Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Keeping your junk drawer organised

Just because it’s a junk drawer doesn’t mean it has to be disorganised!

Have a space for everything
Make this as general or as specific as you like.

Small stuff together, big things together, children’s things together, etc.

Use lots of dividers!
You can use an old cutlery tray, the bottoms of cereal boxes, etc.

Clear it out regularly
I like to put a bit of masking tape in the corner with the date when I last organised the drawer. This will also help if you have unidentified keys – you know if you’ve had them there for 6 months that you probably won’t use them ever again, so you can throw away.
This is what works for me.

How do you organise your junk drawer?

Monday, April 28, 2008

How to organise (2) - start with your worse area

This is going to be a brief how to organise tutorial answering the question "Where do I start?"
I thought it would be fun if you joined in and worked on something that's bugging you in your own home.

Start with the area of your home or life that bothers you the most.
If you can't bear to choose clothes every morning because your wardrobe is too cluttered, then your wardrobe is a good place to start.

If you don’t know whether you’re coming or going, and you constantly feel overwhelmed, then maybe you need to start working on your time.

If you don’t even feel like going into your kitchen, then you know that’s where you need to start.

The point is that it differs from person to person and also according to your situation.

Why do I say this?
1. You will be most motivated if you tackle your worst room first.
2. You tend to get results quicker.
3. Once you start, it becomes easier. And it’s kind of addictive once you get organised in one area.
4. You gain momentum!

Let me know in the comments if you're playing along and which area of your home or life you want to tackle first.

Over to you…

Next time
Your vision for your space

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Marcia interviews the Organizing Junkie

Hello all

I did a quick telephone interview on Thursday evening (South African time) with our favourite Organizing Junkie, Laura, who was so quick that she's already posted about it here.

Listen to the live audio streaming here...

We spoke about organising from a stay-at-home mom's perspective and chatted about...

  1. organising according to your children's personalities
  2. the ONE thing everybody must do to start the organising journey
  3. how she and her husband deal with their different organising styles :)
  4. how to recognise a Canadian through their accent!
  5. and a lot more

Yet it's only 18 minutes long because we are organised, people :)

By the way, please excuse me - I had NO IDEA I said "you know" so much!

Enjoy :)

P.S. If you want to download and listen later, the link is here

Friday, April 25, 2008

10-minute clutter hacks - OFFICE


Don't you wish you had more time to finally organise your office?

Sorry to disappoint you but opportunities rarely come along gift-wrapped in HUGE chunks of 2 or 3 hours :)

So what's the next best thing?

Using up the little bits of time you do find!

What are some of the things you can do in your home or work office in 10 minutes?

1. throw away all the dry markers and pens that don't work
2. tidy your desk
3. declutter a pile of paper
4. file a pile of paper
5. conquer your email
6. make a list of office supplies you need to buy
7. pay some bills
8. weed through a file
9. organise your library books
10. declutter your bookshelf

What other tasks can you do in your office in 10 minutes?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3 questions that will reduce your clutter by 50%

Flylady says you can't organise clutter and I absolutely agree with that statement.

One of the mistakes we all make is we try to organise the stuff in our home by buying storage containers, moving it around from room to room, and arranging it differently within the room.

I want to propose a different approach:

Before you even bring it into your home, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. can I afford it?
  2. do I need it?
  3. where will it go?

I've been asking myself, "where will it go?" for years now and just this ONE question has stopped me from many an impulse purchase. It's definitely working for me.

Write these 3 questions on a post-it note and stick it in your wallet.

If you have a clutter problem, next time you're at the shops, make sure you ask yourself these 3 questions before you buy anything. And if you've bought some things recently and you don't have the money or the space for them, return them!

Which other questions can you add to this list?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Organise your home in just 12 weeks

Is your goal for 2008 to get your home organised, once and for all?

You are not alone!

This is one of the top 3 things on most people's wish lists Every Single Year.

What would you say if I told you you could have your home completely organised in just 12 weeks?

You can!!!

I've taken your entire house and broken it down into itsy-bitsy sections so even the most overwhelmed won't get distracted!

Go here to check out the 5 valuable bonuses and to see if this is for you!

How to organise (1) - where do I start?

This week I'm answering the ONE question I get asked by clients more than any other question.
Marcia, I want to get organised but it's all so overwhelming. Where on earth do I start?

First of all, relax and take a deep breath.
1. Start with the area of your home or life that bothers you the most. If you can't bear to choose clothes every morning because your wardrobe is too cluttered, then that's probably a good place to start.

