Tag Archives: family

Organization Tips for Your Family!!

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Keep the Kids Busy This Summer!

Now that the kids are on summer vacation, keep them busy this summer with a craft center from Saint Louis Closet Co.! During the winter months, it can double as a wrapping paper center! Call us at (314) 781-9000 to schedule your free in-home estimate!

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Healthy Living Through Healthy Organization

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By: Jennifer Williams, Owner, Saint Louis Closet Co.

School is back in full swing, and parents and kids alike are finding themselves going at a million miles per minute.  It is hard enough getting your kids out of bed, ready and out the door in time for school and to get yourself to work without throwing healthy living into the mix.  I completely understand the stress, with owning four businesses between my husband and I and raising two children under the age of ten, it is just so easy to pick up fast food on the way home at the end of the day.

Teaching our children healthy eating habits is a daily struggle for parents everywhere, but a little bit of healthy planning can make a world of difference. You can buy the healthiest foods, but we all know that when your family is hungry, they do not want to take the time to cut up some veggies or fruit.  Basically, if it is not in a convenient package, your family is going to be less likely to take the time to get it ready.  Rather, you’ll grab the less healthy, but more accessible package of chips to suffice as your midday snack.

Something that I find is extremely time saving is when I get home from grocery shopping on Sundays, before I put the food in the fridge, I get out the cutting board, Ziploc bags and Gladware and start dividing up our food for the week.  I divide up everything from graham crackers and fruit salad to vegetables and chicken into serving sizes.  For example, I will take a big package of blueberries, wash and divide them into those mini snack Ziploc bags, making enough bags for each of my children for every day of the week.  That way, I can just grab the pre-made bag that is filled with washed and ready fruit, toss them in their lunchbox, and get them out the door.

Putting away your groceries is like organizing a closet: if you just throw your shoes on the floor of your closet saying, “I’m too busy right now, I’ll come back and organize it later,” the chances are extremely high that you will not do it.  This is how I approach my kitchen. Getting your pantry organized makes a huge difference in your life.  In fact, one of Saint Louis Closet Co.’s specialties, and most requested spaces to get organized, is the pantry.  Available accessories include everything from spice racks, cabinets, drawers and corner shelves to wine racks, sliding shelves and baskets. Having healthy food organized and at your family’s fingertips is extremely important when it comes to developing nutritional eating habits.

Getting healthy is as much about organization as it is about the purchase.  Planning and preparation at the beginning of the week will keep you on track for the rest of the week. It will also help your family stay on a healthy eating schedule as well as help to create good nutritional habits that your children can use for the rest of their lives.

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Think Outside the Closet

There is more to getting organized than just updating your bedroom closets: your entire home can be optimized to meet your family’s organizational needs.

Saint Louis Closet Co. can organize everything including entertainment centers, bookshelves, kids’ playrooms, laundry rooms, garages, gardening stations, linen closets, Murphy beds and pantries.  If it needs to be organized, we can do it.

“The key to getting organized is to decide first what areas in your home are the most used, and the first to get disorganized after cleaning,” says Saint Louis Closet Co. owner Jennifer Williams.  “You’d be amazed how just by adding a few shelves or baskets in your common living spaces can make all the difference in your home’s organization.”

Saint Louis Closet Co. offers free in-home estimates, so call us today at (314) 781-9000 to schedule your appointment with one of our designers!

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Did You Know??

Organizing your home isn’t as daunting as you may think it is, and it can help your community too. Here are some helpful tips to get you going!

Bedroom Closets – Donate anything you haven’t worn in the last year to Goodwill or other local charities.

Bookcases – Donate any books and magazines you don’t read or your kids are too old for to charities like headstarts and your local library.

Kitchen – Go through your cabinets one at a time. Donate extra or unused food and canned goods to local food pantries.

Linen Closet – Donate semi-worn or unnecessary towels and washclothes. Animal shelters are always in need of towels, for cleaning and maintaining their animals and facilities.

A Place for Everything – Now that you have an organized home, the next step is keeping it that way. After you use something, make sure to return it to its proper location. Taking an extra 20 seconds to put things away saves you from having to spend another weekend gutting your home.

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Jennifer’s March Column in Savvy Family Magazine

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March is always the start of spring for me. I know there’s a light at the end of the winter tunnel when March comes around and warm weather is fast approaching. March also represents a time of fresh starts and the beginning of spring cleaning. If you’ve ever been to the FlyLady’s website, www.flylady.net, you know that she’s the expert on home cleaning and how to keep it that way. She’s renamed the word CHAOS as Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

Before you can clean though, you’ve got to clear the clutter and organize what you already have. Having Saint Louis Closet Co. design a custom closet is a great first step. So many St. Louis homes have small closets with poor designs and many people are not utilizing their space efficiently. Our designers can make the most out of any closet, small or large so that every inch is functional and attractive to look at.

I hear a lot about people hanging onto stuff because “they might need it one day.”—It’s time to let go of that thought, take control of your stuff, and let it go.

People hold onto items because of the memory that they hold, not because of their function. Take a picture of your stuff so that you can keep the memory, then give it to someone else who can benefit from it.

One great way to get rid of unwanted items is www.freecycle.org, which is an email list that matches people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them, and so keeping usable items out of landfills. It’s a free service, and the best part is that the person who wants your item comes and picks it up.

Items that need a good once over include your doormats, upholstery, carpet, woodwork, appliances, ceiling fixtures, light fixtures, windows, and walls. If the list is daunting, break things down and try just tackling one a day.

March is a great month to replace your air filter since you’ve been blasting heated air through your house all winter. If your filter is especially dirty it may be time to get your air ducts professionally cleaned. It’s also a great time to get out your gardening tools and clean, sharpen, check for rust, and get rid of things that don’t work. It won’t be long before it’s time to use your tools and you want to be prepared.

Once your organizing and cleaning projects are done, it may be time to make some decorating changes. An easy and inexpensive way to change your look quickly is to introduce a new color to a room. According to the Paint Quality Institute, green may be the new neutral color in 2008. They suggest that “mid-tone hues of fern, palm, pine and sage will be used on their own or coupled with clear blue or aqua to create a living space that conjures up a sense of outdoor-friendly living”. So, whether you join the trends or start your own, paint is a great solution to a dull space.

So, clear, sort, organize, clean, give away and enjoy a clutter free Spring!

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Jennifer’s February Column in Savvy Family Magazine

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Sister Mary Rose McGeady was said “There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”  Giving back is really important to me, my employees, and my family. There are so many needs in our community and often it’s hard to decide how to best help organizations in need. My favorite way to give to charities is to give them the gift of organization.

At the top of my list of favorite local organizations is the BJC Hospice Pediatric Friends of WINGS program (friendsofwings.com). WINGS is a non profit organization that provides clinical, emotional, spiritual, social and practical support and services to children from newborn through 21 years who have progressive, life threatening or life limiting illnesses or conditions, regardless of their ability to pay.

For the last couple of years, Saint Louis Closet Co. has collected art supplies at Christmas time to support their art therapy program. My staff, our clients, colleagues and friends have been incredibly generous to the Friends of Wings program and have helped a lot of individual children and their siblings to have supplies for their art therapy.  In 2008 we are planning on getting their storage closet organized to hold even more supplies.

I am proud to have been the Honorary Chair for the last 2 years for the Friends of Wings Big Bear Brunch.  Families enrolled in the program are invited to come and share in delicious food, great activities and a truly supportive environment.

The St. Louis Crisis Nursery (crisisnurserykids.org) was another organization we enjoyed helping this year. They are committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and provide emergency intervention, respite care and support to families in crisis. We donated a walk-in closet for their baby clothes drop-off. They had some good systems for their drop-off, but now they are organized and ready for lots of donations of clothes.

Since I live in Kirkwood, I enjoy supporting local organizations in my community. We had a great time donating, designing and installing the entire teen area at the Kirkwood Public Library (kpl.lib.mo.us). If you’re in Kirkwood, stop by and see how great their teen area looks.

Another Kirkwood organization that is near to my heart and my two children is The Magic House (magichouse.org)..  We had fun helping organize their coat closet for visitors. The Magic House engages children in hands-on learning experiences that encourage experimentation, creativity and the development of problem-solving skills. They are one of the most attended children’s museums in the country and we enjoyed designing closets to fit all of their winter and rainy day needs.

There are a lot of St. Louis charities and organizations that need your help. A great start is to go to the website www.charity-charities.org/charities/MO/StLouis.html. Another great website is www.charitynavigator.org (type in St. Louis). They both contain a complete list of local charities. Figuring out what you have to offer is the first step, whether it’s time, money, services or products. Then, get busy helping.

There is no better way than to start off the New Year organizing your thoughts and your budget as to how you can help and give back.  

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