Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons!

with gratitude during the holidays

 

Wishing you a holiday season filled with hope, love, joy, kindness, comfort, gratitude, laughter and friendship! 

I am grateful for our connection!

Gratitude

Gratitude Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Our holiday season begins with a holiday of gratitude.  I love these quotes and wanted to share them with you.  Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with an abundance of blessings and gratitude.

 

Gratitude Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

 

Gratitude Oprah

 

Gratitude Maya Angelou

 

 

Sharing with you Turkey Day times on pinterest.

 

A daily dose of organizing on my Facebook page.  Remember to click “get notifications”.

 

 

Baskets, Bins and Boxes

baskets, bins and boxes organizing products

 

Organizing is certainly not about the baskets, bins and boxes. Having the perfect bins does not make for a perfectly organized home.  Baskets, bins and boxes can help you categorize, store and contain though.  Many times there are already containers that you have in your home that you can reuse and recycle to get organized.  Already handy and products you love, baskets, bins and boxes can be used many different ways to organize your home.

 

Baskets

  • Baskets are attractive storage inside a closet, on a shelf or on the floor.
  • Best for toys, crafts, scarves, or shoes at the back door.
  • Open baskets make it easy to drop items in.

 

Bins, especially clear bins

  • Bins are durable, water proof storage and can be used inside or out.
  • Best for pantries, garages, or bathrooms.
  • Plastic bins should not be too big for you to move when filled.

 

 Boxes

  • Shoe boxes are inexpensive organizers.  These are uniform and have lids for easy stacking.
  • Best for over flow office and school supplies, extra travel size toiletries, or kids’ keepsakes under a bed.
  • Boxes can get out of control easily. Set a number to keep and recycle the rest.

 

 Generally speaking

  • Gather all your options together.  See how many of the same types of containers you have.  Use similar size, shape or color containers in the same spot to organize. Consistent containers make for a more organized appeal of that space.
  • Use attractive containers throughout your home or office. Use clear containers behind doors, inside cabinets, or under sinks.
  • Always use one container for one category you are organizing.  Single category organizing makes it easier to maintain.
  • Label your containers.  Even if you can see in the container,  a label makes it clear what it contains.  Key tags tied with string, chalk board labels and binder clips

 

Tempted by a new basket, bin or box?  Keep a small area where these can be stored for you to easily find and use what you have first.  Yes, you can have too many organizing products. Be sure to keep just what you love and use.  You can donate your unloved products because someone out there will love those!

 

Upcycling and recycling are everywhere!  Check out my pinterest board on Sentimental Clutter. 

 

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Organizing quotes I love

wait for inspiration, get up and go work

5 Basic Rules of Organizing

5 basic rules of home organizing

 

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to know the rules when you start a new project? When you put together that new bookshelf, it would be great if there were big bold letters that tell you to double check the front and back of the segments?  Or when you are making a new dish, would you love to know that no matter what it will be delicious?  When I think about organizing, I think there are some basic concepts that will lead to your success.  Here are my favorite 5 basic rules of organizing.

 

Eliminate what you don’t love or use.

It seems simple enough this rule. What interferes are the “what if’s” in life. What if I need it in a year? What if I lose 5, 10 or 15 pounds?  We can “what if” ourselves into keeping everything.  If you truly love an item, but have not used it, keep it in a less accessible spot.  It’s possible to eliminate what you don’t use or love using the 4 box method.  Get clarity with this rule and your organizing will yield great results.

 

Store items at their point of use

The concept of keeping items where they are used frequently is nothing new. A little creative storage can be a good thing.  Keeping items at their point of use means you can easily find what you need and easily put it away.  You can create zones in a room to help you stay organized too.  The kitchen is a great area to keep zones in mind. The breakfast zone is where the bowls and cereal are stored together.  The coffee zone is where the Kcups, mugs and sweetener are.  You get the idea that storing what you use together makes life easier.

Create limits and boundaries

When there are no limits, stuff becomes chaotic and stuff is everwhere.  Having natural limits and boundaries for your stuff makes it easier to be organized.  Your clothes limits include your dresser and closet.  Keeping  within these limits helps you with maintenance too.  There’s less laundry to put away.  Create natural boundaries with storage for items in your home or office.  Have one drawer for extra office supplies, one location to keep school supplies and one shelf for extra pantry items.

paper get rid of it. you know you want to

 

Get rid of paper. You know you want to.

