Happy endings to organizing

Hugs and Happy (Virtual) Organizing: Junk Drawer Organizing

 

Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a client’s work on her junk drawer. Our work together was through virtual organizing where we met by Join.me.

 

With our New Normal, there’s a buzz about virtual organizing. Virtual organizing is working together by telephone, facetime, facebook messenger or Join.me.  We work together in the same way with goal setting, creating a plan, working together, and making organizing and productivity real. I am excited to share the successes for my recent virtual organizing client. We started with her command center in her kitchen to sharpen up her space. We discussed what to edit, what to categorize and how to set up the space. Additional areas we are working in are her office and her basement. She is thrilled making these changes.

 

Virtual organizing and productivity makes a difference!

Celebrating 10 years of Social Media, Blogging and Connections

 

Celebrating 10 years of social media

 

It’s been a wonderful 10 years of social media fun!  I love the opportunities to connect through blogs, podcasts and social media.  It’s a way to share expertise about organizing, productivity and more. Most especially, it’s a way to connect to my colleagues, business partners, and clients. It’s a way to share ideas together.

 

Podcasts

Podcasts have energized social media in the last 5 years.  It’s an amazing medium to share information. It’s easily found on your smart phone or device and offers an array of subjects.

Thank you to Leiann and John of Smead for your weekly podcasts. That variety of topics on organizing and productivity touches everyone! Thank you for including me in these contributions about ADHD, productivity, and routines.

Thank you to Peter Shankman and his Faster than Normal podcast to share organizing ideas, tips and routines for those with ADHD.

Thank you to Rachel Seavy of Collector Care and Hoardganize for sharing tips on ADHD and organizing.

 

Blogging

Thank you to everyone who has visited my blog, commented and connected. It a “mutual admiration” for us who are connected via our blogs.  We learn new tips, get tech advice, share insider secrets and look at the newest thoughts in our industry.

 

Blogging has changed over the 10 year period.  In the beginning I blogged about organizing primarily. Now my blogging is a bigger opportunity to share about ADHD.

 

Social media

Facebooks is a daily family reunion! It’s where I find my clients working together on organizing in Facebook Groups.  I love sharing ideas to help everyone be their best self.

 

Who doesn’t love sprinkles and sparkles?  Pinterest is where ideas and visions percolate.  Having a pretty picture to share and recreate can help my clients have a vision for their organizing and productivity.

 

Twitter is where my writer friends and colleagues hang out.  There is where I find a connection to share big ideas through articles.

 

LinkedIn is my connection to the business world.  There I share and publish articles of my own focusing on the business side of organizing and productivity.  My LinkedIn Groups connect me with like minded professionals.

 

Let’s connect if  we have not already! It has made a difference for me in daily relationships, work – life balance and communication.

 

Who knows what’s next in social media? There’s new ways to share knowledge evolving all the time. I look forward to staying connect in each of these ways to share more about organizing, productivity and living a simple and organized life. The truly priceless part is the connection you make with individuals along the way!

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball (Decluttering After A Flood)

#KingwoodStrong

 

When life throws you a curve ball, you learn to organize the balls!  When you are going through a crisis, such as our recent flood, your resilience comes into play. There may be a continuum of coping mechanisms. Your response to the situation can be a range of emotions.  Here’s a bit of what you might be feeling, doing and experiencing when decluttering after an unexpected situation such as recent flooding.   This is a continuation of life in Kingwood after the 2017 flood, better known as #KingwoodStrong.

Going through the initial decluttering experience

When you’re going through a flood, there were most likely people helping you.  People showed up to support and encourage you. However, you’re in such a state of shock and so overwhelmed you may not be aware of what is being let go of.  The goal seems to be to just get rid of things.  There’s a lot of damage to your stuff and your property and you are not sure of what to let go of. Those around you may be more sure in their minds.

 

Sorting and triaging

In this next phase, you’re trying to triage what’s left. You remember you had some things, however you question if these items are still here.  At this point you are assessing what do you have. Your emotions center on a combination of loss and gratitude.  It’s time to organize what you have.  You keep hold of what you have, knowing it’s all you have.

 

Assessing

In this step,  you are wondering about what to keep now that you have less.  Why do I have any keep things even if they’re damaged or broken or stains? Perhaps you think,  “at least I have this.”  You may be packing up your home for repairs and think I still have a lot or I don’t have much.  It’s when real perspective change happens.

 

Final steps

The final steps may occur when your home is complete or you have decided to move to a new home.  The final steps start when you are making plans for your new home.  The refreshing change you make is that you are now looking ahead. It’s time to assess what will be in your new space.  You take a deep breath and are ready to make important decision.  You realize that you can start to let things go again that don’t have a space, don’t serve you well or you are ready for someone else to benefit from the items.

 

Living in a flooded community, if you did not flood

I must add a short passage for those who did not flood and supported others.  Your compassion and empathy make a difference for those who flood. As you support others in this experience, you are learning and assessing as well.  While you did not experience loss, you may feel that now is the best time to declutter given it could have been you.  Seize the opportunity while you are motivated to declutter and donate.

 

It’s a multiple step process in decluttering and organizing after an unexpected situation, such as a flood.  You will learn so much about yourself, your partners, your family and your community.  Stay strong, stay connected and seek support as needed.  In my work with clients throughout the flood saga, our main focus is support.  There’s much work to be done after 6 months post flood.  #KingwoodStrong

 

Want to be prepared just in case? Here’s how to create a home inventory for emergency preparedness.

2018 Word of the Year: Possibilities

Possibilities

 

Each year I choose a word as my reference for what my intentions are.  Other’s choose SMART goals or consistent habits.  It’s a guide that has been my stead for some time.  The guide word, also known as your one word or your word of the year, is catching on as a way to create change in your life.

 

This year my word is possibilities 

I am inspired by my clients who think about possibiltities.  What is possible this year? What can be a possibility that I should think about as I work or play?  What would be the options if there were fewer or no limits?

 

I chose my word possibilities as I thought of entering a new decade.  (Yes, this year my age ends in a 0.)  As a professional organizer and productivity consultant, I am a believer in limits, guides, structure and all that is established and set. This limit setting is intrinsic to every fiber in me. It’s who I am.   It came to mind that perhaps I have this year an opportunity to take ideas further by opening myself to possibilities.

 

What’s your new year beginnings?

I’d love to know your new year goals, new habits or word of the year!

#Grateful

 

#Grateful

 

The holiday season begins with a festival of gratitude. Thanksgiving officially began in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War.  President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.  While this has been a more difficult year than most, Thanksgiving brings families together for food, fun and thoughtful reflection. What are you #grateful for this year?

 

What’s your perspective on gratitude?

In the most troubling of times, it’s good to know your motivations. Knowing what’s at your core and what makes you do what you do,  that’s why you are grateful.  What’s your why, by Simon Sinek, is a strategy to drill down on why, how and what compelling reasons come together to drive your passion and lead others. This is especially important for your family. When you understand what’s most important to you and how it’s a part of your every day life, gratitude jumps out!  See if you can drill down to know these passions in what you do and why you do it.

The Values in Action (VIA) assessment is another tool to find your core.  The VIA assesses values, like honesty, loyal, appreciation of beauty.  To me, these values are essential in shaping our daily life. Our values are put into place in how we work with others, enjoy your physical space and connect with our spirituality.

Why you do what you do, what your values are and how you put these strengths into action is the basis for gratitude. It’s the lense and perspective that you view life.

 

How do you share how #Grateful you are?

There’s so many simple ways to express gratitude. It’s when a car in a fast food line pays it forward for the car behind.  A simple handwritten note expressing gratitude after a loss or because of a gift.  A gratitude journal or morning prayer bring you daily thoughtful thankfulness. Use your strengths to include habits daily that help you  experience the joy of gratitude.

Circling back to your “why”, your family, colleagues and community are places to be a #grateful leader.  Gratitude multiplies when it is shared.  This year I have the privilege and honor of leading my association.  I am grateful for collaboration, connection and communication with my friends and colleagues.  Where can you take the lead for those around you to share gratitude?  Are you ready for your family to experience more gratitude by helping at a community philanthropy?  Is your work ready to share it’s blessings with a community food drive or shared work day? Look around you and find a way to share gratitude with your community.

 

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

 

 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hugs and happy organizing: Bathroom Organizing

Hugs and Happy Organizing Bathroom

Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a client’s bathroom and bathroom organizing.

 

Bathrooms are busy places! It’s where you get ready in the morning to get out of the house quickly and easily.  Bathrooms are also where there’s a lot of potential clutter. There’s hair, makeup and products galore.  What’s a girl or guy to do?

  • Decide what you want your bathroom sink area to look like when you are done. Are you a minimalist or someone who like to see what you are using.
  • Know what you use every day and keep it easy to access.  Use drawers for easy access with one category in each drawer or all your items in one drawer.  This keeps it easy to find and use.
  • Keep extra products together by category. A category can be by body part (body lotions, face products, dental products).  It can also be by frequency of use ( daily, monthly, hardly ever.)
  • Use under sink organizers to tame this chaotic space.  By creating specific slots for specific items, your cabinet looks and is more organized.
  • Let go of products you are not using or are old.  Here’s tips on how long to keep different products.   It’s hard to do, but important to keep from infections.

Wishing you all the best as you do your hugs and happy organizing!

Fresh Start Spring Organizing

fresh start spring organizing

 

With small green buds peeking out from the trees, or maybe just many feet of ice melting, spring is around the corner (thankfully.)  It’s been a long winter of nesting. We may be especially looking forward to the change of seasons.  We want to get started on our spring organizing.

 

“Reset” frequently used spots

It’s time to recheck those spaces that are frequently used in your home. Those spots are the landing strip and command center.  The landing strip is where all your bags and backpacks land each afternoon.  Get this area back into shape by distributing what needs to go elsewhere in your home.  Pull out the mittens, scarves and boots and place them back in closets for next year.  Your command center is paper central for all incoming papers.  Review what is there, recycle and shred what is not needed.

 

Closet renovation

Another season has passed and you know there are lots of unworn items in your closet.  Before you do your season switch out, get started by pulling out, donating and consigning unworn items.  It will make room for spring and summer, as well as help you lighten up your space.  If clothes have gotten out of whatever order and organization is best for you, go back in and realign.  You may find even more to eliminate after this is reorganized.

 

Linen reorganization

Spend a few minutes reviewing your linens. Do you have too many blankets and sheets for your needs?  Let go of extra blankets, pillows and older linens.  Take these out to donate and create space. Have towels that are ripped or not a color the coordinates?  Move these out to the garage for spills.     Fluff up your bed by switching out to lighter linens.  Let go of those extra decorative pillows (that you don’t place on your bed daily) and simplify your bedroom.

 

Fresh start your pantry

Spring and summer are about fresh veggies. Make room for this in your kitchen, refrigerator, freezer and pantry.  Go through and discard expired foods.  Set up spaces that are designated for categories of food, like breakfast, dinner and snacks, so you can easily plan and make meals.  Label your shelves for easy access and putting groceries away.  It’s a great way to welcome spring, improve your eating habits, and make wellness choices easy.

happy spring daffodils

 

Finish up your fresh start with a new plant or flowers in your kitchen.  It’s a lovely reward for your hard work!  A fresh start for your spring organizing is a great way to be ready for the season.

 

Join my newsletter for loads of fresh spring ideas.

 

 

Gratitude

I am grateful for our connection

Gratitude   

noun grat·i·tude \ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

simple definition of gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or thanks

I am grateful for our connection!  This year has connected me to more colleagues, friends, family and clients.  Each of you has shared my joy with laughter and silly sayings. You have each shared with me leadership, learning, transitions, reflections, and hugs!

  • How to lead and how to follow
  • How to share values and be true to your priorities
  • How to learn collaboratively and share knowledge
  • How to learn new habits and routines
  • How to learn new technology
  • How to make hard transitions easier
  • How to reflect and prioritize
  • How to be your best you and live the life you imagined

 

May your gratitude be a part of your daily habits. Find a small, simple way to make this happen each day. Thank you for all you have shared with me this year. As we enter the holiday season, I look forward to hearing what you are each grateful for.  Post a comment below to share your gratitude.

 

May your holidays be filled with hugs and happy organizing!

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Six Simple Solutions to keep you Sane every Season!

simple organizing solutions

Do things seem more complicated than ever? Rather than joy and anticipation, are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of the new year and all it will bring? Start the year with simple organizing solutions to create order and balance in your life.

 

Your calendar

Have a great calendar you love! It can be paper or electronic, whichever is most compatible and engaging for you. It should be portable to travel with you and the format should be week or month at a glance. Rules for using your calendar include writing in everything regularly (from doctor appointments to work meetings) reviewing it daily. Add a weekly planning time for you to review what is coming up and adding items from your master list. This is the single most important tool you can have for time management.

 

Your list

Most people have too much to remember on a daily basis to remember it all without writing it down. Having a list keeps you in the moment, so that you can keep energy and focus on the project you are doing. Keep a spiral notebook or PDA with you at all times, so you can easily jot down notes and lists when the thought occurs. By consolidating all of this in one place you can review and prioritize actions and projects, combine activities and errands and be more productive each day.

 

Command center for your papers

Create a space for papers that require action. Your command center holds all the very important action papers, including bills and other papers requiring an action. Add a section for papers that will be filed. Each day open your mail at this station, recycle junk mail, shred potential identity theft papers and bring catalogs and magazines to a reading spot. By creating a specific work station for these papers, you are ready to act on them with an hour of weekly administrative time.

A place for everything

Often clutter is the result of items needing a specific “home” or space. Designate that space by deciding where the item is used most often and determine to place it back each and every time. By designating a space, you are also setting a limit to the quantity of the item you can own. For example, all clothes must fit in the master bedroom closet or all laundry products fit on the shelves above the washer. Defining a place for everything helps you save money, ease the stress of looking for items and maintain the order you have created in your home.

simple organizing solutions

Keep it Simple Sweetie

By keeping our projects and routines simple, we can enjoy our lives more fully. Routines like laundry and dinner should be as easy to complete as possible. These are activities that enhance our lives by completion rather than complication. Think of simple ways to create routine for you and your family. Can each family member having their own laundry basket eliminate laundry in the family room? Can dinner be sandwiches and soup? The K.I.S.S. principle makes the difference in our homes and activities.

15 minutes of organizing every day

Every day have 15 minutes of organizing to maintain the systems you have set up. After our busy days, we come home tired from our work, but we still need to get a little organizing completed. What can you do in 15 minutes? Get things back to where they belong, get ready for the next day, get lunches made, get your list together, get paper sorted into your command center and get your sanity back! We all can do anything for 15 minutes, especially, if it adds peace of mind and quality to our lives.

 

 

Work on these simple solutions a little each day. Uncomplicated, easy, straightforward and effortless organizing solutions for every season will make this year your best!

 

Join my newsletter for more simple organizing solutions!