First Time Buyer Tips for Furnishing Your Home on a Budget by Marla Stone, The Organizing Clutter Therapist®
Being a first time home buyer is exciting. Moving into an empty house though will be daunting. First consider all the potential your home has for furniture placement, storage and great flow and energy. There is always potential for small, medium and maximum projects based on your budget. Taking your time to pick new flooring, and paint to make the home suit your personality may be something that happens down the road. But furniture, well furniture is important for every day functioning.
The first step in furnishing a home is to figure out what you love. Purchasing home decor magazines, and going on google images is a great way to figure out what style really speaks to you. It could be a mixture of styles, a more eclectic look, or it could be traditional, contemporary, modern, something with an Asian flair, or vintage. Finding the style you love is key. Print or cut out the photos that you love, and they will become your template.
Next is the treasure hunt. Your options for quality furniture are of course new furniture, but also there are on-line resources, social media markets, consignment stores, thrift stores and estate sales. Find as many resources as you can, where you will find the furniture of your dreams, for a fraction of the cost of brand new. Considering and figuring out the architecture of your home will help you also choose the type and style of furniture and decor you choose for your home.
Finding the correct, and quality furniture for a first time home buyer is important. When you start to look at the different furniture manufacturers understand that the current furniture on the showroom floor will be more expensive then perhaps furniture from a few years back. Furniture from on-line sources are a bit more difficult to check for quality, so take time to research whether the items are made of real wood, or pressed wood or cheaply made. Buying quality is the most important thing when furnishing a home. When looking at gently used furniture, make sure it is in great shape.
Careful consideration to furniture placement and decor items in each room is essential to having an ideal abode. Furniture, artwork and decor items that are too much or too little, or too small or too big will create an overwhelming or empty feeling. Going to furniture stores, looking in magazines, and on-line for how to place furniture, while having enough storage for your belongings, will prevent clutter and ensure a clean and open space.
Considering we sleep for half our lives finding quality beds for your home will be one of your biggest expenses, but your back will be happy, and good sleep always leads to better decision making. So sleep on what you really want surrounding you, and take your time to dream up a home that you will love for years to come.
Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Organizer, Decor and Feng Shui Specialist
owns and operates www.i-deal-lifestyle.com a professional organizing company.
Organizing and Designing a Small Space by Marla Stone, Southern California's Premier Professional Organizer
Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Organizer, Decor and Feng Shui Specialist has organized and decorated 1000’s of small spaces to know that owning or renting a small studio, apartment or home will be challenging when furniture placement is all wrong, and clutter abounds. Stone suggests the following:
-Bring furniture away from wall space so the wall will be available for shelving, or cabinetry.
-Use wall space for a built-in, cabinet or shelving.
-Categorize all your belongings.
-Find a home for each category based on how often you use the items in that category.
-Put things back into their home when you are finished with them.
Stone explains that when you have things that you use once or twice a year, such as a turkey platter, in a small kitchen, you are fighting the platter to get to what she termed "daily, weekly, and monthly items". Stone knows that when there is disorder, and things are all over a small space it will feel confining. Stone calls it the “hamster in the wheel effect”.
There is nothing worse then having a nicely designed space with piles of clutter, papers, books, and all your stuff on countertops, and corners of the floor. Furniture designed for small spaces is sold everywhere now. Stone explains that "It is a matter of configuring the furniture into the space, so that it creates great energy and flow, while seating as many guests as possible". She confides “Too much or too little of furniture and decor will create an uneasy feeling". Stone prescribes placing furniture so its open to the entrance of a room. Putting a couch with the back to an entrance of a room creates a block, and it becomes annoying and unsettling. Placing a bed in line with the opening of a door, or on the wrong wall may lead to restless sleep. Moving furniture around so it looks like a well thought out hotel suite, or model home will create a peaceful and satisfied feeling. Open space increases harmony.
