Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Resolutions - A More Organized New Year

It's New Years Eve....and tomorrow is the start of the New Year!  It's the day that everyone makes New Years Resolutions.....  What is yours going to be?

Why don't you start the new year off right by promising to try and GET ORGANIZED.  The key word is try.  Make a real effort... to at least think about it.

Don't make big promises that you can't or won't keep. Don't say that you are going to organize your entire house....when you probably won't.  Make a commitment to think about changing your life by becoming more organized.

One step at a time.......   You can't rush organization.  You can't change your habits in one hour or one day. It takes time.

Making a commitment is scary to a lot of people.  But once you do....and once you start the actually organizing process..... you will wonder why you waited so long.

And it is a "process".  Having an organizing coach....a Professional Organizer.... just like your workout coach.... will help keep you focused and going in the right direction.

So..... make a plan. Any plan. How about "organizing your office".  Or "organizing your kitchen".

Break it down into manageable pieces. One drawer at a time. One hour at a time.

Once you have accomplished one task and can physically see the will be inspired to continue.

So make that New Years GET ORGANIZED !  You will be glad you did !

Wishing you a very Happy and ORGANIZED New Year !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 30, 2013

Another Year ....How Did You Do ?

The year is almost over. I hope that your Holidays were good, not too stressful and filled with family and lots of great desserts!

Now is the time to reflect on the year gone by and what you've accomplished. Did you get everything done that you wanted to?  If not, why not?  I'm sure there are many excuses - some good and some are just excuses.

It's been a really difficult year for us. The loss of numerous family members and friends and therefore some of the things I would have liked to accomplish - well - I just didn't. And that's o.k.  Sometimes you need to take time to step back and just catch your breath.

"Situational disorganization"  happens to all of us. Even the most organized person has a right to "do nothing" and let life happen. Without everything being perfectly in place.

But there comes a time when you have to take back control of your life and pick up your clutter and get your house in order. Sometimes manual labor is the best medicine there is.

Put your house in order. Put everything back where it belongs. Get rid of the clutter and see how much better you feel in a clean and organized space.

Sometimes organization is all the therapy you need.

Look back at your year and think about how you would like to make the next year better.

One small step at a time.

Let's close 2013 with a look at a better 2014.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's getting close to Christmas and a lot of people still haven't even put up a tree or sent out cards.

The holidays are not a time to be stressed so don't beat yourself up over not getting everything done. It you are running out of time you have to decide what you can live without so that you don't drive yourself crazy.

Being organized is about "time management". If you haven't finished everything on your list give yourself the gift of "not finishing". Let it go. Most people that I know haven't even sent out their cards yet, so you are not alone.

BUT.... this should give you some incentive to start earlier next year!  If you have your 2014 calendar, open it up and put a note in the calendar for some of the things that you need to accomplish for the holidays. That way you will be ahead of the game for next year.  For example:

* Write out cards
* Start Xmas shopping
* Decorate the house

By using your calendar and making "appointments" with yourself you will be more likely to get things done on time.

Time Management at home is just as important as in the workplace.

Schedule some time each day to get the some of your projects done, but allow some extra "breathing" time so that you don't get to the holiday and just wish it would go away.

Anything that you can't realistically get done at this point.... LET IT GO!  For some people being a perfectionist causes too much stress and actually wastes time. Learn from your "disorganization" and last minute "craziness" and know that you can do better next year.

And remember, if your family wants a great holiday they should be willing to help you. Don't try to do it all yourself. Assign tasks to everyone and work together to make this holiday season a good one.

For more great organizing ideas during the Holidays: 

Re-read:  Holiday Gift Ideas.... or Dont's

Re-read:  Planning Ahead for the Holidays

Re-read: Organizing Your Closets for Christmas

Remember - the Holidays are about family and friends - not stuff.  Don't let the stress of trying to do everything at the last minute ruin the true meaning of Christmas.

Sit back and watch some of those great old holiday movies and enjoy the holidays.  It's been a long year - you deserve it!

Happy Holidays!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter in the West - Is Your Car Stocked With the Essentials ?

It's cold out there ! Below zero !

Living out in the west - and driving long distances without a town or gas station in sight - brings about it's own problems.

Unlike being in a big city where there is a gas station and help within a block - living out in the west - with lots of land and few people - presents it's own challenges.

So – the question is ..... are you prepared ?

Now is the time to stock your car with winter essentials.

In your backseat:
* Snow brush
* Ice scraper (or two – various sizes)
* Blanket
* Gloves (keep extra’s in your car)
* Hat
* Scarf

In your glove compartment:

* Paper
* Pen
* Matches (in something waterproof)
* Candle (in a tin) – this can be used if your flashlight doesn’t work or for extra heat
* Tissues
* Hand wipes
* Cell Phone Car Charger
* Flashlight (make sure the batteries are good – or get a windup one)

In your trunk:

* Salt, cat litter or something to throw under your tires if you get stuck
* Extra Windshield Fluid
* Extra Antifreeze
* Spare Tire
* Shovel
* Jumper Cables
* First Aid Kit (basic)
* Towel (this can also be used as an extra blanket)
* Rope
* Bungee Cords
* Duct Tape (so many uses!)
* Tire Gauge
* Tire Repair kit
* Road Flares
* Fire Extinguisher (small one)
* Plastic Garbage Bags

If you are going to be driving outside of the city limits I would also suggest that you keep water and snacks in your car, especially if you have kids. You never know when an accident might keep you tied up for a long time and you will need water to keep you hydrated and snacks to keep the kids occupied.

Being prepared is always the best defense. Now relax and embrace the weather.

Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, December 6, 2013

Growing up German, St. Nicholas Day was a very big deal for us. And still is. A boot is put outside the door on the night of the 5 th of December.

St. Nicholas fills the boot with candy, chocolate and small gifts. As kids we liked to use my Dad's shoes because they were obviously bigger, which meant more candy! In the morning we would race to see what St. Nicholas brought us.

To me St. Nicholas Day is super special. It reminds me of my heritage. It is also the start of the Christmas season.

I want to wish all of you a very HAPPY ST. NICHOLAS DAY !!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wishing you and yours a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Cards - Start Now

It's not even Thanksgiving but already the stores are primed for Christmas.  Sales and Santa's are everywhere.

You can't get away from it. It's sad. Thanksgiving is over before it even gets here and commercialism has taken over.

