Procrastinating? How to Make Chores or Organizing More Pleasurable

dish washing

Do you procrastinate, and put off the daily organizing tasks that you need to accomplish because it’s just not fun doing them? 

I used to put off doing the dishes after a meal because I didn’t like doing so, and was too busy in my life. I didn’t and still don’t have a dishwasher to clean them. Before my move, the dishes used to pile up in the sink. It’s not a pretty site to see them sitting there with the food sticking to the plates, pots and silverware.

Sometimes it’s easier to ignore what needs doing until the next day, or the next day, or…… If, like me you care about your home, and really dislike the clutter (e.g.  dishes in sink, clothes piled on the floor, too many papers on the desk) I bet you’re thinking, how can I find pleasure in doing so?

Plan something fun/enjoyable to do during or after you’ve finished the chore.

  • Create a ‘chore reward chart’ to stick colorful stars, flower or animal stickers on after each task is completed.
  • If you wash the dishes right after eating or load the dishwasher, there will be less to take care of, and it will be quick. Leaving you more time to do fun things.
  • Once the task is done (or while doing it), listen to your favorite music, book-on-tape, or talk show to educate and inspire yourself.
  • Reward yourself with a pedicure or manicure, or sit down and read a favorite book or magazine.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help you, tell you some jokes, sing with you.
  • Call a friend you enjoy talking to, and brag about your accomplishment.

If you choose some of these practices while doing these tasks, and take care of them regularly (making them a habit) you will feel really good when you get up in the morning and the sink is clear of dishes, or the clothes in your bedroom are hanging in the closet instead of piled on the floor. I know I do!

Try some of my suggestions to make doing tasks and getting organized fun. Do you have some other ideas?  Let me know.

________________________________________________________________________________

NOTE: I will be teaching a ‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’ class

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – March 5, 2019 – $28 

And same class on:

Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – April 24, 2019 – $28 

Contact – Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street, Brookline
https://bacep@brookline.k12.ma.us/   617-730-2700

To register: http://register.asapconnected.com/courses.aspx?coursegroupid=6373

______________________________________________________________________________

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

Make Files not Piles

 

Piles on desk       Make files in file cabinet not piles

Are you wondering where that piece of paper is that you are looking for?  You are sure it’s on your work desk. But where? Are your papers/documents filed where you can find them easily? Or, are they in lots of piles on your desk?

There are two ways of thinking about this. Filing vs. Piling. You either File or you Pile. ‘Pilers’ will say that they know just where everything is. (I’d be surprised if they did). Piles are not a method of organization. Sometimes, I let papers become one pile on my desktop. When I notice this happening, I immediately sort through them and put them where they belong. My office work becomes much more stream-lined and I get more accomplished.

If you’d like to find an important document quickly, File it! Otherwise, you will shuffle through those piles and make more of a mess.

Do you think that keeping papers filed is complex & finding them takes too long? It shouldn’t. Once you’ve got everything filed into a filing cabinet, or movable filing box, you will save time and increase your productivity.

Below, I’ve listed Seven Simple Steps to ‘Stop Piling and Start Filing’ your papers.

  1. Decrease the Paper – Keep the incoming papers to a minimum and unsubscribe from magazines, catalogs and newsletters you don’t need and never look at.
  2. Use a Desk – Top File Sorter – As soon as inbound papers such as bills, notices, statements, etc.. arrive, organize them by category into a desk-top file sorter. Stacking papers on top of one another in an inbox can lead to piles. (See cluttered desk image above)
  3. Throw it Out if in Doubt – (Recycle is really what I mean) Of all the papers you keep, you most likely need only 99% of them. If this information is available on-line or elsewhere, there’s no need to keep it. You can always look it up.
  4. Shred and Recycle – Shred those important documents that contain pertinent personal information, and recycle the rest.
  5. Photograph Reference Items – If you are holding onto an item for reference, use your smartphone/iPhone/digital camera to take a photo of these  documents, printer cartridges, used up pens, etc… Recycling these items will get rid of some of your desk clutter.
  6. Get a Scanner – Your printer may already have a scanner as one of its features. If not, purchase a small portable scanner for your desktop, or even use your iPhone for scanning. Save these documents as PDF’s on your computer or laptop.
  7. Paper Management – Process your papers regularly, or they will ultimately become piles again; sooner than you think!  Schedule  a consistent time, such as every Friday at 9:00 AM for 30 minutes to do your filing.

