Eliminate Residential Chaos
Eliminate Residential Chaos

 

 

 

Kitchen Design by Provanti Designs – Gail Monica Dent ⚬ John G Wilbanks Photography

 
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Featured Article

 
     

 Adventures in Moving - with Tips to Help Ensure Your Move is Stress-Free.

May is "National Moving Month" - so whether you have an upcoming move or just need to do some decluttering - this article will give you some simple strategies you can use to help lighten the load and enjoy a well-organized, stress-free move.

But first, a personal story. It was 9:45am on August 4, 2006. I had just arrived at our new home in my mini-van packed to the gills with my entire kitchen. I was accompanied by several of our Organizing Specialist™s who were going to quickly help me unpack our kitchen and get it all set up - before the moving truck was to arrive a couple of hours later with everything else. Much to my surprise, I was greeted in the driveway by a moving truck - and a couple of movers who were just starting to move the sellers out of our new home. I thought I must be dreaming - (actually it was a nightmare) to learn that the sellers were not even all the way packed! How could this be? We had taken possession of the home two days prior, but had opted to not move until Friday. The sellers decided that since their new house wasn't ready - they would just camp out in our new home for a couple of additional days - without communicating that to us or our real estate agent. My first call was to my boyfriend to give him the news and my second call was to our real estate agent Linnea Jones who worked miracles for us that day. Linnea dropped what she was doing that day and arrived at our house within the hour, along with her assistant and a roll of floor covering to protect our floors. Then, she proceeded to help our sellers pack their boxes and play with their children while they packed. When it was time for lunch – Linnea to the rescue when she sent her assistant to go find us a bite to eat. She truly saved the day.

Back at my old house - Rob was working with our movers to get everything loaded onto the truck. One of them even commented to him about "how organized" our move was - and that we had even emptied the dresser drawers! Apparently the movers didn't realize what we do for a living. Within two hours, my old house was loaded on the truck and ready to be delivered - however - at the new house, the sellers clearly could've used our help to eliminate their chaos during their move. Because of the nature of their un-organized move and the fact that they were still "sorting" through the things they would take with them - they caused our belongings to have to live on the moving truck overnight, costing us hundreds of dollars extra. (Yes, we ultimately did recover these costs from the seller - thanks again to Linnea). So - what were we to do? Everything we had, with the exception of the kitchen contents, the clothes on our backs and our animals were packed. Even the dog and cat food was packed - in a box - that was one to be unloaded first. We had no choice but to make the most of it. We were so exhausted from the ordeal, that even though we had the kitchen unpacked - we got take out for dinner. Sadly, the first meal I cooked in our new home was for the dog - because I didn't have his food. I thought he'd enjoy a little rice and hamburger, but much to my surprise, he wasn't interested - most likely because he was not used to his new home. That night, we slept on the floor in our clothes and anxiously waited for the next day when our moving truck would arrive. We can laugh about it now, but it definitely was not funny back then.

One of the services we provide at Eliminate Chaos are Relocation Services - before, during and after the move. I am happy to report that in eight years of business - the ONLY move that has ever been messed up was mine. Ironic - you might say - given the fact that this was probably my own personal most well- organized move ever! After all, when you can hire your own team of experts to help you execute your move - you expect everything to run smoothly...until you run into unforeseen circumstances through no fault of your own. As I told several of my organizing colleagues about our misfortune - they all got a good laugh - telling me that there must be a learning opportunity in all of this. I think the learning take-away I received is that no matter how prepared I was, I can't control everything.

When I look back on this move, I don't think I would've done anything differently - unless there was a way to confirm that the sellers were really out of the house!

Here's a partial list of some of the things we did to help prepare for our move

1.  Find a Real Estate agent who is willing to go above and beyond. Linnea Jones, AB did a fabulous job for us and I can’t recommend her services more.  At Eliminate Chaos we work with a lot of Real Estate agents who are fabulous as well, but from a personal standpoint, Linnea was the one that assisted us with our personal move. 

2.  Called Moving Link to help us find a mover.  They are always our first call for any of our residential or commercial clients who are relocating.  Their service is FREE and it is a single point of contact who works for YOU.  When you have a problem with your move - they will be there to help.  I can personally testify to this.  When our move was delayed - they were on the phone with the moving company we selected through their service - helping to solve the problem of where our stuff would live for the night. 

