Archive for the ‘Karen Kenney’ Category

Organizing, Hoarding & Having Too Much “Stuff” – guest blogger Karen Kenney

I know that I myself sometimes find myself wondering why I have saved some things.  Each year I clean out closets and drawers….and am always totally amazed.  There are many people who just never get that far.  They just keep collecting stuff.  This is a great reminder that we really do have too much stuff and should think about organizing and sorting through all of it.    Joan Parcewski   Woods Real Estate

As a professional organizer for the last 11 years, I have come to realize that most of us just have too much “stuff”. And depending on how much “stuff” you have and continue to bring in each and every day, without eliminating any of it leads to hoarding.

So many people I have worked with in the past hoard a variety of things: books, magazines, clothing, food, food containers, widgets, pens, collectibles, plants, dishes and the latest organizing gadget.

Much like an “anorexic person” who does not see their emaciated body in the mirror, people with a lot of stuff don’t see the big picture. They can maneuver around the house and the piles. Some of them have been doing it for years.

How much is too much, here are some examples:

If you can’t sleep on your bed because you have too much stuff, you have a problem

If you have 3 food pantries though out your house, you have too much

If the food pantry has expired food, you are wasting money each week shopping

If you cannot put away clean laundry and live out of laundry baskets, you have to many clothes.

The list is endless. Look around your home. What do you have too much of?

Hire a professional organizer today. And do not give the excuse that you don’t have the money or time to pay someone. You probably have both, what you lack is the will power to stop SHOPPING and COLLECTING STUFF.

If for the next 6 weeks you stop shopping, and only purchased your food (such as milk, bread, meat, eggs etc…) and gas for the car, you could save enough money to bring in an organizer to help. This means no coffee at Starbuck or Dunkin Donuts, no going out to dinner, no impulse shopping for shoes or books or whatever. What could you save?

Coffee shop, 1 cup of coffee x 6 weeks (42 days) = $5 cup x 42 days = $210

Dinner for a couple, say 3 times a week x 6 weeks = $50 per dinner x 18 = $900

Impulse shopping say 3 times a week x 6 weeks = $30 impulse shopping x 18 = $540

These figures could be higher or lower depending how often and how much you actually spend.

Grand total is $1650.00. The average profession organizer hourly rate is $50.

$1650 divided by $50.00 = 33 hours, average session is 3 hours. 33 divided by 3 =11 organizing sessions or 11 weeks, you could be on your way to recovery. Most people could find 3 hours a week to work on organizing. If not you hire a professional who can organize for you 3 hours a week.

But you have to practice self-control and give up “shopping” for a while. Finish the following statement. “If I were more organized I could:

-Have my family over for dinner or friends in for barbecue

-Take those piano classes (sewing, or karate) I have always wanted to take

-Let my kids have a sleep over

-Find my missing “items” within the house

-Spend more time in the garden or with my kids

-Go back to school and get my degree

-Eliminate my embarrassment (or self loathing) and realize I can stay organized.

The possibilities are endless. Get started today call Karen Kenney at OrganizingWORKS!

Contact her at 781-275-8915, or Karen@organizingworks.net.

Organizing, Hoarding and Having Too Much “Stuff” – guest blogger Karen

 

 

As a professional organizer for the last 11 years, I have come to realize that most of us just have too much “stuff”. And depending on how much “stuff” you have and continue to bring in each and every day, without eliminating any of it leads to hoarding.

 

So many people I have worked with in the past hoard a variety of things: books, magazines, clothing, food, food containers, widgets, pens, collectibles, plants, dishes and the latest organizing gadget.

 

Much like an “anorexic person” who does not see their emaciated body in the mirror, people with a lot of stuff don’t see the big picture. They can maneuver around the house and the piles. Some of them have been doing it for years.

 

How much is too much, here are some examples:

 

If you can’t sleep on your bed because you have too much stuff, you have a problem

If you have 3 food pantries though out your house, you have too much

If the food pantry has expired food, you are wasting money each week shopping

If you cannot put away clean laundry and live out of laundry baskets, you have to many clothes.

 

The list is endless. Look around your home. What do you have too much of?

 

Hire a professional organizer today. And do not give the excuse that you don’t have the money or time to pay someone. You probably have both, what you lack is the will power to stop SHOPPING and COLLECTING STUFF.

