Monday, January 31, 2011

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #10

Saving one of the worst,
most dreaded organizing tasks out there
for the last of our organizing challenge series.

Though it must be done.

And, if you can come up with a system, you will save a TON of time.

Today's organizing project:
Your paper filing system

Sort & Purge those files
Reward: Tell the kids they can have cookies for breakfast
if they let you sleep in.
Organizing paper is very tedious and time consuming. It is likely that as you begin, every paper needs to be glanced at to figure out "why am I keeping this?" Once you get on a roll, hopefully the papers will begin to fly into the recycling bin or shredder.

Not sure what you need to keep? Check out this post:
"Do I Really Need My Last 5 Years of Electric Bills?"

If you're computer savy, toss the majority of manuals because they are available on-line. Think about your Federal and State tax line items, perhaps set up a folder for each one this year. Saving a big of time and effort rather than sorting a wad of receipts at the end of the year.

Think about how paper moves in and out of your home. Set up your filing system to work with it. For all the great filing systems out there, they will not work unless you use them.

What is the oldest manual you had filed away?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #9

"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?"

Aaaahh, the classic Sesame Street song.

Who knew you could use something you learned on Sesame Street to get organized?
Today's organizing project:

A Scavenger Hunt.
Walk around your home and pick up items that do not belong.
Reward: Schedule an appointment for yourself, a lunch date,
doctor visit, hair or nails, something you need to do for YOU.

This is a GREAT little organizing project because everyone in your home can play along.

Grab a bag, box or basket and simply walk around an area in your home and pick up items that do not belong. After you have gathered your stuff, then take and put the items back where they belong.

You may have many items that no longer even belong in your home. Those need to leave your home, either donate or trash. Your challenge should be to grab 27 items to stimulate good Feng Shui energy in your home.

Who's your favorite Sesame street character?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #8

When you are surrounded by too much stuff, you just can't see all the good stuff you really have.

Look about the area you are sitting at right now. I bet there are at least five things you could pick up and put them away where they belong or just TOSS THEM. Look for dusty stuff if you're struggling ... it is Monday.
Today's organizing project:
Your work area.

Look for at least 5 items to pick up or throw away
Reward: take 5 minutes to think about what you are thankful for.
Moving stuff is good Feng Shui. You know it is good for your body to get up and move around from time to time. If your work area is feeling a bit bogged down, give this Feung Shui magic trick a shot.

You've moved your five items and thought about a few great things in your life. That, my friend, is an AWESOME way to start off the day.

Get out there and have some fun!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Making Your Closet Work for You

Oh, we all can get sooooo frustrated about things in life.
Your home should not be one of those areas.

"Molly" loved her room, alas her closets were quite annoying because they did not seem to work for her.  Lots of space, yet no idea how to make all the fabulous space work better for her.

She even went out and bought a closet kit to install herself, though as all the pieces came tumbling out, Molly soon realized this closet organizing project was a bit out of her comfort zone.

Her first closet was a blank canvas of organizing possibilities.  Hanging space was not a priority so we discussed shelving options.  Looking at the closet kit she purchased, we talked about installing some fixed shelving instead.  Molly's purchased kit was pricey and not going to be a perfect fit for her needs.

For about half the price of Molly's original closet shelving purchase, we installed 3 fixed shelves.  Here she could place all her sweatshirts, jeans, shirts and other personal items.  Easy to select an item and, more importantly, easy to put away when done.

On the floor, we assembled two Closetmaid Cubeicals and laid them on their side.  These would be perfect for handbags, purses and all those little things that seem to tumble about at the bottom of a closet.

Molly was delighted!

In Molly's other closet, she was pretty happy with the long hanging space. To keep her shoes from piling up on the floor in a heap, we assembled two Closetmaid Horizontal Organizers. These long open shelving units are wonderful for organizing shoes.

All these products used to help organize Molly's closets ended up saving her money because they were about half the total cost of the original closet organizing system she purchased.  PLUS, now she feels like her closets are exactly the way she wants them to be.

No more frustration = Happy Molly

... and that makes me happy too!

What area of your home is frustrating to you?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Organized Solutions is coming to FOX Toledo

With shows like American Idol, Glee and Fringe, FOX Toledo is about to launch into the professional organizing world with a weekly segment (OK, so it's not a full fledge "show" but it is certainly a start) entitled "Organized Solutions."

Here's a little article that appeared in the Monroe Evening News about this upcoming news:
Filming of the first episodes will begin this week.  "Organized Solutions" will start out as quick 1-2 minute tips that you can do yourself around your home to become more organized.  The segments will air on Friday nights on FOX Toledo News at 6:30pm  beginning February 4th.

There will be posting and links of all videos coming soon to this blog and the website.

Anyone have Oprah, Ellen, or Conan's numbers?
They should probably be watching.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #7

Sitting in your closet for months, years, waiting to be used. Yet, nope ... just doesn't happen. Your old towels and sheets are "too good" to throw out and you just cannot part with them.

So they sit ... and sit ...
in your linen closet waiting for the day you will need 6 blue bath towels sets, even though your bathroom is now green. Then there are the double size sheet sets you still have, alas now you have a queen size bed. Yet there is nothing wrong with the double sheet set except they do not fit your bed.

Today's organizing project:
Your Linen Closet.

Remove towels or sheets that are not being used
Reward: Kick back, enjoy your favorite beverage
and think about the last time you laughed REALLY hard
(if its been too long, go rent "The Hangover.")
My favorite place to donate linens to are your local animal shelter. They are always in need of towels, sheets, blankets, rugs ... heck anything to wipe up a mess or let the animals cuddle up into for a nap.

By organizing your linen closet, you are going to end up with a TON more room. Instead of blankets tumbling out everytime you open the door to grab a fresh towel, everything will stay in place. Plus, you'll only have your freshest and softest towels for available for use.

One week left in National Get Organized month and hopefully you are beginning to feel a bit lighter around your home, the air seems easier to breathe and you are able to relax and enjoy yourself more.

What made you laugh REALLY hard?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Your Black Hole Room

It's that one area of your home that just seems to suck the happiness out of you.

You know where it is.
You try not to look at it.
You believe that it will
go away on its own.

.....It doesn't, in fact it may even begin to grow.

This was the "Energy Blackhole" for "Mary".

Her home is full of creativity with handpainted walls, floorboards and pictures everywhere. However, Marya's office was bringing her down. I worked with her to get her desktop area under control, then she had me come back for.....(bum, bum, bahm)

....the supply closet.

You could feel the area brighten as I started boxing up old business literature and binders from conferences long past. Supplies were found hidden behind bags and under books. A small pile of items were left for her to sort through...hopefully, "toss."

I was a bit nervous leaving Mary's home. I felt wonderful about her office, but wasn't sure how she would like it.

The next morning Mary called me: "I LOVE IT!"

She feels energized when she goes into her office. Her son made a comment...yes, I said her son...that he was amazed at the difference in how the room felt.

Mary, it was my pleasure helping you conquer your energy drain.

Now, What area of your home is sucking the life out of you?

Get a garbage bag and fill it up....YOU WILL FEEL BETTER!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #6

Recently found a can of soup from 1998 in a client's pantry which got me thinking about our next organizing challenge:

Today's project: Your Pantry.

Pull everything out, clean the shelves
and organize those cans and boxes

Reward: Rent that movie you keep passing,
yet you always look at it.
Oh, you'll need some popcorn, too
(hey, this is bigger than a 10 min project)
Organizing your pantry is a great weekend project. It's not going to take all weekend (I hope), though it will be longer than 10-15 minutes.

Remove everything from your "pantry" or the area you have all your food items. As you take items out, organized them into like groups:
soups, veggies, rice, pastas, sauces, treats, snacks, etc ...

You also will need to make sure you LIKE the stuff you are keeping and you will USE it. If it is from 1998 and you moved it from one home to your current home and you still have it, uh ... you're not going to use it in 2010.

Now, there will be crumbs and crusties about on the shelves.
Everyone has them.
I don't know how they get there, they just do.

You've got your storage area cleaned up.
Start placing your stuff back in the area using the groups you have sorted items.

Boom Baby!
You are ready to enjoy that goofy movie because your pantry is a sassy, sexy organized pantry.

What movie you chillin' with tonight?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #5

Who knew these innocent little reads could cause such headaches as the pile up around you, if you do not keep them in control.

Today's organizing project:
Your Magazines.

Clear out your magazines.
Reward: When taking a shower, linger for
an extra couple minutes with your eyes closed.

Grab a brown paper grocery bag and start loading it up with your old magazines. Any magazine over 3 months has got to go. Most articles are available on-line if that is your justification for keeping it. If there is a layer of dust on them, it has got to go. (plus do you seriously want to dust a magazine?)

Please consider dropping off your magazines to a recycling center or check with you local school to see if they may need them for art projects.

The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) has deemed January as National Get Organized Month. Michigan Governer, Jennifer Granholm recently signed a proclamation in support of being more organized in 2010.

Remember getting organized is an investment in yourself.

Enjoy the day!

What's your favorite magazine?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Organizing a Better Storage Room

"This is not working and you need to cast your organizing magic," Jennifer stated about her business' storage room.

"Jennifer" had just moved into a bigger, brighter beautiful new location yet the storage room was a huge headache for her and her colleagues.  She wanted peace, calmness and especially some much more functional plan for this space.

We took some measurements and talked about the options available.  Looked at the items Jennifer had in this storage room and how to organize those items and supplies in a much better method.

Jennifer was also looking to remove the bulky wooden cabinet that was falling apart and wanted a fresh, crisp look to the room. Plus she wanted an area for her colleagues personal belongings to be stored.

Jennifer ended up deciding on an awesome chrome finished storage shelving unit (bonus: it's on wheels). This item slid perfectly into the back of the storage room. Here we would organize and store all the business supplies and merchandise stock. There is even room to place a microwave oven, too.

The open shelving made the room feel so much bigger.  Plenty of room for the small refrigerator.  Also a cubbie storage system was assembled for use by the entire staff of the business.  Here, everyone would have their own little area to store their personal belongings through out the day, PLUS a way of leaving notes and mail for each other.  Hooray!

Finally the last item Jennifer asked for were coat hooks.  When thinking about hooks always think about using double hooks as opposed to single ones.  Double hooks typically use nearly the same amount of wall space to install, though the benefit is you now have two hooks.  Might not seem like much, but it does make a difference when you are cramped for space.

Also, if you are tight on wall space, stagger the placement of the hooks when you install them.  Meaning: Don't place them side by side at the same height on your wall.  Mount one of your hooks higher and off to the side from the other.  This will allow you to maximize a small wall space.

If you could wave a magic wand, what would happen?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm not an Organizing Ogre

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!

Who has surprised you with help in your home?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Time to Get Organized: Challenge #4

Sticky cough syrup bottles.
Deep blue, sparkly eye shadow from 1985.
Orange pills in a faded prescription bottle.

Let's start out the New Year with a freshly cleaned and organized bathroom cabinet. Remove all those bottles, jars and boxes out of your cabinet or drawer. Use your favorite cleaning method to wipe the area clean.

Now, seriously look at all the stuff you pulled out. Begin placing the items you use everyday back. Check expiration dates on the bottles and jars. If you are REALLY using it, then place it back. If not, then it's gotta go.

This is a new year baby and you want only THE BEST stuff in your life.

Today's project: Your Medicine Cabinet.

Get rid of old makeup, expired medicine and toiletries
that you haven't used in months (umm … years?).

Reward: Extra couple minutes in the shower to do nothing
but let the hot water sooth your body

Check back for the next organizing challenge.

Remember all this organizing work is an investment in yourself.

What's the oldest bottle you found?

Friday, January 07, 2011

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 06, 2011

Undeck the halls!

Holidays are over and the New Year has started!!

Time to get all those holiday decorations down and stored away for another year. If you are looking for some guidance on how to organize all those items, check out this great article from the The Courier out of Findlay, OH, also known as Flag City, USA:

The article does a fantastic job breaking down the steps to "undeck" your home.
1. Take inventory
2. Light the way
3. On the ball
4. Boxes and labels
5. Wrapping in up
6. Take your time

Remember, Always take the time to reward yourself.
You are SO worth it!

What holiday item did you say "bye, bye" to in your home?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

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?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Are You Ready to Get Organized?

It is that time of year for New Year's resolutions and perhaps getting organized in 2011 is yours. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) has deemed January as National Get Organized Month.

A national event dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of getting organized and hiring a professional organizer to help you get it done.

January is the perfect month to get organized and start your new year off right.

Getting organized is one of the top 5
New Year's resolutions people make.

Why get organized?
At Home
  • Organizing your bills = bills paid on time, no late fees
  • Shopping for items you need = not ending up with 10 cans of tuna because they are scattered in your pantry
  • Get more done in less time = more time to relax and chill
  • Find what you need, when you need it = less stress
At Work
  • Bring structure and control to your workplace
  • Optimize workflow = increase productivity = reduced stress = happiness
  • Motivate your team with solutions to feeling less overloaded
So what task has been hanging over your head?
Why not make it happen?
Check it off your list,
Get it done.

Enough is enough .... time to do something about it.

What are you going to accomplish by the end of this week?