Friday, May 30, 2008

Great Article in the Wall Street Journal

A wonderful Professional Organiser I met in Reno, Monica Ricci, has in her blog today a link to a great article everyone should read to learn more about Professional Organisers. Monica's blog is one of the best blogs by a Professional Organiser doing the rounds and I urge all of you to visit it.
Here is the link to the article she mentions "Helping Clients End Chaos"
Often people just do not "get" what it is a Professional Organiser does and this link will be a great starting point for you to begin to get the picture. Also another great way is to check out the before and after pictures on a Professional Organisers website. Also if you are contemplating hiring a PO, then always ask for references if you are unsure it will be worth the investment. A good PO will always have clients who will give a verbal testimonial if required.
There are many rogues out there, so ensure your PO is a member of one of the Professional Organising Associations in your area (NAPO, AAPO, POC, NSGCD for example) this shows they are serious about their industry and professionalism. Also most association have a Code of Ethics that provides some level of protection for your privacy when you work with a member of the association. If your PO is not a member then ask them "Why not?", you may be surprised at the answer. If they say they did not know there is one, then they have done very little research before setting up their business to not be aware of this, and you would need to question the seriousness of their intention when they commenced trading.
If they think they are "so expert" that they do not need the an association, then they are unlikely to take the industry itself seriously enough to support the growing professionalism of it and are probably so set in their ideas that they are unlikely to listen to your needs, because they feel they already know everything there is to know about Organising. This is so not true, as one of NZ's veteran organisers I learn something new about my Profession everyday whether that be from colleagues or even clients.
If they say they cannot afford the joining fee, then they need to seriously think about whether they are committed to having a PO business, as the support, resources and networking provided by an association will be one of the best investments they make in their business and for their clients.
So go forth and find a PO for you, but do check their credentials, references, and experience. In such a young industry there are many "fake it before you make in PO's" out there that may not have your best interests at heart.
Have a fab Friday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A fab find in Cashmere

I was lucky enough to receive a flyer from a neighbour recently about her new business (with a friend) NORDICSTYLE. I popped into her home based store yesterday and was delighted by the quality and colours of these fabulous items.
What an amazing treat for someone who has just recently decluttered to spoil themselves with something from this range. Visit .
The two stores are in Cashmere and St Andrews Hill if you are in Christchurch.
Go on spoil yourself!I did by buying a beautiful red & white throw for the family room sofa that was beginning to look a little worse for wear

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Love the new car signage!

Gotta Love the new sign for my car. It matches the current lettering perfectly and looks so cool. Not to over the top but the details are there and I figure with all the driving I do it puts in front of many sets of eyes each day.
This is from and was only $148 + gst. So if you are looking for some slick ideas that look cool. I highly recommend this.

Mustering Up the Courage

As my regular readers know, I am not naturally organised,and work at it everyday. I have made huge improvements in my own life over the years and have things on a pretty even keel now.
However, (That is lie a BIG BUT!!) there is one room in my home at the moment where I fear to tread..........The boys bedroom, it is a PO's nightmare.
I am a firm believer in kids doing there bit around the home and picking up after themselves. Yet my boys seem to be allergic to this concept. The bedroom shared by my 8 and 10 year old boys is an absolute organising nightmare. Now I have been avoiding the inevitable as we are about to do a major renovation and demolish their room. Maybe I could do this while the clutter is still in there, I keep hoping. However that really is not possible.
I am putting off getting in there and getting it sorted, it is one of those areas that just feels too hard on your own. Now I have the possibility of having one of my trusty "Organising Consultants" offer me a hand, but that would be a bit tricky for them, de cluttering the Organising Guru's kids bedroom. There are no other Professional organisers in Christchurch that I can call to offer the job to, so I will persevere and get it done.
I have a deadline to do this job, that is the 12th June, before the Nanny moves in for a week while I am in Ireland. So I keep thinking it will get done eventually, maybe the organising fairies will visit one night while I am asleep!!!
This little issue of mine really highlights the way getting your own stuff organised can be a real de energiser. When you live with a problem it is hard to see the easy solution and gather up the motivation to tackle the task. It is when you feel like this that calling in the Pro's is a real option. If I get help with this task it may take only 2 hours, however doing it on my own will take about 6 hours (I know this from past experience!!). So I will keep you posted on how I managed to get over my procrastination hump, and if I relent and call in the Pro's.
If you have a part of your home or office that feels similar to this then maybe you can look at the option of having a Professional Organiser come and help you get over that hump. There is nothing better than looking at an issue with a fresh set of eyes and a new set of strategies and that is what a Professional Organiser will do.
MMMMMM I may have just convinced myself to call on either Jane or Jeanne (my trusty Christchurch Organising Consultant's) to help me get over my Organising hump.
Have a fabulous day.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Enjoy the talent of another...

