Author Archives: McElf, the CDO Organization Elf

About McElf, the CDO Organization Elf

McElf was born with an organization problem: early on, her neat freak tendencies led her family to dub her "CDO" vs. "OCD" because it was more alphabetically pleasing to her ridiculous midnight organization crazes. To this day, no matter the arena, you can still find her itching to bring order and harmony to whatever environment she's in be it home, kitchen, office, or nature itself. Well... nature doesn't need *too* much help...

Chef’s Center

Fall is such a spectacular season which for many of us, culminates in that culinary holiday of all holidays, Thanksgiving!  Oh, how delicious it is!  All the things we love most about September, October and November: the warm colors, the crisp smells, perfect sunny days blended with moody, inspirational hours in front of the fire with hot chocolate and a book on our e-reader… every moment of existence has the potential to be extraordinary and filled with wonder as leaves drift to the ground and dance across the sidewalk, swirling around your bicycle tires!

Too much?

I can’t help myself! All the gardening, harvesting, canning and stashing culminates on the week of Thanksgiving — recipes are strewn about my counters, smudged with egg and dusted with spices; pies begin to fill my cooling racks; every measuring cup sports remnants of flour or sugar — it’s just so magnificent that I can’t help but burst forth with eloquence!

(I live in a house full of men and they’re all very annoyed by it at this point so I’m afraid I’m taking it out on all of you, now!)

And in  less than a month, we’ll do it all over again when we get together to feast at Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but I actually tried quite a few recipes that I had found on Pinterest last week.  And when trying a new recipe, I go back to read that recipe over, and over, and over again. Easier said than done I found, when the recipe was on a tablet and I was covered in many miscellaneous baking ingredients!

Between now and Christmas, I will hopefully acquire one of these which would have protected my kindle from my disastrous counter, (I’m a horribly messy cook!) but without taking up any more counter space than my kindle already did! And it would have made referencing the recipe much, much easier! Chef's Center

 

The pull out chart of weights and measures would have been really handy too — I referenced the Google Machine more than once last Thursday!! — and it would be unthinkable for me to add something to my kitchen gadget toolbox that didn’t store so easily, as this stand most definitely does!

 

How about you?  What will you do differently come Christmas Feasting? Or what was your favorite recipe? In another month, I’ll need a new collection of things to try!  Come find me on Pinterest to see what I tackled in my kitchen! https://www.pinterest.com/mcelf/

 

Let the Sun Shed some Light!

Sunlight has the power to 100% deodorize and fight the nastiest stains your laundry room can conjure.

Everything is better when it’s sun-dried! Despite the booming chemical industry, the sunlight is still the #1 best odor and stain fighting tool in our laundry room.

Do you have a stain that just won’t come out? Like, perhaps, something wet snuck into the middle of your laundry pile and *gasp!* some mold grew? Nasty black mold? It may take a few days, but sunlight will do it.

Cloth Diapering Mommas have tested the power of the sun

Test Diapers

For instance, what could possibly get smellier or more stained than a cloth diaper? We have spoken with cloth diapering momma’s who have tested and fully approve of the sun’s powers. If the remnants of explosive baby bums can be freshened via sun-power, then I’m willing to guarantee they can take whatever else you can throw at them!

The best part of many of the models we offer is that even if your neighborhood has outlawed the use of clotheslines (we know, ridiculous rules!!) you can choose among many a folding, collapsing or tripod models which set up quickly on your back deck and can then be safely stowed before the nosy police arrive with their smelly indoor knickers in a knot.

The Gullwing Dryer: http://morestorage.com/gullwing-air-dryer-p-1407.html

The Gullwing Dryer: http://morestorage.com/gullwing-air-dryer-p-1407.html

If you don’t live in a climate that’s sunny and warm all year round, squeeze those last deodorizing drops out of the sun this fall with any of our favorite clotheslines or dryers – just GET THOSE LINENS OUTSIDE for a blast of fresh air!

Do you use the sunshine to bring the ultimate in freshness to your favorite garments?  What do you look for in your ideal drying racks and clotheslines?

Back to School Organizers (for Theoretically Organized College Students)

As your superstars head off to the dormitories, we’d feel left out not to chime in ourselves with some Back to School 2¢.  So here below, we’ve got 5 products, some obvious, some not so obvious, that may give you the momentary hope that your freshmen will weather the wrinkled rigors and survive their year the orderly bedside caddyabandon that only an underclassman can ever pull off.

6 POCKET POLYESTER BEDSIDE STORAGE CADDY

Bedside storage space is practically nonexistent in those cramped little dormitories.  I mean, there isn’t exactly room for an nightstand with drawers and shelves – it’s usually elbow to elbow desks, laptops and smelly shoes.  So tuck a little serenity between the sheets so that your student can relax and study up on a wee bit of Cosmo before getting a good night’s rest!

