Let Go of the Old, Make Room for the New

I have been spring cleaning over the last few weeks….Chasing some of the dust bunnies away and attacking the many “junk drawers” around the house.  I am always amazed at the things I find.  WHY?  Because I can’t believe I held on to them “just in case”.

I am a just in case kind of gal.  When we go on a trip, I pack extra “just in case”.  When we go on a road trip, I pack extra snacks “just in case”.  So, finding things I have kept around “just in case” I need them or someone else will want it is what I seem to do.  I have been reading the book “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy” by Sarah Ban Breathnach and I am slowing looking at things a little differently in our home.

Why is it so hard to let go? Whether it’s old e-mail or a worn-out sweater, outdated files or a toxic friendship, sometimes we hold on to things for too long. They serve no purpose but to clutter our lives unnecessarily. Today, I want to challenge you to face your fear of letting go.

There are a few common fears which appear when it’s time to let go of something. What are you hanging on to even though it’s time to let go? Which of these pesky fears is it time to face?

  • fear you won’t have what you need in the future
  • fear of being wrong
  • fear of loneliness
  • fear of regret

Breaking through fear requires one key factor: courage. Courage requires faith and trust  your future will be okay without the thing you are letting go of.  YIKES!  Scary, right?  You can muster up the courage to let go by coaching yourself with questions which will help you get unstuck, such as:

  • What does my intuition tell me about letting go in this situation? Will I follow it?
  • If the thing I fear most happens, what is my plan B?
  • Who could I ask to hold me accountable and encourage me as I let go?

Make a decision. For those of us who are people pleasers, this is tough.  I know, I am one of them.  I second guess myself a million times.  The best thing to do is to carve out some time to do what you need to do. You can do it.  Start with small amounts of time, say 15 minutes, set a timer and when it rings you are done.

The truth is as I have been doing this, I have realized how much time and money has been spent “just in case”.  I see a sale and think “I could use this” then never do.  I see an idea which worked for someone else so I jump in with both feet, only to find out it isn’t me.  May has been full of life reflections for me.  I wonder why it took till the age of 61 to learn some of these lessons.

Toss out the OLD and move on.  You will be surprised several weeks or months later, you never once needed or missed what was tossed, donated or sold. Imagine that!

My challenge to you is this:  Is there something it’s time to let go of?  You know what it is. Muster up the courage and just do it. You’ll feel lighter for it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful-day!

Do You Have an Elephant in the Room?

Hello, world.  Have you ever had the feeling something was following you?  You knoooow something’s there but you were just too afraid to look.  So you ignore it, hoping it would eventually go away… but it doesn’t.  Suddenly, “something” grabs you at your feet!  You jump back in shock, only to slam right into it.  So then, you do what most people would do… RUN!  Or you attempt to run, when only after a few steps, you slip on to the floor, and fall directly into the “thing”.  Finally, you make it to the door.  By now, you’re thinking you at least owe it to yourself to see what it was; this persistent, consuming “thing” determined to drag you down.  So you slooowly turn around… and stare it head on.  Did someone break in?.. Is it an animal?… a ghost or a MONSTER?!  When all of a sudden you realize… it’s just those overstuffed binders on the floor you’ve been “meaning” to organize, the books and customer invoices stacked on the desk, and the world of products from your inventory toppling over the shelves.  Yep, the so-called “Thing” pursuing you is called Clutter… and the truly scary conclusion is, it ain’t goin’ anywhere until you make it.

I saw this in a blog post some time ago and I giggle every time I read it.  As a home-based business owner, the “Thing” called clutter is a common issue.  Being a home-based business owner for many years, I have had the elephant in the room.  Yes, I do help others get organized but not always the best at taking my own advice!

Do we invite clutter in?  Nope!  Do we like to deal with it? Nope!  It just sort of happens.

I was always one for piles – organized piles.  Then when I started working from home full time, I found it wasn’t so easy to get organized.  I struggled with systems. We know we should take time to get organized, but the truth is we either (1) don’t know where to start, (2) adopt the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality (try to work with it as it is), or (3) RUN from it (avoid it all together).

No matter what, clutter has to eventually be cleared up or it will only get worse and you will be buried under a mass of paper being totally unproductive.  It’s not going anywhere and the biggest hit where it REALLY hurts is…..yep, your profits.  It is so much easier when you tackle it right away because it is easier, less overwhelming and can be a stress-free process.  Otherwise, you not only work harder, you start the day off cranky and frustrated because, “seriously, I can’t find the file!” or you have orders for a product you didn’t realize was out of stock… ouch$$$!  Need more motivation?

The major benefits of putting in the time and effort to get any home-based business space in order:

  1. It promotes efficiency… you can locate your items much quicker because you know exactly where everything is when you need it, which saves you time.  Once organized, it may take a moment to think about where you put it but once you keep putting something back in the same place, it will become a habit!
  2. It increases productivity… an organized workspace helps you accomplish more throughout your workday.  When a system of order is in place, you are more driven and focused on the success of your business; NOT on the added stress of a cluttered space.
  3. It saves you profits… Organization = Great inventory management!  You avoid product loss due to expiration, misplacement, or damage.
  4. It creates an atmosphere which leads to business success!.. when you’ve create an environment which stimulates our brain, you think and feel better which translates into your work.  The passion for your business is reignited!  It also inspires you to want to become organized in other areas of your life.  Imagine that!!!

