Friday, November 30, 2018

15+ Ways a Personal Concierge can help you stay sane during the holidays

The is a repost from years past, but still relevant. This time of year is super busy for so many people and you can get overwhelmed really quickly. I have many clients here in Houston who use me for various daily tasks and the holidays are no exception. Hiring a personal concierge is easy there are several in Houston and all over. Here are some things that they can help you with.
  • Gift Research. I often times get hired to research various gifts, but have an extensive list of go to gifts that I like to give or that I know are a hit. Here in Houston there are various stores I know that I can find the perfect gifts.
  • Shop. This is one of the biggest things I get utilized for during the holidays. There are so many gifts that get bought and given 
  • Help Decorate. Sometimes you just can't do it all and need help. 
  • Donation Drop Off. There is a ton of giving back during the holidays and I often drop off donations for others.
  • Organize. Since I am a professional organizer, I often help with general organization in businesses and around the home. This really helps clients destress and not worry as much during the holidays. 
  • Gift Wrapping. The key is to find stores like Kuhl-Linscomb that gift wrap for free, but if not then use a personal concierge. I often do this for clients and have so much fun.
  • Shipping. I ship a TON during the holidays. The key is to ship early when lines are not as long. Many of personal concierges charge by the hour, so shipping early can save you time and money. 
  • Write, Address, Stamp and Mail Holiday Cards. This gets outsourced a lot because usually when people send out holiday cards they send out a lot. 
  • Corporate Gift Buying. Lots of companies give gifts to employees, clients and colleagues and this is something they use concierges to assist them with. 
  • Party Prep. This is a big one because so many people host holiday parties. 
  • Book Travel. A ton of people travel during the holidays and a concierge can help with flights, hotel reservations, car rental, booking activities, etc. 
  • Grocery Shop. So many groceries to be bought during the holidays. 
  • Guest Prep. If you have guests coming into town a personal concierge can help with prepping for their arrival from getting rooms organized to arranging pick up for them to buying gifts. 
  • Basic Errands. I help clients with all kinds of basic errands they just don't have time to do. 

Virtual Concierge Help
I have had others hire me to help them with holiday tasks virtually as well. Here are some holiday things that I often get asked to help with virtually.

  • Buy and Ship Gifts. If there are items that can be purchased and shipped online, then that is what I help with.
  • Order and Mail Holiday Cards. This often times can be done anywhere.
  • Arrange for Professional Services. I often help arrange for services like house cleaning, organizing, catering, etc. to come in and help during the holidays. 
  • Book Travel. Just like above this is something that a concierge can help with.
  • Send Alcohol and Flowers. I arrange for bottles of wine and liquor to be delivered for clients. As well as, flowers and plants. 
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Happy #GivingTuesday!

Hey! Today is #GivingTuesday. For those who don't know, it is a global day of giving.  It happens on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. For the past several years I have tried to gather toys for MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital. This year has been the best year yet. YAY!!!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Made in the USA: Goo Gone

I don't know about you, but I use Goo Gone pretty often. As a professional organizer there is always a sticker to take off of something. Plus, I love that it can be used for so many more things like removing candle wax. Yes! I recently had a candle wax leftover on a white tablecloth from a dinner party and with a little elbow grease and Goo Gone I was able to get it right off. This is a necessary item to have on hand during the holidays in my book. Plus, it is made in the USA!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday! Where is somewhere small you will be shopping today? From now until midnight central time today. We will be giving a 10% discount on all Eco Modern Concierge services. You can redeem this on gift certificates or upcoming work. Email to support this small, local business and let us help you alleviate some stress during the holiday season. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

2018 Fun Advent Calendars

There are so many fun and different advent calendars on the market these days. Growing up I looked forward to going to my grandparents house and moving the little "ornament" onto the the advent calendar for each day. Some of these advent calendars I bought to give as gifts and so far they have been a big hit. Do you have any unique advent calendars you love?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for? Thank you to all who have supported and continue to support Eco Modern Concierge.  I am thankful for so much today and always.

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Food Scraper: A necessary kitchen tool.

No Shoe Socks: Easy to put inside of a stocking.

Baggie Holder: Great for pouring.

Wine Wipes: For those accidental wine spills.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Whistle: Classic whistle.

Leon Bridges CD: I am forever a fan of Leon's and cds are slowly becoming a things of the past.

Beard Brush and Comb Set: Perfect for any man with a beard.

Milk Frother: Great for coffee lovers.

Set: For future game nights.

Book Darts: For book lovers.

Mini Voluspa Candle: Perfect for candle lovers and the Voluspa candles always smell great.

Mini Drunk Elephant: Great for beauty lovers.

Monday, November 19, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Pet Supplies

Pet Teepee: This is a fun and playful addition to your home for your pets.

