Celebrating of 20 years of Professional Organizing and Productivity

congrats on 20 years

 

In 2000, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle about the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and professional organizing. The rest is history. It’s Professional-Organizer.com’s platinum anniversary!

 

Since 2000, the organizing and productivity industry has changed. It’s not only about organizing stuff.  Just a few of the niches I work in with my clients with ADHD range from organizing spaces, to organizing families, to helping those with chronic disorganization, to organizing papers, to coaching about productivity, to coordinating teams and facilitating strategic small business conversations. My work is about simplifying and strategizing, helping my clients reach the goals they have defined.

 

Let the glass clinking begin with this celebration!

I celebrate the benefits that we together create.  There’s a lot to be worried about in our universe and creating order and simplicity helps you keep calm and carry on.  Each of us us knows that keeping it simple sweetie helps us follow through on our core values.  My clients hold dear family, connections,

 

I celebrate with my clients on their big and small successes. The size of the success is in the clients’ goals and perspectives.  Success includes keeping the kitchen counter clear of paper to tracking with dates for work life integration.

 

I celebrate my connections.  It’s all about relationships and support.  Support is an essential element in our lives.  By bringing ongoing support to my clients, they have someone to turn to in overwhelming, difficult, complex situations.

 

I celebrate my industry.  We are professionals with high standards of ethics, client focus, and education.  My Certified Professional Organizer credential shares that I value this for myself and my clients. Our industry has grown to service so many in so many ways.

 

Thank you to each of you for our connection and our collaboration!

 

4 Top Trends in Organizing

4 top trends in organizing

 

I’ve been especially intrigued at looking forward at what’s new and different for organizing. Trends, what’s popular and what’s hip, show us the direction that our industry is heading. In the past there has been lots of interest in hoarding and clearing out stuff.  There’s more substance to organizing now.  New tv shows are sharing forward thinking trends in the organizing industry. Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo created buzz internationally.  Here’s a few other trends that are trickling out into our world.

Organizing with Style

It’s what I call “the pinterest factor.”  Organizing is not just about decluttering and categorizing. It’s more about the style of your home and office too.  We have take organizing up a level to include a highly visible part of home design and function.  That includes home design options with color and labelling. The style factor includes cute color or clear containers, chalk or faux chalk labels, and adding storage in innovative spaces.  A file cabinet can be a repurposed ottoman or a series of matching notebooks.  Style is a factor.

 

Small spaces, Multi purpose spaces and Multi-generational homes

Return on investment on space is a top priority.  Dwellings are being evaluated for size, spacial options and use.  Small spaces are inviting for cost.  At the same time, multi purpose spaces where people live and work at home give us flexibility and options. Multi purpose spaces maximize use of your home.  With baby boomers caring for aging parents and new tots, many more families are living in multi-generational homes.  Looking at the maximum flexibility of our homes and the connectedness of family, this trend is on the upswing.  With more people in a home, there is a strong need for organization, easy access storage and lower clutter.

 

Artificial intelligence

We all have Siri, Alexa and other “organizing friends” who help us with timers, checklists, and more. The Smart Home is here to stay with lights, door cameras, and climate control in our homes.  There is a long list of ways to use AI for productivity. Our digital native kiddos have their organizing friends wake them, tell bedtime stories and offer meditation.

Eco-Friendly Organizing

With more emphasis on ecofriendly products, organizing with shabby chic, re-usable products and re-purposing makes sense.  Setting up a recycling center helps you stay on top of this trend. These stations are easy to access and drop in items, as well as take to the curb weekly.  Donating helps you be a part of this trend, as opposed to trashing items and adding to a landfill.  Regular donating is part of the big picture of organizing.

 

Organizing trends are turning us toward more practical, functional and inexpensive spaces.  It all comes down to using our space wisely and productively. There’s no longer only a spring cleaning time and now organizing is all the time! Organizing has become more a part of our daily consiousness.  Start now with one of these trends to empower and motivate you.

 

 

 

Revisiting My 2019 Word of the Year: Shift

 

Word of the year

 

It’s the end of 2019 and I have remembered my Word of the Year through out the year.  (Have you? ) It’s truly been a part of my work, my thoughts and my energy as I shift into new possibilities.

 

Shift: a slight change in emphasis

I have looked at this year as a slight turn in direction.  While working with clients with ADHD has been a focus for the duration of my business, it’s more so this year in learning tools to assist. I am leaning into my work clients with ADHD clients in continuing learning and implementing strategies. What’s new are the many podcasts I have been listening to each day.  I have been taking more NAPO classes centered on this topic.  I love to learn and apply one small action to my work with clients.

 

Shift: change in direction

We shift toward and we shift away in slight changes in direction. Family first and client work has always been the direction of work life integration for me.  As I step into this more fully, I have been mindful of the true joy that our conversations and engagement bring to me.  I have heard the joy in voices of family and clients throughout the year in their big and little wins.  Wins include completing writing a doctoral paper, using a planner as a high schooler, new interests in a variety of sports, getting a garage organized to park a car or move to a new apartment. As I shift away from some of my volunteering experiences, I have created more white space for myself to be present.

