Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Certificate of Study in Hoarding


Karin E. Fried Earns Certificate in Basic Hoarding Issues

(Cleveland, Ohio) Karin E. Fried of Organizational Consulting Services has earned a Certificate of Study in Basic Hoarding Issues with the CD Client from the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD.) The purpose of the NSGCD Study Series is to provide both basic and specialized topic education on issues, concepts, and challenges presented by client work with the chronically disorganized.

This certificate encompasses the specialized needs and issues of working with the chronically disorganized client with hoarding issues. To earn this certificate, Fried was required to attend the “Introduction to Compulsive Hoarding” course and classes that explored topics such as compulsive shopping, recycling strategies, and environmental safety. Prior to completing this coursework, Fried earned a Certificate of Study in Chronic Disorganization (CD). Fried has also earned her Level II Chronic Disorganization (CD) Specialist Certificate.

This Specialist Certificate provides in-depth information on chronic disorganization and how to help CD clients manage more effectively in relation to getting and staying organized. In order to earn this certificate, Fried first had to receive her Certificate of Study in Chronic Disorganization. She was also required to complete extensive educational requirements including reading several books and publications, attending numerous teleclasses, and passing a general exam based on her coursework and general knowledge of CD.

My ongoing education allows me to work with clients who are chronically disorganized in a very specific manner,” said Fried. “The benefits of this continuing education are immeasurable as they enhance the quality of service I can provide to my clients.”

The National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization is a non-profit group for professional organizers and related professionals. Its mission is to benefit people affected by chronic disorganization. The NSGCD explores, develops and communicates information, organizing techniques and solutions to professional organizers, related professionals and the public. For more information, please visit

Organizational Consulting Services provides both business and residential organizing services. Whether your needs are for basic organizing services, chronic disorganization, hoarding or anything else, we can help. For more information, please visit or call (440) 666 – 9326.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Efficient Use of Your Space

A lot of my clients say “I don’t have enough storage space”. And I say to them “yes, you do, you just aren’t utilitizing your space efficiently”.

Another problem is not the “space” but the “stuff”. “Too much stuff”.

How much stuff can one person or one family use ?

The first phase of “finding enough space” is de-cluttering. That means going through all of your stuff and getting rid of things that you no longer use, wear or need. Then there are the things that are broken or too small. Purge these things out of your life.

You have already created more “space” !!!

Now look at your closets. Most closets are designed with only one rod across the top. Very inefficient. By adding another rod you have doubled your space without doubling the size of the closet.

For your closets or pantries that have shelves you can add more space by adding shelf dividers. Again, you have just doubled your space.

If your closets have movable shelves you can change the height of the shelves depending on what you are storing on the shelves. This would also allow you to add more shelves for smaller items.

Under the bed storage is a great way to make use of seldom used space. There are great containers that have wheels that are easy to slide under the bed. You can store extra blankets, sweaters, shoes or any number of things.

Put shelves on walls and make use of wall space. A great idea for books or displaying collectibles so that they don’t take up floor or counter space.

Make use of those “nooks and crannies”. If you really looked you could find all types of small or thin shelving units that can be placed in between things.

Use decorative boxes that can sit out and double as storage.

There are lots of ways to add extra “space” to a small room.

You just have to let your imagination run wild and “think outside the box”.


Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 20, 2010


There are so many things that we juggle every day. Work, family, kids, friends, school, extracurricular activities…. How do we manage to fit it all in? How do we manage to keep it all together?

How do we manage not to get lost in our lives?

Everyone is so busy today… and we are all being pulled in so many directions. How do we know if what we are doing is right or wrong?

Sometimes we doubt ourselves. And our life choices.

So how do we get back on track?

One way is to use a “life coach”. Why not? You have a coach for other things in your life.. like your workouts / health, business consultants, career coaches… Why not have a “life coach” that can help with balancing “all” the areas of your life. Balance between work and family. Balance between what you are doing with your life and what you “want” to do.

A life coach will help you figure out your priorities. They can help you figure out what’s stopping you from achieving your goals. They can help you figure out what you want to achieve and how to achieve it.

If your life is in transition they can help you find your direction in life. What’s important in your life. They can help you with a “plan”.

Most people know what they want their life to be like. They just need someone to push them in the right direction. Coaching is a partnership. A life coach will ask you “where you are now”, “where do you want to be” and “what’s stopping you”.

They point you in the right direction…. They help you find it inside of yourself.

Life coaching can cover many aspects of your life. From stress management, career planning, business coaching, family and life balance, time management and so much more.

A life coach looks at things from a different perspective than you do. They are an outsider who can see things that you can’t. They help you get and stay on track.

But…. before you can utilize a life coach you must be ready to change. You must be ready to achieve your goals. To find your direction in life. To listen.

Once you have made up your mind that you want a better life, happier life or more balanced life you will be open to the guidance that a “life coach” can give you.

If you can organize your home and your business… isn’t it about time that you organized your life?

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 13, 2010

Business Image – First Impressions Do Matter

First impressions. They can make or break you.

Most people know that they are judged by the way they look ….fair or not. But in business it’s even more important to have the “right” image. The first thing that people see when they walk in the door of your business ….is …. what ?

* A cluttered desk ?
* A mile high stack of papers in your “inbox” ?
* Files hanging out of file cabinets ?
* Water stains down the length of the wall of your office ?
* A stained and torn up carpet ?
* A disheveled receptionist that is chomping on her gum ?
* A receptionist that “ignores” you when you come into the office ?

