she is almost ready to invite friends over!
"I am feeling like a proud parent over here!" <3
Close your eyes and imagine your home exactly as you would like it to be…clutter free and ready for visitors! This project required a little more effort than that, but with a very motivated client to purge, several trips to the dumpster, and many trips St Vincent dePaul…
she is almost ready to invite friends over!
"I am feeling like a proud parent over here!" <3
A new season means new trends, tips and colors. Before adding to your makeup or skin care this season, check out these tips to simplify your cosmetic collection:
Let it go. When editing your shades, be honest. Does this still look good on me? Do I love it? Have I
worn it in the past year? Does it fit my current style? If not, say goodbye. When you evaluate your
cosmetic palette, each shade should make you feel fabulous. If it’s time for an update, get the opinion
of a makeup professional. Foundation should be checked yearly and seasonal updates are a fun pick-
Brush up. Wash your brushes monthly with an antibacterial soap. Simply foam some soap in your palm and run the brushes under water with the bristles facing the drain. Squeeze to remove excess water and lay them flat to dry so that the bristles remain strong. To freshen them daily, have a brush cleaner handy in your makeup area with a towel. Simply give a squirt and a swirl after your shades and they will be fresh for the next day. Brush cleaner is also a quick way to clean foundation off your hands. For fun, store brushes in a small, colorful flower pot to help them fan and dry.
Think green. Use magnetic compacts with refillable cartridges to keep everything in one place instead of random color palettes all over your vanity. Plus, you’ll know that your carbon footprint is smaller with less plastic in landfills.
Grow and go. If you add something to your makeup stash, what will you clear out to make room for
that new purchase? If you ask that question, you’ll avoid costly impulse purchases and shade mistakes
that end up in the “cosmetic graveyard.” Plus, you can ask for samples if you’d like to test a shade for a
bit before committing.
Expiration Essentials. Stored at room temperature, most creams without an expiration date are good
for three years. Mascara should be safely replaced every three months because of bacterial near the
eye. When you get a new mascara, put the expiration date on the label with a sharpie. Powders are
safe indefinitely. Finally, be on the lookout for expirations on acne products, sunscreens and anti-aging
products with retinol. You want to be sure that they are fresh for the maximum benefit.
Tobi Bolt is a senior sales director and advanced color consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics. She has
been helping women feel simply authentic in their skin care and makeup for 20 years. Check out the
latest trends and more tips at www.marykay.com/tbolt and ask about your free color consultation.
There is truly not an easy way to answer this question. Each client and each space is unique. Below I have listed a few questions to consider when you are thinking about asking:
How long it will take to get my space organized?
First, think about how long it has taken to accumulate all of your treasures… I will let that sink in for a second…
Now to break down expectations.
Think about how much time it takes to complete tasks around the house. Laundry for instance: How long does it take to remove the clothes from the dryer, fold or put on hangers, and put into their homes? For some people, the answer may be under 15 minutes, yet for others it will take much, much longer. Why? If closets are overflowing and dresser drawers are busting open, it is not as easy as it sounds to "just put it away." In those homes, laundry may not get put away, or if it does there will be creative problem solving or necessity purging rather than mindful decision making.
In a chronically disorganized home, tasks will take much longer. For example, I have been able to purge, sort, and replace all the items from a closet in less than two hours in one home, and I have spent 10 hours in a similarly sized closet with a client who struggles to make decisions. Where each persons falls on the spectrum is unknown until we roll up our sleeves and get to work.
I can say that at each consecutive session, clients will begin to make decisions faster and faster. I will also get to know your personality and preferences and help you much better to make decisions that are in line with your values and beliefs. You will also begin to trust me, and eventually we can be working side by side on different projects. That process takes time, but when it happens, it is magic!
"Getting organized does not have to feel hopeless. You just have to be ready!" -Claire
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding (Second Edition)
by: David F Tolin, Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee
This book is written as a self-help manual for folks struggling with hoarding tendencies, their families, and their collaborative team. Right from the beginning of the book, I was impressed with the author's stance on this topic. They are sensitive to the use of the term "hoarders, " and are very respectful to their readers.
Much of the content in the book is research based and not simply observations from the authors. Several self-assessments are available to the readers to gauge your situation including safety and ADL (Activities of Daily Living). It is so important to understand the conditions that you are living in. Remember, if a person struggles with extreme chronic disorganization, it happened progressively and they may not see it like an outsider. Using these assessments will give them a better understanding. The authors also use self-assessments to walk you through some of your beliefs and self talk. Then they give readers strategies for beating hoarding. Knowing what thoughts are preventing you from making the progress you desire is a very powerful tool. The focus moves then to mindfulness of your surroundings and visualization, followed by a contract with yourself.
This book requires work. It is not a read and then put in to action activity. The book asks you many, many questions and really gets readers engaged in the process. I feel pretty strongly that this book can help people overcome their hoarding tendencies. The book would be a great compliment to working with a therapist on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.) I highly suggest this book.
Buried in Treasures Workshop
Randy Frost collaborated with Lee Schuer to compile a Facilitator Guide to walk through Buried in Treasures as a Workshop. I would love to see this take off locally. I know there is a need for this type of support for my clients. The format of the workshop is intended to be peer lead, so I am not going to facilitate. I would be happy to work with a facilitator to get the group started though. Please let me know if you are interested in working on this project!
