By Shira Gill / Simply Sorted
Metro shelving can be used for pantries, garages or anywhere else you need sturdy shelving. I like the simple industrial look and they can be secured to the wall for added security.
BEFORE: A large utility closet used to be a catch-all for the vacuum cleaner, kid stuff, and to-dos. We had to relocate everything to prepare for the new nursery!
AFTER: A cozy rug, new lighting, and some handmade curtains did the trick on a dime!
We added a few toys and dolls to make it a bit cozier.
Amazing what a carpet can do to warm up a space!
Any creative uses for your closets? Share, please!
By Shira Gill
I am always on the hunt for the perfect handbag.
I am convinced that you really only need three bags: A great black bag, a light camel or tan bag, and one large mom/gym/carry-all tote.
My stylish pal, Hedy, alerted me to the glory of Oppelle bags and now I have bag fever!
They are the perfect mix of soft buttery leather, gold hardware and super chic designs. Yes, please!
This article originally posted on Simply Sorted.
By Shira Gill
All of us have things we would change about our homes, but most of us are operating on a budget that limits our design choices. I am always restless so I find myself brainstorming little things I can do to freshen up my home without spending a dime. Here you go!
1. Rearrange the furniture. I spent last weekend dragging furniture from one room to another. I was shocked to learn that switching the placement of our chairs, side table and dining room buffet made a huge difference!
2. Switch out your framed pictures. Most people have framed photos in their homes and lots of extra pics, postcards or even art. Pop out the old images and start over with your favorite pictures and images.
3. Change the lighting. Whether you move one lamp to a different part of the house, change a lightbulb, or invest in a new overhead light fixture, this one will pack a huge punch.
4. Rotate throws and pillows. I generally buy furniture in muted tones like grey or beige so I can switch out textured or patterned throw pillows and cozy blankets when I want a new look. Etsy.com has an incredible and affordable collection of pillow covers.
5. Lighten up. You heard me. Getting rid of things is the best way to reclaim your space and start fresh. Create a clean, clutter free space so when time and budget allow you are ready to decorate your heart out!
What do you do to reinvent your home on a dime?
By: Shira Gill
I recently packed for a road trip to Los Angeles with the family. Our car has limited space once the four of us are packed in so I had to be selective. I packed carefully, choosing my favorite simple separates, a few shoe options, a mama bag and a hot mama bag, a few accessories, and called it a day. Everything I packed fit into one small duffle bag, and I spent the whole trip feeling like I had all I needed. Not only that –it was such a breeze getting ready each day because I only had a few options and everything went together!
It got me thinking, “what if I lived like this all the time?” When you have less stuff you also have less laundry, less time obsessing over what to wear, and less to store and organize. I encourage you to give this philosophy a try: Just for a week try living on the essentials that would fit in one suitcase. Live simply with less stuff and see how it feels.
You can find more on Shira Gill at Simply Sorted
My husband, Jordan Gill, always dreamed of becoming a father. On April 14, 2009 his dream came true when our daughter, Chloe Madison Gill, was born. In this interview I asked him to reflect on his first year as a father.
Q What has surprised you most about becoming a father?
A How totally distracting it is. There’s not a moment in the day when I’m not in some way thinking about her. People told me all about how much it would change me and how I had never loved anything as much as I would love this child, but nothing could have prepared me. I am totally smitten with her.
Q What moment stands out in your memory about seeing your daughter for the first time?
A The first moment was a little tense because she didn’t APGAR so hot. I remember thinking that there would be crying, and when there wasn’t, I got scared. But then she cried out and got more color, and through the weighing and bathing I was overcome with emotion. I remember holding her for the first time and looking into her eyes. She held eye contact and I felt like I already knew her and I felt like she already knew what was going on. She was born and then she was ours.
Q What do you love the most about being a dad?
