HeartWork Organizing

Helping you find peace and purpose through organization and design

We’ve Moved! Organize and Decorate at Our New Web Site April 24, 2012

Filed under: General — HeartWork Organizing @ 2:58 pm

You know that “tired, but in a good way” feeling you get when you finish painting a room or moving all of your furniture around?  Well, that’s how I feel right now.  We’ve recently just moved two whole sites!

This is the last post at this address.  Those of you who are getting these articles sent to you about twice a week will need to head over to the new site and re-subscribe, but just this once, I promise.  When you head to www.HeartWorkOrg.com, look on the right-hand side and enter your email where it says “subscribe to blog”. 

I am not fond of the word blog, but it is a shorted version of “web log”, or the modern day version of a mini-magazine.

Anywhoo, I’ve got so much more capability on the new site, you’re going to love it.  The before and after gallery has been updated.  I can finally add pictures of your furry critters to the Furry Gallery.  The store has been updated, with more to come.

The very first thing that I’m doing is FOR YOU.  There’s a brand new post over there about green decorating with a lamp makeover, and there is a giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to get you started on your own green decorating project.    This giveaway closes May 2, 2012, but there are plenty more to follow, so I hope you’ll head over now and subscribe.  Really, go now.

Click here and enter your email to subscribe and keep getting organizing, decorating, and home staging tips.  See ya there!

HeartWork Organizing




How to Get Rid of Ants April 12, 2012

Filed under: General,Organizing — HeartWork Organizing @ 1:43 pm
Tags: ,

It’s hard to feel good about organizing or decorating when ants go marching two by two through your space.  For those of you who think I lead a charmed life, sorry to pop your balloon.  We have ants.

True, these ants have tenure.  I’ve only lived in this house 4 years, and the ants have probably been here for most of the hundred years the house has stood here.  But I don’t have to like it, and I don’t have to share my snacks with them.

Since I have kids and I like to be all goody-goody about reducing chemicals in my home, I don’t just head for the pesticide aisle.  A couple of years ago, I contacted Mike McGrath, who hosts the show You Bet Your Garden on WHYY, which is a wealth of resources on plants, organic gardening, and natural lawn care techniques.  He pointed me to this little product, that has revolutionized my war on bugs.

ant killer

It’s a bit different because you don’t spray your stuff or your crawlers.  No, this is more subtle.  You just put a couple drops of Pic Liquid Ant Bait Killer down in a little cardboard or plastic doormat (included), and let the ants walk on it.  And they will, because this stuff is like Easter candy to them.  Did you know that ants are very systematic?  They follow in each other’s footsteps to their food source, and then the ants go marching home again, all in a line.  But at my house, their little legs will be coated with blue juice, which they carry home to their colony.  Within days, all of the ants in the colony have had a taste of the Kool-Aid.  No more ants.

Still, they are ants, and I have to go through this every spring.  I’ve been doing this for 4 years, and you see how much of this tiny bottle I’ve used?  Since I’m using so little, I worry a lot less about unintended targets getting a taste of my blue wrath.

After that’s all taken care of, I can get back to the fun stuff, decorating and organizing for spring.  Here’s hoping for peace around your baseboards.


Candyless Month: SMART Goals Help Organize Smarter Snacks February 16, 2012

Filed under: General,Organizing — HeartWork Organizing @ 3:43 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Remember when I told you I was going to try to get a handle on my candy addiction in January?  Boy, am I glad that’s over!

You might be wondering, how is this an organizing or decorating story?  Trust me, it is both.

The thing about organizing is that if you have a plan, a system, and the right tools on hand, you can be successful.  Without any of those things, well, you get more of what you’ve always gotten before.

My plan was to cut out my candy binges.  Not calories.  Not candy entirely.  Just the 3 o’clock and 8 o’clock binges.  That’s where I sit down and eat half a bag of M&M’s or an entire box of Girl Scout cookies.  My system was to have some substitute sweets on hand, including frozen fruit, oranges, Greek yogurt, and roasted vegetables. And the tools, well, that’s where you came in.  Every time I went into the pantry, I thought about this post I was eventually going to have to write, and so I thank you for being there for me.

