Why is stuff so important to all of us? I want more…give me more! More food, drink, bigger home, bigger car, more cars and trucks, boats, RV’s, vacation homes, furnishings, sports equipment, cosmetics, jewelry, clothing, stuff, stuff, stuff. Wow, that’s a lot of stuff. As I type this I’m in my bed sick with an awful cold and all I wish for is to be well. You can take my stuff away; I just want to feel better. What matters in this life? What matters to you? I think that family and health would be ranked at the top of most people’s lists; definitely at the top of my list.
My husband and I recently watched a documentary entitled Minimalism A Documentary About the Important Things. I recommend watching it. We viewed it on Netflix. I appreciate the philosophical views that are stated in this film and I think it is good to stop, think, and be reminded of what is really important in life, on a regular basis. I take a yoga class on Sunday afternoons; the Yoga Instructor, Helen, ends every class by telling us, “be thankful for everything we have in this world.”
It’s good to be thankful for what we have and feeling thankful is a very healthy emotion. I love this quote: "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -- Oprah Winfrey. Here are more thankful quotes. The Minimalism movie focused on many important aspects of how and why to choose a life with less things. According to the movie, making a conscious choice to live with less equals more joy. They gave examples of how more stuff can lead to more stress in your life.
Overflowing closets filled with tons of clothing, accessories and shoes is not always a good thing. Waking up and walking into an overflowing overcrowded closet starts your day off chaotically. It can be very stressful deciding what to wear when you have so many choices. In addition, not being able to find items in a disorganized overcrowded closet is frustrating. So one of the systems brought up in the movie is a Capsule Wardrobe: a wardrobe consisting of 37 pieces per season. Less things, equals less choices, equals less stress.
Defining Minimalism is different for each person or family that practices it. For example, not everyone will want to buy or live in a “tiny house.” I certainly don’t want to. However, my current 3,400 square foot house is a lot to clean but we love the extra space for entertaining our friends and our children’s friends. So what does minimalism mean, how is it defined? According to Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, known as “The Minimalists.” “If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say, Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”
I’m intrigued and interested in learning more because I agree with these values. I’m attending a teleseminar by Joshua Becker, Minimalist Expert, in a couple of weeks. I plan to share more with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day ---- I don’t need flowers but I do want dark chocolate.
Chief Executive Organizer
Simple Solution Organizing
The Life Organizers Top 5 Organizing Tips
2. Passcodes in 1 Place
Do you use the same password for every account? Do you struggle to create passwords and struggle more to find them when you need them? Stop the insanity and come up with a system. Experts advise not to use the same password for every account. When you use a password manager program you only have to remember 1 password and the program creates very strong passwords and stores all of your passwords in a secure online vault. Here is an article with additional tips on passwords by Connect Safely.org.
If you hate digital use a notebook or the back of an address book or Rolodex to keep track of them.
3.. Inventory Digital Files
Do you store file folders in multiple places? Most people do. If you are searching for a file folder in Google Drive but it is saved in Dropbox you won’t be able to find it. Work on a plan to organize your digital file folders. I need to do this too. What program is working best for you? Use as few places as possible for storing files. Take the time to inventory what files or where. An Excel worksheet works great for this. Digital Clutter is a huge problem. This is a good article on how to protect and organize digital files.
4. Plan Ahead & Set Goals
Spend your time wisely, creating personal and business goals. Spending time evaluating what is going well, what can be improved upon, and what you should do in the future is vital. Some people spend their entire lives allowing life to dictate and navigate their future instead of personal intention and goals.
5. Just Do It! – Daily, Weekly, Quarterly and Annual Maintenance
Maintenance is not fun but it is necessary. What do I mean by maintenance? Putting things away in a designated place and creating places for things when they don’t exist. This procedure applies to file folders and practically everything else you use including tools, clothing…stuff! Just imagine if your digital files went to a To Be Filed box every time you used them. That is a very scary thought. Paper files often end up in a To Be Filed box, or even worse, they end up somewhere else entirely….the black hole. They need to be filed as soon as possible to keep clutter at bay.
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December 29 2016
More than half of this year is over. Have you checked in on your 2016 goals? Are you making progress on your goals, have you decided to abandon them, or have you changed them? They don’t have to be life changing to make a positive impact on your life. I have added goals to my list and I’m making headway.
One of my goals is to contact a relative or old friend that I have not seen in a while. Progress: My son, Connor, and his friend, Paco, visited one of my dear friends in Pensacola Beach over their spring break. We spent several days with my friend, Sharla, who is fortunate to live on the beach. Here is a photo of her beautiful home. We had dinner with several old friends, while we were there. My family used to live in Gulf Breeze, Florida for 5 years.
On Fathers’ Day weekend my cousin, Cassia, had an informal wedding reception for her sister, and my cousin, Darby. I have not seen these cousins in about 25 years. I am grateful I had the opportunity to spend time with them and my son met a few of his cousins for the first time….priceless.
These personal goals are meaningful to me and my family. Life is about connections and the relationships we share. It is so gratifying to achieve goals – big or small. I will share one other small goal that I achieved a few days ago. I have photos on my fireplace mantle in frames that I look at every day. Some of the photos were so old… one photo of me and my husband was taken in 2005…I look a lot older now. Anyway, I have wanted to replace these old photos with recent ones. I ordered prints online of our 2016 vacation to Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada and replaced my old photos. It may seem trivial to you but it means the world to me. Here is one of the photos that I have displayed in my home.
I hope I have motivated you to act on a small goal that you have. Many of my clients have pictures sitting on the floor that they intend to hang up but never seem to get around to hanging. Projects piled high or projects started but never quite finished, adding guilt to your psyche. Just do it!
What will you accomplish this month? I would love to hear from you. Please share some of your goals with me. Let me know if I have inspired you to complete a goal or project. Let me know what organizing tips you are interested in.
