5 Ways to Survive a Home Renovation

Renovations can be a major source of stress, especially if you decide to stay in your home through the construction process. Home improvement projects frequently exceed projected timelines and budgets, and can come with a whole host of surprises and challenges.

By preparing yourself mentally, and being organized from the start, you can help make the process significantly easier on yourself, and your family. See below for my top tips on how you can handle your home renovations without losing your cool:

Order in Advance

I was surprised to learn that the lead time on items like tiles, fixtures, and hardware can be weeks or even months. Do your best to select and order all of your materials well in advance so your project can keep moving forward. It’s also important to open and inspect packages as they arrive to make sure your order is correct and nothing got broken or damaged in transit.

Handling your home renovations without loosing your cool.

Plan for Contingencies

Save yourself stress and pad your initial budget by at least 20% to account for change orders and unforeseen circumstances. You should also make sure to budget for meals out and hotels or rentals if you need to leave your home for some or all of your project.

Pack Like You’re Moving

Construction dust can be pervasive and hard to clean. Declutter your living spaces and pack up all non-essentials to protect your belongings from dust and grime. You’ll thank yourself later.

Set Up Makeshift Kitchen

We were fortunate enough to be able to use our stove throughout the renovation process, but if you have restricted access you can set up a makeshift kitchen in a hallway, basement or other clear area. A coffee maker, microwave or cooktop can go a long way when you get tired of takeout.

Be Available + Support Your Team

Speak directly with your subcontractors as often as you can and make sure someone in your household is available to answer questions and help troubleshoot as challenges arise. Good communication will help expedite your project and make sure that your expectations get met. Above all else, support your team and treat them with respect. Lemonade or a cold beer goes a long way toward building good will, as well as expressing gratitude for a job well done.

Always make sure to keep perspective. If you have the good fortune to be able to improve your home, do your best to enjoy the ride and be grateful that you have a home to call your own.

Images: Vivian Johnson Photo

How to Organize Your Busy Brain

Do you ever feel like you have so many things swirling through your brain you can’t keep them straight? I’m right there with you! Here’s a simple 3-step hack I’ve been using to eliminate overwhelm and stay on top of my priorities:

Start with a Thought Download

Take a few minutes to get all of your thoughts out of your brain and onto the page. Just jot down every single thing you have to do, want to do, and feel like you should take care of.

3-Simple Steps to Organize your Busy Brain

Organize by Priority Level

Take each item and place it it one of the following categories: urgent, soon, or someday​. Sometimes this is all it takes for me to realize I have very few items to do that are actually time sensitive and truly urgent.

My soon list contains items I want to do that aren’t pressing or urgent, such as dropping off donations at my local charity or replacing toiletries and cosmetics. My someday list includes things like replacing the light in my bedroom, researching US road trip routes, and brushing up on my Spanish. I keep all of these items on an index card to reference when my schedule slows down. Just getting them out of my brain, and onto the page, gives me a lot of relief.

Organize Your Busy Brain

Schedule Your Top Priorities

Once you’ve categorized everything  in order of priority, make sure to schedule the most important items in your calendar to ensure they’ll get done. You can simply estimate the amount of time it will take to complete each task and then schedule away.

To give you an example of how all of this works, my current urgent list looks like this:

  • Prep for Closet Makeover Program coaching call – 1 hr
  • Write and review keynote talk – 2.5 hours
  • Confirm all in-person clients for the week – 15 minutes
  • Clean out kitchen cabinets and prep for demo – 2 hours
  • Confirm flights and hotel for Dallas trip – 30 minutes
  • Plan individual quality time with Chloe + Emilie – 30 minutes
  • Schedule weekly workouts and meal prep time – 1 hour

Once I have prioritized and assigned each task a time estimate, it’s quick and efficient to put each item on my schedule. As soon as something is scheduled, I don’t have to think about it anymore and I know that it will get taken care of.

How do you organize your busy brain when you feel overloaded with too many to-dos?

Images: Vivian Johnson Photo 

3 Steps to Improve Your Relationship with Your Stuff

Have you ever considered what you want your relationship to be like with the things you own? If you and your stuff were dating, how would you define your relationship? Needy? Dysfunctional? Erratic? Neglected? What do you want your relationship with your stuff to be like?

Read on for three simple steps to improve your relationship with your stuff
Assuming there’s room for improvement, read on for three simple steps to improve your relationship with the things you own.

Step One: Awareness

How much do you own? What do you own? Consider factors like volume, frequency of use, and quality. If you feel overwhelmed, start by looking at just one category at a time with fresh eyes. For example, you could pull out all of your kitchen appliances and then decide which items you want to keep in your home. Eliminate any duplicates, and if you own occasional-use appliances like a waffle maker or a panini press, decide whether they are worth the space they take up in your home. The most important thing is to be intentional about which items you decide to keep.

Always be intentional on the items you choose to keep.

Step Two: Use + Appreciate What You Already Own

Before you run out to the store or click the “buy now” button, try “shopping” from your own home. Most people have more toiletries, housewares, and clothing than they know what to do with, and yet we all keep bringing more of everything into our homes. The next time you find yourself reaching for your credit card, do a quick inventory check to make sure you don’t already own what you are about to invest in.

Step Three: Respect

This is a big one. Consider how you treat your physical possessions. Are the items you care about shoved in drawers or cabinets gathering dust or are they displayed in your home with care? Often, the things we would call our most valuable possessions are neglected in damp basements or crammed in cluttered closets. Decide which items you care about and then treat those items with the respect that they deserve – frame and hang your favorite photos, wear and display the jewelry that you love, care for your clothing, you get the picture.

Not sure where to begin? Start small and remember a little bit of progress is still progress.

The Before/After I’m Afraid to Show You

I’ve asked everyone enrolled in the Virtual Closet Makeover Program to share their “before” photos in our private community.

Posting pictures of your home, especially ones that you’re less than proud of, for a group of perfect strangers to view, takes real courage. I’ve been blown away by the dozens of women who accepted my invitation and posted, even though they may have felt some degree of anxiety or shame.

It got me thinking about what I could share with these brave women, and with all of you.

Virtual Closet Makeover before photos!

I wanted to take a leap and share something that made me feel a little nervous. And here’s what I realized. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be “perfect.” My home is objectively quite organized and tidy, but with young kids, and busy schedules, their room is not always quite as picture perfect as the images I share here.

This is how you typically see their room. This photo was styled by yours truly, and taken by the talented Vivian Johnson.

My girl's room when it's organized!

Since our girls are tasked with making their beds each morning and putting their own laundry away, their room seldom looks like this photo. Sometimes, it looks more like this one:

Most times, my girl's room looks not as tidy.Sharing this image may not seem like a big deal to you. I’m sure many of you are thinking that this looks like a typical kids’ room and I have nothing to be ashamed of. But, let me be honest – sharing this photo feels quite vulnerable to me.

I never judge my clients or their spaces, but I can judge myself pretty harshly. As someone with high standards and perfectionistic tendencies, I find myself focusing on the little things – the beds that aren’t perfectly made, the stuffed animals and polyester cupcake pillow that certainly don’t align with my style standards, and the clutter on the surfaces… But here’s what I do like about this image – It’s REAL. My daughters love their room, and I love that they feel comfortable, safe, and happy in their space.

My intention is that by sharing more than just the perfectly polished images that you usually see here, you will feel the same relief that I feel when I see other bloggers open up and share their less-than-perfect selves, lives, and homes.

I’m working on being kinder to myself and choosing authenticity and connection over rigid perfectionism.  Who’s with me?

Closet Makeover Program: Last Chance!

Registration is closing soon, and I wanted to give you one last reminder in case you still want to get in on the action!

Sign up for the Closet Makeover Program before registration closes!Here are a few details about how the program works:

Starting on June 1st, you’ll begin 6 weeks of instruction. Each week you’ll get access to a PDF workbook, and a supporting video, to guide you through the program.

As soon as you sign up, you’ll get access to a private community where you can connect, and share what you’re learning, with those who are participating in the course with you. This is where we’ll share tips, resources, and before/after pics – it will be so much fun!

You’ll also be able to submit your questions for live weekly coaching calls with me. You can ask questions about the course, your personal wardrobe or organizing challenges, or anything else.

CLOSET MAKEOVER PROGRAM

By the end of the program, you’ll have learned how to edit, organize, and style your closet like a pro. Most importantly, you’ll develop the lifelong skills of how to care for yourself and your space, and how to approach editing and organizing any space in your home (I’ll also be sharing lots of bonus content and resources like my curated product and resource guide).

Click here to register, and make sure to tell your friends to join the fun so you can support each other along the way!

Images via Vivian Johnson Photography for Shira Gill Home 

Virtual Closet Makeover Program FAQs

I’ve already had such an amazing response to the launch of the Virtual Closet Makeover Program, and I’m so excited to welcome more people from all over the world to join the fun!

The Virtual Closet Makeover Program FAQs Answered!

Many of you have had questions, and since there are only a few days left to sign up, I wanted to make sure I addressed them all.

Q: My closet is ok, but I need help with other areas of my home. Should I still sign up?

A: Absolutely. This program uses the closet as a vehicle to teach the skills of how to edit and organize anything. Once you master these skills you will be able to easily translate them to your office, your junk drawer, or anything else you want.

Q: My schedule is crazy. Can I do this course at my own pace?

A. Yes. The program is designed for you to do the work independently, when you can. You’ll have lifetime access to all of the content and videos so you can work at your own pace even after the 6-week course has wrapped up.

Q: I can’t make the calls. Will it still be worth it to invest in the program? 

A. Yes! We are hosting the Q and A coaching calls via Crowdcast, so you’ll be able to post questions in advance for each call and watch each call at your leisure. Replays will be available  immediately after each Q & A so you can watch whenever it’s convenient for you.

Q: Will I be able to make progress without you there in person for accountability?

A: Yes you will! I’ve broken the whole process into bite sized steps so you won’t get overwhelmed.  You’ll also get weekly email reminders, access to a private Facebook group filled with a supportive community of people, cheering each other on and sharing resources, and access to weekly coaching calls with me, where I will answer any questions and help you overcome any roadblocks that are in your way.

