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  • May 20, 2022 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    Tips for photographing and organizing media files

    As we discussed in “Going Paperless at Home”, a large part of the process is taking photos of your important personal documents. When going digital it is also important to keep your media files organized on your phone and desktop.

    We know you are ready to get rid of all that clutter on your phone or desktop, and we are here to help! Organizing your media files will help eliminate the digital clutter your paper clutter is causing.

    10 Tips for taking photos of personal documents and keeping them organized

    1.   Cloud storage systems

    Cloud storage systems help free up space on your phone or desktop. You can access any files in the Cloud with ease and it is a great way to store and find files when you need them.

    2.   Name your media files

    Naming files is often overlooked but makes a huge difference in digital organization of media. You can name files based on the content, type, and date. That way they are easily spotted when looking in your storage files.

    3.   Date and categorize your folders

    Organize your folders by the year and then categorize them within the year.

    For example:

    Main Folder name:
    2021 Personal Media Files
                Identification
                Home/residence
                Personal Items
                Business Items

    4.   Tag your content

    Using specific tags and keywords will help with finding files in a search. You also can search for files based on how you named them.

    5.   Use an archive

    Don’t get rid of old content. When it’s time to put it away, store it in an archive instead of your recycling bin. Buy an external hard drive link like this one on Amazon and make sure to keep a backup file of EVERYTHING on your external hard drive.

    6.   Stop using on-camera flash in your pictures

    Using flash can oversaturate your pictures and add unwanted glare. Find a spot in your home with natural light and photograph your documents there.

    7.   Make sure to get both sides

    Don’t forget to take a photo of the entire document! Front and back, and even the sides if necessary. You even can add them to one document after you take the image to have it all in one media file.

    8.   Make sure the background is clear

    When taking your document photos, find a spot with little distraction in the background or better yet get yourself a white or black poster board and take the photos of the documents and items on that. This will make the images consistent and keep any unwanted content out.

    9. YouTube video!

    There are so many videos and classes out there to help you take the best photos of your personal documents and even yourself. Check them out.

    10. Move in closer and stay in focus.

    Last but not least, get closer to the document! However, when doing so make sure the entire document is in focus. Having blurry images won’t do any good when the time comes to use these photos.

    We hope these tips help you to become more organized in creating photos used for going paperless with your personal items. If you think you still need some help, NAPO Georgia members are ready and able to assist you. Find one near you today: https://napogeorgia.com/Find-Your-Professional-Organizer

  • May 06, 2022 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    A new year has arrived and maybe your motivation level is high right now. What better time is there to channel that motivation toward planning for your future? There are many small things you can do now that will help you later, but we have compiled a list of five things you can focus on now—and thank yourself for later!

    Five Things To Consider When Planning for the Future

    1. Set goals for yourself

    Planning for the future

    Start setting goals for yourself! Not the “resolution” type, but future goals. Start small and think about what you want to accomplish personally, financially and professionally this new year. These goals will motivate you all year long as you look toward the future. You should always be actively working toward something in your life–whether big or small.

    “Goal-setting is an important part of self-care, and your future self will thank you” says Rebekah Lignugaris of Organized for Health. She continues, “Your mindset is your greatest asset and awareness is key. Set yourself up for success by not overwhelming yourself. Challenge yourself appropriately. Focus on progress, not perfection. Keep your eyes on your own path. Be realistic about your abilities and timeframe. Incorporate changes into your lifestyle not vice versa. Start small with changes that are doable and sustainable; chip away at your goal. Before you know it, tiny conscious changes will become effortless habits and you'll move onto other little changes that will also become habits, and so on, building on themselves and all leading you toward your goal. This process strengthens skills, confidence, and motivation. 

    Implement the small changes consistently, and add to them as you improve, and you will meet or even exceed your goal, or, maybe, you will learn more about yourself and realize you have a different goal altogether that you'd like to achieve. You might even discover that it's more about the journey of reaching your goal than simply conquering it. Be open to the experience, be aware of your feelings, and pivot as it suits you.

