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Getting Organized in the Era of Endless

SQUALL PRESS, the publishing division of FileHeads, is pleased to announce Getting Organized in the Era of Endless: What to Do When Information, Interruption, Work and Stuff are Endless But Time is Not!
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Archive for the ‘Getting Organized/Chronic Disorganization’ Category

The Value Of a Professional Organizer? Priceless

Friday, June 30, 2017 @ 07:06 AM
posted by admin

Recently, students at Fordham University conducted a study to identify the perceived value of hiring a Professional Organizer. This study identified reasons for hiring a Professional Organizer, the functional results of having hired a Professional Organizer and the perceived value of having done so.  A notable result of the survey was the perceived value of a reduction of stress.  

The Value of a Professional Organizer | Fileheads.net

So, you’re working in your client’s home. You are doing all that magic you do to make space for possessions where before there had been none, identifying excess for donation or give-away, and enabling your client to access what they want when they want it. But when your client hands over the payment, do you know what they value the most?

Professional Organizer’s Value To A Client

According to a survey entitled “Customer Value Perception of Professional Organizers”* conducted by researchers at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, nearly half of the respondents reported that hiring a professional organizer is associated with spending more quality time with their family and friends. What clients feel they are paying for, most of all, is a social value of getting organized. Getting organized is also highly correlated (49%) with reducing stress. Although the price of paying a professional organizer is not reported as “economical,” the perception is that it’s really worth it for its “social” value.

Another primary finding of the survey is that our clients want to be heard. Of the clients surveyed, 65% of respondents report that the “empathetic nature” of a Professional Organizer builds trust. They value the conversations we have with them and the time we take to hear their stories.

Our experience and our confidence in ourselves is also perceived (over 90%) as a trust-builder. Building trust makes it possible for our clients to accomplish what the researchers identify as one of the foremost psychological values of getting organized: overcoming the emotional attachment to stuff. Fifty-eight percent of respondents cite this as a specific value of hiring us. But an even more prominent (66%) psychological value is that following the instructions of a professional organizer is easier and less stressful for our clients than making an organizing plan on their own.

From a functional point of view, 55% of respondents experienced greatly increased confidence when organizers shared organizing processes such as sorting, labeling and storing. These benefits are notable, but the most valued outcome for our clients is the capacity to find what they are looking for quickly. A full 74% felt increasingly more confident or greatly confident that hiring a professional organizer would help them in this area. Boom.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Now let’s talk bottom line: Ours and our clients. Our clients do not perceive hiring a professional organizer to have a strong financial value as measured by typical residential organizing indicators like paying bills on time, buying fewer new items, or avoiding duplicate purchases. Because neither productivity consultants’ clients nor business clients were the focus of the survey, the perception of the financial value of organizing definitely deserves more research.

However, what about our bottom line; what can we do to increase business with the knowledge we now have? Most importantly, we can be the kind of organizers who know how to communicate well with clients, to show empathy and to listen to their needs. NAPO and many coaching organizations offer classes that can “up your communication game.” Our research partners at Fordham University recommend that professional organizers also sharpen their sales pitch to clearly define the social and psychological benefits of getting organizing and not just the functional value. And lastly, it wouldn’t hurt if we implement innovative pricing schemes to make our services more economical, if we are not already doing so. Concepts such as sliding scales, pricing packages, or special discounts are examples that are economical but do not undercut our value-rich rates.

Where Does A Professional Organizer Go From Here?

There is much fertile ground for ongoing research. One fact that leaps out from the survey is that both we organizers and our clients are overwhelmingly female-identified. Would the results of the survey be different if the sample included more male respondents? We simply do not know…yet. But we do know that the market for bringing men into the profession and into our client base is wide open. The motivation of millennials (26-35 year olds) for hiring professional organizers is least well-known. Over 80% of respondents were over 46 years old. Perhaps millennials are too young to need us…yet. But we should get ready. They’ll be here. Let’s be sure we’re reaching out to younger people to join NAPO. We may find that their cohort clientele will have totally different perceptions of the value of professional organizing and productivity consulting.

