Posted by: Melinda Anderson | January 21, 2012

Small Space Organizing

Small Space Organizing by Kathryn BechenDo you live in a small home that’s short on storage space? There’s a new “small space bible” to help you get organized and it’s loaded with practical tips and resources for every room in your petite space.

Small Space Organizing: A Room-By-Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space by award-winning author and journalist Kathryn Bechen contains ideas for arranging the furniture, maximizing storage space, and choosing storage products.  The book also includes real life stories of how she and her husband dwell well – and prefer living – in a small space.

“Remembering that in small spaces every inch counts” is a theme she illustrates throughout the book with solutions for homeowners and renters alike.

Kathryn includes resources galore in this new book for everything from double – duty furniture to hooks and baskets to green and organic options for making your small space work for you.

There’s even a home office equipment and supplies list to help you set up a successful system for working from home or for paying the bills. She walks you through the process of setting up a filing system and processing paperwork – information that’s helpful even if you don’t live in a small space.

This book is as sweet and dear as Kathryn herself and you can hear her voice on every page as she takes you on a virtual tour of the beautifully organized homes of her clients, friends, acquaintances and her own.

Kathryn Bechen INKTo find out more about Kathryn Bechen and her new book, Small Space Organizing, visit her at http://kathrynbechenink.blogspot.com/.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  The opinions stated here are my own and are not solicited nor are positive reviews required.

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Posted by: Melinda Anderson | January 1, 2012

New Year’s Resolution to Get Organized

napo_go_month_bannerFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Melinda Anderson
770-595-0893

GOing, GOing, Gone! Kick Clutter to the Curb with a Professional Organizer During Get Organized Month

ATLANTA, G.A. – January 1, 2012 – Helping homeowners and businesses with their New Year’s resolutions to get more organized, January marks the National Association of Professional Organizers’ 8th annual Get Organized MonthSM. This month-long initiative is dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses to retake control of the chaos by providing the resources, tools and educational programming to get started.

“The aftermath of the holidays is often a house full of clutter, and the office is in disarray with files and emails piled at capacity from budget planning season,” said Angela F. Wallace CPO®, President of the National Association of Professional Organizers. “Becoming more organized can help reduce stress, saves time and money, increases productivity and can enhance the quality of your life.”

In a NAPO conducted survey, 96 percent of respondents felt that they could save at least some time each day if they were more organized at home, and 91 percent felt they could be more efficient at work if they were better organized. Additionally, 71 percent indicated their quality of life would improve with more organization. Price Waterhouse Cooper estimates that workers spend nearly 50% of their time looking for information because it is not organized properly.

Professional organizers use tested principles and expertise to enhance their client’s lives by designing custom organizing systems and teaching personalized organization skills. During Get Organized (GO) Month, select NAPO chapters and thousands of members will host public events including, Ask-the-Organizer panels, Organize to Economize in the New Year workshops, Shred-and-Organize events and much more.

“The beginning of a new year is a great time to jumpstart organizing your home or business,” said Wallace. “A NAPO member can help you with room-by- room assessment, organizing a move, improve digital filing processes and enhance business work-flow systems.”

For more information on GO Month activities and to find a professional organizer near you, visit www.napo.net . The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is The Organizing Authority®. Since forming in 1985 as a nonprofit professional educational association, NAPO has grown to nearly 4,200 members and is the premiere national association dedicated to the field of organizing and productivity. NAPO is dedicated to serving its members and the public by providing professional and educational opportunities, industry leadership, productive partnerships and expert information and solutions to foster growth and fulfillment for all who work within the organizing and productivity industry or benefit from its services.

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Posted by: Melinda Anderson | December 31, 2011

Donate Shoes for Soles4Souls

Melinda Anderson and Southern Home Organizers are collecting shoes for Soles4Souls along with members of the Georgia chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO-GA) between now and the end of January 2012.

This is a fantastic opportunity to clean out your closets and get rid of old, dirty, worn-out, or even perfectly wearable shoes in an eco-friendly manner.

