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What to do After a Flood

what to do after a flood hurricane harvey texas strong Diva by Design Harlingen interior designer interior decorator

Knowing what to do after a flood and trying to get back to normal can seem overwhelming. I hope the ten suggestions below are helpful and that you and your family stay safe.


what to do after a flood hurricane harvey texas strong Diva by Design Harlingen interior designer interior decorator


The past week has been a challenging one for Texas. From Sinton to Louisiana, and all points in between. Much attention has been paid to Houston because it is so large but realize that almost the entire coast has been affected.

The Houston area is near and dear to my heart because I was born there and grew up in League City. My parents, brother, sister, and their families live there. Plus two of my husband’s sisters live in the area. One a few blocks from my sister. Then there are most of my friends and those who have become family over the years. All have come through the storm safely. I am grateful for that.

Not everyone was so lucky and there are so many people who are displaced that it can be overwhelming. One of the great things about Texas is how we all pull together in a crisis to help and give freely of ourselves to our neighbors. Hope doesn’t lie in our elected officials. It comes from God and it lies within us.

Many have criticized the response, but fail to realize how much there is to do and how long the devastation will continue to impact the lives of those who are in the middle of the chaos that was Hurricane Harvey. Things will get better. It will just take  a while. Give them some slack and give each other time to heal.

I remember sitting through hurricanes (plural) and my parents’ house getting flooded each time. Pulling up carpet, setting out fans, coping with the massive amounts of mosquitos that show up and swarm everywhere. I live in Harlingen, Texas now but I know what you are going through and how difficult it can be.

Having said that, soon people will be returning to their homes and here are a few things that, I hope, will help in some small way.


What to do after a flood #1


Before you go, make sure that the area where your home is located is actually safe. Check in with the local authorities. I know it’s your home and you are anxious to return, but please be careful!


What to do After a Flood #2


Go during the day when you can see much easier. There might be snakes, rats, alligators, or other wildlife taking refuge there. Plus, you don’t really know how much damage there is yet.


What to do after a flood #3


Make a list of what needs to be done and in what order. Prioritize tasks. This simple task will keep things in perspective and keep you on track during the midst of overwhelm and stress.


What to do After a flood #4


See if your neighbors need help or if you can pull together to get things done. Knowing that you’re not alone in this can ease your mind a little.


What to do After a Flood #5


Let go of anything that came into contact with flood water that might make you sick. Food, makeup, and medicine are things that need to be replaced. You don’t know what was in the water that could be harmful to and your family.


What to do After a Flood #6


Plastic furniture can be cleaned. Furniture made of MDF is ruined after contact with water. The rest will depend on how much water there was in your home and how long it sat there. Get someone to help you make the determination. Which brings us to number seven…


What to do After a Flood #7


if you’re feeling totally overwhelmed and stressed, ask for help. Remember that people are much more important than things. That includes you.


What to do After a Flood #8


Contact your insurance company and take pictures of everything before you start clearing things out. The insurance adjuster needs to see it.


What to do After a Flood #9


Take your time before making any big decisions. Give yourself the space in which to think. If it all feels like too much, take yourself and your family out of the situation even if it’s only for an hour or two. It’s okay to take a break.


What to do after a Flood #10


When finding someone to help you rebuild, do some research on them before hiring. They should have a track record of successful projects and liability insurance. Serious businesses have insurance. Unfortunately, there are those who will use this time to try to take advantage of you. Please educate yourself.

Everyone’s situation is different and reactions to a disaster may vary from person to person. Take care of yourself and your family. Pets to!  “Home” can be anywhere as long as you are safe and surrounded by the people you love and care about.


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©2017 Diva by Design Interiors. All rights reserved.


How to Decorate with Collections

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Do you collect something? And if you do, have you ever wondered how to decorate with collections?  I personally don’t, though you might say that I have a collection of horses, because I used to have four. One of them went to be with Jesus, a couple of years ago, but I still have three and I started out with two. They seem to multiply very quickly. Especially when you love them.

You could also say that I have a collection of horse statues, or figures that I use in my own home decor. But it isn’t something I do intentionally and I don’t have very many because I don’t want to overwhelm my house with a bunch of stuff. So I’m careful about what I choose to put in my house because I don’t want there to be so much that it becomes clutter.


How to Decorate with Collections Tip #1


how to decorate with collections Diva by Design Harlingen interior designer


The first thing that I want to say about how to decorate with collections is to keep them together. Especially if you have lots of small items that are similar. You want to group them together because they make a bigger impact when you see them that way instead of spreading them throughout your house.

You can also use your collections to inspire the color scheme in your house. If it’s a really big collection, you can group similar things together in different rooms, but still keeping them within a boundary.


