5 Reasons Spring is the Perfect Time for Organizing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun is shining, the flowers are blooming– Spring is back and just in time because as a southern girl deep winters are not my favorite thing.  If you are like me you anxiously awaited the defrost and wasted no time getting moving again.  Inside the house, in the yard and in the office I have found renewed energy to refresh my spaces.  I think that Spring is the perfect time to work on organizing projects.  See below my top 5 reasons you should be organizing now.  

1.It’s a natural time of change. 

The change of seasons brings good prompts to transition some things in your life and environment. 

  • As it warms up you can turn over the closet by removing what you didn’t wear this year and bringing out warm weather clothes. 
  • When the taxes are done it’s a good opportunity to shred old files and refresh your home inventory and insurance policies. 
  • Spring break is coming.  Be prepared by setting up a packing list or planning to put those extra hands to work on a bigger project.

2. Some spaces are more accessible.

Better weather allows access to larger spaces. You can bear to be in the spaces that experience extreme heat in the summer but it’s nice enough to spread items outside for a very effective sorting process. It can also have a more dramatic result in functionality and appearance.

 Speaking of large spaces, this year The Advocate’s All Around the House special section highlighted tips on garage organizing.  A Taylored Space was featured in the story on page 12, which you can enjoy by clicking here.

3. You see more family and friends.

Whether it is for a spring break trip, upcoming graduation, family reunion… you will see those folks whose stuff has been taking up room in your space.  I hereby give you complete permission to return it or invite them to pick it up really soon.

4. There’s more time to work.  

Having extra daylight supports the body feel like there are more active hours in the day.  You can fit in an extra hour or two towards your project in the morning and evening hours around your work schedule.  Additionally for spaces you are working outdoors that natural light helps.  Just remember to stay hydrated and fed to have the energy to keep going.     

5. Brightening up your perspective can help with the space. 

Have you been waiting until or setting  conditions like if this then I will, now might be the time for you to adjust your outlook.  Maybe the best time to start  is now.   Shaking off the chill of winter and opening the windows can shine new light on a room revealing the perfect spot for reading or that pile of items you still haven’t dropped off for donation. Clear out the clutter and reclaim your rooms.  The space is valuable and so is your piece of mind.

Whether your next project is small or large there is no better time to start than now.  Prioritize your projects, schedule time to work on them and spring into action.

Happy Organizing!

tt

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!

tt  

Organizing for Emergencies: Preparing Information, Supplies and Response Plans for Emergencies

weather emergencyThis year spring came in like nothing I can remember.  There were several weeks straight when the North and Midwest were still accumulating snow; the South experienced severe thunderstorms, large hail and tornados; and the West Coast fires began again …  The utility outages and loss of property that went along with those circumstances were unexpected and in many cases overwhelming.  Were you prepared for the extreme weather?  Did you have a backup plan in case you could not return to your home?

The Gulf and Atlantic coasts enter Hurricane Season beginning June 1st.  A fire or chemical release is not as readily forecasted so we should be prepared for emergencies at all times.   Several government and community agencies have resources to help you be informed of emergencies that may occur in your area, plan for those emergencies and recover from an emergency experienced.

By planning ahead now, you will have the security of knowing you did all you could to protect your family and preserve your livelihood if something does happen later.

Be Informed on Emergency Preparedness

Your state may have a site similar to that of the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness http://www.gohsep.la.gov/.  The site lists the types of emergencies that can occur in the state and allows you to sign up for direct communication of emergency alerts.  The same site provides Louisianans updates during an emergency as well as after if evacuations were required.

Also make note of the local resources that can provide support services  for disaster-recovery and displacement.  This could be Red-Cross but it could also be a local church.

Get the Right Supplies

Your supplies must at least cover your family’s basic needs: shelter, food/water/medical and clothing.  You should then add your personal vital documents, the information needed to:   validate your identity, access your finances, receive medical care and make claims for your property. Next include items that improve your comfort and then items that preserve the peace (i.e. items that keep everyone entertained and calm). 

Each emergency can impact your home structure and property differently.  If possible upgrade your home and contents to meet the threats of emergencies.  In the case of fire this may mean to pick a nonflammable material when buying new carpet or furniture and getting new smoke detectors and connecting them to the home alarm system.  In the case of damaging winds this may mean trimming overgrown trees early or securing outdoor furniture and  covering windows before a storm.

