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Early Holiday Planning

Organization Pending's logo - a turquoise square with a gray house divided into four parts: books, balanced rocks, blocks that spell out "OPG", and silverware in trays.

October 2023 - Organization Pending Newsroom - Upper Arlington, Ohio


red leaf covered in frost on frosty grass

Welcome to Organization Pending's Newsroom, October 2023: Early Holiday Planning edition.

This month, we're preparing for the season with Holiday Gift Planning, Columbus events for handcrafted gifts from local artists, a Book Recommendation for a DIY way to give back to the community, and a Community Recommendation Highlight with artist Little Sore Thumb for unique personalized illustrations, cards, and niche gifts!

Take a look at Holiday Decluttering and Organizing, a Moving Checklist for those planning on moving in six months or more, and don't miss the Company News!

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If you have an upcoming event, resource, or professional the community should know about, contact!


Around Town

The Ghost Trolley is boarding now until Saturday, October 28! Brought to you by the Ohio Railway Museum in Worthington, this special Halloween event is designed for younger children and their families, with stories and a trolley ghost hunt! The Ghost Trolley runs Fridays and Saturdays, with adventures starting every half hour, 5pm-9:30. Tickets are $10, and children under 3 are free.

Or visit them Sundays, May - December from 12pm-4 for trolley rides, exploration and education. Operating since 1948, they're celebrating 75 years of continuous operations with expansion, repair, and restoration projects - keep up to date with their news with Facebook.

Interested in Upper Arlington history? Stop by the Friends Theatre at the Tremont Branch of Upper Arlington Public Library Thursday, October 26 from 6:30pm-7:30. The UA Historical Society will be using existing landmarks to "explore and share insight on the stories every community member should know," including stories about Why are We Upper Arlington, and What Happened in 1918? No registration is required for this UA History 101: An Introduction program.

Head over to the Meeting Room at the Lane Road Branch of Upper Arlington Public Library on Thursday, November 2 from 6pm-7:30 for Fall Craft Night: Book Pumpkins. Reuse old books to create autumn decorations or a Thanksgiving pumpkin centerpiece. No registration is required for this teen and adult friendly event.

full Christmas stockings and wrapped gifts

The next Short North Gallery Hop is Saturday, November 4, and mark your calendar for the Holiday Hop on December 2! For over 35 years, the monthly Gallery Hop takes place on the first Saturday of every month, celebrating art with new gallery exhibitions, street performers, and artisan vendors on High Street from 3pm-7.

Did you get to Front Street Flea, the open-air market, last month? The last chance to pick up unique gifts from local crafters is Saturday, November 18, 11am-4pm, rain or shine, in the CD 92.9 FM parking lot at 1036 S Front St - pets are welcome! Sponsored by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Front Street Flea is a "juried, well curated collection of crafters, artisans and re-sellers," with music, food, and adult beverages to enjoy while you browse and shop.

Looking for ways to give meaningful gifts this year? Don't miss the ideas below, and join the Upper Arlington Public Library Lane Road Branch on Thursday, November 30 at 6:30pm for an hour long Sustainable Holidays: Conscious Gift Giving discussion. They'll be covering DIY, second hand, and ethically produced gifts, as well as how to talk about gift giving with family and friends. This program is part of The Sustainable Holiday series that will continue in December, exploring how to be a part of traditions in more sustainable and fulfilling ways.

daddy long legs spider on a leaf

Want to give back to the community? Don't miss the Book Recommendation for a DIY approach, or consider donating to the Tri-Village Packers Thanksgiving Food Support Program to help support children in Upper Arlington and Grandview Heights who are experiencing food insecurity this holiday season.

Is there a bug lover in the family? Grange Insurance Audubon Center recently announced their free Junior Entomologist Adventure Backpacks, allowing kids to explore the park's bugs, documenting their adventures!


Holiday Decluttering and Organizing

With Halloween coming up, many families are preparing their homes for winter celebrations and extra people in the house. Instead of hiding things behind closed doors, start by decluttering and passing along items you're not using!

two lines of full bags for ready for donation

In a recent Clutterbug video, Cas talks about the ways clutter subtracts from our lives, including the shocking statistic that one in ten American households are losing money every month renting storage units for their home's overflow. "The REAL Cost of Clutter - It's Shocking!!!" dives into how clutter affects our health, stress, sleeping habits, interpersonal relationships with our families, friends and children; amount of free time in the day; lost usable space in our homes; and how clutter wastes money when we have to rebuy missing or expired items.

