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Method Mixed Bag: May

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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 May mixed Bag includes a pause for Mother’s Day, influence from my career in Merchandising, getting your yard organized and an exciting new offer on the website. Enjoy!

happy mother’s day

My mama and me circa 1971 – Happy Month of Maureen!

Mother’s Day can be a day of complicated feelings for many people. The whole month of May has been a bit rough for me since I lost my mom. Mother’s Day of course falls in May, as does my mom’s birthday and also the day she passed away 4 years ago. I don’t ever stop missing her and there are so many things I wish I could tell her but at the same time I feel incredibly grateful for all the memories I have of her and for the time I got to spend with her before she died. The month of May has evolved into the Month of Maureen (my mom’s name) for me; a time to cherish her memory and celebrate the kind of mother she was. My mom died of a stroke, her third in 3 years. In that 3 year span I had the opportunity to do some decluttering in my parents’ home and share what my dad and I found with her while getting some good insight into how to prepare for the end of life. In this month’s blog posts I’m going to go a little deeper into those subjects, as I believe they are important for everyone who has an aging parent. Decluttering family heirlooms, documenting family history, advance planning and building habits that sustain a longer life all feel very relevant to me this month – I hope you’ll tune in!

mind shift to merchandising

You are both the merchant and customer of your closet, make it fun to shop in!

As I’m working with clients, or even in my own home I find myself leaning on my still-sharpened Merchandising skill set. As a merchant you are always arranging your ‘floor’ (or website!) in a pleasing way, giving the best visibility to the most important items, leading the customers on a journey that feels both intuitive and inspirational and keeping your high-velocity items in stock. I’m not sure if my merchandising career had an influence on my organizing brain or the other way around but either way they are now tightly entwined. If you think about the spaces in your home as your ‘floor’ and you (plus your fam) as your customer it really helps you get into the mindset to organize your space in a way that eliminates friction in the household and is also pleasing to the eye. Same rules apply from kitchens to closets to bathrooms. Keep these merchandising tenets front of mind:

  • make important things easy to find

  • display what you love

  • have a strategy to fill in your backstock

  • as the customer’s needs change, so should your floor!

the garden is calling

Gotta get the yard at Chez Powell ready for a Graduation Garden Party

My youngest is graduating High School next month and we are hosting a grad party for her. That means I have a little less than 6 weeks to ensure our backyard is party-ready. The party is a joint celebration for Abby and one of her besties and they have selected a Garden Party theme so now the pressure is really on. Unlike the inside of my house, the yard gets completely neglected in the cold and rainy seasons since we rarely go out there (well, Gus does.) I never really dabbled in gardening at all until the pandemic, then I kind of went nuts. I’ve worked really hard on a beautiful rose bed (taking after my mother, lover of roses) in the lower section of our yard bordered by lavender in the front and delphiniums in the back. The roses are off to a great start to all I really need to do is fertilize and keep it weeded. Also I’ve already prepped the pots on our deck and so they will be no problem. The areas I need to concentrate on are the two beds in the upper section of our yard and the slope leading down to the rose bed. I guess I don’t really have anything meaningful to impart about this project except to say that I find getting organized in my garden is much harder for me than getting organized in my house! However, writing about it is an Implementation Intention (Atomic Habits, it’s everywhere, all the time!) so now I have to make it happen. Happy Gardening Season everyone – this winter seemed especially long and now it’s time for the Big Profusion!

gift certificates now available

You can now give the gift of organizing seamlessly on methodseattle.com

I have some exciting news, which is that Home Organizing Gift Certificates are now available for purchase on the website! If you would like to pamper someone who is overwhelmed by too many competing demands on their time, has recently moved into a new home and can’t quite land the unpacking plane or would benefit from organizational systems customized for their lifestyle, there is now a streamlined and personalized way to surprise and delight them with a Method Seattle Gift Certificate. Now Live on my Home Organizing Services page!

Lastly, a quick reflection on the fact that my firstborn is graduating from college this month. It doesn’t quite feel real that I could possibly have raised an adult who is heading out into the world to build a grown-up life. I know it’s cliché but time really does fly, friends! If you have a child ,niece, nephew, etc. who is heading out into the real world I recommend Your Turn by Julie Lythcott-Haims as a primer for adulthood and great gift idea. The paperback version just came out and it is chock full of things they need to know. Happy Graduation Season!

Good Luck out there in the big, wide world Brooks!

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