Like a Personal Trainer

Happy New Year!  I’m looking forward to 2013 and all that it may bring, and I hope you are too.  I usually make a few New Year’s Resolutions.  Do you?  If getting organized and loosing weight are on your resolution list, you’re not alone.  They’re two of the most popular resolutions people make.  So, I’m not surprised to see all the weight loss and gym membership ads on television.  In fact, I think what I do as a Certified Professional Organizer® is very similar to what a Personal Trainer does.  Please let me explain!

Like a Personal Trainer

How am I, a Certified Professional Organizer® like a Personal Trainer?  I can list five similarities for you.

1.  I’m hired to assist you to reach a specific goal.
2.  I work with you one-on-one for a designated time, which for me is a minimum of two hours.
3.  I encourage, educate and motivate to the best of my ability in my area of expertise.
4.  I’m there to hold you accountable and help you get the job done.
5.  I can help you set up a long term action plan to stay on track.

So, if you’re ready to take the Personal Trainer approach to organizing, I’m ready to assist you.  Call today, 508-699-6652.


Cost of Ownership

September brings colder nights, and soon we’ll be turning on the heat.  We received the depressing news from our plumber that our furnace should be replaced this year or next.  Oh, the joys of home ownership.  What about the joys and cost of owning any item?

Costs of Ownership

Do you agree that it’s easy to accumulate belongings, especially if you have children?  Things, stuff, and junk seem to multiply at a very rapid rate.  Have you ever asked yourself what is the cost of owning all these things, all this stuff, all the junk?  Just like home ownership, I bet it’s not always pleasant to own things.  In fact, just like home ownership, it can be costly.
What is the cost of ownership?  To figure out the cost of ownership of an item consider these 5 factors:
1.  Purchasing it
     A.  Time – going to store or ordering
     B.  Effort  – researching and comparing products
     C.  Money – cost of item and cost of gas or shipping
2.  Time and effort exchanging it if it’s not the right item
3.  Real estate required to store it
4.  Effort to organize, clean, repair, and update it
5.  Stress of loosing or ruining it

Are the things, stuff and junk you have in your space worth the cost of ownership?  Answering this question can help you determine what is worth keeping and what isn’t.

Try it and share with me what you discovered.  If you’d like assistance with the process, I’m at your disposal.

Organizing Maintenance

We were fortunate to have had such a mild winter, but aren’t you happy spring is here?  I am.  I especially like all the vibrant colors of spring, but we couldn’t have those colors without a few rain drops.  As we enter the month of April with all its rain showers, I want to talk to you about faulty windshield wipers.  Specifically, how I see those wipers as being just like the lack of maintenance in the process of organizing.


Like Faulty Windshield Wipers

We all know what it’s like when our car windshield wipers don’t work; they leave smudges and streaks; they create vision problems; we have to keep spraying and cleaning; they’re frustrating.  Those smudges and streaks are like pockets of clutter and piles of stuff.  Those vision problems are like stress and its side effects.  The constant spraying is like our procrastinated efforts to organize.  And the frustration is just that, frustration.

Skipping, ignoring or slacking on the maintenance part of the organizing process is like faulty windshield wipers.  The clutter and piles mount, causing stress, and it’s all just frustrating.  We have to maintain the order once we’ve established it, or disorder and clutter creep back into our lives and space.

Maintaining order takes time and some self discipline, but the key is to not give up or let the situation get out of control.  My top 5 maintenance tips are…


1.  As soon as you enter your home give yourself 5-10 minutes to put whatever you brought home away.  You do this with your groceries, why not with everything else?
2.  Attach new organizing habits to existing routines. For example, before brushing your teeth at night, put out your outfit for the next day.
3.  Reduce daily.  For example, immediately toss junk mail, recycle food storage containers, and re-purpose unmatched socks.
4.  Keep papers and mail vertical.  This helps prevent piles from starting and growing.
5.  Ask for help and delegate.  Who says you have to do it all alone?

Please share with me what works for you.

Organizing Holiday Decorations

I’m not sure about you, but I’m questioning, how can it be 2012 already?  Where does the time go?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra time?  I know how we can accomplish this…
by being organized. 
When we’re organized we can preform tasks more quickly, which will then free up minutes.  Those minutes will add up, and voila, a little extra time in our day.
I’d like to share with you my three tips on organizing holiday decorations.  These tips help me streamline the process of putting out and putting away my decorations.  Thus saving me time, which, in turn, gives me a little extra time to enjoy family and friends.  That’s something I want to do, especially this time of year.  My three tips are in  video format.  I hope you find them helpful.

Asking for Organizing Help

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I’m a  plumber in need of a plumber”?  One of my clients made this reference to me.  She felt that she had some organizing skills and knowledge, but she needed to call me in to help her get the job done.  Do you ever feel that way?  You just want some help getting the job done!  If so, it’s okay to ask for help and get help when you need it.  Just ask me, this is how I can help.

1.  I’ll help you get the project started.

2.  I’ll help you plan out the project.

3.  I’ll help you break the project into managable steps.

4.  I’ll help  you schedule time to get it done.
5.  I’ll offer non-judgemental input and practical solutions.

Cal me for a complimentary phone consultation, 508-699-6652.  I’ll be happy to help you get the job done.



©2011 Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®  All Rights Reserved