Time To Talk Taxes

March 9, 2014
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What – it’s time to do taxes again? Start now and the looming April 15th deadline won’t be so scary!

Here is a link to the tax prep 101 blog post I wrote last year for you to refer to: http://simplyorganizedyou.com/tax-prep-101/

This year, I’m going to focus on donations. Donating your household items is a great way to maximize your tax deductions and lower the amount you owe (or increase your refund). Let’s not forget, it’s also a great way to get rid of clutter while doing a good deed.

There are lots of places to donate your stuff.  Goodwill makes it very easy by having hundreds of convenient locations all around metro Atlanta (I have 5 within 15 miles of my home in Cumming). There are also other charities that accept items like the Humane Society Thrift Stores, Salvation Army stores, etc.

Do you need someone to pick up your clothes, household items or furniture? www.donationtown.org is a great site to help you find a local charity and schedule a truck. They work with Salvation Army, Kidney Fund, VA and many more. For furniture, most places prefer it to not be scratched or stained. The one item most charities will not take is mattresses.

In 2013 there was one change you should be aware of regarding donations to Goodwill. They set up a new system where you go online to input your deductions. If you donated anything to Goodwill in 2013 (or if I did it for you) you should have a receipt with a number at the top. Go to this site to input your itemized donations: http://www.goodwill.org/#. Click on “sign in” and register an account.

If you need to find out how much the items you donated are worth, this site will help you with values: http://www.goodwill.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Donation_Valuation_Guide.pdf. This guide is useful for any items you’ve donated even if they weren’t given to Goodwill but always get a receipt no matter where you go.

If you prefer to consign or sell your stuff, give me a call and I’ll point you in the right direction:

404-825-2105 or Heather@SimplyOrganizedYou.com

 

 

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Simply Organized On The Radio!

February 24, 2014
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More Time, Less Stress: Simply Organized! What’s not to like?!

Feb 23, 2014

radioshow

Click on the link below and press the “play” button to listen to my interview with Eugeria radio:

http://www.gscatlanta.com/news/more_time_less_stress_simply_organized_whats_not_to_like/

Heather Rogers, a Georgia girl who graduated from the University of Georgia, successfully climbed the corporate ladder. Three years ago Heather decided to get off of the “hamster wheel” of sales. She tapped into her type A personality and used her organizational skills to help others. Heather focuses on helping people find peace in this hectic, always more to do, world. Simply Organized was founded to help people simplify their lives.

Organizing is not about getting rid of everything you own; it’s about making the things you use more easily accessible to you so you don’t waste time and money. “We will set up a system that works for you and keep you focused to realize your goals, making your life easier. We can make your home and work into a place that is peaceful, clutter-free and stress-free!”

Simply Organized serves clients in Atlanta metro area including Cherokee, Cobb, Dawson, North DeKalb, Forsyth, North Fulton, Gwinnett and Hall counties.

Listen in as Heather describes how she helps the overwhelmed find more time in their day and less stress in their lives. To contact Heather directly, you can call 404-825-2105; email her at Heather@simplyorganizedyou.com or visit her web site at www.simplyorganizedyou.com.

We want to thank Griswold Home Care for sponsoring today’s show. Griswold Home Care has been a preferred provider of high quality, affordable in-home senior care in Atlanta for more than 20 years.

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Organizing is cool!

February 17, 2014
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So far, I have seen Organizing as the main topic in three March magazines. Redbook has a great article on managing your time, Reader’s Digest devoted their “what they won’t tell you” section to Professional Organizers and Oprah’s theme is “De-Clutter Your Life 2014!”  in the March issue of O. I’ll give you my favorite parts of each of the three articles.

redbook

 

In the Redbook article on managing your time, they state an opinion I agree with:  “We’ve convinced ourselves that extreme busyness is a virtue.”  I find this to be so true in our current daily lives.  It’s an American theme that we work too much as mentioned in this fact: “Office culture rewards extreme hours – Americans work longer days and have the least vacation time of any country.”  So what is the solution? The article suggests having no more than seven items on your to-do list (which is all our brains can handle).  Also, prioritize your lists and leave the small stuff (folding laundry) to 5% or less of your time.  I say,  instead of feeling guilty if you are not running crazy 24/7, try to schedule yourself less.  Say no to the extra committee meeting or volunteer job every once in awhile and turn all of your technology off for an hour each evening and half a day on the weekends for family time.

