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Posted by: Gail Gray in time management, organizing tips, organizing life, organizing homes, managing time, life priorities, life organization, how to organize, home organizing, home organization, disorganized, disorganization, de-clutter, Clutter Control, clearing the clutter on
Jul 24, 2009
How would you like to clear your mind from all the little distractions that get in your way? These everyday distractions can wreak havoc on your productivity. Wouldn't you love to have a machine that automatically made your life easier? Well, I have a little secret for you. You already own it! It is that thing in your head that weighs about 3 pounds. Your brain!
Wikipedia defines automatic as "Capable of operating without external control or intervention. Done out of habit or without conscious thought." There are certain things we can't avoid in life. We must wake, sleep, eat, bathe and dress everyday (now don't try and tell me you don't do at least three of these every day). There are also things that must take place on a weekly or monthly basis, like laundry, cleaning your home, personal grooming,
Creating a routine for your regular to do's will not only make your life easier, but will free space in that crazy brain of yours to actually think of more important things. I have so many clients feel they are ADD, regardless of whether they were every diagnosed or not. It is the crazy way we run through the day, feeling like we are spinning our wheels and not getting anything done. We are so distracted by what we have to do that we simply don't focus easily.
Create regular routines for your Home
- Changing sheets
- Bathrooms (yes the dreaded bathrooms)
- Empty Trash Cans
For your Errands
- Grocery Shopping
- Dry cleaning
- Discount Stores
For your Personal Grooming (whether you are a do it your selfer or you visit a spa/salon)
There is no doubt I am a Country Music Fanatic. I love the concept of a country life, plain and simple. Now, in saying My Life is Like a Country Song (to give credit where credit is due, this is a play on Chris Cagel's My Life's Been a Country Song), I don't mean the country song about how the wife has left him, the dog dies, and he has been drinking to no end. I mean the concept of family, good values and simplicity! The front porch swinging, slow paced living kind of song.
When you live in a busy area (like Orange County, CA) you somewhat feel the need to stay busy like all the others. There is a feeling you are missing something if you don't do it all. Whether you are a stay at home mom, with a crowded activity/volunteer schedule, or the high powered executive who needs to close just one more deal, it seems as if we are wearing ourselves out. Personally, the fast paced life can beat me up. Some days I dream of sitting on a wrap around porch, sipping tea, rocking in a swing and staring out at a field of grass. (Of course I would be listening to some old Kenny Rogers and the sound track to Urban Cowboy). I guess I just wish the world would slow down, at least for a day or two.
For most, to slow down we dream of relaxing vacations. We go on vacations with the idea we are going to relax, but come home more exhausted then we left because we crammed in so much on vacation we never had the opportunity to relax. Not to mention the amount of money we spend on vacations that make us feel we need to work more to pay off what we spent! It is like a vicious cycle that never ends.
I keep myself, home, and family organized so I feel a little less crazed in my daily life. There is rarely a time where we are stressing out looking for something. We are efficient as we can be in a busy life. This allows us to have time to hang out and just be. But for some reason, I still feel the need to do more. My brain can be on overdrive, while my surroundings are not. On my lists: write a book, update my website, send out a mailer, work on my presentations, PDF downloads on my website...the list goes on and on. I want to try and squeeze in so much I don't allow myself to have the down time I need. I am always thinking of the next project.
This summer, I am making a vow to allow myself at least one day to just do nothing. Well, not really, I am a mom and that requires full time work, but to really not work on the house or my business. Just to be with my family and just BE! We have Adirondack chairs on our front porch and this summer I will be planting my bum on those while I watch my kids play. I will read, I will relax, and I will know that my work will still be there when I get back to reality. With my organizational skills, having a systems and procedures in place, I know I can allow myself to have the quite happiness I am looking for! Now if only the asphalt street I look out to on my front porch could turn into a field of wild flowers...
What image comes to mind when you think of spending time with family? Is it interaction and conversation? Is it fun activities or relaxing vacations? What we think of and what actually takes place can be so very different. We are so busy with technology, work, school and activities that we actually could be in the same house, yet we don't spend any time together. No wonder families feel so disconnected!
The other day I was watching Oprah and she had the adorable Nate Berkus and the clutter cutter Peter Walsh on. They were showing neighbors swapping furniture in order to recreate new looks in their homes. The point behind the show was to open our eyes to how, in hard times with limited budgets, we can be creative in our design to get the best out of our space. Now of course having a fabulous designer makes a huge difference when you are decoratively challenged (I think I just created a new word), but the point was easy to get. The "one man's trash is another man's treasure" was spoken loud and clear here.
Last week I attended the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers! If you can imagine a conference that is run more smoothly and organized, let me know!!! We had a blast in Orlando discovering new products, new services, new books, new ideas (yes, I am rambling) and rekindling friendships from all over the world. Who knew there is a need for organizing in areas like Bermuda, Japan, New Zealand and France? It just goes to show how everyone is looking for a little more order in their lives, no matter where they live.
You may think as we all meet that we are learning new ways to put items in a pretty container, but it was so much more. As organizers, our goal is to help you discover why you are disorganized and ways to help you create new habits to overcome disorganization.
As the end of the school year is swiftly approaching, parents are faced with what to do with all the art (and school work) clutter their children have produced. Now, when I call it clutter, that is not to say we don't love what our children created, it is just that the shear volume is overwhelming. It seems as if once a child can hold a crayon, their paper seems to multiply faster than fleas! But what is more amazing is our attachment to each and every one they create. Whether it is a masterpiece that Van Gogh would admire, or one that is scribble scrabble (a phrase my kids teachers have used) we can't seem to let go of our budding artists/scholars work. And this is only compounded by having more than one child!
If you were to save each and every piece of paper our children worked on in their 13 years of school, you could fill an entire standard bedroom! Mom's who find out I organize homes always ask how they can better organize their children's art and school work.
Posted by: Gail Gray in Untagged on
Apr 19, 2009
OK, enough with the candy already. I can't believe how, between Christmas and Easter, I can consume so much sugar. If you have ever seen the movie Elf with Will Ferrell, he talks about the four food groups. "We elves try and stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup." With all the candy from all the holidays, I actually think I may give up sweets until Christmas. Not... my sweet tooth is too big to give it up completely! But I do think I need to replace a few Peeps and jellybeans for some carrots and lettuce.
As I think of my new relationship with vegetables, I feel like I am making a New Year's resolution for healthy eating. This will be a positive change in my life (as I kick and scream). Growing up, I could eat whatever I wanted.
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, the feeling of new beginnings is in the air. Spring is my absolute favorite time of the year. Everything seems clean and fresh. (Yes, you can tell my mood by how clean and picked up my home is! Mess = Stress) New plants and flowers, blue skies, warm and comfortable temperatures and fresh green grass make a beautiful picture. This is the best time of year to create your own new beginnings. What do you want to change? What do you want to start pursuing? Where do you need or want A Fresh Start?
My company name came from the need we all have for the changes in our lives to move in a positive direction. A Fresh Start is something we all desire when things aren't working quite right.