I’m channeling my inner Oprah by creating this post about eight of my favorite things of the past year.
Container Store clear plastic shoe boxes
Container Store shoe boxes
These clear plastic boxes are my go-to organizing supply. I use them more than other in my organizing sessions. (An employee of the local Container Store recently told me she thinks I buy more of them than any other customer.) In my business, I primarily lead teams of organizers to effect swift change. I always (always!) bring along a selection of plastic shoe and sweater boxes from The Container Store. The sizes I keep in stock are Accessory, Ladies’, Tall Ladies’ Men’s, Sweater and Deep Sweater. I almost never use them for shoes or sweaters, mind you. Instead, my team members and I use them to sort items into categories. And because they come with lids and stack together nicely, we often use them for storing categories of items on a shelf. We even use them for dividers in deep drawers from time to time. I’m not sure what I’d do without them!
Two-tier cutlery tray
Two-tier cutlery tray
This was one of my favorite things in our newly renovated kitchen. (I detailed my favorite storage features of my new kitchen earlier this year.) With this cutlery insert, you can double the amount of items you store in your cutlery drawer. It’s genius! We took the contents of two drawers in our old kitchen and fit it all into one smaller drawer. (We did have to relocate a few taller items.) Our cutlery tray came with the new kitchen cabinets, but I see you can buy one at Bed Bath and Beyond and install it in your existing cabinet.
There are three apps that I use each and every day. They make my life better. They are:
Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz
Profit First book
This business book revolutionized the way I think about my business; I heartily recommend it to other owners of small businesses. I first heard about Profit First from Cathy Sexton of The Productivity Experts, who gave a presentation about the Profit First concept to the St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. It took me a couple of months to implement it, but I haven’t looked back. The basic premise of the system is to pay yourself first and also put away money for taxes and profit, before paying operating expenses. (Rather than paying operating expenses and running out of money for taxes or for paying yourself.) If you can’t afford to pay your operating expenses after taking out salary, taxes and profit, then it’s time to cut your operating expenses. Simple, but revolutionary. It takes a little effort to open the various bank accounts the system calls for, but the effort has definitely been worth it for me. Great stuff.
Bix with his BarkBox mustache ball
Our standard poodle, Bix, joined our family as a little puppy just over a year ago. I immediately signed him up for BarkBox, which I had heard about on Facebook. Every month, Bix receives a themed box of toys and healthy treats from BarkBox. It’s always the highlight of the month. The toys are durable and clever—and unique to BarkBox. Bix is a huge player and he enjoys his vast and growing collection of toys. I try to embrace minimalism in my life but this is one area where I am not remotely minimalist. But the joy that BarkBox brings to the human and canine family members cannot be overstated. if you buy a Barkbox subscription through this link, you’ll get an extra month added to your subscription (and so will Bix).
Hamilton, the musical
Can't wait to hold this Playbill in my hand!
Hamilton has been rocking my world since I saw the PBS documentary about it in October. Since then, I’ve listened to the soundtrack daily and when I’m not listening to it, it’s running through my head. I wrote a blog post about it on Halloween, complete with links of various videos to watch, so I won’t go into much detail here. But suffice it to say that seeing the show tops my goals list for 2017. I so admire the genius of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to tell the story of our very interesting founding father in such an accessible and enjoyable format. Honestly, I think the lyrics and music of Hamilton are works of art. I can’t wait to see the choreography and acting first hand. In a difficult year, Hamilton will always be a highlight for me.