5 Critical Reasons to Declutter… (just in time for Spring and Mother’s Day) Your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer wants to share my 5 critical reasons to declutter. The includes all of your stuff and even your to-do list. I say that it’s “critical” because the long term affects of living and working in a cluttered environment or with a cluttered schedule have consequences. Reason #1: Create more space and flow of energy. Clutter wastes space and blocks the flow of energy in your environment. Everything has energy and blocking it with stacks of paper, piles of books that you will never read again, expired foods, and unlimited amounts of cables and cords will cause stagnation and the problems described below. Read on… Reason #2: Improve health and safety benefits. Clutter attracts dust and mold; stacks can cause tripping and falls and head injury. I had a client years ago who tripped over a stack of things piled on her staircase. She broke her foot and had to go up the stairs on her bottom for months. She only called me because her friend threatened to contact adult protective services if she didn’t work with a Professional Organizer! Imagine how it would have changed her life and her relationships if she had discarded, recycled or donated items. Reason #3: Increase efficient use of time. Clutter means wasting time searching for important things and papers. Wasting time can cause you to be late and miss deadlines. You know that being late is disrespectful or others’ time and can also have financial implications such as added fees. Why risk your relationships or your credit rating? Reason #4: Reduce stress and enhance self esteem. Having to deal with clutter on a regular basis causes frustration, stress and embarrassment; it can negatively impact… read more →
Image Consulting Tips | My Favorites Image Consulting Tips are for everyone because everyone has (or needs) a style. As an Image Consultant and Personal Organizer I help men and women explore their style as a form of self expression and creativity. What would change in your life if you uncovered your authentic style? Image Consulting Tip #1: You don’t wear your style, you are your style. “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Who said it better than Coco Chanel? Image Consulting Tip #2: Style is fluid and dynamic. Don’t get stuck in wearing only one type of look, accessorizing the same way with each outfit, or limiting the elements that you choose such as color. Unless you are a style icon like Vera Wang who says, “Like most designers, I have a uniform, and mine is a legging.”, you want flexibility and variety in your wardrobe. Image Consulting Tip #3: Update your style. Your body changes, your life circumstances change, and your needs change. It’s important to reflect upon your style and update your wardrobe, if needed, on a regular basis so that you feel it represents your best self at this point in time. Image Consulting Tip #4: How you wear something is the statement. Whose style do you admire most? Maybe it is someone that you work with or a friend. What is it that you really like about his or her style? It’s probably not about the specific item or where he or she shops. When you look at that person you are likely to think or say, “He always looks so put together.” “Her look is simple, but sophisticated.” “She looks fabulous even in a tee shirt and jeans!” What is it about that person and more importantly, remember that it can be you!… read more →
Organize Your Wardrobe There are 4 ways to organize your wardrobe. Let’s focus on organizing your clothing, not your closet. The benefits of organizing your wardrobe are: Expand your wardrobe selections. Make getting dressed easier and save time. Wear more of the items that you own. Increase your creativity instead of wearing the same things, the same way. As your San Diego Personal Organizer and Image Consultant I love to share men’s and women’s wardrobe tips. There are easy ways to help you update your wardrobe and create outfits with the clothes that you already have! I am talking about sorting and organizing the contents of your closet and drawers, not how you store and where you locate the items. 4 Ways to Organize Your Wardrobe: Color: Organizing your clothes by color can help you to find new ways to use color. Find new ways to use color t0 rather than simply matching colors or combine a color with a neutral. You can think about wearing complementary colors, all neutrals for a sophisticated and monochromatic look, and adding a pop of color to update your style as well. Category: Most people prefer to organize their wardrobe by grouping like items with like items. That means putting all pants, tops, etc. together with one another. This way makes sense and can be efficient but doesn’t necessarily enhance creativity (see #4). Length: Organizing by length can make dressing easier when changes in temperature are a consideration. You can order your clothing from sleeveless to long sleeve, shorter skirts/dresses to long, and jackets to coats. Outfit: My favorite way to organize your wardrobe is the organize your clothing by outfits. This is the best way to expand your style and wardrobe. It also makes it easy to make choices for travel! Click on… read more →
