Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/31/2017

There's a cheap office supply product available almost anywhere that can improve your home organization, save you money, and help prevent food-borne illnesses: ordinary stickers.

By stocking up on a variety of blank stickers, you can boost your efficiency around the house, save time, and reduce confusion.

Here are a few examples of how this basic strategy can prevent problems and simplify your life:

  • Leftover food: How many times have you looked at a container or package of leftover food in the refrigerator and wondered if it's still reasonably fresh and safe to eat? If you label it with the date, you'll never have to risk getting sick from food that's been sitting around in the fridge for weeks (or longer). "When in doubt, throw it out" is a good policy for dealing with perishable food items, but you also don't want to get in the habit of throwing out perfectly good food. Everyone has slightly different standards for how long food should be kept, but when leftovers are not labeled, your only option is to guess how long it's been there -- and that method isn't too accurate! As a side note, there are several government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that can advise you on recommended refrigeration storage times (and safe temperatures) for different types of food. Generally, it's three or four days, but it can be more or less, depending on how perishable it is, whether the package has been opened, and if it's cooked or raw. Frozen food has a much longer shelf life (usually one or two months in the freezer), but if you don't label it, you may have no idea what it is ("mystery meat?") or how long it's been in storage! Clearly labeling refrigerated and frozen food will give you peace of mind, help prevent you from throwing away food prematurely (saving you money), and reduce your chances of getting food-borne illnesses.
  • Old keys: Did you ever stumble upon an old key and wonder which door, suitcase, file cabinet, or car it's meant for? You can always try it out on different locks, luggage, or vehicles, but it could easily be from a previous residence, an item you no longer own, or a vehicle you traded in years ago. A much more efficient method would be to place the key in a small envelope or zip-lock bag and label it with identifying information. Labeling the tag on the keychain is another option.
  • House paint: Paint cans that have been around for years can often be difficult to identify, especially if the original product label is obscured by paint spills. By adding a descriptive label displaying the date, the room it was used on, and the color, it will be much easier to organize and find the paint you need when you want touch up your walls or baseboards.
While some members of the family may tease you for putting labels on everything, the amount of time, money, and frustration you'll be saving down the road will be well worth the inconvenience (and the ribbing)!





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/18/2017

Is your garage overflowing with odds and ends leaving no room for its intended purpose - storing your car? Then you are in the same boat as many other homeowners. Garages can be such a tempting to place to hide stuff that doesn’t have a place, after all out of sight out of mind. If you are ready to clean up your garage to make things easier to find and maybe even finally fit your car inside of it again keep reading. Start by clearing out your garage. Go through everything and sort items into giveaway/sell, toss and keep piles. Get rid of anything that your children have outgrown, you haven’t used in years or household chemicals that have since expired (be sure to responsibly dispose of these). This step can be a weekend project in itself so don’t worry if you don’t have the organized garage you envisioned before Monday. When you have settled on what will be staying in your garage sort the remaining items into categories. Typical garage storage usually contains categories like seasonal items, tools, and sports equipment. When reorganizing you will want to make sure everything stays organized. You can do this by giving everything an assigned place and preferably a clearly labeled one. When possible assign items their places in a way where they will be off the floor. This prevents clutter from building up and forces you to give everything a home throughout the process and in the future. When you have emptied out your garage and organized your remaining items into categories you will have given yourself a clean slate to work with. Set yourself up for future success by investing in shelving units, large plastics bins, small glass jars and maybe even a label maker. Slat board, peg board, and track based organizational systems are other great ways to keep items off the floor, organize smaller items and hang up tools. Garages are also a great place to utilize ceiling space by installing overhead storage. Since you have already decided on categories and what is staying you should have a good idea of what kind of storage solution will work best for your garage. Once you’ve created a storage system in your garage with assigned places for each item you should have that coveted room to park your vehicles inside again! Take the time to choose where you will be parking your vehicle and hang a tennis ball from a string to signal when you are parked in the correct place. The ball should gently bump the windshield when you are in the right spot. When choosing your new parking spot allow for space to walk between the vehicle and the back wall as well as the side walls. If you have a two car garage ensure that there is plenty of room between the two cars so that when doors are opened it doesn’t risk bumping the other car. Depending on how cluttered your garage is organizing it may be longer than a weekend project. However, by investing the time into creating a smart storage system you will be able to use your garage not only easily but also stress-free. Happy cleaning!





