This is why following through on the Organizing Continuum helps you live the life you imagined!

organizing

 

Getting organized is a continuum, a work in progress,  a journey not a destination, and a learning experience. In my work with clients, I see that there is a definite starting place for my clients that begins with organizing skills and new perspectives. Clients learn basic skills to help them get organized and be productive.  I coach them to see new perspectives about themselves, their stuff and their time.  I am thrilled to acknowledge their gains as they progress through the organizing continuum.  If you are new to organizing, here’s how the continuum progresses. The time for the continuum depends on you.

 

Everything needs a place

It’s the basis of all organizing. It’s the age old adage, a place for everything and everything in it’s place.  All the items in your home or office need a specific spot.  That’s where they are located, put back and retrieved when used.  The first step in getting organized is having a place for everything. Yes, EVERYTHING. You can start by assigning a function to each room, what you need to do that action, the items needed, and then the storage of the items.  Overall, each item will have a home and a place as a result.

 

Everything needs a time to attend to it

Not only does everything need a place, everything needs a time for it to be worked on, worked with or returned to it’s spot.  You make breakfast, retrieve dishes and cookware, wash it and return it to where it was placed.  If you are doing your taxes, you need to gather documents, work on them, then store these whether paper or digital.  When you work, you go to your digital documents, work, and save it to a digital spot.  All things, papers, or digital documents need time to work the work and store appropriately.

 

There’s a place for your stuff, however it’s not worth the time to attend to it.

This is when your discerning decluttering really kicks into gear.  It’s not that you don’t have space for an item, how important is it to spend time getting it to where the place is? How many do you have already or do you need? Our time is the most valuable commodity we have and we can let go of items just so it’s not as time consuming to put them away.

It’s not valuable enough to find the space for it.

Here’s where you begin to assess a “just in case” perspective. Is the possibility of use a good enough reason to keep an item? The Minimalists have this perspective.  If it costs less than $20, and you can get it in 20 minutes, do you need it in your home or office?  Finding the value of keeping an item helps you move forward in this continuum.  It’s about prioritizing your time and space.

 

There are many easier ways to find the stuff you need.

You have wrangled your stuff to get it stored and put away. Now you realize that there are many easier ways to find what you need, whether it is stuff, information or paper. You are entering the continuum where you start releasing more and bringing in less to your home and office.

 

Living with less is rewarding.

Life is feels less overwhelming, more about experiences, and you are living the life you imagined.

 

Organized and stay organized.

Your life is about living, not about stuff. You stay organized because you know what is important to have and what to release.  Congratulations on accomplishing the real goal of being organized!

 

Sharing this continuum helps you start on your organizing and productivity journey!

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3 Ways to Get Dinner on the Table

 

 

3 steps to get dinner on the table

 

There’s nothing more exciting than getting home and smelling yummy dinner!  Whether you are the parents and kids, living with roommates, or living alone, getting dinner on the table makes a difference every day. It’s about self care and care for others.   Taking care of ourselves and our family, we nourish our bodies and our community with dinner together. How can we make getting dinner on the table easy? There’s lots of organizing steps to getting dinner ready.  There’s planning, shopping, preparing and clean up. Here’s some easy steps to short cut and dinner help is here.

 

Beginner’s guide to meal planning

Getting dinner on the table is no accident. It requires a plan.  A meal plan approach makes sure you have what you need, when you need it and with healthy options.  The plan starts with knowing how many meals you need to plan.  It also requires a balance of veggies, fruits, proteins and carbs.   The more colorful your plate, the healthier.  Having a plan means that you will have the ingredients on hand to prepare.

  • Start with just one of the food groups.  Start with proteins and work around this.  Pair the same protein with many different veggies or fruits.  When you start with only one food group it’s less overwhelming to create your dinner plan.
  • The family dinner list is a family friendly way to plan dinner. Your family shares with you 12 ideas that they will all eat for dinner. It can be super duper simple, like grilled cheese or baked potatoes, or taco bar. The idea is to have your family gather, share and then eat. Keep this list and the necessary ingredients handy when you shop.
  • The Family Dinner Project gets you started with the online dinner program, Food, Fun and Conversation: 4 Weeks to Better Family Dinners.   This guide helps you make family dinners a household staple in just four weeks. This free guide includes healthy recipes, dinner activities and loads of conversation starters.
  • Pantry staples and a freezer inventory make meal planning easier. What’s already here to use?
  • Short cut meal planning using a pre-set menus and prepped ingredients like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron or other meal kits. 

 

Ready, set, shop

Now it’s time to get the goods.  Create a list and shop by store. Make it digital so everyone who is out of the house can shop. Cozi, AnyList, and OurGroceries all have easy to use online lists that are accessible by you and your shopping buddy. Use online coupons from the stores you typically shop. A shopping trick that helps is to shop that same day every week. You can shop twice a week and always have milk. Belong to a  Automate non-perishable delivery with Amazon Subscription and your toilet paper arrives regularly.  Remember to:

  • Always bring a list.
  • Organize your list by aisle. The perimeter of the store is where essentials are purchased.
  • Stick to your list.

