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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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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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Clutter Quote

March 2, 2009

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One of my favorite quotes…

PLENTY robs you of valuable space, time, money, calm and sense of control.

Powerful…

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I see you

Donating, consigning and buying second hand children’s items just got trickier.  We are going to have to pay closer attention to how these items are distributed once they are no longer needed in our homes.

There is a new law that anyone selling children’s clothing, toys, accessories has to qualify that the any lead content is within legal limits.  For seller’s of  new items this can be easily determined from manufacturers.  For folks selling second hand, it makes it impossible to do so.  Boston Globe article

There still seems to be some confusion between the Consumer Product Safety Commission and store owners.

“The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops said the commission’s attempt to clear up questions only caused more confusion. Although the commission ruled that resellers don’t have to test products for lead and other chemicals, they “cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit,” the commission said. Since many items found in consignment and thrift shops have never been tested, business owners are left to operate at their own.”

Many stores are closing. Many charities that operate thrift stores are taking children’s items off the floor in fear of breaking the law or being sued.  I know we want to keep our kids safe, but there also a lot of families that need these discount shopping venues with the economy the way it is. All or nothing can’t be the answer.

  • Before you donate to a “thrift store” charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army call to see if they are accepting children’s clothing.
  • Before you head out to consign at your local kid’s clothing store, call to see if any policies have changed.
  • Charities that give items away for free to needy kids should be unaffected.

In a recent post I spoke about the need for donations for children is spiking.  Don’t let this stop you from donating, you just need to make a quick call to make sure your donations will be accepted.

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Some may say all clutter is negative, but there is clutter that is without a doubt, 100%, truly negative.  It can be physical clutter or emotional clutter.  Either way, it is time to clear it out!

Especially if you have a hard time letting go of things, start with anything that has a negative feeling, memory or experience attached to it.  For some reason we hang on to these items just like we do the positive ones.  Why?  Would we continue to eat something if it tasted bad or made us sick?  Would we continue to do activity if it hurt or harmed us? Start by removing anything that has negativity to it.  Make room for the important and positive things in your life and your space.

I’ve worked with clients who have kept medical letters of former dire circumstances.  They remember the pain all too well without the need of this piece of paper as a reminder.  Let those go.  Photos of relationships that was negative, say bu-bye.  I myself found a legal letter this week that was from a very painful experience.  I actually thought I had thrown it out years ago.  Nope, it was still there.  Was, key word.  I have released that negative energy and it is gone.

Toxic, negative people in your life?  Remove them too.  I call that “people clutter.”

Grab that trash can and start having more room for positive memories, people and energy!

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Surprised I am writing today about holiday decor?  Me too!

I spent a lot of time out and about this weekend, driving in suburbia.  It amazed me to see how many folks still had their holiday decorations up in their yard & on their houses.  I’m not talking folks who have not been able to take down lights from the roof due to safety with all the snow on the ground.

I am talking about wreaths on the door, blow up Santa deflated on the lawn, candy canes outlining the walk way.  People put so much hard work into making their homes look festive for the holidays, but they do not finish the project.  Finishing is not when you are done putting them up.  The completion of the process is taking them down and putting them away in an organized fashion.  It is the FULL process, it doesn’t stop with putting them up.

This can be translated with other projects and tasks….laundry is not done until it is fold and put away.  You get it, right?

I always joke that I want to go around with little holiday citations.  Put them on these people’s doors.  If the Easter Bunny comes and they are still up, I just might!

Happy Monday!

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Oprah Organizes – Again

February 18, 2009

O is for Oprah

O is for Organizing

Set your DVR for Oprah for tomorrow (Thursday.)  Her guest will be organizing expert Peter Walsh.  It is part of their road show series.  You can get some excellent tips from Peter and if you feel that you are disorganized you will also see that you are not alone!

The Container Store is a sponsor.  You can check out their site for air time and also, check back after the show or on the Oprah site.  Last time they offered 20% coupons for the store.  Not sure if they will this time  Now remember, only buy what you NEED.

The Container Store – Clean Up Your Messy House Tour

Have fun watching and saving…and look for a fellow New England organizer Elizabeth Selders in the audience.  She was there an spoke on camera, hopefully she makes the final cut!

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