Organize 365® Podcast

Have you ever played Candy Crush? It is so ridiculously simple and mindless… but addictive. In this week’s podcast episode, I compare organizing your house to playing this fun, addictive, and ultimately endless game of Candy Crush.

It was around three summers ago that I played this game obsessively. I would find any excuse to play Candy Crush. I would even make extra time to play it, and play it for way too long trying to get through a level. Finally, I had to take it completely off my phone because I just have no will power. A couple of years later, I put it back on my phone and found I wasn't quite so addicted as I was the first time.

A word of warning – if you have never played Candy Crush, don't take this podcast as permission to go and download it! When I first started playing it, I thought you could "win," that you could finish the game, but there are literally millions of levels. You can never win. I don’t recommend wasting your time on it!

What does Candy Crush have to do with home organization?

As the new year approaches, we all start to set goals to get organized, lose weight, and put our finances in order, all at the same time. These are the top three New Year's resolutions that we all want to achieve. On January 1st, when people ask you what you're going to do, you say, "I'm going to lose 10 pounds, I'm going to get out of debt, and I'm going to get organized," because that is what everybody plans to do every single January!

When it comes to home organization, at the end of the year you may say, "I'm going to get my house in order." What you mean is you're going to declutter, donate, sell, and basically get rid of things. That's what you mean by getting organized in the last week of the year.

That's like the first 20 levels of Candy Crush. You go in, you play it, you go to the next level. Or, when organizing your home, you go in the room, you fill a trash bag, you take it out to the car, or you donate it and you continue like this… donating, trash, donating, trash. You feel good and you're also getting a bit of exercise while doing it!

Another example – you're clearing the house, taking down decorations, and you feel like you're doing a great job, then suddenly you return to a room you have already done, checking for any other clutter, and you get a little stuck. You start to look for more help to make decisions about what you need or don't need. It's not as easy to get through the room.

This is like Candy Crush – often they don't let you through the level on the first shot so you have to play it again until you finally get through it.

What happens when you get stuck?

Let’s say you make great progress until you realize there are no more "quick wins." So where do we go from there?

Maybe you buy some little containers and organize some drawers, maybe tweaking and maintaining things you've done before. By about the middle of January, there is still 80% that has not been organized successfully and you don't know where to start to resolving this. You wonder if there are organizers you can buy. This usually doesn't work, it costs a lot of money, and there aren't organizers you can buy for the space you need to organize... don't you hate that?

This is because 99% of organization has nothing to do with the cute containers.

It’s like you are stuck on Candy Crush level 56 and you're asking yourself, what do I have to do to get through this level?!

There are two things you can do when playing Candy Crush when you get stuck:

  1. Pay for help

You can pay for more moves when you run out of your lives, plus other pay options.

  1. Head online – I go to YouTube

Just search for “how to beat level 57 in Candy Crush” and watch a video of some genius who knows how to beat that level.

Either you go spend the time watching someone who knows how to do it or you pay the money to take you to the next level.

Guess what, it's the same with organizing. You start to get wins and you are flying through your house. You will want to spend more time organizing your house because you are having such success.

Equally, when you get frustrated and your laundry room is driving you bananas, you are going to start figuring out how to beat that laundry room. Someone has to win the battle and you want it to be you. You get so determined that once it is complete, you have a sense of satisfaction and can give yourself permission to go and do something else with your time.

When you're in the middle of January and you’re going to tackle the front hall closet or the laundry room, for example, just like in Candy Crush, you have two choices:

  1. Go online

You can go online and find many resources and people that can help you. For example, on Pinterest or YouTube, you can see spaces that have been organized by others and watch how they do it.

  1. Hire help

You can get a professional organizer or you could do my 100 Day Home Organization Program.

How I can help you?

To help you get organized, I have two things to offer you that I am so excited about.

  1. The Sunday Basket® Podcast

I’m so excited to let you know that on Sunday, December 31st, I’m launching the Sunday Basket® Podcast.

It is available now on iTunes. Please go check it out and subscribe.

Starting tomorrow, on the Organize 365 podcast I will be posting a podcast to listen to EVERY DAY through December 31st. I am calling this the Organize 365 BINGE.

These are previous podcasts that I have pulled out and put in the exact order I would have you listen to them if you were brand new to Organize 365. They will help you with the mental mindset you are going to need going forward. So whether you are new to Organize 365 (welcome!) or you are a regular, take a moment to subscribe, listen, and share this podcast with your friends and family. Help lighten the load for everyone!

Then from December 31st to January 7th, I will have 8 brand new episodes on the SundayBasket® Podcast. You have to subscribe to The Sunday Basket® Podcast, though, so be sure to do that so you get my daily tips and motivation!

  1. The 100 Day Home Organization Program

Registration to my 100 Day Home Organization Program is now open – click here to join.

The program gives you 100 actionable, 15 minute a day activities starting on Monday, January 1st. Every day by email, you will receive a 15-minute activity with a short video, an actionable step, and any links to material that I talk about in the email or video.

It is designed to systematically organize your entire house in 100 days. Don't worry, it comes with a lifetime membership so you don't have to commit to do all 100 days IN 100 days. You can skip days and go back to them and do this over and over again. We do the program 3 times a year.

Also with the 100 Day Home Organization Program, you get my amazing planner!

On January 1st, I will go live in the private Facebook Group and take you through the first part of this planner to set your goals and productivity.

I also do a weekly live Q&A in the group which I also post online. So even if you aren’t on Facebook, you won't miss out.

This is the game changer from waking up on January 1st, 2018 saying, "I'm going to lose some weight, get out of debt, and get organized" to waking up on January 1st, 2019 saying, "I got organized."

My goal is to help increase your productivity to allow you to do whatever you were uniquely created to do. We as women are being taken out by the everyday and this is stopping us from being the unique individuals we are meant to be.

I really want to be your coach, motivate you, and help you reduce the time spent on everyday tasks, to become more organized, purposeful, and productive through 2018. If you would like to join the 100 Day Home Organization Program, just click here. I hope to see you on the inside!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/208

Direct download: Org365-208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

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

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

'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

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

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

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

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

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

On the podcast this week, I talk about time management and productivity.

I’ve finally figured out what is missing for women on this topic!

Everyone needs a schedule. You need a plan and you need to proactively tell yourself what you should be doing. Because if you don’t, you will just end up sidetracked and distracted.

I haven’t talked about time management and productivity very much in the past. That is because I think that you need to get physically organized first before you can get mentally organized.

