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 →
Organizing travel tips… Organizing travel tips come in handy before, during, and after your trip. Your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer shares the essential to-do’s to ensure post-vacation organization. I promise that the benefits of organizing after this trip will make your next trip even easier! Unpack the day that you get home. Sort your laundry as you unpack. Update your packing and travel list; (Note: if you need a packing list you can email me for one that I use) Add anything that you wished you brought this time and want to bring in the future. Replenish your toiletries as soon as possible…be trip-ready! Check your receipts against your credit card and debit statements within the week that you get home in the event that there are discrepancies. It’s always easier to resolve the incorrect charges sooner rather than later. If you brought too much stuff with you this time you can find helpful tips for this and more on my recent post: Organizing Tips|Travel Happy travels!
Organizing Tips for travel and vacation: Your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer’s Organizing tips for vacation…while you are enjoying the trip: 1. Declutter: You can reduce the clutter that you bring home! Take photos of business cards from shops and restaurants and leave the cards behind. Load the info into your contacts. 2. Organize your photos: Taking photos with your phone? Each night, email them as attachments to yourself, include date, time and place. They will be ready to upload on your computer when you arrive home. 3. Weight reduction: Like to read on vacation? Bringing books adds unnecessary weight. Invest in an e-reader with a no-glare screen. Save your back, neck and shoulders. Eliminate extra charges for excess baggage weight. 4. Reduce stress: Utilize the auto reply message to notify senders that you are out of the office and will return calls, emails when you return (provide a date 1 day after you return). Hey, send me a postcard and let me know how these organizing tips worked! Better yet, post it on the Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page.
Travel organizing tips that you can take on vacation! Your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer LOVES to travel! Here are my 4 top favorite planning, preparation and packing organizing tips for travel and an organized vacation: 1. How long are you going on vacation? Pack clothing for half the amount of time (except for underwear). 2. What is the weather forecast? Avoid bulky items, bring items that you can layer to create extra warmth, if needed. Use bulky items such as your jacket or coat as a blanket or neck roll for the airplane. 3. Leave copies of your itinerary, passport, driver’s license, credit cards (photocopy both sides) with a trusted family member or friend who isn’t traveling with you. 4. Carry-on essentials: a clean pair of underwear, all of your medications, your chargers for your phone and other technology. Stay tuned for organizing tips that you can use during your vacation.
Does your limited thinking create clutter? Limited thinking about your ability to get organized and stay organized will prevent you from taking action, including getting help from a Professional Organizer. If you don’t believe that you can be an organized person it will likely create negative emotions. Clutter in your environment and your schedule has a negative impact on your confidence, productivity, and health. In the book, “Clutter Busting”, author Brooks Palmer describes how clutter can keep some people from feeling their emotions: “It acts as an emotional insulator in the same way that drugs and booze do. Like a drink, it wears off, and then you have to acquire more to be numb. Clutter buries you alive.” Clutter may keep you from feeling your emotions temporarily, but it is akin to putting a Band-Aid on a large open wound. It’s an ineffective and superficial way to mask something deeper. Trust me, the feelings which will eventually seep to the surface. See if any of this limited thinking and negative emotions sounds familiar. Ask yourself questions such as: • Guilt – Were you taught to believe that letting go of things is wrong or wasteful? • Lack of confidence – Did you think that by acquiring things you would feel more admired and less inadequate? • Low self-esteem – Did you learn that doing everything yourself rather than asking for assistance was a sign of dependence? • Failure – Do you feel like a failure and that you should be able to be organized without assistance? • Shame – Do you avoid inviting people into your space and worry about their judgment? • Attention issues – Are often exhausted and lack mental energy and focus? • All or none thinking – Do you believe that if you can’t organize it… read more →
Which of your habits and behaviors contribute to clutter? We all have a plethora of behaviors that contribute to either being organized or to causing clutter. If you always put things back in their place when you are done using them that will of course help you stay organized. The benefits of this one organizing tip is that you will know where the item is when you need it again, be able to find it quickly, and know whether or not you have enough of that item or it needs to be replenished. If you leave things out or put them in any old place it will contribute to clutter, it’s just that simple. As a Personal Organizer I ask my clients why they have so many duplicates of the same items and they often reply that when they couldn’t find the item so they just bought more. That’s an expensive habit. There is physical clutter (too much stuff) and there is also a cluttered life…mental clutter and poor time management. Do you relate to any of these habits: Poor delegation skills – it isn’t necessary, realistic or productive to try and do everything yourself. Try delegating tasks that others can do as well or better than you can. Space challenged – understanding what how much you can realistically store. Remember that it’s okay to leave room in a container, on a shelf, and to keep a surface clear. Poor time estimation skills (over- and under-estimating) – understanding how much time it takes to get specific things done, including commuting. This is a critical time management skill for effective planning. The “one more thing” syndrome – squeezing in another task when you don’t have enough time and then, feeling rushed and being late. As always, try focusing one one habit… read more →