Fri, 26 January 2018
I’m super excited to introduce Laura Vanderkam to the podcast. I’m a HUGE fan and I’ve wanted to get her on the show since I started out. Laura is the talented author of several time management and productivity books – I’ve read them all! She is here to guide us through life by saying, "Hey! It can be tough, but there’s so many different ways to manage our time and make things easier."
I feel like I already know so much about Laura from her inspirational podcast, "The Best of Both Worlds." I’m always searching for podcasts about successful women and how they do it (aren’t we all?) and this is where I discovered Laura. The podcast is all about loving our families and our jobs as one, a concept that’s often presented as oppositional, but this one aims to prove it doesn’t have to be that way.
Laura and her co-host Sarah Hart-Unger have taught me so much, not only about organizing my life for the better, but also giving me the confidence to speak up and stand my ground on the things that are important to me.
Can You Have It All?
Well, according to Laura – yes, you can. Not only that, she tells you how to hit it out of the park. My personal light bulb moment was coming across, "What Most Successful Women Do Before Breakfast," one of Laura’s books. To me, the content really makes sense. It’s about loving harmonizing your family and career, helping out, being flexible, and organizing your time to allow you to feel fulfilled in every part of your life.
Grab Those Goalposts
Use goals to manage your time. I’m a big believer that you can pretty much do whatever you want if you pick a goal and set steps to make it work. I definitely look at my time differently now thanks to Laura.
Unfortunately, good things don’t just appear like magic. You need to think about how you’re realistically going to get to where you want to be. Set manageable targets within achievable timeframes and the goal setting process will start to flow. The book "I Know How She Does It" is really good for this.
Prioritizing Family Time – Anytime
Talking about looking at time differently, I love the concept of shaking things up. A simple change can affect your life dramatically. For example, if you feel like you’re missing out on quality time with your family, why not try making your meal time together at the beginning of the day. There’s so much pressure for family meals to be in the evening, but this can happen at any other time. How about breakfast?
Breakfast food is fun and often people, especially children, are in a better mood in the morning. So it really can be a great option for busy families to have that time to sit together. Work out what works best for you and your family and shake it up.
Looking At Your Time Differently
Who knew the middle of the week was Thursday evening? I know, right?! This is a game changer. Laura explains that if you start from Monday morning, the midpoint of the week is really Thursday evening, even though it feels like the end of the week.
For Laura, managing time is about balance. What does balance mean to you and how can you achieve it? Don’t be leisurely about your leisure time. It’s not about scheduling things you have to do – it’s about scheduling things you WANT to do! While she doesn’t suggest planning every part of your life, sometimes we do need to schedule our free time. If you want to go for a run, factor in that 20 minutes somewhere.
Laura also says it’s important not to blame anyone else. You are in control. Don’t use the kids as an excuse for not being able to do things. I pick 1-3 things I want to accomplish and look at how that fits in with the family – at least then I’m in the equation. We need to think about ourselves.
The Great Sleep Debate – Are We Getting Enough?
I was inspired by Laura tracking her sleep over a couple of years and had every intention of tracking my sleep for 2 weeks – I ended up doing 2 nights! I’ve always said I need 6/7 hours, but the issue is I love sleeping in on the weekends. The purpose of Laura’s study was to see, in actual numbers, what the life of a professional woman looks like. It turns out, we have a lot more free time than we think. It’s how we use that time that’s key.
Outsource The Things That Actually Take Up Your Time
We need to ask ourselves, where are we actually spending most of our time? It’s likely to be picking up laundry or doing the daily house chores, but we definitely need to look beyond the obvious if we want to save time.
Many of you know that I used to organize people professionally. I’d get constant calls from women asking me why they suddenly felt overwhelmed by the housework, despite work not changing and their kids being older. The reason was mostly because they’d gotten rid of the nanny who had been looking after the kids AND the housework. Often, they’d just need a part-time housekeeper to fill the gap and they’d be back on track. Laura points out that those little jobs we often multitask are actually taking up tons of valuable hours that we could be spending elsewhere. She says to set aside a time and, if it’s not done in that time, it’s probably not that important.
We definitely underestimate the hours it takes to sort the home, but give yourself credit for doing that activity, whether you outsource it or not.
Putting You In Control
If something’s not done, I feel like it’s my problem. I know that I often put that on myself. I’m sure many of you can relate, but Laura says there’s always a choice and I think that is so important to remember. Sometimes you are doing this to yourself and you can take back control.
