How to Select a Professional Organizer

How to Select a Professional Organizer

How to Select a Professional Organizer

Just like finding the ‘right’ doctor isn’t easy, neither is finding the right professional organizer,
so let’s review some key things to consider in making the right selection:

Referral
If someone you know well has worked on a project with a professional organizer and found the
experience helpful, then it would be worth talking with that organizer first.

Know why . . .
Why do you think you need and organizer? What specifically do you want help with? That is
your starting place to find a professional organizer. What are you expecting the organizer to
do for you? Do you want to be taught a system for organizing your personal chaos or do you
want pressure exerted on you to buy expensive furniture? 7 Reasons you might need to hire a professional organizer

Ask the organizer . . .
It is important to know how long the organizer has been working in her/his profession and why
that profession was chosen. Hear his/her stories of working with other clients like the most
challenging or funniest situation. Does that professional have a heart for truly helping other?

Your Story
Share your goal and intention for what you expect to accomplish along with the time frame.
Then ask the organizer if that sounds reasonable and how could she or he help. The organizer
can then let you know what the time frame means in terms of the time commitment for each of
you. That is assuming you will be working on ‘homework’ between visits that will need to be
factored in. Having a clear objective and schedule is most helpful for a successful and timely
outcome.

Assignments
You will need to know what part each of you will play in the project, or what each of you will
do. Will you be expected to do some homework between visits? Will you work side-by-side
or will the organizer, having been given direction by you, do her/his magic to bring order to
your chaos?

Trust
Do you get a ‘gut’ sense you can trust the organizer to hear your concerns about your
sensitivity toward your items being touched. Get a sense of how carefully your personal items
will handled. Organizers are limited in helping clients when the client is distraught over any
and every item being touched. The fear of dust being agitated in the air when papers are
touched can be so extreme that working in that environment is almost impossible for an
organizer. Some clients have anxiety over an old empty envelope being thrown out and that
leaves the organizer at a loss to be helpful.

An initial trial session may be of help to test that the chemistry is right to accomplish the task.

Watch
Be aware of being judged for the state of your home or room being worked in. Talk about how
you are feeling. Does the organizer cause anxiety to surface? That is not uncommon. The
process of organizing can stir up some anxiety. But it will settle down as order takes shapes. If
you feel anxious, tell the organizer and listen to the response you get. Hopefully, the organizer
can slow down or back off working in a specific area that can be tackled later. Make that
suggestion if the organizer does not. Postponing a specific area is perfectly acceptable.

Does the organizer have a sense of humor? Can you both laugh about odd things found in even
odder places or are insensitive comments made? Chunks of dried paint in an old paint can have
been the cause of many mutual chuckles. No one needs to feel blamed for that, but it feels
good to laugh at that oddity. It has only happened a couple times in the last two decades of
helping clients.

Whatever your personal concerns are, honor them, use your voice and see if you and the
organizer are in alignment. Asking for help and finding the right person to help calm your
chaos is the important first step for more peace in your life.

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa Hawkinson
Professional Organizer | Author Calming Your Chaos | Leader of the Smooth Organizer Community
www.elisahawkinson.com

about

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

 

 

Since 2000 Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson, author of Calming Your Chaos, has been teaching and training businesses and individuals to support anyone who is not naturally organized on a consistent basis to be just that. Her HOW2GetOrganized seminars, workshops, and speaking along with hands-on coaching and coaching by phone has evolved from her natural genetic bent for order. Efficiency, calm, productivity and profitability are increased with the help of HOW2 and Elisa.

 

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How Does Laughter Impact Your Health?

How Does Laughter Impact Your Health?

How Does Laughter Impact Your Health?

Did you grow up with laughter being part of your family culture? Do you realize how critical laughter is you to health?

I did not grow up with laughter and was actually told not to smile much because it showed
my crooked teeth which my parents could not afford braces. But, I did learn to laugh and
laugh hard and often through my husband and his family. I have been blessed to learn to
laugh at so many things. I’ll even tell embarrassing stories on myself just so I can have a good laugh.

Now as a caregiver to a husband with dementia, laughter is a huge piece of my own self-care so I am constantly on
the lookout for something I see or hear to laugh about.

I recently read about a man caring for his wife with dementia. As they were driving on a trip, his wife told him she
was looking out for dead animals on the side of the road. Rather than worry about what was said as something so
out of character, the man quickly responded, “Oh, hon, I didn’t realize you were so hungry.” She thought that was
very funny, and so did I.

I am not laughing at people with challenges but somethings just hit my tickle bone and that is good for me. Almost
3000 years ago the wise King Solomon wrote, “A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . . “(Proverbs 17:22a NIV)
Another way to say that is, being cheerful helps keep you healthy. If he was the wisest man of all who are alive
today, Solomon might even agree that laughter is indeed “the best medicine”. I take a dose or more a day for myself
and it relieves some of the stress out of life and caregiving.

Think about how by God’s design, laughter boosts both physical and emotional health. It’s many positive effect on
well-being can strengthen our resiliency and help us cope better with the stresses of life in all its forms. Experts
say that laughter:

  • Strengthens the immune system by increasing antibodies
  • Relaxes muscles throughout the body
  • Reduces tension, anxiety, and stress
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and elevates good cholesterol
  • Increases blood vessel elasticity
  • Increases energy
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Improves social connections
  • Shifts perspective in a positive direction

At least once a day, find something that makes you laugh, and sometimes a big belly laugh, with friends, movies,
books, and internet videos. Do it for your health. Be a good self-care giver.

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa Hawkinson
Professional Organizer | Author Calming Your Chaos | Leader of the Smooth Organizer Community
www.elisahawkinson.com

about

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

 

 

Since 2000 Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson, author of Calming Your Chaos, has been teaching and training businesses and individuals to support anyone who is not naturally organized on a consistent basis to be just that. Her HOW2GetOrganized seminars, workshops, and speaking along with hands-on coaching and coaching by phone has evolved from her natural genetic bent for order. Efficiency, calm, productivity and profitability are increased with the help of HOW2 and Elisa.

 

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How to Keep the Joy During the Holidays

How to Keep the Joy During the Holidays

How to Keep the Joy During the Holidays

How would this month of celebrations and activities become a memory for keeps for the entire family?
Let’s start with some strategic planning. The month may include performances, parties, special meals, gift
exchanges, along with time Let’s take a look a key tips to help improve the outcome of each piece of the
holidays.

Think about the memories being created by the choices being made about each of the holiday activities and
the accumulation of them during the month. The sum total could be wonderful or withering or disappointing. Design your memories from the beginning by considering each component.

Time ~ has its limits so work within the time you have each day and make sure you cherish rest and
sleep. Don’t skimp of sleep along with hydration and exercise. You want to stay healthy through the holidays! Reminders of these important items is essential because we humans need reminding about selfcare.

Meals ~ that may be interchanged for a specific night work could be an alternative night. Be flexible. Keep
the menu nutritious and simple and easy to prepare. Eat together as a family and keep conversation upbeat.

Help ~ Include asking for help from family members and stay calm and pleasant, even cheerful, through
working together. A mother may want to hire helping hands if small children are at home. That frees up
mom to get more done and also have the child’s needs met. An extra playmate may help the child to enjoy
the holidays more too.

Performances ~ Mark the calendar for the performance(s) that you would like to attend. Limit the number to keep the calm and joy of the season flowing throughout for all the family members.

Parties~ The same limitations hold true here too; just how many parties need to be attended? The extra
time to prepare for the parties and work meals around them can add so much stress in addition to getting
child care arranged and the cost.

Gifts~ Using the internet makes shopping quicker and easier. Plus avoidance of seasonal germs is a benefit. Having a gift wrapping station in the home with the wrap, scissors, tape and gift tags ready makes wrapping a gift on the day of purchase so much calmer than the hours it could take waiting to do them all at
once. That I learned from experience when the children were younger.

Laugher~ along with seasonal music keeps the immune system stronger so be sure to keep the air full of
music and laughter.

Each of these tips are helpful throughout much of the year so don’t limit the strategic planning to just the
holiday season. Joy to you this Holiday Season and Merry Christmas.

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa Hawkinson
Professional Organizer | Author Calming Your Chaos | Leader of the Smooth Organizer Community
www.elisahawkinson.com

about

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

 

 

Since 2000 Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson, author of Calming Your Chaos, has been teaching and training businesses and individuals to support anyone who is not naturally organized on a consistent basis to be just that. Her HOW2GetOrganized seminars, workshops, and speaking along with hands-on coaching and coaching by phone has evolved from her natural genetic bent for order. Efficiency, calm, productivity and profitability are increased with the help of HOW2 and Elisa.

 

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Winter Sadness

Winter Sadness

Winter Sadness

It started recently but I did not recognize it until I started talking with an acquaintance,
then the tears started rolling. I had the seasonal blues and I knew why. The weather
has shifted to cloud covered days and a recent family illness prompted a cascade of
personal setbacks, and I felt my world was caving in on me.

