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ORGANIZING

ORGANIZING

I want simple. I want joy. I want space. The KonMari Way.

I embarked in a journey to simplify my life. One journey that is filled with what matters to my happiness and to the happiness of my family. One journey that made me reconsider the amount of stuff we buy. One journey towards getting rid of the things I don’t use or enjoy anymore. One journey surrounded by what makes my life better.

Simplify my life starts with the everyday. Like many of you, looking for stuff in our home or the mess are a source of small family disputes. They are unnecessary irritants in our life.  The solution: finishing up the little things that bother us and tidying our home once and for all. Continue Reading

ORGANIZING

Boxbee: Simple Urban Storage Delivered at Your Door

boxbee

Many urban apartments and condos lack closets and storage space. Nobody wants overcrowded closets or filling their small spaces with large storage units. And for many people, renting a locker would be a waste since it will be almost empty. Boxbee is a startup from San Francisco that offers a storage alternative for those city residents. It provides a hassle-free solution for storing out-of-season things and other things that you rarely use. Continue Reading

ORGANIZING

Cool Organizing Gadgets for your iPhone and iPad

cord wrap by bobino

It was my birthday this weekend. I received wonderful gifts from my friends and family that show that they know what I like. I am sharing those two gadgets because I feel that they could be useful for you.

Cord Wrap by Bobino

It happens to me all the time. Each time that I answer a call with your iPhone, I need to ask the caller to wait while I untangle my iPhone earbuds. My Cord Warp designed by Bobino, and distributed by Kikkerland, solves this problem without taking space in my bag. The Cord Wrap comes in three sizes: the small one is for earbuds, a medium size organizes most of your usb computer cables while the larger size is designed for slightly longer and thicker cords such as your laptop cable. Continue Reading

ORGANIZING

Free Printable: A Fabric / Laundry Care Symbols Chart

fabric / laundry care symbols guide

Back in 2009, I wrote a post about tableware symbols. I never thought until today to publish one on fabric care symbols. Tired of running to my computer or having to look at other clothes to figure out what a fabric care symbols means, I finally decided to print a laundry care symbols chart. I didn’t do nothing fancy. A standard sheet protector ensures that my chart will stay clean and dry. I’m simply glad that I  just have to open the cabinet on top of my washer to see it.

Since I am probably not alone with this need, here the link where you can download Your Guide to Fabric Care Symbols.

ORGANIZING

Balcon and Bénitier by Inga Sempé Are Now Available in Ceramic

balcon and benetier by Inga Sempe

The Balcon collection that French designer Inga Sempé created for Moustache was originally made in beech wood. A white ceramic version of the shelf to screw and the tidy to screw are amongst the few new items that Inga Sempé will present at Maison & Objets Paris 2013. The Balcon series is great to deposit small everyday objects or to hang next to your bath.

top picture: White ceramic Bénétier (a tidy) and Balcon by Inga Sempé

balcon shelf and benetier (tidy)balcon collection in beech wood for moustache
Balcon collection in beech wood for Moustache

Her new Vapeur lamps with coloured patterns will be presented at the same time. Stop by Moustache booth, Hall 8 – Stand B23 to see them.

 

ORGANIZING

Finding Time to Decorate My Home

Burberry watch

Now that I have set my priorities for the year, I can start to take actions to make it a reality. My first task involves The January Cure from Apartment Therapy. I know me.  If I am not happy with the way my house looks, it will become a distraction. Before I wasted hours talking about what is wrong, become frustrated, I should act now. By getting my home into shape, get it clean, organized and under control right now, I will have no excuses to not concentrate on my plan. And frankly, the idea of the cure energized me. Continue Reading

ORGANIZING

My 2013 Year Plan

weekly meal planner

I don’t make New Year resolutions. Instead, I select what are the 5 areas where I will concentrate my time. I started this habit after reading 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman. His method attacks the work/life balance issue that we all face by allowing time for personal matter and for your career. It helps me to keep my focus on what I want to achieve and on what I need to be happy.

I achieve my ideal work/life balance by setting 3 career-oriented goals and 2 personal goals. Then, I decide what percentage of my time to allocate to each goal. I take a few minutes, daily and weekly, to check if I am on track with my plan. The simplicity of the 18 minutes method means that it is easy to manage, and, most importantly, that it reduces my chances to be distracted by other people’s agenda. Continue Reading

ORGANIZING

Track Your Time and Your Priorities with a Watch Diary and a Long Sticky Note Pad

watch diary

I always look for ways to track my time more efficiently. I am torn between the paper agenda and a Web tool. It is a constant switch between the two. Lately, I started to miss the use of a pen.

What I like about the Watch Diary is that you can visualize your day. You can see if what you plan to do can fit and compare your estimates to the actual time it took you to do a task. Since time management is always tricky, I like a method that enables me to better schedule my time.

watch diary
sourcing: Watch Diary $17 USD at Connect design

Wonjune Song imagined a different type of agenda. His Watch Diary serves not only to track your time but indicate how you are doing in regard to your schedule. The “red hand” of the watch indicates what you should be doing now (your current task), the “before hand” refers past chores and the “forward hand” indicates what you should be doing next. It is a tool to 1) Schedule your time more carefully and to 2) Check it more efficiently.

