In the Media

Life·Support Systems In the Media

Audrey Lavine, CPO® appears frequently as an organizing expert on broadcast media news and information programs. On January 22, 2007 she appeared on NPR's Marketplace. She has been a guest on CNNfn's The Flip Side (October 14, 2003), and appeared on Brian Lehrer's call-in program on WNYC radio in January 2002. In May 2000 she was a guest on CBS's News 2 at 4. She has also appeared on NY1 television's New York Living - Money Matters, Lifetime TV's Our Home and Handmade by Design series, FOX TV's Good Day New York, and has been a regular guest on a national radio talk show.

Audrey's advice on organizing homes and offices has been quoted often in the major New York City journals, and affiliates. New York magazine called her a "miracle worker" in its April 2006 "Spring Cleaning" section in which Audrey was cited as "the professional" for organizing office space. In May 2000 she was featured in Time Out New York, and was the subject of an article in the June 1999 issue of New Choices magazine. International media has taken note as well, as Audrey has been featured in The London Times, the November 1999 issue of Italian Elle, and was interviewed for BBC radio and the Viennese Broadcasting System's English language programming.

New York Magazine April 2006. "Office Space: The Professional"

"I'll never make you throw anything away," says professional organizer Audrey Lavine ... but I sure will talk you into it. " Lavine, who's been doing this since 1988 once excised 50 Hefty bags of paper trash out of a single studio apartment, so she's something of a miracle worker.... She consolidates all your papers and then prioritizes them, relegating the less important ... to deep storage. If you loathe filing, Lavine will develop an alternative sytem -- open shelves or three-ring binders, for example.... Once she's set up your new priorities, Lavine says, you can maintain the order in one to two hours a week -- if you're diligent.

Time Out New York May 4-11, 2000. "Audrey Lavine, Clutter Clearer"

Just talking on the phone to Audrey Lavine, who I now think of as the "clutter queen" put me at ease.... "Believe me, there's nothing I haven't seen," she said. How could I doubt her? She is [former] president of the New York chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers, a 15-year-old trade group that provides workshops and support to "organizers" just like herself. Every week, Lavine visits up to ten small businesses and private apartments to show people how to get their acts together....

When she arrived at our apartment on a recent Sunday afternoon, she rattled off some of her mantras: Make things accessible, respect the objects you love instead of junking them up, and put things needed for specific tasks all in one place -- stow your calculator in the same place as your bills, checkbook and pens, for example....

"With vertical piles you can only access what's on top," Lavine told us...."Ask yourself, is this article still current? Is the author still an authority?" if not, she said, it's time to toss it...."Interesting things can stop being pretty and start being clutter...." "Clutter," she declared--piles that should either be filed, addressed or tossed--"
is a result of postponed decisions."

Daily News LifeLine. March 19, 2000. "Come to order"

"In your mind interview everything you bring in. Ask it 'What are you doing in my house? Where do you belong?'" Lavine cleared surfaces, then put back only what [the client] really needed or used. In addition to throwing out a big bag of stuff, they put things aside to donate to a shelter or give to [the client's] 10-year-old niece. "She thought it was Christmas again."...[The client] and Lavine also made two boxes for things to keep: "Action" (things like insurance papers) and "Sentimental." They put pencils or makeup brushes in keepsake mugs, stationery in a tin box.

· "Often you need to make more of a mess in pulling everything out, to get it sorted, to see what categories it starts to fall into," says Lavine.

· "Some things were hard to throw away, but then I just let go," [the client said.] "After she left, I kept on and completed everything else."

Working Woman February 2000. Page 84. "Fear of Filing"

Settling into my home office in Brooklyn a few weeks later, Lavine took her first look at my computer desktop -- the electronic equivalent of a big drawer with thousands of loose papers dumped haphazardly inside. We clocked an hour and a half just working in my file manager, Microsoft Explorer, giving each document a clearly marked name and grouping them into folders and subfolders. E-filing
is such a simple concept; I have no idea why a reasonably neat person like me should have been a closet computer slob all these years. Now I no longer waste time searching for documents, and if my freelance business ever grows enough to hire a research assistant, the system will make sense to him or her.

