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Wednesday, October 18:  49.2 Degrees at 5 AM.  I Believe It’s Fall! 
        Fall is in the air.   It was 49.2 degrees this morning. The forecast calls for a high of 70, but let me tell you, it was very dark and chilly at 5 am.

        In response, all day I have been mulling over my “It’s really Fall now” list of things to do, to clear clutter and stay organized.  Perhaps you have that list, too?  Perhaps you are looking for some suggestions? Read on for some suggestions in “49.2 Degrees at 5 am.  I believe it’s Fall!… (more)” 

Tuesday, October 10:  Winter Is Coming. So Are Allergies, Colds and the Flu. Sorry.
        If you read this week’s title, and thought “‘Winter is Coming’? How could Colleen be such a downer?”, you may be right.  If you happen to love hot weather, “Winter is Coming” may sound gloom-and-doomy.
        However, if you’re more like me, you LOVE Fall and Winter, cooler temperatures and snuggling up with a warm sweater and a good book.  So for me, “Winter is Coming” is actually a relief.  But the negative comes with the good, so regardless of how you feel about cooler weather, NOW is the time to get your supplements and medicine cabinet in order, to prevent illness and be ready to treat it if it arrives!  Click here to find out how!
Did You Know?  Saturday, October 28 is National Take Back Day.  Click here for events in your area to “Take Back” expired or unneeded prescription medications.  Many local police departments have permanent take-back locations, too, so check community resources (more…)  

 

Tuesday, October 3: “If You Call It a Junk Drawer, Guess What Ends Up Inside?”
Be kind to and with one another this week, graphic-heart.giffriends. We may not be able to control the world around us, but we can control how we interact with the world around us.
This week, I wanted to share one of my favorite posts ever, from this week last year!  We all have one of those drawers, right?  The hodgepdoge of all sorts for stuff?  Maybe you have more than one?!  Read on for how to tackle the dreaded junk drawer with “If You Call It A Junk Drawer, Guess What Ends Up Inside?”
I taught a Clear the Clutter class last night, and promised the participants resources on how to determine if our Stuff is actually worth something.  Check it out…(more):

 

Tuesday, September 26: Garage!  Take Care Of Your Car, Not Your Clutter!
This week, let’s think about one of the hardest working areas in your home, the GARAGE!  A little time spent out there this week can reap big benefits when the weather turns colder (and it will, despite the heat wave we have been having!).  Read on for ideas in “Garage! Take Care of Your Car, Not Your Clutter!… More…”

Wednesday, September 20, Sharing The Idea “20 Minutes, 20 Dollars”
Hello everyone! I had the privilege of speaking to a wonderful group in Merillville, IN last night about downsizing. We covered a lot in our 60 minutes together: clearing clutter, determining the value of our stuff, how long to keep certain types of papers.  One idea that I shared with the group was the idea of “20 Minutes or 20 Dollars” … (read on for more) 

Wednesday, September 13, If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes
     A participant in today’s time management class finished this statement for me today, “If Nothing Changes, … ‘Nothing Changes'”.  He said – “that’s the definition of insanity, too! Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result”.
If we want change – if we want life to be different – we have to do things differently. This quote has been rolling around my head all day.  For myself and others.  I can desire change, and plan for it, but I have to make some changes if I want things to change (read on more more…)

Tuesday, September 6, 2017 Refresh and Restart for September
Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend!
There are a lot of “Re’s” on my To-Do lately. Words like Re-order, Re-new, Re-certify, Re-send. “Re-set goals for the third quarter”, “Re-do social media calendar for September” and “Re-pot herb garden”.
Having to “Re”do something can feel frustrating, or it can be liberating.  And to me, September is liberating.  Whether you or your kids are heading back to school or not, this change of season offers opportunities to Refresh, Restart and Recommit to good and great things.  Read on for some suggestions in Refresh and Restart for September(…more)  

 

Tuesday, August 29:  First Step Of Shopping?  Check your Inventory.
A thought occurred to me very soon after I posted last week’s blog article,  “Can We Go Buy School Supplies?”  It’s the obvious first step of shopping, although a little too obvious for me, as I forget to mention it. Read on for more, “First Step of Shopping? Check Your Inventory… (More).

My daily quote today (love it!): “Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.”  -Walter Anderson

 

Tuesday, August 22, “Can We Go Buy School Supplies?”
Hello everyone!  We are crafting our new normal for the school year around here.  The season  of form completion / check writing / school shopping (a.k.a. August) is passing, thank goodness!
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my New Normal, as our schedules change and I re-commit to the last third of 2017, personally and professionally. 
And yet, in the midst of this big picture thinking… we forgot mechanical pencils? Ugh.  Well, “We” did not, my students (sons) did. Still, If that is our biggest crisis this morning, I think we’re ahead of the game. If you’re shopping this week, for supplies or anything else, check out these 10 tips to make the trip better, “Can We Go Buy School Supplies?… (more)” .

 

Wednesday, August 16: How Do You Get Out The Door on Time?
Walking home with friends after the big back-to-school drop off yesterday, I was reminded of this article I wrote at this Back-To-School time of year.  This question came up again recently, so here is the answer to “How Do You Get Out The Door On Time?”, great for everyone and not just those heading back to school!
As a follow up to the Real Simple article I shared last week – a client reached out to me to share that she had swapped out her complicated pants hangers for clip hangers – and I had done the same thing with my pants! If you missed the article, check it out!
   (…more)

 

Wednesday, August 9: Closet Check: Yes? No? Not Today? or Not Gonna Happen?
The Tuesday newsletter became the Wednesday newsletter this week because sometimes there are birthdays / anniversaries / weddings / musicals all rolled into one weekend, and then the tasks of everyday life like work and meetings and dentist appointments… and ice cream.  It is summer, after all!  It’s nice to be the boss…
We’re in Back To School mode here, with registration, clothes shopping, school supplies, etc.  And part of BTS for us is the annual closet review.  Here are three tips to make this go more smoothly, like asking Yes? No? Not Today or Not Gonna Happen (more…)?

 

Hello everyone!  sunflower-2.jpg August!  A new day, a new month and new opportunities to get organized!  This time of year, my thoughts turn to Back To School, and Back To Business!  And time management tips help for both!  I first crafted this week’s article 5 years ago as a 10 minute Presentation, and I found myself sharing it again almost verbatim with a client last week. Read on for tips to help you Never Be Late Again(more…)!   

Tuesday, July 25: No, The First Step of Organizing is Not “Go Shopping”
At last night’s Clear the Clutter presentation, we discussed how “Very often when we get the urge to organize, we start first with the urge to go and get more stuff!  ‘I need better containers! New hangers!  Different bookshelves!  Cool new coat hooks, boxes, office supplies…’    well, the list goes on and on.  Lots of people go out and buy more stuff before they start actually organizing.” Click here to read on, “No, The First Step of Organizing is Not ‘Go Shopping…(more) ‘”! 

 

Hello everyone!
     We can find inspiration in the most interesting places!  A conversation with a client this morning inspired today’s blog article about a common challenge many face: too many socks.
     Maybe you didn’t know other people shared this problem. Trust me, they do. This, and others, too. Unfortunately, we imagine  there is something wrong with us because we’ve never heard of anyone else struggling with xxxxxxx (fill in the blank here). But you are not alone, I promise.
      The other side of “yes, this is totally normal and lots of people have this challenge” is that, common or not, if disorganization is causing stress or dysfunction, we still need to conquer it.  So, rest assured, lots of folks have organizational challenges, and more importantly, here are some ideas on how to solve them!  Read on for “Truth Bombs About Socks(more…)”.

     Today’s public service announcement?  It’s 7/11, Free Slurpee Day.  You’re welcome.
Don’t know if you noticed, but in the last 11 days, we ushered in the second half of 2017.  Crazy,  right? Time really does fly.  Lately, I’ve been pondering my 3rd Quarter goals, signing up for events for Fall, and generally thinking big picture thoughts in the midst of sun and fun with friends and family.   The article I planned to write this week was going to challenge you to make some big-picture goals for the rest of 2017, and then this article came up in my FB memory feed, and I had to share it. So let’s start with “Who’s Driving This Car Anyway? YOU. You Are In Charge. and we’ll look at goals next week! (more…)
american_flag.jpg     I hope you enjoyed a great weekend and holiday. There is so much to be grateful for, especially this time of year.
     We have a holiday mid week this week.  Weird.   A Tuesday off.  So is Wednesday morning the new Monday morning?  And then just three days and a weekend again?  Very strange.  If starting your week is sometimes a struggle, especially when it’s a re-start like this week!! – read on for Ways to Make Monday Mornings Less Icky.
     Did you know? I belong to an amazing group of accomplished professional speakers, the Chicagoland Speaker’s Network. Click here to find out more about us and our wide range of topics and talents (more)…. 
How is your week going?  I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I am a big fan of planning and routine.  Ok, so that’s not really a secret.
I rely on planning and routines to keep all the facets of me – family, home life, professional life, volunteering and service – running smoothly. Occasionally I’ll break routine for fun and spontaneity, and occasionally it will break when other factors intervene.
But the most important thing to remember when life gets off track is that we can get back to normal when we’re ready, as long as we know what normal is. This week I share strategies to use “When Our Morning Doesn’t Start As Planned”. Read on…(More)

 

Tuesday, June 20:  Organize Your Car This Week (aka, What’s That Smell?
How is your summer going?  Everyone finally out of school?  We’ve been out for weeks, and I feel like we’re hitting our stride.
I took a good look around my car today.  I spent a few minutes tidying it up after dropping off a batch of donations for a client. And I realized that for all the time I spend in my car, I’m so grateful it’s clean and organized and pleasant.  Want to improve your day?  Take care of your car! Read on for “Organize Your Car This Week (aka, What’s That Smell?)”
If you try one thing this week, try this: Take your care to a car wash, and get it cleaned inside and out!  (Yes, a car wash, it’s better for the environment….more…)

 

Tuesday, June 13:   How High Are Your Eyes?  (a.k.a. Where to keep the canned tuna?)
This past week, I celebrated my 14th anniversary as a Professional Organizer. Wow.  Whoa.
I appreciate each of you every day for your faith and trust in me and my abilities, and I look forward to many more years of imagining better with you and restoring order from chaos, one room or client or project at a time.
Last week also found me settling back into our almost-finished kitchen and helping friends get settled in their new home.  These two experiences reminded me of a very helpful rule of thumb to use when determining where to store items in our homes.  Read on to learn more in “How High Are Your Eyes? (a.k.a., Where to store the canned tuna … more).

Tuesday, June 6: Summer’s New Normal
     Hello everyone!  Summer is here, at least in the Klimczak household.  Everyone’s out of school, summer work and schedules have begun. But some things remain the same.
Last week, my awesome accountability partner asked me what my “New Normal” is for summer.  Her insightful question has helped me to be intentional about how I will spend my summer! Read on to learn more with “Summer’s ‘New Normal'(more…)”.

Tuesday, May 30: Let’s Talk Expiration Dates
      I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend, and appreciate all of those who have served our country.
      I have the privilege and pleasure of serving on our local school board as a School Board Member. Tomorrow night I will attend my 5th end-of-the-year event in 2 weeks, our 8th grade graduation. We all should enjoy this happy, hopeful and optimistic time of year!
      Our kitchen project is moving along, and I will post before- and after- pictures soon enough. I’ve been thinking a lot about kitchens lately! Read on for my second installment of getting organized in the kitchen, “Let’s Talk Expiration Dates”, as a follow up to last week’s Want to Clear Clutter? Shop Better(more…) !

Tuesday, May 23: Want to Clear Clutter?  Shop Better!
At a rainy soccer game on Saturday morning, a friend and I were discussing her pantry.  She had been up until the wee hours the night before, checking expiration dates and clearing out old items.  We all want to use our ‘stuff’ wisely, save some money, clear some clutter. A great place to start is by using our consumables well and shopping better. Read on for 5 tips in  “Want to Clear Clutter? Shop Better”.  Next week, we’ll walk through the Pantry Review Process!    (more…)

Tuesday, May 16:  When Reality Meets the To-Do List: It’s Time to Act! 
Planning is invaluable.  
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”    -Benjamin Franklin
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”                   -Winston Churchill.
However, just as there is a time for planning, there is also a time for Action.
“Just Do It”.                 -Nike.
Ok, I know, now I’m just being silly.  But the truth remains.  We can plan and plan, but eventually, to make progress, we must act. We can plan for a trip, plan our packing, etc., but we still need to put stuff in a suitcase. We can research the best car with all the right options and where to buy it, but we have to act on that information if we ever want the snazzy new ride.  Read “When Reality Meets the To-Do List: It’s Time To Act” to learn more (…) !   

Wednesday, May 10, Finally, A Blog Post About Plastic Storage Containers
We’re working on a kitchen remodel at our house.  It’s amazing – all the prep work that goes into a big project like this!  And we haven’t demolished or installed a thing yet! As we pack up the kitchen, I appreciate our organized space, knowing that our stuff is already de-cluttered and pared down!  One common source of kitchen clutter is Food Storage Containers, either plastic or glass.  They are necessary and useful, but wow, can they add up and take over a space!!  If you struggle with storage container clutter, too, read on for “Finally, A Blog Post About Plastic Food Containers!”…more !

Tuesday, May 2nd, It’s May!  Is Your Head Spinning, too?
It’s May.
A lot of things happen in May.  Really good and wonderful things.
I believe this is the busiest month of the year.
And my head is spinning.
If you’ve got a lot going on right now, too, read on for survival tips for this very busy month in “It’s May! Is Your Head Spinning, Too?…more)”

Wednesday, April 26:  This Week’s Menu Plan is To Not Cook (Aka, How Many Foods Can We Serve on a Bun?)
Yesterday, my friend posted on FB that Spring Sports season brings 8 weeks of eating poorly. Regrettably I agree!  My sons have outgrown little league, but we spent many spring months struggling to eat anything for dinner, let alone something healthy!  So, J.O., this re-post is for you! Check out “This Week’s Menu Plan Is To Not Cook (a.k.a. How Many Foods Can We Serve On A Bun?)…more…”

Tuesday, April 18: Put Stuff Away Before You Take Anything Else Out!
Happy Easter!
Have you even jumped into action before really thinking things through?  I bet we all have.  This past Sunday, as we drove home from one event, we were planning for the next event.  And while I admired my family member’s enthusiasm about the next event, I knew we needed to clean up from the last one before starting the next!   Want to know how?  Read on for “Put Away Stuff Before You Take Anything Else Out “… (more)… 

Spring is here, and I am feeling it this week! A rush of energy, a desire to be outside or at least let some of the outside in, an urge to lighten up and get moving!  Very often, I get the call / text / email from a client, and they say “I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start”.  And I think we’ve probably all felt that way from time to time. This week, start with these “6 Organizing Steps to Take For Spring”! 
Got Clutter? SPRING CLEANING FOR A CAUSE...(more)… 

Tuesday, April 4:  Your Stuff Needs an AWAY
It’s Election Day!  Did You Vote?!  This past week, I was working with a client and her clutter, and she realized that much of her challenge was just with putting things AWAY.  She had some clutter to purge, of course, but a lot of her frustration with the clutter in her home was solved by just putting things AWAY where they belonged.   Our Stuff needs an AWAY.  Read on for “Your Stuff Needs An AWAY” to find out why and how (more…)