Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Time - Clean Out That Garage

Spring is here and it's time to clean out your GARAGE !

It's that time again - where you empty your garage and clean your winter gear and move it to the back of the garage ( or another storage area ).

Be sure to empty your snow blower of any fuel or liquids. You might want to take it to a shop where they can perform any needed maintenance before you store it for the summer.

Clean off any of your "snow toys" and make sure they are in working order before you store them away.

Sweep out your garage and re-organize your space. I'm sure that over the winter things have become cluttered.

Take your lawn mower to be inspected and be sure that it's in working order.

Move all of your garden tools to the front where you can access them easily. Make sure that all of your tools and equipment are in working order

Clean out your garden bag (it's planting time!) and be sure that none of your garden tools have rusted over the winter.

Make sure that your bikes have their tires filled with air.

If you have kids - check to be sure that they have not outgrown their summer toys. If so - it's time to let them go.

Enjoy the transition from winter to spring!

Think of all of the fun things that spring brings with it.

Have a great, clutter free day! 

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Your Car - A Cluttered Death Trap ?

Most people don't think about their car as a "room" in their home that needs to be cleared of clutter. But it's one more area where people tend to just throw things in randomly and rarely clean.

Having just completed some continuing ed classes for my EMT license one of the topics was car accidents and flying objects.

When people fill their car with clutter they usually don't think "what if I have an accident - can these bags (or books or bats or bowling balls....) fly from the back of the car into the front during an accident and cause serious damage to my body?

It was a great class!  Thinking about all of the things that people fill their car with - especially when they go on a trip or are just doing sports - brings to mind that cars can be dangerous places.

It's something that we don't usually think about. But when you get a picture of a bowling ball hurling from the back seat to the front and shattering your front window - not to mention your head.... then you get a better picture of the damage that the contents of your car can have.

So - a few good points that we can learn from this.

Make sure that everything in your car is secure. If you have heavy objects of things that can potentially move from their location - secure them.

Use bags / boxes to hold lose objects - and a lid would be preferable.

Keep the clutter to a minimum and keep your car as neat as if it were another room in your home - not a dumping ground.

Clutter can be dangerous - and this is just one example.

Now go out and clean up your car! 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 2, 2015

In Five Minutes I Can .....

Do a lot of small organizing task!   Yes - you can accomplish a lot in just five minutes.  The problem is that most people spend more time than that trying to talk themselves out of doing anything at all!

Stop over thinking the process - and "just do it" !

In five minutes I can:

  • Hang up my clothes instead of leaving them on a chair or on the floor
  • Throw in a load of laundry in the washing machine
  • Fold all of the clean towels and put them away
  • Go through my stack of mail and throw out all of the junk mail - instead of letting it pile up
  •  Empty the dishwasher instead of letting it sit there for a week
  •  Put all of the dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of letting them pile up in the sink
  • Pick up all of the things that are not supposed to be in the living room and put them where they belong
  • Make my bed in the morning so that the bedroom looks neater
  • Go through one drawer in the kitchen and organize it - get rid of things I never use
  •  Go through the fridge - one drawer at a time and clean it out - get rid of expired food
  • Go through one shelf in the bathroom and get rid of products I never use
  • Decide what I'm going to wear in the morning and get it ready - so that I don't waste time in the morning 
  •  Polish my shoes so they look clean and more professional
  • Sew a button on a shirt that's been sitting in a pile for weeks
  •  Write out a couple of birthday cards for the month

There's a lot you can do in just five minutes.  So - what are you waiting for?   Let's get started!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Minimalist or Cozy - Which is Correct ?

For some people being clutter free means that nothing is out on the counter or any surface. But being organized and clutter free does not mean that you have to live in a stark and sterile environment.

Your home or office can still be a reflection of you and still be cozy. It's all a matter of perspective.

Every person see's clutter in a different light. Every person has different tastes in decorating. Just because one person chooses to decorate their home in dark colors and another person chooses to decorate their home in vibrant colors - doesn't mean that they are wrong. It means they are different.

It's the same in the definition of  "clutter free and organized".  Some people think that anything left out on the counter is clutter. Some people need things right in front of them - either because they use it on a daily basis or because they need things out to remind them to do something.

