Evernote is a remarkable productivity tool that offers cloud-based storage, flexibility, and multi-platform support. We’re pleased to announce that In Order to Succeed Founder, Denise Caron-Quinn, has become an Evernote Certified Consultant. Having completed the comprehensive Evernote Business training, Denise is recognized as an Evernote expert. She can help show clients how to quickly get Evernote Business set up for their team and guide them towards maximum productivity.
Benefits of Working with an Evernote Certified Consultant:
Custom-designed workflows tailored to meet your needs Guidance on how to best deploy Evernote in your business In-person assistance to ensure fast adoption of Evernote among your team Access to a personal go-to expert when you have questions From small tasks to major projects, Evernote is where you’ll achieve your best work, day in and day out. As one workspace that lives across your phone, tablet, and computer, Evernote is the most productive office for modern teams.
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Denise is looking forward to attending the Evernote Conference: EC4. Please join her and use code EB25 for 25% off registration fee. Evernote Business Certified Consultants
Decluttering your home or workspace can often seem overwhelming, but in truth it can be as peaceful as meditation, and can be a way to practice living mindfully and in the moment.
Decluttering can be your zazen, as it is often mine.
Recently I was honored with the chance to speak to a class at the San Francisco Zen Center, with the wonderful Zen priest Susan O’Connell (one of my favorite people in the world, and my favorite movie star friend). I talked with the Zen students about decluttering, and a couple things stood out for me as I talked:
Clutter is a manifestation of a) holding onto the past and b) fear of what might happen in the future.
Letting go of clutter is a way to live more mindfully and in the present.
The act of decluttering itself can be a mindfulness practice.
Let’s talk about each of those things briefly.
Clutter is holding onto the past, or fear of the future
Why do we have clutter in the first place? Why do we keep it when we don’t really need it? Maybe we think we do need it — for two reasons:
1. We don’t want to let go of the past. Often clutter comes in the form of emotional attachment to objects that have significance to us. They might remind us of a loved one, or a vacation, or a special event like a birthday, funeral, graduation, etc. It might be a gift from someone. All of this is living in the past. I’m not saying we should forget about the past, but letting go of these objects (and they’re only objects, they’re not the events or loved ones themselves) … it is a way of releasing our hold on the past. It’s a way of living more in the present. I never forget the past, but it’s not a place I try to dwell.
2. We’re afraid of the future. Clutter might be things we think we might need sometime in the future. We hold on to them just in case. Over-packing for a trip is a good example — we bring more than we really need, just in case we need them. It’s the same in our houses — we have a ton of things we don’t really need or use, just in case. We’re afraid of being unprepared for the future, but the truth is we can never be totally prepared. We can’t control the outcome of the future, and trying to do so means that we’re never really living in the present moment. We’re always preparing for what might (or might not) come.
Look at your clutter carefully, one object at a time, and ask yourself why you’re holding onto each object. It’s probably for one of these two reasons, if you’re honest.
Btw, books are usually examples of one of these two reasons. We hold onto books we’ve already read, as trophies of our reading accomplishments. We hold onto books we might read in the future (but probably won’t), with the optimism that our future selves are going to be more amazing readers than we’ve ever been in the past. In truth, you only need three or four books — the ones you might read in the next month. Then after you’ve read those, donate those books to charity, and check out a few books from the library.
Let go of clutter to live mindfully
So if clutter is holding onto the past, and fearing the future … how can we live in the present instead?
I slowly get rid of clutter, and in doing so, I release my mind of these attachments and fears. It’s a liberating process. Clutter is the physical embodiment of these attachments and fears — emotional stuff that we don’t realize we have. By decluttering, we are clearing ourselves of these tangled webs.
And when I’ve gotten rid of clutter, I’m freed. I can forget about those things, and live instead in this moment. I can fully appreciate life as it happens, instead of looking back on what has happened before, or looking forward to what might happen later.
It’s of course possible to live in the moment even if you have clutter. There is no prerequisite to mindful living. But decluttering can be a beautiful process of helping ourselves let go of the things we don’t realize we’re holding on to.
Clutter as mindfulness practice
And so, as I declutter, not only am I freeing myself up to live in the present … I am living in the present during the process of decluttering.
It’s a form of zazen — which is sitting meditation, but at its core zazen is really a way to practice being mindful. It’s a way to prepare us for dealing mindfully with the rest of the things we do in life. And really, anything can be used as a way to practice mindfulness. I’ve often used running and walking, but also washing dishes and sweeping.
And decluttering is one of the best mindfulness practices, in my experience. Here’s how I do it:
1. Pick one cluttered flat surface. It can be a tabletop, countertop, shelf, the top of a dresser, floor of a closet, floor of a room (just a section of that floor to start with). Don’t worry about all the rest of your cluttered spaces for now — just pick this one space. Small is good.
2. Clear that surface. Take everything off and pile it on the floor or another table. Clean the surface while it’s clear — wipe it with a cloth, slowly and mindfully.
3. Take one object from the pile. Forget about the entire pile — just look at that one object. Ask yourself why you have it. Is it for emotional reasons, or do you really use it? Is it for “just in case”? When was the last time you used it? If you don’t really need or use it, put it in a box for donation or trash it. If you do really use it, put it in another pile to be put back on your now-clean surface. If you’re on the fence and can’t bear to give something up, put it in a “maybe” box and put that box away for six months (mark the date on your calendar).
4. Repeat, one object at a time. Practice doing this mindfully. Make a decision with each object — keep, donate, or maybe box. No waffling or putting off decisions. Deal with each object once, then move on.
5.Put the objects back, and make a “home” for each one. Each object needs to have a spot that is its home, and you should always put those objects back in their homes. If you can’t find a home for an object, you don’t have space for it. Donate the items in the donation box, and put away the maybe box. Eventually you won’t need a maybe box as you get good at this.
Learn to focus on one thing at a time, mindfully, and deal with each object once. This is a good practice for doing things in the rest of your life.
Monday. Time to get back to work. Time to get motivated. We decided to start the week off with a challenge that will hopefully motivate to do little things each day to stay and/or become more organized. Do one thing today to reduce clutter. You could delete at least 20 files today in your computer hard drive that you no longer need, you could go through your inbox and delete at least 30 emails you no longer need, you could sort the papers on your desk. The possibilities are really endless. Just do one thing. It could take you 60 seconds or 60 minutes, but do one thing to help you reduce clutter this week.
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” ~William Morris
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”Â ~William Morris
Monday. Time to get back to work. Time to get motivated. We decided to start the week off with a challenge that will hopefully motivate to do little things each day to stay and/or become more organized. If you’re wondering how to declutter today, you’re in luck. You could delete at least 20 files today in your computer hard drive that you no longer need, you could go through your inbox and delete at least 30 emails you no longer need, you could sort the papers on your desk. The possibilities are really endless. Just do one thing. It could take you 60 seconds or 60 minutes, but do one thing to help you reduce clutter this week.
Each Wednesday In Order to Succeed‘s blog features at least one tip on organizing, time management, moving and relocation, balancing home and business or well anything else we think you will find helpful. This week’s Tip Day Wednesday is about removing clutter. Here are some essential questions to ask yourself before you decide to keep or toss an object.
Ask yourself these questions when deciding to hold on or get rid of an object. If you answer “no” to two or more it’s time to give the possession a new home.
Do I use this item on a regular basis?
Have I used this item in the last six months?
Will I need this item in the next six months?
Is this item hard to replace?
Does this item have sentimental value?
Is this item taking up space that could be used for something else?
“[Clutter] robs us spiritually, because we can’t be at peace in a cluttered home. And it robs us psychologically, by stealing our ability to feel motivated in our space.” – Peter Walsh
A quick way to get reinvigorated about your business is to make room for what you really enjoy. Let’s start with a scan of your office space and resource library – approach it like a re-design project and edit what isn’t working!
I’m a huge proponent of having systems in place that work for you, not necessarily every designer you meet. I also believe you already have several types of systems and processes in action; they just have varying levels of effectiveness and efficiency.
1. Look around your desk and office space. What areas represent your biggest pain points? Focus on these areas first (e.g. resource catalogs, samples, computer files, tear sheets, client files). 2. Ask yourself why you find these areas to be such a challenge. Are you lacking a system? Have you run out of space? Are you short of the time you need to get to it?
