Many of us do it: We get bored; we go shopping. We need a break; we go shopping. We've had a bad day; we go shopping. We feel lonely; we go shopping. It’s a high -- at the time of purchase.
You see a blanket. You don’t need it, and it doesn’t match anything. But you want it so you buy it anyway. And a throw pillow to match. Before you know it, you’re back in your nest. They get stored in a corner because you have no place for them. You have just created clutter.
How many times have you gone to Target for a few items and come out with over $100 in “stuff”? (Is it possible to leave Target without having done so?) But how many lipsticks do you really need or use? Towels? Sheets? Books you’ll never read? Food you’ll never prepare? Clothes you’ll never wear? Look at the clutter you are creating.
When considering a purchase, take a moment to ask yourself: Do I really need this? Does it make my heart sing? What if I wait? Where will I put it? If you don’t have a place for it, perhaps you don’t need it.
”We're constantly being bombarded with advertisements that try to convince us that a happy life is all about having the latest stuff: a new car, an outdoor kitchen, an ice cream maker. But studies have shown, over and over (and my own experience has borne out) that it isn't the things in our lives that make us happy: it's our experiences that we treasure most. So the next time you're tempted to buy more stuff, ask yourself if the money wouldn't be better spent on a vacation or a nice night out. Bonus: you won't have to find a space for these things in your cabinets.” http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-10-commandments-of-a-clutterfree-life-211599 I couldn’t agree more.
If you have a clutter problem, you might want to take a look at your shopping habits. Shop with mindful awareness to avoid falling into the shopping = clutter trap.
People think organizers must be very organized at home, and some are. But many of us face the same pressures you do to keep things together. For example, my place is currently out of control. And when that happens, I tend to let it get worse and then experience anxiety over the state of things.
There's just one thing to do: put on my big girl panties and do something about it! Today, despite nice weather and the call of more interesting things to do, will be devoted to cleaning and organizing. Tomorrow, laundry. And the payoff will be an anxiety-free Monday, starting the week off on the right foot.
I am reminded of my own advice: Try not to let things get out of control in the first place. Put things away, and don't let things stack up. Just 15 minutes of straightening up a day can make a vast difference. Keep that snowball from taking you down!
So off I go, making my bed and delving into dust and other messes.
Many of us have them -- beauty products galore. But how many do we really need? How many do we actually use? Wouldn't it be nice to simplify, making more room in your bathroom or vanity area and your beauty routine quicker, while saving money at the same time? Let's look at products:
Foundation, cover sticks, etc.: Do you have bottles of foundation, tinted moisturizers, and cover products that just don't work for you? Too dark? Too light? Too thick? Too thin? Pick out the few you need (a tinted moisturizer, your favorite foundation, perhaps 2 to mix for color perfection, and a cover stick; keep seasons in mind) and toss the remainder.
Blushes, powders: How many do you need? Perhaps pink, coral, brown, a bronzer, a mattifying or setting powder. Pick out what works for you (think seasons) and toss the remainder.
Mascara, shadows, etc.: This can be the most difficult category. Mascaras, shadow, highlighters, etc. Did you know that mascara should only be kept for 6 months max? That is because it may grow bacteria causing a nasty eye infection. So immediately toss old mascaras. Now, how many items do you need? Keep one of each kind (think colors, volume, etc.) and toss the rest. The same with shadows and eyeliners. Keep only those you actually use. Toss the rest.
Brushes: There are so many types of makeup brushes -- blush, powder, highlighter, eye shadow, eye liner, lipstick -- the makeup brush industry loves us! How many do you own, and how many of them do you use? Think about whether you can pare them down. And, most importantly, keep them CLEAN. A dirty brush can mean clogged pores, breakouts, etc.
Hair products: Which products do you use -- shampoo, conditioner, a mask/hair repair conditioner, hairspray, mousse, gel, etc.? Keep your shampoo and conditioner in the shower; store other products in a cabinet or under the sink. It's the perfect time to rid yourself of all of those bottles of hair products you don't like or use. They are only taking up valuable landscape.
Storage: Ideally, you sort your makeup for ease. Here's an excellent solution --a drawer for everything: eye makeup, blushes and powders, foundation, brushes. And it looks nice if you decide to keep it on your countertop.
