Pantry Makeover

What does a professional organizer do when she has two days off in a row?

She organizes her own pantry lol! It’s very rare that I have two days off in a row at home, so I decided to take advantage and redo my pantry.  It’s been on my to do list for a while now.

How I organize a pantry:

Step 1: I empty it all out. This way I physically touch everything, and know exactly what is in there.

Step 2: I make a keep, toss and a donate pile. You would be surprised at what you find in your space, even if you are a Neat Freak lol!

Step 3. Make a plan for putting it back in. I knew I wanted to make over my “builder grade” pantry. I was ready to update it and make it fun!

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Neat Freak McKinney Pantry Makeover

 

I recently ordered some new products from Organize My Drawer and was excited to add them to my pantry. You all know by now that I love to think out of the box, so why not create custom “drawer organizers” for my pantry? The people at  OMD are so easy to work with. Their website is very user friendly! Trust me, if I can do it so can you. #technicalychallenged

 

Here’s what I ordered:

Did you know they sell  shelf liners ?  I measured my shelves then plugged the measurements into the program.  I chose the Zodiac Silver  to match my color theme. They have a lot of colors and textures to pick from. I chose this vinyl design because it wipes up so easily! I lined all of my pantry shelves. It’s peel and stick and so easy to install, it literally took me less than five minutes to do all eight shelves!

 

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Shelf Liners from Organize My Drawer

 

Peel and Stick Shelf Liner from Organize My Drawer
Peel and Stick Shelf Liner from Organize My Drawer

 

Next, I thought about the containers I wanted. We are creatures of habit here with what we eat, so it was easy to measure the things we eat most: Triscuits, RXBAR, Lara bars, baby puffs, movie candy, you name it, I measured it.

I then plugged the measurements into their program and look what I designed! A master snack organizer!! So cool right??

 

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Organize My Drawer Custom Snack Organizer

 

Custom Fit to any size you want
Custom Fit to any size you want

 

A place for everything and everything in it's place
A place for everything and everything in it’s place

 

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Next I wanted a container that I could call my party supply box. We entertain all the time and I wanted something that I could store all of my paper goods in…and that I could quickly grab and take outside to the pool, or set on the buffet table.

Again, I measured the dimensions of my shelf, the paper plates, cups, napkins and bowls, plugged them in to the program, and this is what I got! Party supply box, check!

 

Entertaining is easy when you're organized and prepared
Entertaining is easy when you’re organized and prepared

 

Pantry to table in minutes
Pantry to table in minutes

 

Four perfect dividers in one
Four perfect dividers in one

 

Perfect for outside too
Perfect for outside too

 

The other OMD items I ordered were two risers for the small cans in the back of the pantry. We love ourselves some tacos, chili and spaghetti regularly so I measured the cans I always have the most of, and created these risers. They can also double as a condiment holder (turned upside down) if ever I decide to switch things up. #ontheregular 😉

 

Can risers for the pantry
Can risers for the pantry

 

Small can risers for the pantry
Small can risers for the pantry

 

So easy to find what we have in the back
So easy to find what we have in the back

 

So cool right?? The things you can custom design and order from OMD are endless!!

What’s on your summer to do list? Have you ever looked into Organize My Drawer products? I dream of ways to use them in every room of my house. What would you use them for? I’d love to know.

Jewelry, kitchen tools, bar carts, makeup drawers, legos, the list goes on and on and on….

 

Nana's pantry is fun!
Nana’s pantry is fun!

 

I can’t wait to show you all the before and after pictures of the paint, wallpaper and products that I used for my pantry makeover!! Go look on my InstaGram and FaceBook feeds to see all the pictures and videos of behind the scenes! Let me know what you think!

Would you like help organizing your home?

I would love to help you, and create custom organizers like these for your own space!

I’m just an email away, Neat Freak McKinney

Ready to help today,

Lisa

 

 

Spring Cleaning Your Closet

 

Closets Need Spring Cleaning Too

Winter is over in most parts of the country. It’s time to clean out our closets and get ready for spring and summer.

But where do I begin?

Step 1. Start By Upgrading Your Hangers

 

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Before:

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This time of year The Container Store has everything closet related on sale. Now is the time to stock up and save.

By switching all your hangers to match, it creates visual and mental lightness and satisfaction.

 

Step 2.  Touch Everything In Your Closet

 

Take everything out of your closet! Yes, everything! By taking everything out of your closet and putting your hands on it, you will know if you desire to keep it or toss it. This helps you sort into “like with like” piles too.

