Sunday, December 02, 2012

Organizing Tips for the Holidays ... and a Hot New Book

Getting ready for the holiday season can be crazy and stressful.

Rebecca Regnier invited me to her weekly show Rebecca Regnier's Full Plate to talk about some organizing tips you can use to, hopefully, ease some of the overwhelming anxiety that can build this time of year. Breaking News, Weather and Sports
... and, yes. You heard correctly.

 I have published a book, Divorcing A [______], sharing some of the craziness that happens from the divorcing process. Along with little lessons, and a good dose of humor,  learned in the process. It has received some fantastic reviews on  You can purchase directly from me (autographs are free, just ask!) from the book website or visit, eBooks available with Kindle and Nook versions.

The book is targeted for anyone going through a divorce, though you can apply the lessons learned to any struggle or challenging event in your life.  I am thankful for the wonderful feedback from readers.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Gift of Organizing Magic

Finding a fun, creative and appreciative gift this holiday season can be quite challenging.  With the craziness of life, many times just a little bit of extra help to ease the stress and strain of an overwhelmed world is amazingly refreshing.

An Organized Solutions gift certificate may be that perfect fit for your favorite loved one who has been dreaming of getting organized. Paypal is a fantastic feature and we are very excited to offer this element to you (See below or the top right side bar on this blog.)  Bonus:  You can use your any of your favorite credit cards, too.

Organizing Magic Holiday Special
If you are thinking of purchasing a gift certificate, I encourage you to contact me to make sure your gift will be happily received. Nothing worse than getting a gift like that ugly sweater your Aunt Bonnie gave you when you were 16 year old.

After all, we all give with best intentions, though making sure your gift is perfect is priceless.

What was the best gift you ever received?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Oooh ... Organizing Magic ... Ahhh ...


We all have them. Many times STUFFED to the brim with pencils, screws, papers, power cords and other odds & ends. If you have your drawers organized, bonus to you.

In this video from Rocket Organizing, we take a look at an organizing magic trick to keep your drawers organized and in check:

What is your favorite drawer in your home?

Sunday, October 07, 2012

How One Garbage Bag Can Make You Happy

Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.
Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge. Purge.

Remember, it's just stuff.

If you could make a change, what would you do?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Let go of your Elephant!

It's ugly.
It's useless.
It makes you cringe.

Even though [insert name here]
gave it to you,
Get it out of your home.

... and if they ask about it, blame me for getting rid of it.

What's your elephant?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remember, You will Survive

There are no challenges, issues, or crises that do not contain within them seeds of opportunity that could not have otherwise existed.

So true.

If you are in a tough spot, think about what you could learn from this moment.  Might not make you feel amazing, hopefully it will give you a tiny bit of hope that things will be better.

So ...

Take on that challenge.
Deal with that issue.
Crises will pass.
... and you, my friend, will be an amazing person for enduring.

What are you bodaciously conquering today?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Remember to Reward Yourself

Kids get rewarded all the time. Sometimes its a simple star on their paper, and that star means the world to them. Any parent with a fridge full of starred and smiley faced papers will agree. It does not take much to feel special to children because they simply enjoy the act of being honored without value being added to it.

I have found that the last person rewarded in many households is the mom. The one person busting their butt for everyone inside and outside the home. Your mom orchestrates the ballet of soccer, school projects, scouts, meals, laundry, dishes and "Oh mom, I need 12 things that start with the letter 'H' by tomorrow morning." And she does it with a smile (at least it looks like a smile).

Slowly the clutter begins to build up around the house. There are only so many hours in a day and you begin to believe you can't get caught up, so what's the point in trying?
"If you think you can or think you can't, you are right," is the famous saying by Henry Ford.

Challenge yourself to stop the "I can't" thinking and turn yourself around. It took time for the clutter to build. It will take time for it to get under control. Be patient with yourself.

Let me suggest this:1. With notepad in hand, walk through your home and note the areas you want to work on.
2. Choose an area to get organized, schedule it on your calendar.
3. Break the project down into small tasks. Instead of organize kitchen, think organize upper cabinets, lower cabinets, junk drawer, pantry, or counter top.
4. Take on one small task and complete it.
5. Schedule your next project.
6. REWARD YOURSELF!! Take a couple minutes longer in the shower, let the kids eat cookies for breakfast so you can sleep in a bit, go for a walk after dinner by yourself .... geez, sometimes going to the bathroom by yourself is a treat!
Post your list of projects to complete and put stars next to them as you complete them. It may sound elementary, though remember how great you felt in school when your teacher put a star on you paper.

Don't forget: Your home is going to be feeling better and better with each task you complete.

How do you reward yourself?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Transforming a Garage

Man it's a hot one,
Like 7 inches from the midday sun

Santana with Rob Thomas "Smooth" was running through my head as "Tracy" and I began working on her garage.

It was a beautiful 90 degF with about 110% humidity summer day in Michigan. I love summer heat and would much rather sweat like a pig than freeze my little tushie off.

Onto Tracy's garage ........
We decided to pull nearly everything out of her garage.

As we did this piles were created:
- kids stuff- bikes- garden/landscaping- tools
- "what the #@&%?" - home decor

By pulling everything out of the garage Tracy was able to see, and find, everything she had. She swept out the floor as I installed some wall storage hooks and racks to get things up off the floor.

Then we set up a storage areas for kids stuff and garden/landscaping items. The tools were sorted and organized into the tool cabinet and benches. The home decor items were put away. And the "what the #@&%" pile ....... well, that got curbed to the road.

In just over 4 hours, Tracy's garage was transformed
from a "disaster zone" to "WOW!"

With time and energy left, we moved onto the basement and were able to get her son's band area tidied up a bit and came up with a game plan for the overall basement organization.

Man, it was a hot day. Tracy was pleased with her new garage. Her kids were shocked at what we accomplished. "Can you do my bedroom?" her daughter asked me.

Do you prefer to work the heat of summer or the chill of winter?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Get Selfish, Get Organized

Sometimes you have to get a bit selfish when you want to get organized. You may not be able to convince your significant other/"the other person" that:
"Hey, we need to live a little bit better."

Perhaps they are happy with the way your home is set up. Then again, they could just be a little embarrassed to acknowledge there is a problem and asking for help would just add to those negative feelings.

Once confronted with this situation, try to fall on the old adage:
"Lead by example."

Look around your home and find an area you can conquer the organization of your stuff without the help of others. Maybe it's a kitchen cabinet, your bathroom counter top, a sock drawer or your nightstand. Tackling one small organizing project successfully will give you a sense of accomplishment. Following up with another small project will get your mood rollin' toward pride in your progress.

Choose your areas to organize that involve only your items and interests, if possible. That way you are not interfering with "the other person" in your home. Hopefully they'll see you are feeling a bit better, able to find your keys quickly and overall just more relaxed about your own stuff. Maybe, just maybe, they will begin to clear up their areas too.

You cannot change who people are, though you can alter your reaction to them. If you are feeling more relaxed in your home, it will show. Yes, you may get frustrated at how this "other person" lives, but you can have solitude in your organized area.

If it took several months, or years, to lose control of your home, it will take some time to regain the organiziation again. Be patient and believe that you are working toward success.

Get a bit selfish. (there's nothing wrong with it)
Believe you can get organized.
Make it happen in small projects.Enjoy your organizing successes, no matter how small.
You are doing a great job!
What area of your home can you organize for yourself?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do Not Eat Garage Sale Leftovers

Seems everywhere you go, garage sales are lining the neighborhoods in hopes of getting rid of some stuff and making a bit of money.

If you are a "garage sailer" person, there are some good deals to be had. Though please make sure you truly NEED the item and have a spot for it in your home.

Avoid buying just for the great deal on something because likely down the road that item will end up in your garage sale.

Now if you are about to have a garage sale, set your expectations to have fun with it and meet some interesting new people. Very rarely do you hear about the oodles of money someone made at their garage sale. The goal is usually to purge some items out of your home, making a bit of cash along the way.

Here are some great tips on what to do with the lonely items that no on seemed to need, i.e. your leftovers:

- Take It To Charity: Local thrift stores or charities, or a church,
school, or day care.

- Give It Away: Try Freecycle or place items on the curb in a box
marked "free".

- Sell It: at an online auction site or via internet classified ad.

- Trash It/Recycle It: Let it go, and live happy in your clutter-free home.

Whatever you do, please do not bring your leftovers back into your home!!

You have taken the time to sort them out, please think about how great your home FEELS without the added items.

