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September 30, 2009

Organizing Magazines

 

This post has moved to our new blog. Go to Organizing Magazines now.

 

September 28, 2009

filling in the blanks…

Painted-floor-plan

I spent virtually every waking minute this weekend painting, or getting ready to paint, or cleaning up after a painting project. But you know what (aside from my sore muscles from going up and down the ladder) it feels *so* good! To say that room needed a fresh coat of paint is the under statement of the century. Wow…what a difference! And the best part is this:  unlike my window cleaning project from a couple of weeks ago, this project will stay looking nice for much, much longer (though this time I will not be stretching the paint job for twelve years!)


I ended up choosing a nice shade of green. (Well, I think it’s a nice shade of green, anyway.) Green seems to be my new favorite color. It has always been my Dad’s favorite color…so maybe I grew up with so much green that green feels like home to me.

Color-choice-1

 

Anyway, it’s Castleton Mist or HC-11 from Benjamin Moore. I used their new Eco Spec paint which is Zero VOC and minimal odor. Oh my heavens, I seriously love this paint! It was the best. Literally it didn’t smell bad at all and it covered so well it was amazing! I have 1-1/2 gallons of paint left, it covered so well, so I’m going to be painting our master bathroom the same color. That room really needs a fresh coat, too, so no worries—it’s one less decision to make. First, though, I have to strip the wall paper border and figure out how to cover the discolored spots on the ceiling. That should be fun. Painting ceilings is always a laugh-riot, if you know what I mean.


I’m down now to one more paint choice to make…the hallway. Any suggestions? (The hall is that long narrow strip in the floor plan photo that connects one green room, to a pink one, a blue one, and another room in a different shade of green.) I’m thinking a neutral is a must…but which neutral? There are so many to choose from… Any ideas?


So that’s what I finished this weekend. How about you? Did you do anything fun, long over due, or in any other way completely rewarding? Hope you had a great weekend…I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.


In other news…I’m just days (if not hours) away from opening registration for Get Organized for the Holidays. This workshop is always one of my favorites because I get to lead the workshop and participate in it, too! Both of my kid’s birthdays fall during the holidays, so we take an already jam-packed season and fill it with even more fun and festivities. Being organized during this time of year is an absolute must for me, and sharing the season with my online workshop friends makes it all the more fun! I hope you’ll join me this year, too! I’ll let you know as soon as the workshop opens. By the way, the workshop will begin on November 3rd (with a pre-workshop assignment the previous week) so mark your calendar.


Also, registration for Organize Your Closet ends today…so sign up now if you’re still thinking about joining in.


Okay, that’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.

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P.S. Many thanks to my friend Stacey for helping me paint this weekend. I'd for sure still be up on a ladder if it weren't for you. :)

September 21, 2009

Move it Forward Monday

One of the concepts I talk about in my workshop forums (especially the Paper Clutter workshop) is the concept of moving projects forward. This is a tip I picked up from Mark Forster’s book Do It Tomorrow, and I find it to be extremely powerful, especially on Monday mornings.


My take on the concept of moving things forward is this. When you encounter a task (or project) on your to-do list that you resist doing, just decide to move it forward. Instead of feeling as if you need to do the whole task, simply do one step that will move the project forward. I do this on Monday mornings quite regularly. I use a weekly calendar, and on Monday mornings I carry over projects that are still in process from the week before. (Wouldn’t it be great if all projects were just a week long, and every week we could start on something new, and finish it by Friday?) Maybe that would be nice, but then again, maybe not. Some projects are fun and it’s nice to have them hanging around for weeks at a time. Others, it’d be nice if they could be wrapped up in about ten minute’s time. Regardless…there are simply things that we have to carry forward from week to week.


Do you find this, too—left over projects from last week that you need to carry over to this week? If so, instead of simply copying the tasks from one week to the next, make an attempt to move forward some of the lingering projects, especially those that didn’t see much forward momentum last week. Projects get done one step at a time. So today, see how many projects you can move forward, and see how this helps your momentum all week long.