Paper has us all overwhelmed! It’s the number one organizing project in almost everyone’s home.  Our goal is not to store paper, but to get rid of as much as possible.  Seek out other options for the information on paper.  Can you find that information somewhere else?  Can you make a note in Evernote instead?  How long do you need to keep that paper?  Use this chart to help you eliminate more paper.

 

Keep it simple sweetie

By far my favorite mantra to share!  Keep it all simple, whether it is stuff you are doing, stuff you are organizing, relationships you are in, and ways to live your best life.  How do we keep it simple? By shedding the excess stuff, by eliminating toxic relationships, and finding ways to live life simply.

 

Check out how these organizing rules come together on my Pinterest board Home Sweet Organized Home.

 

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Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

failing to prepare, preparing to fail.  Benjamin Franklin

Holiday Time Line

holiday time line

Why re-invent the wheel this holiday season?  Here are 5 check lists ready to make your holiday season less stress and more fun. These professionals offer ideas for the most elaborate to the simplest of holiday preparations and festivities. These holiday time line ideas space out your work to keep you on track and organized throughout the holidays.

 

Martha Stewart Organizing Checklists

Martha’s list for holiday preparations.

 

holiday time line gift giving

Geralin Thomas Metropolitan Organizing

Geralin shares how to prepare for a stress less Thanksgiving.

holiday time line help for the holidays

 

Seana Turner Help the Holidays are Coming!

Seana shares her big holiday list.

 

gifts of the season

 

Professional-Organizer.com Ellen’s Blog Holiday Time Line

This time line started in October, but jump right in whenever you start.

 

holiday organizing

Houzz To Do: Your Holiday Organizing Checklist

A pre-party check list to be ready for fun.

 

holiday organizing

 

Real Simple Holiday Party Timeline

Get ready for your holiday party.

Share your ideas for having your most organized holiday ever!

Happiest of holidays with my Pinterest board

 

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4 Tips for Family Organizing

family organizing tips

 

Each fall families get back to the business of running their families.  School and activities start, family’s get back into routines and there’s lots of information to keep together.  It can be overwhelming with lots of information in different formats and different locations.  There are many ways to pull this information together for communication and cohesiveness.  Check out these 4 tips for family organizing.

Family meetings and Family calendar

The Family meeting, with everyone sitting together with their calendars and the monthly family calendar, makes for great communication.  It’s a once a week get together where everyone shares.

  • One of my family clients has two extra large dry erase peel and stick boards on a big wall adjacent to the kitchen.  Everyone adds information all the time. Each person has a different color.  It’s the one thing this family consistently keeps up to date. These calendars make up one piece of a command center.
  • Another family client has a very large paper calendar and all dates are written in pencil.
  • Google calendar is a great option for families on the go! It helps you color code, consolidate and keep everyone up to date all the time.

 

dry erase peel and stick calendar

 

month at a glance

Family dinner

I recently saw a parody of the family dinner.  It had been so long since the family ate together at the dinner table that there was no seat for the third child!  If that’s true at your home, you might be interested in The Family Dinner project. Family dinner is an important time for laughter, chatter and fun.  Spending time together this way nurtures us all.  We know time can be a troubling challenge for dinner prep.  It can be a little bumpy getting everyone on the same time line.  But even if dinner together is just once a week, that is a great first step.

  • Plan on big breakfast, big lunch or early dinner on a Sunday to get everyone together. There may be fewer activities going on.
  • Create a dinner grid with your family. It’s easy meals that family member’s can partner to prepare.   No one should be left in the kitchen alone. Everyone shares getting dishes done and lunches ready in the evening.
  • Share the responsibility of grocery shopping. Write the list on a pad on the refrigerator, snap a picture with your smart phone and text it to whoever is driving home from work.

Family homework and activity grid

It’s hard to consolidate all the information about your kids’ homework and activities.  A client shared her solution with me ~ the family homework and activity grid.  She visited all the online sites for her kids’ teachers and activities and created a grid with kids’ and parents’ names on top and days of the week on the side.  In each square are listed school and after school related activities. Ongoing homework, such as daily reading, weekly vocabulary and online quizzes, is listed in the appropriate day.  Posting this chart will help her family keep up on all that teacher’s require.   family  homework and activity grid

Family technology

There’s are so many new tech ideas that help us as families!

  • Cozi  helps you manage the chaos of family life with a shared calendar, shopping lists, to do lists and more. Cozi keeps track of everything from school schedules and sports activities to grocery lists, meals and chores — all in one place the whole family can access anytime, anywhere.
  • Google calendar and Google docs are great online ways to keep up to date in real time. Google docs is a shareable document space.
  • 30Boxes has a family calendar and interactive to do list.
  • Fircle allows you to share an online calendar with your spouse at work, print shopping lists that will remind you when you’re running low on specific groceries, manage your children’s allowance and household chores and much more.
  • HomeZada is a home management software.  It doesn’t have a family calendar component, but it does have home management, home maintenance, home finances and a home inventory.

 

Have a strategy that works well for your family organizing? Share it here and help us all get better organized!

 

Family organizing tips are just part of the information shared each month on my newsletter.  Join here!

 

 

Ellen’s Organizing Quotes

 

organizing quotes and inspiration

 

I love sharing my organizing ideas with inspiration.  Organizing quotes can help you have a mantra to get or stay organized.  It can be what pulls you through when organizing gets tough.  Here are a few I share often.

 

 

Only thing you will accomplish today

essentials first

in all things you do

put your own oxygen mask on first

Check out more organizing inspiration on my pinterest board.

 

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ADHD Tips for Small Business

adhd tips for small business.

 

ADHD strengths are wonderful attributes for being an entrepreneur.  There are so many ways ADHD entrepreneurs are successful.   It’s the creativity, resourcefulness, and solution based thinking that lead to success.  ADHD includes a powerful set of qualities that make for ground breaking new ideas and tools.

 

There can be a few bumps in the road too.  Difficulties with executive function, planning and organizing can get in the way.  Here are 3 ADHD tips for business owners to maximize their success.

 

Planning tools make a difference

Often an ADHD small business owner will only use a planner to write in an appointment.  Use your planner as a tools to help you initiate and execute your tasks.

 

  • Think creatively about your planner and use color and small post it notes.  Write each task separately so you can create baby steps and keep from being overwhelmed.  If these are written on small post it or flag notes, you can move them around as needed to work.

 

  • Think about options for your planner. It can be 3 dry erase calendars on a prominent wall with difference color markers.  It can be a file cabinet adjacent to your desk with  post it notes. It can be a wall  you paint chalkboard paint.

 

post it note task list

 

Set a time once a weekly for reviewing what’s on your planner.  As a processing tool use it daily to write a note for your 3 Most Important Tasks.  Create a new habit by hooking this habit onto an existing habit.   It won’t happen automatically for a while, but it is a powerful change.

 

 

Get a grip on paper

Being overrun and overwhelmed by paper can be paralyzing to an entrepreneur.  Take back control of your paper by cutting back on it first.

 

  • Print as little as possible.  Ruthlessly eliminate all paper that will not immediate at to your bottom line with a return on investment.  Write notes in an arc spiral or use Evernote.   Scan in what comes to you in paper form.  Choose what is going to work best considering the amount of paper.  As you can see, this takes a diligently and ongoing attack on paper from all directions.

 

  • Choose a paper system that works with your strengths. A command center can be placed on your desk or adjacent to it.  An accordion file is a tool with 7 or 13 pockets that can travel with you between locations.

 

  • Whatever the tool, be sure to label the slots.  With a label only what belongs in the slot gets in the slot. It also helps you stay focused and keep you from being overwhelmed.  No slot for that paper, it’s off to the shredder or recycle.

 

Focus on your strengths

No one is good at everything.  Entrepreneurs needs to wear many hats. This may sound like a conflict for ADHD entrepreneurs, but it’s a call to action for automation and delegation.  There are many small ways to start.

 

  • Automation is using technology tools to their best advantage.  It can be an autoresponder when a client contacts your website. It can be downloading financial information from the bank to Quickbooks.  It can be an app on your smart phone that adds contacts to Outlook.  Look for small or large ways to automate processes in your business.

 

  • Delegation is sharing a responsibility with a colleague or employee.  Know what can only be done by you. The rest can be delegated in small bites.    The biggest challenge is often the first step of asking for help.  Think of this step as taking on a partnership, rather than giving away the ship.  As you share the task, you build in accountability for the actions you will perform, as well as get additional help with technology, marketing skills or organizational tasks.

 

There’s more you can share about your own tips for business.  Share one here!

 

Learn more about ADHD on my pinterest board.

 

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