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5 Reasons Why You Should Try Virtual Organizing

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Get your home and life organized from miles away! 5 Reasons Why You Should Try Virtual Organizing | organizedartistry.com

If you watch HGTV or read Real Simple magazine, you’ve probably heard of’ ‘Professional Organizing.’ It is the art of helping people create and maintain systems and processes using basic principles of organization.

But have you heard of ‘Virtual Organizing?’

Virtual Organizing is the art of helping people create and maintain systems and processes using basic principles of organization–virtually. When I say ‘virtually,’ I mean helping people get organized via the phone, Skype, FaceTime, email–as opposed to working with them in person.

Virtual organizing has evolved over the past few years. Although there are thousands of Professional Organizers in the United States, not every Organizer lives in a densely populated area that might provide them with an adequate amount of clients. Not everyone wanting to hire a Professional Organizer has one in driving distance of their home. Thus, a new way of organizing was born. If people could use technology to communicate with friends, relatives, and business associates, why not use it for helping people get and stay organized?

Why I started offering Virtual Organizing services…
I have been doing Residential Organizing since I formed Organized Artistry in 2002. I love rolling up my sleeves and working side by side with a client to help them reach their organizing goals. I work with clients within a 30-minute radius of my home and wished to somehow widen that radius without having to travel far. With school-aged children, I wanted the option of working close-to-home. At the 2016 NAPO Conference, I heard a veteran Professional Organizer speak about how she added Virtual Organizing to her business model so she could work with people around the country who were in need of her specialized skills. She developed a tele-class in Virtual Organizing and offered it to colleagues so they could learn how to organize virtually, too. A few days later, I signed up for it. I successfully completed the course and now offer Virtual Organizing as part of my list of services.  I still work with clients in their homes but I’m excited to organize those in different regions and time zones, too.

Have you been thinking about getting organized but didn’t realize that Virtual Organizing was an option for you?

Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should Try Virtual Organizing:

• You don’t have a Professional Organizer in your area
Although there are over 4,000 members of NAPO, you may not have a Professional Organizer in your immediate area. Maybe you need a Professional Organizer with a specialization or particular skill set. That Professional Organizer is just a phone call, email, or FaceTime session away from helping you reach your organizing goals.

• You want/need accountability or support for your organizing project
You started organizing a space in your home but the project stalled for a multitude of reasons. That’s OK–it happens. Working with a Professional Organizer ‘virtually’ can provide you with someone to check in with, help get you back on track, and to your measure progress. They’ll be a cheerleader, resource, teacher, and provide ideas, motivation, and support. Consistently moving your organizing project forward is key to it’s completion–Virtual Organizing can make that happen.

• You don’t want a stranger in your home
There are hundreds of reasons why you may not want a stranger in your home. Maybe you have small children, a sick family member living with you, or maybe you have white carpeting and want to keep it as white as possible by having as few people in your home as possible. Or, you may have something in your home that you don’t necessarily want people to see (besides the disorganization). Virtual Organizing is a way of inviting a Professional Organizer into your home without actually having them walk inside.

• You would prefer to do the ‘physical organizing’ when it’s convenient for you
Does your work schedule change often? Are you a night owl or an early riser? You may want to do the physical work of organizing when you have a pocket of time or when you have the most energy. This might not necessarily be when a Professional Organizer could come to your home (I don’t know many Organizers who start at 6am or see clients at midnight…). So, schedule your ‘virtual’ appointment with your Professional Organizer and block out time on your calendar to do the required sorting/purging/labeling/filing when it works best for you.

• You prefer to be comfortable. Really comfortable.
Organizing ‘virtually’ means you can organize in your PAJAMAS! No need to get dressed if a Professional Organizer won’t be coming to your home for two or three hours. Other Professional Organizers might mind, but I don’t care if you FaceTime with me in your pajamas or bathrobe. I, on the other hand will be dressed (unless we mutually agree on a ‘pajama day…’).

With today’s technology, Virtual Organizing makes perfect sense. Can you picture yourself getting organized ‘virtually?’ If the answer is ‘Yes,’ click here to see how Organized Artistry and Virtual Organizing can bring organization to your home and life from miles away.

