Friday, January 11 2019
Happy New Year!
Admittedly, I was very lax last year in posting blogs, but, the good news is...I'm back! I actually enjoy writing so I am looking forward to providing new, updated blogs in 2019 on a more regular basis.
I thought it would be a good time to start with the topic of "NEED vs. WANT".
When it comes to decluttering, these terms can be confusing. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed with the process.
Just imagine that you want to declutter your storage room. You have all types of items in this space and you want to make sense of them. The storage room can easily become a dumping ground for clothes, tools, kitchen items, holiday decorations, toys and memorabilia, just to name a few. You find that your head is spinning when trying to determine whether you should keep something. That's where "Need vs. Want" comes into play.
When I work with my clients and they are feeling overwhelmed with trying to decide whether to keep something or not, "Need vs. Want" can cause confusion. So what is the difference?
The term Need is defined as " necessity, something required that is lacking". The terms Want is defined as "something that is desired". In other words, Need vs. Want equals Require vs. Desire.
There are various factors to consider when determining whether you need or want something.
First, is it for the right reason?
When you look at an item, do you ask your self whether it's something you need in order to function somehow? Is it a tool that you use for home repair, for example? Is it a small kitchen appliance that you use infrequently, but do still make use of? For example, you might have located a large crock pot for larger dinners and you plan to entertain more this year. Do you exclaim, upon finding it, "I've been looking for that! I need this!"
Do you, perhaps, look at an item and consider whether it's something you want to keep, such as an old photo album or your grandmother's dishes? Why do you want to keep it?
Second, can you downsize?
Let's use the example of small appliances. You have found several crock pots that you have acquired over the years. You don't need all of them. Can you narrow down your collection to one, or two at the most? Do you have a large set of Grandmom's dishes that you no longer need, but want to hold onto, because it evokes a memory of Sunday dinners with the family when you were a kid? Did you ever consider reducing the 12 place settings down to 4? Can you reduce the amount by half or more? If so, you can still hold onto the memory, make use of the dishes from time to time, but not have to keep the entire large set.
Third, are you keeping it out of guilt?
Sometimes we purchase something and it cost us a lot of money. Sometimes, someone gives us something as a gift and we don't really like it. These are two common examples of why people hold onto things they don't want or need. When determining whether to keep something or not, do not keep it out of guilt! Remind yourself that you are to only keep things that you need or that you want. Also, remember that everything cannot be your favorite! If you spent a lot of money for something and you no longer need or want it, see if you can give it to someone else who would enjoy it or, perhaps, see if you can sell it. The same holds true for items you get as gifts. Determine right away whether you like something enough to keep it. Otherwise, let it go! (The money was already spent. The item gifted to you is now yours and it is your decision whether you want to keep it or not, not someone else's.)
Keeping these points in mind as you begin your journey of decluttering an area of your home will help you to determine whether you really should or want to still keep it.
If you are overwhelmed with your clutter and have a hard time determining what to keep and where to put it or what to toss and how to get rid of it, don't hesitate to contact me. As a professional organizer I can help you get through the process and make it less overwhelming.
I am here for you!
Monday, March 19 2018
Over the years, I have heard, time and time again, "So how long is this all going to take?". It's a fair question, but not always easy to answer. The honest answer is "It depends."
There are several factors that come into play when determining the answer to this question:
1. How many items are currently in the space you want to organize?
2. What types of things are in the space?
3. What kind of decision maker are you?
4. Does anyone else need to be involved in the decision making?
5. What is the vision you have for the space when it's done?
6. How will you dispose of unwanted items?
Rooms that are the same size can hold drastically different amounts of things. Closets can be stuffed to the brim or under-utilized. Paperwork can take a long time to go through because each piece of paper needs to be reviewed so a home office could take much longer to organize. However, a linen closet or a room filled with furniture will tend not to take as long to go through and make decisions about. It all depends on the contents in the space.
