Often I'll get some random questions from readers that don't really fit into their own post. So I've rounded up all the random questions and will be answering them right here! Keep reading, or check out the video for my answers!
What shelving have you found that is good?
One of the most important things to me in shelving is the depth. I want it to be deep enough that I can use my favorite multipurpose bins from The Container Store without them hanging over the edge. I've found some great shelving options at Ikea that work for this.
The shelves that are always behind me in my videos are the Liatorp bookcases from Ikea. They are super sturdy (the've moved houses with me without incident!), and the shelves are strong enough that they don't bow. I also like the trim and the general look of them.
Another favorite from Ikea are their Kallax bookcases. Those are the cube shelves that come in sizes all the way from 2×2 up to 5×5. There are tons of dupes and copies at other stores, so it's easy to find square bins to fit, and one nice thing about these is the bins can give you hidden storage.
I prefer these over the cheaper pressed wood bookcases from places like Walmart because those shelves can bow, but if that's all that's in your budget, then go for it. You can make it work if you need to!
What are your best tips for keeping your bedroom clean daily?
This is a tough one because we are in this room so often, and a lot of times we're tired when we're here, LOL! My best tip would be to make the bed every day when you get out. I do make my bed every day, but I don't always do it when I first wake up. I'm not one of those people who jumps out of bed ready to greet the day. I'm still half asleep for at least the first half hour! Usually I'll get dressed and put on makeup and then go back and make the bed.
Next, do your best to keep the flat surfaces clean. Flat surfaces anywhere attract clutter, but this is especially so in the bedroom. I make a real effort to habitually put away stuff on my surfaces. When I do my makeup, I get out my caddy and put everything back in as I go because it's just as easy to do that as it is to lay it on the counter.
If the flat surfaces get away from you, take the time to do a “hard reset” where you really clean everything off so it's 100% clear. That will give you a little extra motivation to keep up with it daily.
Also try to put things away immediately. This can be tough with clothes and makeup, but if you put it away right away, it will never get cluttered in the first place. If I'm trying on a bunch of clothes, I hang things back up right away.
How do you store gift bags/wrapping paper/bows, and how much do you keep?
First, I keep very few bags in the first place, maybe 5-10. I just don't need 50+ gift bags in a year, so I don't want to store that many! I have a very not-fancy storage method– I use a gift bag to store the other gift bags in, LOL! Once it's full, I don't keep any more gift bags.
I also keep plain white tissue paper and no other colors. The white matches everything, so it's another way to streamline things.
I keep 2-3 rolls of wrapping paper, and I try to make this pretty neutral/multipurpose so I can use it for kids or adults, boys or girls, etc. 95% of the time I will use a gift bag anyway. It's much more of a pain to wrap a gift than to just toss it in a bag, so that's what I usually do.
I make cards on my Cricut Joy, so that's super fast. I don't need a stash of cards because I can make one quickly when I need one.
As far as storage, I just keep these supplies on a shelf in a closet, but I have seen some very cool over-the-door organizers as well as some under-bed storage boxes that hold wrapping supplies. The biggest key is just to limit how much you store, and when it's full, it's full.
How do you stay so consistent with your newsletter each week, and how do you have such great content for each one?
This question makes me smile because if you knew me in person, you'd know I am not a super consistent person. It's just something I really struggle with. I love to do deep dives, go all in, and set up a system from scratch. But then maintaining it is where I struggle. However, in almost any business, consistency is the most important factor.
When I started my business (while doing a day job), I decided that the absolute number one thing that was most important was building my email list. So I promised myself that no matter what, I would send out that weekly newsletter. Now it's up to twice a week, but in 10.5 years, I have never missed a weekly newsletter!
At first it was super hard because I was the only one working at my business, so if I had a hard week, sometimes I'd put the kids to bed on Tuesday night, and crank out one that was most definitely NOT my best work to go out the next day. But regardless, I did it. It was a promise to myself that I committed to keep. Now I have a team, which has made things so much easier and the content even better! I also have people expecting that newsletter, a team depending on me for the content so they can do their jobs, and that keeps us all accountable.
How do you decide what craft supplies to get rid of? I'm out of space for the stuff I have!
This is another really tough one. I'm a crafter, and most crafts take a LOT of supplies! So I've really struggled here, but this is what I've found that works for me:
- Pick a project and buy those supplies. I like to make my project exactly like what I see online, so I just buy those specific supplies when I need them and don't store a bunch of the excess after the project is done.
- Don't collect everything. I used to do Stampin' Up!, and I had ALL the ink pads, paper, etc. Now I'm getting back into it, but I'm only keeping about ten ink pads and just a few stamp sets. I want to have room for the next cool set, so I hold everything with a loose hand. I don't intend to keep these sets forever. I want to make a few cards with the set and then let it go.
