How to make your parisian home feel much bigger!

home organizer

Do you sometimes feel that living in a small place is an extra job in itself? Having to continually manage the stuff you wouldn’t even notice in a big house, trying to cook or wash in a cramped space – it feels like a punishment. You get stressed, and what was supposed to be a blissful Parisian retreat ends up feeling like being trapped in your childhood dollhouse.

Having experienced a chaotic French household, I’m now passionate about getting organized so that life becomes “joy every day”

Here are four steps to help optimize your personal space to open up all kinds of possibilities in your home:

© Roman Mager/Unsplash

1. Less is more for a loftier environment

  • Make sure you know where the recycling bins are to avoid keeping your empty champagne bottles for too long. If you live in an apartment, ask your gardien/gardienne where they are.
  • While you’re at it, ask them where the local à vélos is. That’s where you can put your children’s or your bicycles.
  • Speaking of which, why not save space by selling your bike, and use the Vélib city-bike rental system?
  • If you have a cave, use it! It’s precious real estate. First, go and have a look down there. Is it too damp to store anything but wine bottles? Is the door see-through or the lock unreliable? Free standing shelving and transparent boxes make for a proper basement storage space and not a dark hole where your things seem lost forever.
  • Don’t have enough room for a big bookcase? Be honest with yourself and only keep the books you’ll read. Check to see if your children’s books are still age-appropriate. Sell the rest on momox.fr, along with your unwanted CDs and DVDs. You can also subscribe for free to any French public library, or go visit the American Library in Paris instead of buying more books.
Oleksajewicz/123RF

2. Downsize!

  • Don’t have a garden here, but still moved all your gardening tools? Looking to clear out some of your furniture? Sell them on leboncoin.fr, the French equivalent to Craigslist.
  • Kitchens aren’t that big here, so ask yourself if you’re really going to use everything you put in it. Maybe you came from a warmer climate and enjoyed making home-made ice cream every week. It probably won’t happen here, so give away or sell your ice cream maker – go and taste the best glaces et sorbets in Paris at Bertillon, and couple it with a romantic walk along the Seine. There are lots of local food shops and going to the marché once in a while is a must, but you don’t need to stack your cupboards. Simplify and buy in smaller quantities and you won’t miss not having a pantry!

3. Use vertical surfaces!

  • If you don’t have much room for lighting or a TV stand, mount them on the wall.
  • Install hooks or racks on the back of your doors for hanging towels, scarves, or shoes.
  • Hang up your mirrors, they’ll also make your space look bigger. But don’t overdo it, there is only one Galerie des Glaces, and it’s in Versailles!
  • If your children have to share a room, think of buying bunk beds. Loft beds are a great idea for teenagers and open up precious real estate below.
  • In a very small bathroom, you could hang a shower caddy to hold everything from shampoo to razors. For your children’s bath toys, stick a mesh bag to the tiles.
    Ikea Storage bench. Source: Pinterest

    4. Find furniture with a dual purpose!

    • For more storage and seating, I use a storage bench in my entrance, where we put shoe shine material and laces, and in-season accessories like hats or gloves. We can sit there to put our shoes on, and use it for extra seating when we have guests.
    • Find a double-duty coffee table to store your candles, magazines and remote controls.
    • Under your bed lies plenty of potential storage space. Use under bed storage bins with wheels for easy access to store out-of-season clothes, for example.

      Being more organized makes life easier, n’est ce pas? And think of all the things you can do with that extra free time!

How I became a Home Organizer :

home organizer

Before becoming a home organizer, I wasn’t a very tidy person, I couldn’t care less about organizing the space I was living in, all I loved doing was travelling.

With the birth of our dear son, and all the havoc that came with it, I had an aha moment: something just had to change (I couldn’t stand all the toys and leftover mashed potatoes on the floor!), I wanted to upgrade our “chaotic and sad looking appartment ” to a “5 star hotel”!

But how could I get positive results without it taking up all my time? What new habits could I take to optimize my organisation, without it becoming overwhelming?

After training as a home organizer, testing solutions in my home, at my friends’ and my neighbors’ homes, I wanted to become a professional home organizer.

I really like helping my clients see how they can better their living space, according to their needs and with long-term solutions, for a more efficient and relaxing home!

If you need the help of a home organizer, contact me !

How to work from home with children!

During or after confinement working from home with children can feel like you now have two full time jobs! Here are a few tips to help you!

Some people say you should schedule working hours and stick to them. All parents know doing exactly what you have planned with your kids around is if not impossible, very difficult. Concentrating with children around isn’t as easy as in a quiet office. It’s because we hope it will be the same that we can feel frustrated.

So let’s try to do our best, but not be to hard on ourselves.  Try to set reasonable goals you can achieve in one day. Maybe your workday will be longer with you going back to the computer after dinner, or early in the morning. But at least you won’t have spent any time commuting, and you will have spent more time with your family than you usually do.

  • On your child’s side
  1. First make plenty of activities available to them, maybe by changing them each day. Make sure they will have had played with all or most of their toys, and had access to all their colouring and activity books. Do that by bringing down what is too high up on the shelves, or forgotten for too long under the bed.
  2. Then get outside help when you can (I’m not talking traditionnal babysitting here obviously). We have been lucky enough that our son’s grandparents have skyped with him almost every day, reading books to him, playing guessing games, or playing games through sites like jeux.fr (and using teamviewer to control his screen). His latest whim is discovering a new story he will then tell them when he “sees them”. You can maybe also enrole other older family members who will be happy with the distraction!
  3. If you want good quality ressources when you really need to put your child in front of a screen, so you can have that important phone call, or concentrate, click here!
  4. Furthermore, children regularly need their parents’ attention. I find I give my son his time with me rather sooner than later. Once he has had his dose of cuddling, playing or talking, he seems to detach more easily, and is happy doing something else, or going to see his dad. Some families slip their time by having one parent responsible in the morning, the other one in the afternoon.
  • For you:
  1. Get some physical activity together, whether it’s going outside in your garden, or a brisk walk in the neighbourhood (if regulations permit), or dancing together in the living room. It will be a great break for both of you!
  2. And take care of yourself too, even if it means taking 20 minutes to read a book, listen  to music,  something inspiring, or meditate (like with Headspace or Calm).

I wish you the best of luck!

 

Organize your way to giving a great speech !

organizing

  1. Dress the part! Choose in advance the outfit you will wear, adapted to the venue.
  2. Train, and if you can, get feedback from someone you trust can help you.
  3. Stress isn’t always visible. Even if it’s to varying degrees, most people are stressing out, and we don’t notice it. It’s the same for you. Even if people did notice, they wouldn’t blame you!!
  4. You don’t need to look straight into people’s eyes. Look at their eyebrows , their nose, their hair, or shoulders, you’ll see, no one will notice. And it will allow you to focus your energy on your emotions and what you have to say.
  5. And precisely, talking about the content, organizing your main ideas and keeping them on a sheet of paper, will help you in case you forget what you wanted to say.
  6. One more thing: you might have liked the experience, and want to start again soon!

If you are looking for more help towards success, read this!

 

How to stop procastrinating and finally take action :

motivate

Call your best friend, ask him or her to tell you exactly what you need to hear to finally motivate you to work on your project/ your studies/ your dreams for the next 3 hours, months, or year.

I just called my best friend and she told me to go to a nice comfortable café where I’d like to work. Maybe buy a nice magazine for inspiration. And she said she knew I liked writing, that I had always written, and that I write well, that I had a crazy side to me, and so it’s such a pleasure reading what I write. She added she knew blogging was really great for me, and that it’s something I like doing. I laughed – approving her message 100%!

But I left out the idea of reading a magazine – I would have spent my afternoon looking through it, and nothing else! Instead, I read a few articles about how to write blog posts, and I got going! This is my third article yet !

So my advice is to call your best friend; It’s the person who knows you the best and who knows your dreams – listen carefully – it is a gift that life gives you!

How bullet journaling will help you fulfill your dreams :

organise

For me, writing a Bullet Journal / Bujo is what made the difference:

  • I’m always reminded of what my goaIs are; because I like my notebook, it’s so cute, I have positive memories attached to it, it’s a bit like my comforter, I want to have it around, and so I often use it. Therefore I see my goals every day, I talk to people about them, I organise my time so I can act on them, and I achieve what I wanted to achieve!
  • It’s good for my mind and my body. Being creative with my Bullet Journal brings me back to those happy times when, as a little girl, I had all the time in the world for drawing. And as Picasso said “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. I stop for several creative moments in the day.
  • Bullet journaling, is custom made to tailor my needs. With my wishlist I take the time to find out what makes me happy – starting with simple things. We all have different needs, and if I consciously make a list of what nourishes me(ex a list of my favourite hikes in and around Paris (I live in Paris), or of the books I want to read this year), I can organise them and treat myself to them more often, instead of going for a more common but less meaningful activity to me, like watching TV for hours. Consequently I live a balanced, and meaningful life. A life full of joy.

If you want to see the site of the person who created bullet journaling, you’ll get tips to get you started, just click here!

My miracle morning !

This week I was inspired to achieve my goals by Hal Elrod’s book:

Miracle Morning

To lead the life of your dreams, he recommends you wake up an hour earlier and spend that hour using what he calls the Life S.A.V.E.R.S;

  • Silence ( or meditation to help you get centered)
  • Affirmations( to inspire you that day)
  • Visualisations ( to help make a visual image of what you want to achieve)
  • Exercise ( to care for your body by peacefully starting the day with yoga, and/or energizing your day with more dynamic exercise)
  • Reading ( personal development)
  • Scribing ( : writing your thoughts and/or goals)

What has all this inspired me to do?

  1. My husband and I have decided to get up 15 minutes earlier every morning to do yoga, a few abs and push ups. Because we don’t want to feel sleep deprived, we are going to bed 15 minutes earlier, too.
  2. I do my scribing/ writing each time I feel inspired, on my phone, that I always have with me, unlike scraps of papers, I won’t lose track of it.
  3. I enjoy some me time’ for personal development every day.
  4. So I can wake up to a relaxing and welcoming home, before going to bed, I spend 5 minutes of sorting, clearing our dining room table, and our entrance table. It feels great!

Was this article inspiring?  If it was, please note below what changes you want to make in your life !

My miracle morning inspirational quotes!

One week of miracle morning quotes to help me change my mindset one day at a time: :

MONDAY : I love the life I have, while creating the life of my dreams.

TUESDAY : Worry, is a misuse of the imagination, so I imagine the positive I want to achieve today.

WEDNESDAY : I’ m giving up the need to be perfect for the opportunity to be authentic.

THURSDAY : I love the life I have, because it’s the only life I have.

FRIDAY : My challenges are an opportunity for me to learn , and grow.

SATURDAY : I know that where I am is the result of who I was; but where I go depends entirely on whom I choose to be from this day forward.

SUNDAY : I learn from my mistakes and improve every week. What commitments will I make NOW to ensure that I improve next week?