PetBrush by Wet Brush: Just like the adult Wet Brushes, but for pets.

Pet Medical Kit: You never know when something will happen.

Kiehl's Pet Grooming Products: Always need to keep the pets clean.

Cat House: A great addition to any modern home.

Bird House: Such a fun bird house for any bird lovers.

Driver's License Dog Tag: We got this for our dog and think it is super fun.

Modern Pet Bowl: All pets need to eat and drink.

Emotional Support Registration: This is great if you want to take your pet on a flight with you.

LiquidVet: Helps canines with their joints.

Fish Hideaway: Fun addition to any fish tank.

Rabbit Hutch: Perfect for any family that has rabbits.

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Eco Products

Eden & Earth Diapers: They are produced in a zero waste to landfill facility and are made with sustainable fluff.

Glass Straws: No more plastic straws :)

Market Bag: An eco option to plastic and perfect for the farmers market.

Cotton Face Wipes: They are made in part from up-cycled cotton t-shirts.

Thaan Charcoal: This is a clean alternative to traditional charcoal and is made from rambutan fruit wood.

Stainless Steel Ice Pack: 100% non-toxic and reusable.

Bamboo Toothbrushes: 100% biodegradable and made with BPA free charcoal bristles.

Reusable Snack Bags: They are made from some recycled material.

Stainless Steel Water Hose: An eco-friendly option to plastic.

Reusable Lids: These are great to keep things fresh from fruit to canned goods.

Cutlery Set: Great for those that take their lunch on the go, like me.

Air Purifier: Energy efficient and filters large and small particles in the air.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Organization Products

Laundry Basket: This is a perfect addition to any laundry room.

Makeup Organizer: Great for makeup lovers.

Eco Modern Concierge: Shameless self promotion. Hire an organizer or someone to help you achieve your to-do list :)

Wine Holder: Perfect for those who like style and wine.

Acid-Free Tissue Paper: Very useful when you need to keep silver from tarnishing or preserving certain items.

Box Cutter: This box cutter has a ceramic blade and I love using it.

Real Simple Book: Lots of helpful organizing tips.

White Basket: I love using these baskets for projects.

Erasable Pens: Fun colors and they are erasable.

Hanging Storage Tray: These are wonderful if you have wire shelving.

Spray Bottle Command Hooks: These are great for maximizing space and having your go to cleaning supplies readily available.

Toiletry Bag: Perfect for organized travel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Portable Cold Brew: Another perfect gift for coffee lovers.

Backgammon Set: Do you know someone who has style and loves games? This is the perfect set for them.

Barefoot Dreams Cardigan: I bought this cardigan on the Nordstrom anniversary sale and love it!

Dehydrator: I saw this recommended earlier this year and it is on my personal holiday wishlist.

Brennan's Cookbook: Good, southern recipes.

Citrus Press: I bought this and LOVE it! It is so easy to make fresh orange juice.

LEGO Women of NASA: I have this and think they are so fun. Of course I am going to put some type of LEGO on my gift guide.

Bluetooth Floating Speaker: Fun speaker with great style.

23 and Me: Definitely interesting to find out more about your heritage.

Wine Stack: Perfect to give to friends who love to drink wine.

Essential Oil Holder: Are you or someone you know an essential oil lover?

Outdoor Shower: Great to wash off after gardening and kids playing in the yard.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Whiskey Set: Modern and stylish set, perfect for any home bar.

Bakerstone Pizza Oven Box: Great for any pizza lover.

Hot Sauce Set: Fun for any hot sauce lover.

Nanopresso: Perfect for expresso on the go.

Texas Beer Cap Map: We gave these as gifts to lots of people last year and they loved it.

Compact Jump Starter: Never know when you will need jumper cables.

Meat Tenderizer: Great for the man who likes to cook.

Waxed Duffel: Perfect for the traveler.

Goodr Sunglasses: These are fun and polarized sunglasses. You can beat it for only $25.

Workbench: My husband has one similar to this and loves it.

Straight Razor: We have given this as a gift many times and it is always a hit with men that shave.

Anti-Theft Backpack: Wonderful gift for anyone who uses a backpack on a regular basis and carries various valuables like laptops, tablets, etc.

Monday, November 12, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Made in the USA

The Cat Ball: Fun cat beds for you furbabies.

Food Storage Tote: Perfect for when you need to bring food to parties.

Bison Cooler: Similar to other coolers, but a little bit lower price.

Aeropress: My husband got this for Christmas last year and loves it.

The Naked Pig Lard: Do you cook with lard or know someone does?

Dog Toy: This is a fun toy and treat dispenser.

Beeswax Sheets: Great for keeping food fresh and it's reusable.

ABC Blocks: Perfect for any kiddo in your life.

Manready American Flag: This store is a Houston favorite.

New Balance Shoes: Did you know that some New Balance shoes are made in the USA?

Leather Wallet: Wallets are a necessity to carry out money.

Stain Solution: My favorite stain fighter.

Friday, November 9, 2018

10 Things that Make me Happy: October 2018

  1. Seeing the Astros in the ALCS & ALDS
  2. Going to Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) with family
  3. Going to RenFest with our neighbors.
  4. Wrapping up some large projects for clients. 
  5. Reading about Ralph Lauren's 50th anniversary and so many magazines. He seems like a genuinely nice person. 
  6. Celebrating my birthday Bryan had planned. 
  7. Taking our holiday photos.
  8. Going to the Houston Insider event in Tomball and exploring local shops.
  9. Celebrating Halloween.
  10. Watching several Netflix shows: Schitt's Creek new season, Haunting of Hill House, Wanderlust, Making a Murder new season.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Houston Professional Organizers #1 Tips for an Organized and Stress Free Holiday Season

Last month I asked some of my fellow NAPO Houston organizers and business partners #1 tips for an organized and stress free holiday season and below are their tips. What is your tip for a stress free holiday season?

Adonna Braly of Clutter Roundup: "Give experiences, not gifts."

Naomi Kealy of Charming Spaces: "Make a list for each person you're buying for so you don't forget anything or anyone. I send my kid's lists to the grandparents too!"

Michelle Smithpeter of Pretty Practical Spaces: "As you open up your seasonal decorations, attach detailed labels to each of the tubs/boxes/bags, so you know what goes back where!  And it makes next year that much easier ""

Ann Zanon of A2Z Organizing Solutions: "I keep a list of what I gave to whom every year so I don't duplicate but as Adonna said, we don't give a lot of stuff. I also don't usually give friend gifts. Instead, for many years, I have held a Cookie Decorating Party as my gift to my friends. I bake all the cookies, provide everything except a platter for them to take cookies home and we spend a Sunday afternoon, just ladies, decorating cookies, listening to Christmas music and laughing." 

Mary Jo Contello of Organized by MJ: "Make a list of everything you have to do leading up to the holiday including decorate thetree, bake, buy gifts and list the names and etc. Then try to plug dates with the task."

Dena Wilson of Places! Professional Organizing: "Do as much in advance as possible!"

Ellen Delap of "Start early! Prioritize. It’s not about doing it all. It’s about doing what has the most meaning."

Tammy Atchison of The Busy Corner: "Know your limits. It’s ok to set boundaries."

Elizabeth Wood of Clean Moving Crates: "Stock up now on hostess gifts and client appreciation gifts. I keep a stock of repurposed wine-bottle candles from Hanh Tran - she also has other glass bottles than wine that she has cut and smoothed - they are a unique and inexpensive gift that supports a local artist. I keep a drawer stocked so I just grab one as I leave for the event - it keeps me from having to stress about giving "the right thing.""

Donna Matthews of Slay the Chaos: "Simple Does It. Let it Go. A place for everything and everything a place Your Way! Also, rather than a ton of "stuff" I love to use scent to transform my home - candles, tea, oils, coffees" 💕"

Suzanne Langford of Re-Vision It!: "Putting up the big tree can sometimes be overwhelming, I now have a handful of small, 3-4 ft artificial pre-lit trees in pots. Each one is stored in its own box with one small subset of ornaments/decor and an extension cord. I can easily put one or two up at a time in 10 or 15 minutes (including tree fluffing). It naturally breaks up the decorating in manageable chunks. If I get to the big, tree, great. If not, I have lovely small trees all around! Suzanne Langford, Re-Vision It!"

Amy Vance of Eco Modern Concierge: "Start early! It makes the holidays so much more less stressful. Also, create a holiday binder with November & December calendar pages, gift lists, receipts, timelines, budgets, etc."

Monday, November 5, 2018

Made in the USA: Mary's Candles

Last year my aunt's gave me this Mary's Candles in the Creme Brûlée scent and it smells divine. I was so excited to see that they are at Walmart. I love the way they smell and that they are made in the USA. I do like using essential oils, but also like using candles from time to time. I think these would make a perfect holiday or hostess gift. At $7 you can't beat the price. Note: the online linked price is higher than they were in store.

What are some of your favorite candles?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Thankful for All Clients

Well this year has been a great year and I am SOOOOOOOOO thankful for ALL of my clients. Here are some reviews and testimonials that I am grateful for.

"Amy is the BEST. She’s helped us in more ways than I describe. She’s professional, dependable, organized, pleasant: you can’t possibly find a better person for anything of your concierge jobs. She’s helped us out on at least three occasions, and I know we’ll continue to depend on her in the future."

"Amy was a dream to work with on my project. She was efficient and conservative. She used what I had to help organize, which kept my costs low. I would use her again for sure!"

