And the Winner Is…

The winner of the 2014 One Room Organizing Giveaway is…Cheri Mead!

Congratulations! We look forward to working with you.

Thank you to everyone who entered and stay tuned for future contests!

We wish you all the best in 2015!

One Room Organizing Giveaway!


via Lemonade Makin’ Mama

We’ve decided to end our 30 days of Simpler Holidays tips a few days early and offer a contest!

It’s the holiday season and we want to bless one lucky person with a one room organizing giveaway! This is the second year we are doing the giveaway due to its popularity last year! We will spend one day with you transforming your space, finding practical solutions, and clearing the clutter. What better way to kickoff the new year?

To Enter: Please answer the following question in the comment section of this particular blog post. Please keep it short!

Question: What room in your home is in need of a makeover and how would this make a difference for you?

The Rules: One entry per person please. The winner will be chosen and notified by e-mail on January 1st!  Area restrictions apply (Whatcom County only).  Organizing product sold separately.

Clutter Clearing Before The Holidays!

Front Door

“Never in the history of the world have so many people been so rich; never in the history of the world have so many of those same people felt themselves so poor.” – Dr. Jerry Sheveland, Rejecting the Wealth of Poverty

Whether you’re hosting a family get-together or planning for all the gifts you will give and receive, there’s no better way to relieve the stress of the holiday season than by getting your home organized. Let’s find more contentment and a clearer perspective this holiday season by un-cluttering our lives.

  • Start with yourself…de-clutter your mind.  Take a walk, clear your head, and decide what your priorities will be this holiday season.
  • De-clutter your calendar:  Eliminate the non-essential commitments from your schedule.  Say no freely and reserve a few days in November and December for family days.
  • Identify spaces in your home that are the most often-used during the holidays, and tackle those areas first. Don’t forget the areas where you’re storing your gifts and planning your holiday wrapping!
  • For each space, commit to removing as many non-used items as possible. Donate, consign, or toss items not worn or used in a year or two. Clearing the space of items no longer needed is essential to staying organized! Every time you buy something new, commit to purging one item so you never outgrow the space you have.
  • If you identify items that are better stored elsewhere in your home when cleaning house, relocate them. Sports equipment stored in the closet? Move them to the garage. Stay focused and don’t start on another area until the first one is complete.
  • Think about how your spaces will function when the holidays arrive. How much countertop space will you need in the kitchen for baking/cooking needs? How will you accommodate guests?
  • Shop for organization solutions that will help contain the items that are staying in the space, as well as consider storage for new items you expect to receive. Try shopping after the holidays for storage solutions for holiday decor. Make sure to buy items of the same size and color for easy recognition. Don’t forget to label!
  • Group like items together. For example, in the kitchen, keep your baking supplies stored in a basket that you can easily remove from the pantry when it’s time to bake. Or, in the kid’s room, keep art and craft supplies all in one place.
  • It’s okay to ask for help. No time do this for yourself? Contact OAL!

‘Tis the season to get organized! 
This really is the most wonderful time of year if we take time to focus our hearts and our minds and simplify everything!

Materiality: Less Is More

julies family
Making memories during our Christmas trip to Scottsdale last year.

“You give little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”.  -Kahlil Gibran

The holidays are upon us. For many it is a very financially stressful time of year. We are a culture obsessed with buying, spending and consuming more. But when is more enough? The temptation to shop can lead to houses over-run with clutter and lives overwhelmed with too much stuff. Clutter has a negative impact on all areas of our lives: social, physical, emotional, psychological, financial and spiritual.

This holiday season, I would encourage you and your families to adopt a new mindset to consume less, live with less, and be happy with less! Reframe your way of thinking so that you’re not constantly thinking about what you don’t have, and find joy in simple pleasures. Spend time with family and friends and make memories to cherish.

Here are a few ideas on how to stay focused and organized this holiday season:

Give an Experience, Rather Than Things
Concert, theater ticket, restaurant gift certificate, or donation to a charity.

Control Gift Giving
Don’t go overboard. Keep your budget and stress down by setting a price limit on gifts, shopping with cash, draw names within your family, doing only stocking stuffers, or purchasing a family gift.

Give kids four main gifts. Something they want, need, wear, and read. That’s it.

Go Digital
Shop online! It’s fast, easy and less stressful than shopping in a crowded store. It also helps you stick to your list and budget. Ship directly to recipients and use the gift wrap option.

Take Notes
Keep a list in your phone or daily planner with gift ideas for family members. Write down ideas whenever a friend or family member mentions something.

Keep a spot in your phone or daily planner labeled ‘Christmas’ where you can remember where you purchased items such as your christmas tree, special activities and fun memories.

How are you going to make this holiday season different for your family?

5 Tips to Simplify the Holidays


5 Tips to Simplify the HolidaysHere are some ideas for making space for Christmas to be more meaningful.Think about your favorites:  It’s so easy to get lost in the busy-ness of Christmas, between the cookie exchanges, craft fairs, pageants, and other programs.  Take time to really think about what events are important to you, and don’t overbook yourself or your family.

Give the gift of an experience:  Offer to take some of your close friends out for lunch or a day at the spa instead of buying gifts, or take your family on a trip.  It will be more memorable and leave less clutter afterward.

Make room for the new:  A great rule of thumb in keeping an organized household is to get rid of two items for every one item you bring home.  In a season of buying new coats and cold weather accessories, pass your old ones on to someone in need.  (The Lighthouse Mission here in Bellingham is always open to donations, see below).

Shift your focus:  This is a way to bring peace to your own life, but also a reminder of what Christmastime really should be; a season of giving.  So take your eyes off the stuff that you need to get done, the list that’s controlled your life all month, and take a look at the world around you.  Think of those in need, and give as you can, play with your kids, make time for people.  When all is said and done, you’ll feel a lot better than if you had simply checked every time off your list.

Accept help:  Let your kids help with mailing out Christmas cards and baking cookies.  Let guests bring dishes when they come over.  Accept people’s offers to let them know if you need help with anything.  And if you’re still overwhelmed, call the girls at Organized at Last.  We’d love to come help you get caught up and organized so you can relax and enjoy the holidays.

Giving Back: Lighthouse Mission. For the glory of God, the Lighthouse Mission Ministries ministers to needy men, women, and children through the provision of compassionate services in the name of Jesus Christ.  Funded 100% by private donations, they rely on contributions from individuals, businesses, and churches in our community.  Visit for more info.