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

With the school year right around the corner, I will be spending August teaching you how to get your household ready for the school year.

But first, a big thanks to those of you who followed along as we completed the Back-To-School Blitz last week, getting ourselves and our kids ready for the new school year. I will definitely do it again next year. It was so much fun!

If you missed the Back-To-School Blitz, you can still receive the printables and videos. Simply click here and fill out the form by the end of August, 2017.

This week's podcast episode is about the new Productive Home CEO Planner.

You are the Productive Home CEO

When you join the 100 Day Home Organization Program, and use the Productive Home Planner, you automatically get promoted to the “Productive Home CEO” of your house!

As the CEO of our homes, we have A LOT of responsibilities when it comes to keeping our household running and those responsibilities take... TIME!

The PEW Research Center discovered that the average person spends 28 hours per week taking care of their home.

The good news is that, as the CEO, you can delegate some tasks to others instead of taking them all on yourself. Whether that means hiring outside help, or assigning your family members responsibilities, it doesn’t all need to be done by you. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The new Productive Home CEO Planner includes printables and worksheets to help you create a list of those responsibilities that need to be taken care of. From home to healthcare, I cover it all so that you can understand all the roles you play, give yourself grace, and make a plan to run your house so your house doesn't run you!

I feel like a broken record focusing on the three "new years" I use each year, but dividing your year like this will give you more clarity, focus, and energy to run your home. (I explained this concept in podcast 134.)

Each of these times of year has its own unique set of responsibilities associated with it. As such, I have a different planner for each (3 in total) available through the 100 Day Home Organization Program for you to use.

As you organize your home with the 15 minute daily tasks in the 100 Day Home Organization Program, you will start to notice you have extra space and extra time. The Productive Home CEO Planner helps you focus your new-found time and progress to INCREASE your productivity. :)

Quick note: I know registration for the 100 Day Home Organization Program is closed right now, but get on the wait list. :) Registration will be open August 18-28 and I don't want you to miss it! Your first Productive Home CEO Planner is included in the lifetime membership. And this planner has the WHOLE 100 day program included in printables. Now back to the planner...

The Productive Home Planner

As many of you know, I LOVE paper planners.

There is something about the way our brain processes things when we write them down that is so much more helpful than using a computer or other digital alternatives.

But most planners that you find in stores today are not really planners, in my opinion. They are date books. To truly increase your productivity, you need so much more than that. I’ve been designing this planner for a long time... probably about 18 months.

This planner focuses on planning, goal setting, and productivity for the next four months of your life.

To do that, we start by taking a look at four main areas of your home and life:

  • Home – Includes any physical tasks that need to be completed around your home from the lint trap on your dryer to steam cleaning your carpets.
  • Family – Any way you would like to see your family move forward. For example, I am going to try to get my kids to start doing their own laundry.
  • Self – Personal goals and changes that you would like to see in your own life. Would you like to start reading more? How about spending more time getting involved in your community?
  • Work – This does not have to be a job that is bringing income. It could be home schooling your children, or the active role you play in your church. Whatever you are devoting your time, energy, and motivation to is considered your work.

Next are the fun "plannery" items in the planner:

  • Checklists – Daily, weekly, and monthly. The checklists are designed to help you keep track of all the home tasks you need to complete. From doing laundry every week to changing the fire alarm batteries twice a year.
  • Weekly Calendar – This will help you plan your week ahead on Sundays. It includes space for daily meal planning, your three main goals for each day, and daily fitness goals.
  • Monthly Calendar – Helps keep track of important dates, update your monthly goals, and track your bill payments.

The Productive Home Planner is spiral bound... which I love… so you can keep it open on the pages you need and leave it in your Sunday Basket™ for reference at any time.

WHAT?! You don't have a Sunday Basket™?

Well, we can fix that right now! Read all about the Sunday Basket™ here and sign up for a virtual class with me here.

Then get on the 100 Day Home Organization Program Wait List. I can't wait to walk you through getting your whole home organized before January 1, 2018!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/187

Direct download: Org365-187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

In this week’s podcast episode, I discuss how best to declutter and organize your closet.

I discuss capsule wardrobes, how you can purge too much, and how you can have a variety in your everyday clothing while loving and wearing everything in your closet!

I started this year with three episodes about the importance of decluttering, organizing, and increasing productivity.

In those episodes, I explained that when you reduce the amount of "stuff" you own and get it all organized, your productivity will increase.  This will give you LOTS of extra time to focus on what you were meant to do in life.

Productivity is a result of living an organized life. 

