Organize 365 Podcast: Home organization |Paper management | Productivity | Professional Organizer Lisa Woodruff | Sunday Basket

Who Is In Your Top 5?

On the podcast this week, I ask you the question – who is in your top five?

Let me explain!

A few years ago, a cell phone company had a benefit for their customers where you could select the top five people that you talk to the most on the phone and those calls would be free. They would run advertisements where they talked about you having a "top five." My husband, Greg, and I used to find the whole "top five" thing amusing, and I recall it was often the source of jokes with comedians!

Then I heard a quote and it really had an impact on me.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” by the late Jim Rohn.

You’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with in terms of income, positivity, taking action, etc.

The five people you spend the most time with are who you’ll be the most like.

I remember when I first heard this quote, it really caused me to think about who the five people are that I spend the most time with.

At the time, I was thinking how true the quote was. My income was the average of the five people I spent the most time with. My gossip level was the average of the five people I spent the most time with! (I don’t gossip anymore, but I used to gossip a lot!).

I changed how I spend my time

It was a conscious decision that I made to change how I spend my time. Hearing that quote over and over again and thinking, well, who do I want to be like?

  • What income do I want to have?
  • What kind of free time do I want to have?
  • How do I want to spend my free time?
  • What do I want to talk about in conversations?

I don’t listen to the news anymore, but at the time I was watching CNBC every day and I was freaking about the stock market… our money… every day.

I lived in a very moment-to-moment life. Now I live a much more peaceful, purposeful, proactive, cultivated life. I have cultivated the life that I am living. I let the media and the people in that I want and I don’t let in the rest.

My life is not directed based on what comes across my desk or comes across my TV. Even in my free time, I am choosing not to be marketed to through commercials, and I’m choosing not to get my news fed to me through a regular network news program.

Who are your five top people?

Now when you hear this, you may think about the five people you spend the most time with. They may all be under three feet tall! You’re not going to change that. You’re not going to change your spouse, your kids, your parents, your parish, your church, your whatever.

The people you spend the most time with are somewhat static and somewhat flexible. So, who you spend the most physical time with may not be as easy to change as who you spend your intellectual time with.

Ask yourself, who do I want to learn from? Who do I want to be like? If I could hang out with them tomorrow, and we lived in the same city, who would I hang out with?

I changed my top 5 through podcasts. I picked two or three podcasters I really liked at the time and I listened to every one of their episodes. And I would sometimes listen to their episodes over and over again so I would mentally be with them all the time.

When I find someone I like, I listen to their podcasts and (virtually) I become their "best friend" and get to know a lot about them.

You probably know a lot about me. You may listen to me every day. You may be interacting with me in social media. I like to think that I might be one of the top five people that you spend the most time with!

Great characteristics of your top five people

I want you to think about the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and who are the five people you most want to spend 2018 with?

Listen to the podcast to hear about four characteristics of people that I think would be most helpful for you to have in your top five going forward in 2018.

Change your mindset

A year from now at the end of 2018, what do you want your life to look like? Who do you want to be associating with? How much money do you want to be making? Who are those people that are living the life you want to be living 12 months from now?

Your top five don’t have to be the physical people you see every day.

So really, consciously, think about who is going to be in your top five going into 2018.

Then follow me on Facebook or on Instagram. I would love to be in your top 5 in 2018... and beyond!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/207

Direct download: Org365-207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The Difference Between Excellence & Perfection

It’s the beginning of December, the time of year when we reflect back on the past 11 months. We set goals to accomplish the things we said we were going to get done this year before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

This is a podcast that has been brewing in my mind for a while. I’ve often said “progress over perfection” and “done is better than perfect.”   But perfection is a good thing, not a bad thing, right?

Should we strive for perfection?

I don’t think perfection is something to be idolized. I’m very goal orientated but I’m not a perfectionist, although I have lots of goals that I want to accomplish.

I first realized I wasn’t a perfectionist in 8th Grade. I couldn’t get to that ideal of straight A’s.

I always had a floating C on my report card. I remember failing a test because I wasn’t getting the information clearly. I was seeing it differently. Later, I found out I had dyslexia which made a lot of sense!

We all see the world in a different way. There is no one exactly like you. When we strive for perfection, what is the outside marker that deems we are doing a good job?  Who is the judge of what perfection is? Perfect to one person may not be perfect to another.

I want to change our vocabulary from perfectionism to excellence

I’m definitely a woman of excellence. I try to be excellent in everything I do, but I don’t strive for perfection.

  • The definition of perfection is “the condition, state or quality of being free or as free as possible of all flaws or defects” or “the action or process of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible.”
  • The definition of excellence is “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good” and “an outstanding feature or quality.”

They sound pretty similar and, in some cases, the words can be used interchangeably. The difference is the intent behind the words and the way they make you feel.

When you are going for the perfect room, the perfect picture, the perfect goal weight, you are fixated on what the outcome is going to look like. Is it your level of perfect or someone else’s level of perfect?

Expectations of others

In the past, when I’ve thought I could get something perfect, the problem was that it never was.

My husband has perfectionistic tendencies. When we were newly married and I would paint a room or complete an organizing project, my husband would come in, inspect it, and find the flaws... which I can tell you, I was not very happy about!

I’m a good enough painter. I saved us a lot of money painting the rooms. They’re not perfect, but they’re beautiful. I did the best that I could with the resources I had and I finished the job. I did it with excellence.

But when I tried to meet the expectations of other people, I felt judged. Am I ever going to be good enough?

When you strive for perfection, the definition alone tells you “the condition, state or quality of being free or as free as possible of all flaws or defects.”

Free of all flaws and defects? Are you kidding? We’re in a fallen world. We can’t be free of flaws because we’re human.

