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!

How to Transform Under Your Sink?

I never thought under my sink needed a makeover… I mean who sees it but the two of us, right?  Then hubby installed a water filter system and I had to clean out underneath for him to install it.  UGH!!!!  Of course doing this triggered all kinds of thoughts on how I wanted to revamp the entire kitchen.  Funny how a simple task can get you thinking in the BIG picture, right?

But let’s start with revamping your sub-sink storage in a single afternoon so it’s as fresh as the cleaning supplies you keep there.

Step #1 – Clear the cupboard

I was amazed at the things under the kitchen sink!  So let’s start with a clean slate.

Empty your under-the-sink cupboard and place everything on a nearby counter. Yes, we mean everything! Throw out the empty bottles. Get rid of the supplies you never really use.  You know the one everyone said was so good but it doesn’t touch the dirt in your kitchen.  Now decide the best storage solutions for your space.

Step #2 – Gather supplies together

Separate the rest of the supplies into groups based on how or where you use them. For example, a Your Way Rectangle or two can hold everything you need to wash the dishes. Use a Your Way Rectangle Basket with a liner to contain polishes, detergents and other bottles. Turn a Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote into a mobile cleaning station with rubber gloves, multi-surface cleaners and a duster.  You can personalize them to keep your supplies neatly labeled and simple to find.  You’ve the “I can’t find it so I can’t do it” excuse, right?  No more excuses for anyone to shrug off cleaning duty!  Guess it means me too!  LOL.

Step #3 – Use empty space

If you are anything like me, you have a handful of supplies items which don’t quite fit into any category – or maybe they are used so much they defy categorization. A few tools and a few minutes can give you easy access to these items whenever you need them.

Add a tension rod to hang spray bottles so they’re always a cinch to reach. Fasten hangers inside the doors to store scrubbers, dusters, towels and other frequently-used supplies.

Cleaning up is far less of a chore when your tools are organized and easy to find. A fresh new look under the sink may be all you need to spark your own cleaning expedition!

Check out this makeover video:

Need help?  How about snapping a picture of your problem area, send it to me and I will help you get organized?  Live close enough and I will be happy to come to you with tips and tricks (not only Thirty One solutions) to help you get organized.

Let’s start today to tackle your “get organized” New Year’s Resolution…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Organizing with Thirty One

The new year is here and Thirty One has everything you will need to help you get organized this year.  I will be getting a sneak peak of the NEW Spring catalog on Saturday at Product Premiere.  It is always an exciting and fun time, connecting with my Thirty One sisters.  Yes, I squirreled…

Thirty One has been showing their appreciation for you, our customers since mid-December with Weekly Deals.  This is a NEW version of our annual Outlet Sale, the best part is NEW products are added every week.  Some are retired prints and products while others are currently prints and products which may (or may not) be available in the NEW Spring catalog.  Be sure to check them out.  The sale only lasts until January 14th.

I know, what does all of this have to do with organizing, right?  Well, this month we are introducing a NEW product from the Spring line-up: the Your Way Display Bin.  This bin lets you organize the rooms in your house or your closets, pantry or office space. The open design is short in the front and tall in the back for easy access and display. The side handles make carrying the bin and contents a breeze. It is  5″H (front)/7.5″H (back) x 15″W x 12.75″D, the best part is it can be personalized!   Check out the many uses…

Would you like help getting organized while earning FREE and discounted products?  Send me a snapshot (if you aren’t local) of the area you want to get organized, I will make some suggestions – options with and without Thirty One products.  We will schedule a 31-minute Facebook party to show you, your friends and your family how to get organized.  I will share solution sets and tips.  As friends and family place orders, you will be able to get organized with FREE and discounted products?  Easy, right?  I do all of the work and YOU reap the benefits!

As a hostess, you will also have the opportunity to purchase a Stand Tall Bundle which includes another NEW Spring product – the Medium Stand Tall Bin.

If you don’t like FREE stuff, then you can just shop.  Did you know it only takes 6 orders of at least $35 to get some FREE products?  No pressure!  You can shop the Weekly Deals and claim this month’s Customer Special with a $35 purchase…

Next week the Retirement List will be out as well as some sneak peaks of the NEW Spring catalog.  Don’t want to host your own party, join the fun as we “Get Organized” in my Facebook event.

Maybe you are stressing over the upcoming holiday bills or thought about getting a part-time job.  Why not try this “purse gig”?  Whether you are looking for some friendships/sisterhood, some me time or some extra money, Thirty One could be just what you are looking for.  This is a great time to join (believe it or not) as we ramp up for our 15th Anniversary Celebration.  You can earn money during the Weekly Deals, host online parties during the crazy cold weather and make your own hours.  There are currently TWO enrollment kits to pick from and a NEW one coming in the next week or so. Have questions?  ASK!  I’m happy to help you…

So, who is ready to get organized?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Prepping to Declutter

Happy Monday!  Everywhere you turn people are looking to declutter their home and their life.  Let’s be honest, we all have too much stuff.  Whether you are a confessed hoarder or just a gatherer – there is plenty of things we can let go of, right?  For some the process is easy.  My daughter used to say when I was in “de-clutter mode” – if you aren’t attached or a have a purpose, you are going.

I would love to say, I am the one who declutters and sells things.  Well, it used to be the case.  Set up at a local flea market, sell things dirt cheap and then donate the rest.  Unfortunately things have changed.  Flea markets are harder to come by and most people are looking on social media to do their shopping.  Now, it just is easier to donate things – to a local cause or to the church rummage sale.