What was your greatest garage sale find?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

No One Likes to Dust

The start to being organized is have less.

Less stuff gives you more:
happiness ...

 Did you know that the fewer items you have sitting around gathering dust,
 the more time you will have to do more fun things?
Let go of dusty things. Enjoy the day.

 What did you let go of today?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Water Wars with Your Dusty Baskets & Plants

Spring is here and time for a fun little organizing project that everyone can help with. Plus there is the potential for a little water fight (you have been warned).

"Mary" need some organizing help with some items from a recent move. Well, she moved about a year ago and is still working at unpacking and finding homes for all her stuff.

She has a large collections of baskets that have collected dust for sometime. I shared with her a Basket Tip:

Rinse them off with a little soapy water.

You can see how dull the baskets. Then after their little bath, the baskets are bright and shiny.

If it is a good wood basket, you should let the basket soak in water at least once a year so it doesn't dry out.

You can rinse off your houseplants by hosing them down outside then letting them dry in the sunshine. No more dusty leaves.

I even take the chairs my boys sit on at our kitchen counter and hose them off a couple times a year. (gets all the crumbs out of the cracks)

Next time you're trying to dust a houseplant, clean a chair or dust a basket, think about just getting them a little wet.

What are you going to hose down?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Be a GlowWorm (or another version of awesomeness)

"We are all worms,
but I do believe I am a glowworm."
~Winston Churchill

This quote came across my random quotes of the day and it made me chuckle a bit. If you think about it, it's the perfect way to think about yourself.

We're all the same, though if you can think of yourself as special, unique ... heck, let's just say you're a ROCKSTAR!

Keep that mindset throughout your day, repeat it to yourself. It's not being pompous or self-centered. This is your own fun little mantra for the day. No one needs to know about it but YOU.

I bet you will begin to feel more confident, walk with a little swagger or bounce in your step because you are believing in yourself.
Nothing is more powerful than yourself.

C'mon, give it a shot.
Whadda got to lose??
You Glowworm, Rockstar, Diva, Empress, Ruler, Guru you.

Who are you?
"Today, I believe I am a _____."

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Spring ... Time for your organizing plan

Your house is filled, stacked with stuff.
You'd like to smile, but it's kinda tough.

Finding the time to clear this mess,
is making you feel like you're in distress.

Have no fear, help is here.
My help for you is true and dear.

Let's break it down one box, one room.
Then you'll feel like you're starting to zoom!

OK....that's my attempt at rapping (I know don't give up my day job).

Welcome to Spring!!
You have been cooped up in your home for many months now and things aren't looking like you wish them to be. The overwhelming sense of hopelessness may be setting in. You have got to SNAP out of it!

Give this a shot:
Grab a pad of paper and your favorite writing instrument (mine is a bright red crayon because it's fun). Walk through each room and write down what you done. Any little thought that comes into your head ... write it down.

-hang clothes
-remove kid toys
-clear desk
-shred old papers
-hang pictures

Now don't be alarmed if you end up with 3-4 pages of stuff. It's OK, really it's perfect. You now have a plan. It may be a lengthy one though you can't be successful until you have a plan.

Look through the list and decide which room to start. If you just don't know, choose your bedroom. Nothing beats a tidy bedroom to aid in a great night's sleep. Second biggest hurdle is accomplished: Deciding where to begin.

Pick an task and knock it off your list. Even cross it off as you go. This will feel like you are making progress. As you make progress, you gain a sense of accomplishment. Which in turn encourages you to continue the project toward completion.

Very important point: Do not look at the entire list and begin to think, "Oh I am never going to get this done." Stay positive in your thoughts and see the progress you are making.

Little by little your home will feel better and better

What's your favorite writing instrument?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

You feelin' like quitting? You're better than that.

Yeah, we've all been at that breaking point.
Over and over ... and over, again.

If you are in a tough spot, I guarantee there is another person in a much more difficult position.
For that person, you will persevere.

Rocky said it best. I ain't changing it:

The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!
Take the hits life has dealt you.
Learn from them and move on.
It's when you stop moving, you lose.

I believe in you.
Believe in yourself and you can do anything.

