Wednesday, March 28 2018
Spring is finally here and the flu season appears to be behind us. I spent the entire Winter season doing everything possible to avoid getting the flu and the good news is, I was successful. That is something that is very contagious in a bad way.
However, there are things that are contagious in a good way! For example: laughter, smiles, a good mood and even a yawn. Did you know that contagious yawning is a sign of empathy and a form of social bonding?
Also, getting organized can be contagious! Yes! That's right. I have seen time and time again how, when I work with a client in their home, other members of the family get the "organizing bug".
I tend to work mostly with busy moms who are struggling to find the balance in their physical space as well as in their heads with time management, etc.
On many occasions, I work with Busy Mom and in the beginning, Dad is not on board. It is interesting to watch how they begin to see the transformation and want a piece of that. They start organizing a sock drawer or getting rid of some paperwork, simply by seeing what is going on.
Most recently, I began working with a family who has several autistic children, one of which is very sensitive to change. I have no intention of pushing that child to straighten up their room or move anything around that they do not want touched. However, Mom recently got in touch with me and told me that her child has observed the changes being made in her master bedroom and took it upon himself to go into his own room and remove the trash and straighten up his video games.
Needless to say, I am thrilled! I want nothing more than for the children to enjoy an organized and peaceful environment in which to live. Whether I help them or they take it upon themselves to do it on their own, it's a positive outcome.
This is a perfect example of how getting organized can be contagious - in a good way!
If you and your family are struggling with clutter and want to get organized, consider starting the process yourself or with a professional organizer such as myself and you just might find that your family get's the "organizing bug" and starts organizing their spaces on their own.
How great would that be!
Tuesday, February 19 2013
I cannot tell you how many times people say to me "My husband/wife/partner/roomate has so much clutter" or "They are such a slob" or "I think my spouse is a hoarder". I hear the frustration in their voice and their struggle to understand.
I thought perhaps that I might be able to help you understand why.
The tendency to accumulate items on flat surfaces is, contrary to popular belief, not necessarily because of a psychological issue.
There are other possibilities:
- Some people simply prefer the visual aesthetic of many items. (It gives them comfort.)
- Some people have a hard time remembering where things are so they find them more easily if they are out in the open. (I believe that if something is put in a logical place, it can be found.)
- Some people have positive memories associated with photos and knick-knacks. (I believe that several items can evoke the same emotion or memory as a lot of items and therefore, you only need to keep out a few at a time.)
- Some people have issues with visual processing and literally don't see the items that others consider "clutter". (My son is a perfect example of that!)
- Some people feel it is a waste of time to put things away when they're just going to use them again. (i.e. Why make the bed every morning when you are only going to sleep in it again that night!)
- Some people say they don't care about how their space looks. (I have to believe they also don't care about themselves either.)
- Some people say they have other pressing problems and don't have the energy to put things away. (This is common among people who are depressed.)
- Some people say their schedules are so packed that they don't have time to put things away. (My theory has always been that if you put them away as you go, it will not be a project. I believe you can find 10 minutes at the end of the day putting things away if you cannot find time throughout the day.)
You might personally be trying to overcome this tendency yourself or, perhaps, you are frustrated with your spouse or significant other.
If you can pinpoint the source of the clutter habits, I believe you can find a solution. If you need assistance in determining why the clutter continues to exist, contact me. I can help.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Monday, October 15 2012
There comes a time when most people need to reach out and ask for help to get organized. It can be prompted by life changes such as marriage, divorce, birth of baby, empty nest, death of a loved one, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, downsizing, etc.
No matter what the reason may be, people reach out to me for organzing help mostly because of the following:
1. I'd like to be organized, but I never learned how.
2. I am overwhelmed and frozen. I don't know where to start.
3. I do not have enough space for my stuff.
4. I do not have enough time to get things done. My To-Do List goes on forever.
5. When I go to purchase organizing products, I don't know what to buy or where to get the best products.
6. My kids are out of the house and my parents have passed away. I have too many things that I have held on to and need help letting go.
7. I know what I want to accomplish but I can't figure out how to get there.
8. I know that the only way I will get organized is if I have an accountability partner who can guide me through the process.
9. I'm organized but my spouse is not. It's driving me crazy and I don't know what to do.
10. I have ADD and having difficulty staying focused and organized. I need to figure out systems that work for me.
Do any of these sound familiar? It could be one reason or a few. No matter, a professional organizer like myself is skilled in these areas and can help you to get "unstuck" and moving forward towards a decluttered, organized and stress free home and life.
Comment below and let me know which of these are keeping you stuck. I am here to help if you need further assistance.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Tuesday, September 11 2012
As you may or may not know, this professional organizer was blessed with a son who has ADHD. This month is National ADHD Awareness Month so I thought it appropriate to discuss time management. It tends to be one of the bigger issues for adults with ADHD.
My son, now age 21, is notorious for procrastinating. He loves to sleep, usually from 3:00 a.m. until whatever time he needs to get up, either for school or work. The thing is, he waits til the very last minute to get up, grab a shower and run out the door.