Challenge yourself (and the kids!) to fill a box with items than can go towards making someone else's holiday season warmer - February's "Springing Forward" and March's "Going Green(er)" Newsrooms talked about some of the Columbus local options for recycling, upcycling, and donation. Visit the Community Recommendations page for additional options to support your community while on your decluttering journey. Are you looking for kid-specific tips for decluttering and organizing? Check out July's "Back to School" Newsroom, and don't forget to let the family know about all your hard work - ask for experience-based gifts for the upcoming holidays, instead of more things to declutter!

pictures of different areas of a storage closet with holidays and seasons describing each zone

While you're pulling out fall-themed decorations, make sure your holiday storage is organized with each season or holiday in its own zone. Putting decorations back into storage at the end of the season is the best time to declutter items that never made it out, or that you've realized don't hold meaning or joy anymore, or have become too worn to use again.

Expecting guests and want to give the bathroom an extra polished touch? Check out this How to Fold (ROLL) Bath Towels Like a Pro tutorial from Judi the Organizer.


Holiday Gift Planning

toy Santa sitting on a roof with Christmas lights behind him

If you're anything like me, getting holiday shopping out of the way as early as possible is best. Many of us find it difficult to find seasonal cheer in the midst of consumer culture, planning for family visiting while feeling the pressure to have everything look and feel a specific way, trying to grant all of the kids' wishes and make it a magical time, running out for one more gift for that last-minute party...on top of the usual work and responsibilities. If you haven't already picked up items during the year, or started idea gathering, create a spreadsheet! Having access while you're in the store to your entire list, gift ideas, bought items, and how much money you've already spent is essential to creating and tracking a gift list and budget. Don't forget to add your partner as an editor to the spreadsheet, and take advantage of color coding - green is bought items, yellow is ordered, red is for ideas.

pile of local membership and gift cards

Did you read last year's "Sliding Into Winter" discussion of giving clutter-free usable and unique gifts and experiences? Those gift ideas aren't replicated below - make sure to take a look at last year's post if you need additional recommendations, including travel agent Dodo Expeditions! for travel deals you won't find online.

Check in with the people who have been enjoying the membership you gifted them last year - ask if they'd like a renewal, or a chance to explore a new location.

Do you have a bird and nature lover on your list this year? Consider gifting them a Grange Insurance Audubon Center or Columbus Audubon membership! Membership at either grants membership to both, and to the National Audubon Society. Members receive free and discounted Columbus Audubon field trips and programs, the Song Sparrow newsletter and Audubon magazine, invitations to special events and meetings, and other perks.

Golden Bear ornament

Want to gift a piece of Upper Arlington history to someone on your list? The Upper Arlington Historical Society, in partnership with UA High School students, is selling $12 wooden bear keepsakes in the iconic UA Golden Bear shape, created from the same 200-year-old historic wood that serves as the core of the Amelita Mirolo Barn.

Looking for a personalized gift, created with your photos or kids' artwork? Head over to Vintage Solutions' custom keepsakes for puzzles, wood panels and slates, magnets, sketch books, coasters, t-shirts and pillowcases! Find out more about Vintage Solutions in the "Springing Forward" edition of the Newsroom.

Have a Halloween lover on your winter holiday gift list? It's not too late to snag one of Queerencia's new designs! Take a look at their Rainbow Skull, Twink Death, Let's Go Ghouls and SISTAAAS! Witch crewnecks and t-shirts before the season ends!


Little Sore Thumb: Community Recommendation Highlight

yellow background with a pink "thumbs up" hand in the center,  with a smiling face on the thumb, "little sore thumb" is written in blue around it
"I have always felt like a creative oddball, so donning the name Little Sore Thumb just made sense to me. I like the anonymity of the name - it almost feels a little magical. [...] My goal with my artwork is to make people feel. Not only happiness, but also to feel a little less alone. I often use artwork as a voice for my own personal mental health battles, and I have found that many people can relate to my experiences. [...] My art is a celebration of humanity, and I value and honor individuals of all genders, all sexual orientations, all races, all ethnicities, and all abilities." - Maureen Eckley, artist alias Little Sore Thumb

Are you looking for a niche gift, or personalized illustration? Since 2020, Organization Pending's Owner/Operator has relied on artist Maureen Eckley, current artist alias Little Sore Thumb, for personalized cards - Eckley is also the artist behind Organization Pending's logo!

