Shop Green, Not Black by Marla Stone
When talking about shopping on "Black Friday" I assumed it was for people who are in the "black" with their money, yet considering most people are in the "red" with their dollars it may be a foolish jaunt out the front door.
People always want new stuff but then there is always "buyer's remorse" and returning items seems to be as popular as buying them. My suggestion is if you don't have the newest gadget, control the urge and wait until you find it on eBay or craigslist, facebook marketplace, let go, or nextdoor, hardly used or unused. By the way, I always noticed that black Friday is not the cheapest way to go, especially if you travel from California to Arizona to find shorter lines. The best deals on any new products seem to appear in February. The best, best deal is to not walk out the front door, and notice that you own the item you want, somewhere in your garage.
I decided a long time ago to stop buying newly made products, and concentrated on finding items that were slightly used or even new that someone didn't want. I have been a thrift, consignment, garage sale and swap meet shopper for years. I also like discount stores where the items that were ordered new from places like Wal-Mart, Target and Nordstrom end up at the end of their cycle, as a still new item, i.e. Ross, TJ MAX, Big Lots, Marshalls, The Rack etc... I will ONLY buy something new if there are no other options. I will shop the discount stores a few times a year, to buy things I want that will ultimately end up in our dumps. I find a lot of new and great stuff shopping green. The other idea I like is to find a local clothing designer who makes and sells their own one of a kind designs.
I have been buying brand new shoes, clothing, designer purses, art, fixtures, vintage dish towels, furniture, household goods and anything you can think of, primarily from thrift stores for over 30+ years. I started in Old Town Pasadena, before it was commercialized, when there were old Vintage Thrift stores on every street. I bought dresses and shoes from the 30's and 40's before it was even cool.
I have bought numerous paintings by established artists that have appraised for over $30,000.00. I paid close to $150.00 for the lot. The shoes I find, you will never find in regular department stores, or even your favorite boutique, since often times they are unused vintage and or extreme designer shoes (often one of a kind). I have bought Gucci, Ralph, Coach, Louis, Dior, etc... in purses, wallets and date books for pennies on the dollar. Hats, scarves, socks, skirts, pants, suits, and gloves vintage or designer, collectible and gorgeous, Chanel and St John. I have never felt deprived, and have refused to pay the big bucks to have luxury and love for beautiful keepsakes.
When you buy animal, leather or fur goods please find vintage or used products. Do not buy new leather and or fur products. Get leather, fur or items made from living things from your relatives and or thrift stores. I do not believe in killing animals for pleasure or to look good. Purchasing new leather or fur goods only perpetuates an already horrific practice of killing animals for vanity. There are plenty of leather goods and furs already on the planet to be enjoyed without contributing to more death of animals.
I have lovely Kreiss furniture and a handmade Italian Iron bed that is a one of a kind with two antique marble nightstands. I saw the nightstands on-line for $300.00 a piece (I paid $120.00 for both). I sit on designer chairs, and eat at a high end dining table that is worth $10,000 new (I paid $700.00 + $25.00 for delivery). All my furniture, except some family pieces are from consignment and thrift shops.
I have always supported local "starving" and non "starving" artists. If I meet an artist that I like, I always commission a painting. I have some of the most delightful art in my home, and knowing the artist that created it is even more precious. I would rather pay someone locally that I know has to feed themselves, and their family, then to buy some mass produced modern scenery art, from an "art fair." Many people started turning towards "junk" art, that looks nice, but those "paintings" are copies, upon copies, upon copies produced by large foreign entities that pay their local artists hardly a cent to paint them.
I buy fruits and vegetables, not at Vons Pavilions or Trader Joes, but at local markets and farms that only buy from local farms. It just makes sense, and I can even ask the store owner where it comes from and they can say....."Jones Farm down the way grew those peaches." I grow vegetables and herbs anywhere I can find dirt.
One of the most recent ideas I've had to shop more green and cut down on pollution would be for neighborhoods to choose only one or two gardeners, instead of having ten or twenty gardeners driving in and out of your neighborhood weekly. Finding two of the best gardeners to serve each neighborhood would save money, and your lungs from all the extra pollution. Gardeners would love the idea, since they would save tons of money on gas, and be able to work one neighborhood per day. I would also make sure the gardeners use electric instead of gas run blowers. Even better, get rid of your grass and plant a native garden.
I think buying green, shopping locally and supporting our local artisans, who paint, sew, create pottery, and can make just about any item you dream of, is the way to go if you want more stuff! Be creative and see how you can shop or think green!!
Marla Stone is a Lifestyle Consultant and Professional Organizer
Serving Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties!!!
Stay Motivated by Marla Stone
Closet Organization by Marla Stone
How do you organize a closet so that it can be best utilized for your stuff? Closets are tricky since you want to take all your closets and storage into account prior to organizing them. You do not want to do one closet at a time, since like items are best kept together. Also you want the items you use the most in the most accessible closet all together.
Closet Organizing Tips
1. Take everything out of your closets and storage except the clothing, and take a look at what you own.
2. Create 5 areas for sorting. Keep, Throw, Give, Donate and Miscellaneous ( the I'm not sure area).
3. Once everything is sorted and you realize what you are going to keep, give the stuff you are parting with a goodbye party (meaning you disperse it accordingly).
4. Next you take a look at your closet and storage space.
5. Now you are ready to take the items you use most often and put them in the most convenient spot. Work on putting similar items together i.e. all dog supplies together, all your luggage etc... That will make it easier to find your pet supplies or luggage when you want them. The items you use the least will go into the storage area that is the least accessible.