Do you keep purchasing products only to find you already have something to use? If you clear out your stash, you will KNOW what you have and what you may need, saving you money by not repurchasing items you already own.
Not comfortable tossing products? Donate them to women's shelters! They love them.
So take a long, hard look at what you own and determine what you need versus what can go.
I think you get the picture: simplify your beauty products to save money, space, and time!
For more tips and hints, please visit "Karen's Corner."
Decluttering and organizing are so great! You make room in your closets, drawers, and cabinets; you get rid of lots of junk; and you may even make money by selling items. You find things you forgot you had. And you feel so VIRTUOUS!
Do you hear a “but” coming? Well, you are perceptive because there is one, and it is this: You must keep on top of it. You will need to reorganize from time to time, otherwise things will snowball out of control. There is no such thing as a one-time fix.
I’ll bet that you think organizers’ homes are totally neat and organized, right? Not necessarily. Personally, there are times when I get lax about my organization, and there’s always room for improvement. I am regularly organizing and purging.
Just recently I panicked because I couldn’t find an important set of papers, all because my filing wasn’t up to date and these papers were not in a place where I’d ordinarily look for them. I found them, but not without tearing my hair out. And if you were to look in my kitchen at any given time, you might just find dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is right there!
When life is running smoothly and we are on top of things, it’s easy to keep stuff neat and in its proper place. It’s when we get busy and are running from task to task that organizing starts to fall behind. Sometimes we simply lose our motivation or run out of energy for a period of time. It happens!
And that’s OK! We all have times when we need to start again. But if you built a good system, things come back together rather quickly. The key is to not let it get too far out of control; don’t wait too long.
Here are some easy tips to help you keep on top of your organization:
In closing, don’t let a setback make you feel bad, but also don’t let your whole organizing system fall apart. Jump back on the horse as quickly as possible. And use the tips above to help you keep things under control, even in busy times.
“Being challenged in life is inevitable,
being defeated is optional.”
― Roger Crawford
I think you will agree that present times are challenging: we are over-stressed at work, at home, and out in the world. There are financial, family, and societal stressors. There are so many things, issues, and people poking at us, it can be too much to handle at times and can affect us physically as well as psychologically.
What can we do when life takes a turn for the worst? We can curl up in the fetal position and be nothing more than a victim of circumstance. Or we can try to remain positive and remind ourselves that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know about you, but I choose option #2.
Most of us want to be kept up to date on major news developments. However, you may decide you want to limit your exposure to the news and social media. Decide how much you can take in without having it make you feel stressed or sad. Then when you’ve had enough, do something that diverts your attention away from what is going on in the world.
Doing things that use a lot of energy and keep you busy help block outside stressors. Maybe it’s a good time to do your spring cleaning, declutter and organize, or tackle some big projects you have been putting off. Or you could go for a run or a fast walk. Not only will it allow you to focus on something else, but it will make you feel virtuous at the same time.
Let’s take a look at our home environment. Is it cluttered? Often clutter is a physical indicator of stress. Your current surroundings represent your level of consciousness at the time. You may think you can block it out, but overall it has a subconscious effect on how we’re living. Understanding this helps us start to make changes.
Let’s face it, clutter is distracting and can affect our ability to focus. Research has shown that looking at too many things at once interferes with your brain’s ability to process information. It’s been said that multi-tasking is non-productive for this reason. Clearing out clutter is freeing and makes a positive difference in how we interact with ourselves, others, and the rest of the world.
Decluttering your messy areas will benefit your life at home, but the benefits don’t stop there. When you’re organized, you’re more productive and efficient, which means you will have the time you need to exercise, prepare a healthy meal, relax, enjoy your family, and get more sleep. The whole point is to allow you to have more freedom, not less.
To be sure, it’s not easy to break the cycle of accumulating clutter. We need to experience the positivity of how letting “stuff” go makes us feel. It all comes down to focusing on what’s most important in your life. Ask yourself, “What’s most important in this moment?”
Being organized can help to give us a sense of control. Starting small
-- just a drawer or cabinet -- can spur us on to organizing other spaces, as well. Keep in mind, though, that if our organizational goals become overly ambitious, they can leave us feeling even more stressed and overwhelmed. If it becomes too difficult or emotionally heavy to make the necessary decisions, we must give ourselves permission to take a break until we are ready to start again. Remember: The goal is to reduce stress, not add to it.
There are many books and articles in magazines and on the internet on how to declutter and organize. Research to find a method that strikes a chord with you.
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.” ―Virginia Satir
It’s been said that “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” People in business know very well the importance of contacts – and who is in their “Contacts.”
So why does every Realtor need a Professional Organizer in his arsenal? Think about it: What are his clients doing? While finding a new home, closing escrow, and taking the keys, they are making preparations. That means making a myriad of arrangements: getting important paperwork in order; hiring movers; purchasing moving supplies; filling out address changes; decluttering drawers, closets, rooms, offices, and garages; packing a ton of boxes. Then they are moving into their new home, unpacking, and organizing. It’s a daunting task for anyone!
There are numerous reasons people move. For instance: Couples move into their first home; new parents move into homes in which they will raise their children; people upgrade; empty nesters downsize; financial considerations, loss of a spouse, and retirement often demand changes to living situations; and elderly folks move in with their children or into retirement facilities. People move from an apartment into a condo or house; from one home to another; downsize from a house to a condo; and so forth. There are always people buying and selling property, and they all have to move.
Part of your job as their Realtor is ensuring they make their moves in a timely fashion as there is someone else waiting to move in or out of the property as the case may be.
Think about clients who have lived in their homes for, say, 20+ years. Imagine how much “stuff” they have acquired. They must do something with ALL of it! Many are totally overwhelmed and have no idea where to start. Let’s face it: Moving can be a very emotionally draining experience. Having help from someone who is sensitive to your feelings is a definite plus.
A Professional Organizer can help your clients with details from A-Z. Some people don’t know how or where to start. Others need another pair of hands to help with all that needs to be done – from making calls to decluttering to picking up packing supplies to helping pack to unpacking and organizing on the other end – and sometimes just to hold their hand and provide a shoulder to lean on. Whew!
Here’s where you can be a hero: Have a couple of Professional Organizers in your Contacts to recommend to such clients. Most are reasonably priced, very talented, and can help your clients “enjoy” an organized, less stressful move. And your client will thank you in the end.
I Luv Organizing is here to help make your clients comfortable and provide the help they need.
Call 310-237-8599 today!
5 Steps to Declutter Your Schedule and Live Your Desired Life
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’.” ―Lao Tzu
1. Acknowledge the fact that you can’t do everything.
We can only do so much. We have unlimited options, but limited resources. We have to make important decisions to eliminate some things. When we’re feeling especially productive and superhuman, we struggle to admit this reality. But, we can’t do it all. We have to remove the clutter.
Clutter is the stuff that interferes with the life we want to live. It slows us down from doing the things we value most. It’s that unnecessary stuff that we entertain, but doesn’t help us get where we want to go. And it needs to be removed.
2. Clarify what’s most important…to you!
The things that are important to you will affect how you make decisions and how you spend your days. If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother establishing a path? Before you start developing a plan, you have to know what you want to accomplish and what rules you will play by. You need a what and a why before you figure out how.
You’ll need clarity in at least 3 important areas:
Once you’ve identified your objective, you can begin to think about how you’ll get there. It is incredibly important to identify your goals and values. But if you don’t take the second step and think about your plan to live up to them, then they are only dreams.
You have to map out a route to your destination. You have to figure out the best way to be and do what you want to be and do. You have to determine what actions will be required and what tools you’ll need to accomplish them. If we don’t, we run the risk of just wandering around through life as a slave to our circumstances.
4. Say “no” to other stuff that hinders you.
It’s not enough to know what things you should do. You also have to get clarity on the types of things you should not do. We’ve already established that our time is limited. We will have to make choices about how we spend our time. We will have say “no” to some things so we can say “yes” to others.
Inevitably, we will face circumstances that could throw us off course and make us want to give up on our dreams. Sometimes, these hindrances are caused by unhealthy behaviors. Sometimes, they are caused by people who want to see us fail. Sometimes, they are caused by good things that aren’t best.
Regardless of what causes the hindrances, we have to pay attention to them and make some decisions about what activities need to get the boot!
5. Find what motivates you and use it.
Study yourself and figure out what makes you tick. What makes you come alive? What makes you feel human and reminds you that you are not just a robot with a job and a checkbook? What tugs at your heart? What reminds you of the things you value most? It may be: listening to music, blogging, dancing, painting, singing, jogging, lifting weights, or something really random and strange that you just love to do.
It’s okay if it isn’t related to your “greater purpose” or if it even makes sense to other people. If it motivates you (and it’s legal), do it!
Life’s too short to spend our days in constant frustration.
Don’t allow things of lesser importance to rob you of the life you could be living. Take a good look at your life and be honest. Do the work and declutter your schedule. You can do this!
This was printed on Becoming Minimalist. http://www.becomingminimalist.com/declutter-your-schedule/
Mike Burns blogs at The Other Side of Complexity. You can also connect with him on Twitter.
Moving is always a good time to reassess your possessions. It makes no sense to pay to move items you no longer use. We are all guilty of keeping boxes full of things we never use. We even collect pieces of furniture we don't need or use. One of the first big pre-move tasks to accomplish is to declutter.
What is decluttering? Simply put, it is getting rid of anything you do not use or that does not hold true sentimental value. I know it can be stressful to feel like you are throwing away a lifetime worth of possessions, but ultimately you will feel better for it. Remember, you can always gift items to friends and family (if they want them) or take pictures for yourself!
Go area by area -- every closet, pantry, cubby, dresser, basement, attic, mudroom, garage, or storage area. Start by getting rid of obvious trash -- old newspapers and magazines (you can cut out articles and scan them), boxes, unrepairable items, and unusable old clothing. The only things left should be those you plan to take with you.
Get a good number of large, sturdy boxes, label them, and sort items into categories:
KEEP -- to be packed to move with you. (These can be put back in the room where they were found, to be packed when the time comes. You will need a number of boxes for this.)
SELL -- items to be sold in a yard sale, on E-Bay, Craigslist, or advertised. (Try your local Nextdoor.com.)
CHARITY -- still in good condition but no longer useful to you. Donate to your local charity. Make regular trips to get these items out of the way and to avoid needing to make numerous trips when you have finished. Keep your boxes. (Remember to get a tax-deductible receipt.)
Your local library may be interested in your unneeded books.
THROW AWAY -- Not necessarily trash, but items you no longer use that cannot be donated. (Empty when full and reuse.)
RECYCLE -- Items that can be recycled rather than trashed. (Empty when full and reuse.)
Deliver hazardous materials (paint, car oil, large batteries, etc.) to a local facility for that purpose. They should not be trashed or recycled.
Once you’ve decluttered, packing will be much quicker and easier (and will save you money on packing materials and moving costs), and you will feel much more organized when it comes time to unpack at your new home!
See my other Blog articles on moving.
Do you need help organizing your pre-move, move or assistance with decluttering and packing? Will you need help unpacking and organizing on the other end? I can help! Simply contact me by emailing, calling or using the form on my Contact page!
I am pleased to have Sarah Chezum of Home Simply Organized guest posting on my blog today. Sarah is an organizer and blogger -- follow her at HomeSimplyOrganized.com or on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Enjoy!
Paper piles accumulate so fast in our homes! It's hard to know what to keep and what to toss. Most people keep far more paperwork than they need to, because they are afraid of tossing something important. Today I am going to give you 5 steps to take to banish your paper piles forever and confidently keep just what you need!
Step 1. Gather all your paperwork
If you have paper piles hiding out in various spots of the house, go around and collect them all. Set all your paper on a table, or if the table isn’t big enough, you can spread out on the floor. Today we are just talking about paperwork, not sentimental papers like cards or kids art projects. If you find those set them aside for another organizing day.
Step 2. Set up a file and folders for your important papers
A simple filing system is best. Remember you are going to toss and shred most of your papers, so don’t worry about having a huge file of filling cabinet. I was able to fit all of my family's important papers in just one magazine file. That is for a family of 4, with student loan documents and a home mortgage. You can use magazine files like I did, a small filing cabinet, or even a simple banker’s box to store your papers.
Use manila folders or hanging file folders to sort your papers into categories. Label your folders with simple, clear titles. Common categories include:
Step 3. Sort
Go through your paperwork sorting, shredding, and tossing. Use this list to see which important papers you need to save. Just about everything else can be shredded or tossed.
