What is your goal for decluttering and organizing your space? You want your space to align with your needs, that’s your starting point. Then you can begin the decluttering process and remove what is not needed in that space. Clear surfaces look nice but they also need to be functional. Identify what you will want to use a specific space or surface for…serving food? Working on arts and crafts? Once you determine that, you can gather what you will need to organize and store in or near that space. Go ahead, use the space! After you use it, get into the habit of clearing it. Store the materials and supplies where you created specific “homes” for those items. Grow your space to create and live an abundant life!
As an Image and Wardrobe Consultant in San Diego I know that not everyone will go shopping with me. But that won’t keep me from sharing these tips! Think of me as your virtual consultant… Designers – find the brands and designers who create clothing that fits your body well. Build your wardrobe around those designers. Classic pieces – consider investing more in well constructed pieces that can be worn for several seasons. Trends – don’t be afraid of trends; spend less on those types of items. Accessorizing – have fun with it, be bold, and remember that less IS more. Color – if you absolutely love a color that doesn’t necessarily compliment your skin and hair color, wear it on the lower half of your body or as an accessory (shoe, bag). Metallic – these are still in style and like accessories…less is more. Alterations – a good seamstress is your friend! Make sure that your clothing fits the most challenging part of your body and then alter the item, as needed.
Style is not dependent upon your age, body type, occupation or income. You know a man has style when he exudes confidence from the inside out, as well as the outside in! You only get one chance to make a first impression! Consider the benefits of looking your best for every occasion. Clothes that fit well look better. Current styles say, you care. A little splash of color is great, too. An Image Consultant can help you build a basic wardrobe or enhance your current wardrobe. There are great times to consider working with an Image and Wardrobe Consultant: Career or job change Retirement Interview Starting to date (again) Change of season Special occasion Vacation Now! You can check out examples of different styles on my Pinterest board:http://www.pinterest.com/deniseimage/male-styles/
You don’t have to be a designer to know how to look your best. In fact, you don’t have to spend a lot of money either. Check out 1 of my new Pinterest boards for some ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/deniseimage/mens-casual/ Here are the basics: Go through everything in your closet and dresser and get rid of: worn, stained, ill-fitting items. You deserve only the best! Do the same with your ties, shoes, boots and belts. Take anything that needs altering, repairs, polishing, etc. to the cleaner or shoe repair shop immediately. Donate any item that is in good condition and that you no longer wear. For instance, work suits or winter jackets that you no longer need. Take some time to go to the men’s department in several stores. Check out what is currently in style, the fit, colors and details. Consider what you will be comfortable purchasing to update your wardrobe. If you don’t like shopping, browse men’s fashion magazines and ask your partner, friend, or a professional to shop for you! TIP: turn all of the hangers for the items that you are keeping the “wrong” way. After you wear something, place it back in the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. At the end of the season you will see what you don’t wear and can donate!
It’s “Thorough Thursday”! Once a week, pick one project where you want to do deep organizing. Professional Organizers are trained to help their clients move from the broad, big picture (macro approach), and then, to the specific and detailed approach (micro). You will have more success if your are doing this, too. Let’s use a medicine cabinet as an example. MACRO: First, take everything out of the cabinet. Quickly throw out empty containers and expired items (not prescriptions, more about this later). MICRO: Sort items that you use on a daily basis and need easy access to then place them back into the cabinet. Items that are used less often can be moved to a drawer or another cabinet. Disposal of prescriptions is important to prevent medication from getting into the wrong hands or polluting our water systems. Here is a helpful resource for prescription disposal: http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm
It’s “Thorough Thursday!” That means that even though you organized that space you want to go back on a regular basis to assess it and maybe, tweak it! Is it still working for you? If the general system is working, then you can organize on a deeper level. For instance, you cleared the counter and now it’s time to go through the drawers or cupboards. Maybe you cleared most of your email inbox and now it’s time to declutter your email folders. Follow up consistently, systematically and thoroughly. Let’s declare it “Thorough Thursday”!
One of Professional Organizer, Kathy Wadill’s 9 recommended strategies in “The Organizing Sourcebook” is “Weed constantly”. As your San Diego Professional Organizer I am declaring that Wednesdays are a great day just for that…weeding. You already know that organizing is an ongoing process rather than something you do once and it stays that way, right? Imagine that if every Wednesday you spent 30 minutes weeding out the things that you no longer need or use, how easy it would be to maintain your living and work spaces! Let’s take the clothing in your closet, for example. Looking at the photo you will notice one of my favorite strategies: resetting the hangers. This is an easy and visual way to assess which clothes aren’t being worn. Here’s how: Turn every hanger backwards. Each time you wear a garment and hang it back up, turn the hanger in the correct direction. At the end of each month, or least season, look at the hangers that are still backwards. This would suggest (except perhaps for formal wear) that it’s time to donate or consign. NOTE: If during the month you notice the items on backwards hangers, it’s a great reminder to wear those things and enjoy them, too. That way, you are not wearing the same things over and over again! It’s not about discarding everything. It’s about using, wearing, and enjoying the things that you still like. Try this strategy and POST YOUR COMMENT about your results on www.outsideinorganizer.com
As a Professional Organizer I get calls for help about tackling hard projects…piles of paper, objects, photos, and even items cluttering the email inbox. It’s not a question of whether or not it needs to be organized. It’s a matter of how and when. With help from a professional and time dedicated to the project, it becomes manageable. Make any organizing project manageable by breaking it down into smaller mini-projects. Then tackle it every Tuesday, for instance! TIP: Organizing and maintaining on a regular basis is worth the time.
Being organized is as much a feeling as it is a way of behaving. The best way to diminish piles of paper and stuff is to act on it. Try my “1-at-a-time rule”. Select 1 pile. Start at the top and act on that 1 item only. Make a quick decision…keep or not. If you are going to keep it, set it aside. If you are going to get rid of it, put it in one of the following immediately: trash recycle shred donate sell Go to the next item in that same pile until the pile shrinks, or is gone. Don’t let yourself get distracted by putting things where they belong, just set it aside and keep going on this pile, only. The first step is this, the sorting and purging process. Make it a “Move It Monday”!
Here are 3 guiding principles that you can post in a visible place and use to help you get out of feeling overwhelmed from the clutter in your life: A little bit of organizing is better than none. Set yourself up for success. Expect that you will go off course. A little bit of organizing helps you to see success more quickly and feel less overwhelmed. Doesn’t it feel great to start and finish a project? Don’t try to tackle an entire room. That can create a feeling of being overwhelmed and keep you from starting. Instead, clear out a specific space like an all purpose (aka junk) drawer. Set yourself up for success means that you want to learn to accurately estimate how much time something will take you. If you cannot complete a project or task in one sitting, it’s better to break it up into smaller increments. Rather than think you can reorganize an entire room in 3 hours, schedule an hour to work in one part of the room and see how much you accomplish in that time. Off course? Of course! Life is always changing. The key to effective organizing is to first have a system in place. When something unexpected happens to derail you from optimal organizing habits it’s easier to get back on track if you know where it all belongs. If you share the space, it allows everyone to put things back as well.