How to Reduce Clutter – Sentimental Items Reduce clutter if you want to simplify your life. Clutter takes up valuable space, is expensive to move, and most times you don’t even look at all of it. Many Professional Organizers like myself will tell you to declutter sentimental items last because it is more emotional and detailed work. What types of sentimental items create clutter for you? Photographs, slides, videos Collectibles, souvenirs Trophies, plaques, awards Children’s art work Baby clothes, toys Wedding gifts Birthday and special occasion cards, old letters and postcards If you want to reduce clutter from the sentimental items you’ve held on to for years you are not alone.According to therapist Dr. Robin Zasio, “Sometimes it feels like we should save things simply because they were given to us, not because they’re meaningful or useful.” (2011). We hang on to sentimental items because we feel a sense of responsibility and anticipated guilt if we let them go. These items sit in boxes, storage containers, albums and baskets. They take up space in cupboards, on shelves, garage floors, space under the beds, in closets…all of which could be clutter-free. Imagine what that space could be used for (or not,) if it were clear! At a time when many of us are thinking about simplifying our lives and downsizing our homes it is useful to revisit which items you really want and need to keep. You literally can’t take them all with you if you plan to move to a smaller house and travel more. If you have difficulty letting go of sentimental items here are some organizing tips designed to get you started: Limit the quantity Display them Repurpose them Limit quantity to reduce clutter- be realistic As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I want to assure… read more →
Paper Clutter Paper clutter can easily sneak up on you. Paper clutter isn’t limited to your office either. I’ve seen paper clutter in: Bathrooms Garages Kitchens Bedrooms Cars Backpacks Purses Closets As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I suggest that you organize by room and focus on paperwork, only. Schedule 30 minutes on a specific date, at a specific time to: Discard, recycle, shred Sort, file Purge old files & papers. Which types of paper clutter drive you crazy? Let’s identify the culprits… Receipts Unopened mail Catalogs Unread piles of magazines Stacks of newspapers Unclipped and/or expired coupons; circulars Business cards Handouts from meetings, conferences Papers your children bring home from school Never ending to-do lists, notes Unused notepads Unpurged files Old tax records Boarding passes, tickets, maps In my series, “Things I’d Rather Die With” I’m going to give you lots of organizing tips to help you to get rid of clutter. I came across a terrific article that will help you with some ideas about how to declutter your paper situation: Taming Paper Let me know what you do to reduce the amount of paper in your life by posting on Outside In Organizer and Makeovers on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Clutter…Is it Ruining Your Love Life? Take it from your San Diego Personal & Professional Organizer, clutter and organizing do not mix. Clutter can cause: Stress in your relationships Feelings of incompetence or shame Wasted time looking for important items & papers Health & safety hazards. Don’t let clutter ruin your love life. The benefits of organizing are that it establishes systems and routines that help you continue to declutter and stay organized. Unlike your love life, when it comes to your “stuff”, variety isn’t always the spice of life. If you are always looking for items such as your keys, glasses or important papers here are some of my Organizing Do’s and Don’t s. Check out my previous blog: 7 Clutter Prevention Tips Clutter Do’s: Have a dedicated place for everything. Read Dorothy Breininger’s blog: Organizing Your Entryway for more organizing tips. Put items in back in the same place every time. It doesn’t matter where that place is as long as it makes sense to you and you are consistent in using it. Have a back up. Examples: Keep spare eyeglasses in specific rooms as well as your vehicle. Keep spare keys in a safe place. Schedule time to reduce clutter on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Clutter Don’t s: Change purses frequently. Organizing Tip: If you “must”, use one of those inserts to organize your purse. Purchase more than you need. That contributes to clutter. Rely on shopping for something you know that you have and cannot find. Get frustrated or self critical. Mindful Organizing Tip: When you are looking for the item & cannot find it, pause, take a breath, and mentally retrace where you last saw/had it. Mindlessly drop or pile items just anywhere. Mindful Organizing Tip: Return items intentionally to their “homes”.
