Monday, December 26, 2016

End 2016 By Clearing Your Clutter - Now Is The Time To Donate

2016 is coming to a fast close.  The New Year will soon be here. Before the year ends take a realistic look at all of the new things that you acquired over the holidays. I'm sure that you probably have duplicates of things that you already have. Newer, of course - but duplicates.

Before year end - go through some of your gifts and decide if it's not time to "release" your old things.

If you received some new clothes - go through your closet and decide what you can get rid of.  Anything that is too small, doesn't fit properly, you never actually wore, anything that you never liked to begin with.... 

Be realistic - unless you have tons of extra closet space that you have never filled up - something has to give!

Get rid of your old sweaters or shirts that you rarely ever wear or are out of date.

Get rid of books and movies that you have finished.

Get rid of old magazines that are still laying around.

Get rid of any kitchen gadgets that you have never or rarely ever used.

Get rid of anything that you have not used in the last six months. Be honest with yourself. If you haven't used it in the last six months - chances are that you won't use it in the next six months.

Someone out there can probably use it - so - donate it!

By making more room in your closet  you are actually taking better care of your clothes. They are not so cramped. They will hang better and you will actually be able to see them - thus - you might actually wear them.

Start 2017 off by being ORGANIZED!

One small step at a time....

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, December 25, 2016


I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season. May your day be filled with joy and happiness.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


As in our German tradition we will eat a very special meal of German white sausage. Topped off with some desserts and then the best part.... opening our Christmas presents!

Then off to midnight mass with Christmas songs to fill the air.

Wishing all of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Holidays - Reaching Out To Your Family and Friends

It's almost Christmas Eve....and most of us are done with our shopping and ready for Santa. But for those of you that aren't ....don't stress....just try to be a bit more organized next year.

The holidays are not about presents. They are about family. The best present that you can give anyone is "yourself".

Time is a precious thing. It goes too quickly and there is never enough of it.

Picking up the phone and calling your loved ones....a real phone call...not a text....means more than you will ever know. Hearing a loved ones voice. Hearing the caring and knowing that you are a precious thing.

Reach out to your friends and family during the holidays. Let them know that you have not forgotten them. In this busy time where we are all working, struggling to make ends meet...the gift of yourself is more precious than anything that you can wrap up.

Wishing all of you a very HAPPY HOLIDAY and a more ORGANIZED NEW YEAR !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Winter - Is Your Car Packed 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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Gift of Organizing

Being organized is a good thing! It makes your life run so much smoother. From getting out of the house on time in the morning - fully dressed and with everything that you need for work or school - to being on time for all of your appointments and prepared for all of your meetings.

Being organized touches every aspect of your life. It's not only about living a clutter free life and being able to find things when you need them. It's about paying your bills on time and planning for your future.

It's about being less stressed because you are on top of things. It's about knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it.

It's about being in control of your life.

Organizing isn't only about closets or pantries. Time and paper management is a huge issue for most people.

Organizing for emergencies and for life events. Knowing where all of your important papers are and being able to access them quickly.

Being organized is a good thing!

Why not give the gift of ORGANIZING to someone you care about - or to yourself. It lasts longer than a box of chocolates.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, December 12, 2016

Countdown To The Holiday - The Stress Builds

It's about two weeks until Christmas. Are you ready? Or are you starting to stress out?

The holidays should be joyful and fun. But the reality is - that's not  the reality! There is too much pressure from retailers to buy, buy, buy......   The television bombards you with ads. The newspapers and stores send out ads and coupons and make you think that shopping is your idea. People will love you more if you buy them things!

The holidays aren't about family or friends or anything important anymore. It's about commercialism.

So be daring and "just say NO". Take a step back and remember what the holidays are supposed to be about. Appreciating your family and your life.

Allow yourself to enjoy the holidays by taking a step back and making a list and checking it twice. Write down all of the things that you think you need to get done before the holiday. Write down all of the things that you think you need to buy.

Grab your calendar and start planning on when you are going to do all of the things that you think you need to do. Write it down on your calendar (in pencil!). Be specific. Give yourself time limits on each item.

For example: 

Going to the store for husbands gift - Wed - 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Kids Holiday concert - Thur - 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Work party - Fri - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Taking kids shopping for holiday presents - Thur - 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

You get the idea - write it all down - so that you can see it in front of you. Then decide if there is overlap with some functions that you can't realistically get to. Or you can decide which functions you want to skip (yes, give yourself permission to skip things!).  Don't stress yourself out about going to every single event. That takes all of the fun out of the holidays.

Next - make a list of all of the things that you have to do and buy.

Things to do:

Buying wrapping paper, gift tags and tape
Wrap presents - when kids and husband is not at home
Send presents to out of town family
Deciding on a holiday menu
Make a list of all of the ingredients needed for the holiday dinner
Make sure that you have all of the serving dishes that you need for the holiday dinner
Plan your holiday schedule of events for that big day

These are just some of the things that you want plan for. The more you plan - the better the chances that things will go smoothly (or as smoothly as they can). Even a professional organizer can't predict that her oven will stop working two days before the holiday! Stuff happens - but if most of the important things have been planned out - the little things won't get noticed as much.

