Posts Tagged ‘organizing’

Organizing Your Time?

July 21, 2017

Stopwatch.

How do you organize your time? Can you organize your time? This is a trick question.  There are many things I can and do organize very well but time? That’s another question.

You see, no one can hold onto time. I believe time itself is already very organized. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in each day – everyday. We can all agree that these are facts.

Time doesn’t need to be organized.

What can be organized, however, is how you plan your day, the things you want to do and accomplish within the time you have.

I told you, it was a trick question.

We all have things we want to do and we have things that we are compelled to do. How do we get it all accomplished without working ourselves into the ground? Another question is how do we fit in time to exercise, have fun and relax?

Good habits, routines to follow and a great system of planning and prioritizing will help you do all that.

Where do you start?

Start with planning and prioritizing.

Summer time is a great time to start thinking about your priorities. During this time of year the pace can be a bit slower. Take advantage of it and do some critical thinking. What’s important to you and your family? You can think long term or break it down and think about what’s important in the next few months, weeks, or even the next couple of days.

Make a list of these priorities. Then rank them. Which one is most important? Is one of these priorities time sensitive? Would you like to have it completed by a certain date?

When you know that information, take out your calendar or planner (I prefer a paper calendar as I find it easier when I can see the items in my calendar without having to click on a day), and schedule the end date into your calendar.

Be sure to enter into your calendar all appointments and commitments. Please do not say to yourself, I don’t need to write it down – I’ll remember. You don’t need to ask your brain to hold onto to that information. You may well remember and if it’s written down you definitely will not forget!

These are the big things that are going on in your life.

What about the day to day tasks that you want to take care of?

That’s where good habits and routines come in. I’m going to talk with you about how to go about creating good habits and routines next week.

For now, write me back and tell me what’s important for you to get done in the next month.

I’ve promised myself (and scheduled time) to complete my home inventory this month.

Your turn – what are you going to finish this month?

 

Do I Already Have It?

April 5, 2017

I read a blog post this morning from Joshua Becker, becoming minimalist, about shopping. He suggested that most of us have more than enough in our homes already. Joshua asks the reader to ask themselves ‘what if I don’t?’.

What will happen if you don’t buy another pair of jeans? Think about how many you already have. How many pairs of jeans are enough? That is another question for another day.

Today my question is: Do I already have it?  Sometimes we overlook things that we already have that can be repurposed to fill a different need.

I was watching the Today Show yesterday morning and a guest gardening expert on the show was talking about spring gardening. As many of you probably know, I’m a gardener. I just love digging in the dirt and creating beautiful gardens so this segment captured my undivided attention. This gardening expert was talking about starting new plants by seed – to save money. Great idea! An even better idea was to take a clear plastic egg container to use as a mini-planter. The small spaces to contain eggs are a perfect size to start each new seed. The lid captures the moisture to keep the little plants watered – it acts as a terrarium. And since it’s clear plastic it will be easy to see the little plants sprout. A new use for something you probably already have. No need to buy small pots in which to start your seeds.

When I had a tree cut down earlier this year I asked the men to save 3 sections of the tree for me. These sections of the tree are now placed strategically on my patio. I’m using one as a table and the other two can be places to sit or as plant stands. A new use for something that I had.

Many times before I go to work with a client they will ask me what should I buy? My response is always, please wait until we work together. I’m not sure yet what you’ll need and we may be able to use something you already have!

If you’re doing some spring cleaning please take a moment to think about these points before you go out to buy organizing supplies.

  1. Take everything out of the cupboard, drawer, closet – whatever space you’re organizing
  2. Sort the items
  3. Remove anything to recycle, donate, or toss
  4. Remove anything that you’re keeping but that doesn’t belong in that space
  5. Now, evaluate the remaining items
  6. Do you need some organizing supplies?
  7. Look around your house
  8. See if you have anything that would work
  9. If you do, great!
  10. If you do not, then make a note of the size container(s) you’ll need and the number before you go shopping.

Feel free to email me any questions you may have regarding an area that you want to organize. I’m happy to offer a few suggestions.

Ask yourself these two questions you begin your projects and you’re thinking of shopping:

  1. What if I don’t? (from Joshua Becker)
  2. Do I already have it? (from Diane Quintana)Thinking woman in glasses looking up at many question marks

     

Happy Spring

March 29, 2017

I’m so happy that Spring is here. I think it’s my favorite season followed closely by summer. I love watching the plants as they start this new season. The trees begin to have this haze around them, letting you know that something (leaves, flowers) is waking up inside their branches.

On my morning walks, I’m noticing all the small new things. Grass is greener, tiny leaves are starting to appear on the bushes and azaleas are painting the landscapes with the beautiful pink, white, and rose colored blossoms. I even saw a baby fox the other morning!

You may have read in one of my blogs from 2016 that I moved in August. Well, I left behind a gorgeous garden. I hope the new family is enjoying all the fabulous plants that are probably starting to emerge about now.