Papers that have your social security number, bank account number or other sensitive information should be shredded. Junk mail, and paperwork that doesn’t contain sensitive information can just be tossed in the recycle bin.
Step 4. Go paperless
Some important papers must be saved via hard paper copy, like birth certificates and social security cards. Usually if a paper must be saved in hard copy it has a seal or notarized signature on it. Aside from a few important legal documents, most papers can be stored digitally. You can scan your papers, take digital photos of them (be sure they are still readable), or ask for them to be emailed to you. If your car insurance company usually mails you a long policy packet, ask them to email it to you instead. Create organized folders on your computer for your documents.
It’s a good idea to backup your important papers by keeping them on an external hard drive or using a program like google docs. You can access google docs from any computer by logging into your account with your password. This way if your computer crashes you will still have all of your documents.
To help cut down on the amount of paper coming into your home set up paperless billing. You can save yourself from paper piles by eliminating them before they even get to you. If your utility companies offer paperless billing sign up! Paying bills online is quick and secure.
Step 5. Set up a short term paper folder
Once all of your important papers are filed away, set up a file for incoming paperwork. The best way to handle incoming short-term paperwork is with one simple file. I use a magazine file for this job. Any bills, flyers, or cards that come in the house go straight to this file. Don’t set the mail on the counter or table. Immediately, put your paperwork in the temporary folder. Junk mail should go straight to the trash or recycle can. Don’t set it down on the table and don’t put it in your temporary folder, just toss it right away. Go through your file regularly, anywhere from once a day to once a week. Pay any bills and then toss them. Respond to cards and notes and then toss them. File any important papers into your long term file.
With this simple system you can banish paper piles forever!
For further information, check with the Internal Revenue Service.
(To see original, go to http://www.HomeSimplyOrganized.com/sorting-important-papers.)
While my PC was being worked on for 5 hours today, I reorganized my clothes closet. It had been a while. It was good to remind myself what clients go through. It can be gut wrenching but oh so liberating. I am donating bags of cute clothes that don't fit and it’s unlikely they will again. Bodies change as we age. <Sigh.> I tossed every hanger that's not a Huggable. I organized everything the way it once was. It's a tiny closet. It looks nice now. I even found 4 pair of my favorite jeans!
The process evoked many memories of my journey here.
When I moved into this studio, I came from a large 2-bedroom condo. I had rented there for 17 years when they decided to sell. I had a wonderful young roommate who split the rent with me and was a marvel around the house. But Jay was a student and not in a financial position to sign a lease with me, so I was on my own. Hence, with rents being what they are in Los Angeles, I was forced to move into a studio.
In order to do so, I had to significantly pare down my belongings – furniture, kitchen items, clothing, costume jewelry, art, the whole kit and caboodle. I would only have room for 1/4th of my hard-earned “stuff.” And I had a month to do it.
Do you think you can make money selling your things? Wrong. I had two apartment sales and a few yard sales. I advertised everywhere. Guess what? People don’t want to pay for anything. You have to grit your teeth when people offer you $10 for something that you recently paid $100 for. I sold some things but ….
I had to give many things away – nice things! And I made a huge donation to charity. When all was said and done, and moving day arrived, I didn't realize I still had too much stuff.
I loved my overstuffed pink floral sofa, and it would have looked beautiful here. People even wanted to purchase it. But the day I moved in, the movers could not get it through the tiny opening to my doorway. There was no frickin’ way! So I had to leave it outside. I tried to call some people but had no luck. That night it rained. <Deep sigh.>
I have a main room, a decent kitchen, and a tiny bathroom. I had the movers stage the boxes in my kitchen. I didn’t notice they stacked them 4 or 5 boxes high. Once they were gone, I came in to unpack. I realized I couldn’t get into the kitchen. There was no way to move around. I needed help! I called Jay, who came right over. He helped me unpack and get to the point where I could function. I will never be able to thank him enough.
I brought my 2 kitties with me. It was very cold and the heat wasn’t working. The whole ordeal seriously rattled them. They are indoor cats and had never lived anywhere but the condo. So they crawled under the covers of my bed and didn’t come out for 3 days. I was so worried. I then moved the litter box and food right next to my bed and noticed in the morning that they had ventured out. And the heat came on! It then became an adventure for them. And in a few days I got cable, internet and music, so it wasn't as quiet as before.