It's hard to enjoy one holiday at a time when they all seem to run together. But this is the time to remember your family and friends and reach out to people, your friends and family, that you have neglected over the past year. It's not entirely your fault. We are inundated with so many obligations that we can barely keep up with all of the kids activities that friends sometimes go by the wayside.

So instead of sending Christmas cards where you barely sign your name to the card - write a short note that really means something.  Not a "form letter" that you send to every person in your address book. Write something special and meaningful to each person individually. A few sentences mean a lot.

Start now. A few cards every day so that you are not overwhelmed. Make it personal.

With email and texting, cards and real letters seem to have gone by the wayside. But getting a piece of real mail means something. Something special.

So start now - one card at a time. And before you know it you will be done.

Happy Holidays!

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Organizing Your Events - When To Let Go

Special events - such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays - are - special. And you want them to be perfect. And they should be. Even if they are bigger than your normal events and even if you are planning them yourselves and doing all of the work - either because you want to or for financial reasons.

But sometimes the added stress and chaos that follows is not worth the "savings" that you think you are getting.

If you are the "center of attention" - the bride, anniversary couple or birthday gal - it pays to let go. You probably don't want to - either because you are a perfectionist, need that control or you think you can do it less expensively.

But when things start going wrong - and they will - even if you planned every detail - you will start to experience a lot of stress and emotions that you never thought you were capable of.

And emotions lead to rash decisions or lashing out at everyone around you.

In organizing big events you can't do it all alone. You first need to have a team of people in place that can help you and that you can count on to handle the disasters that may occur. These people will need to be able to adjust and change gears quickly and not get flustered - because if everyone falls apart at the same time then disaster will strike.

And having everyone tell you that "everything will be o.k." - doesn't really help - especially when you are in an emotional crisis because the occasion you are planning is important to you.

So let go ..... be the center of attention and let someone else handle all of those details on your very important day. You will be glad you did.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hoarding - the Aftermath

Hoarding is a very serious and devastating situation. It is emotionally draining. For the Professional Organizers that work with Hoarding clients it is unlike what you see on the T.V. shows. It is much more personal and more devastating.

Sometimes clients come into your life and make an impact that you never expected. One such client of mine was a hoarder.  As with most hoarders Professional Organizers usually know to expect the worst. My client was a wonderful, highly educated woman with a problem. A problem that I always suspected would eventually lead to her death.

But - she was lucky. As I had anticipated a fire did break out in her home but she was pulled out of her house by some neighbors and she survived. Not without extensive physical damage. But she survived.

The fire did finally force her out of her home and she is now living in a nursing home where she is getting the treatment she deserves.

Not everyone is so lucky.

Hoarding is a serious problem.

Read some of the stories from the past:

Langley Collyer

He lived with his brother, Homer, who was blind and paralyzed, in a three story mansion in New York.

It was filled from floor to ceiling with newspapers, boxes, barrels, crates and 10 grand pianos.

On March 21, 1947, the New York police received a tip that there was a dead body in the house. They broke down the front door but couldn’t get in because of all of the stuff.

They climbed in through a second story window and found Homer, dead. He had died of a heart attack.

The house was a maze of nests & tunnels and was booby trapped. There were trip wires that would bring down debris on any intruders.

Workers cut through the roof and lifted out 136 tons of junk.

After 18 days they found the body of Langley Collyer who had been dead for weeks.

It appeared that he had been crawling through a tunnel to deliver dinner to his brother when he triggered one of his own booby traps and suffocated. Homer had then starved to death.

What was salvageable from the tons of junk that had been collected, sold for less than $ 2,000 at auction. The house, condemned as a health and fire hazard, was razed. Today it is a parking lot.

Grey Gardens

In the early 1970s, two women related to Jackie Onassis were the subjects of the critically acclaimed documentary, Grey Gardens, about eccentric behavior. The women, Edith Bouvier Beale and her mother, Edith Ewing Bouvier, were former New York socialites who spent their days holed up in a decrepit East Hampton mansion.

When the Suffolk County Board of Health raided their house, they found piles upon piles of garbage amid human and animal waste. It was said that only three of the mansion’s 28 rooms were used, while the others were occupied by hundreds of cats, possums and raccoons.

When word of the deplorable conditions got o Jackie-O, she and her then-husband Aristotle Onassis paid $32,000 to clean the house, install a new furnace and plumbing system, and cart away 1,000 bags of garbage.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thanksgiving is getting closer....start getting ready now!

The decorations and cooking supplies are already out in the stores. The holidays will be starting soon.  There are a lot of things to think about and a lot of things to get organized. 

Here's an article that was written some years back - it's time to read it again:


Yes, “Organized“, “Stress Free” and “Thanksgiving” can be used in the same sentence.

It all starts with the word “organized”. Don’t let it scare you. Embrace it. By being organized and planning ahead you can actually enjoy a holiday.

Start by deciding on what you want your holiday to be like. Do you really want to serve a sit down dinner for twenty (20) people? Or would a buffet be acceptable for you? Would it be acceptable for your “family”?

The pressure of trying to please everyone, especially parents and doing things “exactly” like when you were little and everything was perfect is how the “stress” starts.

It’s your house and your dinner party. You can start new traditions. I didn’t say that it would be easy or that you wouldn’t get some flack, but all “traditions” started somewhere. Make your own. You deserve some happiness.

If you really want a fancy sit down dinner party but twenty (20) people is too much for you to handle then cut the guest list down.

If you really want all twenty (20) people there then maybe you should consider a buffet. It’s much easier and your family will eventually come to terms with the fact that maybe you aren’t serving a formal sit down dinner, but the food is just as good.

You can make Thanksgiving as simple or as complicated as you want….it all depends on how organized you are willing to be.

A good way to keep the stress levels down is to divide and conquer.
Enlist your family for help. Don’t take “no” for an answer. This is your holiday too and you have a right to enjoy it.

And we all know that old saying “if Mom isn’t happy, no one is happy”.

Start at least two (2) or three (3) weeks before Thanksgiving.

Decide on the type of gathering (formal or informal), the size of the guest list and the menu.

Don’t attempt to make something new for dinner or try out a new dessert that day. It could turn out to be a disaster and that would cause you more stress. If you really want to try a new dish….test it out prior to Thanksgiving.

Menu: Do you really want to serve cranberry relish and sweet potato’s even if you don’t like them and only serve them because “they are always served at Thanksgiving”?

