Monday, December 27, 2010

After the Holidays - Shopping to Save

Well... the holidays are over... the gift giving ones at least. So believe it or not I am going to tell you to shop ! Now, I am not a shopper myself. I hate the crowds and the pushing and grabbing and all the chaos that goes on with "after the holiday" sales. But now is the time to stock up on presents for the upcoming year (birthdays and other things) and for holiday decorations and cards.

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 !

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. So go ahead, I give you permission. Shop and Save.

But please.... don't go overboard. And make sure that you put everything away in an organized manner. Put temporary labels on the things that you buy so that you know who it's for.

Happy Shopping !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 20, 2010

What is Clutter and Your Greatest Organizing Challenge

In one of the seminars that I gave on "Clutter & Chronic Disorganization" I asked the following questions: "What does Clutter mean to you?" and "What is your greatest Organizing challenge?".

Everyone answered these questions differently. The following are some of the responses that I received.

What is Clutter ?

Too much stuff all over the place

Stuff that is not in its place


Stuff left in a haphazard way taking up valuable space

Lots of stuff around – magazines, newspapers, mail

Useless items

Excess stuff around that is not organized

Accumulation of things that prevent use of space

Papers everywhere


Anything that I don’t know where to put


Papers on the counter

Messy closets, basements, garage

Stuff covering all surfaces

What is Your Greatest Organizing Challenge ?


Organizing any space

Not knowing what to do with things

Mail, magazines, kids school stuff

Basement & garage

Dining room table

Deciding what to keep

Not throwing stuff away in a timely manner

How long to keep records

Finding places to keep things

Starting but not finishing projects

Afraid to get rid of things that might have value

Childhood memorabilia


Putting things where they belong

Keeping things just because they cost money

If any of the above statements sound like something that you would say....remember.... you are not alone.

Everyone has some type of clutter and everyone has challenges. By knowing what our challenges are we can come up with a plan to conquer the clutter and those challenges and have a more organized home and life.

Start in one small area and clear your clutter. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Set a time limit on each phase of your organizing project. Take a break. Give yourself a reward for a job well done.

Slowly you can take back your home and your life.

Remember: Less Clutter = Less Stress (sm)

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Almost Christmas

It’s almost Christmas. A time for family and friends. A time to celebrate what you have not what you don’t. It’s time to remember what’s important.

Opening presents is fun and exciting. Not only for kids. Adults love getting presents also. Whether they admit it or not.

But in this rush to buy presents step back and think about the person that you are buying a present for. Get them something that they like not that you like. If you are unsure if they will like what you picked out …put it back !

Don’t just buy things for the sake of buying things. If they don’t like it they will just smile and pretend that they do and they will never use it (or wear it). Then it will end up being clutter. Stuff they they feel they cannot get rid of. Because you bought it for them. Guilt will set in. The clutter will be there forever. Reminding them that they cannot throw it out.

So remember that when buying gifts. If you aren’t 100 % sure that they will absolutely love the gift don’t buy it. Save everyone the emotional trauma of having to pretend.

The holidays aren’t about gifts. They are about being together as a family and friends.

Give the gift of time. That is something that everyone will love. And remember forever.

Happy Holidays !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 6, 2010


The refrigerator is not a place that people normally think about organizing. But it’s one place where things accumulate and are forgotten about. In back of the refrigerator. Way in the back. Or in the door.

Food expires. Condiments. Sauces. Things that you buy, put in the door of the refrigerator and forget.

Grab that barbecue sauce and check that date. What about your salad dressing? Or the mustard?

Or the mayonnaise? Or the salsa? Or the roasted peppers? Or the minced garlic (I admit that I just threw mine out after checking my refrigerator).

Don’t forget to check your eggs and milk. Food harbors bacteria.

Things that you might not use very often can be very dangerous to your health if they are expired and still in your refrigerator a year or two after their expiration date.

Most people don’t think about checking the dates on food in their refrigerator. Until they get sick.

I’ve been through many clients’ pantry and refrigerator and thrown out things that were a few years past their expiration date.

A website that you might want to check out for expiration dates is:

Get in the habit of going through your refrigerator at least once every other month and checking expiration dates.

Organize your refrigerator like your pantry. Put like items with like items. Condiments with condiments. Salad dressings with salad dressings. Juices with juices. Vegetables with vegetables. And so on.

Keep your refrigerator clean and organized and make sure that your food has not expired.

It’s your health. Take control of it. Don’t neglect to check your refrigerator.

Organizational Consulting Services