Excellence IS achievable

I am so much happier now that I’m striving for excellence. But I was 30 years old before I decided to be a woman of excellence.

For example, I spent years watching my best friend do everything... parenting, being hospitable, and being a friend... with excellence. One day, I just started doing what she did. I used to spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that I had chores to do, or waiting until the chores filled up a block of time, or resenting that I had to do the chores.

Now, if I’m walking by and I see something that needs doing... laundry to put away, something to pick up... I do it right away.

I’ve become a person of action and excellence.

How does this relate to you?

When you are looking to get your house organized or become a more productive person, there is a tendency for us to dream about what it’s going to be like when everything is perfectly organized. It’s not going to happen.

I want to change your mindset here. If you’re striving for perfection, your days are going to end in frustration and defeat. You are not going to get there.

The thing I found out when striving for excellence is that “done is better than perfect.”

Excellence in action

So, this is how excellence plays out for me.

Everyday, I set out to do one to three big tasks, things I want to knock off my to-do list. Often, I’ve done most of them by noon and I add more. And everyday I am amazed at what I get done, but I don’t set myself up for failure trying to be perfect at things.

Excellence is taking the next step. It’s not about having a perfect outcome. It’s just looking at the next step that needs to be done, taking the action, then figuring out what the next step is.

There’s none of the inner dialogue. Whenever I am trying to do something to be perfect, I spend so much time thinking about it, talking to myself about it, and preparing to do it instead of just doing it.

When I act as a person of excellence, I just want to have this house well-run and everyone have what they need.

How do you feel about excellence?

There’s no real action to take, but I just want you to start thinking about the different feelings you have when acting in a perfect way or acting in excellence.

How much time do you spend internally dialoguing with yourself over your own expectations?

  • How your house looks
  • How organized different spaces are
  • How perfectly you do something
  • How much of your time is wasted on the thinking and not the doing

Sometimes in the doing, in the action, the perfect answer will come to you. A more excellent way will be revealed.

If you have a couple of things on your list that you want to get done in the morning, just go ahead and attack those things with excellence, doing the next thing you know how to do. You will get so much more done than if you try to do one thing perfectly everyday.

I would love to hear your feedback on this. You can talk to me on Facebook or on Instagram (I'm having lots of fun on Instagram Stories right now!)

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/206

Direct download: Org365-206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

How To Decorate For The Holidays In 3-1/2 Hours

'Tis the season to get overwhelmed with stress and give yourself a migraine and cold sweats just thinking about decorating your house for the holidays!

We all love how our house looks when it is all decorated, but the task itself seems like climbing Mount Everest. We can get ourselves so worked up about how arduous the task appears. I know it feels like the biggest task of my life at times.

How can we change our mindset on this?

Recently, I held a "Holiday Blitz" challenge on Facebook Live, a free 5-day "get ready guide" for the holidays. To those of you who took part, I hope you found it super useful. The printables are available here and the videos are still on Facebook.

During the challenge, I discussed how women have many roles that they play, and how we have different things to do all the time that leave us feeling like we are always working. The holidays are a time where there is a lot of pressure on the female head of the home. She needs to produce great food, decorations, and gift ideas, and be the host for guests, just to name a few.

When it comes to decorating, we tend to put up every decoration we have because everybody loves them, right? Well, yes, but would they even notice if we didn’t use EVERY decoration? Well, most likely, they wouldn't!

Where to start?

It was around 10 years ago that decorating my house took on this momentous feeling. I used to love it, but so many things led to a change for me.

I've tried various approaches over the years to get back into the swing and take joy from festive decorating, and the approach that has worked best is a giant purge. We all have that box of decorations sitting in the basement that we no longer use.

You collect all these decorations and wish you had a space, but really they are just guilt in boxes and it is okay to get rid of them. Yes, go ahead and donate them. You will not need them in the future. And you will not miss them either!

That doesn’t mean you can't ever add new things, just as long as they make sense to you. We bought a Christmas tree (ours have to be fake as I am allergic to real trees) around 10 years ago and, at the time, I loved it. Then Christmas tree technology really moved on and I got pre-lit tree envy, but for years couldn’t justify the cost. This year though – I bought it! Or rather, them. I got a few… but they were a great addition for us, as I’ll explain shortly.

What next?

This year, I decorated my entire house in 3-1/2 hours and I’m going to share my secrets with you. I break it down into 4 steps.

Clean

I always decorate on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The kids are on holiday and I’m off work, but my husband isn’t. So he gets the gift of leaving the house looking normal and returning to it fully decorated. This year, it fell perfectly that our housecleaner was coming that same day, too.

Block out time

I started optimistically by blocking out the whole day, but life happened and I couldn’t get started until 12:30 pm, rather than 10 am as I had originally planned. I already knew I had to be done by 6:30 pm. We had family coming in from out of state, and it was likely that my husband would finish work early. I was a little stressed at losing a couple of hours in the morning, but knew that I had to get it all squeezed in somehow.

Start with the hardest part

For me, the hardest part was always setting up the old tree. So I started with the smallest of the new trees. It took me no time! I was amazed. Then, I moved onto the bigger tree and assumed that would be simple, too. I shifted the furniture around and "ta-da," in 20 minutes I was done and had a beautiful big tree. Getting the new tree(s) saved me so much time and so much stress. It will alleviate so much worry for me next year.

Keep going until you’re done

At 2-1/2 hours into it, and with the Fall decorations down, nativity scenes set up, wreaths hanging, and baby Jesus in his wooden manger, I was done. But I wasn’t done. Those tree ornaments weren’t going to hang themselves! I made excuses. I even hid the ornaments on the other side of the room. I so desperately wanted it to be over already.

