Organizing is cool!

February 17, 2014
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oprah

 

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.

readers digest 1

 

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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freeorganizer

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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 stock-photo-2360386-colour-gift-boxes-isolated-on-white-background

 

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!***

stock-photo-14313862-happy-holidays-ornaments

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Thanksgiving Prep 2013

November 6, 2013
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stock-photo-17887217-traditional-thanksgiving-autumn-holiday-background

 

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

stock-photo-16673250-summer-travel-suitcase

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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Organizing a Toy Room

September 29, 2013
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Most people find their children’s toy rooms very overwhelming. Most of our kids have a lot of toys, games, art work, craft supplies and other stuff. Here are a few tips to clear off that toy room floor and get your kids an organizational system that they can keep picked up all by themselves (depending on age and good behavior of course :)).

The key to keeping a toy room clutter-free is to have a bin or box for each type of toy. For example, in the client toy room seen below, we set up separate boxes and bins for super heroes, trains, little people, legos, puzzles, flash cards, stuffed animals, music, arts and crafts, cars as wells as a school work bin and a storage basket full of completed craft projects.

Larger toys are best kept in open bins or on top of the cubbies, smaller toys fit easily into boxes with lids. Most of the boxes bins are clear which makes it easy to see inside even though they are all labeled. After your child is finished playing, the toys go back into the shelf, bin or box it belongs in. In order to keep all puzzle and game pieces together, use zip lock bags inside of their boxes.

You will see a canvas shelving system for books in my clients toy room but you can also use a traditional book case. For an extra special project, frame and hang your children’s art work. This is a great way to display and enjoy your kid’s creativity.

My client bought most of her storage containers, shelving and frames from IKEA. They have a lot of different size and color options and are very affordable. If you don’t have an IKEA near you, you can also find great toy storage options at Target, Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

I hope this blog motivates you to de-clutter your kid’s toys. If you feel like you need some help, please call or e-mail me at Simply Organized 404-825-2105 or heather@Simplyorganizedyou.com

toy room 1toy room 2

toy room 3

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Help with all those e-mails

September 11, 2013
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computer

 

Are you overwhelmed with too many e-mails? Do you find yourself avoiding the 268 messages in your inbox that haven’t even been opened? Are you sick of all the spam you continue to receive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love Unroll.me. It’s a free service that allows you to control your e-mails. This is the second time I’ve mentioned this service in my BLOG as well as in numerous speeches and to most of my clients. I’ve been using it for about a year and have found it more useful each week.

You go onto www.unroll.me. You give them your e-mail address and password. You then decide which e-mails you would like to “roll” into one e-mail per day or which you would like to unsubscribe to.  For example, I get between 4-24 e-mails per day with coupons to my favorite stores. I do not shop at these stores every day but when I do, it’s nice to have my electronic coupons handy. I don’t want to stop receiving these e-mails but I also do not want to open 24 of them per day. I rolled them into a daily e-mail from unroll.me so I get one e-mail per day that contains everything I want to receive.

Unroll.me sends me notices when they have found spam e-mails and asks if I would like to roll them into my daily e-mail or unsubscribe to them. Today, I took a spare 10 minutes and unsubscribed to 455 e-mail lists. Yes, I said 455!!! They were all alphabetized so I could see that Old Navy (and many other sites) doesn’t just send from one address but 7 different addresses so I rolled up the one with my coupons and unsubscribed from the other 6.

This should help you keep your e-mail inbox more organized and free from most of the unwanted spam.

Happy organizing!

Heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

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