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Tag >> home organizing
Do you think that you are Organized? I would say that most of us can rate ourselves with a percentage such as...I'm 80% organized or would say, "I'm organized at work but not at home". We all think of ourselves as being organized to a certain degree.
How Organized Are You?
Being organized isn't rocket science. It comes naturally to so many and for others...it is a struggle. The one thing that I think is important to remember is that there is no real right or wrong way to "be organized". Your style of organizing should resonate with your personality. A system that is too complicated is a system that won't work.
This is where, I believe, people can get stuck and develop the impression that being organized is overwhelming. Maybe it is that your system to organize is overly complicated for you to be able to keep it organized. Keep systems simple and easy to use.
How Organized is a 4 Year old?
Nothing happens unless you are willing to do the work. Consistency is required to get more done. We talk all the time about Time Management and Getting More Done. David Allen has it So right! I love his philosophy.
Stop being wishy-washy about whether you really want to reach your goal! Whether your goal is
- Be Consistent
personal or business related, it doesn't matter. Nothing happens until something happens. And this means you doing productive activities on a consistent basis to reach your goal.
So many times, I hear people say, "it didn't work for me" or "that doesn't work for me". "I've tried everything". But, did you try it for a period of time that you can measure your results? How long did you do the same thing...consistently? Did you just do it for several weeks or even several months and then give up? Here is my philosophy. Anything worth doing is worth doing right....over and over again. And, this is called consistency.
Posted by: Linda Clevenger in time management training, time management, self-improvement, Procrastination, paper clutter, office organizing, office organization, home organizing, entrepreneur, Enrepreneurship on
Dec 31, 2012
Yup...you've got it right, I said it! What New Year Resolutions will you break in 2013? When you think about what you would like to change in 2013 what comes to mind? The all infamous losing weight, getting organized, spending more time with family and stop smoking are just a few of the top New Year Resolutions. Which is exactly why, if you watch television at all, you will see more and more advertisements for "ways to lose weight" and "products to get you organized". Did you make one of the above New Year Resolutions for 2013?
BREAK THE TREND - DEVELOP NEW HABITS
Even though it is just the beginning of the year, if you are like a majority of people, they have already broken their New Year Resolution.
Why does this happen? Because making a New Year Resolution requires for you to either make a habit - or change a habit.
Reality is that sometimes we ask too much of ourselves. Being realistic about what we can handle and how much we can do can be difficult. So start with small changes that will result in big changes. Take baby steps toward your goals. Every goal is just like starting a diet....begin small by going to the gym two days a week. Then try cutting out sweets. Next, eliminate sodas and other sweets. Cutting out one bad habit at a time is much easier than trying the "cold turkey" method. So, how does this relate to organizing?
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT!
Do you ever become discouraged with the idea of everything that you need to do to stay organized? It is proven that being organized affects your lifestyle, family life and definitely the success of a business. What is the right answer to the age old question..."How to Stay Organized?" The truth is...the only right answer is a positive attitude toward the entire process, and don't think that you have to be perfect!
Being organized and managing your schedule, time and paper - along with clients, daily activities and having some fun is not always easy or exciting. Sometimes it is stressful and overwhelming. This can be caused by the worry about whether you are doing it right, or not. And, the abundance of applications for our android phones, iphones, tablets and computers that say that they are the answer to keeping us organized...but are they? I don't think so. I think that they have made it even harder for us to stay organized because they may not be right for your personality and organizing style.
Being organized requires habits and consistency. Developing these habits isn't always easy...especially when you are only counting on yourself to provide motivation and accountability. Have you ever noticed that it can be easy to fall into good habits when you spend time with other friends, relatives or business owners who also share your compassion for good habits? And, of course, the reverse is also true...spending your time with people who are negative, dramatic and discouraging people will also draw you into their attitude and discourage you from keeping your goals and organized. You can take on the attitude and thoughts of the people that you "hang around" and become just like them! Misery loves company! Just like the flu, being organized is contagious! You can, unconsciously, subject yourself to the flu just as easily as you can subconsciously keep yourself from getting organized. Don't let people break you down. Be happily contagious with these tips:
1. Don’t let negativity take away your happiness. If you have thoughts that continue to run through your mind, try using Bach Flower Essence - White Chestnut. Positive thoughts will help keep you organized and moving forward.
2. Dedicate yourself to embracing negative news. What happens today does not dictate your entire life. Use today as a learning experience to move on to tomorrow.
Posted by: Linda Clevenger in home organizing on
Jul 2, 2012
Being organized, having your "Ducks in a Row" and being prepared took a new twist for a lot of people this week. It wasn't as if the storm that just came through a majority of the U.S. was unexpected (at least here on the East Coast) - unless you had been totally disconnected from the outside world for a while. But its fiery still took us by surprise.
I remember, looking off of my deck and seeing all of my patio furniture woosh 30 feet from one side of my deck to the other. I felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz Movie! That's when I stepped away from the sliding glass door and to a safer place in our home.
We were one of the fortunate homes in the area that didn't lose electric over the last 5 days. Some families are still without electric and it is taking its toll since we are still in the middle of a major heat wave. But, we did already have plans to travel to the mountains to spend the day with some friends and do a little work on their cabin. Who would have thought that after driving for two hours and leaving the cool of our home they wouldn't have electric! So we adapted, improvised and overcame the situation! We even used the water from the creek right behind the house to wash windows and stay cool. It was actually fun and relaxing! What can we do to be prepared and organized in situations like this if you don't have a babbling creek in your backyard?
Of course, the biggest problem with no electric is no heat or air conditioning. But do you have a back-up plan for situations like this? I think society is equally divided with those who are really prepared and those who aren't prepared at all. I read on Facebook that a friend was heading to Lowes to buy a generator. I hope that she was able to find one because they were probably sold out - or the price jacked up really high!
There are three things that I think are the most important to be able to locate in case of an emergency. An alternate light source is my first pick. We have oil lamps, lamps that can be cranked to generate light and wood spare wood that can be burned.
There are times when it seems as if the clutter will never, ever end. I spent Saturday morning working with a young widow to continue organizing just one floor of her home. A massive amount of clutter has already been removed from her home. Ten truck loads to be exact which included over 800 books, a treadmill, a 50 gallon salt water fish tank (and all the accessories), tools, clothes, miscellaneous stuff and simply junk that was not needed any more. She knew that their hobbies which included ceramics, crafts, "gaming", sewing and reading books had taken over their home and it was always their intention to get organized. Really, it was! The plan was to work through it all together and eliminate clutter and donate items that they weren't using any longer. They just hadn't gotten around to it. And, they found out that this was just not to be.
Several years ago, her husband became very sick and within six months she became a widow. Not only did face the reality of losing her best friend of 25 years, she was left alone with absolutely no family and very few friends - but that she was going to have to handle all of this clutter by herself. Until we met!
While it has been a slow process (believe me, anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong), I continue to be amazed with her change in mindset and attitude that is a major contributor to the results that we are experiencing. Let's see, there was an incompetent contractor involved (which cost an enormous amount of money and time) along with a water pipe that burst which again put projects our organizing on hold until it could be resolved. Throughout it all though, she has been patient and continued to manage to keep a positive attitude toward everything. She has an amazing contractor now who has fixed, painted, and has installed shelving to hold the massive amount of "gaming" materials that she has accumulated over the last 25 years. Places have been designated for holiday items, crafting materials, books, ceramics and we are making amazing progress.
It is with her permission that I am sharing her story with you. She is a prime example of being realistic with your goals of de-cluttering your space. The accumulation of items didn't happen overnight, it developed over 25 years of marriage. The reality is that it would not get organized, uncluttered and sorted in a short period of time. Thousands of dollars have been donated to our local Goodwill Store and we aren't quite done yet. It has been a great tax write-off for her. (Of course, everything has been documented for tax purposes).
When you are dealing with decades of clutter, it is important to be realistic. There are a multitude of emotions involved, sadness, depression, good memories and some not so good that may affect the level of your progress. Be realistic in your expectations and strive to continue moving forward. I can already see the smile in her eyes - the reality of being able to have new friends over to craft and play games in a space that she will love again. This is my dream for you too.
It's that time of year again! No, not the post-holiday doldrums, but time to clean out the house to make room for everything Santa brought! Every year we do a mass toy cleanout and donate the items. The rules for cleaning out toys are very similar to the rules you apply when cleaning out your closet: Does it fit (is it age-appropriate)? Is it in good shape? Do you still use it?
Does it fit?
If you are holding on to baby toys or an exersaucer because you really think you might need it again in the near future, sure, keep it. But if your baby days are done, it is time to let go. If your child outgrew his Thomas trains years ago and you are reluctant to donate them, try selling them on eBay or Craiglist. Take a look around and if your kids haven't played with something in the past year, sell or donate. If you plan to sell on Craigslist read this article for tips http://moneysavingmom.com/2009/03/guest-post-successfully-selling-on-craigslist.html.
