How to Shop Like A Professional Organizer

Hello, friends! I recently spent an inspiring week at Alt Summit in Palm Springs with an amazing group of professional home organizers. We talked about everything under the sun, and of course, all things organizing. One of the things many of us had noticed was that most of our clients had purchased organizing supplies and home decor that just didn’t work out. Has this ever happened to you? If you want to shop like a professional organizer, and ensure you’ll avoid this common pitfall, follow the steps below:

Edit First

Before purchasing anything, make sure you have done a thoughtful edit of your space. Once you eliminate clutter you will have less to store and you may even find the perfect bin or basket when you review your belongings. I can’t tell you how many times a client has hired me to purchase storage solutions and by the time we are done editing and organizing we find that they already have everything they need!

Make a list

I have a rule that I can’t enter the Container Store without a list. Here’s why: All of those bins and baskets and organizers are so shiny and exciting! They beckon to us “buy me!” and it’s far too easy to get carried away. Instead, once you have edited, assess your space to see exactly what you actually need, then make a concrete list to shop from and stick to the list. A typical shopping list for a kitchen will look like this: x12 glass jars for food storage, x2 utensil drawer dividers, x1 spice organizer and labels, dish soap dispenser.

Shop like a professional organizer with these helpful tips from Shira Gill Home. Measure

This is crucial. It’s a real pain to trek out to the store, shop, and return home only to realize that your drawers are only 2″ deep and your 3″ tall drawer organizer won’t fit. Save yourself the hassle and measure shelf and drawer width, depth, and height so you can ensure that the products you buy will fit just right.

These simple steps truly don’t take much time or energy, and will spare you from having a house packed with storage solutions you don’t need and can’t use.

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New! Closet Makeover Workshop

Back by popular demand, it’s the Closet Makeover Workshop! This one will be focused on helping you clarify and refresh your personal style as well as declutter and organize your closet like a pro.

Sign up for a closet makeover workshop with Shira Gill and learn how to organize your closet and create a personal style.

You’ll Learn:

*  Industry tips and resources for decluttering, organizing, and styling your closet.

* How to create a personal style statement that reflects your personality and suits your lifestyle.

* How to take the stress out of shopping and buy fewer, better pieces.

* The organizing products I use in every closet makeover and where to buy them.

*Answers to all your burning questions on wardrobe styling, capsule wardrobes, and closet organization.

The Details:

Date: Sunday, March 19th 2017 10am-12pm

Investment: $125 includes two-hour workshop, printed workbook, organizing labels, and refreshments.

**This event will be booked on a first come basis and is limited to only 10 participants. Email inquiries@shiragill.com to reserve your spot.

Can’t wait!

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5 Simple Styling Tips to Uplevel Your Living Spaces

I am so excited to introduce you to my dear friend, and self-taught design talent, Carly Waters, founder of Carly Waters Style. Carly and I share a love of clean, streamlined spaces and I am always gushing over her latest design projects and spot on styling details. Design can be intimidating, but I believe that simple touches like a bowl of lemons or a bunch of fresh flowers can totally transform a space. With that in mind, I asked Carly to share some of her best quick tips for making things pretty. Take it away, Carly!

Tip #1- Don’t underestimate the power of greenery. As someone who prides myself on not being wasteful, one of my favorite styling tricks is using {free} branches & greenery from my own backyard. I love a good peony as much as the next person, but you know what I love even more– living, free plants around my house.

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Tip #2- Books are key. Despite having no time to read any of these said-books, they do wonders for styling open shelves and table tops. Use them upright, stacked or leaning against a wall.  My number one styling tip with books is to ditch the book jackets.

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Tip #3-Take everyday objects and make them pieces of art.  We all need hats and sunglasses, so why not use those objects to style a foyer? Any eyesores? Toss them.

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Tip #4- Photo ledges are your friend. They are the perfect place to style all your miscellaneous art that works best as a collection.

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Tip #5- Elevate your everyday items & use them to style your counter tops. We all need mouthwash but who wants to stair at a Crest bottle? Not me. Instead, use pretty glass bottles for every day essentials like mouthwash, or invest in high quality products that are display-worthy.

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Thanks, so much for sharing, Carly! I’m off to hang a photo ledge and snip some green sprigs from my backyard! Make sure to follow Carly on Instagram to check out her latest projects and design tips.

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How to Host a Clothing Swap Party

Clothing swaps are a great way to clean out your closet, eliminate clutter, and upgrade your wardrobe with a few new pieces – all without spending a dime! I recently hosted my first clothing swap party and wanted to share my top tips in case you’re thinking of hosting one of your own.

