Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Seven Steps to Lighten Your Load

Seven Steps to Lighten Your Load

  1. Do a macro sort in which you separate something into broad categories (Zones) 
  2. Take inventory of what you have 
  3. Evaluate what you need. When considering whether to keep and item, determine if it falls into one of the categories below
    1. item is used regularly 
    2. the amount of space it takes up is proportional to its value 
    3. the item has sentimental value 
    4. item is needed for a current or upcoming project 
    5. set rules 
  4. Purge what you do not need: junk/trash, recycle, sell/ consignment/ thrift/ charity 
  5. Create a home or zone to hold what you are keeping 
  6. Rearrange and organize what you are keeping 
  7. Put items away in the space created. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

An Organizer of Technology

I attended a workshop called “Generations in the Workplace” which focused on ways to retain people based on the company’s needs and skill/technological-requirements/diversities/talents. The premise was that different generations, such as Baby Boomers vs. Generation X, have different skills and we as employers must communicate with and reward them with things that are specific to their needs. This hypothesis is nothing new to many of us.  However, the content delivered by the speaker gave me new insights into the methods or techniques I use when helping people use technology to stay organized.
            The speaker pointed out that younger generation has grown up with technology as part of their lives. In this age of information technology it is hard to function without the use of a computer. For instance, people no longer need a map, they use on line map to find direction; to find a phone number - just “Google it”; and to learn the definition of a word just type it into Wikpedia.
It dawned on me that the clients who are weaker in electronic document management were the older clients who did not grow up with computers.
I also realized that different generations communicate differently as well. The younger generations would rather e-mail or text while the older generation prefers verbal conversation.
We need to manage our clients with the approach that that is the most effective or applicable. That may mean, sending an e-mail when we would prefer picking up the phone.
         We also need to be cognizant of the technological ability of our clients. We cannot teach someone the latest trick when they have not yet grasped finding basic menu shortcuts.
      We are only successful with our task as organizers when we recognize and utilize the strengths and weaknesses of the support employees of our clients as well as the level of technology equipment they possess.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Information Organizing

Information Organizing 

People have been struggling with organizing information for the entire length of the 19 hundreds. 
With the Advent of computers it is just compounded the issue. People are overloaded with information. It's either in paper or Media or games and the list goes on and on.
The way to help process the information in your brain which is most important is to stop listening to 
Media. Music. Stop reading books. Magazines. 
In other words Shield yourself from the information that is in this world
I am ignoring the influences of music books and as much media as I can. So I am not bogged down with too much information and I have the mental capacity to think of things and process information
People want a guru. They want somebody to follow. 
We'll stop listening to all those other people and listen to yourself
Are you not strong enough for that. Are you not strong enough for that. 
Well the only way you can gain the strength is to put away all the books from the other people. 
Turn off the TV. Turn off the radio. And sit and listen to your own thoughts
Also by eliminating other sources of information a person can be more creative. 
Create your own music. Write your own books. Film your own movies. Draw. Paint. Do artwork

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Resisting the Urge to Fill Spaces

Resist the Urge to Fill Spaces After they are Cleared 

When I work with hoarding clients it is not uncommon for me to clear off a space such as the kitchen table only to come back in a week to a cluttered table. I can see the pattern. If I clear off another space, it will get cluttered very soon after I leave. This is the resistance to change.

I think a good technique would be to clear the same spot every time I am there, until eventually it stays clean.

One time when I was getting a massage, one side would become loose and stress free but it was as if it was all migrating to the other side. As the massage therapist continued to work both sides gently I realized that I must not yet have been ready to let go. Same as organizing clients.

As I clear my calendar, I find myself still having the urge to “do” things. Clean the bathroom counter. Make banana bread. Then soup. Then clean out the garage. Then organize papers. Need to keep busy because someone may judge me and say I am un productive.

This is the same for people who have issues with food. They feel a little discomfort, indigestion or gas for example. Instead of riding it out they add food to the stomach to try and ease the discomfort. To get over it you have to work though the pain.

My hip is a good example. One Saturday, my left hip which has been the source of much pain for many years started hurting so much I needed to take pain reliever. I iced it, took Epsom salt bath and went to massage during the following week. A week and a half later, I realized that when rotating the hip/leg socket there was no longer a click or block in the joint. Sill pain but freedom of movement. The pain is the body’s way of helping me let go of the tension and learn to walk, sit, be with a new set of rules.

Relate this to hoarding.