 

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Step 3. Use Bins And Labels To Store Off Season Accessories.

Use labeled bins to swap winter and summer accessories. The tags have two sides, so for example, one side can be used for winter scarves, the other side for swimwear.

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Step 4. Keep Only What You Love And Still Wear

 

It’s time to put it all back in now. You’ve sorted, purged and kept only what you still love and wear.

Having a hard time deciding? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it still fit?
  • Do I still love it?
  • Would I buy it today?
  • Am I keeping this because “someone gave it to me?”

After you’ve answered those questions honestly, you will be left with only what you want and need to keep. The rest can be donated.

 

 

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Step 5. Create Zones And Put Back In

Now that you have only what you will be keeping, create zones. Dress shirts, dresses, sweaters, blouses, etc.

Put it all back in the newly created zones. This helps you know exactly what you have, where to find it, and where to put it back when it comes home from the dry cleaning or laundry.

 

Step 6. Donate Purged Items To Charity

There are many people in need. Why hang on to stuff you don’t use when someone else can use it? Many charities will pick up directly from your front porch. Goodwill Stores will take everything too. Find one in your area.

 

Let’s Review:

  • Purge your closet of everything, yes everything.
  • Sort like with like.
  • Keep only what you love and wear.
  • Get all matching hangers.
  • Create zones.
  • Use bins and labels to store off season accessories.
  • Donate purged items to charity.

 

And If You Need Help, I’m Here For You!

 

Ready to help today,

Lisa

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning

Spring = New Life

Every spring, the world comes to life. The flowers are blooming, the trees come alive, the grass turns green.  Everything feels fresh and new again.

The sun comes out and the days get longer. We get itchy to work in our yards, clean out the beds and plant new flowers.

We want new life in our homes too.  We want to clean every space, put away winter and bring the house to life again. It’s a natural feeling. 

But for most people this can be overwhelming. Where do I start? I don’t know what to do first. I have too much stuff!

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Where do I start?

The best place to start is by making a list. Start by writing everything down that you want to accomplish. Every room you want to organize. Put everything on that list, big and small. It’s a proven fact that when goals are written down, they are more likely to get accomplished.

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I’ve Made My List Now What?

Now tackle each item one by one. One room, one drawer, one closet, one space. 

The first step is to take everything out of the space.

For example, if you are working in a closet, take everything out.

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Why Do I Have To Take Everything Out?

It’s much easier to work with a blank space. It forces you to touch every item in the space and decide if it stays or goes. When it is empty you won’t be tempted to keep it as it is.

 

Next Step, Sorting:

Now after everything is out. Start sorting. Make piles: keep, relocate, donate, trash.

Keep:

These are items that you use regularly and that you will keep in this space.

Relocate:

Do not keep anything that is not going to live permanently in this space. For example a drill probably shouldn’t live in your food pantry.

Donate:

You can either sell these items at a yard sale or donate them to charity. Chances are, if you haven’t touched the item in a full calendar year, you probably don’t need it and can get rid of it. TIP: If you choose to sell at a yard sale, make it happen quickly or it won’t get done. There are donation drop offs everywhere and places like Goodwill where you can get a tax write off for donating your goods. If you don’t think you will follow through on a yard sale, then you need to donate it.

Trash:

Anything that is broken, missing a piece, or not in working order is trash. Throw it away. It’s taking up space and cluttering your mind as well.

 

 

Ok, Sorted! Now What?

The next step is to put like items together, on a shelf, or in a container that best fits the space.

Why Like Items?

Keeping like items together saves time and helps everyone. Everyone knows where to find what they are looking for.

For example: Where’s all the stuff to make our school lunch? It’s all in a bin together in the refrigerator.

 

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Where are the kid’s snacks? They’re in a bin together in the pantry.

 

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Where are all the gift wrapping supplies? In the closet drawers upstairs.

 

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When everything alike lives together it’s easier to find, saves time, energy, and money since you are not buying something you already have, but can’t find.

Organization equals less stress on everyone.

What’s Next? Labels!

Finally, label everything. Labeling not only looks pretty, it is practical way for everyone in your home to know where things are, and where they go back when they’re done using them.

TIP: Labels in the pantry let everyone know where decanted food items are and when it’s time to buy more.

 

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Labeling’s done! What’s next?

 

You’re almost done! Now it’s time to put everything back. It’s been sorted and labeled and is ready to find a home!

 

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Why Wait?

If you’re in the mood to spring clean, just follow these easy steps: make a list, clear out space, sort, label, put back.

