Minimalism….what does that word bring to mind? A stark room with no personal objects or clutter in it? Having to get rid of everything and be uncomfortable in order to embrace the minimalist movement?
May I propose to you another way to embrace minimalism – in the words of the Head of Mindfulness at CALM (an app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation – but ohhhh so much more in my book – I’ve been using it for years and LOVE it!)? “Minimizing what we own and consume, preserving money, energy and time for what will nourish us in profound and lasting ways.”
Deep. Really Deep. But….it isn’t – the concept is quite simple.
What’s the first object you see when you glance up from the device you are reading this on?
Do you love it?
Has it earned the right to consume a space in your orbit?
Let me explain…I look up right now and see a picture of my son, an Air Force Lieutenant, living thousands of miles away. Has that pictured earned a right to be in my precious space? YES! The warm feeling I get when looking at it nourishes me. Makes me sad, too, because I miss him, but overall the effect is positive.
What else do I see in my space? A pair of slippers that are actually quite uncomfortable and I avoid wearing them. They do not nourish me, and although I paid very good money for them, it is time for them to find a new home where they will be appreciated.
Minimalism is not about making our space so stark and empty that it feels inhuman. It’s about surrounding ourselves with items that have meaning and importance that we can SEE (i.e. NO CLUTTER – it can’t ALL have the same amount of meaning ) and visually connect with in a way that nourishes us, even if subconsciously.
The flip side of that is clutter eats away at us and we don’t even realize it! If you hear anything in what I’m saying, if anything at all registers, let it be that YOU are important, your stuff not so much, and surrounding yourself with things that you use and love will nourish you in a way that you won’t be able to help but light the way for others! It is all about finding the right fit for you - the right sizing of life.
OK, maybe that is a weeeee bit over the top But. I believe in you, and I believe in your worth. So much so that I want to share a guest pass to the Calm app with you! 5 readers who like the We Love Messes page and/or share this blog post will get a complimentary guest pass to Calm – I hope you love it as much as I do! And if not, well, that’s OK too – we each have our own way of connecting!
This seemingly innocent looking envelope has been sitting here, unopened, for over a week. One would think I’d have ripped in to it, being that it holds a masters diploma – the culmination of 3+ years of hard work and many hours spent studying, lots ‘o tears (yeah, I’m *that* person who cries when she’s frustrated), and large of amounts of outgoing cash flow in the form of tuition payments.
I haven’t ripped in to it. I dance around it every day thinking I *should* open it (if you don’t know how I feel about the word “should” check this out) but then find something else to do instead. WHAT. IS. HAPPENING????? Admittedly I’ve been busy (ummmm…. aren’t we all?) – got the privilege of a consulting job creating housekeeping systems and implementing them for the staff at Green Gate Guest Houses, my own company has 15+ employees and multiple jobs a day to juggle, and of course its holiday season and…. well, COVID throws everything in to uncertainty.
What is this really? It’s procrastination and fear of facing the uncertainty of not knowing what’s next. Because I’m a planner. I need a checklist. A goal. And then the steps to get there. Well, guess what folks? I don’t have a concrete goal to organize a checklist and steps towards. And it FREAKS ME OUT. Yet, that’s what I do with clients EVERY SESSION – ask questions to ferret out their goals and then create the steps/checklists/actions TO GET THERE! And I absolutely LOVE doing it. Seeing a client reach a goal, no matter how big or small – from clearing a corner of their closet to narrowing down emails in their in box – IT FEELS SO GOOD when their shoulders square up, they look me in the eye, and say, “Tidy Tammy, I didn’t think I could do it but *we* did!”.
Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend? I’ll be scheduling a self-session (ouch!), asking those hard internal questions, and creating some next steps for myself. And……drum roll……at the end I’ll be pouring a glass of Prosecco and opening that diploma envelope!
Are you stuck with a project or mess and need a boost to get going? Or feeling adrift and goal-less? Yeah, I get that! Check out the options for working virtually or in person – we’ve got you covered! Not sure what’s best? I offer a complimentary phone consultation as well – I’d love to chat with you!
