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Posted on: March 3rd, 2015 by Darla | No Comments

Did you know that HeartWork Organizing offers color consultations?

Color With No Regrets Color Consultations title

Paint is cheap, but a painter and a corrected color choice can get pricey. Let us help you make color selections you are confident about. Of if you aren’t in our area and you are looking for a color consultation in your neck of the woods, here’s what to look for.

Color Consults Require Experience

When getting help, always look for someone with color education and experience. They can be “good with colors” and not know why, or how to deal with challenging situations.

Color Consults Provide More than Just One Color

Don’t just expect to pick one color for a room, but choose an entire palette of colors that you can use throughout your project room and your home, to create a lovely flow. Color isn’t just on your walls. It’s also in the woodwork, furniture, accessories, and even lighting.

Color Consults Consider Lighting

Speaking of lighting, that’s often the key to helping you choose the right colors, whether it’s natural, different types of artificial, or (like most of us are feeling at this point in winter) just not enough lighting. A good color specialist will help you balance and correct lighting so your colors show as intended.

Color Consults Should Be Personal

Choose someone who works with YOUR choices, not just their own “signature palettes”. Your home can and should reflect you, not your decorator’s tastes.

Color Consults Should Not Be Brand-Specific

Similarly, your specialist should be able to work with any brand, and understand how paints and products might affect your choices.

Color Consults Should Offer Samples

They should also be able to provide you with decent sized color samples to test your choices in different spaces, in different lights of the day. If you still need more help, order larger sample color sheets. This can be so much more economical and earth-friendly than ending up with a stockpile of quarts or tester-sizes that you’ll never use.

Color Consults Should Be Detailed

You have a handful of colors, but what goes where? What do you tell the painter? With our consultations, you receive a specific written  plan of what colors go on the walls, ceiling, trim, and other room accents accents.

I’ve invested in learning the patented Confident Color System, and it is just that for clients. (This was formerly called Color With No Regrets, and that sounds just as good to my clients.) We provide your unique color selections, brand advice, a palette of coordinating colors, and hopefully all the education you need to feel really confident that you’ve made great choices that you’ll love for years.

If we can help with selecting colors inside your home, please contact me at

Posted on: February 25th, 2015 by Darla | 2 Comments

Although we’re always decluttering, there are some gadgets that can truly help organize your home, especially in the kitchen. I thought I’d share a few that I’ve used or am watching. There are affiliate links in this post, so you can click through and know where to get these great gadgets.

Yes, a Lazy-Suzan is old news, but today’s new homes have huge pantries, and so they need bigger gadgets. This one is a whole 18” diameter- HUGE- and works perfectly in the corner of a pantry. It’s just recently available in the Container Store, and it’s pretty fun to take for a spin. That’s three boxes of coffee on that baby, by the way. No problem getting to your favorite java here.

large turntable for organizing coffee

Modern moms love their java. But once you have your coffee maker of choice, you need to store those silly pods. For function, I prefer bamboo drawers under a coffee maker, but how cute is this little gal to organize coffee pods?


I’ve kicked the coffee habit, and I am looking forward to owning this someday. Do you know how much air people store in half-empty tea boxes? This puts tea bags within reach, easily organized. Trust me, I don’t bring many things into my home, but I want this one. Or maybe I’ll DIY it some day soon,


Want to get in someone’s drawers? Probably not, if they lean towards clutter. But OXO’s Adjustable Drawer Organizer gets you organized in a snap, literally. The side slides out to fit your drawer’s width, but the dividers pop in and out to adjust to your perfect placement. I LOVE this item so much, I put two OXO Adjustable Drawer Organizer in my own kitchen.

Organize kitchen drawers with Oxo adjustable trays

Another kitchen item I can’t live without are pull-out shelves (also called roll out shelves). With just 4 screws, I can give any kitchen cabinet a serious upgrade. Seriously, they take about 10 minutes to install. I order them custom-sized to client’s cabinets, so we don’t waste any space.

installed pull out shelf

Here’s a low-budget upgrade From Help My Shelf that solves so many problems for homeowners who just aren’t that handy. Cover wire shelves with this plastic mat and front bib, and add function and a clean look to your pantry in minutes.

Last but not least, kitchens are family and communication hubs, and where the people gather, so do their gadgets and cords. G.U.S. always has great products, and I love this Zen Portable Tech Station, because it keeps all the gadget cords hidden with an internal power strip, so just one cord gets plugged in on the counter. And when company comes, just grab the handle and clear the counters. Very smart!
Many of these also make great gifts. Something to think about as we head towards Easter and the May/June holidays.

Do you love or have any of these kitchen organizing gadgets? I’d love to hear.

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 by Darla | 2 Comments

We got a lot done on our latest snow day, including organizing the craft cabinet. My two young girls like to craft, and I love to make it easy to get and put away their supplies. Let me give you a tour, and hopefully some organizing inspiration, too.

Organize Craft Cabinet

We first organized this craft cabinet in earnest about a year ago, when it looked like this.

how to organize a craft cabinet- before

Triangle cabinets are the worst! It’s hard to figure out how to use the space, especially when we have every kind of shape stuffed in here. Square boxes, round cans, boxes and bags, and oddly shaped glue bottles.

