posted on May 19, 2019 by Barbara

Summer is right around the corner!

What are your plans for these lazy days of summer? I’ve been talking with folks who plan to use the time to get more organized, travel to vacation hot spots, or spend time at local beaches and playgrounds. And nearly everyone told me that they intend to catch up on their reading!

I love to read. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was dismantle my doctoral library. I was downsizing, and my new place had no room for my five floor-to-ceiling bookcases. After donating my books to a young graduate student, I became dear friends with my library card. I now read for pleasure but also to become a better professional organizer and productivity specialist. This year I read many wonderful books that help me be a better organizer for my clients. Today, I’m sharing ten of these titles with you.

Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Summer Reads:

  1. The ICD Guide to Challenging Disorganization: For Professional Organizers
    (Edited by Kate Varness)

The ICD Guide to Challenging Disorganization: For Professional Organizers is a ground-breaking book in the field of organization. It is the first to comprehensively examine chronic disorganization in the context of physical and mental health conditions. Published by the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) – the premier resource on chronic disorganization – this book presents a collection of educational materials by experienced professional organizers and related professionals on the subjects of AD/HD, Depression and Anxiety, Compulsive Buying and Hoarding, Asperger’s, Downsizing, Relocating Seniors, Grief, Learning Disabilities, Physical Challenges, Traumatic Brain Injury, Learning Styles, Goal Setting, Time Management and much more. After reading this book, you will be able to: identify conditions that may occur alongside disorganization; learn strategies for helping clients with these conditions to get organized; understand what a professional organizer’s role is and is not; recognize situations in which one’s personal safety is at risk; explore additional services to add to one’s organizing business; and prepare for ICD credentialing. This book is must-have guide for any professional organizer working with clients who struggle with challenging disorganization.

  1. Getting Organized in the Era of Endless: What to Do When Information, Interruption, Work and Stuff are Endless But Time is Not
    (Judith Kolberg)

We live in the Era of Endless, confronted by infinite information, incessant interruptions, constant distractions, unending work, and boundless stuff. All this endlessness butts up against the one thing that remains intractably finite – time. In this book you will find new, simple, and effective organizing strategies and solutions appropriate for the Era of Endless. Manage the excesses and downside of endless information, interruption, work, and stuff! And reclaim your time!

  1. Organizing for your Brain Type: Finding Your Own Solution to Managing Time, Paper, and Stuff
    (Lanna Nakone)

Get—and stay—organized!

Let your natural inclinations guide you toward gaining control of your environment and learn to live life on your own terms. Drawing on the science of brain function and her experience as a professional organizer, Lanna Nakone offers tailored and specific advice that will actually work to help you tame your desk, un-clutter your closet, manage your time, and save your sanity.

Take the Brain Style quiz to determine which of the four parts of the brain you rely on the most to process information, and which organizing style complements your brain function. If you rely on the:

*Posterior left section of your brain, you’re a Maintaining Style. You develop and follow routines well and adhere to traditional organizing methods.
*Frontal right section of your brain, you’re an Innovating Style. Artistically creative, you have a unique stacking system that no one else understands.
*Posterior right section of your brain, you’re a Harmonizing Style. Valuing interconnectedness with your family or coworkers, you need to be organized enough to keep your environment peaceful.
*Frontal left section of your brain, you’re a Prioritizing Style. Adept at analyzing data, you prefer to delegate organizing.

Chapters specific to each type offer practical tips and strategies for implementing an organizing system, maintaining your system, and coexisting with different brain styles. Insightful and understanding, Organizing for Your Brain Typeturns the task of managing your life into an enjoyable experience.

  1. Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life
    (Sari Solden)

Every year, millions of withdrawn little girls and chronically overwhelmed women go undiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder because they don’t fit the stereotypical profile: they re not fast-talking, hyperactive, or inattentive, and they are not male. Sari Solden s groundbreaking study reveals that ADD affects just as many women as men, and that the resulting depression, disorganization, anxiety, and underachievement are also symptoms of ADD. Newly revised and updated to reflect the latest clinical research, the book explores treatment and counseling options, and uses real-life case histories to examine the special challenges women with ADD and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) face, such as the shame of not fulfilling societal expectations. Included is a brand new chapter on friendship for women with ADHD. Three empowering steps restructuring one’s life, renegotiating relationships, and redefining self-image help women take control of their lives and enjoy success on their own terms.

