In 2019 I worked with a busy mom who was overwhelmed with transitioning her daughter’s old bedroom to a home office/art room. After talking about the space, I concluded that she needed to get rid of the bunk bed. As soon as she did, it opened up the room and created the momentum for her to keep going on her own.
Whether it’s a physical block like a room full of stuff or a mental block such as complete overwhelm, most clients start out feeling stuck. What I’ve learned in 10 years is that managing expectations is really important. Most people don’t realize how tiring the process of decluttering and organizing can be and oftentimes think they should be able to do it all by themselves. Either by showing them how to start the process or helping them declutter and create systems, clients see how organizing can be satisfying, uplifting, and not just a chore.
After a long history of working in offices, coordinating programs and providing customer support, it was time to stop sitting in front of a computer and start searching for my next path. In 2011 I discovered professional organizing. Wow, I could do that! Being a little cautious, I kept my part-time job and looked for organizing work on the side. In 2013 I realized that I needed to go for it. I quit my job and became a full-time professional organizer. It has been wonderful to see how right this path is. I enjoy using my superpower to help people release their clutter and make their spaces more manageable.
As of 2022 I’ve been a member of NAPO and working as a professional organizer for more than 10 years! It still gives me great pleasure to organize for my clients and be part of their lives. I still don’t like bugs or pairing navy and black socks.
In May 2019 I “retired” from my BNI Connect2Success group. Work, a home remodel and teenager occupied a lot of my time so I decided to let go of the networking aspect of my business. What did I learn in 2 years? I improved my way of creating relationships with other professionals and learned to refer my circle of people to them. I worked on my public speaking skills and now speak confidently about my business. Two thumbs up!
In 2017 I celebrated 5 years as a member of NAPO! This allows me to be part of the Golden Circle group. I look forward to bringing the knowledge I learn from my esteemed colleagues to my clients and broaden my business skills.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.
Volunteer positions include:
Event Coordinator, BNI Connect2Success Chapter, October 2018-May 2019
Mentor Coordinator, BNI Connect2Success Chapter, October 2017-September 2018
Co-editor of the NAPO-SFBA Chapter newsletter, Sept 2016-June 2018
Coordinator for the SFBA East Bay Neighborhood Meetings, Sept 2013-Sept 2014
2023 Spring: Hello!
Earth Day is coming on April 22nd! Check out recycling everything with Zero Waste boxes.
Life hacks from Kevin Kelly: When you’re beginning a writing project, give yourself permission to write badly. You can’t fix it until it’s down on paper.
Low on kitchen counter space? Pull out a drawer and put your cutting board on top of it.
“Do I Need This?” by Kate Schermerhorn, who lives in the Bay Area. A documentary on excess stuff and aging parents.
New TC Organizes services – collectible advising: using me to research items if they have value and then selling/donating them. Also, consulting prior and during a remodel to make sure all your items have a place to live after the remodel.
2022 Spring: Organizing conference takeaways
Best session: Navigating Widowhood by Julie Martella. Acknowledge the past. Make peace with the present.
Accepting the present only means that you acknowledge that the event happened. You don’t have to feel good about it.
If you can do the above, then you can see the future to create a life that has purpose and meaning. Help the person/yourself by visualizing what the future looks like. Use the phrase “What if…” For example, “What if you could do anything you wanted?”
Zero-waste session: Other words for recycling are “rehoming”, “reloving”, “giving it another life”, “sharing it forward”.
2021 Winter: Holiday edition
Ask the organizer: “Is your home always perfect and orderly?” Nope. I am a paper pile person, so every month or so, I have to go through and sort them – mostly they go in the recycle bin.
‘Designer Shares the Art of Displaying Collections’ by Marni Jameson. My favorite columnist talks with John Phifer Marrs about how to display your collections.
I joined The Keys Guild to learn how to become a collectibles advisor. Keep you posted on how that is going in future newsletters.
ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kohlberg & Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D. A client recommended this book. Check it out!
A tip from my dog: to get more petting time keep nose booping their hands and arms while they are playing on their cell phones.
2021 Summer: New Normal
Why is Mr. Clean Magic Eraser so magical?? Here’s the scoop.