I repurposed as much as possible. A cookie tin covered in washi tape holds the pipe cleaner stash.

organize pipe cleaners in a craft cabinetAn accordion envelope organizes the sticker collection.

accordion folder organizes stickers for crafts

Cardboard magazine files hold some paper supplies, and little pails hold paintbrushes and water colors.

organize paint brushes in a craft cabinet

A baby food jar holds our eyeballs.

What? How do you organize your eyeballs???

A paper sorter that came from my office holds paper, fabric and notepads. Lunch meat tubs hold just about everything else, labelled nicely.

use plastic tubs to organize craft cabinet

It took just a few minutes to refresh the organizing systems that we had put in place. Leftovers from craft kits were taking up a lot of room, so we throw leftovers into our little “Parts” suitcase for later. We’re not always headed outside when the kids say/sing, “Do you want to build a snowman?” (Now you’ll be humming that all day, sorry.)

keep craft Parts in a craft cabinet

Mostly our systems have held up pretty well, and the girls know where to get something when they need it, especially the all important purple pencil sharpener, front and center!

Organize a craft cabinet

Never, ever lose your scissors with this little trick. Use 3M Command strips on the inside of the cabinet doors, and hang one pair for each kid.

organize scissors in the craft cabinet

We didn’t buy anyhing to organize this craft cabinet, but if you are on a deadline, you might want to see what we did to organize some other craft cabinets and, the inevitable result, how to store craft projects they make.

My kids can follow the plan, as long as someone else sets up systems to stay organized. Thanks to labels and habits, they know where it all goes, and they’re pretty good about getting it all back there. Yes, there is some organizing maintenance required, but reorganizing the craft cabinet once a year feels just about right.

Organize Craft Cabinet

Did you like any of these craft cabinet organizing ideas?

What is your favorite repurposed item in your craft cabinet?


Posted on: February 19th, 2015 by Darla | No Comments

If you are lucky enough to have a mudroom, aka the catch-all space in the house, it’s usually the first and last room that you see every day. Instead of having it trashed most of the time, let’s organize and make it work for you with these tips. You probably already have most of these simple tools to organize already in your home.

organize the mudroom with things you have on hand

Here’s the before of the built-ins, the coat hooks, and the closet, which are all in the mudroom.

disorganized mudroom before declutteringThe organizing had to be done all at once, so we could see what we really had. It’s the same 5-step SPACE process we go through on every organizing project.

after organizing the mudroom

One really big change you can see on the large picture above was that instead of having all the cookbooks on the second level of the bookshelf, we moved the less frequently used books up to the top shelf, which is not adjustable, but can be reached with the nearby stool. We also used the dreaded accordion folder to organize printouts of recipes, which can be a perfect use for these types of folders.

All of the adult coats that were taking up space on the hooks can now be hung in the closet. Before, the closet was too packed and coats were falling off of flimsy hangers, so it was a real struggle to even get the adult coats in there, and that’s why they ended up on the hooks. We swapped out the flimsy wire hangers for sturdy plastic ones, but plan to upgrade to wooden hangers before long. So now the little people can keep their coats and bags off the floor and on the hooks.

Did you notice the closet floor and the bottom cabinet? Both had been overrun with re-usable shopping bags, many of which were donated during our purge. What’s left of the bags we are keeping are gathered together in the yellow tote you see on the bottom right.

The real brains of the system is in the bookcase. We stashed all of the home improvement projects and returns in the To Do basket on the left.

to do items in organized mudroom

The To Go basket on the right holds things needed when coming or going, like the lint brush, compact umbrella, and sunglasses. A change jar sits nearby.

tips for mudroom organizing items

We pulled the clementine box right off the kitchen counter and stashed sunscreen and lotion in there, close enough to grab, but not neatly disguised.

Several magazine files turned on their sides become mail slots for mom, dad, and the littles. Each one is labelled. No more mail piles on the island in the kitchen!tips for paper in mudroom organizing

Not everyone has the luxury of space in a separate room, but even if your “mudroom” is only the last few feet of the kitchen counter, it’s wise to give every little piece of real estate a job and a label so everyone at home can help you keep it organized.

The simple tools we used here were:

  • Fabric bins
  • Cardboard magazine files
  • A clementine box
  • An accordion folder
  • Card stock + Sharpie to label the bins
  • Sturdy plastic coat hangers
  • Woven baskets for the top shelf of the closet
  • A fabric shopping bag to contain the other fabric shopping bags

Do you like any of these ideas for your mudroom organizing project?

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by Darla | 4 Comments

If you are staging your home to sell this spring, or if you just wish you could start over with fresh decor, here’s a tip for your bookshelves. Remove the paper jackets from your books. It simplifies the color scheme and makes your whole collection look richer and pulled together.


staging tip for books, organize and stage

Can you see how that one little tip instantly improves the look. We would move these books around by height and color to make them even more visually appealing.

You can either store your book jackets and put them back on in your new home. But you might love the look and decide to use it going forward, as well.

I’d love to hear what you think about this home staging tip.