    Remember to stick to an overall basic plan to achieve your goal but be flexible with your path and progress - expect obstacles and work through them - be gentle and patient with yourself. Every time you fall, just get back up. Find a way to keep your goal front and center in your mind to motivate you to keep going but don't obsess. And definitely celebrate your victories, big and small!”

    2. Set an agenda for the year

    Use an agenda for tracking daily tasks and keeping up with your work. This will help you complete tasks whenever needed instead of falling behind. Your agenda can be virtual or a traditional planner that allows you to look ahead. There is power in knowing what is coming and adjusting your plans accordingly.

    3. Start living in the moment

    Planning for the future

    Living in the moment, you will find yourself less anxious, and more focused on what is right in front of you. This will help your mental health in the long run, and you will be thankful for it.

    4. Save your money - try budgeting

    Planning for the future

    Start saving your money when you work instead of spending it. Look into investing in a 401 K or some other plan. No one's future self will regret you growing your finances. If you do not already have a monthly budget, use this time to create one. You might find it helps control some of your “bad” spending habits.

    5. Have patience with yourself

    Quit stressing about what the future might hold for you. Have patience and be calm (as much as you can!) when it comes to the future. You never know when or where something might happen, but if you’re patient through it all, you’ll feel better about where you end up. However, this is not an excuse to ignore taking the right steps to plan and set yourself up for future success in your personal, financial and professional life.

    We hope you are already feeling more encouraged and excited about planning for the future. With these five things in mind your future self will most definitely be thanking you!

    Seeking more motivation in getting your personal life organized for the future? Check out our post on”:  Tips on Organizing and Improving Personal Finances, and Motivation to Get Organized All Year Long

    We would love to hear any tips you might have for preparing for your future. Let us know in the comments if anything has made a huge impact on your life over time.

    And don't forget, planning for the future is never a bad thing.

  • April 22, 2022 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Being financially responsible is important in all stages in life. Organizing your personal finances takes a lot of hard, consistent work. You need to stay on top of important payments, investments, retirement savings and taxes.

    “It doesn’t matter what your income, knowing how to make your money work for you is key to staying fiscally sound and growing your wealth,” says Financial Organizer and Daily Money Manager, Karen Leff of Leff Organizing “It’s never too late to start looking at how you spend. I have clients that are young and just starting out, as well as senior clients who are trying to simplify their finances. Working with a financial organizer or daily money manager can really simplify what seems like an overwhelming task.” Leff, a member of the American Association of Daily Managers, Atlanta Chapter, says Daily Money Managers work in partnership with financial professionals like accountants, financial planners and estate attorneys to help their clients.

    With all of that in mind, NAPO GA members compiled a list of tips and considerations for those wanting to organize their personal finances. A little goes a long way with regards to organizing personal finances.

    Here are some tips and tricks for organizing your personal finances this year:

    Keep a journal of any purchases (and when you use credit or debit)

    organizing and improving your personal finances

    If you spend money on anything, write it down. Sometimes we forget how important it is to keep track of our personal finances, and we wait until the last minute. Before we know it, we get an expensive bill in the mail with our payments. Here’s some advice: keep two separate categories for “needs” and “wants” in your financial journal. That expensive winter jacket might be a need, but you want to make sure you pay off those big purchases to help with your overall credit. If you use your credit card, specify that in the journal.

    There also are apps to help you keep track of your personal budget. Here are a few NAPO GA member favorites:

    Mint 

    Pocketsmith  

    Some individuals lack a savings plan - or any savings at all

    “organizing and improving your personal finances

    Start a savings plan today at your local bank - it’ll help you out in the long run. Instead of keeping everything in your checking or retirement plans, organize some of your finances into a savings plan. Don’t use savings unless it’s absolutely necessary, but it is good to have available liquid cash and if you do spend from it, you can add it back later.

