Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Organizing and Divorce

Having been in the organizing business for over 13 years, I have had many newly divorced clients call me for help.  I have helped many of them during and after the divorce process.  

Those clients who call during the process of getting divorce need help finding and organizing all the paperwork required during the discovery process as the amount of paperwork needed is overwhelming.  Most are stuck because while trying to find all these paper, they are busy with work and taking care of their children.  It is a very difficult and emotional time. 

I work with the paper and most of the time sort by dates, types and really whatever is requested by the attorney.  I find and sort to make it easier on my client. My clients are relieved when what they need is in sight and obtainable.  

The clients that call after the divorce want to discuss how to get their living space back together.  Now that the divorce is final and the other party has left with what they want, my clients are usually left with a mess.   Boxes and bins are opened and shuffled through as the other party retrieves what they want and usually those boxes and bins are left open and unorganized.  My clients want to know what they have and what to do with it so they are able to find those items in the future.

We start by looking at each space and deciding what my client wants that space to look like now.  We tackle one space at a time.  During the process, my clients make decisions on what stays and what works for them.  This will be a new space made to fit their lifestyle now.  Sometimes children are involved so consideration must be given to what they will need and what will be transported back and forth each visit to the other parents home.
As we make each room a new space we make sure items that were left my the other are put aside and returned to them so as not to cause unneeded bickering.
One client I had wanted to start over with all new holiday decorations and make new traditions so all the holiday decorations left behind were donated.  Another client needed help finding ways to have a better space for his teens stuff.
Each divorce is different and always trying.  Organizing the new space eliminates many hard feelings and helps those involved move forward. 

If you are in the middle of a divorce, have just finished, or know someone needing some help, visit my website for more information on how Transformare can help.  Transformare Organizing Services

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Getting Off The Fast Moving Train to Get Organized

Are you often so busy that you feel as if you are on a train and the landscape and attractions are going by so fast that you can't get off?  You have so much to do that tasks keep coming in and there is no break.  
The feeling is described by many as overwhelmed, stressed, or defeated.  These descriptions are also used by my clients when it comes to organizing.  They feel so overwhelmed that they cannot get started and the train keeps putting the clutter into their space with no end in sight.  
So how do you get off the train or make it stop?  As you can imagine it does take some changing of behaviors and habits.  Learning to say no to additional tasks will help keep you on track to complete current tasks.  Many of my overwhelmed clients have a very hard time saying no to a new task or project. They feel guilty if they say no, so the projects just pile up and none of them get completed.  
Asking for help is another habit to change as we feel weak if we need to ask for help for a task that seems like anyone can do it, such as organizing.  As I tell my clients, we are gifted with a talent and organizing just happens to be mine, but art and singing are not talents I was gifted.  
When it comes to organizing, being overwhelmed is preventing you from moving forward so it continues to pile up.  To get off that fast moving train you must say no to new tasks, give yourself permission to ask for help, and remember that getting organized is a process not an event.  The train did not just start going fast, so it will take some time for it to stop.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tips to Surviving the Holidays with Guests and Remain Organized

Last year during the holidays I had 16 days in a row with guests so I think I can give you a few tips on how to survive and keep your holidays organized.  During the holidays most guests are family, so following these tips will be simple and keep your organized. 
The first tip is to plan out a menu including all 3 meals starting with the first meal your guests will have after they arrive.  Knowing what you will have to eat makes your life so much easier and reduces the amount of stress by 99%.   Before your guests arrive find out what their normal breakfasts might contain and do not feel the need to make a fancy breakfast every morning.  I believe most guests would prefer to have breakfast when they want and to have items they normally eat.   Asking a guest to help out a meal time will also keep you organized and make your guests feel useful. 
The second tip is to continue your routine as much as possible including tasks such as exercising and walking the dog.  Your exercise will also help reduce the stress during the holidays.    Make sure you include your guests in some of your routines as appropriate.  If you have a busy day, ask someone to help with some of the routines and maybe walk your dog, or empty the dishwasher.
The last tip to keep you organized during the holidays is to keep a list of tasks to be completed during the day.  This will help keep your day organized and keep you from forgetting something important that needs to be completed.  Before your guests arrive, write down tasks you will need to do each day such as changing beds between guests, grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry.  Knowing what you need to do each day will keep your day and life organized. 

The holidays can be stressful and make you feel out of control and in chaos, but if you follow this few tips, you can survive and stay organized.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

3 Tips For Time Management

There is never enough time to get it all done.  Most of us think that if we can just get this one project completed or the one task crossed off the to do list, then time will magically appear.  Unfortunately, that time never appears.  So many of us believe that if we can get past a certain point that time will open up and we will have more time to do other things.  What happens is that we get to the point and some other issue just replaces what we have just finished.