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The “13 Things Professional Organizers Won’t Tell You” in the Reader’s Digest article includes a few of my favorite organizing tips for clients. #8 is do not waste your money on a storage unit. “You could buy all the stuff that’s in there for the price of the annual rental fee – and that doesn’t include the cost of the moving truck.”  #10 is about having a home for all of your belongings.  My advice to my clients is always: if you know where everything goes and spend five minutes a day putting things where they go, you will never have to spend hours trying to find items you’ve misplaced or waste money re-buying things.

Oprah has Peter Walsh giving advice in her March O magazine.  My new favorite quote from Peter Walsh is also about having a home for all of your belongings. He says “everyone has a place in their house for forks. If you found a random fork in the bathroom or under the couch, you’d immediately know it didn’t belong there and would return it to it’s drawer without another thought. Everything in your life should be this easy to put away. If an item occupies no specific location when it’s not in use, it becomes clutter.”

Some more quotes from Peter Walsh: “That ugly sweater your mother gave you is not your mother.” “When you put things into a pile to deal with later, you have lost the battle.”  I hear both of these excuses from my clients every day. They are afraid to part with a gift because it might hurt someone’s feelings but the person who gave you that gift was not intending it to become a burden to you.  The second quote is pure procrastination. Deal with it now so it does not become stress later.  This is especially important when it come to mail.  Deal with it immediately, don’t let it pile on top of a counter or surface it doesn’t belong.

I am thrilled to see organization getting so much attention in mainstream media and print.  Being  organized is now the cool thing to do.  It’s also a great way to make your life less stressful and increase your time so you can spend time doing what you love.

If you would like some help with your time or clutter management, give us a call at 404-825-2105 or e-mail heather@simplyorganizedyou.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Resources for selling your items or donating them

January 20, 2014
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Resources for selling your items and charitable pick-up:

Online re-sellers (items under 25 lbs.)
E-Bay: Will send you a box for free and list your items for 25% profit
855-322-9826

Ruth’s Re-Selling: Will list and show your items to local buyers for 30% Craigslist or 40% E-bay (will ship)
678-628-3951 ruthgator@comcast.net

Consignment for furniture (will pick up within Atlanta area)

Decatur Estate Liquidators 404-378-4889 decaturestates@bellsouth.net
Finders Keepers (also has clothing consignment) 404-931-7785 www.fkconsign.com

Estate Sales:
Gold Star Estate Sales 770-641-9330 goldstarestatesales.com

Meg Samuels www.e-state.biz 404-849-9614

Charitable Pick up:
Bruce Carter 770-873-6058

Salvation Army 404-522-9785

www.donationtown.org

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2014 Resolution: shed stuff and feel lighter than shedding pounds

January 7, 2014
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Did you know January is GO (Get Organized) month? January is known for starting fresh and setting resolutions for yourself so why not include get organized to your goals? Getting organized can be easier and more attainable than most people think. In my opinion, it’s a heck of a lot easier to shed stuff than pounds.

The best way to get started is to pick one space in your home, office or life in general and put it on your calendar. Write down your goals for how you want the space to look (what you need it to function as) when it’s finished. Set a timer for 30 minutes and get started.

1. Sort all of your like items and put them together.
2. Get rid of anything broken.
3. Place all duplicates and any items not used in over 1 year in a “donate” box or bag.
4. Place any items that don’t belong in your space in a pile to store or put elsewhere in your home.
5. All items left go back into your new space. Store or place them where they all have a “home” so you can find them easily.
6. Use shelving, backs of doors and under beds in order to get the most out of your space.

Since physical clutter leads to emotional clutter, you will feel better and lighter by getting organized. Hopefully, this will check a few items off of your 2014 resolution’s list.

If you want some hands-on help, please call Simply Organized at 404-825-2105 or e-mail heather@simplyorganizedyou.com..

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The Holidays – Prepare now and you will avoid stress later

November 19, 2013
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I hate to be the bearer of any stress- inducing news but the holidays are here! Did you know Chanukah starts Nov. 28th which is the same day as Thanksgiving? Then we have less than a month for Christmas on Dec. 25th and Kwanza on the 26th. Simply Organized has a plan for you that will help you enjoy your holidays more:

1. Make your gift giving lists now.

2. Take advantage of the Thanksgiving long weekend to write, address and stamp your holiday cards.  Even if your traveling, this can be done on a plane or as a passenger in the car.

3. If you enjoy Black Friday shopping, by all means get your holiday gifts bought on Nov. 29th or take advantage of Small Business Saturday Nov. 30th and Cyber Monday Dec. 1st.

