What are you afraid of?

It’s that time again! Candy oozes from the store aisles, kids need costumes and pumpkins and the scary movies stream in pitch black rooms. It’s Halloween!

As a Halloween baby I have practiced dressing up, having cake and ice cream and candy together and watching the scary stuff for a long time. I remember the first time I saw Freddy Kreuger… definitely a run and hide moment.

Recently I was asked what keeps people from asking for help with their clutter challenges. This time the question made me wonder, what if it’s fear. Fear of losing something or it’s value, fear of giving up control over their space, fear of being embarrassed by what they find, fear of not being able to finish? And what if the piles just come back? Like Jason!

As an organizer and coach, I’m that person who reminds you that you don’t have to give up and can get out of the scary house. I can help you achieve the idea of what you want in your space. The confidence gained in learning the organizing process and reclaiming your environment is enough to defeat the biggest cluttermonster.

Are you ready to face your fears?!

When it comes to getting your home or office organized what are you most afraid of?  Reply below to share.

Happy Organizing!

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It’s so easy to blog… I’m gonna do more of it!

I went to a happy hour today and met some wonderful ladies. One told me that she has a radio show and focuses on fashion for women with curvier bodies. I thought that was great. I told her once the blog is set up it is really easy to post.

I’ve taken some time off to recover from my Mom passing and my house flooding and just feeling blah and stuck. But I’m back now. Blogging is super easy and I’m committing to yall that I’ll do more of it. 

Talk to you soon.

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What to Organize When You’re Stuck Inside

Oh! It’s 22 degrees outside in Baton Rouge. I won’t be going anywhere for a while. Since I’m stuck inside, now is a good time to do a little detail work. January is Get Organized Month so it’s a perfect time to recover from the holidays and set up new systems to keep things in order this new year. Here are my choices for what to organize today:
1. My phone

I have 3 words: photos, files, apps. I got this faaaabulous Samsung S7Edge last summer but like any other phone it has storage limits.  So every few months I clean it out.  I delete apps I haven’t used.  Same with files that I have opened in my office documents and pdf viewers. These are files I worked on live or just viewed  from emails and online downloads. 

Now photos require a little more attention.  I have to ensure any photos related to the flood are in the appropriate Dropbox folder.  I also like to delete copies, poor quality photos and ones I can’t tell why I took (like that picture of my hairstyle last month). I estimate this to take 2.5 hours.  Many of these photos and files have to be individually viewed bigger than a thumbnail. 

2. My paperwork

After the great flood I made a binder to record my progress and keep up with receipts and communication.  It is in pretty good order except for recent online purchases. Since my buddy Stan “The Tax Man” Adkins advised on claiming casualty loss this year I need to make sure I have what I need for taxes. So the binder will be added to my tax folder for this year. If you did not keep all that documentation together why not gather it up to its one box so you can find it faster later.

It would also be a good day for a shred party! Back files that aren’t included in my itemization are good candidates. Plus the recycle bin was emptied yesterday. I estimate this to take no more than an hour. Most if the emails and paper is already together. I want to total up expenditures from my daily summary sheets. Shredding can be done with hot cocoa and a movie. 

3. My email

I recently decided to narrow my focus on learning and development this year. I want to make sure that I’ve unsubscribed from the lists that will distract me and while I’m in there I can clean out my unrollme, trash and sent messages. I estimate this will take 1.5 hours because some of the sent messages may need to be filed as records or need an additional quick followup. 

So I know, I know not all fun and games but while I complete these tasks I can put on some good music and take a couple of dance breaks. 

I hope you can make a little time today to get organized and on track for the new year.  Let me know what you decided to tackle today.

Happy Organizing,

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New Thinking for the New Year


Welcome to 2017! I’m drinking a cherry vanilla smoothie and watching TV. Rise of The Guardians is on and I know I’ve seen this movie before but you know how sometimes a scene sticks to your brain a different way… that happened to me.

https://youtu.be/CHABdkw8eMg 

Nick (Santa) is telling Jack Frost that he was chosen by the Man in the Moon for a reason. He hands the younger a nesting doll and explains that on the outside he’s big and rough. As the layers come off he’s also jolly, mysterious, fearless, and as Jack says “has big eyes”. Santa says “yes they’re full of wonder and that’s my gift to the world. It’s my center.”

