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How I Became a Professional Organizer ALICIA LOTT

Alicia Lott
Clients often ask me how and why I became a professional organizer.  I get excited when I am asked this question because I truly love what I do. I have about six years of organizing experience under my belt and I have answered this question a lot. It boils down to three things: I love stuff. I love organizing other people’s stuff. I love helping people truly enjoy their homes by organizing their stuff.
My relationship with stuff is interesting. I spent my childhood accompanying my mom and grandmother to many garage sales, estate sales, antique stores and thrift stores all around King County. As a result, I have a lot knowledge about what collectibles have value, which ones don’t, what can sell in a consignment store, and what collections are on trend.  I understand and appreciate the relationship clients have with their treasures. I also appreciate the value of a clutter free home. When clients are grappling with too much volume, my favorite question to ask is, “does this item need you?”
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Paper or Digital Calendar? Which is Better?

digital calendar

The short answer is of course that it comes down to a matter of individual preference. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the paper or digital type of calendars. We love all things digital, and many digital calendar apps are great, but there are many instances where the paper calendar diary works just as well, if not better. Our preferences may change over time and depending on the task at hand.

Digital Advantages

The digital calendar has many advantages. We are virtually attached to our smart phones these days so we always have our calendar with us. Doctor appointment cards no longer get lost in our coat pockets because we can now enter the appointment straight into our favorite calendar app. We can schedule recurring

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Entering 6th Grade with no Clutter

clutter

Twelve-year old Kayla was more than ready to clear the clutter out her bedroom. She is entering 6th grade in a few days and she no longer plays with majority of the toys that clutter her bedroom. These days she is into playing guitar and reading, not playing with Disney princess castles and Polly Pockets. Over three hours, we emptied every drawer, pulled out every bin and sorted through every book shelf and basket. Kayla took the lead

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How I Became a Professional Organizer JESSICA SHEETS

“What is a professional organizer?” After two years with this wonderful company this is certainly a question I hear a lot. So, what do we do really? It is far more all encompassing than what might come to mind for most people. Not only do we clear the clutter, strategize then implement organizational systems, downsize, manage moves, and the list goes on, we are also cheerleaders, life coaches, helpers, friends, simplify experts and so much more! It takes a level of compassion, empathy, caring, and natural coordination to take on such a role. These are all qualities I noticed in myself and have nurtured through my short 25 years and ultimately what led me to this profession.
Even from a young age I craved the structure and simplicity that proper organization affords. Although sharing a room with my younger sister may have made it a bit challenging through the years, I always enjoyed the big weekend cleaning days where everyone was assigned a chore and we all worked as a household to reset our home to a cleaned, managed, and peaceful place. These memories, coupled with sincere appreciation for that inner peace have persisted on and led me to always pursue opportunities where I could help make a difference in people’s lives.
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Contained Home: A New Service from Simplify Experts and The Container Store!

contained home

Like many of you we love The Container Store. It is such a fun store with aisles and aisles of beautiful home organizing products of every possible type. For some people The Container Store can be a source of inspiration. Others know they need help, but the store can be a bit overwhelming. We can completely understand why. There are so many types of products to choose from! How do you know what you will need for your organizing project? How many containers

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Planning and Budgeting for the Remainder of 2016

planning and budgeting

As we wind down summer, we are thinking about back to school. We also need to be planning and budgeting for the next four months. Here are some things to plan for now, so that you feel on top of things later.