Make up your own menu (yes, it is radical). Serve something different. Serve something you like!

If you are having a small Thanksgiving dinner don’t feel obligated to serve Turkey. I know, blasphemy! Last year I made stuffed Cornish Hen. It was wonderful and just as delicious as turkey. You can also stuff a small chicken or even a duck! Or be really different and have Ham! The possibilities are endless.

Start new traditions! It’s not easy to buck the system but once you make up your mind that you deserve to be happy and stress free on a Holiday you will wonder why you waited so long.

Remember, the whole point of a Holiday is family and friends and spending “quality” time together. Everything does not have to be perfect. Be thankful for what you have and not for what you don’t.

A great piece of advice: don’t attempt to clean your oven Thanksgiving morning before you put in the turkey. I did that once, years ago. I then found out that after the oven is cleaned it needs to cool down and the oven will stay locked for another hour or so after it’s done. And you can’t open it! It certainly put a dent into my dinner timetable!

By starting early and making lists and getting as much done ahead of time as possible you will avoid a lot of stress.

Once you have your menu planned work backwards and make up a timetable to what needs to be done. For example: if you want your dinner to be served at 6 p.m., what time do you have to put the turkey into the oven? What time do the potato’s and vegetables need to be started? Just make a list and put it on your refrigerator door so that you don’t have to second guess yourself and aren’t panicking at the last minute.

When your family or guests start to arrive your mind and attention will be elsewhere….so a list can help you stay on track. Don’t leave anything to chance.

A few days before Thanksgiving:
* Shop for all of the essentials, including as much of the food as can be purchased ahead of time
* Make sure that you have enough spices and things that you will need for the food (and rarely buy)
* Do any of the baking or make any desserts that can be made ahead of time
* Thaw the turkey (the size will determine how many days it takes to thaw in the refrigerator)
* Buy the wine or any beverages

The day before Thanksgiving:
* Buy any last minute items at the grocery store
* Chop anything that can be chopped ahead of time (vegetables, bread for stuff…but do not stuff the turkey ahead of time) and put them in plastic bags so that you will be all ready to go the next day
* Make sure you have enough ice
* Prepare any of the food items that can be made ahead of time
* Make your family aware of exactly what you need them to help you with on Thanksgiving.
* Having assigned tasks for your kids and spouse ahead of time takes away some of the stress of what’s expected of them the next day.

The night before Thanksgiving:
* Set the table and get out all of your platters and serving dishes.
* Make sure that you have enough dishes and silverware. If you don’t, now is the time to call one of your guests and ask to borrow something. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out that you broke the gravy boat last Thanksgiving and never replaced it.

When I entertain I love to use all of my special platters and dishes. I love to fuss over my family and I love to set a very special table. I don’t consider it extra work or a hardship or stressful. It’s my way of telling my family and friends just how special they are.

But again…..the Holiday and family and friends are what’s important….not the china or the food. So if you aren’t the type of person to pull off a sit down dinner with all the decorations don’t beat yourself up. There are only so many Martha Stewarts around. And she has a staff to help her!

Thanksgiving Day:
* Wake up early so that you can have some “you” time to have coffee and relax before
the day starts (it will get stressful enough later, so the morning might be the
only time you have)
* Read over your lists and timetable
* Gather all of your food and cooking utensils, pots and pans ....
* Measure out everything that you can ahead of time and set it aside
* Follow your time table and start making the food according to the schedule
* Once the food comes out of the oven let it rest a while (you can cover it with
* Start cutting the meat and plating the food
* Have family members start their assigned tasks (setting out and serving food,
pouring the drinks…)

ENJOY your meal…… sit and talk…..

After the meal:

Have a plan in place to clear the table. Since I always make a ton of extra food so that my guests can take home leftovers I start with portioning the leftovers into plastic containers and putting each family’s containers into a plastic bag and setting it near the door so that they don’t forget them.

Once I have the leftovers divided up and mine put away in the refrigerator and freezer I then start to collect the rest of the dishes and put them into the dishwasher. I don’t start the dishwasher until after they leave so that we won’t be bothered with the noise.

Again, this is where your family members can jump in and help clear and stack dishes. It makes quick work of things when you have other people help.

I need to have as many things cleared up and put away as possible before I start serving dessert. This also gives everyone time to rest and relax before they start eating again.

Some people like to leave the dishes and the mess until the next day. And sometimes I wish I could too, but its worse the next day when you get up and walk into a mess. I’d rather get it done and over with.

Make quick work of it (or as much as will fit into the dishwasher) and then sit and relax and spend time with your family.

Remember, a Holiday is supposed to be enjoyable. If it’s not, figure out why it isn’t and change it. Skip the big complicated meal, the fancy desserts and the good china and make it as simple as you are able to handle.

Start your own tradition….and make it about family!

Happy Holiday !

Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, October 25, 2013

Help to Organize Your Office

Whether you work in an office at home or in a regular office being organized is crucial to your success.  By being organized you will be able to complete your work in a more efficient manner with less stress.

By organizing your files, your email, your schedule.... you will be able to look more professional and won't constantly be looking for things.

File management, paper management - is very time consuming. Keep your business and yourself on track by being efficient.

Read some of the following posts to learn how to be more productive.

Organizing Your Email:

Organizing Your Files:

Organizing Your Home Office:

Business - Organizing Your Schedule and Paperwork:

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, October 14, 2013


Everyone has a different idea of what clutter is.  For some people their room can look like a tornado hit and "everything looks fine".  For other people, just having a few things out of place is traumatic.

Clutter is....stuff.  Stuff that is out of place, that should not be there, that doesn't belong in the room, that is not useful.  Clutter is whatever you think it is.  It's all about how "you" feel.

But  "clutter causes stress".  In the back of your mind you are probably thinking  "I should do something about this mess".  But you don't.....    You'll get to later.  But you never do.

Don't let clutter rule your life.  Get to it now!  Don't wait!

Just remember a simple rule.  If you bring it into a room .....take it out!  If it doesn't belong in the room ....take it out!  If it bothers you....take it out!

By letting clutter pile up you will only create more work for yourself later.  And you know that old saying "later never comes".  It will be there forever.  It will keep building and building until you are so overwhelmed that you don't know where to start.

By getting into the habit of putting things back where they belong instead of just leaving them where you dropped will cut down on your work and your stress.

Yes.... it does take a bit of practice to break your old habits.  It feels uncomfortable to do something completely different than the way you've done it for years.  But..... once it becomes part of your everyday life you will notice how much more time you have and how much neater and less cluttered your house looks.

And your running around to "get ready for company" will be cut down to a few minutes of fluffing a few pillows.

Your house does not need to look "perfect".....but living without clutter will give you many benefits that you never even thought of.

Happy Organizing!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Organize Your Kitchen For the Holidays

It's getting near the Holiday season and I can smell the food already!  Cookies, pies and all kinds of great foods that we only make a few times a year will soon be seen in our kitchens.

Are you ready to start cooking?  Do you have everything you need?  Do you know where all of your special dishes are?  Your cookie cutters?  Your special molds?  Those seldom used special recipes?

Having an organized kitchen is the key to a stress free holiday season.  If you've been out to the stores lately you will see that all of the baking supplies are neatly stacked in the aisles ready for you to buy.  They are teasing you and reminding you to stock up now!

Start cleaning out those cupboards and make a list of everything that you will need to start planning your holiday season. Give yourself plenty of extra time so that you will enjoy the process and not feel forced to have "fun" in the kitchen.  By being prepared ahead of time and having everything you need at your fingertips you will be able to enjoy the atmosphere and the holiday spirit.

Baking and cooking for your family and friends for the holidays should be a fun and enjoyable experience.

By being prepared and having everything in your kitchen organized and ready to go will give you one less thing to be stressed about.

The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed.  Being organized makes life easier. Make it a family event and teach your kids how to make those special holiday cookies!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall is Here - Winter to Follow - Get Organized Now

Yesterday was the 1st day of Fall. My favorite time of year. But depending on where you live snow could be just around the corner - or in some places - have already happened.

Move your summer toys to the back of the garage and reacquaint yourself with your snow blower.

It's time to winterize your garage and get ready for the snow. A good place to start is by taking everything out of your garage and giving it a good sweeping.

Throw out any broken items and put any items that you no longer use in the "donate" pile. That would include any toys that your kids have outgrown.

If you have any leftover gardening supplies (mulch, dirt, bulbs, seeds....) or anything that you won't be able to use next spring, get rid of it.

Re-arrange your garage to put the snow blower where you can easily reach it. Make sure that it is ready to use by doing any maintenance that it might need.

Make sure that you have access to any snow shovels or anything else such as salt for those snowy days.

Some people might still be able to use their lawnmower a few more times before the snow falls, but plan on having your lawnmower winterized and empty it of any liquids according to your manual.

By organizing your garage before the weather gets really bad you will save yourself a lot of headaches in trying to find everything when the bad weather hits.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 16, 2013

Organizing - A Family Affair

Having an organized home has so many benefits. Your home looks good, you can find things easily, you save money by not constantly buying things that you already have and you are less stressed.

But at what cost?  Having that organized home takes time. And with everyone being so busy, time is something that most people don't have a lot of.

So how do we get around this problem?  Family !

That's right - everyone has to help. Isn't that what family means?  Helping each other?

Maybe cleaning up each persons room is "their" responsibility - but all of the "shared" spaces - like the kitchen, living room and bathrooms - should also be a "shared" responsibility.

When you are sharing space - you need to share the work of keeping it organized (and clean).

Everyone should have a "spot" in the bathroom for "their" stuff.  Everyone should pick up after themselves.

Everyone should be taught to put away their dishes in the dishwasher (or assign kitchen tasks).

Everyone should help prepare meals (either prep work, cooking, setting the table or after dinner clean up).

The kitchen is always the center of the home. Cooking together does more than get the meals on the table faster - it's a time to bond.  Or as the kids say "date time" (yes, we have exciting dates). It's a time to talk and go over your day.

In the living room - after everyone is done reading their magazines or books or playing with their toys - put everything back where it belongs.

You bring it out - you put it away !   A great motto !

Having an organized and clean (or tidy) home is a family affair.  And it cuts down on the time it takes to get things done.

Get your family involved and take the stress off of just one person.  Teach your kids something they can use in adulthood.

Organizing - it isn't just for grownups!

Have a great and organized day !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Perfect Gift - Being Organized for the Holidays

I know - people are going to say  "What - are you kidding?  Shopping for the holidays?".  Well - yes - I have already bought some Christmas presents. But when the perfect present appears before you when you aren't even looking - you just have to buy it!  And when you have kids and something so perfect is thrust upon you - you just say "thank you" and hide it away for Christmas.

And this is where "being organized" comes into play.  Make a list !  Because if you don't - you won't remember what you bought for whom or where you put it!  And then you will continue to buy more and more presents for the same person and overspend.

Now is the time to start making lists of what you might buy (or make) your family and friends for the holidays. No - it's not too early!

By being pro-active and making your lists you will have time to buy things on your terms - without the pressure of just buying whatever you can get your hands on the day before Christmas.

Keep your eyes open for great sales or for the "perfect" present for your loved ones.

That being said - don't just buy things for the sake of buying something. You won't make anyone happy and you will be part of the "clutter" problem that exists for most people.

The perfect gift is one that the recipient wants and will use - not something that "you" want.

Keep your eyes open and start thinking about the upcoming holidays.  They are closer than you think.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, August 26, 2013

Organization Means Always Evolving

Being organized is an ever changing event. It's not a "one time" event. You have to change with how you and your family live. Kids grow up and you get rid of their baby toys and their outgrown clothes. You change jobs or gain / lose weight and you swap out your clothes for ones that fit your new life.

You make lists and constantly tweak them to better suit your needs  "at that moment".

We went camping about a month back and of course my husband decided that  "yes, we had everything "  so enough with my lists already.  Thank goodness for kind friends who had extra cooking gear to loan us for the weekend!  But, this past trip he admitted he was wrong and actually asked me to double check our list. The list wins out again!

When I get home from our trips I always "tweak" our lists and add / delete things that we wished we would have had or didn't use.

I am also always rearranging our closets. Living in a smaller house means being very creative with your space. Even though I like to see everything hung up, when you have so little space it means that plastic bins are a better option for clothes that are only worn occasionally (such as clothes used for working in the yard or certain activities).

For people that hire a Professional Organizer they should realize it's not always just a one time event. As your life changes so do your organizing needs.

There's always something that needs to be organized!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fire - Are You Ready ?