Set Clear Guidelines

When you send out your invitation, in addition to basics like date, time and location, make sure to include clear guidelines for the swap itself. It’s important to limit the amount of clothing each friend can bring so that there’s variety but it’s still a reasonable volume to navigate through. I set the limit at one shopping bag or about 10 items per person and it worked well (we had a group of ten women). It’s also good to clarify that items should be washed, in good condition and without stains or holes.

Host the best clothing swap party with these wonderful tips from Shira Gill Home.

Include Options for All Sizes

Since there will certainly be guests in all shapes and sizes, make sure to include hats, jewelry, handbags, and even makeup, perfume or nail polish, so it will be easy for everyone to find goodies to take home. Since cosmetics are a harder item to donate, it’s always much better to pass on to a friend than toss into the landfill!

Merchandise Your Set Up

Make sure items are organized in clear zones so it’s easy to set up and shop. I hosted my swap at night when my girls were sleeping upstairs, so I was confined to using our living and dining rooms which are both on the smaller size. I set up the dining room table for tops and dresses, the dining room bench for skirts and pants, and placed a large basket on the floor for accessories and shoes. I printed out oversized labels for each category so guests could easily set up when they arrived and put clothing in the right zones. It’s also helpful to set up a “dressing room” which can be as simple as a full length mirror propped against the wall in a clear area. However you set up, make sure to remove any fragile or breakable items before the swap since there will be lots of action.

Clean out your closet can be made fun with a clothing swap party with friends. Use these tips from Shira Gill Home to throw the best clothing swap party.

Set the Ground Rules

To avoid total chaos, I had each guest pick a number out of a hat to determine “shopping” order. We went in order and each person had a chance to browse through the loot and pick 1-2 items they loved. Once everyone had taken their turn, we all browsed together and it was a fun free for all. However you decide to organize your swap, make sure the guidelines are clear and as fair as possible so each guest has a chance to snag a few favorites to take home.

Get Party Ready

Every party needs some good food and refreshments, music, and decor. I love offering a signature cocktail and making sure there are a few non-alcoholic drinks on hand as well. In terms of food, small light bites are best for a clothing swap so that guests can keep their hands free while they score some loot! If cooking is not your bag, a variety of nuts, cheeses, and crudités pair well with a selection of mini sweets or candies. About an hour before guests arrive I like to turn on some tunes, set out fresh flowers and light a few candles. It’s the little things!

Party food can be simple, clean, and greatly displayed in the simplest of ways.

Coordinate Donating to Your Local Charity

Inevitably, there will be unclaimed clothing at the end of your party. Do yourself a favor and connect with a non-profit or charity in advance so you can arrange a donation right after your event. If you have a big haul to giveaway, your local charity may even do a free pick up.

Looking for more closet makeover inspiration? Check out my latest collaboration with Rue Magazine: 5 Simple Steps to a Streamlined and Stylish Closet. 

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Shira Gill Home for My Domaine

Friends! I am so excited to share my recent three part collaboration with one of my favorite lifestyle blogs, My Domaine.

They picked my brain on everything from the most common home organizing mistakes to how to declutter and organize every single room in your home. That’s right. Every single room. You can read the full story {here} and hopefully find quite a few tips to apply to your own home.

Shira gill partnered with My Domaine to provide amazing tips on how to organize every room in your home this new year. From your entrance to your kitchen to your bathrooms, learn these simple tips and tricks to decluttering and organizing your home spaces.

Also, if you still have holiday decor lingering that you’re not sure how to properly store or organize, check out my tips {here} and spare yourself a headache next year.

Happy organizing, and hope your 2017 is off to a great start!

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How Do You Want Your Home to Feel?

Have you ever thought about how you want your home to feel? It’s an important question, and one that most people don’t give much attention to. Here’s why I believe it’s important to clearly define how you want all of your living and working spaces to feel.

  1. It will help you clarify your values.
  2. It will provide you with information which can help anchor design and layout decisions.
  3. It will make it exponentially easier to strip away clutter.
  4. It will help you create a home you love and feel good in.

Let me give you an example. We recently decided to invest in a new couch. I looked at magazines and design blogs for inspiration but felt stuck. The couches I admired made no sense for our lifestyle. They were made of high maintenance fabrics or overly formal for our family life. So, I sat down and thought about how I wanted our living room to feel. I quickly realized that while I loved the designer couches I had been eyeing, I really wanted our space to feel inviting and comfortable. We entertain and host a lot, so we also needed a couch which could seat as many as possible and which would be resilient in terms of wear and tear. Once I had clarified how I wanted my space to feel, and what functions it needed to provide, it was easy to pick a couch that met that criteria. We settled on this sturdy grey sectional, which can seat up to six people and hides stains well.

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Here’s another example: When I was in college, I decided I wanted my bedroom to feel like a boutique hotel. I drew inspiration from the chic, minimal interiors I admired and noted the themes I saw – minimal furniture, lots of white and neutral colors, good lighting, nice throw blankets and accent pillows. While I had a very limited budget to invest in new furniture and decor, I knew I could easily strip away clutter, rearrange the furniture and treat myself to a few accessories. Because I knew exactly how I wanted my room to feel, I could make decisions easily and had a clear roadmap for how to  move towards my ultimate goal as time and money allowed.

Fast forward to a few years ago when we bought our first home. I still wanted my bedroom to feel like a boutique hotel, and this time I was able to splurge on a an upholstered bed from Room and Board. The rest was easy since I had already stripped away the clutter and invested in simple white bedding years ago. The point is, no matter what your timeframe or budget you can take simple steps to achieve your ideal space by taking the time to think about how you want it to feel.

Room and Board Marlo bed

So, what about you? Think about one room in your home that you’re not satisfied with. How do you want that room to feel? What functions does that room need to provide? What are you doing (or not doing) to get the results you want? Make a list of three small actions you can take towards your goal. If you want your bedroom to feel like a sanctuary, start by clearing the surfaces and adding a candle or fresh flowers by your bed. Little things can make a big difference in how you feel in your space. Your home is a force that shapes your life. Even if your time or budget are limited, taking small steps towards creating your ideal home will feel deeply satisfying and well worth the investment.

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Goal Setting That Works

There is an art to goal setting and today I want to share the strategies and methods that have been working for me. If you are tired of watching yourself set goals and not honor them, read ahead for some practices that will ensure you actually meet your goals and make yourself proud.

Make Your Goals Specific and Measurable

I used to set the same goal every year to “work out more and eat healthier.” Sound familiar? Embarrassingly enough, it took years of this charade for me to notice that it wasn’t working. So, last year I made an important modification and made sure that my goal was both measurable and specific. I pledged to work out at least three times a week and eat one vegetable a day. While of course I have off weeks, this tiny shift has yielded massive results and finally I can say that I do work out more and eat healthier.

Make Your Goals Realistic

Often, when we are fired up and eager to make big changes, we make our goals unrealistic and set ourselves up for failure. When you are setting goals this year, stretch yourself, but also make sure you consider your current circumstances and constraints so you can ensure your goals are realistic and achievable. Example: I have two young children and run my own business. While I would love to work out every day, I set my work out goal for three times a week instead. Since my goal was realistic, I can now feel successful instead of beating myself up for not achieving perfection.

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Define Your Motivation

Once you’ve set yourself up for success by making your goals specific and realistic ask yourself why they are important to you. Everyone knows it is much easier to make a change when you are fired up and passionate about your goals. Ask yourself why you want to make a change right now? How would making this change make you feel? Spell out why your goals are important to you and your chance of success will multiply.

Plan + Schedule Your Goals

This crucial step often gets overlooked and is actually the most important. It is imperative to plan and schedule every step of your goal including the time to do any relevant research. Say you want to work out three times a week. The first step is to decide where and when will you work out.  Do you need to join a gym or sign up for classes? Do you need to purchase workout gear or shoes? Plan out every single detail that pertains to achieving your goal and make sure to schedule every action item in your calendar.  Schedule time to shop for workout gear. Schedule time to research and sign up for classes or join a gym. Then, schedule your workouts into your calendar and honor your commitment to yourself. Trust me on this. Plan and schedule and it will be done.

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Set Up Support

Tell trusted friends, family and colleagues about your goals and let them know how they can help you stay on track and accountable. Hire a success coach or start your own accountability group. Find someone who has similar or overlapping goals and check in with each other once a week. It is a rare bird who can stay motivated and accountable without any support. Ask for help and you shall receive.

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What are you cooking up for 2017? If you’re stuck, take some time to reflect on each area in your life and jot down a few changes you would like to make in each area for the new year. Then pick the ones that feel the most resonant and make sure they are specific and measurable. I would love to hear what you’re working on. Please share in the comments below!

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!

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The Top 5 Habits of the Highly Organized

Want to know a secret? Most people who are highly organized don’t spend a lot of time organizing. Read on to learn five small things you can integrate into your daily life to become as effortlessly organized as the pros.

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Prevent Clutter from Entering in the First Place

You know those free samples you’re given when you buy cosmetics? Or the free swag, mugs and pens you’re offered at conferences and events? Being conscious and mindful about what you allow into your home will prevent the future accumulation of clutter. It’s always ok to politely decline freebies and hand-me-downs and doing so will spare you from having to store and organize things you didn’t even need in the first place.

A Place for Everything

The number one rule for every professional organizer I know is that everything you own needs to have a clearly defined home. Make sure to store items in zones by usage so it’s easy and intuitive to put things away when you’re done using them.

Limit Paper Piles

Read and address mail on a regular basis instead of letting paper pile up and get overwhelming. If you don’t have time to deal with it, have one centralized location for to-dos and papers that require your attention. The few minutes you spend dealing with incoming paper every day will save you hours later.

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Don’t Put it Down, Put it Away

Instead of dropping things on random surfaces when you walk in the door, take the time to put your belongings where they need to end up. A little energy now will spare you a massive clean-up later.  Small proactive measures like placing a bowl on your entry table for keys, or mounting a wall pocket for incoming mail and magazines will prevent you from misplacing things and keep your home tidy.

Set Limits

Staying organized requires setting clear and consistent limits. Respect the constraints of your particular space and it’s storage capacity. For example, if you have a tiny linen closet, you may need to limit the quantity of towels and linens you own in order to maintain a streamlined and organized home. Practicing the one-in, one-out rule will also ensure that you keep clutter at bay.

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The good news is that once you’ve adopted these new habits, spending a few extra minutes emptying your work bag or opening your mail won’t feel like such a drag anymore. And if you keep it up on a daily basis, there will be less to do and less to dread.

 

Closet Makeover Workshop

Introducing The Closet Makeover Workshop! Based on your requests, I’ve designed a new in-home workshop for the new year. This one will be focused on helping you clarify and refresh your personal style as well as declutter and organize your closet.

Stylish organized closet makover

 

You’ll Learn:

*  Industry tips and resources for decluttering, organizing, and styling your closet.

* How to create a personal style statement that reflects your personality and suits your lifestyle.

* How to take the stress out of shopping and buy fewer, better pieces.

* The organizing products I use in every closet makeover and where to buy them.

*Answers to all your burning questions on wardrobe styling, capsule wardrobes, and closet organization.

The Details:

Date: Sunday, January 15th 2017 10am-12pm

Investment: $125 includes two-hour workshop, printed workbook, organizing labels, mimosas and refreshments.

**This event will be booked on a first come basis and is limited to only 10 participants. Email inquiries@shiragill.com to reserve your spot.

 

Can’t wait!

xx Shira

Your Clutter-Free Gift Guide

The 2016 clutter-free gift guide is here! The holiday season is approaching and I wanted to provide a roundup of my favorite clutter-free gifting ideas. Most people have more than enough stuff, so instead of splurging on the usual suspects, try these creative and more sustainable alternatives.

For The Foodie

A Stylish and Sustainable Pantry Makeover: The Bliss Haus Baking Kit includes a collection of assorted airtight jars, labels that don’t wash off, a set of beautiful recipe cards, pantry scoops, and a shopping list. I swear by this kit and use it in my own home. The airtight jars keep your goodies fresh for months and enable you to shop from bulk bins and ditch the bulky packaging.

Gourmet Goodies: Consumables are completely clutter-free once they are gobbled up! Cheese or wine subscription, fair trade coffee and chocolate or some nice balsamic and olive oils make beautiful gifts. These chocolate bars make a beautiful gift and would delight any chocolate lover, and I am always hoping someone buys me a cheese club membership from Cowgirl Creamery.

A Cooking Class: Most major cities have cooking schools which offer classes and workshops to non-professionals. Try buying a gift certificate or a specific class and accompany the gift card with a nice linen apron or a wooden spoon. 

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For the Mamas

A Speciality Service: Treat your favorite hard working mama to a service they wouldn’t normally splurge on. Who wouldn’t want a few hours with a professional organizer, a wardrobe stylist or a personal trainer?

Meals Made Easy: A gift card for a meal delivery service or a restaurant make thoughtful gifts, and it’s always great to have a get out-of-cooking-dinner pass.

Movie Night: One of the best gifts I ever received was when a dear friend offered to babysit so I could go see a movie with my husband when our girls were little. You could also treat a friend to a movie night in with a classic rental, popcorn, and treat bags.

Yoga or Workout Package: Last year my husband bought me a gift of yoga classes from Core Power Yoga. It was just the kick in the pants I needed to start working out regularly and remains one of my favorite gifts!

The Five Minute Journal: One of my favorite things and favorite gifts, The Five Minute Journal offers a simple (and efficient) formula to be more intentional each day, practice gratitude and create new habits. A perfect gift to start the new year off right!

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For the Little Ones

A Custom Cooking Kit: My girls love cooking so I had the idea of getting each girl a cookbook with ingredients for a recipe we can make together. The cooking kit could be bundled together in a pretty tablecloth, or muslin cloth, tied with ribbon or twine.

Custom Plates: My girls were delighted last year with these custom plates with their name and likeness. The cutest! The same company is also making customized bowls, placemats and notecards.

Artkive Books: Not sure what to do with the piles of art your kiddos bring home each day. Use the Artkive app to archive and store it digitally and create a keepsake book for each kid. Cut the clutter and keep the art alive!

What’s on your wish list this year? Please share any clutter-free gift ideas in the comments below!

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