Begin anew


create space 3

Clear your physical space. Fill it with:

Peace and tranquility

Something new you really love

Nothing

Clear your calendar. Fill it with:

Time for pleasure

New opportunities

Nothing

Clear your emotional space. Fill it with:

Fresh perspective

Renewed energy

Nothing

Create space…See what fills it.

Welcome 2016.  What a great time to begin anew.

Ode to a Suit – Letting Go Is Hard

waiting for pick up
waiting for pick up

I spent some time in our storage room on Sunday getting rid of stuff.  My business wardrobe from the ’80’s is now sitting on the front stoop waiting for pick up from the Vietnam Vets (www.ScheduleAPickUp.com).

Sunday morning I wasn’t aware that those suits were even in my home.  Today I’m sad.  It is the end of an era (NO ELLEN – that era was over long ago – no respectable women feels like they have to dress like a man today).   But, I’m highly confident that tomorrow I will have forgotten that those suits have moved storage locations.   I have a picture of my favorite navy suit – I wore it for a photo shoot for a hotel I managed – it’s in the brochure.  That’s much better.

Goodbye skis I bought before Alex was born (soon to be 21), I’m sure you’re not safe anymore.  Pack ‘N Play that I kept in case someone needed one…I suspect your not safe anymore either – but I’ll leave that up to the experts to decide.  So long work bins I’ve evolved out of…it’s time for you all to go back to the universe and to someone who can really use you.

Ellen Delap (www.professional-organizer.com) posted a great Psychology Today article earlier this week about what happens to the brain when we let go of something.  Letting go activates the part of the brain that is tied to identity…like you are giving away a part of yourself.  Author Kelly McGonigal Ph.D. talks about how to strengthen your willpower and separate. (And for my NAPO colleagues – it’s very cool that both experts sited in this article were our keynote speakers at NAPO2013).

Interesting…I already feel better with my stuff out of the house – but it did sting for a second.

Perfectly Productive Product – Incipio Stowaway®

Incipio STOWAWAY
Incipio STOWAWAY

Every once in a while I come across a product that is perfect.

I’ve been carrying the Incipio STOWAWAY® for about the past 6 months. I have had more people comment and get excited about this phone case than anything I’ve owned (that I can remember.) Practically everyone who sees it asks about it and says they want one.

This is a wallet case for my iPhone that holds 3 credit cards (Business Credit Card, Family Credit Card, and Personal Credit Card). It does add a bit of thickness to the case, but that doesn’t bother me. I typically carry my cell phone in my jeans back pocket or in my handbag. The thickness doesn’t affect either of these situations. It is great to have what I need when I need it.

Continue reading »

If You Can’t Remember – It Isn’t a Memento

Memento? Probably not!
Memento? Probably not!

The definition of memento is “an object kept as a reminder or souvenir of a person or event.”

An important aspect of getting organized is streamlining your things – removing the things that don’t matter so you can focus on and enjoy the things that do matter. Time and time again I see clients put inanimate objects ahead of their own well-being, desiring to hold on to something, when in fact, it takes away from their quality of life.

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What do you mean you don’t have a Fax!

Genius Scan
Genius Scan

I’ve been proud of my ability to run a business for over 12 years without a Fax machine.  It always seemed like just one more extra thing to maintain.  Probably once or twice a year I’ve had to ask a friend or neighbor to fax something for me.  But most of the time I’ve been able to scan whatever I needed from my printer and email it. There have even been a couple times I’ve told people to snail-mail me things.

This changed about a year ago when I read about a fabulous app called Genius Scan, free for iPhone and 99¢ for the Android platform.  Imagine using the camera of your smart phone and within moments having a pdf for emailing.  It’s that simple.

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Systems Match Both Organizing and Memory Style

Ellen's Bookshelf
Ellen’s Bookshelf

In the Spring I helped a client organize her husband’s home office as a Father’s Day present.  We were given clear instructions to not touch anything “on the desk,” but everything else was fair game.  Her husband is a Neuroscience Professor at an area university.  Of course he had a large library of books. They were in absolutely no order at all.

I was curious how he could find anything.  Why is it that certain people’s brains need order and others don’t?  Continue reading »

What About That Summer Project?

What's on your list?
What’s on your list?

With the end of summer around the corner I’m sure there is an item or two left on your to-do list that you had expected to get done.  You’ve got one weekend left before Labor Day and that can have two good results:

  1. Choose to relax while you can and work on the project later.
  2. Choose to get the project done this weekend.

Seriously, the only bad result is if you waste your weekend telling yourself you’re going to get the project done, feel guilty, and don’t accomplish anything.  I know you can handle the relaxing on your own, but if you go with #2 here are some tips to help you get the project done!

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How to Organize an Office

3 steps in response to “Help! How do I Organize My Office?”

desktop step-up file

my favorite desktop step-up file from www.ultoffice.com

Step 1: Break Your Project Up Into Small Manageable Parts:
  • If you take on the whole project it will become overwhelming. Take it one step at a time.
  • Understand that you didn’t get disorganized overnight and you won’t get organized overnight either. What you need is a plan to get yourself back on track.
  • Look around – what do you see. A desk? Office supplies? A computer with files all over the place? Email that haunts you? Post-it’s everywhere?  Those are your projects. Pick the 3 or 4 areas that stress you out the most. Plan to work on one a week.

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Make Space – See What’s Possible

Our lives are busy and full to the extent that we are like the Energizer Bunny that just keeps going and going and going. I know I feel like sometimes I take a licking and keep on ticking? My clients share with me that they feel that way too. What if we were to hit the pause button, what would happen?

For me creating space both physically and in my calendar enables me to see what is most important. Only then am I able to focus on the things that are fulfilling and really matter. Actually, the pause is the only way I can see what matters and is important. (Can you tell I just got back from a weekend yoga retreat?) It makes all the difference.

How can you make space?   Continue reading »

What is Good Enough

The goal of getting organized is not to be perfect; it’s to make life easier. Do you want to get your mail under control? File your paperwork? Find your summer shoes? Once I give clients permission to not be perfect their progress takes off. Ask yourself – “what is good enough?” Good enough doesn’t have to mean Pinterest perfect visuals or complex systems.

It’s always best to begin with the end in mind. If your goal is to be able to find things when you need them than that’s the type of system you should create – Consider:    Continue reading »

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