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JUN: Jump Up Now & GID

 

Maybe you’ve heard David Allen’s advice: if something takes less than 2 minutes, do it NOW. We follow and teach the same principle

With the start of June we are halfway through 2018…CRAZY right?! We’ve been sharing acronyms to motivate organizing routines, remind you of what’s important and teach you about time management…This month, JUN: Jump Up Now to Get It Done. 

 

Meaningful Reasons to Jump Up Now: 

• when you DO rather than stew, you lessen your stress over a project

• procrastinating leads to more physical and mental clutter

• it’s never healthy to sit for too long 😉

• it could be a chance to experience joy

 

 

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Avoid Laundry Overwhelm

As a residential professional organizer, I visit lots of homes. One household system that is quick to fall apart and overwhelm a person is LAUNDRY. I see on a weekly basis how the “putting away” is where the system breaks down. 

Most of us are pretty good starting the laundry process.
• There is an obvious and inevitable external motivation to wash clothes when one runs out of clean socks or underwear.
• Many people are also decent at shifting the wet clothes over to the dryer. The widespread access to timers on our phones has made this step particularly easy for even the “follow-through-challenged.

I see “laundry overwhelm” during the next steps in the system:
  1. clean but not yet folded clothes that get mixed with dirty clothes or buried under other stuff
  2. folded clothes in baskets — if not returned to drawers or closets they clog rooms
    — this also holds laundry baskets “hostage” leaving dirty clothes “homeless”
If we focus on these 2 connected steps: 1) folding and 2) putting away
and employ task batching*, the process goes smoother.

Task Batched Laundry steps would look like this:

• SORT laundry into categories: if you mix loads from a whole household, your first SORT job will be by person, then by category of clothing (socks, underwear, shirt that fold, shirts that hang, bottoms, work out clothing, pajamas…etc)

This example is table linens – out of the dryer and placed directly onto a folding surface.

• DECIDE the categories to be folded

   This load broke down into hand towels, dish towels and cloth napkins.

 

• FOLD each category separately — preferably on a clean and flat surface

  FOLD each mini pile as its own category which is also sorted by location.

 

• DO all of your folding at once and PUT IT AWAY — when you sort by category you are essentially also sorting by location so your folded piles are easy to put where they belong.

Will task batching your folding process solve all of your laundry dilemma’s? No — but folding by category allows you to delegate small pieces of the project to even the youngest helpers. It also lets others take pride in the smooth running of the household if you’re lucky enough to live with people who will “volunteer” or as in our household, be volunteered to help 🙂
* Task batching is a way to manage time and perform tasks in sets where the same mental effort and physical energy is used to maximize productivity and streamline a process. If you’re a procrastinator…task batching is good news! It decreases the distance between start and finish and builds in lots of manageable size “loads.” More, but smaller tasks to quickly complete offer the satisfaction of a job well done.

 

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This MAY: Maybe Answer YES!

Remember our January advice to “Just Answer No“? Well, that was then and this is now. In January we needed to be selective with our energy.

This month, we are almost mid-way through 2018. We have a different perspective on how things are going. It MAY be time to say maybe or even yes to requests on our time and resources.

This MAY: Maybe Answer YES!calendar graphic showing MAY
• consider taking on …
• accept that invitation to …
• stop making excuses, start …

MAY your month be full of new opportunities to create a successful year!

Call for help clarifying your core values so you say YES to the joyful things in life. Did you know we can help you organize your space AND help you plan out projects?

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APR: Approach Projects Realistically

You probably know by now: our clever acronyms — while tied to each month — are appropriate year-round. So….even though April is at a close, our advice to APR: Approach Projects Realistically, is timeless!

calendar graphic showing AprilApproach Projects Realistically:
• consider lots of factors for success
• distill goals into manageable mini tasks
• identify each next actionable step
• carve out time to follow through

Here’s how:
1. Give yourself as much lead time as possible.
2. Block out working time during your freshest part of each day.
3. Estimate how long each piece of the puzzle will take.

