By Daniel Loya / Blogs and News / 0 Comments

There is exciting news I have to share with all of you. This fall, I will be transitioning my business, Spaces Transformed, to New York City! Please contact me if you’re a Philly resident who wants to complete an organizing project with me, or if you’re a New Yorker who would like to start an organizing venture with me this summer or fall. Below I’m sharing tips on how to make self care a priority, even though it can be tempting to disregard it when you’re super busy.

Imagine this scenario. You’re overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do. Way too many projects have piled up at work and in your home, and your calendar is overflowing with overdue tasks. To try and take on these endless tasks you slowly give up aspects of your social life, skip meals, and stop exercising. When we get stressed out, self care is often something that is sacrificed. The problem is that this actually causes us to have even higher levels of stress.

Even though many of us believe self care is a healthy option, it is actually essential to your daily productivity and overall health. In our busy society, we can easily sacrifice taking essential care of ourselves with the belief that the harder we work, the faster we can get it all done. But this approach can end up being counterproductive if your ability to function efficiently is compromised.

Practicing self care can feel like wasted time, but it can really boost your productivity. First, it helps you prevent completely burning out. Also, tending to your needs can reduce the unhealthy effects of stress. Self care is crucial to keep your body and mind functioning properly. Finally, self care promotes focus. If you take breaks after intervals of work, you perform at much higher levels of productivity.

Aside from taking regular breaks, it is also important to take time to eat meals and exercise regularly. Taking the time to nourish yourself and work out should be given the same consideration as an important appointment. It may feel like an easier choice to skip exercise due to the amount of time preparation, commuting, working out, and showering takes. But the payoff of feeling healthy, decreased stress levels, and a stronger immune system is all worth the effort.

Include enough time for proper eating and exercise in your daily schedule and you’ll should notice that you perform at a higher level and get more work done in your day. Find a way to hold yourself accountable by working out with friends, participating in group classes, hiring a professional trainer, or using an app like All Day or Lift Log.

Additionally, we all know it can be difficult to make healthy eating choices when we’re surrounded by processed foods that are easy to access. Instead of attempting to eat a completely healthy diet, you may find it helpful to focus on one specific eating goal at a time. Try cutting out most saturated fats, reducing carbohydrate or sugar intake, or eating more fruits and vegetables. If you rethink your approach to eating more healthy, the process will be a lot more manageable as you build good eating habits.

Practicing self care can work as the foundation that allows you to take care of everything else in your life. Isn’t it ironic that the first thing we sacrifice in an attempt to be more productive is our own well being? If you read this and find that you have fallen out of the practice of taking care of your own basic needs, then follow these tips to get back on track!

Cheers and Happy Summer,
-Dan

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By Daniel Loya / Blogs and News / 0 Comments

Happy New Year! In exciting 2017 news, my business will continue to focus on expanding from Philadelphia into New York City. So rather than monthly blogs, I have decided to post them quarterly instead to offer more streamlined content. It’s about time to take down and pack away all of that holiday decor, so let’s focus on that in this edition. You can get organized for the fresh new year by rethinking how you store your holiday decorations, supplies, and heirlooms. They should be stored in a way that will preserve them for years to come, but also with function and style in mind.

First, consider if there are more efficient storage options to pack your holiday decor. If you’re ready to step up your holiday organization, you can get rid of unstable cardboard boxes and beat up original packaging, and replace them with professional products. One of my go-to companies for functional, yet stylish organizational supplies is Storables. I’m such a fan of their products that they have offered to sponsor this Spaces Transformed New Years issue. Storables is a “one-stop shop” for all things organization. They sell spectacular collections of ready-to-assemble products and furniture online and they have 4 stores in Oregon and Washington state.

One of my recent clients needed help storing her Christmas items. After assessing her storage needs and selecting 3 unique organizing products on Storables website, I placed my order and received them soon after. The products we chose to pack away her precious ornaments and supplies included: the 54 Compartment Ornament Chest, the Hanging Giftwrap Holder, and the Set of 2 Gray Lynden Boxes.

Since my client has a substantial amount of expensive bulbs, we used the 54 Compartment Ornament Chest to protect these valuable items. I love that this chest has dividers in it, which is the best way to store ornaments. It has 3 removable trays, adjustable dividers for uniquely sized ornaments, and reinforced carrying handles to make transporting the chest simple. The dual zipper-pulls allow easy access and the cardboard inserts shield your keepsakes from damage. Most importantly, it was easy to assemble. This product sold out after I ordered it, but their Clear 24 Compartment Ornament Organizer is still available.

To store my client’s wrapping supplies, we used the Hanging Giftwrap Holder. The main advantage of this product is that it corrals all of your holiday supplies in one convenient place. It features 6 elastic hooks that can hold scissors, tape, and pens. There are also 6 mesh pockets that are perfect for tissue, bows, and gift bags. The main compartment holds up to 25 rolls of wrapping paper and features velcro straps to secure them in place. It has more than enough room for all of your festive supplies. There is a top swivel hook that hangs on closet rods to allow easy access to contents on all sides of this product.

The final product I selected was the Set of 2 Gray Lynden Boxes. These boxes are not specifically designed to store holiday decorations, but they work well for this purpose. The boxes are soft-sided with gray linen finish, and the large one measures 18″ x 15″ x 7.5″ H, while the small one is 16″ x 13.5″ x 7″ H. As seen in the photos, they make stylish and practical storage options for heirlooms you would like to preserve. They are also great for storing everything from spare towels to kids’ toys, while adding a simplistic sophistication to your closet organization.

I hope that you have a productive new year and I look forward to helping you with your organizing goals in 2017!

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By Daniel Loya / Blogs and News / 0 Comments

How many of you have bins of unsorted photos packed in storage spaces? How about outdated artwork, inherited items, dusty scrapbooks, and clothing from decades past? If you have sentimental clutter, you’re definitely not alone. You may have plenty of possessions that you have emotional attachments to, but paring down these items can give you a tremendous sense of freedom.

To de-clutter your keepsake collections, start by making the emotional component of the process work for you rather than against you. Here are 6 steps to organize and slim down your sentimental memorabilia.

Step 1: Work for short periods
Sorting through items that have an emotional charge can feel draining. Some people make the mistake of trying to purge keepsakes in one full-day power session. To avoid becoming overwhelmed and burning out, schedule several sessions that are 2 hours each. When you’re at your highest energy level, you can make faster and more reliable decisions. As you organize your stuff, ask yourself: “If I got this item today, would I still keep it?” Keep the things you answer ‘yes’ to and donate or sell the rest.

Step 2: Contain the keepsakes you save
One of the biggest challenges I have addressed as a professional organizer is helping people salvaging items damaged by water (leaks, floods, etc). Ideally, you don’t want the effects of natural elements to determine what memorabilia you’re able to save. Switch out any cardboard boxes you currently use with plastic containers. Separate obvious garbage and things you no longer have emotional attachment to from the things you still want to keep, and store those items in clear bins if possible (so you can easily see what you have).

Step 3: Take digital photos
Storing digital images may not be the same as actually having tangible keepsake items, but the process of taking photos is a big physical space saver. Photos and paper memorabilia can be damaged over time, even if they are stored in archival sleeves and boxes. You may be able to let more of your keepsakes go if you take pictures of them to keep the memories alive. This is especially effective with old schoolwork, report cards, diplomas and awards, and personal artwork. By giving yourself permission to let go of some sentimental items, you will reward yourself with a sense of accomplishment.

Step 4: Find out what’s really being passed on
Most people believe their sentimental things will be passed on to the next generation or to surviving family and friends. The best way to find out if people really want the things you plan to leave them is to confirm they actually want them. If you’re holding onto sentimental clutter simply to pass it on, but it’s not really wanted by the intended recipients, part with it.

Step 5: Transform keepsakes into functional items
Did you know there are companies that specialize in repurposing your old clothing and accessories into one-of-a-kind keepsakes? My favorite company that offers this service is Once Upon A Time Creation.They make functional items like quilts/blankets, pillows, ornaments, teddy bears, or totes out of clothing that’s stored away in your home. If you are saving keepsakes that have no current functional use, consider converting them into treasures you can use on a daily basis.

Step 6: Seek help if you need it
A great way to sort through your keepsakes is to enlist the help of family, friends, or a professional. Figure out if you mostly need company, a cheerleader, or someone with an expertise in de-cluttering. Based on your needs, ask for help from someone you know or hire a professional. The benefit of working with others who are encouraging is that they will collaborate with you during the process, and share in your excitement after you see the results of your hard work.

Hanukkah '15

By Daniel Loya / Blogs and News / 0 Comments

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” ~Henry David Thoreau

We function in a society where it’s not only an ideal to always be busy, it’s also considered to be ideal. When someone asks how we’re doing, “busy” is usually the first thing that comes out of our mouths. We often consider people who are always hectically busy to be prospering in their personal life and their business. Many of us display our workaholic tendencies like a badge of honor that everyone else should admire. Read more “5 Tips To Stop Being Crazy Busy & Maximize Your Productivity”

By Daniel Loya / Blogs and News / 0 Comments

If you’re struggling to keep up with the momentum of your life but you feel weighed down, there is likely good reason. This is the reality for most of us in this fast-paced, information-age culture. Our lives can get filled with too many work and home tasks that all seem to be high priority. Meanwhile, the rest of the important areas of our lives are often neglected. The solution to this discrepancy is to find some level of work-life balance. Read more “Are You Missing The Big Picture In Your Life?”