An example I see frequently is when mothers finally get the last child in school and believe they will have so much more time and everything they have ever wanted to accomplish will finally get done.  It never happens because they start volunteering a little at the school, extracurricular activities become a huge time consumer and time slips away.  The scrap booking project, or picture organizing become a task just out of reach.  Many of those projects have been on your mind for 2 or 3 years and just seem to be always put on the back burner.  
One tip to gain some more time is to take a look at all the incomplete projects and categorize them by importance.  Those with the least amount of importance should be let go and eliminated.  
The next  tip is to set a date and time to have those projects you have categorized as important to be completed.  Be realistic about the time and schedule times and days to work on them.  If you are unable to start it by the completion date, it is time to eliminate it and all items associated with the project.  
The last tip is to start a list of everything you do each day for a week.  Start from the time you wake up until you go to bed.  Everyone has specific tasks they do each day and once the process begins of writing them all down, you will see a pattern and more than likely a few tasks or steps you can take to free some of your time.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

3 Tips For Organized Back To School Schedule

For many, August or September begins the start of the new school year.  There are last vacations to take, family reunions to attend, cookouts to go to, and fairs to visit. 
Most of us dread of school starting again because it means a much more scheduled day and more tasks to be completed each day.  There are children to wake up, lunches to be made, decisions on what to wear, breakfasts to prepare, papers to fill out and buses to catch.  The mornings can get stressful quickly.  The evenings can be hectic too with homework and sports. 
To make sure all is accomplished and everyone makes it to their place on time with everything they need, a routine must be started and maintained.  This is the first tip for an organized return to school.  Make a list of everything that will be different as school starts.  This might include wake up times, lunches to be made, buses to catch, car pools to be scheduled, bedtime schedule, and homework times. 
The second tip is to decide when each of the tasks on the list will be completed.  Can some be completed the night before?  Making lunches the night before is the easiest item to move from morning to night.  For younger children, clothes can be laid out the night before.  There should be an area for book bags, coats and shoes, so the morning is not taken up by looking for all these items. 

The third tip is to use lists.  Younger children do well with lists and begin to understand the importance of a schedule and completing tasks.  Make the list fun by adding artwork or large check boxes.  For older kids, maybe try texting it to them.  After a few weeks of the start of school, the lists can be used for chores instead of the daily routine as that will have become a habit by then.   

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

3 Tips on How to Tackle Your "To Do" List

One of the most frequently asked questions from my clients is "how do I get my "to do" list completed"?  It seems as if the to do list is a never ending list of tasks to be completed. Every day the list stares you in the face or you just plain forget about it.  Sometimes I am just sitting outside and realize there is something I need to add to the list.   Some of you have home and work to do lists which makes it  even more overwhelming.  

The first tip and the best and most effective way to complete a task on your "to do " list is to schedule it. Put it on your calendar as you would a doctor's appointment.  Start with some easy ones to adjust to doing a task.  Do not try to put all of the to do list on the calendar at one time.  This will lead to failure and you will be in the same boat as you are now.  Start with one task and one day.  Make sure you complete it and celebrate the accomplishment.  Move on to another task a few days later and continue as time allows.  

 I know some items are difficult or too big to schedule on a day such as painting your deck or your entire room.  Factors such as weather and enough time will hinder this and other tasks.  Fortunately, not all tasks on your to do list are hindered by other factors other than that most of us just cannot seem to get them done. 

The second tip is to start timing your tasks so you will better understand how long they are taking you.  Nothing is more derailing then to have an hour scheduled for something and it takes 2 hours.  You need to become more aware of your time.  A good exercise is to write down everything you do during the day and how long you do each item.  How long does it take you to get ready in the morning, get to work, grocery shop and read the paper. Doing this for a week will really open your eyes to how your time is spent. 

The last tip is to review your list weekly to really make sure that all the tasks on the to do list are still relevant and if some can be assigned to someone else.  If your to do list is a mile long, the reality is you will never get it completed and this will frustrate you to just not do any of it.  

For more tips, please take a look at my website. Transformare Organizing Services

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

4 Tips for Busy Moms to Be Stress Free

The summer can be the busiest time for moms because the kids are home from school.   Those moms with infants, toddlers, and elementary age children have some of the busiest schedules.  24 hours with the kids can cause stress and leave you feeling drained.  Here are 4 tips to keep your summer less stressful.
The first tip is to schedule ahead.  Do not wait for Monday to roll around to make your plans for the day or even the week.  Activities and events, free or not, fill up fast during the summer.  On Wednesday look ahead at the weather and plan on trips for zoos, pools, and parks for the following week.  Put it on your calendar and remember you might have to be flexible with the days due to pop weather conditions.  The same planning ahead goes for doctor and dentist appointments.  Those can fill up fast too especially for sport check ups.
The next tip is to gather information from the local paper, google, and neighbors on current activities and events going on.  The libraries are a great resource too, especially on those rainy days.  They should have a calendar of their activities on their website or on site.  Spend less time planning the coming week with all this information already in a file to refer to each week.

Tip 3 is to stock up on craft supplies and movies for the time you need to spend inside or at home. Having the supplies on hand will allow you to do what you need to do while they are creative.  Many craft stores have supplies for an individual project kids can work on by themselves.   Also have your to go bag ready for all the day trips.  One for the pool and outdoor events and one for more indoor events.  This will save you time and you won't forget something because you will not be running around trying to remember it all.
The final tip is to arrange for a baby sitter once a week or more for you to do the things you need t get done without the kids.  If you cannot afford a babysitter frequently, ask a neighbor for a swap day or half day.  Many neighborhoods have Facebook pages and groups, making it easy for such a request.  If you are lucky enough to live in the same area as family, asking them on a monthly basis might be an option.