These are things I do with my clients.

There is not always a one size fits all way of organizing but these ideas generally work for most people.
Use labels on drawers, baskets or shelves. This works especially well for children when you want to teach them how to put things away. With labels there is no second guessing where things go!
Use clear storage bins with seal tight lids for seasonal items. Label the bins as specifically as you need to avoid having to guess what the contents are.
Color code your closet. Hang like colors together. This will save time and effort when selecting an outfit.
Use hanging storage racks with compartments for shoes and boots if you have limited floor space.
Don’t over stuff your closet. Select seasonal items and only the items you wear regularly and really like. Store the rest away in a storage bin or donate items you don’t need or care for.
Use a shoe rack. This allows you to see the shoes you have lined up in pairs. If you are a visual person, this will work well.
Use high shelves for hand bags, overnight travel bags or small bins of accessories youre not using often.
Fold T-shirts in half and then in half again then stack them according to color. This will save space in drawers or on shelves and reduces the time and effort in locating just the right shirt!
Purchase a jewelry tree for hanging necklaces. I have one and I love it because I can see what I have. I also use small “jewelry dishes” on my dresser for bracelets and other necklaces I wear frequently.
Lastly, always take inventory of what you have BEFORE you purchase something new. This helps avoid buyers remorse and it helps you to assess whether or not you have enough room in your closet for something new.

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home staging is simple…

 

First off, declutter. Make sure every space in you home has been cleared of trash, piles of clutter and any other “eyesores”. Picture yourself walking through someone else’s home. What types of things would you NOT want to see? Apply that to your space.
Clean it! Every inch of your home should sparkle. If you can’t clean your space adequately or don’t have the time, hire a cleaning company for deep cleaning. Plan to scrub base boards, dust blinds and vacuum those hard to reach corners. Have carpets professionally cleaned if you plan not to replace them. Have someone who does not live in your home do the “smell test” to identify any pet odors or other distracting smells.
After removing pictures or wall hangings, plan to patch picture hook holes with putty, sand them down until smooth and then apply a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Select paint that is neutral in color such as an off white, gray or beige. Have a friend help you select the right color for your space.
Showcase the space. When a potential buyer looks at your home, be sure to show off the amazing closet space, high quality cabinets, granite counter top and the beautiful hard wood floors. Remove personal items and pictures that could be a distraction to a potential buyer. It is true that some people cannot see past the personal to what the space is actually offering.
Call me, Kirsten Gross Professional Organizer to help you stage your home and increase the value and sale price for the home you need to sell!

 

 

Im a professional organizer….I love my work and my clients….

Just a little about me… Ive been organizing for about 12 years and it is a true passion of mine. Im passionate about helping people get organized and even more then that, to feel more restful and less chaotic in their space. I really like helping people create function and order and hopefully learn ways to manage their environment with a new and healthy approach.
Like some of you, I was diagnosed at a young age with ADD. And while I do not struggle with hyperactive attention deficit disorder, I understand other aspects of the struggle such as distractibility, difficulty concentrating and at times, trouble with recall of conversations. However, I didn’t let any of that get in my way. In fact, knowledge of my own ADD has made me work that much harder against the patterns. I feel this gives me an advantage in helping my clients because I do understand the struggle. Over the years, Ive learned what works for me so I know that what Ive learned will also work for you. In fact, Ive gotten it down to a real science! I like to share what Ive experienced, learned and have had victory over with others with the hope that it helps.

Could I Be A Packrat??

A “packrat” by definition is someone who is unable to part with items of little practical use or value.

ADD patterns common in packrats
INDECISION-what to keep, what to discard…Do I donate? Recycle? Trash? Indecision alters quality of life by keeping us trapped or repeating the same cycle in regard to keeping things we don’t need… this leads to paralysis in healthy function in our homes or at work and can affect relationships with those closest to us.
INACTION-avoiding taking action to resolve your clutter unless forced to do so due to a certain circumstance. You’ve lost an important document, your family is coming to visit or perhaps its so bad, youre facing eviction from your apartment.
UNNOTICED-not realizing the clutter is there. My collections of mail, papers, books, shoes, plastic bags…(or anything else you can think of) have been there for so long…. I kind of forgot they were there!
AVOIDANCE– leads to procrastination and incomplete projects. Poor time management, distraction or a busy schedule lead to multiple “starts” to projects. We have great intentions but projects are left undone or incomplete.
IMPULSIVE-I want it! I need it! I don’t have it! That’s it, I’m buying it. NOW!! Not stopping to think about whether the purchase/decision I’m making will truly benefit me or my family. Impulsivity often leads to regret.
OVERWHELMED– interests in multiple things, too little time, trouble prioritizing. I LOVE to refinish furniture, cook all organic meals for my dog AND I’m creating a scrap books for all 3 of my children! Shifting from one interest to another can create undue stress, chaos and pressure. Trying to juggle multiple interests may even prevent someone from participating in any of the activities they enjoy.

Can you identify with any patterns mentioned here??

Relaxation…how do I that??

Deep breathing. Slowly take large, inhaled breaths through your nose. Slowly exhale your breaths through your mouth. Repeat up to 5 times or as needed to calm your breathing, heart rate or both.
Play soothing, soft music while resting in supine position.
Take a warm bubble bath. Use natural essential oils or bath salts to relax your body and any tension in your muscles.
Practice mindfulness. Close your eyes. Focus on what is happening in the moment as you quiet your mind and spirit. Allow your attention only to focus on the present.
Journal. Pour your mind out on paper. This is especially helpful in the midst of chaos or a particularly emotional or trying life situation.
Reflect. Take time to be grateful and kind. Express thankfulness to those you love, to God and to yourself.
Get a massage. No one argues with that suggestion!
Organize your space and keep the clutter away. An organized space helps promote calm, more creativity and a general sense of well being.
Pet an animal.
Talk with a trusted friend.
Exercise AND just as important if not more, eat well. This is really key when it comes to brain health and function.

“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.”
Sakyong Mipham

 

A few tips for organizing clothes and accessories

These are things I do with my clients. There is not always a one size fits all way of organizing but these ideas generally work for most people.
Use labels on drawers, baskets or shelves. This works especially well for children when you want to teach them how to put things away. With labels there is no second guessing where things go!
Use clear storage bins with seal tight lids for seasonal items. Label the bins as specifically as you need to avoid having to guess what the contents are.
Color code your closet. Hang like colors together. This will save time and effort when selecting an outfit.
Use hanging storage racks with compartments for shoes and boots if you have limited floor space.
Don’t over stuff your closet. Select seasonal items and only the items you wear regularly and really like. Store the rest away in a storage bin or donate items you don’t need or care for.
Use a shoe rack. This allows you to see the shoes you have lined up in pairs. If you are a visual person, this will work well.
Use high shelves for hand bags, overnight travel bags or small bins of accessories youre not using often.
Fold T-shirts in half and then in half again then stack them according to color. This will save space in drawers or on shelves and reduces the time and effort in locating just the right shirt!
Purchase a jewelry tree for hanging necklaces. I have one and I love it because I can see what I have. I also use small “jewelry dishes” on my dresser for bracelets and other necklaces I wear frequently.
Lastly, always take inventory of what you have BEFORE you purchase something new. This helps avoid buyers remorse and it helps you to assess whether or not you have enough room in your closet for something new.

Letting go of the Sentimental

Gosh its hard isn’t it? Those dishes your grandmother passed down that you NEVER use and don’t even like that much but somehow feel responsible to hang on to. How about all your daughters art projects and A+ papers that are sitting on the dining room table collecting, well lets face it, dust. But they are all such works of art!
Here are a few quick tips on how to part with some of the sentimental things in life. Because in all honesty, it’s the ties we have to these items that were of importance to someone else in our family or perhaps that we feel responsible for that keep us stuck. I’ve met people who have been suffering from the disease of sentimentality for many years and truly are paralyzed. It doesn’t have to be that way. Im not suggesting the process of making the decision to part with items you feel an attachment to or responsibility for is easy. But I do believe that it becomes less daunting after we make a decision to start the detachment process and begin to de clutter our environment. We need to be proactive in setting priorities for our lives and how we want to live them in a healthy and well functioning way. Often that means reducing what we have, creating more space in our homes and our brains and allowing a process of reprogramming occur.
Tips….
Give sentimental items to friends or someone who needs what you have and aren’t using. It truly will make you feel good knowing your item is living on, just not in your home any longer.
Donate! I cant stress this enough! How awesome to give to someone who cant afford to buy a new coffee maker or set of wine glasses.
I like this one…have a trash ceremony. Perhaps you’ve recently parted ways with a significant other and you have way too much of their old this’es and that’s. Burn them! That’s right! Build a fire (safely, and with a fire extinguisher near by) and watch it go! End that chapter of your life officially, declare that ending with a ceremony and celebrate! Moving on and up!