That got me thinking…

What’s my center? What is the one beautifully amazing gift that I have and give to the world. What do I share that brings lightness and hope to those around me.

This past year I have gone through so much personally- changes in my business, my mom passing, my home flooding. Through it all when I reflect on my experiences what I heard people say over and over was “You’re so strong”. My courage and strength is what I offer to others. I appear to others as calm and steady when things are complex and chaotic. I can stand up to say what needs to be said to or for others. So I figure my center is strength.

It pushes me to show up and give and grow. It let’s me be a resource to my family and friends. It gives weight to the things I say, even when I’m laughing. It supports my clients in wonderful coaching discoveries and life changing clutter clearing. 

What’s your center? How do others see you?  How do you see yourself? What do you want for this new year that’s inside just waiting for a chance to be recognized? What do you need to take the next step?

As you reflect on this past year and set your intentions for 2017, ask those questions. I’d love to hear what comes up for you! Share here or on the Facebook page.

I wish you all the best for a Happy New Year!

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5 Things My Mom Taught Me About Organizing and Productivity

Depositphotos_25892317_l-2015 thanksmomHappy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderfully inspiring moms!

You remember those sayings, demands, chores, urgings and advisories from mom?! You know those things that it took you almost a lifetime to realize where actually life lessons and values intended to make you the best person ever. I’ve lived a little and thought it would be fun idea for this holiday to reflect on what my mom taught me.  When thinking about specifics to include for this article I texted my mom and asked “what did you try to teach us that connects to this topic”?  Her responses are the first 2 🙂

1. Have a place for stuff and put it there…

Yes this one often received an “uh Mooooom” or blank stare but it is absolutely true. Defining where things belong helps you find them and return them much easier and faster.   This is especially applicable with multi-user spaces.

2. Finish what you start; Keep the commitment you signed up for. If you don’t like it you don’t have to do it again but get through the process.

Okay. I have become much more of a big picture person that in the past but realizing that the planning and follow through required after making a decision were so important to my learning and sense of achievement.

A productivity point that also comes to mind is doing the hard things first. If we can get past the activities that seem so big, we gain a huge boost of confidence.  Then what comes after is much easier to complete.

3. Clean your room.

In organizing this is one of the most common challenges people face- maintaining the order that is established. Did it seem like you heard this every day too?  It’s interesting that this now makes me think about organizing space styles.  My definition of clean was not necessarily the same as hers.  Now we have tools like the Time and Space Style Inventory (link to page) to find out what makes sense for the user of the space.  With that knowledge we can help the systems and the maintenance routine match the person.

And yes I do make my bed every day now.

4. Be happy with what you have.

You couldn’t control what anyone else had- As a kid not even what you had. But you could control how you looked at it. Gratitude  and perspective are much more openly discussed today than they were in the past.  We also practice more consumption and comparison today.  We want the latest and greatest that our friend has without much regard for what we really need. If we can take a step back to a simpler definition of life and happiness, it will have an impact on the volume of unused things we have around us.

5. Come back before the street lights come on.

As a military kid there was a layer of protection around the community that afforded us some freedom of movement. So at times I could stay out later but she always had to know where I was.  The street lights just served as a boundary on my behavior and strategy to plan her time.  She clearly stated the expectation and there were consequences when I overstepped.  This boundary allowed her to continue managing the household without overextending wondering where I was or when I’d be back.  What boundaries do you set for yourself and others? Are you able to balance time for play, self care, and readiness for the upcoming day? Do you instill confidence and trust through your behavior? When a situation arises that is beyond your boundary how do you recover?

These may seem like very simple examples yet in each there is a lesson that I didn’t realize I was getting at the time. As I look at the person I have become and the work that I do,  it’s so easy to identify the organizing and productivity tips mom shared all throughout my life. 

What did you learn from your mom? How is it showing up in your life today? Share with a comment below.

Happy Organizing!

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Change One Thing

Sometimes it seems like nothing works the way it should. If you’re a human, you have probably hit that point where work is no fun, relationship is a struggle and you don’t even feel comfortable in your body.

At times like these, changing your life can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to do…where do you even start?

It’s really quite simple… just change ONE thing.

