Thursday, September 24, 2009

Have a little Faith

I surrender all! Now what? Isn't that what really bothers us? The unknown. I know as a faithful Christian I am suppose to take all of my problems, all my fears, all the stress and turn it over to God. It's after that. What do we do after that?
Obviously the answer is to wait and listen to the answers. My friends often laugh at me because I ask God for billboards. The way I see it, I'm not very good with the subtle and soft spoken hints from God. I need Him to shout it from the mountain top!

I am waiting for a billboard as we speak. During that time I struggle with my own fears and insecurities that can keep me almost paralyzed.

Although I don't suffer from the disorganization that so many of my clients suffer from, I can understand how they feel.

They feel overwhelmed, confused on what to do, lost in their own home. I feel the same way sometimes.

I started out as a Professional Organizer because I wanted to be my own boss and do something I enjoyed. Well, when you own your own business, everyone is your boss!! I do enjoy what I do, I love it actually. Being in the home of a client and seeing the difference we can make in someones life is very rewarding. I am thankful each day that I have the opportunity to share this gift with someone else.

I don't want anyone to feel helpless about their disorganization. Most people I work with can and do go on to be better organized. The problem people face, the biggest challenge, is backlog. How can you put your life on hold to catch up with all the things you didn't (or maybe don't) have time to take care of? That's the major challenge I see people face.

One of the obstacles that individuals with a back log face is understanding that they can't and shouldn't focus on the big end goal. What??? Are you shocked?? Clearly I must be crazy! Well, that's another story!

Let me put it another way. Don't look at a messy closet and think about it as one big task with one end result. Focus on the smaller details that will get you there. What about having all of your clothes off the floor? What about having all of the clothes you no longer need or wear out and sent to donation?

Each one of those steps will help get you where you want to be. Each step is a step to celebrate.

Don't get overwhelmed. Don't get paralyzed. Turn it over to God and then move forward and take the first step in FAITH.

A friend once told me that she raises her foot in faith that God will place a step under it when He is ready for her to take the next step. I love this! The point is; you have to raise your foot.

Get going. Get up and get organized.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Taming Time

I had no idea that when I made that post yesterday on our facebook page that so many of you would respond. It seems that time and kids keepsakes are hot topics with people.

You 're all correct to be concerned about how to manage your time. Without proper time management nothing else will be easy to accomplish. What's important for you to know is that there is no blanket solution that will cure your time management problems. If so I would be filthy rich!! There are things we can discuss that will help you understand more about your needs and how to address the problem.

The first step in taming time is to make the decision that you are going to do it! You will not succeed if you cannot commit to the process. For some, this means getting family involved. Tell your spouse or a friend that you are going to tackle this project and would like their help. I have always felt that motivation and accountability add tremendously to success.

There is so much to say on this topic it overwhelms me!!

I highly recommend that you invest in a planner. Take the time to sit down and figure out what works for you. Why do you show up to certain things on time? How do you find the time to get on facebook? If we are honest with ourselves we always find the time to do what we really want to do. How bad do you want to get all of the things on your to-do list done? For me it's not nearly enough!!

I read a time management book by David Allen called Getting Things Done. He wrote about something in this book that has changed my to-do list forever. He said to have a notebook or place for a master list of to-dos. From that master list you should only add things to your daily calendar that you are completing. At first I though this was ridiculous. Add another step?? Was he crazy? I am reading this book because I have too much to do!!

But I thought, "Heck I'll try. What's the worst thing that could happen?".

Well, I tried it and it was amazing. I realized why this was so important. He was building my decision making ability. I had a list, and I had time. Now I had to learn what to choose from the list and place it in my planner as I was getting it done. This added to my self-confidence when at the end of the day I would look at the page in my planner and rejoice in what I HAD accomplished, instead of looking at a page full of things I didn't get to.

Do you see? This practice has made even me a better manager of my time. I use the same principal with my clients when we purge. I make them decide on each thing we are going through and after so many hours they begin to break down and realize that they can get rid of excess and that they don't want to be in this situation again.

Another tip is to be very careful what you have on your list. I have talked about learning to say no. It is so hard for some people to say no. I spoke with a dear friend today who told me she was back on anti-depressants because she was so worried about other people and their problems that she was anxiety ridden. Can you believe this? I bet you can. I bet you may even do the same thing. So many women take on more than is necessary. I know that as a working mother I want to show the world that I can do it all!. I don't want anyone to think that my children may suffer because I choose to work or that I can't get it all done because I have too much on my plate.

Why do we care? Do you know what the sad truth is? We are all having the same feelings and so worried about what others think. So if we are all doing that, then how could any of us have time to judge us the way we fear? The answer is, they can't, they are too busy worrying about who is judging them!

Be realistic about how much you can get done. Too many times we overestimate or underestimate the time it will take to do something depending on if we want to get it done. Break projects down in to smaller more realistic portions and you can control the time you spend on them better.

Decide what time of day and how you work best and play on those strengths. I am a morning person. I do most of my daily planning before the kids get up and when I am at my sharpest. I also know that I am motivated by the buzzer. On the days I do a thorough house cleaning I use the kitchen timer. I set it for 30 minutes and suddenly I am energized and in a race to see if I can finish before the buzzer goes off. It must be the competitor in me. You have to start figuring out who you are and what motivates you.

Be honest with yourself. I always know as soon as I say, "I'm going to take care of that after the kids go to bed" that means I'm not going to do it. Once I wind down and tuck the kids in, I am pretty much good for nothing. Don't commit yourself to things you know you can't or won't do. All that you accomplish is creating negative feeling about yourself and your lack of follow through.

