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Monday, October 23 2017
I'M AFRAID TO ADMIT IT

With Halloween just around the corner, fear tends to sometimes be on our minds. We experience many forms of fear, but the one I want to talk about is being "afraid to admit". 

Over the years when working with so many wonderful people, I have witnessed, time and time again, how the fear of getting organized can stop people in their tracks.

Admittedly, eliminating clutter, for some, can be overwhelming, intimidating and cause a reaction of embarrassment and fear. 

I have found that it's the fear of the unknown that is your worst enemy.

Think about it. You finally get up the nerve to reach out for help after struggling so long with your clutter. That's a big step. Then you contact an expert like me to help. Great! Then the fear sets in. After you have scheduled your first appointment you may find yourself saying "What have I done?!?!?" You are starting to think about all of the areas that are problematic for you in your home, perhaps, and then feel overwhelmed and embarrassed. Maybe, you haven't had anyone come into your home in a while because of your embarrassment.

You imagine that this person is going to come into your home and judge you. You imagine that this person is going to come into your home and just throw everything away. You imagine that you will lose things or things that mean a lot to you will disappear. You imagine that it is going to be harder than you thought.  This is all fear based, right?

Well, I am here to tell you that, when working with a professional organizer such as myself, this will not happen.

I am particularly cognizant of the fact that my new clients will have a tendency to experience these feelings. I never judge, first of all. What good would that do? I am here to help, not judge.  I would never go into someones home and just start throwing things away. How disrespectful!  I always make sure that things are put in a logical place that makes sense for my clients so they can always find them, because we work together to find solutions that work. If something is particularly special, it needs to be honored and have a good, safe place to be stored or displayed so it can be enjoyed.

Amazingly, after just one session, my clients become much more relaxed about the process and can see how what they thought was impossible, is, in fact, possible.  I always focus on the potential of any space so that my client's vision can come to fruition. It is important to me that my clients to feel comfortable working with me. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Some people are afraid to admit that they are struggling with the actual idea of how they are going to get organized and committing to the process.  It feels uncomfortable. They sometimes make excuses as to why they will not follow through, but the truth of the matter is, they are afraid to admit that its the idea of taking on an organizing project that is making them feel uncomfortable, and nothing else.  It's not monetary. It's not that they are too busy. It's not any of that.  

These feelings are normal, but once it is understood what will be happening and how the process works, the fear disappears. The anxiety and embarrassment go away.

Do yourself a favor. If you are contemplating getting organized and fear is holding you back, give me a call. I can explain how I can help, and you need not worry about the process. That is what I am here for, to show you how its done and be right by your side the entire time, supporting you every step of the way.

Bottom line, don't be afraid to admit you are afraid. Don't let your fear prevent you from having A Better Space. 

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 16 2017
HOW DO YOU PLAN FOR THE FUTURE?

I sometimes get asked how to plan ahead on a paper calendar or electronic scheduler. I am sure this is an issue for everyone.

Sometimes we have things we need to do so far into the future, we cannot put it on our current calendar, right? Wrong!

For example, you recently got your colonoscopy and will need another one in 10 years. You need to review your Will, Power of Attorney, etc. every few years. You need to change your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide protectors in your home every 10 years. How are you supposed to remember that?!?!

Typically, if you use a paper planner, you might not be able to add something to your calendar for 10 years out.

However, if you use a binder-style planner such as Day-Timer or Circa you could use a to-do list (or just a blank note page) to capture all these future to-dos and carry that list forward, year after year. At the beginning of each year, you could add any relevant items from that list to the upcoming year’s calendar.

I do the same thing with my annual wall calendar in my office. I make notes at the bottom in the Notes section and each year, when I am preparing for the New Year, I carry those notes over to the next year so that I don't miss a deadline to pay my quarterly taxes, renew a certification or a domain name, etc. You can do the same thing.

You simply need to jot it down on your calendar to begin with and then carry it forward year after year.

As a professional organizer, I provide many other tips and tricks just like this one to create an efficient and effective time management system that you can easily implement.

If you would like to learn more about how to make the best use of your time and get your tasks completed, contact me.

As always, I am here to help.

 

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 09 2017
MULTIPLE SOLUTIONS FOR RECIPE ORGANIZATION

With the holidays just around the corner, it's time to start organizing those recipes. Over the years, I have used various methods for organizing the various types of recipes I have gathered.

I sometimes tear recipes out of a magazine or print out recipes I find on line. I also have an array of recipe books.

First, I have a cabinet that is specificially used to organize my recipe books. Years ago, I had one custom made by the Amish because I had the need to store a lot of recipe books close to the kitchen for easy retrieval. I placed it against a small wall that divides my kitchen from my living room in my dining room area. (I am not suggesting that everyone needs to do this, but I have never regretted my decision to do so.) 

Within my recipe cabinet, I have various forms of recipe organization besides the books.

I use an index card box for my "go to" recipes which I typed onto index cards and which I use on a regular basis and have been family favorites for years, including during the holidays. I divide them up with alphabetical index dividers A-Z. (They could also be divided up by category, i.e., desserts, casseroles, vegetables, pasta, etc.)

I use an accordion expandable file for the recipes I have gathered from magazines and online which I need to test out before they become part of my permanent collection. (These are divided up by category as described above.)

Another suggestion I have is to put your full size (8-1/2" x 11") recipes that you have into a 3-ring binder, divided up by category, using sheet protectors to store them. I like this suggestion because you can pull out the sheet from the binder when you want to use it and it will be protected from splatters and spills.

Of course, you can always use your phone or computer to store recipes digitally, but I strongly suggest that you weed through it from time to time to get rid of the recipes you have tried and failed or decided you are no longer interested in them. Otherwise, you are creating digital clutter.

Depending on how much you cook or bake can depend on what type of system would work best for you.

For me, there is not one solution but several that work best.

What solutions can you think of in order to organize your own collection of recipes? Share you ideas here and let's learn from each other so you can have a more organized holiday cooking experience.

In the meantime, if you are simply overwhelmed with your clutter and would like to discuss your particular situation with a professional organizer, don't hesitate to contact me.

As always, I am here to help.

  

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:42 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 02 2017
MAKE SOME MONEY WHILE DECLUTTERING

Are your closets and shelves packed to the brim with stuff you never use — or even look at?

You can sell virtually anything on letgo. This intuitive app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. Not only does it remove a lot of the hassle of selling things online, it’s 100% free to use.

But there are also apps for selling more specific stuff to people who might actually be looking for it.

Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them!

Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!

For old books from college, you can use Bookscouter. Just type your book’s ISBN into the search bar and the site will connect you with more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies online.

Set a goal to make some extra money by decluttering your home this month! You can do this! 

I worked with a client last month to help declutter and organize her basement. She had tons of DVDs she no longer wanted. She put them on Decluttr.com and was able to make over $50, just like that!  

For more ideas on how to eliminate your clutter and get organized once and for all, contact A Better Space today!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 03:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
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