We are in a crisis here out west.  Fires are ablaze everywhere. One is only seven (7) miles from our house.  A little scary.

Most people don't realize just how far away you can smell fires.  Or how hard it is to breathe with fumes.  Or how far the ash travels.

So ....... are you ready for a fire ???

Do you have an EMERGENCY PLAN ???

Do you know where all of your important papers are ????

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • marriage license
  • immunization record
  • insurance papers (house, car, life...)
  • house papers
  • car papers
  • papers for anything valuable ...... 

Can you easily grab everything you need - of value - in a few short minutes ???

If not - maybe now is the time to sit down and organize an emergency safety plan - including getting everything you need out of the house quickly.

Emergencies usually don't come with a warning.

Get ready !!!   Get organized  !!!

Be safe !!!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, August 5, 2013

How Much is Enough - Shopaholic or Dementia ?

How much is enough?  A lot of people use shopping as a solution for a variety of issues. They are upset about something - so they shop. They are bored - so they shop. There's a "2 for 1 sale" - so they shop. They got some good news - so they shop. They got some bad news - so they shop.

Shopping is not a "cure all" for whatever ails you.

But some people don't shop because of any of the above reasons - they shop because they really believe they "need" the things they are buying. And some people - seniors - have problems with Dementia that are the root of some of these problems. They thing that they "need" more clothes or more food - so they buy and buy and buy.

It's on sale. It's a "2 for 1". Whatever the reason - it's not really valid. Their brain - their memory is not working properly - and no one can convince them that they don't really need 10 loaves of bread in their freezer or 75 pairs of socks.

If it's Tuesday - it must be "shopping day".  And you can't convince them otherwise. They have to shop. It's part of their routine. And don't mess with their routine.

Continuous shopping - for things that you don't really need or have room for is not only a problem for "shopaholics" - but also a problem for the elderly. It's a complex issue. An emotional and psychological issue.

We are bombarded with advertisements and brainwashed to shop. Not matter what. No matter that we really don't need all of the things that we see advertised.

How much is enough? 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 22, 2013

School Supplies - Get Organized for the Start of a New School Year

Summer is in full swing. There are a lot of activities to keep the kids busy. Swimming, sports camps, camping and hiking, playing with friends.

Who wants to think about school starting in a month?  No one - but if you go to the stores the school lists and school supplies are already lining the aisles. 

So - take advantage of the sales and get your school supplies out of the way now! Avoid the crowds of last minute shoppers. Avoid the stress!

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

If you are just starting to send your kids to school for the 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!

Get the shopping out of the way and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

More Space - Less Clutter ?

A lot of people say "I don't have enough space - that's why my house is cluttered - if I had more closet space my house would be clean".

Well - I hate to burst anyones bubble - but space, clutter and clean have nothing to do with each other.

The amount of space that you have and the clutter all around you are two separate issues.  Just because you have a big house does not mean that you have an uncluttered house.  Or a clean house.  It just means that you have a big house.

The way that you use your space is the important issue. If you have things in a room that don't belong there - such as all of your bathroom products in your kitchen, brushes, makeup, hairdryer..... instead of in the bathroom where they belong... you will have clutter.

Oh - you don't have room in your bathroom?  Well - make some!  I know - sometimes it's not easy to find the space and sometimes you really don't have the space.  But more often than not I find that clients are not using their space effectively.  By adding some inexpensive shelving or bins you can contain all of your belongs where they belong and all of a sudden - you have space! 

"Like with like"  ..... that's an Organizers motto!  By keeping like products with like products you have solved one organizing issue.

By keeping all of the things that don't belong in a room out of the room - you have solved another organizing issue.

By neatly folding and putting things in a designated spot - instead of just shoving it in anywhere - you have solved another organizing issue.

It's not about space - it's about clutter.

And then there's "clean".   Having more space does not mean that you will have a clean house. It just means that you will have more space to mess up. Clean is a matter of degree - but that's a whole other topic.

If you can declutter your home or office first - then you can really see what needs to be cleaned and you can make all of the dust bunnies disappear. But if your home is so cluttered that you can't see the floor or any surfaces - chances are that you can't get to them to clean them.

So - the bottom line is - more space does not make a less cluttered or clean house.

So don't envy your neighbor with the big house.  They just have a lot more work to do!

Now - go and GET ORGANIZED !

Organizational Consulting Services 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Your Car and Summer Clutter

Summer means a lot of outside activities.  For us it's spending a lot of time camping and hiking. To avoid forgetting things and for those impromptu hikes and picnics I keep a lot of supplies that I might need in my car at all times.

I always have a few blankets and an old towel.  If the kids want to put their feet in the river I let them - knowing that I have a towel they can dry off on before I let them back into my car.

A plastic table drop - for use under a blanket in case the ground is slightly damp - or as a table cloth.

I always keep extra grocery store plastic bags - for a variety of uses. Garbage, collecting who knows what, vegetables that I picked from my community garden plot...and so many other uses.

Since I now belong to a community garden plot I also keep some gardening supplies for those impromptu trips to pull a few weeds.

A small plastic container for vegetables or to contain numerous things.

Your car contents should change as the season changes.

Think about how you live and what you do and make your car fit your lifestyle.

Happy Summer! 

Organizational Consulting Services 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Planning Ahead - Get Organized Before You Start - Any Project

No matter what project you are working or planning on doing in the future - planning ahead - being organized is crucial.

Sometimes it seems like too much trouble.  Sometimes it seems like a waste of time.  But it's always a good idea.

Craftsman have a saying  "measure twice and cut once".   It's a great and powerful saying.

It means that you should be prepared and know what you are going to do  - and make sure you are doing it correctly. Just like any project you are working on.

If you just randomly jump in and start working on your project without planning it out and thinking ahead - you might find yourself backtracking and doing more work - or possibly undoing some work you did - because it wasn't quite right or any number of other reasons.

I make a lot of lists. And I go over my lists before and after every event - and tweak the lists as life happens.  Things change.  Lists and plans should be fluid.

By constantly tweaking your lists you become more efficient. You find out that you really didn't need to pack XYZ - because you never used it. You might have - a long time ago - but  you don't now - so take it off of your list.

Being prepared and looking and planning ahead means that you call all of the necessary contractors well ahead of time before you are ready to start a project - instead of getting upset that nobody is available when you finally decide to start the project.

