Yipeee!  The most exciting time of the year for me!  I know it sounds crazy, buy hey, we all do what we do.  I de-clutter.  I organize. I thrive on creating systems, on creating balance, and on having a productive life.

Spring Cleaning is when I get to work on maintaining my home and my business, as well as my clients’.

If you don’t have a Professional Organizer that comes in, and  you too would like to join me on this exciting adventure, rest assured.  I will walk you through it in the next couple of months.

First, to begin preparing for the rewarding activity, you must begin clearing out the ‘stuff’. Begin by getting rid of excess clutter that has built up over the colder months.

Put a giant box in your garage or an area not used, and begin combing your home, room to room, and scoop up the things you no longer need, you no longer use, or you no longer remember what they are for or why you got them in the first place.

When the box is full, make a trip to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or any other donation center of your choice. If you write off your donations, take a photo of them, as well as write down a brief list on your receipt.  It’s also fun, and a bit rewarding to look back at all the stuff you got rid of!

Put out a new box, and do it all over. This can be done gradually, but it a great way to get started.

Let the games begin!

Real 'stuff' taken to Goodwill

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

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Many Children, like adults, must be TAUGHT skills on how to De-clutter, Organize, and create systems in order to live a productive life and to create balance in their growth and advancement. They may not have to maintain a home or maintain a business yet, but they do have a bedroom, school obligations, and maybe a job or hobby. They accumulate and are given ‘stuff’ just like grown-ups are.

If you teach a child at a young age to put their things in order, whether it be their actual ‘stuff’, their schedule, or school, they will be much more successful in adulthood at whatever they decide to do.

It’s never too late. Here are some ideas to begin now:

  • Tidy and Organize their room WITH them. When they have ownership and time invested in it, it has a better chance at sticking
  • Have them help you folding and putting away laundry. My boys have been doing it since the ages of 7 & 9. It’s great for me, and they learn how to keep their drawers and closets tidy. In addition, they know what they have, and what doesn’t fit anymore
  • Have them help you prepare meals or snacks. This allows them to know where things are stored in the kitchen, teaches them how to put it back where it belongs, and empowers them to contribute to the healthy of the family
  • Have a central family calendar on the wall. Encourage them to look at it every day with you, and to look ahead. This teaches them time management and planning skills.
  • Give them a basic planner for school. It’s never too early for this.  Make sure it have a part where they can put ‘notes’ or reminders. Go over this each day, as you would their homework. When they get old enough, they will maintain this on their own.

The main purpose here is to start your children in assisting you in organizing and de-cluttering at young as possible. In addition, include them in the maintenance and functions of your home. They will feel a sense of belonging, ownership, and be a more organized, productive adult.

Child's Closet Before

Child's Closet After- WITH their assistance

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

 

 

 

 

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Crafters, Quilters, and Scrapbookers are usually the biggest culprits when it comes to lack of organization.  I think it’s a left brain/right brain thing.  These folks tend to be extremely creative. They often have so many great ideas, and may even run from project to project, leaving a trail behind them. This is not a criticism.  I happen to love artists of all kinds- and even consider myself more creative than ‘Type-A’.

That said, a creative person can lead a more productive life if, from time to time, they de-clutter their ‘stuff’, create systems, and create balance in their home or business. Organizing their supplies can be fun. Keep in mind, most creative people are highly visual, so one must think of creative ways to display their things so they are tidy, yet accessible.

One of my clients adored duct tape projects. She had rolls and rolls. Rather than having them sit around the craft room in bags, I decided to have www.barnboyfurniture.com create some stands for the tape. They matched the rest of the room, and were functional, cool, and easy to maintain.

Duct Tape Storage Idea

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

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I adore books.  That’s my weakness. There. I admitted it.

I must even admit that when I have clients who have to organize or de-clutter a home or business have too many books, that it pains me to encourage them to part with them.  That said, the same rules apply to books as other ‘stuff’ if you have too much. In order to live a balanced and productive life, you need to know what you have, where it is, and be able to locate it.

Of course, as always, you must de-clutter what you own. I suggest donating books to a local library or school if you must part with them.  You can categorize books however you see fit:

  • Subject Matter
  • Author
  • Title
  • Color
  • Size

Or you may do a combination of these. As long as you create a system that makes sense to you, it will work, as long as you maintain it.