This is a little different from what you’re used to hearing me say. I do think that change happens in your mind first and then in your physical reality – as far as getting physically organized and decluttered.

But when it comes to productivity and time management, we’re at a whole new level. Now we are visualizing what change will look like and mentally making the changes.

That is why I want to make this physical for you. I have created some AMAZING printables that I’m so happy to share with you. You can download them here and they go with this week’s podcast episode and next week’s episode as well.

They also go with episodes 192 and 193 on routines.

Making changes to our time management and how we manage our schedule does not happen overnight.

I have devised 4 steps for creating a plan for time management.

Steps 1 & 2: Morning and Afternoon & Evening Routines

I recently created two podcast episodes on my morning routine and my afternoon and evening routines.

Thank you for all the feedback that I’ve received on these episodes – I loved recording them and they’ve been really well received.

Many people talk about morning and evening routines, but for me my afternoon routine is my most important routine right now (between 2-5pm – after my productive work) .

In this week’s podcast episode, I talk you through exactly what I want you to do to creat your routines and my worksheet will help you formulate one – just add ONE new thing into your morning, afternoon and evening routine.

Step 3: Work out all of the roles that you are responsible for in the household

This step is going to overwhelm you!

I take you through the task of working out how many roles you are responsible for when it comes to running your household.

There are A LOT of roles and you will be surprised how many relate to you. For example, healthcare coordinator, taxi driver, vacation planner, etc.

On the worksheet, you are then asked to work out all of your ‘to-dos’ for each role. You may find this difficult, but give it your best shot!

To put this into context – a couple years ago, I completed a time study for me and Greg. We discovered we were spending 36 hours a week on household and childcare related tasks.

Step 4: Planning your time and creating a schedule

In this final step on my worksheet, you actually plan your time. You create a schedule.

The focus is on being PRODUCTIVE. When you plan your time in advance (right down to the minutes), you will find that you have more minutes. Yes, you get more time back in your day!

I can work with you on this task, if you'd like. I love helping people plan their schedules in order to be more productive. Just click here to book a coaching call with me.

You NEED a schedule – especially if you work from home.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, a work-from-home employee, a stay-at-home mom, or you have any other role that requires you to work from home, you NEED to have a schedule.

I consider "work" as your life purpose. That is how I define work. This could be paid or unpaid (i.e., stay-at-home mom). Whatever your work is, it’s your life purpose.

Time is so valuable and you can never get it back so you need to work out a schedule that ensures you do not fritter away your time.

Share your new schedules in the Organize 365 Facebook Group!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/197

Direct download: Org365-197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

On the podcast this week, I introduce you to a rule that I impose upon myself that I call the “24 Hour Rule."

The 24 Hour Rule is going to free you up from all the things that you might do, should do, could do, or want to do someday. Instead, it’ll teach you to focus on today.

Warning: Please listen to the full podcast episode! You may think at first that the 24 hour rule is a little crazy, but by the end I hope I’ve convinced you to give it a try.

A Bit Of Background

The 24 Hour Rule is something that I developed for myself after I’d been doing the SundayBasket™ for a few years.

Why? Well, I found that a couple of items in my Sunday Basket™ stayed every week!

This goes against the rule of the Sunday Basket™, that you empty the Sunday Basket™ completely on Sunday. Then you hold up every single item – every piece of paper, mail, slash pocket – and you ask yourself, “Can this wait until next Sunday?”

If it can, then it goes right back into the Sunday Basket™. At the end of your time working on your Sunday Basket™, you have identified the items that need to be acted on before next Sunday. All the rest can wait.

I Started To Drown In My WOW Ideas

I’m an ideas person. Ideas come to me all the time and I get so excited. I’m a WOW person and not a HOW person – I usually leave the details to someone else.

I love to write down my ideas or print them off and then put them in my Sunday Basket™. I realized that all of these WOW ideas were the items in my Sunday Basket™ that were staying each week. I was just accumulating a lot of ideas, but not necessarily implementing them.

In other words, I was drowning in my own ideas and becoming overwhelmed. I had to stop stockpiling all of my should/could/someday ideas in a physical location because it was wasting my time instead of inspiring me.

To overcome this problem, I created the 24 Hour Rule.

The 24 Hour Rule Explained

My 24-hour rule is pretty simple.

When I find a great idea, I ask myself, “Can I do this within 24 hours?”

Now, of course, there are many things that you can’t implement fully in 24 hours, but here’s another way to look at this…

We all have times when we come up with a juicy idea that we dive right into and end up spending 2 hours (sometimes even more!) on the internet researching our idea. Do you agree?

Most likely, you didn’t have those 2 hours when you first got your idea, but you made time within 24 hours to flesh it out. Then you decided if it was worth pursuing now, later, or not at all.

My point is that, if an idea is that good and it moves you that much, then you will take immediate action on it.

All of the other someday ideas can be disregarded right now. Don’t write them down or print them off. Just let them be.

As soon as I adapted the 24 Hour Rule, I found that if I really wanted to do something awesome for my business, my home, or my family, I could almost always start to take action within 24 hours.

A Recent Example Where I Applied The 24 Hour Rule

A recent example of my coming up with an idea and applying it within 24 hours is the fundraising appeal that I am currently running for Avondale House in Houston, Texas.

I was completely glued to the news on Hurricane Harvey – reading and watching everything about it on my phone. I felt so bad for those affected that I thought there must something I can do to help.

That’s when I came up with the idea of fundraising for Avondale House. You can read all about it and contribute here. Great news, we’ve raised over $2,000 at the time of recording this podcast! Thank you so much to everyone for contributing.

Now you see that the idea of helping out with Hurricane Harvey relief was so important to me that if I had waited, I would never have taken action.

Your To-Do List Is Never-Ending

The reality is that as soon as you knock things off your to-do list, other things come onto it. That is why it’s a to-do list, and not a to-done list – it’s never going to end!

As soon as you come to terms with your to-do list, it will give you greater perspective on organizing your to-dos, prioritizing, and a more realistic view of life.

There is only so much you can do in your day and I really, really want you to be able to use some of your free time for whatever you want to do.

This is why a key piece of advice that I have for you is to only have 3 big things – or what I callrocks – that you want to accomplish each day. Keep things realistic and don’t constantly chase the impossible.

I’m going to cover this concept in more detail in future podcast episodes so stay tuned.