I was just sent a link to the coolest time waster I have seen for a while it goes for 2.5 minutes and is very clever. Reminds me of how little I know about what we can do with our computers. Thansk Michelle for sending it to me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Crying into my keyboard

Here is a lesson for everyone.
BACKUP your files.
My hard drive on my main computer crashed on Sunday night, as I reported in an earlier post. I collected my computer this afternoon and plugged her in. The guys at "PC anytime" had managed to recover most of my data. But it is like opening a new computer. All my settings and many programs have vanished into the ether of cyber land.
So far this evening I have reinstalled Mozilla Firefox, Palm Desktop and Skype. I have redone my email signature and also had to add all my email accounts to my outlook. What a challenge and a pain.
What I cannot locate is my Quicken program and contents. Lucky for me our Financial year started on 1st April, so only have 6 weeks of data to re enter. My new e-organizer pro CRM software has also vanished, however the excel version of all my customer databases still exist and I can locate them, Hooray.
So this is a timely message to BACKUP YOUR HARDDRIVE, don't just think about it do it and do it today, because even when you don't lose your data a new hard drive is like reconfiguring a whole new computer and takes time and patience.
Oh well back to the grindstone.......

Ladies who Lunch

I took the opportunity today to attend the "Next" magazine lunch at Peppers Clearwater resort here in Christchurch. there would have been 100 or so ladies from various walks of life who were there to listen to some speakers and enjoy a great lunch.
Unfortunately due to previous arrangements I only go to hear 1 speaker Dr Libby Ellis, she gave one of the most succinct talks on Hormone levels and their effect on stress mood and food I have heard for a long time. I will certainly make an effort to visit her when I am next in Auckland for a consult.

One thing that struck me though was the level of interest my fellow lunching ladies had in what it is I do as a Professional Organiser. One even made the comment "You should be up there speaking to all of us today", I would have loved to, however alas as an industry Professional Organisers are still very young and unknown. So until people hear us talk the talk then of course walk the talk, they do not get the value of what we can offer.

So a challenge for me over the next 12 months or so is to get on the next "Next" speaking lunch tour and spread the word about getting organised, how you can do it without too much stress and it's benefits. One thing that will help me with that is my book, due for release in the last quarter of 2008.

I am fast learning that speaking is my passion and speaking about getting organised is way up there on my topic of choice, so keep your eyes peeled for my name out there on the speaking circuit.

As a guest at today's one thing was clear and that is in order to be a memorable speaker you need to have passion for what it is you are speaking about, people know when you are passionate, it shows in your face and your voice and in the words you share. Dr Libby certainly had the passion and it resonated with me in a great way as it did with the other ladies at my table.

For me being able to share my passion through my blog, website, consults and speaking truly makes everyday a great one for me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bathroom Declutter

I have just decide my bathroom needs a serious declutter. It is amazing how much you can collect in your bathroom cupboards and benchtops.
With three kids and an active lifestyle one of the most duplicated items we have is Sunblock. Just how much does one family of 5 need???? I am sure we have more than 10 various bottles of sun block in out bathroom.
So I am planning a big clear out in our 2 bathrooms. Here is how I plan to do it:
* Gather all my cosmetics, lotions and potions from cupboards, drawers and bench tops. Discard any old grungy stuff, be realistic about what we really need in there and clean all the benches & shelves before returning the keepers.
* Collect up any medications that are in the bathrooms, discard all medications that are past their expiration date. Take them to your pharmacy for safe disposal.
* Take inventory of all the sundry bathroom items such as cotton buds, tissues, makeup brushes, hair combs and brushes. Use small storage boxes for some of these items so they do not get spread all over the place.

I remember once as a young single chick I was working for Club Med in new Caledonia, my roomie Anna and I decide to consolidate all our Shampoo and Conditioner bottles. We poured all the half and quarter full bottles into one bottle. I do not suggest this for you at home, as we wound up with some very odd concoctions.
However if you have anything that is almost empty, grungy looking, dried up or smells weird then discard it.

Also did you know that your cosmetics have best before dates and do expire or go off. Here is a list of optimal lifetimes for some cosmetics.
Lipstick 9-12months
Mascara 3-6 months
Lip & Eye pencils 9-12 months
Foundation 12 months
Eye Shadow 12 months
So clear out anything that has been around for longer than these dates. Cosmetics can grow bacteria and cause skin infections so be cautious. Also your makeup brushes should be washed regularly in mild shampoo and left to air dry to also clear them of bacteria.

Did you know also that unused unwanted cosmetics can be donated or given away as well. So don't hang on to those colors you know you will never where, find someone they suit and give them a small gift.

You start your day in your bathroom, so make it a pleasant sanctuary that way you can always leave the room feeling good.

Monday, May 12, 2008

When things go Blahhhhhh

Hope your week started better than mine. my Computer is in the computer hospital It seems I may have "killed" my hard drive. Working away last night and I get the dreaded "unmountable boot volume" message. Which the fab guys at PC Anytime ( tell me may not be a good thing. As for my data well only time will tell. The said machine was delivered and put onto data recovery (PC Life support, I assume), this morning. I have not heard yet of the prognosis, so hopefully no news is good news....Thank goodness for laptops as that is what I am using at present.
As for backing up data, well it turns out you never seem to back up the stuff you really need, so maybe "Totally Organised" will be doing alot of catch up work as even though I do back up, I have missed a few important things. Fortunately my book was done on my laptop, so is still intact and almost ready to be published, phew.
To add to this small dilemma, our drains blocked at home as well, the sewer no less. So I have had the plumbers out and sorting that situation today.
So for all of you who think a Professional organisers life runs smoothly, I can assure you it does not, these small things are sent to challenge us and test our systems.
Also it always means that tomorrow will be a better day, hooray....