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That Defining Moment

That Defining Moment

That moment when you re-enter your home from a day out defines how organized your home will be and how organized it will remain (or not). That is the defining moment.

From groceries and mail to a briefcase or your children’s school and sports gear, chances are you are carrying things into your home each time you come back from a day of errands, work, or a trip. 

So, what do you do at that moment? Do you put things down, or do you put things away?

There is a big difference between putting things down and putting things away. If you needed to put everything away in your home right now, could you? 

The answer depends on whether everything in your house has a specific place to belong. Everything in your home should have a single, designated, permanent space where that item or category lives. Recognizing and following this principle may make daily life easier and more efficient.

You find everything easily when items have a permanent, specific storage place. It also facilitates putting things away since objects have a known space where they should go.

But if anything can go anywhere in your house, everything will go everywhere. So, day after day, this way of going about your environment will yield undesirable results.

When you “put things down for later” instead of taking the time to put things away, several things happen:

  1. “Later” never seems to arrive (it is not an actual date on the calendar!). Every day’s residue accumulates all over the house day after day.
  2. Your home becomes cluttered because clutter invites more clutter. It’s a vicious cycle.
  3. You can’t find what you need when you need it since nothing is where it belongs.
  4. Looking for things, you waste lots of time. Also, you spend money buying replacements for items you have but can’t find.

Then, one random Saturday morning, when the sun is shining and you feel great, you decide to clean up your place. You spend hours sorting through the clutter and finally putting things away. 

When finished, your home is manageable again, but you’ve spent the whole day cleaning up instead of being outside, enjoying the possibilities that await you. 

You are tired, sore, and frustrated. Yet, ironically, you conclude that being organized is a drag that intrudes on your life, preventing you from living your life. 

As a result, you put off “organizing” or “cleaning up” again for as long as possible. The senseless circle of events repeats itself.

What if you took a moment or two to put everything away (as in “where everything should permanently go’) instead of “putting things down until later” every time you come home? Your home would remain organized. 

If your home remains organized, there is no need to spend an entire day organizing later. Yes, it takes a few minutes every day, and it might take some time to make the practice a habit, but it pays off significantly. 

Besides, spending a few minutes daily to keep our environment organized is more manageable and less time-consuming than spending hours cleaning up or trying to find what we need.

The next time you enter through that door carrying all that “stuff,” think about it – It is a defining moment.

Got Swag?

Got Swag?

Think about the last time you attended a seminar, workshop, or tradeshow. All the stuff you brought back, where is it? What did you do with those binders, notes, notebooks, and product samples from a continuing education event or tradeshow?

You may come from the event and “put the swag bag down” for later. But if you did not have a concrete, immediate plan for it, “later” never came, and eventually, you got tired of stepping over that bag or moving it from one place to the other.

You decided to place it where it would not interfere with your daily life (i.e., where you could not see it anymore).

Swag Turns into Clutter

Once you can’t see that material anymore, it is out of your mind. It does not interfere with your daily life, that’s true. But that means that you forget about it. Hence, a new bag to clutter your space!

If all that stuff is out of your mind, it is unimportant to you, and you don’t need it.

But why did you gather that stuff in the first place? It could be an automatic reaction to grab anything free.

Make It Benefit You

Think of ways that material can benefit your present life, help you in your career, relationships, or whatever it might be. Then, decide on concrete, appropriate steps to allow that to happen.

This process takes intention and planning. It will not happen if you relegate that bag or binder full of notes and product samples to a place you won’t think about.

What To Do with It

Here are some examples of what that process of paying attention to that material might look like:

  • You took notes on the various seminars during the activity — to cement the knowledge in your brain, transcribe the notes by hand. Then, scan those notes and file the document in an electronic file related to the topic. If you have Evernote or the like, that’s another convenient way to keep your information handy and classified.
  • You received printed material you already know is valuable and want to keep — scan it and follow the steps described above. If you’re going to keep the paper copies, make a file.
  • You collected sample items — Are you interested in trying those items? Place them where you are most likely to use them and try them! Did you collect the items for someone else? Place the things where you won’t forget to take them the next time you see that person.
  • Were there recommendations about books, apps, or programs to try? — If you made notes on these, these interested you in the first place. Revisit each of those and decide what needs to happen for you to act on it if that still sounds like a good idea.
  • Do you have ideas to develop? — Don’t let it go to waste! Instead, assign a time on your calendar to make those things happen or list the steps needed to obtain that goal. Then, calendar those steps. What gets in the calendar gets done.
  • Business cards — Scan them or input the information with appropriate notes into your iPhone. Then, establish steps and dates to reach those contacts, explore possibilities together, and network.

