Fri, 29 March 2019
Do you ever feel like you’re behind in your organizing routine?
Maybe you went on a sunny vacation and came back with a stack of mail to sort? Or, perhaps you skipped a few days in the 100 Day All Home Program?
You might feel anxious, worried, or even a little guilty. But, here’s the truth…
After you start, it’s physically impossible for you to be behind in organizing.
Don’t believe me?
Listen to this episode of the Organize 365 podcast to find out why your organizing journey is more like an endless escalator than a staircase with an infinitive first and last step.
The Organizational Journey
To put all of this into perspective, I want you to think about organizing in a similar way to how a baby learns to crawl, walk, and run.
In the beginning, a baby will learn how to crawl on the floor. In organization land, this is basically you when you’re decluttering your house.
Next, the baby might stand up and take a few steps while holding onto furniture for support. This is when you’ve reached out for help and taken the first steps in organizing (congratulations, by the way!).
Maybe you signed up for the 100 Day All Home Program, or perhaps you hired a professional organizer to help you out. It’s all going well because you’ve got that extra support and encouragement.
Eventually, the baby lets go of the coffee table and starts taking its first steps on its own. Granted, they’re wobbly steps, and the baby looks a little like a duckling with its bottom stuck out and arms flying everywhere. But, at least they’re finally walking unaided, right? Sure, they might fall a lot but they’re making progress, just like you.
When you “go it alone,” you might stumble and even feel like giving up at times. But you’ll get there. Soon, you’ll organize all the main areas of your life so well that when you return to re-organize them the following year, it won’t take you half as long.
As you go through your organizational journey, your skills, or "organizational muscles" as I like to call them, will continue to develop and grow.
And, like the baby in this analogy, eventually you’ll start running.
Organizing is Hard. Productivity is Fun!
In Episode 251, I talked about the fact that decluttering is easy. Organizing is hard. And, productivity is fun!
Once you’ve got the hang of things and you start building your organizational muscles, you’ll become so much more productive. Remember that organization is a learned skill. You can’t learn it overnight.
When you first start decluttering like a mad woman, you’ll be left with things that you’re not sure if you want to keep or not. The things that you do want to keep will need to go into containers. At this stage of your organizing journey, you’ve swapped your declutter hat for a productive one instead.
When you go through the 100 Day Home Organization Program for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming. You’ll get a lot done in your first round. You’ll declutter the house, and by the time you’re done, you’ll think, well, that should do it for another five or 10 years!
The truth is that you’ll never be done organizing!
In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s not until the second or even third time through the 100 Day Home Organization Program that you start having those big "ah-ha!" moments.
You’ll discover that organizing your kitchen for the second time with the program is so much easier and fluent than the first time. You’ll have productive formulas and routines in place for your paper. And, because your processes are more streamlined, you’ll be able to get a lot more done in that 100-day time frame.
Snap Photos of your Progress
When you’re in the middle of organizing everything, it’s tough for your mind to see the progress you’re making. So, grab your camera and snap a few before and after shots.
Give yourself that instant gratification of seeing what things looked like before your inner organizing ninja got to work. You don’t need to show anybody the photos if you don’t want to. They can be there for you to look back at on those terrible days when you feel like you’re never going to be organized.
Whenever you feel that way, you can look back at the photos and see how far you’ve come. You’ll know that you have made real progress, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Be proud of yourself. You’ve decided to start living a more organized life. You’ve put the gears in motion, and you’re building organizational muscles. That is something to be proud of.
Organizing Pays You In Time
In Episode 269, I talked about the time, money, motivation trifecta that’s necessary for change. Organization always gives you more time. It doesn’t pay in cash, but it does give you the time you need to balance other areas in your life.
When you’ve got more time because you don’t need to spend hours organizing paper, you can put that time to better use.
The 100 Day All Home Program is designed to give you the freedom to live your best life without worrying about organizing your home 24/7. It gives you the tools you need to make a lasting, incremental organizational change in your home throughout the seasons.
Once you complete the program, you’ll find that the areas in your home where you spend most of your time are all better organized. But, when you’re in the heart of the action all the time, it’s easy to look around and think about all the areas lacking the standard of organized heaven that you were reaching for.
