Archive for the ‘Home Organizing’ Category

Simplicity and Organizing

Posted on: November 20th, 2016 by Open Space Organizing

Simplicity in our spaces and schedules leads to an ease in the ability to organize both. As we simplify, weeding out excess, it becomes possible to see what we have, what we need and what it is ok to let go of. Having less enables one to get clear on what is important. This can be especially useful to do before the overwhelm of the holiday season, which brings additional demands and complications to our time, our finances and our space. Keeping it simple and organized brings calmness into our lives.

Achieving Simplicity in Your Home:
Consider why you are keeping items you are not using, or have duplicates of
Have a donation box/bag accessible to add donations to, on an ongoing basis
Have a plan in place to donate, recycle or toss those items
Especially for the holidays:
Review your holiday decorations
Donate or toss any decorations you no longer love
Toss any decorations that are broken
Make a plan to keep decorations simple (easier to put up, easier to take down, easier to store)

Achieving Simplicity in Your Calendar:
Say no to some holiday commitments and events – create a limit and stick to it
Say yes only to what you truly want to do
Schedule nights off on the calendar
Schedule family time on the calendar (game night, movie night, make dinner together night)
Repeat anything you did last year that you loved
Avoid anything you did last year you did not love
Schedule an event/activity you missed last year that you wish you had done
Be purposeful, have a plan

Achieving Simplicity in Your Thoughts:
Practice gratitude daily
Keep focused on what you have
Prioritize and work on one thing at a time
Remind yourself to keep it simple

Happy Thanksgiving from Open Space Organizing!
Make it a great holiday!!


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


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!



Open Your Space; Declutter

Posted on: July 5th, 2016 by Open Space Organizing

Declutter your way to Open Space


Decluttering is the Number One tool to use to open up your space, save your sanity and organize your home, office, car, schedule and life. Without it no amount of putting like with like, labeling, straightening, binning or tidying will make sense or make much of a difference in decreasing your stress or increasing your efficiency. The trouble with too many items in a space is no matter how you have stacked it or arranged it you will need to keep moving it and rearranging it in order to find, or get to anything. You will waste precious time again and again. The average person spends 25 minutes each and every day looking for lost items. Is that how you want to spend your time?

Why can it be so hard to let go of items? There are 2 common reasons.

Fear of the future can be related to feelings of anxiety. Will I have enough and will I have what I need when I need it? If these are your thoughts and fears acknowledge them. Is your fear realistic? Is your fear exaggerated? Consider the what ifs. What if I got rid of my paper plate collection and then needed a paper plate? What would I do? Well…you could use a regular plate, or use the good china, or go to the store and buy some new paper plates, or borrow paper plates from a neighbor who has a surplus. The point is most items can be replaced and storing a surplus can take up space which can be better used.

Difficulty letting go of the past is typically about attachment to events, memories and people who are gone. The things you are saving become representative of that person or event and can become extremely hard to let go of due to feelings of grief, loss and sometimes guilt. The memorabilia can be heirlooms/antiques or common items. Also within this category are pictures which can be a decluttering challenge unto themselves. The question is how can you honor a memory without being buried in stuff?

Tips to declutter an area:

  1. Take black and white pictures of the area. Then step away. After a break come back and look at the pictures. Black and white pictures can help you to see your space and items in a different light, assisting you to see the piles and clutter with fresh eyes.
  2. Consider how you would like to use the area. Will it be a craft room, an office, a play room, etc.? How much space will you need, how much space do you have, what items belong in
    the space and what does not fit? What needs to happen in the area to make it more
  3. Approach the area you have designated to declutter with a mindset to purge and make
    space. Make a commitment and set your priorities here. Do you want to store Aunt Martha’s
    doll collection or do you want to make a space that you can use!
  4. Begin to remove items that are broken, out of date/out of style, no longer used, no longer
    necessary or you have multiples of.
  5. Set up boxes/bags/containers for sorting items to be tossed, donated, recycled, or kept. If
    possible gather together all of one item and pick the best of the bunch. For example, gather all your baseball hats and pick one or two favorites.
  6. If you are doubting whether you need to keep it or toss it, err on the side of tossing it. Repeat over and over to yourself, I deserve space…I deserve space…I deserve space! If you
    accidentally toss something and then need it or want it later chances are pretty good you can obtain it again.

*** Remember to effectively declutter you must be ruthless! Really look at what you use, what
you need, how you want to use your space and how much space you actually have!!

Begin your decluttering process, open your possibilities and contact Open Space Organizing to get started!