The Blog

Over-scheduled? Over-acquired? Are you Over it?

watches_optPick your poison.  You could be over-acquired, over-worked, over-scheduled, or all of the above. So ask yourself, are you over-joyed or over-whelmed?

If you’ve reached your max and you have lost control, it’s imperative to re-evaluate your time-management and your acquired possessions. Moreover,  if you have increasingly less and less time for things you enjoy doing, that’s your red flag. Your wake-up call is ringing.

Over-scheduling is generally not our intention, it just kind of happens, right? It’s often a gradual process that creeps up on us.  But if we really look at it, it’s more about over-committing (fear of saying “no” and disappointing others) and under-estimating the time in which to get things done.  The fix for that is more simply said than done, but nonetheless doable.  Learn to say “no ,” graciously.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and always allow yourself more wiggle room in your day.  At the end of the day, both of these strategies are huge stress reducers.

Over-abundance can be both a blessing and a curse. We all love the shiny new toys, and that’s fine if we can afford it and have room for it. For some, it’s surrendering to acquiring more watches, sneakers, or technology, but how many sneakers or watches are too many? When does it become too much?  For others, it could be excessive clothing, candles, jewelry, or kid’s toys.  The conundrum is really when we can’t seem to part with the old rusty ones. No matter what the guilty pleasures are, there needs to be an incoming and an outgoing flow. One in, one out.

Continually acquiring more, without regard to letting go of the less desirable things is going to impede on more than your wallet. Compulsive shopping can overwhelm your spaces.  Consider the consequences. If there is only incoming and little or no outgoing, that’s a lot of stuff.  It’s not about the size of the house at all,  it’s about how you think about the possessions you have.

Buying something new to replace something old is sensible.  Keeping material things that you never use, is senseless.  If you don’t use them, then they are virtually of no value to you. Donate, donate, donate. There are people less fortunate that really need the stuff you’re merely storing.

To avoid  “material overload, ” make sure that your home and contents reflect who you are today. Create a home, not a museum. Surround yourself with your favorite things and live with less clutter.  Your time, your things, and your spaces should all be aligned with your current values and lifestyles. Examine your priorities carefully and strive to sync your schedule and acquisitions accordingly.

Find your balance, your own unique  life rhythm. Be over-joyed, not over-whelmed.


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Are You Getting a Sustainable Return on Your Savings?

Nope, I’m not talking about the green stuff in the bank. I’m talking about the other stuff you are saving;  the stuff you are holding onto because you can’t seem to let it go.

If you are thinking about saving things that you might use one day, or holding onto clothing you might wear someday…think again, it’s not happening.

Someone else can certainly benefit from them now, so let them go. Be philanthropic and donate to a charity of your choice.

If you are a parent and you’re thinking about saving stuff for your kids, thinking they might want it…think again. Generally speaking, (and I don’t mean to offend the exception to the rule), chances are great that your adult children don’t want your old stuff, they have their own.

Trust me, I’ve learned from personal experience, and I’m just passing on the harsh reality. I too, had been guilty of  justifying hanging on to random clutter that served no one. So do yourself a favor and evaluate your savings.

Are you enjoying them? Are you reaping any great rewards from them?

If your treasures are sitting in a box on an inaccessible shelf somewhere, or buried in a drawer, or tucked away in a dusty attic, how valuable are they really?

Let’s say you have old cherished items that cannot necessarily be used, but still give you significant pleasure when you look at them. Viewing them daily can bring you great joy, so display them with pride.  If it’s frame-able, frame it.  If not, “think outside the frame.” There are so many creative ways to re-purpose sentimental memorabilia.

Let go of the hobby that never sustained the passion and toss its stuff.  If you still have… an assortment of dried up paint and hardened brushes; rusty tools; or crafts sets lacking key components; old puzzles that may be missing pieces (who’s got the time to count?); time to bid them farewell too.

Or better yet, while weeding through your life’s clutter, perhaps you’ll make a new discovery and be inspired to “re-invest” in that old dream. Maybe you forgot you even had some good usable stuff.  Imagine re-activating the old clutter into a new enjoyable active pastime! Now that would be a great save with a unique twist, don’t you think?

Either way, save the stuff that brings you joy as you live your life TODAY.

Take the time to check out what’s hiding in your closets, attic, basement, or garage and evaluate the “why” of saving it.  Don’t save the old stuff unless the returns are great. Discriminate trash from treasure. The old roller skates are obsolete now, and you know that no one in your family will ever use them or want them.  So take a pic, and let them go.

Love your stuff that matters now. Don’t box it, enjoy it. Go for the sustainable rewards of keeping it.  Now that’s what I call a priceless investment.  But that’s just me.  What about you?

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Decide Who Rules Your Home: You or Your Stuff?

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in your home?  Most of us have obviously have more things living in our homes than people, but when does it become too much?

For starters, it could be when you’re continually tripping over your things; kid’s toys, shoes, neglected clothing, magazine piles, or unopened delivery boxes.  Or maybe it’s when you can no longer sit down on the comfy couch because of all the random stuff strewn all over it?

Now that’s an interesting rethink; if your stuff has a place but YOU don’t, ask yourself, “who’s really the boss?”

Deciding what to keep and what to let go of is not a simple task.  But realize that any decision is better than no decision at all.  So decide to decide. Sharpening your decision-making skills will allow you to reclaim your spaces. This step is not an easy one, but perhaps these questions will instigate the process:

    • Are you surrounding yourself with the things you actually use and enjoy? Acknowledge the changes in your habits and  lifestyles through the years and make your home a reflection of who you are today.
    • Do you accumulate new stuff but still keep the old?
    • Do you have an exit strategy?  So many of hang on to things we no longer use and never got around to tossing or giving away. Set limits on the incoming and create an outgoing. If you can donate your undesirables to charities, or recycle conscientiously, everyone benefits. This ONE decision will create a noticeable change and will eliminate needless clutter.


So many of us are still living with a historical trail of our outdated technology; old printers, TV’s, computers, cameras, and cell phones find their way more readily to basements, attics, and garages than they do out the door.  We continue to invite new pieces of furniture, lamps, and bedding into our homes, and yet we have trouble letting go of the old things we don’t even like anymore.  We tend to hang onto things.  Just in case.

If this sounds like you, no need to be embarrassed, it’s more common than you think.

Make your home a haven for living your life, not storing it. Don’t let the stuff take over any longer.  People vs. things.  Choose. Decide who rules the roost.

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The Junk Drawer Epidemic

junk-drawer_optYou are not alone.  Don’t beat yourself up for having a junk drawereverybody has one.  But fess up, how many do you actually have?  You know that drawer.  It’s the infamous miscellaneous drawer filled with random stuff.  It’s the drawer you throw everything into that doesn’t have a home.  It might be where you keep your collection of pens, batteries, flashlights, spare keys, matches, instruction manuals, bills, receipts, and much more.

No doubt, there are endless categories but the problem is, there is not endless space.

It happens so organically, doesn’t it? An overlycluttered drawer that barely closes  leads you to shove new things into other drawers.  And before you know it, like  creeping crud, the junk is spreading like wildfire into multiple drawers!

Your intentions were good initially, I’m sure.  You probably started out monitoring the junk drawer, but eventually it was invaded with random loose change, crumpled post-it notes with scribbled phone #’s on them, newspaper clippings, coupons, phone chargers,  Tylenol, and all sorts of new junk. With no free time, and little regard for designated landing places for these things, you were doomed.

I know life is hectic and it’s much easier to just tuck the clutter away inside a drawer. Everything “appears” neat on the outside.

But unfortunately,  this only results in time wasting consequences.  You’ll likely be spending valuable time opening too many drawers, digging through all the clutter and not finding what you need, when you need it. This would be the wake-up call time to organize and get some control back.

Sort through the junk and consolidate items into “like” categories.  Create designated spaces and consistent homes for items.  No need to tangle your rubber bands with band-aids, paper clips, or old pieces of chewing gum.

When you sort like with like items, you will be able to retrieve and return them with greater ease, efficiently evaluate your inventory, thereby minimizing duplicate purchases. Separate office supplies, clip receipts together, and store medications in a safe and exclusice space. Create a grab and go area for sunglasses and keys.

Stay on top of that drawer and weed often.  Don’t let the junk takeover.  If you let it, it can potentially live in every drawer.  Uh-oh, T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

You can reclaim order in your home by starting small,  one drawer at a time. 🙂

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Skills That Last a Lifetime: Teach Your Children Well

Back to school could mean back to old habits.  If you want to give your child the best possible opportunity for both academic and personal success, teach them fundamental organizational skills, outside the classroom.

In most cases, you can be sure that the A+ student is an organized one.  A student who earns high grades not only has the obvious aptitude, but in addition, probably relies on a particular skill set of organizational tools to manage the work efficiently.

And yes, it starts as early as Kindergarten.  As a parent, you can only provide your child with the necessary tools and teach them how to apply them. Creating independent little thinkers is vital to their development.

