There is a wealth of information out there to help you with your desire to be organized. Remember that organizing isn’t something that you do, and then never have to do again! Here are some important ideas to keep in mind: 1. Before you organize, let go of what you no longer need or use. This will save you time. 2. Think about what you need to keep, where it is used, how often you need to access it for use. 3. Create a system…everything has a place, and a place for everything! Check out this helpful article from HGTV: http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/your-guide-to-lifelong-organization/index.html
Men and women need to take stock of how their wardrobe is working for them. Here are some of the reasons and benefits for why clients want to organize their wardrobes: “I have nothing to wear.” It’s unlikely that you have nothing to wear but one of the benefits of organizing is to find items you haven’t worn in awhile. “I’m so tired of wearing the same old things.” Reviewing your wardrobe is an opportunity to create new ways to mix and match clothing that you haven’t worn together. “I don’t have a big budget to start buying a new wardrobe.” Once you’ve taken stock of the items that you want to keep you can easily update your current wardrobe with a few key items of clothing and accessories. This is an affordable way to expand your wardrobe in a more methodical way. “Nothing fits…” Maybe you’ve lost or gained weight but the best wardrobe is one that fits your current body. Fit doesn’t just mean you can wear it comfortably, it also means that it enhances your physique, lifestyle and personality. Consider alterations and using a great seamstress or tailor to make reasonable changes. Sometimes the answer is wearing the right undergarments (bras with support, shapers, etc.). Another consideration you are wearing the item…tucked in versus not, shoe with heels or a flat, belted, layered, and so on. By enhancing your wardrobe through simple organizing principles you will end up looking more like you want to, feeling more confident, and presenting your best self!
At Outside In Organizer I’ve talked about how organizing is a process. That means that it is dynamic and ongoing, not something that you do and then you’re done. One of the many benefits of organizing is that you can apply new ideas and make changes rather than get stuck in a system of doing things one way. Maybe there is a better, easier or more efficient way! The process begins with one step at a time, first recognizing that you need to organize because there is a benefit to you. You can make your next step one that benefits you (clears out unwanted and unneeded items) and others. Start with shoes! Do you or family members have shoes that you no longer wear, that no longer fit, were never comfortable and not worn more than once? Go through your closets, gather the shoes and put them in a bag. Call Outside In Organizer and I’ll help you donate your used shoes to Soles4Souls. This great non-profit will refurbish or recycle shoes and distribute them to people living in areas that have been devastated by natural disasters. For information about Soles4Souls check out their website: http://www.soles4souls.org/
Outside In Organizer takes the approach that getting things in order makes one feel calmer and more focused internally. Preparing for an emergency or disaster is not fail-proof but there are logical precautions that just make sense. Wouldn’t you feel better if you and your family took those precautions? For instance, make sure that if you are traveling, that you share your itinerary and contact information with a reliable friend or relative. Does your neighbor or friend have a key in the event that they need to gain access to your house? Here are some other areas to consider: Your vehicle – have a backpack(s) in your car filled with items in case of emergency. If you have to abandon the car at least you can carry these items hands-free. Have an extra pair of comfortable walking shoes and clean socks for each family member in the event that you have to walk some distance. Keep an extra cell phone charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, bottled water and protein bars in your bag as well. Copies of records, documents – If you live in an area vulnerable to natural disasters it’s a great idea to have a set of important documents with a friend or relative who lives elsewhere. That will enable you to access important information for insurance and medical purposes. Want more ideas? The internet has a wealth of information to empower, prepare, and focus your efforts. It’s time well-spent. Send me your best ideas…
One of the most rewarding aspects of organizing is letting go of items you no longer need, that might be useful to others. As part of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) in San Diego I am collecting shoes for a nonprofit, Soles4Souls. Help us collect new and used shoes during our Shoe Drive on October 15th, check out the details: http://www.naposandiego.com/get-organized-month.php
Things to think about BEFORE an emergency: 1. DOCUMENTS, RECORDS: Do you safely store important documents? What about important phone numbers, account numbers, passwords, medical records and so on? Do you have a current household inventory with accompanying receipts? 2. SAFETY MEASURES: Do you have a supply of flashlights, fresh batteries, candles, lighters, bottled water, foods that don’t require cooking, a first aid kit? Where are these items kept and do all of the family members know where they are? 3. VALUABLES: In case of an evacuation, do you have valuable items that are in a portable carrying case or backpack that can be accessed quickly and carried away easily? Are they in a central location near an exit? If you only had 30 minutes to pack your car and leave what would you want to take with you (in addition to family members and pets)? Lots of checklists are available to help you prepare in advance for an emergency. Get organized and do it now!
Do you have photos or momentos that you keep stored in the house or garage? If they mean something to you and when you look at them, they make you feel happy, then by all means get them out of hiding. I love these easy gift ideas that help my clients feel more organized. Check out these clean, simple and inexpensive display frames… http://www.containerstore.com/shop/shelvingSale?productId=10020474&N=247+1000040&Nao=20
Many of my clients have an abundant supply of gift wrapping supplies. Recently I worked with a wonderful client to create a gift wrapping station. She has a terrific table with a wide space for not only gift wrapping, but also craft-making. We gathered all of her supplies then: Purged the worn tissue paper, wraps, and gift bags. Sorted the seasonal items from the generic ones. Grouped like items such as ribbons, tissues, bags, etc. together. The top drawer will be a great spot to store the supplies that should be within easy reach such as scissors, tape, and labels. There is plenty of space for a trash bin underneath so those small clippings don’t escape! Check out this helpful guide from Good Housekeeping: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/gift-wrapping-station#slide-1
It’s gratifying to see people embrace ideas and strategies that you share with them. I had an opportunity to talk with the San Diego Society of Women Engineers recently. Check out my friend Louise Julig’s blog on http://www.thoughtshappen.net/2011/09/how-do-you-really-spend-your-time-only-one-way-to-find-out.html All of us, including myself can benefit from doing a weekly time audit. Discover how you really are or are not using your time. This is powerful information that you can use for making the changes you desire!
Decluttered and organized space in your home, garage, office and even the trunk of your car has a calming effect. Sometimes my clients view it as an invitation to fill it again rather than keep it clear. So, how do you keep it uncluttered? First, acknowledge the work that you put into clearing the space and be proud of your accomplishment. Second, identify the benefits of having the space cleared. For instance, you can see the lovely granite countertop or enjoy the beauty of the wood grain on your desktop. Perhaps it’s that sense of knowing where you put things when you cleared the space and feeling calmer because you can find what you need and are less hurried. The key is to create a logical storage area or tickler system for those items that used to be piled up in the space. That way even though it’s out of sight, it’s not out of mind! Start with something simple, easy to maintain and immediately beneficial. Invest in a bill organizer with numbered slots for each bill statement. Use the drawer below for related supplies such as postage and return address labels. You can keep this compact system on your desk or counter so everything is well-managed and organized, or if you prefer more privacy you can store it in a closet that you use on a daily basis. TIP: You can place birthday cards that need to be sent out by certain dates in the slots as well, it’s not just for bills. BENEFITS: Bills are paid on time, no late fees, no clutter.