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Terri Stephens

Terri Stephens, CPO, CRTS

Certified Professional Organizer®
Certified Relocation & Transition Specialist®




(678) 513-6585

Creating an Ideal Environment
Ways We Can Help
The Ultimate Family Command Center
Stocking Your Command Center
Organize with a Family Resource Binder
Family Launch Pad
The Family Manager

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As a part of our practice, Real Order Professional Organizing offers Interior Environment Coaching.


Organization is one of the key components of creating an ideal interior environment - which basically involves easy access to what you need when you need it. Another key component in having a house you love coming home to is home décor - creating a space that is comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.


As a Certified Interior Environment Coach, we can help you identify your wants/needs, create an action plan, and help you implement it. To learn more about how we can help, visit us online or give us a call at 678-513-6585.

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You can save money. You'll know what you already own, eliminating the need to buy duplicate items. A professional organizer can help you find the perfect organizing products for your space and lifestyle, so you stop wasting money on things you don't need or won't work.


You can become more productive and efficient. A professional organizer can create order and structure out of chaos. You'll receive systems that work for your dominant learning style, your lifestyle, your needs, your challenges, and your dreams.


You'll have a positive self-image and ditch the shame. Once your home or office is neat and tidy, you won't feel embarrassed to have guests visit. The guilt will fade away as you take pride in your surroundings.


You'll have a healthier environment. Physical and emotional clutter obscures your surroundings. An organized home and office is more easily cleaned. Lose the clutter and cut down on time spent moving piles of paper and stuff around.


Your stress level will decrease dramatically. When you can find what you need, are on top of your to-dos, and arrive on time, you'll feel calmer and have more peace of mind. No more feeling overwhelmed by life -- you'll be the one in control.


You'll discover more time for yourself. When you're organized, your days go as planned, and you get a lot more done. That leaves more time to indulge in a little "me time."


Your energy will shine. Clutter is a mask and a professional organizer can help you take off that mask. Once the clutter is removed, you can showcase your talents, skills, and personality and have the life you deserve.



"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." 

 ~ Jane Howard









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Faithful Organizers



June 2012



Command Center - Small Space



In my experience, I've seen many people struggle with a common problem - papers that accumulate on the kitchen counter and get lost in a pile. Bills, junk mail, magazines, kids papers, coupons, and the list goes on! Oftentimes the pile gets shoved aside or put into bags to be dealt with "later" and is soon forgotten.


This month's newsletter has ideas and tips for setting up a system to manage your household with a Command Center and Launch Pad - so you and your family can thrive!


Until next time,  

Terri Signature



Terri Stephens, CPO, CRTS

Real Order Professional Organizing, LLC
(678) 513-6585


Family Command Center 

Similar to an airplane's cockpit, a Family Command Center is a central place for managing household communication and running the family's daily activities. A Command Center manages four activities: input (papers coming in), processes (what to do with the papers), output (papers going out), and reference information (a Resource Binder contains important reference documents to maintain the household activities). In short, it is the go-to spot for all the things you need to help your home run smoothly. 


Be sure to locate the Command Center in a central location, preferably near where you enter and exit your house. An ideal location is often the kitchen, as it's the hub of the house. But you can also create a space in your home office if it's on the main floor of your home. If you use your computer for scheduling or contacts, you might want to locate the Command Center near the computer. Just make sure it's a functional space and that the location works best for you.


Find a way to incorporate a corkboard or magnetic board. A corkboard can be attached to the inside of a cabinet door, which keeps it accessible but out of sight. Use this board to post frequently called numbers, lunch menus, invitations, etc.


Keep reading for more info on setting up your Family Command Center.


If you're creating your Family Command Center, utilizing useful and attractive products can entice family members to embrace it. Here are some of my favorites: 



Brocade Desktop File  - this sturdy and attractive file holds letter-size hanging folders for sorting mail, bills to be paid, school forms and more.






Brocade Wall File - make the most of your vertical space with these wall-mount compartments to hold files.





Wall Pockets


Fabric Wall-Mounted Pocket - the main compartment holds newspapers, magazines, catalogs or gloves, while hooks below keep hats, jackets, leashes and keys easy to find.




Homework Caddy



Homework Caddy - take advantage of summer to organize for the new school year! This hanging folder system controls clutter by organizing kids' homework and books and helps them to manage their own schedules and deadlines.


In a typical household, there's a lot of different information your family needs on a regular basis that often ends up being scattered around the house. The Family Resource Binder makes it easy to keep everything together in one reference book.


Putting your binder together is easy. You need a three-ring binder and plastic sheet protectors. Printable forms can be your guide for information to include; create your own additional forms as you need them. 


What goes in the Family Resource Binder? Anything you need at your fingertips.Here are some ideas, but feel free to customize it to suit your needs:

  • Emergency info: Phone numbers for doctors and dentists, emergency numbers for fire and police and hospital and poison control, other important numbers
  • Important info: Health insurance info, shot records, anything else you need to refer to frequently
  • School stuff: School calendars, newsletters, any other papers that come in
  • Family calendar: If you prefer a written calendar that everyone can look at, insert it into the Family Resource Binder
  • Finances: your budget, spending log, bills to pay, etc.
  • Checklists: Any checklists that help you remember things: packing lists, chores lists, car maintenance schedule, etc.
  • Weekly menu: Plan out your weekly dinners for the next week or two
  • Recipes: Your family's favorites, which makes it easier to make the shopping list once you've done the weekly menu
  • Gift ideas: write down ideas for birthdays and Christmas as they come up
  • Reading/watching lists: books, DVDs, CDs, other things you want to buy/rent
  • Ideas: Activities to do with the kids, vacation destinations to consider, and other idea lists

BackpackFighting over bathroom time, soggy cereal, and the ever-present, "Mom, I can't find my...!" Getting the family out the door on time in the morning is a huge challenge for many. One small concept can go a long way toward helping calm morning madness - the family Launch Pad. Just as a spaceship must have a structure to support lift-off, so family members need a Launch Pad as they leave for the day. So what is a Launch Pad? It's a dedicated space for each family member - a single location to contain all the "out-the-door" essentials of life.


"Stuff" should always have distinct limits. Setting up a Launch Pad can be as simple as clearing a shelf in a bookcase and designating the area the family's Launch Pad. Add a different-colored plastic bin for each family member, and nobody's field trip permission slip will go to school with the wrong sibling or get lost behind the shelf. As each child comes home from school, homework and lunch menus can go into the bin. Dad comes home and tosses keys, billfold, receipts and pocket change into his. Things stay safe and segregated until they are needed the next morning.


A Launch Pad does not necessarily need to be dedicated space on a shelf or table. Children can be taught the backpack habit. Each child has their own hook for their backpack near the door. Lunches, papers, and gym clothes go directly to the backpacks. Result: Launch Pad!


An idea for younger children combines the Launch Pad with an answer to the "child art" dilemma. Purchase a hanging chain with clips designed to be hung from a ceiling. When your preschooler comes home clutching his "papers," artwork can be clipped to the upper regions of the chain, while permission slips and homework live on the lower links.


It's not just kids who can cause morning madness - adults can be contributors too. An adult's Launch Pad can be a shelf in the coat closet to corral the essentials of life before the dash out the door in the morning.

Without doubt, establishing a family Launch Pad can go a long way toward starting your day with a smile!


I oversee an organization -

Where hundreds of decisions are made daily,

Where property and resources are managed,

Where health and nutritional needs are determined,

Where finances and futures are discussed and debated,

Where projects are planned and events are arranged,

Where transportation and scheduling are critical,

Where team-building is a priority,

Where careers begin and end.

I oversee an organization -

I am the Family Manager.



DiningMost of us recommend restaurants, movies or mechanics to our family and friends. When you recommend Real Order for professional organizing, we want to thank you with a $25 gift card to Red Lobster or Olive Garden - it's your choice. A minimum of four hours of organizing services must be purchased to qualify. To redeem your gift card, simply notify us of the family or friend you are referring to us. Bon appetit!


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