My current house had very little in the backyard in the way of plants. There were so many very large trees crowding out the foundation shrubs that had been planted.  And there was ivy everywhere. I do mean everywhere.

Little by little I have been working to transform this yard into a beautiful garden.  I had some trees removed. (Only the ones that were a danger to my house or that were diseased) This let light in. Some of those foundation shrubs are going to bloom! This is very exciting!!

I also hired a company to fix and enlarge the patio.

 The last step was to plant. This happened last week. I love that there are beautiful plants where there was just dirt during most the fall and the winter. I chose plants with different colored foliage which keep their leaves are year: some are light greens, some have a tinge of red on their leaves, some have green and white striped leaves. This provides a wide variety. Most of these plants have blooms but at different times of the year: some are spring bloomers, some are fall bloomers, and some are winter bloomers. This gives me something to look forward to year-round in the garden.

Yesterday, I sat outside in a lounge chair and just enjoyed the view. My dogs were happy laying on the patio in the sun and I was thrilled with my new backyard. I know I’ll be adding some more plants here and there. I’m already thinking about where to add hybrid tea roses! I  just love to dig in the dirt. I also know I’ll be pruning and weeding. Gardens need lots of maintenance and care. But, since I love gardening it will be an easy task for me to schedule the maintenance.

This was a huge project. If I could have snapped my fingers and magically made all the changes overnight I would have. This required planning, breaking the project down into several distinct parts, and scheduling. It also required patience.

 

backyard 03-2017 (1)

Are you working on a HUGE project? Does it have you operating in overwhelm? Talk to me about it. I’d love to help you break it down into manageable parts.

Organizing Your Pantry

April 6, 2016

pantry

Last week I talked about the benefits and drawbacks of buying groceries and household supplies in bulk. This week I want to talk about the pantry. What happens in your house when you bring the groceries home? Do you have specific places – shelves or cupboards – for specific sorts of non-perishable groceries?

Sometimes putting away groceries is a free for all. Things are just randomly put away. This makes it very difficult to know what you have and where it is. When things are just randomly put away it’s hard to just glance over to a shelf or into a cupboard to find the particular item you’re looking to find.

So, what can you do to have an organized pantry?

Recognize that this is a choice. You have to decide that you want to know what is in your pantry. There are some good reasons for making this choice and for cultivating the habit of keeping your pantry organized.

When your pantry is organized you know what you have and you will not wonder what is lurking in the back of your shelves so you will save money by not buying duplicates.

An added benefit is that when you plan your meals it will be easy to spot what ingredients you already have – saving you time. You won’t have to hunt through the shelves to figure out whether or not you have the necessary ingredients. You’ll simply be able to look in the spot where the required ingredients are kept.

Here are some simple steps to take to create an organized pantry.

  1. Empty all your shelves
  2. Toss expired foods
  3. Donate out food (that is not expired that you know you won’t eat)
  4. Sort like with like:
    1. Cans together
    2. Baking supplies together
    3. Condiments – oils and vinegars
    4. Snack food
    5. Cereal & breakfast foods
    6. Nuts
    7. Grains
    8. Pasta
    9. Anything else you can think of
  5. Look at your shelves
  6. Decide what you want to have within easy reach & what can go out of the way
  7. Decide if you want containers (you may want to empty bags of sugar, flour, rice, pasta into airtight containers to keep them fresh)
  8. Wipe down the shelves
  9. Label the shelves – even sections of a shelf – so that everyone in the home will know where to put each category
  10. Put everything away

 

I hope this helps you keep your pantry organized

Now What? Closet Organizing Tips

June 25, 2015

Last week I started a conversation with you about your closet. I compared the closet to a container. When a container is full, you can’t put anything more in it. Likewise in a closet, when it is full, it becomes difficult to put clothes away neatly.

I promised to give you tips on how to organize your closet after spending some time culling your collection of clothes. So, here they are!

  1. Group like with like. Put all your slacks/pants together. Put all your blouses/shirts, skirts, dresses and jackets together too.
  2. Once you have them grouped together separate the colors within each group.
  3. Take the time to separate the dressy clothes from the everyday clothes

You will be amazed by how easy it is to spot the clothes you are looking for when your clothes are group by type and by color.

Are you wondering what to do with your shoes?

Depending on the space in your closet you can get a shoe rack and put the shoes you wear most often in the shoe rack.

For the shoes you wear only occasionally, consider storing them in an under the bed shoe storage drawer or in clear plastic boxes on a high shelf in your closet.

Another option is to get an over the door shoe rack.

Here are a few more tips courtesy of my friend and colleague, Geralin Thomas from Metropolitan Organizing. I love these tips because they are so easy to remember!

Geralin says look for anything that needs Mending. Ask yourself a few questions: Are you going to take the time to fix this yourself or get it fixed? If so, schedule it in your calendar. If not, remove it from your closet.

