The Occasional Wife

Tackling Storage: Photos

InsightRachel SanderfordComment

In the "old" days you would take pictures on a camera and have the film developed. A lot of times you didn't even know what was going to come back. Very exciting times. This most likely resulted in a hall closet full of stacks of photos.

During Thanksgiving or Christmas you probably find yourself sitting on the floor with relatives reminiscing about the past. You've also probably run across several photos of nothing. The usual response is to stuff those back into the package and move on. Hey, I've done it. It's the easiest way but in the end you have lots of photos you don't need taking up precious storage space.


So here are some ideas on how to have a neat and beautiful photo storage space! (I promise you can do it and if you can't, then you'll call us!)

1. Ditch

Like I said, if you find yourself reminiscing during the holidays take this time to get rid of the bad photos. Bring over a big trash bag and just start going through them all. Have the younger kids make a game of it. Don't think of this as work. Think of this as a time with family.

2. Digitize

Don't let this word scare you. This is the easiest way to downsize on photos. Hard copy photos are usually stored away in an attic or basement and never taken out. Scan these photos to your computer, send them into a scanning company or hire someone (like The Occasional Wife) to scan them for you. The photos will stay as beautiful as the day you took them and will be at your fingertips and ready to be sent over to loved ones.


3. Display

Gallery walls are in and on trend in home design. Have one wall dedicated to family photos in some beautiful frames. You can have them all match for a clean sleek approach or get all different ones for shabby chic. This is a fun way to decorate and keep the family memories alive.


Let's get creative! Take some of the photos and some Mod Podge and make family ornaments. This is another great way to get the family and spend time together. You could get a glass top side table and put a photo collage underneath. Make a wreath with family christmas photos. This possibilities are endless!


5. Donate or Delete

This is a hard one that even I have trouble with. Once you've backed up your photos you should really get rid of the hard copies especially those that are damaged. You can also donate. Many people love old photographs and creating something from them. Or give them to other family members. 

It is always hard to get rid of something sentimental but if you hate the way all of the photos have taken over your house then something must be done.

This all comes back to having a happier home.





The Armoire: Why We Love It and Need It

InsightRachel SanderfordComment

Part of the charm of living in this city is the older beautifully built homes. Living in a shotgun or antebellum home you get details you wouldn’t get in a modern home: the high ceilings, crown molding, and the unique architecture to name a few.

And both of these types of homes have one definite similarity. Small closets. In the yester years people didn’t have disposable clothing like we do now. You know what I’m talking about. The shirt, from Forever 21, that after a few wears falls apart or the 2 for 1 pants deal at Target that you couldn’t resist. We just have more. But in these older homes there’s nowhere to put these things. That’s where armoires come in.

As New Orleans residents you probably have at least one armoire in your house. Or have rigged up a shelving device for all your shoes. Either way you’ve had to become creative with your storage.

Armoires are functional in many different ways. Shoes, clothes, costumes, electronics, you name it, can go in these and once the doors shut the clutter is gone. And these armoires, especially the antiques, are beautiful, so why not utilize them?

Kay always says, “Take a picture of the armoires! Everyone wants the armoires!”

The Occasional Wife has new and antique armoires of all shapes and sizes for a fraction of the usual price. However, there are a few tricks to choosing the perfect armoire.

Here are just a few:

1. Know your space

You don’t want to bring in a mammoth armoire (no matter how pretty) into a narrow one bedroom. It will overwhelm the room and make everything look smaller. FYI the goal is the make the place look neat and larger! And buying the right furniture makes this possible.



2. Know your style

An armoire can be a statement piece but it shouldn’t be the only thing your guests are staring at because it stands out so much compared to the rest of your furniture. For the most part, armoires are usually wood and aren’t made to stand out. But there are a few that are wonderfully painted or have a specific eye catching design. Don’t buy it if it doesn’t go. In a living room full of beige and white with pink accents don’t get the one with the roosters painted on it.



3. Know the function

Armoires are all different on the inside like unique little snowflakes. They have shelving or drawers or a cut out back for a tv. Why are you buying this specific armoire? For a entertainment system you will want the cut out on the back for the cords. Do you need it for intimates? You will need drawers so these can be organized and separated. Do you need hanging space? In the armoires designed for TVs there is a large open space that a hanging bar can be added to.



These all need to be taken into consideration when getting an armoire. You want to get the most bang for your buck and use the armoire in the best way possible.

These ideas may be common sense to some but they can be easy to forget when you see a gorgeous antique armoire calling your name. It’s best to go in knowing what you want and need.

Now get out there and find your perfect armoire!



Why Declutter And Why Now?

InsightRachel SanderfordComment

            If you’ve ever decluttered a loved one’s home then you know how overwhelming it can be. The same goes for your own home. The feeling, once it is done, is a great sense of relief. Of course, even just thinking about these things can be too much to handle and that is why sometimes it never gets done. 


            You may have heard of Marie Kondo and her “Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It’s all about clearing the clutter to have a better life. The newest trend is now called “Swedish Death Cleaning.” The forthcoming self-help book by Margareta Magnusson is called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” The Swedish word version, döstädning, is a little nicer to read and hear. The main premise of döstädning is to clear the clutter before you leave this world. All of these trends are exciting to read about but they’re nothing new.

            In both Kondo and Magnusson’s books the emphasis is on what brings happiness. Kondo focuses on you and Magnusson focuses on your family and friends. If you looked around your home right now what could you name that brings you happiness? What could you do without?

"It's a very emotional process."

When the Occasional Wife goes to a home to help declutter we often ask the client when the last time the item was used or could life go on without it? You’d be surprised by some of your answers. Many times we overlook unnecessary items because that’s easier than dealing with them. You tell yourself “I’ll worry about that tomorrow.” Because really who has time?

            That’s where we come in. A stranger’s eyes are also much less biased than family members. We see things for their function instead of their sentimentality. And it’s okay to save keepsakes and heirlooms! No one wants a family history in the trash. But the pile of romance novels you picked up from the airport 10 years ago? Those can go.

Beth Cathey, our Business Manager, was interviewed by Gambit for their article, "Helping an elderly parent downsize," to get more insight on what we do. "It's a very emotional (process), which is often why they hire us, because we don't have the emotional contact with the items," Cathey says. "Both the family and the parents can get caught up in the emotion by sitting there and going back through time, and they don't make progress."

            There’s no rush. If you want to work on only one room then that is okay. There is no set rule on how fast the decluttering needs to get done. If you want to go through every shoebox full of knick-knacks in the hall closet then that’s also okay. We know that these things are a part of your life and you may need to say goodbye.

             We will guarantee though, when you walk into your decluttered room, closet or home you will feel relief. The burden of holding onto all of those things will be lifted. You will know every item has a purpose or meaning. Your friends and family will be able to look at these things fondly instead of being overwhelmed by it all.

            Remember, that your home should always bring you happiness. You should feel joy when stepping inside. If it doesn’t feel this way then there needs to be a change. Don’t wait on happiness.


Check out the full Gambit article here.

For more information on how The Occasional Wife can help and what our services are please give us a call at 504-302-9893 or email