Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Organizer's Bag of Tricks

When I show up at a client’s home or office, I always bring my bag of tricks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand so I can effortlessly whip the space into shape. (I’m working on it.) Instead, my bag of tricks consists of the tools I have on hand to run a seamless organizing session.

I imagine professional organizers in other cities with beautifully designed car trunks full of supplies with everything they could ever need for a client visit. But in New York City, we have to be as efficient and practical as possible, because without cars, we schlep our tools around. Sometimes I feel like a pack mule.

This week, I have a sneak peak into my fabulous work bag.  Hopefully, you’ll learn some tricks of the trade that you can use when getting organized.

I shopped for the perfect work bag for weeks looking for something durable, yet sleek with lots of compartments. I settled on this bag from Lululemon (in black). Love it. With all the pockets, my tools have a home, which is important to keep a bag organized. For more tips on organizing your purse or bag, check out my blog post.

Lululemon Fast In Flight Tote 


So what are the “magical” tools in my bag? Here’s the list:
  • Labels – Colored removable dots, address labels, file folder labels, box labels, key tags. You name it. I’ve got it.
  • Label Maker – I love my compact P-Touch 1090. Plus extra label tape and batteries.
  • General Supplies – Tape measure, pens, mechanical pencils, Sharpies, highlighters, mini-stapler, extra staples, tape, scissors, paper clips, binder clips, and a letter opener all in one case.
  • Compact Camera – For before and after photos.
  • Furniture Sliders – For reconfiguring rooms.
  • Clipboard – A must to keep papers organized.
  • Paper Products – Post-it Notes, note cards, envelopes, file folders, printer paper and graph paper for project plans.
  • NYC Map – Better safe than sorry.
  • Rubber Gloves – You never know.
  • Mini-Medicine Cabinet – Band-Aids (for evil paper cuts), hand sanitizer, hand lotion, hair ties, bobby pins, Kleenex, gum, Tic Tacs, and pain reliever all in one case. 
  • Notebooks – One for general business that never leaves my side and one for client notes.
  • Client Files – To keep file folders from wear and tear on the go, slip them into a plastic cover like this.
  • Personal Essentials – Wallet, keys, business cards, Blackberry, sunglasses, Fresh lip treatment, a bottle of water, and snacks. (A hungry organizer is not a happy organizer.)
Using solely the contents of my bag and my organizing skillz, I do my best to keep clients happy and get them organized. 

My other trick is that I created a checklist of all these items, which I keep in my work bag. When I notice I’m running low on something, I quickly make note on the checklist so I don’t forget to replace or replenish it.

Am I missing any must-have items in my bag?  I’d love to hear from you! 

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