Please share this newsletter/blog/post with friends and like my facebook business page if you are on facebook. Thank you!!
Chief Executive Organizer
Happy New Year
Did you make Resolutions this year? Have you already broken them? That is the running joke about Resolutions. We tell ourselves, “I am going to lose weight, get fit, get organized, plan a trip, visit relatives, and fill in the blank”. Be realistic with your Resolutions and more importantly your goals. If you never exercise make a goal for twice a week 30 minutes. If you push yourself, like a very good friend of mine, you may never exercise again. My friend who did not exercise took a 60 minute weight class one day and the next day she did a 60 minute power yoga class. She could barely move for a week and has zero desire to try again. I am very fortunate that I enjoy exercise and I love trying new things. I have started Hot Yoga at Bikram Studio (something I have thought about for years). My daughter, Jessica, came home from college for the Holidays and we tried several different exercise classes including Hot Yoga, Pure Barre, Zumba and a Jazz class at Dance FX. If I won the big Lotto I would join all of these studios, but instead, I purchase Groupon specials or punch cards because I am a full time member of the Omni.
I will share my resolutions with you. One resolution is to call and connect with friends and relatives. I am happy to report that I spoke with my sister-in-law this week; she lives in Patterson, California. I also spoke with a friend who lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida where my family used to live; I planned a trip there in April. Yes! know...I know... it is still just January but you have to admit I have a good jump start on my resolution. I have wanted to spend more time fostering relationships with old friends and family because it is very meaningful and it brings joy to my life. My goal for my resolution is to call one relative or one old friend once a month. This is not out-of-reach or unrealistic. If you have a big family and/or family that live near you, then you probably are dumbfounded by my resolution. I do not have any family that lives near me. My children only have 1 living grandparent; she lives in San Francisco. My children have no First Cousins…..small family.
My other resolution is to get involved in a local non-profit. I read in the Athens Banner Herald about Hugh Acheson, Athen’s famous Chef. He is completely revamping Home Economics classes in Athens, Georgia by implementing Life Skills. He has a board of professionals designing the curriculum. I would love to be involved in an initiative like this. I am setting up a meeting to talk with the Director Almeta Tullos of Seed Life Skills in a couple of weeks. If you want more information visit Seed Life Skills.
What have you been yearning to do? Whatever it is, make it happen this year. Take steps to make it happen. It does not have to be huge or difficult to be life changing. I have a friend that recently took up sewing. She is taking a sewing class where every participant is creating their own personal sewing project. The class is enhancing her life. Be curious and try something new and different.
Have I inspired you to make or keep a resolution for 2016? I hope so; it’s not too late. Take some time to reflect on 2015 and make realistic goals for 2016. How will you reach your goals?
Chief Executive Organizer
Simple Solution Organizing
Have you ever heard someone say, "My Supper Club group is meeting this weekend" and thought...that sounds like so much fun. I wish I were in a Supper Club. I hear this a lot from friends and acquaintances.
Supper Club is an important part of my family’s life. I have participated in various Supper Clubs for 19 years. The people, location, and “rules” have evolved but the sole purpose has never changed: spending quality time with friends on a regular basis. It all started when a good friend, Sharla, in Gulf Breeze, Florida suggested we start a girl’s and kids Thursday night get together at her home. Sharla had the nicest house of the bunch; it was very conducive to FUN! She had a beautiful swimming pool connected to her living room via a wall of sliding glass doors. We socialized, with cocktails in hand, while our young kids burned off energy swimming and playing. It was a welcome release for all of us. My friend’s and I talked about our week: the good, bad, and the ugly. Each week we rotated bringing an entrée and on occasion our husband’s would join us and other friends. We looked forward to it week after week. Lives change through the years and eventually our Supper Club fizzled out. We continued to get together sporadically; however, it was never quite as special.
My family moved from Florida to Georgia in the summer of 2003. Some of our neighbors invited us into their Neighborhood Supper Club in Athens, Georgia. Again, lives changed, people moved and eventually that Supper Club dissolved. A few of the original families are still getting together, month after month. These families are so special to us. Our kids have grown up together through our Supper Club gatherings. Our kids attend different schools and live in different neighborhoods but they are very good friends. Our kids look forward to Supper Club and often ask their parents, “When is Supper Club?” That really warms our hearts. Our last Supper Club, to date, was October 2014 and my family hosted. I had hurt my back in a Kick Box class the day before. I was in a lot of pain and considered cancelling but my son, Connor (11 years old), begged me not to. I am so glad that we did not cancel it. It was one of the best parties ever and we started a new tradition: sharing old photos of yourself from High School or younger. Many of us laughed so hard we were crying and I think someone in the group may have experienced incontinence.
Our Supper Club is unpretentious. We meet at people’s homes, parks, restaurants, bowling alleys, pumpkin patches, and any other venue that sounds inviting. The goal of our Supper Club is to meet and spend time together, the place and the food is really secondary. Two new families have recently joined our group. The decision to add new families was not decided lightly; it was given a lot of thought and discussion. Our group is pleased with our decision. Sure, there is more food to purchase and more kids running around but we are enjoying the companionship greatly.
Let’s talk about how to get started with a Supper Club:
A Coordinator is vital to the success. Look for one that is ready, willing,and able, to jump in and handle the details. One person has to be the planner and the communicator for the group. I send out a schedule for the year and families sign up for the month they want to host. This initial schedule may change but having a schedule helps our club stay committed. Here is a link to additional information about Supper Clubs The Daily Meal, Cooking Light Magazine, and they have an App for that.
The fun times continue in our group; we look forward to many more gatherings for decades to come…I hope.
Supper Club Coordinator
Chief Executive Organizer
Simple Solution Organizing