Watch the video here to learn more, and get a taste of the impact of doing this work.

Are you all in? SIGN UP HERE to secure your spot!
Images via Vivian Johnson Photography for Shira Gill Home 

Your Closet Matters: Here’s Why

When I was in high school, I started helping my girlfriends edit and organize their closets. My process was simple: we would take everything out, review each category together, and only put back the items that fit and flattered.

My favorite part was the reaction when we were done. My friends would walk in and out of their closets, beaming.  What I learned from those experiences, and what has held true through the years that I have been working with clients in this business, is that while a closet seems like a small and insignificant space, it is actually one of the most important “rooms” in the home.

The closet is where we start and end each day, and our relationship with our wardrobe directly influences how we show up in the world.

An organized closet matters!

An organized closet doesn’t just look better, it actually helps you feel better.

When our closets are set up like a well-curated boutique, we start each day with the message that we matter and that our own self-care matters.

Editing and organizing your wardrobe will help you show up in the world as a more present, intentional, and confident version of yourself.

Many of my clients and friends have changed their lives by doing this work.

They’ve improved their relationships.

They’ve gotten raises or changed careers.

They’ve even lost weight.

The best part is that you don’t need to buy anything to experience a massive transformation. You don’t need to take the Container Store by storm or redesign your closet. All you need is less.

If you haven’t joined the Virtual Closet Makeover Program yet, I’m here, ready to support you every step of the way.

If you feel overwhelmed by clutter or disorganization in any area of your life this course is for you.

Once you learn these skills you can apply them to literally any space in your home. Who knows what can happen once you get started…

Join here now.

Say goodbye to the piles, your home makeover heaven awaits!

Images: Vivian Johnson Photography

Vital Changes with Brooke Castillo

The first podcast I ever listened to featured an interview with Brooke Castillo, founder of The Life Coach School and The Life Coach School podcast.

I was instantly hooked, and in the period of a few short months, I went from dedicated listener, to student, to certified coach.

I’ve remained a super fan of the podcast, and when Brooke asked me to come on as a featured guest I nearly fell off my chair!

We recorded two episodes:

On the first one, we’re talking about vital changes and little things that make a big difference. I’m also sharing my simple hack for how to get unstuck when you feel overwhelmed by clutter and disorganization. Click here to listen.

The second episode focuses on organization and why it matters. We talk about the importance of putting in the work to create a streamlined, organized home, and outline the best ways to get started. Click here to listen.

Take a listen to The Life Coach School podcast episode I was featured in!

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording these podcasts. Bucket list item, CHECK!

P.S. Have you signed up yet to join The Closet Makeover Program? Get your spot before registration closes right here.

Image: Vivian Johnson Photography 

BIG News: The Closet Makeover Program Launch!

Today’s the big day: I am launching my first ever Closet Makeover Virtual Program, and I hope you will come along and join the fun!

Today's the big day: The Closet Makeover Program has launched!

This program can be done in your own home, on your own schedule, and it will help you:

  • Learn how to organize literally anything through my signature four step process.
  • Redefine and clarify your personal style – hello, confidence – goodbye, shopping mishaps.
  • Learn how to make getting ready an empowering process rather than a stressful one.
  • Learn how to create massive results in your life by taking small, consistent action.
  • Create a streamlined, stylish closet that you might actually want to hang out in.

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by clutter or disorganization in any area of your life, this course is for you.

This program is about way more than creating a streamlined and stylish space (although you will get that result as well). This program is about taking action in your life, committing to your own self-care, and changing your habits and the way you think about yourself and your space.

Click {here} to get more info, and sign up before registration closes! I can’t wait to share this with you.

P.S My big goal is to have at least 1,000 women take this program and I also plan to give away the full program for free to one person on each continent. I would be so grateful if you would help me spread the word to anyone who might be interested by sharing this link!

Images: Vivian Johnson Photography

My Impossible Goal

A few months ago I wrote about goal setting and hinted that I was working on something big. I love setting big goals, but it’s also scary to share them because… failure. I think we all worry that if we go public with our dreams and goals, and then fail, it will be humiliating. I also think that there is great power in being vulnerable, and I believe that most people want to root for us and help us succeed.

My big 2018 goal: a virtual closet makeover program!

So, here it is: My big goal for 2018 was to create an amazing virtual closet makeover program, that I could sell at an affordable price point to women all over the world. I truly believe in the transformative effect of the work I do and wanted to make it more accessible to more people.

Specifically, I want to have at least 1,000 people take the course this year, and I want to give the course away for free to one person from each continent (I’ll need your help for that part).

The Closet Makeover Program: Sharing all of my best tips, tools, and resources!

 

The program is designed to help teach you how to edit, organize, and style any space, but specifically your closet. If you have been feeling in a style rut, or frustrated with your overstuffed, disorganized closet, I am here to share all of my best tips, tools, and resources.

You can get on the waitlist right here and I’ll get in touch when registration opens next week!

P.S. If you know someone outside of the US who could benefit from this program, have them get in touch with me to apply for one of the free spots.

Image Credit: Vivian Johnson Photography