Tag: moving

Benefits of Pretending To Move When You’re Not

Cyndi Seidler professional organizer los angeles

If we were to look around right now at all our stuff, it may seem like a harmless array of belongings, especially if we’ve surrounded ourselves with a lot of this and that.

Yet, if we were to look around at our stuff with the idea that we’re moving, it may suddenly seem like an overwhelming task to pack up and take everything with us that we’ve accumulated, especially if every square inch of space is occupied.

When people move, they typically take the opportunity to get rid of stuff, either by tossing, donating, or selling at a garage sale. It’s particularly necessary when you have to move to a smaller place that has less space and storage.

So let’s say you’ve opened up that jammed linen closet to pull out some sheets. Now look inside and pretend you’re going to move. What would you take and what would you get rid of?

If you made those decisions now, you would be streamlining the possessions you have, which makes it a lot easier to pack up and move with. And better yet, you’ve just sorted out what you absolutely need – no more, no less.

A friend of mine always seemed to be getting ready for a move, even when she didn’t have an immediate moving destination. She would constantly be going through her belongings and either getting rid of stuff or packing things up for garage storage, particularly keepsakes.

So, like my friend, I allowed myself the time to review my belongings and determine if I wanted to take it with me or if I could say my good-byes to it. This always gave me the chance to re-evaluate what I really cared about the most.

There have even been times that, after I move and am getting settled, that I end up re-evaluating an item again as I unpack. I then end up getting rid of even more stuff, oddly enough.

I actually went through a recent move 5 months ago. My calamitous display of decor and floral arrangements was going to be too much for my new place, so I had to make some decisions.

If only I had lived as if I was going to move (someday), that this last move would have been a lot easier on me. It goes without saying that I would have needed less boxes for packing.

So now I look around regularly at my stuff to make sure I love everything, that everything has value and a good use for me, and so on.

I now pass this wisdom on to you. Do with it what you will. But always know that pretending can be a fun game all in itself, so give it a try!

They Got Organized And Guess What Happened Next? You Name It

When they say bad things happen to good people, I must say I’ve witnessed many instances of this in my line of work over the years (21 years, to be exact). Here are some of those horror stories, but be warned, these are not fiction (just the photos, which depict scenes from fictional movies).

A Bad Shoe Day


I had a new closet system designed and installed in a woman’s closet. It was pretty spectacular and would even make Carrie Bradshaw envious with all the shoes so glamorously on display. There hadn’t been too many opportunities where I could design and organize a closet, so I left quite proud, as if I had just won a World Cup award or something.

After a couple months of enjoyment, the woman called me. At first I thought, “Great! She wants me to do another closet!” But no, she called to tell me she just had a flood in her bathroom that seeped its way under the flooring and into her closet. Some shoes that had been left on the floor were destroyed – her favorites – which she just wore and had not put away yet. The entire closet had to be ripped out to fix the flooring and walls.

Happy ending though … she got a brand new closet system from her insurance company.

Life Changes Not To Look Forward To


I had the great pleasure once of doing a complete room makeover on a couple’s family room. They wanted Old World, Medieval-styled decor and furnishings, which happened to be my favorite period at the time.I spent days shopping for all the perfect items and even custom designed a desk unit for two with shelving for the home office section of the room. It was an elaborate undertaking and one that made all of us smile endlessly as everything fell into place.

Just as I was doing some finishing touches on the room, she informed me she lost her job – one that she had for ten years. Job security not so secure. She had just taken out a second mortgage to pay for home remodeling, so this had put the couple in a very bad situation (since the wife was the major income provider).

Very soon later, their house went into foreclosure, they got a divorce, and both had to move. I found out because she called to ask me if I wanted to buy the Old World candelabra I loved so much when I purchased it for her. I got it at half price, but it was her who had to pay full price on everything that unfolded in front of her life.

The good part of this story … she was happy to get rid of her dead-beat husband.

Robbed of Dignity


I had just finished packing and moving a woman into her new duplex unit. Apparently this was in a neighborhood she had not completely scoped out yet because she was in such a hurry to move.

Then, before everything could get unpacked, she came home from work to discover she got robbed. Neighborhood thugs were seen by neighbors carting stuff out of her place and police were called, but it was too late. They had gotten away with her TV, stereo, some jewelry, and other items (especially those I had unpacked and organized into their new home spaces).