The Sunday Basket™

Most things come back to the Sunday Basket™ because I truly love the Sunday Basket™.

The Sunday Basket™ takes time to set up and get used to using. But when you’ve been implementing the Sunday Basket™ for 2 months, I’m going to bet that you find you have a lot more time back in your week. That time comes from no longer looking for paper items and trying to remember things, and from being more organized.

It’s amazing how much time you spend just with switching tasks. Did you know you can spend up to 20 minutes switching tasks and recovering from getting distracted? That’s a lot of time!

And that’s why, I always encourage you to put your big ideas in your Sunday Basket™.

But let’s take it a step further and always apply the 24 Hour Rule to each and every one of those ideas. I suggest that when you review your ideas every week, you should assess whether you will act on it in 24 hours. If not, throw it away or review it again in 100 days.

I challenge you today…

What is something that you have on your someday list that you can eliminate?

I challenge you to get rid of it – go ahead and lighten your load!

Now, is that big idea you have right now actionable within 24 hours?

Then, I encourage you to start pursuing it now!

Are you interested in knowing more about the Sunday Basket™?

You can join attend a virtual class here or join the Sunday Basket™ Workshop Licensing Program by clicking here!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/196

Direct download: Org365-196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

On the podcast this week, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Wendy Zanders.

Wendy is a successful professional organizer and her story fascinates me. She has done things in almost the exact opposite order to how I’d normally recommend, but it has worked well and I couldn’t be happier for her. Her story just goes to show that there are many different routes to success and we must all follow the path that feels right for us.

Wendy discovered me when she was suffering from depression

Wendy found me and the Organize 365 blog and podcast during the most depressing time of her life. Her family had suffered the loss of a dear family member and she was really struggling. She actually connected with me when she heard me share my depression story, as her experiences felt so similar to mine.

Wendy shares on the podcast how she joined my Jumpstart Professional Organizer Program (a one-time offering this past summer). The program was for people wanting to start a professional organizer business. She then joined my Sunday Basket™ Workshop Licensing Program, and later she joined my 100 Day Home Organization Program. This is pretty much the exact opposite order that you would expect!

A little more about Wendy

Wendy is 35, lives in Frederick, Maryland, and she has a husband, a 4 year old daughter, a 10 year old son, and a new business. She is in between the accumulation and survival phases of life. Her life is pretty busy, with non-stop family commitments, business commitments, and church commitments. Wendy and her husband both work full-time, and they very much divide and conquer when it comes to running the family and household.

Earlier this year, Wendy decided that she wanted to get a part-time job on the weekend to help build up the family emergency fund. She was given the advice to find something she loves to do and then do it as a business. Like me, Wendy LOVES being organized and helping others get organized. Becoming a professional organizer seemed like the perfect choice!

Wendy and I first spoke in May of this year. After asking me plenty of great questions, she decided to join my Jumpstart Professional Organizer Program. Thankfully, her husband was behind her 100%, something that is always a huge help for the women who take my program.

Wendy is also a member of my Professional Organizers Think Tank Facebook Group. She explains on the podcast how being a member of the group really took things to another level for her, being able to connect with other like-minded professional organizers on the same journey as her has been invaluable.

She works on her professional organization business on Friday nights and Saturday. Wendy had a goal to earn back the program fee within 7 months and she did so within 3 months!

Becoming a professional organizer despite having ADD

Wendy shares on the podcast that she has attention deficit disorder, something that you wouldn’t always associate with a professional organizer.

Wendy was not diagnosed with ADD until later in life. It was actually the point at which her son was being tested for ADHD that she realized she had many of the symptoms herself.

Wendy becoming a successful professional organizer... with ADD... really does mean that if you have a passion to do something, then go out there and do it!

Marketing can be the biggest challenge

One of Wendy’s key strengths is marketing her business.

Being a professional organizer means meeting and connecting with many people. Therefore, marketing efforts that lead to the most results are often those conducted in person.

Wendy is a superstar when it comes to marketing her business and on the podcast she shares the many ways that she’s doing this.

Become a Sunday Basket™ Workshop Licensed Provider

Would you like to become a Sunday Basket™ Workshop licensee like Wendy? Would you like to help people in your local area get their paperwork organized? This is a first step before joining my mentoring program for professional organizers.

My Sunday Basket™ Workshop Licensing Program is now open and I’d love for you to join. Registration closes next Tuesday, September 26th. Please click here to find out more.

If you want to join the licensing program, but it’s not right for you at this time, you can put yourself on the (no obligation) wait list for next time.

Finally (because I’m so excited about it!), I want to share that Wendy and I are both going toBizChix Live in October which is going to be AMAZING. If you want to learn more about the event please, click here.

Happy Paper Organizing!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/195

Direct download: Org365-195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

There is nothing more frustrating than nervously watching a tragedy unfold before your eyes and feel like there is nothing you can do to help. The hours I have spent the last month reading articles, watching video clips, and following friends on social media who are going through natural disasters is mind blowing.

This nervous energy eats me alive. I want to DO something.

Ironically in Cincinnati, Ohio, we have very few natural disasters. A stray tornado or big snow storm, but nothing like the fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes I 've watched in the last month.

Even so, emergencies in general are a guarantee in life. Someday you will need to have your medical and financial ducks in a row to facilitate your care or the care of a loved one.

This week in the podcast, Betsy shares her Houston Hurricane story, and I share how you can organize your important documents and help the autistic community at the Avondale House School in Houston, Texas.

The Avondale House is a resource for the special needs community in Houston and a school for children with autism.

For the rest of 2017, when you purchase the medical and financial organizers through this link, 100% of the sale will go to the Avondale House School.

The financial and medical organizers are editable PDFs so you can store your information digitally or they can be printed and put in a binder – it's your choice!

These organizers collect all your important information so you don't have to hunt through your filing cabinet or wish you could take the whole thing with you if you have to evacuate. This will really help you in an emergency situation, whatever that situation may be.

100% of the proceeds from sales of my medical and financial planners will go to Avondale House. This is a "win-win" situation as you get these two great organizers AND you get to donate to such a great cause.

If you would prefer to not purchase the planners, but would rather donate directly to Avondale House, you can do so here.

One thing you will never hear me say is, "It 's just stuff." I know better.

Physical items can be replaced, but it does not minimize the pain and inconvenience of doing so. I hope you are reading this in a house with running water, a working sewage system, and electricity

Like I said in the podcast, my own medical and financial organizers were not filled out, but I am doing it now.

I don't want to, and I don 't "have the time," but I know... one day I will be glad I did.

Prayers to everyone in the path of these natural disasters.

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/194

Direct download: Org365-194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

When is the last time you took a hard look at your afternoon and evening routines?

We hear A LOT of people talk about their morning routines. (I shared details about my morning routine last week.)

It’s also quite common to hear about evening routines. But, I’ve hardly ever heard anyone talk about afternoon routines. For me, my afternoon routine... or rather, my after-school/after-work routine... is really key to my productivity.

In this week’s podcast, I dive into my afternoon and my evening routine.

Afternoon Routine

When I talk about an afternoon routine, I am referring to the time of day when we are transitioning from work responsibilities back to our family responsibilities.

Personally, my afternoon routine is currently going through changes as my children are getting older and are no longer relying on me for rides home from school and to their various activities. As such, I find myself with more time to work in the afternoon.

For quite some time, my work day ended at 2pm when I left to pick up the kids. If I’d done my work for the day by 2pm, that was a good day. Any work that I got completed after 2pm was what I called "bonus" work!

As the kids have gotten older and more self-reliant, I have been able to carry on with work, if needed, from 3:15pm (when I get home from picking them up) until 5:30pm. Yes, I do work a lot! If I don’t have work to do at this time, I sometimes take a nap.

This year, I have help with my kids' school pick up and my son will be driving, which means my work day will be 8am to 5pm.

Whether your work day ends at 2pm, at 5pm, or whenever, here is one daily routine I recommend you follow during the last 20 minutes of your work day:

  • Tidy Up – Take a few minutes to organize your work space. Coming in the next day to a tidy area will get you into the right mindset.
  • Calendar – Look at your calendar for the next day and get an idea of what you currently have scheduled.
  • To-Do List – Go over the list of goals you have set for the week and figure out which items need to be completed the next day.
  • Write It Down – On either an index card or a legal pad, write down your tasks for the next day in the order you need to complete them. Remember to always TRUST the schedule you made the day before! The impromptu coffee run sounds good in the moment, but your rational mind says otherwise.

Following this afternoon routine today will set you up for a successful tomorrow.

Then, 5:30pm to 7:30pm is the time I have set aside to spend with my husband and kids, but I also have time set aside to do other important things for myself.

Here are some of the things that I like to do as part of my afternoon routine after I've spent valuable time with my family:

  • Clean the Kitchen – I like to ensure everything is clean and put away in the kitchen. (This is a new addition for me this year.)
  • Plan Dinners – Take a few minutes and decide what to make for dinner the next day. This saves you from scrambling to figure it out the next afternoon.
  • Pack the Car – Look at the schedule you made for the next day and place anything you need for tomorrow in the car. For example, dry cleaning that needs to be dropped off.

That is my afternoon routine and I think it’s the key to my productivity.

Evening Routine

From 7:30pm to 9pm, everyone in my family likes to enjoy some alone time.

I tend to head upstairs to my office and continue working. But, the work that I do at this time is work that I really enjoy doing and nothing too heavy.

At 9pm, I start my bath and pick my clothes out for the next day. I try to keep my wardrobe pretty simple. Capsule wardrobes really interest me and I’m going to dive deeper into that idea in the fall.

Around 9:30pm, Greg and I watch a TV show. (You’ll need to listen to the podcast if you want to hear me run through my favorite programs right now!)

No matter which small tasks you add to your evening routine to help the next day run smoother, make sure to take time to RELAX.

Remember, at the end of the day, it isn’t about what you didn’t accomplish that day, it’s about what you DID accomplish and how you impacted the people around you.

It’s all in the routine!

Don't miss Lisa and Joey's bear, rope, and toaster Walmart trip in this episode!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/podcast/routines 

Direct download: Org365-193.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

In this week’s podcast episode, I talk all about productivity and morning routines.

You’ll discover why my morning routine is different than everyone else’s and why I make no apologies for that!

Two years ago, I recorded a podcast episode where I talked all about my morning and evening routines at that time. If you would like to hear it, click here.

In that episode, I focused on decision fatigue and how setting up routines that you can run on auto-pilot will minimize the number of decisions you need to make. It's amazing the difference a well-planned morning routine can make!

This week’s episode continues to build on that topic with a focus on productivity.

I love productivity.

I’m a productivity nut. If there is any way that I can save 5 seconds a day, I’ll figure it out and I’ll save those 5 seconds, whether I put them to good use or not!

Wasting time is one of my biggest pet peeves. So, I love to study how to be more productive.

However, just recently I noticed that the majority of the productivity gurus that I have been following – those with podcasts, books, blogs, etc. on productivity – are all men.

I’ve tried to change this and seek out female leaders in the productivity field, but they are hard to find.

Even though I am a very productive person, it’s hard not to feel like I’m not as productive as I could be when comparing myself to someone so different than me. There are many differences between the productivity schedule of a man and a woman. There are also key differences between the schedule of a Gen X and Gen Y person. There are HUGE differences between the productivity schedule of people with and without kids!

Many of the male gurus I have been listening to want you to get up early (before 5am), have an ice cold shower, exercise, meditate… this is not for me. I've tried aspects of it. I even found myself in the gym at 6am…it DID NOT work out well for me!

I realized, I was comparing myself to people with such different lives, goals, and challenges than mine.

We all strive for balance.

As women, we are always trying to seek balance in our lives. But you know what… balance is boring!

We can’t perfectly balance everything and if we do – if there is complete balance and not one single thing that gets more of you because you’re so passionate about it – where is the fun in that?!

Think of it like a cookie. First, we all like/need different ingredients in our cookies. The base ingredients are often similar, but the rest varies, whether that’s chocolate, raisins, gluten free, soy free, etc., just like we all have different things going on in our life.

Second, whatever those ingredients are, they are not required in equal proportions. That would not make for a good cookie!

Third, there is no perfect cookie for all. We are all different and unique!

You need to know WHO you are taking productivity and morning routine advice from.

The productivity routine of the modern woman covers 7 items:

  1. Household
  2. Cleaning
  3. Shopping
  4. Work - paid or unpaid
  5. Self Care
  6. Spouse (optional)
  7. Kids (optional)

They may not all be applicable to everyone. For example, I know not everyone has a spouse or kids. Personally, I opted out of number 2 and have a housekeeper!

My point is that you need to know who you are, what phase of life you’re in, when you like to wake up, what your expectations are for yourself and work. When you are clear on all of that, you can work out the best morning routine for you.

