What To Organize Now

 

During the first half of the year this year, we have been working through many challenges of life. We have faced these challenges with empathy, positivity and hope. Through our learning, we have come to think about what we can organize now and do now to make our home and our community a better place. For me, I work on one small thing at at time. That small thing compounds to make a big difference.  Here is my list of what to organize now for a sense of well being and productivity.

Take one small step to build a routine

I am hearing from people with ADHD how much they want to build a routine. That routine usually means how to start the day.  Start with one small addition to existing routines or one general habit that will be a foundation for establishing a routine.  The first, best choice is to set a bed time. It is a difficult first choice and worthy of that difficulty.  Strategize what time to get ready for bed, how to decrease blue light and device use, and what sets you up for getting a good night’s rest. Track your success to help you know your return on time investment.

Take one step to better health

We’re learning the importance of general good health.  One small step to better health will help you feel better physically and emotionally.  That might be adding exercise daily, even in the smallest increment, to your schedule.  Walk 15 minutes a day, take the stairs, park farther away to walk more or eat more veggies daily are all small ways to a path of better health. There are many small ways to improve your physical and mental well being.

 

Take time to connect daily

Our busy lives can prevent us from true connection with friends, colleagues and family.  We must intentionally schedule time to talk on the phone, write a note or text.  This small step brings us immeasurable joy. I’ve shared many conversations with long time friends where we laughed and processed this crazy mixed up time. Give yourself that joy too!

 

Curate information

We are literally bombarded with information that is “useful and helpful.”  Curate your trusted sources to help you stay balanced and informed.  Keep the big picture in mind as you learn new information and process how to use this.  I find epidemiologists and virologists to be amazing resources currently and follow them on social media.  Determine what is “enough” information and move onto another activity when you feel anxious.

 

Create an environment of joy

What surrounds you lifts you up. Now is the time to level up your space. That is decluttering first, then using color and decor to bring you joy. There is a lot of home renovation happening, including painting, landscaping and interior decorating.  Creating something beautiful when there is discord keeps you engaged and away from all the extra “noise.”

 

Give back

You can make a difference in a special way.  It is in thanking a shop person after a purchase, listening to a stranger who had a rough day, talking kindly with customer service when something went wrong or sharing a meal with others. There are many ways to give back.  It is in our power to respectfully work with others.

 

We’re in times of great change. What we can organize now is our spaces, our time and our thoughts. Set yourself up for great positive connections, more productivity and better self care with the Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

 

Celebrating Milestones and Achievements for Professional-Organizer.com

Celebrations are important ways to mark milestones.  It’s important to not only celebrate personal milestones like family celebrations. Business success milestones share how far a business has come as well as high points and achievements. Milestones for business acknowledge core values and successes. It is a thrill to share with you dear blog readers who have followed my path steadily over the years.

 

Golden Circle

I am celebrating my 20th year in business and my 20th year in the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). To mark this occasion, I just received designation as a 20 year Golden Circle member. NAPO celebrates the 5, 10, 15, 20 and more years in our industry with a special badge. Professional-Organizer.com and myself as the business owner celebrate the values of consistency, tenacity, communication and dedication with this recognition.

 

 

NAPO Specialist Certificates

Education is a powerful part of my background, my life and my values.  I am excited to share that I hold all 5 of NAPO’s specialist certificates. NAPO Specialist Certificates are for NAPO members who are seeking to set themselves apart in one or more specialties. For me it is a way enhance my work with my clients.

NAPO certificates

With the classes in the Household Management certificate, I am helping my clients build structure, processes and routines for their families.

Using the Residential Organizing Certificate, I am helping my clients with paper management, decluttering and space arranging in the residential setting.

 

With the Team Productivity Certificate, I am assisting clients who work in teams in both their homes and offices by boosting both their organizing and productivity.

The Workplace Productivity Certificate provides me information to help clients build a solid foundation with productivity in their homes and workplaces.

Life Transitions are a part of all of our lives. I am helping clients navigate the challenges of major life transitions, either at home or work.

 

 

Certification

Professional organizers can be certified through the Board of Certification of Professional Organizers (BCPO).  I am an inaugural Certified Professional Organizer, holding certification since 2007. Since then, I have taken hundreds of hours of classes to maintain my certification. These classes include client interaction classes and specialty certificate classes. Certification also includes adhering to our BCPO Code of Ethics.

 

 

What does this all mean to you as my blog reader and for clients?  In all my work, my goal is to provide the expertise that helps you achieve your goals.  Through expert, current and in-depth training, our work together is enriched.  Each of these certificates adds value to our work together as we determine systems and routines that work with your personal style and strengths.

 

 

6 Ways to Create a Home To Recharge and Re-energize

6 ways to create a home the re-energizes

 

Our homes continue to be our place for work and play. Since Spring we have been “safe at home” with COVID-19 and now we are home this summer more than ever with restricted travel. This summer is the time to create spaces in our homes for tranquility and vitality. Every family needs space in their home to recharge and re-energize.

 

Declutter first

Decluttering first gives us energy. Maybe you haven’t realized how much your stuff is weighing you down. When we edit and remove that which is not loved, used or needed, we open up space in our homes. Start in your family room and then move to your kitchen, then next to your bedroom.  In the family room decide which collectibles are still important to you.  Do you need to edit photos or add more recent photos? Are there books you can donate to the library book sale room?  Create a space that helps you gather together for games and family fun. In the kitchen, simplify what you use for preparation and storage. Have your extra dishes become more than you need? Are you ready to slim down your food storage containers (aka tupperware)? In these high traffic areas, look to simplify and create easy access for what is most frequently used.

 

Create Tranquility Zones

Set aside time each day for tranquility.  Comfy sofas and bedrooms are ideal for napping.  These spaces for tranquil rest are where we can renew with cool temperatures and the whirl of a fan.  Add a soft throw or coverlet and you will enjoy your short rest.

 

Create a Book Nook

We’re learning and reading more than ever. That reading includes audio books, paper books, kindles, devices and magazines.  Book and magazine storage can be a small basket beside your night stand or in the family room. You can create a family library by installing additional shelving in a hallway with low two shelf storage or tall five shelf storage that matches the wall color. Decide how much book storage you would like, set that as a boundary for the number of books you want and then donate books that won’t fit into your space.

 

Create a meditation or yoga space

More of us are using meditation and yoga for calm starts to our day.  Your family room can be divided into zones for a variety of uses including media and exercising. Place your yoga mat in a wicker basket for storage in a corner of your family room for easy access and room to exercise.

 

Invite your family outdoors

Time outside in the sun and the shade energizes us.  Getting our daily dose of vitamin D is important as well as fresh air.  Invite your family into the outdoors with a hammock between trees, an oversize Adirondack chair in the shade or a bistro table and two chairs for snacks outside.  New sports like pickelball and old sports like crochet are fun family activities to play throughout the summer.

Create a common charging station for everyone’s devices

Prioritize your family’s tranquility each evening with a common charging station in a common space. Each evening place all the devices in your home in the station to recharge.  Everyone will benefit with a better night’s rest.

 

Re-organizing your home this summer will re-energize everyone.  This boost will make a difference for summer fun and time together as a family.

Creating Resilience in Difficult Times

resilience

 

Are you beginning to think we have been thrown back to ancient times and there are many plagues before us? We are going through a global health crisis, economic bumpy roads, and social unrest.  It’s certainly a time to create resilience during difficult times. Here are some strategies that can hold you in safe space with the unprecedented times.

 

Solid routines

I am a professional organizer and productivity consultant. Naturally the first recommendation I have is to create a rock solid routine for your morning, evening or the day. Your routine can have flexibility without begin rigid.  Rock solid routines include your set bedtime, your daily exercise and your productivity time blocks. A solid routine helps you know what your plan is for the day, which can be rearranged as needed.

 

Sacred self care

Self care and resilience are like peanut butter and jelly. Your self care will keep you well rested, well hydrated, and positive.  We need energy to stay calm and carry on. Many people are learning new games, crafts and outdoor activities. When you give yourself time to do what you love or to learn something new, you feel energized and upbeat. Self care is required during these times, and beyond.

 

Trusted sources and resources

Media and social media are filled with many emotions and lots of information. By now you have drilled down to what is your trusted source.  Stay true to what you trust and rely on.  Double check facts online.  I have been relying on science based information rather than many opinions. Use many facts to find the truth of the situation.

 

Spiritual learning

There is not much in the media that is sharing thoughts about faith. This is a time to lean into your faith. That may be through religious ceremonies via zoom, a daily evening prayer, grace at meals or with a prayer book at home.  Knowing there is a great good and a higher power empowers our hope and resilience.

Authentic connections

Authentic connections help you process the world and keep you grounded. Throughout the pandemic, I have called two friends a day to spend time processing what is going on around us. They have helped me find meaning and purpose in this bumpy time.  This is the support we all need as we discuss and sometimes laugh at the tough times.

 

 

Find the good. It’s all around you.  It is the awareness that even in the most troubling of times, good is here.  That is resilience. Knowing the good is here.

 

3 Tips to Help You Get Organized to Stay Healthy

 

 

Health has been a long time priority for our family. Above all else, we prize taking care of ourselves and building good routines that support wellness.  Our motivation includes being a role model for our kids and grands kids. We know that what we do reflects on their choices.  As a family we have sadly had parents die at an early age. We want to live a long healthy life to spend time with our family and friends.  We have prioritized health and well being and you can too by adjusting a few tweaks to your self care and lifestyle.  Check out these 3 tips to help you get organized to stay healthy.

 

Make time for exercise in your schedule

Exercise is a stress fighter and immunity builder. It’s that important to be sure that even with the busiest of days with the longest hours, you add in exercise. There are so many ways you can make sure you exercise multiple times a week.  Set a schedule to include some exercise, whether it is a class at the gym or a far walk from your car to your office.  You can exercise with your family when you all take a walk together, ride bikes or online classes.

Finding the exercise you love helps you commit to this. Since 1988, I have prioritized taking a walk every day. I have the opportunity to set my own schedule, I start my day early with a walk. A variation of my walk can include a “walk and talk” with friends to keep connected or “think big time” about my business, professional next steps or personal goals. I have made the commitment to walk 10K steps a day currently and love that I am accomplishing this early in the day.

 

Make it easy to take medications, supplements and vitamins

While not everyone agrees on the value of supplements or vitamins, we do all agree that to take care of ourselves we need to make it easy. What is easy? It is placing your medicine or vitamins where they are easy to see and take each day.  Using a medicine organizer, you can be sure you are taking your daily doses timely. It’s easy to take medications by setting your alarm on your phone to be sure you take these at the correct time.  I carry a small ziplock of over the counter medicines to keep with me as I go about my day.  Using auto refill, it’s easy to have all your medications without hassle.  You can pull up to the pharmacy window to pick up your refill when texted. When things are accessible and easy to see, it’s easy to be sure we take what we intend or is prescribed.

 

Plan a great night’s rest

There’s nothing more powerful for wellness than a great night’s rest.  Experts share the many ways to help you relax and rest. With so much to think about and worry about, it’s hard to settle in.  However, getting more exercise helps us rest better. We slip into slumber more easily and stay asleep all night. As adults it is tempting to stay up late, binge watch and then hit the snooze button in the morning. It is a matter of creating a schedule that includes a bedtime that works for you.  By establishing time for tranquility, we are setting ourselves up for a better day tomorrow.

Here is how I get started scheduling my bed time. I start very early in getting ready for bed, like ridiculously early, at 6 pm. I wash my face and get ready in my night wear. I keep my bedroom very cold and very dark. Also my bed sheets are heavy and weighted. I plan on eight hours of rest. My bedtime and rise time are the same every day, including the weekend. As you can see, I love being rested! I am a creature of habit that makes it easier too. While you may not be a person with solid routines, take one of these tips to use for your bedtime.

 

Get started on these lifestyle changes with one small step. Over time, your new habits will be something to brag about to others.  Your family will be thrilled too.

 

 

 

COVID-19 (Summer) Organizing Makes Me Happy

 

covid-19 summer organizing

Congratulations to those of you who have been decluttering and organizing during COVID-19! Time spent decluttering has helped you feel productive, organized and calm. For those of you who have not, this transition to Summer is a great time to get started and get organized.

 

Every Summer, regardless of pandemic or not, we have decluttering and organizing to do. This has to do with routines of our organized lives. These routines include editing what has come in throughout the year and transitioning to the Summer season. Our lives, homes and offices require setting aside time for ongoing editing. Each seasonal transition is a good time to do this work. Most importantly, by getting back to our traditional routines, we are recreating some level of “normal” for ourselves and our homes. Here are seven traditional and one new area for us to work on for Summer Organizing.

 

Wardrobe Seasonal Swap

In Houston we had a longer Spring than usual. Summer heat is here! Many of us have a Summer and Winter closet. It’s time to do our seasonal switch with whites and lighter clothes. It’s a great time to edit what we did not wear, what we do not love and what has gone out of style. If your Summer items have gotten grey, underarms are stained or if you have lost your love for items, you can declutter these. Donation locations are open again so drop off a bag of these items asap.

 

Pantry Prep

The pandemic may have caused some chaos in your pantry. As we enter the “New Normal” phase, we are assessing what is in our pantry and how to use it up. If you have found way too many cans of green beans, donate to local food banks. Reassess what your Summer meals will be. There are lots of veggie co-ops to bring in fresh produce boxes this Summer. Re-establish your snack zone for Summer consumption. A pantry prep can help you save money and help you lose extra weight put on during our extended time at home.

 

Kids School Work

It has been an extremely different school year! Even so, this week papers will be coming home from school. Take an hour with your kiddo and go over school papers with them. It’s a time to reflect on the successes of the year. Determine what is precious and let go of the rest. Do the same with school papers that are from your “corona” school. Keep your precious papers organized in a bin in your kiddo’s closet.

 

Books, Magazines and Recipe Organizing

This Spring we have been reading more, clipping more recipes and holding our magazines to take on a trip to read. Divide up your recipes to those you have prepared, those to prepare and those that need to be tossed. Share your books with friends and place your books to read by a comfy chair. Working steadily on reading and recipes keeps you and your items up to date and uncluttered.

 

Summer Linen Switch

Fluff up your pillows and take off your heavy comforter because Summer is here. It’s time to switch your dark colors with whites. Assess your linen closet and let go of ripped, thread bare or stained linens. Think about how many sheet sets are needed and donate to pet shelters. (By the way, did you know that pet adoptions are at an all time high?)

 

Summer Routines

Routines have been rough this Spring. It’s time to initiate Summer routines to create a level of calm and sense of organization. Maybe your have not had a family meeting in a while. It’s important to host a family meeting to determine everyone’s bedtime. During your family meeting, recreate your family responsibility chart for partnering around the house on meals, laundry and cleaning. At your next meeting, discuss tech time and learning time. With the “New Normal” of COVID-19, we have the possibility to gain traction on family communication and routines.

 

Summer Self Care

Self care in the Summer may mean more time to sit in the sun (with sunscreen) and read magazines. Find dedicated time to regroup and refresh. Take up a new hobby or sport you have been thinking of for a while.

 

COVID-19 Safety

Masks and hand sanitizer are available everywhere right now. HEB, Walgreens and many other stores have these at the front of the shop. Be sure you have your stock organized and placed for easy access. Organize these items in your car, purse and bags to be readily accessible.

 

This year Summer Organizing may feel a bit different. Pace yourself with your organizing. We are in a marathon, not a sprint, during the pandemic. Give yourself a reward for each step you take like flowers on your kitchen counter or a bubble bath. As always, I am here to support you and cheer you on! And sometimes just sharing on social media what you have accomplished is the best reward.

 

 

COVID-19 Get Organized for the New Normal

get organized for the new normal

 

Thinking of all that we have been navigating together, I want to congratulate you! You have been resourceful and creative, finding new ways to accomplish tasks.  In thinking of others and acting with kindness, you have supported small businesses, donated to help others and sewn masks for our community and medical professionals.  You have been with family in small spaces, working from home and working on corona school. It has been a learning curve with new technology and adjusting to old school phone calls as needed to resolve challenges.  For all of this time, you have had ups and downs too. High Five and Way to Go! You are a champion!

We are again entering a new phase with transitions.  I learned that there are five phases and soon we will enter phase 3. Who would have thought that masks, hand sanitizer and temperature checks would be a daily part of our lives? And here we are!  After our quarantine, we are venturing forth into the New Normal. It’s time for us to get organized! Getting organized means reorienting ourselves to tasks, time management, and self care.

 

Get familiar with the New Normal

From the grocery store to the work place, we have a new set of ways to communicate and go about business. It’s important for us to feel comfortable with the changes and incorporate these into our lives. Masks may be required or not, so keep your mask easy to access and clean. Your work place or other places may require temperature checks. Check your own temperature at home if in doubt or if you feel a bit off. Social distancing of 6 feet continues as we work and shop which means more time to do anything. We continue to clean and disinfect all areas including offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment routinely. Knowing what to expect will require some reading and research.  Feeling familiar with the new “rules” will take a little time. Acting on each of these new ways to engage will also take more time.

 

Give yourself time

We have certainly been existing in a time warp.  What seemed to be seamless before is often a bit clunky.  This is the case with ordering through websites with delays in delivery due to USPS or Amazon. You may be applying online for unemployment or loans which take more time that you imagined. Checking to see if your applications are complete and accepted are cumbersome. There is curb side pick up for purchases which takes extra time to connect by text and then receive your goods. You use Open Table or call your restaurant to make reservations for dining in.

The New Normal will take more time in many ways.  It will take more time to get tasks accomplished. There will be glitches where we feel frustrated and anxious.  Give yourself the opportunity to be your best self by taking this extra time into account.  Going in and out of your work place will take extra time. There may be a single entrance, possibly temperatures taken, and social distancing in place.  Give yourself extra time to get to work on time. Many people have been enjoying working from how and will need to re-adjust to travel to and from work. Be sure you have extra time rather than rush to get on the road. By adjusting our expectations, we will be better prepared when oops happen. Giving yourself time for tranquility helps as well!

 

Continue with easy, simple organization

Now that you are a pro with technology, keep going on what is making your life easier.  For grocery ordering online, be sure to continue your regular routine for shopping.  Banking with your device app has simplified your deposits and financial work. Using the Notes app is our best way to capture thoughts and ideas.  Keeping contacts in your smart phone keep us connected, as well as our Zoom Happy Hours with long time friends.  We have learned a lot of useful, helpful technology to continue.

 

Ongoing Self care

The first thing we stop when things get busy is self care.  That’s not an option in the New Normal. Your self care should continue as a priority.  If you are exercising more outside and loving it, build that into your routine. As for time together for family dinner, block that time as sacred. Self care is what we learned must be continuous and ongoing, pandemic or not.

Virtual Clutter Support Group June 2020

virtual clutter support group

 

Virtual Clutter Support Group for Individuals with ADHD

Organizing Your Home and Garage

June 2020

 

Hi friends,

Have you been struggling with getting organized, even with more time to do so? Don’t know where to start? Looking for accountability and resources to help you live the life that truly want in life? Need an affordable organizing solution? Is it time to get started and declutter your home?

Meet together for our Virtual Clutter Support Group for Individuals with ADHD! 

Join me in June for Professional-Organizer.com’s Virtual Clutter Support Group for Individuals with ADHD. This fee-based group is the starting point for your journey in transforming your life by helping you define, establish and maintain an uncluttered lifestyle. The Virtual Clutter Support Group is a four-week, one hour program where awareness starts, learning begins and action results. Each session will have a different topic for each week focusing on your home and garage.

• A place to share goals and challenges with consistent support
• An opportunity to learn organizing strategies for your home and work
• A place to champion your efforts and like-minded others to affirm everyone in their organizing journey.

Each session will have a different topic for each week, all about your home and garage.

  • Topics include organizing your closet, your kitchen, your bedroom and garage.
  • Agenda covers hot spots in the room, tips for organizing that space, and organizing ideas for individuals with ADHD
  • Meeting dates are Wednesdays in June (June 3, 10,17, 24)
  • Potential Meeting time is 6 – 7 pm central time.
  • Members meet online with me through Join.me. Join.me is a web-based collaboration software online meetings. You can join from a smart phone, smart device or your computer.

Fee is $100 for the four sessions. There is a limited membership. Register by June 1, 2020.
For information and to register, call 281.360.3928 or visit www.professional-organizer.com (fill in Clutter Support Group in Comments)

 

COVID-19 Cooking with your Quaranteam

 

cooking with your quaranteam

COVID-19 meal times are the best times of the day! According to Google, the most searched items are recipes especially breads and banana bread!  It is a great time to take advantage of cooking with those in your home and on your quaranteam.  On FoodTV we are seeing quaranteam cooking in everyone’s homes like Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman. Join the fun of cooking with those in your home or who you are isolating with you!

 

Meal Planning

When I talk with families, the biggest fail at family meal time is deciding what to cook! The parents feel the ownership of what to prepare and feel compelled to decide. That decision making creates paralysis.  Let’s share this responsibility with your family by creating a menus with their input. Families have been creating theme nights during the pandemic to spice up their time together.  This includes different countries’ cuisines to cooking in different times in history.  Work together to plan and write out a menu so everyone looks forward to dinner together.

Dreading your online grocery order? Our kids are digital natives and can help with this too! When groceries arrive, plan a group effort to organize and put away the items.

 

Dinner preparation

With many people at home, making dinner is a team effort. You can partner on different nights to prepare dinner. Cooking is a life skill that requires math so you are learning as you go. Reading the recipes require following instructions. Dinner prep is a great time for out of the box learning.

 

Dinner time chatter

Make communication the key during dinner. Set aside all technology (and that includes the parents.)  Make dinner time talk more fun with these prompts.

  • What’s one word that describes your day and why?
  • What is the Best of the Week (BOW) and Worst of the Week (WOW)?
  • If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
  • If you had a super power, what would it be and why?

Cafeteria, aka Leftovers

Because there are 3 meals or more a day at home, be sure to cook extra for leftovers and other meals.  Get creative on how you plan to convert meals into a multi-purpose menu. Here are some ideas.

  • Tacos become quesadillas and taco salad
  • Marinara with pasta becomes pizza sauce
  • Extra rice and beans become burritos
  • Roasted veggies become Italian subs

Help your family be self-sufficient with an organized pantry.

Dinner clean up

No one wants to be left in the kitchen to clean up. How do you establish standard operating procedures for clean up after dinner? There are no reasons not to do this as a group now. Everyone can do one small part. There are paper plates too! Be sure the dishwasher is empty and ready to receive incoming plates, etc.

 

The best part of being together is the communication during dinner. Keep dinner time as together time during this “new normal.”