It's that time of year again - the time when we all make New Years Resolutions.
When setting New Years Resolutions, it's important to set realistic goals and intentions that you can measure and accomplish during the year. Whether at work or at home, if you can not measure your results, how do you know that you've accomplished the goal?
January is a month full of organizing-related holidays - some of these include:
Get Organized Month
Clean Out Your Closets Month
Clear off Your Desk Day - January 13
Be on Purpose Month
Instead of saying "I'm going to get organized in 2007" - pick two or three areas of your home, office or life that you are going to organize. This way at the end of the year, you can look back on your accomplishments from the year and see what you have to show for your hard work.
Some examples of Organizing Resolutions might be:
1. I will open my mail each day and process it as it comes in.
2. I will be able to park both of our cars in the garage by the end of June.
3. I will create a filing system for all of my paperwork by the end of February so that I am ready to start working on my taxes in March.
You may find it helpful to have both the goal (what you want to achieve) as well as the estimated completion date - so that you have a realistic date to work towards.
Whatever your resolutions and intentions for 2007, I wish you much success in achieving them.
How many times have you stepped into your closet and proclaimed “I have nothing to wear!” Could it be true or could it be that you really do not know what is in your closet? A little closet clean out and organization may solve this dilemma. And…there is no time like the present to clean out your closets, because January is “Clean Out Your Closets” month.
With the holidays behind, do you find that you are looking for more space to store new treasures you acquired during the holidays? When is the last time you looked in your closets to see what you are no longer using? Everyone has at least 1 item in each closet at home that has not been used in years, such as an old coat, a pair of shoes that are out of style, a broken appliance or an out grown toy. You probably have more space in your home than you think, if you just take a close look inside your closets. Get your family involved and see who can find the most items that are no longer used that can be donated, recycled, consigned, sold or tossed.
I recently had a conversation with one of our clients that we have worked with over the years on several areas of their home and office. I’ll call them Pam and Paul. Sometimes when I work with them, I just give them high level tips on how to organize a particular area of their home, such as their kitchen or closet, give them a list of product to purchase that I know will help them maximize their space and let them do the rest of the work. Because Pam, Paul and I have worked on several projects together, they are very aware of the need to “sort” “purge or eliminate” and then group “like items” together before they shop – making the best use of their time and money.
Pam and Paul have a copy of my book “Eliminate Chaos…The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life” and using the “Closet” chapter as a guide, they were able to organize their closet without my help! I was very proud that this book has become a usable resource for so many to be able to tackle projects on their own, or at least get started!
I could tell how proud they were to tell me of their accomplishments. Pam specifically liked the tip “If it doesn’t make you look good or feel good – let it go, it’s just taking up space in your closet. You will always find something else to add to the closet in the future.” She said that this really gave her “permission” to let it go. She also said that it worked well for Paul’s closet as well – after all, it was my advice they were following – not hers!
Here are some additional tips that may help you organize your closets
1. Studies have shown that about 80% of the clutter in your home is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.
2. Unsure of the last time you wore that blouse or those pants? Place all clothing on hangers in the opposite direction of how you normally hang items. After you wear the item, put it back on the hanger in your normal direction. After 6 months, you’ll be able to quickly assess what you have not worn.
3. If you don’t have drawers in your closet, use baskets or plastic bins to help you contain items such as hats, t-shirts, scarves, purses, etc... anything that you would rather not see just laying on a open shelf.
4. If you are going to install a new closet system – decide first on whether or not you want your pants to be hung at full-length, folded at half-length or folded and placed on a shelf or all of the above. This can make a big difference in how you design the space.
If your plan includes a new closet system and you need a referral to one of our closet vendors – email me at and I’ll put you in touch with one of our designers.
Also, many of the Retail Organizing stores have closet specials this month on their product if you are going to “do it yourself.” The Container Store is offering 30% off their Elfa Closet Systems.
You may also want to check out www.organize.com for specials. They are offering 15% off closet products.
What’s hiding in your closet? How much space will you find?
If you are planning to donate anything you might find when organizing your closets, be sure to keep your receipts from these donations. Beginning in January 2007, you will not be allowed to deduct charitable contributions of any amount unless you have proof.
Beginning August 17, 2006 - a charitable contribution of clothing or household items will only be allowed if the item is in good used condition. The IRS can deny a deduction for any item that has little monetary value. There is an exception for single items that have a value of more that $500 and for which you have a qualified appraisal.
If you have questions - you may want to consult your tax advisor.
Organizing & Customizing With Microsoft Outlook 2003 - January 30, 2007
How much time and money does your company waste because information you need is not at your fingertips or organized in a way that is easily retrievable? Stop wasting time and money and learn how to use Microsoft Outlook as a tool to help you manage your time and information. Learn simple tips that you can implement immediately that you will wish you'd known years ago!
Your Investment of $247 Includes
6 hours of classroom instruction - taught by Laura
Laura's 130+ page Organizing & Customizing with Microsoft Outlook 2003 book ($29.95 value)
Lunch & Coffee Service
Additional classroom assistance from Eliminate Chaos Organizing Specialist - Margaret Quinn
Click here to register today. Class is limited to 15 participants. Only 5 seats left!
Out of closet shelf space and looking for a way to store sweaters, jeans or maybe purses? Maximize your space with the 3-tier hanging wire bins. They hang over any closet rod and come with 2 over-rod hooks. When not in use, they collapse flat for storage.
Not sure what to give that loved one? Don't want to give them any more "stuff" they may not need or want? Gift Certificates make a great gift - enable those you love to take control of their time, their space and their stuff. Contact our office for pricing. 425.670.2551
If you subscribe to Entrepreneur Magazine - I am quoted in the January 2007 issue about Organization and Efficiency in the workplace.
You will also see quotes from an interview online at Hitched Magazine - on a story about "Holiday Hangovers" (not the drinking type!)
"I worked with Erin, one of the specialists who works with the Chronically Disorganized (hoarders). In a word, she was fantastic. In four 4-hour sessions, she helped me go through and box up (keep, donate, trash) almost everything that was stacked up in my kitchen, dining room, office, and bonus room. Erin arrived promptly. We went over what I wanted to accomplish that day, then we got to work. She was focused, calm, non-judgmental, and tireless. She faced very dirty circumstances and didn't bat an eyelash. She never once caused me a moment of anxiety; the relief that I felt when we were done was amazing. And Laura Leist, who is the owner of Eliminate Chaos, was lovely. She returned my calls promptly, was kind and understanding, and offered me some options. I would hire this company again in a heartbeat. But right now I'm too busy enjoying all the free space in my house!"
A great way to try us out and get some organizing done at the same time! For a limited time, we are offering an amazing NEW client organizing special. If you are not an existing client this is a great way for us show you how we can eliminate your chaos.