    “On-line banks offer some of the best interest rates for savings accounts often with minimums of $25 to open,” Karen Leff continues. Setting up automatic withdrawals each month into an online account is the best way to grow your savings, pay yourself first, even if it’s only $40 or $100 dollars a month. You just need to start!” Leff says having your emergency savings away from your daily checking account reduces the temptation to move money over for non-emergency impulse buys. 

    Most people have issues with reducing spending - no matter how hard they work on it

    A common New Year’s resolution is to save more, which is usually great at the beginning of the year. But many people fall short. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, make a constant monthly effort to save more. Journal, budget, and work on spending with a financial organizer, if needed. Check out some of our blogs on organizing more: Understanding the Differences in Professional Organizers", and “What to Look for When Hiring A Professional Organizer”.

    Start an emergency fund

    organizing and improving your personal finances

    This past year has taught a lot of us some tough lessons, and probably the most important is having accessible funds in case of income loss. Having a back-up plan and emergency fund is vital for healthy personal finances. According to Karen Leff “Savings is long-term, for emergencies or for large ticket items like car down payment or dream trips. Push yourself to put as much as you can comfortably afford away, 2020 taught us that it’s important to have at least 6 months of funds available if something prevents you from earning money.” Work on spending less and saving more so you can be more prepared for any financial, personal, or medical emergencies. Those “rainy days” can come in the form of a national crisis that no one expects, or unusually wild weather. Be prepared just in case.

    Get your personal documents and space in order

    organizing and improving your personal finances

    Consider organizing more than just your bank documents, receipts and paper files. Take a look at how and where you store personal documents connected to your finances. This can include any paperwork or proof of property, investments, retirement, wills and estate plans and insurance policies. Getting things organized and designating a clean accessible space in your home or online will help with organizing your personal finances overall.

    With these tips, we hope you can work toward improving your personal finances with better organization and more preparation for the future. Need more help? Professional organizers can cater to your specific needs on a personal, financial and professional level. Consider hiring an NAPO GA member today.

  • April 08, 2022 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to organizing your home. Looking at your home as several separate small organizationing projects helps you tackle and move forward on them more quickly! Instead of stressing out over the big picture, simplify it with small projects. When the “pictures” are done, you have one big, tidy masterpiece.

    Here are six small organization projects to tackle this week:

    1.Organize your coat closet

    Work through your coat closet. Don’t start with your master bedroom or main clothing closets; start small. For most of us that is the coat closet, often overlooked and unorganized. Throw out trash, donate old shoes, coats, accessories hiding in there season after season untouched. You’ll be amazed at how it’s suddenly uncluttered.

    2.Organize under your bathroom sink

    Bathroom sinks also are often neglected, filled with spare hair curlers, unfolded towels, makeup bags, old makeup, old perfume bottles and colognes unused for years— sound familiar? Get started by taking everything out and organizing the items in usage by categories. Then put everything back and toss what you no longer need. Makeup in particular breeds bacteria when it ages - best to get rid of it.

    Add storage bins and baskets under your sink to make use of the space. There are all kinds of options available like this one:

    Small Home Organizing Projects

    3.Organize your linen or towel closet

    Take everything out, fold it and remove anything that does not belong there. Before putting it all back, make sure to toss and donate anything longer used. If you have old towels and blankets to discard, consider dropping them off at your local animal shelter

    4. Make a DIY coffee station

    If you need extra space for your cups and coffee essentials, make a coffee station! If you have an old table, make use of it again by transforming it. Or pick up something at a thrift store worth repurposing with a new coat of paint. Make it fun

    5. Take on your junk drawer

    We all have one—the infamous junk drawer. Some of us have more than one, no matter the case this is a great small organization project to take on and complete in a short amount of time. If it is just an empty drawer with all kinds of stuff consider buying a drawer organizer like this one:

    Small Home Organizing Projects

    6. Clean out your refrigerator and freezer

    Just like all the other projects mentioned, the best way to start with this one is by emptying it out. Toss anything expired or untouched for months and place the items to keep on ice. When your refrigerator and freezer are empty, grab your strongest cleaner and spray it down. Let it sit for a few minutes then come back and scrub it with a sponge. Spray with cleaner again and wipe it down again. After this, wipe it down with a damp cloth to get rid of any leftover cleaning residue. When it is clean and ready to go, put everything back. While doing so make sure to find a place for everything, and group food and beverage types.

