JAN: Joy Always Nags

Nagging gets such a bad rap. I LOVE when Joy nags me…IF I’ve given permission 😉

Nagging can be very effective — if done right!

If you know Joy, you know she is consistent and persistent; two qualities that contribute to her affectionately earning the nickname “Mother Hover.”

My mom could nag til the cows came home. She could  hover til the task was done, the phone call made, the flight booked, the invitation sent, the thank you note written. You get the point. Joy’s “persistence” definitely led to some mother-daughter spats til we realized how to shift her nagging into a valuable accountability partnership. It starts with permission.

When you grant Joy – or anyone in your life – permission to nag, their prompting and reminders shift from an annoying — and usually useless — nuisance into a beautiful partnership of integrity and accountability. And then anything is possible!

Here’s how we turn a nag into a motivating spark:
1. Ask for help — You have to grant permission.
In our case, the “ask” had to come from me. If Joy nags without my asking – she’s dictating her agenda and that’s not encouraging.

2. Set parameters around the “nag” — especially when it will start. 
Just because you ask for help does not mean you want to be reminded to do something RIGHT NOW. Let’s say you KNOW you have to do something. But you don’t see any time in your schedule to do it until after Sunday night, or until so-and-so gets back to you with some information. Tell your accountability partner WHEN they can start prompting you.

3. Don’t make room for shame.
Shaming language does NOT belong in an accountability partnership. No one wants to feel belittled or talked down to. People want recognition for overcoming the struggle and acknowledgment for persevering through to completion. 
No statements like: 
— “that took you long enough”
— “thank goodness you finally finished”
— “I can’t believe you need someone to babysit you”

4. Watch your language and don’t bring TONE into the conversation. 
Tone is a cousin of shaming and that relative is not invited! Decide if you want your partner to use certain language or a specific word to remind you of the task (your goal). They may not need to know details of the task to be done or decision to be made…just how you want to be encouraged to take action.

5. Review the partnership.
Knowing that you are having trouble with something may not be easy to admit and asking for help may be even harder. Acknowledge that and make sure your partner is capable of giving you the help you need! If he or she can’t – find a new accountability partner.

I am lucky. Joy Always Nags: and thank goodness she does (only when asked!)

Next time you procrastinate or avoid accomplishing a task, call Joy and give her permission to nag!

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Catch us on PHL 17!

TV Debut on PHL 17 Organize Your Kitchen for Healthier Living!

Kelly on set Demetria Green and Nick Foley

We shared organizing examples to start 2019 with healthy goals in mind.
• Be Clear: Be Clear in your Goal Setting and use Clear Containers!
• Make Small Changes to effect Long-Lasting Change
Have fun! Isn’t that always the goal at Joy In Your Space!



Organize Your Kitchen for a Healthier 2019

The What, Where and How of Staying True to Resolutions

Be S.M.A.R.T. about Healthy Resolutions
• Get specific about YOUR health conscious goals
— work on your greatest weaknesses first: drink more water, pack a (healthier) lunch,
make time to exercise
• Celebrate small changes to form lifelong healthy habits

Make Healthy Options Easy to Find
• Store nutritious options within easy reach
— what you SEE first you will EAT first:
      make sure it’s healthy 
• Pay attention to portions, sugar and fat contents
— too much of a good thing may not be good for you

Streamline Daily & Weekly Routines:
• Create zones for every activity:
— taking vitamins or medication
— packing a lunch for school or work 
— exercise (hydration and nutrition for work-outs)
— making coffee
— feeding a pet (these family members need to be healthy too!)

A well-stocked kitchen should NOT be crowded. 
Clutter is like cholesterol— it blocks the flow of meal prep and can create a toxic environment. Don’t let it build-up. And try to have fun tweaking your systems!



What does the ‘organ’ in ORGANizing do?

Everyone knows that our lungs are the major organ in our respiratory system, that our brain is central to our nervous system and that our stomach and intestines are partners in our digestive system. 

human systems: respiratory, nervous and digestive

Wondering how that connects to organizing? Just look at the word: there is an ORGAN inside organizing! Our bones — amazing organs within our skeletal system —  form the structure of our bodies while they protect our internal organs. With the help of ligaments and tendons, our skeletal system allows us to move.

our skeleton inside our bodyLet’s look at our households like our bodies — and see ORGANizing from an interdependent, systemic perspective:
• providing structure and support
• filtering toxins (clutter)
• creating space for nourishment
• allowing time to digest our days
• minimizing distractions

As the daughter of a D.O., the osteopathic approach always takes the whole person into consideration. Likewise, I consider the whole household when organizing.

Human Body medical diagram of our muscular systemOn that note, let’s all head into 2019, protecting our:
• organizing time like our brains
• organizing framework as we maintain our posture
• organizing schedule as routinely as brushing our teeth
• and use our ORGANizing muscles to stay healthy!



DEC: Do Everything Consistently!

Consistency is a wonderful thing. We’ve consistently delivered a year’s worth of monthly-themed organizing advice.

In this twelfth and final month of 2018, try to Do Everything Consistently — DEC— and if not everything, how ’bout 12 things? You can follow any of the 12 things Joy and I are each VERY consistent with:


  1. Bedtime
  2. Connecting with Friends
  3. Taking Good Care of Herself
  4. Planning Ahead and doing anything that can be done in advance.
    The only reason why Joy’s Thanksgiving table was not set until Wednesday was to honor her grand-daughter’s wish to set the table for her.


  1. Reviewing Commitments Daily – each evening to prepare for the next day
  2. Using Alarms so I don’t get too involved in anything or lose track of time
  3. Scheduling Things into my calendar so I have realistic expectations of what I can accomplish
  4. Being Green – I never mind taking time to recycle


  1. Making the Bed every morning
  2. Creating Lists (Kelly via Anylist, Joy on paper)
  3. Keeping a Calendar (Joy on paper, Kelly’s electronically)
  4. Admitting we are not perfect!Our secret: don’t beat yourself up when your consistency wanes. Get curious about WHY you haven’t yet mastered a new habit. Then adjust accordingly. Muscle-memory takes time!

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NOV: Nominate Only Valuable Elements

With elections in the air, one can’t help but think about voting. Stay in that mental space because we want you in “vote-mode.” As you switch over to warmer clothing and start layering, you will want to get serious about which “candidates” have earned your vote to stick around another season. 

During this month of NOV: Nominate Only Valuable Elements. Follow our decluttering rules for any area of your life, but especially your fall/winter wardrobe.

• Double check that your fall and winter elements have weathered spring and summer without losing elasticity, style or fit!

• Decide if each element still warrants your care and attention. The more you keep, the more you have to keep up! Why store it if you don’t love it?

• Make sure your belongings work well together. Spend time ensuring you have the makings of complete outfits, outerwear for all types of weather and accessories that keep you warm and fashion forward.

• You may find you need to replace a thing or two. Better to know this going into winter instead of finding yourself without waterproof boots or gloves that have a mate!

Follow our rules to find JOY in getting dressed and layered for all occasions — and maybe permission to shop for a new item.

If you’ve forgotten how to vote, or you’ve lost your veto-power, we can help. Call us to define and refine your best closet contents and storage system.



OCT: Organize Cherished Time

In honor of National ADHD Awareness Month we want you to Organize Cherished Time.

Even if you don’t struggle with this diagnosis, TIME is something everyone battles. 

If you spend all your time & energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are truly important.

Who doesn’t want more time? Too often, we spend time on other people’s “shoulds.” That can leave us feeling depleted and disconnected.



This October — ADHD or not — Organize Cherished Time for better health, stronger relationships and a happier you:

• block out sleep on your calendar

• make nutritious meals a priority 

• plan dates with friends

• invest time in a hobby

Each person is different…and you know what you tend to neglect.
— You may be strong with self care but not great nourishing relationships.
— You may be overly attentive to exercise but not mindful of nutrition or sleep.
— You might make work too high a priority and place too little emphasis on touch-ins with family members.
— You might be starving yourself spiritually or creatively.

Whatever YOU struggle with, schedule that time until it becomes a habit.  