3. If you think you’re lacking a system, you’re probably right! Here are a few tips to coming up with a system that works for you:
Create filing systems that make sense for your design business and will support the business of design. Some examples: In and out file sorters (especially helpful if you’re working with an assistant or intern); hot file for urgent and important tasks and activities; client files with items you review with your client versus client files with purchase order, specification and sourcing information; order processing files to keep track of what needs to be ordered, orders entered but needing more details (such as confirmation numbers, pricing, shipping dates), back orders, and items returned awaiting credit.
Categorize your design ‘stuff’ – resources, catalogs, samples, vendor and rep business cards, even bookmarks on your computer – with consistent categories and groupings. So many designers either overcomplicate this or don’t group items at all. Either way, this can lead to lots of clutter, outdated information and mass confusion (again, especially if you’re working with an assistant or intern). I’ve found it helpful to refer to TODL.com, the Trade Only Design Library, for product categories.
Hire a professional organizer, or enlist the help of a design assistant. Sometimes a different set of eyes will bring a completely new perspective.
4. So you just don’t have enough space? Really? This is the time to be completely honest with yourself. The space is there, you just need to find it! 3 words: Purge, Sort, and Store.
You’ve seen the television programs; you’ve probably even read a few books on this topic. It all starts with the purge – and it begins in the area you’ve identified as your biggest pain point. Afraid to “purge” and let go? Think of it this way; you are clearing what no longer fits your vision of you as a designer and you as a business owner; you are creating breathing room, you are giving your mind space to imagine the life and business you want, and you are giving yourself permission and creative license to focus on what’s really important to you and get it. (I’m guessing it’s not about the stuff now, is it?)
Set aside a time to do your purge. For some, setting a timer for 15 minutes of purge time is a great way to get started. For others, scheduling an entire day or 2 may be better. Do what works for you.
Have your supplies ready, such as trash bags, boxes and containers, recycling bins. You’ll need separate containers for items that you’ll keep, dispose of, recycle or donate.
Purge! I like the 1-touch rule – when you pick something up, make a decision right then and there about what you’re going to do with it – into the keep, donate, recycle or trash container it goes.
Yes, you did some sorting in the Purge step, but this is when you take inventory of what is now in your keep container(s). Look at these items, and then look at the area you removed them from. Do they truly belong in that area? Remember, this was the spot you identified as your biggest pain point. Chances are many of your ‘keep’ items from this area belong in another zone better suited to the function.
Sort items according to function, and identify specific zones for each function. This is key to organizing your office space for the business you want. For example, have all your pens & paper landed on a cabinet across the room from your desk because that’s where they fit when you first set up your office? Position items where they belong – where you need them.
You’ve probably identified a few zones for items in your office, such as mail, catalogs, magazines, samples, accounting, client files, and projects. Locate like items and functions together.
Utilize vertical space and stackable containers to maximize space and create additional efficiency in your zones.
You’re a designer, so organize by color! There are tons of fantastic storage options available, so color coding by function and zone is easier than ever.
Back to positioning items where you need them; be sure to store items you use the most where it is easiest for you to get to them.
5. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I know, I never seem to get to everything on my list either, especially when it includes things that frankly aren’t that important! So what’s important to you? Look beyond the stuff and perceived time crunch and imagine not only the life you could be living but the business you could have. Do you have 15 minutes?
Set a timer for 15 minutes and get started. If you can only make time for 15 minute increments each day, that’s fine. (Although I’ll bet you’ll find yourself setting aside more time as you get into it!)
Self-discipline challenges? Implement the buddy system. Enlist the help of a professional organizer or assistant and you’ll get more done in less time.
Consider an office organizing day. Schedule it and treat this time like you would a client appointment. After all, you’re creating a space and systems to support your vision of your business. Isn’t that worth you booking an appointment with you?
So for all you self-proclaimed unorganized or scattered creative types; let go of the comparisons and excuses for not being Martha Stewart-like in your approach. Embrace your individual work style but set yourself up for success by following these simple steps.
by: Kelly Galea Guest Blogger Kelly has worked both as the owner of an interior design firm and as a professional organizer. Currently, as The Design Biz Coach, Kelly helps interior designers, decorators & home stagers build and grow their businesses.
