Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Stress? Can a Professional Organizer Help?

My friend, Dr. Elvira Aletta, owner of Explore What's Next, recently asked to interview me for her blog. We even created a video of the interview. Follow this link to the interview:

Holiday Stress? Can a Professional Organizer Help?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ask Linda: Tips for Coping with Change

Dear Linda,
I have been a stay-at-home mom for many years and have recently gone back to work about 30 hrs/wk. I have 4 children ages 9 to 17 and a husband. I am really overwhelmed with my new work commitments in terms of how I am not able to keep up with the household like I used to.
I would love to hear what you consider your top tips that you would give to a mom in this situation.
Overwhelmed in Ohio

Dear Overwhelmed,
This is a common problem and can be precipitated by factors, including work-related changes as you have experienced, but also many others, such as adoption/birth of a child, marriage, divorce, death, illness, moving, injury, illness, etc. Here are some strategies to help anyone cope with the impact of drastic change.
  1. Keep things simple-have realistic expectations.
  2. Say "No" to everything that is not essential or directly related to everyday survival (for as long as necessary until things are really under control-which can be short or long term.)
  3. Create a Google Calendar with a sub-calendars for each person in a different color, to coordinate the family schedule and to dos (can view/print any range of dates).
  4. Inspire the family to help with specific cleaning/household tasks (breaking down tasks into manageable pieces, printed on index cards) with a reward of a family activity or trip (or hire cleaning help).
  5. Plan meals a month at a time to make dinner expectations easier. This can be simplified by using a calendar (I have one on Google called Dinner) and having one leftover night and one pizza night a week, and filling in the other areas with favorite, simple meals.
  6. Get the most important areas of the house organized first: Kitchen, Laundry room, Cleaning supplies, Enter/Exit areas/supplies, and kids' homework station.
  7. Consider hiring a NAPO organizer to help you get through the rough spots and get back on track.
These things may take a while to master and implement-again be realistic. Good luck!

For help with coping with change, or any other organizing project-Simply Call Linda. 716-631-5619.