7 Clutter-preventing strategies My 7 clutter-preventing strategies are not necessarily fun or easy. They DO work and I know that you can do it if you practice regularly. The benefits of organizing make it worth it! Each strategy can be practiced for 2-8 weeks before you take on the next. Don’t sabotage yourself by setting unrealistic goals Also, allow for back-sliding. This can happen whenever you are creating new Optimal Habits. From your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer: Daily de-cluttering. Schedule 15 minutes at the end of every day to de-clutter 1 area. Weekly de-cluttering. Schedule 30 minutes every week to de-clutter and organize. Shop no more. Commit to 2 weeks of no shopping (except for food). Donate immediately. Forget the collection bag. Don’t let donations sit in a pile, bag or your car. Donate immediately. Consign now. Make quick decisions. If you don’t like it, wear it, or use it and it’s in good repair…consign it. Return it. If it’s unopened or never worn return it. If you have multiples of items that you rarely use, return them. Get rid of big containers. Big, deep containers are a magnet for clutter. Unless they are large items that require larger storage, there is no need for big containers. My organizing tips are meant to guide and encourage you with getting and staying organized. Be patient and keep your intention and actions set on your goals. Avoid self criticism and defeating remarks such as, “I’m such a mess”. “I can never stay organized”. “I’m just like my (name of family member)”. “It will just come back, why bother?” Think and say statements that focus on your successes and strengths. Have you read my book of simple inspirational statements for organizing and time management? It make a great gift for yourself… read more →
Lateness | Are you always running late? If you are suffering from chronic lateness and want to get out of the house faster here are some of tips are things that you may have heard growing up (and still apply): • Make your bed first thing in the morning. • Select what you will wear the next day, the night before . • Pack your lunch the night before work (or school). Lateness causes stress and compromises your credibility with others personally and professionally. Even little changes in your behavior and routines can improve your productivity and time management. Try making the easiest change first. Once you get consistently better with that aspect of your organizing and time management you can add another change. If you want more information you can read my blog about the benefits of time management. Here are more time management and organizing tips for conquering lateness from Denise Levine, your San Diego Professional and Personal Organizer: • Stop re-packing your workout bag. Keep your workout bag in the car. Leave the basics such as shoes, clean socks, and underwear in the bag. If you use a mesh laundry bag for damp items that need to come in to be washed and replaced that is the only thing that needs to come in and go back out. • Always give yourself a cushion. Leave 15 minutes earlier than you typically would for every meeting and appointment. Plan to get there early and use that time to: meditate in your car, journal, read, check email, post on social media. • Stop looking for the same things. Avoid time wasters such as looking for your keys, eyeglasses, phone, and charger by creating a station for those items. It doesn’t matter where you locate your station as long as… read more →
Organized During the Holidays – Tips Staying organized during the holidays may be a challenge for some of you. As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I want to help you keep things in perspective. As important as being organized is, I hope that you will find ways to streamline your expectations and responsibilities so that you can enjoy the holidays. Do you try to fit too much in to too little time? Do you spend more money than you need to, on stuff that no one really needs? You’ve heard the saying, “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” (Bill Keane). Here’s a handy checklist of organizing tips that you can use to help make this season more manageable. I suggest that you post this somewhere where you will see it every day as a reminder. Make time for gratitude. Being grateful for time with family and friends will help you live in a balanced, more healthy way. Schedule lunch with a friend and take a break from your to do list. Schedule time for personal care and self nurturing activities. Make sure that your time management includes time alone, time in nature, and don’t skip exercise during the holiday season. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and reduce stress. One of the most important time management routines to maintain is a regular wake up and go to sleep time. Reexamine your traditions. Do you need to continue all of the traditions even if you and your family have outgrown them? Eliminate the things that don’t fulfill you anymore. Steamline some of the cooking, decorating, etc. Organize simple traditions this year. Focus on giving experiences rather than “stuff”. We all have more than we need. Consider… read more →
Organizing Tips – When you have too much Lots of women call asking me for organizing tips when they don’t know how to deal with all of the stuff that they have in their homes and offices. We accumulate things over time for a variety of reasons, but sometimes we don’t realize just how much we already have. From the perspective of a Personal and Professional Organizer I ask, isn’t possible to be happy with less? During this season of gratitude the first of my first organizing tips is to be grateful for all that you have. At one point you either loved it, needed it, used it, or it was given to you by someone you know. None of those reasons require you to keep items forever. The second of my organizing tips is to be mindful of your thoughts. Try not to be self critical or judgmental about how much you’ve acquired or what you’ve spent. Those thoughts won’t help you to release the clutter. Begin to cultivate an attitude of gratitude! Instead of accumulating more and more stuff and letting the clutter overwhelm you, you can focus on… • Enjoying the things that you have. Once you’ve enjoyed them you will know whether or not you want to keep them. • Beginning to thin out the amount of items that you have. You are not going to run out of the things that you need, trust me. • Using items that you have duplicates of in order to maintain a more reasonable amount. Try to avoid buying in bulk or just because something is on sale. • Donating items that you no longer like, need, or use to a meaningful charity. There is always someone else who will need and enjoy the items that you donate. •… read more →