Monday, March 31, 2014

Working From Home - Organization Needed

A number of people work from home - either permanently or to get extra work done. Whatever the case may be - being organized and having a dedicated work space can make all the difference in how much work you actually get done.

In order to be effective in your job while working at home - you have to take it seriously.  That means no doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen between phone calls.

Working from home can be great but can also have its' challenges. You save money on gas and parking. You aren't stuck in traffic. You can be a bit more casual if you choose.

But you also have to be dedicated and not let all of the "home" distractions sidetrack your work. No sneaking off to watch T.V. or to chat with your neighbors. No letting the kids constantly barge into your office and disrupt business calls.

Even though you work from home you still want to and usually need to portray a professional image.

By getting into a "normal" routine - just like at the office - you have made the first step.

Have a dedicated workspace. Make sure that your space is functional and have all of your needed supplies within reach. Working at the dining room table usually isn't conducive to getting a lot of work done.

Make sure that your family knows when you are working and when they need to keep the noise level down.

Make sure that your neighbors know you really are working and that they can't just drop over for coffee whenever they want.

Keep the toys out of your work area. A professional workspace makes you look and a act more professional. It makes you more motivated.

Of course all of this depends on what type of work you are doing. More creative jobs have more leeway. But if you are running an accounting service out of your home you might want to be a bit more professional.

Have the proper tools available to get the job done. Have an organized and dedicated workspace. Have dedicated office hours.

Just like when you are at the office - you should take a break during the day and get refreshed.

Working from home has its advantages - just don't abuse them and you will be successful - no matter where you work. 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting Organized - with Help - Don't be Embarrassed

Getting organized is a good thing !  Really!  But a lot of people are really embarrassed to call a Professional Organizer to help them. Why ?  Because they are embarrassed by their clutter or because they need help and asked for it.  Like no one should ever ask for help ?!

Everyone needs help with something - sometime in their life.   Whether it's calling a plumber or someone else to help you in your home. A Professional Organizer should not cause you embarrassment!

Not everyone is organized or can see quickly how to organize a room. Most people are not taught organizational skills as a child.

I can't fix a leaky faucet and I'm not embarrassed to admit it. I call professionals when I need the help and I know that they can do a better job (and faster and cheaper) than I can.

When I walk into my clients home a lot of them feel self conscious about their "mess".  I always try to make them feel better by letting them know that they are not alone - a lot of people have problems with disorganization.

And an interesting observation - they all think that their problem is the worst one out there. I've had people with extremely neat homes think they were messy and other clients who have kids think their home is terribly cluttered and disorganized.

It's all in "the eye of the beholder".

With kids comes clutter. There is no way around it. They usually have toys - which are usually strewn everywhere. That too shall pass! There are ways to contain the clutter. You can teach kids how to clean up after themselves.

And the people that have the neat homes - just need reassuring and maybe some fresh eyes to get things to work more smoothly in their spaces.

Everyone has a different idea of what an organized room (and life) looks like.  But the only person's opinion that matters is - yours.

Your home needs to function for how you live. Not the neighbors or an organizer. It has to be comfortable and work for - you.

A professional organizer should be able to come up with a plan that you can live with and that is easy to keep up.

So - don't be embarrassed by your clutter - get help when you need it.  When you are ready!

Happy Organizing!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

You Can Lead a Horse to Water....

I'm sure you've all heard the saying "You can lead a horse to water - but you can't make him drink".  Well - it's the same for organization. You can't make a person "get organized".  They have to be ready and willing.

I've heard a lot of rumblings lately about people's commitment to getting organized. And it's exactly that - "their" commitment. You can't force someone to want something - they may not really want or are not ready for.

This is very prevalent when it comes to spouses calling and wanting me to get their other half on board in getting them to "get with the program" and get their house organizedd.

It's not going to happen!  They have to be a "willing participant". Otherwise - it will cause a lot of other issues that have nothing to do with organization. 

Kids on the other hand - well - this isn't a parenting site - but if you don't have "expectations" for your kids - instead of  "excuses" - you will usually get the kids you created.

You have to teach your kids organizational skills - or you hire someone to do it for you. But - you still have to hold them responsible. You have to stop making excuses for them. When they grow up and go to work their boss will not care about their childhood - they want the work done. So don't set them up for failure. Teach them skills they can use forever.

The next excuse I usually hear is - "but I'm not organized - so I can't teach them the skills".  O.K. -  you've admitted that you don't have the skills necessary to teach them how to be more organized - just like I didn't have the skills to teach my child how to draw and be creative. That's why there are classes out there. Everyone sends their kids to soccer or baseball or dance classes - but when it comes to teaching them organizational skills - it never comes onto their radar.

Teaching kids and adults organizational skills is essential for their life. I've had clients that were not organized - but they wanted more for their kids - so I worked with them on teaching organizational skills - and they were like sponges - they loved learning.

You might not be able to convince your spouse/partner that they need to be organized - but you can teach your kids and start them on their way to a more organized life.

Lead by example - if not by doing it yourself - by acknowledging that you might not have the talent - but you know the value of learning.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 3, 2014

Paper and a Shredder

The number one issue for most people when it comes to organizing is paper.  There is too much of it.  It keeps coming in the mail.  The piles keep growing. 

So how do we control it?

With a shredder !!!

Everyone should have one.  For a variety of reasons.  The most important one is security.  With identity theft on the rise everyone needs to be extra careful of their personal identification. And that doesn't mean just their credit cards. That's actually the easiest part.

Most people just throw away "junk mail" - such as advertisements for credit cards or their envelopes for financial or medical information. This is "identity theft" waiting to happen.

Any identifying piece of mail - anything with your name on it - should be shredded.

Those "free" address labels that you get in the mail - shred them if you don't want them. Don't just throw them out into the garbage.

Any old bills should be shredded - not just thrown away in the garbage.

Magazines that have address labels on them - also have identifying information on them. Take the labels off before throwing them away.

Any bank statements - shred those. Never throw those in the garbage.

Sounds "logical" - yes, it is - but most people still just throw everything into the garbage. In this day and age with identity theft running rampant - don't take the chance.

A shredder should be in every home.  Not only for your protection - but also to keep the paper piles down.

Happy Shredding !

Organizational Consulting Services