Hearts, Flowers and Organizing

Hearts, flowers and organizing

 

We’ve heard so often, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”  You set the scene for romance with jewels and flowers. So what do hearts, flowers and organizing have in common? According to the Five Love Languages and Real Simple, a lot!

What’s love got to do with it?

In the book, The Five Love Languages, Dr. Chapman shares the many ways we share and connect in love relationships.  These include acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts.  Each of these are ways that we share connection.

 

Give a little gift of your heart

Acts of service is just one of these five. Acts of service are those ways you take on a responsibility for your loved one or perform an act of kindness.  These include vacuuming, doing the dishes, and routines around the house or at work. Now you can see how these two connect every day and especially at Valentine’s Day.

 

Families and homes have many responsibilities.  Set aside a family meeting time to discuss and assign home routines.  Be sure that there is an equitable distribution of work, hopefully assigned by preferences. Everyone hates to do dishes so work as a team to get this complete.  Together every one accomplishes more.

 

Words of love soft and tender

Another one of the love languages, words of affirmation, set the stage for romance. Words of affirmation are compliments, accolades and acknowledgements.

 

Show a little love with words of affirmation and gratitude.  Those who are washing and folding laundry, getting dinner on the table, or completing what is needed to keep you home up and running what to know you appreciate their efforts and that they are not taken for granted.  Knowing you appreciate them and their work keeps them motivated.  Share your gratitude with specific ways they are contributing to the organization, ease and energy of the house.

 

Love will keep us together

Quality time makes a difference. Quality time is spending meaningful time together.

 

Team work can be quality time.  That work together might be time with body doubling, where you are working independently in the same space, or teaming up together on the same project. No one likes to be told what to do and no one wants to work alone.  Make it fun and work together on organizing.

 

This Valentine’s Day, take the 5 love languages quiz and share some intimate organizing details over dinner!

Understanding ADHD

Understanding adhd

The challenges of neurodiversity and ADHD are compounded when those around you doubt or don’t understand ADHD.  Those with ADHD can be perceived as inconsistent at work and home, easily distracted, and unsure of their intelligence.  It leads to misunderstanding and mistakes. Education about ADHD is the first step in helping your family, friends and work colleagues.  There are many ways to learn.

 

ADHD’s many flavors

While each individual with ADHD is different, there are both many common aspects of executive function that are part of neurodiversity. What can appear as mysterious functioning at times, can be a real pattern in ADHD.  Common challenges include sleep and self care, intense and intermittent focus, perfectionism to a high level and general executive functioning issues with starting, completing and planning.  When partners or colleagues are unaware or not knowledgeable about these challenges, discord occurs.

 

ADHD conference

Attending an ADHD conference is a way to immerse in information.  Each February, in Houston or Dallas, the ADDA-Southern Region (ADDA-SR) hosts a day long event. Each year the keynote presenter shares big information about ADHD research and lifestyle.  A series of breakout sessions caters to individuals and families on a variety of topics.  Attending an event helps you learn in an intense manner with information to process over time.

 

ADHD podcasts

Learning in small bits helps you process information quickly.  ADHD podcasts range from learning about ADHD itself and how individuals with ADHD process information.  My favorites include Translating ADHD, ADDitudemag.com, and FasterThanNormal. Each podcast shares topics with valuable information.

 

Authors and books

Books and audio books are always outstanding resources.  Favorite authors I follow include Ari Tuckman, Judith Kohlberg, Sari Solden, Nancy Ratey, Russell Barkley and Peter Shankman. The number one resource for organizing is ADD Friendly Ways to Organize by Judith Kohlberg and Kathleen Nadeau.

 

Support

Support groups exist for both you and those around you.

  • In Houston, ADDA-SR has many groups around the city that meet regularly.
  • CHADD has support for parents with Parent to Parent trainings, individuals with online forums, and support groups that meet locally depending on your location.
  • ADDitudemag offers a directory for professionals who support clients.
  • Melissa Orlov specifically offers workshops for couples who struggle with ADHD.
  • There are a many ADHD coaching associations that provide coaching support to individuals and families.
  • Medical support comes in the form of therapists, counselors and psychiatrists to diagnose.  You may wish to seek a formal diagnosis to learn more.

 

ADHD websites

Both Understood.org and ADDitudemag.com offer many resources, answers to common questions, and access to tools to use for ADHD. It’s a first step to understanding and taking steps to address lifestyle with ADHD.

 

Understanding ADHD is important to both you and those around you.  Knowledge is powerful and makes a difference in your connections with others.  With between 10-15 percent of the population with ADHD, it’s important to know true facts and not misleading information.

 

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!

20 Quick and Easy Organizing and Productivity Tips

 

20 quick and easy organizing and productivity tips

 

Quick and easy solutions are what we need with today’s fast pace.  Quick solutions are things we can do in 15 minutes or less.  Easy…well that’s enough said for this!  Here’s 20 quick and easy organizing and productivity tips and solutions as we enter 2020.

 

1. Recycle easily

Set up a recycling station vertically with bins in your garage or mudroom. Pay for curb side recycling or set a reminder on your smart device to take recycling each week. It’s our eco-friendly nature that reinforces this solution.

 

2. Return easily

Returns pile up and we get behind.  Return easily by purchasing online only from Amazon or other companies that include a return receipt in the box.  Amazon returns can be made at Kohl’s too.

 

3. Declutter easily

Locate a donation location on your way to work or school.  Once a week or month place donations in the bag and drop off right away. More is always coming in and less is going out. This will equalize the amount of items in your home.

 

4. Donate easily

Say yes when you receive a call for donations to be picked up at your door. Mark the items in a bag or box.

 

5. Prepare meals easily

What’s the hardest thing about meal prep? It’s knowing what to fix. Ask your family for a list of favorites. Add the ingredients to your local grocery app and schedule delivery for Sunday.

 

6. Be on time easily

It’s not what to do to be on time, but what NOT to do.  What trips you up in the morning keeps you from being on time?  That includes getting on email, not allowing yourself enough time by getting up too late and doing that one last thing.  Knowing that you have a timeline in the morning with enough time to do specific tasks makes it easy to get out of the house on time. Place an analog clock at important locations in your home like your bathroom, kitchen and exit.  You see time elapsing with an analog clock.

 

7. Manage paper easily

Paper is overwhelming and arrives at an alarming rate.  Make it easy by discarding daily. Set up a recycle and shred station and make this an easy daily routine.

 

8. Schedule your time easily

Use a planner that works well with the way you think and schedule. For me it’s a hybrid paper and electronic planner. Pull out your planner as soon as you see a date and schedule your time.

 

9. Coordinate plans easily

Are you and your family or partner on the same page?  Make it easy with an online planner. Everyone enters dates and everyone can access plans.

 

10. Make routines easier

Routines are the backbone of productivity. These ensure you are doing what you intend on a regular basis.   Make routines easier with assigning a day or days of the week to those tasks that need automating.  It can be Money Monday, Admin Monday or Laundry on Monday.

 

11. Check email easier

Email floods in!  There’s little time to process and catch up. You don’t have to be at it’s beck and call. Schedule 3 times a day that work for you to slow the tide.

 

12.  Clear your desk easier

Is your desk top a chaotic and crowded space? Designate an unprocessed incoming paper spot to drop papers you have to review or work on.  Keeping these off your desk frees up space and your colleagues know where to place these papers.

 

13.  Know your most important tasks

Prioritizing can be a challenge when everything seems equally important. Write a list of your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) for the week. It will keep you on track and ensure success.

 

14. Write a note easily

Hand written notes are appreciated and a way to connect.  Order stationary online and keep the notes, stamps and address labels in your desk drawer. Save a few minutes after lunch to write your notes.

 

15. Connect with a friend easily

Keep all your contacts accessible in your data online.  For me it’s Outlook and it can also be gmail.  When you think of a friend or colleague, send a quick text.  Knowing you are thinking of them is that special touch.

