MAY We Help You?

So many possibilities are opening up. Like safely working in person! Joy and Kelly are double vacced and ready to help you clear any new or accumulated clutter from pandemic sheltering in.

While sheltering in or working from home, some of us have been busy decluttering and some of us have not stayed as on top of our homes as we’d like. For Kelly, the external motivation of anticipating company was always a fantastic incentive to keep things neat.

No company = No incentive.

Even organizers can feel this way!
We're double vacced now!

It’s time to dust off our dining room tables. Clear our kitchen counters. Flex our organizing muscles and get back in shape for guests.
MAY we help you:
• Clear Clutter?
• Donate Discards?
• Create Calm?

What if you aren’t ready to invite us in? That’s okay! Virtual organizing is here to stay.
We are thrilled by how well in-person clients adapted to doing it all on their own (physically) with our virtual support. We continue to see amazing results from new clients’ accomplishments following our directions via Zoom and FaceTime calls.

Don’t know how you want to work with us?
Schedule a call to:
• talk about your goals
• understand your needs
• figure out a plan that’s comfortable.



APR: Accountability Produces Results

Our April advice, entitled: A.P.R. Accountability Produces Results, isn’t just a clever acronym. It is true! Accountability partnerships DO produce results.

They also promote and provide:
• personal integrity
• a safe space for reflection
• successful structure

Our world is opening up. Our options are increasing.
Our attention might be waning. How do we maintain focus on our goals? Our solution: not alone!

Accountability is synonymous with responsibility; it means getting things done. Starting to accomplish or pushing through the final steps of a project can seem like a monumental task on your own.

Clients benefit from using Joy or Kelly as their accountability partner in Zoom or FaceTime calls lasting anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours: it all depends on the person, the project and the hurdle.

Let’s decide together what amount of support will:
• help YOU get unstuck
• allow you to follow through on your goals
• provide the structure and support you need.

Kelly follows this advice weekly in her Tuesday morning long-standing Accountability Partnership call and her follow-up “working” session on Friday mornings. Without these placeholders, she wouldn’t be able to:
• process
• focus on
• reflect upon her successes
• or learn from her mistakes.

Kelly and her Accountability Partner, Yasmin at a colleague’s wedding


Let Go of Clothes

As featured author for NAPO-GPC (2nd month in a row!) I explain how to let expensive, sentimental, and inherited items in our wardrobes GO! You can read it here, or on the NAPO-GPC site:

My role as organizer usually involves helping people:
• live with less
• have more within easy reach
• love what they store.

One popular area I organize is wardrobe closets. Sometimes I’m hired to fix a physical problem; I solve storage challenges. Sometimes I am the necessary support as someone decides: 
• what to keep
• where to donate or sell 
• how to let clothes go.

In my experience, even when someone commits to trimming their wardrobe, there is one item they want to get rid of but (in their words) “can’t!” In these situations, what’s really behind their “can’t” is guilt. When I hear a closet client say “I can’t get rid of this,” I know the clothing in question was either expensive, a gift, or it holds sentimental value.

If the item was expensive… and they haven’t worn it (ever or enough), the struggle is about throwing good money away.
    Honestly, they’re wasting more money by storing this item. Waiting too long to resell something is not smart; resale avenues like The RealReal, Clothes Mentor and Thred Up pay more for recent purchases.

If the item was a gift… from someone they love, their love for the person is getting in the way of their ability to decide what they want in their life.
They sometimes think that letting the item go is akin to rejecting the gift-giver’s love, kindness, generosity, and attention. Trust me, your favorite aunt knows you love her even if you don’t love the winter hat she gave you.

I always reassure clients that no one gives a gift in order to burden the recipient.
A recipient’s only responsibility is to be gracious in accepting the gift.
—You can always donate the item or its value to a charitable organization the gift-giver supports to lessen the pain of letting the item go from your life. Let it be a gift that keeps on giving — to someone else!

If the item holds memories it will fall into one of two categories:
Clothing from the person’s own life (even if it was someone else’s at some point).
When I come across these sentimental clothes, the first question I ask is:
Will you still wear it?
• If the answer is yes, it can stay. 
•. If the answer is no, then I suggest the t-shirt, wedding gown, or cheerleading skirt move to a spot more suitable to memories and nostalgia.

2) Clothing that holds memories may have belonged to a deceased loved one.
I help people navigate these sensitive areas often. What I counsel, is to keep only the sweatshirts, t-shirts, or hats that meant something to the departed and mean something still to you if you have room for it. 

To me, your adored Uncle’s memory does not hinge on a single t-shirt…not even on his entire t-shirt collection. I recommend that if you let items go from your life (that belonged to someone you loved) decide how you will remember this person (in thought or deed) once you let the item go. Then be intentional in keeping their memory alive.