Is it in good shape?
If you have puzzles missing pieces or broken robots, it may be time to toss them, but try Freecyling them first. http://www.freecycle.org/ is a free online community where people offer unwanted items to keep them out of the landfill. It is not needs-based, and you can choose who you give the items to. Crafters often use broken toys and puzzle pieces, so before you toss, try to find a taker! Do not donate items to charity that are broken or missing pieces, that is a big no-no and the IRS only allows a deduction for items in good condition. You can also ask for items on Freecycle! If you have toys in good condition to donate, check out these articles http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505144_162-37043554/old-toys-4-tips-when-donating-them-to-charity/ and http://www.ehow.com/how_2042415_donate-childrens-toys.html for some donation tips.
Do you still use it?
It's officially the Holiday Season. Time to think about New Resolutions, making changes, setting goals and how to make 2012 the best year ever. Once again, an amazing number of people will jump on the diet bandwagon, whether it is to lose a simple 5 pounds or 50 pounds. This will take discipline, time, energy and dedication to making a change. But what other weight is bringing you down? What about putting your clutter on a diet this year?
Without meaning to, we allow clutter to take on its own personality in our lives. We mean well...really, we do! We find things on sale and think, "I will really like this", OR, "I may need this some day!" And we bring it home without it a real "place" to put it. It ends up shoved in a desk, drawer or closet - never to be seen again for years.
I have a great story about a client who had too much "stuff". She had knick-knacks and choc keys everywhere because her family thought she would really enjoy them. They weren't concerned about the clutter that it was causing in her home and how it was affecting her mental health. They meant well! The problem was that mom couldn't get rid of anything because she didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. After all, they had taken the time to buy these things for her. Wouldn't it be rude to get rid of them? So, several years ago, she gathered her children together and gave them a list of 3 things that she would like to receive that Christmas. The gifts were a book, a game and a kitchen utensil. This particular year, the children listened to her! She got exactly what she wanted (and needed) for Christmas without causing more clutter! It meant that she didn't have to find another drawer to hide gifts in and, more than that, she didn't have to worry about remembering where she hid them when the children visited next time! It was the best Christmas ever!
With the Holidays in full swing, think about things that you don't use any more and whether you need to keep them. If you can't remember when you used it last or it doesn't serve a purpose anymore, let it go! See how much "weight" your closet, pantry, filing cabinet or desk will lose by giving it a quick de-cluttering. When your home or office lose weight, you do too! Putting your home or office on a diet allows you to release items that have been weighing you down, causing you stress and anxiety. It is an easy way to begin 2012 and lose weight immediately!
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. And putting your space on a diet will: save you the time it takes to find lost items; save you money from purchasing items that you already have - but were "lost"; set the example for your family and/or employees; help you be more productive (because you'll find everything you need quicker and easier) AND you'll have more time to do what you Really want to do.
Trying to find the time to de-clutter, organize, down-size, and eliminate can seem impossible. There are only 24 hours in a day so how can we find the time to get organized? And, reality is that you will have to organize again, it won't last forever. Ever feel like this?
Because our time is precious ,it's important to make sure that we keep the following in mind when it comes to getting organized:
1. Take Action - Stop dropping everything that comes into your home or office or wherever it is the most convenient. Hang it up, put it in the trash, take it to the bedroom, put it away, file it. Whatever it is....if you don't have to touch it again, you'll save time.
2. Schedule Breaks - So many times we don't start a project because we have the perception of how much time it will take to complete the task. We play silly mind games with ourselves that because it is going to take 45 minutes, we don't have the time. Split up your time. Work for 20 minutes and then take a 5 minute break! When you get back up you'll be able to see the end in sight and actually finish the job.
3. Throw a Party - You are probably saying...WHAT? Do you realize what you are saying? I can't have a party because I can't have anyone see this unorganized mess! That's exactly right...what better reason to begin the organizing process than to celebrate your time and organized space with your friends and family! The party doesn't have to be tomorrow...I'm not talking about maxing out your stress level in order to have a party but schedule it soon and get busy.
7 - Two Minute Organizing Tips for Your Home and Office
Do you feel as if you'll never get caught up with paperwork? Have too much stuff laying around that is driving you nuts? Clutter, clutter, everywhere?