 

16. Practice self care easily

Set a bedtime for yourself.  Get ready for bed early, brush teeth and get in your pajamas well before lights out.

 

17. Corral technology easily

Keep technology ready for the next day for you and your family with a common charging space in a common area. Also, it’s easy to find and take with you the next day.

 

18. Gather ideas and thoughts easily

Our minds are a cluttered space. Choose an online app to help you keep things clear. Trello, Asana, Google docs or Notes apps help you hold and organize all these details.

 

19. Strategize easily

Take a big picture approach to work, life and work life integration by scheduling time away.  It’s easiest to step back when you have time to ponder.  That can be a day or multiple days.  Taking time to strategize gives you a more complete view of your accomplishments.

 

20. Set your intentions easily

It’s a new decade. Use your word of the year to propel yourself forward.  That is a word that focuses you on your big intentions this year.

 

Take only one of these quick and easy tips to own this week, month or year. Making it easy makes things happen!

 

 

 

Celebrating of 20 years of Professional Organizing and Productivity

congrats on 20 years

 

In 2000, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle about the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and professional organizing. The rest is history. It’s Professional-Organizer.com’s platinum anniversary!

 

Since 2000, the organizing and productivity industry has changed. It’s not only about organizing stuff.  Just a few of the niches I work in with my clients with ADHD range from organizing spaces, to organizing families, to helping those with chronic disorganization, to organizing papers, to coaching about productivity, to coordinating teams and facilitating strategic small business conversations. My work is about simplifying and strategizing, helping my clients reach the goals they have defined.

 

Let the glass clinking begin with this celebration!

I celebrate the benefits that we together create.  There’s a lot to be worried about in our universe and creating order and simplicity helps you keep calm and carry on.  Each of us us knows that keeping it simple sweetie helps us follow through on our core values.  My clients hold dear family, connections,

 

I celebrate with my clients on their big and small successes. The size of the success is in the clients’ goals and perspectives.  Success includes keeping the kitchen counter clear of paper to tracking with dates for work life integration.

 

I celebrate my connections.  It’s all about relationships and support.  Support is an essential element in our lives.  By bringing ongoing support to my clients, they have someone to turn to in overwhelming, difficult, complex situations.

 

I celebrate my industry.  We are professionals with high standards of ethics, client focus, and education.  My Certified Professional Organizer credential shares that I value this for myself and my clients. Our industry has grown to service so many in so many ways.

 

Thank you to each of you for our connection and our collaboration!

 

4 Top Trends in Organizing

4 top trends in organizing

 

I’ve been especially intrigued at looking forward at what’s new and different for organizing. Trends, what’s popular and what’s hip, show us the direction that our industry is heading. In the past there has been lots of interest in hoarding and clearing out stuff.  There’s more substance to organizing now.  New tv shows are sharing forward thinking trends in the organizing industry. Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo created buzz internationally.  Here’s a few other trends that are trickling out into our world.

Organizing with Style

It’s what I call “the pinterest factor.”  Organizing is not just about decluttering and categorizing. It’s more about the style of your home and office too.  We have take organizing up a level to include a highly visible part of home design and function.  That includes home design options with color and labelling. The style factor includes cute color or clear containers, chalk or faux chalk labels, and adding storage in innovative spaces.  A file cabinet can be a repurposed ottoman or a series of matching notebooks.  Style is a factor.

 

Small spaces, Multi purpose spaces and Multi-generational homes

Return on investment on space is a top priority.  Dwellings are being evaluated for size, spacial options and use.  Small spaces are inviting for cost and require a special approach to maximizing the space.  At the same time, multi purpose spaces where people live and work at home give us flexibility and options. Multi purpose spaces maximize use of your home.  With baby boomers caring for aging parents and new tots, many more families are living in multi-generational homes.  Looking at the maximum flexibility of our homes and the connectedness of family, this trend is on the upswing.  With more people in a home, there is a strong need for organization, easy access storage and lower clutter.

 

Artificial intelligence

We all have Siri, Alexa and other “organizing friends” who help us with timers, checklists, and more. The Smart Home is here to stay with lights, door cameras, and climate control in our homes.  There is a long list of ways to use AI for productivity. Our digital native kiddos have their organizing friends wake them, tell bedtime stories and offer meditation.

