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Anniversary Post – Seven Years of Blogging

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A good question to ask on your 'Blogiversary'--What goals do you have for your blog? Here are a few of mine... I organizedartistry.com

This October marks the 7th anniversary of my blog!

In the Spring of 2009, I attended the NAPO Conference in Orlando and signed up for a workshop on how to start a blog. I loved to write and I enjoyed sharing my organizing knowledge–blogging married those two loves together.

I started my blog shortly after my then three year old started preschool. I began on the Blogger platform and a few years ago my blog moved to WordPress coinciding with the redesign of my website. I reviewed ‘Cool Products,’ offered ‘Organizing Quick Tips,’ and wrote about anything I thought my readers would find helpful. Then child #2 came along and I did my best to keep up with blogging. Three years later (when he, too went to preschool) I decided to resurrect and complete a ten year old manuscript and self-publish a book. Still kept up with my blog. It was a challenge–but when you’re writing a book, the writing somehow just flows off your fingertips.

Recently, I was reviewing my posts and noticed I hadn’t written one for my 5th or 6th anniversary.  I didn’t write a 5th anniversary post because I was heading towards the self-publishing finish line and needed to focus to complete the enormous task. The 6th anniversary post never got written because I stopped blogging. Completely. Not one post for fourteen months. What happened?

A home renovation/addition project.

We purged our home, packed it all up and moved out for nine months. My brain was making so many renovation-related decisions and adjusting to living in temporary quarters–I just had no brain bandwidth for blogging. Took it off my plate completely. It was a bit weird–not writing at all. But sometimes in life we must put certain tasks on the back burner to accomplish a goal.

It took fourteen months, but in July of this year I got back to writing for my blog. I wasn’t sure how I’d jump back into the blogging pool so I decided to write about what I knew–my home renovation/addition experience. I thought about my experience and the knowledge I could pass on to my readers and the words started to flow.  After a year’s+ hiatus, I had some time to think about the steps I wanted to take to move my blog forward.

In past ‘blogiversary’ posts, I’ve talked about my blogging goals for the year ahead. Here are a few for 2017…

 

I 'Heart' Pinterest I organizedartistry.com

Boosting Pinterest traffic to my blog

I ‘heart’ Pinterest. I could be on that site all day if I had the time! There is a wealth of information in those millions of pins for both personal and professional use. I am planning on joining a few group boards and posting my blog posts to them to grow my blog traffic. I’m learning how to write more descriptive, keyword-rich pin descriptions for my blog posts and communicate more with those who are pinning them. Did I mention how much I ‘heart’ Pinterest?????

Using Canva to brighten up my blog posts I organizedartistry.comCreating Images in Canva

Canva is an online tool used for designing professional-looking graphics. If you’re on Pinterest or read a ton of blogs, you’ll see many utilizing Canva or similar tools to create eye-catching images for their blogs, later to be pinned and posted to social media sites. I used to be a graphic designer and I wasn’t happy with the look of my blog photos so I started learning about and using Canva. My first ‘creation’ can be found here.

Creating a Blogging Calendar

I’ve tried this in the past but it hasn’t worked for me. Maybe I wasn’t using the right calendar? Maybe I’m not spending enough time on the planning process? This is something on my to-do list for December so I can start in January.

Stop Comparing Myself to Other Bloggers

This is a tough one. I read many blogs and I wish I could have a larger readership and stunning photography like them. I’ve come to realize that for many bloggers out there, their blog is what they do for a living. That’s their main focus and they can create beautifully written and photographed posts 5-7 times a week. My situation is different. I work when my kids are in school. I travel to and work with clients for a large chunk of that time. I just started a newsletter. I’ll be adding Virtual Organizing services to my business model in 2017. I am working on the three goals I stated above. I blog when I can.  I just have to keep reminding myself that there are only 24 hours in a day and that I’m moving my blog and my business in a positive direction…


It’s not easy to come back from any kind of hiatus. I’ll be coming back to blogging slowly–keep an eye out more pretty pics, ‘cool products,’ gotta-tell-a-friend ideas and of course, organizing know-how.

