Terry’s Blog

Organize, Simplify, Solve. “If a home doesn’t make sense, nothing does.” ~ Henrietta Ripperberger

Organizing Kids’ Spaces

Kid’s spaces can quickly turn into an overwhelming mess. Here are some helpful ways to organize and maintain their space… Build Routine: Build a routine for the kids to pick up the space at the same time every day – before naptime, after dinner, before bedtime. This will get the children involved in the cleanup and manages the mess before it becomes too overwhelming overtime. Begin Floor Up: Consider where toys and items are placed. Arrange their favorite and most-used items lower to the ground so they can easily play and very importantly, put them away. Designate a Space for

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Welcome to March

Welcome to March. Otherwise known as Terry’s least favorite month of the year. Not to be a downer, but… the weather, the wait for spring, the allergies…all vex me. If I could go south for 31 days, I would.    The reality is, I’m here for the duration, so how do I deal? I organize!  This month I’ll double-down on productivity to keep my thoughts positive and to prepare for the busiest season just ahead. Here are some ideas for how to do more, stay positive, and enjoy, rather than endure, the next 31 days.   Take planning to the next level

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Teaching Kids to be Organized

Organizing isn’t something that just comes to us; we learn and practice it. Therefore, it should be something that we teach our kids. Developing our children’s organizing skills will also benefit us! Over time, what we’re teaching them will become a habit and will ease daily stressors in our life. Sure, things won’t be perfect but I can guarantee the practice will help. Here are some ways to teach them to be organized… Develop Routines: Develop routines throughout the day — morning, afterschool, dinnertime, bedtime and so on. Children are comforted by routines and the more they are practiced, the

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Four Steps to Organize Any Space

The same steps can always be taken for any organizing project. Whether it’s a small drawer or large closet, here are steps that will help manage the process. 1. Commit + Clear Out: Commit to one space at a time. Commit + complete so you avoid spreading overwhelming messes across the house. When you have chosen one space, either clear it out or sort through it so you get a chance to see everything. 2. Sort: When all objects are spread on the table/floor, sort the items between — Toss, Donate, Move, Keep. Using large totes or trash bags for this process

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New Year Resolution or Whatever Gets You Organizing

Have you heard?! Intentions and Affirmations are the new Goals and Resolutions. That’s cool. Whatever your method; change = good. Change keeps you alert and excited and creates “change muscle memory,” useful for when change is vital (adaptability.) Language and concepts matter. As a busy mom, aching for a sense of control, I decided to run my home as a lean mean home-making machine. The phrase was mantra-like catchy and the concept vivid. I wasn’t longing for June Cleaver perfect. I wanted a clean and tidy home, food on the table at regular intervals, and the ability to get kids

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August Greeting

I hope you are enjoying the waning days of summer. Whether you are using them to squeeze in the last ounce of summer fun or preparing your home and family for the fall changes just ahead, the upcoming weeks  generally involve new purchases. With back-to-school shopping underway, the Severna Park Voice devoted a full page urging locals to shop within their community and for readers to “put away their Amazon Prime account”. Author Larry Sales admitted his sometimes use of Amazon Prime, re-committed to shopping locally, and asked his readers to do the same.  Here, here, Larry! I am with you!

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Terry on: Marie Kondo

Terry on: Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo, author of the book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, has tapped into the American public’s interest in a most unusual way. How can a book about home organization be a New York Times #1 best seller, have magazine writers experimenting with new organizing methods to understand the “life-changing “effects,” and have organizers all over the country in a lather on the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) list serve? Yes, professional organizers are not happy with Marie. I read “Magic” last fall and felt a response was in order myself. But not until I saw post after

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Productivity: It’s All in Your Head

Counting down to daylight savings time with the hope of getting more done? Our daily challenge is to maximize productivity. But how? More light helps, but the amount of hours and energy in the day are finite. Rather than resort to multi-tasking, resulting in neither task done optimally, try thinking in terms of multi-purpose activites to make the most of your day. Go mindless- a great way to both relax and get something done is to incorporate daily pick-up time into your routine. Skip any anger or resentment. Own it! (Acceptance is key to the success of this transformation.) Then begin

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Reduce Unwanted Mail

Everyone needs a go-to guru for their busiest times. Sara Pederson is mine. Read some great tips by her to- Reduce Unwanted Mail with 5 Simple Steps Peek inside your mailbox and you’ll discover junk mail overload. Over 40% of the mail we receive is junk mail! Follow these quick tips to drastically reduce the amount of stuff in your mailbox, making paper management a breeze! 1. Limit unwanted mailbox advertising: Greatly reduce advertising mail (and save some trees) by registering with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service. Call 212-768-7277 or visit www.dmachoice.org. 2. Opt out of unsolicited credit card

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The Oops List- Top Five Over-looked Systems in the Home

The Oops (wish I had set this up when I moved in) List: On-going Project Place – Rather than keeping supplies for active projects in the areas they are being worked on, which can be unsafe or interfere with daily living, keep all project supplies in one container (if practical) and have a home for that container in an out of the way place, the same place…always. Donation Zone- Clothes, housewares, and kids stuff are constantly cycling out of our lives and our homes (or they should be.) The likelihood of this happening increases greatly if “Donation” has a home. Stash a

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Back to Organized

There are the ultra-organized, those who keep all of their systems running smoothly throughout the summer, and there are the rest of us. We let stuff pile up in the garage, mud room or the kitchen counters in order to make the most out of summertime (or do nothing at all.) Piles are part of the summer organization plan. This works for us because we know that when fall arrives we’ll press the restart button and get control of the house again. Here are a few tips for those who let a little more stack up than they planned and are

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