Does Your Closet Need Some Love?

As Professional Organizers, we are in other people’s closets almost every day. And, every day, we try to figure out new and different ways to help people find more room and functionality for their clothes and accessories.

Many people call us because they need help to make their closet functional. Some, if not most, need more space. Others want to redesign their closet to add more features.

Unfortunately, they hire either a handyman or a closet company to design and build the closet without consulting an Organizer and wind up disappointed because there’s so many things they weren’t told about or didn’t know about that could have made their closet more functional and/or accessible.

So, if your closet needs some love, here are some things that every closet should have:

1. Good Hangers – Yes. This makes a difference. The thinner they are the more room you’ll have to hang your clothes. Make sure that you have the different kinds needed (ie., pants hangers are different than shirt hangers)

2. Belt Rack – Everyone has belts. There should be a belt rack in every closet

3. Valet Rod – They come in really handy when you’re getting dressed

4. Adjustable Shelves – Every shelf should be adjustable because everyone’s needs are different

5. Drawers – Every closet should have at least 5 drawers of different depths to accommodate underwear, socks, lingerie and other personal items

6. Hanging area for longer items – Every closet should have a place to hang Dresses, Suits, Robes and other long items

7. Double hanging area for pants – You can make more room by having double hanging areas for shorter items

8. Shelves for Shoes – Make sure these shelves are not slanted as the shoes usually fall off

9. Full-Length Mirror – It’s always a good idea to have a full-length mirror somewhere in the closet so you can see how you look when you’re getting dressed without having to leave the closet

10. A Chair or small bench – If space allows it’s a good addition so you don’t have to go somewhere else to put on your shoes

Seems simple enough but you’d be surprised how many closets don’t have these items built in.

If your closet needs some attention, give us a call, we’d LOVE to be of service!

Imagine

If You Were Organized or Better Organized
As I was selecting a quote for this month’s newsletter, I decided to use the lyrics of John Lennon’s Song “Imagine” (see lyrics below). I thought it was appropriate given the state of the world at the moment. Wouldn’t it be amazing if his words of wisdom were finally realized? I do hope so and I hope that this senseless war will end SOON. In the meantime, my heart and prayers go out to the people of Ukraine.
For the sake of this newsletter, I must digress and bring it back to offering some of my own words of wisdom when it comes to Organizing.
I often talk to my clients about their goals when we first meet to talk about their organizing project. I ask them to “imagine” what it would feel like to be organized and to describe that to me. This helps us determine what to do so that ultimately, our client is happy with the results.
In this article, I ask you to “imagine” how you would feel if:
1. You could quickly and consistently find something (ie, your keys or wallet) when you want it or more importantly, need it.
2. You knew where to put something (ie, your purse, backpack, briefcase) when you get to your home or office so that if was always in that same spot if and when you need it (instead of just throwing it on the floor or nearest surface).
3. You could have more time in your day (we all have the same 24 hours but we don’t all use them effectively) to do the things you enjoy.
4. You could feel more confident inviting people to your home or office without having to stress out about “getting it together” before your company arrives.
5. You could save money by not having to buy the same thing twice (ya know, when you know you have something in the house but just can’t find it. Maybe its something as simple as glue. Then you have to go out in a hurry to buy it, only to find that item a few weeks or months later when it appears in an unlikely place).
6. Finally, since Tax time is upon us, what if you could pull all of the documents together for your taxes, whether you’re doing them or having a professional do them for you, in an hour instead of it being an all day and dreadful event?
These are just a few of the many things that can and will improve if you are “better” organized.
For those of you who think you are already organized, I have news for you…you can always be “better” organized. I have been organizing since I was 2 years old and professionally for 12 years and I still continue to learn about new and different ways to organize things when working with my colleagues on different jobs. Not to mention that there are a countless number of organizing products on the market that you might not know about. Sometimes, just another set of eyes and another way of doing things can help you get “better” organized.
Oh, and one more thing…it’s always easier and more fun to undertake an organizing project with someone else.
And, if I don’t say so myself, we have an amazing team of Professional Organizers who can help you get organized or “better” organized as the case may be. Check out the “About Us” page on our website (www.organizingconceptsanddesigns.com) to learn more.
We’re ready when you are. Give us a call!

Spring Cleaning Inspiration

Spring is here! Longer days, better weather, flowers in bloom. It is definitely my favorite season.

For some reason springtime is also synonymous with Spring Cleaning and that, in turn, leads to organizing. It’s the time of year that inspires us to purge and organize. So, let’s get to it!

While it may not sound like or actually be fun, we all need to do some Spring Cleaning from time to time and, IMO, not only in Spring. I think each new season is a good time to purge and tidy up a little. It’s a chance to get rid of things that are ripped, soiled, broken, missing a piece, no longer fits or no longer feels or looks good. A little purging and tidying up can go a long way toward eliminating clutter and the results are well worth the effort.

When it comes to purging and/or de-cluttering you can do it as you go about your life, which will help keep things organized. OR, you can do it later when the piles are high, things are out-of-control or you can’t find what you want or need. But why wait until that happens? Why not just make organizing a part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Just a few minutes each day. Why not just try doing things differently for one month to see how it works out?

As we’ve all heard… “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result”. Why not stop the insanity and try selecting one area, one small area, that needs to be organized? Take a few minutes (since it’s a small area) and organize it.

I suggest that you do whatever you can, when you can. Organizing isn’t just something that happens once. It’s always work in progress. Take a few minutes every day to stay on top of things. Open the mail, clean the dishes or put them in the dishwasher, do a load of laundry and then take the time to fold it and put it away. Whatever you choose, just do something around the house every day so things don’t build up and get out of control.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We all have choices about how to spend that time. Spending just a few minutes every day to get something done, anything, will help you get organized and stay organized.

“They” say that clutter is caused by delayed decisions and not having a designated place for something. If it’s not dealt with, it will undoubtedly continue to grow over time and get out-of-control, adding more stress and distraction to our already busy lives.

NOTE: Rule of Thumb: If you take something out, put it away when you’re finished. Put it, whatever “it” is, where it belongs.

Here are some hard and fast rules for organizing just about anything:

• Get your supplies – Bags for trash, bins for laundry, boxes for donations, new hangers so that things look cohesive, labels so you can find things easily
• Take everything out of whatever area you are working on
• Sort things into categories – Put like items with like items
• Get rid of the trash
• Make a pile of donations if applicable
• Decide what to put back
• Put things back so that they are accessible
• Label whenever possible

Even if we get close or succeed in achieving our organizing goal, perfect order is never a finish line. It’s a moving target because life isn’t static. That’s why we have to maintain whatever systems we put into place to sustain them. I can assure you that you will be more inclined to maintain the area you organized because you’ve put in the time and effort. Because it will look good, feel good and will undoubtedly make your life easier.

Come on…Just do it! If you need help, we’re ready! It’s what we do. Call us anytime.

Organizing and Advocating For Your Health

The health scares and events of the past couple of years, COVID, Delta, Omicron, really made me to stop to think about how important it is to advocate for your health and how organizing plays a big role in that. This is especially true now, more than ever, as our loved ones are not allowed to escort us into most medical facilities these days due to Covid.

I don’t like to throw around the “should” word but when your health is involved, you really SHOULD be organized. The following is a list of things you “should” have in place prior to undergoing a medical/surgical procedure. Note*: These are not listed in any particular order.

1.Make sure that you have an up-to-date and legally sound Health Care Directive.
• Give a copy of your Health Care Directive to:
• Your primary care physician
• The physician performing the procedure
• The person who has the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you’re not able to.
• Make sure that the person you designate to make decisions for you in case you are not able, knows and agrees to taking on that responsibility.

2.If you don’t already have a Health Care Directive, you can download one from the internet or ask your attorney for one.

3.Make sure that you bring all necessary paperwork with you on the day of the procedure (ie: insurance card, identification, checkbook and/or credit card).

4.Know your medical history and provide this information to your Primary Care Physician and the physician performing the procedure.

5.Make a plan, in advance, to have someone drive you to the appointment and pick you up.
• Most medical facilities will require that you have someone pick you up if you’re undergoing anesthesia of any kind.

6.Ask your physician’s office, before the procedure, to call in your prescriptions to your pharmacy.
• Pick them up before the procedure. The less you have to do after a procedure, the better.

7.Go to the market before the procedure and get whatever you might need for at least a couple of days.
• Again, the less you have to do after a procedure, the better. You may not be able to drive or do much walking afterward and, even if you can, you may not want to.

8.Ask your doctor before the procedure to give you the After Care Instructions.
• It’s best to review them prior to the procedure when you are more able to comprehend them.

9.Don’t be afraid to ask questions both before and after a medical procedure. It is important to be your own advocate!
• Remember to write down any questions and/or concerns so that you don’t forget them when you’re with the doctor.
• Don’t forget to always ask: “ is there something I haven’t asked about that I should have.”

10.Dress comfortably on the day of the procedure!
• Don’t wear restrictive clothing or shoes that need to be tied.
• Leave your jewelry and other items that you don’t want to lose at home.

11.Check the Medical Board to make sure that the physician you choose is in good standing.
• You might also want to check Yelp to see reviews from other patients.

If you need help, give us a call. We’d love to be of service!

Did You Know That Getting Organized Is One Of The Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions?

top ten reasons to get rid of things

Top 10 list

If you’re like most people, you’ve either thought of or actually made a New Year’s Resolution. Believe it or not, organizing is right up there in the top 10 list of resolutions. Yup, it’s true! Getting organized, or better organized as the case may be, is one of the top ten New Year’s Resolutions and has been for a really long time.

The problem is, and I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know, that most people don’t stick with it. Whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, going to the gym or getting organized, which are all great resolutions, it’s difficult to actually stay on track.

So, whatever your New Year’s Resolution is to make this year better than last, here’s some great tips to help you stay on track:

1. Determine what the goal is. If losing weight is the goal, determine how much weight so there is a definitive goal. Know what your end game is.

2. Make a plan. You know the saying “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. Put time on your calendar to get it (whatever “it” is) done. Check your schedule and make time in your day that works best for you. Even if you only have a few minutes, it’s better than nothing and it’s still inching you towards the goal.

3. Break “it” down into actionable steps. If organizing is the goal (sorry, I couldn’t help myself with this example), determine what area(s) you want to organize. Let’s say it’s organizing the garage. Instead of trying to tackle it all in one day, try first looking at the garage and determine what can be thrown away immediately (garbage, empty boxes, broken furniture). Then figure out what you want to donate and put those items together. Now that you’ve got more room in the garage you can move on to the next step. It’s a process and does NOT need to get done in one day. Take the time and get organized little by little. Eventually you’ll get there.

4. Learn to say “NO”. It will free up some time to do the things that are important to you.

5. Delegate. If you don’t want to do something, give it to someone else to do. Sometimes you’ll have to pay someone else but that’s okay. You can’t do it all!

6. Ask for Help. It’s okay to ask for help if you want it or need it. If you have a significant other or a friend that can help, ask them! The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no. Then, if necessary, hire someone.

7. Make it fun. Put on some music. Set a timer to see how much you were able to accomplish during that time. Reward yourself when you’re finished (but only when you’re finished).

8. Invite a Friend. Getting a friend or someone else to participate is a great idea. It’s not only more fun but it will keep you accountable.

9. Set a deadline. Figure out realistically how long this project should take. Make an appointment with yourself (yes, that’s a thing) and put it on your calendar. If it’s on your calendar it’s more likely to get done. Set reminders along the way.

10. Just do it! Whether your resolution is getting back to the gym or getting “better” organized there’s no time like the present to make it happen.

I think that people make resolutions, especially New Year’s Resolutions, because they really want to accomplish something that they haven’t been able to do. Make 2022 the year you actually do it. It’s not that hard. It just takes some a goal, a plan and some action.

If you need help, give us a call. We’d love to be of service!

Great Tips for Getting & Staying Organizing While Traveling During the Holidays (or Anytime)

Vacations are supposed to be fun! However, it’s hard to relax when you’re thinking about all the things you have to do. There are so many things to remember and so many things to do before you leave and when you get back.

However, just in case you get overwhelmed, here are some tips to help you get it under control:

PERSONAL:
• Plan: Make a list of the things you need to do. Keep this list with you so that you can refer to it while you’re out and about.
• Calendar: Schedule some time on your calendar when you can and will actually do the thing on your list. (See #1 above)
• Easy Does it: If you’re overwhelmed with the amount of things on your list, break it down into smaller, more do-able pieces. You don’t have to do it all in one day.
• Consolidate: When planning and calendaring, group items in the same area together.
• Delegate: Your husband, your children, your significant other or another family member who will be involved in the festivities can and hopefully will be happy to help. LET THEM! After-all, the holidays are for everyone.
• Call in the Pros: You don’t have to do it all. Free up some time by hiring someone to do something that you just don’t want to do. One thing that comes to mind is to hire a cleaning crew instead of doing it yourself.
• Re-think it: Maybe you don’t have to do something that was on your list. Just because you did it last year or the last several years doesn’t mean you have to do it every year. If there was something that didn’t work out or wasn’t necessary, cross it off your list.
• Get started: The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be. Sh-t happens so give yourself ample time.
• Make it fun: Listen to great music while you’re doing whatever it is that’s on your list; ask a friend to meet you for lunch when you’re in between your errands; treat yourself to something nice when you’ve completed something on your list.
• Take an extra day before heading back to work to regroup and catch-up on your life. Use the extra day to get things done at home so that you can focus on work when you return to the office.

TRAVEL CHECK LIST:

This comprehensive list will help you remember some of the important things you need to do and items you’ll need before you leave home:

• Make a list of all of the things you want to take & check them off as you put them in your suitcase.
• If you’re going to be gone for more than a few days, notify the post office and arrange for them to hold your mail.
• Give someone close to you your itinerary if you have one. At the very least, give them your flight information or let them know where you’re going.
• If you’re traveling abroad, make sure a trusted friend or family member has a color copy of your passport and drivers license, as well as a copy of your itinerary.
• Ask your neighbors or a good friend to keep an eye on your home.
• Leave a house key with your friend or neighbor.
• Adjust thermostats to save energy.
• Pay any bills that will come due while you are traveling.
• Lock all doors and windows.
• Close the blinds and/or curtains, especially in the back and side of the house.
• Set security alarms.
• Set up timers on lights and TVs to give the appearance that someone is home.
• Inform your security monitoring company that you will be away and arrange for a security patrol.
• Check the fridge/kitchen for perishables and dispose of them. Take the garbage out!
• Since so many bags look alike, consider putting a bit of colored tape or ribbon on the handle to quickly identify your bag at the luggage carousel.
• Make sure to have all of your important travel information and documents all together in one place. (Note: *Carry important papers with you.! Do not check anything that you don’t want to lose)
• Photo identification
• Passports/Visas
• Itineraries/Schedules
• Tickets and Seat Assignments
• Frequent Flyer Cards
• Contact numbers for hotels or car rental agencies
• Confirmation Numbers
• Money/Credit Cards
• Covid-19 Vaccination Card
• Face Masks

PROFESSIONAL:

While going on vacation is exciting I think we can all agree that returning to work after a vacation is usually stressful. There’s a lot of mail, a ton of e-mails to go through and dozens of other things you need to get to that have been piling up while you were gone. It can almost seem like a punishment for ignoring your responsibilities.

Here are some tips to help you ease back into reality:

• Communicate: Notify people you regularly interact with that you will be unavailable and away from the office. If people know you’ll be gone, they (hopefully) won’t try to contact you which will significantly reduce the amount of voice mails and emails.
• Clear it Out: Clear the inbox on your desk and your email inbox so that the new items you must attend to when you return will be obvious.
• Get it Done: Wrap up all of your “To Do’s” . This may be difficult depending on the type of job you have, but do the best you can. See if you can delegate things that haven’t been finished so they can be taken care of while you’re gone.
• No Appointments: Make sure you don’t have any meetings or appointments the first day (or two) when you return to the office. You will definitely appreciate the time to get caught up.
• Arrive Early: Upon your return, arrive an hour early to work. Use this time to check your schedule, messages, mail and e-mail before your colleagues get in and start asking about your trip and giving you more things to do.

Okay, now go and relax and know that when you get back from your vacation, you’ll have everything under control.

Have a great trip and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!