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Monday, May 25 2009

Continuing with the same theme as last time, I want to "debunk" another misconception that comes to mind.  Many believe that "multi-tasking" is necessary in order to be organized.  This is so untrue. 

While multi-tasking can definitely be useful in certain situations, sometimes it can actually cause you to lose your focus.  You are distracted by too many things at one time.

For instance, I had a client once that was a graphic designer, named Sue.  She told me about a time when she was working on a very important design project for a major client.  Since she felt she was an excellent multi-tasker, she was always fielding phone calls while she was working on this project.

When the time came to present her project to her customer, it was immediately brought to Sue's attention that there was a major omission in the marketing piece - their phone number!  Needless to say, Sue was very embarrassed.  She had to take additional time to edit the piece and resubmit it to her clients.  

Following this incident, Sue recognized that if she had let her voice mail field her phone calls for her while she was working on this project, she would have fully focused on the project at hand, checking it thoroughly without interruption and would have submitted the project correctly the first time.  She recognized how she originally thought multi-tasking would be productive, but instead learned how counter-productive it can sometimes be.

Whenever you are faced with a larger, more daunting task, you need to block out everything else around you so that you can pay complete attention to that task or project.  

This type of distraction can also be true when working on an organizing project.  I help many of my clients stay focused on the task at hand which enables them to complete the task more efficiently and completely.  When I work with them, we are setting aside a specific amount of time to accomplish a particular task.  I do not allow them to wander off to another room or begin another project until the one we are working on is completed.

You will find that working with a professional organizer will enable you to stay focused and get those long overdue projects behind you.  Keep it in mind...

The next time, we will discuss the art of "flexibility".

In the meantime, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, send me an email at and I will be glad to help.



Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 05:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 18 2009

When speaking with people about organizing over the course of the last five years I've been in business, I have discovered that many people have certain general misconceptions about what it means to get organized.

For that reason, I have decided it would be a good time to "debunk" those misconceptions in a short series of blogs, starting today.

The first misconception that comes to mind is assuming that containers will organize you.  While it is true that containers can be wonderful tools for helping you get organized, containers alone will not help you.

For instance, I once spoke with a photographer, named Jack.  He called me because he was frustrated.  He had purchased 10 large plastic containers with the idea that they would help him organize all of his photography equipment. 

He told me he divided all of his equipment up among the containers, but when he was done, he found he still couldn't find what he was looking for when he needed it and he was frustrated.  He had been sure that this was a good solution, but it turned out not to be so.  Jack had mistakenly assumed that all he needed to do to get himself organized was a few containers.

What he found out after speaking with me was what he really needed was a bit of know-how about what kind of containers would best suit his needs, proper sorting techniques and appropriate storage.  He hired me to do just that. 

Instead of repeatedly spending time and money trying to solve his organizing dilema, he utilized my services to show him and teach him the best solutions for his situation.  Jack learned a valuable lesson that will last for years to come.

Before you go out and waste time and money purchasing the wrong containers or any other organizing storage product, it's important to first learn about how to get organized.  With that bit of knowledge and some planning, you will no longer waste your time and money trying to get organized.  With the assistance of a professional organizer, you will learn what the best organizing solutions are to meet your specific needs.

Something to think about...

Next time, I will discuss the art of "multi-tasking".

In the meantime, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, send me an email at and I will be glad to help.




Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 10 2009

We are well into Spring and now is the time you will begin to see garage sales popping up in your neighborhood.

With the economy in its current condition, more and more people are finding ways to make a few extra dollars and one way is to have a garage sale.

However, do you know about Garage Sale Etiquette.  It does exist.  As a seller, you should follow these rules for good "garage sale etiquette".

1.  If your advertisement for your sale states it will begin at 8:00 a.m., be ready for people to arrive around 7:30 a.m. unless you include "no early birds" in your ad.  They tend to follow the adage "the early bird gets the worm".   If you do include the statement in your ad, don't sell to them until the time the sale is to begin. Tell them in a polite way that you will sell the item to them when the sales begins, no earlier.

2.  Make sure your pricing of your items is clear and consistent.  If you leave items unmarked or use a confusing pricing system, people will get frustrated and you will find that many leave without purchasing anything.

3.  Be honest about what you are selling.  If something is missing from a set or has been changed, tell your customers or post a sign with the item to explain it.  Don't knowingly sell useless junk.

4.  A garage sale is not the right venue for selling collectibles, antiques or other large ticket items.  People who shop garage or yard sales are looking for low prices on gently used items.  If you want to sell certain items for more money, sell them on E-bay, Craigs List or at a consignment shop or antique store.  Know the value of what you are selling and determine what venue it best fits.

5.  Make sure to tell your neighbors you will be having a garage sale in advance.  They may want to either join your sale and know to expect increased traffic on the street that day.  Be respectful of your neighbors' properties.  If someone arrives and parks in front of your neighbor's driveway, kindly ask them to move their vehicle to another location.

6.  Stage your yard.  Clean it up and don't leave out items that are not for sale, such as patio furniture, lawn equipment, etc.  I suggest moving them out of view, covering them wtih a tarp or blanket or posting a sign on them stating "Not For Sale". 

7.  If you are posting signs in the neighborhood, make sure the lettering is large enough and bold enough for drivers to read.  (I cannot tell you how many times I am riding past a sign advertising a garage sale and I can't read the date, the time or the location.   As a result, I don't give it another thought.  That's a lost potential customer!)  Once you post your signs, drive around and see how they appear to others.  Make sure they are legible to someone who is driving by at a decent rate of speed in their vehicle.  Make a note to yourself where the signs were posted.  (I will explain below.)

8.  After the garage sale ends, go back to the places you posted the signs and remove them.  (This is why you needed to note where you posted them!) 

9.  Make sure you have a cash box or apron with pockets so you can collect money and make change.  Stock up on $1 bills, $5 bills, quarters, dimes and nickels.  If buyers don't have exact change, you need to be prepared to make change for them.

10.  Lastly, be kind.  Smile, ask people if they need any help, engage in light conversation.  Not only will it help you financially to be warm and courteous but it will increase the likelihood of shoppers returning for any sales you may have in the future. 

Wishing you a successful garage sale!!

Until next time, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, please send me an email at and I will be glad to help.

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 07:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 02 2009

Mother's Day is quickly approaching.  This is when we take some time to stop and appreciate all that our mothers do for us.

Busy moms have a tendency to care for others and forget to take care of themselves.  I have always believed that you cannot be good to others if you are not first good to yourself.

So in honor of Mother's Day, I want to provide a great way to help Mom do something good for herself.


One thing you can do for yourself is to always include some "me-time" while scheduling the other obligations and chores that go along with being a mom.

Create a "Mom’s To-Do Box" that allows a flexible, adaptable method for staying on top of your schedule:

You’ll need:
• a small file box or a recipe box
• 8 dividers, one for each day of the week and one labeled DONE
• 30 3 x 5 index cards

On each card, write or label with a specific chore or obligation.
Some examples might be:
• Laundry
• Grocery Shopping
• Vacuuming
• Car Pool
• Pay Household Bills
• Etc

Be sure to include cards that allow for some "me-time".
Some examples:
• Work out
• Manicure
• Yoga Class
• Power Walk
• Massage
• Read Magazines
• Etc

Keep this box in an easy-to-access/easy-to-see area. As you plan out your week, slot each card into the day of the week you’d like to accomplish the task. Once the task is done, file the card into the DONE category so that you’re ready to plan ahead for the next week.

If you prioritize "me-time" as something that’s as important as all the other chores, you’ll be on your way to finding some balance in your home and life. By taking time for you, you’ll actually be taking better care of your family.

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 04:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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