What are you afraid of?

It’s that time again! Candy oozes from the store aisles, kids need costumes and pumpkins and the scary movies stream in pitch black rooms. It’s Halloween!

As a Halloween baby I have practiced dressing up, having cake and ice cream and candy together and watching the scary stuff for a long time. I remember the first time I saw Freddy Kreuger… definitely a run and hide moment.

Recently I was asked what keeps people from asking for help with their clutter challenges. This time the question made me wonder, what if it’s fear. Fear of losing something or it’s value, fear of giving up control over their space, fear of being embarrassed by what they find, fear of not being able to finish? And what if the piles just come back? Like Jason!

As an organizer and coach, I’m that person who reminds you that you don’t have to give up and can get out of the scary house. I can help you achieve the idea of what you want in your space. The confidence gained in learning the organizing process and reclaiming your environment is enough to defeat the biggest cluttermonster.

Are you ready to face your fears?!

When it comes to getting your home or office organized what are you most afraid of?  Reply below to share.

Happy Organizing!

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It’s so easy to blog… I’m gonna do more of it!

I went to a happy hour today and met some wonderful ladies. One told me that she has a radio show and focuses on fashion for women with curvier bodies. I thought that was great. I told her once the blog is set up it is really easy to post.

I’ve taken some time off to recover from my Mom passing and my house flooding and just feeling blah and stuck. But I’m back now. Blogging is super easy and I’m committing to yall that I’ll do more of it. 

Talk to you soon.

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What to Organize When You’re Stuck Inside

Oh! It’s 22 degrees outside in Baton Rouge. I won’t be going anywhere for a while. Since I’m stuck inside, now is a good time to do a little detail work. January is Get Organized Month so it’s a perfect time to recover from the holidays and set up new systems to keep things in order this new year. Here are my choices for what to organize today:
1. My phone

I have 3 words: photos, files, apps. I got this faaaabulous Samsung S7Edge last summer but like any other phone it has storage limits.  So every few months I clean it out.  I delete apps I haven’t used.  Same with files that I have opened in my office documents and pdf viewers. These are files I worked on live or just viewed  from emails and online downloads. 

Now photos require a little more attention.  I have to ensure any photos related to the flood are in the appropriate Dropbox folder.  I also like to delete copies, poor quality photos and ones I can’t tell why I took (like that picture of my hairstyle last month). I estimate this to take 2.5 hours.  Many of these photos and files have to be individually viewed bigger than a thumbnail. 

2. My paperwork

After the great flood I made a binder to record my progress and keep up with receipts and communication.  It is in pretty good order except for recent online purchases. Since my buddy Stan “The Tax Man” Adkins advised on claiming casualty loss this year I need to make sure I have what I need for taxes. So the binder will be added to my tax folder for this year. If you did not keep all that documentation together why not gather it up to its one box so you can find it faster later.

It would also be a good day for a shred party! Back files that aren’t included in my itemization are good candidates. Plus the recycle bin was emptied yesterday. I estimate this to take no more than an hour. Most if the emails and paper is already together. I want to total up expenditures from my daily summary sheets. Shredding can be done with hot cocoa and a movie. 

3. My email

I recently decided to narrow my focus on learning and development this year. I want to make sure that I’ve unsubscribed from the lists that will distract me and while I’m in there I can clean out my unrollme, trash and sent messages. I estimate this will take 1.5 hours because some of the sent messages may need to be filed as records or need an additional quick followup. 

So I know, I know not all fun and games but while I complete these tasks I can put on some good music and take a couple of dance breaks. 

I hope you can make a little time today to get organized and on track for the new year.  Let me know what you decided to tackle today.

Happy Organizing,

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New Thinking for the New Year


Welcome to 2017! I’m drinking a cherry vanilla smoothie and watching TV. Rise of The Guardians is on and I know I’ve seen this movie before but you know how sometimes a scene sticks to your brain a different way… that happened to me.

https://youtu.be/CHABdkw8eMg 

Nick (Santa) is telling Jack Frost that he was chosen by the Man in the Moon for a reason. He hands the younger a nesting doll and explains that on the outside he’s big and rough. As the layers come off he’s also jolly, mysterious, fearless, and as Jack says “has big eyes”. Santa says “yes they’re full of wonder and that’s my gift to the world. It’s my center.”

That got me thinking…

What’s my center? What is the one beautifully amazing gift that I have and give to the world. What do I share that brings lightness and hope to those around me.