- Do fewer crafts. If you sew, and you chalk, and you paint, and draw, and stamp, and crochet…you get the picture. You need different supplies for each craft. Which are your favorites? Consider limiting it to just a few and letting the other supplies go. You can always pick it back up again later, just like I did with stamping. Trends change, so if you don't see yourself doing something for several years, let it go and then get the newer stuff later so you're excited about the projects.
Would you please share tips on organizing costume jewelry?
I LOVE jewelry. It completes an outfit, and you never grow in or out of it size-wise, so this is an area where I collect a bit more because I love it so much.
Personally I love command hooks. They now have crystal command hooks, and I store my necklaces on those on my closet wall. I also have a stacking jewelry box that I use for earrings and bracelets. Personally I love having my necklaces out on hooks because I can see what I have. Also, it's so pretty! I love looking at my jewelry, so it's almost like decor in my closet.
You are always so bright and positive and laughing! Do you need down time? If so, how much is enough?
First, you all see about 20 minutes of my life each week, just like with any content creator. I am a fairly positive person, but I still have my moments when I'm down or stressed or overwhelmed. I'm also dealing with chronic disease, which has been one of the most challenging things in my whole life.
I do feel (maybe this is cliche, but it's true!) that gratitude helps a lot in staying positive. I have so many things to be grateful for, and I do my best to stay thankful for the (many!) blessings I have. Also, here at GOHQ, we want to be a positive uplifting place where everyone feels welcome!
As far as down time, I need more down time in this stage of life than I ever did before. Until I hit 30, I hardly took any downtime. i was always productive, working inside my home or at my day job, doing activities, working out. TV was barely on my radar. I look back at that girl and think she was just a whirlwind of productivity. It would be AWESOME to have her energy again, but it just isn't my reality anymore.
Part of this is my chronic illness. Sometimes I literally have to take downtime. Sometimes I'm in bed all day long in pain. But even aside from that, I think having kids has been a huge mental weight. I love them to pieces, but they are a huge responsibility. Even when I'm not with them, I'm worrying about them or about if I'm parenting the right way, etc., and I think that mental stress takes a toll on me.
In the last 5-10 years, I need at least an hour of down time per day, and usually more! I have my own bedtime routine. After I put them to bed, I wind down myself. I hardly ever do work after they're in bed. That's the time when I can finally let down.
So…you may be in a different stage of life, and each person needs varying amounts of down time. My suggestion is to listen to your body and your mind, and give yourself what you need. Down time really does make you more productive when you do work. Burnout is real, and if you can prevent it with more rest time, you will ALWAYS come out ahead!
I would like to ask you about your health conditions. What advice would you give for dealing with this?
Well…I feel like I'm still in the middle of this. We don't know what is causing my issues or even how to manage it other than to just take things day by day and give my body the rest it needs.
One thing I will say is to manage your expectations of yourself. I'm not the same person I was ten years ago before I had health problems. I can't go at the same pace, and I need more rest. Once I accepted that, my stress levels went way down. Although it can still be super frustrating for me sometimes, I'm doing better at being realistic about what I can and can't handle these days. My best tip would be to give yourself kindness and grace!
Do you have any tips/hacks on maintaining a space once you've organized it?
This is by far the biggest challenge of organizing. My opinion is that maintenance starts when you first organize, so you should set up your systems in the way you want to maintain them. This has a lot to do with personality.
- For myself, I know I will keep up with something that is organized beautifully. The shelves behind me in my videos are NEVER disorganized because I find them so pretty this way.
- Labeling, for any personality, is a huge help, too. It gives you hard and fast boundaries, and it helps other people in your family know where things belong. Anything that makes it easier to put stuff away is a big help.
- Focus on your trouble zones. For us it's coming in and piling stuff on our island. I put hooks by the back door. It has cut way down on what we pile on the island.
- Set an alarm to tidy up your hot spots 2-3 times a day. A few minutes of targeted work does wonders!
I would like to know more about Airtable.
This could be a whole post in itself (let me know if you'd like to see that!). Airtable is a way to organize lists and keep inventories, track habits, etc.
The cool thing about Airtable is that you can link things. So for example, I can link a list of ink pads to a corresponding list of paper, etc.
I use it to track a lot of habits and things related to my health condition. I don't yet know what's causing my problems, so I've started very detailed tracking of diet, exercise, etc. The cool thing is that I can do this every night from my phone, and I have it set up so Airtable emails me the link every night at 8:30 so I can just go in and fill it out. That helps me stay consistent!
It also has some great business applications, too. It's way too large a topic to get into here, but let me know if you want to know more!
I always love answering your questions, so feel free to send in a question for me, and I'd love to do a post like this again soon!
Organization that sticks for busy, happy lives.