What about when a client calls you ? Do you answer the phone by the 2nd or 3rd ring ?
Do you answer it in a calm and professional manner ?
Do you put people on “hold” forever and forget about them ?

When people are waiting in your waiting room…..does your staff act in a professional manner ?
Do they talk about their personal life or how they were “hung over” from partying last night ?

What do your promotional materials and business cards look like ?
Do they portray the image you really want ?

Image is important. A clean and organized office says “I am professional and I deserve your business”.

A messy, cluttered, smelly office with stains on the walls and carpets says “I don’t care what you think and I’ll get around to you when I feel like it”.

Would you want a doctor to perform a procedure on you in an office that has “dust bunnies” and has his instruments just laying on a table and not looking sterilized ? I wouldn’t.

Would you close a Ten (10) Million Dollar business deal with a man whose office is filthy and run down ? Not a chance. Which is probably why that deal fell through.

Yes, both of those scenarios happened to people I know.

Image is important. It projects confidence and capability.

A clean and organized office ….and staff…. is your first step to success.

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I think that it’s really important to support small businesses. Having a sense of community and knowing the people that own the business makes you feel like you are getting superior customer service. Or at least it should. Everyone likes feeling special. When you need a referral for a specific project or problem you ask your friends and colleagues and they give you the names of businesses that they have dealt with and are happy with.

Word of mouth is great advertising and you know that it comes with a built in recommendation.

But what happens when a small business falls short on customer service? You tend to get very angry and badmouth that business to everyone that you know.

Not exactly the “word of mouth” advertising that any business wants.

At the end of June we had a water tank explode at one of our rental properties. Since it was on the other side of town we didn’t use our regular plumber but called a plumber out of the yellow pages. We were desperate and in a huge bind. A very nice plumber agreed to help us out and was there to fix the problem within a few hours. We were very happy and very grateful. We immediately paid him by credit card and were promised that a receipt would be mailed to us immediately.

Since it’s rental property we needed that receipt for our accountant and for tax purposes.

It’s now September. And you guessed it. No receipt.

I have called and spoken with the owner of the business at least six (6) times now.

His excuses were:

1) “I was busy”
2) “We were on vacation”
3) “I forgot”
4) “I really did mail it myself personally, just wait a few days and it will show up” (that was 5 weeks ago).
5) “I’ll send you another copy” and “I’ll email you a copy”
6) “We were out of town over the weekend, then I came home Sunday and had to do work around the house”.
7) “I really did mail it, you will be surprised at the date when it shows up” (what about the copy you supposedly sent? Or the email you supposedly sent?”
8) “I’ll have my wife email it to you” then it was “I’ll email it myself when I get home”

We need that receipt for our taxes. Are we really asking for too much?

If you run a business, paperwork comes with the territory. It you can’t handle the paperwork get an assistant to help you so that your customers aren’t inconvenienced and annoyed. If your wife is too busy with the kids then don’t expect her to help with your business.

It’s your business. Run it like one. Not like a hobby.

Being organized. Calling your clients back in a timely manner. Handling any problems or concerns that your clients have in a timely manner. Those are all part of being in business.

If you can’t handle it…. Hire someone that can or go work for someone else.

Don’t run your business like a hobby or you won’t be in business long.

If you need advice on how to run a business there are consultants out there that can help you with everything from advice on employees, workflow analysis, marketing, your business image, organizing your business and anything else that you can think of.

Small businesses are essential. Don’t give them a bad name by providing bad customer service.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 6, 2010


If you only had a few minutes to get out of your house for a disaster (such as a hurricane) would you be prepared for an emergency? Would you be able to grab your important papers and things you must have and be out of your house in minutes?

Do you know where all of your important papers are? Are they all in one central spot for quick and easy access in case of emergency?

Things such as:

* Drivers License (or other identification)
* Passport
* Birth Certificate
* Social Security Card
* House Insurance papers (or contact info)
* Life Insurance papers (or contact info)
* Marriage License
* Financial Info
* Money

What about some of your favorite possessions? Things that you can’t replace, such as photo albums?

Since most people keep a lot of information on their computer or laptop, do you have backups and are they up to date and in a spot that you can easily access?

Do you know what you would take in an emergency? Have you ever thought about it?

I’ve never been in situation where my home had to be evacuated, though I have been in a hurricane with no place to go (a very frightening experience).

If you are evacuated from your home and your home is destroyed you will have to deal with a variety of issues, including insurance issues, where you will have to prove your identity. Can you?

In an emergency people tend to grab the strangest things. Not always the most practical things.

So think about what you would do in an emergency situation where you had to evacuate (especially if you live in high hurricane areas).

Prioritize your possessions and what you really need to get back on your feet.

Get yourself organized before disaster strikes. And then hope that you never have to put your plan into place.

It’s better to be prepared for a disaster than to have to go through the trauma of dealing with things that you are unprepared to handle.

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, September 2, 2010

National Preparedness Month

Being prepared goes hand-in-hand with being organized, and it is fitting that NAPO would be part of a nationwide event aimed at better emergency preparedness. NAPO has again joined forces with the Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign for the seventh annual National Preparedness Month (NPM), held during September. As a national coalition member for the fifth consecutive year, NAPO strives to educate the public through individual member and chapter informational events held during National Preparedness Month.

This year, NPM will focus on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and will help Americans understand what it truly means to be ready for emergencies that may arise at home, at work, or in the world. Preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks, and extra food in the pantry. Being Ready includes: preparing an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses, and getting involved in community efforts. (reprinted from

Re-read our BLOG post from April on “Emergency Preparedness”.

Be safe - Be prepared.

Organizational Consulting Services