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  • March 24, 2018 6:26 PM | Kate Martin (Administrator)

    Please enjoy this guest post, reprinted with permission from
    NAPO Austin member Melynda Weiland of Order To Everything



    Having a disorganized closet is stressful and can create a domino effect of other disorganized spaces in your home.  Here are 5 easy steps to get you to an organized closet and free you from your overwhelm.


    Do you have a closet where, when you walk in, your anxiety level goes up 10 notches?


    You know, when you step over things on the floor and reach over piles to get a shirt off the hanger or when you're unable to find anything because it's busting at the seams?  So frustrating!!  It’s a pain to get to the clothes in the first place, so putting them back isn’t any easier.  This leads to a jumbled mess of clothes on the floor or draped garments over anything that appears to be a surface.  

    Having a cluttered closet can cause undue stress in our already chaotic lives.  Not only is it a time waster, it can literally set a bad tone for your entire day stirring up irritability and frustration.

    Mess = Stress = Time and Energy Lost   Who wants that?!

    This pattern of clutter can spill from the closet through the entire home.  Nobody wants their day to start with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety or stress.  Worry not, this post has got you covered.  I've put together 5 easy steps to free you from your closet clutter and take that anxiety level down to zilch.

    Closets come in all shapes and sizes and the amount of clutter will differ from person to person, but the way in which you organize it is the same.  Set aside a bit of time, use these 5 easy steps to organize your closet and you’ll be doin a little dance in your clear space instead of getting overwhelmed in the mornings.  

    The 5 Easy Steps To An Organized Closet

    1. Remove Everything
    2. Ask Yourself Some Questions
    3. Put Like With Like
    4. Take Inventory
    5. Put It All In Place

    Your closet is going to be clutter free and fabulous, are you ready?!  

    OK, let's dive in.


    OK, so remove everything from your closet first.  It’s important to see and touch all of your clothing, shoes, etc. to make accurate decisions on whether you will keep them or not.  

    Taking a closer peek at each piece will give you, not only the opportunity to see how many things you’ve kept from the 80’s or still have because you know you’ll fit into it one day, but a better view of the styles, colors, and condition of what is there.   

    Viewing the empty space of your newly cleared out closet will also give you a different vantage point.  This will allow you to see all the possibilities of placing items back into your space.


    Does it fit?  Will I ever really wear this?  Are there any rips or tears?  Do I love it?  Do I really need a furry hat with tassels?

    Be honest with yourself.  Just because you may lose weight this summer, will those jeans really be what you want to wear?  When going through your items, divide them into 6 piles: save, relocate, donate, sell, recycle, and trash.  The answers to your questions will help you put items in the right piles.  Whatever is in the save pile goes back in, everything else goes.

    Doesn't that feel great?!



    Create categories to keep your closet orderly.  Having categories such as tank tops, sweaters, long sleeve, short sleeve, etc.. will not only make the space look better, it will also make it easier to find what you are looking for.   You can find more category ideas in my free Clothing Category Guide here.

    Start by separating clothing by type such as season, business, casual, etc... For example, separate your date night attire from your every day, on the go wardrobe.  

    Once you have your core types, move on to create sub-categories within those types as mentioned above.  Long sleeve, short sleeve, tank tops, etc...  This will create an additional layer of categorizing to amp up an easy “go to and grab” system for your closet.   

    If you want to have a little fun, take it one step further and organize each category by color.  The next time you need a black tank top, you’ll find it in a snap!


    Time for the fun!  Now that you know what you’re going to save, it’s time to gather any bins, hangers, etc.. you may need to put it all in place.  Begin by putting everything back in the closet where you want it to go and take inventory.  

    Create a list of containers, shelves, hangers, etc.. needed to house your items and measure, measure, measure.  

    You may think that measuring the shelf is enough, but measuring what is being placed there is essential as well in finding the right size container or organizing solution.  

    Think height, width, and depth of everything from the shelving, that stack of purses you’re going to hang, to how long those 3 rows of shoes are and write it down.  You’ll thank yourself later with a latte or glass of wine, promise!  With your measurements of height, width, and depth in hand, or on your phone (I use Asana, check it out here), it’s time to go shopping!  