Planning ahead means that you take the time to think about the "big picture" and organize your thoughts and ideas.  To a lot of people this is a waste of time - but you will do it - if not in the beginning - then later when something unexpected occurs that you did not anticipate.

So if you are planning to move tomorrow - don't wait until the night before to call a moving company.  And don't be upset when everyone doesn't change their plans to help you.

Treat your personal life a little more like a business - be organized and prepared - and your life will be much less stressful.

Organizational Consulting Services 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Take Five Minutes

Time is a very important thing.  Something not to be wasted.  But we all do it....waste time.

We sit on the couch and watch T.V. in a daze..... while we complain that we don't have any time to do anything and our house is a mess.   Admit it....we've all done it.

So go ahead and watch T.V. ....but there are those commercials that give you plenty of time to get a few things done!  Really, take five minutes and organize something.  Do something.  Anything!

*   Bring your basket of clean laundry into the living room and fold your laundry

*   Organize your purse, briefcase or backpack

*   Organize a drawer

*   Make a list of things to do for the weekend

*   Go through your mail

*   Pay a couple of bills

*   Read your child a chapter in a book

*   Write out your grocery list

*   Write out next months birthday cards

*   Sew the buttons on a shirt

There are a lot of things that can be done during a commercial break.  Don't worry - those commercials will be on again (and again....) so you won't actually miss them!

Make better use of your time by doing small projects that you keep putting off.  This is one time where multi-tasking is O.K.

Happy Organizing!

Organizational Consulting Services 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Unexpected Loss - Are You Ready ?

Life doesn't always go as planned.   We just lost a loved one and it was beyond devastating.  My brain just stopped working and I was lucky that I knew what day it was.  Everything was a blur.

But during the very hectic days where arrangements were being made the one thing that we didn't need to worry about was "where did we put things?".

A few years back I had put together a list of everything.  Where the wills were kept, who the lawyers were, where all of the banking was done, where the investments were, names of all of the doctors and any and all pertinent information that someone might need to find.

When you are in an emotional state - the last thing you want to do is to scrounge through your house and frantically look for things.

By being organized and just putting together some lists we had everything at our fingertips.

It's not easy to think about the eventual future that we will all have to face.  But by being proactive and thinking ahead - it helped take a lot of the stress out of the mix.

Re-read the article about "Organizing Your Paperwork" to learn more.

Organizational Consulting Services 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Organizing Your Pantry and Your Freezer

Summer means farmers markets, fresh fruits and vegetables, which translates into canning and freezing. Well, at least at my house.

But have you checked your pantry or freezer lately?  Have you used up all of your older products?

At least a few times a year you need to clear out your freezer and pantry.  Take a good look. Rotate your food and check all of your expiration dates.

If you have not used up all of the products that you made last year you might want to re-think what you really use in your home and either don't make as many  for the upcoming year or make them but give them away as gifts.  People love homemade preserves and other food products.

Canning has once again made a comeback - believe me - I could not find any canning supplies last year because they had all sold out!

But some people tend to forget what's hidden in the deep crevices of their pantry and freezer.  So take an hour and go through your freezer and pantry and take stock of what you still have and double check that everything is not past their expiration date.

Make sure that everything is neatly organized by product type so that you can tell at a glance how much you have.

Shopping - in your own home - what a great idea!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 20, 2013

Organzing Your Childrens School Papers - Artwork Galore....

Kids come home from school with a lot of papers and artwork. All of which they are proud of and want you to keep - forever.

It doesn't matter if it's just a few scribbles on a piece of paper or a watercolor they think is a masterpice....they want you to keep it - forever.

Each piece of school work, each just have to keep it - forever.

But the reality is....we don't have the space for it all. I try to sort through it and keep what I think are the really great ones - the ones that show their personality.

Each child has a folder and each day when things come home I pick the ones that go in my "keep" pile.

My husband...he thinks it's just a way for the teachers to get the stuff off of their desks! "keep" pile ....was getting too big - so I had to sort through it - again. This time, I really had to toss just about everything (let's not tell the children).

It's near the end of the school year and I had a huge pile (a very neat pile - thank you). But I only have so much room and I got new containers for each child. So I had to make some very tough decisions and keep only a few pieces of art and notes that they have written.

The point is.... organizing is a continuous process.  It is always evolving. You sort and keep things that you love and have great memories of....and in the a year or two or three.... you go through the process again and again and make further decisions to de-clutter and dispose of things that you now can comfortably get rid of.

Organizing isn't stagnant. It's a process. It changes as you change. Be comfortable with that thought.

Now....go out and make some hard decisions. You can do it!  

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 13, 2013

Vacations Made Easy - Lists and Stress Free Packing

We just got back from a really nice and relaxing vacation. A condo overlooking the lake with the mountains as the backdrop. It was glorious!

But it was one of those times where the few weeks leading up to our vacation were extremely busy with work, meetings and other activities so I didn't actually pack our suitcases until the morning we were going to leave. Believe me - this is not like me.

But I had a great excuse.  Jeff Dunham. What can I say - I'm a huge fan!  We got tickets to see his show and it was scheduled for the night before we were supposed to leave on vacation - so packing got pushed aside. I do have my priorities!

I then learned the power of lists!  I've been packing up the house and kids for vacations for a long time so I have it pretty well down. But waiting until the very last minute to pack can be a bit stressful even under the best of circumstances.

With my packing lists it took almost no time at all and I didn't forget a thing!  I had a checklist for each member of the family and everything went into the suitcases as planned.

Lists are great - they take the stress out of most things in our busy lives.  Orderly and efficient.

So make fun of me if you must - but my vacation list saved the day and our vacation was very relaxing.

As an add on - remember that vacations are not only about packing your suitcase - but about making your house vacation proof.

When you go on vacation you not only have to remember to pack all of the things that you need…you also have to remember to take care of your house / apartment / cats or dogs / plants / garden / bills and a whole slew of things.

A few things that you might want to do:

• Put your mail on HOLD
• Make arrangements to get your lawn cut / your garden or flowers watered
• Make arrangements to get any inside plants watered
• Make arrangements for any animals ( to get fed or taken care of)
• Make arrangements to have your bills paid ahead of time
• Make arrangements to have someone pick up some basic food essentials for your return home so that you have something to eat until you have a chance to go to the store

By planning ahead you too can have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation and a relaxing return home.

Have a great vacation !!!

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Organizing Seminar - Stevensville Library

Spring is Here!  Let's Get Organized!

