Pep Talk for changing your closet for the new season(s)

Why do we feel the need to hold onto everything in our closets?  My friend Minnow said it best when she commented on one of my original Tips of the Day…. If the boy you had a crush on in high school showed up at your door would you feel sassy enough in the ensemble that you had picked that day or not?

The concept is really easy, if you don’t feel great wearing it then why is it still taking up valuable space in your closet?  We all have our “fat jeans” and our “skinny jeans” and I’m not really talking about those, I’m really referring to the  sweaters that we might have received as a gift that we might not be caught dead in… just let them GO!  Someone might love that sweater you got a few years back that just doesn’t suit your personality, its okay to let it go, I promise!

Same thing goes for shoes… if they aren’t comfortable then why are they still in your rotation?  Every time that you see them you will feel guilty because chances are you dropped some money on them and you don’t want to feel like you’re just throwing them away. Think about it – if it’s making you feel badly then why are you keeping it around? Truth be told, we don’t need 8 pairs of jeans and 8 pairs of black pants. Just keep the ones that fit well and look great on you and let the others go to someone who might really need them (and they might look better on someone else too).

I am a firm believer in supporting local women’s shelters and this is a really awesome way to lighten your load all while helping someone who really needs a nice pair of black pants for an interview or just to wear to work.  In my humble opinion I would feel 110% better with fewer clothes in my closet because first, I knew I’d look great in whatever I pulled out and secondly, I’d be helping a woman that might down on her luck by donating some of my unused clothing.

Don’t have to ask me twice, I’ll be in my closet if you need me…

What gets written, gets done”

Alicia & Jacqueline from Buttoned Up have the exact right solution. I can’t live without my Task List (even though sometimes I’d like to live without it but…) it won’t get done unless I remind myself, which is why my task list is so important.

Just jotting an idea down allows me to free up some “RAM” so that I can move onto other things I need to figure out in my head. I love using Post it notes but also find that putting everything onto one list (as daunting as that can be) makes keeping up with things easier and if the list is really long it motivates me even more to chip away at it a little at a time.

I also suggest that if you’ve re-written something more than 5 times onto a new task list that you should probably just leave it out the next time. Chances are it’s not that important since you haven’t tackled it so far and just moving a task to a new list doesn’t get anything done… do it or lose it!

What motivates you to get things done?

Just say “NO”

This is so much easier said than done and I know I’ve blogged about it before but it is truly one of the most difficult things for us to learn (even for those of us that are organized and somewhat on top of things).

Last summer I was asked to be on the Leadership Team of my business networking group.  I was very flattered of course but it would have meant having to attend a few meetings in the Fall which is my busiest time of year.

From August 20th or so all the way through to the beginning of December I am a Part Time (feels like full time) Team Mom for my son’s football team.  I am not only responsible for my 30 boys but I am also very involved in helping the overall organization stay on top of things and well for the lack of a better word, organized.  Any entrepreneur also knows that owning one’s own business is also more than a full time endeavor so the added responsibility of being on the Leadership Team was not a good idea to add to my already full plate in the Fall.

I declined immediately because I knew 2 things already:

  1. I’d learned from prior experience (the hard way mind you) that I literally can’t take on anything else from August-November
  2. That I wouldn’t be able to put my best foot forward with any of the above projects which is not an option for me under any circumstances.

If you know that you aren’t up for something, just say so right off the bat. Why let it into your life when you already know you either don’t want to do it or you just can’t fit it into your schedule at this time.  Face it, I’d rather say no right away then have to tell someone at a later date in the middle of the project already that I’m not able to help them.

In the long run, that doesn’t help anyone and makes the situation even worse and could possibly end up hurting relationships (business or otherwise).  When you know you’re not up for something, just say no!

What are your strategies for saying no?

Are you a “weekend warrior-type” organizer?

I astonish potential clients when I tell them that we could get their space snapped into shape in the space of a few hours (or sometimes days depending on what we are organizing).  I then assure them that anyone could come and get their space organized BUT the only problem with that is that after it was all done and the organizer went home, they wouldn’t know where to find anything!

Then, we’ve got the “weekend warriors”. These are the ones that go out to The Container Store and buy everything first only to come home already exhausted and collapse and watch a movie marathon instead of organizing the pantry, closet or underwear drawer.

We all have the best of intentions but the tried and true way to keep yourself organized and on track is to take baby steps toward an overall goal if being able to find everything that you need. This means that you really have to want to be more organized so that you can change some of your existing habits as well as set a good example for those that live with you so that it is a group effort too. Small changes add up and before you know it you will see big improvements in your way of life as well as your stress level.

Take if from me, slow & steady wins the race every single time!

 

Here is a good way to start organizing your digital photos

ImageEveryone gets overwhelmed when looking at your digital photos. We end up having thousands more photos than the “old days” of 35mm film when we had to have them printed out in order to see them. It’s no wonder we are so overwhelmed!

I think the best way to get started organizing your photos is to start now and set up folders in a way that makes sense to you going forward. Going back is instantly overwhelming and you’ll find yourself reminiscing more than actually cleaning them up. If you start from today instead, you can figure out what makes sense to you and then when it comes time to go back you will have already developed your “system” which is half the battle with project like this.

Organizing by date or event is a totally personal preference. I found that in order to upload to some of the online sites like Shutterfly & Snapfish that it was easier to do it if my albums were in chronological order. That way I was easily able to make albums for my kids but I could easily add photos from our “Summer 2011” folder to so again it is 100% personal preference.

Developing your “system” is half the battle so just think what makes sense to you and start doing so the next time you download photos from your camera. Also, be sure to back up your photos on CD or thumb drive and keep them in a safe deposit box or fire proof safe as you never want to lose any of your happy memories.

How far behind are you with your photos?

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How to effectively clear your space

ImageWhen working with clients and clearing a particular space in their home we start out by making 3 piles:

Trash

Donations

Relocate

Just making these piles saves you from trekking back and forth all over the house to put things away. Doing that is very distracting and you are more than likely going to be taken off task time and time again. Instead, use a basket for items that need to be relocated, a trash bag for the trash and maybe a box of some kind for the things that you want to donate.

Easy as pie and before you know it your space will be cleared out and you will be so happy that you made the effort.

Could you use a little space clearing at your house? Keep an eye out for our upcoming Virtual Boot Camps!

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Take the pressure off, think in place!

Sometimes I think ahead of myself (girlfriends, you can stop laughing now…), so that I don’t have to remember something if I don’t have too.  An example would be to put a shopping bag on the back doorknob of anything that I might need to return or possibly put into the mail the next day. By making myself almost “trip over it” on the way out the door I’m likely not going to forget it and by setting it up then I also know that I don’t have to worry about remembering it and I can free my mind up for other things.

Another example would be to use Post-it Notes to remind yourself (or other members of your household) to take out the trash, check your messages, schedule an appointment, etc.

Anytime that you can get things written down and out of your busy head is a very good thing in my book. Do you have any tried and true “recipes” to keep yourself from forgetting things?  I’d love to hear from you, let me know!