Posts Tagged 'Westminster'

Spring Cleaning, Really?

I LOVE spring. I look forward to it all winter. Many things come to mind when I think spring: light, clean, cool, Easter, outdoors, sun, open windows, longer days, flowers, and……. SPRING CLEANING?

I LOVE the IDEA of spring cleaning and actually having every surface of my home clean at the same time! But, I must say, I have 5 very good reasons NOT to spring clean. 5 acres, 4 kids, 3 cats, 2 goats, 1 dog and only one life, and this life is ready to celebrate and enjoy spring! According to wikipedia, spring cleaning refers to the,

Yearly act of cleaning a house from top to bottom, which would take place in the first warm days of the year, typically in spring, hence the name.

In the past, homes were heated by coal and wood fires and come the end of winter, there was a definite need to open up the house and clean out, top to bottom.

I have the desire to have every surface of my home clean. But, I don’t want to spend my days cleaning, during what can be the most beautiful time of the year! So, what is the alternative?

Rather than cramming all your heavy cleaning jobs into a week or two in the spring, have a year long cleaning plan. Create a check off list of ALL the jobs you wish to accomplish throughout the year. Think of it as spreading your SPRING CLEANING throughout 12 months, rather than 2 weeks. Then set aside 30-45 minutes per week to devote to heavy cleaning. With very little effort, you have set aside almost 40 hours (45 minutes x 52 weeks) which, practically speaking, is more time than you would devote to spring cleaning anyway. And best of all, you have a clean house AND you are able to get outside and enjoy spring!

Throughout the year, do the jobs that make sense for the season.

Then in March and April do only your spring jobs. They might include:

  • We will be opening windows soon and getting outside, it’s the perfect time to clean the windows, sills and screens
  • Clean off the porches and decks. Pull out the cushions and deck furniture
  • Switch out fall and winter clothes for spring and summer. Take advantage of this time to purge and lighten your load.  Any clothes that you haven’t worn in the past season should be tossed or donated, depending on their condition. To protect clothes that are being stored, remember to wash them before packing them away and then, make sure they are stored in a clean, cool, dark, and dry place. It’s also the perfect time to take note of any clothing needs for next fall and winter and take advantage of winter clearance sales.
  • Switch out the snow suits, gloves and hats for the beach towels, goggles and suntan lotions.
  • Finally, get outside and begin your garden projects!

Enjoy spring AND a clean house!

Happy (and organized) spring!

Cheryl

Originally Posted April 5, 2009

We Talked. We Drank. We Got Organized!

This past Tuesday, I hosted my 1st ever Coffee and Conversation at Birdies Cafe.

Thanks ladies, for sharing that time with me. It was as I had imagined. Just a perfect opportunity to get women of different walks, interests, and ages together to encourage each other in our common pursuit of simplicity and organized living.

Yesterday’s topic was “Paper, Paper, Everywhere“. Yes, it is a universal problem!

Aside from discussing tips and habits for reigning in everyday mail and paperwork, we talked a bit about the overwhelming amounts of artwork that our little ones create. It’s a tricky, and often times, emotionally laden subject. We tend to feel that we have to save every single piece of artwork. As the months and years slip by, and with multiple children in the family, the artwork can take over! And when the volume is so great, it can become clutter rather than treasures.

When the artwork begins to overtake your home, it’s time to consider your options. The solution is twofold.

  • First of all you need to decide on a temporary display, what I will  call,  a “Creation Zone“, within your home. This might be in the kitchen, family room, playroom or your child’s bedroom.  When the creation zone is full of art, it’s time to take them down to make room for the next set of masterpieces.
  • Next, as you take down one group of artwork, simply pull out your favorites, your child’s favorites, or those pieces that truly show off your child’s personality and creativity and decide on a dedicated space to save these masterpieces. It can be as simple as a file box with hanging files for each year , a banker box with large envelopes for each year, or you can purchase an art file or or art box.

Mom’s (and Dad’s and Grandma and Grandpa!), check out these simple ideas for setting up a “Creation Zone” in which to display, cherish, and quickly and easily, change up your little one’s masterpieces…….

1. A tip from Tammy F. during Coffee and Conversation:

Gather all of your child’s artwork for the month (or the week, depending on the volume). Tape or tack them up on a wall and take a picture of your child in front of them. Next pick your favorites to save and store, and toss the rest. You are left with a chronicle of ALL their work, along with their current picture, and you have saved for the future.