Before I wrap for Monday, how about a quick weekend check-in? My weekend was much more about moving things forward than it was about finishing. Our quilt arrived for the master bedroom makeover (hooray!) so this weekend I picked up paint and fabric swatches. I’m hoping that next Monday I will be reporting the finish of a bedroom painting project…oh that would be so very exciting!


Because I wanted to keep the spirit of Finish it Friday alive, I did finish up the laundry last night. It’s always a great to start the week with laundry all caught up…even if it does only last for five minutes. ;)


So, let me know. What do you think of this idea of moving things forward? And what did you finish this weekend? I’d love to hear!


Happy Monday!

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September 18, 2009

11 Reasons to Organize Your Closet

I’ve been spending the week putting the finishing touches on my brand new workshop Organize Your Closet – A Quick and Simple Online Workshop. So, today, I thought it would be fun to share eleven reasons why organizing your closet is a rewarding endeavor, plus give you a bit of info about this workshop and the benefits of taking it. Sound fun? Let’s go.

Closet

Reason 1: The weather is changing and you want to buy some new clothes. And honestly, who could blame you. There is a strong association between the back-to-school time of year and buying new clothes. At least there is for me. But, you’ll save yourself time and money if you organize your closet first and shop second. You’ll know what you have from prior years that still works for you, and you’ll know what you need to spruce up your wardrobe for this year.


Reason 2: An organized closet saves you time. With an organized closet there’s no more hunting for that other black shoe, or getting 80% of an outfit on only to realize the missing piece is missing a button (or still in the laundry.) When your closet is organized, it’s simple to know what you have because you can see it all and reach it. This means getting dressed in the morning is a quick and simple endeavor. 


Reason 3: An organized closet gets your day started on the right foot. And who couldn’t use a little less stress first thing in the day?


Reason 4: You’ve been meaning to call a closet company to get a custom closet installed. If you want to upgrade your closet system, it makes so much sense to organize your closet first, as counter intuitive as that might sound. When you call in the closet company and your closet is already organized—filled with the clothes, shoes, boots, and other accessories that you really, truly wear—your newly designed closet will work great for you. Why design in forty-eight inches of dress-length hanging space if you only really wear two of the dresses hanging in your closet? Just think…all that space could have been used to organize and store your shoe collection.


Reason 5: Your closet is small so it’s hard to keep it organized. If your closet is on the small side, it is important to regularly go through your things and evaluate what you have and what you need. This helps keep clutter at bay, but also, once you go through the organizing process, you can purchase space stretching storage solutions with confidence, helping you make the most of your available storage space.

Sweater-shelf-2

Reason 6:  Your closet is big…and you know it’s filled with things you don’t really wear. While a big closet feels like the answer to all your closet organizing dilemmas, a big closet can become a clutter magnet. Did you know the average person only wears 20% of the clothes hanging in their closet? That 80% hanging there (or jumbled on the floor) is not being worn, it’s just cluttering up your closet and your mind. Clearing closet clutter frees up time and space, and when your closet is organized you’ll actually feel like you have more clothes…even if you really have fewer.
This happens to me every single time I organize my closet…and yet it always surprises me. How could it be that I just carted six bags of clothes to Goodwill and now feel as if I have more clothes than I did before organizing my closet? Here’s why…what’s hanging in your closet after you organize it are just those things you wear and love…and now you can see them and reach them just when you need them. It’s a truly great thing. 


Reason 7:  An organized closet feels good! Have you ever done this? You reorganize your closet and then give yourself excuses (for days, if not weeks) to just open the door and stare inside, taking in all it’s orderly glory? If you have…then you know first hand how great an organized closet feels. And if you haven’t…then oh wow…now is the time my friend! You have to experience this simple pleasure first hand. 


Reason 8: Organize Your Closet—my brand new online workshop—begins next Tuesday. So if you’re in need of an extra nudge to organize your closet, consider yourself nudged! This two lesson three week workshop makes it simple to organize your closet, determine what items to keep and what to let go of, and figure out what storage solutions will solve your closet organizing dilemmas—if you need any at all. Best of all, you’ll share your closet organizing journey with an online community of students who are organizing their closets, too, right along side of you, sharing their photos, closet organizing challenges, and generating ideas for you and your closet. (Oh, and I’ll be there to help, too.)  


