Tag Archives: Organizing
Situation: A beach cottage with at least five generations of family memorabilia stashed into the basement. The family has inhabited this cottage since 1887 and the basement is now a combination of items from several storage rooms.
Memories abound and many valuable articles are decaying in cardboard boxes. The room is damp and chaos reigns supreme. It is overwhelming to go inside. With a small cottage and a large family, it would be a bonus to have another room for visiting out of town children and grandchildren as well as a place to store extra kitchenware and clothing.
Solution: Delve into each box and separate family memories one by one from trash and donation items. We preserved all valuable memories into plastic Sterilite boxes that stacked into one corner of the room.
Divide the room into two separate areas, storeroom and guest room using the existing partitions.
The storeroom area was set up with rows of shelves to hold extra dishes, baking and kitchen cookware that would not fit into the house. We also stored holiday items, extra clothes, memories and luggage into this side of the room.
In the guest area, books were organized on the huge floor to ceiling bookshelves. A gaming table was arranged, the bed set up with side tables with lights and a cozy reading area equipped with a wing back chair and floor lamp. This new improved basement will easily accommodate 2 – 4 houseguests.
(prREACH) January 11, 2014 — addSpace to Your Life! a professional organizing and image consultancy has been selected for the 2013 Best of Encinitas Award in Professional Organizers category by the Encinitas Award Program. Each year, the Encinitas Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category.
These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and their community. These exceptional companies help make the Encinitas area a great place to live, work and play. The Best of Encinitas Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Encinitas. Their mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category.
The 2013 Encinitas Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Encinitas Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Award Winner Kathi Burns:
1- Since some of our listening audience may not yet know who you are, would you please tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kathi Burns, CPO®. I am an agent for change and work as a Certified Professional Organizer and Image Consultant. I founded addSpace To Your Life! in 2003 and published my book How to Master Your Muck ~ Get Organized. Add Space To Your Life. Live Your Purpose! in September 2009. I was honored and blessed to be acknowledged by Good Morning America as a successful woman entrepreneur in the second year of my new career.
2) You are a great success. Because of what you’ve accomplished and where you are in life, what would you tell others to inspire them today, regardless of where they are in their life?
It doesn’t matter where you are in life right now, it matters where you think you are in your life right now. I know that the principal of thought, word, deed is very powerful and works significantly in our daily lives. If you think about something long enough, speak about it as if it were so, and act upon it with confidence, it cannot help but manifest in some form. Even if you have some sort of disadvantage, you also have a unique advantage as a direct result of that challenge.
You are a co-creator of your life. You can create a small life or choose to design a very big life full of wonder and excitement. Life is an unlimited resource just waiting to be expressed. It is up to you to choose to see it that way and live your life to it’s fullest potential.
3) We all know that inspiration can change lives. Can you share a personal story of someone who inspired you and made a difference in your life or a defining moment or experience that inspired you or changed your life?
I found out that I was passionate about organizing and image by offering to help a friend in need.
I met my friend Lyn Snow shortly after I relocated to San Diego. At that time, Lyn was spending her time healing from cancer and recreating a career that would require less emotional energy. I was on a quest to redefine my life and find a new career that I could embrace with passion.
Lyn was a bonified packrat and thrift store junkie. She loved shopping for bargains and her home was bursting at the seams. She was undergoing medical treatment and we both decided that she needed to clear her house and closet to create new beginnings and add more energy to her life. We began clearing in earnest. At the end of the first day she said, “hey you are really good at this and you were really gentle when you made me get rid of the things that no longer served me.” I replied. “That was really fun!”
As I continued helping Lyn, I had an epiphany. I realized that my quirky passion for change is exactly what people need when they want to transform their life. Many folks are afraid and resistant to change even when they know that they need it. With that discovery, I realized my greatest strength could now be used to help people transform and improve their lives. Instead of being the detriment that it was in the past, my openness to change means that I can effortlessly help clients change and see them transformed long before they can. As I gently hold the space and see them already at their goal, they can move into it and embrace it fully for themselves with less effort.
