When Organizing is NOT Enough

Declutter first, then organize

 

 

Organizing is on every one’s mind these days. If only I had time, or I need to be, or best of all, I SHOULD get organized. The thought is that if I organize what I have, I can find it and use it.  You may have tried organizing, re-organizing and then re-organizing again.  By trying different strategies,  you realize that you are not having the success at finding what you need and having access to what you want.  Being organized with all your stuff is not the solution. It’s not enough to be more organized. It’s time to make a decision about what you have ( or what has you.). That’s when organizing is not enough.

 

Breaking through Just. In. Case

What’s holding you back from letting go? It’s a moment you need to come to terms with. Is it a financial, emotional, sentimental mindset. This is the motivation factor behind Marie Kondo’s Magic of Tidying Up. If you own something, it should bring you joy. Are you ready to accept that an items needs to go if it is not serving you or bringing you joy? Can you see a real spot for this item or imagine a specific way to use it? Dig deep and see what has a hold on you to hold onto your stuff. If you need motivation, it’s time to talk through your reluctance with others and get support. Blogs,books and podcasts give you new ideas and new ways to think about your stuff.  There’s no amount of organizing that can make up for necessary decluttering.

 

Getting stuff out to the universe.

Getting stuff out is a big step in your organizing journey. You have decluttered but your stuff sits in your car or on a step in your home for too long. All of a sudden you find yourself going back into those bags. Here’s where a team approach can really help. Find online resources who come to you or answer the call to leave items on your doorstep. Find a clutter buddy who also needs to drop off donations.  Use an app such as OfferUp, LetGo, or Freecycle.org to let go of your items.

 

Declutter regularly.

We know the culprits – a birthday, holiday, shopping trip or big event coming up. We know more is about to come in. Take this time as prime time to declutter. What we also know that decluttering is ongoing that is needed as routinely as brushing our teeth. Write in time on your calendar to commit to organizing.  Check here for answers to your decluttering questions.

The same applies to our paperwork. I have frequently heard, “I organized that file in 2010 and never looked in there again.” Get information on what to keep and how long to keep it. Then set up a daily triage, weekly admin time and annual file maintenance reminder on your calendar.

 

It’s a whole new way of thinking about organizing. When you know organizing is not enough, it’s a perspective change that changes everything about what you own. Your stuff no longer owns you. So long, saiyonara, and toodles!

 

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Productivity Quotes I Love

 

 

 

Best Family Travel Tips

best family travel organizing tips

 

 

On a recent trip with my grand kids, I knew that we had entered a new age of organizing for families. We love the opportunity to travel with our grand kids and took the fun on the road.  It’s no longer just clothes and shoes to pack.  Now it’s multiple ipads, movies, chargers, medicines, hand sanitizer and more.  Here’s best family travel tips to make sure you are organized and ready for fun!

 

Start with a list

There’s simply too much to remember to pack for your family.  There’s lots of lists available online or create your own checklist.  Our list includes all the details, no matter how small.  When you travel with kids you want to be sure you are prepared.  We added medicines and first aid supplies.  You can be sure your list is complete by adding items and reviewing it after your trip.

Create a family command center

When a family of 5 shares a hotel room, it can be chaotic.  It’s easy to lose the most important of items like money or tickets.  Create a command center with wallets, purses, and other important items.  This can be near the tv or by the mini refrigerator.  Unload your pockets or purse each night and restock each morning before you leave your accommodations.  Taking a few minutes to set this up and keep it orderly each day will make your travel more fun and less stressful.

Create a charging station

Just like at home, you want your devices ready to go in the morning.  We created a charging station for all devices.  We brought along 2 extra power strips to plug in all the devices.  Each device had it’s own charger.  I also have an extra charger for my phone during the day that I would recharge each evening.   Devices were plugged in each evening so everyone would get a good night’s rest too. Label each charger so you know who owns it and what device it belongs to.

 

As in all, travel keep the basics in mind as you pack.  A little organizing goes a long way!

 

An organized family is a happy family!

Professional-Organizer.com Ranks in Top 15 Best Organizers in Houston

I am delighted to be mentioned in the recent Expertise.com survey of top 15 best organizers in Houston.

 

Rated for reputation, credibility, experience and professionalism, Professional-Organizer.com ranked in the top 15 organizers in Houston.

 

I am grateful for the opportunity to assist others in streamlining their lives and prioritizing organization and productivity.

 

Learn more here about Expertise and my review:

www.expertise.com/tx/houston/home-organizers

Feeling stuck? Here’s how to get started organizing!

Feelng stuck? Here's how to get started organizing

Feeling stuck?   Have personal paralysis? Are you procrastinating?  It’s common when it comes to organizing.  It can be overwhelming and difficult to get started organizing, especially if you have a brain based condition such as ADHD. Making decisions, creating a plan, and initiating are all challenges that interfere with getting started.  There are ways to get unstuck and get started organizing.