But, if you take a closer look, you’ll realize that you’ve come a long way since taking those first baby steps. Your organizational muscles are growing. By the time you do the 100 Day Organization Program for the second or third time, you’ll find areas that you perhaps didn’t address the first time. And, you’ll realize that organizing comes a lot more naturally to you now.
Don’t aim for perfection, aim for progress!
Realize that reaching the perfect organized life takes time. It’s not instantaneous. But, even by taking that first baby step, you’re already ahead of the game. You’re one step closer to living a more organized life that gives you the time you need to live your best life.
Fri, 22 March 2019
Let’s be real. Not every item in your home will spark joy as soon as you see it or pick it up. And, it doesn’t have to.
In this episode of the podcast, I explore what we should do with the items that don’t give us any real joy in our lives. But first, I’ve got a question for you…
Have you ever read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo?
It’s a great book that encourages readers to transform their homes into a clutter-free zone using the KonMari Method. As an organizing nut, I’ve read this book from cover to cover. Although I enjoyed it, I don’t think its paper organizing solutions work for American women.
The KonMari Method challenges you to keep the things you really love and get rid of the rest. Literally. While this method might work for some, it doesn’t work for people like me who have a lot of stuff and no time to stop and think if an item sparks true joy.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for keeping items that have real meaning and decluttering the things that don’t have much of a purpose. But, what about paper? In her book, Marie’s key principle for sorting papers is to throw them all away (I know, I had to hold myself up after reading that, too).
There’s no way we can get rid of ALL our paper. I can’t function as an American woman, business owner, homeowner, wife, and mother without paper. I just can’t.
So, we’re going to dive into this further and figure out just how much paper we can get rid of and how much we can keep. Let’s jump in!
Sorting Your Papers
85% of the papers you have in your house are shreddable. That leaves you with 15% that you’ve deemed important or necessary enough to keep.
Unless you’re a passionate organizer like me, sorting your papers probably doesn’t fill you with feelings of joy and happiness.
Instead of picking up a paper and asking yourself if it sparks joy, ask whether it is useful.
If you don’t have any use for it, it’ll meet its grim fate in the shredder. If it does have use, it can be organized into binders.
Should You “Go Paperless”?
Is going 100% paperless a good idea? And, is it even possible?
The short answer is no.
Yes, you can go digital with lots of different things in your personal life and/or business. But, paper is never going to stop. It’ll always find a way to slip back into your life, whether that’s in the form of a letter, tax return documentation, or your kid’s art pieces!
Although it seems like the world is taking everything digital, there will always be a place for paper. You can try to go digital. But sooner or later, you’ll need somewhere to organize your papers.
Take a young couple as an example. Yes, they’re all into technology and the "Cloud." But, when they have their first child and he/she returns home from school with a backpack filled with drawings, they want to keep them all forever. Three kids down the line, they’ve got stacks of old drawings and no storage space for all the paper they’ve accumulated!
If you’re in a similar situation, have a binder for each child. Then, choose 100 of your favorite drawings and keep those. You don’t need to keep every little thing your child creates. Sure, your kid might be the next Picasso, but how many pumpkin pictures does one family need?
Organizing Your Reference Paper
Actionable papers and reference papers have different usefulness, profitability, and portability, which means you’ve got to organize them differently, too.
I recommend that every family have four specific binders:
(Each of these binders is also available for International use. You can find the International versions over in our Shop.)
All your reference papers can go into one of these binders, where you can access them easily and update as and when required.
You can’t haul a filing cabinet around with you. But, with all your papers neatly organized in binders, you can literally just grab and go.
Organizing Your Actionable Paper
Actionable papers are things like bills, receipts, forms, and things that require some form of action. Reminders like changing air filters, giving your dog flea and tick medicine, and so on all come under this same category of "actionable paper."
The problem with this type of paper is that it just gets everywhere. You’ll find them on your nightstand, on the kitchen table, and even tucked away in your car’s glove compartment.
So, how can you organize all your actionable papers?
