Seana’s Sampler – Musings, Tips, Finds & Thoughts

Colored pencils with Seana's Thoughts on getting organized.

This week I’m excited to welcome you to a new periodic feature called, “Seana’s Sampler.” In this post I’ll be sharing thoughts, finds, tips, products and other discoveries that are making me smile. I hope you’ll enjoy perusing this content and come away with something you like!

Seana’s Sampler

Song I’m Enjoying

Recently I visited my daughter and was delighted to discover that she wakes herself up each morning to a playlist. I’ve always loved music in the morning. It is much nicer to awake to music than the news or a blaring alarm. In addition, a morning playlist can help keep track of time. We become accustomed to the order of the songs, and subconsciously notice that time is passing. For example, we might realize that by the time the fifth song is playing, we should be finishing breakfast and packing up to leave. It’s a great trick for children and adults alike.
The first song from my daughter’s playlist has stuck with me. It’s called “Morning Song” by Steffany Grezinger from her album, “The Undoing.” I’m finding it a sweet beginning to increasingly dark mornings.
You can listen here…

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Habit I’m Forming

Shoes lined up in a mudroom

Leaving my shoes at the door. While I know many people take off shoes when they enter their home, I’ve never been a stickler about this. However, with the advent of COVID-19, I’ve become more aware of what I might be bringing into my home on my body. My new routine is to step into my mudroom, remove my shoes, and put on my slippers. Then I go into the bathroom and wash my hands. Even if this doesn’t make my space any healthier, it should keep it a bit cleaner, especially during the winter months!

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Tip I’m Sharing

When it comes to “using every inch,” and especially inside a drawer or cabinet, it makes sense to prioritize containers that are either square or rectangular. Round containers, by their nature, result in waste of space around their periphery. A round basket next to a couch or some round containers on the countertop are lovely, but inside a drawer or lined up a shelf, stick to containers with 90˚ angles.

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Thought I’ve Been Having

If price is the best thing about an object, don't buy it.

Last week featured “Prime Day,” where Amazon (and other retailers) offered special pricing on a large variety of items. I heard on the news this morning that small and mid-sized third-party sellers made more than $3.5 billion this year, which represents an increase of more than 60% over last year. While I am happy that the economy is coming back to life, I am also wondering how much of that spending was for items that will be loved and/or used. I spend a lot of time weeding through accumulated belongings with clients. Good intentions often end up in the donation pile. While reduced prices on objects we really want can be helpful, a low price – in itself – is never a good reason to buy.

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Solution I’m Loving

Glass jars with wooden lids, aka "Montana jars"

There are lots of small items that we need to store in a location that is easy to reach, such as dog treats, k-cups, hair bands, binder clips, and countless others. Objects like these store well inside a drawer that has been fitted with dividers, but if you lack a drawer, or if your drawer is too full, I’m loving these glass jars with wooden lids, a.k.a. “Montana Jars.” They come in a couple of sizes and you can get them at Crate & Barrel, Amazon, and The Container Store (to name a few). I love them because they are attractive, seal well enough to keep items fresh, and are clear, so you can easily remember what goes where.

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That’s it for my first “Seana’s Sampler.” Did any of these resonate with you?

32 thoughts on “Seana’s Sampler – Musings, Tips, Finds & Thoughts”

  1. I love this new series! More and more people are sharing what’s new, what’s on their minds, and what’s happening in their worlds. This is a great way for me to learn more.

  2. Aw, I loved your first installment and getting a peek into your recent thoughts and musings here. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to future installments now, too!! 🙂

    1. I just love them, Sarah. They could hold so many things, especially in a kitchen. How about bag clips, k-cups, straws, measuring utensils. That touch of wood adds an element of natural that I just love:)

  3. I love your new feature, Seana! The Sampler. Nice. I’m laughing a bit because one of your tips said to use square containers and in the next tip you featured the round glass jars. By the way, those glass jars with the wood tops look lovely. I recently replaced some round storage containers with rectangular ones. For the new spot they were going in, the rectangular ones fit much better (as you mentioned.)

    1. Okay, I love that you are keeping me on my toes, Linda! Yes, it sounds like I’m giving contradictory advice. In the “fine print” I talked about using square and rectangular boxes inside a drawer, but in the tip itself, I didn’t. Iron sharpens iron! I’ve gone back and altered my tip to be clear. I love round out on display, but hate wasting one inch of drawer of space. And yes, those Montana jars are just so appealing!