And the most important thing - take time for yourself! Write that into your calendar of events. Take time to go to the coffee shop and sit and relax with a cup of coffee and watch all of the people hustling about. Enjoy the holiday music that is everywhere.

Knowing that your next few weeks have been planned out and that everything can get accomplished will help keep you de-stressed.

And a calming bath with some bath salts can't hurt!

Happy Holidays!

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Holidays Are Getting Closer....

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 2013 calendar, open it up and put a note in the calendar for some of the things that you need to accomplish for the holidays. 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

Happy Holidays!

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Cards - A Lost Art

Thanksgiving is over and the stores are primed for Christmas.  Sales and Santa's are everywhere.

You can't get away from it. It's sad. It seems that 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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gifts That Don't Clutter

Giving the perfect Christmas gift is a challenge.  Some people give gifts just because they feel they have to.  Others spend hours hunting down the perfect gift.

But as you shop - are you even thinking about the amount of room that your gift takes up in that person's home?  Or the clutter that is will cause?

A lot of people buy gifts they think the recipient will like - but - they might not think about the effects - such as noise or damage - the gift might cause - especially if the gift is for a child.

A drum set sounds like a great gift for a child - when it's not yours and you don't have to listen to the constant noise. Paints and other messy items might be fun - but you don't have to clean up the mess.

Try to be sensitive to the parents when you are buying a child's gift. It might help to preserve your friendship.

Then there are the gifts that you might like - but if you never see a gift that you bought displayed - maybe you don't know that person as well as you think.

One idea might be to give gifts that don't last......  gifts that are consumed or turned in for things the person might actually like, need or use.

Christmas ideas that don't clutter:

   *   Gas cards
   *   Gift certificates to restaurants
   *   Gift certificates for babysitting services
   *   Gift certificates to a spa
   *    Fruit baskets or gourmet fruit (or chocolate or candy)
   *    Gift certificates for lawn care
   *    Gift certificates for house cleaning
   *    Gift certificates for books
   *    Gift certificates for a "special time" with you
   *    Gift certificates for a weekly home cooked meal

There are a lot of ideas out there - and I am sure that you can think of more.

The gift of time is the most precious of all.

Spend time with your loved ones in this special Holiday Season!

Happy Holidays!

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Thanksgiving Is Just Around The Corner - Get Ready

Would you like to enjoy a stress free Thanksgiving???

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


Monday, October 24, 2016

Seniors - Downsizing On Their Own Terms

As people age and their family size decreases (kids grow up and out) - they tend to need less room and don't want the responsibility of having to take care of a large house.

Downsizing - or rightsizing can help them get rid of the extra work needed to run a larger home.

The problem with a lot of seniors (and all people really) - is that they have a hard time letting go. They have collected items - precious items - over the course of 50 or 60 or 70 years - and it's hard to let go. Their things mean something to them.

However - they might not (and usually don't) mean anything to anyone else. It's all in the eye of the beholder!

Another issue to consider - is aging and medical issues that force people to give up their homes and move into assisted living or senior apartments. They are then forced to make some very hard decisions and get rid of things - very quickly.

So - do it on your own terms!  Start downsizing/rightsizing as you age.  Instead of waiting until you dies to give things to people - do it now!  This way you can see them enjoy your prized possessions. And if they don't want them - you have the chance to give them to someone that does!

Take control of your life and your possessions!  Don't let someone make these decisions for you!

Read:     Seniors - Getting Ready To Downsize - Start De-Cluttering Now

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hoarding Is Everywhere

Hoarding is everywhere.....

Sometimes you can't tell if your neighbor is a hoarder.  Unfortunately, sometimes you can - by the smell that comes pouring out of the house.

Read some recent articles on hoarding from around the country:

Hoarding Conditions Slow Firefighting Efforts At Redlands Home

Blind Hoarder Lived With Remains Of Son Who Had Been Dead 20 Years

Parents Charged After Children Removed From Home In Wausau Hoarding Situation

Garden City Hoarder Home

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Checklists For All Of Your Needs

RealSimple is a great magazine that has numerous articles on everything that you need to be ORGANIZED and it also has a great online magazine.

Below are some links that you might enjoy!

Checklists For All Of Your Organizing Needs

Pantry Organizing Checklist

Organizing The Kitchen Checklist

Daily Cleaning Checklist

Quick Dinner Cleanup Checklist


Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, September 30, 2016

What is Squalor

Messiness, clutter, disorganization, hoarding....squalor.

I found an interesting website that I thought might make you sit up and think. Here is a list of some thoughts from people on their definition of "squalor".

Defining squalor

It can be found in suburbia, high rises, rural dwellings, mansions, and trailer parks. What is our current understanding of squalor? What IS squalor?
Squalor is...
  • Always being late to everything because I can't find clean socks or underwear, can't find the top that I want to wear with a particular pair of pants, can't find my shoes, or my keys, etc.... 
  • Anger.
  • A bare-bones confession that opens up great dialog among down-to-earth (i.e, REAL) people from all walks of life. 
  • CHAOS.
  • Cold and unwelcoming 
  • Cringing when there's a knock at the door. 
  • Depression made visible. 
  • Despair. 
  • Destruction of things that you used to put so much value in. 
  • Dirty, perishable, wet or smelly--something to do with actual decay or built-up hard-to-remove sludge
  • Dreading opening the front door because it doesn't feel like home. It isn't a place where you relax.  It's where you hide. 
  • Embarrassment. 
  • Everyday the Fear I will go back to squalor. 
  • Far too many objects taking the place of memories. 
  • Fear. 
  • The fear I am going crazy because now I can NOT quit cleaning my house. I have become obscessed by the squalor I was in, into becoming a clean freak. There seems to be no happy medium for me. 
  • The fear of the knowledge I am screwed up and do not know how to fix it and become normal again 
  • Filling my brain with pesky little stuff so I don't have to deal with things that are important.
  • Frenzied and hostile - the opposites of calm and peaceful. 
  • Giving me lots of excuses. 
  • Going to extreme lengths to make sure no one gets the bright idea to pay you a surprise visit.
  • Having great balance because you've learned to dance over heaps of stuff. 
  • Imprisonment.
  • A "keep away" sign.  It tells the world I'm afraid or unworthy, so please don't trespass.
  • Knowing you can always stash the dirty dishes in the oven or a box if you are expecting company because washing every dish you own would take 4 hours. 
    • Finding the box of dishes a year later and forgetting you ever owned them! 
  • Knowing that water becomes stagnant when it sits. 
  • Looking around & being horrified that everything is cluttered or needs cleaning or some sort of attention—and it's gonna be me.
  • Looking at "The pile," knowing it's destroying your life, and doing nothing but shifting it around. 
  • Loud. The visual noise of it can be deafening.
  • Not being at home in your home. 
  • Not enough space for the things we feel we must keep. 
  • Not knowing how much is enough . 
  • Not home. It's a house filled with stuff and grime. 
  • Pain and fear. 
  • The pain I caused my friends and family denying them access to me as a person by keeping them out of my house. I can never go back and undo that. 
  • The pain I have now because I cannot visit my Mom because of her squalor.
  • The pain of denying myself children because I was afraid I would do to them what my parents did to me being raised in squalor.
  • Picking a few items out of the pile labeled Mount Washme so you can have clean clothes for at least the next day.
    • Picking a few items out of the laundry pile and sniffing to see if it's wearable.
  • The result of countless small acts of self-neglect. 
  • Socially incorrect.
  • A state of impoverishment. 
  • Suffocating under a stack of something.
  • Unnecessary mess. 
  • A visual expression of pain. 
  • A visual representation of emotional distress and a symptom of deeper problems 
  • Walking down the street catching glimpses into other people's windows and wishing you had a home like theirs.
 (posted on

Clutter causes many feelings.....

It takes a willingness to change to start the process to recovery.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 19, 2016

Get Organized In Twenty Minutes A Day

People always seem to complain that they don’t have enough time to do all of the things that they need or want to do in their day. I’ve always said, “the person that invents more hours in the day is going to be rich”.

But the reality is…. there are only twenty-four hours in a day. So what are you doing with those twenty-four hours? Besides wasting them?

Admit it… if you actually wrote down all of the things you did during the day….you would be shocked. Because you would see….in black and white…that you wasted a lot of time.

O.K. …maybe you are a really busy person. Maybe you don’t have enough time to do the big project that should get done in your home or office. But you probably have twenty minutes a day that you are wasting….talking to your friends, hanging around the water cooler, shopping on the internet, watching YouTube videos, staring into space…

So what can you do in twenty minutes or less?  Lots of things:

* Read a book to your child
* Read a magazine article
* Go through and get rid of old magazines
* Throw in a load of laundry
* Load the dishwasher
* Pay your bills
* File your bills in the appropriate files
* Check your email
* Water your plants
* Write out the birthday cards for the month
* Make all of your doctors appointments for the year
* Dust your living room
* Organize one drawer
* Make your shopping list for the week
* Make your lunch for tomorrow
* Organize your medicine cabinet
* Organize the top of your desk
* Unload the dishwasher
* Fold a load of laundry
* Put away your laundry
* Go through your sock drawer and throw out any mismatched socks
* Go through your refrigerator and throw out expired or rotting food
* Organize your spice cabinet
* Go through your email and get rid of old emails
* Get some mending done that has been sitting there for awhile
* Iron a few shirts
* Rearrange your coat closet - get rid of things that are don't fit
* Scrub your bathroom sink
* Wash down your shower walls
* Go through your kids toys and get rid of broken toys or toys they have outgrown

It might not seem like a lot. It might seem like normal, everyday boring things to do.. But if you don’t do them they will pile up. And then you will have clutter…and dead plants !

So stop wasting your time and pick one or two things to do every day and your house will be a lot more organized and you will be a lot less stressed.

Twenty (20) minutes a day = 121 hours a year. You can accomplish a lot in that time. So get started!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It's Getting Cold Outside - ReOrganize Your Garage

It's getting colder outside and depending on where you live snow could be just around the corner - or in some places - have already happened.

So - it's time to 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. It will be here soon enough.  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.

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.

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 easy access to your snow shovels or anything that you might need - such as salt for those snowy days.

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.

Don't get caught unprepared!  Get Organized - Get Winterized!

Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, September 9, 2016

Finding Your Papers Easily.....With Paper Tiger

Paper management is a never ending nightmare for most people. We get inundated with paper every day. What do we do with it all?  Where do we put it? How do we find it?

Being organized - with paper - is a challenge for a lot of people. Having some type of system in place - whether it's a filing cabinet and file folders or an electronic filing system - really makes a difference in being able to find the papers and information we need - in a timely manner.

Not being able to find a document causes frustration and stress. Especially if you wait until the last minute to find that important document that you need.

A great system that can really save you time and frustration is the Paper Tiger system.

Manage Digital & Paper Files In One Place

Finally, a product that allows you to organize your ENTIRE office in one place. You will have one screen to search for all of your information, be it in PDF format from the paper you have scanned or if you have the paper in your file cabinets, as most businesses do. Many people are starting to move to a more paperless environment but still have a great deal of paper that they must manage each day. The combination of Paper Tiger and the NEW Digital Tiger makes it possible to easily convert your paper to PDF files and store them in the amazing product Google Docs. In addition, using Paper Tiger, you can easily index your physical paper files and find them while searching for your digital files...all in one search! Digital Tiger is FREE with your paid Paper Tiger Online account (Basic or Pro plans).

Our original product, Paper Tiger Software in the market since 1995, revolutionized how tens of thousands of organizations/individuals manage their filing and paper (hanging file folders). Paper Tiger greatly SIMPLIFIED filing by eliminating the problems found in traditional alphabetic methods and made finding paper files in the office faster and much more reliable. The software is a very powerful, yet simple indexing system for paper office files. It works like a search engine for paper files to help you stay organized. People using the software can save over 150 hours per year by eliminating the time-consuming task of looking for lost information. People so love the software that they have expanded its use to many things other than paper!

As the power of computers has increased, the cost of disk space has decreased and the cloud has become secure, reliable and robust, more and more people are looking for a digital solution for at least some of their paper files. This lead us to create Digital Tiger. Digital Tiger and Paper Tiger work together seamlessly to provide you one place to find BOTH your digital (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDFs and almost any other file type) AND your paper files in one search. Using both products, you will be able to "Find Anything in Your Office in 5 Seconds or Less...Guaranteed!

For more information - go to The Paper Tiger

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Benefits of Being Organized - How a Professional Organizer Can Change Your Life

Clutter = Stress

Stress = Anxiety

Anxiety stops you from being the person you really are.

It's not just about having a messy house. It's about having a messy life. An unorganized life. A chaotic and hectic life. A stressful life.

The benefits of being organized are many.

When you are organized you tend to be a calmer person. You know where everything is - in it's rightful place. You can find things at any time. You have control over your home and your life.

You save money because you are not constantly buying things that you already have.

You have more time to do the fun things in life because you aren't spending as much time cleaning or clearing your clutter. You have a routine that saves you time - so that you don't need to spend your entire weekend cleaning.

You can invite family and friends over to your house because you aren't embarrassed by your mess.

Your family notices the change in your demeanor - you're calmer - now that you have an organized home. You get to spend more time with your family doing fun things.

You haven't missed any deadlines paying your bills because you have a new and easier system for dealing with paper.

You aren't late for or miss meetings because you have a calendar and you actually use it.

Being organized has it's benefits - but not everyone understands why.  As I've always said - just like having a workout coach - having a Professional Organizer can help get and keep you on track.

A Professional Organizer knows that each client is different - works differently - sees things differently - and learns differently. A Professional Organizer is able to come up with individual strategies for their clients.

Some clients just need some guidance with direction on where to start the process. Some clients can stay organized once a solution has been found (for whatever space was disorganized).

A Professional Organizer doesn't judge. They support.  They see past the clutter and try to understand the issues that caused the clutter and try to redirect the behavior so that the clutter doesn't return. Sometimes it's a collaborative effort with therapists (for clients with hoarding issues).

For people with severe chronic disorganization or hoarding issues - it's not a quick process. The time is takes depends on each individual. Their willingness to learn new habits. Their willingness to let the Professional Organizer in - not only their home - but their minds.  If they are willing to be taught new habits - if they are willing to let the Professional Organizer show them why their stuff is no longer needed (if it's not) - if they are willing to learn why "letting go"  is not always a bad thing - a lot can be accomplished.

A Professional Organizer has been trained to come up with solutions for all organizing issues. They can help "clear your clutter" and "clear your stress".   They can direct you, guide you, lead you, inspire you, motivate you.

Sometimes you just need someone to "make you do it" - just like a workout coach.

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Organizer Gets Spicy !

The other day I had a little bit of time between clients - and I just happened to be near a Bed, Bath & Beyond - with a 20 % OFF coupon - so I decided to see what was new in the kitchen aisle.

I love looking at all of the various organizing bins and gadgets. They are expensive and you can probably get them elsewhere for less money - but with a sale and a coupon - sometimes you get lucky.

I happened to spot a "Spicy Shelf". I had read about this shelving system from other Organizers and they seemed to like it - but I thought it looked like it wasted a lot of room - so I never gave it another thought. And then I saw it in the store - and I had that 20 % OFF coupon - and I was feeling adventurous - so I bought it!  For clarification - I am not a shopper and not impulsive - but I was having a wild and crazy moment!

I went home and proceeded to take everything out of my spice cupboard and then put together the "Spicy Shelf". It was extremely easy to put together.

The cabinets in my kitchen are small and not very tall (it's a rental - we can't all have the perfect kitchen).  I was originally using a small, single turntable on each shelf. The Spicy Shelf definitely made it look a lot more open and gave me a lot more room. Since my cupboards are not very tall I just used one of the stacking shelves on each level.

It's still a work in progress. I will get some small containers for some of the loose bags that I have.

My only wish is that the shelves were just a bit wider. They are fine for normal spice jars - but since I am a huge gardener and have my own herbs - I tend to use a variety of jars to contain them.

It was a fun afternoon. Reorganizing and fine tuning is an ongoing process.

So - get creative - and GET ORGANIZED !


Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Getting Your Kids Ready For School...and For Life

School is about to start. Have you thought about your school year routine yet?  Don't wait until the morning of the first day of school to come up with a plan. Start thinking about your first day now and get ready.

The question now is "Do you have a calm and stress free routine ?".  If not, why not? The answer is probably because things are not as organized as they could be.

Come up with a routine and get your kids involved. Let them know ahead of time what time they will have to get up in order to have plenty of time to get dressed, make their bed, eat a healthy breakfast and get all of their school things in their back packs and on their way.

By starting your kids on a routine and giving them responsibility for getting ready on time you have started them off on the right track to a successful life.

Kids are never too young to start learning how to be organized. Kids as young as three can be taught how to put their toys away.

School age children should have a daily routine. Everything from getting up in the morning, getting dressed themselves, making their beds and getting their backpacks all ready for school. This includes making sure they have their lunches!

By making kids responsible for themselves they can start learning organizational skills. It also helps takes the pressure off of the parents.

Even though as a parent you might want to do everything for your would be doing them a disservice if you did. Don't you want your child to marry someone that can take care of themselves? Someone that helps around the house?

By teaching your kids some basic skills when they are young you are setting them up for success!

Kids love to learn new things. They love to think that they are in charge. Let them be in charge of themselves!

As a parent your job is to give the kids tools they can use in everyday life. Being organized is a crucial tool.

Parents, especially single parents, need all of the help they can get. Teach your child to be self sufficient and you too will reap the rewards.

And don't use the excuse "I am not an organized person myself".  I have a lot of clients that aren't organized themselves....but they know the right people to teach their kids various skills.

If you can give your child piano or gymnastics lessons.... you can give them "organizing lessons".  It's something they will use forever. Not that being able to do a cartwheel isn't important!

By starting young and having expectations from your children you are helping them be a better person. Their teachers, bosses and future spouses will  "Thank You" !

Start Today..... Raise an Organized Child

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 25, 2016

Grab A Basket - Clear Your Clutter

It's summer and you should be outside enjoying the beautiful weather - instead of deep cleaning your house. Don't misunderstand me - you really do want a clean house - but sometimes some things are more important - such as spending time with your family.

So - grab your laundry basket (or whatever large basket or container you have handy) - and walk into your living room - and pick up things that don't belong there. Put them into your basket.

The clothes that are laying round. The magazines or books that are on the floor. The newspaper. Games, toys....  dishes, cups.... 

Put everything into the basket.  Only things that belong in the living room should be there.

Fluff the pillows and straighten the rug.

Now take your basket and walk into the kitchen and take the dishes & cups out of your basket and put them into the kitchen.

Take the books & magazines and put them back on the bookshelf or magazine rack.

Take your clothes and put them back in your closet or into the laundry hamper.

When the basket is empty - you've accomplished your task!  You've cleared a room of the clutter that did not belong there.

You can use this process on each room that is cluttered with things that don't belong.

It's a quick way to have an uncluttered room.

Another way is to always take anything that you brought into the room - out of the room when you leave the room.

Unlearning bad habits is hard. Remember - "everything should have a place of it's own to live".

Now that you've decluttered a room - go out and enjoy the great weather!

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Organizing Your Pantry

Organizing is not a one time and you are done deal. It's an on going process. Every once in a while you should go through and reorganize each part of your home. Each drawer, each closet, each room.

With daily use these areas will naturally start to get unorganized - if you aren't diligent in putting things back where they belong or if you have acquired more items and not gotten rid of anything.

Start by taking everything out of each drawer or shelf (only work on one shelf at a time - otherwise it will be overwhelming).

In your pantry it's really important that you look at labels on your food items and check for expiration dates.

Make sure that the cans/bottles/jars are sealed (look for cracks or leaks).  Put all of the like items together. All of the vegetables, soups....  

Gather all of your pasta in one spot.

Have a spot for your cereals.

Put all of your snack foods in one spot.

Put all of your baking goods (flour, sugar....) in one spot.

I like to use baskets to keep all of your lose foods contained (especially snacks). It's easy to just graab the basket - pick out what you want - and put the basket back. Nice and organized.

Once you open an item (such as cereal) - put it into a large ziploc bag. This will ensure that the item stays fresh and does not spill out all over the place.

By having like items stored with like items - it helps you know - at a glance - what you have an what you need to buy.

Now - go and organize that pantry!
Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, July 14, 2016

It's MY STUFF! You Can't Make Me Throw It Away!

As a Professional Organizer I am very aware that when I go into a person's home or business to help them with their organizing issues I am being entrusted with their things and their confidence. I give my clients possessions the respect they deserve and I maintain a strict confidentiality on what happens in their home.

When people use their friends or family to help them organize - or in most instances - just clean their home (not the same thing at all)  - there is not the same understanding of confidentiality or non-judgement. In fact - there is so much judgement that it usually - in most cases - causes issues within the family or friendship.

The number one complaint from most clients who have - at one point or another - used a friend or family member - is that they tried to make them throw out their "stuff", they threw it out themselves without asking, or they were very judgemental, condescending or just plain mean.

I know that they were just trying to help - or they thought they were helping - but they weren't.  They were putting their ideas of organization, cleanliness and decorating on their friend.

I have heard many clients say to me  "It's MY STUFF!  They tried to make me throw it away!".  And a friendship was lost. A family was torn apart from anger.

Everyone has their own idea on what it means to have an organized, clean, picked up or decorated home.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

As a Professional Organizer I try to give my clients the best advice that I can - without judgement - and being aware of how they live, what their needs are and how they function.

A Professional Organizer never MAKES a client throw anything out. It's THEIR STUFF!

How would you feel if someone came into your home and just started taking things and throwing them out?  I am sure that you would not like it - and you would be very angry.

It doesn't matter what you think - it's what your friend or family member thinks.  It's their stuff - not yours.

It's not always easy when you have a client that is so chronically disorganized (and possibly a hoarder) - to not want to get rid of things and "make it all better" - but that's overstepping the boundary. Part of a Professional Organizers job is to try and teach the person how to make better decisions, how to organize their space better so that they can fit things in where they are supposed to be. A Professional Organizer can guide a client - but they can't and should never throw things out without a client's permission.

As an "outsider" - a "professional" - it's much easier not to become attached to a clients things and to be objective.

So if you don't want someone coming into your home and taking your things - don't go throwing away your families things. It won't end well.  

It's their STUFF!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 11, 2016

Too Many Things To Do ....Not Enough Time To Do Them All

Summer is a busy time. There are so many activities but only so much time. How do you do them all? How do you know about them all? How do you not miss anything?

Next weekend for example - there are three different fun things to do in one day. Two of them we love doing and the other one is a new festival that we have never been to - but that is supposed to be awesome!  How do we pick?  I know - a horrible problem to have!  

In order not to miss anything over the summer you have to be organized.  Yes - even fun needs organization!

In the spring I usually try to update my "summer list of fun things to do".  I have a spreadsheet where I list every festival or fun activity and the date it happens.  As new things come in I add them to the list. These are reoccuring things - like festivals and shows and activities that happen every year. All I need to do is update the exact dates - and I have a list of fun things to do all summer!

Having fun and being busy actually requires some work and planning. I have found that a lot of people in the city really have no idea of all of the fun things there are to do and when they happen. When I first moved to the city I had to really make an effort to find out what was happening - and therefore I was able to do a lot of things that most people here have never even done.

After I have my list done - I take my calendar and put all of the activities on the calendar. That way I am sure not to miss anything.  I have choices.

It still doesn't solve the problem of too many choices - but what a great problem to have. You can alternate the activities that happen on the same day by switching which ones you do this year and then do the other one next year.

A lot of things also need to be planned ahead of time - especially if children or other family members are involved. Camping or mini-vacations require that you plan ahead of time and leave enough time to get everything ready so that your trip is as stress free and relaxing as possible.  Being organized - and having your vacation packing list is essential.

By taking an hour to plan your summer fun ahead of time - you will be able to enjoy yourself without having to worry about forgetting anything or having nothing to do.

But remember - don't forget your sunscreen!

Have fun!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 14, 2016

Stuff - Why Do We Have It?

People keep asking me - "how much stuff can I have?".  "What is too much?".

The answer is - "you can have as much stuff as you want - if you have the room - if you can afford it and it does not negatively impact your life or your families life - and if it's organized or contained so that it does not negatively impact your life or safety".

That's the quick and easy answer.

Then it gets more complicated.

Why do you have all of the stuff?  Why do you need all of the stuff?

Are you compensating for something?

Can you just not let go?  Why not?

Does the stuff make you happy?  Or does it make you sad?  Does it remind you of things you would rather not be reminded of - but can't let it go?

Or do you just not have the time or energy to get rid of the stuff?

It's your stuff - it's your choice.  No one can or should make you get rid of it.


It's causing a health and safety risk.

Stuff - causes complications.

Think about why you have it and why you can't let go.

It's a very complex issue.

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Good Reason for Clutter

It's been a great week - not! We had a pipe leak and water everywhere. The pipe was in a storage crawl space that we rarely go into. Thank goodness we happened to go into the space to get something.

Everything was soaking wet. Who knows how long the leak was going. Luckily most of our things were packed in plastic storage bins. Except of course one huge box - which was so wet it literally fell apart when I touched it. Inside the box most things were o.k. - except the nativity set which was in another box that was also soaking wet.

