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All Things Baby and Small Spaces

All Things Baby and Small Spaces

Today we’re talking all things baby and small spaces. If you have a little one, know new parents, or are looking for great gifts for baby showers, read on.

Clothing Clutter

First, check out an article I wrote for The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of (NAPO) on staying ahead of the never ending outgrown clothing clutter.

baby shirts on clothesline

Whether you’re saving clothing for future children, or know it’s all going, I offer quick-to-tackle suggestions you can follow while playing with your kiddo.

Read: Solving Baby’s Outgrown Clothing Clutter

Small Spaces

Then check out a list by my friend, Megan, over at Mama: Year One. There she offers insight on fun, useful, and budget-friendly gear and toys that will grow with baby and/or store well. I love her suggestions for items that are collapsible, as well as her tips on how and where you can buy and sell items that are only needed for a short time.

Read: Small Space Secrets + Budget Favs

Your Turn

baby toys clutter

Lastly, when you have little ones around the house, breaking up the decluttering and organizing into smaller chunks makes it so much easier to accomplish. You will start and then get interrupted. Baby will dump over the box of clothes you just sorted. So take a deep breath and know it’s only for a season. Then watch where baby goes and shift messy/non-playable items onto higher shelves and the grow-with-baby toys into those reachable areas.

From baby rooms to overflowing SUVs and minivans I’m here to help you clear out the clutter and create sustainable systems (even with a baby in tow)! Reach out today for help.

Meal Planning

Meal Planning | For Your Time, Wallet & the Environment

Last time I mentioned that 30-40% of food is wasted each year in the US. Sounds horrible, right? Because it is horrible – but when I think about my household on a busy, unorganized month, I have to admit we fall into that range. One solution to reducing that waste will help your wallet, too!

Perceived Issues with Meal Planning

I avoided meal planning for a long time, why?
  • I didn’t want to be stuck eating only what I listed a week ago
  • There was never any time to write a meal list
  • I thought my schedule changed too much to plan ahead
Maybe you feel the same way? I’m here to tell you – you can do it and here’s some help!

The Reality of Meal Planning

When my husband and I made time to write a meal plan, review what we already had in the fridge and pantry, and write the subsequent grocery list, we discovered a few benefits!
  • Used more food already in the house, reducing the waste of unused fruits/veggies or hidden expiring canned/boxed items
  • We were accountable to each other with the shopping list, saving money
  • Our meals had more variety
  • We didn’t have to run to the grocery store every other day for something we needed, saving time

Meal Planning Quick Tips

Pick a time each week you usually have available, and mark it on your calendar for planning. On the selected day/time grab your calendar and two sheets of paper, one for the meal plan and one for the grocery list (or use this cute planning PDF on Etsy). You can also use an app on your phone…
Look at the week ahead on your calendar and note how many times you expect to need some quick and/or packable meals. You can plan meals for specific days on your sheet of paper, or just list out meals until you have enough for the week. I prefer having flexibility to eat what I feel like each day, so I follow that option, which looks somewhat like this sample…
Sample weekly meal plan
After you write out your list, jot down what you’ll need for making each meal. Don’t forget to list sides/snacks. I highly recommend writing your grocery list while you’re in the kitchen. That way you can check what you already have and avoid spending money on duplicate items.
Do a quick check for the non-food items you may need. Sponges? Tissues? Add them to your list, too.
Schedule changes happen! It’s handy to have a meal or two that’s quick to pull from the freezer and won’t go bad if you don’t need it for a couple of weeks.

What About Sales?

For food: I buy what I can on sale, but it has to be a really good sale for me to buy a sale item that’s not on my list. If you fall for one sale item off-script, you’ll likely grab 10 more items and spend above your budget. I used to buy a lot of sale items as I walked through the store, and inevitably didn’t use half of them, so it actually cost me more then buying only specific items even when not on sale. But do what works for your budget and kitchen!
Non-food: I’m more likely to keep an eye out for sales on baggies, napkins, etc. and get what will fit on my shelves when on sale.

That’s a Wrap

Give it a try for a few weeks and let me know what you think. Set a grocery budget goal that’s lower than your average total each week and spend the extra savings on something fun or start saving towards that vacation you’ve been dreaming about for years!

Food Clear Out During Canned Food Month

February is Canned Food Month

This month we’re focusing on a food clear out, and while February is technically Canned Food Month, we’ll really be thinking through all kinds of foods. From the tasty treats of Valentine’s Day, to the 5 year old can of string beans deep in the darkest corner of your pantry. In this post, you’ll take away a couple of simple steps to regain control of the food filling your kitchen.
Only have 5 minutes? That’s all it takes to get started! Steps below are grouped into 5 minute chunks, so you can do round one today, and round two tomorrow, and by the end of the week your kitchen will be 10 pounds lighter!

