San Diego Personal Organizer takes a mindful approach. Mindfulness, including the beginner’s mind, is described in Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This expert in the practice of mindfulness describes the beginner’s mind as “a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.” (2013) He goes on to explain that the beginner’s mind enables us to be receptive to all possibilities, and become aware of our automatic thoughts and perceptions. In a previous post about mindfulness and time management I describe how the beginner’s mind applies to the work that I do. In this post let’s look at a different approach to reducing clutter and organizing space using a mindful approach. The benefits of organizing in a mindful way is to begin to see your space as if you are looking at it for the first time. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at how you want to use the space no matter what the room is called? Perhaps your dining room would make a better office space! What if you looked at the contents of the space and accepted that some of these things that we loved and used before, no longer serve us? Imagine the relief and lightness that you might feel when you release these unwanted items. Try this: • View one specific area in your home, office, even the trunk of your car. • Imagine that the space is completely empty as if you were just moving in. What is your vision for this new space? • Describe how you would like to feel when you look at and use that space. What would you put into it, and where would you organize the items? This mindful approach can help you to create a space that makes you feel calm or… read more →
Disorganized Life? Is your life disorganized, or are you disorganizing your life? As your Professional Organizer, let’s talk about situational disorganization versus permanent disorganization. If your life is disorganized as a result of significant change(s), whether sudden or expected, you may be experiencing situational disorganization. Major life transitions can cause disruption even for the most organized individual. These transitions may be positive or negative in nature. Are you experiencing (or expecting) any of these positive transitions: Expanded family such as an aging parent, return of an adult child, or the birth of a child. Getting married and merging households. Decreasing family size, including becoming an empty-nesters. Downsizing and selling a home. Remodeling a home or office. A relocation, career change or a promotion. Are you trying to cope with stressful negative change(s) such as: Loss, for instance, a death, a family member with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, or divorce. Loss of a employment. A natural or man-made disaster. Illness, injury or a temporary disability. Situational disorganization can cause mental, emotional, physical and financial hardship. It requires a change in many of the systems you used for organizing and time management that were effective before the new situation occurred. A thorough assessment of your new needs will help you devise a well thought out action plan and provide great relief. On the other hand, you may be disorganizing your life because of a more permanent or long-standing situation. There is NO fault or blame, rather, the solutions require different strategies and supports. Permanent disorganization necessitates a longer term perspective including ongoing maintenance and reevaluation of the systems that provide relief. The benefits of organizing can alleviate the overwhelm and stress that permanent disorganization situations elicit. These situations may include: Long term illnesses that limit mobility, access, strength, balance or memory. Chronic conditions… read more →
Are you ready for organizing your life? How do you know when you are ready to organize? As a Personal Organizer I know when you are ready for organizing your life because I am trained to listen carefully to what you say and even what you don’t say. I can sense that you are ready from our first contact because of the things that you share and the questions that you ask. For instance, you begin by sharing why you called, what is driving you mad, and how you’ve tried to organize it yourself. You candidly use words such as stress, overwhelm or frustration. The person who is ready for organizing his or her life is not only focused on the problems or pain, she is already aware of two critical factors: 1. “I know the value and benefits of organizing and how it will positively impact me, my relationships, and increase my productivity.” 2. “I don’t have the time or interest in doing this myself.” You know that you are ready, too! You make the call and have your calendar in hand. Scheduling is one of the most critical organizing skills.
San Diego Personal Organizing Tip – Keep the things you love The simplicity of this organizing tip is deceiving. As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I am giving you permission to keep items that you love and value. Love it means that it is meaningful to you on some level such as sentimental or emotional, useful, or valuable. If you love it though that means that you need to use it or display it. If it is soiled, in disrepair, no longer fits, or is dated then keep it IF it can be cleaned, repaired, or repurposed. Keeping things in storage, saving them for a special occasion, or holding on to them for your grandchildren is not necessary. Storing items that you don’t use is just organized clutter! Ask your children if they are going to want those items and be prepared for their honest answers. Get those photos out of boxes and albums; display them and rotate them in frames on a regular basis. Make a meal special by serving it on your china. The benefit of organizing is that you are making conscious decisions about what to keep, downsizing your possessions, and enjoying what you have. Trust me, your friends and family will appreciate this and so will you. Enjoy your photos (artur84)
As a Professional Organizer and former teacher I can assure you that there are 3 tips that will serve you as a parent, and your children, well. They are: Be a positive organizing role model, Encourage children to be involved in the organizing process, and Don’t nag them. When parents hire me to help their children learn how to organize their room it’s important for me to see the entire home environment as well. If the parent is not able to maintain an organized home it will be more difficult for the child to do so. When parents are able to see that this skill takes ongoing practice they can better support their children in the process. Something as simple as making your bed each day can make a significant difference. I suggest that you make organizing part of your daily family routine. For instance, every morning there is an agreement that everyone will make their own bed before they leave the house. Another important tip is to remember the bigger goal is for self responsibility and that the bed is to be made. Please don’t strive for perfection. Every afternoon when you all get home your routine is to have everyone go through their backpacks, briefcases, lunch bags, and purse to get rid of clutter, organize and plan what needs to get done for the next 1-2 days. Remember that you need to allow enough time for everyone to organize. Try not to rush or multi-task, if possible. Even very young children can get involved in organizing. They love to sort toys into bins, make games out of getting rid of trash, and earn praise for a job well done. Recently I was working with a young girl who told me that she wanted more space in her bedroom.… read more →