My goals were SMART:  specific, measurable, applicable, realistic, and time-bound.  There was absolutely no reason I couldn’t be binge-free for thirty days.

Things pretty much went as planned.  Not having my daily sugar dose, some mornings I definitely woke up less sluggish.  Sugars that come from processed foods and candy really do gum up my works, which is way more noticeable than in my twenties.

Oh, and I remembered that I needed to drink more water.  Not just pour it and let it sit nearby, but actually drink it.  Osmosis isn’t a good way to get your hydration.

Then, near the end of the month, I took on a two day staging job, and my system failed.  (That’s the decorating part of the story.) I fell back on chowing through an entire bag of Skittles to get me through the job instead of taking sensible breaks for water and real food.  Skittles are so seductive, I even got my assistant hooked on them.  Sorry, Jill.  Although the Skittles.com site is one of the biggest wastes of time ever, I have to agree with the tweet/quote, “Where there are Skittles, there’s a way.”

OK, one slip is not bad.  But then I had a weak moment in the evening, which began with me reaching for a box of chocolate drizzled popcorn that I bought as a hostess gift in case I was invited to a holiday party.


Note to self:  buying candy just in case is probably a bad idea.

I struggled with this one, so close to the end of the month.  So I flipped the box and checked the stats.  10 servings in the box.  130 calories per serving.  Are you kidding me?  Stalling, I pulled out 9 plastic baggies, intending to eat just one serving.  It works for those Nabisco hundred calorie packs; it might work for me.  Here’s what one serving looked like.

Pathetic. Hardly worth the calories.

That particular night, my better nature won out.  I opted for a tub of Greek yogurt instead and saved about a gazillion calories.  ‘Cuz you know I was not just going to eat one serving of that popcorn.  You know I was going to eat the ENTIRE BOX, right?


Organizing my pantry and my thoughts help me stay on track.  I have no idea if I lost weight or not, but I can definitely say that one of my favorite shirts feels more loose.  Yeah!

So, it all ends well.  Borrowing a title from my blogger friend, Stephanie over at Intentional Girl, I’ve become a bit more intentional about my snacks.  Which is good, because candy season never really seems to end, does it?


What NOT to Get Me For Christmas December 9, 2011

Filed under: General — HeartWork Organizing @ 11:06 pm

In the season of gift lists, I wanted to put together a list of things not to get me.  Just for fun. But alas, I haven’t spent that much time looking at the catalogs this year.  But this one special thing caught my eye.

Just in case you are tempted to buy me a leather covered porcupine, armadillo or piglet carafe, please don’t.  I’m sure there is some underprivileged kid who needs it more than I do.


Merry Christmas.


Why Women Do What We Do: Praise for The Pregnant Entrepreneur December 8, 2011

Filed under: Business Organizing,General,Organizing — HeartWork Organizing @ 1:52 pm

Holidays are upon us.  For most people I’ve talked to, things are crazier than ever.  It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness, or to feel overwhelmed by it.  I was having drinks with some  gal pals last night, all extraordinary models of moms in action.  These are the kinds of women who keep the world running quietly in the background for the rest of us. It got me thinking about why we all, especially moms, take on so many roles and activities.

Why I Run Two Businesses

Last year at this time, I was working on the finishing touches for my first book.  The Pregnant Entrepreneur was published this year, and has been a great way for me to offer even more assistance to women and families.  If you wonder about how and why it came about, please read the Pregnant Entrepreneur book review by Nicolette Milholland, Book Bound columnist.  This book isn’t about me, but rather it’s for the next woman who needs to know how to get through nine months with her businesses, finances and dignity intact.

cover for Pregnant Entrepreneur

I’m very proud that the book was well received by professional reviewers, including Midwest Book Review, who said this about it.  “Pregnancy doesn’t mean you stop being a businesswoman. “The Pregnant Entrepreneur” is an advisory guide for the recently expecting businesswoman who realizes her endeavors aren’t going to stop for nine months while she deals with the newest entry into her life. From making it so your business runs well when you need to take your leave, to coming back after this tough endeavor, “The Pregnant Entrepreneur” is a strongly recommended business preparation guide for those expectant mothers.”

They Called Me a Mama Mogul!

And the national parenting magazine Pregnancy and Newborn mentioned it in their October issue. Pregnant Entrepreneur in national magazinePregnant Entrepreneur in national maternity magazine

Who Cares About Pregnant Entrepreneurs?

So it turns out that one of the biggest criticisms of my book is that it is marketed too narrowly.  Women who have read it say it provides a lot of good information about staying organized and running a business, even if you aren’t pregnant.  Thankfully, that’s the kind of criticism I can take more of.  If you feel like you just need more entrepreneur stuff and less pregnant, please  go right to www.PregnantEntrepreneur.com and look at the Downloads section.  I’ve published all of the appendixes in the book for everyone to grab, for free.  Yes, even the guys can use some of these tools.

Why Do You Do What You Do?

One of the best pieces of organizing advice ever given is to start with a goal in mind.  Even my hardest case ADD/ADHD clients are excellent at something.  They, and all of us, tend to excel where we feel most motivated and energized.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE to help people get organized because they can accomplish so much more when they aren’t spinning in an overwhelmed state.  I LOVE to help people beautify their homes and offices, because life truly is better when you have a safe, beautiful place to unwind and be with friends. And I love to help other women figure out how to be successful in business.  Because I truly love all these things, I love to spend my time on them, and I get a lot done.

Pay attention to when you are most energized, most animated, and most satisfied.  Chances are, if you can line up your interest, talents and energies, you have a winning combination.

Why do you do what you do?  What would you do if you didn’t have obstacles?  Or if I’ve helped you in some way, what were you able to accomplish when you stopped the “spinning”?

By the way, if there is a woman in your life you are trying to encourage, this might be a good resource for her.  There is still time to order autographed copies as a gift.  Just visit www.PregnantEntrepreneur.com today to place your order (or visit Amazon).


Sesame Place is the Christmas Place to Be December 1, 2011

Filed under: General,Organizing — HeartWork Organizing @ 11:02 pm
Tags: , ,

Last week I published some forms I’m using to organize our family’s holiday activities this year. I wanted to make time for special times like our family outing to Sesame Place. We made it to Sesame Place’s a Very Furry Christmas opening night, and I’m thrilled we did.

The park, the only Sesame Street-themed park in the country, is a water park/dry ride attraction during the summer. This is the first year they’ve swapped slides and sprinklers for Christmas trees and twinkle lights. Our favorite characters are still there, and there are four adorable shows to see them in action. Be sure to catch the rock show, and you’ll be dancing along.

Sesame Place Christmas Show

I really love that the attraction is unapologetically a Christmas event. I learned about Kwanza and Hanukkah through some of the shows, but there were no watered down greetings or signs saying Happy Holidays. Santa makes a few appearances, but even so the whole event captured the spirit of joy and the true meaning of Christmas

My husband told me to rave about the food. We were thrilled all summer that our season passes got us 30% off at the restaurants. The food was kid friendly but tasty, fresh, and even healthy sometimes. Meal plates are generous, so we usually shared a couple of meals and a salad for the whole family. We had a full dinner for four last Friday night for just under $20.

Saving the best for last, if you go, be sure to get the kettle corn. Yum. Lightly salty, lightly sweet, another good deal at just $6 for a bag that fed all four of us all night. It’s not to be missed. Or if you can’t make it, just order it online. Ooh, this might be a problem for me.

