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!