Lyn and I began our new career quests together and, ironically, both began working full-time in our new careers at the same time. She became a Soul Collage Artist and I created addSpace To Your Life!, a Professional Organizing and Image Consultancy. She wrote the first client testimonial stating, “Kathi was fabulous and the best! It was painless and actually joy producing. I heartily recommend her!” Without Lynn’s insight and support I would have never discovered my true calling and purpose in life as a change agent.
4) You make it look easy, but I’m guessing you’ve experienced challenges in your life. Can you share with our listeners how that has strengthened you to reach success? In other words, how do you overcome adversity?
If I am stuck with anything, I make some sort of change in my life. I have found that a small, seemingly insignificant change in a physical environment can produce a result in my life experience way out of proportion to the size of the act. Just one simple change opens my life to new possibilities in ways you could never imagine.
5) Everyone has ideas on how to improve their lives, whether it be a new job, moving to a new city, or finding love, but change can be a bit scary sometimes. Can you please share an experience with us where you “stepped off the ledge” with only faith, and took a big risk, based only on your belief that you would succeed?
My husband and I lost our business and basically everything shortly after 911. Instead of getting a ‘real’ job I decided to forgo that security and instead create a company that used my skills and passions. We started addSpace To Your Life! with very little money, in fact only $49. We printed business cards and made fliers to hang on doors. Since we didn’t have money for marketing, I walked and hung fliers door to door to announce my services. We lived hand to mouth for almost a year. I held onto the faith that my company would succeed because I knew innately that helping people embrace and move through change masterfully was my true calling in life.
6) How can others do what you did?
Take the time to clear away the muck from your environment. Get rid of anything that does not serve who you are right now. Muck is a powerful saboteur of creative expression and can become a roadblock to your success. When you are stuck, it is difficult to bring your unique gifts to the world— you often become frustrated or face financial failure. Muck blocks your ability to be free and follow your heart to live your passion. Clear the muck or the broken systems in your life. This will help you learn how to change gracefully and with less effort than you can imagine. This is why I titled my book How to Master Your Muck~ Get Organized. Add Space To Your Life. Live Your Purpose!
7) What process, steps or exercises do you recommend that our listeners could do right now and each morning, to improve the quality of their lives?
Spend time each morning clearing away the muck in your head with meditation or prayer and then plan what you wish to accomplish that day before you begin working or checking emails. Set your path, before it sets you off your path of greatest fulfillment.
What’s the greatest joy in your life?
Sharing my life and growing a deep friendship and spiritual connection with my husband Rob. Also, helping people move through change with joy, ease and success.
9) If you had to wrap up the wisdom of your life to leave as your legacy- call it YOUR BRILLIANCE- what important things that you’ve learned would you want to pass on to others?
If you wish to make significant change in your life, the easiest way is to add space wherever you can in your surroundings and in your mind. It could be as simple as cleaning out your desk drawer or spending a few moments each day in a state of non- thinking in prayer or meditation. When you do this regularly, you will have more space to think more clearly which will help you discover your purpose in life. Once you find your purpose, you will be filled with unbridled enthusiasm, joy and success!
10) If you had just one more thing that you could accomplish in your lifetime, what would it be?
Wow – what a tough question! I want to stay on the path of my true purpose and follow the lead of my soul in all ways . . . If I can remain true to that path, I know that I will accomplish great and unexpected things!
As a child the holiday season seems so magical. Houses are decorated, there’s always amazing food everywhere, visitors stop by from all corners of the world, and everyone is happy – except for the person in charge of making sure the holidays go off without a hitch.
That person is generally the primary caretaker of the family and he or she has a lot to do to make the home holiday-ready. As tempting as it may be to shove everything that isn’t aesthetically pleasing under the bed or in a closet, cutting the clutter is what really needs to happen.
The following things help make sure that your home, family, and mind are free of clutter and ready for the holidays.
Start Sorting Out the Clutter
Begin with what’s most important. If you know that guests will be staying at your house overnight or, God help you, longer, and your spare room is a catch-all for all the random things in your life, start with that room. Sort through the room and make three piles: one to keep, one to throw out, and one to give away.
