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NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers just got a face lift.  Check out the new website!

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about getting organized and how working with a Professional Organizer can enhance your life…check out the new site.  There are two short videos that talk to “What Organizers Do” and “Getting Organized.”  There are also links to client case studies.  You will see you are not alone and there are solutions out there.  There is also a set of tips to help you get started and/or motivated.  Want more tips?  Continue read or subscribe to this blog or log onto my website.

There are over 4,200 of us Professional Organizer… and last year we taught thousands of clients how to be better organized.

What really is a Professional Organizer or as I like to say…Personal Organizer?

A professional organizer enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles through transferring organizational skills.  They provide information, products and/or assistance to help others meet their organizing needs.  An organizers will guide, encourage and educate clients about organizing by offering support, focus and direction.

Be cautious of people on sites like Craig’s list offering supper cheap services.  When looking to hire someone, hire an expert, a NAPO member.

Happy viewing!

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Organize Your Health

March 23, 2009

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Today was the day of my annual skin check.  This is an important thing to do once a year.  It only takes less than 1/2 hour and it gives you the security in knowing that all is fine…that all the years of sun have not done any damage. I was a baby oil girl back in the day!   I never thought this was very important until a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with some serious skin cancers.  Catching it early was very important.

Be sure to schedule all of your yearly/bi-yearly check ups.  Today, I made my appointment for next year.  It makes it easy.  I decided to make next year’s appointment on my birthday.  That way I get to take the day off!  I usually have a spring dental appointment.  Gonna schedule that now for the same day.   I will start the year off fresh…and end the day with a massage to celebrate!

When thinking about Organizing your Health, here are some other things to think about for you and your family:

  • Create a listing of medications & medical history.   This info is important if a trip to the ER arises. You won’t have to worry about missing anything if you are in a stressful situation.
  • Do you have an I.C.E. number in your cell phone?  ICE is short for In Case of Emergency.  If something happens to you, and you are alone, people helping you (good Samaritans, emergency medical folks) will know who to contact on your behalf.
  • Make sure your family members have copies of important documents relating to your health, including health care proxy, organ donation, etc.
  • Go through your first aid materials and medicines at home.  Get rid (properly) of anything that is out of date.  Organize like items together and keep them where you use them.  Create a first aid box with all the staples.  Especially if you have children, they are going to be heading out more now that the weather is better — scrapes are sure to come!
  • Keep medicines out of the reach of children.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy Spring!

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30 days and counting…

Tic, toc, Tic, toc

Are your taxes done?  If so, CONGRATULATIONS and I hope the result was a rebate!

Maybe you have all your info ready to go, but are just waiting for your appointment with your tax professional.  GOOD!

If neither applies, get going!

Be sure to schedule time to work on it.  And like many things, it always takes longer than we thought.  If it is usually a last minute, nail biting, lots of coffee to stay up and finish by the deadline type of experience, remember you probably said you would do better next year.

Well it is next year.  A little organization and scheduling time will definitely make “next year” aka this year MUCH BETTER!

Check out my Tax Tip Thursday blog entries in the archives for additional info and tips.  You will feel great to get it off your plate.

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A Time Management Mug?

March 13, 2009

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Flipping through my favorite magazine Real Simple, I found something that was new and different that can help with Time Management.  Yes, a reminder mug!

Before you say…now I have seen everything, let me tell you why I like it.

  • A time management and efficiency expert friend once gave me a stone.  I was instructed to keep it on my desk.  When I see it, it triggers in me “what am I supposed to be working on…what is the priority?”  It helps me stay on track when I stray.
  • #1 rule in time management is to do the most important, most time sensitive or most difficult item on your to do list FIRST.  Grab your coffee or tea in the AM?  Then put the MOST IMPORTANT to do on there as a reminder.  Go for a second cup or to wash it out and you have not done it yet, time to go back to your desk and get going!
  • I like to sip all day…having this on my desk will be fun and I will get more done!

One of the other rules of time management is to only keep 1 calendar, so I don’t recommend you transferring your entire calendar on here ever day.  But highlight the most important!  Check out Heliotrope Home to order on-line.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Working on my taxes this week, my mind wondered to the folks who’s tax returns read like fiction.  We’ve heard of so many high profile folks who have gotten caught recently.  A friend and I joke, comparing taxes to types of literature.  Some people write fiction some people write non-fiction.    What type of tax author are you?

Here is a list of of celebrity “fiction” tax writers.  Boston.com ran a compilation today of the Celebrity Tax Cheaters.  Take a read…

Famous Tax Fraud – www.boston.com

Have a great day!

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Games of all sorts are a great source of entertainment!  I think many of us have forgotten this with the popularity of video games, texting, social media sites and endless channels of nothing on TV.

Board and card games are great for young and old alike.  Besides having fun,  kids can learn skills such as concentration, focus, patience, taking tuns and math to name a few.  For older folks, we keep hearing medical reports stating how important it is to keep the mind active so to avoid cognitive issues.  Games can help!

Ok, here is the organizer in me coming out…

  • Regularly review what games that are played.  Especially if a child has outgrown it.
  • Donate or toss ones of little interest.  If you donate, make sure all the pieces are there — the charity will check!
  • Store all games together.  In some cases by child in their rooms makes sense.
  • Ziploc bags can be great to use inside a box to keep small the pieces contained and organized.
  • Store smaller games and playing cards in clear containers.

Having difficulty storing because of the game box sides are broken?  Hard to stack because they are different sizes?  Check out the Game Savers Box!  Created with just these challenges in mind, these plastic boxes come in various sizes to store the board and pieces to our most popular games such as Monopoly, Risk, Colorforms, etc.  These sturdy boxes close tight and make it easy to stack and store.

Have fun organizing the toys and next time when you are with friends or family and think “there is nothing to do” pull out a game and have a blast!

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I’ve thought a lot about photography lately.  For fun, learning more about my camera, and also how photography can be used with clients.

Organizing

When we see our spaces day to day, we lose the detail.  For some folks, they just focus on small areas of a space, the rest is a blurr.  Want a fresh look at how your space really looks?  How much clutter is there, or not?  Take a picture.  It gives you a different perspective on the space.  You get to see how it looks to others.

Home Staging

If you are getting ready to put your house up for sale, this is a great exercise.  I was just preparing a presentation on Home Staging and looked at area homes being marketed on the web.  You could not image how unattractive, how not relevant, how, can I say outright bad most of these photos were?

First take pictures to see what others see.  Use this as  guide when organizing and staging your house for sale.  Once this is done, make sure the photos that you or your Realtor use on-line will enhance the house.  They are just not photos on your listing.  They are the  marketing of your house.  Consider it an on-line brochure.  You want to photograph the highlights of the structure, the room layouts, etc.

I was amazed when in a listing that only used a handful of pictures to market the house, one photo they chose was a picture of 2 bureaus.  Not the room,1 corner with bureaus.  It looked like a Craig’s list ad to sell the furniture, not a marketing presentation of a home. Other photos were taken behind large pieces of furniture, bright pink furniture actually.  So instead of seeing the room, you see a big pink blob.  Then there was the blurry one of 1/2 a chandelier and the ceiling.  I am thinking people looking at these listings on line are not going to make an effort to make an appointment to see this property.  Remember two things about prospective buyers.  Their time is precious and first impressions are made in “seconds.”

Time to grab your camera.

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