Double Take Organizing

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Moving and need to get organized?

Organizing…it is word that sends chills down the backs of many. For some it’s the time that it takes. For others it’s an insurmountable task that is just too overwhelming to comprehend and for still others it is the physical and mental toll that organizing can take on someone. Especially in the case of downsizing, when you are moving from 2000 sq. ft. to 1000 sq. ft. or smaller.

House and Keys in Female Hands

I often tell people that organizing is a lot like a diet. You have to be committed to it and once you do it you see the benefits. Organizing can save you time, money and stress. I can’t think of better reasons to get organized.

But how can you possibly get rid of all the stuff you have collected, been given or hung onto for sentimental reasons over the years?

Well the first step in any organizing situation is to sort and edit. And this ladies and gentlemen is the hardest and longest part. So here are seven steps to make the process easier and smoother.

1. Start small – Pick an area that is not too difficult to go through. A cupboard in the kitchen or the shoes in the closet. Once you have completed that small area move onto another small area. It doesn’t really matter where you start just as long as you do.

2. Immediately get rid of things that you know you don’t want to keep. Setting up a recycling bag, garbage bag and donation bag in three different colours will help keep things organized. Especially if you are doing a large job.

3. For the items you do want to keep, ask yourself, have I used/worn this in a year? Do I see any use for it in the foreseeable future? Can someone else make use of this item? If you are downsizing, this part can be especially challenging but be sure to be honest with yourself. Keeping something that you never use only because it cost a lot of money, was a gift from someone or you might use it one day are not great reasons for keeping something and inevitably you will end up putting it back only to take it out a year later and think why did I keep this.

4. Try to stay focused, and this is where a professional organizer comes in handy, often, special items, pictures and other sentimental things can slow down the process tremendously as you stop to relive old memories. Having an unbiased outside party can help keep you track. Friends and family members can be helpful too but the odds are their focus is going to leave right along with you when you start thinking back on past events. It is important in an organizing situation to put those things aside and keep moving on. If there are a lot of pictures for example, put those aside in a picture box and you can come back to them when everything else is completed.

5. Expect that organizing will take twice as long as you think it will. The average amount of time I spend with a client is 6 hours and in most cases that is just one closet or one room. It can often take much longer if the person is downsizing. A whole house can take up to two weeks. Be sure to allocate extra time for the job and don’t expect to be able to run through it with lightning speed.

6. Realize your limitations, not everyone can spend six hours organizing at a time. Maybe 3 hours is preferable. Even 15 minutes a day can yield great results over a long period of time.

7. Start today! Maybe you’re thinking of selling your home down the road but you say to yourself, I don’t plan on moving for a long time, there’s no need to rush into things, which sounds good in theory but the longer you wait the more you accumulate and the older you get which lessens your physical capabilities.

Organizing doesn’t have to be hard and I am one of those crazy people that actually think it is fun! The best part for me is seeing the anxiety on someone’s face disappear after being paralyzed by their stuff for so long. Or to see them motivated to keep going on their own. A few of my clients have told me that after I left they were so motivated they organized a whole other room on their own. Which doesn’t seem like a lot but if organizing isn’t your strong suit this is a huge achievement.

Should you need any help getting started or if you have just moved in and need assistance don’t hesitate to give me a call. Calls are always free!

Happy organizing!

Laura

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Are distractions affecting your organization?

I am guilty and I am sure you are too. You have just worked all day and all you want to do is relax. Perhaps you spend some time online surfing the internet. Perhaps you flick on the television and watch some shows. Maybe you click on your iPad and play some games or text some friends on your cell phone.

Technology is a wonderful thing but it also makes us very distracted.

At a meeting I recently attended for the Professional Organizers in Canada, of which I’m a member, a wonderful lady named Lois Kennedy did a presentation for our members. One of the things she discussed really hit home for me and that was, “Get rid of the shiny objects.”

Business woman standing outside in front of office building, using mobile phone

If you are a parent, you have surely read numerous articles about “being present.” As a mom myself, I do see many parents on cell phones at parks and community centres whilst watching their children. I am not condoning this behaviour but it does distract us.

I often wonder about what it would have been like to live 100 years ago. Were past generations more organized because they had less-distractions to occupy their time? My grandmother had seven children and was one of the most organized women I have ever met.

So what can you do?

To start, I suggest an organizing diet of limiting one distraction every day and spending that time doing something to help you get organized.

For example, instead of watching television at night, spend that time making a meal plan or to-do list for the week. Organize your cupboards or even initiate the 15 minute nightly clean-up. All of these things will add up over time.

For the spirited and spontaneous among us getting organized can seem boring and downright repetitive but if you buckle down, remove the distractions and get into a routine it can become a time saver, a stress saver, a money saver and a general life saver.

As always, if you aren’t sure where to start, get in touch.

