Easy Decorating Hacks

I dream of uncluttered shelves, do you?  Yes, I may be the proverbial bag lady but organizing my own home is a challenge mainly because I have “a gatherer (aka hubby)”.  He likes to pile things.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a piler BUT since I have trouble processing things, piles don’t work anymore.

Do your bookshelves look just like the stacks at the local library? Home libraries have much more leeway to turn away from the uniform and instead make a bookshelf more colorful, more fun and more YOU! A few decorating tips can take this utilitarian piece of furniture beyond the basics to become a bastion of your favorite books…and more.

Highlight your hobbies

Books may be windows to your soul, but your hobbies and interests say a lot about you, too. Combine them both on your bookshelves! Strategically place collections of your favorite items beside and in front of your books. Turn stacks of books into stands for small objects that you adore. Make every bookshelf represent the things that you and your family care about most.

Go beyond alphabetical

If your books are arranged from Austen to Zafón, you aren’t alone. But look past strict alphabetization (and the Dewey Decimal system!)  Instead group your books in a pleasing way to the eye – by size or by color. Mix things up by lining some books horizontally, stacking others vertically or even turning them spines-in! Don’t worry: We won’t tell your librarian!

Leave empty space, too!

Even if you have enough books to fill the Grand Canyon (I know we do in our house), squeezing them all onto your bookcase may not be the way to go. Leave some space and give your books room to breathe. Empty space on your shelves can not only give your bookcase a clean look, but it can even make a small room appear larger. (Best yet, this may be the perfect excuse to get a new bookcase!)

Forget the books

Believe it or not, books aren’t even a requirement on every shelf. Instead of banishing photos and artwork to the top of a bookshelf alone, try surrounding the books you love with the people you love! Set framed photos, pieces of art, houseplants and even layer empty frames to add personality and show off the items you love.

Hide the clutter

Bookshelves are very practical places to hold important papers and other items to be kept close at hand. But who wants to see a bunch of folders lining a bookcase? Use baskets to hide the mess within, and containers to keep files handy while portraying a much more pleasing facade.

Choose a Fold N’ File in one of your favorite Thirty-One prints to line up on your shelves, or a Close to Home Décor Box or Close to Home Caddy to add a natural wood accent to your bookcase.

Look at what’s behind

Pay attention not only to what’s on your shelves, but what’s behind them, too! Hanging wallpaper or painting the space behind your bookcase is a great way to add some zing and draw eyes to the shelves. Unsure about which color to choose? Start by looking at the hues that already fill your room on items like chairs and pillows.

How have you made your bookshelves uniquely your own? Do any Thirty-One products line your bookcase? What are your favorite items on your shelves? Share your thoughts with us….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Want to Fall in Love with Your Business?

I know you are thinking…. “why be in business, especially direct sales, if you don’t love your products and your company, right?”  Most of us get into direct sales because we fell in love with the product, not because it was “easy money”.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post about “Parent Your Business” where I shared what I learned in a seminar with Caryn Chow.  She talked about the need to parent our business with the acronym meaning:

P = Patience

A = A lot of Love

R = Resilience

E = Endurance

N = Nurture

T = Time Out

During the month of February our theme is LOVE, in all areas of our life.


Today we are going to talk about how your business is much like a marriage or a relationship (if you aren’t married, there are still some good tips so keep reading). Not only do we need to PARENT our business but we sometimes we need to fall in love all over again.


On a leadership call this past week, I was taken back to a time when I had a vision of my goals.  An emotional link to them.  As the story of my journey to leadership was shared, I remember the passion and the emotions tied with reaching the desired goal.

So, here is how your relationship with your direct selling business mirrors a marriage. You have a passion for the products and the company. You are committed for the long haul. You are emotionally attached to the vision and the people. BUT just like a marriage, it’s easy to take your eyes off what you fell in love – maybe the company changes their compensation plan, discontinues your best selling product or your team stops producing which effects YOUR paycheck.  Life happens and the road gets bumpy….

Some will jump ship to another company thinking the “grass is greener” on the other side. Others will continue a downward spiral until their sales are gone, their team is lost and they just quit.  Then there are those who desire to find the spark.  Those who want to ignite the passion in their business.  Those who want to cast their vision into the world and see what happens. Those who want to fight for their business, no holds barred.

Staying in love with your business requires the awareness and determination. How often take stock of how you ‘feel’ about your business?  Negative Nellie is a sneaky devil and she usually shows up when you least expect it.  When the shine begins to dim in your love affair with your business, it’s time to take intentional action.

Here are five things you can do to fall in love again:

  • Create a list of 100 reasons to be grateful for your company. I know it sounds like ALOT.  It is BUT if you push all the way to 100 – you will see something happen.  Believe it or not, the final 25 will be the ones which truly touch your heart.
  • Make a list of all the people who have come into your life through your business. No matter what your reason for joining a direct sales in the beginning, the “sisterhood” is what is a big part of why people remain with their company.  It is a blessing many of us never expected or thought of.  Take time to ponder what “the sisterhood” has added to your life.
  • Review the income you have earned.  Remember, you are in this to make money.  So make a list of all the things it has provided for your family or you were able to pay as a result of the income you earned.  Kids activities, credit card debt, school loans, household bills… get the picture?

  • Look around your home and notice all the places you find your products. Consider how they make your life and your family’s life better.  Remember you are a walking billboard of your business.

  • Make one more list, “How I have grown and changed through my business.”  This one is HUGE for me.

Take time, preferably an entire day, to appreciate your business. When you do, you will remember WHY you fell in love.  Then you will be able to count the many reasons to renew the love affair. You will be refreshed with a renewed passion and ready to get back to work!

My love affair with my business may waiver when Negative Nelly stops to visit.  BUT I am cashing my eyes on my vision and ready to put a plan in place.  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Struggle with Confidence?

Are you a people pleaser?  If so, you may struggle with confidence.  Why do I say that?  Well, as people pleasers, our world can be crushed when some says “they are disappointed in us” or they get upset with us.  Our confidence is shaken and the inner gremlins begin to bounce around in our head.

As we start a new year, it is time to work towards a new you.  One who is confident and believes you are good enough.  My goal in life has always been to bring a smile to the face of others.  Somewhere along the way, the people pleaser side took over and I lost myself.

Last year, I caught glimpses of how talented I was yet there was something deep inside me which believed I wasn’t good enough.  On the days I feel confident, I know I am good at running my businesses and the joy shines out for all to see.  On the days those inner gremlins are chipping away at my confidence, I sit in wonder and doubt about everything I have done in my life or am planning on doing.  Those days can be crippling.

I’m sure I am not alone.  Many of us have been taught to “fake it until we make it”.  For some it works – they can mask their lack of confidence closing the door on those inner gremlins.  There are others (like me) who wear their emotions on their sleeve.  How many times have you been told “get over it”, “pull yourself together”, or the one which makes me the craziest “you should be over this already”.

Sometimes it is more complicated.  Sometimes, it is tough to get over the self-limiting beliefs which have haunted us for years.  We can overcome them with compassion, and patience.

#1 Get to the heart of it

Your struggle with confidence exists for a reason. Maybe someone told you once you weren’t good enough. Maybe you weren’t nurtured growing up. Maybe you were crushed too many times.  Painful, horrible, heartbreaking things can happen in our lives. Some big, some small, which all affect how we feel about ourselves.  Diving deep into these experiences and our stories can help us connect the dots to see where we are now.

#2 But don’t live there

We get stuck!   Once we own the things which shaped and affected our confidence, it’s easy to feel defeated, overwhelmed, and even a little angry.  But we can’t stay in there because we can’t thrive if we do.  It’s our job to move forward, rewriting the stories we’ve told ourselves.  We need to grow confidence in our skills and in ourselves moving forward every day.  The most important part is  letting go of the things which don’t serve us along the way.

#3 Surround yourself with the right things

Everything we surround ourselves with shapes our perspective and experience – it all matters.  We need to surround ourselves with people who believe in us, who inspire us, and who cheer us on every step of the way.  Look for ways to push yourself to be the very best version of you.  STOMP out those inner gremlins which make you feel small or overwhelmed. It is important to nurture your mind and your body. Fill your days with the things which bring you joy, inspires you to take action, and supports you to show up with a whole heart to your work and your life.

