Happy November! Below you’ll find our monthly update from October, and our Holiday Gift Guide of favorite organizing gifts to give this holiday season:)
I hope you’re having a nice Fall so far. Here in Virginia, the leaves are falling and the air is definitely starting to feel crisp! In fact, a few days ago it was freezing cold. When I took Mojo outside at 6AM (I’m on morning doggie duty and Ed takes the nightshift), there was frost on the grass!! Winter is definitely coming fast.
On top of that, with the whole daylight saving change that happened last weekend, it feels like midnight at 5:30PM! I must say though, I’ve been waking up a lot earlier this week since it’s lighter in the morning. I always feel more productive the earlier I wake up. The later I sleep in, the more I feel like I’m wasting the day!
On another note, with the cold and darker days, it’s been harder and harder to make my way to the gym! I’ve been “catching” myself making excuses for why I don’t need to go…
“It’s too dark outside. You’re bad at driving in the dark. You better stay home and not risk it”
“It’s too cold outside. I’ll just stay home and just make sure to eat healthy instead of working out.”
OR my favorite excuse of all…
“I can’t go to the gym – my iPod’s dead! I’ll go tomorrow once it’s charged.”
Have you been catching yourself saying excuses for doing things due to the cold and change in time, too?
However, I am proud to say that I’ve been pushing though most of the excuses, taking control, and showing up to the gym. Because if you want results, you must take action.
I must say though, like always, once you show up, it’s never as bad as you thought it would be inside your head
So that’s that.
Anyway, here at Alejandra.tv, it’s been a productive Fall. We welcomed a new team member last month after shuffling through 40 applicants and carefully selecting our new organized rockstar! Her name is Stephanie and she’s been such a joy to work with. She has already been a tremendous help after just a few weeks! She’s been helping Ed and I tackle tons of projects, helping out with email, and lots of other organizing stuff in the office.
Next week (on Tuesday) we’ll be interviewing for a brand new videographer. My fingers are crossed it all works out and we find our new Alejandra.tv video superstar who will help us create more fun videos for YOU! I must say, it’s been extremely challenging finding a videographer but we’re working hard to do the best we can!!
One of our goals is to be able to commit to one video per week on YouTube. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to make this “promise” and consistently deliver on that schedule! I will keep you posted.
All of these changes are helping us setup for a great New Year! I’m starting to look ahead at 2014 and am getting realllllly excited about tons of ideas and projects I want to tackle! There’s something about the New Year that’s just so exciting. The future and what it may bring is always fun to think about!
But before we get into the New Year, we have the Holidays!
I know, it still feels early. After all, Halloween was just last week. Anyway, I’m all about planning in advance so when the Holidays do get here you’ll feel prepared and on top of things. Because when you’re prepared, you can actually enjoy the Holidays instead of stressing out last-minute.
Having said that, I’ve spent the past few weeks picking out my favorite organizing stocking stuffers and small gifts for the Holidays next month!
I know it’s realllly early to be sending out my favorite organizing gifts for this holiday season. However, it’s better to be early than late.
Plus, if you find yourself doing any “last-minute” shopping next month and need creative ideas for him, for her, for co-workers, or for gadget lovers, you’ll have this email to fall back on
Most of the below gifts are all small, useful, “why didn’t I think of that!”, cool gadget-y, items perfect for stocking stuffers, gift toppers, or small gifts to others as a way to say “Happy Holidays” and “Happy Organized New Year!”
Having said that, below are my favorite organizing gifts for this holiday season!
P.S. – We also recently released our 2013 Holiday Gift Giving Checklist to help you track your gifts – you can find it here.
These mini-sized adhesive magic sliders are AWESOME for sticking underneath rather heavy things that are frequently moved. For example, I use these under my coffee maker to make it slide from under the cabinets on the counter easier. I don’t have a big mixer, but, if I did, I would totally stick these sliders on the bottom to make it slide easily!!
