Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…

Wait, Isn’t This an Organizing Blog?

We’ve all heard the three “green R’s” before: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…

but what do they have to do with getting organized? Well, the two go hand-in-hand so beautifully they should never be viewed as mutually exclusive.  recycle. reuse, reduce

Reduce

Though we live in a world of consumerism and materialism, neither we nor God’s green earth have limitless resources. Fortunately, it’s becoming easier to do your part to reduce waste. You can opt out of junk mail and catalogs you don’t read, reducing excess paper. When you pause before buying to consider whether you already have an item that will serve your purpose, you prevent duplicates from accumulating in your space. You can save energy and reduce carbon emissions by unplugging items not in use. And the good news is these steps take only a few moments of your time.

Reuse, Repurpose, or Upcycle

Just because an item is no longer being used for its original purpose doesn’t mean it’s trash. You might be able to put it to use elsewhere. A wicker basket that used to hold the dog’s bed can find a second life as a shoe basket. An old bookshelf might be perfect for craft supplies in the art room or tools in the garage.

Or you might be able to take that old item and turn it into something new! There’s a new concept floating around the internet these days called “upcycling,” and it’s all the rage right now on Pinterest. Whereas recycling takes used items, breaks them down, and makes something new from the same material.  Upcycling skips right over the “breaking down” step. In other words, an upcycled item is something old…with a face lift! A baby’s crib can be turned into a child’s desk. Unwanted t-shirts can be made into soft rugs that invite bare feet. Practically anything – from rain gutters and tires to light bulbs and kids’ toys can be turned into planters of various sizes. I’ve even seen an old wooden ladder turned into a lovely, wall-mounted bookshelf.

Recycle

The last of the three “green R’s” is the most familiar and often the easiest to carry out. County and city recyclingrecycle bin programs make it simple to set aside recyclable materials to be picked up on a designated date. But environmental consciousness extends outside the home, too. By making conscious choices about products we buy, we send a message to manufacturers. So take some time to read up on companies’ stances on environmental preservation. Seek out companies who do their part by using environmentally-friendly and sustainably sourced materials. Let them know you appreciate their efforts by becoming a loyal customer.

Didn’t You Say Something About Organizing? 

So how do the “green R’s” fit in with an organized life? Let me count the ways…limiting the influx of items into a space makes it easier to maintain organization. Reducing clutter leads to less waste – it’s easier to find the items you DO have, so there’s no need to rebuy because something is missing. Reducing and reusing keeps clutter at bay by limiting the need for more stuff. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, maintaining an organized space that contains environmentally-friendly products allows you to lead a calmer, happier, and healthier life. Now isn’t that what it’s all about?

If you enjoyed this article please post a comment!
Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

Organizing To Finish – Three Simple Steps

What projects have you left unfinished?

Did you finish the last book you started reading? What about those unfinished projects that are lurking in the back of your head causing you more stress than they are worth? We have become a society of starters and not finishers. Whether it’s a lack of commitment, lack of energy or just a plain ole lack of interest we seem to burst out of the gates with great enthusiasm but rarely end that way. Finishing can be your new song and dance with a little help you will get there.

To “Get Organized” you need a plan. 1, 2, 3 Finish!

Let’s start by making a list of what God told you to do days, weeks or months ago. Write down all the things you’ve been putting off. Okay great! Let’s dig in; it’s time to get it together.
1. Choose the top 3 things you want to accomplish from your list.
2. Now decide on a dateline for each of your goals, this is better known as a deadline but I prefer to keep it positive.
3. Break your goals down by writing smaller goals on a calendar. If you determine it is going to take you three weeks then decide on which of the smaller tasks you will complete on each day leading up to your set dateline.

If you enjoyed this article please post a comment!
Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

Clean Up Before They Clean House

Chronic Disorganization can affect your professional career.
In my last post, we defined Chronic Disorganization (CD). In today’s economy, it’s essential that we give ourselves every fighting chance in our given industries. Unfortunately, clutter and an untidy desk, let alone delayed projects and postponed deadlines, can pose problems to your job security. Although some workplaces may embrace a creative, free spirited individual (which can be a label attributed to an individual with CD), some find it unprofessional. You may have had a situation where you boss has requested that you tidy up your desk. I even know of situations where employers have hired Professional Organizers to work with specific employees in order to get their work space back to a manageable, organized state.

