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!

That Stuff has Got to Go!


Rubbermaid
has plenty of components to store and organize everything from hoses to hockey equipment. I recommend transparent storage containers. They’re perfect for storing sweaters, shoes and handbags but are also great for decorations, camping supplies and sports equipment, and more.  Their transparency makes for instant identification but labeling is always helpful too. Unless you are really strong or have really long arms, avoid buying the extra-large containers – they are usually more than one person can handle alone.  Also, try to buy your containers from the same manufacturer so they will stack perfectly.  Finally, labeling is also helpful if the container is filled with specific items that are hard to identify at first sight.

If you store your holiday decorations in the garage, please take a few minutes to look through you collection.  Often we forget the items we picked up during the after season sales.  I always try to purge after the season when I am repacking but that doesn’t always happen.  Last year, I bought gorgeous new wrapping paper (at full price) only to discover I had purchased similar paper on sale after last Christmas.  I think I am set with wrapping paper for a while!

The point of purging the things you no longer use is to free up space for the things you do.  Survey your space critically and decide if you really need all that stuff!  If you decide to get rid of a few items, pass them on to someone who is just starting out or give to a local charity.  Let someone else enjoy them!

Little Touches Really Do Count!

       

Big ideas for 4th of July celebrations are pretty easy to find. However, lots of little things can make your party guest less-than-comfortable and if you are prepared for the expected little things, your guest will be able to fully enjoy the celebration. Consider these ideas from Real Simple magazine…..

No mosquitoes invited: Don’t forget the bug repellent! You can purchase bug spray wipes and position baskets of them in places throughout the party space so your guests can easily help themselves.

Cool and collected: Hopefully we will have beautiful sunny weather for the 4th but it could be hot and humid as well. Set out a bowl of hand-held fans (accordion or raffia) and your guests can help themselves. Or, buy inexpensive washcloths, roll and secure with a rubber band and toss into a cooler of ice for guests to grab. Isn’t that a great idea!

What little things do you do to make sure your guests are happy?

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!

A wise man once said “To know when you have enough is to be rich beyond measure”  (Lao Tzu, 6th century BC).  I keep this message on my inspiration board to remind myself what truely matters.  Somehow the gadgets and technology that were supposed to make life easier seem to suck a lot of time out of my day.  I had the impression I would have more time and freedom by employing these devices – didn’t you?

So I have decided to try to pare life down life to the essentials – the things, people, and activities I truly need and cherish.  The rest can go away!  I am not going to get caught up in doing things that don’t satisfy my newfound philosophy.  This won’t be easy with having a new business to grow and manage, but I am committed to more time for reading (no TV in the background), walking through the neighborhood and seeing friends whenever possible.  I may even declare Sunday afternoon and evening a  NO TECHNOLOGY time.  I don’t know if this will be helpful but I want to give simple living a try – or at least try to simplify things I can control.  How about you?  What are you doing to simplify your life?  Let me know – I’d love to hear your suggestions.

http://gotogirlmd.com/224/

Love that ‘do!

I recently started working with a new client and love this idea! Ms. J keeps a small photo album of her favorite hairstyles. Whenever she has a cut she really likes, she has someone snap a photo (from various angles) and keeps the pics for her visits to the stylist. This would also work with magazine photos as well.  Some folks see the same stylist for every cut while others may visit random salons. Either way, a picture is worth a thousand words. Having a visual record of the best of the best is an easy and practical idea that is fabulous! What are the things you do to keep your life more organized and easy to manage? Go to Girl is all about getting things done so you can enjoy life! If this small trick leaves you with a happy haircut, I say go for it!