Archive for the ‘Organizing Strategies’ Category

The Rewards of Organizing

Monday, March 6th, 2017

The Rewards of OrganizingThis story is true but the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the innocent.

Given a choice, would you choose freedom or burden?  Pierre chose to fly like a kite, free from the burdens of his “stuff.”

Pierre is 60 years old.  For decades, he ran a successful business and was the family member in charge of multiple generations’ history.  Can you imagine the collection of papers and artifacts that accumulated in his home, office and multiple costly storage rooms?

Each storage room cost Pierre $4,800 each year.  The thought of facing the contents of the room was stressful, causing daily anxiety.  He was determined to simplify his life but overwhelming feelings influenced his procrastination.  Finally, with lots of caring, non-judgmental support and the dedication of 5 hours organizing with me to sort through and make decisions, here are the results:

  • Emptied one storage room.
  • Found forgotten items to be used today.
  • Enjoyed various memories.
  • Connected and shared with assorted family members interested in artifacts.
  • Employed a shredding company to shred 25 boxes of old tax info and dated material.
  • Made charitable donations of supplies, electronics and furniture to a local children’s after school center.
  • Added tax deductions for donated items.
  • Received help from an intern in exchange for a well-deserved college recommendation.
  • Saved $4,800 per year on storage bills.

Pierre is now relieved of much stress and anxiety, feeling lighter, happier and energized.

As you can see, simplifying and organizing is not only freeing, it’s giving, sharing, connecting, and empowering; in addition, it’s making others happy and successful.  It’s also cathartic, emotional and strengthens relationships.  The costs of storing “stuff” are more than monetary.  They can take their toll on our emotions and relationships.

Pierre chose to take the time to reduce his burden and feel the freedom.  Can he tackle another storage room and gain more freedom and joy from the burden of excess?  I think he knows he can.

Now that you know what is possible, think about your “storage costs”.  Is it overwhelming?  Now, count to 10, and recapture your senses from the burden of your own overwhelmed accumulations.  Can you tackle your stuff, and rejoice in the same accomplishments that Pierre achieved?  The rewards of organizing and de-cluttering are beyond monetary.

Organizing Options for Care-giving and Care-getting

Monday, August 29th, 2016

balance-1372677-1024x682I heard it said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The other day, I received a call from a client who confidently exclaimed When I get stuck, I ask myself What would Marcia do?” Wow!!!! I was flattered and glowed with pride. I pride myself in setting a good example by practicing what I preach. Managing time, for instance, is self management. If you had a brief 20 minutes to get something done or started, what would you choose to do? The following are options for accomplishing something in 20 minutes from which this Veteran Professional Organizer would choose.

Enrichment Creative
Learn something new Draw, paint, craft
Practice a skill Cook, Garden
Read Play Music
  Photograph
Social Write, Visualize
Catch up on Social Media De-Clutter/ Organize
Call Someone  
Write a note Well-Being
  Snuggle your pet
Tasks Meditate, pray
File, Put stuff away Yoga, Exercise
Clean/clean out Healthy snack
De-Clutter/ Organize Personal hygiene

Did I leave out any choices? One cannot say there is nothing to do, unless your choice is to do nothing. We have to capitalize on downtime, if not create it.

We all enjoy having choices, but we often fritter away precious moments. What can you accomplish in 20 minutes? What do you need? Is it an urgent need, or a plan for some future important event? If you’ve thrown away precious time in the past, start new. Set a timer. Eliminate distractions such as silencing electronic alerts (except for emergencies).

Life is full. We’re so busy as care-givers to ourselves, our families, our businesses and our loved ones, that we forget to “care-get.” We’re filled with obligations to others, demands from new life, and expired life, let alone our own deadlines. And because we care-give so much, there are more demands on us to organize. We can’t properly help others unless we help ourselves first. The flight attendant’s announcement before every flight includes “In the event of an emergency, make sure your oxygen mask is securely tightened before assisting a child.” Ask YOURSELF, “What do I need to help myself?” Should I write another post on how to ask for help?

Take heed this quote by Amelia Earhart, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.” Have the courage to organize, grant yourself peace of mind, and ask yourself, “What would Marcia do?”

The Right Strategy for Paring Down

Monday, February 15th, 2016

How do you tackle your accumulations? All at once? Five minutes a day? Work alone? Make a plan? Start with a drawer? There are so many different strategies to pare down and/or organize your “stuff”. I believe that there is no “right way.”

BlankCanvasWe cannot compare our stuff with others’, and we cannot compare our lives with that of others’.   We each have our own “best way” to organize.

The industry of Professional Organizing officially began in 1985 by a handful of bold women. Today, there are thousands of professional organizers in the world, each having a specialty, unique personality, style and philosophy. Marie Kondo, a new popular author of simplifying, emphasizes that if “the thing” does not resonate with you, “it” no longer belongs in your life. That makes for an easier decision to keep or eliminate.

One strategy is to start with easy decisions. The easier the decision, then the organizing process flows. If you start with the hard decisions, one could get stuck. I vote for easy, and small changes over time.  

Leo Tolstoy, the great author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, knew that great success was achieved by taking baby steps.   He stated, “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”   Taking baby steps give us a chance to experience the changes in our lives. When we give ourselves time to make decisions to keep or eliminate our things, relationships and/or relationship(s) with things or people, we have great opportunities for success.

Follow the advice of Tolstoy: The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. So remember: Great achievements take time, there is no overnight success.”

Be successful at organizing your space and your life. Make thoughtful decisions to keep or eliminate, and organize the “best way” for you.