Archive for stress-free

The guest-worthy & stress-free home

Do you enjoy house guests? Or avoid them?

Is your home guest-worthy?

Does the thought of having people over cause a small panic attack?

In New Mexico the holidays start with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October! Many of us host visitors during that time. Some of us have friends and family who visit during the summertime, or during the winter holidays.

Even if no one’s spending the night, we might host parties and other celebrations throughout the year.

Or….we avoid company altogether because we are embarrassed about our clutter and our imperfect homes.

(more…)

Organizing to De-Stress Your Holidays (all of them)

De-Stress Your HolidaysWhat are “holidays” and why are they so stressful? A holiday is any special occasion, all year round, which involves extra preparations; extra time, money and energy; and extra people, families in particular. Examples include birthdays, weddings, religious holidays, and secular holidays.

Holiday stress results when you have unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. Sometimes it’s the family getting together that contributes to the stress, and sometimes it’s the fact that you’re not getting together, or can’t, whatever the reason may be.

If you can relate to this definition, keep reading for some tips that will help you reduce holiday stress in four major areas of your life.

(more…)

Do you follow proper wish list etiquette?

wish list etiquetteAre you reluctant to create a wish list because you think (or have been told) that it’s materialistic? Selfish? Rude?

Miss Manners may frown on wish lists, but Miss Hazel thinks they can be very handy communication tools, and a great relief to gift givers and recipients alike. In How (and Why) to Organize Your Wish List I focused on the mechanics of an on-line (Amazon) wish list, and provided tips such as to keep it updated, and to add a variety of items in different price ranges. This post about wish list etiquette applies to any and all forms of a wish list, including dog-eared catalog pages. Keep reading for a list of suggested DOs and DON’Ts for gift givers, gift recipients, and parents.

(more…)

How (and Why) to Organize Your Wish List

A notepad with wish list written on it isolated on a white background, christmas wish list

Do you have a wish list?

No? Why not? Because you are no longer a child writing letters to Santa?

That’s no excuse! Wish lists are a great way to de-stress the holidays and make gift-giving occasions easier all year long.

(more…)

No More Holiday Card Guilt!

No more holiday card guilt!I love to send and receive holiday cards! My Thanksgiving weekend ritual is to take inventory –while relaxing in front of the fire, with a glass of wine, snacks, and some Christmas music — of my friends, family, clients, colleagues, and those who have been helpful to me throughout the year. It’s a natural extension of counting my blessings. I use the cards I receive as decorations. In my Albuquerque home, my office is open to my kitchen, dining room and living room, so I tape them to my filing cabinet!

But the very last thing I want to do is to make anyone feel inadequate in the card-sending department! Who needs that kind of stress? Two friends posted on Facebook one year about receiving their first holiday card of the season. One wrote: “I love, love, love going to my mailbox this time of year! Doin’ a little dance!” The other wrote: “I think it is too early for sending Christmas cards. Maybe it bugs me because I haven’t even made my list yet.”

Here are my suggestions for alleviating holiday card stress and guilt:

(more…)

Getting Organized Once And For All

Organized For Life

So… what does “Getting Organized For Life” really mean, anyway?

Consider these three meanings:
1. Getting organized so your life will be easier, less stressful, more balanced, and ultimately more satisfying; so you can find your things when you need them, and get stuff done; so you can spend less time doing what you have to do, and more time doing what you want to do! So you can live your life by design, not by default. Less clutter. More life.
2. Getting organized…once and for all.
3. Getting, as in hiring, Organized For Life to come help you!

(more…)

Is Your Guest Room Guest Worthy?

Photo by Ron Behrmann

Photo by Ron Behrmann

For some folks Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday house guest season, but around here it’s October’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. People come from all over the world to participate, to experience, and to visit us in our homes.

Of course it’s nice to have a spare room devoted to only guests, but not everyone has that luxury. The guest room often doubles as an office, a den, a laundry-folding station, or even a child’s room, with the kids doubling up when company comes. But no matter where you put your guests, there are ways to make them feel more comfortable and make things easier for YOU, too:

(more…)

Clearing Mental Clutter

accept what you can't changeClutter comes in many forms. If you are worried about something, but aren’t doing anything about it — or can’t do anything about it — it’s mental clutter. For any persistent, worrisome thought, ask yourself: Can you do something about it? If you think so, or if you don’t think so, or if you’re not sure — think again just to make sure. If the answer is yes — you can do something about it – great! Do it! The pure fact that you are doing something about it will help you to not worry about it so much.

Why can’t you part with your mental clutter? Here are some reasons why this is difficult:

(more…)

How Can Less be More?

I have always struggled with the phrase “Less is more.”  I suppose I have taken it a bit too literally, thinking, “Less is NOT more. Less is BETTER, in many cases, but it’s not MORE, so why would anyone say that? “

But now, from an organizing perspective, I understand the phrase to mean that the less stuff you have, and the more organized it is, the more easily you can find it, make use of it, and enjoy it. Having access to more of your stuff is better than literally having more stuff buried under other stuff that you don’t even remember you have… right?

(more…)

Success Breeds Success: Finish Something!

A senior coworker once gave me a great piece of advice early in my corporate career. I was feeling overwhelmed and whiny about all the projects I had been assigned. I was paralyzed with indecision about what to work on next. What was his advice? Finish something. (more…)