Author Archives Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer

Slacking

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on October 19, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

This week I am on vacation in Los Angeles, so instead of writing something brand new, I want to see how you all are doing with the “Throw Away” experiment. If you read Clear Thoughts on October 5th, I hope you are participating in getting rid of one thing a day until Thanksgiving. It’s been two weeks. With five weeks to go, you can still jump in.

Some people have told me that it is harder than they thought it would be. Just remember that it doesn’t always have to be big things. One day I threw out a some rusty tweezers, and on another day, some old make up. We literally threw out the kitchen sink last week. Someone picked it up from the curb within 15 minutes. I hope it was a scrap metal collector, and that it is not becoming someone else’s clutter.

Yesterday, since I was traveling, I thought I wouldn’t be able to toss anything, but opportunities arise. Southwest Airlines serves their coffee with a red plastic stirrer with a little heart on it. It’s sooo cute! It wasn’t easy but I resisted the urge to keep it. I gave it to the flight attendant instead of shlepping it to Los Angeles and back home; where it would sit around in some awkward place until I eventually decide that I really never will use it. This illustrates am important point: Getting rid of things can be made vastly easier by not acquiring them in the first place!

My concern for the “Throw Away” participants is that at two weeks in, it may be becoming easy to forget about. Remember to check off each day in your planner, or on a calendar. Also try writing a list of everything that you have let go and post it in a visible place.

Well friends, not to rub it in, but I’m writing this is a sunny courtyard next to a fountain. I know that the Northeast winter is not far away, so I’m going to close and soak up the sun. I would love to hear from you about how your Throw Away is going.

Home Organizing Albany New York

Tetris

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on October 12, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

I have a confession. This week while battling a cold and not sleeping well, I found the Tetris video game on line. It has consumed me. I try to write. I wander back to Tetris. There is a definite guilt factor here. While I know that I should let myself rest, I feel that I should be doing something productive.

The good news is, while I was flipping the shapes to fit into the correct spaces, I was subconsciously thinking about my writing. Something that I have recently read in a book about adult ADHD explains this. It seems that this is just how some people think. It’s your mind going where it needs to go, while you are doing something else. Usually the “something else” is considered a mindless activity. Do your best ideas come to you in the shower? If my kitchen design clients only knew how many solutions I have found in there! I am also the person who doodles all over the printed agenda at a meeting. You’d think I wasn’t paying attention, but apparently doodling is allowing me to pay attention.

The trouble is I can let myself go on Tetris “creative breaks” at a moment’s notice. It’s so easy to get sucked in. Just one more game, and one more game. This distraction could be the internet or television, or anything that keeps us from tackling the things we really should be doing.

What is the solution? How do we offset the plusses of the distraction with the time they take away from productive work? Here are some suggestions:

Use a Timer – make yourself work for a predetermined period of time. I often do this for writing, but especially for tasks that I don’t want to do. Cleaning is one for me. I will make myself do it for 20 minutes. This helps me to get started. When the timer rings the job either done, or I want to keep going.

Scheduled Breaks – Decide when to break and for how long. Employ the timer again to remind you to get back to work. An alternative is to plan a break activity with a definite finish – like five games of Tetris. This doesn’t give a set time but is still limiting. You have to be careful about the activity you pick. If you check the mail you could get distracted by something you receive, and find yourself paying bills while the original task goes unfinished. Something that has a definite finish like washing dishes may not seem like a break, but the mindless task may be enough to let your brain relax.

Buddy System – Tell someone your plan. It keeps you accountable.

Plan to split the task. With writing I write on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The Tuesday session gets me started. Then for forty-eight hours I have my ideas in my head. By Thursday I find that things come together and I can complete the work.

I must finish with a corny analogy. I tried to resist, but here goes… Like the pieces of the Tetris puzzle, it’s a challenge to make it all fit. Many times things get turned around and put in the wrong place. Make your plan, but be ready to adapt it. If it doesn’t quite work out, when the time is up you get to try again.

Life Organization Albany NY

‘Tis the Throw Away Season!

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on October 05, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

Funny how something that seems inconsequential at the time can be life changing. About thirty years ago I read a magazine article in the break room at work which turned out to be very influential in my attitude towards organizing and purging, simplifying, etc. It was called, “The Throw Away Lent.” Lent is a season preparation observed by some Christians for the forty days before Easter. It’s a preparation time of fasting, prayer, self denial, and repentance. Many people will “give something up” for Lent, like dessert or television.