I could go on and on but this blog would turn into a book. I promise that if you send me a question I will answer it. You can manage your time and I will assist in making that a reality any way I can. I do coaching over the phone through The Clutter Prescription if any of you feel like that would be a good option for you. You can talk to me once a week for a check-up for only $29/mo. Go to for more details.

What you should also know about me is that I am diagnosed ADD and manage without medication. I have also been organizing for over 10 years for people and during my 6 years of owning a Professional Organizing Firm I have been asked to speak on this topic more than any other! That means you are not alone!

May you believe in all your potential and keep it organized!

If you like my blof please click to follow and be alerted when I make a new post!

Amanda M. LeBlanc, CPO
The Amandas of Organized Affairs, LLC

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Organize to make room for what's important

Things are busy and I am grateful! I battle maintaining my personal organizing daily. The house runs well, but the "to do" list is forever growing. This week my computer crashed! I went from a working computer to a black screen with a blinking cursor. I am a PC but I don't know how much longer I will be able to say that. I have resisted the change to MAC but this week Dell has really encouraged me to make the change.
On Monday morning I called Dell for the 300th time in a month and again I spoke with someone who I could barely understand. He spoke to me as if I was the idiot and 5 hours later I had nothing!! There seems to be no recourse either. I called Dell and tried to find a complaint department. I don't believe one exists. They said they were sending a box and that it would be here on Tuesday. Still no box and it is Saturday!! I am running a business people!!!! I can't even explain the issues this has caused. They have made me so mad. After I get this BOX, I will send off my computer and have it back in 7-10 business days??!!! Right. And who can go without a computer for that long? So you see the struggle this week has been great!
Dell could send me a new computer faster than this! I don't like companies who aren't "man enough" to have a complaint department and take care of their clients.
On Thursday I had a much needed break and went out to dinner with one of my clients and several of my employees. I can't tell you how much we love our clients. Once we enter someones house to help them get organized they become family. I can't explain it. I guess because what we do is so intimate or maybe because we're just so damn adorable!
Dinner was so much fun. Roxanne (my client and friend) has been such a great friend and is a lot of fun to be around. Patty, Cassie and Anne went too. We sat around the table telling stories and laughing hysterically. Everyone needs that kind of night. We are so busy running in the rat race that until something like this comes along and you are forced to stop for a second, you don't even realize what you are missing.

News Flash!!! You are missing the best part!

I was reminded this week by my sister and a friend, who both have children that will soon leave the nest, how quickly time goes by. Both of these women have spent a great deal of time with their children. But is there ever enough time?
I admit my business takes more time from my family than I would like. I am a perfectionist and I want everything I do to be the best. There is nothing like trying to be a mom and a business owner at the same time to bring you to your knees with the realization that YOU CANNOT be perfect. I cannot give my business and my kids all of what I would like to. I often feel that to please one is to make the other sacrifice. So the daily battle continues.
What I do know is that if I were not organized I would miss out on even more. many of my clients tell stories of how much they have missed out on due to their disorganization. It can be such a prison. Gosh!! Don't you see why I love my job. I'm not just out there clearing clutter; I am helping people change their lives!!
I must admit that my passion turned business was in the beginning just that, but now it's my life's mission to help people. I have sat across the table from moms who cry telling us how we have helped them to mend relationships, given them more time with their kids and changed their life. How could you ever walk away from that?? I am so honored to have been given this opportunity. My life is enriched in ways that words cannot express. So you see these families become my family. They are my friends and I love them. And my children . . . they are the reason I breathe.
If you are missing out on life due to disorganization, stop the cycle today. Make a commitment to change. We are here to answer any of your questions. Ask away!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Organizing, work and tithing - a great weekend!

This weekend I "tweaked" my house or at least some of it. I needed to and it's very therapeutic for me. I recommend this to all of my clients. You have to stay on top of your organizing systems for them to work as best as possible. It was fun for me! Yes I know this makes me a little crazy!!

I am still on my journey and I want to keep you in the loop of course. I have stopped my acid reflux medication! I'm feeling o.k. Actually I am feeling better than I did on the medication. Which is just messed up! I still have some symptoms. I can't help but wonder if the medication has been suppressing my bodies natural production of stomach acid and now my stomach is just trying to figure out what to do. Tomorrow I go to the hospital for a barium swallow. Mmm... that's gonna be tasty! I just hope after all of this, I get some long overdue answers.

I can't tell you how great it was to hear from so many of you about your medical mysteries. I can't make any of you post comment on my blog but your stories could help so many and I encourage you to do so. Until then please keep emailing me! I love to hear from you. Really, it's the best part of this blog. Listening to people share their stories is amazing!

O.K. so I've covered the latest in my crazy medical story now we can talk business. Wow, did I get some great responses to the vendor who is rude! We are pursuing other options for this product and so far it's looking promising. I will let you know how it works!

We are making some big decisions on the business this week. I had an interesting meeting this past Friday with a very talented lady. She is working on a BIG project and wants to use The Amandas as experts. It is for a national company and we wish her the best of luck! Obviously!!

Also tomorrow we are going to see a man about a horse!! Not really.

I have a new employee that started today in New Orleans. Her name is Bridgette & we are thrilled to have her with us! She said during the interview process that if money were no object she would organize homes and lives for FREE! That's definitely my kinda girl! Some of the exciting things going on with The Amandas are happening in New Orleans.I get a little nervous about saying too much in the blog. You just never know who's reading this thing. Geez, I didn't know anyone read it!!

