Category Archives: Travel

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.

 

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.

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.

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…

Cocktail Parties –
Organized, Free of Clutter, Fun for Host

Big Entertaining in Small Spaces

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Even a small galley kitchen doesn’t have to restrict the size and ease of entertaining.  By thinking ahead and being organized your party will be fun and easy. Plan your menu to include simple items that are prepared in advance or purchased ready to serve.

Table scaping  doesn’t need to be extravagant to give style and flair to your party.  Small bud vases with roses from the neighborhood grocery with contrasting color flowers in the center will draw attention to the hors d’oeuvres prepared for the evening.

 

 

cocktail party food 1Remove chairs from the side of the dining table that faces the guests. this makes it easier to get to the food. Organized refills before company arrives in the refrigerator and pantry so it is quick and simple to replenish serving plates as they empty.

Once guests arrive, place the second round of food to be warmed in the oven.  And be sure to trash or hide any containers so your guests will think you have been cooking all day.  It’s our secret!

 

 

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Set up drinks at the end of the kitchen nearest the dining area.  Make your guest feel at home and ask them to help themselves to their favorite dring.  This allows them to feel welcomed and allows you to enjoy your event.  Bag ice from your ice maker several days ahead and leave in freezer.  All needed throughout the evening is grabbing Ziplock, prepared ice for the bar.

Now see how easy a gathering of friends can be.  Make your quest list, plan a simple menu and set a date.  Let us know how it goes.

For more ideas for organizing your next party check out this month Get Organized Tips.

New LA Container Store Opens TODAY at Farmer’s Market

My friends at The Container Store gave a sneak preview Thursday and now everyone can see and shop! And 10 % of all sales this weekend goes to Step UP.
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Audrey Robertson, vice president, gave an exciting tour to bloggers, then that evening I shared a moment with two of my favoriate colleagues, Standolyn Robertson – past president of NAPO and Jodie Watson of Supreme Organization.

Now open, the newest Container Store is ready for Los Angeles’ organized – and unorganized – shoppers. See you at the Farmer’s Market!

When Industries Gather

Productivity and Organizing Professionals to Meet in San Diego 

The interior design industry has Westweek at the Pacific Design Center and the food industry meets each May in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association Show.  Next week business productivity professionals and organizing experts for people, residences, and chronic organizing challenges are heading to San Diego for the 23rd Annual NAPO Annual Conference and Organizing Exposition April 6 – 9.

Reshaping our Future

This year’s theme, Reshaping our Future, Riding the Waves of Change will be highlighted by keynote speakers Julie Morgenstern, Colette Carlson, and Lee Silber.  Over 30 workshops will cover such topics as hoarding, senior moves, tools for business, working with media, client expectations, scrapbooking and so much more.

showcase the latest in products

In the Organizing Exposition over 30 companies will showcase the latest in products and services for organizing homes and offices.   The NAPO Organizing Expo is open to the public for the first time on Thursday, April 7th, from 8 am – 11 am.  For only$25, you will experience some of the best tools available to organize your home and office, all at San Diego’s Town and Country Resort.

Visit www.napo.net for online registration

It’s not too late to attend the 2011 NAPO Organizing Conference if you are a professional organizer.  Visit www.napo.net for online registration.  Day passes are also available if attendance for all three days is not possible.

Tips for a Successful Business Conference:

1.  Have a good supply of business cards, but remember you make more of an impression by asking for other’s cards and then follow-up with a note or email.

2.  Let colleagues know your cell number before you arrive, it will make connecting much easier.

3.  Plan ahead and research area sites of interest to visit during down time.

4.  Keep your eye on name tags, best way to find information on areas of the industry you want to learn more about.

5.  When in a session, take notes and ask for contact info from others in the class.  Take notes on the back of business cards.  By knowing the session you met, and other pertinent information, future follow-up will be easy.

6.  Check friends travel schedules before leaving.  Money could be saved by sharing rides from airports and train stations.

Successful and dedicated entrepreneurs take advantage of business associations and the benefits they provide.  The National Association of Professional Organizers motivates members to achieve goals, provides training for the latest client solutions, and creates opportunities to network with peers from around the world.

Some businesses only look for referrals, but when industries gather it shows businesses are concerned with professional development – seeking to be the best they can be for their clients.  Whatever your industry, get involved and ride the waves of change to reshape your future.

Get It Together LA! will be in San Diego from April 4th – 10th for the NAPO Organizing Conference.  Phone and email messages will be returned within 24 hours during the NAPO Conference.

Photos by Dan Slutsky for the 2010 NAPO Conference

Garde Robe – A Personal Valet for Your Wardrobe

Garde Rob Luxury Service

If you have more couture than you have closet space, Garde Robe is at your service.  This luxury service started in New York and is now in southern California.    Not only do they provide storage for your garments in climate controlled facilities, a photographic inventory is created which is available online for clients making easy retrieval for what is needed.

Heading to your Sun Valley residence and don’t want to pack?  Let Garde Robe know what you need and the items will arrive to meet you cleaned and ready for a night on the town.

Store your out of season clothes

Check out their portfolio and visit their website at www.GardeRobeOnline.com.   This “white glove” service will give you more space by storing your out of season clothes, footwear and accessories.  While in their possession your garments will be inspected and even repaired if needed.

Frequent travelers, multiple home owners, and those who want their wardrobe to be in the best condition should check this service out.

Organized Travel for Summer

Elfreth's Alley

Elfreth's Alley

It’s summer and vacation time.  On a recent business trip to Philadelphia, I enjoyed a day to myself sight seeing the historic area of the city.  The week before I was working in the picturesque beach community of Newport  Beach in California featuring scenic views reminiscent of the Italian coast.  Now I was back in time at Elfreth’s Alley.  This neighborhood has the distinction of being the oldest residential community in our nation.  The homes have been occupied since the early 18th century.

As someone who appreciates colonial architecture, loves history, and is a professional organizer I can’t help but apprecite how our ancestors lived 250 years ago.  Then beauty was appreciated along with simplicity.  Walk-in closets, let alone most any closets, were not even in these homes.  It’s a good thing Costco was not around in 1776.

A few organizing tips for your next business/pleasure trip:

  1. Plan your time off.
  2. Research the city’s website before the trip.
  3. Keep travels to a limited area.
  4. Walk and take in the city.
  5. During lunch ask the wait staff what is not to be missed in the area.

Don’t forget to use a Travel Checklist to keep from forgetting power chargers, reservation information, and other essential needs.  For a complimentary checklist from Get It Together LA! click here and write Travel Checklist in the subject line.

Now enjoy your next trip.

Business Dreams Revealed at Conference

The National Associationof Professional Organizers (NAPO)  just completed their 21st annual conference and it was rejuvenating, inspiring, and motivating.  The theme was “Making Business Dreams Come True” and Orlando was the setting.

Lorie Marreo of The Clutter Diet and me at the NAPO Conference

Lorie Marreo of The Clutter Diet and me at the NAPO Conference

The education was only equalled by the networking with my peers.  Time spent in the hallways, at the lounge, or around a restaurant table was as beneficial as learning a new technology.

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EPCOT

The keynote by Scott McKain focused on the importance of making your business stand out from the competition.  He shared the principles outlined in his book Collapse of Distinction.  He encouraged us to live in the moment and not wait to enjoy the simple things in life; the ocean view, a mountain breeze or even just a clear sunset.  How fitting we stayed a extra day for down time and visit EPCOT.

If you have never attended a conference or convention for your business or industry I suggest you plan to check one out this year.  The investment just might help set you apart from others not sharing your dedication to professional excellence.  And take time to enjoy the journey.

Chris