#4 Focus on you, not your fears

Fear can be healthy and it is an unavoidable part of living life. But when we devote our time and energy to honing, growing, and nurturing ourselves, we can grow confident in our creative work and life.  The more we show ourselves what we’re capable of, the more we build grow and the more confident we become.  Don’t let self-doubt and fear distract you from becoming the crazy-awesome creative person you’re meant to be.

#5 You’re the one who your lack of confidence hurts the most

OUCH!  This is and was the toughest realization for me.  If I give into my fears, if I let my self-doubt take the wheel, the person who suffers the most is me.  Believe me is won’t be easy – facing ourselves, our biggest fears, and our toughest experiences.  By believing we are capable of more, and we are worthy of running in the direction of a life which feels true to us takes a whole lot of courage.  Becoming confident takes time.  We need to show up every day, even when this inner gremlins in our head are telling us we should quit.  We need to push through the crap so we can get to the good stuff.

The truth is: it’s always, always, worth it.  When we believe in ourselves, once we bear witness to our gifts, strengths, and creativity, we can start to do incredible work in the world and  build a life which is impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Let’s Get Organized

So, who is humming “Let’s Get Physical” as they read the title of today’s blog?  This month I am going to focus a lot on getting organized.  WHY?  Because it is the top New Year’s Resolutions people make.  Was it one of yours?

I admit I can be a ‘hot mess”!   From my desk and my office to the dust bunnies under the coach.  I  love to de-clutter and organize but am often overwhelmed by it.  Crazy right since I have lots of tips for everyone else?  I used to be a “just in case” gal.  The one who saved things in case they were needed from crafts to knickknacks…. you get the picture.

I am working on a room, maybe a closet/cabinet at a time cleaning things out.  One the outside it may not look like much has been cleaned out but believe me, I have been decluttering.

Are you feeling overwhelmed already in the New Year?  Day 3 with everyone is back to work and school.  Do you have a hundred things going on –  work, family, social life, daily responsibilities, goals, and the list goes on, right?  Has the day just started and you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all?

I tend to overcomplicate things. It isn’t intentional, it just happens. We are going to work on clearing the clutter (a little bit at a time) – emotionally and physically.  Once the clutter is gone, we can embrace the many blessings the Universe has for us.  So, here is some basics and we will talk about all of them in more detail as the month goes on…


Don’t let the dishes pile up in the sink.  Put them in the dishwasher or wash them up.  Make the bed right after you get up in the morning. Open the mail as soon as you get home – tossing the junk mail. Have one spot to read later.  Doing things “as you go” will keep things neat.  It will also keep you from feeling overwhelmed or like you are constantly cleaning.


We all have toxic relationships.  The people who suck the energy from us, are negative all of the time or just aren’t good for you. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with people like this. Your time is precious, so you want to spend it with people you care about, and people who make you feel good about you.  This is a process.


OMG!  You will be amazed at the difference this makes in your life.  How many hours do you spend deleting messages from your inbox without even reading the email? I routinely unsubscribe to lists instead of just hitting delete.  When you unsubscribe, you also stop getting emails from their “associates”.  Unsubscribing will not only make your inbox easier to read but may also cut down on the impulse shopping.  A whole other subject!


Get rid of old things like clothes, dishes, electronics, magazines, furniture you no longer need- donate what you can.  Too many material possessions sitting around can make you feel drained and can complicate things,  taking your attention away from what matter’s most.


Write down your top 3 daily goals. I put them in my planner and block time for – reading, cleaning tasks, calls to make, errands to run and  general life stuff.  I limit myself to 3 tasks in my business and 3 tasks in my home.  It has helped me to increase my focus and get things done.  It also helps me to stay in the moment when I am with friends and family.


We have all said it at some time “I’m good at multitasking.”.  Did you know multi-tasking is stressful and ultimately unproductive?   You can get so much more done when you focus on a single task, time-block and schedule your work.


Are you always running out the door in a rush?  What if you got up just 15 minutes earlier every morning?  Getting up a little earlier would give you more time to write your to-do list, prepare lunch and get ready for the day.  Write down the things you need to do in the morning and the time it takes to do them.  Then figure out what time you need to get up to get them done.  Be realistic!


This one is tough and takes practice, at least for me.  What matters most to you?  Home life, social life, work, side-gig, family, hobbies, friends, worship? If you are doing something you don’t love or it doesn’t give you value, give it up – if you can.  Focusing on the things which bring you joy or matters most to you will make a HUGE difference in your life.


How often do you feel obligated to say “yes” to something?  Did you know “NO” is a sentience all by itself?  We tend to forget it and try to explain why we can’t do something which opens the door for a conversation.  There is no need to explain yourself – if you don’t want to do it, just say no.

This year, why not focus on getting back to a simpler time in our lives.  Let’s start valuing our time.  Life is too short.   It is time to do the things we want and what we like doing. De-cluttering, getting rid of anything  which doesn’t serve you will help you simplify your life and feel more at peace.

Lots more tips and tricks on simplifying your life and de-cluyttering this month…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Declutter and Organize the Playroom

The holiday season is moving in and when Belinda was little, it used to mean a time to declutter and purge her toys.  When she was little, she had the toy box my dad made for me when I was little.  It had a “secret compartment”.  Actually, it had a board halfway down to make it easier to reach things.  So, the toys which were on the bottom of the toy box were placed under the board.  As time went on, those toys were forgotten about so it was easy to move them out.

Here are some tips which might help you get the kids ready for a declutter and purge project with the focus on cleaning out and not getting new stuff!


Start by watching what the kids are playing with and what they aren’t.  You will notice some things have not moved off the shelves or out of the coset for awhile.  Once you have an idea of what those toys are, start casually mentioning it might be time to let those go.  As a social worker, Belinda loved to help me at work by giving things to other kids who may not have things so it was always a great way to get her to clean out the toys.

Was I always right on which ones should go? NO!  There were times when I thought something should go and she had a totally different opinion.  As a result, her level of attachment to something made a difference too on whether it went out the door.


There were days when I would start to declutter on my own in her room.  I got rid of things which really needed to go (think: broken toys, unsafe things or worn out, trash, etc.).   I didn’t get rid of things she was really attached to but more things I knew she would never miss.  Remember the toys under the “secret compartment” or at the bottom of a toy box.


On a set morning of cleaning, or as Belinda would say “not attached, don’t have a purpose – mom is tossing” – I would ask for her help.  She knew, most of the time, what’s missing pieces, or hasn’t worked for a while, or what she is not using anymore, etc.  As much as she hated cleaning, she did like an organized room since it wasn’t very big.

Depending on the age of your kids, this process can be different.  If your kids are really small, you may want to go through things yourself and only ask them when something is borderline whether to keep or toss. As they get older, they might help for a little bit and them move on to playing or something since attention spans vary.  Be ready to be flexible with your kids since each one will process things differently.


This was always the fun part.  Belinda liked to share her things with other kids who may not have as much or better yet, sell them at a local yard sale for some pocket money.  Times have changed and now things are sold on Craiglist or in Facebook yard sales or maybe even the occasional garage sale.  I will admit, my favorite is donating to the local church rummage sale or homeless shelter.  Check out the various options in your area and let the kids help especially if you are donation them to a local mission or organization.


This was when we had the most fun.  It usually meant new paint for Belinda’s room and as she got older, she got to pick the colors.  Then it was all about making things easily accessible – to get things out and to put them away.  All this while making the very best of a small space.  We did closet organizers, and a loft bed which left lots of floor space to work with.

I really wish I had know about Thirty One back then.  From Your Way Cubes to baskets to totes and more.  A great way to organize things with practical, fashionable and durable products.

Here are some ideas:


Your Way Cube: Each Cube comes with side handles for ease of transport and either a clear PVC window or chalkboard panel on the side so you’ll always know what’s inside. Add a Your Way Cube Lid to allow for space-saving stacking and to protect items inside. Cubes are all collapsible when not in use. Holds up to 35 lbs.

Hang-It Pocket Organizer: This is a convenient catch-all for all the loose odds and ends. Use it to hold pencils, pens, staplers, paper clips, file folders and calculators in the office; note pads, mail, coupons, keys, batteries and flashlights in the kitchen; or gloves, hats, pet products, ice scrapers, shoe horns and more in the mud room.

Stand Tall Bin:  With 2 exterior handles and a sturdy frame, it’s easy to carry anywhere and capable of holding up to 50 lbs. Put one in each of your kids’ rooms for laundry or to store toys, games, play clothes or sports equipment, or place it in your guestroom to store extra towels, bedding, blankets and other useful items.

What is your favorite organizational tool works for you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!