Holiday Shopping Rules for the Kids in Your Life

I’ve been writing quite a lot lately about holiday shopping and gift giving (‘tis the season, after all!). From My Breakup with Holiday Shopping to gift giving tips and tricks, I’ve come up with some practically foolproof ways to shop for your loved ones without compromising your budget, your principles and your sanity. Another thought that I recently had was about how to shop for kids during the holidays.

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How to Avoid Collecting Clutter this Holiday Season

Now that the holiday season has officially set in, holiday shopping will reach an all-time high. If you’re anything like me, you know how easy it is to get sucked into the vortex of holiday sales, specials and unbeatable offers. But if you’ve been following along on Instagram and my blog, you also know that I’ve learned how to curb my holiday shopping habits and prevent clutter from invading my home and the homes of the people I care about most. It pays to shop smart over the holidays and even throughout the year.

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My Breakup with Holiday Shopping

The holidays are here at last, which means every radio commercial, web banner and email urges me to charge happily ahead to lock in all sorts of enticing deals. Don’t get me wrong, I love what the holidays really stand for: the season of thanksgiving, gratitude and family. What I struggle with is the holiday shopping merry-go-round.

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How to Heal After a Breakup

I hung up the phone, tears in my eyes. Did that really just happen? The man that I thought I was going to marry just told me he loved me, but didn't see himself getting married and having a family.

I had no choice but to break up with him.

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My Journey to Deer Park Monastery, My Journey Home

I’m delighted to be back from my week-long retreat to Deer Park Monastery in the great hidden chaparral mountains of Southern California. I flew into San Diego to meet my parents a few days before my trip, to celebrate my birthday with them. It was bliss. We spent time in Old Town eating Mexican food and sharing laughter. Another day we made our way to beautiful La Jolla, where we reminisced about vacationing there during my childhood as we lazed away at the beach. But the highlight for me was swimming and snorkeling with these magnificent spotted leopard sharks--a huge bucket list item. When I finally said my goodbyes, it was time to really sink into the feeling of turning 40 and reaching this new milestone in a different place in my life than I’d thought I’d be.

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What it Means to Turn 40

This month I’m turning 40, and I’ve never felt more at ease and peace with myself than I do now. I’ve committed to immersing myself in a spiritual practice unlike any path I’ve ever tread. My intention is to take my sedentary meditation practice from lotus position on the mat to a more meaningful, sacred space rich with the potential for greater self-discovery.

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How to Build Your Home Organizing Toolkit

When I arrive at a client’s home there are 20 essential home organization tools I bring with me that make it quick and easy to get organized. I help clients build their own home organizing toolkits too so that they have everything they need at their fingertips during the home organization process. I recommend packing all your home organization tools in a storage box with a lid so you don’t have to recreate your toolkit each time, and so it’s easy to bring with you anywhere you may find yourself organizing a space.  

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Favorite Things: 3 Essential Home Organization Tools

Let’s get one thing clear: I may very well be the best personal organizer and de-clutterer around town (or at least, your favorite), but I’m nothing without the tools of the trade. Just like any good baker, jewelry maker, photographer or fashion designer equips herself with all the right professional tools, the best personal organizer also arms herself with the right home organization tools to make the job effective.

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What We Can Learn About Productivity from… Sharks

Did you know? We can learn everything we need to know about productivity from… wait for it… sharks. That’s right, sharks. Growing up, I was terrified of these underwater lurkers. It’s actually a thing, fear of sharks. It’s called Galeophobia: an abounding, persistent fear of sharks--and it causes true anxiety, even when no sharky threats pose any harm.

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How to Pack for a Move Like a Pro

Now comes the hard part--actually moving. If you missed the first article in this 2-part series, gear up and get your gameplan ready first. Then come back to learn my proven strategies for packing and moving like a pro.

In the previous article, I led with tip 1--get the right gear, then tip 2--budget for boxes and finally tip 3--know your exit strategy. Let’s move on to the grunt work: packing and moving.

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How to Prepare for a Stress Free Move

Ah moving, the wonderful opportunity to pare down and box up everything you own--listed right up there with major life stressors like death, divorce and a Monday without coffee. It certainly can feel like the worst thing in the world to prepare for a move, but when you’re equipped with the right moving supplies and plenty of muscle, it’s possible to get through it relatively unscathed.

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The One Trick to Help You Easily Organize Your Linen Closet

Do you ever wonder why it’s so challenging to organize your linen closet? I’ll tell you why--the culprit is your fitted sheet. The fitted sheet is the wild card in your linen closet. You can never seem to fold or easily store it, and a stack of fitted sheets is even worse when you are trying to organize your linen closet in preparation for overnight guests. Maybe you have even resorted to stuffing all your fitted sheets in a corner or hamper. I totally get it!

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3 Easy Organizing Tips You Can Implement Today

Getting organized is one of the most challenging obstacles we face every day. But the good news is that you already have a ton of practice because you are organizing all the time. Often starting just about any task at work or at home requires some organizational pre-work. Before beginning a project at work you may have to first clear your head, prepare files, collect and sort through data, and later present the finished product or report in an organized fashion. At home, don’t you clear up your kitchen and prep raw food items before you start cooking?

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The Cause of Your Clutter has a Much Deeper Meaning

It seems so simple. Find the clutter, get rid of it. But there’s more to clutter than what we see on the surface. Those stacks of sagging boxes in the garage, rogue receipts and piles of paper jammed into every crevice in your office, the endless plastic bins of holiday decorations and your teenager’s kindergarten artwork you’ve been meaning to organize--yes, it’s clutter, but it’s also often a reflection of something deeper tied to your memories, emotions or stress.

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4 Reasons Why Clutter Happens (and How to Get Rid of It!)

I’ve partnered with thousands of people across the planet in an effort to help others get organized and find storage solutions that work for them. In the process, I’ve learned that there are 4 common, concrete causes for clutter that can be remedied using simple solutions that leverage storage containers and storage space. Read on for my problem-solution approach to decluttering your home with ease.

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Conquer your Clutter with Star Hansen at TEDx Tucson

I’m so excited to share that I will be speaking at TEDx Tucson in January!  I have loved TED talks for years and this is really a dream come true.  To have been chosen to speak at a TEDx event is such an honor…the fact that it is in my hometown of Tucson, AZ makes it even more special to me.  I’m trying to be super cool about this, but the truth is that I’m kind of freaking out (in the best possible way) and am over the moon excited!!!

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The Monster In My Closet

There is something in my home that scares me to my core.  Is it a "room of abyss"?  A room or space so disorganized that I feel I would die of embarrassment if anyone ever saw it? Nope.  My tuxedo rhinestone prom dress from 1996?  Nope.  (I promise it was considered cute back then).  A box so old and forgotten that the contents shake me to my core?  Nope.  It's a plastic box.  Organized, labeled and living in it's home in my closet.  From the outside it looks perfectly harmless but beyond the label and lid is a monster that haunts me. 

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