I’m very excited to share my interview with you as I was a guest expert for Smead’s “Keeping You Organized” series.

Check out my podcast and video, “Principles of Productivity” for powerful organizing and productivity tips that will shift your thinking and behavior. I talk about the relationship between physical and mental organization.

Take a quick 20 minutes to watch or listen to this relaxed, lively discussion filled with cool, helpful topics on not only organizing, but common hurdles when starting or running a business.

I love partnering with Smead and enjoyed the discussion about Smead products with John (my interviewer).

welcome_to_CAIn July 2012, my husband and I sold our house in Warwick, New York and moved over 3,000 miles across the United States to the town of Davis, California. What prompted this move was that my husband was accepted into a prestigious residency to specialize in veterinary internal medicine at the UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This required that we sell our home in New York, and rent a home in Davis, as the residency is for a three-year period, and we have no idea if we will be sticking around after it ends.

On our first trip to Davis in November 2011 for his interview, we toured the town of Davis and got an idea of the real estate. Most of the homes are either mid-century modern (in the Northeast we just call this a “ranch”), Spanish mission style, or bungalow style. Square footage wise, they are much smaller than the homes back in the Hudson River Valley of New York. Although our NY home was a modest Cape Cod style, by Davis standards, it was quite large. It was approximately 2,000 square feet of living space, plus a 2.5 car garage, a full basement, an attic, and a shed out in the yard. I considered us to live a somewhat uncluttered lifestyle in NY, but after seeing how much smaller the living and storage spaces were in Davis, it dawned on us that we needed to downsize.  The rental home that we wound up signing a lease for is 1,400 square feet of living space, with a one car garage, no basement, and no shed out in the yard.

house_in_ny

Our house in New York.

And so the downsizing began. Some items were easy to part with: anything that had to do with the winter weather could be sold or donated. That included our snowblower, shovels, etc. Also, anything having to do with our pool could be sold or donated, as we would no longer have a pool in our yard in California (ironically, we now have a fireplace which we did not have in New York, but no pool!). We also had about 3/4 of an acre in New York, and here in California we have a small compact yard with a little grass and a lot more patio and garden areas, which would be tended to by our new landlord. This meant that we could also sell our ride-on lawnmower, and other yard equipment. (Interestingly enough, the items that were the hottest tickets for sale were our ladders! We had several people call up and ask us to save them until they could come by, and they wound up getting into a bidding war. Who knew!)

I made a list of every item on a room-by-room basis that was going to California, versus every item that could be sold or donated. Our landlord took measurements for us of the smaller rental home in California so that we knew what could fit. We then had a huge moving sale on a weekend day. We hung up flyers around town, spread the word, and then lugged everything into the garage and organized it all by category. We had some helpers, which we were very thankful for. In the long run, we wound up selling pretty much everything we wanted to, and the few items that didn’t sell got donated.

We then had movers put the remaining items in a moving truck, which we then were reunited with a few weeks later in California when we were moving into the rental home. Because my husband had already started his busy residency, it was my job to unpack, organize, and put everything away in the new home. And here’s what was so fascinating about it. Although I had spent years as a hands-on professional organizer, I was actually nervous! The house was so much smaller. Yes we downsized, but I was still concerned about whether everything would fit. So I took my time, examining each item carefully, checking through the storage in the home, measuring, trying items in certain places, etc. In the long run, we didn’t just fit everything, we even had extra space available. And I loved it.

I really thought I would miss certain items. In fact, that’s one of the biggest things that holds back people from decluttering in the first place — the fear that you’ll release something and then immediately miss it or want it back. That wasn’t the case for me, not in the least. There were a few sentimental items that I even had to part with, like my beloved mother’s couch and love seat (sadly, my Mom passed away in 2010). But these items were given to close friends and family, which made me feel like I was sharing her with them.

officeNow as I sit here, a year and a half after relocating, I realize that downsizing was an amazing opportunity to revisit some old friends, send them on their way, sell or donate items to people that really wanted and needed them, and move to our California home with a fresh perspective and the clean slate that we wanted. I love having less things, and knowing that pretty much everything I need fits into a small space. It actually can become addictive. I was always one to think carefully about not acquiring too many things, and practiced what I preached as a professional organizer. But going through this type of downsizing myself gave me a renewed appreciation and understanding for how some of my clients felt over the years after they decluttered. This downsizing process made me realize that I can keep stripping down further and further. It’s very freeing. You have more flexibility and mobility, less to take care of, less to insure, less to worry about. Just… Less. Which in the long run gives you a feeling of abundance. And that is how I discovered the upside of downsizing.