This conference did not disappoint! There was an amazing selection of classes to chose from that would either help you IN your business or ON your business. Some of the sessions that I attended included many about my business. The two standouts that incorporated techniques to best help my clients were:
The last session, Organized Mind, Organized Life: Brain Hacks for Productivity, was by Allen Brown. He is a thought leader in the ADHD community and a very entertaining presenter. He gave us 14 of his "brainhacks" and I think the timing of his presentation was perfect for me. As a business owner, mom, wife, president of one non-profit, and secretary of another, I wear many hats to many different people. Admittedly, managing all of these commitments (yes, even as an organizer) can be challenging. I went into his session thinking that I would walk away with great tips for my clients, which I did, but he also reframed some of the ideas that spoke to me as well. Some of my favorites were:
If you are interested in learning more about Allen Brown, check out ADDcrusher.com. There are tools you can pay for, but he also provides a lot of great free content including an eBook.
Finally, I thought I would share a little about my trip and the amazing people I met along the way!
Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke all the Rules to Help Him
by: Terry Weible Murphy
Platform: Hardcover Library Book
This is one of those fascinating books that you can sit down and read pretty quickly. The main character's story, Ed Zine, is one that I feel many can relate to but then it takes a turn. Life at home as a kid was hard, but then he is hit with the devastating loss of his mother to cancer and his life is turned upside down.
The author does a wonderful job of helping you actually see the living conditions Ed survived in. They also try very hard to feel the way Ed was feeling and the stress that OCD put on his life. OCD took him over and directed his every move. Some self-directed Exposure Response Therapy was used to help Ed overcome OCD and rejoin the outside world after encouragement from the Dr. Jenkins.
Of course there is a beautiful, happy ending but it in no way overshadows the trials this young man went through. Stories like this one really get my mind going and wondering about all the other people out there in the world who are also struggling in silence OCD. Some who may not have supportive families, or others who's families may feel exhausted in their efforts to help. This is a great story to add hope to anyone struggling with OCD.
What was the point of that???
Often, clients with Chronic Disorganization (CD) have difficulty with the steps above. They likely struggle with categorizing the items throughout their homes. This quick exercise that may seem elementary to some people, would leave others feeling anxious.
Why does the inability to categorize lead to trouble?
When you can not decide what the best place is to store an item, where you look for it, or what you plan to do with it, suddenly an empty package can put the weight of the world on your shoulders. People often strive for perfection and as a result get trapped doing nothing…all those nothings can quickly add up to something!
Isn't the candy wrapper trash?
Not exactly, this is where my questions about value comes in from above. Many people struggling with CD and hoarding tend to value all the stuff in their home equally. From the items in the photo above, non CD folks likely rated family photos or jewelry as more valuable than the wrapper or box of crackers. With CD, it is really difficult to differentiate because there are so many ideas associated with what they "could" or "should" do with something. Then, items often take on more value than they realistically have. When people associate a value with something it becomes increasingly difficult to get rid of.
One question I ask a lot, and customize to each client is:
"Is this item worth…
It can sometimes be a slow process, but my goal is to identify what the client truly wants. They have called me for a reason, and I help them identify how they got in the situation they are in, prioritize what needs to stay, and purge the rest!
Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding
By: Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, Jerome Burbrick, PhD, Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias, MD
Platform: Paperback Madison Public Library
The authors do a really great job of helping people figure out if they may suffer with hoarding. I can not tell you how often I receive a phone call from a potential client and they say they think that they are a hoarder. Then after some discussion and a hands on session, it is quickly determined that they are not. Chapter one quickly and easily covers what I see most often inside the homes of folks who are truly struggling with hoarding tendencies, i.e. the types of materials as well as how they got there. Another really great connection is made with co-morbid diagnosis. They do list some of the most common conditions. Rarely do I see a client who hoards not having some additional diagnosis. I think it is great for clients to be able to see the connection.
Then they go into why someone would seek treatment before getting into the gem of this book which describes for clients how to use flashcards to work on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on their own. CBT helps clients discover their thoughts and distortions and work through rational steps to overcome the thoughts and ultimately behaviors. Overall, I thought that the CBT portion of this book was my biggest take-away. Helping clients understand that unless you change your thoughts and behaviors, your surroundings will stay the same is very important to me. I highly suggest consulting a therapist to work through CBT. They are trained to walk you through the steps to change your thought process and behaviors. As an organizer, my primary focus is the actual stuff. and how to manage how it comes in, goes out and how to improve the quality of your life in your home. Therapy is needed work through the emotional side of clutter
My only hesitation with the process was the way they go about sorting. In lieu of the "save" stuff being mixed up, I prefer having boxes with like items sorted. For instance, if there are many office supplies I would label a save box for that rather than having some of those materials throughout multiple boxes. Otherwise it seems like you wold be sorting keep and toss, and then having to go through all the keep boxes and sort those again.
I would recommend this book to clients., and although I am not a fan of their sort process, it works for some and is better than no process at all!
Keep calm and Sort on!
Working in creative spaces like artists studios, sewing rooms and craft rooms are by far one of the most rewarding organizing projects for me. They can also be one of the most challenging organizing projects due to the volume of small pieces that often need to be sorted. As with any organizing project, I can not project how I would use the space, rather I have to take the time, ask lots of questions and find out how the client uses the space…or WANTS to use the space.
Where do we start on these types of projects?
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