    For more small organization projects and inspiration, check out this post by “How to nest for Less.”  These 15 ideas will definitely add to our six ideas provided here.

     

    We hope these tips help you take on home organization tasks you may have been putting off. Check out our blogs Six Easy Steps to a Perfectly Organized Garage and 10 Mudroom Organization Tips for more organizational tips and suggestions! If you are in Georgia and in need of some professional organization help consider hiring a NAPO Georgia member.

  • March 25, 2022 12:33 PM | Anonymous


    As temperatures start rising and the first few buds of green pop up, we all know what time of year is about to begin. Spring cleaning!

    You may have binged Marie Kondo on Netflix, or scrolled through Pinterest for some organizational inspiration over the winter months. Now it is time to take action! NAPO Georgia has compiled a list of spring cleaning tips to get you started this year.

    Tips for getting kicking off your 2022 spring cleaning

    1. Make a list of spring cleaning goals

    Write down a list of what you want to tackle this spring. Do you need to free up space, or are you wanting to get crafty with your organization this year? Figure out what it is that you’re wanting to do before you move forward!

    2. Pick a room!

    Pick one room or space in your home to begin with. Make sure it is not the biggest project on your list. Maybe the mudroom or laundry room to start. Then plan a few hours to tackle the room from start to finish. This not only gets your spring cleaning started, but it will spark some motivation to continue onto the next space in your home.

    3. Declutter your space with trash and donation piles


    Start by designating a dropping spot or bags for things to trash and things to donate. Go through each room in your house and find these things. The key is to make sure when your trash bag is full you take it outside (or to your garage) to the main trash bin and say goodbye. As your donation pile grows, throw it in your car trunk, and drop it off at the local Goodwill or other charity.  Don’t wait until you are done, it is important to start moving that stuff out of your house as soon as possible to avoid the temptation to put it back.  Visit our Organizing Resources page to find organizations that accept donations.

    “I’ve noticed that a lot of people have trouble letting got of things that they no longer use because it’s still good and they don’t want put it in the trash.  Donating the items hadn’t even occurred to them.  So it’s great to remind people that just because it’s leaving your space, doesn’t mean it has to be trashed.  Donate it an let it be used by someone who wants or needs it.”

                         - Carolyn Rogers, Neat Nerd Solutions  

    4. Organize your items in sections

    Start off by working on something like your closet, for example. Separate clothes and other items into sections - needs, wants, and unnecessary clutter. This will help you avoid getting any items mixed up or confused.

    5. Clean as you go


    Try to be as neat and clean as possible. Dust and clean off the spaces you are working with before you start and as you go.

    6. Work in one area at a time

    Don’t jump around from the kitchen to the bathroom. Work in one place and don’t move on to the next thing until everything is cleaned thoroughly. And don’t forget to give yourself breaks!

    “Pick a target area that ‘bugs you the most’ and focus on that,” says veteran organizer and financial coach, Karen Leff of Leff Organizing, LLC.  

    “When you look at an entire room or garage to declutter, it can be very overwhelming.”  Leff coaches her clients to break up large projects into small do-able tasks.  “ If you only have 30-minutes to spare, tackle one or two drawers or shelves. Empty them out completely, just getting rid of the items you don’t want or need usually makes more room for the items you use regularly in the space.”  Chipping away and decluttering and organizing smaller, targeted areas in your home gives you a sense of progress, says Leff. “For larger jobs, where clients want to see progress quickly, I encourage clients to allow me to bring one or two helpers. In most cases, we can get a large job like a garage or kitchen, completely sorted, decluttered and re-organized in one session.”