Eco-Friendly Organizing

With more emphasis on ecofriendly products, organizing with shabby chic, re-usable products and re-purposing makes sense.  Setting up a recycling center helps you stay on top of this trend. These stations are easy to access and drop in items, as well as take to the curb weekly.  Donating helps you be a part of this trend, as opposed to trashing items and adding to a landfill.  Regular donating is part of the big picture of organizing.

 

Organizing trends are turning us toward more practical, functional and inexpensive spaces.  It all comes down to using our space wisely and productively. There’s no longer only a spring cleaning time and now organizing is all the time! Organizing has become more a part of our daily consiousness.  Start now with one of these trends to empower and motivate you.

 

 

 

Revisiting My 2019 Word of the Year: Shift

 

Word of the year

 

It’s the end of 2019 and I have remembered my Word of the Year through out the year.  (Have you? ) It’s truly been a part of my work, my thoughts and my energy as I shift into new possibilities.

 

Shift: a slight change in emphasis

I have looked at this year as a slight turn in direction.  While working with clients with ADHD has been a focus for the duration of my business, it’s more so this year in learning tools to assist. I am leaning into my work clients with ADHD clients in continuing learning and implementing strategies. What’s new are the many podcasts I have been listening to each day.  I have been taking more NAPO classes centered on this topic.  I love to learn and apply one small action to my work with clients.

 

Shift: change in direction

We shift toward and we shift away in slight changes in direction. Family first and client work has always been the direction of work life integration for me.  As I step into this more fully, I have been mindful of the true joy that our conversations and engagement bring to me.  I have heard the joy in voices of family and clients throughout the year in their big and little wins.  Wins include completing writing a doctoral paper, using a planner as a high schooler, new interests in a variety of sports, getting a garage organized to park a car or move to a new apartment. As I shift away from some of my volunteering experiences, I have created more white space for myself to be present.

 

Shift: next steps

I am contemplating my 2020 word now.  I love all the words that I have used in these past years. How has my Word of the Year made a difference for me?  Holding my word of the year throughout the year has kept me true and on target with intentional, mindful shifts.  It’s been a comfort when a bumpy shift occurs that this year is about a slight change. We can empower change rather than be fearful of change.  This word reminds me that we can make change a powerful agent for ourselves.

 

My list of Words of the Year

Shift 2019

Possibilities 2018

Thrive 2017

Momentum 2016

Fifteen 2015

Flourish 2014

Fabulous2013

 

 

7 Clutter Free Holiday Gift Ideas

clutter free gifts

Holiday Gifts with a Tech, Organizing Twist

holiday gifts with a tech, organizing twist

 

I am the first to share that experiences are the best gifts. However, there are some tech, organizing gifts that can make your life more organized, more productive and easier.  Here are 4 gifts to keep in mind this year.

 

Rose gold speaker

Getting organized and being productive are easier with music! Your organizing playlist makes it more fun to work and get stuff done.  This Rose Gold small speaker is a blue tooth companion to your smart device.  You can bring music to wherever you are working or organizing.


 

 

A great night’s rest for every family member is possible! Corral your devices here in this bamboo multi-device charging station.  An added is bonus is that all your devices are charged and ready to go in the morning.

 

 

Available in a variety of colors, a small portable charger keeps you in touch with everyone. These chargers travel near and far so that you are always prepared.

 

Fitbit versa

Fitbits have been here for a while. The updated fitbit Versa gives you lots of ways to accomplish your goals. For me it’s tracking steps to keep up with my fitness goals.

 

Each of these organizing, tech gadgets can help you accomplish your inner Marie Kondo efforts!

Two Important Holiday Reminders

Here are two important holiday reminders for you this year!

 

holiday self care

Self care is in short supply during the holiday season. We have so much to do!  Take your self care seriously this holiday in order to have fun throughout the season.

 

There are elves everywhere!  Keep open to the possibilities!

holiday team work