Home Organization and the Best Information Ever!

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Hi Everyone,

A few weeks ago, fabulous Anne Lightfoot of Done and Done Home contacted me to review their new book, “Love Your Home Again,” about home organization.

 

love-your-home-again-done-&-done-organize your space

You can find the book here. It went on sale today, September 13, 2022!

 

Of course, I said yes!

 

After all, some of you may recall, Ann and her daughter Kate Pawlowski are the mother-daughter, darling, and dynamite team who own Done & Done home, a company they created to organize, teach, and inspire others.

Please read about the Home Organization services of Done and Done Home here.

 

Kate Pawlowski - Ann Lightfoot - love-your-home-again-done-and-done-home

 

I was fortunate because back in 2018, Ann and Kate came to my New York apartment to get me organized.

And, not only that but Ann and Kate came back a second time.

I’ve never seen two women work so hard in my life. I just sat there and said, toss, keep, I dunno. haha

 

Fortunately, I’m not one to buy things excessively.

 

However, Ann and Kate still carted away TWENTY garbage bags filled with stuff, either for donation or garbage. True, 90% of it was work-related samples and whatnot I no longer needed. It’s true; home organization has never come easily to me.

You can read more about that experience here if you missed the link above.

Then, a couple of years later, Ann and Kate created a fantastic course to teach people how to organize for themselves. Many of you purchased the course. More about that later on, because there have been some changes.

 

As promised, a box containing the book arrived at least a month ago.

 

In typical fashion, it took me two weeks to open the box and another ten days to look inside to discover some surprises.

Ann and Kate aren’t ones to do things half-assed. No-sirree. Not only did they send the book and a lovely personal note, but I found lots of other goodies; so, thoughtful of them.

 

Love Your Home Again Gift - Done and Done Home

 

Inside the box, I found:

 

  • The book, Love Your Home Again :]
  • Post-its and a sharpie for labeling piles of things as one sorts.
  • A tape measure to make sure any organizing products will fit.
  • Clear garbage bags for items going for donation
  • A Done & Done Home tape measure to make sure any organizing products will work (I’ll add it to my collection)

 

Done & Done Home Cookie on Instagram

 

And, then I read the note on the 9th that said I needed to send out the review by the 10th.

 

Uh oh. This was the day after Queen Elizabeth passed away.

Blessedly, I explained to Ann what happened, and she couldn’t have been more understanding.

 

Okay, Laurel. We get it. You’re disorganized, and you got a free book, and now you’re obligated to say nice things about it, even if it’s crap.

 

Gosh, you’re almost as cynical as I am. haha

First, you’re absolutely correct about the “free book.”

Please understand that I’m not obligated to do shite. In fact, Ann and Kate said it was my choice to write about the book or not.

 

Excluding the HOT SALES, have you guys noticed how seldom I sponsor or endorse ANYTHING?

 

The only things I link to are items I use, love, and believe in.

I agreed to review Ann’s and Kate’s book because I know it will be terrific. What sets them apart is that they understand the roadblocks that trip people up. And, they make organizing not only as easy as possible but, dare I say, fun?

 

Done & Done Home Organized Toys in a family room

 

The other thing I can attest to from my experience with their system is that once it’s done, it’s DONE.

 

YES! Done and Done!

In plain English, what I’m trying to say is that once an object is put in one spot, there’s a tendency for it to stay there whether it belongs there or not. Henceforth, a messy home stays messy, and a tidy, organized home tends to stay that way.

 

Yes, I know. You live with five 300-pound gorillas.

 

That is addressed in not so many words. ;]

So once your things are organized, your home will be far easier to maintain. For example, after they did my main closet, it stayed just as beautiful until I packed everything to move two and a half years later.

If you live in the New York Metropolitan area, including New Jersey and western Connecticut, you can have the services of in-person help for organizing or moving.

But, not everyone can afford these services. That’s why they’ve created their courses and written their new book.

 

Love Your Home Again Gift - Done and Done Home

 

The book has a beautiful layout and is easy to follow. On Amazon you can read the first several pages of the book.

 

As an overview, Ann and Kate begin with an introduction that explains how they started their home organization business and their philosophy.

 

They promise to make it fun and clear about how to achieve the home of your dreams. Their non-judgmental and positive approach is infectious. They also go on to say that no home is beyond help.

 

Change Your Thoughts - Change Your World

 

The first chapter is: “Prepare for Success.”

 

In this chapter, they go over the terms they use throughout the book. And, they address some common fears that hold people back, such as:

It’s important to know that the initial phase of decluttering makes things look worse before they get better.

That’s because their approach is to pull everything out and put it into piles.

 

  • Save
  • Donate
  • Dump/or Recycle

But, when we were organizing my space, I remember Ann and Kate saying how important it is not to get hung up on the undecided items. Make a fourth pile for the undecided items.

 

In the end, 90% of that pile went bye-bye.

