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Wardrobe Audit

Posted on May 15, 2015 at 11:02 PM Comments comments (7)

Like the name implies, a wardrobe audit is a thorough evaluation of your clothes, shoes, and accessories so that you have an accurate picture of what you own.  It allows you to let go of what no longer serves you well, and instead invest the time, thought, and money on what does. 

Although it may not be the easiest of processes,  you'll be left with a clearer understanding of what works on your body, what doesn't, and what (if any) additions you need to make.  The beauty about a wardrobe audit is that it minimizes the amount of time spent getting dressed, and puts an end to the frustrating, "I have nothing to wear!" expression.

Create a staging area (your bed/section of your room) so that you have a place to empty and layout the contents of your closet.  Sort like with like to be able to tell at a glance, how much of one item you have.  Continue doing this until you've gone through everything. 

NB: If you can't work on everything at once, it's okay to break up the task and tackle a section at a time.   For instance, by type (pants/blouses/jackets etc.), or by function (professional vs causal).

- What you love and feel good in

- What  fits & flatters your figure

- What's aligned to your lifestyle

- What needs minor repair, or alteration***

*** Make sure you get this done immediately, and drop off the garments at your tailor's/alteration service. 

Anything that's worn out, torn beyond repair or permanently stained

- Donate ill-fitting, undersize, oversize (unless it can be altered), or uncomplimentary colors on you

- Catalog your newly edited items. Once you're done, have some fun and create new or modified outfit combinations.  You'll then be able to make a list of what needs to be purchased.

- Appropriately contain, and move any out-of-season wear to other storage areas e.g. a separate closet (if you have the room), under your bed, or back in your closet (in the hard to reach areas) after returning your edited items.

Question:  If you've undertaken a wardrobe audit, what were things you found to be particularly helpful during the process?


Posted on April 3, 2015 at 5:39 AM Comments comments (0)
Moody blue interiors, great lighting, perfect views and highly textural furnishings

Image credits: Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht via Design Milk 

Blue upon blue upon blue - what's not to like? Nature provides us with such abundance!  We need only pay closer attention to the beauty around us and perhaps the rest shall follow.

via Pinterest

On taking stock...

Posted on February 10, 2015 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)
Hi folks, how are you doing?  Are you still on track with what you set out to do this year?  If so, great.  If not, now's as good a time to figure out where the problem lies.  Regardless of what you called it (goal or a resolution), please note that whatever change you are trying to effect has to be done in a sustainable manner, and with intention.

Meaning, you need to come from a place of authenticity when resetting  your vision, and answering  the WHY about this process i.e. Why is it important to you?  Why does it need to happen?  Why now?   Doing so clarifies expected outcomes, and sets the stage for better planning.
  • Be specific in stating  what you want to be true in your life by the end of the year.
For example, instead of saying you will be more organized in 2015, change that to something  more tangible - 3 months from today, my work space is clutter free and fully functional.

A word of caution here - there's either a lot of excitement or resistance when starting out, so keep it simple to avoid getting disheartened along the way.  Now that your vision is in place, what steps need to be taken in getting there? 

  • Break down your goals(a min 3 or max 5 is a good number to have) to bite sizes 
Incorporate daily, weekly and monthly tasks to make the process of achieving your vision more manageable.  Our prior example is now broken down into mini goals:
- I must de-clutter my desk drawer daily 
- I have to handle my filing once a week
- Shred documents once a month

  • Schedule
Make your calendar/planner work for you - decide how much time shall be spent on the various tasks, and when they shall be done .   Be vigilant with your time, and KEEP the appointments that you have now made with yourself.  The three examples used above can now be tweaked to look like this:
- Every day 15 mins before my lunch break, I de-clutter my desk drawer
- Every Wednesday evening, for an hour after work, filing happens
- Every third Saturday of the month, documents are shredded
(You are affirming that these things will indeed happen)

  • Track your progress
Here's a suggestion to help you stay on track - mark your tasks each time you perform them, and at the end of each week(schedule this in) assess you're performance.  Don't skip this step!  It's important to reflect on what's happened (or not) so that you can address any shortcomings in the new week.  

