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Archive for New Year’s Resolutions

Secretly wondering if you should be on “Hoarders” ?

Hoarding shows on television have  become quite popular and have helped raise public awareness of Organizing as a profession. These programs show the worst case scenario of what can happen when you lose control of your possessions. Sadly, in real life, many people who have a problem with hoarding have experienced a trauma or life-changing event. Perhaps being organized wasn’t second nature to them, but they managed to get along in life okay. After a trauma or life-changing event this becomes much harder and/or impossible. When children are involved it becomes even more serious.

Please get professional help if you find yourself in this situation.

If you think you might be a hoarder there are quizzes you can try and a clutter scale to help you recognize where you are. Once a room or item can no longer be used for its intended purpose you know you’re getting into trouble. For example, you can no longer find a place to sit in the living room, so you sit on your bed. Or, the dining room table is piled so high with papers you eat standing over the sink. Or, you have duplicated your possessions because you can not find the originals.


Digging out (in some cases literally) from clutter can take hours, weeks and sometimes months before the desired outcome is reached. Besides, it didn’t get that way overnight. Burnout is high, decision making can be emotional and progress slow. If you have someone helping you it will be much easier and quicker. There are multiple health risks when one lives in a hoarding situation, safety being  just one of them.  Hire a Professional Organizer who has had experience with hoarding.  Don’t worry, they have seen this before and that is why they are in business.

Please don’t get discouraged.

It is darkest before the dawn, and coldest too. If you and your Organizer are working well together, you are going to get results and you will feel better. You’ll find things you forgot you had, often money and gift cards! Your sleep will be more refreshing, you will have more time in the day and performance will increase at work when you are organized and clutter free at home.

Progress not Perfection

No, you are never going to be as organized as your Professional Organizer. And he or she know that! What you are both striving  for is improvement and progress in the right direction – not perfection. Your Organizer will do what is right for you in your situation. Every individual is unique and solutions are custom.

Happy Organizing!





Getting Organized for the New Year

Getting organized - your key to success!Many of us vow to make changes to our behaviour each January. Typical resolutions are eating better, getting fit and becoming organized. The desire to be better organized is genuine – we know we can be more productive and effective when our belongings and our information is at our fingertips.

Here are 13 areas to organize for 2013

1. Under the kitchen sink – always a horrible catchall for cleaning products, recycling and garbage. Edit items and stack on a tiered shelf. Lock cupboard if you live with small children.

2. Passwords and website addresses – I just received a nice “Little Black Book.  It has space for snail mail addresses as well as websites and passwords. Just be sure to store it in a secure location.

3. Care tags for clothing – I purchased an inexpensive photo album with sleeves at the Dollar Store. In each pocket I am storing washing and care instructions for garments that require special care. One pocket per garment. I’m also jotting down what the item cost for future reference.

4. Spices – toss the contents and run the containers through the dishwasher. Refill with new spices. Discard spices older than two years or that you no longer use.

5. Medicine Cabinet – collect expired medications and vitamins and take to your nearest pharmacy for disposal.

6. Daily Medications/Vitamins – purchase containers to separate pills by day and/or time of day. Refill weekly to save time and help keep track of when you’ve taken them.

7. Monthly receipts – purchase small 13 folder accordian file to store monthly receipts while awaiting month end reconciliation.

8. Photos on your computer – create folders for special people. occasions, trips, etc. Download pictures regularly, or at least monthly and file in folders.

9. Your inbox and folders – again, create folders for infomation you need to keep. Sort through your folders, deleting old messages you no longer need. Red flag important messages as soon as you read them. Delete junk as soon as it arrives.

10. Monthly bills - Even if you pay your bills on line, there are still receipts that need to be kept for a variety of reasons – proof of purchase, warranty, income tax, personal information, etc. Use an accordion file to store important papers that you need to keep. Be sure to label the pockets.

11. Unmentionables – new year, new undies! Toss anything stretched, pilled, faded, stained – you get it.

12. One for one – as you put away holiday gifts, donate or toss a similar item. If you received two new ties, give away one or two older ones.

13. Memory box – this time I’m recommending keeping things! Small notes written in a loved one’s handwriting are priceless treasures to keep. I have some great notes written by my kids when they were little. Store in a pretty cardboard box or hat box.

Happy New Year and Happy Organizing!