My Organizing Blog

The Last Scrapbook

When we adopted our daughter as a 12-month old from a Chinese orphanage back in 1998, we had very little information about her background, and just a handful of photos. I decided that I would compensate for that by making her the most well-documented child in New York City history. Throughout my life, I had always made photo albums of my pictures, but I knew that I needed to take it to a higher level. Fortuitously, through a well-placed brochure…

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Oh, I Was Looking For That!

When I am helping a client organize, one of the statements I always hear is, “Oh, I was looking for that!” Usually it’s after we come across an item buried under a pile of stuff, or else we’ve found it put away in a place that the owner had long forgotten. I’ll ask the client, “Where were you looking for it?” That location is where this person expects to find this item — it’s this item’s “home”. So I’ll say, “Let’s…

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Projects That Never Get Done

My clients have them, I have them, and I bet you have them, too. I’m referring to those projects that you will get to “someday”. If you have one of those projects that you really want to accomplish this year, here’s a suggestion as to how to approach it. First, evaluate the project and decide if it’s still worth doing. You may have been putting it off for so long that you haven’t really considered whether it makes sense anymore….

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The Eyes of a Stranger

I recently had the experience of being photographed by the New York Times. I had been interviewed earlier this month by a Times reporter for an article on tackling clutter in the new year. The author decided which of my quotes she planned to use, then arranged for a photographer to come to my home and take pictures of me in the act of organizing the areas I spoke about. (You can see the article here.) The first thing we…

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The Best Holiday Gifts Ever

For years, I have been saying that the best gifts are experiences, not things (see Better Ways to Spend and Putting the Holidays in Perspective). Now it seems that the rest of the country has caught up to me. The storage company SpareFoot has just released the results of a survey: “79 percent of the U.S. population, and 89 percent of millennials, say they never use some of the gifts they receive each year.” As a result, “a  whopping 81 percent…

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