"As far as commissions, I enjoy creating personal cards or illustrated pieces to give to loved ones. Most of my commissions are drawn in ink, and then are either colored with colored pencil or watercolor paint, or are colored digitally. I have a Redbubble account so I am able to design work for various items (t-shirts, stickers, coffee mugs, etc.). I find myself constantly looking for new creative outlets, so in the future, I will be open to take commissions on ceramics as well as stained glass - I currently consider myself a beginner and I want to hone my ceramics and glass skills."
hanging wall sign with hazard strips on the top and bottom, the zero in "0 days without crying" is on a yellow square to indicate this number can change
Cry Zone, 2020. Ink and colored pencil.

Along with personalized and niche gift creations, you may have seen Eckley's work in the community - in June, she celebrated four years as a participating Game of Shrooms artist; her spore prints were featured on the cover and in an article for the Fall 2022 edition of Edible Ohio Valley; and she returned to her alma mater in July 2022 to take part in The Inaugural Women's Mental Health & Trauma Exhibition.

"I attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati where I received my bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. During my senior year of school, I developed these small scribblehead characters that represented all of humanity. I revisited this work [at The Inaugural Women's Mental Health & Trauma Exhibition] and created a piece with hundreds of scribblehead figures, each with its own descriptor of a piece of who they are. My hope was that as you get closer to the piece, you are able to find yourself within it."

In early 2020, Eckley had just moved to Dayton from Cincinnati, starting a new job and beginning house hunting with her partner. When the pandemic ended her job and house hunting possibilities, "I fell into a deep depression. There were some days when I just couldn't even get out of bed. My husband noticed this, and one afternoon, he suggested that we go hunting for morel mushrooms in the forest. I was skeptical, but we ended up spending hours in the woods. I felt so much joy as I scanned the forest floor for these elusive mushrooms. Since that day, I have continued to learn about foraging and identifying mushrooms. It is a bit of a hobby of mine, and it is a huge part of my heart. [...] As a mushroom enthusiast, I was extremely pleased when Edible Ohio Valley asked me to include some of my spore prints."

Eckley's love of mushrooms also led her to discover the annual Game of Shrooms, "a once a year world-wide art N seek event", where artists create and hide mushroom-themed art in public places and post hints on their social media for others to seek and keep! "I was naturally very drawn to the idea as it seemed like such a special way to brighten a stranger's day. Any artist can participate in Game of Shrooms - it is very inclusive and diverse. I generally don't have a rhyme or reason as far as what kind of pieces I will create each year, but generally I just want to make work that will make someone smile." Make sure to follow Little Sore Thumb on Instagram for next year's game!

Little Sore Thumb's Top Five:

Take a look at Little Sore Thumb's bestselling options for your gift list - email to discuss personalized items!

morel mushroom dressed with a Where's Waldo hat and circular glasses on a green background
Where's Morel?, 2020. Digital.
  1. Personalized cards.

  2. Prints of Little Sore Thumb artwork.

  3. "Where's Morel?" design, available on a variety of products!

  4. Personalized illustrated pieces, usually portraits or pop culture subject matter.

  5. Although Little Sore Thumb is a beginner potter, her ceramics have been selling well at festivals - take a look at previous items for sale on Instagram!

How to find Little Sore Thumb:

Redbubble shop: littlesorethumb Instagram: littlesorethumb



Tip of the Month: Moving Checklist

green dumpster on a lawn with bags and other trash in it

Are you getting ready to move in the spring or summer? The average person attempts to declutter four times a year, but 49% of survey respondents say they have less room since 2020, and only 24% would consider moving to a bigger home (Opendoor). If you want to downsize before moving, decluttering is essential - this will save you from paying for a larger truck, extra packing supplies, storage unit, and will save you headaches while unpacking. At Organization Pending, clients have reached out anywhere from one month to years in advance of a move. No matter the timeline, there are a few tips to make this stressful time run more smoothly.

  • Declutter! : Take a look at the family calendar and schedule decluttering sessions, or call in Organization Pending for focused decluttering sessions. Start with family areas to help motivate the youngest members of the family for their spaces, and make it fun! See how much work can get done in short bursts, or ask the kids to fill a box with all their favorite toys and see what can be donated to other children from their not-so-favorites.

Columbus Fashion Academy logo - a black and white character with a globe head and pincushion hat on a green runway in front of a window

Don't forget about Columbus Fashion Academy for clothing donations - Organization Pending offers free donation pick up of these items with in-person services.

  • Need a moving professional or resource? Take a look at Organization Pending's Community Recommendations for local realtors, home inspectors, mortgage lender and more!

  • Plan: Using a floor plan of your new space, compare it to the spaces in your current home. How will the dimensions of your current spaces work in your new home? For example, do you have three storage closets and a basement work space that will all need to be combined into the basement of the new home? Take measurements and form a space plan for your new home, helping you know how to label boxes. A note!: If you're using a moving company, most will not insure anything they didn't pack themselves, even if you hired an outside company to pack. If you're taking a DIY approach, paper rather than bubble wrap is recommended.

  • Organize: Starting in storage areas, organize items into "new home" zones for the movers - label each cupboard or zone with the floor and room those items will go into in the new home. Moving yourself? Start boxing these low-use items, labeling the top and two sides of the box with the contents (fall decorations) and where it will go in the new home (basement closet). Or consider color coding box labels to save time. Each floor of the new home can use a specific color, and paper signs can be placed above door frames in the new home indicating what room it is (yellow box label for 2nd floor, and label says "bathroom 2"). Providing movers with a labeled floor plan, and having a copy on the entry wall in the new home helps keep everyone on the same page.

  • FIRST!: When packing high-use areas, make sure the boxes with items you will need first in each area are labeled FIRST! - this ensures finding a set of dishes, bedding, and toiletries immediately in your new home. Make sure to zone all FIRST! items in one location if you're using movers, and have these boxes put at the entryway of the new home.

  • Paperwork: Make sure you have a current list of anyone who will need your updated address, including credit cards and auto-pay bills, fill out your forwarding address information with the USPS, talk to your children's schools about transferring records, and talk to your doctor and/or veterinarian about prescriptions. Don't forget to ensure utilities in your new home are set up for your arrival!

Vintage Solutions logo, a brown background with yellow accents

If you have photos or sentimental items, consider digitizing before your move with Vintage Solutions.

  • Essentials: Depending on the length and location of your journey, consider keeping valuables and irreplaceable memories with you. In a bag that stays with you, pack chargers, snacks, a roll of toilet paper, and other items for immediate access during travel or upon arrival to your new home.

  • Moving locally? Have Organization Pending over for unboxing and organization sessions, unlocking your new home's full potential. Or check out the Community Recommendations for a list of trusted Organizers in other locations.


Book Recommendation of the Month

Tabi Berkey

cover of the book Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds, with pictures of different projects

Are you looking for a way to give back to the community this holiday season? What about creating a Little Free Library? Started in 2009, Little Free Libraries can now be found on every continent except Antarctica!

I found the guidebook Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds: 12 Miniature Structures You Can Build by Philip Schmidt and Little Free Library on a recent display at Upper Arlington Public Library. From how to plan, build, and support your Little Free Library, to ideas on how to promote, care for, and register your library, this book is a thorough guide with step-by-step instructions and guidance for completing your structure and connecting with your neighbors.

Along with creating Little Free Libraries, Schmidt's advice and plans also covers building structures for tool trading and other community trading opportunities, similar to Columbus Blessing Boxes. Check with the Little Free Library World Map to see if a different kind of community lending library could benefit your area best.

Before drafting your first blueprint, Schmidt cautions readers to check with city zoning ordinances or your HOA for their rules about community sharing structures on your property, or check in with the right authorities if you want to add to a public space.

Don't have the tools for the job? June's "Catching Rays" edition of the Newsroom let readers know about Modcon Living's Tool Library on East 5th Avenue, letting Franklin County residents borrow tools for an annual or special project fee.


Company News

When the Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School PTO reached out, Organization Pending was happy to donate an hour to discuss options for their upcoming playground storage redesign. With three groups using the space, students assisting with taking in/out of some supplies, and needs for temporary and long-term storage zones, this multiuse space presented a number of considerations. With representatives from each group participating, we were able to discuss a decluttering and organizing plan that could account for everyone's needs and the incoming supplies for the new playground. Tabi the Organizer hopes everyone in the Wickliffe community enjoys their upcoming redesigned playground, and functional storage area!


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