 

Set a date and a time to organize

Setting a date, that is an appointment with yourself, gets you started organizing.  It’s just like all other appointments. It is on the calendar, your time is reserved, and you are committed.  Choose a time that is good with respect to low distractions and high energy level. Plan on 1 -2 hours to work on this project. If you still feel overwhelmed, start with the smallest amount of time.  When you work for 15 minutes, you know you have accomplished a baby step.  Like any appointment, even if it’s easy to procrastinate, follow through with your date.

Get support for your efforts

Support is critical to getting started with an organizing project.  According to a recent NAPO survey, the a major reason for not getting organized is not asking for help.  Both support and help making it easier whenever you start any project, whether it’s exercise, nutrition, or any lifestyle change. When you know that you are not getting started, look around for support.  Support can look like a friend who cheers  you on and shares how hard it can be to make decisions.  That person can have the role of a clutter buddy.  It can be a team to work with so there are many hands to do the work.  You can find support in a professional organizer, coach, or therapist who help you define new perspectives, create a plan and support you in your work.

 

Have a compelling reason

A personal, specific reason to get organized gets you started.  It’s the WHY of getting started.  Why will being organized make a BIG difference in your life?  The word compelling is critical because the more important this reason is, the easier it is to get started.  Your compelling reason could be emotional well being and less stress, but why that makes a difference every day will help you get moving. It’s powerful emotional and mental starting point for you.  I invite you to share your compelling reason here, to share it with the universe, and get started organizing today!

 

 

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The Secret of How a Reset Helps You be More Organized

reset your home, office and life

 

Days and weeks take a toll on our organization and productivity. We work hard and play hard. Some times our organization suffers because we are too busy.  That’s why a reset can make a difference.

 

What’s a reset?

By definition a reset is when you get back to your baseline, get started fresh and get back in order.  It is typically a verb that shows the action of placing back. It means to move (something) back to an original place or position. However, let’s think of it as noun to help you restore order.

 

When do I reset?

It’s a best practice to reset daily and weekly.  A daily reset is getting your bags emptied and reorganized, your kids’ backpacks uncluttered, and  your clothes in a hamper or hung up.  Each evening take 5 minutes (with your family) to reset your home. That is to restore order to important bags, spaces and spots to have a fresh start for the next day. A list can help you be sure you reset all the areas that are important to you.

 

Make your your week starts with a weekly home reset ion Sunday. It’s your preparation for having a great week.  Take 30 minutes to check your calendar for the week so you know what’s ahead..

 

A weekly office reset is best on Friday.  At this time you are most in touch with your projects and tasks. Capture information, get your desk back in order, create files for loose papers and tidy up your space at this time.

 

What else is behind a reset?

In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains small changes in behavior and the impact. With a reset, you are applying the science of change to your life in a way that can make every day better. Life with new habits requires reminders and practice. Build in support for this new habit with baby steps, attaching your reset to an existing habit, and acknowledging how important can be for you.

 

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Gratitude Quotes I Love

gratitude Maya Angelou

 

Gratitude Oprah

 

Gratitude Ralph Waldo Emerson

How Leadership Empowers Change

leadership inspires change

 

Mothers Against Cancer (MAC), a grass roots effort to raise funds for children’s cancer research, hosts an annual fundraising luncheon each year.  The event includes an amazing raffle, silent auction and live auction as part of it’s event.  In an effort to raise the bar, this year our event took a bold step.  We entered the 21st century of fundraising by using Greater Giving with online access to bid.  Leading the charge is our executive director, our communications director. and our board.  Our leadership empowers change with this step into technology.

Why change?

MAC has hosted this event for almost 30 years.  We have had the same process which our attendees love with a cash, check and credit card payment system.   It’s working so why change?  We learned that other associations income was increasing with greater use of credit cards.  We wanted to implement a system where bidding on silent auction items was easier and more profitable.  We wanted our attendees email addresses so we can stay in touch all year.

 

How did it work?

Our leadership reinforced the positive with this change. It would be different. Our attendees would need to learn our new system but it was easy. Our board knew it was the step we needed to take to and our attendees would be fine after this first year of transition.

 

Our leadership brought the tools we needed, such as ipads, laptops, and a router!  With change brings new skills, new technology and new connections.  When we set  up and did a run through, it all came together as we each learned the software guided by a on site liaison.  Our leadership not only sat side by side with us as we each learned, they provided tools we needed to insure our success.

It was hard work and a little chaotic at times.

As the event started, we ran into a few glitches.  There were long lines that our attendees were unaccustomed to and there was resistance to sharing personal information.  However our resourceful leaders started serving drinks to those waiting and that smoothed things out.  Those of us at check in heard a lot about what was not working.  However, as the event moved forward,  the virtual bidding on silent auction items was a fun focus for our attendees. How to out bid others at our table took our tallies for research funds higher and higher.  It was easy to purchase raffle tickets just by clicking your credit card access and our total sales of raffle tickets shows how easy and profitable for MAC is it.  Check out at the end of the event was seamless.

 

As a student of leadership, MAC showed me that it takes many different aspects to make change, and that there will always be something unanticipated that we will learn.

