Professional Organizer Professional Organizers are highly motivated to transfer their organizing skills to their clients. It makes more sense for you to to enjoy the benefits of organizing by using them in between sessions rather than use them only when I am there. I listen carefully to the things that my clients say during the time that we are working side by side. This helps me to highlight the client’s successes and reinforce how it is helping her or him to meet their goals. As your San Diego Professional Organizer I must admit that I especially like it when a client sends text messages and photos that show me what he or she achieved on their own. Recently I wrote this article about Professional Organizing, in which I highlighted 5 Essential Benefits of working with a Professional Organizer. One of the ways that I can gauge what the client is learning and using independently is to listen to what they tell me. 7 Things I learned from my Professional Organizer Most people who want to work with a Professional Organizer for 2 basic reasons…to declutter and set up organizing systems. They know that by doing this they will make better use of their space, gain more space, and save wasted time looking for things that they need. Here are some of the statements that clients make when I ask them what they learned (or are learning): Do one thing at a time. Avoid moving from 1 area to another and finish what you start. Dedicate time to organize. If you plan to spend a block of time organizing it will happen. Don’t wait for “free time”. Minimize interruptions. Turn off the phone, if possible. Avoid checking email. Use what I already have first. Once you know what you have you… read more →
Organization skills yield amazing personal and professional benefits. As Personal and Professional Organizer I help you stay on track by keeping you focused (and motivated) on the benefits of honing your organization skills. Organization skills include decluttering, organizing, managing and maintaining your space as well as your schedule. The benefits? So far I’ve talked about the ability to: Focus – with clarity and direction. Plan effectively. Track progress. Revise your course of action. Adapt to life transitions. Balance workload and priorities. Manage time realistically. Access information, items quickly. Maximize space and time. Create safe environments. 10 More Benefits! Save time – for important relationships (including yourself). Boost productivity – efficient use of your mental and physical energy. Enhance self esteem – your sense of control when you feel and behave more organized. Impact credibility – with others personally, professionally. Monitor spending, income, expenses – improved planning and decision making. Choose – how to use your available time with more intention. Delegate – allow others to do the things that you do not need to do, that they want to learn, that they are good at doing. Streamline – your processes and maximize your results. Schedule – time for all of the core areas of your life. Maintain – a healthy environment that is easy to keep clean.
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!
These are my 6 best ways to help you can feel more organized about your life with time management: 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines If you only change one way you manage your time in order to feel more organized, the most important way is to get enough sleep! That’s right, getting an adequate amount of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis is the most foundational time management habit you can create and maintain. Why? Just think about how you feel and function when you don’t! Inadequate and irregular sleep negatively affects your concentration, mood, physical energy and decision making. It’s a well known fact that Americans are sleep-deprived. Make it your goal to establish a consistent sleep routine and observe how it changes your organization and productivity at work and at home. Set your intention to do these 3 things for at least 2-3 weeks: Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. Allow yourself 20-30 minutes before you go to sleep for calming. No more television, email, etc. Just read something soothing, listen to calming music, or stretch and practice breathing mindfully. Notice any difference in the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. Observe any difference in your energy level and concentration throughout the day. See if you feel more organized and efficient, less harried and more in control. Post your comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page.
Do you ever wish that you could feel organized? Maybe you were more organized at one time in your life but it’s been so long that you’ve abandoned that image of yourself. You don’t have give up! Today I want to talk with you about what feeling organized means and how taking a break can make that feeling possible.Feeling organized shows up in different ways and at various times, sometimes only for a few moments. Think about what it actually feels like, mentally and physically, to be organized. Do any of these descriptions sound like what it would feel to you: • Calm • Focused • Relaxed • Observant • Confident • In control • Goal-directed • Competent • Prepared • Energized • Proactive • Satisfied Did you notice that I didn’t use descriptions of space or stuff? I didn’t list things like clutter-free, clear counter tops, or labeled containers. That is because feeling organized has more to do with the inside that the outside. I know that’s contrary to the name of my business, Outside In Organizer and Makeovers, but the name is actually more about how we can use external strategies to foster those feelings while we are doing the long-term inner work. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed I want you to try something. Stop for a moment and just notice how you feel in your head (your thoughts) and in your body (muscle tension). Try taking a deep breath, even if you are driving; exhale fully first, because this will create space for the incoming breath. Just try to notice during that moment that you can choose to relax and refocus. You can practice doing this at anytime and anywhere, it is like pressing the reset button! Why am I asking you to do… read more →
Several years ago a woman called me because her friend threatened her! The friend was concerned and frustrated because she tried to help the woman get rid of the excessive amount of stuff in her home without any success. She reached the last straw when the woman tripped over a pile of newspapers and as a result of the fall, broke her foot. Now in a cast and forced to go up and down the stairs on her bottom, the friend threatened to call protective services if a professional organizer was not hired. This was an extreme situation, of course, and yet it raised numerous issues related to organizing and how it can improve both personal safety and health. In less extreme situations clutter, or excessive quantities of items, objects, and paperwork, can cause a variety of other concerns in addition to obstacles that cause falls: Fire hazard Compromised emergency preparedness, inability to access important items in an emergency or exit a building safely Injuries from stacked items falling Dust and mold that may cause or aggravate allergies, asthma Social isolation that may be caused by shame surrounding a cluttered environment, including estrangement from family members, and a negative impact on interpersonal relationships. If this sounds like someone you know or a situation that troubles you, it’s time to talk with a Professional Organizer. As a Professional Organizer I am part of an industry that trains us to work with these situations in a systematic, confidential and non-judgmental manner. It is stressful for a family member or friend to help no matter how much they care and mean well. They can support the work that the individual does with the professional. Write down your questions, concerns, and most importantly, your goals. All it takes is a phone call to start your forward movement.