Do you need help getting organized? disorganized desk
If you are in a situation where your clutter has caused issues in the workplace (or at home), it is likely time to consider getting help. There are many Professional Organizers who work with individuals to help them “get it together”. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and in the long run, it will likely be an easier process than trying to find a new job. Chronic Disorganization can be attributed to a difference in executive functions. Some are stronger in some, while some are stronger in others. We all have our strengths, but sometimes we just need to focus and work on our weaknesses, and recognize that help may be needed to do that.

Your clutter is costly.
I don’t mean to be crass, but this is the reality. Although things are starting to look brighter, this is no time to take your job for granted. The downturn in the economy has forced employers to thoroughly examine their production and staff. They want to maximize their profits, and a disorganized employee can cost them money.

But don’t despair! Recognizing you need help is the first step in the right direction. In our next post, we will investigate ways to help get that pile under control. Yes, we’re going to be talking about paper. Don’t worry, you can do it!

Enjoyed this article?  Please post a comment!
Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

Start That Organizing Project: Seize Today!

Take advantage of today! Are you sometimes overwhelmed at the mountain of unfinished projects lurking in the back of your mind? Do you have a list of lists and not enough time and energy to see them through to completion? Perhaps it’s because you let things pile up. You’ve been meaning to go through the mail and you meant to clear out the junk drawer days ago. The problem is that you keep letting stuff pile up and nothing seems organized.

Life can be difficult enough with that entire list of daily “must dos.”  Then your “should dos” and “want to dos” become even more overwhelming. It’s not easy to keep moving when little sleep and too much running around is what got you here to begin with. STOP and ACKNOWLEDGE the error of your ways. Procrastination has beaten you down and now you’d rather be raptured out-of-here than to confront your mess. You are not alone in your dilemma to find the light at the end of your piles and get organized.

Organizing is fun! Here are a few practical tips to get this party started and get your life back on track. No one wants to live an overwhelmed and disorganized life with no hope of recovery. These simple steps will help you to dig out, but one last thing you must promise to do: Maintain what you gain. There is no point going though all the persistent work it takes to get your home or office in order if you’re only going to end up defeated by the clutter once again in two months.

organized project calendarStep #1 Pick a day of the week when you will give yourself at least a couple of hours which are dedicated to nothing other than organizing and maintaining your accomplishments. Mark it on your calendar for the next 60 days.

Step #2 Decide on which organizing project will have the most impact. Then make it a date. If you lack motivation enlist a friend or relative for support. Report to them when you are planning to start and ask for accountability. Let them know when they should check in to see your completed project. You’ve picked your date, now it’s imperative that you stick to it.

Step #3 Start small by making a list of all the mini projects that it will take to accomplish the “big picture” project like having the entire office neat and organized. Decide on your top 3 mini projects. Mark each of them on your calendar and assign a realistic time frame for completion.

 

If you need more help getting started (enter your info. at the top of this page) to download my FREE eBook 7 Fearless Steps to Simplify Your Life which will help you sort through all the challenges of getting things done.

Enjoyed this article?  Please post a comment!
Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

 

Clutter Control in Your Children’s Playroom

Are you a mom of young children and constantly tripping over dolls or stepping on scattered Lego pieces? The playroom (or bedroom if that’s where your children play) doesn’t have to be a chaotic eyesore or source of contention anymore! Here are a few tips for re-gaining control in a space meant for creativity and fun:  Toy Clutter Before JH1

1)  Sort like toys together by function. Here are some general categories to get you started: stuffed animals, electronics (anything with an on-off switch), balls of all shapes and sizes, building blocks and puzzle pieces, pretend play toys, arts and crafts, sensory items (like play dough or beans).

2)  Assess what you really want to keep. Toss out broken pieces and toys that are missing parts. And does your child really need 3 shape sorters, 10 balls, and 8 stuffed bears? The more mounds of toys piled high, the more underwhelmed and bored she is with everything. Keep things fresh and exciting by rotating sets of toys, keeping some at Grandma’s house, or even gifting to special friends or cousins (especially toys that are no longer age-appropriate).

