{mindset} listening to your body

I’m probably one of the last people you should be listening to talk about this subject since I was not good at taking cues from my own body for many years. I’ll confess – I’m still not the very best at it but I’ve got much better at paying attention and I thought I’d share what’s working for me.

  • Do you know what’s happening when you feel tight in your shoulders and neck?
  • Is something else going on when you just get a headache?
  • When you feel a bit icky and scratchy inside, what’s really going on?

I have a few signals for my own body that I pay attention to.

  1. The tightness in my neck and shoulders is often the first sign of stress for me. A big flashing indicator for me is that I also start dreaming about work. I never dream such that I can remember so it’s a signal that I’m worrying about something or not dealing with things effectively at work.
  2. Yes, I get heat headaches and also some hormonal ones (track your cycles and you’ll soon see if your headaches are hormonal), but often when I get random headaches, it’s my body’s “time-out” and that I need to stop doing so much. I’m someone who always has 10 things on my list so my default setting is to go, and when these random headaches happen, it’s a signal for me that I need to slow down and rest more.

Now and again I find myself a bit niggly. When I can’t put my finger on exactly what the issue is, I stop and ask myself this question, “what’s really going on here?” When I get quiet and tune in, the answer is often really obvious – I didn’t speak up for myself, a boundary felt brushed aside, I felt like my feelings weren’t heard, etc. The point is to identify the feeling, and try and do something about it, so I can move on.

Sometimes really obvious things are happening and your body doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to. One of my friends had severe hair loss a few years ago when their family went through a tough in-law situation. That was due to stress. When the situation was resolved, her hair stopped falling out.

Let’s move onto you. What’s going on in your body that is an indication for you to deal with something?

“I say the universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers. And if you don’t pay attention to that – the brick wall falls down” Oprah

3 of my favourite organising mantras

I know I sometimes sound like a broken record, but in my defence, there’s a reason I say these things so often – because they work.

I know the blog is called Organising Queen but I also don’t always feel like being organised so I use these mantras as much as anyone else.

1. Don’t put it down; put it away

I got this nugget from my friend, Suzanne, and it is the best thing for when you’re feeling lazy.

I literally chant to myself – don’t put it down; put it away – as I walk upstairs with an armful of things to return to their rightful places.

Try it next time you have lots of items to pack away because it’s soooo tempting to just plonk it down on the nearest surfac

2. One in, one out

This might be my favourite organising mantra ever. And better still, one in, many more out.

I heard a podcast a year or two ago where the lady had been on a no shopping project one year. When her project ended, she then resolved not to get into the same situation again and told herself that for every one thing she brought in, three things would have to go. She said this ensured that she really, really loved the thing she wanted to buy.

3. A place for everything and everything in its place

There is nothing that makes me more cross than searching for things. I cannot stand it!

That’s why it’s so important for me to have a place for everything.

This is also one of the cornerstones of organising. If you know where things belong, you wonโ€™t just open a drawer and shove things in. Your home will then stay organised and tidy.

Just today I asked Kendra (10) to fetch me my watch. I said, “it’s in the spotted pink bag in the top drawer of my bedside table”.

Do you know where you store the scissors? Where you can find a spare pen? Where you can find plasters?

What is your favourite organising mantra? I’d love to know.

PS if you’d like to see more of mine, I shared many more on Instagram here.



Your end-of-year reality check


About a week before the end of November, I put an item on my to-do list: schedule all socials til the end of the year.

And then I made a list.

Well, the list had about 10 friends or sets of friends on it, and when I looked at the available dates, it was going to be impossible.

However, I never let a small thing like a full schedule get me down and I started working my list until I realised…

it’s my own self-imposed idea that I have to see people this year and not next year

Granted, it would be nice if everything was all neat and ordered, but it would cause me a bit of stress fitting everything in and probably be less joyful.

So right now, I’m playing with the idea of a very loose year ๐Ÿ™‚


This whole process reminded me ofย  organising.

We have these TV/ blog/ Instagram/ Pinterest-like visions of what our organised homes should look like, complete with state-of-the-art organising systems, the most beautiful containers and worthy to appear on a TV show.

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, and dreaming big, but when we become paralysed and not motivated by the dream, there’s something wrong.

