Archive for the ‘Helpful Tips’ Category

Opportunity to Clear Clutter, Fall

Posted on: October 26th, 2016 by Open Space Organizing

Opportunity to Clear Clutter, Fall

Fall Inspiration Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Fall Inspiration
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Fall is here and it brings an opportunity to clear clutter from our lives as there is a natural shift in routines, activities, clothes, even food as the weather begins to change and daylight hours shorten. This change in season encourages us to take some time to contemplate and review what things are working for us in our lives, schedules and spaces, and what things are not. This is an opportunity to embrace growth and change.

When you look at your life do you find areas that are stagnant? Spots where things just sit, no movement, no growth, no awareness of what is even there? Like old boxes piled up in the corner, is your mind filled with thoughts that no longer serve you? We sort and purge our spaces to bring back fresh energy and life. This technique is also useful for our minds. Take a look at and get rid of what you are holding onto that is not useful, like negative thoughts, old ways of doing things, old ways of looking at yourself or the world. Decide what thoughts to keep and what thoughts to purge.

Once the old has been cleared from your mind you now have space available to set new goals. You can see where you are. This is an important step that can allow you to see the direction you want to take next and allow you to clearly visualize the road ahead of you and your end result.

Clearing clutter from your mind to open yourself to new possibilities can be freeing, just as clearing the physical clutter in your space is freeing. Many times after working with a client to de-clutter I hear comments about how they feel so much lighter, a weight has been lifted and they feel free. Clients breathe a sigh of relief at being able to see the the top of their dresser, or they are thrilled to be able to walk into their closet, as the floor is now clear. They are amazed at the new space they have found, and how this change in their environment lifts their mood and gives them a feeling of hope and renewal. They feel relieved!

Making a shift and clearing the clutter from our minds or our spaces alters our perspectives and our moods in ways we do not expect. Whether you start with changes in your space or you start with changes in your mind the important thing is to start! Use this change of season to spark a change in your life!

Organizing and Yoga; The Benefits of Practice

Posted on: September 2nd, 2016 by Open Space Organizing

Organizing and Yoga

Are you searching for a calm space in your life? Organizing, like Yoga, can create a calm space for you to relax into. I am a student and a teacher of Yoga. I was drawn to Yoga during a time of upheaval in my own life. Now as a professional organizer I see the similarities and connections between the benefits received from organizing and Yoga and the practice of each.

The Benefits of Yoga:
Yoga is about consciously connecting to your breath and your body to increase your awareness. Yoga breathing requires inhaling, deeply and slowly, filling your lungs with fresh oxygen and then exhaling completely, emptying your lungs of old air. If you practice this type of breathing, even for just 3 breathes, you will notice feeling calmer, more relaxed, and more centered.

Yoga is also about testing your limits and pushing yourself, stretching yourself in new ways into new poses. It does not feel comfortable at first (Yoga teachers call it feeling sensation) but as you repeat and practice poses it becomes easier and you can feel your body able to stretch farther and hold for longer. The more you practice, the greater the benefits and the easier it becomes.

The Benefits of Organizing:
Organizing is about changing what is in your space. When our environments become filled with old, no longer useful things, it is like hanging onto old air. Removing what is stale and old from your environment and opening up your space can have the same effect as yoga breathing. You begin to notice a feeling of calmness in your space. Your senses are no longer bombarded by objects piled, stacked, falling and filling up your surfaces. Instead of feeling distracted and overwhelmed you begin to feel lighter, free, calm and more in control.

Organizing is also about stretching your limits and trying new ways, which at first do not feel comfortable (feeling anxious when you start can be expected). Again as you repeat and practice organizing principles you begin to “find your flow” and it starts to feel easier, more natural and you feel and see the benefits as you accomplish each of your organizing goals. The more you practice, the greater the benefits and the easier it becomes.

Try it for Yourself:
First practice yoga breathing. Breathe in deeply through your nose to the count of 4, breath all the way into your abdomen. Hold your breath for the count of 7 and then breath out completely to the count of 8. Do this 3 times.

Next grab a large garbage bag and make a sweep through your space challenging yourself to find at least 27 things to toss or donate. Place your donations in your car and those things you want to toss into the garbage receptacle.

Now sit back and notice how you are feeling, notice the difference. Ahhh… just like Savasana!