Thanks, Tammy! This is an excellent tip that I will share with others!

2.  Check out this storage frames from Dynamic Frames.  This is a front-opening art cabinet with a latch. This frame can store up to 50 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 artwork with the front piece being displayed. It couldn’t be any easier to display and change up your child’s artwork. It has a single bevel-cut mat and can be mounted to the wall vertically or horizontally, or it can be used tabletop with the stand that is included.

Easily Display and Store Your Child's Artwork

3. You can simply hang all your child’s creations for the week with clips along one wall in your home. Again, after this space is full, take out your favorites, and store them away, to make room for the next group of creations. Check out the 3 options below. Hang a curtain rod, equipped with  clips to hang their art. The picture below was posted on Make and Takes Blog, in an excellent article written by Heidi Smith of the Budget Wise Home Blog. Any clothes line with clip will work, or you can purchase the Work of Art Clips from The Land of Nod. Finally, try a simple cable system, as pictured below from West Elm.

Work of Art Displayed on a Curtain Rod

Work of Art Clips

 

It's So Easy to Display Artwork on a Cable System

3. Create a magnetic wall to simply display their artwork. It’s easy, quick, and fairly inexpensive. Magnetic paint is readily available at home centers. You can paint the area any color that you wish and trim it up with strips of molding, which can be nailed directly into the wall.

Make a "Creation Zone" with Magnetic Paint

Next, simply pull out your favorites, your child’s favorites, or those pieces that truly show off your child’s personality and creativity and decide on a dedicated space to save these masterpieces. Quickly and easily, create a portfolio with a file box hanging files for each year or a banker box with large envelopes for each year. Or you can purchase any number of products for a quick and easy solution.

  1. A quick and easy, home-made art portfolio:

A Home-made Art Portfolio

2. Check out The Art File from The Container Store. It is made of heavy fiberboard and has metal label holders on two sides.

The Art Storage Box

 

3. Finally, check out this expandable file by Alex Toys  made specifically for a  child’s artwork.

The options are unlimited. Get creative with your child, and design your own art portfolio!

Join us this Tuesday, April, 5th, as we tackle the subject, “Spring Cleaning, Really?”

I LOVE the IDEA of spring cleaning and actually having every surface of my home clean at the same time! But, I must say, I have 5 very good reasons NOT to spring clean. 5 acres, 4 kids, 3 cats, 2 goats, 1 dog, and only 1 life, and this life is ready to celebrate and enjoy spring!

So, come chat about the “how” of actually getting our homes in order, without being locked in our homes during what (is going to be!) a beautiful spring!

What:    Coffee and Conversation

Why:    To Get “In Order for Life”!

When:  Tuesdays, 9 AM, Spring

Where: Birdie’s Cafe, 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD

Happy (and Organized!) spring!

Cheryl

Join Me for Coffee and Conversation!

Are You Ready to Get Organized?

Are You Ready to Simplify?

Then, You are Invited!

Join me for Coffee and Conversation Tuesday mornings this spring at Birdies Cafe, in Westminster. This not-for-profit, group is for anyone who struggles with organizational challenges (all of us!). Each week will highlight a specific organizing topic and/or issue, but will not be limited to that topic.

What:    Coffee and Conversation

Why:    To Get “In Order for Life”!

When:  Tuesdays, 9 AM, Spring

Where: Birdie’s Cafe, 233 East Main Street, Westminster, MD

These fun, interactive chat sessions will help you discover how to clear the clutter, conquer the chaos, and learn simple organizing tips, tricks, habits, and strategies to get your home, your family, and your life in order. It’s the perfect time to get a handle on some of your most distressing organizing challenges. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and share those solutions that are working in your life and home, in this casual, cool atmosphere.

Just $3 per session, paid to Birdie’s for your refillable coffee.

A Full Menu of Coffee Drinks, Teas, Baked Goods, and Sandwiches available to purchase.


Join Me for a cup of simplicity!

Happy (and Organized!) Days,

Cheryl


Blog A Job! 2011 Part 1: Watch a Professional Organizer in Action!

