I was interviewed for this month’s issue of KC Parent magazine!
Check out the article:
I was interviewed for this month’s issue of KC Parent magazine!
Check out the article:
Join us on Saturday afternoon, April 16th at 1pm for a workshop in home organizing!
Snap a few pictures of some spaces in your home that you wish were better laid out or utilized. Come ready to ask questions and to learn from other workshop goers. Bring a notebook and pen for note taking!
Shawna Childers is the founder of Organizing Solutions KC, a Kansas City based company that specializes in professional organizing and organic household cleaning and body products.
She has over a decade of experience working with Kansas City area families. She’s helped them create more space in their lives for things that bring them joy by implementing schedules and action plans, organizing their spaces, and cleaning their homes without toxic chemicals.
She is passionate about helping people live richer, fuller lives by working with clients to examine their homes and routines for opportunities to improve efficiency and flow. She is fascinated by the relationship that people have to their possessions and has spent the later part of her life working to help them manage their items, spaces, and ideas.
She is an avid nature lover and very interested in learning how we connect with and affect our surroundings, whether it’s our home or world, both big picture and microbial. Since it’s a priority for her to limit the amount of chemicals in her household and exposure to her family, she makes her own organic cleaning products and body products.
She thrives on learning from people who want to share their life experiences, teaching others through her own, and making genuine, lasting connections in her community.
For me, being inspired enough to actually create (not dinner, or another load of laundry) requires my environment to be in harmony.
If my house is messy and there’s a mountain of laundry, I do not feel compelled to spend my free time whipping up new soap recipes. It’s hard to justify lugging out the sewing machine to do some hemming when there are dishes and a mountain of laundry to wash and put away.
For me, I love creating soooo much that it’s vital that I make time for it. Routines are a great way to save time and make our household flow soooooo much better. We’ve found that just having a plan for how the week is going to go free up a lot of time spent trying to make choices at the last minute.
I’ve found the following ways to be really great ways to create more time:
Take time on this one day of the week to plan out the week ahead. Check everyone’s schedules, activities, and wants (like time for you to work solo) for the week and combine them onto one clear, visible place that everyone sees on a regular basis.
Below is our weekly calendar on the fridge. It’s also the home of our grocery and to-get list.
We sit down with both of these boards every Sunday before our weekly grocery shopping trip so we know exactly what we need for the upcoming week… which brings me to the next time-saving nugget…
When the weeks meals are planned ahead you eliminate those extra trips to the grocery store. You also save a ton of money by not buying items that don’t end up getting used and by not buying extra junk that’s not on the list. Plus, this way everyone in the family gets to pick/cook a meal and will eat dinner at least one night a week.🙂
It’s best to plan a few very simple staple meals for the week and then fill in with more complicated meals and new recipes for a day or two. Plan the meals you’ll be dining out. Help your kiddos plan their meals and gather what they’ll need to cook them. The earlier the kids get involved in this process the better. Kids develop their critical thinking and decision making skills by practicing.
Laundry never ends. We just have to accept it and move on. Your laundry will never be “done”. This is an every. damn. day. kinda deal. It’s more of a rotation and a habit you get into.
I’ve found that the best way to make it as fast and painless as possible is by adopting the following strategies (which apply to multiple kinds of tasks):
Do small loads. This is best implemented by using small baskets. Quicker to put away and not as overwhelming as a mountain of clothes. Wash when it’s full. Not overflowing.
Wash often. Make changing out a load part of your morning routine. Brush teeth. Change laundry. Rinse, lather, repeat. Do the same at lunch or dinner. Having a set time that you pop a load in and out is easy to remember and steady keeps the laundry train a movin’.
Get everyone involved. Have everyone “put away” their own clothes (which can even mean just having them fling clothes into a low drawer or basket). The little ones feel proud for helping, and though it may take a little bit longer, they are learning responsibility and taking ownership of their items. It will pay off later. If your kids aren’t eager to help out, offer incentives (see next item).
Chore charts are a good visual for everyone to see and serve as a great tool for accountability. Not only are chore charts great for kiddos, but they are also awesome for mom and dad. When the kids see that mom and dad are also checking off their to-dos, it makes them want to participate. Offer exciting rewards for getting chores done (not punishments for not doing them). Also, not calling it a ‘chore chart’ helps reluctant family members get on board a little easier. Make it into a fun game for the family. Teamwork.
Pinterest is an amazing resource to find free, printable charts. You can also check etsy for some really cute and custom chore charts.
Have a designated spot for EVERYTHING. If you have to look for something in more than two or three spots, it’s time to check yo’ self. Keep things with their like-items. Don’t have a bunch of the same things strung about in different places. Keeping everything similar together prevents you from losing things or buying multiples.
Once you feel like your house is in (relative) harmony and you’ve scheduled yourself some proper time in the week, it’s time to make space.
What area of your house makes you feel good to be in? Is there a room or area that is beautifully decorated or home to family pictures that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Or do you love being outside in the breeze and listening to the birds? Go to your nearest favorite place.
