I am an Organizer Coach now!

I am an organizer coach

I have always valued education because furthering my skills makes a difference for my clients.  My clients are the reason I continue to learn new ways to help them let go, streamline and keep their intentions daily in their lives. Completing my Coach Approach training is one way for me to empower my clients with their home, work and life goals.  I am an Organizer Coach who works one on one with clients to empower your change and goals.

 

For the past year, and several years before, I have been taking classes via phone, working on skills in small groups, and completing a curriculum to become an Organizer Coach.  My classes and reading have included learning about modalities, using new tools to help my clients such as a values and needs assessment, and learning more about ADHD, depression and anxiety. Throughout the year I have coached or been coached in 3 different small groups to practice my skills and learn what it is like to be coached.

 

How do these new skills help you, my client?

  • Are you stuck and can’t get started? Coaching supports awareness, action and learning.  Your new awareness will lead you into action.  Getting started and finishing up are often holding back my clients until we work together.  Learning comes from perspectives at your success.  Overall, coaching supports maintaining the change you have created.
  • Need a trusted coach to listen to you?  I believe in the strengths of my clients. You bring thoughts and ideas and my listening brings focus to our work. Your values, needs and strengths are all a part of our work together.
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and paralyzed?  Your strengths are the foundation of organizing in your home, work and life. It’s easier to maintain the systems you establish by working from your strengths.
  • Do you struggle with ADHD or anxiety?  Brain based conditions, such as ADHD and anxiety, can impact your executive function and your goals. Our work together will move you forward as you create new awareness and learning.
  • Have you created support for your efforts?  Essential structures, such as self awareness, support and education are the baseline for your life.  Together we investigate how these essential structures support your organizing goals.

 

It’s been a busy year with training through Coach Approach, a coaching skills training program designed specifically for organizers.   I want to thank my trainers Denslow Brown and Cameron Gott, as well as my colleagues in training with me.

 

 

3 ADHD Productivity Tips

3 adhd productivity tips

 

ADHD and other brain based conditions impact productivity. It’s the quest to “get stuff done.” You start and are interrupted by other people, social media or the thoughts in your head.  With so much going on in your head, it’s difficult to focus. With each distraction, it takes an average of 15 minutes to regain complete focus.  It can be hard to get started on a task or to go back to a task the next day.  All of these aspects of executive function interfere with productivity.  Here’s help to address distractions and productivity.

Task batching

Task batching is multiplying the same task or do the same task repeatedly in a sequence. It’s when you bake 4 banana breads instead of 2, write 12 blog posts correlating to your themed blog calendar, or make 4 calls back to back.  The reason task batching helps is you have gotten past getting started and now you are in the flow of getting a task done.  You minimize distractions with staying focused on one task or series of tasks.  A few of my favorite task batching ideas are to answer email 3 times a day, block times of the day to respond to phone calls, or do your marketing on the same morning each week.  Task batch with any action by doing these together at the same, established time.

 

Chunk your task

Do you have items like this on your list: do taxes, send newsletter, or write a book?  Each of these tasks is a multiple step project requiring many small tasks for completion. Splitting these tasks into smaller chunks, or even micro-chunks, can help you get stuff done.  Start by capturing your task on a list.  Write the next step for the task and a completion date.  Write this as a series of steps and check these off as you accomplish each. Another option is Trello, an online task management tool, to break down a project to make it more manageable. A mindmap can help too.  Breaking a task into smaller, manageable, chunks helps you accomplish more.

 

Write it down when interrupted or the at the end of the day

You are about to finish up your day and you are in the middle of your work.  Write down where you are and what you are doing.  Writing this down helps you start back up where you left off and gives you a frame of reference for your work. If you are in the middle of your work and you are interrupted by a phone call or colleague, use a post it note to write down where you are.  It’s not surprising that these notes not only save time, and also keep you at a high pace of action.

 

These 3 options are small ways to be more productive. Here’s a daily tool for productivity!

