The VAL System of Organizing

I created the acronym VAL - as in the first three letters of the word value - to summarize three of the main principles I use in the great majority of projects: Visibility, Accessibility and Like with like. If newly organized items aren't visible or accessible, they fail the two most basic organizing standards. (Exceptions below.) If articles aren't placed like with like, the vision of having … [Read more...]

Why I always start with the “worst first”

The most common opening question I receive from clients in our first session is, "Where do we begin?" My standard answer is, "With whatever it is that causes you the most stress - that worst thing you can barely stand to look at or think about." This strategy offers both visual and psychological encouragement. Once the most difficult space, project or issue has been tamed, the remainder doesn't … [Read more...]

The “department store box” method of garage organizing

OK - let's say your last move was a rush job, and you ended up with boxes that had a variety of items in them in no particular order, with no specific themes. (Or, for whatever reason, you just have boxes with mixed categories inside.) I suggest setting up a table as your work area, & laying out whatever number of boxes your categories require. (If you have a number of tables to accommodate … [Read more...]

Managing clutter and overwhelm

If you wake up one day & your life looks/feels like this, please know one thing: you're not alone! Overwhelm has become commonplace now, with everyone's to-do lists longer & their time shorter. First step: self-compassion - instead of the usual judgment we pour on ourselves. Judgment doesn't hurry progress - it impedes it. … [Read more...]