3 Post holiday organizing tips: Being able to offer post holiday organizing tips to clients and readers is so much fun. You’ve probably already taken down the decorations and returned the gifts that didn’t fit you. So let’s look at other creative ways to get organized for the new year. 1. Gift cards: As a Personal and Professional Organizer my clients often find unused gift cards when we are getting rid of clutter in drawers. They’ve either forgotten about them or didn’t want them and will probably never use them. Recently I discovered that there is a way that you may be able to convert your gift cards into cash. Although you will get a reduced amount it’s better than wasting a gift that someone wanted you to enjoy. Check out websites such as Cardpool, Raise and Card Hub. These services will make potential offers to resell your unwanted cards and you can get the discounted value or make a swap for another card. The benefits of organizing can actually include financial gain. 2. Holiday cards and wrapping paper: You can declutter piles of cards, tissue and wrapping paper by donating them right away. You can also repurpose the cards that you receive and use their front covers for gift tags next year; benefits of organizing do pay off! Get rid of wrapping paper remnants and if you have to buy more, buy solid colors rather than holiday designs so that you can use the paper all year long. For instance, red paper during Valentine’s Day and 4th of July. Green paper isn’t just for Christmas it’s great for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, right? My Outside In Approach is to encourage you to use gift bags from now on so that they can be used over and over… read more →
As your San Diego Personal Organizer my first organizing tip is to remind you to organize before storage is considered. There are great storage containers for anything and everything. It’s tempting to want to go out and purchase colorful, matching bins and file folders, but decluttering first, is important. The benefits of organizing, first, are that you: Have a realistic sense of what and how much you are keeping and need to store. You know how much storage space you will require. Identify the best location for storage containers. You can avoid ending up with more storage and containers than you actually need. During the purging process you will likely empty containers and files that you can repurpose and reuse for other storage. This will help reduce unnecessary spending. When you are ready to determine how to contain and store items remember to think about the size and weight of the items. I love the baskets with handles pictured below for smaller, lightweight items such as extra spices, bags of nuts and dried fruits, or bottles of medications and supplements. The handles make them useful when you store infrequently used items in the back of a deep cupboard, or up on a high shelf. Larger items require bigger bins, but remember that if those bins are filled with heavy items you don’t want to store them up high for safety reasons. You can avoid injuries by limiting lifting and reaching for heavy items. Look for bins that have wheels if you need to move them to access other items. Even papers and documents require different types of storage. Your tax records need different filing systems than photographs, for instance. Identify the ideal location for items by considering the elements. For instance, avoiding exposure to light or humidity may be critical… read more →
The reason why people feel disorganized is because they lack 3 important Optimal Habits: Ground Rules Time to organize Realistic estimation of time Being a Personal Organizer is not all that different than being a personal trainer. If you want to get fit you need to determine what to do and how often. Once you are fit, you are not finished! You need to have a maintenance routine to stay fit, right? If you want to get organized and stay organized you need to set some Ground Rules for yourself. I call these Optimal Habits. Would any of these organizing Ground Rules help you? Reduce the amount of inventory. Maintain the reduced amount of items. When you add an item, you need to let go of another. Adhere to the 1-at-a-time rule. Work in one space, on one pile or drawer at a time. Don’t get distracted going from one room to another. Purge, sort and organize items on a regularly scheduled basis. As a Professional Organizer I want to tap into my client’s understanding of the benefits of organizing. It begins with scheduling; creating uninterrupted time to organize. It’s essential to set aside dedicated time to focus on what you need to do. Optimal Habits include working during your peak energy time, focusing on one area, and having a plan. One of the reasons people tend to feel disorganized is because their expectations are often unrealistic. Getting organized takes as much or more time than it takes to get disorganized. Be patient, please. This is where time management is so essential to feeling and being organized. In addition to scheduling time to organize I put on my Time Management Coach hat and suggest that you assign a realistic estimation of how much time it will take to declutter, sort, organize,… read more →
Organizing Products The best organizing products are the ones that can be used for multiple purposes and/or in multiple settings. I personally use several of the products that I sell on my website as well as recommend them to my organizing and time management clients.This simple item has organizing and time management benefits. Any product that you can easily use to sort and file “like” items together will reduce clutter. It will also save you from wasting time looking for what you need. This is one of my favorites, the all purpose organizer: Organize Anything You’ve probably seen these organizers before and maybe even have one, but have you maximized it’s possibilities? Here are some of my favorite organizing tips for ways to use several of these products for organizing and where to have them: Shopping coupons – keep this organizer in the pocket of your car door, declutter your kitchen drawer Gift cards – keep this product in your console or glove compartment Boarding passes, luggage claim tickets, etc. – keep it handy in your carry on, purse, backpack, briefcase Receipts, parking stubs – keep these organized for tax preparation Important conference information, registration forms – carry this from your office to meetings, conferences Name badges – keep it in your vehicle for various meetings and groups that you belong to Auto insurance card, vehicle registration, road service information – keep it organized in your glove compartment I would love to hear how you use this organizing product!
An organized closet space includes storing the items that may be needed without taking up extra space. Living in a place like San Diego attracts visitors and with the holidays approaching I want plenty of space for my guests. You don’t necessarily have to be a Professional Organizer to know that clearing the clutter and containing items will make any space look and function in a more organized way. You can do your own closet makeover simply by using the right organizing products. This standing hanger holder, for instance, is a great storage solution. The holder keeps loose hangers from getting tangled up or damaged. Here are some more professional organizing tips that you will find useful: Maximize your use of vertical space Add shelves for storing items that you don’t use often Keep a folding step stool in every closet to makes items accessible and easy to reach