{31 days of easy organising solutions} – what’s inside your handbag?

Some of you are handbag minimalists.

You hardly carry anything around with you.

That is not me. At all.

Recently at a work conference they sent out a note to say “no handbags”. I had to ignore that particular rule because, as I told my team, I’ve been carrying around a handbag for about 21 years and I would just feel totally lost without my things. So I went very light… for me… but I still had a handbag 🙂

Nevertheless.

Today it’s time to clean out and organise your handbag.

And if you don’t carry a handbag, use the time to sort out your wallet.

  1. Remove everything.
  2. Toss old receipts, etc. and put away things that don’t belong (nail polish, etc)
  3. Choose what you want to have in your handbag.
  4. Arrange everything in a pleasing fashion – put in the big items first and then the smaller ones. Mesh bags work well to keep your things organised as do Baggu bags (I’m not an affiliate but I should be because I LOVE their stuff – they never break, stain and my sets are perfect after YEARS of use).
  5. Put a reminder in your phone to do maintenance once a week. I also use any waiting time to tidy my handbag, and of course, any time I change handbags is always a good opportunity 🙂

When was the last time you tidied your handbag or wallet?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

PS happy birthday to my friend, Roz, today. I do believe she was the first person to order a Kindle version of my book when it released on Amazon. I just love that! Sadly, Roz is not as mad about handbags as I am 🙂

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – eat the frog

I’ve spoken a lot about eating the frog before.

In a nutshell, it’s about attending to the most important, maybe more difficult tasks on your to-do list first, each and every day.

It sounds quite easy until you start doing it and then you realise how we’re wired to procrastinate and chase other more interesting things to do.

So too with organising.

You start organising your clothes and because you don’t want to face the mental side of organising (just why are you hanging onto clothes from 10 years ago?), you end up organising your nail polish, jewellery, anything but the clothes.

Focus and eat your frog.

You will feel great once you get it done.

Elizabeth Hagen tells her clients to imagine the Elizabeth Circle surrounding them. They’re not allowed to leave the circle until the work is done. Love that!

Where do you need to eat your frog today, both at work and at home?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – done is better than perfect

 

Today’s post is going to hit hard with some of you.

Because a lot of us have messages from our childhood that if you can’t do something properly, to not bother doing it at all.

Right?

That very message is one that’s paralysing to us when we get to “real life” (adulthood).

If you wait for perfect you might never do anything at all.

I remember after my twins were born, I was happy to have 5 minutes to myself to read at least one blog post or a few pages of my book.

Success was drinking a mug of tea and having it be hot all the way through (my babies were born in the heart of winter).

I had to organise in the same way – 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there.

And most importantly, I had to leave perfect at the door once and for all.

Done was definitely better than perfect.

Where do you need to just get things done instead of waiting for perfect?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

 

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – prepare for the week ahead

Do you want your weeks to run smoother?

Take about 15 minutes every Sunday night and prepare for the week ahead.

I find that I start the week on the right note if I do a minimal amount of preparation to ready my family for the week.

Our friend, Leon, makes the best salads 🙂

These are some of the things I do on a Sunday night:

  1. make sure I have a written out menu plan and not just one in my head
  2. make a note of when I need to prepare extra meals (e.g. I’ll write on my menu plan – “soak kidney beans”)
  3. pack two slices of bread in at least 3 lunch boxes
  4. pack cereals for at least 3 days but I prefer to do all 5 days (I eat breakfast at work)
  5. pack my work bag (I often use a different, more casual bag on the weekends) and all my papers
  6. make notes for the nanny to focus her for the week – what to do with the kids, foods to prepare, etc.
  7. I prepare the kids’ clothes for the week sometime during the Sunday afternoon, mostly while they’re having a bath

Honestly, it takes about 15 minutes, maybe 30 if I’ve been interrupted a lot 🙂

What do you prepare on a Sunday?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

PS it’s my father’s birthday today 🙂

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – back up your computer

Recently two people told me horror stories that happened because they didn’t back up their computers.

One friend lost ALL her pictures. Included were two trips to the USA. Yes, she took her computer to very clever people to try and recover the pics but alas, they couldn’t get them back.

Please don’t let this happen to you or you may be upset like Connor 🙂

Stop whatever you’re doing right now, grab your external hard drive if you do it like I do, or if you back up to an online system, start the back-up now.

And then set a reminder in your phone/ Outlook/ on a post-it note to do the back-up regularly.

I do mine at least once a month but if it starts running the slightest bit slow, I get nervous and I back up 🙂 And yes, I’ve just put a reminder in my phone.

How often do you back up your computer?

My book, Live Organised, will help you set up the systems you need to make your life flow smoothly. Available on Kindle and as a physical book.

 

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – email

Confession time – both my email boxes (home and work) have been full to overflowing… for me (50-odd emails) … for the last month or so.

The reasons were valid at work – too many meetings and so on – but at home I realised that my email basics had slipped.

I took a couple of hours to put some things back into place and I’m breathing easy again.