Transform your home from the comfort of your home…with Virtual Organizing.

Organizing on the Cheap: Sports Equipment

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Money-saving products for organizing all that sports equipment.  Organizing on the Cheap: Sports Equipment | organizedartistry.com

 

Who plays sports in your family? You? Your kids? All of you? Even if there’s just one person in your household involved in sports, it can be a challenge to keep the equipment organized. Sports involves equipment and equipment has the potential to become a disorganized mess.

Stumped as to how to store it all? Try some of the following systems for keeping your sports equipment organized:

• Group by type
Example: baseball bats with the baseballs, mitts, and cleats

• Group by need
Example: all equipment needed for lacrosse practice

• Color coordinate
Each family member gets assigned a color. Place a dot of that color on their equipment and accessories. You’ll always know who didn’t put away their gear!

• Make a trade
Switch out off-season sports equipment. In the summer, have tennis rackets, water wings, and fishing poles at arms reach. In the winter, be able to find your skates, skis, and sled at the first sign of snow.

You’re already spending big money on sports gear–you don’t want to spend much more trying to keep it all organized. Here are a few free and low-cost products to keep your equipment ‘grab-and-go ready’ and safe from damage:

FREE:

LARGE CARDBOARD BOX

Everyone gets packages delivered–keep your eye on your neighbor’s front stoop for the delivery of an item in a large cardboard box. I’m sure they won’t mind you taking the empty box–it’s one less thing for them to have to recycle! You can use that box to corral medium to large sized balls. Have the kids decorate it with sports pictures and stickers to make it look like it’s more than a cardboard box. Giving them ownership of it will help when it’s clean-up time.

GARBAGE CAN
Changing your home’s décor? Don’t throw away that old garbage can! Repurpose it for holding sports equipment. Use old garbage cans to store tall items such as hockey sticks, baseball bats, ski poles, and lacrosse sticks. You may want to wash it out first…

WINE BOTTLE BOX w/SEPARATORS
You need a box with compartments. Liquor stores are dying to get rid of them. It’s a win-win situation. Look for a box with cardboard separators still inside. These separators will divide the box and create spaces for items such as whiffle ball bats, baseballs, tennis balls and rackets.
* Tip: Whether it’s a box or a can, don’t store anything more than twice the height of the container you use, or it might tip over.

LOW-COST:

LARGE, EXTRA-LARGE and XXL ZIPLOC BAGS
I hope the person at Ziploc who came up with the L, XL, and Jumbo bag concept got a promotion and a raise. Genius!
With built-in handles and a double zipper seal, they’re perfect for storing and toting balls, skates, protective gear, and uniforms. They’re made of a heavy-duty plastic making them moisture, dust, and pest-proof. The fact that the bags are transparent is an added bonus—you’ll know exactly what’s inside, saving you time and brain space. Find them in the supermarket or in your local home improvement store.
Cost: Approximately $5.49 and up per box

POP-UP MESH HAMPER
Pop up mesh hampers are the perfect receptacle for storing large balls, lightweight equipment or protective gear that needs ‘airing out.’ These round or ‘squarish’ shaped hampers are lightweight, easy to open, and come in breathable fabrics. Consider purchasing a different sized or colored hamper for each person in the family or one for each sport.
Cost: $7.99 and up

BALLGANIZER
Do you find yourself tripping over balls in your home? Trip no more with The Ballganizer. This hanging 5-ball capacity organizer offers a home for large balls such as footballs, soccer and basketballs. Hang in the garage, your kids’ bedroom or the playroom.
Cost: $14.95

*BIG SPLURGE*
You’ve saved a few bucks by using the ideas above–that’s great! If you are a multi-stick sport playing family and want to spend those extra bucks on something to organize them all, the 12-Compartment Utility Storage Unit is the organizing product for you. It’s perfect for holding bats, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and other tall sporting items. Maybe even a few fishing poles, too!
Cost: $59.99

Now that your equipment is organized, searching for it all is no longer your pre-sports warm-up. Do some stretches, grab your gear, and go have fun!