 

The point is, we didn’t waste time hemming and hawing.

This is the sort of no-nonsense advice and “pro tips” liberally scattered throughout the book, as they address each home area and each space’s unique functions.

Each subsequent home area gets its unique chapter and begins with an important question. It’s a question I also asked my interior design clients.

 

How do you use this space?

 

By answering this question, you’ll have a framework for what you’ll need for that space.

It sounds so simple. But, in reality, how many of us do that?

Another simple point, which I’m guilty of, is to store items where they don’t belong.

Ann and Kate point to the kitchen, where a lot of bulky, oversized, and extra items are taking up valuable real estate that regularly used items require. Thus, things are crammed into spaces and difficult to find.

 

See the problem?

 

Declutter - neutral color scheme Done & Done Home

 

One chapter that I have a keen interest in covers the kitchen.

Most of us disorganized types tend to keep things in the kitchen that shouldn’t be there.
By putting items like bottles of wine, extra packages of dried goods, paper goods, and cleaning supplies, elsewhere, we free up space for the items we need every day or weekly.

 

Lovely apothecary jars Done and Done Home Organizing

 

In addition to a substantial chapter on kitchens are chapters about:

  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Entry Spaces
  • Gathering Spaces
  • Laundry, Linens, Cleaning, and Utility
  • Children’s Space
  • Home Office
  • Storage Spaces

 

One of the things I love are the dozens of busted myths Ann and Kate share throughout the book.

 

These are common ideas we believe to be accurate but usually aren’t.

In addition to the Done and Done website, please follow Done & Done on Instagram. There is a wealth of fantastic information they share there about home organization.

 

Done & Done Home Organization - Living Room - Library

Ann shares her take here about color-coded books.

 

I also love the tutorial on Done & Done’s Instagram, where Ann shares HOW to fold a fitted sheet.

 

how to fold a fitted sheet home organization - done & done home

 

Don’t overthink it. Hilarious!

Okay, I gave it a whirl. My fitted sheets are a queen size even though my bed is a full size. That’s because I hate struggling to get too-tight fitted sheets onto the mattress.

Was I able to fold it like Ann?

Well, pretty much, although it did take me a few tries.

 

Oh, and pleeeeeeease, no judging regarding the state of the wrinkled sheet.

 

Please understand that these are the sheets my son Cale uses when he visits, and it makes him nervous if there are no wrinkles. ;]

 

My fitted sheet partially folded

Once you’re at this stage, the rest is easy.

 

My folded fitted sheet

This is by far, the best I’ve ever managed to fold a fitted sheet. I think with practice, it will improve. So, thank you, Ann for the tutorial!

 

Laurel, didn’t you say something about another home organization course? Is the course redundant if one purchases the book?

 

Those are terrific questions.

Yes, there is a new course that is an ongoing, step-by-baby-step year-long (maybe longer) course with weekly lessons sent to you every seven days. The price is super-reasonable, as well. You can pay $7.99/per month or an annual sum of $79.00. That means you’ll get two months for free. And, even monthly, it’s only $1.99/week.

 

Laurel, I already purchased the first course. Is the second course different than the first course?

 

Okay, the first course no longer exists. And, yes, while there’s overlap, there’s a lot of new material in the second course. In addition, the entire approach is different as the weekly lessons are divided into small manageable bites.

The first course was 100% self-directed. That can create overwhelm, thus, abandoning things. This course, they feel, is a far better model.

 

But, here’s what Ann and Kate have done. If you purchased the first course and get the new book, you will get the new course for free!

 

That offer is ongoing and begins on September 14, 2022.

 

love-your-home-again-done-&-done-home organizing

 

This link will take you to Amazon to purchase Done & Done’s new book, Love Your Home Again.

 

I highly recommend this book.

By the way, yes, that’s an affiliate link, as everything sold on Amazon is. There’s never any extra charge to you. I’m grateful you guys use my links because they help support this site.

One last thing. I see one review already on Amazon; she loves the book but says the print is too small. I don’t find it too small, and my vision is pretty bad. My reading glasses are now at 3.00+ magnification.

Bottom line. I have this wonderful home organization book, and I’m going to take the course, too. That’s how much I believe in Ann and Kate and their straightforward system.

xo,

PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!  One note about that. They are updated on Tuesday, Thurs, Friday, and sometime Saturday. However, sometimes sales end on Monday or Wednesday, and Melissa and I haven’t had a chance to remove the items. Often, we don’t know when the item is going off sale. So, if you see something that isn’t on sale, it means it was on sale, and the sale ended.

 

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17 Responses

  1. I had to laugh at your comment, “ Please understand that these are the sheets my son Cale uses when he visits, and it makes him nervous if there are no wrinkles. ;]”. I love to iron and I iron my sheets. My friends think I’m nuts. But, it makes me nervous if the sheets have wrinkles. Looks like a great book. I’m buying to read and then give to a friend (My organizational strategy with books.