Read a magazine article you would not typically even consider. Try a new clothing combination. Take a different route to work. Any simple change of scenery can shift your perspective, and has the potential to drastically transform your life.

It’s like a ship at sea…if it changes course even one degree, 100 miles later it’s in completely new waters.

Of course, the most profound shifts are the ones you make on the inside. Annoyance can easily be turned into fascination. Frustration can be flipped to become gratitude. Even anger can be transformed if you simply turn it into a song.

You don’t have to tackle your whole life at once, just make one simple shift.

And the best part is…it’s all experimentation. If you don’t like your new perspective, you can always go back to your old one.

What “one-degree” shift can YOU make TODAY?

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Do You Know What April Showers Bring?

You know that old saying April showers bring May flowers.  Well it brings a little bit more than that.  Any time is a good time to get organized and spring is no exception.  Check out these 3 things that I know come in the month of April and how they can remind you to declutter your space.

1. Allergies

Between the falling pollen and beginning of grass cutting if you have any sensitivity with airborne allergens, you are stocking up on tissues and medication.  Now is a good time to review your medicines.

  • Check those travel bags, bathroom cabinets, bedroom and kitchen bins for outdated and expired prescriptions.  If there are old prescriptions with doses left return them to your pharmacy for destruction.
  • Separate the valid ones by family member or condition and return to proper storage area.
  • For any current ones make sure your next pickup is on auto-fill or if it will require a doctor visit you add that to your task list to schedule a visit soon.
  1. Mosquitoes

Riiiiight. I hate them around my house too.  The customary advice to reduce these critters on our property is to survey and dump standing water. Now is a great time to take stock of those hiding places and decide if they even need to exist. 

  • Can you reduce the number of empty pots and trays?
  • Does that old tire or oil pan need to be put to the curb?
  • What’s creating dark hiding places on the patio or in the shed that is no longer needed? 

Having an open space through which your fans or any pest treatment can flow will be a big help to take the sting out of your spring.    

  1. Warm Weather

Even though we didn’t have a cold winter you can still spend some time turning over your wardrobe to prepare for the warming.  Take a couple of hours to go through your closet to get out the items that are no longer needed in this new season.

  • What doesn’t fit? What do you no longer like? What hasn’t been worn for the past 2 years?
  • Take a closer look at the things you want to keep.  Do any of them need repairs or cleaning? Do that now.
  • Where are you going to put these off season items up to make room for what you will wear now?  Whether it’s the back of the closet, up on a higher shelf, in a different room or contained in the attic.  Make sure the place is big enough for what you have and any containers you use are appropriate for the storage area.   

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with lists of things to do and when exactly is the right time to execute a plan.  If you let the natural cycles in your life guide you to action, you likely won’t go wrong.  Hope you enjoy all the gifts of spring!

Happy Organizing!

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3 Clutter Clearing Tips to Get Your Kitchen Organized

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This time of year I see lots of homes in transition from combining households for upcoming weddings to moving for a new job.  The clutter in these homes comes from lots of good living and not alot of time spent on maintaining order. This is especially true in the kitchen, dining and pantry areas. Here are three tips you can follow to clear your kitchen clutter.

1. Clean out the junk drawer (s).
Yes sometimes there are more than one.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and sort out the contents.  Throw away trash including scraps of paper, old twisties and broken items.

You can even let the kids do the sorting.  Tell them it’s a treasure hunt in which they have to match the different kinds of items and then let them keep any change they find.

Before you add items back into the drawer, add in a dividing tray to keep items from sliding around and provide a visible limit on contents.

2. Accumulate paper goods, plasticware, pots/pans then purge
Remember that once in a lifetime party last year with the awesome theme… why do you still have 200 napkins stashed away? What about the pan that’s lost its non- stick coating? Own 6 saucepans but only ever cook for 1? Have plastic tops with no containers and vice versa? Let it go. Some items may be recyclable and others may be donateable.

Think about what is used on a regular basis to guide your decision of how many is right for your lifestyle.

3. Regift/ donate small appliances you don’t like
Remember that blender that just didn’t fix your smoothies the way you like them?  It’s still in the cabinet.  Have 2 crockpots, coffee machines or toasters?  If you have a small appliance that doesn’t work like you need it too you’ve likely already forgotten about it or replaced it. Somebody else would love to have it so why not give it to them. 

