6 Tips For Domiciling In Your New Second Residence

Many people prepare for a move by cleaning, organizing, packing, arranging movers, and much more. Being prepared and having the right moving professionals to help you are keys to a successful and stress-free move. There is a great deal of consideration and thought that people put into moving their tangible items into a new home. However, there is an entirely separate consideration for those who are keeping their current home but moving into a new place, especially if the home is in a low-tax or no-tax state for income taxes or estate taxes.

In situations where you are becoming a multi-homeowner, it is very important to think about which residence will be your domicile because you can have multiple residences, but you can only have one domicile. Your domicile is the residence that you will call home and it is where you will center your life. Domiciling in a low-tax or no-tax state is a nice benefit of a move but there are some things you should do to ensure you do it successfully. We’re providing 6 tips to get you on your way to becoming a resident of your new state.

Get A New Driver’s License or ID

A good first step to establishing the home in your new state as your domicile is updating your license. Transfer your license or ID to your new state and turn in your other ID. This can usually be done at the DMV and most states will require you to forfeit your old ID when they give you a new one or at least give it some indication that the old ID is now void.

Register Your Car, and Insure it in Your New State

While at the DMV getting your new license, register your car in the new state to keep your records up to date. After it is registered, contact your insurance company and inform them your car is now registered in your new state and should be covered there. In addition to being good steps towards domiciling, these things are required by law in most states.

Settle Into Your New Place

Find new professionals in the area – doctor, lawyer, accountant, financial planner, dentist, etc. Register to vote in your new district and revoke your old voter registration, then go out and vote in the elections. Volunteer and get involved in your new community.

Update Legal Documents and Banking

Update the address on your personal accounts, your national address record, bank and brokerage accounts, health insurance, workplace records and any other important documents. While updating your address with the bank, move your account to your local branch. If they do not have one, establish a relationship with a new bank. Once you have your bank, move your safety deposit box.

Double Check Requirements For Your Old State

This is one of the most important parts of the process. It is not just about taking steps to make your new state home, it’s really about taking steps to revoke your residency from your prior state. A new state is usually happy to have you, it is great for them to have your money coming into the state. However, your old state will not want to see that money go, especially for high earners. You should be extremely thorough and diligent about taking all precautions necessary to leave your old state and minimize the chance of an audit.

Spend Time in Your New State

Taxi-Bird-IOTSMake sure you are spending more time in your new state and less time in your prior. Many states will have a threshold to determine statutory residency. This means you could still end up a resident of your old state by just spending too much time there and then you would owe them income taxes. As an example, if you were to keep your home in New York or Connecticut and move into a new home in Florida, you could owe taxes to your old state if you spend more than 183 days there during the year. TaxBird is a great app to help keep track of this. It is simple to set up and is an easy, automatic way to keep counts of your days in each state and monitor your progress towards residency thresholds. You can find out more at taxbird.com.

These tips are a really great start to establishing your domicile in your new state, but this list is not all inclusive. There are many factors that are used when considering residency of a state for income or estate taxes and it requires good standing in all of them to avoid residency in your former state, which is the real goal. It is important to understand all of the factors for your specific states and have a plan in place to mitigate the risks of an audit. Your new accountant and attorney should be able to help make sure you’re covered. Happy savings!


What is TaxBird?

TaxBird is the easiest way to keep track of how many days you spend in each state for state residency tax purposes. Quick, simple setup. Real-time, automated day counts. Detailed end of year reporting. Available now on the App Store. Coming soon to Android. More information at taxbird.com.

Meet Jared

Jared Carr is a technology professional with a background in product development and marketing. 

Five Productivity Tips for
Working From Home this Summer

For some, the arrival of summer brings with it a variety of reasons for remote work. Be it summer break for the kids or a flexible boss, working from home can be a wonderful experience for both employer and employee. However, it’s important to be fully prepared for the challenges you might face, such as having your documents e-filed or having all parts of your home organized for peace of mind. Just like working in an office, working from home has its upsides and its pitfalls.

A major problem is how to remain productive when there are so many distractions at home that can get in the way of your work. Stay on target with these five productivity tips that will help you stay focused and get the job done.

1. Have a Dedicated Office Space

Whether you have a room set aside to be your office or a section of a room dedicated to work, it’s important to have a place to “go to work.” Be sure to have all the office necessities there: a desk, a comfortable chair, computer and telephone, filing or storage solutions, office supplies, and adequate lighting. This room or space should put you in a work mindset, so when you go there you’re prepared mentally to do your job.

Your custom office space should appeal to your work ethic and mindset. While a TV is generally distracting, some people work better with background noise. You know yourself better than anyone – just be reasonable and practical about the setup.

In other words, don’t just pull out your laptop and work from your bed in your pajamas. That might put you in a state of mind to update Facebook or even drift off to sleep!

2. Set and Enforce Boundaries

When you’re working from home a major productivity-buster can be the people you live with. The child who wants your attention. The pet who wants to hop in your lap or go out for a walk. The friends or family members who call just to talk because you’re home. To combat these distractions, it’s important to set and enforce rules for when you are working from the comfort of home.

If you have a door, close it. If you don’t, try hanging a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the back of your chair or set up some other notice that you are not available. Distractions are the downfall of productivity, and working without some healthy boundaries will cause more harm than good.

Post a schedule so others can see when you’ll be taking a break or are finished. Tell family not to call unless it’s an emergency. Enforce these rules from the get-go so they become a habit for everyone.

