Resolve to Get Organized

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

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How many of you ever made a New Year’s Resolution?  I know I have.  They have ranged anywhere from vowing to work out, to taking up a hobby and a bunch of things in between.  If breaking up with clutter is on your resolution list for 2017, you are not alone.
  
Getting Organized is right up there next to losing weight and saving money as one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. So much so, that January has been deemed: National Get Organized Month!

As with any resolution, most people start strong, but by mid-February are slipping back into their old habits. Why do so many resolutions fail? De-motivation and frustration.
 
If you are committed to getting organized, you’ve come to the right place. Below are 5 tips to keep you on the “Organizing Bandwagon”.
  • Prioritize.  If I asked you what area of your home you want to declutter, you may want to respond “all of it”! But Rome wasn’t built in a day and your clutter didn’t accumulate overnight, so slow your roll sister. As much as I applaud your attempt to dive right in, the best advice I can give you is to prioritize the areas that are the biggest pain point for you and go from there.
  • Incorporate into your routine. I have news for you, getting organized isn’t a “one and done” thing.  It’s an investment in time and discipline. Whether it’s putting your keys in the same spot each day, working with your kids to put their toys away, or trying to train your husband to put his clothes in the hamper, it all boils down to one word-discipline. Establishing a routine that you stick to is a game changer.
  • Change the way you think.  Clutter is the end result of X (lack of time, too much stuff, poor systems).  How many times have you organized your closet only to find it a hot mess 3 months later? Anyone can get organized, the catch is learning how to stay organized.  The key to success is changing the behavior that allowed clutter to accumulate in the first place.
  • Keep it Simple.  The one thing I can tell you from years of experience is simple always wins. The more complicated the system the less likely you are to stick with it. Think about other areas of your life: recipes, doing your hair, taking off make-up…the more steps it has, the more work it becomes to maintain. Life is already filled with enough things on our to-do list, which is exactly why simplifying the way we find food in our pantry, tools in the garage, or clothes in our closet is invaluable.
  • Set Realistic Expectations.  If you were going to run a marathon you wouldn’t just wake up one day and run 26 miles. You would have a plan, a strategy and small benchmarks along the way helping you get closer to reaching your goal.  Organizing your space or time is no different. Whether you have 20 minutes or 2-hours, do what you can-the key is consistency. 

If you are committed to making 2017 the year you said goodbye to clutter, I’m here to help. Subscribe to our NEW weekly podcast, This Organized Life where you’ll get a first-hand glimpse into my world of kids, clients and organizing strategies that work for people who have little time, a lot of stuff, but don’t have a clue of what to do with it. If there are topics you want us to talk about, please leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

xoxo-

Laurie

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-

Packing for Vacation

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

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Summer’s here!  As relaxing as vacations can be, packing is a source of stress for many people; but it doesn’t have to be. Below are 6 organizing tips to help you have a stress free vacation:


1.   MAKE A LIST.   Between work, kids, and whatever random thoughts are running through your brain, there is no way to remember every last detail unless it is written down.
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*TIP: I write every list in Evernote or Wunderlist so it’s always with me.  

2.   DON’T OVERPACK. If your vacation involves relaxing at the beach don’t waste valuable space packing dressy items that you most likely won’t wear. You also want to leave room for any add-ons you may pick up while you’re gone.

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*TIP: If you’ll have access to a washer/dryer, only pack for ½ the days you will be gone.

 3.   CORRAL YOUR CHARGERS. Between cell phones, laptops, and whatever other electronic devices are in your arsenal remembering your chargers is crucial.
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*Tip: pack a small power strip so you can charge multiple items in one central location.

 4.   GET THE KIDS INVOLVED. Depending on the ages of your children, allow them be responsible for packing whatever they can.
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*Tip: We love this one from thetalkingsuitcase.com.


 5.  PACK SNACKS. Save time and money by packing a cooler filled with bottles of water, cut up fruit, and bagged snacks to keep from having to stop as frequently. 
*Tip: keep your snack bag or cooler within reach to avoid additional stops. 

 6.  PACK A GARBAGE BAG. Separate your dirty clothes from clean ones by using a garbage bag as a hamper. Not only does this make things more organized, it makes packing to go home a lot easier.
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*Tip: As soon as you get home empty your dirty clothes into the washing machine.

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Hopefully these tips will relieve some of your stress the next time you go to pack. On that note, I am heading on vacation tomorrow. Peace out peeps!

Happy Organizing,

Laurie

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!

30-Day Clutter Coaching

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

 

For many, the thought of de-cluttering is completely overwhelming. We know WHAT we want our space to look like, but just don’t know HOW to get there.

 
Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to hold you accountable, motivate you, and be your go-to guru?
 
My trainer Betsy does the same for me with working out. 
 
 
 
Without her, I wouldn’t have a plan. I would quit as soon as it got tough, but she encourages me to go further by gently motivating me to challenge myself.
 
Without a doubt, I always feel better after my workout. I pleasantly surprise myself and realize “it wasn’t so bad after all.”
 
Even when I’m not working out with her, I tend to be more mindful of my choices since I know I need to answer to someone at the end of the week :).
 
My 30-Day Clutter Coaching strives to do the same for my clients. (click HERE for more details of how the program works.)
 
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To provide my coaching clients the most comprehensive support, I limit to 10 coaching clients per month. If you are interested in signing up for our May Coaching Sessions don’t delay!  
 
Happy Organizing!