Keeping all your actionable to-do lists, bills, reminders, and so on inside your Sunday Basket gives you complete control over those papers and helps you develop a more organized way of thinking.
Don’t Let Paper Control You!
I honestly can’t imagine a world without paper. Technology is great, but there’s nothing like writing things down and having a physical copy of the things that are important to you.
Remember that paper doesn’t have to control you, you control paper.
If you’ve tried any of my suggestions for paper organization, I’d love to hear from you! Share your stories or snaps with me on and don’t forget to join the for more great organizing tips! Tag me in your posts @organize365 or use the hashtag !
Fri, 15 March 2019
Do you suffer from decision fatigue? When you’re bombarded with too many decisions, your brain works in overdrive. And, you end up mentally and physically exhausted.
So many of you have asked me to talk about this issue on the podcast, so…here it is!
But, before you jump into this episode, it’s worth checking out the Time, Money, Motivation podcast (ep.269). The trifecta I talk about in that episode will help change your mindset.
When you learn to look at things differently, you’ll have the willpower to make real transformational change.
To help you out, we offer a FREE week trial of the 100 Day Home Organization Program. It won’t work miracles. But, it will bring you leaps and bounds closer to living a stress-free and more organized life (minus decision fatigue!).
The truth is that you don’t need to run a marathon or get a PhD to experience a transformation. You can achieve a very BIG change from a very tiny shift to your mindset and daily habits….and, I’m going to show you how!
What is Decision Making Fatigue?
When you’re lost in decision fatigue, you usually lack time, money or motivation (or all three).
When you wake up in the morning and go about your day, you’ll have X amount of decisions to make.
Your decision-making ability only goes so far. If you’re faced with decision after decision, you’ll burn-out. That’s what decision fatigue is.
A nasty little thing, isn’t it?
How can you beat decision fatigue?
Want to know how you can kick decision fatigue’s hypothetical butt?
Grab a hammer, lift your little decision fatigue monster up by the scruff of its neck and…. ah, I’m just messing with you!
To overcome decision-making fatigue, you’ve got to create rules and habits. Habits take up to 100 days to form and cross the barrier from something you do now and then, to something you do ALL the time.
My entire life is an outpouring of habit stacking. You wouldn’t believe the number of habits I’ve accumulated over the years. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way because they’ve helped me live a super productive life. And, supplied me with lots of energy.
However, habits take a long time to cultivate and develop. I’d be lying if I said it's easy. It’s not. My advice is to start small. Create no more than three habits per year and make them stick.
Next up, you need to have rules. Rules are instantaneous, and they can adapt.
The $50 Decision-Making Challenge
Everyone has a decision-making limit. An infinitive decision-making capability isn’t a thing. You only get a limited amount of decisions each day. You’ve got to decide whether the decisions you’re making every day are worth your time.
Is stopping to decide what shoes to wear to the gym worth sacrificing a decision slot? Probably not.
So, here’s my challenge for you….
When you go through your week, imagine that every decision you make costs $50. Deciding what to eat for lunch? $50. But, if you’ve already got your lunch prepared and you know what you’re having, you can put that $50 back in your pocket.
If you start looking at each decision as having the same worth, you’ll build your organizational muscles as you begin to see which choices are worth it and which ones are not.
Thinking about the where, why & what
The reward of organization is time. When you’re organized, you get to decide how you use your time. The fewer decisions you make, the higher quality decisions you can make.
To beat decision fatigue, you’ve got to consider the where, why and what.
Where does an item go when you don’t want it?
Will it go in the trash or to goodwill?
When thinking about the where, make a decision for each physical item that you no longer want or need in your home.
It could be as simple as picking up an item and asking yourself if you want to keep it. If you do, put it where it needs to go. If you don’t, ask yourself if it’s trash. If it is, it goes in the trashcan. If not, it goes to goodwill.
The same can be said for shredding. If you’re faced with a stack of paper that needs shredding, you’ve got to decide where and when you’ll shred it. Don’t bombard yourself with questions. Keep it simple.
Will you shred it, or will you hire someone else to do it? When will you shred it?
