Thinking About Remodeling? Here Are Things To Think About Before You Start

I’ve been remodeling my home for years. If I had the funds to do everything at once, I would have. But, I didn’t. So I’ve been doing a little at a time over the course of several years and trust me when I tell you that being prepared is essential.

Planning, and organizing, for a remodel will significantly streamline the process and help ensure a successful outcome. 

Here are some tips to help you get ready for your upcoming remodel:

1.Define Your Goals:

  • Determine what you want to achieve with the remodel.
  • Are you looking to increase space, improve functionality, update the style or all of the above?

 2. Set a Budget:

  • Establish a realistic budget for your remodel.
  • Consider all expenses, including materials, labor, permits and unexpected costs.

 

 3. Research Ideas:

  • Look for inspiration online, in magazines, and through home improvement shows.
  • Collect images and ideas that resonate with your vision for the remodel.

 4. Find a Contractor/Architect/Designer:

  • Research and interview several contractors to find the right fit for your project.
  • Look for licensed, insured professionals with experience in the type of remodel you’re planning.
  • Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or local home improvement stores.
  • Consider hiring a professional architect or designer to help you create a plan that meets your needs and budget

 5. Create a Timeline:

  • Work with your contractor to create a realistic timeline for the project.
  • Consider factors such as lead times for materials, permit approvals and the availability of subcontractors.
  • Order materials well in advance to avoid delays.

 6. Obtain Permits:

  • Determine which permits are required for your remodel and obtain them before work begins.
  • Your contractor can help you navigate the permitting process.

 7. Select Materials and Products:

  • Choose materials, fixtures and products for your remodel.
  • Consider factors such as durability, style and budget.

 8. Prepare Your Home:

  • Clear out the areas that will be remodeled.
  • Create a plan for packing, storing and protecting belongings during the project.

 9. Communicate with Your Contractor:

  • Maintain open and clear communication with your contractor throughout the project.
  • Address any concerns or changes promptly.

10. Monitor Progress:

  • Regularly inspect the work as it progresses to ensure that it meets your expectations.
  • Address any issues or concerns as they arise.

11.  Be Flexible:

  • Be prepared for unexpected challenges or changes during the process.
  • Stay flexible and work with your contractor to find solutions that meet your needs.

 12. Prepare for Completion:

  • As the project nears completion, make final inspections and create a list of any remaining tasks or issues to address.
  • Ensure that all work is completed to your satisfaction before making final payments to the contractor.

By following these steps, and staying organized throughout the process, you can help ensure a smooth and successful remodel.

Once the remodel is complete, take the time to enjoy and appreciate your newly transformed space!

If you or anyone you know needs help with Organizing, Downsizing, Relocations, Estate Sales or Clearing a Property, let them know that we’d love to be of service!

January is “Get Organized” Month. (Yes Really!)

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all got off to a good start in 2024.

I have been a member of The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) since starting Organizing Concepts and Designs, aka OCD, in 2010. For those of you who are not familiar with NAPO, NAPO is The Organizing Authority®!

In January 2003, NAPO established GO Month (Get Organized) to focus national attention on how getting organized empowers people to take back control over their time, in-boxes, paperwork and possessions. It makes sense as getting organized is one of the top 10 New Years Resolutions that people make year after year.

However, New Years Resolutions aside, what better time to get organized for the year than NOW anyway. I’d like to pass along a quote which will hopefully encourage and motivate you to start: “Done is better than perfect”.  As long as you do something, anything, to get some area in your life organized, it’s better than doing nothing.

Here’s some tips to get started:

  • Choose a room, any room.
  • Select a small area within that room (a closet, a cabinet, a drawer).
  • Give yourself a half hour, without interruption, to go thru that area.
  • Take everything out. That’s right everything!
  • Start purging. Throw away the broken, ripped, damaged items.
  • Put those items that are in good condition but that you don’t use or need into a box or a bag and set them aside to donate. There are so many great charities that can make good use of the things that you no longer need or want.
  • Finally, start to put everything back by categorizing. For example, if you chose to organize your clothes, separate the suits from the active wear.

