Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Best Time to Buy Organizing Tools

Here's an image from The Container Store's website.  Isn't this a Zen closet?  In recent years when I arrive to create such a space for a client I very often find they have a vast collection of organizing tools. Some have been purchased for the project at hand while most were purchased because they were 'pretty' and my client was convinced that 'one day they would come in handy.'  Organizing tools are the new clutter. And it's not uncommon for them to have their own closet!

In my One Year to ... series I suggest you do the eliminating and categorizing before you go shopping.  If you purchase a box of 100 hangars and later discover you only have 45 items to hang, what will you do with the overflow? This example applies all over the home to all types of projects.  Whittle down.  Put like with like.  Do a literal count.  And then go shopping!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rewards: Think Outside the Box

Yes, those are bug drawer pulls from Anthropologie.  Stick with me.

Rewards are very difficult to schedule for many people.  I love Anthropologie and their design sensibility.  When I found these in my morning mail I thought they would make a fun reward for someone who had just organized a bedroom or kitchen or ~ wherever your flight of fancy takes you!  

Who said a reward had to be something like a hot bath, trip to a day spa or a new dress? A reward can be something that will remind you of your accomplishment every time you see it or use it.  Rewards like this also delight everyone with whom you share your home.  

If you find rewards difficult to schedule try and change your perspective especially if you have children. Let them grow up feeling worthy.

If you buy something fun like this please send me a photo of the finished project.  Your creativity can be a boon to others.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Power of the Past

The man who called me made me smile.  He told me clearly what the problems were and how they had to be addressed.  I wondered why he needed me?

Sometimes we get stuck and the reasons are not obvious. When we met I could feel his energy.  There was something about the task of organizing his new office that had a big emotional charge.  I needed to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and get to the bottom of the mystery.

When I work with clients our conversations are the equivalent of journaling.  Slowly the story was revealed: he had been in business with a friend who betrayed him.  Setting up a new file system and archiving material from the past were filled with painful reminders of a time he wanted to forget. Once we connected the dots there was a release.

Do you drag your feet about organizing some part of your home or office?  Grab your literal notebook or create one at SpringPad and free yourself from the energetic and unconscious ties to the past.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Create your Zen Organizer Journal at SpringPad

Yes, it's true: I'm using the same visual two days in a row.  

Yesterday I referenced SpringPad's amazing ability to cut down on paper clutter.  (Please remember that there is such a thing as digital clutter!).  Today I'd like to invite you to get the (free) notebook I created for my followers at SpringPad.  Noodle around the site (using your smart phone or computer) and start to get a feel for how this program can serve you. It's like having a virtual assistant without paying a fee.

In all the One Year to ... books I suggest you use a notebook, right? Well, who said it had to be one you hold in your hands?  Why not create a digital journal at SpringPad and use it as the perfect place to answer the journal prompts in my books? You can also create grocery lists, chore charts, packing lists et al and tweak them over time as your needs change.

Here's the link to get your creative juices flowing!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Going Paperless Can Reduce Stress

The Top 5  Reasons Why Going Paperless Can Help You Reduce Stress

Theres is a lot of discussion these days about how technology can add stress to our lives. But just like anything else, there are always two sides to the story, and it’s true that technology can also be very helpful. One way you can use technology to improve your life is by going paperless. Digital organization tools like Springpad are great for replacing paper. You can use it to create to-do lists, jot down notes or create recipe books, just to name a few of its features. Plus, it does it all without using a single piece of paper - all you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer! Here are the top 5 reasons why going paperless can help remove stress from your life:

1. All of your notes in one place
Paper is easy to misplace. We often make multiple to-do lists, only to lose track of one or more of them and having to recreate them from memory. This can cause unnecessary stress, forcing you to worry about where everything is. When you replace paper with digital tools like Springpad, you can keep all of your tasks and notes in one place, so you’ll never have to wonder where you wrote down that shopping list.

2. Reduces waste
Man-made waste has become a serious problem in the modern world and although paper recycling has become more prominent, the issue still remains. Going paperless limits your contribution to this problem, which can improve your overall happiness. Do good, feel good!

3. Easy to search for old documents
Using your computer to save documents instead of keeping them in boxes or drawers can help make your files easier to find. Reduce stress by not having to worry wear you’ve filed away old papers.

4. Saves space
Getting rid of all that paper means getting rid of the things you used to store them in, which can free up a lot of space in your home. Maintaining clear spaces where you live is wonderful for you overall well-being and happiness.

5. Saves money
Paper costs money. When you go paperless, you’ll rarely ever need to pick up stationery, notepads or extra writing utensils again! All those little costs add up, but getting rid of them will free up a little extra money to save or use for the things that matter most!

What type of information would you most like to find here?

June 2009, in China

June 2009, in China
At the Summer Palace outside Beijing

About Me

My photo

I will always be grateful I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  It was a rich atmosphere that introduced me to different races, creeds and professions.  It seemed that anything was possible if you were willing to work hard to achieve your goals.

I'm a yogi which means that my spiritual path is that of yoga principles that have been handed down for over 5000 years. Yoga is an ancient philosophy based on the Gita, the sutras of Patanjali and yes, the Bible. The postures are a key element as is meditation. We honor all paths.

I got my first dog when I was 6 years old after a full year of begging.  She was a collie and her name was Queenie.  As an adult I've had 2 golden retrievers.  A female named Miss Katie who came into my life when she was 3 months old and an ancient male golden who came to me when he was 15.  I'd like to have a Great Dane next but we'll see what the universe has in store.

I've been organizing clients for over 24 years and writing about it for over ten.