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Get Organized Now Blog
Get Organized Now Blog
In 2009 /2010 I was still in private practice as a Psychoanalyst treating people who were losing their homes and jobs. It was a difficult time financially and I had 50 plus year old people telling me they were losing their way in life. These people were giving up hope and having difficulty figuring out what they wanted in personal and professional life. One of the favorite sayings during those years was "Think outside the box". Everyone believed that if they thought outside a box they would gain more clarity. Instead I believed quite the opposite. I stated "Don't think outside the box, get rid of the box." I also was posting a lot on Oprah's Facebook page. I guess Deepak Chopra's group saw it and he adopted it. My brilliance adopted by a brilliant man. I am honored! So here is what gave me the idea to "Get rid of the box" altogether.
When I ask people what they want in life they tell me what they need, but the needs are not actual "needs." So first off i educate about needs. Needs are:
What people mostly want in life are:
People pose the wants as needs and this is a lie to the subconscious process of life. And as a result of not getting what they want, people decline on fulfilling their needs of breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, dressing and living, eliminating and sun bathing well. We are not treating ourselves well as the world speeds up, yet we keep dreaming about a better life with more pleasurable experiences.
The box is formed around us, in front of us, lurking behind us. The boxes are in our garages, in closets, cluttered up in offices, and in our hallways. We keep ordering goods and stuff thinking it is what we "need" to better our lives, but the physical boxes are the leading cause of our emotional box. We are a society now that over-accumulates and underestimates how objects impact how we feel about ourselves. And if you are not over -accumulating stuff, you may be stuffing feelings and becoming alienated and alone.
We do not communicate feelings any longer. We say "I feel like" but with no actual emotional feeling, such as "disappointment", "rage", "weary", lonely", or even "sad". We just have thoughts to explain ourselves, but thoughts are thoughts and feelings are feelings. I get the idea that feelings have been banned from our lanuage leaving us robotic and lifeless and uncommunicative. The lack of adverbs has led to despondance and a deep yearning and craving for even a mirage of lightness and fulfillment. One foot in front of the other trapsing along the path of "need".
The box is symbolic of what we cannot see, or have or taste or touch. The idea that "thinking outside the box" was a great and amazing idea perplexes me. When the box is still there, at all, how do we see our dreams and goals clearly? The block is still there hanging around for what? Why did the box stay in the picture at all?
My idea of "getting rid of the box" instead of "thinking outside the box", I know is the correct analogy for clarity, joy and ultimately an ideal lifestyle. So for once and for all rid yourself of all the boxes in your self and space.
Marla Stone, MSW, Lifestyle Coach, Business Consultant
"Getting organized is a well planned out event if you want "perpetual organization." Achieving long-term organization starts with understanding what you truly value in life. The next step is to categorize every single object in your home. Once everything is categorized you want to go through every object, category by category and make good decisions about what you keep and what you will donate, trash or gift. But how do you make those good decisions? Using the method below for getting and staying organized makes it easy. Ask yourself these 4 questions while pondering your belongings.
Remember the outer if a reflection of the inner, so everything aroun you is a representation of how you are doing in your inner self. So lots and lots of clutter and piles, and disorganization means a chaotic you.
So now that you have gone through your items and decided what will be kept, the next process is to contain the categories and find them a home. How do you decide where to put all your contained categories? Simple answer is that the things that you use the most stay closest to you, and the items you use the least go furthest from you.
I have so many clients struggling to get to their daily, weekly, monthly items, tripping over items they only use once or twice a year and that weighs on them. So extracting items you use the most, and finding the appropriate size home in your kitchen, living areas, bathroom and bedroom cabinets and closets to store them is a smart idea. Taking the items you do not use daily, weekly or monthly, and finding areas in the garage or furthest from your everyday living space will allow you easy access to the things you use more often.
So get busy and get de-cluttering and if your still struggling to understand what matter matters to you most call 949-709-7000 for a free 30 minute phone consultation with an I-Deal-Lifestyle professional organizer. We serve all 52 states in the U.S. www.i-deal-lifestyle.com
You love your partner, child, mom, your dad, grandparent, your sister, brother, cousins, best friend and neighbor. You love who you love, but you don't always love their behaviors, their lifestyle and or their space.
People with hoarding and cluttering (H & C) behaviors or extensive collecting (EC) behaviors have difficulty connecting their behavior to unsafe conditions and lack of well being. They believe they are living just fine. When a close family member or friend attempts to help it is rarely successful. People who engage in (H & C) and (EC) may have some insight into their clutter being a challenge or no insight at all. Studies by Institute for Challenging Disorganization indicate family members, and close friends, even loving ones, will be a trigger to increase the (H & C) and (EC) behaviors.
Not all people with (H & C) behaviors come from homes where hoarding took place. After working with over 1200 clients in the past 5 1/2 years I have many theories about why the behaviors perpetuate.
Here are some of my theories based on interviewing over 1200 clients:
Mental health challenges such as hoarding, and obsessive compulsive challeges are unusually difficult to treat. They are not illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, post traumatic syndrome or panic disorder. There are no specific therapies or interventions currently to curb the symptoms, no medications that target the part of the brain stimulating the behaviors. I am certainly not down playing the seriousness of any other mental health challenge but (H & C) and (EC) behaviors are so varied, and with so many different collecting patterns and objects collected, that in some cases the symptoms are simply mind boggling. I knew a person who suffered so badly she could not leave her bathroom without putting up and down the toilet seat for hours at a time. Often she reported that she was in her bathroom without food or water for up to 3-4 hours at a time, persuaded she had to do this act or all hell would break loose. When asked to symbolize the act of putting the toilet seat up and down the client made clear it was an avoidance of walking through the clutter and out the door. It can be a very mysterious set of circumstances which trigger hoarding and collecting behaviors, but the theories above have been well accepted and understood by people with these intense challenges.
There are different types of hoarding behaviors, some are fear based, others guilt based and then sentimental based. People can hoard just from their own mail, grocery items, free newspaper stands, dumpsters or by shopping and collecting. Every case is a unique eye opener. I heard about a man who hoards egg and milk cartons. There must be 1000's of egg and milk cartons in his home. He created a maze of egg and milk cartons.
Freud explained over-accumulation with a theory called “object relations,” a personalized view of the object and attachment to the objects based on a person’s relationship to the object. Jung’s ideas are that the objects hoarded are symbols of self, life and perceptions.
The behaviors are generally annoying, scary, tedious, sad and exhausting for family members who attempt to intervene. You are not alone. Most people with (H & C) behaviors feel isolated, ashamed, angry, frustrated, lost and ineffective about their space and their motivation to do anything about the mess around themselves. The behaviors are not a way to sabotage you, or an act of being passive aggressive, it is a serious mental health challenge.
It is an old mental health challenge that has a long history, but not a long history of research or solutions. Mental health practitioners, educators and researchers are now becoming more and more interested in the subject and the people who have (H & C) behaviors.
Hoarding is an International epidemic, but there is a help out there for you and your loved one. In each community there are task forces going out to help people with (H & C) and (EC) behaviors. These forces are not there on a day and night basis or even in an emergency, but with planning and contact they will intervene with your loved one.
Don't take a family member's hoarding and cluttering lightly. It is a very serious challenge and can be life threatening. There is always a way to see the light and create a path for people with (H & C) and (EC) behaviors. Professional Organizers with an expertise in mental health have a lot of techniques and insight to work with situations involving large amounts of clutter.
When someone is living in a pile of trash and stuff so high that they cannot safely move around without falling, or when a fire department refuses to enter a space with too much stuff it is time to intervene. Don't wait until a tragedy occurs. You may feel responsible and unhappy for years to come if you don't call on people that will come and give your loved one support and services. The task force is not there to harass the property owner, or the family or take over property. The task forces are there to help people with connect to intervention, services and programs.
Most of the time the task force in your area will consist of a fireman, adult protective worker, city worker, social worker, a professional organizer and volunteers. These groups of people, that make house calls do this to help people break down the barricades that hold them back from enjoying their ideal lifestyle. I call the barricade of stuff a self made prison system with a forever pass to go free.
Mental Health Consultant/Speaker
Professional Organizer, Lifestyle Coach, Feng Shui and Decor Specialist
Marla is an international specialist on clutter control
Let's face it, renovating a home can be overwhelming and sometimes you may think you're going mad. Working with designers, contractors, along with every buddy having an opinion, at the end of the day you may just want to cry.
