Back to School - To-Do List.
For many, money is tight right now; everything has gotten much more expensive, from gas to groceries, commuting into Boston for work with MBTA having issues on Orange and Green lines. Saving money is easy if you already have some items for back to school.
Be sure to compare the big retailers (Target, Walmart, Staples, and Amazon) prices. Check with the school on what is needed. Have you seen the list of items these retailers suggest?
Good luck in the new school year.
How I can help with your preparations.
*Christmas card help
*decluttering to make room for decorations
*decluttering the garage making room for your vehicles before the snow flies.
*my gift certificate make the perfect give (and they are not stuck on container ship)
I hope your Holiday season is just terrific. With your family, friends, good food and lots of laughs.
Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, And Merry Christmas.
Zoom Organizing-Maybe the answer in getting you started on your organizing journey. Many folks are not comfortable having folks in their homes during this pandemic. I understand. I am trying to isolate myself as well. And have been trying to figure out how Zoom and organizing could merge. I am a hands-on kind of professional organizer. I do the sorting and am in the trenches with my clients.
But lately, I have had to pivot my business and see if there was a way to work from phone organizing with clients over Zoom. I will admit it is still a work in progress and making sure my clients are getting things done without me in their homes.
Over the last 20 years of organizing, I have had many clients who tell me, "Karen, I know how to organize, what to do and how to get things done, but for one reason or another, I don't complete the task. The house is a mess, and I can't keep up. Can you come once a week drink TEA with me while I put things away"? So I knew Zoom organizing would work for this specific type of client.
I am encouraging them, coaching them. We take breaks often so they can file something or put something away. I answer their questions just as if I was in their home. Over the last several weeks, piles are eliminated or becoming smaller; clean laundry is getting put away, and lots of catalogs have been recycled. Clients don't seem so overwhelmed.
Does this seem like a good option for you? If so, contact me at Karen@organizingworks or give me a call, 781-275-8915. Maybe Zoom organizing can get you started.
Today, I am writing to the small businesses out there. Many of you out there hire me to get your business organized. Set up filing systems so you can retrieve things, help you organize and manage your papers, and help with receipts and tax preparation and other paper management tasks to keep things going.
During the pandemic, many small businesses have closed, thrived, stayed on course while others have been trying to find ways to bring in new customers—tasks like getting new business cards or new headshots to redo your business cards. I updated my Quick books and started blogging on my website. Others I know have been updating their websites. Thus the "Website Wolves" show up.
Over the last several months, I have gotten numerous calls from companies I don't know to redo my website. They promise to "do it all," and I will be getting 100 customers a day. The price they quote is my whole marketing budget for two years.
In 2019 I was contacted by two companies that promised the MOON and undelivered. I got none of the benefits they promised. There was no flick of a switch and bringing on new leads. Some leads worked out; others were just ghosts-never to be heard from again. Something with scrolling the internet with a glass of wine, and they decide I want to get organized. They fill out a profile, send it over, and then when I would call-no answer. They never called me back. I find it weird and rude. Broken promises are costing hundreds.
In a reading article from AARP Bulletin, Dec 2018, on Website Wolves talks about growing concerns of "web designers" that prey on seniors, moms who want to work from home while kids are in school (before Covid 19 obviously), or small businesses that want a new website. They were all promised a job/website for little money down to bring in the customers. Some folks gave a lot of money only to receive a less than good website. In both instances, the websites did not deliver. They did not get their money back, and the companies are making millions.
This past summer, I contact Leaf Guard to install new gutters. They came with a 3-inch binder with all of their clients who were willing to speak on their behalf. I called 4 or 5 people. It made me feel - like they do a good job. Put my mind at ease.
I make my policy if you want to do business with me, I need three paying customers. People I can speak with and check out this company. Amazingly enough, many of these companies do not supply these names? Why? What are they hiding?
To protect my marketing dollars, my reputation and avoid being taken advantage of, I only work with companies that let me contact their customers. Just like the old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."
Check out this article on AARP, see the millions of dollars costing all small businesses and consumers by these shysters. (If you can't find this article -reach out to me.)
Wow. How is January 20th already? January seems to be flying by. I see a slight change in my business. Folks are finally asking for help. I am so grateful.
For those of you looking for some help getting organized, reach out via email. I will be taking new clients probably in FEBRUARY. I have some articles that may help get you started.