On the home front the kids and hubby are fine. Dan, my husband has taken a more active role in my company and I am so excited. O.K. I'm a little nervous. He says I'm the creative and he is the level headed voice of reason. What the heck? Was that suppose to be a compliment?

Speaking of creative me; the family went to church yesterday in a torrential down pour. Just when we got inside and settled, my voice reason, Dan, says that he left the tithe check in the car! What???

You don't understand how I feel about tithing. It is a necessity. It is the one thing in the Bible God says you can test Him on. In my life it is spot on. When I tithe and give freely, I get back. I feel deep in my heart I am blessed in some part because I tithe. You should tithe!!

Anyway, I told Dan he had to go back and get the check and to be quick, before collection. Just as he walked out of church the sky opened and it rained harder than I imagined it could. Dan ran through the parking lot to the truck and got the check. By the time he made it back into the church he was soaked to the bone and the collection basket had passed. As he sat down looking wet and defeated, I told him to get up and find an usher and see who he could give his donation to. The look on his face said it all. He went to communion and then began the search for someone to give the check to. He found the basket and saved the day!! See I'm OCD about everything not just organizing! Dan did wonder after church how God felt about him worrying so much about giving his tithe that he missed the entire sermon! Oh well, I heard it! It was about believing and I believe Dan did what I told him to!

The girls are doing well. My oldest is in dance camp this week while the younger stays home with our nanny. The baby, who really isn't a baby anymore, is being treated for kidney reflux. She's on an antibiotic for a year and we are going to see a Pediatric Urologist for testing next week. She has no idea of course. Not going to be a great day for her.

All in all it was a great weekend and today has turned out to be pretty interesting.

Talk to you soon!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saturday I wrote and told you that I had begun my own organizing journey and I would keep you in the loop. I am trying hard to keep my promise. Of course now that I look back on Saturday's post I can see where I thought the next day was Monday! That should be an indicator of my stress. Everyday is like a Monday right now.

I said I had 2 important meetings on Monday and I did. The first was for me. I have been suffering with severe acid reflux for 3 years now and no one seems to know why. I am 5'4" and 120lbs so the weight is not a factor. I don't drink or smoke so those were ruled out as well. On Monday I had an ultrasound on my gallbladder performed. Not the first time but a necessary repeat. I didn't write the blog that day because the technician performing the test let me know through her actions that she found something. Of course she gave me some song and dance about how she couldn't give out results but I wanted to tell her "oh, but you can do everything else to let me know you found something." Needless to say I didn't feel much like writing that night.

Yesterday the Dr's nurse called to say that they found fatty deposits on my liver. Another indication that I am an overweight alcoholic! I am neither one of those things!! The nurse was surprised when she found out that I was not overweight and couldn't drink due to GI issues. We are now awaiting a series of other tests to be performed. I will keep you updated. For now I am praying for God to send some Dr an answer or diagnosis or something. Three years is a long time to be sick. OOH but I am still organized!!! That's right. Do you know why? The same reason I have told you over and over. . . simple systems integrated with my habits and lifestyle. That means you can be too!

On to the next meeting.

Strategy meeting with "the powers that be". You don't know them and they will just remain "the powers that be" until later. Basically they are helping me with my goals and plans for my company. They are very good and we meet often. This meeting was to talk about the things we accomplished over the last month and look at the upcoming opportunities for The Amandas and The Clutter Prescription. It was a very exciting meeting. There are some great things coming along. We are revamping our segment on Fox 8 in New Orleans and there may be another TV opportunity in Alabama. During the meeting I was told that there are businesses buying time on news programs. I was asked if I wanted to do this. Ummm. . .no! I have not done that and I hope we don't have to (knock on wood). I left the meeting feeling good about where we are and where we are headed. I also left feeling very grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me.

So the day was mixed. A little good and a little bad. Then I was faced with a challenge. I have been ordering product from my vendors for a while now. I have a great relationship with most. I have been loyal to those that have been good to me and then replaced others that have not really cared if we gave them business or not. But there are a few that have a product I cannot get elsewhere and I am forced to stick with them. This bothers me. One of the foundations of my business is customer service above and beyond what the client expects. Customer Service is dying these days and I know how much I miss it. I also know how much it means when I receive it. I appreciate it and want to give my support to whoever is providing it. It's one of the reasons I love American Express. They have unbelievable customer service!! There is one vendor that I am really having trouble with. They have never shown ANY appreciation for our business and have been on occasion rude and abrasive. This day was one of those occasions. Now I have to decide if this product is worth the trouble. Isn't that sad? All because of a little customer service. Don't they know the importance? It just doesn't make sense. I am even nice to customers who aren't so nice. Why? Because they are customers! Without them I would not have the business I have today. Who doesn't get that?? Well I can think of one. Whether I make a penny from the client or $10, 000, I treat them all the same. That's a good lesson for everyone.

So you see it's been a very busy couple of days. Today I got a call about the possibility of a national opportunity for me and then a nurse called to schedule a PH study. Look that up if you don't know what it is, then write and tell me how sorry you feel for me!

Until tomorrow. . .keep it organized!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

An organizing journey that begins today

First let me apologize for being so absent. I have been busy with work and a family wedding. I had to prioritize and not everything could fit on my plate. One of those things happened to be this blog! It's not always fun to make those choices but they are necessary. Why would you seek me for advice if I can't do the same things in my own life?

The past 2 weeks have been very busy but they have also been very thought provoking. During this time I have been presented with some interesting business opportunities and decisions to make. I have to say I am under some pressure and stress trying to figure things out. Organizing doesn't always come in the form of household to dos. I am faced with some life organizing right now. My kids, my business, my goals, and well basically my life, all need a little re-organizing.