    Nancy Meck of Meck Organizing says “To avoid the urge to purge in a pinball-like fashion bouncing around the house and getting nowhere fast, if you identify something as "not belonging" in the room you are focusing on, put it outside of the room, but don't walk it all the way to the next room where it is to be stored or processed. Leave time – say 30 minutes to an hour - at the end of your decluttering effort to put things away into their new short-term or long-term spot. If after clearing those items you still have time and energy for decluttering, then use those reserves to focus on a new room."

     

    These six tips for getting started with spring cleaning this year should help you approach the process with a more motivated and organized state of mind. For more ideas and suggestions, check out these posts on organizing your home: “Motivation to Get Organized All Year Long” and “Six Easy Steps to a Perfectly Organized Garage”

  • March 11, 2022 1:25 PM | Anonymous


    Your mudroom is often the main entry point to your home. Most of us drop our shoes and bags as we enter and this often causes disorganization. The good news is that mudroom organization is easy to tackle. We have compiled a list of mudroom organization hacks to transform your mudroom into a clean and organized welcome to your home.

    When you walk into your home, you want to feel comfortable and relaxed, not stressed. A messy mudroom can take away from the overall feel and look of your home. And when your house is cluttered, you might also start feeling cluttered, too.

    10 Mudroom Organization Tips to Stay Neat and Tidy all Year

    1.Use hooks for coats and jackets instead of hangers

    Hangers belong in your closet, not in your living space. Bulky hangers make for unnecessary extra space in your mudroom and aren’t practical. With hooks, you can hang up jackets, coats and bags effectively, while still keeping your house looking fresh.

    2. Maximize small space

    Not enough room? Maximize your space by installing narrow shelves, adding hooks, and by filling in the empty spaces with minimalistic decorations.

    3. Include bench seating

    It’s important for you to provide guests with a nice place to sit, while also leaving enough room for storage underneath. Keeping a bench by the door is also a nice reminder for guests to take off their shoes before walking in.

    4. Design as many built-in features as possible

    Install drawers and cabinets to utilize space! Get creative with colors and designs.

    5. Create a mudroom underneath the stairs

    Make room for unused space underneath your stairway. Add baskets and chalkboards for spicing up your living space while still maintaining functionality.

    6. Include a coffee area

    Include a slender coffee table near your mudroom for all of your morning essentials. It makes for a nice set up and provides an organized space while getting ready in the morning.

    7. Use specific colors for your mudroom

    Using the right colors for your mudroom gives the illusion of a larger space so it won’t look as messy. Some ideas include dark grey, blush pink, green and a soft black color.

    8.Transform Ikea furniture into functional design

    Ikea furniture can be repainted, repurposed and used to hold baskets and boxes in your mudroom. Get creative with ideas that save space. Pinterest is a great place to start!

    9. Keep your items hidden

    If you can help it, try and keep your items enclosed in drawers or baskets. This helps to make the room less cluttered.

    10. Assign a place for everyone (and everything)

    This helps in keeping everyone responsible for the state of the mudroom. Giving members of your household a space in the mudroom or entryway gives them no excuse when dropping off their shoes, bags or coats.

    We hope these tips help you transform your mudroom into an organized, clean and clutter-free entrance to your home, relieving some of the stress it may cause presently.

     

    Not sure where to start? Contact one of NAPO Georgia’s many local professional home organizers today.

  • February 25, 2022 4:37 PM | Anonymous


    There are several vital things you need to know before tax season. It’s important to make sure you are all caught up, organized and ready to file your taxes.

    “Benjamin Franklin said that nothing is certain but death and taxes, and in both cases, fear comes from the great unknown. With taxes, at least, you can relieve your stress by organizing your paperwork. Anticipate the categories and specific information you'll need, and tax time can be as simple as filling in the blanks.”

                                         - Julie Bestry, Best Results Organizing

                       

    Tax time and preparing for your taxes often overwhelms us all at one time or another. However, it doesn't have to be a stressful, intimidating process if you prepare yourself throughout the year.

