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A. Rey of Hope

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Livin' the Dream

Posted on 21 October, 2014 at 22:20 Comments comments (0)
There's no time like the present so why not make today the day? The day that you decide that where you live can be perfect for how you live.

Things just don't fit right, you may think. Or, if there were only more cabinets in this darn kitchen!

Whatever it is about your home that's cramping your style, here's a way to address it all now.

Make yourself a map. Not a map of your home the way it is exactly, but a map of what you need it to be. 

Begin with what is unchangeable. For instance, if you are not prepared to do any reconstruction, all of your walls and fixed appliances and shelving are the first things that belong on your map.

Add in only furniture that you absolutely know is in the appropriate room. Leave out any large items that you think might not stay in place.

Next, it's time to dream. Fill in the blank rooms with a word or two for what you intend to do in those rooms. 



Take your map from room to room and be a detective. 


Does everything in this room relate to what it says on your map? Are there things that don't belong? Can everything that belongs be put away in some sort of storage in this room?









 

Do You Have S.T.A.R.S. in Your Eyes?

Posted on 28 July, 2014 at 19:01 Comments comments (3)
After 6 years working closely with a wide variety of people looking to organize their homes, their offices, their files and paper, and their lives, I have come up with a term that describes a common experience that is a key factor leading many to the cluttered situations they exasperatingly find themselves in. 

The term is S.T.A.R.S.  "Shiny Things (© Annette Reyman) Syndrome". 

Want to know if you're suffering from seeing STARS? Here are the symptoms -  

Characterized by:
Distractibility
Impulse Purchases
Forgetfulness
Disorganization

Can sound like:

I love this, where can I use it?
It’s so much cheaper if we buy it in bulk.
This is a great price; I know I’ll find someone to give it to.
It’s so cute, I have to have it! (even though it doesn’t fit just right and I have nothing that matches it)
Do you know how much these used to cost? I can’t believe I found them at such a great price.


Can lead to:
An excessively cluttered environment
Feelings of overwhelm
Goal derailment
Anxiety & depression





Not to be confused with:
Healthy, natural curiosity
Imaginative minds
Frugality

Read more...

Lighten up, it's Spring!

Posted on 29 March, 2014 at 17:48 Comments comments (0)
 
Ways to freshen up your home this spring:

Pantry purge. During the winter months, like many mammals, we may tend to stockpile supplies. Our cupboards can become stuffed with soups, cocoas and comfort-snacks. As this happens, more often than not, other food items get pushed out of sight. Set aside an hour on a nice spring morning to empty out a shelf or two at a time, wipe them down, discard outdated or unwanted food items and reorganize what’s left back onto the shelves.

Counter-attack. Throw open the kitchen and bathroom windows and take a look at your counters. The fresh air will help energize you while you remove all items and give the counters a good wipe-down. Throw out any trash or items you don’t need and put away anything that has wondered out of its appropriate home. Return to the counter only those things that you absolutely must have out or that make you happy. 

Want more tips? Read the full article here.

Do You Rent Storage?

Posted on 20 January, 2014 at 19:16 Comments comments (5)
I've got all the money I'll ever need, if I die by four o'clock.
- Henny Youngman


Hiring a professional organizer can save you money.

Are you one of those people who has so much money you just don't know what to do with it?  You know, extra cash just laying around collecting dust.  No?  Me neither.

I will be speaking at the Philadelphia Home Show this coming weekend.  Last year, Mark Brunetz of the reality show Clean House, spoke before me.  I really enjoyed listening to him speak about his experiences working on the show and with people who really needed help getting their homes back in order.  He also had a lot of great information to share.

One thing Mark shared was the statistic that one in every ten Americans rents a storage unit.  One in twenty rent multiple.

First, I just want to say that there are many good reasons to rent a storage unit, some of them being:

  • A place to house your belongings during an extended home transition
  • As a wear-house for business product inventory for a current business
  • A place to store your home items while living abroad

to name a few.

However, "I have more stuff than what can fit into my home" is not one of them.  If you have more than what you can fit into your home you either have too much stuff or need to buy a bigger home. 

If buying something bigger is not an option, think about this:  A 5 X 10 foot storage unit averages about $175.00 per month.  Would you rather pay $175 dollars to store things you don't use, or put $175 extra into your budget each month?  That's an extra $2,100.00 per year.

Consider what it's worth before you pay one more month's rent.

Check Out this "Info-Graphic" on Clutter!

Posted on 30 July, 2013 at 23:11 Comments comments (0)

A new wave in sharing fast facts is the Info-graphic.  Info-graphics combine information, statistics and pictures for quick, at-a-glance answers.



This Clutter info-graphic was created by Sparefoot and gives

15 Fantastic Reasons to
Clear Out Clutter at Home. 


From earning more money when selling your home to improving your health and even bumping up your credit score - clearing out clutter pays off in more ways than you may think.


  • Wondering if you should declutter before putting your home up for sale?
  • Having trouble in your family with asthma and want to improve the air quality of your home?
  • Trying to find ways to reduce your family's stress?
  • Struggling to find ways to save money?
  • Can organizing even improve your sex-life?



Check out this infographic and find out what professional organizers already know!



Visit Sparefoot to read the full article.

Step Right Up!

Posted on 14 March, 2013 at 10:49 Comments comments (0)
Step right up and see the show! 

Do you ever use your steps as a temporary holding zone for items waiting to either head up or down?  I do.  There's just no denying that traveling up and down the steps, no matter how quickly you can do it, takes time.  And extra time is something that most of us lack.  Staying in one room until a job is complete and then making your trips to other parts of the house to deliver stray items is much more efficient.

Besides, if you have trouble with staying focused or completing projects, running up or down stairs frequently is an easy road to distraction.  Staying on task in one area until the job or your allotted time is done, is a good plan for success. 

Using the stairway as a landing spot for stray belongings however, only works when that landing spot is cleared.  Regularly.  Consistently.  

Staying organized requires completion - not just of the first steps of a task but, of ALL the steps - this should always include putting things away when you're done. 

For instance, you decide to clean and organize your bedroom.  You may end up with a glass or mug from the kitchen, a towel from the bathroom, wrapping paper from the hall closet and tape from the junk drawer, all needing to return to a different room.  Putting these items near or on the stairs to be delivered when you're done makes sense.  Leaving them there as you run right past - again, and again and again, day after day - doesn't.

Piles of clutter on a stairway are an eyesore, an inconvenience and, most importantly a safety hazard.  Allowing stuff to pile up on a stairway is a formula for a disaster that can only be found as funny if you're donning a clown's nose and shouting - Ta Da!

Close, But No Cigar

Posted on 28 January, 2013 at 20:59 Comments comments (3)



Remember that saying, "Close, but no cigar"?  In other words, you've played the game, but didn't quite win the prize.

How often do you come close....close enough....almost there.......but notquite?  I got home today from babysitting for my niece and nephew in Maryland for the weekend.  Soon after I came into my house, I brought my weekend travel bags upstairs, unpacked and put it all away. 

Unpacking for a trip of any length is normally attended to pretty quickly in our house.  Yet, I know this is not the case for many and I can understand why.  It's so much easier to drop everything once you get home, walk away and leave it to think about another time. 

Or is it?  Is it really easier when you can't find your favorite pants and search the entire house before realizing that they're in the suitcase from your last trip?  Is it easier to step around your travel bags every time you cross your bedroom?  Is it easier to use toiletries out of your carry-on bag as if you were a tourist in your own home?  Maybe.  Maybe not. 

Aside from travel bags, think about what other items in your home that you come "close" with without actually winning the cigar?  Do you put your jacket or shoes down near the closet but not in it?  Do you put your jewelry down on your dresser instead of in it's box or holder that's only inches away?

Go ahead, take that extra step and win the cigar this week!


Clear Up Before Moving On

Posted on 20 January, 2013 at 21:22 Comments comments (3)
"Guess: What Arguably Trivial Habit Gives a Giant Boost of Happiness?

 It’s….putting things away in the proper place!"

~ Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project


Well, I suppose that naturally this is something you would expect to read when coming to a professional organizing blog.  Ok, I admit it.  I get great joy out of knowing where things 'belong' and putting them there.

But, shy of the proverb, "A place for everything, and everything in it's place," what is on my mind this week relates more to the Clean Desk Policy (CDP) utilized by companies such as UPS.
CDP is the rule that, at the end of the day, your desk is left free and clear of all paper and projects.  When you return to work the following day, you return to a clear work space.

At home, I use an abbreviated version of this.

When I take something out to work on - paying bills, doing a craft, a book I'm reading - I try to stick to the policy that when I'm done for the day with it, even if it is not complete I put it away.  Even though I may sit at the kitchen table to pay bills, evidence of my bill-paying is gone by the time we are ready to sit for a meal. 

This may mean having a temporary holding area nearby for works in progress - a file box for action items, a crafting bag for smaller parts of big projects, or a catchall basket for items that are heading up or downstairs.  The important thing is that clearing your space before moving to something different helps to clear your mind of clutter and distractions and lets you focus on what's next.


A Fresh New Year

Posted on 30 December, 2012 at 12:39 Comments comments (2)

Outside the window, as I write this post, I can see a bright blanket of white snow.  What a great vision for thinking about the upcoming New Year.  The snow makes things look new and fresh and clean.  That's what I want to think about this first week of January.  All the possibilities that are open to me for my life heading into 2013. 

Yes, I know those same possibilities were there yesterday and all the days before that, but there is something special about a new year.  Maybe it's the fact that I get to fill in a new planner and look at what will happen in the weeks and months ahead.  Since the pages are blank, I feel as though I have more choices about what to put on them.

I think that's what I like about my profession.  No matter who I am working with, I am helping them to clear their color palate.  Wipe the slate clean so they can choose their colors. Yes, they could have chosen yesterday.  Yet, sometimes it can seem that because the colors are already there, we have to work with them.  It's hard to see beyond the mish mosh of choices all around us.

With a clean slate, the mind is open to new colors.  New ideas.  It's energizing and calming, empowering and joyous all at once!

Join me in looking forward to the unpainted picture of 2013 that lies ahead.



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