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Friday, February 26 2010

I watched "The Oprah Show" today after a friend of mine called me to let me know she was talking about eliminating the clutter in her own clothes closet. 

If any of you follow Oprah (I occasionally get a chance to watch her show and I do get her monthly magazine), you know that she recently decluttered her clothes closet and eliminated 150 items that she intends to put up for auction on E-bay this coming Monday to raise funds for her school is South Africa.

What fascinated me the most, besides the beautiful clothing she is letting go of, including shoes, purses and blouses, (unfortunately I would never be able to wear a size 10 shoe!), was the fact that she openly admitted that she felt a lot of anxiety when she was getting rid of the items in her closet.

Oprah talked about the fact that she does not like to waste things and, therefore, tends to hold onto things longer than she probably should.  However, like most people, she was able to reduce the amount of items in her wardrobe once she got help to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of and knew that the items she was eliminating would be used to raise money for a good cause.  They were not just getting thrown away; someone who wanted them would be getting them.  Bottom line, if someone else is getting them, it feels so much better. 

I mention this because this is very common issue that I come across when working with my clients.  I am very sensitive to the fact that they don't just want to throw everything away.  (A good professional organizer would never do that.)  I make sure that we determine what charity or person they would like to donate the items to (assuming they are still in good condition).

I want you to know that if you feel anxiety when getting rid of things, it's a normal response and it's okay.  With the gentle guidance of someone you trust, you too will be able to eliminate that clutter in that closet much easier.

Remember, in the end, the clothes in your closet should bring you joy, make you feel beautiful and be usefulness. 

If you need assistance in purging items from your closet - not sure what to keep and what to toss or donate - contact me at A BETTER SPACE.  I will be more than happy to help.

In the meantime, have a great week!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 08:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, February 23 2010

Since we are well into tax season, many people tend to refocus their attention on their workspace where they pay bills, run a home-based business or correspond with friends and family.

For this reason, I thought it appropriate to provide some tips you can use to create an organized and inviting workspace.  After all, who wants to work in a space that is cluttered and, therefore, uninviting? 

Whether you're sitting at the kitchen table writing out bills, working at your desk in the home office, or writing a note to a friend on the computer, a pleasant, organized environment will allow for both productivity and creativity.  Focus on the following suggestions and you will find that the productivity and creativity will become established.

1. Eliminate the chaos.   If you have a disorganized work area, it will reduce the physical space needed for productivity, block your creativity, and increase the chances that you'll lose something which will dramatically increase your stress level. (No one needs more stress.) So, clear the clutter. Provide yourself with plenty of empty space. Keep a wastepaper basket near your workspace to encourage daily decluttering and clean-up.  Don't overload the space with nicknacks and picture frames.  Only keep those few inspirational pieces that you enjoy seeing in view, but out of the way.

2. Stock your workspace for its main functions. Determine what you need to use in the space and plan around that purpose. If you use a desk at home to write out bills, make sure you have a few pens, a calculator, some postage stamps, envelopes, address labels and other necessary supplies right in, or near, that work area. This will help make the task much quicker and easier.  Your filing system should be close by as well.

3. Use those organizing tools. Using appropriate sized baskets, stackable trays, letter trays, pencil holders, paper clip containers, file folders and other organizing tools can help you get your workspace organized. Before buying any of these tools though, be sure to take the time to think about why you need that tool and if the tool you're thinking about is the best one for the job.  For example, a decorative container on your shelf might hold all of your office supplies, but a drawer organizer can allow you to put more like items together for easier access.  

4. Think ergonomics. If you feel physically uncomfortable in your workspace, you will not be able to focus and will therefore be less productive and creative.  Do you suffer from eye strain?  Do your muscles ache from constantly stretching to reach something?  Do your wrists hurt from them being on a wrong angle for too long?  Does your back hurt because your chair is not comfortable?  Then, it's time for you to re-think and rearrange your physical workspace for health and comfort. Make sure there is sufficient lighting conditions. If not, you should consider adding some overhead track lighting or additional lamps that provide good task lighting. If your chair is not right for you, perhaps the seat should be raised or lowered. If your wrist hurts from using the computer mouse, get yourself a mouse pad with cushioning.  Lastly, make sure your computer monitor is positioned correctly, either at or below, eye level, at a comfortable distance.

5. Put stuff away at the end of the day. This is very important!  When you're done using your workspace for the day, put everything back in its place. Don't leave this area in chaos. This way, the next time you return, you'll have an inviting space that will allow you to get down to work without delay.  Who wants to start working in a chaotic and cluttered environment? 

If you follow these simple tips, you will find that you will have an organized and inviting workspace in which to work.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, however, don't hesitate to contact me.  I will be glad to get you on the road to life long organization.

In the meantime, have a great week!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 02:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, February 14 2010

Many of us get jewelry on Valentine’s Day from our sweetheart. Did you?How many pieces do you have now? Are they organized? If not, there are various ways you can sort it all out to make it easier to find what you want, when you want it.

You can sort your jewelry by putting all types together. You can keep all your rings in one place, all your necklaces in another place, bracelets somewhere else. You can use various jewelry boxes or decorative containers for this purpose.

You can sort your jewelry by putting them together in sets. For example, your onyx necklace, ring and bracelet can all be stored together in one box.

You can store your jewelry by color groups. You can keep all silver together (avoids tarnishing), your gold jewelry together, or even reds, blues or greens, depending on your collection.

When you are trying to decide which is the best option for you, you need to determine how you would look for your jewelry: by type, sets or color. Then, empty all your current containers and re-organize it by the category you have selected.

Where do you want to keep your jewelry? There are various options available.

You can use your dresser top. Select either beautiful boxes, necklace trees, earring screens or a jewelry box. Just don’t clutter up the surface with too many options. When selecting a jewelry box, look closely at it’s features. If you have lots of necklaces, you want to make sure it has a hanging system. If you have rings, you want to make sure there is a section for the rings to fit into. If you want to separate out your earrings by silver and gold, etc., you want to make sure it has drawers to hold the amount of pieces you have. Then, select a wooden jewelry box that complements your furniture.

You can use your dresser drawers.  If you are using dresser drawers, select fabric or velvet covered dividers to keep it all organized and easily accessible. The stackable velvet trays provide many options, depending on your needs and can take up much less room.

You can use your closet.  The other option to consider is your closet. You can use a door mounted clear shoe divider to divide up your larger pieces, such as costume jewelry. You can use a wall mounted jewelry organizer. If you have room, you can put a jewelry armoire either in the closet or in the main bedroom area to store your various pieces.

The options are endless but organization is key to keeping everything in good condition and easily accessible.

If this task is too overwhelming, I can help.  If you are overwhelmed with any other aspect of organization, let me know.  Simply contact A BETTER SPACE. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, February 07 2010

This past weekend, the eastern portion of the country experienced a noreastern storm that broke many records.  In Philadelphia, they received over 28 inches of snow.

It got me thinking about organizing, of course.

Being organized is more than just keep your household under control and having good time management tools.  It's a way of life.

When this large snow fall began, I quickly decided that I would be breaking the project of snow removal down into smaller, more manageable pieces, just like any other larger project, in order to get it done and make it easier for me to handle.

Therefore, I decided that the best way to handle it was to shovel the snow in intervals.  When my son and I woke up, we took care of most of it, but with the storm still not over, we knew that we would finish the job when it was.  So, instead of waiting until the entire storm ended, we began chipping away, as it were, at the project.  This made it easier later in the day when the temperature started to drop and the surfaces became more icy.  I am quite aware that many people just stayed in all day and procrastinated and now, Sunday morning, their cars are still buried in the snow and ice.  That decision will now make it harder for them to dig out because now they will have to deal with the more difficult conditions.

There is a lesson to be learned here.  When taking on any type of project, including snow removal, create a plan of action as to how you will take that project and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces and you will find that you get the whole project completed much more easily.

We are expecting another large storm by mid-week and you can be assured, it will be managed the same way.  One portion at a time.

If you love the snow, enjoy.  For me, I can't wait til Spring!

Have a great week and remember, if you are overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, contact A BETTER SPACE.  I will be glad to help.


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 07:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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