3 Thought-Provoking Ted Talks That Will Inspire You to Get Organized

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3 Thought-Provoking Ted Talks That Will Inspire You to Get Organized | organizedartistry.com

Do you ever watch TED Talks? I love watching TED Talks.

If I get to watch at least one a day I’m a happy camper. I watch them while I’m cooking, while I’m on the treadmill, and while I’m eating lunch at my computer. If I don’t have the time, I use one of my favorite apps, Pocket to store them until I have a free 20 minutes to watch.

TED began as a conference in California in 1984–five years before the birth of the World Wide Web. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.  It’s mission is to spread knowledge and since it’s inception, TED Talks have had attracted over a billion views online–there’s a lot more knowledgeable people in this world thanks to TED!

With all my TED Talk watching, I was curious as to whether there were any talks on the topic of Organizing. Well–there are! No one is sorting through papers or an overstuffed garage on stage, but the TED Talks I’ve selected are based on an ‘organizing’ theme. Carve out time in your day to watch them–you may learn something new just like I did…

Jessi Arrington: Wearing Nothing New

In my opinion, Jessi is one brave woman. She packed seven pair of underwear for her trip to Los Angeles to do her TED Talk. My heart is palpitating just thinking about it. When she got off the plane with her very tiny suitcase, she went shopping for clothes at local thrift stores in order to “reduce the impact of her wardrobe on the environment and her wallet.” I don’t expect you to watch this and then travel light, but listening to what she has to say, might cause you to take a good look at the clothes in your closet.


Laura Vanderkam: How To Gain Control of Your Free Time

Laura Vanderkam writes about Time Management. She says, “Time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.” Basically–it’s all about priorities. Your priorities. Your schedule and your choices. Listen to her TED Talk and think about how you use your time…


Tim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator

Do you procrastinate often?  Whether you do or not, you’re going to get a good laugh out of this funny TED Talk. You might even see a bit of yourself in Tim Urban. Think about what you might be procrastinating on and watch out for the ‘monkey.’


*BONUS* TED TALK
–Yes–I said ‘3’ in the title but this one is short–only around 5 minutes long: Mundano: Pimp My…Trash Cart?.

The unsung heroes of the organizing world are garbage men. They take away what we no longer want in our lives and are not always highly regarded for their work. Watch how one artist in Brazil took the work of Catadores, people who collect recycling, and transformed their work into an art form to be celebrated and appreciated by their communities.

 

Which Ted Talk resonated with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Organizing MY Home: Where Do I Put it NOW?

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As you may have read in my past three blog posts, last year I was a little busy with a home addition/renovation project. I knew it would be a challenging and rewarding process–and it was! But, there was one thing I didn’t realize would need to happen after we had moved back in…

I was going to have to find new ‘homes’ for almost everything we owned.

Although I don’t formally ‘move’ clients as part of Organized Artistry’s list of services, on occasion, I have helped a client  unpack their belongings into a new home. Within that process, I have assisted clients in finding new ‘homes’ for their kitchenware, linens and anything else that needed a home. With all the work that went into making our new house safe and beautiful, it never dawned upon me that I was going to have to figure out new ‘homes’ for everything we owned. Our house barely looked the same after the renovation/addition. Much of our old furniture was gone. We had a brand new kitchen with ample cabinets and pull-out drawers (squee!)–new closets, vanities, and storage options, too.

A Professional Organizer re-creates homes for everything she owns I organizedartistry.com

One of the storage pieces we created–four drawers to hold BBQ and entertaining pieces.

Yup. I’m a Professional Organizer and ‘finding new homes for everything we owned’ had not made it to my To-Do list.

We had lived in our pre-renovation house with mostly the same furniture and storage systems for fourteen years. For fourteen years the tape measure, the check book, and most of what we owned had ‘lived’ in the same place. I always knew where to find things when I needed them. Now, after almost six months in our house, it’s more like…

“Honey, where’s the (fill-in-the-blank)?

or

“Honey, do you remember where we decided to put the (fill-in-the-blank)?

or, once in a while it’s more like…

“WHERE IS THAT (fill-in-the-blank)? I COULD SWEAR I PUT IT IN (that drawer, that closet, that room)!

I’ll be honest–this has been pretty frustrating for me as a person and for someone who finds ‘good homes’ for people’s belongings for a living! It has left me discombobulated and a little freaked-out when I can’t find something.

Like I tell my clients, nothing happens overnight and I have to remind myself of that, too. A task this large needed to be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks. The joke is, “How do you eat an elephant?” and the answer is, “one bite at a time…” It’s an ongoing process. I broke it down into three parts: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary (like on the color wheel). Here’s how I’ve been breaking down the task to meet this challenge head on…

Primary: What Did I Do First? 

• On move-in day, I set up a bin in my new kitchen–large enough to accommodate papers. Any important papers that I needed to not misplace and have in front of my eyeballs went in there (ex. forms from school, our packing list, a wedding invitation, etc.)

• I thought of what rooms/hotspots HAD to be organized for us to function as a family in the days and weeks post move-in. Those turned out to be the kitchen/panrty, the kid’s homework/supply station, basic bedroom, bathroom, and home office set ups, current season clothing and sporting equipment (for my two boys).

• The tape measure and checkbook found semi-permanent homes!

Secondary: Three Months later–a few examples… 

• I have been slowly determining where items should now ‘live’ based on our new habits and the flow of the house.

• Important papers used to hang on my fridge and I kept some in a magazine holder on my kitchen counter. Now I keep them in plastic sleeves in a binder that lives in one of my kitchen cabinets. It’s now a ‘home’ for papers I need to look at regularly (schedules for recycling, school, sports, phone lists, etc.)

 pre-renovation magnet-covered refrigerator

This is what our old fridge used to look like! We had a ton of fridge magnets–my kids loved them!

• My kids needed a place to put their most popular games/puzzles/books on the first floor of our home. Certain kid games/puzzles/books now live in a dresser that is being used as an entrainment console until we get a new one. Other games/puzzles/books live in the basement and kid bedrooms.

Tertiary: Tasks left on the to-do list… 

• Holiday, BBQ/Entertaining items, Art Supplies are still in boxes. If I need them, I know where the boxes are and what’s inside of each since my packing list perpetually lives in the bin described above. Still haven’t figured out where everything will live–especially since we’re still in need of some furniture that will serve as storage pieces for the items in these boxes. Find the turkey platter, fondue pot, and glitter glue? No problem. Where to store it for the next few years? I’ll have to get back to you on that one…

• When the movers brought some of our boxes up to the attic, they were put up there in random spots. Once the weather gets cooler, hubby and I can organize them better–especially the bins of seasonal kid clothes. Those can be a beast!

• I am still slowly determining where items should now ‘live’ based on our new habits and the flow of the house. I think we’re going to have to live in the space for a year–four seasons–to know where everything should live.

I’m taking it slow and if you’re in a similar situation–you should, too. Find a fork and eat that elephant–one bite at a time!

What have you had to recently find a new home for in YOUR house?

 

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Getting Organized: A Quick FAQ

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Whether I’m at a networking meeting, a client’s home, or a social or family gathering I am often asked the same few questions about getting organized. Some people ask me about products, others ask me how I feel about all the organizing shows that have been on television, but most ask the questions below.

I hope the answers to these questions prove to be helpful as you begin or continue your journey to an organized life.

Why is it important to be organized?
Organized people are able to find the things they need when they need them—and finding what you need when you need it is what ‘being organized’ is all about. Being organized saves you time, money, and stress. By being organized, one is able to put lost time back in their day, money back in their wallets, and live life with less stress and frustration overall.
calendar
How do I get organized if I don’t have the time?
You have to MAKE the time. If you didn’t make the time to get your car an oil change would it work well? If you didn’t make the time to exercise and cook healthy meals would your body be able to maintain an active lifestyle? If you don’t set aside the time to ‘get organized,’ your household as well as your life will not function to it’s fullest capacity.

Start by making a fifteen-minute appointment with yourself at a time of day when you are most energetic. Mark it in a calendar and stick to it. You don’t need to devote eight hours on a Sunday to getting organized—you’d be amazed at how much you can get done by spending fifteen minutes in ‘organizing mode.’

Where do I begin?
I’m always asked this question and the person asking it usually has a look of panic on their face! I always recommend to people that they take inventory of their organizing needs and select an area that is driving them crazy or making their life difficult. For a small business owner, it may be their filing system. For a stay-at-home mom, it may be the playroom or the kitchen.

Break the task down into small, manageable tasks. For instance, if it’s your kitchen that’s disorganized, start by going through the silverware drawer. After you’ve tackled the drawer, you’re done with organizing for the day unless you choose to move on to another small section of the kitchen such as the sippy cup collection or the spice rack.

Once I’m organized, how do I maintain it?
The most important thing you need to keep your home/home office organized is DESIRE—the desire to keep your space organized and the desire to put forth the effort to keep it as so. Realistic goals are also necessary when it comes to ‘staying organized.’ You cannot expect an overnight change–on average it takes 21 days to establish a habit. So, if you install a hook by the front door for your keys and you forget once in a while to hang them there, don’t beat yourself up over it—it will come naturally soon enough.

Be prepared–there will be some days where you won’t have the time or energy to organize even the smallest of spaces—that’s OK. Just do your best. I tell people that one of the most important things they can do when they lack the time or energy to organize is to just stay ‘on top of their lives.’ Putting dishes back in the cabinet after they’ve dried, dealing with your mail shortly after you walk through the door, straightening out the medicine cabinet while you’re brushing your teeth are all quick and easy ways to prevent disorganization from creeping back into a newly organized space.

NAPO logo

National Association of Professional Organizers

What can a Professional Organizer do for me?
A Professional Organizer has the skills and experience to provide their clients with information, ideas, solutions and systems to increase productivity and reduce stress. By hiring a professional organizer you will not only be able to take advantage of their knowledge, and expertise, but you’ll be able to benefit from their non-judgemental physical and emotional support as well.

To find a Professional Organizer in your area, go to the website of the National Association of Professional Organizers and click on ‘Find an Organizer.’ It may be the first step on your journey to an organized life.

Do you have any other questions? Ask away!

5 Must-Haves for Spring Cleaning Your Clothes Closet

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Great ideas! 5 Must-Haves for Spring Cleaning Your Clothes Closet | organizedartistry.com

 

Where I live, it’s kinda cold. And it’s the first day of Spring (insert frowny face here). As much as I’d love to start doing a little spring cleaning in my closet, I still need my polartec tops and flannel lined jeans. May have to start elsewhere this weekend…

But, if you live in a warmer climate or just can’t look at your boots one more day, then by all means start spring cleaning your clothes closet.

 

Here are the 5 ‘must-haves’ you’ll need for this project:

Garbage bags

Despite their name, these bags won’t all be used for garbage. Grab two colors–black, white, and a third bag can be a reusable tote. Designate black for trash, white for donations, and the tote for repairs. Why use this system? I have heard stories of people accidentally donating their trash and putting their donations to the curb because they used bags of one color.

As you are sorting through and purging clothes from your closet, place them in the correct bag. Clothes with repairable tears and shoes/handbags that need a little TLC from the shoemaker go in your tote bag. When you finish, place the black bags wherever you keep your trash, put the donation and repair bags in your car or at your doorway, and mark off a day on your calendar to drop off them off at their next destinations.

Pad of paper and pen or cell phone

As you go through your clothes, you may find that they have an old stain, they’re too loose or tight, or you just don’t love it anymore. When getting rid of garments, keep a list of items you’d like to replace. That way, when you’re at the mall, you don’t have to think about what clothes you need–just refer to your list and you’ll know exactly what purchases to focus on. Use pen and paper or your cell phone to create the list–whichever works best for you.

Bottle of water/snack

Spring cleaning a clothes closet is a physical activity. Handling some sentimental items and items with ‘bad karma’ attached to them can be emotional as well. Even if you’ve eaten a large meal before starting, I’d recommend having a bottle of water and a snack at arm’s reach. You’ll need a break to clear your head and refuel–how often you do that during this task is up to you and your needs. But, I always advise my clients to bring a snack and drink into the space we’re working on. It means they don’t have to leave the room and lose focus while we’re working.

Large flat or multiple small flat surfaces

When going through a clothes closet, it’s important to have a place to put the clothes while sorting them out. If your closet is in your bedroom, use the bed to place the garments down as you make decisions. If your clothes live in a room without a bed, use folding chairs or storage tubs to separate your clothes by category. The floor is NOT a good option unless absolutely necessary. If that’s the case, please open a flat sheet, lay it on the floor and place your piles on top of the sheet.

Time

A basic organizing principle to follow for spring cleaning or any organizing task is. ‘Make an Appointment With Yourself.’ We make appointments to see doctors and to make our hair look fabulous and we wouldn’t consider canceling them except in an emergency. Do the same with Spring Cleaning. Take out your calendar and pick a day to start. Pencil in 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour–whatever amount of time you think you can manage. Keep that appointment. You’ll be glad you did.

What do you think you’ll find in your clothes closet this Spring?

 

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Get Organized for Thanksgivukkah!

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Courtesy of PJlibrary.org

If you haven’t been on Facebook lately or you’re not into pop-culture, you may not have heard the news. This year, for the first time since 1861 and the last time until the year 79,811, the holidays of Thanksgiving and Hannukah land on the same day. To commemorate this special day, the phrase, ‘Thanksgivukkah,’ was coined (and trademarked) by two women in Boston. A Facebook and Twitter account devoted to the day was created and the idea spread like wildfire across the United States.

For many of you, this day is business as usual. Turkey, cranberry sauce, football, and family traditions will be the norm. But for those who celebrate Hannukah as well, this day just became a little more challenging.

One holiday is religious. One is secular. The foods are different. Maybe you celebrate Turkey-day and Latke-day with different people. Celebrating two holidays at once? OY!

If you haven’t already started to plan, here are a few tips for getting organized for the won’t-see-this-again-in-our-lifetime holiday of Thanksgivukkah:

De-clutter Your Brain
You’re probably thinking, “Two holidays? What am I going to do? Where do I start?”
Start by dumping your brain onto a piece of paper or into a productivity app. Write down all the shopping, cooking, gift-giving, prepping and schlepping you’ll need to do for both holidays. Prioritize and then…

Delegate
It’s tough enough preparing for one holiday, but two? You’re going to need to delegate tasks in order to cover the important rituals and traditions of both holidays. If you’re a self-declared perfectionist, this is the time to lose the title. Control freak? LET IT GO. Some tasks to delegate:
• preparation of a Thanksgivukkah side dish
• creating and facilitating games to keep the kiddies occupied
• shopping for gifts
• cleaning up the kitchen
• playing ‘bartender’ for the day
• supplying candles and matches for the menorah/menurkey

A Menurkey–created by a ten year old boy with a Thanksgivukkah dream…

Prepare in Advance
Mise en Place is a French phrase meaning, ‘to have all of your cooking tools and ingredients prepared before you start cooking.’ The key to not stressing out while cooking for two different holidays at once is organization. Review every recipe and take note of what ingredients you’ll need. Also take note of what size measuring cups and spoons you’ll be working with. Do you have enough platters? What dishes need to cook in the oven and which on the stove top? Preparing in advance will prevent kitchen chaos and ‘Harried Hostess-itis.’

Keep it Simple
Two major holidays. One day. ‘Nuff said.