If you want to work on some home projects, including getting more organized, check out my new La Dolce Vita 6-Week Group Life Coaching Program. One of the topics we will cover is getting your “house” in order – literally and figuratively. It’s an opportunity for you to focus on all of those home projects that you’ve been putting aside. But that’s just one of the awesome topics that we will be covering in the program. We will also be covering productivity, life-work balance, health and fitness, relationships, and finances. It’s powerful, but affordable. We start on February 20, with early bird rate in effect until February 13. Visit LisaMontanaro.com/lmg-university/LaDolceVita for details and registration.

Would you like to get more organized?

Summer is a time for fun.

And it’s also a time to get things done.

You’re invited to attend a Free Training which will help you take action to organize your home and office.

Click here for more details: http://socialmediaoutcomes.com/getorganized/

Join 8 Top Experts in the area of Organizing, Productivity and Technology…

  • Lisa Montanaro, Professional Organizer (July 20th)
  • Cathy Sexton, Productivity Expert
  • Brandy Reissig, Professional Organizer
  • Natalie Conrad, Professional Organizer
  • Susan Mayfield, Professional Organizer and VA
  • Todd Lay, Paperless Bookkeeping Expert
  • Doug Skinner, Mobile Productivity and Cloud Computing Expert
  • Ron Olsen, Minimalist Expert and Inspirational Christian Speaker

The Get Organized Webinar Series is hosted by Online Marketing Expert Rick Cooper.

webinarJoin me now for the Get Organized Webinar Series… (register for my presentation date and you can get access to the other two webinar recordings)

Saturday, July 20
9am Pacific / 10am Mountain / 11am Central / 12pm Eastern

Click here to register.

All of the webinars will be recorded and you will receive access to the videos.

This will help to increase your productivity. And it will also reduce your stress.

If you take the actions you learn, your office and home will be cleaner and less cluttered.

Each webinar will include 30 minutes of tips and strategies and the rest of the time will be used to give you an opportunity to talk about your challenges in getting organized and sharing your own organizing tips.

Plus, you will have an opportunity to declare any organizing projects you plan to complete in the next week and then to come back and share the results.

Reserve your spot now: http://socialmediaoutcomes.com/getorganized/

While “green” and organizing may sound unrelated, promoting green consciousness is a natural extension of the organizing process.  Professional organizers enter homes and businesses on a regular basis, and armed with proper knowledge, a professional organizer can assist clients in becoming more Earth-friendly.  As the Chair of my Town’s Earth Day Clean Sweep for the past five years, I am well aware of the importance of reducing and recycling, and relish the opportunity to influence clients and the general public in this regard.

What can you do to get better organized in a “green-friendly” way?  Here are some tips.

  • Think Before You Buy – Try to transform your buying habits so that you are not accumulating too many items in the first place.  Most of the environmental damage is done in the manufacturing stage, so the less consumerism, the better.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produced 254.1 million tons of household trash in the year 2007 alone.  In 2008, however, as a result of the economic recession and the resulting decrease in disposable incomes, landfills reported a 30% decline in waste levels.
  • Pay bills Online – According to Javelin Strategy & Research, 53% of Americans currently use online banking services, rising to an estimated 67% by 2012.  The report also estimates that Americans could prevent the logging of 16.5 million trees every year if all Americans switched from paper bills to Internet banking.
  • Repurpose and Reuse – Consider repurposing or reusing existing items in creative ways to avoid buying more and to give new life to forgotten items that are just taking up space.
  • Recycle – Throughout the sorting, purging, and organizing process, think of the benefits of recycling.  Often times, a person is unaware of the recycling guidelines in his or her particular area, or whether a particular item can be recycled at all.  For a list of lesser-known recycling programs, visit the Donation and Recycling Resources page of my website at https://www.lisamontanaro.com/donations.html.  Get educated so you can stop adding to landfills and recycle more.  Consider setting up an organized recycling center in your home or business to make it as easy as possible to recycle.
  • Donate – Remember, recycling includes donating items that you no longer love, need, or use often to those who could truly put those items to good use.  Adopt a charity, or even a particular family to donate to (check out www.TangibleKarma.com).  If you just want to unload items for free, consider giving them away on Freecycle (www.Freecycle.org).