Some people make decisions quickly and are not as emotionally attached to their possessions. Other people need more time to decide. My experience has been that some want to tell me a story about the object before deciding to let it go. That is perfectly normal and understandable as it is a way of letting go. It all depends on what type of decision maker you are. Also, are you the only one that is making the decisions or do you need approval from another family member and a compromise is needed?
Do you have a clear vision of what you want the space to look like in the end? Do you want to re-organize all of the kitchen cabinets and drawers or just the pantry? Depending on what you need to accomplish will determine how long it will take.
How specific you want to be will play a role in how long your organizing project might take.
Lastly, the project is not completed until the items you decide not to keep are disposed of. Do you want to take the time to sell them, donate them or simply throw them away. Sometimes, it a combination of all of them. The key is to quickly get rid of the items once you decide to do so. Do not hold onto them for that once-a-year yard sale!
Generally, once I start working with a client, I can determine how long, in general, it will take to finish the task. They play a key role in how long it will take. Of course, I am there to guide my clients and keep them focused on the project so it can get completed as quickly as possible. Accountability goes a long way in being successful and efficient. I always make sure my clients understand how varying factors will have an effect on how long it will take to get the job done.
If you need to get any area of your home under control and organized, need guidance with time management, paper management or budgeting of your finances, don't hesitate to contact me. As always, I am here to help.
Monday, November 13 2017
Many times we are ready to gather the items in our home that we no longer need or want but are unsure as to where we can donate them. Some items can be more challenging than others. A local donation site might not take what you have to offer.
When you are ready to donate and don't know where, here are a list of suggestions to help you out.
Medical Equipment - Many times when I am working with a client who had an elderly relative living with them or is cleaning out that elderly person's home, we come across medical equipment that is no longer needed. https://www.med-eq.org/Donate/ . Med-Eq matches donors with charities that need what the donors are offering. You fill out a simple form online and the staff at Med-Eq will choose a recipient. The receiving party covers any costs such as mailing expenses for smaller items or arrangements are made for pick-up right from your home.
Wigs - There is a wig exchange program which provides free wigs to women experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy. The EBeauty Community can be found at https://www.ebeauty.com/donate-a-wig/.
Musical Instruments - Instruments in the Cloud is a non-profit organization that allows donors to connect with local teachers who are looking for instruments. http://www.instrumentsinthecloud.org/donations/new. For more information, go to http://www.instrumentsinthecloud.org/pages/faqs.
Homemade Blankets - For those who quilt, knit or crochet and wind up with more quilts or blankets than can ever be used, I recommend Project Linus. https://www.projectlinus.org/donations/. Materials that can be used to make blankets can also be donated, if you want to reduce your stash. (These must come from a smoke-free environment for allergy reasons.)
Lastly, in honor of Veterans Day this month, Operation Gratitude sends care packages to deployed troops, and all those care packages, including Beanie Babies or other small plush toys, as well as gently used ones, are accepted. https://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/beanie-babies-for-the-troops/. There are other ways to donate as well, so take some time to review their site.
So, the next time you are in the midst of decluttering and stuck on how to donate certain items, refer back to this list.
As always, I am here to help you create A Better Space.
Monday, May 22 2017
Do you struggle with how many or how much of something you should keep? This is a common problem many of my clients experience.
There is no clear cut answer to these questions but there are guidelines.
One of the most common guidelines is what you have and where you intend to store it. When I am evaluating a situation for my clients, I always take into consideration the space in which the item or items will live.
It is important to let your boundaries be your guide.
What do I mean by this? It's simple.
We all have boundaries we need to follow - whether it's on a personal level with other people or with our possessions.
Take for example your hamper. It's a boundary! When you fill it, you know it's time to do the laundry.
The same is true for many other spaces in our home.