Balancing family, free time, and chores can be overwhelming. What I LOVE about Laura is that not only does she have great ideas for managing your time effectively, she’s able to make me see that I can’t do it all. I’m WORKING And best of all – that’s ok!
The next book from Laura is called "Off The Clock" and it comes out on May 29th. It’s a time study about tracking time and how people look at their lives. How do people spend their time differently? Laura found that people who felt like they had a lot of time had done something different or memorable. They felt like they had more time because they were doing something with their time that they actually remembered. The conclusion was that when you do this, your time actually expands. I LOVE it! The date is already on my calendar to get it.
To find out more about Laura Vanderkam, click here.
View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/213
Fri, 19 January 2018
I have mentioned on the podcast many times before that there is one blog that I read every single day... it is Andrea Dekker's. There is so much great material on her blog andreadekker.com.
Andrea has four children under the age of six and she explains how she manages all their very different requirements, and her own, with a simple "be prepared" mantra. She also shares with us some great advice on selling your unwanted items on Craigslist, something she does often with success.
How We Both Got Started
Both Andrea and I started out with very different blogs. For me, I remember I was going to be this "guru" to help when your kids had food allergies and other things. But then I realized that dealing with that and dealing with everything my kids needed me to do was just too much! That is when in 2012, I launched Organize365.com. Though for Andrea, it was a little different.
Andrea explains on the podcast that she just fell into doing what she does. After finishing college, starting work, and getting married, she realized she hated her job. Her father gave her some great advice when he told her to find out what she enjoyed doing and figure out a way to get paid for doing it. In doing that, she would be successful even if she didn't make a lot of money.
So, a job she really disliked ended up being the springboard to starting her own organizing business, which was essentially her dream job. This was back in 2006. She didn't even have internet in her own house. But eventually she began to write her own blog, and she took some work as a virtual assistant.
One of many things I love about Andrea's blog is her level of consistency. She would post every day at 8am and, just like reading a newspaper, I would sit down to read her blog every morning. I even copied this routine when I started blogging. My posts went up at 8am because Andrea's posts did!
Andrea is good at routine. She takes the normal, everyday tasks and makes them more efficient and functional. She explains during the episode that she doesn't have creative, cool things to share. She just focuses on functionality and frugal solutions.
If It Doesn't Work, Change It
I was delighted that Andrea was willing to share a couple tips for my Organize 365 listeners. And I can certainly relate to the first tip about constantly evaluating what works and what doesn't work. Take the kids' toys for example... if the toys no longer fit in their space, then something has to go. Don't continue to just accumulate without purging as you go along.
I am a self-confessed consumer, but the kids' toys change as they get older. I find that spreading them out into different rooms, or making them responsible for their own toys in their own space, makes it less overwhelming for you to clean them up again afterwards.
Making the house work for you and your children is key. Andrea makes her house work for her. It’s almost like a preschool room... the kids can help themselves.
I remember when my children were born, I kept the socks upstairs because that's where you keep socks, right? But we always put socks and shoes on in the family room. So when I moved the socks downstairs, it was like the heavens opened and the angels started singing because I didn't have to go searching for socks anymore. Make your house function for you and your family. It works until it doesn't work. And then when it doesn't work, change it.
How To Sell On Craigslist
The thing about purging and reorganizing is that you end up with a bunch of stuff that I tell you to load in the car, take to Goodwill, drop it all off, and move on. This is where Andrea gives us some great advice as she is so good at selling on Craigslist.
On her website, she has some great articles on this topic where she goes into great detail about how to write the advertisement and what things are most important when selling via Craigslist. Click here to see her "Craigslist 101" posts. And she even has one on how she sold her house on Craigslist – click here to see it. She really is that good at this!
Her best piece of advice is to be honest with yourself. Is it worth your time to take pictures, post the ad, respond to emails, and to sell the item? If not – donate it! If you are going to sell, make sure you take high-quality pictures and list the measurements. The more information you can give, the fewer emails you will get with questions about your item.
Also with pricing, Andrea gives a great tip... Take a look at similar items in your area and price your item a little bit less. Even at just a couple dollars less, people will subconsciously be drawn to your item.
This is where I am so different from Andrea. I have literally given things away that are worth hundreds of dollars just to have them out of the house. In fact, I did that with my daughter's guinea pigs. I gave them away and paid my daughter one hundred dollars before she changed her mind. I'm just not good at selling things. ;) - No guilt here if you too are in the survival phase of life and just want the clutter gone!
Lighten Your Load
Having been fully through the accumulation stage, (20s and 30s) I am working my way through survival (40-55). I am so pleased to direct those of you struggling with young children and mountains of toys over to Andrea's blog to see how she is thriving during the accumultaion years with 4 children under 6. In this week's blog post, I have lots of links to my favorite posts on Andrea's blog.
If you want to see the crazy antics I am up to, follow me on Instagram and watch my daily Instagram Stories to see a peek into my life.
View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/212
Fri, 12 January 2018
You are probably confused right now. Lisa Woodruff, muscles? Well, the muscles I'm talking about are your organizational muscles!
Are you ready to build your organizational muscles?
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not very good at physical exertion at all. In fact, I think sweating is a sin! I prefer to exercise my mental and organizational skills. Really, I am pathetic when it comes to exercise. I can literally go days when my step counter on my phone reads less than a thousand.
There was a time a few years ago when I was able to walk 10,000 steps, but I just don't have the time now. And I don't want to make the time to do it, but I am making an effort. My goal this year is 5,000 steps and so far I'm doing pretty good. Bear in mind, this is my whole exercise program. I'm just trying to move more. I'm not trying to lose weight, just maintain it.
Organization is similar to exercise in that regard. You have to match your organizational goals to the organizational outcome you want. Only compete with yourself!
Hitting A Roadblock
A lot of you will hit a roadblock this week.
Isn't it freaky how I know that. Well, here's what happens...
Over the Christmas break, you had time off and decluttered like a mad woman. The first step to getting organized is to declutter so you can see what you have left to organize. You got rid of everything that didn't move. Even the dog and children were afraid to sit too still in your house!
You followed my advice and bought the bookshelves and bins from Home Depot. You've taken down Christmas and your holiday decoration area looks amazing. You feel like a boss, you're on a roll.
You go from room to room, decluttering, taking out the trash, making donations. It looks better, but it doesn't feel organized and you don't know what to do next.
Maybe I haven't recorded a podcast for that particular room and you're stuck, but decided not to buy the 100 Day Home Organization Program. You're saving money and it's expensive. Maybe you'll buy it later.
And you're right, it is a little expensive and it should be. It was designed by a professional organizer and it works!
It's OK, you don't need to buy the 100 Day Home Organization Program. I'm going to tell you how to grow your organizational muscles on your own.
I am going to show you step-by-step how to tackle two areas in your home, the master bathroom and your linen closet.
Organizing The Master Bathroom
In just 15 minutes a day, you can organize the bathroom that you use every day to get ready to the point you feel like I came in and did it for you.
Day One - Take a look at your towels. Do you need all of them? Remove the ones you don't need. Wash the ones you need out on display and freshen them up. Then, you're done with towels.
Day Two – Make-up. Get rid of old samples and colors you don't wear and perfume that gives you migraines. Consolidate them into one space. It might help to take a look at the blog I wrote about Organizing Make-Up. You could also add in some organizational tools like the Make-up Manager I use like this one on Amazon (affiliate link).
Over the next few days, assess your nail polish, your jewelry, your underwear and socks (yes, I keep all of these in my bathroom). Then look around you at the walls, do you like what you see?
Continue until you have organized every single cabinet, drawer, and shelf, and then do it again.
This is how you get organized, by spending 15 minutes a day in the same space every single day until you can go into that space for two 15 minute sessions in a row and there is literally nothing to do. It takes repetitive action, but your master bathroom will be amazing.
Organizing Your Linen Closet
Back in 2006, it took me about 4 months to organize my laundry room. Every 2 or 3 days, I would spend half an hour trying different things until I was happy... new shelving, new cabinets, new countertops. I had a blast doing it.
Nobody cared. No one goes in there, no one messed it up. I could do what I wanted. I would run the washer and dryer at the same time. It was like white noise. I couldn't hear the rest of the family. It was amazing!
But in the podcast, I focus on the linen closet. First of all, you need to empty it all over the floor and check out the bulky items (towels, blankets, comforters).
Be honest with yourself here as these take up space. Do you need so many? Why do you still have towels from the 1980's? It is a cycle... we buy new and store the old ones in the linen closet. It's the same with bedding, get rid of them.
