Thank you, The Management.

This is exactly the strategy I use to accomplish any task or overcome any obstacle. I am overwhelmed with butterfly hearts to see it so perfectly and simply written by such a great author.
It seems so natural to be able to employ this concept of breaking down but when we are entrenched in a moment of crisis or indecision, nothing could seem farther from possible. Whether it is cleaning out my fridge, planning out a party or helping a friend through a tough time, I think about the whole and then instantly my mind begins to divide. People, places and things. Condiments, drinks, vegetables etc.
Once I begin to see the smaller parts I can put things in their place and accomplish that task. Before you know it, all those small things end up as a completed whole.
When we set out to accomplish the whole from the start, things can get messy, overwhelming and frustrating. Instead of cleaning out the entire fridge at once, I break it down and say, “now I will tackle the door of condiments.” Section by section things come together and the project moves along faster rather than ripping everything out and trying to put it all back at once.
But in order to get to the point of a small and manageable finish, you first have to get started. Indecision is paralyzing. Making any move, even in the wrong direction, often leads to results faster than not moving at all. Frequently I have seen people paralyzed because they keep envisioning the whole. The whole leads them to nothing. The parts lead to movement. Start small and move, the rest will follow.
Divide and conquer. True in war, true in life management.
But maybe this is just true of me. Of my style. It probably alludes to my clear career as a stealth secret agent. Snicker not my friends. Next time it could be you I find on my list…
Just kidding.
Maybe.
~L


The “O” word

Ha! You thought I was talking about “she who shall not be named, ahum, Oprah.” Nope, although she would approve. In fact it is one of the necessary tools to leading your “Best Life” as she says.

I am a talkin’ ’bout ORGANIZATION!

This for sure, is the way to a happy life. AS you know, this is my life. I live to organize. It is a hobby. Drilled into my very soul by my Grandmother Theresa. It is as much a part of my being as is the cellulite on my ass. Both I am sure will be with me for the long haul.

For many however, organization seems elusive. A dream. Most seem paralyzed by idea of beginning to organize their physical spaces. But we all organize in some way, whether we are conscious of it or not. Scheduling for instance is a form of organization,  known often as time management. Those of you with offspring do this constantly and probably don’t realize the amount of skill that you have developed with it. Breakfast, Laundry, School, Work, Soccer, Doctor Appointments, Dinner, etc. You get the point. You may barely write it down and keep it going in your heads or you may have complex color coated calendars (I fall into the latter.) Either way it is all organization.

Work constantly require a renegotiation of your time, and reorganization of tasks. Following a recipe and helping chitlins with homework all while thinking about how you need to call to get the furnace cleaned are time management in action.

So you see. You are organized. You have the skills, the know how, the unconscious ability to move throughout twenty issues a minute. So you know what that means? It means you have no reason to walk away from that pile of laundry. No reason to shut the door on a closet about ready to burb out your last decade of clothing. What you have are excuses. “The kids need me”, “I don’t have the time”, “No one helps me”, “I had to check my emails, and then Facebook, and then see if I could find a recipe for Chicken Chili, and then I had to pick my nose.”…

You see the reality. You know the truth. The truth is cleaning up and throwing out are not as much fun as making the mess and bringing in more. Sure you have help with the excess but really you are the one in control of the organizational destiny of your home.

I am here today to tell you that you CAN do it! And when you do it you will gain happiness, more free time, better health and I guarantee it will make your life easier.

“Oh, you think it’s so easy but I don’t have the money, space, blah, blah blah.” That is right amigos I do think it is that easy, because it is! The hard part is telling yourself that you are worth it. Once you come to the truth that this organization is for you, you give yourself agency and self worth. Most women have a hard time telling themselves that they are worth it. You are worth the hour at the gym, the walk with your friend, the healthy dinner and the organized life. No, it is not selfish. Stop that!!

You are not ignoring or short changing your children by taking time to do things like organize and exercise for yourself. Quite the opposite actually. You are becoming a positive role model for your children, husband, friends. You are leading by example and showing them how to have self worth.  Which in turn will teach them to have respect for you and to value healthy life choices.

So do it. Start small. Open a drawer in the kitchen as you wait for the water to boil and get rid of what you don’t use. Have a donation box by the door and fill it each week. Have your children/husband join you by each going through one dresser drawer a week. Slowly but surely things will come easier.

“But my great, great grandmother saw me eat a piece of easter cake in that dress!” or “I spent $20 on that pampered chef dish back in 1991.” This is what you will be thinking as you come across things from the past. Things that were tucked away with all the best of intentions. And this is what you will tell yourself. “If I haven’t seen it or used it in a year I need to get rid of it. If I have more than one, I need to get rid of it. My children will not want this in 10 years. I need to dress for the size I am and not the size I think I should be.” Say these things to yourself and you will move toward that vision of life you are dreaming about.

“What vision?” you ask. The vision of your life at its best. Set some realistic expectations of what you want your space to be and go for it! Every thing in it’s place and a place for everything! You can do it! You are worth it!

Need some help? I am always here for you friends! I am a fountain of tips and strategies waiting to be had!

Also check out some of these resources, they are great and inspirational. From big mess battles to daily strategies to keep clutter at bay, these peeps have it down to a science. But do not be intimidated! Remember to keep your vision in mind. Modify plans to fit your life and your vision. Use these as guide points along your journey!

LifeOrganizers

Organized Home

NAPO

Peter Walsh

There. Did I have time on my hands or what? Hope that someone finds this helpful and motivating, best of luck!

Hearts and Organized hugs!

~L

My favorite words

Organized simplicity.

Huh, what do you know? Someone made a book of that. Brilliant people I tell ya, just damn brilliant.

Even more awesomer? You can win it.

Ya huh! I am totally serial! (I say serial and awesomer on purpose Randy. They are not typos. But I love that you would’ve had my back on it if they was 😉 Al Gore, man-bear-pig South Park episode. If you haven’t seen it, shame!)

Check out the captain of my kind, the peeps that let me know it’s ok to have cleaning as a hobby. Home Ec 101. Heather is having a giveaway that promises to give three copies of Organized Simplicity away. And you know what? I believe her.

Go my peeps, and enjoy the awesome that is organization!

Boxes and trash-bag dreams

~L

Entrenched

That pretty much sums up the boondock girl these days. Work, more work, some play and reading my recent acquisition Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Life. Amazon dropped it in my mail last Friday and we have been best friends ever since!

Any free minute at home is spent absorbed into the awesome, common-sense and randomly hilarious book that I will be championing to all of you very soon. Unfortunately it has been a marathon since last Friday with a full work and social calendar.

There is light at the end of the tunnel! Saturday proves to be vacant and full of free time! Hallelujah! Alas, today is still busy, but I had to stop in a say hi to y’all.

For now, it’s back to reading about flooring and how to clean them. Swoon! 😉 Until I leave in for another function in 10 mins!

There’s always tomorrow…

~L

P.S. watched “The Switch” with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman recently and I have to say, not bad. Of course I was a little more into it when I realized that it was based on Jeffrey Eugenides book “Baster.” I love him. It is way better than that other womanhavingababyaloneandthenfindinglove movie with JLo, “The Backup Plan.” What is with Hollywood and all this single mama dramas? Ok, cutting into the cleaning book reading time, really got to go!

Cleaning brings Spring! So what are you waiting for?

I am a fan of cleaning, clearing and organizing homes. Not everyone shares my high out of purging and straightening but many have often sought my advice to get the clutter out and the clean in!

One of the best resources for tips, ideas and strategies for all domestic life throws our way is Good Housekeeping. No one doubts the advice of the diligent researchers at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

They have been testing products, recipes and strategies for all things related to domestic life for over a hundred years. GH is a true and tried source for quality and reliability.

Needless to say, I am a subscriber to the magazine and its online newsletter. Good Housekeeping goes way back in the LD family tree. My Nana’s (great-grandmother) Good Housekeeping book has been a prized possession by all generations in our family.

The quality and timelessness of Good Housekeeping links women from era to era, all with the mission to provide honest and reasonable advice for domestic life.

The most recent newsletter from GH on my email had a great list of 25 ways to “Clean out the Clutter.” Check out the link! Easy, doable ideas for eliminating clutter in your home. As Spring is on the horizon this seemed like a great little piece to share!

I have to give big props to my buddy at True Tales from Cliftonia, for her ambitious lent 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Her challenge uses many of the elements mentioned in GH’s “Clean out the Clutter.” She was inspired by Sarah from Clover Lane who is also living the challenge. Both have a great goal of eliminating one trash bag of stuff from their home each day of lent. As they bag, they also clean the closet, surface, cabinet etc. A two for one win! Eliminate unused items and get a start on spring cleaning! There is nothing better than a clear and clutter free drawer or cabinet 🙂

So what are you waiting for? Try out one of the ways to get clutter out of your life and revel in the literal weight being lifted from your life 🙂

Bags and Smiles

~L

When less is more

I told you I found my peeps!

The awesome blog, Home Ec 101, had an incredible post on the “Paradox of Choice.”

All of you that know me, know that I couldn’t agree more! Perhaps you remember one of my first posts was sort of on this subject. If you don’t, you can check it out here: In defense of less.

Too much of a good thing can make it overwhelming! This is why I like shopping at Aldi, where there is one kind of peanut butter, versus Hannaford, where there are twenty! Too much choice makes it harder to choose and makes the final choice less satisfactory because we are always thinking that there could be a better one. Mind you I am not advocating for no choice but maybe we could find a balance?

If you’ve go the time, 20 mins, watch this TED video by Barry Schwatrz. Don’t give me that! 20 mins is nothing, when it comes to broadening your mind and learning helpful knowledge. You know, it’s just as long as an episode of The Housewives of Beverly Hills, or Firefly, or Family Guy. And really, Which is better for ya. Just saying 😉

This video and his book, “The Paradox of Choice, Why Less is More” were highlighted on the Home Ec 101 post. But I’m putting the links here in case you did not follow my advice and check out their post.

Really dudes, I thought we were friends? Would I ever steer you wrong 😉

In all seriousness, check out the post and definitely check out the video, it is awesome!

Guides and gals

~L

Piles and Stacks are not friends

Ever find that you have piles and piles of various magazines around your house? Some may have been living in those piles for say a year or more? And the stacks just seem to grow?

What is stopping you from getting rid of all those stacks? The valuable information? The decorative tips? The recipe that will be wonderful for your next barbecue?

Understandable. And yet not…

The piles and stacks are not doing good things for you. They appear like they are your friends but truth be told they are enemies. Holding on to their pile stake-hold they cling desperately behind one or two good articles. Pages and pages of unneeded info are creating clutter and eyesores on your counters, tables and magazine racks.

Solution: Binders and plastic sleeves!

Every month or two I collect all the magazines in our house and spend an hour with a cup of tea, an episode of Parks and Rec and scissors. I flip through and cut out any home improvement tips, decorating ideas, gardening advice and recipes that fit my fancy.

Then I slip the loose pages into plastic sleeves and put them in binders under the appropriate category.

I have one binder for home related ideas with dividers to keep the categories separate…

Then I have a dessert binder…

And of course a recipe binder…

This has been a huge help to keep all the useful tips organized and easy to access. Plus it kills the piles and stacks!

Eventually I will probably expand each of the home categories into their own bind some day but for now the one works. I also find that every time I search through I end up thinning out some things too.  Mostly this happens with the decorating ideas. You know how trends work, what was cool yesterday is not so today!

Pages and Piles

~L

I love the smell of clean in the morning…

I am in LOVE! L-O-V-E. Love!

I have finally found my peeps! Home Ec 101 is exactly what the world needs. This blog is amazing. Any questions on domestic issues finds answers here. My inner Theresa is giddy with home making glee!

Plus they are publishing a book! Whoo Hoo! I believe it will be released in early March. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy on Amazon, you should too. And if we share DNA, now you know what your getting for your birthday. Sorry for the spoiler but like you really wouldn’t haven’t figured it out 😉

Ahh. So nice to know, I’m not alone. It’s like finding my home planet. Finally, something to show my husband…It’s not just me! Oh, sweet validation, how I love thee. Let me count the ways…

~L