Here are some examples for you to consider and incorporate into your home and in your life:
1. Clothes Closet - You need to make sure that your clothes hang and/or fold in an area that provides sufficient space so as not to crowd your wardrobe. It is easier to store your entire wardrobe in a closet to avoid having to do a "seasonal switchout", but that is not always possible. However, we do want to limit the size of our wardrobe based on the space in which we have to store it. This might mean downsizing it to make it work for you in an easier way.
2. Cabinets and Drawers - Whether they are in your kitchen, bathroom, home office, bedroom or bathroom, you need to be sure that they are not so stuffed with items, you cannot easily select what it is you want from them. Drawers should be able to easily open and close without items getting stuck. Cabinets should be set up neatly so you can easily see what they contain. Storing similiar items together will make it easier to find them.
3. Donation Bin - Every household should have them. I tend to use 18-gallon plastic containers. I especially like to use them in kids' bedrooms so that when they outgrow their clothing, they are easily identified and can be donated or passed on to another family member or friend. However, when the bin is full, you need to clear it out and start again! If you are storing clothing for a younger sibling to use. Containerize them by size.
4. Storage Room - This room needs to be as organized as any other room in the home that your family and friends see on a regular basis. It is not a dumping ground for everything you want to hide from public view. The use of storage shelves can go a long way in setting boundaries and zones for the various items you wish to store. Be sure to review this area on an annual basis to determine what might no longer be needed or wanted.
5. Garage - The same holds true for the garage as the storage room. It is not a dumping ground. Remember, the original intent of a garage is to store your car. Although there are other items that need storing, such as trash cans, recycling bins, bicycles, lawn care, tools, etc., you need to zone out the various areas and no exceed the size of the garage. You need to be able to easily navigate throught out the space so try your best to avoid filling the center of the room with items. Think vertically and use storage options that help keep your possessions around the perimeter of the room, instead.
Whether it is something as small as a clothes hamper or as large as a garage, pay attention to its boundaries and let them be your guide as to how much space you have in which to store your items.
If you need guidance or assistance in determining how to maximize the space you have or wish to utilize, don't hesitate to contact A Better Space. I am here for you!
Wednesday, March 15 2017
Almost every woman I know or have met has created a crazy, busy life for themselves. They tend to have a house, husband or significant other, kids, full-time job and lots of responsibility around the house and obligations to their family.
Life is complicated enough. We don't need it to be high maintenance.
What do I mean by that?
Often times, there are ways that we can streamline our responsibilities and our possessions to make our lives easier.
As a professional organizer, one of my responsibilities is to help my clients identify where they can change either the way they do things or reduce the amount of possessions they have in their life. Sometimes, we can identify items we possess that could be replaced by items that are simply easier to maintain and use.
Some examples could be:
1. Vacuum cleaner - Is your vacuum cleaner easy to use? Is it portable enough that you can easily move it from one floor to another? Are there tons of attachments? Is the bag easy to replace when full? Does it store away without taking up a lot of room? If not, you might want to consider purchasing another vacuum cleaner that would be lower maintenance.
2. Paper Shredder - Is your paper shredder sufficient for your needs? Does it shred paper efficiently? Does it accommodate credit cards? Does it have a cross-cut feature to ensure confidentiality of your paperwork? Does it jam easily? Does it overheat quickly? Consider these points to avoid wasting time and energy when it comes to shredding your paperwork.
3. Clothing - I don't know about you but I do not like to iron. (I have had the same iron since 1983!) I do anything possible to avoid ironing. One way you can reduce the amount of time you spend ironing is to purchase clothing that is not 100% cotton. Another time-saver is to put your clothes into the dryer - even on a low setting - and hang it up while it is still warm so the wrinkles fall out.
4. Kitchen - One area of the home that tends to accumulate clutter is the kitchen. How many times have you purchased a small appliance only to determine that it is never used and it just sits on your counter, collecting dust and taking up space? How many items are you not able to put into the dishwasher to clean and have to manually wash them? Do you have a set of silver from your grandmother that sits in a box and is never used?
5. Knickknacks - An abundance of knickknacks could easily qualify as a high-maintenance item. Do you have a collection of knickknacks that someone gave you and youa re not even fond of? An abundance of knickknacks can mean having to take more time to dust. Consider downsizing your collection to reflect only your favorites and truly special to you.
Items that are hard to maintain are often unused.
What items do you possess that are more trouble than they're worth? Take a look around and share your thoughts. I bet a lot of you have the same type of items!
In the meantime, if you are struggling with "too much" and your life is "high maintenance", it might be time to declutter and organize your home. Give me a call or send me an email and lets talk about your "high maintenance" life. I can show you how to have A Better Space instead!
Wednesday, January 04 2017
When was the last time you looked around your home? I mean, when was the last time you looked closely at your possessions and evaluated them?
When we have lived in the same home for a long period of time, we tend to not see the clutter that is "hiding in plain sight".
Our homes can have everything in its place and still be cluttered. Some of those items which are well organized are actually things we can do without. However, they go unnoticed.
One example might be an old music system. So many of us listen to music these days online and have downloaded our CD's onto our computer or an ipod and we no longer pull out a CD to listen to our favorite tunes. So why are we holding onto those CD's?
Another example are books. When was the last time you looked at your collection? Perhaps your taste has changed. Perhaps you have read a certain book several times and will not be reading them again. Perhaps you got some books as gifts and felt bad about getting rid of them. Perhaps you now have a Kindle or other electronic reader and use it now, instead of reading a physical book. So now, they are just taking up space on a bookshelf, collecting dust.
How about those collectibles? I see this all the time when working with my clients. Whether its stuffed animals, antique model cars, Precious Moments, etc., they might be collecting dust and no longer appreciated. When was the last time you really looked at your collection(s) and appreciated them?
Other types of hidden clutter that might not be in plain sight but still are accumulating could be pantry items you never use, holiday decorations stored in a bin you never pull out and most commonly, old paperwork. (I once met someone who had old paystubs dating back to the 1960's which he kept in his attic.)
Sometimes we have clutter we purposely chose to hide. Many people have never-given gifts hiding out in the back of a closet or on shelves in a basement. Some have gifts they received and feel guilty about getting rid of.
Although this hidden clutter might not seem as problematic as the more obvious clutter, it can be worth tackling.
Selling some of those items will give you financial benefit while making someone else happy who wants to use them.
Keeping your spaces uncluttered makes it easier to clean, easier to move items around and easier to find storage space for the things we really do want to keep.
So, what clutter are you hiding in plain sight?
Wednesday, August 03 2016
I just returned from a whirlwind two week adventure on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Five others along with myself rode three motorcycles about 5800 miles from Pennsylvania to Ohio, Indianapolis, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnasota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indianapolis, Ohio and back to Pennsylvania.
We saw some amazing sites including Glacier National Park, Badlands National Park, Devils Tower, Sturgis, Mt Rushmore and Mark Twain's hometown in Hannibal, MO among others.
The minimalistic part of this trip was a major challenge for me. I am used to having all of my clothing and accessories at my fingertips. However, when you share a piece of luggage strapped onto the back of the Harley and have to life out of it for fourteen days, staying in a different hotel every night, you quickly learn how to be a minimalist.
We each packed for only four days, having to do laundry several times throughout the trip. I packed only 4 sleeveless, 4 shortsleeve, 4 longsleeve and two fleese tops along with 2 pair of pants, 1 pair of shorts, underware and socks for 4 days and 4 night shirts. All accessories were travel size. We relied on hotel shampoo, conditioner and soap for the most part and no blow dryer. I packed one pair of sneaks and one pair of flip flops along with a full set of raingear especially made for the Harley, a wind jacket, denim jacket and leather jacket for those cold and windy days and nights. I lived mostly in my Harley boots. It's amazing what you can fit in half of a suitcase that you share with your significant other. We packed all of our clothing by category and labeled each plastic bag they were stored in (after kneeling on them to squeeze the air out of them) to help quickly identify what we needed when we needed it as we traveled.
Riding on the bike for 14 days gave me a lot of time to reflect.
I began to feel that I was so materialistic at home, with choices of so many types of clothing at my fingertips and how I could actually survive and still be comfortable with so little while travelling. It certainly gave me a whole new perspective. (Mind you, I have no intention of personally going more minimalistic at home. I did get tired of wearing the same clothing over and over again!)
The moral to this story is that, it is possible to live a much more simple life, if you so choose. It's all a matter of mindset.
This lesson in life will stay with me for years to come and I will share it will my current and future clients to encourage them when they want to downsize and live a much more minimalistic life - focusing more on the important things in life and less on the material things.
If you need any personal help with downsizing and/or living a more minimalistic life, I can show you, first hand, how to do just that. As they say, "been there, done that"!
Thursday, June 09 2016
In a few months, I will be celebrating another birthday. As I get older and reflect on my life, I recognize how much we, as adults, evolve and change.
Our ideas about how we want to live our lives, our priorities and other decisions we are confronted with as we get older naturally change.
One of the ways we change, and might not recognize, is our priorities. Think about it. It is not only about who we socialize with, live with, spend time with, things we want to do or achieve, but the items we feel we want to hold on to.
Our priorities change as to what we want to keep.
When working with my clients who have gathered items for a long period of time, I find it interesting how we go through those items and they find that some of what they felt was so important to hold on to, is no longer that important.
Sometimes, it's not the item itself, but the number of items we keep. For example, do we need to hold onto such a large number of a particular item, or is it possible to pare it down to a smaller number which can be appreciated and perhaps still evoke a fond memory of the person it once belonged to?
Interestingly enough, my son created a Memory Box when his father died. He was six years old at the time. We make a habit of reviewing that Memory Box once a year. Not only does he get to go down memory lane, but he sometimes finds that there is an item or two that no longer hold the same significance as they once did, and he can part with them.
I once had a client who had held onto a box of handkerchiefs that belonged to her deceased husband's deceased parent. When we found the box on a shelf in her coat closet, we opened it up and she looked at the handkerchiefs she had not seen in years. When I asked her why she had held on to so many, she said because they belonged to her late husband. I explained that now they belonged to her. What connection did she have to them? Did she need to hold on to almost 100 handkerchiefs? She realized she did not and reduced the box down to ten of her favorite, instead.
Is it possible that you have items in your home that you have been holding on to for years and have not looked at for a long time that do not carry as much significance as they once did? Have your tastes evolved?
The next time you are decluttering and organizing your home, take this into consideration. Are you ready to participate in an "evolution revolution"? If so, you will find that those items you are saving will take up a lot less room if they are pared down to what means the most to you.
If you need assistance in determining what to keep and what to donate or trash, don't hesitate to contact me. I am here to help.
Thursday, October 01 2015
Most people these days understand what a Professional Organizer does. We have come a long way from the days when people thought we were a cleaning service or an interior designer. We have magazines, newspaper articles, social media and the like to thank for that. Over the years, since I began my business in 2004, you cannot miss seeing tips on how to eliminate clutter, get organized, set up a garage sale, etc.
However, I still get the question from time to time "So, what is it that you do exactly?".
I thought this might be an opportunity to explain in greater the detail just exactly what a Professional Organizer, such as myself, does to help my clients get and stay organized, and the advantages of hiring a professional, as opposed to going it alone.
First of all, you do not need to be a packrat or a hoarder to need the services of a Professional Organizer. Although most professional organizers are skilled in these areas, there are so many other areas that we help with.
For example, there are those that are overwhelmed, not sure how to begin, too stressed out, too limited with their time causing an organizing project to take them too long to complete on their own, unable to envision a room or an entire home that is de-cluttered and organized, or in need of new ideas for space planning, interior redesign, paper management systems, tools for better time management.
Sometimes, a husband and wife will hire a professional organizer because one of them tends to be neater than the other and is frustrated. They cannot motivate their spouse to "get onboard". A third party like me can be objective and provide an unbiased, new perspective of the situation and find the middle ground that works for both spouses, relieving the strain this issue is causing in the marriage.
What you see on TV shows such as Hoarders or other reality TV shows sometimes provide a distorted idea of what is involved. In reality, your clutter problems cannot be solved in a 30 minute episode.
There is more to being a professional organizer than just setting up three containers marked "Keep", "Toss" and "Donate" and shopping for product that will magically transform your space into a home that looks like a designers catalog. The key is "comfort". Providing a space or a home that you enjoy spending time in is the goal.
A misconception is that you are "lazy" if you cannot get organized on your own. I hear this time and time again from women who tell me that their husbands cannot understand why they just can't do it themselves. I always say, if they could, they would have by now.
As a Professional Organizer, I am trained and skilled to help people overcome the obstacles they are facing and create order in a comfortable setting and put in organizational systems that will work in the long term. I always provide customized options to meet my clients' specific needs. I have many resources available to me that I share with my clients, including contractors, organizing products, donation sites, etc. that they might not be aware of. I help make those decisions about "what" to keep, trash and donate when my clients are not sure.
One of the biggest benefits of working with a Professional Organizer is their ability to set up a system that will prevent you from falling back into old habits that no longer serve you. My focus is not on the "stuff", but the person and tapping into what works best for them.
Sometimes, I work with clients who are preparing for change in their life - whether it be a new baby, empty nesters, new business, downsizing and staging a home for sale. The list goes on.
Organizing is more complex than just "picking up your stuff" and paying someone to haul it out of your house. It's about dealing with tangle items, time management issues and the anxiety of finding a solution.
These are some of the top reasons that I am contacted to help get people organized:
1. They don't know how to get organized or where to start.
2. They don't have the time to spend doing it all on their own.
3. They want that accountability partner and motivator to keep them on track to get the job done.
This is not a situation where, like on TV, you leave, I do all the work, and you come back to a big reveal. We are a team and we work together to provide you with the best solutions that meet your specific needs. No television show, book or magazine article can provide that.
That is what A BETTER SPACE provides and now, you no longer have to ask "So, what is it you do, exactly?"
If you are ready to get past that feeling of overwhelm and frustration that the clutter or lack of systems in your home which is keeping you from moving forward, don't hesitate to contact me. I am more than happy to speak with you about your particular sitation and provide you with solutions that work.
You deserve A BETTER SPACE!
Thursday, September 17 2015
So, now that the kids are back at school and the Fall season is just days away, many of us are looking to shed a few of those pounds we gained over the Summer. Blame it on the Summer treats such as ice cream, those barbecues and parties with friends and family and perhaps lack of exercise due to the hot temperatures outside. However it happened, you are considering going on a weight loss program.
Well, I have a weight loss program we can all be successful at. Are you ready?
I would like to see you shed the "pounds" of clothing in your closets and dressers! Yes, you heard me. You can loss pounds.
So many of my clients have an abundance of clothing in their wardrobe. It is easy to put on the pounds (of clothing) but, just like other weight loss programs, not always as easy to shed them.
We go to the store or go online and start shopping. We come home with those new items we just can't live without and, boom, over time, our wardrobes grow to the point where we no longer know what we have or no longer wear all the clothing we have.
Do you know that statistics show that we wear twenty (20%) percent of our clothes eighty (80%) percent of the time? That means that eighty (80%) percent of our clothing we purchase and never wear or keep and no longer wear but keep it anyway. I find that astonishing!