You’ll start seeing and feeling the results in your home before you know it!

Happy Spring Everyone!

 

The Cobbler’s Kids

You know that fairy tale about the Cobbler’s kids not having any shoes because he is so busy helping others?

Well sometimes that applies to home organizers too lol!

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Sometimes we get so busy helping others, our own homes get in disarray.

So imagine my excitement when unexpectedly, I found myself home alone with a whole Saturday to myself.

I was scheduled to organize a garage that day, but the client needed to reschedule, leaving me with a whole day to myself and endless options.

Being the weirdo that I am, lol, I used the day to clean and reorganize my whole house.

 

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I started with my refrigerator. Not too bad right? I’m pretty good with keeping up with it.

But look at the after:

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I found Fridge Coaster on Instagram last fall and fell in love with their product! I ordered some for my daughter for Christmas.

Aren’t they so pretty? So nice!

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I love all the styles and colors they come in too! It’s like decoration for my fridge only better because they absorb spills!

How great is that? Have a spill?  Pull up the coaster and replace it, and move on with your day. No more pulling out drawers and shelves to wash in the sink!

I love sharing new fun things with you!

Next I moved to my closet, and speaking of shoes….

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I made my Lucky Brand Booties look like new again.

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I’m all about less is more, so I like to keep the things I invest in, in good shape vs buying new. These boots are worth the investment when taken care of! They are as comfortable as slippers. This shoe polish  was only four dollars at Target!

 

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I also had fun pulling everything out of my bathroom drawers and freshening them up.

I was texting my sisters and sister in law all day and visiting with them about what I was doing. I was trying so hard to come up with a way to hide those darn cords from my hair dryer and curling irons. I even thought about putting a plug in one of the drawers.

My sister in law was like, why not just store them in your drawer like everyone else? lol! What a novel idea lol!!! I was thinking too hard when duh!!

Even professional organizers need fresh eyes on their own things….sometimes when it comes to our own homes we can’t see anything different than what’s already there.

So that was the Saturday of my dreams LOL. How do you spend unexpected time alone?

I’d love to hear! And if you are needing help with any Spring Cleaning, I’d love to help you do that too.

Ready when you are,

Lisa

 

Organize My Drawers

I love it when someone asks me to organize anything!

I was born the oldest of seven kids and with the gift of organization; and nothing makes me happier than to help other people.

It will be one year in June that I launched Neat Freak McKinney . And on this amazing journey, I have met so many interesting people and companies on Instagram.

One of these amazing companies is called Organize My Drawer. When they reached out to me to see if I wanted to collaborate, I was ecstatic! 

 

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How cool is this acrylic insert? It fits perfectly into my drawer! 

Their website is so easy to use. Trust me, if I can do it anyone can! I sent them the measurements of my drawers and picked 3 different styles from their templates. But you can customize them any way you like!

 

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The first thing I thought of was “wow” these would be great to organize all of my husband’s drawers.

We have lots of drawers in our master bath that we use as dresser drawers.  My husband travels a lot and I love making his life easier by organizing everything he needs for his business trips.

He has hundreds of ties and it was time to purge and donate some of them. He gets in a rut and wears the first ones he sees, which happens to be the same few over and over.

With this insert I can organize them by color, season, style, etc. All he has to do is grab the one he wants, which is already rolled up, and pack them in his dress shoes. Rolling helps with wrinkling and saves space in your suitcase.

 

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The same goes with his socks. This divider holds 16 pairs of folded socks. Tommy John brand are my husband’s favorite.

And how’s this for organized undies? (sorry to our children if you’re reading, I’m showing dad’s skivvies) lol!

Before:

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After, a folded and sorted drawer!

 

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These are great for all of his accessories too.

 

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I love the clear look of acrylic. It makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, and creates less visual clutter.

 

And just for fun, here are some other ideas of ways to use Organize My Drawer inserts.

In a baby’s room:

 

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In a shared children’s dresser:

Before a jumbled mess of little his and little her undies…

 

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After, with plenty of room to spare, and bonus, this is a great way to get your kids to roll and put away their own clothes! Make it easy for them to help you!

 

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How about in your home office?

 

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Can you tell how much I love this product? I can think of a ton of ways to organize every area of my home with these custom acrylic organizers!

Go visit their website at Organize My Drawer.  Practically perfect, custom designed organizers for all your own unique things! Built to your exact specifications with their easy to use online design tool. Start your design from scratch or use one of their templates like I did. It’s that easy.

