Packing for a Cold-Weather Trip with a Professional Organizer Part Three of a Four Part Series Choosing the right coat for the suitcase and the right jacket for the plane.
Packing for a Cold-Weather Trip with a Professional Organizer Part Two of a Four Part Series How to decide what shoes to take on your trip (and how many pairs). Also, a space-saving technique to pack your suitcase and keep your clothes unwrinkled. >
Packing for a Cold-Weather Trip with a Professional Organizer Part One of a Four Part Series Carol is going on a 16-day trip where there will be cold weather. NAPO organizer Denise Levine gives Carol some practical tips to keep her luggage to ONE suitcase. next video >>
For some people the line between “I want it” and “I need it” becomes blurred. One of the best organizing tips that I can offer you is to be awake, aware and intentional about your choices. It’s not about good/bad or right/wrong so much as realizing what you are doing in order to make the best choice for you. If you love shoes, for instance, but your closet and wardrobe are a cluttered mess you can try the following. Gather all of your inventory and sort them by category into a visible area or on a surface. How many of each item do you currently own? How many do you have adequate storage space for? TIP: you want all of the items in your closet to be visible to you so that you can wear them! As soon as you identify items that you no longer want to keep sort them immediately into bags or containers to “discard”, “donate”, “sell” and do each when you are done sorting. Count the remaining number of items within each category and set that as your limit. Make an agreement with yourself that you will not exceed this number and that for every 1 new item that you purchase, you let go of an older one. TIP: do you want to reduce your inventory? Change your agreement! For every 1 new item that you bring in, 2 older ones go out. Determine how you will contain, label and organize each category and what you will need to use or purchase in order to re-organize them back into the closet. Do you want clear shoe boxes? Or do you want to use distinct labels (photos, written) for boxes that you can’t see into so that you can readily identify what is inside of them. Each… read more →
Several years ago a woman called me because her friend threatened her! The friend was concerned and frustrated because she tried to help the woman get rid of the excessive amount of stuff in her home without any success. She reached the last straw when the woman tripped over a pile of newspapers and as a result of the fall, broke her foot. Now in a cast and forced to go up and down the stairs on her bottom, the friend threatened to call protective services if a professional organizer was not hired. This was an extreme situation, of course, and yet it raised numerous issues related to organizing and how it can improve both personal safety and health. In less extreme situations clutter, or excessive quantities of items, objects, and paperwork, can cause a variety of other concerns in addition to obstacles that cause falls: Fire hazard Compromised emergency preparedness, inability to access important items in an emergency or exit a building safely Injuries from stacked items falling Dust and mold that may cause or aggravate allergies, asthma Social isolation that may be caused by shame surrounding a cluttered environment, including estrangement from family members, and a negative impact on interpersonal relationships. If this sounds like someone you know or a situation that troubles you, it’s time to talk with a Professional Organizer. As a Professional Organizer I am part of an industry that trains us to work with these situations in a systematic, confidential and non-judgmental manner. It is stressful for a family member or friend to help no matter how much they care and mean well. They can support the work that the individual does with the professional. Write down your questions, concerns, and most importantly, your goals. All it takes is a phone call to start your forward movement.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Do you believe that every item you possess is a treasure? Perhaps that is the reason why you continue to hold on to it. The idea that it is a treasure for you may be true in one or more ways. For instance, something may have financial value and be worth a lot of money if sold. It may have value to you because you paid a significant amount of money to purchase it. An item may have sentimental or emotional value regardless of its perceived or real financial worth. Another type of value is related to an items function. You may hold on to the item because it is helpful to you now or was in the past because of its usefulness. If you find that clutter is of concern to you or others who share your space and have difficulty deciding what to keep and what not to keep, you are in the right place! Rather than worry about whether your reasoning for holding onto things (this includes papers) is right or wrong, I recommend that you ask yourself these questions: Do I love it? Does it make me feel happy when I use it or look at it? Do I need it? Could I replace it if I let go of it and needed it or something like it? Do I use it? Do I display it? Does it work (operate, in good repair)? How many of these do I currently own? How many of these do I need? How long has it been stored or contained? What would happen if I donated, gifted, or sold it? How is it serving me? Others? Is it representative of what I want and need? Is it moving me towards my goals?… read more →
The point of managing your time isn’t actually to fill the space in your schedule with more things to get done. Creating space in your day or week is about making room for what is important. What are the things, activities, and people (including yourself) that keep moving to the bottom of the list? What is missing that is important and would nurture your well-being that you never seem to have time for? Last two questions for now: why is that? If you don’t make yourself a priority then who will? If you are not rested, cared for and healthy how will you handle your responsibilities? Common complaint number one, “I don’t have enough time to (fill in the blank).” Reality check: you have the same time as everyone else, 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s all about choices because everything is a choice even when it doesn’t feel like it, except maybe death! But let’s not go there. Let’s look at tools to help you make informed and intentional choices. The first tool is the weekly audit. How are you actually using your time? Are you responding to crises? Are you check your email every ten minutes? Are you often trying to find important things and frustrated because you feel like you are losing valuable time? Another reality check: all time is valuable. Time is a lot like space in that you can choose what to put into both your calendar and your spaces. What is critically different though is that you can reclaim space, but you can never get lost time back. Be intentional, purposeful, recognize that not only do you have a choice about how you spend your time, but you also have a choice about what you choose not to do with it. What is… read more →
Does any of this sound familiar? I waste so much time trying to figure out what to wear in the morning. I end up wearing the same top and bottom each time. My wardrobe is basically two or three colors. Everything goes with black, right? There is only one way to organize your wardrobe and closet…the way that works best for you! Sometimes my clients love their clothes and actually have a lot of items, but their complaint is that they don’t know how to expand their wardrobe and create multiple outfits. Out of boredom or frustration men and women end up wearing the same things repeatedly. Recently, I worked with someone and together we created 54 outfits from less than half of the items in her closet. During one of my “Shop In Your Closet” sessions she didn’t have to purchase one new thing and found 54 new outfits!! You can organize your wardrobe using one basic rule…it’s my “3-to-1 rule”. For every bottom (pant, skirt, jeans) you create 3 different options for tops (jacket, shirt, sweater). You can now organize these combinations in your closet so that you don’t have to recreate them from scratch. There’s no rule that says we have to organize our clothes by color or item (all the sleeveless, tee shirts, etc. together). Do the same thing with accessories, too. You can group the ties, belts, scarves, etc. with those outfits and hang them together. You’ll save so much time, feel and look great, and oh yeah, the compliments will start rolling in, too. Have fun with it.
I was reading something this morning entitled, “Treating Yourself Well” and it reminded me of why I include image and wardrobe consulting in my professional organizing services. My mission is to help busy individuals streamline their lives so that they make room for what is important to them. This includes being able to create and enhance your individual style. Why is that important? It makes sense to me that while we are striving for efficiency, promotions, the right partner, and simply to be the best person that we can be we deserve to: Feel our best, most confident self inside and out. Project our best self in how we move throughout the day. Share our unique gifts and strengths with everyone we interact with. My Outside In Approach is not about helping you figure out what to wear so that others will like the way that you look. What excites me is when I see a client look at his or her reflection in the mirror and smile, stand up straighter, and say things like “I never would have tried this on!”, or “My gosh, that is so me! Thank you.” I can see your beauty, star quality, and how to bring that forth no matter what you are putting in the way. Yes, confidence comes from the inside but the synergy between external and internal factors is very powerful and motivating. Yes, it really is all about you! The perfect time to identify your style and align your image and wardrobe with what you want for yourself is always NOW. You don’t have to wait for the kids to grow up, or to lose five more pounds. Look your best every day, in the body that you’re in today!
Do you know how long it takes you to do routine tasks such as check your email, buy groceries, write a thank you note, or select what you are going to wear the next day? Being able to estimate time is a critical skill for effective time management. Being able to realistically estimate how long it takes you to begin and complete a project or task is the key to stress-free planning. You probably know how long it takes you to shower and get dressed for work because you are aware of when you need to wake up, get those tasks done, and leave for work. It’s the little things though that trip us up. Here are some ways to gather useful information about how you are currently spending time. Once you have this accurate information you will be able to make informed decisions about adjusting, re-prioritizing and managing your time. TIP #1: Select a specific activity that you think takes too long or interferes with other things that you need to do. Set a timer when you begin and end the activity. Collect this information for 3-5 days. Did you think that you spent this much time on the specific activity? Is it too much, not enough, or adequate? TIP #2: Select a task or activity that you think takes up too much of your time. Decide how much time you would rather spend doing it and allocate that amount of time on 2 different days. Schedule those blocks of time on specific days and write them into your planner. When you do them as scheduled, note how much you got done. Was it less or more than you expected? TIP #3: Account for all of your time and try doing a weekly audit. For an entire week, jot… read more →