As they become second nature to you, the tasks as well as the time and day allocated to them may change.  You might even find that you've achieved your goals earlier than expected, and can move onto something else. 

Here's to an organized and productive 2015!  

Let's hear what you've been up to.  Join the conversation on Bal

The Art of Receiving

Posted on December 24, 2014 at 11:06 PM Comments comments (0)
Nothing says "Welcome to our home," quite like a warm reception and gracious hosts. 

Receiving guests in your home, and seeing to their comfort does take some preparation. 

However, you don't have to be a consummate host/hostess to pull this off!  With a little thought and consideration, you can get on just fine.  Here's how :

Be Intentional
Pay attention to people.  Observe and listen to what they have to say, and over time you get to learn a lot about them.  It then becomes easier for you to take care of, and anticipate their needs, making them feel special and appreciated.

Dominique Goosby Harris of All Things O'Natural has a great post on how she does this in her home.

Be present
Don't just go through the motions, only because you feel obliged to do so!  Engage fully in the moment - give of yourself, your time and your attention to your guests thereby fostering goodwill & companionship.

Nothing is to big or too small -  whether it's a simple hug, lending an ear, providing a shoulder to cry on or just plain old hanging out!  Help spread some joy, peace and hope whenever you can, it makes a difference.

The truth about clutter

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 5:14 PM Comments comments (0)

Anything that detracts from our physical, mental, or emotional well being is clutter.  When we can't, don't or won't act, things and emotions do pile up: Simply put, clutter is postponed decisions.   

Although we may not realize it, clutter subconsciously makes it difficult  for us to relax at home, at work or even when we're alone.   Clutter is commonly thought of in a physical sense i.e. the visible piles or state of disorderliness.   However, just because it's out of sight  doesn't mean it's out of mind  - It's hovering in the background, using up valuable energy (better spent elsewhere), space and time!  How you ask?  Let's see: feeling like your in a state of limbo, or out of sorts, or like things are getting out of hand, or  like you can't sustain harmonious relationships with friends or family?  I'm sure you now get the picture...

Most people want to live a life that's enriching  and  meaningful so it's important to have  systems in place to support us & our lifestyle.   Reach out to friends/family or a professional to get you started on the path to a clutter free life should you need the help.

The more I interact and work with people, the more I'm convinced that we should be  focusing less on the "how to", and delving more into the  "why" of clutter.  Some of the things we need to figure out are:
- why we are so attached to our things & don't find it easy to let go
- why we hold onto things that have no significance to us
- why we dwell on/live in the past
- why we're afraid of change

Only then can we truly begin to let go.  Share your thoughts.

Pedestal sink solutions

Posted on June 14, 2014 at 8:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Question:  The  only bathroom in my apt contains a single unit pedestal sink, and a shallow medicine cabinet  that serves as the sole source of storage!  

I'm tired of going in and out of the bathroom to get my essential supplies - what can I do to improve my situation since I'm a renter?

Consider investing in options that are portable,  functional, and aesthetically pleasing.  You want to ensure that your needs as well as those of an occasional guest are met, and since there's not much floor space to work with, you'll need to get creative.  

Caddy with hooks: can be used over the shower head, over your shower door or walls.  Attached hooks can hold  wash cloths, loofahs, or towels depending on where caddy's positioned.

Double shower curtain rods: can be used to  hang  a pocket shower curtain on the inner rod, while the outer rod holds a curtain that conceals/minimizes any visual clutter. 

Pocket shower curtain:  good for holding  personal grooming essentials.  However, adjust according to your needs.  

Fret not should your medicine cabinet not be deep enough to contain all your absolute essentials.  Baskets & jars to coral like items, stick-on-pods, magnets, shelf risers are all handy helpers and will definitely make a difference.