After unpacking, I realized it was purge time again. <Another sigh.> I had boxes of clothes in every corner. I had one small “walk-in” closet. A good friend came over and installed a tension rod in the back and a shelf above. I then donated more clothes until things fit into my closet and drawers.
But here I am today, happily ensconced in my nest, with 2 happy kitties and everything I really need. And I have a business I LUV.
So I now enjoy every morning when the sun streams through my window and wakes me up. There are still many challenges ahead, but I am aiming straight at them. And I need to remember to keep my closet organized!
I came across this great blog article about sorting your clutter. Sandy asks"When you sort through all your things how do you know what to keep and what to get rid of?" After deciding what your goals are and what your "vision" is, you can begin. She even includes sorting signs that you can print out and use:
See the entire article at http://www.organizewithsandy.com/2012/03/28/sort/
This is an excellent article I wanted to share. The information provided is spot on. It was written by Alicia Hanford. https://www.qcdesignschool.com/blog/2016/02/top-7-myths-about-professional-organizing/
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Professional organizing is a branch of the design industry that’s relatively new, and as with any new career, many people get confused about what a professional organizer actually does.
Are you contemplating becoming a professional organizer? Are you an interior decorator or home stager looking to branch out? If you’re trying to sort out what’s true and what’s not about professional organizing, well, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top 7 myths about professional organizing – busted!
1. Professional organizers make their clients throw away their stuff. This is the number-one biggest myth about professional organizers, but it’s just that – a myth! Many people are hesitant to hire a professional organizer because they assume that getting organized will mean throwing away their things. This just isn’t true. While getting organized means cutting down on clutter, a good professional organizer will never try to force a client to throw away something they want to keep. Instead, part of an organizer’s job is to help their clients make smart decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. As a professional organizer, your job will not consist of cajoling sentimental clients into letting go of their stuff!
2. Professional organizers only work with hoarders and slobs. Nope. While an organizer will probably encounter some more serious cases of chaos in their career, most of their clients will just be people who want to make better use of the space they have and develop a better system to keep their house under control. Even a house that’s “tidy” can benefit from a professional organizer’s attention. A major part of an organizer’s job is to help their clients sort out what they do and don’t need, helping them take control over their spaces by getting rid of unnecessary items. Plus, just because a room or home looks tidy doesn’t mean the owner can find anything.
3. You have to be naturally organized to be a professional organizer. Well, this one is kind of true. But only kind of. Yes, you need to like organizing and being organized, but you don’t have to be born with some kind of organizational gift to become a professional organizer. Like anything else, organization can be learned – and on the flip side, being personally organized doesn’t make you a good professional organizer on its own. Most of your career will involve working with clients to figure out a system that works for them and their lifestyle. Just like anyone else, professional organizers are only human. Their homes aren’t spotless; they have friends, families, careers, and hobbies that take up time, space, and energy, so naturally they’ll fall behind once in a while. The difference is that professional organizers are invested in creating systems to organize their spaces, lives, and minds – systems that they, and their clients, can actually stick with.
4. Professional organizers just help clients put stuff in plastic bins and organizing units. Not at all. Sometimes professional organizers will encourage their clients to get more storage units, but that comes late in the organizing process, and it’s definitely not the main focus. Clutter stored in a fancy storage unit is still clutter! Instead, organizers help their clients make thoughtful, well-informed decisions about which possessions they should let go of. Less stuff around the house means less stuff to store, so expensive new bins and units don’t have to be part of the process! Organizers also work with their clients to figure out new ways to use the things they already have, so a lot of “new” storage space comes from spaces and objects that are already in a client’s home.
5. Clients should be out of the house while a professional organizer is working. Definitely not! A professional organizer’s job is to work with their client, not for them. When it comes to paring down possessions, all an organizer can do is make suggestions and help their clients figure out what is and isn’t important to keep. The final say goes to the client, since it’s their space and their stuff, so they need to be there! Developing a system also takes a lot of face-to-face work. Every client’s needs, habits, personality, and priorities are different, so the system you help them put into place should reflect that. A long-term organizing solution takes a lot of one-on-one work with your client. Many professional organizers have to explain all this to new clients who want the organizer to come “do their thing” while the client is out for the day or away for the weekend.
