Getting Back on Track

getting back on trackHas your life been derailed?

Any number of things can throw us off track – travel, illness, a change in schedule at work or at home. Before you can get back on track you need to ask yourself the following questions:

(more…)

The Gift of an Organized Family Tree

My own 4-generation pedigree chart, and my paternal grandparents, Archie Raymond Thornton Sr. & Hazel Islery Clay, on their wedding day in 1925. Aren’t they a handsome couple?

Who wants their chart done? Family tree pedigree chart, that is?

If you think pedigrees are just for royalty, dogs, and horses, think again! Genealogy makes history personal for everyone. And a family tree makes a great gift for a loved one…or for yourself!

(more…)

Climbing your never-ending family tree

7 Generation Pedigree Chart with sample projects indicated.

Your family tree is never really finished! It is forever growing on both ends. New descendants of your ancestors are continually being born (even if not to you, personally), and no matter how many branches and leaves you’ve added in the past, there are always more for you to discover.

(more…)

How clean does your house really need to be?

Click to enlarge.

I love nothing more than a clean, tidy, organized home!

But those are three completely different things.

 

(more…)

What’s a photo without the story?

Who is this saucy young woman? Don’t know? Don’t care?

She looks like fun, though, doesn’t she?

What if you found this photo in a bin at Goodwill? For sale on eBay?

Would you buy it? Would you feel vaguely sad that somebody got rid of it, and move on?

What if you found her in your parents’ stuff and didn’t know who she was?

Would you keep, or toss? Would you try to find the story behind the photo?

(more…)

Organizing on the Edge of Chaos

Last week I attended a lecture on Chaos Theory. I’d heard of it before, but didn’t really know what it was, exactly. The lecture was my dad’s idea for something to do together. And it turned out to be really interesting! He said he expected it was going to be about The Butterfly Effect. And it was, but who knew it was also going to be about entropy, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, fractals, and Rosa Parks (whose small act of defiance triggered a chain of events resulting in the civil rights movement)?

(more…)

Planning my virtual funeral – who’s with me?

Planning my virtual funeralI’ve been talking and writing for a while now about organizing for your legacy. This involves doing things to make it easier on your grieving loved ones when the time comes, by preparing for your own death. Activities can range from writing your own obituary and planning your own funeral; to preserving your memorabilia and organizing your family history; to creating a virtual will and downsizing and decluttering now so they don’t have to later.

So, when I announced to my dad and brother, at a recent breakfast together, “Let’s talk about funerals!” they didn’t even flinch, replying in unison: “Whose? Yours?”

(more…)

Clutter Counseling: Are You an Odd Couple?

Odd couple clutter counseling

THE ODD COUPLE, Jack Klugman, Tony Randall, 1970-1983 (www.hollywood.com)

Are you and your spouse, or partner, or roommate, like Oscar and Felix, of The Odd Couple? (Are you old enough to know what I’m talking about?) Do you need Clutter Counseling? I am not a marriage counselor (or a psychic, or a magician), but I am sometimes called upon to mediate disputes as to what goes where in a home or other shared space.

It really helps to have an impartial professional to hear both sides of an issue and give a practical opinion that will work for everyone. Often my recommendation is something neither person has thought of before!

(more…)

How to Get Organized Anywhere at Any Budget

I want to help everyone find the freedom of getting Organized for Life regardless of where they live, or how much money they have. But there’s only one of me, and I need to make a living too. Too bad I can’t work directly with all of you for free.

There are lots of ways I can help you, though! In this post I’ve listed some options for getting organized, in order of affordability. Let me know which ones you need and think will work for you.

(more…)

Confessions of a Professional Organizer (I’m organized enough, and not one bit more)

Sock Drawer - overorganized

Socks: Just right? Or over-organized?

Clients are always amused and relieved to learn that I have my own organizing issues to deal with at home. I tell them, “I’m organized, not perfect! Whoever said I was perfect?” If you and I both have a pile of clutter on the kitchen counter, the difference between us is that I know it’s a temporary situation, and that I have a reliable system for getting it back under control. My home is relatively tidy, organized, and clean… but don’t open that one door down the hall, or get out your white gloves!

What fascinates me are the people who are surprised (if not horrified) at some of the things I choose NOT to organize. These are usually friends and family who visit my home and notice things for themselves. They can’t understand why a professional organizer would NOT organize something that CAN be organized.

(more…)