Cure Closet Chaos by Marni Jameson article. A few tips are to remove everything, sort & keep what you like, make sure the layout fits what you have, and get all the same hangers.
A colleague’s take on how time management and organization are intertwined. Harold Taylor says, “Time management and organization work in tandem since disorganization wastes time. The major difference between organizing and time management from my perspective is that, in general, organizing deals mainly with things, and time management deals with activities that have a time dimension. Both are important, and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the two. I see organization as our passport to productivity, and time management as the vehicle that takes us there. Because it is impossible to manage your time effectively without first getting organized.”
2021 Spring brings hope and Earth Day tips
Terracycle recycles just about every thing! I highly encourage you to create your recycle zone
Disapproving corgis Facebook page for amusing comments about Corgi side-eye and attitude!
2020 Falling into the holidays
Short excerpt from June 2020 edition of O Magazine titled ‘How to Fear Less & Live More.’ The article explains that when we’re frightened we tend to distract ourselves with outward diversions rather than getting still and going inward as a more powerful tool to calm the mind. Using the five senses to notice our surroundings can help us stay present and handle ‘just this moment.’
Before disaster strikes, make sure you have these documents ready to go!
Dresser drawers crowded? Apply Marie Kondo’s t-shirt folding method to see each one and fit more than you can imagine.
2020 Summer: Staying the Course
Since many donation places are closed during shelter in place, what else can you do with your unwanted goods? You can sell or give them away on NextDoor, Facebook Marketplace and Letgo. FreeCycle and TrashNothing are great places to give away stuff too. These are all local sites, so it’s easy to have the item picked up.
Here is a recent article from Regina Lark, an organizer who specializes in helping people with chronic disorganization. Definitely worth a read if you tend to lose your keys and are frequently late – The Chronic-ness of Disorganization
2020 Spring: The New Normal
Ways to take care of yourself while sheltering-in-place from Kaiser Permanente: Improve your mood with exercise – 8 fitness tricks
Practice self-care with the help of apps and activities – resources for your mind and body
Talk to loved ones about how you’re feeling – mental health care
Whatever you are doing – balancing your child/children’s needs with working from home, tackling a space that drives you crazy, reading a book that has been on your list forever, or baking bread, embrace the process and let yourself appreciate this time in your life. The important thing to remember is that this too shall pass.
2019 Winter: Happy Holidays
Get Organized specials are here! See my website for more info.
Organizing story: Here is an article written by a mom-to-be of twins who wrote how an organizer helped before & after her move and how well the systems work now that the babies are born. I like how she got sock folding out of reading Marie Kondo’s book (mine was t-shirt folding) and “kaleidoscope of happiness”!
2019 Happy Halloween
From the book “Why I’m Still Married” come a few gems: “How to get over a fight? …We’re going to stay together, and more important than one of us being right is both of us feeling understood. And you can only apologize for what you did, not for the other person being upset.” Julia Alvarez, Third Time Around.
“Love is not two people looking at each other, but looking in the same direction.” Saint-Exupery quote from Liza Ireland, Preserved in Salt
Are your eyes changing as you age? Yes, they are! A few tips from the American Lighting Association website says to add more light sources in your task areas and to reduce glare by using dimmers, fabric shades or etched glass.
Advice from Mark Brunetz on how to let go of sentimental items that ran in Marni Jameson’s column – if you think “I might need that someday.” “Living your life for “one day” robs you of today,” says Brunetz. “We need to live in the present. When we project life into the past or the future, we eclipse the experience of the moment.”
2019 Late Summer
Our remodel has been keeping me busy. However, I’m never too busy to watch a video related to organizing! Check out Pete the Cat’s video
How to protect yourself from fraud/being hacked: use 2-step verification, use multiple forms of login in case you lose access via email, use a secure password saver (like Last Pass) and not the cloud, cover your camera on devices with a post-it or opaque tape.
2019 Summer: Changes
“WTF I Actually Learned From Hiring A Professional Organizer”. It is funny and informative for people who want to know how an organizer can help them. It’s from Cosmopolitan and you might not be surprised that there is swearing in it.
Recently I had a client ask me how long they should keep their business records. Here’s the link for that information from the IRS website. It’s also posted on my website Resources page along with individual paper keeping info.