I wish I could tell you here's how I figured it all out but right now that's just not the case. I can tell you that this will be a journey that I will document and share with you. Maybe we can both learn something. By the end I can tell you for sure you will learn something; either how to do this or how to NOT do what I did!!

I rely heavily on prayer. Those who know me best know that during difficult times I ask God for billboards. I find that when I am stressed out I stop hearing the subtle hints from God. I lose ability to think as clearly as I should and I try to take over. That's when I ask God to shout it out and place it on a billboard so that I don't miss it. I know that my life runs a lot smoother with Him at the wheel instead of me. I guess that's my first step.

Last night before bed I prayed for God to speak to me through my dreams. This morning I couldn't remember what I dreamed! What's that suppose to mean!?

I have taken some time to get out a notebook and pen and write down the different areas I am trying to make decisions on. I then tackled the first one by writing and brainstorming different ideas on how to handle this situation. It seemed to work.

Anything is easier to handle if you break it down into smaller parts. For example, the first thing I need to deal with was my children. We have a nanny who helps out with the children. I call her a nanny because she is 25 and she does more than just babysit. She helps make my life easier by taking care of things so that I can spend more time with my girls. She gives me a great gift. The problem is I need her to be better with her time management and think of things that need to be taken care of without me always telling her. I need her to read my mind and act accordingly!! O.K. I am clear that is not a possibility but I can't think of another way to express what I want. Thoughts run through my mind all day at the pace of about 100 miles an hour. I forget one thought almost as soon as the next enters. It is difficult for me to tell someone everything I need them to do. Now I need to figure out what is reasonable for me to expect of someone and how to relay that to them. I sat down and wrote her a letter telling her what my goals were and how I thought she could help out. I made sure to tell her all of the things I appreciated that she did, namely giving me more time with my kids which is the biggest gift anyone could give me. Then I went on to explain some things that I had observed and how we could accomplish more. I also went on to explain how these things could enhance her skills and her resume, helping to prepare her for any future jobs she may hold. I will give this to her and see how things unfold. Ultimately since she can't read my mind and since my perfectionism makes it hard to please me (I'm working on that), it will be interesting to see how this works out.

I started with my highest priority: my kids. Now I can give this letter to her, discuss it, and hope that we can accomplish even more.

I also try during difficult times to remember what to be grateful for; my Faith, husband, kids, family, clients, and employees. All of whom make my life what it is and who without I just wouldn't be me.

Please remember what is good in your life. We all have difficult times and problems in our lives. But I have yet to meet a person who didn't have at least a little to be thankful for. It is a shame that we get bogged down with the bad and forget the good.

Stay tuned. I have so much to tell you. Tomorrow I have 2 very important meetings. One personal and one for business. Both should be good for a lesson or two.

Until then . . . keep it organized!!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Organizing the laundry

Before I start, I have a favor to ask. If you like my blog please become a follower. Also, if you want great tips and advice on organizing please become a fan on our facebook page: The Clutter Prescription. Thanks!

Laundry! I can't stand to do laundry. I use to let it pile up until I was forced to wear dirty clothes or wash something. That all changed years ago. Not because I wanted to, but because I had a husband and kids to keep up with and they needed clean clothes.

I really tried hard to convince my husband that we needed to hire someone to handle all of the laundry and ironing. That did not work out so well. He laughed.

As an organizer, I am always trying to figure out ways to make keeping your house organized; easy. I had to work extra hard on this one. One day I stumbled upon something that changed the way I did laundry. When I tell you my solution you are going to think I am crazy. I am not saying this will cure your laundry problem. It is merely to re-enforce what I teach my clients; it's about finding out who you are and what works for you. What I am about to tell you has worked for me and for one of my clients who laughed at me, then tried it!

I have a double hamper in my closet that separates my whites and colors. One day I bought a white plastic hip hugger hamper. I thought I would use this as a transport basket. At the time, I had a load of clothes in the wash and the dryer was empty. I went to my closet looked at my hamper and saw that my whites were full. I placed a load in my transport basket. After the clothes in the wash were done I threw them in the dryer and placed the new load in the wash. My transport basket went back to the closet. This time I filled the transport basket with colors.

There was something about just seeing that one load in a basket that made me feel like I could get it done. I keep the transport basket in my closet where I can see it and for some reason I feel like that is all I have to deal with; that one basket, or one load. See? I told you it was simple. I worked to get through all of the dirty clothes and by the end of the third day the only dirty clothes were in the transport basket, washer, or dryer. That's the truth!

Laundry has never been a problem since. That basket was the perfect size load; not too big, not too small. Every time I see that it is full I know to throw it in the wash. So you see it wasn't something crazy that I had to do just something small that changed the way I view doing laundry. Simple solutions can make big differences.

I also know that to stay on top of laundry I have to have a schedule. I usually fold a load in the morning and put them away. I also take the load I put to wash at bedtime and move it to the dryer so that I can fold and put it away at night. If there is more laundry than normal, or items that have to be special washed, I may do another load as soon as I get home and another at bedtime.

My next step towards conquering laundry will be to convince my husband that we need 2dryers. I think everyone should have 2 dryers. This would really cut down the time we spend doing laundry! Until then I have my basket.

Another tip: a small amount of soap goes a long way. A full scoop that they provide in the box is way too much. Also, most clothes can and should be washed in cold water. Both of these tips will save you money!