Do you File or Pile your papers?________________________________________________________________________________________

NOTE: I will be teaching a ‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’ class

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – March 5, 2019 – $28 

And same class on:

Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – April 24, 2019 – $28   

Contact – Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street, Brookline
https://bacep@brookline.k12.ma.us/   617-730-2700

To register: http://register.asapconnected.com/courses.aspx?coursegroupid=6373

 

‘February is National Time Management Month’

Organize Your Time

Organize Your Time

I know I have the best plans to be on time. And, I’m sure many of you do too.
Yet, even in the best of circumstances, we mess up again and again.

Here are ten helpful tips to be on time:

  1. Set all of your clocks, manual and digital, to a standard time that you’d find on your phone, computer or radio. And, keep all of your clocks at the same time. Don’t have one clock be 5 minutes late or 5 minutes early, as this could ultimately confuse you, and cause you to be late.
  2.  Make preparations for the next day, the night before. Double check your calendar, choose the clothes you’ll wear, pack your work bag and put it near your exit door, make your lunch, and charge your phone.
  3. Set up a schedule for getting ready in the morning. This includes eating breakfast, packing lunch if you haven’t already, showering, drying your hair, and gathering things you need to take with you when you leave the house. If you know it takes you more than an hour to accomplish these tasks, give yourself extra time.
  4. As a reminder, set an alarm to go off 15 minutes before you have to leave.
  5. Keep track of the time lapses that could make you late; such as, filling your gas tank, dropping off the dry cleaning, or mailing letters.
  6. Gauge the amount of time it will take you to reach your destination; be it by car, subway, bicycle, or walking. Then add on a cushion time of 15 minutes to be on the safe side. You never know when traffic or weather may delay you.
  7. Set a limit for last minute tasks just before you leave for an errand, or for the day. Don’t take that last minute phone call, or check your emails. Having done this before, I know that it will stress me out and make me late.
  8. If you are early to an appointment, or early to pick someone up, bring a book to read, or check your emails while you are waiting. Double check your to-do list, or confirm scheduled appointments.
  9. If you know you are going to be late, let the person/s you are meeting know so they won’t be counting the minutes before you arrive, and can accomplish a last minute item on their own to do list.
  10. Practice, practice, practice! If you mess up, be kind to yourself and keep trying. Remember, practice makes perfect. OK, we’ll never be completely perfect, so if you do slip up, be sure to get back on track immediately.

Do you have any tips to add to help us all be on time?  Let us know!

If your home or office needs a ‘clutter tune-up’  
contact me at: ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or call me at 857-919-4735

Ask about Discount Package Plans! 

 

 

JANUARY: ‘National Clean Out Your Closets Month’

clothes in color order

Not only is January known for making New Years resolutions, but it is also ‘National Clean Out Your Closets Month’

Is your closet a jumble of clothes, shoes and accessories that are hanging disorganized on clothing rods, and also piled on the closet floor?

If so, try the following suggestions for cleaning out your clothes closet:  

• Before you begin this process, gather up some large bags or cardboard boxes, some grocery sized bags, and clear plastic containers with lids for distributing the extra closet clothes you’ll be storing elsewhere or giving away.

• Pull out all your clothes and pile them on a bed or large surface.  Sort these items into separate categories; dresses, pants, blouses, sweaters, shoes, scarves, etc….

• Then pick up one item at a time and ask yourself if you love it, need it, dislike it, or don’t need it. Items that don’t fit any more, that you don’t love or need can be donated. Hang up the ‘keepers’ in the closet temporarily.  (More regarding this step later} or if they are worn during another season, pack them away to store elsewhere in your home.

• If you haven’t worn any items in a year, give them away. (this can be a difficult decision, but be realistic). Chances are you’ll never wear them. Clothing that is torn or beyond repair can be donated as rags for charity if not too far gone.

Try the following suggestions for organizing your clothes closet: 

• If you don’t already have the popular velvet style hangers, invest in some. These are inexpensive, and clothing will not slip off them. They can be purchased at Home Goods, Target,  or any other store that sells household items.

velvet clothing hanger

•  Using your new hangers, I recommend arranging all clothing in the closet in a color coded fashion. Kind of like a full spectrum rainbow. In my closet, I put all the black clothing on the left part of the hanging rod. Then the grey’s to the right of the blacks. The next color-by-number sections are the purples and dark blues. Light blue clothing hung next, followed by reds, oranges, and then whites. You can hang them via color, but in categories.

• Wishing you had a closet organizer? Stop wishing and buy one. There are over the door closet organizers for shoes or scarves.  And containers or cubes that stack.

Hanging shoe holder        clothes in plastic container

• Stack certain categories of clothing such as sweaters, gym sweats, or jeans on your closet shelves instead of in the dresser. I do, and it works very well.

• Keep only one season of clothing in your closet and store the other season’s clothing elsewhere. You could even store seasonal clothing in vacuum-sealed storage bags to free up space.

• Hang just one outfit for the next day on the hook or knob outside your closet door.

• Keep a small bench or step stool near your closet for easy access to clothing on high shelves.

During this January month, cleaning the closet and organizing your clothes closet can result in less chaos and an easier time locating your clothes; thus simplifying your life.

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

 

Too Many Books?

 

too many books

TOO MANY BOOKS

I don’t think I ever had a lot of books of my own. I used the local libraries, borrowed books from friends (all of which had to be returned), and went through phases of collecting some self help, fiction, mystery and fantasy books. Most of which I gave away over the years. I do enjoy buying fiction at yard sales as they are very low priced, and also exchanging books at the Little Free Library ‘take a book, leave a book’ boxes in front of people’s local houses to feed my reading needs.

And, I did have a fair amount of gardening books which I had purchased over the years to further my expertise in my gardening business. The gardening books took up 1.5 shelves in the built in glass door cabinet in my former apartment. With my upcoming move to another home, I sorted through these gardening books, and donated about 20 of them to be sold at the Somerville Garden Club’s annual plant sale. I reviewed the books again, and donated 18 more that I knew weren’t that necessary to keep. I gave away more than 1/2 of these.

Do you love books but have too many? Are they overflowing the bookshelves, taking up space on a chair or couch, or piled on the floor? I’m sure that some of these fiction, non-fiction, art, music, and other book topics you’ve collected over the years mean a lot to you, but most likely many of them are just gathering dust.

Why not share your wealth and give some away! Set aside an hour per week, and sort through at least one shelf on your bookshelf, or a couple piles of books. If you bought it a while back and haven’t yet read it, maybe it’s time to let it go. Fill a box (or boxes) with the books you no longer love, want, or need, and share the joy of reading by donating them to your favorite charity, library, local prison, or to ‘More than Words’.

‘More than Words’ located in Waltham, MA, is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, or homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by managing the organization’s online and retail bookstore and cafe. Check out their website – http://www.MTWyouth.org  or call 781-788-0035. Recently, a client I was working with to cut down on his hundreds of books, had the crew from MTW pick up 84 boxes of books! If you have at least ten boxes of books to donate, the organization will pick them up for you.

I’d love to know how many books you’ve got, and how you let go and distribute them.

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

Make ‘Getting Organized’ One of Your New Year’s Resolutions

xmas wrap      Suitcase & wrappings

I stick to a pretty simple New Year’s resolution in regards to organizing. Rather than make it complicated or difficult for myself, I follow three simple resolutions; Clear, Sort, Store. And, I make a list of what task I am going to do first and when to do the task. Because of my work and social schedule, I allow several weeks in early January to take care of all these things.

Recommended organizing tasks for the New Year:

– Back and front hallway entrances: Unclutter the vestibules that lead from the house to the exit doors. And, unclutter landings that lead to the basement or other areas. For good Feng Shui energy and safety reasons, be sure to keep the area behind the doors clear of all things. (the photo used in this blog shows a back hallway before clearing)

– Kitchen Pantry: Go through the shelves and drawers and throw out any food items with an old expiration date. Re-organize those shelves/drawers as they most likely are out of order.