6. Once a professional organizer has organized a client’s home, the job is done for good. Wrong again. This goes back to the common misconception that a professional organizer’s job is to “tidy” or “neaten” a place up by helping their clients find better ways to store stuff. That’s part of your job, of course – but there’s definitely more to it. Tidying is only a temporary solution. Think about it: the disorganization in your client’s house took months or even years to come about. If all professional organizers did was tidy, that clutter would start creeping back the moment they left. Organizing is a process. It’s a process that has to be adapted to every unique client, and even then it still needs fine-tuning when things in your client’s life change. Helping your client create a system is what makes your organizing powers stick. A client may decide to handle the new organizational challenges of moving to a new house, getting married, having a baby, or switching careers with or without your professional assistance – either way, staying organized takes effort on their end, too!
7. It’s tough to make a living as a professional organizer. Not if you’re smart about your business! Like any career, becoming a professional organizer will only be successful if you put the time and effort into developing your skills and your business. Because this is still a relatively new field with a lot of misconceptions floating around, part of your work will involve helping clients and potential clients understand what it is you actually do, and how you can help them!
You have no doubt heard the term “downsizing,” but what does that mean? Simply put, it means economizing or downscaling. It can happen at your home, by moving to a smaller home, or while transitioning to a different living situation. It is a modification of your lifestyle due to a significant event or turning point, a passage from one life phase to another. Late life is a time of multiple transitions: retirement, loss of spouse, financial concerns, and health conditions. It can evoke emotional feelings of upheaval and disequilibrium. But it can also be a much-needed fresh start!
Reasons Why People Downsize
When moving or downsizing, the amount of belongings to go through can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have lived in a home for decades. You may think “Oh my goodness, where did all this stuff come from?” Getting rid of “stuff” can be liberating. There is no way to get organized or have a successful move without first decluttering.
Parting with Belongings
At various stages of life, our home and possessions may no longer suit our lifestyle. People move, remodel, and redecorate. This is not unusual for executives who move regularly, young adults with growing families, retiring homeowners, and elderly individuals with changes in mental, physical, and financial status.
To some, especially the elderly, parting with belongings means parting with memories. It is important to remember that memories are in your head and your heart. Plus, you can create new, wonderful memories. Older people want to hold onto things to keep in touch with the past. They need to be cognizant that you can’t hold onto all of your things; you want to live more in the present. People think stuff is so important but often feel so liberated when they have downsized.
Be sure to appraise valuables. You may need someone experienced in selling valuables to assist you. Be prepared for things to be worth far less than you expected.
You can sell items to thrift stores or through Craigslist, MoveLoot.com, EBay, and other online companies. You can have a garage sale. But you must keep in mind that no matter how important things are to you, and no matter how much you paid for them, they will generally bring in less money than you expect. You need to be realistic, grit your teeth, and let it go. A Professional Organizer can help you set up, sell, and tear down a garage sale.
There are many resources for donating items and getting a tax write-off. Generally donations must be in good condition and in working order. See below for a list of resources in the Los Angeles area.
In the best of circumstances, plans have been made in advance. For seniors, there are many housing choices – independent living, assisted living, active adult communities, living at home with assistance and modifications. The following are some specialists that may prove helpful:
We have all moved at one time or another, and most of us several times. Let’s face it – it’s an arduous undertaking for most of us. It can be very overwhelming, for a myriad of reasons – emotional, physical, and psychological. See my steps to make an organized move. This is when a Professional Organizer can come into play. She/he can make arrangements and assist with everything from A-Z.
Hiring a Professional Organizer
Hiring a Professional Organizer who understands what you are going through and is sensitive to your feelings is a definite plus. Downsizing and moving can be a very emotionally draining experience. Be sure you are comfortable working with your organizer. See my blog post about hiring a Professional Organizer.
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Tips & Hints
See www.iluvorganizing.com/tips for the following articles:
“Working with Baby Boomers and the Elderly”
“How to Have a Profitable Garage Sale”
“How to Donate Unwanted Items in Los Angeles”
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In closing, if you decide to downsize or move, make the decision and DO IT. Downsizing is an opportunity to create a new life in a new space. Seriously, it can be a positive experience! It can be empowering!
Organizing can cause extreme happiness!
That's why I Luv Organizing.
Don't try this alone!