3)  Give the toys a home in containers that are height-appropriate, accessible, and safe. Open-topped, see-through bins are ideal so little ones don’t have to fidget with knobs or handles. If your child knows and sees where each item “lives,” he can help with cleanup at the end of each day. A catch-all toy chest or single, large basket might be tempting since everything can be dumped in a jiffy and out of sight. But do you really want to dig through a box of crayons, doll clothes, action figures, and checker pieces just to find that one hidden item little Billy can’t leave the house without?

4)  Make cleanup time easy, routine and predictable. Schedule a set time for cleanup so your child knows what to Organized toy clutter JH1expect. Do all the toys have to be put away before dinner, before bedtime, or just at the end of the week? Give instructions that are age appropriate. Younger children need to have very specific directions, given one step at a time (“put all the pretend food in this box, and now the wooden blocks over in that bin”). Labeled toy bins would be great, except that young children can’t yet read (usually). So why not label with images of the actual toys on the corresponding containers? Color coordinated containers would do the trick too.

 

As with any system, there needs to be flexibility and fun! Your growing child’s interests are constantly changing, so take the time to tweak what’s not working. Make a game of cleanup and stay consistent to build new habits in a space that’s both fun and functional!

If you enjoyed this article please post a comment!
Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

How to Turn Your Closet Into an Office

closet office organized

1. Remove everything from the closet. Relocate clothing or other items being stored in the closet.

2. Measure for shelves. Make sure top shelf is half the depth of the closet to ensure you can use the full height of the space above the door header.

3. Remove existing shelves, rods or brackets and hardware. Patch up any holes, sand and prep walls for paint or wall paper.

4. Select colors for walls and choose matching storage accessories for magazines, paper and office supplies.

5. Paint or wallpaper walls and install adequate lighting.

6. Install brackets and shelves. Adjustable shelves work great and allow you to change spacing to accommodate accessories, books, supplies and storage containers.

7. Add a chair and wastepaper basket to complete the look and functionality of your new office.

Simplify Tips:

  • Install a desktop shelf that is the full width and depth of the closet space. This allows you to utilize the entire space for your desk accessories, computer and writing space.
  • Consider leaving 18-20 inches above the desktop shelf. You can use the wall space for an ideas board, wall calendar and magnetically attached office supplies.
  • Leave doors on closet; when your office is not in use you can close doors.

If you enjoyed this article please post a comment!
Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

 

Organize Ahead and Save Nine

busy mom in office with kidOrganizing Wisdom

My grandmother always used to say that: “A Stitch In Time Saves Nine”.  This expression can be dated back to the late 1700s.  The ‘stitch in time’ means to sew up a small tear in a piece of fabric, thus saving the need for even more sewing at a later time when the tear has grown even larger. I love this expression and use it all the time.  In the life of a busy mom, this expression rings just as true today as it did 200 years ago.

Another expression that I carry with me is the tried and true Girl Guide motto “Be Prepared” that I learned so many years ago during my days as a Guide.  The two go hand in hand and are essential for a busy mom who longs for organization.  Here are a couple of my favorite ways for families to put them into practice:

1.   Develop simple routines that will save you time down the road.

How familiar is this scene to you?  It’s time to head out the door for school, work or any other activity. You’ve finally got everyone washed and dressed, and that includes the second change of clothes for your child who spilled their glass of milk down the front of the freshly cleaned outfit they just put on!   Luckily, you have a couple minutes to spare this morning.  Everyone’s at the door ready to walk out, you go to grab your keys and… Uh Oh!  Where are those keys anyway????  You know you put them in your purse when you got home from last night’s meeting, you are SURE you did, but, wait a minute, where is your purse?  No problem, as soon as you find it, you’ll have those keys and be out the door lickety split.  10 minutes later, you are no longer the happy mom you were, and your purse is still nowhere to be found.  Your couple minutes to spare have long since passed and you have exchanged the peace of being out the door on time for the stress of being late. This is definitely not very organized.

Organizing Solution:
A simple routine here can be installing a hook for either your keys or your purse by the door you most use to come in and out of the house.  Once that hook is installed, get in the habit of using it EVERY single time you come into the house.  Once you’re in the habit of hanging your purse or keys up, you’ll never have to search for them again.  You’ll know exactly where to find them.  The stitch in time: hanging up your purse/keys, will save you nine: searching frantically, later.

