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

I’m sharing what I like, don't like and why I think that this book doesn't work for American women.

Talk about a controversial statement, I know, but I think "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" does not work for the majority of American women. Marie and I approach organizing differently based on our ages and countries of origin./p>

There a few things that I do like about Marie's book.

  1. I love that she has brought the discussion of clutter and organizing to the attention of the media and people around the world.
  2. I like the idea behind her method of sparking joy. “If it doesn't spark joy that you should get rid of it.”
  3. I also love that Marie champions that idea that organization is a teachable and learnable skill.

Yes, yes, YES! That is what I have been saying for years, that it doesn't matter if you're not organized now, you can learn to be organized.


{To really understand why this book doesn’t work for American women read the whole post or listen to the podcast where I dive deep into the differences between an American house and a Japanese house and our cultural differences.}

 
What works for Marie but I have not seen as easily implementable for Americans are the following five things.
 
#1 Marie says you should tidy all at once and be done.

Immediately that rubbed me the wrong way, which is why I had such a hard time with her book. Having helped so many women organize their whole homes and organized my own I know, it took me three years to get organized. Knowing how hard American women try to be organized and the quantity of items to be organized I knew it was not that easy. You can't just wave a magic wand, do it once and it's all done.

#2 Marie consistently brings up this idea of perfectionism, the perfect system and that you can reach perfection.

I do not think that you can reach perfection. I'm not there, I actually get bored when I get anywhere close to being super productive. I create all these alternative projects I can do to make my life a little bit more cluttered. I don't want to live in a perfect minimalistic, 100% efficient life. I don't agree that you can actually even achieve a perfect life.  

#3 Is the topic of paper organization.

This is the hot button that originally rubbed me the wrong way when reading Marie’s book. The first time I read her book, I stopped reading after the one and a half pages about how to organize paper, which basically said just get rid of all of it.

I about had a heart failure.

So when I re-read the book last week, and I read all the way through I realized that towards the end of the book she does tell you how to organize paper, a little bit. But she still sticks with the idea that almost all paper should be thrown away and that there are only three files that you should have.

Files.

Not filing systems.
 
Files.
 
Three envelopes or three files of paper, TOTAL.
 

#4 Marie glosses over photos and memories.

Her suggestion to go through your photos one by one and make decisions, would take at least a year for most of the Americans that I know. It is definitely not something you can tidy all at once and be done in a day or two. Furthermore, most Americans have a hard time deciding which photos are good to keep and which ones can be let go.

Don’t believe me? What do you do with your school pictures after you put one in a family frame and hand them out to friends and family members? If you are like most Americans you store the rest in the school envelope and “save” them. Who know, we might “need” them. And they cost good money. See – we need help.


And lastly, #5 Marie explains how she empties her purse every single day.

Her wallet, train ticket, etc all come out of her purse and are stored in different places in her home. Then she puts the purse in a bag and puts it up on the shelf of her closet. There is no way that I could empty out my purse and refill my purse every day.


I am so grateful that the "Magic Art of Tidying Up" has become such a popular book and has brought this whole idea of organizing and decluttering to the forefront of the media. It has opened up the discussion for people around the world to really take a look at the stuff that they have saved and think about the kind of a life that they want to live.

However, if you are an American and you have read this book and you've made great progress in your master closet, but then you haven't made much more progress in the rest of your house, you're doing just fine.
 
So what does work for American women? The 100 Day Home Organization Challenge is the perfect match for your American home. Registration just opened for the January 2 kick off. Join today!
Direct download: Org365-138.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

When your family gathers together for the holidays this year, bring out your memory boxes!

Organizing old family memories, treasures, photos, and memorabilia is time-consuming and hard emotional work. Why not involve the whole family this year and conquer a few boxes at the same time.

  1. Pull out all the photos.

Grab a few boxes of photos and let you family enjoy them, unorganized and all. Enjoy sharing stories and reminiscing about old times.

Use a photo-safe pen for family members to label who is in the picture on the back.

Let your family pitch duplicates, blurry pictures, pictures of landscapes, and other unnecessary photos.

Ask a teenager to scan the best photos and share them with the family.

Let your family members take the photos home!

  1. Record the stories.

You can make a video or audio recording of your family’s memories, but I like good old fashioned oral tradition as well.

Share stories, let the grandchildren overhear, and laugh until you cry.

Hearing the stories of your family’s history is powerful.

  1. Pull out childhood memories from the attic and storage room with your adult children.

Bring up a few boxes of your adult child’s childhood memories to reminisce and go through in the family room. Share the memories and either declutter the items or send them home with your child. J

If you are the child, go grab a few of those boxes on your next visit home.

  1. Play old home movies on the TV.

Fire up the old VHS or movie reel player and enjoy watching past holidays, babies take their first steps and ride their bikes.

Memories are meant to be shared and enjoyed. Enjoy yours with your families this holiday!

You can view the full post here: https://organize365.com/137

Thank you to Swap.com for sponsoring this podcast series.

Direct download: Org365-137.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

The process of selling your items is labor intensive. I often suggest just donating your unwanted items to save time and get you to living a less cluttered life faster.

However, there often is value in the items you no longer need, and being paid to declutter has a nice ring to it.

In each case, a bunch of time and space is necessary to store, price, list, and deliver items. In the past few years, numerous companies have come into the marketplace that will store, price, list, and deliver your items for you.

Win – Win!

Now all you have to do is determine which of these companies best suits the type of clutter you have and ship it off.

Replacements.com accepts china, silver, figurines, and crystal. I have bought and sold with Replacements.com and have had excellent results.

Swap.com is an online resale website for maternity through adult women’s clothing. I like that Swap.com also buys and sells baby items, kid's toys, and kid's books.

Decluttr.com is a great resource for selling electronic items and DVDs. Decluttr.com gives you an estimate of how much you can make on your CDs, DVDs, video games, and electronics by scanning the barcodes on those items.

Rebagg.com works in a similar way to Decluttr.com. Once you send a photo of your handbag to Rebagg.com, you will receive a quote and a free shipping label to mail them your handbag.

I have purchased and have been very happy with the service from Thread Up. Thread Up sells clothing for all the women in your life, from babies to grandmas. To sell your clothing, order a clean out bag and get started cleaning out your closet!

Thread Up offers you $10 off your first purchase if you use my affiliate code here.

EBTH {Everything But The House} is a full service online estate sale company. If you have a whole house worth of items to sell, start with an EBTH in-home consultation. Smaller lots of sale items can also be sold through EBTH’s regional distribution centers.

You can view the full post here: https://organize365.com/136

Thank you to Swap.com for sponsoring this podcast series.

Direct download: Org365-136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

For many of us, it is relatively easy to let go of inexpensive items of clutter that we no longer love and need. As you progress through your home decluttering/organization journey, you will naturally start to question why you are keeping items of greater value.

For many of us, the act of collecting is fun. As children, we collected Beanie Babies, Happy Meal toys, and rocks. As we age, the desire to have complete collections can consume us beyond our actual desire for the items being collected. 

And once collected, collectibles have both a real and a perceived value. 

So what do we do when we look around our homes and see expensive clutter that we lovingly collected and purchased?

  1. Does the collection still bring you joy? 
  2. Have you documented the memory?
  3. Look up the monetary value. 
  4. Share your collections with family. 

You can view the full post here: https://organize365.com/135

Thank you to Swap.com for sponsoring this podcast series. 

Direct download: Org365-135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

I always thought that I divided my calendar into three separate years because I was a schoolteacher or because I had children. But the more I talk to women without children who work 9-to-5 jobs, the more I find that this way of looking at the calendar actually rings true for most women.

In this week’s post, I will walk you through how I organize my calendar three times a year, and how each time block starts out structured and organized and ends up chaotic and unstructured.

My 3 calendar seasons are September to December, January to May, and June to August.

Read the full post here: https://organize365.com/my-three-new-years/

Direct download: Org365-134.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

  1. Organizing Holiday Decorations
  2. Organizing Your Kids!

Check out the full post for relevant links to get you started organizing in these areas.

Etsy Store Updates

  • The 100 Day Home Organization Challenge registration opens on December 16th.
  • NEW: The 21 Day Garage & Storage Room Organization Sprint is available.More sprint information
  • Order signed copies of The Mindset of Organization in my Etsy Store.

Visit my Etsy store

Direct download: Org365-133.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Match your holiday gift to the recipients "love language" and give clutter free gifts this holiday season.

Have you heard of the 5 love languages? Understanding how we give and receive love helps us make more meaningful purchases and give gifts that will be used and appreciated.

The five love languages are:

  1. Quality time
  2. Acts of service
  3. Touch
  4. Gifts
  5. Words of affirmation

In this week's blog post, I have ideas for clutter free gifts for each of the 5 love languages. Read it here: https://organize365.com/clutter-free-christmas-gifts/

Direct download: Org365-132.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

It is so easy for us to start organizing ourselves and start making progress.

Then we look at our spouses and notice that they have not made the same progress we have made. We want them to be doing what we are doing. However, they need to see a few more things from us before they're ready to jump on board.

Here are the steps:

  1. Husbands are looking for you to be consistent.
  2. Your husband is looking for results that last.
  3. Change is yucky.
  4. He has to want it for himself.
  5. Stop focusing on his passion projects.

Click here to read the whole post: https://organize365.com/organize-husbands/

Direct download: Org365-131.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Just as there are 4 phases of life that I identified in the Mindset Of Organization Book, these 3 phases of parenting all need different organization as well. The more you understand where you are in life, the more successful you will be at finding and implementing the organization you need to make your life function better.

Parenting Stage 1: 0-6 years old – You Do It All

The first stage of parenting is sheer survival! Under the age of 6 almost all daily duties with your children fall on your shoulders. The days are long and I’m not sure who said the years are short – they weren’t for me!

Organizing yourself and your family in this stage is like shoveling snow in a snow storm. Organization is unique to you and your family and likely will completely change every 3 months. My solution was to chunk my year into 3 month groupings. I would make a few goals for each of my kids, purge their clothes and toys and keep plugging away.

Parenting Stage 2: 7-12 years old – You Do It Together

The grade school years of parenting were the easiest for me. I loved the structure, the fact that my kids were still under my control and the great friends I made during those years. These are very social years where the kids and parents connect and enjoy activities together.

As your kids age through this stage their toys will go from being everywhere – to being only in their rooms. These are the years when your kids learn chores and establish their contributing roles to your family dynamics.

Parenting Stage 3: 13+ years old – Guidance & Support

This parenting stage is as time consuming as the first, except this time I am in my car all the time and not at home. Luckily for me I view that large quantity of driving time as the best quality time I get with my teens. Deep thoughts, but dreams and life lessons are often talked about in the hours and hours of time I spend with my teens in the car.

I find myself going from managing one family calendar to providing and supporting my teens as they take on their own calendar scheduling, activities and start making their big lifetime goals come to life.

Direct download: Org365-130.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Almost all sports involve special clothing, equipment and leaving the house. Even walking my dog!

Here are 8 steps to get your sporting equipment organized and have everything you need – when you need it!

  1. Get a bag for EACH sport and each person.
  2. Create a custom checklist for each bag.
  3. Buy MORE of anything you can!
  4. Keep the sports bags and uniforms in the car, garage or laundry room.
  5. Stocked “Mom Bag”.
  6. Stocked “Spectator Bag”.
  7. Buy Garage Organizers.
  8. Clean Out the Car!

For more ideas and further explanation view the whole post here: https://organize365.com/how-to-organize-sporting-equipment/

Direct download: Org365-129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT