MY COFFEE PLACE = MY HAPPY PLACE

*This is a paid partnership with Keurig®; all opinions remain 100% our own

I'm sure you're thinking that we are the type of mothers who wake up early, cook a homemade breakfast, and wear real clothes to take our kids to school. So I'm sure this will be shocking news that we are both the type of moms that are startled awake each morning by our children, long before an alarm clock ever stands a chance. And a homemade breakfast consists of a bowl of cereal and a glass of water - we run an organizing company not a restaurant. 

If this scenario sounds familiar, welcome to the #LowBarLifestyle. It's a pleasure to have you join us! Here's the good news: We have a few life hacks to help us make it through the day, and the most important one starts first thing in the morning.  

Setting-up a morning ritual doesn't just make the day better, it makes the day possible. And setting up a station around this ritual makes it ALL THE MORE FUN. Whether you call it a fueling station or a beverage bar - it all equals the same thing: My coffee place, is my happy place. And the Keurig® K-Elite™ coffee maker makes it so simple that you can literally make your first cup while your eyes are still half-closed. Which they alwaaaaaaays are, let's be honest. So if you can manage picking up a K-Cup® pod, dropping it into the brewer, and reaching for a cup - you are halfway to happiness. 

Here are THREE of our favorite ways to set-up a coffee station: The counter, the drawer, and the cabinet. 

[ THE ] COUNTER 

If you have counter space, use it...but use it wisely. If you try to shove too many things within a space, it will defeat it's purpose. 

Utilize a tray to display the K-Cup® pods you grab most often (our go-to is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters® Costa Rica Paraiso™ Coffee), along with a few coffee mugs, next to your Keurig® K-Elite™ coffee maker. If you want to keep the pods categorized, a divided turntable or shallow storage drawers will provide the same easy access. Other items like sweetener packets and stir sticks can be stored in separate canisters. If the sweetener isn't in packets, make sure to include a small spoon that can fit inside. 

For coffee grounds, use large labeled canisters to hold the coffee and filters. If you use creamer or almond milk, it helps to set up your station as close to the fridge as possible. 

[ THE ] DRAWER 

If you don't have room to store items next to your brewer, the closest drawer will work. For a drawer, acrylic dividers provide the best use of space. K-Cup® pods, sugar packets, stir sticks, tea bags, honey, etc. can fit nicely in separate categories. 

If the drawer is wide enough, lay a few mugs on their side and store them next to the divider. For loose coffee grounds or sweeteners, use small clear jars and include a spoon for each. 

Make sure to measure the height, length, and width of the drawer before buying any storage items. Every single centimeter counts for a drawer, so try to take exact dimensions. 

[ THE ] CABINET

Cabinet storage is all about the grab-and-go. Rule of thumb: You should be able to reach for any item without having to remove another one. The less effort, the better...especially when your eyes are closed like pistachio shells due to lack of sleep. 

Place the K-Cup® pods in an transparent jar, right next to the (rainbow!) mugs. This way you'll be able to grab them both at the same time. All the other items like sweeteners, tea packets, stir sticks, coffee grounds, etc. can be stored in labeled canisters

PRO TIP: Don't forget to refill your Keurig K-Elite brewer with water before going to bed! Because every second that delays caffeine consumption should be avoided at ALL COSTS.  

Show us pics of your coffee station by tagging them with #mycoffeeplace!  

Xo Clea + Joanna

 

[ THE ] TIPS: HOW TO BE A ROBERTA APPROVED HOUSE GUEST

I'd like to thank everyone who reached out to us with all of the kind words during the fire. We REALLY appreciate it! Yesterday was a terrifying day, to say the least, but thankfully, my parents and their home are both safe and sound. 

In these situations, I'm reminded that I don't do well with crisis management. I basically spent my entire day being a Jewish mother to my Jewish mother. They refused to evacuate because they are equal parts stubborn, and equal parts attached to their home. By late afternoon it was clear that given the choice between an evacuation center or her freshly pressed sheets... she's going to take her chances. 

Many of you have gotten to know my mother through Instagram, and she's become our unofficial mascot over the years. So here is an ode to Roberta and the home we all love so much. For those of you familiar with her legendary HOUSE RULES, and those of you who are newcomers, I thought it would be fun to share a Roberta approved guide to being a good house guest. Because let's face it, we all have a Roberta in our lives. 

This is mine...

As a guest in my mother's home, you will be given explicit HOUSE RULES (yes, in all caps, always, and never to be taken lightly) and a checkout policy. In other words, Roberta doesn't mess around and neither should you. 