If it’s something you aren’t going to wear, display it to honor it in some way.
Shadow boxes are wonderful conversation pieces and visual reminders of our ancestors’ legacies.


MARCH: Made A Recent Client Happy

You know we love creative titles for our monthly tips and this MARCH is no exception. We Made All Recent Clients Happy.

Many new clients needed help moving, selling, downsizing, and refreshing their wardrobes.
We appreciate being the trusted team to take care of the details when life is overwhelming.

Our resale and estate clearing expertise:
• took the stress out of relocation
• helped families clear out loved ones’ residences
• resulted in huge return$ from silver, gold and artwork.

Throughout each project we connected with and supported families in times of transition, upheaval, and grief.
It is a privilege to be trusted with their belongings and emotions around loss and change.

Resale Resources — Old and New
Our go-to clothing resellers Clothes Mentor and Thred Up pulled through for us netting $$$ to three new clients.
And we have added The RealReal to our list for luxury resale of high end women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories.
• Let us know if you’re in the market to purge your wardrobe of designer purses or eliminate extra clothing from your closet.
We LOVE helping clients “cash in on closet clutter.”

Relocation Resources — Find your stuff a 2nd home
Philly Furniture Bank, ReDecor and Good’s Vintage have become our favorite recipients of furniture, artwork, and antique/vintage items in need of a second home.
• Call us to connect you with the most appropriate resource for your next renovation project or home decorating refresh. 

Need a trusted team to help you determine value from among your “valuables”?

• We’ll help you sort your stuff

• Connect you with the proper resale resources

• Organize what you keep

— expectation alert: it is a buyer’s market, not a seller’s



Can’t Decide? Set it Aside…

Day 365 + ???? (who’s counting) of the pandemic and it seems like everyone is decluttering. We’re all trying to hold true to our reoccurring New Year’s Resolution to ”Get Organized.” Organized can mean different things to each of us but it usually involves sorting and culling categories of stuff.

In our experience, there are always three decision buckets your stuff will fall into: Yes, No, and Maybe.

  • Yes! You love it. Easy-peasy, you’re gonna keep this. It goes back to wherever it came.
  • No! You hate this thing. Always have and you know you will never use it.
    It lands in the “NO” pile (for donate, resale, or regift)
    This kind of conviction can only come after you allow yourself to truly let go (despite how much money you spent or which favorite aunt gifted it to you)
  • I don’t know or Maybe? These are the items that you really need to ponder.

    Our NAPO colleague, Barbara Hemphill, coined this brilliant definition:

Clutter is Postponed Decisions.™

Barbara Hemphill

We postpone deciding:

  • Do I really love it?
  • Will I use it?
  • Does it fill a void in my life?
  • If I’m keeping it, where should it live?

Deciding is important — but NOT while you’re in the initial stages of rapid-fire, gut reactions to your stuff. Follow our time-saving advice: DEFER your decision for the “maybes” and “I don’t knows.”

Schedule time with yourself — on a separate day — when your mind is fresh. Technically, it’s called time chunking. In practice, one organizing session is dedicated to quick, visceral decisions. Another for contemplative, thoughtful and reasoned thinking.

Permission granted to defer your decision on all of your “maybes” and “I don’t knows” – not because pushing off until tomorrow is a winning strategy. Permission granted because setting aside the necessary time to consider what deserves a place and space in your life is worthy of your full attention. In this case, deferring the decision is a smart move.



Valentine Advice: KISS More!

This Valentine Day, we have to ask… Do you KISS enough? 
Not in your love life — in your home life?
We’re in love with the design principle K.I.S.S.

Coined by aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson, Keep It Simple Stupid or the more playful Keep It Simple Silly was popular in the 70’s for its push to simplify.

It’s known by some variations: 
 • Keep It Simple Sailor
   (popular in the Navy)
• Keep It Short and Simple
• Keep It Simple and Straightforward

We’re following our own advice and keeping this message short and simple. herever you can, simplify.

Get our help streamlining your life.
Simplify your household systems:
• rethink mail flow
• replan laundry day
• re-envision food pantry restocking



DEC: Decide, Edit, & Curate

In this final month of 2020  (hallelujah!) have some fun.
Play a Decide, Edit, & Curate game.

Set your own rules for what:
 • comes in
 • gets to stay
 • has to leave

Even if you don’t use Twitter, we’ll bet you understand the rules: social posts of 280 characters or less. Constraints — however loose — provide structure for decisions. Designers, filmmakers, and museums cut and add elements to preserve the core of their message, design, or exhibit. 

What rules ensure your home’s message is clear? 