For more thoughts on the similarities between organizing and Yoga see by professional organizer Hazel Thornton.

Contact Cathy at Open Space Organizing today to begin your practice of organizing, to find your calm and open your space! 630-453-2582


Anything Can Become Clutter

Posted on: August 19th, 2016 by Open Space Organizing

Organizing Supplies Can Become Clutter Too

Clutter is anything in excess, more than you use, or have adequate space for. Even items meant to contain clutter can become clutter as you keep buying, to solve the problem. Items such as containers, stacking drawers, totes, bins, expanding file folders, trays, etc. do not create space or clear clutter but can serve instead to hide the issue. Buying supplies helps us to feel like we are fixing the problem. We are doing something, expending energy and taking action. Is it the most effective action though? Much like buying work out clothes will not get you fit, buying organizing supplies will not get you organized. You have to do the work of sorting, purging and organizing to effect a change in your surroundings. You have to break a sweat!

After you have done your organizing “workout” and shed some of the “weight” of your excess you can see what you actually need, as far as supplies. Now it may be time to purchase new. Below are some helpful tips to use when you are ready to purchase those new containers for your space.

Container Tips:
Use what you already own first.
Measure and consider the container sizes needed before you go shopping.
Keep containers uniform for each area you are working in.
For storage items, buy clear containers so you can see what is inside.
Label all containers, label them uniformly and place labels in the same spot on each container (upper right hand corner, for instance).

To get yourself started or to keep yourself going on any of your organizing projects consider getting the help of a Professional Organizer through Open Space Organizing. We can help you with any project, big or small. Contact us today for a consultation! 630-453-2582

Hire an Organizer, is That for Me?

Posted on: July 8th, 2016 by Open Space Organizing

How do I know if I need to hire an organizer?

On average it can take up to six months to decide to hire an organizer.

Top Five Tips that you need an organizer:

  1. You keep saying you are going to get organized and somehow never do.
  2. You have rooms, spaces, or areas that are unusable.
  3. You spend time, more days than not, looking for lost items.
  4. You dread the task of organizing.
  5. You are too busy to find the time to start.

If you are still reading you are probably considering and have been considering hiring an organizer for some time. What I often hear after an initial work session with a client is “why didn’t I do this sooner! This is awesome!” The time and the money spent are well worth the investment of both.

Lost time can be one of the most stressful results of disorganization and clutter. To view how much time you might be losing go to, by Donna Dubinsky.


Common Concerns:

What commonly stops you from taking that first step forward and making a contact to hire? For many it is feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done and not understanding the process of how an organizer will work. For others it is family and friends who comment “why don’t you just do it yourself, you don’t need an organizer to help you.” And still others feel shame regarding how their space looks, fear being judged and have a mistaken notion their space is the worst the organizer will ever see.

Answers to Common Concerns: 

An organizer works by partnering with you to tackle that mountain of stuff you have accumulated. Together you will make a plan to move forward effectively. You will not be alone to try to figure it all out. If you had  the expertise and time to tackle it all yourself you would have done so already. An organizer has seen many spaces in disarray and is there to help you organize and reclaim your space, not to judge it.

Take that first step, move forward, contact Open Space Organizing and hire an organizer today!



Change, Opportunity and Growth

Posted on: June 3rd, 2016 by Open Space Organizing

Change is an opportunity for growth.

Change opens you up to new possibilities.
Change can be frightening, exhilarating, overwhelming or a mix of all of these.
Change is inevitable.
Even when you don’t decide, you decide!

Organizing and decluttering is all about making changes, positive changes, in your space.
What do you want to change? What do you need to change? What are you ready to change?

Here are some TIPS that can help you to embrace your change process:


  1. Just start wherever you are. That you start, is more important than where you start.
  2. Stay focused on the present. One step at a time, leads to the next step and helps you travel down the road.
  3. Keep it simple.
  4. Avoid over-thinking, or complicated solutions.
  5. Be brave and ask for help as you need it.

As a professional organizer, I help busy people declutter and organize their homes, offices, schedules and lives. I can help you to navigate change by developing new systems and new habits to let go of what is no longer working or useful in your life and your space.


What are you waiting for?

Contact us, Open Space Organizing, at 630-453-2582 and start your positive change process today!