Think “green” when organizing.  You will not only be able to reduce your clutter and find things more easily, you will be helping the Earth in the process.

Copyright © 2009 Lisa Montanaro of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC.

Want to Use This Article in Your E-zine or Website?

You can, as long as you use this complete statement:

Copyright 2009. Lisa Montanaro is a Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker and Author who helps people live successful and passionate lives, and operate productive and profitable businesses. Lisa publishes the monthly “DECIDE® to be Organized” e-zine for success-minded individuals, and “Next Level Business Success” e-zine for entrepreneurs. Subscribe today at www.LMOrganizingSolutions.com. Lisa is the author of The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life, published by Peter Pauper Press. Lisa also publishes the DECIDE® to be Organized blog at www.DecideToBeOrganized.com. Through her work, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how Lisa can help take your business to the next level, contact Lisa at (845) 988-0183 or by e-mail at Lisa@LMOrganizingSolutions.com.

After my preview call for the DECIDE to be Organized Group Coaching Program last week, many of you have sent in questions, which I appreciate. It made me realize that many of you may have the same questions… so here’s a look at a few common questions and the answers so that you can make an informed decision about joining the DECIDE program.

And while I am a person that likes to stick to deadlines, all of the questions coming in made me realize that some of you may need a bit more time to “decide”, so I am extending the early bird rate of $397 ($100 savings!) until Friday, February 17th. The program starts next week on February 21st. When you are ready (but before the rate goes up!), register here: http://bit.ly/decidetobeorganized

Is the DECIDE program delivered online or on the telephone? Please explain the format.
The program is delivered via teleclass, which means all you need is a telephone to participate. You’ll receive a special dial-in number and access code. Of course, if you want to be in front of your computer while we are on the live teleclass, you can do so. You receive the 58-page workbook when you register, and can choose to follow along on your computer, but you don’t have to.

What if I can’t make the live calls? Will that affect what I get out of the program?
Absolutely not! I’ve created this course to fit a variety of busy lifestyles. After each week’s class I’ll post the audios – so you can listen on the web, or download an .MP3 file – that way you can listen at the gym, during your commute, while runni ng errands or working around the house. If you still have questions about the material on the call you missed, just email me with any questions or comments. You can listen to the audios over and over if you wish. And you can come back to the program months or years later to refresh or deepen your learning.

What if I don’t know which organizing projects I want to work on?
Part of the process of the DECIDE group coaching program is learning to discover what your organizing goals are, which projects you want to work on, and what will bring you the most satisfaction if accomplished.

Does the DECIDE program deliver great value for the cost of the investment?
Yes! Do some research. You’ll find this is one of the most affordable programs (and the most comprehensive) of its kind. I have kept the cost down so that many people can access my services in an affordable manner and get the assistance they need. The cost of the program is a fraction of what it would cost to work with me one-on-one. Yet, you still get personalized access to me due to the small size of the group, and the chance to learn from other participants too!

I’ve tried to get organized in the past, but did not have much success — how is your approach different?
Hopefully the preview call I did on February 7th gave you a little window into my approach. Trust me, if you enjoyed that call, you’re going to LOVE the actual program as we dig a lot deeper!

But here’s the bottom line:

I can’t make you listen to the calls, or work on your organizing projects in between the calls. But I can tell you that the content I’ll be covering and materials provided are powerful! They allow you to dig deep and change your mind-set, tap into your unique organizing style, and allow change to happen. Plus, there is a healthy dose of practical tools and tips, so it is not all pi e-in-the-sky and you can implement immediately and get results.

I’ve also experienced first-hand the strides past participants of the program have made – some going from piles of clutter to organized systems; some letting go of old habits that have stood in the way of their living a more productive life; some getting better organized which leads to more time to focus on what truly matters; and some even changing their lives in drastic ways during or after the program, like changing careers!