4. Set deadlines along the way to your ultimate due date.

Additional tips: 
5. Allow for interruptions! 
6. Build in small rewards for each completed piece to maintain momentum.
7. Assemble a support team so even solo-projects benefit from cheerleaders and sounding boards for collaboration.*

The payoff for Approaching Projects Realistically:
• You get to enjoy the process.
• The final outcome is thoughtfully executed.
• You avoid burnout so the next project runs smoothly.

Did you know that we can help you plan out projects, not just organize your space?
Call if you’re struggling with any piece of the “How To” of Project Planning.

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So Your Bracket Isn’t Perfect

Who’s is?! With March Madness,* in full swing, and so many upsets, nobody we know has a perfect bracket. Perfection is NEVER the goal at home.

Calm, order, reliability — that sureness that when you need something, it will be in its place. THAT’s what people crave.

So this March, be Mindful And Reflective all month:
• What is crowding your court?
• What is foul among your stuff?
• What needs to be cut from your wardrobe?
Use time “brackets” every day to cull your belongings to a team of winners.
Calendar graphic showing current month: MarchEvery time you get dressed, pick a category of clothes to winnow: socks tomorrow, underwear the next day, a pair of shoes or boots on Saturday destined for donation. It’s not all about team cuts…sometimes you’ll need to consider “who” are your worthy bench warmers?
Declare Sundays your follow through, slam-dunk days.



If you really want to pare down, but you’re struggling on your own: Call us.

* March Madness is an intense College Basketball tournament played over 4 weeks. “Selection Sunday” was March 11 when the team pairings were revealed. 
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March Madness Inspiration

In honor of College Basketball’s annual competition March Madness, follow our advice to cull your belongings to just a team of winners.2018 NCAA Final Four basketball Follow March’s monthly mantra and be Mindful And Reflective.

Every Sunday this month, set up a friendly competition among your belongings. Asking questions can help you “select” your “starting line-up” for coffee mugs, staplers, left over binders, and any category of clothing.

Some people really respond to visualizing:
• imagine you have to move, would you pack something, move with it and use it in your new place? There can be a lot of freedom in imagining yourself in a new place without the baggage, history, volume of stuff you live with now. You don’t have to move to experience this freedom!

The Minimalist movement begs you to ask: Could you live without it.
Of course we could ALL live without many things in our lives…but how do you test yourself?

How do you delay the finality of such a decision?
To TRY living without something, you can create a maybe box.


Create a Maybe Box:
• collect the items you think you can live without

• box or bag the item(s) – use a dark trash bag or a cardboard box. If you have opaque tubs that’s okay but avoid using clear bins. The idea is you don’t want to SEE what’s inside.

• label the container with a future date some amount of time from now. Could be a week? a month? 3 months? In rare cases a year (you don’t want your maybe boxes to become clutter so be very careful with this). 

• store the container temporarily somewhere out of the way 

• record the future date (and the location of where you stored the container of maybe’s) in your calendar (paper or electronic): 

• when that date rolls around, if you haven’t had to go into the “maybe box” for anything, donate it.

Don’t look inside.

Don’t doubt that you can’t live without the items.
You’ve already proven to yourself that you can 🙂

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Go For Gold!

We had so much fun following this Winter Olympics. It doesn’t take much effort for us to wonder what lessons we can apply to organizing. Everyone who made their country’s Olympic team is a winner in our book. But in the Olympic world, coming in 4th does not win a medal. The lesson: Go For Gold!


When you look around your home, inside your cabinets and at your clothing:
• What’s podium-worthy?
• Does everything belong on the team?
• If your ________  (fill in the blank) is not a Gold, Silver, or Bronze why keep it?

 

 

 


If you’re not ready to Go For Gold:
Can you justify all the “runners-up” you maintain?
Can you afford to hold on to “losers”?
Is the real estate you’re giving up to a 5th or 6th placer okay with you? 

Become a medal snob — Go For Gold! And make sure everything you own, store and maintain helps you act, look and feel like a WINNER.