Take Action

You can certainly come up with more ways to benefit from all the material gathered at that event. The point is to take action about those ideas!

You paid money to attend these events, and you invested your time. Don’t let that go to waste. Learn how to get the most out of these mysterious swag bags we love to collect, for they hold a wealth of possibilities!

7 Steps To Ease Your Pill Pain

7 Steps To Ease Your Pill Pain

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Let’s Simplify Pill Management

Whether you are a caregiver to an older adult or a mom managing a family who values wellness, you might find that administering pills can become almost a full-time job. But here are seven steps to ease your pill pain.

I want to share a system that can simplify pill management and increase consistency in everyone’s taking meds and supplements.

The secret is the pillbox!

What You Need

 Here are some tools you might need for this process.

  • Pillboxes with morning, noon, evening, and bedtime compartments are available here.

  • Label maker (optional)

  • Sharpie

  • A medium to large plastic bin or container – these Multi-Purpose bins work wonders. Also, here’s my favorite plastic box ever.

Follow These Steps

  1. Place all prescribed and OTC meds and supplements that household members regularly take in the plastic bin or tote. The amount and size of pill bottles on hand determine the size of your container or box. This step only happens once because this bin will become the forever home of ingestible medicines and supplements at home. You may benefit from a second plastic container for all OTC medicines NOT regularly taken, like cough syrup, painkillers, allergy medicine, etc.

  2. Write the name of each person (or initial) who takes each medication on the bottles’ lids. Include the intake frequency of that product. For example, “M 1-am / 2-pm” indicates that person “M” takes one of those pills in the morning and two in the evening. Repeat this process with all bottles for easy identification at a glance.

  3. Assign each person taking medications or supplements regularly a pillbox and label both sides of each pillbox with their name.

  4. Line all pillboxes on your counter or table and open their lids.

  5. Work by person – Select all bottles with someone’s name and place all meds/supplements they need in their pillbox, according to timing and dosage.

  6. Work by-product – If you’d instead work with one product at a time, distribute a medication or supplement into the pillbox of each person taking that product.

  7. Repeat the process for each person or per product bottle (depending on your preferred method).

  8. Close all pillbox lids when each box is complete with all medications and supplements for that individual.

**Devote 30 minutes to this task every week. Make it a commitment and calendar this activity!

Where and Why

Ingestible medicines and supplements are best kept in the kitchen, not the bathroom. The humidity in the bathroom might affect the product’s integrity.

Keeping medication and supplements in the kitchen makes sense because we ingest these, usually with water or another beverage. The pantry or a cabinet in the kitchen are optimal spaces for these pillboxes and the bin with the medication bottles.

On the other hand, things we apply to our skin, hair, teeth, or nails go in the bathroom. This group includes rubbing alcohol, H2O2, antibiotic creams, muscle pain patches, cotton, gauze, bandages, etc.

It is simpler to take medications and supplements when we do not need to sort the product, open several bottles, and make the same decisions repeatedly, several times per day. It makes sense to streamline this process.

When medicines and supplements are in a single place, finding what we need at any moment is easier.

A central location for meds and supplements also facilitates knowing what needs reordering and when.

It also eliminates having multiple open bottles of the same product.

This process has an inherent accountability built in; it’s easy to notice when someone forgets their meds and when it happens just by looking at the pillbox. Thus, this system also increases the consistency in taking medications.

Make It Happen

These five steps described above will make it easier for everyone to take their meds and supplements consistently.

However, to make the system work:

  • Devote 30 minutes to this task every week.

  • Place this activity on the calendar as a recurrent weekly activity.

  • Make it a commitment.

Pro-Tip: Consolidate medicine when it arrives at your home. Usually, medication bottles come half empty. There is no reason to have several half-empty bottles of the same product, which takes up a lot of space and leads to expired medication around the home.

I Have (Absolutely) Nothing To Wear

I Have (Absolutely) Nothing To Wear

“I have nothing to wear” (sigh!) Is this what you say when facing the closet each morning?

We’ve heard it countless times — we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. It’s wardrobe fatigue (I totally made that up just now). But, yes, it does get boring.

And although it’s entirely possible to look well put together every day without repeating a single outfit in a year, I bet you have never used your clothing collection to its fullest potential.

Imagine approaching your closet, knowing what you’ll wear that day, convinced that it looks fantastic.

The Wardrobe Capsule

Susie Faux developed the concept of the “wardrobe capsule” in the ’70s.

The term referred to a collection of high-quality essential items of clothing that would stay in style to wear across multiple seasons.

According to Faux, a woman’s wardrobe capsule should typically contain at least two pairs of trousers, a dress or a skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit cardigan, two pairs of shoes, and two bags.

The idea was to update the collection with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new clothing items.

The wardrobe capsule makes the closet more manageable and enjoyable using better quality, fewer clothing pieces.

In 1985, American designer Donna Karan made the capsule concept famous when she released her “7 Easy Pieces” collection.

The capsule idea has evolved these days – Instead of limiting the collection to 7-11 items, the current capsule limit is about 30 items, including shoes, handbags, and accessories. (It’s still an improvement from the two or three full closets many women own!)

The Stylebook App

A couple of years ago, I discovered an app called Stylebook. Stylebook is your closet in virtual format, at your fingertips.

It starts with cataloging pictures of your clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories so that you can combine these into infinite outfit possibilities.

The images that populate your virtual closet come from your closet, online stores, social media, and other sources. However, no matter the source, each clothing piece looks magazine-worthy. The app makes the image-gathering process effortless.

Once the wardrobe is uploaded into the app, you may record details about each piece for future reference (fabric composition, color, size, brand, how to launder it, and more).

Stylebook helps you prepare packing lists for trips, keeps statistics on the styles and colors most worn, and even has an outfit calendar planner, eliminating the chance of repeating outfits within the same social groups at the same gatherings. (Yes, I know!!)

Befriend Your Closet Again

The Stylebook app removes the boredom of wearing the same things over and over or the same way and eliminates the stress of getting dressed.

Including all your clothes, shoes, and accessories in the app takes some time — it is the most time-consuming part.

But once that part is complete, it’s easy to get addicted to playing with the many possibilities the closet holds.

Every person who invests time, effort, and money in organizing a closet deserves to get on board with this app.

The Stylebook app works for men and children alike.

Check it out! And if you need help getting this going for you, reach out to us. We’ll be thrilled to help you with this project.

The Mess The Organizer Made

The Mess The Organizer Made

What could be the mess the Organizer made? Allow me to explain.

People overbuy for many reasons and often end up with so much stuff they can’t see what they own. Other times, it’s a matter of not letting go. But whatever the reason, there’s usually a severe problem with space, although the problem lies in how much stuff we accumulate.

There is a need to fill every inch of space available. When there are available drawers in a spare room, they get filled with the most random collection of things because of open storage space.

What We Find

Too often, clients call us to organize a room in their home and insist there needs to be more storage space in the area they want to manage. 

But upon assessing the project, almost invariably, we realize three things:

  1. inefficient use of the space
  2. the space contains unwanted things that have not left the home
  3. much of what the project space includes does not belong there

No wonder there is no space for what does belong in that area.

Once unwanted items are out of that area, and we allocate and organize what is to keep, the client marvels at all the space they have.

But then they turn around and see the mess in their living room. 😂

Okay, So This Is How It Happens

No one expects to end up with a mess in other areas of the house when they engage an organizer to work on their home. That’s for sure.
During the organizing process, what we remove from an area of the home accumulates somewhere else while we work on the project’s primary goal.

Once we organize the project area, whatever is out of that space will require some decisions – what stays, what goes, and the best place to allocate what remains.

Often, we need to repeat the organizing process in areas of the home the client did not contemplate in the project initially. If things removed from one space are to be kept but belong to another area of the house, we need to find the proper space for them wherever they should go.

But when there is no evident storage space for these items where they belong, we must discover or create such storage space. And for that, the whole process repeats itself (remove what does not belong in the other areas and what might be unwanted/unused).

It Always Works Out

As Organizers, we want to delight the client, take care of everything, and leave their home looking perfect. And we know it will all work out in the end. (Because it always does!)

In the meantime, invariably, it’ll get worse before it gets better. So, take a deep breath and play along. The mess the Organizer made will go away.

A Real Case Example

See this example. The first picture is the living area “before.” The second picture is the living room after organizing the first three bedrooms. It might seem as if the pictures are inverted, right? That’s the mess we made! But here’s the other thing: often, a home’s chaos seems contained and controlled. You might not see it, but the clutter monster lurks behind closet doors and inside drawers.

The Mess The Organizer Made - Before Picture

The Mess The Organizer Made - After Picture???