Spring brings Freshness & New Birth!

spring4Our weather here in the DMV (DC, MD, VA) has been a mixed bag since our season has changed from Winter to Spring. We went from Winter (very Cold!) to Summer (very Hot!) or as it seems.  No really from 40 degrees to 80, almost overnight! But normally when you think of Spring, it’s a period of refreshing.  The trees are blossoming, the birds are singing and there is a slight breezy chill in the air.

So what does Spring has to do with Order and Organizing?

Many of us think of Spring Cleaning during this time of year.  The house has been closed up, families have spent most of their time indoors and it is now time to open up the house and let the air in. Cleaning can be considered phase one of organizing, but cleaning and organizing are technically two different things.  In my opinion, cleaning is to remove dust and dirt, but organizing is to remove clutter and disorder.

As you begin to freshen up the house, consider phase two of the process.  Once you have cleaned all the windows, washed the window sills and scrubbed the baseboards, then it’s time to sort through the winter clothes, purge and put them away.  Move through the Spring and Summer wear, sort, give away and get ready for the New Birth! Shed off the old, and put on the new.

We are almost halfway through the 3th month of the year already.  Assess your progress as it pertains to your objectives & goals for 2016.  Do an attitude check… what is your temperature?  Are you still in the coldness of the Chaos of your past or have you given Birth to the warmth of your future? Peace and Order are so critical to our well-being.  Take a moment to see where you are, so that your Steps may be Ordered to the next level…

Your Season of Refreshing & New Birth has Sprung!!

10wallpaper.com

10wallpaper.com

Why do we HIDE our mail?

My guest blogger today is Jane Campbell.  Jane is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.  Jane has many callings: writer, professional organizer, a representative for a cabinet organizing product, ShelfGenie and a lifelong student of psychology.  She is guided by the principle that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.  Jane loves all things that  make homes safer, more efficient and more hospitable.  She is going to help us better understand  “Why we HIDE our mail?”  

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Are you one of those folks who hide mail in a bag, until the time “when you can get to it?”

Speaking as a professional organizer who has decluttered an 11-room house whose floor was pretty much carpeted with papers, I must warn you that that can be a slippery slope.

The “paperless society” never got here. Paper–much of which still comes to us through snail mail–seems to be a law unto itself. Some Catch-22’s from that law:

1) The more you ignore what comes in the mail, the faster it can come.

For example, if you try to ignore the bills that come to you in the mail, more and more bills will only get sent.

2) The longer you wait to deal with the mail, the more useless some of that paper will become.

For example, if someone mails you a check, and you don’t cash it by the “cash by” date on the check, you may never get your money. Also, if your bank has made an error and you don’t correct it within 60 days, they don’t have to let you correct it.

3) That time “when you can get to it” is either now, or never.

The mail has a lot in common with bananas. Would you put bananas in a bag and let them sit for a month? Not if you value your sense of smell.

I have a client named John. The other day I said this to John: “Old John used to put things in a pile without a specific plan to go back through it, at a specific time. New John has better habits than that.” John agreed.

Some habits I’ve suggested to John:

“Wash and iron” the mail. Open each envelope and throw the envelope in recycling. Straighten out the pages. If there is more than one page, and you can’t put it all in recycling right away, staple all the pages together. E pluribus unum. Move on to the next envelope and repeat this process until all the mail is out of the envelopes and all the envelopes are in recycling. Put the mail into a neat stack.

At this point, you might get interrupted. If you can possibly leave the mail in a neat stack before you attend to the interruption, please do so.

Go through the stack of mail as soon as you can get back to it. One thing may leap out at you as being the most important thing to deal with right now. Deal with that thing. You may feel you can put off dealing with the whole stack right now. Maybe you can. But, 1) try to go through the whole stack before you make this judgment, and 2) come back to the stack as soon as you can, within 24 hours at the most. Keep coming back to the stack, and keep dealing with the most urgent thing. When something has been dealt with, put it somewhere else. File it, if you must. Now you can safely put it in a bag, if you must. Put it in recycling, if you possibly can.

Follow these simple procedures, and you’ll start to feel better about things in bags . .

I hope that you enjoyed and found this information helpful!

A Special Thanks to you, Jane, and we hope that you will come back and visit with us again!

“Creating a Living Space” – Step 2.5 – Purging and Organizing

Here is the latest episode of our “This is How we Do It’ video series, entitled “Creating a Living Space”.

As you will see, we are turning the bar area into her dresser/vanity.  Therefore, we will be looking for organizers similar to these for her makeup and jewelry.

Google search

Google search

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Container Store

Please Watch & Enjoy!

… and let us know what you think.

“Creating a Living Space” – Step 2 – Purging (sorta)….

Today, we are going to focus on “Creating a Living Space”, step 2, which is purging!  We need to get rid of the things that we don’t need. Touch each item and make a quick decision!!

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Please take a look at this week’s video and tell us what you think…

Introducing “This is How we Do it!! ” – A New Organizing Video Series

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! The moment that we all have been waiting for… the first video in the “This is How we Do it” series!!

We, at “Order Your Steps” hope that these “how to” videos will help you to get your House in Order… We will show you from start to finish, how to create new, uncluttered; organized living spaces in your home.

** I apologize for the volume, but the best part is the music. So please hang in there.**

Hope you Enjoy!!

We welcome your comments & questions….

Making a House a Home!

As a professional organizer, the Lord has given me a mission.  My assignment is to re-ignite my client’s interest into putting their house back in Order.  It is most rewarding to see the organizing process create a chain reaction.  

Usually during our initial in-home consultation, the client’s main concern is “Can you really help me to put my house back in order?  I’ve tried over and over again, but it is just too overwhelming!”  I must admit that when I tell them that “This is very doable!”, there is both doubt and relief in their faces...

30549335_sWe usually start in the bedroom and when the organizing is complete, they begin to see a little light at the end of the tunnel.  My first suggestion/homework assignment is that they make up their bed every morning… and then the links of the chain start to connect. Their house begins to transform.  They want to put new linen on the bed and put up curtains.  They may want to hang pictures or even paint.

It’s truly amazing!! Their enthusiasm is back and the Order is returning to their lives…. I don’t mind working myself out of a job.  It makes my heart glad to know that I was able to help my clients to make their cluttered house, a house in orderA Home!  

Truly a Blessing!

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The Husbands Are Just Not Buying It!

19636668_sSince the beginning of the year, I have received calls from potential clients that were looking for professional organizing assistance.  I truly understand what it takes for a woman (primarily) to decide that she just can not do it on her own.  The clutter and disorder has become overwhelming. Unfortunately, once we have had a discussion, they have to pass it by their husbands and the husbands are just not buying it!  

It is very difficult to explain that organizing is not simply cleaning.  So typically, the husbands feel that the wives should be able to just clean up the mess and be done with it.  But unfortunately, it is just not that easy.  As we shared in my post, The Pyschology of Clutter, —clutter can affect our relationships, our health, and our ability to enjoy life. Clutter can also create a sense of hopelessness, and can even contribute to depression and other mood disorders*.  In all fairness, some women don’t realize the impact that clutter and disorder has on our lives either.

May I suggest to men & women alike, please allow us the opportunity to come into the home and discuss professional organizing and the services that we provide. Our initial assessment is FREE!  But, believe it or not, it is a LOT more than just about the money$$$.  It is about peace, order and well-being in the home.  I truly believe that you will not only be able to see the difference, but you will be able to FEEL the difference.  The results will be well worth the investment!

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*http://healing.answers.com/emotional-health/getting-organized-for-optimal-health