Eliminate Residential Chaos
Eliminate Residential Chaos




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





In This Issue:

Get Organized.  Maintain.  Live Life Organized.

Happy 2014!

Happy “Get Organized” Month.  Yes, there really is such a month.  It all started over a decade ago with “Get Organized Week,” which was the first week in October.  As you can imagine, for many, it takes more than a week to “Get Organized” and so now there is “Get Organized” Month; as created by NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizer). 

To help you kick-start 2014, I am sharing with you four justifications I hear often about
getting organized” and how you can overcome these.

Justification #1:  I might need it someday.

Someday?  How do you define “someday?”  Next week, next month, next year, next decade?  The definition is different for everyone.  There are very few “things” we need in our lives, after all; it’s just stuff, right?  Sometimes thinking about your stuff differently can help you make decisions about what you need in your life.  For example, when I shop for things for our home, I ensure they will serve a purpose and have a place in our home.  If the items do not meet both of these criteria, I don’t buy it – as much as I may really want it; I don’t “need” it.  Recently, I’ve become even more critical over purchases because I know that within the next five years or so, my husband and I will be downsizing our home and moving.  So, now I have to ask myself two new questions:

  1. Do I want to pay to move that item?
  2. Will we have room for that in a newer, smaller home?

Asking myself these questions really gives shopping a new perspective.

What questions can you ask yourself to help you make decisions about the “stuff” in your life?

Justification #2:  I paid good money for that.

A question I often ask clients is:  “Do you have difficulty letting go of things for financial or emotional reasons or both?”

These are the two primary stumbling blocks that many face when getting organized.  Since part of the organizing process is to make decisions about what still serves a purpose in your life and what you can let go of, it’s good to know if you struggle in one of these areas.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself.

Financial Questions

  • Does it take more time and effort to manage than it is worth?
  • If I move, do I want to pay to have it packed and moved?
  • What does it cost me to keep, store and maintain?
  • If I donate it, could I use the tax deduction?
  • If I sell it, what could I use that money for?
  • Would I buy this again?

 Emotional Questions

  • Do I love it?
  • Am I honoring and enjoying it?
  • Does it make me happy?
  • Does it make me unhappy to see it?
  • Am I keeping it because someone gave it to me and I'll feel guilty if I get rid of it?
  • If I took a picture of it, would that make it easier for me to pass it on?
  • If you knew (or visualized) that someone else would really benefit from having this (i.e. if we found a great place to donate it), would that make it easier for you to let it go? 

Justification #3:  I don’t have time to get organized.

Think about “time” like you think about “money.”  Consider the correlation between time and money.  You only have so much of each.  You make choices or prioritize how you are going to spend money and you also have an opportunity to choose how you spend your time.  I believe that if something in your life is priority, money will be allocated.  If accomplishing something, such as organizing your home office so you can find all of the paperwork to file your taxes if a priority then you will have to “make time” for this project.  Note that I say “make time” in other words; you are allocating time to this and making it a priority.  You will also need to allocate time to the maintenance of your home office on an on-going basis so that you do not have to spend so many hours in the future digging out.

Justification #4:  I don’t even know where to begin.

I have great news for you; there is no right or wrong way to get started – you just need to get started.  I realize how overwhelming this can be.  It’s important to remind yourself that no matter how long it took your home, office, garage, kitchen, closet (you fill in the blank) to get to its current state, it will take you less time to get it organized.  Sometimes the accumulation and disorganization you are looking at has taken years or decades – so cut yourself some slack.  Thinking about how long it will take you to get organized is often the reason people don’t start in the first place; so try to avoid this thought process.  Instead, set small goals you can realistically accomplish by specific dates. 

To help you get started; you could take one of two approaches:

  1. Organize a very small area just to see what you can accomplish; such as a junk drawer, your refrigerator, the cabinet under your kitchen sink, a linen closet, your car.  There are many small projects to help you get moving on your quest for living life organized.
  2. Organize an area of your home that is bothering you and creating anxiety.  This may be a slightly larger project; but you will feel like a weight has been removed from your shoulders when it is done.  Perhaps your home office is causing you stress because you’ve not filed taxes in a few years.  Maybe the project you tackle first is to get all of your paperwork organized so you can file your taxes.  And if this really is a project you need to work on, resist the urge to focus on too many areas of your office, if the goal is to be able to file the taxes on time in 2014.  You can organize the rest of the “stuff” in your office at a later date. 

Here’s what I know and believe; while you may be able to “Get Organized” in a month (or slightly longer), you must “maintain” the organization in your home or systems you’ve implemented if you want to continue to “live life organized.”  This is a lifestyle choice you make and something that you make a priority in your life.

Here’s to an organized life!

It's Get Organized Month!

What does organized look like to you in 2014?
Our Specialists Can Help You

2014 go month logo - compressed.jpg

  • Create a filing system that works!
  • Organize the kitchen cupboards, drawers and pantries.
  • Organize and prepare a cook book to help keep that new diet on track.
  • Clean out or downsize closets or mud rooms. 
  • Prepare a to-do list to keep your New-Years resolutions.
  • Make space in your garage so you can park your cars inside.
  • And much much more - The sky is the limit!

Get a jump start on 2014 and make it an organized and productive year!

Contact us at: 425.670.2551 | 509.392.7064 | 877.342.8592

Upcoming Classes & Seminars

Right-Sizing:  Less Stuff = Less Stress
Date:  Thursday, January 16, 2014 - LAST DAY TO REGISTER Is Friday, January 10, 2014
Time:  6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Place:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA
Investment:  $22 before 12.31.13 and $29 after 12.31.13
Sponsor:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living
Learn More and Register:  Here

10 Techniques You Must Use to Increase Your Productivity and Profitability
 Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Place:  Courtyard Marriott | Downtown/Pioneer Square Seattle, WA
Investment:  $40 members, $55 non-members before 1.21.13                   
                    $50 members, $65 non-members after 11.24.13

Sponsor:  MPI, Washington State Chapter
Learn More and Register:  Here

Organizing Digital and Print Memories
Date:  Saturday, February 1, 2014 - LAST DAY TO REGISTER is:  Friday, January 24, 2014
Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Place:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA
Investment:  $69 before 1.6.14 and $79 after 1.6.14
Sponsor:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living
Learn More and Register:  Here

Eliminate Paper and Information Chaos

Date:  Saturday, March 1, 2014
Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Place:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA
Investment:  $69 before 1.31.14 and $79 after 1.13.14
Sponsor:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living
Learn More and Register:  Here

Organizing with Laura December Blog Articles

Room to Live - Creating Living Room Storage
Peaceful Playrooms Made Possible
Keep Your Winter Boots From Walking All Over You
Magnificent Magazine Storage

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Key Ring


Key Ring is a free mobile app that provided people with a hassle-free solution to save both time and money on the go. Use it to scan or take a picture then store your new or existing loyalty cards so you have them all in one place. Users will also have access exclusive coupons and discounts through several local retailers and national chains.
Key Ring also gives you access to locations nearest you, and keeps track of points or rewards accumulated.  Key Ring really is the app that "brings 'em all together".

Wishing you a happy and organized 2014!

Laura Leist

You may reprint this article in its entirety with the following credit:  © 2014 Eliminate Chaos.
  Reprinted with permission from Laura Leist, CPO of Eliminate Chaos. 

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© 2000-2014 Eliminate Chaos, Snohomish, WA 98296

  • 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
  • "Erin really took the time to listen and understand my needs. She helped me refine my vision for the space and provided great suggestions and insight. Erin made the process an enjoyable one. Thanks Erin!"
    -Gene Juarez

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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