Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas to All!

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.

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas Eve!

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!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holiday Gifts - What's Really Important

Christmas isn't only about gifts - believe it or not. It's about family and friends.

With only a week before Christmas the pressure is on. Do I have enough presents for everyone? Do I have the right presents? How can I make it through all of the holiday parties? If I go to one party - do I have to invite people over to my house for a party? How can I top my best friends Christmas decorations?

Too much stress!!!  Not enough "holiday spirit"!

By being organized - and starting early - you can avoid the last minute stress of trying to fit everything in and make everyone happy. Take notes for next years holiday!

First - you can't make everyone happy. Buying a lot of presents or big presents doesn't make a person happy. Especially if the gift is something that they really don't want, like or need. You all know what I'm talking about.  Gifts that will never be used or will be re-gifted.

So why waste you time, energy and money buying things that people really don't appreciate?

People tend of overthink the holidays. Keep it simple. Keep it real.

Especially as people age and have their own "stuff" - they don't necessarily want their home cluttered with other peoples (idea of) good intentions.

So - how about the "gift of time". Everyone is so busy these days - that spending an afternoon or evening with a relative is worth more than the piece of pottery or shirt (in your style - not theirs).

How about an "experience"? Tickets to a play - with you, of course.

Or tickets to a concert (their pick)?

Or how about offering to babysit your grandkids for an evening (or weekend) so that your son and daughter-in-law could have a much needed break?

How about offering to mow their lawn for the summer? Or shovel their snow? These are great "gifts" from the kids.

Think of gifts that don't clutter their home. Gifts that they can really use.

Gift baskets - edible - are a great gift. Something that most people don't buy for themselves - but make you feel special.

Holidays should be about family - not seeing who can spend the most money.

They are also not about "out doing" each other with the best party.

Keeping it simple will keep your stress down and let you enjoy the holiday just as much as your guests.

And next year - start planning earlier - for an even less stressful and more enjoyable holiday season.

Wishing you all a very Happy and Stress Free Holiday!

Organizational Consulting Services

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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017



Growing up German, St. Nicholas Day was a very big deal for us.  And still is.  A boot is put outside the door on the night of the 5th of December.  St. Nicholas fills the boot with candy, chocolate and small gifts.  As kids we liked to use my Dad's shoes because they were obviously bigger, which meant more candy!  In the morning, on December 6th, we would race to see what St. Nicholas brought us.

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

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

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reasons to be Organized – Reasons to GET ORGANIZED

Being ORGANIZED can make you a happier person. Really!

When you are organized you have more time to do the things that you want to do (besides organizing your garage….).

You will have more time to spend with your family and friends. 

You will be less stressed (and more fun to be around).

You will make a great impression at work – because all of your work is done on time.

You won’t be embarrassed to have people over to your home – because it’s organized, clutter free and inviting.

You will have more time for your hobbies.

You will be able to find things easily – therefore reducing your stress.

You will be able to enjoy all of the things in your home – because the clutter is gone and your favorite possessions can actually be seen.

You will save money because you are not constantly buying things that you already have – because you can’t find what you’re looking for.

You pay your bills on time – therefore you aren’t accruing late charges.

You only buy what you actually need at the grocery store (therefore saving money) – because you have a shopping list.

You save money by preparing meals at home – because of good time management skills.

You can teach your kids valuable organizing skills – which they will be able to use the rest of their lives.

You have organized your estate and life – so that your family doesn’t have to worry about what you want done and they know where to find all of your documents.

Organizational Consulting Services

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

On to the Next Holiday - It's Time to Start Writing Out Your Christmas Cards!

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

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 everything and friends sometimes go by the wayside.

So instead of sending out 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!

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

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Have a great THANKSGIVING filled with lots of stuffing!

Wishing you and yours a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, November 20, 2017

Start Now - Organize Your Kitchen For the Holidays

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

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

If you don't bake a lot during the rest of the year you might want to check your supply of flour, sugar, baking powder and anything else that you might not use often. You don't want to find out that you are out of something during the middle of baking.

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

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

Baking and cooking for your family and friends for the holidays should be a fun and enjoyable experience. Not something that you dread.

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

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

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

Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, November 17, 2017

Holiday Planners - To Help Make Your Holidays a Breeze

Get some great FREE holiday printable planners to make your holidays a breeze!

