Tag Archives: GIVE

Are you stuck on your “get organized” resolution?

Historically, “get organized” is in the top ten New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m not a big believer in resolutions, but I’m a big believer in goals.  And I think getting organized is a fantastic goal.

As you might imagine, I get a lot of calls this time of year.  People are energized behind their goal (see, I’m eliminating  “resolution” already) to “get organized” in the new year and are looking for support.  Some people know what they need to do to accomplish their organizing goal, others need some assistance.

If you are feeling a little stuck, try some of these tips:

  1. Check your motivation: What was your motivation around the get organized goal?  Ask yourself “why did I set this goal?”  Possible answers could be:  save time, save money, reduce stress, get out of the house on time, reduce clutter, etc.  The answer to that question will help motivate you toward action.
  2. Confused on where to start?: Start with your biggest pain point.  Is your kitchen so disorganized making coffee is a hassle?  Are you spending so much money on things you already own that your finances are getting stretched?  Are you stressed about not getting to work on time because you can’t find your keys?   Success in your biggest pain point area will motivate you to move on to the next.  If you can’t decide where your largest pain point is, close your eyes and point toward an area.  Progress anywhere may lead to success everywhere.
  3. Set aside time to organize: I’ve found a lot of people are very aspirational when it comes to planning projects (and organizing is a project). They say “I’ll get to that next week.”  Well, next week comes and goes.  I suggest people mark organizing time on their calendar.  When your calendar says “organize the pantry on Saturday between 2:00 – 4:00,” chances are the organizing date will be kept.
  4. Sort items into three large categories: Most items can be categorized into three major groups:  Keep, Give, Toss.
    • If you use it and love it, keep it and give it a place of honor and respect.
    • If it’s functional but you no longer use it or love it, give it away.  Determine the best place for the giveaway item.  The best place could be a relative, friend or charity.  Whatever you decide, set a deadline to get it out of your space and into theirs.
    • If it’s no longer functional, toss it.  Some of my clients find this to be a difficult part of the process because they are concerned about contributing to our landfill problems and I appreciate that mindset.  I encourage my clients to check with their local municipality regarding recycling and check out alternatives to just throwing something away. For example, my recycle station accepts household metal like toasters and Goodwill will accept clothing that’s no longer wearable (just mark the donation as “textile recycle”).  Research and creativity can keep a lot of things out of landfills.
  5. Track your progress: Take a “before” picture of the space you are working on and continue to take pictures throughout the organizing process.  Even if you haven’t completed the process, seeing change is motivating.  Be sure to take a photo after you’ve completed the project not only as a reminder of how far you’ve come, but to give yourself a clear picture of what you’d like the space to look like on an ongoing basis.

I encourage my clients to remember a couple things:

  • Organizing is not only a project, but a way of life.  Once you are organized enough for your lifestyle, a few minutes a day will help maintain your newly-organized spaces.
  • Largely attributed to Sheryl Sandberg “Done is better than perfect.”  The thought that something needs to be perfect will stop us in our tracks.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on your new year’s goals like the Allstate “Mayhem” character has!

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

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National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter

National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter Vice President



Coach Approach for Organizers



Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

3 Quick Tips When It’s Time To Pack It Up

Packing Up ChristmasThe holidays are nearly behind us, but there’s possibly one more thing most of us need to do . . . . pack it up!

Tackling this task can either be liberating or daunting, depending on how organized and prepared we are.  Here are some thoughts on making it easier, if not this year, certainly in years to come.

  1. Reduce, reduce, reduce:  It’s always easier to pack away less stuff, so I suggest my clients take a good, long look at what they are planning to pack away.  A couple questions to ask yourself:
    • Do you or someone in your home love it?  If it holds great memories and you decorate with it every year, pack it up.
    • Has it been trapped in a storage container year-after-year-after-year?  Chances are, it’s not your style and doesn’t hold great memories.  Give it away.
  2. Give it away:
    • Has someone you know admired the decoration?  Ask them if they want it.  Gifting items to someone who has admired them is an easy way to release things no longer serving us.
    • Is there a local charity, church, etc. that cold use the item?  Gifting things to those that can’t afford them brings extra honor to the decorations.  (NOTE:  Most charities will gladly accept Christmas decorations even at the end of the season, but it’s best to check before you try to drop them off.)
  3. Store it: There are nearly as many ways to store decorations as there are decorations themselves!
    • Specialty containers like these from the Container Store can be extremely functional, but not very cost effective.
    • Other simple solutions:
      • Wrap lights around cardboard, use a extension cord holder, or for larger quantities, utilize a hose reel.
      • Liter-size water bottles work well to hold beaded garland.
      • Plastic produce clam-shell containers from warehouse stores are fantastic for glass ornaments.
      • Egg cartons work well for small, breakable ornaments.

Going through the sort, purge, and store process probably isn’t the most fun thing you will do this holiday season, but it could very well be the best gift you could give yourself come holiday time next year!

Happy holidays, everyone!

How to you honor Earth Day?

ImagePeople are passionate about the good stewardship of the environment and every spring we celebrate the outdoors with special focus on how to take better care of nature and the world around us. Earth Day is celebrated with fun runs, outdoor art projects, book and clothing swaps, recycle events, environmental clean-up work parties, educational events focused on green living and environmental sustainability, and much, much more.

Earth Day is April 22, but at Organize to Simplify we celebrate the spirit of Earth Day every day!

As a Professional Organizer and proud member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), my goal is to use my experience and training to develop physical and thought processes to re-purpose a client’s home or office to better suit their needs. The true purpose of a Professional Organizer is manifested when a client takes what we learn in our one-on-one organizing sessions and transfers those skills to other areas of their lives.  Besides teaching the organization process, we teach clients about recycling, reusing, and overall reducing the impact of de-cluttering on our environment.

One of the most frequent questions during a consultation or organizing session is “what do I do with all this stuff I don’t need any more but is still usable?” The answer is pretty simple . . . “sell, give, recycle, or donate.”

SELL: If you believe someone will pay you for it, give selling it a shot. If it hasn’t been sold in 30 days, move it to a “GIVE” or “DONATE” pile. Note: Caution should be used when selling items to ensure that personal and financial precautions are taken.

GIVE: If you know someone that can use the item, label it with that person’s name and a date (usually 30 days from an organizing session). If in those 30 days, the item hasn’t made it to the new owner, it goes into a “SELL,” “RECYCLE,” or “DONATE” box.

RECYCLE: Anything that is no longer usable that can be recycled should be recycled. Many times I’ve carted away old papers, cardboard boxes, old jars, plastic containers, paper and plastic grocery bags, etc. to be recycled instead of being designated “garbage” and sent to the landfill.

DONATE: This is my favorite and I use it with every organizing session. Many of my clients never thought about the social impact of recycling their clothes and household items to an appropriate charity, be it a school, church, thrift store, or many other 501c3 organizations.

As my Mission Statement explains, at Organize To Simplify I “will provide a thoughtful and thorough analysis of a client’s needs, endeavoring to realize their goals of a more organized and peaceful environment. Together we can help others and the environment by reducing, re-purposing, and recycling items you no longer need to lessen the long-term impact on our environment.”

Let’s all do whatever we can to reduce, reuse, recycle, replenish, and restore . . . not just on Earth Day, but every day.

Cindy Jobs


Proud member of:

Member Color - WebNational Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), Seattle Area Chapter President

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