Organizing Your Chaos Blog
Organizing Your Chaos Blog
Decluttering can be overwhelming time-consuming. While it’s true decluttering can take a lot of time, the results can be life-changing! Before organizing your space, I like to talk about getting to Ground Zero. This is the place where all the unnecessary, unwanted, and junk is gone and you are left with the things you love and need. When you get here you will then be able to begin to organize your spaces. Decluttering first is key!
You know you need to declutter your kitchen, office, spare room, or garage. You keep looking at the space and walking by it, vowing to get started “tomorrow”. Tomorrow comes and goes, as do weeks and months. Why haven’t you started? Why do you keep walking by, feeling overwhelmed, guilty, and frustrated? It may be because you don’t know HOW to start to declutter that space. It’s easier to put it off, ignore it, and tell yourself that you will get to it later.
Here are 5 questions I ask my clients. Answering these questions will help you to gain clarity and decide if you need to keep the items or not. Let’s get to it!
It's hard to believe that its the middle of May. The school year will be ending soon and then its full speed ahead towards summer and all the activities that if offers.
When thinking ahead and planning what you will be doing, a good idea is to make a list of all of the things that you might possibly want to do. Ask your family members what things they enjoy and can't wait to do, as well as what they could live without. There may be activities that kids have out grown as well as things they grow into. Is there a beach that you have been wanting to visit, a new campground to try out. How about visiting some museums, hiking, or even lazy afternoons in a hammock.
All these things sound like fun! Have you ever reached the end of summer and wished that you had done more of the things that you said you were going to do? Life still moves on, we only have so much time in a week. Now is the time to look ahead at the next three months and figure out what activities that you and your family will have time to enjoy. Planning the next three months and scheduling the various activities now will most likely result in you enjoying more activities than the old "fly by the seat of my pants" routine. This doesn't usually yield very good results.
I'm defininitely not talking about over scheduling your summer, but if you don't actually plan specific outings, then the lazy days of summer just might pass you by!
I'm going to suggest that you print our a blank calendars for June, July, and August and plug in the most important activities first. The things thatlyou don't want to miss, then sprinkle in some more. Also, allow yourself some lazy days to just enjoy the relaxing pace of summer for back yard barbeques, walks and the park, and fun days at the beach or on a bicycle.
Planning ahead also gives you peace of mind that you and your family will have opporunities to connect as well as make fun family memories!
I've been thinking about exercising, drinking more water, and eating better food. For several months. Yep, just thinking about it. Then, telling myself that it's too cold to go outside and exercise. Now, that excuse is out the window, the weather is getting nicer! I don't have the weather to use as an excuse anymore. Bummer! But, I have been drinking more water (and dang, doing to the bathroom a lot!). And, continuing to think about making healthier meals. This is going to take a bit longer for me to decide how I want (okay, how I will!) to do this.
I don't love to cook, or grocery shop. But, I do like good food! I admit I'd rather be organizing your garage for you, or your pantry, or your kitchen. Those things get me so excited! The food cooking thing, not so much.
I am determined to make some big changes this summer! I joined a Facebook health challenge this week called: Live Well 7 Day challenge, so I'm getting motivated to make changes. I even walked our two dogs this morning with my friend Pam. This reminded me that I need accountability. (And, we're going tomorrow also!) I'm too lazy in this area to do it on my own, and it was definitely more fun and motivating to go on a walk with my friend.
What things do you struggle with getting done? What things don't you do because you don't like to? Is it the food thing like me? Or, is it budgeting, organizing, cleaning, scheduling family activities? What makes you want to run and hide and forget it needs to get done?
I want to encourage you to take the first step. And, to answer the questions at the beginning, I've felt like I can't get it ALL together. And, I don't have to! I just need to take one step in a direction to change the one things that I want to change.
What's one thing that you want to change, learn, try? I'm curious!
Reply to this email and let me know...I think we all have at least one thing we want to do. It's spring, and a time for new beginnings. What is yours?
How much paper do you have? File cabinets, boxes, bins, folders, bags, etc? Do you know what to do with all of your paper?
There are three kinds of paper that we have.
Actionable paper refers to paper that has an action attached to it. This could be making an appointment, responding to an invitation, paying bills, planning a vacation, reimbursements, ordering information, prescription refills, coupons, etc.
