Is Laundry Taking Over Your Life?! 
Sunday, March 11, 2007, 08:47 PM
Believe it or not, laundry is one of the biggest challenges my clients face in the home. Taking care of the laundry involves a lot of steps, none of them very entertaining, so it takes a bit of strategizing to keep it all under control.

Anyway, here it goes. Some tips for taming the laundry beast:

1) Don't allow laundry to migrate into every room of the house. Confine it only to the laundry room and to the hampers in your bedrooms. Nobody wants to live with laundry spread over couches, chairs, dining tables, and other flat surfaces.

2) Related to tip #1: make sure each bedroom has a good sized hamper. If laundry is constantly spilling over the top, buy a bigger hamper.

3) Try spreading your laundry out over the week instead of tackling it all on one day. Why ruin your Saturday with hours of laundry when you can parcel it out a little at a time throughout the week.

4) I NEVER EVER carry unfolded laundry out of the laundry room. I fold the clothing as soon as the dryer stops. This avoids those nasty piles of undfolded, wrinkled clothing. Have you ever had to rewash clothing because it's been hanging around unfolded for so long? This is a way to make sure that never happens again.

5) Another way to avoid having to rewash clothing: make sure you NEVER lay clothing, washed or unwashed, on a surface with pet hair (floor, carpet, beds, etc.)

6) Force yourself to get the clothing back into the drawers and closets ASAP. Nobody likes living out of a laundry basket.

7) For families with children, consider color coding your laundry baskets. As you fold clothing, place it in the appropriate basket. Older children can grab their basket and take it from there.

8) Finally, and this is VERY IMPORTANT: GET SOME HELP! Different family members can be assigned specific tasks, such as removing laundry from the baskets, carrying it to or from laundry room, folding, etc.

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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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