February, 2012

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My Favorite Drawer Organizer

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

After you have sorted the stuff in that drawer, tossed extras and moved what doesn’t belong there, the next step is to find containers to keep it straight.

This is one of my favorites: the interlocking plastic drawer organizers. Since they come in all shapes and sizes, you get to configure the dividers to fit the size of the item and the shape of your drawer.


Rubbermaid has these in white for kitchendrawers - available at Kroger’s here in the Midwest.

Staples has a better deal cost-wise, available only in black.

Neither vendor sells these online, so you will have to check at the store near you.

Both makers have interlocking sizes that allow for custom configurations. Love the 2″ depth that not only fits most drawers, but keeps those pesky rubber bands from jumping in with your paper clips!

Lose 3-5 pounds in one day!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I received a wonderful note from a client this week. She was listing the things she put out on the curb for the trash man. The list included furniture, moldy wood, broken pottery, even something her grandfather made.

That is so hard to do! I am so proud of her decision to just let go.

One of the definitions of clutter I list in my report “60 Tips to Organize Your Life” [available on my website] is this:

CLUTTER, Definition:  Anything that does not help me to fulfill
my purpose or add to my quality of life.”

When I work with clients in their homes, giving them guidance on what to keep and what to toss, these are some deciders we use:

1.     Don’t keep things that make you sad. Every time you see that item you revisit negative feelings. You deserve better.

2.     Let go of broken, moldy, rusted things you don’t absolutely loveYes, I like to watch American Pickers, Mike and Frank, who serve a wonderful function – finding old, broken things and restoring them to someone who cares. Look the thing up on eBay, or call an auctioneer. Love it, sell it, or trash it.

3.     Don’t feel obligated to keep everything your parents gave you. (or from anyone else for that matter!) Saying, “Thank you,” for the kindness is enough. Pass it on to someone who will treasure that item.

4.     Get rid of magazines over 2 months old, unless a professional publication. If you haven’t read them in that time, you never will. Even if you are a professional, determine which articles are of interest, cut them out, and keep only what you will read.

5.     Donate clothes that are more than one size up or down from what you wear now. You don’t want to empower a weight gain and if you lose a bunch, you deserve to buy a new wardrobe!

If you take these guidelines to heart as permission to let go, your home can lose 3-5 pounds of clutter in one day!

Try it! You will breathe a sigh of relief. Then don’t look back. Keep your eyes out for that next thing you can give, dump, donate, or recycle.

Done 4 U Menu Plans

Friday, February 10th, 2012

I met a lovely family Tuesday night for a 1 hour organizing consult. I happened to show up just as they sat down to eat homemade pizza and they invited me to share a bite.  Dad made the meal, the pizza was delicious! Mom pulled in the driveway just as we sat down at the table.

She proceeded to show me her downloaded meal plan, including recipes and shopping list on 2 pages.  She chooses her favorite grocery and the menu plan is geared to that week’s sale items. How cool is saving time and money while someone else writes the plan and anyone in the family can follow the recipes? Love it!

These are two sites that offer this service:

Foodonthetable.com – $9.95 per month

E-mealz.com – $21.00 for 3 month membership, recommended by Dave Ramsey

You can choose from family size or servings for 2, low fat or low cost meals, even gluten-free options. Just think how much time this will free up for us cooks?

This is the best thing since sliced bread as my mom would say, of course that was waaay before my time!

February Freedom

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Did You Know…?? February 1st is observed as National Freedom Day.  On this day in 1865 President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery.  This Amendment was ratified on December 18th, 1865.

I am amazed that a separate amendment was needed to declare that men and women who came from another continent and who had a different color of skin were people who merited the freedoms our U.S. Constitution guarantees to “every man”.  Then another amendment giving women the right to vote as “equals” to men was not ratified until August 26, 1920 after a 72 year struggle! Wow!

Today I am standing, rejoicing in the freedom I enjoy as a result of tremendous sacrifice by so many others – military, civilian, parent, child, man and woman. Why, then, do I not always feel free?

In my life, the answer goes like this: “I have met the enemy and he is… Me!”  Perhaps you have experienced your world constricting and choking you as well.

  • You have a hard time saying, “No”, so volunteer for more than you can do well and on time.
  • The possessions you own really possess you in maintenance, repair, and space consumed.
  • Paper piles up faster than you can sort and make decisions on.
  • You fill your days until there is hardly time to breathe between the “must do’s”.
  • Mind clutter resulting from physical clutter around you is paralyzing; making it impossible to know where to start, what to do next.
  • You feel defeated in one area of physical well-being – health, finances – and it affects you daily.
  • Tyranny of the urgent crowds out the freedom you want to enjoy and use to make a difference.

The ironic thing is, to enjoy more freedom we have to impose limits… on ourselves!

To make this practical, choose one area you struggle with and feel stuck in:

  1. Physical surroundings
  2. Time schedule
  3. Health
  4. Finances
  5. Information management (paper or online)
  6. Other

As your personal organizer, I challenge you to write down 10 enemy actions you habitually commit in this area.

Now, next to each of your 10 self-defeating actions, write a limit you will impose as MANAGER OF (your name)’S LIFE. If a limit doesn’t make sense, name the exact opposite action to perform as your goal.

For example, the area you feel stuck in is Health, and specifically lack of exercise. A self-defeating action you recognize is spending more time driving than walking. You purpose as MANAGER to park at the far end of the lot at work so you will traverse that distance at least 4 times per day.

I will ask you to limit yourself to working only on that one area for the next month. Then take your freedom pulse again.

Email me and ask me what my area is. Accountability is a good thing!