Apr 9 2015

How to Declutter Your Home and Keep It Organized

By Jane Blanchard

Do you get the sinking feeling that you are spending way too much time looking for things in your home? Do you think your house is messy or disorganized? There is a way to transform your living quarters so that everything will be in its logical place, and you can start the process by decluttering.

To begin your project, you will need a good supply of bags for items that will go to the trash bin, for those that you will be giving away, for items you need to rearrange or relocate, and still more bags for things you need to put in storage. Apart from your bags, make sure you are able to allocate enough time for your project by creating a daily and weekly work schedule.

Learn to say goodbye

Traditional Home Office by Birmingham Interior Designers & Decorators AMW Design Studio


Go through each room in your house and throw away things that need to go to the trash bin. To make the process less overwhelming, do your trash rounds per room instead of going through the whole house all at once. Take a big trash bag and pick up all the things that you no longer have use for. Once that bag is full, tie it up, throw it away, and don’t look back.

Getting rid of stuff can sometimes be so agonizing it is often referred to as purging. However, it is a necessary step if you want to see order in your home. Your reward: shelves and closets that are no longer messy and overstuffed.

Transitional Home Office by Virginia Beach Kitchen & Bath Fixtures Hudson’s Luxury Building Boutique

Decide how much space you really have

Determining where you will put your things and seeing how much space you really have can help you see what you can keep and what you need to discard. Let the amount of space you have determine the number and the size of the items you will accumulate. If you keep your space limitations in mind, being selective will be easier for you, and you won’t end up with too much stuff.

Traditional Bathroom by Mooresville Building Supplies Lowe’s Home Improvement

Divide your decluttering into manageable work segments


Don’t try to clean up your whole house at once. If you do, there is a strong possibility that you won’t do a thorough job, and this will probably leave enough unfinished business for clutter to start all over again. Instead of doing an ambitious massive overhaul, think about working on one room at a time. Spend 15 to 30 minutes a day on that room and give it two hours on a weekend. When it’s done, move on to the next room.

While you are working on a specific room, don’t allow yourself to take “a few minutes” to go to another room so you can arrange a vase or a book you found. If you find anything that belongs to a room other than the one you are working on, put it in your relocate/rearrange bag. This kind of discipline will allow you to get a solid chunk of work done.

Transitional Kids by Eden Prairie Artists & Artisans Wind and Willow Home

Allow everyone to actively participate


You have a better chance of keeping clutter out of your house if everyone is on board when you begin the project. This means everyone has to agree that some stuff will have to go. It also means allowing people to decide where they will put their shoes, their bags, and all the other things that always seem to lie around in disarray. Maybe kids will want huge tubs to put toys in, and some people in the house will want some place to just plop the things from their pockets. Ask everyone for solutions to the clutter problems they contribute to.

Think labels, colors, and systems

Kitchen by Encinitas Closet & Home Storage Designers Neat Method San Diego

Once you’ve gotten rid of the trash and given away the things you should, you can buckle down to getting things really organized. Label boxes and containers so you won’t find it difficult to find things later – especially if you are storing clothing you won’t be using till next season. You might want to color code your boxes to make it even easier to identify which boxes hold kitchen goods, spare linen, Christmas décor, or Halloween costumes.

When you rearrange things, don’t forget to provide easy access for items that are used most often. If your closets are deep, put these often-used items in a box or tray so that behind this box you can put another one for seldom used goods.

Finally, remember that it took more than a day or a week for your house to accumulate the clutter you see today. Relax, keep at it, and be confident that you will get it all straightened out and organized – one room at a time.

For more home ideas visit Modernize.com!

Sep 24 2014

The Lord was not in the fire.

Fire Sky

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19.11-13

Every year the Methow Valley deals with forest fires. Last September we traveled to Washington for my little sister’s wedding. As we were pulling onto Gold Creek Loop road we caught a helicopter dipping water out of the river. It was a site to behold. Everyone was praying that the fires would be put out. The morning of the wedding we woke up to rain which helped calm the fires but the wedding was outdoors. The bride was choosing to put her trust in God, even though emotions were high, that it would all work out. With the fog, the mood & lighting for the photography was perfect and just as the ceremony was about to start the sun popped out making it one of the most beautiful ceremonies ever in my parents front yard at Dove Mountain Ranch with the North Cascade Mountains as the backdrop and Jesus as the center.

This year when we got the call that there were fires in July, it came as no surprise. We had been through this before, no biggie. Well, it turned into a biggie. We kept in touch as the fires burned and last I heard they had to evacuate. Then we heard there were no lines of communication. Some of you may know the feeling when you know loved ones are in danger and you are half way across the country with no way to hear their voices. Thankfully we did have a couple very special friends that kept us in the loop with texts. My parents {Bob & Betty Gibson} were safe. But my parents’ neighbor, who was retired military and a Gold Creek angel, was fighting fires harder than most young men ended up having a heart attack and passed. His passing left a hole in many hearts around the neighborhood, he is missed. Amazingly enough this was the only fatality in fires that took over 200,000 acres, 300 homes, and who knows how many outbuildings and livestock.

After the fires came the floods. With everything burned up of course we all prayed for rain (without lightning). Well, it came and came and came. Flash flooding throughout the valley took what the fire left behind. God isn’t that enough? Being half way across the country and not able to help physically was a burden to carry, I had to hand it all to God and trust Him in all of this.

My parents and neighbors evacuated the Gold Creek area and stayed at their RV park in the town of Carlton. Next text I got was ‘Gibson house is miraculously saved. Wait til you see pics.’ Then we heard that the fire took my dad’s cabinet shop, an old barn, log chicken coop & their wood shed which sat right next to my parents’ house. Of course we are all so thankful that they still have their home and know that others were not so fortunate. But my dad did lose his cabinet shop, which is his way of living. He and my mom have said it is just strange. Mom brought a chair home for dad to fix… well, he no longer has tools or a shop to fix anything. He thinks about going out to the shop to use a tool or build something for the house and remembers it’s not there anymore. We can only imagine how those feel that lost everything.

This is a picture of my parents’ house, you can see the dark spots where the flames ‘kissed’ the house. By all natural explanations their house should have burned too. Not sure why it didn’t and why others did. But I trust God.Dove Mountain Ranch - house not burned

Not only did God carry my burden and give me peace that He still is God and I can trust Him, but we have so many people that love. They really love, like Jesus does. Nate Laun took off work and headed over the mountains to help fight fires. He headed back home only to get supplies and a cell phone that worked for my parents before heading back to the Methow. A family friend came over with a generator, gas and supplies. Friends from Camano Chapel came over as well with money and supplies. I don’t even know all the stories of how people showed up. But they did and helped in whatever way they could.

My parents own the Carlton RV park with a restaurant/bar that they use for The Local Church and in the midst of this disaster their building was used as a relief center. Little did they know when they bought the place a couple years ago that it would be used for this. But this is their heart. They both love people and will use anything they have to help and share Jesus. At one point I called the church and my dad answered the phone. He sounded excited, there were people coming in and out and I could hear the joy in his voice. This is what he was made for, to share his life and his Savior.

These are a couple pictures of where the shop and barn used to be. And that little log cabin that has sat there for over 100 years still sits there.
Where Bob's shop and barn once stood.
View from the hillside.

The dust has settled, reality sets in and people are cleaning up and rebuilding. The Lord was not in the fire, He is in the whisper. And He whispers to each and everyone one of us, you can trust Me. I love you.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10.10

People have come to help my parents clean up the mess, it is a lot of work and they are so appreciated. Our own angel here on earth, Nate, is so graciously heading up a group and raising funds to rebuild dad’s shop. He has plans ready and is working on getting a team together. You can check out all the info on the facebook page he set up {click here}.

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. Thank you also for all your prayers. Even though the fires are gone the Methow Valley has a long road ahead, rebuilding and restarting. I don’t understand why all this happened, but I do know that we have a God who loves us so much and I do know that we can trust Him. He will bring beauty from the ashes, of this I am sure.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3.17 & 18

Now this is my account being half way across the country. I haven’t even seen the effects of all this disaster with my own eyes yet. As I was writing this I had a hard time keeping my eyes dry. I cannot even imagine going through it all, I don’t think anyone can who hasn’t experienced it. There are so many stories to hear, I would love to hear yours.

photos by Nate Laun.

Jul 19 2014

Best Zucchini bread ever.

This Zucchini bread is the best I have ever had. Aunt Carla shared it with us when we first moved to the Midwest and it has been a hit with our family, friends & neighbors. Crispy crust and soft, moist inside, you can’t beat it.


Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup oil
2 cups grated zucchini (or 4-5 bananas)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all together. Pour into small bread pans. Bake at 325 for 45 min.


Apr 21 2014

Rustic Design and Furniture

Rustic: (ru.steek) adj. A blend of modern and rustic industrial design.

That pretty much sums up the style of this amazing furniture. Built by Justin of Red Rooster Trading Company this furniture is heirloom quality and will be that piece you can’t stop admiring. Visit www.redroostertradingcompany.com and check out their line of furniture. They also love to build custom. Scroll below for more images.

Rustic Industrial Wine Bar: Using a salvaged metal frame with awesome!! casters, hand.antiqued mirror and vintage hardware using century old barnwood.

red-rooster-furniture2red-rooster-furniture red-rooster-furniture3


red-rooster-furniture6 Rustic Industrial Coffee Table: Using salvaged metal frame, original yellow paint, and century old barnwood.red-rooster-furniture5





Dec 19 2013

Pop! Goes the Color Weasel


Image source: Stellan Herner for Swedish ELLE Decor
Jonathon Ensor is a freelance design blogger writing on behalf of Empire Today. He thinks there needs to be a hip-hop song lyric featuring the rhyming of “puce” and “chartreuse”.

