Podcast 056: Little things have a big impact

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

 

You can leave a review here!

If you’re feeling daunted by the prospect of getting organized, this podcast episode is for you. Truly, the little things you do will go a long way.

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

This podcast is based on my book, 52 Simple Ways to Get Organized, available on my website. Each week I go into greater depth about one of the 52 ways. Some weeks I’ll take on different organizing topics and reader suggestions.

If you’d like to comment on the podcast, you can leave a review on iTunes. I read all your reviews, and  your positive, creative comments help others find my podcast.

If you have a question for me that you’d like me to address on the podcast, please post it on my Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.

Declutter your book shelves

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

Books are sacred. They’re emblems of culture. People don’t usually dispose of them lightly and never throw them in the trash. Yet they can be clutter. 

The first line of attack is: don’t buy a book until you’re ready to read it. Any new thing you buy has an energy of newness about it that wears off after you buy it. That happens whether you use it or not. 

Things you love transform their energy and remain appealing, like the velveteen rabbit. You appreciate the help they give you, how they make you feel, or their visual appeal, and you have a positive relationship with them. 

Things you don’t love start losing their energy and become lifeless. They only take up space. The only reason you keep them is inertia, or regret for the money spent on them, or the illusion that you’ll read them someday. 

Things you buy and don’t use or even unwrap don’t stay new, contrary to what you might think. The energy still leaches out of them. 

I recently talked to a client about the books on his shelf, most of which he hasn’t read, and he no longer remembers when or why he acquired them. On top of that, his desire to read them is now gone. Now he’s face with hundreds of books he feels he should read, someday.

He was thinking of sending then all out to be scanned so he could still have them without their taking up space in the physical world. Even a budget scanning service would cost hundreds of dollars given how many books he had. And they would still remain unread.

My idea for him was to photograph the books sitting on the shelves so he’d have a record of the titles he could quickly access. (much faster than typing out all titles, another idea he had).

He could peruse the photos when he had time to read a book and pick one that attracted him, then buy it on Kindle or get it from the library. 

Be honest when looking at your bookshelf. How many books are in there that you’ve been intending to read? Ones that you initially were excited about, but now you just feel like you ought to read them? Let them go.

Podcast 055: Take a fresh look

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

You can leave a review here!

Have you noticed how little you need to get by happily when you’re travelling? When you’re away from home, you’re focused on activities and people, not stuff.

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

This podcast is based on my book, 52 Simple Ways to Get Organized, available on my website. Each week I go into greater depth about one of the 52 ways. Some weeks I’ll take on different organizing topics and reader suggestions.

If you’d like to comment on the podcast, you can leave a review on iTunes. I read all your reviews, and  your positive, creative comments help others find my podcast.

If you have a question for me that you’d like me to address on the podcast, please post it on my Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.

Organizing for your needs

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

I cook with recipes. I like to follow a guide and not have to think too much. And when I don’t follow a recipe, I often end up with an inedible glob that I throw away, so there’s that too.

But with organizing, I cook intuitively. Sure, there are constant ingredients such as having things you use closer to where you use them, and putting like with like. But these are guidelines that get you to completion, not step by step instructions.

What works best is to take all the ingredients you want to use and add them to taste as you go. With organizing, you have the ability to remove an ingredient that turns out not to work. Not so when you over salt the soup!

Here’s an example. My client wanted to rearrange her clothes that were in several closets, plus garment racks in the basement. After we moved all her current season suits and casual wear upstairs, we started putting off season clothes on a garment rack.

She wanted to figure out what else would go on that rack. I told her we should stick with moving items she wanted to have nearby to the upstairs closets and then see what was left. I could tell she really wanted to plan the end of the project right then, even though we didn’t know exactly how it would go. We didn’t know yet how much we would find that didn’t need to be upstairs.

I’ve experienced this with other clients. They seem surprised that an organizer would not have all the steps worked out in advance according to perfect logic. This is a big misconception about organizing, that it’s all about logic and order. Those tools are useful, but they need to be in the service of what my client needs and wants.

I suggested that once we got all the garments she wanted upstairs, we see how everything fit. It turned out all her dresses did not fit in the small side closet. To fix that, we redefined some of the dresses as suits because they had matching jackets. Then they could hang with the other suits where there was room.

Once we put them in, her trousers were hanging in a spot where, because of the way the closet doors moved, it was dark and they were hard to tell apart. To fix that, we moved them to the far left, along with her skirts. The tops were now in the trousers spot, but since they were lighter colors and different styles, the lack of light didn’t matter.

Good organizing is about being flexible so that the system accommodates your needs. Good organizing is about being able to see the big picture and then move in to shift the pieces around to make it come into focus. A pinch of this and a pinch of that.

Podcast 054: How to drown out distractions

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

 

You can leave a review here!

In this episode, I’ll talk about how distractions of various kinds can prevent you from getting stuff done, and what you can do about being distracted by mental chatter.

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

This podcast is based on my book, 52 Simple Ways to Get Organized, available on my website. Each week I go into greater depth about one of the 52 ways. Some weeks I’ll take on different organizing topics and reader suggestions.

If you’d like to comment on the podcast, you can leave a review on iTunes. I read all your reviews, and  your positive, creative comments help others find my podcast.

If you have a question for me that you’d like me to address on the podcast, please post it on my Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.

The “just do it” habit

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

I aim to get on the treadmill 3 times a week. Do I do it?

Well, there are some days when my schedule tramples that plan, and other days when I just can’t force myself into it. I do go most days, though, and that’s partly because I give myself permission to quit.

Once I get my workout clothes on, I’m likely to get out the door. Once I’m out the door, I’m likely to get to the gym. Once I’m at the gym, whatever I do is a win.

Even if I give myself permission to stop after just 10 minutes, I did 10 minutes. That’s far better than not going at all because I can’t put in the full 25 minutes.

How often do you put off exercise, or anything, because you can’t do it “right”? This is perfectionism, my friends. Avoid it at all costs!

Remember that done is better than perfect. Also, striving to stick to my 3 times a week routine, even if I don’t do the entire routine, helps reinforce that habit.

Create your vision, Konmari style

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Early in the book, she tells readers how important it is to start with a vision of how you want your life to be after getting organized.

Be specific about what you want and also why you want it. No matter what your answer is, Kondo says the underlying reason is that you want to be happy.

My free ecourse starts out with that premise too. If you haven’t taken it yet, here’s the link.

I’m really enjoying Kondo’s book. Many of her ideas are standard organizing practices, but many are new to me, especially her anthropomorphization of objects and her radical method of organizing everything “in one go.”

The biggest benefit to doing it all at once is that she says her clients rarely backslide, ever. Starting with a clear vision, handling each item and committing to keeping it means that her clients are highly motivated to maintaining their new lives.

I would love to try out Kondo-style organizing with clients. I am thinking of ways I can offer this cost effectively. If you’re interested, please write me back and tell me what you think. If you’ve already done it on your own, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Another gem from the book:

“When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.”

It’s been said that people hide in their clutter and that constantly managing their stuff allows them not to deal with larger issues.

On the other hand, finally dealing with the clutter gives you more time and energy to devote to your passions and goals. This post, an interview with Christine Arylo, shares similar views.

Decluttering and organizing always also has the effect of clearing the mind and calming the spirit. Complete decluttering and organizing on the scale Kondo recommends has even stronger effects. To undertake that, you really need to be ready to lead a different sort of life, the one you’ve been dreaming of.

Podcast 053: Tidying up is a meditation

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

You can leave a review here!

In this episode, I’ll talk about how doing any regular task, such as your daily tidy up, focusing on the movements and releasing thinking, is like doing a meditation.

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

This podcast is based on my book, 52 Simple Ways to Get Organized, available on my website. Each week I go into greater depth about one of the 52 ways. Some weeks I’ll take on different organizing topics and reader suggestions.

If you’d like to comment on the podcast, you can leave a review on iTunes. I read all your reviews, and  your positive, creative comments help others find my podcast.

If you have a question for me that you’d like me to address on the podcast, please post it on my Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.

Filing system technique

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

Using a pre-made file system can be a great idea, but only if you buy into it completely. Systems in general, filing and other, often have lots of moving parts that need to mesh together so if you leave one out because you don’t really like it, the system will eventually break.

For example, if you color code your file folders, you have to continue to do it, and you have to continue to use the same colors. If you run out of yellow, you can’t just start using the orange ones. You know, the ones you have a ton of because you didn’t need that color initially.

The problem is that this will seem to make sense in the moment and you’ll be quite sure that you’re going to remember that yellow means yellow and now orange also means yellow.

But, my friend, life will intrude and sometime next year when you are looking for something in the yellow category you won’t find it because it’s in an orange folder and you only substituted orange folders for a few months until you broke down and bought some more yellow ones, so you completely forgot about that and occasionally you idly wonder what the heck is in those orange folders, but you haven’t had time to look. See? That’s a problem.

You’ve changed your system without giving any thought to what the consequences might be. You still expect it to work the way it came out of the box. That was the whole point. So you broke it without even realizing it.

In contrast, when you have a system custom made for you, each part can be tailored the way you want it. It takes more time to set up and refine but it’s more flexible and effective.

A good system will have some automation because it needs to be saving you time, but it needs to be administered manually too. That’s a good thing. Because you need to pay attention to how the parts are working together, you’ll catch things before they break and mess you up.

Forget about color coding. Use colored folders if they make you happy, but don’t assign them to categories. Instead, put your attention on the scheme of your filing system. Having financial stuff together, medical stuff together, that kind of thing.

Don’t make it too narrow and specific. Keep it a bit loose so you can pop medical documents into the medical folder and not have to hunt down a specific medical folder out of 20.

Podcast 052: Give uncluttery gifts

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinby feather

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

You can leave a review here!

In this episode, I’ll talk about how to give and receive gifts that don’t just become clutter in your home. Part of that is refocusing on the experience of giving and receiving instead of the object itself.

Subscribe:  iTunes  ⋅  Stitcher  ⋅  Soundcloud ⋅  YouTube  ⋅  Google Play

This podcast is based on my book, 52 Simple Ways to Get Organized, available on my website. Each week I go into greater depth about one of the 52 ways. Some weeks I’ll take on different organizing topics and reader suggestions.

If you’d like to comment on the podcast, you can leave a review on iTunes. I read all your reviews, and  your positive, creative comments help others find my podcast.

If you have a question for me that you’d like me to address on the podcast, please post it on my Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.