    Like most things in life, time and preparation goes a long way. Preparing your for tax filing is no different. NAPO GA has compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you prepare for filing your taxes now and for moving forward.

    1. Hire a Professional to get organized

    Getting organized and staying organized is a lot easier with the help of a professional. People often overlook the possibility of hiring a professional organizer for organizing their personal files and finances. This helps with more than taxes. It can have a positive impact on future retirement and estate planning.  Julie continues:

    “Most of the stressors related to preparing your taxes come from not having an easy, logical system. Instead of looking in drawers and envelopes, under beds and on top of shelves, work with a professional organizer to create a system for anticipating what documents you'll need and developing a smart, secure way to sort and store them. Partnering with a professional organizer will save time (your own and your accountant's) and that will save you money.”

    2 Look for local tax preparation or CPAs

    A tax preparer helps you get ready for the upcoming tax season and all future tax preparation. Look for more affordable options in your area so that you can save some of your hard-earned cash while paying off your taxes. As your finances diversify and grow, you might find it necessary to hire a CPAMost financial planners can recommend qualified trustworthy consultants.

    3. Keep track of current bank information

    With taxes, you want to make sure everything is in place before moving forward. Try to avoid further issues by consistently updating bank and credit card information. Keeping a monthly budget of expenses helps immensely. Julie says:

    “If paper overwhelms you, consider using a digital financial dashboard like Mint or Personal Capital to track your income, expenses (by budget category or vendor), investments, and credit card and loan obligations. These kinds of dashboards let you set budgets, view transaction history, and visualize your financial life in one centralized location.”

    4. File an extension for paperwork (if needed )

    Make sure to file an extension if you’re behind on your taxes. This is quick and easy to do and has no financial impact, other than giving you more file time for focusing on breaking even this year!

    5. Go ahead and prepare for next year

    It’s never too early to start preparing for the next tax season.  Michelle Cooper of Put it There Professional Organizing suggests: 

    “Consider a financial software program, such as Quicken.  The time spent setting it up is well worth it!  Printing a report of your various spending categories takes all of 2 minutes to then share with your CPA.  If you prefer paper, then purchase an accordion folder with the designated tax categories and put papers in it throughout the year”

    Keep all tax files in an accessible place so you don’t lose any important information, and don’t have to search for it at the last minute. Julie expands on the point with:

    “Create a file folder labeled 2022 Tax Prep. When your 2021 taxes are done, make a list of all of the supporting documents you needed this year (W2s, 1099s, 1098s, etc.) and pop the list in the folder so that you'll know what to keep an eye out for starting late January 2023. As the year goes along, any time you make a charitable donation, drop the receipt in that tax prep folder. And any time something happens that seems like it would trigger a taxable event (sell a house? have a baby? win the lottery? Lose in Vegas?), put a note in the folder. You'll be amazed at how some things will escape your memory by the end of a year. Just having this folder ready to accept your documents and notes as they arise will help you be confident nothing will be forgotten.”

    If you are working with a CPA or financial planner, together you can identify ways to invest and spend that benefit you financially. These types of opportunities are easy to identify ahead of time but hard to retrofit when preparing to file, so plan ahead.

    Starting in April, or even January, is often not good enough when it comes to preparing your personal taxes. As we grow older, personal and professional life will scale with age. Making sure you are organized and prepared year round is important. For example: tracking your mileage, saving receipts for home improvements and charitable contributions in a designated place. That way when it comes time to prepare and file your taxes you are not stressing over digging out all the necessary paperwork and receipts needed. Plus, if you get selected for a random IRS audit, you will have all the documentation you need at your fingertips.

    Preparing for your taxes can be effortless and a pleasant experience if you plan ahead and hire help. Learn more about organizing your personal files and going paperless at home.  And for more tax tips from Julie Bestry visit her blog here

  • February 18, 2022 10:50 PM | Carolyn Rogers (Administrator)

    Going Paperless with personal documents

    Let’s face it—misplacing or losing important personal documents is a rite of passage in the adult world. Getting your personal documents organized, and staying organized, can be challenging. Going paperless at home may be the solution to your missing personal documents from now on. 