There are no right or wrongs in the world of clutter.  Yes - I admit - I like things neat and organized - but I also love to have things that mean something to me - pictures of my family or a few special nick nacks out on display. As long as it's right for you - and you clean and dust everything that is sitting out - it's your home and your choice.

When I work with a client I am very aware of how they choose to live and organize according to their lifestyle. But I also help in redefining their space to make it more organized and create a better flow and function.

It's a balance of form and function. It's the clients home and they call the shots on the amount of things (objects) they want left out on display.

Being clutter free does not mean living in a home that is not comfortable and cozy.

It's all in your definition of what a home should look like.

Clean and clutter free varies from person to person. But having things organized - so that the they can function better is always a good thing!

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, February 16, 2015

When You're Ready - Organize

Being organized is a great thing. It allows you to immediately locate anything that you are looking for and lets you see what you have - without having to search for it.

A lot of people say that they "want" to be organized - but they don't seem to be able to start the process. And pushing them does not work.

People need to be "ready" and "willing" to be organized.

And when that "aha" moment finally comes.... it's great! 

It may sound silly - to those people that are already organized - but for the people that aren't - and want to be - pushing and cajoling just doesn't work.

But once they understand all of the good things that come with being organized - like finding things they didn't know they had - or being able to do things because now they've found the things they couldn't locate before - it's amazing how easily they take to the organizing process.

And it is a process. One small space at a time. One small project at a time.

Progress will push them to the next step. When their face lights up with that  "I really did this - and it looks great" proudness  - I too am proud.

Organizing - one small step at a time.  One person at a time.  One room at a time.

I'm ready.  Are you ?

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Years Resolutions - Reality Setting In

January is winding down. Most people have already put away all of their Christmas decorations. Everything is getting back to "normal".

And with "normal" comes a reality check. This promises that you made to yourself - and probably told a few people - have probably already gone out the window.

The "I am going to lose weight",  "I am going to start exercising" and my favorite "I am going to get more organized".

Good intentions - but follow through always seems to be a problem.

Everyone gets so caught up in everyone's enthusiasm that they make promises that are hard to keep. It's not that people are intentionally breaking their "promises" (or goals). It's just that it's hard - especially when you don't see immediate results and have no one around that is pushing you - being your cheerleader - telling you what a great job your doing.

Which is one reason those exercise tapes don't work. You can turn them off and ignore them. Not so much when you are at the gym and the trainer is pushing you to your limit.

It's for your own good!

That's why having a workout buddy is a good thing. You can each push the other person to give their "all".

Being organized - getting organized - is a process. And it's not always a fast process. Things get messier before they get neater and more organized. You don't always see results in the first hour or the first day.

You (your home or office) didn't get disorganized and cluttered in an hour - and it's going to take more than an hour to get organized.

It's one step at a time -  one small space at a time - one room at a time.

Progress will come. Maybe slowly for some. There could be some slight resistance - not intentional - but it's there. For some people it's a slow process to get to the point where they are "ready" to let go and get their space to be clutter free.

Being - and getting organized - is an ongoing process. One that you have to stick to - even when you don't feel like it.

As a certain sports company says "Just Do It"!

Now stick to your resolutions and get yourself organized!

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Clearing Your Clutter in the New Year

Some people are starting to put all of their holiday decorations away. So take it one step further and start the New Year off right by clearing all of the clutter throughout your home.

The easiest things to clutter - are flat surfaces!  People get into the habit of just putting things down wherever there is a surface. The problem is - they never pick it up and move it to where it's actually supposed to go.

As Professional Organizers like to say "everything should have a home".

So as you are putting away all of your holiday decorations - clear everything off of each surface (each coffee table, desk, dining room table, kitchen table, counters.....).

Then take a step back and decide what should go there - what actually belongs in that room and on that surface (table).

Keep out only what you actually need or use every single day. If it's an item that you only use once in a while - put it away (somewhere that makes sense).

The less that you have on the surface - the cleaner and less cluttered it will look.

It's a quick and easy fix that will transform a room instantly!

Go through each room of your home and do the same thing. Look at each surface and decide what you really use on a daily basis - and put the other things away. Your home will instantly be refreshed.

Then take it one step further - and for your New Years Resolution - resolve to put things where they belong immediately - so that you don't end up in the same boat a week from now. It's not easy to break a bad habit and it's harder to make a new one feel natural - but stick with it - and soon you too will live in a clutter free zone.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services