The holiday season is upon us! It can be a very exciting time of the year filled with family time, good food, & fun. Here are some ways to stay balanced this holiday season if you feel overwhelmed by all of your responsibilities.
Keep it Simple
There are so many things we do year after year because they are tradition, but are they things you actually enjoy or do you feel obligated to do them? This year, give yourself the gift of simplicity. Write down all of the things you do during the holidays. If those things make you happy, keep doing them. If not, feel free to let those traditions go. Tired of Elf on the Shelf? Tell your kids he moved to the Caribbean!
Order Your Holiday Meal
Preparing holiday meals can be fun for some people, but stressful for others. If you don't enjoy cooking, order your holiday meal & let someone else do the work; just heat & serve. Ordering your meal from your favorite local restaurant or store also feels good because they could really use your support this year.
Ask for Experiences vs. Stuff
One sure fire way to keep the clutter at bay & stay balanced this holiday season is to ask your friends & family for experiential gifts vs. physical items. Ask for a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant, winery, or museum. Better yet, ask them to join you on the experience to make it more enticing for them to support your wishes.
One in One Out Guideline
If your friends & family do purchase you physical items, you can use the one in one out guideline to minimize clutter. It works like this: if someone purchases you a sweater, choose to either keep the new sweater if you like it & purge one that you already own or donate the new sweater if you love the ones you own more. Don’t feel guilty about getting rid of a gift that someone gave to you. Simply appreciate their generosity & let it go to someone else who will love it more than you do. You will appreciate that your closet is not more cluttered!
This guideline works well for children too. If they receive 5 new toys, give them the choice to keep those 5 new toys & purge 5 old ones or just keep the old ones. You will be giving your children the gift of making choices & learning how to minimize clutter before they reach adulthood.
Schedule in Some Time to Relax
We may want & need to relax, but somehow it can be challenging to carve out time for ourselves during the holidays. Embrace relaxation this season by getting cozy in front of a fire, taking a bath, reading a book, or doing whatever makes you feel relaxed. I’m sure we can all agree that 2020 has been quite the year, so let’s ease into 2021 with a fresh perspective and a feeling of balance.
It’s time to transition from the warmer, summer weather to all the cozy things that fall has to offer. Here are some tips to help you get organized during this time of transformation & change.
Rotate Your Clothes
If you’ve never been one to rotate your wardrobe before, this is a great time to start. It will make a huge impact on the amount of things that you have in your closet & it will help save time when you get ready in the morning.
The first step is to declutter & donate the summer clothes that you never ended up wearing this year or that you no longer enjoy. Then, store them in closed bins under your bed, in your garage, or another dry area.
Now that you have the summer items out of the way, it is time to declutter & donate fall clothes that you no longer like or that no longer fit. This includes fall accessories: gloves, hats, scarves, & shoes.
Hang or Fold Sweaters
Folding sweaters & putting clear shelf dividers between them is a great way to save space in your closet. Alternately, you could hang them up. Save your drawers for smaller items to maximize space.
Invest in Matching Hangers
Matching hangers can have a big impact on the way your closet looks & functions. It can instantly elevate your closet to the next level & make it easier to see all of your clothes at a glance. Some of my favorite hangers to use in clients' homes are wood, black, grey, or white. I usually purchase them from The Container Store or Amazon, but there are thousands of choices out there, so you can achieve the look that you want.
Place Accessories in Bins or Baskets
Accessories have a way of taking over closets & making it more difficult to find what you want. Open or closed bins & baskets can help you organize your accessories into categories, which saves time when getting dressed. I designate a bin for each type of accessory: gloves, hats, scarves, belts, etc. My favorite fabric lined baskets are the Montauk Woven Storage Bins from The Container Store. I also like the clean look of the Coiled Rope Basket from Target.
Happy Organizing & Welcome to Fall!
Home organization has been a hot topic the past few years. In light of this trend, TV producers have launched some new shows about ways to makeover your home. I’d like to highlight a few recently released shows that have inspired change in homes across the world. Maybe you will find the inspiration you need to make the first step toward organizing your home!
1. Get Organized with The Home Edit
The most recently released show is called, Get Organized with The Home Edit, which aired on Netflix on September 9th, 2020. Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin are the owners of The Home Edit; a Nashville based home organization company. Each episode features them transforming a celebrity’s home & a typical client’s home. They bring their big team of employees to each home to edit, categorize, & contain the items. This show highlights the categorizing & containing steps of the home organization process. The end result is a functional, organized, lovely space.
Clea & Joanna are well known for using rainbow as an organization system. Just prior to launching the show they created some home organization items in partnership with The Container Store, which have been flying off shelves since the show aired!
2. Hot Mess House
Cas Aarssen, an Ontario based home organizer, launched her show, Hot Mess House, on HGTV on June 24th, 2020. The show highlights how a virtual home organization session works as Cas coaches families on ways to edit, categorize, & contain the items in their homes via Zoom.
She “meets” with families who need help organizing a room in their home, gives them homework to do between virtual sessions, & she provides organization containers that the family puts in place while she coaches them along. The end result is a lovely, clutter-free space where the homeowner’s can relax & thrive. An added bonus is that clients feel confident that they can change their own space.
3. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo is most well known for her best-selling home organization books, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up & Spark Joy. Marie grew up in Japan & she tells stories about how she organized even as a young child.
Her show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, launched on Netflix on January 1st, 2019. It highlights the editing & categorizing aspects of the home organization process. She enters client's homes & shows families how to declutter by category rather than by room: clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous, sentimental. The end result is a home that only has things that bring her client’s joy. Marie believes that people should be surrounded by things that make them happy, so they can feel more relaxed & calm.
All 3 shows may inspire change in you! If you are feeling unhappy with the clutter in your home, you are ready to move forward, & you don’t know where to start, a home organizer can coach you through the process. It makes home organization less stressful & more fun when you have an organizer by your side!
Well, it's official: distance learning is really happening this school year for most families. Maybe it's not quite what you wanted or expected, but it is coming soon. Here are some tips to help you stay balanced, so you can thrive!
Set Up Your Home Classroom
Before the pandemic, your child was most likely going to school in a preschool, elementary, middle, or high school classroom. That environment was set-up to support learning. When your child entered that space, it sent a clear message that learning would take place there. That is what you are trying to replicate at home.
Find a space in your home that is quiet, has limited visual distractions, is organized, & has natural light if possible. A home office, dining room, basement, or a playroom are some common areas where I have helped clients’ set-up their home classrooms. But, the options are endless. If you will be working from home, you may need to set up a work station for yourself in the same area to help your child stay on task & to answer questions as they arise.
Consistency is key with children, so try to have school in your home classroom every day to help them understand that they need to follow your school rules when they are there.
Follow a Daily Schedule
Children thrive on routine & structure! Try to establish a daily morning routine to set your child up for success at school. Wake at the same time, eat at the same time, complete self-care at the same time, then enter your home classroom at the same time each day.
Children are used to following daily schedules at school. It helps them relax & get ready to learn when they know what is expected of them & they know what will happen next. Most adults feel more focused when they follow a schedule as well, so it can be good for both of you!
You child’s teacher will most likely set the daily school schedule or you may need to take on that responsibility. You will learn this during the first week or two of school. Either way, print out a copy of the schedule & go over it with your child at the beginning of the school day, so they know what will be happening.
Take Movement Breaks Throughout the Day
Everyone needs movement in order to focus & stay healthy. According to the CDC, incorporating movement into your child’s school day may also help reduce disruptive behavior, increase motivation, & improve academic performance. Plus, it adds some fun, variety to your day.
Some movement ideas for your home classroom space are yoga, jumping jacks, jogging in place, jumping on a mini trampoline, push-ups, sit-ups, or dancing. During recess & PE you can go for a bike ride, walk, hike, play soccer, run, or set-up an obstacle course. This movement will help you unwind & boost your energy as well, so have some fun together!
Keep All Your Passwords Together
There are so many passwords that you will need to keep track of for distance learning! There will likely be a password for your child’s electronic device, a password for the learning platform, a password for each learning app, a password for Google Classrooms, etc.
It will save you so much time if you keep all usernames & passwords in one place. If you like paper, write them down & hang them on the wall in your home classroom. If you like technology, download a password app like, LastPass, & enter in all of your usernames & passwords there. Believe me, the last thing you want to be doing is searching for passwords when your child is supposed to be in a virtual meeting with their teacher & peers!
Be Kind to Yourself
The most important piece of advice that I can give you, is to be kind to yourself. This is a strange time & distance learning may be new for you. Heck, it’s new for me too! Be patient with yourself, speak kindly to yourself, & make sure you schedule some time to care for yourself. It can be challenging to keep track of all the things.
I will be on this journey with you. I will post tips for you on my Facebook & Instagram pages as the year unfolds. If you need help setting up your home classroom, I offer Distance Learning Home Organization Sessions. We can do this together!
Organization can be a cringe-worthy word for those who have a project, but don’t know where to start. This is the most common challenge that I hear from my clients, “I’ve wanted to do this project for years, but I just didn’t know where to start.” If this sentiment resonates with you, then you will be happy to hear that getting organized has many benefits that will help you feel better!
1. Increased “Me” Time
This is very important to most of my clients: busy parents & professionals alike. It feels like there is “not enough time in the day” to take care of ourselves with all of our obligations.
Getting organizational strategies in place can help you structure your day to win back some “me” time! Whether that is reading, exercising, meditating, or simply going to the store alone; it all feels good.
Self-care is essential to our health & wellness. A Life Organizer can help you sift through your daily clutter to figure out what is important & what you can purge from your schedule, so that you can enjoy some time alone. I personally love alone time!
2. Reduced Anxiety & Stress
A study published in Current Psychology found that clutter can negatively affect mental well-being. Clutter can also increase levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
We all know this, we feel it when we have incomplete projects, clutter, & “to do” lists a mile long. The good news is that getting organized can make us feel accomplished, relaxed, & happy!
A Home Organizer can help you tackle those projects that cause you stress & help you create habits that can be sustained over time.
3. Increased Productivity
Do you ever start your morning with such good intentions to get things done, but end up feeling like a hamster in a wheel as the day unfolds? We all do, the key is to know how to get out of that wheel & take control of your day.
A Life Organizer can help you set goals & create a path to accomplish those goals, so you can be more productive & feel more balanced.
4. Increased Energy
Spending just 10 minutes a day organizing is enough to boost your energy & make you feel better according to WebMD! There is a sense of gratification that comes with purging unwanted items; it feels as though a weight has been lifted & it allows my clients to move forward when they have been feeling stuck for so long.
The majority of my clients have said that Home Organization “is fun” as they see their space become less cluttered & they get excited thinking about what is to come. The “grand reveal” moment at the end of my Home Organization sessions is really energizing! It gives clients the confidence they need to tackle other areas of their home & life.
5. Improved Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation found that 66% of people sleep better when their bedroom is clean & organized. Further, making your bedroom a sanctuary that is designated for rest can help you fall asleep faster.
A Home Organizer can transform your room into a cozy, soft, warm, & luxurious space. Goodnight!
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Your Home & Life Organizer