Monday, February 25, 2013

Closets - Make Them Work For You

Being organized is a lot easier when you have a properly functioning space. That means that the space is suited for what you want to put into it. Whether it's a clothes closet, kitchen cabinets or any other space - the actual space and how it's laid out makes a huge difference.

My having the space work for you and how you live, not your neighbor, you will be much happier and better able to function. For example - let's say that you are a female executive and wear mostly suits and dressier clothes. Your closet should fit your clothes. That might mean multiple hanging bars for skirts, jackets and blouses.

Your neighbor might work in a very casual atmosphere and wear only pants and sweaters.  They might need more shelving for their folded sweaters and they never wear suits so they don't need a lot of hanging room.

Unfortunately most closest only have a single hanging bar. Pretty useless when it comes to an efficient closet.

By just putting in a second hanging bar you have doubled your closet space. By adding another shelf on top you have created a more manageable shelf space where your sweaters aren't falling over (they should never be stacked 8 high - it makes it hard to get them in and out).

These are just some basic examples of how you can make some minor changes in your closets and get a lot more room and make better use of your space.

There are some great closet companies out there that can really make your closets more efficient. There are also a number of  "do it yourself" closet systems that might work for you.

By just reorganizing your closet to fit your needs and not the previous home owners you will save yourself a lot of stress and time in the morning when you are looking for that perfect outfit to wear to work. Being able to find it easily in your closet will make a world of difference in starting your day.

Happy Organizing ! 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, February 18, 2013

Organizing for Seniors

Organizing is not as straight forward as people might think.  "Just get rid of stuff. Just move things around" some people would say.   Yes, that might be part of the organizing process but it does not take into account the special needs of each client.

Organizing for various age groups and people with varying degrees of capabilities requires special considerations.

As people age they might not have the strength to do the job themselves. They might get tired more easily. They might not be able to bend or lift things like people that are a lot younger. This also applies to people with varying health issues ...but for this session we want to talk about the special considerations that you might want to make when you are organizing with people that are a bit older.

If you are helping your parents or relatives that are over 60 you might want to take a step back and realize that they have different levels of energy, different ideas of what they want to let go of, different ideas on a lot of things.

As a non-professional organizer you might not think about all of the issues that they are facing but rather think about your own desire to just help them. This is a normal mistake that a lot (if not most) people make.

The first step that might help you is to just take a step back yourself and ask yourself  "how would you feel if someone came into your home and just started throwing all of your prized possessions and memories out?".  I am sure that the answer would be "not good".  So put yourself into their place, take a step back and think about them and what they want and need as you help them. Don't make this about you.

Some issues that you might have to deal with when organizing for seniors are:

Memory issues - they can't remember where they put things. Because of this they might have gotten into the habit of leaving everything out in the open (therefore causing a cluttered house) so that they can see it.

They constantly buy more and more (food or clothes.....or whatever) because they forgot they already have it.

Physical issues - they don't have the strength or stamina to clean up after themselves so they don't. Again, this is one possible cause of their cluttered home.

Mental issues - they no longer care about their home because they have lost a loved one and are depressed. Their friends are all dying and they have no social interaction.

All of the above are just some of the reasons that seniors might have more issues with clutter.

But clutter itself can also cause physical problems in that it creates a dangerous situation in their home with them tripping over the clutter and causing physical harm to themselves.

When working with seniors be sure to limit the amount of time for each organizing session. Make sure that they get plenty of breaks and snacks to keep their energy up.

So as you see.... organizing isn't just a straight forward project. It is a complex process that is different in every situation.

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Being Organized - vs - Being Efficient

A lot of people think that being organized is the same as being efficient. It's not.

Being organized  - though it has many facets - is more about having things in place. Your belongs, your schedule, your life. It's about having things arranged in a certain order. It's about being able to find things in a short amount of time. It's about knowing where to find things. It's about things looking presentable, neat, orderly.

Being efficient means that thing are done in the best way possible.

Being effective means that we are doing what's best.

Time Management uses both efficiency and effectiveness. Time management is about activities while organization is about things.

You can't really manage time. You can only manage how you use it.

You can't be productive if you waste time. You can't be productive if you aren't organized. Just because you do more in a day doesn't mean that what you have accomplished is worth anything. If the quality of the work you produced is not up to par - then have you really accomplished more?  If you produced less but the quality of the work or product was better - wouldn't you really be further ahead?

It's complicated and for the best results organization, efficiency, effectiveness and time management must all work together.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, February 4, 2013

Organizing Your Taxes

January is over and by now we should have most of the documents that we need to get our taxes done.

Yes, it's everyone's favorite time. Not !  Too much paperwork. Too much pressure.

So how can we make it easier?   Well, by having had an organized plan throughout the year for starters.

Most people never think about taxes and tax time until right before the tax deadline.  And that's when they get stressed out.

By thinking about your taxes throughout the year and having a place for anything that might be tax related, your actual "tax preparation time" .... the time it takes you to get all of your documents, supporting documents and anything else that you take to your accountant...ready....  you will have a much easier and less stressed time.

That said, start by just having a file for anything tax related. Put anything that comes in over the year into that file. Anything related to your home, your business (in a separate file), your savings....should all go into a file for your taxes.  That way you are not searching for it at year end.

Make a checklist of all of your saving & financial accounts and all of the documents that you need for your taxes. By doing this, when you are getting ready to take your paperwork to your accountant, you won't forget anything and won't constantly have to "think" about what you might be missing. This will save you time and stress each year.

For most people doing their taxes is not fun.  By having a system in place throughout the year you will spend less time at the beginning of the year hunting for those needed documents.

Happy Tax Preparation !

Organizational Consulting Services