Christmas Season Organization

GIFT WITH PURPOSE   While one of the main reasons for decluttering your home is to get a fresh start in your own space, it can also be of benefit to others. When reorganizing a space, there will be a lot of items that either are no longer needed, items to throw away or items to store in another location for future use. For some it is hard to let go of these items, but knowing that your items can be of use to other people can help ease the process. If a client invested a good amount of money into an item that they no longer need but are still having trouble letting go of it, we begin to discuss another beneficial use, such as donating it to a charity of the client’s choice. Not only does this help the client stick to their goal of cleansing their space, but it also gives them control of where this important personal item will move on to. I recently worked with a woman who had several bags of expensive clothes that she had outgrown over the years. Nice clothing is something that should definitely not go to waste. Donating her collection seemed like the best option and helped her to continue her organization process. I shared information with her about Faith House of Acadiana, a local donation center that not only takes donations of any type, but also provides housing and care for those who have suffered domestic violence. Knowing that the women in the shelter could receive this nice collection of clothing and would appreciate it most inspired our...

Back to the Basics of Outside Storage

Can you park two cars in your two car garage? How about one car in your two car garage? According to the U.S. Department of Energy 25% of homeowners polled with two-car garages, fill it with so much stuff, they can’t park even 1 car inside and 32% fit 1, but not 2 cars inside.  Have you also purchased one of those pre-fabricated storage sheds or have a  mini-storage to hold overflow storage? Don’t worry you are not alone! We recently worked with a client with a large family that moved into their home several years ago and didn’t have time to devote to organizing their detached garage. Like most of us, when they moved in they just put all the outside stuff in the garage. Over the years more and more things began to pile up until it became  impossible to access any area of the garage.  It was time to get back to the basics of outdoor storage.   Whether you are organizing inside or an outside storage shed, detached or attached garage the basic process is the same. Here’s the 5 step plan we used to organize this family’s garage: STEP 1 – PLAN We began by designing a plan for the space. Planning things out in advance turns chaos into control and is the most important part of any project. STEP 2 – EMPTY AREA & GROUP LIKE ITEMS We emptied contents from the space and grouped into like items. We created zones for large equipment (4 wheelers, riding mower, push mower, etc), Craftsman tool chests, non-powered tools (rakes, brooms, etc) and smaller items were grouped...

Organize for Student Success

Most back to school activity is focused on purchasing the correct supplies because it plays an important role in a student’s ability to successfully complete assignments.  And when the right tools are organized, contained, stored and put back it can make a major difference in a student’s effective use of time. The older the student the more complex managing time and responsibilities become so it’s never too early (or too late) to get students practicing good organizational habits. It can be considered a foundation for a productive life long after school and into their careers and home life. Parents can set a good example of an organized home life by implementing systems to manage parental paperwork, coordination of activities and smart time management. Although systems for organization have some common components, there are some differences between elementary, high school, college students and parental needs.  Here are some tips and techniques for everyone to stay organized, experience less stress and have a successful school year. Elementary School Students Some of us are naturally inclined to order and organization, but most of us must be taught! Providing strategies in the early years can help ease the transition to school.  Without these strategies the simplest of tasks can baffle a disorganized student. They have a hard time keeping track of their materials and using their time efficiently. These students tend to have messy desks and repeatedly forget their homework. Try these tips: Set up and Stick to a Routine. Establishing a daily routine will help disorganized students feel less frustrated and give them a sense of structure. Provide students with a class schedule...

3 Steps to Less Stress

Stress makes us sick! According to the Center for Disease Control, 80% of medical expenditures are stress related. Stress related illnesses cost the nation $300 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity. Those are staggering statistics! Many of us feel overwhelmed by all the things we feel we need to get done. This causes anxiety and stress. Do you have endless to-do lists and feel like you are running around in circles without getting much accomplished? Most of my clients lead very busy lives. They have demanding work schedules and spend a great deal of time coordinating family member’s schedules. Technology keeps us tethered to our jobs way beyond the normal workday. Multitasking between work, children and aging parents has become the norm. We are trying to solve several different problems at one time. It was noted by the University of Michigan that multitasking decreases productivity by 20-40% more than those who focus on one thing at a time. The time lost switching among tasks increases the complexity of the those tasks. The truth is we put ourselves at risk for stress related illnesses when we are juggling and get overwhelmed. One way to have less stress is by having an organized home and office space along with a place for everything and a system to reduce paper and other items. This saves time, money and provides a structure that eliminates worry and fear. Generally people have a desire to be more organized. They realize that their quality of life could improve and they could spend more time with family when their house and work space is...

Are You Paying for a Storage Unit Each Month?

Reducing clutter from your life might seem like a no-brainer, but many consumers invest in storage facilities believe that the contents will lead to savings in the future. According to the Self Storage Association, approximately 7.0 sq. ft. of self storage space exists for every person in the nation and that “it is physically possible that every American could stand – all at the same time – under the total canopy of self-storage roofing.”  The self storage industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the US commercial real estate industry over the period of the last 40 years There are more than 48,500 self storage facilities in the US as of 2014 8.96% of all American households currently rent a self storage unit (10.85 million of the 113.3 million US households in 2013) Total self storage rentable space in the US is just above 2.3 billion square feet. That figure represents more than 78 square miles of rentable self storage space or an area approximately twice the size of Lafayette. The common misconception is that by storing old furniture, clothing and other belongings, you can save money by not having to repurchase these items when/if you need them in the future. Unlike storing extra belongings in your garage, keeping units at storage facilities cost money. Storage unit prices are determined based on the size of the unit, the location of the storage facility and other special storage unit features. Prices can become very costly per month: Small storage unit (5 ft. x 5 ft.): $55 Medium storage unit (10 ft. x 10 ft.): $125 Large storage unit (20...

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