But I didn’t quit. Our ornaments are separated into boxes by which tree they go on. I put the living room tree ornaments on and it was so fast and easy. By this point, I realized I had been so close to giving up and had been moaning about something so simple. I looked at what I had left and made a plan. I changed some things up and put things in new locations. Yes, I gave myself permission to change my own rule! We get so locked into tradition sometimes that we lose the sense of things.

By the end, I was exhausted. So I had a coffee and took a nap in the time that I had to spare. My husband was thrilled when he got home and I was so pleased with myself that I actually got it done.

Remember…

You are in control. You can ask family which are their favorite decorations (do this before you put anything up so you know they actually remember it) and you can take away the pressure of having to put up all the other things that they don’t mention and won’t notice aren’t there anyway. Ease the pressure on yourself where you can and bring back the joy of holiday decorating.

To see more about my holiday decorating and whatever else I'm up to, follow me on Instagram. Happy Holidays!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/205

Direct download: Org365-205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Puerto Rico - Giving Back

I am delighted to welcome Dr. Carmen Landrau to this week's podcast episode. Carmen is a cardiologist, a professional speaker, a mom of 3 kids, and is from Puerto Rico. How Carmen balances work and home life is fascinating and her method of getting help to those in need in Puerto Rico is amazing. Those of you who listen regularly will know that I become obsessed when there is a natural disaster so I was thrilled to have Carmen on the show.

Carmen and I met in California at a conference for entrepreneurs. With the help of her coach, she has developed a keynote speech helping professional women get to the next step in their careers and life. Women are multi-everything. We are busy being wives, mothers, daughters, friends, and career women. We all have the same problem and, if we want to have it all, we need to figure out how to do that. Our way of thinking is different to men and the expectations are different. Carmen helps women figure it out.

The link to Puerto Rico

I brought up my desperation about Puerto Rico to Carmen when we met in California. It was then that I learned Carmen’s family lives in Puerto Rico and that she has given to the cause in a very tangible way. I just knew I wanted to share her story with you.

Carmen and I agree that nobody will save you in life. As women, we need to get more bold with our solutions and not wait to be asked to fix something.

Carmen’s mom, sister, and extended family are still in Puerto Rico. They are one of the lucky few that have power, water, and food while 90% or so of the island still does not, nearly two months since the hurricane.

I was incredibly naive and ignorant about Puerto Rico. I thought it was tiny like St. John Island and figured we could just move the people off the island. It is a significant population (they would have 5 electoral college votes if they were a state) and they don’t want to leave. At the time we recorded the podcast episode, the official death toll was 50. However, the true statistic is more like 500 as people are dying from "natural causes" brought on by the lack of resources.

Carmen is part of an amazing movement helping the people of Puerto Rico

Carmen worked around the system and got medical supplies there. It all started on a Facebook group set up by a doctor in Florida who is also from Puerto Rico. Initially, it was set up for female Puerto Rican doctors to see how they could help. It has evolved to include both sexes and other professions who want to help. Word of mouth from those within the group meant that a day or so later the Baton Rouge Emergency Aid Coalition (BREAC) got in touch. They are a group of volunteer medical professionals who have stocks of medication that they have collected from other shelters used in previous natural disasters. The equipment and medication can be used elsewhere, as long as they are obtained by licensed professionals in order to maintain chain of custody.

But how to get them to Puerto Rico? Amazingly, through word of mouth and social media, people offered their planes to transport it, including United Airlines. Nine planes have gone out from Houston, 20 or 30 more nationwide. All of this happened because of volunteers and people making donations. It is almost too simple... doctors in Puerto Rico send out requests to doctors in Houston, then they source it and send it. Doctors in Puerto Rico then meet the plane and distribute it to those in need. No politics or red tape makes for a smooth and efficient system.

The aftermath and legacy

Carmen believes that when you find yourself in the aftermath of something like a natural disaster, or something else unexpected, you need to act and get over it or your whole life goes downhill. She acknowledges that people are still trying to figure out what happened and how to cope, but that’s why she is doing this. She is from Puerto Rico so she has a clear motive, but she is amazed by how many others want to help. When she asks why they do it, nobody has a specific answer. It is just the genuine goodness of their heart. That brings with it so much meaning and it is more appreciated than anything.

Carmen knows it will take years to mend the damage done in Puerto Rico, but hang in there. Puerto Ricans know what they are doing and can fix this with you. They have survived this and the sky is the limit, keep moving forward. See this as an opportunity to re-invent yourself and try to make the best of it.

There are many obstacles to helping in Puerto Rico, not least that it is an island nation. When the power goes out in Florida, there are trucks flooding in from other states to get things up and running. That cannot be done in this case. It is commendable that if you put a woman at the helm, things happen. When somebody is hurting, we go in there and fix it.

The impact of this will be around for years, just as it will be in Texas and California and all those other sites of recent disasters. We are getting so used to the tragedy. It almost becomes a recurring news item with the lead up to it being more fully covered than the devastation and the impact itself. That is when they need us most and we need to know that they need us. Thank goodness for social media... it can be really useful. People affected can ask for exactly what they require.

There is an opportunity for business owners to help

There is an opportunity for business owners to help each other here. If only the effort big business put into the olympics in Rio was put into helping Puerto Rico, right? They don’t apply that to charity and they most likely won’t, but smaller businesses can step up. We can also use newer technologies and update the island. We do not need to try to rebuild exactly what was there. It can be seen as a blank canvas, full of opportunities for those who seek them and take advantage of this situation to improve lives.

Big business should pause for thought, too. They spend so much of their money on advertising, but the world is evolving and we don’t watch TV anymore. When will they realize they would do better to find a problem, like the situation in Puerto Rico, and solve it? We, as the public, would see and appreciate that. Surely there can be no better form of advertising.