Have a good laundry solution you want to share?? Let us hear from you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Clutter Prescription: A Great Mother's Day

I have enjoyed doing not much of anything today. This morning started out with my husband waking the kids(is he crazy?)to have them make me breakfast in bed. I overheard the girls arguing in the kitchen and my 3 year old crying. I was so happy it was Mother's Day and he was going to handle this all on his own. After all he is the one who woke them!

After they got everything together, the whole clan came in with breakfast on a Diego tray, which from what I could make out was part of the argument. Apparently the baby wanted me to eat on the Disney Princess tray. She will learn, the same as I am still learning, that some things just don't matter. That is a hard lesson when you are a planner and organizer!!

The kids gave me a swimsuit that they picked out. I have to assume that their father knew what they were buying since he took them and they are only 3 and 6 years old! The girls had the idea that we would have a beach party today (don't know where that came from). That's how they got the idea for the bathing suit. Now, about that suit. This swim suit is black with gold beading. It is extremely low cut and it is an extra small. Obviously I told them I loved it!! Then after they left the room I looked at my husband and asked him what in the heck he was thinking!! I am a pretty conservative and plain girl. I am small but not extra small and there was no way I could be seen in this bathing suit! My husband laughed and walked away laughing and said "well I love it". I have no idea how I will decide to handle this but for now it is raining and thank God there is no beach party.

Today the organizer did not organize anything. I didn't plan anything to do or worry about how the day would play out. I just sat back and enjoyed myself. I haven't picked up a thing. The house looks a mess, but I have refrained from doing anything about it. There are times to organize and then there are times to just enjoy life. The mess will be there later. I will get to it then.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Clutter Prescription; your prescription for curing clutter!

Here it is; the day I have been dreaming of. I have worked so hard to make this dream a reality and after what seems like forever, we have finally launched The Clutter Prescription; you prescription for curing clutter!

So what is it?

The Clutter Prescription is us(The Amandas), organizing you, via the Internet.

As a Professional Organizer I spend my time in clients' homes helping them get organized and I absolutely love it!

I wanted a way to share our company’s expertise with others so… I developed a new online program which is designed to help people get organized
for as little as $12.99/mo

Members are given the opportunity to choose a space they would like to organize. After signing up, they receive a weekly prescription, which is a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish their goals for that space. In addition to these instructions members have 24/7 direct access to our Organizers through the message board. They also receive the email reminder system, quarterly newsletter, daily clutter vitamin, and 10% off any purchase from The Amandas online store. All this for only $12.99/mo!

Two additional levels of membership give you the option to speak directly with one of our organizers on a weekly or monthly basis. These coaching sessions provide you with the support and guidance you need to get and stay organized!

This project has been a huge undertaking by me and my staff and we have all poured our hearts into the program. With a lot of hard work and dedication we are so proud to launch our new program, The Clutter Prescription, today!

To celebrate the launch we are offering a special price for members. By signing up for a 12 month, level 1 membership new members will receive the full year for $99!! That is less than $10 a month!

What a great gift for anyone! This custom designed program was created to fit any level of clutter and our prescriptions simplify the process making organization enjoyable and rewarding. I hope that all of you take a look at the new website

Join today to start enjoying the benefits of home organization. We can't wait to hear from you!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Is your home healthy?

For someone like me (and yes there are others!) organizing is fun, exciting and often; therapeutic. I love to spend the day reorganizing a room or a closet. It clears my brain of the day to day fog and makes me feel alive! Scared?

I know that for others, organizing can be a challenge. People tell me how overwhelmed their disorganization makes them feel, how they don't know where to start, and that they would rather be doing anything else.

That's why I do what I do. I don't just come to your home and do the organizing for you; I teach you. I want to be your friend and your ally; your coach in becoming organized. I know the struggles of disorganization and I also know it doesn't have to be that way.

Many people are worried about the flu right now. They are washing their hands, covering their mouths when they sneeze, doing a little extra sanitizing, etc. They want to be healthy. When you are healthy, you can do more, you feel good, and you have energy. There is a feeling of freedom that we take for granted when we are well.

Have you thought about the health of your home? Your home is a living, breathing, thing, and it takes care of you and your family. Clutter can clog the arteries of your home slowing down its' efficiency and causing problems.

The small steps people are taking right now to stay well are not life changing. They are small things that add up to big results.

That is what organizing is. Somehow the message got out that to get organized you had to go through some massive overhaul and completely change who you are. That is simply not the case.

The first step in getting organized is to stop thinking it's going to be this big horrible task. Stop and think about small things you can do each day to make your home a little more organized. Those small steps will add up to big results.

So what can you do? Stayed tuned for tomorrow's big announcement. Help is on the way!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I have to be organized!

So I write about getting organized all the time but have you ever wondered how organized I am? I am organized. In fact, I'm a little OCD about it. I struggle with perfection and accepting that sometimes good is good enough. Today I can tell you that I have another struggle. For the first time in a while I am really struggling with too much to do and not enough time. In the past I have been pretty good about prioritizing and knowing that it can't all be done today. That doesn't mean I didn't take on more than should be done in a day but I did sleep!! Right now, this very moment, I have more to do than can be done and I can't decide what to let go.

What about you? Is this your struggle too?

I have time mapped and prioritized till I am blue in the face. The reality is it can't be done.

Wow! Have you ever had this moment?

In reality there are things that can wait. It may mean a change in plans but it can wait. Do you know what can't wait? Life. Life will never stop and wait for you to catch up.

Your kids will not repeat being 5 years old because you were too busy to stop and enjoy them. And your friends will learn to stop asking you to lunch if the answer is always no.

But the other things; handling a last minute client request, making sure every e-mail is handled today or working through the night to meet an already unrealistic deadline, those CAN all wait.

Ask yourself what is the worst that will happen if I don't get this done? Now,relax because it's never as bad as you think it is.

My point is LIVE. Live like there's no tomorrow. Eat lunch in the park, build a fort in the den with your kids and sleep in there tonight (yes even on a school night), and don't let the pressures steal the pleasures from your life.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Finally I can let a little secret out! But just a little.

AHH! I can hardly contain myself. I'm so excited about a new project we are working on. I want to scream it from the rooftops! In the words of Miley Cyrus (that's right I said it- Miley Cyrus!) "It's all right here!" That's the new theme song we adopted to launch our new project! I know, I know, you want to know what it is. Well I can't tell you everything but I can tell you this has been in the works since 2005.
Just like all of you I had to prioritize. Other projects and more pressing matters took up all of my time and this special project got pushed to the back. After a while I would see it on a list of long term goals and think, "oh well, it's just not going to happen". But like I tell you, if you create a plan and continually refer to it, you can achieve anything. I may be several years behind where I wanted to be but in true form God has shown me that wasn't the time; this is!
This project will help me see my dream of helping people all over the country get organized come true.
We have set a launch date of May 1st. We are all working hard and dying to get started. I will keep you posted. Daily tips on organizing and updates on our new project can be found on twitter - username TheAmandas.
I am telling you now; write down your goals and visions for what you want and never let go. You never know when you will have the opportunity to realize one of them. When the time arrives be ready!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Getting Inspired to Organize

A while back I was asked to host a day of education for Longue View in New Orleans. Always eager to talk with people, especially when it comes to organizing, I jumped at the chance. The classes were held this past week. In my 5 years of owning this company and in all the years of helping people get organized, I never had so much fun! It was one of the best days I ever had.
It was the largest turn out that Longue Vue had ever seen. Sixty percent had never been to Longue View before.
You know what this told me?
I'm not crazy after all!
People are more eager than ever to get organized. All of the chaos and unsettling mess of the economic world is causing people to see that we all need to get it together.
Most of us have been living a "laissez faire" life just believing that everything will be o.k. or that things will just work out. I believe that is how the current financial mess was created. The hands off approach that everything will just work out. There was a lack of organization. A lack of knowing where everything was and what to do with it.
And now we see the fall out.
This is playing out in the homes of millions of Americans who are now trying to get organized. Maybe for some this is a conscious realization, for others they see what is going on in the world but have no idea that it could cause them the unconscious desire to get organized. I firmly believe that it is.
People came to the classes this week with questions, pictures and a plea for me to help them find the answers on how to get their lives better organized. I hope we were able to do that.
Getting organized is more than just purging the things you no longer want, or rearranging the stuff you have. It is a change in the very way you think and the way you live. It is the forward movement into a less stressful and more purpose filled life. IT IS LIFE CHANGING. And this is what we are looking for right now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Organize to take care of you!!

I am overwhelmed at the to-do list. And the list just keeps growing. I am so blessed to have a thriving business in such a crazy world and sometimes I just need to remind myself how lucky I am. I love what I do. I am happy every morning to wake up knowing this is my job but that doesn't mean I don't need reminding!! And the thought occurred to me maybe you do too!
We get bogged down with money and bills, lists of things to take care of and not enough time to take care of them and we lose sight of what's important. You are important! You should come first. I remember my mom telling me when my first child was born, "Amanda, the best way to take care of your child is to take care of yourself." I just thought she was as sleep deprived as I was! But again (and I do mean again - don't you just hate that) she was right.
First, stop and take inventory of things that are going well no matter how small they are. Next look at your list of to do and make sure something for you is on it. Take care of you and then you will be better able to take care of the rest.
As always. . I am here if you need me and . . . keep it organized!
We are now on twitter! Follow us at

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Trying to organize without the right help!!

My web designer left for a trip to Ireland. Lucky her!! However I got the desire to make changes to my blog this morning. I thought "hey I can do this." Well I should have taken the advice I give to my organizing clients; don't get started without a plan and the proper help.
I went against both today! I am admittedly computer illiterate and the whole blog thing is still pretty new to me. So what happened? Well if you are looking at this blog it's pretty obvious; my logo is taking up almost the whole page! I can't seem to fix this cute little problem. Now I have come to the conclusion that this will give you a good laugh and help you realize that I too am human!!
So now I will wait for Amy to return from Ireland. Of course due to my OCD this will seem like an eternity. But I have learned my lesson and Amy will be glad to know her job is safe.
This is a good story for you too. Getting organized is something I hear so many of you say should come easy or shouldn't be that hard. It's not but that's only with the right plan and the help to get there. This morning I searched up on other organizing blogs to read and see what new things are out there. It's scary; organizing is becoming such a vast topic and the information floating out there is infinite. Don't just jump in. Get a plan and choose the right person to help. Whether that is a family member or a professional organizer choose someone you feel understands your needs and can really help you create a space that will function for you.
I was recently called in to reorganize an office for a client. She called very upset and during the call she told me about her office and how the disorganization was interfering with her being more successful. At the end of the call after we set up a consultation she told me that she hadn't told me everything. she then went on to explain that she had no intention to hire us. She explained that she had just paid $3000 to have her office organized less than 3 months earlier and it was worse than it was before she hired someone. I didn't know what to say. She went on to tell me that she really just wanted to show me and see what ideas I had for her to fix it herself. I totally understood. When I went to her home and looked at her office it all made sense. The organizer who came before me didn't do a bad job. She just did the wrong job for the client. This particular organizer put in a system that was complete and thorough but she didn't understand the needs of her client. This woman had ADD. I have ADD. I am not hyper, I am a daydreamer and what I know all too well about this condition is that systems have to be as simple as possible and eliminate opportunity for the client to get distracted. The filing system that was created was based off of a number system. Each file had a number and the number corresponds to a master list. This client could never keep up with how the numbers were set-up or where the key or master list was. Trying to figure out where things were supposed to be was too much for her. This system although great for some was awful for her. She needed something as simple as ABC. I worked with her to show her how this could be redone. I showed her pictures and typed out exactly how to create this new system. The directions were only a paragraph. Remember keep it simple!! A few weeks later we went in and recreated her filing system.
The point: create systems around you. Don't change who you are. Organizing is about understanding your needs and habits and then creating organizational systems for your needs and habits. Too many times we feel that if we are disorganized we need to change who we are to be better organized and that's just not true. You are great!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Exciting news about Organizing Your Meals!!

