Summary: Clutter Rescue is a Professional Organising business working with busy Mums to organise their Space and Time. These Podcasts are from the Clutter Rescue Blog with stacks of tips, tricks and ideas to get Mums organised - bringing more clarity to their Space and Time.
Ruminations of a BUSY to Balanced Mum I wrote this blog post while in Italy recently but had trouble uploading it. It still rings true today – two weeks on from writing it! I really don’t like skiing. Snow skiing that is. It’s just not easy. Dressing in Michelin Man outfits, Nanna underwear, foot binding boots and two planks that feel twice as long as they probably are is not that much fun. Even though I’ve skied four times in the last three years I still feel like a beginner. Hubby and Mr nearly-7, on the other hand, absolutely love it. They love all the gear, have more gloves than I do bras, and can ski from first run to last run, day in day out, for two weeks. Mr nearly-7 gets a huge thrill out of telling anyone who will listen that he’s on a “higher level” than Mummy. On my first run recently, when Mr nearly-7 had already skied for half a day, he was telling me what to do, encouraged me and told me he was proud of my efforts. How cute is that? This whole process got me thinking about organising. Not about being organised for a ski trip, even though that’s a big deal in itself, but organising in general. If I have a lack of interest and skill in skiing, when I’ve tried valiantly to improve my skills for quite a few years, maybe you feel the same about organising. For me it feels like a futile effort – two steps forward and one step backward. Is this how you feel about your organising skills? So what to do? The good thing for me is that I don’t have to ski every day of my life. But I do need to be organised. And I know, even though it might be hard to hear, so do you. Today when I went on the slopes for the first time I felt every emotion possible. I was worried that I had forgotten everything I already knew about skiing. I was concerned that I would fall and hurt myself. I was exhilarated from the view and crisp morning air. I was worried that Hubby might not get a great skiing experience if he hung out with me all day. But you know what? I went ahead anyway – tentatively at first, then with more confidence, until I felt like all the skills I already knew had come back to me. And you know what? It didn’t take as long as I thought. If you’re organising journey feels like my skiing journey, just take small steps, push through the discomfort, and know that you will come through the other side, better for it and with greater skills than you had before. And if all else fails you can think of me and my skiing ability, knowing that Mr nearly-7 is always going to be better than me – and I’m ok with that! So what do you think? Can you relate to my skiing ability when you think about your organising skills? Until next time, happy organising! PS This is what I’d rather be doing. Lazing in a deck chair – but instead of in the snow, at the beach! With a cold drink in one hand and nibblies in the other! PPS Yes, I did take this only a few weeks ago. There are heaps of deck chairs near restaurants and bars to sit in. The trick was to stay out of the wind – and then it was lovely!
Justin Brown via Compfight Do you create a vision board at the start of the year? A friend of mine has done one each year, on or around January 1st (probably depending on how she feels after New Year’s celebrations!), with her goals and vision – both personally and professionally – for the year ahead. The great thing is that she also meets up with a group of business women, again early in January, where they all bring their new vision boards as well as the one from last year, and discuss their goals. I love this! What a great way to start the year – focussing on what you want to achieve and sharing it with friends who will support you throughout the year. So what are the benefits of creating a vision board and should you do one? With a quick search of Google I found 104 million hits on the benefits of vision boarding. That’s a lot of benefits! After much reading and clicking between articles here are the main benefits I found: Clarify your goals Focus energy on achieving your goals Help you establish new habits Encourage you to take action Attract opportunities to you (from Self Esteem Health) A positive reference point for your future Helps renew our enthusiasm Reprograms our mind for achievement Helps you as you attempt to overcome challenges (from Top Life Results) It seems to me that there is a lot of good in creating a vision board! The great thing from this list is that each comment is positive – a mindset we try really hard to develop and promote in our Clutter Rescue team, our clients and readers. So how do you go about creating a vision board? I like the old fashioned way with a piece of cardboard, lots of magazines, scissors and glue. I know people who have created a digital version of their vision board and saved it as their screen saver or background on their computer. Either way your vision board needs to be close by so you can look at it every day, keep focussed on your goals and gain inspiration when things are going pear shaped. Because things will inevitably go pear shaped. But if you have your vision – and the motivation to achieve your goals – you can achieve anything you want! We’d love to see your vision board or hear about your goals for 2013 – so please post in the comments section below! Until next time, happy organising!
How’s your wardrobe looking? Do you stand in front of it every day and say that thing we all say at some stage in our lives – “I’ve got nothing to wear!”? I do this too – but I know I do it more often when the ironing pile has built up and my wardrobe is looking a little bare! So what’s the key to having a wardrobe that works for you – both in the clothes you have to wear and the way it’s organised? Step 1 – Look at your lifestyle Are you a working woman with no children? A stay-at-home Mum with children? A part-time working Mum? A Mumpreneur working from your home office? Your lifestyle is extremely important when deciding what should stay and what should go from your wardrobe. Each item should support the lifestyle you currently have – not one you had or think you might have in the future. One of the more hilarious items of clothing in my wardrobe is a black trouser suit. It’s hilarious because it’s from another lifetime ago (10 years to be precise) when I was working in an office in inner-city Melbourne. Suits, jackets and long sleeve blouses were the norm. Wind the clock forward 10 years and that suit is still in my wardrobe – but mostly delegated to networking events or funerals! The message from this? Be clear about your lifestyle as this influences the wardrobe sorting and organising process. Step 2 – Know your Wardrobe Organising Style There are a number of different ways you can organise your wardrobe. Again, this depends on your organising style, lifestyle and personality. When getting organised in your wardrobe there are five different approaches you can take: All in together – This is where you have no particular organisation system at all. Clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories are all muddled in together with no organisation at all. Form/Type – This is where clothes are organised by what garment they are. With this organising approach all of your shirts hang together, all of your trousers together, dresses together, skirts together, jeans together, etc. Function – This is where clothes are organised according to their function and purpose. If you follow this organising approach you will have all of your work clothes together, all of your casual clothes together, your formal/special event clothes together, etc. You may even have different wardrobes for each, depending on the amount of clothes you have. Colour – This is where your clothes are organised according to colour. Regardless of type of clothing you will organise items according to their colour – so all red in one location, all white together, all blue together, etc. By outfit – I saw this on a UK TV program ages ago and thought it was a great idea – if you have the time! This is where you organise and hang your clothes as a complete outfit. If you have a lovely dress you will arrange your wardrobe so that the accessories and shoes you wear with it are all lined up or hung together. I love this idea but am yet to try it. I think it would make getting dressed really quick and easy! Step 3 – Know the Ten Questions to ask when Decluttering your Wardrobe There are ten questions to ask yourself when decluttering your wardrobe. These questions help you decide if you really need that outfit, those ten pairs of nearly identical trousers or fifty winter scarves. I know clients who have used this checklist and known by the third question that the item of clothing should go. Give it a try! I want you to look gorgeous, comfortable and happy when you leave your home in the mornings – and by following this process you’ll be well on your way to achieving it! One thing I’d love to know though – what’s your wardrobe organising style? I’m a ‘function’ gal! Until next time, happy organising!
Mr nearly-7 is beside himself with excitement over Santa’s visit. The great thing is that he is getting old enough to not get lots of little toys. The bad thing is that he is expecting more and more things – and not the less expensive things at that! The great thing is that I know Santa personally. I know this might surprise you but Santa and I go back a long way! So what did I do? I phoned him. Mr nearly-7 had a chat, told him what he wanted, and then passed the phone back to me. We caught up on old times and then I asked my jolly old friend not to bring lots of toys for Mr nearly-7 this year. Just a few good quality ones will do. So how do we set boundaries – when our kids are so good at pester power – and what’s the best way to keep a lid on your child’s exploding toy collection? A child’s bedroom or playroom only has so much space to store things in. Stick to these limits and expect your children to as well. Remember that your home is for everyone who lives there. Make sure you all have adequate space for all the stuff Santa brings you. Set boundaries throughout the year on the amount of toys that are purchased or come into the home. It’s never too late to cull and donate toys. There are many great charities that would appreciate the donation of good quality toys. Any dangerous or damaged ones should be thrown out. Work out where to store your children’s toys and set limits on the number of spaces toys live. Are they stored in your child’s bedroom, play room or somewhere else? Keep their location contained and expect your children to return the toys once they’ve finished playing with them. Know how to store the toys. Some come with special containers (eg boxes) to hold things in; others you will need to have storage for. Use the images from the box that came with the product to put on the front of the toy’s storage tub. This is a quick and easy way to create a system so your children know where toys go. If you’d like to see this in action we did a video on it for Clutter Rescue TV. All up we have three areas where Mr nearly-7′s toys are stored. The first is in his bedroom (where 80% of his toys are), the second is near the TV (for Playstation games) and the third is outside for balls, bats and outdoor play toys. If you’re expecting a toy explosion this Christmas the main piece of advice I’d love you to get from this is to set boundaries and set up a system. If you do that the next trick is to get your kids on board! So what do you think? What do you do to keep your children’s toy collection under control? Until next time, happy organising!
Kevin Dooley via Compfight Like any nearly-7 year old, our son is very excited that Christmas is just around the corner. Each afternoon he runs to the letterbox to collect the junk mail and trawl through it in the hope of finding the perfect Christmas gift! But this year’s going to be different … and he may not like it. This year we are flying overseas on a big jet plane. Because of this there’s been many discussions around Santa and what could happen with the gifts he had planned on bringing to Mr nearly-7. He thinks that Santa should deliver the presents to his home because he doesn’t want them to get lost or broken on our holiday (a pretty good concept really!). We’re going to phone Santa in a few weeks and let him know we’ll be away – because we don’t want to miss out on all those goodies! Or do we? We’re taking a six year old child overseas to two different countries, visiting amazing historical places, soaking up the culture and spending time with family and friends we haven’t seen for a long time. Somehow the whole idea of presents doesn’t seem to sit well with me. I’d love Mr nearly-7 to enjoy this trip for what it is – a completely different holiday where experiences trump “stuff”. I know we’ll buy some souvenirs (what traveller doesn’t?) but I want him to look back on this trip as the adventure of a little six year old’s lifetime! I’m just not sure how we’ll go. He’s so fixated on the “stuff”. I think we’ll know if the “experience” trumped the “stuff” once we return from our holiday. Have you had any experience with this? I’d love to hear how you dealt with it – and whether the experience or stuff won out! Until next time, happy organising!
I am often asked how I get – and stay – organised, specifically what I do in my own home on a regular basis to keep it organised. So here it is ! The things I do on a daily, weekly, monthly, six monthly and yearly basis to keep my home in top organisational shape! Daily Home Organising Tasks Open and sort mail Pick up items off the floor/stairs/coffee table and return to their rightful home Make and pack lunches Make beds Put dirty clothes in washing basket Wash clothes (usually every second day) Check my schedule a few days in advance Weekly Home Organising Tasks Grocery shop Fill out forms from school and return Fill out any forms (eg health rebate forms) and post Recycle newspapers and magazines File tax related papers in one area of my filing cabinet (ready to sort at tax time) Pay bills and file if I need to keep them Shred papers with personal details attached Monthly Home Organising Tasks I choose one space in my home and throughly organise it. This usually happens on a weekend when I’m happy to potter and organise. I might decide to organise my linen or laundry cupboard, Mr 6′s clothes, my office cupboard, our bedroom – whichever space takes my fancy. If I choose a whole room I: Pick items up off the floor and put them away Clear any flat surface and wipe them down Straighten the bed Donate unwanted items Throw out rubbish Six Monthly Home Organising Tasks Rotate clothes with the season and donate unworn/unused items Check towels and blankets for wear Check tax documentation to make sure I’m on track Completely organise my pantry – cull out-of-date food, distill dry food into storage containers, reorganise to suit our needs Yearly Home Organising Tasks Do tax Cull toys ready for Christmas Clean curtains and blinds Have carpet and sofa professionally cleaned There are bound to be things on this list that you don’t need to do – and others you need to add. That’s OK! Different households need different things done but this rough guide should hopefully help you! We’d love to know if you have certain tasks you do to keep your home organised! Until next time, happy organising!
I love learning. I think we are so lucky to have the opportunity to learn whatever it is we want to learn more about – whether that’s through informal learning (like reading or watching documentaries) or formal learning (by attending a workshop, school or university). The more ‘serious’ your studies get the more important it is to have an organised space to work in. So what does that look like? Have separate zones in your office for each subject you are studying. You can separate all of your course notes, study schedule, etc with magazine holders, folders or on shelves – whatever works for you. Keep your course notes away from the working space on your desk. Your desk is ‘prime real estate’ for when you’re working – so keep everything else you don’t need in their appropriate zone and bring them to your desk when you need them. Factor in your personal/home paperwork when you are creating your zones. If need be create a separate zone for these papers and keep them completely separate from your study papers. If you are studying a higher level degree (eg Masters or PhD) and therefore have a lot of research documents on the go, create subcategories for each area you are researching and store them in their relevant zone. Create a study schedule which you can easily see from your working zone. This schedule should include class times, allocated study times and assignment due dates. Tidy your desk after each study session and return all items to their relevant zone. Have a small supply of stationery close by on your desk and store the rest in drawers/cupboards out of the way. These processes relate to physical paperwork but they’re just as relevant to your electronic files. Once you’ve set up your zones, the key to successful study is to be disciplined. If you set up simple systems and processes at the beginning of the semester that work for you, you will be less frustrated and more likely to succeed. Until next time, happy organising!
So you’ve made the decision to get in and declutter and organise your wardrobe/bedroom/kids toys/garage/office. If you’ve followed the right process you’ve done the hard work already – sorted everything, purged unwanted items and have them ready to go to charity, family or friends, and have arranged what you’re keeping back in it’s rightful home. But what about those containers? Those lovely products that make organising seem worth it? Isn’t that the start of your organising journey? Absolutely not!! No journey starts at the end – it starts at the beginning. And the beginning of any organising project involves sorting, purging and arranging (three of five steps in Julie Morgenstern’s SPACE process). The fourth step is Containerising – and that’s where you decide if you need organising tools to support the system you’ve set up. I know I run an organising business and blog – and thus have a few skills in this area! – but I have been known to get sidetracked with all the amazing products on the market and would love them in my home (particularly some of the gorgeous stationery!!). So how do I keep myself in check? 1. I have these basic tools in my toolkit – and use them whenever I am organising any room of my home. 2. I get in and organise the room I’m working on – and then I have a good think about what tools I need to solve the problems that have arisen. Sometimes I don’t know what problem I need to solve until I’ve gone a little way through the organising process – and then bam! It hits me like a bolt out of the blue! 3. There are certain tools and products I always have on hand – hanging files for the filing cabinet, manila folders for the step file, plastic containers to distill dried food in the kitchen. This makes it much quicker and easier for me to get (and stay) organised. 4. If I don’t need the tool or product straight away I will wait and shop around. By doing this I usually end up with just the perfect thing! You can see I’m not really a marketers dream. I’m happy with that! I’d rather have organising tools and products that work for me in my home – not ones that don’t work, that I’ve wasted money on and are like trying fit a square peg into a round hole. I’m not saying I haven’t made mistakes and bought things I don’t use – because I have – but the way I approach organising tasks now is completely different to a few years ago. And my bank balance thanks me for it! Have you ever bought an organising product that just didn’t work for you or fit the problem you had? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section below. Until next time, happy organising!
Ruminations of a BUSY to Balanced Mum As a busy Mum I know how difficult it is to focus on ‘You’. The concept of ‘Me’ Time and having time for family and friends can sometimes be at the bottom of the pile compared to the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, cuddles, runny noses, taxi-ing, sports drop offs, couple time and everything else that comes from mothering. So how do we find ‘Me’ Time – when time seems so limited? I was reading an article that Oprah Winfrey writes in The Oprah Magazine called ‘What I Know For Sure’. I love this article – it is right at the back of the magazine and in it Oprah is usually really honest about her work and life challenges. This month she wrote: “Since 1996 I had accumulated more wealth, more responsibility, more possessions; everything, it seemed, had grown exponentially – except my happiness. How had I, with all my options and opportunities, become one of those people who never have time to feel delight? I was stretched in so many directions, I wasn’t feeling much of anything. Too busy doing.” I could completely relate to these comments. In 1996 I was teaching, was about to get married and move to another city, and live with my new husband for the first time. Since that time our wealth, responsibility and possessions have grown – and yes I am happy with my life. But it was only recently that I “got it”. And I got it through “Sacred Sundays”. My lovely friend and kinesiologist Sally mentioned it to me (because she’s always onto me about disconnecting from technology!) and now I have Sacred Sunday as a regular thing every Sunday. I even put it on our Facebook page so that *hopefully* our fans will start to take it up as well. Sacred Sundays for me are when I completely disconnect from technology – I will admit to having withdrawal symptoms for the first two weeks! – and connect with the things I love. So far this has included: Hanging out with Hubby and Mr 6. This has included bike riding, visiting relatives, having brunch, gardening, washing the car – whatever takes our fancy really! Decorating our home. I used to do a lot of creative stuff with my hands (sewing, knitting, crocheting) but we moved house earlier this year and I’ve had fun decorating it on a budget. So far I’ve created the two things on this page – a lamp shade from a $5 dressmakers dummy and framed blackboard from an old print I bought at the op shop. I just love them! And seeing them makes me want to create more stuff – just for fun! Catching up on TV shows. Like most busy Mums I don’t have time (or am too tired!) to watch TV during the week. I love anything to do with fashion so that’s what I’m watching mostly! Connect with family and friends. We have Hubby’s family living in the same city as us so sometimes we visit them. Sometimes we have friends over for a chat and coffee (or something a little heavier!). Either way it’s really low key – because that’s what my Sacred Sunday is all about! I’m absolutely loving my Sacred Sunday. It gives me time away from the constant of social media and *makes* me connect with what I love. Another amazing flow on effect from all of this is that Hubby and Mr 6 are spending more time together – a huge benefit I didn’t anticipate – and I have a much clearer head when I return to work on Monday. I’d love you to factor in Sacred Sunday – or Sacred Saturday – for yourself. Whatever it might look like for you. Because as Oprah said in ‘What I Know For Sure’ – “You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.” Until next time, happy organising!