LIKE us on Facebook and share what you loved about the Olympics.
• Joy relished watching her favorites from Sochi skate to music with LYRICS!
• Kelly loved watching athletes compete for the first time on the slopes and ice
• How ’bout the Shiffrin mother-daughter partnership?!

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FEB: Find Everything Because…

You’ve probably seen TBT, Throw Back Thursday posts on Facebook. You can only “Throw-Back” if you can find your old photos. That’s why our monthly theme for FEB is: Find Everything Because: 

calendar graphic with FEB showing • Find what what you want
  It’s important, it has a home
• Find what you need
  You always put it back
• Find everything
  Nothing blocks your access

More specifically:
It has a home. Not just a place to live, but a place that makes sense.
• For items you use on a daily basis, they’re in the MOST accessible spot (not necessarily OUT).
• An added benefit of a proper place for things is the ability to direct others and delegate (labeling helps)! No more frustration at having to look for things yourself because YOU are the only one who knows where you last put something.

You always return things. Unless you are using something right now, it is put away. This means your scissors, check book and keys each have a designated spot…not to mention every other supply, article of clothing and household item. You can count on them being there because you have a routine around making sure you put items back.
While the benefits should be obvious we like to spell things out:
• imagine always being able to find your (fill in the blank with whatever you consistently lose)
• no more purchasing duplicates (no more wasted money)
• no more fruitless searches (think time saved!)

You maintain access. This is a biggie. Lots of people know where their things are, but they can’t always reach them. If you can’t get to your luggage or open the cabinet to your printer cartridges what’s the benefit to knowing where it is? You still have to go out and purchase more OR spend time clearing the way to access them. 

The best way to ensure you can get your hands on everything you own is to make sure you designate a home for all your stuff…and to eliminate things you don’t want or need (but that’s a whole ‘nother topic for another time).

Find Everything Because Everything Has a Home!

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JAN: Justify Anything New

In previous posts we’ve offered ways to declutter your calendar and time commitments. What about things that demand space and care in your life?

Follow this acronym for January: Justify Anything New

calendar graphic showing JAN

Justify New Purchases:
• Do you need it?…Now?
What would happen if you waited a week or a month and re-evaluated?
• What will it add to your life?
If you can’t say how it will enhance your life, how can you say it is worth it?
• 
Is it worth the money?
• Can you commit to maintain it?
People often forget to factor in the cost of maintaining something in its purchase price.

Justify Storage:
• Do you already have space for it?
• Do you have time to MAKE room for it? Can you wait until you have the room?
• 
Will you let something go to practice In One/Out One?

Make January your Just Answer No monthunless you can justify it. 

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JAN: How To Say “No”

There are lots of ways to say “no” – some more polite than others.
Here are a few of our favorites:

calendar graphic showing JANDeferred Commitment
I wish I could, but have promised my ________ (self, partner, kids, boss) not to take on any new projects, volunteer positions, or paid gigs until mid-(name the month). You expressed interest, but deferred any involvement for now.

An Affirmative No
I would love to help ________ (with your project, run your campaign, co-chair that event) but right now I am not accepting any new commitments. You admitted a desire but definitively turn the offer down.

Delayed Commitment
If only you had asked me a month ago…I just accepted a demanding________ (position, task, project) that doesn’t allow me any extra bandwidth. Check back with me in 6 months. You just spared yourself an immediate commitment and left the door open to be invited back.

Align and Delegate
Thanks for ________ (asking, inviting me, thinking of me). I am in the middle of a huge undertaking (you don’t have to describe what) and beyond swamped but I’d love to hear who you find to help. You’ve let them know that you care about their cause but you’re not the right candidate. People appreciate honesty.

Set Your Own Terms
That sounds really interesting…I am still deciding between a few commitments that will be the focus of my ________ (year, first quarter, volunteer bucket). Can I let you know at the start of February? They will either agree to your timeline or need a faster response and move on to someone else.

The above examples are helpful with decluttering your time commitments and demands on your energy. Check back for advice on decluttering the STUFF of 2018.