 

Back to School Planning and Budgeting

  • Purchase back to school supplies:
    • Inventory what you already have in your home before you go shopping.
    • Print school supply list to take with you while shopping.
    • After shopping put all the new supplies together in one spot; like in a new backpack.
    • Take kids with you to shop for clothes and shoes. This will prevent having to return clothes and shoes that don’t fit.
    • Resist buying more that you need.
    • Don’t stress if you can’t find it all. Students don’t need everything day one.
  • This is a great time to inventory your child’s clothing and purge outgrown or worn out items.  Purchase new school clothes or school uniforms and shoes. Do fall sports shoes fit? Is there a PE uniform that needs to be purchased?
  • Schedule any overdue medical, vision or dental exams for your children.
  • Complete any school medical forms.
  • Budget for beginning of school year PTA, school and sports fees.
  • If you are planning on applying to private schools for the 2017-2018 school year:
    • Research potential schools.
    • Sign up for informational meetings and open houses.
    • Research test preparation courses.
    • Register for entrance tests.
    • Begin contacting teachers for letters of recommendation.
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If You Read One Article About Laundry Tips Read This One

laundry tips

Laundry is one of those never-ending, boring, mundane chores.  Many busy families just can’t keep up with the sheer volume of laundry. Others struggle with laundry piles because they don’t have a good laundry routine. To help you get through your laundry quickly and efficiently, we’ve compiled a list of laundry tips and tricks from various experts.

  • Number one laundry tip: Don’t sort your laundry. This is a huge timesaver. Toss in a load of colored, dark and white clothes together with detergent and a ½ cup of vinegar on the cold temperature setting. One exception to this is new dark denim and new red items. Wash those on their own to be sure the color won’t bleed. If you have very expensive silk or delicate items, follow individual washing instructions.
  • Provide each family member with their own labeled laundry basket. Wash each family member’s clothes separately. Wash their entire load of dirty clothes (all colors together) on the cold temperature setting. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the wash (either in the bleach or fabric softener receptacle in front loading machines) to prevent color bleeding. When the clothes are clean, return them to the owner’s basket.
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How a School Lunch Packing Station Will Simplify Your Morning

lunch packing station

Would you like your children to make their own school lunches? A school lunch packing station makes it super easy for your child to take on this responsibility. Start with designating space in your pantry and fridge. A pantry shelf that is eye level for your children is the best choice. Store your child’s lunch box and water bottle near the lunch packing station. In a small labeled bin store your child’s favorite school snacks. Next to that store a labeled bin with napkins, forks/spoons, plastic storage containers and baggies. In your refrigerator, designate a shelf or a drawer for school lunch food. For example, in a labeled drawer keep everything needed to make sandwiches.  On the label write the contents of the drawer: (bread, cheese, turkey meat, mayo, etc.) and keep it stocked with those ingredients. On a designated labeled refrigerator shelf keep juice boxes, veggie packs,

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Organize Your Pet Supplies With These Five Ideas

pet supplies

We adore our pets and care for them like any other family member. Our pooches and kitties can acquire quite a bit of stuff between toys, grooming supplies, treats and even clothing. Like anything, pet supplies can get lost around the house pretty easily. Here are five ideas on how to organize your pet supplies easily –  saving you time you can use to play with your fuzzy buddy.
Toys and Accessories
Dog and cat toys can be corralled into a basket. Put them in a location where all family members can find them when playing with Fido. As you collect all the toys from around the house, dispose of any broken or unloved play things. Wash your dog’s plush toys periodically on the gentle cycle. Keep winter sweaters and extra pet supplies (such as cones and poopy bags) for your dog in a hallway closet in bins labeled with your pet’s name or photo.
Documents and Medical Information
Our pet’s health is important. Keep a reminder on your calendar when your pet’s next flea and heartworm medication is due or administer it on the first of every month. Keep a manila folder with all your pet’s paperwork. Pedigree or adoption information,

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How to Help Your Student Own their Responsibilities

help your student

August is here and that means the beginning of the school year is just around the corner. You are probably already submitting school forms, buying school supplies and clothes. Help your student get a head start toward being able to own their responsibilities with these invaluable tips from organizing consultant, coach and ADHD specialist Leslie Josel.
Leslie notes that children are capable of managing responsibilities depending on their “brain” age, not necessarily on their “chronological” age. Therefore, we cannot expect that at age X all children will be capable of mastering the same tasks. Leslie Josel works with

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