    …did you remember to measure?



    You’ve gone shopping and you have everything to need to complete your closet.  With your new containers and organizing solutions, place all of your items in their new homes.  

    Create labels for bins and, voila!  You have an organized closet.  



    • Velvet hangers streamline the look of a closet, eliminate hanger bumps on clothing and maximize hanging space.  I get mine at Costco.
    • If you’re tight on time, start working on one section of the closet first and move on to other sections as you go.  

    • Use space saving shoe holders or shoe bins to create more space for your shoes.

    • Always measure the largest item to go in an area when measuring for bins to ensure everything will fit.

    • Think vertical.  Most closets have a ton of space above the top shelf.  Store luggage, stack bins with lids to house seasonal or rarely used items, or add shelving to utilize the space to your advantage.

      I’m going to be tackling my Master Closet. I'll be documenting my progress on Facebook next month.  What closet are you going to conquer to clear your clutter?  

      I’d love to know and see what you’re doing!  Come visit me on Facebook or Instagram and share your progress, your pains and your wins. 

      Don’t forget to download my FREE Clothing Category Guide!  Click here to grab it.

      This page contains affiliate links which means I will earn a commission if you use those links at no additional charge to you. I only recommend products and brands I use and trust.

  • February 18, 2018 9:57 AM | Carol Jones (Administrator)

    What do you get when you throw a bunch of NAPO-Austin Professional Organizers into a room with disorganized craft supplies? Well, at first, you get lots of wild sorting, big messy piles on tables, and some crazy laughing. At the end, you get a room full of beautifully organized items.

    NAPO-Austin is the local chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. Our professional organizer members love nothing better than to tackle big messes and make them more manageable.

    For our “Keep Austin Organized” community project in January 2018, NAPO-Austin went to AGE of Central Texas at the Round Rock location to help them out. AGE of Central Texas is a wonderful nonprofit organization that provides services for senior citizens. They have a Health Equipment Lending Program where they lend out wheelchairs, crutches, shower chairs, and other mobility equipment, for free.  http://www.ageofcentraltx.org/help.php  They offer Caregiver Information and Resources  http://www.ageofcentraltx.org/caregiver.php  and an Early Memory Loss Support program. http://www.ageofcentraltx.org/early_memory_loss.php

    They do a fabulous job of taking care of our senior citizens who need help, in Austin and Round Rock! In their Adult Day Health Care Center, they have all kinds of craft supplies, toys, and games to keep their senior clients entertained.

    Organizing all those things was going to be a fun challenge! Here is the NAPO-Austin team that tackled this project. Top row from left to right: Merilee Abboud of Clutter Concierge, Carol Jones of A Jones For Organizing, Pam Clyde of BritLin Services, Courtney Grand of Make It Grand Organizing, Christina Potter (retired), Kate Martin of Organized Joy, Melynda Weiland of Order To Everything, Jamie Steele of Steele Organizing, bottom row, left to right: Ryan Lanier of Love Your Space, Kathy Blair of Envision Organizing, and Angela Murphy of Organizational Bliss. Not shown: Randi Lyman of A Helping Hand.

    Before we started the project, the storage room of craft supplies looked like this. 

    Some bins were labeled incorrectly, items were scattered in different places, and nothing had a permanent home. It was difficult to find what you were looking for, and impossible to keep track of inventory.

    After we finished, it looked like this!

    Everything is now grouped by categories. The games are all together, the paint bottles, fabric, yarn, and beads all have permanent homes, and everything is clearly labeled. There was enough room left over to keep three shelves empty for drying wet art projects.

    Grouping similar things together into labeled spots makes everything easier to find. Managing the craft supplies and incoming donations will be much easier now for Naomi Dalsbo, Activity Director of AGE at Round Rock. “You all are rock stars!” said Naomi. “I can’t tell you how great this improvement will be for us.” Below, Naomi Dalsbo is thrilled with the chaos because she knows it will be so much better when we are done.

