Thursday, April 26, 2012

Room switching and life changes

A little over two years ago, when my husband and I were still living in our previous apartment, we spent a couple of days switching most of the furniture between our upstairs and downstairs rooms and changing the configuration of my desk area and some of our other spaces. We did this a couple of months before we got married, and I documented it with this blog post.

A few weeks ago, shortly before the birth of our son, we did something similar in our current apartment. We moved my husband's office configuration to a different part of the house and moved a bunch of furniture around, repurposing some of it. The result is a dedicated baby room and a new set up in our living room/dining room area. 

Empty bookcases -- look familiar?
Books everywhere during the move.
The resulting baby room. Pretty cute!
New bookcase configuration.
One of my favorite observations about organizing is by Julie Morgenstern who says, "Every time we go through a major change, we experience a breakdown in our organizational systems." Last time that change was marriage, this time it was a baby, and each time reorganizing our space and shedding some of our stuff was a huge help in preparing us for those major life changes.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Craigslist tips

It's kind of amazing the sheer volume of things you can find to buy on Craigslist. Almost anything you can think of, you can find someone offering for sale, especially if you live near a major city. In theory, I love the idea of buying used items that need a home for low prices, where the seller gets to free up space and recoup some of their investment, and the buyer gets to help reduce waste by diverting something that might go to a landfill and pick up something they need for little money. However, it can be a hassle to get all the stars to align when buying and selling on Craigslist, so here are some tips.

Tips for buying on Craigslist
  • Never go to meet anyone to buy something by yourself, or at least let someone know the exact address of where you are going and call them when you have finished the transaction.
  • Bring small denominations. You might find you want to negotiate further if the item isn't as you expected it to be.
  • Ask a lot of questions before you drive to see an item. 
  • Don't pursue an item if the seller gives you the creeps. Trust your instincts.
Tips for selling on Craigslist
  • Ask a fair price. Whatever you think the item is worth, it's probably worth at least 25% less.
  • Be careful when giving out your home address. Make sure you don't get a bad vibe from the person, and arrange to have someone be home at the same time you are going to make the transaction.
  • Don't respond to emails that seem like spam or scams, because they probably are. Don't ever accept checks. Cash only.
Sometimes, it just isn't worth it. While there are a lot of people who buy and sell stuff on Craigslist every day, if you've tried to sell something and it's been sitting there for over a week, it probably isn't going to sell. Try offering it for free, use Freecycle or just donate it to your local Goodwill.

Friday, April 20, 2012

3 year blogaversary

Three years ago today I posted my first blog to Helping You Organize. It was about Vicky and Jen's podcast What Really Matters and their Monica Ricci-hosted Big O organizing series in particular. That series is still running, and still as fabulous as ever. There is no end to organizing topics that they can cover.

I'm really happy to have maintained this blog for three continuous years. It's been a wonderful outlet for me to share my ideas and to create conversations with my readers and colleagues.

Since I like numbers, here are some stats about my blog:
Total posts: 341 (including this one)
Average number of posts per month: about 9 1/2
Current monthly page views according to Google Analytics: about 700
Current monthly page views according to Blogger: about 2,500 (Not sure what that's about since they are owned by the same company)
Visits my first day: 7

I'm hoping to keep maintaining the blog as I get used to being a mom, but frequency of posts might go down! Let's see what the next year holds.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Organizational lifehacks

Lifehacker is a super fun blog that highlights all sorts of neat ideas, blogs and news about ways to make life easier or solve some of life's perplexing problems. Lifehacker's organizing category is chock full of fun organizing tidbits and a good place to go for a little organizing inspiration or just to waste a little time looking at stuff like Modify an Ikea Lack Table into a Dog Dining Table.

Image from Lifehacker.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The best way to fold a shirt?

There are a bunch of videos online demonstrating how to fold a t-shirt in the Japanese style, that should take about two seconds once you get the hang of it. It's fun to watch the short Japanese version of the videos, but kind of hard to figure out what to do.

I was skeptical of a video titled How to Fold a T Shirt in 2 Seconds that's two and half minutes long, but it actually is the one you want to watch if you want to be able to do this nifty folding trick yourself.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

David Allen's desk

I saw this posted on the GTD (Getting Things Done) Twitter feed, and loved seeing David Allen's workspace. It shows how simple a desk configuration can be, and I love how it's not completely minimalistic. It actually shares many elements that make up my desk area, down to the inbox and project support vertical file holder, with different aesthetics. Here are the two for comparison. Click an image to see it larger.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

23 1/2 Hours

Someone in my pre-natal water fitness class mentioned this video to me, and I found it very well done and compelling. It certainly puts into perspective the amount of time in a day, and how much positive impact spending just one half hour a day on something as simple as walking can have.