My morning routine.

I define my morning routine as from the time I wake up until when I start the productive part of my day. For me that is a 5:45-6am wake-up until around 9-10am when I get to work.

I wake up with enough time to get up, get ready, and get in the car to take my kids to school. I’m on auto-pilot with my routine so much so that I don’t need to think about it. Refer to this episode and also this one to learn about my make-up caddy.

It’s almost impossible for me to forget anything with the way that I’ve organized this. In this week’s episode, I talk you through in detail exactly what I do, what I eat, etc.

There are 4 steps to establishing a morning routine.

  • Step 1 – Habitualize your regular daily morning routine for getting up/ready
  • Step 2 – Determine your best work time for doing your household tasks and work
  • Step 3 – Create a flex day – this is a day where you don’t have any big work demands and can blitz smaller tasks and be responsive to new things that come up
  • Step 4 – Create a focus for each day – this doesn’t mean you can’t do other things, but always have a focus/priority for each day

There is no perfect.

I’ve spent so much time trying to find the perfect morning routine and the perfect way to be productive. I realize now that there is no such thing as perfect.

I would love for you to look at your own morning routine.

Are you a morning person or not?

Do you like to dive into creative work early or not?

Is exercise something that really helps you first thing?

Get to know yourself and build the routine that suits you. What fuels you? How long does it take? How do you work best?

Let me know in my Facebook group.

Next week, I’m going to talk about afternoon and evening routines.

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/192

Direct download: Org365-192-2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Every year I tweak my morning & evening routines when summer ends and the kids go back to school.

Here are 5 steps to create your own morning & evening routines.

http://organize365.com/how-to-create-morning-and-evening-routines/

Direct download: Org365-062.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

In this week’s podcast, I take a look at the cost of clutter and disorganization in our lives.

I think we all know that there is a cost benefit to leading a more organized life, but did you know that it’s not just a financial benefit?

A disorganized and chaotic life can bear many costs… let's look at the different costs that disorganization causes in our lives and the steps that you can take to make a difference.

1. Financial Cost

Buying twice, losing things, items getting ruined, misplacing coupons that eventually expire… I don’t think anyone would argue that there is a not a financial cost benefit to being more organized.

2. Mental Cost

It can be mentally draining trying to remember all of the things that we are responsible for… getting the laundry started, doing the dishes, getting the kids ready for various activities, etc.

We are constantly trying to remember and stay on top of things. The Sunday Basket™ is a HUGE help here. Personally, I like to make notes and jot down ideas all through the week and then go through them all together on a Sunday. I find 50% of the items in my SundayBasket™ are notes to myself.

3. Time Cost

When disorganization creeps into your life, you lose time. You lose time looking for things. You lose time doing things on a whim. You lose time just trying to escape from your cluttered and disorganized situation by watching TV and playing on your phone.

The funny thing is that while you know you are losing time, you don’t have time to figure out where you’re losing it. There is NO TIME! If you had the time, you could do a time study and really get to the bottom of how you can save time, but again… who has time for that?!

I have done a time study twice and it was very depressing seeing the true reality of how much time I spent driving in my car and watching TV.

We have a lot of demands on our time and, if you’re not proactive in how you manage your time, you end up doing things on a whim and putting out fires.

4. Emotional Cost

There was a study that concluded a direct link between families who have more clutter, disorganization, and unfinished projects in their homes with mood and cortisol levels.

Basically, the conclusion is that there are health benefits to being more organized in the household, and the risks of not doing so include depression and a less satisfied marriage.Here is a link to the study.

It’s important to note that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to home organization. Just like there is no perfect weight for a woman, or no perfect way to feed a baby, everyone has a different level of home organization that is right for them and makes them happy.

Irronically, the more progress you make in some areas of organization, the more frustrated you get in other areas. This is completely normal and it just signifies a new level of organization that you expect. You have raised the bar and you now need to stay above that bar for your own peice of mind.

So how do we make the change we want to see? YOU need to take action!

It’s really important to understand that you are in the driver’s seat and the change that you require will not just happen to you, but rather by you. You need to make it happen .

Don’t wait for someone to come rescue you because, believe me (I’ve been there), that will not happen!

There are two things that you need to do to help bring about the change that you want:

1. Change your mindset – Bring about the mental transformation to live a clutter-free, organized life. You are already doing this right now by reading this newsletter and listening to my podcast.

2. Physical change – For this, I have an exercise for you to do!

To do the exercise, you need to listen to the podcast episode and hear me talk you through it.

Trust me. All I will say is listen to the podcast episode when you are at home and have a piece of chalk handy!

 

P.S. Registration is now open for my 100 Day Home Organization Program where I am with you every step of the journey to help you get your home and your life organized.

Every week, I am there to encourage and motivate you, share stories, and help you reach your goals. You will make fast and lasting progress because of the way the program has been organized.

You will also be with a group of like-minded ladies who are all on the same journey as you, taking action at the same time as one another in the same living spaces.

Let me teach you how to expand your mind. I will show you how to be more productive,more proactive, and how to plan.

You will take back your home and have time to live the life that you are supposed to live.

The 100 Day Home Organization Program is an investment, but it’s an investment in yourself. It will make home organization your new priority. You will start to see a reduction in all of the other costs associated with disorganization and clutter.

Register now! Registration ends on August 28th for the next session starting September 4th.

And for those of you already registered... Congratulations! Please pass this on to ONE person you would love to do the 100 Day Home Organization Program with you!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/190

Direct download: Org365-190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

On last week’s podcast episode, I introduced you to Holly, Monique, and Emily, the virtual organization teachers for my 100 Day Home Organization Program. (<--- Registration is open!)

This week, I thought it would be a great idea to introduce you to one of the 100 Day Home Organization Program members. 

Wait until you meet Dawn! We had so much fun recording the episode and giggling like school girls.

Dawn first noticed me in 2015 when she was searching online for help with keeping her house clean. I would LOVE for you to tell me how YOU met me!

Dawn has been using a Sunday Basket™ for about a year, having participated in the Sunday Basket™ virtual workshops, and she joined the 100 Day Home Organization Program in January, 2017.

With 4 school-age kids with ages ranging from 6 to 15, Dawn is definitely in the survival phase of life. :)

I was embarrassed to admit on air that I thought THAT was enough responsibility - the kids & house - and was SHOCKED when I found out she owned an electrical contracting business which she has been running with her husband for 14 years!!

