Keep Like With Like

One of my five basic organizing principles is “Keep like with like”.  In  my clients’ homes, I see over and over again what happens when this principle is violated.

I often hear the anguished cry, “I had no idea I had so many of these!”

When you don’t keep like with like, one of two results is likely to happen:  (1) you run out, or (2) you overbuy.  You may be asking yourself, how can one behavior result in two completely opposite outcomes? 

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Getting Help When You Need It

It’s hard to ask for help, especially if it’s something that you feel you should be able to do on your own.  “Why can’t I do this?” you ask yourself.  “Everybody else can.  What’s wrong with me?”

This feeling often prevents individuals from contacting a Professional Organizer, even when clutter is bringing down the quality of their lives.  So I’d like to share with you my experience with two professionals that I hired to do something that “everyone else” can seemingly do on their own.

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A Cautionary Tale about Q-Tips

My mother called me the other day to tell me that she had 750 Q-tips and was hoping I would agree to take some of them off her hands.

Here’s how it happened.  My mother noticed  that the package of 300 Q-tips that she purchased at Walgreen’s quite a number of years ago was almost empty.   However, she was determined to buy a smaller package, since she and my dad use them up so slowly, and, like most of us in New York City, have limited storage space.

She went to Walgreen’s and saw a package of 500.  Too big!  At CVS, she found a package in the cosmetics area — 100 Q-tips for $ 2.49.  Perfect!

But they had Q-tips over in the skin care aisle as well, and there she found the package of 750 Q-tips.  (It was supposed to be a package of 500 but was marked “Get 50% more at the same price!”)  The price for this bounty?  $ 3.49.

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Packing Tip: Plan Before You Go

I’m breathing a big sigh of relief, because for the first time in months, I’m not packing.

We spent the first two weeks of July on a family safari in Africa.  Then, a few days after we got back, we drove our 13-year old daughter — and her luggage —  to camp for a six-week stay.

In the weeks before I go on a trip, people always ask me, “Are you packed yet?”  They assume that, because I am an organizer, I pack my bags well in advance.

The truth is that I don’t pack my bags until the night before I leave.

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