– Bedroom: Sort through your clothing. Pack away any summer clothes and accessories still in the closet and drawers. Donate or give away clothing you haven’t worn in the past year.

– Living room, Study or TV room: Recycle magazines, newspapers and junk mail that is cluttering these rooms. Magazines can be donated to physician and therapist offices. Take mugs, glasses & plates lying around to the kitchen to be cleaned.

– Home office: Tidy up your desk. Test all your pens to see if they still have ink. If not, throw out. Recycle and re-organize the papers on your desk (including those little scraps of paper you’ve written notes on) and in your files. Delete all of those hundreds of emails that are taking up too much space.

– Address book: Update the addresses in hard cover and virtual address books.

– Holiday Gifts: If you know you won’t use particular gifts, and can bear to part with them, either exchange them for something you’d prefer or give them away instead of having them take up space.

– Holiday Decorations: Don’t let holiday decorations, gift wrappings, or cards sit around for too long after New Year’s Day. Avoid clutter by packing them up and putting them back into storage.

Send me a message to let me know what you are going to accomplish.

You’ll feel lighter, have peace of mind, and freedom from clutter!

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

How to Avoid Holiday Stress

Winter plants terra cotta pot arrangement 12.14

In my ‘Clutter Clearer Coach’ holiday E-newsletter, I recommend getting organized early to take the stress out of the upcoming winter holidays. I’ve included these recommendations and some additional tips here.

Here are TEN TIPS to help you stay calm this holiday season:

1. Make it easy on yourself. Ask for help from friends, neighbors or family members. Don’t get organized by yourself, unless you either want to, or have to. (I never asked for assistance, and did I get stressed! Now I ask.)

2. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan and complete your errands and chores early so you can be relaxed and enjoy the holidays. Accomplish just a few things each day so you don’t get overwhelmed. (Sometimes I procrastinate, so don’t be like me.)

3.  Schedule chunks of time in advance for tasks. Enter them into your calendar, be it digital or paper, so you don’t forget. If digital, plug in audio reminders. (Keeping track of my tasks on my iPhone is easy)

4. Make your lists and check them twice!  Ask everyone in your family to write gift lists so you know what to buy them. Make your own lists for doing household chores;  who you will buy gifts for, decorations you’ll need, food for menus, etc. Determine your budget, and write down what you’ll spend for each item. And decide ahead of time where to purchase everything. (Guess I have it easy now, as I only buy gifts for a couple of friends – most friends & my relatives decided to forego winter holiday gift giving)

5. You don’t have to do it all! If you are very busy and have limited time to do everything, check over your list and eliminate items and tasks that are not essential. (I am extremely busy, so I do a lot less organizing for the holidays than ever before. Mostly it’s decorating with live evergreens for a festive look, putting ornaments on the mini tree, and buying a few gifts and wrapping them.)

6. Avoid the crowds. Go shopping and to the post office during hours (not weekends) when there won’t be crowds. (I go mid-morning on a weekday well before the holidays to do my errands)

7. Don’t over-clean your home. You don’t have to clean from top to bottom. Clean only the areas that are public to guests who come over; the kitchen, living room, bathroom and dining room. Hire someone to do the cleaning, or have a friend or family member help you. (I am now fortunate to have a cleaning service come every 2 weeks.)

8. Clear the clutter in these public rooms; including the front entry hall. Especially, the entry to your home, as it shouldn’t be a safety hazard for you and guests entering through the door.  (Every day I put things away where they belong.)

9. Re-use decorations and gift wrap materials from the previous year. Buy new décor for the holidays at the end of December and beginning of January each year to save money as these items go on sale, sometimes 1/2 price. Pack up left overs and reuse next year. (My new housemate and I will reuse our shared wrapping paper from last year.)

10. Ask for help after the holidays are over. Invite friends or family over to help clean, take decorations down and pack them. Make it fun for everyone, and provide yummy snacks to eat. Pack all decorations and gift wrap items in plastic boxes with lids, or in covered cardboard boxes if your storage area is not damp. (And, we share taking down the holiday decorations)

Let me know how your holiday organizing goes!

PS – If you’d like to receive my ‘Clutter Clearer Coach’ monthly newsletter, send me your name and email address and I’ll include you in my mail chimp mailings.

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735