Monday, February 21, 2011

We're Moving!

As of this week, our new blog home can be found at!

Please bookmark our new blog and share it with friends.

You can also find us on Twitter (@organizenow) and Facebook (Organize Anything).

Don't forget to find Colette Robicheau on LinkedIn!

See you at the new blog,

Organize Anything Team

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Planning a Dream Vacation

As wind and snow howls down the street, this is the time of year our thoughts turn to warmer climates. Whether your dream vacation is laying on a beach with a coconut drink in your hand, or taking a hot-air balloon safari across the Serengeti, it’s all possible with some careful planning.

Organize Anything has put together some simple tips and ideas to help guide you through the vacation planning process.

1)Location, location, location! Where do you want to go and what do you want to do? What location is the top of your travel bucket list? Do you want to explore the Mayan ruins in Mexico or be a beach bum in Hawaii? Go online and search out your dream location and discover when’s the best time to visit – you don’t want to plan a three week trek through Thailand during monsoon season!

2)What are you going to do? Are you someone who likes to immerse themselves in the local culture during their trips or does vacation mean “rest, relax, rejuvenate” to you? If you’re headed to a resort you may want to take a look at what activities and excursions are included in your package. If you are going on an adventure to a new country, borrow some guidebooks from the library and plan your trip to see the most famous landmarks and museums.

3)The devil’s in the details, especially when travelling. Before booking your fantasy vacation make sure you know all the important information about your country of choice. What’s the currency, what language do they speak, where is your country’s consulate located, does your health insurance cover traveling outside the country, is there any conflict happening within the country of surrounding countries? Knowing the answers to these questions can keep your heavenly get-away from turning into a trip to hell.

4)Have a backup plan. Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way sometimes, so have a backup plan if something goes awry during your time away. This can include having emergency contacts in the country you’re visiting, to setting up a few weeks of international calling on your cell phone so you can get in contact with the folks back home. If you’re traveling during the winter book a few extra days on either end of your vacation time in case there are weather delays.

5)Don’t forget about your house and the pets who live in it! If you’re going to be away for extended periods of time ask one of your neighbours to check in on the house, or have a friend housesit for you. Little details like putting the lights on timers and bringing in the mail on a daily basis will make it look like someone’s still at home. If you have pets, arrange for them to go to a kennel or have a trusted friend take them in while you’re away.

Planning your dream vacation doesn’t have to be scary. Just remember to look at the big picture and see beyond the white sandy beaches. If you have all your ducks in a row before you take flight, your entire trip will be smooth sailing.

If you liked this post and would like to learn more tips like it, please check out the Organize Anything website at You can also find us on Twitter (@organizenow) and on Facebook.

© 2011 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Professional
Organize Anything
Phone:(902) 233-1577

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How Sweet It Is

How Sweet It Is: A Just-Desserts Get Together

Need to satisfy a craving for sweets? Invite friends over mid-day or in the evening for a fashionable just-desserts party. What’s better than having your friends and all kinds of delicious desserts in the same room? Nothing I can think of!

Here are some simple tips and things to think about when setting up for your delicious dessert party.


How the desserts are displayed is just as important as how they taste!
• Put a nice table cloth over the table. Any colors from light pink to dark blue will look nice.
• Place the plates at the one end of the table, the food in the middle, and the beverages, cutlery, and napkins at the other end so guests are free to reach for the pastries.
• Make one show stopping dessert for the centerpiece. It can be a beautiful bowl of fruit or a deliciously garnished cake. Just like a painting, your table needs to have a focal point and a nice flow so the eyes can glide over the desserts smoothly.
• Have different heights using cake dishes and pedestals for contrast.
• If you don’t have enough of the same plates, it is acceptable to use different styles, but alternate styles as you stack them.


• It’s best to serve hot and cold beverages. Sparkling wine, decaffeinated coffee, and water are the basics. You can also boil water and offer tea bags.
• This is the perfect occasion for sugar cubes. They lend an elegant touch to the table, and you won’t have to clean up spilled sugar or ripped paper packets.
• When buying the sparkling wine, estimate one bottle for every two guests. Then throw in an extra bottle or two, just in case. Place the wine in the refrigerator a day or two before the party, then transfer the bottles to buckets of ice water half an hour before guests arrive.

Serving How-To

• Place a couple of small platters or plates of assorted pastries around the room on a coffee table or a mantel.
• Set out dishes of your favorite chocolates or chocolate-covered nuts.
• Pre-slice cakes and pies, but don’t separate the pieces.
• Brownie Bar- Create a do-it-yourself brownie bar, so guests can put personalize their dessert.

