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Hands-on Help
the spiffy little newsleter created by Kristine Oller
to bring organization to your life

In This Issue
Anatomy of... a wardobe
The Bigger Picture: Become a Steward of Your Stuff
News from Personalized Organization
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Kristine's book is getting raves:


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 "I have been listening to this course and WOW - I have to say, this book is incredible!  Kristine is truly gifted and, at $137, this product is a STEAL. I think this may be the single greatest product I have ever seen for talent. Note: She doesn't teach you how to be a voice talent (that's what most of us teach); what she does is a terrific job of teaching you how to run your business.  If you've ever walked into your voice over office and asked yourself, "Now what do I do?" this is the product for you."

- Julie Williams, publisher of The VoiceOver Insider

"You rock, lady!  Your book has just absolutely beat me between the eyes several times and turned my world upside down in the best possible way.  Thank you."

- Bob Souer, voice talent (and leading

"Kristine has a straightforward, practical, and, most importantly, ATTAINABLE approach to organization - for my desk, for my home, and for my brain.  It's amazing how once I had applied just a few steps from her book it felt like a weight had lifted.  I was making room for even better things!  Kristine helped me use what I already had around in much more effective ways.  And MY work is now working for me: what used to be labor has definitely turned to love."

- Roy Samuelson, actor / creator of the Voice Over Work Out Lounge

Anatomy of...
a wardrobe



It was a story of love and hate. 

My client loved her clothes and everything that went with them - shoes, purses, scarves, hats, etc.  But she hated the constant fight it took to get them back into her closets - partly because her closets were full and partly because the tight arrangement of her jewel-box of a bedroom did not give her easy access to the three sliding closet doors (pictured above).

[Note: We put the mound of clothes on top of her bed during the sorting process.  That said, my client confesses that a similar, smaller mound of clothes usually did live on the floor between her bed and the closet... after a long day, it was just easier to toss them there than wrestle with those doors.]

She had much easier access to the closet in the second bedroom (a room she used as her office).

There was also a third closet in the hallway, directly across from her bedroom door:

wardrobe before

Once I saw this magnificent, underutilized closet, a plan for how to make her wardrobe storage serve her needs fell into place.

This client has beautiful clothes and I really wanted to restore the joy that had been drained from the activity of getting herself ready to leave the house.  Selecting what you wear is a significant form of self-expression; wearing items over and over again merely because they are "easy to get to" can take some of the spice out of life.

Here were some facts we were dealing with:

A. The closets in her bedroom were spacious, but the least easy to get to.

B. She relied on the closet in her office the most and, consequently, it was now beyond capacity.

C. Her clothes, shoes, and accessories were all mixed up in different rooms so assembling an outfit took an excessive amount of time and energy.

D. The stuff being stored in the extremely accessible hall closet were not items she used on a daily or weekly basis.

Here are the four changes I suggested we make:

1. Pare down her wardrobe a bit by releasing anything that no longer excited her.

2. Use the bedroom closets to store items that she only needed periodically: bulky household items like luggage, and off-season or special occasion or activity-specific clothing and shoes.

3. Use the closet in the office for her everyday clothes, exercise clothes, flip flops, and tennis shoes.

And last but definitely not least...


wardrobe after

4. Turn that fabulous hall closet into her one-stop "accessories center".

I was thrilled that she invested in this little project because I knew it would pay dividends each and every time she opened those double doors.  Now she can quickly and easily switch out a purse, select a pair of shoes, chose a belt, pick a hat, or grab a scarf.

I bought the hardware and adjustable Elfa shelving at The Container Store. On the left side are 4 jumbo hooks (2 attached to the door, 2 attached to the inside wall) to hold her scarves.  Her big purses and totes are on the floor and her smaller handbags are on the shelf beneath the closet rod. Shoes fill the top and middle shelves. The shelves on the right inside wall hold smaller accessories like gloves, belts that couldn't be hung, and hats. And luckily there was just enough space when the right-side door was closed to hang belts.


The Bigger Picture: Become a Steward of Your Stuff

While we worked on the project above, my client had the Oprah show playing on her TV.  That day, coincidently, the topic of the show was the quantity of stuff people mindlessly consume and/or waste everyday - and how it might impact us (not to mention the planet) if we trimmed the excess from our lives.

The show prompted my client to reflect upon the quantity of clothes, etc. that she owned and we chatted about the mixed feelings she had regarding her abundance.  Having spent a decade observing and analyzing the relationship between people and their stuff, I thought I'd share my perspective on this issue. 

The quantity of stuff that someone owns really does not matter to me one way or the other.

I have only 3 concerns:

1) whether or not what you own brings you joy
2) whether or not your environment supports the life you are living now

3) whether or not you are a steward of your stuff

I know many people who have a lot, but the acquisition and/or ownership of most of it does not bring them joy.  I also know many people who, in their well-intentioned efforts to conserve and/or limit their consumption, have spaces that are not serving them as well as they could.

I understand why some people don't even try to recycle.  Just like I understand why some people stack empty yogurt containers in their garage to "keep them out of landfils."

The environmental issues that we are being forced to confront have left the majority of us with conflicting emotions.  A single transaction can make you feel guilty for consuming printer ink, worried that you are adding to the landfills and possibly poisioning the environment, angry because you didn't ask for the cartridge to be packaged in that stupid clamshell, and stressed because you think don't have the knowledge or time to recycle it.

We want, we get, and we feel bad that we have.  Often, we give up.

But having - anything - is a blessing.  Rather than feel guilty about your good fortune, commit to becoming a steward of your stuff.  With every thing you bring into your life, commit to owning it joyfully, using it fully, and seeing it through to its most ecologically sound disposal.  Buy the cell phone, enjoy the cell phone, and then make sure the cell phone and its battery get donated or disposed of properly.

Yes, that last step takes extra time, energy, and maybe a little money... but that is part of the total cost of the purchase.  We either pay that price at the point of release, or we pay for it with ecological damage.

Once an item is made, it's made.  A yogurt cup exists whether it is sitting on a store shelf, stacked in a garage, or floating in the ocean.  It exists and, when you bought it, you signaled to the company that they should make another one.

Consume consciously, enjoy fully, release responsibly, sleep soundly.

News from
Personalized Organization

Hello subscribers!

This newsletter, as you know, is the forum where I offer guidance on organizing.  The forum where I offer guidance on career strategy, is over yonder at my blog.  There you can now find info in the categories of career skills, strategy, p.r., success stories, celebrities, my story, resources, networking, and, okay, a little bit of organizing.

Half of what I provide at my blog is advice.  The other half of what I provide is evidence - evidence of people successfully doing the same things I suggest that YOU do to move your career forward faster.  My advice will give you direction; the evidence will give you inspiration.  At least that's the plan.

On the speaking front, I've been giving a series of free seminars for actors in the L.A. area on one of my favorite topics:

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The last one planned is for tomorrow, Sunday July 20th.  (If you had awesome plans for your Sunday but they just got canceled and you need to be around kind people at a time like this and want to attend, email me for the details.)

If you can't come, fear not - we've been filming these talks and a DVD of the seminar should be available before the sun sets on summer.

And hey, if you'll be attending  VOICE 2008: The VoiceOver International Creative Experience (a.k.a. conference) in early August, I'll be there, so be sure to say "hi!"  (To me.)

Best wishes always,

Kristine Oller
organizational expert / career strategist