So, what can you do?

Get out there and ask the questions. Figure out what people need and provide it if you can. Look at your resources and connect differently. Use that to help people.

It is the day after Thanksgiving here in the United States and that significance is not lost on Carmen. There is always a reason behind what happens in our lives and perhaps the reason she and I met was so I could offer this help. What goes around, comes around. So if you can help, you should. It may be you one day.

Related to this, I plan to set up an initiative for 2018. As we are decluttering, think about what makes us uniquely us and how we can impact the community around us. When we did the fundraiser for Houston, it was fun and we were able to surprise people. That feels good. (We are over $8,000 – THANK YOU so much to all who have contributed!)

On the podcast, Carmen encourages everyone to go to the website www.BREAC225.org. There are ways that you can donate to fundraisers and so many links to stories like Carmen’s. They also have a cool way of doing things so you don’t have to wonder how to help – they have an Amazon Wishlist!

If you would like to find out more about Carmen, click here.

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/204

Direct download: Org365-204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Meal Planning With Tiffany King

In this week’s podcast episode, I introduce you to Tiffany King. Tiffany has a website called EatAtHomeCooks.com where she shares meal plans, recipes, and encouragement to busy people to cook healthy meals at home.

The topic of this week’s podcast episode is not one you’ve heard me talk about often. My dislike of cooking is something that I have shared with you more than once! However, with Tiffany’s help I have cooked five days in a row this week. For me that is a real achievement. To put it into context, I’ve probably only cooked about 10-15 days all year! My husband, Greg, does all the cooking in our house… read on to find out why.

I realize that if I prioritize cooking, I’m actually quite good at it. Right now, cooking is a priority for me since I’ve committed to cooking one meal a week for my close friend whose husband is very ill with cancer.

I want to send my friend decent, tasty, and interesting meals. I decided if I can do it for them, then I can do it for my family, too. But I need HELP! So I turned to Tiffany for ideas and recipes.

On the podcast, we discuss my history with cooking and why I lost interest, why I’m changing my mindset when it comes to cooking, and why we go through cooking ruts during certain phases of life.

Why I Don’t Like To Cook

When my kids were young, I took extreme cooking measures in order to try and help deal with their health issues for about an 18-month period. Believe me, they were very extreme, to the point that I eliminated 35 foods from their diet. I even went so far as to bake my own bread. These science experiments in the kitchen cost $1,400 each month for food and about 30 to 40 hours a week to prepare every morsel from scratch. Exhausted from the cooking, turmoil in my career, and other family situations, we reverted to fast food options. This was all during my accumulation phase of life.

In 2012, when I was in my survival phase of life, I outsourced (in fact, abdicated!) the shopping, planning, and cooking duties to my husband. Now in 2017, my children are in high school and, being adolescents, they are unenthusiastic about eating what is prepared at home. Basically, I am reluctant to put forth the effort toward something my family doesn’t want to eat.

But thanks to Tiffany, I made dinner five nights in a row last week... and I feel great about it!

My Week Of Cooking

I went to Tiffany’s website, EatAtHomeCooks.com, and ordered three months of meal plans. Meal plans come with grocery lists, with everything really well organized and color coded.

On the podcast, Tiffany explains all about how her meal plans work. She explains that there are three different categories: whole foods, slow cooker, and traditional. Included in each of these categories is a slow cooker meal and a 15-minute meal each week.

It just so happened that my husband worked overtime on both Saturday and Sunday this week. If I had not taken over the cooking this week, he might have lost his mind! But since I assumed that responsibility, it really helped our family a lot!

Throughout the week, I cooked buffalo chicken sliders, skillet chicken and dressing casserole, and maple balsamic roast chicken (all traditional). I enjoyed making enough for two meals so that all of the effort carried over to another day. I share more detail of my experience with these meal plans so far in the podcast.

Tiffany’s Story

Tiffany started EatAtHomeCooks.com in 2008. With four school-age children who were involved in school activities and sports, her family spent a lot of time travelling to and from sporting events. She realized that she was packing food and planning dinners while so many other families were eating their meals in restaurants picking up fast food. She questioned the financial abilities of families to absorb this expense; her family certainly couldn’t! Realizing that she had a talent for efficient meal preparation, she started her website to help others.

On the podcast, we discuss how Tiffany was somewhere between the accumulation and survival phases of her life back in 2008. And with such an active lifestyle, she realized that she needed a different approach to meal planning. She realized that she could still provide healthy meals for her family by using a slow cooker or pressure cooker, and by packing some meals to eat on the go. She also did what she calls “grocery store drive through,” making a quick stop at a supermarket which was more economical than fast food and usually offered healthier choices.

You will want to check out the full blog post and podcast to hear about:

  • How we deal with picky eaters
  • Cooking patterns in each phase of life
  • Tiffany's and my time saving tips

Read the full blog post here.

Cooking Effectively Gives You Time To Focus On Other Priorities

When people do the 100 Day Home Organization Program, the only way to make time is to stop doing something else. It is the same with cooking. Using your cooking time efficiently allows hours to be devoted to other priorities, such as a business venture, or driving children where they need to be, or whatever it is that's important to you. Preparing meals in advance is a time commitment with a pay off!

People who use Tiffany’s EatAtHomeCooks.com program save a lot of time and enjoy having the family around the dinner table more often. The very aroma of a home-cooked meal is an enticement in itself!

I’m SO pleased to share that Tiffany is offering a great deal for my Organize 365 audience. Go to Organize365.com/EatAtHome to review the various plans available and purchase with a 25% off discount code (organize365) during November, 2017.

Bon Appétit!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/203

Direct download: Org365-203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The Seasonal Energy of Decluttering, Organizing & Productivity

In this week’s podcast episode, I talk to you about organizational energy.

At the beginning of 2017, I recorded three podcast episodes in a row after I had come to the conclusion that there is a cycle to getting organized.

The first step is decluttering. The second step is organization. The third step is increased productivity.

I want to take some time to "unpack" what each of these steps are and understand the energy behind decluttering, getting organized, and becoming more productive.

What do you tend to focus on?

If you’re a homeowner, you most likely tend to focus on one of these five: decluttering, organizing, being productive, cleaning, or decorating. And you’ll likely subscribe to and follow people (podcasters, bloggers, authors, etc.) who have the same focus as you.

For example, I’m focused primarily on organization and on having a home that is organized in a functional way. To become organized, you first need to declutter. When you have worked on organization, you then tend to start working on productivity. I focus on all three steps as I see them as interconnected, but you’ll rarely hear me talk about cleaning or decorating!

Let’s look at what I mean by these steps…

Decluttering

Decluttering is the act of reviewing a space and removing what no longer needs to be there.

Quite often, decluttering needs to be completed as a group/family activity. At the very least, you need input from your family members when it comes to deciding what to do with their items.

Decluttering is 70-90% physical and 10-30% mental. It becomes more of a mental exercise when you are dealing with items that are of emotional significance.

Organization

Organization is 50% physical and 50% mental.

The mental aspect of getting started. Then the physical emptying out the space. Then comes the mental decision making on what to do with items. Back to physically buying and filling containers to use. And ending in mentally evaluating and reevaluating if the organization methods you chose is the BEST for you.

Back and forth between mental and physical at a rate of 50/50.

Increase Productivity

Productivity is 10% physical and 90% mental. Being productive is largely a decision-making activity.

For example, if you decided that you wanted a new capsule wardrobe, you would spend 90% of your time working out the when, what, and how of it all. Then, the actual act of going out and buying what you want, after all the decisions have been made, would take just 10% of the overall time.

Cleaning

Cleaning is 100% physical. There is very little thought process involved. You know what needs to be cleaned and you, or someone else, needs to take action. The only mental aspect is often us trying to justify or avoid doing a task that just needs to be done! That is why it is the easiest item to delegate!

Decorating is something that I have so little experience with, I’m not even going to attempt to explain that one!

How this relates to energy cycles

In today's podcast and post, I explain how energy cycles throughout the year ebb and flow and how they relate to home organization. (This post is a long one and this email is long enough! Read the whole post here.)

but I will post the energy you are feeling right now...

October - December

At this time of year, we start planning for the holidays.

Thanks to those of you who took part in my holiday blitz this past week!

Your focus is back to cleaning again. You want to clean before Thanksgiving and before you start putting those Christmas decorations up.

The energy that is coming in the last 6-7 weeks of the year will come in waves.

The energy will not be constant. The waves will come and you should ride them and not push them off. It’s harder to resist than to actually go and do what you want to do.

For example, you’ll get an urge to go clean a room, declutter the kids’ rooms, decorate, etc. Whatever it may be, you will find you have these urges. I recommend just acting on them.

December 22nd

It seems funny for me to be so specific with a date, but on December 22nd my blog traffic will double (like it has done for the past few years)!

I’ve realized that most of us start organizing on December 22nd. It’s when the kids are home for the holidays. Extended family start to arrive, if you are at home on the holidays. You are done with your holiday shopping, wrapping, etc. Most of the cleaning is done. You have time off work (with most jobs). It’s winter so you don’t want to be spending too much time outside. You will start to think about a home organization project that you could undertake. Family are around to help with decluttering. The focus is more decluttering than organizing at this time.

From December 22nd to January 1st, the decluttering energy turns into an organizational energy.

The 100 Day Home Organization Program

I open enrollment for my 100 Day Home Organization Program at certain times of the year for a reason. The timing is well thought through and I base it on the cycles and energies that I’ve discussed in this week’s podcast episode.

I’m pleased to let you know that the 100 Day Home Organization Program has just opened again (November 10-14). Click here to register. If you join now, you’ll start receiving the daily emails right away and you'll get the new and improved planner.

Remember, the 100 Day Home Organization Program is not just for Christmas, it’s a lifetime membership!

You can do the program again and again until your life has transformed. My goal is for you to live an organized life so you can spend your time doing what you love and pursuing your life purpose. What a great gift that would be, at Christmas or any time of year!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/202

Direct download: Org365-202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Coffee Chat With Lisa

I’m so excited about everything that is going on with Organize 365 and The Sunday Basket® brand. This podcast episode covers so much information that your brain might hurt at the end! I share with you everything that’s going to happen with Organize 365 over the next 8 weeks or so.

The Sunday Basket®

The Sunday Basket® is becoming more and more its own thing. I’ve been separating it from the Organize 365 brand almost unconsciously. I have trademarked it, got a patent for it, it has it’s own website, and it’s soon to have it’s own podcast!

I have so much to talk about when it comes to home organization and so much to talk about when it comes to paper organization. I also LOVE to create lots of content. So, in an effort to try and not overwhelm people, it seems like a good idea to split my home organization and paper organization content up a little. I think you will find this useful, too.

The Holiday Blitz

I’m excited to let you know that this week you can sign up for my Holiday Blitz which is a new 5-day challenge that I’m running. You can sign up by clicking here.

When you sign up, you will download a printable which helps you through the challenge. For those of you who took part in my Back To School Blitz this summer, the Holiday Blitz is quite similar. It’s a challenge where I help you get your mindset in the right place so you can enjoy every minute of your holidays.

As part of the challenge, I will be doing 5 Facebook Live sessions from November 5th-9th at 6:30pm EST.