There’s nothing like Saturday morning walking to the Farmers Market with nothing in hand… except maybe cash and your phone in case of an emergency. Something about not carrying a purse every once in awhile makes me feels so free! Well, this little gadget is a suction-cup pocket/sleeve that sticks to the back of your phone for holding credit cards or cash. No purse needed!
If you know me, you know I love timers to stay on track. I’ve been talking about this timer for years! It’s my absolute favorite because 1) it keeps you on track, 2) it’s visual for us creatives, and 3) it’s small enough to keep on your desk or bring with you when you need to stay focused. It’s also great for keeping meetings on schedule!
I have these things all over my house in every nook and cranny! They are adhesive and you can stick them anywhere to prevent a cord from falling down when unplugged. They come in multiple colors and they are ridiculously easy to use!
You know those realllllly long cords that hang from the back of your computer, TV, and/or any other electronic in your house? Well, this cord wrap allows you to “magically” shorten the cord as if it didn’t really exist! It’s hard to explain but it’s AWESOME! I use this for my iPod charger on my desk.
Okay, so one of my friends always jokes and says her mother-in-law is the clumsiest person and always drops things, lol. This little gadget made me think of her. It’s a strap for your phone so you never drop it…ever, assuming you use the flexible strap each time you talk on the phone The strap sticks to your phone via a 3M adhesive strip!
If you’re prone to having USB drives float around your desk drawers, the bottom of your purse/backpack, laptop bag, etc., then this little padded protector will not only protect it from damage, but it’ll also make it easier to find (it’s larger than the USB itself and comes in a hard to miss bright purple color)!
Have you ever opened your laptop or restarted your computer in front of another person and were embarrassed by the dust on the “black screen?” It’s hard to see dust on the monitor when the computer is already on, however, when its off, the dust is so visible! Anyway, this little fuzzy duster does the trick when you swipe it across your keyboard and monitor. I have the yellow one and it sits inside my desk drawer.
Back in my 9-5 days I used white cubicle clips to hang important papers at my desk. These are colored AND jumbo size version of the clips I used to use. They’re so much more fun than boring white!! They make a good gift for any organized co-worker in the office!
Have you ever seen a mini-sized power outlet? Every time you need to charge your phone at the airport, all the plugs are taken. Not anymore! This is supposed to be for the frequent traveler, but, I say it’s not only perfect for “on the go,” but also small offices, bathrooms, or any nook where a “normal-sized” power strip wouldn’t fit.
If you’re the type of person who’s concerned with identity theft, you’ll enjoy these light-weight envelopes. They’re RFID blocking sleeves, meaning, you can store your credit cards and passport inside to prevent anyone from being able to remotely scan any of your information or data. A frequent traveler would enjoy this gift!
If putting your keys into your purse is like dropping a needle in a haystack, this gadget might help YOU! It’s a tiny bright red hook that hangs inside your purse to hold your keys in the same spot each and every day!
If you’re the type of person who always needs something while you’re out, but never has it in your purse, this little life saver is for you! It’s a mini emergency kit that’s small enough to fit in your purse but big enough to cover you in case you need it. Plus, it’s already assembled which means less work for you! I, on the other hand, genuinely enjoy assembling kits, so I’d much rather assemble this myself! However, for those that just want it “done,” this is for you!
To date, this is one of my favorite personal organizers that I’ve been using for years. It’s a business card holder turned wallet/gift card organizer! It’s totally made for visual people who need to SEE what they have to know it really does exist!
If you’re a Moleskine fanatic, you will LOVE this! It’s a mini Moleskine accordion organizer made for small pieces of paper like receipts or business cards. OR… if you really want to think outside-the-box, use this as a small wallet to store cash, credit cards, and/or gift cards!! Any Moleskine fan would adore this!