Picture the Scene: You’ve decided now is the time for you to take charge of your office, and to finally get organized! But, you’re not a professional organizer and you want some starter tips. A Certified Professional Organizer talks about the 5 most common mistakes made regarding the organizational process.
The 5 most common organizing mistakes people make are as follows:
1. Don’t try to do it all at once. (At least not without professional help. If you’d like professional help give me a call). Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get your project done. It did not get cluttered in an afternoon. It may not get uncluttered in an afternoon, either. Break it up into manageable pieces and take them on one at a time.
2. Don’t be so hard on yourself for the things you’ve kept, or the mess that has accumulated. You are taking action now and it will be better. It does no good to beat yourself up over it.
3. Don’t agonize over the thing you are holding in your hand for too long. If you can’t make a decision about the paper or item relatively quickly, then set it aside. Make a pile of the things you are having trouble deciding about and save them for the end.
It is easier to go through the difficult pile at the end. A couple of things can happen. You will have built up a momentum getting rid of so many things that it will be easier to go through. Or you may realize you already have five of the same things and therefore you can let go of four of them.
In some cases it is possible that the pile will still give you fits. If that happens you can analyze the pros and cons of keeping or discarding each item and make your decision. Or, as I stated above, you can call a professional to help you figure out the tough stuff.
A lot of times, when I work with a client, we get started together and come up with a game plan. Then I will go away for a period of time and come back to help with the things they could not do on their own.
4. Whatever organizing solution you come up with might not work perfectly the first time. Getting organized can be magical, but it is still a habit that has to be learned. It may take a bit of tweaking and discipline before your system runs smoothly without a lot of effort.
5. Lastly, and very important! Don’t go shopping for all your new organizing products and containers until you finish the work. Until you have sorted and categorized you don’t know how much you have of something or what type of storage might be best.
What happens when you shop first (and I know that’s the fun part for almost everybody except me), is that you end up with bags or piles of organizing products that don’t work. You have more clutter to deal with than when you started and (see number 2, above) you end up being hard on yourself for creating the mess to begin with. It can be a vicious circle, so remember, shop at the end! Let that be your reward!
Beth Flarida is the owner of Get It Together, a company which has been providing Professional Organizing Services for businesses since 1991. Beth is a Certified Professional Organizer and a member of NAPO, the nation’s leading and most prestigious organization for professional organizers. Visit Beth on the web at GetBeth.com and sign up for her free weekly newsletter, Answers From The Organizer®. Get started right now and claim your 60-minute office makeoversession and jump start your organizational goals!
In most homes the kitchen is often the room that sees the most activity. Everything from children’s craft projects to mail to miscellaneous household items often wind up someplace in the kitchen. Having a clutter free organized kitchen means frequent cleaning but it also means you won’t lose that bill and your children will be able to find those science projects when they need them.
The best way to reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning the kitchen is to come up with an organization system that works for you and your family. Here are our tips:
To begin you first must mentally prepare yourself for the task ahead. Look around your kitchen and take an inventory or what belongs in the kitchen, what can be put away, and what you longer need.
Clean and Organize your Cabinets: After you have taken inventory begin planning the best place to store items. We suggest placing items by frequency of use and near where you use them. For example keep pots, pans, and other cooking utensils near the stove, and keep dishes and silverware near the dishwasher or dinning area.
Clean and Organize your Pantry: After taking inventory take everything out of the pantry, clean and place back in categories and by frequency of usage. For example use one shelf for dry goods, another for canned goods, etc. You may also want to consider using baskets for smaller items like gravy mixes, which will make them easier to find and avoid spillage from opened packets.
Use a Spice Rack: Using a wall-mounted or counter top spice rack can save a cabinet space and help to keep your spices organized. Alphabetize your spices and store your spice rack near the stove.
Clean your Counter Tops: Remove any items you don’t use on a regular basis from your counter tops. Keep items you use frequently and want to store on the counter tops in pretty containers such as glass jars. This will give you more room for cooking and improve the overall atmosphere of your kitchen. It’s amazing how much more relaxing the atmosphere in your kitchen will feel by simply removing the clutter from your counter tops.