It’s important to have a designated creation station. A closet makes a perfect mini artist studio but so does a tote bag or a storage bin. Even if it’s just the corner of the coffee table, clear a space to work.
Make sure you have all of the tools you need. Favorite paper to write on. Favorite utensil to write with. Colored pencils. Paint. Charcoal. Oven. Chainsaw. Whatever. I’m a big proponent of kits. There can be a kit for everything, literally. If I’m working on sewing, I have a sewing kit (plastic bin with all of my sewing supplies). I have an organizing kit that I take to all of my sessions with me. When I was doing cosmetology, I had my hair, skin, and nails kits. A kit is just an itemized list of things that you’ll need for any specific task and then all of those items organized into some area or container. Compile one.
Now that I’ve scheduled the time and made a work space, I’ve found that I have a heck of a lot more energy for creating. I feel more inspired when my mind is less full of lagging chores and looming obligations. When I know that things are operating (at least somewhat) smoothly, I can breathe a big cleansing sigh and open up my heart.
When I create something that I have put my love and energy into, I feel like I’m breathing life into the world and into myself. That’s such an energizing feeling. The more I create, the more energy I have for creating. It’s a snowball effect. Even if you don’t get into a laundry system or plan any meals, the most important part is to just start creating. Just sit down and create something small. Anything. Once you’re in motion, it’s a lot easier to keep going.
I challenge you to make more time, space, and energy for creating by getting your daily routine in check, implementing systems for your daily chores, and crafting that special creation space. Below is a recap of the main ways I’ve found to accomplish that goal. Good luck to you!
What tips have you found to help yourself become more creative? Please share in the comments below!
Lotion is kind of an essential item for me. I have naturally dry skin, espeeeecially in the winter. For as long as I can remember, every time I get out of the bath tub I dry off and then slather my entire body in some kind of moisturizing product.
Last spring Nicole gave me a really cool lotion bar kit from soap-making-resource.com
I ended up making a couple batches of lotion bars for the Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair. I made two small batches, lavender and pink grapefruit. Lavender sold out on the first day and the rest of the pink grapefruit sold out on the second day.
The lotion bars themselves were totally amazing, but after two days outside in the head the bar itself wasn’t holding up too well. They were soft and messy. Also, it was best to keep them in an airtight container. Enter: the lotion stick.
The perfect solution. These things are amazing to just unscrew and swipe across the back of my hands when they’re a little dry. No greasy palm aaaaaand it’s airtight. (Don’t get me wrong though, I still love the bars. They are so perfect for after bath and for anytime you’d wanna massage the lotion in.)
I made a couple batches of lotion sticks for Christmas gifts (juniper berry & lemon, orange & rosemary) and they were a huge hit.
I also gave one to my friend at her baby shower. Intentions were for little baby Lincoln’s sensitive skin, but she loved using it on her belly. One of the Christmas lotion sticks ended up in the refrigerator and also used on stretching pregnancy belly. She said the coolness felt really soothing. Hmmph!
Turns out there are a lot of uses for lotion sticks. What do you use them for?
Haven’t tried one? Purchase here.
Start your spring cleaning off right! Kick those toxic cleaners to the curb and clean your home with safe and natural cleaners!
Most of those “green” products found in stores are packed with dyes, fragrances, and carcinogens that are harmful to our bodies and the environment.
At this workshop, learn how to clean your house top to bottom by using just a few common natural ingredients.
Join us to create your own organic cleaning kit with everything you’ll need to clean your entire home safely and naturally. As we compile the cleaning kit, we will talk about each ingredient and some of it’s best cleaning uses. You’ll create a cute caddy of organic cleaning products to use at home, customized by you from a variety of essential oils.
Space is limited to 6 people. Register online here.
I had planned on writing a review of this book when I started reading it after Christmas (I also gave one to my MIL and SIL). This book seemed to be all the rage and, as a professional organizer, I just had to see what all the fuss was about.
It’s a fast, easy read. She gets a little bit “out there” when she talks about items having feelings and preferences, but if you don’t take it too literal, she paints a good picture of what kind of vibe that’s projected by a bunch of stuff balled up and crammed in places.
The main point that I took away from her book (also happens to be the method that I use with my clients) is to physically hold and feel every single item you are organizing. Not only does putting in the hard work of organizing give you an ownership in keeping your place organized, it’s also cathartic to hold items that you haven’t seen for a while to really determine if they are needed in your life. She says that if it doesn’t spark joy than it’s time to say goodbye.
Like Marie, I’m also a big supporter of sorting items by category and not by room. I always get all like-items together in one place. That way you can really see what all you’re working with and you don’t have to keep redundant items.
I also loved her bit about not passing off your unwanted junk to your friends and family. It’s a big one that I don’t think a lot of people think about.
Overall, it’s a quick, light read. I don’t think it’s the absolute best book EVER, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about organizing and looking for somewhere to start!