What are you waiting for? The power of NOW.

Procrastination used to be my middle name. Sometimes it still is.

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But, I found it got in the way of…life. When your friend calls–do you have time for a last minute concert or spontaneous coffee date? Have you noticed the weather is amazing but you’re stuck indoors cleaning up or working on a project for work?

The key to changing this is and having the life you want is in the word NOW. When you’ve been given something to do, take care of it immediately. Or maybe you need to take up some tasks in your down time instead of watching TV etc. Because at some point, you’ll have the opportunity to LIVE and whether or not you can seize it will depend on whether you’ve accomplished your other necessary tasks.

So, here’s how this looks for me: Right now I’m also taking some classes at the college. I have a syllabus and I know when things are due. Why should I wait until they’re actually due? Sometimes I have a window between classes or on a Sunday afternoon when friends are busy etc. If I stay ahead of the game, when someone asks me if I want to drop everything and head out to the mountains (this just happened) I can say “yes” without reservation or worry. This lowers my stress levels and enables me to enjoy my life.

So, ditch your procrastinating ways and get out there!

When Time is Up

Cancer. The diagnosis came to me over the phone and almost knocked me to the floor. While we watch dramas that glorify these types of moments and the actors live life out in some beautiful, bittersweet, touching way–this was no Hallmark film. And my very first thought as I looked at my son was, “Why did I waste so much time?”

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And because I’m writing this, you’ve probably guessed that I’m still here. And yet, that experience changed the way I looked at many things, like risk, money, and most of all: time.

And it’s very simple. I don’t do anything I don’t either really want to do, or have to do. I don’t say yes because I feel pressured to (think: my friend is having a party selling toaster covers), and I plan my life around my goals. What’s important to me. I run my day, and it doesn’t run me.

To get a better idea of how this is done, I’m including this video featuring Laura Vanderkam. She explains it beautifully.

Overwhelmed & Anxious? Do these 3 things

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There have been many years that my teacher at the school of hard knocks has given me an “F” and sentenced me to repeat a level. I’m no stranger to painful situations or sometimes just a multitude of duties which threaten to take me under.

Fortunately, I’ve learned something that helps me push thru the most difficult of hard times. 3 Things.

Maybe you’re waiting for me to tell you what those three things are, but first let me set the stage. See, part of the issue when we go thru troubles or simply deal with anxiety is that we are getting ahead of ourselves and our situations. Simply put, we are looking at everything at once. But at the present, there is no way for any one person to deal with it all.

And that’s why you’re going to take it one day at a time and do just 3 things. Any 3 things. If you’ve been following me, you know I’ve talked before about this as being a tactic of extremely organized people. However, this is an extremely effective strategy for anyone who needs to tackle the chaos of life.

So, it goes like this:

Right now, think of a few things that need to be done. Anything will do, but if you have one in which time is of the essence you may want to make sure to include that.

Pick which of those things is either the most pressing, or if you’re completely at break point, pick the one that seems most doable. Do that. Don’t worry about anything else. Just do that. When it’s finished and you get to check that off of your list (feeling better already!), knock out the other one or two things on your list.

Finally, feel accomplished. Meeting short term goals like this will help you not only move forward but make you feel good about everything else. Now, you’re gaining ground.

When you’ve done this, relax and make a new list for the next day. You can write it down, put it on your calendar, or if you’re like me you’ll email it to yourself. As more and more tasks begin to get knocked out, you’ll be bringing more peace to the areas of your life that are within your control.

So what are you waiting for? You can do this.

 

Minimizing Stress- what’s under my control?

In life, there are certain things that are out of our control. Other’s behaviors, weather patterns, cars that randomly start doing weird things, the fact that your computer acts up just when you’re trying to write a blog post… (oh wait! Maybe that’s just my current plight, lol!)

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But when things seem to be spinning out of control, do you really need the added frustration that comes when you can’t find the blouse you need for that interview or the piece of paper the bank is demanding to complete your mortgage process?! Enter organization. Some people feel that it’s difficult to stay organized or that they don’t have the time. However, it’s actually harder and more time consuming not to be!

Take charge of your life and time today by getting a handle on what you can change. It will make you feel better able to manage your every day- LIKE A BOSS!

Maybe you should try my organizing challenge starting with Day One? 🙂

Dollar Tree Ikea Hack!

FIND OF THE DAY!

Containers

Today at Dollar Tree, I found some great round magnetic containers in a couple of sizes made by Jot. If you’ve been on Pinterest, you’re likely familiar with these handy little things. Dollar Tree has made them more affordable! The larger are a $1 each and the smaller come in a two pack for your same dollar. If you can’t find them in store, order them here. Instead of telling you what you can do with them– let me show you!

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Editing your Inbox

 

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Every morning they plague me. Stare at me. Filling up the space. Cyberspace. I could just ignore them. I could delete them. That’s what I usually do. But they’ll be back. And…they multiply.

I’m talking about emails of course. Most of which I’ve subscribed to at some point. I’m sure I thought I’d read them, but the fact is I don’t have time. So I delete most of them still unopened. But that takes up my time as well. Does this sound familiar to you?

Then how about taking my inbox challenge? Every morning I’ve been hitting unsubscribe on two unwanted emails. Just two! Every company is required to offer some kind of opportunity to unsubscribe at the bottom of every email, so just scroll down, and a couple of clicks later your inbox will already feel a bit lighter! Repeat daily until all that’s left if what you truly have time for. More time, more freedom. Enjoy 🙂

Be Prepared for Moving Day

April showers bring…May movers?!

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Ahhh….Spring! The time of year when many people are selling their homes and taking up residence in a new space. Moving seems to be one of the most stressful experiences known to man and can easily reduce one to crying in a corner on a cardboard box. Let me help you. I can transport your boxes with my mind! Ok, not really. But after moving quite a bit (two times across country) I do have some great tips for you!

  1. Boxes. If you don’t want to buy them, head over to your local produce store or section of the grocery store. Apple boxes are my favorite, but banana boxes are equally tough. Some people are skeptical when they see them, but just think about how heavy produce is! These also usually have handles which makes them awesome. Scout out picture boxes, wardrobes, and paper wrapping on Craigslist. Many times people pass them on for free.
  2. Tape gun. These things make a noise that might eventually drive you up the wall if you can’t tune it out, but they make the job so much easier.
  3. This nifty plastic wrap stuff. Trust me. You need this. Use in place of tape to keep drawers from sliding out from a chest. To wrap foam around your flat screen tv. To keep your children still and out of danger while you’re busy. There’s no limit to the excitement this will bring!
  4. Color coded dot stickers. Use one color for each room. Then have guides posted all over the new house showing which color stands for which room. Also stick a dot of the appropriate color to the door frame of each new room. This will help your helpers know where to put things without too much direction.
  5. The “Master List of Madness”. I adopted this during my last long move, but it may not be practical for a shorter one. Give every box a letter-number combo on the top and sides. For instance, boxes from the living room would start with L1 and so on. Then in a notebook leave a whole page for living room, put a sticker of the appropriate color on top, and list all the main items in each box (in numerical order). Do this for every room. It’s a life saver when you still have sever boxes packed and need just that “one item”.
  6. Put some red duct tape on any box that will be needed immediately. The plan is to put these in an accessible place on the truck and make sure they get into a noticeable place in your new home. Examples might include paper products, eating utensils, etc.
  7. Bed linens in your trunk! Who wants to go digging for bed sheets when they’re exhausted from moving? No thanks!
  8. Hire a professional organizer! If you’re local and need even more help than this list offers you, give me a call!

 

A Clean Slate

“It’s hard to reach out to grab something new when your hands are already full…”

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When I was a teenager, I was chatting with a guy at a party that I totally had a crush on. He was older, taller, and so handsome. Standing there looking up at him, I felt horribly nervous and intimidated by the staring contest we seemed to be having as we talked. Wanting a way to break this spell which seemed to put butterflies into my stomach, I reached out my hand to grab a few chips from a bag on a nearby table. There was just one problem: I had forgotten that I was already holding a full cup of sugary Mountain Dew in that hand. It splashed all over to the floor resulting in an everlasting stickiness that seemingly couldn’t be cleaned. No matter how many times I wiped, every person that entered the kitchen found their feet sticking to the floor and called out in a loud voice, wondering who had done it. Embarrassing to say the least! I learned a lesson that day: you can’t reach out to grab something new if your hands are already full.

So, here we’ve started on this new year that’s full of possibilities. There may be some of the old chalk dust flying around, but you’re presented with a fresh, clean, slate– you can fill it with anything you want. How well will your space accommodate these new beginnings. A better question is:  what are you holding on to that’s holding you back? Maybe it’s time to declutter and put better systems in place so there’s room and time for the things you really want to do. Like spend more time with your family, or invite friends over more. Maybe you need to do it simply because you need peace, and your home can’t be the haven you need in it’s current condition. Maybe your heart is connected to some items that you need to let go in order to move on to the next chapter in your life.

Whatever the reason, if you’d like to get a start on it, consider taking my decluttering challenge, beginning with day one. If you need help–give me a call!

Happy New Year to you!

 

From Hoarding to Hope

Are your emotions tucked under a pile of possessions?

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“Before you came, I felt so tired, and I thought it was my health problems. But since you’ve been here, I have a new excitement–I have energy again!”

I’ve put these words under a magnifying glass and I’m analyzing them from every angle. It’s not the first time I’ve heard them. What is the explanation for this phenomenon? It isn’t the first time nor the last that we’ve explored the connection between emotions and organization in this blog, and it certainly won’t be the last. This time, all I have to offer are random thoughts that I’m going to attempt to sort and file in their proper places.

Clutter accumulates for a number of reasons. Often, due to the American Dream and the accompanying lifestyle, time is the main factor. However, many times our emotions and past experiences dictate our habits. For instance, often I find that those who have lived thru the depression or who had very little growing up are reluctant to subtract anything from their homes– after all, what if they need it some day? Or perhaps, possessions have been kept due a loss where one attempts to hang on to a person or time period. This leads to a situation where nothing is ever parted with. And, as with anything, you really can have too much of a good thing. What people thought would make them feel happy and secure is the very reason they tell me they now feel burdened down.

Other times, an individual or family was fairly tidy until tragedy struck or some major life changed occurred, and things simply kept piling up. It may be a combination of all of the above.

And that’s my cue to enter the scene. Sure, it’s possible for people to do this on their own. But it turns out that’s another issue. On your own. Alone. Life is, in general, better shared with others. It makes the road smoother and the load lighter. This is where my meandering thoughts finally land. As clutter often comes out of difficult or stressful circumstances, the relief experienced in tidying up with an organizer is twofold. First, there is the obvious that one can move and breathe freely in a space again (and find their belongings!). But also, and maybe more importantly, is the fact that someone joined alongside and helped make life look doable once more. This sentiment, perhaps, is what makes organizing for others so gratifying, and I’m thankful to all those to walk my road with me as well.