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-

2016 Guide to Getting Organized

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

pic monkey white desk

Here we go again! The start of a new year.   It’s no surprise that eating well, exercise and de-cluttering top the list of most common New Year’s resolutions.

Most of us start off strong and committed, but by February we begin to slip back into old habits. Here’s my theory (for whatever it’s worth…). Change takes time. If we could spend all day focusing on what we want to fix things would happen it more quickly; however, that’s not real life.  We have jobs, families and other obligations that require our time and energy on a daily basis. In order to sustain change, you need to start slowly.

If getting organized (or more organized) in 2016 is on your “to-do list” I’m here to help. I’ve identified 6 major sources of clutter that affect most of us.  Each week we are going to focus on one area. Your job is to complete one tip per day (you can do that, right?) 


Week 1: The Kitchen

photo credit simplyborganized.com

photo credit simplyborganized.com

  • Clean out your pantry. Dispose of any food that is expired. Remember, spices are only good for one year!
  • Organize your pots and pans. Throw out anything that has scratches and donate any that you no longer use.
  • Clean out Tupperware storage. Get rid of anything that doesn’t have matching lid or that is worn out.
  • De-clutter your gadget drawer. Donate any gadgets/tools that you don’t use. Pare down multiples to no more than 3 (spatulas, wooden spoons, peelers, etc.)
  • Clear out the junk drawer. Group “like” items together; throw out old receipts, pens that don’t work and anything else that doesn’t belong. We all have a catchall drawer but it can still be organized.

 

 

 


Week 2: The Bedroom   

photo credit Pinterest

photo credit Pinterest

  • Remove all dry cleaning bags from clothes and transfer to regular hangers. Dry cleaning bags hold onto chemicals and make your closet appear more cluttered.
  • Group your clothes together by category or color making it easier to “shop your closet”.
  • Purge all socks, underwear, and bras that have seen better days. It’s amazing how much real estate undergarments take up.
  • Sort through footwear. Donate/thredup anything you will never wear again. Organize remaining by type (ie: athletic, dressy, casual).
  • Assess belts, purses, scarves, and other accessories. Donate whatever is outdated or that you no longer use. Organizing the remaining contents accordingly.

 

 


Week 3: The Bathroom

Photo Credit Pinterest

Photo Credit Pinterest

  • De-clutter medicine cabinet and underneath sink. Get rid of anything expired.
  • Go through your make up drawer and toss anything that is over 1 year old.
  • Donate sheets/towels that are not part of a set or is worn out. Keep no more than 2 sets of regular sheets + 1 set of flannel sheets per bed.  (*note: animal shelters are always looking for old blankets and towels for the animals and will happily take them!)

 

 

 

 


Week 4: Paper Clutter

photo credit simplify101.com

photo credit simplify101.com

  • Define a “command center” for mail. Designate an “action” (to do) and a “reference (to file) category. This keeps important documents from getting lost in the shuffle.
  • Open all unopened mail, shred/recycle any papers you can access online. (*80% of the papers we keep never get looked at again.)
  • De-clutter magazines and catalogs that are more than 2 months old. If there is a specific article you want to keep, tear it out and save it in a binder to reference later.
  • Set up online bill pay through your bank. Request statements to arrive electronically and establish recurring payment options to avoid late fees.
  • Put together a memorabilia box for keepsakes like cards, pictures, and letters.

Week 5: Photos, Books and Media

photo credit potterybarn.com

photo credit potterybarn.com

  • Gather loose pictures into a photo box. If you can, group by year, otherwise don’t stress it!
  • Choose one site to house all of your digital photos (ie: iphoto, shutterfly, dropbox). Create albums by year for easy sorting.
  • Donate any VHS tapes, DVD’s or CD’s that you no longer use. Set aside anything that you want to have converted digitally.
  • Sort through your books and donate any you no longer want. (*ORGANIZING TIP: keep classics and favorites, but donate books that you don’t ever plan to read again)

 


Week 6: Household Clutter

photo credit Pinterest

photo credit Pinterest

  • Toss old pillows. Pillows should be replaced every year since they are a breeding ground for bacteria, allergy triggers, and dust mites.
  • Sort batteries by type and store in “an easy to find location. This way you can easily find what you’re looking for as well as know when you are running low.
  • Keep flashlights in common areas like the kitchen, bedroom, or hall closet. Be sure to check batteries. You want to make sure that they are accessible and working if you need them!
  • Purge all chargers for old devices. If you have old phones and electronics you can see how much it’s worth at usell.com

 

 


I always say, “your clutter didn’t accumulate overnight, so don’t expect it to disappear in an instant.” Dedicating a little time each day to de-clutter something makes a huge impact. Once you begin to see results you’ll be motivated to keep going.

If you need a little extra help getting started, contact us to schedule an organizing diagnostic.

Happy New Year and Happy Organizing!

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