The thing is that those visions of perfection often leave us demotivated and uninspired to even start as you think, “what’s the point? I could never have it look like that”.

The point of inspiring blogs and Instagram feeds are to give us ideas, and not to make us feel bad about what we donโ€™t have or to sow discontent in our lives.

Why not rather look at your home realistically?

See what you can and are able to do and take it from there. Use what you have in the time you have available and just do the best with that.


Read that paragraph again…

Here are some action steps for your organising reality list:

  1. Take a piece of paper and a pen and write down the rooms in your home that need some work. Leave space under each room heading.
  2. Now walk around your house and make a list under each heading of what you want to do. For example, in the study/ home office, * tidy desk * do filing *put photos in photo albums/ frames, etc.
  3. If you want to do something this year, pick 1 – 2 small spaces and do those. Otherwise, start in the new year. Remember, there’s no rule that says you had to have done X in your house this year. If you’ve done less than you intented, forgive yourself if you’re feeling guilty and just tell yourself 2017 is a new year.

Did you have a list for this year?

How did you do?

PS I had a list for our old house which we stopped working on when we put in the offer on this house. I do have a long list for this house too ๐Ÿ˜‰

{Mindset Monday} Mottos

It’s lovely sometimes to think about things you know to be true for yourself.

Mind you, these do not always ring true for others, but they resonate for us.


This is a section of my Amazing Life workbook, my mottos.

I like looking through my workbook monthly-ish because it often reminds me of things I’ve written that I may have forgotten, like one of my favourite work mottos:

Deal with things and don’t procrastinate.


I used to sometimes wait for the muse to hit so I could use particularly beautiful language in an email and be really diplomatic, but really, people would rather just have their answers, right?

And best of all, I feel better not only because the thing is done and off my to-do list, but it’s off my mind, and truthfully, a clear mind is much more important to me these days.

If I’m really angry about something, I have another motto that I have to get completely calm first before responding, but that is usually not longer than a day.


For home, I know that I always, always feel better if I get outside and get moving, whether it’s going for a walk, going into the garden to take photos, or kicking a ball around with the kids.

There is such a huge return on my time investment that it’s always worth it.

What are some of your favourite mottos for work or home?

The fantasy cook and baker

We’re busy selling our house and if you’ve sold a house or tried to sell a house, you’ll know there’s lots of cleaning and tidying involved.

I decided to take some pictures of a few spaces in my home to take advantage of all those bright, shiny areas ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cooking and baking fantasies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

When I looked at these photos though, I thought about how, if I don’t watch it, I could very easily drift into being a fantasy cook and baker.

What’s a fantasy cook? What’s a fantasy baker?

It’s someone who sees beautiful recipes in cookbooks, on blogs and on Pinterest, and imagines that she will actually make those things despite knowing full well what type of cook she is.

I’ve said many times on this blog that I do like to eat and that is the reason I cook. I don’t like it when recipes have too many ingredients or require too many processes, e.g. mix this and leave for ___ minutes, then do this in a separate bowl, now add this and then bake in an oven for 45 minutes. Never going to happen, friends. My patience only lasts for prep of 10 minutes if there’s an oven involved, or otherwise 30 minutes overall.

I know my limitations – I’m never going to make a complicated (for me!) recipe. I’d much rather be reading or playing with photos.

I often weed out recipes from my flipfiles – the three plastic folders just in front of the appliance manuals – but I’m starting to think maybe the flipfiles themselves should be tossed. Or maybe I’ll just keep one with a few special recipes from my mother, grandmother and mother-in-law.

I’ll let you know how that little project goes.

Cooking and baking fantasies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

I’m the same with baking. I do drop cookies and only once a year at Christmas, IF I’m in the mood and it’s not too hot, will I do biscuits that involve rolling out dough and cutting out shapes.

I like one-bowl baking, which is why I’m very good at muffins and pancakes ๐Ÿ˜‰

I know this about myself; why, then do I keep these recipes I will most likely never make?

I’m a fantasy baker!

Cooking and baking fantasies | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Who else is a fantasy cook and baker?

Do you actually make all the recipes you gather or are your cookbooks just kitchen “decor”?

This week, let’s give ourselves permission to let go of those expectations we place on ourselves and embrace our perfectly imperfect selves.

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