Be Organized for Life’s Transitions (Part II)

There are so many of life’s transitions that we will go through at one point in our lives or another. Some good, some not so good. But, I think what we can all agree upon is that change is going to happen and when it does, its going to be challenging, Even though change is one of the constant things that we can count in in this life, most of us are a bit resistant, especially in the beginning, to roll with it. 

call ocd I have found that one way to deal with the stress and anxiety of change is to prepare and be ready, as much as possible, whenever possible. Being organized is key when dealing with transition/change!  

 I’m going to address the most common transitions that most people will encounter in their lives where being organizing will be extremely beneficial.

September’s newsletter addressed the issues surrounding moving. This one will address the other top common transitions:


Getting Married: There are so many things to do if you’re getting married and planning a wedding. Being organized will make the difference between having fun or being stressed out while planning what should be the best (or at least one of the best) days in your life.

For starters, keeping a list and/or calendar as to when certain things need to be done will be a godsend. There are many, many things to do and there are thousands of books that can guide you through planning a wedding. Check out for a free comprehensive checklist. In the meantime, here are a few things to consider…

Know when to:

  • Reserve a location
  • Send out invitations or save the date cards
  • Start shopping for your dress/suit
  • Wardrobe for your wedding party
  • Reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel for out-of-town guests
  • Interview service vendors
  • florists, dj, band, photographer, videographer, caterer
  • Hire someone to officiate

Getting Divorced: While not so much fun, being organized before the s**t hits the fan would be in your best interest.   Having your paperwork accessible will be critical. Being able to complete paperwork for the court or your attorneys on your own will save you a lot of time and money.

Make sure you have access to your:

  • Financial records:
  • tax returns, investments, bank account info
  • Estate planning documents:
  • will, trust, power of attorney and health care directives
  • Insurance information:
  • life insurance, long term care, health, homeowners, auto
  • Pre-nup/Post-Nup Agreement (if you have one)
  • Property documents:
  • Mortgage, Home Equity Line of Credit if there is one, Deed/Title

 Having Children: What a blessing! But, if you’re not prepared/organized it can be quite difficult and stressful.  From the time they’re born til the time they move out (and sometimes beyond that) there’s always something going on.  Crazy schedules are the norm and making sure that nothing is forgotten is enough to overwhelm anyone.

One way to keep it together and keep up is to use an on-line calendar or app that your family has access to so that everyone can always be in the know. Check out this link for the top 10 calendaring apps for families: › family › best-calendar-apps-for-families

The following is a list of a few things for you to consider adding to your calendar to make sure you stay on track:

  • Appointments:
  • school activities, social activities, doctor appointments
  • Keep a “To Do” list of important things to do:
  • Prioritize your “To Do’s”
  • Do something every day to stay on top of your chores/errands:
  • One day do a load of laundry, one day food shopping, one day pay the bills, pick up the dry cleaning, etc.

Dealing with Death: Losing a loved one is difficult enough. There’s going to be a lot to do and the more information you have at your fingertips, the easier it will be. Have these difficult conversations before it’s too late. 

Ask your parents, spouse, in-laws, where they keep:

  • Important documents
  • Passwords
  • Keys:
  • house, car, safety deposit box
  • Money:
  • which bank(s)
  • Contact info for their:
  • Lawyers, CPA’s, close friends and family)

While you’re at it, do yourself a favor and get your paperwork together and let your loved ones know where they are!

 I repeat, organization is key.   Being organized will make everything so much easier to deal with.  

If you don’t have the time or inclination but know that you need some assistance, give us a call. We’d love to help.  

Be Organized For Life’s Transitions

There are so many of life’s transitions that we will go through at one point in our lives or another. Some good, some not so good. But, I think that what we can all agree upon is that change is going to happen and when it does, it’s going to be challenging. Even though change is one of the constant things that we can count in in this life, most of us are a bit resistant, especially in the beginning, to roll with it. 

I have found that one way to deal with the stress and anxiety of change is to prepare and be ready, as much as possible, whenever possible. Being organized is key when dealing with change!  

 I’m going to address the most common of life’s transitions that most people will encounter in their lives where being organizing will be extremely beneficial.

There’s a lot of information so I’m splitting them into 2 newsletters. This one is all about moving. I will provide more information in the October newsletter.

MOVING:  Ugh…where to begin? Whether you want to move or have to move, it’s stressful. There’s so much to do and it’s all so overwhelming. Hopefully this information will help reduce some of the stress and overwhelm associated with moving.

1.      Have a time-line: Getting this information/dates on the calendar will help ensure that you’re on track:

a. When to give 30 days notice

b. Get estimates from moving companies

·     We recommend getting 2 estimates

c. Notify everyone of your new address:

·     Postal Service

·     Financial institutions

·     Family & friends

·     Medical Professionals

·     Lawyer(s)

·     Insurance Agent(s)

·     Utility Companies

·     Credit Card Companies

·     DMV (You’ll need to change your driver’s license)

·     Home Maintenance Services (Pool, Gardener)

2.     Start downsizing: It’s never too early to start downsizing.

a. Even if you’re moving into larger space, its best to go through your home to get rid of those items you no longer want or need. Why pay to have them packed and moved and spend time putting those things away if you have no use for them?

3.     Start a “To Do” list for your upcoming move.

a. Whether buying or leasing you will need to spend time looking for a new home. To avoid wasting time looking at places you would not be interested in, put together a list to save yourself time, including:

·     The areas you are considering

·     The price-point you are comfortable with

·     Things that you have to have in your new home (ie, fireplace, pool)

·     Things you definitely don’t want (to be on a main street)

·     Whether being in a good school district is important

·     If being close to public transportation is beneficial

 4.      If you will be the one packing, make sure you have the right supplies on hand:

·     The right amount and right size boxes

·     Packing paper

·     Bubble wrap

·     Tape

·     Sharpies

·     Fragile stickers

·     Painters tape

 5.      Things to do at your new home before you move in:

·     Find out if there are any restrictions on moving day:

·     Check to make sure the date/time is cleared for move in

·     Make sure there are no parking restrictions

·     Clean before you move in:

·     You don’t want to unpack if the shelves, floors, bathrooms aren’t clean

·     Make sure the utilities are turned on:

·     TV/Internet/Cable

·     Gas/Electric

·     Water/Power

·     Measure to make sure your furnishings will fit:

·     You don’t want to pay to have a large piece of furniture moved only to find out it won’t fit in your new space.

If you or someone you know is moving, give us a call. We would LOVE to be of service!

Important Things To Do Before You Put Your House On The Market

Before you put your house on the market, there are things that you should do before your first open house. Implement these easy, do-it-yourself suggestions to get the most money for your home in the shortest amount of time:


1.    Go through your entire house and reduce the visible clutter in each room:

 Potential buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home. As such, it is important to keep things clean, organized, accessible and impersonal.

·       Get organized

·       Declutter all surfaces

·       Remove personal pictures

·       Remove excess furnishings and décor

 Remember…less is more!


2.    Declutter your closets and cabinets:

 During an open house, potential homebuyers will be looking in your closets, kitchen drawers and cabinets to see if there is enough storage for their needs. 

·       You can showcase what your house has to offer in terms of storage by decluttering your closets, cabinets, and drawers, to show off the potential those spaces have to offer.


3.    Think about small, but important, details:

 Show the potential every room in your house has to offer:

·       Add some plants or flowers

·       Make a room look larger by adding a mirror

·       Make sure to have the right lighting

·     Make sure that you turn on all of the lights, open the blinds and shades before your open house.


4.    Gather your documents:

·       Put all warranties, manuals, service records, and repairs done to your house in one place as they will be needed by different parties at different times while selling your house.

·     If you’ve made recent upgrades like a new deck, new roof or installed a new kitchen, make sure your agent knows and have the paperwork to back it up.

·      During the home inspection process, inspectors will go through your house to check everything carefully. 

·     Be proactive and gather all your service records so you’ll know ahead of time if something needs to be taken care of before listing your home.

. Title companies require very specific documentation in order for you to sell your home including the following:

  •  Mortgage loan information which will show any outstanding mortgage balance or pay-off balance if applicable
  •  Final purchase and sale agreement
  •  Deed
  •  Title report
  •   Property tax information including most recent tax statement
  •   Homeowners insurance
  •   Lease agreement if you’re currently renting the property
  •   Any reports or documentation that relates to the property:
  •   Warranty paperwork, permits, service documentation, instruction manuals, dates of home improvement projects, and age of the roof, furnace, hot water heater, HVAC, and all the other major appliances.

Top 10 Times to Hire a Professional Organizer

“Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.”    ~ Christina Scalise ~

If you are going through a major life transition that’s left your home in disarray, have a big move in your future or are simply overwhelmed by clutter, a Professional Organizer could provide the help you need.

Here are the 10 top reasons/times why people should consider hiring a Professional Organizer:

1.You Want to Get Organized But Don’t Have The Time:
· Decluttering and organizing, whether a single room or an entire house, are time-consuming.
· If and when you are able to devote time to your organizing project, it’s always better, quicker and more fun with help. It also helps to get another perspective.
· If “getting organized” has been on your to-do list for weeks, months or even years, consider whether it’s time to finally make it happen.
· A Professional Organizer can guide you through the process, handle the removal of unwanted items and put systems into place so that you can make the most of your space.

2.You’re Moving:
. Hiring a Professional Organizer to help before, during or after a move can be a lifesaver. Leading up to a move, an organizer can help declutter and organize your home and stage your home for sale which can, in turn, help you get more money for your home. A survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. found that staged homes spent half the time on the market than non-staged homes and sold for more than 6% above asking price.
· Scaling back before moving also means less weight and less space in the moving truck, which results in a less costly move, something that can have a significant financial impact, especially if you’re moving long-distance.
· Finally, an organizer can help you unpack your belongings in your new home and set up systems so you’re organized from the get-go.
· We make sure that your new home is organized so that things are accessible, functional and look great too.

3.You’re Remodeling:
· Make the most of your new space by hiring a Professional Organizer to optimize every shelf, cupboard and drawer so that your new space functions as beautifully as it looks.
· As much as we’d like to believe that our gorgeous new kitchen will never have piles of clutter on the counters, the truth is that without a plan, we’ll just fall back on our old habits.
· An organizer can make sure your space is set up in a way that encourages order, so it’s easier to keep things organized, even months or years down the road.

4.You Work or Run a Business From Home:
· Whether you telecommute one day each week or run a business from home full time, staying organized can help you stay at the top of your game.
· Office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday. Not because they aren’t smart, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands, Wall Street Journal Report.
· A Professional Organizer can help you rein in a messy home office, organize files and paperwork and set up your space to best support your business.

5.You’re in a Major Life Transition:
· When big life changes are happening — health challenges, the death of a loved one, divorce, the arrival of a new baby, aging parents — the last thing you may want to focus on is organizing. Yet when you have other things going on that leave you without the physical or emotional energy to keep your home life running smoothly, that only adds to the stress and chaos.
· A Professional Organizer can help bring a sense of order to your home when you need it most. Here are just a few ways we can help in a trying time:
o Organize baby gear for new parents
o Help aging parents who need to downsize
o Help you sort and organize a deceased loved one’s belongings
o Get a fresh start and reclaim your space after a divorce

6.Your Papers Are a Complete Disaster:
· Are piles of unsorted papers the bane of your existence? Instead of putting off organizing them yet again, consider hiring a Professional Organizer to help you sort through them.
. Paperwork has been voted the biggest burden for small businesses.
· A Professional Organizer can help you figure out what needs to be kept and which documents can be safely discarded. We can then set up a filing system uniquely tailored to your needs and help you discern which paper management system works for you.

7.One Area Is Driving You Nuts:
· There might one area in your home that just feels disorganized. It could be the garage, attic or basement — or even a storage unit you’ve been renting for so long that you hardly remember what’s in it.
· Professional Organizers are not fazed by overstuffed spaces! We can help you tackle even the most daunting storage area and transform it into a functional space.

8.You Want to Make Everyday Tasks Easier:
· Proper organization can go a long way toward making everyday tasks and routines run more smoothly.
· If you want to eat more healthfully or cook more meals at home, a Professional Organizer can whip your fridge and pantry into shape, making it easier to find ingredients and prepare meals.
· We can also help create a neat laundry room, streamline cleaning supplies and set up routines and systems to make your household run more efficiently. You can then spend your time doing more of what you want to be doing and less time managing your stuff.

9.You Need Accountability:
· If you really want to get organized but you’re just not getting it done on your own, accountability could be the missing piece.
· The great thing about hiring a Professional Organizer is that this person can also act as an accountability partner. Simply knowing that someone will be checking up on your progress can be enough to spur you into action between visits.

10.You’re Totally Overwhelmed:
· If clutter is taking over your home and you just can’t take it anymore, a Professional Organizer can immediately begin to ease your burden.
· You don’t need to feel embarrassed by the state of your home. Most Professional Organizers really have seen it all. Further, as a Member of NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers, we abide by a code of conduct and ethics. We do not pass judgment. We’re there to help you.

Relocations-The Many Ways We Can Help

As most of you know by now, helping people relocate is one of the many services that we offer.
We help with:
1. Downsizing: Getting rid of anything that you don’t want whether by donating, selling (if it has value) or tossing.
2. De-cluttering: We take all of the excess decor and personal items off the counters, shelves and other common areas and either put them away or pack them. Of course if you no longer want something we will donate it, sell it (if it has value) or toss it.
3. Staging: Getting the house ready for sale or, as we like to say… light staging: We don’t bring in or rent furniture or accessories. Rather, we use what you have and make it look good so that your property is ready for the realtor to take photos.
4. Packing: I guess this speaks for itself. We basically pack up whatever you are taking with you or want to ship to someone else.
5. Estimates: We will schedule 3 estimates from moving companies so that you can compare rates & services.
6. Donations: We will help you figure out what to donate and will either take those items for you and obtain a donation receipt for you or, schedule a donations pick-up
7. Trash Removal: We will schedule and oversee trash removal to make sure that the property is completely clear when you move out. Every closet, cupboard, drawer etc will be completely empty.
8. Moving Day: We will be there on the day of your move to make sure everything goes smoothly.
9. Unpacking: Hands down our favorite task. We get to put your new home together in an organized, accessible and functional manner. It will look great too!

You can choose to utilize all or any one of the services mentioned above to make your move less stressful and overwhelming.

Staging Your Home Can Increase It’s Value

LISTEN UP.  This is important! 

It’s moving season and many people are getting ready to list their homes for sale.   

If you’re selling your home, it’s important to get it ready for your realtor to show it to prospective buyers. The better your house shows, the more you’ll get for it.  The goal is for people walking through your house:

  •   To be excited about the potential of living there
  •   To imagine themselves living in your home 
  •   To want to make an offer

Here are a few helpful hints to stage your home to increase it’s value:

     1.   Remove the clutter from all surfaces.  Clutter is the stuff you don’t need every day to function.

     2.   Put away all personal photos on surfaces and on walls.

     3.   Remove any excess furniture (think eating trays for example).

     4.   Clean up as if you were expecting company.

     5.   Beautify a bit: make the beds and put on some pretty throw pillows if you have any, put fresh flowers on the table…

     6.  Make sure that the house smells good.  If necessary, drop some lemon down the garbage disposal.

     7.  Easy fixes:  Patch holes in the wall, touch up where paint is needed, clean the carpet.

     8.  Open the blinds and curtains.  Let in some natural light.

     9.  First impressions are really important so make sure the entry to your house looks nice and inviting.  

     10.  Give the outside some love too.  Plant some flowers outside, mow the lawn, sweep the stoop.

These are just a few easy, do-it-yourself, things that you can do to get your house ready to show.

If you need some help, please give us a call.   We’re ready when you are!

Good luck!