Here’s How To Turn Your Resolutions into Reality … Tips From A Professional Organizer

By Heidi Solomon P.O.S.H.

Habits that align your behavior and decisions with your life goals are the main differentiator between those who reach their goals and those who don’t. Whether these are personal or professional goals find the habits that work for you and stick with them.  It’s the baby steps every day that truly make a difference in the long run.  Here are a few ways to either form habits and/or keep moving forward to make your dreams a reality.

Have a Plan

A goal without a plan is simply a wish. With a plan you have direction, focus and clarity. Trying to make progress without a plan is like moving through quicksand blindfolded. Not only are you stuck but you are unable to clearly find a way out. Plans do not have to be complicated. They can simply be a starting date, an ending date and a few steps to reach your goal. If that seems daunting, start with daily plans. Today I will do “X,” tomorrow I will do “Y.” An effective strategy is to take an hour each Sunday to plan the week ahead. Decide what you are going to do and when. As the week unfolds, tweak your plan to maximize efforts and keep you moving forward. read more

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

By Susan Stone http://susanstoneorganizing.com/

How much do I love my organizing tools? Let me count the ways! I had a hard time narrowing down my personal list of favorite organizing tools so I decided that I had to limit myself to ten “must-haves” that go above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis.

This list could go on and on – but here are my top 10:

  1. Smartphone – This is my hands-down “if you could have one thing on a deserted island” choice. From using the apps for visual time reminders to those that help you get off junk mail my phone is my #1 organizing tool.
  1. Brother Label Maker – This handy sized label maker is always in my bag (along with extra batteries and tape cartridges). No matter what you need to label – the crisp type gives a professional, clean, and organized look.
  1. Staples’ ARC Notebook System – This note-taking and paper calendar system allows you to move pages around with ease and is customizable for your needs.
  1. Command Hooks – Hang just about anything without leaving a hole in the wall. Great for going vertical, I love to have a selection of sizes on hand.
  1. NeatDesk Desktop Scanner and Digital Filing System – If you’re interested in making your life paper-free, this is a worthwhile investment.
  1. Banker’s Boxes – Essential for sorting items, easy to move and store, and great as a temporary hanging file holder.
  1. Colored sticky notes and black sharpies – I love using the bright colored stickies for labels, reminders, and so much more.
  1. Matching velvet hangers – Using these makes not only makes a closet look more organized, but their thinness gives you more space. I use black for my current clothes and red ones for new items that I’m still considering so that they grab my attention before the “return by” date hits.
  1. 3-ring binders and page protectors – These are wonderful for storing and organizing recipes, stuff torn out of magazines, warranties, and other bits and pieces of info. The page protectors are great forholding onto odd-size papers.
  1. Ziploc Plastic Bags – From snack size to XXL ventilated storage bags, these are great for corralling stuff everywhere – from purses to workshops.

About Susan

Susan Stone is a Certified Organizing Coach and Certified Professional Organizer who helps over-stressed and over-whelmed people create order in their lives to make room for joy. read more

Be Prepared Before You Hit The Road

Tricia Nelson Finely Functional Home Organizing

In my last blog, I discussed seasonal preparedness for your car, but what about the day-to-day? In this blog, I’ll discuss items that make our cars function well.

Shopping items – bags, coupons, gift cards, oh my!

We’ve all purchased cloth shopping bags with the intention of using them each time we go to the store….but….how often do we leave them behind? To avoid purchasing these on multiple visits (and amassing more than you’ll ever need), as soon as you unpack your groceries, return the bags to a designated space in your car. This is key and it may take a few fails before you form the habit, but you’ll be used to it in no time! Why not also keep your coupons in the car. There are all sorts of great coupon organizers on the market, many of which fit nicely into the pockets of a handy trunk organizer. Speaking of trunk organizers … I’ve even seen some that have a built in cooler, such as this one. read more

Why Should I Hire a Professional Organizer?

Cheryl Russo Organizing by Cheryl

Someone asked me recently, “What do I really get by hiring a professional organizer?  In other words, what am I paying for?”  Here is what I said …

Well, first you get a really organized home, free from clutter.  You also get tips and advice on how to keep it clutter-free.  But it’s really much more than that.

Each morning when you go into your kitchen, you get a little excited when you look at your counter that has no clutter on it anymore.  Imagine that for a minute.  You also get time back into your life because you don’t have to move 30 things in order to make coffee.  You also get the ease of opening drawers that are no longer jammed shut from too many things.  Just picture for a second how that would feel.  Nice, right? read more

Kitchen Harmony: How to Organize Your Kitchen for Maximum Soul

Erika Salloux Living Harmony LLC

We often hear “You are what you eat.”  I’m going to take you a lot further today, and say that not only is this very true, but we are also how we eat and where we eat.  So when we order our kitchen and regularly engage in certain food practices we order ourselves and consequently generate more harmony in our lives.  Here are the top eight tips that my clients find most helpful when I work with them to reorganize their kitchens to create physically and spiritually nourishing spaces: read more

How City Living Makes it Easy to Be a Minimalist

Cheryl Russo, Organizing by Cheryl

By now you’ve probably heard the term “minimalism.” There are books, blogs, websites, magazine articles, and films dedicated to it. Maybe you have heard just enough to be intrigued and want to learn more about it. Maybe you’ve read about what it can provide in terms of less stress, finding direction, and focusing on what matters in life, and maybe that interests you. It definitely attracted me, and I’ve been reaping the benefits ever since I first learned about it. It’s something that once you’ve started, you don’t stop. You see everything you do through the lens of minimalism. You no longer just buy stuff; you have a method to purchasing. You think about each new item that comes into your home. You might even have a rule like, “if I buy something, then something that I have gets donated.” There are lots of resources out there for how and why to become a minimalist. read more

The Simpler the Better

Receiving a thank you note in the mail is pleasant. It’s even more pleasant when you’re being thanked for something you didn’t realize would make an impact on the other person. This happened to me when I offered a simple organizing solution to a Realtor I had met at a networking event. She asked me if I had any ideas how she could keep all her real estate forms portable and organized. I suggested a portable accordion file. The next thing I know, I’m reading a very sincere thank you note that makes me smile. It just goes to show you, sometimes the simplest organizing solutions are the best solutions. In this case, find a good home for paper and things. read more

Gift cards, love ‘em or hate ‘em

Ahhhh, summer in the air brings high school graduations, college graduations, birthdays, weddings, even times to appreciate your staff – and that means gifts. Sometimes all those presents come in extremely small packages… gift cards.

Gift cards, in my opinion, are both a blessing and a curse. The reason I say this is because it is a fabulous gift to allow people to choose what they want. In addition, the cards are easy to mail and don’t require tons of boxes or wrapping paper to make them look like presents. They are a curse because people forget about them or lose them in piles somewhere in their homes. I’ve encountered this a number of times, not just with clients but also among friends and family. read more

Greeting Cards Organized in Hanging File Folders

A client of mine loves to give gifts and send greeting cards to friends and family.  She had been keeping her cards in several baskets but they were not in any order.  After sorting the cards into similar categories: birthday, holiday, sympathy and so on, and purging some cards that she no longer cared for (especially the free cards sent by charitable organizations as a thank you for your donation) we needed a way to organize the cards.

card drawer

The volume of cards was considerable so the card storage boxes that can be purchased at Hallmark would not cut it.  My client already had a two-drawer filing cabinet in her bedroom that was not being utilized.  After emptying the filing cabinet, we madefile tabs with her categories and put the cards in the hanging files.  This makes it much easier for her to see the collection she has and choose a card to send. read more

Yard Sales

Selling what you no longer want or need is one way of bringing in a bit of extra cash, so long as you know what you’re in for. Yard Sales are a lot of work. If you want to give it a try here are my top 5 tips:

1. Spread the Word – if no one comes, you won’t be selling a thing. List your sale locally, both on line and in print. Share the date with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.
2. Price to sell – remember people are looking for bargains. Group things together by price and have a colored sticker code. This beats having to print up or write up price tickets.
3. Get a permit – some towns require a yard sale permit. You don’t want to have to pay a fine, if your town requires a permit, and you don’t have one. Check with your town hall before you plan a yard sale.
4. Donate after the sale – establish the rule that nothing from the sale goes back into the house or garage. Instead pick a donation location before the sale and set up a pick up date or drop off date.
5. Have cash on hand – make a trip to the bank before your sale so you’re prepared. Only accept cash as payment, and have plenty of change and singles to make for smoother transactions. read more