Monday, December 28, 2009


There is misconception that a Professional Organizer is little more than a “cleaning woman”. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

A cleaning woman “cleans”. She dusts, vacuums, washes the floor, cleans the toilets….. All necessities but not an organizers function.

A “Professional Organizer” doesn’t clean toilets or wash the floor.

A “hands-on organizer” will take everything off of a bookshelf and de-clutter a room (getting rid of non-essential items) and might even dust the bookshelf before putting things back into place – but dusting and cleaning is not their function.

An “organizer” might even take everything out of a room to have a “clean slate” before putting things back in a more “organized and functional” manner. But “cleaning” is not their function.

“Organizing a space to make it function better” is the professional organizers goal.

A cleaning company doesn’t “organize” your kitchen or office so that everything has a place. They clean around what’s on the counter. An “organizer” puts everything in a place that makes sense and is functional.

Organizing a “space” is just one aspect of what a Professional Organizer can do for you. A Professional Organizer can also help you organize every aspect of your business or life. For more information on how an Organizer can help you, visit our website.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 21, 2009


Medicines expire:
Most people don’t pay attention to their medicines or their expiration date. But the dates are there for a reason. Medicines lose their potency. For example, if you have a prescription for an antibiotic that you didn’t finish, and a year later you have a re-occurrence of that same illness, the medicine that you saved is probably no longer any good. You are not saving any money by saving medications for future use if that medication is expired. You will not get better if you take expired medication.

Medicines can also lose their potency or become altered if they are not stored properly. Heat, humidity and sunlight can all affect medications. With the humidity of a bathroom, the medicine cabinet is really not the ideal place for medicine.

If you have children a medicine cabinet is not recommended because it is usually not a place that can lock and children get into everything. Use a locked box and put it on the top shelf of your closet so that little children can’t reach it (the lock should keep older children out). Accidental poisoning is a leading cause of death in children.

Get into the habit of going through your medicine cabinet and checking the expiration dates on your medication. You should do this at least twice a year. Or coordinate it with the change of seasons (for four times a year). Get rid of anything that is expired or damaged. Be sure to always keep medications in their original containers so that you know what the expiration date is.

Besides prescription medications you don’t want to forget “over-the-counter” medications such as aspirin, cold medications, antibiotic ointments and anything else in your cabinet. They all have expiration dates.


The medications can contaminate groundwater. Even putting it into the garbage can contaminate the soil. Some cities have collection sites for expired or unused medications.

Women tend to forget that make-up also expires. When you buy a new cosmetic mark the date you purchased it (or opened it) directly on the cosmetic with a black marker. That way you won’t forget when you started using it.

Replace your makeup in the following manner:

Mascara & Eyeliner - every 3 months
Lipstick & Lip liner – once a year
Eye Shadow (powder) – every 2 years
Eye Shadow (cream) – every 1 year
Makeup sponges – every week
Makeup brushes – should be washed every week.

Don’t use mascara if you have an eye infection and never share makeup.

Placement of items in your medicine cabinet:
Group like items alike. Keep only one (1) of everything in your medicine cabinet so that it is not overcrowded. That means one deodorant, one dental floss, one eye drops, one toothpaste….. Keep the extra’s in a closet or under the sink (if you have room).

If you don’t have kids and you keep your medicines in your medicine cabinet, group all like medicines together. All pain reliever’s together, cold medicines together and so on….

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 14, 2009


Everyone knows that after the holidays there are bargains to be had. If you can, put aside some money to stock up on holiday essentials. Take advantage of the sales on wrapping paper and Christmas cards. You can find a lot of these on sale at 50 % – 75 % off !

I found an out of this world sale on gift bags (in all sizes) during the fall a few years back. I grabbed an entire shopping cart full of bags and I won’t have to shop again for gift bags (which I prefer to wrapping paper – because I can’t wrap) for years to come.

Planning ahead can save you money, time and your sanity.

I have a “gift closet” where I keep a stock of candles and other items that are generic enough to give to anyone at a moments notice.

Things such as movies, DVD’s, CD’s, games, clothes…. don’t have an expiration date on them and if you can save 75 % off by buying them a few months earlier, go for it.

Being organized is about planning ahead.

Happy Shopping !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 7, 2009


Christmas should be about more than “how many gifts am I going to get”. Christmas should be about family and friends. Not “things”.

That said, we all like to get gifts. Especially the children. But how much “stuff” does one person really need?

It is fun to open presents, especially when you get the new sweater or new toy that you’ve been wishing for. But how many sweaters do you really need? And how many games can you play with at once?

When my daughter was very young we started the tradition of “sharing” her toys. We would go through all of her toys at the beginning of December and decide which ones she really played with and which ones she really didn’t. Then we would decide which ones she wanted to “share” with other children whose parents couldn’t afford toys.

It is really important that you make your child understand the “importance” of sharing. Of giving. But, it has to be “their” idea. It’s not an easy concept for kids to understand. Especially once they realize that you are “taking” their toys away.

My daughter thought it was a great idea. At first. Until I took the bag filled with toys, which she picked out herself and tried to leave the room. Then she cried. I had to sit down with her and explain that not everyone has extra money to buy their kids toys at Christmas and that by her sharing her toys….toys she didn’t play with anyway and that she had outgrown…she was making another child happy.

Once she really understood that she had control over what and how much she gave away she was happy. And every year after that she knew that at the beginning of December she would start putting together a bag or two of toys that would make a difference in another child’s life. And a “sharing” tradition was born.

There are many group homes, children’s organizations and churches that accept donations around the holidays. Find one and start your own “sharing” tradition.

By starting when your child is young you can teach them a lesson that they will remember the rest of their lives and hopefully pass on to their children.

And you will have a more organized and less cluttered house and a tax deduction.

Happy Holidays !

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Another year is coming to a close and a new year is looming ahead.

There are a number of things that you can do now to get ready for next year.

Go through your closet and the rest of your home and get rid of anything that you have not used all year or anything that you have outgrown (clothes, toys….) or anything that you just don’t want anymore. Take your items to a donation center (such as Goodwill or your church…..) and be sure to get a donation slip so that you can deduct it off of your taxes. It’s a win-win situation. You give things that you no longer use to someone who can use it and you get a tax deduction.

Get Ready for Next Years Taxes:
As the year winds down start thinking about the year end process of cleaning out your files and establishing new files for next year. Make sure that you have the needed supplies (folders & envelopes….) to store the past years information.

Getting ready for taxes can be painless if you’ve kept track of things throughout the year. If not, now is the time to start making your lists and spreadsheets so that you can start fresh next year .

You don’t need to wait for January to start copying all of your spreadsheets and lists and anything else and labeling them with “2010”. If you have Excel spreadsheets for your expenses or donations it’s a simple process to copy them and then blank out the 2009 data. You will be one step closer to being organized for 2010.

Once you have paid your last bills for 2009 you can pull everything out of your files and put them into envelopes with the appropriate labels. For example: have an envelope labeled “Household Expenses – 2009” and include your gas, electric, water, phone, cable….bills. Have another envelope labeled “Bank & Credit Card Info – 2009” and include all of your bank statements, checks, credit card statements….

These are just some examples of ways to organize and store your information.

Have an envelope all ready for your accountant labeled “Tax Info for Accountant” and as you get your W2’s and your year end financial statements and anything else that you usually give to your accountant immediately put it into your envelope. That way you won’t need to search for it when you are ready to do your taxes.

By starting to at least think about this before year end and leaving yourself time to get things organized at a pace that’s comfortable for you ….you won’t be stressed out come tax time.

Now is the time to transfer all repetitive events to next year’s calendar. Birthdays, anniversaries, meetings, doctors appointments….

Keep one main calendar that has the entire families schedule on it so that you can see everything at a glance instead of having to go to each person’s calendar.

Make notations on your calendar for reminders, such as scheduling all of your yearly check-ups, dental appointments, kid’s physicals….. Depending on your doctors scheduling policy I usually put a reminder note at least 3 – 4 months in advance so that I can book my appointments early (and get them at a time that’s convenient for me).

By thinking ahead for next year you can avoid the New Year organizing rush.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services