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!

Go to Girl @ IKEA

    Join me and Professional Organizers from NAPO (National Association of   National Organizers) Saturday, January 14, 2012 from 12:00pm-3:00pm at the IKEA in White Marsh  for FREE organizing workshops and Q&A sessions! January is National Get Organized (GO) Month, so there’s no better time to learn some tips you can apply in your own home and office. For more info about this event, please don’t hesitate to contact me through this website or deb@gotogirlmd.com.

The best way to be productive is to do nothing…..

  Now that the Thanksgiving Holiday is behind us, most people are gearing up for marathon activity towards the Christmas holidays.  The to-do lists is suddenly much    longer, there are more social commitments, and it seems the whole month is more demanding.  How do it you get it all done?  I went to visit my brother and his family for a  Thanksgiving celebration.  While I was away, I relaxed (alot), spent time reading (one of my favorite past times) and generally “did nothing”.  Had I been home, I would have had dozens of errands and chores to do and would have tried to do them in every spare moment of time.  I learned that having 3 days of complete down time, doing absolutely nothing was just what I needed!  Since I’ve been home, I’ve been much more productive and have really narrowed down my to -do list.  Amazing!  the lesson here is that we are not meant to go-go-go constantly.  Even when we are “off” we are checking our emails, reading articles for business, or getting involved in projects that don’t allow us to completely relax.  No wonder we get overwhelmed!  Try doing nothing for one day.  I promise, all of the things on your list will still get done .  Since you’ll be relaxed and refreshed, you will be much m ore productive you will be when it is time to get busy again.

Thanksgiving Day Tips

My mom always says Thanksgiving dinner is the easiest meal of the year.  Not all of us feel the same. If you are not jumping for joy at the thought of making the big meal, here are a few tips for getting things under control so you can enjoy the day.

10 days prior

  • Plan a menu and determine what can be made ahead of time.  Also, plan to delegate some of the menu and beverage items to guests.
  • Make sure you have a firm commitment from those who are attending and keep track of what they are bringing. This will help you know exactly how much food you need to prepare.
  • Make your shopping list – don’t forget to include film, batteries, beverages, and non-perishables.
  • Take an inventory of all items needed for your table. If you need more chairs or place settings, arrange this now.
  • Make sure you will have space in your refrigerator and freezer for the turkey.
  • Make a to-do list. This is a good time to delegate roles to family members or a hired professional.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect!
  • Look at your to-do list and schedule these items on your calendar.  It helps to plan what time you should start preparing any dishes made the day of.

One Week Before

  • If you will have young children visiting, make sure the breakable items are put away.
  • Shop for perishable items.
  • If you don’t have an ice maker, start making ice and fill a freezer bag with the cubes, or purchase bagged ice from the store.

Two Days Before

  • Fill your salt & pepper shakers, butter dishes, sugar bowls, etc.
  • Defrost any frozen foods in the refrigerator.
  • Make sure your home is clean.

Day Before

  • Prepare the dishes you could not freeze.
  • Chill your beverages.
  • Buy flowers for the table.
  • Set the table.  To keep your dishes and glasses dust free, place these items upside down.

Thanksgiving Day

  • Finish last minute menu items – turkey and mashed potatoes.
  • Most of all: enjoy yourself! Let someone else do the dishes and give thanks for all you have.
  • Happy Thanksgiving from Go To Girl!

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.

https://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!

Kitchen Organizing Made Easy

    By far, the room I am most often asked to organize is the kitchen.  There are so many    awesome kitchen tools available but few of us have the space to store all of the ones we would like to have.  The September 2011 issue of Bon Appétit has a great article about kitchen organization.  Basically, it is about doing more with less.  While it may seem professional chefs have endless kitchen tools, in reality they use the most basic items over and over again.  For example according to one chef interviewed you really only need 4 knives in your kitchen for food prep – one serrated, a slicing knife, a chef’s knife and one for paring.  How easy is that?! I suggest a magnetic knife strip for easy of use and less clutter in your utensil drawers.  Interested in learning more tips from the kitchen professionals?  Check it out – http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2011/09/bas-fall-cooking-makeover-step.html