Unrealistic Expectations- The REAL Life of an Organizer

I recently stumbled upon an article about a NYC organizer who seems to live the life of perfection. Throughout the article, all I could do is laugh to myself because I am a great professional organizer but my personal life … Continue reading

A Few of My Favorite Things- Organizing Your Kid’s Stuff

Home Organizing

Who ever said, “having kids is like having your heart walk outside your body” was profoundly correct. Having children is an incredible journey like no other. However, no one readily warns expecting parents of the amount of STUFF that children … Continue reading

How to Organize Your Closet- Inside a Professional Organizer’s Home

organized closet

I’ve had the privileged of coming in and out of many closets 😉 I do get oddly excited when I am asked to organize a client’s closet.  (Yes, I am strange. I acknowledge that.) Modern day closets tend to provide … Continue reading

How to organize your kid’s stuff- Inside a professional organizer’s home

Organized school papers

Kid’s stuff- there is often a lot of it and it tends to be everywhere it shouldn’t be!  Between dealing with all their toy’s and the clothing that they are either destroying or growing out of, organizing a child’s possessions … Continue reading

How to Organize Your Kitchen: Inside a Professional Organizer’s Home

How to organize a kitchen

Welcome back to my series “Inside a Professional Organizer’s Home”! Today’s post leads us into my kitchen.  I shared in my last post how I store many kitchen items/tools in my laundry closet that is inside my kitchen. Below is … Continue reading

Inside a Professional Organizer’s Home: The Laundry Closet

Organizing a laundry closet

Anyone ever heard of a laundry closet that also serves as an office space? If not, now you have!  My laundry closet also serves as our office space.  Since we don’t have space for a separate office, we use our … Continue reading

Inside a Professional Organizer’s Home: The Living Room

Ever wonder how a professional organizer organizes their home? I have decided to let you take a look into my humble little home and share with you some of the strategies I use to keep my small spaces from becoming … Continue reading

How to Stage Your Home For Sale- Top 3 strategies to get top dollar for your home!

If you could get a 586% return on an investment (ROI) would you choose to do it?  586% is the ROI for having your home staged for sale.  That’s a return I can stand behind!  So if you are selling … Continue reading

Your “To-Do” List: Does it overwhelm you?

My name is Helen and I am a committed list maker.  I love making lists.  Can you relate?

My lists help me juggle multiple ventures and responsibilities.  The frustrating aspect is that my to-do list becomes so long that it begins to seriously overwhelm me.  Why not figure out another way to organize my to do list so it is more focused and doesn’t make me want to crawl back in bed?

With that question in mind, I decided to try something new.  I implemented a post-it note to-do list that is separated into three categories:

1) Immediate

2) Soon

3) Future

I made a page for each category and then used a post-it note for each task I needed to complete.  Each note is placed on the corresponding sheet of paper based on the 3 categories of urgency.  Here is what mine looks like right now:

to do listMy first page: “Immediate”

Tasks that need to be done today.

to do listMy second page: “Soon”

Includes tasks that need to be done this week but can wait another day.

time management

My third page: “Future”

Tasks that I want to do in the next month but are not urgent.

Time managmentIf you want, you could choose a color for each category such as home is blue and work is pink.  I have mixed feelings about encouraging people to do that.  Some individuals tend to over think things and then overwhelm the process which is the last thing I want to do! It’s not necessary but if you are a visual person, it may help you to focus your thoughts on what needs to be done next. 

Another suggestion is to use the back of each page to place tasks that you are going to do later in the day.  This reduces the number of tasks on one side and helps to keep you focused on those tasks that need to be done immediately.

Obviously, when you are done with an item simply remove it and enjoy placing it in the trash because your are done with it!  I am one of those people who get a lot of life by completing tasks on lists.  So far, I have been stacking my completed items in a stack on the other side of my notebook.  It allows me to look back at all I have done that day and feel accomplished.  Hey, it’s all about the small things in life!

I am still in the test drive phase of this post-it note to do list transition.  I am giving it a good 6 weeks to see if it helps me to simplify my to-do list and, as a result, prevent feelings of task anxiety.  Will you join me on this test drive?  If so, give me your thoughts on how it worked for you.  Any changes? Any tricks?

I have a confession to make…

Once people hear I am a professional organizer, they typically respond with, “Your house must be perfectly organized!”  I have a confession to make… my house is NOT perfectly organized.  I’m human and have two boys and a wonderful husband.  As a result, my house does not stay perfectly organized.  Don’t get me wrong.  I really love order and having everything in its place, but perfection is not feasible unless you have nothing better to do with your time. 

I share this with you because I want to stress that organized perfection is never the goal.  The goal in becoming more organized is to create more time and space for what you value most in life.  When items are in a specific place, you save time by not having to search for them and you prevent the stress that is experienced when something is lost.  When your home or office space is in order you think more clearly and are more productive.  However, if you are striving for perfection, you will more than likely become discouraged and probably quit too soon. 

In my own home and office, I try to tackle really small projects one at a time and when I feel the urge to do it.  This means that I don’t always schedule when I’m going to straighten up a closet or reorganize my kitchen cabinets.  For example, I have needed to better organize and clean out my linen closet for the past two months.  It simply wasn’t very functional and was not easy on the eyes.  Recently, after I finished washing some sheets, I opened the linen closet door and felt compelled to do a quick clean out. 

 Here are the before and after photos:

Messy Closet

Before

Organized Closet

After

I simply removed the sheets and towels we don’t use or need, and arranged smaller items together.  One thing I changed was how I stored my sheet sets.  I put the sheets inside a pillowcase that belonged to the set.  I saw this on Pinterest and think it is genius!

 This method of embracing my organizing impulses works great for me, but may not work for everyone.  Some people may need to actually schedule their organizing projects and include them in their goals for the week or month, and that’s okay too.

So, I am not perfectly organized, and I am always a work in progress.  Progress, big or small, is still progress!