5 ways clutter costs you money!

 There are so many great reasons to eliminate clutter from your life but what if being organized  helped you save money and become more thrifty!  These 5 facts may give you a new perspective on the clutter in your home:

1.  Replacements: Have you ever purchased an item at the store because you thought you were out? This often happens in the pantry. You thought you needed tomato sauce. You swore you were out.  4 days later, you find 6 jars on a random shelf in the basement. These were purchased as a back up but since you don’t have a good organizing system, these errors happen more than you care to admit.

2.  Deadlines:  Recent reports say up to 23% of adults are late paying bills (and incur late fees) because they actually cannot find the bills in their homes. Not only does this clutter habit cost you money but it is stressful too!

3. Fees:  Americans are hooked on self storage. According to www.bloomberg.com the self storage industry generates more than 24 billion dollars in revenue (2014 estimate) annually.  That is a lot of money that could be spent on other things – like a fabulous vacation, getting ahead on your bills, or a higher balance in your IRA.

4. Space:  The US Department of Energy reports that 25% of the households with a 2-car garage can’t use the space for parking because the garage is filled with “stuff”.

5.  Health:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention magazine state unequivocally that 80% of our medical expenditures are now stress related. Clutter and disorganization create stress for everyone – from the head of the household to the child who can’t find her gym shoes for school.

So even after you have bought and paid for the things in your home, you are still paying to store, clean, move and manage your stuff!  Maybe looking at clutter from this point of view will motivate you to finally take care of your clutter problem.  Go to Girl Organizing Solutions can help you reclaim your garage, empty that storage space or set up a bill pay station.  Control your clutter and save money too – we promise it will make a difference in your life!

 

 

Organize your Head, Organize your Home

Researchers say physical clutter makes us feel irritable, impatient & overwhelmed.  The premise is simple.  Since our internal and external worlds are linked, clutter in your physical space can have a direct impact on your mental space.  When we let go of the physical clutter and release objects that no longer serve a purpose or bring us joy, we creates an easing of tension that affects us mentally.  If you are suffering from clutter overload, try these simple decluttering activities and  alleviate your clutter overload:
1. Problem:  your magazine baskets are overflowing with issues you have not even opened.  Solution:  keep no more than 2 months of back issues of any magazine.  It is highly unlikely you will make the time to read  any magazine that has been in the pile for that long.
2.  Problem:  bills are often paid late because you cannot find them.  Solution:  create a physical file of incoming bills.  Keep it close to the place where you open your mail.  This is the ONLY place you can store bills until they are paid.
3.  Problem:  Your closet is stuffed with linens  you haven’t used in years.  Solution:  ask yourself ,  “how many sets I sheets do I really need?” and start eliminating the excess.  Besides, you can only use one set at a time!
4.  Problem:  the thought of cleaning out your email “In” box makes you cringe.  Solution:  If you really feel a need to look at every message, start with the oldest messages first.  You can create a file for the ones you absolutely must keep and archive the rest. When you archive, the messages don’t go away.  You can always find them if you need to but you won’t see them in your “IN” box.
5.  Problem:  you have enough packages of mustard, ketchup and soy sauce to open your own carry-out.  Solution:  find a local food pantry and donate them to folks who can use your excess.
Decluttering your Head, Decluttering your House will be held on Friday, June 7, 2013 at “The Salon” presented by The Family Alliance Counseling & Education Center, 8028 Ritchie Hwy., suite 310 Pasadena, MD  21122.   Please join us for a delicious breakfast and stimulating conversation plus useful tips to help simplify your life.  You must register to attend.  The 9:30-12:00 noon session will also feature Psychotherapists Mary Gentile and Helene Cain and is $40 pp.  Seating is limited so – RSVP NOW! deb@gotogirlmd.com.
 

Clutter clearing is my specialty.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or thought on this topic.

 

5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress

With less than a week before Christmas Day, I hope you have the holiday spirit and feel ready for anything.  But in case you are beginning to stress out about what still needs to be done, please take a deep breath and remember these 5 rules to get you through.

Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress

1.  There is a thin line between challenged and overwhelmed

If you are feeling overwhelmed, look at everything you have to do and edit your list.  Some of the things you may want to accomplish might not get done.  It is OK.  None of this is mandatory.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Being challenged is manageable, being overwhelmed is not.

2.  Adapt to changing circumstances

You have just learned you will have 5 more people for dinner than you planned, and the special gift you wanted to give someone is on backorder.   Deal with it!  Think of the best way to accommodate the change of circumstances and move on. Worrying will not solve the problem.

3.  Outsource the task

Instead of wondering how you are going to make it happen, think about who can make it happen for you.  Call a grocer who delivers.  Pay, print and ship your package from home instead of waiting in line at the post office.  Call an organizer to get your family room de-cluttered before company arrives.  Find another way that takes the burden from your plate.

4.  Let the phone ring

A ringing phone is an invitation to talk.  You are not required to take every call.  Let people leave messages.  Then you can listen and return the call when it is convenient for you.

5.  Look at the big picture

There may be a lot to do in the upcoming days but the easiest way to get through your “To-Do” list is one chunk at a time.  Write it all down and break it all into manageable chunks. Seeing the list will give you perspective and help you prioritize.

Relax and have a very, merry Christmas!

Go to Girl Organizing Solutions helps busy people get more accomplished.  Contact us today if you need help with a single project or want a whole house make-over!