If you are visual, like us, check out this video that illustrates that we can only fit everything in if we start with the big rocks…

Make time work for you, not against you this month



SEPT: Start Emergency Prepping Today

In honor of National Preparedness Month we want you to Start Emergency Prepping Today

While we’ve divided emergency prep into 4 distinct categories (physical, emotional, spiritual and financial), there is cross-over among them all.
• You may not feel comfortable inviting people in as your spiritual safety-net if your physical space is not inviting.
• You won’t be eager to create a digital photo album when your day-to-day routines aren’t running smoothly.
• You might not have energy to do anything other than work if your financial situation is precarious.

• Have emergency cash on hand. Experts suggest – at a minimum – 2 full gas tanks worth of cash in case you need to leave town. You decide what your family’s emergency cash allowance should be.
• Save enough to hold you through whatever financial storm may strike.
  Or START saving to build an emergency cushion.

• If you do not “run” the finances of your household, make sure you could! Find out with and from your partner/parent/financial advisor how to pay your ongoing bills, check what is outstanding, understand what is on auto-pay and linked to which accounts. This is important for as small a crisis as a stolen wallet. 

We suggest you focus on one “area” of prep each week. By the end of Sept, you’ll be prepared for a safe and successful year.
1: Take care of your physical space
2. Protect and examine your emotional well-being
3. Create a spiritual safety-net by reaching out to others
4. Build financial security to weather any storm.

We help people in ALL aspects of preparedness.
• We are physical experts in storage and space planning.
• We are non-judgmental partners who support you without shame
• We help connect you to your passions by clearing your path to what’s joyful in life.
• We protect your investment in your self by helping you maintain your daily routines.

Call us! We’d love to help you prepare for the JOYS and the “Oy’s” of life.



“Summer Slide” Survival Tips

“Summer Slide” refers to the loss of reading skills when not practiced. Let’s apply the term to household maintenance tasks, since backsliding occurs every summer.

These 1 hour projects are perfect any time of year but especially before September: 
Assess Fall wardrobes
— Look for fit and relevance to each person’s activities.
— Donate any “misfits” to make room for new items.
— Save time and money (and reduce stress) with a “to purchase” list.
— Then shop according to your list. 

• Take a Supply Inventory
— First tally what you already own of office and school supplies before you shop
— If you have school-age children, you’ll want to consult your teacher list first.
— Then shop at home from your own stash of notebooks, pens and markers.

Restock Your Pantry
— First, make sure the food in your pantry is fresh (fridge and cabinets items can expire and spoil). 
— Figure out what healthy grab-and-go snacks you and your family will enjoy and make sure you have plenty of the ingredients.
— Think ahead of your go-to weekday meals and restock your cabinets.
— Make sure your tupperware or pack-out containers are accessible.
In Kelly’s kitchen, tops and bottoms live together, so there’s never time wasted trying to find the right fit. 

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AUG: Anything U Get!

AUG 2018 calendar

To kick off our 2nd year of monthly-themed decluttering tips, enjoy this client-inspired acronym: AUG: Anything U Get. We can’t say which amazing client gave us this title but, about her we CAN say…she: 

• is very organized but works with us so projects get done quickly and without overwhelm 

• owns few things if you don’t count books 😉 

• has trouble letting gifts from others go…hence our advice: Anything U Get — whether purchased or gifted MUST:

• bring you JOY (may be utilitarian “joy”)
We don’t expect you to love every item in your household…your toilet plunger may not inspire JOY but if it functions well when you need it, you can appreciate its utility. The less mediocre items you have and the more “wow” kitchen gadgets you actually use – the happier you’ll be.

• have a home
If you want to avoid clutter, your belongings need a place to “live.” Their “home” should be the right size, a location that suits how often you’ll need it, and accessible by the right people.
— For example, when teaching 
independence to toddlers, they need to be able to reach their sippy cups.

• add value to your life — if not, put it in the regift pile or donate it
Everyone should have an area designated for gifts that are perfectly acceptable but not suited for your life, the age of your kids or your home decor anymore. And each household benefits from a spot in the mudroom, garage, or hall closet that holds donations until the bag, bin or box is full. The sooner those items make it to your car trunk, the faster they will be out of your way!

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