Tuesday, December 30, 2008

3:00pm, And I've Got Two Different Socks On

Finally! Such a simple task took a good 3-4 months for me to complete. Not sure why I could not seem to take the time to organize my sock drawer. Perhaps when I realized at 3:00pm one day last week that I had on one blue sock with one black sock, the time had come to take care of business.

Heck, I remember one time going to work at Ford Motor Company with one blue and one black pump. Now that I think about it. It was around 3-4:00, too, when I realized the fashion faux pas.

Here is how you can organized your sock drawer:

Step 1: Whoa! This is a mess. My boys sock drawer looks better than mine ... and I'm the professional organizer?

Step 2: Dump out drawer and check out the pile. Match up your socks. Group them into colors and styles.

Step 3: Return your happy little sorted piles into the drawer. Remember to place your black socks away from your blue socks. If you put your gym socks in the middle of them, may keep them from drifting together a bit longer.

Yeah! My socks are sorted for at least a couple months. Then start checking out my socks to see if I'm all mixed up again.

What fashion faux pas have you made lately?

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm Not Obsessive, I'm Complusive ... Or Is It The Other Way Around?

OK, I'm going to jump right in an say I have a routine I must do or my day just feels weird.

One of my things:
I must put on my right sock,
then left sock,
then put on my right shoe and tie it,
then put on my left shoe and tie it.

If this sequence is jumbled up,
I will start over to bare feet and begin again
(I'll feel like I'm walking in circles all day if I don't).

Many of us have these little "routines" we do everyday. Perhaps we are aware, maybe we are oblivious though others around you are totally laughing inside at your antics. That's OK, you're happy right? Nothing wrong with having an OCD tendency here and there.

Think about this:
Being TOO organized with everything in its place. Nothing ever so slightly crooked on your walls. Perhaps to the point of shelves and bins labeled. No dust on any of your flat surfaces (Oh, I have excepted dust into my household as my friend). You may be a bit OCD.

On the other hand, you have stacks of clothes, papers, newspapers, egg crates and such everywhere. You love collections. There is a bit of order to the chaos in your home, though its just a lot of stuff. Keeping you from enjoying your home as you wish you could. This may be a bit OCD, too.

See, we all likely, at some level have OCD.
Again I believe whole-heartedly in:

"Everything in moderation is good."

Take a moment and think about what's going on in your life and home. Perhaps there is an area that has gotten a bit out of control. Lasso that bad boy and take charge.

You'll feel better.

What is your daily OCD routine?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

C'mon ... We'll Get You Organized

With the New Year, comes New Year resolutions.

Getting organized is moving up the #3 on the list of things many people want to accomplish in the coming year. January is National Get Organized Month (GO Month), and professional organizers will be hosting free events around the country.

For southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio, your opportunity to meet with professional organizers will be Saturday, January 17th at IKEA in Canton, Michigan.

If you've thought about chatting with a professional organizer, this will be a great opportunity for you to meet and chat with one of us. You should be pulling out your calendar now and making a note to attend.

Hey, you'll get to meet me (the chick behind this blog) and other great people who want you to love your space.
What do you have to lose?
It will be fun!

What do you want to get organized?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Christmas Card From Us To You

We're kinda breaking tradition this year.

For the past 8 years, my boys and I have always made our Christmas cards. It started as a little activity to keep them entertained. I cut out different shapes, supplied the glue and music, they went to town.

Each of the up to 50 cards sent out were unique for the first 6 years. (yes, looking back I was insane) Then I became wise and had the boys decorate one card cover to use for our Christmas cards.

This year I am doing what most great artist do - "A Best Of ..."
For example:
Eagles, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
Eric Clapton, Crossroads
Madonna, The Immaculate Collection
Bel Biv Devoe, Best of Bel Biv Devoe
Poison, Best of Poison: 20 years of Rock
(links provided in case these are a must have for your holiday shopping needs)

Here is our 2008 Christmas card.

I'm not going to be mailing any cards this year. Just not going to happen. I know my limits and it's just not going to work this year. Feel free to print it out and enjoy.

Matthew, Jacob and I wish you all the best this holiday season.
Have fun!

What's on your 'Best of' collection?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Moving Grandma: Plan B

Grandmothers are wonderful, sweet, tender loving people. When a family turns to me to help them with their grandmother, I always think about my grandmothers.

"Marcella" had downsized from her home to a small apartment a couple years ago, and the time had come for her to move into an assisted living facility. Living alone, lack of socialization and her dementia led the family to this decision. Marcella was quite happy about it. She was getting scared and confused being alone. Her family was worrisome, too.

We spent a few hours choosing the best clothes to move to Marcella's new home, consolidating boxes of pictures and letters, and clearing out the kitchen. Marcella was smiling about donating her clothes and other household items. She was even go through items on her own that needed to be tossed.

The plan was Marcella to have breakfast with a daughter while we moved her things to her new home and have all her things put away with her favorite nick-knacks in place.

On the morning of the move, Marcella was found in her bathtub. She could not get out and had spent about 12 hours alone unable to reach a towel or phone. Cold and disoriented, her granddaughter got her dressed and under the covers of her bed to warm up.

Quickly we came up with Plan B: Marcella seemed OK, though we just were not certain. The family ended up taking her to the ER for evaluation. They had me continue to work in Marcella's new home getting all her items put away.

Turns out she was a bit dehydrated from not eating and drinking properly. Luckily, the night spent in the tub has not caused any serious problems. After a couple days in the hospital, she is now enjoying her new home.

Please take the time at your family gatherings to make sure your older loved ones feel safe and secure in their home. With our children, we speak about scenarios for fire and weather safety drills. Perhaps it is time for your family to discuss the game plan for reacting to a situation with your older family members.

Whom in your family may need a plan B?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beware of the Doghouse

Beautifully appropriate video clip for this holiday season.


What 'doghouse' gift have you received?
(Men: What gift did your buddy give?)

Hey, I just realized my previous post was about husbands, too.
Hmmm.....and I don't even have one.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Errr ... Husbands

Our biggest battle as professional organizers is not stacks of papers, piles of toys, jammed closets with clothing, wall of boxes in the basement or linen closets tumbling with sheets. That's just stuff.

[disclaimer: True, there are many great, wonderful, supportive, loving, dudes out there]

You are embarrassed and frustrated with your home and know that help is out there. And you need and want it. At a moment, you take a giant step to contact a professional organizer.

After chatting with your professional organizer, you have a sense that the Calvary is on its way.

Hope and relief that soon your home will feel special.

[enter your husband] He says, "No, to the project."

- If it is a money issue, completely understandable. You definitely should not overextend yourself when it comes to cash. Use the internet to find free tips.

- If it is a control issue, that is something for you to seek help.
(Been there, done that myself. Be strong)

- Perhaps your husband is embarrassed himself for the appearance of your home. Find a quiet moment to talk together about how you will both feel better with completing your organizing project.

Professional organizers are not judgemental. Our purpose is to help you love your home. We will take the time to discuss each of your goals and expectations. Getting your husband to understand the project may be all that is needed to get the supportive green light.

If all else fails, ask for an organizing project for your next holiday gift, birthday present or other special occasion. Most professional organizers offer gift certificates.

When there is a will, there is a way. And when your husband sees how great your home can be, perhaps he'll want to get his stuff organized, too!

What battle are you winning?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Set Your Phaser To Stun, You're Getting Organized

"Space, the final frontier ...
To boldly go where no man has gone before."

Whether you live in a 500 square foot home or a 5,000 square foot home, you can feel crowded and cramped if you are not using the space properly. One trick to organizing is creating boundaries for yourself. By placing limits on an area, and staying within the space, you will be setting up cues for yourself to maintaining an organized home.

For instance:
Your mail comes in and you pile all the bills, receipts, cards, flyers, catalogs on a table. Go off and make dinner, tuck the kids into bed, clean up the kitchen, get to bed yourself, and wake up the next day to head off to work. Only to come home and place the new day's mail on top of yesterday's mail ... and the snowball begins to grow.

Have a small vertical holder on the table. As you bring the mail in, take a moment and sort it. Tossing the junk mail into the trash. Use your new holder as a gage. If you can't get through the mail in one day, that's OK. If a couple days pass and there is no room in your holder, then it is time to take a moment and clear out the papers.

Horizontal = Hidden
Vertical = Visible

The vertical sorter can be substituted for a small box, bin, whatever you wish to use. Just be practical about its size. You don't have to wait until it is filled to do something. The purpose of the sorter or box is to place limits on what is going on in your home. Allowing you to correct a organizing set back, before it gets out of control.

This limiting idea is not just for mail. You can use it for books, pens, glue sticks, Matchbox cars, Hanna Montana stuff, receipts or your husband's daily pocket dumping area. Set some boundaries up around your home and use them as cues to get on the organized track.

... and if that doesn't work for the other members in your home, set your phaser to vaporize.

What are you about to get organized?
... or are you just going to vaporize it?