The 100 Day Home Organization Program

At the end of the Holiday Blitz, I’m going to open registration for the 100 Day Home Organization Program for 5 days only, from November 10th-14th. If you want to get on the wait list now click here.

I’m opening it since there are a lot of people who really want to join and get organized before the end of the year. You won't have to wait for the next session to begin to gain access to the program. You can jump in right where we are in the current session!

Another reason is because my updated planner is now ready with lots of improvements – new divider tabs, new notes pages at the back, more planning sheets, more goal oriented sheets, plans for morning, afternoon, evening routines, new tasks to complete in between 100 day programs – the planner is amazing!

I hope you decide to join the program. If it’s not the right time for you, registration will open again December 26th-January 1st. But it’s still a good idea to get on the wait list so you never miss an update to sign up when the time IS right for you.

Podcast Review

As the year comes to an end, I am going to go through ALL of my episodes and determine what would be the best order to listen to them to energize and motivate you to go into 2018 strong. I’m also going to determine which specific episodes you should go to, or direct friends and family to, if you/they want to learn about a particular topic.

As part of this exercise, at the end of December you are going to see daily podcast episodes in your podcast feed. I will also email you. Please make sure you are on my newsletter list so you don’t miss the emails. Just click on Join The Newsletter.

I’m Inviting Guests Onto The Podcast

Going forward, I’m going to occasionally interview guests on the Organize 365 Podcast.

This month, I’m bringing someone onto the show to talk all about meal planning. I’m also inviting a cardiologist who I met at BizChix Live onto the show. I’m looking forward to getting your feedback on having guests like these on the show.

My Upcoming Paper Organization Book

I recently went to New York to attend various meetings with agents, editors, and publishers about my new book. I had a whole list of goals and they all got ticked off the list. It was a fantastic trip!

The good news is that I am definitely moving ahead with my book, with it most likely launching in early 2019.

It would really help me if you would take the paper organization survey on my website. The link is at the top of my homepage. Thanks to those of you who have taken it already. Those results have been very insightful.

Sunday Basket® Workshop Licensee Program

I’m no longer doing any coaching or mentoring of professional organizers outside the SundayBasket® Workshop Licensee Program.

Anyone recommended by me to do professional organizing work in people’s homes will need to have gone through my licensee program. The Sunday Basket® is the core of Organize 365 so any professional organizer under my brand needs to be trained in that system.

There are a lot of changes to the licensee program coming in 2018, including additional training specifically on medical paperwork, financial paperwork, shipping and shredding paperwork, and contracts that people sign when you go through their paper.

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday Basket® Licensee, sign up here.

Live Events Are Coming!

I LOVE teaching. I love seeing my students have those light bulb moments.

With Organize 365, I often get emails from people sharing with me when they had a light bulb moment after reading one of my books, blog posts, or listening to a podcast episode. Or when people share their incredible outcomes from the 100 Day Home Organization Program or having a Sunday Basket®.

I have started running bootcamps for my Sunday Basket® Licensees where I teach them all about running the business side of a Sunday Basket® Workshop business. The next one will be in March, 2018.

Those who attended the last bootcamp in September will be invited to Bootcamp 2.0 which is about implementation and mindset.

In June, we’re having a national convention in Dallas, where all Sunday Basket® Workshop Licensees will come together. There will be lots of training, motivation, and so much more. It will be amazing. I can’t wait!

There will also be an event for the Organize 365 audience (non-licensees), too!

On that Saturday night, I will deliver a keynote speech on paper organization. It will be so much fun. More details to follow on all of this.

I’m Hiring!

If you live in Cincinnati or Dallas, I’m looking to fill 3 roles in order to form my Organize 365 leadership team. The three roles are:

  • Content Creator – responsible for content and “lesson plan” creation for all products, workshops, workbooks, and marketing materials digitally and in print (10-15 hours per week)
  • Live Events Team Lead - seeking out, booking, coordinating, and orchestrating all the details associated with all Organize 365 live events from inception to completion (varies weekly, 20 hours per month)
  • Administrative Assistant – work with our executive administrator handling all of the administrative, scheduling, and technical aspects that drive the success of Organize 365 (10-12 hours per week)

Please click here to find out more and apply (applications are open for 7 days).

Just a final reminder, be sure to sign up for the Holiday Blitz and take my paper organization survey.

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/201

Direct download: Org365-201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The State Of Paper In American Homes

This week’s podcast episode is number 200.

200 episodes. Can you believe it?!

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, last week the Organize 365 podcast surpassed 2 million downloads!

Thanks to each and every one of you who have listened to my podcast and who have supported me with Organize 365.

I thought a lot about what to cover on my 200th episode and decided that I wanted to talk about paper, one of my favorite topics.

Also, this week I have a few special announcements to make… all of them related to paper!

I’m launching a second podcast – The Sunday Basket® Podcast

In January 2018, I’m going to launch a second podcast called The Sunday Basket® Podcast.

Recently, I’ve been wanting to talk more and more about paper organizing, but I know that not everyone wants to hear about it. So I decided to create a separate podcast where I can talk about paper organizing to my heart’s content for anyone who wants to listen.

By having a separate podcast all about paper organization, I can focus the Organize 365 Podcast on my philosophy for home organization, mindset, other fun organizational predicaments, and productivity.

Every generation handles paper differently

Every generation looks at organization differently, and as such, they handle their paper differently.

When we understand our generation, we develop an understanding of how we handle paper.

Here’s an example of how we handle paper differently. The majority of people today do not use checkbooks anymore. However, I spend 30-40 minutes a week balancing my checkbook and reconciling our household transactions. I can’t comprehend how other people don’t do this! As a Gen X person, I was brought up with paper.