This past year I have gone through so much personally- changes in my business, my mom passing, my home flooding. Through it all when I reflect on my experiences what I heard people say over and over was “You’re so strong”. My courage and strength is what I offer to others. I appear to others as calm and steady when things are complex and chaotic. I can stand up to say what needs to be said to or for others. So I figure my center is strength.

It pushes me to show up and give and grow. It let’s me be a resource to my family and friends. It gives weight to the things I say, even when I’m laughing. It supports my clients in wonderful coaching discoveries and life changing clutter clearing. 

What’s your center? How do others see you?  How do you see yourself? What do you want for this new year that’s inside just waiting for a chance to be recognized? What do you need to take the next step?

As you reflect on this past year and set your intentions for 2017, ask those questions. I’d love to hear what comes up for you! Share here or on the Facebook page.

I wish you all the best for a Happy New Year!

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3 Clutter Clearing Tips to Get Your Kitchen Organized

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This time of year I see lots of homes in transition from combining households for upcoming weddings to moving for a new job.  The clutter in these homes comes from lots of good living and not alot of time spent on maintaining order. This is especially true in the kitchen, dining and pantry areas. Here are three tips you can follow to clear your kitchen clutter.

1. Clean out the junk drawer (s).
Yes sometimes there are more than one.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and sort out the contents.  Throw away trash including scraps of paper, old twisties and broken items.

You can even let the kids do the sorting.  Tell them it’s a treasure hunt in which they have to match the different kinds of items and then let them keep any change they find.

Before you add items back into the drawer, add in a dividing tray to keep items from sliding around and provide a visible limit on contents.

2. Accumulate paper goods, plasticware, pots/pans then purge
Remember that once in a lifetime party last year with the awesome theme… why do you still have 200 napkins stashed away? What about the pan that’s lost its non- stick coating? Own 6 saucepans but only ever cook for 1? Have plastic tops with no containers and vice versa? Let it go. Some items may be recyclable and others may be donateable.

Think about what is used on a regular basis to guide your decision of how many is right for your lifestyle.

3. Regift/ donate small appliances you don’t like
Remember that blender that just didn’t fix your smoothies the way you like them?  It’s still in the cabinet.  Have 2 crockpots, coffee machines or toasters?  If you have a small appliance that doesn’t work like you need it too you’ve likely already forgotten about it or replaced it. Somebody else would love to have it so why not give it to them. 

If it’s still new and in the box, that makes an easier package to gift it to a friend.  You don’t have to wait for a special occassion either, just think of who might provide it a good useful home and give it away.

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home.  Clear out the clutter and fill your kitchen useful tools and lots of love this year.

Happy Organizing!

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Organizer + Coach = Greater Results

CoachingI’ve been so excited to share about my coaching services since completing the ICF accredited Coach Approach for Organizers foundations program.

Check out this Quick interview with answers to a few of the questions I’ve received on coaching.  Simply put, combining organizing expertise with coaching skills results in greater results for you!

Are you still a Professional Organizer? Of course I am!  I love helping clients to transition their space into a more functional environment for work and play.  I have learned over the years that sometimes it’s about more than the stuff thus I am adding the coaching skill set to create a richer experience for my clients.  Coaching provides a layer of support for clients who want structure in successfully applying organizing and productivity principles beyond moving the stuff.

Adding coaching brings my services even closer to A Taylored Space motto of ‘Make Room For Your Life’.

How will coaching help my organizing project?  There are many situations that occur during the organizing project in which taking a break from the what to work more on the why can help the project move forward.

  • When you are not quite ready to work in a space but still want to prepare
  • Before an organizing session to realign with goals and desired end results
  • When stuck or overwhelmed during the project
  • When creating a plan for next steps towards the end of an organizing session
  • In between sessions for accountability and encouragement

Given all these openings, coaching can occur during organizing sessions and as a standalone service! 

 Do you coach on other topics?  I am focusing my coaching practice on helping people shift beyond busy to productive.  Over the past 5 years the more complex situations that my client face revealed many areas lacking focus and thereby reducing productivity: space and systems, time and tasks, your connections and your capacity.  I’ve integrated these into a system that addresses internal challenges as well as external giving the client space to increase awareness around their situation and barriers to success, design customized action plans, and receive ongoing personal accountability.

I have coached clients on time management, goal setting and achievement, healthy lifestyle (weight loss and fitness), confidence in decision making, keeping family the priority, job changes, redefining life balance and other topics as they emerge in our time together. 

Isn’t coaching the same as consulting and training?

There are some similarities and there are also some major differences.  See the definitions below for more information on what makes the coaching experience so unique.

