Saturday, January 15, 2011

Good Day, Boston!

Several years ago I was in Boston for a day of sightseeing.  I loved the city and hoped to return one day.  You know what they say: be careful what you ask for: you just might get it.  I forgot to say I wanted to be there when the weather was warm!  I fly into Logan Airport on the 26th of this month.  I'm praying to the 'snow gods' to stay their hand while I am there.  Actually I am not overwhelmed by the idea of snow or cold as I grew up in Brooklyn.  It's ice that scares me.  My father could wear street shoes and fly over ice without ever slipping.  Me?  I'd take teeny tiny steps like a 90 year old and fall on my tail bone at least once a year!

I'll be teaching a three hour seminar on the 29th, Saturday morning at the Wellness Center associated with Emerson Hospital in Concord.  The first hour is devoted to the basic mechanics of 'Zen Organizing.'  I'll apply the concepts to getting your home organized. And that includes how you manage your time.  The next two hours I'll show how these very simple steps apply to office/work life organization and your finances.  If you're in the area, I hope you'll join me.  The class is $100 and will be followed by a book signing. Check with your tax preparer: this class may be a tax deductible item if you itemize.

Here's the link to the ad Emerson created:

The day before I'll be appearing on the local Fox news channel.  And my wonderful friends at The Container Store will be providing me with 10 of my all time favorite products.  As you might imagine I am not going to schlepp these goodies back to Los Angeles.  Can you imagine my trip through security? "I'm sorry, Officer,  That's not a weapon in my pocket: it's a shelf divider!" I'll be giving them away to the folks who ask me the 10 best questions of the day!

If your organization or corporation needs a speaker, please contact me for fee and travel details.  But let's try and do it after snow season ends, shall we? By the way I'm going home to New York on March 15 to 19.  If you'd like to work with me privately, please contact me as I'll be able to give some time to clients that trip.  You know ... when I'm not slipping and sliding on the ice!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Need help getting organized?

How is your New Year going?

People have fascinating misperceptions about professional organizers.  In general they think that we lead perfect lives because we're organized. Ha! We're human beings who are subject to colds, the flu, flat tires and ... changes of heart.  I may not always love that green sweater I bought this past Christmas.  One day it will be in the giveaway pile.  I saw a wonderful quote from a designer in Architectural Digest about a year ago that I loved.  I'd like to share it with you:

"A house should change. It should never stay static.  If it does, it's symbolic of your life."  

That's very often the message our possessions are trying to tell us: let me go.  You've moved on and I'm not needed anymore. Heaven forbid we stay stuck! Very often I think a bit part of our sorrow comes from the fact that the item reminds us of a time long past.  Perhaps it's from a relationship that failed or a loved one who passed away.  Maybe it reminds us of our carefree school days when we lived at home or that great trip to France we took a few years ago.  Whatever the association we are sometimes afraid we'll forget the experience without the object.  Take a photo of the treasured object or better yet frame a photo of you wearing/using/living with the item and look at that from time to time.  We hold memories in our hearts and minds.  No matter how dear, 'stuff' is always going to be 'stuff.'

I want to leave you with another quote.  This one is from Julia Cameron and it's from The Artist's Way.  I loved it so much that I used it in my first book The Zen of Organizing. I think it speaks for itself.

Shifts in taste and perception frequently accompany shifts in identity.  One of the clearest signals that something healthy is afoot is the impulse to weed out, sort through and discard old clothes, papers, and belongings ... By tossing out the old and unworkable, we make way for the new and suitable... When the search-and-discard impulse seizes you, two crosscurrents are at work: the old you is leaving and grieving, while the new you celebrates and grows strong.

If you've gotten stalled on the path to fulfilling your New Year's goals and resolutions maybe it's time to clear out a bit more of the physical past.  Make room on every level for the new!  Let me know how you're doing.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


When you are a child it takes forever to get to the holidays, doesn't it?  Once you become an adult there is a feeling of: "Didn't we just do this?!" I've learned there will be years I can't wait to haul out my decorations and put up a tree.  Each ornament is like a long lost friend appearing at my door. And  then there will be years when I just don't wish to expend the energy.  I learned a long time ago to give myself permission to take each holiday season and celebrate it according to the dictates of my current feelings.  Of course I'm addressing the commercial aspects of the holiday.

Be that as it may, we can put 2010 behind us.  Before we dive into the new year, I think it's fitting to take a few minutes to examine the holiday just past.  While it's fresh in your mind, make some notes.  To wit:

  • Did you do anything different this year that yielded great results? Make a note so you remember next year!
  • In the same vein, were there things you realized after the fact could have been done with greater skill, joy and dispatch?  Record those notes as well.  No point making the same mistakes next year and asking yourself: "Why didn't I remember that ...?"
  • Are you 'done' with some aspects of the holiday?  For example would you like to see another family member host the big holiday meal?   I'd wait a few weeks and then have a conversation with key family members about how the holiday can be different next year.  Make a note on your new calendar to make those calls.  Without a reminder, it will go by the wayside like most good intentions.
  • Finally, was there something in your home that wasn't organized and caused you problems?  Were the holiday boxes falling apart?  Or were they stored in such a way that you had difficulty reaching them? it's the little, petty annoyances that can rob you of the potential joy in any experience.  Tend to those details now.  Do it as a present to yourself.  Next year you will be so grateful!
I'd love to hear what you liked, what you wish to change and what you learned about yourself and your family this season.  Are you willing to share? I've got a complete Fall / Holiday guide in One Year to an Organized Life. If you're feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of the same old/same old taking over this new year, I invite you to change step by step with me. I promise to hold your hand for the entire journey .... and beyond.  

What type of information would you most like to find here?

June 2009, in China

June 2009, in China
At the Summer Palace outside Beijing

About Me

My photo

I will always be grateful I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  It was a rich atmosphere that introduced me to different races, creeds and professions.  It seemed that anything was possible if you were willing to work hard to achieve your goals.

I'm a yogi which means that my spiritual path is that of yoga principles that have been handed down for over 5000 years. Yoga is an ancient philosophy based on the Gita, the sutras of Patanjali and yes, the Bible. The postures are a key element as is meditation. We honor all paths.

I got my first dog when I was 6 years old after a full year of begging.  She was a collie and her name was Queenie.  As an adult I've had 2 golden retrievers.  A female named Miss Katie who came into my life when she was 3 months old and an ancient male golden who came to me when he was 15.  I'd like to have a Great Dane next but we'll see what the universe has in store.

I've been organizing clients for over 24 years and writing about it for over ten.