Organized by size and subject matter

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

 

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The funny thing about the Profession of Organizing, is that people get some idea in their head that Organizing a Business or a home is a ‘one-off’ project.  It’s no surprise.  All one needs to do is watch TV or look at a popular Magazine and see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots. It somehow seems permanent.

Well, as the bearer of bad news, I am here to tell you that this is an unrealistic perception.

When you or a Professional Organizer is hired to De-clutter or Organize a business or a home, that is the first step. The goal of course, is to decrease your ‘stuff’, create systems,  create balance, and lead a productive life or business.

The key is to MAINTAIN your home or business. I often liken it to cleaning your home. Stuff must  be de-cluttered on a regular basis along with your house cleaning. Drawers, cabinets and closets must be tidied and put in order ever few months.

If this is not done, I can guarantee that those beautiful homes you see on the TV and in Magazines that are staged beautifully after an Organizer comes in, will look exactly like they had prior to the exercise in less than a month.

Shelves must be tidied every once in awhile too

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

 

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No kidding!

I’ve been de-cluttering and organizing homes and businesses for nearly 25 years. A common side-effect is increased health and weight-loss.

How or why does this happen?  Well, I can’t be certain. I’ve go no proof or evidence. When I create systems, clients begin to have balance. They begin to live that productive life they had been dreaming of. As a result? I have is many thin, healthy and happy clients. I can’t even make a claim- BUT- I do have a strong gut-feeling.

I truly believe that clutter is ‘stuff’. ‘Stuff’ stops energy flow. It remains stagnant. It impedes action and productivity. Clutter comes in many different forms, as you will see this year in numerous blogs that I will post.  Have you ever heard someone say ‘I can think straight now that all of this is cleaned up’. ? It’s true. We can think, create, explore and focus more when the ‘stuff’ is out of our way.

Remember, a key is to maintain our home or our business so we can maintain our health.  It is too much of a coincidence that when I begin with most clients, they are at their worst shape in clutter, disorganization, and their highest weight ever!

So if you’ve been trying for a long time to get healthy or lose weight- stay tuned.  You may experience the side effect that many of my clients have: Happy, healthy and productive

One of my HAPPY and HEALTHY clients

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

 

 

 

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Have you ever wondered what would be the ‘best’ way to file?

Most of my clients do.  They feel pressured to do it correctly.  I get the exciting job of relieving them from their pressure by revealing my secret: THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO FILE. Sure, there are trends, suggestions, ideas- but these are only as good as the person creating them. When it comes to filing, it can be (and usually is) as different as each person who is creating the system.

Whether you are organizing your business or your home papers, you must create a system that not only allows you to locate items at a moments notice, but one that allows you to have a productive life and not be bogged down with paperwork.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Determine your categories- These can be broad, such as MEDICAL, or as detailed as having each family member’s names and doctors names under a heading of medical. Basically, you divide your stuff into stacks according to subject matter.
  • Put the papers into folder files containing the names of the categories you determined. I suggest doing this in  chronological order: newest on top. You may label your files with a sharpie, with a label maker, or a tab.  You can color code your files if you recognize colors.
  • Arrange the files in a box, a basket, a pretty bin, a cabinet or a file folder in an order that makes sense to you: Alphabetize, Order of importance, Order of use, or any other order that works for you.
  • I often put a ‘key’ in the front of the drawer or box in case someone needs to find something for me- that way they know the order.

In the end, the key is de-cluttering your files each year, balancing the paperwork and stuff coming into your office or home, and maintaining the system that you began.

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

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I have created systems for ‘stuff’ entering my business. This applies to my immediate environment, as well as its daily functioning, and all areas in between. Businesses, just like homes, tend to get cluttered. In order for me to have a productive life in my business, I make a concerted effort to keep all of the ‘stuff’ that comes in, in balance.  For the most part, I rarely let it enter.

From all fronts, it would appear that I am organizing or that I de-clutter constantly.  This is not the case.  I merely have set some simple ground rules for myself:

  • If I attend Trade Fairs, I NEVER bring home the freebies. I know that stress ball with that logo on it is tempting, bust resist.
  • When I go to seminars, I never buy CD’s, books or any other tempting information.  Many times these things are sold in a high pressure fashion. My philosophy is that if I still want it in a week, I can always order it—and usually for the same ‘amazingly discounted price’.
  • I go to trainings and seminars sparingly. It’s not because I don’t love learning, because I do. It’s just that the great majority of my clients who invite me to organize their businesses have an overabundance of training manuals, CD’s, and notes. Most never touched or opened.  I have seen some from the 1980s- still in the box. I am guessing the information is outdated.
  • I don’t allow ‘junk mail’ or ‘special offers’ to clutter my space, These get recycled before I enter my office space.
  • I purge my papers, ‘to-do’ lists, l& e-mails weekly.
  • I do not eat at my desk
  • I keep my back up office ‘stuff’ and current work in a file box, or in containers.  It’s labeled. It has a home. I know where to find it.

In essence, I treat my office as I do my home. I de-clutter it on a regular basis.  I organize it, I set up systems, and I maintain it.

 

Organized Office Stuff

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

 

 

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Paper seems to be the #1 problem when it comes to clutter in homes or businesses. It’s hard to have balance anywhere when we are constantly inundated with sheets of piled white stuff.

Whether your are de-cluttering your home or organizing your business, in order to create systems and maintain them, you may need some organizing tools to live that balanced and productive life that you so desire.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep in mind is that ‘Organizing’ is ‘IN’. We are pressured to ‘de-clutter’ and ‘organize’, as evidenced by all the flashy magazine covers you can see in the stores giving you this message.  It is quite easy to get caught up in this. More times that not, I go into homes and have to organize the supplies that my clients bought to DO the organizing!  Often we de-clutter this before we begin.

This can be costly, overwhelming, and unproductive.

There is NO ONE TOOL that is the best. There is not something that works for everyone. Before you go out and buy anything, it is important to consider a few things:

  • How much $$ do I have?
  • How much room do I have?
  • What has worked in the past? And not worked?
  • Do I like to SEE things? Touch things?
  • Do I like color? Broad ideas? Concise ideas?

Answering these questions will give you some guidance on the tools that may work for you.  I say ‘may’ because organizing involves knowing yourself, and some trial and error. Don’t force a system or an idea if it’s not working.  A box may be pretty, but impractical if you need visible horizontal shelves on your desk.

One example would be filing. Keep in mind that there are as many different filling gadgets and systems as there are people. You may use colors, labels, re-use folders, boxes, bins, cabinets or even wall hangings.  There are tons of creative ideas out there, as well as numerous places to purchase items to do the organizing.

                         

Pretty Office Storage

Before going out and spending a lot of money on tools or supplies hoping it will help you get organized, ‘START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON’. De-clutter and organize first. Look at the things you are keeping. Then buy the tools that will be a ‘home’ for your ‘stuff’.

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

 

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I have created a system for new things or ‘stuff’ that enters my home: One thing in, TWO things out.

Mathematically, you would think I would end up with nothing left.  For some strange reason, for the past 10 years or so, this hasn’t been the case. I am able to maintain my home and maintain my business using this simple formula.  Rather than ending up with no ‘stuff’, there seems to be a balance.  It may be because I am not the only person in my house, but regardless, I live a productive life, with very little clutter, and a lot of calm.

I often cheat a little to make certain my plan is full-proof. I de-clutter when my husband or children are away.  Often getting rid of 20 or 30 things when I purchase only one. They don’t seem to miss the ‘stuff’, and I don’t miss the clutter.

Missy Bystrom is the owner of The Organized Connection located in Cleveland, OH and Orange County, CA.  Missy’s  blog gives weekly tips and tricks on becoming more organized and having a more peaceful household.  If you would like to become a certified professional organizer, follow this link.  If you would like to get more extensive information on organizing your household, business or personal, follow this link.

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Become more organized – OR experience a De-cluttered Calm Life

Become More OrganizedMissy Bystrom, professional organizer of over 25 years give you her insights and ideas on how to live a more balanced, and less cluttered and chaotic life. No workbooks, no ‘step-by-step’, just a simple common sense approach you can listen to and follow at your own pace. Listen while you are driving or at home, and get ready for a calm, balanced life!


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