 

Quick and easy preparation

Can you make dinner in 15 minutes or less? Can you make a day of making dinner?  What’s your quick and easy hack to get dinner on the table?  Take help to get dinner on the table by partnering with your kids, partner, or those in the vicinity.  Use short cuts from the grocery store with prepped or frozen veggies.  Prep what you can one day a week and store in the plastic ware ready to use.  Just like other routines, getting dinner on the table requires thinking ahead.  Get your protein ready by defrosting the night before in the refrigerator.

  • Make a no- cook dinner that requires only assembly. Try cold foods, like sandwiches or salads for dinner.
  • Prep all the veggie on Sunday.
  • Early prep with a slow cooker for all day cooking.
  • Instapot cooking speeds up your dinner.
  • Prep and cook on a weekend.  Consolidating all the work of dinner makes for a quick evening dinner.
  • Have your partner cook the protein on one day. All you need is sides!

 

What’s your biggest take away from getting dinner on the table? Family dinner together! It’s the opportunity to review the day, learn what’s happening for each of you, and a time to connect. It’s time to cook dinner together and learn a new skill. It’s really not about the food. It’s about the time together!

 

More dinner ideas here! 

After the Flood Decluttering and Organizing

 

After the Flood decluttering and organizing

 

In the past few weeks we have seen decluttering and organizing in sad circumstances.  Families and businesses have suffered great losses due to flooding.  Families and businesses have reached out across the country to supply those in need with items they are letting go of.  The catastrophic circumstances have lead to an all time new attetion to decluttering and organizing.  In reflection, the response to life altering circumstances is letting go and decluttering.

 

Holding onto things

There have been lots of reasons in the past that we have been holding onto things.  There’s emotional attachment, unrealized value, and that “just in case” thinking.  When we see that our things have been ruined, we feel regret.  Several of my clients mentioned that although it was necessary to let go of items in their homes after the floods, it still was hard despite these being ruined. Despite, the blessings of help during the flood, it was still difficult to bag up clothes and home goods.  There’s an art to letting go.

 

Emergencies don’t give us time to process holding onto things and why. In a quick decision, regrets occur.  Let’s remember that grief is a part of holding onto things and that grief can resurface later despite the most awful of circumstances.  It takes time for perspectives to shift in holding onto things.

 

Letting go of things

“When natural disasters of this magnitude strike, they bring out the best impulses in many of us. We feel empathy for the victims and an urge to reach out and help them in any way we can, ” according to Psychology Today.  We want to help by giving.  Most encouraging has been the financial donations for those in need.  There are many local and national agencies to give donations for these emergencies.

 

It’s also a reminder to ourselves that disaster can happen to anyone and anywhere.  When we see that our friends, neighbors and families have suffered through the loss, we know that we could be experiencing the same.  It’s a prompting to us to use this new awareness in a positive light and let go of our own things too.

 

Difficult times take time to process. Whether you experienced flooding as either a helper or a victim, take time to tell your story, share your experience and reflect on the new perspectives after the flood.

Lessons Learned From Hurricane Harvey

 

 

Lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey

It’s been a rough week in Kingwood (suburb of Houston), Texas. We have seen rain for days followed by epic flooding.  While it’s been a scary, sad, chaotic, unprecedented week, there are always lessons to learn when life takes you on a spin to Plan B (or C.) Here are the lessons I learned this week from my life in Kingwood after Hurricane Harvey

 

#HoustonStrong #KingwoodStrong

  1. Stand up and be counted! You can do this! You got this! Hastag or not, Houston shows it’s underlying strength in times of adversity. The hashtag has surfaced everywhere showing us to be tough but big hearted and strong enough to face what it takes to rebuild our city. Being strong takes courage however we know we can rebuild our city. Our stengths comes from knowing how to work hard, be kind, and take on what comes our way.

 

Team Up

Many hands make for light work. That’s especially the case when disaster strikes. Having a team not only eases up on the work itself, it also helps with the stress. Research shows that surrounding yourself with positive people, energy and conversations makes hard situations easier.  When you are together, process the situation, make it fun and also get work done.  It’s overwhelming and endless when you are undoing the damage of flooding.  Be the person that turns things upside down and make team work happen. Think about how to be a part of the solution! In our community local churchs banded together to aid families in need.  Food was available all over the community.  Boaters from the “Cajan Armada” rescued our people over and over.  Find a fit for your strenghs and share the work and fun.

 

Find the good

It’s not always easy to find the good. It can be distracting when traffic snarls while getting to your home to clean up.  It’s an emotional roller coaster when you are working on your home and emptying all your first flood onto your lawn.  Find a way to find the good.  Here’s the little things I noticed in the last 2 days that helped me find the good in our community.

  • A “corner store” on the corner of 2 streets, giving away from cleaning supplies, food and supplies.
  • ” A boat came and got us,” driven by the Cajun Armada, people from Louisiana who knew the devastation a hurrican causes. Thousands were rescued by these men and women.
  • Families helping families rip up flooring.  Kids, moms and dads working together to help other families that they had not met.
  • Chain saws, manned by anyone and everyone, ripping through trees making passage ways available
  • Free food, supplies, and support at every corner in our community.

 

There’s never a good time for disaster. Our country has been through a lot this year.  Texans are showing what it’s like to be strong, stay positive, and make a difference by helping others in our community.

 

What lesson have you learned from Hurricane Harvey?