This week's episode builds upon those topics. So if you missed those episodes and would like to listen to them first, they are #144 – Declutter!#145 – Organize, and #147 – Increase Productivity.

What to buy?

When I was in high school, my mother taught me some important lessons on how and what to buy when it came to clothes.

Here are the tips she shared with me that I still find helpful today:

  • "Cost Per Wearing" Analysis – Evaluate the cost of your clothing by how many times you think you will wear it. A $150 coat is worth the investment if you wear it 100 times, bringing the cost of the coat down to $1.50 per wear.  Compared to a $15 "bargain" top that you only actually wore once, meaning the cost per wear is $15. The $150 coat was a far more economical investment.
  • Buy In Outfits – Focus on purchasing items that are interchangeable. By focusing on a specific color scheme or style in mind, it will save you time and stress because everything will match.

What to keep?

Now that you have some ideas for how to shop for new clothes, what should you do with all of your existing clothes that are sitting in your closet?

It’s time for you to decide what needs to stay and what needs to go.

Just recently, I went through my own closet to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

Here are the rules that helped me when decluttering my own clothes.

  • Keep clothes that fit you – We all have that one item of clothing we are keeping until we can lose 5 pounds and it will fit once again. It NEEDS to go!  You should only keep clothes that fit you and make you feel great. Don’t keep clothes that make you feel like you should change to be able to wear them.
  • Keep items that match each other – If it doesn’t match anything else in your wardrobe so you have nothing to wear it with, it needs to go. It doesn’t matter how cute or comfortable those shoes are if you are never going to wear them.
  • No extra purses – Most women do the same with purses… we usually stick to one primary purse yet hold onto our old purses, telling ourselves we might one day need them. This ALMOST NEVER happens! Try to keep your everyday purse, as well as a particular favorite, and get rid of the rest. You really DON’T need them all.

Types of wardrobes to consider...

If you’re looking to try something entirely new when it comes to organizing your wardrobe, there are a couple different options out there for minimizing your closet.

  • Capsule wardrobe – This type of wardrobe limits you to a certain number of items per capsule (not including your under garments). You set the number to what you would like and you limit your wardrobe capsule to that number.  Have capsules for work, seasons, or specific occasions, it’s up to you.  You can keep the rest of your clothes, but it takes the stress out of planning your day-to-day outfits.
  • Uniform wardrobe – Many successful executives such as Steve Jobs, Barrack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have utilized the uniform wardrobe. Clothes in this kind of wardrobe are all similar and interchangeable.  For example, my wardrobe consists of mostly jeans, sweaters, and tops.  Jeans match pretty much everything so it is easy for me to buy a large variety of tops to interchange with them.

As parents, our wardrobes often fall to the wayside as we spend all of our time and money making sure that our kids (who are constantly growing) are getting the clothes that they need.

I’m here to tell you that it’s IMPORTANT to update your wardrobe, too.  Instead of buying the occasional, random item for yourself on a whim, make a point of finding yourself something nice that matches your wardrobe.

It’s essential for you to look and feel good about yourself, too.

Now that I have shared my ideas for decluttering your wardrobe, I challenge ALL of you to walk into your closet and come out with 15 items that you no longer need or want.

This is a great first step towards getting your closet decluttered.

By following my tips and getting your closet organized, you’ll be able to get dressed quicker, feel better, and get on with living your best life.

Now go declutter!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/186

Direct download: Org365-186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

I’m excited to announce that next week I’m running a Back To School Blitz.

It’s a 5-day challenge designed to help get you ready for a really productive fall and fully prepared for the new school year.

So in this week’s podcast,  I talk all about the Back To School Blitz.

Why run a Back To School Blitz?

For me, the start of the school year signifies the start of my 12-month year.  I discussed this in podcast 134 where I explained that I have 3 different "mini new years" in my year.

It starts in September... the beginning of the school year, then January... the beginning of the calendar year, and finally June... the beginning of summer.

Each has a different set of possibilities, but September has the most possibilities for me. It's when I set the BIG goals for my year ahead.

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you’re not going to school, the beginning of the school year is when we should all get everything in order and set our goals for success.

Productivity starts with being prepared.

There are plenty of little things that we could do now to set ourselves up for a productive school year.

So, my 5-day Back To School Blitz is designed to help set everyone up for a productive school year... whether you go to school or not!

I’m more excited about doing it for myself than for my kids.

What is the Back To School Blitz?

It’s a 5-day challenge that you need to sign-up for here.

It’s delivered to you by email. Every day at 5am EST, you will receive checklists via email.