A Coach partners with you in a dynamic process as you explore needs, goals, actions and learnings

A Trainer shows you what to do effectively transferring their expertise to increase your knowledge and skills

A Consultant tells you their expert recommendation and advice based on their opinion of your situation

In the Coaching process the Client is the true expert and is held as naturally creative resourceful and whole, capable of unlocking the answers to the questions in their life.  So many times we look to others to give us advice when really if we can rediscover the truth that best represents what we need and  what works for us we can live more productive and authentic lives. 

See this additional document on “What is Coaching”   (do I link to the one-sheet?) yes as a pdf

If you could sum up coaching in 3 words what would they be?

Awareness, Action, Accountability

  • Increases awareness of self, situation, challenges and resources,
  • Clarifies and constructs positive action,
  • Provides caring accountability that is more support when needed and more strength when asked

 How can I learn more about your coaching services?

Congratulations on wanting to learn more about what coaching can do for you!  Here’s the page on my site outlining my approach to coaching.  

You can also schedule a complimentary consultation session with me here  to talk more about your specific situation and how coaching can work for you .  

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3 Ways to Trust Yourself Again

                 

trust jumpWhile working with a client this week she said “I wish I could work with you every day”.  I smiled as she clearly meant it as a compliment to what I helped her accomplish.  We had just finished working on building her first packing list for an upcoming extended trip.  She was finally feeling the pressure of last minute packing fading away.  I was excited for her and at the same time curious about her comment.  I believe our relationship is such that she values my expertise and trusts I am supporting her just as she needs it.  Still I wondered “is she learning to trust herself through our work together?”  And if not how can I help her regain that trust?

It happens to us all.  As we change our priorities, learn something new, have to change or do something differently, we may no longer feel in complete control. Though we have the courage to start we may not know how to keep going.  We don’t trust ourselves to sit in that uncomfortable moment alone.  I reassured my client that she in a good place and gave her 3 pieces of advice to regain her own trust.

1. Keep practicing

Those who are most proficient at their profession, hobby, sport or happiness use their skills often.  If you don’t have them ask get help from someone willing to teach you.  Practice breeds confidence.  Confidence renews courage that can power you to try again.  You will get better with practice.  

2. Look for the learning

Don’t get stuck on what didn’t go well.  Instead, look for the a-ha moments in your organizing experiences and ask yourself what did I learn.  You can find out about yourself, your abilities, your drivers for moving forward.  Imagine what you will be able to do next?

3. Celebrate your success 

As you are more aware of those learnings and see the positive results, celebrate.  Be inspired by the things that you do know and appreciate the person you are becoming– someone you can trust to help with your organizing needs.        

The tension that comes with learning new skills and then trusting yourself to use them takes some time to ease.  That time can be well spent in practicing the very thing that unsettles you. While working the process you learn by doing, recognize success and relearn how to trust yourself. 

How have you learned to trust yourself recently?  Post a comment below!

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Systems and Routines Support Success: Maintain Order in Your Space

This weekend I met a lady on the tarmack in Miami.  The calm peaceful smile on her face got me curious about her travel experience that day as mine had been quite interesting.  We struck up a conversation and it turns out she was heading home from 2 weeks in London celebrating a birthday with friends.  The trip had been adventurous yet she smiled because she was on her way home and just loved her new life.  She’d recently sold her 20+ year business in real estate and vacation property management.  Starting with just a fixer her husband bought as a gift, she took some construction courses and renovated into a bed and breakfast.  She later added more vacation rentals and a property management group that expanded the venture into an 80 property business! 

I was amazed she with a small team of 5 could keep up with all of these properties. She said that keeping a handle on time was the most important thing she tried to instill in her crew.  I asked what most played a role in her successful use of time while maintaining the properties.
The answer: Systems and routines.  When she’d been a housekeeper and later a nurse having a routine and sticking to it helped maintain the rooms quickly.  She worked top to bottom left to right in a sequence of steps that got everything done efficiently.
Of course this got me geeked as an organizer because so often I hear folks say I don’t know how or have the time to keep it up.  We all get the same amount of time in our day.  We can stretch the list of what gets done in the time available by implementing systems and routines, especially for rooms we often use and tasks we regularly perform.

Next time you go into a space that needs extra attention to stay organized follow these steps:

1. Be mindful about how you are using the space and the homes for items there. 
2. When you are done using the space write out a list of steps for how you put it back in order.
3. Try to repeat these steps a few times after you use the room. 
– IF it helps you to get the room consistently neater faster than you would in the past, congrats you have a new maintenance system. Continue using it.
– IF it doesn’t go so well fell free to make a few tweaks and try again.  Remember this has to work for you in your space and you are allowed to make changes to get it right.
4. Now choose how often you will go in to maintain your space.  Will it be right after you use it or on a scheduled basis?  Either way will work.

You can keep your space organized and appealing by investing the time to plan your maintenance routine and completing it regularly.

Happy Organizing!
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Like, Love or Something Else?

hearthomeRemember when you first moved into your house?  It was new and fresh and everyday you wanted to rush home and fall into the loving embrace of “your space”.  As time went on life happened and with it came lots of stuff and distractions. The space you enjoyed keeping guest ready became another constant figure on the list of to-dos. Refreshing the relationship with your space doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Get past that love- hate feeling now by building in some simple routines.

 It can be simple.

Soooo building a routine may sound like a big deal but really it’s not.  It just requires for you to take some reasonable action on a regular frequency. Here are a few ways to help you take action.

Break it down – divide the space into zones to keep focus on a manageable set of steps versus facing the whole room at once. This can be the natural function zones of a multiuse room or just single task throughout the room.

 Check it off working from a checklist can give you consistency and efficiency.  instead of trying to remember to remember you can just do what’s on the list.  One thing I love about checklists is they give you a little positive boost as you check off each item and ultimately finish everything.

 Time it-if you are freaky busy you can benefit from short intervals of activity. These shorter bursts help you fit in decluttering on any given day.  Decide how long you want to work then use the clock to get time on your side.

 T, I’m so busy…can we talk more about the frequency? 

Yes let’s!  The organizing process is a balance of use and reordering. Your approach to maintenance needs to consider how soon after you use a space you will put it back in good order.  Decide which works best for you by choosing now or later.

The NOW approach is like a restaurant. You come in use the space for a while and declutter a little as you go from one activity to another. Then when you are ready to leave the space everything is cleared. The room is left very presentable and available for the next use.

The LATER approach is like a building maintenance service.  Many users come through the space than at a scheduled time it is put back in order.
Both work well and can allow you to be successful in keeping your home organized and happy.

Having a home environment that feels like a sanctuary from the craziness of the outside world is essential to a sense of balance.  You can achieve the space you need by spending some quality time with each room in regular maintenance routines.  Keep it simple and do it regularly to feel less like a chore and more like an act of love.

Happy Organizing!

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Happy New Year, Happy Get Organized Month

Happy New Year!!! 

new-years-resolutions-300 If one of your resolutions is to get organized know you are not alone.  Last year it made #2 in a top 10 listing of resolutions and behind that the articles on tips and must haves flooded in.  It’s no wonder getting your space in order can at times be overwhelming.  To regain confidence to tackle your organizing goals it’s important to keep a few key things in mind as you get started.

1. Decide where to start.

You can’t do everything at once and to get the most reward for your efforts, it helps to make a conscious decision about which area you will tackle.  You can choose based on a space that causes you the most frustration maybe the desk where it takes 5 minutes to find an ink pen or the closet that usually holds only half a pair of shoes.  Another factor may be frequency of use.  The living room may be high on the list as it impacts how the whole family interacts.  A third way to decide is by exploring what’s most important for moving you forward.  You want to get organized for a reason, right?!  When you clearly understand that reason you can use it to drive you to the area that will improve your life.

 2. Know your goals

You have the reason why now think about the what.  What do you want the result of getting organized to be (here’s a hint it’s usually close to opposite of how things go now).  How should your space work for you?  What will the new space help you to achieve?  What is most needed in the space to make it great?    

 3. Make organizing a priority

Now that you have your prime space in mind, make some time for it.  Making an appointment with your space and adding it on your calendar should be done as soon as possible.  When needed break up the time into chunks.  Remember the organizing process has a few steps so you should schedule time based on what is needed to complete the project not just how long you want to work.

If you don’t have much experience organizing then start small: the closet versus the whole bedroom,  your briefcase versus the whole office.  This will boost your confidence as well as give you an idea of your pace and how long it will take on the next piece of your project.

 4. Get support

You have the motivation from a new chance at the year.  You may have caught up in a magazine or online “10 best ways to organize the closet”.  Do you have the support you need of someone who can serve as both cheerleader and coach?  Asking for help when you are overwhelmed, stuck or want to quit is a good thing.  We accomplish big things when we can celebrate along the way and can maintain focus during difficult times.

The new year is universally seen as an opportunity to restart and improve.  The National Association of Professional Organizers agrees and designated January ‘Get Organized Month’.   It is the perfect time to attack your challenges with time management, storage solutions and productivity to have your best year yet. 

I’m here to help.  Call today 225 928 0595! 

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