Monday, January 30, 2017

Made in the USA: Index Cards

As a concierge, personal assistant and professional organizer in Houston, I purchase a lot of things for clients and myself from office supply stores pretty regularly, so when I was purchasing index cards I was happy to see that these are made in the USA! I love when simple things that I use a on a regular basis are made in the USA. With some of the index cards I love that you can color code items. It makes them fun to use and easy to stay organized! Depending on what I am doing, I like to use the lined index cards instead of the blank ones.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Concierge Etiquette: The Top 5 Things You Should Not Ask A Personal Concierge To Do

I decided to write this post because many of times I get asked to do things that just are not right or people will ask "What are some of your weird requests people ask Houston concierges to do?" Most of these things reputable concierge companies will not do. As a professional organizer, personal assistant and concierge in Houston you see and do a lot of abnormal things, but below are some of the things you should not ask a concierge to do.

Anything Illegal. Like get hookers and drugs. You may think this is funny and think "really?!?", but I have gotten asked far too many times to do illegal things and I absolutely will not do it. This is especially privilant when there are big events in town like Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), major sporting events, etc.

Divulge Private Information. At times I get to work on high profile projects or celebrity clientele and I am not allowed to talk about these things. I do have clients sign an agreement that contains that I keep all of their information confidential. From time to time I will get asked information about other clients especially if the person knows I work with certain individuals or their friends. A thing to keep in mind is that I can't talk about others by using their names. It's just not right.

Anything Immoral. I think this doesn't need any explanation and goes along with we will not do anything illegal, but needs to be said.

Babysit Your Children. We can hire professionals or recommend them, but I will not babysit your children. Those days of mine are over :)

To Read Your Mind. I feel like I am a magician many of times because I pull off insanely awesome tasks, but you can't expect a concierge to read your mind if you give them absolutely no details at all. We don't really know what you want unless you put us in a certain direction or give us ideas. We can make the best decisions possibly, but please know concierges ask a lot of questions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Client Fun, Busy Family: Utensil Organization Before & After

This was in my draft folder from last year that I never posted so I figured being Get Organized Month, it would be the perfect time to post. This is from a larger project I did last year for a family who was looking for a professional organizer to organize their home in a suburb outside of Houston. I loved this project because the kitchen was a dream to work in. The drawers were large and had plenty of room to organize all utensils. They did already have some organization in place, but some drawers needed a little tidying. 

Tips when organizing utensils:
  • Purge what is you don't need or what is broken
  • Group like items together in the drawers
  • Use drawer dividers
  • Use counter top crocks to hold utensils



Monday, January 23, 2017

Made in the USA: Pure + Good

During the winter tights are an essential for me because they are comfy and perfect for running concierge errands, personal assistant tasks and professional organizing, which can sometimes be hard to find appropriate work attire. This "winter" in Houston has been pretty hot lately, so I have not gotten to wear tights much. I was perusing Anthropologie during the holidays and came upon these black Pure + Good tights on sale, so I bought them. To my surprise they are made in the USA! I always have several pairs of black tights because eventually some of them get holes or runs in them. Do you have a favorite pair of black tights?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Navigating Super Bowl 51 in Houston, TX

Anyone else excited about the Super Bowl being in Houston? The festivities begin next week. Eco Modern Concierge is super excited to be an approved vendor for the Super Bowl and work with different clients in regards to Super Bowl activities, whether this is errands, personal assistant tasks, professional organizing tasks, personal concierge tasks, etc. 