You don’t have to wait ’til January 1st to set goals. Do you have any goals for your blog, business or personal life? Share them in the comments below.

 

CLICK HERE to sign up for Organized Artistry’s motivating monthly newsletter!

 

Spring Cleaning History

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Ever wonder where the phrase 'Spring Cleaning' comes from? Read to find out! Spring Cleaning History | organizedartistry.com

Every year around the months of March and April we hear people talking about it, we read about it in magazines, and see thousands of pins on Pinterest about it.

What could I be referring to?

Spring Cleaning!

We all use the phrase freely but where does the expression ‘Spring Cleaning’ actually come from?

History tells us that back in the ‘olden days,’ spring cleaning was a much different concept than it is today. Prevalent in climates with cold winters, this cleaning was a necessary routine because of how people had to heat their homes and keep them lit. They would use kerosene, wood, gas, oil, and candles which caused the home to develop a dark, sooty grime around it.

The arrival of spring signaled warmer temperatures and the need to clean the ash, soot, and grime left behind on household surfaces. Thus, the notion of ‘Spring Cleaning’ was born. Thankfully, most of us have modern heating systems and have an easier spring cleaning routine.

Today, we do not do ‘Spring Cleaning’ for the same reasons our ancestors did. In the 21st century, most people think of ‘Spring Cleaning’ as a time to throw open the windows, exchange their sweaters for lighter-weight clothing and clear through clutter that has collected as we burrowed in our homes during the months of winter. It’s a time to re-energize our bodies and our homes for the coming seasons.

Look at your calendar…when will you make an appointment to start your Spring Cleaning?

Click here to sign up for Organized Artistry’s motivating monthly newsletter!

The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook: A Book is Born

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been a little busy.

I wrote and self published a book…

The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook: A Book is Born - A thank you note book for brides and grooms I organizedartistry.com #weddingthankyounote

Don’t walk down the aisle without it!

 

Last time I blogged about it over the summer, the cover had been designed but the interior was not finished. Now, I can proudly say…

 

The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook is available at Amazon.com.

 

I refer to it as ‘The Thank You Note Writing Guide for the Overwhelmed Bride.’ Some of its features are:

• A seven-step system for organizing and composing nuptial thank you notes

• Basic organizing principles to be applied to thank you note writing, wedding planning, and everyday life

• Solutions for easing thank you note anxiety

• Tips and helpful hints for keeping your words of thanks and the writing process organized

• 101 modern sample thank you notes to jumpstart a bride and groom’s note writing process

• An eye-catching, icon-based key for quickly finding sample notes

 

The writing was finished in 2013. The editing and design were completed in 2014 and the ‘Publish’ button was pressed at the beginning of 2015. With all this work, I could barely compose a post for my blog. I think I was a little ‘burned out’ when it came to putting words together on paper (or screen). I’m also still a bit ‘wet behind the ears’ when it comes to WordPress. So, I took a little time off from blogging to meet one of my personal goals: becoming a published author. It’s 2015–time to start blogging again.

I’ll continue to blog about ‘everything organzing’ but in the coming months, I’ll also share my journey to becoming a published author, offer sneak-peeks of the inside of my book (hint: it’s beautiful) and I’ll share how my organizing skills helped me to finish writing and publishing this book.

 

OK–I’ll give you a sneak-peek now…

The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook: A Book is Born - A thank you note book for brides and grooms I organizedartistry.com #weddingthankyounote

This wedding cake is one of the icons used in the key, helping brides to quickly and easily find the sample thank you note they need.

Oh, and the e-book version will be coming out this Spring…

 

If you know anyone who just got engaged or is about to walk down the aisle, please ‘Pin’ and share this blog post with them–thanks!

For everything wedding + organizing, ‘Like’ The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook on Facebook, too.

Do you have any projects you’d like to finish in 2015? Please share–I’d love to hear about them.

 

CLICK HERE to sign up for Organized Artistry’s motivating monthly newsletter!