  • Listen to others as new options open up.  Transitions and change only happen if we are open.
  • Add in as much support as possible. Training, onsite support and tech tools make change possible.
  • Communicate change in baby steps.  Our Board shared the change with our members first, then our attendees.  We used email newsletters to let attendees know how to access the new site and add their information.
  • There will be glitches.  Research the obstacles and then review. I know our next year event will benefit from this year’s glitches.
  • Positivity makes the difference.  Our Board stayed positive throughout the process.

MAC made a difference for our attendees, our members and our beneficiary Texas Children’s Hospital this year.  Our funds raised this year totaled $283,000 for children’s cancer research.

 

More on Mothers Against Cancer here.

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Choosing Priorities and Most Important Tasks

Choosing Priorities 3 Most Important Tasks

 

Every day is busy and each project, task and appointment seem equally important to complete.  When we get too busy, it’s hard to prioritize.  As a result, it’s harder to make sure we are focused on our priorities. Does it seem like a vicious cycle?  I am here to help with a simple idea and a download to help you each day set priorities and keep up with your goals.

 

 

The problem: are you focusing on the priorities?

We get a lot done! But are you getting the right things done?  Some tasks take care of themselves and some need focus. It seems the tasks that are easy to us get done.  However, the tasks with extra steps, those that take longer or there is an element of fear, these don’t get attention.  These tasks can be laundry, meal preparation, a report for work or taxes. We may never be without underwear, but we might have that nagging feeling there is something we are missing.

 

The solution: Your 3 Most Important Tasks

As Zen Habits notes, put purpose in your day with your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs).  The idea is that the 3 tasks must get done today, no matter.  If additional tasks are accomplished, that’s a productivity bonus.  Your most important tasks are individual to you and your goals.  “What are the three most important things that I could do today that will help move me closer to my goals?”  The goals could be about relationships, spirituality, productivity, work, or exercise.  A task is one small step of advancing to your goal.

 

Start your 3MITs here.

Let’s move into action with your 3 MITs.  This download is a way to set your MITs, remind you of your goals, and set a time to accomplish your MITs.  Set a time each day, at the end or beginning of your day, to write these down.  Think about your day and when is the best time for your work on each task.

 

ChoosingPrioritiesDownload

 

Most people find that the end of the day is the best time to work on the MITs.  When you start your day it’s already focused.  If you write your MITs in the morning, get an early start so you can not only write but start your day on time.  Creating this system for MITs helps you knock out your tasks early in the day too.

Your MITs will help you get the most important tasks done more consistently.  That’s the whole idea behind productivity!

 

 

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4 Key Productivity Concepts for Work at Home

key productivity concepts for work at home

 

Is this you?  You took the leap and decided to start your own company, be a consultant, work at home managing investments, or another job that has you office out of your home.  You loved the idea of flexibility and managing your own time.  You’re juggling the demands of home and work in the same space and feeling unproductive and overwhelmed.  How do you maximize your productivity?  Here’s 4 key tools for work at home.

 

Family calendar and family meeting

The blend of family and work blurs when you work at home.  While it’s a blessing to be available for volunteering, it’s also a challenge to get your administrative tasks complete.  A family calendar is required that includes all commitments. Using Google calendar or Cozi, you and your partner can add commitments in real time.  Take this to the next step by adding in routines that help you complete family tasks like meals, exercise and family bedtime routines.  When you add in these routines, you are sure to complete these too.   Take the final step of printing this out for you to see the calendar. This visual reminder will help you stay on track.

 

A family meeting insures communication and collaboration.  Set a time that works best for you and your partner. In the beginning it might just be you two and then add in the rest of the family.  Your family meeting is a combination of communication and collaboration.  Make it fun with a snack, walk after or time together.

 

Creating a team

I love the story of Who Packs Your Parachute.  The best work we do is in collaboration with another.  It’s how we accomplish more because of all the little things we do for others and what others do for us.  I encourage you to do what you do best and find others to help you get more done.  Your team can be your family, working from a chart for family clean.  Or you can find help in a myriad of ways like Care.com.  Choose helpers who are above all trust worthy.  You can train someone with a skill.

 

Most important task list

When we are in the blur of life and work, we often lose track of what’s most important. A simple Most Important Task list, written the night before, keeps us on track.  How do you know what’s most important?  It’s typically the task with the most steps, more difficult to accomplish, and more fearful task.  When you write it down on your paper or digital list, it’s a commitment to the task.  All lists are too long and we feel unproductive, so a short list that can be accomplished makes all the difference.

 

Know the One Thing

What’s the One Thing that makes your life run smoothly? Is it exercise, doing meditation, writing in your journal each morning? Or maybe it’s being sure the dishwasher is unloaded every night, or relying on your partner to drop off the kids each day?  Whatever that One Thing is, be inflexible and committed to making that happen.  It’s not surprising that each of us has One Thing that makes life run smoothly. Identify and commit to making that happen.  My One Thing is exercise each morning. I walk for 45 minutes with a trusted friend who shares my enthusiasm for volunteering, mentoring and leadership.

 

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