I love, love this philosophy...If it can be done in two minutes of less, do it now! Working with this mindset will allow you to keep clutter under control and eliminate pile management.
So, here are 7 tips that will help keep you organized. Each of them take no more than 2 minutes of your time.
The Missing Piece
I know that you really and truly do want to get organized but it seems that there is a piece of the puzzle that is missing to keeps you from reaching your goal. You haven't been able to really pinpoint what it is but maybe it is that:
1. Something is always coming up that keeps you from getting organized - that demands your attention. This is called Life and it will happen day in and day out, whether we welcome it or not!
2. You really just are wiped out...not feeling like getting it done. And things just keep piling and piling up and causing more and more stress. It is a cycle that you feel will never end.
3. You try and try but it just is taking too long - probably because it is too huge of a project. Getting organized just seems like it will never happen. Your business and home are suffering because of the lack of organization. But, there isn't time to make a change.
How do you handle these road blocks that keep you from getting organized:
Get Organized Today
As a society we are connected to each other in so many ways. We have our iphones, ipads, macs, laptops, blackberrys, etc. that keep us connected to our families, work, children and everyone else that is important to us.
But how are all of these gadgets helping us stay organized? Are they Really and truly helping us develop daily habits that will not only get us organized but keep us organized? I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this subject.
On one hand, it seems essential that we be "connected" 24/7 because this is the way that we communicate. What would we do without email, text messages, our cell phones and GPS? On the other hand, we can become so engaged in all of the gadgets while trying to get organized that it seems that it makes us more unorganized.
Are you ready to Get Organized Today? Here are some tips that I believe will help you along the way:
The lack of organization is directly related to our daily habits. Having a small list of things that you do automatically, because they are a habit, will help you keep your day organized and reduce the clutter. So many times I see the same situation in homes and offices. There is no system to deal with the daily activities necessary to stay organized. Developing a system of these 6 simple things that you can do every day...as a habit...will help keep you organized every day. They don't take much time. The benefits of making no agonizing decisions won't take much of your time, honestly.
Procrastinating is just a waste of time. Thinking about doing these small habits isn't beneficial. Like Nike says, "Just Do It". Make your list of daily habits manageable and organized. These six daily habits are quick, easy and don't take much time at all; but will set the tone for your day and night. Post your list on a white board in the refrigerator or in the bathroom on your mirror. Put it somewhere that you will see it first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
Statistics say that it takes 21-28 days to form a new habit. Turning what was a chore or task into a habit will allow you to change your mindset and get more done. Changing these 6 chores into a habit that you do every day, without fail, will allow you to stay organized and manage your time.
1. Make your bed every day. This may seem weird but statistics say that making your bed every day it allows your brain to start functioning in an organized manner. You are accomplishing a goal immediately and it will set the tone for your day (which is important)...and making your bed is simple. It will literally take only 2 minutes of your time. You have 2 minutes....honest, you do!! Don't hesitate or procrastinate. Set the daily habit.
Part One of a Three Part Series
Top Ten Excuses and How to Overcome Them
I believe that some people are natural-born organizers. I'm the daughter of an Organized Mom. Everything in our home had a place, everything could be found whenever it was needed and we were all aware of where everything was kept. There was never a reason to ask mom where to find things because they were always put away in the same place, every time.
But this isn't true for everyone and this is why you may find it necessary to ask for help from a Professional Organizer. Asking for help to become organized can be a difficult decision but will be worth it in the end. There is a reason that you would call a plumber, electrician, tutor...why is calling on an Organizer for help any different? If being organized will help you get your life on track and ease the chaos and stress in your home or business it is something worth considering.
Paper+ Procrastination = Chaos
You've heard me say it over and over again that the price of procrastination can (and does) cause Chaos (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).
Paperwork can easily consume every part of your home. Flat surfaces: tables, counter tops, kitchen and dining room tables, dressers...you name it. I've seen it all! It can even expand into boxes, bins, containers and continue to be spread throughout the house/office. And, it doesn't stay in one room. It can expand from the kitchen and office into the living room, dining room, and even the bedroom!
What is the price of this procrastination? Unpaid bills, missed appointments, stress, anxiety and total overwhelm and lost time spent looking for paperwork that you can't find. The average executive spends a total of 1 hour per day looking for essential paperwork. Why??? There are many reasons...consistent habit, laziness, lack of time (?), accountability, time management issues....etc.
Paperwork is a struggle for most homeowners and businesses too! We receive so much mail and paperwork every day and without a system to file it all away the only thing that happens is that it gets piled up high and deep.
Paper clutter is one of the major struggles these days. SO much of it we feel the NEED to keep, so much we HAVE to keep and the rest, is just junk. And until we make a decision how to handle it all, it continue to come in and cause overwhelm. For about 1/3 of the homeowners that I work with this causes them to go into shut-down mode. Procrastination then becomes second nature and the cycle spirals downward quickly.
To keep ahead of paperwork it needs to be touched frequently. Allowing mail to continue to stack on the dining room table, kitchen counter or any other flat surfaces will only cause you distress and can even keep you up at night.
The key to gaining control of your paperwork is to be very clear with yourself about what you need to keep.
Posted by: Gail Gray in time management, organizing tips, organizing life, organizing homes, managing time, life priorities, life organization, how to organize, home organizing, home organization, disorganized, disorganization, de-clutter, Clutter Control, clearing the clutter on
Jul 24, 2009
How would you like to clear your mind from all the little distractions that get in your way? These everyday distractions can wreak havoc on your productivity. Wouldn't you love to have a machine that automatically made your life easier? Well, I have a little secret for you. You already own it! It is that thing in your head that weighs about 3 pounds. Your brain!
Wikipedia defines automatic as "Capable of operating without external control or intervention. Done out of habit or without conscious thought." There are certain things we can't avoid in life. We must wake, sleep, eat, bathe and dress everyday (now don't try and tell me you don't do at least three of these every day). There are also things that must take place on a weekly or monthly basis, like laundry, cleaning your home, personal grooming,
Creating a routine for your regular to do's will not only make your life easier, but will free space in that crazy brain of yours to actually think of more important things. I have so many clients feel they are ADD, regardless of whether they were every diagnosed or not. It is the crazy way we run through the day, feeling like we are spinning our wheels and not getting anything done. We are so distracted by what we have to do that we simply don't focus easily.
Create regular routines for your Home
- Changing sheets
- Bathrooms (yes the dreaded bathrooms)
- Empty Trash Cans
For your Errands
- Grocery Shopping
- Dry cleaning
- Discount Stores
For your Personal Grooming (whether you are a do it your selfer or you visit a spa/salon)
As the end of the school year is swiftly approaching, parents are faced with what to do with all the art (and school work) clutter their children have produced. Now, when I call it clutter, that is not to say we don't love what our children created, it is just that the shear volume is overwhelming. It seems as if once a child can hold a crayon, their paper seems to multiply faster than fleas! But what is more amazing is our attachment to each and every one they create. Whether it is a masterpiece that Van Gogh would admire, or one that is scribble scrabble (a phrase my kids teachers have used) we can't seem to let go of our budding artists/scholars work. And this is only compounded by having more than one child!
If you were to save each and every piece of paper our children worked on in their 13 years of school, you could fill an entire standard bedroom! Mom's who find out I organize homes always ask how they can better organize their children's art and school work.
Posted by: Barbara Tischler in residential organizing, organizing tips, organizing homes, how to organize, home organizing, home organization, disorganized, disorganization, decluttering, declutter, de-cluttering, de-clutter, clutter on
Apr 21, 2009
It’s spring-cleaning time.
Choose an area to de-clutter, and gather a large garbage and/or recycle container, a box or boxes for donations/garage sale/consignment, and a box for items that go elsewhere -- i.e., don’t belong in the area you are de-cluttering. Sort items into these containers, and then deliver the “goes elsewhere” items to their proper places.
The above organizing tip is taken from my booklet, "36 Home Organizing Ideas for Your Family Around the Year". This 16-page booklet provides month-by-month, timely tips to help you and your family organize your home. My booklet also makes a great gift to friends, family, colleagues, clients, and potential clients. You can even choose to add your company logo and/or information to the booklet. To order one or more copies of my booklet, please go to http://www.thecluttercoach.com/booklet.html.
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, the feeling of new beginnings is in the air. Spring is my absolute favorite time of the year. Everything seems clean and fresh. (Yes, you can tell my mood by how clean and picked up my home is! Mess = Stress) New plants and flowers, blue skies, warm and comfortable temperatures and fresh green grass make a beautiful picture. This is the best time of year to create your own new beginnings. What do you want to change? What do you want to start pursuing? Where do you need or want A Fresh Start?
My company name came from the need we all have for the changes in our lives to move in a positive direction. A Fresh Start is something we all desire when things aren't working quite right.