An Organized 2007? 
Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 09:31 PM
If you're going to make a resolution to get/stay organized in 2007, give it some serious thought...

It's important to make the resolution realistic. If you have a lot of resources to devote to getting organized, the sky's the limit. But it you have limitations, and most of us do, try narrowing your scope a bit.

When I come to a potential client's home for a consultation, I almost always go through the following steps. Try going through them yourself.

1) Walk through your home with a notebook. Jot down any and all organizing projects you'd like to tackle, including any supplies you may need.

2) Sit down and number the list in priority order. Think about which areas of your home bother you the most.

3) Take a look at your calendar AND your budget to decide how many projects you can take on.

4) Make appointments with yourself (and/or with a Professional Organizer!), and GET STARTED!

Even "small" projects can bring great rewards. I spent an hour doing maintenance in my kids' closets the other days and it is now much, much easier to deal with their clothing.


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Holiday Countdown! 
Saturday, November 18, 2006, 06:26 PM
It's hard to believe it's almost Thanksgiving and the holiday season is right around the corner!

This time of year can be very stressful, particularly if you're already feeling disorganized. So, here are a few tips to help you survive the holidays:

1) Purge, purge, purge! It's time to get rid of old toys, books, DVDs, or anything else. If you receive a lot of gifts over the holidays you've got to make room for the influx of new stuff.

2) If you haven't already, make a list and start your holiday preparations NOW. Schedule individual tasks (shopping, decorating, cooking, etc.) on your calendar.

3) Streamline your gift giving. Try ordering everything online, or give all of the adults and/or all of the kids the same item (i.e., sweaters for all the adults; craft kits for all the kids).

4) Keep decorating to a tasteful minimum. After the holidays are over, toss or donate any of the decorations that have gone unused for at least one season.

Most of all, make it enjoyable!

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Back-to-School Organizing 
Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 10:37 AM
Summer's over and it's time to get organized! The key word here (as with most paperwork) is CONSOLIDATION. Get all of those important school papers in one place and pick an organizational system. There's nothing worse than running around looking for a phone list or a practice schedule when you're already pressed for time.

I have two school-aged children, so here's an example of the type of paperwork I'm talking about:

school calendar
class lists
sports practice/game schedules
numbers to call for inclement weather
numbers to call when your child will be absent
religious school calendars
ballet class information
school lunch calendars

Here are some examples of organizational systems I've used at home and with clients:

--Use a separate bulletin board for each child's calendars/schedules, etc.
--Purchase a "presentation folder" or "display book" at an office supply store. They are skinny plastic folders with page protectors on the inside. Drop each important paper into a page protector. Because these books are so compact, you can also use separate books for each child.
--I recently purchased "FridgeMate Organizer" at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It's a magnetic organizer with tabbed sections and top-loading pages. I'm looking forward to having all of my kids' info. right on my refrigerator.

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Beware of "Shop & Drop" 
Monday, July 31, 2006, 04:30 PM
Have you ever gone out shopping only to come home, drop the bags and never unload them? Have you ever brought items home and then never used them? Do this enough times and what do you have? That's right--CLUTTER!!

For those of you who fall into this group, it's time for some soul searching. First of all, you need to ask yourself if you're shopping too much, and if so, why? I'm sure most of you have heard of "retail therapy", or the little high we get when we buy something. But some people get a little too addicted to that high and end up with lots and lots of junk they don't need.

A few quick tips:

1) The next time you're in a store and an item is in your hand, stop and ask yourself the following questions. Do I really need this item? Where will I be putting this item in my home? (i.e., Do I have enough room?) And, do I already have several more of these at home? If there is no real need for the item and/or no room for it, MOVE ON!

2) If you do shop for needed items and come home with the bags, try to unpack them RIGHT AWAY, or at the very least within 24 hours. Bags that sit around, unpacked and unused, turn into mystery bags, and eventually into clutter. If it's important enough to buy, it's important enough to be removed from the bag and placed in its new "home".

3) Take care of those returns PRONTO! You can lose a lot of money by not getting those purchases back to the store, and stores are getting stricter about return policies and receipt expiration, too. Try setting aside one evening a week to run out to the stores and take care of business.

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How many toys is TOO MANY?? 
Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 07:06 PM
I spend a lot of time in clients' playrooms, so I have had a lot of time to think about toys. Bottom line: less is definitely more! A few well-placed, hand-picked toys will capture your child's attention far more than a big messy pile.

Some tips:

1) Always purge your toys before a birthday or other gift-giving holiday.

2) Even very young children can answer these questions: Do you like that toy? Do you want to keep that toy? Would you like to donate that toy to a child with no toys?

3) Clear containers are perfect for toys. Children can see everything easily.

4) Try rotating toys every few months. Kids get bored, and it cuts down on the clutter in the playroom.

5) Hunt down a few charities in your neighborhood that need/want toys. Make periodic visits with your children. You'll get to declutter AND teach your kids about charity!

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