Reason 9: An organized closet will save you money. An organized closet helps prevent “mistake-wear”—things you purchase that turn out to be big mistakes (and therefore just hang out in your closet reminding you of this past mistake!) If you prevent just one mistake-wear purchase this season, Organize Your Closet will pay for itself. The content in this workshop help you figure out not only what you need to keep, but also where to spend your money to make your wardrobe work for you. It will help you identify the holes in your wardrobe, so you spend your clothing budget wisely (and avoid mistake-wear.)


Reason 10: Organize Your Closet is being offered at a special introductory price. Or in other words, I totally blew it when setting the price for this workshop. For just $20 you’ll get two lessons (over forty pages of instructional content) plus a twelve page handout all about closet storage solutions and how to select the right ones for your closet organizing dilemmas. Plus, you get five worksheets and forms that take the guess-work out of organizing your closet. Plus, you get three weeks of online access to a professional organizer helping you every step of the way. (Yes, I’ll be out in the classroom forum throughout the workshop answering your closet organizing questions.) 

My goal with this workshop wasn’t just to tell you how to organize your closet, but to teach you the thought processes behind all the decisions that go into creating an organized closet. How do you decide what to keep and what to let go of? How do you figure out what storage solutions will stretch the space in your closet? These questions and more are answered in the workshop.


Reason 11: You can get started today! The online classroom for Organize Your Closet opened yesterday. This workshop includes a pre-class assignment which is now available. So…you can take the first steps toward an organized closet today!

September 14, 2009

Monday Morning Check In!

Ever since introducing Finish it Friday, I’ve been super motivated to finish up some projects around the house. I hope you’ve been feeling that same burst of energy, too! If so, here’s the place to share your weekend finishes. Can’t wait to hear what you did.


By the way, I plan to keep on doing this for a while…so if you didn’t join in this past weekend, make plans to join next weekend! Remember, you can finish anything that’s on your to-do list—an organizing project, a decorating project, a craft project, or even just making that one nagging phone call you’ve been putting off (forever!). There’s something super motivating about going that extra 10% and finishing!


Okay, here’s my list of finishes for this past weekend:

  • I found and ordered a quilt for our master bedroom! (Hooray…one step closer to painting, which I’m so excited to do!) Thanks for all the paint selection tips, by the way.

  • I washed all the windows inside and out, including the screens, window sills, and of course, the windows themselves. I tried the window washing formula from Mrs. Meyer’s book, and used newspaper to wash the windows, as recommended in the book and from some of you wonderful blog readers. I had to borrow newspaper from our neighbor, since we don’t get the paper ourselves, but wow, it was worth it. I tested newspaper versus washcloths midstream, and what a major difference the newspaper makes. It is faster, less streaks, and no lint. The only trouble I found was that it turned my hands black and that caused finger smudges on the white vinyl parts of the windows. This was easily washed off with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and the benefits of using newspaper outweighed this extra step. I think the perfect solution would be to get some unprinted end rolls from your local paper, if your local paper sells end rolls.  

  • I also washed, dried, ironed and re-hung the kitchen curtains and valances, which is the place where knowing I had to check-in and report what I finished this weekend really came in handy. Knowing I was going to be checking in truly motivated me to finish instead of leaving the ironing and hanging back up for today. Yay!


What did you finish this weekend? I can’t wait to hear!

September 11, 2009

Freshening Up with Paint

When Jay and I went house shopping, over twelve years ago, I thought I wanted an old home. It gets better. I actually thought I wanted a fixer-upper. Keep in mind, this was before kids, so aside from my love of transforming spaces, I was young, energetic and ambitious (not to mention foolish.) Honestly, I have so much respect for people who can live through a home renovation without losing their minds. I wish I could do it…but I don’t think I could. The midstream chaos would absolutely drive me nuts, nuttier than I already am on a good day. So needless to say I’m happy that we ended up with a new home twelve years ago.


