Organizer helps to restore calm

Ronda Templeton - Ronda Templeton
Web Posted: 12/18/2009 12:00 CST


Who: Helene Segura, certified professional organizer and owner of Segura helps harried San Antonians find ways to bring order to their lives — whether that means decluttering their homes or maximizing their personal time.

Give the guy a break: Some women who complain that their husbands aren’t helping out haven’t asked them for a hand. “A lot of women expect their spouses to read minds, and that doesn’t work,” Segura said.

Affordable options: If you can’t afford the services of a professional organizer like Segura, (she charges $150 for the initial on-site appointment) there’s still hope at Segura is one of five moderators who provide tips, tools and advice designed to help users “lose clutter, gain time and reduce stress” for a fee of $15 per month.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that women — stressed by work, family responsibilities and the other demands of modern life — would like a gift that can't be purchased this holiday season: time.

Enter Helene Segura, a certified professional organizer and San Antonio Express-News reader, with tips for helping both men and women turn chaos into tranquillity.

Segura, a former high school teacher who now owns Living Order San Antonio, said the solution to finding more time varies from individual to individual. Some must try to curb perfectionist tendencies, while others must find efficiencies, learn to delegate or become more productive.

“The clock is like a checking account,” she said. “There are only a certain amount of hours in the day and once they're gone, you go into a negative balance.”

Segura, who calls herself a reformed perfectionist, said women must acknowledge that they sometimes set the bar for success too high and give themselves permission to move from one task to the next.

Workaholics, by contrast, need to step back and take a good look at their priorities. If their families come first but they're spending all their time on the job, delegation is key.

“Sometimes you just have to take something off of your plate,” Segura said. “That might mean talking to your boss, as tactfully as possible, about the situation. Before you have that conversation, though, you should come up with proposals that give the company identical or better results for the same amount of money or less.”

OK, but what if you find yourself overwhelmed with on-the-job tasks and responsibilities that truly are too much for one person to handle — and the boss expects you to find a way to get them all done?

According to Segura, there are two ways to go: Find another job or delegate non-work-related responsibilities.

“Farm out things like dry cleaning, laundry and cooking,” she explained. “Then call a family meeting and explain that in order to have time together, everyone has to share in the household responsibilities.”

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