Life·Support Systems was featured in the June 1998 issue of Arts and Crafts, page 31.

The New York Times. December 29, 1994. Page C2. "Getting Things Squared Away? Professional Help Is Plentiful"

For those who make New Year's resolutions, organizing finances, housecleaning and rearranging a home office are right up at the top of the list with losing 10 pounds.... Audrey Lavine of Life·Support Systems, in Manhattan, says that in her six years as an organizer, she has handled just about everything, from home offices for small businesses to a wedding in New York for an out-of-town client. "I found everything, from someone to make the dress to the electrical equipment for the sound and lights," she said. Much of her work concerns clutter of the severest sort. Indeed, after rooting through one client's room for two days she unearthed an antique spinet piano that was hidden under mountains of books. "People hold on to things for sentimental reasons, often excessively...."

Reprinted in The Dallas Morning News, and other NY Times affiliates.

Desktop Communications March-April 1991. Page 46."Home Sweet Office"

Audrey Lavine of Life Support Systems, a New York-based consulting firm that specializes in organizing (or rescuing!) small businesses and home offices, offers some tips for adjusting to the telecommuting lifestyle:

  • "No matter what your job is, working at home makes you into an office manager as well," says Lavine. From ordering supplies to organizing files, telecommuters have to adjust to meeting their own needs. Her recommendations: Create a file structure (both on the computer and hard-copy files) that matches what goes on in the office. Have a full corporate contact sheet, complete with secretaries' names, office hours, fax numbers, and information about the company's suppliers.
  • "It's real hard not to fall into the spending-all-day-in-the-bathrobe routine," says Lavine. Establish your office hours, whatever they are, and stick to them.
  • Not having structure is dangerous -- not because people avoid work, but because they do too much. They forget to take breaks, they skip meals. Take breaks; learn to recognize when concentration is fading.

Craft & Needlework Age. November, 1996. Page 46.

"The [Clutter Clinic] appealed to me because it was unusual, and it also made
sense," explains [store owner] Pascuzzo. "Crafters definitely need ideas
for storing their projects and supplies. Through his contacts with the National Association of Professional Organizers, [Eagle's director of marketing] Gropman arranged for Audrey Lavine, a professional organizer, to present a two-hour clinic. Lavine, president of Life·Support Systems, is also an avid crafter, so she was the perfect choice to assist crafters with their organization problems. Lavine counseled customers on how to organize a wide range of products from fabrics to floral paints. To her surprise, there were quite a few male crafters, who were eyeing the CraftStor system for their fishing gear, as well as their craft supplies. And several parents, with kids in tow, challenged Lavine to offer suggestions to help their kids get their clutter under control.

Also reported in Craftrends. November 1996. Page 18

Woman's Day. January 9, 1996. Page 38 "Drowning in Paper"

Patterns and Projects.

If you sew or knit clothes, design quilts or embroider, chances are you have an unmanageable pile of paper lurking somewhere. Professional organizer and craftswoman Audrey Lavine has a plan.

  • Keep patterns in an accordion file rather than stuffing them back into their original envelopes. Clip the envelope to the pattern to retain useful information about yardage, etc.
  • Sort and store patterns by category: winter/summer sweaters, kids' school clothes.
  • When organizing patterns for kids' clothes, be sure to note your child's size/age (and jot it down on the pattern to make the same item for a younger sibling later.
  • Don't save every pattern you've ever owned. And if you see a project that you like in a magazine, clip and file the photograph and instructions right away; don't save the entire magazine.
  • When clipping and saving, be sure to gather all the pieces and keep them together.
  • If you find tissue patterns too fragile to store neatly, carefully trace the shapes onto a stiffer piece of paper, then cut them out.
  • For quilting templates, store like pieces together — triangles, rectangles, squares, odd shapes. It saves time in the end.