"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

Anne Frank

Monday, February 28, 2011

More Resources for the Chronically Disorganized

  • Ready for more resources to get you organized and out from under?
  • Last time, I steered you toward four fun-loving, know-where-you’re-coming-from-‘cause-we’ve-been-there organizers.
  • Today I want to introduce you to a few more serious types.

Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management From the Inside Out and Organizing from the Inside Out has been called a house whisperer. (Lisa Kogan, O, The Oprah Magazine).
Ms. Morgenstern created Task Masters in 1989. She calls it a full service organizing business for homes, offices, and everything in between. She believes that most people fail in their attempts to get organized because they focus on the solution instead of the problem. Understanding the psychological quirks, hidden dissuaders, and common mistakes we all make will help us achieve our goal of becoming organized and staying that way. She promises to help you identify, examine and confront the reasons you are chronically disorganized. juliemorgenstern

Peter Walsh is a household name. His hit television series Clean Sweep entertains, enthralls and dismays us. He is the author of several organizing how to books, including It’s All Too Much. Peter holds a master’s degree in educational psychology. He is a regular guest on The Oprah  Winfrey Show and has a weekly national radio program, The Peter Walsh Show. Mr. Walsh’s philosophy is simple. We all have too much stuff! His solution? Get rid of it, don’t buy anything you don’t truly need, and live your life instead of merely being a caretaker for stuff. peterwalshdesign

Susan C. Pinsky wrote Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder. After discovering that people without ADD were using the methods in her book, she wrote The Fast and Furious 5 Step Organizing Solution. She is a professional organizer and author. She teaches the 5 step method to organizing your home and office. Step 1: Plan. Step 2: Weed and Sort, Step 3: Remove, Step 4: Name to Create Boundaries, and Step 5: Containerize. Ms. Pinsky believes perfectionism gets in the way of efficiency. Also, less is more. organizationallyours

While these professional organizers take a more serious, no holds barred approach to organizing, they will add to your arsenal against the CHAOS* in your life.

*Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome

Monday, February 21, 2011

Procrastination: A Different Form of Clutter

Monday’s To-Do-List:
  • Write blog assignments for Tuesday’s class
  • Write query letters for at least three articles
  • Write new chapter one for The Guest Book, my first mystery novel
  • Create CV (writer’s speak for resume’)

Procrastinator’s To-Do-List for Monday
  • Sleep ‘til noon
  • Make pancakes and sausage for husband, myself and Jake, the World’s Most Spoiled Cocker Spaniel
  • Sweep kitchen floor (something I hate doing!)
  • Re-hang all the clothes in my closet onto matching white hangers (um, it matters if the hangers match?)
  • Delete all 357 old emails
  • Organize kitchen cabinet where old rags go to die (after breeding)
  • Read Susan C. Pinsky’s book on organizing (OK, this was legitimate research…just not on Monday’s to-do-list)

Get the picture? Organizing isn’t just about your space. It’s also about your time. We all have the same amount of time. 24 hours, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. So why is it that some people, like my friend Edie, get so much more done in the same amount of time?

Discipline. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing how much you can realistically expect to accomplish in the amount of time you have. Being organized in your space so that you can be more productive with your time. Respect for yourself and the people who depend on you. Being accountable.

Need help?

There are as many books on the market to teach us how to stop procrastinating as there are on organizing our homes. Julie Morgenstern’s Time Management From the Inside Out is just one of the classics. Alec Mackenzie’s The Time Trap, Getting Things Done by David Allen, and How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life by Alan Lakein are other books on this subject.

Websites abound. Try dalecarnegie, mindtools, and organizeyourselfonline for starters.

There are professional seminars, as well, given by companies which specialize in teaching time management.  
Check out franklincovey and pryor for inspiration.

Procrastination is a time clutterer not unlike the rags in my kitchen cabinet. Whether it is a learned habit or an inbred character defect, I don’t know. I do know it is something to overcome before it defeats us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Resources for the Chronically Disorganized

  • Tired of living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)?
  • Tired of the Born Organizer looking down on you?
  • Looking for user-friendly resources from fellow slobs who dug their way out and lived to teach others to do the same?
Check out these fun filled, easy to follow sources to dig your way out from under the CHAOS in your life.

Pam Young and Peggy Jones may not be the first professional organizers. Yet the two SLOB sisters definitely started a revolution in 1977. Their Sidetracked Home Executives books and seminars have helped thousands of women (and a few men) get their sidetracked lives back on track and even organized. Pam and Peggy ‘s website, shes in touch is a wonderful, fun- filled resource for anyone who feels their life is out of control. Pam also has a magical website to teach your children the joy of cleaning their room! Go to housefairy and make organizing a fun family event every day.

Marla Cilley is the Flylady.  She, too, is a SHE. Once drowning in CHAOS, she learned from Pam and Peggy to baby step her way out of chaos into an organized but still fun life. She claims it took her nine months to dig out from under the clutter in her home. Now through her books and website flylady she teaches other SHEs to fly. (She is called the Flylady because she also has a passion for fly-fishing.)
Flylady insists that shining your kitchen sink alone will lead to an organized, well maintained home. Follow her weekly missions, monthly goals and daily reminders and you will swim out of CHAOS in no time.

Cynthia Townley Ewer’s book House Works is subtitled How to live clean, green, and organized at home. It delivers on the promise of teaching the skills to do just that. Colorful, filled with photographs, easy to follow graphs, and sidebars of information, House Works works for both the beginning homemaker and the experienced but chaotic one. She, too, comes from a background of CHAOS. Her journey to an organized life began Dec. 25, 1983. She invites her readers to join her on this continuing journey.  Cynthia’s website is Organized Home

Join Pam, Peggy, Marla and Cynthia and learn to control the clutter filling your home, your time and your life.

Friday, February 4, 2011

CHAOS is Overtaking America

  • Just what is this CHAOS and how did it overtake the strongest nation in the world?
  • Is it run by a sinister international superpower?
  • Do spies lurk around every corner?

Are they hiding in damp basements, or among the outcast THINGS cluttering up our attics, storage rooms, and junk drawers? Did we let CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) into our lives unsuspecting the control it would soon exert over us? How do we stop CHAOS from exploiting us and reclaim our lives?

CHAOS  isn’t a superpower nor does it employ spies, bullies or hoodlums to destroy us. It’s something we do to ourselves by ourselves. It’s letting the things we own own us instead. It’s letting stuff creep into our homes, cars, lives little by little until it suffocates us (sometimes literally). Peter Walsh in his book It’s All Too Much tells of a woman who is killed when the piles of stuff in her home collapse and smother her.

We live in a society which pushes us to buy more, do more, have more. Consumers are needed to keep the economy afloat! Easy credit means you can have it all! Buy in bulk at Sam’s, or Costco and Save, Save, Save!

So if getting all this stuff is easy and having it all is so wonderful, why are so many of us unsatisfied with our lives? Why do we feel overwhelmed, buried alive, suffocated by the very stuff we insisted on having? Could it be that more stuff isn’t the answer? Is less truly more?

An uncluttered life is a happier life
When we dig out from under, clear out the excess and simplify our lives, we have the time and energy to enjoy and appreciate the things (and people) we love the most. A buried treasure i.e.: one packed away, hidden in that damp basement or cluttered attic, is a neglected, unloved treasure. It’s possible someone else will love and treasure it as it deserves so why not give it to that someone? Or maybe it can be recycled into something lovable. Is it more trash than treasure?

Defeating CHAOS
Making the decision to unclutter your life is the first step. Need help? Stay tuned to gain the resources you need to dig out from under and live in the sunshine.