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Showing posts from November, 2008

10 Strategies for Avoiding Holiday Stress

1. List everyone you want to give a gift to and decide your budget for each person.
2. Get a VISA debit card with a limit of your gift budget. Once it is empty your shopping is over.
3. Or, make an agreement with those on your gift list to eliminate that practice this year or donate your time, money or possessions to a charity.
4. List all of your holiday activities.
5. Eliminate the activities that are in your “should” category. If it is too difficult to decide, narrow it down to each family member can pick one and only one activity that is most important to them.
6. Write down your new and improved list of activities, traditions and gift list.
7. This list is what you will now use to create your timeline for the rest of the month.
8. On your family calendar write down when you are going to do each activity and any other days necessary to complete the activity. For example, gift making can involve more than one day to buy materials, make gifts, wrap gifts, and mail or delivery gifts.…

What is your organizing WOW factor?

Recently, I have researched many TV segments featuring Professional Organizers sharing their ways of organizing various areas of one’s home, business and lives. Additionally, I have read many of the latest books written by Professional Organizers explaining their methods for organizing. Lastly, I have perused numerous Professional Organizers websites from newbies to veterans.

What has struck me is...nothing! There is nothing revolutionary being said. No WOW factor. I feel like I have heard it all and seen it all when comes to “how to” organize. If I feel that way, I wonder, does the public at large feel that way too?

Which brings me to my point of this blog post…what is the organizing WOW factor for you? What makes you say, “WOW I never thought of that before!” or “WOW I think that might really help me to get organized!”

I want to hear from you whether you are a Professional Organizer, a person in need of organizing, someone who has always been organized, or someone who has recen…

Giving you

Two tiny words that aren't spoken enough. So with Thanksgiving hours away, I want to say thanks to you for being a loyal reader, for leaving your inspiring comments, and for always coming back for more. Thank you to Stefan for being the best husband, partner in life, and webmaster I could ever hope for. Your faith in me is my biggest support. Thank you to my children Alex and Hannah for being the easiest children (teenagers) a parent could dream of. You bring me joy and renewed insight to life every day. Thank you to my family and friends, for your love, acts of random kindness, tears, hugs, smiles, wisdom, shoulder to lean on, honesty, and friendship. You shape who I am. Thank you to my clients, for trusting me with your stuff and your heart. Thank you to my training participants who teach me more than they could ever realize and for keeping my saw [razor] sharp!

Who are you thanking today? Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Random thoughts from the shower...

I often have some of my most brilliant ideas while in the shower. Must be the white noise factor. The thoughts I share with you in my "Random thoughts from the shower" blogs may or may not relate to organizing.

Today's thought relates to my business of organizing and general thoughts about the state of the global economy and is, "Who makes money and profits from a recession?" I'm sure there is a global economic intellectual response to this question (and I would love to hear it), but I don't have it. My initial response to this question is, "Psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies treating vast amounts of patients who are severely depressed from the fallout of the recession profit."

What do you think? Who makes money and profits from a recession?

What is your clutter costing you?

We are experiencing very challenging economic times. Maybe it’s time to think about what your clutter or lack of organization are costingyou and what you can save by becoming clutter free and creating habits to maintain organization.

Clutter is costing you—time, space, money, energy and sometimes relationships:
The time it takes you to find what you are looking for because of the clutter. If you own your business, this can cost you in terms of lost revenue because you are spending time looking for something instead of focusing on your business.The space you could create for what is truly important to you if it were not for all the clutter. What are you dreaming of? What is your clutter getting in the way of you achieving?The money you spend paying for duplicate items because you can’t find what you are looking for—or—you forgot you already own. Are you searching for those holiday gifts you bought people earlier this year or did you forget you have them squirreled away…somewhere?The ener…

Inspiration Wednesday

I love the holidays. I don't love shopping the malls! If you do, then don't forget about Black Friday--the Friday after Thanksgiving. For retailers it signals the start of holiday shopping. Ever wonder how Black Friday began? In 1939 President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up a week to extend the shopping season to help retail businesses. It was first called Black Friday in the 1960s and the term comes from the accounting practice of using red ink for losses and black ink for profits. To find the Black Friday bargains go to and
As for me, I'm avoiding the malls and going online. I'm scouting out what I want now at and and then come Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday, this year December 1st) I'll be hitting cyberspace!
Happy Holidaze!

Organizing Habit #16

Delegating tasks can help you achieve everything on your list each day. Prioritize your list, and delegate tasks that you personally do not have time to do, like vacuuming, picking up a child from practice, or running a load of laundry. Do&Delegate.list comes with carbon copy delegation notes, to help you get those three tasks off your to do list, and much more!


If balancing your checkbook is throwing off your equilibrium the Receipt Catcher is here to help keep you steady.

Sized to fit in your desk, glove compartment, or the junk drawer in the kitchen, the Receipt Catcher from Buttoned Up has tabbed sections to keep receipts for groceries, clothes, gifts, and more at your fingertips. The magnetic closure also gives you the option to toss receipts in the main compartment to sort at a later date.

Keep one at work for reimbursable expenses, one at home for household budgeting, and one in the car to take the hassle out of store returns.

Order from

Organizing Habit #15

You have 15 minutes... GO! Use this time to: clear our your voicemail box, put 20 pictures in a photo album, run the trash relay, return an important call, toss the spoiled food in your refrigerator, clean out a bathroom drawer, sort the mail, wrap a gift, fill out a form, make a grocery list, or flip through your calendar and plan for the upcoming week.
If you take care of a task this size every time you have 15 free minutes, you will be organized and clutter free in a very short time.


Turn your stacks into tasks with No. 2 Task Clips. Labeled To Do, To File, To Send and To Read, these powder-coated metal clips with chrome-plated arms will help you sort through your in box, your mail box and even that pile of paperwork on the edge of your desk you’ve been trying to ignore. Flip an arm up and use Task Clips to hang lists on bulletin boards or hooks. I use mine to label my desk hutch cubbies.

Sold in sets of 8 identical clips from See Jane Work. Make great stocking stuffers!


I'm sure everyone is blogging about the election results today. You won't find that here. I'm blogging about how to save money for the upcoming holidays. I'm going to share with you what I do every November and December to save money so I have a little extra for gift giving and purge my pantry and freezer at the same time.

My secret...I prepare meals ONLY from what I have in my freezer and pantry as of November 1st. The only groceries I purchase are fresh produce, dairy and bread. This year is going to be a stretch because November 1st snuck up on me unawares. Usually, I will try to stockpile extra pasta, spaghetti sauces and beans for the pantry and meat, poultry and seafood for the freezer...but, I didn't. So, I'm going to have to be extra creative. Fortunately, I'm on a diet (with great results--25 pounds lost in 12 weeks!) that requires "their" food for the most part so I only have three people to prepare meals for.

What's your secret to sa…

Organizing Habit #14

Stay in touch with people you care about. Stay close to the ones you love by setting aside a half hour on a Saturday afternoon to talk and catch up with friends and family. Whether it is a call to your parents, a card to your niece or an email to a close friend far away, every gesture will be appreciated without taking up the whole day.