How to Execute a Well-Organized Relocation

Relocation, either a for a new job, a promotion or lateral move, or because our company’s location has changed, most moving considerations will be the same. There will be some differences, like, who is going to pay for it, but many of the things on your moving checklist will be consistent. In order to have a well-organized relocation, read on.

Professional organizer Kathryn Lewis knows all about being organized, it’s literally in her job title. She is the longest-running professional organizer in the Seattle, WA area. She works with both individuals and companies to get organized, then she teaches them how to stay that way. Here she provides some tips on how to make your move organized, efficient, and stress-free.

Planning the Move

  • If you’re moving to a new city and will be job searching there, have an updated resume ready to go. You can create a stellar and professional-looking resume using free resume templates. Choose from a library of template designs, then plug in your own colors, font, and text.
  • If your employer is moving you, or if you’re moving to accept a promotion, there may be a good chance your employer will pay for some or all of the move. They may even buy your old house or pay for a hotel or apartment in your new city for a limited amount of time. They could also pay for the move itself. Negotiate that ahead of time with your HR department.
  • Visit your new city before moving there. You’ll want to make sure you’re near things that are important to you, like good schools, shopping, airports and train stations, and local and state parks.

After you found your new home

  • When you find your ideal location, hire a real estate professional to search for you, even after you’ve gone back home. Today’s housing market is very competitive, so you need to be ready to act quickly. Having a scanning printer for sharing documents will be essential. If the costs are slightly above your budget for the area you desire, you can have your agent look for homes being sold “as is.” Just be sure and check with a lawyer, hire a licensed examiner for the property, and do a record search to see if it turns up any red flags.
  • If you have a pet and are moving to an apartment, check the rules regarding pets. There will usually be a deposit required, sometimes an additional monthly fee, and in some cases, a weight restriction.
  • Check that any mover you use is thoroughly vetted. It is easy to find online reviews of people who have experience with those companies. Take pictures of everything you’re moving and label the boxes in multiple places.
  •  Plan to stay in a hotel the night of the move, and again after you’ve arrived while you wait for your furniture delivery or go over last-minute real estate or leasing matters.

Once You’ve Arrived

  • Arrange for utilities to be turned on in your new home.
  • Find a pediatrician or local health department to get your children’s vaccination and health records in place for their new schools.
  • Visit the DMV to change your driver’s license and automobile registration and tags.
  • Register your business to be compliant in your new state. If want to save on paperwork, reduce your tax burden, and protect your personal assets, structure your company as an LLC. You can do that online yourself with no legal help and it takes only minutes. Check with local officials, though, since rules vary from state to state.
  • Give yourself and your family time to explore your new surroundings. Look for places everyone can enjoy, like zoos or put-put courses, to make the new place feel a bit less scary for the kids. Go out to eat, even if it’s just for pizza since everyone will be tired and probably a little nervous.

Moving can be exciting, like starting over again in a whole new place. But it can be a bit scary and stressful, too. By being organized ahead of time, you can reduce those sources of stress by leaving nothing to chance.

If you’re moving to the Seattle area, contact Kathryn Lewis to get you and your business organized right away.

Thinking of Running Your Small Business from Home? Consider These Important Steps for Success

by Kris Louis

Despite the many setbacks from the COVID-19 crisis, home-based small businesses are growing. Nationwide, it is estimated that there are 38 million home-based businesses—proof that small businesses play a big role in both local and national economies.

No matter your industry or size, home-based businesses often share a common challenge: creating the right space to get work done. Are you starting a small business or moving your current business into your home? Not sure how to get started? Take a moment to read these tips for setting up your home-based business office.

Need to turn your home office into a productive workspace? Partner with the skilled experts at Seattle Organizers! Book an appointment today!

Zoning Regulations

Depending on your location, your city, county and even the Homeowner’s Association may have zoning regulations that can impact how you operate your home-based business. Generally speaking, most communities are content as long as your business doesn’t disturb your neighbors or cause difficulty with parking. But it’s still important to understand the specifics.

