Breast cancer survivor and clutter clearing author learns to walk her talk

Clutter clearing cancer coping author and motivational speaker We can learn to live our priorities fully (and not just surviving or getting by on a day to day basis) by clearing out the distractions and focusing on what is important to each of us, our families, and our lives. Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools: We'll get you through this by Barbara Tako, two-time cancer survivor and published author and motivational speaker on the topic of clutter clearing. For updates on this new book, click here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Newbie clutter clearing author appreciates the press coverage

Yes, I am a newbie author. I really think it is cool to be featured in the local paper. I am very grateful for the generous coverage. It really paid off: The local library where I spoke and signed copies of my book last night had six times the usual attendance for a book signing.

Here is the article link if you would like to see it. It has some helpful organizing tips.

Thank you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Great Organizing Give Away

January is Get Organized Month! My colleagues and I are launching Ask the Expert Organizer GREAT ORGANIZING GIVE AWAY! Including ebooks, tip sheets, audio programs, webinars, free consulting, chances to win memberships to programs and productivity software, and even a chance at an iPod! Items are in three categories: Your Office, Your Time & Your Home. 

Click on the link below to get your free organizing things. Freebies!

Monday, January 18, 2010 Check out the book giveaway!

Networking Witches is a fun website for women that offers blogging for a cause, chatter, giveaways, reviews and more.

Check out Enter to win a free copy of "Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life!" Check out their other offers while you are there!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vacuum cleaner: Newbie clutter clearing book author keeps perspective

As a newbie clutter clearing book author, I am very excited to share that I received some great book review and radio interview requests recently. It is thrilling to think that my book is "out there" now and actually helping people with clutter clearing and home organizing ideas.

The other cool thing I just learned is that my upcoming speaking/interview/book signing schedule appears on my author page at Amazon. Just scroll down a little ways. I suppose I should be a calm and mature forty-something about it, but I am really happy! Technology is so neat! I hope you can come or listen to one of my events if you are interested.

Of course, life still marches on, and shortly after the latest request came in, I am hunched over on my floor digging and cutting hair off my vacuum cleaner beater brush bar. Counting the dogs, there are six of us in the house who shed hair. And, on top of that, two of them are teenagers. Do they "shed" more or do they just have longer hair? When was the last time you flipped your upright vacuum cleaner over to see if your beater brush bar could use a de-hairing? It took less than 10 minutes, and I am pretty sure the vacuum will operate more efficiently and effectively without all that hair wrapped around the beater brush.

I suppose with New Year's resolutions and the calm after the holidays that I am on a little reflective "perspective" kick. The thrilling is mixed in with the mundane. Beater brush hair, as well as dog barf and a host of other things, keep us grounded.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Emotional Clutter Clearing: Perspective!

Wow. People tend to be anxious and stress out a lot in anticipation of events. I get pretty wound up anticipating future events. As a new author, I have had opportunities for talks and radio interviews and television appearances. These are all positive things but they are stressful, even for someone who speaks to earn part of her living. They are new and different and unknown. I worry, "Will they like me?" "Will I do it right?" "Will the roads be icey?" The list goes on and on.

Here are three thoughts that help me clear this emotional clutter, or, at least manage it a little better. Let me know what you think.

"I'll see you later." Or, "I'll see you this evening." When someone I love says this to me, I realize, "Yes! No matter how well or poorly the stuff I am anticipating goes today, I will be with this person later. Time will pass. The stress for that day's particular event will be over, and life will go on." I hang onto comments like that because they help me maintain perspective.

Another helpful realization for me involves a little bit of risk assessment. I can get pretty wound up about a lot of things that don't really matter. If I mess up the event, what does that do? Does my family disappear? Do my dogs stop loving me? Does the rest of my world even wobble? Usually the answer is no.

Finally, there  something else that helps me keep perspective. It is this: I stop at my skin. I can't control other people's actions or reactions or the weather or any of a great number of things that I worry about in my life. When I remember that, I can use that to help myself let go of the emotional clutter I am carrying. The book that talks about that is Taming Your Gremlin (Revised Edition): A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick Carson. The author says,  "Remember where you end and all else begins."

