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.

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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

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

‘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! 

 

 

Seven Days of Organizing TIPS – Day # 5 – ‘Create an Errand Box’

DAY # 5 – TIP # 5

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Create an Errand Box

You, like me, may make a list of errands you need to do, but get busy with other things and don’t get those errands done in a timely manner. (I meant to drop off some items to the Salvation Army the other day, but still haven’t; so tomorrow morning I will.)

So, here’s the TIP:

Place a container or basket by the front or back door (whichever one you enter and exit from most frequently). Toss in items that you’ve purchased or borrowed that need to be returned, work supplies, or library books and movies due back. Take the box with you each morning, and see what you can get rid of that day.

Be sure to bring the errand box back into your home after you’ve distributed the items for that day. It’s easy to forget and leave the box in your car, so choose a bright colored box so you notice it easily.

So, what items will you put into your errand box?

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

‘A Solution to the Never Ending Clothes Pile’

xcluttered-rocker        cleared-rocker

Are your clothes strewn in piles all over your bedroom with barely a square inch of floor showing? Do you tell yourself that you will put them away, but never do because you just don’t have time to deal with this process? And, do you live out of your laundry baskets, but get confused as to what clothes are clean or dirty?

I have to admit that as a very busy person myself, I don’t always put my clothes in the dresser drawers, or the clothes closet each evening when I get ready for bed.  Sometimes, they pile up on my bedroom rocking chair, and a few items can creep on to the floor as a mess of pants, sweaters, shirts, pajamas, etc.  If the pile stays like this for more than two days, I feel disgusted with myself.  At this point, I put everything where it belongs, and am happy to see my lovely clothing free rocking chair once again.

One solution to the ‘clothes pile problem’ is to choose a storage system that will serve your limited tolerance for spending time ‘managing your clothes’. First, eliminate visual barriers by removing furniture with drawers. Replace with floor to ceiling open shelving, or better yet, with cubbies, an easier system to use.

You can create areas in the cubby for each person sharing the bedroom. Use separate cubbies for shirts, pants, underwear, socks, etc… And, label each section. Cubbies towards the top can be used for clothing and accessories used less frequently. Install hooks on the wall to hang clothes that don’t need to be washed each time you wear them. This will keep these clothes separate from the dirty laundry. And, label the laundry baskets or bins CLEAN & DIRTY ONLY.

Folding, or just putting the clothes into the cubbies is quick and easy. Your bedroom will be more open and spacious, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

I’d love to know the system you use to store your clothing and accessories.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

A Former Client’s Success Story

cluttered table

H.M.’s cluttered table four and 1/2 years ago

Yesterday, I received an email from a former organizing client of mine who was quite happy, and proud to have been able to stay organized since our last organizing session four years ago. This client, who I will refer to as H.M., is a wonderful person, very creative, compassionate, and generous. Having ADD though, she found it difficult to get organized, was easily distracted, and was a chronic procrastinator. There were always huge piles of clothing on her bedroom floor, lots of papers and other stuff on her dining room table, too many books on her many shelves, and too much clutter around her home.

For several years from just January through June (for financial reasons), we tackled her untidy home, getting rid of clothes, shoes, books and other things that she no longer loved or needed. Final decisions on what to keep, give away, toss or recycle were left up to H.M. We also worked together to address and resolve her feelings of overwhelm, shame, and anxiety about all of her stuff. Her ADD behavioural habits were put to the test. For her ‘homework’ between organizing sessions, she practiced putting things away after using them (into storage areas we designated for each item’s category), refraining from purchasing unneeded items, and keeping her dining room table clear, etc.. And, she was successful!

H.M. had a vision for herself. She wanted to feel lighter and happier, with a neat and clear home. She especially wanted to hold a dinner party for friends, but was embarrassed to have people over (very typical of people who live with clutter). She wished for a long term relationship, but knew with her home in the state it was, she wasn’t ready to be in one.

Since our organizing sessions came to a closure in 2014,  H.M. held her desired  dinner party, and met the love of her life. (Letting go of excess clutter opens a door for new changes to occur in your life.) She has continued to keep her home uncluttered and tidy. In reply to her email to me yesterday, I noted that I was quite impressed, and mentioned that a number of people who have ADD tend to backslide (resorting back to old habits).

H.M. wrote back: “As to ADD, that’s a helpful insight. What helps is having systems: a drop file box AT MY FEET for all expenses, tax-related house receipts, etc.., and making decisions immediately (rather than putting them off, procrastinating) on what notices I get in the mail that I want to act on. Of course — the portable file used to be a foot away, in a closet, and I would build up a ‘to be filed’ pile ON THAT gorgeous, cherry wood dining table, and would put off filing for too long, after the pile sloshed around, and then some — now, I open the mail daily, and drop it into its relevant file folder, a joy!”

h-m-dining-table-4-years-after-organizing-sessions-ended

1/20/17 – H.M wrote: “My dining table TEN days after a gathering
I had here for my writing group women!!!”

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

Ask in the NEW YEAR: Why You Have So Much Clutter

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‘TIME’ to get organized in the NEW YEAR

I was just reminded by a fellow blogger that January is ‘National Get Organized Month’.

As, January is the beginning of a new year, many people like to make resolutions such as going on a diet to lose weight, joining a gym to get in shape, or going on an on-line dating service to find a partner. And, many people attempt to achieve their goals, but don’t.

Last week, I published a blog post on ‘Make Getting Organized one of Your New Year’s Resolutions’. I mentioned a number of areas of one’s household to tackle; such as your home office, bedroom, pantry, hallways, etc.

On a more serious note, I think the most important thing for you to do before you begin the de-cluttering process, is to figure out why you have so much clutter and disorganization in your home or office. Is it because you are so busy that you haven’t the time, or you are so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to begin, or you recently experienced an emotionally traumatic incident in your life?  There are a number of reasons in addition to these possibilities why you might hold on to stuff.

 Some other reasons you hesitate to let go might include:

  1. You have ADD, ADHD or OCD and are easily distracted.
  2. You have tried to declutter but failed, so you’ve given up.
  3. You may use it (or read it) someday (chances are you won’t).
  4. You are a perfectionist and think you won’t do it right.
  5. You are so ashamed of your clutter, you can’t even begin.
  6. It was an investment that cost you time and money.
  7. You need extras ‘just in case’.
  8. It’s sentimental to you.

If you have identified with one or more of these reasons, you are not alone. Even I, a professional organizer, keep more than my share of sentimental items, sometimes buy extras things, and get so busy that my clothes pile up on the chair.

Just know that conquering them is doable. By taking the necessary steps to let go on your own, or with the right help from a supportive friend or family member, a therapist or a professional organizer you can begin to let go of your clutter. Letting go will give you peace of mind, more control over your life, and easy access to the things you truly need and use.

I’d love to know what some of your reasons for holding on to stuff are, and what steps you’ll take to let go in this ‘New Year’. 

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Do You Have a Clutter Problem?

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You know you do when:
  • It’s hard to part with items and clothing that you don’t use
  • Your closets are filled to the brim and overflowing
  • Stacks of newspapers and magazines are piled sky high
  • You are embarrassed or ashamed to invite people over
  • Your stuff is hindering your ability to function
  • Your clutter controls you

You’d like to get organized without any help but:

  • You just don’t know where to begin
  • Anxiety, shame, fear, procrastination are some of your road blocks
  • You may not be at the stage where you are ready to let go.

If you are ready; some tips for you to get organized on your own:

  • This process can be anxiety provoking, so TAKE BABY STEPS
  • Select one specific area you would like to un-clutter in your home or office such as the surface of a coffee table, or the top of the file cabinet.
  • Take the items off that surface and sort them into five separate piles. Categorize the piles as: recycle, throw away, give away, charity, keep.
  • Label five grocery sized bags, or plastic kitchen trash bags with the titles: RECYCLE, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, CHARITY, KEEP.
  • Once you’ve got the items into sorted piles, go through each item and ask yourself:  Do I need this?  Do I love this? Will I really use this?  Am I willing to recycle it, throw or give it away?  As you make your decisions, put each item into the appropriate bag, and then distribute the items to their appropriate place.
  • Be sure to reward yourself for taking these baby steps!

Continuing the organizing process:

  • If this process was doable and not anxiety provoking, keep choosing small areas in your home or office and repeat the steps until you have cleaned up the clutter.
  • If it is difficult for you to even take the first step, think about contacting a Professional Organizer in your vicinity to help you let go and get organized.
If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net