Organized Artistry: Moving a Business Forward

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This is my first official blog post on WordPress. I think it took me longer to format it than to write it! I’m getting used to living in my new WordPress home but I’m still bumping into walls and I haven’t unpacked all the boxes yet…

It’s been a while since I’ve written for my blog. I’ve been a little busy moving my business forward in some exciting ways.

1) My new logo. Since you’re reading this you’ve probably already seen my new logo designed by the talented Kate McMillan of Outbox Online Design. Look up–it’s at the top of the page. I just love that squiggle…

2) My new business cards. If you have a new logo, you have to have new business cards!

Moving a Business Forward. Exciting news from Organized Artistry--especially #5! organizedartistry.com #weddingthankyounote

3) My first promotional item. Shortly after my logo was designed, I was asked to sit on a panel made up of women who had started their own business. I was going to have a table and answer participants’ questions about being in and starting their own business. I felt like I needed some kind of product as a giveaway but in twelve years of business, I had never created one! I thought about what people would use most and thought the pen was a perfect first promotional item

Here’s my Organized Artistry pen!

Moving a Business Forward. Exciting news from Organized Artistry--especially #5! organizedartistry.com #weddingthankyounote

4) My new website. Also designed by Kate McMillan of Outbox Online Design. My old website was first designed in 2002 and boy did it need a makeover! Now it is a beautiful and modern showcase of my writing and how I help people get and stay organized. I’m thrilled that my blog is now part of the site.

Speaking of writing, this is BIG news…

5) My book. Long story short, I’ve been writing this book on and off since 2002. The manuscript went in and out of the file cabinet many times over almost a decade until I decided one day, ‘Publish or Bust.’ Here is a sneak peek of the cover, designed by the talented Peri Poloni-Gabriel of Knockout Design (she’ll be designing the interior, too). I love it–and no, I didn’t ask the designer to make the background purple to match my website–total coincidence…

Moving a Business Forward. Exciting news from Organized Artistry--especially #5! organizedartistry.com #weddingthankyounote

Coming Summer 2014 in e-book and paperback:

The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook: Let Systems and 101 Modern Sample Thank You Notes Take You From Overwhelmed to Organized

If you know anyone who just got engaged or is about to walk down the aisle, please ‘Pin’ or share this photo with them!

It has been a VERY busy 2013-14 for Organized Artistry. I’ve met many of the goals I set for my business–still a few more to go. Nothing happened overnight. Each step took time and sometimes the steps took a few wrong turns. But, I am grateful for the journey and all the people who have helped me get this far.

 

CLICK HERE to sign up for Organized Artistry’s motivating monthly newsletter!

A Collection of Organizing ‘Funnies’

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It’s the holiday season. We know that it doesn’t take much to make his time of year feel stressful. Everyone is talking about how to get and stay organized for the holidays. And, yes–it’s important to be organized, but it’s also important (and necessary) to sit down for a while, rest your weary “I’ve been cooking, shopping, doing-for-others-all-day” bones and LAUGH.

I’ve been seeing a lot of those ‘your e cards’ from somecards.com on Pinterest. They always give me a good chuckle so I thought I’d share and put a bunch of my favorites here. I could give you organizing tips, but I thought I’d give you a good belly laugh instead…

Yikes!

Gotta love Maxine’s sense of humor…

This reminds me of the children’s book, Swimmy by Leo Lionni…

A little scientific organizing humor…

Even animals can benefit from getting organized!

And this one’s for the ladies…

Hope I made you smile.

Happy holidays!

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My Favorite Organizing Pins on Pinterest

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If you spend a good amount of your time surfing the web, I’m sure you’ve heard of Pinterest. If not, run–don’t walk to the site that is taking social media by storm.

According to their website, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing the things you love.”

As a user, I would say that, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing images of inspiration.”

A little over a year ago, I joined Pinterest–read all about it here: Organized Artistry is on Pinterest!. I’ve been having a great time with it.

