Home & Design

The Real Legacy You’ve Left Your Children Part II

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

The Real Legacy You’ve Left Your Children Part IIEllen

Ellen had taken seriously my recommendation for a clean out company. Three bedrooms in her mother's house were strewn with garbage and trash as was the front porch which had become the designated dumping ground. Ellen didn't even want to discuss the basement.

I asked her to think about how many days and weeks, of tedious sorting, how many garbage bags; how many dumpsters, how many trips either up stairs or down stairs this cleaning out could take should she try this herself. I asked her to think about the possibility of becoming so weary that accidents...tripping, falling, failing to see a red light or stop sign... would become real and devastating. We were meeting a deadline. I gave her my resources and she called for help.

The Real Legacy You’ve Left Your Children Part I

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

The Real Legacy You’ve Left Your Children Part IStory #1: Dale
"I will never do to my sons what my father did to me."
Sounds like a salacious headline in one of those believe-this-if-you-will tabloids, conjuring up images of abuse; maybe dungeon-like living quarters or unspeakable horrors.

This is actually a statement from a friend who had to clean out his father's house after his dad decided to downsize and move.

Christmas Lite

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

Professional organizers love Christmas.  It’s one of the reasons we have jobs.  Closets and drawers are stuffed and glutted with gifts received years ago with the best of the season’s spirit.  Bins and boxes labeled “Christmas” filled with every decoration, ornament, garland, music box, singing, jiggling character, and Christmas collectible are stacked and shoved into every available space in attics and basements.  More bins with items purchased throughout the year to give, but that were forgotten instead, languish in corners.  The Christmas Season begins earlier every year  - Halloween and Thanksgiving apparently are there to help us be polite as we head toward commercial gusto and frenzy and the relentless scream of retailers to shop and buy.   How about thinking outside the box...and the bin...and creating some alternatives?

Some Assembly Required

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

"If the box on this year’s Christmas present uses "some Assembly required", you might want to be fully armed and dressed for battle"

When I was growing up and my mother would announce that she would have to call someone to fix or assemble something, my father would respond with the typical male growl,

“ That’s ridiculous; I can do it.” 

Holiday Doom and Decor

Written by karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

From October to December, retail brings on the sights, sounds, and smells of the season. The fragrant candles will be up front, the lights will be blinking and the music will all be there to help you open your wallet.   Inspired by the seasonal influx of catalogues and the many people who have given up their basements, garages, spare rooms, and attics to store far too many holiday decorations, I bring you this bit of silly

Grow your garden

Written by Pam Downs. Posted in Gardening.

Howdoes your garden grow?


As the weather warms up, we start to think about planning our garden for the new season. Even before we plant our first vegetable in the garden, it is a good time to evaluate the nutritional value of the soil and to work on getting it in a healthy condition. Gardeners understand that the soil the plants grow in must provide certain micro and macro nutrients in order to produce a wonderful crop

Love is Not made of Plastic

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

Love not plastic

There's the start of a college education in the back of my car. There's been a small down payment on a house and a gently used vehicle back there too. I've carted away a cleaning service, a couple of moving men, and a contractor who could have done some serious home repairs.

How Did It Get Like This?

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

What a mess

We all have that spot. It’s a desk top, closet, bedroom, office, garage, a basement; a space so cluttered, so unorganized, so filled with stuff and nonsense that it is no longer functional. And one day, for some reason, we look at it all with new eyes. A new reality sets in; we gasp in dismay and wail out loud, “How did it get like this?” 

Keep your Home Warmer

Written by LivingWellMagazine. Posted in Interior Decorating.

Hunter Douglas Duette can keep your home warmer

A home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient,” reports the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). “An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.”
“During the assessment, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy,” adds DOE. “Energy assessments also determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems [and] may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity.”

Hong Kong and Feng Shui

Written by Gahl Eden Sasson. Posted in Interior Decorating.

Hong Kong and Feng Shui 

In my travels around the world, I experience interesting  synchronicities, coincidences, and serendipities that afford  me the opportunities to both learn and teach with much more  fun and ease. That is why Astrology ties all these aspects  together in a bundle of energy called SAGITTARIUS. The sign  that also rules wisdom, travel, adventures, truth, and  philosophy. As I travel from Asia, to Europe and finally to  America, 

When America is Disorganized: Mistaken Identity and Mayhem

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

 For the past 23 years, I have been housing theatre people, mostly opera folks when opera is in season here. There is always a spare room for out- of-town singers, directors, or costumers who need a place to stay.  

Six years ago, I met Domingo and  Alexandra, two world-class opera singers from Argentina who spoke about wanting to leave their country.   The government there had taken over the banks, had taken the money from their accounts, had taken over the opera house and then had failed to pay either of them for their performances. Unable to pay their mortgage, they lost their home, as had many others.

What are Heirloom Tomatoes?

Posted in Gardening.

Nestled next to the round, bright red varieties we're used to seeing piled high in the supermarket, heirloom tomatoes are becoming more and more common. Perhaps you've seen them but never really knew what they were. Sometimes gnarled and dark purple, sometimes bright green striped with yellow and the size of a golf ball, sometimes a fleshy pink color and slightly flattened with extra curves and lobes: These are heirloom tomatoes. And as unique as their individual exteriors are, each also has a flavor all its own, with varying sweetness and acidity unlike any year-round hothouse hybrid.
But what makes a tomato an heirloom?

Pool Safety Tips

Written by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Safe Kids Georgia. Posted in Outdoors.

Drowning is the No. 2 cause of accidental death for children ages 14 and younger. Every year, approximately 760 children ages 14 and younger die from accidental drowning, and an estimated 3,000 go to the Emergency department after near-drowning incidents. Even a near-drowning incident can have lifelong consequences. Children who survive near-drowning may have brain damage; after four to six minutes under water, the damage is usually irreversible. The most important precaution is active supervision.

The Deep Bed Method of Planting

Written by Jay North. Posted in Gardening.

There are about as many planting techniques as there are plants. Most organic growers have their favorite variations on ways of planting that they learned or picked up along the way. Which of the hundreds if not thousands of techniques should you use?

The deep bed method and the high wall method are two different names for the same way of planting, which is one of my favorites. The deep bed method was created in the 1930s and 1940s and was popular during World War II when people grew backyard gardens called Victory Gardens. Victory gardens were created by people who believed that urban gardens could contribute to the war effort by making up for food shortages and releasing food supplies for shipment to our troops -and they did.

A lady in England-her name escapes me at the moment-and actually took credit for the term and wrote a book on the subject, which was in my library for several years, but has managed to grow its own feet and walk off the shelves.

Grow 6000 Pounds of Organic Vegetables in Your Own Back Yard

Written by Jay North. Posted in Gardening.

Organic gardening popularity in America is at an all time high, and well it should be considering the high cost of fresh produce at the supermarket.

But wait, Eat Organic, it’s the best bet for you and your family and oh so fresh right from your own backyard, best of all it will cut your grocery bill in half. What most want to be green thumbs may not know is they can grow over 6000lbs of fresh veggies right in their own backyard and tomatoes have never tasted so good.

Round Picture Frames - What Looks Best and What to Avoid

Written by Autumn Lockwood. Posted in Interior Decorating.

Round picture frames make a unique picture frame display. It is this unique shape that makes them a bit tricky to
use. Think of round frames like shopping for clothing. Some clothes look great on you while others don't fit you at all. This article will give you guidelines on the proper use of round picture frames. You will also learn what types of photos go well with round picture frames and what type would be better in a more conventional frame.


Posted in Interior Decorating.

Rassouli A california Artist

Southern California is privy to an artist whom is both unique and inspiring. Using a skillful technique, known as Fusionart, Rassouli

creates works of art that reflect spiritual experience by expressing images from his subconscious. Fusionart, a fusion of mysticism and European painting technology, is a style that Rassouli himself has created, registered and currently teaches. With smooth strokes, bright colors and a consistent theme of elegance, Rassouli, uses his creative talent to illustrate his spirituality.

Organizing Emotionally: It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.



Magazines touting the latest in organizing solutions with glossy images of clean and perfect spaces do not deal with individuals or their lives.   Staged with new furniture and quaint products, these articles are advice with the underlying hint that buying something pretty will put one’s life in order. There’s the panacea of visual fantasies: ten beige outfits in a closet; six bathroom towels rolled with ribbons.  Glib. 

Organizing Emotionally: It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys II

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

Organizing Emotionally

Marilyn Paul, a  professional woman with a doctorate, confessed to being the poster child of disorder in her personal life.  Home and office were jumbled and confused; her lifestyle frenzied and disorganized. In her book, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When you Can’t Find Your Keys, she relates how she was able to finally get organized personally and professionally when she began to organize emotionally. 

In my last article,  we covered ...

  1. Purpose for becoming and staying organized.
  2. Envisioning the life and environment one would like to have. The journey continues with some serious questioning.  
  3. Reality, Taking Stock  Most people eventually learn that there is a relationship between habits and comfort.


Written by Lisa Sherwood. Posted in Gardening.

Weather wisdom such as "March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb," or "April showers bring May flowers," may sometimes seem like old wives’ tales; but they are only the beginning when it comes to gardening. Keep your plants productive and blooming all spring and summer long with these tips.

Start with a Plan

It’s important to choose the proper site for the plants you wish to grow.

Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers - What’s in Your House?

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

For the last several months I’ve written about keeping Christmas and the rest of the year simple and light, finding alternatives to the holiday stress and frenzy, and giving yourself permission to say “enough” to keep debt at bay. It’s all a matter of making sensible but sometimes difficult choices.

Anyone who has ever planned a party knows that decisions and choices are basic beginning ingredients: what to serve, whom to invite. I’m revving up for a holiday gathering at my house; a brunch, followed by a trip to a small, local theatre.

Divide and Conquer - Paper Management Part I

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Organizing.

Every personal organizer who has ever answered the plea for help in paper management has seen the following organizing “systems”: the floor, the kitchen counter, the desk top, the entry table, the dining room table, the coffee table,  the family room, the laundry room, the laundry baskets, the wicker baskets, the tote bags, the paper bags, the plastic bags, the shoe boxes, the cardboard boxes, the plastic bins, and my personal favorite, the dog kennel. When we’ve been shown actual filing cabinets, they are either empty or filled with buldging, toppling files labeled “miscellaneous” and “stuff”, which is right up there with naming all your children, “Hey You”.  Anyone can answer that call including the neighbors next door whom you weren’t really seeking.

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