Talking about letting go is exciting to me. As an organizer I see many people hold on to things because they just can't seem to let go and today I hope I can help inspire a little release.
A couple of big reasons for not being able to let go of clutter is a feeling of insecurity and also sentimentality.
Afraid to forget the past, people will hold to kids’ clothes, toys and artwork. Afraid of what the future holds, they will hold onto anything that ‘may be useful one day.’
I say trust your memory, let go of trying to control the future. There will always be 'stuff', that you can be sure of.
So what can I offer as testimony? Well, on July 17th I am scheduled to give a talk to the local ‘Roaring Women’s’ group in Coquitlam.
At this meeting I am going to let go of a Teddy I have held onto for 10 years, and attached to it, two very special pins from my first solo motorcycle tour!
It is a hard thing to do, to let this go, yet I have my memory and I have photo’s, the Teddy goes.
Great things sometimes come in pairs, so here are two tips each for two main living areas.
Living or Family Room
1. Consider purchasing multi-purpose furniture such as coffee tables, foot rests, storage cubes, or couches and beds with storage built in for toys, extra blankets and pillows, or board games?
2. List all the activities that will take place in this space and section your living room into zones. Then consider the containment needs for your belongings that make things easy to put away. Baskets are great idea to consider.
1. Keep countertops clear. Put away any rarely used appliances such as a deep fryer’s into cabinets. Well in the case of a deep fryer I suggest tossing it altogether, yet, you get the idea. Review your appliances. If you haven't used it in 12 months give it away. Try this with your utensils too. Try putting the items away in a closet or garage and only take out if you need it. Then put back in your kitchen when done using it only.
2. Arrange zones in the kitchen. This can make your life simpler and easier. For example, sugar, flour, baking soda, and confectioners’ chocolate should be near each other to make it easy and convenient to bake when the urge strikes. Another zone may be your coffee/tea zone. Include coffee, sugar, tea bags, tea cups and mugs etc.
By Louie Lapa,
When I look back at the 10 years in this business of savings, spending and the key to being ahead, I've come to the conclusion that it's all about the choices we make on a day to day basis. It's about the habits and values that were instilled in us when we were young, and it's about how we feel about job security, whether we have an abundance mentality or one of scarcity.
For example, I've sat in meetings with an individual who earns $50,000 and saves 20% of his income per year with absolutely no regret, or problem for that matter. I've also sat across individual that makes over $250,000 and barely being able to save $14,400 in one year!! Why?
One prefers to dine in, one prefers to dine out every day. One prefers to go for runs and jogs, and hikes (which are free except for snacks and water) and one prefers to golf at expensive golf courses, 3 times a week, with rented golf carts, new golf balls, new gear and new equipment every year.
Granted, both are enjoying themselves in different ways, but would you believe that the person making the most money still carries a mortgage? Moreover, this individual is retired and aged 67!!
Why do we spend first, buy stuff we don't need, then come up short in retirement? Easy...consider this:
* Buying a pair of shoes once a month (let's say $150)
* Buying various larger furniture or appliance pieces 2 times a year ($500 each)
* Purchasing computers or new gadgets every year ($1000)
Doing these 3 alone for 20 years can mean $173,895 in opportunity lost. This amount of retirement money can provide you an income of $15,446 per year for 30 years!!
To learn more about investing your hard earned money into more than stuff, I want you to consider calling on Louie Lapa, Investment Advisor & Certified Financial Planner for Dundee Securities Corporation.
I think he is onto something good here...
Or find him on the web a http://lapa.dundeewealth.com
I had some help putting this together and wanted to thank a few people.
Thank you all!
A great time gathering and giving was had this past weekend. Thank you to all that came out to bring in the much needed houseware for 'Gather and Give', it is truely appreciated!
To help reduce stress if you have more than you can handle, try reducing your backlog of "stuff" that has built up over time.
I know that it can be easy in today's busy world to build up a backlog of stuff that you want to do, yet our realities are that sometimes we just can't get to everything.
To help you weed out some things that may be growing out of control and overtaking your desk here are 7 items you can start with and the tips on how to weed them out.
1. Messages and Business cards from recent meetings
*Try recording the name and phone number in your planner on the day you intend to call the contact back.
