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How to Teach Your Kids About Letting Go Using Their School Projects

letting go of child's artworkWe talk about giving ourselves permission to let go of things to avoid being overwhelmed in clutter. Well, we also need to start teaching our kids this same lesson. Now that school has started, the artwork and projects they bring home are quickly piling up. Here’s how to use these treasures to teach a valuable lesson about appreciating our things and then letting them go.

Create a Mini-Museum for Displaying Their Artwork

Create an intentional place in your home to be their artwork museum. Find the perfect room or wall space to set up a revolving display that you can change easily. You can use a tension string to clip on, a cork wall to pin up, empty frames or lots of fun ideas to display their work.  Once you’ve set up the display, your kids will get excited about showing off their masterpieces! Now, getting their work home in good condition… that’s a challenge.

Treat Their Artwork Like a Masterpiece

When your little artist knows their creations will be on display, hopefully they will show extra care to get it home in one piece. Try to avoid the blackhole of the backpack! How about giving them a unique folder to use that helps them treat their work as special while protecting it on the journey home. As each new piece arrive home, post them up for all to see.

Give Your Museum a Limited Timeframe

More artwork is on the way, so determine a timeframe for how long you will keep adding to the current display. It can be a week, a month, or as long as you have space to fill up. Let your kids know their creations will not be on display forever, and by taking them down will make room for more beautiful things they’ll be creating soon.

Take a Moment to Celebrate

This is the best part! At the end of the timeframe, take an intentional moment as a family to view the artwork on display. Ooh and ah over each piece. Have them to tell you about it and, in turn, share what you love about their creations. After you’ve celebrated all of their hard work, it’s time to take the display down. But, before you trash it, you have a few options!

Making ‘Letting Go’ a Little Easier

Letting go of our things is hard, even as an adult. Let your kids (and maybe you too) select their favorite piece of artwork to keep. Remember, it’s ok to keep some things, just in moderation so you aren’t overwhelmed. Another great idea is to photograph their projects to create a photo album. It’s a much smaller way to collect memories than multiple storage bins in the basement. Or, have your kids re-invent their artwork into something else for a fun craft project and learn how to repurpose it!

You have an awesome opportunity while your kids are young to teach them how to let go. So, now is a good time if you want to avoid a stack of storage bins full of crumpled projects that I assure you, your kids will not want when it’s time to move out.

Are you overwhelmed? Give me a call, I’m happy to help.  Staci at Another Opinion 314-623-4594.

Cultivate a Happy Home with Compromise

Happy HomeWhen it comes to keeping your home organized and running smoothly, you have to stay on your toes to manage the circus or it quickly turns to chaos. Add your family members in the mix and it takes all that you’ve got to keep the peace. You love them, but sometimes you might want to strangle them when they leave their stuff all over the place. With a little compromise and a new perspective, your home can be more organized and be easier to manage. Here’s how you do it.         

Having ‘homes’ is your foundation to organization

An organized home starts with everything having a ‘home’. I repeat, you must have a home for everything. This is the hardest part, but it is critical to set yourself, and your home, up for success. Creating homes for your things allows you to set new rules in your home life with your family. There are no questions about where something goes if you make ‘giving your things a home’ a family affair.

Add drop zones

What is a ‘drop zone’ you ask? Well, this is the part that takes a bit of compromise. You let them be messy. But you get to tell them where to be messy. Deep breath. Create a few intentional spaces where everyone, including you, can drop your things without getting in trouble. Of course, everyone will still have be pick up after themselves, but it will be faster and easier to get done. When all the chaos is isolated in a specific zone, there will be less distraction when putting things away. And the bonus is when you realize there is a ‘home’ to put it!

Now you can let life happen

Here’s the best part. You’ve done the hard work and you have made it easier on yourself. Everything has a home now, and you can drop your things when you walk in the door. The new rules you created help everyone be more accountable to a happy home life. Now enjoy a new perspective for keeping your home organized and running smoothly…. Begin cultivating instead of managing. Managing is just maintaining. But, when you cultivate your home the intention is to make your surroundings better. You’ll be cultivating a happy home.

Get a little help if you need it

Another Opinion specializes in helping homeowners create positive relationships with their surroundings. If you want a little help getting started or finding compromise for your happy home give us a call. 314-623-4594

How to Quickly Reclaim a Space Overwhelmed by Summer Break Chaos

Overwhelmed by Summer Break ChaosYou walk into your house. You’re tired. You set your stuff down and immediately see a mess of stuff that has been left there by your family. The place looks like a grenade went off and exploded your kids’ belongings everywhere. Now, instead of feeling welcomed home, you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Sound familiar?