On Pinterest, you create and categorize ‘pin boards’ according to your interests. After you create your themed-boards, you load your own visuals or ‘re-pin’ visuals posted by others to your boards. I created boards for my organizing business and some that have to do with the book I’m writing for brides.  I thought that would be my only use for Pinterest, but it has much more to offer…

– When the time comes to make some major changes in my home, I’ll not only be flipping through decorating magazines, I’ll also be looking for decorating inspiration on Pinterest.

– I have found recipes to cook for my son who has multiple food allergies.

– There are tons of posts on clothing, makeup and health that I have learned from.

It is very easy to get sucked into the visual wonderland of Pinterest for HOURS at a time. There’s so much to see and learn!

Besides other categories, there must be thousands of ‘Organizing’ pins on Pinterest. So many great ideas to learn from and implement in your life!

Since time is precious, I would like to offer you some of my favorite organizing pins on Pinterest. Some I created myself and some I re-pinned from other boards.

Disclaimer: Although I love Pinterest, I think that there are many visuals on the site (especially the ‘Organizing’ visuals) that promote ‘perfection.’ Items in the photos are neatly lined up, labeled and look as if they are untouched by humans. Being organized is not about being perfect. It’s about being able to find what you need when you need it–plain and simple. I try to not promote or perpetuate the idea of perfection in my boards/pins, with my clients and in my own home.

I’ve seen some creative and mega-cool organizing ideas on Pinterest. Here are a few I think you will enjoy, appreciate and find inspiring…

From my ‘Kitchen Organizing’ Board

This pin is from my blog post, Top Ten Helper Shelf ‘Hot-Spots’ for Your Home. At last count, I have approximately 15 helper shelves in my home with most of them being in the kitchen.
Thought this was a creative idea. Hang cork board squares on the inside of a cabinet to manage and also hide papers such as invitations, receipts and shopping lists.
I dream of this in my kitchen. PULL OUT DRAWERS! LOTS of them! Never lose food in the back of your cabinet again. 
Thought this was a very organized way to grate and store cheese. Also perfect for grating cheese in advance. Store bagged cheese in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

From my ‘Get Ready for Spring Cleaning’ Board

Spring Cleaning or all-year-round cleaning–this is my favorite cleaning product. With two little boys in the house, I use the Magic Eraser A LOT! Most of its use is in my kitchen with white appliances. It ‘erases’ dirt–yes, magically and is the only thing I have found that can cut through the greasy, sticky spots on my stove top.

Though this idea was so smart. At the end of the winter, store your boots with cut up pool noodles inside of them. I bought pool noodles at the end of the season last year in Target for less than a dollar. That’s a very inexpensive way to retain the shape of your boots until next winter. 
As soon as I saw this ‘pin’ I knew I had to add it to my Get Ready for Spring Cleaning board. I work with a lot of clients in their closets and have seen many of these commandments broken. My personal favorites are #2 and #3.


From my ‘My Favorite Organizing Products’ Board

You won’t find this organizing product at The Container Store. It’s a productivity app called Evernote.  From their website: “Evernote helps you remember, act upon (and share) ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablets you use.” Every time I get an idea or wish to record information about some aspect of my business or personal life, I store it in Evernote for future reference. My desk would have a zillion post-its strewn across it without Evernote.

I know that many people love and swear by ‘huggable hangers.’ I’ll be honest with you–they are not my favorite hanger. I use and recommend crystal hangers. Although they take up more space in a closet, they work well to prevent those ‘shoulder bumpies’ that can ruin a top very easily.
This is my Brother P-Touch label maker. I’ll admit–I love it…maybe even more than the Magic Eraser. It has been quite a workhorse–creating labels for clients and my personal usage for the past ten years. Labels just make things look more organized–don’t you think?
This is only a partial list of my Pinterest boards and pins. To see all of my boards and everything I’ve ‘pinned’, head on over to Organized Artistry on Pinterest.
Did any ‘pin’ gave you organzing inspiration?

I’m Attending the NAPO Conference 2013 in New Orleans!

