Design and Feng Shui

As we enter into a new year, many of us may be looking to bring positive energy into our lives. In the spirit of Chinese New Year, the concept of feng shui is a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy. In English, the term literally means “wind-water”. Here are some tips for incorporating feng shui into the design of your home:

  1. Living Rooms

    Sofas should be placed against a solid wall that is the farthest from the entry with a clear sight line of the front door. Float it a few inches from the wall. If you don’t have a wall that works, put a console behind it, with a tall lamp or two, which helps you feel secure. To feel protected, add a mirror opposite the sofa so you can see behind you.

    Position other seating around the sofa that creates an inviting environment. Accent chairs should be close, but leave enough room to place a small table so each seat has a surface to place a drink.

    Circular or oval coffee tables allow energy flow more easily. There shouldn’t be sharp angles pointing at your guests.

    In feng shui, two like items represent love and nurturing. Use pairs of vases, candlesticks and artwork when accessorizing. Use a mix of other shapes with accessories and art. Triangles represent fire, rectangles, wood and squares represent earth.. Round and oval items represent metal. Fireplaces draw energy out of the home, but by placing a circular mirror on the mantle, it will help bring energy back into the room.

  2. Dining Rooms

    Choose a table that is either oval or round. Round tables provide conversations and represents heaven. The dining table should be in the center of the room so that everyone can gather around it comfortably. If you currently have a rectangular or square table, place some round decor as a centerpiece to stimulate chi (flow of energy). The chairs should be in even numbers and chairs should be comfortable with arm and back support. The host/hostess shouldn’t have his or her back to the entry; when you face the door, you prevent unexpected surprises. Pale paint colors help promote calmness and relaxation that aid proper digestion for good health.

  3. Bedrooms

    The head of the bed should be placed on the wall farthest from the door but not directly across from it. A sidewall is another option but you should have a clear view of the door.
    Your bedroom should be your sanctuary and a place where you feel safe and cozy. Use soft, high quality bedding and create symmetry with a nightstand on each side of the bed with table lamps. When your eye is drawn up, it’s said to elevate your mood. Add a beautiful ceiling fixture or paint your ceiling in a color you love.

The Art of Downsizing

Whether you’re entering into retirement, purchasing a townhouse or smaller home to reduce home maintenance or unfortunately dealing with the passing of a family member, the process of downsizing and preparing a home for sale can be an overwhelming and daunting task. If you’re thinking about making a move, it’s recommended that you begin up to one year prior to listing your home. Wondering where to begin? Grab some large bags (we like the big reusable shopping bags like from IKEA, but you can also use plain contractor or garbage bags) and small boxes. then head for one of the areas listed below:

  1. Closets, closets, closets. Review your wardrobe and consider donating items you haven’t worn (or fit in!) during the past year or two. Be realistic about sizes you keep…The average person only wears 20% of the clothing they own!

  2. Basement/Attic/Garage. Are you part of the 25% of Americans that have a two car garage but can only park one car because its become a storage area? Is that utility room in the basement cluttered from top to bottom? Group like items together and place in plastic totes with labels, i.e. holiday decorations, camping equipment, etc.

  3. Home Office. If you have old computers, printers, or monitors, that still work, they can be donated. DellReconnect.com is a partnership with Goodwill that accepts any brand of computer, as well as “just about anything that can be connected to a computer,” according to the website. You can drop off used devices at participating Goodwill locations around the country. Cellphonesforsoldiers.com collects all brands of used cell phones and either sends them to troops or recycles them, reducing the impact on landfills.

  4. Kitchen. Still holding on to that bread, ice cream or waffle maker? Box up seldom used small appliances, and old cookware, dinnerware to donate. Is your plastic or glass food storage container drawer overflowing? Edit and only keep newer ones with matching lids.

Fortunately, today there are numerous charitable resources available, and we use them often when assisting with “clearing the clutter” in our clients’ homes. Some donation sites like Greendrop.com will even allow you to choose which specific charity your belongings will go to, including groups like National Federation of the Blind, American Red Cross, American Veterans, Purple Heart and Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Save only what matters to you. Take a positive approach and don't look at it like you're getting rid of everything that you once loved. Instead, think in terms of saving what is important and what you will actually use in your new life. If an item doesn't bring you joy and satisfaction, then let go of it and offer it to someone else have it so they can appreciate it to its fullest. Simplify your life by having a smaller but more valuable collection of belongings.

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To

Everyone has this quiet fear of planning the perfect party or corporate event and no one shows up. Well that happened to me a long time ago. I sent the invites, bought all the food and drink, reached out in advance, got all cleaned up and waited. So, what went wrong? At the time I didn’t know, but fortunately that was just a dinner party.

 

Today, whether it’s a small dinner party or large scale corporate events, it’s what we do best. Why? Because over the years our team has gathered over 5,000 hours of experience in knowing how to make an event shine, deliver and be memorable.

 

Here are few things to think about before you plan your next event.

 

Plan, Plan, Plan

One of the biggest challenges in event planning is knowing when to start and how early to get a jump on things. 6-12 months is generally a good window depending on the size and type of event you want to plan. Most people have no idea what they are doing next week let alone next year, so though you should be planning, don’t expect them to be ready to set a date quite yet. Seasons affect one’s availability and willingness to travel and attend an event. Also, don’t forget holidays as it can change availability and travel costs.

 

We all like to work with people who are like us. Creating a diverse team is essential to having the ability to create an event that will appeal to your client, or social group base. Think about filling your team with experts in each functional area and let them do their job. You’ll be surprised at what they bring to the table.

 

Brainstorm. Get creative!

To build the best event you need to think in and out of the box. Get a white board. Think about the best date, time of the year, location, theme, get great speakers, plan networking activities and don’t forget the food and lot s of it. Hungry guests won’t come back next year!

 

Find great partners

Everyone needs partners to make sure that all details are covered. The 5,000 hours of experience our staff has brings enormous expertise to the planning, promotion and execution of events of all kinds. Partners can include planning partners, photographers, entertainment, caterers, etc. Just make sure they are committed, well reviewed and care as much about your event as you do. Remember everyone has blind spots.

 

Know your audience and listen to them

What did your last event look like? How was it received? Did you conduct a survey? What was the feedback? Read it all and take it in. Listen to what your employees are talking about now, what they want to hear as much as what they need to hear. Think about everything from content to pricing, networking to speakers and yes, there it is again, food!

 

 

Finally Promote!

We have so many great outlets for promotion that not knowing the date, time and details should never be a reason someone doesn’t attend. Promotion can come in the form of blogs, articles, press, social media and word of mouth. Create a marketing calendar and plan how you will use each of the promotional platforms available. Utilize marketing partners if you do not have the expertise in house.

 

Gratitude- Military Discounts

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There is no time better than now to give thanks to our military. The 4th of July is a time to celebrate our country and the people that sacrifice their lives to protect us. So here at Simplified Solutions DC we are offering 20 percent off services to military families. Knowing first hand that being in the military comes with lots of life changes and we are here to help along the way. Simplified Solutions DC can assist when there is a job shift, need to de-clutter or stage a home. There is no task that we can’t handle and are thankful to be able these military families.

Please contact Debbie Parrillo at 571-251-1190 for more detailed information.

Shred it and forget it!

Do you have unwanted papers, old paints, out-dated electronics that you want to dispose of? Home Cleanup and Shred Day is coming to The Reserve in McLean, Va on June 17th!

Home Cleanup and Shred Day is a great opportunity to clear your unwanted clutter. Eco-Shred will be on hand to receive your personal papers and unwanted documents for secure onsite shredding.  We will be collecting paint, hazardous household materials and electronics for transport to the county transfer station. 

The Reserve, McLean

Saturday, June 17th, 9:00 - 11:30 am

7809 Grovemont Dr, McLean, VA 22102 

 

 

 

Toys, Toys, Toys! Why NOW is the best time to organize your playroom!

Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock / Getty Images

 

Summer is right around the corner and spending time outdoors with family and friends and less time inside is such a wonderful thought.  Eventually the kids work their way inside and having the kids home from school and playing with their friends is always so fun, but the clean up of the playroom afterwards is usually painful.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  So take advantage of your time now while the kids are in school and get your summer spaces ready, and there is no better room to start in than the kids toys and playrooms.

If your kids are like all other kids, we are sure they grow out of playing with certain toys and/or do not play with some of the toys because they don’t know where they are.  Kicking off the summer organized is a fantastic way to start. 

Whether you decided to either tackle just a drawer, toy closet or an entire playroom, a great way to begin is to divide the toys into piles. 

1.    Keepers - Toys and games that you know the kids will enjoy now and in the future.

2.    Get Rid Of - Toys and games that are broken, missing pieces, or simply will not be used in the next year.

3.    Give-aways - Toys or books that your kids are now too old to play with, that someone else would enjoy. 

4.    Misplaced – Items from your house that belong in another room.

Once you have the toys you need like everything else in your house it should have a place where it belongs.  Having baskets with labels on is helpful to get the kids involved to join in the clean up.  Even better would be to print a picture of what belongs in the basket so younger kids can pitch in.

It is such a great feeling to have this accomplished before school is out and then have more time to play and enjoy your friends and family.  Need an extra pair of hands to tackle these toys, contact Simplified Solutions for help just in time before school is out.