* NAPO professional organizers and productivity consultants volunteered the names of clients to participate in the survey. The researchers contacted the clients by email. Assuring anonymity, 96 clients actually completed the survey. Background research was also gathered from industry-related blogs, articles, white papers, personal interviews with professional organizers, and websites.

The Value of a Professional Organizer | Fileheads.net

This post originally appeared on the NAPO Get Organized blog.

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Professional Organizers: The Who, What & Why of the Organizing Industry

Friday, June 2, 2017 @ 05:06 AM
posted by admin

Professional Organizers: The Who, What & Why of the Organizing Industry | Fileheads.net

What Does A Professional Organizer Do?

According to a survey of 1,001 people sponsored by the National Association of Professional Organizers, the public is well-aware of the term “professional organizer”. In fact, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed is familiar with the term*. More than half of those surveyed know professional organizers assisting in both the home and work environments, and the public totally get that they can help reduce clutter, lower stress, and help them find things easier. In fact, 22% of all respondents who’ve never used an organizer’s services would consider hiring one. One of the primary factors that influences this decision is whether their friends or family members saw results when working with a professional organizer.

Why Should You Hire A Professional Organizer?

The tough nuts are those 50% of respondents who have not yet used a professional organizer and are holding back. Why? No, it’s not value. “I think it’s a waste of money” actually comes in fifth place. Is it cost? No, guess again. The number one reason people do not consider hiring a professional organizer is “I can do it myself.” Okay. Have at it. But when your home office explodes or your den has to house your returning adult children, the professional organizer be here for you. The office and den are the most disorganized rooms of a home, according to the survey at 42%, followed by the kitchen (35%), laundry room (33%) and master bedroom (30%).

Who Is Most Likely To Hire A Professional Organizer?

25-34 year olds are most primed to hire a professional organizer, the survey reveals, followed closely by 35-44 year olds. And although the survey does not make it clear what they might need from an organizer that differs from other age groups, we know that these millennials have just surpassed the Baby Boomers in numbers reaching 75.4 million this year. So there’s plenty of organizing business go to around.

Once someone hires an organizer, 73% of respondents with prior use of a professional organizer would hire one again and not just for clutter-control but for the broader benefits of increased safety and security and improved relationships. Who knew? Well, now you know!

Click here for a great infographics with more statistics from this survey.


*Conducted in April, 2016 by NAPO, the first annualPublic Survey is sponsored by the National Association of Professional Organizers. It surveyed 1001 qualified respondents on questions related to residential and office organization, organizing industry awareness, and perceptions of the public to that industry. Qualified respondents are US citizens only, over the age of 25 and who own their own home. For more information about these results, please contact Kahra Buss at kahra.buss@napo.net.

Professional Organizers: The Who, What & Why of the Organizing Industry | Fileheads.net

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Revised ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life Now Available

Monday, October 31, 2016 @ 05:10 PM
posted by admin

ADD Friendly Ways To Organize Your Life Book | revised edition from Professional Organizer Judith Kolberg and Renowned Psychologist Dr. Kathleen G. Nadeau

 

I am so excited to announce that the revised 2nd edition of my book ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, co-authored with Dr. Kathleen G. Nadeau is now available.

Our renewed collaboration offers the best understanding and solutions for adults with ADD who want to get and stay organized. Readers will enjoy all new content on organizing digital information, managing distractions, organizing finances, and coping with the “black hole” of the Internet. We also offer three levels of strategies and support: self-help, non-professional assistance from family and friends, and professional support; allowing the reader to determine the appropriate level of support.

Topics covered include:

Part I: Getting Started
1. ADD-Friendly Organizing: A Different Organizing Approach
2. ADD-Friendly Strategies That Work with Your ADD
3. Structure and Support: Creating the Framework for Success

Part II: Taking Charge of ADD
4. Streamline and Simplify: Counteracting Complications
5. ADD Decision Dilemmas
6. B-o- r-i-n-g: Managing Stimulation Hunger and Hyperfocus
7. First Things First: Learning to Prioritize
8. Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Remembering to Remember

Part III: Organizing Things
9. Getting Over Clutter Overwhelm
10. Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome: When You Need to Seek ADD Treatment
11. Packrat Syndrome
12. David’s Garage – When You Need a PO

Part IV: Organizing Time
13. Time Out: Tracking, Estimating and Scheduling Time
14. Overcoming Over- Commitment
15. Plenty-of-Time Thinking: Dealing with Procrastination
16. The State of Rushness

Part V: Organizing Information
17. Hung Up on Hardcopy
18. Backlog Blues

Part VI: Organizing Finances
19. ADD-Friendly Budgeting and Bill Paying
20. ADD-Friendly Long-term Financial Planning

Part VII: Getting Organized in the Digital World
21. Managing Digital Distractions
22. The Internet Black Hole

Part VIII: Conclusion
23. Putting Organizing Ideas into Action

If any of these issues are ones you or a loved one struggles with, I encourage to get your copy today.


The Authors

Judith KolbergProfessional Organizer and Author Judith Kolberg formed FileHeads Professional Organizers in 1989. She is the founder of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, the precursor to the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), a popular international speaker, and is widely recognized as an industry-thought leader. Chronically disorganized people of many stripes have embraced her non-traditional organizing methods as described in her five books, which have sold nearly a half million copies worldwide. Her latest book, Getting Organized in the Era of Endless, addresses the complex area of digital disorganization. Judith has held several leadership positions in the National Association of Professional Organizer (NAPO) and has been awarded the organizing industry’s highest honors. Judith resides in Atlanta, where she takes care of her Mom, sees clients, writes, and blogs.

 

Dr. Kathleen G. Nadeau PhD, ADD Expert and AuthorKathleen G. Nadeau, PhD is a clinical psychologist and director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she continues to practice and provide supervision and training related to ADHD. She has been a leader in the field for the past 20 years, publishing over a dozen books on topics related to ADHD. In 1999, she received the CHADD Hall of Fame Award for her ground-breaking work on women and girls with ADHD. Dr. Nadeau is a frequent lecturer both nationally and internationally and is known for her solution-focused, integrative approach to treating ADHD. She has focused for many years on issues relating to organization, planning, and daily life management challenges faced by individuals with ADHD and first approached professional organizer Judith Kolberg in the late 1990s about the need for an organizing book that specifically addresses the particular challenges faced by adults with ADHD.

 

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add-book-cover-newThe new edition includes:

  • The latest thinking on executive function
  • New sections on organizing digital information and managing digital distractions
  • Expanded, fresh section on money management
  • ADD-friendly technology tools and apps to organize time, stuff, and information

The expected publication date is September, 2016. To pre-order your signed copy for just $20.00 click here….. You save 20% off the list price!

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The Clutter Tsunami

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 @ 05:02 PM
posted by admin

I recently joined two organizing-industry committees that study organizing trends, and I’ve detected a clutter tsunami coming our way.

  • Aging, first-tier Baby Boomers will continue to downsize now that the housing crisis is over and they are seeking outlets for their excess clutter.
  • Second-tier Baby Boomers, hit hard by economic swings, will cash-in their home equity, shed excess, and become more mobile.
  • Gen Xers, concerned about job security, will want to continue their dominance as home-based business owners in their basements, attics, and rooms left available as their kids go off to college.
  • Gen Y, could well be sandwiched between their Boomer parents and children with all three generations living together in precious space that has no room for clutter.
  • And if you think Gen Z wants to inherit the stuff from other generations, think again. They’re totally into small living quarters, with techy, multi-purpose furnishings unlike their parents or grandparents.

We’ll all need to employ a great number of de-acquisition methods to stop from being carried away in the flood of clutter. That means, not just charitable donations, recycling, and consignment but also using specialty sales sites like moveloot.com for furniture; decluttr.com for games, DVDs, and CDs; thredup.com for clothing; and usell.com for electronics. CraigsList and Freecycle are unbelievably effective in eliminating stuff. Just observe a few common sense safety measures (here and here) before you take advantage of them.

Check out our “Get Rid Of Your Stuff” flashcards to help organize and declutter.

