Unplugging – it sounds so….ominous 😊 Having recently experienced 18 hours in a hotel with no electricity I can speak a bit to the angst of not having my devices charged and at my disposal (not to mention what to do when it is dark at 7 p.m. and you can’t read…or watch TV…or scroll mindlessly thru social media). And yet….there was conversation…there was reminiscing about experiences…there was talk of dreams and the future. And sleep….there was blissful sleep!
What do you do to unplug? I like to read. Even if I can only catch 15 minutes here and there, reading transports me. So what’s one of my favorite things to organize? Bookshelves – I love to see what other people are reading, to percolate titles of books and what they might contain, and the utter sense of order when the bookshelf is tidy and the owner’s favorite books are at their fingertips.
Over the years I’ve discovered there are many ways to organize books, and there is no one “RIGHT” way – as with all things organized it depends on what the owner of the books wants the end result to be. There are the standbys of alphabetical (author or title) or size of book, and for the one who craves visual serenity, by color, which can provide a stunning backdrop for the room. Did you know you can even buy sets of books purely based on their color aesthetics!?!?! There is also the option to “soften” the books a little by mixing in other items of interest.
What are you reading these days? Would love to hear your current selection, and how you choose to organize your book collection! Drop a comment, or better yet, post a picture! We love hearing from you!
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!
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,
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,
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!
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!
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.
We keep searching for things that fit. The right shoes. A comfy pair of jeans. Maybe even a career or relationship. It is the struggle to right-size - make decisions based on the life we are living today - and preparing for changes we might encounter in the future.
A great example is the baby boom generation - they've raised their kids, had careers, and are now retiring and moving on to the next "life chapter". This phase can mean a smaller house with less maintenance, more free time to spend with the grandkids and for traveling, or even launching a new, entirely different, career.
A Closer Look at Right-Sizing
Right-sizing our homes doesn't have to involve grand, dramatic changes. In fact, right-sizing can often be a series of related steps that work together to make sense for your personal situation.
For a baby boomer, right-sizing might look like moving from a four bedroom where we raised our kids, to a one or two bedroom just for us. We let the space itself define what we keep - 2 beds instead of 4 mean we "need" fewer sheets, blankets and pillow cases. These simpler, smaller decisions that can be made right now pave the way for the harder, more emotionally laden ones we might face later.
The less we have to maintain the more free time we have to spend with loved ones, or pursuing new interests. Those big lawns, gardens, and driveways and the machines that helped us maintain them can be right-sized as well.
Remember: Just because we've always done it one way doesn't mean we can't ask ourselves what it would look and feel like if we changed our strategy - perhaps doing less of something - letting go of a time and energy-taker. The answer can, and often does, surprise us!
What have you right-sized in your life that has freed you up to spend time and energy elsewhere? Do you wish you would have done so sooner or was the timing just right?
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.
Kids model what they see, right? One of my lovely clients shared the folding boards she made for her girls, pattern found on Pinterest (of course!), and the video of how they use it.
I was amazed that even at the girls' young ages they were able to, and excited about, using the folding boards. This Mom is giving her girls a head start on the life skills they'll need to manage adulthood! WAY TO GO MOM!
For more instructions about how to make your own boards, be sure to go back to my #ResourceWednesday from yesterday and watch that video. If it can take away some of the dread and crumpled laundry mess, it is definitely worth it!
Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who