Saturday, July 26, 2008

Organizing a 3 year old

I tell my clients all the time that I can organize children and adults of all ages. All you need is self discipline and the right tools. I have organized my children and it has been a test of strength but it is working. The key is making it as easy as possible and not allowing more toys and games than you have space for. That being said I have a three year old who could easily turn every hair on your head grey! She is God's way of showing me that everything doesn't have to be perfect to be organized. She has forced me to think out of the box! Her name is Ava and she is an amazingly free spirited, fun loving, care free child with all the personality of an upper east side ninety year old lady who has lived a life of priveledge and is use to being catered to. If I believed in reincarnation I would be looking up records of every old lady who died the day Ava was born! She is a challenge to organize. Currently we are going through a phase where she wants to change clothes every 5 minutes. If she sees a pair of pink pajamas on t.v., off she goes and quickly reappears in her own pink pajamas. I also have a niece that suffered from this, it must be common. Of course dress up clothes will not do for her, so I decided to give her a drawer with some dresses, dance clothes, etc. and told her that she was limited to what was in the drawers if she felt the need to change. I'm not about to cut off her fun or creativity but I need, for my peace of mind, to keep an orderly home. The drawers were a no go. Ava cannot stand boundaries. She is a major test of will. At this point most of my clients give up in this type of situation. Not me! I moved the clothes that she can change into and placed them in a closet right outside of her bedroom and then I have locked her door. Of course this made her very angry. I let her have that emotion. She is allowed to be angry with me. But I explained to her that we had to compromise. Just like the fact that if we don't eat a good dinner there is no dessert; if we can't follow the rules for our bedroom then we can't go in there. She has a playroom anyway, she doesn't have to be in her room. After a few days of seeing that the door remained locked unless it was bedtime, she said she wanted to go into her room and she wouldn't pull her clothes out of the closet. I too compromised. I realize she liked looking at the clothes hanging and choosing what to change into. I let her choose a few dresses that are not expensive but that she likes and hung them low so that she could get to them and I told her that she could have those dresses to play with as long as she hung one up before putting another on. Now things are better. You have to set an expectation with your kids regarding self discipline. It will bring them far in life in so many aspects. But you must have it too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Organizing Inspiration

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by a client's house and she brought me to her kitchen to show me a quote she had on her refrigerator. I don't remember it verbatum or who it was by but the message is a great one.

Man's wealth is not determined by how much he has but what with dignity he can do without.

Wow! Just stop for a moment and think about this. If this is the first time to read my blog you are seeing this theme for the first time, if you've been following along (and yesterday the yellowpage sales guy called to say he reads!)this theme is coming up again and again.

As some of you know I lost my home and all of my possessions in Katrina. Everything. I started over on August 29th 2008 with a 8 week old, a 2 yaer old, 2 dogs, 2 suitcases and 1 husband. My business dangled in the unknown.

The point is I lost everything and had the opportunity to look at all of the possessions I had and decide what of that was really important. And when March of 2006 came and I moved into my new house, I put in it just what I needed and nothing more. I realized how much of what I had before wasn't necessary. I realized what was important and that was living not things!

Look around your house today and pick out 10 things you can with dignity do without. Bring them to a donation place. Knowing what you need and what you don't is an important step in getting organized!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

successful organizng comes over time

I here clients say all the time that they used to be organized, or that they have tried and it lasted a little while but then things went back to being disorganized. They feel like they have failed or in some way they don't deserve to be organized.

Everyone can be organized and everyone deserves to reach those goals.

Its just that we need to be realistic about what level of organization that is right for us. My OCD style of organizing my home is not for everyone. Believe me! You need to find a style that is right for you and take baby steps.

Don't make broad unrealistic statements like; I'm going to get my house organized this weekend. I have spent 8 weeks with 5 organizers in some homes and still have things to work on.

Take it slow and if you fall off the organization wagon, pick your self up and try again.

Confucius once wrote, "our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising evey time we fall."

So today; RISE!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You are worth living an organized life!!

In the fall of 2005 Oprah wrote an editorial piece in O At Home about being organized. I, as you would imagine hold on to very little, but this piece I kept. In it she refers to Thelma Gordon, director of New York's Studio Museum in Harlem. Oprah writes about how impressed she was with this woman's ability to have such an organized home considering how small her New York apartment is and how busy her life is. Oprah writes, ". . .a woman with high regard for both her daily work and her ambitions sees to it that her environment lines up with that self-respect." Oprah goes on to write "Maintaining a gorgeous house or apartment is about respecting the very important person who lives in it. You."

You can see why I've held on to this. It's inspiring. It's the message I try to relay to my clients everyday. Choose to live better, choose to spend wiser, choose to love yourself. Ultimately getting organized and getting rid of the clutter is more about how we feel about ourselves and what we want for our life than just getting rid of some of our stuff.

More and more people are seeing the value of getting organized and learning to live with less. They are starting to realize that the only "Jones" are the ones in their head. As you make that choice it's also o.k. to get professional help. Hire an organizer if you need to or enlist the help of a friend.

It's not only o.k., it's becoming the new "IT" thing to do!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A little more Organized every day!!

I am happy that today after months of thinking about it; we have added the blog to our site!!! Now you really can read along with me and hopefully your comments and questions will help guide the direction we go in. I look forward to hearing from you!

As for today I can only say it has been a rough one. So there, you see? Even the organizer has a disorganized and rough day! I love my clients, but let's be real we are all human so nothing is going to be perfect all the time. Today I have a client that is late in paying her bill. Apparently I haven't organized that aspect of her life yet. She is now hiding out from us. What do they call that?


This is a woman who is as sweet as they come. We had a wonderful time in her home and had become friends but now over 2 months later she is hurtig this relationship because she is disorganized in her spending or in her bill paying. That breaks my heart. And my pocket book! But that's a sad song for another day.

We all know money is tight for everyone right now, but if you have a bill to pay; take care of it or at least let the person know you are having financial difficulty. I would be happier to have the relationship than the money but it looks like for now, I've lost both.

The moral of this story. Disorganization is not just a messy closet it can also be a messy pocket book. And the effects can stretch further than you think. There is no greater disorganization than financial disorganization. So today if you owe someone money and just can't pay it, pick up the phone and let them know. You might be surprised how they respond and you will feel so much better!