On Tuesday,  May 14th  - from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm.  It's FREE !

At the Stevensville Library - North Valley Public Library.  

Come and join our discussion on how much disorganization costs you, the organizing process, different types of clutter and much more.

Get some tips on how to de-clutter your home for spring. 

Join us !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 6, 2013

Containers and Organization - What's the Difference ?

I love containers and everything in its proper place. It makes things look so neat and orderly.

But just because you have containers doesn't mean that you are organized.

Being organized means that you have a plan, a place for everything and you know where everything is.

It means that the things you have are "useful". You don't just have a bunch of "stuff".

If you have a lot of containers (boxes, baskets....) but you have a lot of "everything" thrown into them and there is no pattern or reason to their order - then you really aren't organized. You just have a lot of nice containers!

Organization means that you have put "like with like". It means that only things that are supposed to be in the room (or file or cabinet....) are in there.

It means that you have a plan for how things are supposed to be and you stick with the plan.

Containers are a tool. Organization is a state of mind, a way of life.

You need both to be successful and to make your life easier.

But don't get carried away and start buying a lot of containers when you don't need them or they aren't functioning in a way that is helpful.

Everything should have a purpose and a place.  That's what being organized is all about.  

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 29, 2013

Organize Your Calendar

It's almost summer time - when lots of things happen.  Activities - fairs, concerts, open air markets and so many activities that beckon us.

So how can we be sure not to miss anything?

It's easy - Organize Your Calendar!

Seriously - if you can organize all of the other aspects of your life - why not your social life?

There are a lot of things that you can do that does not cost any or very little money. There are a lot of outdoor activities, parades, outdoor concerts and other things that you can enjoy - if you know about them.

Every city or town probably has a city website where it lists all of the activities in the surrounding area.

Sit down with your calendar and put everything that interests you on your calendar.  That way you won't forget it and you will have something to look forward to all summer long.

Schedule everything - including things like "hikes" or "go to the beach".  Force yourself to get out and enjoy your town.

People always say  "there's nothing to do".  Yes, there is....if you look for it and schedule it.

Just like work projects - you have to organize and schedule your social life.

So....pick up your calendar and start planning your summer and learn to enjoy the simple things around you.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 22, 2013

Organizing Your Email

Everyone gets bombarded with email. How in the world do you keep up?

Unless you are on your computer (or other device) 24/7 you will eventually get behind.

So how can we  keep our emails and constant electronic communication from taking over our lives?

It's addicting. We think that we can't live without being "connected".  But not so long ago - people survived without email, texts, twitter and everything else.

If you are in business it's almost required to be connected these days. But at what costs?

What if you are not in a business where your job requires that you stay connected 24/7.  Most people today are still obsessed with their electronic devices.

By being able to organize your email so that you can quickly decipher what is important and what isn't - junk mail that's not spam - you can save yourself a little bit of time.

Get into the habit of putting something into your "subject" line of the emails that you send so that the other person knows what the email is about.  Hopefully you will be able to tell from other people's email subject line if it is something that needs to be dealt with immediately, if it's something that can be deleted, if it's something that can be dealt with at a later time or maybe it's something that can be filed in a "reference" file.

Get into the habit of checking your email at only certain times of the day. Quickly go through and put your emails into categories first.

After you have categorized them into "must read", "can deal with later", "for reference" and "junk - delete now" - then you can deal with each group when you have time.

Each person needs to decide on categories that make sense to them. By dealing with one category at a time you can get through your emails quicker.

By cutting down the amount of times that you check your email you will save yourself a lot of time and you will have more time to devote to more important things - such as your family and friends.

Organizing your email - your inbox - takes some time. But once you are done and get into the habit of putting things where they belong - you will be amazed at how easy it is.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tax TIme - Avoid the Stress Next Year

It's April 15th - Did you file your Taxes?

A lot of people wait until the very last minute to file their taxes. It's something that everyone hates doing. It takes a lot of time - especially if you didn't keep all of your needed receipts or records in an organized system where they were easily accessible.

So....what did you learn from this?

Do better next year !

You can start now by making up a few folders and putting anything tax related into them as they come in. That alone will save you a lot of time, frustration and stress next tax season.

A few quick ideas for file folders:
  • Tax related
  • Medical / Health Care
  • Donations
  • Investments
  • Mortgage info
  • Banking
Just by having these few folders and putting anything related into them - you will have cut down your tax preparation time tremendously.

Get into the habit of filing these important papers into the appropriate files as soon as they come in - you will save yourself a lot of time next year. Time that is well spent this year.

Getting organized and staying organized is a lot of work.  But well worth the effort!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring is Here - Getting Your House Ready for Sale

Moving - when is it a good time?  A lot of people think that spring and the beginning of summer is a good time to sell your house and buy another one - especially if you have kids.  Once the kids finish school you can pack them up and move them without disruption.  A great plan - if you are organized and leave yourself plenty of time to acccomplish everything needed to make it happen.

Start by going through each closet and cupboard and sorting through a lifetime of possessions.

Decide what you really need / have to have / want to pay to move.  Moving is expensive, so for some things it makes sense to leave them (donate or sell) and to buy new after you get settled. Things like a ten year old washer / dryer - when the newer models are more energy efficient and more cost effective.

Get rid of mismatched dishes, clothes that don't fit or are worn out, toys that the kids have outgrown or are broken and anything else that you really have no use for. Be honest with yourself. Do you really want to pack and then unpack things that you are going to throw away once you get to your new home?

All of this takes a lot of time and energy. is a very emotional process - even if you think you are prepared and ready to move.

So - leave yourself plenty of time and your move to a new home will go much smoother and be less traumatic.

Happy House Hunting !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 1, 2013

Get Outside and Organize Your Yard

It's warm and sunny and beautiful out!  So don't stay inside....get outside and enjoy the weather!  And while you're there you can get your yard ready for spring.

O.K. ....some of us enjoy it more than others.  I love being outside and digging in the dirt.  It's relaxing. Well. for some of us it is.  As my kids say, "Really? It's not relaxing, it's work". 

But, as with anything, once you have done the hard part, getting everything cleaned can enjoy the fruits of your labor all summer.

Does your yard look the way you want it to?  Do you want to plant more flowers or a vegetable garden?

Make a list. Go over it numerous times so that you haven't forgotten anything before you go to the garden store.

Is your garden hose in working order? Do you need any landscape bricks or borders?

Do you need mulch?  How much?  Or fertilizer?  Or any nutrients for your yard?

What type of plants do you want to grow?  Do you want to have vegetable starter plants? What materials would you need for that?

Thinking about all of this before you start will save you time and running back and forth to the garden store.

Organizing your yard work is the same as organizing anything else. One step at a time. Make a plan. Go over your plan. Make corrections.

Be realistic about what you want to accomplish and what you can accomplish.

Having a yard that you can be proud of and is low maintenance will let you enjoy your summer all the more.

Now go and have fun and get dirty!

Happy Gardening !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 25, 2013

Company is Coming - Let's Clean & Organize

A lot of people out there only think about cleaning or organizing their home when they have visitors. In fact, some people will use their "lack of cleanliness" as an excuse not to have people over to their house.

This is just another example of how disorganization and lack of time management can affect your life.

Everyone's idea of clean is different. But using the excuse of  "not having a clean house" to avoid having people over to visit brings up a lot of other questions. Such as - "what are you really trying to avoid"?

Having an impromptu gathering should not be a stressful moment. Not everyone was taught how to clean and organize - so put that out of your mind for a moment. To get ready for company when you only have a few minutes there are a number of shortcuts that you can use.

First, get a basket and go through your main living area and put everything that does not belong in that room into the basket. Any toys or books or dishes....put them into the basket and get them out of there. 

Grab a duster and quickly dust the surfaces. The less clutter that you have on your coffee table the easier it is to dust and clean.

Fluff some pillows.  Light a candle for some nice atmosphere.

Enjoy your visitors and relax.  They are not going to know that you just had a whirlwind de-cluttering session. 

Is this the "normal" way to clean your home on a weekly or daily basis?  No - but being social is sometimes more important than being perfect.

Having friends over can help relax and de-stress you.

But remembering the rule about "if it does not belong in the room - take it with you when you leave" is a great and easy rule to remember. Using a basket to go from room to room and getting everything picked up in one fell swoop is another easy way to get yourself organized.

Cleaning doesn't have to be an all day drudgery. Having a plan that works for you - on your schedule - even a few minutes a day - can make all the difference in the world.


Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 18, 2013

Time - Life - Balance: Is It Possible ?

 Working, a career, family, kids, volunteer work, hobbies.....  put them all into a pot and you have stew - a mixture of everything and not one thing stands out on its own.  That's life !

But - is one thing more important than another?  If so, which one?  Your job or your family?  The never ending dilemma. How do you balance it all?  Or do you?   Without a job you can't support your family - we all understand that. But after that - things get blurred.

Is balance really important? Does having a "balanced life" really have an impact?  If so, how?

All of these are really important questions - and they are all very complicated questions.

Yes, some jobs might "seem" more important than others- such as doctors, surgeons, lawyers....but does that mean that your family life, your kids, your own personal happiness and fulfillment have to suffer?

At different points of your life and your career you might make some sacrifices based on your future goals.  But - when you are older and more established or when you are retired - you might second guess the decisions that you made when you were younger.

The bottom line is - you can never turn back time.  So the decisions that you make, though they might seem "right" at the moment - are decisions that you might regret later in life.

Family and your health, both physical and emotional are something that most people take for granted - or at least take too lightly.

By "planning" time for your family and yourself - actually scheduling "family" and "you" time - you will be more likely to have a "balanced" life - and you will be more likely not to regret putting your job first and your family last.

Life goes by too quickly - don't let it pass you by.  Give your family the priority it deserves and organize your life to include your family.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Want To Get Organized - Really I Do !

 I hear people say  "I want to get organized - really I do" - a lot. They say "I keep telling my husband (mother, sister,  friend...) that I am going to "organize my kitchen (bedroom, office, garage....)".

 I head it all the time.  Then I hear nothing.  Because after saying that they have all of these good intentions - the novelty of "getting organized" seems to wear off - like it's "too exhausting" to think about it any longer.

Getting organized takes planning. It takes effort.  It takes work.  It takes more than an hour - unlike the shows on T.V..  It takes getting everything out of the closet or room and making decisions.  It takes "thinking" about what hasn't worked and how you actually want things to work.  It's more complicated than most people think - yet, as an Organizer we get down to the simplest detail and build things up.  We look at the big picture and then turn if off and start small - one small area at a time in manageable pieces.

It you really wanted to "get organized"  you would. If you don't actually start the process - then maybe you weren't really ready.

You can't force someone to organize their space or their life - they have to be ready.  Only then will it actually work and be successful.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 4, 2013

Making Time Work For You

I'm sure that you've heard the old say  "You Can't Manage Time - You Can Only Manage Yourself".  It's true - but people still think that they can manage their time without any responsibility for how they manage themselves.

Sounds complicated doesn't it. But it's really very simple. If you want to be more efficient with your time, if you want to better manage your time, if you want to really accomplish everything that you put on your calendar for the day - you have to manage yourself instead of managing the time.

What that means is that you have to be responsible for your actions or in this case - your non-actions. There are so many distractions out there today that people get very easily sidetracked numerous times throughout the day and they don't really stick to their schedule or their priorities.

For a lot of the things that we have to do there is a definite time period that it takes to accomplish the task. We can't change that. But we can change the fact that we drag that time out because we get sidetracked - whether it's by checking our email numerous times during the day instead of working on a report that is due that afternoon or by seeing something that needs to be "fixed" so we stop to "fix" it as we go from one room to another in the house - even though we are working on a project in the basement.

Sticking to a schedule and getting your work or chores done, even though you don't really want to, even though other things are calling out to you, will make you accomplish your tasks in a timely manner. Then it's done and over with. And you will feel better for having accomplished the task - even though it might feel like a hardship at the time. Plow through it - get it done - and sit back and be proud of having accomplished something.

Everything in life doesn't have to be fun. We have a lot of  "normal - daily living" things that we need to do every day or every week. Putting them off just makes our job harder.

Plan your day - plan your time - stick to your schedule - don't get sidetracked - shut the door on distractions and make time work for you.

Don't let time get away from you by outside distractions. It only drags out your day and you still will have to get things done.

It might help you if you put everything on a calendar so that you can see how much time you have left in your week. Then you can rearrange your schedule to accomplish the highest priorities first and you can track where you went off schedule and where you might want to change your priorities to better fit your life.

Time should not be managing need to control how you manage your time.

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