You should print a copy for everyone in your house who is taking part in the blitz.  For example,  I’ll print off three... one for me and one for each of my two children. Since my kids are teenagers, I’ll try and convince them to do the checklist themselves.

Don’t worry, the checklists are not lists of things to buy. In fact, my Back To School Blitz does not involve buying anything at all!

Instead, it’s all about decluttering, culling, and making inventories of what we have in our house so that in August we can go ahead and buy exactly what we need.  This will stop you from over or under buying things.

So here’s what it involves:

  • Monday: Clothing – Going through your closet and figuring out what you need, what needs altered, etc.
  • Tuesday: Set up a command center – A back to school Sunday Basket™ that you will set up next week and continue to use thereafter. It will help you take note of the various things that need to be done before going back to school (i.e., supply lists, school uniform, car pool arrangements, etc.).
  • Wednesday: Supplies – A supply list for your home or your home-based business. It’s the best time of the year to stock up on things like pens, binders, highlighters, etc.
  • Thursday: Personal grooming – Look at what you have and what you need. Schedule manicures, haircuts, other treatments, etc.
  • Friday: What does it take to get this family out the door? – Backpacks, lunches, purses, car, etc.

Since everything is delivered by email, you need to sign up.

In addition, every day I will go live on Facebook at 10:30am EST to provide support and share additional tips and advice.

Together, we are going to get our kids and ourselves ready for a really productive fall and new school year. Are you with me?

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/185

Direct download: Org365-185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

It’s a rite of passage almost no one will escape: the difficult, emotional journey of downsizing your or your aging parents' home.

Here, nationally syndicated home columnist Marni Jameson sensitively guides readers through the process, from opening that first closet, to sorting through a lifetime's worth of possessions, to selling the homestead itself. Using her own personal journey as a basis, she helps you figure out a strategy and create a mindset to accomplish the task quickly, respectfully, rewardingly—and, in the best of situations, even memorably. Throughout, she combines her been-there experience with insights from national experts—antiques appraisers, garage-sale gurus, professional organizers, and psychologists—to offer practical wisdom and heartwarming advice so you know with certainty what to keep, toss or sell.

Downsizing The Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go

Direct download: ORg365-184.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Doing laundry always seems like it takes a lifetime, doesn’t it?

But how long does it really take?

For this week’s podcast episode, I timed how long it took me to complete ALL of my laundry.

Over the course of a weekend, I used a stopwatch and I timed from when I began a laundry task to when I completed it. By doing this, I was able to get an accurate idea of how long completing all of my household laundry really took.

My Findings

The truth is, the actual tasks involved in doing laundry didn’t take up too much time.

Every time I went into the laundry room to complete a task, I was usually only in there for about 5-8 minutes.  So it really wasn’t taking me very long.

I discovered I was able to do 9 loads of laundry in only 61 minutes.

BUT... and this is a big but... the 61 minutes were spread over 3 days. So I pretty much felt like I spent 3 days in my laundry room!

So what I came to learn is that, while the tasks don’t take very long, laundry can seem so much more time consuming than it really is because it occupies so many of our thoughts as we are doing it.

I found I was always thinking about things like when the current load will be complete, whether I have gathered everything for the next load, where are the hangers, and so on.

My Laundry Tips

Fortunately, there are ways to save yourself both time and stress when it comes to your laundry.

Here are my top tips for making laundry easier:

  • Sort by weight – Instead of separating your laundry into loads by color, try separating them by how much each item weighs. Heavier items take longer to dry and lighter items take less time to dry.  This will save you drying time on those little loads. 
  • Difficult load first – We all have that load of laundry that is just more difficult than the rest. Do your most difficult load of laundry first and this will make the rest of your loads less stressful.
  • Multiple days of laundry – By spreading your laundry time throughout the week and doing some of the easier loads on weekdays (towels for example), you will save yourself time and stress on the weekends.
  • Set a timer – Every time you start a load of laundry, start a timer on your phone. By setting the timer for 45-50 minutes, it will help prevent you from forgetting about the laundry and losing track of time.

Of course, hiring someone else to do the laundry would be the ultimate time saver!  This might not be an option for everyone, but it’s definitely something to consider.

There may be no perfect solution to doing laundry, but I would LOVE to hear your suggestions for making laundry quicker and easier.

Please share your ideas in my Organize 365 Facebook Group.

A special thank you to this week’s podcast sponsor, TidyLiving!

Use the promocode ORGANIZE365 to save 10%

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/183

Direct download: Org365-183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Whether you're keeping your kid's room clean or you have assigned them this very important task, it is essential to keep their room organized.

I dive deep into everything kids' clothes on the podcast this week.

This is a topic I've mentioned before. In podcast episodes #103 Bedroom Organization For Kids and #104 Clothing Organization For Kids, I discussed how to organize your bedroom and, more specifically, your clothing. It would be a great idea to listen to both of those episodes first since I have taken those principles and built upon them in this episode.

I like to view your kid’s rooms as their own mini apartments inside of your house.

In this episode, I focused on keeping kid’s clothing organized. This sometimes means sorting through both clean and dirty clothes strewn around their rooms, but there are some ways to help avoid this.

  1. Hang everything

Getting into the habit of hanging and folding clean clothes right after they leave the laundry room can cut down on the amount of clothes left all over their room.

I know for a lot of kids (particularly if they have ADHD) it’s VERY easy to get overwhelmed, especially with how many items can be found in their closet.

One organizing method that I have found to be helpful with my kids has been to hang up all of their shirts so that they can see what they have.

2.  Put hampers in each child's room. 

Another helpful practice to follow is designating a location for all the dirty laundry and actually putting it there! Ideally, this would be IN a laundry basket, but just having the dirty clothes all in one place will make a difference.

Once the clothes are separated, it’s time to organize them in a way that helps your kids!

 3. Next steps...

Now obviously, not everyone has the closet space to hang up all of their clothes. So what do you do if your child has a dresser?

I have created something that really helps with organizing clothes in drawers! It's a FREE set of printable icons that can be laminated and placed on the drawers of your child’s dresser to help them remember what is inside.

There are four different sets of icons designed for young boys and girls, as well as teenage boys and girls. You can mix and match the icons that you like.

These kid clothing icons will help your kids identify what is inside of drawers and bins, keeping them more organized.

In the podcast, I shared how I put these on a client’s closet drawers using the Command Hook double-sided adhesive strips. Did you know you can buy just the strips?!

To download ALL four sets of printable icons, click here.

And yes, ladies, you too can use these fun icons!

What about hangers?

The final tips I talk about in this episode are all about the hangers you use in your kid’s closet. It seems like a small detail, but using hangers that are all the same size and shape can make all the difference right from the start.

Once you have those matching hangers, get into the habit of taking out extra hangers and bringing them down to the laundry room for the next batch of clean clothes.

When I am organizing, I like to keep one white trash bag hanging in my closet for those hangers I know I am going to throw away. I also keep a black trash bag hanging in my closet for clothes that are going to be donated to Goodwill.

Of course, all of these tips for organizing your kid’s clothing can also be applied to your own clothes, too.

Happy Organizing!

A special thank you to this week’s podcast sponsor, TidyLiving.com!

Use the promocode ORGANIZE365 to save 10%

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/182

Direct download: Org365-182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Welcome to the Bermuda triangle of months! I never know where my July goes…

This is the month when I reflect on the past 11 months, delete and consolidate goals, and dream and plan for a productive fall.

This fall, I will be attending Biz Chix LIVE in Irvine, California on October 18-20. Let me know if you will be there!

In today’s podcast, I shared three items I am working on for this fall.

  1. The Productivity Planner.

This planner/book/workbook is meeting and exceeding all my expectations. It will be available for pre-order on August 4th for currently enrolled 100 Day Home Organization Program members. And will be included in the fall 100 Day Home Organization Program Registration.

Make sure to sign up on the 100 Day Home Organization Wait List to be notified when registration for fall opens!

  1. Sunday Basket™ Workshop Licensing.

I realized when I recorded podcast #166 All About The Sunday Basket™ Workshops, I was so excited about the workshops that I didn’t really share how it would benefit you to be a licensed Sunday Basket™ Provider.

I will be sharing more and answering all your questions on a live webinar/Q&A call on Zoom, July 12th at 9 pm EST. You can register here, and learn more about this licensing program here.

Then mark your calendar for September 28th for a day long Sunday Basket™ Workshop Licensee training at my house in West Chester, Ohio.

  1. Please take my survey!

I LOVE helping you get organized, and I want to provide the best resources and podcasts for you! You can sign up for the newsletter and take my survey here.

Enjoy the lazy days of summer this month and rest up for a productive fall!

A special thank you to this week’s podcast sponsor, SaneBox!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/181

 

Direct download: Org365-181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

To learn more about organizing your home with the Sunday Basket and the 100 Day Home Organization Program, visit https://organize365.com/products-for-getting-organized/

Direct download: Org365-HelloBonus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Our kid’s bring home SO much school and artwork, the thought of organizing it can be a daunting task.

