Get Organized with FAT- File, Act, Toss

Hello and Happy New Year! While we’re still on our motivational highs for 2015, I thought I’d continue where I left off last week, as I discussed tips to declutter your home post-holiday season, here. So now that you’ve tossed all the unnecessaries and shed the weight it’s time to get FAT… in a good way! FAT is an organizational system that a friend of mine created. It’s a wonderful antidote to hoarding, and it’s a good fat, not fat chub chub. Who’s with me for some organizational tools that actually work?! We just spent time cleaning/tossing/donating all our excess, so now we must sort through what’s staying and where it’s going to live!

Step #1  F – File it

If it comes in the mail, if you need to hold onto it, if you want to keep it for future reference, file it. And file it now. Today! Otherwise it will sit in a pile and the pile will grow and grow until you can’t remember what it is anymore. We’ve all been there. All those coupons we swore we were going to use only to find them buried between 8 pounds of Restoration Hardware catalogs. We get eagerly excited to see our dear little discounted friend again, only to realize… yep, it expired a month ago! No bueno. Identify a designated area in your home (where you stack your mail often works well) where you will sort through things like mail, bills, medical records, legal documents and all that paperwork that comes home from school and start sorting.


As for all those loose items like gift cards, reward cards and coupons? Use an errand planner or business card file concept that keeps things all in plain view. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve found myself at the cashier stand at Target only to walk away realizing I had a gift card hiding in my wallet somewhere that I could have used. Ouch. You been there too? If you can’t see it, you don’t know it’s there. Time to get organized.


Step#2   A – Act on it

Do you need to pay it? Return a call? Email it to someone? Act on it now and then file it or throw it away. Cross it off the list and be done with it. Take a few minutes to take care of those important little things so you don’t forget to do it. Don’t put it off! If you are one of those people who come back to it over and over again, act on it first thing in the morning before you start your day. Resist the temptation to check emails and social media. That can all wait. Get your head on straight and knock those lingering tasks off your list before today’s curveball gets thrown your way. You’ll be glad you did!

Step# 3   T – Toss it

Why are you keeping this item/bill/record/etc? Is it truly necessary for the future? Will you need it in 6 months to a year? If so, then File it! And, file it within your system. If not, shed the weight! Here’s a great flow chart you can refer to…


Keys to Success

–          A label maker. Everybody can use a label maker at some point or another. They’re awesome, they’re helpful, and they’re downright fun to use! I like the Brother P-Touch personally. Everybody needs a Bro-tha!


Ahhh, the look of labels. You can officially uncross your eyes!



–          Virtually file. Bank statements, utility bills, etc. can all be stored on your computer. Get rid of unnecessary paper waste, go green, and save these to your computer. For other task management systems like to-do lists or recipe storage, try an app that works both with your computer and your smartphone, like Evernote or Wunderlist. Toss that extra paper into the recycle bin and enjoy your extra shelf space.

–          Compartmentalize – in other words, contain yourself! Stores like The Container Store are around because they are downright awesome. Stack of magazines? Tuck them into a basket and keep them current! If you’re holding onto it for one measly article, clip that article, file and store. Kids toys? Group those in stacking baskets.


Organize that junk in your drawers into neatly divided sections with Lucite drawer inserts. Clarity is key. You can compartmentalize but if you can’t see it, you may not know it’s there. I’m a big fan of clear dividers for this reason! All of a sudden you can find your paperclips, stapler, post-its, tape, makeup, etc. You can find things in record time, and if things are lying around on the counter, you have a designated well-organized space to put them.



–          Treat yourself to stylish and fun organizational accessories that make you smile. Bright colors, a dose of sparkle, whatever it may be, if you love the way it looks, you will definitely be more committed to using it! See Jane Work is a fave staple of mine that offers it all – a hip, thoughtful collection of goodies sure to help you organize your desk and your life.

Everything deserves to have a home within your home, it’s that simple. Cheers to getting FAT in 2015!




Holiday Gift Guide

I look forward holiday gift buying like a turkey carcass looks forward to getting stuffed! That little inner Emily will get in my head sometimes and say “they probably already have one of those” or “is this too tacky/flimsy/fragrant?” It’s enough to make me bird brained! Fortunately, a friend shared with me a little gift giving guidance so I’m sharing it with you along with a hit list of my top holiday gifts. Here’s how to buy your gifts this season:

* Something you WANT…

* Something you NEED…

* Something to WEAR…

* Something to READ…

So organized and clever and… duh!! Brilliant. Check out my roundup. I sure hope Santa delivers this tall order!


WANT- coasters // art

NEED- Meet Bobi, the fabulous floor cleaner, for all that post holiday clean up //  mobile back up charger…. your phone won’t go deadski with this chic and handy accessory!

WEAR- Amethyst necklace // Hibiscus pompom scarf

READ- Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen // Charlie Harper’s Animal Kingdom by Todd Oldham

These are my faves this season, but depending on your recipient you can change out the gifts according to their style yet still stick to the same theme. Fab, fab, fab is the new ho, ho, ho! For more of my holiday pics, please visit my Holiday Gift Guide board on Pinterest.

But before I get back to my bird basting, let’s discuss the infamous white elephant, shall we? Here’s my rule- you can never go wrong with anything that’s cat or bacon related! And since most of these gifts are either hilarious or hideous, or both, here is a list of awesome and amusing white elephant gifts.

Happy Holidays!



YAY for Yellow

Since we’re in the peak of summer, it’s only fitting that my color crush this month is lemon yellow! Funny thing about yellow though- while most people will agree it’s bright, fun and fresh, many are afraid to use this happy hue it in their home! It’s ironic that a joyful color like yellow can also feel like an intimidating color choice when designing a room. Why is that? And more importantly, how do I stop this madness?  When balanced correctly, yellow can totally live up to it’s sunny disposition. Yellow delivers high energy, but it can be the pop of perfection to awaken your room.

Need proof? Yeah, I figured I’d have to back up my claim! And since I try hard to challenge myself and my readers visually, here are some fresh takes on how to use yellow. There will be no tried and true yellow/ gray or yellow/ blue combos here, we already know that works. You deserve to be visually inspired!

Ready? Here are three fresh takes using lemon yellow and how you can get the look at home:



Mention the words yellow and black together and what comes to mind? Bumble bee… run for the hills! Who wants a room that looks like a stinging little bugger? Unless you’re decorating a themed nursery, but that’s a different story.

When balanced effectively, you can achieve a really elegant space with just the right impact. I put together this board to show you how:


By grounding the rest of the room in black and white, yellow can take center stage. The gold fixtures work nicely with the yellow to enhance it’s sophistication. Here are some of my favorite examples of this look.


Jackson Paige Interiors


Emily LaMarque Design Studio


Image Source

When paired with the right combination, yellow suddenly becomes chic, elegant and sophisticated.  Buzz off bumble bee!




emily-lamarque-design-studio-green-chartreuse-yellow-concept-boardI love this combo because it is decidedly vibrant and fresh. These two colors work effortlessly together and feel both clean and sophisticated. Take note though to be careful when it comes to selecting the right green. If the green is too soft, it can come off as juvenile (i.e.: mint green). If you want a rich look, try a deep kelly green or emerald hue as shown here. Adding shiny white lacquer, silvery chrome, or bright brass pieces add that extra bling which will really make the whole room shine!


 Jonathan Adler Interiors



Finally, this combo, perhaps the trickiest to pull off, reminds me of a warm summer sunset; which is fitting given that we are on a sun filled theme! Adding the fuchsia and coral  create a nice balancing act and allows our bright yellow star to take center stage.emily-lamarque-design-studio-fucshia-magenta-yellow-concept-board

8fa4d448359cf1bd3370abc0bac5fef6Image Source 

I’ve been seeing yellow pop up a lot lately in showrooms, design magazines, and pretty much everywhere. Perhaps it will be the new color of the year for Pantone (wink wink)?! Who wants to place your bet on yellow with me? Hey, just like any other gamble- go big or go home! Fortunately a small investment in a yellow object will yield a big impact in your home. Go for it!