Spanx vs the Lapband: what’s your clutter situation?

Did you ever consider losing clutter to be analogous to losing weight? It is! And though everyone is unique, in Get Organized Already’s professional organizing adventures three different situations show up over and over.

Which of the following weight loss scenarios best describes you? Check out my pro tips to help you get organized no matter what the size of your clutter is.
nonni w basket

Tummy tuck anyone?

Sometimes when we walk in the door with our cute aprons and our magic organizing basket, people want to have a complete overhaul. Their house, or just a room, is too packed to be usable anymore. If this sounds familiar, you are probably too overwhelmed to know where to start.

Pro tip: Start with a trash bag, a lined donation bin, and a box for any papers you find. Start in one corner of the room and set a timer. Touch everything only once, put each item in the appropriate container, and work until the timer goes off. That’s less daunting than tackling the whole room, right? In situations like this, our professional team will spend a few hours getting your room, or home, back to a manageable state. The momentum will keep you moving forward on your own or with people who love you.

Staying in shape

My personal organizing style is livable and comfortable. I know where everything is, but the beds may not be made. (Shocking, I know! But this is real life we are living—not a movie.) As long as the people in my home know where stuff lives, we can all navigate around each other and not spend our time searching for our things (and yelling, “HAVE YOU SEEN IT?” across the house). This scenario is for those who need a maintenance plan to keep their home organized.

Pro tip: Let all users of items know where things belong using labels. (It doesn’t have to be fancy. A sticky note or painter’s tape works just fine inside cabinets, drawers, and pantries.)

People generally flip out about this comfortable style of organizing because they have fallen victim to thinking that organized means rigid and perfect. Newsflash: perfection is not possible! A comfortable style of organizing suits most people because it is realistic and less expensive (as in no fancy labels or matching containers to buy). And works a lot better than what about 56 percent of you have going on right now: the dreaded PicMonkey Collagewe-don’t-have-a-system approach.

Ready for the college reunion

At the far end of the organizing continuum lie the Martha Stewart and Howard Hughes personalities of the world. Get Organized Already can help you, too! I have two lovely ladies on my organizing team with extensive backgrounds in interior design. They are amazing at creating the types of rooms you see in magazines. Whenever someone calls and I can tell they want to take their home to the next level (think Better Homes and Gardens or Apartment Therapy), I send out my Label Ladies.

I love to be in these places: fresh flowers and herbs in the entryway, a calendar printed in chalkboard paint and framed in a custom frame. Open the drawers and angels sing. The labels whisper beautiful phrases like, “fresh nutmeg” and “organic basmati rice.”

I’m not kidding. It is very peaceful and if I could, I’d have a Get Organized Already organizer over here every day to keep my shizzle looking like that in a heartbeat!

Pro tip: Getting organized isn’t a one time event. It has to happen regularly.

Everyone has their comfort level. Whatever your state of comfort or chaos, there’s a way to stay organized. And my team can help you accomplish your vision of the just-right organized home for less than you spend on two trips to Whole Foods. True story.


How to organize your Tupperware

A video peak into my organized Tupperware cabinet

Did you have one of those lunchboxes?

The Ultimate Blog Party Gets Organized Already

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

The blog party weekend corresponds with the season premiere of Mad Men on AMC. Coincidence?!  I THINK NOT. And I can’t wait for either one.

This is my introductory post: (like we are meeting on the veranda, or maybe beside the bar)

Hello Other Mother, I’m Nonnahs and I love a party. (My dress is from a clothing swap and it is fabulous. My shoes are definitely flats. I’m drinking a gin drink and not eating much because I’m talking. I talk a lot at parties.) stickynotessmirk

What is your blog teaching the world?

What have you learned at this party about other bloggers?

Where did you get those earrings? Gorgeous.

See how helpful they are?

See how helpful they are?

I have two kids who are now old enough to do chores and make their own fun. This makes me very happy because now I can enjoy them as people and do things with them more than for them.

Once my youngest went off to Kindergarten I went back to work. I realized how much I like to work and to organize things, help people. I love running a business, too. Now my daughter follows my lead and organizes her friends’ rooms on playdates. Hilarious.

Being a mom is hard work and I’m thankful for you, other mom-bloggers, to talk to about the whole thing. Most of my posts are about organizing,. here’s a video post on organizing for kids. Sometimes I squeeze in something about motherhood, like this post about Daughters and Taylor Swift which I love.

How about you. What do you do to avoid the Mommy-Crazies? What are your children like?

Tell me what you know. Let’s get this party started!

<3 Nonnahs   @GetOrganzdAlrdy   facebook  linked in  you tube

with our new dog/horse

with our new dog/horse

Multi-tasking is a bad idea. Really.

Thank you, God, for allowing me to break my hand.