 

Shift: next steps

I am contemplating my 2020 word now.  I love all the words that I have used in these past years. How has my Word of the Year made a difference for me?  Holding my word of the year throughout the year has kept me true and on target with intentional, mindful shifts.  It’s been a comfort when a bumpy shift occurs that this year is about a slight change. We can empower change rather than be fearful of change.  This word reminds me that we can make change a powerful agent for ourselves.

 

My list of Words of the Year

Shift 2019

Possibilities 2018

Thrive 2017

Momentum 2016

Fifteen 2015

Flourish 2014

Fabulous2013

 

 

7 Clutter Free Holiday Gift Ideas

clutter free gifts

Holiday Gifts with a Tech, Organizing Twist

holiday gifts with a tech, organizing twist

 

I am the first to share that experiences are the best gifts. However, there are some tech, organizing gifts that can make your life more organized, more productive and easier.  Here are 4 gifts to keep in mind this year.

 

Rose gold speaker

Getting organized and being productive are easier with music! Your organizing playlist makes it more fun to work and get stuff done.  This Rose Gold small speaker is a blue tooth companion to your smart device.  You can bring music to wherever you are working or organizing.


 

 

A great night’s rest for every family member is possible! Corral your devices here in this bamboo multi-device charging station.  An added is bonus is that all your devices are charged and ready to go in the morning.

 

 

Available in a variety of colors, a small portable charger keeps you in touch with everyone. These chargers travel near and far so that you are always prepared.

 

Fitbit versa

Fitbits have been here for a while. The updated fitbit Versa gives you lots of ways to accomplish your goals. For me it’s tracking steps to keep up with my fitness goals.

 

Each of these organizing, tech gadgets can help you accomplish your inner Marie Kondo efforts!

Two Important Holiday Reminders

Here are two important holiday reminders for you this year!

 

holiday self care

Self care is in short supply during the holiday season. We have so much to do!  Take your self care seriously this holiday in order to have fun throughout the season.

 

There are elves everywhere!  Keep open to the possibilities!

holiday team work

Thankful. Grateful.

thankful. grateful

 

This year has been a year of challenges and changes in our country and our community. We have the power to live every day being thankful and grateful. Gratitude is powerful and can make your life better in so many ways. It’s creating new habits that reinforce being positive, gracious, kind, thankful and grateful. Here are many simple, small ways to start or continue showing and sharing these qualities and values.

  • Start your day with a daily mantra or with meditation focusing on gratitude.
  • Notice the small things in your life and comment. You will increase your mindfulness and your gratitude.
  • Capture photos about what you are grateful for on your smart phone. Look back to remind yourself of these moments.
  • Text or email a friend or family member each day to share how much you appreciate them and why they are special to you.
  • Thank people who are serving you or helping you.
  • Sharing a blessing over your food with your family or companions at a meal.
  • Make a note in your daily planner or bullet journal of one moment of gratitude that day.
  • Have a family “huddle” before your kids head out to school and talk about what you are grateful for that day.
  • Write in your gratitude journal each evening as a prelude to bedtime.
  • Review your day before bedtime and acknowledge your gratitude.

I am thankful and grateful for our connection. Our work together, ideas we have shared and moments we have spent are all what makes a difference. I wish you an abundance of blessings this year and the opportunity to share how grateful you are for these blessings.

 

 

Get Organized with Holiday Lists

 

Get organized with holiday lists

 

Lists are useful for making sure you have all the details covered. No need to remember every detail because you have it captured on your list. You can be more productive with a list because it keeps you moving forward with each step.

 

Holiday lists keep you organized during the busy holiday season.  Some are lists you keep all year and some are specific to this time of year. All require updating, some at the beginning of the season and some at the end of the season.

Here is a run down of the list of holiday lists that I keep.

List name

What is this list

and why use it?

How to use this list effectively

Month to use this list

Holiday card list Holiday card list for friends, family and colleagues Add names to this list all year long. Update each January with additions and deletions October
Gift list Gift list for the holiday season, includes those who receive homemade treats Update with items purchased all year and other items in gift closet November
Holiday party and dinner guest lists List of those attending your holiday party, Thanksgiving or your holiday dinner Invite family and friends for holiday dinners. Guests like to know they are included early so as to make other arrangements if necessary. November
Menu List of items you are making for your holiday party and/or your holiday dinner Create menu then create grocery list December
Homemade treat list List of items you are making as holiday treats Review recipes and purchase containers. Make treats one weekend. Delivery treat the next week. December
Travel list List of travel plans by person Review itineraries for travel and purchase travel arrangement. Share with your holiday hosts and other family members. October
Packing list List of what to pack to travel during the holidays List your toiletries, attire, shoes, electronics, and other travel items. Add specific items for winter and holiday travel All year, updated before winter travel
Contact list Names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of family and friends Use for a variety of uses all year long and during holidays All year

 

As you can see I am a list lover! Here are other lists to use too!

