How would you fare in a disaster?

Emergency_ButtonThe devastation wielded by Hurricane Harvey is massive. Our heart goes out to the hundreds of thousands of people who found themselves in unimaginable situations as more than four feet of water fell on Houston and other areas along the gulf coast. While the images are fresh in our minds, it’s important to identify lessons to be learned.

How could we prepare for events of similar magnitude?

Coincidentally, National Preparedness Month (NPM) is observed each September in the US. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NPM encourages people to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.

What Seniors Know About Staying Organized

Group of friendly seniors playing cards at leisure

In my years as a professional organizer I have heard a lot of wisdom from seniors on staying organized. They bring a lifetime of challenges and solutions when it comes to organizing. Here is some of that wisdom in their own words.

Identify what’s important to you. If there were a fire what would you grab? That’s one way of thinking about it. But on an everyday basis, look at what you use. What do you touch? That’s how I determine what is essential.

If the thing annoys you, get rid of it, or give it to someone who likes it.

Tackling Basement Clutter Like Wonder Woman

wonder woman

Sometimes it can feel like keeping your home organized takes superhuman strength. It can be especially hard to tackle places that you don’t frequent often, such as the basement. We often get into a habit of tossing anything that we don’t know what to do with into spaces like attics, basements and closets. But what happens when those spaces become cluttered and confusing? We made a list of steps Wonder Woman would take to minimize basement clutter. Don’t be afraid to try them.


1) Face your fears!

Top Realtor Gives Organizing and Decluttering Advice for Home Sellers 

Royal Hartwig

Royal Hartwig

Before selling your house there are some things realtors want you to do so your home shows well. Number one is organizing and decluttering. No one wants to walk into a messy house, especially potential buyers. How can organizing your house increase its appeal to potential buyers? We asked Royal Hartwig, president of Royal Family Real Estate LLC, with offices in Schaumburg, Palatine, and Crystal Lake, Ill., why it’s important for home sellers to keep their home organized before and during its time on the market. Royal has more than a dozen successful years experience selling real estate through national brand firms and now his own firm. He shows a lot of houses and has built a reputation for quick sales at a good price.

How Odd Couples Can Make Organizing Work

Organizing for CouplesYou’re an extrovert. He’s an introvert. You like parties. He likes to fish. To him, collectibles are treasures. You view them as clutter. He makes lists, you don’t. Being different can be better. It may create a balance that makes life fun and interesting. Think of the historic friendship between Thomas Jefferson, the laidback southerner and John Adams, the anxious northerner. They became allies around their passion for American Independence. Remember favorite TV couple Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and Neil Simon’s original Odd Couple, Felix and Oscar. What these friends and characters shared were common goals and a sense of humor. Sometimes that’s enough. Other times, especially when it comes to staying organized, odd couples may need a strategy.

Get Pesky Papers Under Control

Paper OrganizingPaper is unavoidably the No. 1 challenge for many people.  Mail, bills, subscriptions, newspapers, receipts, and important papers pile up in our homes and can be overwhelming. While digital clutter from email can at least be out of sight, paper is physically visible and in need of constant attention. There are often more documents coming in than anyone can feasibly handle, and many people tend to be “pilers” not “filers.” Tossing papers to the wayside leads to annoyance as it becomes difficult to find what you need. This is why a tailored organizing system for paper is crucial to maintaining your home or office.

Organizing Your Collectibles to Stand Out

collectibles image

Are your collectibles stashed in the basement, overshadowed by competing décor or haphazardly displayed in different areas of your home? It’s time to let them shine. Collectibles are a sure way to show your individuality. A collection highlights your passion and shares your interest. When displayed thoughtfully you and any visitors will appreciate their beauty and value. Here are some ideas for organizing your collectibles so they stand out.

Design elements

What’s the difference between collections and clutter? Design elements. A bunch of stuff thrown together may not look great. Decide what looks good together. Consider shapes, color, number (odd numbers look better in groupings), height (mix small and large pieces), weight, and texture.

Organize for Financial Well Being and Prosperity

Financial Well BeingIt’s no secret that finances are a source of stress for people and relationships. We asked financial author and speaker Ellen Rogin what role organizing plays in creating financial well being. Rogin is a CPA, Certified Financial Planner and co-author of the New York Times Best Seller “Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality.”

“Getting organized is a catalyst for creating prosperity and improving your financial well being,” explained Rogin. “Even in this paperless world, there is so much stuff. It’s about being discerning and organized about what you need to keep and what you can get rid of.”

A Professional Organizer’s Approach to Sharing Closet Space

Stuffed ClosetCloset organizing begins with an honest evaluation of how space is being used by whom. A professional organizer’s approach to sharing closet space starts with who the people are, what they value, what they own, and how much space is available. In this post I will share some of the closet organizing issues I encounter most often by people who share a closet.

Do You Really Need a Professional Organizer?

Take Our Quick Quiz to Find OutTake a Quick Quiz

If you are thinking about getting professional organizing help and wondering, “Why can’t I do this myself?, .. you’re in good company.  At first glance, organizing seems pretty easy – go through your clutter, sort it, donate it or dispose of it, then put what you have back in place.  Follow the ideas and rules you can find in magazines and websites and you are good to go –or maybe not?

For many people, organizing is NOT easy.  Organizing is NOT something they like.  They have tried many times but usually find their way back to the same cluttered, disorganized space they started with.