Monday, July 10, 2017

My good friend Sheila's article about "Upsizing" for Zillow's Porchlight on-line magazine.  Not only is she a great writer... but she interviewed me for this one.  LOL!  Thanks Sheila!

Your New, Bigger Space: 5 Ways to Win at Upsizing Your Home

By Sheila Cain on 30 Jun 2017
What to do with all that new space? Experts weigh in on filling it affordably and thoughtfully.
As a new generation graduates from renting to homeownership, they face plenty of uncertainties: How much homeowners insurance is enough? Is a home warranty necessary? How do you fill a 4-bedroom home with the stuff that used to be in a 1-bedroom apartment?
Transitioning from an apartment to a larger home is always tricky, but making that move — known as “upsizing” — is extra complicated for today’s young home buyers because they’re really going big.
“When Millennials do become homeowners, they leapfrog the traditional ‘starter home’ and jump into the higher end of the market by choosing larger properties with higher prices, similar to homes bought by older buyers,” states the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends. “They pay a median price of $217,000 for a home—more than Baby Boomers, and just 11 percent less than Generation X. The Millennial median home size is 1,800 square feet, similar in size to what older generations buy.”
Many millennial home buyers move from small apartments into 1,800 square feet or more. Photo from Zillow listing.
When you upsize from an apartment into a spacious new home, opportunities abound — plenty of closet space, a yard for the dog, and extra rooms for that home office, spare bedroom, or home gym you’ve always dreamed of.
But once the moving van’s gone and the boxes are unpacked, new homeowners often face the harsh reality of upsizing: The furniture, wall hangings, and knickknacks that fit so perfectly in your small apartment occupy only a fraction of your larger home’s space. And that spare bedroom would be perfect — if only you had a spare bed.
Many new homeowners’ first instinct is to hit the discount stores and buy affordable pieces to fill the space. While budget-friendly furniture has its place, it shouldn’t make up the bulk of your new acquisitions.
There are plenty of ways to use what you already have — and optimize your spending for the things you don’t — to make your new house a cozy home.

Don’t buy things just to fill space

It’s tempting to stockpile new furniture and decorations, but it’s an effort that can easily backfire, according to Jennifer Dwyer, professional organizer and owner of Seattle-based A Logical Mess. Inevitably, the measurements are wrong, or the piece doesn’t match your existing style or decor.
“People naturally want to fill the space, but you really have to consider how you’re going to use it,” advises Dwyer. “Wait until you move in, place the furniture you have already, and assess at that point.”
Start by placing the pieces you have, then decide what to add. Photo from Zillow listing.
It’s OK to sparsely furnish the new place while you get a feel for your new home and the style you’re after. “You can tell when people just go to, say, Pottery Barn and buy what’s on the showroom floor,” says Jason Mathews, owner of Seattle interior design and home staging firm, Jason Mathews LLC.

Prioritize with a special piece

To furnish a large living room or family room, Dwyer recommends investing in a sectional couch. Like a dining room table that expands to seat more people, a sectional sofa pulls apart and goes back together depending on design preferences. And such sofas often have expansion pieces you can buy later to further fill space, adds Dwyer.
Sectional sofa components can be separated and expanded to change the room. Photo from Zillow listing.
Mathews agrees that a sofa is a good investment piece. “It’s something you’re going to use every day,” he says. Furthermore, sectionals pull apart to create more than one focal point in a room — think an L-shaped seating area and coffee table in one part of the living room, and a smaller couch and lamp in another for a cozy reading nook.
Not everything needs to be a statement piece, both Dwyer and Mathews emphasize. Once your sofa is in place, find inexpensive side chairs or perhaps an antique table to repurpose as a coffee table.

Place furniture thoughtfully

Furniture arrangement can make a big space seem smaller. Area rugs are ideal for anchoring furniture groups and making a space feel more homey.
A patterned area rug defines a space within a larger room. Photo courtesy of S+H Construction.
“The great thing about rugs is that they don’t have to be expensive — even a large rug,” Mathews says. He advises centering the rug, then placing furniture on and around it. “Even if the rest of the room is empty, you’re starting out with a cozy spot.”
Homeowners often make the mistake of pushing furniture right up against the walls. But pulling the furniture toward the center of the wall helps minimize an expansive room.
In an expansive room, arranging furniture away from the walls creates natural living areas. Photo from Zillow listing.
“Even just six inches off the wall,” advises Mathews. “It gives the room a chance to breathe a bit.”

Decorate your space

Once you’ve furnished your new home, it’s time to decorate. Items like a standing coat rack in an entryway or decorative vases in a stairwell are classic pieces that also fill space — and they don’t have to be expensive.
“I’m a big fan of T.J. Maxx and Ross,” says Dwyer. “You can play around with ideas, and if they don’t work out, you’re not out a ton of money.”
A few well-chosen decorations give a room a personal touch. Photo from Zillow listing.

Give extra rooms purpose

Empty rooms hold such promise: Will you have a home office? An extra bedroom for visiting families? A place for a treadmill, weight set, and stationary bike?
It’s OK to take some time to think it over — just shut the door if the emptiness bothers you. But whatever you do, don’t use that extra space as a storage room, warns Dwyer, or it will never become anything else.
“Find a home for everything, and don’t leave those boxes lying around,” she says. “If you don’t know where to put it, you probably don’t need it in your new home.”
Top photo from Zillow listing

About the author

Sheila Cain

Sheila Cain is a freelance editor and writer whose focus is on the architecture, construction and real estate industries. She loves cooking and baking, and enjoys experimenting with new flavors of chocolate truffles. She lives in Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood with her husband, teenage son, and various animals. You can check out her work at

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Logical Mess Website

Jennifer Dwyer

Room Organization & Design
Space Planning
Feng Shui
Interior Design
Storage & Organization
Kitchen Remodel and Design
Closet Organization
Clutter Control
Real Estate Staging
Packing & Relocation Services
Event & Party Planning
Personal Assistant
Personal Shopper
Personal Projects (photo albums, gift shopping for birthdays or holidays, mass mailings, etc)

What is a Professional Organizer?
A professional organizer enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring organizing skills.  A professional organizer also educates the public on organizing solutions and the resulting benefits.

A Logical Mess
Jennifer Dwyer, Professional Organizer
Seattle, WA
(206) 351-4194

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 NFC Championship Game: Seahawks vs 49ers

Sunday is the day!  The 2014 NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks (yah!) and the San Francisco 49ers.  In case you didn't know, game time is Sunday January 19th, 3:30 PM PST.

Here in Seattle, we are very proud!  Every one is a Twelfth Man Fan!  We all love Russell Wilson (QB) and Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch, just to name a few....

But here is another player that is getting a lot of recognition this week.  Partly because he made an amazing fumble recovery to score a touchdown in (which game) but also because he the only deaf NFL player.  Derrick Coleman (#40 running back) has been deaf since age 3. 

Ht: 6' 0"  Wt: 233  Age: 23
Born: 10/18/1990, West Los Angeles, California
College: UCLA
NFL Experience: 2nd season
Salary: $405,000

Duracell Battery asked him to do a commercial.  It's moving and inspiring... made me a little teary.

Then he did an interview with Seattle's own Evening Magazine.

And now there have been several followup interviews from local news reporters, the Seahawks coaches and Derrick Coleman himself.

More info about Saturday's game:

The National Anthem will be sung by Seattle's Ann Wilson (Heart)
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will perform during the Halftime Show

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Planning - it's all about the numbers!

This blog entry goes out to my friend @NoreenTiongson in NYC who just recently got engaged!  Congrats Noreen!  I found some interesting websites for you to check out - when you get some time.  Here are some helpful checklists, tips and do's/don't to help you get through it all!  Planning a wedding is all about the numbers!  So I tried to find lists that go in numerical order (it's harder than you might think!) but also tried to find relevant articles too!  I hope you like?!  ;-)

3 Planning Tools from Brides Magazine (you might have to log on and be a member to use these… but may be worth it?)

4 Steps to Try On Wedding Dresses — online!

5 Essential Finance Tips for Newlyweds

6 Hidden Honeymoon Getaways

7 clever kitchen gadgets

8 Tips For Taming Your Guest List

9 Tips For Acing Your Wedding Hair Trial

10 items couples forget to register for

11 Things to Avoid the Week Before Your Wedding

12 Steps How To Create A Wedding Checklist

13 Examples of Wedding “Style”

14 Fascinating Engagement Facts

14 Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget in Half

15 Wedding-Day Beauty Emergencies and How to Solve Them

15 Favorite Wedding Invitations of 2012

15 Wedding Flower Mistakes to Avoid

17 Things You Didn't Know About Your Wedding Dress

18 Brides Editors Favorite Things

21 Wedding Hairstyles that Work Well with Veils

24 of America's Most Beautiful Cakes

25  Food Trends for 2013

30 Best Wedding Bouquets of 2012

41 Unexpected Flower Ideas

47 Wedding Shoes We Can't Live Without

50 Wedding Photos You Can't Do Without!

100 Top Wedding Reception Songs


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nerium - the fountain of youth!

I am writing this blog post so I can share something important with all my sexy, stylish friends!  As you know, things start to change after 40. The wrinkles start showing, age spots appear out of nowhere and we start noticing the drooping of eyelids and jowls. I realize that I have been blessed with pretty good skin (at least on my face) since you all have been nice enough to point it out to me over the last couple years. Thank you by the way! But even I cannot deny the forehead wrinkles and lines around my eyes. I also have freckles that are getting larger and turning into the dreaded “age spots”! I have already had one scare with melanoma on my face (lip) and to top it off, since I have suffered from eczema for decades, and I now have the hands of an old woman!

Recently I have been hearing more and more of my girlfriends talking about laser peels, Botox and other potential surgeries that are being considered to battle this aging process. I hear all this and I begin to wonder if I too need to start saving for these procedures? Most of you know how frugal I can be about skin care… I don’t spend a lot of money on cosmetics, skin care or anti-aging. I am pretty much a gal who still uses Cover Girl, washes my face with water, and the only real skin care product I use daily is my Mary Kay moisturizer! (Even my Mary Kay rep can’t make any money off me because I only use the lotion, nothing else, LOL!) Never then less, I can’t help but pay attention to the daily Groupons that come my way for hydra facials, laser peels, Botox and cosmetic surgery – and I see the prices and gasp! So expensive – even with a Groupon!

About a month after my first “free” hydra facial (where I was consulted that I’d need many more visits to get my face/skin into shape) I got an email from my dear friend Debbie (who most of you have met) asking if I had heard about a new skincare product called Nerium. I got the email at work and was pretty busy so I didn’t pay much attention to it. However, it came from a close friend who typically does not spam out beauty care secrets. So it made me take notice of the email, but still my usual response was “no, I don’t need that…” Soon after, that same friend sent her own before and after pictures having used the product for just 2 weeks. I couldn’t believe how amazing she looked. Now this friend is in her early 50’s so a little older than me, and she had the typical amount of wrinkles that anyone that age has. The 2-week results pictures showed much shallower wrinkles for sure and a definite tightened up chin line. But what I really noticed was how her skin tone had evened out so much. The last couple times I had seen her I had noticed the red rosacea patches growing on her cheeks, and the freckles on her chest were getting larger. So these pictures showed a complete transformation there! Glowing, pink skin on her cheeks, and even skin on her chest. So I called her and said “what the hell are you using and could it help me with my growing freckles and eczema?!”

Debbie told me about this night cream that she was using called Nerium. She sent me emails and more before/after photos of all her friends who were now using it. I have met most of these women before so I couldn’t believe the differences. It’s like they all went to some fountain of youth! Now I am pretty skeptical by nature and Debbie knows this. She simply said, give it a try and see what you think. There is nothing to lose.

The product is a 100% natural, organically grown botanical extract that was originally used to heal skin cancer. Doctors found that not only was the skin cancer healing incredibly quickly, but the skin around it was healing too. They did more studies and found that this plant extract was healing and rejuvenating the skin cells from the inside out and that it was eliminating fine lines, deep lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, acne, rosacea, psoriasis’, and a host of other skin issues. They decided to patent the product and eight months ago started a company using just this one product. It is taking the skin care and anti-aging market by storm because NO OTHER product can come close to doing what this one does. Though the timeframe is a little different for everyone, EVERYONE gets results and most people get them fast! Debbie didn’t think she was seeing results after the first week, but then went back and looked at her “before” photos and started crying! The change was definitely noticeable! So I bought some and have been using it for a week now myself.

The best part about this lotion is that it is so easy to use! The routine is simple. All you do is wash your face at night and while your skin is still damp you rub it on. The next morning you wash your face and use your regular products and then go on with your day. That’s it! It’s just one product and it’s that easy. So you can still use the cleansers, day moisturizers and potions that you already own and use regularly.

Debbie had a party last weekend with all her girlfriends and she invited me to come so I could see her friends that were using the product and hear their stories. It was truly amazing to see all their before/after photos and hear how the product has literally saved them thousands of dollars in fillers, face lifts, and other crazy anti-aging potions. Every single one of them was glowing and beaming with confidence and beauty.  With all the results from Debbie and her friends, I decided to become a distributor (known as a “Brand Partner”). I’ve spent hours on the website and talking to other brand partners and I’m just astounded by the integrity and the commitment this company has. Their vision is not only to help people look and feel better, but to succeed in business and in their lives. The company was only started 9 months ago and it has already been named by Forbes as the fastest growing company in the US. The prediction is that it will become a billion dollar company in the next year, and they haven’t even officially launched the product yet!! It’s just one product and the stuff is THAT good. After trying the product and doing my homework on the company I knew that I didn’t want to be sitting around with a bunch of friends a few months from now with them all talking about their success with Nerium and wishing that I had taken advantage of this opportunity, so I decided to become a distributor!!

Here is my personal Nerium web site that has a great video on it about the product.

I’m telling you, this stuff is amazing! Most of you know that I would never share something with my friends and family that I didn’t believe 100% in, so trust me when I tell you that this product will blow you away. I’m not trying to rope you into anything…I just can’t wait to share this with every single person I know because the results are so incredible and I believe in this company so strongly that I just have to let you in on it! Not that any of you need anti-aging… but I know you all want to be as stylish and fabulous as possible. This product eliminates the need for fillers and botox and other expensive skin things that cost a fortune. They have a 100% money back guarantee and if you don’t get results…no questions asked. So far no one has returned their product because they are all getting phenomenal results and the company reports a less than one tenth of one percent return rate!

If you decide that you would like to purchase the product, you can do so right on my Nerium web site. Just go to where it says “purchase” and you can sign up to be a customer. You can save $30 a month by signing up for the “preferred customer”. If you want to know more before you order it, call me (206) 351-4194, or email me and I will try to answer all of your questions. If you decide after using it that you want to get into the business like I did, I can help you with that too. Also, if you begin using it and you have three friends that want to use it (and believe me, you will once you start using it) you can get your product free!

If you are interested in more info, please feel free to email me at  Thanks!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Organizing Tips

Spring has sprung, it's time to get organized!

1. Open the windows and blinds! Let the full daylight in so you can enjoy spring. On the practical side, this not only helps you see your space but you can see it with renewed eyes. And let’s be honest, we’re going to kick up a little dust, you know? We’re going to need some fresh air to get rid of dust and cleaning fumes.

2. Tackle one room at a time! This helps you to stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed. If you stumble across items that should be moved into another room, put them in a pile and distribute them toward the end of the project.

3. Start with small, manageable projects. How about that “junk drawer” in the kitchen. You know you have one! Once it’s organized, you’ll feel so inspired, you’ll want to move to a bigger project!

4. Think “seasonal” changes when organizing. Winter vs. summer. If space is an issue, you may need to store winter gear (clothing, sports equipment/toys, and home furnishings) so you have room for the summer gear you are going to be using.

5. Sort, sort, sort. Group similar things together. Like with like. This gives you a great visual of your “stuff” and helps you see what doesn’t belong.

6. Merge, merge, merge. In the closet: Hang similar color clothes together. In the dresser: Pair your socks. In the kitchen: Nest pots and pans with appropriate lids.

7. Purge, purge, purge. Get rid of the duplicates. Get rid of the unmatched pairs or things that don’t fit. Ask your self the question “Do I use it?” Get rid of things that you don’t use, don’t wear, and don’t love. 

8. Remember that organizing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Please do not run out and purchase costly shelving systems and storage containers before you’ve done the steps I mentioned above. Low cost solutions may already be in your home. For example - Ziplock bags! All sizes. So many uses!!

9. If you do need to purchase organizing product – measure, measure, measure. Do not buy anything until you know it will fit (on the wall, on the shelf, under the sink, behind the door) wherever you need it to go!

10. Last tip… call me! Enlist the help of a Professional Organizer.

Jennifer Dwyer, Professional Organizer
A Logical Mess
Cell: 206-351-4194

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meditate on this... Baby's First Bath

I stumbed upon this video/article and I had to share it on my Facebook page.  I have already seen comments relating to this video bringing tears to eyes.  I will have to just cut and paste it for you all to check out yourself. So relaxing, so emotional, so cool.

What separates “boring” from “peaceful”?

Arguably it is the magic and beauty of innocence that emerges when we are truly open. Anyone who has practiced sitting meditation for more than a few minutes knows that you have to sit through a lot of “boring” (and sometimes worse) before the peace and magic begins.

This video of a baby’s first bath, on the other hand, cuts straight to the chase!

This video will do in five minutes what takes your meditation two hours.

About the writer:
Kristin Luce is slowly going sane by using her actual life and relationships to wake up. Her quest for truth has led her through a B.A. in Philosophy, an M.A. in Buddhist Psychology, 20 years of retreat practice, certification as a Meditation Instructor, two life-changing relationships and two life-changing kids. A Psychotherapist for 15 years, she now encourages everyone to find their own truth using The Work of Byron Katie—working with individuals and couples in her Boulder and Denver offices and by phone. An avid writer, she has been featured in such publications as Mothering Magazine and The Buddhadharma, among others. Find out more about her on Facebook, Twitter, her website or contact her at