Don’t forget to follow them and me on Instagram and Facebook to see all the other amazing ways you can use their product… don’t forget to tell them I sent you!

And, as always, if you need help organizing anything in your home, I’m your girl. I’m just an email away.

 

Ready to help today,

Lisa

 

When Mama Goes Down

The flu season has been brutal this year. So has strep. Both of which I had this past week. Insert crying emoji here.

And call us old fashioned, but when Mama goes down, the whole house tilts a little, or a lot lol.

 

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This is one of those times that having an organized home really pays off. 

Keeping all the meds in one place, neatly marked, helps everyone know where to go, and where to put back, the meds they need.

In my case, NyQuil Cold and Flu was the only way I could sleep. My sweet hubby knew exactly where to find it! Win win for us both!

 

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I also have a separate container, labeled, just for the kids’ medicine. I like containers you cannot see through for meds, up high, safe out of little hand’s reach.

These white containers are fromTarget.

 

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This is when having an organized and well stocked pantry comes in handy too.

Having food items on hand for quick meals helps everyone. I have a few things in my pantry and freezer that are always stocked up. Tuna and chicken from Costco make a quick and yummy sandwich.

 

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In our house, chili and cornbread are always a favorite, so I always make sure to have everything on hand to make both. Hot, home made food makes everyone feel better.

I also buy turkey burger and chicken in bulk from Costco and cook it up the day I bring it home (with onions and garlic), then freeze in meal sized portions. You can make hundreds of dishes with it.

 

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Spaghetti is another easy and quick fix that everyone likes.

 

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And if all else fails, PB&J,  with chips and fruit wins the day!

 

Don’t let your world tilt if you go down with sickness, let me help you make your life run smoother! In good times and bad!

I’m just an email away!

Ready to help,

Lisa

Using Your Gifts

I believe we are all born with a special gift.

 

 

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I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter, grammy-nana, teacher and friend, and I love all those jobs the Lord has given me…but I am happiest and most fulfilled when I am sharing my gifts with others. 

 

Last June when I launched Neat Freak McKinney I felt called to use my gift of organization, empathy, and compassion with others.

 

I can walk into the craziest of homes and find ways to bring them peace and order. It doesn’t frazzle me, but rather makes me excited to offer help. That is my gift.

 

I love learning from other women and feel so loved when they share their gifts with me…what is your special gift? Who are you sharing it with today?

 

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Be yourself, use your gifts, don’t wish your gift away, share what YOU were given.

 

And if you need help, I’m here.

 

Lisa 

 

What’s Your Excuse?

What’s your excuse for not getting organized? 

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Before you can change anything and make lasting efforts in decluttering your home, you have to address the negative self talk that hinders a lot of people.

“I just can’t do it”,  “I’m too tired”, “I don’t have the money to buy things to organize”, “the kids will just mess it up again”, “I can’t get my husband/wife on board to help me”, “I never have time” …sound familiar?

These are lies.

Don’t believe them.

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Get out a piece of paper and write down a list of everything you want to accomplish at home. Put that list in a place that will be seen by everyone, everyday. Tape it to your fridge if you have to. Put EVERYTHING you want to accomplish around the house on that list. Big and small.

Now start.

Just do it. One room, one shelf, one drawer, one closet at a time.

Baby steps.

Dump everything out of that drawer, shelf, closet, cupboard and make piles of like items. Throw away or donate what you don’t want or need. Decluttering your home also declutters the mind.

When you are done with that one thing, big or small, go to that list and cross it off.

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Now, lets address the “I don’t have the money to spend on organizing tools” lie.

I am betting, and I’m in a lot of homes, that there are so many things sitting around unused, that you can organize with.

Glass jars, Ball jars, baskets, small boxes, any type of bin, even baggies can all be used to contain items.

I’ve had this glass jar from Target forever, (it was about $5), and there are a million uses for it. Markers, crayons, tape, coffee pods, cooking utensils, pantry storage, food storage, etc.

 

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I’ve had this pretty vase just sitting in my cupboard…store q-tips or toothbrushes in it, use it as a pen holder on your desk.

 

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These bins for art supplies and toys are from The Dollar Store. The labels are made from a Sharpie Oil Pen that was inexpensive and lasts forever. 

 

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These drawer dividers from  Target under $2! Again so many uses. Junk drawer, office drawer, bathroom drawer, pantry, etc.

 

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Still feel like “I don’t have the money to organize” is a good reason?

Ask yourself honest questions, when was the last time you went to Starbucks? Have you gone out to eat? Did you buy those cute booties that were on sale? Have you gone to the movies? Got your nails done?

