Friday, June 25, 2010

Water Fight War: Baskets vs Houseplants

Summer 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.

"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, June 23, 2010

There's Just Too Much Stuff!

You set a box here.
Then a bag over there
... just for a moment.
Another box joins the others.
Well, you mine as well toss that bag with the others because it's a mess anyway.

Hey ... wait a minute!
You use to do crafts in this awesome room. Now it has become a holding area for stuff and you just get frustrated, overwhelmed when you think about it. Mine as well toss more stuff in there, because who knows when you're going to organize it.

Sound familiar?

Well, that's what happened in "Ellen's" basement craft room. This beautifully thought out area with great shelving and pegboard for organizing all sorts of projects became the catch-all. Ellen was beside herself on where to start and how to find a method to what became madness.

Becoming organized begins with your decision to make a change ... and committing to it.
Deciding is easy. Doing is much harder.

We began by clearing off the center table, sorting items into felts, woodworking, glass, beads, knitting, and paints. Then continued around the outer work tables. We found many empty boxes and that the wonderful lower shelving was not being used. Supplies were removed from grocery bags and binned together so everything was visible and not hidden within a clouded bag. Partial filled boxes were filled with similar items.

Once we had the area cleared, Ellen's organized piles of crafts were placed onto the shelving with purpose and intention. She now has areas designated for felts, woodworking, glass, beads, knitting, and paints. Along with tools organized on the pegboard system and cleared o p e n working surfaces.

Ellen was just amazed when she walked into her craft room just over 3 hours later:
"It's like Christmas. I haven't seen these items in so long."

The challenge is going to come maintaining this organized space. With the motivation of having a fresh start and excitement of rekindling her crafting hobbies, Ellen is confident her craft room will be put to good crafting use and stay organized.

What room in your home has too much stuff?

Friday, June 18, 2010

How do you organize your writing, and when do you know it's time to get rid of a ..."but it's a beautiful piece"

There is so much personal value placed on items that you have touched. Especially those that come from your heart and soul. Though if those same items are beginning to weigh on you, then it is time for a change.

Go slow.
You may reduce in stages taking a large amount and letting go of 1 for every 3, then repeat again 1 for 2.

Without knowing many factors in your question, I would say pick up two pieces. One in each hand. Which one feels better? Say goodbye to the other. It is tough. Though you will feel a huge weight lifted from you.

Good luck!
I believe you can do this.

Ask me anything

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You Know Your A Professional Organizer When New Folders Make You Happy

Are you looking to get those stacks of papers organized that are all over your desk or counter top?

Being a professional organizer, SMEAD sent me a few of their new products to review in exchange for a $20 gift card. Now, I likely would have done this without the compensation, but it was a nice offer on their part (thank you SMEAD).

So, stacks of papers are all over your desk. They all have purpose and need, maybe not ALL of them. The Stadium File system may be the thing for you because is takes those stacks of papers and organizes them vertically. Remember horizontal=hidden, vertical=visible.

Smead describes the Stadium File™ as ideal for clearing clutter from your workspace or counter top. You can turn piles into files with this tiered expanding file that lets you see everything at a glance. Use with Smead SuperTab® folders for the ultimate desktop organization solution.

This product costs about $20 and comes with 4 sets of labels: A-Z, Jan-Dec, 1-31 and household subjects. I prefer making my own labels. Writing on the tabs is a bit awkward. File folders fit into the slots, which is what you would likely want to use to make it easier to remove the papers from the system. The Stadium File is a reinforced paper product, so durability is a factor, though I believe using this on your desktop should not be a problem. Having this as your "in-n-out" box for school papers/projects/schedules ... eh, not sure if I would use it.

Now the product that really brightened my day are the Smead Supertab® File Folders. Having nearly double the labeling area of standard folders! Larger labels or big printing makes those important files quick and easy to locate. Hallelujah!!

As a professional organizer with focus on senior move managing, thank you SMEAD! Working with our older population, it's little things like larger print that makes life a bit easier. These SuperTab folders ROCK!! The label area is nearly twice the size of a standard tab, and they still fit in your file drawers. (24) come in a pack with assorted pastel colors available for visually cueing for categories. cost: $12 for manilla, $18 for pastel

Now, if you want to go all out with some slick labeling to your organizing project frenzy, perhaps the Smead Viewables® labeling system is for you. You can customize your filing with color and fonts to make finding information fast and easy.

The starter kit comes with the latest version of the software as well as label sheets and the software remembers how many labels are left on your page so there’s no waste. The labels print front and back to wrap over your file tabs, making is easy to access folders fast. Cost: $20 for the starter kit, refill label packs start at about $8, $19.50 for a box.

If you're into creating your own labels (honestly, I'm not), this is a great product. The software and customization of labels is easy to use. Your boring manila folders will POP out at you using the color label option. That is pretty sweet!

All these products can be found at OfficeDepot and Staples. Check out the SMEAD website for more information on these items.

What makes you happy today?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pantry Time Capsule

Like squirrels, we all stock up a bit more food for the long, cold winter months.
Though ... HELLO, Spring is breezing right into Summer in a matter of days now.

Time to take a look through your collection of can goods and pantry items.
Anything dusty?
Label faded?
Stuff you don't even like?
Do you REALLY need 12 cans of green beans?

Set these items aside for donation.

Now, take a look and make sure cookies and peanut butter jars are not hiding in your plates or glasses. Bring all your pantry items into one area of your kitchen. This not only makes it easy to see all the food you have available, it will also save you from buying more of what you already have in your home.

Finally, set up your own family grocery store. There is a reason stores are set up this way, it's practically been perfected. All you have to do is duplicate it in your own home. Use your grocery store to reorganize your pantry items: Canned goods, pasta, snacks, condiments, etc.

Take your faded, unopened items to your favorite shelter to be used by so many other families in need.

Now, don't forget to reward yourself for your job well done.

What was the oldest pantry item found?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Beware of Organizing Ogres

OK....Again, I heard something like:

"You know, I have been thinking about calling you but I was just to embarrassed."

After the consult:

"WOW! What was I thinking waiting to call you?"
"I feel there is hope for this room/closet/house."
"I can't wait to get started."

You have to admit hiring someone to enter your home for ANY project can be uncomfortable.

I am passionate about helping you feel better about your home.

I have lived in a home and felt completely uncomfortable, controlled and depressed for many years. I will NEVER live like that again. You should not either.

People think professional organizers are going to make you throw away all kinds of items. Not True. Like we are ogres--big, bossy, bold. Twisting your arms to get you to do stuff you don't want to do (maybe some are).

I am far from that.

You don't want my help
--> I am cool with that.

You want to keep 25 pairs of jeans
--> I don't think you need that many, and I will encourage you to choose your favorites. In the end, if you want 25 pairs of jeans, we need to find a place for them (Though, you may have to give up space for your 33 handbags).

If there is an area of your home that drives you nuts, do something!!
  • Take your junk drawer and dump it into the garbage.

  • Get a garbage bag and fill it up with broken/worn out toys.

  • Walk through your home and remove anything that just doesn't feel good or you never really liked. (Even if it is from your sister)

You will be amazed at how refreshed you feel.

If you are struggling, give me a call.
We will have fun. I promise.

Think you might be too far away? I love to travel, though you can find a local organizer at the NAPO website. There are many other fun organizers out there!

What misconception do people have about you & your business?