6. Fitting items in closets and storage so they are easily accessible, look great and fit like a puzzle.
7. Once all non-clothing items are put into the closets, sort through your clothing using the same 5 area method, Keep, Throw, Give, Donate and Miscellaneous. If your clothing is draped and stuffed into the closet, and you would want to remove them, in order to get to non-clothing items, sort through your clothing first. Take the clothes you are keeping, and put them back into closet prior to your non-clothes items. Clothes you wear the most and for the season we are in now (Autumn), make most accessible. If you do not have room for all the clothes you are keeping in your bedroom closet, put summer and spring clothes in a guest room closet. Keep Autumn and Winter in your bedroom. After arranging your clothing, then proceed with organizing non-clothing items.
8. Kick back and enjoy your organized closets, some extra space, and the ease of finding what you want when you want it.
Marla Stone is a Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Coach. Your home deserves to be beautiful now!
Call for a free 30 Minute Consultation! 949-709-7000.
Mood Matters by Marla Stone
Are you moody? Do you have chronic shifts in mood that disrupt you for hours, days or sometimes even weeks. Do you swing from a dark mood, irritable mood, angry mood, blah mood, to a hyper mood, or on top of the moon mood? Most people do have occasional mood shifts, but will adjust themselves back to a balanced state fairly quickly. Some people have what I call "irritable mood syndrome". You never know if the moody guy or gal will be easy peasy or lumpy, grumpy. When you are around a person with a mood issue you don't know if you will have the time of your life or get slammed. It will be like walking on eggshells, and their behavior can throw you off your mark instantly. If you are the person with a moody issue there will be a constant fight within to stay focused, organized and creative. Getting rid of this pattern of groovy (stuck in a groove) moody nonsense will take some thought and time, but you can do it.
So what causes a person to be chronically irritable and moody? I always look at things bio/
psycho/socially. There could be a genetic reason for mood mischief, it psychological and or an environmental trigger. If it is biological in nature it could be genetics, suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, a medical/dental problem, lack of exercise or diet. Someone told me that when people's arteries start to harden they become impossible to deal with emotionally. The psychological push would indicate there is something that happened to the person, (a trauma, abuse, loss, rejection, low self esteem, poor self image, childhood issues) that caused an emotional/mental impact. The environmental issue will be where the person lives and or works ( too crowded, too polluted, with family they don't get along with, near chemicals, bad water, gloomy weather, near ground zero), or it could be something that is happening in society (war, politics, famine, revolution).
If people often ask you "What's wrong?", "Are you okay?", repeat "Why are your upset?", seem hesitant to approach you, eventually stop calling, keep their distance, stop inviting you to social events, create a distance between you and them, get upset with your behavior, you may suffer from an "irritable mood syndrome" (my definition), or you may actually meet criteria for a real
Psychiatric diagnosis and or Medical condition. The first step would be to rule out any Psychiatric and or Medical reasons with a Psychiatrist and or a Medical Specialist. If you find you do not meet criteria for a serious health challenge, then you may want to take an inventory of the bio/psycho/social factors. Did you have aggressive parents, siblings or relationships that scarred you? Did you have a trauma? Were you exposed to something environmentally that has disturbed your balance and sense of stability and calm? If you have difficulty identifying where the anger, disappointment, mood volatility is coming from, then seek counseling with a licensed health provider, and or get some coaching to sort through your thoughts. I talked to a young woman one day at a party, and she described her father as angry, annoying, narcissistic and controlling. She said "I just wish people could get through their shit". Pardon my language, but that is what she said. And I think it is true, that it is important to work through your issues. I often hear people say "get over it", but if you get over something it is still there beneath you. WORK THROUGH YOUR STUFF. It is your responsibility to wade through bothersome memories, hurts, wounds, disappointments, aggravation, loss, self pity, low self esteem, missed opportunities, accidents, health issues etc... It is up to you to be a kind, nice and balanced person.
If you have attempted to work through issues with a professional and you found it unsuccessful find someone else to work with that you can relate to. Keep going until you're balanced and know the issues are resolved. Sometimes group therapy is the best way to get a really good picture of your self.
You may ask what is a kind, nice and balanced person? Well it is someone who does not bark, put down, degrade, act selfish, constantly challenge, berate, aggravate, scape goat, cheat, take advantage of, overly demand, isolate, act out, yell, scream, hit another person and or animal. A kind, nice and balanced person is a person who acts in a manner that is gentle, kind, appreciative, consistent, respectful, considerate, intuitive, philanthropic, giving, thoughtful, constructive, considers the good for all, and has great manners.
Let me know your thoughts on what a kind, nice and balanced person is to you?
Needless to say, mood upheavals will impact your ability to stay organized, feel calm and collected and most importantly it can affect your health and relationships with
Important NOTE: The highest rate of psychiatric hospitalizations
is in October and the highest rate of suicide is in May. Keep an extra eye on
family, friends, and colleagues around those times. Look up signs of suicide on
Marla Stone Lifestyle Coach and Professional Organizer
She owns www.southocwellness and www.i-deal-lifestyle in South Orange County California
Professional Organizing Services, Personal Home Organizers, Home Organizer Services, Home Organization Services, Professional Organizers, Home Organization, Home Organizing services and is a member of NAPO. She also offers coaching and mentoring to increase wellness.
Call 949-709-7000 for a free 30 minute consultation. www.i-deal-lifestyle.com
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