On the other hand, Millennials will tell me that they do not have any paper. It is not a "thing" for them at all. What is a checkbook?!

The paper tsunami is coming

The majority of paper is with the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers.

These generations set up filing cabinets. They did not have computers so paper ruled.

Today, we tend to continue with the filing cabinets, but our habits have changed... rather, our filing cabinets have become a habit and not a resource.

We have all sorts of paper that we file away, but if we want to look something up, we don’t go to our paper files, we look things up online!

Realistically, 80% of the paper in our filing cabinets right now should be recycled or shredded.

The issue is that none of us want to shred all of that paper. But neither do Baby Boomers or the Silent Generation.

One of these days someone is going to have to go through all of this paper. Even if you don’t do this with your own files, you may end up doing it for your parents and your grandparents.

All of these files need to be sorted through, because while 80% of it most likely can be shredded, the other 20% is very important. For example, it could be an important part of your family history, or even lead to cold, hard cash. I have found both when sorting through my family paperwork!

I helped a client with her paperwork when her husband passed away and there were multiple 6-figure investments hidden in the piles of paperwork that, thankfully, we discovered. This happens more than you can imagine.

Almost always, when circumstances lead to you having to sell your parents’ home, paper is the one thing that gets boxed up to deal with "later." Your parents' generation has likely lived in their home for decades, and therefore, there is SO much to sort through. Paper always seems to be the thing that can be boxed up. The issue is that "later" can become decades. This can result in generations of paperwork boxed up in people’s basements. After all, who has time to sort through it all?

I’m writing a new book about paper organization!

I’m so excited to share with you that I’m writing a book on paper organization.

My book will help you handle the paper tsunami that is is coming – the tsunami consists of your own paperwork, plus your parents’ paperwork, and your grandparents’ paperwork.

We don’t need filing cabinets anymore. I call files little paper graveyards!

We need all of our information digital and scanned. My book will take you from the Sunday Basket® to online digital scanning.

My goal is to provide the road map that people need to help them tackle their paper and NOT keep it out of sight and out of mind in the basement anymore!

With all the natural disasters that have been happening lately, I am more inspired than ever to help people get their paper digitalized so that it’s always available to them.

There is a paper tsunami coming… and we need to be ready!

Please take the household paper survey

I would like to find out more about the paper in your house. I would love it if you would take my household paper survey. It will only take you 5 minutes to complete. The link to it is on the Organize365.com homepage.

Sunday Basket® Workshops

If you want to get started with sorting your paper, please consider signing up for a virtual SundayBasket® Workshop with me. I love delivering the virtual workshops. They are so much fun and I guarantee you will find it really helpful. Learn more here.

Or maybe you would prefer an in-person Sunday Basket® Workshop delivered by a SundayBasket® Workshop Licensee. That would be amazing! Click here to find your nearest in-person workshop provider.

Or maybe you’re interested in becoming a Sunday Basket® Workshop Licensed Provider! Registration is always open. Click here to learn more.

Creating a Schedule Printable

Finally, for the past couple of months, I have focused on productivity, looking at goal setting and routines. Many of you downloaded my Creating A Schedule printables. I hope you found them useful. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, what are you waiting for?!

One final note... In the podcast, you'll hear me mention adding a new front page to the printable that lists the 5 podcasts related to it... why you need a morning routineafternoon and evening routinehow to plan your week, and how to set goals. Well, I didn't do that after all so I've just linked to them here. Now that's productive!

Have a great week, and don't forget to take the paper organizing survey!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/200

Direct download: Org365-200.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

My Bedroom Condo

Did you know that I have a condo?

In this podcast episode, I share all about how I have preserved my sanity in my teenage years, 20s, 30s, and 40s by having my own condo.

Putting yourself first

I hope that by sharing how I use my condo, and how it’s evolved over time, will help give you the permission that you need to put yourself first.

I tend to talk about productivity in the fall because it’s a naturally productive time. It’s often a time when people set their goals and intentions for the next 12 months – certainly, I do.

Many people have been in touch with me regarding my recent podcast episodes on time management and productivity, and they have told me that they struggle with applying many of the concepts themselves because they are people pleasers (and with this, I can’t help but feel a little like that must mean that I appear not to be).

The funny thing is, I’ve ALWAYS been a people pleaser. It’s something that has been with me my whole life. It's only in recent years that I’ve started to learn how to put myself first. It has been really hard to do and has taken a lot of careful thought and proactivity on my behalf.

I have often thought that if I put myself first and share this with people, they will think that I am selfish, that I don’t care about others, or that I’m spoiled. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this.

A little history about my condo

When I was young, I lived in a neighborhood without many children to play with my own age. I was not athletic so that ruled me out of pretty much all extra-curricular activities. So I spent my time playing "teacher" with my younger sister and "training" how to be a babysitter. I also helped my mom with her business, a direct sales clothing company.

I created a game to play with my sister called "Big Friend." My sister and I pretended to be 16, our bikes were cars, our kitchen was a café, and our bedrooms were our apartments. I LOVED my bedroom! When I got punished by my parents, I’d get sent to my room – which was never a punishment in my eyes! I would spend lots of time in there, and would love to reorganize and redecorate it.

My love of the private space and sanctuary of my bedroom continued into college in my dorm room, then on to when I lived in a shared house.

Even when Greg and I moved to the spacious house that we still live in today, I’ve always spent most of my time in one part of the house.

When my children developed separation anxiety at night, I stayed upstairs because they wanted me on the same floor as them.

Since I’m always looking at ways to be productive, I worked in my bedroom until they fell asleep. Because of this, I had started spending the whole evening upstairs – especially when Tivo was invented!

So when the kids go to bed, I stay upstairs, hang out in my bedroom, watch TV, take a bath…. I just spend a lot of time in there. It’s cozy and warm.