How to Decorate with Collections Tip #2


 how to decorate with collections focal wall Diva by Design Harlingen interior decorator
From the Mercana showroom at Las Vegas Summer Market 2017


The second thing you can do with a collection is to make a focal wall. Like I talked about a couple of weeks ago in my post How to Decorate with Mirrors, you can group them on a wall and take that whole collection up to the ceiling. If it’s something that can sit on a shelf um you can make a whole wall of it and it adds your personality into your home, which is very important. Because if you’re not comfortable in your own home, how can you expect to make other people feel comfortable, while they’re visiting you.


How to Decorate with Collections Tip #3



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If you have inherited a collection, you can group all of it together in a cabinet. You can use a small, narrow cabinet with mirrors and glass shelves that won’t overpower a room.

And if you have inherited a collection that you don’t necessarily love but it reminds you of someone who you love another good way to keep it together is to get shadow boxes. If they’re small enough things you can group them all in a big… one big shadow box… you can use three or four shadow boxes.

You can use that as a gallery wall, or you can add those shadow boxes Into your gallery wall of your family portraits to kinda break it up and make it a little bit more interesting.


How to Decorate with Collections Tip #4


how to decorate with collections gallery wall Diva by Design Harlingen interior designer
From the Leftbank Art showroom at Las Vegas Summer Market 2017


A fourth idea for your collection is to not let it overpower you. Only choose the best of your collection to show off at any one time. Store some of it away so that you can then switch some of it out when you get tired of looking at it. Make it a revolving display.

Or, if you have an empty hallway and you don’t know what to put on the walls, try using your collection. Hang shelves and fill up that empty wall space that’s kinda staring at you. You can treat your collection like an art installation with the narrow gallery shelves and put some of the lighting that you would for art or paintings.

When you do use your collection as a focal point on a wall, leave space around it. Don’t fill up the entire wall. You can do that if it’s a total blank wall and you don’t have furniture. Leave some blank space because that will give your eye a place to rest.

Don’t fill up every little space because then it, It can become visual clutter. That’s something that I like to teach people to avoid because the empty space can bring a sense of calm to your chaos. Adding the Yin to the Yang like in feng shui.

If you’re going to start a collection, make sure that it’s something that you truly love. Don’t just say, ” Oh, you know what? I have an empty wall. I’m going to start a collection.” Only do that if you truly are a collector at heart.


If you have a collection that you need help “wrangling in” or need help figuring out where to display it in your own home, CLICK HERE, and let’s get together for a Design Work Session.

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©2017 Diva by Design Interiors. All rights reserved.


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Give Yourself a No-Cost Home Makeover

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Today’s post is about giving yourself the gift of a no-cost home makeover. If you’ve been watching my Facebook live videos this week, you know I’ve been talking a lot about goals. Setting goals, planning out the steps to get there, and actually taking the steps to move toward those goals and ultimately being successful in reaching them.

Your home is where you start and end each day. To make your life easier and less stressful, design and set up your home to support your goals in life. It makes getting ready to face each day easier when the things you need are at hand instead of having to search for them.

So, what is the first step in that no-cost home makeover that will transform your home into a stress-free zone? It’s clearing clutter. Not only is this easy, all it costs you is time. You don’t need money to pick up something that is broken, unwanted, or disliked and remove it from your personal space.

Why is this important? Because clutter slows down the flow of Chi, or energy that moves in and around your home. Clutter creates stagnation and can disrupt your plans for your life and keep you from attaining your goals.

If you don’t clear it out regularly, the mess can can bring you down and make you feel lethargic. The act of clearing it out is physical, but is also symbolic of clearing your mind of confusion. Also, doing this can save you money because you won’t have to rent storage space outside your home to keep it in. The good thing about taking this step is that you can break it down into small areas of your home and only spend a few minutes to a couple of hours working through the worst areas.


no-cost home makeover Diva by Design Harlingen interior design

No-Cost Home Makeover Step #1 – Identify Clutter

Identify what clutter is in your home. I don’t necessarily mean trash, piles of newspaper and magazines. Those can be clutter but it can also be things that are still in good condition but you don’t like them anymore. Look for these types of things and be ruthless when deciding to let go of them:

  • Junk
  • broken things
  • things you don’t use
  • things you no longer need
  • things that have a negative impact on your emotions


no-cost home makeover clutter hot spots Diva by Design Harlingen interior decorating

No-Cost Home Makeover Step #2 – Find Clutter Hot Spots

There has been so much negativity going on around us lately that it is time to let the flow of Chi, or energy, in your home become positive so that your life can move forward and you can actively progress towards your goals. Clutter tends to gather on flat surfaces and in other areas of your home. Check these places on a regular basis.Not only will it become easier to keep up with clearing out your home, but you will be able to see what you have and whether it reflects your personality or not.