3. Set Regular Working Hours

Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you should roll out of bed at 10 a.m. or take a two-hour lunch break. Schedule hours to work, just as you would in an office setting. Set your alarm, take a shower and get dressed, and eat breakfast before you begin work. This will help put you in a mindset for working, not lounging.

No matter your profession, there will still be deadlines to meet. Set reminders that you have responsibilities and stick to a schedule. Do take a lunch break, but keep it to a reasonable time, no longer than an hour. Take this opportunity to eat, enjoy the summer weather, spend time with family and friends or make those personal calls. If friends and family are adhering to the second tip, they will know that this is a time you are available.

4. Keep it Clean

It’s tough to be productive when your desk and office area is a cluttered mess. Be sure to keep your desk clean and clear of any clutter. Keep a trash can nearby to toss unwanted items and a filing system to keep your important papers organized. Have an in-bin for items that need your attention. Make sure only work-related items are in your office; no kids’ toys (which could attract the kids) or piles of junk from elsewhere in the house. Your office space should be for your work only!

At the end of each workday, take a few minutes to put things in their proper places so you have a clean slate the next morning, not a mess from yesterday to deal with.

5. Eliminate Background Noise

Noises and other distractions will kill your productivity. Crying children, noisy lawnmowers and email alerts can all jolt you out of what you need to be doing. Turn off all alerts and vow to check email only at certain times of the day, such as first thing in the morning, before and after lunch, and at the end of your workday. Have your personal cell phone send all messages to voicemail during working hours.

If you live in a noisy household or neighborhood, consider a set of sound-cancelling headphones so you can truly work in peace. You can also invest in a good white-noise machine to replace distracting sounds with soothing ones, or run a small fan for the same effect.

For more tips on  how to make working from home a productive and convenient experience or for help organizing your home-office environment visit In Order to Succeed’s website.

 

3 Tips on How to Help Your kids Succeed in School by Getting Organized

Tips-to-Help-Students-Succeed-Study-Blog-3

As the end of the school year approaches we know to anticipate end of term projects and final exams.  As parents and former students ourselves we understand that along with these increased demands comes stress and the disruption to normal routines.  These changes can be particularly unsettling for your student and your family. While it is ultimately up to your child to figure out which practices work best for them to keep up with the current situation of things, you too can contribute your quota to their drive for success.

Students need a balanced environment to thrive, more so at this time when their senses are stoked, and nerves rattled.  As a mom or dad, who’s aiming to be supportive, fostering a conducive environment that functions as a place of refuge – so to speak, is one of the most essential steps you can take to complement your son or daughter’s efforts towards success.

 


The First Part of Creating an Organized Environment is as You Might Have Guessed – Getting Organized! 

The notion of final exams and its attendant complexities can mount pressure on your student and cause them to be disorganized. It’s not unusual to see your child’s room muddled in a heap of clutter, and while this can be justified as stemming from a lack of time, it is actually unhealthy and known to cause a significant drop in productivity because it in very literal terms, muddle the brain’s ability to perform optimally. As a parent, this is where you step in. Help your child create schedules and timetables that reinforce a balance between work, play and positive social and environmental interaction. Sure, they may be trying to rack up extra study time to cover all aspects of their syllabuses, but that doesn’t mean everything else should be relegated to the back burner.


Eating Healthy Requires Preparation

Tips-to-Help-Students-Succeed-Study-Blog-1A nutritious and balanced diet is the body’s own octane booster to heightened performance. Fats are linked to a higher incidence of aggression, depression and heart disease. To prevent the onset of these conditions  (which are already a risk given the heightened levels of stress),  it is essential that you enlighten and educate your family to the dangers of an unhealthy diet. Keeping your home stocked with an assortment of nutritional foods and snacks that they enjoy is also super important. 

Moderate the Tech Exposure

Technology can be potentially detrimental to your kids and adult children, most especially when there’s a need to focus and burn the midnight candles, and there is research to corroborate this fact. Back in the days, study time was ‘study time’ there were no mobile phones, no notifications or calls to put students off. Today mobile phones and computers are required for most assignments.  They are integral part of the study environment but along with them comes unwanted distractions and noise. That’s not to say this is entirely nocuous but the key to technology (as is with most other parts of life) is moderation. Limit just how long your kids can be tethered to their technology or television and place an enforceable embargo on how much time they spend on their devices. Your kids should know that time spent online is valuable time – their efforts should be directed at making the most use of it.

In addition to these, don’t forget the importance of positive reinforcements. Your child needs all the encouragement he/she can get. So while you go about tuning the environment, don’t forget to rub it in with bits of the ‘you can do it’ and the ‘keep focused.’

To learn more about how to creating an organized home environment that enhances student performance on final projects and exams, please email or call us today!

Five Habits to a Happier 2018

In a few short weeks, holiday gluttony will give way to guilty feelings and itchy fingers.  That’s when we will all sit down to write a set of aspirational goals for 2018.  Working out more and spending more time with family are commendable objectives, but if you are disorganized, you often mismanage the time necessary to achieve these new goals.  Amy Esper, professional organizer, move manager and co-head of In Order to Succeed in Sarasota, FL will let you in on five new habits that will improve your life quality and make the time it takes to get to the gym and play with your kids.

1. Don’t Let Guilt Hold you Captive to Things.

Being sentimental is commendable.  Holding onto everything that is sentimental is a slippery slope.  Throw away that shredded duck pillow that your mother had on her couch 20 years ago.  Your memories are with the person, and not the thing.  Share your stories of the fun you had on the couch chatting with your mom as you laid your head on that pillow.  It is not enough to put it in your basement or attic.  Get rid of it!  Slowly go through items that you stored and part with them.  Your loved ones will be so proud that you did!