Next, look for anything that needs to be Ironed. Will you actually iron it? Will you get someone to iron it for you? If you answered ‘yes’ then schedule the ironing. If the answer was ‘no’ remove the item from your closet and try to buy wrinkle free clothes!

Finally, is there anything hanging in your closet that needs an Alteration? Is it too long, too short? Does the waist need to be let out or taken in? Is it worth fixing? If the answer is ‘yes’ then schedule a trip to the tailor. If the answer is ‘no’ remove the clothes from your closet.

I hope these tips help you keep your closet in good order. Remember, your closet can only hold so many clothes. When you plan to go shopping also plan what you will be removing from your closet to make room for the new clothes!

Now What? A Great Planner for Students

May 27, 2015

I love a good planner and am always on the hunt for those which will help my clients feel more in control of their ‘to-do’ list. Here is a planner that I saw at the NAPO 2015 Conference last month.

I am  so excited about Order Out Of Chaos’ Academic Planner—A Tool For Time Management. This planner gives students a natural way to visualize time that helps them time manage and control their schedule. What makes this planner so special is the space at the bottom of the page for listing after-school activities and weekend plans. Students can identify if social commitments will interfere with school plans. Hence, at a glance, students can easily identify blocks of free time. With larger formatted pages, there is plenty of space to write assignment details as well as long-range events, like family vacations or camps.

 

For more information on the Academic Planner: A Tool for Time Management, visit: http://orderoochaos.com/shop-products#!/~/product/category=5059090&id=34250373

Now What? Another NAPO 2015 update

May 13, 2015

Last week I told you about HomeZada – a wonderful computer program to help you with everything to do with your house and home. This week I’m reviewing the Purse Perfector. This is not a new invention but the company has been tweaking their design and this year I decided to really investigate it. This is the perfect tool to help organize your bottomless tote bag. You know the one you carry to the beach. The tote bag holds everything: your book, hat, sunscreen, water bottle and all the other various and sundry items we women carry in our bags. I don’t know about you but I always end up holding things in my bag for other members of my family too! Usually I am asked to please hang onto hats, sunglasses, other family member’s books or magazines so my tote bag is necessarily very big.

How do I find MY things amidst all these other belongings? Well, that’s where the Purse Perfector comes in very handy. It has pockets, sections, and slots to hold all my necessary items. It comes in two sizes: medium and large. It’s on sale right now in honor of Mother’s Day. Here is a picture from the website:

Large-Silver-Sage

I put my driver’s license, health insurance card and a credit card in the slots in the very front. My lip gloss goes in the little holder and right next to that I put gum or breath mints. I have room for a kindle or e-reader or small notebook in the center section. Behind that I put my reading glasses and sunglasses. Then I stash my keys in the section next to my glasses. This is how I keep my things all together and organized – even when they are at the bottom of a large tote bag!

The Purse Perfector comes in a variety of colors and you can use it in all sorts of different ways. It even zips apart if you want to use it in a small handbag. Check out their website for more information! http://www.purseperfector.com

Going to College?

July 11, 2012

Are you the parent of a rising freshman of college? If you are, I bet there are lots of things on your mind. I’m also sure your child has lots on his mind, too! He (I’m using ‘He’ but you substitute the pronoun ‘She’ if you have a daughter) has probably received information from the college about his new living space (dorm room) and maybe even the names and contact information of his roommate(s).

I was at a client’s house a few weeks ago and my client’s son was talking to me about his dorm room. He received the dimensions of the room (it’s small) and now knows that he’ll be sharing the space with 2 other guys. He’s always had his own room! He’s starting to wonder how he’s going to keep everything he wants to bring with him organized. He’s also wondering how he’s going to manage his time – have fun and do school work.

I gave him a little advice which I’ll share with you. Make use of vertical space. Use the space under the bed. Many companies make plastic storage drawers that fit beautifully under beds. Use the vertical space in the closet – maybe invest in hangers that hook onto each other. Don’t forget to label all electronics – cords, chargers – everything. So many people use the same or similar devices. So, keep track of what’s yours by labeling it!

As for managing time… even though you and your child may use the calendar in your phones buy him a calendar to hang on the wall in front of his desk. Get one that is large enough so that he can write down the important things to remember. This way important meetings and paper due dates will be front and center. Prioritizing tasks and keeping track of everything you need to take care of is a learned skill. Try writing these tasks down. Do the one you think will take the most time and that you want to do least FIRST! This way you get it over with (no procrastinating) and maybe it won’t take quite as long as you thought!

If you live near Metro-Atlanta my colleague, Jonda Beattie, and I are presenting a workshop on July 20th which will cover topics like setting up a dorm room, budgeting, paperwork and time management. Complete information about the workshop is on my website under ‘Events’. Maybe I’ll see you there!