Hugs and Happy Organizing: Office Organizing

Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a client’s office.
Home offices are cluttered!  These spaces are jammed paper, office supplies, books and more.  Why not add more vertical storage to create more order.
  • Each different category of paper needs a “slot.”  Create a slot with a basket labelled for each  type of paper.   These categories can include taxes, small business, utilities, instruction books and other papers.
  • Create more space by going up!  With these additional bookcases, there is a basket for each type of paper.
  • Keep your desk clear by having a slot for unprocessed, unopened or to be reviewed papers.
  • Keep papers in notebooks or magazine sorters so these can be orderly.
  • Editor’s note: Our work together was done virtually!


Check out more Hugs and Happy Organizing stories here.

My Organizing Obsession: Notebooks


organizing with notebooks

There’s so many ways to love notebooks to help you organize. Notebooks consolidate information about a single project.  You can keep these on a shelf together, with pages inside neatly ordered.


Here are some of my favorites.


I love family notebooks.

Family binders help you keep up with information about your family such as family calendar and medical for each person.   Pages can include your schedule, goals, birthdates, activities, and important information like social security numbers.

I love holiday notebooks.

A holiday binder is where you find all the calendars, recipes and information about your family holiday events and activities.  This notebook includes a gift list, Christmas card list and budget for your holiday.


 I love bill pay or money notebooks.

Paying bills and keeping up with money can be a chore without a binder to consolidate all your information.  Keep a page for passwords, account numbers and payment dates.  As bills arrive, tuck these into the binder for safe keeping.


I love project notebooks.

It’s easy to keep all the information together when you are working in a project, as an officer of a club, or on a remodeling project.  A project notebook has dates and deadlines, names and contact information for team members, and drafts of the project as it progresses.  A club notebook has the membership roster, dates and deadlines for the club, your role as an officer, and club bylaws.  A remodeling notebook has your budget, contact information for vendors, and ideas for your project.


I love small business notebooks.

A notebook is the best place to consolidate your information on your small business. If you are starting as a soloentrepreneur, you have research about the business and training for running your business. You might have a chart to track your success.  Small businesses revolving around sales have printables for you to keep.  A small business notebook keeps this all together.


organizing with notebooks



Other ways to use a notebook:

A gratitude journal is a powerful way to record your positive connections each day.

Keep a daily journal to process and reflect on the day.

Keep up with ideas and information in your notebook. You can make a list of places to visit, wines to drink or books to read. It can hold your bucket list.


Check out more of my organizing obsessions on Pinterest Organizing Products I Love.






A Spa Treatment for your Bathroom

bathroom organizing

Sometimes it is the little things that matter most! Getting your bathroom and vanity area organized can make a difference in getting out the door on time in the morning and starting the day with a bright outlook! Pamper yourself with these tips for organizing makeup and jewelry.  Organizing your bathroom makes it easier to get ready in the morning and get out of the house on time.


Makeup organizing

So many samples and products

We all have products we have purchased that are expensive but we decided not to use. Make a decision – toss, “gift” to a friend, or use the product. If you are still not able to decide due to the expense of the product, date the back of the box, and vow to decide in 6 months. As you are reviewing your products, check the expiration dates. Even if your product has not been opened, the expiration date of one year still applies.  Remember, cosmetics have a shelf life due to bacterial growth.

Samples and gift sizes can get out of hand! Keep one container in a guest bath for pampering your guests. Give extra products and samples to college students or teenagers you know. Store the remainder in plastic containers, labeled with the type of product, shampoo, conditioner, lotion or whatever. Also consider giving sample sizes to a women’s shelter or church mission trip.


Divide and conquer

Think of the cosmetics displays and counters in the department store. Categorize the different products by their use. Keep products together for your face, your eyes, your lips, and more. Use the back of your vanity space to store the extra products, using baskets or plastic bins for each of the different types of products. For additional vertical space, retail stores have a shelf addition that will double your space under your counters.

Access for every day

For everyday use, keep just one of each product handy for you to use. Keep them in a container that can be lifted easily from below inside your vanity or in the top center drawer for easy access. Purchase containers that keep each group of products together, with an area for mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow, another area for moisturizer, blush, and face powder, and another area for lip liner and lipstick.