If you always have a hard time finding your phone in your purse, this gadget is for YOU! It’s a phone cord you clip to your purse and then attach to your phone. When your phone rings, just look for the hot pink colored 80s style phone cord and voila, there’s your phone! It also comes in black, but if you ask me, pink is more fun!
I bought this little book of fun sticky notes back when Macy’s was still called Hecht’s, LOL! That’s how long I’ve had this! It’s a sticky note book of fun, bright colored, motivational sticky notes. I have a few stickies posted around my office as inspiration, plus some of the messages are funny! Back in my college days, I used to leave these little sticky notes on my roommates’ desks to surprise them with a laugh or smile-. Works great in kids lunches, for your hubby, or as a gift for your friends.
These lumps of (char)coal aren’t just for those who are on your naughty list! Instead, these fun stocking stuffers are actually useful for deodorizing small smelly spaces or where there is bacteria, mold, or mildew! These fragrence-free lumps of coal come in various sizes, last up to two years, and work perfectly in shoes, closets, small spaces, cars, etc!
I recently discovered these a few months ago and SO wish I found them before summer! They’re water-proof pouches for all of your electronics! That means, you could be sitting by the pool reading your tablet and a bucket of water could get dumped on your device and NOTHING would get wet!! It comes in three sizes for phones, readers, and tablets – a total must-have for techies!
This is cool for the Mr. Fix-It in the family. It’s a “key” that fits on his key ring that’s actually 6 commonly used tools in one. The coolest thing is that it looks like a key. This is perfect as a stocking stuffer or a small gift topper on another present.
Last month we went out to dinner to an Italian restaurant with my future in-laws and while we were studying the menu, I caught Ed’s parents “fighting” over the magnifying glass (the words on the menu were small and the restaurant was dark!). Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I discovered this “Touch Lighted Magnifier” – perfect for dark restaurants and small text. Ed’s dad is definitely getting this next month for the holidays!
I discovered this product at a trade show almost 3 years ago when the only color available was black. Now, it comes in orange, blue, and gray. It’s an organizer made from reallllly elastic bungee cords and it’s great for any laptop bag or briefcase. Technically you could even use it in a purse. The cool thing about it is how visual it is. If you use it in your computer bag, you could just pull it out and instantly see everything you have in one shot. It comes in different sizes too!
If you or anyone you know is famous for having memory cards floating around their desk, drawers, or computer bag, you’ll appreciate this memory card organizer. It’s like a mini binder for memory cards AND it’s totally affordable.
Do you have any good gift ideas? If so, share them below in the comments.
After months since YouTube released the “channel trailer” feature, we finalllllly have one for HomeOrganizing!
I setup a new beverage station for tea and coffee in my kitchen and I can’t stop smiling every time I open the drawer now!!!
There is more to this system that is shown in the photo (I plan to do a video soon!). But the magic drawer organizers I used are these here: https://www.alejandra.tv/
I feel like I need to have a tea party now just to celebrate this drawer!!!
In case you were wondering how Ed’s ties were organized, here’s what his system looks like. And no, they don’t stay perfectly rolled like this all the time!! They stay rolled, but not like this. I re-rolled them to give him a “fresh start” again!
Products Used: Adjustable Dresser Drawer Dividers
Today in Virginia is “Drug-Take-Back Day” where you can safety dispose of unused medications. Have you done this recently? Every time I do this I keep the prescription bottles to reuse as storage containers!!! They work perfectly for storing quarters in the car for parking, q-tips for traveling, or safety pins in your closet! Anyone else reuse these too?!
This is part 3 of 3 of the grand opening of The Container Store in Reston, Virginia where I take you shopping with me the first day the store opens! This is a giveaway video, you can enter the giveaway here: http://woobox.com/cggvjo
Making the bed everyday is one of those things that doesn’t take long to do yet feels sooooo good when you get into bed at night. You just feel more relaxed and luxurious getting into a “made” bed at the end of the day! In this video, I show you step-by-step how I make my bed.
Hi everyone. So I’m in my bedroom right now. And in this video, I’m going to show you how to make the bed. So making the bed every morning doesn’t take that much time. It takes like three to five minutes if that. Sometimes it takes more mental effort than actual physical effort because we think about it so much and we just dread it so much inside of our head. But I’m going to show you that it doesn’t have to be that difficult.
So before I get started, I just want to say that like when you take the time to make the bed in the morning, you just feel so much better at night when you get into the bed because you just feel like so much more luxurious getting into the bed that’s like nicely made as opposed to just passing out in a bed where the sheets are just like jumbled at the bottom and you just pass out in bed.
So yeah, so taking the time in the morning is worth it at night when you get into bed. OK. So let me show you exactly how I make my bed. OK. So the first thing I’m going to do is just pull the pillows off the bed and just go put them on top of the chair in the corner and then I’m going to grab the quilt and do the same thing, just put it aside just so I’ll make the bed.
So I actually – I use a quilt instead of a comforter or a bedspread because a quilt, it’s like thin material and so you can easily tuck into the bed. I like to tuck things in because I feel like it looks so much more neater and cleaner and stuff as opposed to a comforter or a bedspread, you can’t really tuck them in as easily. So that’s why I like this quilt. OK.
So put that aside and then now, we’re just going to straighten up the sheets and the blankets. So I usually pull the sheet up to about like two inches from the top of the bed and then the same thing with the blankets and then we’re going to pull down the blanket once we bring it up and match everything up then we’ll fold it over.
All right. So first, we’re tucking everything in. We’re going to make sure that one side is not longer than the other side because when you tuck it in and one side is longer than the other side, it’s like too much fabric or too much material and then once it gets higher than the other side and then it’s hard to tuck the quilt in. So we got to have it even on both sides, which I think that’s good. Let me just fix this corner.
OK. And now, we can fold the blanket over. So I just fold it over like I don’t know, just like a good amount. The reason I fold it over is because I like to see like when I walk in the bedroom, I like to see the brown blanket, the beige sheets and the teal comforter because all three colors just like they go through nicely and so I like to just play one of each color or just make the bed so you can see one of each color.
All right. So I’m just tucking everything into the bed frame. And I really like this bed frame because you can tuck everything inside and you don’t need a bed skirt. And so, it just makes it really clean like looking at the bed from afar. So yeah, it’s nice when you can have the nice, clean look.
All right. So after I’m done tucking this in, we’re going to grab the quilt. We’re going to put it on top. Fold the blanket, put the pillows on top, and then we’ll be done. So let me grab the quilt. OK. So I just grab the quilt and now, we’re just going to lay it on the bed and then fold it over and then put the pillows on the bed.
All right. So I’m looking for the edge with the tags because that goes in the upper left-hand corner. So I just love this quilt. So I got it like six months ago from Pottery Barn. It was on clearance for like 85% off. It was a total steal like the quilt, the shams, the whole set, it was just an awesome find.
All right. So we’re just going to line it up. OK. So now, I’m just going to folded it over. I’m going to fold it pass the brown blanket because like I said, I like to see like I like to make sure all three colors are showing when the bed is made because they all matched so nicely. All right. So now, I can just start tucking in the comforter.
OK. So now that that’s tucked in I’m just going to quickly fold the blankets, then we’ll grab the pillows, and then we’ll be done. All right. So I’m going to put this on the chair and grab the pillows. OK. So I put the pillows on the bed. This is going to sound really weird but I put the pillows so the close side of the pillow case is showing as opposed to the open part just because it looks neater. And yeah, it just looks neater and cleaner.
So I’m just going to put that side facing out. And then I’m going to do the same thing with the other side, show this side instead of the open part. Then grab the shams or the square pillows, put one there, put one here, just more that over, take the third one and put the pillow just like that. And that’s how I organized the bed. So as you can see, it didn’t take up that much time. And now, when I go to sleep, I’m going to feel relaxed. I’m going to feel like luxurious in a nice, freshly made bed and it’s just going to feel great after a nice productive day.
So I hope you found this video helpful. If you want more organizing tips or to take my 3-day organizing video series, you can visit my website at Alejandra.TV. And I’ll see you soon. Bye!
In this video, I show you how to organize your bedroom nightstand or bedside table so you can easily find everything you need right before you go to bed, in the middle of the night, and right when you wake up in the morning!
Hi everyone. I’m in my bedroom right now and I’m sitting next to my nightstand and I’m going to show you exactly how I organized my nightstand, what I keep inside, and just how I make everything easily accessible. So if I need something before I go to sleep or in the middle of the night, I know where everything is and it’s not a problem to grab it or not like shuffling around and stuff.
So let me show you exactly what I do here. OK. So the very first thing I do at the top of the nightstand is I protect the nightstand so it doesn’t get scratched and I do that by putting felt pads to the bottom of every single thing that sits on top of the nightstand so like the alarm clock, the lamp, the phone, and then the candle. And you can just get – you could like make your own adhesive felt pads by getting a sheet of felt from the craft store and cutting squares or cutting circles and then just putting them at the bottom of something or you could just get felt pads at the Dollar Store. They’re always there whenever I go.
OK. So next thing I do is I have an adhesive cord clip that just like sticks to the back of a nightstand that holds my phone charger in place. So it holds it up so the charger doesn’t actually fall behind the nightstand when the phone is unplug from the charge. And it’s brown so it matches the color of the furniture. It doesn’t like stick out because it’s white or pink or something. So yeah, so that is nice.
And then also, when I was looking for a lamp for the nightstand, I bought so many different lamps before I finally settled on this one. And one of the things that I wish I would have known before I did all this lamp shopping is to find a lamp that has a cord that attaches from the bottom of the lamp itself like a lot of lamps are liked the cord hang from the top part and then when you walk into the bedroom, the first thing you would see or the first thing I saw was the cord that hang down.
So if you’re lamp shopping, one tip for you is to find a lamp that the cord is from the bottom and not hanging from the top because then it dangles and then you see it. OK. So that’s just little like cosmetic thing. But yeah, that’s everything on top of the nightstand. Let me show you what’s inside the drawers.
OK. So let me show you what’s inside the first drawer. OK. So the first thing I do here is I have two organizers. These are just normal desk office or kitchen organizers and they are puttied down so they don’t move. So if I open this drawer really hard, they’re not going to slide back because of the Museum Putty that’s on the bottom of them. That’s why I love Museum Putty.
All right. So let me quickly show you what’s inside here. So, I have foot cream, a VapoRub, lip balm, lotion, Vaseline in this little cute travel size. I think this is like a new size. I came across that recently. Head medication in a travel size bottle, a flashlight so in case of power outages or in the middle of the night, and then I have a highlighter.
So I always highlight books whenever I’m reading them. I always highlight the things I want to remember so I keep that because I like to read in bed sometimes. I have a bookmark, two pens, and I have some sticky notes down here in case I want to write something down like in case some kind of inspirational thought or some kind of idea comes to mind, I can just jot it down right here. There is ponytail holder and then there is a pack of tissues.
OK. So the second drawer right here has some of the bigger things. Like there is not really an organizer inside just because there are big things and it’s a small drawer. So let me show you what’s inside. OK. So the second drawer here, I have an eye mask to keep the light out, and then this is – it’s a different type of eye mask that you can put it in a microwave or you can put it in a freezer and then put it over your eyes and it’s like such a great feeling. I always microwave that and it just – if you have a headache, it feels nice.
And then this is the same thing as this but it’s for your neck. And so again, you can microwave it or you can freeze it and it will just make your neck feel great and it’s great if you have any kind of pain in your body. So I love these things. They also smell like lavender and I got it from the grocery store. It’s made by Earth Therapeutic. It’s just really nice.