Particularly, at the Elementary School level, be there to check their assignments and aid them in completing the tasks.  Avoid doing the work for them. It’s easier said than done, I know, but they can only achieve if they actually learn it. Letting go of your child’s schoolwork is the  “tough love” required for them to grow.

Assign them their own consistent drop off zone to unload their knapsack, (it could be a cubby, shelf, or hook) so you can supervise its contents; fill in particular forms, return signed permission slips for school trips, etc.  Make them responsible for putting things away; snacks, toys, or finished homework.

It is important to designate special homework time and set guidelines.  Implement good study habits early in their schooling.  Most importantly, you must encourage them to be accountable for their own school organization.  Guide, but don’t hover.

Create a positive and dedicated workspace for which they can do their homework (not in front of the TV or on their bed). There’s nothing wrong with having a workspace in the kitchen, so perhaps you can keep an eye on them while you are preparing dinner.  Being supportive from a distance can still be very effective.

Make it fun to organize their school stuff with them, and reward them for knowing where all their stuff is.  You will be surprised how much more pride they will take in their work, when it is indeed theirs.  When they are in control and once they succeed and see results, the lesson has been learned.  Be their motivator, not their drill sergeant.

By the Middle School level, they will need to be prepared each day and be more on top of all their schoolwork and long term projects, without your direct involvement.   They cannot achieve these goals  if they are disorganized.  Submitting homework on time, respecting project deadlines are an integral component of learning how to manage time. Time-management is a challenge they will face their entire lives and so making this a common practice can only strengthen these skills.

Learning how to study well, and being responsible for quality work can only be possible with some keen sense of paper -management.  Keeping a tidy notebook and organized file folders is paramount.  It is most helpful to create a timeline and a visual calendar board so they can see, at a glance, what is on their to do list.

Instilling the values and benefits of being organized is so important. These are sustaining skills to utilize throughout one’s life. By the time they get to the challenges of High School, they will be fully prepared, hopefully operating at their optimal potential.  As parents, this is all we can do to help them excel in their academic careers throughout college and beyond.

So plant those good habit seeds early, they will blossom well.  The goal is to nurture your child,  yet  foster independence and self-esteem.  Teach them well….and they will thrive.

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Beyond Home Organization: The 2 Forgotten Zones

Your spaces, and how you organize them, are a reflection of yourself.  Let’s talk about two very personal spaces (outside the home), that may be a daily challenge.

Your Handbag/Wallet:

  • Is your wallet bulging with miscellaneous papers and receipts?
  • Are you struggling to find the appropriate credit card when making a purchase?
  • Can you find the proper medical papers to present to the Dr. for an appt?
  • Is there a ton of loose change on the bottom of your handbag?
  • Can you find the gift cards for the store you are shopping in?
  • Have you walked into Bed, Bath, and Beyond, countless times, and forgotten to take the coupons?

When your wallet is bursting, and all those crumpled receipts and dollar bills have no order to them , it’s time to clean out.  In fact, it is a great habit to weed on a schedule.  If every day is not realistic, then try to weed weekly.  Control the chaos.  Pick a day, any day, and empty out the entire wallet.  Know what stuff you have in there. It shouldn’t be a mystery, it’s yours. 

Put your currency in order, place the loose change in a designated jar, and most importantly label your receipts.  Most stores have a computer print out with the description of  the item on it, but often there are some that have an ambiguous cryptic code, or secret department number, and you have no clue what you have just purchased.

Tip #1:  On top of every receipt,  jot down the item or for whom you purchased for, so if you should need to return or exchange, you will avoid frantically pulling out wads of paper and having to search and read each and every one.  Make life easier for yourself.  It’s good to be organized.

Tip #2: Corral store gift cards and coupons in a labeled Ziploc or use (a zippered pencil case works too) and keep them in your purse, or leave them in your car in a designated place.  This way, whenever you shop the stores, you will have them when you need them and know where to access them.

Solution:  You can opt to purchase this purse organizer below that can be transferred from bag to bag.








Your Car:

Does your car look like a bomb hit it?  ‘Fess up;

  •  Is yesterday’s coffee still in the cup holder?
  • Are their clothes, paper, toys, snacks, used tissues, and random things scattered all about?
  • Is there adequate room for passengers?
  • Would you be embarrassed to give a friend a lift?
  • Is your outside of your car clean? How often do you wash it?

It doesn’t matter whether you have a luxury car or a jalopy; whether you’re working or just busy;  Messy is messy.

Tip#1: Try to empty the car at the end of every day.  Avoid looking like it’s another home on wheels.

Tip #2:  Keep a small trash bag in the car to maintain the unwanted paper, food, drink, tissues.