 

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6 Areas to Declutter to Sell Your Home Fast

sell your home faster

A decluttered home speeds up the sale of your home.  After years of living in  your home, you have collected more than 2000 in just three rooms! It’s clear that a new buyer wants to see your home, not all the clutter in it.  Realtors know that home buyers see themselves in something beautiful, organized and spacious.  According to a 2011 study by HomeGain.com, cleaning and decluttering your home is the top method to get more for your home and a quicker sale.  Here’s the top 6 areas to declutter your home for a fast sale.

 

Kitchen

The kitchen is your first stop to declutter.  Most buyers want a big kitchen with lots of storage. Maximize your counter top and cabinet appeal by clearing off the kitchen counter top. Leave as little out as possible to showcase the backsplash and counter top itself.  Go through your kitchen cabinets and let go of odd glasses, mugs and plates.  Be sure to recycle old broken appliances.  Pack away seasonal items you won’t be using this year. Look under your kitchen sink and eliminate old packaging and leave basic cleaning supplies.  Declutter your pantry too especially if there is an abundance of items. Use up your pantry stock to minimize what is in the pantry.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are the next stop to declutter.  Leave just hand soap on the counter. Declutter under the sink area and in the drawers.  Get out the trash that is in this room.  Neatly fold any towels.   Check out your medicine cabinet for expired medications and over the counter items. Be sure your laundry is hidden away too!

Closets

A spacious closet and abundant storage is on everyone’s wish list.  Declutter your closet and keep only what you love and can wear.  Do the same for out of season clothes you have not worn last season.  If you are using closets to store decor or linens, take time to decide if these will be used in your next home.

 

Kid rooms

Your kids’ rooms and kids’ toys are especially important to organize.  Too many toys can overwhelm a potential buyer.  Pack up more than half of your kids’ toys to sell your home. While your home is on the market, plan on lots of time at parks to entertain your kids and keep their toys organized.

Office

With more and more people working from home, an organized office is critical to the sale of your home.  Gather up all your paper and go through it to shred or recycle.  Place papers by year in boxes, ready to file at a later date.  Condense all cords and keep out only what you use regularly on your desk. A tool cup with scissors, pens and markers is all you need to keep out.  A decluttered office brings out the best in your home.

 

What about offsite storage?

While generally not an advocate of offsite storage, it is useful during staging a home for sale. Out of season clothes, additional furniture, extra toys and other items you are not ready to sell or donate can be stored here.

 

Decluttering your home has a big bonus! You have more space at your new home and you have saved money not moving the extra items. If you are unsure, be ruthless and let items go.

My Organizing Obsession: Clear plastic bags

my organizing obsession clear plastic bags

 

 

In the past few weeks, garage organizing has been in full swing! Beautiful Spring weather is the best time to organize outside. As we organized, my clients and I have come to love clear plastic bags. If it’s small or big, clear plastic bags make it easy to organize.  There are several options I want to share with you.

 

Clear is always a good option for storage.

  • You can see what’s inside. Most of us are visual and out of sight is out of mind.
  • It’s easy to know what you have and how to use it because of clear storage.
  • It’s easy to group items together that are used together.
  • You can label the outside of the bag too.

 

 

clear plastic bags

 

plastic bag organizing

 

Clear plastic bags are a great alternative for organizing.  These extra large garbage bags can be used for all types of storage.  It’s especially helpful for light weight, but big items.  You can wrap floral arrangements, sleeping bags, holiday decorations and more with these bags. It’s an extra layer of protection for your items. Use these instead of black plastic garbage bags.

 

ziploc giant bags

 

organizing toys in ziplock

Ziploc big bags are a storage option for all sorts of items.  As shown here, it’s great for athletic items, holiday storage, out of season clothes storage, and shoe storage. These bags are heavier than the clear plastic bags and more durable. It’s easy to store items under a bed, in the back of a closet, in a garage or in the attic.

 

Thanks to Ziploc, there a zillion uses for small clear bags. Ziploc has ideas for spring cleaning and organizing, as well as ways to organize all around your home.  You can organize your purse, organize your junk drawer, organize your crafts and organize your office supplies. There’s so much you can do with ziplocs of all sizes that every home should have a large supply!