Alrighty folks - here’s a fun Tidy Tammy truth - I love berry picking (in good weather, without bugs and preferably NO poison ivy). Too much? OK, moving on….
Why am I telling you this and what could it possibly have to do with organizing? It occurred to me after a robust picking session when my buckets of berries didn’t need to be cleaned and my co-picker’s …. Well….see the picture? Anyhoo, it occurred to me that berry picking process is just like the organizing process - different for everyone!
Sometimes during a session a client will have no problem making decisions and working thru a project (i.e. no “extras” in the berry bucket for later cleaning). Other times we struggle thru a project and I’m there to hold the space, ask questions that lead to new perspectives, and be an extra set of hands/legs to follow thru on getting the work done (i.e. clean berry bucket at the end of the session).
News flash - neither one of these, nor anywhere on the continuum (berry picking OR organizing) is more right, or wrong, than the other! It’s all about where you are right now, where you want to be, and how I can support you in getting there!
What’s your perspective on berry picking/organizing? Are you a “get it all in the bucket and deal with it later” kinda person, or a “do the time upfront”...or somewhere in the middle?
Recently I attended an Entrepreneur Mentorship Retreat weekend at the lovely Green Gate Guest House. It was a small group, and the ideas and passion that flowed forth were inspiring to say the least. I came out of it completely revved up with possibilities for the future - for myself, for the other participants, for the world!
And then...and then, I returned to reality. Sometimes the reality is that we don’t share our wild hopes, dreams and ideas for the future with our loved ones. The reality of reality is that we all look at life differently - some of us are anchored in the here and look at how these wild ideas might affect us, and others of us HAVE the wild ideas that they need to percolate (in safe spaces like an entrepreneur weekend with other like-minded individuals - our “tribe” if I may borrow that word), knowing deep down that maybe only one of the 15 ideas talked about may actually come to fruition.
My point? We ALL need that space to think out loud. To dream. To say things that perhaps aren’t acceptable to others around us even if they know inside that’s how we feel. I’m getting to the correlation here, stay with me. :)
Organizing sessions are often that space - we talk about goals for the space, for time management, for decluttering our lives, for business growth - whatever is on the mind of the client. It's a safe, judgement free environment, and trust me, I can get just as excited about the potential as the client does! And then, we take the next step - we plan. We set tiny, bite sized goals.
Aim Low and Achieve!
Wanna percolate out some ideas? I’d love to help! Click here for a complimentary virtual consultation, or better yet - kick it in to gear and sign up for a Kick A#@ session - you, my friend, and your ideas, are TOTALLY worth it!
See you soon,
Not listening to my gut, going with the “safe” choice, finding the most efficient way to do things at the cost of enjoying the experience – I’m guilty of settling at times. Lots of times. In fact, MOST of the time. It is something I struggle with and need to keep working on for me. For example:
I finally decided to paint my living room; the bland walls were driving me crazy every evening. I picked a shade I love, but second guessed my choice as too dark, and went with a lighter shade. Spent a Friday evening painting (don’t I live the glamorous life?) all the while my gut was screaming the color wasn’t quite right.
Fast forward to Memorial Day, where I spent 2/3 of the day castigating myself every time I walked into the newly painted room. OK, in all honesty, I binge watched The Crown (must watch!) 2/3 of the day, only entering the painted room when I forced myself to look. And then…. the inevitable happened – I ran out of episodes and had to face the reality that I could go buy the right shade and get the room done that same day.
The horrors of having to make that decision! Realizing I could either settle and be “just OK” with the color but irritated every time I sat on the couch, OR invest the time, energy, and money into making it right. And who was I making it right for? ME! And that’s where the indecision lay! Was I worth the extra?
News Flash – I AM! And, my friends, so are each of you! So let’s work on not settling – those little things that irritate us every day? Those are the tipping points, the things that cumulatively send us over the edge at some point. The time, energy, and emotions we put into even the little things matter - so let’s work on making the most of them!
For what it’s worth? The “correct” color choice for me is April Rain!