The NAPO Challenge is a world-wide program developed between Soles4Souls and NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) members to encourage their communities and clients to clean out their closets and donate gently worn footwear for a good cause.

If you have a pair or two you would like to donate, send a quick note to melinda@southernhomeorganizers.com and we will arrange a time for me to swing by and pick your donation up. Again, this is a quick, easy, humanitarian, earth-friendly way to get rid of excess stuff. Take advantage! (Note: All shoes must be in my possession by January 29th, 2012 to be sure they make it to their destination in time for shipment.)

What types of shoes do you accept?

Soles4Souls accepts all types of shoes: athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, flip flops, just as long as they are new or gently worn. Please send the shoes as they are. We will accept any and all shoes, with the exception of muddy and moldy ones. When shoes are cleaned improperly, mold can grow and spread to other shoes, and ultimately prevent us from distributing them.

Pumps and heels?

Yes! We accept all types of shoes.  The heels can go to prom-a-thons, woman out of a job, woman who lost everything due to some type of natural disaster, or women’s shelters just to name a couple of uses.

Should I tie the pairs?

Yes. Each pair needs to be bound together either by its shoelaces or with a rubber band prior to turning them in.

Will you take soles with holes?

Yes! Shoes that cannot be worn any longer will be sent for recycling.

Will you take singles?

Yes!  Singles will be sent for recycling or given to amputees.

Should I try to clean them?

No. Please send the shoes as they are. We will accept any and all shoes, with the exception of muddy and moldy ones. When shoes are cleaned improperly, mold can grow and spread to other shoes, and ultimately prevent us from distributing them.

How do you determine where the shoes will be distributed that I donate to Soles4Souls?

It is a very common sense strategy. Once donated shoes arrive into our facility the shoes are sorted by style, quality, and season. Naturally, our warm and cold climate shoes are distributed in regions that are very appropriate for those types of shoes.

What do you do with shoes that are not wearable?

The small percentage of shoes that we receive that cannot be utilized will be recycled.

What do you do with the shoes you receive?

All shoes are processed and graded either by the Soles4Souls staff in Wadley, Alabama or by Village Northwest Unlimited, a nonprofit training facility for people with disabilities located in Sheldon, Iowa. New and high grade used shoes are immediately earmarked for distribution in the United States or abroad. Lower grade used shoes are sorted and packed for distribution, and some are provided to microenterprise programs in developing countries such as Haiti, Tanzania, and Honduras. The microenterprise participants clean and recondition the shoes to sell locally. Thus, the microenterprise programs provide both a rare employment opportunity to impoverished people who would like to start their own shoe businesses, but lack the capital to do so, and an affordable source of shoes for the impoverished local population. Shoes in very poor condition are unfit for the microenterprise programs and are sent to recyclers in Pakistan who salvage the usable materials from the shoes. Funds raised by Soles4Souls from the microenterprise and recycling programs are used to sustain its programs, such as covering the processing costs incurred at the Wadley and Sheldon facilities and paying for transporting shoes to crisis areas for humanitarian relief.

Where can I Learn more?                                                                                                                                                          Soles4Souls is a non-profit that “collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty.” (www.Soles4Souls.org) All donations are tax deductable.

Is there a tax deduction form with a Soles4Souls logo I can receive?
Yes, please visit http://www.soles4souls.org/get_involved/tax_receipt.html

to get a tax receipt.

To learn more about the great work Soles4Souls does, please visit http://www.soles4souls.org.

Posted by: Melinda Anderson | November 2, 2011

Most Seniors Downsize

Downsizing a lifetime of possessions

BEFORE Downsizing

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZERS CALLED UPON AS MORE SENIORS DOWNSIZE

Calling in a pro can help keep emotions out of deciding what to do with all that “stuff”

— Downsizing can be a tough process for anyone, but especially for seniors who find themselves with large homes no longer full of children. More and more are tackling the huge job of downsizing their living spaces. In fact, about six percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 move each year, according to the Over-50 Council of the National Association of Home Builders.