    I'm sure you keep personal files in desks drawers, as well as catch-all folders and drawers. The good news is there's a better way, leaving you more organized and with less paperwork and documents stuffed around the house.

    NAPO Georgia compiled four easy steps for going paperless at home. If you have been wanting to go paperless, i.e. digital, with storage for your important files, then read on. This is the post for you!

    “We live in an increasingly digital world.  Much of our life is already online and paper is not only becoming unnecessary, but inconvenient.”

                                                          - Carolyn Rogers, Neat Nerd Solutions

    4 Steps for going paperless at home:

    Step1: Reduce clutter.

    Going Paperless with personal documents

    Get rid of documents that you don’t need. If it’s something that won’t matter, you can go ahead and toss it out. Make sure to create two piles, one for recycling and the other for shredding. Personal documents often have private information you don’t want someone digging out of the garbage.

    Step 2: Store important paper documents in a designated space in your home and photograph them for digital storage.

    Use a private service to store important documents such as your social security number, bank accounts, and credit card numbers. Taking photos of all your important documents and storing them digitally will allow for immediate access to them. We often find ourselves looking for copies of passports or our driver's license when filling out online paperwork. Digital storage helps by giving you immediate access without needing to dig the paper copy out.

    Step 3: Make a Google Drive for your personal files.

    Google Drive helps keep all of your personal files in specialized folders and with tags. Google drive is not the only option but one of the most universal. This is for the files you want easy access to over the years. This is NOT where we recommend saving more sensitive files and documents. You also can store the images discussed in Step 2.

    Step 4: Make a Cloud for any documents you want to store away securely.

    If you don’t need your documents anymore, but you’re not ready to get rid of them, try using a cloud storage system.  Here are some secure cloud storage services:  

    Going Paperless with personal documents

    We hope that these steps help you get rid of unnecessary files, store away personal content, and help you with your organization. If you would like professional help we have a list of the best Professional Organizers in Georgia here.


  • February 11, 2022 11:47 AM | Anonymous

    Congratulations! If you are reading this, you are actively taking steps toward getting organized! Knowing when to hire help  is one thing, but knowing what to look for when hiring a professional home organizer is another.

    NAPO GA’s members and professional organizers have compiled a list of considerations when hiring a professional. Keep in mind everyone's needs are different, but this list will help narrow down your choices and move you toward a more organized and stress free home.

    Professionalism

    Make sure you are hiring a true professional – someone who takes their job seriously. Viewing credentials and professional affiliations can help separate the professionals from the hobbyists. If you are searching for a home organizer in Georgia then checking our list of Members is a great start.

    Problem Solving

    Make sure your home organizer is adept at problem solving when it comes to cleaning up the home or finding a place to store away necessary items. Meck Organizing calls it, “putting the puzzle together.”

     “Every item has a way of fitting into the big picture, or they are extra pieces that need to be left out. So the first step is getting a description of that picture, and for that the client has full artistic license! Our team first works with the client to find out how they want things to look, feel, and function. Then it becomes clear what items are to be used to bring that vision to life, and where to place them to do so. The best arrangement and solutions are the ones that last long after the organizers leave. Organizers need to plan their moves based on what is not working for the client and what the client envisions would work better. They need to ask the client the right questions to find out those things and make the right decisions with those things top of mind.”

                                                      - Nancy Meck, Meck Organizing

    Reliability

    Point being, you need someone you can rely on. Ways to determine this are how responsive they are when following up and responding to emails and phone calls. You can also look at their online reviews or ask for references.

    Integrity

    Integrity is everything, and without it, there’s no honesty or trust between professional and client. This also plays an important role in the process. If you cannot trust or respect who you have hired you might find taking on the project to be even harder with their help. Nancy goes further to explain that organizing is very personal work.

    “We are in people’s homes, working with their businesses, introduced to their personal lives. We encourage people to ask a series of questions when interviewing organizers to see if the person seems to be someone they can trust to be professional, for instance ask how long they have been doing this work, do they have liability insurance, what are examples of projects they’ve done like the one that needs to be done now, and what did they do for work before becoming a professional organizer. Such questions can weed out candidates that don’t have the qualities and experience wanted in someone who is coming to help with such a private part of a client’s life and can help clients identify ones that do. If the person hired is liked and trusted, there will be great synergy between the client and organizer leading to efficient progress. This often is because the client is comfortable letting the organizer do things without the client being present. As famed former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

    These considerations on what to look for when hiring a professional home organizer help you narrow down your options and hire someone who is the right fit for you. Home organization can have a big impact on one's personal and professional life.

    Don’t wait to hire a professional, do it now! You won't regret it. 

  • February 04, 2022 11:12 AM | Anonymous

    Signs you need to hire an Professional Organizer

    Knowing when to hire a professional organizer can be challenging and overwhelming. You have been struggling to keep up with the stresses of your everyday life, and it can feel like there is nothing you can do to fix it.

    But here’s the thing—there’s always a way out.

    “Feeling organized is accomplished when systems are in place throughout your home that work for YOU!. It is a very individualized process. There is no one size fits all here...and no pressure to have a Pinterest ready home!  Hiring an organizer can help you develop these systems based on your lifestyle and everyday demands and can be the key to long-term success! In the process, you may find that having less leads to wanting less and that will save time, money and stress going forward.”

                                                                  - Brenda Wagman, bNeat Organizing

     

    NAPO GA has compiled a list of things you can use to identify if and when you might need to call in professional help.

    Look for these signs indicating you should hire a professional organizer

    One: Missing deadlines

    If you’re behind at work, you might need some extra help with your time management. The same thing happens in your home. As you fall behind, it can be harder and harder to catch up on your own. Accountability is key, but if you’re wanting to make a real difference, this is a good time to hire a professional.

    Two: Increased stress and unease when entering your own home

    The clutter in your house is starting to make you feel uncomfortable and stressed.  Do you find yourself coming home from a long day of work and just the mere presence of the clutter makes your chest tighten? We’ve all been there. This is when asking for the help of a professional organizer is a great way to ease that stress.

    “It is more difficult to relax (both physically and mentally) in a cluttered space. Clutter causes feelings of anxiety.”

                                                                  - Kara Rozell, More Breathing Room

    Three: Forgetting appointments

    If you lose track of time and start missing school appointments (professional or personal), it can be a huge problem. This is an indication you need help with managing your time, and is a sign you should consider hiring a professional. 

    Four: You work from home

    When you work from home, you can get caught up in work so much that it interferes with taking care of your personal life, causing you to neglect priorities at home. An accountability partner can help you with any difficulties or stresses you may have.

    However, if this is not doing the trick, hiring professional help can go a long way. You might need help with organizing your business activities or in-home help. Developing and maintaining a balance can be challenging for those who work from home.

    “Working from home creates its own unique challenges. Whether you own your own business or work from home, sharing your living space with business, schooling and leisure often blurs the lines of relaxation and work. A professional organizer can help you find a successful balance within your home.”

    - Karen Leff, Leff Organizing, LLC

    Five: You misplace items often

    If you lose your keys the second you enter the door, you need to come up with a better strategy. Rule of thumb: make sure everything has a place and is in its place. If you put something down, keep it somewhere safe and in clear view. If this is not enough, that is an indication you would benefit from a professional home organizer’s help.

    If you’re in need of more organization advice for your home or office, make sure to check out our blog Understanding the Differences in Professional Organizers

    We hope these tips help you to better identify when you might need or want to reach out to a professional. Asking for help is not easy no matter what the context, but knowing what signs to look out for can help in taking the next step toward hiring help.

     

    For a list of NAPO GA members in your area click here.

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