Create a “home” for your jewels

Keep a small tray in the kitchen and on your bathroom vanity to be the “home” for your jewelry when you take off your watch, rings, and bracelets. This way you always know where to find these valuables! I always take my jewelry off as I reach home so as not to damage these doing chores and laundry. Diamonds are hard, but can still chip when hitting the center of the washing machine!

Queens jewels or not

Review your jewelry – are there broken pieces that need repair? Have you lost a stone? Is there a family heirloom that might be refashioned and worn? Keep these out for repair. Also, is it time to part with some of the costume jewelry that is outdated? Donations to worthy causes and mission trips are a wonderful way to share your blessings.


It’s all about access

With your remaining jewels, decide what is everyday jewelry and dress up! Separate these for access and storage. For dress up, store valuables in a locked cabinet if possible. Keep all of it together so you know where it all is, otherwise you can lose individual pieces if stored around your home in various spots. Purchase a small safe or locked file cabinet for a great storage space. Do not store jewelry in your master bedroom – this is the typical spot to check in a robbery. Depending on the quantity of dress up jewels you have, store in boxes from the jewelry store with a label on the outside, or purchase individual leather trays from Hold Everything or clear containers from the Container Store.


bathroom organizing


For everyday jewelry, store your items as if they were in a jewelry store. There are two ways to do this – store all the rings, bracelets, necklaces separately by category. Or store the items that make a “set” together – a matching ring, bracelet, earrings and necklace in one area. Inexpensive jewelry boxes are available at retail stores and The Container Store to view your jewelry for easy access. Choose what you love, either counter top or inside a drawer, to keep you organized!


You may decide to further your “Spa Treatment” in your bath and include your linen closet, medicine cabinet or other area. Please call me if I can be of assistance!

Organizing Your Money

organize money


Money and finances mean many things to people. Depending on our background, we may have experienced scarcity or prosperity. We may view money as “to be spread around like manure” (thank you Hello Dolly!) or for only the most important of needs. Organizing your money means getting a big picture perspective, having tools set up and creating routines that work for you.  Getting organized about money is the first step for use, balance, and comfort.

The Power of One

As in all organizing, you want to be able to find what you have! Having just one checking account is the way to know how and where you are spending it! Having one credit card not only simplifies paying the bill during the month, it also makes you most aware of where your money is going. If you are a small business owner, you should also have one credit card and one checking account for your company. Simplifying our connection to money can make all the difference.

Write It Down

Writing down how and where you spend money is an enlightening experience! Just like those food logs that scare us into a lifestyle diet change, we can do the same for money. Keep a log of EACH item you purchase in a month. Not only will you realistically know what things cost to create a realistic budget, you will also know just how many times you are using money for “wants” rather than “needs”.

Ledgers can make the difference for us in keeping track of and being accountable about our funds. Use your check register all the time to record checks and debit card transactions as these occur. For bill paying, keep a ledger to record your payments to utilities, credit cards and other monthly expenses. This way you see what each bill is each month, compare the expenses of the bill each month, and be sure you paid it each month. Seeing it on paper makes money not only a currency traded, but an effective way to see what are we really about. You can also use Quicken to record the payments to see annually what your expenses are and to help balance your checking account each month.


Money and Taxes

Getting organized for tax time can be simpler.  Through out the year, donations and expenses are occurring related to taxes. Before tax season, you’ll start to receive tax related information from your job, your bank, etc. Keep all of these tax-related papers in a labeled file folder. This way, when you’re ready to do your taxes, you won’t have to search for the papers you need.


Money Routines

You hear it all the time: “pay yourself first!” Set up an automatic payment from you to your savings account. It is the most painless way to get ahead on your savings.

Having trouble paying your bills on time? Set up automated payments to get this done timely. You will still need to keep up to date on what is being paid and to whom, but the process can make a difference in getting the job done. Finish bill paying by filing all receipts into an easy access file or notebook.


Getting Organized with Your Money

Organization with your money is the first step to realizing your financial goals. Do you want to purchase a home, send your kids to college or retire early? Having a working knowledge of your finances makes these goals attainable. Be empowered by organizing your money with systems and routines that work for you. This all takes time, our most valuable resource, however organizing your money is well worth the investment.

Apps that help

  • Your Bank app
  • MoneyMunk budget worksheet
  • OurGroceries app (save money at the grocery store with a list)
  • RedLaser (for price comparison)
  • CardStar (for loyalty cards)

What ways are you getting organized with your finances?


