The Container Store Buckhead Reopens in New Location

Yesterday the WOW team had the privilege of attending a blogger preview event for the opening of the relocated Container Store Buckhead. The new store, located on the corner of Peachtree St. and Wieuca Rd., is significantly bigger than the old store and appears to carry a greater variety of products. For frequent shoppers, the parking is also much easier!

The WOW team absolutely loves The Container Store for their multifunctional and innovative storage products, but also for their commitment to conscious capitalism. If you’ve never heard about the store’s corporate culture, you might be interested to know that it is dedicated to running their business in a way that is good for the environment, local communities, and their employees, as well as the bottom line. For example, their employees are paid significantly higher than the average local wage for similar jobs and receive 263 hours of training in their first year (compared to an average of 7-10 in the industry). Learn more about their Founding Principles here.

In celebration of the store opening, there will be events and giveaways held this Saturday and Sunday (11/10-11/11). Some of the reasons to check out the new location this weekend include:

  • Prize giveaways every hour, on the hour, including a $1,000 Elfa Space Makeover
  • $10 Store More Gift Cards for the first 100 Facebook Check-Ins &
  • 10% of all sales throughout the weekend will be donated to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Thanks again to Container Store Buckhead for inviting WOW to be a part of your grand reopening events. We loved the new location and will certainly be shopping there soon.

TWOW

Getting Ready for the Holidays: Gift Wrap

It is officially the first week in November, which means that the holidays are just around the corner. Each Friday until Christmas we will be posting ideas for how you can get organized for the upcoming festivities. Additionally, we are very excited to announce that The Well-Organized Woman will be releasing it’s first eBook on Organized Holiday Planning next week. Please check back then to download your very own copy.

The first item on our holiday to-do list is to review our gift wrap supplies. The act of looking through your supplies and determining what you have and what you need is important for two reasons. First, it ensures that you do not buy duplicates of things that you already have. Second, it should serve as inspiration for how you choose to wrap presents this year. If you have a lot of ribbons or bows you could make those the focal point of all wrapping this year. In other words, try to use as much of the supplies you currently have before purchasing anything new. Below are a few additional tips and ideas for maintaining organization of your wrapping supplies this holiday season.

  • Keep wrapping supplies organized in a portable carrier, such as the Gift Wrap Work Station from Container Store or the over-the-door option pictured below from Better Homes & Gardens.
  • Purge anything that is torn, ripped, or in other ways poor quality.
  • Sort decorative supplies by category. For example, keep all ribbons together, tissue paper together, and bows together, etc. Then sort wrapping paper by occasion, such as all Christmas paper together, all baby shower paper together, etc. This way you know exactly what you have for each potential gift-giving event.
  • Store gift bags inside of one large gift bag.
  • After wrapping gifts, make sure the supplies are returned to their rightful homes.
  • Donate any gift wrap you no longer want but is in good condition to Goodwill – another shopper might love something you no longer use!

 