“…organize as much as you need to…and no more.” Another great article from Hazel Thornton, an organizer in New Mexico. I enjoy her down-to-earth sensibility about organizing. Here is the full article. Enjoy!
2019 Happy New Year
Here’s a gem from Hazel Thornton, an organizer in NM, on how to emotionally detach from an item. Ask yourself: This item belongs in my past. It exists in my present as well, because I still have it… but does it belong in my future? Read more about it here.
“Want to Change an Important Habit?” I’ve started following author Gretchen Rubin, who published The Happiness Project in 2015. Take the Four Tendencies quiz here!
Reflections of 2018 and advice for decluttering and changing behaviors.
Create “The Out-Box” for items that you are considering getting rid of. Clean off a counter/surface while waiting for hot water to boil.
Don’t yell at your child when they are making you late; correct them at a quieter moment. Ask them what they need to remember 15 minutes before departure.
Great kitchen organizing tools
Get Organized for January offers. See the Services page for more info. Seasons greetings!
Defining “sandwich generation” and how to deal with extra stuff, how to repurpose special items into heirlooms, and decluttering yourself first to motivate family members.
Need help with disposing of unneeded items? Check out my Resources handout.
Languishing computer? Reformat the hard drive and then drop it off at the electronic waste recycling center!
Summer 2018 – Decluttering time!
Decluttering is hard because you are required to make hundreds, perhaps thousands, of decisions! Have a low bar of expectations. Tips on how to sort papers.
Too many books? Use the Friend, Acquaintance, Stranger method.
Traveling by car this summer? Pack like a pro from AAA.
Spring 2018 – Decluttering and Dinos. March 26th kicks off National Clutter Awareness Week. Learn why we keep things, how to decide what to keep and how to let unneeded items go.
Burdened with business cards? Check out camcard.com for an easy method to keep them stored on your electronic devices.
The Swedish Death Cleaning method is the latest trend in the organizing world. Read about the book here.
A recent visit to the Natural History Museum of Utah wows me with its dinosaur exhibit!
Winter 2017 – Still transitioning. Personal transitions include moving my father-in-law to California and finding “lost” treasures such as the “Who Moved My Cheese?” quote: “The biggest inhibitor to change lies within yourself, and that nothing gets better until you change.”
Tiny House Festival Feb 2-4, 2018 and see what is going on with this movement. This was cancelled, but it still is a growing topic especially in the Bay Area.
Watch out for phone scams asking for money – they are clever at figuring out information from you without realizing it. To find out more, click here.
Start your new year with my Get Organized Offers. Happy holidays to all!
Summer 2017 – Transitions. Need help with change? Breathe, talk to a friend, or have a good cry.
See cool microscope pictures of tears here.
Article about dealing with papers when you retire.
How do you decide what clothes to keep or go? See this blog post from 2 organizing gals!
5 years as a professional organizer reached!
Winter 2016 – Get Organized Month offer. “How to lighten your clutter load, Part 2, by Marni Jameson. Get the Garage Butler if you want help remembering to close your garage door. Check out my updated website! May 2017 be a wonderful year for you and yours.
Fall 2016 – “How to lighten your clutter load, Part 1” by Marni Jameson. Use a donation app to quantify and track your donations – trying out Donation Assistant by Tax Act. Protect your privacy article: http://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/66-ways-to-protect-your-privacy-right-now/. And last, but not least was an update on my washi tape collection: it has continued to grow and I really need to start making greeting cards!
April 2016 – Aloha spirit is alive and well by taking a relaxing break and letting yourself recharge. Clutter can be healthy and actually help the creative process and productivity (see the article here). Addicted to washi tape and how to stop impulse buying. Summer camp blues: keeping 11 weeks of information organized with a spreadsheet (ask me if you’re interested).
Jan 2016 – Unmet expectations meant I sent my holiday cards after Christmas, Predictions for the Year of the Monkey, Austin Kleon’s “Process is Messy”, and a blog about dreaming of your perfect basement: Cleaning Out The Basement. Offer for getting organized still available until January 31st!
Dec 2015 – Inspired by Kacy Paide to write a newsletter, “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon gives me marketing advice, use “Baby steps” to start an organizing project, and Get Organized in January offer – $100 for 2 hour session ($150 value).