Monthly Archives: January 2019

How the ‘One Touch Rule’ Saves Me Time

The one touch rule of organizing: touch each item only one time before putting it away

How often is your family asking you where something is or where it goes? If your house is like mine, it’s pretty often! It’s so important to have a home for everything. Then everyone knows where to find it…and more importantly, where to put it away!

When everything has a home, it’s second nature to put it away. It doesn’t get stuck in a temporary home, becoming permanent clutter. Imagine your kids know exactly where their hockey bag is or where they should put their bake sale reminders for you to see.

The ‘One Touch Rule’ means everything gets put away the FIRST TIME you touch it. No more paperwork piling up on the kitchen counter. No more unfolded clothes sitting on your closet floor.

With the ‘One Touch Rule,’ those “I’ll deal with it later” stacks disappear. Go through the mail as soon as you get in the door (junk mail recycled and magazines onto the bedside table). Put away the laundry as soon as the dryer dings.

I’ve previously talked about how it is easier to keep up than to catch up. The ‘One Touch Rule’ is the perfect compliment. When you only touch it once, there is no chance for anything to pile up. You save so much time when you’re not spending 45 minutes each week going through a week’s worth of junk mail or cleaning up the playroom. You’re already keeping up.

If you want to hear more, feel free to contact me at organizingcu@gmail.com.

Space Limits – What they are and why you need them

Space limits: What they are and why you need them

You know that notification that pops up when your phone is running out of space and it demands that you remove an app or two before letting you save anything more? Space limits are the same thing, but in your home. It helps prevent that clutter creep, which can quickly become permanent clutter.

Space limits are restrictions on how much stuff you can keep in a certain area. In our house, we have space limits on clothing. We have 100 hangers in our closet (I didn’t count). Once we are out of hangers, I will not buy any more hangers – it means it’s time to purge some stuff out of there if I want to bring in any new clothes.

It is so easy for toys and clothing to explode out of control, especially after a holiday or birthday. Space limits make it so you can easily tell when you have too much of something. We have a couple of bins in our playroom for toys. If they’re full, we know it’s time to ship some toys to younger relatives or Goodwill.

You can do the same for your kitchen. Keep only a couple of items on the counter top and banish the rest to cabinets. Only the things that fit in the cabinets are kept. When you get new big items, it’s time to purge some of the older stuff that you don’t use.

Especially those of us that have small homes or children, you really need to keep your incoming items in check. Making a routine of it will make it easier to keep the house organized. That would make any new year a good one!

If you would like me to come help you define some space limits in your house, contact me!

How (and why) to Say No

No is a complete sentence. How and why to say it

Since it’s January, it’s time to determine priorities and decide what is going to be important to us this upcoming year. It may be to slow down and try to be present during your family time. Maybe it’s to take some time out for yourself

I get it. I’m a people pleaser so I can 100% understand the desire to try to be everything to everyone. However, as I have learned, you can do anything, but not everything. 

You have to learn how to say no to those things you don’t have time to do (or that you just don’t want to do!). Here are some ways I’ve learned help lessen that “No” blow:

  • I’ll have to check my schedule.
  • I want to help, but I’m pretty full this month. Can you reach out again soon?
  • I promised my husband that I would not tackle any more projects right now. 
  • No, but I can ______________ (give an option that you are willing to do).
  • No, but ______________ may be interested in helping.
  • No.

That last one may be startling to say the first few times, but you are allowed to just say no (or “no, but thank you for thinking of me” if you’re very polite!). “No” is a complete sentence. You do not have to explain yourself. 

It’s so important to guard your time. How often have you felt stuck doing stuff you don’t want to do only because you thought it would seem bad if you said no? Don’t let that feeling rule your calendar and your life. Don’t say yes to things you don’t want to do. 

Making yourself and your family a priority is the most important thing you can do. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year that your cup overflows!

Contact me if you need help getting your priorities in order.

New Year, New Priorities

With the dawn of a new year, it’s time to look back at the last one. Maybe you want to make some changes and make resolutions to clean out your closetslow down or get your paperwork in order.

Resolutions start with determining your priorities and choosing what is going to be important to you this year. If it’s important to you, you choose to make time for it.

Take a look at your calendar for the next month and decide what is worth your time. Make a list and write down everything on your calendar for the next 30 days. Next to each entry, number the importance of doing it with 5 being ABSOLUTE MUST (non-refundable airline tickets) and 1 being a “I sort of said I may be interested” (PTA cookie exchange). 

Next, put a plus sign next to the things you are really looking forward to (girls only brunch) and a minus next to the blah stuff (oil change).

Obviously, the 5+ are the things that are important to you that you love, but check if there are any 1- or 2- on your list. Maybe you can outsource some of those tasks. There are people (and apps!) that can help with cleaning, cooking, preparing taxes, laundry, organizing, grocery shopping. Many of them are much more affordable than you think. 

Also, give some thought to your household chores. Is there anything you hate doing? Maybe your spouse doesn’t hate it and you can trade it for a different job. Hate folding clothes, but don’t mind doing dishes? Suggest a trade, even if just for a week or a month. You may be surprised at how much the annoying little tasks you dislike can add up in a short time.

The new year is a great time to really think about what is important to you and how to determine what you are going to say yes to! Contact me if you need help getting your priorities in order.