Remember that information will be provided on whether you should shelter-in-place or evacuate your home.   

Suggestions for basic needs items to include in your kits can be found at the following resources:

http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/Be_Red_Cross_Ready.pdf

http://www.getagameplan.org/planFamily.htm

http://www.getagameplan.org/downloads/SpecialNeeds.pdf

 

I will talk more about making your emergency plan and recovering from emergencies in the next post…

– tt

5 Quick Tips To Create An Effective Work Area

Cluttered-desk-is-a-cluttered-mindOkay, some people can get great things done despite having a less than orderly office but Einstein was one of a kind…  Today I’m just going to focus on where most of us work 🙂

The 2nd Monday in January is National Clean Off Your Desk Day.  That’s a good thing because the average office worker spends 2000 hours per year at the desk.   Make that space easier to use with these simple decluttering tips.

1. Gather items that you use most frequently and store them within easy reach of your usual seated position. This can include key current work files.

2. Place items that you use less frequently outside this area so they don’t clutter your work area, but they should still be easily accessible.

3. Consider getting rid of things you rarely use, storing them outside your office, or stashing them farther away from your desk to save your “prime real estate” for the most-used supplies.

4. File away past projects and those that won’t be worked until far off into the future. Remember to get rid of anything outdated or unneeded. Clutter breeds chaos .

5. Discover more space by looking up, down, and inside: Stash supplies in a plastic storage bin under your desk, install shelving above your desk for binders and literature boxes, and hide clutter in attractive boxes and bins.

Your decluttered desk doesn’t have to be completely empty but you should be able to find the supplies and files you need quickly.  Also you should have enough open flat space to spread out a small project and work on it.

Happy Organizing!

tt

 

 

 

It Take A Village: Build Your Organizing Goal Support Team

Ever hear the saying “it takes a village to raise a child’? Well if you are not a child what you feel you need is likely not life critical yet it allows you live a fuller more satisfying life. You have food, clothing and shelter but you yearn for greater self- confidence, sense of achievement and peace of mind. Organizing can help you gain all those things. So does it take a village to get organized? I believe it does. Think about how many times you have just been run down mentally by being disorganized and feeling you were all alone. How much closer to happy productive days could you be if you had a goal achievement support team to call on?

You can build a village around yourself to help work towards any goal that you have. You should enlist members to fill the following roles:

Motivator- to encourage you to stay in a positive frame of mind about your decisions and to remind you of the benefits you will experience in accomplishing your goal

Helper- to walk with you as you take small preparatory steps then increasingly larger purpose- driven action steps and to push you to overcome barriers to achieving your goal

Accountability Partner- to reflect your measurement of movement towards the goal and challenge you to maintain all gains achieved.

Take a minute to make a short list of a couple people in your life that could serve in each of those roles. Make the time to contact them next week. Share your goal and ask them to join your village describing the role they can best play. The sooner you establish your support team the sooner you can make progress towards achieving your goal.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!! I’m sure you’ve heard this greeting so many times the past couple of days that you echo a response automatically. Before you reply to me I ask that you just for a minute to reflect that you have officially reached the end of what was and the beginning of what can be…

How was last year? Did you transition your kindergartner to a working homework space, make room for the new office you needed, get that email under control, or have enough time to really enjoy your family and friends?

What about this year? You’ve listened to everyone else’s reasons and resolutions to make some changes. Have you thought about what is motivating you to improve your situation? Take another minute to think and write down your motivations. Then write down just one organizing goal.

Getting organized can support you
• Having a space function like you want
• Gaining efficient access to the information that supports the work you need to do and
• Finding time for the things you want to do.

There is no time like right now to start getting organized. January is GO (Get Organized) month and many product and service companies, including A Taylored Space, will be showcasing what they offer to help you achieve your goal. Start with the one goal, complete it and celebrate it. Then define and work on another goal. You don’t have to do everything at once. And now you have a whole year ahead of you to work on making the changes that can create your happy new space, happy new schedule, happy new life!

Wishing you all the best this new year: Happy Organizing!
tt