Trust me, I understand that you’re a smart, busy person who wants deep, lasting changes. That’s why I’ve designed the program to provide the following support:

  1. Weekly Teleclasses – so you keep your momentum – great for auditory learners!
  2. Email access to me and the group – so you are not alone and can share your experience with others.
  3. A comprehensive 58-page workbook with interactive exercises to reinforce your learning – so the program is experiential – great for visual + experiential learners!
  4. Downloadable audios – so you can listen at your leisure, or review again and again to deepen your learning.
  5. Feedback to your questions – so you don’t get stuck, and can get personalized feedback.
  6. An MP3 recording of my most popular audio program “Record Retention 101: Organize Your Paperwork” – so you know what papers to keep and for how long — just in time for tax season! (This is the first time I am including this bonus because so many past DECIDE participants needed special help with paper.)
  7. Assignments and accountability – so you keep your momentum, and get the most possible from the program.
  8. Post-program laser coaching call – so you can check in with me after the program to ask any lingering questions and, hopefully, share your continued progress.

When are the classes being held?
The DECIDE program runs for 6 weeks, with 90 minute calls every Tuesday evening, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. (Eastern), from February 21st to March 27th.

I have a busy life – I’m not sure if I can devote enough time to the program.
I completely understand! But here’s the beauty of the program: there’s absolutely no “right” way to do it.

If you can’t listen to all of the calls, or do all of the exercises, don’t fret! You have the audios and workbook to go back to for years to come.

Even if you only walk away with one amazing new insight (which is almost impossible, because I’ll be sharing a TON!) — that one insight can affect your overall behavior and results in a serious boost in productivity which can help you achieve results at home, in business, and in life. I promise.

I ‘m thinking of taking this program at a later date – when will you be teaching this again?
I usually offer this program in February and October. But this program isn’t on my calendar again for 2012. There are other programs that I need to make room for that are launching later this year (great stuff coming — keep on the lookout!). So there’s no guarantee that I’ll be repeating the DECIDE program in the near future. In fact, it may be the last time I offer it live…

What I do know is this: for what you’ll receive, and how this information can affect the rest of your future — it’s a total steal.

I want you to think about something that we cover in depth in the program: delayed decisions are what most likely caused you to get disorganized in the first place! Don’t let the decision of whether to join this program that has the potential to change your behavior, space, time, relationships and life be just one more “delayed decision”! That would be a s ad irony.

Now, if you know that this program is not for you, then, by all means do not feel compelled to join us.

But…

If this program is calling you, then I have to gently nudge you and ask:

“Isn’t INDECISIVENESS what got you into this mess in the first place?”

Take action! It is time to decide to DECIDE. Register here: http://bit.ly/decidetobeorganized

I am a Professional Organizer looking for continuing education. Does this program qualify?
Yes! If you are a professional organizer and are looking for continuing education, the DECIDE group coaching is perfect for you too! You can take the program to learn a great new organizing process that you can use with your clients. I will issue a Certificate of Attendance at the end of the program that you can use to support 9 hours of continuing education credits. In the p ast, organizers have taken the program along with non-organizers as a way to further their organizing skills and add a new process to their repertoire. You can too!

What if I want to refer my clients, friends and colleagues to the DECIDE program and earn a referral fee?
I bet you have colleagues, clients, and friends that would like to find out how they can lead a more organized, productive, and peaceful life. I have an affiliate (referral) program where if someone purchases one of my products or programs that you referred them to, you automatically get 20% of the sale! It’s that easy… tell your friends, colleagues and clients and if they buy, you earn a commission. All you have to do is sign up to be an LMOS affiliate and you’re given a special link to pass on to your colleagues, clients and friends.

I hope this special Q&A session has helped you ” decide” to join me for the DECIDE to be Organized Group Coaching Program. (I don’t want you to have this program sitting around on your “to do” list all week!)

Have more questions? Ask away! Just reply to this email . . .

I can’t wait for the opportunity to start working with you.

PS: Remember, the early bird rate of $397 now ends at midnight on February 17th and then the price goes up to $497 – don’t miss out on that $100 savings! Register here: http://bit.ly/decidetobeorganized

It’s live today!

Listen to the Lisa as she was recently interviewed by Kristi Meyer of www.TheHouseThatClutterBuilt.com. They discussed the relationship between indecisiveness and disorganization — Lisa’s DECIDE methodology that her programs and trainings are built on. They talked about significant client triumphs and challenges, and how small steps can lead to big changes in breaking through the clutter.

 

Listen to this interview here.

Social Club 2.0 is hosting a Book Launch Party for author, Lisa Montanaro (this has been rescheduled from June 30th).

