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Useful Tips (archives)

Organizing your Computer

Whether it's a new year's resolution or the desire to become more computer literate for today's job market, we have a few tips for you! 

Spring 2014

When you start cleaning out the yard and feel inspired after this long cold winter, take that inspiration inside and clean out that closet...throw out those worn out boots, coats, gloves that have seen better days.  

Winter 2014

Even though it's a cold miserable winter, take advantage of all those inside days and have a mini clean-up or organize project!  You might even build up a sweat!  It may be too miserable to get to the dump so just pile the stuff in giant bags in the back of the garage and haul them off when we get our spring thaw!

November 2013

The holidays are approaching.  When shopping for gifts, make sure you are getting something the person wants, can use.  It's great to give consumable gifts such as wine, food, candles that will be used and won't be hanging around for the next 12 years!  Gift cards are also wonderful....to make it a bit more special, attach it to a nice item such as an inexpensive candle or bottle of wine. 

September 2013

September is a great month to get organized. Ask yourself "if I keep these things that I do not need or use, will they make my life better?" Chances are, they will not - so clear them. It will make space in your home and your head!  Happy clearing!!

August 2013

If you haven’t worn a summer item ALL SUMMER, wear it in August!! Time is running out-there must be a reason:
- too many clothes
- too small
- too big
- do not love it
- it has a stain
- old and ratty
THEN……sell, donate or toss it. Stop to notice your clothes. They have a personality

July 2013

Do you really know why you are keeping all "your stuff"?  Think about it….is it ego? Does all this stuff make you feel safe AND secure ?

Probably, but does it really? I bet a lot of it makes you feel badly about yourself.

Take inventory in 'your self' this summer. If you feel badly about your stuff……start to purge. Better yet walk around and tag the items with bright tape that you think you can get rid of. Then wait a day or two and justify why you can GET RID OF IT!!

The things that matter the most are not things.

June 2013

If you are organized, You’ll save money! It’s pretty simple: less stuff = less money you’ll have to spend…especially on off-site storage rentals! Also, knowing what you have and where things are located you’ll save money because you’re not rushing out to the store to buy duplicate items of things you have but weren’t able to find.

You’ll also save money on going out to eat if your kitchen is organized and you’ve planned your meals in advance. And how about this? You’ll save money on late fees and interest rates if you have a good system of tracking and managing your bills. So get organized this June and have a relaxing summer.

April 2013:

This is the month to change over your closet.

First thing to do is to go through all your fall and winter clothing – if there’s anything hanging in there that you haven’t worn all season, perhaps it’s time to part with it.

It’s tedious, but it’s worth trying on all of your spring and summer clothing. You want to dress for the body you have now (not the body you had 3 summers ago, or even last summer). If it doesn’t fit, add it to the donation pile.

Jewelry out of control? Use the inside of your closet door to display your collection. Hang a simple bulletin board and use tacks as pegs for your necklaces and bracelets for a tangle-free solution.

February 2013:

The reason most people avoid clearing the clutter is not because it takes effort and it can be time consuming. The real reason is the fact that clutter clearing is a very emotional process and it takes emotional stamina to go through it.

Simply put: clean out the clutter. Piles of laundry, papers, boxes, mail whatever it is, when we see clutter, our mind equates it with chaos and dead energy. So, make a point to , put it away, find a home for it, make decisions about it, and address it! Once you move that dead energy in your home, you will be surprised how it moves in your life!

February 2013:

Because clutter and organization is a huge problem for many of us, here are tips to help with the problem (mess):

  • Go through your medicine cabinets twice a year (January and June) and throw away expired medications and . Make a list of items you need to replace.

  • Books. If you’re keeping them for show, give it up (except authors). No one is impressed. Go straight to Cash4Books.net. If they’ll buy any, print out the prepaid mailing label and get those books into the mail. If not, donate books to your local library. It will help raise funds at the next library book sale (plus you may get a tax write off!)

  • Organize your kitchen pantry. Group like items together so you’ll know what you have and what needs to go on the grocery list. You’ll be amazed what’s lurking on your shelves. Check expiration dates. 

January 2013:

The holiday season is almost over and it's time to take down those decorations! It's easy to get flustered by organizing and packing up your seasonal decor. Try these easy tips to make it quick and smart.

Holiday lights: Untangling holiday lights can get tiresome. It's important to make sure they are carefully wrapped. Cut out a rectangular cardboard piece (a shoe box lid works). Wrap the string lights around the cardboard piece and neatly put away in a box. Light reels are another great option. Wound the lights around the reel and never worry about untangling again.

Gift wrap and supplies: Little tricks help keep your wrapping paper and supplies neat and tidy. Cut a slit in an empty toilet paper roll and slip it over your gift wrap roll to avoid paper from unrolling. Tape can damage the paper and cause you to cut and waste pieces. Items like ribbon and bows can be kept away in an organizer. A specialty holiday wrap box is great for packing away gift supplies. The many compartments will keep everything organized in one place. Its shape is great for storing in a closet or under the bed for easy access.