Do one small thing a day. Put your dishes away, fold your clean laundry and then put it away. I, too, have my Christmas tree up. I love it. Those white lights give me hope and help me relax at night.
Cut yourself some slack. Be silly, try to relax when you are not working. Everyone has been under tremendous pressure and stress. Between Covid19 and the politics of this great country. Homeschooling and working from home for some of us. At the same time, others have been working through the whole pandemic because they are essential.
When it comes to organizing, remember to keep yourself and your family safe if you can't devote time to organizing. Get rid of tripping hazards, gaming cords/charging cord keep up off the floor. Wash your hands, wear your mask, and avoid crowds. We probably have some snow coming one of these days. Get outside play in it: snow angels, sledding, cross country skiing, or even snowshoeing. Before long, spring will be here, you know it.
I wish all of you Happy New Year!
Help from a Professional Organizer during a Pandemic? During the Holidays? I know I can help!
Precautions During Covid19
How have I been helping folks during a difficult time? I always wear a mask, social distance organizing in another room or at least 6ft apart. Hand washing and Lysol/disinfecting wipes on all surfaces I touch. I have worked in homes for the last six months when the client and I are comfortable. I take my temperature every day in the morning, and when I return from work. All clothing, coats, bags are disinfected as well as my vehicle. I do stay at home as much as possible.
What kind of projects have I been helping with:
1. Downsizing and getting houses ready for market. Then help packing and lots of unpacking.
2. I have sorted tons of paper for a client who was not comfortable with me in his home; I worked at my house. We discussed over the phone, what he needed to keep and what he could eliminate. Then I brought back to him the slimmed down and organized files.
3. I have been working in several basements and garages along with the homeowner (but at a distance.) Sorting bins, mystery bags, and boxes. We put like items together and refilled the containers, so now camping equipment is all together, surfing/wet suits are together, tools and garden items are together. No more chaos; things are easy to find. We completed this basement job in 4 hours, plus the homeowner can now pull his car into the garage.
4. I have been wrapping Christmas gifts, attaching the gift tags, plus the ribbons and bows, now safely tucked away. Again this job was done separate room away from the client, keeping everyone safe. I wore gloves.
5. I have taken numerous trips to various charities/humane societies, dropping off items to donate items such as clothing, towels and blankets, and housewares. Things you do not want anymore, but someone could use. These items must be clean/scent-free, gently used-Covid19 free house.
6. Addressing Christmas cards, getting the stamps, and return address labels on as well. Now my client can sign her cards, add a note or gift card, seal the envelope. And voila, the project is complete.
I can give you references if you would like to talk with my customers and see how comfortable they were to have me in their homes. And the precautions I take as the Pandemic continues. I wish you peace and blessing this strange holiday season.
Karen L. Kenney
Sorry folks, I have not been blogging lately. I am not sure if anyone is reading them. Blogging is way out of my comfort zone because of my dyslexia. Writing is difficult, getting my point across, having things sound good in the correct order. I have been using Grammarly. That has been a big help. Try it if you need to improve your grammar.
Writing is scary to me. For others, writing is easy, a skill they mastered years ago. For me, organizing is a skill I have learned.
I am trying to point out not everyone can write, and not everyone can organize. Feeling over being overwhelmed can block progress. For me, what to write about in my blog, what will grab your attention? For those wanting to organize, you could be overwhelmed by not knowing where to start, or maybe not having enough time. The story below is how I have been tackling things this summer and will continue in fall.
Source: Mindfulness Ireland
My grandmother once gave me a tip:
In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don't think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Remove the dust.
Write a letter.
Make a soup.
You are advancing step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Rest a little.
Take another step.
You won't notice, but your steps will grow more and more.
And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.
- Elena Mikhalkova
(Image of Tasha Tudor, American Illustrator 1915-2008)
(Google it. There was a lovely photograph I was not able to bring over.)
During these difficult times, maybe just doing something is better and worrying. With hurricanes, the fires, the unrest in the country, the election, and now the death of a hero in my world Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it is hard for me to move forward at times. But doing the dishes or making my bed, let me see I am moving.
Here I sit in my home office writing. I am doing it. I am trying. Take care.
Procrastination could be the reason you have problems getting things done.
CALL TO ACTION. Do you need a coach to get going on these your projects? Can I help you move forward? I hope so. Remember none of us are perfect and life is challenging to say the least. Contact me if you need some help or advice. Maybe 2020 can be the year you make some real progress. Many of us stuck at home are already doing so much. But maybe some of us are just sitting around and would love to tackle some of these bigger jobs.
Contact me at Karen@organizingworks.net. Tell me how I can help. Maybe we can set up time to talk and get you moving forward. Summer has just begun and if you are staying home and want to tackle a big job. This could be a perfect time.
The Overdoer Procrastinator- Do you OVERDO??
I have many Moms who fit this category. They take on the PTA, and coaching little league, and teachers aid in the classroom, but yet they are working full time, just had a baby, and the in-laws are moving in to help with childcare. Many of these ladies are also perfectionists. Want the cleanness house, best this and best that. You can not sign up for everything. It is impossible to do it all. A perfect example is a movie called “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” starring “Sarah Jessica Parker.”
-Overdoers procrastinators have low self-esteem, which compels them to take on more work than they can handle. Want to be liked by all this work will make them feel competent. But they complain they are working harder and longer hours. They are defined by what they do and not who they are. Giving low priority to their personal or intimate needs and ignore/deny their feelings of disconnect about the way they live.
When I overdo – I tend to feel bad when I have to say NO to someone. For fear of being thought of as “selfish.” In my past job, I always felt singled out because I had no children. My supervisor was always asking me to go in early or to stay late so she could pick up her kids from daycare. After a while, I was covering for anyone that had kids. I finally said NO one day. I feared not being a “team player.” But I just said no. I told my supervisor there was 8 of us. We needed a schedule for this coverage. At first, everyone was upset. But when the tracking of overtime on my time-card over six months, it was a legit issue after that everyone stepped up to the plate to cover, not just me.
I love the statement, “I have to make better use of my time and do what is important instead of trying to do everything.” Once you learn this, it is mind-blowing. NO ONE can do it all. To change the pattern, develop better organization skills and time management, learning these skills can make your life easier. What is the priority? What is demand? Figuring this out can help you more done in your day. What needs to get done? What can wait? I had a job where two colleagues would bring me their work time after time last minute. They demanded I drop everything and complete right then. They had no idea what other priorities were on my plate for that day. I had finally had enough, told them to take their work to my boss, and let her decide the priority of the day. Surprise in about week; these last-minute jobs stopped showing up on my desk. I was no longer in fear of not getting it all done. They were being held accountable. To my surprise, I was able to start leaving on time each day. Their lack of planning was not necessarily my priority.
What is that saying, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency.” I printed this saying and framed it. It hung outside my cubicle for about five years.
Again, do the visualization exercise on page 218. It helped me get some perspective on ways I can improve.
For the Crisis-Maker Procrastinators, they love to say; I work great under pressure. Or I am only motivated under pressure, or I do my best work when I am under the gun.
I used to think like that. But once I stopped doing that, life got more comfortable. I was not writing the term paper the night before anymore. I broke the tasks up into chunks-doable chunks.
In college, I wanted the paper to be perfect; thus, I did not start writing until the night before, so I could get everything else (in my life-other school work, the laundry, whatever else in my head) and devote one day/night to a whole semester. So silly on my part. Why would I think writing it in one night would be a good thing?
I think it could have been the adrenaline rush. It was calming the chaos. You only live once. We needed a crisis to do the task. But in fact, most of us do not want to write the term paper in the first place. And is we get an "A" on that paper, it fuels our belief doing in one day is a better idea then working an entire semester on it. Procrastination is a tool that helps them to achieve these dramatic goals. That familiar rush adrenaline.
We all suffer from time-wasting tendencies in my world that is watching too much television. Not sure why there is nothing on tv nowadays. I like older tv programs, the reality-tv is ridiculous, and I end up screaming at the tv. I try to watch things that are fun and silly. We have enough stress in our lives. We are trying to relax, but the choices of programs currently available are not relaxing at all.
I guess what I learned in this chapter is going the visualization exercise is critical. It may trigger some of the thought you have on why do I need this project anyway? Can it be done more exciting way? Check this out on page 187.
Disorganized? What is it costing you?
Money, self-esteem, embarrassment, family/friends?
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