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!
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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!