Declutter sentimental items Sentimental items are those personal objects that remind us of times in our lives including past events, places we visited and people we were with. They represent memories and we attach feelings to to them which can be both positive or negative. There are many reasons why we collect and keep these items, let’s face it, we’re emotional beings. I have a pine cone that I picked up during my first hike in California. My other sentimental items include old concert tee shirts, sound familiar? As a Personal Professional Organizer I hear many stories from clients about these objects. Sometimes it is sharing those stories that allows the person to let it go. They realize that the memory is within them and not the object. Remember that sentimental items take up space and collect dust. As we age and want to downsize, travel more, and clean less these items may take on less importance. If you are at a point where you are downsizing or moving, you may be questioning what to keep and what to let go of, my first organizing tip is to assess and purge the easy things first. Sentimental items and photos tend to be more challenging so you might want to consider going through easier items such as: Books, magazines, newspapers Clothing, shoes Formal dinnerware, cutlery and glasses Unused kitchen items Duplicate tools What sentimental items are hardest for you to let go of? Sentimental items | How to let go Sentimental items may or may not be of real financial value but they are emotionally valuable. Avoid making the mistake of taking photos of all of your items before you let them go; you are just going to create digital clutter! Here are some helpful organizing tips that will help you… read more →
Organize Now! Organize now and stop putting it off. It’s just a matter of dedicating some time to the process. You will see the benefits of organizing if you do a little over a consistent period of time. If you don’t organize now you could make life unnecessarily difficult for yourself and your family in unexpected ways. 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Avoid Organizing: Illness or death Sentiment and emotion Maintain independence Illness or Death Life is unpredictable. At some time you may be faced with a significant illness or injury. Eventually you and your family will have to face your mortality. We all experience life transitions. You owe it to yourself and your family to declutter and organize so that your information and belongings are in order, just in case. Downsize your inventory. At a point in our lives we kept things because they seemed important and meaningful. Later on they may no longer serve us; it is okay to let them go. Have an emergency plan. Friends and family should know where to find your spare key, what your blood type is, and your physician’s name and phone number. Share important information. Maintain and update a copy of important medical, family, insurance and financial information. Share this with a trusted friend or family member. Sentiment and Emotion Decluttering and downsizing sentimental items is more difficult than other belongings. You may encounter memories and emotional attachment to those things. You don’t want someone who doesn’t understand what your possessions mean to you to make decisions for you. You can do this on your own and with guidance from a Professional Organizer. Either way YOU get to make the decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. Getting things in order is a proactive way… read more →
Storage Do’s and Don’t s | 7 Absurdly Easy to Implement Organizing Tips Storage do’s and don’t s are important so that you don’t waste time, space, or money! Think about these organizing tips: Organizing Tip #1 – DON’T rent off-site storage for items that you know you will need in 6 months or less. Unless you are moving out of the country for a year or more, off-site storage is an unnecessary and costly expense. As a Professional Organizer most people tell me that they don’t even know what’s in their storage units after awhile! DON’T procrastinate. DO make a decision and act on it. Keep it or let it go. Organizing Tip #2 – DO Declutter before you purchase storage containers. I know, you can always return what you don’t use but most people don’t bother to return items which ends up being a waste of money. One of the benefits of organizing is that when you declutter and downsize the number of items, you are often left with containers and bins that can be re-used. Clutter takes up space and once you alleviate that problem you have a clearer idea of whether or not you need to purchase storage containers and if so, how many. Organizing Tip #3 – DON’T waste living space by storing multiple items of the same type. Sounds obvious but as your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I can tell you that people are amazed with how much space they have when extras are stored in the garage or attic. DO keep what you need on hand and within easy reach. Organizing Tip #4 – DO use clear bins and containers to help you to remember what they contain. This also eliminates the need to label every container, saving you time. Organizing… read more →
