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How to Organize Any Space in 4 Easy Steps

How to Organize Any Space in 4 Easy Steps

Summer is coming – that’s the good news! We want to enjoy the summer but with graduations, weddings and bbqs happening every weekend, things can get ahead of us because we don’t have the time but we also don’t want to use what little time we do have on decluttering, so things can pile up- that’s the bad news. You know that pile of mail (oh that’s right you handled that in last month’s newsletter) maybe it’s the family room or the kitchen that is frustrating you. If your very busy, overscheduled life is causing you to tolerate clutter then it is likely that you are losing valuable time dealing with its effects. The following four steps can be done separately or in tiny pieces depending on the time you have available. It’s easy to crack the C.O.D.E. to an organized life. Each letter in the word CODE stands for a step in the process. The “C” is for Collect. Collect what needs to be organized or de-cluttered into one space. If it’s video games, cooking utensils, magazines, or laundry it doesn’t matter, just pick one and collect it all. You can get the whole family involved by having each person pick a “thing” and collect it in a laundry basket or plastic bin. The “O” is for Organize. Now organize the collection into sub categories by putting like items together. In the case of video games it might be by gaming platform, or separate kid’s games from teen games, or like and don’t like. With kitchen utensils it might be those you use often and those specialty items...
Top 5 Things To Do This Week To Get Organized for School (2)

Top 5 Things To Do This Week To Get Organized for School (2)

Don’t wait until school starts to think about getting organized. Do you remember how you felt during the last school year? Is there anything you would like to change for this year? Let’s reduce the stress and make sure you start this school year off organized and ready for anything. 1. Since this is the last week before most schools start, plan a special “end of summer” celebration. It could be a special all day fun event, or a dinner out. Whatever it is, celebrate the end of the summer and the beginning of a great school year. Talk with your child about the positives of going back to school and be honest with them if they have concerns. Having fun together is a great way to keep those communication lines open. 2. Hold a family meeting. A family meeting allows everyone to voice their opinions and concerns in a nonjudgmental setting. You might want to have an agenda the first time so that you stay on track but some topics typically covered are: responsibilities, routines for school, sport schedules, what’s coming up and any complaints anyone might have. Let only one person speak at a time and let the youngest be in charge now and then. Use this time for updating the calendar for the next week and be sure kids put their responsibilities into their agendas each week as well. 3. Use one family calendar. Whether you prefer electronic or paper calendars there should be one family (paper or whiteboard) calendar that is posted where all can see it. Update it during your family meetings to show...
Keys? Keys? Where are my Keys?

Keys? Keys? Where are my Keys?

When was the last time you had to hunt for your keys? Were you late or just frustrated with yourself when you finally found them? Out of all the organizing tips I first learned (yes, it’s true I wasn’t born organized) this is the tip that has saved me the most time and aggravation – hang your keys on a hook near the door you use to go out. Sounds simple doesn’t it? What used to happen is that I would leave them in my coat pocket or pocketbook or drop them on the table which would then get covered with the mail and although they are a fairly substantial bunch of keys, they had the ability to become invisible. How else would you explain the fact that one minute they are not there and the next time you look in the same place – there they are? Here’s what I suggest: create a launch pad area near where you exit the house that is large enough for all the important things you need when leaving. Place either a hook on the wall or place a specific basket there for your keys….and only your keys. You can also set up a charging station for your cellphone as that sometimes has stealth abilities also. The idea is to have a place for everything you need to head out the door. When you come back home, place things there, especially those keys and you’ll save yourself some time and aggravation. I know the research says it takes 28 days to change a habit but “my research” says it’s more like 56...
Spring into Action!

Spring into Action!

  Spring is officially here according to the calendar. Seeing the flowers start to peek out of the ground gives me the urge to finish up my winter projects so that I can get outside as soon as Mother Nature allows. One of my least favorite activities is “spring cleaning.” As soon as the calendar said it was spring, I can remember my grandmother would start her spring cleaning. I don’t know how long she spent spring cleaning but she did things like washing walls, windows, and curtains, as well as, polishing the woodwork and furniture. Spring cleaning dates back to the time when heating systems used coal and were not as efficient as today’s systems. The black soot that covered everything made it necessary to clean things each spring to get rid of it. I am sure that is when my grandmother started her little ritual. I happen to have a different idea of how to “spring clean.” Now, if you’ve been following me for a while you know I often use the term “baby steps” because I believe that even baby steps in the right direction will still get you where you want to go. So in keeping with that theme, we are about to launch a month long action plan that will provide ideas for simple organizing projects that can be done in 20 minutes or less. Each week we’ll tackle a room together in short bursts. Check out my facebook page for extra tricks and tips during the week. The kitchen is often the busiest room in the house so we will start there. Take...

Too Many To-Do’s?

            Time has a way of creeping up on us. As you can see this blog is two weeks overdue. I apologize for that but it has led me back to technology (I have previously used) for a solution.             With our heads full of so many things we want to do, should do, and have to do, it is no wonder we feel stressed.  David Allen of Getting Things Done (GTD) fame says that we “only have so much psychic RAM” and (I’m summarizing here) if we don’t find a way to put some of those things into another form of storage we may run out of “RAM” and crash.             Think back to the last time you felt really overwhelmed by all that you needed to do. Did you sit down to write a new “to do” list? I often end up using a mind map form (looks like a circle in the middle with other circles connected by lines and then tasks under each of those). It helps me focus and determine which tasks go with which part of my life. Business, Personal, Family are a few of my subcategories. One thing is for sure, while I am doing it, I feel better. Yes, it looks like a lot but at least I am not forgetting anything important. I can then break down the big “tasks” (really they are projects) into the next action steps. That gives me a better of idea of what is really involved in getting that (“biggie”) crossed off the list. When we try to hold it all in our heads or move...