Holiday Card Tracker
Holiday Gift Tracker
Holiday Menu Planner
Holiday Cooking Planner
2017-2018 Winter Planner

                   Cozi - Holiday Planners - FREE

Monday, November 13, 2017

Traveling for the Holidays - Plan Ahead

A lot of people will be traveling for the Holiday. Take the stress out of your trip by being organized ahead of time.

Make a list of things to take so that you don't have to think about it as you pack.

Make sure that you put all of the clothes and personal items that you will need on the list.

Don't forget coats, gloves, scarves.

Remember to put any medication that you need on the list.

Don't forget your glasses or your phone charger. Two things that you really don't want to be without.

It might sound silly to put all of these things down on paper, but if you are leaving right after work you will be pressed for time and can easily forget things.

Make sure that your car is ready and gassed up at least a few days before you leave.

Don't forget to check your wiper fluid and make sure that you have a snow brush in your car and that your tires are fully inflated.

Depending on the length of your trip you might want to have snacks with you (especially if you are traveling with children). And also toys and books to keep the children occupied.

Why constantly re-create these lists? Do it once and you will always have it handy. You can tweak it after every trip and make your future travels go much smoother.

Happy Traveling...... and a Happy Holiday !

Organizational Consulting Services

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

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

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?
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.

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) 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 you 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.  How about  stuffed Cornish Hen? Or duck? Or stuffed chicken? 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.

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 stuffing…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. 

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 foil)
* 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:

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 !

Monday, November 6, 2017

Setting Goals for Your Projects

Most people, when they get the idea that they want to "organize" their home, start too big. Their idea is "organize my entire house". It's a great idea - but it overwhelms most people.

When you have a project - it needs to be realistic and manageable.

You need to have a plan. You need to have goals. You need to have a timeline.

So instead of saying "I am going to organize my entire house"  - pick one room. For example, let's pick the basement.

What are your goals for the basement?
  • Get it decluttered and clean
  • Get rid of old paint cans (from 10 years ago)
  • Get rid of old tiles (from a previous remodel)
  • Put in new flooring
  • Paint the basement
What is the deadline for your project?
  • Estimate how long it will take and put the end date on your calendar
  • Work backwards and put completion dates on your calendar (for the floor, the paint....)

What supplies are needed?
  • Make a list of needed supplies and where you are going to get them
Decide on the flooring and the paint and order them.

Pick a date/time and schedule yourself to "declutter" the basement and get rid of the old paint & tile (this needs to be done prior to painting and new flooring).

Planning ahead for your projects - breaking them down into smaller, manageable pieces, scheduling them on your calendar - may seem like a lot of work - but - it will save you time in the end. Also, it will make your project run smoother and save a lot of stress!

Now - go plan your own project!

Organizational Consulting Services

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Is Your Mess Causing You Stress?

Everyone has a different idea of what having an organized space means. And some people don't care or don't even notice that their place is an unorganized mess.

Levels of mess and organization are "subjective".  Some people aren't bothered by having things on the floor (that don't belong there) or piles of mail on the kitchen counter.

Other people go off the deep end when one small thing is out of place. And then there is the space in between.

If your mess bothers you - and it is causing you to stress out - then you need to change things.

If you are ashamed to have people come over to visit because of the mess - you are limiting your social life - and causing yourself unneeded stress.

If you feel irritated when people leave things laying around and don't pick up after themselves - and you feel your stress levels go up - then you need to take a step back and let them know how much it bothers you and how much stress it causes you. Most people that leave messes aren't aware of the emotional impact it causes on other people.

Clutter causes stress. You might not realize that clutter is the cause of your stress - but if you take a step back and analyze why you are upset - it can all be traced back to the mess on the floor!

Think about how you feel when you walk into a disorganized, cluttered room. Then visual the room all neat and clutter free. Are your feelings different? I'm sure they are!

A clutter free, organized space brings about a feeling of calm. 

So if you want to reduce your stress - reduce your clutter.

Organizational Consulting Services

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Planning for your Future - Be Proactive Not Reactive

Being organized is not only about your closet or pantry. It's about your life. Unfortunately, a lot of people leave things to "chance".  By not planning for your future you are being reactive - instead of proactive.

When something happens - such as an accident or illness - are you prepared to deal with all of the things that you will need to deal with? Do you have things in place so that your life will carry on as normal (as can be)?

If you were in the hospital (for example) - would your rent and all of your bills still get paid on time? Do you have quick access to a list of all of the people that you would need to contact to keep things going?

Would those people know where you keep your information so that they could help you? Would they know what you wanted them to do?

You might have a filing system in place - but think about the time it would take to go through everything and find all of the information that you needed.

There are a number of options that might make things easier when you are in a crisis and not able to think clearly.

Having all of your information in one easily accessible place is "being proactive".

Planning for your future - having a list of goals is "being proactive".

Having all of your legal and financial documents in place is "being proactive".

Not sticking your head in the sand and saying "I have time to ...." is "being proactive".

Planning for emergencies and life's challenges is "being proactive".

So start thinking about the future - and plan ..... for whatever might come your way.

Organizational Consulting Services

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What Can You Do In Ten Minutes? A lot!

Make the most of your spare ten minutes. Get Organized!

People always think in terms of hours - instead of minutes. By using your time more efficiently you can accomplish a lot in only ten minutes!

1) Clear out your inbox on your computer. Get rid of unwanted emails, spam, ads and anything else that is cluttering up your inbox.

By doing this at least once a week it will make the job much easier.

2) Clear out one drawer in the kitchen. Get rid of broken utensils.

3) Go through your medicine cabinet and clear out old and expired medications. This also includes cough syrup, suntan lotion and anything else that looks old and you have no idea what it is!

4) Clean out your sock drawer! You probably have a bunch of socks that don't have mates. Get rid of them!

5) Clean out your purse! You probably have old receipts and old coupons in there. Plus who knows what else. Clear our anything that you don't need to carry in your purse.

There are a lot of things that can be done in ten minutes. Using your time wisely gives you more time for the fun things in life!

Organizational Consulting Services

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Level II: Hoarding Specialist Certificate Earned

Karin E. Fried of Organizational Consulting Services Earns a Level II: Hoarding Specialist Certificate.

The Level II: Hoarding Specialist Certificate presents some strategies, resources and collaboration techniques for professional organizers working with these clients.

October 10, 2017 – Karin E. Fried of Organizational Consulting Services has earned her advanced Level II: Hoarding Specialist Certificate from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). The purpose of ICD’s study series is to provide both basic and specialized topic education on issues, concepts, and challenges presented by client work with the chronically disorganized.

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) promotes continued learning in this highly specialized field. ICD’s mission is to provide education, research and strategies to benefit people challenged by chronic disorganization. ICD explores, develops and communicates information, organizing techniques and solutions to professional organizers, related professionals and the public. 

This certificate focus on the advanced study of hoarding issues. To earn this certificate, Fried was required to attend numerous courses that explore topics such as “How to Effectively Work with a Hoarder and their Family”, “Advanced Hoarding”, “Hoarding Disorder: Comorbidities and Complexities”, “Understanding & Overcoming Triggers for Excessive Acquiring & Saving”, “Uncovering the Elephant in the Room: The Impact of Hoarding in Families”, “Treatment for People with Hoarding Disorder”, “Helping the Families of Treatment Refusing Hoarders” and more. Fried also had to study numerous books such as “Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding”, “Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding”, “Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring”, “Life in rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke the Rules to Help Him” and other books by the leading experts in the field of Hoarding and OCD.

Prior to completing this coursework, Fried has also earned her Level II Chronic Disorganization (CD) Specialist Certificate,  a Certificate of Study in Chronic Disorganization, a Certificate in Basic Hoarding Issues with the CD Client, a Certificate of Study in Understanding the Needs of the Elderly CD Client, a Certificate of Study in Basic ADD Issues with the CD Client, a Certificate of Study in CD Client Administration, a Certificate of Study in Life Transitions, a Certificate of Study in Interpersonal Intelligence, a Certificate of Study in Time Management and Productivity, and a Certificate of Study in Mental Health Conditions and Challenges Affecting the CD Client.

The Specialist Certificate provides in-depth information on hoarding and how to help clients manage more effectively in relation to stopping the acquiring and saving and staying organized. 

“My ongoing education allows me to work with clients who are challenged by hoarding in a very specific manner” said Fried. Increasing my knowledge will enable me to provide the highest quality individualized services to my clients”.

Organizational Consulting Services provides both business and residential organizing services. As a Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant, Fried works with a variety of clientele, from people who need just basic organizing help, people with chronic disorganization and hoarding issues, people with all types of issues such as TBI’s, Asperger’s, ADD; clients that need help with paper and time management, clients that need help with estate or life management and anything in between. Fried also provides virtual organizing to clients all over the world. 

For more information, please visit