2. Bargain Hunt Selectively.

Frank Woolworth opened America’s first discount variety store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in June 1879.  Today there are over 250 discount chains worldwide and countless online stores constantly advertising sales.  Saving money on things you need is smart.  Buying things on sale that you don’t need is not.  Practice smart shopping.  Don’t go to the store without a list- even if it’s just in your head!  Resist the temptation to go off list.  You will have more money in your pocket and less clutter in your home to clean around.

3. Get your Children on the Chore Train.

It’s never too late to teach your kids to do for themselves.  Tired of making four beds in the morning or packing three lunches at night?  Me, too.  Start small and give your kids incentives.  For toddlers, get a jar and let them fill it with pennies after each completed task.  If your kids are older, increase their bedtime or curfew for chores well done.  New research shows that it takes 66 days to create a habit, so get going!  The kids will feel proud and you will have more time to do fun things with them. Check out our other tips on the Five Ways to be More Organized Parents.

4. Put Everything in it’s Place Right Away.

Stop putting things in temporary spaces.  When you walk in the door of your home or office, put everything in its place.  Your keys go in the dish or on the hook.  Your briefcase goes on your desk. Your coffee mug goes in the dishwasher.  Your shoes belong on their shelf and your clothing goes in your closet or in the dry-cleaning bin.  Why wait?  Its only going to accumulate.  Keeping things in their place avoids the large clean ups that occur on the weekends when we want to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

5. Sell It.

Those kindles your kids bypassed for iPads?  The jeans you can’t quite squeeze into?  Don’t let them clutter your surroundings.  Recoup some money for them and make way for new hobbies you can share with your loved ones.  Facebook marketplace has replaced Craigslist as the best place to sell your goods locally.  You can post anything from an old camera to a car in less than five minutes.  It feels so great to free up space and get your items to people who will use them!  There is also a new game in town when it comes to clothing sales.  Move over eBay, the Poshmark app is here. Place your item for sale with a few clicks and when it sells, print the emailed label, package your item in envelopes (available for free at your post office) and place it in your mailbox.  The best part?  Poshmark allows you to transfer your earnings to your bank account in minutes!

Adopting these 5 Habits will give you a Fresh Start to the New Year!

10 Tips to Simplify Your Holiday

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Or is it?  Most of us look forward with anticipation to the excitement and time off that the holiday season brings.  In our minds we are capable of baking and decorating like Martha Stewart, selecting Oprah-inspired gifts for everyone on our lists and wrapping them like Mr. Bean in Love Actually.  Realistically, even if we possessed all those skills, none of us have the time to make it all happen while maintaining our sanity.  We need to simplify our season.  As most of these tasks fall on females, it is no surprise that according to a January 2006 survey, women (44 percent) are more likely than men (31 percent) to report an increase of stress during the holiday season, citing lack of time (69 percent versus 63 percent), lack of money (69 percent versus 55 percent), and pressure to give or get gifts (51 percent versus 42 percent) as primary stressors.

Why do we feel an acute shortage of time in this season?  According to research, it’s because people volunteer more during the holidays; spend less time socializing with friends; having increased family obligations and significantly increase the time and money spent shopping, decorating and sending greetings.  What we really value most during the holidays, as per Odyssey, is:

 

PLAN BB-10 tips

  1. Being with family.
  2. Cooking with loved ones.
  3. No school.
  4. Shopping for holiday gifts.
  5. Decorating the house.
  6. Presents.
  7. Holiday movies on television.
  8. Holiday desserts.
  9. Holiday drinks.
  10. Enjoying the Lights.
  11. Holiday music.
  12. Being in the holiday spirit.

So how do you get back to the joys of the list above?  Simplify your life and add more “fa” to your “la” by following our ten tips below.

1. Say “No”.

Saying no is easier than you think and will save you from long nights of doing things you don’t want to do or staying awake at night worrying because you forgot to do them.  Let’s practice.  Your friend: “Can you make a Maltesers Christmas pudding for my party?”  You: “No.”  Your husband: “Honey, can you pick up some gifts for my mom and a few colleagues?”  You: “No.”  Your son or daughter: “Mom, can you be the stage mom for my school’s Christmas play?”  You; “No.”  You get the idea.  Of course, you should say it nicely, with a smile and add an “I love you,” but the point is that there are so many things for which your time is obligated during this season that you need to prioritize and simplify your schedule.  Don’t stretch yourself thin and neglect spending time with those you love doing the things you really love.  No one remembers the expertly decorated tree or present.  They remember the laughs you have over a delicious dinner, the movie you snuggled up watching and the game you played all night.

2. Ask for Help.

No woman or man is an island.  We all need help.  Ask your partner or kids to help with the decorating or baking.  It does not always have to fall on you just because it has in the past.  You might get some grunts, but who cares?  You’ve been cursing under your breath for the past five Christmases.  People simply do not offer to help anymore.  Our devices have made us somewhat oblivious to human cues.  Ask for help.  If you don’t, you won’t get it and you will resent the very people you want to enjoy.  You may not think this will simplify your season, but if you let go a little and ask, you will not only gain time, but you may have fun engaging in those tasks with your family.

3. Plan.

I like spontaneous decisions for travel and date nights, but not for family gatherings like Christmas and Hanukah.  Jot down or electronically transcribe a quick list of to dos and associate a timeframe with each.  Write down when you will get your tree, decorate outside and in, bake cookies, shop, and plan the special holiday meals.  For example, my family always gets our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and decorates it slowly for two days.  It eases us into Christmas.  Then over the next week and before December 1st, we decorate the house inside and out.  Next, we begin shopping for our children, because let’s admit, it’s pretty much all about them.  We affix a deadline for the end of shopping to make sure we have time wrap our gifts, which occurs the week before Christmas.  The cookie baking takes place a few days before Christmas and we plan our meals three days before (as we buy a lot of our sides to again simplify our lives and spare us some time).  You get the idea.  Have a plan and roughly stick to it.  That way, you won’t get that panicky, rushed feeling on your first day home from work.  You can enjoy each phase as it comes, knowing you have time in between to relax. Check out our other tips on Making Better Use of Your Time.

4. Calendar It.

Once you have a list worked out, calendar it.  For those of you who don’t use google calendars, get on it!  You can color code your entries for work, family and personal and share them with your loved ones.  This way you can include the activity, the address, the travel time, and any notes you may have in the margin.  Now, I am not saying that your significant other won’t still ask you where he’s supposed to pick up the catered food, because if he’s like mine, he will.  At least he or she will have the opportunity to see when and where (with a quick click to navigate him or her there) you would like him or her to help.  If the items are more nebulous, use the “all day” button and a range of days in which to complete the task.  It really helps you feel centered and in control of your days during the craziness of the season.

5. Pare Down.

Don’t you hate the feeling of cramming a bunch of new clothes or toys into closets and toy bins after the holidays?  As an organizer, I get sick thinking about it.  Take a slow Saturday (ha, I know) in the next few weeks and donate your older items that are outdated and those that are too small for your kids.  Go through the toy bins.  You know the toys that your kids love and those that have been overlooked since someone bought them for their birthday.  Give them away.  There are plenty of families in need during this season who would love them.  Use it as a learning experience for your younger kids to teach them that not everyone is so fortunate.  They will get excited about helping others and have their first philanthropic experience.

6. Out with the Old Decorations.

Christmas is a special time of year and we are all prone to overbuying trinkets and ornaments that make us happy.  BUT, there is no need to have a garage full of Christmas bins. I guarantee you do not even know what is in half of the bins since you take out only the top two winners every year.  You never use it and you aren’t going to.  You know where I’m going with this.  Clear out the stuff you do not and never will, put out.

Do you like it?  Will you ever use it?  Are you keeping it because of a guilt trip your mother-in-law may impose?   Give it to someone you know if it assuages guilt, or donate it.  Either way, simplify your life and let it go.  You will be so happy you did.

7. Volunteer.

Yes, I know I wrote that volunteering was a time suck in paragraph two, but not strategic generosity of time.  Pick your favorite charity and pledge 2-5 hours of your time on a given day.  (Add this to your plan above!) Nothing brings perspective like seeing the plight of those that are forgotten during the holidays.  Again, if it is appropriate, bring your children and show them that your family places value in helping the less fortunate.  Those moments imprint on them.  We can never forget that for those of us that have chosen to have children, our most important mission is raising good little humans.

 8. Skip Some Gifting.

I generally enjoyed shopping before I had children.  I still would if I could justify brick and mortar purchasing while paying a babysitter.  It’s fun to buy yourself things.  It’s even fun to buy for others, but not for everyone at once and in such a condensed timeframe.  If your family is on the large side (like my husband’s family with seven brothers and sisters), skip the gifts.  (Gasp!)  Of course, make sure everyone is ok with foregoing the present swap.  You may be surprised to find that other family members are relieved to cross some people off their lists as they are feeling the crush of holiday presents as well.  If it’s necessary to swap presents between kids, establish a maximum as you would at a Secret Santa party.  It takes a lot of the pressure off and simplifies the time spent with your family.  The focus becomes hanging out and not endlessly opening gifts!

9. Be a Thoughtful and Conservative Gift Giver.

Don’t you hate hauling giant coffee table books home in your suitcase?  So does everyone else!  Don’t give oversized gifts just to give. Think about the giftee and their interests.  Think about logistics.  Can they carry it home?  Will their children destroy it?  Here’s a good one:  Will they like it?  Simply put, put in more thought.

Likewise, save the flashy gifts for your significant others.  People are embarrassed when you bestow lavish gifts on them and they don’t return the favor.  Of course, later you will receive a gift of greater or equal value as the need for comity sets in.  People really do appreciate thoughtful gifts that show that you actually considered who they are before you bought them.  You don’t have to spend a lot.

10. Pace Yourself.

If you’re hanging lights and your shoulders are burning, take a break.  If you can’t imagine baking one more batch of cookies, put the spatula down and put the dough in the refrigerator.  Don’t think of it as giving up.  Everything in life is better in moderation.  Many of us grew up thinking we should not put off for tomorrow what we can do today, but sometimes you are a much nicer person tomorrow if you put off today.  Don’t stress your mind or body by giving yourself artificial deadlines.  This also means you can’t wait until the last second to do something that has to get done by a certain date (See “Plan”).

No matter what annoying occurrence befalls you holiday, above all, try to shrug it off.  A wise confidante of mine has a little sigh sound that he makes when something goes wrong to tell his brain it’s going to be ok.  It’s a high-pitched “hhhmph” with a shrug of the shoulders.  This season is so fleeting and won’t be here again for another year.  Simplify it, but enjoy it.  When you feel stressed, shrug, and say “hhhmph” and get back to watching Ralphie beat the crap out of that mean red-headed kid.

