Parenting can be a real challenge sometimes! Many of us have steered the course well and felt accomplished as our kids grow and move thru elementary school, only to have middle/high school hit and everything kind of go haywire (ummm…hello…might be talking about me here).
This blog post by Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D is full of information, and does an excellent job talking about adolescent and early adulthood disorganization, and how parents can best support their kids thru it. Please feel free to post if anything resonates with you – I know it spoke to me!
Where does the time go? It is already August, kids are prepping for fall sports, and parents are scrambling to have a few last adventures in summer and still get the family ready for school. Get the school year off to a smooth and smart start - and keep it that way - with a few tips and tricks from my article over at Smead Organomics. And while you are there, check out all the other cool organizing stuff they have - it's a great resource!
Last week I talked about my favorite methods to avoid "churning", or shuffling things from one spot to the next without making decisions on what to do with them. While the hula hoop is fun to use, a utilitarian white sheet or tarp works equally well and can be used two ways.
When there is a lot of visual clutter in a space I will cover the areas we are not working on with sheets or tarps. This physically defines the space we are working on much like the hula hoop does, as well as decreases the opportunity to bounce around to other areas.
The second way to use the sheets or tarps is to lay them down, often on the lawn, to sort large items into different categories. This is particularly useful when there are multiple people sorting and the person who needs to make the decisions can see the quantity of items in each category as well as duplicates, etc.
There are many different methods for organizing - I encourage and help my clients to find the ones that work for them and stick with it. Aim low and achieve, or overachieve!
P.S. Can you guess why I recommend a white sheet instead of a colored or printed one?
Ever walk into a room with the intention of getting it organized, start moving things around, but never really make a decision on what to actually DO with the stuff? Organizers call that "churning", or shuffling things from one place to another. It can be anxiety producing and lead to frustration - expending energy but not achieving organization.
How do we avoid churning? There are multiple methods, but I'm going to share my two favorites - hula hoops and white sheets. Personally I like the saying "Aim Low and Overachieve" - sometimes I modify it to just "Aim Low and Achieve" and both these tools help us do that.
The Hula Hoop Method
For example, we want to organize our entire craft room....that's a very large goal. To avoid churning, we are going to lay a hula hoop on a horizontal surface and only deal with what is within its circumference. Being confined to that space not only helps set an achievable goal, but it is much less overwhelming than organizing the entire room. Once we've made decisions on what is inside the hula hoop we can move it and repeat the process.
Next week I'll explain how I use a white sheet to organize. Stay tuned!
We live in what is considered a “throw away culture” yet storage units are everywhere! Is it quantity over quality? I estimate that 95% of the client storage units I’ve been in have been delayed decisions – the clients all knew what needed to happen with the items inside, but they couldn’t bring themselves to take the next step.
I'm not the only one who sees this throw away culture. Jim Gaffigan gives us some spot-on insight into this trap we've set for ourselves. Take two minutes (actually 1 minute 58 seconds) to watch his views on the subject.
Are you holding on to a storage unit? What’s inside? Have you ever figured out what the unit is costing per year and then salivated over what could be done with that money instead? What’s keeping you from taking action on emptying the unit? Inquiring minds want to know – please share below!
So, there's these slippers. Slippers that are well loved and worn thru on the soles. I knit them about 7 years ago, and then felted them. If you've ever seen me knit you know it's a painful process...shoulders hunched, pure concentration. What should be a relaxing hobby gives me a neck cramp. I've since given up knitting. But that's a story for another blog post....
My daughter keeps telling me I need to give the slippers up, too. They've served me well, and are quite past their prime. I keep meaning to throw them out. And, I....just cannot let them go. I think, "just one more wear" or "tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow".
What it boils down to is the heart and soul, sweat and tears I put in to them. Throwing them out, even after they've served me well, just isn't that easy. They are one of the few material things to which I'm actually attached.
I've learned over the years that often clients need the opportunity to tell the story of an item before they can release it. I feel the same way - now I've shared the story and they can go. Letting go is a process - whether it's material things, emotions, relationships - it doesn't matter. Telling the story helps validate the process and keep us moving forward.
Have a letting go story to share? Please share in the comments below - I'd love to hear about it!
It was a mess. And yes, we do love messes, but....the floor in my office had "perimeter piles" for several months. I cringed going in there, and had taken to spreading my grad school homework out on the kitchen table instead of working in the office, as the space was intended.
A few weeks ago I couldn't take it any longer; feeling completely overwhelmed and in over my head, I reached out to one of my co-workers to see if she could spend a couple hours with me in the office. She was all over it, and the process began.
I was stressed about having her there, mortified by the state of my office, overwhelmed by the feeling that I "should" be able to do it all and the awareness that....I wasn't! I heard the same things come out of my mouth that clients say during almost every organizing session.
My point? Every now and then things just get to be too much, and it's not only OK, but GOOD to call in some support - whether it's a friend, neighbor, kid, spouse or professional organizer! At the end of the day what we all want is for the person we are helping to feel better!
Tell me I'm not the only one this has happened to - I'm cruising down the road in the midst of a packed-to-the-rim day, glance down, and I'm on "E". Big deal. Stop at the gas station and fill up. Except....the schedule is back to back and that 10 minutes makes me late for a stop, which snowballs the rest of the day. It feels like I'm barely holding on to my grasp on the day.
Who. In. The. World. Doesn't. Have. 10. Minutes? OK - I DON'T. On certain days/weeks, that is. My husband is aghast that I can essentially live in my car and not be cognizant of when it is on, or about to be on, empty.
Time to reflect! There reaches a point where the empty gas tank becomes a neon blinking sign saying that I'm not refueling myself, either. Burning ourselves out so there is nothing left in the tank means there is nothing to give out when working with clients, parenting, being a friend, etc.
I've used the oxygen mask analogy before in blog posts - if you don't put your oxygen mask on first you won't be able to help the person sitting next to you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to use my Daily Calm app to meditate and recharge for 10 minutes!
What are YOU doing to take care of yourself? Let's encourage and support each other. I am doing this by giving away a FREE Strategy Session! Just LIKE this blog post and you'll be entered to WIN!
I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard Every Woman is a Mother. Women, by nature, seem to have a nurturing side that shines through their interests, passions, and in all they do. These women are mothers to van loads of kids, and they are friends who promote social causes. They are the aunts who dote, grandmothers who spoil, neighbors who help, and teachers who inspire. They are the employees, the service providers, the CEOs. These are the women who surround us - and who help make the corners of our world a little bit better.
Every Woman IS a Mother - and with Mother's Day coming up what better way to honor any woman in your life than by helping her reclaim a space in her home - a spare bedroom that has become storage, a garage that can't fit a car, an office overwhelmed by papers, or a room that needs a few tweaks to function better. A gift certificate from We Love Messes can get her on her way to achieving just what she needs.
Is this a self-serving request? Perhaps a little, I admit! But please also trust me when I tell you that I see first hand the benefits of time women claim for themselves and their passions when their homes run efficiently. And isn't more time a gift every woman (and man) wants?
In case you're a numbers person, here are some stats from a Real Simple survey of 3200 American women:
Contact me today if you'd like to honor the women in your life with a gift certificate from We Love Messes for Mother's Day - or any other day!
I'd love to know how you honor the women in your life - on Mother's Day and every day! Please comment below so we can all get a little more inspired to remember that every woman is a mother.
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who