Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting Ready For School

 Summer vacation is not over yet and you want us to think about getting ready for school?

Yes, I do! Why wait until the week before school starts or for some people the day before school starts, to get organzied and ready for school?  Eliminate the stress by planning ahead!

The schools will probably have a supply list out already. School sales start early so take advantage of them. Avoid the crowds of last minute shoppers. Avoid the stress!

If you are just starting to send your kids to school forthe first time you should also think about the end of school - all of the pictures and projects that the kids will be bringing home over the next year. Think about how you want to organize everything and buy the appropriate tools now while you are buying everything else for school. This will save you a lot of time and money later.

There are many different options for organizing your kids papers and projects. A Pendaflex with space for each grade. A 3 ring binder, a file box.... Whatever works for you. By thinking about it ahead of time your year will be a lot smoother.

Clothes:  Your kids will probably have grown over the summer. Go through their closets (yes, again - and tell them to stop growing already!). Make a list of what clothes they have and what clothes you will need to buy. Keep an eye out for the sales, but please don't get carried away!  Buy only what's on your list.

Let the kids help. Tell them to keep an eye out for the sales ans teach them to shop responsibly. It's never too early to start teaching them how to be organized!

Have a great school year !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 23, 2012

Impromptu Picnics

Summer is here and one of the things we love to do is have "impromptu"  picnics. Whenever the mood strikes, a picnic makes you feel like you are on vacation - even if it's only for an hour.

It's easy to do if you have a "picnic basket" all ready to go at all times.

I usually keep a basket filled with paper plates, cups, plastic utensils, napkins, small trash bags and a few other things all ready to go and near my front door. I always have  a few water bottles half filled with water in the freezer and fill them up with water whenever we go on a picnic or hike. By having the water bottles half filled and in the freezer you never have to worry about having ice cubes. I usually have some fresh fruit available and some crackers or snacks  in the cupboard. You can quickly make a couple of sandwiches or pick some up on your way to the park or beach.

Keeping it simple is the key. Picnics are about getting out and enjoying nature and the people you are with.

Picnics should not be a one time only summer event. Have them often and feel your stress dissolve.

By being prepared and being organized you too can enjoy a spur of the moment picnic anytime!

Have a great summer !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Paper Shuffle

 Organizing spaces is easy and fun (well, for some of us).  Paper - not so much. Getting your paperwork and files organized is time consuming and draining (both physically and emotionally). You have to make decisions about every single piece of paper. There can be hundreds of pieces of paper in an inch. Hundreds of decisions that have to be made about what to do with each piece of paper.

Is the piece of paper important?

Do we have to keep it or can we pitch it?

What do we do with it?  File it?  Where?

And so the paper shuffle begins. From one stack to the next. You can't make a decision so you move the paper from one pile to the  "I'll get to it later" pile.

But you never do. And the pile just continues to grow.

So what's the answer?  Well, it all depends on your "style" and the ability to adapt to a new "plan".  A Professional Organizer always takes the clients "style" into consideration when coming up with a solution. There is no "one size fits all" in organizing.

But no matter what the solution is - there is not getting around the fact that you have to "deal with the paper". Go through the process once, come up with a solution and hope that you will "stick with the program".

Coming up with an easy, yes, you will (not "CAN") do it plan is the first step.  By having a system in place the time spent filing your papers into the appropriate and meaningful files will be drastically reduced.

When a bill or some other important piece of paper comes into your home or office, you will immediately be able to put it into its appropriate place instead of just piling it on top of an already ignored "pile of things" to deal with.

By handling each piece of paper only once you will save a lot of time and your desk will be a pleasure to work at instead of somewhere you would rather not be.

Organizing paper takes a lot of  thought and organizational skills. Not everyone has it. So don't be concerned that you are the most disorganized person out there.

You aren't!

Happy Organizing!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 9, 2012

When You Are Ready

So you have decided that you are ready to "Get Organized".  GREAT !

Now what ?

A lot of clients will just start throwing things out at a frantic pace. Everything must go!

It seems to an outsider that they have gone from one extreme to another. Disorganized on Monday to a purging maniac on Tuesday. They go at a frantic pace until finally they crash from exhaustion.

Organization is great. I am all for it, obviously. But you have to have a plan. Any plan. And you have to pace yourself so that you don't get burned out. Otherwise your enthusiasm will go out the window along with your energy.

Slow down! You have waited this long. Step back and come up with a plan. What do you really want your "end result" to be?  Break your "plan" up into manageable sections (hours per day) so that you will want to continue the next day.

Do some things that will produce a "noticeable" result so that you feel like you have made some progress. This will fuel your motivation to continue.

It took you years to get "disorganized". It takes more than a few hours to get your home to look like the cover of a magazine (which is what clients expect).

Be realistic and you won't be disappointed.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 2, 2012

What Bothers You ?

A lot of people are intimidated by what other people think. They think their house should look a certain way because other people have told them that "you should clean this" or "you should get rid of that". They get overwhelmed by everyone telling them what "should" bother them and how they "should" clean up their home. So they do "nothing". It's a lot easier than not doing what they "should" do.

I'm sure we all have "well meaning" family and friends who try to "help" you by giving you  unsolicited advice on how to take care of your home. But what they don't realize is that they are actually doing more harm than good.

People don't want to be told what to do. They want to make their own decisions. They want to have control over their home and their life. They don't want to be told what they "should do" or "should feel" about their home.

So it's a mess.  O.K.  We acknowledge that it's a mess. Why does it concern anyone else?  All it does is make people "not" want to clean because they don't want to be told what to do.  It's basic psychology.

Everyone has their own tolerance of  "enough".  And when it's dirty enough or disorganized beyond what they can tolerate any longer, they will "clean" and "organize" the space. 

People have to "be ready" and "want" to change. You can't "force the issue".

So when something "bothers" you enough that you want to change.... you will.

But only when you are ready.

Organizational Consulting Services