Organized Pantry Shelves with Food

Did you know that 30-40% of food is wasted each year in the US? Sounds horrible – it is horrible – but when I think about my household on a busy, unorganized month I have to admit we fall into that range. Next time I’ll talk about meal planning and how that can help reduce food waste (and keep your wallet happier!). Meanwhile, let’s break down how you can get your kitchen in order, reduce that food waste percentage, and help those in need at the same time.

5-Minute Food Clear Out – Round 1

Let’s start in your refrigerator. While you’re reading this, open the door and pull out any old mushy fruits and wilted or moldy vegetables. If you have a compost bin, toss those items there, if not, trash as you normally would.

Round 2

Pull out every container holding half a can of artichokes, Sunday night’s leftovers, the extra rice you cooked two weeks ago, etc. If you think it’s not good (or, hint, if you see green, brown, black, or white patches, ugh) toss it now! For the remaining items tape a label with date and return to the fridge or stick in your freezer. Rinse emptied containers and recycle or run through the dishwasher.

Round 3

Next, pull all the condiments out of the door shelves (or any other spots stashed in the fridge) and stick them on your counter for a quick review. No counter space? No problem. Set the jars and cans on a cookie sheet or baking dish, then take them to your kitchen or dining room table for sorting.
Check dates on items (here’s a good article to help you determine what to keep, because “Expiration Dates” come in many different phrases). Rinse and recycle old or opened-but-you-never-use items.
Grab your grocery list to jot down what you’re tossing that you need to replace (Please! Only replace what you use, not the other random stuff left from last year’s party).

Round 4

Now we’re moving onto the pantry/cabinets. Start with bags and boxes such as cereal, pasta, cookies or other grains and do a quick review for dates. Toss what’s old, and set aside what’s still good. Before returning items to the shelves, take a good look at what you have. Will you really use it all before it goes bad? Do you really like the items you have? Anything that’s overstocked or underused, put in a grocery bag for donating to your local pantry.

Round 5

Back to the pantry/cabinets! You’ll be repeating the directions from Round 4, but with all your canned goods this time. Make sure you have the donation bag handy!

Round 6

Final step for your pantry/cabinets. Pull out the herbs/spices and repeat Round 4! This is another good time to keep a grocery list handy while you work. Jot down which herbs/spices you use often that are being tossed.

Need Help With Your Food Clear Out?

If you’re unable to sort through your food as suggested in Rounds 4-6, perhaps you’d like some support to get your pantry/cabinets in order. Check out my new Virtual Group Organizing Sessions or Schedule a Call to discuss in-person or virtual organizing.

Organize Tax Documents to Make Filing Easy This Year

Organize Tax Documents to Make Filing Easy This Year

As January draws to a close, our favorite(ha!) time of year is upon us… tax prep time. Your taxes aren’t due for a couple more months, but now is the time to make sure you have, and can find, all the tax documents you need from your work, financial institutions, and charitable giving. How you prepare now will make a difference in how you approach April 15th. Keep reading for tips to help you organize tax documents and reduce your stress.

Folder for filing tax documents


Here are three easy steps to get you started:

  1. Designate a central place for ALL documentation
  2. Create a checklist
  3. Make your own “tax day” deadline


If you haven’t designated ONE place for your documentation, do that now.  Already have a filing system? Include a 2020 Tax Documents folder with your other tax documents. However, if you don’t have a filing system, find a folder, binder, large ziploc – something that can hold papers – and label it “2020 Tax Documentation” (or another short title that makes sense to you, maybe “Stuff for Taxes This Year”). Then, and this is the important part, put this documentation holder in a smart place. Maybe your command center, maybe clipped to your wall calendar, maybe a brightly colored binder on your desk. Next, put two or three reminders on your calendar (digital or paper) between now and April that say what your storage is (e.g. purple folder) and your smart place (e.g. superhero bag on the back of my kitchen chair) so you can’t forget.


When your folder or bag is ready, insert a sheet that lists what tax documentation you need this year. Then, as mail arrives, or you get emails with digital files (that you’ll print and include in your smart place), check off each item on your list. For example a list might look like this:
  • Full-time job – W2
  • Part-time job – 1099NEC
  • Church giving statement
  • Favorite nonprofit giving statement
  • Bank account tax forms
  • Investment account tax forms
  • Social Security
  • Health Insurance / HSA
  • Self-employed details (perhaps a Balance Sheet or P&L)
    • (Don’t forget your mileage if you deduct by that method)

Want a more detailed sample checklist you can use today?

Remember, you may not receive all the tax documents in the mail. Some of your accounts may post the documentation online for you to access and print. If you’re missing any statements, check your account online.


Tax Day marked on calendar

Now that you have a system for storing and tracking all your documents, it’s time to schedule your tax day. Make it easy on yourself and plan to file early. As you’re filing, if you discover you’re missing documentation you won’t need to stress over finding what you need because you’ll have more time! How you choose to file your taxes for 2020 – on your own or through an accountant – is always up to you. Either way, you can make this year the easiest when you prepare by getting your tax documents organized and your filing date scheduled now!
Need help getting started? Contact Angela today.

Unwrapping Homes for Your New Presents

If you’re like me, the holidays went far too quickly and gifts are still scattered under the drying Christmas tree (that’s definitely coming down this weekend).

finding homes for presents

But back to those presents. When the fun of wrapping and unwrapping is over, the paper has been recycled, extra bows boxed up for next year, and the items for immediate use put away, there’s always a remaining pile of goodies that need a home.

But who has time to think about what to do with these gifts? Finding homes for presents can be challenging, so I’m here to make the task easier for you!

This year I celebrated Christmas with a baby for the first time, which was delightful, but keeping up with a 4 month old is time consuming and I only have small pockets of time for housekeeping. Now, I also have to find homes for his presents as well as my own… I’m not complaining(!) as I love gift giving, this just means less time, more put-away.

Finding Homes for Presents Tip

Are you also short on time to put the gifts away? Tip #1: grab a couple of empty boxes or baskets and group items for each room of the house into their own box. When you have a few spare minutes grab one box and head to the room where those items will belong. If the item replaces something old, put the old item in the box for donating or tossing.
It might take a week to get through all the boxes, but then you’ll be done! Breaking down the task of finding homes for new presents, from one to ninety-two items, makes it manageable.

Finding Present Homes with Kids

kids bedroom home for new presents
Tip #2: If you have kids, engage them in this process. They’ll be glad to know where to find their new toys. This also will make your life easier when they don’t have to ask over and over where their new whatcha-ma-gadget is located.
Don’t forget. The same trade-out idea applies to kids items, too. If a gift is something they already have, consider replacing, rather than adding-to their collection of toys or clothes. As long as the older item is still in functional or nice condition talk through what it would be like to donate the item(s) with each child.

Set A Deadline for the Present Win

Tip #3: If you find the baskets or boxes with new items are still sitting around, give yourself a deadline to get it done. You’ll also want to give yourself a reward for completing the project by the deadline!
Have any tips for finding homes for presents? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Still stuck and need help getting this done? Let’s talk!

7 Items You Can Clear Out Today

Items to Clear Out in 5 minutesHere in Pennsylvania, we’re adjusting to the change of post-summer schedules and the coming of fall. If you’re like me, time is often tight, but you’re ready to refresh your home — probably to make space for some new fall decorations =D. While your kids are having an afternoon snack, dinner is in the oven, or you’re folding laundry, grab a bag or box and follow this list for some quick decluttering!


  1. Water Bottles: They come in fun colors, are given out at events, and take up a lot of space. Pick your top favorites and donate the rest.
  2. Mugs: They make awesome gifts, but they also stack up quickly. Set aside a lovely set or pick your top favorites (hint: probably those out on the counter or in the sink) and donate the rest.
  3. Sunscreen: If you live in an area where fall is coming, now is the time to check the expiration date, and toss any empty/expired bottles, or those that will expire by next summer. Pro Tip – put a reminder on your calendar for next March to buy a new bottle or two.
  4. Shorts or Sleeveless Tops: Any change in the seasons is a great time to pull out a couple of items you rarely or never wore the past season and bag them up to toss, or donate if still in good shape.
  5. Hangers: If they’re broken, the wrong type, or simply not serving your clothes well anymore, toss them and get a new set.
  6. Pens and Pencils: Next time you’re re-watching a movie, pull all the pens and pencils out of your junk drawer, grab a sheet of scrap paper and give them a quick test. Might want to have a pencil sharpener and trash bag on hand.
  7. DVD’s: Speaking of re-watching . . . skim through your DVD shelf and there’s a good chance you’ll find a few you really don’t need anymore. Go ahead, toss them into that donation bin you’re filling up.


Bonus Pro Tips:

  • Start with the easiest one on the list for you, and work your way towards the harder, often sentimental, ones. The momentum you’ll achieve from the quick and easy items will give you the boost to attack the more difficult.
  • Have fun!
  • When you’re finished, take a moment to appreciate what you’ve accomplished!

Waffle Iron Day!

When it comes to breakfast foods, waffles play a close second to french toast on my favorites scale.  As a kid, my dad had a waffle iron that he spent hours standing over to make our family a breakfast (or lunch or dinner) of – yes, simply waffles.  Who needs eggs or bacon when you have one hot waffle after another coming to your plate?



Everyone has their favorite foods, and every kitchen is filled with gadgets to make and create those favorites, but have you taken a look at just how many kitchen gadgets you own?  If your kitchen is one of those places in your home that always feels crowded, and it’s hard to clean up because your cabinets and shelves are filled with the “but I might need it” items, today is your day to stop… and select one item you truly never use (or could borrow from a friend if you actually needed it) to toss in your donate bin!


Clearing out can be overwhelming when you think of tackling a whole house or business at once, so a key to unlocking your potential is to pause in your daily routine and look at what’s in front of you for a moment long enough to pull out what you can send to a new home.


For my home, I’d keep the waffle iron, but maybe I don’t need two egg separators…  What are you clearing out today?