If you think you don't have this stuff, just wait until you empty everything onto the floor. You'll see that I'm right. I had four sets of 20 year-old flannel sheets that I loved as a child, but my children didn't want them on their beds!
Get rid of old towels and donate others that don't match your color scheme anymore to a homeless shelter along with any old single sheets. Be ruthless, what's the worst that could happen?
That is how you organize your linen closet. But if you're thinking, "Wait, wait. There's still more stuff in here." I know you'll figure it out. And if you don't know how to take the next step, then you need a professional organizer to guide you.
The Beauty of the 100 Day Home Organization Program
You can organize your house like we did in these two scenarios, going back in day after day. But, if like me, it takes you 4 months to organize your laundry room, you can see how long it would take to do your whole house this way.
You will get the same result room by room, but with the 100 Day Home Organization Program we go through the entire house in 100 days, take a break, and then do it again. Each time, your whole house is more organized, not perfect, but better.
But in addition to the 15 minute daily actionable tasks, the real beauty of the 100 Day Home Organization Program is that it comes with a lifetime membership. There are no renewal fees. Once you're in, you're in.
Am I Too Late To Join?
I launched the 100 Day Home Organization Program in December in order to capitalize on the momentum of January 1st. You're all fired up and ready to go as we hit the kitchen.
Perhaps you didn't sign up because you just didn't have the money at the time. Or you had done the kitchen a couple of times already and didn't want to do it again. Or maybe you thought you could just do it on your own.
Maybe now you're starting to realize how beneficial it would be to have a professional organizer, one that has organized 100's of homes, just to tell you what to do each day and you can go do it.
Well, if like those that have emailed me asking when the 100 Day Home Organization Program opens again, you thought you'd missed out... surprise!
I am opening the doors again this weekend only. If you join between now and Monday, you can start the program on January 22nd when everyone who started on the 1st is done with the kitchen and moving onto the master suite (bedroom, bathroom and closet). Don't try to go back to day one, jump in with everyone else in the master bedroom!
You can join us mid-stream, not have to do your kitchen, and get both the Winter and Summer 2018 planners at no extra cost.
To find out more and sign-up, just click here.
I am SO excited to be able to offer you this opportunity and I hope you will join us as I know this program works.
It looks like it's going to be a long winter. You're going to be inside a lot, so let's get organized while we're there. Join us!
View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/211
Fri, 5 January 2018
In 2018, I want you to start valuing and looking at your time differently. Who you spend your time with, what you spend you time on, and how you want to spend your time in the future.
In today's podcast, I am answering the question, "How did I purposefully create the Organize 365 business and organized life that I am living right now?"
It is true. I am fulfilled, satisfied, and debt free, but it hasn't always been like this. It has been a journey. For me, the change came when I hit 40. I think milestone birthdays are like a window of opportunity to think about how we spend our time and money, and to make shifts to propel us through the next decade.
In this podcast, I share a few key transitions in my thought process, and how I spent my time and money in the last 6 years that really were the catalyst for this change.
Finally, this past fall I reflected on all of these changes and created the...
Organize 365 Mission, Vision & Values
Mission: To inspire, motivate, and teach busy women to take back their home and paper with practical and doable organizing systems and programs that work.
Vision: Through research, targeted surveys, and data analysis, Organize 365 will bring to light the organizational needs of the homeowner to shape and develop the discussion about the "stuff" in American homes through podcast conversation and book-thought leadership.
As a trusted leader in home and paper organization, Organize 365 will be the "go-to" resource for busy women, future professional organizers and home-organizational brands, and the media.
Organize 365 will help the homeowner finally get organized with home and paper organization courses, products that combine teaching and application of practical organization principles.
Values: We value the power of positivity. Our words, mindset, and actions shape our reality. Organize 365 uses empowering words to shape personal change. We build community. In community, everyone can learn to be organized, action is easier and happens exponentially.
Organize 365 believes organization is a learnable skill. We live life in abundance. Resources are not limited, but limitless. Through collaboration, Organize 365 connects the right people and resources for maximum benefit and sustainability.
We believe in transformational freedom. As you let go of one thing, you are open to receiving the next. We strive to unlock your life's purpose through the process of decluttering, organizing, and increased productivity.
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about the roots of Organize 365!
Ask yourself this... If I could do, be, and have anything in the world and I didn’t have to worry about all the things that I’m worrying about, what would that look like?
View the complete post here: https://organize365.com/210