Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WE ALL HAVE BAGGAGE, SO ORGANIZE IT!

I suppose it's difficult for me to wrap my head around living in a disorganized mess because my career exists because I help people do the opposite.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that the haste of life gets in the way...raising kids, school, work, maintaining relationships...but it doesn't take a lot to get organzed! Last week I helped a client prepare to move out of a house she's lived in for the last twenty years.  A busy, single mom, she didn't have the time or extra cash to hire help, so the odds and ends of day to day existence started to pile up.  Elementary school projects from her son formed the foundation for years of discarded memorabilia (he's graduating from NYU this summer), a potentially beautiful office is camouflaged by piles upon piles of clothes waiting to be donated and the garage hasn't hosted a vehicle since the home was built.  While I've been hired to help her sort through the last twenty years so she can make sense of the next twenty, my hope is that she will adopt some of my organizational tips so she'll never be overwhelmed again.  Lands End and LL Bean both sell great tote bags, monogrammed, for around $20 (www.landsend.com and www.llbean.com).  Totes make excellent, easily transportable, organized gems.  Here's how to go from blah to AHHHHHHH.
QUICK TIPS: Because you can monogram these totes, I like to designate certain tasks to each tote.  The one above says "Give" and hangs in an entry way, ready to grab old toys, clothes, etc.  Once it's full, grab it, toss it in your car and drop the contents at the nearest donation center.  If you have little ones running around your house, color-coordinate bags in your entry way, dedicated to each kid; Max gets blue, Jamie gets red, etc.  I like to have a dedicated Dry Cleaning bag (DryCl), Grocery (STORE), donations (GIVE) and my design tote complete with samples and other goodies (PhD).  That way as life piles up around me I know right where to toss it!