Don't believe me? Ask Joanna. The first time we stayed with my parents on a work trip to LA, I had to warn her: 

"Do you know what hospital corners are? You are about to meet a woman who takes on the human physical embodiment of hospital corners."

So, let's go over the house rules, shall we? Take notes. 

RULE #1

DO NOT under any circumstance known to man, roll your suitcase on my mother's wooden floors. It doesn't matter if you have two broken arms and a suitcase that weighs 100 lbs. If you roll the suitcase on the floor, you might as well roll it all the way back to the airport. 

Do your research and invest in a lightweight suitcase that can be picked up, carried, or strapped to your back if need be. As far as you are concerned, the wheels serve no function. 

RULE #2 

Shoes are prohibited on any carpet or rug within the home. It's best to take them off before you even look at a rug or carpet to be safe. 

With that said, slippers or socks need to be packed. There's no "I hate my bare feet" or "I need a pedicure" excuse. You could have an extra toe that scares children. It doesn't matter. The same rules will apply. 

RULE #3

Turn the lights off when you leave the room or face immediate eviction. If you tend to forget, make yourself a note. Trust me, Roberta flipping a switch is a lot worse. 

RULE #4 

If you are wearing makeup or even a tinted moisturizer, do not so much as brush up against one of my mother's fluffy white towels. Don't even use them to dry your hands, let alone your face. 

Bringing your own towels is advisable, for both makeup and general use. This includes bath towels, hand towels, and even a robe

If you plan on using the provided white towels, be proactive about crisis management. Prior to use, do field research on the exact brand and SKU number of the towel so you can stealthily replace. 

 

Case study: Sumner, Joanna, and I were staying at my parent's house. A makeup smudge was found on a washcloth. We all invoked the "I only use makeup towelettes" defense, but we can't be certain who slipped. It could have been any of us. We can only assume my mother has the damaged towels at a forensic lab and will be checking for DNA. 

RULE #5 

You get one water glass during your stay so pick it wisely and wash it often. If you set it down, you better remember where you put it. And, if you lose it? Too bad. 

I bring my own travel water bottle, just in case. Supermodels swear by water as their ultimate beauty secret, so I refuse to go more than a few hours without it. 

RULE #6 

Don't let the faucet or shower run for more than 5 seconds because WE ARE IN A DROUGHT. I get it...but LET ME LIVE. 

A shower is a necessity and not a luxury, so treat it as such. Oh, you need to deep condition your hair and shave your legs in the same session? Good luck. The clock is ticking.

And, if all else fails? Dry shampoo. 

RULE #7 (AKA CHECKOUT)

Upon checking out of my mother's house, you must strip the sheets and put them in a pillowcase, and place the sheets, along with your wastebasket, by the bedroom door. 

Place your used towels by the door as well, UNLESS there is a speck of makeup, in which case you should run out the door immediately and never look back. 

To expedite the checkout process, bring packing squares  to ensure that no item is forgotten. The only trace that should be left of you is a hostess gift, like a candle, and a thank you note on fine stationery

[ Product List ] 

Lightweight Suitcase

Minnetonka Slippers

Coffee Slippers

Crew Socks

Black Makeup Towel

White Fluffy Towels

Cairo Hand Towel

Terry Robe

BKR Glass Water Bottle

DRYBAR Dry Shampoo

Packing Squares

Voluspa Candle Set

Merci Thank You Cards

Things to Note:

Joanna consistently scores an A+ on house rules, particularly during checkout. I'd say I'm somewhere between a D on the low end and a C+ on the high end. 

The "Makeup on Fluffy Towel" case of 2017 is still on-going and the culprit is still at large. 

Xo Clea (P.S. it wasn't me)

 

[ THE ] TIPS: SCHOOL YEAR STORAGE

Every. Single. Day. My kids come home with a mountain of papers. I stand at the kitchen counter and admire each one with them until they are safely upstairs and I can decide whether I want to actually keep anything. The first ones to hit the recycling bin are the half-drawn doodles that clearly happened when they had 5 minutes in-between activities and were handed a piece of paper and a crayon. Then I flip through the worksheets... If it has a sticker or a note saying "WOW! Definitely going to Harvard!" I'll keep it. The other 99% go into the recycling bin to keep the doodles company.

The more difficult decisions happen with actual artwork and projects. My general rule of thumb is that I hold on to anything personalized (portrait, handprints, what they're thankful for over the holidays, etc), and anything I actually like and think I'll want to have in the future. If you're feeling uncertain about something in particular, just hang on to it since you'll go through everything a second time before the next school year starts! 

For instance... I'll keep this because it's portrait of our family, with the additional bonus of Stella making me look tall and skinny with a good outfit and a hand on my hip. 