Happy organizing!
Laura


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Organizing gadgets for Dad

Since Father’s Day is this weekend, in honour of Fathers everywhere, I have decided to do a post on some cool gadgets Dad can use to get organized. Now, I don’t mean to stereotype but there are some more inherently male organizing products out there. To be fair, there are many products on this list that us lovely ladies can use as well.

For the sporty Dad

One of the biggest problems with a sport nut Dad is the obscene amount of sports equipment that he has. Why not clean up some of that sport clutter with these products.

Football Fan Watching Game

Sports rack and basket– Holds an assortment of different balls, baseball bats and other sports paraphenalia.

Golf rack and basket – Perfect for holding two golf bags and all the necessary golfing do dads and thing a ma bobs.

Fishing rod storage rack – For some reason, not sure why, my husband insists more than one fishing rod is necessary. If that is also the case for you then this may come in handy.

For the techy Dad

African American businessman talking on mobile phone, smiling

Super grip gadget pad – for your vehicle – This is a great for Dads on the go and if their cell phone is forever getting lost in between the seats or elsewhere in the car.

Mobile Phone Organizer – The beauty of this is that you never have to worry about where your phone is and whether it is charged. It is an all-around fantastic organizing tool not just for Dad’s but the whole family.

Cubby Wall Organizer – I don’t know about you but most guys I know are key impaired. This is the perfect thing to keep keys, cell phones, wallets and other items contained in so you always know where they are when leaving the house.

For the relaxing Dad

dad pic

Empty bottle organizer-Never face a broken beer bottle again with the help of this bottle organizer. It helps to prevent bottles from breaking when packed together.

Clicker Caddy – Remote control organizer – The age old problem of a lost remote is solved with this remote control organizer.

Wall Clip – Game Controller Storage and Organizer – If you have another kid, ahem, I mean a husband who likes games as much as the kids, these clips can be used to organize Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3 controllers.

For the handy Dad

Drilling
Parts organizer – If your Dad is the handy sort, why not help him keep all of his hardware, screws, nuts, bolts and other parts organized.

Tool Organizer – You can’t go wrong with the tool organizer. This is the handyman’s dream organizer for easy access to all the tools he needs on a regular basis.

Last but not least

businessman
Tie Organizer – Nothing says Father’s Day like a tie but if your Dad has a multitude of them why not invest in an organizer to keep them wrinkle free and in easy reach.
Happy Father’s Day and happy organizing!
Laura


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The Chore Chart

Being the organized mama that I am, I recently helped my daughter create her very own chore chart. My daughter will be celebrating her 4th birthday shortly so I thought it was time for her to have her very own mini to do list. It was very simple to construct and she even helped decorate it! Great tool and kept her busy for a few hours. Win-win!!

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Happy organizing!
Laura


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Apptacular apps for getting organized – Round one

One of the best things about getting organized is time. More time to live, love, laugh and all the other important things in life.

What a better way to save future hours, minutes and seconds then to use all the great technology at your disposal. Yes, I know what you are all thinking, it does require a bit of time to set these apps up but as with any organizing project if you maintain it and are consistent the organizing will give back again and again.

Alas, without further ado, in no specific order, here is a list of the most apptacular apps I have come across for home organizing.

Chick texting

Evernote – This apps slogan is, “Remember everything.” It syncs all your devices, lets you share notes with friends and colleagues, helps plan your next trip keeping all trip documents in one place, reduces paper clutter, takes pictures etc. They also have a variety of other apps that are equally fantastic!

My things, where are they? – The name gives it away but this app lets you list where everything is at home, work, storage etc. for easy retrieval. Of course if you move it, be sure to update the app. On a serious note, this is also important for insurance and safety reasons. Having a detailed list of items is always good in case of theft, fire and other emergencies.

Bill organizer -Once again, pretty self-explanatory but amazingly useful, plus imputing the data into the app is just an extra reminder. Even if you have internet banking this app can be helpful.

Topanga – This app allows you to keep track of everything you buy. It is great for large purchases because you can keep warranties, manuals and receipts together.

iPassword Manager – Everyone has million different passwords to remember so the great thing about this app is that it allows you to save every password you have to one main password that you can easily remember.

Neat listA great to-do list that lets you email tasks and also links to Dropbox, which is an amazing feature. Creating to-do lists is often all you need to motivate yourself to complete a project. Completing a task can even become, dare I say, addictive.

Motivated moms – This app gives you daily to-do’s and chore lists for busy moms. You can also add new to-dos. As if there isn’t a mom out there who couldn’t benefit from this app.

Carrot-The To-Do list with a personality – This is truly an app that makes organizing fun. If you have a sense of humour and can appreciate the app saying things like, “Hello lazy human,” then this apps for you.

Digit universal remote control– Okay so this isn’t organizing per say but I know I would save time every day if I didn’t have to search for the remote. However, lose your cell phone too and then you’re in trouble.

Happy organizing!

Laura