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/13/2015

We are all guilty of it, some worse than others. Homes all over America are brimming with clutter. Do the closets in your home trigger a small avalanche every time you open them? Are your basements and attics filled to capacity with boxes of your adult children’s baby clothes and toys? Do you have holiday decorations from 25 years ago tucked away in corners of your home? The typical American has the tendency to hoard objects and it is becoming an epidemic. Most of us have more objects entering the house than we have exiting the house. It does not take long before all this stuff over burdens the storage systems in the home. We just keep shopping and bringing in more stuff than we are getting rid of. Eventually our counters are muddled with papers, our cabinets are stuffed to the max, and our garage is no longer a place we can store the car. Instead the garage is just another room filled to capacity with boxes and bins of junk. All this clutter is suffocating us and stealing our time and energy. It complicates our life and causes stressful situations when we spend our time searching for missing items. Clutter can impact our social life as well, making us afraid to let our friends into our home. It's time to simplify our life and get rid of the clutter! By clearing out the clutter in your home you begin to reclaim your space and your time. Living a simplified life with less stuff will allow you to live in harmony with out all the chaos. Own less and live more, keep it simple.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/22/2013

Ever feel like things pile up in your home? Maybe on the kitchen table or counter, your dresser, or nightstand? Well a little organization can turn your home from full of clutter to nice and neat without having to throw everything away. Here are a few things to keep in mind when improving the organization of your home.

  1. Everything needs a place - if every item in your home has a place to be stored, you are less likely to just drop it anywhere. If an item shouldn't be sitting on your counter top, then it should have a home.
  2. Maximize your storage space - If you feel like you are lacking storage space, think again. A closet with no shelves can't store as much, and those spaces you aren't using, like under your bed, can be transformed into storage places too. Setting up the places that you have to store items so they can be fully used is key to making sure everything can be stored.
  3. Label - If you can find where something goes, you are more likely to put it there. Having boxes stacked into a closet, and not knowing what's in there, doesn't help you organize. But having storage containers, shelves, drawers, etc that are labeled for easy finding does.
  4. Shelves and containers - Having the right assortment of storage is key. Not everything is stored well on a shelf and the same goes for in a container. Make sure you have a variety of what you need; everything from small to large containers, baskets, drawers, shelves and hooks. You want to make sure that where you are putting something can be easily found and accessed.
  5. Get into the routine - Old habits die hard so when you first organize you might find you still leave things hanging around. Getting into the new habit of putting things away can take time but an easy way to start is to set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to put everything where it belongs. Before you know it, you will be doing it throughout the day!
Regardless of whether you go all out on organization, or just do a little, you will find that with a couple of changes you can enjoy your space much more. And without all the clutter that has been left behind!  





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 9/10/2013

Keeping your home orgainzed is one of the most difficult things to do in a busy home. Having an organized home will save you time, money and keep your stress level down. Conquer the toughest organization tasks with these tips to get your home in tip top shape: 1. Be Neat from the Start It seems so simple but put things away right away. 2. Everything has a Home Everything in your home should have a place. Have a place for pens, papers, backpacks, school papers and bills. 3. Label Invest in a label machine and label everything. Now there will be question what goes where. 4. Contain Clutter Use baskets, shelves and containers to contain the clutter. 5. Use the Everday Rule If you don't use an appliance or tool every day, find a home out of the way for it. Only pull it out when you need it.