Monday, February 24, 2020

Decluttering – What It Entails

The term “decluttering” has been a catch phrase for a number of years. Some think it is simply cleaning a house, but if you have seen television shows about hoarding or cleaning, you know it can be much more than that. So, what does it entail?

The World English Dictionary defines decluttering as the act of getting rid of mess and disorder. This is generally a two-step process:

1. Get rid of the current clutter you have in your home.

2. Avoid letting additional clutter into your home.
You may have heard the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” For those struggling with clutter, this often becomes a mantra or battle cry.

Start small when you begin decluttering. If your home is cluttered, going through and getting rid of things will seem intimidating. It is easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed. By starting small, even with one single dresser drawer, you see how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Quite often, with a small area, you can declutter and clean it in less than 15 minutes. Anyone can do this if is important to them.

Enlist the help of someone you trust. Perhaps your family is full of clutter bugs and they really are not interested in moving out of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). If they will not help you, ask a friend to do it instead. Not only will your friend be there to give encouragement, they may also be able to help you with the hard decisions that often come up when decluttering.

Get four boxes – Keep (this room), Toss, Donate/Give/Sell, and Keep (store elsewhere) – and place them in the area where you will start. Try to handle each item only once. When you pick something up, decide if you will keep it in the room where it now is; if it is garbage and can be tossed; if you no longer need it and it can be donated or given; or if it is to be kept in a different location. Look at each item and put it one of the boxes.

When you review each item, try to think about how often you have used it in the last year. Be honest with yourself. If the item has not been used in a year, it is time to let it go - either in the trashcan or into the Donate box so someone else can use out of it.

Be aware of the things you bring into your home. Quickly go through your mail outside near the garbage can. Important mail goes under your elbow. Everything else is probably junk mail and does not need to enter the house. While you open your mail, write down important dates on a calendar. You can then file the mail if still needed or shred it if it has personal information on it.

Adopt the one in/one out rule. If you purchase a new item, with this rule, you would also get rid of one item. This item could be something related to what you purchased or something non-related. The point is to get into the habit of removing one item each time a new item comes into the home.

When you have one drawer, stack, corner or box cleaned out, take a break. If your friend is still there, have a cup of coffee or tea. Then, after your drink is finished, tackle another. Before you know it, you will have a cleaned out dresser, cabinet or one less pile to look at. Then, do your best to keep that renewed area clean and clear from that point forward. Congratulations on a job well done!
Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services
Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest

Monday, February 17, 2020

How Organizing Your Family Benefits Everyone

There are benefits to organizing besides just a neater home. In fact, the entire family can gain from getting organized. Here are some ways that organizing time, stuff, and schedules can benefit everyone.

Finding Stuff

How many family fights begin with someone unable to find something? For example, the ever-elusive remote control seems to be missing; the family member who wants to watch TV gets frustrated and starts blaming others for losing the remote. The blamed family members get upset and say it's not their fault, and then a big fight ensues.

Here's another scenario: you're trying to get out the door and your kids can't find their shoes, books, whatever. You become frustrated and so do they, and tempers flare.

So being able to find stuff can go a long way toward creating family peace. Designate a place for those "slippery" items that tend to cause controversy: shoes, remotes, adapters, books. Each family member can have his or her basket to keep miscellaneous things in, and you can put a shoe rack or big basket/bucket by the door for shoes. You can also keep a list by your front door of what to check for before you leave: library books, glasses, keys, etc.


Experts point out that children feel much more secure when there's a routine. Establishing routines is part of family organization, and can definitely make for happier family members. Routines give everyone a sense of calm, because you know what's coming next (to an extent, of course). Adults and kids alike benefit from a regular routine and tasks that are made into habits.

Regular Family Meetings

As you establish a routine, work regular family meetings into the schedule. Maybe once a week or once a month works best for your family; whatever makes for a regular time to get together and air concerns, offer solutions, and brainstorm. Maybe tie it in with something fun, like pizza and movie night or serve a special dessert during the meeting (offices use this tactic by offering doughnuts at meetings!).

Meetings are a great time to get everyone's schedule worked out and understood, and for family members to speak up about things that are bothering them. It's also a good time to establish rules and make sure everyone understands what they are.

Better Communication

As families organize their time and personal items, communication tends to open up. For one thing, more time is available for spending together as a family - you're not wasting time arguing and looking for stuff. Also, since organizing involves family meetings, you will have more of a chance to talk things out with other family members.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services
Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest

Monday, February 10, 2020

How to Set Powerful Goals You Can Achieve

Without goals there is No Success.

In order to set powerful goals that are achievable, take some time to research the dreams you have to find out if they’re even doable. You do want to challenge yourself some but you don’t want to make the goals so hard that you experience only failure. To ensure maximum success, make sure that your goals meet the following criteria.

Match Your Core Values

The more any goal fits into one of the four main areas of life - Family, Financial, Physical or Personal - the more likely you are to be able to set a realistic goal that you can achieve. If a goal for some reason doesn’t fit into one of your core values, it’s not likely you’ll experience much success.

Be 100 Percent in Control

While goals that rely on others aren’t wrong, they are harder to achieve. Any goal that you control 100 percent is a goal that you can reach. Do ensure that you’re not letting fear get in your way or blaming fate for your failures, though. Self-limiting beliefs can get in your way on this one. Be realistic about whether you do have control or not and give yourself more credit. For example if you think you do not have control over your financial future because “that’s just how it is,” you are mistaken and need to eliminate this line of thinking.

Be Able to Envision the Goal

If you can’t see the end result, it will be very difficult to move forward toward achieving the goal. If you need to draw a picture, make a vision board, or take a day out to fantasize about your big dreams and see how they all fit together in the big picture of your life, do so. You need to see the end to be able to truly achieve it.

Be Spelled Out Specifically

Every goal you make needs to be very specific in nature. If you really want to be sure to reach the goal, you have to know when you reached it. Instead of saying “I want to start a business,” state exactly what type of business you want to start, who you want to be your clients, and other information that makes the goal more concrete.

Be Measurable

At which point have you achieved the goal? If you can’t give a number or something that is measureable, then you won’t have a real goal. If you want to use the business example, you might include that you want to earn x amount of dollars each week by a certain date and then how and why you are going to do it.

Be Actionable

To achieve any goal there has to be steps that you can take to get there. Like using a map to reach a destination that you want to go to on vacation, you need to draw a map to your vision of success with the steps and paths you’ll take along the way. Put not only what but when, and how you’ll accomplish the step.

Be Realistic

You don’t want to write a goal that is too hard to achieve or worse, impossible. Be sure that it’s scientifically possible to do it by researching everything realistically. For example, you’re not likely going to start a business today and earn six figures by tomorrow or even the first year in business. Look at the research and determine what is doable and how you’ll do it.

Be Timely

Every goal has to have a time limit otherwise you may never achieve it. Start with the end and work your way back to today, creating the list of things to do each day to finally reach the end result. But, do set a time limit. You can adjust as you get into the project if it works to be more realistic, but resist the urge to change the time because you’re not sticking to your task lists.

If you use this method to create powerful goals that you can achieve, you will not experience a lot of failure because you can always adjust your time line and your goals as you learn more. The important thing is to give each goal a lot of thought, consideration and study before setting it.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services
Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest

Monday, February 3, 2020

Did You Throw Your New Years Resolutions Out the Window Already?

We are now in our 2nd month of 2020. Have you already thrown out your New Years Resolutions?

At the beginning of every year a lot of people "resolve" to start or stop some new or old habits. By February - everything is forgotten.

Why is that?

Maybe it's because the goals we set were unrealistic. We have great intentions but we tend to bite off more than we can chew. Instead of saying (for example) that we are going to lose 50 pounds six months (which could be unrealistic) - we should plan on changing our lifestyle and eating healthier. O

Another reason that people can't meet their goals is that most people need an accountability partner and without one - they will not be successful.

Having goals means making a plan. Making a plan means Time Management. Without time management people tend to get off track. And once people are off track - it's hard to get back on track. Time Management is an important component in being successful in life.

When all of these things don't fall into place - people tend to give up. And there goes your New Years Resolution.

Being organized in your life means having a goal, then having a plan to meet your goal. Then breaking it down into manageable pieces. Putting those pieces into your calendar and managing your schedule and your time.

And most important of all - having an accountability partner to keep you on track.

Be successful in life by being organized!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services
Visit our Life & Business Coaching website:  North By Northwest

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Getting Your Files Organized

I hate filing!   There - I said it!  I have no problems creating and maintaining systems for my clients - but for myself - I hate to file. It's not that it's hard - it's just a chore that I don't like.

And at this time of year - purging your files and creating new ones should be a top priority!

Part of getting ready for taxes is having all of your documents and papers in order for your accountant. And if you have a good filing system - with a file labeled "Tax Info" - it should be easy.

But - you should also go through your filing cabinet and clear out - purge - any papers that you won't need for your taxes. As long as you have proof that you paid your bills - such as mortgage and utilities - which could be on your bank statement - then you can get rid of any unnecessary papers that are taking up space in your files.

Paperwork is emotionally and physically draining. It is also very time consuming.

Therefore, I always tell my clients to limit the amount of time they will work on any paper related organizing project. Set a time limit of not more than an hour or two for each session.

Take at least a five minute break each hour.

Break your paper organizing projects into multiple sessions. 

Set a limit of  X number of files that you are going to go through each session.

Once you have cleared out your files and are ready for the new year treat yourself to something special - you deserve t!

Get in the habit of filing your papers at least once a week. That way they won't pile and you won't feel so stressed.

Happy filing!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 13, 2020

Five Minute Organizing Ideas

5 Minute Organizing to Get You in the Habit

Everyone thinks that you have to have an entire day or at least an afternoon set aside before you can start any organizing project.


You can get a lot done in a short period of time.
Pick one and ONLY one of the following challenges. Set a timer to see how much you can accomplish in just 5 minutes:

     1.     Organize your sock drawer

2.     Organize your underwear drawer

3.     Organize your bra drawer

4.     Tidy up your scarves, ties, belts or caps

5.     Take all the shoes from the foyer and put them away

6.     Load the dishwasher

7.     Unload the dishwasher

8.     Start a load of laundry

9.     Put away the dry-cleaned clothes

10.   Put away toys outside (or in the play area)

11.   Put away stuffed animals

12.   Make your bed

13.   Organize one bathroom drawer

14.   Organize your skirts by color

15.   Organize your pants by color or style

16.   Organize your business shirts by color

17.   Organize your tank tops or sweaters

18.   Tidy up your bathroom

19.   Tidy up a bedroom

20.   Tidy up pillows around the house

21.   Organize one shelf in your pantry

22.   Organize one shelf in your freezer (toss expired items)

23.   Organize one shelf in your fridge (toss spoiled items)

24.   Tidy up your desk

25.   Tidy up your kitchen counters

26.   Tidy up your car

27.   Tidy up your garage counter

28.   Tidy up your tools

29.   Tidy up the shed 
30.   Tidy up the front or backyard

31.   Prune a shrub

32.   Pick up some leaves

33.   Set up/take down holiday decorations

34.   Organize the mail on your desk (file, pay now, toss)

35.   File the mail in your ”To File” pile

36.   Pay your bills (online or write a few checks)

37.   Mail all your bills

38.   Empty your purse and reorganize it

39.   Organize and toss newspapers and magazines

40.   Organize your coupons (toss expired ones)

41.   Empty your Spam, Junk e-mail and Deleted folders

42.   Remove pictures from your digital camera

     43.   Plan meals for the week 

     44.   Organize your makeup – throw out old makeup

     45.   Organize your nail polish – throw out dried out bottles

     46.   Organize your coat closet – current season items only 
     47.   Organize your junk drawer

     48.   Organize under your kitchen sink

     49.   Organize one kitchen drawer

     50.   Clear off your coffee table

Congratulations! You have made your very first step toward a more organized home and a happier life. 
Sometimes, household organizing tasks seem so overwhelming that we don’t know where to begin.
By breaking things down into 5-minute tasks, you will soon see how easy it is to make some real progress.
Be proud of yourself and celebrate how much clutter and disorganization you have tamed in just 5 minutes. 
Take a coffee break, go outside, write your accomplishments in your journal, and share with your friends.  

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 6, 2020

Starting 2020 Organized and Clutter Free

          January – New Habits & Things to Do
#   # 1 ·         Make 4 Goals that are Measurable & Achievable. 

·                            Add them to your January calendar. 

·                            Each week give yourself an estimated percentage to 
                 complete for each goal. 

·        Seeing concrete results often helps you achieve goals sooner.

# 2 ·        Transfer all appointments and ongoing tasks to your
            2020 calendar or planner. 

       Don’t forget Birthday reminders, bill payments and anniversaries.

# 3 ·         Schedule ‘Me time’ for yourself at least once every week.
             Stick to it

# 4 ·         Make a repair and cleaning walk through list, from floor
             to ceiling.
·         Are you making the best use of space? 

·         Do the carpets need deep cleaning or the chandeliers dusting?

# 5 ·         Do an End-of-Year accounting to see how much you spent 
             on the holidays. 
·         Use it to save and prepare for next year's holiday season.

# 6 ·         It’s time to pack away the last remnants of the holidays. 
·         Store your platters and other serving dishes that you only 
       use for special occasions. 

       Be sure they are in good condition.

# 7  ·        Get in the habit of having a notebook or grocery list near
             your fridge or pantry to list items as you run out of them.

·         This will make grocery shopping a lot asier.

# 8 ·         Take some time to consider that your value does not 
             come from stuff.
·         Once we let go we can stop hoarding and start de-cluttering.

# 9 ·        Take a look at your home management / bill paying station.
·         Is it functional for what you need to do to make your life
       run smoother?

·         Do you have enough stamps, envelopes and other office

·         If not, add these to the shopping list so that you can stock
      up and be prepared.

# 10 ·     Set a declutter appointment on your calendar – to declutter
             one room or a closet.
·         Do you have the right containers & needed supplies?  
      If not, add it to your list.

# 11 ·     Disinfect your cleaning utensils. When was the last time 
            you replaced your toilet brushes, sponges and cleaning
            cloths that you use?

·         If it’s been a while, add them to your shopping list.

# 12 ·    Clean out and organize your purse. Containerize.
·         Keep a coupon bag in your purse – with coupons that are not expired.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Organizational Consulting Services