As seniors reach the time to downsize belongings and move into smaller, more manageable homes, many have a hard time figuring out what to do with all of the “stuff ” they’ve accumulated over the years. Local professional organizer Melinda Anderson, member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO®), specializes in downsizing and organizing seniors’ living spaces.

“A major reason seniors have a hard time downsizing is they feel they are the ‘keepers’ of family heirlooms and so they have a hard time getting rid of items which they don’t really have room for anymore,” said Anderson.

Anderson offers the following tips for seniors taking the plunge into a more simplified lifestyle:

  • Start looking for other family members who would like to have heirloom pieces now, especially if they are not being used on a regular basis. There are many organizations that accept donations of valuable heirlooms in support of a worthy cause. Professional organizers can help seniors sort through household items to strategically figure out what will work in their new space. They also can help seniors identify which organizations to turn to that are best at finding new homes for family heirlooms.
  • Find movers specializing in making the transition easier for seniors. Professional organizers can help find the perfect “mover match” for a client, and can help pare down items before the move making the process easier at moving time.
  • Have a professional organizer reassess every five to ten years or as needed to make sure the senior’s home is still working for them. Sometimes seniors don’t realize that everyday activities and household chores can be made easier just by adjusting the setup in their homes. Professional organizers are great resources to help identify easy ways seniors can simplify to improve their overall quality of life.

“We are not trying to tell them what stays and what goes, but we ask the tough questions to help them decide for themselves,” Anderson says. “Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part, and having a professional with an outside point of view to assist is the perfect way to move forward.”

NAPO® members serve both corporate and residential clients specialize in a wide range of services, such as corporate or residential organizing, and many have specialties in niche areas like garages, moving/downsizing, or even helping businesses with time and data management. Melinda Anderson and Southern Home Organizers specialize in downsizing the client’s current home, plus unpacking and organizing in the new home. Additionally, NAPO® offers members education on the most cutting-edge techniques and products.

AFTER Downsizing

AFTER Downsizing

For Further Information:

Melinda Anderson, CPO

Southern Home Organizers

770-595-0893

Melinda@SouthernHomeOrganizers.com

www.SouthernHomeOrganizers.com

About NAPO® (http://www.NAPO.net)

The premier national association dedicated to the field of organizing, the National Association of Professional Organizers® (NAPO®) is The Organizing Authority. Formed in 1985 as a not-for-profit professional educational association, NAPO® is dedicated to serving its thousands of members through education, networking, industry resources, and promoting the profession to the public. NAPO’s mission is to develop, lead, and promote professional organizers and the organizing industry. The association is affiliated with the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD), and Professional Organizers in Canada (POC).

As the oldest and largest professional educational association for professional organizers, NAPO® supported the launch of the Board of Certified Professional Organizers® (BCPO®) and the Certified Professional Organizer® (CPO®) exam, a separate independent certification program for the entire organizing industry.

ATLANTA, Georgia. (November 2, 2011)