*If you need to update your contact database or Rolodex, create a file named "Contacts to Update" and schedule in some time each week or month to review this file.
*Or, delegate this task to someone else.
2. Notes from Meetings and Staff Memo's
*Right after the meeting grab your planner and schedule any follow up tasks assigned to you.
*Write a quick note as to what the task is in the planner, if there are points and notes that are needed for the task keep those in another place assigned for projects you have on the go or upcoming.
*Toss the extra or unneeded notes, use you planner as the reminder you'll need.
3. A pile of business cards from conference two years ago
*Keep only the cards for people you remember or plan to associate with now or by the next conference.
*File the cards into your association contacts file to have available when the time comes.
*If available use scanning software to make quick work of saving the cards electronically or delegate the task of entering the contacts to your database to someone else.
4. Conference Brochures you may or may not attend
*Record a tentative appointment into your planner. If using an electronic planner, schedule a reminder a week or two before so you can then re-evaluate your need to go or register if required.
*Put the brochure aside into your "Bring Forward" file or a file for "Association Events" or something similar, so that when the day comes you will be able to find it again.
5. Coupons and promotions
*If you really plan to use them keep them handy in your wallet or planner. It is more likely to be used there than if it is just sitting on your desk.
*If there is a deadline and you really want to take advantage of the deal then make an appointment to go and do so.
6. Magazine subscriptions renewal cards
*Ask yourself; are you really interested in renewing or signing up for the magazine? If yes, fill it out and send it in.
*If not; Toss it! Don't worry; the offer will come again.
7. Overstuffed files from projects recently done
*If its on your desk because you want to go through and weed it out before filing away to your archive, then go ahead and file it. Grab your planner and schedule time in to weed these files each month.
*Try releasing that desire to be a perfectionist on this one, it's not going to help you get to the task any quicker when the file is blocking you from getting other things done. Ultimately this just slows the process down even more.
Now, when it comes to tossing the things you don't need as you go along your way through these piles, here are the top 5questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about keeping something:
1. Am I obligated to keep it for tax reasons?
2. Do I need it to fulfill a core activity or role in my job?
3. Would my work suffer if I didn't have it?
4. Is the information up to date and could I get it elsewhere if I need it again?
5. Do I refer often to this information?
If you find yourself overwhelmed with the feeling that you just have to much and too much to do, try these tips for taking control of the paper piles and your tasks.
Can you relate to one of these tendencies? What is getting in the way of becoming more organized? Read on for some quick tips for each category and start leading a more productive, less stressful life today.
Tips for the Procrastinator:
1. Take one task on at a time. Moving stuff around is a waste of time, try to be realistic with how long a task will take and schedule the work into your day.
2. Release guilt if there is something that you truly know you will not get to. If it's not a "must do" go ahead and cross it off your list. (Read past article "Don't let Others "Should" on You" to learn more about letting go)
3. If you "must" do it, schedule the work into your planner.
4. Enlist a friend or relative to cheer you on or nag you a bit when you need it. Try to find someone you see often so they can keep on you if you fall behind.
Tips for the Packrat:
1. Try to visualize how great you will feel if you can move around freely in your space knowing you won't step on things or run into obstacles.
2. Consider your collections and pull out the truly cherished belongings to keep and display, while weeding out what you don't need or want and putting the rest into storage.
3. Try rotating your collection each month or year to bring other pieces out and putting the current items away. That way you can still display more of your collection without having them all out at once.
4. When purging and sorting your collection, enlist the help of a professional or a friend. They can help you ask the right questions so you keep the things that are truly meaningful to you.
Tips for the Perfectionist:
1. There is no "One way" to do anything. It is better to start than to wait until you can do everything perfectly. Do what you can and you can work on improving it later.
2. Break down large tasks into small bit-sized pieces so you don't have to worry about trying to get everything completed the moment you start.
3. Don't try keeping everything in a constant state of perfection. Homes and offices you see in magazines are quite often staged. Notice how there is no pets, no kids and no activities going on in the picture. Give yourself a break and allow room to live in your space.
4. Note your priorities. If there is a specific issue that is causing you the most pain, start there.