  1. Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain: A Creative Approach to Getting Organized
    (Lee Silber)

Almost all the organizing books on the market today target the “left-brainer” – people who are generally disciplined, neat, and analytical. But for those who are more creative and spontaneous rather than logical and detail-oriented, help is on the way! In this book, Silber turns traditional organizing advice on its head and offers unique solutions that complement the unorthodox lifestyle of the creative “right-brainer.”

For example:
* Discover how right-brainers can be organized in a left-brain world
* Overcome obstacles that stand in the way of being more organized
* Pile, don’t file – put paper in its place the right-brained way
* Learn how being a “pack rat” can be a good thing

This creative new approach to getting it together is perfect for those who can’t relate to boring traditional organizing techniques!

  1. 365+1 Ways to Succeed with ADHD: A Whole Year’s Worth of Valuable Tips and Strategies From The World’s Best ADHD Coaches and Experts
    (Laurie Moore Skillings, Featuring Dr. Regina Lark)

365+1 MORE Bite-Sized Tips and Strategies to Help You Succeed with ADHD! We did it again! After the huge success of the first 365 Ways to Succeed book, once again we asked over 80 ADHD experts and professionals from around the world and from a variety of life experiences to answer the question, “What is the most valuable tip or strategy that you know of for succeeding with ADHD?” The amazing responses are included in these pages! Whether you are an adult, parent, teenager or child with ADHD or an educator, coach or physician of someone with ADHD, the tips, strategies, resources and encouragement within these pages are the answers you’ve been looking for!

  1. The Caregiver’s Path To Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices For Those Who Can’t
    (Viki Kind)

Winner of the 2011 Caregiver Friendly Award–Today’s Caregivermagazine

Wouldn’t it be a relief to know you are making the right decisions and doing right by the person in your care? Whether you have a loved one who can’t make his or her own decisions or you are a healthcare professional, you know how difficult–even heartbreaking–it can be to make decisions for others. Feeling confident that you’re made the right decision would be a welcome relief from the worry and guilt you may be feeling.

The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Makingoffers tools and techniques that will limit your frustration and fears and help you make informed, respectful decisions. Extremely practical, yet also heartfelt, the book offers:

* Four adaptable tools that make decision making a simple, step-by-step process
* Guidelines to help you determine if your loved one or patient can make decisions, who should make the decisions, and how to make better decisions
* Questions to use in almost any medical or quality-of-life situation that will help you gather all of the information you need
*Techniques for improving communication between patients, families and caregivers

  1. Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
    (David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee)

Buried in Treasuresoutlines a scientifically-based and effective program for helping compulsive hoarders dig their way out of the clutter and chaos of their homes.

Discover the reasons for your problems with acquiring, saving, and hoarding, and learn new ways of thinking about your possessions so you can accurately identify those things you really need and those you can do without. Learn to recognize the “bad guys” that maintain your hoarding behavior and meet the “good guys” who will motivate you and put you on the path to change.

Features of this book include:
* Self-assessments to determine the severity of the problem
* Tips and tools for organizing your possessions and filing your paperwork
* Strategies for changing unhelpful beliefs about your possessions

  1. It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys
    (Marilyn Paul)

Overbooking? Running late? Feeling overwhelmed by clutter and to-dos? Management consultant Dr. Marilyn Paul guides you on a path to personal change that will bring true relief from the pain and stress of disorganization. Unlike other books on getting organized, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keysoffers a clear seven-step path to personal development that is comprehensive in nature.

Drawing from her own experience as a chronically disorganized person, Paul adds warmth, insight, humor, and hope to this manual for change and self-discovery. She introduces the notion of becoming “organized enough” to live a far more rewarding life and make the difference that is most important to you.

  1. Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets: The Relationship Between the Stuff in Your Head and What’s Under Your Bed
    (Dr. Regina Lark)

Here’s my shameless plug!  I just released an audio version of this book – narrated by yours truly. It a really fun experience, I hope you’ll check it out.

Is a cluttered closet a manifestation of a cluttered mind? Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets is about understanding the relationship between the stuff in our head and what’s under our bed. This book is a workbook, a journal, and a reflection of your desire to learn more about your connection to clutter and its impact on body, mind, and spirit. Open your heart and head, and your closets and cupboards, then consider these alternate ways out of the mess. Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets creates the foundation to help you understand your relationship between the stuff in your head and what’s under your bed.  Listen to a sample of the audio book here


Top 10 tips for your best Garage Sale EVER!

posted on April 25, 2019 by Barbara

 So, you’re selling your house and need to declutter. Clear out the old, the unwanted and the unused. There’s an incentive to clearing. Creating more space in your place may have a positive effect on your peace of mind, as well as move you along the home selling process. A fun way to deal with the stuff you don’t need is to sell it all at a yard sale. Make extra cash, ask a few neighbors to join you for a block sale, and get rid of the things that haven’t been serving you for years! 

Doesn’t that sound great?! 

Here are tried and true Top 10 Tips for your best Garage Sale EVER!! 

1. Six or more weeks before the sale choose the date for your sale. Weekends, of course, are best. With good planning, a 3-day weekend is fine for a 1-day sale because people have more time for chores, shopping, and playing. 

2. Schedule an entire day to clear your garage before the date of the sale since you will want to be ready bright and early in the morning of your sale. Throw away the obvious trash. Add colorful post-it notes to the sale items, and different color post-it notes to items that you plan to give away or keep. 

3. Stage an area in your home or garage where all your “for sale” items can sit until the sale. Take a few pictures of some of your sale items. 

4. De-clutter for the sale: Go through all the spaces in your home, office, garage, closets and drawers. Everywhere. Carry a box or bag with you as you go through each area and fill it with that which you no longer use, want, or desire. Be ruthless. And try to not let guilt guide your decisions about letting go! Now put all the stuff in the staging area. 

5. Pre-sale advertising on Craigslist and NextDoor.com: This is the key to having the best garage sale EVER! Each week for four weeks prior to the sale, post an ad about your sale on craigslist. The weekly ads should include the same important information: title of ad, city/community of yard sale, dates/times of yard sale, but the body of the ad should change each week. Your ad should excite, delight, and attract potential customers! Show pictures of some of the sale items. Comments may include, EVERYTHING MUST GO! MORE ITEMS IN NEXT WEEK’S AD! Each week post different stuff with different but similar comments. The goal is to build a “following” so people look for your ad next week. Do not include your address until your final post a week before the ad. Very early on the morning of the sale, post ad #4 a second time (for a total of 5 posts). 

6. Signage (part 1): Signs should be clear, simple, and readable. Cut a poster-board in half. That’s about the size you should make the signs. Use block letters, printed with date/time of sale, address of sale. Each sign should have a space to draw a directional arrow. Plan to start the sale in the morning because people are more likely to show up to your door before 7am! 

7. Signage (part 2): Before you hang your signs, spend a few days driving around your neighborhood for all the ways to get to your house and likely places to hang the signs. If your sale is on a Saturday, post the signs on Wednesday evening. When you go out to hang signs, bring these with you: thick-tip Sharpie marker, heavy duty tape, hammer and a few nails. Add a directional arrow to each sign just before hanging. IMPORTANT: 

REMOVE YOUR SIGNS THE DAY AFTER THE SALE (or better, THAT NIGHT!!!) Do not clutter your neighborhood with your old yard sale signs. 

8. Day before the sale: Take everything from the staging area inside the house to the garage or area where you plan to hold the sale. Get the items into boxes and bags and close to the front door. Wipe down dirty or dusty items. Have a bunch of paper or plastic grocery bags to help cart away the purchases. Also, have a change purse with several $1s, $5s, a couple of $10s, and coins. Get a good night’s sleep. 

9. Day of sale: Get up and out EARLY! People will be waiting when you get outside. Feel free to politely ask them to return at the designated time or… start selling! Put a tall/large item near the curb to attract people driving by your house. 

10. To price or not to price an item: If the point of your sale is to get rid of your old stuff, don’t add a price tag on anything. When a customer asks about the cost, ask what they want to pay and take their money! Or name a price, and banter back and forth with the customer until you come to an agreement. If you’ve got a big-ticket item such as a treadmill, couch, or dining set, go ahead a name a price and guage a customer’s reaction. Bottom line: sometimes when an item has a price tag, it may discourage the customer from asking for a lower price. I’ve done at least 25 yard sales (personally and professionally). I’ve never tagged a single item and always had a great sale. 

I wish you amazing success with your sale. Put what you’ve earned in the bank, or take yourself and a friend out to dinner! But please don’t go shopping! 



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