Friday, December 30, 2011

Make 2012 Your Year to Get Organized

Now that we've made it through the December hustle and bustle, we turn our sights to the New Year ahead. That's right, 2012 will be here before we know it - Sunday, in case you've lost track. The year's end is a great time to reflect on the year past and look forward to what lies ahead. For many people, this means New Year's resolutions...when we take stock of our lives and resolve to make changes to improve upon them. They can be big or small, but what gets us professional organizers excited is that so many resolutions can and do involve organizing! January is Get Organized (GO) month and we're ready and waiting to help. Here are some fun examples to give you some resolution inspiration:
  • This winter, I resolve to park my car in my perfectly good, but over-stuffed garage! As long as it's not frigid, set your sights on a garage clean out and you can have a place to park in no time. Call ahead and schedule a charity donation pick up so you'll have a firm deadline.
  • This year, I resolve to ditch my decades-old wardrobe! Give yourself the gift of a closet makeover. Donate or consign what you don't wear and spruce up your space with matching hangers and labeled bins or go "big" and re-do your closet system with the help of a professional.
  • This year, I resolve to give myself more free-time to spend with family, friends, or just myself. Check out this great article revealing signs that you're over-booked. Identify areas of your life that could use some simplifying and organizing and start crossing things off your calendar or to-do list for once!
  • This year, I resolve to cook healthy meals for my family! Start with a fridge, pantry and cupboard decluttering, then work on a simple meal planning strategy. This could be as easy as listing out 3-4 meals for the week, then creating a shopping list for those meals. I do this all on the notepad of my smart phone. If you build in left-overs, you'll have quick, easy lunches too!
Bottom Line: There are endless opportunities to weave organizing into your New Year's plans. Think about what could be easier in your day to day routine and GO for it. So what's on your list this year?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Home Stretch

If you've been following along with our blog and newsletter, you know we've been talking lists and tips, savvy shopping and party preparation to help you cross those holiday tasks off your list. But now that we're in the holiday home stretch, we wanted to remind everyone (including ourselves) that while this week might be crunch time to finish up your holiday preparation, it's also now or never to sit back and enjoy the holiday anticipation.

If you're like me and you enjoy the lights, the music and the holiday cards from friends and family, don't forget to take it all in. Before we know it, it will be January and we'll all be on to the next thing. We managed to get a tree up in our house last weekend and one of my favorite ways to wind down in the evenings is to sit on the couch and enjoy the warm glow and wonderful scent of our tree...preferably with a glass of wine. So take a moment to remember your favorite holiday pleasures and make time to get your fill over the next couple weeks. If that means scribbling out some to-do items that just aren't going to get done, I give you absolute permission to do so.

For full disclosure, I'll tell you what won't be getting done on my list. My updates to the family recipe book (a project I did a few years ago using, while in progress, won't make it under the tree. I'll just send them out as soon as I can reasonably get them done. Our holiday cards will also be festively "late" - hopefully arriving before Christmas weekend, though I am blaming Shutterfly who over-promised and under-delivered on the delivery timeline. Oh well!

More importantly, what will be happening...we will be spending Saturday night with friends who live in the next state and we don't get to see as often as we'd like. We will be helping my mother put up her tree this weekend so she can host us all for Christmas in style. We will continue to enjoy our tree, eagerly open holiday cards from friends and family, and show our 6 month old daughter the sights and sounds of the season.

Bottom Line: While you're waiting in the line at the Post Office, try not to tap your foot or look at your watch with steam coming out of your's not a good look. Instead, take a moment to send a message to a long lost friend or simply enjoy watching the world around you. Most of the time, it all goes by too fast!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gifts That Keep on Giving

It's that time of year - time to kick your holiday shopping into high gear. This year, why not give friends and family gifts that help them get and stay organized?! They're the gifts that keep on giving! Here are some fun ideas for different personalities on your list:

For the Chef...

Spice Stack Organizer

Tubby Countertop Organizer

For the Ladies...

Jewelry Stand

Hair Accessories Organizer

For the Guys...

Golf Rack Organizer

Remote Control Caddy

For Techies and Travelers...

Plug-in Charging Shelf

Cord Wraps

GRID-IT Gadget Case

For Families or Grandparents...

Childrens Art Cabinets

For anyone and everyone...

Key and Letter Holder

Label Maker

And of course, there's always the gift of getting organized. Order your Organizing Boston gift certificate today!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Closet Confessions

About a month ago, I wrote about practicing what I preach by giving my closet the old backwards hanger test. One month later, it's time to do the initial review to see which clothes I actually wore in the last month.

So here are the results. Out of 78 total hanging items, I wore 25 of them, which leaves 53 backwards hangers remaining. Not too surprising. We all have our favorites and tend to wear the same things over and over.

I said I would do an initial review and weed out what really needed to go, still leaving a "maybe" group on backwards hangers until the end of the year for a final judgment. I took out 6 items for donation and 2 that should have been put away with the summer clothes. I was proud of myself - a few of those 6 items were things that I'd let hang around for waaaay too long because they were good quality or a seemingly classic/useful item, but the reality was, I was not wearing them, and I knew it. So I took the plunge and evicted them from my closet. Even better, I took them to a donation place immediately, along with a few other items I'd already accumulated. It felt great to create some space and finally say good-bye to items I knew I shouldn't be keeping. So instead of a bag of clothing I don't wear, I now have a donation receipt for tax time.

If you're keeping up with the math, that leaves 45 backwards hangers or clothing items on probation to either wear or evict at the end of the month. To be fair, that number includes the majority of my sweaters, even favorite ones, because the weather has been so unseasonably warm around here. So I will definitely give them a chance.

One bonus of this process is that it tends to open your eyes to what you own and make you work a little harder to expand beyond your favorites by making an effort to wear things you like but don't tend to reach for. That will be part of my challenge this month. But at the end of the month, the hangers won't lie. Of course I'll be sure to stay accountable and report back on my progress.

While I'm confessing, I also have 3 bags of better quality clothes I'd like to consign that are currently cluttering my car. The consignment place I've used before closed, so I'm giving myself one week to make some calls and set up an appointment. If I can't get my act together or find a taker, I will go ahead and donate them too. They've already been out of my closet for at least a month and I'm not missing them, so it would be silly to move them back in.

Bottom Line: Setting deadlines and holding yourself accountable to someone (even yourself) is a great way to actually make progress when it comes to clearing clutter and finishing unfinished projects. Stay tuned for more updates!