OK. So that’s that drawer. OK. So moving on down here, so down here, I have two baskets. So before I show you what’s inside the baskets, let me just tell you a quick furniture tip. If you are in a market for any type of furniture in your house and you are the type of person who gets bothered by seeing wires hanging like I do then make sure you get a furniture with a backing behind it so the wires will hang behind the backing and it’s not visible.
So like this nightstand here, it’s open from like here all the way to the back so I can just look back and I can see the wall and I can also see the wires that hang down, so annoying. So I didn’t realize this until after I got the nightstand. So make sure you find – you get furniture that has a backing if you’re bothered by wires. So how I’m solving the problem of seeing the wires is putting baskets right here to kind of cover the back of it. And so now, I can’t really see the wires.
OK. So let me show you what’s inside this basket. So the first thing I did was find a basket with a nice liner so I cannot stand baskets that don’t have liners because sometimes the thread or the fabric gets snagged or pulls and then it’s like destroyed. So whenever I get a basket, I always get a nice liner and plus it’s just like softer to reach in and grab something. OK. So that’s the first thing I did here.
So let me show you what’s inside. I have fuzzy socks right here. So a lot of times in the middle of the night, my feet get cold or before I go to sleep, I forget to get socks so it’s nice to not be able to get out of bed but just reach into this basket and grab fuzzy socks and then to just fold them, all I do is just ball them together. Grab the socks just like that and then just go just like that and just make them into a ball just like that.
All right. And then I have a heating pad for whenever I’m having pain or something. It’s just right here by the bed. And then inside this little baggy, I have a dust rug. So, one of the things that I cannot stand to be dusty is the nightstand. I really dust my nightstand like every day or every other day because dust on the nightstand just bothers me. It’s like right by your face. It’s right by where you go to bed. So having a dust rug nice and convenient right here is nice and then I’ll just swap out the dust rug whenever it gets dirty and it’s time to wash it. But yeah, it stays in here so nothing else gets dusty. I do the same thing inside my closet because I cannot stand when my closet gets dusty either.
All right. And then on the bottom of the basket, I have felt pads so again, nothing is going to get scratched when you like slide the basket. And then when I was organizing this, I was like standing afar and looking at these two baskets here and I was thinking, “Oh, I can see the stuff inside that kind of bothers me.” So I thought, “Well OK, maybe I’ll get lids, maybe I’ll get baskets with lids instead.” But then I realized that the lid is not very functional and it’s nice to just be able to just reach in and grab something without having to take it all out and then grab something. So I was just like completely mixed with the lid.
OK. So in the second basket right here, I just have bottles of water so if I wake up in the middle of the night and I need water for whatever reason, I don’t want to have to go downstairs and wake up Ed or wake up Mojo. Everything is just like right here. I can just grab it and then whenever the water bottles get lower. I just come back and I refill it right here.
OK. So at the bottom of the nightstand, I just have this cord box or it just like contains all the cords inside so it doesn’t look like there are cords everywhere like everything is just like inside the box. So yeah, it’s just nice because when you walk inside the room, my nightstand is like the first thing you see besides the bed. And so when you see cords everywhere, it just kind of looks messy and it just – as a perfectionist, it just doesn’t look very nice. So hiding the wires inside the box is nice.
OK. So that’s everything that I want to show you inside my nightstand and just tell you like how to make things accessible and how to organize your nightstand. I hope you found this video helpful. If you want more tips or if you want to sign up for my free video series, you can go over to my website, Alejandra.TV and I’ll see you there.
Thanks for watching and I’ll see you soon. Bye!
There’s a new Container Store opening in Reston, Virginia and my friend Kacy Paide of The Inspired Office & I attended the private preview party before the grand opening! Here’s a video of the event and the fun we had at the party! This is part 2 of 3. Click here to watch part 1 (The Container Store Sneak Peek Blogger Tour).