Downsize Your Magazines Today

Don’t get me wrong, I love Real Simple Magazine.  I am constantly inspired by their before and after pictures and often take away really smart ideas for improving efficiency.  However I want to quickly point out that this magazine (and all the countless others) quickly become clutter if you allow them to sit in your home and go unused.

So I challenge you today to go through your home and gather all of the magazines laying around and put them in one place.  Make a vow to go through as many as you can each day until no magazines remain.  Should you find interesting tidbits that you would like to further research simply rip that page out and put it in a pile.  BE REALISTIC when you do this.  We would all love to read and know everything in the world but honestly who has the time?  Tear out the pages that will enrich your life and that are WORTH YOUR TIME. Ask yourself, “with the thousand things I have to do today, am I really going to make time to read this article about how to get flatter abs?”

Remember, you want to surround yourself with things you NEED, VALUE, USE, LOVE and RESPECT.  Rarely would a magazine fall under any of those categories.  Now go gather, review and recycle!  You will be amazed at how much space you have to gain.

All the best,

Patricia G. Masi

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Do You Spend Way Too Much Time and Money at Whole Foods?

Do you spend way too much time and money at Whole Foods?  You are not alone.  I love the place!  I find it inspiring to eat healthy and easy to get in and get out. That is however until I walk out the door and realize just how much time and money I spent there.  It’s sort of a love-hate thing.  I love the quality it provides but hate investing so much.  So I came up with a solution!

Meal planning simplified!

Basically I created 10 weeks’ worth of menus my family loves.  These are
healthy meals that include protein, carbohydrates and a ton of vegetables.  No added sugars, no expensive ingredients you’ll never use again and most of all they are delicious, they usually allow for leftovers and they definitely take the stress out of shopping, cooking and eating as a family.

Just grab your grocery list, pick up the items you need and scurry on out of there.  No kid meltdowns, no impulse buys, no hassle thinking about what to feed your family.  Efficient, manageable and delicious!

How it works:

  1. Email me at
  2. Set up a phone call with me to discuss your meal preferences, the size of your family, your challenges, cooking strengths, etc.
  3. Pay $5.95 for 2 weeks, $16.95 for 6 weeks or $24.95 for 10 weeks and receive a well thought out, diverse menu that everyone will love and will easily save you 1-3 hours of personal time a week!
    **Please note these menus are laminated which keep them safe from sticky fingers so you can use them over and over again!  The lamination
    also makes it easy to add a sticky note so you don’t forget your list of other
    household items you may need to purchase.

Over time you’ll notice your grocery lists get smaller and smaller because you already have the staple items like extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, marinara sauce, garlic, etc.  Smaller lists= less time in the store, less opportunity for meltdowns, less money spent and most
importantly more time spent doing the things you love.  Very efficient if you ask me!  And you know I love all things efficient!

Life is too short to stress over what to eat.  This method worked wonders for my confidence in the kitchen, allowed me to plan my days around what I wanted to do and NOT what we were going to eat.  I hope you find it as helpful as I did!

All the best,

Patricia G. Masi


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Creating Space in a Crowded Closet

The first step to get organized is ALWAYS to pare down your belongings.  You can NOT organize clutter so take the time to remove any unwanted/unused items (aka clutter) in your closet.

Not good at making decisions on what to keep and what to donate?  Keep reading: When first deciding what to keep in your closet ask yourself:

1. Did I wear it this season?  If not, donate it.

2. Would I buy it again?  If not, cut your losses and let go of the item.

3. Do I really need 2 or 3 black pants…or 3 or 4 jeans…or whatever. We are creatures of habit- are you really going to wear that ‘just in case’ item?

4. Could someone else benefit from having this more than me?

5. Why am I holding onto it?  (A wedding dress for example.)

6. Do I intend to ever REALLY get the zipper fixed or heel replaced?  Donate any damaged or stained clothes.

7. Is this jacket, hat, sweater, etc. really worth the space it is going to take up?

8. Would I really wear this special occasion piece again?  If not, simply donate and refer to websites like when in need.