Reference paper refers to paper that you need to keep, but you don't need to access on a daily basis. Some examples of this are mortgage, insurance, taxes, birth & death certificates, warranties, receipts for large purchases, financial documents.
Sentimental papers can include photos, brochures from vacations, memorabilia, event programs, letters, kids art projects, and more.
We can get so overwhelmed with paper that we don't know what to do with it. It piles up on the kitchen counter, desk, baskets, drawers, etc. The thought of going through all of the paper can be overwhelming. We can become paralyzed just thinking about what to do. If this is how you feel, you are't alone. A lot of people want to get their paper organized and don't know how to start.
I want to encourage you that you can do it! You can take a step on getting your paper organized. And, the first step is: Start! How do I start, where do I start, what in the world is the first thing?
Begin with gathering all of your papers, and begin with a sort. You have one decision to make: keep or toss. Once all of your papers are sorted, get rid of the toss (recycle or shred) and then you have only what you want and need and then can begin to organize what is left.
This first part can take a lot of time, but once you have eliminated all of the paper that you don't need, you may be left with a much more manageable pile. Now, it's time to organize the rest!
Let me know what kind of papers you need to organize here: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Part 1 in a 4 part series :)
Every few years look around and ask myself, how did I get so many spatulas? Or containers, wooden spoons, and even gadgets. Some things are gifts, replacements, or "I have to have this!" items.
Kitchens are a place where there is a lot of activity and can get crazy crowded with more than all things "kitchen". Kitchens are used for more than cooking meals. They can also be used for homework, projects, bill paying, game playing, and dumping zone.'
If you are ready to jump into organizing your kitchen, now is a great time. Today is the first day of spring, and I may or may not have the itch to declutter! First things first...get motivated, block off a few hours, and turn up the music :)
5 Easy steps to drawer/cabinet organization
1. Start with one cabinet or drawer at a time. Don't "over-dump" everything out at once. It will be hard to visually sort through more than one space at a time.
2. Wash out the drawers and wipe down the shelves. I'm always surprised to see how many crumbs get into all the spaces!
3. Take everything out. When you actually look at each item, it is easier to decide how many you may need. When you have spatulas laying on the counter, pick the best and dump the rest. Chances are, you replaced one that was getting old and didn't toss it. I know, we all do it! Use this process with all of your items as you go through all the spaces in your kitchen.
4. Take the infrequently used items and store them up high, in the hard to reach places or in another area of the house. Your turkey roaster, for example, is used once a year doesn't need to take up valuable real estate in your kitchen if you can store it in an out of the way place. Look at more items and decide if they really need to be kept in the kitchen.
5. Maintain your kitchen and pantry. At least twice a year do a de-clutter. This will help you to get rid of things that you don't use or have been replaced.
Look at how your kitchen is laid out and decide what kind of zones you might want to implement. Here are some suggestions: food prep area, cooking area, baking area, lunch station, breakfast area. In addition, think about creating zones in your pantry and refrigerator. This not only makes putting things away easier, it also helps with meal planning and grocery shopping. You will know quite quickly if you need to buy anything.
Remember, containers do not organize....You do!
After you are done with organizing your kitchen, give your family members a tour. Show them where things belong. They can't read your mind!
Download Kitchen Organizing Tips Here!
If you decide to take on organizing your kitchen, I would love to hear how it goes!
Do you feel like you are drowning in piles of paper? Do you get frustrated trying to keep track of everything? I completely understand how so much paper can be exhausting! So many people are trying to get your attention!
Examples of paper
Start by unsubscribing from all unsolicited mail, email, and phone calls. Go HERE to find all the ways to do this. This is one way to start stopping the unwanted stuff. Just take one small step to begin!
How organized are you Holiday decorations? Do you use them all, or are you keeping decorations that have outlived their purpose, belong to children that have moved out, or you just don’t even like anymore? Are you overwhelmed and frazzled with the thoughts of getting “organized for the holidays”?
Here are a few ideas to use this season if you are overwhelmed with decorating for the holidays.
Organizing Paper with the Sunday Basket!
I LOVE to Organize! (If you didn't know that already...LOL!) I love to helping people get their get homes an and paper organized. I just spent the weekend in Cincinnati with a group of Professional Organizers. We had some amazing training, brainstorming, and planing for this spring season. I'm SUPER EXCITED about the following programs, and hope that if you are struggling with the unorganized papers in your home as well as the unorganized spaces, you might find some hope and freedom from overwhelm here.