    1. I do feel guilty getting rid of things that were family “heirlooms”, whether valuable or not. I also cherish memories of seeing my items that I once enjoyed seeing at my parents and grandparents homes. I have often thought of photographing these things, printing them and putting them in an album. That would keep the memories refreshed and yet pass on items that become clutter or are just stored away.

  2. One rule I have when I have a pile of toss or donate.
    I keep it for a month before letting go. Everytime I have done that I have pulled out 1, no more than 2 items each time. IF you have the space to keep a bag for a month, try it.
    Last week I pulled out a raincoat that I decided to keep and a set of curtains my daughter asked for.

    1. Hi Camilla,

      That’s a great idea! I also love Ann and Kate’s advice about clothing. They suggest wearing something you think you need for an entire day. One of their clients realized then, that she was hanging onto stuff she didn’t really care for and wasn’t ever going to wear. I love that they donate so many things to charity. It’s a win-win.

  3. Laurel this post explains so much to me. I’m a natural organizer myself. I am not a neat freak, but I do not like excess clutter. If I’m not using it, don’t love it, or it’s in my way then out it goes. There’s nothing like opening a closet or cabinet door and seeing empty space, it makes me happy. If I had to sort through a bunch of stuff to reach for something that I use frequently, I would rather toss the excess so that I can get to the thing I need easily. Knowing that you are a brilliant designer and decorator, now I understand why I often disagree with your closet and storage solutions in your designs. It’s just not as important to you as it is to me. In my dream home I would have huge walk-in closets everywhere.

  4. “Save, Donate, or Dump/Recycle”… but what about Sell? I’m desperate for information about how to sell items (antiques, heirlooms) and so are all my girlfriends. I’ve heard bad stuff about estate sales and appraisers, but what else is there? How do I find someone reputable, and what sort of service should I expect from them? I can see resale prices on 1st Dibs and Chairish, but what percentage of that might I reasonably receive if selling the item, not buying? Consignment vs. Auction vs. Yard Sale vs. Dealer vs. ?? Would love info (or a book) about this topic, because unless I move out the old stuff, I can never make the most of what’s left, let alone buy anything new.

    1. Hi Laurel = I moved from a big home in 2010 and gave away or threw what I didn’t want which was a lot. I find you have to keep emotions out of this process or you will be years culling everything.
      I now find after living in my condo for 12 years, I have accumulated too much again. Time for the unemotional process to come again.
      Laurel, Thank you for telling us about this wonderful book.
      Charmaine has a task on her hands. Young people today do not like antiques and you will get pennies on the dollar for your wonderful cherished items. Usually the fee is 40 – 50% on estate sales. I don’t want you to be disappointed but ,there are many charlatans out there. Don’t do consignment as, with our economy, you will be toes up before you ever see a dollar.
      If it doesn’t offend you, why not paint some of the items to make them fresh and new? Don’t cry over the value you thought you might receive from selling. Of course, not the French 1824 armoire. That would be a travesty.

      1. I agree with the selling antiques input. unless it’s fabulous enough to make it on a site like Chairish, you’re probably not going to make much. If you have the time and inclination to deal with people, there’s Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Nextdoor, etc. Which is a better option depends on your locale. A lot of people are also still selling on Etsy and Ebay. Chairish, Etsy, and Ebay will have their fees posted on their websites. Marketplace, Craigslist, and Nextdoor are free. I had boxes and boxes of antique and vintage knick knacks and just gave them to a friend that has an antique booth rather than spend the time trying to sell them.

    2. The sad truth is that unless you have VERY important and pedigreed antiques and/or mid century modern furniture selling is next to impossible. No one wants them, especially the younger homeowners, who want cheap faux distressed gray furniture from overseas. I just went through my mom’s home and it was difficult even to give the stuff away.

    3. My solution: give things to my 30-something kids and let them sell it in Facebook ‘Marketplace. They get to keep the money too. Plenty of people in that age group like Granny Chic Decor.

  5. Laurel, Great book. Reminds me of an early Martha Stewart tv show, where she explained how to fold a fitted sheet. By the way as she demonstrated her technique, she said she doesn’t use fitted sheets, uses the flat style you have to tuck in. Ha! What I have learned over the years to keep my home from turning into a hoarder’s den is to edit, edit, edit. Even with all the wonderful hooks, baskets, boxes, jars etc to assist in organizing the home – the critical thing one must do is either put it up on ebay or donate it or chuck it into the bin. So much harder to do than you would think – it requires a will of steel to let go of your stuff.

  6. Hi Laurel,
    Another reader here that’s recently moved. I’ll be sure to check out the book. Thanks for recommending it.

  7. This sounds pretty perfect for what I need right now, having just moved into our new house that you so artfully reconfigured!! 😊 I’ll definitely check out their course and book!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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