I guarantee that if you went through your wardrobe, you could identify "pounds" of clothing that you've bought and have never worn or purchased a long time ago and no longer wear.
I challenge you to see how many pounds you can shed just by going through your wardrobe and eliminating those items.
This is a guaranteed weight loss program you can be successful at, and reach your goal very quickly.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start, I am here to help. I can help you to go through your wardrobe in a systematic way to help you make choices about what to keep and what to donate or toss (or in some instances, consign) so that you can have a wardrobe you make use of and enjoy. I will help to create a wardrobe that fits your current lifestyle. It will feel like a brand new wardrobe!
Let's eliminate about eighty (80%) percent of your weight when it comes to your clothing. Just imagine how good that will feel!
Contact me if you want to discuss your particular situation. I want nothing more than for you to be successful!
Take the first step to shedding some pounds today!
Monday, July 27 2015
It's Monday afternoon and I just returned from a four day trip on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Bucks County, PA to Canaan Valley, West Virginia last night. The weather was amazing and the sites spectacular.
I am relatively new to the life of a "Biker Babe" and, although the rides and trips are amazing, I am having to adjust my way of thinking. I am learning some lessons in living a minimalistic life - I have no choice.
I have a small SUV which I purchased several years ago to enable me to transport almost anything and everything - for my clients and for myself. When I head out on vacation, I am able to fill the SUV with whatever I need and want. Not so on a Harley!
In order for me to plan for a four day excursion with my boyfriend, I had to pack whatever I needed or wanted in one-half of a suitcase that could be strapped to the back of the bike. Not an easy task.
I openly admit that I like my creature comforts and, because I have the brain of an organizer, I am detail oriented and like to be prepared for anything and everything. You do not have that option when packing for a trip with only the use of 1/2 of a suitcase.
I am aware that some people do not find this a challenge, but I do. Mike was great and very patient with me when I was packing and talked me through the process. For four days, I could pack one pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a bathing suit and coverup, two night shirts, under garments, six shirts, a denim jacket, one fleese and rain gear along with my toiletries. Layering is a must on a Harley. Although it was in the 80's everyday, [perfect riding weather], the mornings were chilly and required four layers of clothing.
These are the lessons I learned:
One pair of jeans for daytime and one pair for night time;
The shirt you wear in the evening is the shirt you wear the next day;
Only one pair of sneaks and one pair of sandals get packed. [This was particularly difficult for me!]
Layering is critical no matter what time of year.
Toiletries need to be downsized considerably and travel size products are your best friend.
Although Mike teased me throughout the trip about us having the largest suitcase in the group, we managed to pack what I needed and still leave room for his stuff and, most importantly, get the suitcase zippered shut!
This biker babe is still learning the tricks to living a minimalistic life when it comes to traveling on the bike. I have found that it is giving me a different perspective as to what is really important. Only pack what you need, not what you want. It is possible!
I believe the same holds true in our homes. I am not saying get rid of everything you own; but, try to look at your possessions and think about whether you actually need them. This is a good way to reduce the clutter in your home and in your life!
I promise that the next trip I take on the motorcycle will involve even less!
Tuesday, June 09 2015
How many people do you know that have lived in their homes for over five years? Are you one of them?
Just imagine how much has been accumulating in your home since you moved in. Do you know what you have? Chances are you don't.
We tend to gather items over the years and store them away and then forget about them. There is not one time that I have worked with a client that we do not find something they have either been looking for or just completely forgot that they had. It's just a matter of time!
The most common time for people to access what they have in their home is when they are actually moving out of it! But, I ask you, why wait? Why not take some time and create an inventory of what you have in your home now? Here are some steps you can take to get this done:
1. A Room At A Time - Don't attempt to inventory your entire home at one time. Work on one room at a time. Start at the top of your home and work your way down.
2. Make a detailed list of items you want to purchase. Do you want to replace the comforter set on your bed? Write it down. Do you want to change out the light fixture in your bathroom? Write it down. Even if you don't think you will make that purchase right away, put it on your list. Treat it as a punch list that you can use to get things done over time.
3. Make a detailed list of the items you need to repair. Does your closet door squeak? Does your carpeting need to be steam cleaned? Put everything you need to repair on one list and then get them done as soon as you can. It is important to always work on the upkeep of your home. If you create a list for yourself or a handyman, these items can be knocked off your list in no time!
4. Create an inventory of the appliances and electronics in your home. For insurance purposes, it is important to have an inventory of the major appliances and electronics in your home. Include a detailed description and model number. Keep this list in a fireproof/water proof safe box to use in case of a fire or flood. This will speed up the process when making a claim with the insurance company.
Whether staging your home for sale or just keeping up with the contents in your home and the repairs it might need, it is important to create an inventory and know what you possess.
Do you know what you have in your home?
If this process is too overwhelming for you, I am here to help. As a professional organizer who specializes in residential organizing, I can help you identify what is in your home and organize your contents in a way that makes it easy to find what you need, when you need it. Simply contact me to discuss you organizing stumbling blocks.
Tuesday, June 02 2015
Wow! Is it June already? I have been so crazy busy that I have not had the opportunity to write a blog for the past few weeks. I have been working with a lot of clients lately who are downsizing. They are transitioning out of their home into a smaller home. When this happens, many people struggle with how to fit all of their possessions into a smaller space. That is where I come in. I help my clients decide what to keep, what to sell, what to donate and what to throw away in the trash.
I actually get excited when I hear that someone is moving into a new home. Although it can be stressful, it is a great time to evaluate your possessions and decide what is truly needed and wanted. It's a fresh start. So many of us obtain or collect items during the many years we live in a home and do not take the time to weed through our possessions on a regular basis to re-evaluate what we want or need. Moving into a new home tends to help so many focus on this task. However, it can be overwhelming.
It is important to keep in mind the following:
1. Always focus on where you are going and how much space you will have. You need to constantly remind yourself of the amount of space you will have in your new home to help you make smart choices. Stay in the present when deciding on an item. If you hear yourself talking in the past i.e., "I used to use this for...", it is time to let it go.
2. Pick your favorites. As they say, everything cannot be your favorite. Be selective about the items you wish to take to your new home and be sure the item is needed or brings you joy. Don't get stuck in the "Maybe someday I will need it" syndrome. Your home is intended to be lived in, not acting as a storage unit.
3. Set a deadline. Many people who are downsizing are doing so because their kids are grown and have moved out of the home. However, they left their stuff behind for various reasons. Make sure your kids know you are serious about downsizing and cannot take their stuff with you when you move. Set a deadline and tell them that they either pick up or have their stuff delivered or shipped by a certain date or it will be donated. You do not have the room to store their stuff any longer and you do not want the added expense of having it moved to your new home.
4. Become familiar with the home you are moving into. If possible, visit the home you are moving into to do some space planning in advance. This will help you choose the items you will have room for and how they will be set up in the home. This includes furniture placement and cabinet or drawer storage. Take pictures if possible to refresh your memory when making these choices.
5. Organize the packing of boxes and furniture. Be sure to clearly label your boxes and furniture so the movers will have an easier time putting them into the appropriate rooms in your new home. Use color coding by taping a colored piece of paper on the doorway of each room that coordinates with the color on the boxes. Moving companies love when this is done. It avoids them having to ask you every five minutes which room you want certain items. It will also save time, which saves you money.
Downsizing is the opportunity to begin a new chapter in your life. It can be a stressful time but with the help of a professional organizer, it can be an exciting time!
If you are overwhelmed with the idea of downsizing, I am here to help. I can help you go through your possessions to make those important choices, space plan your new home and assist with staging your current home for sale, if need be. I will work with you to help you through the emotional attachment issues you might be experiencing with your upcoming move.
There is an upside to downsizing!