The Watch Diary contains two sections: 126 pages for scheduling and tracking your time and 70 pages to write ideas and collect slips. If your work requires that you are on the run often, it could be handy to keep everything in one place. I am tempted to try it to see how well its performs.

clock agenda page details

To Manage your Priorities and Keep Notes

If you need to keep a to-do list nest to your computer, have a look at this cute note pad. This long sticky note pad is designed for writing memos as well as resting your wrists while you type. 50 sheets of “Post-it style” paper rest over a sponge pad.

desk plus note pad
sourcing: Desk Plus Note Pad $5 USD at Connect Design

ORGANIZING

Freezer Storage Labels from Simple to Stylish

simplest frozen food labels

simplest frozen food labels
photography: Roland Persson for Brasserie Rouge cookbook | food styling: Linda Lundgren – via Hey Look

Style plays an important part in your life but I remain a practical girl. Sometimes that means to cut corners. A good example is when comes the time to track food that I will put in my freezer. I simply rely on a roll of plain mashing tape and the reliable Sharpie to write down the contents and the date. I do it because both items are in a drawer close by.

So, imagine the moment of pure delight I experienced when I spotted this superb picture from the cookbook of Brasserie Rouge, a Swedish restaurant. It elevated my process and gave me the strength to share this little secret with you.

Printable Freezer Storage Labels

To do like Martha, print your own freezer storage labels that include their own calendar to track the shelf life of everything in your freezer. There is even room to write down the year — I write down the year by habit.

stylish frozen food labels
photo credits: two templates by Martha Stewart | Freezer Storage Labels | Clip-Art Freezer Labels

stylish frozen food labels details

Before you head to the office supply store, note that you will need to buy a box of weatherproof labels for laser printers. As long as you maintain a fresh supply of label sheets, you can look stylish less time that it takes me to cut my mashing tape.

Are you stylish or simple when it comes to everyday freezer storage labels?

ORGANIZING

How the iPhone (and other Smartphones) Keeps Bringing More Technology at Home

garage door smartphone

garage door smartphone
credits: ad by Liftmaster

Our smartphone touches more and more aspect of our life. Manufacturers use the technology to help us control appliances in our house. I already told you about how everyone in my home use their iPhone or iPad to control the music playing from our Sonos music system across my home.

We are all familiar with the connected home. A simpler idea is for the garage door. Liftmaster — which desperately needs to bring his Web site to this century — lets you open or close your garage door from anywhere with your smartphone.

Home Appliances

Samsung is not the first company you play with the idea of Internet for your fridge. Now, they are bringing the idea to the laundry room. Samsung launched the WF457 washer and dryer series that is equipped with smartphone control. What it means for me is more freedom. When you are playing in the yard with your kids and you are not sure if you select the right water temperature or you want to know if you have time to go for an ice cream cone before the end of a cycle you can check/do it from your iPhone instead of running to your laundry room. Where I see the most value is that Smart Care detects and diagnoses errors and sends an immediate alert to your smartphone. No time is wasted. I would like that my dishwasher alerts me on my smartphone when one item blocks a spray arm.

Alarm Clock Apps

winter wake-up app
credits: Winter Wake-up

There is also the alarm clock. When mine broke a few years ago, I did not replace it. Instead, I switched to the embedded alarm clock. App developers tried to improve on it. Most of them do it by integrating the weather report. Alam Clock Pro is one of the most like apps in that category.

But I want an app that can do more that tells what is the weather today. I wish for more innovative ideas. I found one with Winter Wake-up. Living in a cold climate, I plan to use it this winter. For days where the roads are icy or when it snowed all night, this alarm clock app will wake you earlier than usual to give you time to defrost your car windows or showel the snow.

I see many ways where smartphone apps can make our life easier. What about you? Have you seen a cool home tech app lately? Which apps do you use to simplify your daily chores? Which one do you wish for?

ORGANIZING

Tea Towel Tote Bag Tutorial

DIY tea towel tote bag

DIY tea towel tote bag
photos: tote bags made with the tea towels from The Curiosity Shoppe at Target collection

It is a fast and easy sewing project that you can do for yourself or make a provision for your hostess or housewarming gift stash. You can use a brand new tea towel or go with a vintage tea towel that you like. The Curiosity Shoppe owners Lauren Smith & Derek Fagerstrom created this craft using the tea towels from their Shops at Target collection. Their repetitive pattern works well as a tote bag.

How to Make your own Tea Towel Tote Bag

Materials:

  • 1 tea towel
  • 1.5 yards of 1” cotton webbing
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Instructions:

tea towel tote bag tutorial

  1. Fold tea towel in half, right sides together
  2. Using a half-inch seam allowance, stitch up the sides of the towel, back-stitching at the beginning and end of each seam. Turn bag right side out.
  3. Cut the webbing in half to make the 2 straps.
  4. Pin the ends of each strap 1” down from the top of the bag and 3” in from sides, making sure they’re not twisted.
  5. Attach the ends of each strap by stitching a square around the edges of the 1” tail of webbing, removing the pins as you go.

You are done! I fold my textile tote bag and carry it in my handbag. I bought mine on Etsy. I might start to make my own tote bag.