I felt the need to write this blog this week. I have received such great feedback from clients where I have organized their children's playrooms and/or bedrooms and how happy the children are that they have organized systems and direction. Now, when the parents say, "go straighten your room", the children know exactly what that means.

When I arrive at most of these homes, the children have no direction in their space. They don't have a home for their toys. Their closets have no organization. There are no working systems set up in any of these areas, which is eventually why the parents call me.

I find that once children have working organized systems in place, they love it! They actually like putting things back where they belong. Everything has a designated home. They enjoy being able to wake up in the morning and pick out an outfit from an organized closet. The girls know where all their hair accessories are and can grab them at a moment's notice. The boys know where their baseball equipment is stored and can run out of the house in a blink of an eye. Just as you get stressed, or anxious looking at clutter, your children will feel the same.

If you have children and don't have working (the key word here is working) organized systems in your children's space, your children are missing out. Give them the opportunity to see what it can be like to have these working organized systems in place and see what happens. You will be surprised with the outcome.

Here are 5 tips to get you started with the systems:

1.    Label everything that you can label. Label clothes shelves, toy bins, bookshelves, and the inside of drawers. Anything you can stick a label on, do it! You can also use pictures.
2.    Keep like items together and categorized. The easier the system, the easier it will be for the children to maintain.
3.    Have a home for everything they own.
4.    You can include them in the process or not. This is your preference. Most homes I have been in, the children are not there. If the children are teenagers, it's a good idea to have them there.
5.   Once you have the systems in place, talk with your children about the systems and the process of what is going to happen going forward with their space.

It is never too early or too late to get your children involved in the process and get them in the habit of becoming organized. Organized children will grow up to be efficient and productive. They will thrive at work because of their impeccable time management skills, which stems from being organized. Set up those working organized systems now for your children! They will thank you later, trust me!

Organize! Energize!

In February, Mark Patinkin from the Providence Journal called me to organize his office. He featured me in his column along with a picture of his disorganized desk. Most people who saw the picture couldn’t believe what their eyes were seeing.  When I see a disorganized desk, I don’t think how bad it is, I think, how I can make this person more efficient and productive and set up working organized systems that will keep them organized.

I run into people all the time that say they want to hire me, but are embarrassed for me to see their space. If you are embarrassed to have me come in, I wonder how you feel when potential clients,
co-workers, or managers see your office. Please understand that I see disorganization every day and do not judge. 

Every disorganized office that I go into, I find the same patterns. Read on to see if you can relate. This is what I find in disorganized offices:

*No organized systems in place.
*Attempts at organization that have failed.
*Piles of paper that usually get thrown out after we go through them.
*Organizing supplies i.e., filing trays, vertical trays not being utilized in an efficient manner.
*Files in drawers that aren’t hanging, they are just thrown in the drawer.
*Expired medication.
*Expired food.
*Money. Checks and cash.
*Tons of writing utensils. Most of them don’t work.
*Empty file drawers.
*Cluttered file drawers.
*No drawer organizers being utilized.
*Office supplies stored in all different areas.
*Duplicate files stored in all different areas in the office.
*Files and binders that have not been gone through in years. Most get thrown out.
*Too much work material on the desk.
*Too many chatzkies on the desk.
*Bulletin boards full of cluttered memos.
*Papers taped to the wall.
*Bookshelves full of books or binders that are no longer being utilized.
*Credit card receipts and bank receipts in all different places in the office.
*Take out menus in all different drawers.
*Binders not labeled.
*Space not being maximized.
*Time management skills need some tweaking.
*Dirty, dusty desks.
*No systems for business cards.

Can you relate? If so, you are in need of  organization. You will be more efficient, more productive, less stressed, have more energy and people will have more confidence in you. Once you get organized your time management skills will improve because you are able to see clearer once the clutter has been removed. When you are finished organizing your office, you will be motivated, energized, and ready to tackle another project. It will feel like you have been cleansed and have a brand new office. You will be excited to go into work the next day. Yes, really!