Guest Post: Storage without Stowaways

It’s finally that time of year when we’ve had enough cool, crisp autumn days to pack away our summer clothes and bring our jackets and sweaters out of storage. This year, like every other, I approached the task with the anticipation of wearing some of my woolly favorites, only to find a less pleasant surprise when I opened the drawer: the unmistakable signs of case-bearing clothes moths.
As an art conservator who owns a pet and lives in an old building with the accompanying drafts and dust, I’m especially aware of pest control challenges and follow vigilant preventive measures. While the single moth casing I spotted means that these silent, destructive insects are nothing if not persistent, it’s possible to prevent a damaging infestation with non-toxic, inexpensive materials and a few easy steps.
● To Prevent clothes moths from entering your home, according to EZBBENYC Exterminator, you need to seal gaps in windows and doorways. Keep your home as clean as possible by clearing cobwebs and vacuuming regularly to remove dust, hair, dead skin cells, and other moth-friendly treats. This also prevents having a bat come into the house, and having to go through the costly process of  bat removal.
● Wash or dry clean your clothing before storing it. Developing moth larvae feed mostly on protein-based fibers but are more likely to be found among items containing sweat, skin cells, or food stains.
● Moths prefer humid environments. Control the humidity of your home and storage areas. This can be challenging here in the South, so I recommend the purchase of an inexpensive temperature and humidity monitor.
● DampRid makes a great series of inexpensive, moisture-absorbing products for use in closets and small storage areas. Silica gel packets, great for inserting in drawers and sealed containers, also control moisture and are available in different sizes for online ordering. It’s a good rule of thumb to change these when rotating your seasonal items. In addition to preventing moths, you’ll control the growth of mold and mildew.
● Traditional moth balls are effective but toxic. Along with lavender and clove oil, cedar blocks, shavings, and oil provide effective and inexpensive alternatives. For an easy DIY solution, simply purchase a bag of cedar shavings from a pet supply store, fill the feet of old pantyhose with shavings, and tie off the top of the “sachet”. Place the sachets in drawers, containers, closet shelves, or suspend from hangers to repel moths.
● If clothes moths, casings, damaged textiles, or other signs of infestation, are identified, inspect the affected area and all stored items thoroughly. If possible, check your stored items every two months or so for signs of pests.
● Insect infestations, mold growth, and climate control problems affecting art and artifact collections are best handled by an art conservator. Likewise, any major household pest control problem is best addressed by a professional exterminator, following with the steps listed above to prevent recurrence of the problem. For additional help in recognizing and controlling moths, check out this article.

 

This post was generously written by Erin Kelly.

Erin L. Kelly, M.A., C.A.S., M.Ed.

Art Conservator / Educator / Outreach
[email protected]

10 Ways to Start Living With Less

Many of us would love to minimize the amount of stuff we have in our lives, but don’t really know where to start. The culling process can, for some, be scary and for others, downright unimaginable. For people that fall into this category, we’ve compiled our favorite suggestions for minimizing your stuff.

1) 365 Items in 365 Days: If getting rid of a lot of stuff all at once gives you anxiety, commit to ridding your life of one item per day for a year. The item can be anything you wish it to be, but it must be donated, trashed, recycled, or gifted that day.

2) Expired Items: It’s very likely that you have medicine, beauty products, and food items in your home that are past their expiration dates. Throwing these items out is usually easy for most people, so it’s a great way to get into the spirit of culling.

3) One Item In, One Item Out: Although it won’t lessen your current possessions, committing to the goal of one item out for every item that comes into your home is a great way to maintain the current collection size.

4) Buy Multi-Purpose Products: Instead of buying many single-use products, choose products that have multiple functions. For example, you can save 3 products by buying a makeup with moisturizer, SPF, and anti-aging ingredients built in.

5) Clothing: According to statistics, we wear 20% of our clothing, 80% of the time. This says to us that you can donate a good portion of your clothing and not really notice the loss. Use the flip hanger technique once per season and cull the items that we’re not turned once.

6) Meal Planning: Americans often over-buy at the grocery store. Keep from committing this sin by planning your meals and grocery list before heading to the store. Do not buy anything off the list while there and you’ll notice less expired and wasted food in your kitchen over-time.) Unnecessary Buying: Have you ever gone to Target for toothpaste and come out with $200 worth of stuff? Keep the Target syndrome from happening to you, by taking into the store only the amount of cash you need to purchase the items on your list. By leaving the credit cards in the car, you’ll find you only leave with the items you absolutely needed.8) No Paper Rule: Almost all paper items in your life can be found in digital version. Bills, magazines, newspapers, coupon mailers, etc. can all be accessed online if necessary. Stop these things from entering your home by: signing up for a junk mail stop list, opting for paperless billing, reading magazines and news online, and committing to not printing unless absolutely necessary.9) Eliminate Duplicates: If you have multiples of certain items, donate, trash, or recycle them as an easy way to minimize the amount of stuff in your life. An common example of this is kitchen utensils. Often people have 3-4 of the same type of utensil, but typically only use their favorite. Get rid of the extras and you won’t even notice their gone.10) Examine the Excesses: Once per year, examine the things you have and decide what is really necessary. For example, if you pay for a gym membership, but have been once in the past few months, it’s not the best use of your finances. If your children have moved out and there are now just two people living in a 5 bedroom house, it could be time to downsize. If you pay for the premium movie channels in your cable package, but rarely watch them, shut them off and pocket the difference each month.