Five Festive Holiday Table Settings Ideas

Holiday table settings are almost as important as the food. Sure, some people take the approach that the holiday table is just there to hold the food and the wine glasses—throw a holiday colored tablecloth on it and voilà! The holiday table setting, however, has the power to set the atmosphere for the entire meal. From formal to casual to somewhere in between we scoured Pinterest to find several gorgeous holiday table settings. Steal ideas from these pretty table settings and visit our Pinterest page for even more inspiring ideas and tips on hosting a stress-free holiday season.

Rosemary Sprig Cards

faeaceefb011a58d295449b0f7dd23d1
If you’re throwing a large holiday gathering that includes a sit-down meal, you’re going to want to organize the seating. We love the idea of these Rosemary Sprig Place cards for a simple but elegant holiday table setting.

Candles, Candles, Candles

candles

One of the easiest ways to add some glam to your holiday table setting is with candles. This one from Fab You Bliss is perfect for Thanksgiving and if you switch out the pumpkins for glittery pine cones you have a perfect Christmas centerpiece as well.

Planted Centerpiece

holiday table settings
Impress dinner guests at any winter holiday party with a sophisticated planted centerpiece. Add accents of gold or silver for an even more festive setting
Rustic Table Setting

f1f6f0d4b9cee16d9c6ff8470eb603be
For a rustic and utterly easy to create table setting we love this burlap runner topped with pine branches, pinecones, and mandarin oranges.

Blue Christmas holiday table settings
Stick to a blue and silver theme for an elegant table setting. HGTV Designer Katrina Giles created this easy clean-up table setting by putting white and blue plates against as shimmery black placemats and using a silver snowflake wrapping paper as table runner.For more inspiring table setting ideas checkout “50 Christmas Table Setting Ideas” from AnnaVasily.

6 Ways to Fall Back Into Your Routine

Alabama mom Jena Willinghamm may have been onto something when she posted the now-viral photo of herself in a pool—cocktail in hand—while her three children stood behind her looking sad to be going back to school. As much as we love kids, keeping them occupied when they are out of school and not in camps or programs no short order. But each fall often blows in with new items for your to-do list. Out go summer Fridays and lax bedtimes and in come soccer Saturdays and hectic mornings. You may be surprised to learn that almost half of Americans say fall is the best time to get organized, according to a survey by SpareFoot. In fact, 45 percent of those surveyed said that fall months are organizing prime time. It makes sense when you think of it since at the same time students return to class many businesses are kicking into high gear after a summer slowdown says Amy Esper, professional organizer, move manager and co-head of In Order to Succeed in Sarasota, FL. Amy, the mother of three small children (all under the age of 4) considers fall to be the beginning of her family year since that is the time that that all the new routines kick in for her children as they enter their new classes and programs.

These six tips will help you get back into your groove and stay productive to have your most organized fall yet.

Get your family involved.

No person can keep a whole household organized by themselves; it’s just not realistic. Get your family involved in the organization process. Establish new fall routines with their input. If anything is being reorganized or repositioned, walk your family through where items should go so they can help put things away. Labels are crucial to make sure family members knows where things need to be put away. Use post-it notes until you have a chance to affix permanent labels. We love this portable Epson label printer – it even connects to a laptop for even greater productivity.

There are Apps for That

Hold the keys to a more organized life in the palm of your hand. The app store is full of downloads that help users stay on point. Three (free!) favorites: Todoist allows you to manage tasks and projects anywhere. At home, at school, at work . . .both online and offline and across 10+ platforms. Remember the Milk is another similar type of app that can help you get more done in less time. This powerful app allows users to create and prioritize to-do lists by due date, tag or importance. It syncs to Google Calendar, Gmail and other devices and lets users create groups and assign tasks. Running late? Ask your spouse to hit the grocery store and your teen to set the table. 30/30 launched on the premise that most tasks like checking e-mail and making lunches only take 5 to 30 minutes per day. Map out your day, set a timer and let the app say when it’s time to move on.

Create a Study Spot

Study SpotYour kid may have had summer assignments but the school year brings regular homework with shorter deadlines. To help your child stay on track, create a clean, well-lit and distraction-free space for homework. Short on space? Get our tips on creating a home office out of a spare room. Stock it with pencils, pens, rulers and paper. If your kid is a habitual screen-checker, consider not allowing devices in the room unless it’s required for the assignment. Here are five inspiring work spaces you can create in your home.

Set Bedtimes for Everyone

A stress-free morning starts with a good night’s sleep. WebMD provides good guidelines for age-appropriate bedtimes. If your child is having trouble getting back to a regular bedtime, try gradually scaling back the bedtime 30 to 60 minutes every few days until s/he is hitting the hay at an optimal time. As for you, the National Sleep Foundation suggests adults ages 25-64 get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. The optimal time will vary from person to person, but researchers from Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley say that REM sleep cycles, the light phase of sleep just before which repairs the mind, typically begins after midnight regardless of when a person goes to bed. To ensure the body gets all the REM and non-REM sleep it needs, try to get find a bedtime between 8 p.m. and midnight. Experiment with a few different times and stick to the one that works best for you.

Prep the Night Before

Organized HallwayWith everything in its place, waking up and getting out the door should be easy… right? Unfortunately not according to most American parents. When the school year starts, 80 percent of parents feel it takes them longer to get ready in the morning than during the summer. And, nearly one in three feel it takes more than 20 minutes longer. When you have kids, back to school routines can make mornings stressful, making organization key to create more productive mornings. As cute as a morning fashion show is, figuring out what you and your kids are going to wear the day before can save precious minutes each morning. Make breakfast and prepare lunches the night before, whenever possible. Throwing together breakfast on the go and organizing lunches for the whole family can make a busy morning even more overwhelming. You may want to go the extra mile by helping your children neatly pack backpacks check assignment lists with them to ensure nothing is missing before bed.

Save a Little Summer

Vacation may be over, but don’t let leisure get lost in the shuffle of soccer practices and meetings. Book a massage, hit a favorite restaurant or just take five minutes a day to look at your favorite photos. Taking time for a breather can get your ready to tackle the next task (and, according to researchers, lowers depression). Keeping a summer mindset as long as possible is always something worth striving toward.

Protecting Your Investment With Couture Wardrobe Storage

Are your financial investments secured? I would imagine that they are in the same way that you insure your auto, home and other valuables. Fashionable individuals who make significant investments in designer clothing, shoes and accessories often may not adequately protect them thus leaving thousands of wardrobe dollars unsecured and ‘at risk’. If you have made a considerable investment in couture, then the wardrobe that you’ve built may be one of the most valuable, unsecured collections you own so why not consider a couture storage company such as Garde Robe.

What Is Couture Wardrobe Storage?

Couture storage services keep your high fashion clothing and accessories stored and secured. Services use museum quality archival materials. The idea is simple: storing your high end items keeps them safe, well maintained and readily accessible no matter where you are in the world. Experts who are familiar with proper care of your designer items will take charge of wrapping, storing, and securing your possessions.

Couture storage services keep your high fashion clothing and accessories stored and secured. Services use museum quality archival materials.

The idea is simple: storing your high end items keeps them safe and also allows you to have them out of your home. Chances are you are not wearing these items. You have access when you wish to wear items. Experts who understand exactly how to wrap, store, and secure your items for later use are in charge.

Why Use Wardrobe Storage?

Wardrobe Storage

High fashion warehousing offers several benefits:
Insurance. The inventory provided allows you to track and insure every item. In the event of theft or loss it is easy to provide the necessary documentation.

Keep a seasonal closet. Open up your space to only keep what is seasonal in your dressing room. Humidity and excessive heat will not interfere with the quality. Couture storage services are climate and humidity controlled.
Be ready to travel. Alert your storage valet of your travel plans and have items awaiting you when you arrive. For many of our well traveled clients, this has proven to be an invaluable benefit provided by Garde Robe.

Your Closet: Revitalized

Couture storage does more than just keep your couture safe, though. It is the perfect way to increase space for your wardrobe. At In Order To Succeed we know the importance of having a space that meets your needs. That said, our clients who live in apartments in New York and other cities understand that space comes at a premium and is often limited. Taking stock of your space and items and placing rarely worn couture pieces in a safe but accessible location opens up your closets and drawers allowing for less crowded storage for your clothing, shoes and accessories.

For clients wishing to reclaim additional closet within their homes we often recommend implementing the KonMari Method as a way to pare down  possessions. Keeping just what you truly need and love and then arranging items in an uncluttered manner.  This gives  clothes, shoes and accessories room to breathe while promoting an efficient process for finding and putting things away after laundering. In fact, the Konmari Method, professional organizing help from In Order To Succeed and selective off-site storage will be a powerful solution for simplifying the challenges of wardrobe management.

Increase Your Space for What you Need Most Often

Once you have removed the gowns, seldom worn specialty pieces and seasonal clothing from your dressing room you will find you have a significantly less crowded dressing room. It’s not a question of getting rid of these special pieces, just of putting them in a safe and accessible location that properly protects your investment.

A Collector’s Assistant

Working with professionals to gain couture storage means never having to worry about space. Storage is available and scalable.

Enjoy Easier Organization

When your at home wardrobe is well and beautifully organized it makes it a pleasure to switch over your seasonal wardrobes. Those of us who live in colder climates own bulkier layers, like woolen jackets and knitted cardigans which need not occupy prime real estate in our dressing rooms during the hot summer months. With proper planning these seasonal change overs need not be a daunting task.

Improve the Organization of your Clothes and Closet

Get on the right path by working with a professional organizer to move your couture items into storage and  establish order in your in home clothing, shoes and accessories. Our organizational pros will inspire you to edit your wardrobe regularly to remain at the height of fashion.

The Ripple Effect

Organizing your couture and daily wear will have an impact on the rest of your space. You’ll find new room, reduce clutter and spark joy, and apply the same techniques to other rooms in your home.

Garde Robe: The World’s Premiere Wardrobe Storage and Management Service

Garde Robe is the world’s first couture wardrobe storage and management service. It is a convenient solution for many of our space constrained NYC clients. Garde Robe’s raison d’être is simple: Provide garment storage for members’ precious haute couture, footwear, furs and accessories collections. Offer on-demand accessibility whenever, wherever.

“There is no shortage of high-end storage companies for one’s art, wine or jewelry collections,” says Adam Gilvar, president of Garde Robe. “However, Garde Robe remains the world’s first and only company dedicated exclusively to protecting and organizing one’s clothing, evening wear, footwear and accessories collections.  And truth be told, Garde Robe is much more than simply a storage facility.  Essentially, a Garde Robe membership is akin to employing a tech-savvy valet or archivist to care for your wardrobe,” Gilvar adds.

The Process

  • First, there is complimentary in-home wardrobe consultation.
  • Second, Garde Robe conducts detailed garment inspection, cataloging and professional photography. Members receive a condition report and garment care service recommendations. Upon request, Garde Robe schedules expert garment care services with vetted providers.
  • Next, Garde Robe prepares each item for long-term storage using archival-grade materials.
  • Fourth, archived items stored at the Garde Robe lofts. The lofts feature optimal climate conditions for textiles.
  • In addition, members use Cyber closet. View, search, create outfits and select items for ready-to-wear delivery.

