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Sunday, May 30 2010

Do you  know "How Long Is Too Long?" when it comes to keeping something?

This past week, I was working with a client who had bought a new home and was transporting all of his worldly possessions from one home to another.

First, the job was a lot larger of a task because no sorting was done ahead of time.  Everything went with him to the new home.  He put off the task and decided to just do it when he got to his new home.  (There is lots of extra time and effort and expense involved in taking this route.)

Second, a lot of the boxes that were being transported had been stored in the garage for the past 15 years! 

When it came time to sort through all the boxes, it was not surprising to me to find that he didn't actually want 90 percent of it.  He had moved it to the new home for nothing.  A lot of the items were in very poor condition, dated and not useable.

The lesson learned here is two-fold:

One, don't move to the new home without first going through everything that you intend to move to make sure you still want to take it with you and...

Two, procrastination can cost you time, effort and expense.  It takes a lot more time to haul the items, it takes longer to unpack the items and sort through them then just not packing them to begin with, and it costs more to move them when you have to pay a moving company to move excess items that you will end up getting rid of anyway.

Do yourself a favor.  When it comes to moving, do the work ahead of time by sorting through your items, putting like-items together and labeling the boxes clearly so you know what room they should be placed in your new home.

Finally, holding items in boxes that you don't open for 15 years clearly states that you just don't need them.  You didn't miss them all that time, you won't miss them now!

If you are moving to a new location, do it in an organized manner to save yourself that time, energy and money.  If you are overwhelmed with that prospect, feel free to contact A Better Space to get some help.

In the meantime, have a great Memorial Day weekend.







Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 23 2010

Being a professional organizer sometimes comes with high expectations from others.  I don't mean the quality of my work - I mean the perception people tend to have that I live in a "perfectly organized world".

It's funny to watch people come to my home and look around with eyes wide open, looking to see how a professional organizer lives. 

I always feel that I have to explain that I am human too and that I do not live in a completely organized home at all times.  Life gets in my way too!  However, I do know the things it takes to keep a home manageable and comfortable.  And that is all I expect from my clients as well.  I never expect them to be "perfect", just organized in a way that works best for them and comfortable in their home so they can enjoy it.

You can create your own definition of what living organized is about! In general, I think you would agree that it should:

  • Allow you to find what you need when you need it & have the ability to store it quickly and easily without frustrating you.
  • Work for everyone who needs to use it.
  • Ease your stress.
  • Free up time for the things & people you love.
  • Keep things simple…

And, finally, what it doesn’t have to be is PERFECT!

So, relax.  I can help you to declutter and get organized if it is just too overwhelming for you.  Bottom line, I want you to enjoy your home, not have a "perfect" home!  Contact me if you need me.

In the meantime, have a great week!


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 14 2010

I have worked with so many people in the past 6 years and am so fortunate to be able to help all kinds  - women, men, children, busy moms, entrepreneurs, younger, older, single, married, divorced, widowed.

There are times when I work with someone who believes they have a strong emotional attachment to certain items in their home and feel they cannot let go of them. Sometimes, however, when we delve a little deeper, we discover together that it's not the emotional attachment to the item itself, but the guilt of letting go of an item that formerly belonged to someone who has passed away.

This situation occurred recently with one of my clients.  She has been widowed for quite some time now and still has possessions that belonged to her late husband's mother in her home.  She has held onto these items for many years.  Among other things, she had a large box of linens from her late mother-in-law. 

When we were going through the items, I explained that it is not necessary to keep "all" of the items to evoke a positive memory of that person.  The important part is not the item, but rather the memory it evokes and holding on to numerous like-items becomes clutter.

Another issue that arose is the fact that she felt guilty for letting go of the items she knew she did not want to keep.  I helped her recognize that now that her husband and his mother are deceased, and she possesses the items, it is now her decision as to what is to be done with them. 

Letting go of a deceased person's possessions falls on the current owner to decide what to do with them and that's okay.  With that realization, my client was able to easily let go of all but a few linens which will be kept in a special box (much smaller than the one she originally held them in).  Some were in poor condition and were thrown away, but since there remained others still in good condition, they were donated, so that others could enjoy them.

When you inherit items as a result of someone passing away, look carefully at the items and decide whether you LIKE them or not.  Don't hold onto something simply because someone gave it to you.  If you don't like it or need, it's perfectly fine to pass it on to someone else.  Don't keep anything out of guilt!  Your home should reflect what you like and enjoy.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, please feel free to contact me at A BETTER SPACE.  I will be glad to help you weed through your possessions, eliminate the clutter and assist you in making the right choice as to what to keep and what to get rid of.

In the meantime, have a great week!


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 08 2010

Using a weak password

Avoid simple names or words you can find in a dictionary, even with numbers tacked on the end. Instead, mix upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. A password should have at least eight characters. One good technique is to insert numbers or symbols in the middle of a word, such as this variant on the word "houses": hO27usEs!

Leaving your full birth date in your profile

It's an ideal target for identity thieves, who could use it to obtain more information about you and potentially gain access to your bank or credit card account. If you've already entered a birth date, go to your profile page and click on the Info tab, then on Edit Information. Under the Basic Information section, choose to show only the month and day or no birthday at all.

Overlooking useful privacy controls

For almost everything in your Facebook profile, you can limit access to only your friends, friends of friends, or yourself. Restrict access to photos, birth date, religious views, and family information, among other things. You can give only certain people or groups access to items such as photos, or block particular people from seeing them. Consider leaving out contact info, such as phone number and address, since you probably don't want anyone to have access to that information anyway.

Posting your child's name in a caption

Don't use a child's name in photo tags or captions. If someone else does, delete it by clicking on Remove Tag. If your child isn't on Facebook and someone includes his or her name in a caption, ask that person to remove the name.

Mentioning that you'll be away from home

That's like putting a "no one's home" sign on your door. Wait until you get home to tell everyone how awesome your vacation was and be vague about the date of any trip.

Letting search engines find you

To help prevent strangers from accessing your page, go to the Search section of Facebook's privacy controls and select Only Friends for Facebook search results. Be sure the box for public search results isn't checked.

Permitting youngsters to use Facebook unsupervised

Facebook limits its members to ages 13 and over, but children younger than that do use it. If you have a young child or teenager on Facebook, the best way to provide oversight is to become one of their online friends. Use your e-mail address as the contact for their account so that you receive their notifications and monitor their activities. "What they think is nothing can actually be pretty serious," says Charles Pavelites, a supervisory special agent at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. For example, a child who posts the comment "Mom will be home soon, I need to do the dishes" every day at the same time is revealing too much about the parents' regular comings and goings.

Screenshot of Facebook


Be safe out there!  Have a great week!  And...Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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