Staging A House Is A Challenge, or is it? You want to sell your home, right? You’re ready and you’ve made that first decision. So why is it so difficult to get your home ready, stage it, and put on the market? There are generally 3 reasons that this may happen: Time management – You and your family already have busy lives. You are working, taking care of your family, going to meetings, volunteering, etc. Trying to “find” the time that it takes to declutter your home, make the necessary repairs and improvements, and stage your house can be challenge because there isn’t free time to find. Besides the reality that most of us don’t have the available time, we may also lack the necessary resources or skills to stage our home in the most efficient manner. It’s hard to balance your responsibilities and then add one more major responsibility to your schedule. There is hope so read on… Emotional attachment – Your real estate agent may try to explain staging and the concept of “neutralizing” your home but putting it into practice is another thing. What “neutralizing” means is moving from the idea that you are selling your home, to the reality that now, you are selling a house. You need to create a neutral environment that makes it easy for prospective buyers to picture themselves, their family and their belongings in. Letting go and packing up those personal and sentimental items can be emotional and difficult for some people. Once again, there is hope. Ego – Some people are convinced that they should be able to do everything themselves. Consequently, they may also believe that hiring a Professional Organizer/Stager to help them is too expensive and not worth it. If you can be objective and consider the factors… read more →
Organization Skills You have the organization skills that you need, everyone does. So how do you get started organizing? Plan, prepare, schedule time to organize, and employ my “1-at-a-time rule”. Looking at the before and after photos of the office that I worked in recently you can immediately see the big and little differences that organizing creates. As your San Diego Professional Organizer my goal is always to teach and empower, not just do the organizing for you. That’s no fun! First, we scheduled a date and time to work together. During that first session we confirmed our plan. In a 3-4 hour block of time you can’t do it all so I needed to know what the client’s goals and priorities were. To prepare we needed a large space to gather items that were alike (we used the floor in the adjacent room). We also needed containers for recycling, shredding, discards and donations. Preparation also includes adequate ventilation and hydration (we work up a sweat). Once we get to work it’s my job as the professional to ask the right questions. These questions enable you to decide what to keep and what to let go of. Since I don’t own the items and am not emotionally attached to them in any way I can remain calm and neutral for the client. A trained Personal/Professional Organizer knows how to guide you through questioning, gathering information, and offering options for the client. After some time it becomes easier and quicker for the client to make those decisions. When you use my 1-at-a-time rule you are able to see results quickly because you are not scattered, you are focused. Always get rid of the clutter in your space first because you do not want to store and organize items that are no… 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 →
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)
A Real Estate Agent hired me to help her clients as the first critical step in staging their home. Their goals were to learn how to… Declutter and organize Prepare for packing and moving. When you make the decision to sell your home that is only the first of many decisions! The benefits of working with a Professional Organizer like Outside In Organizer, include time and stress management. Very few people have the time and energy to maintain their work and family life while preparing for a sale and a move. We began with the family room and decided that it was essential to convey the potential for this well-lit space to serve both child and adult needs. We downsized the inventory of toys by removing some and containing others. This helped to clear the floor area and display just how spacious the room was. TIP: make sure the favorite toys remain accessible to the child in the bins that he or she can reach. Once the toys were removed from the opposite side of the room it was more adult-friendly! We made optimal use of the available storage space under the banquette seating. After decluttering and organizing the space the next step is to add decorative touches. First room done in just hours and everyone was happy!
Being organized is as much a feeling as it is a way of behaving. The best way to diminish piles of paper and stuff is to act on it. Try my “1-at-a-time rule”. Select 1 pile. Start at the top and act on that 1 item only. Make a quick decision…keep or not. If you are going to keep it, set it aside. If you are going to get rid of it, put it in one of the following immediately: trash recycle shred donate sell Go to the next item in that same pile until the pile shrinks, or is gone. Don’t let yourself get distracted by putting things where they belong, just set it aside and keep going on this pile, only. The first step is this, the sorting and purging process. Make it a “Move It Monday”!
It’s not compact, digital, or pocket-size but it is smart. Whatever your preference is is always up to you and determined by your needs. The real question is, “what information do I need to have with me when I am on the go?” See if these ideas help you answer what to organize next: Health, medical information and contacts – to take to physicians, labs, therapies, hospital, urgent care Child or adult care information, emergency contacts – for when you are at work or traveling Banking and insurance information – in preparation for an emergency Confidential information such as passwords and pins – same Job, salary history – when applying for loans Education history – same Housing history – when applying for new housing, a mortgage Warranty and repair information including expiration dates – when scheduling repairs Automobile maintenance records – when you go for your service appointments