We are celebrating a tremendous professional achievement by one of our very own “2.0”ers, Lisa Montanaro! Join Lisa and your fellow Social Club 2.0 members on Thursday, August 18th at the Warwick Valley Winery from 6pm-8pm as we toast Lisa!

Certified Professional Organizer, Lisa Montanaro, of LM Organizing Solutions has launched her new book, The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life, published by Peter Pauper Press. With its expert content and beautiful design, the book makes the perfect gift.

You can order an autographed copy at www.TheUltimateLifeOrganizer.com. Also, become a member of The Ultimate Life Organizer Book Club for access to exclusive, member-only invitations to book-related special events and offers.

See you there!

The Social Media Club 2.0 is hosting a Book Launch Networking Party for Lisa Montanaro of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC to celebrate the launch of her new book, The Ultimate Life Organizer. The event will be held at the Warwick Valley Winery on Thursday, June 30th from 6-8 pm. Come join us for a glass of wine and a peek at the new book! Lisa will be signing copies for those that want to purchase one. Visit www.facebook.com/SocialClub2.0 for details.

“I wrote The Ultimate Life Organizer as your best friend who also happens to be a professional organizer and life coach,” explains Ms. Montanaro. “It’s a very creative book, which serves as an interactive tool for people to use as they organize their home, work, or life.”

“The Ultimate Life Organizer is a perfect choice for someone that wants to try to organize his or her life and may not be able to afford one-on-one organizing services with an expert. The book is like having your own personal organizer with you every step of the way!”, says Ms. Montanaro. “It is vital that anyone that wants to get organized has access to expert advice in a way that is approachable and encouraging. This book does that by making the organizing process less intimidating.”


I am thrilled to share this great piece written by local reporter, Roger Gavan, about the launch of my new book, The Ultimate Life Organizer. Roger has been following my business since I started years ago, and is always generous in his coverage, and a great writer (and photographer to boot!).

Check out this latest article he did about my new book, which will be ready for purchase in less than a week so stay tuned. If you are not yet on the Red Carpet List to be notified of the official launch, visit www.TheUltimateLifeOrganizer.com to get on the list!

In honor of spring, I am re-posting one of my favorite posts — all about Green Organizing!

While “green” and organizing may sound unrelated, promoting green consciousness is a natural extension of the organizing process.  Professional organizers enter homes and businesses on a regular basis, and armed with proper knowledge, a professional organizer can assist clients in becoming more Earth-friendly.  As the former Chair of my Town’s Earth Day Clean Sweep for five years, I am well aware of the importance of reducing and recycling, and relish the opportunity to influence clients and the general public in this regard.

What can you do to get better organized in a “green-friendly” way?  Here are some tips.

  • Think Before You Buy – Try to transform your buying habits so that you are not accumulating too many items in the first place.  Most of the environmental damage is done in the manufacturing stage, so the less consumerism, the better.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produced 254.1 million tons of household trash in the year 2007 alone.  In 2008, however, as a result of the economic recession and the resulting decrease in disposable incomes, landfills reported a 30% decline in waste levels.
  • Pay bills Online – According to Javelin Strategy & Research, 53% of Americans currently use online banking services, rising to an estimated 67% by 2012.  The report also estimates that Americans could prevent the logging of 16.5 million trees every year if all Americans switched from paper bills to Internet banking.
  • Repurpose and Reuse – Consider repurposing or reusing existing items in creative ways to avoid buying more and to give new life to forgotten items that are just taking up space.
  • Recycle – Throughout the sorting, purging, and organizing process, think of the benefits of recycling.  Often times, a person is unaware of the recycling guidelines in his or her particular area, or whether a particular item can be recycled at all.  For a list of lesser-known recycling programs, visit the Donation and Recycling Resources page of my website at https://www.lisamontanaro.com/donations.html.  Get educated so you can stop adding to landfills and recycle more.  Consider setting up an organized recycling center in your home or business to make it as easy as possible to recycle.
  • Donate – Remember, recycling includes donating items that you no longer love, need, or use often to those who could truly put those items to good use.  Adopt a charity, or even a particular family to donate to (check out www.TangibleKarma.com).  If you just want to unload items for free, consider giving them away on Freecycle (www.Freecycle.org).

Think “green” when organizing.  You will not only be able to reduce your clutter and find things more easily, you will be helping the Earth in the process.