3 Reasons for Persistent Clutter – Which one is yours? As a Personal and Professional Organizer I’ve observed that persistent clutter can be caused by 3 reasons: behaviors and habits that do not support decluttering and organizing, limiting beliefs and negative emotions that keep you from making positive changes, and technical obstacles such as not having systems in place or using systems that are not meeting your needs. In what ways do your behaviors get in the way of being organized? Pretend that you are an outside observer and notice which behaviors and habits prevent you from being organized. What about your beliefs? Do you believe that you are capable of change and creating new habits that make getting organized and staying decluttered possible? If not, that is probably a good place to start to take steps to debunk those limiting beliefs. It will also help alleviate negative emotions such shame, fear, and self doubt if you can observe small successes. Finally, are there technical obstacles that don’t allow you to be more organized such as having an effective scheduling or filing system? In future posts I’m going to share organizing tips for solutions and strategies. You can always call or email me with your personal organizing challenges!
Feeling Organized What does feeling organized mean to you? Think about how you feel when your space is organized and clutter-free. Imagine what an organized day feels like. I love to write about the benefits of organizing to motivate and inspire you towards that clutter-free lifestyle most of us crave. An organized life feels… Calm Productive Energizing Healthy, and Spacious. The disorganized life in contrast feels stressful, overwhelming and chaotic. The worst part of long-standing disorganization is that for some people it becomes the norm. I was just talking about this with a friend and describing how some people become accustomed to living in chaos and clutter and that making change is too scary for them to seek help. There are so many resources out there for you if you want to take the first step and make a change. NAPO (the National Association of Professional Organizers) is our professional organization. As a NAPO Personal and Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach I encourage you to explore their national website, and your local chapter’s website. Ask yourself if you are ready to start feeling organized and get out of chaos. Take baby steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed. If you want to try it yourself, read an article or book that describes the organizing process.
Paul Simon sang about “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”. My song would be entitled, “50 Ways (and Reasons) to Leave Your Clutter”! Here they are: Declutter & enjoy an aesthetically pleasing home & work space. Present an inviting, open space for family and friends. Provide a professional, paper-less work environment for clients and staff. Minimize memorabilia. Prioritize the tasks that are important and time sensitive. Postpone tasks that are less urgent or important. Utilize the items that you purchase. What are you saving them for? Appreciate the belongings that you possess. Display them & get them out of boxes. Ensure the worth of valuable items. Avoid stuffing them in boxes and stacking them. Travel in a well-planned & organized manner. Optimize your appearance by creating a wardrobe that fits your lifestyle… and the body that you are in today. Maximize your wardrobe by layering, mixing & accessorizing. Create new outfits from your closet. Update your style and image by organizing your purchasing habits. Rejuvenate yourself by establishing an organized sleep routine. Select healthy food choices by organizing shopping & meal planning. Learn ways to make time to relax and practice self-care. Schedule time for massage, a walk with a friend or time in nature. Gain support for achieving your organizing and time management goals. Increase your physical energy & mental clarity by scheduling regular time for fitness activities. Challenge yourself to acknowledge all of your successes; big & small. Mindfully notice what you are doing by being present and uni-tasking. Ease into the process of creating or changing habits. Empower others by engaging in organized practices. Produce maximum results with reasonable levels of effort. Evaluate the urgency of tasks realistically. Being organized means being prepared. Assess what is needed for a project before you start. Savor time for leisure… read more →
The 50 benefits of organized people enjoy The 50 benefits of living your most organized life that I write about are only just the beginning! Organizing is a process of eliminating the things and the time wasters in your life. Clutter isn’t just too much stuff in your space, it’s also too much to do, and even too much to think about. The benefits of organizing result in eliminating the these things because they can cause stress and cost you your health and even your finances. Speaking as your Personal and Professional Organizer here are 5 more positive outcomes of organizing and productivity: Save time for important relationships and connections. Time saving strategies leave room in your weekly schedule for meaningful and self nurturing activities, especially your relationships at home and work. Boost your productivity in an energy efficient manner. Organizing and time management doesn’t mean working harder and longer. It means planning, streamlining, and producing excellent results by being efficient. Enhance your self esteem and sense of control. Wouldn’t you feel better by being more organized? Confidence comes from the inside out, and organizing from the outside in supports that confidence! Impact your credibility with others personally and professionally. Whether you are managing a family or an office staff, people are more inclined to respect and want to work with an organized person. Monitor spending, expenses, and income on a daily basis. One of the benefits of organizing is that you can see everything that you have, how you are spending, and then eliminate wasting money. Creating spending habits that align with your income is an empowering habit that will create a more organized life! To your success!
