What to Do When Life Happens

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So what are we supposed to do when life happens?

During Transitions and Life Changes

Each time we go through a major life change…we experience a breakdown of our organizational systems. It’s inevitable—we are dealing with a new set of realities—and it takes time to process the information and to actually see what there is to organize.

Solution: Wait for things to settle a bit, so you have a clearer idea of your new priorities and needs, before setting up any new organizing systems.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

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Stop…and Relax!

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Stop!  Sometimes you just need to sit down, turn off all technological devices and relax!  Why?  Read these helpful thoughts from Oprah.com…

Speed of Life/Technology
Technology has sped up the pace of life, allowing us to work faster, learn more, do more, and be reachable 24 hours a day. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of pursuing every opportunity, but perpetual motion will burn you out.

Solution: Apply the brakes from time to time, and be willing to say “no” occasionally. Just because emails and calls arrive instantaneously, doesn’t mean you need to answer them immediately. Don’t be afraid to turn off the ringer on your phone, or the message alert on your email, and slow down to keep your life in order and calm.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/8#ixzz2Rt7hR6QF

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

How to Do Everything You Need to Do

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So…how can you do everything you need to do when you have a completely unrealistic work load?  Find answers at Oprah.com…

If you’re trying jam 20 hours worth of tasks into a 10-hour day, it’s going to be nearly impossible to stay organized. Who has time to clean up?

Solution: Track yourself for a week, noting everything you get done, as well as what you don’t. Then take a hard look to see what tasks on your list are superfluous. If everything must get done, get help. Consider delegating tasks to other family members, or hiring an outside service.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

To Level 2 and beyond!

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Congratulations!  You have successfully completed Level 1 of spring cleaning — according to Oprah.com.  Today we move on to Level 2 . . .

Level 2: External Realities

These are environmental forces that limit how organized you can be. Recognizing them empowers you to address the true source of the problem, and stop feeling like there’s something wrong with you. Identify the source(s) of your disorganization and use the solutions below to put them into perspective.

The “Other” Person

There’s nothing more frustrating than having your organizing efforts undermined or disregarded by someone you live or work with.
Solution: Whether it’s your spouse, child, roommate, co-worker, or employer, appeal to their own priorities by finding out what the clutter is costing them—your spouse may hate being late for work everyday, your child may be frustrated by losing game pieces, your boss may be embarrassed in front of visiting clients. Design systems together so you both have ownership—and they’ll be more motivated to put things away.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Does Organizing Make You Yawn?

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Does organizing make you yawn?  Hopefully not — after reading today’s blog!

Organizing Is Boring
Lets’ face it—organizing and putting things away everyday is a dull, repetitive chore.

Solution: Make it more appealing and fun by adding a sense of personal style. Get containers you love instead of withering baskets, broken-filing cabinets and leftover moving boxes. Don’t underestimate the power of pizzazz—it can make a big difference in whether you feel inspired to use and maintain your organizing system.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Up the Ladder We Go?

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Today we continue our April blog series – Spring Cleaning Tips!  Enjoy these suggestions from Oprah.com . . .

Storage Is Inconvenient
Is it too much of an ordeal to put things away? If you have to go climb a ladder, move a piece of furniture out of the way, or cross the length of your house just to put something away—you’ll never do it.

Solution: Store things where you use them to make them easily accessible. For example, if you do your bills in the kitchen, store your financial files and calculator there, not in the spare bedroom upstairs. Look for where your piles are and create storage there.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Spring Cleaning – More Stuff Than Space

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What do you do when you’re spring cleaning and you end up having more stuff than space?  Check out this helpful hint from Oprah.com…

More Stuff Than Space

If your closets, drawers, cabinets and shelves are all packed full—and you still have lots of surface piles—you’ve got more stuff than storage space.

Solution: You’ve got two options: (1) Lighten your load, or (2) Add more storage space. Make sure you’re using the space you do have as efficiently as possible. Find hidden pockets of storage between cabinet shelves spaced too far apart, under the hanging clothes in your closet, on the insides of closet doors. Maximize vertical wall space and look for dual function furniture (end tables, coffee tables and ottomans) items that feature storage.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Spring Cleaning – De-Clutter Time!

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Oprah.com has provided us with more helpful tips that will help us de-clutter our homes!

Items Have No Home

Simply put, you can’t put things away if there’s no place to put them. If items are piles all over the place, it is likely that you never designated a particular spot for them. In other words, the item has no “home.”

Solution: Take the time to assign each item a single, consistent home, e.g. hats always go in this basket; scissors always go in this drawer. Label everything so you’ll always remember where it belongs and easily find it when you need it.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Spring Cleaning – Living Room, Family Room and Dining Room

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Okay, so you’ve cleaned the bathroom, bedrooms and kitchen.  Now what?

2 P.M.–5 P.M.: Living Room, Family Room and Dining Room

Dust ceiling fans. Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Cleaner, prefers an extendable duster with a microfiber head that bends to a 90-degree angle so she doesn’t have to get on a ladder. It’s also useful for the tops of bookcases and shelves.

Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings.

Care for your couch. Sofas and upholstered chairs get tons of use. Yet, says Sim Fern, co-founder of Mod Restoration, a furniture-repair shop in Brooklyn, some people never clean them. Just because you don’t see stains doesn’t mean there aren’t dust mites present (they feed on skin flakes shed by humans and animal dander). Many Lowe’s and Home Depot stores rent upholstery-cleaning machines or carpet-cleaning machines with upholstery wands, which will give your sofa and chairs a deep clean.

Wash your lightbulbs. Give them a wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, since a dirty bulb emits 20 percent less light.

Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.

Clean and dust electronics. Spray compressed air into crevices. Then, moving from top to bottom, use microfiber or electrostatic cloths. Clean underneath speakers, stereos, computers, DVD players and TVs too. Wipe away from ventilation areas so you don’t push dust back in.

Sweep out your fireplace, storing unused logs.

Clean the carpets.

Order pizza for dinner.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Spring-Cleaning-Checklist-Room-by-Room_1/4

On to the Kitchen!

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Look at all you’ve accomplished in your morning!  Cleaning the bathroom, bedrooms and now on to the kitchen (better grab a quick bite to eat before you start)!

12:30 P.M.–2 P.M.: Kitchen

Clean the refrigerator and freezer. Empty the contents, store them in a cooler, turn off the fridge, and let the shelves and drawers come to room temperature before you wash them, since glass and ceramic parts could crack if they come into contact with hot water when they are cold. (You can move to the next task while you’re waiting.) Once they’ve warmed up, wipe with a mixture of 2 tablespoons baking soda and a quart of hot water. Rinse and dry. Go over the door seals with hot water and mild dishwashing liquid, and pluck out crumbs and other debris. Dry them well.

Degrease cooking appliances. Take off stove grates and other removable parts, and scrub them with soapy steel wool pads (if the grease just won’t come off, try letting them sit overnight in an airtight bag with a quarter cup of ammonia; the next day, wipe them with a clean cloth). Clean the oven. To get stuck-on food particles off the inside of the microwave, put a microwave-safe bowl of water with some lemon juice inside and heat it to boiling for 2 or 3 minutes. The steam will loosen gunk, and the lemon’s acid will help lift grease.

Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.

Wash surfaces and cabinets. The tops of cabinets and the fridge may be sticky from grease, so a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid will work best. You can also use the mixture in drawers and on shelves (and spray antibacterial cleanser inside the cabinet where you store trash). Pay attention to the utensils drawer and the pantry, since they collect the most crumbs.

Sweep, vacuum and mop floors.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Spring-Cleaning-Checklist-Room-by-Room_1/3