The reality is many of us have a hard time letting go (of anything).   Have you ever thought about “prepping” to declutter?  Let’s face it, decluttering is hard. If it wasn’t we would have done it a long time ago, right?  

I found a great blog post by “Creating My Happiness” with some tips on preparing for our decluttering journey.  With my recent health struggles, I get overwhelmed easily by all the stuff in the house.  I would love minimalism but I am not sure it is for us, but I definitely wanted to get as close to clutter free as we can get.Mental Preparation
Yes, you need to mentally prepare to declutter.  You have to be ready to let go of stuff. I mean it is easy to say “we have way too much stuff” but when we actually have to declutter and toss, we have a hard time making it happen.  We develop attachments to our things, remembering where we got them or who gave them to us. Or are you a “just in case” person?  The one who keeps things around because someday you may need it.

On a sliding scale from 1 to 10, how much stuff do you have; with 1 being completely minimalist and 10 being Hoarders level clutter.  We are probably in the 5 or 6 range in our house.  If I honestly opened all of the drawers and closets.

Now, you know where you are in the scale – where would you like to be?  Be honest about it.    I mean if you are at an 8, you are not going to get to a 2 in just one round of decluttering.  Also, you need to consider if you would be happy living at a 2 with little stuff. For some, it is the stuff which brings them happiness more than it brings them stress.

What to have on hand
You are ready to go.  You have mentally prepared yourself and now you need to make sure you have the tools to help you be successful. Yes, there are tools to decluttering!

Garbage bags. I love the suggestion of having 2 different color trash bags. This way you can use one color for items you’re tossing, and the other for items you are donating. Kristen of We Are That Family. suggests the items we donate should be things we no longer need, but we would use ourselves if we did need them. Having worked the last rummage sale at church, we sale many things people should have just tossed in the trash or recycled like torn clothes, or broken toys.

Cleaning supplies. Yup, you are going to have to clean as you are clearing out stuff.  Dust bunnies have found a home.  Hairballs (the cat sheds like crazy!).  So, make sure you have a vacuum nearby, dusters, and cleaning spray. My new favorite all purpose cleaner is a vinegar/water mix because it gets rid of odors while it cleans.  I was amazed how well this simple solution cleans.

Your phone. No, it is not so you can check social media or get side tracked from you decluttering mission.  You can take pictures of items you want to get rid of, ask if anyone wants them, or sell them in a local tag sale group. The key is to put a time limit on how long you’ll hold on to these things though. Put them all in one spot (or box) so if they eon’t go, you can donate them.  You don’t want to clutter up another spot hanging on to things for others.

Having a moment of indecision?  Not sure what to do about something you have never worn or used given to you by a family member?  Call a friend, let them be your lifeline.  Use your phone so they can remind you, even though you get rid of the ugly sweater, you’re not getting rid of the love or memories of the person who gee it to you.

So who’s ready to declutter! What are your best tips for getting ready to declutter?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!



How to Organize Your Kitchen

our-kitchenHappy Monday!  I don’t know about you but the kitchen seems to be the hardest spot to keep organized.  Mind you, ours is one of those galley type kitchens in the condo so it doesn’t have much counter space to begin with.  Just one thing out of place and it is like chaos.

For most people, the kitchen and pantry are the most used ares of your home.  This is where family gathers, stuff gets dropped and where friends congregate when they come to visit.  Consequently, it quickly falls into chaos and clutter.

Here are some ideas for keeping the kitchen counters clear and the pantry organized. An organized pantry allows you to see what you have which saves trips to the store, money, and time.


Bananas are a must have fruit in our house.  So this is a simple fix to keep them off the counter.  I also find they don’t bruise as easily as when they are on the counter.  Separating them does keep them from turning brown longer but makes for a cluttered counter.


Do you love keeping things together? I hate opening the pantry and having to look around to find snacks. Using Thirty One’s cubes and rectangles allows me to keep similar foods together.  Personalizing the standards like snacks, pasta, etc can be done to keep things neat.  Or, you can use the chalk front and write your own label for those combinations which change frequently.  It makes it easier and faster to cook. Makes It easy to take inventory before I head to the store. Here’s a close-up of the bins:

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You can use them for various boxes of pasta or bags.  Since we are gluten free, I have found most of the pasta is in bags so the bins make it easy to keep the cabinets neat. Canned good are no exception to the keeping like items together rule. Canned goods can go into a bin, just like boxed foods. If you want to clean the shelf, it’s much easier to move one bin than all these cans separately.

storageorganizing24-300x214  I believe food storage lids are some how related to socks. They always seem to go missing for no reason and with no trace. Another alternative to keeping them together, and in a place you can see them, is critical to keeping them where you can use them. This can also be used to pot lids.  You can usually pick up stands like this in the dollar store.

double-duty-caddy Another solution to those pesky lids is Thirty One’s Double Duty caddy.  This handy bag works for craft, mail, car or cleaning storage solutions. It’s a great diaper caddy, too.  Approx. 10 1/2″H x 10″L x 8″D

8631800a Thirty One’s new Hang It Pocket Organizer is great for the kitchen as a command center.  Pockets for papers, keys, gloves or whatever else is tossed on your counter.  Get organized in the mudroom, office or playroom with this five-pocket organizer which can be tied on a door or hung on the wall. Extra-roomy pockets are great for craft supplies, file folders or even kids’ toys. Dimensions: 20″H x 24.75″L

What are some of your favorite tips for keeping your kitchen neat and tidy?  Share them with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!