Organizing Small Spaces. Its not a one size fits all type of solution.

MOP_BLOG_Graphic_smallspacesAs a professional organizer, I research ideas for organizing all the time and what I discovered is that organizing tips can feel trendy and inappropriate for some. Its not a one size fits all type of solution. Using organizing products like bins may help but they don’t make you an organized person. In general, its those habits you keep that allow you to maintain the basic principles for organization.

When living in a small home, you may have a limited amount of space to own many things, but my best tip is to gain a new perspective about small spaces. Its not about what you deny yourself, but rather, how you expand your life by living in a small home.

“Your home may have gotten smaller but your world just became bigger” I see living in a small space as a great opportunity to surround yourself with the things you like or love, creating comfort without much maintenance. The hassle of keeping up with your life turns into living a life full of outside activities such as meeting friends, exploring your world or being motivated by new interests.

Living with the essentials can change depending on what stage of life you are in. Are you living single? married with children? or empty-nester?

Either lifestyle you choose, living in small spaces can work. You’ll have the inclination to need less when you resolve to living this way.

The best practices for living in small spaces is to know your current priorities in life. Know what you can and can’t live without. Choose an anchoring piece for each room. Have a place for everything and add time to your daily routines so that you can put things a away when life is too busy and gets messy.

10-15 minutes added to each task will assist you in not only completing your task but allows you to go the extra time to put things away immediately. Cooking is a good example; you make time for your meal, eat and then return to clean up your kitchen.

Once you apply these new perspectives, it won’t matter what amount or space or design you prefer, your home will have a flow and ease and can support you in your endeavors.

“Let it go”- Feel Empowered

“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.

Presenting our new YouTube Channel – MOP-TV

Visit our You Tube Channel to view some of our staged homes for sale. The realtors always appreciate a home that is de personalized and de-cluttered. It helps them accentuate the best features of a home.

In addition, we created a video with a slide show of some Before and After Pictures. We work on homes and offices alike.

 

Creating a sustainable business starts by getting organized.

The first few things that come to mind when someone owns a business is how to create cash flow, or how to maintain a loyal client base. How to get everything done before the day is done. Small businesses rarely have the opportunity to look beyond and analyze one’s methods of operation. Nor does one wonder what habits they can build upon? Creating a sustainable business appears for some to be something a bit beyond their reach. However, At Mercury Organizing Professionals, we don’t think so, we work as a personal organizing coach to show you how to use simple techniques that prove beneficial to grow your business.

How can being a sustainable business help grow my business? Let’s determine what defines a “Sustainable Business”.  Sustainability means different things to different people but in most cases its a strategy that looks for ways to optimize the effectiveness and quality of one’s social and physical environment, with the benefit of a long term profitability.

When we work with a small business or individual; sustainability is on the top of our minds.  Every client has different needs and priorities at the moment. so putting their needs into consideration while we project manage the organizing is vital. Consciously choosing to work and live in a sustainable way helps you gain the focus you need to accomplish your goals in less amount of time.

Are you wasting energy? Are you buying things over and over just because you can’t find them? Are you piling paperwork and can’t find important documents? Ask yourself what perpetual habit causes you to create clutter or to become overwhelmed with excessive non-core tasks? Its what you do in the first place that takes you to a level of conscientious choosing. Creating a sustainable business means you value the process as well as the result.

 

Today is Earth Day!

Its Earth day! This time year we dedicate a conscious effort to help the planet. We are borrowing this earth from the next generation and we should leave it better than we found it. Consider your carbon foot print not just in the larger scale but in the simple things we do at home.

Here are the top 10 things you can do.

  1. Save energy at home. Choose energy-saving appliances if they’re available. Look for Energy Star!
  2. Buy locally, or grow your own! Reduce air pollution caused by food and goods transport.
  3. Dispose of solid and liquid wastes and medications safely. (Are there paint cans sitting around?)
  4. Reduce. Cut back on the amount of ‘stuff’ that could later end up as waste.
  5. Reuse. Upcycle! Take something that is disposable and transform it into something of greater use and value.
  6. Recycle metals, plastics and paper.
  7. E-cycle. Recycle and/or properly dispose of electronic waste such as computers and other gadgets.
  8. Don’t litter! Properly dispose of trash and waste.
  9. When purchasing goods, opt for sustainable, recycled or reused resources. Choose items in less packaging.
  10. Pass on gas! Take public transportation, carpool, plan your day to reduce trips and vehicle emissions.

Where can you go to shop local? Try a garage sale, Second hand stores, Estate sales, Antique shops, Community Resale Events, Shop at Etsy.