Dawn is responsible for the business bookkeeping and office staff, but her focus, productivity, and ability to even get to the office was derailed when she had her fourth child and couldn't keep up.

Similar to myself, Dawn spends A LOT of time in her car. During the school year, she spends 3.5 hours per day in her car doing the school run for her 4 kids who are at 4 different schools.

Dawn got my attention in the 100 Day Home Organization Program Facebook group for two reasons.

First, her regular use of smiley face emojis.

Second, she has goats. Lots of goats. I initially thought maybe one or two. Little did I know,she has over 35 goats?!?!

With all this going on in Dawn’s life, is there any wonder she looked for some help with getting her home organized?

Dawn started the 100 Day Home Organization Program in January, 2017.

First time around, Dawn admits she got distracted and didn’t follow along. When she posted about this in the Facebook group, I swiftly moved her to the front of the class and helped her out. For anyone considering joining, know that the 100 Day Home Organization Program is not passive and I WILL make sure you do the work!

Under my guidance and watch, Dawn organized her whole kitchen within 3 days. It went from a disorganized mess to super-organized. She went on to do her master bedroom, making a huge improvement to her house.

The 100 Day Home Organization Program is something that you have access to for life and it is not designed to be done once. No one, myself included, could get through the whole program in one go at it. That is why it’s a lifetime membership.

When Dawn started the 100 day program for the second time, she signed up for the virtual organization package.

In her first call with me, we decided to turn her dining room into her office... and she has never looked back.

Dawn also shares how we worked together to fix her messy breakfast situation in the kitchen and how we sorted out her garage.

If you sign up for the virtual organization package for the upcoming 100 Day Home Organization Program, you will get to work with Monique, Holly, or Emily, who I introduced you to last week.

If you would like to sign up for the 100 Day Home Organization Program, registration for the September 2017 session opened TODAY! Click here.

Check out my Facebook LIVE Friday afternoon to see my new garage shipping station I put together this week to mail out planners to those of you who register!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/189

Direct download: Org365-189.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

In her latest book, Lisa Woodruff explores the executive functions of the mind that directly affect your ability to organize your home: flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, task initiation, planning, and organization. Along the way, she provides tips and strategies for overcoming obstacles—tools you can use to get the organized house you’ve been dreaming of.

Now available as an Audible Book.

How ADHD Affects Home Organization

Direct download: Org365-178.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

This week’s podcast is about the times when you find yourself in a tough phase of life. It’s about the times when you literally have no time to get organized no matter how much you want to.

It may be that you’re SO busy you struggle to find even 15 minutes a day to get your home organized.

Or you have the time, but what you want/need to do requires money and you literally don’t have a spare $15 right now.

It may be both, you don’t have a spare 15 minutes AND a spare $15!

They’re not phases that we want to find ourselves in, but nonetheless, it can happen to us all and probably will at least once in our life.

I can easily draw upon my own personal experience with this topic. I’d LOVE to say that I was stuck in this phase of life for a week or a month, but it was more like 6 years!

In the episode, I touch on how to get organized if you have a chronic condition (like fibromyalgia or a physical ailment). I’m afraid I have no magic answer ,but my main advice is to get someone to help you, either paid (if you can afford it) or unpaid (friends and family). When you have help in place, you then need to think about how you can incorporate help with home organization as well as physical care. People want to help you, and so, broaden your thinking on how you can use that help.

If you’re a parent, a lot can depend upon the age of your children and what I like to call the "stage of parenting" that you find yourself in. I recorded a whole podcast episode on this very topic: #130 - The Three Stages of Parenting.

  • Age 0-6 is when you’re doing EVERYTHING for your kids. You’re at home a lot. It can be exhausting. And there’s SO much to organize because the rate of change when it comes to clothes, toys, etc. is mind boggling!
  • Age 6-12 is when you do things with your kids. You teach them how to start looking after themselves.
  • 13+ is when they’re becoming a young adult. Then, it’s more about coaching and mentoring.

So what do you do when you’re in the middle of a phase and you don’t have time or money to get your house organized?

My answer is to work on changing your mindset.

A lot goes on in your head before you see it in physical reality. I notice this with my business, my finances, my relationships… the world is more mental than it is physical. Positivity feeds and attracts more positivity, and negativity feeds and attracts more negativity.

I reference in the podcast a documentary series on inventions that I watched and loved. If you’d like to check it out, it’s by National Geographic called American Genius.

If you’re in a hard place and you feel stuck in a tough phase of life, this doesn’t mean that you should give up the desire to have an organized home in the future. If you think about having an organized home and you want it enough, you will manifest it.

Having a Sunday Basket™ will really help you too. The Sunday Basket™ helps bring order, it develops the right skills, and brings about the discipline required for an organized house.

Of course, please continue to listen to my podcast and other podcasts on home organization, too! Continue working on your mindset, even if you’re somewhat limited in the action that you can take right now. You will be amazed at the power of a mindset shift!

View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/176

Direct download: Org365-176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

This week’s podcast episode is a special one for me as it's all about my new book, How ADHD Affects Home Organization, which launched June 1!

In this week’s podcast episode, I share a lot about why I decided to write the book, what my goals are, and how I truly believe that this book is REALLY going to help people with ADHD feel empowered and able to take control of their home organization!

If you’d told me years ago that I’d one day be the author of a book called How ADHD Affects Home Organization, I’d have found it hard to believe... I don't have a degree or PhD in the subject!

However, it’s a topic that I’ve specialized in for almost 20 years in order to help my children. I’ve worked hard on overcoming every challenge that my children have faced, no matter how many attempts it took. We’ve tried a 100% natural approach with no medication at all, and we’ve tried various medications and alternative therapies, too. I’ve read medical journals, researched like crazy, and over the years I’ve developed an obsession with understanding how the mind works and how we can improve it.

I’ve parented, taught, and professionally organized people who struggle with ADHD. I’ve helped people from all around the world get their homes organized and stay organized.

My podcast series on ADHD last spring was very popular.  SO many people got in touch to say how much it had helped them and how I was able to explain things in a way that no one else had ever managed to before.

Through all of the above, I came to accept that I am an expert and I can and should use my expertise to really help others.  It seemed about time to write a book and so I did... and that’s why I’m launching How ADHD Affects Home Organization.

This book is for people who find themselves overwhelmed, even paralyzed, with home organization. Where you put effort in and don’t make progress, and you spend money on organizing solutions that just don’t work! My book is for people who know what to do, but just can’t get started!

