“Imagine” If You Were “Better” Organized 

     As I was selecting a quote for this month’s blog, I decided to use, “Imagine” by John Lennon, as a jumping off point.
     Since John Lennon’s infamous and timeless song “Imagine” is one of my favorite songs, I thought it would be fun to tie it in with my favorite subject, ORGANIZING!  What a concept?
     I often talk to my clients about their goals when we first meet 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) 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 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, or more, (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 7 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.  So, 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.
     If you or someone you know could use some help getting organized or “better” organized as the case may be, GIVE US A CALL!  We’d love to help and, if I don’t say so myself, we have an amazing team of Professional Organizers, each with their own specialty, who can help (check our the “About Us” page on our website to learn more).  From paper management/filing systems, to relocations (packing/unpacking) to downsizing and de-cluttering to garages and Estate Sales (and so much more) we can help you get organized, “better” organized and put systems into place that you can easily manage and maintain.

Organizing & Advocating for Your Health

In the past month, three of my closest family members have had to undergo surgical procedures.   Thankfully, everyone is doing well and on the road to recovery.   

The events of the past month really made me to stop to think about how much easier this past month was because we were organized.    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:

1.  Make sure that you have an updated and legal Health Care Directive.  Give a copy of your Health Care Directive to your primary care physician as well as the physician performing the procedure.   

2.  If you don’t already have a Health Care Directive, you can download one from the internet.  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.   The Healthcare Directive must be signed and dated and, in some cases, notarized.   

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.   If worst comes to worst you can always call a cab or Uber but don’t make the mistake of driving yourself.

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.   Remember to write down any questions and/or concerns so that you don’t forget them when you’re with the doctor.  It is important to be your own advocate.   

10.  Dress comfortably on the day of the procedure!  For example, 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.

Are You Committed?

I’ve been organizing now professionally for 6 years and there’s a common “issue” I come across time and time again.   The issue being maintenance or upkeep.  
There are times (many times) when I get a call from a client several weeks after our work together was completed asking me to come back for another organizing session.  To be honest, sometimes it’s just after a few days.  They were thrilled with the work we did and felt really good when I left, however, apparently, things didn’t stay quite the way we left them and they express frustration.
As a Professional Organizer this is one of my biggest frustrations as well.
We work WITH our clients, “WITH” being the operative word, to create organized spaces. Spaces that are functional, accessible and efficient.   We show our clients what we’re doing, while we’re doing it and explain why in the hopes that when their space is organized that they will be able to maintain it.   We TRY to transfer our knowledge so that our clients will understand the basic principles of organizing.
If a client hires us to implement a filing system, for example, we do so with their needs and goals in mind.  We show them where to file the current-incoming paper and what to do with incoming mail so that the system doesn’t fall apart.   This requires time and effort as with anything new.
We also explain that it will not stay that way unless they maintain it.  You can’t clean your house once and expect it to stay that way right?.  You have to do a little each day or each week to keep a clean house.  Same principle applies to getting and staying organized.   
Maintenance requires a commitment.  It means that the space, wherever it may be (filing system, master closet or garage) needs to be tended to regularly.  Organizing requires time, just like anything else, if you want it to stay that way.
While I prefer to maintain my own spaces daily (think OCD), many people won’t or can’t and that’s fine. For those of you who won’t or can’t maintain their space daily try the following:
1.     Pick a day and time, each week or each month to get things done.   
2.     Put this day/time in your calendar so that you set up a routine for yourself.
3.     If, when you sit down to tackle whatever area you’re working on, you feel overwhelmed, move up the date.   Perhaps once a week might be better than once a month.
4.     Make sure that you have the tools and/or supplies you need (for example, if you’re working on paperwork have files, a shredder and a trash bin next to you so that everything you need is at your fingertips).
5.    Use the right tools and/or supplies.  Use good tools/supplies that won’t frustrate your efforts (for example, if your shredder is constantly getting jammed get one that works properly so the shredding doesn’t pile up).     
Bottom line, you must be committed to the process.  If you are not that’s fine too but at least admit it and figure out an alternative so things don’t revert back.  One way would be to hire an organizer, hopefully us, to maintain it for you.   
OC&D offers weekly, monthly and bi-annual maintenance services so that your systems or organized space(s) stay that way.
Call us anytime!  We’re here to help you get and stay organized

My Experience with a Professional Organizer

For those of you who read last month’s newsletter, you may recall that I needed the help of a Professional Organizer.   As a reminder, my house had been undergoing a major renovation and when everything was finished I needed to put “humpty dumpty back together again”.  iStock_000010631522XSmall

While I was organized before, during and even after the remodel, the thought of putting everything back into place by myself was daunting.  I work, I’m busy and I wanted it to get done in one day rather than days or weeks.   I just wanted to get it done!

A long time ago when I first started organizing a seasoned organizer told me that it would be a good exercise for me to hire another organizer to see what it feels like when someone else is touching your “stuff”, suggesting things to do with your “stuff”.

Well, I finally took the advice and hired a Professional Organizer. She happens to work with me often with my clients but it’s very different when you become the client.

This is what I learned:

1.   It’s not only okay to ask for help… it’s important. 

2.   It’s great that help is available for these types of situations.

3.   We all have different ways of doing things but, sometimes, another way is better.

4.   There are so many products and solutions out there that I either forgot or didn’t know about.  Now I have a few more things to share with  my clients.

5.    EVERYONE, even Professional Organizers, will need help at some time in their lives with some area in their life.

In my last newsletter, I promised to let you know how it all worked out.  IT WAS AWESOME!   My house is back together, I learned about new products and new ways of doing things that I might not have learned otherwise.  

If there’s a place in your house, office, storage unit that you  need help with, give us a call.   YOU DESERVE IT!




Organizing Is A Process

One of the questions I get asked the most from prospective clients is “How long will it take?” What a great question…

Most people want a time frame: one hour, four hours, something concrete. Unfortunately, the answer is not that easy. The answer I ALWAYS give is: “Organizing is a process!

Whatever the situation may be, the process depends on so many different factors. Some factors include availability, interruptions, physical restrictions. However, I think the most important factor is typically how quickly you, the client, can make decisions.

For example, if the job is about de-cluttering one person might quickly be able to pick up an item and decide whether to keep it, toss it, donate it, file it, store it. If you can make decisions quickly and keep distractions and interruptions to a minimum, the process will go quickly.

However, another person might need to tell the story about how they got the item in the first place. They might not be ready to let it go until they make some calls to see if someone else might want it, they may want to take a photo of it before they let it go. If that’s the case, the process will take more time.

Most people would like to think they are great decision makers so they think the process will go by quickly. However, that’s not always the case. Expecially when it comes to family heirlooms or memorabilia. Items that have sentimental value usually take more time.

Whatever the situation is, it’s all okay. We will work with you, our client, as quickly and efficiently as possible by helping you make the decisions, figure out what to do with the items or papers and facilitate the entire process.

Do you or someone you love need to get “better” organized? Need help in the garage? Need to get the filing done?
Give us a call or send us an email and let us help.

(310) 560-5060