What are you going after today?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Organizing Trick for Your Drawers

Many times the clothing items you grab out of your drawers are always on the top, leaving the ones under everything lost and unused. Then if you do want an item from this lower layer you have to send out an expedition team to discover it. Likely ending with a big ball of unorganized clothing ready to cram back into the drawer.

There is a little organizing trick to avoid this requiring a minor change in your folding method, though the results will save you time and hassle:

Organizing your drawers:

How cool is that?
Remember: Vertical is Visible, Horizontal is Hidden.

Now run to your drawer and try out this little trick, maybe you will find a long lost tshirt or favorite yoga pants.

What did you unearth in your drawer?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Organizing Expo 2012 - Columbus, Ohio

April 21, 2012
10:00am to 3:00pm

M/I Homes Design Center
Easton Town Center
4077 Grammercy St
Columbus, OH

Exhibitors - Speakers - Door Prizes

The mission of the Ohio chapter of The National Association of Professional Organizers is to expose the world to the value of being organized.

Being the "Organizing Authority", NAPO's professionals provide both knowledge and effective solutions to help individuals gain more control over their lives and eliminate stress!

Our society reinforces the message that people need to buy more and more items that simply add to the chaotic clutter already in many homes and offices.

NAPO experts provide services for both residential and commercial clients alike. Those suffering from attention deficit disorder, chronic disorganization or seniors needing help with downsizing, can all count on trained professionals from NAPO to help them solve their organizing problems.

All the detailed information can be found  here or in a awesome printable flyer.

What questions do you have about getting organized?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One extra day ... make it a good one

"I wish I had more time."

How often have you said that?

Today ... February 29th ... a bonus day to everyone around the world.

Make today something successful and special for yourself.

If not today, when?

What did you do today?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Are you a Bag Lady?

Tax season is upon us and my positive thought for you is this means Spring is around the corner. (Yeah!) Now is the time to start gathering up all your paperwork and start planning to fill out your 1040's. The majority of us must file, so let's make it a happy experience.

Jill called me to help gather all of her paperwork together so she can get it to her accountant. Not too difficult of a task, though for Jill who is in her mid 70's and in a wheelchair this could become challenging. She had placed much of her mail in plastic grocery bags. There wasn't too much junk mail to sort through, but gathering all her medical bills and investement sheets took some time.

"I think I've become a bag lady," Jill commented as we opened a drawer in her dresser filled with bags of paperwork. Well, at least none of the papers will be damaged, I assured her plus it made it easy to sort through the papers since they were grouped in months. There wasn't a bag for each month, rather 2-3 months in each bag.

In the end, we had all of her investment papers together, her medical expenses sorted and the housing receipts collected. Jill thanked me for helping her complete this task in just over one hour, which likely would have taken her a full day and exhausted her had she done this on her own. And, she would likely have bags of unneeded papers scattered about her room.

It's tax time. It is what it is.
Complaining about it isn't going to make it better.
And does complaining ever truly help any situation?

So, What's your positive thought about tax season?

Friday, February 03, 2012

Organizing is a Time for Change (in a cracking Peter Brady voice)

Change is always good.  Kinda stirs up the funk and gets new life & energy into your space.  When you are about to tackle an organizing project, think about not only sorting and purging, but making some changes to your space.

For instance, think about a room or area that you can say to the kids, "Go into the _______ and play." This could be a basement, extra bedroom, livingroom....geez, maybe a closet if the kids are driving you nuts. Being a single mom and I adore my boys, but they do drive me nuts with their energy when all I want to do is take a myself.

Looking at  "Sara's" playroom. Here is the before picture. Sara admitted there were too many toys and it was the room that everything was thrown in for a quick house clean up.

We started with sorting out the floor and boxing toys to be donated. Moved onto cleaning out the baskets on the shelves, and getting toys, books & craft items put away.

I suggested to Sara moving some of the furniture around in the playroom. When you move furniture around in a room, it triggers something in your mind. Kids are creative creatures, so this will make the room feel totally new and exciting to them.

Sara it was my pleasure helping you tackle your playroom. I hope your girls enjoy it.

When you are feeling "ho hum" about your home, move something. Rearrange the furniture. Change the arrangement of pictures on a table. Switch plants in the corners of your home (mine are all plastic, I kill the live ones). Even the smallest change will make that room feel better.

What are you going to move around in your home?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Let Go.

Often having what you want
 is the function of
 letting go of what you have.