If the zoning laws in your current home aren’t agreeable for running a business, you may need to consider buying. Discover suggests looking at things like whether you’ll be able to install signage for your business and how affordable the property is. Be sure to consider a separate entrance if you’ll be meeting clients—good for therapists, accountants, yoga and fitness instructors. Tour homes that will give your business some space and privacy from your home life, so you can limit daily distractions and focus on a healthy work-life balance.


Small business owners and entrepreneurs need plenty of space to work. While a writing desk looks sharp and stylish, you’re probably not going to have enough space for your computer, paperwork and other equipment. And if you need to store inventory or have a place to meet with clients, you’ll want to have the space to scale. When it comes to creating the most productive workspace, you may want to look into renovating your attic, garage or spare bedroom.

If you haven’t already, consider forming a limited liability company so you apply for loans and credits that can help you finance these important upgrades. An LLC grants you access to tax breaks and means you have to file less paperwork at the end of the year, and you might even be able to use business funds to purchase property. The regulations and formation process can be a little daunting for some, but there are companies out there that can process the paperwork for you.


Just as with any business, you’ll need to figure out a design and organization that helps you focus and work productively. It’s easy to rush out at the end of a long day (and most days are long for small business owners) without first tidying up. Consider designing your home office with an organizational system tailored for you. Furniture that doubles as storage is a great way to start. And keep all your office supplies in your office so you don’t have to go hunting them down in other areas of the home.

You will want a layout that isn’t too cozy, but also makes you feel at home. Plenty of natural light and green plants will keep your mind and the air clear. A neutral color palette is calming and very inviting for clients and customers. And if your small space has big storage needs — look up! Vertical shelving can help you keep inventory close by without feeling crowded.

When it comes to creating a productive workspace, your best bet is to call on an expert Professional Organizer from Seattle Organizers to organize your space!

Before running your business from home, consider your area’s zoning regulations and your workspace needs. If you’re ready to elevate your home-based business into a new and vibrant space, talk with an experienced realtor.

Procrastination Nation

Why we Procrastinate Organizing our Homes and Lives

Procrastination Organizing

The Psychology of Procrastination

Of course, we associate procrastination with home organizing. Gratefully, last week I read a great article in the NY Times. I highly recommend the read. After researching and participating in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and also CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), I can indeed relate to “emotional regulation” as being a core reason why we procrastinate. It is not that we are lazy, it is that there is an emotional detachment or attachment to procrastinating.

“Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem,” said Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa. It is not laziness.

It is not in capability, talent or lack of skills and education – it is an emotional block.

“Overwhelmed” is the description that I have heard for decades from clients about how they feel when they look at their unorganized closet, home-offices, kids rooms, bedrooms, cluttered kitchen cabinets and their over-all lives. I understand the burdonsome procrastination phenomena, as I have procrastinated writing this procrastination article for one week. Irony 5000!


1.) Write down your intentions every morning or as soon as you can. Give purpose and meaning as to WHY you want to get the task done and how it will make you feel.

2.) Give yourself a reward after completing it: a food treat, a self-care treat or something that you don’t normally allow yourself to take the time to do. For me, it is painting my nails or toenails – getting them painted.

3.) Prioritize which task will bring the best rewards- professional or personal tasks. Then, organize your time to do it asap.

” In the case of procrastination, we have to find a better reward than avoidance — one that can relieve our challenging feelings in the present moment without causing harm to our future selves.”, said psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Judson Brewer, Director of Research and Innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center. He calls it the B.B.O. – Bigger Better Offer.

When we procrastinate we feel guilt, shame and self-loathing, which are not productive feelings.

However, the longer we procrastinate, the worse we feel about ourselves. I think of the consequences of “not doing it” versus the consequences of “Getting it Done”. The feeling of how I will feel after I have completed the looming task. Sit down and “Do it now” Prioritize first and then start doing it. Whether it is your best work or not, start doing it and the motivation will follow.

4.) Think of how you will “feel” after you have tackled this task and plan out your reward.

