Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Is Around The Corner - Is Your Closet Ready ?

I know that it's still February... but if you've been to the mall lately you will see a lot of spring and summer clothes out already. There are sales everywhere and I'm sure that some of you just can't resist. It's O.K. .... really.

But when you bring home new clothes you have to have somewhere to put them. Do you? Is there room in your closet?

Since the winter weather is winding down it might be time to take a look at your closet to see what you can put in the "donate or get rid of" pile. You might also re-examine your spring / summer clothes to see if they are in good condition and if they still fit.

Take some time and go through your closet with a new perspective. Do you really like the clothes in your closet? When was the last time you wore them? Are they in good condition?

Make a list of things that you might need to buy. That way you aren't just buying random items but things that you really need.

Remember the "one in - one out" rule. Unless you have unlimited closet space you will probably need to purge some things out of your closet to make room for your new clothes.

Organizing your closet is time consuming and very emotional. Break it down into smaller sections so that you are overwhelmed.

Keep the bigger picture in mind. Clean out and organize your closet first and then shop. That way you know what you have and what you need and aren't buying things that you already had hidden in the back of your closet.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, February 20, 2012

Moving - Avoid the Nightmare - Document Your Belongings

Spring is fast approaching. The time of year that sees an increase in house sales and people moving.

You aren't in the market to move? But you might five or ten years from now when you have outgrown your home or are downsizing. So now is the time to start planning and getting yourself organized. It's always easier if you do things at a slower, more relaxed pace and you aren't staring at a deadline.

Moving involves many things including picking a reputable moving company. When I moved across the country last year I found, what I thought was a reputable mover. A national moving company, Mayflower. Jump forward almost a year later and I am still trying to get them to take responsibility for all of the damage they caused and the lost boxes of items that I will never be able to replace.

Yes, I had lists upon lists and everything that was packed had a number on the box and a corresponding number on my spreadsheet that listed the contents.

BUT, that is not the issue. Who among us has receipts for a couch that is ten years old (and in perfect condition because you never let anyone sit on it)? Who has receipts from a family heirloom that was given to you years ago?

Do you have receipts or pictures of the antique ornaments that you bought five years ago? Receipts, yes. Pictures, yes....but those were in one of the boxes that the moving company lost. Convenient for them.

As organized as you are you will still need to document every single item that was lost or damaged. You will need to prove that the item was in perfect condition prior to your move.

So as you set up your home document all of your belongings. Keep a file with receipts of any items that you care about and include pictures of those items. Keep that file in your possession when you move.

Instead of getting rid of paper clutter the moving company expects you to have every receipt that you ever had. This assures them that most people will just take whatever they give them as payment for the damage and walk away. Otherwise they will drag out the process and torment you with paperwork.

Moving day can be stressful.... BUT, do not let the movers leave your driveway without asking them if they noted any damage of your possessions on their list. They won't tell you that they noted any damage and you will be shocked to find that your furniture was damaged and abused prior to their moving it (according to the movers). By the time they deliver your furniture it's too late to object and they won't listen when you try and tell them that your furniture wasn't damaged.

Protect yourself..... DOCUMENT your home. Take pictures of everything so that you can prove that your belongings were in good condition prior to your move. I had pictures of my furniture but did not have close up pictures of every angle.

If at all possible, try and have a friend or neighbor there to help you when the movers are unloading so that you have a witness to how the movers handle your belongings. If you notice any damage at all take pictures immediately.

And DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING without reading it. You will be bombarded with dozens and dozens of pieces of paper that the mover will want you to sign after unloading. They will try and coerce you into signing them. You will be totally exhausted by the end of the day...but DON'T SIGN the papers until you have read every single word and have accounted for every single box.

They won't like it. But you need to protect yourself.

Even a national company like Mayflower will try to intimidate you to sign things that you are not comfortable with and they will not accept responsibility for their actions.

So start now and document your belongs. Take pictures and keep a file (by room) with all of your receipts. You never know when you might need them.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, February 6, 2012

Revising our Resolutions

We are now entering our second month of the new year. Most people have made some type of "New Years Resolution".

So.... how is that working out for you? Have you been keeping up with them?

My guess would be "no". But don't worry, you are probably not alone. So now is the time to "get real" and take a look at what you really wanted to accomplish and change your expectations.

If you haven't accomplished everything that you wanted to in this new year or you aren't as far as you planned....then maybe you set yourself up for failure. And we don't want that. So change your expectations to be more realistic. It's not a bad thing. It's a reality check.

Wanting to be organized and being organized are two totally different things. You have to be honest and realistic with yourself. If you only have a limited amount of time then you can't expect to get everything done in half the time it really takes.

Look at your plan and redo the time line. Break your project down into smaller more manageable projects that you can actually finish in the time you actually have.

As your mother probably said "your eyes are bigger than your stomach". Don't bite off more than you can chew. Pick a project that you can finish so that you will be successful.

Then you will have accomplished your goal and you will feel successful. And in turn you will want to go on to your next project. And eventually you will have accomplished everything that you wanted to in your New Years Resolution. One bite at a time.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services