjoyable by playing music.
Sounds silly but it really makes the process much easier.

3. Buy matching hangers.
Mismatched hangers take up space and look unorganized. It’s a simple inexpensive solution with immediate results. These are my favorite hangers.

4. Have a bag for garbage and one for items you want to donate.
If you are interested in selling your items make sure you have the time to commit to selling each item. You don’t want to end up with a pile of clothes in the corner of your bedroom that you had good intentions of selling but never had the time. If you have to think about an item too long and attach too many reasons why you should keep it, get rid of it!

5. Enlist the help of an organized friend or a professional.
It will help you make the decisions you are unable to make for yourself.

6. Remove everything.
I know it sounds time consuming but it’s so important to only put back the things you absolutely love and wear.

7. Don’t get stuck on one item or the process will go slowly.
If you can’t decide on something put it aside and try it on later. If an item needs to be mended or altered put it in your car to ensure it gets done.

8.  Clean the space.
Before placing any item back into the closet vacuum the dust bunnies that have accumulated and damp clean all the shelves. A fresh coat of white paint always makes a closet look brand new.

9. Hang like items together by color.
I know that may sound extreme to some people but if you color code your clothes you will know exactly what you have and what you need to complete your wardrobe.

10. Shoes and accessories should be done last.
As an organizer I find that there is usually a monetary value associated with shoes and purses. 

I often hear clients say “I can’t get rid of those shoes, I paid a lot of money for them” my response “do you wear them?” The answer is usually noDon’t keep something just because you paid a lot of money for it. If you don’t wear it let it go!

There are many options to organize your shoes depending on closet space.
Clear labeled shoe boxes are an option especially for out of season or seldom worn shoes.
If you are short on space use the back of a door using a hanging shoe organizer or space under the bed for storing boots or sweaters.

Clutches and smaller bags can be stored in labeled boxes, clear containers or on a shelf with a clear shelf divider. Larger bags can be organized on shelves or hung on hooks.

Whatever helps you stay organized is the system you need to implement. What works for one person may not work for another. There is no one method just the one that works for you.

These tips will help you stay clutter free and enjoy the things you really love.

If any of these tips help in any way I would love to hear from you.

Tips To Organize Your Summer Travel

June has arrived and this week on River City Live we featured how to get organized for upcoming summer travel.

The key to organized travel is to get organized before your trip is planned. When you return from a trip make a list of what you need to replenish and ask yourself what you were missing so you are prepared the next time you travel.

Click the link below to learn more simple tips that will get you organized and have you ready for all your upcoming travels.

http://www.news4jax.com/river-city-live/summer-organizing-tips-with-chris-stone-1496764821200 

TIPS TO ORGANIZE YOUR TRAVEL

Keep Like Items Together

This concept also applies to travel items. If you mix makeup with hair care products you may have a mess when you arrive. Keep hair products, makeup, lotions and sunscreens in their own separate bags. You will be glad you did when you arrive at your destination.

Garment Rack

I’m constantly singing the praises of owning a garment rack. They are multifunctional and fold flat for storage under a bed. You can add inexpensive garment organizers and organize your clothes and accessories for everyday of your trip. It really helps prevent over packing.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

A hanging toiletry bag is a space saver. It can be hung in your closet when not in use and when you arrive at your destination hang in the bathroom so you can gain more counter space. Fill your toiletry bag with travel sizes or samples of your favorite things. Almost every department store, Sephora, grocery store and beauty salons carry travel sizes. Pick up items you love and need (you see I clarified that) so you will be ready for your next trip. Another time saving solution is to purchase a multi pack of toothbrushes so you always have one ready to pack. The benefits to doing all of this in advance means no last minute trips to the store to pick up forgotten items.

Clear Bags

Clear travel bags are perfect for beauty products, sunscreen and makeup. They save time when you are getting ready or heading to the beach. I also use labeled ziplock bags for medications and vitamins but put those items in a carry on in case your luggage is lost. Bring extra bags for wet bathing suits for items that may spill in your suitcase.

Jewelry Case

Keeping jewelry organized while you travel can be tricky unless you have the right accessories. There are so many options available but what ever you choose make sure there is a place to keep necklaces tangle free. One of my favorites organizers is from Closet Too.

Make copies of your Passport, Drivers License and Credit Cards

Make copies of important information and leave them with a relative or friend. You want to be prepared in case they are lost or stolen.

The easiest way to get your travel items organized like I mentioned above is to get ready before your trip is planned. If you wait until the last minute you overbuy, over pack and your frantically going from place to place picking up what you forgot.

By following these simple organizing tips you will be able to relax, and enjoy the trip ahead.