January is a time to put our lives into perspective. Many people ponder about making changes to improve their lives. Some of the top Resolutions are losing weight by going on a diet and/or starting an exercise regime, getting a better handle on finances: resolving to spend less and save more, and to get organized. Unfortunately, most of these good intentions will not be successful endeavors. An action plan is imperative to keep yourself on track. Research proves that having a plan helps. Specific measurable tasks can help you achieve your goals.
Want some ideas that you can incorporate into your life for 2021? I came across this online article on Good Housekeeping, it’s really good. “55+ Achievable New Year’s Resolutions for Healthier and Happier Living” It lists important resolutions that you might not think of like getting more sleep and cooking 1 new dish each week (our family has been doing this for a couple years). We probably did a new dish 2 to 3 times a month. It’s fun to try new recipes.
We enjoy trying new recipes so much that we enrolled in several different Meal Kit Delivery Services. We have tried Sun Basket, Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. We are learning about different spices and cooking techniques. Most of these services give discounts to new subscribers.
Dr. Ivor Benjamin, director of the Cardiovascular Center and professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Benjamin, a Cardiologist, tells his patients “Remember to look for progress not perfection.” Making small improvements and being realistic with yourself is key.
Melissa Kirsch, New York Times Journalist, article entitled “Make Tinier New Year’s Resolutions This Year”. "For 2021, why not go gentle on the resolutions, keeping in mind that your nerves might be frayed, your zest for a life overhaul a bit depleted? Just as, earlier in the pandemic, I suggested making tiny changes in your day in order to create a routine instead of adopting a rigid schedule, you might look at resolutions as ways to tinker with your habits, not to totally replace them."
I will share my Resolution (Intention) with you. I want to Meditate on a regular basis. I downloaded an App: Calm. I paid $70 for the year. I will be much more likely to Meditate now since I paid for it. Money is a big motivator. I want to be less stressed and more mindful in 2021.
Gift Card Tip:
Create a digital folder in your e-mail inbox titled “gifts”. Move emails that have gift cards or gift certificates into this folder. I also recommend creating a reminder to redeem them in your calendar.
Simple Solution Organizing LLC
Smart Kitchen Organizing for the Holidays
With Thanksgiving coming up, keeping your kitchen organized is a must! On top of looking nicer, an organized kitchen makes everything easier to find when you get down to cooking. Here are a few tips that can help you reorganize your kitchen for Thanksgiving Day and all the upcoming holidays.
Tip 1: Know Your Essential Cooking Items
My first tip is to know what needs to be in your kitchen to cook a delicious meal! With all of the interesting gadgets available for your kitchen, it’s important to understand that sometimes less is more. Downsizing can make your life easier because no one wants to be sifting through a pile of junk to get to the knife you use all the time anyway.
I like to follow Jamie Oliver’s (from The Naked Chef) recommendations in his book Cook with Jaimie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook (p. 14). One of the basic essentials Oliver recommends is nesting mixing bowls in various sizes. I use them all the time.
Here are additional sources for more ideas:
Tip 2: Group Similar Items
My next tip is to group kitchen tools by their uses and to place them near each other. These groupings can be sorted in any way that makes sense to you, but some examples of what I like to do is to group all of my knives together or to group my wooden spoons together. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out these websites for more:
Tip 3: Keep the Items in Easy-to-Use Areas
My final tip is to keep those grouped items in easy-to-use spots. Doing this will eliminate the time of searching for what you need when you need it! When I was organizing my daughter Jessica’s kitchen in June, a couple of ideas I used were to put all of the coffee mugs and supplies near the coffee maker (there’s nothing worse than looking for a coffee filter before your first cup!) and organized all of her pots and pans in the lower cabinets near her stove.
Items you don’t use often can be stored up high. You probably have some holiday dishes and platters to get down from up high or maybe they are stored in a basement closet. Go ahead and donate holiday dishes that you are not fond of anymore. Don’t save them for another year or more.
That’s it for my November Tip! Hopefully you find them useful and until next time. An Organized kitchen is a smart kitchen.
Simple Solutions Organizing LLC
Do you consider your stuff to be more important than you are? I hope not! That is how many Hoarders feel. I am often asked about Hoarders and hoarding. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Hoarding is a Psychological Disorder. APA describes Hoarding as people who excessively save items that others may view as worthless. They have persistent difficulty getting rid of are parting with possessions, leading to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their space to live and work in.
The APA lists these symptoms:
Specific symptoms for a hoarding diagnosis include:
The Institute for Challenging Disorganization is another good resource to educate yourself about Hoarding. Check out or download their Clutter-Hoarding Scale. Simple Solution Organizing works with chronically disorganized clients. We do not work with Hoarders. There are Professional Organizers that specialize in this discipline.
There is a big difference between being disorganized, chronic disorganization, being a Collector and being a Hoarder. Many people casually say, “I’m a Hoarder” and they definitely are not. See below a couple of photos that I pulled off the internet. 1 is a photo of a Hoarding situation and 1 is a photo of a Collector.
I am a Podcast Junkie and recently listened to a Savvy PSYCHOLOGIST episode: How to Help Someone with Hoarding Disorder. Podcast #269. It has a lot of helpful information that can help Hoarders and families of Hoarders. Elaine Birchall with Birchall Consulting, is the Expert on the episode listed above.
There are a lot of great resources to help people who are struggling with Hoarding. Finding a Psychologist who specializes in Hoarding is highly recommended.
Simple Solution Organizing LLC
Downsizing and Professional Organizing Here are some photos of some Simple Solution Organizing LLC most recent project to motivate you to let go. When we let go of stuff we don't need anymore and items we rarely use we open our space for items we do need. It's also nice to have open spaces without anything on them. Cutter free shelves with just a few items are peaceful shelves.
Call us when you are ready to get rid of stuff...we can help.
Before photo has my Assistant Dorothy. The garage/storage room had shelving units in the center which made it very difficult to maneuver. After an open space with items stored on the perimeter.
Her house is going on the market this week. She is very happy to have gone through all of her items BEFORE moving them to her new home. She donated a lot and Simple Solution Organizing is having a MaxSold online Auction to sell the rest.
We make things happen. We say yes! It is possible to downsize from a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath to a 2 bedroom 1 bath. If that is your goal and your dream then Simple Solution Organizing LLC will help you get there.
I hope you and your family are safe. We are all living with the risk of potentially catching this horrific virus. This is a very sad reality for everyone living on our planet. Many people have lost their jobs and lost loved ones, due to the virus and some have committed suicide. Many young people are depressed because they have limited social interactions. No school, no work, no visiting with friends. I am glad my son’s job at Rush, a Trampoline Park, re-opened yesterday, May 28, 2020. I’m nervous about it but I think the risk of mental illness for many of our youth is worth re-opening with strict protections. It is a risk…everything is a risk!
My husband, Karl, is a Professional Golfer/Manager. Hard Labor Creek Golf Course did not close during the shut-down. Who would have guessed that a Golf Course would be considered a necessary business….not me. It did provide a welcome retreat for many people stuck at home. The Golf Course had record revenue. They closed the Golf Shop and people had to check-in through a window.
Simple Solution Organizing is working with clients again. We were only working remotely in March and April. Our clients have the Downsizing bug; another side effect of quarantine. People want to live in spaces with less clutter…less meaningless stuff. We can live with less, we can thrive with less. This quarantine has taught many of us valuable lessons.
My truth: I can get by with a pair of good tennis shoes, work-out clothing, sunblock, robust coffee, computer, internet, and take-out. I would love to hear your truth and how things have changed for you. What have you learned during this time? Please shoot me an email or comment on my Social Media post.
I finished going through card memorabilia. I had 4 cute photo boxes of cards and letters that people sent me through my lifetime. I now have 3 cute photo boxes. I highly recommend going through old memorabilia. It was so much fun! I have not laughed that hard in a long time. I read some of the funnies letters and cards.
The most hilarious cards were the ones that my sister had given me that my mom had saved that I sent her. My mom died when she was just 51 years old. I’m so glad I have these meaningful…priceless, memories of my past. This is why we keep them, to read them and enjoy them. This is why we should keep anything.
Be Safe & Stay Well,
Chief Executive Organizer
Simple Solution Organizing LLC