How’s your to-do list looking? Mine’s as long as my arm – but if I was to be honest I’d say it always is! Regardless of how many things I get done on my to-do list there always seems to be more things to add. Sounds familiar? Tony Case via Compfight I see a strong connection between getting things done and balancing work and home. If you’re at home, thinking about all your work to-do’s, you’ll never get your home to-do’s done, and vice versa. So what’s the key? In our series of articles on the eight traits of an Organised Mum I said that the way to get things done was to: Focus on what’s important Enlist help Avoid perfectionism So what does this look like for me? 1. I stop listening to all the “noise”. You know what I mean – all that other stuff that you hear at the school gate, on TV, in the papers, with other businesses that might sound like a good idea but isn’t right for me. If I chose to listen to all that noise I would have absolutely no direction whatsoever. I’d be faffing around like a crazy woman without a coherent thought or idea. This is a tough one – and you really need to know who you are – but once you stop listening to all that noise it makes your to-do list so much more manageable! 2. I know what I am good at doing. I am a capable woman. I have a Master degree, have worked in some high paying ‘normal’ jobs and now run my own business – but I still know that I am not good at, and can’t do, everything. Just because I can use my accounting package doesn’t mean I should do my own “books”. I know an accountant who doesn’t do her own “books” – so if it’s good for her it’s good for me! 3. I know what I like doing. I know I have to do some things I don’t like (including ironing!) but the things I really, really don’t like – gone-ski! I get rid of them from my to-do list and give them to someone who loves doing it! 4. I schedule my to-do’s. Julie Morgenstern has a saying “A to-do without a when never gets done” – never a truer word has been said! I love my diary (yes, a physical diary!!) and so all my to-do’s get scheduled in it with a time to do them. In other words I am making appointments with myself to get my to-do’s done. I still have lists (for example, the shopping list on the fridge) but I know when that list will be done because my diary tells me! 5. Once my to-do’s are scheduled I forget about them. Yep – that’s right. Why have them bouncing around in my head when I can use my brain cells for more important things?! I trust my diary to tell me when to do tasks – and it saves my brain trying to remember my to-do list (which it has absolutely no chance in doing!). 6. I have a good idea how long things take to do. Let’s say I have a parent-teacher interview at school. The interview only goes for 15 minutes, but does that mean I schedule 15 minutes in my diary for the interview? Absolutely not! I factor in the time it takes to drive to school, the traffic, the car parking, the interview, and the drive home. Chances are this process will take at least 45 minutes, maybe an hour. So I would schedule an hour in my diary. And if I have spare time that’s great! More time to do all those other to-do’s! 7. I use time wisely. I’m not a big fan of multitasking – studies have shown that multitasking can actually reduce your productivity by as much as 40% – but I am a big fan of using time wisely. What this looks like for me includes putting a load of washing on while I do school drop off (or my favourite – while I’m asleep!) having the dishwasher going while we watch TV at night playing with Mr 6 while dinner cooks Anything you automate (like a washing machine, dishwasher and oven) can be working for you whi[...]
Whether you are completely organised in your home (and it’s just the kids and Hubby that push you off the rails!), completely disorganised and don’t know where to start, or somewhere in between, one of the greatest challenges, once you’re organised, is to keep it that way. So what’s the secret? dzarro72 via Compfight I’m sorry – but there is no secret. Yes it can be difficult to keep things organised when life and other stuff gets in the way. Yes it is difficult to get and stay organised if it’s not a priority for you. And yes your home will be completely disorganised if you ignore it all together. But really, the only way you can stay organised – once you’ve already organised and decluttered your room, or had a professional help you – is to focus on it. Here are seven strategies you can use. Make it simple. The longer the organising process takes you the less likely you are to do it. Make your systems as easy as possible – 2 or 3 steps at most – and you’ll get things organised quickly and easily. Make it a priority. Spending just 10 minutes each day walking around your home, picking up, putting away and putting everything in order will make a huge difference. Everyone that lives in your home should be involved in this. Make it a priority. Yes, I know I already said this, but if you put it off today and leave it until tomorrow chances are it won’t get done. So add organising to your routine. Make it enjoyable. Pump up the music, sing, dance, turn it into a game (if you’ve got children involved). Be creative and you’ll enjoy the time you spend organising. Create a system you just love – and you’ll want it to be organised and looking its best! Enlist help. Everyone in your home should be responsible for and learn skills to organise the home (or at the very least their own space). Make changes to your system if and when you need to. A system set up four years ago may still work for you today – but it may not. Don’t be afraid to change it to suit your life now as this will make it easier for you to maintain. I’m sorry that I haven’t got a magic wand to make it easier for you. The hardest work really is organising and decluttering in the first place – maintaining it *should* be the easy part! Today’s question to answer (below in the comments section) so that you can enter our giveaway to win one of three Clutter Rescue ebooks is: What advice have you got to keep your house organised and still stay sane? The three ebooks in this giveaway are: Clutter Rescue Your Space: Wardrobe Workbook (valued at $19.95) Clutter Rescue Your Time: A Busy Mum’s Guide (valued at $9.95) Clutter Rescue Tip Sheet (your choice – valued at $4.50) The competition is open to Australian residences and closes Thursday 25 October at 2pm. Good luck! Until next time, happy organising!
Ruminations of a BUSY to Balanced Mum I was SO excited when I had a phone conversation with a client about setting up sustainable organising systems for her – a system that will work for her, not against her. (I know – I get excited by the strangest things!!) Chuck Coker via Compfight We spoke about her organising challenges, the process we would take to help her and then came the best question of all – “But Helen, how do I know the systems you set up will be sustainable?”. Regardless of whether you organise and declutter your home on your own or get professional help, there are a few important factors you need to know about setting up sustainable organising systems. 1. You really need to know what organising problem you’re dealing with. We get a lot of enquiries for help to organise and declutter all areas of the home. We get comments like “My garage needs organising”, “My office is driving me nuts”, “My kids rooms have too many toys” or “My whole house is driving me insane”. These comments are true – and definitely reflect what’s going on for this person – but they don’t get to the heart of the organising problem. The real questions to ask are – What’s going on in this space for me? What’s already working? What’s definitely not working? I know that sounds really simple, and yes there’s a whole other skill required to get to the diagnosis of the problem and then coming up with a strategy to make it happen, but if you can analyse and work out what is and isn’t working you’ll be well on your way to creating an organising system that will stand the test of time. I have a three drawer filing cabinet which was completely organised about four years ago. That was when Mr 6 was only two and I had just started my business. Move forward four years and my business has grown, Mr 6 is now at school, Hubby has changed jobs and we’ve moved house. It was definitely time to get in and organise my paperwork! Because it was already (mostly!) organised – ie a system had already been developed four years ago – it was just a matter of focusing on what was working and what wasn’t working. My business paperwork was working (therefore there was no need to touch it) but our home and financial papers really needed a good cull and new filing categories created. After analysing what was going on for me I was able to come up with a strategy and then get in and organise it. 2. You really need to know yourself, your preferences and commitment levels. If you decide to work with a professional to organise your home you will find they will ask you 101 questions to work out what’s going on for you. If you decide to work on your own you need to ask yourself 101 questions as well. It starts with “what’s already working” and “what’s not working” but then you need to ask yourself: Why is this working? Why isn’t this working? Have I got too much stuff? Are my cupboards/drawers/storage areas overflowing, or completely inadequate? Are things just put anywhere without any real home? Is the process I’ve set up too complicated for me? If I put things away do I forget about them? Do I find organising boring? Am I just too busy to organise this space? Am I dealing with life’s issues (eg relationship problems, birth of a new baby, moving house) and things are a little difficult at the moment? Is my space just too small and holding too much stuff? Are my children/flat mates/partner helping keep the space organised or making it difficult? This year I’ve been tested in regards to my own commitment levels to keeping our home organised. I wrote about it here but briefly we – we went to Fiji for a holiday, all got a tummy bug, came home and put our house on the market, sold the house, moved house, put Mr 6 in hosp[...]
This week we’ve been talking about our new definition of BUSY and the eight traits of an Organised Mum. We’ve already looked at B = Balanced, U = Uncluttered and S = Sustainable and the traits that sit under each. Today we’re going to look at the last, but definitely not least, part of the definition – Y = You. There are two traits of an Organised Mum that sit under Y = You. And just like all the others, if you make the choice to work on these areas you will find you move toward a more balanced life. Traits of an Organised Mum #7 – Time For Family And Relationships As busy Mums we all know how important it is to spend time with family and friends, and partner if you have one, without children. It’s great to have play dates with kids in tow as well but that connection you can make with your friends without having children around is just as important. So what’s the key to making this time happen? Focus on what’s important. I wrote about this in B = Balanced as well. If you really took time out and stopped listening to the chaos in your mind, would you say you spend time focussing on what’s important – or do you spend time doing the opposite? I know there are things we have to do given our personal circumstances but if you can reduce some unwanted things from your life it will make room for you to focus on the important stuff – including making time for family and friends. Good time management skills. I know – ho hum! But really, if you took time out to take control of your schedule you would find you would have more time than you think. Do you know someone who always seems to achieve so much in their lives that you are exhausted just thinking about them? The reason they achieve so much is that they’ve got a great grasp on time management. They focus on what’s important and do things that will help them achieve their goals. In U = Uncluttered I mentioned Julie Morgenstern’s 4 D’s – delete, delay, delegate, diminish. Using this strategy will eliminate all the unwanted things from your schedule – if you give yourself permission! – and free up time for you to spend with family and friends. The most important aspect of all with this trait is to have people in your life that you want to spend time with. The people you hang out with should inspire you, make you happy, encourage you, motivate you – not the opposite. Get rid of people in your life who make you feel miserable as this kind of clutter will have a huge impact on your ability to live a balanced life. Traits of an Organised Mum #8 – ‘Me’ Time I know you’ve heard this a hundred times before from all kinds of places – the Sunday newspapers, magazine at the grocery checkout line, TV shows and your mother/sister/friend/partner. But really – you know it’s true. I know it’s true. But do we do it often enough? Maybe yes, maybe no, given your circumstances. Did you know there are 168 hours in every week? If you were to give yourself permission every day to have one hour ‘me’ time you would reduce this down to 161 hours to do everything else. I don’t know about you but I think 161 hours is still a lot of time to get everything done! Sure you might have to reschedule or change a few things around but you can do it, I know you can! So are you going to give yourself permission or not? My question for you today is – what are you going to do so you have time to spend with family and friends and the most important of all, ‘me’ time? Until next time, happy organising!