Lessons learned from a broken hand:

My 7 year-old son can make his own food and drinks JUST FINEorganizing with my left

My husband does know how to clean the kitchen

I do too many things every single day

It’s really hard to floss left-handed

I need to do fewer things every single day

I love working with an assistant

My daughter could run the house on her own, for sure

I have an unnaturally strong aversion to medical professionals

Taking things at half speed is often more productive

Taking things at half speed is sometimes maddening

When I don’t exercise regularly the depression cycle sets in quickly

My hand is on the mend now and the splint is off so I can type (normally) and write again which I missed sorely!

I’m pretty sure breaking my right hand is one of the only things that would slow me down and I was going too fast, obviously. So, I see it as a necessary part of the journey I am taking.

What would it take to slow you down? Or, if you are pretty slow, what would it take to speed you up?

Pasadena / Altadena: Professional Organizer talks about living simply

Saturday, April 21 at 1:30pm @ Hastings Library  3325 East Orange Grove Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91107 Get Organized Already 91107

In celebration of Spring and Earth Day and all things lovely–

Get Organized Already will be hosting a free presentation on How to Live More Simply with Your Family.

Please join us for some facts and inspiration, some sharing, and some practical advice about avoiding excess clutter and stress. This presentation will be largely audience led, and therefore applicable to everyone, no matter what your level of clutter and mayhem.

If you are in or near Altadena, you are in luck!

Friday, April 20 at 4pm @ La Pintoresca Library  1355 North Raymond Avenue  Pasadena, CA 91103

Get Organized Already 91103

I hope to see you at one of these! Please pass this info on to friends in the area.

Thank you kindly,

Nonnahs    323.230.0297

A home office filled with light and energy

Some before and after photos and a couple of close ups.

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As soon as I walked into this space I loved it. So much light coming from sliding glass doors bookending the room. And yet the desk was facing a wall–boring!

This client obviously prefers atypical office supplies. She didn’t want anything white or sterile looking. But, it had to be organized so she could run her many non-profits with ease.

We took hours organizing the files and paperwork both personal and work related. Then I moved some things around, opened up the space a bit and we ended up with a veritable working nirvana. The back-light makes it hard to see the finished desk space, but let that tell you how much natural light she is working with every day now.

Her supply drawers were hidden underneath a second table which we got rid of all together. We brought in a recliner from another room to make room for relaxing.

Now her desk faces out the sliding glass doors and looks onto a lake. Amazing!

If you like pina coladas: Organizing through a divorce

Jeff and I are always trying to keep our lines of communication open.  We talk about cheating.  We talk about our differences in parenting styles.  We talk a lot about a lot of things and, for extra-credit, we have both been in therapy many times.  So, when we watched a movie about two couples having affairs (“Last Night”) the other night it was no surprise the discussion afterward lasted as long as the film.   During this discussion it came to our attention once more that the thrill of an awesome, new relationship is intoxicating and in all honestly, very hard to beat.  After this discussion I’ve started calling this phenomenon the 100-day relationship.  For some people this feeling of falling in love is addictive and destructive.  These people are called serial monogamists and two of them, brothers, live across the street from us.  Every couple of years a new lady moves in.  It is quite entertaining for me, and for them the 100-day phase is the best part of their lives.  One in particular is transparent in his joie de vivre whenever he has a new little lady in his life.

On the other hand, marriage is hard work and not quite as intoxicating quite as often.  Ahem.  Anyone who says otherwise is single.   That any marriage outlasts the temptation to go out and find a new partner is no small miracle, such is the pull of the 100-day relationship high.

Today I spent a few hours working with a woman in the middle of a divorce.  This is the second such experience for me in the past three weeks.  In both cases the marriages were approaching twenty years when the couple separated.  Twen-ty.  Twenty, people!

So here comes me bouncing in for some organizing fun, so full of pride in my long-term marriage that I’m already planning our next anniversary celebration, only to find that my clients are as surprised as I am by the ending of their marriages which they thought were bullet-proof sometime after year eleven.  And now, they really need some help getting their affairs in order–especially their financial affairs.  All of that talk about money and hate and the children is really not fun.

Not the most cheerful organizing sessions I’ve worked through.  Still, I’m so lucky to be able to help people in practical ways through major life changes.  And in these cases I come home very thankful for Jeff and for our communication patterns.  I also come home more aware that there is no silver bullet.  There is no guarantee that my marriage will not spiral down a dark hole due to unforeseen events or bad decisions.  This knowledge hasn’t made me depressed and it hasn’t made me chipper either.  It has made me pensive—about life insurance and retirement plans.  And I am also more aware of little ways I could take better care of myself and be more considerate to my man.  And right about now, you can color me inspired to move those straight to the top of my to-do list.