Image credits: (L-R)
BHG & Stickonpods

Image credits: (L-R)
Home Depot  

Over-the-toilet etagere are a great way to utilize vertical space.  Toilet tank caddies hold extra supplies or reading material, and can be used to contain toiletries/decorative items.  The beauty of the freestanding caddies is in their portability so go ahead and make your pick.

Image credits (clockwise): Pottery Barn    Ameraproducts &

Whether it's visible or concealed storage your seek, below are a few options to help keep your bathroom  streamlined and clutter free.

Semi-circular under sink caddy                                              Under sink faux cabinet

Sink skirts 

D-I-Y Inspiration

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM Comments comments (4)
Come look at this space, come even closer - not bad, right?  Grab your stuff, let's go out there, chill and imagine enjoying a beautiful day on the meadow!  
Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you the Meadow Woolly pocket - what a brilliant idea!   This planter is modular, can be designed as you please, and in a size that's suitable for your space (read balcony, patio, rooftop).  Apt dwellers REJOICE ...

Now if the Meadow planter is not quite your thing,  a table planter may be just up your alley.  Check out these beauties

Or perhaps consider the Living wall which also look fantastic

Image credits via 

I'm so glad I came across this concept the other day when looking for design inspiration, and I just love the options.  Talk about a jolt of freshness & vitality (exactly what the doctor ordered)!  So if you're feeling as if you've been there and done that,  or like what you have, but still need a little something  -  consider bringing the outdoors, indoors. 

PS:  If you own a Woolly Pocket planter, please feel free to share your feedback or any other personal tips that you may have for aspiring owners.

Out-of-Season storage

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 12:49 AM Comments comments (0)

Well hello, hello Spring!  Are you finally here to stay, or are you just teasing us?  

Winter's been lingering & I can't wait for it to be gone!   Hello color, hello blooming plants, hello walks in the park & ...

As we transition to warmer weather, now is as good a time to analyze and organize your wardrobe so that it's Spring/Summer ready.  By taking stock of what you've got, you're better able to determine what needs to be repaired or replaced, and any new additions that may be needed.  

Depending on your location, you may now be able to put away the winter wear that's been in constant rotation for the past few months.  
However, if you're  like me and you live in an older house/apartment, chances are that you may not have enough closet space to assign for seasonal storage.  Here are some long & short term options for you to consider:


Deep drawers would be ideal storage for heavy/bulky knitwear, flannel linen or sleepwear etc.

Here's a neat idea for storing  your winter comforters, duvets and blankets.


Maximize your storage options by making use of pieces that are practical (tailored to your lifestyle) and serve multiple purposes.  

Steamer trunks/antique chests, lidded baskets/totes or ottomans at the foot of the bed are good storage options for out-of-season items.

Portable, stylish and functional - what more could you ask for?  To top it off, armoires/chifferobes can be repurposed and used almost anywhere in your home.


Image credits: Crate & Barrel, HGTV home, Ebay

Family Command Center

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 5:26 AM Comments comments (3)
WHAT(it is)
Think of the Family Command Center(FCC) as a centralized place in which you get to organize, display & contain information or items that are vital to the smooth functioning of your family.  Information found here includes, but isn't limited to:
  • Calendar - for appointment setting & scheduling
  • Schedules - school, sport & extracurricular activities
  • School notes, permission slips, lunch menus
  • Contact information - people called frequently, emergency
  • Checklists e.g. shopping, household chores, routines
  • Bills/Coupons/Receipts
  • Incoming & Outgoing mail
  • Notes & messages
                         via Pottery Barn            
Keys(car, spare), handbags, wallets, phones; stuff that needs to be returned/taken elsewhere (library books, movie rentals,dry cleaning etc.) are examples of items that may also be found in an FCC.

WHY(you need one)
  • Is getting out the door a daily struggle?  
  • Are you almost always running late because there's a frantic last minute dash to retrieve this or that? 
  • Have you hit the road more than once, only to discover that you've forgotten something yet again?
  • Is there an area in your house that's a catch all for household members, and are these piles driving you nuts? 

If any, or all of the above apply to you, it's as good a time to set up your command center.  Still need a reason... think about the possibilities: reduced stress, better time management & communication amongst yourselves.  Now that's a win win situation, don't you think?  

WHERE(should it be)
Location is key - use an area that's frequented by everyone in the household, and ensure that the set up is simple to use, accessible and flexible (can adjust to changing needs).  

Whether you choose to go with a fridge based, wall-based or desk-based command center is entirely up to you - it all depends on the needs of your family.  Check out the following set-ups, it's hard not to get inspired, right?

Fridge based inspiration                            Wall based inspiration

via   The 36th Avenue                                                        via   Not just a housewife

Desk based inspiration

Image credits: BHG

Entry based inspiration

Back to School organization

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 1:06 AM Comments comments (0)
Now that the long summer vacation is almost over,  are you prepared for the changes that come with  going back-to-school?  For some parents, the beginning of the school year brings apprehension because it could be the first time that their child is joining school, or simply that school is starting once again!  For your child, he/she may be going through his/her own, "I don't know what the new year or being in a different grade shall bring" moment tinged with perhaps the excitement of what's to come.

If you are parents of school going kids, you may be seasoned enough to make the transition from vacation to school year smoothly.  On the other hand, you may be dreading the whole experience as it probably signifies the beginning of hectic days.  To make the transition smoother for your family, try establishing new routines or tweak existing ones so that they are more streamlined.  Below are some suggestions that you could incorporate to go:

From this                                                                       Happy camper


  • Mornings tend to be difficult for many families, and if this is the case in your household, do as much as you possibly can the night before i.e. bath time, laying out clothes for the next day, packing snacks/lunches, packing back packs (ensuring that all homework, projects to be returned, signed permission slips, notes to teachers have been taken care of and packed).

  • If you have little ones who can't read, you could create a morning & night time pictorial checklist that guides them on what needs to be done daily before they go to bed and in the morning after they get up. 

  • Chances are that the kids have been going to bed later, and sleeping in during the vacation.  If you want them to be in bed by a certain hour on school nights, work on adjusting their dinner and bed time routine to an earlier time, say by an hour each week so that the change isn't so abrupt.

  • Have a dry run of the actual school drop-off routine a week or a few days before school starts to give yourself a better idea about how long it will take to drive the kids to school(if you're  part of a car pool), or to walk them to the bus stop.  You're also better able to determine how "late" you need to leave the house.

  • Location, location, location is key: find an ideal spot in the house to set up the homework center.  It should be well lit, well ventilated, and quiet enough to minimize distractions for the child.  Depending on the child's personality, you could set up  where you can closely monitor what's going e.g. in the kitchen/dining area,  or in your home office,  or in a dedicated space for the independent child.

  • Establish a time when homework should be done taking into account after-school curricular activities that the child may be involved in.  On days that your off schedule, try and follow the same pattern that you use daily to get the homework done i.e. maintain consistency.  Although some children may need a break right after school, others can begin their homework right away: a good guide would be to ensure that assignments are done before dinner, or earlier in the evening so that the child isn't too tired to get the work done.

  • Plan a time daily when you and your child can review his/her assignments.  This serves the purpose of giving guidance where it's needed, determining areas that your child may be struggling in, and also ensuring that the work has been properly completed.  Once homework is done, it should be put in the back pack.

  • Daily scheduling of assignments in a diary or say on a dry erase calendar should be encouraged, teaching the child to keep track of what's pending, deadlines and better allocation of his/her time.  Although you'd have to go through the backpack of younger children, the older ones should be guided to be self responsible and share their homework/school notes without too much prompting.

Sometimes things will fall out of your control, but keep rolling with the punches.  Tweak as necessary (until you find the ideal balance for your family) bearing in mind that children tend to thrive on consistency and routine.  What routines do you use or have you used in the past, that have been successful?