    See below for some fun pictures of the process.

    Let the transformation begin! We pulled everything out of the storage room, put it on tables, and began sorting. It always gets much messier at the beginning! 

    Ryan Lanier of Love Your Space and Christina Potter, retired organizer, break into a dance at the thought of organizing all this fun stuff.

    Kate Martin of Organized Joy and Jamie Steele of Steele Organizing love figuring out the best way to organize paper supplies.

    Randi Lyman of A Helping Hand and Melynda Weiland of Order To Everything take a smile break.

    Kathy Blair of Envision Organizing finds some oversized playing cards and tiny poker chips.

    Kate Martin of Organized Joy finds a fun project to work on.

    Angela Murphy of Organizational Bliss blisses out on organizing the beads.

    Randi Lyman of A Helping Hand and Jamie Steele of Steele Organizing crack each other up.

    Naomi Dalsbo and Christina Potter share a hug amid the piles of crafts.

    Kate Martin of Organized Joy and Courtney Grand of Make It Grand Organizing discuss strategy.

    Kathy Blair of Envision Organizing and Melynda Weiland of Order To Everything work on organizing the games.

    Courtney Grand of Make It Grand Organizing proudly shows off the color coordinated paint cabinet she organized.

    Ryan Lanier of Love Your Space and Naomi Dalsbo celebrate nearing the end of the project.

    Angela Murphy of Organizational Bliss and Pam Clyde of BritLin Services make some color-coded labels for the wire shelving units. Using color to easily find categories is one of our favorite organizing methods!

    Melynda Weiland of Order To Everything and Pam Clyde of Britlin Services find a cute sign.

    Now, everything has been sorted, containerized and labeled.

    One aspect of good organizing is using space effectively. Every inch of available storage in this supply room was used. The vertical empty space underneath this counter was perfect for storing inflatable balls in a wire toy barrel.

    Things in this supply room used to get set down on any available flat surface, which made them hard to find later. Now that the NAPO-Austin organizers have swooped in and designated permanent homes for everything, it will all be easy to put away now, and find later. Even the paper cutter and corner punch have official labeled homes!

    The NAPO-Austin team of professional organizers had a great time turning a chaotic collection of craft supplies and toys into a straightened-up, shipshape, easy to maintain space. Now we are looking forward to our next community project!

    Thank you, AGE of Central Texas, for all that you do to care for our beloved senior citizens in the community!

  • December 06, 2017 8:13 AM | Kate Martin (Administrator)

    How to Survive the Holiday Season

    By Lindsay Palmgren,
    Professional Organizer at 3e Organizing

    A few weeks ago NAPO Austin invited me to guest blog on “How to Survive the Holiday Season.” While I brainstormed for different tips and strategies that others could employ in order to not feel so frazzled, I realized I needed to take my own advice. Between renovating our new home and packing for our week-before-Christmas move-in date I am overworked, overcommitted, and overwhelmed. I am just plain, over. Add to this my in-laws and my parents are coming for two weeks to stay at the new house… the one that doesn’t have flooring installed or all the walls painted yet.

    And while I’ll be glad to see them, I’m also stressed at the idea that I still need to get floors and walls completed (and the toilet from the garage) in order to host a Christmas dinner that might resemble something like a Stouffers lasagna commercial. Oh, and the PTA is emailing me about getting involved with the school carnival. And there is a club I’m trying to set up at school. And I just found out that my daughter needs to make a dish authentic to Greenland to share with the class!?!? Greenland, really? Can she bring ice? #SnowConesAnyone #DecemberProjectsAreHard

    Trying to balance all of this, while also keeping my own home organized (it’s not) and making room in my own schedule for clients. Is hiding from your family in the closet with a box of wine and chocolate a bad thing? If your to-do-list chaos resembles mine, then keep reading for some hot tips on how we can all get through this together.


    Prioritize… prioritize… prioritize!

    A calendar and to-do-list where you can prioritize action items can be your best friend this holiday season. Break down your list into an A, B, and C list. A is the most important action items, the ones that are time sensitive. The B list is things that need to be done, but maybe don’t have a deadline. The C list is for the things that are nice to get done, but can be put on the back burner if you run out of time. 

    The trick is you need to stick to it, no matter what. For example: feeding your family is crucial. That goes on the A list. Feeding your family a Pinterest-worthy dinner of toasted-walnut-stuffed-rigatoni made with the tears of unicorns, is not a priority. It’s on the C list. Simplify your to-do-list and you’ll simplify your life.


    Streamline your Holiday Shopping

    While I normally advise people to shop local, it isn’t always the most practical when you’re overwhelmed with a busy schedule. It’s not always likely that you can go to every mom-and-pop boutique in between boycotting your Pinterest pasta recipe, so therefore Amazon may become your best friend. #AddOnGiftWrapping (P.S. I receive no money or compensation from Amazon for this suggestion.)

    Another way to manage your big list is to buddy shop with a friend who has a similar shopping list. For example, if you have to buy for kids in the same age range or same interests, you can trade lists and cut down on your brainpower. This can apply to groceries and other errands as well. This is a great time to hire a babysitter or do a child care trade with a friend. Nobody likes a screaming kid in the store, especially the parent that is trying to hurry. Two heads are better than one so don’t be afraid to ask for help.


    Be Mindful

    It’s important to be mindful of your available time and energy and to know when to take action and when to take a backseat. If your kids are fighting and something’s on fire in the kitchen, you would obviously put out the fire and let the kids fight. Every day things, however, aren’t as easy to delegate and prioritize. You may be asked to head the committee to make authentic handmade glass blown ornaments for children around the world. While of course you may care a great deal about this cause, perhaps you could donate to your favorite relief fund instead? My suggestion is that the relief fund will not only get the most appropriate help to where it needs to go, but it will also be far less stressful for you, and more meaningful to the recipients.

    Sometimes we need to be mindful of where our efforts are best spent to have the most meaningful impact.  So be strategic about what you take on this holiday season, and leave room in your schedule for all of those inevitable house fires. Hopefully there won’t be real fires. #MicrowavesAreNotForPreschoolers #SpeakingFromExperience

    Plan for Buffers

    Speaking of leaving room in your schedule, here’s another important tip; give yourself plenty of time for travel. Holiday shoppers and travelers make the roads way more congested. Every-Single-Trip is going to take longer. The errands in the store will take longer. The phrase “stop in quick” will become an oxymoron. Nothing is quick in December. So leave a huge buffer for driving. If you get somewhere early, it's not a terrible thing. Heck, you can get yourself a coffee, power nap in your car, or review your to-do list while you wait in the parking lot.  Just enjoy the peace of not feeling rushed. And no, this is NOT the time to scroll Pinterest for holiday ideas. Just say no; you do not need pinecone placecards. #LearnFromMe 


    Bend it Like Beckham…. or Just Be Flexible

    Flexibility is the key to maintaining your sanity, especially this time of year. Things aren’t always going to go the way you planned. Checkout lines are longer, traffic is frustrating, and people are more frazzled. You may tell your well-meaning family that you don't want to receive a roomful of loud squeaky obnoxious toys, however you really can't control what they do buy. You can control the current toy collection by paring down on some of the things the kids have outgrown or no longer play with. If your schedule allows it, try to declutter some in your home before the holidays to make room. If you’re not able to, that’s okay, don’t stress about it. Really. There is always tomorrow. In the meantime, just breathe.


    Take Care of Number One

    The best way to reduce stress this holiday season is to take care of YOU. I know there's a ton of articles out there about how to have an easy Christmas or happy Hanukkah or a sensational season.  I’m here to stress to you, that YOU are the most important person to take care of. Nobody knows you better than you. So whether you need a box of wine hidden in your closet, a bubble bath, a massage, silly YouTube videos, or heck, even a stroll through Walgreens all by yourself; do whatever it is that helps you be a little bit more human.  I won’t judge – do whatever it is that fills your cup. When we give to everybody else and not give to ourselves, it's not a pretty thing.