Ways to Keep it Simple:
• Usually, I advise people to make lists and store them in a file or electronically for the next year. You’re celebrating these two holidays together for the first and last time next week. Feel free to jot down notes but I don’t recommend creating a permanent file labeled ‘Thanksgivukkah’ unless you want to look back at it for some reason. I leave that up to you.
• Buy some pre-made food. My husband and I used to make potato latkes from scratch. Then we had two kids. No more latkes from scratch. My savior–Trader Joe’s Potato Pancakes. They are delicious and I don’t stay up half a night cleaning my kitchen.
• Eliminate a ton of side dishes by melding the two holidays in your recipes. Ideas: Sweet potato latkes, challah-chestnut stuffing, pumpkin pie a la mode with Manischewitz ice cream! (delegate the last item to someone with an ice cream maker and time on their hands…)

Latkes? Stuffing? Or both!

It’s been a real hoot reading articles about this once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Here are some interesting and informative ideas about Thanksgivukkah that were cool to read and helped me write this post:

Much of the historical information for this post has been gleaned from articles on the web and this one from Wikipedia.

How to Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, The Best Holiday of All Time
Recipes, decorations and funny stuff

Pinterest does Thanksgivukkah
Food, gifts, decorating and great ideas

Ingeniuous 10-Year Old Creates ‘Menurkey’ for Thanksgivukkah
Never underestimate a child again…

Happy Organized Thanksgivukkah!

My Top Ten Organizing Posts

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It’s hard to believe but Organized Artistry is heading into it’s 11th year in business. The time has certainly flown! In that time, I’ve written organizing tip articles for my website and almost four years ago, I started this blog.

In honor of 11 years of organizing, I share with you the top ten most popular posts of this blog–plus one bonus post to make it 11. I hope at least one of them will offer you an idea or a resource for creating and maintaining an organized life.

Curious as to what readers liked most?

Top 3 blog posts:

Best Products for Organizing Your Car
This post was the most popular by a landslide! Maybe I need to add ‘car organizing’ to my list of services…

Organizing Inspiration from Curious George
Who would think that a mischievous monkey could teach us a lesson on organization?

Peter Walsh Organizes Rachael Ray’s Kitchen
She’s got a smaller kitchen than one would assume. Peter Walsh makes cooking at home a more stress-free activity for the famous cook.

Cool Product blog posts:

Cool Product – Jewelry Organizer
Not your usual jewelry holder…

Cool Product – Cable Turtle
Wires! Wires! Wires! No more unsightly wire messes thanks to cable turtles.

Cool Product – Fridge Binz
If your fridge need organizing, check these out…

Other popular blog posts:

De-Cluttering Tips
Simple, basic steps to follow for de-cluttering…

Top Ten Helper Shelf ‘Hot Spots’ for Your Home
This was a popular post, too. I love helper shelves! See how they can transform your closets and cabinets.

Organizing Up and Down–a Vertical Makeover
My motto: “If you can’t go outward, go UPWARD!”

Organizing on the Cheap: Target Dollar Spot
Love the Target Dollar Spot. You never know what organizing products (or other goodies) you’ll find there.

New Baby? Time to Get Organized
These little people have a lot of stuff and require a ton of organization!

Bonus post: Some organizing humor…

Professional Organizer Humor
Yes, there’s a bumper sticker for our profession, too!

My blog posts are written with the intention of providing information, tips, resources and sometimes a good laugh. I hope they have provided you with all that and more. Thanks so much for supporting Organized Artistry!

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Take Baby Steps To Achieve Organizing Success

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One simple strategy to reaching your organizing goals. Take Baby Steps to Achieve Organizing Success | organizedartistry.com

Did you make New Year’s resolutions or set goals for yourself this year? I thought I heard you shouting from the rooftop, “This is the year I’m going to get organized!’

Did you create a plan for getting organized?  Have you mapped out some mini-goals for yourself? If yes, then great!

If not, that’s OK. No beating yourself up about it. Maybe you or a family member has been under the weather. Maybe ‘life’ has gotten in the way. Or perhaps, you just don’t know where to begin. You can start at anytime. How about TODAY?

No worries–take ‘baby steps.’

No one expects a baby to stand up one day and walk across the room. There’s a lot that goes on before a child meets that developmental milestone. They sit up, they crawl, they practice standing up in their crib. They take ‘baby steps’ towards mastering their actual baby steps.
You can take baby steps to reach your organizing goals, too.

Here are a few examples:

– Take a few minutes before bedtime to sort through and purge expired medicine.
– Sort and purge your piles of coupons while waiting for pasta water to boil.
– Schedule 15 minutes on your calendar to organize your sock drawer.
– Read a few posts on organizing blogs that pertain to your organizing challenge(s).
– Look at organizing ideas/products on Pinterest (don’t get sucked in, though!).

All of these teeny-tiny organizing projects and tasks are baby steps that will eventually get you where you want to be.

I often tell my clients to visualize their organizing goal as an iceberg. Baby steps are equal to the act of chipping away at that iceberg. Some days you may feel like you’re chipping away with a hammer, other days, with a toothpick. Regardless of your tool, if you keep working at it, you will reach your goal, however challenging it may be.

You CAN get organized–I know you can. Just take a baby step–one little step in the direction of the organizing goals you have set for yourself. In the beginning, it may feel as if you’re not making much progress but let me assure you–every ‘baby step’ you take towards reaching your goal will get you one step closer to the day when you can proudly shout from the rooftop, “I did it!”

What baby steps will you take to achieve organizing success?

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Planning + Mini-Goals = New Year’s Resolution Success

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In my last post, guest blogger Audrey Cupo of a A Better Space encouraged you to evaluate the past and plan for the future.

Well, the future is here. Did you make any resolutions for the next twelve months?

According to the people at StatisticBrain.com, the top ten New Year’s resolutions for 2013 are:

1. Lose Weight
2. Getting Organized
3. Spend Less, Save More
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5. Staying Fit and Healthy
6. Learn Something Exciting
7. Quit Smoking
8. Help Others in Their Dreams
9. Fall in Love
10. Spend More Time with Family

Did you see that? ‘Getting Organized’ is one of the top two resolutions people made in the new year. Looks like my colleagues and I are going to be very busy this year!

All kidding aside, many people say they want to get organized but are not successful at achieving their goal. Unfortunately, only a small percentage are. But why?

A few reasons:
– The goals they set for themselves are too vague.
– People get easily discouraged and give up too soon.
– They don’t have a way of measuring their successes however small.

They don’t have a PLAN.

That’s why I would advise anyone who has made a resolution for themselves this year to do two things first:
– Create a plan for reaching your New Year’s goal
– Set mini-goals within that plan

Planning out the path for reaching a goal can be as easy as doing a ‘brain dump’ on a piece of paper or on your computer. Create a list of all the steps you need to take to reach your goal. They don’t need to be in any order–you can fix that later.

If you’re a visual person like me, you might want to use a graphic organizer to help you with your plan. This is a great way to organize your thoughts. An example of one:

Courtesy of The Writing Bug

If ‘Getting Organized’ is one of your New Year’s resolutions, write ‘Get Organized’ in the big circle. In the next smaller circles write the room/area of your home or life you’d like to get organized. In the smallest circles (attached to the medium sized circles) list the tasks that need to be done to achieve your resolution to get organized. Create as many spokes and circles as needed. These are your mini-goals.

A mini-goal is a tiny step to complete on your way to reaching your ultimate goal. It helps you to break down the process into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Examples of mini-goals for getting your home/life organized:

-Every Tuesday, I will sort/purge/organize one drawer in my dresser until all drawers have been gone through.

-I will label an envelope ‘Receipts’ and once a week, I will empty my wallet of all receipts into that envelope. At the end of the month I will review all receipts.

-At the end of the day, I will spend 15 minutes making sure all items are in the home they belong in.

-I will create a ‘Donations’ bag in my garage and pledge to put all items to be donated in it. When I know I will pass the local thrift shop, I will put the bag in my car, drop off the donations and place the donations bin back in its ‘home.’

-I will inventory my pantry before heading to the supermarket.

Successfully setting mini-goals and reaching them are cause for celebration–don’t over look that. Every mini-goal milestone brings you a step closer to your goal and should be honored and celebrated!

“Vision without action is daydream. 
Action without vision is nightmare” 
– Japanese proverb

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? What’s your plan?

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

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