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 →
My Organizing Tips: Being organized does not equate to perfection or minimalism. What does it mean to be organized? Here is what some of the industry experts have to say: David Allen, “When something is “organized” it means simply that it’s where it needs to be. Where is that? In a place that reflects what the thing specifically means to you.” Julie Morgenstern, “Organizing has nothing to do with being neat. If you can find what you need when you need it, and are comfortable in your space, then you’re organized.” Peter Walsh, “If your stuff and the way it is organized is getting you to your goals…fantastic. But if it’s impeding your vision for the life you want…why do you cling to it?” My organizing tips are useful if you are someone who: Is overwhelmed. Doesn’t know where or how to begin. Won’t start organizing because you think that you don’t have enough time. Won’t start because you think that it will take weeks, days, or hours. Can get rid of useless things but find that more just keeps returning. Gets your stuff organized but it never stays that way. If any or all of these sound familiar trust me, as a seasoned Personal and Professional Organizer I can assure you that you are not alone. You may need help with specific skills such as time management and planning. You may also need consulting on how to strive for some rather than all, and good rather than perfect. Organizing tips should be customized for, and based upon your having a clear idea and vision for what you want a space to do and look like. That information is the basis of your specific action plan, the steps, an accurate timeline, and a plan for regular maintaining organization and systems… read more →
7 No-Fail Closet Organizing Tips All of my organizing tips including these 7 no-fail closet organizing tips are meant to be shared and not kept secret. No doubt some of you can, or at least want to try, do this by yourself before you consider working with a Personal/Professional Organizer or Image Consultant. When it comes to organizing your closet and clothes here is the list of my 7 favorite no-fail closet and wardrobe makeover tips: Ask the question and answer honestly. Make quick decisions. Donate, consign or trash immediately. Turn all of your hangers backwards. Establish a system that works for you and use it. Keep only those clothes fit the body you are in today. Keep only those clothes that make you look and feel beautiful and confident. If you can do all of the above you will be successful and sadly, never need to work with me, your San Diego Professional Organizer. Here are how my 7 no-fail closet organizing tips work: Closet Organizing Tip #1: ASK THE QUESTION, ANSWER IT HONESTLY – When was the last time that you wore this? How did it look on you then? How does it make you feel when you wear this? What if you lose those extra eight pounds? Would you wear it then? What would happen if you “needed” it again even though you didn’t wear it last season either? Would you try to replace it with the same or similar item? If it has sentimental meaning why is it stuffed in the back of your closet? There is no need to judge yourself. The questions are meant to be direct and help you make the decision. A Professional Organizer will never make that decision for you. Closet Organizing Tip #2: MAKE QUICK DECISIONS – There is hardly… read more →
3 Quick Ways to Create More Closet Space My San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer’s 3 quick ways to create more space in your closet don’t require that you remodel, install, or move. A closet makeover means downsizing the stuff in your closet and organizing what you keep. The only items that need to be in there are the ones that you wear, that fit you today, and that make you look fabulous. 1. Discard everything (clothes, shoes, scarves, belts, purses…everything) that is stained, soiled, torn and beyond repair. This includes sentimental items such as your old cheer leading outfit! 2. Donate everything that is 2 or more sizes too small for your body today. Just do it! 3. Organize all of your clothes in your closet that need to be hung. Anything that can/should be folded needs to go into drawers. What are you waiting for? Wear it, love the way that you look in it, or lose it!
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 →