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power then defending or hanging on”
Eckhart Tolle

How to Recycle Used or Unwanted Electronics

 

This is a question I get all the time. What do we do with those old computer monitors, printers, TVs and any number of other old gadgety things?? There are no laws around how to properly recycle these items but there are several locations that can help you dispose of your electronics. Best Buy is a drop off location. Take your items to the service desk but do not expect a tax write off when dropping your items here. Best Buy is not a charity and there may even be a fee applied for items such as TVs or computer monitors. Staples will allow you to bring unwanted computer printers in exchange for 50$ toward the purchase of a new printer. That’s not a bad deal!
Apple offers a recycling program for iphones, ipads and apple watches. You can earn anywhere from 35$ up to 315$ depending on the age and ware of the item. Sometimes it may be worth selling the items you have on your own on websites like eBay or DeClutter. However, if the equipment you have is no longer usable, Apple stores will dispose of the item properly at no charge.
Cell phones for Soldiers will take cell phones in any condition and sell them to a recycling or refurbishing company and the proceeds will go to the purchase of phone cards for soldiers who are overseas.
Donation centers such as Goodwill and Salvation Army will take electronics that are in good working order even if they are out dated.
Check your local paper for government or county run drop offs. Many counties offer a quarterly drop off for electronic item disposal. These events are typically free of charge and popular so get there early!

A happy kitchen

I don’t know about you but I truly believe the kitchen IS the heart of the home. Its often the happiest place because lets face it, we all love what comes out of the kitchen…FOOD! Ok… and maybe some good red wine too 😊. So how do we create a happy kitchen? Well there’s a few things. Easy access to those commonly used items is very important. Spices, oils and utensils should be placed close to the stove. If you enjoy baking and do it frequently, keep baking essentials where there is the most counter space. Utilize open shelving for these items as well if you prefer not having things sitting on the counter. When using open shelving or cabinets, make sure to keep items commonly used on low shelves. Place decorative items or less frequently used items on higher shelves.
Are you a coffee lover? Perhaps you have several members of the family who enjoy it. Create a coffee bar that’s separate from the rest of the kitchen. Use a small decorative table with some shelving built in or a portable island to store everything you need. Organize sugar, creamer and spoons in a tray on top. In larger homes, a butlers pantry is a great spot to store a coffee maker, expresso machine, K cups and whatever else you need to make a great cup.
If you have kiddos, create a kid friendly shelf in the pantry just for them. Include snacks, beverages, plastic cups, straws and plates. Having accessibility to the things they like creates more independence and responsibility. Place small Ziploc bags or plastic containers on the shelf for storing leftover snacks or dinner. Encourage your kids to be self-sufficient!
Keep things clean and simple. Avoid over cluttering your counter top with too many items, especially items youre not using regularly. Wipe counter tops throughout the day and keep mail and clutter off the main areas where food is prepared. Find ways to bring cheer to the space. Keep fresh flowers or greenery on the table or island and perhaps a fresh smelling candle. These small touches welcome your family and make youre kitchen a HAPPY and ORGANIZED place to be.

Tips for Safe On-Line Shopping

 

 

Time and money are precious commodities and I’m all about saving both! One way to manage time is to shop for gifts on line. I’ve noticed many people are buying their everyday non- perishable items on line and having them shipped to their home.

 

Here are some tips for safe shopping within the comfort of your own home.

 

Use a secure payment method such as PayPal or a credit card. These options offer buyer protection which means you wont be at risk if there are fraudulent charges made on your account. Do not wire money or send a hand written check to an online company.

 

Come up with a creative password that only makes sense to you. It should be a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Write your password down on a master list of usernames and passwords and keep the list in a file with other important documents such as your bank information so you know where to find it.

 

Be aware of deals that seem to good to be true because we all know if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Read the fine print and note any exceptions that are listed. Don’t buy into the deal unless its exactly what you are looking for. Be on alert for phony apps and only down load from an app store with high ratings. Be sure not to share personal information when its not warranted.

 

If youre buying an item from ebay or a similar site, look at the reviews first. Are they reputable? Have other buyers had good success in their transactions with the seller?

 

Before buying, consider what you already have. Do you need another bed spread or box of handi wipes? Its always a good idea to take inventory of what you already own prior to purchasing more. Make sure you have the storage space for a bulk shipment of paper towels or dogfood before ordering.

 

Lastly, happy shopping!