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
As a Personal Organizer in San Diego I have some favorite products that I use and like to recommend to others. The first time I heard about packing cubes I wondered if they were necessary. I’m not only sold on how easy they make packing and unpacking, but I offer these amazing Organizing Products on my website for you, too. All organizing products are designed to make things more efficient and streamlined. This is especially important during the holidays when you have so many things to remember. Using the cubes for categories of items allows you check what you’ve packed with ease and without having to refold clothing. I love to use these packing cubes in different sizes and in a variety of ways. Here are some examples: Contain smaller items such as chargers and adapters Contain delicate items such as knitted and crocheted sweaters & scarves Pack by category such as swimwear, active wear, lingerie, socks Pack by outfit to include the top, bottom and accessories to go with the outfit Pack by climate if you are going to more than 1 destination The beauty of using these cubes when you travel is that you can organize your suitcase and eliminate clutter. Organized packing means that you can save time unpacking by keeping them intact when you arrive at your destination. Just place the packed cubes directly into the drawer or on the shelf and you will always know where to find what you need. ORGANIZING PRODUCTS TIPS: Buy 1 extra large size packing cube for laundry Buy smaller size packing cubes to use in your carry on bag
Which is it, are you the disorganized boss, or is it the employee who is disorganized? One sure sign of disorganization is poor time management, and the result is diminished productivity. It doesn’t matter if it is the boss or the employee who is disorganized since both of your styles affect one another and your work. If you are the disorganized boss (late for meetings, unprepared, difficulty prioritizing) with the organized employee here are some strategies to put into place: Ask the employee to work out a system to signal you 10-15 minutes before your next appointment, task, or when you need to leave the office to commute. Have a brief daily planning session to review what got done that day, what needs additional time (schedule it), and what is coming up for the next 2-3 days. Schedule blocks of time for your open door hour(s). Let your employees know when those times are. Ask your administrative assistant to schedule time for employees that need to meet with you at other times. But wait, what if you are the organized boss with a disorganized employee (can’t find what you need when you need it, poor scheduling skills, multi-tasker)? The most effective strategies to use in this scenario include: Clear, documented communication about expectations, including timelines. Ongoing reviews of the employees progress and opportunities for him/her to ask for help. Measurable goals with expected outcomes. Implement the necessary strategies today and whenever possible, be proactive. It’s not really the employee’s responsibility to take the leadership role in getting things organized.
Here is an important tip for the boss who feels disorganized: Get to the point! Your team members will perceive you as more organized if your communication is straightforward and succinct. However, if your thoughts and communication are disorganized it will impact your team members and employees in various ways: Ability to follow directions Understanding expectations Capacity to help the organization’s goals Identify your strengths – are you stronger verbally or in writing? If your strength is in verbally articulating your goals, expectations, and standards ask someone to record what you say in writing. Have them say it back to you to check for accuracy before it is distributed to other team members. If your ability to convey information in writing is stronger, highlight the key points verbally from your notes, then distribute the written version. Now for the critical measure of functioning as an organized boss… Identify the key 2-3 points you need to communicate. Tell your team what you are going to talk to them about and then tell them. Summarize what you told them. Then, ask them if there is anything that they need clarified. By modeling this type of communication, one that builds from your strengths, you can expect others to do the same. Try it, role play it, get feedback. I promise that your organization ranking will increase! As a Time Management Coach and Professional Organizer my mantra is schedule time to plan this. Don’t try to wing it!
Are your employees frustrated because they think that you are a disorganized boss? As your San Diego Organizer and Time Management Coach I’ve been reading a lot about tips to help employees work with their disorganized bosses. It is ultimately the responsibility of the boss, or person in the leadership role, to ensure productivity, adequate workflow, and communication with employees. How would you know if you were a disorganized boss? Do you observe any of the following signs: Difficulty meeting deadlines Unable to find important items when they are needed Need to re-explain directions to others repeatedly It’s not always easy to be an objective observer and it’s even more difficult for an employee to broach this topic with their boss. So I would offer TIP #1 for the boss: Identify and be able to articulate your strengths to your employees. Use that information to begin the conversation about which strengths you need from them. Collaborate and build those processes into your systems and procedures. I promise great results!
Disorganization can cost you money, time, health, productivity, and career satisfaction. As a San Diego Professional Organizer I ask a lot of questions to help clients in San Diego and all over recognize the value of organizing their lives and their space. Ask yourself some of these questions: What is my time worth? How much time do I spend looking for important things? What would I rather be doing with my time? How does this space make me feel? What does this space say about me? My capabilities? Why does the clutter always return? How would having a system help me maintain an organized space or schedule? Now ask yourself, “What am I waiting for?” Wouldn’t the investment in organizing benefit you, your family, your friends and your coworkers? For more tips, sign up to receive my newsletter (and forward it to a friend)! www.outsideinorganizer.com