Blog: Organizing Tips

Questions to ask your Moving Company

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Choosing a Moving Company

If you are in the middle of planning a move, it is essential to obtain multiple quotes (typically 3) and get your list of questions ready for interviewing moving companies.

  • To select a reputable company, see if you can get some referrals from friends. Ask around….and check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask a moving consultant to come to your home to actually see the items you have so a thoughtful quote is provided. Be sure to have a list ready of items that are not going with you so they aren’t included in the quote.
  • Be sure they don’t subcontract jobs.
  • Discuss insurance with moving company. You can purchase additional insurance above the .60 per pound which they offer. If you have a $2,000 piece of art that is damaged and only weighs 4 pounds, the $2.40 you would receive would be a hard one to swallow.
  • Call your Homeowner’s Insurance Agent to see if your goods are covered in transit
  • Some offer weekday vs. weekend rates or end of month vs. mid-month. If you have flexibility, move mid-week and typically mid-month.
  • Ask them if they quote by box or by hour.
  • You can save money by purchasing boxes on your own.
  • Will they need to hire a 3rd party for large items such as your piano.
  • Do they hire temps or are all their employees full-time?
  • Are they insured and bonded?
  • Travel charges. When does the clock start and stop?
  • How do they want you to deal with the file cabinets and bureaus? Some movers allow you to leave papers in the bottom drawers of a filing cabinet.

More Detailed and Helpful tips can be found here.

10 Tips for a successful move

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 in Downsizing, Moving | 0 comments

Feeling overwhelmed by your move?

It has been said that the stress associated with moving falls just after death and divorce. I now can personally speak to that. Here’s how a professional organizer handled her own move. This is a story about a 50 year old woman (o.k. a little over 50 but not yet 55 – phew!) who orchestrated a move 15 days after Christmas.

I had told my 3 daughters, one of whom is a freshman in college and two others who work out-of-state, that I was not hosting Christmas this year. The disappointment was palpable. And, a mother is supposed to hold no guilt, but it kicked in (the guilt was completely self-imposed). So, I can do it all right? Run a company, pack up a house, deal with what seemed like an endless to-do list, feed my girls their favorite meals while they were home for the holidays and host my family and my husband’s for Christmas – no problem! With careful planning, it was possible.

I am not only a professional organizer but a move manager as well. So, who better to handle this than myself.

I can now happily say, I not only moved to a temporary house in Gloucester for two months, while putting my entire house in storage, but now have moved everything out of storage, moved into a permanent place in Beverly and have no boxes lingering around anymore.  I did exactly what I tell my clients to do and would like to share these 10 tips to help save your sanity during your move.  Good luck!

It is NEVER too early to start.

While it would be nice if we all had clutter-free attics and basements, the reality is we don’t. These are the best places to start because they typically house the items that are not needed everyday. They are the places you have stored things you might need one day and probably have now discovered that you don’t need them, nor may you ever need them.

Give some thought to the big items.

If you do not plan to take your piano, lawnmower, snowblower, grill, think about how you are going to get rid of them. These types of items take special planning.

Hazardous waste.

Oil paint, turpentine, and all hazardous waste needs to be disposed of appropriately, so contact your town to see when their hazardous waste day is. Don’t wait until a month before your move to deal with this.

Have your children review their “stuff”

Give your family members deadlines if they have items at your house. Be stern and tell them you can’t move and store their items any longer.

Home Office

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 in Home Office, Professional Organizer, Uncategorized | 0 comments

What is a professional organizer?

 A recent survey by the National Association of Professional Organizers revealed that the home office, kitchen and laundry room are the most disorganized spaces in the respondents’ homes and that 73% of respondents would hire a professional organizer again.

We at ShipShape Organize Boston are often asked what do you actually do?   Do you open people’s drawers? Do you actually look at their financial papers?  Yes and yes. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t!  It’s important to remember that every professional organizer who is a member of NAPO abides by a strict set of code of ethics which include the utmost confidentiality and respect for the client.  On top of that you will find that organizers do not judge, we are there to work with you and help develop solutions to areas in your home that you are having difficulty managing.  It is no surprise to us that the home office is the area people have most difficulty keeping organized.  People are bombarded with paper, emails, phone calls, multiple to-do’s and distractions on a daily basis.  We find many clients have incurred late fees from not paying bills on time, have taken advantage of promotional offers and then find that they haven’t cancelled their subscription on time and are receiving anything from wine, magazines or tupperware items that they don’t want, have trouble finding documentation to file their taxes correctly and on time, and equally troubling they can’t find paperwork they are looking for leading to frustration and who has time to waste looking for lost things in this busy, deadline oriented world we live in.   (more…)

Children’s Study Area

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Child's Room, Children's study area, Organizing for Teens | 0 comments

Homework – Ugh!  Helping your child become organized and handle their homework independently is a challenge for most parents. Let’s get down to basics.

First of all, providing an area that is conducive to studying is one of the essential steps. Consider a modular unit that can grow with the child like the elfa desk area offered at The Container Store.  We like this as a solution because the desk and chair height can be raised and you can have this mounted to the wall or as a stand-alone unit that you can take with you when you move.  It’s easy to add more shelves, and the elfa utility board can provide lots of options for storing smaller items.  You can create your own personalized desk area.


Organizing a Child’s Room

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Child's Room, Closet Design | 0 comments

Just finished organizing a child’s room and want to share some tips!

  • First of all, involve your child.  Yes, it may take longer and yes, you could eliminate a lot of whining by doing it yourself. However, as parents, our role is to teach our children and consider their room as a teaching moment.  Have clear expectations and make clean up a routine.
  • Ask them what is working and what isn’t?  View their room from their perspective.  Can they reach everything they need to?  For example, are their clothes hung low in the closet on smaller hangers?  Are they frustrated that they can’t find all the pieces to a toy or keep forgetting their homework? Or, that they can’t open a sticky bureau drawer?  Think of this as an opportunity for you to come up with solutions to make their life easier and less stressful.  If they are involved with the process, they will learn techniques, feel like they contributed and chances are they will take more pride in keeping it organized.
  • Think containers, toy bins, etc. Even small clear shoe boxes to corral small pieces and keep toys contained.  And, remember the labels!
  • Keep a laundry hamper in your child’s room.  Depending on the age, if it has a basketball net on it or something similar, it will be fun to toss their dirty shirt in.


Organizing Children’s Momentos

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Child's Room | 0 comments

imgresThere comes a time when a child starts to accumulate some momentos – cards from grandparents, camp photos, their first little league trophy, or a favorite bunny that they used to carry around everywhere.  Treasures that are too special to donate or throw away, but may not warrant taking up valuable space in their room with what seems to be ever growing sports equipment the older they get, numerous desk supplies and 3 inch text books, clothes and more clothes.  Where does it all come from and where is it supposed to go??


Organizing Children’s Rooms – Fabric Bins provide a solution

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Child's Room | 0 comments

The other day I was faced with the challenge of helping a client organize her daughter’s room.  When working with children, there is the obvious fact that tidying will never last if the correct systems are not in place.  An organizer’s job is to find systems that work and can be maintained – even by a child who is used to taking off their sweatshirt and throwing it on the floor.  After all, “why is that a problem when I am just going to put it on tomorrow”.

This is where fabric labelled bins come in handy or even some sort of ottoman or trunk with storage.


Photo Organizing

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tips on Photo Organizing!