Terry’s Blog

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

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Reality Organizing for Your Teen – It’s Not Just Cleaning Up

Reality Organizing for Your Teen - It's Not Just Cleaning Up

Do you feel like your teen’s room is out of control?  Like most organizing issues, it is a result of more than just a need to clean.  Sure, dirty dishes and clothes can be cleaned up and the trash can emptied, but the underlying issues will still need to be addressed.  Here’s how I address organizing for teens. Set Example- Your teen can become organized, but it starts with you. Eliminate your own chaos. Be organized and be on time. Learn to prioritize. Know how to work well and how to relax.   KISS and make-up- Keep it Simple Sweetie

Continue Reading

Transition Pitfall #10: Falling for the “Time on your hands” Factor

Transition Pitfall #10: Falling for the "Time on your hands" Factor

Remember when telling someone the phrase “You’ve got time on your hands” had only a mild, amusing meaning? Now they’re fighting words. We take it as an insult. We fear being perceived as unproductive. Sometimes, even when a transition offers the time to rest and reflect, we rush through the process and make poor decisions or no decisions and get to the other side thoughtlessly. One client had a husband whose approach to company coming was to take the clutter and shove it in corners and under surfaces.  Even if they had time to put things away properly, he would

Continue Reading

Transition Pitfall #9: The Gollum Effect

Transition Pitfall #9: The Gollum Effect

Most of us know Gollum from Lord of the Rings. He held onto something he considered precious, even to his own peril. The inability to release an object or objects can be self-defeating. One client, Cynthia, had a goal of simplifying her life. She recognized the need to set up systems in her mostly system-free home. Her house was small and stuff was everywhere. Getting herself and two young daughters out the door was a terrible struggle. She had three cabinets in her living and dining area filled with not only her china (that she never used) but also her

Continue Reading