Today he has classes from 8:00 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. This morning I suggested, gently of course, that perhaps he take something to eat with him since it will be many hours until he gets home. I suggested quickly grabbing a bagel, so he would at least have something. He is not one to pack a lunch the night before, no matter how many times I recommend this. (Since he is 21, I no longer make lunches for him. Call me a bad mom.) His response was "But...I don't have any time!". Seriously? He didn't have time to open the fridge and grab a bagel, put it in a sandwich bag and head out the door. (He doesn't do breakfast.) I think not!
Here's my theory. We all have 24 hours in a day. It's what we do with them that counts. If he would have just simply woken up 15 minutes earlier, he would have had the time to take his shower and grab that bagel to take with him.
In other words, it does take some preparation and some thought as to what we need to do and how much time we need to do it. Then we prepare accordingly. Waking up 15 minutes earlier could have made such a difference for him.
I am still working with him on this issue, but here is some "food" for thought (no pun intended, well...maybe) for those of you that find that you are running out of time in the morning to get out the door. Simply prepare.
To start, make a list of what you need to do and then estimate how long it will take you to do it. Then add a cushion of time to avoid that last minute rushing around.
Simply by taking some time (of which we all have the same amount) to get organized and create a plan, you will find that you are no longer saying "But...I don't have any time!".
Try it out and let me know how you make out. If you need some addidtional help, let me know. I am here when you are ready.
In the meantime, take some "time" today to remember 9-11-01. I think we can all find a few minutes today to do so.
Saturday, April 28 2012
This coming Monday, April 30th, I am privileged to be invited to conduct my very first webinar in conjunction with ADD Resource. I will be talking about "GETTING ORGANIZED THE ADD FRIENDLY WAY".
One of the major topics I will be covering has to do with Time Management. Do you know what time management is and how effective it can be when working to get organized and reduce stress? Very powerful.
Did you know that the average person will spend one year searching through desk clutter looking for misplaced items?
One hour of planning will save 10 hours of doing.
It costs over $200 in labor to track down a misplaced document or about $500 in labor to re-create it.
Anything you can do in your work day to improve efficiency and be more in control of your responsibilities means you are managing yourself in order to make the best use of your time.
One of the things I talk about in my upcoming webinar is doing what I call "The Brain Dump". I believe you should write everything down that is on your mind in order to eliminate the clutter in your head and the stress of trying to remember things.
The other thing I talk about is prioritizing. Planning your day to take care of the most important tasks and not wasting time on insignificant or unnecessary tasks will help you be more efficient.
Taking the time that is needed to focus on important projects and tasks and avoiding as few interruptions as possible is a great time management tool.
Having a good paper management system is place will reduce the amount of time it takes to locate what you are looking for.
There are many ways that you can better manage your time. These are only a few.
If you want to learn more about this topic and several others that affect adults with ADD, I invite you to attend my webinar on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. EST. It's free but the information I will be providing is so valuable.
Hope to see you on the call!
In the meantime, have a great week!
Tuesday, December 06 2011
We can all acknowledge that this time of year can be very stressful. It seems like a whirlwind from Thanksgiving right thru to the end of the year.
I have business goals I want to reach by the end of the year, I prepare for my Thanksgiving feast several days in advance and then head right into decorating, sending out cards and shopping for the holidays. Before you know it, it's New Years Day.
Especially during this time of year, it is very important that we attempt to reduce our stress levels as we have so much to deal with in such a short period of time.
Stress can lead to clutter in our head. When we are stressed out, we tend to not think clearly and then can not visualize the path we need to take in order to get things done.
The best way to help clear the clutter in your head is to write things down. Make a list of all the things you need to get done either on paper or on your Smart Phone or other device that you use to keep track. Then, map out when you will do them and schedule it on your paper calendar or electronic device.
I make a habit of mapping out my "To Do's" on my big wall calendar (even up to a year in advance) and then create a daily "to do" list of things I need to accomplish - putting the most important things at the top of the list.
It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you do this. It tends to keep you more focused on the task at hand. You tend not to get so distracted by other things and, before you know, you can check it off your list.
Do yourself a favor this holiday season and reduce your stress by eliminating the clutter in head. Write it down.
Try this and let me know how you make out. I would love to get your feedback and hear about your experiences.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Sunday, January 30 2011
There are several reasons why people put things off or delay getting started.
Do you have "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Syndrome"?
Give some thought as to why you are avoiding a project or a task and then take the steps to change:
Are you overwhelmed? If the task is too overwhelming, break it down. If it is still too overwhelming, break it down again. Taking smaller steps to get something done is much more productive than not doing it at all!
Are you being realistic? It's possible that if an item keeps showing up on your to-do list and is repeatedly bumped to the next day, it might be because it isn’t that important to you. Ask yourself if it is really your goal. It could be someone else’s goal, or their goal for you. Figure out if you want to do it or let it go by either delegating it to someone else or just not doing it at all!