Toss the trash out that day. If time allows, drop off the other pile at a thrift store, or at least get it in the trunk of your car. If you don’t have the time to put away all of the items you’d like to keep, store them in a container and stack it neatly in the closet, basement, attic or garage so that it is out of the way, but not adding to the clutter.
Once the clutter is removed from a spare room (or rooms), tidy things up so it is fresh for guests. Then close the door and pretend that room doesn’t exist until guests arrive.
He Sees You When You’re Cleaning
The next to think about are the areas that are going to be the most visited during holiday get-togethers. This generally involves the kitchen, dining, and family rooms. Take a look around these rooms and identify items that are either used infrequently or not at all and remove the items. That doesn’t mean the items have to be discarded or thrown out, but they should be stored in an area where they won’t get in the way of holiday entertainment.
Other areas that need to get free of clutter before the holidays include the refrigerator, cupboards, and closets.
The refrigerator gets a lot of abuse during the holiday season as it is the go-to place for storing large platters, eggnog, grab-and-go foods for guests, and all the necessary ingredients for a Christmas meal. Before you’re faced with the task of cramming yet another dish into the fridge, take some time to go through and get rid of unnecessary food items. You might be surprised by what you find.
The same goes for cupboards and the pantry. Plus, when you clean out these areas, you might find canned goods that can be donated to those in need.
Clear Your Mind and Clear Your Home
As for the last, and perhaps most important thing that needs de-cluttered before the holidays, well, that’s your mind.
Don’t be afraid to schedule a massage, spend a day at the spa or on the golf course, or do something that helps you de-stress and clear your mind. After all, the holiday season isn’t about being stressed; it’s about spending time with family and friends and enjoying one another’s company.
I love this list. It was sent to me from a fellow professional organizer in the bay area. It seems we all hear the same things! Do any of these sound familiar to you?
1. Oooooo! THAT’S where that is!
2. Is this the worst you’ve ever seen?
3. I thought I’d lost that! Now I have two. Can’t believe I bought another when it was right here the whole time.
4. *Gasp!* Where did you find that? I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE for that!
5. Why didn’t I do this earlier?
6. While going through Memorabilia: “Awwww! I had forgotten all about that [vacation, trip, hike, etc.]”
7. I can’t believe I still have this!
8. That’s not even mine!
9. Why in the world do I own this? No body wants this–not even me.
10. What in the world IS that? I don’t even know what that is!
Reproduced from and courtesy of Kiera Rain Bay Area Professional Organizer
Click image to see a larger versionFall Filing Cabinet Fix-Up: What To Keep and What To Pitch via H&R Block
Here’s a great tip from Bobbi, who read Master your Muck and learned how to keep her papers organized: “Read the book and follow the directions.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
What is your muck? Learn how to master it!
If you have papers piling up on your kitchen counter or the dining room table, it’s time to conquer that muck! Start by sorting through the papers and getting rid of as much as you can. A great guide for what to keep and what to toss can be found here: Paper Purge Tips
There are lots of great paper purging tips on this website, and in my book, How to Master your Muck. There’s no better time than the present to conquer those piles! You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you walk in your house to see a clean surface instead of a pile of muck!
What is your muck? Learn how to master it!
Sometimes clutter can be an indicator that the person wants to retreat from the world or even a relationship. After all, if the house is too cluttered, friends cannot come to visit.
If the person who is in charge of cleaning the house lets it go, perhaps they are hoping that the person they share the house with will go as well.
Here is another ‘clutter versus change’ scenario to ponder. Sometimes people hold onto possessions they no longer use because it reminds them of times gone by when they were in a happier state of mind or life circumstance.
I have noticed that when my clients are surrounded with objects from the past, they have a hard time being in the present moment. This makes it difficult for them to be open and spontaneous to creating new and happy experiences.
The more clutter you have, the less you are able to be in the present moment and grab the good times as they happen.
Here’s a bonus to get you moving towards a clutter free home. Did you know that simply getting rid of clutter in your home can save you 40% of your cleaning time?