Figurines or similar trinkets: Mini storage containers or boxes are perfect for keeping your figurines safe throughout the year. It's important to keep them wrapped for extra protection and cushion. Bubble wrap or tissue is best. Try to avoid newspaper as the ink can sometimes rub off on your piece. Save the tissue you receive with your gifts and reuse it to wrap your holiday collectibles!
Apart from decorations, most of your clutter is going to come from all the new stuff you got this year. As you start to file away all your new goodies, throw out or donate their old counterparts. For example, if you got a new camera, donate your old one or sell it instead of keeping it around. This trick: let's you see what else you may have in that room that can be donated?

January is organization month! Do you need a little help or have a loved one or friend that could? I am offering 15% off my hourly fee this month only! I want everyone to get organized. So share the news…..It's a great way to live!

November 2012:

Now more than ever, get organized.
After this horrific storm, I am helping people get rid of treasures….well, not many actually. It is amazing how easily things are being discarded. People are realizing that things are not important, but lives and the home is. Clear out the basement, attic and closets now….not someday. If you are really struggling, ask these questions to yourself:
Then decide………..you may just feel a a lot differently about these items!!

September 2012:

Many times the clutter we have is due to emotional attachment to the item.  If you find things piling up too high, is it the emotion that keeps you from throwing it out?  If memory is important, take a picture of the item, put it in your photo album of memories and toss it!  Better yet, sell it on eBay or donate to a charity (tax write off). 

August 2012:

School starts either late this month (or in early September).  Traditionally Connecticut has a tax free period on clothes at the end of the month which can be a good deal...if you really need it!  It's foolish to pay list price to save 6.35% when it might be 20% (or more!) the following week.  Also, make sure it is something you or your family will truly use.  It's not a bargain if it is hanging in your closet! 

July 2012:

Are you a computerholic?  Too connected with your laptop, cell phone, iPod, and more?  Try budgeting your time and discover the off switch.  This will give you more time to be sociable, be ORGANIZED, relax, and enjoy hobbies and more.  It is awesome to be away from all distractions for a day, a long weekend, or on vacation!  Unless you're chief of surgery at the hospital, it's good to know we're dispensable. 

June 2012:

Are you a paperholic? If so, start today with a new system - clear old papers, magazines newspapers out of the way and start fresh-with today’s papers. Try a new system when opening mail or buying the newspaper. Look at your habits and try something different.  Immediately toss junk mail and set up an immediate in box that holds bills or items that need immediate care. 

Address these papers and see how you feel after you toss them away and clear the clutter?  Chances are you will feel great and in control of your day.

May 2012:

If you do not know what to do with it, or where to put it or why you ever bought it in the first place, or if looking at it depresses you, throw it out or at least donate it!  Never keep anything that makes you feel heavy or weighed down - "clear the clutter and you'll clear the mind!” 

April 2012:

Don’t be an April fool
If you don’t love it-get rid of it
If you inherited it - don’t feel responsible for it
If it makes you feel bad (like clothes that no longer fit) get rid of them

March 2012:

Preventing clutter - the mailbox provides too much clutter for all of us.  If you think you'll throw out that piece of mail in 3 months, recycle it immediately.  If you're getting bills, have them emailed to avoid the paper.  We all love getting coupons for discounts, etc.  A tiny magnetic bin on the side of the refrigerator is a perfect place to put them.  If not, use a giant baggy (clear!) to shove them into and bring it with you when shopping.  Make sure you do a purge every 4-6 weeks to remove expired ones. 

February 2012:

Use a dish drainer that is normally next to a sink in your pots and pan area.  This will keep ALL the lids organized and easy to find.

Ignore your peers and neighbors!  Peer pressure is powerful, and one of the most dangerous paths to clutter. Clutter is a poor investment.  Buy only what you need and use - period!

January 2012:

Out with the old to organize your home - At least box it up and put a question mark on it with today's date. After six months, if you have not used or thought about it, get rid of it. 

December 2011:

'Tis the season!  Keep the shopping list and all receipts in ONE clearly labeled large envelope or ziplock bag...makes it much easier for returns and exchanges.  Do not forget the less fortunate this holiday season.

November 2011:

As a professional home organizer, it is my job to remind you that the holidays are right around the corner! make sure you keep it simple this year. This is why holiday perfectionism is one of the main causes of holiday stress.  Learn to recognize the signs of holiday perfectionism and change them--give yourself a break and really enjoy the holidays this year!

October 2011:

Never shop without a list. It helps keep you on a budget. When clothes shopping, ask yourself “do I love it? Can I afford it? Can I wear it with my other clothes?”  Make October and every month a good decision making month!

September 2011:

September is a great time to get organized.  Start small (a medicine chest, closet or cabinet), take everything out and make a decision on each item - to keep, to donate or throw away.  Turn on some music to make it more enjoyable

If you clear your clutter, you WILL clear your mind!  Do not let the clutter control you - if you have not used it or worn it in 6 months GET RID OF IT!

August 2011:

Follow one tip, it is simple:  For everything that you own, designate a place for it - label bins for some of those places / things to make it easier to remember. Then simply put it back where it belongs when done using it.  It takes practice - you'll see it works! 

July 2011:

Storage facilities - unless you live in a 250 square foot studio apartment in midtown NYC, they are a BAD idea.  They suck down your cash.  The chances of ever using any of this is about 2%.  Get rid of that storage unit and put that money saved in your retirement fund or take a vacation! 

If any of the items have sentimental value, take a picture of it and put it in your photo album!  If it's worth something, sell it at a tag sale, eBay, or a consignment shop.  If you don't sell it, donate to charity or a thrift shop.  If someone in your family wants it, give them X amount of time to pick it up or else it goes out the door.  

June 2011:

WIN - no it's not winning the game.
What's Important Now - adhere to this and become more focused and organized.  By focusing on the important task on hand for today, not yesterday or two weeks from now, you'll be more organized.  For example, get that prospective client proposal ready; you don't need to spend 45 minutes picking out that "perfect" birthday card.  Remember:  interpersonal actions are more important than checking your tweets or facebook activity. 

May 2011:

Avoid the procrastination habit!  We're all guilty of some type of procrastination.  The best way to deal with it is to process the task immediately.  When you come home, immediately put all the groceries away.  If you get junk mail, throw it out, don't let it accumulate before you decide what to do with it.  File important mail immediately.  Better yet, get your bills electronically and pay them immediately when the email comes.  This technique can be applied to almost any task that takes 10 minutes or less. 

April 2011:

Not enough time to keep the house tidy?
Get a timer and do one chore every ten minutes:
1. Change sheets
2. Gather up all the trash
3. Dust with two hands
4. Vacuum just the traffic areas
5. Get rid of old mail and recycle it
6. Clean front and back door windows
There one hour and a tidy home…done!

March 2011:

Gas prices are soaring (ugh) but most of us still want a vacation.  These $$ saving tips will pay for more than a tank of gas!
1. Embrace the new hotels/they can reduce their rates to attract new customers.
2. If booking a plane ticket is too pricey………..consider taking a new “premium coach” bus.
3. Airlines often announce sales Tuesday morning that must be reserved by Thursday.
4. Cruise lines insist on being solidly booked before setting sail, so they offer deep discounts three months before sail date.

Valentine tip: 

This is Valentine's month!  It's more than just bringing home a dozen roses or a card to your loved one.  Investing more than a few moments to think of a special gift pays off .  If you're on a budget, a hand made gift certificate to provide anything from a massage to walking the dog is a wonderful idea that will be appreciated.  Or purchase an item (not a gift card!) that suits the person's interest or hobby. 

February is Archive your Files Month

1. Determine what to keep
2. Keep records retention guidelines in mind
3. Some papers can be tossed IMMEDIATELY
4. Stash important documents in safety deposit boxes or a home safe TODAY

January 2011 tip: 

A very simple/easy new year's resolution: 

Get rid of any object you describe by saying "I would use that if..." or "I used to use that, but...." That means you do not use it. Look around your home and clear the clutter this year.

December 2010 tip:

Step by Step tips for the one week countdown prior to Christmas (or any other major holiday)!

  • 7 days out - gather and wash holiday plates, bowls, platters for the big feast

  • 6 days out - make room in the fridge for holiday dishes

  • 5 days out - wash sheets, towels and face cloths where guests will be staying and stack in their room

  • 4 days out - vacuum and dust upstairs

  • 3 days out - clean all bathrooms - the master last

  • 2 days out - vacuum and dust downstairs (clean kitchen thoroughly)

  • 1 day out - empty trash…..do a last minute de-cluttering trip through the house with a black garbage bag
    (Hide clutter bag until all guests have left the building)

November 2010 tip:

Need more closet space?
1. Look for unused space above/put up a new shelf there or a rod
2. Use the back of your doors for hanging pockets or a slack rack
3. Add a small chest of drawers in an awkward nook
4. Think outside the closet and add an armoire in your room for extra storage

October 2010 tip:

Do you spend too much time trying to organize and tidy the house each day?

Spend only 10 minutes per chore (changing sheets, folding laundry, doing dishes). Use a timer and when it goes off, stop and go onto the next one. You can finish the chore later in the day, i.e. after work. Better yet, get the hubby or kids to chip in. (spouses and children are trainable!)

You will see that you can speed up the process if you focus on it and do it swiftly…..it really helps save time and energy!

September 2010 tip:

Organizing your time is as important as your space.  When you are out running errands, make sure you have something you can do while waiting for appointments, in line, etc.  Rather than just watching the stock prices or fiddling with your cell phone, bring a book/magazine that you wish to get caught up on. 

"Me-time" is just as important as work and family time.


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