In this week’s episode, I share with you some tips on how to make this as SIMPLE as possible.

The first step is trying to decide what to keep! There is a happy medium between those parents who throw everything away after a single week and those parents who file and catalog EVERY piece of paper their child has ever written on.

Some of the items I try to keep include artwork the kids made that has their hand prints on them, as well as anything that represents a first for them. For example, their first drawing or the first time they wrote their name.

Other paper items that I keep include any certificates or awards they receive and any original stories that they have written.

Of course, everybody feels differently about the school and artwork their children bring home, so the most important thing is to save what is special to YOU!

When you're organizing your child’s school and artwork, I recommend getting a storage container to keep it all in one place. If your kids are still in school, their work can be placed in the container as they bring it home until you are ready to get ORGANIZED!

Below are the three best ways I have found to organize your child’s work:

  • Create a Binder – A binder full of sheet protectors will help to preserve your child’s work, as well as allow you to save items that can’t be hole-punched for a binder. This can be a FUN and EASY way to flip through your child’s work together!
  • File Boxes – This can be a typical file box bought from any office supply store. Create a colorful file folder for each school year and organize them chronologically. Then just slip the artwork into the appropriate folder as you go!
  • Digital Storage – This is the newest form of organization. To save all your child’s work, simply take a picture of them and download it to your computer. By creating a slideshow of their work, it will be easy to share with your kids when they are older!

Taking the time to organize your child’s school and artwork using any of these methods can increase their confidence and self-esteem. They might also share with you some memories you didn’t know about!

The memories that go along with all of this school and artwork are just as important as the work itself!

So, to help you record some of those memories with your children, I created the Kid’s Art & School Organizer! These helpful sheets are a fun and easy way to help you record your children’s memories from preschool through to sixth grade.

The sheets are printable or editable (if you prefer to stay digital). Unlike other organizers, my questions change from year to year and include both school memories AND family memories. I think both are equally important.

You can find more information about the Kid’s Art & School Organizer here.

I would LOVE to see a picture of your child’s school and artwork all organized! Please share in my Facebook Group (and if you haven't joined it yet, just go ahead and request access!).

A special thank you to this week’s podcast sponsor, SaneBox!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/180

Direct download: Org365-180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Google Calendar, Gmail, SaneBox, OH MY!

Today’s podcast is going to increase your productivity.  Once you implement what I share, you will get back HOURS and HOURS in every week of your life!

Sounds good, right?

I’ve wanted to share with you how I organize my Google Calendar and my Gmail for a couple of years. Specifically, I want to share with you how I manage to be SO efficient in everything I do with regards to calendar and email management…and how you can be, too!

But, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to convey this to you. I thought about a podcast episode, a video series, or an online productivity course… then I came up with a plan which is kind of a mixture of all three.

In this week’s podcast episode, you’re going to get the audio tracks from a three-part video series that I created. Then, you can download the videos from the website link for FREE!

Google Calendar

I like to use Google Calendar and Gmail... they’re so universal and they have all the features that I want. They’re simple enough that you don’t need to use all the extra features to get the best out of them!

Using a Google Calendar effectively has increased my productivity in ways that I can’t even quantify.

Now that I have teenagers, Google Calendar has become a necessary part of our family. With integrated Google Calendars, the whole family is able to know what everyone is doing at the same time.

Gmail and SaneBox

I’ve done some really cool things with my Gmail that have increased my productivity! For example:

  1. Multiple Inboxes – I’ve basically created a Sunday Basket in my Gmail! I have my regular inbox and then ‘slash folders’ underneath.
  2. SaneBox – I used to get my inbox to zero a few times a month, but now with Sanebox, I can get it to zero every single night! It is AMAZING!

So go and listen to this week’s podcast episode which is the audio version of my 3-part video series.

Then, sign up for the 3 part-video series by clicking here. The three videos will be delivered to you by email over 3 days and they're called:

  1. How to Organize Your Google Calendar
  2. How to Organize Your Gmail
  3. How to Use SaneBox To Increase Your Productivity

I recommend that you listen first and then watch the videos.

I know that if you implement what I teach you, you will increase your productivity and get hours back in your week!

If you would like to try out SaneBox... and I really recommend that you do... go to Sanebox.com/organize365 and you'll get $25 off as well as a two week free trial!

A special thank you to this week’s podcast sponsor, SaneBox!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/179

Direct download: Org365-179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST