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