Tip #3:  Organize the glove compartment and center console with essentials you continually search for ; hand cream, glasses, loose change, and keep emergency items handy.


  Floor organizer






Cargo pockets for kid’s toys and crafts





Handy Organizer for sunglasses and cell phone





“On the go” does not have to mean “disorganized. ”  Organize your personal spaces and be ready for multiple activities and incoming receipts.

It’s not your entire house, it’s just 2 zones…you can manage it, right?  Need to talk about it?  I am here, let’s have a conversation.




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What’s All the Fuss About Organizing?

Everyone’s talking about it.  Reality TV shows like Hoarders, Enough Already, and Buried Alive are turning heads while revealing the challenges of chronic disorder. This media exposure has given us all an opportunity to look more introspectively into our own lives. While most of these stories are extreme cases, so many more of us still struggle with normal levels of day to day organization.

I know what you must be thinking. You haven’t got the TIME .  I get it.  No doubt, we are all so busy with our lives; our schedules are hectic, our relationships are complex, our jobs are stressful, and the one commodity we all lack is the overabundance of FREE time. And when we finally find some leisure time, we certainly don’t want to spend it cleaning and sorting our stuff. Let’s face it, not only do we all own way too much stuff,  we have too much stuff to do, and little time to do it in!

We have an influx of paper coming into our homes at rapid speed, without ample time to sort or trash. We have bills past due, magazines unread, clothes galore (neither cleaned, folded, or found) There are pens that don’t write, projects that never get finished, garages that no longer accommodate our cars, consistently lost or misplaced items, and a vast collection of seldom watched CD’s and DVD’s that are climbing up our walls, etc. You and I both know that this list could go on forever. So what do we do? We do what any other average person would do; we continue to put things off for LATER.  But here’s the thing…putting things off for LATER just creates a million tomorrows that keep mounting into an overwhelming and fruitless situation. Procrastination is paralyzing and exhausting.

Make the time. Create more time to do the things you want to do, not have to do. Don’t you deserve that?

If your “TO DO”  list is growing and being neglected, chances are its filling your head with needless clutter, and impeding on your functionality. The solution is simple: Time-management.  Organization is the most vital tool we have to manage our daily lives. It nourishes our productivity in both our personal and professional lives.

Being organized is the best way to maintain balance and order in our daily lives, while providing a more efficient and functional landscape for our ENTIRE life. More importantly, an ORGANIZED life is a more fulfilling one.  It will reduce the day–to-day stress, and give us more time to enjoy our life and our family!

So if getting organized is the latest rage, don’t you want to join in all the fuss? Jump in. Be trendy.




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What Your Stuff Says About You (If Only Your Stuff Could Talk)

Well, that all depends how much stuff you have.  If you have a lot of stuff, then that’s a lot of conversation.

The late George Carlin will always be fondly remembered for his insightful comedic bit on stuff.  He was right about how particular we are about our stuff.  But, stuff is just stuff. It is made up of a bunch of material acquisitions, not living things. They can certainly bring you immeasurable joy but they won’t hug you back, and hopefully possessing them, won’t define you. They are merely things, not people.

Admittedly, we all have stuff…but when does it become clutter?

First question you might want to ask yourself is, “am I enjoying my stuff?” or better yet, “am I using my stuff?”

Here’s an interesting thought…

If your stuff had human feelings, and if they could only talk, this is what some of them might be thinking;

Clothes:  “You have 12 green sweaters, and wear only 2, the other 10 of us are wondering why we’re not good enough to ever get worn. We’re tired of screaming,  pick me, pick me!  And you never do, you pass us by and always pick the newest ones.  We’re just taking up space in your closet for no reason. Some of us aren’t even hung up on hangers, we are strewn in piles on the floor with little or no regard for our well-being.”

Cars:  “We have been pushed out of our rightful home, and left out to rot in the cold.  We have been replaced by towers of stacked boxes of clutter that you never use.  You drive us everyday.  Who’s more important, the useless clutter or the valuable car?

Memorabilia:  “If we are so treasured and sacred, then why did you put us on a inaccessible dusty shelf in the attic, and never visit?”

Books:  “You never read us anymore, nor pay us any attention.  Some of us are tattered and torn.  Let us go, a library will love us more.”

Old instruments:  “We used to be your favorite pastime, but you never want to play with us anymore, where’s the pleasure in holding on to us? We are music that you have silenced.  We have a voice and want to be heard.”

Shoes:  “We just want to remind you that you only have two feet and you own more shoes than you can wear in a lifetime. We never feel special among the countless other pair of black shoes. Do you know that there are millions of  less fortunate people who walk barefoot?  We want to take a walk with those who need and appreciate us.”