HMP-03542-2_2BRIGHT LAUNDRY TOTE

Unless your “young adult” is an established laundry A-lister, chances are, you’re concerned about failing grades due to the noxious gases those clothes will be emitting by week 5 of classes.  We recommend not skimping in any way on products that might encourage your teen to spend a few timely minutes in the washroom.  Lightweight, durable, easy to carry and brightly colored, this tote will be an in-their face reminder that dirty duds and necessary suds await.

lg_H12001CLUTTERBUSTER VALET HINGE-IT

Do you remember where your wet towels dried in your dormitory days?  Properly sopping wet on your bed.  Most rooms don’t exactly come with generous portions of towel racks.  And if your student has long locks and extra towel needs?  Well.  We can pretty much guarantee that the space they may have been given is fairly insufficient.  Attaching to the top and bottom hinges of most standard doors, this hanging system offers 4 bars that transform unused space into 6′ of functional storage paradise. A perfect piece to travel with them year after year.  And then into their first apartment.  Maybe even their first home, years down the road.

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ROLLING OFFICE CART

Standard issue college desks are… how can we say this nicely?? Not always ideal on usable storage space.  Especially as new dormitories move towards slimline, utilitarian units, you may be at a loss to help your nervous student find a place for pencils AND paperclips.  Help them maximize on limited space, keep track of important accessories, and start learning the importance of filing, all in one rolling swoop.

BRD-01350_500pxOVER THE DOOR IRONING BOARD

Even we admit to some disbelief here.

However.

On the off-chance they decide to look 100% presentable for that presentation? We think the chances of them deciding to go the extra mile may well be determined by how easy that ironing board is to access.  And hanging right there on the back of the door, access is undeniably easy.

So go forth our young Jedi’s.  May the Force of Organization be with you.

The Laundry Bag gets a Magnetic Facelift

81Zi3y7qu6L._SL1500_Here at Creative Storage & MoreStorage.com, we consider it our solemn duty to keep you informed on what “pops up” on the cool meter, especially if they’re functional organization accessories.  Especially as we know that now, in the fantastic 21st century, it’s easier than ever to give your home a wee facelift here and there when it’s looking a bit tired or creased.

So, enter the Bright Portable Laundry Bag!  We are absolutely delighted by the bright colors, the complete attention to functional detail… this bag has it all.  The large, comfortable round handles are lined with magnets and snap closed to form a wide opening for soiled clothes until, when full on laundry day, they pop back up to make dragging those linens down to meet their suds-maker a breeze.

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And seriously, check out these bright colors!! Whose laundry couldn’t use a little color pick-me-up?  Lipstick Red, Caribbean Blue, Pansy Purple… laundry feels less like a chore already!

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Summer is in full swing and the last thing you want to do is struggle along in a dark, dim hole beneath your house when it’s gorgeous outside.  So bring that sunshine right inside with this seriously cool laundry bag.

Closets are Like Broccoli

January can be an exciting month: you’re motivated to start projects, learn something new, change something about yourself.  For some reason, the New Year brings us new motivation.  That initial excitement can wane somewhat when we find ourselves ¾ of the way through our shoe collection and out of storage space with not a millimeter of options left.  Or when you thought Rosetta Stone was just $400 to learn French… and it turns out to be just level one… and there are three levels after.  New Year’s is like a sugar rush and reality is just waiting in the wings to swoop in a crush us.  By the end of January, most of us will already have given up on our New Years Resolutions.

I know that isn’t nearly as apocalyptic as say, world hunger.  But wouldn’t it be amazing if we could throttle that energy we spring into the new year with and at least make it to March???

So, I was reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and he points out that “the principle of organization is built into nature…”  And he is so right.  This is something I already knew but Pressfield’s reminder in the context of creativity was powerful and inspirational.  We’re trying to organize our world the same way heirloom broccoli grows:

There is a geometry to art and life which we can feel in our bones and whether we realize it or not, we want our homes to reflect that same sense of peace and order.

AND WE SHOULD.

There is a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with organizing your desk, your calendar, your life.  It’s not so much that you miraculously become more efficient.  You do.  But to go deeper than that, it’s your bones sighing in relief that you know exactly where your keys are.  When you need to write something down, you didn’t have to tear through papers to find a pen.  Your scarf pulled off of its hanger without a single extra crease or crinkle.  Getting dressed was a JOY this morning.  And all these little joys make it easier to smile, easier to relax, easier to accomplish your mission, whatever that may be.  Miracle?  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  Hard work?  Most certainly.

Organizing your closet is really no different from painting a picture, taking a photograph, creating a sculpture, writing a book… let’s use the book.  We can draw PERFECT parallel’s there.  No one sites down to write a book in a single sitting.  It’s a habit.  A writer sits down at their typewriter every day for hours so that they’re ready when the perfect words are flowing.  They walk around editing in their head.  Getting your closet, desk, craft area organized is just the same.  It’s a habit that we form which we follow every day.  And we never tackle the whole thing at once – just like a writer could never write a novel all in one sitting.  We will start with shoes, move on to purses, then blouses, pants, scarves, belts etc.  This is normal, this is okay.  

