5 Simple Steps to Start YOUR Year Off Right

2014 goals

Some people like to make New Year’s resolutions.  Others realize that these resolutions are forgotten within a few weeks.  Have you ever proclaimed “I’m going to lose 25 pounds this year”?  Or what about this resolution.  “This will be the year that I quit smoking.”  The list goes on and on.

So most of us either don’t make them at all or we follow the newest trend of setting goals for the year instead.  Does this sound more like you?  

Well, if one of your goals is to make some progress on your home decorating or even a remodel, you need to follow these 5 simple steps to make sure that you start your 2014 off right.

check list

1.  De-Clutter your space.  Most of us have way too much stuff sitting out, stuffed into drawers and closets, and packed up in storage units.  With a new year beginning it’s time to create a new beginning for your home and say “bye bye” to anything that you aren’t using and will probably never use.  This was on my top TO DO list this week.  So I can speak from personal experience that it is VERY freeing!

cook book cabinet2                                                                                                                                                     My very cluttered cook book cabinet

2.  Get OrganizedNow that you have some free space, it’s time to get it organized in a way that will work best for YOU.


3.  Make an AssessmentMake a list of what you have that you love and what you don’t want to keep.  Next create a list of things that you would like to have in your newly designed or re-designed space.


4.  Make a Plan Planning is the very first thing that you must do before starting your project.  Imagine how time consuming and costly it would be if you saw something amazing in a magazine and ran out and bought it.  But before you had it installed, you saw something that you loved even more.  Can you visualize what I’m saying?  Or maybe, when you had time to compare, you realize that the quality isn’t what you had expected.


5.  Work the Plan.  When you have a plan in hand, it’s easy to do your homework and your shopping to buy exactly what you need.  You’ll be able to take advantage of sales, auctions, and flea markets if you choose.  And that’s the point….It’s YOUR choice, and shouldn’t be dictated by a time crunch because you procrastinated or bought the wrong thing two months ago.  I always find that my clients start to lose steam after about 4 weeks of planning.  So when you make your list, determine what you can accomplish quickly and easily within 4-6 weeks.  Then maybe save the rest for another time.

Good, Better, Best

My job, as an interior designer and educator is to help you to stretch…

         …stretch your imagination and look at new options and opportunities

         …stretch your dollars by learning about products, how to save, and

                what is most important to splurge on

         …stretch the way you look at the quality and value of what you put in

                your home


If you would like have any questions answered, please contact me today at

info@randidestefano.com to set up a Design Strategy Session and get YOUR 2014 project off to a great start!


Kitchen Clutter Magnet: The Junk Drawer

New or old, large or small, as organized as we like to think we are, there just always seems to be a pile of “stuff” that doesn’t fit the normal everyday kitchen cabinet.  You know, the little doodads that nobody knows where to store.  If we’re fortunate to have one spare drawer in the kitchen, it becomes the catch-all for every displaced small item.  It becomes what every kitchen needs…the junk drawer. 

When I’m designing kitchens for my clients, we always talk about storage needs and storage solutions.  And usually, the talk turns to their junk drawer…how large should it be?  Today I invite you to take a look at your own kitchen junk drawer.  What goodies do you find there?  When was the last time you really took a good look at the contents?  You might be surprised at what you find.

junk drawer 1

Tips for quick organizing:

1Group similar items together and seal in a small plastic zip snack bag.  Then label the bag .  Have you ever discovered too many phone power chargers and can’t remember which device they go to?  Labeling takes away the mystery, especially when the device no longer works.

Junk Drawer 2

Junk Drawer 3






2.  Purchase drawer dividers and label each section.  Not only will this help you get organized, but it lets you see all the contents at once…so no more guessing and no more losing.

Junk Drawer 4

3.  If items have a home somewhere else, send them to their home.

4.  Haven’t used it in more than a year?  That’s a good clue it might be time to toss it.  One little tip that I read about a few years ago is to get rid of 27 things a day for 9 days.  I challenged myself to this task and was amazed at how freeing it was!  Some things were given away, and some things just weren’t worth saving!  Not only were my drawers and closets neater, but my spirits were lighter and happier.

5.  Set a routine for opening the drawer wide and taking a good inventory of what has accumulated during the year.  Why not try a New Year’s day drawer purging.  Or celebrate each birthday with an Out With the Old ritual.


Junk Drawer 5

Remember that having good storage solutions is the first step to having a clutter-free kitchen!