March 31, 2010

The Dining Table

At our house the dining room is the hub. It's where the meals and conversations happen. It's where the homework is done and the crafts get spread out. It's the scrap booking layout area and the sewing project spot. I can't imagine having a dining room that I couldn't use everyday whenever I wanted. So when I had a family who hadn't used their dining room in three years, my heart sank. I knew that this would be the room we worked on today. It took three intensive hours to purge the room of excess paper that mostly needed shredding or recycling. It took another few hours to complete the room and relocate items to their proper homes. We found money, gifts, photos, and in the end...a dining table. As I sat down to eat our family dinner that night I smiled to myself knowing that a family of four was also sitting down to eat at a dining table for the first time in three years. It's moments like this that make me happy for the job I get to do and the people I get to help. That was a good day. Thank you for letting me in.

March 30, 2010

Go With The Flow

Even the best of plans can be turned upside down. Having a plan can help you transition from one lost opportunity into productivity. I have short term goals and long term goals. When a job gets canceled at the last minute (it happens to all of us) I look at my list of things to accomplish and pick one to work on. Sometimes it's a project that will take a few minutes or maybe I work on a piece of a long term project that I broke into steps and stages. Our time is precious and we can make the most of our days and nights by turning off the distractions and getting to work on what matters. Do you have a goal you are working on? Have you taken any steps to work towards your goal? Start today and write down what you need to do to reach your goal. The next time your day has a break you can look at your goal, pick something to do off your goal list and get moving.

March 22, 2010

Organized Families

I really enjoy helping families get organized. I like to dig in other peoples piles and help them sort out the clutter from the truly important. I like seeing how people open up about their stuff and their lives if you just give them the chance. Talking is inevitable when you work with me. I ask a lot of questions and love hearing the answers. I always have tissue because emotions run high when we let the outside world touch our personal belongings that hold sentiment and memories.

People like to ask me if my house if organized. Yes it is. I'm a touch of a control freak and my family would agree. Luckily I have three children, a husband, an old cat and a young dog to throw me a reality check and balance my world. There are items in my house that I know I should throw out but I'm not ready to yet. There are items long gone that I do not miss and many that I have forgotten.

What have I throw out lately? A shirt that I bought just last year that already had a small hole in it. I will not sew it, although I could, so it had to go. I also threw out a pair of sandals that I haven't worn in two years. They were too tight and uncomfortable. An old computer. Some blankets for the animal shelter. Fitted sheets that were pilling. Oh and I cleaned out my jewelery case and gave some shiny bits to the girls. I'm sure there is more but that's what comes to mind immediately. What have you let go of lately? I'd love to know.

March 18, 2010

Icy Roads

A little bit of ice on the roads can change your plans in an instant. The buses are not running and the kids come back into the house donned with all their gear. A happy surprise for them but an "oh no" moment for me. I have to work this afternoon and they will need supervision.
What's the plan? We have taken the time to talk about what happens when our schedules get knocked around by various circumstances, so I put our plan into action. First we call Daddy and inform him of the changes. Our babysitter is also on the same bus route (and I already know she's not in school!) so I have a backup if Daddy's schedule does not permit him coming home. Luckily Daddy can come home and I get to go to work or else I would work down the list.

Lesson-Emergency plans work. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors about being each others back-up plan. Write the plan down and include phone numbers so that anyone walking into your home during an emergency will be able to understand your plan easily.
Now I just need to put the headphones on so I can get some more writing done while the kids treat the living room like a playground. Maybe I'll even kick them outside!
I can't wait for it to warm up so I can get in here:

March 17, 2010

Getting it out of my head

So much of my time is spent reading and researching organizing news. When I get to bed I'm filled with ideas and strategies to get myself and my clients moving which doesn't help me get to sleep. I wanted a place to put down my ideas and share them with anyone who wants to listen. As I read new books or go to a new class I will let you know what I hear so you can use it in your life.
Monday night is NSGCD (National Study Group on Chronic ) night for me. I take teleclasses to work on different certificates in my field of study. This week we heard from Tiffany deSilva, MSW,LSW. Tiffany spoke about "Understanding Family Dynamics in the CD/ADD/LD Home". A great class that was well presented and easy to understand. I appreciated her points that focuses towards what I can do as a Professional Organizer to help clients reduce stress and help maintain structure in their already busy and ever-changing lives. She gave a huge list of resources which I would love to start gathering to have a master list to refer to. Another to-do list item for me.
If you see an organizing topic that you think I should read, please pass it along. I love organizing stuff and I love mail.
My blogger friend Rhonda says that a blog is no fun without a photo, so here's a photo of a Chronically Disorganized client of mine that is working on staying organized. Basements can be a dangerous place once items block electrical and heating units as well as pathways.