2. Decide what you want to have happen in that space. Do you only want clothes in your wardrobe, or do you want shoes and handbags in there too?

3. Declutter. You can't organise clutter. Get rid of everything that shouldn't be there. Some things need to move to other rooms and some need to move right out of your house!

4. Organise what's left according to your personality. Not everybody is a minimalist. Some of us need to surround ourselves with our treasures and that's okay. Your system works as long as you can find what you're looking for relatively quickly (within a minute).

5. Maintain. Last but not least, do a quick, 5-minute maintenance session in each major space every week so that your space remains organised.

In the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be posting on each of the points 1 - 5 above, so stay tuned.

Have an organised week!

Friday, April 18, 2008

10-minute clutter hacks - KITCHEN

Here are some more quick and easy tasks that we can do when we have a spare 10-15 minutes. Or even just during the commercial breaks while watching TV.

Remember you're not going to find big blocks of time to organise a room.

Start using the little bits of time that you DO have.

These are some tasks you can do in the kitchen:

What can you do in 5-10 minutes?

  1. load or unload the dishwasher
  2. if you do dishes by hand (like we do), pack the dishes away
  3. pack lunches for the next day
  4. write out your shopping list
  5. wipe down your kitchen counters
  6. sweep the floor
  7. mop the floor
  8. prepare the vegetables for supper tomorrow
  9. tidy a cupboard
  10. organise something

What are some other kitchen tasks you can do in 10 minutes?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

3 easy steps to grocery shopping

I LOVE grocery shopping.

I love browsing through the cleaning products aisle and looking through all the gorgeous fresh fruit and vegetables to see if anything inspires me to cook.

The only thing is it wasn't working for me.


Because it took FOREVER to do and I'd still get home without everything I needed and have exceeded our grocery budget!

So I changed a few things:

1. I eat before I set out the door
If you go shopping on a hungry stomach, you end up buying all sorts of rubbish, like chips, chocolates, sweets, doughnuts, etc. Not only that, I also noticed that I'd throw in other bits and bobs that were not on my list but somehow I justified to myself that I had to have it!

Anyone relate?

2. I plan my menu for the following week before I go shopping
I know exactly what I need to have to cook the meals on my menu planner, so I do a quick scan of my pantry cupboards to check the essentials, and then add things to my shopping list.

I then check to see if we have enough cereals, milk and yoghurts for breakfasts, fruit for snacks and milk, cheese and beef slices for lunches.

3. I make it into a game
I like to leave an hour total for driving there and back, and doing the shop. This has forced me to shop at a different time to the masses :) which is an hour before the shops close on a Friday night.

I also divide the monthly budget into 4 weeks and deduct some money for incidentals (bread and milk) during the week. Now armed with my budget, I see if I can get it all done and still come in under my target amount.

That's how I get it done and stay within my budget.

What works for you? Please share in the comments.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Menu plan Monday - 14 April 2008 & travelling light

Hi everyone

Things are cooking on the travel front!

Sandra and I have arranged some tentative times to get together when she's in South Africa and I'm back from the UK. Yay - can't wait!

Travelling light

On our confirmation emails I noticed that we're only allowed 15 kg (yes, only 15!!!) in the hold on the Ireland flights so my new plan is to travel to London with my full 23 kg allowed on British Airways, wear my oldest clothes in England, Wales and Scotland, and then throw them away declutter them before we fly to Ireland. That, together with offloading a few presents will definitely bring my luggage down to 15kg, don't you agree?

I usually bring EVERYTHING with me but I can pack light when faced with hefty penalties. They want to charge us 7.5 GBP for every extra kilogram! That, people, is a staggering R120 per kilo. Assuming we only have 23 kg, we'd pay an extra R1600 (that's my monthly car payment, so, um, no thanks!).

So what do you think of my plan?

Conquer your email

Have you registered for this email teleseminar yet? One participant will get a copy of Janet Barclay's new ebook, Maximizing your Time with Outlook!

This week's menu
Chicken rolls with salad

Pizza potatoes

Pasta with corn on the cob

Curry and rice (gee - this has been carried over for two weeks now)
This is week 5 of the How to become a PO group coaching programme

Friends over for supper - baked spaghetti bolognaise

What does your week look like?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Free Spring Simplicity call

Beth Dargis, my accountability partner, is hosting a FREE Spring Simplicity call.

Beth is an expert at helping to make your crazy life saner and simpler!

Date: Thursday 10 April
Time: 8PM EST
Where to go:

If you can’t make the call, you can still register and you'll get the recording.

But do try to be on the call live so you can get some spot coaching with Beth.

I can't wait to hear Beth's voice because even though we've been friends for about 18 months, we have never spoken!!!

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Where are you NOT organised?

I noticed that many of my clients are organised in at least one area.

Like their baking area is really organised because they love to bake and it's the rest of the kitchen that's disorganised because they don't care about that.

Because I am always on the lookout for information and have lots of projects on the go at any one time, I can get disorganised very quickly with paper. That's why I dedicate one night every week to sort out my paper. You see, I know my weakness but I'm not making excuses for it; instead, I'm using a system that works for me.

Then, of course, you know I'm super-organised with my goals and with my time. And, of course, with my business.

It's the same for my husband.

He’s the most organised person at his work which may be why he relaxes somewhat at home. Like with his diary and planning, he’s super-organised and then with clothes and home stuff not so much.

He is also a list-maker of note (top movies, top books, goals for the month, etc).

So where are you super-organised and where are you NOT organised?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

This week's hectic week and my menu

Hi all

Dion said to me this morning that I'm working too hard. I really listen when he says that because he knows I need to have lots on the go, so if he says that I'm working hard, then I'm really working hard.

Unfortunately, it's going to continue in one form or another until we get on that aircraft and jet off to London in...26 days! Yessss! In travel news, we have our internal UK flights also booked, from Edinburgh to Dublin, and then Dublin back to Gatwick.

There are some things I can't really change so I'm doing the best I know how, like...

  1. delegating one night's cooking to Dion
  2. eating out one night a week (this week, there's a wedding)
  3. being super-prepared with lunches

Conquer your email

Only a few days left to get $10 off the normal price for this email teleseminar. One participant will also get a copy of Janet Barclay's new ebook!

This week's menu
Malaysian chicken, pumpkin and rice

Dion's night
I will be doing a group PDM assessment with 3 people who want to find out their God-given passion

Mexican pasta casserole - healthy, veggie meal

Curry and rice (from last week)
This is week 4 of the How to become a PO group coaching programme

Dion's sister's wedding!!!

What does your week look like? Have a lovely week, everyone!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Do you have an evening routine?

One of the best ways to ensure you get a good start in the mornings is to have a good evening routine.

It's even more important if you're not a morning person like I am ;)

My evening routine includes:

  1. packing my work bag
  2. packing my lunch
  3. setting out my clothes
  4. getting the video ready to record Dr Phil and Oprah ;)
  5. tidying my desk
  6. doing a quick 5-minute tidy of the house, like taking mugs and glasses to the kitchen, etc.
  7. cleaning face, moisturising, etc.
  8. Bible reading and other reading
If you're not currently doing an evening routine, here's a quick challenge for you:

  • Start by writing out just 5 things you can or should do every night
  • Stick this list in a conspicuous place (if it's on a post-it note, better still)
  • Do it for just one night and see how the next morning runs SOOO smoothly

If you try it, you'll be hooked. And then you'll do it the next night and the next.

Do you do an evening routine? What's on your list?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

WFMW - organising my handbag

Today is a recycleable WFMW so what better time than to recycle and talk about one of my favourite things - my handbags :)

This is what I wrote last year...

I love handbags! Honestly – my mother used to tease me about it when I lived at home because I always had my handbag with me.

But you know what happens if you buy something that doesn’t suit your lifestyle? Everything is a mess and you can’t find anything in there.

By the way, I bought this one at House of Leather in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is a lovely versatile size and so is the colour. They also had lilac ones which were also stunning but I decided to go with this neutral colour.

So if I can, I try and choose a bag with the right amount of pockets. If you ever go into a handbag shop and you see a woman emptying all her stuff into a new handbag, that’s me ;) Because I want to make sure my diary fits nicely along with everything else .

The two bags pictured are absolutely perfect for me! I wish I had more exactly like them and I’ll tell you why now.

1. Two pockets – to separate the book stuff from the other stuff

2. The book portion has enough space for my A5 day planner, my small notebook and my business notebook (where I write my weekly business goals).

3. The other side has two little pockets. One for tissues, my little, orange calculator and a pen, and the other for my cell phone.

4. You can see my gorgeous, green wallet on the left, next to that my make-up bag and my blue pencil case.

So everything fits in beautifully.

Karen, here is the red handbag you commented on before.

But if I do use a bag with little or no pockets, then I use some see-through mesh bags (R12,99 for 3 different sizes at Sheet Street) to organise my stuff. It makes it so easy to find things and to change handbags.

This is what works for me.
Now, what does your handbag look like?