We have to recognize all of the avenues of opening so we can be receptive and ready for the next challenges and opportunities that are presented to us.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Yearly Rituals

Yearly Rituals
Staying organized every month of the year sounds like a crazy conundrum- but it’s easier than it sounds. Focusing on doing just one thing every month can help to keep all your belongings manageable. If you don’t focus on just on thing or don’t do anything at all, you will get to a point where everything is overwhelming and you become suffocated by all your stuff. Don’t let this happen to you! Follow the list below of things to do each month and you’ll be organized in no time!
ü  Purge holiday decorations
o   Now that the previous year is over, clear out all holiday things to start your year off fresh
ü  Bring in and push out other holiday paraphernalia
o   Switching out holiday things can also keep you on track, especially since you don’t want to celebrate Christmas in July
ü  Shred mania
o   Focus on paperwork this month and especially getting rid of paperwork you no longer need
ü  Get a jump on tax return
o   While on your paperwork whirl, start on your taxes to get ahead and organized when the time comes to crunch
ü Spring cleaning
o   Now that warmer weather is about, open up the windows and get the Lysol out for a big dose of spring cleaning
ü Clean house party
o   In celebration of your spring accomplishments, throw a party, highlighting your newly fresh home that might even make your friends motivated to clean their own homes.
ü  Tackle storage areas
o   Too much stuff you just can live without? Consider putting it in a storage area in order to still own it but it be out of your daily routine
ü  Prepare for the great outdoors
o   Start to get summer things ready since its right around the corner. Make sure to stock up on sunscreen, flip flops, and sunglasses for the busy summer ahead.
ü  Plan summer vacation
o   Don’t just be a bum all summer! Plan to do things while you have the time to do them, so that come fall, you’ll have great memories.
ü  Organize kid’s summer activities
o   Alongside your own schedule make sure you schedule some things for the kids, so that they have memorable summer as well.
ü  Purge kid’s space before summer vacation
o   Summer can also be the perfect time to purge and clean out all the things that have piled up in the kids room over the school year. Consider donating toys or other things to charity.
ü  Yard sale
o   Mom and Dad probably have some things they can get rid of too. Include the whole family in the yard sale, to get the most stuff out as possible
ü  Prepare for back to school
o   Those five words all kids and parents hate, but they aren’t as bad as they seem. Having a jump start to the school year can help students be ahead and organized for the rest of the year while also keeping the home life neat as well.
ü  Make season switch
o   Sunbathing season is over, so make time to prepare for cool winds ahead. Making an actual switch in season can help to keep all belongings in the right spots so that come December, you don’t still have bathing suits lounging about.
ü  Garage clean-up
o   As your last hurrah to warm weather, open up the garage and finally clean it out. When the snow starts coming, you’ll be happy you can park your car in the garage for once.
ü  Holiday and gift lists
o   Always feel rushed in the holiday season? Start planning ahead so that Christmas time jitters don’t happen. It also leaves time for certain gifts to get ordered and arrive on time.
ü  Relax and enjoy
o   You’ve accomplished so much in the past year! Rejoice and keep your clean streak going into the next year
ü  Commit to New Year’s resolution
o   Make sure to take a couple minutes before the ball drop to make a new and improved resolution list. With a newly cleaned house, things you have had to put off can happen!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

10 Commandments of Organizing Toys

10 Commandments of Organizing Toys

1. Take inventory of what you have.

2. Determine what you need.

3. Get rid of items no longer needed.

4. Make toys and games easily accessible.

5. Store them in a closed area such as a cabinet or closet.

6. Put like items together.

7. Separate into smaller units.

8. Eliminate acquiring.

9. Clean out yearly.

10. Pick up and put away every day

Monday, December 4, 2017

Thoughts about Organizing Toys

Organizing Toys

            Toys are everywhere. It seems that no matter what I do, they take over the house. I am embarrassed to have company because they would be sitting on the children’s toys. I have bought bins for the toys, but I can’t seem to figure out what to put in what bin. I have attempted to organize the toys, but it never stays that way.
      These are all comments from parents who are struggling to put some kind of order into their houses. With a little ingenuity and persistence keeping toys, games and craft supplies organized can look eye appealing.
            There are two distinct philosophies for where to keep toys:
1. Keep them in the child’s room
2. Keep them in a common area (or toy room)
            Before deciding which method you are going to use in your house lets look at some of the issues that you need to keep in mind. (See advantages and disadvantages chart below)
            Whose responsibility is it to keep track of the toys? Until children are around nine years old, they do not have the mental capacity and level of responsibility to take care of their own toys. This does not mean that they cannot put away their toys; they just need guidance and supervision. The ultimate responsibility for keeping toys organized and good shape is on the parents. No matter how much we want to put the onus on the child, they are not the ones who pay the bills and run the household.
           No matter how many children you have, they all need learn to respect the property of others, whether it is the property of their siblings, their parents or their friends. If you have one child and are not planning to have more children then it doesn’t really matter about preventing arguments about sharing toys. However, if you have more than one child you face the challenge of democratically having your children share toys with each other.
Are there toys that they treasure and want to keep sacred? Is your child territorial about certain toys? Some children appreciate every toy they have and take very good care of their toys. Others can’t be bothered taking care of their toys. When one is broken they move onto the next. If they can’t find a toy, they play with something else.
How much money do you want to spend on new toys? Are you willing to dish out money for a new game because your child lost all of the pieces to one you already have? Do you want to buy more than one of each toy so each of your children will not feel slighted?
            Keeping all of these questions and issues in mind now you can think about which solution is better for you. I recommend a hybrid. Keep the majority of toys in a common area and only keep special toys in the child’s room. As children get older and can handle more responsibility, they tend to bring items in their rooms so they can play with them alone and keep them special. They key is to only let them take in what they can be responsible for themselves. Remember that they have school and other responsibilities including keeping their clothing and personal belongings in order. Although, you and they may think they are old enough for keeping track of all of their toys, they still need guidance.
You can set good intentions with them to put away every day, but they won’t. If you are not going to go into their rooms on a daily basis and make them clean up the toys, clothes and other items that make it to their floors, then the toys shouldn’t be in the bedroom. When you don’t pick up and put away everyday, the mess gets too overwhelming and the problem gets compounded. Remember that a bedroom is a place to rest and relax. If it is too cluttered it is too stressful.

So you’ve decided to keep the majority of the toys in a common area of the house, so you can monitor them. Follow the 10 steps to organizing your toys, games and crafts and stay organized forever.

  1. Take inventory of what you have. Don’t physically write a list of the items like you would in a store or manufacturing plant. Collect everything from around the house that is considered a toy and put it on the floor in one location (maybe the floor of your living room).
  2. Determine what you need. Are there games that you love to play? When you look at them all together you can begin to see themes. For example, you may notice that you have an overabundance of action figures but action figures may be the toy that your children play with the most. So you definitely need action figures.
  3. Get rid of items no longer needed. Weed out toys that the children have outgrown. Sometimes the toys are age appropriate, but the child doesn’t play with them. If you think they will not have an interest in that toy, then get rid of it. Trash games and toys that have broken or missing pieces and warped or moldy boards. Donate duplicates of games. What you think you need, weed again to cut the amount keeping in half. Give children a chance to use their imagination. Sticks and rocks have made great toys for many years. 
  4. Find a home or spot for everything that you are keeping. When considering a home, keep in mind that it is easier to manage if everything is in one place. Also keep in mind to make toys and games easily accessible. Children are more likely to keep the items put away if they able to take out and put away by themselves.
  5. Make it easy to remain neat. Store items in a closed area such as a cabinet or closet.  If you have open shelving, bins are good to store smaller items or items that belong in sets. Many stores have attractive straw baskets so you aren’t stuck with all plastic bins in the middle of your home.
  6. Put like items together. By sorting and grouping, children as early as two years old can put away toys. Some examples of like items are: jigsaw puzzles, games, dolls, sporting equipment, transportation, blocks, and spy kit items.
  7. Separate into smaller units. In some cases, after you have all of the like items together, you should separate them into smaller units. For example, if you are organizing all of the craft supplies you will want to further sort them by markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
  8. Eliminate acquiring. This is easer said than done. Although you may not be able to control what others give your children, you can start with yourself and think before you buy something. Does my child have time to play with this?  Does my child have a similar toy? Where am I going to store this? Try the one in, one out method. If you put that toy in the house, what toy can your remove from it’s place. Or if you are brave, go for the two for one deal. Two out, one in. As far as others, you can ask that they give savings bonds or gift certificates instead of toys.
  9. Clean out yearly. Select an occasion such as an upcoming birthday, holiday, or summer vacation to do your annual toy and game clean out. When you are cleaning out realize that tastes have changed since the previous year. Also, keep in mind that you need to save room for new items that will be consistent with this year’s tastes.
  10. Pick up and put away every day. Each day, children should take out what they want to use and  put it away when they are done. If you are consistent with your reminders to them, it will become automatic and it will only takes 15 minutes at the end of every day to put all of the straggler toys and tidy the common toy and game area.

Keeping Toys in Bedroom
Keeps stuff special for child

Out of common areas

Sense of respect and responsibility for the child
Room gets too cluttered

Harder to clean up when mixed with clothes and personal items

Bedroom is for relaxing and sleeping and one can’t if there is too much stuff and too many distractions.

Keeping Toys in Common Room
Everything is in one place – all in one place you can monitor

Less likely to break and  loose pieces, less money on new toys

Take out what they want to use and put away when done. To be done every 2 months or so
Mom usually is now more responsibility

Fights over whose toy it really is

Someone may breaking something that someone else loves