 2.   Stay Organized, Think Ahead.

Here’s another scene that is all too familiar for busy families:  You’ve just walked in the door from a busy day at work.  You’ve got exactly one hour before you need to get out the door to tonight’s activity.  You decided what you are going to have for dinner on the way home from work.  You go to the kitchen, open the fridge only to discover that you are out of the main ingredient.  Now what?  You just had KD last night, and you are out of heat and serve options.  Guess it means another night of burgers on the way.  Thank the Lord for drive-throughs!

Organizing Solution:
An easy way to navigate your family’s busy schedule is to keep track of it on a calendar, and to be prepared for busy nights ahead of time.  A crock pot can be a life saver on nights where you are in and out with only seconds to spare, but you’ve got to plan to use it ahead of time.

Prepackaging a few healthy snacks in baggies is another great way to be organized and prepared for busy times.  Being able to grab a small bag of grapes or veggie sticks not only saves your family’s health, it saves you the cost of buying organizing calendar for kidsconvenience foods from snack bars and vending machines.

There are lots of little ways that you can save yourself time, money and stress by being organized.  Start by thinking of one area that causes you a great deal of stress, like getting out the door on time, getting the laundry done, or getting forms back to school on time.  Once you’ve found your stressor, think of small ways that you can make that routine easier and go from there.  In no time you’ll notice a change for the better. With a few simple changes you and your family can be stress free and organized.

What Is Chronic Disorganization?

Have you missed a deadline, or two, or three?

Do you have a habit of starting a project, only to get distracted, and not quite finish what you’ve started? Do you frequently lose or misplace things? Does your desk look like a paper bomb went off? Do you have colleagues who walk by your desk and marvel at how you can get anything accomplished in such a state of disarray? Then you may be Chronically Disorganized.

Disorganization can affect anyone at anytime, and has probably already affected you.

You may become burdened with an overwhelming amount of work, your coworkers may drop various things on your desk, or a specific project may require that you spread out all over, and take in the big picture. However, when that “spread out” look becomes the norm, then you may suffer from Chronic Disorganization. According to the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, Chronic disorganized woman at deskDisorganization (CD) is defined as “having a past history of disorganization in which self-help efforts to change have failed, an undermining of current quality of life due to disorganization, and the expectation of future disorganization.”

Struggling with disorganization?

If you have struggled with disorganization for much of your life, and despite your attempts to “get it together”, you have been unable to manage your work space (or home), and it is affecting various areas of your life, you are not alone. Not only are there many others out there like you, but there is also more help than ever before. It may have gotten to the point where you have been reprimanded for not completing work in time, or losing work altogether, but do not fear! Although CD is an uphill climb, it is not insurmountable.

You can get organized and stay organized.

Over the next few months we will be discussing the various aspects of your work life that can be impacted by CD, and how to overcome those obstacles. I highly recommend working alongside a trained Professional Organizer, who has experience working with CD clients, in order to improve your success rate.

Is there an aspect of your work life in particular that you struggle with? Share your story, post a comment below about your struggles with disorganization.

 

 

Getting Organized the “Green” Way

green grass organzing image

Organizing “Green” simplified.

Going “green” is a mission and responsibility our society is ramping up and being more conscientious of. Every day we hear, “Be conservative, conserve energy, recycle plastic, recycle paper”, and more.  Part of “going green” is being organized.  However, being organized generates a lot of stuff, but knowing what to do with it can be frustrating and leaves you feeling defeated.  Below are five steps to assist you in making organized changes that will lead you and your family towards a “greener” life.

1.  Organizing involves recycling, donating and purging. 

It is always good to have options of where your items can be recycled and donated.  Learn about your town’s recycling policies and drop off locations.  Make a note of your community shredding events and opportunities where you can recycle electronics, paper, plastic and other items.  Knowing these services are available makes the organizing task less stressful.

2. Organize a space for recycling.

Have a dedicated space allocated for daily recycling or products that are identified as needing to be donated or disposed of.  You may create a recycling center outside in a shed or garage.  For children, you can label the bins with pictures or words to help them learn where each item goes. Children can learn at an early age to recycle and organize.

3. Repurpose and recreate.

The way we use the items in our homes can change as we change and our lifestyle changes.  If you find you no longer use an item in a particular way, be creative and repurpose it in another way.  For example, an old filing cabinet can be covered with a decorative cloth and used for an end table or night stand.  If you find you truly have no use for the item, move it along!

4.  Organize and cleanse your lifestyle. 

Eliminate items that longer serve your lifestyle or purpose.  Cleaning out the OLD allows for the NEW to enter your life.  In our life we allow stuff to hold us hostage to our past.  For instance, an antique chair that your mother gave you holds a “not so good” memory of her.  Dispose of the chair as this can cause your life to become stuck and hinder you from moving forward.  Old furniture can be donated, tossed, or sold promoting a “green” environment.

5.  Organizing paper is a huge frustration for most individuals.

Individuals have piles and piles of papers on their desks and in their homes, creating a cluttered, chaotic mess.  There are ways to dispose and save on paper. Here are a few organizing tips to get those papers under control and organized.

1) think twice before printing pages from your computer
2) use both sides of the paper if possible
3) stop your junk mail – Call (800) 5OPT-OUT to stop junk mail
4) keep a recycle bin close to your desk for easy disposal or shredding
5) pay bills on-line as this reduces the paper mail and makes it easier to keep papers organized.

Setting Goals That Glorify God

Goal setting is an important part of living a productive life.
Goal setting is considered one of the top common attributes of successful people. Having godly goals allows you to openly express where you are headed. If you have no idea where you are headed how will you know when you get there? Your goals will organize and stretch your ability to follow through and stay focused.

Consider the cost before setting goals.
Jesus gave two great examples of counting the cost of our goals. (Read Luke 14:25-33) Before you set goals it’s important that you consider whether you are able to achieve them, but also determine if you have what you need to finish. If you find that you are not fully prepared to accomplish your goals then set stepping stones toward reaching your goals. An example would be: You want to start a school for underprivileged girls. You realize that in order to teach you will need to further your education. You haven’t completed your degree; therefore a stepping stone toward accomplishing your goal would be to return to school and finish your last year to get your degree. Make a list of the costs involved in achieving your goals.

Build into every goal your plan for celebrating success.
I call this giving yourself a carrot. Having something to look forward to, other than achieving the goal itself is another way to support your success. You’ll have something special to look forward to as a reward for all your hard work once you’ve accomplished your goal.

Stay focused on your GOAL.
It is vitally important that you write your goals and review them regularly. There will be many distractions that will cost you a great deal of productivity if you allow yourself to constantly be distracted. The entrepreneur is especially vulnerable to this because you are usually a very creative person with great initiative. Your leading edge is often your ability to create, organize and develop. Keep your focus by having a vision board and a written set of goals that you review daily. Your goals are not your “To Do” lists. Your goals are what you hope to accomplish by finishing what’s on your “To Do” lists. Remember to guard against distractions that deter your efforts to reach your goal.

Read this article: God-given Goals Lead to Success
Download a FREE printable for simple steps to set goals.

 

 

If you enjoyed this article please post a comment!
Thank you for stopping by… Liz Mason
Organizer serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia

 

Free Shred Event!

GET ORGANIZED NOW!

Free Community Shred Event

Saturday, June 16, 2012
8:00-11:00 a.m.
Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College
Cars must be in line by 11 a.m.

Sponsored by: NBC4 & PNC Bank
Up to five banker boxes of personal papers
and mail (per vehicle)
This shred event is great for the environment!
All paper received is recycled.

Please sort through your papers and remove binder clips, paper clips and rubber bands. This event is for paper shredding only. Review list below for items that are not allowed. Get directions to FREE SHRED EVENT.

Items NOT allowed: Batteries, Binders, CDs, Combustibles, Credit Cards, DVDs, Electronic Equipment, Flammable Materials, Hanging Files. Please only PAPERS.

 

Organizing Your Office Supplies

5 Simple Steps to Keep Your Supplies Neat

organize tiny supplies in baking cups

1)      Organize an inventory system by keeping a list of office supplies.

  •   Know what’s on-hand.

  •   Know what  to reorder.

2)      Keep small items neatly organized together. Projects shown use existing household items to organized small office supplies.

3)      Organize frequently used items either on desk top or keep within arm reach. You won’t want to get up from your desk to staple papers or to use scissors.

4)      Organize large office equipment neatly on a craft or project table.  Store office equipment so that it’s accessible; this way you won’t need to pull out your equipment each time you need to use it.

5)      Keep your supplies organized on open shelves for easy access. If you choose to use storage containers,  select the type without lids. Make the task of taking your office supply inventory simple by storing your supplies in an open space.

Organized Office Inventory Checklist
FREE printable download

Organizing Apps From Android

Organizing Your Smart Phone With Android Applications
Free Organizing Apps-My 5 Favorite

Color Note – Speak into your phone and make your “To Do” list fun. You can change the color of each list and checkoff items that have been completed.

Mobile PDF – What better way to keep prescription lists, passwords, or other important information like free PDF organizing tips from Let’s Get It Together Resource Page. You can email your PDF to yourself and once you open it on your smart phone you can save it. Make sure you put a coded lock on your phone for security reasons.

YouVersion – Holy Bible application is great for finding scripture on the go. Get a free account and you can organize a program schedule for reading your bible. The live chat feature allows you to interact with church services by following along with the message and ask questions anonymously. The share button allow you to pass it on to your friends for easy download to their smart phone. This great app also has a note taking area to help with your study time.

QR Droid – Gives you full capability to scan in-store QR Codes. Get free coupons, discounts and special offers long with other product information; it’s as simple as taking a picture.

Simple Shopping List – Create different shopping list for your favorite stores. Select the “Go Shopping” feature and your full list for that store will display on full screen for one touch check-off.

BONUS: Lookout Security & Antivirus – Will make your phone scream if it is lost or stolen. This feature works even if your phone is on silence. This will locate your phone if it is within a certain mile radius.

Organizing Your Schedule To Support Your Values

Learn To Say “No” Without The Guilt

Effective time management requires you to have a schedule that works. Your schedule should support your values. Organizing your schedule will keep you from over committing. Sometimes it’s hard to tell a friend in need that you’ll be unable to help with their current project. You must be kind, but firm if you plan to keep your schedule from overwhelming you and manage your time. 

It’s alright to say no
Learn tips to make it less difficult; there are ways to say “no” in a manner that is positive. Express your appreciation for being considered for the opportunity, but gently explain that you will have to decline this time.  Practice this suggested response and be ready to be honest about your ability to commit to taking on additional responsibilities.

Thank you so much for thinking of me, it sounds like a great opportunity to help out. I’ll have to check my schedule and see if I can make the commitment this project is going to require.

Tips on how to say no

  • Be careful to monitor your tone, and make sure your attitude is one of gratitude that you were being considered for the task.  Be humble and considerate of the person who really needed your help.
    Humble not guilty!
  • When saying “no” be assertive not aggressive.
  • If you know someone else who would be great for the project and may have time, suggest an alternative for the project.
  • If you have other commitments, giving a reason is considerate.
  • Be respectful and polite when declining to participate.
  • If you find the task interesting and would like to participate in a similar project at a later time, let the person know that it’s okay to ask you again if another similar opportunity comes up later.
  • If you can negotiate time or specifics, be open to the idea. Negotiate your role and your level of participation when possible.

Organizing your schedule by following these helpful tips will support your values. Effectively managing your schedule includes being willing to say “no.” Stop feeling guilty and eliminate the frustration caused by a cluttered schedule.

Download FREE printable tips on how to
Stay Organized – Saying No For The Right Reasons.

Excerpt from 7 Fearless Steps to Simplify Your Life
Get Free Full Color Workbook
Enter your name and email address for the PDF printable link.

Organizing Your Morning Routine

Organizing A Stress-Free Morning Begins The Night Before

I’m really running late again. If this is the way you begin your morning, then you are already off to a stressful start. Spending your morning running around is no way to have a successful and productive day. Organizing ahead will enable you to take a quiet moment to breathe and invite the Lord to guide your footsteps for the day. Try these ideas to begin your day with better focus and stay organized.

Organizing Tips To Make Getting Ready Simpler

1. Organize and prepare lunches and snacks the night before. Keep plastic ice cubes organized in separate Ziploc sandwich bags in the freezer. In the morning you will only need to drop the entire bag in each insulated lunch bag.

2. Press clothes, uniforms, etc. the day before. Also decide on which shoes you’ll wear.

3. Organize important last minute items near the door. Here’s a list of things you may want to keep near the door: keys, umbrella, planner, cell phones, extra pair of flats, tote bag, and any outgoing packages or mail.

4. Set an egg timer or alarm clock (you can use your cell phone) near the door. Set your alarm to ring 10 minutes prior to time to leave. If you leave at approximately the same time each day, set your alarm to automatically repeat weekdays.

5. Laminate your checklist and keep it in a drawer or post it on the wall near the door. Check to make sure you organize everything you’ll need the night before.

6. Organize in the car any dry cleaning that you need to drop off, the evening before.

7. Make sure you go to bed early enough, so you have a fresh start the next day.


8. Organize breakfast by making your favorite egg sandwiches and wrapping in foil pockets. Then label and place them in the freezer.  Also organize fruit cups for the week. Place your breakfast pockets in the oven on 200° when you first wake-up. It should take about 30 minutes to warm. Since it’s wrapped and ready to go, you can take it with you to save time. Sunday night is perfect for making sure your prepared breakfast pockets for the entire week are organized.

9. Set the coffee pot with timer, so that your coffee is ready when you wake-up. Pour creamer and sweetener in your travel mug to save time on prep work in the morning.

10. If you are going somewhere you haven’t been before, program the address in the GPS the evening before. This will also give you the travel time and distance so your trip will be organized.

  Organizing Checklist download a FREE copy and keep it near the door to  ensure your morning is organized.

 

Organize Your Life By Reassessing Your Priorities

Organizing Priorities Begins With A Simple Reality Check.

You are so extraordinary, you really know how to live life to the fullest,” your friend gushes. Your hard work and dedication as a ministry leader, entrepreneur, Neighborhood Yard Committee chairperson, Chamber of Commerce board member and car pool organizer has earned you the admiration of many young moms and execs alike. You admittedly love the accolades of being seen as the one who can do it all. Not a single day goes by when your three girls’ hair isn’t adorned with pink or yellow ribbons and they each sport matching tees. You love what you’re able to accomplish in any given day, but the stress that goes with it is starting to affect your health.

Getting priorities in order is no longer negotiable. Your recent acknowledgement that you almost fell asleep while driving was a wake-up call. Finally you’re ready to admit that having a full schedule with “superwoman” level commitments doesn’t make for a very fulfilling life. Your responsibilities often keep you away from what really matters, family. Suddenly you realize the trade-off is not what you want. The stress your body feels is telling you it’s time to set some limitations. The still small voice of the Holy Spirit has been urging you to slow down. Now you admit it’s high time you listen and organize your priorities.

Organizing your priorities, will eliminate stress.
God has blessed you with great talents, abilities, gifts and skills, but He never intended for you to take on the coveted role of “superwoman.” You’re using your TAGS to fulfill God’s plan for your life and you do well in serving others. There are however, limitations that must be set. Based upon your values and the life you want to live, being overwhelmed and distressed isn’t part of the program. Here’s a simple exercise to help you hone in on what’s important, get organized and start to honor the values you truly want to embrace.

http://tinyurl.com/whats-on-your-plate

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Hurry Up and Wait

Stop Chasing Time and Be More Productive

The kids riding in the backseat ask, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet…?” At least half a dozen times you answer no. Somehow the short ride to Grandma’s house seems miles further than over the mountains and through the woods. Why is everyone so hard-pressed for time? We wait in line at the grocery store asking the rhetorical question, why did all these people choose to come to the grocery store the same time I did?

Today as I waited for my car to be serviced. I felt less patient than ever. More pressed, more and more stressed, reminiscent of sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office dreading the dental assistant’s overly kind and friendly voice saying, “Ms. Mason, right this way. ” “The doctor will see you now”. Will I have to pay half a weeks salary for repairs today. After all I’ve been driving with that light flickering on and off for three whole days now. It’s probably just a glitch in the intel-system. They’ll just hit a button to reset the thing and I’ll be on my way.

The service manager himself comes out with a blank stare that caused me to clutch my checkbook so tight my fingers started to feel numb. “Ms. Mason that will be $19.95 plus tax for your oil change.” I held my breath to see what other surprises he had in store for me. No charge for the part we had to replace it was under warranty. He said, “you can see the cashier on your way out.” My car was clean and sparkling as it waited for me to hop in. I breathed a sigh of relief and realized all the checkbook clutching and root canal flashbacks were far too dramatic for a trip to the dealership service center.

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Help…The Mail Just Keeps Piling Up!

An Easy Mail Management System You Can Start Today

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mail in and out box
  • 3 file folders/desk trays
  • Calendar/To Do List
  • Shredder
  • Wastebasket

Every piece of paper you have will fit into one of four categories: Do, Read, File or Trash

1. Mark on your calendar which days are mail days. If you get a lot of mail this would be at least twice per week. TIP – Leave the mail in the mailbox until mail day. Unless you are expecting a huge inheritance check there is probably no overwhelming reason to pick up the mail every day.

2. When your mail first comes in you will act upon it. All incoming mail goes into the “In box” which is to be sorted the same day.

3. Ready to sort? This is where your three file folders come in. These are “action files” so label each folder for action! DO, READ, and FILE.

4. Open your mail and act upon it. If you receive an invite to a party, mark the date on your calendar and place it in the “do” folder. You’ll want to respond as soon as possible. Once completed set it in the “out” box. Keep a book of stamps handy in your out box. A letter or an article you want to keep should be placed in the “read” folder. If it is something like a recipe sent by a friend, it goes in the “file” folder. Write a reminder on your calendar or to do list to send a thank you card.

5. Get rid of all trash immediately. If it is something you know you don’t need trash it right away. If it has personal information cut that part off and shred it.

Putting these few simple steps in place can make managing your incoming mail easy and less time consuming. Remember don’t let your mail pile up deal with it as soon as it comes in. For product information on desk trays from See Jane Lead click image.

What Does Your Handbag Say About You?

How to Organize Your Bag Once and For All

Here’s what you’ll need:

– 20 minutes
– large table/floor space
– trash can
– shredder/scissors
– your handbag or briefcase
– cold sparkling cider

1. Empty your bag onto the table. Group like items together separate and organize cosmetics, writing tools, credit cards, receipts and papers.

2. Throw out the things you don’t need or use. Get rid of things like old gum, stale mints, cracked makeup, expired medications, old business cards, scratch pieces of paper. Shred any receipts, bills or papers with sensitive personal information.

3. Compartmentalize your things. One of the most effective ideas on handbag and briefcase organization must be credited to Hillary Clinton. She uses inner mesh bags to keep like items together. When its time to change your bag you just move the mesh bags to the other purse. There are different types of purse organizers available for less than $30.

4. Organize everything neatly. Organize and put back into your bag, keys, glasses pen, lipstick and eyeliner. Only return those items to your bag that are essential. Look for ways to save space like putting your makeup on before you leave the house, so there’s no need to carry all of it.

Take your junk bag to a new level.

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Do You Lack Motivation?

Getting started can be the hardest part of getting organized.

Do  you lack motivation and find the most difficult thing about organizing is getting started?  Procrastination and fear are the two power twins that seek to render you powerless and defeated by your ever-growing piles of mess.  Don’t be discouraged, help has arrived.  THERE’S HOPE!!!

7 quick things you can do to conquer your clutter now.

  1. Enlist a friend or a professional organizer to help you dig in.
  2. Get your calendar and schedule 3 separate organizing sessions.  If you have a lot of clutter you may need to schedule up to 5 sessions but almost any amount of clutter can be eliminated in that amount of time.  Make each session 2-3 hours in length.  Plan carefully and use INK.  Keep in mind you must prepare and condition yourself. One would not attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in an hour or a day.  Let’s face it you’ve been accumulating stuff for a while, so it’s going to take some time to get things organized.
  3. Make a trusty “TO DO LIST” and make it specific.  You must list out the things that you plan to get accomplished during your three organizing sessions.

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