Voila! That’s it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be easily accessible and functional for you.

Rinse and repeat. Follow these steps and do this in any and all areas that need some organizing. Select one area every day or once a week and before you know it, your home or office will be, at the very least…better organized.

We are all busier than ever before and being organized can help reduce stress which leads to better health and an overall feeling of well-being.

So, jumpstart 2024 feeling powerful, productive and organized!

If you or anyone you know needs help with Organizing, Downsizing, Relocations, Estate Sales or Clearing a Property, let them know that we’d love to be of service!

Wanna Play A Game To Determine How Organized You Are?

How Organized Is Your Office?

Take this quiz and find out. This quiz will help you decide where you might need help and where you are already successful. For each statement, answer:

A=Always           B= Sometimes     C=Never

 

1.    I can find what I’m looking for. ___ 

2.    I open and deal with the mail daily. ___ 

3.    My bills get paid on time. ___

4.    I enjoy working in my office and I can work at my desk because it is clean and orderly. ___

5.    I use a calendar or reminder system. ___ 

6.    I get overwhelmed and distracted when I try to organize. ___

7.    It is easy for me to decide where things should be in my office. __

8.    It is easy for me to throw things away when I don’t need them any longer. ___

Scoring:

Mostly A’s: You are organized and efficient. (That said, I’ve never seen a space that I couldn’t make more efficient. Why not get a free telephone consultation just to make sure all is well.)

Mostly B’s: You are organized in some areas and could use some help in others. (You would benefit from some advice. The telephone consultation is free so what are you waiting for?)

Mostly C’s: You need help in most of the areas of your office. (You need us! Seriously! Call me now for your free telephone consultation.)

 

How Organized is Your Home?

Take this quiz to assess your need to get organized at home.

 

How do you feel when family and friends come to visit you?

·     Pretty good. I’m happy to have guests in any part of my home.

·     In order for them to sit down, I sometimes have to clear a chair of clutter.

·     I visit other people at their homes rather than let them see my mess.

Where would you find stamps if i asked you find them?

·     In my bill paying center, where I keep the checkbook, bills, envelopes, etc.

·     I know I bought some a few weeks ago…now where did I put them?

·     I have to run to the post office or gas station each time I need a stamp.

How do you feel about the amount of “stuff” you own?

·     I feel content. I get rid of anything that merely takes up time, space, money or energy without giving any benefit to me or my family.

·     I know I have clutter I don’t need or want and it sometimes makes me feel disorganized.

·     I have so much “stuff” that I can’t find what I need when I need it. Help!

 How long does it take you to find your keys?

·     I know right where they are . They go in the same place every day.

·     I throw them down as I come in the door and they get lost in a mound of clutter.

·     One day I spent an hour looking for my keys.

How do you handle paying bills?

·     I have a set spot for bills and I pay them twice a month.

·     I usually make a few trips around the house to locate stamps, bills, checkbook, etc.

·     I usually pay them when I receive the second or third “past due” notice.

Have you spent some time on yourself today?

·     Yes. I got up early, did some yoga, enjoyed a cup of tea or read the paper.

·     Not yet. But, maybe I’ll catch five minutes this evening to watch some television.

·     You must be joking! After I attend to everyone else in my family, I’m going to bed.

How many outfits in your closet do you wear regularly?

·     I wear most of what’s in my closet. If I haven’t worn it in a year, I give it away.

·     I have a lot of clothes that don’t fit, or are out of style. The closet is packed full!

·     I never use the closet. My clothes are in piles around the bedroom.

How do you feel at the end of the day?

·     Satisfied. I accomplished many things in an efficient manner.

·     I wasn’t as productive as I wanted. I hope I can catch up tomorrow.

·     What a waste of a day! Will I ever feel in control of my life again?

 

Ok…no cheating! Be honest with yourself. Start the New Year off the right way.

If you find you need some help getting “better” organized, call us.

 

If you or anyone you know needs help with Organizing, Downsizing, Relocations, Estate Sales or Clearing a Property, let them know that we’d love to be of service!

Hosting For The Holidays? Here’s Some Tips To Get Ready

Hosting For The Holidays? Here’s Some Tips To Get Ready

Hosting for the holidays can be both fun and challenging. If you’re hosting a holiday dinner, there’s a lot to do. Being organized will help you alleviate some of the stress associated with being the “Hostess with the Mostest”.

Here are some tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable holiday gathering:

 

 

 

Plan Ahead:

  • Start planning well in advance to avoid last-minute stress.
  • Create a checklist of tasks.
  • Make sure to create a timeline to get it all done.

Delegate Tasks:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.
  • Delegate specific tasks to willing friends or family members.
  • Potluck-style gatherings can also ease the burden on the host by sharing the workload.
  • At the very least, ask your guests to contribute by bringing a side dish or dessert.

Create a Guest List:

  • Determine the number of guests you can comfortably accommodate.
  • Send out invitations early and request RSVPs so that you can plan accordingly.

 Plan The Menu:

  • Make a list of anything you need from the store(s).
  • Plan a well-balanced and diverse menu to accommodate different preferences.
  • Check with guests so that you can accommodate any dietary restrictions or allergies.
  • Label dishes with common allergens to help guests make informed choices.
  • Consider preparing some dishes in advance to reduce stress on the-day-of.
  • Have a variety of drinks available, including non-alcoholic options.

 Create A Festive Atmosphere:

  • Decorate with seasonal touches to create a warm and inviting ambiance.
  • Consider background music or holiday playlists to enhance the mood.

 Space and Seating:

  • Arrange seating to encourage conversation and mingling.
  • Make sure there is sufficient seating options.
  • Ensure there’s enough space for guests to move around comfortably and safely.

Entertainment:

  • Plan some activities or games to keep guests entertained and involved.
  • For Thanksgiving go around the table/room and ask your guests what they’re thankful for.
  • For Hanukkah or Christmas host a gift giving exchange (ie, Secret Santa).

 Safety Precautions:

  • If guests will be drinking, make sure they arrange for alternative transportation or accommodations.
  • Be mindful of any potential hazards, especially if there are children or elderly guests.

 Comfort:

  • Ensure your home is comfortably heated or cooled.
  • Ask your guests if there is anything they need.
  • Focus on creating a welcoming and enjoyable experience. 

 Technology Considerations:

  • Make sure your Wi-Fi password is available to guests.
  • Have an accessible charging station for phones and devices.

Clean-up:

  • Consider enlisting or hiring help. It will be well worth it so that you can enjoy the evening and your guests. 

 The holidays are about spending time with loved ones. So, relax, enjoy and spend quality time with your loved ones during the holiday season!

 If you or anyone you know needs help with Organizing, Downsizing, Relocations, Estate Sales or Clearing a Property, let them know that we’d love to be of service!

Top 15 Tips to Get Ready for Upcoming Travel

 

 

 

I just got back from an amazing trip over seas and thought I’d write about how being prepared and organized helped alleviate the stress associated with getting out-of-town.

I’ve written about organizing and getting prepared for travel before and those blogs are on my website. However, this time I’d like to address the things to do before you leave to alleviate some of the stress associated with getting away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following 15 tips create a great checklist to prepare for an upcoming trip:

  1. Make sure you have your REAL California ID if traveling nationally. If you want to board domestic flights beginning May 7, 2025 you must have a REAL ID or another acceptable form of identification.
  2. Make sure your passport is up to date. More importantly, if your passport is going to expire within 6 months of your travel dates, you do need to get it updated. This can take some time so don’t wait!
  3. A few days before you leave, call your credit card company to let them know you’re traveling so that they allow your transactions to go through without a problem.
  4. Call your mobile company to find out what options are available to save on long distance calls, texting, etc.
  5. Make sure your neighbors know that you’re going to be away so they can alert you or the authorities if necessary. Perhaps you can ask them to keep an eye on things for you.
  6. Notify your alarm company and consider having more security while you’re gone.
  7. Put timers around the house so the lights will go on and off at different times in different rooms to give the looked of a “lived in” house.
  8. Have the Post Office put your mail on hold until you return.
  9. Activate your RING camera so that you can answer the door and keep an eye on who is coming and going.
  10. If you’re going for a long period of time, consider having someone you trust stay in the house to water the plants, feed your pets, bring in the mail, etc.
  11. Take photos of your drivers’ license and passport and keep them on your phone.  I also suggest taking photos and leaving color copies of both with a friend or family member not traveling with you.
  12. Give a friend or family number your itinerary so someone knows where you’re going and when. Make sure to let them know of any changes in your itinerary.
  13. If you’re driving, make sure your car has been serviced. Check all fluids and brakes so that you can feel safe on the road.
  14. If you’re flying, check in with the airlines 24 hours in advance to make sure your flight is on schedule, check in, get your boarding passes to avoid any surprises when you get to the airport.
  15. If you’re checking luggage at the airport, make sure that your luggage is going where you are.  CHECK the ticket that they attach to your luggage and make sure it says the name of the airport that will be your final destination. TRUST ME! If you do nothing else, heed this advice. This can make the difference as to whether you will ever see your luggage again. It happened to me and it’s one mistake I’ll never make again.

Although the goal of a vacation is to have fun and relax, getting ready to go away can be stressful. Being prepared as best you can will go a long way in making sure that things go smoothly.

If you or anyone you know needs help with Organizing, Downsizing, Relocations, Estate Sales or Estate Clearing, please give us a call at #310-560-5060.  We’d love to be of service!

Clutter vs Collection: What’s the Difference

Clutter and a collection are two different concepts that refer to the arrangement and organization, or lack thereof, of items. Here are some key differences between them: Clutter is disorderly and can negatively affect the aesthetics and functionality of a space, while a Collection is purposeful, organized and adds value or significance to a space.

Clutter refers to a disorganized and messy accumulation of various items or objects in a space. It’s often characterized by an excessive amount of things that are not properly organized or have no clear purpose. Clutter can make a space feel chaotic, look untidy and make it difficult to navigate. It might include items that are not used, broken, simply not well-maintained or have no clear purpose. Clutter can also have a negative impact on mental well-being and productivity as it can create a sense of unease, lead to a visual sense of overwhelm and distract from the tasks at hand. It can hinder productivity, increase stress and make it challenging to find things when needed.

Collections, on the other hand, refer to a purposefully curated group of items that are intentionally gathered together and organized based on a common theme, interest or value. Collections are often displayed in a way that showcases the items’ value or significance or beauty. Collections can be based on various themes including art, books, stamps, coins, memorabilia or any other items that hold personal or cultural value to the collector. Collections are organized with care and can bring a sense of joy, pride and satisfaction to the collector. They are often displayed and maintained in an organized manner to highlight the uniqueness and significance of each item within the collection.

Sometimes, however, collections can turn into clutter if or when they get out-of-control.  Remember that one of the significant differences is not the quantity but, rather, how it is kept and organized.   If you have a collection, by all means display it so that you can enjoy it.  But, make sure that your collection has a space that is conducive to the quantity of that collection to avoid the appearance of clutter.

If you don’t have room for your collection and it winds up in boxes or in the garage it is possible that something you once collected is no longer of interest to you.  If you are not displaying your collection, it is no longer providing the intended joy, pride and satisfaction. If that is the case, let it go. Consider selling or donating the collection.

In summary, clutter represents a messy and unorganized accumulation of items that may lack purpose, while a collection is a purposefully curated and organized grouping of items that share a common theme or interest. The key distinction lies in the intention, organization, and value attributed to the objects within the space.