If it’s still new and in the box, that makes an easier package to gift it to a friend.  You don’t have to wait for a special occassion either, just think of who might provide it a good useful home and give it away.

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home.  Clear out the clutter and fill your kitchen useful tools and lots of love this year.

Happy Organizing!

tt

She Thanked the Clock

 

Box of unwanted stuff close upFinishing up a recent appointment, an interesting thing happened.  As I packed my truck with donations, the homeowner came over and added in an old clock.  Then she said “Thank you clock.  I’m going to miss the chiming you did for me. I can let you go now.” 

Whoa! 

I stand by the viewpoint that our things serve a purpose.  Whether tool, toy or treasure things are in our life for specific reasons. On an ongoing basis if we treat them well they will do just what we intended for them to.  Then when their task is done, they are used up, or we have changed our minds about them, we should be able to let them go.  In reality that doesn’t always happen for many reasons including:  we value the things we spend money on, we connect them to our relationships with people, we feel if they are useful they can be tolerated taking up extra space and others.

I love that she was able to initiate her own way of letting go. We talked about the clock being something she remembers for many years in the home.  It was a gift from a family member.  It hadn’t been used recently and didn’t really have a place because it was replaced with other clocks she likes now. Yet it was still in the maybe area. For some other items we had to think of ways to help her facilitate letting go of items.  I want that to go to my friend. I want to get some money for this so it needs to be sold. I want a picture of that piece…  In this case she decided on her own that it was okay that the clock had done it’s job and that was enough.  So she brought it to me and she thanked the clock.

I smiled at my client and told her I appreciated her expression of gratitude for the clock.  I would take it to the place of her choosing and someone else will enjoy it like she did. She said I know it’s silly but that’s what I needed to do to let it go. 

It wasn’t silly.  It was awesome and I wished more people could do it so simply. That experience was a great way to end the day.  I left excited about the project and what my client was learning about her ability to work through the organizing process.  I just had to share!

What about you?

Have you ever had the experience of thanking an item as a way to help you let it leave your space? Share in the comments.

Happy organizing!

tt

New Year, New View

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We spend a great deal of time around New Year’s Day thinking about all of the things we want to achieve, do (redo :)) and become.  These resolutions and goals get a lot of energy and they enchant us because they are shiny and new.  Often we reach for that something better but quickly become stuck and lose momentum.  One of the reasons for this is because there is a tug of war on the inside- past versus positive present and future.  Imagine you are trying to take a step forward, big or small, and having something holding your leg.  That restrictive force is an emotion or perspective from your past.

So in 2106 should old acquaintance be forgot?  In this case I say YES.  This year before you proclaim another goal or resolution, I invite you to have a new view on where it starts.  Shake yourself loose and let go!

 Here’s a list of 4 things to let go of this year.

1. Fear that you can’t do or don’t know how. You have learned so much over the years. From early on there were life-changing situations you survived (walking and talking surely changed my life what about you :)).  They were scary and had some setbacks but through those experiences you learned how along the way.  I have confidence that you can be successful in other future endeavors as well.

2. Thinking it’s all or nothing.  This is hard perspective to see through. There is a lot of life that happens in between the extremes.  The world moves so fast that often the Pareto Principle of 20% of your best effort yielding 80% of result holds extra firm.  Defining the result, setting smaller milestones and celebrating your accomplishments can help you work through this. 

3. Feeling there’s a right or wrong way.  Consider ending the practice of comparing your way to anyone else’s way.  You are the expert on you.  When things are working for you, you can feel it and when your life is in order it’s much easier to see it.

4. Thinking more is always more. Give yourself a break because you will reach a point of diminishing return.  Finding your sweet spot may mean that doing and having less brings you more satisfaction.  Simplifying your life and environment with clarity and an end in mind allows you to experience your perfect amount of fulfillment.  

I love that organizing and coaching can help address all of these.  In the process we talk about what you really want, how you want your life to be, how you want your space to work for you, the fact that organizing skills are learnable life skills and that there’s a right amount of stuff and to-dos to make your life work.

Isn’t that what it’s all about– living a good life and enjoying what you have when you want to.

What do you want for yourself in 2016?  What can you let go of today to help you get what you want?  Post a comment to share.

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