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Method Mixed Bag: April

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Welcome to this month’s Mixed Bag, a collection of mini posts on random topics that are relevant to me right now. The April Mix Bag includes the importance of the Mudroom, my new favorite book Atomic Habits, Easter tablescaping, the world’s most organized flower and why I love Amazon Photos. Enjoy!

april showers = mud

My dog is actually blonde, but not in April when he seeks out mud puddles

Happy April! I’m always happy in April because it’s Spring Break which usually means we are headed for Hawaii. Once we return from that trip Summer seems infinitely closer, the days are longer , the flowers and trees are exploding with blooms and we usually get more-than-occasional bursts of sunshine – all good for the soul. Not to say that the rain stops, April Showers are a real thing. Yards and trails are kind of a muddy mess and then people come in and tramp mud through the house. Now that all but one of my kids are away at school most of the muddy tramping is done my our retriever Gus. Gus is fatally attracted to mud, he seeks out the puddles and likes to roll in them. I have learned not to let Gus off leash in a park where there are mud puddles, since he will find them immediately and come out looking like a completely different dog. It is during this uplifting but super-wet month that I am so happy we have a mudroom, part of the first remodel we did in our home shortly after we moved in. The mudroom corrals backpacks and shoes, plus outerwear and leashes and allows for the wettest, dirtiest articles of clothing to stay out of the rest of the house. It is a critical element of a well-organized home but it’s very nature (and name!) speak to the fact that it’s hard to keep neat. Look out for tips on keeping your mudroom tidy this month in my newsletter. Speaking of my newsletter, if you aren’t yet on the mailing list you can sign up here, get a complimentary copy of my Organizing Guide and get me in your inbox twice a month with organizing tips, news and updates on all of my services.

atomic habits

I recently finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear – I think that guy somehow got into my head, took the way my brain works and turned it into a book. How did it take me 4 years to discover it? If you are looking for ways to build (or build on) some good habits please read this book! There are so many effective strategies and tactics that Clear lays out you are almost guaranteed to succeed in whatever good habits you would like to instill, be they related to health, business, parenting or organizing! I’m devoting April’s blog posts to Habits and how to make them work for you and improve the quality of your life and the productivity of your home. As a teaser the 4 laws of building effective habits (and keeping them!) are:

  • Make it OBVIOUS

  • Make it ATTRACTIVE

  • Make it EASY

  • Make it SATISFYING

Easter is coming

It is so confusing how Easter moves around from year to year, sometimes it really sneaks up on you and other times it seems like I’m waiting forever for it to come. I’m not a religious person but I do love celebrating Easter as the official launch of Spring. It’s not on the scale of Christmas of course but I do bring out my Easter décor items, mostly colorful eggs of various materials as well as a few ceramic bunnies. I fill the house with flowers in preparation for a fabulous brunch with a beautifully-scaped table. If you are planning an Easter Brunch this year here are some tips to make it memorable:

Tablescape Essentials

  • A table runner (used with a cloth or on it’s own)

  • Repeating centerpieces (I would go heavy on the flowers here – it’s Spring)

  • Cloth napkins & Silverware (the good stuff)

  • China, glass, or ceramic dishware (wonderful opportunity to use your wedding china)

  • Place cards add a finishing touch


I love a strata as the centerpiece for Easter Brunch. It can be prepared the day before, there are both savory and sweet versions and you can be flexible with your fillings if you have vegetarians in your party. I compliment my strata with a big bowl of berries, ham and freshly squeezed orange juice. Yummy and beautiful. Here are a couple of excellent strata recipes, one from Melissa Clark for The New York Times and the other from Food52.


There are so many options for dressing your home with florals in April. Tulips and Lily of the Valley are synonymous with Easter. I also love miniature roses for my tablescape as they are colorful, small and look great in a low-profile arrangement that allows for my guests to see each other across the table. Regardless of how or what you celebrate, be sure to include several fresh bouquets throughout your home on Easter weekend. A large bouquet in the foyer and/or living room, in the kitchen, and on the dining table (several small bouquets, if your table is large) will make your home look festive and fresh. Personally, I put a bouquet out on every surface I can – it really gets me in the mood to celebrate the start of a new season!

the world’s most organized flower

Writing about Easter tablescapes reminded me about my love of tulips, the most organized of all flowers. April is the month to get out and see them in all their glory here in the Pacific Northwest. This is always a challenging proposition for me as we leave town in April each year and lose 2 potential weekends to get out to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley. I have yet to figure out a plan for this year but tulips have been on the brain as mine are popping up in the yard. I think I love tulips not only because they represent Spring’s arrival but also because the growing fields are so organized and gorgeous – they really appeal to brain. Just looking at the photos of last year is motivating me to plan a date to get out and see them – if you live here get it on your calendar now, if you live elsewhere the Tulip Festival is worth an April visit!

Amazon Photos

More tulips, found easily by searching ‘flowers’ on Amazon Photos

Brief blurb on how much I’m enjoying Amazon Photos and how easy it is to navigate and enjoy my pictures. I recently uploaded my entire photo library to Amazon and it’s also what I recommend to all of my Photo Organizing clients as the cloud service of choice. I’ve been playing around with its features and it has made things so easy for me with multiple projects I currently have going. I will probably go deeper on this topic in a future post but here are the headlines.

  1. Unlimited Free Photo Storage for Prime Members (free video storage is limited but very affordable if you have lots of video)

  2. Photos are easily backed up and retrievable when you need them – not the case with every cloud service!

  3. The facial recognition is excellent. I am currently working on a project involving my HS Senior and one of her besties. All I had to do to find every picture that I have of them together was to click on both of their faces. Et Voila!

  4. You can also search on random things. I needed to find my favorite muddy picture of Gus for this post (there are many to choose from) so I searched on ‘dog’ and it was easy to find the pic I was looking for.

These are just a few of the features I’m loving. Of course you first have to gather your photos from the various sources they are currently inhabiting and get them uploaded to be able to take advantage of all of this functionality, but I can hook you up with a Digital Organizing Package if needed! In the meantime, download the app and start uploading your memories!

Headed to Maui next week!

Well that is what’s on my brain this month, oh and also one other thing – we leave for Maui next weekend. I’m excited for the Aloha to wash over me and also for a little rest and relaxation! Have a great week!

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