"Amy helped me organize several spaces in my new home. I moved in my home at 36 weeks pregnant and called her at 37 weeks desperate for some help. I couldn’t bend over much less think about the energy required to organize a new space. She was quick to respond and made time for me right away. I had to leave her both times and hope that she did what I wanted and I was not disappointed. She took the lead and really took the guess work out of it for me. I’m the type of person who knew what organizing items I wanted to use, so I purchased those myself. But I would highly recommend her to do that for you as well because she had a lot of good ideas and was able to tell me where I would find the best prices for what I wanted. I referred a friend to her and they’re using her as well. I will definitely be calling Amy again in the future and could see myself using her annually just to keep me refreshed and organized. Thanks Amy!"

"Amy and her assistant, Mary Jo, helped us with move in and organization when we moved into our new home several months ago. These women were life savers! We were so overwhelmed and in the course of a weekend, we had functional bathrooms and kitchen. Our pantry and bedroom closet were organized and ready to go. Mounds of things that we were ready to discard were packed up and carted off for donation. I would definitely use them again without hesitation."

"Amy was awesome! My pantry and office are happy places again. She was efficient with her time and truly helped me get organized. I feel much more settled in our new home!"
"Amy is AMAZING! I contacted her through her website a few days after we moved into our newly remodeled house. I was completely overwhelmed and there was literally stuff on every surface of my kitchen. Amy called me within a few hours and we had our initial consultation and set up time to get to work super fast! Not only did she help me figure out where to put things she helped me unpack them and put them all away. LIFESAVER! She also helped me reorganize my playroom so quickly and efficiently!"

"Amy is the absolutely the best. She’s professional, kind, thorough and incredible at what she does. I got her name from a good friend who worked with her after Harvey. I know she helped that family put their life back together, and she helped me slough a huge weight off my shoulders (and get to the next step in my professional life) by clearing out my home office and nightmare closet. I no longer fear walking into those rooms that once felt so out of control after my move. Her rates are totally reasonable, she’s flexible and non-judgmental, which is especially nice if you’re embarrassed about your mess. :) I liked her so much; she really made the time go by quickly and the whole process surprisingly fun. And there’s a huge bonus built into the “eco” part of her business name: she ensures that all your discarded items are handled responsibly. Even damaged clothes and wares I didn’t know how to handle are either recycled or used by someone in need. It felt really good to be a part of her sustainable, eco-friendly mission. I’ve even managed to keep my newly tidy areas tidy!"

"Amy is incredible! Working for a large non profit with a small staff, we often don't have time to dedicate focus on organizing our storage closet. She came in and organized every single piece of that closet in a way that made perfect sense to us! Her eye for detail is unmatched. She also worked quickly and efficiently. We can now breathe a sigh of relief when we need to find something in our closet! I would highly reccomend her for any of your organizing needs!"

"Amy was terrific! I couldn't have moved without her!"

"Amy was very professional, a hard worker, and I would definitely hire her again."

"Amy deserves 6 stars on a scale of 1-5. is incredible and a total life saver. I travel a significant amount for work and am out of town more than I'm in town. I've worked with Amy for 5 years and she has greatly improved my quality of life. She helps me stay on top of things in my personal life that otherwise would fall through the cracks given my work and travel schedule. From running errands like dry cleaning, groceries and going to the post office, to organizing my office, consolidating bills and even planning parties -- Amy does it all. She is proactive and even remembers birthdays of friends I like to send flowers to! What's more impressive still, is her attitude. She is honest, trustworthy and treats everyone she works with professionally. She is extremely efficient, communicates well and is the definition of organized. I cannot say enough good things about her and it really is hard to imagine my life "pre-Amy"."

"They were responsive to my inquiry, made an appointment and were right on time. All commitments were met and they did a great job in organizing my after move donations, and there was a lot. The price is very reasonable and I would not hesitate to hire again."
"Phenomenal job organizing my garage. Friendly, collaborative and decisive when necessary. I will definitely use her again."

"I worked alongside Amy for our common client for over a week and saw her work long hours every day to make sure the client was as satisfied as possible during a stressful period. She has a great work ethic and definitely goes the extra mile."

"Amy from Eco Modern Concierge is amazing!! She helped me organize my closet, bathroom cabinets and a mail area. I was feeling overwhelmed before calling Amy but after Amy came in for her initial consultation, she put my mind at ease. She sent recommendations of bins and trays to buy and helped get everything organized in 3 hours! She was respectful of my space and gave me some great tips on keeping everything organized. The areas look awesome now! I highly recommend Eco Modern Concierge!"

"Amy Mayfield of Eco-Modern Concierge is outstanding. She is super dependable and trustworthy. She has amazing organizing skills and is very efficient. You'll love her. Kim P"

Photo by Manuel Cosentino on Unsplash