Make Clothing Exchanges Fun and FAIR!

Clothing exchanges are a great thing to do with your friends when you have good pieces you don't like or can't wear any more. But, they can also be very frustrating.

I have been to a few where some people bring beautiful pieces and others bring old ratty ones. When everything is just thrown in a pile on the floor.....the outcome can be quite unfair.

Of course my professional organizer mind takes over and begs me to 


Here's the plan I came up with for an organized clothing exchange:

  1. Ask everyone to bring only good quality used pieces. Nothing with stains, frays or tears.
  2. Organize the items by category so people will easily find what they might be looking for.  
  3. Have 3 rounds timed how ever long you like.  Leave enough time for people to look around and try things on.  Whatever they don't choose goes back in the piles. 
  4. In the first round, people can choose the same amount of items that they brought with them to exchange. In the second round, decide how many more pieces everyone is allowed to choose. 
  5. Before the final round, people can decide whether they want to give away what is left over or take it back.

It may sound complicated but it's not!  It is organized and fair!

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.  My friends have all thanked me for it! 

Closet Resolutions

It's that time again! The time where we pressure ourselves to make tough changes to "better" our lives or ourselves. Personally, I think it's all to much pressure! How about we play a game instead?

The game can be considered a "resolution" but you can have some NO PRESSURE fun while being productive. So, here's how it works: 


STEP 1:  Make sure all of hangers the hangers in your closet are facing in the same direction,  Then make sure all of the piles of clothing that you have (whether in drawers or on shelves) and neatly folded.

STEP 2: Once you wear a piece of clothing, turn the hanger backwards or put the folded piece back at the bottom of the pile.

STEP 3:  Commit to only wearing new things until you have turned all your hangers or rotated all your piles.

Now, we all know what will happen along the will get to a piece and not "feel like" wearing it, or it doesn't "feel right" etc. Take note of those pieces and if it happens more then's time to let it go!

Who's with me on this? It's a pretty easy resolution to make and you can weed through your wardrobe at the same time. 

Remember: Someone else will probably love to wear whatever you choose to give away!  

3 Ways to Avoid Distraction While Working

Have you ever felt that you are working  tirelessly but getting nothing done?

Whether you work from home or in an office DISTRACTION can be a problem and suck the time away from you!  We try to prioritize, we try to plan, we try to stay focused but external stimuli get the better of us!

Here are a three suggestions to help avoid distraction while you are working:

PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY:  Not on the desk next to you. AWAY. In a drawer or a bag where you can't see it!  Save checking your texts and personal calls/e-mails for your break time.

SET DO NOT DISTURB:  Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door (or if you have the technology on your phone). Let people know that you are serious about concentrating and getting work done!

COMMIT to completing one task before starting the next.  There is nothing more easily distracting then a new task.  Finishing a task before starting another will make you feel like you have accomplished more in a day.  Having a bunch of unfinished tasks can leave you feeling dissatisfied at the end of the day.

These are easy things to try.....what can it hurt?

The worst thing that happens is that you get more done! OH MY!




How do you choose?

Today I wanted to talk to you about boring right?  

Not really!  There are so many to choose do you decide? 

I also decided to take this opportunity to try video my hand at video UGH! 


Christmas Shopping.....Is It Ever Too Early To Start?

I am not here to preach about the right way to organize your Christmas shopping! 

We all have our own habits and we manage to get things done in our own time.

 Some of us thrive on doing things last minute and others need to have things done months ahead or else we start to itch!

And then there are some of us who want to get it done on time, hate to do things last minute, but just get paralyzed at the thought of all of that shopping!

The thought of the malls, the crowds and the money spent makes Christmas a dreaded time for some people.

The question I have is......... why wait?  

Think about the joy of Christmas giving all year and buy things as you see them.  If you see a sweater in July that you know your mother will love, BUY IT!

There is no rule that says you have to make a Christmas list at the end of the year and follow it! Have some fun. Be spontaneous.

As for the list of gifts that children want....and must have... AMAZON can be your best friend!

It is never too early to start your Christmas shopping!     

Want vs Need

What do you think is more powerful:  WANT or NEED?

I have been thinking about this ever since I started writing my Closet Sales Class...WHY? because I was taught one thing a long time ago and now I am hearing that it is wrong.