Just because you get a brand new closet doesn’t mean it will be perfectly organized overnight.  But you will find your rhythm, your geometry with just a little bit of time and a wee bit o’ habit.

Organization is an art form.  Approach it like the creative endeavor that it is and give it the time and patience it requires and you are sure to be rewarded with beautiful broccoli  growing in your closet garden.

Let’s Get Organized… One Bite at a Time

Welcome to January!! It’s National Get Organized Month and YOU’RE INVITED! Let us help you stow away your Christmas peacefully, organize your spice drawer simply, or tackle your hall closet with gusto. We also make great empathetic ears when you wade into an organization project with much enthusiasm only to have your happy thoughts blown to smithereens when it turns out to be a little more intense than you expected. We’re here for you. Seriously. No matter how big or small the project, we’ve got shoulders to cry on, products to rely on, and ideas to grow on for your Organized 2013.

 When it comes to organization, most of us are guilty of trying to eat projects the size of an elephant in a just a single bite.  Actually, we tend to do that with A LOT of things in January!!  We make lots of New Year’s Resolutions and try to tackle them all at once instead of understand that most change is gradual and giving our bodies time to adjust. 

 We think you’ll find that if you take your time, you can actually accomplish those goals you gave yourself, which would be an awfully nice change, wouldn’t it?  Using our simple calendar, we dare you to break things down into chewable pieces and challenge yourself to make organization a year-round habit, instead of a once-a-year fiasco.  So go ahead, learn yoga or French, give your vanity cabinet or silverware drawer or stern organizational smack-down, and give-a-go at that DIY headboard you’ve always thought about making.  Just try it… one… bite… at a time!

Below is a link to our PDF calendar WE use to keep calm, cool and collected and carry on with our own overwhelming organizational goals.  Feel free to download and use ours or make your own.  (I generally fill mine out in pencil because I like to move things around as I plan my year.  However, it’s also configured to work with Adobe so you can type your goals in making legibility or lostness no excuse for lack of accomplishment!)

 With that… Ladies and Gentlemen: start your Organization ENGINES!!!  (And remember, we’re just a phone call away!)

Organization Calendar 

 

Semper Paratus: Like a Scout, my Murphy Bed is Always Ready

Please excuse my short essay on all things Amazing Murphy Bed — I’m in love and just can’t seem to stop talking about it!

Have you ever apologized for your guest room when showing your holiday visitors where they’re going to sleep?  Have you ever been so embarrassed by your guest situation that you take the couch while your parents get your nice comfy bed?  

Lay your shame to REST and get a Murphy Bed!

Murphy Beds, or wall beds, are real, honest beds, so I never have to sacrifice the comfort of my visitors while maintaining a practical guest solution.  The Murphy Bed accommodates an actual, comfortable, fantastic mattress up to 11” thick, just like any normal bed.  So choose any mattress from any store just like you would choose a new one for yourself and treat your guests to hotel-worthy at the touch of your fingertips. 

No matter how large your home is, space is a premium for everyone.  When not in use, wall beds swing up and closed, completely out of the way of all the other activities such a space can be utilized for when guests are not around: leaving your office/play room/craft room/living room area free and uninhibited for actual living space.

Surprise Guests will always be in turn surprised by your amazing ability to create a place to stay in a real snap.  When you tell someone to come on over whenever they want, you will truly mean it.  Murphy beds are ALWAYS ready at a moment’s notice and that means so are you.  Because they’re out of the way, they’re not collecting dust or papers or off-season paraphernalia because it was the only other open space left in your house.  If you’re someone who struggles to keep your guest room ready, a Murphy Bed can be the ultimate life saver.  

And just THINK of all the comments your guests will be making behind your back!  You’ll be the talk of the town; envy is sure to ensue!  Let’s face it: Murphy Beds are COOL!  And now you will have one and they will want one.  So dress to impress but don’t worry about it over-much, your Murphy Bed takes all the hard work out of knocking your guests socks off.  If they’re not spending the night, they’ll wish they were!

Finally, it’s impossible not to smile when I pull those handles and my Murphy Bed magically appears; because every time I open my Murphy Bed, I’m imagining every Three Stooges Murphy Bed scene, and singing the Murphy Bed song in my head.  But What is O’Reilley Doin’ in the Murphy Bed?  We all need  more happiness in our lives, it’s impossible to overdose: less stress and more laughter, less preparation and more enjoyment of the spur-of-the moment.  

Life is short.  Enjoy more spontaneous moments by getting ever-ready for merriment and joy: you’ll always be ready for anything if you’ve got a Murphy Bed.