The bad news is this…fast forward twelve years, and ironically, my wish has come true:  suddenly I have what feels like an “old” home just without the charm of built-ins, arched doorways, or exposed brick. Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize a twelve year old home isn’t truly old…but I also realize that many areas in my home are definitely in need of some serious freshening up. And other areas…well…they could use a complete renovation.


From years of magazine reading I’ve learned that one of the fastest ways to freshen up a home is with paint. So, I’m getting ready to do some (serious) painting. Our master bedroom and bathroom were the first rooms we painted in the house, and let’s just say my taste has changed in the past twelve years. Actually, my taste changed 12 minutes after putting the first brush stroke of paint on the wall in the master bedroom. I knew it was a mistake right then and there. But staring at the five gallon paint bucket filled with over a hundred dollars worth of periwinkle paint, I bit my tongue and just kept on painting. Little did I know I would live with this mistake for twelve years.


The other room in our home that desperately needs a paint job is the hallway. It still has builder white paint on it. Try not to picture that…twelve year old builder white paint that has survived two babies, two toddlers, and now two big kids, along with the abuse of three dogs (not all at one time), and two adult humans. Uh…it isn’t pretty.  


After twelve years of living with a paint color in my master bedroom that I don’t particularly like, you might say I’m a bit gun-shy about selecting a new paint color. I really want to get it right this time…and well, that added pressure is verging on perfection paralysis.


The best thing to do when you’re feeling paralyzed is to take some forward action. So last weekend, I combined a couple of ideas shared with me by Jean, a friend of mine who I met in our online workshops. Jean loves to discuss paint colors, which is really helpful when you’re like me and tend to become paralyzed by such decisions.


Jean showed me this blog post which talks about the importance of coordinating paint selection throughout your home. While on the surface this seems to complicate things even more, in reality, this thought process will help ensure I’m happy with the colors I select for my bedroom, bathroom and hallway. If the house flows well color-wise I just know I’ll like it all the better. (Maybe that’s been the trouble with the periwinkle all along?)


The second idea Jean shared was that she paints a piece of poster board to test paint colors before putting them on the wall (and buying five gallons of paint!) This allows her to view paint in a variety of lighting conditions (morning sun, evening sun, etc.) before deciding on a specific color. After the paint selection fiasco of 1997, I have done something similar, but instead of using poster board I used drywall. Poster board is much simpler solution, and best of all, this idea combined with the floor plan idea mixed together in my mind to create this:

Floorplan-swatch

I loved the idea of creating a floor plan with paint color swatches, but I wasn’t keen on the idea of doing it digitally. I’m a low tech girl at heart, and I wanted to be sure that the colors on my floor plan were accurate. The colors on my monitor are a bit off. So I thought why not use real, leftover paint? This would ensure the color was accurate and it would make for a portable color swatch. I could take my floor plan paint swatch to the paint store with me when selecting paint colors for the bedroom, hall and bathroom. And I can take it along on any other home décor shopping trip. (Heaven knows my purse is big enough to accommodate this.)


I found a piece of heavy white chipboard, left over from some sort of Russell and Hazel product. It's shiny white, kind of like the baseboards and trim paint in my house. So, not only can I see all the paint colors in my house, and the flow from room to room, I can also see how the paints will work with the baseboards.


If you’re considering your own painting projects, this is a remarkably satisfying little project that takes virtually no time at all. To make mine, I took a photo copy of our house floor plan and placed it on top of the chipboard. Then, using an embossing tool I traced the outline of the home and the various rooms. Next, I went over the indents from the embossing tool with a Sharpie and a ruler, creating a rough floor plan on the chipboard. Finally, I painted each room in the home using leftover paint from each painting project and a small paint brush. And quite revealing…I didn’t realize I had such a thing for pastels. Interesting…

Touch-up-paint

So now what? Well, I think my next step will be to find a new quilt for our bed. If you know of any great bedding out there, or if you know of any cool websites that carry bedding or modern quilts, I’d love to hear about them. I think once I select a new quilt or comforter cover… I just might be ready to make the big paint decision.