If you’ve worked on B = Balance and U = Uncluttered then the next logical step is to create systems in your home that are Sustainable. What does that actually mean? According to Websters online dictionary sustainable means “capable of being sustained or maintained; being lasting, durable, enduring, permanent or abiding”. So when organising this means setting up processes and strategies that work for you, are easy to maintain and stand the test of time. Just like with every aspect of our new definition of BUSY S = Sustainable has two traits of an Organised Mum. Traits of an Organised Mum #5 – Right Tools For The Job There are a few tools that are essential for any organising job. They are: A tape measure Rubbish bags Something to make labels. We use a label maker but you can also use swing tags, sticky labels or cardboard/paper to make your own. A ladder An open mind Most people also feel like they need to buy products to help the process along. When we do any organising project we often use products to make better use of the space. Some of these products are standard across all projects but some are specific to the client and their needs. We also use certain products in specific rooms of the house, for example the kitchen and office, that are tailored made to work effectively in these spaces. But how do you know which tools or products to buy? The first thing to know is – don’t rush out and buy storage containers or something that looks pretty in the hope that it will work for you. Chances are you’ll waste money because the product isn’t right for your specific organising problem. The way to know which tools or products you need is to get in and sort and purge first. I wrote about this process in U = Uncluttered. Once you’ve sorted all the stuff in whichever space you are organising, and then purged all unwanted items, you will be ready to arrange and containerise – and that’s when you will know if you need any organising products at all. Chances are you will have items around your home that you can repurpose but if not at least you’ll know what products to buy when you head to the shops! Traits of an Organised Mum #6 – Helpful Kids This might seem like an odd trait to put in under S = Sustainable but hear me out! I firmly believe that if you want your children to grow up and move out of home you need to teach them organising skills. I’ve written about this a lot and it’s something I feel really passionate about. Remember that part of Websters online dictionary’s definition of sustainable was “being lasting, durable, enduring, permanent or abiding”. I don’t necessarily think we should look at organising skills as ‘abiding’ but any skill, no matter whether it’s knowing how to swim, write a letter or organise your pantry can only be a good thing if it’s lasting, durable, enduring or permanent. So how do you get your kids to be helpful? It’s simple! You have an expectation that they need to help. Remember that I said that changing to this new definition may not be easy? Small children absolutely LOVE helping Mum and Dad and don’t really care what it is they’re doing! It’s just the simple fact of helping and spending time with a loved one that brings them so much joy – so why not take advantage of that? Studies have shown that the earlier you start this process the better. So my questions for you today are – where do you need to develop sustainable systems in your home and when are you going to start the process? Tomorrow will be our last post in this series on our new definition of BUSY. We’ll be looking at Y = You. I hope you can join us! Until next time, happy organising!
This weeks all about the concept of ‘busy’ - but not as you know it! Being balanced is an important part of our new definition of BUSY because B = Balanced. Today we’re looking at the next part of the definition where U = Uncluttered as well as the two traits of an Organised Mum that make up the Uncluttered part of the equation. I wouldn’t be a Professional Organiser if I didn’t believe that being Uncluttered can help you reduce your busy-ness. How often have you lost your keys, misplaced an important document, or had to pay late fees on a bill because of clutter? As we had in yesterday’s post with B = Balanced, U = Uncluttered also has two traits of an Organised Mum. The same policy applies here – if you make the decision to focus on these you will see a change toward a less busy life. Traits of an Organised Mum #3 – Organised There are two key areas to being Organised. The first is in your Space. The second is in your Time. Organise these two areas and you’re likely to be more organised in your mind as well. If I was to work with you I would say let’s organise your Space first – because you would see a physical difference and enjoy the benefits of being there. But how do you know where to start? No you don’t go out and buy lots of organising products and bring them home in the hope of making them work for you. This is like putting the cart before the horse! We use two key concepts when organising any space. I was lucky enough to be trained by Julie Morgenstern, a Professional Organiser in New York who has been in the industry for over 25 years and has appeared on Oprah and Dr Oz to name a few. Julie is brilliant – and a lovely lady to boot – so I am honoured to be one of the few Australian Professional Organisers to be trained by her. “So what are these concepts that are so amazing?” you ask! Analyse – Strategise – Attack. This is the concept non-Professional Oganisers don’t know about and one of the most important strategies to use when organising any space. This is why buying organising products when you don’t know the problem you’re solving is fantastic for marketers – but not for you or your bank balance! The key is to Analyse what’s going on in the space and work out what the organising problem is, come up with a Strategy to solve this specific problem and then get in and organise it – or Attack. If you follow this process you can’t go wrong. SPACE. This stands for Sort, Purge, Arrange, Containerise, Equalise. This is the process you go through at the Attack stage above. No matter what you’re organising – paperwork, toys, clothes, tools – if you follow this process you can’t go wrong. For more information on this process, and how to organise in a way that will work for you, I recommend reading Julie Morgenstern’s book Organising From The Inside Out. Traits of an Organised Mum #4 – On Time If you were to ask organised people one of the benefits of being organised they would undoubtedly say it saves them time. Time finding what they’re looking for, time to add other fun things to their day, time to get out of the door and to their appointment on time. There are three concepts to consider here: Respect for others. I’m a big believer that if I run late I am being completely disrespectful to the person I am meeting. Some of this may have to do with being brought up by a mother who would rather be 30 minutes early than 10 minute late; some of it may have to do with what I ‘do’ for a living. But I firmly believe that if we respect others the world will be a better place. And by being on time for our appointments that’s a good start. You need a scheduling system that works for you. Whether you use a physical diary, an electronic software package, or a calendar on your fridge, you need a[...]