Clutter and the Old Nerd

Organization is about facing our “clutter” and making the decision to get back to the things that are really important:  our families, our children, our friends, our relationships.”  

– Tami Doling, Professional Organizer

Old Nerd podcast guest, and guest blogger, Tami Doling, of Silver Linings Organizers with co-host Gery Deer.

Our guest on this episode of Old Nerd in the Gym Fitness Podcast (Season2, Episode 7) is our good friend Tami Doling, a Professional Organizer and Motivational Speaker.  Her company, Silver Lining Organizers, LLC, is dedicated to helping people live healthier, happier lives by getting organized!  

According to medical experts, being disorganized and surrounded by clutter can release hormones and have a seriously negative effect on your health [Source:]. If you’re also a caregiver, this problem is compounded since you’re often managing your own household as well as the affairs of your family member patient. Getting organized can help to reduce that stress and protect your health. 

Tami is our guest blogger for this edition of Old Nerd. Check out what she has to say about staying organized. And be sure to listen to her appearance on the podcast:

Life. Life is busy. Life is complicated. Life is stressful. Spouses, kids, work, school, sports, grocery shopping (because food is important), exercise, social events… the list goes on and on. Adding caregiver to the list and sometimes it is hard to stay afloat, let along get ahead, in life.

So, what is the answer? Support and Organization.

Keep ONE digital calendar and share it. 

Schedule your days – even “free” time. This will allow you to see your week at a glance and make accommodations, such as doing errands when you are on “that” side of town for a doctor’s visit. Top three favorite calendar apps:, Cozi, Google Calendar

Write it down. You will no longer “remember” everything, no matter how hard you try. So keep a small notebook and pen with you at all times. (Check out our video about creating a Caregiver Emergency Binder)

Recap. Before ending any meeting or appointment make sure you are all on the same page. Repeat back what you heard to confirm everything for a change in medications to the next parent-teacher conference.

Technology is your friend. Check out sites like and or the CaringBridge and CareZone apps. Also browse YouTube for Caregiving Videos, such as the TEDx Talk “How to Manage Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving” with Patricia Smith.

Keep a binder. Creating a Caregiver Binder is vital. Create your own or search “Caregiver Binder PDF” to download a printable.

Organize all legal documents. POAs, Living Will, Will, Trusts, Bills, Deeds, Pensions, Insurance Policies, Funeral Arrangements, etc. To get a snapshot of financial documents, collect all mail for a month.

Talk to other caregivers. Caregiver Support Groups can offer advice, validation, guidance and emotional support.

Put your own mask on first. Why is this airline rule important to caregiving? Your family needs you happy and healthy. If you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask. Watch for signs of stress and depression and don’t delay seeing a professional.

Ask for help. Use your resources: family and friends are usually willing to help out, even if it is just dropping off food. There are also lots of online resources as well, including the Area Agency on Aging, the Family Caregiver Alliance, the National Alliance for Caregivers and AARP.

Give yourself a break. No one is 100% perfect 100% of the time. Don’t let setbacks like a missed appointment or errand lead you down the “I can’t do this” rabbit hole. Instead, celebrate all your successes!


About Tami Doling

Tami Doling, Silver Linings Organizers, LLC.

Tami has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from Wright State University.  She is a regular guest on Living Dayton / WTDN television in Dayton, Ohio, and has also appeared on FOX 45 News.  

She is a writer for and conducts Organizing Classes for the Dayton Metro Libraries and the Kettering Recreation Center, as well as many private groups including: Goodwill / Easter Seals, Christ United Methodist Church, MOMs Groups, WilmerHale, Eastway Behavioral Healthcare, Keller Williams Realty, US Bank, Dayton’s WiBN, Kelley & Co., the Marsh & McLennan Agency, the Grant Professionals Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  

Over the years, Tami has discovered the power of less: Do Less – Get More Done!  Her goal is to give you strategies and tips to organize your spaces and give you the skills you need to stay organized. There is Power in Simplicity!  Tami talks with Old Nerd hosts Gery Deer and Julie Barth about how to keep yourself and your loved one organized. 

You can find out more about Tami and her company, Silver Lining Organizers, and pick up tips and information by following her on Facebook and Pinterest at Silver Lining Organizers and at their website,

gdeer Written by: