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 National Clean Out Your Files Month!

coutesy of depositphotos.com-SpacesYes, we do just keep the organizing festivities coming ūüôā¬† October is National¬†Clean Out Your Files Month.¬† It’s a second great time of year to spend some time organizing your files.¬† The first time I recommend is in April around tax time.¬† We are 6 months from April now and I think it helps to relieve some of the pressure to focus on the financial records in the spring and others now. To get started, follow these 3 tips for some filing fun this month.

Rethink Reference

The Small Business Administration says that 80% of the paper we file we never refer to again.   80% !  OK now look at your files.  That means if you have 5 drawers saved you will likely never even look at 4 of them again.  Think about that as you go through your files.   Also think about whether you can access the info again either in print or electronically.

Package Projects

By taking the time to sort files into categories of similar subject area, you can then see the true volume and make easier decisions down the road both in purging and in storing.¬†¬† This applies to creative friends also.¬† Whether it is writing, photos, paper crafts you may have some project files that have gathered some dust.¬† Keep an eye out for old projects you don’t remember why you wanted to do or have been sitting for substantial time.¬† Also gather up the pieces that may connect from other areas of the home/ studio and get them together as a project file.

Save Some Space

Don’t overfill the drawers, cabinets, boxes and folders used to store your files.¬† When full the average 4 drawer file cabinet holds 15-20,000 pieces of paper (In my best Robin voice” Holy smokes Batman that’s a lot of paper cuts!”)¬† There is nothing worse than trying to open a drawer that eats up your hand, barely moves or falls off the hinges because it is overstuffed.¬† When files are tightly packed it’s harder to read the labels and handle the files.¬† Additionally if all the drawers are full you won’t ¬†have room to store other critical files, you buy additional storage, fill it all up, buy additional storage and the accumulation of clutter begins.

These were just a few quick tips to get you going to fabulous files.¬† As long as we wish to record our life activities, we will need to take care of our files.¬† Make some time this month to give your files the attention they need and you’ll be rewarded with easier access to your important pieces of information and maybe even a little more piece of mind.

Happy Organizing,

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Organize Your Purse: Organize Your Life

Talking with a friend recently she had an AHA! moment and started digging into her purse. She said she had a number for someone I could talk to about that topic and would share it. She began pulling out wallets and papers and beauty items and ink pens and loose change and fussing about not being able to find it and needing to get that purse together. As I watched I quickly realized I needed to help my friend.¬† I took her purse and pulled everything out then started walking her through the process of making SPACE. I had extra paper clips in my bag and we made quick time of it because she had to go. She thanked me for my help adding she was glad we did it and she felt like she knew where her life was going today because she depended on her purse as a catchall.¬† Guess I hadn’t thought that for some ladies organizing your purse could be the first step to reorganizing your life.¬† In just 15 minutes we were able to go through everything in her bag, setting aside what didn’t belong and bundling what she wanted to keep.¬† We didn’t find the contact info but we did find a need for a new tool: a purse organizer.¬† I recommended a few to her and have included them along with some additional solutions in the below list.

1. Get a better wallet
This version has lots of slip pockets for cards and monies.  It is a slim
version that will fit easily into your favorite bag.

wallet on string

Keep it simple with a wallet on a string. You have limited space to carry items around and they have built in card holders and pockets to streamline your contents.  This one can also double as your wallet in a larger bag. 

2. Maximize built-in features
A perfect purse is hard to find. I personally have one of these and love it.  I use the pockets on the side for my cell phone and serenity prayer
bracelet.  The inside is flanked by two side drop pockets on one side and a zipper on the other side.  The full length zipper pocket in the center
gives added options for small items and separating my purse organizer.  

tignanello purse1tignanello purse2

 3. Try an insert purse perfectorpurseket
Removable purse organizers provide the extra compartments when your purse isn’t internally equipped to keep your contents neat.¬† A couple of my favorites are shown here: the Purseket and the Purse Perfector, which I currently carry.¬†¬†

4. Give yourself some options 
Pill organizer having to follow a daily medication  nutrition routing. You can try an organizer with a pouch for each day of the week or a hard case labeled for each day.  

 PurseN makeup organizer Makeup case:  This PurseN bag is great because it has interior dividers to hold your essentials in place and prevent spills.

If you like to spread everything out this Lay and Go option allows you to do so then just wrap it all up when you are done.  Add your girls only items here also :)cosmetic-organizer-mat-green

 First aid items: can be stored in a clean mint tin or a mini first aid kit. 

grid it Electronics and small writing supplies: can be stored safely with easy access on a Grid It. There are lots of options to choose from to fit your bag or even be your bag if you want extra items in a tablet or laptop sleeve.

Papers: I am seeing a lot of instances where ladies are walking around with receipts, bills, loose notes, etc in their purse.  Best thing is to leave bills at home.  If you need them for reference in running an errand, carry a manila folder in your car.  For notes use a small notepad you can write everything on or make notes in your cell phone.  You can take the papers and keep a zipper bag for them in your purse like this one.  This gives them a designated place that keeps to together until you get home to get them out.

No matter what don’t overfill the purse. Make sure there is room for you to see into the bag and your hand won’t get stuck.¬† Also at times you need a little extra space to maybe hold a small umbrella or sunglasses or bottle of water.

Hopefully this have given you some ideas on tools to get your purse organized.¬† Don’t forget to maintain your new found order- you can build the habit of doing a weekly clean out or just do it whenever you change bags.¬†¬† We are all super busy and so much goes on in our lives the condition of the purse as portable assistant can easily get out of hand. Help your purse help you by keeping it clean and organized.

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Start Again Now: Use the Second New Year to Recommitment and Take Action

carl bard_new start 9-2-14I recently heard a radio show host say he considered September 1 to be the second new year…¬† I hadn’t heard it expressed that way before.¬† Yes! September does begin a time of change and transition in nature and family schedules but when I thought about it a little more it made sense to use this time to recommit and take action the same way we do in January.

¬†Have you ever wanted to just erase that failed attempt at getting organized or take back the time spent on lesser tasks that kept you from spending time with your family?¬† I can’t give you a time travel portal but I can share with you 3 quick reasons to take action now:

¬†You’re likely already making changes

With the 1st of September comes the season of change.¬† Some areas are seeing the first signs of fall and may be transitioning their wardrobes. ¬†Some people are experiencing life changes of school starting and schedules readjusting to more active busy lifestyle. Why not ¬†optimize the family calendar and set up some boundaries.¬† Didn’t quite hit the goal on that hottie beach body? Now may be time for some coaching to increase focus and keep you from gaining weight.

¬†There’s a good amount of time left in the year

Starting a new habit or reclaiming an unruly space now would give you 90-120 days to execute your plan and experience success. ¬†¬†Also you don’t have to go all the way back to a castoff new year’s resolution just start by focusing on what you have learned from it that can help you move forward and feel like this year you’ve had some positive results that you can sustain over time.

 One small success can bolster confidence to do more

You know how it feels when you’re making things happen and loving life?!¬† You’re super confident and will try something completely new feeling you can’t lose. Success shakes off fear and dependency ¬†replacing them with optimism and self-reliance. ¬†Yeah it’s kind of deep but it’s true.¬† Have more positive experiences, you can change your mind and environment!

I hope you’re looking at this month as an opportunity to do something positive to improve your space and time use.¬† The biggest challenge is making the first step and deciding to take action.

So, what are you going to start this month?

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Getting Your Clothing in Order: A Step-By-Step Guide to a Perfect Closet

Spring has sprung and it a perfect time to refresh your closet for the upcoming season. When preparing for the perfect closet, your goal is to come up with a system that will allow you to maintain the de-cluttered space with minimal effort, while allowing you to make the most of your space, time, and wardrobe. Remember that your closet works in conjunction with other storage spaces as well.

1. Closets should have a clean, fresh coat of light-colored paint. This reflects the light and gives you a solid neutral background to view your clothing against. Take the time to do this now. Give the closet a good vacuuming and dusting, too.

2. Start sorting. Separate your closet into work and casual wear by item type, then group similar items by color. Button-down shirts, dress pants, blazers, dresses, skirts, etc. should all be batched together so you can quickly see and assess your options. Make a separate pile for each category of casual clothing, such as pants, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Also group together shoes, belts, and other accessories.

3. Only keep your ‚ÄúA” team or current clothes in your main closet. Shift seasonal clothes, maternity, and ‚Äúother size” items to another storage space, such as under your bed. Many people can reduce the amount of clothing in their closet by half if they follow this guideline.

4. Purge a little more. Once you have everything sorted, you may discover that you own multiples of the same item. This is your chance to get rid of those items that don’t fit, are out of style, or are not practical. (From here on out, keep a give-away box in your closet to make donating easier.) Remember, it’s important to let your clothing have a little breathing room to keep it wrinkle-free, as well as to allow you to easily view your closet’s contents.

5. Now that you can see what you actually have, start measuring. Most clothing needs 1/2 to two inches of space per item. How much of your clothing can you realistically fit in the closet? If it only has one rod across the top, you may want to consider redesigning your closet for maximum space efficiency. Consider simple, inexpensive modifications such as adding a double hang closet rod to double your hanging space. You may also be able to adjust your shelves and rods to better accommodate your space needs.

6. Return clothing to the closet. Organize your clothes to work with your lifestyle. Section garments by type, then by color, so you can always easily see what you have. Hang pants, blazers, button-front shirts, dresses, and skirts. Avoid putting matching tops and bottoms together, since this may stop you from seeing other ways to combine them with other pieces. Arrange clothes so those you wear most often are nearest the front of the closet.

7. Find storage containers that are sturdy and sized appropriately. Use containers you already own or shop for new ones at stores like Target or The Container Store. Sweaters, t-shirts, and sweatshirts line up nicely on shelves with the help of vertical shelf dividers or when placed in clear plastic boxes or hanging canvas shelves. Accessories such as purses, scarves, and belts can be placed in clear boxes or attractive wicker baskets on open shelves.

8. Assign each item a ‚Äúhome.‚ÄĚ Designate a shelf, section of rod, or drawer for each category of clothing. You‚Äôre likely to return items to this space after every use. Come up with a system that will allow you to maintain the de-cluttered space with minimal effort. Also, install adequate lighting that will allow you to view all of your clothing and shelf space.

Follow these tips to make the most of your clothes closet this spring and summer.

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