Blog Archives

Spring Into Garage Cleaning – POC Guest Post

I love sharing guest posts from the Professional Organizers of Canada! Great content from my colleagues across the country. Here’s an article full of timely tips on organizing your garage.

‘Trouble finding the gardening tools?

The snow is gone, the air is mild, the buds are starting to appear – all signs of spring being here! Aren’t you excited?  Or maybe you will have a tough time getting into your garage to find your gardening tools and patio furniture?

During the cold Canadian winters, who wants to work in an unheated garage?  As a result, the garage becomes a dumping zone which has to be dealt with in the warmer months.

Think twice about what’s being stored there
A garage may not be an ideal location for certain types of storage. They often have solid concrete floors and despite the age of the garage, concrete can absorb and hold moisture and create a damp environment. Moisture eventually finds its way into your possessions and can create mould and rust.

Containerize properly
When storing, items should be containerized so there’s no chance of anything falling on to you, your possessions or your car. (if a car is indeed occupying the garage). It is also important to protect your belongings from pests and moisture as these can be severely damaging. Be mindful of important keepsakes or antiques and wrap them securely.

Sporting goods
Store them within easy reach and systematically according to seasons for easy and safe retrieval. Get as much as possible off the floor. Utilize the wall hanging panels and hooks. (pictured below)

Be realistic about the time involved to get it organized
Depending on the volume of clutter, you may need more than one day to get organized. Many garages require a minimum of 6 hours and can sometimes exceed 24 hours  depending on the size of the garage and the sheer volume of items. Remember, it’s not just tidying up; it’s creating a system of organization so that you will never have to do it again.

Don’t forget to label the bins and locations.
Once everything is up and out of your way, leave your garage in a clean, tidy and labelled manner. Consider labelling the locations of things as well, so that all family members know where to put things back.

Once you’ve invested in a system of organization for your garage, it’ll be easy to maintain for the seasons that follow.

Get Clarity, Get Organized

Get clarity

Motivation to Let Go of Your Stuff

Sometimes we are waiting for just the right time to let go of some of additional stuff. We know we have too much; there are things we longer use or have duplicates from upgrades or gifts.  It’s always a good idea to pack up some items after any gift giving special occasion like Fathers’ Day, a birthday or Christmas. Remember when items come in to your home it’s a good time to also take some things out. And know that there are so many people in the world that can use your unwanted items. Read this card and see if now is the time to pass on your things to someone who could really use them.

Start the New Year Right

It’s a new year, and a time when people like to start fresh and sample some new approaches to areas in your life you would like to improve. You have seen the development of the organizing and redesign shows take over our television stations. It’s been called the latest trend, the new dieting, but finding improved ways to organize your life is here to stay. Why? There’s just so much return on investment.

One thing we often forget when making changes and it’s especially true this time of year is the importance of starting slow and making small goals:

1. Your desk is a workplace- remove other non- work related items and place them clean deskelsewhere. Hang photos on the wall and place awards, personal objects and knickknacks on a shelf or credenza.

2. Keep the things you use the most close by and within reach, and items that you require only occasionally further away. This includes files, supplies and personal items.

3. Get rid of the extras- how many of one item do you really need-157 pens, 4 coffee mugs- give away, throw away or return to the stationary/supply area.

Speaking of extras, we usually have between 5-10 extra pounds that we have put on over the holidays. Looking for healthy time saving ways to get back on track? Here’s a few tips:

1. Plan your meals and grocery list ahead of time. You can save time and money. Eating healthier during your day will keep your energy up and your waistline down.

produce isle2. Stick to the outside aisles at the grocery stores. This is where we find our core foods, like fruits and vegetables. It’s a great time to eat more fruits and vegetables. Think of these as a healthy snacking alternative. Try a fruit you’ve never had before.

3. Cut back on your portion sizes- especially when eating out. Order half portions or ask for a to-go container for the remainder of your meal. This also gives you another meal you don’t have to prepare.

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Get clarity

Lost and Found: Keep Tabs on Your Loved Ones

Group Safety Tips for Crowds 

Summer is upon us and it’s time to soak in the sun, see the sights and enjoy everything summer has to offer – like concerts, street fairs, festivals and more. However taking in the local culture can turn into a stressful time when corralling the family and traveling in a group. Whether it’s your two-year-old wandering off in a crowd, or your husband of 20 years, it’s important to have a plan in case you’re separated.

Organize Anything has put together six great tips to help you stay connected with your group as you enjoy summer activities.

1. Colour Coordinate. Taking the kids to the fair, or attending this summer’s “must-see” concert? Consider colour-coordinating your t-shirts, or dressing the little ones in bright colours so they’re easy to spot in a crowd. This tip is popular at large amusement parks like Disneyworld where you’ll often see whole families decked out in neon.

2. ICE it. Traveling with a group of friends to see a concert or enjoying a festival? Make sure everyone’s got everyone else’s cell phone numbers programmed into their phones. Label the numbers with “ICE” which stands for In Case of Emergencies.  Taking smaller children out to enjoy performance? Safety pin your cell phone number, home phone number and address to the inside of a pocket or coat so they have it case of emergencies. Remember at large events you can’t always hear the phone ringing vibrate may help.

3. Plan ahead. In the event you do get separated from your group, you should have a plan in place of where you’ll meet them. Before leaving the house or when you have arrived at the venue, decide on a spot where everyone will meet at the end of the day if you get separated. Everyone knowing the plan will save you headaches and heartaches later.

4. Talk it out. When travelling with small children, be sure to tell them early and often how important it is to stick together. Cover the ground rules before leaving the house in the morning and then review them on the ride there and before you get out of the car. Make a game out of remembering the information.

5. Get Technical. For grownups, there are apps for your smart phone that let you share your location via GPS with friends. Perfect for that crowded concert, group members can go for snacks and bathroom breaks without losing you in the crowd. For younger children you can purchase small GPS trackers that tie onto shoe laces or backpacks. At the press of a button the tracker will start to chirp, alerting parents to their child’s location.

6. Light it Up. Heading out to watch the fireworks? Go to the Dollar Store and grab coordinated glow sticks or funky flashing lights to pass out to the family. Turn them on when the sun goes down so you can track the members of your party.

Armed with this handy information, you and your family and friends are ready to hit the streets and the beach this summer worry free. A little planning for safety can ensure lots of fun at any gathering this summer.

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How to Recover Your Bedroom From Clutter

We spend roughly one-third of our day in our bedrooms, most of it sleeping.  Little wonder it can be difficult to keep a bedroom tidy and clutter-free.  Following these easy-to-remember steps will help you keep things in order—maybe even get a good night’s sleep.

Make your bed first thing in the morning. It makes the room look tidier and will motivate you to keep it that way. cluttered-room

Keep a laundry basket handy for dirty laundry to avoid creating piles of clothes on the floor.

Add hooks to your closets for belts, scarves, and accessories to keep them organized and prevent them from being misplaced.  You should also consider attaching a tie or shoe rack inside your closet doors. 

Arrange your dresser so you have one drawer for underwear and one for socks or stockings. Consider sorting through your dresser drawers every two months to discard items that have holes or mismatched socks. 

Place your purses on a shelf, or hang them on a coat rack.  This will free up space and allow you to easily access and change purses for any event or season.

Sort your clothing seasonally.  Place all clothing items that are not in season in plastic containers, and place them in a storage closet or in the bottom of your clothes closet.

At the beginning of each season, hang all of your clothing hangers backwards.  After you wear and wash an item, return it to your closet and set the hanger straight.  At the end of the season, anything that is still hung backwards should be donated since you didn’t wear it for six months.

bedroomFeb09Can’t accommodate a large jewelry box?  There are attractive, multi-compartment containers available that allow you to arrange your necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets.  

Get your shoes off the floor and onto a shoe rack, on shelves, or even in a shoe bag. 

Don’t have a separate linen closet?  Fold and place linen on top of a closet or dresser, if easily accessible.

Best Use of Space in Your Office


Professional Organizer and Business Consultant Colette Robicheau shares the best ways to organize your home office. See the best products to improve your performance.

She shares simple, easy, economical options to fine tune your home office into a productive environment. Increase your efficiency while decreasing your clutter.

Five Ways to Lose Five Pounds..of Paper

Feeling a little heavy? Wake up in the morning and dread starting your day because of the extra weight? Then it’s time for you to lose that extra five pounds of paperwork and get streamlined this summer!
Organize Anything has five great tips to help you shed those extra pounds and watch your stress slip away.
1. Keep it online. Why waste ink and paper printing out bills, invoices and other documents that can easily be stored on your computer? Go digital and have your bills emailed to you instead of sent through traditional mail. Worried about losing your records? Save everything on an external hard drive or a well labelled memory stick.
2. Get to know your shredder. When you get your mail, sort through it at the paper shredder. Shred anything that’s not a bill or personal letter immediately. Not only does it cut down on paper clutter, but it helps you eliminate your chances of identity theft.
3. Use notebooks for messages. Keep a spiral notebook with a pen tucked inside it beside your home phone and one beside your computer. This helps eliminate the scraps of paper and Post-It notes that can take over your work space when you’re not looking.
4. Don’t just file, follow through. If you sort your paperwork into “urgent,” “high priority” and “low priority” make sure that you empty these trays by the end of the day. The idea is to complete the tasks or have reassessed their priority by end of day. Try not to re-file or re-pile papers at the end of your work day. Ask yourself what is the next action I need to take with this item.
5. Recycle anything that’s not critical. Consider your personal circumstances and decide what you should hold onto for the long run: wills, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, prenuptial agreements, alimony and child-custody agreements, divorce decrees, adoption papers, military records, citizenship papers, passports, health care power of attorney, current insurance policies, employment contracts, deeds, property titles, mortgages, and stock and bond certificates are all paperwork that you should keep long term.
Store these things in a safety deposit box or safe place where your next of kin knows where they are.Be sure to shred anything else you don’t need as time goes on. Also important is to ask your accountant or book keeper to see what you as an individual or business owner really need to keep and for how long.
Keeping pounds of extra paper is clutter you don’t need in your office or home.  Paperwork is easy to ignore, and it’s even easier to let it pile up. Do your part for the environment by eliminating your paper trail, while relieving the clutter in your home and office. Make this the summer you lose those extra five pounds of paper.

By

How to Recover Your Bedroom from Clutter

We spend roughly one-third of our day in our bedrooms, most of it sleeping.  Little wonder it can be difficult to keep a bedroom tidy and clutter-free.  Following these easy-to-remember steps will help you keep things in order—maybe even get a good night’s sleep.
1. Make your bed first thing in the morning. It makes the room look tidier and will motivate you to keep it that way.
2. Keep a laundry basket handy for dirty laundry to avoid creating piles of clothes on the floor.
3. Add hooks to your closets for belts, scarves, and accessories to keep them organized and prevent them from being misplaced.  You should also consider attaching a tie or shoe rack inside your closet doors.
4. Arrange your dresser so you have one drawer for underwear and one for socks or stockings. Consider sorting through your dresser drawers every two months to discard items that have holes or mismatched socks.
5. Place your purses on a shelf, or hang them on a coat rack.  This will free up large-messy-bedroomsspace and allow you to easily access and change purses for any event or season.
6. Sort your clothing seasonally.  Place all clothing items that are not in season in plastic containers, and place them in a storage closet or in the bottom of your clothes closet.
7. At the beginning of each season, hang all of your clothing hangers backwards.  After you wear and wash an item, return it to your closet and set the hanger straight.  At the end of the season, anything that is still hung backwards should be donated since you didn’t wear it for six months.
8. Can’t accommodate a large jewellery box?  There are attractive, multi-compartment containers available that allow you to arrange your necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets.
9. Get your shoes off the floor and onto a shoe rack, on shelves, or even in a shoe bag.
10. Don’t have a separate linen closet and space is an issue?  Fold and place extra linen under the mattress.

If you found this article useful, you can find more like it at www.organizeanything.com.

For more information or to connect with us online:

Colette Robicheau ASP, CRSS, CPO-CD ®, Master Trainer in CD and Organization
© 2011 Organize Anything – The Professional Organizing Company
Cell: 902.478.2280
colette@organizeanything.com
www.coletterobicheau.com
www.twitter.com/organizenow
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www.organizeanything.wordpress.com

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