 

If for the next 6 weeks you stop shopping, and only purchased your food (such as milk, bread, meat, eggs etc…) and gas for the car, you could save enough money to bring in an organizer to help. This means no coffee at Starbuck or Dunkin Donuts, no going out to dinner, no impulse shopping for shoes or books or whatever. What could you save?

 

Coffee shop, 1 cup of coffee x 6 weeks (42 days) = $5 cup x 42 days = $210

Dinner for a couple, say 3 times a week x 6 weeks = $50 per dinner x 18 = $900

Impulse shopping say 3 times a week x 6 weeks = $30 impulse shopping x 18 = $540

These figures could be higher or lower depending how often and how much you actually spend.

 

Grand total is $1650.00. The average profession organizer hourly rate is $50.

$1650 divided by $50.00 = 33 hours, average session is 3 hours. 33 divided by 3 =11 organizing sessions or 11 weeks, you could be on your way to recovery. Most people could find 3 hours a week to work on organizing. If not you hire a professional who can organize for you 3 hours a week.

 

Karen Kenney – Organizing Works/Bedford MA     
Phone: 781-275-8915
e-mail:Karen@OrganizingWorks.net    http://organizingworks.net/

 

First Step to Renovations – Getting Organized – guest blogger Karen Kenney

Thinking back on our renovations project several years ago, it really was about getting things organized to prepare.  It is really amazing how much we can accumulate – some we use regularly, some we need to have for a variety of reasons, some we have outgrown, some – why do we have this again?.  We really need to identify and purge, identify and pack.  Karen helps us with this task in the following blog!

 

Getting ready for renovations can seem overwhelming especially if you are doing them to get your home on the market.  Deciding which renovations will help sell you home without breaking the bank is key. Plus giving you the most for “return on investment.” Updating your bathrooms and kitchen was always been the norm in getting back a big ROI, but the market has change the last couple of years, so check with your agent for what would work best for your home.

 

Once you have decided what will be done you need to find the right expert to work with, designing the new space, picking out neutral colors and even new lighting. Now that these decisions have been made it is time to clear the space. For most of us, this is the hardest part-not knowing what to do first, second and third. I like to break up the process into easy steps, so you can work on them up week by week.

 

Let’s say for sake of illustration we are going to renovate your kitchen.

 

1 Month prior – 2 hour session.

Quick Grab. Look around your kitchen. What is not being used any more, or broken or unwanted items. Look in your kitchen cabinets, on the counters and in your pantry. Pull out all the unwanted items and put into two categories DONATE-someone can use or TRASH (broken, cracked, stained, missing the lid…) Pack up the items to be donated, put them right in your car so you can drop them off at the local charity/church or call for pick up.

 

2 Weeks prior – 2-5 hours session depending size of room

Now that you have removed all the unwanted items, everything in this room is what you want to keep. But during renovations you may want to pack up some items, to protect them, from the dust and making it easier for the workers to complete the work. Make an inventory list of what is in each box (good china, your crystal wine glasses, turkey platter and other occasional used items). Label the boxes so you can find them later. Once these things have been boxed up, find a temporary home for these items. Can you store them in basement or garage or attic, or in spare room? If in garage or basement, if you get water put the boxes up on pallets or on tables.

 

2 Days before Renovations, 3 hours could be longer

Check with your contractor, what about the every day dishes and things your use daily such as your toaster, coffee pot, and dish drainer. Should these be boxes up now, or can they be left out? Do they need all counter cleared? (This really depends on the type of work being done in the kitchen.) Check with your contractor on what is acceptable during the construction phase. You want to make the process as easy as possible for you and the workers.

 

Day of Renovation – congratulations you are ready!

 

After the project is done, before you schlep everything back up to your kitchen. Do you really miss any of these items? Can they stay boxed up? Especially during your open house, that way if your home sells, you already have some boxes packed that are ready to go. Rule of thumb that I use, if you are really missing that “thing” go get that “thing” and leave the rest of boxes as is. It makes moving easier.

 

For more help or information getting ready for your renovation contact Karen L. Kenney of OrganizingWORKS! 781-275-8915. Check out her websites: www.organizingworks.net and theorganizingcheerleader.com.

Organizing During a Difficult time – from Guest Blogger Karen Kenney

When someone dies, the emotions are overwhelming and the family has all it can do to get thru day to day. Using an organizer is a wonderful option to help them. Thanks to our guest blogger Karen Kenney from Organizing Works (Bedford)

BereavementThe trauma associated with the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming. Many things must be done when a death occurs. Many people must be contacted. Arrangements must be made. Paper work must be completed. Insurance claims must be filed. The list seems endless.