It’s “Thorough Thursday”! Once a week, pick one project where you want to do deep organizing. Professional Organizers are trained to help their clients move from the broad, big picture (macro approach), and then, to the specific and detailed approach (micro). You will have more success if your are doing this, too. Let’s use a medicine cabinet as an example. MACRO: First, take everything out of the cabinet. Quickly throw out empty containers and expired items (not prescriptions, more about this later). MICRO: Sort items that you use on a daily basis and need easy access to then place them back into the cabinet. Items that are used less often can be moved to a drawer or another cabinet. Disposal of prescriptions is important to prevent medication from getting into the wrong hands or polluting our water systems. Here is a helpful resource for prescription disposal: http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm
Organizing for your health and safety will provide you with greater peace of mind. First, consider having all of your information in one easily accessible place whether it is digital and/or paper. Second, be sure that your emergency contact and/or health care proxy has access to, and a copy of this information. Remember to always send them an updated version. Third, and very important in the process of organizing your records, update the information on a regular basis. When you change supplements, prescriptions, dosages, doctors, insurance plans, or receive a different diagnosis it’s time to update the information. TIP: bring your copy of your wellness records with you to every appointment and exam including your general physician, dentist, and specialist. This will help you answer the questions that they ask you, remind you to note any changes they recommend, and to track the dates of your last appointments or exams. Here are additional ideas for what to include in your organized records: Current diet, food restrictions Current exercise regimen including type, frequency, duration Allergies or sensitivities Sleep routine including the times that you go to sleep and awaken List of questions for your wellness provider The format is less important than the gathering and updating of the information. A 3-ring binder works as well as the right app as long as you establish and use your system! P.S.-this system will serve you will in the event of a disaster, when you move, and if you are traveling.
Steven Covey, the author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” tells us to begin with the end in mind. That principle applies to organizing as well. At Outside In Organizer and Makeovers I want others to make being organized a way of life rather than just a single project. Here’s how: Know what your goal looks like. If it’s meeting deadlines, that means your schedule includes time to work on the item before its due date. If it is organizing your kitchen, it means that each storage space will be designated for specific items. If your goal is organizing your wardrobe, you will identify your style before you begin the process to help you know what is aligned with that style (keep it) and what is not (let it go). Create “optimal habits” for organizing on a daily basis. Organizing is an ongoing process, a series of behaviors. In order to create any habit it takes motivation, practice, and positive reinforcement over a sustained period of time. Try to organize something small each day to get into that mind and action set. We all have off days, if you find that happens, just start again but you don’t have to give up. Starting small and being consistent means greater success. Recruit or hire an accountability partner. Organizing is similar to other processes involving changed behavior. That’s why we hire therapists, personal trainers, and professional organizers! No one ever said you had to do it yourself. Asking for help getting started is empowering. Checking in with a trusted friend or professional keeps us on track and highly motivated. If you want to succeed, build your team!
Okay, my clients trust me in their spaces, with their “stuff”, and with their stories. I’m going to share my story (a little bit of vulnerability) and tell you why I am able to understand and help others let go and in a compassionate way. Here’s my story: To some extent I can understand some of my clients’ struggles regarding an attachment to things. We assign memories to things and emotions to those memories. There is the judging of importance that a thing may hold. For some, there is the guilt that comes when the person begins to think about getting rid of something. They might be conflicted about its real or perceived value. Some individuals wonder, what if I need it later? Some are burdened by the concept of waste from a financial and/or environmental perspective. The latter is sure that everything can be reused and re-purposed. This brings me to my personal situation and the recognition (not judging) of my struggle. It is the story of my sheets! One of the first significant purchases that I made when I moved was a new bed and luxurious linens. They made me feel like I was in a cocoon of comfort, and on a blank canvas that no one else had marked. This bed represented the start of a new chapter of my life. All of this happened many years ago and I was immersed in this magical thinking. It was such a strongly held belief that even when the cruel truth of betrayal was revealed, I could not view the material things as just a bed and old, worn linens. I was in denial and focused on my fears…how could I afford, or justify spending a lot of money on new linens. How could I settle for lesser quality?… read more →