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® 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.

Get Twice as Much Done in Half the Time!

BEFORE
BEFORE

For big jobs, where time is of the essence, you can get a lot more done in half the time—with TWO organizers! This client asked for two organizers so he could access his window to open it, reach his desk, and open his closet.  He had gone far too long without being able to safely maneuver in his bedroom/office.

AFTER

In a matter of four hours, with two organizers, we could see the floor! We categorized his stuff, recycled the mountain of paper, and sorted out paper to be shredded…AND, we were able to open the window and let the fresh air in!

#harmreduction #safetyfirst #happyclient #oddlyenough

 

Downsizing with a Senior (before and after pictures)

Downsizing is not easy for anyone, in fact it’s downright stressful!  Our client, a senior, is moving from a large three bedroom home in to a one bedroom, in-law unit.  There’s so much to consider with a downsizing move. What will the new floor plan accommodate? What do I really need? What should I sell?  What should I donate?  The questions kept coming and swirling around in our client’s head. It’s overwhelming to be sure.  Today, we worked on the garage to make room to store the belongs she plans to take when the house sells.  There are lots of decisions to be made, but this senior was up for the challenge and did fantastic!

 

AFTER
AFTER

Happy Spring…and Tax time (sigh)!

Are you getting your taxes ready?  It’s “that” time of year again, but it’s also a time when we give a big sigh, looking at at all the years of past returns we’ve been storing. How many years of returns are you storing? I often get the question, “How long do I need to keep my tax returns?” As we look at their decades of returns!  As a Professional Organizer, it is not my role to advise how long you need to keep your returns, BUT, you can google the topic on IRS.gov a get your answers. Really, generally speaking, it’s only 3 years (really!), of course, there are exceptions.  You can read all about those exceptions, but in general know that the 3 year period is tied to the IRS statute of limitations.

The next questions is, “What do I do with all my decades and decades of tax returns”?  I recommend shredding them (if you don’t need to hang onto your records longer than three years. DISCLAIMER:  Of course, get the “OK” from your CPA.).  Tax returns contain sensitive information that identity thieves would love to get their hands on your returns!  I know, it’s hard to discard them, so if you fall into that category, your options are storing them in a fire-proof safe, OR better yet, consider scanning them and storing them in a Cloud service, like Dropbox. Scanning your returns takes up far less space, and is easier to organize than a stack of papers. The silver lining — the IRS accepts (legible) digital copies of documents.

What You Should Know about Recycling

Jen at Mt. Diablo Recycling

I had no idea what sort of “recycling education” I was in for at the Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery facility in Pittsburg, but did I ever get an education! I got a personal tour from Adriana Medina, Recycling Coordinator, who taught me more about recycling than I could have imagined. I always wondered, “What happens to the recycling stuff that I put in my bin?”  Like me, I bet you feel good about yourself when you toss a water bottle, cardboard pizza box, or empty peanut butter jar in your recycle bin?  After all, you’re helping to save the environment, right?! But wait, stop!  Did you remove the cap from the water bottle (it’s NOT recyclable)? Does the cardboard pizza box have food residue on it (it’s NOT recyclable)? Did you clean out that peanut butter jar (it’s not recyclable if it’s not completely clean!)? Facilities like the Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery facility sells our material that we recycle to China. Did you know that? But, if we don’t properly clean the main six acceptable materials: aluminum, cardboard, glass, paper, plastic and tin, then it is rejected and goes straight to trash!

Bails of aluminum cans

After sorting the acceptable material, it’s compacted and bailed to be sold to China.  China requires less than 1% contamination rate, or they will reject the material!  What that means, if we don’t do our due diligence and clean the material, we my as well throw it in the trash!  What!  Wait? Yep, that’s right.

There’s a lot of “recycling politics” too (as I learned today, which  got my blood boiling), but that’s a whole other blog.  So for now, let’s just recycle the acceptable recycling material – and keep it clean!  

The trucks off load the recycle materials – sorting is 6 days a week, 24 hours a day!

Last but not least, please no Styrofoam and/or liquids (all liquids, even water, contaminates the lot). All the recycling can go in ONE cart/bin and does not need to be separated within your bin. Besides cleaning our recycled material, here are some other easy ways to REDUCE waste:

  • Stop junk mail delivery — Info at StopJunkMail.org
  • Reuse cardboard boxes for shipping and storage
  • Buy in bulk, if possible
  • Use reusable household items like cups, plates and cotton napkins
The ART of recycling!