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Blended Organization: How To Create an Organized Home

Today’s blog will help you organize your home and your “stuff” before moving in together.  I am excited to publish this blog because it is something most people don’t think about until it’s a little too late.

If you are about to move in with your partner, this is very important and practical information that needs to be considered before the move to help create an organized and harmonious blending of lives.

For the best advice, we tapped a 4-time Bucks Happening winner, fellow Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Women In Business member, and a true professional in this field.  So proud to have as our guest blogger Audrey Cupo, professional organizer and owner of A Better Space in Bucks County to get you organized and off to a happy start!

How To Create An Organized Home

Audrey Cupo, Professional Organizer and Owner of A Better Space

Are you recently engaged to be married?  Have you recently “tied the knot”?  Congratulations!

The prospect of a new life together can be very exciting. However, it can bring challenges. One of them being blending two people – or families – into one.

As a professional organizer, I am often contacted by people  who have recently married or have moved in together and are now struggling with trying to fit two households into one.

As we all know, we can’t keep everything we own and still have room for someone else. It takes compromise, a concept we become so familiar with when in a relationship.

Just how do we make it all work?

  • Communication is key. You need to discuss what is going to stay and what is going to go. You cannot expect that one person is to give up everything in order to move into the other person’s home. It requires “blended organization”.
  • Avoid duplication. You might have double the furniture. You have to decide which sets of furniture will stay and which will go. Will they be sold, given to other family members or friends or perhaps donated?  NOTE: I discourage using a storage unit long term to solve this problem. It is an expense we don’t need to incur if we make some decisions.
  • The kitchen is a very common area in which blended organization comes into play.  Double the dishes and cook wear, this must be sorted through prior to the move.
  • Closet space.   It is possible that you might both need to weed out your wardrobe to reduce its contents to make it fit into the designated area.
  • Just too much stuff. You might have lots of artwork, nick knacks, collectibles. Do you have enough room to incorporate all of it? Does some of it need to be eliminated? I find that if someone is that passionate about something, you should do whatever you can to keep the collection in tact, but within reason. If it’s a large collection, it just might need to be downsized in order to make it fit into the home. Discuss solutions that work for everyone involved.

Remember, we need to own our possessions, not have our possessions own us!

The bottom line is that when you are combining households, you need to be sure to take the time to communicate about how each other’s possessions will fit into the living space.

It might mean eliminating things altogether or it might mean reducing the amount.

The other factor that comes into play is how each of you function, but that is a discussion for another day. (Be sure to read my next blog entitled “Why Is My Partner Causing Clutter?”)

If you have questions about how to blend your home to accommodate each other, don’t hesitate to contact me at A Better Space at (215) 491-5193 or visit my website at https://www.4abetterspace.com.  I would be happy to show you how you can achieve the home you envision for you and your special someone.
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Audrey Cupo is a full-time Professional Organizer and the sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Bucks County, PA. She specializes in residential organizing and focuses her business on helping people eliminate clutter, get organized and stay organized with her in-home services. Audrey is the creator of the “U Can Do It” information product line, writes blogs, articles, and guest blogs.  Her public speaking and workshops throughout the Bucks and Montgomery County areas focus on various topics including eliminating clutter, residential organizing, time management, paper management and household budgeting. To learn more about what A BETTER SPACE can do for you and to sign up for her free monthly newsletter “Organizing News You Can Use”, visit https://www.4abetterspace.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Wedding Invitations 2018

Congratulations, you’re engaged!  Now who’s getting an invitation to share your big day?

How is it worded, when does it go out, what goes along with it? So many colors, papers, designs, fonts, what’s a bride-to-be to do?

She reads this blog! Featuring our good friend Lori Norcross from Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio.

Lori’s grandfather was a printer over 100 years ago and she admits, “Ink and paper are in my blood.”  A master in her field with thousands of invitations designed over her 35 years, Lori is a professional we are proud to know and feature.

She sits on the board of directors for the Graphic Arts Association, and you may  run across her at one of the many bridal shows where she presents throughout Pennsylvania and at the Jersey shore.  Lori loves what she does and that makes her a joy to work with!

Let’s jump right into it. Take it away Lori:

Lori Norcross, Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio

 

The real impression of your wedding day comes from your invitation set.  Uniquely you, it should bring a smile to your face every time you see it, from the first view and for many years after.

You want to capture the emotion with your theme, design, and colors and you will get great advice and ideas from a professional wedding stationer.  I’ve been doing this for a long time and every bride is different.  We tweak a few things and when we see that smile, we know that’s her design!

A few things to keep in mind to begin:

  • Save the Dates:  These are sent 9-12 months before the wedding, mainly if your guests will need to make accommodations (multiple day event, destination requiring advanced planning, etc.)  You can use a photo from your engagement session, or they can be designed as part of the theme of your wedding.
  • The Invitation:  These are sent 8-10 weeks before the wedding and includes the information of who is getting married, where, and what time. If the wedding and reception are at the same location, then all you need to say is “Reception immediately following the ceremony” which  can be added to the bottom of the invitation.
    • If you are getting married in one place and the reception is at another location, you will need a reception card stating the place and time. Receptions do not necessarily need to be right after the wedding, it can start hours later. This gives the entire wedding party time to have photos done without missing any of the celebration.
    • Reply card & envelope or postcard – very important!  This is a card that is returned to you stating whether or not the invited guest will be attending and who they are.  It is also used for meal selection (if a choice is offered). You may also add a line for any food allergies that your guest might have and/or add something fun, such as “What song will get you on the dance floor?”
      • Helpful hint on the reply card:  Place a small number on the back of the card to match your list of attendees, so that if anyone fails to put their name on the card front, you will easily find their name with the corresponding number on your list. Saves time in the long run and makes it easy to find out who they are.
      • Transportation/directions/reservations card:  Any additional information you might want the guests to know, such as a shuttle between the church/hotel and the reception, if parking is available and where, and directions, if hotels have rooms blocked for guests, etc.

For the design, the ideas are endless.  Think about your wedding first – is it formal or casual?  Is it on the beach or in a cathedral?  Is it a summertime outdoor event or a snowy winter wonderland?

Also consider any special interests you and your fiancee share.  For instance, are you Game of Thrones fans?  Do you share a symbolic tattoo?  A quote?  Design your invitations around it!

 

Many couples forgo those traditional or “expected” invitations and make their wedding day as unique as their relationship.  We couldn’t agree more!  Your wedding day is all about your new beginning together and writing the next chapter of your story.

 

Speaking of writing, let’s talk a little about the wording of them:

  • If you do not wish for children to attend, a simple “adults only” will suffice.
  • Dress code – if you have a specific dress code, state it clearly.  For instance, guests are confused about “Black Tie Optional”.  If you want them to wear a tux (or casual, themed, etc.) say it.
  • Blended families are the norm now, and there are a number of ways to simply state the invitation without causing hurt feelings. Ask your stationer for the simplest way to address your particular situation.

And what about pricing?  Most brides have a wedding budget and like anything else, the pricing of invitations varies considerably.  If you truly want a stress-free wedding, you hire professionals.  Your invitations are no different.  From consultations to drafts to tweaks to the perfect set!   You can have wax seals, ribbons and bows, textures and colors, metallics and gems, lace, there is nothing off limits and the inspiration is everywhere!

Tap into your bride vibe, talk it over with Lori, and let her design something incredible!

Lori Norcross can be reached at Cortineo Creative / The Wedding Studio 215-348-1100, or visit her website www.cortineocreative.com.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store located in Warrington, Bucks County, PA.  We are proud to partner with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry.