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Thursday, March 25 2010

You've put it off and put it off and now, you are ready to get organized once and for all.  What is it worth to you? 

This past week, I have been contacted by several people who thought they were ready to get organized.  However, when it came right down to it, they weren't really committed to the task.  They wanted a quick, cheap fix.  That is not the way to approach it.  You can always find cheap; but you need to find "qualified".

Would you hire someone who can add and subtract numbers to do your taxes or would you hire a certified public accountant?

So when it comes to getting organized, can you put a price on the benefits of eliminating the clutter from your home and your head?

What is it worth to you to get your home office and your paperwork organized so you can put your hands on anything in moments?

What is it worth to you to be able to enter a room and not trip over everything laying in the middle of the floor with no place to put it?  (Imagine finding a home for everything in your home!)

What is it worth to you to find more time in your day and be more productive?  (Imagine no longer running from one activity to another and being able to get everything done you set out to do that day!)

When you are looking to solve your clutter and organizational issues, can you really put a price on organization?  Not really.

What's important when deciding to take on this goal is to find a qualified, experienced professional organizer who will listen and create a system just for you. 

Whomever you choose, do yourself a favor and make sure that person fits your needs and you can work with them.  If not, you will not get what it is you were looking to achieve.  You will end up in the same state of disorganization once again. 

When choosing a professional organizer, you should feel confident in the fact that they know what they are doing because you are paying them more for their expertise than anything else. 

Anyone can spend four or five hours with you and clean up the mess, but will it stay that way or revert back after a short period of time?  A qualified professional organizer will provide the tools you need to keep it organized well after they are gone.

So, if you are looking for "cheap", that is what you will get.  When you are looking for "expertise", that is what you will find. 

Keep this in mind when taking that step forward.  It's better to put on two coats of paint than one.  It's better to paint all four walls, instead of just one.  Get the job done and get it done right.

I guarantee that those people who contacted me this past week and decided to go with "cheap" will not get what they were looking for.

Contact A BETTER SPACE if you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized.  I am more than happy to help. 

In the meantime, have a great week! 




Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 12 2010

Unless you are living under a rock or in a cave, you know and are well aware that we are still in the midst of an economic "crisis". This scares many people. The fear of losing your job, your home and/or your investments can be overwhelming. 

However, the one thing I have observed recently is that this "crisis" is forcing people to stop and think about their particular financial situation and have a desire to become more aware of where their money comes from and where it is going.

The number of people per month who are still applying for unemployment compensation in the United States is staggering.  Of the nearly 52 million U.S. homeowners with a mortgage, about 13.8 million, or nearly 27 percent owe more on their mortgage than their house is now worth, according to Moody’s Most people have seen their investments and retirement funds decrease by approximately forty percent. The average American has approximately $10,000 of credit card debt. No wonder everyone is scared.

Many have attempted to cut back on spending in order to make ends meet and attempt to get out of debt. However, without a plan in place, you cannot be successful. If you do some research, you will find that many financial advisors and other "experts" have put together systems for creating a solution to your budgeting woes. I have found them to be very complex and time consuming, discouraging most people from utilizing them.

In order to successfully create a plan for financial success, you need to create a budget. A budget will provide you with a way to not only analyze your income (by way of a pay check, investment rental properties, alimony, child support, governmental benefits, etc.) but will provide a visual aide to see where the income is going. You cannot budget your money if you don’t know where it is going.

So, how do you begin to even create a budget, you ask? You will need to determine your income, determine your expenses and then create your budget based upon that information. This can sometimes be a complicated and time consuming process.

You will need to determine whether your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income. Does your current problems involve the inability to save month each month? Do you wonder where all your money is going each month? Do you feel that your life is getting out of control because of your finances?

If so, you need to develop a personalized budget so you can better manage your finances. Ask yourself - "How can I possibly manage my money if I don’t have any idea where it all goes each month?" The answer - you need to become more disciplined with your money.