Everyone loves a sweet treat pick-me-up, and there’s no better time than February to beat the doldrums. Enjoy your party!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Don't Get Trapped in a Groundhog Day of Bad Work Habits

Working from home, or ready to join the thousands of Canadians who already do? Home-based businesses offer considerable advantages, but many challenges. Here are seven strategies that will make your home office experience more productive and rewarding.

1) Select a dedicated workspace. If possible, select a room with a door to block out distractions. Also, choose your space based on how you will use it. For example, locate it near the main entrance to your home if clients and suppliers will be visiting frequently.

2) Choose your office furniture carefully. You want to create a space that is comfortable, productive and efficient. Ensure your space is well lit and provides proper storage space.

3) Purchase office equipment based on your needs. Consider all-in-one equipment with fax, printer, copier, and scanner functions to save money and space. Invest in a business phone line with voicemail so you won’t miss any messages.

4) Set a schedule and stick to it. Early or late riser? Business or casual? Find the routine that works for you and keep it. Remember to set daily goals to avoid doing household chores when you should be working. Regularly scheduled breaks are also important, allowing you to stay fresh through the working day.

5) Outsource and delegate. It’s easier to stay efficient and focused on your work when you make use of support service providers, such as accountants and couriers.

6) Plan your outings. You’ll save time by picking one day during the week to run errands.

7) Take time to network. It’s important to interact with friends and associates on a regular basis. Plan weekly lunches or join a networking group to make new contacts and learn new business techniques.

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to others who would find it useful and sign up for our Organize Anything newsletter on our homepage at

© 2011 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011 Organize Anything Top 10 Best Organizing Products List

The 2011 Organize Anything Top 10 Organizing Product List is a comprehensive collection of products that allow you to save time and live your life. We’ve spent the year looking at products recommended to us by clients, suppliers and that we’ve run across that just make life simpler. Here are our Organize Anything Top 10.

1. Pendalflex Desk Free Hanging Organizer with Case
Innovative vertical filing system allows you to see all of your important documents at once. Each level in the filing system has an index tab, for easy organization. The system can be removed from its case and carried in a briefcase or stored in a filing cabinet. Each file pocket is colour coded and easily removable for individual use. Great for offices with limited desk and file cabinet space.

2. More Time Moms Family Organizer
It’s the original and best-selling family organizer on the market. This family planner has the biggest squares, 2.1"x 3.5", to give you plenty of room to write, a variety of stickers to remind you of important events, and a pocket for bills and loose paperwork.

3. LUG Life Puddle Jumper Overnight/Gym Bag
Not too big and not too small, with a pocket or pouch for every last thing, it’s easy to see why this bag is a best seller. With so many great features, it’s hard to pick a favourite: Probably the clear-coated bottom for easy cleaning and durability. Or the travel strap that attaches to any standard rolling luggage handle. Or the ventilated compartment that keeps the dirty clothes/shoes away from the clean. Or the … you get the picture. This bag has all the bells and whistles.

4. Wikki Stix Craft Sticks
Not just a kid’s craft, Wikki Stix have a slew of practical uses! They can be used to do everything from colour-coding computer cords to fixing a pair of glasses. These fun, colourful wax strings will add personality to any task.

5. Ziploc XXL Big Bags
Get more out of the space in your home with Ziploc® Brand Big Bags. They’re the biggest, strongest, most versatile Ziploc® Brand Bags ever created. Use them to store clothing, bedding, holiday decorations, sports equipment and more. No more clutter in the garage, the basement or the closet.

6. EverFresh Hamper with Removable Bag
NeatFreak’s line of laundry products with everfresh® is a 100% natural way to keep your home always fresh, always clean. Environmentally friendly enzymes built into the fabric continuously reduce odour, resulting in a fresh and clean laundry bag, basket or hamper.

7. Roux Tween Time Instant Hair Colour Touch-Up Stick
Temporary hair color touch-up stick. Roux Tween Time Instant Hair Color Touch-Up Stick is a one-of-a-kind instant temporary color crayon. Perfect for concealing small areas of gray or covering/blending re-growth area at the scalp. It applies like lipstick and shampoos out. Perfect to throw in your purse or travel bag when you’re going to be on the go.

The world’s leading online scheduling service, Doodle takes the pain out of finding the right date and time for a group of people to meet and makes scheduling virtually effortless. The basic service is a free online coordination tool which requires neither registration nor software installation.

9. Avery Durable Binder with Viewfinder Pocket
This binder comes with a sealable, clear plastic pouch that’s perfect for holding anything from loose papers to a cell phone. Perfect for planning any event.

10. Table Topics Conversation Starters: Original Edition
Conversation is a dying art and these engaging questions inspire the best kinds of conversation - whether over a glass of wine or at dinner party. Table Topics Original makes the perfect dinner party hostess gift! Created for adults, but appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Law of Subtraction

We live in a world where bigger is better and more is all the rage. When we are trying to get the life we want, it often involves adding something new: a new routine to lose weight, exercising more, taking a class or starting a new activity.

Also, we are always looking for more time–most of us want to spend more time with our friends and family. Lately, we have heard many promises that if you just put out the intent, then it will all happen for you. In our business we have found that this simply is not true for most of our clients.

Our clients’ lives are so packed full already that adding just one or two more things in to the mix or the thought of adding anything else is just too overwhelming. Simply willing something you would like to happen is not enough.

We live in a high pressured, busy, success driven, in search of perfection and not excellence type of world. Often you can’t get what you really want because your current lifestyle is so jam-packed with things you don’t want, that there is just no room for anything else.

So before you contemplate adding anything else in your life, practice the law of subtraction. Remember, when you say “yes” to something you have to say “no” to something else. So let’s say “no” to some things, so we have the space to say “yes” to things we want.

You can do this in many ways:

1)If your boss is piling more tasks on an already full plate – ask what could get postponed or handed off to someone else.

2)If you are making impromptu purchases of clothing, furniture and accessories – ask yourself what you are going to let go of that you already own.

3)If you start worrying about a future event – ask yourself what nice things you won’t have time to think about as a result of this worrying. Are you willing to give up those nice thoughts for something that may not happen, alter your mood and cause frustration?

4)You stop spending time with toxic people who don’t make you feel good and find more time to spend with the friends that empower you and make you feel great.

5)You no longer do your children’s laundry or pack their lunches and have more time to do the things you would like to around your home.

6)You spend less time sitting in front of the TV or your computer and you find the time to get moving and do some exercise.

7)You say no to extra volunteer activities and have more time for activities with your partner.

You don't always have to say "yes", even if it is something that you feel you are obligated to do. Saying "no" makes room for the things that matter most in life. Practice the Law of Subtraction and less can actually make you happier and healthier.

Colette Robicheau, President of Organize Anything, is a consultant, coach, and speaker who helps people set priorities, stay focused, manage time, and transitions so they can achieve their goals, grow their business and be more successful. Contact her at and sign up for her newsletter of useful tips at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Small Changes, Big Changes

We all deal with clutter, believe it or not. Yes, even that friend with the spotless home. She doesn’t appear to have clutter because she deals with clutter before it takes over her office, home — and life.

But what about the rest of us, with overflowing closets, ready-to-topple piles of magazines or bottles or spices spread over three cupboards?

The key is to tackle your decluttering step-by-step. A woman I know swears by the Wood Theory. It goes like this:
Facing a daunting load of wood that needed to be stored in her basement, she committed herself to toting one — and only one — piece of wood to the basement every time she had to go to the basement for another reason (to unload her washer, for example).

A whole load of wood is daunting. But one piece of wood isn’t. It’s not even that heavy.

Little by little, and painlessly, the load of wood got smaller. And smaller. Until it was gone from her yard and stacked in her basement.

Hmmm, she thought, if the Wood Theory works for wood, it can work for other tasks. Dust one slat of the blinds before going to pick up the kids at school, and the blinds are soon dusted, for example. It’s harder to avoid a small task that takes minutes — or even seconds — than it is to carve out the time to finish the entire job in one long, back-breaking session.

Here are five chores that are worth tackling the Wood-Theory way:

1.Never miss a birthday: Write one card per night while you’re watching a post-dinner rerun of your favorite show and you’ll soon have all your birthday cards for the year signed, sealed and ready to be delivered

2.Streamline your closet: Line a cardboard box with a plastic bag and place it in your closet to hold donations. Every morning when you’re getting dressed, choose one item for the box. When the box is full, take the bag and drop it off at a roadside donation bin. Repeat until the job is done

3.Scour your bathroom: After you brush your teeth, chose one area of the bathroom to clean (wash the tub or change the towels, for example). Once the room’s clean, start all over again.

4.Organize your spices: When you run the dishwasher, choose one spice container to fill, re-shelve (in alphabetical order, of course) or toss. Your spices will be organized in no time! Consider using a drawer insert to keep spices neatly together and easy to grab when you’re cooking.

5.End magazine mayhem: While you’re watching TV, keep handy a kit with scissors, a three-ring binder, page protectors, label tabs, a plastic bag and a pile of magazines. Flip through one or two issues at a time, cutting out the pages that have articles you want to keep. Put the pages in the protectors and file them in the binder, using the label tabs to separate them by category. Then bag the leftovers for recycling

Clutter doesn’t have to seem daunting. By taking small steps and applying the wood-theory, you can accomplish big tasks in no time!