Summer break can bring a lot of chaos to your home. With the kids out of their school routine and new activities started up for summer, your once organized home is now out of control. Don’t panic! Here’s a four-step process to help you reclaim any space quickly and easily.

  • Assess the Situation

The first step to fixing anything is finding out where it all went wrong. Take a few minutes to assess what is causing chaos in a space that was once organized. New activities and the lazy days of summer are the likely culprits. Before you dig in to regain control, commit to what you want this space to be and how your family will use it. You might enjoy less arguing with your kids if you’re willing to accommodate their chaos as part of your strategy and intention for the space. And, remember it’s ok to have a summertime plan and a schooltime plan to maintain an organized home!

  • Group Like Items

The fastest way to reclaim a space is to group like items. When you’re facing a mountain of chaos it’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated. So, turn your brain off to get through the mound quicker. Literally, put cups with other cups, clothes with other clothes, etc. As you sort, you’ll begin to notice items that don’t belong, but also items you’re prepared to get rid of or need to be trashed (bonus!). Using this simple method to break down any overwhelmed space will make decisions easier as you move forward with reclaiming it.

  • Reset the Space

Now that you’ve regained control and have an intention on how to use the space, you’re ready for the reset! Start by considering others in the family, not just yourself, when creating an organization plan. Make it easy for them! You will keep chaos from returning and minimize future arguments if your reset is based on their willingness to join your commitment. Use colors, labels, bins and nets, or other fun ideas that could inspire your family to pitch in and keep it clutter free. Create a simple plan, all about them, and make it fun…. Now, picking up can be a quick summer activity and not a boring chore.

  • Celebrate with a Tour

Show off your hard work! Celebrate your ‘new space’ by giving your family a tour. This is a great way to pass down your intention for how the space should be used. Also, it’s your opportunity to show them what you’ve done, and help them connect and take ownership of their things. Again, make it all about them, that you set the space for it to be fun and easy to pick up. With celebration in your voice and a positive attitude, your family will be more willing to adopt a new behavior and appreciate what you’ve created for them.

Do you need help reclaiming your space? Are you’re struggling to maintain a clutter free home? It might be time to get help from a professional. Instead of letting your space overwhelm you, call Staci with Another Opinion at (314) 623-4594 for a free consultation.

The Emotion Quotient: What Home Buyers Need From You To Say ‘Yes’

what home buyers needIf you’re selling your home, you’re likely working hard on updates, cleaning and repairing. And, you’re hoping that all of your hard work will be your worth it. Well, it’s not just your home’s condition, price and location that buyers are looking for. It’s the emotional connection that seals the deal, and ultimately gets them to say yes, faster and potentially make a higher offer. You need to help them discover what is truly unique about your home. How do you do it?  

Getting Them To Your Door, Then What

No pressure, but your photos are critical. Don’t take preparing for the photographer lightly. Potential buyers need to be intrigued enough with what they see to ask for a showing. If your home is empty or virtually staged, you might get buyers to the curb, but will leave them feeling empty as well when they walk through the door. Vacant spaces make many people feel uncomfortable. But when a home is staged with furnishings it allows buyers to connect with the home, see its potential and feel at ease.

Give Them Moments

It’s when they sigh and say, ‘ah I think I could live here’ moment. Give buyers intentional moments to emotionally connect with your home. Areas such as inside the front door, kitchen, family room, master bedroom and bathroom are fantastic to feature because they are spaces that invoke our emotions during daily living in our homes. When preparing to sell, you should consider how you want buyers to feel as they experience your home, from the curb all the way through to the back yard.   

Eliminate Questions and Worry

The way you live in your home and how well you maintained it are a top concern for potential buyers.

They have high expectations, such as wishing for everything to be brand new and never been used. But in reality, you have to give them piece of mind. Your time, energy and some money for repairs and updates will show you’ve given the home some TLC. But a neglected home, with sights that are displeasing will give buyers increasing worries about its true condition.

As If The Home is Waiting For Them

They really do want to move in today. A buyer would, if they could. So, build on that excitement by showing the home as if it’s waiting for them. Pack up your belongings and remove the stamp of ‘your home’ to appeal to as many buyers as possible. You want them to consider their daily life in this home, so you must free up space to allow buyers to dream.