The author of “The Throw Away Lent” told about when she decided to get rid of one thing each day for each of the forty days. She had a bag for give away and throw away, and I think that she also gave herself permission for a “maybe” pile.  The author’s purpose was to clear out and simplify her home. She was surprised by the unexpected benefit of emotional weight being lifted from her shoulders when she wasn’t bogged down by so much STUFF.

This appealed to me so tried it. She was right. It was freeing. I’m sure this experience is what inspired my business tag line, “Clear your space. Clear your mind.” I continued the habit after the forty day experiment. I became really good at getting rid of stuff. This was very helpful, as we lived in seven places during our first seven years of marriage. Unfortunately, after one lives in the same house for twelve years and adds a few kids, it is easy to get off track.

Right now we are having work done in the house. It has involved clearing out our kitchen, basement, and bedroom closet. What a wake up call! There is nothing like being forced to move things around to remind you how much stuff you have. I could argue that it barely counts as clutter, because it is organized and not really in the way. But consider the things that I have organized in the back room of the basement. Why was I keeping paint from three wall colors ago? And tiny baseball gloves from Little League? And worn out sleeping bags? I guarantee that you, like me,  have too much unnecessary stuff.

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This is a great time of year for a planned purge. The weather is not too hot or too cold, and it’s before the holiday season. Whether you decide to do the closets, the kitchen, the linens, or the toy room, you can create your own “throw away” time period. We have seven weeks until Thanksgiving. Could you get rid of one thing a day until then? The beauty is that it is not a goal which requires you to finish something. If you “throw away” once a day, you have met your goal. You will begin to see results well before the end of your chosen time period.

A few suggestions:

Make this about “stuff” – not papers. Getting rid of objects will feel like a more concrete accomplishment.

Create places for things you want to give away. I have a box for charity items, a box for an after school art program, and a place for things I’m giving to friends and family. Be careful of that one. Don’t make your junk someone else’s.

Give away the “give away” items! When things are still in the house, it’s very easy to change your mind and keep them; or to end up storing the give away boxes – which is really still stuff cluttering up your house.

It’s okay if you get inspired to throw out two or three things at one time, but resist the urge tackle a whole space in a day. The beauty of the one item a day experience is that it’s very manageable. You can choose to concentrate on one space for the whole time if you want. You’ll see great results without overwhelming yourself.

Most importantly keep track of your progress. Check off each day on a calendar that you can see. This visual reminder will keep you going. Don’t give up if you miss a day.

I wish I still had that magazine article. I’ve done online searches for it with no luck. I’d really like to give the author the proper credit – and my thanks. But I will honor her by participating in this for pre-holiday 2012. I hope you’ll join me. Forty-nine days. Ready….. GO!

What’s For Dinner?

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on September 14, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

Have you ever been in a supermarket on a weekday at 5:30 p.m.? It’s a nightmare. Tired people grabbing a few things for dinner, backing up the “10 Items or Less” lanes. It is not the time to be there but given the numbers, we have to assume that many people are in the same boat. They haven’t got a plan for dinner, and they don’t have enough of the right foods in the house to pull something together. Shopping without a plan causes overspending and often means buying more prepared food, which can be both expensive and unhealthy. It means more trips to the store, and spending more time there per visit. Many days it is easy to fall into the pricey alternative of ordering fast food, or going out to dinner.

Some people love meal planning and grocery shopping. Some hate it. If you hate it, making a plan is even more important. It makes every day less stressful. Making a food plan for the week and using it to shop, will give you peace of mind and wallet. You may laugh. Who would take the time to do this? It may seem like an old fashion idea. I’ve been approached many times at the market by people who are impressed by the fact that I’m actually using a shopping list. I learned this planning method when I was taking a home management course in college. We had to live in an apartment and manage our lives for a semester – for a grade! I have been using it ever since.

To begin with, choose a time period to plan and shop for. If you get paid on a regular basis – in this example, every week – plan for the time between pay periods.

Write in list form, the days of the week that you plan to shop for. Decide what will be for dinner each night and write it on the list next to a day. This does not need to be a detailed menu, just a dinner idea. As you do this, look at your calendar and make notes about events that are happening that week. Soccer on Tuesdays? Easy meal. Meeting on Wednesday. Note that you are supposed to bring refreshments this month. Let the family help. Ask for dinner ideas. Keep a note pad in the kitchen for everyone to write needed items on.