My kids are 2 and 4, but I could see older kids, easily up to 10 years old, enjoying the park, especially for this event. Shoot, even us big girls enjoyed it. Here are some of my mom friends from the Philly Social Media Moms group. Thanks to Sherry Aikens of www.BabyPop.com the photo. That’s me all the way to the right in the big pink scarf.

bloggers at Sesame Place

We had a wonderful time ringing in the holiday season. This might be a new tradition for us. Speaking of traditions, it was a nice place to pick up a tree ornament, something we like to do wherever we vacation throughout the year. We sharpie the date on local themed ornaments, and relive happy memories when we decorate the tree.

Sesame Place Ornament

We’ve got our Sesame Place season passes for next year, thanks to the 25% off deal available to visitors to the Very Furry Christmas event. Hope to see you there.

Sesame Place Christmas Event

Disclosure: We received discounted or free tickets to attend the opening night event, but we highly recommend the season passes, available at smoking deals for everyone.


Thankful Hearts and Full Plates November 22, 2011

Filed under: General — HeartWork Organizing @ 3:35 pm

I’m grateful to have a full plate, but it goes way beyond what is on my dinner table.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to impact others through my business and volunteer efforts all year long.  Like many people I know, I’m personally involved in a lot of great organizations that make life better for others.  Working with and for others is one of the ways that I stay connected with a larger community, but it also reminds me daily that we all have amazing stories to tell.

At this time of year, many people make donations of time or money to charitable causes.  If you don’t already have your pet project, I hope you’ll be inspired by these wonderful organizations that I’ve supported for years:

  • Church.  If you don’t currently have a church and would like to attend holiday services with my family and I, please let me know.  We’d love to have you join us.

Radnor Fire Company

  • Local fire company.  Up until this year, I was volunteering as an EMT (ambulance crew) in my town.  I am on hiatus now.  Many people don’t realize that their local fire company and ambulance service is probably still run by a number of volunteer citizens.  We come running when you call 911.  Please support their fund drives, and maybe drop a plate of holiday cookies by the firehouse for the duty crew.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

  • The National Multiple Sclerosis Society may be best known as the host of the City to Shore Bike Tour  which takes place each September.  I’ve ridden the 150 miles many, many years, but our little ones can’t stand 8 minutes on a bike, let alone 8 hours.  So we’ve sponsored other riders in recent years, all with the goal of ending the devastating effects of MS.

IHN- Main Line

  • Interfaith Hospitality Network.  Yes, even on the Main Line, and everywhere else for that matter, there are homeless families.  I’ve served as dinner host and as organizing trainer for this organization that provides housing, services, and transitional support to families. This is one place where there is no “us” and “them”, just neighbors and guests for dinner.

Impact Thrift chairity

  • Impact Thrift is a best kept secret for us bargain shoppers, but their three thrift shops  in Montgomeryville, Norritown and Hatboro provide funds for local women and children charities (their website currently lists 18 organizations).  They also provide a very valuable scheduled pickup service of household goods, which many of my clients have used.  If you are looking to declutter your home or make your holiday shopping go farther this year, check them out.ReStores
  • Habitat for Humanity is another organization that puts neighbors in our community in a better place, not through charity but through smart use of resources and shared efforts.  I’ve worked on Habitat homes in many communities in NJ and PA over the years.  I’m thrilled that their ReStores have opened in several area communities, including one in Granity Run Mall.  Check them out for great deals on household goods and construction materials. They are also a great place to start for one of a kind finds for your room redesign.

Donate to Heifer International

  • Heifer International has a been a favorite for years.  One year my little ones donated a lamb in their grandparent’s honor, and everyone got lamb-themed gifts, like wool sweaters and scarves and lamb-shaped tree ornaments.  If you love animals of any kind, this might be the place for you to shop for clutter-free gifts.

All of these organizations could benefit from your prayers, your service, and your financial donations.  I’m grateful for their presence in our community.  As we’re enjoying our turkey dinners, please take a moment to remember these organizations that make our communities better for all.