Selling your home is a time to be empowered. So be a seller that gives buyers every opportunity to find what they are looking for. What truly makes your home unique to a buyer is not it’s condition, price or location. It’s the emotional connection they hope to make after viewing your photos.

You and your family can do a lot on your own to prepare for buyers, but you may need a professional eye to identify the flaws that could turn them off and the qualities that will draw them in. To get started, contact Staci for a ‘Get Your Real Estate Ready’ consultation today! 

Tips for Living in a Staged Home

living in a staged homeStaging your home for potential buyers is hard enough on its own, but maintaining that perfect look is even harder when you’re still living there. When a house goes on the market, it has to be ready all day every day for potential buyers to take a tour. The house has to be at its most attractive and inviting, and let’s be honest, none of us live in homes that are picture perfect at all times.

Curb Appeal

When I work with my clients, the first thing I do is take them on a tour of their house so they can see it through the eyes of a potential buyer. We start at the curb because that is where potential buyers will start deciding whether this is somewhere they want to live.

Not only does this mean the house itself has to be appealing (no leaning porches and no peeling paint), but it also means the yard and sidewalk have to be immaculate. In winter, you’ll have to shovel the sidewalk as soon as it snows. In spring and summer, you’ll want to keep the grass mowed and watered, but also keep the lawn clear of any clutter, including the hose. Every day you have to go over the lawn and make sure there’s no stray trash or branches that may have fallen or been blown over to your yard. Remember: you have just seven seconds to make a good impression, so make it count.

Keep It Spotless

It’s hard to keep kitchens and bathrooms spotless when they’re in use, but any spot can turn off a potential buyer. This means wiping down the stove, the kitchen sink, and all the equipment in the kitchen before you leave for the day. Make sure all the dishes are washed and put away (don’t leave anything sitting in the sink).

The same goes for the bathroom. Wipe down the sink, the mirrors, and the shower/bathtub, and store hygiene products out of sight (you might even have to put them in the car and take them with you).

In the bedrooms, make sure the beds are always made and there are no stray clothes lying around – clean clothes should always be put away, and dirty clothes in the hampers.

Creature Comforts

All the little things we love because they keep us comfortable need to be put away because they imply there might be something wrong with the house. For example, if you like to keep a fan next to the bed, it implies there isn’t enough airflow in the house. Lots of blankets can make it look like the house doesn’t get warm. If you get cold easily or you just like snuggling under the blankets, you won’t have a chance to explain your story to the potential buyer about why you keep certain things in certain places.

Divide and Conquer

In order to make sure the house is staged and ready for potential buyers to tour the place every time you leave the house, everyone currently living in it needs to play a part in maintaining the home’s staging. Come up with a list of tasks that need to be done in order to get and keep the home ready for tours and assign everyone in the house at least one thing on that list. Maintain a list of who has which job so you can make sure everyone stays on track.

Get Another Opinion

You and your family can do a lot on your own to make sure your home is staged for buyers, but you need a professional eye to identify the flaws that could turn them off and the qualities that will draw them in. To get started staging your home the right way, contact me or call me today at (314) 623-4594.  

How to Find Inspiration for Your Home Remodel Project

find inspiration for your home remodelHave you ever looked around your home and just thought, “Bleh!” Whether your décor is out of date, or you just can’t stand to look at that wall color anymore, there are a variety of ways you can find inspiration to create a new and fresh design for your next project.

Color Palettes Give You The Big Picture

Selecting a new color palette is the easiest way to give a space a whole new look. Consider color selections for everything from the walls to the furnishings, to the floor when making your color selections.  Take home color palette booklets from your local paint store to show you a collection of colors that work together. You can look at each shade in your own light and coordinate them so the space feels complete.

Décor Can Take The Lead

Sometimes a simple piece of décor will just speak to you. Has a throw pillow ever jumped off the shelf at you, artwork or the pattern on an area rug catch your eye? This is inspiration! You can build an entire room design around a single item that moves you. Use complimentary colors and patterns to balance the inspiration with the rest of the décor.

Natural Materials

Only nature can provide truly unique and one of a kind inspirations. Materials such as wood, stone, metal, leather and even greenery, add a layer of color and texture in a space that cannot be achieved by anything man-made. It’s easy to be inspired by natural elements simply by admiring the way it was created by nature.

Do You Want Another Opinion?

It might be difficult to imagine anything different in your space if it’s been around for a while. Once you find your inspiration however, the design decisions will become easier. Call Staci at Another Opinion if you could use a fresh perspective on the design of your next project. Her clients fall in love with their spaces again by discovering what they admire and moves them, then creating a complete design.

