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Posts Tagged keepsakes

How Do You Do a Seasonal Switch in Less Than 30 Minutes?

How Do You Do a Seasonal Switch in Less Than 30 Minutes?

It’s hard to know the right day to put summer clothes into storage and bring out the winter clothes. For me, I thought that day was today. Turns out, it’s gorgeous! Still I don’t think I’ll need my sandals and shorts tomorrow.

As a professional organizer, who finds himself inside many people’s homes, I know this is a task that tends to get put off, sometimes all season! Part of the problem is, that this seems like a task that will take a long time, maybe half a day. Here are some tips for getting through the seasonal switch FAST.

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What’s YOUR Revelation?

What's YOUR Revelation?

One of our greatest obstacles is overcoming the suspicion that Professional Organizers are shysters who have figured out a way to get paid from making you throw out all your stuff. Not true. Our focus is not on throwing everything out. The fact is, our focus is on what you are KEEPING and how much, and why, and where it’s all going to go. How do we get the best results? It does NOT come from us telling you what you MUST do, but from creating an environment, where you make your OWN revelations. We do this every day, but in this post, I want to share one of our most beautiful examples.

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Gray Away

Gray Away

So what does hair coloring and organizing have to do with each other? Organizing is never as simple as black or white, keep or toss. There is a lot of gray that must stay, but must be stored away.

We’ve all been there. We can’t take that cluttered room anymore, so we go in with a trash bag and start tossing the old periodicals, the empty component boxes, but then we get stuck on a half finished craft project, the old documents, the expensive gift we never liked,

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Back To School Organizing

Back To School Organizing

This time of year, some things automatically go on the to do list. Stock up on school supplies? Check. Sign up for after school activities? Check. Back to school clothes? Check. You might also want to consider these five organizing tips to reduce the stress in your family’s routine, for the new school year.

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Categories For A Power Sorting

Categories For A Power Sorting

My wonderful clients know I have one simple rule at the Decision Table: “Nothing stays on the table.” When sorting a large quantity of stuff, it is important to recognize that EVERYTHING has a category and, therefore, a plan forward. Some categories, like “toss” and “donate” are obvious, but to keep the momentum going, you need more options. Here are a few.

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Attic Attack

As you put your Christmas decorations away for another year, you may be seeing a lot of your attic and you may not like what you see. The attic is often the last room one organizes in the home because it is so out of sight, out of mind. It can, however, be one of the most useful and comforting spaces in your home if used with a purpose. At the risk of over quoting Karen Kingston this week, here is another pearl from “Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui” on the subject of attics: Things stored in your attic can restrict your higher aspirations and possibilities. It is as if you sabotage yourself by creating a false limitation. You will tend to worry more about the future than other people, as if there are problems hanging over you, ready to drop at any time! To get your attic under control and use it to its best advantage, here are four useful tips: 1. Respect The Environment Start with those items in cardboard boxes or worse, paper bags. Only the […]

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Containers Last

To choose organizing systems that are actually going to keep you organized, you must first decide on the QUANTITY of items you’re going to keep. This approach makes me a bit of a spoil-sport with my new clients. They’re excited about the prospect of organizing and it starts with the question: ”Ooh, what containers do you recommend I buy?” I advise them that these recommendations will come later once we’ve determined the amount of items they’re keeping. The most common problem I find with buying a container first is that they tend to be too small.  Before choosing containers for organizing systems, I use cardboard banker boxes as sorting tools.  One of these boxes is always dedicated to “keepsakes” and it is common for a client to inform me “Oh, I’ve already got one of those.”  They then produce a tattered shoebox bursting at the seams.  Not only is this box inadequate for its current contents, but there’s no way it’s going to contain the three banker boxes of keepsakes we’ve collected, let alone the new keepsakes that will come […]

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Find It Or Lose It

If you don’t have a plan for finding an item, you should get rid of it. This is a modification of the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule, which may be more poetic, but is too extreme. There are plenty of things we may have good reason to keep, but may have no intention of using. For example, we like to surround ourselves with attractive or fun display items, but for the most part we don’t actually use them. Keepsakes are another example. They are special enough to keep in a special box, but there’s nothing wrong with not using them. What doesn’t make sense is to keep something with no plan for finding it.  If you’re trying to stow something where you have no legitimate hope of finding it, SERIOUSLY, get rid of it! You don’t have to toss it, maybe you donate or sell it, but don’t keep it. This stuff just weighs you down and gets in the way of the stuff you DO value. Sometimes giving stuff away is the best gift you can give yourself. This is a moderate approach that makes sense. “Use-it-or-lose-it” leads to regrets […]

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Homes for Orphan Items

If keeping a tidy home or office seems hopeless, part of the reason may be that not EVERYTHING has a home.  Some categories are obvious – clothes go to the closet, books go to the bookshelf, and used coffee cups go to the kitchen sink – but what about  that spare switch plate? After years of organizing homes and offices, I have come up with a checklist of consistently overlooked storage needs and solutions for them.  Here they are: 1. Bills to pay. This might be the most important one and no, that pile of mail on the dining room table does not count.  Solution: A small dedicated structure with slots like the 31 Day Bill Organizer keeps the bill paying challenge limited and that’s a good thing.   Reserve it ONLY for bills to pay, not other to-do’s.   Discard the outer envelopes and inserts as soon as the bill comes in.  If you pay online then you can discard the return envelope as well.  All you need is the reminders to pay.  That will visually limit the task of bill […]

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Sentimental Roadblocks

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, February 2008 Sentimental Roadblocks  Perhaps the most important reason I got into Organizing is because I have found it to be the most important ingredient in accomplishing goals.  Being organized means being ready.  It means living in the moment and being able to take those important steps forward into a brighter future.  When we are surrounded by clutter, however, we tend to get dragged backward, into the past.  The accumulation around us tends to represent unfinished business, unrealized dreams, and good intentions we never had time for.  It represents guilt, inadequacy, frustration, and other negative feelings that hold us back from where we need to go.  There may be days when you’d like to just chuck it all and start fresh, but you don’t.  There are many different reasons why you don’t but the one I’m going to talk about today is what I call Sentimental Roadblocks. Now don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with cherishing the past, but make sure you keep a special place for your keepsakes and that […]

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