Junk:  ” You throw us all in one drawer together, we like to be with our like selves so we can find each other.  We like to hang out together so you can find us when you need us. Must you keep us all mixed together with the gum, keys, pens, glasses, and crumpled receipts?  We are always lost and never found.  Please organize us by creating each of us a special home.”

Here’s the takeaway…

Use your stuff.  Honor, respect, and enjoy what you own. It should reflect who you are today, and above all, know where it is.  More importantly,  holding on to stuff that is no longer used, or no longer relevant in your life, is pointless. Use it or donate it.  Share what is overabundant.

Are you a good caregiver to your stuff? Hope so, ’cause they’ll never tell.


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A Great Find …and Hopefully a Keeper!

So many of us are travelling at this time of year, the thought of losing luggageand personal items are always an added to the travel stress.  “Americans lose over 2 million items per month including iPhone, Blackberry, keys, luggage, treasured journals, and more.”   Did you know that over “50, 000 laptops are lost at the top 36 airports every month?”

Here’s the misconception, ” 70% of people surveyed believe they have no way to get those lost items back.”

Until now.

I came across a service that provides a confidential ID system designed not only to track your luggage, but all of your other favorite stuff!  No more exposing your private info on your personal things, in public places;  Go to TurlyTag and check it out.

Once you create an account, TurlyTag sends you a variety of ID tags for your bags, and stickers for your laptops and cell phones.  Each of your items will be tagged with your designated account number and if the worst happens, TurlyTag can recover your things without revealing your identity.

When someone finds your tagged item, it will be easy for TurlyTag to retrieve it.  They provide a return shipping allowance to help handle shipping your things back to you. If the costs exceed your allowance, you just have to pay the difference.  Should you choose to, you may also offer rewards through this service.

Kudos to, another service that protects your identity and valuables from being lost or stolen, quickly and confidentially (I wish I knew about this before I accidentally left my Blackberry in a taxi).

Be smart with your smart technology and protect your gadgets when you travel.  After all, it is YOUR stuff.  What an efficient way to minimize the LOST and maximize the FOUND!

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Do Your Kids Have Too Many Toys?

Does your playroom look like this?  Are there heaps of unused, impartial, or broken toys?  Is it too much to organize?

I grew up with the notion that every day was children’s day, at least that’s what my parents always told me.  For many children, birthdays and holidays aren’t the only time to get presents. Truth be told,  when I became a parent myself,  I understood this to be embarrassingly true.

This is what I’ve discovered.  Parents take great pleasure in spoiling their kids, and interesting to note,  I’ve seen this tendency cross over every financial bracket.  The levels may vary but the indulgence is the same.  Here’s the way the cycle goes; Kids love toys…toys make kids happy…parents love kids, and so parents continue to buy their kids toys.  Happy kids equals happy parents.  But as parents, we must tread a fine line between appropriate rewards and over-acquiring. We could be doing our children a great injustice if we don’t set limits.  Children grow older and will need parameters to guide them as they mature.

Long before our children have the opportunity to lose interest with a toy, there is a new incoming one, or even one on the way, after being lured into the latest and greater one as seen on TV.   Some parents are better at self-control than others and can execute the power of a simple “No.” And for the others that struggle and succumb to consumerism and popular demand?   Uh oh….the cycle just repeats itself.  They keep asking and we keep on giving.  So what does a parent to do?

If your playroom is beginning to look a lot more like Toys R Us than a home, then it’s time to talk about how much is too much. Here’s the thing, if it’s overwhelming to YOU, chances are it is more confusing for them.  Having too many choices can be overkill. Sensory overload can block a child’s ability to focus on one task at a time. It always seems to come back to less is more.  In fact, less stuff is less to clean up.

Let’s consider some solutions.  Sometimes, it’s a good idea to remove some toys and re-introduce them at a later date. as ready. Or better yet, when the kids are of age to understand, teach them to donate to other less privileged. Recycle their toys.  Imagine a poor child who cherishes a toy or book because it is indeed his or her only toy.   Giving back is an invaluable and powerful lesson that will carry through into adulthood.

Holidays and birthdays are great opportunities to re-organize the inventory.  Together with your kids, clean out the toys that rarely get played with, and donate to a charity. If they have outgrown them, pass them on to another child that will appreciate it.  Teach them to honor, respect and care for their toys. Practice the “one in, one out”  strategy before you purchase a new toy.  No need to buy a new toy when they’re not even playing with the old ones they already have.

Playrooms piled high with toy clutter can’t be that fun. Clean out often and create more space so their creative minds can flourish.  Toys are meant to play with, so let the children play.


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