Hey, you don’t need to be great at all these methods. Go to www.napo.net to find a professional organizer who can help you. In Georgia, that would be FileHeads at 404-231-6172, or info@fileheads.net


Digital Estate Planning

It’s a new year. A fresh start. Let’s get your affairs in order. If, God forbid, you suddenly died or became incapacitated, you not only need a Will, a designated Executor and Power of Attorney, and a Living Will, but also a Digital Estate Plan. A Digital Estate Plan:

  • Provides for the safe transference of passwords, user codes and other log-in information to your Executor or other authorized representative.
  • Creates a “paper trail” for online or web-based accounts which often have no statements or paper trail.
  • Accounts for digital assets that might be overlooked by your estate.
  • Records your wishes regarding social media and protects you from unauthorized access by identity thieves and other digital mischief-makers.
  • Centralizes all your digital information in one place.

It’s impossible to put a price on that kind of peace of mind. Let me sit by your side and create your confidential Digital Estate Plan with you for just $250.00*.  On average, it takes about 3 hours to create a Digital Estate Plan if you do a bit of easy preparation before the session (we’ll send you a simple preparation checklist prior to the session.) You can schedule two 1½-hour sessions or one 3-hour session, whatever is convenient for you. Simply shoot me an email to Judith@fileheads.net with ‘DEP’ in the subject line and we’ll nail down a time.

And here’s another benefit. Doing a Digital Estate Plan for yourself positions you to provide Digital Estate Plan services to your clients by becoming a certified Digital Estate Plan Consultant. Contact me at Judith@fileheads.net or 404-226-1381 for more information.

Here is a free Digital Estate Plan checklist to get your new year started right!

*Some Digital Estate Plans are incredibly complex. Some people don’t prepare at all in advance of their session. These factors can result in a higher fee. But you’ll always be informed beforehand if we cannot honor the $250.00 quote.


Getting Kids Organized

Got kids or grandkids that need help with their nascent organizing skills? Start them young! I want to congratulate my colleagues and friends, Diane Quintana and Jonda Beattie, on the publication of their children’s books, Suzie’s Messy Room and Benji’s Messy Room, both available at Amazon.com

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What You Might Forget Before Disaster Strikes

Friday, December 4, 2015 @ 11:12 AM
posted by admin

“When I give disaster preparedness workshops,” says Judith Kolberg, author of “Organize for Disaster,” “I have people write down 10 things they’re going to grab if they have a day’s warning, then narrow it down to five … then narrow it to three. Really know ahead of time what you need to have,” says Kolberg. “If you’re lucky enough to have some warning, you can pull things together … but sometimes you just have seconds or minutes. Knowing ahead of time what’s valuable to you is important.”

It’s important, Kolberg says, to save the details of personal accounts, log-in information, and scanned documents ahead of time. “There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the computer you have to give a little bit of thought to. If you’re a small business owner or work out of your home, you need to have all the [digital files] you would need in order to pick up and start your business again. You can save it with a flash drive.”

Kolberg also recommends uploading important digital collections such as photos or genealogy to the cloud (using sites such as Shutterfly.com for photos or Ancestry.com) and creating a Twitter account if you don’t have one. “It may help you communicate in a disaster.”

Read the full article here.

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Upcoming Events in 2015-2016

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 @ 10:11 AM
posted by admin

Judith Kolberg's Upcoming Events in 2015-2016

The remainder of 2015 and all of 2016 look like they will be busy times here at FilesHeads Professional Organizing and Squall Press. I hope you can join me at some of these upcoming events.

NAPO GA Chapter Meeting

November 10, 2016 – Judith Kolberg will be a panelist at National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), Georgia Chapter , ‘Ask The Organizer Panel’ . For more information, contact NAPO GA Professional Development Director, Gigi Miller


Getting Organized in the Era of Endless

January 20, 2016 – Judith Kolberg will present “Getting Organized in the Era of Endless” at ProWin at its 2016 luncheon speakers series. For more information contact Carolyn Briner.


Information Afterlife and the Digital Estate Plan

January 25, 2016 – Judith Kolberg will conduct a webinar for the Professional Organizers of Canada, Cyber Chapter, entitled “Information Afterlife and the Digital Estate Plan”. For more information, contact Julie Stobbe.


Using Self-Talk To Get Organized

April, 2016 – ADDitude Magazine will publish an article called “Using Self-Talk To Get Organized” authored by Judith Kolberg.


NAPO 2016 Annual Conference and Organizing Expo

May 21, 2016, Sheraton Atlanta, Atlanta, GA – Judith Kolberg will present a session entitled “Information Afterlife and the Digital Estate Plan” at the NAPO Annual Conference.


Publish16

Summer, 2016 – Squall Press , a division of FileHeads Professional Organizers, will exhibit at Publish16, sponsored by Booklogix.


ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life – Revised

Sept. 2016 – Squall Press announces the launch of the revised edition of ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life premiering at the Decatur Book Festival

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Do You Have A Digital Estate Plan?

Saturday, February 7, 2015 @ 07:02 PM
posted by admin

What if you died suddenly? Would your Executor or authorized representative know how to access your “invisible” online accounts? Can they log in to your accounts? And what about your digital assets, like web-based accounts that have no paper trail; can you be certain they’d be accounted for in your estate?  While your family is planning your funeral and grieving your loss, criminals could be hijacking your Facebook account.

Do you know how to protect your “information afterlife”?

Just as you organize your tangible vital information, you also need to organize your digital vital information. A Digital Estate Plan provides for the safe transference of digital information to your family and authorized representatives. A Digital Estate Plan also accounts for digital assets that might be overlooked by your estate. And, a Digital Estate Plan helps protect your information afterlife from unauthorized access from identity thieves and other digital mischief-makers.

“Creating Your Digital Estate Plan” is a one-hour teleclass on March 4th, 2015 at 7:00 PM eastern time. It is designed to take you through the Plan step-by-step so you are prepared … because you never know when tragedy, illness or debilitating injury might strike.

Who Should Attend

  • Professional organizers looking to extend their service offerings
  • Members of the financial or legal community responsible for the estate of others
  • Prudent baby boomers who understand the value of estate planning
  • Adult children of senior citizens

We accept PayPal and credit cards. You can participate by listening via computer or on your phone. To register, click here. Hurry. Registration is limited.

You receive:
60 minutes of cutting-edge content
Link to free post-class audio files
Q & A session
PowerPoint handout
Sample DEP spreadsheet
Certificate of Attendance.

This teleclass may be eligible for CEU credits. Contact your professional association for more information.

It’s the best $79 educational dollars you’ll ever spend!

Your presenter is Judith Kolberg, a thought-leader of the organizing industry. She is the author of the soon-to-be-released ebook Creating Your Digital Estate Plan, and the book Getting Organized in the Era of Endless: What to do When Information, Interruption, Work and Stuff are Endless But Time is Not. Kolberg is credited with launching a profession specifically dedicated to the needs of chronically disorganized people. She is blazing the way on conquering digital disorganization.

Please note: This teleclass is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information regarding the general subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that the content providers and presenters including Judith Kolberg are not engaged in rendering estate, financial, legal or other professional services. Contact a qualified professional for the particulars about your situation.

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Making New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, January 12, 2015 @ 05:01 PM
posted by admin

The word resolve comes from the Latin verb solvere which means to loosen or to dissolve. In modern terms, we’ve stretched this definition to mean taking on a big or tough project and little by little “dissolving” it. Resolve also has a second meaning: to make clear and unambiguous, to bring to conclusion. Here the emphasis is on focusing in on the exact outcome you want. Taking both meanings together, you can craft some pretty potent resolutions.

Let’s say you want to get organized. Focus in on exactly what you mean by get organized. Maybe it’s to dig out of a complex, disorganized physical mess. Maybe you want to develop regular, long-term habits and routines that keep you on top of things. Or perhaps your resolution is to become a better time manager. Focus first; then dissolve it, break it down: Square foot by square foot, habit by habit and daily plan by daily plan.

Realize that many resolutions require behavioral changes over time. Such changes always work best when you get some help. Find a supportive, non-judgmental family member or friend to help you with your resolve, or consider hiring a professional organizer or an organizing coach at www.napo.net.

Resolving to Get Rid of Your Stuff

High on the list of New Year’s resolutions is getting rid of excess stuff. For many disorganized people, this is not as easy as it sounds. Some people lack information about the many options available for getting rid of stuff. Others just can’t seem to get the logistics to line up including finding the time, applying the effort, or preparing stuff to go. Most, I think, get stuck on the decision-making process itself.

I developed a set of Get Rid of Your Stuff flashcards. Because they are colorful, graphic and tactile (as well as informative) the flashcards give disorganized folks a simple tool for making what I call “de-acquisition” decisions.  “The flashcards helped me learn all the different ways to get rid of stuff,” my client said. “Donations, eBay, CraigsList, consignments, yard sales, giving things away for free to family or strangers – the list goes on and on.”

Professional organizers use them out in the field to help sort stuff, improve decision making, discuss de-acquisition options, and plan the logistics. But the flashcards are designed for anybody who wants to reduce clutter. They make excellent gifts and can be ordered at www.squallpress.net.

Resolving to Plan Your Digital Estate

Recently, I addressed the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM). My AADMM colleagues report that estate planning is high up on their clients’ resolution lists. I’m not a money manager, accountant, tax or financial professional of any kind, so it’s not my role to give you specific advice about your estate. But I would like to tell you a story by way of introducing you to digital estate planning.

My client Maxine died suddenly. I was helping organize her digital and tangible documents. Maxine’s executor notified the banks and other financial institutions of her death. But there were passwords and user codes and security questions to answer to access Maxine’s accounts that took weeks of hard work to untangle. And just when the family thought the estate was well on its way being settled, digital assets emerged. There was a web-only checking account Maxine had in the cloud with no paper trail and a PayPal account without any hardcopy statements.

We all have tangible and digital assets and information. I read about a guy who owned a “digital sword” he purchased for $17,000 to play high-stakes, international video games and legally it was considered an estate asset. I’d like to suggest in 2015, that you:

  • Create a password-protected document (like an Excel spreadsheet) of your login information so your executor and family can settle your account with less fuss and muss. In addition to your online accounts, consider “invisible” (web-only) accounts like Emigrant Direct and Voya and other places money might stowed, like PayPal accounts.
  • Next, inventory your digital assets and list how to gain access to them. Include the aforementioned accounts plus Bitcoins, royalties you may have coming in from the sale of eBooks on Kindle and Nook, seller’s accounts you might have with eBay, digital swords – you’d be surprised how many assets you have when you sit down and think about it. Even your domain name might have value to your estate. Find out at sedo.com.
  • Consider the Excel spreadsheet or other document you create a part of your final documents. Lock it down with a password, disclosed only to your executor, of at least 15 mixed characters and numbers. Keep a hardcopy with your Will. Download it to a flash drive and hand it to your executor. Keep a copy for yourself on a flash drive and consider not having a copy on your hard drive at all. Some folks also like to store a copy in the cloud at www.legacylocker or www.finaldeparture.com.

Watch for my Digital Estate Planning Kit at year’s end. Meanwhile, you can download a free Digital Estate Plan checklist at www.squallpress.net

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What Neuroscience tells us about Getting Organized

Monday, October 20, 2014 @ 10:10 AM
posted by admin

Excerpt from the Washington Post

We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom for better managing our time and organizing our professional and personal lives. Don’t try to multitask. Turn the email and Facebook alerts off to help stay focused. Make separate to-do lists for tasks that require a few minutes, a few hours and long-term planning.

But what’s grounded in real evidence and what’s not? In his new book The Organized Mind, Daniel Levitin — a McGill University professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience — explores how having a basic understanding of the way the brain works can help us think about organizing our homes, our businesses, our time and even our schools in an age of information overload.

Click here to read the interview with Levitin about why multi-tasking never works, what images of good leaders’ brains actually look like, and why email and Twitter are so incredibly addicting.

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