Anyone who knows me knows I’m a paint-by-number, checklist-and-clear-steps kinda gal. I don’t do well with ambiguity or blank canvases. And I’m happy to report that learning to embrace uncertainty is becoming easier, and it’s opening up horizons previously unexplored.
Recently my cleaning team and I did a painting party with Gypsy Canvas – and were pleasantly surprised to be interviewed by Lakeland Public TV.
My lessons from the event? Sometimes you have to embrace the blank canvas. You can't always predict the scene that will unfold - and uncertainty can sometimes lead to beautiful things!
Six people, 2 dogs, and life spent travelling, working, and living. While this lifestyle may not be for everyone, Bryanna of Crazy Family Adventure shares her insight into how to do more with less and enjoy life along the way. She talks of how we have to identify our wants and our whys - and not lose sight of our priorities.
Here is a snippet from one of her latest blogs titled, "How we manage (or don’t) running a business, being parents, and traveling full time." You can then head over and read more at her site!
"We have learned how to simplify our life by having less things. We are deepening our family bond by spending a lot of time together and will continue to push to make this our top priority. We will also keep a pulse on our business and the blog to make sure we don’t take on more then what we WANT to do.
The best advice I can give (for you and for me to read everyday!) is don’t lose sight of what you WANT to do in your day. Don’t lose sight of your priorities and make sure to catch yourself from going down a route that is going to back you in a corner (like having to work more to make more money because we are spending too much!).
Our WANTS and our WHY (to deepen our family bond) for traveling full time have helped pull us in multiple times to realign the direction we were going. We are living our live the way we WANT to not the way someone else or society tells us. But man, that pull is always there!" Keep reading more at her blog!
You know the one. She always has her hair and make-up and clothes and shoes and... oh, you get the point. She is ready. For everything. Her kids always smile. And they must be brilliant because they are forever posing with awards on Facebook. And this mom's house. Wow. Spotless. Her life must be A.Maze.Ing. Just like her.
So.... we all think we know this mom. But I'm guessing that she is about as real-life as Holiday Barbie. This Mother's Day, let's all get real. Stop the envy-induced Mom Crush. Support each other. End the perfectionism. Take more time to lift each other up every day. We will ALL be so much better for it. And if, as in this song, you want that amazingly clean house, treat yourself for Mother's Day and give me a call. We all need a little help!
The American Dream.....intrinsically we strive for it in all we do - working hard, achieving "success", accumulating the latest and greatest things. We are surrounded by things that are marketed to make us feel successful - tell us we have arrived. But have we? And to where, exactly, are we arriving?
The house with the two car garage that was The American Dream in my parents' generation now has a garage so full of stuff that only 32% of Americans fit even ONE car in the garage. We have stuff! We have arrived! But, are we happy?
I have had the privilege of attending a National Association of Professional Organizer's annual conference, where The Minimalists gave the keynote address. I've waited over a year to hear them in person, and they didn't disappoint. They spoke of realizing that The American Dream wasn't their dream, and of the events leading them to question their lifestyles and embrace minimalism.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism isn't about frugality, but about more deliberate questioning of the resources (including money) we have at our disposal and how we choose to use them. Do our things add value to our lives or are they clutter? Stuff doesn't fill the void of unhappiness; it widens it.
Minimalism has helped me reframe the way I think about not only physical things, but the resources (time, energy, education, etc.) I have at my disposal and how I use them.
Have you embraced minimalism? Have thoughts about the movement or the lifestyle? I'd love to hear your comments!
So you think your closet is messy? Scientists estimate there are more than 100 million pieces of space junk in orbit, posing a growing threat to future space exploration. It is easy to ignore the things we can't see everyday... until one day we are faced with the reality that something just needs to be done.
Piles for donation. Boxes for recycling. Bags for consignment stores. We have options for our extra "stuff", people. But what about that space junk? In December Japan launched an epic cleaning machine into space, designed to gather debris and do a little spring cleaning of its own. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and the "space junk collector" malfunctioned and burned up upon re-entry into the atmosphere. So they have to try again.
We (collectively as the planet's population) can't just ignore that we are sending up junk into space that has to go....somewhere. And we also can't ignore the overflowing closet. We have to look under the bed. We have to stare down the piles in the garage.
Ignoring the problem-piles and hoping they won't affect us too much just isn't a doable option. So we have to get creative, get working, and be OK with the idea that we just might not get it right on the first try. Organizing is not a one-size-fits-all experience! We just have to make sure we try again.
If you need a little help with the trying, give me a call or send me an email!
Move over 3 Rs - the 5 Rs are here with an even better plan! It is almost April - yay! - the perfect time to celebrate all things "Earth". I also want to introduce you to the new and more effective 5 Rs for taking care of this little place we call home. They not only make sense - they align with everything we try to do here at We Love Messes.
You've heard me talk before about weeding through the closets and files to simplify and prioritize. Maybe you have way more shoes than nooks and crannies to hide them. Perhaps the craft supply closet is turning into a guest bedroom for scrapbook paper and yarn.
Today, however, we're talking about setting priorities in the kitchen. How many times have you thrown out food from the fridge? Do you grocery shop with a purpose - a list - or just throw random ingredients into the cart, hoping a menu will magically materialize each evening?
Beth Moncel of Budget Byte$ reminds us that our efforts should not stop at the shoe rack or craft closet. We need to think more purposefully about what we're putting in our cart and making for our plates. But we also need to take it a step further and think about the empty plates that exist across the country (and the world), and Moncel shares more about Feeding America - and how it can help us clarify our food priorities while doing some good.
I’m so impressed with the multi-faceted approach that Feeding America takes to reduce food waste, while putting nutritious meals on the table for millions of Americans.
Volunteer – Even if you don’t have any dollars to give, you can still make a difference! Volunteer work is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Volunteering offers the added benefit of helping you connect on a personal level with people in your community—something that is becoming more and more difficult to do in our digital society.
Keep reading more from Beth Moncel, including her thoughts on sticking to a grocery budget while still making some amazing meals, and some of her favorite recipes!
Today I'm excited to share a Guest Post by Kelly Jo Zellmann, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Bemidji, MN. She is helping us look at our health goals and get on track to healthier days!
Are you ready to organize your health and prioritize your goals?
Now that the New Year has settled in, have you checked on how you are doing with your resolutions? Many of us start the year by setting some sort of goals or intentions with the number one goal of weight loss or to eat healthier. However, according to research, the percent of people who actually achieve their goals is less than 10%.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Bemidji, MN I am offering a virtual “March to Memorial Day” 12-week healthy lifestyle program. Through this program, you will receive personalized one-on-one support for nutrition and healthy eating, plus individualized goals to help you successfully get on the right track (and stay there) to achieve your nutrition and wellness goals. The program includes one initial consultation, six follow-up coaching sessions (bi-weekly), and weekly nutrition and exercise check-ins, with unlimited messaging, food and fitness tracking online, all done via phone and/or Skype.
Together, we will discover your motivation for change, help prioritize your goals, and keep you accountable. This program can fit into an already busy lifestyle without having to leave your home or office for appointments and work on your goals all at your own pace, one step at a time.
One of the keys to being successful at making any new lifestyle change is patience and not giving up. In the end, it’s about prioritizing your health to be at the top of your to-do list. Once you have the habits in place you will be well on your way to optimizing your health!
Contact me if you want to start organizing your health today! firstname.lastname@example.org
It is that time of year. We have a pit of dread for that looming tax deadline. Why the dread? For many it is about the paper piles we have to sift, the files we must conquer, and the sometimes false promises we make to ourselves to do better next year.
Make this your year! Now is the perfect time to make some sense of all the piles and folders. You already have to dig in to them, courtesy of the tax deadline. You'll thank yourself not only for tax season next year, but for those other times when fast access to data matters. And who can't benefit from reduced paperwork stress?
My 3 Tax Tips for You
Not sure where to start? Or how to really tackle that overwhelming pile teetering on your desk? I have three of my own specific tips for you!
According to Mandy Walker of Consumer Reports, there are also four key guidelines to consider when organizing your paperwork.
1. Data to keep for less than a year
This includes financial receipts (bank-deposits, ATM receipts, etc.), insurance policies, and investment statements. Once you reconcile your financial receipts you can shred those (or store securely in an electronic format). Commit that when your new insurance policies arrive in the mail that you trade out the old with the new.
2. Data to keep for a year or more
Keep loan documents until paid in full, vehicle titles until sold, investment confirmations until sold (to help establish cost basis), etc.
3. Data to keep for seven years
The tax rule of thumb is seven years, as the government has six years to collect back taxes or start proceedings against you in certain situations. Invest in a solid storage box for paper files and keep electronic files on a back-up disk. Who doesn't have a computer crash in seven years?!
4. Data to keep forever
Forever is a long time. But records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, Social Security cards, and military paperwork should be kept for forever and a day. These are the kinds of documents that are essential for significant processes, like making difficult decisions during illnesses, etc. Keep a file with these documents for your own sanity and the peace of mind of those close to you.
Now that you have the tips of the trade, get started on your tax prep and give yourself the treat of paperwork organization (trust me - next year you will love yourself for it!).
I love learning - especially when it comes from fellow entrepreneurs! Today we have a guest blog review from one such woman who opened her own business less than a year ago - and quickly determined that wrangling in the chaos would require more than just a blank daily planner. She is sharing her experiences with the Daily Action Planner - and how to account for the "weeds" and "seeds" of daily life!
Guest Blog by Alex Oldenburg
My typical weekly/monthly planner just wasn’t cutting it for keeping track of everything, and I needed a better way to organize and prioritize my to do lists. As a co-owner and founder of MESSY Dog Training I specifically needed a way to organize my life, along with my small business, so I started using the Daily Action Planner (DAP) about 6 months ago.
What I love the most about this planner is that it groups tasks into several categories, including:
By giving my “weeds” their own section, it has really helped me to avoid putting off the tasks I need to do but don’t enjoy. As a small business owner, I also appreciate a section for my “seeds”, so I can make sure I’m taking steps to grow my business and move forward.
The planner also understands that life can be chaotic, and that’s okay! It encourages you to “organize your gorgeous chaos”, with daily and weekly places to savor your successes by finding a success each day, and dedicating that success to a reward for yourself, such as a family game night or treating yourself to that favorite coffee drink (my go-to treat).
The Daily Action Planner helps me balance a business along with the rest of my busy life, and the change of mindset it has provided me has definitely helped lower the stress of trying to organize the gorgeous chaos of owning a business! The DAP company also provides a free support call to help you make the most of the planner, and a Facebook group with other Daily Action Planners for tips and ideas.
CPO Tammy Schotzko works with clients of all ages to tame their clutter and create calm out of chaos. She specializes in Hoarding and Chronic Disorganization, but deals with everything from digital files to garages run awry! Her passion for helping people reclaim their space is contagious and