Clear the Clutter

Organizing in 2017

hot mess

Monday morning and it is time to start another week…. or are you one of those people who are off for Martin Luther King Day?

Today, I am going to talk about organizing.  I’m sure there are one or two of you who have it on your New Year’s Resolution list, right?  Honestly, I can be a “hot mess” despite my best efforts to organize. You would think having a business with AMAZING organizational products I would be organized, right?

A two floor condo allows you certain perks – I am sure these are not in the sales brochure. The first floor of my home is always neat with some dust bunnies taking up residence. Most days they feel safe but there are occasions when they should fear for their life.  Things are put away for the most part.  There are certain areas – like the coffee table which has become a tiny office for hubby since I have claimed the lower level of the condo.  He has small, neat, “organized” piles.  The basket of bills in the foyer is now under control with the new system of sorting as the mail comes in the house.  Hubby is a once a month bill payer so the basket gets cleaned out then whether it needs it or not.  We have the “lived in look” as far as decorating.  I believe (finally) people stopping are here to see us not how clean (or messy) our house is, right? A girl can dream…..

Then you go to the second floor which consists of the family room, my office and Belinda’s bedroom. Yes, it will always be her room even though she is grown and married.  Lately, I have been thinking (the first step, right?) on what is the best way to organize the family room AND my office so it works for me and my business.  I mean, I am the one who spends most of their time down there, right? I have an “organized mess”. I know where things are but I am sure the set-up is not efficient and costs me a lot of time when I am looking for something.  Have I described your home or office?  Maybe you have small children or you work from home too.  Whatever the case, there is always room to get more organized.  Of course cleaning out (tossing and donating) stuff too helps.  I am doing it a little bit at a time.

Enter home organization products from Thirty One.  Here are some of our amazing products in various settings:

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Clever uses for our Large Utility Totes… they are not just for the grocery store or for keeping things from rolling around the trunk of the car.  They are also a great way to store thing son shelves – sports equipment, sheets, blankets, towels, beach stuff… you get the picture, right?hero-2

Stand Tall Bins is a great solution for sorting laundry. The Square Storage Bin (retiring as of January 31st) can hold blankets and large pillows in the living room for easy access when the kids (or you) need them.

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Do you have a playroom for the kids or does their bedroom double as one?  Why not try our cubes to hide the “little things” and the NEW Hang It Pocket Organizer for papers and “stuff”.  The Your Way cubes and the Your Way rectangles are in my office to keep all of my “stuff” close and neatly put away.

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Does your pantry need help? The chalk fronts on some of the Your Way Cubes and Rectangles let you mark what is in them and then wipe off and change it to something else.

How have you used our “home organization” products to help your “hot mess”? Share YOUR creative uses for our products and how they have helped to transform YOUR crazy household. Who knows I or others might even be inspired.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Clear the Clutter

A New Year, A New Closet

15781155_10208468036846971_1206639155970620493_nDo you know what today is?  Yes, it is HUMP DAY!  For some it may be a short week since many places considered Monday a holiday, I can almost guarantee many are focusing on their Resolutions.  I am always trying to get organized….Yes, this bag lady can help the messiest get organized but she still struggles with her own hot mess

Whether you are a fashionista with a perfectly color-coded closet or a man who wears five of the same type of shirt every day, chances are your bedroom and closet could benefit from a good cleaning and reorganization.  Here are some tips to help in you tame the messiest of closets

#1 GRAB A BAG AND A BOX

It doesn’t matter what kind of bag or box you use, the goal is to divide and conquer your cluttered closet and dresser drawers.  The bag will be for trash and the box will be for donations. If you think you’re going to need more than one of each, grab as many as you need.

#2 PREPARE YOURSELF

The secret to a good clean is ensuring you have everything you need BEFORE you start.  Then comes the “mental preparation”.   Get yourself in the mood to clean out your wardrobe, put on some upbeat music to set the tone.

#3 DESIGNATE YOUR PILES

Now, put everything — and we mean everything —from your closet on the bed. That includes accessories, hat boxes, shoes and whatever is in your closet. Make sure the closet is empty.  Why the bed?  Well, isn’t it a great motivator to get things done since you won’t be able to go to sleep until everything is off the bed?

Sort the items into three piles –  “keep,” “trash” and “donate.”  My “keep” pile always gets put away in the closet or the drawers right away.  You may have a fourth pile — maybes. These are clothes you rarely wear but want to hold onto for some reason.  Once you are done sorting everything, go back through this pile  and ask yourself these questions:

Have you worn the item within the year?

Does it look better on the hanger than it does on you?

Could someone else use it today?

If you answer “no” on the first question, it goes into the donation pile. If you answer “yes” on the last two questions, it goes into the donation pile.

#4 MAKE YOUR BED AND FINISH UP

After you have narrowed down your wardrobe –  remove the trash and donation piles from the room. If it is left in the room, you may never get it to the trash bins and your favorite thrift store.  I put the trash right out and the donations go in the trunk of the car to be sure they get to the thrift store.

Here is a another tip from a friend, when putting all of the clothes back in the closet, turn the hangers the wrong way.  As you wear something, you turn the hangers the right way when you put it away.  At the end of the season (or year), any hangers still facing in the wrong direction – those items get donated.  If you haven’t worn the item in 6 months or a year, there is no need to keep it.

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What is your best tip for cleaning out your closets?  Share them with us or how about a Before and After picture….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Clear the Clutter

Organize and DeClutter

10421165_992666417439177_6682368440352179781_n  Over the weekend, I had a chance to participate in a “WOMEN ROCK” event sponsored by our local hospital system.  I was asked to focus on “Organize & Declutter Your Life”.  Okay, I was a little unsure at first but I found the discussion on simple solutions for your life a topic which interested a lot of women.

There were many conversations about Pinterest and magazines with the perfect organizational system.  Once the products are purchased and you actually take the time to set the system up, you find out it doesn’t work.  The visual in our head seldom matches what the project turns out to be when it is done.  Organizing systems need to fit your style or they won’t work.  We need to follow through with the system for more than a few days to see if it will work.  Have you ever heard the old saying “it takes 21 days to change a habit”?   The same holds true for organizing systems.

Here are a few of the tips I shared with some of the women who said their house was a “hot mess”.

#1 Start a New System—and Test-Drive It

Tackle one spot, let’s say the linen closet.  Rearrange the shelves to how you THINK you want them, then mark them with sticky notes. Live with the system for a week and make adjustments as needed. When you’re happy with the system, replace the notes with labels or boxes or totes, which will motivate you to maintain it.

#2 Clean Out Your Kitchen Tool Drawer

Let’s be honest, many of our kitchen drawers could also be called  junk drawers, right? Don’t leave me hanging like I am the only one.  First, we have lots of duplicate tools, do you really need 3 partial sets of measuring cups?  Whatever the kitchen tool, if you have duplicates – keep the one which works best, then donate or toss the rest. I have lots of rarely used pieces like a turkey baster or melon baller.  I can’t remember the last time I used them.  So, I have moved them to a bin on a high shelf out of the way.  Now I might actually find some things in the drawer.

#3 Pare Down Your Purse

Despite being a “bag lady”, my purse tends to collect stuff – old receipts, papers, to do lists and a mass of other things as the week goes on.  How many times have you been waiting in a doctor’s office, stuck on a long phone with a chunk of idle time?  Stick a clean, empty plastic sandwich bag into your handbag. When you find yourself with time, fill it up with non-essentials to trash or relocate later.8444565A0000

#4 Sort Batteries the Way the Store Does

Imagine having to dig through a box at the store to find the right size batteries to buy. Is this your setup at home, I know it is ours.  If we had some extra wall space, I would love to wall-mount and organizer inside the utility closet to keep AAA’s, C’s, and D’s separate and visible.

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#5 “File” Cookware (or lids)

Do you have cabinet chaos?  Are your pans stacked nicely but the lids are all over? Why not get a stand at the dollar store that holds files and “file” them in a file like organizer.  It can also keep sheet pans and cutting boards in check.

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#6 Give Your Desk an In-Box

Okay, I can see the eyes rolling already.  Maybe you have one and it is overflowing. I used to use a basket but things got buried and I seemed to spend more time sorting then I did actually taking care of things.  I use a Fold N File which has hanging files with tabs like bills, to read, donations, receipts, etc.  Then when I get ready to pay bills, they are all in one spot.  Seems basic, but the best way to rescue a buried desk is to funnel papers into a manageable system you can deal with on a regular basis. You can also use a file box but I find the most success with something on my desk and I can see when I pick up a piece of paper.  My theory is to touch it once – saves time and energy.3890213a

#7 Where is the manual (or the takeout menu)?

My hubby is forever asking me for the instruction manual for something.  So we now have them in one binder in the pantry closet. When we replace an appliance, the new manual goes in and the old one gets tossed.  Does your family do a lot of take out?  Why not do the same thing with the take out menus?  Don’t have that many?  How about putting them in a Ziploc bag and stash ’em – where else? – on the fridge or cupboard.

Let’s be honest, despite our best efforts, you can’t have everything in its place every moment of the day. But you can cut down on wayward stuff by giving it a defined space. What are your best tips?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Clear the Clutter

Kick the Habit…What’s Yours?

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Today is  what I am calling “Think About it Thursday”.

Are you ready to reach for your dreams?  So, what do you need to do? You need to be sure you are not stuck in one place.  How are you going to do it …… by not falling into one of these bad habits.  Thank you Ilya Pozin.

#1 – Being a Lone Wolf.  Is this an easy trap for you? Do you work well independently and in a group? What do you do to make sure you don’t isolate? To make sure I don’t fall into this, I brainstorm with other consultants (family and friends), looking for ways to play well with others (even those who push my buttons) and stretching my collaborative muscles.

#2 – Saying Sorry.  Okay, so how many of you find yourself apologizing even when there is no need?  I know I am not alone.  I am grateful for a hubby who asks “why are you apologizing” whenever there is no need.  Did you know “Saying sorry about every little thing implies you are constantly making mistakes, and can undercut your position in the office and with managers.”  I am guessing it works with my family, friends, customers and my team, too.

#3 – Taking on Every Project.  Do you want to take on every project? Are you ready to jump in when others share their success, figuring it worked for them so it will work for me?  I have done this often, personally and professionally, so I have crashed and burned on several things because it wasn’t for me.  Do you find saying the word “no” is hard? It is time to protect your time and talents remembering quality is better than quantity.

#4 – Being Negative.  Are you a Negative Nellie? I am grateful my hubby quickly point out when I start the morning with a rain cloud over my head.  Do you find most times when this happens, you are playing the comparison game?  The “what if” with Doubtful Debbie joining the party.  On the outside, I have a positive attitude rolling with the punches with Negative Nellie waiting to burst out onto the scene.

#5 – Doing Things the Way They’ve Always Been Done.  I know you have heard this before – “If you do the same thing all the time, you will get the same results”. So, if you are not happy where your business is at or you are not happy with your life is – CHANGE IT!  Not all changes will work, take it from one who has tried LOTS then crashed and burned.  But if you don’t try, you won’t know and just maybe, you will find a new approach to life and your business.

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#6 Being Disorganized.  Get organized and stay organized.  I admit on some days, my desk looks like a hot mess and on those days, I feel like I am spinning my wheels.  Some would say getting organized (or cleaning your office) is not joy producing so it should not take up a lot of time.  The truth is, if you don’t take the time to get a handle on the pile of desktop debris (or messy house), you may never build and grow in your business (or in your life).  Harsh words but so true because you are constantly spinning your wheels and getting no where.  Did you know “Every year, Americans spend on average nine million hours looking for things they’ve misplaced.”  Imagine how much time you have spent looking for things?

What is the bad habit holding YOU back from success in your business or moving forward in your life. If you tackle these habits head-on, you might just find yourself moving on up the ladder.  Share in the comments!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

How Do You Parent?

hot messWe are almost 3 weeks into a catalog change, about 1 week into an amazing enrollment opportunity and my office (not even just my desk) looks like a “hot mess”.  For those of you who know me, this is not good!  Health challenges, brain fog and “hot messes” don’t mix well.

I know, you are wondering what this has to do with my question, right?

My “time hop” reminded me of a workshop hosted by ETTW (Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women) where Caryn Chow was the guest speaker.

Caryn shared that we need to “apply the same skills to your business as you did to raising your children”. That got me to thinking that we need to do the same thing in our relationships.

Here is the acronym that she shared with us:

P = Patience
A = A lot of Love
R = Resilience
E = Endurance
N = Nurture
T = Time Out

In direct sales, this makes so much sense. Many of us think of our team as our kids. They need patience, encouragement and nurturing.  Just as my daughter taught me lessons as she was growing up, my team teaches me everyday.  Let’s be honest, these same characteristics are important in our relationships with other people, especially our spouses, right?

The question is,why is it sometimes much harder in our relationships then in our business?  Love is pretty easy.  In our marriage, we love our spouse or we wouldn’t have gotten married right?  Endurance to continue on even despite nah sayers.  Even when there are bumps in the road personally and professionally, we endure.   Nurturing seems to come naturally for most women. I mean, we take care of everyone else and seldom take time for ourselves, right?

Patience, now that can be a little tougher in both aspects of our life.  Why do we tend to lack patience with our spouse or in our business?  We tend to compare where we are in our lives with where others are in their life.  Social media – a love/ hate relationship that keeps us comparing ourselves with others!

The two things that I struggle most with are “time out” and “resilience”. Sounds crazy right considering that I have endured the roller coaster ride of life.  Taking time out for me (or family) is something that I have struggled with my entire  life. Workaholic Wendy steps in sending the message that I am only worth anything at work!  YIKES!! Did I say that?  Yes, I did.  With the help of hubby, I am learning to take time out to enjoy our moments together without work. Not easy but I am trying.

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly” or “the ability to spring back into shape“. Yup, that is me!  Bad business month, I spring back kicking it into overdrive.  I have to be careful not to become the “pushy salesperson” and just continue sharing the gift of Thirty One. The recovery process is a lot slower when Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie visit mostly in my personal life. The key is that I do snap back.

Here is another fun acronym

T eaching (telling them)
R ight
A ctions and Attitudes.
I nvolvement (showing them)
N urturing (caring for them)

Telling, showing, and caring– this triple helps you have a successful business and a happy marriage!  So, are you ready to be a PARENT and be a TRAIN-er ? I would love to hear others thoughts on this…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!