Stone has a saying for people with too much stuff, in a small space, with little or no storage, “Where would you like me to put your stuff….., in mid-air?” Stone will share a “buzzilion" ideas for storage options, but some people think that their belongings will magically fit into their tiny cabinets and furniture. She exclaims, "People love their stuff but they don’t want it in their faces". More suggestions from Stone are to find furniture, such as a side tables in a bedroom, or end tables in a living room with drawers or a cabinet space. Look for pieces that you love but that also can be used for putting things away. Shelving with decorative bins, baskets, or boxes will hold things, and still look aesthetically pleasing. Sexy or rich looking cabinets with doors create an attractive, clean and tidy look, without overwhelming the space.
Getting creative with storing “daily, weekly, and monthly items” closest to you, and things you use the least furthest from you is a smart move for your space and lifestyle. Making good decisions about what stays and goes based on "Use, Purpose, Sentimentality and whether you love it at all”, Stone says is key to living comfortably in your small but precious space.
Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Organizer, Decor and Feng Shui Specialist, AKA “The Furniture Whisperer”
Southern California, Orange County, Long Beach and South Bay Professional Organizers. Getting Organized NOW!
Being a southern california girl, Marla Stone is a very fortunate person. Stone has lived all over So Cal, but her two favorite places besides OC (Orange County) are the Long Beach and South Bay areas. Stone went to California State University, Long Beach for her BA in Psychology and Masters in Social Work. She loved hanging out in Naples, Bixby Knolls, the East Village, Belmont Shore and Belmont Heights. She describes Long Beach as an eclectic and exciting area. The architecture in the Long Beach area ranges from high rises along the ocean, to historic homes, to bungalows, and even luxury modern. Stone remarks “You will find a bit of everything in Long Beach”.
Stone, a retired therapist turned Professional Organizer lived in the South Bay during her college years. In reminiscing she states “It was a pleasant drive and gave me time to think about my studies, and have some quiet time”. Stone first lived in the Riviera Village area of Torrance, and then Redondo Beach. She loved the party atmosphere of the beach towns, Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan. She loved hiking up in Palos Verdes and walking the peninsula trails. "I loved to go bicycle riding along the ocean path from Redondo to Manhattan”.
The South Bay area consists of Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills estates, Lomita, Torrance, Riviera Village, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Carson, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, and Wilmington. It is a diverse yet cohesive area that is close to the beach, downtown Los Angeles and Marina Del Rey. If Marla could live anywhere else she claims it would be back in the South Bay.
Stone explains that unlike OC, "The bike path, along the ocean of the South Bay is flat for miles and miles". While riding a bike from Redondo to Manhattan, you will see beautiful homes, all different architecture, single family houses, condos, and duplexes. Also there are really nice bars, restaurants, and always friendly people to hang out with.
Stone exclaims “I miss my 20’s and 30’s, college life, and the South Bay often. She misses it so much she decided to open an I-Deal-Lifestyle professional organizing company in San Pedro, California. San Pedro is a sleepy town and consists of the Port of Los Angeles, a major international seaport, and is in between Long Beach and the Palos Verdes Estates and South Bay areas.
The San Pedro hub serves all the areas mentioned above, and I-Deal-Lifestyle™ organizers will teach, coach and organize clients with the I-Deal-Lifestyle methods that were developed by Stone.
I-Deal-Lifestyle™ organizers will explain that “The beauty of the I-Deal-Lifestyle methods are that the I-Deal-Lifestyle clients remain organized long-term. The methods address not only clutter, but the root cause of chronic or what we call “Perpetual Disorganization”. “With our methods you will become ‘Perpetually Organized’ forever”.
Stone the owner of I-Deal-Lifestyle™ suggests that the proprietary method is the "Only way to get and stay organized for good". She explains, “Other organizers will help you purge, declutter, get neat, but the I-Deal-Lifestyle organizers do much more for you”. I-Deal-Lifestyle organizers will shop for the correct organizing tools, put together racks, find furniture / storage solutions, decorate, coach you for independent organizing, and teach you their methods. Stone is excited as she claims “You will be able to remain organized long-term, as long as you use the methods”!
The I-Deal-Lifestyle methods create a forever home, and business system which makes it easy to put things back where they belong. Owned items are easily accessible since a home is created for each category. A home can be a bin, box, shelf, an entire cabinet or any storage area you have. A home can also be a chest, a drawer, a bowl or a basket. For a clutter free life I-Deal-Lifestyle Pro Organizers categorize everything you own, and find the proper home by the size of the category, and how often you use the items in the category. The method is very specific and done in a very orderly fashion.