On your plan sheet also make some notes about what foods you will need for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, as well as toiletries and other nonfood items that you purchase at the supermarket.

Using your plan, make a shopping list on a separate sheet of paper. I find it most convenient to set up the shopping list based on the layout of the store. In my favorite store it goes like this: produce, deli/bakery, breads, condiments, baking supplies, fish, natural foods, frozen, cans, cereal, health, house, dairy. I write these categories on my list, leaving space under each to write the items needed.

Look at each meal on the plan, write the items you need to buy to make it under the corresponding category on your list.  Add items like salad ingredients, and fresh, frozen or canned vegetables, to round out the meals. After you’ve gone through the meals, add the other items that you wrote on your plan sheet and the items on the kitchen list. Now you have a working list to take to the store.

You may object:

It takes too much time to plan: Not as much time as it takes to shop several times a week, and you can do it while watching television.

I like to shop at several stores and get the sales: When you consider the time and gas it takes to do this, it is not much of a savings. I go to one supermarket chain for the majority of my items. I sometimes go to one of the “discount groceries” for some sale items. However, I only started doing this when one opened in my neighborhood, meaning it didn’t take much time. If you have time in your schedule to go several stores, do it if the cost savings is worth the time spent. Use the sale flyer from your favorite store for your planning. Bring only the coupons for things on your shopping list to the store with you.

I don’t cook and/or my family doesn’t gather regularly for meals: You still will be better off with a plan. Knowing that there is food for each day in the house, still brings peace of mind. Just plan around the types of foods your family eats.

This seems awfully rigid: It’s flexible really. If you list a quick meal for Thursday, but find that you need to use it on Tuesday, no problem. Also, often the ingredients on hand for a planned meal can be tweaked into something different that fits your schedule or mood.

I encourage you to do a two week experiment. For the first week, keep track of your grocery receipts. Also track the cost of fast food, school and work lunches, unplanned meals out, and delivered. This will give you an idea of how much you spend on food. Also keep track of the number of trips to the store.

The next week make a plan. Keep track again. You will begin to see the benefits of planning. You will be spending less money. You will be happy to find yourself only shopping during the week for a few perishables like milk. You can even do that when you are buying gas! Remember, just like anything new, it won’t be perfect but it will get easier and better with practice.

Life Organization Albany NY

La Rentrée

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on September 01, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

Well, here it is, September first. Time for wondering what happened to summer, and the unofficial time for resolutions. It’s a new beginning – school starts for many, and it’s back to routine from vacations and summer’s party. We’ve got this last chance for do-overs before the holidays come to ruin all our plans again. The French call this time of year  “La Rentrée,” with adults taking advantage of the new beginnings as much as students. I’m thinking that if I start today and really try, I can lose ten pounds before I go to California in October.

Although a new start is always good, maybe we need to take a more long term approach. Very soon I’ll be writing Clear Thoughts about how to plan for and survive the Holidays. But how can the new habit, plan, diet, etc that you choose today bring you through the holiday season – not just to it? We have to give up the defeatist attitude about the holiday season. You know the holiday season starts with Halloween and runs through Valentines’ Day, right? Well not really, but it is so easy to start panicking when you realize that the day after Halloween is already November; and at the other end of it, why bother with New Year resolutions if Valentine’s Day is going to ruin them? We can psych ourselves out of almost anything.

Let’s look at it differently. From today, there are 165 days until Valentines’ Day. So let’s think long term. As I’ve often said, pick one thing. One of my favorites is the daily sweep. This is taking a few minutes each day to go through the house and put things away. I’ll never forget how great it felt the first time I had kept up with this habit and was able to have company coming without stashing piles of paperwork and untended stuff into closets.

If you start today, taking time once a day to deal with the things left around the house, and maybe do a quick cleaning of one room a day it will not be a big deal to decorate, and entertain come November and December. By then it will be becoming your routine. By January, you won’t have to start again. The holiday season won’t have disrupted anything. Instead your new habit will have enhanced and simplified your days.

So choose your goal today. Maybe even check off each day on the calendar as you do it. Don’t let one slip be your undoing. If you want to make a New Year’s resolution in January, it should be because you are excited about the success you’ve had with this one thing, not because you regret something that happened – or did not happen – over the holidays. On Valentine’s Day have some chocolate and enjoy your success!

Home Organizing Albany New York

Bedtime for Grownups

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on August 24, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

One of my Facebook friends recently posted that he’s getting his kids ready for the start of school by having them set their alarm clocks to wake them up earlier and earlier each morning until they hit the wake up time needed for school. The same day, a seven year old asked Dear Abby for advice about his bedtime. She suggested that he figure out how much sleep he needs and work backwards from the time he needs to wake up.

There is much emphasis on being sure children are rested and ready, but we often ignore the importance of sleep for ourselves. As adults we accept tiredness as a fact of life. Because of this, we don’t feel our best or perform at our best. Also, it can be dangerous. Have you ever put the car in park at a stoplight because you think you might fall asleep? I have! It’s scary to be that tired.

You may ask what any of this has to do with organizing. We can look at it two ways: Being organized affects how well you sleep, and good or poor sleep affects how well you can become and stay organized. The organization of your time, talent, and possessions affects your whole life. So sleep has everything to do with organizing.

To start with the first point: Organizing affects your sleep. My business tag line, “Clear your space. Clear your mind,” applies to the bedroom. Bedrooms are easy to ignore because generally no one sees them but family. However, making them a priority is essential to your well-being. Your bedroom doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be clean, uncluttered, and well ventilated.

If you were to pick one thing can you do to make your bedroom a better place to sleep it would be to pay attention to your bed! Make it in the morning when you get up and it will be inviting at night when you are ready for it. This does not have to be perfectly done. Shake up the sheets a bit and smooth them out. Fluff up the pillows and cover it with a blanket or comforter. Change the sheets often. Please don’t use your bed as a closet! There are people who sleep on a bed full of clothes; and people who just sleep on the sofa because the bed is full. If you are “solving” this problem by putting clothes on the bed during the day, and throwing them on the floor at night, it adds to the chaos. If you don’t put all your clothes away, have a designated place for things that you leave out.

When I was a teenager, my mother used to complain that the chair in my bedroom was always full of clothes. It did look bad I suppose, but in retrospect it wasn’t a bad thing. My closets were really quite organized, but there was always a pile that circulated through the chair, either on the way to be worn or on the way to the closet. My bed was clear, I slept well. It was part of how I operate and it still is. So don’t beat yourself up looking for perfection. Your closets may need clearing out, but that’s not the main point here. If you start with the bed, you will probably find that you’ll go on to improve other things.

The second point: Being well rested affects your organizing. If you are well rested you have a fighting chance of accomplishing the things you want to during the day. You are less likely to put off the picking up, straightening up, meal planning, mail sorting, laundry, etc. Procrastination creates a downward spiral, culminating in chaos.

Try to think of it as an upward spiral instead. For one week, emphasize good bed rest. Give yourself a bedtime. Just like Abby told the seven year old; figure out what time you have to get up and work backwards. The research I’ve read explains that we naturally sleep in 90 minute cycles. If you set your alarm to sleep the standard eight hours, you will have slept for five cycles plus one interrupted cycle. This may leave you less refreshed than six hours of sleep – four full cycles. If you use this theory to plan your bedtime, you also have to consider how long it takes you to fall asleep. I generally need 20 – 30 minutes of reading time before the book falls on my face. So… If I need to wake up at seven a.m. and I want seven and a half hours of sleep. I subtract that plus the half hour reading from seven a.m. This puts me in bed and reading at eleven p.m.

To be truly relaxed, wear something comfortable to sleep. Have your clothes for the next morning ready. It’s amazing how much this takes off your mind. Don’t watch television in bed and consider it bedtime. Some say you shouldn’t watch it in bed at all. I’d say it’s okay to watch, but if bedtime (sleep-time) is eleven, turn off the TV at eleven. Most televisions can be programmed to turn off at a certain time. This is a good idea if you tend to find yourself getting sucked into the next program. Try setting your morning alarm for the latest time you can get up and still have a sane morning. If you have based you sleep time on the 90 minute cycles it is possible that you will wake naturally without the alarm.

The object of bedtime is to make your well-being a priority. It’s so easy to not to; but if you don’t you aren’t helping yourself or others as effectively as you could. If you are a parent, be firm about the kids’ bedtime, because you have a bedtime too. When you wake refreshed you will have a better day. Remember that old saying, “When you feel good you do good!”

Home Organizing Albany New York

Don’t Let Others Hold You Back

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on August 17, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

It can be difficult to get organized when no one else seems to care. Living with people who don’t mind the clutter, or people who don’t want you to upset the status quo can make it hard for you to make the change. Since they don’t yet share your long term vision, it is hard for them to embrace the process. It is likely to make them uncomfortable.

What do you do? If the clutter is yours, inform your family of your plan and carry on. Let them know what to expect. For example, if you are organizing a lifetime of paper work that has been stored away in your home office, let them know that some of that paper will be spilling over into the living room for a while. Assure them that it is temporary. Be sure to tell them how your organizing will benefit them as well as you. Remember that if this is your mess, you do not need permission from anyone else to fix it.

If the problem is not just your stuff but others’, you’ll need a different approach. If you live with older children and adults who leave their belongings around, change will be more of a challenge. You can threaten and complain but unless their bad habits affect them personally, they are not likely to comply. Get their attention by putting things you find around the house in a designated area. You don’t have to be mean about it, or charge them a fee for return – although I like that idea. Just be matter of fact. Pick a place, or a basket that is big enough to hold shoes and cloths, books, and laptops. Do a “sweep” of the public areas of the house once or twice a day and deposit the items in the “found” basket.

I know that it may seem wrong that you are still picking up after people. However, it usually is less frustrating than having things left all over the house. Also, when you put an item in the “found basket,” it is still the owner’s responsibility to retrieve and take care of it. They may be annoyed, but it will create awareness. Having to search for the things they need, even if they can guess that it’s in the designated area, requires extra effort. It might just be annoying enough to change their habits.

Food and dishes left around are a different story. You can create rules about where acceptable eating areas are. You can send everyone off to their crime scenes daily to gather any food, dishes, or garbage. If you do this before serving dinner each night, you create a “will work for food” situation. The bonus is that after dinner, when it’s time to clean up, all the dishes in the house will be in the kitchen. It’s even better if everyone has loaded their returns right into the dishwasher.

The most difficult thing about any of the above its sticking to your guns. When you are sorting and purging, and putting things away in logical places, your home is likely to look worse before it looks better. It may be hard for your family to accept this. This can be a tough situation. They want you to improve things but don’t want to accept the discomfort that can come with change.

When you decide that you are serious about change you must do three things. Make a plan. Inform your family of your plan. Proceed with the plan. This can be done in a calm, non combative manner. “This is what I’m doing. This is what it is going to look like.”

Often, no one believes the change is really going to happen…including yourself. Be clear about your goals and your plan. Let those whose life it affects know you are serious. Although they may complain, carry on. There will come a time when they will see and appreciate the changes you are making.

Life Organization Albany NY

Avoid the Back-To-School Panic!

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on August 04, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

I was at Staples today and saw a mother and child shopping with the “school list.”

What? Already! The summer is flying by, and the back to school ads are in full swing. I think that the family I observed tackling the school list in early August the exception. The majority will hit panic mode about three weeks from now. That mode creates chaos, and contributes to overspending. But there are some things you can do to make this time of year less painful.

Your child may have received the list at the end of the school year. Now is the time to find it. If it arrives in the mail this month – do not file it away. Tack it up somewhere prominent. The important thing is to use it now! The stores are ready for you. If you start now you will have time to comparison shop and look for sales. Picking up a few things each week from now until school starts is easier on the budget.

Middle and High school students probably won’t get supply requirements until the first day of school. Let me share something I learned. Do not go to the big box office supply stores on the evening of the first days of school. First it’s a madhouse. Second, it’s expensive. Third, because everyone is there, supplies run low. Almost everything on the lists is available at the corner drug chain right in your neighborhood. Since most people don’t think about this, it will be a lot less crowded there. As an added bonus, the prices are usually lower in these stores. You may need to hit the office store for the fancy calculator that someone always needs, but students are usually given a bit more time to buy them, so wait a couple of days and go either very early in the morning or closer to closing time to get it. You’ll go in to get that one thing, and get out quickly.

The second thing that costs money and causes panic is back to school clothing. Again, you want to have a plan and avoid the rush. The mentality that the new school year requires all new clothes is a budget busting myth created by marketing. Sure, kids want new clothes for the first day, or maybe the first week, but those will only go so far. So just as you shop for school supplies, shop for clothing with a list.

First – look at your kids! They have a habit of growing over the summer. If they have, you may need to budget more for clothing. Before you shop take some time to go through the closet with your child to determine what fits. Let your child help you create a plan for a school wardrobe which incorporates these pieces. The inventory may reveal that she has two good pairs of jeans. Focus on buying tops that will work with them. Or, he’s got a great T-shirt collection but the jeans are all too short. That shows you where to spend your budgeted money. Also, find out which one new clothing item is most important to your child. If possible, work it into the budget to buy at this time. Remember that you don’t have to by all their new clothes before school starts. If you have made a plan that incorporates their existing clothing, you will get them through the first several weeks. You will be able to buy more as the seasons change, the kids’ needs evolve, and as you can afford it.

One thing I did learn over the years is that money spent on a good backpack is money well spent. A cheap one will often have to be replaced before the end of the year, but a quality pack can last for more than one year. Of course, this doesn’t account for fashion; the “need” to have the celebrity pack. If you point out that the cost difference between the designer pack and the simpler one will determine if she can have one more new shirt, she might see your logic. This advice also applies to shoes. Get the best shoes you can for the money you can spend; and balance money you apply to style versus function.

Start now and pace yourself. Make a plan, have a budget, and choose your shopping venues wisely. Keep yourself sane!

Home Organizing Albany New York

Creative People are Rarely Tidy!

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on July 27, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

I had a sign on my refrigerator for several years that said, “Creative people are rarely tidy.” Now that I think about it, it was there for over 25 years! I found it in a gift shop in Wisconsin. I was there with my mother and we both agreed immediately that it was meant for me. Yes, me. The organizer. This is the truth. Organizing is not natural for me. It is necessary. I know that I function better when organized, but it is an up hill battle with plenty of backsliding. I think this makes me a better Professional Organizer. I can truly relate to the frustration of my clients, and show them ways work with their own traits.

Is it true that we creative types are generally less organized? It may be. We tend to be right brained thinkers who are known to be scattered and not particularly detail oriented. What is not true is the notion that we function better and are more creative in our messiness. Many of us love the “untidy” label because it gets us off the hook, but in reality disorganization is holding us back. Creativity takes place best in relaxed, calm, undisturbed places. Disorganization of our physical space slows us down and clouds our minds.  When your creative space is ready to go, you are ready to go. There are fewer distractions, and it is easier to find the supplies you need to let the creativity flow. This is true not only for crafters and artists, but for writers and cooks as well.

Begin by understanding that your workspace can be better, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes we don’t even begin our creative pursuits because the space is not just right. When I started Clear Spaces Organizing, I was trying to create a professional office space in my basement. Meanwhile I was doing business from my dining room table. This kept me out of the real office; and it didn’t do much for the state of my dining room either. Then I decided to get just the desk in order in the office, and to begin working at it. Once I did that, I felt more like I was really in business. Bonus: while in the office I was looking at the space and considering what works for me. I ended up getting much more accomplished, in both organizing the office and conducting business.

Think about how your space needs to work for you. Choose one place to start. Begin using your space before it is perfect. You will see the immediate benefits of accomplishing something. Working in the space will give you a better feel for what you’d like it to be. Take notes on this as you work, and make small changes over time. This method can be especially helpful for those whose creative space is shared with other family functions.

“Creative people are rarely tidy.” Well, we might not be. We don’t have to be. I threw that sign out last year. Don’t let that be your label. Revel in your creativity. Creatively find a way to make your space work for you. It will let your creativity blossom!

Home Organizing Albany New York

Organization is Not Really the Goal

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on July 20, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

So you’ve got the picture in your mind. Your perfect space. You know where everything is. It’s even all Martha with a bouquet of hydrangea on the table, or a matched fine writing set at the desk. Every thing has a place and is in it… but why do we want our homes and offices to be this way? What is the goal? Is the home magazine coming for a   photo shoot? Not likely.

The reason we strive for this picture of perfection is that we imagine that somehow our lives will be better if our homes looked like this, and to some degree they would. In an organized home, time spent getting ready for the day, and preparing meals, would be lessened. The less cluttered our physical spaces are, the clearer we can think and function. In an organized space, our stress levels and those of our family are lower.

Remember though, that the goal of organization is not to have a perfectly organized space. The thing with magazine shoots is that people rarely live in those rooms; and if they do, believe me, the room does not really look like that every day! If the end goal is perfection, you set yourself up for failure and increased stress.

The real end goal is to increase efficiency and productivity, to increase your peace of mind, and to make every day easier and more enjoyable. The way to achieve this is to become more organized in your spaces and habits. Organization facilitates these things. When you embrace this idea, it lessens the pressure for you to create perfection, and lets you make improvements over time, during which you will see life changing for the better.

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