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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…) 

Wednesday, March 29:  Life’s Stormy Weather: Cleaning Up and Getting Ready
We all have stormy weather in our lives. The ups and downs, the gray skies and choppy water.  Then the storm passes, and we have to clean up and get on with our life (and get ready for the next storm!). I say this with all hope and positivity, friends, I promise. We can and will endure the stormy weather, and then we’ll clean up and move on!  Read on to find out more, “Life’s Stormy Weather: Cleaning Up and Getting Ready”.
From a reader: Have children’s books to pass on?  Consider donating them to the Little Free Libraries at the Alzein Pediatric Associates’ offices: 2850 W 95th Street, Suite 400 in Evergreen Park; and 6700 W. 95th Street, Suite 250 in Oak Lawn… (more) 

Tuesday, March 21: National Clean Your Closet Week:  What’s In Your Suitcase?
Just in time for the first day of Spring, the third week in March is National Clean Your Closet Week! I don’t know about you, but this time of year, I always get the urge to refresh my closet and my clothes.  I know it’s still chilly outside, but as soon as Spring arrives, I crave color and novelty in my clothing choices!  Decision making is tough, though – I know.  But asking yourself a few questions can make the process go smoothly!  Read on for suggestions in “National Clean Out Your Closet Week: What’s In Your Suitcase?…(more)”

Did you know?  The second Tuesday in March is National Organize Your Home Office Day!  And since so much of the country is covered in snow, it seems like a great day to spend some time inside restoring order and peace in this very hard working space!  My own office is organized, but my virtual office – the technological aspect of my business – needed a little attention recently.  Read on to find out more about how to streamline your tech and communications in “National Organize Your Home Office Day: My High Tech Me Project”. (and thanks to Sally for keeping me on track!! … more)
Did you know?  It’s National Procrastination Week! I know, I’ve heard the jokes – you’ll google it… tomorrow. Right?!  In observance of National Procrastination Week, this week’s article is about addressing the physical clutter that keeps us from getting things done!  Read on to learn more about “Clutter and Procrastination: Making Room for Harry Potter”(more…)!
Writing this in a thunderstorm in February. Go figure!  Better wrap this up and hit send, before we lose power / wi-fi!
I just made a delicious dinner, in the spirit of Mardi Gras.  Old Bay Cheddar Grits with Andouille and tomatoes. While it cooked, I diced extra peppers to use later this week. Plus, I plan to eat the cheesy grits and veggies for lunch tomorrow. You see, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much food the average household wastes, and I’ve been strategizing about how to use our food better.  I’m here to help you use your food better, too.  Read on for ideas in “Get Over Left Overs:  85 Banana Chocolate-chip Mini-muffins”
     The unseasonably warm weather here in Chicago got me thinking about… winter coats. There is an adjustment period every Fall (or after things return to seasonably cold weather!), when we starting wearing heavy coats and have to remember which pocket our keys or phone or wallet are in!  So what is in your pockets, and what are you going to do with it when you take your coat off?
     We need habits to take care of that important stuff we lug around with us!  Car keys, cell phone, wallet, glasses? Receipts, money and change?  So here are some quick suggestions for setting up a space to put those pocket contents and habits of taking care of it all!  Read on for “Why I Never Find Money in Old Coat Pockets”. 
     I love social media.  I asked my FB friends what was in their pockets this morning, and 60+ people played along.  How awesome is that? (more…)?
Happy Valentine’s Day!  I love my clients!  Today is a day that we celebrate Love, the love of and for the people around us. Sometimes the love of stuff can cloud our love of people, though.  Let me say this – Life Is Not About The Stuff.  In this week’s article, I encourage you to Look for Love In All The Right Places! (more)…
       Happy Tuesday!  Because Tuesday is the most productive day of the week (google it, it’s true!)!  I’m working through my task-list today, getting things done and making progress on a number of projects. Of course, none of that would be possible if I didn’t write stuff down!
      There are too many thoughts in my head some days and not enough focus to make sense of them all until I jot them down and turn them into actionable steps to take. Perhaps you feel the same?  Read on for more inspiration in “If I Don’t Write It Down, It Doesn’t Exist!… (more)” 

 

Tuesday, January 31:  Out With The Old, In With The New… In The Kitchen!
     How is it going? I spoke to a woman yesterday, and she said she had restarted her New Year’s Resolutions 3 times already. She thought that was a bad thing, I said it was GREAT!!  She stumbled, but recommitted each time and started again!
Getting organized is one of the most popular Resolutions, right behind Getting Healthy / Losing Weight / Getting Fit.  So, how about this week we combine the two?  There is scientific evidence that tells us that a disorganized kitchen leads us to make unhealthy choices.  And that an Organized Kitchen helps us make Healthy Choices!  So spend a little time in the kitchen this week, but first, Read ” Out With the Old, In With The New… In The Kitchen!”

     Ok, friends. It’s that time.  Yes, it’s time to take down those Christmas decorations.
I’ve taught many organizing classes recently, since so many people are enthused this time of year about getting organized! And in every Clear the Clutter class that I offer, we talk about Duplicates.

      Very often we have items that we need, use and love, but sometimes we also have too many of these items.  So the item itself is useful and great, but having a lot of the same item feels like clutter.  We need to ask the questions “How much is enough?” and “How many is too many?”  Read on for details and more questions to ask in “Life is Too Short for Crummy Pens (The Question of Duplicates)… more….”

 

Wednesday, January 18: You Are Smart.  And Smart People Set SMART Goals.

So, here we are! Goal Setting is a great way find focus and motivation, and to get things done.  But, as with so many good intentions, we don’t always know where to begin!  My favorite goal setting tool is the SMART method, read on to find out how to use this great tool, too, in “You’re Smart.  And Smart People Set SMART Goals!…”
A Tuesday newsletter on a Monday?  Must Be National Clean Off Your Desk Day!  (Yes, that is really a thing)!  This year, I want to focus on what we see as we sit at our desks! Look Up, look around, and learn how to make things better!  Read on for “National Clean Off Your Desk Day: Whadda YOU Lookin’ At?“.

And for more inspiration from years past, check out:

Happy New Year!  Every day and every moment holds the opportunity to make positive change, but there is something phenomenal about the energy that comes with a new year!  So, what will you do in 2017?
Have you noticed?  We want to make positive changes and meet our goals, but we convince ourselves that we need great big blocks of times and effort to make the changes happen.  However, we can meet those goals with lots of little steps and improvements, too! Consider the 17 minute rain delay in the World Series.  The Cubs all agree that the pep talk they got in those 17 minutes spurred them on to victory.  Read on to learn more, with “You Can Change the World in 17 Minutes (or less)(More…..)”