Are you Functioning on Autopilot?

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Getting Organized, Organized Home, Simplify, Uncategorized, Women

Busy schedule

Yesterday, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I stayed home to play catch up.  Since I spend most days on-site with clients and most evenings running from activity to activity, my own to-do list often takes a backseat.  

Whether you’re stressed with a demanding job, busy taking care of your kids all day or helping with aging parents, we often spend days, even weeks, running on autopilot. The trouble is that functioning in survival mode can only last for so long.

Sound familiar?

There are certain things (like writing this article for one) that requires thought and uninterrupted time; A novel concept for most of us.

So how do you get ahead when you spend every day catering to everyone else?

1. Just Say No. Have you ever noticed that it’s always the same group of people who volunteer at Church, school, or extracurricular activities? The more you do, the more people ask of you. There is only so much time you have to spare, so it’s ok to be selective. Don’t feel compelled to say “yes” to everyone who asks, especially if it comes at the expense of your sanity.

2. Schedule a day to catch up (and I don’t mean taking a vacation). Vacations are great, but they don’t address the root of the problem.  Getting away is a nice distraction, but eventually when you come home, you’re walking into the same chaos as when you left. The only way to truly breathe a sigh of relief is to schedule a day to play catch up in your home.

3. Lead by example.  If you want your kids to make their beds every morning, make sure that you make yours.  If you want them to put their backpacks away, don’t leave your purse on the table.  If you want your kids to pick up their toys, don’t leave piles of clutter around the house. You see where I am going with this?  Kids mimic the behavior they see. The best thing you can do for your family is to empower them to pitch in and help out.

Life is like a roller coaster, and it isn’t going to slow down for you. Sometimes it’s best to sit out the ride until you get your bearings.

Happy Organizing!

Xoxo-

5 Quick Organizing Tips to Simplify your Life

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Getting Organized, Organized Home, Quick Tips, Simplify

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For many, being disorganized is something you’ve come to accept. You’re in a constant rush to get everything done, and simple tasks are not even on your radar.  If you are tired of the lack of organization in your life, you’re not alone. We often overlook little things that we can do throughout the day to add a sense of calm to our lives.  Below are 5 small organizing tips that will make a huge impact in your everyday life:

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1.  Make your bed every morning. “Why make your bed when you’re just getting back into it?”.  Coming home to a neatly made bed is a small but effective way of starting your day off on the right foot.  * It takes less than 5 minutes to make a bed.
 

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2.  Hang up your coat, pocketbook, and keys. How many of you walk in the door and throw your coat over a chair, your keys on the table and your pocketbook on the floor? Not only does it add it visual clutter, but you run the risk of forgetting where you left it-adding time and stress to your morning routine.
 

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3.  Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. This is one of my personal pet peeves. Establish a routine of running the dishwasher on a schedule so you always have an empty dishwasher to fill with your dirty dishes. There is nothing like coming home to a nice, clean empty sink.
 

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4.  Sort the mail every day.  Paper clutter is at the top of everyone’s list of annoyances so anything you can do to eliminate unnecessary clutter is a bonus. Start by sorting the mail every day and immediately put all junk mail in the recycling bin. Divide the rest into “action”: things you need to do (ie: pay a bill, RSVP to a party, etc) and “reference”: things to file (ie: insurance documents, medical papers, etc). It takes less than 5 minutes and saves you valuable time down the road.
 

laundry5.  Put laundry away.  I’ll let you in on a little secret…this one is the toughest tasks for me to stick to, but I am always so glad that I followed through on it.  Most people don’t mind doing the laundry, it’s the folding and putting away that’s the tedious part. Make a commitment to putting away each load after it’s completed (or at least on a schedule). Sorting through folded (or worse, not folded) baskets of clothes looking for something to wear adds unnecessary time and stress to your day.


If you are already racing the clock to get out the door in the morning, it’s worth setting your alarm a few minutes earlier to accomplish these small tasks. Trust me; it will make you feel more at ease throughout the day and more relaxed when you come home. 
Happy Organizing!

5 Organizing Essentials for Spring

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Favorite Products, Getting Organized, Organized Home

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Although the idea of Spring cleaning may not get you excited, buying new products may do the trick!  Once you’ve done the legwork of de-cluttering, it’s time to reward yourself with some organizing essentials to help keep your space clutter-free.

