Did you know organizers don’t just organize? Professional organizing comes in all sorts of flavors. Some organizers are more generalists and cover lots of areas; others pick one specialty and stick to that. Have a look at the variety of challenges where professional organizers can help:
- Business development
- Children and teen organizing
- Chronic disorganization
- Closet design and organizing
- Corporate operations
- Digital organizing
- Estate management
- Estate sales
- Event planning
- Feng Shui
- Financial management/Bookkeeping/Bill-paying
- Garage sales
- Hands-on organizing
- Hoarding behavior
- Home inventories
- Home offices
- Home staging
- Household management
- KonMari organizing
- Notary Public
- Online sales
- Paper management
- Personal assistance
- People with disabilities
- Project management
- Psychology involved in organizing/productivity
- Records management
- Relocation and move management
- Social media
- Space planning and design
- Speaking and training
- Storage units
- Task and time management
- Team productivity
- Travel prep
- Virtual organizing
No matter the size or scope of your project, we can help you find an organizer with the specialty you need! Ask us for recommendations or go directly to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals — NAPO.net.
Filed under ADD/ADHD, artwork, Bathroom, Bay Area Services, Bedroom, Business Organizing, children, Closets, clothing, couples, Decluttering, disorganization, downsizing, Empty Nest, Garage, General Organizing, Holidays, home organizing, Kids, Kitchen, Laundry, Living Room, Memorabilia, Moving, Office, Paper, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, School, Seniors, Storage, Technology, Time Management, Travel, Wedding
Usually when we talk about shedding we mean purging – today we’re talking about storage!
Don’t overlook your side yard and back yard as places to expand functional storage. It doesn’t take a huge footprint to add in a decent capacity storage shed.
There are many vendors of pre-made sheds in all sizes, shapes, and materials. Some can sit directly on the ground and some need a foundational base of concrete or pilings. Often a handyman can help with the preparation and assembly or the company you buy the shed from may offer that service as well. As an example, it took our handyman 10 hours to fully assemble 3’ x 6’ shed that did not need a foundation. So, don’t forget to factor in the cost of labor in the price of your shed.
Things to consider storing in a shed:
- Sports equipment
- Camping supplies
- Yard/gardening tools & supplies
- Car supplies
- Emergency supplies
- Holiday decorations
- Extra paint and building materials
- Out of season or size clothes
- Archive documents
If you’re storing things like clothes, papers, or memorabilia, make sure they are in tightly lidded tubs.
Sheds go beyond pure storage and can be working areas as well. Some can be wired with electricity, have flooring, and function as small studio or office spaces.
As with organizing any space, be very conscious about how you populate it. Use the vertical space as much as possible by adding in utility shelving or appropriate hangers for things like ladders and bikes. Use larger, stackable tubs to group small items where appropriate and don’t forget to label them. Painter’s tape makes a quick, large label you can write on (use a thick marker) and change easily if needed.
Having extra storage is grand but beware – sheds can be a tempting dumping ground and quickly get out of hand!
Remember those days of luxury when you lived by yourself and had total control over every inch of your space? It may or may not have worked for you, but you were the only person it affected. But now you find yourself sharing space with your honey…and crap is everywhere*? &#! If you find yourself doing battle around the clutter in your shared home, remember these three tips:
#1 Neither of You is “Right”
When we choose to share space with others we give up some of those rights of autonomy in exchange for having to compromise and make the home livable for all who use it. Negotiate change from a perspective of how spaces need to function, not who is right.
#2 Allow for Personal Spaces
Whether it’s a single drawer or cabinet or an entire room, it’s helpful for each of you to have some space that only you oversee and get to keep however you want. Have clear boundaries about who is responsible for which spaces. And decide which spaces are managed jointly. Good fences make good neighbors.
#3 Manage Your Own Mess First
It’s so much easier to see where the other person has a problem. But step back and take stock of your own clutter collections first. Managing your own messes will help disarm your partner and show them you’re committed to making the home better for both of you.
Easier said than done, of course, and sometimes these conversations get waylaid by emotional charge. Tackle one small area at a time to build up the communication skills and get help if you get stuck! An objective party – a trusted friend, therapist, or professional organizer – can help you separate out and solve the practical issues of decluttering. Remember your goal: creating a home that nurtures your relationship and life together. Co-managing a home is one way to show love and respect for your sweetie.
Tip: Start your day with a routine that primes you to be in charge
All of us, at one time or another, get that sinking feeling of having way too much to do in way too little time. It’s demoralizing to feel overwhelmed by the routine tasks of everyday life. While barely treading water with the routine tasks, it doesn’t take much – a flat tire, an unexpected potluck, a roof leak – to push your schedule into full chaos. How can you reclaim your sanity and sense of control and competence?
Here are some strategies from a recent workshop we took from Productivity Coach, Steve Kirch.
Make Conscious Choices
Busy is a choice, but often doesn’t feel like it. You may not feel like you have choice or control over your time. But even in the most obligated person’s schedule there is enough wiggle room to create space for reflection, planning, and some choice-making. Regaining control of your schedule and your life, starts with making a little time to evaluate the bigger picture and consciously deciding what tasks are essential and where they fit best in your schedule. Otherwise, we get pulled from our important goals into other people’s priorities.