Years ago when I was being trained as a Closet Designer, I was always told to sell not just to a need but to "the need behind the need".  For example:  Someone may need more space in the closet.....but the reason behind it may not be the extra space itself but the fact that she and her partner dress at the same time in the morning and bump into each other, get on each other's nerves then fight.  


I always thought that was a pretty powerful selling tool.......BUT.......not everyone will be forthcoming with their "issues". So that just leaves you selling to need. 


I started thinking about my buying habits.  I would say that nine times out of ten, I will buy something I NEED before something I WANT. In my mind that seems like the logic decision? Don't get me wrong....I buy things I want all the time.  I simply prioritize.


So what happens when it comes to big ticket items?


I have been selling closets for years and have been selling to "Needs" pretty successfully and now all of a sudden everything I read about marketing says that people buy what they Want....not what they Need!


Have budget considerations flown out the window? Do I stay quiet while a client packs their closet full of useless accessories they don't need?


I am confused!  What do you think? 

5 Reasons NOT to be Afraid to Hire a Professional Organizer

Many people say to me "I really need your help but I am afraid to have you come over".....and all I can think is really? Am I scary? LOL.  

Fear is a very strong emotion and one that can really hold us back from making changes or difficult and uncomfortable decisions. I know what I deal with and I would imagine my clients will deal with the same things:

  • Fear of change
  • Fear of letting go of something
  • Fear of loss
  • Fear of not having enough or not being able to get more
  • Fear of  dealing with buried emotions


And YES, de-cluttering and organizing your life can raise some of these deep issues. As professional organizers we are here to help you through's what we dedicate our lives to. Here are the 5 reasons why you should NOT be afraid to work with us:

1- We don't judge: We got into this profession to HELP people not to judge or ridicule them. We take pride in being able to motivate people into creating new patterns that will make their lives easier and more efficient.


2- We have seen everything: People are often under the false impression that they are alone in their situation.  If that were the case, Professional Organizers would not stay in business. There is really not much that will shock us!  


3- We are not perfectI can't speak for all organizer but to be truthful own life's organization will turn into chaos.  It happens to all of us.  We just have been taught the skills to get things back on track quickly.


4- Your appointments are confidential:  You don't have to worry about people finding out what you are doing or what you are working on.  What happens during your appointments stays at your appointment!


5- Our bark is worse than our bite:  We may give you a lot to do and think about and expect positive results. We are merely the don't have to worry about disappointing's all about YOU!


If you have any questions about working with a Professional Organizer, please feel free to contact me!

5 Steps To Creating Your Sacred Space

I want to preface this whole post by saying that the word SACRED has a very different meaning for everyone!  For some it may mean religious, for others it may mean spiritual and for many more it could just mean private and personal.  It doesn't matter what the definition is as long as it has meaning for YOU! 

A "sacred" space should be one where you want to spend your time. It should attract you by it's calm and quiet and keep you in it's serenity.  It doesn't matter what you do, write, meditate, sleep.....the point is that you ARE THERE!  

I have friends who have the ability to make every space feel "sacred". No matter what we are doing, they add the special touches that others forget.....Over time I have tried to pinpoint the details that transform these spaces from ordinary to extraordinary and these are the things I came up with:

  1. Find a space that can be private and feels special to you.  This does not mean it has to be a room away from everyone one else....just a space that you can call your own when you need it to be.
  2. Make it comfortable. No matter what space you are working with (a whole room or a special corner), make sure that you are comfortable.  Add some pillows, blankets, furry rugs....whatever makes you want to stay for awhile.
  3. Surround yourself with your favorite things. We all have favorite books, keepsakes, photos, stones, beads, cards...anything that brings you joy should have a place in your sacred space.
  4. Scented candles or incense will help create the mood you are looking for.  It is said that scent is the sense most closely connected with our memories.  You can create a feeling and special moment just with the aroma surrounding you.
  5. Time. Making a conscious choice to spend time in the space you created will be what really makes it sacred.  Make this space yours alone or share it with others on a special occasion but USE IT.  The more time you spend in it the stronger the energy will become.   

A sacred space can take time to create....just take one step at a time and enjoy the creative process.  

I would love to see some photos of what you come up with!   

Could Organizing Be The 9th Limb Of Yoga?

This has been something I have been thinking about and wanting to write about for a long time. People often think of organized people (therefore organizers) as Type A, anal retentive...maybe even OCD?  Well....perhaps a little of all of them to some least for me.  

For a very long time I was very high strung, a total over achiever...someone who recorded her school notes and then listened to them while she slept. (That works by the way!). I was driven, but all over the place and nothing much could slow me down......until I found yoga. 

It may sound cliche but yoga calmed me, grounded me and centered me. I became MORE productive. MORE focused and all around a happier person.  Because I am who I am, I couldn't just enjoy yoga, I had to learn yoga.  As I started to study, I learned that yoga is not all about stretchy pants and  pretzel is so much more!  It is a life style. A way of being. It becomes a  part of who you are!  

Yoga became as much a part of me as the organized Type A qualities were.  And I started to compare them..........what I discovered is that the foundation of yoga and organizing have a lot in common.  It  struck me the most within the first 2 limbs of yoga: The Yamas and  the Niyamas:  Let me know what you think!

Yamas | Moral Precepts                              

1. Ahimsa: Non violence to self or others. The staring point to peaceful living.  Being Organized means less stress, taking care of yourself and peaceful living.                       

2.. Satya: Honesty commitment to the truth.  Being Organized is being honest about when you have reached your limits or when it is time to ask for help.                                                         

3. Asteya: Non stealing, not taking anything that is not freely given, not expressing feeling of lack. Being Organized usually means you have what you need and you know where to find it. You are not always searching for something.                                

4. Bramacharya: Sensual Moderation. Being Organized helps keep everything in moderation. Do not over book, over buy or keep to much stuff.  

5. Aparigraha: Non possessiveness.  Being Organized helps you let go of the things that no longer serve you, that don't fit or that you don't use. 

Niyamas | Personal Observances

1. Saucha: Purity, maintaining cleanliness in the mind. Being Organized keeps order in the mind which is then transferred into life. 

2. Santosha: Contentment, the ability to feel satisfied in ones immediate experience. Being Organized gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have what you need or that you have enough time to do what you need to.

3. Tapas: Austerity/discipline. Being Organized is knowing you can get things done. Knowing when to delegate and to avoid buying and keeping things we don't need. 

4. Svadhyaya: Spiritual and self study, self reflection. Being Organized helps you tap into your true self  to make decisions that are in alignment with your goals.

5. Ishvara Pranidana: Devotion to that which you call God. Being Organized is devotion to order.

I know, some of these may seem like a stretch....but not really. I live it, I feel it and it's a great place to live! What's the moral of this story you ask?  If YOU want to get organized....start doing yoga!


So That Was Weird.

I had a very weird encounter last night. I am still trying to process how I feel about it.

I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend of mine and the bartender introduced us to a young man she knew sitting next to us. After a little bit of small talk, I realized that I had met him before.  He is the son of one of my clients......that is not unusual in this small a town....but his reaction was.

When I reminded him of when me met he said "OMG! you're the woman that made my mother throw away all of my baby pictures!"  I felt like I was slapped in the face!  I did no such thing!

I think he saw the look of horror in my eyes because he quickly apologized and explained his exclamation.  When he saw his mother sorting through, and choosing her favorite photos so that she could keep the best of the best and edit out the ones of people whose names she had forgotten, or with eyes closed, or random scenery......he saw her discarding his life.

I don't remember him being rude, confrontational or even seem remotely upset, but he told me that he had often thought about what he would say to me if he saw me again.....and here was his opportunity.  What he said was "I get it. It has to get done but if it were up to me, I would have asked her to keep everything! It has nothing to do with you."  

I then pointed out the obvious: It would have to be sorted through some time and was he going to do it? He decided that he would box it all in storage and then pay someone to do it. I laughed out loud at that.......until he realized what he had said......that he had just come full circle.  If it was not me and his mom, and it was not going to be him.....someone was going to do it.

I deal with other people's things all the time.  It is so easy for someone else to tell you what to keep and what to part with.  This was a HUGE reminder that as an organizers it isn't just "stuff" I deal with, it's memories, baggage, family heirlooms, successes, creations, and as delicately as I handle these may still cause someone pain.