Multitasking is highly overrated. Trying to fit more into your day simply adds to your stress level and potentially lessens your productivity. Action: Spend no less than 30 minutes each week deciding what 3-5 actions will be your priorities during the coming week. Action: At the end of the week, before you schedule your new priorities, review whether or not you met your goals. Re-assess your priorities, the time that you allotted, and determine your next set of priorities. Remember these principles: 1. Not everything is of equal urgency…prioritize, plan, schedule. 2. Not everything must be done by you…you can delegate. 3. Determine the importance of doing one thing well versus doing many things half-heartedly…weigh acceptability versus perfectionism. Organizing and time management are processes, not finished products. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the process.
How many times do you find that you move just one piece of paper before you act on it? Do you leave it unopened? Open it then glance at it? Read it and then mark it as unread? Move it to a pile of other items or file it in “to be done”? This pattern of inaction is easier to modify if you ask a couple of questions and then set some boundaries for yourself. IDENTIFY IT: Is it an action item (to be discarded , or responded to) or is it for reference (you will need the information for the future)? ACTION ITEMS: If it requires some type of action establish if it can be done immediately and quickly, or if it needs a deadline. Schedule yourself time to act on it before the deadline. REFERENCE ITEMS: If it is purely information quickly decide if you need to keep it, save it electronically, or can discard it and find it online when needed?
There are obvious benefits of organizing…less stuff means less dust collected which means improved breathing conditions. Putting things in their place means less piles, increased safety conditions, and less time wasted looking for things. The list of benefits is almost endless but here are some of my favorites: 1. Identifying things for donations enables individuals and families to access what they need during hard times. 2. Selling items on consignment allows others to purchase items for less, adds to your cash flow, and creates more space in your environment. 3. Discarding items that are no longer usable or useful helps you reassess what you need versus what you want, how you spent your money, and what your priorities are now!
Spring cleaning…closet organizing…wardrobe makeover. Organizing is a process, you don’t do it once and it’s done, right? I love to help people shop in their own closets, mix and match what they already own, and update their wardrobe with new pieces or accessories. You don’t need to get rid of everything. Start by taking EVERYTHING out of your closet and laying it out nearby. Put anything that you are willing to let go of in a bag for donations, consignment sales, etc. Place anything that needs cleaning or alterations in another bag, and put that in your car immediately. Before you reorganize the items and put them back in your closet, take stock of what you have…do you love it? Does it make you look terrific today? Would adding a new jacket or scarf in a bold color make it look like a new outfit? What about a trendy bangle bracelet, new sandals, or a cute straw bag? Send me your photo and I’ll give you some ideas!
A majority of my clients tend to keep a LOT of bags and boxes. This is not just an issue of quantity, it also includes the variety of sizes and types of both. I suggest beginning with the basic question of: : “How much is too much?” The reasons that people keep the bags and boxes are as varied as the individuals. Generally, my clients state that they keep them because they never know when they are going to need them. The best way to address the box and bag organization issue is to first, set some boundaries in terms of quantity. Determine how many of each type is acceptable to keep. If a new one comes in, the client might agree to let go of another in order to keep to the agreed upon limit. The next step is to find actual uses for the boxes and bags. They have numerous possibilities for storing items and using them saves my clients the expense of purchasing bins and containers.
You will be less stressed if you are able to find things easily in your closets. That means, using a system that works for you and your lifestyle. Some people like to group their clothing by color. Other ways to organize would be according to type of function: casual, work & professional, dressy & formal and so on. There is no right or wrong way as long as it works for you. The best way to start is simply schedule time to do this, first. When you get started make sure that you have the following: 1. space to lay your closet contents out so that you can see everything, designate an area for only those items that you are keeping, 2. one container or bag for items that need to be discarded, one for donations, and one for laundering, repairs or alterations, 3. a bag for dry cleaning hangers…return them to the cleaner they can be reused, 4. a container or bin for skirt, pant hangers, and one for dress, top hangers, 5. a vacuum cleaner to get into those exposed nooks and crannies. Take a group of items out at a time, immediately sorting each one. TIPS: ** If it doesn’t fit now and hasn’t in the past year…donate. ** If you have multiple versions of the same item such as jeans or tee shirts, discard the dated, torn, and faded ones. ** If you still love it and you still wear it, keep it. Remember to ask yourself, “does it make the body that I have today look good?” One way to be objective about making this decision is to recall if you feel great when you wear it, and if you receive compliments when you wear it!
Outside In Organizer Professional Organizing and Makeover offers wardrobe makeovers. When organizing your closet it is a perfect opportunity to sort out things that could still be worn, but updated through alterations, accessorizing, and pairing different items together. It’s like shopping in your own closet!
STEP ONE: Use coupons as often as possible. They are great for more than just groceries and household supplies. You can use them to save money for going out to eat, admission to cultural events and entertainment, the car wash, and more. COMMIT TO THE FOLLOWING: I will not pay full price for anything for an entire month (gas may have to be the only exception)! I will only purchase items and services for which I have a coupon. The most frequent complaints that I hear are: “I never don’t remember to use coupons.”, ” I never have them with them when I need them.”, or “The coupons have already expired.” STEP TWO: Organize your coupons; don’t discard the expired ones, some stores will honor them. Try this…sort coupons into broad categories such as: Groceries, Household Items, Services, Products, Restaurants, Entertainment. Paper clip each category together. Place them in a durable envelope (flap up, open side facing you) with the most frequently used categories towards the front. Glue the envelope to the back of a clipboard, remember to keep the open side facing you. Clip your shopping list on the front of the clipboard. STEP THREE: Keep your Outside In Organized coupon/list board in the car.