Declutter and Organize Holiday Decorations Now

Declutter and Organize Holiday Decorations Now

I appeared on the Fox 32 Good Day Chicago Christmas Special on Christmas morning and shared tips to declutter and organize holiday decorations after the holidays. In case you missed it, I wanted to give you all the details here. Read to the end and find the link to download my tips. After the holidays is a perfect time to get organized. Start now – declutter and organize holiday decorations before storing them away! Holiday decorations hold special meaning. Preserve these memories by creating order for these treasures to enjoy now and for future generations. Before packing away your decorations, here’s a simple idea to make decorating easier next year. Take photos of the decorations you have set up. Next year, use your photos as a guide for decorating and save yourself time and energy! Declutter and Organize Holiday Decorations Declutter and organize holiday decorations using these simple tips. If you want to put this off till next year when taking out your decorations, think again! Time is always in short supply before the holidays, right? You’ll save time, energy, and frustration by tackling this project now. Your future self will thank you! Tip #1 – Declutter Declutter decorations you no longer use, want, or cherish. This clutter just gets in the way. Decorations you can declutter include: Decorations you no longer enjoy Decorations you avoid using year after year Anything broken, worn out, or beyond repair if you know you won’t fix Emotional attachments make this hard. Consider donating items that can be used. Ask family members to choose any they’d like to own. But toss anything that is broken or...
2016 Save Your Photos Open House

2016 Save Your Photos Open House

2016 Save Your Photos Open House and Scanning Event Plan to join me at this FREE 2016 Save Your Photos Open House and Scanning Event. Learn tips on how to organize, back up, preserve, and restore your printed and digital photos. Registration is open now at SaveYourPhotosStCharles2016. BONUS – Bring 50 photos to this event and your photos will be scanned for FREE! Original photos will be returned to you by the end of the event. Photos must be clean, flat and no larger than 8″x10″. A link to download your photos will be emailed to you within 2 weeks. Free scanning limited to the first 25 people to attend or as time permits. Open House and Scanning Event Saturday, September 17, 2016 Drop in between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. St. Charles Public Library (Huntley Room) 1 S 6th Ave, St Charles IL 60174 REGISTER TODAY! CLASSES ON THE HALF HOUR 1:00 ABCs of Photo Organizing – Laurie Neumann 1:30 Backup Solutions for Your Photos – Carolyn Burnham 2:00 Preserving and Restoring Photos – Patrick McGleam 2:30 ABCs of Photo Organizing – Laurie Neumann 3:00 Backup Solutions for Your Photos – Carolyn Burnham 3:30 Preserving and Restoring Photos – Patrick McGleam Brought to you by: Carolyn Burnham – Burnham Creative Group Laurie Neumann – The Innovative Organizer, LLC Patrick McGleam – McGleam Studios Quality Photo Restoration For more tips and inspiration, take the pledge to save your photos at www.saveyourphotos.org. Registration requested but not required During Save Your Photos month, over 75 events are scheduled in 5 countries and online. Find one near you here: Event...
Save Your Photos Month

Save Your Photos Month

September is Save Your Photos Month! Join me and take the pledge to Save Your Photos. I’ve taken the pledge and am committed to spending some extra time working on preserving my family’s photos.Just go to SaveYourPhotos.org click on the blue TAKE THE PLEDGE NOW button. Read on to find out why.   Why take the Save Your Photos Pledge? September is Save Your Photos month. By taking the pledge, you’ll receive daily emails for 30 days in September with actionable tips to help you get your photos organized. Even if September has already started, you can still receive all of the tips. There’s no better way to get started! Save Your Photos Month is an international initiative for those who appreciate that every life is a story worth preserving and sharing. Save Your Photos month was created to help people safeguard their treasured photos BEFORE a disaster strikes. A fire, flood, tornado, computer failure, theft, or lost or broken phone can wipe out years of memories. Don’t let this happen to you or your family. Start today by taking the pledge to Save Your Photos! Are you ready to get started? To get 30 Days of Photo Organizing Tips emailed to you, sign up here. Need more resources? For all of September, I’ll share these tips on The Innovative Organizer Facebook page. Also, check out our new Facebook page: Save Your Photos-Chicagoland. You’ll find more tips, articles from other photo organizers, and information about events happening around the Chicago area. I am co-hosting a Save Your Photos Open House and Scanning event in St. Charles on Saturday, September 17, 2016. Interested? Click here to...
How To Get Relief From Clutter

How To Get Relief From Clutter

Are you afraid to let go of things? Fear can really hold you back from letting go of your clutter. Click the play button below to listen as I discuss how to get relief from clutter during an interview on the Organize Mindfully podcast. In this 30 minute audio, you will learn how my RELIEF process can help you declutter and organize any space in your home or office. I briefly touch on one of the most important things that gets put off, family photos and movies. I love getting these treasures back into peoples’ lives! I also share my favorite internet resource, app, book recommendations, and the best advice I ever received. Like what you hear? Get more resources by requesting my free report, Tips for a More Organized and Productive Year. Click here to receive your...

Your Perfect Pantry

You have seen those pantries that are just so – they blanket the pages of magazines. We may have a few friends with them. Even the most dysfunctional families on TV seem to have incredibly well organized pantries. Here is what you don’t know – with a few hours, some initiative, and some upkeep, you can have a perfect pantry too. The best thing is it not only looks nice and will make your friends envious, but as you go through your daily life, it will save you time and money. Are you ready to get started? Step One: Declutter Your Pantry Before starting this project, clear off a counter or table near your pantry to use as you empty your pantry Empty the pantry, starting with the top shelf, working left to right. Empty one shelf at a time. Sort the items onto a counter or table as you remove them. Keep like items together – cans, snacks, cereals, baking, paper products, small appliances, etc. Check expiration dates on packaged food products and discard anything that is expired. Set aside anything you no longer want to keep. Discard anything that is stale or no longer fresh enough to use. Unopened unexpired food can be donated to a local food pantry. Set aside anything that does not need to be in the pantry. This is especially important if you have a smaller pantry. Infrequently used items may be able to be stored elsewhere in your home.   Step Two: Cleaning Now that you have an empty pantry, it is time to clean. Cleaning green is all the rage and...

How to Clean Out Closets and Make Money Too

Do your kids outgrow their clothes before they wear them out? Looking for a way to clean out closets and make money too? Not a fan of garage sales, I’ve discovered an easy way to sell kids’ outgrown clothes online. I’d like to share how to sell your unneeded items on Swap.com. If you haven’t heard of Swap.com, it is the largest online consignment store for kids’ items. They also consign toys, maternity, and women’s clothing. Swap.com makes it easy to sell or swap your items. It’s far easier than holding a garage sale and you’re likely to sell your items for more money. Because they have strict acceptance criteria, items sold on Swap.com are in great condition. Money earned selling your items can be used to purchase other items or deposited into a PayPal account. If you prefer, you can swap your items for other items. I donate most of my teenage son and daughter’s outgrown clothes. Recently, we had some outgrown clothes that were in great condition so I decided to use Swap.com. Using Swap.com’s simple process, I shipped the clothes to Swap.com. The clothes were photographed and listed on Swap.com. All I had to do was set the sales price. Swap.com’s sales fee is just $1 plus 20% of the selling price. And it is so easy to do! My niece had several bags of her daughter’s outgrown clothes and a number of infant toys. She had tried garage sales and other online sales sites without much success. What she was able to sell did not sell for much money at all. Then I introduced my niece to Swap.com. After helping...
Easy Ways to Clean Off Your Desk Even When You’re Busy

Easy Ways to Clean Off Your Desk Even When You’re Busy

Think you are too busy to clean off your desk? Think again. A messy desk makes it harder to be productive. costing you time, money, and business. Here are some easy ways to clean off your desk even when you’re busy. Much of what’s on your desk are things you need to do. So instead of letting things you need to do get buried under other things you need to do, set up action files. Label your action files with action words, such as: To Call, To Enter, To File, To Pay. To Do is much too vague – call it what it really is. Be sure the labels make sense to you and be consistent. Avoid any files labeled “Miscellaneous”. Why should you clean off your desk? You won’t waste time searching for what you need when you need it. Less clutter on your desk makes it easier to focus on the task at hand. Keep only the items you need frequently (daily or several times per week) on top of your desk. Everything else can go in a drawer or on a shelf. Where should everything go once you clean off your desk? Make sure everything has a home where you can find things quickly and put them away when you are finished. Use containers to store like items, such as project boxes, literature sorters, in/out baskets, shelves, and file boxes. Store items where they are used. Completed projects can be filed away. You can stay organized all year long. Take a few minutes at end of day to put things away so you’ll be ready for next day. Spend some...
The Innovative Organizer Turns 3!

The Innovative Organizer Turns 3!

April has been a special month for me because it marks the three-year anniversary of The Innovative Organizer, LLC.  Since 2011, I have been helping homeowners and small businesses simplify and reduce stress by cutting the clutter in their lives. Thank you to all of my clients for trusting me and inviting me into your homes, your offices, and your lives. It takes courage to begin the organizing process. It’s been my honor and privilege to work with so many wonderful people, and I have learned from each one of you. I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients from all over the Chicago area, even as far away as Tennessee. I’ve de-cluttered and organized inboxes, photo collections, offices, filing cabinets, storage areas, kitchens, basements, garages, and closets. Dozens of times I have helped overwhelmed families unpack after a move so they can begin living in their new home instead of being surrounded by boxes. Throughout this experience, I have witnessed the physical signs of relief when the burden of clutter is removed from homes and workspaces, and people can find what they need. I would not be where I am today without the support of my many friends and colleagues at the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), NAPO-Chicago, and the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO). I have learned so much from all of the organizers and other professionals I have met over the past three years. My business and marketing coach, Victoria Cook, deserves a special mention, as she continues to push me out of my comfort zone. I’m also grateful for the unwavering support and...
How to Organize Essential Documents: LifeinCase®

How to Organize Essential Documents: LifeinCase®

Have you ever been frustrated trying to find an essential document of yours when you needed it? Where are your spouse’s or your parent’s important documents? If you had to evacuate your home and grab what you can, do you know where your essential documents are stored? Imagine being able to locate an important document quickly or take all of them with you at a moment’s notice. Sound impossible? Let me tell you about a product that makes it easy to organize essential documents, LifeinCase®. LifeinCase® is a simple document organizing tool that makes it easy to cut through the clutter and organize essential documents in one place. LifeinCase® is a durable, portable tote with a 500-sheet capacity containing five folders for major categories: Personal, Financial, Property, Medical, and Estate. Large enough to hold all your essentials, LifeinCase® is small enough to take with you. A checklist is printed on the front of each folder to simplify the process of organizing essential documents. Some of the benefits of LifeinCase® are: Easy to organize your documents: The 5 individual folders are intuitive making it easy to find what you need. No guesswork: Use checklists of 50 essential documents to store in 5 categories: Personal, Financial, Property, Medical, and Estate. Portable: The 5 removable folders and tote are durable, yet small enough to store in a fire-proof safe or travel with you. Just the right size: The 500 sheet capacity tote is water resistant and lightweight, and keeps out the clutter by holding just the essentials. Peace of mind: Know that you have all your essential documents in one place. Whether...

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