The goal is to try to make your decision tree as small as possible. You can do this by creating rules that help reduce the amount of decisions you need to make before reaching an outcome.
Next, think about your ‘why.’ Why are you making all these decisions?
Pick up your nearest item. Mine happens to be a cup. So, if you were me, you’d ask yourself whether you want to keep this cup. If not, decide if it has any value. If it does, it’s good enough for goodwill. If not, (maybe it’s got a chip or crack) then toss it in the trash.
During this thought process, you’ll have an entire conversation in your head about why you will or will not keep the item in your hand. But you’ve got to be ruthless.
Quiet the chatter in your mind, take control of your decisions, and move on!
The Sunday Basket is the physical way of learning how to detach your self-worth from what your brain is going on and on about.
Decision fatigue is partly about what you’re going to do with the object you don't want. But, perhaps even more than that, it’s about what you’re going to do about all the thoughts that you have about the object that you don't want anymore.
Don’t let your brain get in the way. That little inside voice you’ve got chatting your ear off 24/7 needs to be silenced.
Get in the habit of making tactical decisions.
Create rules that you feel good about. If you feel good donating to goodwill, make that a rule.
The key takeaway I want you to go away with is to make your decision of where, turn off your brain about the why, and then you'll have more time and focus for the what! That’s how you’re going to overcome decision fatigue.
View the full post here: https://organize365.com/decision-fatigue/
Fri, 1 March 2019
I don’t have enough money to …
If I have more time I would …
I’m just not motivated.
These are the top 3 things holding you back from the change you crave and I finally figured out how they are RELATED!
Did you know what the most common New Year’s Resolutions are?
Did you also know that when you start on one of these goals, the others fall in line, too?
It takes time, but it will happen. I promise. And by time I mean … years.
I was an EXTREMELY productive child, working 40 hours a week babysitting because I could easily sell the moms I worked for into hiring me for more time if I told them I was available. (Suckers!) ;)
Time, Money and Motivation all go hand-in-hand.
Organization always gives you more TIME. ALWAYS.
If you decide to be a minimalist, you are, hands down, going to have more time.
Part of organization is decluttering. But decluttering involves more that just your physical objects.
You will declutter items from your calendar, out of your email inbox, organize your paper, and occasionally declutter past relationships that are no longer mutually beneficial.
Personally, I started my journey in the “getting organized” category. It took me about 18 months.
Organizing is proactively choosing how you are going to use your time.
If you are a reactionary, others choose how you spend your time.
Productivity is the outpouring of living an organized life.
Your money is your resource.
Money comes from constraining yourself so that you can budget yourself and get out of that resource what you want.
No one has unlimited money. NO ONE. Money is a constraint that makes you CHOOSE what you invest in.
My money journey has been life long and it was not until about 2 years ago that Greg and I finally got consumer debt free.
And then we slipped. We are still working on this area together.
Your energy and your motivation come from your health and wellness.
With a great set of genes and not too much vanity, I haven’t minded a “few” extra pounds and unhealthy food choices.
Recently, I have started prioritizing my future health by being more responsible now. I could never have the time and money to focus on this in the past.
Listen in as I deep dive into my 7 year journey of health and wellness, from fast food and fountain cokes to salads and zone bars. I haven’t “arrived,” but I HAVE improved.
Habits change slowly, consistently, over time as you will see from my health and wellness story.
Listen to the podcast to hear the 3 steps I took in each area to make improvements.
It has been a 7 year journey from drowning in reactionary mode to the thriving productive woman you see today.
And I wouldn’t change any of it!
As I said last week, making major changes, one step at a time, is hard. And I can see in our FREE Facebook group Organize 365 and on Instagram, when people share their photos of the inner struggles they are facing as they make progress in their organizational journey and I honestly cheer OUT LOUD to see the progress and I think to myself, look how far they have come! :)
Organize 365 is here to support you on your organizational journey. What is your number one priority in the new year? I’d love to hear it.
I’m cheering for you!
The Self Coaching School - Brooke Castillo episodes mentioned in this podcast (32, 71, 76, 77, 85, 104, 105, 129, 243)