Monday, January 18, 2010

Find Small Ways to Simplify Your Life

Happy New Year!

January is National Get Organized Month. It's an ideal time to rethink what is important to us and to take action to change things to improve our efficiency, productivity, space, or simply to reduce the "clutter" in our lives, be it relationships, excess commitments or excess material goods.

I hear from many people that they "just don't know where to begin". I know that feeling. Even professional organizers may struggle when facing a large personal task. Breaking it down into small, manageable pieces is what we do when helping clients, ourselves (or our family members) to accomplish their visions. Matching the expectations and goal to the client (those "getting organized") is very important, too. I have a very good friend who shared with me her recent experience. On New Year's Day she announced to her family of five that they were each going to clean out the Top Drawer of their dresser. I was so impressed with her restraint at not asking (expecting) them to do the WHOLE dresser (which is what I might have done). She instinctively knew that would be too much to expect at once, so instead she set a reasonable goal, they each accomplished it and they were all proud of their success.

I am always looking for ways to rein in my own High Expectations. I am a classic Over Achiever. By nature I complicate my life by adding in when I should be holding steady, or subtracting. I also have realized over the years (as one good friend and organizer recently reflected about herself and it rang true for me, too), despite being good at many things, I am NOT a good juggler. I like to have long periods of intense focus on projects, but obviously, as a wife, mother to three kids, home owner, business owner, pet owner, daughter and a multitude of other undefined roles, it is NOT an option NOT to be a juggler. So over the years I have learned (and am still learning) to make careful choices about where I spend my time, and try to stick with things I like and can blend well into my life. For example, rather than volunteer for lunch monitor in the Elementary School (which quickly learned I did NOT love), I am typing this tip from the comfort of the tiny High School store, where I have a brief, busy time in between the period changes, and relative peace during the 40 or so class minutes and can do some work. It is fun for me to see the kids and their enthusiastic personalities. I get to see the current hair and fashion styles. I cleared up some business with the PE teacher, I read the school newsletter and learned that course selections were taking place now (no, my son had NOT told me) and got to see my son just a few minutes ago. Yes, it is a great volunteer match for me and I am happy to be able to help out in this way.

During 2010, find small ways to simplify your life. E-mail me at and let me know how you do it. If I get enough responses, I can post a list of successes. Or just comment on this post. I will cheer you on!

Cheers to the New Year and Get Organized!

For help simplifying your life, or any other organizing project-Simply Call Linda. 716-631-5619.