New doors are opening…

I am delighted to announce that my company name will be changing as of October 1st, 2019, to Livable Spaces LLC. Stay tuned for more details!

CPO-CD® April Progress

My assignment this month was to write a book analysis (the last of four), on track to graduate from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization with my CPO-CD® certification in September 2019. I choose the book, Buried in Treasures (BIT), help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding, by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee, suggested by a colleague—and I am so glad I read this book! Buried in Treasures is a valuable “how-to” resource guide for professional organizers and related professionals, and is a practical self-help guide for people who hoard. This book has become my “bible”, and rates very high in my library of books on people who hoard. Based on this  book, there are  “BIT Workshops” across the country, and research shows that the workshops are nearly as successful as individual therapy for hoarding. The book’s authors present thought-provoking questions regarding getting motivated, reviewing values and personal goals, and of course confronting triggers and coping. What makes this “workbook” style approach so effective is that the authors really drill down to the core mis-beliefs that pop into the head of people who hoard, and challenges those thoughts. It’s a must read for families with loved ones who hoard, people with hoarding behavior and professionals.  For more information on BIT support groups visit:

In San Francisco:

In Oakland:

 

Hoarding was once a subtype of OCD

The Kitchen – surrounded by clutter, she’s left a 10-inch area to eat her meals

As recently as 2013, a hoarding was a subtype of OCD, but now it’s its own category (DSM-5). OCD was definitely prevalent, and all to evident in this home I recently visited in the Bay Area.  In this case, this person has good insight and recognizes that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is showing up in her apartment by way of too much stuff. She told me she felt like she is “buried alive with stuff, like a ball and chain around me.” She reached out to me for help, and with the sound of my voice, she told me, “you’re comforting my heart”. Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done, but I know I can improve the her health, safety, and quality of life with patience and compassion.

The bedroom, filled to the max with more bagged clothes. She only sleeps on top of her bed.
Self described “germaphobe”, she bags all her clothes to “protect” them.

Closet Organizing Tip

I was recently approached by a company to provide one of my favorite tips for organizing a closet, so here ya go:

I cannot stress enough, the most important guideline I use in closet organizing is to group like things together (not to mention first eliminating what you don’t wear): Shirts with shirts, pants with pants, etc.  I even take it a step further and group within a group.  For example within shirts, I group short sleeves, long sleeves, tanks — and also group by color. By using this tip, there’s just no question about where to find those items when you want them. I realize this may be easier said than done, which is why for many, hiring a Professional Organizer is the only answer to an organized, functional closet!

CPO-CD® Class of 2019!

I am two-thirds of the way through earning my “credential” as a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD®) program.  I am incredibly proud of this educational journey I have embarked upon!  This 20-month program requires an investment of me as a professional organizer of over $3000, and 200+ hours of coursework, lots of reading, writing, and analyzing books related to Chronically Disorganized (CD) clients, as well as service in my industry. I think education matters in my desire to work with CD clients. This program is not required or necessary as a professional organizer, but for me, it’s testament of my commitment to provide specialized help, especially to my CD clients.  Though I have 6 months more to go, I am (already) much more qualified and equipped than my competition, and I’m in a position to be of greater service to my client’s needs.

Happy New Year!

What’s your New Year’s resolution?  Starting fresh and getting organized?  Skills like sorting, making decisions and follow through are necessary to declutter your living space—Yes, I know…creating livable spaces is easier said then done. At a recent conference I attended, Michael Tomkins, Phd, author and authority on clutter and hoarding behavior, challenged the audience to think about the word “need” when sorting stuff. Try this rule:  Ask yourself these three powerful questions when you are sorting your stuff to determine whether it’s something that should be tossed, donated or kept:

  • is my SAFETY at risk?
  • is my HEALTH at risk?
  • is my FINANCIAL WELFARE at risk?

Other rules that you need to consider when sorting:

  • If it’s broken…can you let it go?
  • How many of the same or similar thing do you have? Find balance.
  • If it’s not repaired or used in a “reasonable” amount of time (less then 6 months), can you let it go?

Dig deep and ask yourself:  Will your life be negatively effected if you get rid of “it”?  Have you felt anxiety or depression because you’ve been without “it”.  What void is “it” filling? Have you spent hours, days, or weeks looking for “it”?  I can help with with all these questions, and together we can make a difference!  Call/text/email Cazares Organizing today!

Dig deep and you will get results.

“Need” is a Powerful Word

What do you really “need” to keep?  Sorting your stuff can be overwhelming and cause a lot of anxiety.  To put what you really “need” to the test, Michael Tompkins, PhD, a licensed psychologist and board certified in behavioral and cognitive psychology, and author of many books regarding hoarding, suggests when you sort your stuff, ask yourself these three powerful questions:

  1. Is my SAFETY at risk?
  2. Is my HEALTH at risk?
  3. Is my FINANCIAL welfare at risk?

When you ask yourself these questions you may find that you really don’t “need” as much as you want to keep.  He also suggests, if an item is broken – let it go.  If you have others (usually many) – let it go.  If you don’t repair “it” in a month or two — let it go!  Other sorting tips suggested by Tompkins, is to use a three box sorting system:  HARD to toss; MODERATE to toss; and EASY to toss. By practicing these sorting tips, you will build a level of tolerance, which leads to less anxiety.