Archive for Inspiration & Motivation

Networking for Introverts

Iintrovertsf you are an introvert who hates business networking, this blog post is for you!

I recently attended my annual National Association of Professional Organizers conference, NAPO2017, in Pittsburgh, PA, where I presented a session called Networking for Introverts. It was inspired by Susan Cain’s 2012 TED Talk, The Power of Introverts.

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Do you organize the right way?

organize right wayWhen faced with a pile of papers, or a closet full of clothes, do you struggle with how to organize them? Do you sometimes procrastinate because you are afraid of doing it wrong?

In this context I am using “organize” synonymously with “categorize”. The process of creating more space in your life also includes purging the things you no longer use, need, or value.

Let me give you some examples. I will suggest a few ways to organize and let you guess the right way.

Insurance Papers: File by Home, Auto, and Health? Or, by Farmers, AAA, and Blue Cross? Or, lump together under “Insurance”, as suggested in How to Create Your Own Simple Filing System?

Clothing: Hang together by function (i.e. dresses, tops, and bottoms)? By color? By style? How about by outfit, or casual versus dressy?

Photos: Sort by date? By subject? By event? The standard digital photo renaming format is Year-Month-Day-Who-What-Where, but you may not need, or want, to use that level of detail.

Professional organizers sometimes lead an exercise in which individuals or small groups organize an identical selection of items such as LEGO bricks. Some organize them by piece type, some by color, and some by size.

Have you guessed the answer yet?

Q: What is the right way to organize?

A: There is no right way! The only way that matters is the way that works for you. In all cases it depends on your goals, how much stuff and space you have, and how your brain works. That’s why in Six Organizing Systems Everyone Needs I don’t tell you how to do it. I ask a series of questions designed to help you figure out how you want to do it. That’s because you won’t keep the system up if it doesn’t make sense to you!

If there IS a wrong way, it would be the way that is so complicated that you don’t use it. The more categories you have, the harder it will become, not easier, to find what you are looking for. It depends, of course, on what it is, and how much you have of it. Sometimes you do need more categories.

The right way for you might not be the way I do it, either. How organized am I? I’m organized enough, and not one bit more. My job, as a professional organizer, is to help you create the right organizing system for YOU!

Do you worry about doing it wrong?

Have you found the right way for you? Do you need help?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Copyright 2017 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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The egret represents freedom from clutter

freedom

Great Egret

People ask me why I have a stork for my business logo. Is it my fault that not everyone knows an egret from a stork? Granted, New Mexico is not exactly known for egrets, but I do see them sometimes down by the Rio Grande.

Anyway, the egret that inspired my logo lived in Minnesota. Here’s the story:

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What are you worried about? Don’t worry; take action!

Don't worry. Take action.

Which path will you take?

What are you worried about?

I think we all worry sometimes, don’t you? We worry about our health, and the health of our loved ones. About our appearance, and how we measure up to others. About money, and how our businesses are doing. About whether or not we’re being good parents. We worry about (fill in the blank).

And what does worrying do to us? It causes stress, sleepless nights, stomach aches, arguments, etc., and sometimes it causes us to not enjoy life’s pleasures…..yes?

So, who am I to tell you to stop worrying?

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Getting Back on Track

getting back on trackHas your life been derailed?

Any number of things can throw us off track – travel, illness, a change in schedule at work or at home. Before you can get back on track you need to ask yourself the following questions:

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15 Ways to Make Chores Fun!

make chores funWho enjoys doing chores? No one, that’s who. But what if I told you there were ways to make chores fun? Or, at least, more fun than they seem now.

Chores include house work, meal prep, yard work, paying bills, running errands, grocery shopping, tidying up, cleaning, repairs, scheduling, and planning. Exercise — body maintenance — is a chore for many of us. I’m sure there are others. Let me know in the comments what YOU consider a chore, OK?

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Is Your Unfinished Project Really Worth Doing?

Unfinished Project BoxMy client and I are sorting and purging her belongings. We come across some fabric she has had for years. Decades, in fact. She puts it in the KEEP pile, saying, “I always thought I could make something out of this.” Not being a sewer, or a quilter, she does not otherwise have a stash of fabric she is attached to. I say, “Yes. You could. But do you still want to? Is it really worth doing?” It is a serious question about whether it’s worth it to HER, neither a judgment, nor an indication of whether or not I personally think it is worth it. And that’s all it takes. She puts it in the DONATE pile.

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The Trouble with Minimalism

Minimalist decor

Minimalist decor

Minimalism is a lovely thing… and it’s also a big can of worms. “At its core,” writes one of my favorite bloggers, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, “minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” So…identifying the things, people and activities that we most value. And clearing clutter. Sounds good, right?

So what’s the problem? Here are a few issues, as I see them: (more…)

Try This Simple Trick to Curb Impulse Buying

Stop! Think!

First, why do I want you to curb impulse buying? I really couldn’t care less about how much money you spend, or how much stuff you have. It’s your money, your stuff, and your life….until you call me for help, and then I care a lot! I care that you feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed to have friends over. I care that you are feeling broke and guilty.

Not all of my clients’ clutter is the result of impulse buying, but much of it is.

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Embrace the Clutter!

Embrace the ClutterEmbrace the clutter!

Why on earth would I, a professional organizer, say such a thing?

Well, think about it. What’s the opposite of embracing something? Fearing it? Ignoring it? Avoiding it?

Doesn’t it seem like anything you fear, ignore, or avoid persists? It doesn’t go away, it just nags at you. Doesn’t it? Maybe not every second of every day, but repeatedly and persistently.

Meanwhile, it usually gets steadily worse, not magically better. Right?

Why not embrace your clutter – and yourself, and your flaws – and make friends with them?

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