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Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area | Gayle Grace, 510-654-7983

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can EVERYONE be organized?

Recently one of my ATH facebook followers posed this question:  "Can everyone be organized?  My husband seems like a lost cause to me..."

I've been pondering that question, because I use to think that everyone could be organized.  After 20 years as a professional organizer, I now understand that while every space can be organized and made more efficient, and certainly everyone can benefit by having a a more organized space, not everyone responds to getting organized.

There can be many reasons for this...some people are inordinately resistant to change, some people have abundance issues and must be surrounded by a mountain of stuff, some people have serious disorders such as hoarding.  Some people already consider themselves organized - it just doesn't look that way to someone else.  Author David Allen has said "Everyone is already organized to the degree they need to be, to have the world match up to their internal standards. And usually “having to get organized” refers only to things they don’t care that much about. In other words, oil painters have their brushes organized, fishermen their tackle boxes, golfers their clubs."

Recognizing that not everyone's personal definition of being organized is the same, is a level of maturity that the veteran professional organizer brings to the table. There's no amount of trying to convince someone that they need to get organized if they don't think so!

Take this test:  which of these spaces looks organized to you?



If you choose A, don't call me, I can't help you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Putting round pegs in square holes...

Last week I was organizing a chef's newly renovated kitchen.  We spent a lot of time trying to find the most efficient way to store all her foods and cooking utensils, especially the mountains of bulk food products for baking.

Her bulk food containers are all restaurant sized and round.  It was painfully obvious that all the new storage shelving that had been added to this kitchen would be eaten up by a few large round containers.  So, she's off to shop for new square containers.

My rule for containers is:  always choose square or rectangular for dry goods and round for wet or sticky foods.  You can get a lot more on a shelf if your containers are square and stackable.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clean for a day...

The Great Spring Cleaning of 2011 is DONE.  This event was as much about taking stock of what I have as it was about cleaning.  When you clean EVERYTHING you own, you come to realize how much you have.  I never want to have more than I can keep clean in a reasonable time.

I admit that the majority of time was spent getting up and down on a ladder to wash the walls and to touch up the paint.

I am pleased to report that not a drop of paint was spilled and no cats were harmed in this process.

Besides repairing the bathroom paint, this little surprise happened in the kitchen.  I pulled at a "bubble" on the wall and discovered that the original paint had never actually adhered to it, and it literally peeled off the wall.  I finally stopped pulling and covered the patch with spackling before repainting.

The drapes are at the cleaners and the carpet is scheduled for next week...

Here's the work that piled up during my "vacation"...good to know clients are ready to have me tear their homes apart! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One thing leads to another...

It started with a leak from the upstairs neighbor's bathroom into mine...

I pondered having to fix this for a couple of weeks. Then when an opening in my calendar appeared, I decided the only way to handle this was to tear the entire condo apart, clean every inch of it and repair the damage from the leak.

Day 1 - the bedroom and closet - everything comes out, gets evaluated, cleaned and put back.

Time to pare down this old sewing's been years since I've picked up a needle and thread, so most of it can go away.

Here's part of the give aways from this go around...

Day 2 - the living room, everything comes off the walls and they get washed...everything gets taken out of the bookcase and cleaned before being put back.

Day 3 - the office comes apart, gets cleaned and then put back.

Day 4 - the bathroom gets the same treatment, including scraping off the damaged paint and prepping the surface for painting tomorrow.

After 10 years in this unit, the grime builds up and I am not in the mood for a complete repaint, so washing the walls will buy me some time.  Only regret, can not wash the ceiling - too much work (no!). 

A little obsessive/compulsive?  Who me...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Change your space, change your life...

I am a true believer in shaking things up in my home to change the energy in my life.  I have been know to rearrange the furniture in the middle of the night when the urge strikes.

I especially believe that my business shifts every time I rework my office...

A couple of years ago, I thought I wanted to calm things down with a very neutral palette. Boring...

Then I spiced things up by adding a bold red...brought in a lot of clients who wanted work done in a hurry...

Too much red, led to adding a nice money green...brought an increase in work, but still felt like I was missing something...

Got rid of red entirely and added orange...and some art, nice improvement, brought in artistic clients...

Now I'm celebrating my international side...bringing in more moves, merci beaucoup!

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