We hope that these ideas have given you some inspiration for how you can live with less while not sacrificing in terms of lifestyle and happiness.

TWOW

14 Ways to Prepare for Fall

Fall has arrived and that means it’s time to start readying our homes for the change in season. In order to prepare you and your home for the cooler weather, we’ve put together a list of simple organizing projects.

1) Warm Season Gear: Organize and store items such as pool toys, beach towels, and outside sporting equipment.

2) Garden: Prune your perennials, add a layer of insulating mulch for plant warmth, and trim trees that could provide a threat to your home during a winter storm.

3) Reorganize the Kitchen: Relocate warm weather items, such as ice cream makers, to higher shelves and shift down things like the crockpot and soup bowls.

4) Pool: Schedule an appointment for your pool to be winterized and mark the close-up date on your calendar.

5) Weather-proofing: Determine if your windows, doors, or pipes needs weather proofing or insulating. Clear out gutters and downspouts.

6) Heater check: Have a professional firm come and inspect your heating system before turning it on. If applicable, have the chimney swept.

7) Closet Changeover: Conduct the Fall closet changeover using the process outlined here. While you’re at it, purge summer items that were not worn this year from the collection.

8) Artwork: Set up a system for displaying, temporarily storing, and keeping children’s school artwork.

9) Prep the Coat Closet: Clear out space and organize the coat closet to accommodate for regular use.

10) Reverse Ceiling Fans: Keep the warm air down by reversing your ceiling fan blades.

11) Clean out the Pantry: Review the contents of you pantry and toss anything that’s expired or not being eaten.

12) Roof: Inspect your roof and repair any broken shingles.

13) Lawn: Have your sprinklers winterized and prep the lawn for the cold weather.

14) Deck: Put down a fresh coat of sealer on your deck and get patio furniture covers, if needed.

 

Good luck with your organizing projects and have a happy Fall season.

TWOW

Get Organized for Halloween

Halloween may not be one of the most important holidays, but for families with children the day can require much preparation. In order to avoid last minute scrambling, we’ve put together a list of things to get organized ahead of time.

1) Costumes: By shopping for costumes earlier in the month of October you’ll not only have a better selection, but you may also get a better price. Costume stores typically offer coupons in early October, so keep a look out in your coupon mailers or check online sites like retailmenot.com for discount codes for online shopping. For optimum organization, you should aim to have all costumes purchased by the second week in October.

2) Decorations: Halloween decorations can help to get your family and neighborhood in the holiday spirit. Plan on decorating your home and yard by the weekend of October 20th. If you’re carving pumpkins, ideal timing is the weekend before (27th) Halloween to ensure they stay fresh. Keep in mind when you are decorating that the weather changes quickly this time of year, so if you have delicate ghosts or spider webs, be sure to bring them in before any rain hits.

3) Candy: Stores like CVS, Costco, and Target have deals on large bags of candy early in the month, so now is the time to stock up on the sweets you’ll need for trick-or-treaters.

4) School Activities: Schools often plan Halloween activities, such as costume parades and trick-or-treating. Find out the dates of these events now and mark your calendars to ensure your child will be prepared. In addition to the activity dates, also add deadlines for costume and accessory (candy pails) purchases.

5) Trick-o-Treating Plans: Plan on setting up your trick-or-treat plans two weeks ahead of time. If you are coordinating with other families, set a meeting time, location, and plans for child supervision and safety. It’s also a good idea to assign each child a ‘buddy’ to stay with for the evening to ensure no one is left alone.

6) Party Plans: If you plan on throwing a Halloween party, you’ll want to send out invitations the first week of October. During the second week, you can start to plan decorations, food, theme, music, and other party needs. The third week is the time to firm up these plans and finishing buying necessary non-perishable items, such as decorations. The last week leading up to the party is the time to decorate your space and complete the grocery shopping. On the day-of, you’ll prepare the food and drinks, set up last minute items, don your costume, and get ready to have a spooky evening with friends.

7) Holiday Food: Although Halloween is best known for candy, some people have traditions that include certain Halloween foods. Ensure you’ll be able to make these for friends and family by making a list of foods and necessary ingredients two weeks before the holiday. When making the list, keep in mind the little items, such as spices for pumpkin seed roasting and drinks such as apple cider.

We hope that by getting a head start on your Halloween plans this year you’ll have more time to enjoy the festivities on the day of.

TWOW

20 Ways to Get Organized in 10 Minutes or Less

Most people would love to be more organized, but have a tough time executing the steps needed to get there. Fortunately, there are quick fixes that overtime can lead to a more organized life. Check out our ideas below and add your own via comments.

  1. Put away the stacks of folded laundry currently living on a chair/floor/dresser top, etc.
  2. Remove wire dry cleaning hangers and put them in your car to return with the next dry cleaning drop off
  3. Throw out expired food
  4. Review a stack of mail and trash, shred, or file the contents
  5. Gather excess travel size personal care products and put them in a bag for donation
  6. Toss single socks whose mates have long been lost
  7. Delete 25 emails from your inbox
  8. Pick one surface to clean, remove all unnecessary items, and return them to their homes
  9. Clean out your purse or wallet
  10. Make a To-Do list
  11. Recycle magazines that are 4 months old or older. If you would like to keep it for specific info, tear out the article and place it in a dedicated magazine binder with plastic sleeves
  12. While at the gas pump, do a sweep of the car and throw out any trash
  13. Add yourself to a ‘do not mail’ list, such as 41Pounds.org
  14. Create 3 file folders on your computer and add appropriate documents from your desktop
  15. Review your kitchen gadget drawer and pick out any duplicates. Place dupes in a bag in your car for donation
  16. Look through your coupon file and recycle anything that’s expired
  17. Select 1-3 pairs of shoes that haven’t been worn in the past year and ready them for donation
  18. Pick 3 file folders that you haven’t touched in a couple of years and review the contents. Try to throw out as much as possible
  19. Throw out expired medications
  20. Add 10 minute blocks to your calendar for future organizing sessions

Good luck!

TWOW

Internet Time-Suck: How to Avoid the Temptation

The distractions of the internet are never-ending. Between social media, online articles, email, and instant messaging, one can waste hours of potentially productive time on essentially useless browsing. The graphic provided from Nielson research shows the average ways in which we use the internet. We are all guilty of the internet time-such, but some have more trouble with it than others. In order to curb this potentially detrimental habit, we have a few strategies:

1) Determine Why: There is usually a reason why you are drawn into the distraction of internet surfing. Perhaps its boredom, perhaps attention-deficit, or maybe it’s a stress reliever. However, if you understand the why, you can more easily shift the habit into something productive. For example, if you are distracted by internet surfing due to boredom, consider instead switching to a new work task that will re-engage your interest. If you’re looking for mindless stress-relief, perhaps a quick walk outside the building would provide a healthy release.

2) Internet Breaks: If you absolutely need a internet break, determine how much time you can afford to browse and set a timer to keep you to it. The site http://minutes.at/ offers a free timer service that allows you set hard time limits per site. When your time is up, use an app, such as Pocket, to bookmark any pages that you’d like to come back and read later, so that you aren’t tempted to stay a bit longer.

3) Total Browsing Limits: If you are the kind of person who finds themselves lost online for several hours a day, consider setting a weekly internet time allotment. For example, if it’s not for work or school, you will only allow yourself 2 hours per week of browsing time. Keep track of your total on a notepad or phone timer app.

4) Minimize Opportunity: If you are under deadline or need to concentrate on something at work, turn off access to internet distractions. Close down your browser window, turn off instant messaging, and silence your phone from receiving social media notifications. This strategy also works if you need the internet to complete part of the task. The difference is that you do all of your online research first, copy the information to an offline source and then close down the browser to complete the work.

5) Block Access: If you just can’t trust yourself to follow the above suggestions, there is a more serious option available. Services such as, Leech Block for Firefox and Chrome Nanny for Google Chrome allow you to set preferences of which sites will be unavailable for access during which times per day.

