Space Treat: The Power of the Purge!

paper-clutterThis is one of the things I just love about organizing with my clients… so, last week a client and I are elbow deep in her papers, sifting through and making sense of them when she exclaims… "It feels so good to get rid of this stuff and make some new space! I haven't used this stuff in 10 years and I've been carting it around during 2 moves! It's just amazing how you hold onto stuff that you never end up using or even needing." Read more

Space Treat: Get ready, It's September!

autumn-colorWhen September arrives, do you start to feel like your plate is suddenly piled high? It's the unofficial beginning of Fall and while you may be excited by the thoughts of cooler mornings (hopefully soon), you may also start to feel a little overwhelmed with everything that's going to happen between now and December 31st.

Does it feel a bit like the New Year without the freezing temperatures? Read more

Space Treat: Don't let the door hit you on your way out!

foot-in-doorIs there a door in your home that has a mind of it's own? It makes unloading and loading a full car unnecessarily challenging. Have you ever been carrying an armful of stuff when the measly door wedge gives out? … and whack! Or worse, you're trying to open the door with one foot while balancing on the other and your arms are desperately trying to keep their grip on 5 bags of groceries.

These doors just don't stay where you put them and the biggest offenders are the spring-loaded doors forcing you to race your way through so it doesn't hit you on your backside. Read more

Space Treat: Magnetic Solutions

magnetic-organizer

Right 12, Left 37, Right 16 – that was my high school locker combination.

Back to school season is here! We're surrounded by lots of new notebooks, pens, paper tablets and my favorite… magnetic gadgets for lockers!

Even if you're all grown up, you can still get a bang out of these fun and functional items. Magnetic gadgets are available all year round but right now there is an influx of bright, colorful ones marketed to students… but don't let that stop you from enjoying them yourself! Read more

Space Treat: The Difference Between Buried Treasures and Fool's Gold

treasureHave you ever intended to sort through your stuff with the hopes of letting some of it go only to find that you've just discovered buried treasures? Suddenly everything seems useful, sentimental, valuable and practical.

You haven't worn this watch since 1997 but hey, it still works. You loved your white water rafting vacation last summer, why not hold onto the brochure to remember all the good times? You put so much energy into researching and purchasing your new digital camera, how could you possibly think about recycling the box? Read more

Space Treat: Manila Magic

manila-foldersHave you ever tried to jam an inch or two of paper into a manila folder, only to find that the papers peak up so high they block the title that you just wrote on the tab? If so, this Space Treat is for you!

Maybe you've noticed, or maybe you haven't, but the manila folder has ridged horizontal lines (usually about 2-5 of them) across the bottom inch of the folder.

Fold at these nifty ridged lines and create a "box bottom" which better accommodates these wider chunks of paper without blocking the view of the tab.

Space-taculary, Erica
www.TheSpacialist.com

Space Treat: How to Stay on Course

basket-of-stuffSo, you've finally carved out a few hours to start organizing. During the process it's very common to find items that need to be relocated.

For example, say you're beginning with the kitchen cabinets and in order to pull everything out and sort it you need to clear off the counters. While doing that, you find a new tube of toothpaste and a new box of band-aids lurking on the counter. They never made it to your medicine cabinet when you unpacked your grocery bags 7 days ago.

Instead of walking them to their rightful home at the moment of discovery, start a "redistribution" pile so that you can stay focused on the task at hand Read more

Space Treat: That Never-ending List…

timerEver feel that no matter how much you've done that you always have so much more to do?

Yes, then try this: Make your goal to do the things on your list for a very specific amount of time, instead of making it your goal to just try to finish everything on your list. (Be sure to prioritize your list before getting started, so that you're spending your time focusing on the items with the biggest urgency first.) Read more

Space Treat: Your Self-Editing Summer Wardrobe

summer-clothesSummer seemed to really sneak up on me this year. How about you? I just managed to squeeze out a few hours to edit and organize my Summer wardrobe but if you didn't have time this year, just follow the two tips below.

#1 – Place all your hangers backwards on the rod, so that the hanger is hooked from the back to the front, open side facing out. As for your drawers and shelving, traditionally when you fold your shirts, you keep the "belly" part of the fold facing towards you, when you put your Summer shirts in now, arrange them so that the "neck" is facing out. When Summer is over, any clothing that you haven't worn will still be hanging in the backwards direction or arranged "neck" forward in the drawer. When Fall rolls around, you'll know exactly what you don't need to keep for next Summer. Let it go and donate it. Read more

Space Treat: Cheer Up Your Closet

cute-kid-closetAlready organized your clothing but still feel like the closet is missing something? All your shirts are on hangerspants are accessible…dresses are on display… socks are stashed away… work-out clothes and PJs are separated into their own drawers. Everything has a home and everything else has been donated, but the closet still doesn't feel as glamorous as you'd like? Throw up some wallpaper inside the closet or paint it a complimentary color to the room it's in. Use a row of decorative drawer pulls for hanging necklaces and decorative coat-hooks for chunky necklaces, handbags or scarves. Now your closet is not only organized but also looks as fabulous as you do!

Space Treat: Prune Away Your Clutter

pruningWhat do pruning a tree and clearing out your clutter have in common?

Pruning is one of the healthiest things you can do for a tree:
· It prevents diseased branches from further destruction.
· It supports healing when you remove a damaged limb.
· It encourages a tree to develop a strong structure and restores it's vitality.

This is exactly what happens during the "pruning" phase of organizing. Read more

Space Treat: Clutter to Cash

iMacThank you to all who wrote in with congratulations and good cheer regarding my feature in last week's Daily News! The writer, the photographer and the featured woman, Lisa, were absolutely delightful to be with so I had a blast doing what I love most – digging people, just like you, out from underneath their disorganization.

And since the focus of the article was about turning your clutter into cash, I thought I'd follow up today's Space Treat and share the best tips for creating a successful listing on-line that sells!

Here you go: Read more

Space Treat: Feeling out of control?

ebay-stuffSeems like everyday while organizing with clients, they share that the main reason for getting their home organized now is that it does in fact give them a real and reassuring sense of control in these uncertain economic times. And that although there are many things out of our control at the moment, that creating a home that is calming and supportive is at least one area they can control (and it happens to have many side benefits).

Things are stressful enough out there, your home doesn't need to contribute. I absolutely agree with my clients' sentiments: This is the perfect time to organize your home. So keep the following in mind when starting the process: While things feel uncertain in the world, it may be tempting to hold onto things in your home even though they no longer suit your needs or fit your lifestyle. Read more

Space Treat: Bundle Up! And Special Event next week!

daisyWe're still freezing here in NYC! So bundle up – both outside and at home or the office!

Instead of sprinkling your day with various activities you need to accomplish, make better use of your time around the office and house by bundling like tasks into separate categories.

That means gather up a bunch of phone calls and whip through them in one fell swoop. Then move on to the next bundle. (Do your phone call bundle first, that way if you have to leave a message you'll still be around to answer the return call while you're finishing up another bundle.) Read more

Space Treat: Are you energy efficient?

TornadoTazYou may already be composting in the backyard, showering with a low-flow shower-head and installing CFL bulbs in every light fixture but are you efficiently using your biggest resource… your very own built-in natural energy?

Energy – we all have our very own unique cycles of high and low energy. When we sync these cycles to our daily tasks, projects and activities we become more energy efficient and as a result we can get more done in less time with less stress.

Do you spring out of bed at 6:30am raring to start your day or are you more of a night owl, who just begins to really wake up at 10:30pm? Perhaps you're like me, Read more

Space Treat: A Bag a Day Keeps the Clutter Away.

donationsWell, we're deep into the holiday season now. I've been to quite a few parties and have more to come. Every time I arrive somewhere, I've always got gift in hand and so does everyone else. You know what that means, more stuff… and where is it all going? So even if you're not hosting a party, you're probably bringing some kind of gift through your front door this time of year. Read more

Diagnosis: Donation Dilemma

donateSymptoms:

   • In the spirit of the holidays you feel moved to finally pull out that pile of charitable donation request letters and contribute.
   • You begin to wonder, how much did I give last year, and to whom? Where are my check records? Or if you donated directly via the internet and a credit card, you may have no record at all. Read more

Space Treat: No Memory Required

clutterFiling your paper is more about being able to find the documents you need than it is about just putting them away.

Clients who are fond of paper piles often tell me they know where everything is in the pile and can find anything when needed. This often turns out to be true… but it takes them 15 or 20 minutes to do so. Sound familiar?

Spending 15 minutes a few times a week adds up to hours. Is that really how you want to be using your time? Not to mention, it takes incredible skill to sift through these piles without disturbing it's precarious order. Read more

Space Treat: Fresh Eyes

blossomEvery week when I meet a new client we start the session off with a house tour. Even if their initial priority is the home office, we'll walk through the entire home.

This past week I met with a new client, Michelle. During her Phone Intake Consultation, we determined that setting up an efficient home office where she could store and access papers, schedules, mail, bills and files was her number one priority.
With that in mind we set out on a house tour. During this step we open all the closets, drawers and cabinets. There are 2 main benefits to the tour: Read more

Let Your Life In!

knockingondoorKnock Knock…
Who's there?
Your life… let me in!

Lamenting how you'd like to have more room for your life? Perhaps you'd like to entertain spontaneously or actually enjoy a weekend without thinking about how much you need to get organized or even find everything you want with out frustration. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Catalog by catalog and shoe by shoe, your clutter is stealing your space from you. Want to let your life back in? Then lighten your load!

When you're trying to trim your stuff, instead of thinking of it as "letting your things go", think of it as "letting your life in".

With every square foot of stuff you move out, there is the possibility for more breathing room. You'll have easier access to the things you really love and efficient use of the things you need.

Space-tacularly,
Erica

Organizing Collections

collectionLast Thursday morning I was on Martha Stewart Radio sharing tips for organizing collections. So I thought I'd share some tips on that topic today.

I'm always trying to get inside the mind of the collector and what I often hear from them is that that being a collector defines who they are… they are Collectors. Which I find fascinating as I'm not much of a collector myself (big shocker). Their collections tell stories of not only the history of the item itself but also of the experience of acquiring it. Read more

Buried in Business Cards?

11265.jpgDig yourself out with these solutions:

· Pick up a few business card boxes from an office supply store. If you've got a knack for remembering names then organize alphabetically, otherwise organize by the event or place you would associate the contact with such as "Betty's Business BBQ" on 7/26/08. Use one box for personal contacts, one for professional, and one for lifestyle. Each box usually comes with dividers. Read more

Space Treat: Mountains of Mail

mailSo you're off to the beach, the mountains or wherever your Summer travels take you. When you get home, guess what will be "not-so-quietly" waiting for you… your mail! As you snap scenic shots, surf the waves and hike the trails, your mail will be multiplying like rabbits.

Before you go away, look at your calendar and actually schedule in time for the week you return to immediately deal with the backlog of mail that will have mounted. For example, plan to focus on it for an hour while you're doing the vacation mail lurking what a relief it will be to know that you've already padded your week with extra time to deal with it.

If you've already incorporated some of my tips from earlier this year and are receiving most of your mail electronically, then the above scenario applies to your email. At least you won't have to do as much shredding.

Space-tacularly,
Erica

Space Treat: Crammed Desk?

123026-deskOften when organizing clients’ desks I discover that although they have all the appropriate supplies like staplers, scissors, post-its, pens, files, a shredder, paper clips, etc., they are still missing one of the key elements – more surface space.

Once you fill a desk-top with your computer, a few papers and a few files (or piles) there often isn’t enough space left for spreading out, doing work and processing papers. Surface space at your desk is actually one of the most important components for functioning efficiently. So, if you’re struggling at your desk, the solution may be just as simple as getting a longer desk!