Live the Life You Imagined

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.

 

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.

 

This quote by Henry David Thoreau may be the start of something amazing for you!  Have you thought of how your stuff may be holding you back?  Have you thought about how with less you can start a project of your dreams? Could you be a more mindful and present person? Perhaps you may have a dream to pursue and letting go of you stuff can help you live the life you imagined.

 

How much do we need to live a life we have imagined?

A corporate person moves to a new city to start her dream job.  In her move, she decided her dream jobs might not be long term and more in a sequence, so she may have to move frequently as she climbs the corporate ladder.  Because of this, it’s important for her to have less to take from city to city.  She lets go of her possessions to be more nimble.  Her work takes most of her waking hours so she will not be home to enjoy her space.  As she envisions where her new assignments might take her, she wants to be less burdened by stuff to carry along with her.

 

A client marries and blends her belongings with her new partner. She lived a single life for quite a while and  has been filling her closet with shoes and clothes.  Letting go of her stuff makes the transition smoother.  It is not about her stuff vs. his stuff.  It is about living a life together in a small space but with great love and respect.  Their lives will be about their connection, not their stuff.

 

A friend begins a mission trip that she has imagined for many years. She begins her preparations to move 6 months before her trip began.  She whittles away  at her furniture, clothing, books and papers. She moves most of her information to online resources.  In the end, she  has 3 larges suitcases for her 2 year stay.  She begins to live the life she imagined by her bravery and commitment.

 

It’s hard to imagine how important and compelling these journeys  are.  These dreams require letting go.  It’s deep and meaningful commitments to what you can imagine.

 

How do we start?

Your dreams are waiting for you.  Start with your dream and the simplest first step.  It’s possible to achieve your dream with a plan.  Start with letting go of what’s easy and move to what’s more difficult.  In paring down not only do we decide what’s essential, we also find what’s most vital.  We can find out what’s the one most important thing for us to use or take with us on our journey.  I would love to hear more from you on your journey to live the life you imagined.

 

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Minimalism, Essentialism and Simplicity

 

minimalism, essentialism and simplicity

 

Have you heard the buzz about minimalism?  The concept started just after World War II and has exploded in the 21st century.  Minimalism is paring down to a minimum and living with less. It’s no surprise that according to a 2011 study, 90% of Americans admit that unorganized clutter at home or at work has a negative impact on their life. There are major benefits to living with less.  However, there is more to this concept.  Maybe you are not about living with the least you can, but about living with what’s essential or living simply.   While you are creating a new awareness of how much you really need, you can align with decluttering and organizing cultural concepts. There are several ways to create a less encumbered lifestyle and these choices might be minimalism, essentialism or simplicity.

 

Minimalism

Do you embrace a life where experiences are key and stuff bogs you down?  Are you a person who owns less for the sake of owning less?  When there is too much around you, do you feel anxious?  You may be a minimalist at heart.

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus , well known as The Minimalists, are bloggers who focus on the minimalist lifestyle.  Their personal experiences about owning too much shape their writing.  Their writing includes information about stuff, finances, debt and more.

 

Essentialism

Do you embrace a life where your essential needs are met and the stuff you own is only what is essential?  Perhaps you purchase and keep only the essential items required for your daily living. You might keep only your essential items on the kitchen counter to use daily. You may be part of the essentialism movement.

 

Greg Mckeon, author of Essentialism shares his perspective about time and space.  It’s the pursuit of ‘the right thing, in the right way, at the right time’.   In applying criteria and prioritizing, we can choose what we want and what we want to do with regard to our core values.

 

Simplicity

Do you want to make life simpler?  Are you okay with a few basic items out but keep what’s used less frequently in the cabinet? Are you feeling overwhelmed by too many meaningless activities that you used to love? You may just want to simplify your space and time.

 

My core belief and what we share at  Professional-Organizer.com is to “keep it simple sweetie.”  Our lives are enhanced by making decisions with simple choices.  We are often drawn to complexity in our work and home so by stepping back and choosing simplicity, we can find happiness and balance.

 

It’s small distinctions that set apart minimalism, essentialism and simplicity.  This granular evaluation of living the life you want can help you keep away from clutter and over-commitment.   Your commitment to the lifestyle of your choice depends on where you are on the minimalism continuum.

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How taking a vacation makes you more productive

productivity

 

Look around at kids in your home or neighborhood on vacation!  The joy of longer days to swim, the fun of time off, and time to do whatever they want spontaneously keeps their spirits and energy high.  We can have that too! We can be healthier, happier and more productive with a vacation and time off.  Although it seems counter intuitive, there’s lots of reasons what taking a vacation helps improve productive.

 

 A vacation energizes you

Working to declutter and organize requires energy.  In our day to day busy lives, we are giving a lot of energy to what is required. We seldom have energy to get done what is required of us in a day.  After a vacation, being refreshed, you are ready to take on decluttering and organizing. You are ready to make decisions and let go of what you don’t need.

 

Take a vacation and do your organizing

Some times we take a vacation and do the tasks we seldom get to during our typical time at home.  Some of us enjoy organizing but seldom have the time to get organized.  It may be that your vacation is a gift to yourself to get your organizing done.  It makes sense to take a vacation and get your organizing done in order to create balance and serenity.

 

Open ended time helps you improve productively

When you are away from work, you are more open to fresh ideas.  Your brain refreshes just like when you sleep.  Your time away is taking care of you. It’s a wellness break that is required for you to be your best. “Getting away from a familiar environment help gain clarity on life,” says Adam Galinsky, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

 

This year my family will be taking a vacation that helps us all get away. Not only will it improve productivity, it will increase our connectivity.  Share where you will be heading off to on vacation this summer!

 

More tips on being more organized this year? Join my newsletter!

 

 

 

 

 

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Decluttering After Life Transitions

decluttering

 

Clutter can overtake us quickly. We are busy living life, attending to our family and doing what we do.  We grieve a loss.  We transition into the next phase of life.  All of a sudden we look around and there is clutter in our home, office, and head.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless.  There’s a plan to put into place to help you declutter and get back your life.  Decluttering after life transitions helps you move forward.

Making the plan

That saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” applies to decluttering too.  It may have been 6 months or 6 years that clutter has been accumulating. It may be more than one transition that has occurred, such as a loss of a family member, a new job and an empty next.  Start by acknowledging that  your life has been focused on priorities.  Then step back and start making a plan.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself:

~ Who should make the decisions about the clutter?

~ Do I have a time line to get started and get finished?

~ How do I keep what’s most important but let go of what is not?

~ Am I ready to get started?

Once you answer these questions you can proceed

 

Taking steps forward

Start by making your work manageable. What makes it manageable can be creating your team, creating chunks of work or finding a new perspective. Creating a team can include your family or professionals. Leverage your team by knowing what do you want to accomplish and who has the best skill set to get this done.  Create chunks of work by breaking the work into units of space, such as room by room, or time increments.  Finding a new perspective can include looking for a treasure you have lost, finding money in your clutter, or taking a positive approach in that you make people your priority at the time your clutter accumulated.

 

Letting go

Your transition may include feeling of grief, shame or remorse.  Let go of “how did I let this happen” and embrace “I am creating a new life.”  As you work toward organization, embrace your new feelings of empowerment. Life transitions can open new doors for you and new options you have not thought of before.  Letting go of stuff can help you let go of emotional blocks too. Life transitions require support. Support can include a professional organizer, coach or therapist.  Decluttering after life transitions supports your new vision.

 

More decluttering strategies here.

Houston Helping Houston

houston helping houston flooding

 

 

Thinking of our fellow Houstonians, Houston has been helping Houston. Here are three resources to help you think about small ways to help others in our city.

 

City of Houston Storm Recovery 

American Red Cross

Houston Flood Resources Facebook Group

We can all find a small way to make a difference for our community.

Snow day

snow day It’s a bright sunny day today but I am seeing all sorts of snow day fun in the news.  Our last official snow occurred in December 2008.  Since the chance of this precipitation rarely occurs here, it makes me think about having a self proclaimed snow day.

 

Snow day fun

A snow day for kids means a day of fun and no school.  How refreshing that would be to be able to have an adult snow day!  Things I would love to do on a snow day include staying in jammies all day, treating myself to hot cocoa, watch food tv favorites and reading endless numbers of magazines.

 

Others might see a snow day as a day for improvised productivity. Yes, you could organize a closet, your email or your desk.  Yes,  you could get more done on this day.

 

For me it would be a day filled with rejuvenation, renewal and reflection.

 

According to The Energy Project, “we are at our best when we alternate between expending energy and intermittently renewing our four core energy needs: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. When you’re intent on supplying fuel in each dimension of energy, you’re creating happier people that will affect your organization’s success.”  There’s power in renewal.

 

When can I plan a snow day?

 

It’s a day to put on the calendar!  It may not be as spontaneous as the weather, but you can arrange it as a day to rejuvenate.  We all need a day to be able to wind down, sit quietly and gain back our clarity.

 

When is your snow day? Let’s plan it together!

10 Tips to Live the Life You Imagined

live the life you imagined

 

 

 

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.”

 

We can spend our days not following our dream or our path.  Move forward in your personal direction by having a plan for your day.

 

1. Start the day with meditation, exercise or spiritual pursuits. It will start you on the path you want for the day.

2. At the end of each day write down your 3 most important tasks for the next day. You will start the day knowing and being productive.

3. Let go of activities that have become meaningless or lost value. Not really into knitting but now love cross stitch? No longer biking or lifting weights at home? Not loving the volunteering you used to love? Share them with other who love that activity.

4. Create a routine then ensures connection to others. Have a weekly Sunday supper with your family. Call your Mom and Dad every Tuesday when you drive home from work. Go to the waterpark with your grandkids every Friday afternoon.

5. Practice an attitude of gratitude. Write a thank you note, text to say thanks, and start a phone conversation with a thank you.

6. Be fabulous.  Keep only clothes, shoes and accessories that make you look and feel fabulous.  Have nothing in your home or office that is you do not believe to be useful or beautiful.

7.  Take good care of yourself.  Eat and hydrate well. Nourish your insides with water, fresh fruits and veggies. Get a great night’s rest.

8.  Take extra care to be kind to yourself.  When a bump in the road happens, graciously accept it as a small stop rather than the end itself.

9. Pace yourself.  Build in transition times during the week, between activities and meetings and between the week and weekend.

10. Surround yourself with positivity.  Nurture and support others and accept the same in return.

 

 

It’s truly about not only creating a life you envision, but acting on your plan too.

Making the Most of Summer with Summer Organizing

summer organizing

 

All the signs point to summer time is here!  Our weather is warmer. Pool season has started.  Days are longer.  There are lots of ways to celebrate the arrival of fun in the sun.  Summer organizing helps you make the most of summer fun.

 

 Organizing

Start off the season organized!

  • Switch out your seasonal clothes.  It’s time to release those winter items that were not worn in the last few years.   Move your summer items into your primary closet and organize them in a way that work for you, whether its by color, sleeve length or set.  Use a bin for flip flops and organize your shoes so you can see them best.
  • Replace your winter linens with summer light weight cottons.  Swapping to lighter weight linens gives you the opportunity to clean your bed covers.  Eliminate extra decorative bed pillows and freshen up the look of your bedroom.
  • Give your pantry the once over.  During winter we cook differently.  Think of fresh new menus and ways you can start a new plan for eating.  Mark your calendar for your grocery runs that will include fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Set up outside areas.  Scrub down the patio or have it power washed.  Freshen up outdoor seating cushions and furniture.  Add in patio lighting, candles or lanterns.   Create a pool toy play bin to corral balls and floats.  Be ready for outside fun with storage designed for outside toys.
  • Get your activity bags ready to go.  Create travel or activity bags for you and your kids.  Your bag can include chargers, reading material, sunscreen, bug spray and other goodies while you watch your kids at swim team.  Your kids’ bags include whatever they need for an activity. Have one bag per activity so everything is ready to walk out the door.
  • Pick a single flower from your garden or pick up a small fragrant herb from the store.  Bringing in the smell of the outdoors is a great pick me up in the summer.

 

Work Life Balance

Start off summer with a plan.

  • Host a family meeting focusing on vacations, camps and time at home. Write your family’s plans on your family calendar so everyone is in the know.  Add in preparation times, when you will be packing and unpacking.  Make a list of what you need to purchase to be prepared for your outings.
  • Discuss what family time routines will be maintained or added this summer.  A little structure goes a long way during the summer.  What will be added responsibilities? What time will bedtime be?  What are ways to keep up with reading and math? Having these conversations now set the stage for summer success.  Once decided,  create a chart or online reminder system to keep your family on target.
  • Scout out additional resources for summer supervision.  Are there neighborhood teens, additional baby sitters or ways to add time with grand parents that can help you in a pinch?  You will be ready for extended meetings or other delays just in case.
  • Check out new collaboration tools that you can use to work at home.  Dropbox offers you access to your files at work from any device.  With Skype you can have a face to face conversation using your device.  LastPass keeps all your passwords accessible and organized from anywhere.  Join.me allows for screen sharing.  Evernote keeps you organized with your lists.  Just one of these tools could be a bonus for your productivity this summer.
  • Take time for real vacation and create real rejuvenation time.  According to The Energy Project,  59% of of workers are physically depleted, emotionally drained, mentally distracted, and lacking in meaning because they need time away from work.  If you are away, post an auto-response giving a heads up.  If you check email while away, keep it to a minimum.  Create space for what you love to do this summer.  Read some of the magazines or books poolside that you have collected all year.  Enjoy time for a pedicure,  exercise or cooking.  Summer is our time to play!

 

Best of all these summer organizing projects can be chunked down to one hour time slots.  You can enjoy the day and not be bogged down all day with organizing.  Make this your best summer ever with your summer organizing.

 

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Your Most Organized Year Ever

 

 

Your Most Organized Year Ever

Each year as we start the new year, we think of ways to make a change and improve our lives.  Did you know that organizing is one of the top three goals each year?  Throughout the month of January, I will be offering 31 tips to help you have Your Most Organized Year Ever.  Implement just one of these tips, tools, techniques or tweaks this year. 

 

Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to everyone, including parents, singletons, grandparents, and kids.  This is especially true in the ADHD home.

 

Why are we bedtime procrastinators? 

 

Setting yourself up for a good night’s rest

  • Get ready for bed way ahead.  When you are in your jammies with your teeth brushed, you are more likely to get in bed at  your designated bedtime.
  • Set the mood for sleep in your bedroom. No paper clutter, your clothes folded, your room cool and your room dark.  You can set up a great space for sleeping this way.
  • Calculate your bedtime for 8 hours of sleep. Get in bed 30 minutes before.  Have the same bedtime nightly.

 

Set your family up for a good night’s rest

  • Eliminate blue light from e-readers, phones or other tech equipment with a central family charging space.
  • Start early with baths and tuck in time to have a relaxing bedtime ritual.
  • According to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey, only 20% of adolescents get the recommended nine hours of sleep per night on school nights. The NSF recommends that children ages 3 to 5 need 11 to 13 hours; ages 5 to 10 need 10 to 11 hours; ages 10 to 17 need 8.5. to 9.5 hours; ages 18 and above need 7 to 9 hours.

 

Sleep helps our productivity and efficiency.  A productive day starts the night before.  Make this Your Most Organized Year Ever with everyone having a good night’s rest.

 

Check out my pinterest page for Family Manager. 

 

Your Most Organized Year Ever

Your Most Organized Year Ever

 

Each year as we start the new year, we think of ways to make a change and improve our lives.  Did you know that organizing is one of the top three goals each year?  Throughout the month of January, I will be offering 31 tips to help you have Your Most Organized Year Ever.  Implement just one of these tips, tools, techniques or tweaks this year. 

 

Rejuvenation time is time for you to relax and gain back energy.

 

Do you give yourself time to rejuvenate?

 

Research shows rejuvenation is important in order to regain focus, invigorate creativity and be more organized.  It’s a way of taking care of ourself to do our best.

 

Create rejuvenation time in your week. Set aside time each week to have unstructured time.  Set aside time to play and be creative. Set aside time for meditation. Set aside time to be in green space.  Set aside commitments that keep you from having rejuvenation time.

 

Rejuvenation time won’t happen without your mindfulness. Your energy will soar as well as your positivity.  Make this Your Most Organized Year Ever by inserting time for rejuvenation in your week.

 

Boost your organizing and productivity skills with 31 tips to Your Most Organized Year Ever.

 

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