To play:
1. Fantasize what your closets, or countertops could look like if you consciously decided what to keep.
2. Look at what you use
3. Re-evaluate what you store 
4. Focus on what you love:
Picking faves first relieves stress over letting go

Just for Fun: 
Decide the rules of your Edit and Curate game as a family, couple, household or as roommates.
Use the In-1 — Out-1 rule religiously
• For every item coming INTO your home,
at least 1* needs to leave
* If you are starting out with an abundance
(or over-abundance)
follow In-1 — Out-5 items 
til you manage the amount of your stuff. 

Schedule a “get your game on” session to: 
• clarify your rules
• learn to acquire less
• showcase your keepers



Get Organized Virtually

This blog originally appeared on the NAPO-GPC blog site where Kelly was the featured contributor.

Between The Home Edit and Marie Kondo, everyone wants to tidy up. Coupled with sheltering-in and working from home for months, the desire to live with less and deal with our messes has grown. 

Thanksgiving and the approach of more holidays add incentive to put our homes in order. “Getting organized” has become a need, not a dream.

For those who want the expertise, guidance, and support of a professional organizer, hand-on help is still an option. If in-person organizing doesn’t work for you, virtual organizing is an option worth considering.

Virtual Organizing is not new…
• Over ten years ago, Sheila Delson, co-founder of The Institute for Chronic Disorganization, coined the term Virtual Organizing (V.O.).

She has since educated experienced organizers in the best practices and most successful methods for V.O.

In years past, V.O. had been limited by familiarity with zoom and other remote options. With so many adjusting to zoom school, virtual offices and FaceTime meetings, that tech barrier is (virtually) gone making V.O. much more accessible.

Obvious benefits of working virtually:
• Guidance on where to start
• Expert clarity for steps involved
• During this pandemic: a no-risk option for working together

Five bonus benefits of working remotely: 
• Accountability so you’ll follow-through on each step
• Access to resources and connections only your NAPO organizer can provide

• Control over what your organizer sees…or doesn’t 🙂
  This may make it easier to focus on a discreet project before you’re ready to open yourself up to a whole room or house re-org.
 Affordability V.O. sessions are typically shorter (1 – 2 hours long) than in-person appointments (which could be half or whole day commitments)  
• Any progress you make will be 100% YOURS to claim
 If you already have experience working in-person with an organizer, transitioning to a virtual partnership puts the emphasis on what you can do. That’s empowering!

Virtual options aren’t limited to a geographic location.
That said, there are benefits to working with someone local:
• When working with a local organizer, your organizing work can be virtual. Even so, you can still benefit from having your organizer collect items or run some errands, if they handle donations or resale of items.
• In the future: post-pandemic, once you’re more comfortable, or when the scope of your project changes, you’d have the option to invite your local organizer in for hands-on organizing. It’s all about choices!



NOV: Never Overlook Vertical Space

Walls can be such overlooked storage, decor and utility opportunities. The backs of doors, insides of cabinets and sides of dressers are all “walls” of space waiting to be put to use.

NOVs advice…Never again Overlook Vertical Space.
Look up, look around, along the side of furniture, above windows, next to light switches. Discover where you need a splash of color, a place to hang a tool, or a message center.

Use vertical storage to:
• free up a desk surface
• clear a countertop
• hang items vertically instead of resting horizontally (aka cluttering)  

Kitchens & bathrooms
rely on the vertical plane for wall mounted cabinets. 
There’s also:
• spice shelving
• pots & pans racks
• apron hooks
• mirrors
• towel bars
All use vertical space!

How about less considered rooms?
Where can you hang:
• key hooks
• mail baskets
• dog leashes
• scissors
Add a pair to your laundry area with a magnetic hook on your washer, dryer or overflow refrigerator.
Put what you need — where you need it!



OCT: Opportunities Continue To…

Curious what’s behind the yellow door? During OCT. pay attention to how Opportunities Continue To show up.
This happens when you:
• allow for possibility 
• take steps toward a goal
The universe listens and opportunity falls in your lap. Or a door once closed, opens. 

Indulge us — if only because it’s our birthday month...
In our commitment to monthly-themed advice, our title uses every letter. 
OCTOBER: Opportunities Continue To Occur Beyond Expected Reality 🙂

You have to make room
• for new ideas, projects, and opportunities
Cutting clutter is one way to carve out space for the next exciting opportunity, new friendship, or even romance in your life (for those looking).

Happy Birthday fellow Libra’s & Scorpio’s!

  • Gift yourself a virtual or in-person session to: 
  • clear clutter from high-traffic rooms
  • declutter your WFH space
  • improve your kids’ learning-from-home workspace
  • finally deal with unfinished projects