Organize! Energize!

This is the last blog in the 4 week series of planning and prepping to lose weight.

First week: Planning and preping your meals.
Second week: Scheduling workouts ahead of time.
Third week: The power of purging your closets.
Today we will discuss keeping an organized exericse bag on hand at all times. Never say you can't workout again because you forgot your bag.

Here are 6 tips:

1.    Find a great bag that will hold everything that you are going to store in it.
2.    Make a list of everything you utilize for the gym; Sneakers, deodorant, shampoo, towels, water, combination lock, makeup bag, hair brushes/accessories, magazine, music, change of clothes, etc.
3.    Purchase trial size items to store in your bag so you don't have to take them in and out of your bag everytime. The trials size items will always stay in your bag.
4.    Round up all of the above and purchase small accessory bags to contain your makeup and items for your hair. Each category should have its own bag within the gym bag.
5.    Either keep this bag in your trunk at all times or keep the bag in an area in your home where you can just grab and go. Leave a bag at work too if you would like.
6.    Keeping the bag in your trunk will allow you to be ready at a moment's notice. If you decide it's a nice day and you want to take a walk after work or you decide you want to take an exercise class after work. You will never have an excuse not to exercise. You can never say you left your clothes at home.

You'll never rush and be late to a class again because you are racing around trying to gather everything. You'll never get to the gym and say you forgot your music, elastic for your hair, or towel.

This is just one more piece of the puzzle in your weight loss journey. When you apply everything that was disucssed in the past few blogs, you will reach your weight loss goals in no time by having organized systems in place. Following all this information will make the process so much easier for you.

If you would like to hear more about this entire process, please join me Saturday, March 23
from 1-2pm at Weight Watchers in Warwick, RI (Trader Joe's Plaza). See more information in the Events section here on the website.

Organize! Energize!

The past couple of weeks, I have  discussed ways that being organized will help with weight loss. How can purging your closet of certain items help with the weight loss process? Read on...

This spring when you change over your closets, think about the big, baggy clothes you are hanging onto. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Why am I hanging onto clothes that are too big?
2. Do I really want to fit in them again?
3. How did I feel when I wore them?
4. Do I want to be that weight again?
5. When was the last time I wore these clothes?

These clothes are holding you back from reaching your weight loss goals. They are a reminder of what you used to be. Get rid of them, cleanse yourself and start fresh this season! Too many of you are hanging on to clothes that are too big and taking up room in your closet that could be used to house new clothes for the new you!

Organize! Energize!

Last Sunday on my Facebook page, I discussed how you can plan and prepare meals for the week ahead and lose weight in the process. Pictures and captions are shown below. Today I will be discussing how you can prepare and schedule your workouts ahead of time. By following these steps, or tweaking them to work for you, you will save money, have more free time AND lose weight. 

I will be discussing this also during my presentation at Weight Watchers on March 23. (More info in the events tab.)

So, it's the beginning of March. How many of you schedule exercise into your calendar? If not, why not? Take out your calendar and let's go! Figure out what nights or days you are free, what type of exercise you will be doing (yes, walking counts) and for what length of time.

Mark down your exercise on the calendar just as you would an appointment. Do this for the entire month. Even if it's for 10-20 minutes, jot it down. Now, we all have those weeks when we just don't feel like exercising or another appointment takes precedence. The great thing about planning ahead is if you can't exercise on Wednesdsay, you know you have another appointment to exercise on Friday. 

Planning ahead and scheduling exercise is going to help you in your weight loss journey. I am challenging everybody to schedule their workouts for the entire month. You won't have to think about when you are working out, and you won't have to worry about it for the rest of the  month, it's already scheduled, saving you time and losing weight!

Don't forget about planning and prepping  your meals for the week ahead. Now you can schedule your workouts for the month also. Up next week: How purging your closet can help in the weight loss process.