Are you DISTRACTED? It is important to set aside a specific time to accomplish the task. You might need to go somewhere quiet where the interruptions of children, television, the telephone or your computer will not interfere. Figure out what is causing you to be distracted and make the necessary adjustments to eliminate those interruptions.
Do you just HATE the job? Try swapping the task with someone else who is willing to do the job you hate and then return the favor and do something for them that they don't want to do.
Do you feel UNDER-QUALIFIED? Perhaps you have not tackled a project because you don't know how to do it or don't think you can do it correctly. Don't be afraid to ask for help! If need be, do some research, take a class or hire a professional to show you how to do it or have them actually do the job for you.
With these tips, you will get rid of the "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Syndrome", stop procrastinating and get those tasks done!
If you need some help getting organized, you are feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start, don't hesitate to contact me. I will be more than happy to cure you of the Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Syndrome!
Have a great week!
Sunday, October 18 2009
I am currently working with a client who has discovered that she has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). She is working with me to learn how to create a system for getting and staying organized.
One of the things I suggested she do on a daily basis, when I am not physically there with her to coach her, is to simply take just 5 minutes a day to focus on one area of her home and declutter it by putting things away. Basically, straightening up.
Granted, things need to have a home to begin with so that they can be put away. That is what I am working on with her during our sessions. However, in the meantime, she has taken my advice and has begun practicing this ritual. To her surprise, she has found that just those 5 minutes a day can really make a difference. Sometimes, she is feeling so productive, she takes more than just 5 minutes, but the 5 minutes is the minimum.
Consistency is the key to success and if you just commit that short amount of time each and every day, you will find that you can keep it under control. If there are other family members, get them to do the same thing with a particular area of the home. Just having each of them put things away for about 5 minutes a day can add up to a lot of decluttering in one day!
Give it a try and let me know how you make out.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, simply contact A BETTER SPACE. I will be more than happy to help.
Enjoy your week!
Friday, August 14 2009
Some of the people who contact me to help them out with their clutter woes suffer from varying degrees of ADD. ADD is short for Attention Deficit Disorder. For many adults with ADD, life feels overwhelming and chaotic. Their homes are cluttered; laundry and dishes go undone; newspapers and magazines pile up; bills get lost in piles of paper, etc.
In order to assist those of you who suffer with ADD, I recommend taking these 10 steps to building habits that will help you get and stay organized.
Tie a new habit to an old one. Once you become an adult, you tend of have some ingrained habits. It's easiest to develop a new habit if it's tied to an old one. For example, place your vitamins next to your toothbrush in the bathroom to help you remember to take your vitamins each morning.
Make the habit as easy as possible. Select a place that makes sense. Pick a convenient, visible place to put your keys, such as by the front door. Always return them to the same place each and every time. Before selecting "the spot", think about where you would most need that item to be. Usually your first instinct is the right one.
Make the habit hard to ignore. Put the item in a place where you will notice it. If you have to return clothing to the department store, put the bag by the front door so you will not be able to leave the house without remembering to take it with you. I put my mail, bank deposits, cell phone and keys with my pocketbook so I remember to take them all with me when I leave the house.
Put reminders everywhere. When you are first starting to develop your new habit, put sticky notes where you are sure to see them that remind you to act on your new habit. You've decided you want to pack your lunch instead of buying it to save money. At night, put a sticky note on the front door, refrigerator and kitchen counter to remind you to take your packed lunch from the fridge and take it with you when you leave the house.
Visualize yourself doing the new behavior. Visualization is very powerful. It allows you time to actually imagine yourself doing something. If the new behavior is a morning habit, for example, imagine yourself going through your morning routine which would include your new habit at the appropriate point in the routine.
Practice correcting yourself. Everyone forgets. Don't beat yourself up over it. If you forget to practice your new habit, simply go and do the new habit the instant you remember it. By just doing the habit at some point in your day, it will make it easier for you to do it in the correct time frame in the future.
Get back on that horse. Everyone falls off the proverbial horse from time to time. We are not infallible. Remember that habits take time; forgetting is not failure. It's just a part of developing a habit; so don't give up!
Problem solve if it's not working. If something isn't working for you, change it. Perhaps you need a different reminder. Maybe you need to tie it to a different habit. It might work better for you if you change the time of day you are attempting to do it. Take some time to make the changes that will work best for you.
Practice, Practice, Practice. It takes at least 21 days for something to become a habit. To help you develop that habit, put the habit on your calendar for 21 days and check it off as you do it. Soon you will no longer need to write it down; it will just come to you naturally.
FINALLY, Reward Yourself. Congratulate yourself and celebrate the fact that you reached your 21 day goal. Now, go on and create more habits. Work with your ADD to take charge of your life.
You might find that you need the hands-on help of a professional organizer to get you started, especially when the level of clutter feels too overwhelming.
If you are bothered by your clutter and are interested in my services, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help.
Wishing you an organized week!