Lately, I’ve been feeling trapped by creams, taupes and oatmeals. Neutrals are timeless for a reason – they’re easy and elegant backdrops for getting creative. But when I noticed my living room was the same color scheme as my dentist’s waiting room…some flags went off in my brain and they were crimson, not ecru. › Continue reading

Oct 25 2013

Guest Post from the Arcadian Home blog

Typography Decor

Hello, all! It’s Mari here with a guest post from Arcadian Home blog. It’s a fantastic place to find interior design inspiration including great decorating ideas for everything from beautiful contemporary floor lamps to wonderful cozy rugs for the floor.

As you can see Britta burrus design is all about letters that come together to form words to showcase their clients’ services and/or products. Since we live in a world of interiors, we wanted to share some beautiful and interesting ways letters and words–typography can be used in interior design. Here are eight of our favorites. Please enjoy!

~ Mari

› Continue reading

Aug 12 2013

Working with Rebecca Michaels & violet love headbands giveaway

First… you have come a long way Rebecca Michaels. Your business venture started before I had the privilege of working with you. Me living in tiny Biblegrove, Missouri and you being in PA at the time… I met you via phone calls and email. I was reminded how far you have come because I was cleaning out my office today and I came across some of the first business cards I designed with you. 2008 was the year that I got to start with designing your business card… you already had your look and brand established so my job was minimal, but was I ever excited to have the opportunity to work with you. From there I have worked on various things from labels, postcards, banners, press kits, lookbooks, websites etc etc. What a ride it has been. › Continue reading

Jun 22 2013

Interior Design Defined & Re-Defined

Sometimes you have to take some time away from the daily grind and do something you love! I love love to design and make things beautiful whether it is a website, logo, wedding invitations or in and around my home. There are a lot of things I love, but today I am focusing on interior design. I think it takes years to make a home your home. We have lived in Biblegrove for 7 years in July. We are still making this home our home. Along the lines of Interior Design we have remodeled bathrooms, painted walls & then repainted, built furniture & signs, hunted {or haunted works too ;)} auctions, junk shops & antique stores, made memories {some great, some not so great}… and we still have some unfinished projects. But we have come a long way baby! We have also had a lot of help along the way.

This is the definition of Interior Design from dictionary.com

Interior Design: noun
1.the design and coordination of the decorative elements of the interior of a house, apartment, office, or other structural space, including color schemes, fittings, furnishings, and sometimes architectural features.
2.the art, business, or profession of executing this.

I think that kind of sums it up. But it sounds too stuffy. Interior Design to me is surrounding yourself with things you love, from the images I share you will probably get a good feel for the things that I & Justin love. I am very thankful to have a husband that has amazing taste and can build me anything we can dream up. › Continue reading

Aug 29 2012

Furniture Staging & Photography

I had the privilege to team up with Amanda of vagabond photography once again on a photoshoot for Oakwood Industries. As always we had a blast working together and I must say the images came out wonderfully. LOVE their latest furniture collections. You should definitely head down to their showroom on HWY 136 in Memphis, MO! Just in time for Christmas I’d say! Photos courtesy of vagabond photography!

fine modern solid wood furniture

fine modern solid wood furniture

fine modern solid wood furniture

Jan 25 2012

Product Packaging

So, I received some VLove today! I was so pleased with the presentation… felt like I was receiving a gift and yep, made me feel special. It got me to thinking… {uh oh!} my husband and I also own & run Red Rooster Trading Company together. We wrap our products in hand.stamped burlap bags then nestle them in a bed of shredded newspaper {recycled from our local newspaper} and put them in a sealed gift box. To top it off we thank each of our customers using a Bb card and yes, actually writing each one by hand.

This is important to us because we appreciate our customers so much, without them we wouldn’t have a business! My mom told me that when I was little I always wanted to have my own retail shop so that I could say ‘Thank you & have a nice day!’ I may not have a ‘brick & mortar’ {yet, anyway}, but we do have our online shop, I just get to write it instead of say it. You see, dreams really do come true. 🙂

Ok, back on track… at Red Rooster we receive comments & reviews and practically every one of them says something about the packaging and hand.written note. They appreciate that there is a real live person handling & packaging their product that cares about the products they receive. And they appreciate being appreciated. So, if you own a business where you ship your products… it only takes a little effort to make a nice presentation, make someone feel special and show some pride in your product {Pride can be a good thing}. And a lot of times those people share their experience with others… word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools ever!

I took a few pics to inspire you… I had the privilege of working with each of these businesses on their identity & branding. I love having the opportunity to work with such a variety of companies. Each of my clients has an idea of how they want the world to see them and the best way to present that. It is my job to take their ideas and make them shine.

First up is how Rebecca Michaels shows her customer appreciation… don’t you feel the love? {I ordered a headband}

Next is a photog client of mine… vagabond def shows her appreciation with her packaging.

And last, but not least… Red Rooster’s packaging.

Thanks for stopping by, maybe you got a little inspiration. Now go and present your company well! If you need any design work or ideas feel free to shoot me an email for pricing.