I have a TV, my office, and food in my bedroom. I break all of the bedroom rules. In fact, I have a fully functioning office in my bedroom – it's the Organize 365 headquarters!

Even though my kids are teenagers now, one of them still prefers that we’re on the same level in the house. Therefore, I still spend most of my evenings upstairs in my bedroom.

It’s nice to have a private space just for you

The whole point of getting organized is to help you find the time to do the things in life that you want to do.

When you do the 100 Day Home Organization Program, you will find that there is a clear method to the organizational approach that you’re taken through. It starts in the kitchen, which is where the majority of people spend their time in the home. The kitchen is most important for your family.

Next is the master bedroom and closet. They are most important for your soul! This is where you get dressed, where you sleep, where you regenerate yourself. It’s all about you (and a little about your spouse, of course!).

The rest of the house is for your family, but the bedroom is about you. It’s your condo!

My house is an apartment building

I like that our house is like our own apartment building.

Downstairs, the kitchen is like the café which is where we socialize and catch up. Upstairs, we all have the privacy of our own apartments. Our apartments are decorated to our own taste and style.

So in the same way that I encourage my kids to think of their bedroom as a mini-apartment, I treat my bedroom just the same.

The key is to have a space that is all yours

I know your bedroom isn’t all yours, but honestly, 99% of the time your spouse really doesn’t care what you do with the bedroom (if your spouse is anything like mine).

If they do, focus on your half of the bedroom! Use an imaginary piece of tape to divide it, if need be.

Do you put yourself first?

If you are feeling like you have to take care of your kids, your job, your spouse, your house, and you are at the end of the list... I want you to move yourself up to the top of the list. I’m not suggesting you do this all the time or even every day. But how about for just an hour a week?

I would love for you to pencil in an hour that is just for you on your calendar.

In addition, why not do an organizational task this week just on your stuff, on your area and no one else’s.

When you get yourself organized, your family follows suit. There is an energy that comes from that positive place.

For me, when I want to have "me time," I take great comfort hanging out in my condo!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/199

Direct download: Org365-199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Good, Better, Best Goals

On the podcast this week, I talk about goal setting.

Goal setting is one of my favorite things. I may even like it more than organizing!

The kind of goals that I love to set are BHAG – which stands for big, hairy, audacious goals.

To put this into context, when I was 16 my goals were: to be a stay-at-home mom, home-school my kids, and grow all my own food, own a business AND be the President of the United States!

I have always had really high expectations for myself and others around me.

When I was graduating from college, I was told I had "unrealistic expectations."

I think it’s fair to say that I do often have unrealistic expectations.

I usually don’t achieve my goals in the time frame that I originally set. But that is because they are so big that they require extra time, resources, and personal development in order to achieve them. But I DO achieve them!

Examples Of Big Goals That I Have Achieved

In summer 2016, one of my big goals was to create an Amazon number 1 bestseller by the fall… and I did! (The Mindset of Organization).

Then in the spring, I published my second book, How ADHD Affects Home Organization within 90 days. It also became an Amazon number 1 bestseller, sold over 5,000 copies and is currently featured as an Amazon book of the month.

I exceeded my own big, hairy, audacious goal!

I remember when I announced in May 2016 that I wanted to get published by August 2016, some concerned Organized 365 readers thought that I was setting myself up for a fall. I received emails saying “Do you think you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?,” and “Are you sure you can publish a quality book that fast?”

The fact is, we’re not used to people setting and achieving really, really big goals.

Entrepreneurs are well known for chasing the elusive goal. And as soon as they get close to the goal, they extend it and make it bigger. I sure can relate to that!

Introducing Good, Better, And Best Goals

I was listening to James Wedmore’s podcast recently and he discussed this idea of good, better, and best goals.

The basic idea is that the goal you want to achieve has 3 levels – a good goal, a better goal, and a best goal.

Good, Better, And Best Goals In Home Organization

I think this concept of good, better, and best goals relates to home organization as well.

I’m a functional organizer and not a "picture-perfect, Pinterest home" organizer.

What I’ll be teaching you is to set expectations that reach a good and better goal, but not necessarily a best goal. Let me explain.

You could say that to declutter a space would be a good goal.

A better goal is to functionally organize that space after it is decluttered.

The best goal would be for the room to be really well designed, have been designed by an interior designer, and have brand new containers that all match!

A laundry example would be as follows – Good... clean laundry. Better... clean and put away. Best... clean, put away, and organized.

In my 100 Day Home Organization Program, I have often said that it takes 3 times going through a space to really get it organized. Really, what we are doing there is getting to good, to better, then to best.

I talk through some more examples of good, better, and best goals on the podcast, ranging from organizing paper, to setting weight goals, to how far you got with creating a plan from last week’s podcast episode.

Don’t Get Too Attached To The Outcome Of Goals

Sometimes when we set goals, we get very attached to what an outcome will look like. This may be based on what has happened in the past, the results of others, or just an ideal that we carry around.

I would urge you not to get too attached to exactly what the outcome will look like. Because it may well be that you achieve a goal without even really realizing it.

I would love for you to consider the following in goal setting:

1. When you are setting a goal, think of what would be a good, better, or best goal.

Good means this has to happen. If this doesn't happen, then I didn’t meet this goal.

Better is what I really want to happen, what I’m striving for.

Best is if the sun, moon, and stars aligned and all your big goals are met!

2. Do not get attached to the outcome of the goal.

Sometimes, our goals can be achieved in ways that we didn’t envision.

Good luck at setting your good, better, and best goals! I’d love to hear how far you get with them over in my Facebook Group. If you’d like to join, click here.

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/198

Direct download: Org365-198.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST