While kids and employees are being sent home, business and schools are closing down and a dreary cloud of doubt, dread and disdain hovers over you instead of delight, hopefulness and acceptance watch yourself and your loved ones. Protect yourself, not only from this creepy Corona Virus, but from sadness and depression, despondency and devestation.
Watch yourself and your loved ones and those in passing for signs of depression which manifest as: appetite and sleep changes, isolation, hopelessness, irritability and rapid mood changes, thoughts of not having purpose or drive, decreased motivation to do things you usually love to do and most of all suicidal ideation. Watch over your elders, watch over your children and watch over your partner, friends and extended family. Check in regularly with those you care about and your neighbors. You want to make sure that they are safe and sound during this trying time.
Keep positivity in your heart to maintain your own stability and force in the world. The closing of schools and businesses should make your heart more open than ever to fun activities, love and harmony. Keep focused on keeping up with work and school assignments, and tune into brighter times ahead, and your dreams and your goals.
Keep sight of all that you love about life, bake cookies, move some furniture around, spruce up your garden. Get a new haircut, organize a desk drawer and your pantry, watch some comedy, and clear up chaos in your life and your space when that has been an issue for you. Working on clearing and healing old wounds that come up during this rough worldly dilemma is a great thing to focus on, since old trauma can color your current outlook on life in general. Ask yourself why have I carried these old burdens around for so long?
The important thing is to be calm and focused, settled and undisturbed, relaxed and feeling love inside and most of all getting good rest and nutrition.
All things shall pass. This is not the apocalypse and even if that is the worst possible scenario, that we are all going to die, let's do it gracefully, let's do it with dignity. Let's not do it knocking down someone at the supermarket over toilet paper and a pack of water.
Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Lifestyle Organizer and Author of The Clutter Remedy: A Guide To Getting Organized For Those Who Love Their Stuff
Getting Rid of The Box and the Boxed In Feelings by Marla Stone
The weirdest saying of all is "Think outside the box." Why would anyone want to think outside of a box? Boxes are so bulky and difficult to put together and take apart, plus they're not great for the environment. Boxes hide things from ourselves so much so we forget what we own, and what we cherish or abhor. Getting on top of a box, or what is called a "soap box" to air your point of view or postulate a belief was quite common in the old days, and now that's where a box can be useful, especially in today's world. Yet, simply thinking outside of a box makes no sense at all.
Boxes are the bane of many people's existence when they have been shoved, pushed around and remain unpacked or dealt with. That's why I don't suggest ever buying another box for the rest of your life especially when you move, unless of course you cannot afford the alternative, the clear plastic bin. In that case please don't purchase boxes. Go to Costco or Trader Joes or a local retail outfit and they will give you, for free perfectly good and clean boxes.
The most common way to pack for a move now is to use clear plastic bins which saves time and money compared to buying, putting together, marking up and taping, breaking down and disposing of boxes. Later, the plastic bins can be used for the garage, sold or donated after your move. Clear plastic bins are a great way to move everything especially when you will be storing things prior to re-locating. Also when you are going to have a storage unit, temporarily you can still see your stuff and have easy access during the moving process.
Having boxed in feelings such as stifled, drowning, trapped, and stalled does not lend to what I call an ideal lifestyle and that is what I want for you most of all. Not something close to ideal but ideal in a big way. When you don't live the life you dream about and you don't fulfill the goals you've set out for yourself it can lead to self disdain, bitterness, and a general hopelessness. This is no way to live. You can start to take out your feelings of self pity or woe on friends, family, co-workers and anyone you come across. Not okay!
You and only you will determine what you truly want out of life, how your home and office will be kept and what kind of stuff and people you keep around you. Having a criteria for what you want in your life including family and friends is important. Just like boxes you want to remove toxic, selfish and impudent people from your life. Live freely, open and most of all healthy and happy.
Marla Stone, MSW Professional Lifestyle Organizer and Author of The Clutter Remedy: A Guide To Getting Organized For Those Who Love Their Stuff
Do you know the difference between clutter and great stuff? Do you think clutter is a creature of habits, or just piles of stuff? However you look at clutter I know you don't want it all around you?
Clutter is in everyone's life, even if it's not messy or has become a mammoth amount. When you look through drawers, cabinets, closets you'll find it. Clutter is everything you own, that you don't fondle any longer, you no longer use it, and its been sitting around and ignored for years while good stuff is used, caressed and loved and adored.