Just like I said yesterday; I have exciting news that will save you time and money. There is a new online meal program that is revolutionizing dinner. And for only $36 a year! Are you kidding me? After I tell you about it you will see what a no brainer it is!
Some of you are aware that I dislike cooking. I would use the word hate but I tell my children not to say that so . . . My husband is an amazing cook and he loves cooking. However he hates trying to figure out what to fix and half the time we pick soemthing out and don't have all the ingredients. Needless to say it causes frustration; we run to and from the grocery too often; and we wind up eating too late in the evening and no one really enjoys it.
One of my organizers, Cassie, alerted me to this new online program where for only $36 a year you have an acount, log on and pick from a predetermined meal plan or choose recipes from their database, and then it creates a grocery shopping list for you. I thought it sounded great but I had no idea how great it really is. I signed up and got started. First, I can tell you it is very easy to navigate. Second, I think their recipes to choose from are plentiful and easy to make, and last we saved time that very day when we went to the grocery store. After I checked off the meals I would cook this week my grocery list was made for me. Another great feature of the grocery list is that you can uncheck any item you already have before printing your final shopping list and it will take those items off of your shopping list. I am a coupon clipper so I was able to look through the list and see what items I had coupons for and since I had just clipped them from the Sunday paper I was even able to choose recipes that had ingredients I knew were on sale.
Our grocery bill was right on target for our weekly allowance and I even had to buy cold medicine for the kids (the most expensive thing on the entire grocery list!).
Next came Monday's meal. We had everything we needed, we knew exactly what we were going to cook, and dinner was delicious! For me, this is a new must have and a life saver.
So now the best part. I called the owner of the site and told him that I wanted to share this amazing information with my clients and he has agreed to give all of you an $8 discount. $28 FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!!! How could you lose? All you have to to is go to my home page and click on the link provided. When you are subscribing it will ask you for a sponsor code. Your sponsor code for your discount is AMANDA-13. It's that easy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!
And stay tuned for even bigger news as we continue to bring you the best that organizing has to offer!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Exciting Organizing News

I am so excited!! First, I have received so many pictures and responses from people who are working on getting organized and they all look great! Everyone is really doing remarkable and I just want to say thanks for the compliments on how I am helping. That's really what it's all about. As I have told those of you who have contacted me we are working on something huge!! Something that will really help everyone! I can't say just yet but I will keep everyone updated as we prepare for a May 1st launch. Due to this new venture I will be changing the blog information. I will actually write more often but it will be different. I have agreed to work with those of you who are wroking through the closet and on to other spaces through e-mail and if I have missed anyone please contact me. But for everyone else just hold on. Things are going to get exciting!! Second, I have found out about a new service that will revolutionize meal prep and grocery shopping and save you big bucks at the same time! I have tried this system myself and we are working on a special program to offer this service through our website at a discounted rate to anyone who subscribes through our website.
I know this whole post is a big tease and I am so sorry but believe me it will be worth the wait.
As always I am here if you have any questions and stay tuned, maybe even as soon as tomorrow, for the details on a service that will make dinner much easier.
Also tune in to Fox 8 in New Orleans every Thursday in March for our organizing "how to" segments. This Thursday one of my organizers Heather will be on to tell you all the ways getting organized can save you money. She will also be able to tell you just how much you can save. If you miss the segment you can log on to the Fox 8 website and look us up under Morning Show. Until then . . .keep it organized!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Organizing inspiration

I know we are in the middle of a project right now but I thought I would take the time and let you know how great it is that you are getting organized. Do you know how many people want to get organized but think they don't have the time or make excuses for why they just can't. I am amazed all the time with clients, online and in person who are commited to getting organized. And those on my staff who are committed to helping them. I will give you 2 examples.
We are working this week with a woman who's husband is very ill. She struggles daily to take care of him and herself. She has a beautiful daughter who trys to remind her that she needs to take care of herself but, as most of us would in that situation, we put the care of others above any of our own needs. However she did decide that with all that was going on in her life she wanted to get organized. Not only did she want to but she followed through, hired us and has worked this week with us to make that goal a reality. And even when her husband got sicker this week she stuck with it. She is so pleasant and smiling and committed even through all the chaos. And not only that but she is enjoying getting organized! Which just affirms everything I tell people; this will free you; this will change your life. It is worth every second and every penny you invest as long as it is done right. I had a client meet a friend at a New Year's party in 2008. The friend wanted to get organized and the client of mine told her all about me and how I had helped her get her kitchen organized. She went on and on about how great it was and how beautiful her kitchen looks. The friend asked her if she had just had this done to which my client responded "No, it was December of 2004". The next week her friend called me. If it is done right, it will be worth it.
My second example is my employees. All of the organizers who work for me and with me to help people get organized and change their life ar amazing. Over time I have seen each one of them go through personal problems or issues that would have others running for cover. But not them. They are as passionate about helping others as I am. They are so passionate that they feel that working helps them, during hard times in their own lives, have something to look forward to. Something they can really put their heart and soul in to. They are amazing and a blessing. And soon they will be working with me even more to reach more of you and you will all have an oppotunity to see how lucky I am. I have the best clients and the best employees and I do everyday what I love most!
And I am proud of you for taking this journey with me and for working through the organizing delimas in your life. I will continue to be here for you. Together we can make your goals a reality!
So get back to the closet. I'll meet you there!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Master Closet Organizing made simple!!