Don’t think that our efforts won’t go unnoticed. Its important to know that every little bit helps.The more planning in your home or office you take to process through your paperwork and “stuff” you own, you’ll discover that you’ll have less to sort through on a daily basis. Why not dedicate Earth day to an effort that benefits you and your family. This will save you time and money as well. We can’t just think that it is a corporation’s obligation to find a solution for a better environment, we can take it seriously and do what we can as well.

An interview with an Elfa Specialist

I met Sheryl Mooney several years ago at a networking event and whenever I see her we always end up chatting about organizing. I’m thinking she has my dream job working for a great company helping people get organized. So I asked her to tell me more. I recently interviewed her and asked her about her role at the container store. This is what she said,

“I’ve been working for the Container Store for five years, my official role is in Visual Sales which means I work to keep the store looking its best for our customers, although we all are called upon to work in several capacities from register to order processing to product demonstrations,I’m also trained as an Elfa Designer.”

Q. Is this your busiest season at the store?

A. “With the warm weather, it’s time for spring cleaning and starting March 26, the Container Store will be holding its annual Spring Organization Sale. Every Saturday and Sunday we have demonstrations where we’ll talk about “Storing Your Winter Woolies” at 2PM and “Clear Kitchen Clutter” at 4PM, our demonstrations offer all kinds of great organization tips.”

Q. Sheryl, knowing all of the products you have at the store which are you finding to be most useful for spring cleaning?

A. “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Elfa, our best-selling modular shelving and drawer system -it was one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” in 2010. From the closet to the garage, everything can be organized with Elfa, and it can be customized to suit your unique storage needs. The Container Store offers free design services and we also hold Elfa Introduction Tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1PM and 3PM. ”

Q. I really like to stop in the store to find new organizing solutions for my clients? but what if I don’t know what I need?

A. “As I mentioned earlier, I am an Elfa designer and would love to work with you to design the closet of your dreams. My hours vary so you can call the store to schedule an appointment or just leave a message and I’ll call you back. You can reach me at the store at (312) 654-8450″.
sheryl@sherylmooney.com

Our interview ends and I’m still thinking that she may have my dream job to work with a great company helping people get organized, but realized that working with Mercury Organizing Professionals is just as fabulous. Helping people find a system and maintain organization in their homes or offices is our passion.

Thank you to Sheryl Mooney who provides a great service to us organizers. It’s always great to meet other organizers and chat about new organizing solutions, but especially with a knowledge of a certain product such as Elfa Shelving. I’m hoping to let everyone know about good sales and offers as they come up. Here’s one that can help make spring cleaning a little bit easier.

Manys ways to get organized

I recently met Elyce Bader and learned about her business as a Pampered Chef consultant. I was very curious to learn more because I love cooking and like to keep my utensils and kitchen tools organized. My favorite product is the mandolin. What a great way to slice those veggies and save time too.  The business aspect is what intrigued me as well.  I know how vital organization is to growing her business and staying on track with all her clients. So, I asked Elyce to give me some idea about how she stays organized in her business. She expressed the following.

“I have a business that requires personal communication and I need to remember facts about each person. How does one do this? Simple, I went to Office Max or Office Depot (I can’t remember) and purchased a few binders and rewriteable tabs. I wrote the names of the months on each tab and placed notebook paper in each tab. Each sheet of paper has a clients name and contact information written on it, along with where I have met them and other pieces of information. After I call or email each person I write a note and move the paper to the back of the month or the next month depending on the conversation. The binder is not to heavy so I can take it with me any where and have access to to my information when my memory lets me down :-) ” . Elyce Bader www.eemaskitchen.com

I meet with many small business owners and one thing that I notice is that each person has their own way to stay organized. I only help them to create new habits if they feel they need help in that area. Otherwise, as the ol’ saying goes…If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I only will introduce new organizing techniques and solutions if there is a problem with the system they have. For Elyce, she really likes her system and is comfortable with how she can manage it. You go girl!

Neighborhood Networking April Success

The April Networking event at Smokin’ Woody’s on Lincoln Ave. was a great success. Lot’s of people were there and the food was great. Raffle Prizes included gifts from Microsoft software, massage, coffee, fashion designer, organizer services and music. So, I hope you can make it to the next event in May.  Join us after work at Dee’s to meet and mingle with fellow businesses. Meet a nearby business owner or make connections in a different neighborhood—as well as sample offerings from a local Lincoln Park favorite.!

Register in advance for $10 ($12 at the door)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
5:00-7:30 pm
Dee’s Restaurant
1114 W Armitage Ave.
Chicago IL

Just blocks from the Armitage Brown Line stop. Metered street parking and valet parking is available.

Space is limited – If you choose to pay at the door, please RSVP. 

We hope to see you there!

Lidia and Elizabeth (Lulu)