The simple reason clutter collects and "clutter clusters" appear, year after year, is because you can't make up your mind about what is clutter and what is the good stuff to keep.
The only way to make heads or tails of clutter is to categorize everything you own first. Seeing all like with like and how much accumulation you have puts things into perspective. Then and only then will you see how much stuff has meaning or no meaning at all and you will be motivated to part with clutter once and for all. Although engaging in a processes of identifying emotional clutter is the first place to start.
Emotional Clutter is symbolic of things in your life that you disregard, ignore, and push around in your mind; all the things in life that bother you. Emotional clutter are symbolic of memories you have forgotten, things that you covered up, and experiences you don't want to acknowledge. When this happens emotions and negative feelings spill into and soil your physical environment. Your outer space becomes a reflection of your inner turmoil.
Get clear on your emotional clutter with The Clutter Remedy™
Call now for a free 15 minute consultation. Get clear on clutter once and for all. Learn about manifesting an ideal lifestyle
Happy New Year 2019! You made it through the holidaze, yay! I suppose you created a New Year's resolution, correct? Well if so that's all great, but did you know if you're not really specific when writing out the resolutions, they may not stick. First, writing out your realizations from the year 2018 may be more helpful than you will ever realize! When you work on your realizations from the past year you will take inventory of all the great, good, and bad things that you experienced. Take a gander back into 2018 and see what worked and what did not work. To identify what you want to work on in this following year it is smart to know specific things to work on, so you're not just blowing smoke into the wind. When you realize things that went sour, or south, in 2018, it may be a good thing to work on specific behaviors to make sure you are going forward, instead of staying stuck, or at worst going backwards, down the rabbit hole again. You don't want to repeat the same mistakes or fumbles that created havoc in your life, again. Working on losing weight, drinking and eating less, finding a new job, writing a book, while all worthy causes, are so common that it may be more of a whim wish than a practical goal. Working on things that are measurable is much easier to achieve and will make you happier in the long run. Mending broken relationships, if they are with people that are very stable and supportive is a great idea. Working on repairing relationships with people who have never been supportive or helpful, bad idea.
The goal for resolutions is that they will solve things, and improve your everyday life. I think breaking up the resolutions quarterly may be a smarter choice than making big goals that you have an entire year to meet or not meet. So pick some grounded goals for the next 3 months. Achieve those goals and then make some more goals every 3 to 4 months. Breaking up the year and what you wish for in behavioral changes is much more practical than working on monumental achievements to be reached by the end of an entire year. It is a good idea to be kind to yourself even when you're not focusing and acheiving goals. Getting down on yourself will not be motivating for accomplishing anything.
Also, while being kind to yourself, be kind to others, but don't be a door mat either. Standing up to injustice or mistreatment is a strong willed behavior, and being strong willed is a good thing. When you cower to injustice you start to feel awful about yourself, and life. Choose jobs, people, friends and family that are supportive, have your back, and lift you up. Stay away from anyone that puts you down, or is not there for you.
The other things I recommend for 2019 is to do something different, and do something new, that you have never done before. Challenge yourself, not with risk taking or jumping out of plane, necessarily, but something that you've been saying you want to do, for a long time now,and do it!
Marla Stone, Author, Organizer and Creator of The Clutter Remedy™
Follow Marla on https://www.instagram.com/idealorganizer/
The holiday season brings many opportunities to give back to those in need. When trying to organize your home before guests arrive, use this chance to donate some of your unwanted things. After all, it’s a season of giving and there are plenty of ways your stuff can go to use again.
Any one of the charities below are a great place to give away your unwanted items! It can be difficult getting rid of things that you’ve held onto for a long time, but it makes it much easier when you know that it’s going to a good cause. If you have a number of small and large items to give away and don’t have a vehicle to haul it to a donation center, consider contracting a hauling service, such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Orange County that will donate your things before sending to a landfill. Although a paid service, it will save you the inconvenience of heavy lifting and driving to multiple donation centers.
Need help deciding what should stay or what should go? Let Marla, Professional Organizer, at i DEAL Lifestyle help you! You can Learn more about her decluttering techniques here.
From clothes to furniture, construction materials to knick-knacks, there’s a number of national and independent charity shops in Orange County. Use this guide to find out where your stuff can best be put to good use at.
Santa Ana ReStore - Habitat for Humanity of Orange County
Habitat for Humanity has a sterling reputation as a charity that gives back to the community and can be trusted to do more with the funds they raise. The Habitat ReStore's in orange county, a home improvement store by Habitat for Humanity, does that in some fairly clever ways.