We are working on the master closet and if you are just joining us we discussed in the last post the first step to working on this project, which is "a plan". Now that we have a plan and you have purged we can move on to the next step. I hope the purging went well. I got several e-mails with questions about what to get rid of or where is the best place to donate. All good questions and I was glad to see everyone really getting involved. Some of you had the desire to move on to the next step and I encouraged you to go back and purge again if you were looking for something to do. I always tell my clients after we purge that it is only the first pass. Purging can be done over and over. This week your assignment is to get all of the clothes you are keeping moved over to a good hanger. I am not strict on what that has to be but I do have some suggestions. Wire hangers must and I do mean must go!! They are horrible for clothing. I would suggest getting an acrylic hanger (clear plastic) or wood hanger. You can use the tubular white hanger if you choose but they are not my first choice. We sell both the acrylic and wooden hanger on my store site Here is what you need to know about the wooden hanger. The hanger I have chosen to carry is a flat slimline real wood hanger. And they are very inexpensive a box of 20 is only $14. They will not take up any more space than the acrylic or white plastic. What they will do is provide excellent support for your clothing and a sleek and gorgeous look to your closet. And best of all they last forever. For the last 5 years this has been our number 1 seller. If you have a more contemporary style then the acrylic hanger is for you and they are eaqually as durable and stylish and around the same price. As you are changing all of your clothes over you can begin to group and categorize. Place all of the white shirts with white and then follow the rainbow. Which is red, organge, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, and then brown, grey, and black. I would also suggest putting in shirts according to sleeve length. The white shirts would all be together and they would start with sleeveless to short sleeve and end with long sleeve. If you don't put sleeve lengths together sleeveless shirts can sometimes get lost between long sleeve shirts. Also hang as much as you can. Disorganzed people do better with placing clothing back on the hanger than folding on a shelf. In fact if you are disorganized, a shelf is not your friend!! You see it as a place to pile. This is your task for the week. Take it on with passion. Be proud of the purging you accomplished! You are moving in the right direction. Slow and steady wins the race. The process of organizing and some of the simple tasks you do can be a little like the Karate Kid. Wax on wax off may teach you a great fighting move. Hanging up your clothes and grouping them will teach you about the clothes you kept, give you ideas for new outfits, remind you of items that need to be hemmed or repaired, and give you a respect for all of the things you have! Good Luck. You are all in my prayers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let's Get Organized: The Master Closet

So as luck would have it I have been getting a ton of calls and e-mails about master closets. Everyone is tired of the cold and looking forward to spring and this is leading them to think about their closet. So . . . this is where we will start. I have always said I am a big proponent of making a plan. The first thing I want you to do is make a plan. Let me tell you what I mean. Get a notebook or journal; something you can use this year as we go through the phases of organizing your home. Now stand in the door of your closet and take a good hard look. Then close your eyes and picture the closet you want to have, the closet that will make you feel better about getting dressed in the morning. The closet that will save you time and frustration as you are getting ready for the day. Keep your eyes closed and think of all of the details. What kind of hangers do you want, lighting, cabinetry, anything you can dream up. Now open your eyes and write those things down. Make every word of it positive. After you have it all down you can then make a plan as to how you will get to that point. There are some basics that will be included in every plan such as purging, getting rid of wire hangers, etc. and this is where I will help you. Follow along to get organized and don't be afraid to send your questions. I am more than happy to add answers in my blog. I am always amazed with the number of people who e-mail me and say they are embarrased to ask questions on the blog. Don't be!! Others have the same questions and we are all here with the same purpose.
For this week I want you to create a plan and then purge!. How do we know what kind of storage we need if we don't know what we are trying to store? Look through your winter clothes and see what you haven't worn this season. We are close to spring (closer in the south) and if you didn't wear it yet ask yourself "why not". Purge the items in your closet first. Then if you have spring and summer clothes packed away you can purge those. We don't want to cause a bigger mess than necessary. If you pull all of the clothes out at once and try to purge chances are you will become overwhelmed and bail out on the process. Small steps will get you there quicker than standing still. Happy purging and let me know how it goes!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting Organized: Let's Get Started!

If you have been following my blog you can see just the mere mention of resolution sets you up for failure! But you know what I say? Start from wherever you are. Just start. If you really want something whether your goal is to lose weight or get organized; doing anything is better than nothing! One of my favorite quotes is by Calvin Coolidge which reads "Persistence prevails. Determination alone makes you omnipotent". Wow! What an amazing thought. Most of us never realize the power of our own determination to make something happen. One last thought for the day and then I promise my next entry will get started on getting us all back on the road of organizing!! A preacher appeared on The Ellen Show and discussed the power of our own thoughts. He suggested that if we take the last minutes of the day before we fall asleep to think of what we want and picture it as reality you will change your life. What can that hurt? It sure beats thinking about all the things that may have gone wrong that day.