1. Check Pinterest and Facebook notification settings

I unsubscribed from all the Pinterest and most of the Facebook notifications. I now only get messages, notes on my wall and photo tags from Facebook. I haven’t received Twitter notifications for years but I hardly use Twitter anyway. Maybe 3 times a year? And that’s really only to quickly “chat” to one or two people who are very active on there but not very email-responsive 😉

2. Evaluate Facebook groups

I’m being very conscious about joining groups. At the moment I’m only in the one active Facebook group, the Everything launch team for Mary de Muth’s new book.

Just this morning, I had to tell a friend (very nicely) that I can’t join her group because I don’t have the time to participate. Of course it wasn’t comfortable but it was honest and 100% in integrity.

3. Get off lists you don’t read

I realised that I skimmed over a lot of newsletter lists and hadn’t actually looked forward to or read them for months. Time to get off those lists.

I said a few months back to my newsletter subscribers that I take no offence if my newsletter is one of those they need to unsubscribe from.

After all, we all go through seasons in our life.

Don’t just delete the email; take a few seconds longer to click through and unsubscribe on the website in question.

4. Make decisions immediately

I noticed that I’d get pics or documents that I wanted to save but I’d hang onto the email instead.

Why?

Laziness, I suppose. Laziness to make appropriate decisions.

From now onwards, I will stop, pause for a few seconds to make a decision as to where I want to save it (if I do) and just do it there and then.

5. Focus

Quite honestly I could write a whole article on the power of focus.

But as it relates to email management, this is what typically happens. I start answering an email and another pops into my box. I see the little window at the corner of my screen so I click on it to open. My mind is now focussed on that email and I’ve forgotten about the first one.

I’m learning to ignore the bright, shiny emails and focus on what I’m doing until completion.

These 5 steps are really the back-to-basics of effective email management for me.

Do you need to take back control of your email box too? Start by putting into place these 5 steps and let me know if you need more help.

I have FOUR one-hour sessions available from now til the end of November. You can use them to pick my brain about anything… from how to leverage your time better, how to set up your own e-courses, write your book, delegate effectively, get your kids organised, get control of your time, etc. They’re $197 each – first come, first served.

Read more here and book your spot today.

If your goal is to get your home organised, then get the revised (and cheaper!) Organise your Home system for just $47 now.

 

Have you checked out my book, Live Organised, yet?

 

PS I know that a lot of you have the luxury of a closet but in South Africa we don’t have them. Some people do have a dressing room with tons of space but again, rare.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – clothes!

Do you know I used to use both my own wardrobe in my bedroom and another one in our second bedroom for all my clothes?

Well, when we moved into our current house, that was still the case but I was determined to start weeding out clothes I didn’t wear until everything fit into one wardrobe.

Imagine the luxury of not having to run between two bedrooms every morning?!

Finally all my clothes fit into one wardrobe but there wasn’t much room for the clothes to breathe.

Then I set a goal that I’d only keep clothes that I loved and that looked good on me.

And that’s when the magic happened.

White space!

And best of all, I even have space for my favourite handbags.

 

Next thing to tackle in my bedroom will be the shoes 🙂

I have a shoe organiser at the back of my bedroom door with most of my shoes and some are stored elsewhere too.

I declutter my handbags very regularly so that’s not a problem but I’m very light on shoes so they last for years and years unless I get tired of them first.

What’s your clothes situation? Does it all fit comfortably in your allotted space or do you need to ask yourself some hard questions?

Have you checked out my book, Live Organised, yet?

 

PS I know that a lot of you have the luxury of a closet but in South Africa we don’t have them. Some people do have a dressing room with tons of space but again, rare.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – focus, don’t multitask

It’s long since been thought that good time management means multitasking.

Thank goodness that theory’s mostly been abandoned by the experts but in some people’s minds,k there still exists the myth that doing many things at once means you’re making good use of your time.

You’re not.

Every time you switch to another thing on your list, you lose focussed energy. It takes minutes to get back into the zone to where you were before you switched focus.

This is why I like to turn off my Outlook and phone when I’m working (like right now) so that I can get completely focussed on the task at hand, writing.

Why don’t you try to focus on one thing at a time (I realise this is not a popular thing to do in this very busy and overwhelming world of ours with social media and the like…) and honestly evaluate if your productivity but also general happiness increases?

  1. If you’re spending time with your kids, BE there (not on your phone).
  2. If you’re cooking supper, BE there (and your cooking won’t burn like mine used to do).
  3. If you’re working on a project, turn off your phone and email.

 

Are you up for the challenge? Where are you on the focus scale where 1 is very distracted and 10 is really good focus?

 

My book, Live Organised, deals with more of the mental part of organising.

 

PS I think I’ve got really good focus but it has gotten worse the last couple of years *ahem* twins so I’d say an 8.

{31 days of easy organising solutions} – do it for you

Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin?

In the book she talks about how she’s good at organising things in her home but that she was always looking to her husband to tell her the cupboards looked pretty, etc.

And then she realised that she mostly does these things for herself because she gets pleasure from doing them and from having an organised home.

So there’s a lot of wisdom in that last sentiment.