Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Will you be in church on Sunday???

Visual Girl will be. At the St. Andrews United Church (1044 St. Georges Street, North Vancouver - 2 blks south of Lions Gate Hospital) this Sunday, January 4th, from 9-11am, that is.

She will be involved in the first annual "New Year Resolution Challenge" This FREE workshop will begin with a demonstration and optional participation of a beginner bootcamp by primary hostess, Louise Green, Fitness Professional and founder of

Next, the following guest speakers will cover the top five New Year's resolutions:

1. lose weight - Louise Green, Fitness Professional
2. get healthy - Birgitta Hellman, chef & author of "Taste This....Healthy Organic Cooking"
3. get organized - Kerith Paterson, Trained Professional Organizer
4. quit smoking - Pauline Deane RN - how she finally kicked her 40-year habit
5. finding meaning in life - Helga Grout, relationship and life coach

The event is meant to help you go beyond January 20th (the date most resolutions fall to the wayside) and ACHIEVE what is truly important to you in your life.

If you are looking to make some changes, this is the place to be! Drop by for some early morning inspiration!

St. Andrews Church, Sunday, January 4th, 9:00am - 11:00am.

To register, email:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A little note on makeup expiration...

Would you keep and use food that has expired? Why makeup then? After all, your skin is your body's largest organ. Take care of it. This short but comprehensive list of makeup shelf lives by Avon sales rep, Ami M Withrow: makes editing your makeup drawer(s), bag, case, etc. a breeze. Suddenly organizing your entire bathroom doesn't seem so daunting.
All the best,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Life is not a someday thing or a one day thing. It is a right now, every day thing.

Essentially, because you are worth it. If there is some part of your home bothering you, then do what you can within your means, to change it. The biggest challenge is actually getting started. Once you overcome that, the rewards you reap will astound you.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Prudy's Problem and How She Solved It...

On the topic of "teach your children well", I came across this cute little book about a little girl who really really really loves to collect things. (Sound familiar?) The things she collects are good for a laugh, or at least a good "eeewwww!" Or, the story could read a little too close to home, depending on your child's situation. I would like to say that with the help of her friendly neighbourhood Professional Organizer, all her problems disappeared. But...I can say that her solution did involve some out-of-the-box thinking, which many Trained Professional Organizers do have.

Give a read. I'd love to hear what you (and your children) think of it.
All the best,
Kerith Paterson
Visual Girl

O is for Organize...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

VirgoMan, meet Visual Girl...

I was intrigued by the cover of O magazine by the subheading "12 WAYS TO UNCLUTTER your home, car, mail, even your mind". Turns out there's a professional organizer who dubs himself VirgoMan. For the whole article, click . (Very useful stuff to live by, not just read.)

My advice on mail is a little different: with your paper recycle container near the front door, weed out the mail outside. Only bring in the essentials, or what needs to be shredded. Practice on-line banking: no paper statements, no paper ads, no paper stamp to find, no paper envelope to find - Mother Earth loves to save on paper. Have your bills charged to your credit card = saving on paper and adding to your Airmiles! I've sent unwanted magazines back like misdirected mail: with a Sharpie over the address label.

I wholly believe in donating. Find a cause you love and is easy to access. Trust me, it's like turning guilt into a good deed. I love the line, "Your home is not a museum".

If your photo clutter is on the computer, you may not be aware of the fabulous photo books now available. You can add text, or let your photos tell their own story. offers a very user-friendly and flexible program for making their books - and the finished product will blow you away! You could give loved ones a year-in-the-life photo book for Christmas. Finish most of the book before December, then put some "teaser" photos under the tree boasting a "coming soon photo book" and finish (and pay) for the books in January. Don't forget to add the Christmas & New Year's Eve photos. Once your best photos are captured in this stunning book, you simply save the year on a hard drive and begin all over again.

I believe organizing is a tool; a tool for you to step up the way you work, play, socialize, and live.

Like VirgoMan says, "Being organized isn't about getting rid of everything you own or trying to become a different person; it's about living the way you want to live, but better."

I'm not a superhero, but I can certainly help out anyone who is feeling organizationally-challenged.

All the best,
Kerith (aka Visual Girl)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Best Breakfast in Town

It says so right on the sign...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Owen Sound Organizer Q&A

I had the great pleasure just last week of meeting a fab lady and fellow organizer on my summer vacation. I checked out some sites of organizers in the area, and chose Patti. Yes, that's us in that wickedly good photo (haha!) Patti is the one who looks like Kim Cattrall. Me, not so much. Thankfully she humoured me and agreed to meet a total stranger who claimed to be an organizer! We met over "the best breakfast in town" for this pseudo-interview, just after she got off her night shift. What a trooper!

I encourage - in fact I put the challenge out there for - all organizers to pick up the phone if they are visiting out of town, and just hook up for coffee and chat about the 'biz. So, without further adieu, here's our big innovative interview.