Purge, Purge, Purge
One of the most essential things to do is re-evaluate how much you take on. Just as our spaces get cluttered, so do our schedules. Given your personal priorities, figure out both your essential tasks and those that make you truly happy — and fit those in first.
Create a Morning Routine
It doesn’t have to take oodles of time to plan. Start with 10 minutes of any day and be intentional about how you are going to spend your day. What are YOUR critical few priorities for today? The ideal time to do this is first thing in the morning.
Consider getting up a little earlier and incorporating this short morning routine that grounds you for the day and helps you feel in control of the ship:
- Stretch or move
- Drink some water
- Plan the day (check your calendar)
Get Things Done
Try these strategies for actually getting tasks done:
- Time blocking – group like tasks together and schedule a block of time to complete them before moving on to a different set of tasks or project.
- Pomodoro Technique® – work for 25 minutes, don’t work for 5 minutes, for 4 rounds –then take a longer break.
- Don’t check email first thing in morning.
- Know your biological prime time – what is yours? Try and schedule important tasks during this higher energy time.
- If you’re naturally distractible (ADD), structure your planning time to avoid distractions and consider silencing your phone or putting it on airplane mode to avoid interruptions.
Try to incorporate one or two of these tips into your day and see how it feels. If you need more help, consult with a Professional Organizer, Coach or Productivity Specialist. Asking for help can be one of the most productive tips of all.
Sale runs into February…
It’s that time of year again. Your closets are bursting, drawers are overflowing, and this is the year you are finally getting organized. You’re in luck, the elfa® shelving sale at the Container Store® is underway!
Why do we love elfa® closet systems?
- Esthetically pleasing
- Completely changeable
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to install
CLEAN LINES, VARIETY OF LOOKS
There are several different finish options for your closet system – a ventilated wire shelf in white or platinum with optional wood edging, solid shelves in many different veneers…the variety means their systems fit lots of different tastes. See examples of the different styles on their best-selling solutions page.
PRICED TO FIT ANY BUDGET
Closet pricing can vary from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand depending on the size and complexity of the design.
- A standard 6’ closet outfitted with one clothes rod and two 6’ shelves prices out at around $200 (during the sale!) — mind you, that doesn’t include their fantastic drawers or gliding shoe shelves
- “Décor” edging and shelving, drawers, shoe shelves, tie racks, hooks, bins, and other accessories will add to the cost
- The ventilated and solid melamine shelving are the most economical
Master closet right after move-in
This plan uses solid front drawers
NOT JUST FOR CLOSETS
The variety and adaptability of this shelving makes it perfect for many spaces – they also have free-standing elfa® units if you don’t have available wall space:
- Garage, basement & attic are great places for shelving
- Create a wall-mounted desk with shelves above
- Kitchen pantry
COULD IT BE ANY EASIER TO INSTALL?
The design of the system makes installation super simple.
- The whole system hangs from a single bar they call a top track. Once you get that installed securely, there is no further need for tools or the help of your handyman
- It usually takes about an hour to install a basic 6’ closet
- We must say that the Container Store’s® installers are friendly and quick. They can handle demolition of the existing closet and can handle any adjustments needed for unexpected glitches in the planning process
- If one is only installing a single closet system, the installers are a little pricey (they have a $180 minimum) so take advantage of this sale – installation is also discounted
BUT WAIT! Closet design isn’t the starting point.
How each closet functions is an integral part of how a whole house stays organized. Before you invest in a makeover of any one closet be sure that you’re storing what you really need and that you’re storing it in the appropriate location…should your boxes of photos and memorabilia really live in the master bedroom closet?
We offer closet and storage assessments to advise on how to maximize space. If you want help figuring out the best closet solutions for your needs, contact us!
Do any of these feel familiar?
- Things are getting done but feels like it’s only by blind luck or chance rather than design
- You’re barely treading water with all the tasks, apt, obligations on your plate
- You fantasize about more time for leisure or healthy habits like yoga, meditation, exercise?
- You feel like a fraud? You hold it together in your professional life but fear if people saw how you managed your home or your personal life, they’d be shocked?
- You say “no” all the time and it still isn’t enough?
If the list above feels familiar, stop and reflect on how you are already accomplishing a full and active life.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do critical items such as bills and deadlines mostly get handled?
- Are your kids going off to school fed and clothed?
- Are your kids’ interests being supported?
- Do you move your body or do some form of physical activity?
- Do you maintain regular contact with your friends?
- Do you show up to work regularly? Are you doing an okay job at work?
- Is your home functioning to support your basic living needs?
True, there’s always room for improvement in some or all these areas but we often see people measuring themselves against a completely unrealistic standard of what they think they are “supposed” to be doing. Holding onto unrealistic expectations is setting yourself up to feel perpetually overwhelmed and underachieving.
In our modern world, with access to unlimited information and means to acquire things, many of us have raging expectations — wanting our homes to look like a magazine — wanting our bodies to age without showing — wanting our relationships to look perfect — wanting to avoid making mistakes — wanting to give our kids every opportunity for enrichment and advancement.
So, ARE you disorganized?
Like most of us, probably a bit. But it’s possible you’re being unrealistic and not appreciating how hard you’re working and how much you’re accomplishing every day.
Take a step back and savor the life you have, accepting what you have is “good enough.” You can still dream for “more and better.”