If any of the answers are yes, then add it up, you’ve spent money on things you don’t need, while neglecting your real needs and desires to get your home under control.

It’s a proven fact, that whatever you focus on becomes a priority.

Focus on the things that you want to accomplish, not all the reasons that you think are keeping you from it.

Be positive about it. Instead of saying, “I am too tired to work on the house”, say “I have enough energy to do what it is that I need/want to do”.

Instead of saying, “I never have the time”, say “today, I’m going to put down my phone, put the iPad down, turn off the TV, and do something constructive with my mental and physical energy.”

Get your family involved. Call a family meeting. Tell them how important it is to you. Make it fun. Turn on some music, hand everyone a trash bag, a laundry basket, some cleaning materials and go to town. Kids love to help, make it fun and they will follow your lead.

Don’t believe the lies in your head. Turn those lies into positives and just do it. I promise, it’s really that simple.

And if you need help, I’m here, 

Lisa

 

 

 

What Is It Worth?

I’ve had some family members say to me, “who would actually pay for someone to organize their house?”.

I think it was an honest question.

 

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My question back to them was, if you have something that isn’t working, and you can’t do it yourself, isn’t it better to fix it rather than have it sit there broken and unusable?

 

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If I had a light fixture go out, and I could not get it to work, I would hire an electrician to come fix it. I would rather have that light in working order, than hanging there broken. It would be worth it to me to hire that job out.

 

The same goes for your home. If you are overwhelmed with too much stuff and you can’t seem to make it work, wouldn’t it be better for your whole family to hire help? A professional organizer has the tools and knowledge to help you reclaim your home.

 

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Most of the time all it takes is for me to come in and help a family reset their home. 99.9% of my clients have told me that they are able to maintain their home, now that they have the tools in place to keep it organized.

 

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These photos show real life… undoctored, unedited, unstaged real life. This family needed help. They felt it worth the money to hire me to come and help them. I worked with them for a week to get their home reset and back in order.

Much purging, donating, sorting and throwing away happened in that week. Also a lot of soul searching took place within the people who live there. What is all this stuff for? Does it serve a purpose? Does it bring joy? Does it sit there and keep them paralyzed in the mess? 

A gentle nudging from someone who can help was all it took for this family to lighten up their home. It sparked joy back into every room. The things they were holding on to had become a burden. It was worth it to them to get it fixed.

What’s a happy, organized home worth to you?

 

 

I’m ready to help spark joy into your home today,

Lisa

Is This Real Life?

Remember that funny you tube video of the little boy that had just come from the dentist?

“Is this real life?”, he asked.

Well that’s what people say when they look at Pinterest. And guess what?

This is NOT real life.

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In real life, there are clothes on the floor, coffee cups on the night stand, papers and candy wrappers on the counter, toys from kids all around…..etc.

 

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Most bathtubs have magazines sitting by it, soap and shampoo in sight, toys left in the tub from the kids, make up and hair products on the counter…..you get the picture.

 

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In most kitchens, there are scuffs on the cabinets, crumbs on the floor, dishes to do, and dinner ingredients sitting out that need to become a meal by 6pm.

 

A couple of weeks ago a reader sent me an email asking for ideas for her master closet. I most always turn to Pinterest to get ideas. And I always find inspiration there.

 

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But it got me thinking…..we don’t live this way! I’ve never walked into a Pinterest home where people actually live there….ever.  

 

Now….if I lived totally alone, then yes, my house could look like this. I am an over the top neat freak and want it picture perfect as much as possible. Clutter in my home equals clutter in my brain. I can “feel” when my house isn’t in order. I know, it’s weird, but that’s how God made me. But that’s not a realistic goal now is it?

 

I live with people that aren’t like me. And life gets messy! And I wouldn’t trade my people for anything! Not even a Pinterest worthy home.

 

Now this picture? This is real life. This is what a busy family with kids, jobs, school and crazy schedules looks like. This is what I help with. It’s not a professionally shot photo, cropped and lit and edited to perfection. This is real life. Real people.

Before:

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I take your clutter and organize it in a way that helps your family run smoother. I tell all my clients, “I love people not their stuff”. I’m here to help you, not judge. I want to leave my clients with tools to keep their home organized in a way that helps them. 

 

After:

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This is real life. This is what I love to do. This is what people that contact me need. “Help me simplify my life so that I can function on a daily basis and not be overwhelmed.” You got it!

Now this, this is real life.  I’m just an email away. 

 

Ready when you are,

Lisa