Piles on the Stairs: Proceed with Caution

The other day, I put a couple of papers on the stairs to take up with me next time I go up.  I told my husband that’s why I put them there.  Then he asked a very sensible question: “Should we get a basket to collect things on the stairs?”

NO!

Right now, those papers are intruders on the stairs. They are the only things there, and they don’t belong. I’ve made a pact with myself that if something is on the stairs, I MUST take it up with me the next time I go.  But, if there is a basket there, I know that things will begin to “live” in the basket.  The basket gives those papers, socks, gadgets, etc. permission to be on the stairs. Once things have permission to be there, the longer they will stay. read more

Resources to Reduce Paper Mail

I was at the National Association of Professional Organizers Conference for 5 days and guess how many pieces of mail I received? Only 9! In addition, I did receive one local newspaper and one packet of flyers. Out of those nine pieces of mail, two were really good, a check and a copy of the news article in which I was quoted. Not bad, right? Would you like to know the secret of how you can receive less mail? Below are my top 3 tips on how to reduce the amount of mail you receive:

1.  Get your name removed from mailing lists for newspapers, magazines, catalogs and solicitations. Please note it can take up to 6 months to be removed from a mailing list. Some websites to try: read more

The One Month Cardboard Box Test from Peter Walsh’s book It’s All Too Much

In his book, It’s All Too Much, Peter Walsh offers a simple test to determine what kitchen utensils you are using and what can go:

Not sure what you use and what you don’t?  Here is a tried and true way to find out.  Empty the contents of your kitchen utensil drawers into a cardboard box.  For one month, only put a utensil back into the drawer if you take it out of the box to use it.  At the end of the month seriously consider discarding everything that’s still in the cardboard box.  Face it: If it’s still in the box after four weeks, you don’t need it! read more

My Dining Table Dilemma: An indepth look at the challenges of organizing a shared space

I’m an organizer and I freely admit that keeping my dining table cleared off is a constant battle that is rarely won(except for days when we have people over for a meal). How can I share such an embarrassing weakness? I’m human and I know I’m not the only person who struggles with this issue. My dining table only has enough space to fit a plate and a cup for each person. The rest of the table is buried under catalogs, to-do lists, coupons, grocery flyers, a small file box, library books, and DVDs. In addition to our table being an embarrassing eyesore, my young daughter can now reach the papers on the table and pulls anything her little hands can grab. So why can’t we keep the dining table cleared? read more

Organizing the Garage Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

Organizing a garage can seem like a daunting task, especially when the space has become a dumping ground for the family as it is often the gateway to our indoor living space. Before jumping in, plan ahead; what purpose should your garage serve?

  • To create an open and easy-to-utilize storage area for all outdoor activities?
  • Is it to have the ability to use the space as it was originally intended, to store the car(s)?
  • Or are you converting it to be a workshop?

Three Easy Steps for Organizing the Garage

1.  With your end goals in mind, create zones for your different types of items (Such as gardening, tools, toys etc.).

2.  Then create aisles, and keep them clear.

3.  Finally, get items off the floor for easy maintenance and cleaning, which will reduce the amount of dirt that gets into the house. read more

Is a Bigger House More Organized than a Little House?

I have been working with a client in a small home with four family members.  She often comments on how small the house is and “how it would be easier to be organized if she had more space.”  I had to break the news to her that I highly doubted that her home would be more organized if it were larger. She and her family would simply find more things to keep in the home.

I feel it is almost to her advantage to have a smaller home.  The size limitation forces the need to keep the clutter to a minimum.  This message seemed to make sense to her, and I give the message with full confidence.  I have seen larger homes that are filled to the brim because the homeowner can get away with accumulating for a longer period of time. Due to the small size of my client’s home, she felt the need to get organized sooner than if her home was larger. read more

Is a Bigger House More Organized than a Little House?

I have been working with a client in a small home with four family members.  She often comments on how small the house is and “how it would be easier to be organized if she had more space.”  I had to break the news to her that I highly doubted that her home would be more organized if it were larger. She and her family would simply find more things to keep in the home.

I feel it is almost to her advantage to have a smaller home.  The size limitation forces the need to keep the clutter to a minimum.  This message seemed to make sense to her, and I give the message with full confidence.  I have seen larger homes that are filled to the brim because the homeowner can get away with accumulating for a longer period of time. Due to the small size of my client’s home, she felt the need to get organized sooner than if her home was larger. read more

Treat Your Car As You Do Your Home

I feel it is important to keep your car as clean as you do your home.  For many of us, our car is an extension of our home because we spend so much time in it.

  • Take the time to keep it orderly by removing trash daily and maintaining a schedule for cleaning and maintenance.
  • If car cleaning is not your thing, delegate to a professional detailer or hire a youngster or neighbor to do the work for you.
  • If you make it part of your routine when exiting the car to take all bottles, trash and bags from the day, you will be refreshed with a clean clutter free car each day!
  • read more

    Benefits of Getting Organized: Creating External and Internal Space

    Have you ever walked into a room and had an immediate visceral response to the disorganization and clutter?  You may have felt anything from disgusted, to uncomfortable, to agitated, to downright panicky.

    Now imagine it is YOU whose daily life is surrounded by such disarray.  Clutter of any magnitude doesn’t just happen overnight; it accumulates.  And probably the person living with chronic disorganization doesn’t even realize or can adequately verbalize how it happened.  All they know is that it is slowly day by day taking up more space – both physical space in the home or office, and emotional space as they search for a clear “counter” on which to lay some peace.

    In short, the chaos is competing with the contentment.
    read more