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Organizing in Reality

I was visiting my friend Jan one night and helped her install Ikea legs on a board she wanted to turn into a craft table. While I drilled 20 little holes on the underside of the future table, we chatted.

She often recommends me to people who need help getting organized, and she shared with me how she describes the process. “I tell people that you’re very respectful of their stuff. You always ask if you may throw things away, or whether they’re okay …[Read more]

When the Choice Isn’t Yours Anymore

A Lesson from the Field

Mother and daughterI’ve been working with an older woman, the mother of a friend. She’s in her seventies and has Parkinson’s disease. The illness went undiagnosed for a while, and the condition has been hard on mother and daughter alike. I’d say that this doesn’t have much to do with me, except that I’ve been sorting through the mother’s things so the daughter can better manage her mom’s care. And I can’t help but notice and be touched by the special circumstances this situation creates.

As we go through the mother’s things, I’ve been struck by the indignity of the process for her. I try to let her decide …[Read more]

Fox 26 Morning News Extra: Common Organizing Mistakes

Station: KRIV (Houston Fox 26)
Air Date: October 19, 2009

Mike Iscovitz, co-host of Morning News Extra, interviews Gayle Goddard about common organizing mistakes. …[Read more]

Stop Keeping Stuff for the Wrong Reasons

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PROGRAM NOTES

My clients offer a lot of explanations for why they can’t part with the stuff that clutters their lives. Below are some of the reasons I hear the most often. I’d like to offer some ways to think differently about what to keep and what to let go.

“This cost me a lot of money.”

Okay, so what? Are you using it? Do you like it? If it’s just gathering dust because you don’t want to admit that you made a buying mistake …[Read more]

Workshop: Conquering Clutter 201—Your E-mail (April 2009)

Saturday, April 18 and Wednesday, April 22, 2009
1-4 p.m. (Sat.)
7–9 p.m (Wed.)

Does the thought of organizing your e-mail give you the willies? Is your inbox up to 800 items yet? You need some strategies to “file” your paperless data, just as you used to file your paper. You have to be able to find electronic data when you need it. We will talk through some great ideas to help you organize your data so you can retrieve vital data when you want it.

Spectrum Center
4100 Westheimer, Suite 233

Houston, Texas 77027
713-840-8957

How to Avoid Common Organizing Mistakes

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions “Get this place organized this year?” How is that going? Having trouble getting started? Maybe you began, but you’re having trouble making progress? Let me offer some mid-game course corrections to help you achieve that resolution. Here’s my list of the five most common mistakes people make when they undertake the process of getting organized. In the spirit of David Letterman’s Top Ten lists, let’s start from the bottom:

Mistake #5: Products first

What does every American do when she wants to start a project? She goes shopping! Everyone wants to …[Read more]

Getting Organized in the New Year: A Clutter Fairy Perspective

Baby New Year makes a resolution

How are you doing so far on the New Year’s resolutions? I get the impression that at this time of year, we’re all trying to become better, more-together versions of ourselves. We believe somehow that all we have to do is draw a line in the sand—“starting January 1”—and a better person will emerge all of a sudden. I think that one reason people don’t accomplish their resolutions is that expecting monumental, fundamental changes in yourself just because you’ve started using a new calendar is not a recipe for success.

“Get organized” is a popular New Year’s resolution. Having let their spaces dissolve into disaster areas over the holidays, people wake up with …[Read more]

Workshop: Conquering Clutter 104—Your Home Office (March 2009)

Sunday, March 1, 2009
1–5 p.m.

This workshop provides tools and strategies to help you create the perfect office for your needs. We’ll show you how to optimize the usefulness of your desktop and to put those drawers to work. We’ll talk about alternative filing systems and where to position equipment and stash supplies. In short, we’ll show you everything you need to know to make your desk the efficient, productive zone you need to accomplish great things!

Spectrum Center
4100 Westheimer, Suite 233

Houston, Texas 77027
713-840-8957

Helpful Repair Hints from Our Man on the Inside

Still overwhelmed by hurricane recovery projects? My friend Dennis Anga, a roofer and landlord, offers some insight into getting repairs done on your home:

  1. Don’t put off urgent repairs if you have the means to get started before your insurance claim is processed. Document everything carefully, and your insurance company will reimburse you after the fact for completed repairs.
  2. There are three main categories of insurance adjusters:
    1. Those who work on salary for an insurance company. They tend to be very conservative.
    2. Independent adjusters contracted by an insurance company. Believe it or not, they get paid more for writing higher claims, so they have no vested interest in cheating you.
    3. Independent adjusters who work for you. They’ll fight the insurance company for bigger claims on your behalf and collect a commission. …[Read more]

Hurricane Ike: How I Found a Silver Lining in My Own Refrigerator

This is NOT Gayle's refrigerator.Hurricane Ike was quite an experience! I am still trying to get back on an even keel since the storm tore through the Houston area in mid-September. I was without power for 15 days. I had to sleep on the living room floor to escape the roar of my neighbor’s gasoline-powered generator, and because most of my clients were also without power, all my appointments were canceled for three weeks. But I eventually found a silver lining in this dark cloud: a fresh perspective on the benefits of organizing.

Like many of my clients, friends, and neighbors, after about four days I found myself emptying my refrigerator and freezer …[Read more]