5.) Plan out your days – a big battle for me and for many of us. If you work for yourself, this is a MUST. If you work for others – this is a MUST. If your work allows you the option of not constantly getting emails, pick a time to get emails. Our brains do not multi-task well, according to neuroscience. Another blog on that later…

Productivity Hacks and Procrastination Hacks are all over the internet

I found that the above New York Times article by Charlotte Lieberman summed it all up very well and also gives the “why” and what to start doing to uncoil the evil procrastination demon. Emotional regulation takes time and work but the only way to start being consistent is to “Do It Now.” . Procrastination and Home Organizing go hand in hand, but they don’t have to!

Contact us Now for a Free Organizational Consult and we can figure out how to create a plan to move forward and to start “New Habits” so the clutter won’t keep piling up in your home and most importantly, in your mind.

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5 Things Busy Parents Can Do to Keep Their Homes Clean Between Real Estate Showings

Image via Pexels

Buying a House and Parenting Is Possible

Once you decide to sell your home, you may wonder how you’re going to juggle parenting, working, and cooking meals with cleaning and decluttering your house for real estate showings—especially when you and your kids continue to eat, sleep, and live in the home. Since buying a new house before selling your current home isn’t always possible, a few simple tips and tricks can help you to keep your home market ready. Read on to learn more!

1. Eliminate Clutter

Decluttering and de-personalizing are two of the best things you can do to prep your home for sale. Not only will a tidy, organized, and depersonalized home appeal to prospective buyers, but a de-cluttered home is easiest to clean and maintain between showings. The biggest bonus is that  it gives you the opportunity to get a jump on packing.

Before listing your home, be sure to thoroughly declutter each room and storage space in your home. Then, get rid of anything you don’t need or move excess furniture, appliances, toys, and family photos into storage. To get the most out of your decluttering efforts, hire a professional organizer through Seattle Organizers. These professionals specialize in decluttering and organizing closets, garages, kitchens, storage spaces—you name it.

2. Clean a Little Bit Each Day

Before listing your home, you’ll also need to deep clean every room in the house—making sure to wipe down and wash any countertops, walls, windows, and floors.

After deep cleaning your home, however, it’s important to devote a few minutes each day to cleaning and maintaining your house to keep it tidy and show-ready. As part of your daily speed cleaning, don’t forget to:

  • Make the beds.
  • Load the dishwasher and wipe down the kitchen counter.
  • Wipe down bathroom mirrors and countertops.
  • Wash and dry dirty clothes.
  • Fold and put away clean laundry.
  • Pick up loose toys and objects.
  • Sweep and vacuum the floors.

3. Invest in a Robot Vacuum

If you don’t have the time or energy to regularly vacuum and sweep your floors when you’re busy trying to sell a home, a robot vacuum can be the life-saver you need to keep your house clean and tidy. A good robot vacuum will remove dirt, dust, and crumbs from your floors, helping you to keep your home clean and fresh between showings with minimal fuss.

4. Keep Spare Laundry Baskets Handy

When you live in the house you’re trying to sell, there’s no way you’ll be able to keep your floors and countertops free of clutter at all times. However, Apartment Therapy says this is where spare laundry baskets come in. When your real estate agent contacts you about scheduling a last-minute showing, toss any loose objects into the spare basket—whether it’s toys, dirty clothing, or mail—before loading it into your car and driving off before your prospective buyers arrive.

5. Make a Checklist

Even if you eliminate clutter, clean your home every day, and keep empty laundry baskets handy for picking up loose objects, you’ll need to ensure that everything is clean and in its place before a real estate showing or open house.

When you’re busy cooking meals for your family and tired from the work day, it’s easy to forget to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or take out the trash as you prep your home for a showing. However, putting together an open house task-list that includes things like securing your valuables, opening the curtains or blinds, turning on all the lights, eliminating odors, and taking out the trash can help you to ensure that your home will look clean and spotless by the time your prospective buyers arrive.

A Final Note

Selling a home that you continue to live in with your family isn’t easy, but these five tips will save your sanity, alleviate some stress, and keep your house clean and tidy until it sells. You probably won’t be able to keep your kids from leaving their toys and books on the floors or countertops, but these simple tips will make the cleanup process a whole lot easier. And thanks to your efforts, you’ll have the house sold soon!

Laundry Solutions-How to tackle your Laundry Issues

Dirty Laundry – Create a Laundry Solution

Don’t wait until the dirty laundry pile is huge

There are two types of people – people who do laundry a lot and in small loads and people who wait to do laundry until it is 3K loads and overwhelming. So, yes, there are many types of “laundry-doers”. However, in my many years at Seattle and helping clients with organizing their homes and finding laundry solutions, these are the basic two types of “laundry doers”. Which one are you? Are you another kind of “laundry doer”?

Be Economical and also Time Effective with Laundry Solutions

  • Unquestionably, doing smaller loads with low water levels, cold water, and phosphate free detergent is both environmentally and economically smarter
  • Doing large loads, depending on if you are single or a family, debatably, may be more economically wise but don’t do more than 2 large loads in a day unless you have scheduled your time to actually fold it and put it away
  • Obviously, everyone’s lives vary in size and style. So, no matter which size or what lifestyle you have, try doing small loads as often as you can
  • Schedule laundry times in – yes, set alarm and schedule it on your phone
  • Get it done!

SORT – FILL – PUSH BUTTON – Go do another planned home TASK or whatever you want – SET PHONE ALARM & TIME IT – PUT IN DRYER – REMOVE – FOLD, ROLL and HANG IMMEDIATELY – PUT AWAY – DONE!! 


The key thing to take with you on this is to not let it pile up too much and schedule it in to be doing while doing other things you want to do or need to do, like the dishes or looking at Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook or whatever you want!!

SCHEDULE A FREE VIRTUAL SESSION with Kathryn to discuss your personal laundry issues – not your “Dirty Laundry”, so to speak 😉

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Is Clutter-Making Genetic?

Order Chaos

I was recently with a client and working with her on her entire home that had been bombarded by her own past and that of her parents. In our first conversation she said, “I don’t want to be like my parents who I believe are “collectors” or maybe even hoarders.”  I can’t tell you how many people say a similar comment in regard to their family. They may blame their parents or a parent for why they can’t let things go and let their “stuff” pile up. Is clutter-making genetic? Therein, leaving their mind cluttered; wasting time looking for things and effecting their self esteem because they are so overwhelmed by all of it that they become stunted. I started researching and found some stunning insight and research based facts regarding inheriting the “clutter gene”. It is still debatable between the professionals. I believe that it is a combination of hereditary and learned behavior.

After doing Residential Professional Organizing for 21 plus years, I do believe that people can change their habits (the 60 day thing) if repetition is consistent and daily. However, it is quite a challenge for many of us in this land of fast-paced living and the “Distraction Crisis” with social media sucking up so much of people’s time where they could be purging ancient relics from their homes. I have some of my own personal habits that seem impossible to conquer. The first step is being aware. My client with her fear of becoming like her parents and many other clients with the same dread, have taken the first step – getting professional help. So, I will leave theory or fact of inheriting a “clutter gene” open for discussion. Here are a few professional views on this.

“Exactly what triggers hoarding compulsions
and desires is still under investigation. Like OCD, it may be related, at least in part, to genetics and upbringing.”
Mayo Clinic

“But biology is not destiny. Just because somebody has a genetic
predisposition to develop a certain behavioral condition, that doesn’t
mean they are doomed.”

-David F. Tolin, Ph.D., founder of the Anxiety Disorders Center at The Institute of Living in Hartford, CT

“People who have a compulsive urge to collect and clutter their homes with junk can partly attribute their problem to genes, according to a British study.”

Researchers from King’s College London used a twin study to find that genetic predisposition explained a large amount of the risk for compulsive hoarding – a mental health problem in which people have an overwhelming desire to accumulate items normally considered useless, like old newspapers or junk mail.

Of the more than 5000 twins in the study, roughly two percent showed symptoms of compulsive hoarding and genes appeared to account for half of the variance in risk.

Researcher Dr. David Mataix-Cols said it has long been known that compulsive hoarding tends to run in families.

But he told Reuters Health that what has not been clear is whether that pattern is due to genes or to something in the home environment, like parenting practices.

“Twin studies allow us to separate these two sources,” Mataix-Cols said.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, included both identical and fraternal twins. Identical twins share all of their DNA while fraternal twins share roughly half of their genes, making them no more genetically similar than non-twin siblings.