Perspective. Keeping perspective can help reduce the emotional clutter and free up your time, energy, and enthusiasm for other things!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Interview with a professional organizer: Jennifer Ford Berry

Today I interviewed Jennifer Ford Berry of Organize This Life in western New York to get her professional organizing insights for 2010.

How and why did you decide to become a professional organizer?
    I started organizing professionally 8 years ago in Charlotte, NC.  I had just had my first child and was sad to go back to my full time corporate job.  About 3 months later I was laid off due to cut backs in the company.  At first I was scared but then I realized it was a blessing-I would be paid to stay home with my baby girl!  While I re-evaluated my life and asked myself what I was passionate about.  The one answer I kept coming up with was organizing!  I started a website, a business and a weekly newsletter based on my passion.  I am living proof that if you do what you love, the money will follow.

How long have you been doing it? 
   All of my life for friends and family and professionally for 8 years.

What is the funniest/strangest response you've gotten when you have told someone what you do for a living?  
   "People actually let you in their house to look at their junk"?!

What are your favorite techniques for clearing clutter?  
   I always Toss first.  Then I sort.  I believe this makes it less overwhelming for clients because there is less to sort and they already feel good about making decisions to let things go.

What are your top three suggestions for getting organized?
   1) Always try and use what you have for storage (containers, baskets etc).
   2) Less is More!
   3) Baby steps. Conquer one area of your life at a time.

If someone is struggling with staying on track with their organizing systems, what do you suggest?
  Write down a step by step plan.  Ask a friend for help or better yet call a professional!  Go easy on yourself, organizing is not something that comes easy to everyone.

If a home manager is struggling with lack of organization and clutter from spouse or children, what are your ideas to help them? 
   Implement a family chore chart.  This will only work if deadlines and consequences are in place.  For example:  the bathrooms must be cleaned by Saturday morning.  If they are not cleaned by then ____________ will not get a ride to their friend's house.  This way your expectations are clear and the family member knows exactly what you want from them.  No confusion, no arguments.  When a chore chart is in place everyone can easily read what needs to be done and they can help out when their schedule permits throughout the week.

Anything else you would add/suggest as we start the New Year?

   My advice for starting the new year off on the right foot is too forget about "resolutions".  Sit down and ask yourself what your vision for 2010 is. This is a snap shot of what your life would be like if it could be anything.  Then list your top 10 priorities for your life. (these should coinside with your vision) Then write down your goals for the upcoming year: what do you want to accomplish?  Now grab your planner and take a good look at it.  Schedule steps toward your goals.  Remove time wasters that don't honor your priorities and goals.  Only YOU can decide how you use the 24 hours you have been given each day.  And only YOU can make this the year you shine!

Jennifer Ford Berry is the author of the best selling book: Organize Now! a week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life.  Organize Now is available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Lowes, Books A Million, Kinkos and other independent stores.  Jennifer is a professional organizer and speaker.

Find Jennifer at:

  Twitter: organizethislif

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Article by National Home & Living Examiner

Yes, I am a new author, and I am thrilled and honored the National Home & Living Examiner posted an informational article about my book "Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life" and some of my clutter clearing tips.

Click here to check it out!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! To a less cluttered and better organized 2010!

If I could, I would like to designate this "Be Kind to Yourself" Day. The holidays are over, and we may be feeling what? Satiated? Sad? Content? Cluttered? Tired and busy from packing up holiday decorations and party food? Overwhelmed by stuff?

Take it one thing at a time. Please remember you can get more done in 10 or 15 minutes than you think. Whittle away at the post-holiday clutter. Above all, be kind and patient with yourself (and those around you)!

Was one of your New Year's resolutions to get organized? If you are looking for a little inspiration, please check out my book "Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life" and the reviews of it on Amazon. If you would like a little ongoing motivational help for clutter clearing and getting organized, consider signing up for my free monthly clutter clearing tips newsletter.

More clutter clearing and home organizing tips coming up in 2010. Stay tuned.