So let's make it easy for you to figure out what goes in your home.
1. Go with the architecture of the home. When you have a french country home you want tile, paint and furniture that goes with that genre. When you purchased a modern home you're not put contemporary furniture, you're putting modern. Contemporary belongs with contemporary. When you have a colonial home you are not going with french provincial, but rather colonial pieces, with a flair of provincial. It first makes sense to buy a home with architecture that you love so the inside that follows matches your taste.
2. Once you figure out the genre of the home, paint and flooring are the first things to start to figure out. And what do you do first, of course flooring. Start with the base of the home and work up to paint, furniture, decor, artwork and then lighting. It's elementary my darling. Flooring options are so many that your head will spin. Let's narrow it down: Wood (real wood, engineered wood, tile that looks like wood and laminate that looks like wood.) Tile (porcelain, ceramic, real stone.) Carpet (wool or synthetic.) Materials (concrete, cork, vinyl.) What you choose is ultimately up to you. It's all in how it looks and feels to you, whether you want organic or somewhat toxic. So go to different flooring shops big and small and touch the flooring and step on it and take pictures of it and ponder it. There are many stores such as Floor and Decor, Home Depot, Lowes, Lumber and tile outlets, mom and pop shops, exclusive shops, downtown shops, and shops on-line. Get samples to see how it goes in the space. Bring home the samples and see if it is really what you want and if the house likes it too.
3. Now paint. Go to your favorite paint store, Dunn Edwards, Vista, Sherwin Williams, Home Depot, Lowes, independent, local, expert retailer stores, or go on-line and start looking at colors. Do you want blues, oranges, yellows, browns, beiges, white, green, reds, or fifty shades of grey? Figure out what soothes and moves you. Once you narrow down the category of colors you like, and for which rooms you like them in, buy samples of paint. Start with a few and then just keep going to get samples until you have an ah hah moment. It's not a cheap or easy process, but painting the samples on your walls will let you know what you can and cannot live with. If you don't want to mucky up the walls use a piece of white paper or cardboard taped onto the wall. Don't pick too many colors and make the house all choppy with different paint. Don't go too wild and make your eyes bug out every time you walk into the kitchen. Subtle colors for the bedrooms helps sleep and wilder colors in small bathrooms or laundry rooms is my rule. Choose a theme of colors that foster a flow through your home.
4. Finding contractors. Referral, referral, referral. Don't go too cheap or too high. Look at reviews on-line. Do your research. Get recent references. I made the mistake of getting 3 great references for a flooring guy, only to realize, after blunder after blunder that the references were from years ago and the guy had lost his wife and started doing drugs. He was a nice enough guy but he was a mess.
5. Be on-site at all times or have someone who knows design, like a designer or a family member who will keep close watch on the work. Workman don't want someone breathing down their neck, but guess what either does your kid, but that doesn't mean you are not watching and checking on him or her regularly. Contractors or whoever you hired often leave incompetent workers on their own. So poke your nose into your masterpiece anytime you want to. Speak up if you see something that bothers you or you know is cockamamie.
6. Furniture is all about matching the architecture. You can be somewhat eclectic but you want a flow to the structure and all that is in it. So figure out what the house would have in it if a top designer were to do the design, and then let the architecture and your taste dictate the style. Throwing in asian pieces, or a modern or antique piece here and there in any architecture is fine, but the base furniture style wants to have a theme. Find furnishings, paintings and decor on craigslist, Facebook furniture groups, on-line, as long as it is real wood, not fake pressed wood, fine furniture stores such as Kreiss, Tommy Bahama, Z Gallerie, Restoration Hardware, thrift and consignment stores for hard to find or unique pieces. I have found the best pieces in my home on craigslist and estate sales. Expensive pieces for pennies on the dollar is always a thrill.
7. Lighting comes last after you figure out artwork and where it will be placed. Again find what you love to look at, and that makes your heart sing. Lighting can be found on-line, Murano is amazing, crystal, modern, traditional, ecclectic, reasonable or expensive. It is up to your hearts desire.