What are you hanging onto that is preventing you from enjoying what you have?

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Rock the Boat" Not Your Hairspray

Wire shelving is a fabulous way to create organization in your home, though sometimes the spacing of the wires cause your items to rock, roll and tumble about ... which is frustrating defeating the calm & peacefulness of being organized.

Sure you could replace with solid shelving, but it is really not necessary with this slick little trick:

You can find corrugated plastic sheets at most craft and home improvement stores. "Zip ties" or garbage bag ties can be used to secure the shelving into place.

If you have the song "Rock the Boat" running through your head now, my apologies.

How do you get songs out of your head?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #3

We all have junk drawers.
(OK, maybe a couple ... alright several)

An organized junk drawer, we'll that's just crazy talk.

Things get tossed into the junk drawer because they were needed at one time, not really sure an easy place was available when you were done with it. Now your junk is a mishmash of items from nail clippers, hair brushes, foreign coins, pencils, paintbrushes, ball inflator valves, guitar picks, ... uh, you get the point.

Today's organizing project: Your Junk Drawer
Bring the garbage can nearby and start tossing thing out.
Reward: Call up a friend you have not spoken to in far too long.

Seriously, are you REALLY going to need that "L" shaped assembly tool for the cabinet you put together 5 years ago? What about those little bags of extras screws?
Get rid of them!

As you pull items out, place them into similar groups. Once everything is out of your junk drawer, wipe the funk out of it and think about what you REALLY need. There are all sorts of fancy plastic containers to use to keep items organized. Use them if you wish, but you may have some small boxes or old plastic bowls that could be used, as well.

Make your junk drawer a functioning member of your happy organized home.
... and guess what.  You are going to feel sooooo much better, too!

How many screws did you have in your junk drawer?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #2

You know that drawer with all those kitchen tools and devices for cooking, baking, spreading, flipping, piercing, poking, whisking and stirring  filled with items you never really use much but have them, so you keep them ...

Yeah, THAT drawer or dust covered counter top holder thingy.

Today's organizing project:
Your Kitchen Utensils 

Dump them out.  Keep only what you USE.
Reward: Pancakes for dinner!

Now don't cut yourself on the cheese slicer given to you as a wedding gift 15 years ago, though you should be OK since it is still in the packaging ... Uh, maybe you can let that one go?

Organizing your kitchen is vital to having a peaceful home.
Think about it.

Your kitchen provides nourishment to your body. If your kitchen is not happy, you're likely not going to want to spend much time in it. Everyone enjoys going out eat. But, if you're going out to eat because your kitchen is a mess, perhaps it is time to make a change.

Focus on making your kitchen happy.
You can do it!

What did you have for dinner?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #1

New Year Organizing challenges are back!  
Hey, I gave you a week to ramp up to this, right?

I know.  I know.  But you got start somewhere on your path to organizing success.

Let's kick off the "Time to Get Organized" Challenges with something familiar. Even if it has been a year (or never) since you cleaned out your email inbox.

With a full week to rest and recoup from the holiday hoopla, now it is time to get back to business. These organizing challenges are to give you some direction at conquering your organizing goals.

Today's 10 min project: Your InBox.

Spend 10 minutes deleting (yes, I said 'delete')
old emails from your inbox.

HUGE slice of cheescake, or an alternate reward,
if you get your box down to 25 messages.
Check back for the next organizing challenge.

Imagine how awesome you are going to feel by the end of the month!

How many messages are in your inbox (before & after numbers)?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Procrastination ... So Easy, So Fun, So ... ah, What was I doing?

Getting distracted is sooooo easy to do.

Huge fan of SQUIRREL ... of losing focus from time t-SQUIRREL! ... to time.

Ellen DeGeneres did a little bit on her struggles in getting organized and how procrastination leads you down the distracted path of whatever you are attempting to accomplish.

Now that I've spent the last hour or so watching the rest of Ellen's standup, I can get back to business ... uh, what was I doing?

One favorite quotes from Ellen (on hands-free devices):

"If you need both of your hands to do something,
I'm thinking your brain should be in on it too"

What are you procrastinating from doing?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Organizing Magic Gift Certificates

You can purchase your gift securely using Google Checkout.

Simply select the number of hours you wish and choose your favorite credit or debit card for payment:

Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you.

Enjoy the day,