Organize your Junk Drawer – We wish you wouldn’t have one, but we understand that sometimes having a junk drawer is necessary. However, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be organized. Place small baskets or other small containers in the drawer to store items like batteries, clips and any other interesting things your kitchen collects.
Create a Message Station: Let’s face it since the kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in most houses it also often becomes a message area. So, set up a specific place for the telephone, messages, keys, mail, etc.
Clean and organize your Fridge: This is something that should be done every time you go grocery shopping. Remove items that are past their expiration date, bad, empty, etc and wipe your fridge down. Bacteria in fridges accumulates quickly so cleaning your fridge once a week is necessary.
Finally, one last tip. If your household includes children especially young children try arrange your cabinets, pantry, etc with them in mind. Keep items they use frequently on lower shelves and items you don’t want them to get into higher up.
There is no doubt about it: Marie Kondo has revolutionized personal organizing. Her calm, relatable, and judgment-free methods—as well as her assertion that our possessions should “spark joy”—have clearly resonated with tens of thousands of people. (The popularity of her how-to book and her Netflix show leave no doubt!) As organizing consultants, we applaud her success and are grateful her efforts to demystify what it means to live a truly “tidy” life—mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. While most of Kondo’s fans are adults, children and teenagers can benefit from her methods. However, helping young people get organized presents unique challenges. If you’ve tried to “Kondo-fy” your child with little success, here are some practical suggestions that might help restart the process.
The Well-Organized Aren't "Born That Way"
In the nearly twenty years I’ve been working with students, I have found that, for most of them, the decision to “Get organized!” is not their own. Most often, they are told to do so by the adults in their lives: their parents, their teachers, or their coaches. While well-organized adults are surely well intentioned, we often forget that we were not, to paraphrase Lady Gaga, “born that way.” We have all developed organizational methods that work for us over a lifetime of trying, failing, and trying again. And even though those methods might indeed be wildly successful for us, we cannot—and should not—simply try to force them onto others. Instead, we must help the young people in our lives to discover what works for them.In their 2017 article “Social and Emotional Learning: Introducing the Issue,” Stephanie Jones and Emily Doolittle define social-emotional learning (or “SEL”) as learning that leads to “attention and the ability to solve problems; [positive] beliefs about the self, such as perceptions of competence and autonomy; and social awareness, including empathy for others and the ability to resolve conflicts.” While much of the research around SEL involves partnerships between students and teachers in the classroom, we can employ many of these SEL methods to help our kids get organized.
Keep on Movin'
I’ll give you an example: organizing your child’s workspace can be one of a parent’s most aggravating tasks—but not if you let your child put things at hand by him or herself. And remember that, although many of us were programmed to sit at desks and “study” until we learned what we needed to know, research teaches us that many children literally cannot learn while sitting still.Recently, one of my seventh-grade students came to me for advice. He was having trouble memorizing his Spanish vocabulary words. He told me he thought he was doing everything “right” by sitting down at his desk and flipping through his flashcards. But, when it was time for the quiz, he couldn’t remember anything.I reached into the drawer of my own desk and handed him a roll of blue painter’s tape. “Find the biggest empty wall in your house,” I suggested, “and tape the notecards to the wall. Then, when you’re studying, walk back and forth past the notecards, memorizing as you go. If you can’t remember some words, move those cards to a different part of the wall and spend a bit more time there. But talk to yourself. Move around. And don’t try to sit. Sitting still to study doesn’t work for you.” I knew that this student, a star soccer player, demonstrated exceptional grace, control, and focus on the field, so asking him to approach studying the same way he approached playing soccer might help. The next afternoon, he told me that he'd aced his Spanish quiz—and he'd gotten his studying done in half the time.If you decide to undergo a workspace reorganization with your child, don’t just think about the desk in front of her. Look at the walls in her room. Could you use some Command Strips (a professional organizer’s best friend!) to attach a few bulletin boards to the far wall? How could you and your child work together to rethink her space? To set him up to achieve? And to get rid of the physical and mental clutter that gets in the way?
Making Marie Kondo's Methods Work for You
Understanding that young people must find their own methods of organization does not mean that there aren’t wonderful tips to take from Ms. Kondo. For example, her suggestion to organize by groups of items is great. If you have a teenage daughter and a garage full of athletic equipment, what better way to spend a Saturday morning than sorting her stuff into four piles: keep, donate, hand-me-down, and toss? Your middle-school-aged son might have loved those Minecraft shirts when he was in fourth grade, but now that he’s 13, his younger cousin might love them more. And how cool would it be if, as a coach or teacher, you challenged your team or your homeroom to a “cleaning spree” over the weekend, with donations going to a local charity?But children and teenagers often have trouble telling the difference between something that brings them joy in the present (and that they can use!) and something that holds a fond memory. Yes, that baseball bat may be too small—but, Dad, remember when it hit the winning home run? Sure, I don’t use those old binders anymore—but, Mom, remember when Ms. Tatsch gave me an A on that project?When confronted with these difficult (but honest) questions, it can be very easy to give in to avoid an argument. But, when we’re all drowning in stuff, “giving in” isn’t a viable option. Instead, I’d suggest using that item as the beginning of a conversation: “I know that bat is really special to you. But it takes up space in the basket, and someone else might love it. Can we come up with another way to remember that game?” Most of our children live their lives online these days—a photograph of that bat or that binder (posted to Instagram, of course!) would preserve the memory and provide the physical and mental space to grow. (I’m also a huge fan of repurposing items as pieces of art—and what a great project for a rainy day!)Marie Kondo’s principles of organization are wonderful places to start, but that’s what they are: starting points. Each of us responds best to our own methods, and for young people—who are still learning what works for them—it can be important to test different methods. It’s terrific that Ms. Kondo has opened up this door and turned so many people on to organizing. Now we just have to ensure that, like a New Year’s resolution that only lasts three days, we can find our own pathways…and help the people we love find theirs, too.Ben Gott is an Education Specialist and Organizing Consultant at In Order To Succeed
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Get to know Tiffany Sorensen, In Order to Succeed’s Project & Regional Manager Launching our Minnesota Office.IOTS: So you grew up in MN and have recently moved back. What’s special about the area that makes you want to call the “Twin Cities” home? [caption id="attachment_8624" align="alignleft" width="278"] With husband Bruce and bridal party[/caption]TS: First and foremost, last year I married someone born, raised and residing here! Aside from that, Minnesota (MN) has always been a home base for me. Even with all of my moving around as a child, my extended family was based here, and I would spend every holiday and as much of the summer as I could either in the Twin Cities or “Up North”. When I had my own children, the routine remained the same and they too came to think of MN as their home base, no matter where else in the country we were residing.Family is a big part of it. I read an article once about the percentage of native Minnesotans that leave for extended periods and end up eventually returning, so I guess I can be added to that statistic! I appreciate the robust offerings of sports, culinary, music and theater that exist here, and I am a huge fan of all things lake related.My time spent in the desert has really made me appreciate (three of) the four seasons; I admit I am not much of a fan of winter past January 1st, so I am happy for opportunities to travel during the colder months!IOTS:As founder and partner of a full-service tradeshow and event production company in Las Vegas, what types of clients did you work with? [caption id="attachment_8627" align="alignright" width="340"] Vail Colorado visit with Cooper[/caption]TS: My clients were largely entertainment based initially, HBO, MGM, The Disney Channel to name a few. Over the years, as the business expanded, and I relocated to the East Coast, clientele grew to encompass professional sports, hospitality groups, music and other live festivals and events.These projects gave me the opportunity to work both “back of house” with talent and production aspects, as well as “front of house” with sponsors, activations, logistics and the like.Additionally, I worked with several small corporations and individuals creating and managing hospitality events both in the U.S. and abroad, as well as with several well recognized brands to create unique customer engagement experiences.IOTS:Have organizing and designing spaces always been a part of your life?[caption id="attachment_8629" align="alignleft" width="277"] Celebrating with Daughter Payton[/caption]TS: Yes. Organization is a critical aspect in every role I have served. Both live events and design project management contain so many moving parts that are subject to change at any given moment, even with the most perfectly executed plans.If a project is not organized at the beginning, it becomes very difficult to keep on track when those inevitable curveballs arise. I had the opportunity to project manage a 200,000 sf build to suit in Las Vegas several years ago. I was involved in everything from groundbreaking to conference room furnishings, working hand in hand with our construction firm. The project was completed on time and on budget. In 2015, I took part in the massive undertaking of producing what is known as “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” and their first foray into the United States. Though these two projects seem very different, organization skills were critical to the success of both.I have also built and renovated several homes, and as previously mentioned, have an abundance of experience moving throughout my life. I have served as the designer on all of my home builds and renovations, specifying sourcing and procuring everything from toilets to throw pillows, and have worked closely with my GCs to manage each project. [caption id="attachment_8631" align="alignright" width="220"] Senior Night Football with Son Wyatt[/caption]IOTS:You have personally moved many times so what’s your best piece of advice for a successful one?TS: As an adult/post-college, I have moved 13 times! At the risk of sounding like a sales pitch, I have to say that I wish I had a company like In Order to Succeed (IOTS) by my side for those moves. Having true pros managing the nuts and bolts of a move allows for financial efficiencies to be realized, and the peace of mind can truly be considered priceless. Aside from that, moving is stressful no matter what the circumstances. I still have dreams where I realize I have left items behind at a former residence and I am tasked with retrieving these items immediately! As with most other stressful life situations, I find it best to focus on the positive; look at a relocation as a fresh start and new opportunity and know that somehow it always gets done!
IOTS:What attracted you to IOTS?
[caption id="attachment_8633" align="alignleft" width="278"] Breakfast with Denise Caron-Quinn[/caption]TS: Staying organized makes me more productive and more relaxed. Coming home to a beautiful space always seems to convey a sense of peace and warmth no matter what other chaos may be occurring. I have always felt it is important to have a home that is just as welcoming to its residents as it is to its guests. I have moved A LOT, starting from childhood, and I always looked forward to the opportunity to space plan and decorate my new room, making me feel at home no matter where home was. The philosophies of IOTS align with this point of view, and the broad range of services we offer allow me to shape and concentrate my efforts in areas I enjoy most. It also enables us to provide the proper teammates to fill in the gaps in other areas in order to provide our clients with a “one stop shop.” In addition to that, it also is just a pleasure to work with such an intelligent, kind and fun group of people!IOTS:What are you most excited about accomplishing as you introduce IOTS to Minnesotans? [caption id="attachment_8635" align="alignright" width="277" class="no_m_margin"] Having fun with celebrity designer Thom Filicia & fellow RWAV Co-Chairs[/caption]TS: I am looking forward to establishing new relationships with both corporate and residential clients, and the opportunity to provide a fresh, holistic and fully comprehensive approach including private and corporate concierge services, interior styling, event creation and execution, renovation management, home or office organizing and beyond.Whether working on a VIP client or employee team building event, collaborating with real estate agents and contractors on moves and renovations, or readying a space for a seasonal homeowner, I am excited to bring the expansive talent, experience and resources of IOTS to the area.
IOTS:Please tell us about some of the philanthropic work that you do and charities you are involved with.
TS: I serve on the board of an organization called Tuesday’s Children which was founded on 9/11/2001 and assists in long term healing via resiliency programs to those affected by traumatic loss or terrorism, including the support of Gold Star Military Families. I recently served as co-chair of our annual gala in NYC.Another cause that is near and dear to my heart is “Rooms with a View,” an interior-design and culinary event that supports the missions of Southport Congregational Church. I was the co-chair for this event for seven years.As my youngest child is now in his senior year of high school, my career of volunteering for various school and sporting endeavors is culminating after most recently serving as Parent Liaison for my son’s football team and on the committee of the school’s annual fundraiser.
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I can’t say enough about Denise, Robin and their entire army of angels. They were professional, super efficient and a true pleasure to be around - even amidst the stress of moving. Without them, I would literally still be surrounded by boxes!
Savannah Guthrie – Co-anchor of The Today Show
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Robin's organizational skills, tact, and attention to detail are invaluable. She makes things that can be torturous- moving, renovating, getting-a-washing-machine-repairman-to-come-and-being-there-when-he-does-- easy. You will finish things around your house that would otherwise never have been finished.
