There’s still time to DECIDE to be Organized! The 6-week group coaching program starts tomorrow night, October 6th, and runs until November 10th.  I have a great group of participants already registered that are ready to work, share, and make changes to their homes, offices, and lives.  Come join us!

Why a Group ‘Coaching’ Program?

Coaching is designed to assist individuals in creating and implementing specific action plans. Coaches use advanced communication skills to help the client create a successful personal and professional life.

As a trained mediator, I guide clients to successful results through motivation and encouragement, without judgment. The focus is on asking skillful questions designed to help participants define and achieve their goals.

But don’t worry! I do more than ask questions. I will also have my certified professional organizer ‘expert’ hat on throughout the program, offering tried-and-true tools and tricks based on my 7 years of experience working with hundreds of clients to overcome their organizing issues.

Each week, you will get 90 minutes of information-packed instruction, along with Q&A. Participants can ask me their questions and get personalized, informative, and effective answers. During the teleclasses, you’ll get an energizing combination of practical tips and suggestions, plus techniques to deal with the emotional side of disorganization and clutter.

But don’t take my word for it! Here is a testimonial from a past workshop participant:

I cannot tell you how you have really changed my life. I know it sounds corny, but I was in such a bad place before your workshop. You got me thinking of how to use your methods for every aspect of my life and what a difference! I must say, your workshop really helped me put things into perspective and prioritize my activities. I don’t have to do it all at once. What a relief! It’s amazing how organizing your life gives such peace of mind!”  ~ Rosemary Reo, Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, Yorktown Heights, NY

Are You Ready to DECIDE to be Organized?

There will be 6 (six) 90-minute calls in a row on Tuesday evenings from October 6 to November 10, 2009, each starting at 7:30pm EST. Registration is only $199! Enrolling is easy. Follow this link. 

You have nothing to lose — except maybe some clutter, overwhelm, and stress!

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

When conducting an organizing presentation or teleclass, I often mention the idea of creating a Memory Box for each family member.  Many participants share that the Memory Box tip is their favorite, and one they cannot wait to act on. (See, for example, this blog post by June Bisel of BusinessCardContacts.com).

A Memory Box is a container in which each family member can store his or her most treasured possessions. The size should be big enough to fit the prized possessions, but small enough to grab and carry out of the house, in case of an emergency. The actual container can be a no-nonsense functional type, like a plastic bin, or it can be a lovely decorated stylish box, bin, or basket. My personal Memory Box is an old trunk that has handles on the side to carry it in the event of an emergency evacuation.

The location for storing the Memory Box is also a personal decision. Often, because of the confidential or personal nature of the items in the box, it makes the most sense to store each person’s Memory Box in his or her room, at the top or bottom of a closet, under the bed, etc. But some choose to store all of the Memory Boxes for the family in a basement or attic, so that they do not take up precious space in the living areas of the home, and can be grabbed easily in one fell swoop if need be.

I would not recommend storing vital documents such as your will, birth certificate, etc. in the Memory Box. Those items should either be stored in a safe deposit box at the bank, or at home in a fire resistant box (remember, there is no such thing as a fireproof box for the home!). Some people store their vital documents in a regular file folder in their filing cabinet, and keep copies (or the originals) in a separate location. In the event that an emergency causes a very quick evacuation, the people and pets go out first, followed by the vital documents, and then the Memory Boxes.

What goes in a Memory Box? Well, that is up to you, of course. But here are some ideas.

  • Start a Memory Box for your children’s prized artwork, sentimental childhood possessions, schoolwork, etc.  They can decide, with you, what goes in it.  You can have a master Memory Box, and one for the current school year.  At the end of the school year, your child, with your help, can revisit the year, purging any items that are not vital enough to go in the master Memory Box. 
  • If you have a few sentimental favorite articles of clothing that you just can’t part with, but don’t wear, store them in your Memory Box.
  • Want to revisit your love life? Store old love letters, poems, your corsage or boutineer from your high school prom, a playbill from the first date with your spouse, etc.
  • If you plan to store documents or photographs in your Memory Box, consider getting an archival quality document or photo box to insert the paper and photos in, and then store the document or photo box inside the larger Memory Box. This will ensure paper and photos do not get destroyed over time.
  • If an item is much too large to fit into the Memory Box, and you can bear to part with it, take a photo of the item, and store the photo with a description of the item in the box. This works well for items that you are merely keeping out of obligation. For example, that hideous painting your aunt made for you that you will never hang up! Take a photo, write a note saying, “Aunt Gertrude meant well” and donate the painting to someone who will appreciate its unrecognized beauty.

People are often surprised to hear that I have a Memory Box. “You, a professional organizer?” Yes! Organizing is about decluttering your life of the stuff that does not serve your goals, and letting the cream rise to the top. It is about giving your favorite possessions a place of value in your home and life. My personal Memory Box includes select sentimental items, including my handwritten journals, my baton (yes, I was a baton twirler – don’t laugh!), my middle school graduation dress (loved it!), love letters from my husband from before we were married, letters and cards from friends and family members that are precious to me, and poems that I wrote growing up.

Ms. Bisel shares that her new Memory Box will contain her kid’s baby books, drawings from elementary school, some treasured photos, and other memories from her kids’ childhood. She says that her kids love looking through the stuff, and it would be great to have it all in one place. Before she attended my workshop, the items were scattered around the house, and now they will be stored conveniently together, in a place of distinction.

So, what’s in your Memory Box?