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Why can’t I do this myself?

why cant I do this myself


It’s a sentence I hear from many clients.


Why can’t I do this myself?


What’s behind this question?


It takes a new way of thinking to accept help at times.


Recently I heard of a perspective shift from a client.  As a single entrepreneur woman, she had a lot on her plate. She also had her cats to think of.  In thinking about how she was trying to do it all herself, she reflected on some tv shows from her youth. There was the Courtship of Eddie’s Father with Mrs. Livingston, there was the show Hazel and there was the Brady Bunch with Alice. It was an aha moment as she realized she needed help!


It takes awareness to reach this new perspective and reach out for help.

It takes courage to accept help in your personal space. It’s about a trusting relationship.  It’s about knowing that there is no judgement in working with someone.


It’s acknowledging your need for help is not a lack of your skill or lack of determination.  The most commitment need help too.


It’s acknowledging that your brain works in a certain way. It’s knowing that having someone else in the space helps your brain work best, helps you process in a way that works best for you and helps get the job you started finished.


It’s in finding who is a good fit for your team.


There are lots of potential members of your team. It’s  your counselor, Stephen Minister, professional organizer and coach who create all the different successes.  Finding the fit of many different people who can help you is what’s important.


There are many answers to why can’t I do this myself.  There may be more than a single reason. Find what works for you and you can move forward with whatever task you are doing.


More ideas and resources for your team here.

Setting your goals for the new year


goal setting


Each new year we see the opportunity to refresh, revitalize, resolve and renew. Our goals are the road map we follow for the year. We determine what is most important to us and what we will honor as our priorities. Start the year off spending time strategizing and writing what will be your focus in personal, professional, spiritual, wellness, family and other goals this year.


• Write down your goals, being very specific.

The more detail you have written down, the more you have made the goal a reality. Keep your goals in view each and every day.


• List the benefits and the obstacles.

The big question is why? What will be the worth of this accomplishment? What challenges will you encountered? Write these down so you know your reasons and rationale for your goals as well as your stumbling blocks.

• Make yourself accountable with deadlines.

Set a date you want to complete the goal and each step along the way.  It’s the ways we are accountable that help the most.


• Create a team

Write a list of resources, groups and people to contact who will assist if you ask them.

• Plan your work and work your plan

Create a plan with baby steps along the way that include every day actions. Strategize and list activities that take just 15 minutes a day to make your goal a reality. Make a personal commitment to act on your goals, live up to that commitment every day, and visualize yourself succeeding with this goal. Be sure your time and calendar reflect your commitment and advancement to your goal.


You will see with each baby step a move forward!  Keep on moving forward and you have accomplished your goal.

Words Matter: Organizing Mantras


organizing mantras


Words matter!  When we talk to ourselves and others about organizing, it’s best to keep a positive approach in how we describe our work.  It’s in finding words that convey a positive perspective that we can be the most successful.


organizing mantra and words matter

Start and cultivate a feeling for organizing

How can we approach getting started on organizing? Would you have to be in the mood to start? Would you tell yourself I am ready to get started? Sometimes we have to just start and then we feel more in the mood for organizing.  Your organizing mantra can be “put your big girl panties on and get started” or “I envision the serenity of my space.”  Get started to get your groove and feel the organizing love.


Tack on one more habit to an existing habit

Research shows that it takes 66 days to create a habit.  We can be discouraged when habits don’t happen right away.  The positive spin on new habits is to “hook” a new habit on an existing habit.  Think of habits you already have as routines and start there.


Who can help me?

Asking for help can be hard. But it’s a lot more fun and much easier when you work with a partner to get stuff done.  Look for a partner in someone who has different strengths from you.  It’s not that you are any less skilled, strong or resourceful. It’s picking a partner who you work well with together.


Is this good for me?

Letting go of stuff can be hard.  Smart strategies for decluttering include asking yourself if your stuff is still good for you.  Is your stuff still helping you do your best? Is it still valuable and functional for you?  Good stuff is everywhere in our homes and offices.  It’s just not still good for you.


What works?

Something works for everyone! Dig deep if you need to but find what works and capitalize on it.  You might be surprised at what is really working.

words matter

Choose your words with care. Create mantras that feel positive, uplifting and fun.


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