Being thankful does not mean that life is working perfectly. It means reflecting on and appreciating the blessings in our lives. We are in the holiday season, a time of year that can be a bit frenetic, as well as a time when many gather together with friends or family. If getting together is in your plans, how can you increase the likelihood that you will: 1. Be reasonably ready, 2. Be aware of what you have to be thankful for, and 3. Enjoy your time with family or friends as much as possible!

Consider your purpose in getting together. Often that’s something simple; to catch up on one another’s lives and to share what’s important to us. Is there a way that you might focus more on your connection with others, rather than on the setting? For example, rather than striving for unrealistic and stressful ideals of a perfectly-decorated home or the best food ever, how can you minimize expectations? If you are hosting, what will it take for your home to be ready enough? For the meal to be enjoyable enough? Sure, think about what you’d ideally like in these areas, but then consider what would be adequate. Anything beyond is a bonus. By shifting our focus, we can become aware of and appreciate what’s most important.

Often, the simplest plans are the most satisfying. This might mean developing your own alternative traditions. I have enjoyed even holiday gatherings that were created for “orphans” those who wanted to celebrate, but who had no other plans. In the end it becomes about the people and the authentic connections. What can you do to focus more on the people you care about, and the things you are thankful for? I wish you satisfying holidays where you reflect on your blessings, and enjoy yourself and those with whom you’ve gathered. Warmest wishes.



Most moves in the northern hemisphere happen between April and September. If you’ve moved, even temporarily, such as to a vacation or seasonal home, you know the challenge of getting comfortable in a new location. All moves create, to a greater or lesser extent, a feeling of being unsettled caused by not yet knowing where essential items are or could be found.

Whether your move is permanent or temporary, pack the most essential items into an “unpack first” box or piece of luggage, so they’ll be readily available when you arrive. Toiletries, medications, and a change of clothing should be packed in a hand-carried suitcase.

Key areas to focus on for quick functionality are the kitchen, bath, and bedroom. You want to be able to clean up, to prepare a simple meal, and to get a good night’s sleep. Prioritize and unpack a bit each day. Every move is different, but with planning and daily action, the task of settling into a new place will be completed, and perhaps sooner than you expect, you’ll be feeling at home.



Thank You, Virginia

A warm thank you to my clients, colleagues, and friends -- it has been a pleasure to work with you during my time in Northern Virginia. Here's to new beginnings, including mine, as I start a new phase now in Washington state, near Mom. For my long-distance clients, I would be happy to assist with your organizing needs either virtually, or by referring a capable colleague. Wishing you a lovely 2019.

Feeling Overwhelmed by Stuff? You're Not Alone.

In over 25 years of organizing professionally, one common theme among clients is a feeling of being overwhelmed. People know they want greater ease and organization, but they don't know how to begin the process. Where to start?

Focusing on too many tasks at one time feels overwhelming, and it's hard to concentrate and get results when your attention is scattered! My recommendation: start with an area of your home where you spend time daily, and where things aren't working as smoothly as they could. But -- and this is key -- keep the focus super small. For example, work on only one drawer or one shelf. You want to be able to finish in the time you've allocated.

By keeping the focus small you create success, and can build on that with subsequent sessions. While it's very possible to work mini-organizing sessions (10 - 30 minutes) into your schedule regularly, if you find yourself needing to make faster progress, or want professional support and expertise, consider working with an organizing professional.

Best regards,