When I first thought about writing this post I thought about all the tips and tricks I could share, but then thought why reinvent the wheel of content that is already out there. The Visit Houston website and Houstonia Magazine both have some great content out there already.  Also, KHOU has details on various parties and happenings. Go check out their sites and get ready to experience something exciting in Houston or just stay home and avoid Downtown ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Organizing for the New Year

Did you get a chance to check out Sundays Beach blog? I contributed a post about organizing for the new year and some products that I really like to use to get organized. Different professional organizers have different products they like to use, but these are some of my current favorites. Many of these you can also find locally here in Houston. Most of the items are super affordable. Go check it out if you get a chance.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Organizing The Eco Modern Concierge Blog: Scheduling Blog Posts

So one of my goals last year was to consistently blog for Eco Modern Concierge and schedule blog posts. I started finally doing it most consistently the 2nd part of the year and man it was wonderful. During the holidays and when I was super busy I did not have to worry about posting content. I try to have things scheduled at least a month in advance, but of course change / move things around when I need to. I am not trying to be a full-time blogger. I do it mostly for Eco Modern Concierge to stay current and up-to-date. So far, have gotten good feedback. I go over professional organizer / organizing projects in Houston,  personal assistant tasks tips & tricks, eco products, concierge must haves, Houston related content, etc.

Here is what has helped me stay organized with blog content:

  • First I write down subjects / topic ideas that I want to post about. Currently I have 43 drafts of content that I want to eventually publish. 
  • I choose days of the week that I want to post. For me I chose Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I totally change that from time to time. 
  • I print out blank calendar pages and that is where I write down what I will be posting on what days, if I need a photo for the posts, etc. I scratch all kinds of things out and move posts, etc. 
  • I follow a loose editorial calendar.
    • Mondays: Made in the USA, EMC business happenings, personal assistant tasks, etc.
    • Wednesdays: Organization, tips, projects, etc.
    • Fridays: Eco, Houston related posts, small business highlight, gift ideas, concierge posts, etc. 
  • I then gather photos or take photos for the blog.
  • Lastly, I schedule the posts. 

Having calendar pages and keeping track of posts is what keeps me most organized when it comes to the Eco Modern Concierge blog. I am a visual person and like to see things on paper.

Is there any particular type of blog content that you would like to see?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Made in the USA + Concierge Must Haves: Franklin Covey Planner Pages

Continuing with the theme of getting organized this month, I wanted to share that I went back to using my old, trusty Franklin Covey planner after years of trying different ones. They stopped making the pages I liked, so that is when I switched, but just couldn't find what worked best for me. So this year I decided that I loved the size and pockets of my old planner, so I switched back. I have only been using it for just over a week now and LOVE it! This is perfect for helping keep track of clients in Houston and virtual, concierge tasks /personal assistant tasks that I need to complete and helps me stay organized professionally and personally. The great thing is the planner pages are made in the USA! What is your favorite type of planner?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Eco Modern Concierge Press in 2016: Get Organized!

2016 was full of fun press and blog contributions from Eco Modern Concierge. I was thrilled to be featured locally in Houston and other places. Most articles are me giving professional organizing advice. Hope you continue to get organized in January for Get Organized Month and get organized throughout the year. Click here to see all of where Eco Modern Concierge was featured in 2016. Thank you to all the readers, clients, colleagues, family and friends for supporting me!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January is Get Organized Month

January is Get Organized Month. There are so many benefits to being organized and containing clutter. As you have probably noticed from magazines and blog posts, the new year is usually all about getting organized, eating healthy, etc. You can still be organized without having to completely get rid of all of your stuff. Here are some tips:

  • Start small - pick one area or thing to do at a time. Maybe a pile to go through or a drawer to go through. 
  • There are many challenges you can follow like Apartment Therapy's January Cure or books like The Book of Home Organization.
  • Meal plan for the week ahead. 
  • If you get something out, put it away.
  • Clean dishes and counters at night before you go to bed.
  • Create to-do list at night for the next morning.
  • Plan your outfit for the next day the night before. 
  • Clean your car out at the end of the day. 
  • Hire a professional organizer, whether it is me or other professional organizers ;) 
There are so many more small tips, but these were just a few. What are your organization goals for the new year?

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Goals

Where in the hell did 2016 go?!?! It is that time where I go over goals for the year. I have done so much and can't wait to see what is on the horizon. As a professional organizer and concierge in Houston, there is so much I want to do and achieve. You can review some of my past goals from 2016, 2015, and 2014. With personal and business goals there are things that I am constantly striving to do, so when I write goals for the year it doesn't necessarily cover everything I want to do. Below are a few things that I have been thinking about and just need to start doing them!

Let's first recap 2016 goals

Meal Plan. I did meal plan a good chunk, but totally fell off the wagon towards the end of the year.
Random Acts of Kindness. I love this one because I did do random acts of kindness like sending letters to individuals, donating items, helping people who looked lost wandering downtown, randomly sending gift cards to people who do a lot for others, etc. I still want to do MORE this year.
Learn to Use My Camera. I did learn to use my camera more this year in the manual mode, but still need to learn so much more.
More Me Time. This happened to a degree. I didn't get to take a solo trip, but still did stuff for myself like getting reflexology or just roaming the book store.
Try / Learn Something New. Yes, I did try and learn a lot of new things, but more than anything I am proud of myself for finally taking Spanish lessons!!

2017 Personal Goals

Read more. I am really disappointed in myself that I didn't read as much as I would like in 2016. I read a TON of magazines, but not very many books, which is a shame because I love reading.

Learn to play the freaking piano. This has been a goal of mine for many, many, many, many years. I need to really learn this year.

Be present. This was on my list a few years ago, but this is something that my husband brought up. When we are driving in the car the other person in the passenger seat is usually on their phone or if we are watching t.v or a movie one, if not both of us, are on our phone. Basically we need to PUT THE DAMN PHONE DOWN.

Make healthier choices. This is so cliche, but it is really something that I need to focus on this year. I consider myself ok healthy, but didn't really make it a priority last year and need to this year. I exercised ok this past year, but did not do nearly as much yoga or exercising as I would have liked.

Listen better. I know I listen, but a lot of times not everyone has my full undivided attention. I want to REALLY listen and not passively listen.

Get rid of toxicity. There are things that I do or people in my life that are just plain toxic and it is time to say bye bye to negativity. It brings me down and I frankly don't care to make time for it. I am going to start doing what makes me happy and maybe change my outlook. Put a positive spin on the negative things.

2016 Business Goals Recap

Collaborate More / Establish Relationships. I did establish a lot more vendor relationships, which was great, but still want to strive to establish more and connect with more people.
Write Down Successes (big & small). I did great with this the first half the of the year, but the second half not as good. Nonetheless, I did keep track of successes. Becoming a WBENC - Certified Women's Business Enterprise, becoming an approved vendor for Super Bowl 51 and getting a small office space in Downtown Houston were some highlights among many.
Teach/Write More Articles. I did write a little more, but didn't teach much. Teaching is still something that I am interested in, but need to find the right people who want to learn about the profession or certain skills and how-tos.
Join More Professional Organizations. I did!
Up My Promotional Material Game. Well, I sucked at this, last year. Here is to a new year. It is really hard to find local, eco printing options in Houston. If you know of anyone let me know.
Blog / Create an Editorial Calendar. Yes! I did a lot more of this if you have been reading the blog. Scheduling posts has been a life saver.

2017 Business Goals

Up My Promotional Material Game. I'll put this one on here again because I really need to do it. I have already started and created a plan.

Streamline the Accounting. Accounting is something I absolutely do not like, but obviously need to get paid :). I do most things by hand or in spreadsheets and the hard way when it comes to accounting for whatever reason and it's not great because I am a professional organizer and all about streamlining. Plus, I have helped tons through the years streamline. As the saying goes, the cobblers kids......

Improve SEO. I need to work on this and have been thinking about it for many, many years. I have had some recommendations of companies to check out, so I plan on doing something in 2017.

Gain new clients. This has come naturally through the years, mostly word of mouth now, but I always want new clients. I absolutely love what I do and truly strive to do my best for my clients. This is a goal every year even though I don't necessarily put it on the blog every year.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 2017 will be amazing!