Blog Archives

STAGING – Flaunt Your Best Assets

Highlight and draw attention to elements in the home, such as a great view, architectural details, even repairs, renovations or equipment upgrades. Your kitchen and bathroom are prime selling opportunities, so pay special attention to these areas. For example, keep your kitchen counters clear of any knickknacks and small appliances, and remove any magnets or personal items from your fridge. Remove as many personal items as you can from the bathroom so it looks pristine and that there is lots of counter space available. Replace leaking or worn faucets to give a new look to the room. Make sure to clean under the sinks. Potential homeowners will be checking out all the details. If there are any leaks, fix them. Then clean up the damage using contact paper or paint. Spending a little extra time to fix up the existing items in the home is an inexpensive way to make great changes, therefore increasing the selling value and decreasing the time it will be on the market.

living room

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How to Purge the Urge to Procrastinate

Do you procrastinate? You’re not alone. It’s easy to say, ”I’ll do it tomorrow,” when faced with a project. But if you keep putting it off, you run the risk of racing the clock to complete it at the last minute. And if you do complete it, you may be unhappy with the results. So when you feel the temptation to procrastinate:  

1) Ask yourself why you procrastinate – There are many reasons why we put things off, from fear to lack of motivation. Knowing why you procrastinate will help you break the habit.

2) Identify what motivates you – Is it tight deadlines? The promise of a reward? Think about what motivates you and use that to get the ball rolling.

3) Prioritize your tasks – It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have several projects competing for your attention. Categorizing tasks as high and low priority will help you to focus on the most pressing projects.

4) Consider the time required – Be realistic when looking at the time it will take to complete any project. Block out time in your calendar so you have a clear start and end date with sufficient time to get it done.

sticky note wall

5) Avoid distractions – Easier said than done. But by focusing on the work at hand, you can complete it quickly and properly. And that will give you more time to focus on other responsibilities or activities.

6) Tell someone else – Knowing that you’ve told someone what you’re planning to do is a great motivator. Even saying it out loud to yourself is often enough to get you started.

7) Anticipate problems – There are always tasks that pose challenges. The key is to visualize them and how you will respond to them. This can significantly reduce anxiety and will help you perform better.

8) Plan a reward – It’s easier to complete a task or two when you know that there will be a reward for your hard work.  

9) Do things as they occur to you – This way, you won’t risk adding another item to your “To-Do” list. You may even find the thrill of getting something extra done motivates you to take on other projects.

10) Ask yourself ”Is there an easier way to do this?” – A little extra thought can make the difference in getting a task done quickly and easily.

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to others who would find it useful and sign up for our Organize Anything newsletter on our homepage at www.organizeanything.com

Being Organized Takes the Sting Out of Tax Time

A few simple reminders to save you money:

  • If you plan to seek expert advice during the tax season, look early
  • If using an expert, bring everything related to your taxes, including last year’s information   
  • Have a system to separate all your paperwork- this could be envelopes, an accordion file or file folders
  • After you have organized your papers and receipts in categories, flatten them out and have them upright to save time for you or the expert.

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Capturing Inspiration

Harnessing Your Brilliant Moments

Many people get their best ideas when they are doing a mundane task where their minds are able to wander. For me it’s long drives in the car, on the elliptical and more often in the shower.

When inspiration hits at an inopportune time, whether you’re halfway through your lather-rinse-repeat cycle or just about to drift off to sleep, it’s important to remind yourself to jot it down. At Organize Anything we like to be able to capture our great ideas on the fly, so we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you jot down even your most fleeting brilliant ideas.

1.   Brilliant ideas in bed. If you’re prone to being struck with inspiration right before you close your eyes for the night, reach over and turn your alarm clock upside down, lay the nightstand lamp on its side, place a shoe in a drawer or drape your housecoat over a lamp. In the morning when you wake up, your first thought will be “Why did I do that?” Then your natural memory will take over and remind you.

2.   Flip out in the shower. Did your conditioner spark a creative idea this morning? Reach out and flip your shower mat. You’ll link the idea to the physical action and after you towel off you’ll be able to remember the idea so you can write it down.

3.   Don’t stress over memorization. Albert Einstein famously said “Never memorize something you can look up.” In this case, don’t worry about getting every detail written down. If you can remember the framework of your idea, the rest will come to you.

4.   Kitchen inspiration. Keep a whiteboard in your kitchen so you’ve got a handy place to jot down ideas when they hit. Attach a marker by string to it, and you won’t lose your thought while searching for a dry-erase marker.

5.   Early morning musings. When you’re making your breakfast and getting ready for work, you don’t want to be rooting around for writing tools. Keep a recording device handy in the kitchen if you find yourself inspired over toast. A voice memo can be transcribed and followed up on after you’ve had your coffee and start on your day.

6.   Tools to help. If you’re a shower genius who needs to capture ideas right away, we love using waterproof pens and paper – like scuba divers use! You can write down that missing link to your next work presentation even with the water running.

These tips and tools will help you keep track of the great ideas that come to you spur-of-the-moment. Memory is subjective, and capturing your brainwaves before the thought is gone is a great way to keep yourself fresh and motivated.

Scheduling Tools for Home and Office

Manage Your Office and Family From Your Home Page

Did you know that a great ally in getting your life organized and streamlined is just a click away – and it’s free?!

At Organize Anything we’re big fans of the Google Calendar. So often we think that electronic calendars are just for the office, but we’ve discovered that Google Calendar works great for the busy family too.

Here are some really fun and easy ways to use the Google Calendar to streamline your office and home organization.

1) Colour code it. Assign every member of your office/team/family a unique colour. Every time they enter an appointment/meeting/practice into the calendar it will display in that colour so a quick glance tells you who’s doing what.

2) Choose your view. Find a month view overwhelming? You can customize the view of your calendar to be daily or weekly if you want to stay focused on the here and now. The best part? Everyone who accesses the calendar can choose a different way to view it!

3) Sync it. Once you have a Calendar set up (and it’s as easy as getting a Gmail.com account), you can sync the calendar on your smart phone with your Google Calendar. This means your busy teenager on-the-go can update their schedule as they sit rink-side at hockey practice, or the office administrator can update schedules in real-time during a conference call.

4) Combine it. The great thing about this app is that you can make parts of it private and others public. Your office manager doesn’t need to see your 7th grader’s project due dates – so you can simply make that calendar private. Chose who sees what and when – with you getting all the information you need with a mouse click.

5) Schedule meetings. Need to get the office together or plan a family meeting? You can create an event and invite everyone who uses your calendar to attend. They can RSVP right from the Google account and on-the-go.

6) Access anywhere. It’s cloud based and covers all devices so works for everyone almost anywhere and anytime.

7) Reminders to take action. You can set three types of reminders to ensure you never miss an appointment or meeting. Popup reminders display on your computer screen if you leave your calendar open – they also appear on your phone. Email reminders can be set for anytime – I will often have an email reminder of key appointments a day early so I can make sure I have all materials gathered that I need. SMS reminders are perfect if you’ve enabled your calendar for mobile integration – your calendar will text you reminders of upcoming meetings.

In this digital age and being constantly on-the-move, having a way to co-ordinate schedules on the go is critical. We love how versatile it is and how you can create calendars for work and family, and keep them all in one place! If you would like to learn more about how productivity tools can help YOU, contact us today.

Sticky Do’s and Sticky Don’ts

Do use sticky notes for:

  • Marking catalog and magazine pages
  • Reminding your self of special tasks (on bathroom mirror, front door, fridge).
  • Out of office notice-have sticky notes prepared to leave on your office door such as back in 10 minutes, at lunch, working at home, in a meeting.
  • Flow charts and scheduling.
  • To avoid writing on original documents.
  • Brain storming sessions.
  • For quick lists (errands, groceries) to place on your to do list.
  • For daily affirmations. Put a positive message on mirror.
  • To enter the fax number on a document you are faxing.
  • Writing positive notes to employees and family members.

sticky-notes

Don’t use sticky notes for:

  • To remind yourself of day-to-day activities or projects.
  • When there is more than one task to complete.
  • As a record of phone messages. Use a notebook instead.
  • As a method of retaining information on permanent documents. They can get knocked off and will dry out after awhile.
  • To label computer disks and CDs
  • For external or formal correspondence.

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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.
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
www.facebook.com/organizeanything
www.organizeanything.wordpress.com

STAGING – When Selling Your Home, Prepare like You Are Having Guests

Most of us do at least a few things to make our home more presentable when guests come to visit. Showing your home for sale is very similar. Think of preparing your home as if you were having not one but hopefully several special guests that will be seeing every aspect of your home. The following are some tips to help you properly prepare for your house buying guests.bathroom%20empty

Clean.  Nothing smells better than clean, unadulterated clean.  Open a window to let fresh air in before potential house buyers arrive.  Be careful with scented candles and fresheners that may cause allergic reactions in a larger and larger percentage of our population and therefore some of your guests. No one will want to buy a home that they are allergic to.

Create easy access at entrances and make sure there is lots of room for coats and footwear. Make it is easy for a group of people to enter your home at once and that there is lots of space for them to store their outerwear while they visit. Feeling crammed and uncomfortable to start is not a good first impression.

Tidy and reduce clutter. Put away personal belongings. Remember that these special guests will be looking at every inch of your house.  There is no just hiding things in a closet or room and closing the door here! Make your house look great and moving day easier by donating, selling, or trashing unused and useless items in your home.

Let guests know where things are. Potential buyers need to know.  Imagine these were overnight guests.  Show them where light switches, thermostats, and amenities are and how to operate household features. It needs to be obvious what a room is used for and where they can find or put things.

Have the laundry done and put out fresh linens.  Make sure the linen closet contents are stacked neatly and there are fresh linens on beds and in bathrooms.  Crumpled up towels and dirty socks on the floor will make guests feel unwelcome.

stagingMake an impact on guests with a fresh bouquet, plant or greenery.  This would be sure to please the eyes of any dinner guest, and your house buying guests will be equally impressed.

Limit your pets’ presence. You love your pets, but not everyone feels the same way.  Put your pet out in the yard, in their kennel or with friends while visitors are seeing your home. Make sure they don’t leave behind any “presents”.  No guest is pleased with souvenir dog or cat fur on their clothes.

Treat your potential buyers like special guests and they will want to stay in your home longer, not just as a guest, but as the new owner.

STAGING – Simple Mistakes That Lead Potential Buyers to Believe There is Not Enough Space in Your Home

Everyone wants a home that feels spacious; this is one of the top requirements that surveyed potential buyers are looking for.

Often our homes have a lot of space but it does not appear that way. The way we live in our homes, our accumulation of possessions and inadequate preparation will tell buyers that your home is smaller than it actually is.

Here are some things that will prevent the buyer from seeing the amount of space you actually have.

1. Closets that are overflowing with clothing and jammed too tightly
2. Plastic storage containers that fall on the floor when the cupboard door opens
3. Counter drawers that don’t flow open easily because they are crammed with too much stuff or don’t work properly
4. Kitchen and bathroom counter tops piled with household items with no free space remainingstuffed closet
5. Heavy and closed draperies or dirty windows that make the room dark
6. Dark, harsh paint colors and certain wallpapers
7. Too much furniture or too many accessories that make the room look small and crammed
8. Too few or inadequate lamps and lighting sources
9. Walkways within each room too shallow
10. Too many small knickknacks and pictures

Space may not be the final frontier when selling a home, but it is an important one. Make sure you eliminate these mistakes and the length of time your home will stay unsold on the market.

Is Your Office Set Up Working for You and Your Health

It’s time to audit your office set up.

Is your office set up working for you and your health? Position yourself and your equipment correctly to ensure a quality-working environment.

Get organized for the health of it. And remember if you have specific concerns always check with your practitioners to ensure the set up is right for you.

An improved working environment will elevate one’s overall well-being.

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