“It is a beautiful, and organized way to live out your lifestyle”, states owner Marla Stone. She imparts, “The inner part of your home consists of items you use regularly or what she deems as “daily, weekly, monthly” items. Stone started to realize that only daily, weekly and monthly items belong closest you, and things used less often go further from you. She found many people crawling or digging over less used items to get to items used frequently. Clearing your space of unused items or infrequently used items clears the path for every day life.
Find out more about the I-Deal-Lifestyle services by visiting www.i-deal-lifestyle.com or calling 949-709-7000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Marla Stone, MSW, a retired psychotherapist and current owner of I-Deal-Lifestyle™ a national professional decluttering service knows the difference between clinical OCD, and someone who is highly organized and tidy. Stone states "behaviors such as continually opening and closing doors, excessive checking to make sure the stove and lights are off, scrubbing enamel off of your sink, and scrubbing the kids too hard, while having obsessive thoughts of not being good enough can be behavioral signs of OCD." Odd behaviors which disrupt socializing, work, personal life, family harmony, and that take up a good portion of your day, could be a sign of a clinical challenge. Staying organized, being on time, overly clean, orderly, and fastidious, are healthy practices in life. Stone states “I have clients that say they are ‘OCD’, when in fact they do not meet criteria for OCD, at all.” Stone reminds clients that "being overly neat and wanting a permanent home for all their stuff, does not add up to OCD."Stone explains that “OCD is extremely debilitating, and the diagnosis requires a negative thought pattern, and a behavioral pattern that makes every day life miserable and confining.” OCD is one of the most difficult of all the parity mental health challenges to treat. “There is no medication that addresses the part of the brain that creates horrific mental pictures, and the intense desire to do every day tasks over and over again.” To understand OCD, Stone says “imagine putting a toilet seat up and down for hours, or going back to your house over and over and over again to make sure the sliding glass door is shut." "It is a challenge that haunts a person daily and sometimes will take hours of the day away from them."Stone adds that “checking to see if the lights are turned off, and then checking again is a good measure. Making sure the stove is off, and all the doors are locked are good measures. Sometimes even re-checking, when going on vacation, will turn up a left on closet light, or a floor heater. Sometimes we are forgetful so re-checking and questioning our follow through are both good measures of behavior. When a person, on a regular basis, is checking, and checking, and checking something over and over and over again and it takes up a good part of their day it may be clinical OCD. When the mind cannot grasp the task is completed, for good, that is when OCD may be a challenge. Getting a proper diagnosis, and a prescription, from a psychiatrist is recommended. Long-term therapy may be a good idea for people that have persistent challenges with daily functioning.
Getting organized after being disorganized for agazillion years is one of the most frustrating experiences you will have if you do it yourself. Getting a professional organizing team in for 3 days at the most will transform chaos into clarity. Having professional organizers eyes on your property is essential for creating a long-term organized home or business. The difference between doing it yourself and paying to get help is like moving a mountain versus a shopping cart. Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Organizer offers organizing, decor and feng shui services through her company I-Deal-Lifestyle™.
Marla comes into your world and first does an assessment of your space and your stuff. Commonly she finds that people actually do not have that much stuff, but that they have no place to put their stuff. Stone explains "It appears that there is an avalanche of belongings, but really there is very little storage and furniture to put things away. First everything in the home or business gets categorized. Next all categories are contained and then Stone looks at the floor plan. She makes adjustments to the space by adding in armoires, desk, dressers, and re-doing storage and closet space. "Space design and finding homes for everything is essential after the categorizing of all objects is completed".
Getting an I-Deal-Lifestyle™ home or business assessment is the first step to getting I-Deal-Lifestyle™ organized. Stone states "it's not about getting things shoved away to make your place neat, it is about having a long-term and perpetually organized lifestyle, for good"
Here you will find an array of blog articles about decluttering your home, life and how to improve your business strategy
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of