Posted by: Melinda Anderson | October 26, 2011

Get Organized at Home

BEFORE picture of Guest room

BEFORE Organizing

GETTING ORGANIZED AT HOME

IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK

With help, you can save time, reduce stress, and improve the quality of your life
 — People today have more space, more stuff, and less time than ever before. But with the luxury of “more” can also come more clutter and more disorganization, making the need for professional organizers greater than ever before.
So it’s not surprising that according to the industry authority, the National Association of Professional Organizers® (NAPO®), the professional organizing industry is booming. More than 148,000 clients were served nationally by NAPO® members in 2008. Here in Metro Atlanta, local NAPO® member Melinda Anderson is available to help combat the overwhelming feeling homeowners can face when they know something needs to be done, but just aren’t sure where to start.
“It’s proven that organized people save time and money, and reduce stress and frustration levels,” says Melinda Anderson, local professional organizer and NAPO® member. “There is no one right or wrong way to get organized, but a professional organizer will take an objective look at your space and give you parameters on what to keep, what to toss, and where to take action so you can reap the overall benefits that being organized has on your life.”
Like Anderson, many NAPO® members specialize in niche areas — whether it’s the garage, kitchen, home office, closet, pantry, or any other residential space. Melinda Anderson is an expert at unpacking and organizing families relocating to the Atlanta area. Our team of professional organizers can unpack and organize the contents of your moving boxes in 3 days or less— great news for the ninety-six percent of people surveyed on behalf of NAPO® in 2008 who said they would save time every day by becoming more organized.  Among those, fifteen percent felt they could save more than one hour of time daily if they were more organized at home, giving them an extra 15 days in a year. The majority of Americans just do not know what to keep and toss. In fact, 80 percent of what we keep, we never use.
With statistics such as these, it is more important than ever to consider ways to get organized and take that step to better living.
“Many people could use the help of a professional organizer, and they don’t even know it — because organization is a learned behavior many people were never taught,” said Anderson.
But NAPO® members help improve their clients’ quality of life by transferring organizing skills that last. “Rather than stepping in to clean out someone’s pantry or garage for them, professional organizers teach organizing skills, helping our clients to find what they need when they need it,” says Anderson. “When a client is able to put those skills to use after we’re gone, we’ve really helped them save time and money, reduce stress, and improve their quality of life for the long run.”
Organization 101 tips for homeowners
Just as a personal trainer creates custom workout plans for each client, so does a professional organizer. NAPO®members realize what works for one person might not work for another.  They strive to help people become “organized enough” at whatever level with which they are most comfortable. Anderson shares the following tips:

  • Get rid of things that don’t work! Don’t hang onto items thinking you’re going to get them fixed if it’s never going to happen.
  • Take children with you when you go to donate unused items. This helps them learn to part with things.
  • Make the garage work for you. Determine how you wish to use the space.
  •  Sort, purge, and then decide the proper storage containers or fixtures for the treasures that you must keep. Clearly label both the tops and the sides of the containers.
  • Consider floor-to-ceiling possibilities for shelving, racks, stackable drawers, hooks, and pegboards.
  • Go through your closet today.
  • Pull out everything you haven’t worn in the last year.
  •  Hang like items together.
  • In the kitchen:  Things that work together should be stored together.
  • Feel the flow of activity in your kitchen. Place glasses near the sink or the refrigerator. Put snacks in a convenient drawer or cupboard.
NAPO® members serve both corporate and residential clients, specialize in a wide range of services, such as corporate or residential organizing, and many have specialties in niche areas like garages, moving/downsizing (especially for seniors), or even helping businesses with time and data management. Melinda Anderson and Southern Home Organizers specialize in whole house organizing, including home offices.  Additionally, NAPO® members are offered education on the most cutting-edge techniques and products.
Log on to www.NAPO.net to find contact information for the professional organizer closest to you. Whether in need of a little help or a lot, anyone can find organizing tools for the home and office, as well as tips on hiring a qualified professional organizer at http://www.NAPO.net.
About NAPO® (http://www.NAPO.net)
The premier national association dedicated to the field of organizing, the National Association of Professional Organizers® (NAPO®) is The Organizing Authority®. Formed in 1985 as a not-for-profit professional educational association, NAPO® is dedicated to serving its thousands of members through education, networking, industry resources, and promoting the profession to the public. NAPO’s mission is to develop, lead, and promote professional organizers and the organizing industry. The association is affiliated with the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD), and Professional Organizers in Canada (POC).
As the oldest and largest professional educational association for professional organizers, NAPO® supported the launch of the Board of Certified Professional Organizers® (BCPO®) and the Certified Professional Organizer® (CPO®) exam, a separate independent certification program for the entire organizing industry.
 
