Snow Day

 

Snow Day

On January 15, we were treated to a rare delight in southeast Texas. It was snow!  It was snow that started as the pinging noise of sleet and continued in fluffy white flakes through the afternoon.  The weather gave us a rare snow day in Houston.  Now the decisions of how to spend a day at home.

 

Snow Day as Work Day

In a completely unscientific Facebook poll, most of us opted for getting ahead and getting organized.  Posts ranged from paperwork (so unfun!) to organizing closets.  Most of us took the day to get ahead on projects we had let lag.  That was me as well!  I loved having a productive day.  It seemed far less difficult that other days to be productive since it was “free day.”  For those who chose a work day, I congratulate you on your organizing and productivity!

 

Snow Day as Fun Day

Half way through the “blizzard”, it was time for me to spend time out and about. I could not resist the opportunity.  Having time outside was a great way for me to think about the kids running and dashing, the real reason we identify as a snow day.  I remember just how important an unscheduled day makes me. It builds my energy and engages me in more thinking. For those who chose a fun day, I congratulate you on seizing the moment for fun!

 

Snow Day as Possibility Day

We may not have the specific opportunity for a snow day for a while, however you can think about the possibilities. I love the idea of planning a snow day!  What could your snow day bring to you? Could you invent a snow day for yourself, keeping you and your kiddos thinking?  What would the possibilities be?  I encourage you to set aside an annual snow day to rejuvenate and relax.

 

Learn more about the  possibilities here!

 

30 Things to Declutter in 30 Days Winter Edition

30 things to declutter in winter

 

Winter brings us time to be indoors and work on our home or office.  It’s a great time to declutter because we realize how much we have and how much we use.  There’s many items that are easy to declutter once we decide that they are well used and ready to move on.  Here’s the winter edition of 30 things to declutter in 30 days.

 

1. Single mittens or gloves

2. Kids’ winter coats that have been outgrown

3. The extra zip in lining of a coat you never zip in

4. Too tight long underwear

5. Turtle neck shirts that are too hot to wear

6. Itchy sweaters

7.  Single slippers or slippers that are beyond repair or use

8. Extra flannel sheets

9. Winter boots that are too small

10. Extra wire or plastic hangers

11. Extra cans of soup or other pantry items

12. Recycling that has built up

13. Extra linens that overload your closet

14. Smalll appliances that have been replaced with a newer model

15. Excessive grocery paper or plastic bags

16. Snowpants that are too small

17. Hoodie attachment you don’t attach

18. Summer clothes you did not wear last summer

19. Stained or torn hoodies or sweatshirts

20. Makeup over a year old

21. Cough or cold medicine that has expired

22. Pots or pans that are scratched, stained or ruined

23. Mugs you seldom or never use

24. Mismatched glasses

25. Too many plastic cups

26. Broken pairs of glasses and sunglasses

27. Freezer foods past their prime

28. Almost empty bottles of cleaning products

29. Extra boxes that are taking up space

30.  Electronics to recycle

 

That’s our round up for this month! Now you are in the decluttering habit! Make this last by taking one category a day to the next step, whether it’s to donate, sell, gift, or trash.  It’s keeping items leaving your home or office that makes for a better organized home or office.

 

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How to Create a Great Foundation for Productivity

how to create a great foundation for productivity

 

We think that being productive hinges on knowing the latest technology with a calendar, app or to do list. We search for ways to get more done, be more efficient, and make it easier to be productive. What if I shared with you the secret foundation for being productive?  It’s really quite simple.

Step #1: Get more rest

In our 24/7 society, there’s not much time alotted for rest and sleep. Research shows that sleep is crucial for productivity.  The secret to being more productive is rest.  There is  profound impact of rest on our brains.  Just how do we get more rest?  Have a plan to get ready early, turn off all blue screen devices an hour ahead of time, and set your room cool. Creating a sleep routine helps you get a great night’s rest.

 

Step #2: Get moving

Sitting too long at your computer? Not getting to the gym?  Can you take the stairs, park further and walk longer or use your fit bit to assess how much you are moving? Harvard research has shown the link between exercise and productivity, especially with thinking skills. Add a short exercise routine to your day, count your steps on a fitbit, or take a short work during lunch.  All of these will help you with clarity and brain functioning.

 

Step #3 Get support

Maybe you don’t realize how important support can be for your productivity.  Maybe you don’t know what support you need or maybe you haven’t reached out for support. In any of these instances, it could be time for you to add this element to your foundation.  Support can be help from someone or something tech.  First identify the support you need. It could be learning a new technology skill or delegating with laundry and cleaning your home. Add in as much support as you can in small increments.

 

These three secrets that are a baseline for great productivity and also for general self care. If you start on only one of these steps, you will see an increase in efficiency and effectiveness.  Good luck!

 

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My Organizing Obsession: Color

 

Organizing by color

 

Have you noticed how colors make us feel? It might be the color of your favorite outfit or the bright blue sky against a white cloud.  Color makes a difference for me and my clients and that’s how it became my organizing obsession.  I love that color makes us happy and helps us be organized and productive.  Here’s my long list of why I love color.

 

Categorizing

Color creates distinctions in how we view organizing and productivity. My clients rely on visual cues to help them create a category and maintain it. When filing, use files that are designated by color.  An example of this is using green files for money or financial related files.  Your filing system might be notebooks and you can use the green notebook for financial documents.  Each category for filing can be a different color and represent a different area of your filing.

 

Color is a common choice for categorizing clothes. You can easily organize your closet with ROYGBIV, colors of the rainbow. Use a single colored hanger to set off your color clothes or use a certain color hanger for a certain type of clothes. It’s remarkable how happy you feel when you enter your closet and how easy this is to maintain.

 

Big families often categorize their kiddo stuff by color. Assigning a color by kid makes it easy to keep their stuff together. As a twin, my color was blue and my sister Ann’s color was red.  For families, you can assign a color using waste baskets, laundry baskets, hanging files or whatever you need to keep organized.  It’s great for your family calendar to keep color coded by kiddo what’s happening this month.

 

It’s easy to use color for productivity too.   In your calendar and on your email, this is an easy way to categorize your tasks.  Not every task needs a designation. Your most important work or who you work  with can be a single color to keep your calendar simplified.   A key of your categories organizes who does what, your big picture goals, or important information from a colleague or boss too!

 

Color = happy!

Client after client has told me how they love and use color too. More often than not, I hear “I use yellow because it makes me happy.”  We pair happy colors with happy thoughts and happy outcomes.  When you think of the color of a space you work or live in, let’s make that space happier, more organized and more productive with a happy color.  That coat of paint might be all you need to be more effective and efficient.

 

Color coordinated baskets appear more organized. It’s a simple camouflage technique for areas that get a lot of use. Pair two happy colors in a space to maximize the organization there.  It establishes organization in looking coordinated and organized.  Carrying a color between two spaces is a visual clue for their connection.

 

A word of warning here on where I don’t use color: my label maker. Simple, single color labels make it easier to read. I use only white labels with black letters to make my labels with my label maker.

 

 

How have you used color to keep more organized?  If  you haven’t check out my pinterest boards to see how!

 

Check here for more of My Organizing Obsession!