Drugs?

I told a friend I did not want to take a prescription because a past bad experience was
something I did not want to repeat. We agreed there had to be a better way as she also
had similar reasons for the blues and did not want to take drugs.

Solution?

We agreed on take some simple solutions like regular exercise every day along with a
healthy diet and staying hydrated along with being in touch and being real with each
other.

That staying in touch helped when the following day I saw a huge bank charge due to
using my debit card instead of my credit card, which was my plan. My brain went off
track somewhere and I did not realize I was using my debit card. I was able to vent in
high volume in my car and talk with my friend after I talked with the bank. Slight
resolution and I understand why. I must pay much closer attention to my accounts daily
if I want to avoid a similar incident.

The shorter days of light create a bit of a pinch in my schedule but the commitment to
stay with it makes me get out, like right now, as the daylight is slipping away.

Compound Effect

Back from my 60-minute walk to add I am making a commitment to be consistent to do
small specific things every day for selfcare to make a demonstrable difference in 4
months, 10 months and longer in my attitude and health. If I do nothing more from this
day forth, my health will deteriorate. With that I have made a commitment to myself and
a couple friends that I will check in with to be consistent. I will keep a calendar of what I
am doing. I owe this to myself and to my kids and grandkids.

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa Hawkinson
Professional Organizer | Author Calming Your Chaos | Leader of the Smooth Organizer Community
www.elisahawkinson.com

about

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

 

 

Since 2000 Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson, author of Calming Your Chaos, has been teaching and training businesses and individuals to support anyone who is not naturally organized on a consistent basis to be just that. Her HOW2GetOrganized seminars, workshops, and speaking along with hands-on coaching and coaching by phone has evolved from her natural genetic bent for order. Efficiency, calm, productivity and profitability are increased with the help of HOW2 and Elisa.

 

Join Our Community of Amazing Women

Be the first to know about upcoming events, new shows and stories!

How to Organize Your Garage

How to Organize Your Garage

How to Organize Your Garage

If you read the article on organizing a kitchen then you will notice how organizing a
garage has the same principles.

Tip 1: Start with a goal for your garage. For instance, a continually cleared off
workbench ready for you to step up to (because there are no piles in front of it on the
floor) and park at least one car in the garage.

Tip 2: The Sorting begins with you going through every drawer, cabinet, and shelf and
floor to see what you need to keep and use.

Tip 3: After the sorting is done the key to really get organized is how you arrange what
you truly need and use.

Tip 4: Think in terms of grouping like things. A peg board on the wall behind the
workbench can hold almost all the hand tools you need to use for any repair or project.
There are even bins with clear little drawers to hold screws and nuts and bolts. Or
holders for drills and hammers. Group recreational gear and summer patio items and
then have a section for gardening.

Tip 5: Other groupings include all the paints, plumbing, electrical, tools for tile work
along with the grout mixes, large pieces of equipment like chain saws, the saws-all can
be grouped and placed on lower portion of a shelf due to weight or in a cabinet.

Tip 6: Remain focused on what is needed and use and let go of items no longer
needed or used but could be wanted by others. I have seen bags of screws and nuts
and bolts sold at pawn shops or given to thrift stores that sell garage items. Some men
take tools on mission trips to use for projects and then leave behind for further use. You
might even donate to a church that gives in this way.

Tip 7: Racks attached to the ceiling will hold items in tubs that are only used yearly or
so like holiday decorations.

Tip 8: If two cars are being parked in the garage, stainless steel racks on wheels
placed between the parked cars can hold tubs of emergency food, or summer swim
items and sand box tools. Rubber bumpers can be place on the racks to prevent
scratching the doors.

Tip 9: Snowboards during our sons’ teen years were a problem in our tight garage so
we put bungie cord straps on the ceiling; so we strapped the snowboards on the ceiling
with the boots locked in place.

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa Hawkinson
Professional Organizer | Author Calming Your Chaos | Leader of the Smooth Organizer Community
www.elisahawkinson.com

about

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

 

 

Since 2000 Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson, author of Calming Your Chaos, has been teaching and training businesses and individuals to support anyone who is not naturally organized on a consistent basis to be just that. Her HOW2GetOrganized seminars, workshops, and speaking along with hands-on coaching and coaching by phone has evolved from her natural genetic bent for order. Efficiency, calm, productivity and profitability are increased with the help of HOW2 and Elisa.

 

Join Our Community of Amazing Women

Be the first to know about upcoming events, new shows and stories!

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