 

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household essentials 2-tier chrome sliding cabinet | $62.95| amazon.com

 

Pullout Under Cabinet Storage. How many times has the back of your cabinet become a black hole? Anyone who has ever lost something in a cabinet can relate to the frustration of fishing around in a dark space trying to find what’s shoved in the back.  These easy to install pull-out shelves are great!

 

 

 

 


 

IRIS Stacking Basket | $18 (large) | shopirisusa.com

 

Portable Stacking Baskets. Corral anything from batteries to craft supplies with these great bins. Why I love them?  They are inexpensive, easy to carry and stack nicely in any space. Available in a variety of sizes depending on your needs and space.

 


 

 

Sports- Garage Organizer |$244.95| wayfair.com

Sports- Garage Organizer |$244.95| wayfair.com

 

 

Sports/Garage Organizer. Keep sports equipment and balls organized in one convenient, heavy-duty shelving unit. This unit includes three pull-out baskets and three flat shelves. Each basket holds up to 40 pounds.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Velvet Hangers | $24.87 (value pack) | amazon.com

 

Velvet Hangers.  Closet space is one of the most common organizing challenges. The right hangers can actually increase the amount of clothing you can fit, making your closet appear larger. Investing in “like” hangers is one of the simplest and most effective methods to create a cohesive look.

 

 


 

Bigso Stockholm Document Box |$12.99| containerstore.com

 

Memory Boxes.  Not sure what to do with cards or pictures that are near and dear to your heart?  Create a memory box for each member of your family to store keepsakes.  I love the Bigso Stockholm Document Box.  Why I love them?  They’re attractive, sturdy, and reasonably priced.

Regardless of whether you live in a spacious home or a cozy apartment, the right organizing products can make the difference between living amongst clutter or calm.

 


 

SBO TIP: Find products that are versatile and that you can add as you go. There’s no need to re-organize everything at once. Don’t skimp. Take time to make sure you are getting the products you want; the right organizing products should last a lifetime.

Happy Organizing!

A “Wunderful” List Making App

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Organized Home, Organizing Apps, Simplify

shutterstock_1331319953 Reasons To Love Wunderlist

wunderlist-iconThis past weekend my husband and I were out to dinner with friends of ours.  We were rushing to get out the door once we were in the car Josh (aka the hubby) realized he left his phone at home. The entire dinner he kept reaching for it;  it was like he was missing a limb.

It’s crazy to think how dependent we have all become on our devices, considering 10 years ago most of us only used our phones to make calls.

Even though the majority of American’s today own a smartphone, only a small portion use apps to stay on top of daily tasks.

Successfully managing daily tasks is a core component to living an organized and stress-free life.  

The reality is that everyone is overextended and running in 50 directions. It’s unrealistic, not to mention exhausting, to rely on our memory for every detail.

Writing things down is a great start, but how many times have you walked out the door only to have left your list on the kitchen counter? Or been out running errands and stopped somewhere unexpectedly and forget what you needed to buy?

Wunderlist  lets you create some simple to-do lists that you can access from all your devices, all of the time. 


My Top 3 Favorite Features:

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1. Simple as 1-2-3:
Wunderlist allows you to customize a list for anything and everything from grocery shopping, to work tasks, household projects, the lists are endless….literally! You can set reminders, due dates and add notes if you’d like.  Not tech savvy?  No problem. It is so basic anyone can use it.

2. Wireless Sync:  
No need to worry about duplicate lists or forgetting to sync your devices together.  The wireless sync option updates your lists across all of your devices simultaneously. So if you are working on your computer and add a task, it automatically shows up on your phone.

3. Sharing Capabilities:
Want everyone in your house to have access to your grocery list? No problem!  Share lists among family members or team members so they have access to view, add and edit as necessary.  No more waiting to tell mom you are out of milk.

BONUS!

Best of all, this app is FREE!  There is a pro version, but frankly, the free version is phenomenal.  Once you get more advanced and comfortable with using Wunderlist, you may want to upgrade, but for starters, the free version is more than sufficient.

My advice for those who are leery is to start slow. Some of my clients feel safer keeping their paper lists as a back-up until they become more comfortable navigating the app. More often than not, the transition is so simple and seamless they can’t imagine how they lived without it.

Wunderlist is available for Apple and Android.

Happy Organizing!