There is a new $.07 cent bag tax being implemented in 12 major US cities. We Chicagoans will have to adjust to bringing our own bags to any retail store, especially to the local grocery market where we’ll need them the most. “The Checkout Bag Tax is imposed on the retail sale or use of checkout bags in Chicago” (see link).
We may have a difficult time remembering to bring reusable shopping bags or get frustrated with the added cost, however, this new policy will force us to find new sources for our bags. It will be time to make use of the trusted reusable shopping bag. I recommend having them accessible by leaving them in your car or keep a small folded type bag in your purse.The benefit will be that those piles of plastic bags we own will finally be significantly reduced. There will no longer be piles of plastic bags that fill an entire kitchen cabinet. The opportunity to get rid of this bag hoarding habit will now make way for something practical or essential like pots and pans. We’ll have extra space on a shelf or in the pantry.
If you still find yourself overwhelmed by the overflow of bags in your kitchen, consider reducing them to only a handful and put them in a bin of their own. Get creative and make a dispenser, placing them in your pantry, a shelf or cabinet to store them in.
When you finish putting away your groceries, don’t just ball them up, instead, roll them up neatly so you have more room. I do this and it only takes me 5 seconds, tops. Consolidate all your paper and plastic bags, and put a lid on the mess.
I like most IKEA products for the kitchen. Their stylish and unique designs are practical and function well for containing anything.
Walk-in closets are wide open spaces with shelves, extra hanging rods for clothes and lots of drawers. They can be customized to your specific needs. For the most part walk-in closets are a must have in any new development and condo. People seek out the closet and they can even be a deal-breaker when purchasing a new home. Having a walk-in closet in your home makes you feel great. It feels luxurious. Its a sign of social status and means you have “it” together. Yes! You made it baby!
If you enjoy spending a LOT of time in your closet and use it as a luxurious fashionista’s dressing room it will function for you just great. You will benefit for having it in your home. But for most people I meet and work with, I find walk-in closets overrated.
I have come to learn from my experience as a professional organizer helping many individuals to de-clutter and organize their closet, that this kind of space doesn’t necessarily mean they gain extra square footage. I’ve discovered that in many homes, one can actually lose sight of how to use the master closet properly. The open space in the middle of the closet is mostly unused. In fact, if not used correctly, it can even be detrimental to your closet organization. People will use this middle space to dump everything and create an avalanche of clothes or shoes. They find themselves buried under their piles and become so overwhelmed that they need help straightening it all out.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like the fact that these closets are open and spacious and created with the lifestyle of the modern man and women in mind. Having a walk-in closet is an obvious solution to can keep your clothes in order and tucked away from sight. Its a place to access what you need and the place to dress for success. However, it takes effort, will power and discipline to keep that open space free and clear of clutter. What should you do if you have such a room?
First, make sure you are keeping only those clothes you love and use often
Keep clothes that fit and donate clothes that don’t fit properly.
Limit the kind of clothes you are holding on to for special occasions, like the tuxedo or evening gown for a formal event.
Use the best hangers to make clothes look uniform and tidy.
Designate a spot for the hamper and don’t let it overflow.
Do your laundry. fold, hang up and put clothes back in their place.
Remind yourself just because you see an open space it doesn’t mean you have to fill it up with more.
Stick to the boundaries of this room. If you need more space then consider adding a piece of storage to accommodate everything else
Hire a professional organizer to help you.
In the end, ask yourself. “How much do you need to own to make you happy?” Realize you have chosen to live in a home with this kind of closet. Its a closet filled with clothes, keepsakes and other wanted items. How cool is that? Yes, that’s cool! Why not be thankful for that. Then ask yourself how much do you own that makes you feel overwhelmed?
The realtor gave the best compliment ever. Said how “our work staging this home was a crucial part to selling the home in a day”. Sometimes the results are the best testimonials. I’m so happy to be able to help our clients make their dreams come true.
Does your closet look something like this? You have piles of off season clothes everywhere. Tags are still on the clothes you just bought. You can’t find the cute little black dress you love to wear. Bottles and jars of hair products are mixed in with purses and bags. You’re just overwhelmed and stressed out looking at your closet. You don’t know where to start nor what to do, but know that there must be a better way.
Rediscover some peace and order so you can get ready for the day in an easy and stress free environment. Get energized and feel good about yourself in the morning when you dress up to look your most fabulous self.
Meet a “closet whisperer” and have your untamed closet transformed. Elizabeth “Lulu” Miranda; owner of Mercury Organizing Professionals has been putting the wow factor in people’s homes for over 10 years. Call today for an assessment and see if you qualify for the last 4 spots in November.
Fall Organizing Special – 2016 *
Small closet = $215 (3ft up to 5ft) Medium closet = $265 (6ft up to 8ft) Large closet = $325 (9ft up to 12ft)
*Restrictions apply. An assessment is required to qualify.
Call Elizabeth “Lulu” Mercury Organizing Professionals / www.mop-ds.com / 312-804-2111
“Getting organized” is not the opposite of “Going with the Flow”. Its NOT an oxymoron. It is because you are organized that you can take the leap of faith and accept the “Flow” more easily.
The saying “I’m going with the flow” is something you may say when you are unsure of the right actions to take.
“No matter how much structure we create in our lives, no matter how many good habits we build, there will always be things that we cannot control — and if we let them, these things can be a huge source of anger, frustration and stress. What is going with the flow? It’s rolling with the punches. It’s accepting change without getting angry or frustrated. It’s taking what life gives you, rather than trying to mold life to be exactly as you want it to be”.ZenHabits
But what if you have obstacles or can’t think clearly? How do you know what you feel or think? How does one go with the flow when you don’t like the way things a “flowing”?
Did you know…?
Reports created by the National Soap and Detergent Association state that getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 percent of housework.
1 in 11 American households rent a self-storage space and spend over $1,000 a year in rent.
It is reported by the U.S. Department of Energy that 25% of people with two-car garages fill it with too much stuff that they can’t park a car inside.
According to Harris research firm, 23% of adults pay bills late and incur fees because they can’t find their bills.
The average individual gets 49,060 pieces of mail in a lifetime, one third of it is junk mail.
Dealing with paperwork is thebiggest burden for small businesses.
These are only a few obstacles that block the “Flow” in your life and create in you an overwhelming feeling. These obstructions will clutter your mind with worry or disappointment.
Try an organizing perspective. Take the time to assess your situation. Identify the problem areas. Clearing out your clutter in your home or office will create the right frame of mind for better decision making.
What’s the top motivator to get organized?
While stress and suffering consequences are major motivators they’re surprisingly NOT the top reason people start organizing. Instead, its the decision to host a special event at one’s home motivates a person to take charge of their clutter. We recommend to take charge sooner then later. Don’t wait to be pressed to do it. Doing something everyday is empowering and helps you feel more confident to go with the “Flow” for the right reasons.
What does your environment say about where you are in your life? Look around and be aware. Does it match who you are or who you want to be?
This is the time you can press the RESET button on your life. Adjust anything that needs alignment to your goals and vision.
Don’t judge yourself or others in this process. Aim not for perfection, but rather improvement of any space or situation in your life.
I invite you to start now and take the Organizing Challenge. This is where you will tackle a part of your home or office. You will clear out clutter, donate unwanted items and start to put in place anything you honor or value.
ADHD or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurobiological condition. The in-ability to focus and to complete tasks is one of the ways it manifests. As a professional organizer, I help individuals de-clutter their homes and offices and organize their spaces with new systems.
In addition, I am co-hosting a support group for parents with children with ADHD. Each month, for the past two years, we bring professionals to the group who can speak on ADHD and provide useful information to help their children manage ADHD challenges. Parents learn form each other, gain useful knowledge and find new resources from visiting professionals.
Some common symptoms and problems of living with ADHD include:
Poor attention; excessive distractibility
Physical restlessness or hyperactivity
Excessive impulsivity; saying or doing things without thinking
Excessive and chronic procrastination
Difficulty getting started on tasks
Difficulty completing tasks
Frequently losing things
Poor organization, planning, and time management skills
If you think you have ADHD seek out a qualified mental health care professional to diagnose you properly. They will correctly guide you to resources and provide helpful strategies to help you manage your symptoms. Psychologist suggest these helpful strategies for people ADHD.
#1. Create solid daily routines.
#2. Don’t overwork yourself and create downtime.
#3. Create a calm and harmonious living or working space.
Disorganization causes stress, lack of focus, missed appointments, but are you also causing physical pain the way you are working at your desk?