    1. I’m finding a lot of people have formed the “shoes off upon entering” habit. So far, it’s going well. I’ve discovered it helps to have a pair of slippers upstairs and downstairs:)

  4. Seana, your sampler is wonderful! I love the idea of a morning playlist because you’re absolutely right as you become accustomed to the order in which the songs are played you note the time which helps you move down your list of things to do.
    Since I spent 9 years living in Asia where shoes are routinely taken off as you enter a home, I am well accustomed to this habit. It’s a good one.
    My favorite tip from this sampler is your tip about buying things just because the price is right! I love the way you expressed this tip! I’m looking forward to seeing the next Seana’s Sampler in November.
    Diane N Quintana recently posted…How to Make Your Day a Success When Your Plan FailsMy Profile

    1. The Asians are very strong when it comes to order and cleanliness. My son-in-law’s family (of Russian descent) also do this. I’m finding it is a nice habit, and once you start paying attention, suddenly wearing shoes in the house feels a bit dirty! The power of the playlist is surprising. I think it works as a great tool for children as well, who are less likely to look at and understand the passing of time on a clock!

  5. Seana,
    This was definitely a fun read! I was particularly struck by one of your quotes, if price is the best thing about an object , don’t buy it.” it’s really true and I’m guilty of that as well. I always love to score a good deal but it’s never worth it if we don’t need it.
    Those jars are great looking. They don’t even have to be hidden. They can be out on display and accessible.
    Ronni Eisenberg recently posted…5 of the Most Delicious Fall Recipes That You Need to Make This HalloweenMy Profile

    1. I love the jars for out on display. A client had pet treats that she wanted to be easily accessible for when the dogs come into the house. These were the perfect solution: attractive and functional. Those wooden lids just add a touch of charm I think!

  6. This looks like the makings of a newsletter to me, called Seana’s Sampler! You may already have everyone you know subscribed to your weekly blog, so maybe there’s no need, but I have MANY more newsletter subscribers than I do blog subscribers. And you have lots of evergreen content to mix in with new “thoughts, finds, tips, products and other discoveries that are making me smile”.
    Hazel Thornton recently posted…Comment on Parallels between the 2020 and 1918 pandemics by Hazel ThorntonMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Hazel. I need to get better at reusing and circulating content. I’m making progress, but I agree that this would make for a fun newsletter. Must be human nature to enjoy tips & tricks!

  7. Great post idea! This post sounds like a fun series to write!

    I love the section “Habit I’m Forming.” I tend to take off my shoes when entering the home, and it does keep the floors clean longer. It’s also fun to see that we, organizers, also form new habits in our lives just like other people do.

    I look forward to these future posts.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…Affordable Pantry Wire Shelving AccessoriesMy Profile

    1. That is so true, Sabrina. I have a world of habits still to form. As another blogger discussed this week, we can all make intentional choices to move into a pattern that we desire, organizers included! I love learning from others and trying new things. Now that I’m getting onto it, my shoes are starting to feel dirty, and I’m reaching for my slippers more and more:)

  8. I definitely like the square or rectangular suggestion. Most of my drawers have dividers, but containers are especially good for small items. I gave up buying things because the price was right even if I didn’t actually need them several years ago. They often don’t get used. Good tips. Thanks.

    1. Exactly, Dianne. They often don’t get used. In fact, I think I spend a lot of time helping people declutter items either they bought because they were a good deal, or others “gifted” them with, because they were a bargain. First make sure you want it, then start considering the price, right?

  9. I love the idea of a Seana’s Sampler. Newsletters often provide a series of tidbits like this, but I prefer them in blog form. And now I want the big pretzels in the Montana Jars on the counter! As for round containers, I agree wholeheartedly; not only is the space around the periphery “lost” to you, but tiny things can fall between the curves, forcing you to lift everything up to retrieve what’s disappeared.

    Keep up this nifty new format!
    Julie Bestry recently posted…Paper Doll Peeks Behind the Curtain with Superstar Coach, Author & Speaker Leslie JoselMy Profile

    1. That is such a good point about things falling in between the round containers in a drawer. No fun to have to fish down between containers and retrieve misplaced items. The Montana jars seem to be a hit with pretty much everyone. Just so attractive and would fit the decor of so many spaces!

  10. Loved the sampler. I am working on new habits as well. My are focused on my time management and my morning routine. I’m really trying to change the way I’m thinking and prioritizing my time. It has made a big change in my day.

  11. Thank you for sharing your sampler! I am loving the song, “The Undoing”. I think I will create a morning playlist too, much better than the blaring alarm! ?

  12. How cool is this? I love a good sampler. Little bites of goodness in a wide variety. I really love those Montana Jars! I’m going to be looking for them.

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