4. If you are home Thanksgiving weekend, take the time to decorate your house, go get your tree and or start the holiday baking (you can freeze your cookies and breads and give them away later).

5. If you need any wrapping paper, tags, tape or gift bags, buy them in the next two weeks (hopefully you have some left over from last year – I recommend buying it on sale after the holidays).

6. As you buy your gifts (or they start arriving in the mail) wrap them. If you do a few per night, it’s not as daunting and you don’t have to worry about hiding them.

7. See my previous blog post “Thanksgiving Prep 2013” for tips on dinner meal prep and getting the house ready for guests.

Getting a few of these items done now will mean less stress later and more time to enjoy your friends and family!

*** If you need any help decorating the house or taking down the decorations after the holidays, please give Simply Organized a call at 404-825-2105. We would be happy to help!***

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Thanksgiving Prep 2013

November 6, 2013
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I can’t believe it’s already November! That usually means it’s time to start panicking – I mean preparing for the holiday season. I am attaching two helpful articles. One is about Thanksgiving meal prep and the other is guest prep for all of those wonderful relatives who may be staying with you this year. Simply Organized wishes you a very simple and stress-free Thanksgiving. If we can make your holiday easier, please give us a call at 404-825-2105.

1. http://personalorganizing.about.com/od/holidaytimemanagement/a/Ideas-For-Thanksgiving.htm

2.http://www.allyou.com/budget-home/organizing-cleaning/guest-room-00411000069977/page14.html

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The Well Organized Traveler

October 17, 2013
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The Well Organized Traveler

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I will be at the John’s Creek Stein Mart store on October 25th showing people how to pack more efficiently. I hope these tips help when you’re planning a trip.

Once you’ve decided where and when you are traveling, check the weather the week before so you can pack appropriately.

1. Make a packing list

 a. Necessities

 i. Toothbrush
ii. Medication
b. Electronics and chargers
c. Clothing and shoes
d. Toiletries
e. Misc. = Hat, coat, umbrella, work documents or USB drive

2. Choosing clothes to pack

a. VIP = underwear and socks
b. Pack wrinkle-resistant outfits
c. Choose items you can mix and match
d. Pack shoes that go with most outfits (black and brown)

3. How to pack

a. Shoes go in suitcase first (wear your bulkiest pair on plane)
b. Roll your clothes to save space
c. Use Zip Lock bags for all liquids and toiletries
d. To minimize wrinkling, use drycleaner bags in between clothing

4. Carry on

a. Have your VIP meds with you
b. Book
c. Electronics and chargers
d. Small toiletries (under 3oz. in a separate Zip Lock)
e. Always pack a snack

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Time to Change The Closets – Fall Edition

October 16, 2013
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Clothes

 

It is October in Georgia and despite our usual Indian Summer, it’s time to get out some long-sleeve shirts and those cute boots you’ve missed. Fall is my favorite time of year! Everything feels crisp and clean and like a new beginning. I love to get out my Fall and Winter clothes (it’s like Christmas). Unless you have a closet and dresser large enough to fit a whole year’s wardrobe, it’s time to change your closets!

Hopefully, you have all of your out-of-season clothes bagged or boxed up and labeled so they are easy to find and don’t have to be re-washed. If you don’t, that’s your tip for what to do with the Spring and Summer clothes you are about to go through and put away.

Step 1: Go through your hanging clothes and dresser and decide if they all need to be stored for the Winter or if you can part with some shorts and t-shirts that don’t fit, have holes or you have not worn them all year. It’s a good idea to keep a few warmer weather items out in case of warmer days (you can always layer).

Step 2: Bag up the items you will not wear again to take for donation.

Step 3: If you really think something may fit next year (but did not this year) put it in it’s own box and label it by the size and year for storage.

Step 4: All clothing you will definitely wear again in the Spring goes in a water and dust proof (plastic) bin or box labeled “Spring 2014″. If you are tight on storage space, try Space Bags or under bed bags or bins and store them under your bed or in the top of your closet.

Step 5: Get out your Fall/Winter clothes. Make sure they fit, are clean and you want to wear each item (if in doubt – DONATE).

Step 6: Hang all of your clothes in your closet sorted by type and color or folded in your dresser by type and color (all jeans together, all sweaters, work clothes, etc.)

Step 7: Shoes – if you have limited space for shoes, put away the open-toed pairs and flip flops to make space for your boots and winter shoes. You can always hang a shoe holder on the back of the closet door for more space.

Step 8: Enjoy the next 6 months of cool weather!

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