If genes are a more important factor than shared environment in a given disorder, then identical twins would be more similar in their risk of the problem than fraternal twins would be.

Mataix-Cols and his colleagues found that among female identical twins, when one twin showed compulsive hoarding symptoms, the other twin also did 52 percent of the time. Among fraternal twins, that figure was 27 percent.

There was no evidence, however, that environmental factors shared by twins contributed to compulsive hoarding. Instead, “non-shared” environmental factors – those unique to individuals – seemed to be at work.

Past research has shown that many people with hoarding problems have a history of traumatic events, according to Mataix-Cols. In particular, they have elevated rates of sexual abuse and “loss” – of a loved one or a home, for instance.

“What the study suggests is that genes are important, but probably some environmental stressors are needed to cause or trigger the hoarding problem,” said Mataix-Cols, adding more research is needed into this topic.

He said the hope was to find better therapies for compulsive hoarding as behavioral therapy and antidepressants are now the main forms of treatment, but they have met with limited success.

– Reuters

Easy DIY Repairs to Keep Your Home Looking New

Do you ever feel like your home always has some small thing in need of repair?

Your first instinct may be to pick up the phone and call in a professional, and sometimes hiring a pro is best. But there are plenty of easy fixes and preventive maintenance tasks you can do yourself.

HVAC Maintenance

Keeping your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system working properly is an absolute must for homeowners. No one wants to be faced with a broken air conditioner on a hot day. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also become an emergency situation.
You don’t have to be an HVAC expert to conduct regular maintenance and do minor fixes. According to Family Handyman, a few HVAC maintenance tasks any homeowner can do include keeping your system clean, fixing fins that are out of alignment, and unclogging the condensate drain tube. If you fail to do these, you may end up with a frozen coil due to a dirty filter. When this happens, the first solution is to replace the filter, but if that doesn’t work, it may be time to call in a local AC repair professional to get the problem fixed.
Doors, Windows, and Cabinetry
One of the most common sources of household problems is when things like doors, windows, and cabinetry get old and don’t work as well as they used to. They may be more of an annoyance than a major problem, but most of these issues can be easily fixed.
Doors that stick – According to This Old House, older doors are especially vulnerable to sticking due to changes in the weather. They recommend several different options for fixing this problem, including checking hinges, planing the door, or rehanging it. The right solution will depend on the source of your problem.
Dealing with drafts – Drafty doors and windows can be a problem any time of year. Drafts leave you too hot or cold, while wasting energy and raising your utility bills. Fix those drafts by adding weatherstripping, new door sweeps, or foam tape around windows.
Loose drawer handle – Having a loose handle on a cabinet or drawer is a nuisance, and you can’t always fix it by simply tightening the screw. In this case, an easy fix is to remove the handle and add some washers to the back before screwing it back in place.
Cosmetic Repairs

I’s normal for our homes to start showing wear and tear over time, but many of these cosmetic issues are easy fixes.
Patch a hole – The steps you need to fix a hole in your wall vary depending on whether it’s a small dent, such as a dent made by a doorknob, or a larger hole that needs to be patched. This tutorial from Lowe’s will walk you through the correct steps and tools needed for different situations.
Peeling wallpaper – If you have corners of wallpaper that are peeling, Real Simple recommends using a sheet of paper, covered with wallpaper paste, to get a smooth look when reapplying it. Simply press the peeling wallpaper against the wall with the sheet of paper underneath it, then slide the paper out and smooth any bumps.
Cracked molding – Cracks in molding and baseboards are common in older homes especially, but all it takes is a quick fix to make them look like new. You may need a scraper to remove peeling caulk, and then replace it with a caulking tool and new caulk.
Repair hardwood floors – Even though hardwood floors are made to be durable, any surface that gets foot traffic is prone to issues. Deep scratches take a little more effort than minor surface scratches, but most can be repaired with a little work.
Whether the tasks you tackle are cosmetic or serious, you don’t want to let these problems go. After all, you live in your home, and any problems are likely to get worse if you don’t intervene. Fixing them now will keep your home looking its best and will help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.