Hi Patti,
I was happy to speak with you today. Thanks for humouring me and meeting with me.
I'll start off easy...
What is your name?
Patti Marie Smith: note what my initals are... I didn't change my name when I got married this year, partly because I didn't want to screw with that!
Where do you live and how long have you been an Organizer?
I live in Owen Sound Ont. and have been an Organizer for about 2 years
If money were not a factor, what would be your occupation?
Home Stager and Organizer, Store Owner and Operator of Patti's Paraphernalia, or Show Offs Store
Have you always been organized, or is it something you've learned?
I have always liked some order or pattern. I am the eldest of 6 girls, and I tried to keep my little island of control in my room by keeping it tidy.
Who is your ideal client?
She already exists! In general, someone who is open and willing to do what it takes to make a necessary change or shift in their lives.
How do your sessions work? Do you offer maintenance packages?
I go to a consultation, and charge my hourly rate, but they get half of it back if I come back and make the changes with them. Otherwise, I give a free follow up visit if local.
You are also a nurse. Can you explain how nursing has helped you become a better organizer?
I work in an ER dept in a small hospital... sometimes alone until I call the MD in for a visit in the night. That experience has ensured my productivity and organiztion. There is a lot of multitasking and prioritizing in my
career. It makes the job of helping somoene else with it that much easier. I know what needs to be done and the simplest shortcut that is appropriate. We have to keep things simple in order to get all of it done. Breaking
things down into managable little pieces makes it all bearable at times.
What do you find most rewarding in your organizing occupation?
It's the smiles at the end of the session, and the aha moments that my clients have during a session that is the most rewarding, other than the fact that they network for me. Word of mouth advertising can't be beat!!!!
Do you prefer staging for home sale or personal organizing? Could you explain how your approach differs in each?
That's a tough one. Each has it's ups and downs, pros and cons, shall we say. I think that in both of the disciplines, no matter why I am called for the job, I am intertwining one service with the other.
You put on educational talks. Can you tell how you began and how you
summed up the courage to speak in front of a crowd?
In 2000 I joined Toastmasters International, not knowing why, but knowing that it was a step to SOMETHING. The journey has been amazing. I don't know if I could have even considered my first request to give a workshop at the
college if I didn't have that background. I think everyone has a good reason to try out the club for a while.
You are a very personable soul. In regards to organizing, do you find your clients really open up to you, and put their trust in you? How important do you think a trait like that is to have?
I feel that they DO open up to me, as they can see that I am a very straightforward person, and ask the same.
There's no sense in wasting energy and time if we can't be honest with each other. I tell them right out that I'm here to help them better their lifestyle in some way, so lets get at it!
All Organizers seem to have a favourite tool...what is yours?
My little Dollarama timer. I want all my clients to use them, and I teach that in my workshops.
What is the best advice you have for up-an-coming Organizers?
To remain unjudgemental, believe in yourself, and be out there for the right reasons.
What's the best advice you can give someone who is feeling overwhelmed organizationally?
Take the task and divide it up into small pieces. Use your timer. EAt that frog, as Mark Twain said, and chew it well. Think of something as a positive instead of a negative experience, as that is what causes procrastination:
turning a feeling of a task into a negative one.
Lastly, how is your new doll house coming along??!
Haha... very funny. I made a barbie house for my daughter with wallpaper and
little odds and ends, which fulfilled my adult 'playhouse' cravings.
Thanks Patti!
Loved meeting you Kerith... I think we will be friends for a very long time!
(note...Patti gave me one of those favourite Dollarama timers as a souvenir / parting gift.)

Thank you so much, Patti! You were a blast to meet and I felt like I was catching up with an old friend.
You are truly inspiring and knock-out-knowledgeable. I still can't get over how computer savvy you are, wireless girl!

Making the world just a little bit smaller,
(My Q&A is coming up soon on Patti's Paraphernalia

Monday, April 7, 2008

Unleash your inner tree hugger...

As an organizer and Mother, I am always on the lookout for good design, and better and simpler ways of getting things done. There is a show coming up that I am very excited to check out. It is the second annual EPIC (Ethical Progressive Intelligent Consumer) Vancouver Sun Sustainable Living Expo from April 18 - 20, 2008. I am hoping it will be both inspirational and educational. You can find more info at .

For all you running types, the expo is offering 2-for-1 admission on Sunday, April 20th (the day of the Sun Run), when you show your run number.

See you there!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Story of Stuff...

A big part of an organizer's job is to tackle a client's accumulation of "stuff".

A wonderful organizing peer of mine (hi Lynne!) recently introduced me to this amazing little site: Please, if you can, find time to check it out. Then check it out again. Send it to the "shopaholic" in your life. It will really make you conscious of what you buy - and don't. There are so many levels on which to benefit, simply by becoming more aware.

And ... I was just notified that this month's POC chapter meeting is based around "The Story of Stuff". If you are interested, it is Tuesday, March 18, 2008. For more details see .

Baby steps,
Kerith (Visual Girl)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Visual Girl Home Therapy's First official blog...

Hi everyone! What better day to launch this blog than on a day to celebrate Love...
I feel so "hi-tech" with this blog! I am sending this link out to you to introduce a new service I am offering: Introducing Visual Girl Home Therapy...editing, organizing and planning your way to a more meaningful home. The "Visual Girl" is essentially my visual skills - making sure beauty meets function. But the "Home Therapy" goes way beyond art in the home. It is about reclaiming your space, instead of allowing its contents to take over. It's letting your home breathe again. It is about giving who you are (individually, as a couple, as a family - whichever catagory (ies) you fit) and your material possessions the respect they deserve. It's about revitalizing your home; not with renovations necessarily, but with color, furniture placement, plants, art, etc. And most importantly, in cases where your life has been suddenly turned upside down with change, it provides guidance and action.
Your life can seem to get away from you at accummulate, procrastinate, and just go through the motions until one day you look around and wonder how this all came to be. The intention of Visual Girl Home Therapy is to slow it all down - make you really think about what it is you want in your home, your life, your future. If you know someone who could use a little "home therapy" please refer them. Sessions are confidential and non-judgemental.
Don't worry, I am still using those cameras of mine. In fact, there is a brand new website (with blog-oooh!) and some very cool new products on the horizon. The two ventures have far more in common than I first thought - what adds more meaning to a home than personal artwork? I will keep you updated when all the new eye candy is up and running.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Feel free to check out the up-and-coming and send an e-mail if you have any questions.