Join Me for Lunch?

(Or maybe coffee…depending on where you live.) I’ll be hanging out with the super fun ladies on the O’Myth Radio show today at noon Central / 10 AM Pacific! Come have a listen as we ponder “Supermoms...do they exist?” Hope to "see" you there!

September 08, 2009

What Did You Finish this Weekend?

So…I didn’t officially announce a Finish it Friday on Friday. But, if you’re in the habit of finishing things due to Finish it Friday (or just ‘cuz it’s one of your long standing good habits) I would love to hear what you finished and give you a virtual high five.


For me, this weekend was relaxing and productive…which sounds like an oxymoron but it was truly delightful. I puttered around, and just kind of relaxingly got some things done. It was very pleasant, and the process caused me to think about getting things done in general. It’s quite ironic, really, how much more I got done this weekend than last.


Sometimes, a schedule is very powerful—deciding what needs to be done and then fitting it into the available time slots to ensure it does in fact get done. But other times, following your instincts and going with the flow and simply getting done what feels like fun, is a terrific approach. That’s what I did this weekend. I didn’t have anything specific on my list to “get done” but instead, just kind of went with the flow, and oddly enough, ended up getting a lot of things done.


Saturday morning I woke up to open windows and a light rain…in my mind the perfect excuse to linger in bed and read. And so I did. I had been reading Julie and Julia, and finished it up on Saturday morning. It felt good to take the morning slow…and this definitely set the tone for the rest of the day.


Kailea wanted to make some bookmarks and so she did. I laminated them for her and helped her add the finishing touches like ribbon and so on. The whole process made me remember how much I enjoy making things…and using my laminator. That was a good $20 investment for certain. While Kailea made bookmarks, I finished putting together a mobile, one we started shortly after I made my butterfly mobile. (Yay, another project finished!) I also mended two shirts and one pair of paints for her. (Yet, more finished projects despite feeling lazy and unfocussed. Interesting…stuff getting done anyway…hmmm…)


Over the course of the weekend, this relaxing pace of casually doing stuff—whatever felt like fun—continued, with the following checkmarks on my Finish it Friday to-do list:


  • Make banana bread. (I picked up this recipe card at Starbucks this summer, and finally used it. So this was a two for one finish…I checked “make banana bread” off my to-do list, and finished up some really, really, really ripe bananas just in the nick of time.)  If you like banana bread, this is a really yummy recipe.

  • Catch up on bookkeeping for the business. This is not my favorite task, to say the least, but it’s finished, and that feels oh-so good! 

  • Finish laundry.

  • Finish September newsletter.

  • Start and finish-for-now a home decorating idea binder. (Will share more on this in a future post.) 

  • Start and finish a paint swatch chart, yet another thing I will share in a future post.

  • Finish menu planning for the week.


So that was my weekend. It was really very pleasant, as I hope yours was, too. The Tuesday after a three day weekend is always a bit tricky…a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. But after a weekend of casually getting things done, just those things that felt like fun, it isn’t so bad at all.


If you’ve shied away from participating in Finish It Friday, keep this in mind:  finishing can be a casual, laidback experience. Start today by creating a list of unfinished business like projects and nagging to do’s. Then, next weekend, see if any of them sound like a fun and rewarding way to spend some time. You just may surprise yourself and end up with several check marks at the end of the weekend…without having sweated it at all.


Have a happy Tuesday-disguised-as-Monday! (And don’t forget to share what you finished this weekend!)

September 04, 2009

Thoughts on Decluttering…

If you get my weekly quick tip, you know that clutter and decluttering have been on my mind lately. Not that this should come as any big surprise given my line of work (a term which makes what I do sound far less gratifying than it truly is.) But nonetheless, my normal pondering about clutter and the hold it has on our life has been cranked up a notch lately. Perhaps it’s the change of seasons. Perhaps it’s the fact that Organizing 101 starts on Tuesday. Or perhaps it’s Janine’s fault. Most likely, it’s a combination of all three.


See when the season’s change, I simply get the urge to declutter. I think it’s hardwired in my genes. The air gets cooler in the fall (or warmer in the spring) and I just want to let stuff go. If I lived in an area where there was no change of seasons, I’m not sure what would happen. (Would things just pile up around me?) Nah…I don’t think so, especially since I’ve now been through several sessions of Organizing 101. Yes, I am the instructor and all but chatting online with students about their own decluttering and organizing journeys has caused my thoughts on my own “clutter” to evolve. (I’ll get to where Janine comes into this in a minute.)


Now before you gasp and say “What, Aby has clutter?” let me back up for a minute and share my thoughts on three different types of clutter. At the one end of the spectrum is clutter that prevents us from living our best lives because it is either physically or emotionally getting in our way. In this case, the clutter is homeless—there are no designated spots for the things that are out or there isn’t enough room for the things that are out to be put away. Let’s call this kind of clutter backlog clutter, for the sole purpose of distinguishing it from the other kids of clutter.


The next kind of clutter is surface clutter. With this type of clutter, the clutter items have a home, but at present they happen to not be in said home. Instead they’re laying on random flat surfaces.


Now to clear things up, I don’t have backlog clutter. Everything in my home has a designated spot. Throughout the day I do create surface clutter (remember, I am human and live with other humans, too) but I declutter the surface clutter on a regular basis and help / encourage the members of my family to do the same. So…let’s get to the third kind of clutter, and finally spill the beans about where Janine comes into the equation.


So, Janine is my friend and fellow professional organizer. And yes, it is very fun when you have friend that is a professional organizer. See, Janine wanted some help organizing her pantry, not because she couldn’t organize her pantry on her own, but rather because we both thought it would be loads fun (and faster) to swap services and work together on some of our projects at home. Janine went first, and we organized her pantry, which for me, is akin to going over to someone’s house for some sort of decadent chocolate and peanut butter dessert—yes I love organizing pantry’s that much. But as if that weren’t fun enough, it got better. Janine returned the favor and came over to my house to help me with some projects! Woohoo!

Pantry-organizing copy


So Janine and I tackled a space in my home that was organized, but contained some things I really didn’t need any more. In that sense, some of the items in this space were clutter. Yet it was organized clutter. Prior to our intervention, the stuff was already sorted and grouped together in logical groupings, and it was even stored in labeled containers. But none the less, it was clutter because these items were things I no longer needed or used that were simply taking up space and serving no purpose in my life. That’s organized clutter.


I became much more aware of this type of clutter while hanging out and chatting about clutter in several sessions of Organizing 101, because organizing is an evolutionary process. As one of the past Organizing 101 participants puts it, decluttering and organizing are like peeling back layers. Often when we take the first pass through a space to declutter and organize, we keep some items that later on (maybe just two weeks later) we realize aren’t actually very useful to us anymore. So organizing is an evolution…like peeling back the layers of an onion.


Now…you may be wondering why I’m sharing all of this. (And that’s a good question, as I could be verging on rambling. Hopefully you find the topic of clutter as fascinating as I do.) But anyway, I wanted to share these thoughts on clutter because often people get really bogged down by their clutter. They feel bad about it. But the truth is, unless you went through your home yesterday with a fine tooth comb, there might be some clutter, whether it's backlog clutter, surface clutter, or organized clutter.


Because organizing and decluttering is an evolution, things that were yesterday useful can today become clutter. The key is this:  how do you feel about the stuff in your home? If it's weighing you down, get up and take action! Invest some time in creating change—clearing out items that are no longer useful to you. Fill your home (and I don't mean to the brim) with items that lift you up, and let go of anything that's bringing you down. There is a tremendous kind of freedom that comes from letting go of things.  


Second, I wanted to share how helpful Organizing 101 is…for everyone involved (including the instructor.) There truly is power in discussing our stuff with other people, and sharing our organizing journey with a group of like-minded individuals. You gain new perspectives on your things and your life and the role your stuff plays in your life. Are your things moving you forward? Holding you back? Lifting you up? Or weighing you down?


Admittedly, organized clutter is a bit more neutral than other clutter. It’s organized so it looks okay which makes it feel okay, too. But when you realize it’s clutter, you have the opportunity to create space and let go of things that are no longer serving you—even if they were previously organized, labeled and contained. Case in point: Three years of Real Simple Magazines left my home the day Janine came over. If you’ve been around this blog of mine for a while you’ll know that letting go of three years of magazines is H-U-G-E! (Really huge, especially since they’re Real Simple.) These magazines were previously sorted by year and month, and stored in labeled magazine holders, so it could be argued that they weren’t really hurting anything. But truth is, these magazines were organized clutter.


Magazine boxes

I didn’t really need these magazines. Yes, I love them, but I have already read them. So they were just taking up space that could be better used to store things I really do use, need and love. I don’t have time to flip through them casually on a rainy day, (or a sunny day, or even on a snowy day, for that matter.) And even if a window of time sufficient to browse through three years of back issues of a magazine did miraculously appear in my life, I’d really rather do something else with that time. So while these items weren’t weighing me down in terms of how they looked, they were a lingering obligation. (And obligations can become a big weight on our psyche.)


See my routine for letting go of magazines is to go through them page by page and tear out articles of interest. Then, I organize those article of interest by topic and put them into binders for future reference. Just think of how much time I saved by simply letting these magazines go. And that’s not the end of it. I also created space in my storage room and removed an obligation off my mental to-do list. Ahhh…decluttering feels good.


Regardless of what type of clutter you have—backlog clutter, surface clutter, or organized clutter, now is a great time to do some decluttering. Take advantage of the change of seasons, or join me and a group of like-minded online friends for thought provoking (and action provoking!) discussions on clutter by joining Organizing 101. The next session begins on Tuesday (and it’s the last time this workshop will run in 2009.) I hope to see you in the workshop and to share your decluttering and organizing journey with you. But whatever path you choose, going it alone, calling a professional organizer, or joining Organizing 101, if you have things in your home that are weighing you down, take action and declutter! I promise you, you'll be really glad you did.

September 01, 2009

A chill is in the air…

and fall is on my mind. I am not sure which I love more, spring or fall, but there is definitely something about these transitional times of year that I absolutely love. I love back-to-school, more than the end of school, but then again, I love beginnings more than endings.


Right now, as I can feel the beginning of fall in the air, I am looking forward to…


IMG_4745 Cooler weather. And the chance to wear jeans and sweaters again.


Longer evenings. I used to really dislike it when it would get dark so early at night—funny how we change. Now I view the shorter days as a chance to slow down and relax…as if when the sun goes down I have permission to wind-down, too. (Perhaps this is why I have (what feels like) a summer hangover. Still recovering from the fast pace of our lives this past summer. Resting. Recharging. And refocusing. (Note too self…slow down more next summer.)


House projects. It’s time to paint some walls and freshen things up a bit. I have fall fever bad…I’m even looking forward to running the carpet cleaner again and washing the windows and screens. 


Baking. I try not to use the oven in the summer…but when it gets chilly out, bring on the cookies, muffins and banana bread. Yum!


Fall colors + football games. Sitting. Relaxing. Enjoying the sights.


Hot chocolate…in a chunky, ceramic mug with fluffy white marshmallows floating on top.


Soup + fresh baked bread. Yum.


I think what I love most about this time of year is that it’s a time of change…saying goodbye to the routines of summer, and saying hello to new routines, new activities, and a new phase in this journey called life. It’s time to come inside and do a little nesting.


What do you love most about this time of year?

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P.S. For those of you who did Finish It Friday this past weekend, I’d love to hear what you finished. (For me, go back to the comment about the summer hangover, and then picture me relaxing and recharging this weekend…and finishing laundry. That was the big finish for the weekend. Had it not been for Finish It Friday, I’m willing to bet that wouldn’t have gotten finished either.)

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