9. What is the risk involved if you get rid of it?  Probably none.  Ask yourself this question when paring down socks and under garments.  You will probably never miss them.

OK, now that you’ve pared down a TON of stuff and your closet and drawers are only filled with things you are still excited to wear it’s time to get organized.  Without seeing your space it’s hard to determine exactly how we can maximize it but here are a few products that seem to work for almost everyone.

- Hanging canvas sorter for sweaters, workout gear, whatever. I like this one b/c it is sturdy and attractive. Always maximize vertical space where you can. OR for your kids closet

- Under bed storage.  Always store off season clothes when you can.  Get 1-2 for each room.  Great way to add instant space.

- Great way to maximize vertical space in tall closets.  Easily accessible and affordable. OR

- Over door hooks.  Great for robes, coats, laundry bag, etc. Only keep essentials hung/folded in your closet.

- Mesh laundry bag.  Instead of keeping dirty clothes in a bulky laundry basket try hanging a cheap mesh bag behind your door.

- These are great for accessories.   I use them in kitchens a lot but also closets if the space will permit.

Double hang closet rod.

- Slim hangers.  Using slim hangers will make a difference at the end of the day.

- Plastic drawers.  These are great for socks, under garments, running t-shirts, bathing suits, etc.

- Wall mounted hanger.  Great for storing temporary items like running clothes you dont want to wash every time or when getting dressed in the morning.

- Swivel mirror.  Expensive but a great space saver that looks great in any bedroom.  Simply add baskets to the shelves to house socks, scarves, etc. OR purchase a few jewelry trees and keep your jewelry placed back there.

- Storage.  If you have a storage unit in your building as part of your rent (b/c I NEVER recommend wasting money on storage units) then consider keeping rarely used or off-season bulky items protected in this:

- Front hall closet.  These are great this time of year when you are looking to keep all of your mittens and hats easily accessible.

Again, it’s difficult to make suggestions without seeing your space but hopefully this has given you a good reference point. The most important thing to do is donate things you do not wear; consign or sell things that are still in good condition and only purchase new things that you have a space for.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out!  You should not waste another minute of your life sifting through clothes you have no intention of ever wearing again.  If I can help you get through the process please feel free to reach out.


Patricia G. Masi


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Ballard Design: Great Design with a Purpose

I take my name off at least one catalog a week.  I’m not sure where they get my information, or how they know I have a dog, a daughter, a love of cooking, etc. but they do!  And whoever ‘they’ are like to send me catalogs.  And while I may skim through one every now and again I promptly turn the catalog over, call the 1-800 number and remove my name.  I do this to reduce the amount of waste being produced and put in landfills, but I also do it to reduce the amount of unsolicited paperwork making its way into my home.

I do this religiously however, there is one catalog I have yet to remove my name from b/c although I have never purchased anything for my own home in it, I always seem to find some clever space saving piece of furniture for my clients. And what catalog do I speak of?  Ballard Design!

In fact, I just received a catalog this evening and when things got quiet at home I decided to take a look. Below you’ll find a few of my favorite SPACE SAVING pieces that have great design and function. Happy shopping!

**Please note, as soon as I was done reading the catalog I promptly ‘Pinned’ my favorite pieces on Pinterest ( and then recycled the catalog.

Kitchen Island. Great way to add storage/counter space without making a huge commitment.

Great addition to any bedroom or closet. Solves your shoe and jewelry storage issues in one! Plus when you move you can take it with you!

Secretary desk. If you don’t have a home office you still need somewhere to gather paper. Try a beautiful Secretary to house important documents but also to spruce up any room in the home.

Secretary Chest. Beautiful for any room in the home. Doubles as beautiful decor to display your belongings but also to house important documents and use as a docking station.

Entryway/Mudroom storage. These are the perfect height for all members of the family.

File Storage Ottoman. A great, non-sterile way to house important documents in your bedroom or home office.

Original Home Office Desk Organizer. Great addition to any countertop or desk.

Wall Organizer. Great for a home office or inside of an entryway closet.

Great for when you’re throwing big parties and need to hang additional coats. Or you want to stylishly display your couture wear.

Patricia G. Masi

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Land of Nod: Furniture for Function and Fun!

I love, love, love Land of Nod’s new collection! Not only because it is beyond cute but because it is practical and functional! Two of my favorite words when redesigning my clients homes.

As an organizer to many mothers, you can imagine we spend a considerable amount of time in the kitchen, home office and yes, the playroom! As such I wanted to highlight a few products from Land of Nod that have received my seal of approval! Great work LoN!

***NOW REMEMBER*** You can NOT organize clutter!! So before you purchase anything be sure to remove (donate/trash/sell/consign/recycle) any toys or possessions you do not NEED, USE, VALUE or LOVE!

Play Tables
Totally functional and both provide additional storage!
First choice:

Second choice:

Don’t forget the matching storage chair:

Books & Toy Storage
I have these in my daughter’s room:

Love the toy storage on the bottom here. But remember…only buy shelves and storage your young child can reach if you expect them to help clean up!

Great for dress up clothes! Just add more hooks!–drawer-base/f7086

Dresser for clothes but storage for books, collections, toys, etc. Great space saving dresser if your room is long enough.

If you’re tired of asking your young children to hang up their coat then try one of these

Must mention:

Useful in any room:
Love putting these on the side of your refrigerator. Try one for each child that includes permission slips, calendars, assignments, etc.

Great way to maximize any closet in your house! Especially the front hall closet. Think gloves, suntan lotions, shin guards, anything!

Remember, set your kids up for success! Meaning give your kids the tools they need to have a clean and organized room. Think of these items as an investment in your sanity!

If you want to see more of my favorite organizing and decorating items follow me on Pinterest!

Patricia G. Masi

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Out With the Old

New favorite website for donating your unused itesm: Check it out!

Furniture Donation:
For free pick-up and removal:
– National Center for Children and Families 301- 365-4480 ext 304
– The Salvation Army 301-277-7878
– The Good Will 202-271-5263 .
– The Purple Heart 301-277-0063 .
– The Lupus Foundation of America (202) 349-1155 **Only accept plastic, wood and wicker furniture. Not picking up until March.

For expensive but PROMPT pick-up and removal:

College Hunks Hauling Junk 1-800-586-5872
Junk in theTrunk
123 Junk

Your neighborhool list serve. This is often one of the most quick and convenient way to get unwanted furniture to a new home!

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Meal Planning Done Right

Meal planning and grocery shopping does not have to be a daily challenge. This simple idea worked for my family and it can work for you too!

Start by creating a simple spread sheet that highlights all of the dinners your family will actually eat.
Create a category for Chicken dinners, Vegetarian dinners, Meat dinners, Italian style, Side Dishes, etc.
**Categorizing the items will help you plan meals faster!

Not sure where to get the recipes….
- Think of everything that you have made for dinner in the past few weeks, and write it down.
- Dig through your recipe books and pick out a few meals — ones that most of your kids will eat, or ones where you can easily make a slightly modified version to appeal to everyone. Also choose recipes with simple, accessible ingredients.  If you don’t like any of the recipes in the cook books than DONATE the cook books.  Items you do not use are just clutter.
- Sign up for a ‘meal of the day.’ for inspiration. I enjoy receiving recipe ideas from Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, All Recipes, My Recipes and of course my new favorite…PINTEREST!!!!

Pinterest is the greatest thing the Internet has brought into my life no joke! If you don’t know what it is check it out immediately and start using it to store all of your favorite things in one place!

After you have created a spread sheet outlining all of your family’s favorite meals put 15 minutes on your calendar each Friday,Saturday OR Sunday to plan out the following weeks meal. Get your partner involved so the burden does not fall directly on you.

Once you have picked your meals and added them to the spread sheet be sure to note where to find the recipe. Is it in a cook book or can it be found on line? If it can be found online be sure to include the link. This will help you be much more efficient!

Before you head out to the store write down all of the ingredients you will need. Try to combine recipes that call for the same ingredients to avoid waste!