Marla Stone is a design and decor expert founded in the art of Feng Shui. Her company Decor and more for Less is at www.orangecountydecorators.com She works in the United States, Europe and Canada helping people get real with what they want, and then finds the deal. Call 949-709-7000 for a free 15 minute phone consultation with a decor specialist.
Do you find yourself looking frantically for gadgets, spices, and anything you want to use while cooking? That's a sign it's time for a kitchen clean up! I do a full organization of my kitchen every 6-8 months. It is like HEAVEN when your kitchen is organized. There is no better feeling then preparing a meal and knowing where everything is. I promise organizing your kitchen is not that hard and saves you hours of time and stress normally dedicated to looking for stuff. In five easy steps, your kitchen will be looking fantastic!
If a home for sale is unfurnished, its beauty and value are understated to those viewing it. Even if a home buyer's furniture pieces are completely different sizes or styles than those in the home they are viewing, having an easy frame of reference is quite useful to them. Furthermore, buyers can be enticed to buy a home they would be otherwise averted to if the decor brings serenity, joy and interest.
The Chinese art of Feng Shui lays forth . By dividing areas in your home into devoted categories (Love and Relationships, Fame and Recognition, Prosperity, Children and Creativity, Health, Family, Helping People and Travel, Skills and Knowledge), energy will flow through it. In fact, the tranquility is instantly recognizable. When the Bagua maps are utilized, to bring harmony to its occupants, an understanding of how your home influences your lifestyle is recognized.
I-Deal-Lifestyle professional organizers take advantage of these principles to get your house ready to sell. Whether your home is completely empty or a cluttered mess, we will use Feng Shui to turn every room into a selling feature. We will find inexpensive, lightly-used pieces to liven up your living spaces. Or, we can incorporate the neglected decor items already in your home to entice potential buyers. Marla Stone explains that "how you place or re-purpose items clients already own, can change the whole dynamic and look of the property".
Is it important to stage your home prior to putting it on the market? "Yes, and the increase in value is recognized by everyone immediately".
Get a whole home assessment and a whole lot of ideas for increasing the value of your home for sale, or just for you to enjoy and stay!
For professional decorating in Orange County, Los Angeles, or San Diego, contact Marla Stone - (949) 709-7000
"I need to go to the bank." "I need your help." "I need a cup of coffee". Modern language is filled with "I need" statements. In fact, most individuals use this phrase several times per day. But are we describing things we must do? Do our lives unconditionally depend on that diet coke, or did we just want it to stave off the mid-afternoon slump?
What a person actually needs is easily listed on your fingers. Human beings need air, food, water, shelter, sleep, elimination, and sunlight. These seven human necessities are the only things absolutely essential to human survival. When people say they need something separate from this list, they are improperly expressing themselves. Some may dismiss this notion, arguing the phrase has adapted to mean something else - a figure of speech that outgrew its original definition. However, its use could lead to unnoticed, but impactful consequences.
People who regularly tell themselves they need inessential things are confusing their subconscious selves. Deep down, everybody knows what they truly need, and that new rug, new phone, and new car don't fit the bill. One may want these things very much, but when they're expressed as a need, the subconscious mind will respond, "No you don't!", preventing the desire from ever reaching fruition. Regularly declaring you need to do something will cause you to not do it at all!
Luckily, a simple solution for this language exists. Instead of proclaiming what you need, decide what you want and what you will do to get it. Replacing the phrase "I need" with "I will" will help you follow through with your decisions and do what you truly want to.
This approach to needy language is a core principle of I-Deal-Lifestyle's methods of organization. If something is useful, has a purpose, is sentimental, or is simply something you love, it belongs in your home. You don't need any of your possessions, but by identifying what you truly want, you can sensibly decide what you will keep. By employing this decisive language throughout the process of home organization, our clients keep their homes and possessions tidy long after the organizers have left.
For professional organization services in Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego, contact Marla Stone - (949) 709-7000
While capitalism has brought abundance and material security to modern living, it also causes some individuals to over-collect. In fact, many Americans find their precious possessions are filling their homes, leaving them untidy. They are not necessarily "hoarders", but have too many items for them to keep track of or care for. This clutter inevitably causes people to feel unnecessarily stressed and overwhelmed.
The answer to this common predicament is not sending all your stuff straight to the dump. By classifying and properly organizing your possessions, you can have a tidy, beautiful home that exhibits collections instead of just storing them. Having vast collections is respectable as long as they are sufficiently organized.
This task of tidying can be daunting, especially if you're at it alone. I-Deal-Lifestyle professional organizers will help you declutter thoroughly and entirely. No matter how much clutter you have, we will implement an organizational system specifically tailored to your home and possessions. After categorizing every item you own and finding the very best places for them, we will give you the tools and techniques to keep your home in order after we leave. In addition, our expertise in the Chinese art of Feng Shui will revitalize your living spaces and bring you peace of mind. For it is not your possessions that matter, it is the way in which they supplement your life.
For professional organization services in Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego, contact Marla Stone - (949) 709-7000
Hoarding challenges better stated as over-collecting, over-accumulation and churning behaviors create unsafe, unlivable, and often deadly environments for people to live in. It is in the extreme cases that Professional Organizer, that use the I-Deal-Lifestyle Methods, are the best possible avenue for having a safe and sound environment occur.
The beginning I-Deal-Lifestyle methods, for severe, chronic or mild cases are the same. The first I-Deal-Lifestyle methods involve, clearing the entire contents out of the existing space, then organizing all belongings into categories. Every single object in the home ends up with like objects. Yet in severe cases where there is significant attachment to objects, and strife, and where extreme anxiety would occur, there is NO editing involved.
Editing or going through items, with people who have very little insight and who have no intention of parting with items is NOT a good idea, and will cause harm.
Marla Stone creator of the I-Deal-Method of organizing, explains "the next step for people with high attachment is to keep their categorized items in clear plastic bins by category, out of walk ways, off the furniture, preferably on shelving that can go anywhere a shelf can go". The idea behind that is "when people can see their belongings, clearly, it cuts way back on the churning behaviors, giving that person a break from wondering where everything is, and they are less likely to collect more. The plus is they can keep every little scrap they own, yet it is out of their pathways, they can sit on their couch, entertain and sleep in their beds. It is a safer and more 'normal' lifestyle. Marla realized "it is not our place to tell people what they can and can't keep in their space".
The process of categorizing the entire contents of a space is labor intensive and involves a team of organizers, but when the owners see the beauty of categorizing all their belongings, they "get it". It is not rocket science to get someone organized when there is a great plan, and some muscle. Having people stay organized long-term is where it gets tricky. Marla has linked staying organized with changing your language.
Marla also discovered that just clearing the space, organizing the home, having it cleaned and then having items containerized by category is "as far as some folks can go". She explains, "the trend now is to live with extreme organization and minimal stuff that brings you "joy", but the majority of people, in the world, still will not part with their stuff even if it is not loved, sentimental, purposeful and or useful". So to accommodate her clients she goes with what makes them comfortable, yet safe and protected.
Marla Stone, owner of I-Deal-Lifestyle, has developed a method involving changing your language, understanding a criteria for what stays near and far in our space, and an understanding of what a person will or won't do after the organizers have completed the project. Marla explains "the first step is changing your language to eliminate the word need in conjunction with objects, knowing whether the objects are used, purposeful, sentimental and or loved, and then assessing whether the person has the desire, will or determination to keep up the organized space". She calls her method the
I-Deal-Lifestyle tm Method. This method has helped 1000's of people get and remain organized long-term.
Prior to reading this check out Organize Your Relationship Part 1 http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com/self--space-blog/organize-your-relationship-part-1-by-marla-stone-lifestyle-coach and Part 2 at http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com/self--space-blog/organize-your-relationship-part-2-by-marla-stone
Relationships are as difficult as you state they are. When you talk about how bad something is, it will be bad. When you are unhappy with the behaviors of your partner, stating your unhappiness over and over is a sure way nothing will change. Writing lists of what you want in an "ideal" partner is a regular routine I do with my husband. As I grow and learn more about myself I want more growth and understanding from my partner and vice versa. I realize every day that my partner does not have a mind-reading mechanism. When I am not specific about my feelings and thoughts, he does not know what I want from him. He does not interpret my sighs and my huffiness. He does not understand which behaviors to change or shift.
For example my husband started to get a bit out of shape. It bothered him, so he thought it bothered me. I became annoyed with him complaining about his physique, and then he misinterpreted that annoyance as an irritation about his weight. I did not notice anything different about his look, but if I was upset about his shape, I simply would have said, "I'm unhappy with you getting out of shape but I love you no matter what." Stating a clear negative feeling and then a validation is being truly assertive. People will hear negative feelings when there is a positive statement following. It's still my husband's choice to do something about his body, or not, yet the result of ignoring your partner's unhappiness just leads to confusion and more unhappiness. If something bothers you about another person's behavior, then it just is. So my husband started going regularly to a gym and loves boot camp.
On the other hand my husband, who has a difficult time sharing feelings started to moan and groan when I worked late into the night. He did not like me working on the computer, ignoring our time together in the evenings. He finally after some prodding told me "Marla I'm upset with all the time you're on the computer during the evening, when we could spend time together." He gave me the opportunity to not have to guess why he was upset, but he shared his feelings and validated me by telling me that he missed me. There it was, he was upset about not spending enough time together. To be truly assertive I addressed his feelings by stating a feeling of my own in relation to his feelings. I said to him "I'm irritated that you are upset, and I am still going to write into the night, but I love you and let's hang out in the morning and go for a walk." He doesn't get to dictate that I stop, but he gets to hear my feelings, respect and validation for how he feels. I could have just as easily said, "I feel sad that you are upset and I will get up earlier to write." When there is someone unhappy it is still each person's choice to make the changes the other requests. It is my choice and his choice to make decisions about what we do or don't do, no matter what. Someone else's feelings count but so do yours.
Having the respect to give someone's feelings attention is the beginning of compromise. But compromise literally means with promise, and what you promise comes with commitment to that promise. The old phrase "Be careful what you promise" is important for a stable and safe relationship, rather than a wild ride relationship. When someone wants more of you, or for you to change, don't cower down and say you will, when you have no intention of changing at all. Tell the truth in relationships. "No," and "I don't want to" are okay to express. Sometimes the other person really doesn't want anything from you but attention. Sharing feelings and speaking your mind about what you want, and then making sure you tell the person that you love them is the bridge to connectivity and happiness.
When a partner no longer wants to be a partner, they will ignore your feelings completely. For instance, a partner who promises to be home for dinner by six every night, but doesn't ever come home until after nine, is running solo. If that happened in a business situation it would be career suicide. In a relationship it means the "partnership" is sailing in two different directions. Confronting the distant partner with feelings of abandonment and hurt is the first step. Telling that partner why you would love them to be home earlier is the second step. When the partner says, "I am staying until nine in order to afford a second car for you, and I love you so much and am truly not ignoring you," then you may still be upset, but there is communication which will lead to coping and acceptance. If the partner does not communicate feelings, thoughts and validation and continues the self centered / non-caring behaviors, realize there is a split in the relationship.
Repairing a split relationship starts with each person recognizing if the partner really meets their criteria. Write a list of 30 things you want in an ideal partner and follow instructions in the first two articles about how to proceed from there. Bottom line you deserve an ideal partner and so does your partner. It is no reflection on you when you don't meet someone else's criteria, it only means that there is no compatibility. If someone values career and wanted someone else who values career, yet one partner wants to be a stay at home parent then it will not work. When someone values athletics and having a great shape, yet the other loves donuts and watching tv with a bowl of chips it won't work. While one person may love socializing and traveling and the other books and alone time, if each partner honors the other's autonomy there is a chance to continue a thriving relationship. But when one wants the other by their side 24 / 7, then sorry charlie, it's not happening.
Often when two people who thought they were compatible, turn out incompatible, it stems from not having a criteria for an ideal partner from the get go. We generally have more criteria points for a car, or a home than we do a partner. Figure out what you truly want in a partner before doing anything else. Then take a look at what your partner wants and see if there are enough cross overs to make it work. Working on how to accept someone who truly doesn't meet your criteria would be like forcing yourself to eat a food you loathe every single day.
Marla Stone is a productivity / efficiency lifestyle expert.
Find her information on www.perfectlypaired.com for relationship coaching or call 949-709-7000 for a free 15 minute phone consultation to find out more about having ideal relationships.
Marla Stone earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of I-Deal-Lifestyle, a Self and Space Organization Service.