YIKES! I've become a Collector

Bags, Bags everywhere, which one will I use?
  Probably the same one I have right now because I can't find the one I need. :-(
A confession:  – “I don’t always practice what I preach.”
For those of you who have taken my classes, participated in webinars or just follow along with posts on FB/Twitter you know EASY is a key word in most of my presentations.  When you make things easy to get to you’ll use them, if it’s difficult those things will just become “stored” items. I had a little epiphany about this in my own home just last week. 

Another confession, I have a problem with handbags.  I LOVE THEM!  Its the first department I go to in any department store. They are the thing I most often search for on the internet. They are the piece of any woman’s outfit that I notice first.  It’s so bad that my boys actually have a plan to run visual interference of handbags any time we’re shopping together. Max wraps his arm around mine and guides me away from the accessories department while London walks sideways waving his arms to obstruct my view.   I'm sure it's quite a site to the observing shopper.
In my old house I had a few glass front cabinets where I kept all of these fabulous treasures. They were visible and accessible. I used them! In my new house, all I have are shelves high up in the closet.  This means that all of my lovely ladies have to be stored in their dust bags, out of reach.

Last week my darling girlfriend Heidi Hurst, who just happens to be the best real estate agent in the South Puget Sound (no, I’m not biased), came over to help me with some wardrobe issues.  (She was supposed to convince me to return a number of new purchases – but being the good friend she is, she was able to help me justify keeping everything.)

Okay, I digress.  With one of the outfits, I said, “Oh, I have the perfect bag to go with that, let me show you.”  I went into the closet, scanned the shelves of dust bags, looked around for the step stool, decided it was out in the garage, you get the idea.   I emerged from the closet and said “I don’t know which bag it’s in, but it’ll be really cute.”

After Heidi left I started thinking about those bags, and about the fact that I had carried the same black bag all winter last winter and the same pink bag all summer this summer, and that the reason I hadn’t changed bags was because it was too much work to find the bag I needed.  Something had to be done! I had become a collector, not a user.

When I got up this morning I decided to make a change.  I wanted to use those wonderful bags, but how could I make them visible and accessible while still keeping them clean and protected from dust.  Voila!! It came to me.
  1. I would photograph each of the bags.
  2. Print the photos and pin them to the dust bags.   
  3. Arrange the bags in some sort of “rainbow” on my shelf.  
  4. Purchase one of those small collapsible step stools so I could keep it handy.
BONUS: I can upload the “handbag” album to my phone so when I’m shopping I can pull up the pictures of the bags and match them to scarves, shoes, belts, or any other accessory without having to guess at the color. YEAH!!!
As I’m writing this post, an email has just popped up with a subject line: Get Carried Away with Handbags from MICHAEL Michael Kors.  Do you see, I am literally haunted by handbags!
Here’s the result:
Step One - Take Photos.
Step one - take photos.
Quick snap shots of each of the bags.

Step Two / Three - Print Photos, Attach to dust bags, Arrange in color groups.

Step Three - Purchase a step stool to keep in the closet.
SUCCESS!!! I'm on my way to a 50th Birthday Party tonight.  I know which bag I want to use.
Finding it on the shelf took just a few seconds, and my new step stool made it quick and EASY to reach. 
One other helpful hint.  If you're going to change your bag on a regular basis. Encourage yourself to do it by designating a place to "dump" the contents of your bag.  I used a tray at the end of my bed. Another bonus to the "dump" tray, you're almost forced to clean out your bag on a regular basis.
(This is my dump tray, do I really need 3 hair clips and 4 pair of glasses?)
If you have questions about organizing something in your home, office, car..life, I hope you'll take a moment to post a comment.
Thanks so much for stopping by,
"Tiffanize" your handbags!


If you're well organized you'll be able to craft on the fly.
Keeping things organized makes it easy to create items on the fly!  Don’t miss out on an opportunity to craft because “it just takes too long to find your stuff.”  Get Organized and you’ll be able to create quickly and easily.  Join us for the FallGet Organized Challenge – Click here to sign up.
  I found this great idea for an old frame that was reused as a bathroom vanity tray.  I immediately thought – “Hey, I could fill that frame with just about anything and use it as a serving tray.”  That sent my mind racing.

  With the holiday season right around the corner there will be so many little “details” we need to take care of that our opportunity to create gets stifled by time constraints.  With your supplies organized and accessible, you’ll be able to take advantage of many more of these opportunities.
  One common occurrence during the holiday season is joining friends, family, coworkers, etc .,  at potluck style events. 
  Be ready to “wow” the others at the event with a tray that appears to be custom made.  Just find an old frame - or start with a new one – choose something that suits your style and personality; ornate and girly to sleek and hip, any type of frame will work.
  If it’s not the right color don’t worry about it.  One of the wonderful things I learned from my mother; who always had a beautiful home even though we had very little money, was that a can of spray paint can transform just about anything.  Spray the frame whatever color you need it to be.  The next time you need it, don’t be afraid to hit it with yet another color.  You can change the frame every time you use it.  My mother transformed a pair of 1960s chrome bubble lamps into everything from high tech hip to beachy  and beige using spray paint and a few other supplies she had in her craft closet.  I can remember at least 4 different transformations, each of them cooler than the last.  While I don’t have any examples of her actual lamps, this is exactly what she started with:

Tips for creating your “tray”.
 Secure the glass in the frame with silicone adhesive, so no water will be able to seep under the glass and destroy the layout you’ve created.
  Use hot glue to adhere small wooden feet to the back part of the frame.  Add a piece of felt to the bottom of each of the feet, this will keep the back of the frame from scraping the surface on which it is sitting as well as make it easier to lift.  You can also add cabinetry handles to frame if you choose.
  Create your layout – anything from “Happy Birthday” to “Thanks for inviting me”.  Each time you attend an event you’ll be able to change the layout in the frame so it’s specific to the occasion, but you’ll only have time to create if you’re supplies are organized and accessible.  So Get Organized, and Get Crafting!  Join us for the Fall Get Organized Challenge –click here to sign up today!
Thanks for stopping by,