Oh my...lanta :) I was at my son’s house when I saw these beautifully rolled, epically organized, t-shirts and socks. Turns out he learned how to do it in Air Force Officer boot camp and has continued the tradition as he serves out his Air Force contract. My heart *might* have skipped a beat and puffed up with pride. (But, seriously - ya’ll know how much I love my kids!)
I had him show me how to do it, and we made a little video of the process (we are definitely NOT instructional videographers, but we had some fun). While I am not as well trained in the method as he is I can say that I can sufficiently roll a t-shirt (but not to Air Force standards!).
Here’s the thing - just because I CAN roll t-shirts, and that I like the overall look, doesn’t mean I will spend my time organizing my drawers, or recommend my clients do it. Why? Because I’m a “grab and go” kinda gal - rolling t-shirts is not a sustainable system for me, and I want my clients to have systems that work for them and that they can maintain. The reality is that 9 times out of 10 as much as we like the end results realistically we won’t take the time and energy to get it there - and there is NOTHING wrong with that!
So. If you want to create systems and processes that will work for your life and the way you live it - I’m your gal! I’d love to chat with you about what that looks like - click here for a complimentary virtual consultation, or better yet - kick it in to gear and sign up for a Kick A#@ session - you, my friend, and your ideas, are TOTALLY worth it! See you soon,
A camel and a farmer walked into a bar.
They had both been working hard.
They were both thirsty.
They were both on the lookout for a straw.
Are you the camel or the farmer? Or maybe the straw?
I think we are all at one time or another any of these. This week? I felt like the camel.
You remember this thing called a pandemic? Yeah. We all feel like the camel carrying the weight of Covid-19. As a small business owner it feels like extra heavy straw. And then... Monday.
The digital platform we use to track our clients, our appointments, our every day, decided to change without notice. And those changes wreaked havoc on our data. We lost numbers. We lost critical scheduling nuances. We lost time. I think I smelled the desert sands as I camelled along (that’s a word, right?).
Then the phone rang. Again. On this straw-laden Monday. Who was calling me now?
Wait for it…
A reminder to schedule my colonoscopy. I know. Seriously?
Coincidence. Irony. Kismet.
Whatever you call it, I felt the camel in me start to give way. I let myself get a little angry, a lot frustrated, and a tad overwhelmed.
And then I decided I didn’t have the strength to be the camel. I needed to be the farmer. I needed to take the same energy that carrying heavy weights requires and put that energy into farming. I needed to gather the straw. Rake it in. Wrestle it into bales. Harvest what I could. My point? We can amble along and carry the weight. We can be the weight for others to carry. Or we can hitch up our britches and do something.
And then we can head to the bar - or wherever - and know that we at least put in the effort.
And now when I go walking into that bar, I have my own stash of straws for whatever I decide to order!
Hello peeps!!! Anybody who has traveled with me knows NOT to put me in charge of reading a map, and that I rely HEAVILY on my phone’s map app to get me where I need to be. Map reading is an admirable skill set; one that consistently confuses and evades me!
Recently in a low cell service area my phone kept saying “GPS signal lost”…putting me in a bit of a panic because, well, I really didn’t know where I was nor was I confident in my ability to get where I needed to be! This experience later turned into a metaphor for We Love Messes’ presence on social media and blog posts. I used to post just here and there, but have increased to posting 5 times a week in the form of:
While I enjoy the creativity of the posts I’m feeling a little lost, overwhelmed and unsure of the reach of the posts to you. So, peeps – like any good caterpillar will tell you, it’s time to cocoon up the social media presence until We Love Messes (and maybe me, too) can emerge as a beautiful butterfly! Or until the GPS signal comes back on board! I am going to explore options, plans, goals, and needs. We are absolutely still here for your Organizing and Residential Cleaning Services needs.
I will still be posting, albeit erratically, on social media and hoping to engage with you there (please don’t leave me hanging out there by myself!). There are 3 years’ worth of weekly blog post resources on the We Love Messes website as well – all to motivate, inspire, be a resource for you!
Congratulations to Kalsie V! She accepted my challenge to Take Care of You, and now gets to choose between 2 hours of cleaning or a Strategy Session! I have shared my personal journey through breast cancer because I want to help raise awareness about proactive care - and while extremely important - this extends beyond mammograms and pap smears.
Taking care of you is about recognizing your own personal needs - for good old mental, physical, and emotional health. It is about the big stuff - cancer screenings - and the small stuff - like taking a time out to read a favorite book.
How do you take the time to take care of you? Please share in the comments - you never know who you might inspire! And if you need a little more "me time", let me know how I can help!
Big or little....decisions are everywhere in our lives. They can haunt the back of our minds as we move through the day or be one of a million we make subconsciously.
The ones that drive me crazy are the little ones that become big and cause angst and churning. Personally speaking, when I have a big decision I'm grappling with I find myself getting bogged down in little ones - like what to wear, or what to make for supper. Easy enough, right? Yes, unless indecision is weighing me down.
My solution? It always comes down to a list (What did you expect? I'm an organizer - I thrive on lists!). In this case, a brain dump of all my thoughts regarding the decision at hand. Paper, white board, post it notes (these are really my favorite), word doc - whatever tool appeals to you - and then dump all your thoughts regarding the decision. Actually, all thoughts in general - the "to do" tasks and thoughts of daily living - need to come out, too!
Then I divide the list into pros and cons - which is why post its are my favorite method - they can just be moved around on a wall and, voila! You have a visual of the struggle going on behind the scenes in your brain. Highlighters can also be helpful to distinguish pros and cons - color adds another dimension to the visual decision making process.
"It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions." - Jim Rohn
How do you make weighty decisions? Do you have a tool or process that works for you? I'd love to know more - please share in the comments below!
Have you been putting off your tax prep and filing? Breathe. Let's think through those files and piles together.
What's the solution?
Right this second it is all about buckling down and powering through to find the data you need in order to file. You do not have to suddenly create the perfect filing system. Just breathe, plan, and then let me know how I can help you develop a system that wipes out the worry.
This place of paperwork madness isn't any fun. Now is the time to move forward with a plan to work in the future. You can use your filing process to set up a system that makes sense to you and won't have you scrambling next year.
Think about how you sort the data you need. Take for example the receipts necessary for reimbursement from a Health Savings Account (HSA).
Take the way your mind thinks, or searches, for papers/receipts and set your filing up according to that. Can't quite visualize what those categories or files look like? Let's have a planning session - I'll bring the questions, you'll have the answers, and together we'll create a filing system that makes sense to you!
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.
Ever noticed how valuable time is? Yours, mine, and everyone else's? I thought so!
The other day I had an appointment to sign some papers. It should've been a 15 minute thing, maybe 30 minutes at the most. Instead I was there for over an hour, on a Saturday morning.....because he was talking....about himself. I left there feeling frustrated, and honestly, a little angry. I had to percolate those feelings a bit to get to the root of why I had these feelings.
The reality is that the time in that office belonged to both of us. We are required to share time - even if we do not share the same goals with that time. Every conversation, every interaction, every event where there is more than one person is a practice in time-sharing.
Looking back I see that maybe this person was lonely. Or maybe he was bored. Or maybe he didn't respect me and my time as a client. I'll probably never know, but it helped prepare me for the next time I'm time-sharing, but not necessarily goal-sharing.
Those of you who know me know I'm a "get the job done", no nonsense kinda gal. We all have things to do, places to go, and people with whom we want to spend our time. I also believe strongly in building relationships, and acknowledge that it's a two way street - the middle of your sentence can't be cut off by the beginning of mine!!!
My point you may ask? On a personal level I want the people in my life to know how important they are to me, and truly being present in their presence (kinda catchy, eh?) is one way to demonstrate it. I also know that on a We Love Messes level, it's important that each and every one of you knows how important you are - I'm honored that you've chosen me for your decluttering journey, and respect both your time and resources. And if you need a little help with time management - I can be your co-pilot to get you headed in the right direction!
Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who