AFTER picture of Guest room

AFTER Organizing

For Further Information:

Melinda Anderson, CPO
Southern Home Organizers
770-595-0893
Atlanta, Georgia. (October 26, 2011)
Posted by: Melinda Anderson | October 12, 2011

NAPO Fact Sheet

Organized bookshelves

Organized bookshelves

National Association of Professional Organizers® (NAPO®) Fact Sheet

  • The mission of the National Association of Professional Organizers® (NAPO®) is to develop, lead, and promote professional organizers and the organizing industry.
  • A professional organizer enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring organizing skills.
  • A professional organizer educates the public on organizing solutions and the resulting benefits.
  • NAPO was founded in 1985 by Beverly Clower, Stephanie Culp, Ann Gambrell, Maxine Ordesky, and Jeanie Shorr.
  • NAPO currently has over 4,000 members throughout the United States and in more than twelve other countries.
  • More than 148,000 clients were served nationally by NAPO members in 2008.
  • NAPO is affiliated with the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD), and Professional Organizers in Canada (POC).
  • NAPO sponsors Get Organized MonthSM annually in January. The association also is a proud national coalition member of National Preparedness Month in September.
  • NAPO is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit tax-exempt organization.
  • NAPO helped organizers take it to the next level with the launch of the Certified Professional Organizer® (CPO®) program in conjunction with the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers® (BCPO®). With the first exam held in April 2007 at NAPO’s Annual Conference, the CPO world-class certification program launched by NAPO and BCPO is recognized as the standard for professional organizers.
  • Professional organizers help individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper, and their systems for life. Setting up an organizing system may be done in a few days.
  • For more information, log on to www.NAPO.net.

For Further Information:

Melinda Anderson, CPO

Southern Home Organizers

770-595-0893

Melinda@SouthernHomeOrganizers.com

www.SouthernHomeOrganizers.com

Posted by: Melinda Anderson | October 5, 2011

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Volunteer

Rucker Family home

Rucker Family home

Melinda Anderson, Skilled Professional Organizer

Melinda Anderson, Skilled Professional Organizer

On July 15-16, 2011, Melinda Anderson participated in the Madison, GA home building project for the Rucker Family’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition brand new home build. There were over 1700 volunteers on this project and yes, the home was built in one week. Anderson volunteered on Friday night and Saturday morning when most of the hard work had already been completed.

Together with a group of organizers representing the Georgia Chapter of  the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) our volunteer service included unloading the tractor trailer full of home decor and accessories and staging them in the garage for the designers to later place inside the home.

Team of professional organizers

Team of professional organizers and their hard hats

Anderson thought the team of professional organizers would have been unpacking and organizing the family’s belongings inside their new home, but no, all the items you see on the television episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition are NEW items! From the pots and pans in the kitchen cabinets to the clothes in the closet, everything is shiny and new. Talk about an Extreme Makeover!

Unloading home decor items

Unloading home decor items

Outside the catering tent on set

Outside the catering tent on set

You can watch the Extreme Makeover Home Edition episode featuring the Rucker family from Madison, Georgia on October 9, 2011 @ 8:00 pm EST on ABC or watch it now online.

Posted by: Melinda Anderson | March 17, 2011

Casting Call for Enough Already! with Peter Walsh

Have you ever dreamed of being on one of those reality TV shows that clears away all the clutter and leaves you with a fresh start and a beautifully organized home? Here’s your chance!

Casting is now underway for season 2 of Enough Already! with Peter Walsh on the OWN Network.

They are looking for deserving individuals and families who are in desparate need of a professional organizer to get their lives in order.

ARE YOU A HOMEOWNER OVERWHELMED BY CLUTTER IN YOUR LIFE? 

  • Is clutter taking over all the spaces in your life – your home? Your office? Or yet… another storage unit?
  • Despite your best efforts, do you feel like you have lost control to a growing clutter problem? 
  • Have you given up and are now ready for guidance from organizational guru, Peter Walsh? 

Enough Already! with Peter Walsh – a series for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network – is looking for participants who are finally ready to say goodbye to chaos and clutter, and hello to an organized and healthy way of living.

APPLICANTS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:   

  1. Have lost control of their home or place of business. 
  2. Available to participate for one week sometime between mid-April to late June 2011. 

To be considered, please provide the following information.    