 

 

When Organizing is NOT Enough

Declutter first, then organize

 

 

Organizing is on every one’s mind these days. If only I had time, or I need to be, or best of all, I SHOULD get organized. The thought is that if I organize what I have, I can find it and use it.  You may have tried organizing, re-organizing and then re-organizing again.  By trying different strategies,  you realize that you are not having the success at finding what you need and having access to what you want.  Being organized with all your stuff is not the solution. It’s not enough to be more organized. It’s time to make a decision about what you have ( or what has you.). That’s when organizing is not enough.

 

Breaking through Just. In. Case

What’s holding you back from letting go? It’s a moment you need to come to terms with. Is it a financial, emotional, sentimental mindset. This is the motivation factor behind Marie Kondo’s Magic of Tidying Up. If you own something, it should bring you joy. Are you ready to accept that an items needs to go if it is not serving you or bringing you joy? Can you see a real spot for this item or imagine a specific way to use it? Dig deep and see what has a hold on you to hold onto your stuff. If you need motivation, it’s time to talk through your reluctance with others and get support. Blogs,books and podcasts give you new ideas and new ways to think about your stuff.  There’s no amount of organizing that can make up for necessary decluttering.

 

Getting stuff out to the universe.

Getting stuff out is a big step in your organizing journey. You have decluttered but your stuff sits in your car or on a step in your home for too long. All of a sudden you find yourself going back into those bags. Here’s where a team approach can really help. Find online resources who come to you or answer the call to leave items on your doorstep. Find a clutter buddy who also needs to drop off donations.  Use an app such as OfferUp, LetGo, or Freecycle.org to let go of your items.

 

Declutter regularly.

We know the culprits – a birthday, holiday, shopping trip or big event coming up. We know more is about to come in. Take this time as prime time to declutter. What we also know that decluttering is ongoing that is needed as routinely as brushing our teeth. Write in time on your calendar to commit to organizing.  Check here for answers to your decluttering questions.

The same applies to our paperwork. I have frequently heard, “I organized that file in 2010 and never looked in there again.” Get information on what to keep and how long to keep it. Then set up a daily triage, weekly admin time and annual file maintenance reminder on your calendar.

 

It’s a whole new way of thinking about organizing. When you know organizing is not enough, it’s a perspective change that changes everything about what you own. Your stuff no longer owns you. So long, saiyonara, and toodles!

 

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Productivity Quotes I Love

 

 

 

Best Family Travel Tips

best family travel organizing tips

 

 

On a recent trip with my grand kids, I knew that we had entered a new age of organizing for families. We love the opportunity to travel with our grand kids and took the fun on the road.  It’s no longer just clothes and shoes to pack.  Now it’s multiple ipads, movies, chargers, medicines, hand sanitizer and more.  Here’s best family travel tips to make sure you are organized and ready for fun!

 

Start with a list

There’s simply too much to remember to pack for your family.  There’s lots of lists available online or create your own checklist.  Our list includes all the details, no matter how small.  When you travel with kids you want to be sure you are prepared.  We added medicines and first aid supplies.  You can be sure your list is complete by adding items and reviewing it after your trip.

Create a family command center

When a family of 5 shares a hotel room, it can be chaotic.  It’s easy to lose the most important of items like money or tickets.  Create a command center with wallets, purses, and other important items.  This can be near the tv or by the mini refrigerator.  Unload your pockets or purse each night and restock each morning before you leave your accommodations.  Taking a few minutes to set this up and keep it orderly each day will make your travel more fun and less stressful.

Create a charging station

Just like at home, you want your devices ready to go in the morning.  We created a charging station for all devices.  We brought along 2 extra power strips to plug in all the devices.  Each device had it’s own charger.  I also have an extra charger for my phone during the day that I would recharge each evening.   Devices were plugged in each evening so everyone would get a good night’s rest too. Label each charger so you know who owns it and what device it belongs to.

 

As in all, travel keep the basics in mind as you pack.  A little organizing goes a long way!

 

An organized family is a happy family!

Professional-Organizer.com Ranks in Top 15 Best Organizers in Houston

I am delighted to be mentioned in the recent Expertise.com survey of top 15 best organizers in Houston.

 

Rated for reputation, credibility, experience and professionalism, Professional-Organizer.com ranked in the top 15 organizers in Houston.

 

I am grateful for the opportunity to assist others in streamlining their lives and prioritizing organization and productivity.

 

Learn more here about Expertise and my review:

www.expertise.com/tx/houston/home-organizers

Feeling stuck? Here’s how to get started organizing!

Feelng stuck? Here's how to get started organizing

Feeling stuck?   Have personal paralysis? Are you procrastinating?  It’s common when it comes to organizing.  It can be overwhelming and difficult to get started organizing, especially if you have a brain based condition such as ADHD. Making decisions, creating a plan, and initiating are all challenges that interfere with getting started.  There are ways to get unstuck and get started organizing.

 

Set a date and a time to organize

Setting a date, that is an appointment with yourself, gets you started organizing.  It’s just like all other appointments. It is on the calendar, your time is reserved, and you are committed.  Choose a time that is good with respect to low distractions and high energy level. Plan on 1 -2 hours to work on this project. If you still feel overwhelmed, start with the smallest amount of time.  When you work for 15 minutes, you know you have accomplished a baby step.  Like any appointment, even if it’s easy to procrastinate, follow through with your date.

Get support for your efforts

Support is critical to getting started with an organizing project.  According to a recent NAPO survey, the a major reason for not getting organized is not asking for help.  Both support and help making it easier whenever you start any project, whether it’s exercise, nutrition, or any lifestyle change. When you know that you are not getting started, look around for support.  Support can look like a friend who cheers  you on and shares how hard it can be to make decisions.  That person can have the role of a clutter buddy.  It can be a team to work with so there are many hands to do the work.  You can find support in a professional organizer, coach, or therapist who help you define new perspectives, create a plan and support you in your work.

 

Have a compelling reason

A personal, specific reason to get organized gets you started.  It’s the WHY of getting started.  Why will being organized make a BIG difference in your life?  The word compelling is critical because the more important this reason is, the easier it is to get started.  Your compelling reason could be emotional well being and less stress, but why that makes a difference every day will help you get moving. It’s powerful emotional and mental starting point for you.  I invite you to share your compelling reason here, to share it with the universe, and get started organizing today!

 

 

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The Secret of How a Reset Helps You be More Organized

reset your home, office and life

 

Days and weeks take a toll on our organization and productivity. We work hard and play hard. Some times our organization suffers because we are too busy.  That’s why a reset can make a difference.

 

What’s a reset?

By definition a reset is when you get back to your baseline, get started fresh and get back in order.  It is typically a verb that shows the action of placing back. It means to move (something) back to an original place or position. However, let’s think of it as noun to help you restore order.

 

When do I reset?

It’s a best practice to reset daily and weekly.  A daily reset is getting your bags emptied and reorganized, your kids’ backpacks uncluttered, and  your clothes in a hamper or hung up.  Each evening take 5 minutes (with your family) to reset your home. That is to restore order to important bags, spaces and spots to have a fresh start for the next day. A list can help you be sure you reset all the areas that are important to you.

 

Make your your week starts with a weekly home reset ion Sunday. It’s your preparation for having a great week.  Take 30 minutes to check your calendar for the week so you know what’s ahead..

 

A weekly office reset is best on Friday.  At this time you are most in touch with your projects and tasks. Capture information, get your desk back in order, create files for loose papers and tidy up your space at this time.

 

What else is behind a reset?

In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains small changes in behavior and the impact. With a reset, you are applying the science of change to your life in a way that can make every day better. Life with new habits requires reminders and practice. Build in support for this new habit with baby steps, attaching your reset to an existing habit, and acknowledging how important can be for you.

 

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