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STEP 1

Select a sentimental storage box for each child to hold all their items from the school year. This can be papers, tests, artwork - whatever comes home that feels special. Add a label so you know which box belongs to which child! 

I like using the white Stockholm Boxes above, but use whatever works best in your home and for the amount of stuff you need to store!

STEP 2

Throughout the school year, put everything you're keeping directly into the designated box, but try your best to edit the items down! Not EVERYTHING is a keeper, and it will make the end-of-year clean-out much easier! 

Important to note that these boxes should be accessible since you will want to add to them on a daily or weekly basis. I keep mine in our office, but putting them in the mudroom, front hall closet, or even in the kitchen, also works! 

STEP 3

Select stackable storage bins that adequately hold your items (remember that some projects are oversized and bulky!) and won't be a burden to store in your home. I keep my storage bins in the attic, but find a spot that makes sense for your space and will allow you to grow the collection. 

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These particular bins are from Target, and they are the perfect dimensions for the artwork my kids bring home. 

STEP 4

At the end of each school year, or at the start of a new one (or in October because you’ve been too busy and putting it off), go through each box and transfer the items you definitely want to keep into the storage bin. Think of the sentimental box as the year-long holding spot for all the “probably keep” items, and the storage bin as the “definitely keeping” items. 

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STEP 5

Make sure to add a label so it’s easy to spot if you ever want, or need, access! I hear Kindergarten photos make excellent full page ads in high school yearbooks, so I want mine to be easy to find!

TIP: It's fine to add to a box if it isn't completely full. Stella's Kindergarten box was filled to the brim, so I labeled it accordingly and it will go into storage. Sutton's box is only half full, so I labeled in "Preschool" because I plan on adding this year's items as well! 

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PRODUCT RECAP

Stockholm Document Boxes
Sterilite Storage Bins
Sharpie Paint Markers
and since everyone seems to be asking... my rug! 
 

MORE OPTIONS

If you are tight on space, or only want to hold on to the bare minimum, we suggest taking a photo and creating a book instead. The Artkive app is great for this since it caters specifically to this purpose, but you can also use a traditional photo book company like Chatbooks or Shutterfly. These books make great gifts for grandparents, so it takes care of your storage needs and gifting needs at the same time!

Here is my real-time school year purge that I documented on Instagram Stories in case you missed it! 

XO, Clea

[ THE ] TIPS: SMALL SPACE LIVING

It's time to head back-to-school (where did summer go?!), and whether you're moving into a dorm, an apartment, or helping to get your kids settled in one of the above - small spaces require some inventive solutions. As Target's home organizing expert's we wanted to put together some easy-to-implement ideas for getting organized when storage and space is limited. By adding a few smart products, you'll have room for all your items and not have to live with clutter! Hopefully that's not your roommate's name. 

BATHROOM 

We are obsessed with this chrome hamper because it creates extra counter space (particularly helpful with a pedestal sink), holds laundry, and the shelves hold everything from baskets to 6 rolls of toilet paper. 

Products:

Chrome Hamper
White Rope Basket
Glass Canister
Soap Dispenser

LIVING AREA

One of our favorite products at Target is the square shelf mirror, and now it comes in a smaller size and a coordinating square wall shelf! It's SO versatile and can be used for a variety of set-ups. Whether it's for make-up, school supplies, or even a coffee station - you can use it in any room of the house. 

Another one of our favorite space savers, is hanging decor that doubles as storage. This round wall hanging is such a chic way to display notecards, photos, sunglasses, etc. 

Products:

Square Shelf Mirror
Small Square Shelf Mirror
Square Wall Shelf
Round Wall Decor
Iridescent Pencil Cup
Iridescent Tape Holder
LED Sign

DESKTOP

Maximizing your desktop means using stackable and modular products. Our favorites include these white and wooden letter trays, and coordinating desk organizers - and of course we took the opportunity to fill them with rainbow Sharpies and fun binder clips!  

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Products:

Desktop Storage Unit
Stacking Letter Trays
Brit + Co Binder Clips
Brit + Co Notebook
Brit + Co Sticky Notes

BEDROOM

However large your bedroom might be, an efficient nightstand is a must. Lamps, clocks, books, a charging station for your electronics - it all needs to find a way to fit. One of our favorite products for ANY room is the 3-tier Storage Cart, but it works perfectly next to the bed. And because the sides are open, you can easily plug-in all your devices while storing them at the same time. 

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Products:

Grey Storage Cart
Artificial Succulent
Table Lamp

Check out additional tips on A Bullseye View, and our dorm room ideas on PopSugar

XO, THE