Although internet browsing can be a very enjoyable and appropriate activity, there are certainly times that all of us have stayed a bit too long. Hopefully with these tips, we can maximize efficiency and minimize the time-suck.

Hobby Gear & Supplies: How Much Is Too Much?

Hobbies are a valuable addition to our lives. They give us something fun and recreational to focus on that isn’t work or other responsibilities. The problem is that many hobbies require significant amounts of gear or supplies. We often meet clients that while in love with the hobbies they participate in, are overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ they have collected to facilitate the hobby. In order to help limit the number of hobby items, we have several recommendations:

1)   Try Before You Buy: Often the instinct is that you cannot try a sport or hobby without first purchasing the necessary gear and supplies. For example, someone who wants to take up cycling may feel the need to get a bike, helmet, appropriate clothing, and anything else they may need before starting out. If the sport isn’t for them, however, this stuff ends up indefinitely taking up space in their garage. Instead of purchasing first, consider renting or borrowing gear to ensure that the hobby is something you’d like to continue long term.

2)   Set Your Limits: Another common hobbyist trend that we see is the personality who seems to enjoy the thrill of the supply acquisition more than the actual hobby. This seems to be particularly true of scrapbookers who often have enormous collections of supplies, with few finished scrapbooks. To keep this from happening, give yourself limits on how much you will buy, how much you will spend, and how often you will shop for hobby supplies. Make the limits firm and stick to them so that you don’t end up with excessive amounts of stuff with little time to use them.

3)   Pay it Forward: For those who fall into the category of large amounts of unused hobby supplies, there are many options for culling it from your home. Play It Again Sports will pay you for your used sports equipment. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and the other charities will accept just about anything you’ve got.  A final option is to post about the available stuff on your social media accounts. There’s a good chance someone in your network will be interested and you can rest assured that the stuff is going to good use.

In the end, the most important thing about your hobby is that you’re enjoying yourself; so have a great time!

TWOW

8 Reasons to Hire a Professional Organizer

We often meet clients that are well-versed in the general principles of organizing. They understand what needs to happen to get them on the right track and yet their homes are still disorganized. When they call us they are initially skeptical about the need for an organizer, but end up extremely happy with the service and results. You may wonder why is there such a discrepancy. We’ve put together the top 8 reasons why hiring a professional organizer is better than attempting to do it by yourself or with a friend.

1. Objectivity: We have no attachment to your belongings and thus can help make difficult decisions about parting with said things a bit easier. We come prepared with lots of thoughtful questions about the frequency of use, necessity, and usefulness to assist in determining whether to keep or cull.

2. Calm & Collected: We organize people’s homes for a living, so we’ve pretty much seen it all. No matter the extent to your organizing needs, we will not become overwhelmed. We can help you achieve this peace of mind as well.

3. Efficiency & Organization: Instead of just making things fit anywhere they can, we strategize about the bigger organizational picture to ensure that your home and life is left with increased efficiency.

4. Completion: When attempting an organizing project by yourself, you can sometimes get distracted and leave things in a more disorganized state than when you started. When you hire us to organize we promise the job will be finished to your satisfaction.

5. Expertise: We are full of recommendations for products, resources, and information that will help you to achieve the organization that you’re looking for. Be it a storage solution or a way of setting up your desk to maximize productivity, we’re happy to impart our wisdom.

6. Fresh Eyes: When you are living in the disorganization for a long time it can become normal and blind you to new ways of doing things. Professional organizers can walk into your home and see patterns of disorganization, as well as potential solutions that you may overlooked.

7. Maintenance Strategies: While physical organizing is the first step, keeping things that way is the hard part. While we organize we impart strategies for how to correct behavioral habits that are contributing to the long-term disorganization, thus leaving you prepared to maintain things on your own.

8. Donations: Before we leave your home, we take the items that you are donating to charity for you. It may seem insignificant, but often times people never get around to donating the items they cull and then they eventually reintegrate themselves into the home. By removing the items immediately we can guarantee this doesn’t happen.

Obviously we’re partial to hiring a professional to help you with your organizing needs, but if you’re still unsure, feel free to give us a call and we can discuss your particular situation.

TWOW

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