Include: 

Name  

Contact information  

City 

Description of your clutter and situation (250 words or less)   

 

All information is confidential and will only be shared with the program producers.  

Applications are online at the OWN website here:  http://www.oprah.com/own/plug_ form2.html?plug_id=7306587 or you can email directly at castingclutter@gmail.com .

Contact me, Melinda Anderson, at melinda@southernhomeorganizers.com if you have any questions about this casting call.

Posted by: Melinda Anderson | March 10, 2011

6 Simple and Sustainable Organizing Tips

1. When you donate your cast-offs as a result of organizing, you get a clear and clutter-free home, charities get much needed items, and the planet gets to keep landfill to a minimum. Everyone wins!

2. Reusing product packaging to contain something is a great way to repurpose items you already have. Some of my favorites are:

  • Using the empty paperboard Tiffany-blue gift boxes to store small items like paperclips and push pins in the top desk drawer
  • Clear plastic take-out containers look like a set when you use them to hold craft supplies like beads, ribbons and embellishments
  • Empty parmesan cheese containers are great for storing nuts and bolts, nails, loose screws, and other tiny pieces in the workshop or garage
  • Metal Altoid tins
  • Soft drink fridge pack boxes

3. Cardboard boxes made with recycled content and canvas-covered boxes are good alternatives to the standard plastic bin. Metal and mesh containers can also take the place of plastic bins for storing items. Bamboo is a renewable wood and many stylish containers are being made out of this material. Remember to add a label so you’ll know what’s in the box.

4. Carry a reusable mug or water bottle with you everywhere – it’s an eco-friendly habit to get in to. You’ll save money in the long run, keep items out of the landfill, and feel better about reusing something instead of always wasting.

5. Replace a disposable item with a reusable one:

  • Use cloth hand towels instead of paper towels
  • Replace paper napkins with cloth restaurant-style napkins
  • Use cloth shopping bags

6. “What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all of our tomorrows.”  –Alexandra Stoddard, author, interior designer and philosopher of contemporary living

Posted by: Melinda Anderson | March 4, 2011

6 Secrets to Household Management

Here are the 6 secrets to household management that will help you to efficiently handle the business of running a home.Household Management Office

It doesn’t require a lot of space, just a few simple systems and tools are needed to get the job done. 

 
 
 
 

  1. Calendar / Planner: Choose a planner that fits your lifestyle. You may like using the calendar on your cell phone or an electronic planner like Google Calendar or the hip and cool online application Cozi (both are free online). A paper calendar that has plenty of room to take notes like the Planner Pad or one that keeps up with the schedules of an entire family like Mom Agenda work well for busy people on the go.
  2. Action Files: These files contain all the current papers you are working on and usually require some form of action from you before they can be filed in the reference files. They can be things you need to do, bills that need to be paid, projects in various stages of completion, or things you want to read whenever you get a minute.
  3. Reference Files: These files contain the papers you have finished working on and want to keep. They can be anything from your bank statements to car insurance policy to your voter registration card.
  4. Shredder: Protect your identity and shred anything with your name, address, or other personal information on it. It only takes a second to tear off the label from a magazine or other unwanted piece of paper. (Here’s a scary thought: One day our landfills may be “mined” for recyclable items like aluminum, glass, metal and plastics. Papers, with our personal information on them, that have been buried for years without exposure to air and sunlight will easily be able to be read. Yikes!)
  5. Recycle bin / trash can: Keep unwanted paper to a minimum by making it easy to get rid of. Paper that has only been printed on one side can be reused for printing information that doesn’t require a clean sheet of paper. Envelopes, school papers and magazines can be placed in the mixed paper recycling bin.
  6. Contact Management System: To easily keep up with your contact lists you may choose to use the contact management system that comes with your cell phone, an address book, Rolodex, Outlook or a simple Excel spreadsheet to keep up with names, physical addresses, email addresses, home/work/cell phone numbers, birthdays, anniversaries, and other important information.

By having a few simple systems in place to manage the paper related to your household, it will be one of the best time-saving investments you can make for your home and family.

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