A I love everything about being a dad. Even the hard parts, like if she wakes up in the middle of the night and I have to get out of bed from a deep sleep, are nice because I get to spend time with her and rock her back to sleep. Even when I have had a long day at work and I would give anything to collapse into the couch with a beer, I am happy to get to spend the end of her day with her, giving her a bath and putting her to sleep. Other than that, I really love watching her encounter and explore the world. She is changing so much everyday, and seeing her find words for things and develop right before my eyes is magic. I don’t even know how she knows what she knows. Most of all, I love that she and I have a separate relationship and our own special time. I give you extended time on Saturdays to do your own thing since you are home with Chloe all week, and I look forward to it all week. I put Chloe in the stroller or in the carrier, and we set off. We walk for hours, exploring flowers in the neighborhood or meeting up with family and friends at the local farmer’s markets. I feel like the gender stereotype is for the mother to do the lion’s share of the work, and sometimes we fall into that because you are with her more and know where you have everything stored, but on those weekend days, it is really nice and affirming to have to do everything myself. It builds my confidence as a dad.
Q What is your favorite memory from Chloe’s first year?
A There have been so many amazing moments with her. My initial thoughts go to the sound of laughter. There are so many times that I have laughed until I cried with her. She loves to laugh and is pretty good at getting the joke and realizing what it is that she is doing that is funny and repeating it. But the truth is that the most amazing moment of the first year is still the very first moment. Your labor was epic. There were days of contractions and false alarms and back and forths to the hospital and physical discomfort and lack of sleep. Finally, when the labor started in earnest, I watched you do the most amazing thing ever – watched you push herself further than I thought possible, and all of a sudden we were a family. It was that immediate. One moment a couple. The next a family.
Q What are your dreams for your daughter?
A I want her to be happy and comfortable in her own skin and to believe in herself and in her dreams. I want her to always feel that she has a home with us and a place she can come back to, but I want her to be brave enough to leave and chase her own potential. I can’t wait to see who she becomes.
By: Shira Gill, Personal Organizer
Modern living is hectic enough as it is, but once you introduce kids into the equation, keeping your life simple and organized can seem like an impossible dream.
As a new mom and a professional organizer, I have learned that sometimes it only takes a few minutes to see big results. Conquering the clutter will restore your energy and bring calm and balance into your life. Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
1. Refrigerator makeover!
First, toss anything that has expired or gone bad. Next, ditch the junk and replace it with healthful alternatives. Skip the soda and make spa water by filling a few glass pitchers with water, lemon and cucumber slices or fresh herbs. Instead of buying TV dinners loaded with salt and preservatives, try making a lasagna or turkey meatloaf that can be frozen in individual portions. Store nuts, veggies and fresh fruit in grab-and-go containers so you’ll have healthy snacks when you’re on the move.
2. Ready, Set…Clean!
Feeling short on time? Get the whole family involved by challenging them to a clean up race. Set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes and use the time to toss stray trash and return misplaced items to their correct homes. When the timer “dings!” everyone will be shocked at how much they were able to accomplish in such a short time. Celebrate by playing a game or indulging in a yummy dessert.
3. Mail Overload!
Use a standing file with dividers to store all incoming mail. Designate one day a week for bill paying, scheduling, and responding to invites and you’ll never have to worry about overdue notices or overlooked obligations. Recycle the trash and junk mail right away. You can also reduce junk mail by canceling unwanted catalogs and opting out of unsolicited commercial mail for five years by contacting The Direct Marketing Association. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to http://www.dmachoice.org
4. Important Everything Holder
Ever panicked because you can’t remember where you stowed the key to your safe deposit box or your child’s birth certificate? Take the guesswork out by creating an “important everything holder” and storing it in a safe place in your home. Mine has everything from family passports to treasured photos and my original wedding DVD. Any time I need to locate one of these crucial items, I know just where to find it.
5. Bedroom Bliss
Need a vacation but short on time and/or funds? Splurge on some fresh flowers and a scented candle and make the bed with your best set of sheets. Take a few minutes to straighten up, leaving the floors and surfaces as minimal as possible. Put on your favorite CD or iPOD play list. Your bedroom will be transformed into a chic retreat in no time. Now you just have to promise to relax!
Shira Gill is the founder of Simply Sorted and Simply Sorted Baby and keeps things tidy in the SF Bay Area. For information and to sign up for her free monthly newsletter please visit www.shiragill.com