Pic of Professional Organizer, CherylHave you ever wondered what a Professional Organizer actually does? Will she take over your home? Will YOUR mess shock her? Will she work for endless hours, working you right into the poor house?

You have the opportunity to have your questions answered, as you follow Cheryl Osterhouse, owner/operator of In Order for Life, LLC, in action. You will be able to witness the progress of a typical organizing project through each step of an actual organizing job. You will see first hand, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Let’s start at the beginning. When I get a call from a potential client, I am sensitive to the fact that it has taken much nerve, and often weeks or even months, to pick up the phone and make that call. Why is it so difficult to make that call? Why do we assume that everyone should naturally be organized? We each have gifts, strengths, and areas in life where we naturally excel. Organizing may or not be, one of your gifts.

I think creatively when it comes to organizing. Otherwise, NOT! I have finally come to terms with this fact. I’m on different teams and committees with some ridiculously creative people. They can brainstorm and come up with ideas, themes and programs in no time flat. Myself, not so much. I could come up with fresh and creative ideas, but at too high a cost. So, they come up with creative ideas, and I keep us organized. It works.

Gardening is another area where I do not excel. I enjoy gardening. I love the idea of gardening. I feel like I should be a gardener. After all, I live on 5 acres with great potential for beautiful gardens. Again, I have come to terms with the fact, that at this time in my life, gardening just is not one of my strengths. I simply don’t have time and energy for it. It’s OK. The stakes are low. I maintain the gardens around my house, and let the others go for now. Maybe one day………

So, what if you are not naturally organized? What if you simply haven’t learned organizing skills? Or, more likely, what if, in the midst of your crazy, ever-changing life, you haven’t had the opportunity to re-group and get reorganized? Well, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that the stakes of maintaining a disorganized home, family, life, or business are high.

Being disorganized costs you financially, in loss of time, and emotionally. NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) estimates that the average American spends nearly an hour every day looking for simple things. That’s for the average American. If you consider yourself disorganized, chances are you spend more than an hour a day looking for things. Think what you could do with that extra time each and every day. Aside from wasting time, being disorganized can quickly lead to financial loss as well. Do you find yourself paying late fees on bills that you had the money to pay, only because you had misplaced the bill? Are you purchasing duplicate items because you simply can’t find or don’t have time and energy to look for the items that you know are around here somewhere? Are you running to fast food restaurants and purchasing pre-made dinners from the grocery store, not because you want to, but rather because you have to? In your business, are you missing out on potential clients and work because you have misplaced critical information?

Finally, do you feel burdened and overwhelmed by all the stuff surrounding you?  Are you unsure of which way to turn, where to start, or do you feel stuck?

Organizing is a skill to be learned. My favorite definition of organization comes from Julie Morgenstern in her book  Organizing from the Inside Out:

Organizing is the process by which we create environments that enable us to live, work, and relax exactly as we want to. When we are organized, our homes, offices, and schedules reflect and encourage who we are, what we want, and where we are going.”

That’s my job in a nutshell. I work with clients to create processes within their homes and within their lives that work for them.  And at the same time, teach them the skills necessary to maintain those processes.

At times I am called upon to assist with a specific room, while other times it may involve the entire home. Occasionally, the request for help is in the area of time and life management. In each situation, the process remains the same. I begin with a visit to the client’s home, at which time they have the opportunity to show me, first hand, their current situation. I ask many questions, attempting to get a feel for how they work, what systems they currently have in place, and how we might improve on them or create new systems. I will then create a plan of action personalized for both their budget and style. Finally, we jump right into the work. We work together as we sort, purge, and reorganize, one area at a time. I usually suggest specific homework, jobs that they can accomplish on their own, reducing the number of hours that we work together. They may, however, choose to have me work alongside them throughout the entire process. The choice is theirs. Throughout the process, it is my goal to teach my clients new skills,  giving them the tools and tips necessary to maintain their newly organized space.

So, come along with me as I work through an actual job, from beginning to end. My client has graciously agreed to allow me to blog her first experience working with a professional organizer. I thought it might be eye-opening for you to see how the process plays out through an actual job.  So, come along with us. Keep posted. Next week you will meet my very brave client, Jutz, as we check out her, very unorganized, chaotic, super fun, soon to be organized, space!!

Cheryl


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NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email cheryl@inorderforlife.com

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