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In a few days, I’ll be attending the National Association of Professional Organizers 25th Annual Conference. This year it’s in New Orleans. I’ve never been to ‘NOLA’–I’m very excited to go! This will be my fifth NAPO conference since I started my business back in 2002.

Last year’s conference in Baltimore was a blast. It was jam-packed with meeting new people, learning new ways to grow and enhance my business, and it started off and ended with my first lengthy solo drive (for 3.5 hrs each way from NJ).

This year, since the solo drive would be MUCH too long, I’ll be flying. I’ll be packing everything I need in a carry-on bag–this is where my skills as a Professional Organizer will prove very useful. I’ve decided that despite the warm weather report, I’ll base all my outfits around the colors black, red/purple/pink. I’m trying to limit the shoes I bring to three pair. The true challenge will be paring down my bag of medical/health/makeup products!

Last year, I took some ‘techie’ workshops–this year I’m focusing on some areas I have little or no knowledge of. The workshops I’m signed up for are:

Self-Confidence: The Secret Success Mindset (taught by NAPO-NNJ’s Chapter President, Cena Block)
Organizing: Eyes Toward Re-Design
Packages, Programs and Value-Based Pricing
Pinterest for Business
Becoming a Kindle Book Author
Turning ‘Likes’ into Paying Clients

There will be two ‘Ask the Organizer’ Panels – one of which will feature Golden Circle Members on the panel (those who have been in business over 5 years). I always learn something new from my colleagues at these panels.

In addition there will be three Keynote speakers, a NAPO Business Meeting and Luncheon, and a NAPO Awards Luncheon. If it’s anything like last year’s Awards Luncheon, it’s sure to be a three hanky affair…

And let’s not forget the place to learn about new and exciting organizing products–THE EXPO! Big names like Rubbermaid, Ziploc and 3M are there as well as small business that provide Professional Organizers with products to revolutionize our client’s lives (and ours, too!), If the Command Hook people are there, I’m going to have to stop by for a demonstration. I always forget how to use those hooks properly…

Stay tuned for my post-conference blog post!

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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Organized Artistry is on Pinterest!

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Do you love social media? Are you also a visual person? Then unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Pinterest.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Pinterest (according to their website) “is a ‘virtual pinboard.’ Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”

I first noticed it when a few of my organizing colleagues began posting their Pinterest boards on their Facebook Pages. It looked interesting so I checked it out and was immediately hooked (it can be very addictive)! I’m a visual person with an art background–I find it to be a great way to collect and share ideas with others.

You have to request an invite to ‘join’ (which could take a few days or a few weeks) or ask someone already on Pinterest to give you an invite (that’s what I did). Once you’re ‘in’ you can start creating boards of topics that interest you and ‘pinning photos and videos to them.

Tip: Load the ‘Pin it’ bookmarklet to your browser–it allows you to ‘pin’ any photo/video from the web to your Pinterest boards.

I have a bunch of boards on the topic of organizing and I’ve created a few on the topic of weddings related to my book and the manuscript I’m working on. If you look in the right column of this blog you’ll see a button that says ‘Follow me on Pinterest.’ Click to follow me but if you’d like, first take a quick glance at my boards…

Organized Artistry’s Organizing Boards
Organizing Product I’ve Blogged About
Helpful Organizing Books
My Favorite Organizing Products
Organizing on the Cheap
Kitchen Organizing
Quick Organizing Tips
Get Ready for Spring Cleaning!
YOUR Favorite Organizing Products

Organized Artistry’s Wedding Boards
Organize for WeddingPlanning
Stylish Wedding Thank You Notes

Then there’s my board called ‘OMG–So Cute!‘ There’s a lot of cute stuff on Pinterest–can’t be about business ALL the time, ya know…

To learn more about Pinterest, here are a few articles that will be helpful to beginners:

Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest Basics

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network

Pinterest Tips–A Tutorial Guide for Beginners

Happy pinning! Anyone need an invite?

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

Professional Affiliations

NAPO Golden Circle  Bergen Health and Life 2015 POWR
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