Archive for the ‘Time to Organize’ Category

Organizing, Gratitude and Asking for Help

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Marcia Sloman, Under Control Organizing

The grocery-cart-return area was about 20 feet away, but the able-bodied, middle aged man rolled his emptied grocery cart to an level surface next to his car instead.  I just couldn’t walk away.
“The return area is right over there”, I stopped, pointed, and said with a smile.
He froze, unexpectedly confronted.  “Yes, it is”, was his retort.
“I’ll be happy to help, and take it for you, if you like”, I offered.
“That’s kind of you”, was the man’s reply.
“You’re welcome. All you had to do was ask.  Have a nice day.”

Whether it’s keeping the parking lot safe from rolling grocery carts, being able to find things quickly in my home and office, or listening carefully to you to determine the best “systems” in your space, it’s all Organizing.  I’m happy to do it.  All you have to do is ask.

It’s natural instinct for people to want to help.  We need help, and help may come from unexpected sources.  All you have to do is ask.

I’m happy, and grateful that I chose my second career in Organizing. I’m grateful to my mentors, supportive friends, family and acquaintances.  I’m grateful to the career counselor who evaluated my skills in 1992 as “having excellence in organizing”.  I am grateful every day for the challenging projects offered to me by my clients.  All you have to do is ask.

Giving thanks is not limited to the holiday time of Thanksgiving.  I think that if we make time to remember and acknowledge others throughout the year, our lives might be easier, less stressed, more organized and productive.  We would feel comforted by partnership.  We just have to ask, “Can you help me with ______?”  After receiving, please pay it forward.  I can only hope that the man in the parking lot “paid it forward” in gratitude later that day, even if no one asked.

It’s a challenge to stay organized.  Today’s hectic, harried life commands our attention in so many directions.  Tasks take longer to complete than expected.  Our high priority lists grow.  We’re stretched.  Distractions abound.  There are only 24 hours in the day, and we can’t be everywhere at once.

What does gratitude and helping others have to do with Organizing?  I named my Organizing business “Under Control” to represent a feeling one would have after they work with me.  I enjoy sharing that knowledge with you.  I want you to feel a sense of confidence and calm after our work together.  Being organized can provide that sense.  Organizing is a thoughtful process, whether it’s downsizing, transition-ing or building a new venture.

For me, “organized” is knowing how, when and from whom we need to ask for help, and being able to take our valuable time to express our appreciation for it.

The Right Strategy for Paring Down

Monday, February 15th, 2016

How do you tackle your accumulations? All at once? Five minutes a day? Work alone? Make a plan? Start with a drawer? There are so many different strategies to pare down and/or organize your “stuff”. I believe that there is no “right way.”

BlankCanvasWe cannot compare our stuff with others’, and we cannot compare our lives with that of others’.   We each have our own “best way” to organize.

The industry of Professional Organizing officially began in 1985 by a handful of bold women. Today, there are thousands of professional organizers in the world, each having a specialty, unique personality, style and philosophy. Marie Kondo, a new popular author of simplifying, emphasizes that if “the thing” does not resonate with you, “it” no longer belongs in your life. That makes for an easier decision to keep or eliminate.

One strategy is to start with easy decisions. The easier the decision, then the organizing process flows. If you start with the hard decisions, one could get stuck. I vote for easy, and small changes over time.  

Leo Tolstoy, the great author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, knew that great success was achieved by taking baby steps.   He stated, “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”   Taking baby steps give us a chance to experience the changes in our lives. When we give ourselves time to make decisions to keep or eliminate our things, relationships and/or relationship(s) with things or people, we have great opportunities for success.

Follow the advice of Tolstoy: The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. So remember: Great achievements take time, there is no overnight success.”

Be successful at organizing your space and your life. Make thoughtful decisions to keep or eliminate, and organize the “best way” for you.

Simple Ways to Streamline your Life, Be More Productive and Stay Organized

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Praying for Organization?

Start with a few simple ways to streamline your life, be more productive and stay organized:

Manage your schedule

  • Send yourself reminders via email, app or electronic calendar.
  • Set up a separate inbox for your reminders, and check it daily.
  • Use a family calendar to track family commitments.
  • Eliminate multiple calendars, or be sure to synchronize.
  • Set up a grab and go area near your exit to remember to bring items with you when you go out.

Pare down paper

  • Pay as many bills online as you can.
  • Remember to maintain receipts if they are tax-deductible expenses.
  • Find what you need, when you need it: set up a simple format and naming convention to scan and to file. Please remember to back up. If you don’t keep the paper as back up, save to a hard drive or cloud storage.

Eliminate electronic clutter

  • Reduce stress and anxiety resulting from the overwhelm of feeling buried.
  • Unsubscribe from e-offers and emails that are no longer relevant to you.
  • Clear out your Inbox by creating folders for important senders/categories.

Filing

  • No one LIKES to file (except for me). Make it easy on yourself, or set up a simple system, for paper and electronic matter, so that anyone can put your stuff away.

De-clutter your space(s)

  • Surround yourself in an environment that represents who you are.
  • Free up valuable space.
  • Start with the EASY decisions. Choose to keep or eliminate. Get to know what you have.
  • Set aside 10-15 minutes a day: with a notebook and pen, walk room to room, closet to closet, drawer to drawer, until your entire home/office is inventoried. Bookmark where you left off each day so that you can pick up where you left off. This may take a month or more overall to complete. The process will force you to eliminate items that you no longer want.

For more easy ways to streamline your life, be more productive and to stay organized, contact me. We can quickly brainstorm your unique life situations to transform your life to an organized life.

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh

Why You Can’t Get Organized

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Do you find yourself struggling to organize your things? You’re not alone.

Read my article on Dr. Mark Banschick’s blog in Psychology Today. I know it’s overwhelming. But, you can do it.

Best Gadget for Self Management

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Sometimes the oldest technologies are the best technologies.  The old fashioned “timer” for instance can help you stay on track in your projects, and manage time throughout the day. Using a timer can empower you to feel more accomplished in your projects.

See my interview on News 12.

Time to De-Clutter

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

There’s never enough time! Our lives are so full as we attend to day-to-day chores and activities. There never seems to be enough time to decorate, renovate, start or complete special projects. Can you de-clutter or organize all the stuff around your house? In order to set aside some time to accomplish these important things, we need to become aware of how we spend our time. If we are able to eliminate the “time wasters”, we can set goals, prioritize, and begin those often put off projects. Become skilled at estimating how long it takes to accomplish a task. Set a stopwatch to learn how long a task takes. Eliminate distractions. Do you want to plan your next project to de-clutter the garage in order to fit the car inside before the winter comes? Examine your garage space and decide the purposes for which it should be used. Visualize the car inside the garage. Sort the contents into Trash, Recycle, Sell, Give Away and Donate. Follow through by distributing those items to appropriate places. Store the rest on shelves, hooks, bins, and use other easy-to-organize products.