Rules for Life 2021

 

2021 simple rules for simple living

 

I have been inspired this year with many ways to be positive and resilient.  Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper has a Sunday To Be list each week that is a synopsis of a person’s goals.  Tim Denning recently wrote a his Overly Simple Rules for a Good Life focusing on rules. His new mantra included “Rules provide constraints in your life. Constraints help you focus. Focus provides clarity. Clarity helps you take badass actions.”

 

Entering 2021, I wanted to create some life guidelines aka rules that help me be my best and make a difference for others.

 

Keep it Simple Sweetie

I have to start here. Life is getting more complicated so I want to have a rule that helps me keep focused on simplicity. When life is simple, we enjoy our time with others and live life to the fullest.

 

Talk less, smile more

These words from Hamilton resonate with me.  I love to learn about the back story, what motivates others and who supports who.  That is when can connect in the most rewarding and authentic manner.

 

Curate incoming information

We have a lot information coming from a lot of sources.  We must review and process the quantity and quality of this information. Know what are your trusted sources and who you can rely on for truth.

 

Limit decisions

I like to keep it to only three choices.  I apply that to every decision, whether it’s paint color or breakfast.  Having fewer choices keeps us from being overwhelmed.

 

Plan and pause

Strategic planning, weekly planning and a daily task list keep me organized.  Adding a time to pause weekly also keeps me organized. This pause happens every Sunday when I take time to reset and rejuvenate.  Life is a balance of moving and stopping that keeps us organized and productive.

 

Family first

Knowing my family comes first makes it easy for me to prioritize.  Each decision is run through this filter of why I do what I do.  Having this priority makes it easy for me to make decisions, as well as plan my week.

 

I encourage you as the new year is about to begin to write your list of rules.  It is your way of affirming who you are, what’s important to you and shaping your every day.

In Honor of Get Organized and Be Productive Month 2021 “How do I start getting organized?”

 

 

January is National Get Organized Month. A new year energizes us to edit, refresh and pare down our homes.  Getting organized is always one of the top 3 new year goals.

 

Of all the questions that I am asked about organizing, the most common one is “how do I get started?”  With all our good intentions, and possibly more time because of COVID-19, it is common to have paralysis or procrastinate. Organizing can be overwhelming and difficult to get started because we don’t know where to or how to get started. Here are three recommendations to jump start your organizing this month.

 

Make it easy

Declutter as you go to make it easy to organize. Use a shopping bag to drop unwanted items into every day. Drop the bag off each week at a local philanthropy’s thrift shop. You are doubling up with decluttering and doing good work.

 

Set a date and a time to organize

Make an appointment with yourself and set a date to organize. It’s like all other appointments. Writing this date in your calendar makes you commit to getting started. Choose a time that is good with respect to low distractions and high energy level. Plan on multiple 2 hour sessions to work rather than an entire day or an entire weekend. If you still feel overwhelmed, plan on starting with just 15 minutes. In 15 minutes, you can clear your closet floor, shred papers from file folders and declutter a toy chest.

 

Get support for your efforts

Support is critical to getting started with an organizing project.  According to research, a major reason for not getting organized is not asking for help.  Teamwork makes it easier whenever you start any project. Look around for support with a “clutter buddy,” a friend who cheers you on and supports you making decisions.  Working as a team makes it easier to reach your goal. You can find support in a professional organizer, coach, or therapist who help you define new perspectives, create a plan and help you follow through with your work.

 

Have a compelling reason

Company coming is one of the most compelling reasons to get organized. However, there are many compelling situations that can motivate us. With the unexpected circumstances of the last three years, many of us are making a personal decision to live life through experiences not stuff. We want less to take care of at home to be able to enjoy and live life more fully. Having a personal, specific reason to get organized gets you started. Your compelling reason could be emotional well-being and less stress which are powerful starting points for you.

 

Make your intention a reality this year by taking the first steps in starting your organizing projects. Your sense of well-being will be the biggest benefit.

 

How My Word of the Year Made a Difference 2020 Expand

 

Every year I focus on my Word of the Year. This year my word is Expand.  I never know what is to come each year as my word of the year guides me. When I feel offtrack, I refer back to my word to guide me and be a point of reference in what I want to accomplish. In 2020 I was thinking about “expand” specifically in my professional niche, that being to serve more of those with adhd and learn more about adhd.

I learned so much more.

You never know where you will expand and what new thoughts, places and people will be a part of this growth.  I am grateful for these ways I have expanded personally and professionally.

Personally

  • My time with family expanded more than I could imagine. At the outset of COVID, we created our quaranteam.  We were quarantining as a family to keep safe and support each other.  This expanded to our Walking Club. Each morning family would gather to walk and talk. We processed our thoughts about everything. This cocoon helped us especially in the early months of the pandemic.
  • My focus on health expanded. Health has been a high priority.  With COVID I was able to add time to walk daily.  Its remarkable the mental health benefits as a result. If you want to be a positive person, walk daily. Being in nature helps us set and remember priorities, keeps us keep in mind all the little things around us and brings out the best in us.
  • Being married for 37 years, we have always had date nights. This year confirmed that I am truly married to my best friend. We have spent more time together this year and I am forever grateful.

Professionally

  • I expanded my virtual organizing and coaching practice in working with clients with adhd throughout the country. I was able to share my love of organizing and productivity with zoom conference presentations. I was a partner and a witness to amazing transformations in family’s homes and lives.
  • Time during quarantine offered me the opportunity to further my education. I virtually attended hundreds of hours of education and earned two specialist certificates.  I listened to countless podcasts to learn from experts as they shared information on adhd, organizing, productivity and leadership.  It has broadened who I am and what I think.
  • My love of connections led to expand into a new mastermind group. These 6 women support each other and those in our industry.  In meeting weekly we have partnered with each other through this uncertain time offering ideas in so many ways.

 

When I thought of ways to expand as I entered 2020, I thought of diving deeper into my professional niche of working with clients with adhd.  Here is what happened in addition. Joy, love, connection, professional fulfullment, education and a strong sense of being where I belong despite uncertainty.

 

 

Holiday Quotes

sprinkle kindness like confetti

 

 

 

holiday reflections

 

Wishing you a wonderful holiday! 

My Organizing Obsession Keepsake Boxes

keepsake boxes

 

Throughout the year 2020, it has become clear what is most precious to us. As we think about connections, family and friends, we know that relationships are by far the most precious. There are some small significant items that are priceless to us. These may be a baby birth announcement, a lock of hair, a college honor society pin or a note from a parent.  My organizing obsession is a place to keep these precious items and honor them.

  • Keepsake boxes come in all sizes and shapes. These can be decorative or plain, locked or keyless.  The concept is that every item needs a home and precious keepsakes are no different. You decide what is to be stored in this box because of it’s value to you.
  • Every member of your family should have their own box to keep what they consider precious.  Store this box on the top shelf of that person’s closet. It’s easy to place items and retrieve it when you want a happy boost.
  • What if your items are larger than the box? Take a photo and print that to keep in your box.

What is in my keepsake box? My mom’s gold wedding band, a shell from my first trip to the beach with my husband, small trinkets my children gave me when they were little and pins of all sorts from all different times in my life.

 

Too many times have I seen my clients’ precious items mixed in with what’s not precious.  I love that these special items have a special home.

 

Holiday Baking Simplified Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread

Does the smell of warm cinnamon bring holidays to mind?  Do you want to share some holiday treats with friends and helpers?  Here is one of our family’s favorite holiday treats that is special for the holidays.  It’s Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread, aka Monkey Bread, made with ready made biscuits. Enjoy!

 

 

 

pull apart cinnamon bread

Holiday Gifts 2020

 

holiday gifts 2020

 

At long last It’s the holiday season. Many of us have been waiting for this joyful season (cue the Hallmark movies) while mucking through the year. While experiences are my preferred holiday gift, this year we are challenged with safety measures in groups and in person experiences.  With that in mind, here are some ideas for organizing gifts for the 2020 holiday season.

 

Indoor Garden

Fresh herbs add a lot to your home cooking. The gift of an indoor garden spices up cooking for the chef and diners. These gardens come in all shapes and sizes.  You can grow your own herbs all winter.

 

Pantry organizing IDesign Bins

Keep things practical this year with clear containers to organize your pantry. It’s a gift focusing on function.  These clear bins make it easy for your family to stay organized too.

 

Charging stations 

In 2020 we have learned the value of curating social media and getting a good night’s rest.  Purchase a common charging station for your kitchen to keep everyone’s devices overnight.

 

Weighted blankets

These cozy blankets have been a hit for several years. This year they are more popular than ever to help you get to sleep or take a nap.

 

Delivery Meal Kits

Have you been cooking for multiple people since March and look forward to someone else prepping and cooking.  Delivery meal kits can be a gift for the chef in your family.

 

New family card and board games

We have been spending a lot of time with our families. Enjoy a new board game such as Exploding Kittens to add strategy and laughter to family time.

 

Share your ideas here for your family and friends!

 

 

 

A New Normal Holiday Season

new normal holiday season

 

This year the holiday season will be different. Holiday celebrations will be smaller and more intimate. Temples and churches will have different ways to celebrate the meaning of the season with zoom.  There will likely be less holiday travel.  No matter these differences, there are meaningful ways we celebrate together as family and friends. It’s an even better reason to be organized this holiday season.

 

Family planning

A meaningful holiday starts with a family meeting about what is most important to each family member.  Some of these may be different this year.  Acknowledge the differences and sadness about this.  Think about what will make this year special. Be open to new ideas and new ways to celebrate. It remains important to add all these dates to your family calendar.

 

Family travel

A greater percentage of families (51%) are choosing to stay home this year. It’s a family to family decision. If you decide to travel, remember your wellness packages with extra hand sanitizer and multiple face masks.

If you find that you need a new way for your long distance family to gather here are a few ideas.

If you are travelling, there are ongoing changes to restrictions. Be sure you are knowledgeable about these changes.

Family gifts

This may be the best year to change up your gift giving. It may be making this a smaller budget, deciding the number of gifts you are giving or deciding to donate to charity instead of gift giving. Be thoughtful and intentional about what you are sharing.

Homemade gifts have a special meaning during the holidays. Set aside time for your family tradition of making homemade gifts together or start a new tradition.  Cooking, baking, canning, sewing or other crafts are a wonderful way to spend time together and share your holiday joy.

 

Family dinner

Everyone can be a chef during this year’s holiday dinners.  Divide up recipes and every can cook (and clean) together.  Your family of chefs can complete like Chopped with unusual ingredients.  It’s a great year to teach your family how to roast a turkey or make your family’s special toffee recipe.

 

Family time outside and in

Especially this year, plan family time outside. It can be taking part in a virtual fun run, taking a walk on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, a family football or soccer game or any other outdoor activity. Running around and enjoying time outside will give everyone a change to get some energy out or get energized.

 

No matter the new normal, now is the time to delegate to your family.  Everyone can wrap, decorate, cook, bake and team up.  Make assignments early so you are organized and can enjoy the time together.

 

 

I wish you a very merry holiday season filled with an abundance of joy and meaning.