 

Get Organized for Unexpected Air Travel Delays

 

Get organized for unexpected air travel delays

 

Who hasn’t been delayed at the airport? It’s like travel by stage coach now with unexpected weather and mechanical delays.  Recently with Tropical Storm Imenda, I spent 12 hours in the airport.  (It was not nearly as scary as those on the road and I was happily near a bathroom.) Even before this challenge, I knew that I needed to be prepared for a potential surprise. This is true during holiday travel season with so many flights and so many travelers. Here is how I organize and prepare for travel and unexpected delays.

 

Travel bag requirements

I use a rolling small bag that fits under the airplane seat in front of me. I changed to the rolling bag to avoid injuring my shoulders with a heavy carry on.  In my bag are several Vera Bradley pouches that keep me organized (of course!)  The pouches hold what I call my “apothecary,” cords and connections, reading material, and other important items like jewelry and business documentation.

 

Staying connected

Connections are what keep us sane. Our phone and devices require charging more frequently as we use these more while in an unexpected situation. I always travel with 2 chargers and an emergency charger. (It’s the block and the cord times two.)  I also use these to charge overnight at my destination.  I charge once I get to the 20% low battery mode, just like filling the gas tank at the 1/4 mark.

 

Staying hydrated

Travel can deplete you and keeping hydrated keeps you well. I purchase a large bottle of water inside the terminal to keep hydrated before I leave the ground and in the air.

 

Staying on top of travel

All airlines have apps now to keep you up to date. Be sure you switch on the text message app to update you about your flights.  You can view where your flight is arriving from so you know if you are on time. Bag tracking is available in case an unfortunate loss occurs (another frequent situation.).

 

Stay in the know

Many apps help us during these situations.   These apps that give us information are priceless.  These are local news station app, The Weather Channel and Flight Aware. I learned so much from each of these, tracking weather radar and flights.

All our family have set up the Find a Friend app so that we know where we are at all times.  For many reasons this has helped us all feel more comfortable. We know where each of us is and we can help each other maneuver home.

 

Stay comfy

Each of us has our own idea of comfy with travel. It’s a travel pillow or blanket, extra undies, special treats or downloaded music.  What makes you feel comfortable is what’s important.  I carry a protein bar or two also.  Most of my NAPO friends know my love of skittles and pashminas.  I carry both with me when I travel, as well as an extra magazine or two.

 

I hope for you blue skies and sunny destinations. In case there’s a storm in your future, you should be organized and ready to wait it out with comfort.

 

 

Hassle free Holidays for Families with ADHD

 

Hassle free holidays for families with adhd

 

Holidays are merry times for families.  For moms, dads, and family members with ADHD, there can be glitches with planning, timing, and finishing up in time for family time together. When it comes to family events, executive function limitations interfere with holidays in the ways we celebrate, the gifts we share and the time we spend with family.  Here are solutions to create hassle free holidays for families with ADHD.

 

Problem: Everything is important during the holidays. What do I do first and when do I do what? It all seems overwhelming.

Holidays can be magical and meaningful with planning. That planning starts with a calendar.  Ask your family about their special family traditions.  It’s tempting to say yes to everything, but the key take away is to limit your plans, decorating and parties. Once your family weights in, be sure all the family has access to the calendar to know the final plans and be a part of the fun.

 

Holiday plans require more time to complete. Start early on all holiday activities. It seems too early to start your holiday planning in October but it is not. For cards, take the photo in October, choose cards and have these printed in early November, and address the cards the week of Thanksgiving.    For gifts, go through your gift closet in October, finalize shopping in November, then mail presents the first week of December.  As you can see, October organizing and planning is key to holiday success. Set a deadlines for each task. A deadline will help you focus your time and energy.

 

Problem: There’s so much to do! How do I do it all?

There is no way to do it all during the holidays.  It’s also not possible to be the only family member decorating, gift giving and baking.  It’s time to look for help. Ask your family to partner with you, working in pairs to accomplish tasks. There’s many ways to get help around you.  There’s on demand delegation. You can find help with online tools to hire extra help at this time of year.  Take the semi-homemade approach and take help where you can get it from pre-cut groceries and delivery services. Ask teens who want to earn money for help with small tasks.  Be open to asking for help and accepting the “not completely perfect” solutions. When you spend extra time on a task, be sure it is valuable enough and worthy of that extra effort.

 

Problem: I can’t find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.

Find creative solutions to gift giving. Rather than many homemade gifts, choose one gift that includes an experience. Keep your gift giving for those who are especially close. Choose a small gift card for those who are service providers. Choose an organizing gift that can help you stay organized all year long. Order online in order to save time and money.  There are many ways to share the joy of gift giving.

 

Problem:  I am worn out before the fun begins.  I want to enjoy the holidays too.

Holidaze sets in early with too much to eat and too little sleep. Holiday fun is diminished with too little self care.  Be sure to keep true to your routines during this busy time of year. It’s easy to pass on the routines when you might miss out on fun.  Routines and self care make sure that you truly enjoy your holidays.

Give yourself the gift of extra self care. Extra self care looks like an afternoon to read your favorite magazine, a soak in the tub with lavender, or an early bed time.  Extra self care pays off in being ready to have fun.

 

Hassle free holidays start with knowing where the hassles begin and how to address these ahead of time.  Knowing your options and resources make a difference for holiday times.