Cyber Closet

Services

Archival Quality Couture Preservation: long-term storage of costumes, haute couture, vintage textiles

Seasonal Wardrobe Storage: off-season pieces kept in Garde Robe’s care, swapped seasonally or as needed

Travel Wardrobe Storage & Delivery: ideal for frequent travelers, multiple homeowners, pied-à-terre owners

Fashion Designer Archiving: collection management/preservation for design houses and institutions

Wardrobe Inventory & Photography: Cyber Closet lookbooks for insurance, styling, organization

The Garde Robe Experience

Cyber Closet makes it easy to track your wardrobe, in house and in couture storage.

The word Garde Robe refers to a collection of clothes. It roughly translates to “protect clothing.” The temperature-controlled, air-purified storage lofts provide ideal storage and feature material-damaging insect prevention. Members can rest assured their precious belongings are in the hands of experts.

Closets Magazine had this to say about the bespoke service, “The Garde Robe lofts offer a fresh alternative to warehouse storage centers and a convenient option for those who may not have enough closet space.”

Garde Robe is an Associate Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and works in conjunction with professional organizers on closet organizing projects nationwide. In Order To Succeed is also a member of NAPO.

Is It Time To Organize and Protect Your Designer Wardrobe?

In Order To Succeed provides in home dressing room and wardrobe consultations. We provide the best options to clients for staying on top of their wardrobes. Contact us today to set up an appointment to gain insight into your wardrobe storage and how to best serve your fashionable investment.

Celebrate Earth Week With The Most Sustainable Companies

Shopping For Clothing and Home Decor Can Be Fashionable and Ethical

Why is it that we cringe at the term “hand me down” but drool over “vintage”? Sometimes a term has a bad connotation, like those terrible maroon corduroy pants that got passed from your older sister to you. Ethical consumption is a hot trend.  More people are falling in love with the idea of reducing, reusing, and recycling. In honor of Earth Day, we’ve got a round up on the best sustainable clothing companies and home decor shops. These brands will bring gorgeous, ethical products into your home. After the brand round up, check out our favorite tips for practicing sustainability.

Sustainable Clothing Companies in NYC

New York has always been fashion forward. Not just in looks but embracing all trends. These shops sell items that are beautiful and ethically produced.

Teich

Teich works with artisans making clothing and accessories from organic, natural, and vintage material. Their one of a kind items are  a blend of vintage and cutting edge.

Kaight

Cross the river to Brooklyn to check out Kaight. Fashionistas rejoice! Kaight sells the hottest rising designers who blend fashion forward with eco-friendly practices.

Most Sustainable Companies: Home Decor

Home decor is also trending toward sustainable products. Reclaimed and upcycled are two hot trends. Rather than create new items, artisans craft unique pieces using found items. Reclaimed windows and barn wood are two of the hottest ingredients in this trend.

Yorkwood Co.

The company’s motto “born on the streets” might not sound high end, but a look at their work paints a very different story. They reclaim wood from construction and other sites around New York. Yorkwood transforms found wood into gorgeous, custom pieces in both commercial and residential spaces.

Fallen Industry

If a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s there to witness it, chances are Fallen Industry will pick it up and turn it into something beautiful. This Brooklyn-based outfit is one of the most sustainable companies around. Fallen Industry crafts pieces that fit perfectly across a variety of design aesthetics.

5 Tips For Sustainable Living

There are lots of ways to run a sustainable household, here are five tips for sustainable living as well as links to read even more.

  1. Try Consignment. Stop feeling guilty when you open the closet and see a dress you only wore once. Learn about consignment so that someone else can enjoy the dress and you can find your next favorite.
  2. Make Donations. One blogger shared that she always saved ribbons and gift tags. During decluttering, realized it was time to let go of these items she was not going to use. You can post items on sites like freecycle.org. Or, better yet, donate items like these to a local elementary school or day care program. Gift wrapping makes for great art. If you have clothing and home goods to donate we recommend donating to the United War Veterans Council. Click the link to contact this organization who will pick up your donations.
  3. Practice Awareness. This post has great information on moving toward sustainable living. Our favorite? The Eco-Sabbath. Put aside time each week where you do not use machines, buy anything, or produce waste. Spending time unhooked from our consume/trash cycle makes us more aware when we start up again.
  4. Go Digital. Paper planners are beautiful but wasteful. Try to go waste free by using your smartphone and apps for scheduling, communicating, and everything else.
  5. Build Habits. Sustainable living doesn’t happen overnight. Spend time planning ways to shop at the most sustainable companies. Educate your family on the importance of the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) and set a goal to move toward sustainable living for a smoother, longer lasting transition.

In Order To Succeed provides expert organizational help to residential and commercial clients. If you are interested in learning how to declutter, organize and live better or in how to do these things utilizing sustainability, contact us to set up an appointment.

Considering Consignment? Tips & Tricks to Get Started Consignment

Consignment shops are gaining popularity among women who love the best in fashion.

According to Richard Wainwright of L.A.-based vintage pop-up A Current Affair the appeal of consignment shopping comes partly from the ability of consignment shops and dealers to respond quickly to new trends.

“ The traditional runway to retail calendar has a problem with response time,” Wainwright said. “We’re seeing collections 6 months before they hit the stores, and by that time we’re bored with them and excited about the next season. Vintage shop and dealers can respond much quicker to trends and curate an aesthetic that isn’t tied to a specific season.”

Besides curating a fashionable look, 16-18% of Americans shop at thrift stores in a year. 11.4% shop at factory outlet malls, 19.6% at brand-based stores and 21.3% shop at department stores. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering consignment.

What Are Consignment Shops?

Consignment shops use a specific type of buying and selling model. A “seller” gives their goods to the shop. Payment for their goods happens once sold. If items do not sell in a set amount of time, the items return to the seller.

Why not eBay?

Why not sell clothes and accessories on the Internet? There’s eBay, Craigslist and the hugely popular Facebook community sale sites. The difference is the curator and the customer. eBay charges significant fees for items. It also requires significant work on the part of the seller. There’s a gamble that an item will sell much lower than the seller would like if the auction doesn’t get much activity.

Craigslist is a free option for selling. People looking to score goods cheaply use it. It’s unlikely that someone is looking for a Hermès bag on eBay or Craigslist. Getting a fair price for that designer bag or dress, thus, is much more difficult. Facebook groups yield offers to pay far less for your goods than they are worth.

Consignment shops are in most towns, even small ones. Shop staff know their clientele and what they seek. Using a high end consignment shop means working with staff who know the actual value of your items. They want to make money which means that you, in turn, make the most for your items. You can reinvest in new and barely used high fashion products.

Consignment Shops Online

More consignment shops are popping up online. Ship your items for free to sellers who already have an online presence. With 80% of Americans shopping online you boost your earning potential considerably.

Why Consign?

Consignment has huge benefits:

  • Wardrobe Editing & Staying Organized. The average woman has over $500 of unworn clothing in her closet not counting accessories and shoes. Even if she is not interested in profiting from them that is space that is being taken up by unworn items. This can lead to clutter. It is difficult to stay on top of clutter when there is extraneous stuff in the way. The benefits of consignment are not just making money. It also gives your closet room to breathe and be better organized.
  • Ethical Consumption & Ethical Elimination. Consumers are aware of their buying and discarding habits. Consignment shops reduce waste. Instead of throwing items out, selling them through consignment allows someone else to use them. It also brings a return on the investment. Purchasing an unworn item already in circulation, or one that is gently worn, is the new recycling.
  • Stay On Trend. Consignment shops are perfect for the fashion forward. Keep an up to date wardrobe with the highest quality clothing for less money. An item that isn’t worn is consigned for a financial return. Reinvest this in your wardrobe.

Tips & Tricks for Getting The Most for your Items at Consignment Shops

If consignment sounds like something you’d like to try be sure to follow our tips to get the most return on your investment.

Make Smart Selections. Look for the high end items you don’t wear. This can be a gown you wore for an event, items you didn’t return, or a purse that looked better on the shelf than on your arm. Chances are you have clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags and more that fit this description.

Don’t Just Bring In Items. Whether visiting consignment shops, having a consignment expert come to your home or selling via online consignment shops there are steps to take ahead of time.

  • First, get items properly cleaned (steamed, dry cleaned, etc).
  • Second, be sure to ask the cleaner to check all fastenings, seams and give the items a sprucing up if necessary. For example, tighten or replace buttons if necessary.

Do Your Research. Don’t just go to the consignment shops closest to you. Research shops, online or in person, that carry items like yours. Is the shop visited by a clientele that would seek out items like those you are selling?

Time To Consign

Is it time for you to edit your wardrobe and make the most of the items you don’t use? Here are a few final thoughts.

Our Favorite Consignment Shops

New York City

Michael’s: The Consignment Shop for Women
  • Upper East Side/1041 Madison Ave
  • High end. No second or third tier labels. For example, they will take Donna Karan but not DKNY.
  • Items must be in pristine condition.
  • Nothing more than two years old unless Chanel, Hermes, Pucci
  • Seller receives 50% of the selling price which drops 20% every thirty days. At 90 days the selling price lowers to 50% of the original selling price.
  • They accept items via mail.
Eleven
  • East Village/180 First Ave
  • High end (Chanel, YSL, Prada)
  • Consider making an appointment if you’d like the buyers’ full attention. Eleven has an exceptional staff; it’s worth building a relationship with them if you have top labels to sell.
  • There is a buy on the spot option that allows for store credit.
  • Consign rate is 50% of Eleven’s sale price
  • Pro tip: do not judge them by their website, this place is a gem!
Fisch for the Hip
  • Chelsea/90 Seventh Ave
  • Celebrities love Fisch thanks to its selection of designers like Chanel and Gucci.
  • Appointments required when consigning.
  • They accept in-season designer items in pristine condition. They pay 50% of the price at which the item sells.
Encore
  • Upper East Side/1132 Madison Ave
  • High end. Encore prefers items that are within a few years old.
  • A contract states the starting price for your items. The duration of the contract is three months but there is an option to add one more month.
  • The seller gets 50% of the selling price.
  • Items less than $400 get marked down 20% after a month; those priced at more than $400 get marked down after 2 months.
  • Contracts with a fourth month get 50% taken off the selling price after three months.

Connecticut

Consigned Designs at 115 Mason St. in Greenwich; (203) 869-2165.

DWR Consignment Boutique at 33 East Ave., New Canaan; (203) 594-7376.

The label exchange – Fairfield
The shop is located at 1344 Post Rd. E., Westport; (203) 255-9099; facebook.com/DesignerLabelConsignments.

Our Favorite Online Consignment Services

www.therealreal.com
www.consignista.com
www.snobswap.com
www.tradesy.com
www.thredup.com
www.vestiairecollective.com

When you are ready to review your wardrobe to edit or declutter, contact In Order To Succeed for help.