Organization is not easy. And if you have ADHD, it’s a lot harder, but it’s not impossible! It’s all about understanding how your brain works, then working with your brain and not against it. It’s about recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, using them to your advantage, and finding strategies that work for you.

How ADHD Affects Home Organization explores the executive functions of the mind and how they affect your ability to organize your home. In particular, I take 6 executive functions (flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, task initiation, planning, and organization) and explain for each one what it is, why it’s important when organizing your house, and I share solutions to problems that you may face.

The kindle book is free from June 1st - 3rd. Then from June 4th, it’ll be 99 cents for the rest of the month. If you buy the Kindle version, you’ll also receive a discount when downloading the audio version from Audible.

Please get a copy of the book and please, please review it, too. It really helps more people receive the message that they too can get organized!

This book will help the loved ones of those who have ADHD, too. Once you understand how the brain of a loved one with ADHD works, you understand them as a person a little bit more than you did before.

I truly believe it’s going to be a game changer and really help a lot of people. I’m so EXCITED! I want to remove the cloud over people who have ADHD and offer them hope, solutions, and empowerment.

To get your copy, please click here!

Direct download: Org365-174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Welcome to the final episode of my three-part series all about the different phases of life and how specific life experiences can cause them to overlap.

In this week's episode, I talk about what happens when we lose a loved one. Specifically, I focus on losing a parent.

It's rather poignant for me that when I recorded the episode, it was 8 years to the day that my father had passed away.

Losing a loved one moves you into three phases of life

Survival

When your parent passes away, immediately you're thrust into the survival phase. You have a lot to do.

You have to plan the funeral, speak to other family members, help organize the estate, and many other things at an incredibly stressful and emotional time of your life. You're in the survival phase.

Accumulation

You will accumulate a lot of belongings from your parents.

At such an emotional time, you don't want to let go of things in haste. So I recommend finding an off-site storage unit for a certain period of time just so you can take time to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

If you're anything like me, you may find yourself trading-up many items that are actually nicer than those you already have!

Downsizing & Legacy

After about a year, you enter the downsizing and legacy phase.

The legacy phase comes first and it lasts for about 3-4 years. You start to think about what you'll keep longer term that once belonged to your parents. What do you want to be a part of their legacy?

It's all about how you're going to take the essence of the person who passed away and put it to use in a meaningful way.

I really recommend finding interesting and creative ways to keep the items that carry sentimental value to you.

For example, I have a shadow box and every time I find little things that remind me of my Dad, I put them in the shadow box in the basement.

About year 5, you're going to find yourself focusing more on downsizing.

At this time, not only will you be thinking about what you want to keep that once belonged to your parents, but you start to think about yourself, too. You start to look at YOUR belongings and think about what will be YOUR legacy.

You realize that someone has to get rid of it all someday!

I could record podcasts for weeks about how different life events, in addition to our chronological age, impact what organizational phase of life we feel like we are most in at any one moment.

My goal in recording these podcasts was not for you to be able to better categorize your phase of life, but to recognize that we are all floating between the phases at any one time and can learn and grow at our own pace and stage of life.

A special thank you to this week's podcast sponsor, the National Association of Senior Move Managers!

Direct download: Org365-172.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Last week, I introduced you to the 4 phases of life and how when you have your babies can impact upon your phase of life.

This week, I explore this topic even further and share with you how caring for family members can also affect your organizational phase of life.

Having a baby, the topic of last week's podcast, is a welcome and joyous life event. When you have a baby, you're thrust into the accumulation phase. All of those toys...food...clothes...furniture...!

This week's focus is on when you become a caretaker for a family member.

Unfortunately, when you become a caretaker of a family member, that's not such a joyous life event.

Sometimes we'll see it coming and have a gradual lead in, other times it rocks our world in an instant!

Often this will be due to medical emergencies, like when a loved one falls and breaks their hip...which I've found in recent years is a real thing and it happens A LOT!

I can share from first-hand experience that being a caretaker is EXTREMELY time consuming.

You have an immediate prioritization shift in your life.

You're thrust into having responsibility over two sets of everything...two households, two sets of bills, etc.

Whatever stage of life you were previously in, when you become a caretaker, you're also now in the survival phase, too.

In this podcast episode, I share with you some really useful ideas on how to cope if this happens to you.

I also have two super useful products that are designed to help you keep track of, and ultimately share when needed, important personal information.

One focuses on medical information (i.e., insurance, current and past prescriptions, medical history, etc.).

The other focuses on financial information, mainly for spouses to keep a joint record (i.e., bank details, etc.).

They are editable so you can fill one in for yourself, another for your parents, and I even fill the medical record out for my children. It's just so useful to keep all the information that you have in one simple record.

Next week, I look at how losing a close family member can affect your phase of life. I'm sure you can guess what phase you find yourself in when that happens!

Full blog post can be viewed at organize365.com/170

A special thank you to this week's podcast sponsor, the National Association of Senior Move Managers

Direct download: Org365-170.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

I'm super excited to share with you my next series of 3 podcasts which are all about the different phases of life and how they overlap.

Most people are living in overlapping phases of life. I really want to address this topic and explore what it means for you.

This is something of a storytelling podcast - there's not a lot of direct action for you to take, but lots of learning!

I've actually been wanting to record this podcast series for about 9 months, but it's a topic that is best approached when the timing is just right! January is all about organizational projects, March is about decluttering... May is the perfect time to reflect!

It's all centered around what I consider to be the 4 phases of a woman's life.

The Childhood Phase (birth to around 18 years old) - Limited organizational requirements and heavily influenced by parents.

The Accumulation Phase (around 18-39 years old) - A period of learning and accumulating. You accumulate more and more belongings! Usually in this phase, you accumulate a spouse and family, too!

The Survival Phase (around 40-54 years old) - A mindset shift takes place at this stage. Most people are working during this phase and, in addition to that, they're looking after their family and running the household. And if you're anything like me, you're in your car all the time!

The Downsizing & Legacy Phase (age 55+) - The big clear out! Kids are moving out and you naturally start to reduce the amount of items in your house. You also begin to consider your legacy - what will you save and why?

There are three big life events that affect these phases of life - having children, becoming a caretaker for someone, and when someone close to you passes away.

This week's focus is on having children.

When we have kids, we go into full blown accumulation mode. Even the most minimalist of people can't resist accumulation when it comes to babies!

As more and more millennials are tending towards having children in their early 40's, what does this mean in terms of the stages in life?

Having a baby in your 40's = an overlap of the accumulation and the survival stage.

Next week, I look at how becoming a caretaker for someone can affect your phase of life.

Have a great week!

Direct download: Org365-169.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

This week on the podcast, I'm talking to you about all the different kinds of bags you have in your house. From backpacks to purses, I'm going through the different kinds of bags and how many we should have of each.

And I am super excited about the next three podcasts. I'm creating a series of podcasts about what to do when the phases of life overlap.

Thank you so much for being part of the Organize 365 community. My hope each day is that I can provide you with one new nugget of information that will help you make your home organization easier.

Have a great week!

Direct download: Org365-167.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The book The Power of When will help you understand your body’s natural chronotype and how to use that information to achieve your personal goals in organizing your home and living a more productive life.

I used the information in this book to understand how and why the members of our family choose to do daily routine tasks at different times of day and how to best support my kids as they become adults.

The Power of When

Direct download: Org365-165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Clean out and back up the cars - because we are going to FILL them!

Designate one car for donations and one for items that need to be delivered, returned or consigned.  

Next decide how long you have to work on this project at ONE time. 

If you have 2 hours or more - EMPTY the garage. You know it's true. Once the items are OUT of the garage it is as easy to donate them as it is to put them back in the garage. 

The garage houses all of the future projects we "think" we are going to do.

The biggest work you are going to do is DECIDE if you really are going to do those ideas and projects. 

In the podcast I talk about how I no longer have flower gardens, why I easily donate items we have purchased and never used and how we need better tools. 

It's a funny listen. And will keep you going while you declutter guilt and expectations in the form of flower pots and old sporting equipment.

Check your storage solutions.

Now is the time to invest in a few plastic shelving units to organize what you have left and buy organizers specific to what YOU have in your garage.

Keep going! You can do this!

Keep decluttering all the way until March 31!!

I want you to focus on decluttering and your Sunday Basket this month so…

The 100 Day Home Organization Challenge registration is closed. Join the wait list here and you will be the first to be notified when it reopens.

Direct download: Org365-160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

No one wants to go down here. I know.

If you haven't listened to the "How to Sort a Box" podcast. It is podcast #150 and goes along with today’s podcast #159

Ok. The basement.

In this space you need a leader who will direct the family. - Usually mom.

The leader goes down and starts sorting boxes and items into family members' piles. And then each family member (one at a time) will come down, make decisions and carry the donations up.

-HINT-

Preparation is KEY here! The more the leader prepares, the quicker the decisions go and the more gets donated. 

There is no denying that basements, attics and storage rooms ZAP energy and are the HARDEST areas to organize!

Everything is down there because you don't know what to do with it. ;)

So pace yourself. Each bag and box donated is a HUGE win!

Keep going. You can do this!

Don't forget to download the family and individual brackets to play along. View the get started post for "rules". :)

This is the LAST day to register for the Sunday Basket workshops.

Start tackling that storage room… one box at a time.

For the full show notes go to organize365.com/159
Direct download: Org365-159.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The first step in organizing the family room is to stop and think about what you really do in this space. 
 
Do you still watch DVDs or do you stream your entertainment?
 
If your youngest child is in 2nd grade it is OK to move all the toys out of the family room.
 
If your youngest child is in middle school all their toys can be in their room.
 
For the full show notes go to organize365.com/157
Direct download: Org365-157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Here are the 7 steps to decluttering your bedroom at any age.
 
1. Pick up all trash
2. Collect all food, dishes and dirty laundry.
3. Scan the room and fill a bag of any easily donateable items.
4. Go through ALL your clothes. Try on all your pants and tops.
5. Look at the items on your floor (including furniture) and make decisions about what can go.
6. Go through the books in your bedroom.
7. Stand and look at each wall of your room.
 
For the full show notes go to organize365.com/156
Direct download: Org365-156.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Step 1 - Get ALL your photos in ONE place.

Step 2 - Decide what you want.

Step 3 - SORT by person and Project.

Here are my favorite albums to make. Click here for my photo services and see videos of the most popular albums I make.

Step 4 - Print your photos. :)

TimeShel is the Apple App I am using to print 30 photos each month from my phone.

Look at these beautiful pictures!

TimeShel is super easy to use. Remember to use the code: ORG365 to get a free month 10 prints or 40% off your 30 monthly print subscription.

Era is the Apple app I mentioned for having larger prints printed from your phone. Again, use the code ORG365 and get free shipping on your first order. :)

Click here for all the links and show notes.

Click here to join the 100 Day Home Organization Challenge.

Direct download: Org365-153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The Procrastinate on Purpose By Rory Vaden is the book that explains how I am so ridiculously productive and it has NOTHING to do with time management.

I had so much fun sharing about the significance calculation, the rule of 30 and how all this relates to getting your home organized!

Rory's Focus Funnel:

  1. Can it be eliminated?
  2. Can it be automated?
  3. Can it be delegated?

No?

Then do it now or procrastinate it on purpose.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

100 Day Home Organization Challenge

My Weekly, Monthly and Yearly checklists.

Rory's book on Kindle

The audio book version of The Mindset of Organization is finally here!! I hope you enjoy the sample chapters in podcast 140. You can get a free audible copy of The Mindset of Organization and start a free 30 day trial of audible at Organize365.com/audible

Direct download: Org365-152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

I talk a LOT about saving your memories. And while I tell you to save your memories in blankets and photo albums, I have not given you a resource to do so. Until today.

I am SO excited to introduce you to Once Upon A Time Creation. Jen Anderson has created a beautiful line of keepsakes that can be created from your storage room treasures.

Check out my favorites in this week’s blog post.

What treasures will you create? Check out Once Upon a Time Creation here.

Click here to join the 100 Day Home Organization Challenge.

Direct download: Org365-151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is the book that has helped me the most in achieving increased productivity.

Using the focus question, “What is the ONE thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will become easier and unnecessary?” I prioritize my day on a continual basis.

In this podcast you will hear:

  • Why I prioritized a nay over recording this podcast.
  • How extraordinary success is sequential.
  • About the domino effect.
  • How to apply the ONE thing to organizing your home.

The audio book version of The Mindset of Organization is finally here!! I hope you enjoy the sample chapters in podcast 140. You can get a free audible copy of The Mindset of Organization and start a free 30 day trial of audible at Organize365.com/audible

Direct download: Org365-146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

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