Category Archives: time management

The Cost of Clutter
Clutter Awareness Week 2017

Every year at this time Clutter Awareness Week reminds us that life can be better.  Better without all the things in our way.  Better without things holding us back.  Better without CLUTTER!

But what are all these unused, not needed, piles costing us.  There is the emotional weight of not finding what’s important because of the indecision of letting go.  Also, it is important to consider the monetary expense we have in keeping clutter our homes.  

By dividing the cost of your home by the square footage, we come up with a cost per foot of space in the home.  Should that be $95 per sq foot and the garage is full, hundreds of dollars are wasted in the home.

Procrastination and clutter often go together.  This week is the time to get  a jump on “Spring Cleaning/Organizing” and start attacking that clutter.  Stop paying for keeping the unwanted past and make room for your desired future.

Making Room for 2017

Every year we make resolutions to make more time for family, business, and ourselves.  Each year we promise we will get more organized in the new year.  This is why January is National Get Organized Month.

Happily, I am ahead of the game.  For the first time, I took all Christmas decorations down within days of Christmas.  Yesterday, I created my 2017 file folders.  That never takes too long, but in the past I have always procrastinated until well after first of the year.

It is amazing how much better I feel; prepared for a successful 2017!  It really is true, getting rid of excess makes room for future.  Not just in physical space, but in your mind as well.  The tree is down, and makes my home seem bigger.  Files for 2016 are boxed and ready for storage and new files ready for action.  

Next week is busy with clients, but I am ready for busy year and look forward to more time for myself. If you are ready for a change in 2017, don’t wait.  Start meeting your goals today.

 

Moving is perfect time to organize

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A new home makes life a little more busy.  The “to-do” list usually becomes an activity booklet. But work, family responsibilities, other commitments have not slowed; and you still need to find the moving company and get everything packed and purged.

During the packing process boxes should be labeled to the new house destination.  This makes unpacking much easier.

The unpack is the time to think about how to be more organized.  Keep things where they will be used.  Sort by category and in closets use uniform hangers.  Everything will hang at the same level and clothes will not be playing hide and seek.

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Utilize walls for vertical storage.  Such as for ties and belts in closets, or pots and pans in the pantry.

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Should you need storage in a garage or basement, line a wall with shelves.  While I love the beauty of stylish design and architecture, there is something appealing about a wall of metro shelves organized into zones.  Slat wall or peg board is a fun way to organized a work space.

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And the best and most important moving tip, edit before you pack the old house.  There is so much that is hiding in our homes that is no longer important.  With the clutter gone, all that is left to organize is what will enhance your new home and life.

Organize Time, Don’t Hoard the Clock

Time is one of life’s most precious commodities.  We never have enough for family and friends. It seems work and project deadlines are always upon us; who reading this has too vacations that are too long?

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Recently a friend , not an organizing colleague but a professional in another field, was sharing an experience of working with a hoarder. “She kept me waiting for an hour, another time she was still asleep the when I arrived” he said.  I explained that hoarding not only happen with collections of “stuff”, but it also can occur with time.  A time hoarder is someone that is trying to “do it all, not just keep it all”.

Dicitionary.com defines Hoard as a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc.  Saying “yes” to every opportunity, not being able to “edit” your schedule can make your free time disappear.

Schedule work and play activities, check the calendar before making commitments, and most importantly do not be afraid to say “no” or “not now”.  You will be surprised how quickly the clutter of your minutes become pleasant organized hours.

Diary of a Move
from city to village

Long time clients recently moved to the east end of Long Island.  In her blog, MyFoodVoice.me, Louise shares the story of their transition and gives insightful lessons for letting go.  She relates the difficulty of moving across country and the weight possessions have when holding onto things only because of the memories they carry.

Louise loves cooking and has become a talented knitter and needlepoint artist.  Her husband is an avid gardener, grill master and enjoys his well organized garage.  They truly understand the benefits of an organized life.

IMG_2389Our paths first crossed in 2007 when interior designer Connie McCreight contacted me to assist with the organizing needs related to their Los Angeles home remodel.  Since then, my team has enjoyed working on the first move to their second vacation home, then later when they decided to make the east coast their permanent home.  Along the way, we have helped with other projects including decorating for Christmas.

I left LA for Knoxville just before the move was to start, but colleagues John Trosko and Ros Lakomy took over the California end of the final move.  When I joined the team for the unpack in New York, it was a “working” reunion for clients, organizers and designers.

After reading “The Art of Moving – Letting Go and Embracing Change” check out the rest of the blog for delicious recipes and tips for food buying and entertaining.  I did mention she is a talented cook?

Thank you for sharing your story Louise.  Many will benefit from your moving experience.

 

Tailgating Starts in a Organized Home

Football season is here (what happened to the summer?)!  That means fans from Neyland Stadium to the Rose Bowl are ready for Tailgate Parties.  Menus need planning,  supplies will be bought, but is your home field organized?

Here are some simple tips for successful Tailgating season:

1.  Team effort – get family involved and delegate tasks.
2.  Home field advantage – clean out and organized the refrigerator and pantry.

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3.  The field house (garage) – have space in garage to keep dry goods stored for each weeks game – paper goods, coolers, folding chairs, etc.

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4.  The pre-game Stadium (your car) – get that trunk cleared out and find containers that can go from garage to trunk for quick set-ups.

With just a little planning the Vols will not be the only ones running through the “T” this tailgating season.

Clear Your Clutter, Help A Cause – KARM

You have started the process of having an organized home.  Good and tough decisions have been made and you are ready to let go of the past, but what can you do with that unwanted stuff?

DSCN0331Donate unwanted, unused items that are in good condition to your favorite charity.  In Knoxville, a great place to consider is KARM – KnoxvilleArea Rescue Ministries.  Over 18 thrift stores in east Tennessee will turn your clutter in to treasures for the homeless in our area. They offering pick up services, even for businesses.

Don’t let your clutter stay piled up in the garage, get it out of the house.  And remember, this is a process.  In a few months do a quick check around the house and see what is in your way.

Keep it organized!

Elements for an Organized Closet

Sure there are basic things every closet should have…uniform hangers are the first to come to mind.  But there are other elements that will keep clutter under control.

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Belt Hooks – placed on end panel or side of closet
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Tie Rack – on an open wall space (ties sorted by color)

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Waste Basket and Laundry Hamper – will keep dirty laundry together and give place for waste from pockets at end of the day
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Velvet Lined Jewelry Drawers – necklaces can get tangled in a box and other jewelry is quick to find when organized
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Valet Rods – allows the next days wardrobe to be prepared early

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Many times these elements can be added to an existing closet.  If not, the principles discussed can still be included when organizing your space.  Getting organized is not about “things” as it is the way we think.

Keep your clutter under control and your closet can be your favorite boutique.

note:  this closet was organized by Knoxville organizing firm Well-Kept Spaces and designed by east Tennessee’s Closets by McKenry.

Knoxville’s Professional Organizer
for Your Well-Kept Spaces

Well-Kept Spaces comes to Knoxville with 15 years experience organizing homes and being a leader in the professional organizing industry.  While in Los Angeles Chris McKenry was president of the LA chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). During that time he created the Los Angeles Organizing Awards and served on the national board of NAPO.Featured imageNow we are thrilled to return to Knoxville with a new name and a new sister business, Closets by McKenry – for custom closet & garage design.  Recently we work with a client of Interior Designer Todd Richesin.  The beautiful new home was nearing completion and Todd turned to Well-Kept Spaces to unpack and organize the new home for the family.  We even helped plan this beautiful play area for the kids.  Notice the cut-out containers in the desk top for crayons and even the seats are storage bins.

 

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Professional organizers never forget labels.  When using beautiful baskets, gift tags can help identify contents in the gift wrap closet.

To see our “brag book”, as one client called it, click here.  It might give you an idea for your Well-Kept Spaces.

Organized Entertaining

Often when entertaining it seems that “four letter” words include host and work.  An organized event can mean fun for all, especially you!  With the holidays here, these simple tips should make entertaining fun for everyone.

Create an event journal for each occasion.  Include the guest lists, menu, shopping list, tasks to delegate and check list of activities leading up to the party.  Start in the pantry and clear all out of date foods.  Organize into categories – think of it as your personal market.  Then once the menu is planned, inventory can be taken to create your shopping list.

Plan “concierge area” for over night guests.  Most likely this would be the laundry room.  Show guests where supplies are kept and invite them to make themselves at home,  This way you will not feel like an overworked housekeeper.

Find ways to expand the entertaining area.  If weather permits, add gas heaters outdoors and add lighting.

Prepare as much food ahead as possible and set the table a couple days ahead.  Don’t be afraid to delegate,  Guests want to help…they just need direction.

Food, friends, and organization…a combination for happiest of holidays.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving…