Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dirty Little Secret

I have clearly let things slip around my house. In all my excitement for organizing other people, I’ve managed to accumulate a junk drawer all my own. For the record, I could try to blame this on my husband, but he’s probably the most organized guy I know. Or I could have “forgotten” to mention it to you, but that didn’t feel right either. So, I went ahead and took some photos to bring this dirty little secret to light…


So, what does this mean in the grand scheme of getting organized?
  • Nobody is perfect. I’m guessing it put you at ease to know that even a professional organizer needs to work at staying organized. So, don’t be so hard on yourself.
  • Organizational systems take maintenance. And, from time to time, a system is going to break down. Just hope it’s not a big one (but you can call Urban Simplicity if it is). 
  • Each drawer, shelf, or space should have a defined purpose. Figure out what that purpose is and stick to it.
  • As you notice organizing projects, jot them down on a list. Trust me, I knew that junk drawer was growing, but since I didn’t have it written on my list, it was out of sight, out of mind. Plus, a list is handy, because you likely won’t have time to deal with a project when you first notice it.
  • Schedule time on your calendar, say, an hour or two each weekend, to tackle a project. Approaching one project at a time will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and your progress will keep you motivated.
Hopefully, this gives you a realistic way to look at your organizing challenges.  Don’t forget, we’re all human! What matters is that we keep making the effort to do things better.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guest Blog Post: A Mommy in the City

This week I’ve got something a little different for you.  I’ve written a guest blog post about organizing your child’s artwork for A Mommy in the City.  Read it here.

On another note, I love to write guest blog posts, so if you write a blog or know someone who does, please reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to write a post with organizing tips that your readers might find interesting.   

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Two Techie Takeaways

Whew!  I am back from a whirlwind week on the West Coast at the National Association of Professional Organizers’ National Conference.  And what a week it was!  Aside from the information-packed seminars, the other highlight was toying around with the endless organizing gadgets in the expo.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  So, this week I thought I’d share my two favorite organizing products from the conference expo. 

1.  Evernote – They call it your “external brain,” which is just what you need when your actual brain is overloaded.  Evernote is a simple downloadable tool to capture anything you might ever want to take note of. Get it? It’s free or $5 a month for a premium subscription with unlimited storage.  You can write text notes, clip web content, snap photos, save files, create to-do lists, and record voice notes in one place and access it from another.  You can access the “notes” from any device – your computer, mobile device, and the web.  And to access the notes from your computer or mobile device, you don’t need an Internet connection.

  • Coolest Feature(s) – Oh, I couldn’t pick just one.  The Web Clipper preserves the source URL in your note, so you’ll always have it.  The search function is so powerful that it even searches handwritten text.  Awesome.
  • Why Use It to Organize? – No more worrying about where to look for your lists, notes, documents, audio files, or photos because they’re all in one place and easily tagged or saved in different notebooks based on topic.
  • Bright Idea – As you’re shopping online throughout the year, take a web clip of that perfect gift and save it in your Christmas Gifts 2011 file.  Come November, you’ll have all your gift ideas in one place – just click and order.

2.  GRID-IT! from Cocoon Innovations – As they say at Cocoon, “Living in today’s digital world, means not only remembering your wallet and keys, but also your chargers, ear buds, cell phone, and USB drive.”  So true, it can be overwhelming just thinking about it. The GRID-IT! is an organization panel that comes in various sizes and designs and keeps items in place with elastic bands made to hold personal objects.  Plus NAPO attendees voted it the Organizers' Choice Award for Best Technology Product.  If we don’t know a good organizing product, who does?

Four separate GRID-IT! panels

  • Coolest Feature – The back of the GRID-IT! doubles as a mouse pad.
  • Why Use It to Organize? – With endless ways to configure items on the grid, this product is versatile as needs change.
  • Bright Idea – Use the three-ring binder organizer GRID-IT! to keep your favorite student’s supplies in one place along with homework and other important documents. 

Disclosure: Urban Simplicity was not compensated for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Greetings from San Diego

Hello, from sunny (errrrr… rainy) San Diego! I just arrived in town for the 23rd Annual National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference and Organizing Exposition. And I can’t believe it’s not 65 degrees and sunny here. But I’m not letting that get me down. I couldn’t be more excited about the next three days filled with organizing workshops, panels with top organizers from across the country, and an expo with the best products and services in the industry. It’s going to be a great few days. Then I’ll be back in New York City soon with a ton of new strategies and ideas to share with you.   

So, please pardon the brief blog post this week. I assure you that I’ll be back in full effect next week with more organizing insight.

Until then, have a fantastic week!