Tina Fey - Actress, Comedian, Writer
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Greetings and Happy Holidays! The holidays are our single most favorite time of the year. The eggnog, the music, the reindeer sweaters, not having enough power outlets for all your electrical decorations…. magical. There’s no time like it, which means it can get pretty unorganized and stressful pretty quickly.I have compiled a list of five simple tips to get you organized and in the right mindset this holiday season. You’ll be ready take on whatever the sugar plum fairy throws at you (even the sarcastic remarks from your mother about your cooking).Let these 5 tips help lead you to festive success:
1. Make a list and check it twice
One of the best, tried and true ways to start succeeding in all of your organizing needs is to make a list. Santa’s got it down pat, he’s a very organized man dealing with so many little ones across the globe. Make a list (that you won’t lose) of everything you need to get accomplished for each month. Groceries, gifts, appointments, etc. If you thrust it all into one singular sensation of a list, you’ll be able to prioritize more successfully and be set. So be your own Santa this year and check your list twice. Who knows, maybe you’ll do so well, someone will leave you a plateful of milk and cookies.
2. Sing synchronized
We all have smartphones, am I right? And if you don’t, you’re probably reading this blog on your tablet under a rock. A few of my favorite apps are Google Cal and ICal. Putting every single schedule, appointment, meeting, party date, brunch date, dinner date, sale date, release date, etc. for every family member into your calendar will help you know what’s coming up next and how soon you have to prep for it. Any kind of smartphone on the market now lets you synchronize every smartphone in the family, so what one adds to one's schedule, everyone can see & know about it.
3. Try something new
Before the hustle and bustle of the holidays ignite, before you start thinking about your New Year’s resolution, before you start giving yourself ulcers thinking about the lines you’ll have to face at the Apple Store, embark on an experience you’ve never explored before. Take a road trip to a magical festival or drive-by a light show, take a loved one to a famous landmark or concert, or just sit home and try a new recipe with Martha Stewart. You’d be amazed at what a fresh new experience can do for one's perspective.
4. Indulge a little
“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” Johnny Mathis and I get it. Need I say more? It’s a time for being thankful, giving, sharing, reflecting, spreading love and Christmas cheer. So, who says that can’t be directed towards you by… well… YOU! You’re with you more than anyone else is throughout the year, so why not do something extra special for just you this year. You’re one of the lucky ones that has survived another glorious year, so go ahead and splurge for that spa day, get that new Samsung 50” TV you’ve been wanting. You deserve it. Alright, go! I’m kidding, not now, finish reading this lovely blog first, then go! Taking time for you might be just what you need to clear your head for everyone else’s wants.
5. Help Others
Tis’ the season to be jolly and is there any better way to be jolly than making others happy? Bueller? Bueller? I didn’t think so. The Holidays are a great time to purge your things as you scurry around to make your house clean for the relatives. So, grab one of those extra-stretchy heavy-duty trash bags and fill them to the brim with glee, hop into your gas guzzling sleigh, and donate your treasures to a homeless shelter, a Goodwill drop-off, or a national organization like Operation Christmas Child. You’ll end up[ free of all the things you don’t want anymore, have more room for newer shinier things, and you’re helping someone who is less fortunate. It’s a win-win.I hope these steps will bring you to a brighter Holiday Season and provide you with less clutter tangibly and mentally. Until next time. A very Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year!Jonathan Cobrda
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Sarah Stimson uses her background in teaching to help identify, create and implement personalized organizing solutions for client's of In Order to Succeed®. As first a third grade teacher, and then later as a special education teacher, Sarah Stimson developed individualized solutions to meet the varied needs of her students. Just as all students learn differently and require different supports, no two people or projects require the same organizational solutions. Now, as a professional organizer and life management specialist, Sarah enjoys applying the creativity and attention to detail that made her successful in the classroom, to transform cluttered and mismanaged areas into highly functional and beautiful spaces.A native of Rochester New York, Sarah came to New York City to obtain a graduate degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio, is a Phi Beta Kappa member and a member of NAPO.Although no longer employed as a teacher, Sarah continues to enjoy working with children as a tutor and also loves bringing order to children’s bedrooms, study and play areas. Sarah loves to run, bake and take on a variety of DIY projects such as building coffee tables and wine racks. Her patient, pleasant and creative personality makes her well suited for working with homemakers, busy professionals and retired seniors to bring new order and serenity to their lives.