When we research the words Ergonomics and Ergonomic we discover the dictionary description.
The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace,
intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator
fatigue and discomfort.
1. of or relating to ergonomics
2. designed to minimize physical effort and discomfort, and
hence maximize efficiency.
What does this mean for you in your every day working life? why is it important to consider its affects on you? Creating an ergonomic healthy environment will help you stay healthy, save energy and become more focused and productive.
Poor ergonomics leads to frustrated and fatigued workers that don’t do their best work. To prevent injury, we often read in health articles or listen to our Chiropractor telling us to sit up straight especially when working at your desk more then 8 hours a day. Moving away from your desk and excercising to help circulate blood flow are also helpful techiniques to prevent carpel tunnel syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
“Adapting tasks, work stations, tools, and equipment to fit the worker can help reduce physical stress on a worker’s body and eliminate many potentially serious, disabling work- related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).”
How does it work?
Ergonomics improves productivity. The best ergonomic solutions will often improve productivity by designing a job to allow for good posture, and less exertion.
Returning to a natural state of health. With less attention to any physical pain, attention gets redirected on the task at hand and productivity.
Clients working with us receive 10% off at the “Relax The Back” Store in Chicago. Contact us to help you set up your office.
“Letting go” for any reason can be easy for some and not so easy for others. When it comes to organizing it could be the one thing that is holding you back from feeling more harmony in your home or be more productive in your work.
I encourage a person to let go of only those items in their space that they no longer need, love or find useful in their lives.
People sometimes hold on only because they don’t know what to do with their “stuff” and feel guilt or feel irresponsible if they throw them out of their lives. If you find this being true for you and acknowledge you don’t need, like, love something you own and don’t know what to do with “your stuff”, then we encourage you to donate, and recycle responsibly. Don’t allow not knowing what to do with something to hold you back from creating the space you need for future goals. Letting go can make you feel empowered. Visit our list of useful resources to call and arrange a pick up of your de-cluttered donations.
The Song from Disney Pixar films is an encouraging song. Its motivating to own up to who you are and what you possess. Not be fearful. Inspiring you to take action and create a better place for yourself.
Has it ever happened to you that you couldn’t find something you use, whether at home or at work? Have you spent numerous hours looking for something you needed? Do you find yourself thinking …”you swear you knew where you left it last”? Or Do you discover your stuff in odd places? Living in a home with other people can cause aggravation even if only for organizational reasons.
We recently saw the movie “Enough Said” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini. Its a sweet movie (RIP Gandolfini). But that is another blog posting. For now I want to point out a part In this movie that sparked a thought. There is a scene at the end of the film where the couples are having dinner together at a friend’s home. A maid is working in the kitchen. The hostess (played by Toni Collette) finds a softball inside the kitchen drawer where the utensil are kept. What? Yea, everyone is asking what is it doing there? A conflict develops between the hostess and the maid. The woman is accusing the maid of not doing her job properly. Long story short, the maid gets fired. Only to find out later, that the friend (played by Juila Louis-Dreyfus) admits she put the softball in the drawer. Whoopsy! awkward!!
Here the friend (Collette) comes down to the wrong conclusion and wrongfully fires the maid. People often find themselves feeling so sure of themselves in occasions like this that they forget to analyze the circumstances.
First of all, its important to admit that the lost items are causing a problem. Frustration is felt by everyone. There is no clear sense of organization nor system in the home. There is no communication between the people occupying the home either. This usually happens when you are in the most need of the item or when you are in an absolute hurry and can’t afford the time to look for it. So, instead of blaming the maid or wrongfully accusing a spouse or child for taking it or not putting it away properly, try finding a reliable solution.
Having a system for your home is vital to keeping harmony. If you are scattered in your home then it is very likely you can’t find what you need when you need it. Getting organized can start by clearing out the clutter, then by creating a system where things should go.
Once your system is in place and all you need to do is maintain it, we find that a good solution for all this drama is to have a designated space, shelf, or bin, where a person can go to when they don’t have time to put an “object” away. That bin can be a delegated chore for someone in the household (spouse, kids, maid) to distribute the collected items and return them to their designated places. Let it fill up, empty it out and then start all over again. If what you are looking for isn’t in its proper place then the next likely place should be that bin. Problem solved and time saved = happy home!