Organized people enjoy a multitude of benefits at home and at work As a Personal and Professional Organizer who works with now-organized people I am sharing 50 of the benefits that they describe to me. Here are 5 more benefits organized people report: Balance your workload effectively. Organized people have a cohesive view of all of their roles and responsibilities. This allows them to apportion time in a balanced manner. Manage your time realistically.Wouldn’t you benefit from having skills that enable you to estimate time realistically so that you had less stress trying to get places on time? Access important information and items when you need them. Organized filing, including an effective tickler system, helps organized people put their hands on what they need, when they need it, and minimize the need for piles. Maximize your use of space and storage without clutter. Do you know how to utilize the space that you live in so that it is functional and aesthetically pleasing? Do you have a strategy for decluttering on a regular basis? Create a safe environment for home and work. Organized people don’t have long-standing piles of magazines on the stairs, deep bins filled with miscellaneous stuff, and pantry shelves with stacks of teetering items. Less clutter means less dust, easier cleaning and maintenance…now how great is that!!
Organizing requires patience Most of you would like organizing to happen as quickly as possible because time and patience are not abundant, right? As a Professional and Personal Organizer in San Diego I know that people want clutter and disorganization to be gone immediately. The reality is that organizing requires not only patience, it requires regular maintenance. Organizing tips, books and magazines are very helpful. They can help you get motivated, create a step by step process for getting it done, and suggest ways to keep it organized. The 3 biggest obstacles that I observe with clients are: Feeling overwhelmed. “I don’t know where to start!” Underestimating time. “I need at least a weekend to work on that area.” No system in place. “Where do I put it?” If you are busy and have a lot of responsibility, here are some practical ways that you can be more patient with yourself and with the process of getting and staying organized. Conquer overwhelm with patience and a plan. Accept that the disorganization didn’t happen over night. Are you willing to appreciate that some organizing is better than none, even if it takes longer? Be patient. Consider taking one or all of the following steps: List your priorities with as much specificity as possible. If this is difficult to do or you’ve tried before and it didn’t work hire an Organizer to consult with you, assess the situation and help you prioritize. Break down each priority into manageable steps. Schedule adequate time for each step. Again, if this is challenging, work with a Professional Organizer to help you create an action plan. Practice patience. Implement each step of the plan and celebrate your successes no matter how small (or large). If you find that you are losing interest, motivation, or it’s just… read more →
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 →
San Diego Professional Organizer My work in San Diego as a Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach is about creating a personal relationship. When I am invited into someone’s home or office to help with decluttering and organizing the relationship becomes very personal, very quickly. It is based upon trust, non-judgment, and patience on both the Professional Organizer’s part as well as with the client’s expectations of themselves and the process. It’s difficult enough to ask for help let alone show someone else your “stuff”, the piles, and the emotions these things create. I know that there are a variety of reasons and situations that create clutter. My job is to ask the right questions and help each person clarify their objectives. That is why it is difficult for some people to do the work themselves or with a family member. It is helpful to keep moving forward rather than get stuck on the obstacles or what you’ve tried in the past. By continuously going back to your objectives it helps you to stay focused on the benefits of organizing. I might say something such as, “Will keeping this (item or document) help you to organize this area?” These benefits of improving your organizing and time management skills include health, safety, peace of mind, and financial preparation. What is being organized worth to you? Organizing is personal
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)
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 →