Travel….it can be both exhilarating and exhausting. Personally, a good jolt out of reality and routine does me good…occasionally! If you know me, you know I’m a creature of habit and I like my comfort zone.
Recently I zeroed in on the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) conference as a chance to hone some of We Love Messes’ cleaning skills, and to connect with other professionals in the field. I was apprehensive about attending the conference solo…but hey, the edge of the comfort zone is where things start happening! I attended lots of seminars, walked the trade show floor, and met people like Amar, Chris, and Courtney (in the picture) who run the Zenmaid software we use.
I mixed a little fun in there, too – forcing myself out of my hotel room (where I usually hole up after a day of networking and talking to people). My quick tips for being a tourist - in Vegas or elsewhere?
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!
No - NWA is not Northwest Airlines, but No Wrong Answer - a brilliant acronym for the choices we have in life! I had a recent Facebook conversation with a friend who pointed out she was living life with an "NWA" approach. Admittedly I was clueless and had to ask for clarification.
When she explained the NWA approach it was like *palm slap forehead* duh! Exactly what we talk about in organizing sessions - I ask a million questions, and don't really expect an answer to all of them - it's more about getting the thought process started. Clarifying that there are NWAs is helpful - we need to stop judging ourselves by what we should/should not have/want/keep; rather we need to be in tune to what our possessions are doing to our thought processes!
So, folks, what are your thoughts on the NWA approach? Is it better to have any answer than struggle to come up with the "right" answer? Curious.....
At our local Entrepreneur Meet-up recently I sat next to a retired hockey coach of 41 years. We were discussing time management and balancing work and family. He made the comment that, back in the day, when he "fired off an order he got in the next chair and did it".
Doesn't that pretty much sum up the life of a solopreneur/small business owner? Yup, we make the big decisions, but more than likely we're the ones who need to carry them out as well! Often that doesn't leave us time to do what we went into business to do - to follow through on our passions.
Obviously I LOVE to organize. I love to work with clients and encourage them to organize. I love to work independently to get my clients organized. I love to research solutions for organizing challenges. I love the sense of completion and satisfaction that comes with getting a space under control and clients having "ah ha!" moments when they realize they CAN do it! Have I mentioned that I love organizing? K. Thought so.
What I do NOT love is the always present behind - the -scenes administrative work that goes with running a business. Thankfully I've been able to delegate out my "orders" to the next people in the chair - and they've become my right hand people and kept We Love Messes on an even keel so I can do what I love. Make room on the chair for others to step in, sit down, and help you get things done. You do not have to travel your journey alone.
Was it easy to ask for help or release the control over the outcome? Nope. But the inordinate amount of time it has freed up has been worth every single step!
How about you? What can you outsource (whether it's laundry duties to your kids or balancing the business books to the accountant) that frees up time for your passions?
It's back to school time....even for me! I love the fall, I love the feel of the turn of the seasons, I love the freshness and optimism of a new school year....and office supplies....I love office supplies! So even though I might not be boarding the yellow bus, I'm off to learn as much as I can!
What does back to school mean for me? I'm excited to be attending the Institute for Challenging Disorganization's 2016 annual conference this month. Although I've been a member for 4 years this is only my second time attending the conference. Our sessions are intense and packed full of information to support organizers moving their clients forward. Sessions I'll be attending include:
* Reclaiming Space and Life - Engaging and Working Collaboratively with Individuals with Hoarding Issues
* The Science of Being Happy and Productive at Work
* What else could it be? The role of mental illness in clients with disorganized lives
See? This isn't fluffy stuff, my friends!
Not familiar with the Institute for Challenging Disorganization? Check them out - they have wonderful publications and resources like tele-classes and the clutter hoarding scale for the public, as well as specialized training for their members.
Have something you'd like me to look into for you? A question I can answer? Please share below and I'll get back to you!
What's in your fridge:)? Do you protect your food with aluminum foil? Or Saran Wrap? Or both?
It's weird how my mind works...but I started thinking about the transparency that Saran Wrap gives us when looking at contents and how life can be a lot like that as well. Personally I never want to pass myself off as some "perfectly organized" human being whose ducks are all in a row and who never lives with a Jenga tower of a day where one wrong move can bring the whole schedule down on top of me! Nope....if you're looking for that person, then keep moving! It would take rolls of aluminum foil to "hide" the behind-the-scenes reality. And really, what good is that?
The beauty of being transparent is that you get exactly what you see. When you grab a Saran Wrapped bowl of leftover Chicken Alfredo for supper, that's exactly what you're going to get. Not a surprise of spoiled (insert item of your choice here!) covered by aluminum foil.
So folks, that's how I come to you when we organize together - I'm transparent - my life isn't perfect, my office isn't perfect, and I'm not perfectly organized! I'm a Professional Organizer, not a Perfect Organizer. I drop the ball just like we all do!
P.S. I'm not inferring that I don't use aluminum foil. :) I actually like it better than Saran Wrap because it's recyclable in most cases. No actual Saran Wrap was used in the making of this blog. :)
So, are you a Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Rise kind of person? Me, I'm a little in the middle - as many of us probably are.
Those overwhelming fears of never getting started, never getting it done perfectly, never getting it done at all - these fears can cripple us enough to want to forget everything and run off to seek safety. I raise my hand high as one who often fears the administrative tasks that lie on my office desk in wait for when I have "time" to get to them - often late at night when mental acuity is low and everything seems....well...harder!
Disorganization all around us creates more stumbling blocks to getting started and finishing tasks at hand so that we can move on to the things that put a smile on our faces and make life what it should be - enjoyable!
If disorganization and/or clutter is making you want to run, reach out today - call, text, email - and RISE above with the support of a Certified Professional Organizer and her team - we all want to see you succeed! I hope to hear from you soon!
"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."- A. Einstein
Well heeellloooo, Einstein! This quote literally jumped off the page when I saw it. Why does it speak to me? Because almost all Chronically Disorganized clients with whom I work feel poorly about themselves and their abilities to keep some semblance of order in their lives, when it ISN'T THEIR FAULT! They're judging themselves (as all of us tend to do) by another person's organizational ability.
You've heard me say it before, and I'll say it again - organizing is not a "one size fits all" approach. There isn't a single organizing book written (until I decide to write one!) with methods that will work for everyone on the planet. Not even the great Mari Kondo and her "Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" doesn't work for everyone. Yes, I've read it. No, I don't do everything she says. If you've read the book, comment below - I'd love to hear your thoughts!
My job - my purpose for creating We Love Messes - is to support my clients, to help them understand first why they are disorganized, and then to help them learn how they can change their approaches and create systems that work for them as individuals! If Einstein's quote jumps off the page for you too, call me today - we offer a free phone consultation!
Last week I attended the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) annual conference in Atlanta, GA. In awe of all the creativity surrounding me by 800+ organizers, it once again quickly became apparent that organizing is not one-size-fits-all.
Not only were there organizers of all ages, sizes, and colors (I even saw red, blue, pink and purple hair - all on different people!), but the classes taught different techniques to conquer the organizing challenges we all face. I took one on Tactical Time Management, and one on Holistic Time Management.
The analogy of 3 + 3=6, but so does 2 + 4 works here - the answer is the same (conquering time management challenges) but the method is different for each of us.
Personally, Tactical Time Management wouldn't work for me, but I could see where it would be attractive to several of my clients. Much of what I bring to my organizing clients is a depth of knowledge of different tactics, encouraging them to think outside the box to solve challenges, in ways that fit their lifestyles.
What about you? Have you faced an organizing challenge and found a creative solution for it? Please share in the comments below - perhaps others can learn from your experience - I know I certainly will!
Halloween is over for another year with nothing but leftover treats to remind us of trick or treating fun. Usually by this time all the "good" stuff is gone (that would be anything chocolate in my case), leaving plenty of the less desirable candy (if there is such a thing!). As a parent facing the overabundance of Halloween treats, I've developed some interesting ways to disperse the "unloved" candy.
My go-to method is finding dessert recipes with candy in them. Over the years these ranged from cookies with crushed up candies in them to a Snickers "salad" that was the next best thing, at least for me, to the Snickers themselves. Plus there are apples in it, which served to assuage my guilt just a little over calling it a salad. Snickers never lasted long at our house so the salad was a rare treat. Making trail mix is another easy method, and a hit with the kids.
Thanksgiving brought turkeys made from candy corn, Oreos, and malted milk balls; and pilgrim hats with chocolate wafers and miniature peanut butter cups. Christmas is a great time to use up the hard candies - they make perfect decorations for gingerbread houses. Candy freezes well, and can be used to embellish cookies and treats on Valentine's Day and Easter.
Not feeling the need to expose kids, and yourself, to so much sugar? Use the candy for playing counting games, sorting projects (size, color, shape, flavor, etc), and alphabetizing by kind. Did you know if a Skittle is put in water the “S” will float to the surface? Find more candy experiments like this at CandyExperiments.com.
For those feeling altruistic, there are places to donate candy as well. To support our military troops, try Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude – just remember the key is to send heat resistant candy, not soft treats that will melt. And of course leaving it in the lunch or commons area of your workplace makes the candy disappear quickly.
Regardless of how you deal with the leftover Halloween candy, rest assured that Christmas, with all its sugary treats, isn’t far behind! What is your favorite way to use up Halloween Candy?
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who