In Feng Shui, the entrance is considered to be the mouth of the home. Don’t gag it! 😉 Periodically move shoes, sports gear, bags, boxes, and other stuff back to where they belong. Letting these things pile up in the pathways of your home blocks positive energy and keeps new opportunities from entering. Hallways, stairs, and both sides of your doorways all need to be clear. Blocking these areas inhibits your forward progress in life.


no-cost home makeover entry Diva by Design Harlingen interior designer


No-Cost Home Makeover Step #3 – Remove Clutter Overload

Attics and basements commonly become dumping grounds for unused stuff. When you fill those spaces with things you don’t use or want, the stagnation seeps down from the attic or up from the basement into your daily living space. Out of sight, out of mind means that the clutter in these places make you feel as though you are always weighed down with problems.

There’s nothing wrong with storing mementoes from your past. But keep only the ones that have the most value to you or your favorites. Piles of unwanted things are believed to represent problems from your past. Let go of them so that they don’t cause you to lose direction and focus.


no-cost home makeover open to new possibilities Diva by Design Harlingen interior decorator


No-Cost Home Makeover Step #4 – Search Out Hidden Clutter

Clutter is that demon from the movie “Insidious”. And insidious is a good way to think of it. Once one pile appears in your home, others follow. You get used to seeing it and you forget it’s there. Move things around, open cabinet doors, look under tables, and in corners where it isn’t as noticeable. Do you have space under the stairs? Clear it out. What about under the bed? Get those shoes, socks, dropped store receipts, and dust bunnies out of there! That stuff is cramping your love life.

Don’t forget to look behind your sofa. I know it’s scary back there, especially if you have kids. Do it anyway. Check behind doors. That four inches of space there can fill up quick with things you forgot you had. Another positive result of clearing out these spaces? That weird musty smell will go away.

Leaving your home packed full of old things will keep you tied to the past. This is the time to open yourself up to new people, possibilities, and opportunities. So how did your no-cost home makeover go? Did you find any money? Let me know how it went in the comments below.


I’m Christina Rodriguez of Diva by Design in Harlingen, Texas and I am in the business of transforming interiors to help improve your physical, spiritual, and mental well-being, encourage positive relationships, and stimulate the growth of wealth in your business and at home. You can read more about Diva by Design here.   I’m just like my About page! I promise! 😉 If you’re interested in working with me on your next interior design project click the image below to see how. You can also go HERE to let me know that you want a FREE 30 minute phone consultation.

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Is Your Desk the Bermuda Triangle in Disguise? Try This Easy Home Office Organization Tip

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Running your own business can be overwhelming at times. I know, it’s what I have done for the past 15 years! Keeping up with your home office organization is a task all on its own and one that not everyone makes time for. Before I was able to even think about writing this post today, one of my designer friends posted a picture of her crowded, paper filled desk and asked if the rest of us had the same problem. We’ve all been there!

I won’t post the picture of her desk, but here’s what mine looked like this morning before her question set off a cleaning frenzy of my work space:


home office organization Diva by Design Harlingen interior decorator services desk


Not a huge mess, but things were starting to pile up and there was cat hair! I am so glad my cat has short hair but it still gets all over everything. So before things got too bad, I cleaned up and now my desk looks like this:


home office organization services Diva by Design Interiors Harlingen Mcallen Brownsville styled office desk


Just kidding! It still looks like the first picture but without the piles of paper and notebooks. And without the cat hair.


Kitchen Work Triangle

The kitchen work triangle allows you to more easily access what you need while you’re working on meal prep. When space planning your kitchen, knowing where the plumbing and electrical are located makes it easier to plan where your stove, refrigerator, and sink will go for a more easily accessible work space. Unless you like running from one end of the kitchen to the other while you cook. I guess you could console yourself with the thought that the awkwardness contributes to your exercise routine or step-count for the day.  😉



kitchen work triangle Diva by Design harlingen home office organization services




Home Office Work Triangle

The same can be said for your home office organization, design, or space planning. Knowing where your electrical outlets are located before you move any furniture will make it that much easier to place your desk, printer, and filing system so that everything is easily accessible while you build your empire. Rolling around from one end of your office to the other is awkward and a time waster at best. Plus, if you have carpet or an area rug, you won’t get very far!  😀


home office organization Diva by Design Harlingen interior designer office work triangle



Home Office Organization Tip

When you think of organizing your office, I bet the first thought that comes to mind is where to put all your files and office supplies. But where you place your furniture has a big impact on how you work while you’re in your office. Make things easy on yourself so you can get more done in less time. Once you have the furniture placed, figure out how you work best and what types of storage will make you happy. Boxes or bins? Open shelving or a hutch with doors? All of this depends on what you prefer.


I’m Christina Rodriguez and I am the face behind Diva by Design Interiors. You can read more about Diva by Design here. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

How is your home office or work office set up? Is it easy to get to the things you need while you’re working, or do you need some help re-organizing and space planning? My Design Work Sessions are a perfect fit for those who want help getting your office ready and working hard for you. Click on the image below to book your Design Work Session.

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Copyright© 2016 Christina Rodriguez. All rights reserved.