Stretch your mind and your ability to organize your space, your belongings, your time, and your thoughts. Allison Carter, The Professional Organizer, posts her thoughts, breakthroughs, frustrations, and memorable moments as an organizer. Allison also shares tricks that have worked for even some of the most disorganized people to conquer their clutter. Other features: Tips, mind stretches, favorite products, favorite books, and other tools to help people get organized.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Organizing Resources: Trash/Junk hauling

Just People

Organizing Resources: Donation Pick-up

These charities pick up at your home:

Atlanta Alliance on Developmental Disabilities

Atlanta Kidney Fund

Atlanta Union Mission

Salvation Army

Vietnam Veterans of America

Organizing Resources: Custom Furniture

Seth Townsend
Furniture, cabinets, pull out shelves, Complete kitchen renovation.

Tim Sarno Design
custom furniture and build-in wall units.

Organizing Resources: Trash Pickup at your Door

This is excellent for people in apartments, condos, townhomes, etc.

Organizing Resources: Recycling

Computer Recycling (Atlanta area): call 404-768-9990.

Computer Recycling (Atlanta area): call 404-768-9990.

Organizing Resources: Shredding Services

If you have a large amount of paper to shred, it is quicker to have a service come
and take care of it.

Shred USA

Organizing Resources: Home Cleaning

Team One
weekly cleaning and laundry.
Call Louise O'Connell, Account Manager,
404-870-9094 or 404-849-8493.

Organizing Resources: Home Entertainment Set up

Torrie Granderson

Organizing Resouces: Handyman Services

These are referrals from colleagues and clients.

Case Handyman Services
Lewis E. Kropp

Rich Baumann
Baumann Creations
Office 678/376-9875
Cell 404/386-3312

David Nieman
repairs, restoration, and reconstruction.
Purofirst or North Metro Atlanta
303 Bell Park Drive
Woodstock, GA 30188
Phone 770-517-1646

Friday, June 10, 2005

Clutter Support Group

I am considering starting a clutter support group - part discussion, part how-to.
It would be fun and upbeat, inspiring, motivating, and a great way to learn how to DIY for the rest of your life. Also considering a class for teens on teen organizing topics, time management, setting goals, etc.
Any thoughts?
Would you be intersted in coming to learn?
Let me know.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Smart Spin - Where to get it

I have heard from several of you who say the Smart Spin is available many places including:
Just look for it if your interested.
If you buy from the online site, you get a 2nd set free (that's why I did it... even though I paid for shipping)
-- Al

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Furniture Donations

The Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization that distributes essential furnishings to people in need. It is also a great place to volunteer as an individual or a group project.

The Furniture Bank

  • Helps homeless people stabilize in a home of their own.
  • Prevents children and their parents from sleeping on the floor.
  • Promotes the health and well-being of thousands of people.
  • Diverts millions of pounds of used furniture from local landfills.
  • Donate Furniture
  • The Furniture Bank accepts gently used furnishings and housewares. Unfortunately, we can not accept items in need of cleaning or repair. We offer a free pick-up service in Cobb, DeKalb, most of Fulton, and most of Gwinnett counties.

  • See the list on their web site for the items they accept.

    call 404-355-8530, x222 to schedule your free pick-up.

Donate DVDs, CDs & Video Games

Are your children grown? Are you done with those CD's now that you have an iPod?
The Bridge of Atlanta is seeking donations of these items to help fund its programs.

The Bridge strives to meet its mission is to serve Georgia's abused and neglected adolescents through programs designed to complement and provide well-rounded services.
1559 Johnson Road, NW - Atlanta - Georgia - 30318 (404) 792-0070
Check the wish list on the web site for more of what they need.

Where Can I Donate Men's Suits?

You asked and here are some places:
If you know of other great places to donate goods, please add your comments!
  • Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift store locations.
  • Wendy's Closet at the Devereaux Foundation , a residential treatment facility in Kennesaw for at risk teens. They need them for the young men to wear to interviews. Call Wendy Ellin of The 25th Hour for help with pick-ups. 404-874-5179. Or they
    can be dropped off at Devereux at Kennesaw to Deborah Walton in Home Econ.
    (770) 423-5497
    1291 Stanley Rd NW
    Kennesaw, GA 30152
  • 'The Extension' located on Church Street Extension just behind the
    Cobb EMC Building. This is a Christian drug/alcohol abuse rehabilitation
    center supported by several churches and organizations in Marietta. The men have to work each day and they are required to go on job interviews. Many are laborers but still require dress clothing. You can call Tyler Driver at 770-590-9075.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Ban Goodie Bags!!

I have a bone to pick with Party City, Oriental Trading Company, and thousands upon thousands of parents out there...
It's about goodie bags at parties.
Has your child ever received a bag filled with candy, toys and other "goodies". The recipient gets 2 minutes of joy opening up something new and exciting... and you get a house filled with clutter.

Some parents are great at making the stuff magically disappear, but others are frustrated trying to organize and arrange it all.

One solution: Stop giving goodie bags.
First, they create children who are addicted to "new" and the rush of opening up presents. Most kids handle this just fine. Others will grow up to have overstuffed closets and drawers as they keep trying to recreate the excitement of having something new, getting a rush every time they make a purchase.
Second, I have also noticed a few children who get so excited they forget to be gracious. They grab for their goodies, even ask at the beginning of a party what they're getting.
Third, do we really need all that stuff anyway?
Fourth, isn't the party supposed to be about celebrating someone's birthday? What ever happened to the days when you got cake & ice cream and said thank you.

Another solution: If you like the idea of giving a souvenir to party attendees, make it one nice thing instead of many cheap items and candy that our kids clearly don't need more of.
How 'bout a bucket and shovel or a noodle in the summer. In winter it can be a coloring book and markers. Create a craft at the party that kids can take home. Take a Polaroid or digital photo of each child with the birthday child and send home the photo as a memento.

What are some of your best gift ideas for party attendees?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Got My Smart Spin!

It took soooooooooooooooo long... but finally my Smart Spin has arrived. It is Fabu! I thought it would help DH (darling husband) with managing the plasticware, but alas, it is just not gonna happen. I love it. Love that all the tops are the same size. Love that it fits neatly on a carousel and spins. It even pulls out from the cabinet. Worth every penny.
Get yours.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Organizing Gym Birth Announcement

Allison Carter,
The Professional Organizer,
is proud to announce the birth of the new blog,
the Organizing Gym.
This baby blog came into the world humming with glee at
12:15pm ET on May 19, 2005
in Marietta, Georgia.

We look forward to watching baby blog grow into a full grown mature and productive member of blog society.

We hope to hear from visitors with organizing challenges and solutions and become a voice for banning clutterful lives.

Allison Carter
The Professional Organizer
Marietta, Ga

Question of the ???

How much is enough?
There are probably some things you collect and never look back. Whether it's black pants, snow globes, take-out food containers, paper clips, note pads or videotapes... organizing means constantly checking back to see if you have enough. (All of those are examples of things I have seen grow to excessive proportions)

Well then you must ask youself how many is enough. Aaaaah, that is exactly the point of this exercise.
  1. Go through your home or office and look at the things you tend to collect by the ton.
  2. Make a list of just 3 things and decide when you will have enough of them to exist happily. And what number equals too much.
  3. Post the number nearby your collection to help you remember when you have enough.
  4. If you decide to bring in more of the item, choose a similar item you don't like as much and give it away.
  5. If you already have enough, your job is to give away the overage because it is clutter.

Videotapes galore

Two clients this week have a similar issue: too many video tapes. They both use the tapes for recording TV shows or movies they want to view later. Sometimes they watch the show, but not usually. So they hang onto the unwatched show for a week or a month hoping they will view it. They keep it longer for a rainy day. Some are not labeled, so after a month or so, they have forgotten what's even on the tape. Some are labeled sports events, but after a few weeks, don't seem very important any more. Neither one ever seems to recycle their tapes or toss them out.
They say out loud that they'll never get around to watching them all (hundreds), but still don't want to give them to charity.

What would you tell them to do?
  • A. Just give them all away and don't look back.
  • B. Make time to watch them all.
  • C. Put them in a box in the attic and forget about them.
  • D. other answer (send me your comment)
Here is my solution for M.M. who still wants to keep taping shows:
  • Pick 14 tapes to keep as record tapes. Label them Saturday 1 - Sunday 1, and Saturday 2 - Sunday 2.
  • Record your shows using the corresponding day tape. This gives them 2 full weeks to watch their shows before they get taped over.
  • If you don't see the show after 2 weeks, you can record over it or add onto the end of the tape.

Here is my solution for R.B. who has TIVO in addition to a VCR:
  • Quit taping shows. Just Tivo them and watch them within 2 weeks. If you don't seem to watch them within a reasonable time, don't bother recording at all and quit feeling guilty about it.
More tips and tricks are available on my web site: