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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...

Keep and Let Go Criteria: 37 Questions

Posted on 25 June, 2014 at 9:22 Comments comments (0)

We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. 
~ Joseph Campbell

 
Once you have decided that getting organized is in order, sorting through your belongings will be a key part of the process. Sometimes we can look at the same items over and over and not really know how to make a decision about what to do with them. This list of thirty-seven questions should help you in that decision-making process. Check down the list when you are stumped with an object and see what questions help move you forward.


THE BASICS
01.  Does it belong to someone else?
02.  Is it too worn/broken/unidentifiable to use?
 
LEGAL
03.  Are you legally required to keep it?
04.  Is there a tax reason to keep it?
05.  Would you need this check / document in a legal dispute?
 
USE IT
06.  Will you actually use it/refer to it? (Have you in the past?)
07.  Will you really read it?  When?
08.  Is the information still current? (or can newer information be found online?)
09.  Have you used it in the last year?
10.  Do you think you will use it again (or for the first time) and what circumstances will have to be in place in order for you to use it?
11.  Are you really going to finish this project?  When?

Qualities of Organized People

Posted on 11 March, 2014 at 18:57 Comments comments (1)
Organized people are decision makers.
Professional Organizer Annette Reyman at The Container Store.
"In general, organized people can say, 'This is good enough,' and then move forward," says Reyman. "It doesn't have to be perfect, and we don't have to rehash it 10,000 different ways." Organized people consider their options, choose one and stick to it, without looking back with regret on the paths not taken, she says. 

(read more...)


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.

Organizing is Child's Play

Posted on 16 January, 2014 at 12:19 Comments comments (2)
At a recent local area Home Show, a fellow organizer and I played an organizing game with some of the children who stopped by our booth with their parents.  The object: to sort out a jumbled mess of office supplies and fit them into a compartmentalized tray.  The kids had a timed minute to complete the task and then received a prize.


Early learning toys teach children how to sort and organize.
1.  Promote organizing skills.
So many early learning toys are geared toward one of the most basic organizing tools - sorting. Children learn to sort by color, shape and size sometimes before they can even walk or talk! As parents, if we recognize that these are actually life skills, we can be aware of them as our children grow and remind them that they have these skills as they meet new challenges.



Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much organizing you can get done.

2. Make sure they have the necessary tools.
Children can't be expected to put things away if they don't have an environment set up that makes clean up clear and easy.  Organizing tools for kids range from toy bins to reachable clothing hangers to timers that can be set for a round of "Beat the Clock" organizing!



Kids who learn organizing at a young age have learned a skill for life.3.   Give them a chance to do it on their own.
An infant needs help for everything, a toddler wants to start doing things on their own, a pre-teen's hormones make them see things differently. Each developmental stage our children go through is a also a developmental stage for us as parents. We are challenged to learn how much autonomy we should give at each stage. A good rule of thumb is: if there's no harm in trying on their own, let them try.

Organizing is a life skill that can support your child at every stage of their life for the rest of their life.  Give them that gift.

Free Time

Posted on 11 January, 2014 at 22:29 Comments comments (2829)

Using my schedule in this way helps me make my Busy life, a Full one - and that is worth my time. Because, its not about the time, it's about the Times of my Life.

I'm looking forward to my lunch with Sue on January 23rd.


Give Credit Where It’s Due – You!

Posted on 31 December, 2013 at 12:12 Comments comments (1)


What do you have on your plate that is just crying out to you, needing to get done? Chances are, several things flew through your mind when you read that. What were they? Write them down, get them out of your head, and then ask yourself “What can I do to get these things taken care of right now?” Notice I didn’t say “What do I have to do myself to get these things taken care of right now?” I don’t mean that you need to take care of everything personally, but you do need to be in charge of getting the ball rolling. 

Where I live, we have these bright yellow flags at each crosswalk called “Take It to Make It” flags, and our city claims that more than 60 people have been injured or killed when not using the flag, and zero injuries/fatalities have resulted when pedestrians do carry the flag with them when they cross the street. I’m not saying that all of the responsibility falls on the pedestrian for road safety, but when a pedestrian is willing to take that extra step to be safe, they are often willing to go the extra mile and tend to be more aware of their surroundings, which makes them safer all-around. 

You may be wondering how these two things relate, and I’ll tell you...it is all about YOU taking responsibility. YOU have to make sure that you have the right team in place to take care of your stuff for you. YOU have to be in charge of making sure your stuff gets done, either by you doing it, or by delegating it out (my preferred method). It is up to YOU to go that extra mile and make sure that YOUR stuff gets done. In the end, it’s up to YOU, and in the end YOU get to give credit where it’s due! It’s time to start walking forward, and don’t forget to Take it to Make it! 

Susan Brennan is a speaker, personal assistant and productivity enthusiast. You can learn more about her and how she helps people Be Productive Vicariously, by visiting her website at www.consideritdonepersonally.com. 

Three P's of Moving

Posted on 25 October, 2013 at 12:04 Comments comments (5)

Gearing up for a Big Move?

If you are doing the packing yourself, you may already be starting to plan: what supplies you’ll need, when to start, and what to pack first and save for last.  If you will have a company coming in to pack for you, and with all the other details that you are taking care of, you may not have packing on your radar.  Either way, doing your own packing or not, taking a moment now to think about these three P’s can make the difference between a peaceful and a stressful move.     


The three P’s I am referring to are, in short: paper, pearls and pills.  Whether you will have a one or two day cross-town move or a four to five day cross-country move, it will benefit you to have control of items that are critical and vital to you and your family.    

Papers:  The papers that you will want to keep in your possession are anything having to do with the move – moving company contract, rental agreements, etc., school registration requirements, identification for each family member.  With the exception of ID, it is also ok to keep these items digitally.  Try using Evernote to take a picture of each document.  Evernote will store them by the date and location the picture was taken.  Make sure you practice this in advance.  When I first tried this, my pictures were not saved because I did not realize I had to make a selection to choose to save them.  

Pearls:  Whatever jewelry you may have of any value should be kept with you at all times or securely stored in a safe or safety deposit box.  Moving time can be confusing; don’t leave your valuables to chance.   
  

Pills:  Yes, you plan to be at your new home tomorrow, but then the truck breaks down, your flight gets cancelled, there’s a family emergency in Florida and Aunt Alice needs you to get there right away.  Sometimes unexpected things happen. It may not be easy to refill prescription while in transit.  Be sure that you when you travel you bring a two-week supply of medications for each person.   

Naturally, you can spend time post-move searching boxes for these essential three P’s.  I suggest you save yourself the added stress.  Make a list now and, when it’s time, start by setting these items aside.  You’ll be happy that you did.

Do you have a busy family with no time to waste? Visit All Right Moves to hire a team of NAPO professional organize who will unpack and organize your home in a matter of days. All Right Moves will help you move in so you can move on!   

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.

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