She called the landlord to give a 30-day notice and called me to come back and pack up.

Good thing is, she still had plenty of belongings left to pack up and a lot of it was already still packed.

The Never-ending Boxes


This couple had just moved into their new home and I came to help them settle in and get everything organized into designated places. There were a lot of boxes and I learned that a lot of them had never been unpacked from their previous house (which they only lived in one year). This time they wanted to ensure that everything got out of boxes this time, and they called me to help accomplish this. So I did just that.

It wasn’t more than four months later that the husband got a new job transfer and they had to pack up and move again. Only this time it would be out of state. I thought their biggest disappointment would be the fact that they had to move again, but it wasn’t. Their biggest disappointment was that they got rid of all the packing boxes.

When The Heat Is On


At one time I organized a complete filing system for this small business that occupied three suites in the office building. The business owner kept a tight ship and paid a lot of attention to security, especially when it came to documents and computer files. He was meticulous in the way he liked everything organized, and was especially pleased that I had just established an enterprise-wide filing system for the company so that everyone could find and store documents easily.

Several months later the office building caught fire and almost everything burned in his offices. The document retrieval process was a slow and arduous undertaking, of which most records in the file cabinets were saved and business eventually resumed as normal.Well, as normal as could be given the fact that most of his employees had been used to working at home during the rebuild and then had to come back to the office.

Victim of A Reality Show


Me and my team were hired to organize a woman on a TV reality show who hoarded clutter. I was originally informed that the woman had a lot of clutter, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when I arrived.

After doing the dreadful task of sorting through mounds of the cockroach-infested piles, it seemed that the production team then misplaced a lot of her items after the organization when they were moving boxed up things to her storage unit. She may have sued. All I know is the show got canceled (which was no surprise to me since I experienced their field producer being nothing but trouble).

The end.

Now, if you are thinking, “This organizer must be bad luck!” let me remind you, this was happening in their life, not mine. And I want to add that the good luck I’ve brought to people doesn’t make interesting stories because there isn’t any problems. But maybe I’ll offset this and write about that next, who knows.

This just in!


A woman hires me and my organizing assistant to come pack up her condo and do home staging so she could sell it. So I promptly schedule and line up my assistant, blocking out a week of work. Just before we head out, I’m called and told she just sold her condo with all the furnishings in it. This was good luck for her … bad for me and my assistant.


Taking The Stress Out Of the Stress of Moving

stress-free moving

Almost every time someone contacts me to help them with moving, there is a degree of stress in their communication about the move. Understandably so. There is a lot to do. And often times, there doesn’t seem like enough time to do it all.

After all, moving involves a lot of preparation – arrangements with a moving company (or moving transportation), deciding what you will be taking with you to the new place, deciding if you will need to have a moving sale, organizing and holding a moving sale (if you decide you’re going to do that) and then of course packing up the entire house.

This doesn’t include all the preparations you need to do at your new place, but we won’t get into that just yet. And it also doesn’t include selling your existing home before the move if you’re selling, or the task of having to find a new place to live.

Each one of those projects can carry stress with it if you let it. That’s right, I said if you let it.

Stress can be taken out of anything and there are various methods of doing so. Yoga, meditation, pills (which I absolutely do NOT recommend), and other sundry stress remedies. However, as a professional organizer who has worked with people in stress for 21 years, I’m going to throw in my own method.

Focus. Yes, focus. And don’t focus on a problem either. Instead, put your focus on tackling one thing at a time. List all tasks / projects into a project list but focus your energy on just one of those tasks at any given time.

One of the reasons a professional organizer helps remove stress from a person’s life is because an organizer steps in to help take care of all the things that are stressing the person out. Even so, a person can still experience stress because they are still focused on all the problems that a move is creating for them. I get them to use my method of focusing and it sure makes a difference.

One of my friends was planning a move and was completely stressed out. First she had limited time to find a new place (before her lease was up), then after finding a place, she faced extreme downsizing. And of course packing up everything was left to a last minute rush because she didn’t have time to pack while she was working long hours.

It was during the last minute rush when she called me in for help. Seeing how stressed she was, I had her focus. I gave her instructions to carry on her demanding work and I would take care of everything else. You should have seen her face light up.

So, I see my job as more than organizing. It is helping people get stress-free. And although that typically comes after I organize for them, to make that happen during the process is just as important.

Anyway, if I’m not around, just remember, focus.

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