When these tasks are completed, spouses and other family members must then deal with making decisions about what to do with the possessions of the loved one. Often they have no idea where to begin. They are at a loss as to how best to help the grieving spouse, parent or child.

Karen Kenney is particularly sensitive to the needs of people who have suffered such a loss. Widowed at the age of 32, Karen had to face all of these tasks and more. This painful experience taught her many things. She learned that:
• people handle grief differently.
• family members and friends want to help. They want to do the right thing, but they are not sure what that might be.
• people often do not know what to keep, give away, or throw away.
• some people want to keep everything. Other people want to give everything away or throw it all away.
• adult children often want something that will help them remember Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa. They take items and later realize that they do not want or cannot use these things.
• adult children, or other family members, will often take unwanted items because they believe that refusing them would cause hurt feelings.

Based on her own personal experience, and the knowledge she has gained from working with so many people during their bereavement, Karen offers some important suggestions for people who are trying to help.
• Be kind and understanding.
• Listen to the person who is grieving.
• Do not try to make decisions for them.
• If they seem unable to make any decisions, offer them encouragement. Perhaps suggest that they keep something that will make them laugh – something from a happy time.
• Suggest that they keep something that gives them comfort. Karen has kept some sweatshirts for those times when she feels the need for a “hug”.
• Suggest that they save some pictures.
• Encourage them to offer something meaningful to others who are also grieving. If possible, let the other person select something.
• If they are downsizing, suggest that they take only those things that will be needed in their new home, and those special items they have chosen to remember their loved one.

Often times during bereavement, family members become overwhelmed while trying to help. That is the time to call Professional Organizer Karen Kenney.
She can:
• act as a buffer between family members who are struggling with this loss and their need to “do the right thing” for their loved one. Many times family members are at odds as to what each person should be doing. Karen can help guide family members toward achieving solutions that are good for everyone.
• help make decisions about what will be needed in the new home.
• help find a place to donate items no longer needed or wanted, but that someone else would love to have.
• help make decisions about which things should be kept as a reminder of the loved one. Perhaps just taking a photo of an object is all that is needed.

Is an organizer for you?
Perhaps M. Cahn from Concord, MA says it best.

“Karen Kenney has an excellent understanding of the how and what of working with the tangibles of death. Do I throw away or save? Do I make a clean sweep or store? These are critical questions when dealing with the loss of a loved one, and complex questions when there is a complicated grief. Karen’s calm manner, organizing expertise, and experience with grief, work to provide an excellent resource for others. Her help was invaluable after my husband’s death and my mother’s death.”

Karen Kenney — Organizing Works – karen@organizingworks.net

Before the Stager comes the Organizer

There are a lot of steps to get your house ready for the market to get the best price. One of those steps may include an organizer. Welcome to our newest guest blogger, Karen Kenney from Organizing Works. And where did I meet Karen – at a Health Fair where helping people to destress includes getting organized!

Attention: All Real Estate Agents and Homeowners

Realtor
Does your home stager scare or upset your clients? Are things prematurely tossed out, or boxed up for a better open house?

After the open house does the homeowner want to start using the some of the things that were packed away, making for another round of staging?

Homeowner
Do you feel pressure to clean up your home before the stager comes and starts boxing up and throwing your things out? Some of your things may be moved to different parts of your home, misplaced or broken. Trying to work with your agent to de-clutter and simplify is very overwhelming, you may have gotten rid of something you could use right now but can’t locate it.

PSST Want to know a Secret?

Hire a professional organizer, before the home stager, starts working on your home. Meet with your Real Estate Agent and your organizer to get the list of what needs to be done within the home to make it SELL.

A professional organizer can box up the things that are not needed right now, and inventory the contents so that you can find everything after the open house. Once everything is packed up and put someplace safe, the home stager can really make your home shine!

Karen Kenney of OrganizingWORKS is an experienced professional organizer, who can help get your home ready to sell. Karen can help the whole team, the homeowner, the real estate agent and the home stagers. It will be WIN-WIN for everyone, and isn’t that what selling your home is all about?

For free consultation call Karen at 781-275-8915.

For information and testimonials check out Karen’s websites – http://www.OrganizingWORKS.net & http://www.TheOrganizingCheerleader.com

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