I am a member of the Organize 365 organizing program which was started by Lisa Woodruff. I am a Certified Organizer through Organize 365, as well as a Certified Sunday Basket Organizer. The Sunday Basket is a system that organizes all the actionable papers that we all have floating around our homes, cars, and bags. I really, really like to work with all things paper related! The systems that have been developed really work! So, I will be talking more and more about the Sunday Basket and the 100 Day Organization Program!!
I'm inviting YOU to workshops that I am teaching about how to manage the everyday papers that come in and out of your home. This is the Sunday Basket Workshop.
I will be offering SUNDAY BASKET workshops the second Friday of each month. The first workshops will be on April 13. These workshop will allow you the time and space to work on getting your papers under control. Did you know that we save so much paper that we don't even need? And the excess paper that we don't need becomes unnecessary baggage that we hold onto. How would you feel to get rid of all the extra papers?
You're invited to attend a Sunday Basket workshop on Friday, April 13. There will be 3 workshop times offered on Friday. Morning (9am-12pm), Afternoon (1pm-3pm), and Evening (6pm-9pm) The workshop will be held at 105 Washington Street, Valparaiso, IN. (Otherwise known as the "old YMCA") The cost for the Sunday Basket 1.0 is $30 and includes the supplies you'll need for the evening to get your Sunday Basket set up. There is also a Sunday Basket 2.0 workshop offered, to get your papers even more organized!
What you'll need to bring is a laundry basket full of the random papers that are scattered around your home. We all have them. ;)
For the stuff you decide you don't need, you'll have access to boxes for recycling and information for local shredding. (Or, I can take the shredding for you). For the stuff you do need, you'll learn how to sort it and what next steps to take.
We will have encouragement in getting it all done! Are you sold on it yet? ;)
Come join with others to learn a functional system that works for your household papers.
Sign up for a Paper Organizing Workshop here!
Upcoming Dates & Times for Workshops - (9am-12pm) (1pm-3pm) (6pm-9pm)
Here in the midwest the weather is finally getting nice. I don't know about you, but I don't really like to work outside when it's cold. My garage is a mess, and this Saturday is the day! Yes, I'm super excited about getting into my garage and getting it organized! You may live somewhere that doesn’t have a garage; maybe you have a carport, or no garage at all. You can still use these tips to organize your outdoor storage area. It's best to do this project if you have nice weather, because you will to be able to pull the things out of your garage onto the driveway. You may not want to start this project unless you have at least two hours to work on it!
Start by walking around your garage and picking up all the trash/garbage and throwing it away. Next take everything that sits on the floor of your garage out onto your driveway. Group like things together. The tools go into a pile, kid’s toys, gardening tools and supplies, shoes, bikes, etc. Look at each item and ask yourself the following questions:
After you have sorted through all the things that you have taken out of your garage, keep them grouped together. Now that the garage floor is empty you have space to begin sorting the rest of the things that are in your garage. You might have items that are hanging on the walls, on shelves, or even hanging from the ceiling. If you have a folding table, you can use this to sort items. Sort items that go together into bins, boxes, or buckets.
After everything is sorted, look around and decide where the best places to put things back are. Do you have the proper storage solutions. Are you using vertical space? Do you need shelving, hooks, and bins? Determine if you have what you need. You may need to take a trip to your local WalMart or Home Depot. Before you go, measure your space so that you purchase the right size. It's a bummer if you get your new storage solution home to find out that it's not the right size!
Items that are not used very often, or are seasonal can be stored up high. The items that you use most often should be stored in the easiest to reach places. Children’s toys can be stored down low. . Begin to put your garage back together! If you are storing items in totes, be sure to label them. It's so much easier to read a label on a bin that do drag it down off of a shelf because you can't remember what is inside of it. Especially if you have several that look the same.
Now that you have organized the garage, load up your car and drive the donations away!
I'd love to hear what big things you were able to get rid of! Email me and let me know how your garage organizing is going!
I coach to busy, tired, and overwhelmed women who struggle with "winning at work and losing at home". We work together to transform your life from chaotic to calm. Decluttering your home, paper piles, and over-flowing schedule will you the confidence, time an energy to do what God created for you to do.
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