Delegating

 

 

happy-executiveThe Art of Delegating 

Delegating is a tool that can help you become more organized. Whether you are downsizing or need help organizing your home or office, consider having someone help you with the project.  Here are a few things to consider:

1.  Nobody is good at everything.  I am good at organizing (if I do say so myself) but I can’t fix a car or hang drywall.  I call an experienced expert when I need help.
2.  Successful people use delegating to achieve their goals.  If you are usually a “Do-It-Yourselfer” it may take some practice but you’ll get used to it.
3.  At work, you may delegate to assistants, other departments, the operations team – whatever.  It takes a team to get a big project done.

Taking control of the “stuff” in your life is no different.  Find someone who is more skilled than you and delegate the work.  You get to decide how you want it done.  You get to decide one the final outcome.  So, stop worrying about the things you can’t do.  Let someone else do them for you and focus on the things you can!

 

Handy-Man Apps: Putting Technology to Work for You

Speaking of apps…. I just got an iPhone and am still in the exploratory phase of figuring out all of the amazing things this tool can do.  So far, the apps I am using are pretty basic but I get such a kick out of their simplicity, I want to tell everyone what I’ve discovered.
My friend Trish told me about the iHandy Level App which is such a great tool for me when I am helping clients hang selves or pictures.  When the iPhone first came out, Taylor Jones installed the Flashlight app on his Mom’s phone and that has been a blessing on more than one occasion so I’ve installed it on my phone.
I’ve installed the mirror app but don’t really like it so much.  I’ve lived without having a mirror at my instant disposal for years and think I can do without.  I also recently downloaded My Fitness Pal and will start to track my activity today.
What is your favorite app?  I want to hear about the other functions you have found.  Since I am a newbie, I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions, PLEASE!

Thinking of Downsizing?

Are you ready to Downsize?

You may have recently become an “empty nester” and are looking for a more carefree lifestyle.  Or, maybe the recent downturn in the economy is forcing you to reconsider lifestyle changes to bolster your retirement savings.  Whatever your reason, making the “downsizing decision” should not come without careful consideration.  Here are a few suggestions to help you make the right decision:

 

Make a list

List the items that are important in your lifestyle. Include the elements you want to maintain in the future.

 Social network

Assess where your social support network is, both for emotional and practical support. How will your move impact your access to your network?

Financial considerations

Examine your financial situation and analyze the costs involved in moving or staying put.

Think ahead

Always think about possible next steps involved and how each step will affect you: ‘If this changes, what then?’

Communication

Talk to you loved ones. Share your wishes and desires, so there are no great surprises when the time comes to make your move.

Help

Talk to your trusted advisors to gain different perspectives.  Professionals deal with these issues all of the time and are equipped to give you solid advice.

Motivation and a New Way of Looking at Things

One of the top reasons people call me for organizing help is they just can’t get motivated! I understand that problem. Getting organized is a big task and if it were so easy to do, you’d have it done by now! That is where a professional can help. One of the first things a PO will do is take away your worries. Yes, we care why the clutter exists because we want to help you avoid the problem in the future, but we don’t judge. We know it bothers you, that’s why you called. We see your clutter as a problem that can be resolved with a plan and a little dedication. We’ll know immediately where to start and quickly identify systems to stay organized.

Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes will give you a new way of looking at something that has been bothering you for a while. So, if getting help will help you overcome your motivation problem, than make the call.

As one client said, “I have a new point of view on getting my projects done. At work, I rely on support staff without hesitation. Now I do the same at home. I value the free time it creates for me, and the insight an expert brings to a new project.”

Being a professional organizer is like…..

     ….being a personal trainer – seriously!  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

    1.  Most folks understand what needs to be done to get their closets organized, kitchens de-cluttered, and garages reclaimed – they just can’t get these things done on their own.
     2.  When you need help reaching your goals, you might consider hiring a professional – personal trainer, interior decorator, or personal organizer.   These folks are trained to get to the heart of the problem and give you real solutions.
     3.  A professional organizer will help motivate you, give you the best advice on how to arrange and organize your space, and help you determine the best way to reach your goals.
    4.  Of course, organizing can be done in a day – sure sometime you may need a maintenance “workout” but usually you can reach your goals within a few sessions.
     5.  A Professional Organizer has your best interest at heart.  We want you to be successful and are armed with information and suggestions.  We evaluate your situation, create a plan and will the there to help you every step of the way.

We are all good at something.  Don’t look at your clutter as a failure but more as a temporary situation that can be fixed with the right support and resources.  Have an organized day!

Moving?

Although it seems like an odd time of year to move,  I actually know several families that are now in the process. Here are a few tips they have found useful – 1. clean out the garage first – then you will have the space to pack and store the items you don’t use everyday 2. Be sure to use a label to identify what room each box should go into when the movers deliver. It is also useful to generally list the items that are inside. i.e.: Kelly’s room, winter coats, snow boots, hats & gloves….. that way you will have some idea of where to look for things when you need them. 3. Back up your labeling with a master list of all boxes and their general contents so you can easily reference where items are located until they are unpacked. No one looks forward to packing for a move – Go to Girl also helps with moving projects to keep you organized, maximize your  efficiency and help minimize stress!  Consider how qualified, experienced help will save you time and aggravation.

Land of Lost Dreams…

Household de-cluttering is a bit like hanging out with all of your past ambitions and hope.  Yes, you always intended to refinish that sweet shelf you bought on the way to the beach, the unfinished craft project (knitting anyone?  Can’t do it – done trying) and the home gym was a good idea too-NOT!  Some of the objects you need to get rid of were just not meant to be.  Give yourself a break – think about all of the amazing things you have accomplished!

Big Smiles!