3.  Acquired a large stack of recycled moving boxes.  Sometimes your mover will have recycled boxes that they will happily donate to you.  Be sure to inquire about this before they come out to do the walk through of your home so they can bring them when they arrive.  If you plan to move on your own, check out Craig's List or Free Cycle to see if you can find recycled boxes.

4.  Declutter and Pack.  While I do practice what I preach - one of the best ways to "show" your home is to declutter and downsize.  Even though I planned to rent my house instead of sell it, I still wanted a potential renter to be able to visualize themselves living in my home.  In other words, the more things I could pack up that I knew I wouldn't need before the move to help make closets and cabinets look more spacious - was in my own best interest.  I grabbed several boxes and starting packing according to the rooms where I knew those items would live in the new house - thus speeding up the un-packing process.  At the same time, I had boxes for donations and boxes for things that would be sold in a garage sale.  I don't believe in packing boxes just to get stuff out of the way for showing; rather, I believe in making tough decisions that will most certainly make the move-in process easier.  Putting stuff in boxes just to get it "out-of-the-way" is like putting a band-aid on the problem, rather than finding a solution.

5.  Hold a Garage Sale.  Although the house we moved to is larger than the one I had been living in, we both did our part to eliminate those things we knew we would never use in the new home.  While I recognize that garage sales can be quite time-consuming - we also knew that we had a lot of quality items to sell and it would be worth our time to hold the sale.  In the end, we sold about $4,000 worth of "stuff."  If you do hold a garage sale - one of the best ways to advertise for it is on Craig's List.  Be as descriptive as possible in your posting - and list big ticket items as well as categories of things you have for sale.  Include prices for the big ticket items - you'll be surprised at the response you receive and that some may even want to come before your sale begins to take certain things off your hands.

6.  Pack an "Unload Me First" Box.  This box should be the last one on the moving truck, or taken with you when possible - and the first to be unloaded.  In it, you may want to pack items such as:  toilet paper, snacks, flash light, box knife, pet food (if you have pets), paper towel, soap, cleaning spray, and anything else you cannot stand to be without when the boxes are initially being unloaded.  In our case, we did have an "unload me first" box - which would've come in handy, had we been able to have the contents of our moving truck unloaded the day of our move.

7.  Create a spreadsheet that lists all of your utility switching.  This tasks is usually quite time consuming and after a while it will be hard to remember who said what, when they said the garbage cans would be delivered, when the phone lines will be working and when the Direct TV person will be out to hook up the satellite.  It doesn't need to be a spreadsheet, but my recommendation is that you have a document that lists all of your utilities with account numbers, phone numbers, the day of contact, when they agreed to shut a service off, when a service will be hooked up at the new location, when you will receive the final bill, etc....It will come in very handy for you to have this one page document to refer to at a glance - instead of having to look at notes on each individual utility bill.

8.  Create a file of all important paperwork that you cannot live without.  Any paperwork that would be difficult to recreate or take a lot of time to get another copy of - you will want to take with you.  Depending on the quantity, an accordion file works well in most instances and helps to keep it organized and from falling out.

9.  Label each room of your new home.  When packing your boxes, label them consistently with the name of the room they will live in at your new home.  Then, create brightly colored signs you can hang in the doorway of each room - indicating to the movers where the boxes are to live.  You'd be surprised that even after doing this how some movers will not pay attention to where boxes need to go.  You can quickly spot boxes out of place and asked them to be moved to the correct location.

If you find yourself to be moving this year, I wish you a well-organized, uneventful move.  If you are not moving, but know someone who is, maybe you'd like to forward them these tips.

Moving is one of the most stress-full life events you will experience.  If you're overwhelmed by the entire process - call us, we'd be glad to help.  Here's a link to our Relocation brochure so you can see the ala-carte menu of services we offer in this area. 

May your move be less eventful than ours!

Happy Moving!

© 2008 Eliminate Chaos, LLC

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 Residential Organizing Special:  20-40% OFF

We realize that living an organized lifestyle can often be a major investment in your quality of life.  We also know that organizing is a "process," not an event.  This process may require several session in order to complete a project or projects.  In order to help you realize the many benefits of being organized, we are offering a very rare special on our residential organizing services.

Choose from our three packages

Organizing Jump Start:  Save 20% when you purchase 3 1/2 day sessions (12 hours) - a savings of $204

Organizing Dream:  Save 30% when you purchase 5 1/2 day sessions (20 hours) - a savings of $510

Organizing Bliss:  Save 40% when you purchase 8 1/2 day sessions (32 hours) - a savings of $1088

The Fine Print

Packages must be paid for in full, in advance prior to May 31, 2008.  All hours must be used by June 30, 2008 - or they are forfeited.  Special is for Residential services only and does not include home offices.  All residential services are performed by our Employee Organizing Specialist™s, but does not include the services of Laura Leist.

Book Your Package Today

We have a limited amount of packages available.  In order to secure your time, please call our office today at 425.670.2551 to schedule your time and Specialist.

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Organizing & Information Retrieval with Microsoft Outlook 2003 - June 12, 2008

Back by popular demand....this class is limited to 15 and will sell out - book your seat today!

Time:  9:30am to 4pm

Location:  335 116th Ave, SE - Bellevue, WA  98004

Investment:  $247 (includes 5 1/2 hours of hands on instruction, 130+ page book, lunch, coffee service and parking).

Click here to see the class flyer and what you will learn.

Click here to Register.

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Information Strategies for Your Business - Using Microsoft Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager - June 19, 2008

What's in your database?  Turn your contact information into gold by creating organized solutions for data retrieval and use.  This class is an in-depth look at how to incorporate Business Contact Manager into your business or work use. 

This class is limited to just 10 participants - in order to ensure enough time for questions and customization.  Book your seat today and see how powerful this tool is.

Time:  9:30am to 4pm

Location:  335 116th Ave, SE - Bellevue, WA  98004

Investment:  $247 (includes 5 1/2 hours of hands on instruction, class hand-out, lunch, coffee service and parking).

Click here to see the class flyer and what you will learn.

Click here to Register.

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  Media Coverage

4.25.08:  Seattle Post IntelligencerIf you want bedroom bliss, get rid of the clutter

May/June issue of 425 Magazine:  Eliminate Chaos:  Live an Organized Life (page 141)

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 Shelf Conversions 

For those of you that took advantage of the last special - good for you. I know that the feed back regarding your "new" kitchen with shelf conversions has been wonderful. It is a great feeling knowing that you now love to spend time in your kitchen. If you did not jump at the special we still have an offer for you but this will not last long either so why wait. You can also combine our kitchen organizing services along with your new glide-outs.

Call for your consultation before 6-15-08 and receive a free glide-out with your order.
Minimum purchase of 5 glide-outs is required.

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Speaking Schedule - Will I be Visiting Your City?

If your organization is in need of a speaker for one of your meetings - please contact us to see how I can create a program for your organization.  I will be in the following areas in 2008:

New York:  June 2

New York:  August 4-8

Maui:  October 5-12

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Mother's Day Gift Idea

Instead of giving Mom more "stuff" for Mother's Day, give her the gift of organizing. 

Let your mom choose how she'd like to spend the time with one of our experts in a particular area of her home or office. 

Contact our office for pricing:  425.670.2551.

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 Best Regards - and Happy Organizing,

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    © 2008 Eliminate Chaos, LLC
P.O. Box 13043 Mill Creek, WA 98082
   

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  • Business Services
    • Paper Flow and Information Management
    • Workspace Organization and Space Planning
    • Productivity Assessments
    • Microsoft Business Contact Manager
    • Microsoft Exchange Migrations
  • Visit our business services site
EC Ad
  • "I worked with Erin, one of the specialists who works with the Chronically Disorganized (hoarders). In a word, she was fantastic. In four 4-hour sessions, she helped me go through and box up (keep, donate, trash) almost everything that was stacked up in my kitchen, dining room, office, and bonus room. Erin arrived promptly. We went over what I wanted to accomplish that day, then we got to work. She was focused, calm, non-judgmental, and tireless. She faced very dirty circumstances and didn't bat an eyelash. She never once caused me a moment of anxiety; the relief that I felt when we were done was amazing. And Laura Leist, who is the owner of Eliminate Chaos, was lovely. She returned my calls promptly, was kind and understanding, and offered me some options. I would hire this company again in a heartbeat. But right now I'm too busy enjoying all the free space in my house!"  

    -Kimberly O'Neal

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new client special smA great way to try us out and get some organizing done at the same time! For a limited time, we are offering an amazing NEW client organizing special. If you are not an existing client this is a great way for us show you how we can eliminate your chaos.

Call 425-670-2551 and ask us for details.

 
  • Business Services
    • Paper Flow and Information Management
    • Workspace Organization and Space Planning
    • Productivity Assessments
    • Microsoft Business Contact Manager
    • Microsoft Exchange Migrations
  • Visit our business services site