Girl On A Budget

A financial expert, I am not, but I wanted to share a money tip for the month that has been working for our family:

PAY IN CASH.

That’s right. No credit cards.

We use this system for our weekly groceries and meals out because, well, things were getting out of control.

Simply stated, when you pay in cash it forces you to be more conscious about your spending.

All you have to do is figure out your target maximum and withdraw that amount in cash from the bank every week on the same day.

Every Sunday, I get our cash, monitor it throughout the week and it has been working like a charm!

When there is extra money at the end of the week we treat ourselves to ice cream or even a nice date night.

It is so satisfying to reclaim control over your finances!

Happy Saving ~

A Clean Work Surface

I find it impossible to work in a cluttered environment and try to keep my desk as clean and clear as possible – Especially since it’s in my living room!

Here are a few tips for creating a great work space:

1. Store all supplies in drawers or concealed storage, not on your desk surface.

2. Have something that inspires you visible – A photo, fresh flowers, a favorite book.

3. Create a simple system  to avoid paper clutter. I use a vintage wire basket to store mail, bills and upcoming projects.

~

Photo Credit: Hedy Macferran

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Clothing Swap

I was recently doing a closet makeover in LA with my dear friend, Jessica, and our session turned into a clothing swap.

She gave me a few of her adorable blouses that she was sick of and I returned the favor by giving her a top she had been coveting.

It was a total win-win as we both scored new items without spending a dime.

Why not try swapping with a friend or even arranging a clothing swap with a group of girlfriends?

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Freshen Up For The New Year

Around this time of year I always like to freshen up my home and get ready for a new year.

{A few ideas for you to try out}

1. File Cabinet Review: I hate paper clutter and hate filing even more. Every year, I take an hour or so to edit my files. All this means is giving each item a scan to see if it is still relevant and tossing as much as I can in the recycling bin. I generally end up getting rid of about 50% of my papers and then I have plenty of room for the next year.

2. The Closet Audit: A new year is the perfect opportunity to discard any tired, out-of-date or unflattering clothes that are cluttering your closet. Most people wear only about 20% of their wardrobe so unless something fits well and makes you feel fantastic I suggest selling or donating the duds to a worthy cause.

3. The Pantry Purge: Now is the time to toss any expired spices or canned goods, wipe down your surfaces, and organize remaining by category – i.e all pastas together, all snack foods together. This should not take more than an hour or two and will make such an impact on your time in the kitchen!

4. Goal Setting: Finally, take a few minutes to imagine your ideal home. What would it look like? How would it feel? What would it contain? Perhaps it’s a good time to set a few resolutions for the coming year. Maybe you want to clean out the garage and clear space for a car. Perhaps it’s the year to invest in some new furniture or decor. Whatever the goal, plan a deadline, envision how great you will feel when it’s accomplished, enlist support to complete the task and go for it!!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

~

Good Stock: A Local Treasure

So excited to have Good Stock a few blocks from my home…although dangerous!

This charming shop is a personally curated showcase of gifts, accessories and one-of-a-kind shopping.

The owner, Dana Olson, personally picks out everything from the fabulous selection of home decor, to jewelry, cosmetics + handbags.

I am particularly smitten with the collection unique pillows and cozy alpaca throws.

Check out  their beautiful “gift coins” this holiday season for a rare and special gift.

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{Huge Holiday Giveaway!}

Drum -roll, please!

In honor of the holiday season, Simply Sorted is teaming up with personal style consultant, Jalyn Tani Lang, to offer one whopper of a giveaway!

Does your living room look like a bomb went off? Do you still have jeans from 1982? Want to freshen up your home and boost your personal style and wardrobe for the New Year? Enter to win The Fresh Start package from Simply Sorted and a 2-Hour Styling Session with Jalyn. It’s a double whammy pick-me-up (valued at $495) which promises to start 2013 with a bang!

To enter just like Simply Sorted on Facebook and submit your story via email  (inquiries@shiragill.com) by January 1st. Make sure to include your name, location, and why you are in need of a total revamp. (Stories and photos are also welcome).

The most compelling entry will be selected and the lucky winner will be announced in January.

*SF Bay Area only, please!

About Shira:

A Bay Area native, Shira Gill honed her skills as a personal organizer in Los Angeles, bringing order to the frenetic lives of agents, actors and producers. Now as the owner of Shira Gill | Simply Sorted, she works with individuals and families to streamline their homes and simplify their lives.  She is dedicated to helping her clients identify and prioritize what they really care about and to inventing creative organizational solutions that are easy to maintain. A member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Shira lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two young daughters.

About Jalyn:

My passion for fashion has been the constant through my various careers as teacher, modern dancer, environmental attorney, and mother of two daughters, now grown. Sewing and shopping for friends and family led to a career as a personal style consultant. My skills from my previous careers, my 40 plus years as an accomplished seamstress and tailor, my artistic eye, and my abiding love of fashion help me analyze and solve image and fashion challenges with creativity and understanding. Through personal shopping, wardrobe and closet consultations, I guide clients in defining and expressing their own unique sense of style.

The Luxury of Enough

I am so inspired by my new book: The Simple Home: The Luxury of Enough.

During this frenetic season of mass consumerism it is nice to hear another perspective on stuff:

“A simple house is a positive affirmation of ‘ the luxury of enough.'” By this we mean that designing a simple home starts with figuring out how much you really need and what you can eliminate.”

Pretty refreshing, eh?