- Child's Room
- Children's study area
- Closet Design
- closet organizing
- Home Office
- How to hire organizer
- Kitchen Organization
- Mail Sorting
- Moving Tips
- Organizing for Teens
- Organizing pocketbooks
- Organizing Shoes
- Organizing Your Wallet
- Preparing for the Holidays
- Professional Organizer
- The ShipShape Story
Moving To a Retirement Community
It’s moving day. Moving to a Retirement Community can be tough. Movers are unloading the truck, family or professionals are helping you unpack and get the boxes out of the apartment. Somehow, the boxes seemed to have tripled in volume from your last home and you are questioning where to put everything and how it will all fit! Of course, you are focused on getting from point A to point B, but there are other considerations which will help with your transition.
We tell our clients to leave the door open on move and unpack day. Your neighbors will poke their head in to welcome you and in some cases, ask you to dinner that very night. Keep a piece of paper handy to write names and apartment numbers down because move day will be a blur. Kindly postpone the dinner invite because guaranteed you will be exhausted and will have more energy in a few days. However, don’t just say maybe later in the week, set a date. More
My husband works for a marketing agency, and preaches that every company should have a story, strategy and system. All his talk about stories has made me want to contemplate mine and the story behind ShipShape. Our customers always ask, “how did you get into this business”? More often than not, when we are cleaning out a basement or in the weeds of paperwork, they not only ask the question but their body language is saying, you are obviously intelligent, capable women, and their question takes on the tone of “are you crazy, why are you subjecting yourself to my clutter?” The answer is two-fold.
Deb and I like order. We enjoy the feeling of peace one feels when everything is in its place. Personally, there is a difference for me when I enter my kitchen after a work day, and see that some of my family members may have left a few dishes and pots and pans in the sink in their mad dash to get somewhere, versus coming back after a day to the same, clean, orderly kitchen I left that morning. We can’t control everything in our lives, actually we can control only a few things when it comes right down to it. Maybe control is even too harsh a word. By having order in my home, it makes me feel like I have order in my life. This structure provides me with a type of comfort, knowing that I can find things when needed. That I am living my life, at least in my home, with me being in charge of belongings, not the other way around.
Many of our clients ask us to help with the goal of then allowing them time to focus on other more relevant aspects of their life, like children, work, creative projects or play. “I need your help because I am taking a few days off to get my house in order – it’s out of control. I just got a promotion and need to start focusing on work and not the chaos that surrounds me at home.” This is an all too common theme. A sense of order at home, let’s you do what you need to do better. Too many people are controlled by their clutter, leading to a feeling of helplessness and chaos in others aspects of life. That feeling when you are leaving for an important appointment and can’t find your keys…. You control your belongings, not the other way around.
The second reason I am in this business is because of my clients. Their accolades make my job so rewarding. Yes, there are challenges to figuring out how to organize an office and specifically what systems will work for them. I was a Psychology major, and enjoy figuring out how people think, function, and use their “things” and the space in which those “things” live. Comments like, “you seem to be able to read my mind,” make me realize that this is the reason I started this business as well. I am good at it, and I appreciate the gratification of knowing a client can find something when needed – from an insurance policy to a special memento.
So, that’s my story of why I do what I do. We all strive to be the authors of our own stories and it seems to me that if you are in frantic mode, you are not the author of the story you would like to tell. Click here to find out more about the ShipShape team and click here for more of the story.
We all have our strengths, and we all have our weaknesses. The challenge is to acknowledge both and come up with strategies to deal with the weaknesses. For me personally, I hate (maybe that’s a little too strong of a word) networking events. To walk into a room of 50 plus people and not know anyone, and we are supposed to garner the courage to go and meet these people? It’s not even a cocktail event so you don’t get the benefit of a glass of wine to calm the nerves!
Way back in the day when educators weren’t as PC, my report cards would come in the mail and under the comments section would be something like “Debbie is a wonderful student, diligent, conscientious and on and on and then came the but….she’s shy and I’d love to see her participate more in class.” As if I didn’t know that was one of my weaknesses and that raising my hand in class caused my heart to race. So, 35 years that same feeling of the heart racing, and the palms sweating comes back to me when it comes to networking. It is so much easier to say no to that BNI or Chamber of Commerce Event.
My New Year’s resolution for work is to “pound the pavement” and network more than I have in the past, whether face-to-face or reaching out through social media. How? By setting goals. ShipShape is holding our team accountable for certain tasks: we have developed a call log sheet and each of us is required to reach out to 5 new people a week. We’ll document our calls and then be able to follow-up on a consistent basis.
I personally am keeping a sheet front and center on my desk with my marketing goals. To-do lists let us remember, prioritize and hold us accountable. Blog once every week (check thanks to this one); Send a thank you note to all new clients from the past month (check); drop off brochures at realtors offices, independent living communities and apartment buildings every month (will be a check tomorrow); Reach out to 5 people on LinkedIn every week (hmm…gotta get to that one); and here’s the hard one….research what’s going on and walk into a networking meeting once a month (soon to be a check). In summary, we are trying to live the Nike motto of “Just Do It’ and I admit it is not easy.
Many of our clients struggle with being overwhelmed by clutter: whether paper or household items. Dealing with paperwork or organizing a bedroom is not top of their to-do list, but recognizing that it is one of those tasks that they don’t like to tackle, we advise them to set realistic goals – maybe mix a little oomph in – and set up a way be held accountable. Sometimes, it is just having someone that comes to your home on a regular scheduled basis and helps keep you on task. We all need help in one way or another whether it be someone to clean our house, mow our lawn, help us with our exercise goals, or “ a professional organizer who supports evaluation, decision-making, and action around objects, and space; helping clients achieve desired outcomes regarding function, order, and clarity.” Together, we can just get it done!
We enjoyed filming this segment with NBC and want to share these simple tips with you. Lazy Susans for hard to reach corners or smaller items such as condiments; risers for canned goods or bottles; expandable drawer dividers for your junk drawer; and elevated spice drawer organizers. A few simple devices can create order out of chaos and give you a place for everything.
With the holiday season upon us, and the joy of gift giving (and receiving), give the gift of an experience.
The memories experiences provide.
I recall some of the experiences I have received as gifts. The cross-country train trip when I was in 8th grade; the show my parents took my future in-laws and us to after we announced our engagement; the Rockettes performance I took my children to since my mother had told stories of her going with her parents in NY; the now annual dinner out in Boston with our children once they are all home for the holidays. I can even tell you who I sat next to and specifics of each event. The gift of the experience lasts long after the event. The memories bring joy.
There is a reason why many say their photographs are their most treasured belonging – it’s because that picture sparks a memory about an event. It’s all perfectly captured in one photo. The ski trips, the school plays, the camping trips – the experiences.
The social aspect of an experience.
We’ve all heard that social interactions have an impact on longevity so be involved in the gift. Give your family members tickets to a show with you!
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.