Many people make the mistake of cutting back so drastically that there is nothing left to enjoy. Many get caught up in the "this minor expense won’t matter" syndrome. Before you know it, "these minor expenses" are added over and over throughout a month and before you know it, they really add up. This is sometimes where overspending occurs. And, don’t forget that budgeting needs to include saving money. Planning for those things you enjoy makes it much easier to stick to your budget in the long run.

You may ask why it’s so important to record all of your expenses. It’s important because, if you don’t track your expenses, eventually they get out of control. You need to have a system and it needs to be documented.

Now, more than ever, everyone is looking for that simple way to manage and budget their money. No one wants to take time to work with a complicated system.

No one has the time!

Take the first step now. Acknowledge that you need to get on a budget and commit to finding the support and tools necessary to get it done!

If you need some assistance, I have developed the "U Can Do It Budgeting System" based upon the budgeting system I have used for myself for over 25 years as well as my years of experience setting up personalized budgeting systems for my clients. Visit the ABS Store right on this site learn more.

In the meantime, have a great week!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, March 04 2010

Do you find it difficult to get organized? It often is more difficult when it comes to the limitations of a small space.

The good news is that just because your space is challenging, it's still possible to be organized. Keep in mind, however, that you are smart and efficient and use every inch of available space. Many of these ideas can be utilized in any space:

1. The 'ONE IN--ONE OUT' rule.

This is one of the golden rules of organization. It helps to set limits, which is often difficult for people to follow. It works very well, however, with items such as shoes, clothing, toys and books, among others. In small spaces especially, the number of items you keep is generally pre-determined by the amount of space you have. For any new item brought into the space, one item needs to be removed. This creates the balance required for a small space.

2. Find solutions that are both functional and attractive.

When it comes to your living room, for example, you need a solution for extra blankets and board games. Consider using a storage ottoman that looks nice and also serves as a great storage solution. Consider using hidden storage such as drawers or baskets in your coffee table or end tables. Closed shelving solutions that allow you plenty of storage space but are visually appealing work well too.

3. Be realistic with your space.

A small 10' x 10' room will feel much larger when it is filled with less stuff than if it’s cluttered. Keep in mind that the scale of your furniture will also affect the visual space in a room. The reality is that a 10' x 10' room is only so big. You cannot change the size of a room; just what is contained within it.

4. Purge excessive items often (both to be donated and trash).

Keep small containers or boxes on the floor of your closet which can be used to temporarily store items that need to be donated until you have enough to call a charity for a pickup pr ,ale a delivery. This works especially well with children’s clothing as they seem to grow out of a size in between wash loads. And be realistic! Do you really need 20 nick-knacks for that one shelf in your family room or can you reduce them back to a collection of 10? Why not rotate small collections from time to give your room a whole new look? Be sure to limit and purge your collections often so that they only include your best and favorite items.

5. Set realistic limits:

If you only have room for 15 hangers in your closet, do not buy extra hangers. Instead limit yourself to only those 15 hanging pieces of clothing. The flocked hangers will allow you to hand more items in a small space, but don’t squash your clothes just to make them fit.

6. Find the hidden space potential in your room.

Plastic containers under the bed can store linens, shoes, out of season clothing or extra bedding. Do you have space not being utilized behind a staircase? Hanging shoe holders can be used on the back of doors to organize much more than just shoes. Be creative. Use them for such things as kitchen utensils, spices, or food. They can be used in the office to organize extra supplies or in the bathroom to organize toiletries and hair accessories. Use cork boards and pegs on the back of doors to organize jewelry such as necklaces.

7. Look Up - Make use of wall and ceiling space.

In the kitchen, you might use an overhead pot rack for pots and pans. Use magnetic spice racks that hang on the walls in a craft room. In living and office spaces, use floor to ceiling shelving. In the garage, use a hanging rack for storage of seasonal items to provide extra space on the floor.


If you embrace the pluses of living in a small space and use it to its fullest potential, you will feel like you are living in a much larger space!

Need some more ideas?  Have some of your own?  Contact A BETTER SPACE if you are overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, whether it's in a large or small space.  I am glad to help.

Have a great week!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:39 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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