After removing most of the bins in the crawl space we got busy putting towels around the pipe and floor and calling the plumber.

It would be a long week before things were finally fixed.

In the meantime - let's just say that I had boxes in the hallway, the bedroom and office.  Stuff everywhere.

As a Professional Organizer I like things in their place - where I put them - not all over my house. But this was an instance where I had little control and - well - I had "clutter". 

I kept telling myself  "it's o.k. - stuff happens".  It will eventually work itself out and be back to the organized place that keeps me calm.

So - a good lesson was learned. Never put anything directly on the floor that might get wet. Place all boxes or bins at least a few inches off the ground. Especially if your room has a water pipe in it!

Remember - clutter happens to all of us - at one time or another.

Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, February 19, 2016

" Hoarders" show - shot in Montana - now airing

Finally - after months of waiting - the episode of the Hoarders Show that we shot will be airing! We worked on the "Kathy" episode.

It was a great experience working on the show. The cast and crew were wonderful to work with.

Dorothy-Breininger was the lead Organizer in this episode. Cindy Julian and I were the other two Professional Organizers on the team. Marty, Dorothy's husband and right hand man was awesome to work with!

A & E Television. Back to back Episodes every Sunday Night at 9 PM and 10 PM PST/EST.

Our episode will air this Sunday, February 21st at 9 PM PST/EST.

The episode is entitled "Kathy & Elmira".

Hoarders is a Prime Time Emmy Nominated series.


H97 – Kathy & Elmira

Kathy has hoarded out her triplex and a dance studio and is facing financial ruin if she can’t clean up and rent out her spaces.  Her 12 children, including a daughter who developed split personality disorder to cope with the hoard, will try to get her to face her demons.  Elmira’s hoard has become so bad that code enforcement is on the verge of condemning her home.  Elmira’s family will have to resolve their “step vs.  blood” dynamics to help her through the process. 

As featured on A&E's hit television show Hoarders

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, February 1, 2016

Business Organizing - Paperwork, Schedules and Client Satisfaction

Small businesses are crucial to the economy and we like to use and support small local businesses as much as we can. And for the most part we always get better and more personalized service when working with a local business.

But sometimes we are disappointed because the business "forgets" to return our calls or "forgets" to come out and provide the service we requested on the day they arranged to come out. Most often the business will apologize and they will come up with some excuse. The problem is that the excuse shows how unprofessional they are and how unorganized they are.

Having run a number of small businesses my first priority was always to create the feeling of a bigger company. At least in the eyes of the client. Some clients don't trust that a person that runs a business out of an office in their home will be "professional" or "experienced" enough for them. One has nothing to do with the other. Today many businesses are run out of home offices to save money and for convenience and life style choices. As a business consultant and professional organizer I work at my clients home or office - so I don't need to rent an office space to look "professional".

One of the first accounting firms that I did business with had their office in the basement of their home. Once  you got into their basement office you would have thought that you were in a high class accounting firm. The office had the highest quality equipment and beautiful furniture. they saved money by not pay thousands of dollars a month in rent and therefore passed that on to their clients.

Having professional looking forms and invoices that can capture client information is crucial. Not only does it present a professional image but it also allows you to capture the needed information without forgetting anything. Even if you are a roofer or plumber you need to present a professional image when it comes to paperwork.

Writing quotes down on a scrap of paper does not present a professional image and chances are that you will lose that scrap of paper. It's happened to me and I knew it the moment he started writing my information down on a ripped piece of scrap paper. I lost all confidence in the vendor at that time.

Which is what happened to one of the plumbers we tried to do business with. He lost the order...somewhere..... He couldn't find our contact information and didn't call us.

Having a filing system and logging phone messages and client schedules is crucial to a small business. Being organized in a small business is even more important than in a larger company because the smaller business depends on client referrals more than a larger company that has a big advertising budget.

By having systems in place to capture client information and having a process in place to follow-up on that information will save you time and your clients will be happier when they get the service they need on the day they need it.

Being organized in business is crucial. Start today. Step back and take a look at your business and see how you can improve and make your clients happier. You won't be disappointed in the end result.

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Downsizing for Seniors

Downsizing can be a tough process for anyone, but especially for seniors who find themselves with a large home. More and more are tackling the huge job of downsizing their living spaces. In fact, about six percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 move each year, according to the Over-50 Council of the National Association of Home Builders. As seniors reach the time to downsize belongings and move into smaller, more manageable homes, many have a hard time figuring out what to do with all of the “stuff ” they’ve accumulated over the years.

To have a more simplified lifestyle many seniors decide to move to a smaller, more manageable home.

Following are some tips for seniors downsizing:

• Get rid of the guilt factor — Many seniors feel they are the “keepers” of their family heirlooms and have a hard time getting rid of items for which they no longer have room. And even adult “children” have a hard time with their parents leaving the “family home” thinking that their childhood memories will be gone forever.

Instead of waiting to give your children some of your possessions that you would most likely leave them anyway….give them these pieces now, especially if they are not being used on a regular basis. They will be able to enjoy them now and you will be able to watch them enjoy them!

If younger family members are not interested in taking the items then consider donating them to a worthy cause. Some organizations purchase furniture, high-end clothing, and porcelain, and then sell those items to raise money for specific causes or charities.

Professional organizers can help seniors sort through household items to strategically figure out what will work in their new space. They also can help seniors identify which organizations to turn to that are best at finding new homes for family heirlooms.

Find movers specializing in senior needs — Moving is stressful for everyone, but some moving companies specialize in making the transition easier for seniors, and professional organizers can help find the perfect “mover match” for a client. A professional organizer can help pare down items before the move and make the process easier at moving time.

Some professional organizers will also help with things such as helping the clients find people to hang pictures on the walls for  or set up electronics at a new home if they are unable to do it themselves.  Some professional organizers can help with handling the change of address and getting the utilities set up in their new home and so much more.

Professional Organizers can help with a variety of tasks besides organizing your closets!

• Have a professional organizer reassess every five years — As seniors get older, modern appliances or high shelving can become more difficult to use or simply unnecessary considering their lifestyle changes. Hire a professional organizer to evaluate and reassess your needs every five years to make sure your home is still working for you.

For example, seniors who usually eat dinner alone should bring two to three sets of dinnerware to their level instead of keeping everything in out-of-reach cabinetry. Sometimes seniors don’t realize everyday activities and household chores can be made easier just by adjusting the setup in their homes. Professional organizers are great resources to help identify easy ways seniors can simplify to improve their overall quality of life.

Don't wait until you need to downsize - start planning now - at your own pace.

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Difference Between Clutter, Chronic Disorganization and Hoarding

Everyone has a different definition of clutter. To some people clutter is anything that is out of place.  If a coffee cup is left on the kitchen counter - it's clutter.  To other people, clutter means you can't walk through a room.  Everyone views clutter differently.
Just as the saying goes "one mans trash is another mans treasure". Some people would define that person as a hoarder.  

Who's right ?

According to the dictionary, clutter is a “confused or disorganized state or collection”. 

A confused state? Yes, you can have clutter of the mind. But most people think of clutter as just “stuff”. A collection of random objects scattered all over the place. That’s a nice and simple definition. It could just be that you hadn’t bothered to pick up after yourself and have stuff everywhere. 

Then we get to a more serious and a more cluttered situation and we could end up with chronic disorganization.

Chronic Disorganization also has a definition:
  • Chronic disorganization is having a past history of disorganization in which self-help efforts to change have failed
  • an undermining of current quality of life due to disorganization
  • the expectation of future disorganization.
This means that you have been disorganized for many years. And it has started to affect your quality of life. You can’t find things. You are constantly late because you can’t find things. You are embarrassed by your mess.

It’s a little more than just basic clutter.

A person can be organized in one area of his life but not in another. They can be organized at work but be disorganized at home. They can be organized by how they manage their time but not with how they manage their stuff.

Then we go up another level and get to “hoarding”.

What exactly is “hoarding”? According to “Frost & Hartl’s (’96) definition of clinical hoarding:

1) the acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value
2) living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designated
3) significant distress of impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding

Some people have an obsessive need to acquire things. They tend to develop an emotional attachment to things that many of us would consider trash.

Family and friends of hoarders don’t always understand that “hoarding” is an “illness” and that the hoarder needs professional help. They sometimes feel that by just going in and cleaning out the house (sometimes even when the hoarder doesn’t know that they are going to do it) that everything will be “o.k.”.  Once the mess is gone, problem solved. But that can actually make it worse.

Hoarding is a complex issue. An issue that there might not be a cure for.

 "According to the definition established in the new version of  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - (DSM 5), released in 2013, people with hoarding disorder have a conscious, ongoing urge to accumulate possessions, as well as corresponding feelings of anxiety or mental anguish whenever those possessions get thrown away".
It’s a problem that many people won’t admit they have and one that might cost them their family or even their life.

A problem that is more common than you think.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 4, 2016

Getting Organized in 2016

2016 is finally here! People are making New Year's Resolutions.....but are they being realistic?  Don't make promises (even to yourself) that you can't keep.  You might try - for a short while - but then it becomes too much of a hassle and you stop.

Wanting to change, to make things better is a good thing. But - be honest with yourself, know your limitations and set realistic goals. Don't bite off more than you can handle.

Being more organized is a good thing!  There is no downside to it!  But after looking at the "big picture" - break it down into smaller pieces and realistically set goals based on what you know you can accomplish - in a given timeframe.

I've already made all of my new spreadsheets for 2016 and starting logging information as it comes in.

I've made new files for my bills and a file for 2015 taxes where I can put documents as they are mailed to me. I am going through my filing cabinet and pulling out last years information and boxing up what I need to keep (for tax purposes) and pitching the rest (remember to shred!).

This is not the most fun project - but a necessary evil.  Just do it - and get it over with.

Once you start taking down all of your holiday decorations you might also want to do some extra cleaning and some more purging.  If anything is broken or old - don't just put it back in the box - get rid of it!

If you haven't put away your new holiday gifts - think about getting rid of the old things (clothes, toys, gadgets....) that you haven't used in a while.

Start 2016 off with a clean slate.

Happy Organizing!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services