Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Living Life with Abundance

Is the saying “Less is More” really true? As an organizer, I truly believe it because I see people trapped and stressed out by their stuff. It can be expensive and stressful managing an excess of things, keeping up with the latest gadgets, figuring out how to store them, clean them and maintain them. I think by being more thoughtful, we can select the “stuff” that really speaks to us and that we need to have and by doing so, what we end up having are things that represent us and our life, instead of an overabundance of stuff that drains us.

Living life with abundance is a good philosophy to be reminded about to get us out of just living life going through the motions, and instead thinking about how we can live life more fully. This can be interpreted different ways, but usually it means to get out of reactive mode and into taking control of who you are and want to be. Of course we naturally check in with ourselves around our birthdays and at the start of a New Year, but spring also is a time to reflect on how we are living life.

As an organizer I manage clients’ physical and mental spaces, in some cases, both filled with clutter. I assist them to purge the clutter and create systems and processes to be in control of both their physical and mental spaces. Living life abundantly doesn’t mean living with an abundance of tangible things, because we all know by now that the stuff alone doesn’t make us happy. It is the relationships we form and nourish, both old and new, and the life experiences we share with others that contribute to the feeling of abundance. When we continue to meet people, be neighborly, make new friends and get involved in our communities we bring richness to our lives.

I just got back from the National Association of Professional Organizers’ ( NAPO) conference which ran for many days. It was an incredible experience , though I feel a little overwhelmed with an overabundance of materials, business cards, notes from sessions, and stuff from the exhibit hall that I need to sift through. I walked away with an increased knowledge base and many new friendships and am so glad I had this life experience. May your spring be abundant.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

With the mild winter weather we had this year, I didn't go through my usual pining for spring temperatures because we have had 60 and 70 degree weather for a while now! Spring time for me always brings the need to clean house and organize things and prepare for the new season. Part of my readiness includes putting away the crock pot and I'm more motivated to grill food and prepare lighter fare.

I have gotten down the dreaded bins of clothes from our attic and I am half way through the process of changing the clothes out for the season. Once this task is finished I always feel 10 lbs lighter. Speaking of weight, I am working with a trainer to see if I can actually be 10 lbs lighter by summer!

The Sunday Style Section of the Post had an article last week on the average cost of laziness. It was about how we waste money buying goods and services that we can do ourselves,with planning. Consumer Reports and ShopSmart have a 5-minute rule, which really makes sense to me, "If you can peel, make or shred it in five minutes, it's not worth a premium price". Why pay a premium price for convenience? I think we have to change our mindset from regularly using these kinds of short-cuts to just when we are pressed for time. The article stressed planning out errands and grouping them together to cut down on multiple trips, packing lunch instead of buying (healthier, saves time and money) and how the small things such as using your banks ATM can save money in the long run.

A new season is another great opportunity to evaluate annual goals, make positive changes and get back into planning mode so that our days are structured the way we want.

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Got My Counter Back!

It has been really hard for me as the resident "neat freak" in our house to have cluttered kitchen counters these last few weeks. My daughter has been working on her 1st grade assignment to create a leprechaun trap since the assignment was given a few weeks back. Her quite large creation has been residing on our kitchen counter as she finessed it. Today was the day that her project was due so I excitedly helped her transport it to school!

She also had a birthday party at the end of February so we have been working on her thank you notes at the kitchen table. Of course an active 7 year old can only do a few at a time, so the box of notes has remained on the counter to be available when inspiration struck. We finally sat down this weekend and she did a great job finishing them all. The box of notes is now put away!

Other paper on the counter are current work and personal projects of mine that instead of being in my office, on another level of my home, are on the counter as I now tend to use my laptop instead of the desktop in my office. I went to the Container Store last week and got a small desktop file that holds all of my current files. I repositioned some kitchen serving bowls to another area so that I could hide my new kitchen file. And now, no more papers on the counter.

Speaking of papers, awhile back I wrote about the paper reduction service, Catalog Choice (see my January 1st blog). Apparently now the company has an app now only available for the iphone which enables the user to take a picture of the unwanted mail and then request Catalog Choice to get them off of the mailing list. You may want to check this out and let me know what you think.

So my paper is now tamed and off the counters, and I swear it has given me such a boost. Here's to a great productive week.