Being a home goods store, ReStore can accept just about anything for donation. From furniture and appliances to doors and windows! It’s a great place to donate stuff when you’re remodeling or just clearing out unused items. People can then have access to home materials at a fraction of the retail price.
The wonderful thing about ReStores is that all the proceeds go towards Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, impacting the local community by helping homeowners build and upkeep affordable housing.
OC Goodwill Boutique
Located conveniently in downtown San Juan Capistrano, the OC Goodwill Boutique is a great place to donate smaller goods such as clothes and little knick-knacks that are lying about the house.
The drop-off door (located in the back of the store) is easily accessible and the staff is always super helpful and thankful for your donations!
Goodwill specializes in helping those with disabilities and other barriers to independence, and almost 92 percent of every dollar they raise goes towards their programs and services that help with that. It’s a fantastic charity and a great little treasure in Orange County.
This tiny little shop is a hidden gem tucked away in Placentia. They typically accept like-new clothing and knick knacks, which means you can also find some awesome treasures hidden within.
The proceeds from Charity’s Closet go towards funding H.I.S. House, a transitional living association assisting those who have been made homeless get back on their feet.
This is a great place to send any new or gently used items if you want to make sure they go to a good home, or just that their value isn’t wasted.
The Assistance League of Orange has many locations throughout orange county. Go to The Assistance League of Orange to find one near you. The Assistance League is your best choice to donate old uniforms as your kids outgrow them. Their friendly staff love helping children and low income families with uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, and more!
Instead of affiliating with any one charity, The Assistance League of Orange use their position to help out low-income families in Orange County and donate the rest of the proceeds to various local charities.
Once you visit this place, you’ll know your donations are going to good use. The clothes are being given to the people who need them most and the funds raised are assisting those in need in our own community.
The Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center
The Salvation Army has become a staple of American holiday culture in the past several decades. It’s gotten to the point where it’s difficult to imagine Christmas without thinking of some volunteer bravely facing the cold to ring a bell and advocate for donations for those in need.
Being such a large entity, in some cases they will utilize their network of trucks and volunteers to come to your home and pick up large donations. The Salvation Army will accept just about anything that’s in good condition and can be reused.
Located in Orange, their friendly staff make both buying and donating an enjoyable experience. Each donation made is tracked to make sure the donations and funds raised are go to places in need the most across America.
The American Cancer Discovery Thrift shops have two locations in Orange County. You can find high end furniture, home goods, and clothing at this boutique thrift shop. One shop is in Laguna Niguel and the other in Corona Del Mar.
Take the time this holiday season to shop, and help others out too.
Getting organized is simple with the i DEAL LiFESTYLE® method. The method I developed helps you not only get organized, but remain organized, long-term. When I started my business in 2010 I read every book on organizing I could get my hands on, and found that none of them really addressed the challenge of staying organized, for good. Most of the books were all about making piles and getting "rid" of things, and I did not see the correlation between people's stuff and becoming organized. Getting rid of things does not make you organized. A clear method for knowing what to keep, and for arranging and storing all of your belongings is the #keytogettingorganized for the rest of your life.
The first step in the i DEAL LiFESTYLE Method is to figure out what you love to do. Knowing what you value in life leads to knowing what to keep in your life. You want your objects to sync with your lifestyle. So if you love to knit, you will have your knitting ready and accessible. If you used to love to knit, 5 years ago, and you'll never knit again, why is the yarn and needles still occupying your space? It doesn't pay rent! If you used to do carpentry, but you have zero interest in carpentry, why is your garage stuffed to the gills with saws and tools for carpentry? Some things can be deemed sentimental, but usually stuff that has gone stale for you will also create guilt, and confusion about what to do with all the stuff you paid for, collected, and then stashed away. The motivation to sell, donate or find someone to give the stuff to, is met with thoughts ranging from "I should get back to that activity" to "What do I do with it all?" The answer is simple, be honest with yourself about the fact that you will or will not return to that activity. When you understand what your current interests are, you will sell, donate or gift the items with grace instead of regret.
Getting your space cleared up for the activities you currently love to do is a smart idea. Having things around that will be used, that serve a purpose, that you love, and that are sentimental makes perfect sense, and will supports the activities you currently love to participate in.
Step 2 of the i DEAL LiFESTYLE Methods is to categorize every single object you own into broad categories. So, for example, office supplies, books with books, knick knacks with knick knacks, kitchen items with kitchen stuff, and bathroom items with bathroom items, shoes with shoes and paperwork with paperwork. That may seem overwhelming, yet most people, once they start, find it completely therapeutic and eye opening. You end up re-visiting all things by category, and you will realize how much you have of every single thing you own. When you are not capable of such a project, due to health reasons, or lack of time, hiring a professional i DEAL LiFESTYLE Method® professional organizer will be a great option.
Step 3 is to go through all your stuff with the i Deal Lifestyle criteria:
1. Will I use it?
2. Does it serve a purpose?
3. Do I love it?
4. Is it sentimental?
With this simple, and to the point criteria, you will determine what stays in your life, and what goes up for sale, to donate, and or to gift. Some things may end up in the trash, or to e-Waste, but always dispose of things responsibly.
Step 4 is to fine tune the categories. So take a look at what you are keeping in your space, and fine tune every single object you own. So office supplies will break down into paper clips with paper clips, staples with staples, phone cords with phone cords, pens with pens and by color and type, paper work defined into categories, for instance banking with banking, invoices with invoices, receipts with receipts, and by date, and purpose, business cards with business cards, stationary with stationary, and so on. Putting the time into fine tuning is the biggest #secrettostayingorganized.
Step 5 is containing the categories, however big or small the amount is. You can use plastic zip bags, bins, decorative boxes, file cabinets, shelves, drawers, and whatever containment you choose, it becomes the permanent home for your separated, finely tuned categories. There are "No mixed venues" in the i DEAL Lifestyle method. So, no putting simple standard paper clips with binder clips in this method. They are two separate animals. No putting ladles with large serving spoons into kitchen drawer inserts. Keep everything find tuned in their own separate space, and in some type of containment.
When you find there is a lack of space to store your belongings, you may seek cabinets, shelving, file cabinets, bins and racks for the garage, or #closetsolutions.
Then once everything is i DEAL LiFESTYLE organized, kick back, and feel the great flow and energy of your #perfectlyorganized space.
When you live a categorized life, you live a happy life. Seriously, you know money does not make you happy. You may think more stuff, and more expensive stuff makes you feel more powerful, and supposedly better about yourself, but it is not true. I have seen people with enough stuff to fill a museum, who are miserable, and minimalists that wreak of depression. Stuff or no stuff, it's not belongings or lack of stuff that make you authentically, #deepdownhappy. Knowing what you value in life keeps everything going forward, and straightened out. I am glad I write this blog regularly to help people with getting organized, learning #fengshui, #understandingdecluttering, feng shui interior design, staging, and clutter. I love researching and sharing my thoughts on #ocd, #add, #adhd, #hoarding and #clutteringchallenges.
What I found after working as an organizer, on 1000's of homes, and businesses, is what makes people happy, when it comes to their stuff. People love things that they love, things that they use, things that serve a purpose, and most of all things that are sentimental. But, there is a catch when it comes to continuing to love your stuff and your space despite it getting #cluttery. You will only be able to confess true and unconditional love of your stuff, when you are treating the stuff properly, and when it is all organized. What I mean by organized is that everything is categorized; put away by category, and most of all contained, and easy to access. Otherwise, a futile love and hate relationship, stamped with panicked, and frantic searches, will create a sense of hopelessness, and disappointment with your treasures.
What you collect, your possessions, do not define you, although when you can't access what you want, admire and want to show off what you own, you will tend to get berserk about it. You are highly connected to your stuff, especially when you can't find what you are looking for. When you can't find something that you want, when you want it, and within a reasonable amount of time it will take the wind out of you. When you get to the point that your screeching around your place and thinking "Where's my .....?", remember what truly defines you are your thoughts, words and actions, and doing what you value. The question is "Do you know what you truly value in life?
Currently I value cooking healthy and yummy meals, working on books that I'm writing, time with my husband and friends, staying connected to family, calming and relaxing outings, with steady exercise. It's surprising how my value system has changed since my 30's and 40's, when it was more about going out, hanging out, and dining out, and depending on friendships, that were more like commune buddies. I love my independent alone time more than anything now. I laugh at some of the outfits I used to wear, the kind of shoes I could swing along in, the books I used to treasure, board games and cd's. As your life evolves, and you change what you value, what you like to do, your stuff changes too. In order to own and posses things that fit our "today life", we want to first look at what we own, by category. When we see things in categories we have clarity about what truly works for you of today.
#Categorizingeverythingyouown, puts how much of what, and how much you have, into perspective. Using the #iDEALLIFESTYLEmethod for what you keep in your life makes the journey through your stuff so much easier. The criteria for making good decisions about what to keep is priceless. Ask yourself with each item you process, "Will I use it?, Does it serve a purpose?, Is it sentimental? and Do I love it?" This technique will help you determine what to keep, and what to part with. Another I-Deal-Lifestyle method, called the "No regrets" policy helps you keep the things that you value, and not become reckless about what you edit out of your life. Before I created the 4 part criteria, I would give things away spontaneously, without thinking it through. I still have regrets about certain items I wish I had held onto, and kept in my today life.
I still miss, with all my heart, my stereo that held, and randomly play 12 CD's in an evening, without have to yell "Alexa" at the top of my lungs. I miss my pager, that I shoved in a drawer in 2003, thinking to hell with you when I bought my first cell phone, which now seems to be the more evil of the two. I miss my old car, that had a rubber bumper instead of a plasticky one that dents or scrapes, when I look at it. I still scratch my head wondering why I gave away certain items that still have a special place in my heart, and because I loved them. I know the answer though, and it is because I did not think about what I valued during my purges. I valued, and still value, dancing in my socks, to my wonderful collection of music that I could count on, without digital, downloads, and screaming at an electric box.
Once you figure out what it is you're going to keep around, categorize all of it to the bone, contain it, and find each category a home unto itself. This will certainly put a smile on your face, since you will be able to breathe easier, and find things quicker.
Figuring out what you value #inthenow is important for you to determine what you want hanging out in your space. Don't be hasty to "throw away the farm." I say, "Matter, matters."
Marla Stone is the owner of i DEAL LiFESTYLE®
Professional Organizer - Decor and Feng Shui Idealist - Lifestyle Changer and NAPO Member.
Your Organizing Therapist®
When you look around your home and wonder "What the heck?", it is most likely time to get organized and re-decorate. Whether you're starting from scratch, or updating a past taste, having a vision of your current, "now" style is important to be happier, and more settled in your home, and business spaces. Knowing what you value in life, and what you want long-term is essential to living an ideal lifestyle in an ideal space, and knowing what to keep around you.
One of the most essential things about decorating a home, and or office, is proper furniture, proper furniture placement, proper decor and most of all #goodflowandenergy. You want to find whatever furniture, storage cabinetry, artwork, flooring, paint, lighting, drapery, and carpets. You want items in your space that will make you happy and uplifted for at least 8-10 years down the road. You also want functionality, a place to put everything, and a way to keep your space clutter free and easy to keep up.
Having #aclearvision of color, style and materials is a heavy burden for someone with a design background, but for the average person making choices on flooring, paint color, or style is difficult. Going through even minor renovation, without a plan may cause anxiety and stress, sleep disturbance which will make the process of decorating seem like climbing a volcano rather than an extremely enjoyable time in life.
#Gettinghelp from a #professionalorganizer with design expertise will make the process of decorating a whole lot easier. Having someone to talk to about your dream design helps define the important aspects of what you want in your home. For instance in a bathroom design don't neglect to have a vanity for putting on makeup or shaving. Also in bathrooms slick floors are beautiful but can be scary to navigate with wet feet. Or say in a kitchen, installing a trash cabinet that has 4 bins for trash instead of two, and a cutting board set up on the counter above the trash, could make life easier and less hectic. Having to take less steps to live your life is always more pleasurable.
Staying in high end and glamorous hotels gives us a taste of a lifestyle we may dream about. Why not make your home and or office like a #highendluxuryproperty. Sometimes finding a different floorplan can solve many of your clutter and space challenges.
A professional organizing assessment helps you determine whether your space is conducive to your lifestyle. Using a professional organizer, during the design phase of any new building, or upgrades will ensure the home space will be maximized for storage, functionality and aesthetic value.
The most important thing about living or working in a space is that it is easy to get around, and that there is a great balance between excitement and of calm, and that you will love being in that space more that anywhere else.
Staying current in todays multifaceted eclectic styles will be overwhelming. With everything from stark minimalist to boho circus environments being created every day you can be a trend setter or a follower, or you can start to recognize you fully, and what you want to look at every day. Choosing the look for your space takes concerted effort, some time, good decision making, and availability to the designer that you choose.
Getting acquainted with your current taste is easy with I-Deal-Lifestyle™
Contact email@example.com Go to: www.i-deal-lifestyle.com
Marla Stone, MSW Owner, I-Deal-Lifestyle Professional Organizing Services
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!
Marla is known as the organizing clutter remedyTm expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of