    Nourish yourself both metaphorically and literally – that is, don’t forget to eat! Stash a few granola bars in your purse if you need to. This is a lesson I am learning late in life: don't neglect yourself as a sacrifice for others. Make sure to get enough sleep instead of staying up until 3 AM wrapping gifts and then being exhausted and crabby the next day. This doesn't really benefit anybody. You're better off getting plastic bags with a bow slapped on top. Eat well, get lots of sleep, and do one thing a day that feeds you.  Trust me, everyone else around you will appreciate this more. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you can’t give to other people without giving a little to yourself.


    So there you have it – there are my tips to have a less stressful holiday season. I'm certainly not perfect, and I’ll need to re-read the list to myself. Many times. Even as a Professional Organizer. We all need to be reminded to take it easy on ourselves this season. Peace and love to you all!

    #StouffersLasagna #Amazon #BoxWine #Babysitters #DropOffDaycare #TradeWithAFriend #Sleep #MyAuthorFriendHelpedMeEditThis



  • September 25, 2017 9:24 AM | Kate Martin (Administrator)

    Please enjoy this NAPO Austin guest blog by Lindsay Palmgren,
    owner of 3e Organizing, reprinted with permission from NAPO National’s blog.

    “Brrrrrrrrrriiiinggg!!!” There’s the bell signalling a new school year! This means shopping for school supplies, preparing for new schedules, and getting ready to hit the books again. “Back to School” is for more than just the kiddos. As Professional Organizers, we understand the need for checklists and learning, but are we underestimating the resources right in front of us? Regardless of if you are a new Organizer, or an experienced Organizer, NAPO University has something for everyone! Here are my top 5 reasons why I’ll keep checking out the courses at NAPO University.

    1. There’s No Tardy Bell. With courses available both pre-recorded and live, there’s no need to worry about being marked ‘tardy’! You can fit your coursework into YOUR schedule – in between kids’ swim classes, after client appointments, first thing in the morning (after your coffee is brewed, of course), whenever it works for YOU.

    2. Syllabuses and Outlines. The courses are broken down into specific topics and segmented videos, with downloadable outlines. This makes it easier to tackle subject matter in small chunks, to take notes, and to resume a class. It makes my organized heart sing!

    3. Ditch the #2 pencils. As a NAPO newbie, I was relieved to discover that Organizing 101, 102, and 103 course provided relevant examples and realistic case studies to solve. This really got me thinking about new strategies and methodologies. There wasn’t a scantron test to take either, so no test anxiety here!

    4. Members and NAPO improve each other. Learning new skills improves the way we can help our clients, but it also improves the reputation of NAPO as a whole. When NAPO members become more educated, our organization becomes more respected. It helps unify the standard that NAPO sets within our industry.

    5. Personal development. Philosophies taught may benefit our personal lives, in addition to professionally. In Organizing 101, the speaker suggested using the “Premack Principle” with a client, however I found myself using the principle on myself. My own goal was to complete the first three NAPO “Going Pro” courses, Organizing 101, 102, & 103, and the reward would be replacing my broken purse. Well, I finally finished my 3-class goal, and have “Gone Pro”.

    So there you have it, a NAPO newbie’s take on why NAPO University is a great investment. Now if you excuse me, I’m off to go shopping for my new purse, and my next NAPO course.

    Lindsay’s testimonial to NAPO University:  “The first class in the NAPO University that I have taken is the Organizing 101 course. It was jam-packed full of valuable information for the newbie in the business! I have taken a few other organizing courses, and this course provided more organizational theory and information within the first 20 minutes than what I had obtained from another (non-NAPO) class. A definite “must take”, and I can see why it’s titled, ‘101’. Thank you, NAPO!”

  • September 05, 2017 12:33 PM | Kate Martin (Administrator)

    Please enjoy this NAPO Austin guest blog by Ryan Leary Lanier,
    owner of Love Your Space Organizing.

    Here are 5 Back To School Organizing Tips For Success:

    The Night Before

    A successful day starts the night before!  Establish the routine of a "launch pad" where your kid puts together his/her outfit from top to bottom (where ARE my SHOES???!?!), backpack with all homework and signed papers, and any special items.  Preferably, create a spot near the door for the items (except the clothes!), so it's ready, set, launch!  Use a "don't forget" sticky note on the door if an item is in the fridge.  "Today me takes care of tomorrow me!"

    Organizing A Homework Area

    Designate an area for homework and stock it with all the necessary supplies to cut down on the "where are the glue sticks?!" moments.  Use lots of pencil cups to keep everything neat and tidy.  If you need to stow it all away, choose a shower caddy to hold everything for easy toting.  Most kids like to do homework in the kitchen near the action so making a portable supply center will help tidy up after worktime is over.

    Managing School Lunches

    Spend some of Sunday afternoon or evening prepping and stocking the lunch making station.  Cut veggies, make sandwiches, cook a bunch of pasta, put trail mix into small containers, and then these items are ready all week to throw into those lunch boxes.  If you have leftovers from dinner, go ahead and put into lunch sized containers and then they are ready to roll!  When training your child to pack his/her own lunch, teach him/her to choose something from each food group.  Lessons learned now can benefit them their whole lives!

    Helpful Apps For The Family

    Google Calendar is the way to go for family activity management, and to do items.  Link everyone's calendars and designate each person with a different color and life will look pretty in its craziness!  We always have our phones, so use that to your advantage.  Any thought, date, or whim can be entered on the calendar and not overlooked.  A must for families with a traveling parent too, to keep him/her in the loop!

    Go To Parenting/School Resources

    For any and all advice, tips, funny stories, blogs, podcasts and Facebook groups to help with being a successful home CEO, turn to www.organize365.com and you will find a wealth of logical, do-able, and clever strategies to cope with this crazy life!  Lisa Woodruff has been through it all and has created many products and programs (lots of free ones) and an online community for support and tips whenever you need it.  And we all need it!

    Just take it one day at a time!

  • July 10, 2017 2:56 PM | Kate Martin (Administrator)

    5 Top Summer Vacation Travel Tips

    Please enjoy this NAPO Austin interview of guest blogger Erin Morper,
    owner of Start Somewhere Professional Organizing Solutions

    1. What lists do you make before going on vacation?

    I make my packing list by grabbing a sheet of paper and making three columns; in the first column I list the days of the vacation, activities, and the weather forecast for each day, in the second column, I list each item of clothing and whatever accessories I’ll need for each activity, and the third column is a running list of everything to pack. To streamline my lists, I keep the lists necessary for all trips electronically in Evernote so they’re easy to update and share. I have a before we leave, house sitter instructions, and general packing checklist, which saves me so much time getting ready for a trip.


    2. What is your favorite travel item?

    My favorite travel item is my VW bus toiletry bag. It’s colorful and fun and just packing it helps me get into vacation mode!


    3. Do you have any special way of packing a suitcase - fold or roll, certain items on top/bottom, jewelry packing secrets?

    It’s amazing how much space you can save in your suitcase by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. I also like to bring my own pillowcase, which doubles as a travel case for necklaces or bracelets to keep them from getting tangled. Simply lay the pillowcase out, place a necklace close to one end, fold the pillowcase over the necklace and repeat!


    4. What is your favorite app to use when traveling?

    Tripadvisor is my favorite travel app. It’s like Yelp for travel; you can find things to do, restaurants, and real-time reviews wherever you are. If you’re traveling with pets, Bring Fido is an app that locates pet-friendly accommodations and dog parks along your route.


    5. What things do you suggest bringing along on a road trip to keep the car clean, organized, and not too boring?

    One of my road trip must-haves is a car power inverter with USB ports. It keeps everyone’s devices charged and if you want to plug your laptop in to watch a movie, you can do that too! One thing that’s always on my Before We Leave list is to download podcasts, music and videos for the trip so we can access them in the middle of nowhere without using all of our data. To keep the car clean and organized, I recommend packing wet wipes and a roll of paper towels for messes and spills and a handful of plastic bags for the inevitable accumulation of road trip trash, muddy shoes, wet bathing suits and laundry.


    A big thank you to Erin for all of her fabulous travel organizing tips!

    If you are planning a vacation and need a little assistance, check out our Find An Organizer page for more help.

  • June 21, 2017 5:39 AM | Kate Martin (Administrator)

    *Adapted & reprinted with permission from the author,
    Jamie Steele of  www.steeleorganizing.com 

    Master Your To-Do List

    We all have so much to do it can be overwhelming. Here are 6 strategies to keep your sanity and master your to-do list.

    1. Keep A Master List

    If you don’t have a master list start one right now.  Set a timer for 20 minutes and write down everything you have to do.  If you keep your lists in multiple places, now is the time to gather all the scraps of paper and put it all down in one master list.

    2. Brain Dump Weekly On To Your List

    Now that you have a master list you need to keep adding to it.  Every week block out some time to brain dump all your new to-dos.  List everything that pops into your mind.  No item is too large or too small to be added to your list.  By now you probably have an enormous list and it is a bit overwhelming.  We will take care of that in the next couple of steps.

    3. Delete Items That Are No Longer Relevant

    So, you have brain dumped and gathered all your miscellaneous lists into one master list and you are totally overwhelmed with all there is to do.  I want you to go through your master list and cross off anything that you really don’t need to get done.  We add items to our lists thinking we are supposed to be doing these things.  Not necessarily.  Don’t succumb to the pressure of what others are doing.  Look inside yourself to determine what needs to be done and cross off those items that are irrelevant.

    4. Delegate Items That Don’t Need To Be Completed By You

    We all need help and with the list you have going, you have to enlist the help of family, friends, and co-workers.  Go through your master list and decide what doesn’t need to be done by you.  Delegate those items out.  No need wasting your time on tasks that are not your strong suit when there are plenty of resources to help you.  For example, do you hate grocery shopping? There are services who will do the shopping for you.  Delegate that task out.

    5. Transfer Items From Your Master List To Your Daily To-Do List

    This step is one of the most important, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed by your master list.  Review your list and write down your top 3 priorities for the day.  Trust me your day will throw you curve balls, and you most likely won’t have time for more than 3 of your to-dos.  Do this every day, and you will start making progress on your master list.  It doesn’t mean you can only do those 3 items.  You may find yourself with extra time to tackle more items on the list.  Just make sure you get the top three done.

    6. Schedule Your To-Dos

    Writing your to-do list down doesn’t mean it is going to get done.  You need to block out time to accomplish your tasks.  Take a look at your calendar and decide when you will complete your tasks.  Make an appointment with yourself and stick to it.  No rescheduling.  You need to get these tasks done, and you have made time for it so respect your schedule.

    Following these strategies will put you in control of your to-do list!

  • May 21, 2017 4:12 PM | Anonymous

    During our monthly May meeting, we had a round table discussion about various organizing business related questions. It was great and we had thoughtful and helpful conversations. 

    What struck me through the course of the small groups sharing their topic highlights was that people enter into professional organizing as a career in two main ways - wading in or jumping in. 

    Waders - They think about organizing for a long time, slowly crafting a business with the perfect name and branding and website. They start with one or two clients they know and grow from there. 

    And that is totally okay. 

    Jumpers  - They dive head first into organizing, they may or may not have a social media presence or website or even a name, but they start organizing and figure it out as they go. 

    And that is totally okay. 

    I bring this up because no matter how you start your business or how you journey down the business owner path, it is your journey. No one can tell you how fast you should be going or what you should have done by this or that date or year marker.

    There are times when you need to heed wisdom, to act, to slow down, to process, to learn. That is part of being a business owner. 

    There are also times you need to listen to your self and own that you might be wading into organizing or jumping in and either way is normal and okay. 

    Words to Leave You With:

    For the Waders, remember that your business and website will always be a work in progress. Don't wait until everything is perfect to act, it never will be.

    For the Jumpers, remember that business goals and plans orient you and keep you focused on ideal clients and you know - having a legal business. Don't wing it, plan it!

  • March 28, 2017 9:15 AM | Anonymous

    As a new organizer, there are thoughts, questions and maybe even pressures to pick a specialty. Do I specialize in ADHD organizing? Holistic organizing? Senior Moves? Is holistic organizing even a specialty or a methodology? The next meeting is tomorrow and I have to introduce myself, so what do I say?

    You might be a seasoned organizer and still feel the pressure.

    I have sat in many chapter meetings and heard frustrated exclamations of "I don't have a specialty yet!" or slightly embarrassed "I am 'just' a generalist." 

    It saddens me to see the anxiety or embarrassment. Those are totally normal feelings, but let's start to shift the mindset of specialties. I have a few thoughts on how to do that:

    1. Picking a specialty is like picking your favorite color. You don't really pick your favorite color - you just know. So go with what feel right and what you enjoy.
    2. Don't stress about it. You don't have to have a specialty. You might develop one later or never. That is okay!
    3. Having a specialty is really for you, not your clients. It gives you a really specific and clear snippet of what you do, so others automatically think "that is me!" or "I know so and so that could use your help!" 
    4. A specialty is also really for your marketing purposes. Marketing is best done with surgical precision, not a shot gun. A specialty helps identify where to focus your marketing efforts in finding and bringing in your ideal clients.
    5. Be aware that if you do everything for everyone, you aren't going to be anything for anyone. Being a generalist doesn't mean that you tell people everything thing you do. Listen to what they are telling you or what group you are in and tailor your elevator pitch or project examples you give about what you do! 

    If you are in the process of specializing or living large as a generalist, I hope this has given you some helpful pointers and encouragement!

  • March 03, 2017 4:22 PM | Anonymous
    Looking for an organizer specializing in ADD/ADHD? Interested in specializing in ADD/ADHD as an organizer?

    Stephanie Eyster with remedy., one of our very own ADD/ADHD specialists, penned some helpful information on ADD/ADHD and how organizing can support individuals with ADD/ADHD.

    ADD/ADHD Is... 
    ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and replaces what was once known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). 

    It is a condition that affects both adults and children and symptoms include:
    • inattentiveness
    • impulsiveness
    • hyperactivity

    How Professional Organizers Support Adults with ADD/ADHD...

    Professional Organizers can support adults with ADD/ADHD by explaining the organizing process in depth to lower anxiety levels. Organizers can also break large projects down into smaller objectives, so clients feel less overwhelmed.

    Organizers can also develop routines during the organizing process that allow clients to sustain the organizing systems established. A professional can also create an appropriate reward system, so achieving an objective is fun and personally rewarding!   

    How Professional Organizers Support Children with ADD/ADHD...

    Professional Organizers support children with ADHD by providing structure, developing routines, and laying out expectations. ADHD children work well when their environment and schedule are structured. 

    Why? Structure takes the guess work out of knowing what to do and when. The children build confidence when they can successfully follow a routine to achieve an objective or when they are familiar with an expectation.  

    Helpful Tools...

    A Timer

    When working on the actual physical organizing with a client with ADHD, a timer can be your most valued tool. Set the timer for 15 to 30 minutes then allow the client to take a 5 minute break in between. 

    A Calendar

    A calendar of any kind is a very important tool for a client with ADHD. The calendar can be on their smart phone or in paper form. All activities and appointments must be represented on this calendar and it's important that they have only one calendar to reference. When working with several calendars at once, appointments are often missed or overlooked. 

    A "To Do" List

    "To do" lists are equally as important to a client with ADHD. This can come in the form of a planner or utilizing a "to do" list app on their smart phone.  

    For Organizers...

    How Can I Specialize?

    What are Some Local Resources?

    • The NAPO Austin Chapter library has several resources that address clients with ADHD (Come to our monthly meeting for library access!).
    • Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD by Susan C. Pinsky is an excellent book that guides organizing processes for ADHD clients. 

    Photo 1 by Annie Spratt

    Photo 2 by Brooke Lark

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