Now with your handy dandy grocery list save some time on Sunday to grocery shop either alone or with your partner as a date! It can be fun! Promise!
No time to grocery shop? Utilize Pea Pod!! Can’t beat the convenience!

Game plan should include:
Sunday- Prepare a hearty home cooked meal like lasagna or chili. Make sure to make enough for leftovers on Monday.
Monday- leftovers
Tuesday- Prepare a meal. If you’re not a fan of the slow cooker you should become one.
Wednesday- leftovers
Thursday- resort to family staples like organic chicken tenders or already prepared meatballs or meatloaf.
Friday- order pizza! Be sure to include green peppers, mushrooms and lots of marinara! Avoid ordering soda’s
Saturday- date night. Kids can fend for themselves.

With a little preparation you can easily only cook 3 nights a week. This will save you time, money and trips to the grocery store.

Get organized!!!
Create a categorized meal plan!!!
Write an efficient menu for the week with ingredients!!!
Go to the grocery store on a date with your husband!!!
Cook together as a family!!!
Be confident you are making food your family loves and you can be proud of!

Patricia G. Masi

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Tired of Looking at that Dusty Piano?

Unfortunately that ‘investment’ in your child’s musical career wasn’t so much of an investment after all and you’ve finally decided to get rid of the piano.  But it weighs 300 pounds, is incredibly out of tune and none of your relatives will take it.  So what is a girl to do?  Well, after helping a client ‘redistribute’ her piano this past week I thought I would share some of my findings with you:

First, try to determine the year it was made and/or the serial number (this link will show you where to look in the piano )
Secondly, if you think the piano could be worth a significant amount of money I would contact an appraiser to determine the value of the piano. Most purchasers will want this information before buying it anyway.  Click here to find a local appraiser. Or you may be able to determine the value of your piano here:

Once you gather the information you may have luck selling it on one of the below websites: or

Of course if you find the piano isn’t worth much you could always donate it and take the tax deduction.  Check out these sites to learn more: or or call your local schools to see if anyone is in need of a piano for their music program.

If you’re not ready to donate it and you don’t have any luck with the above, you’ll always have eBay, Craigslist and your neighborhood list serve.  But be sure to put the responsibility of moving the piano on the buyer!!  Good luck!
Patricia G. Masi

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How to Organize Your Jewelry!

One of the top things my female clients ask me is, “how do I store my jewelry?” Short answer,  I display it on the below stands from the Container Store and then hide it with one of my favorite pieces of bedroom furniture- the swivel mirror!  This way I can see every piece I own only when I want to as well as easily access the pieces when I need to.

Jewelry stand:

Swivel mirror:

This works for me but will it work for you?  You won’t know unless you start with a little divide and conquer. To get started I highly recommend you place ALL of your jewelry together in one place and categorize it by style: seasonal, pearl, fine and precious, colored stones, special occasion, etc.  Because let’s face it, if you’re anything like my mother who works at a school you have a ton of flair for the holidays- pumpkin pins, Christmas charms, Valentine earrings, etc. most of which you only wear once a year.  No need keeping those seasonal items in your jewelry chest year round.  They will simply slow you down.  The idea here is to simplify the process and save you time when getting ready in the morning.  So first things first, divide and conquer so you know exactly what to purchase when the time comes.

Now onto the jewelry re-org:

Option 1: If you simply want to make better use of your drawers I would recommend stackable jewelry containers.  This will make it easier to see all of the jewelry you have in one place.  I have used the following:


Option 2: Storing off-season jewelry in your closet or under your bed. With everything else slowing you down in the morning who needs to get pricked by a St. Patrick’s day pin you won’t be wearing for 6 more months?  Remove it from your space until you need it!  Try these:

Use these to protect the jewelry: and then store the jewelry in this:

Option 3:   Over door jewelry cabinet. I have used these in closets before.  They may not be the most beautiful but definitely serve the purpose of being able to see all of your jewelry in one place.

Option 4: Wall mounted jewelry cabinet. Great for a bedroom or master closet.

Option 5: Large jewelry armoire.

Option 6: Full length floor mirror with jewelry storage.

There are a ton of other options out there from the very crafty to the very expensive, but I thought this was a good mix of easy to find, assemble and use!  At the end of the day of course I want things to be organized, but more importantly I want things to be seen, worn, loved and cared for.  Isn’t that why you have the items after all?

Have a specific question about what will work for you?  Email me at

All the best,

Patricia G. Masi

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Your Kid’s Art Work. What to do? What to do?

School is in full swing and your child is even more gifted than you originally thought. It seems every drawing they bring home is worthy of the refrigerator. That is of course if the refrigerator wasn’t completely covered with permission slips, poison control information, doctors reminders, take out menus and Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons. So with limited refrigerator space the question becomes….what are you going to do with your child’s art work?

Until you figure it out, the counter will have to do. Unfortunately however you start preparing dinner and the art work moves from the counter to the kitchen table and eventually to the floor. Now you have to ask yourself… “if the art is so beautiful, so worthy of keeping, why is it sitting on the floor?” In that moment if you realize that it may not be worthy of keeping after all, please throw it away or recycle it. There will be more art work. Promise. Now, if it is worthy of keeping you need a place to put it immediately before it becomes another piece of clutter or potential fire hazard. So here is what I suggest to most of my clients with the same dilemma:

Step 1: Buy two containers per child.
First container: Temporary bin:”>

To be housed somewhere convenient- close to the main point of entry for the family (hall closet, kitchen cabinet, home office, etc.)
Second container: Permanent bin:”>

To be housed underneath the child’s bed to whom the stuff belongs.

Step 2: Label each bin with your child’s name.
Label the first container Patricia- Work of art! (this means TEMPORARY)

Label the second container Patricia- Keepsake! (this means keep forever!)

Step 3: Game plan. When the child comes home and shows you their work of art you praise them and ask them to put it into the “Work of art” bin. If they do it, it usually means it is b/c they value the item and want to see it in a safe spot away from the dog or their brothers or sisters. If they don’t, this generally means they don’t value it as much and this hopefully makes the decision for you to throw the item away a little easier.

Step 4: If you do not want to involve your child in the decision making process then simply place all artwork you choose to keep in the temporary bin. This allows you to have a place for everything when it comes in the door! No more excuses for it to sit in the kitchen, the car or the family room.

Step 5: At the end of every month sift through the temporary bin and move the true keepsakes to the “Keepsake” bin. This will allow you to evaluate how your child has evolved over the past few weeks and help you determine what is truly worth keeping or not.
****If something makes it to the “Keepsake” bin it MUST be labeled with their name, the date, where they did it and the significance of the project. Otherwise it will just become another finger painting by one of your kids and no true memory will be associate with it.

Step 6: At the end of every school year go through the “Keepsake” bin and whittle down as much as you can. Chances are your child will not value these things in a few years as much as you do. Harsh I know, but think about the things you have from your own childhood….what are the things you value and are grateful to have?

Now you have a place to store each of your child’s artwork as soon as it enters the house (temporary bin) and a place to store the memorabilia you would like to keep forever. “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Now if you find it difficult to part with your child’s artwork ask yourself the following:
1. Is your child really going to want this? With all of the diplomas, prom pictures, vacation photos, yearbooks, school papers, playbills, etc. to look forward to, do they really need 150 pieces of art from kindergarten? I think 1-2 will do. Just be sure to label it!
2. Are you keeping it for you or for your child? If you are keeping it for you than put it into YOUR memorabilia box- not there’s. Do not use your kids as an excuse to keep everything. If you want it, fine. Just keep it in a bin labeled “Mom’s favorite memories.”

Now every once in a while a piece of art work will appear that is truly remarkable and is not only keepsake worthy but it is display worthy. When that happens I usually recommend one of the below products. They are a great, inexpensive, easily assembled way to display the artwork!”>

Hopefully you found this helpful! We all love our kids but let’s allow them to live, breathe and play in their homes- not be consumed by all of the things they created. This is the only way they will continue to grow. You can do it! Best of luck!

Patricia G. Masi

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