Let’s get started, contact or call Staci today at (314) 623-4594.   

Spring Cleaning and The Joy of Letting Go

Spring Cleaning

Whether you’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upor seen the Netflix original, “Tidying Up,” (or neither) you’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo. She’s been changing the lives of people all over the globe, and it’s not by accident – there really is something to the idea that cleaning up and decluttering our space can help us live happier, more fulfilling lives. Of course, you can declutter whenever the mood strikes you, but with spring coming just around the corner, it’s a great time to get rid of some of the old things you never use anymore while also doing some spring cleaning.

Love Your Less

You’ve probably heard the phrase “less is more,” and although it’s not always true, it certainly can apply to your home, because the less you have, the more you enjoy what you do have. To test this theory for yourself, I challenge you to choose two items from any category of which you have more than two items. Whether it’s mugs, purses, or anything else that might be taking up space in your home without getting much use, try getting rid of all but two of them and see how you feel afterwards. 

Not only is it easier to stay organized when you keep your collections to a minimum, but it also means you get the most out of the items you do keep, making sure you get your money’s worth for the items you paid for and that you fully appreciate the items that were given to you as gifts.

The Fix-It Box

Not all items have gone unused because they have duplicates. Sometimes things break and we don’t always get around to fixing them. So, while you’re decluttering your home and coming across these items you haven’t gotten around to fixing, put them in a separate box to be fixed later. Once you’re done with your spring cleaning and decluttering, tackle that box next instead of leaving it to sit around and gather dust for a few more years until your next big cleaning/decluttering spree. If there’s anything in there you can’t fix yourself, take it to someone who can. Any items that are beyond repair go in the recycling or the trash (remember to recycle your electronics and batteries).

On the other hand, if they’ve gone a significant amount of time without being used (months, or even years) it might be time to just throw it out or donate it. If you didn’t miss it when it was broken, you won’t miss it when it’s gone.

The Put-Away Box

While you’re cleaning and decluttering, you’re bound to find some things in places they don’t belong. Whether it’s a mug hiding in the bathroom cabinet or hair clips in your jewelry box, you need to resist the urge to stop what you’re doing to put those lost items away, because once you get distracted, you’re much less likely to finish the task at hand. Use a Put-Away Box to place all those lost items and go back to cleaning up. Once you’re done with your spring cleaning and decluttering, only then should you take the time to put away all the lost items you found.

Another Opinion Helps You To Love Your Less

Whether you need some tips on organizing to keep your home clean and welcoming, or you want some help sorting your belongings into keep, donate, and discard, give me a call me at (314) 623-4594 or contact me so we can get you started today on creating a space that allows you to live a happier and more fulfilling life. 


Design What YOUR Heart Wants


Design What YOUR Heart WantsWe’re often told to follow our hearts, and I firmly believe that is good advice that works as well for interior design as anything else. At the same time, we’re often told what we should love based on what’s in style at that particular moment. Whether it’s Pantone’s Color of the Year, or a certain style of furniture, it can be tempting to try to convince yourself that you love what everyone else loves … but do you, really?

Love Your Space

Since you’re the one who has to live in your space, you should make sure you absolutely love it. If the color of the year makes you want to puke, then you should absolutely not splash it all over your walls and furniture.

Your home is your space and it should be your sanctuary. If you don’t feel comfortable with everything in it, what’s the point?

Rules Were Meant to Be Broken

You can follow the rules, or you can choose to stand out. There’s nothing wrong with painting the living room your favorite color, even if the “experts” try to tell you that color is too bold or oppressive. If that color makes you feel great, you should use it. Designing your space is all about creating a space you’ll love, and if that means having your favorite color on display everywhere, then go for it.

It’s OK to Be Trendy

At the same time, it’s OK to go with the trend of the moment. If painting your kitchen the same color everyone else is painting their kitchen that year is going to date it, that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with everyone being able to tell when you painted your kitchen as long as you love spending time in there while it’s your kitchen.

Be Strategic

If you like keeping up with the current trends, here’s a trick I like to use: select main pieces that work with everything and then choose trendy accent pieces. This makes updating your space to keep up with changing trends much easier and more affordable than redesigning the entire room (or house).

Ask for Help

Despite what some people have come to believe, professional designers and organizers are not here to tell you what to do with your space. We’re here to use our knowledge of space, color, and light to help you create a home you’ll love. We’re aware of the current trends, and while we might guide you to certain styles that are popular if we know they align with your particular sense of taste, we would never tell you to create a space you don’t absolutely love just because it’s trendy. If you love it, then it will always be in style.

If you’ve been thinking of redesigning your space, but you’re not sure where to begin, call me at (314) 623-4594 to get started today. We can go over trends, your likes and dislikes, and your goals for your space to help you create a home that is truly yours.

Choose Peace Of Mind By Not Saying ‘I’ll Deal With It Later’


peace of mindWe all do it, me included. When we’re busy living life, we procrastinate with putting stuff away. It seems so simple that, yes, I WILL deal with that later. But when we don’t, that’s when our home starts getting out of control and becoming a toxic environment. Good news! We all get a fresh start this new year! So, don’t drag a bad habit into 2019. Here are few helpful tips on how to make a positive change and create a happier and peaceful home.

Recognize your ‘I’ll deal with it later’ habit

This is a bad habit most of us struggle with daily. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just start to recognize when you’re pushing stuff off for later and why you’re doing it. Knowing your behavior will help you set a course for positive change.

Fact: You really won’t do it later

Procrastination is contagious. Each time we delay becomes a reason to do it again later. However, once you commit to ‘settling’ the chaos you find a more peaceful home. If you can’t do it daily, then weekly is a must. The more often you pick up, the easier and faster it will be next time. Committing to a quick sweep around your home can be contagious too!

Don’t just tuck it away either

That’s not dealing with it. Tucking things away in a bag, basket or drawer so they’re out of sight in that moment is only going to make your chaos worse. Out of site is out of mind because now things get lost. When you see your visual chaos, you can own up to it and will commit to dealing with it. Again, don’t beat yourself up, recognize and change course.

Choose peace of mind

Choosing to deal with something later, doesn’t get it if off your mind. Frankly, it becomes another spinning plate in the back, wreaking havoc on your state of mind, in addition to your home. You deserve a peaceful home, so choose to give yourself peace of mind. Choose now.

Ask for help

Do you want help making changes that will create a happier and peaceful home? Call Staci at Another Opinion today (314) 623-4594.

3 Worst Gifts You Can Give Someone


giftsFrom the perspective of a purge and organize consultant….

I often work with clients who struggle with letting go of gifts they have received over the years. Even when those gifts do not relate to their current lifestyle, or they’ve become a burden to hang on to. There is a sense of guilt most of us acquire when receiving gifts. So, I encourage you to be a thoughtful gift giver by considering the wellbeing and home of those you are shopping for this holiday season.

Give less stuff. It’s easy to fall into the trap of the hottest trend craze. Or keeping your list simple by just picking up yet another one of those collectable items you think they want. And when you forget to get a gift, there is always a quick option that’s usually already wrapped. Well, I am a firm believer in LESS IS MORE, and that we can truly appreciate what we dohave when we have less of it. Gift giving is more than ‘a thought that counts’. For the receiver, tangible gifts accumulate more stuff, but more importantly can affect us emotionally for years to come.

Here are a few gifts to avoid giving. We see these items often when helping clients ‘let go’ while purging their belongings:

Trinket boxes
Pretty on the outside, but a mystery on the inside. Yes, they are an easy purchase and fit a wide range of folks on your list with various shapes, sizes, colors and themes. However, once the lid closes the contents are often forgotten.

Knick knacks
These dust collectors are the foundation of clutter. A few collectibles here and there on the tables and bookcase can quickly turn into an excessive situation simply by gift giving. Limiting the gifts you give that add to someone’s collection will help avoid overwhelming their home.

Generic gift sets
You know those pre-packaged sets at the end of the aisle in the store. They usually include 2 mugs and hot cocoa, or baking tools and cake mix. They’re great for a last-minute grab when you forget a gift, but often end up becoming trash or re-gifted. Not many of us can fit more mugs or kitchen tools inside our cabinets.

What to Give Instead

When you’re buying this season, think about what happens to those gifts after the celebration ends. Will it sit on the shelf or get lost underneath other things? How about changing it up this year! Give gifts that create memories, such as an experience. Better yet, experience something withthe person you are giving to. Or give a digital gift certificate for them to purchase exactly what they want. Ultimately by giving less stuff, the real gift you’re giving them is a clutter free and peaceful home!

If you or a loved one is struggling and could use help finding relief from excessive stuff, please contact Staci at Another Opinion 314-623-4594.