Helping people get organized is part of the butterfly effect of my vision – to bring a smile to the face of those who are struggling.  When people think of someone struggling, they think of major things like chronic illness, the loss of someone, addiction, etc.  BUT the struggle could be the desire to grow your business.  I’m in the business of helping people.

I LOVE working with home based business owners. Let me help you transform spaces which are a “hot mess” to what seems like a completely different room.   Every time you enter your office space, you’ll instantly become charged about your business day.   I can share with you how I got organized and STAY organized (90% of the time).  But it is your BUSINESS (or your home)!  We need to make it work for YOU.

I want you to feel excited and inspired every day when you enter your work space.  It shouldn’t bring feelings of stress or a “business-as-usual” mentality.  As a home-based business owner, you have the power to change your work environment into something to fuel your success.   It starts by getting organized – office supplies, product inventory, packaging/shipping supplies, photo/video equipment… EVERYTHING needed to run our businesses from home, in a neat and orderly system which fits your unique, individual needs…wheeew!  As a home-based business owner, you can create a positive, inspiring environment to keep you pumped about fulfilling your goals – no matter how big or small the space may be.

It’s time to address the elephant in the room!  Face it head on and be determined to overcome the problem which isn’t going anywhere

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tips on Homemaking

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Do you know what today is?  Yes, it is HUMP Day… half way through the week and halfway to the weekend.

Over the last week, we have been doing some remolding and repairs in the bathroom.  We had a small electrical fire in the lights above the medicine chest which turned into a major project.  So for about a week, the medicine chest was sitting in my living room.  I know what does this all have to do with “homemaking”, right?8133762f897b470f847f2c663562ef7f

It brought back some memories and got me motivated to clean up some of the stuff in the house.  My idea of doing chores for many years – since I have lived on my own – has been keeping things neat, a feather dusting and a quick vacuum or sweep.  Nothing major except for when I had the urge to move the furniture, then watch out.

When did I go from Saturday morning (or my day off) cleaning to just having things passable.  When did I stop paying attention to the details of housework like my mom?  I learned about cleaning and homemaking while living with my parents but the lessons never translated when I moved in on my own.

I went on the hunt for some help with homemaking hints, so I could get a refresher course.  Here are the 5 best tips, I found….

1. Practice.

Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but things do get better over time. What area do you struggle with – cleaning the bathroom? Practice. Struggling with laundry? Practice.  I never thought of these things as skills but in order to get good at them, you need to do them every day (or often) until you get really good at it.

2. Work on one area.

Or at least one area at a time. As much as you would like to, you don’t have to be on top of everything all the time!  It would be nice but truth is, it’s a juggling act.  Get the bathrooms shipshape, and then the laundry room is overflowing. Then the kitchen gets scary. And so it goes.  So take it one step at a time, one area at a time. Then repeat.  I struggle because our kitchen, dining room and living room all flow together, keeping them separate seems like even more of a struggle.

3. Give yourself grace.

We all have challenging seasons – maybe a pregnancy, a new baby, illness, job loss, or maybe moving to a new house? These are HUGE so don’t beat yourself up while going through it.  It is during these times, you need to slip into survival mode and just concentrate on the bare basics.  Honestly, I think I gave myself grace for far too long (5 years of challenging seasons).  During these times I have had enough on my hands so I am done heaping more guilt on myself.  What about you?  Do the guilt gremlins invade your space too?

4. Remember Who you are serving.

Cleaning (homemaking) was always all about pride or for my family’s sake but mostly about people pleasing.  When I didn’t do it according to the rules or the script, it was discouraging.   I woke up this morning with an AHA!  What if I am doing this as service to God—and Him only?  It really changes my perspective, the same as my dieting is pleasing to him.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (or family, friends, or neighbors). ~ Col. 3:23

So, with a song in my heart and strength in my hands, I am going to it!

5. Study the craft.

I may not be studying like I did in school BUT I am looking for articles on how to do things quickly, easily and toxic free.  I am not saying the dust bunnies won’t still creep in but they won’t linger as long.  Pinterest and Google have some great tips to help with the skill of homemaking.

Here are some more tidbits of information I picked up along the way:

  • Baking soda gets the smell out of stinky spots.
  • Clean the dirtiest areas of the bathroom first and then work your way up the mirrors last.
  • Run a lemon through the garbage disposal to freshen the sink.

By learning new tricks, homemaking is becoming more manageable and not a dreaded chore.  What are some of your best tips?1342735549209_2735191

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Organize Your Kitchen

our-kitchenHappy Monday!  I don’t know about you but the kitchen seems to be the hardest spot to keep organized.  Mind you, ours is one of those galley type kitchens in the condo so it doesn’t have much counter space to begin with.  Just one thing out of place and it is like chaos.

For most people, the kitchen and pantry are the most used ares of your home.  This is where family gathers, stuff gets dropped and where friends congregate when they come to visit.  Consequently, it quickly falls into chaos and clutter.

Here are some ideas for keeping the kitchen counters clear and the pantry organized. An organized pantry allows you to see what you have which saves trips to the store, money, and time.

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Bananas are a must have fruit in our house.  So this is a simple fix to keep them off the counter.  I also find they don’t bruise as easily as when they are on the counter.  Separating them does keep them from turning brown longer but makes for a cluttered counter.

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Do you love keeping things together? I hate opening the pantry and having to look around to find snacks. Using Thirty One’s cubes and rectangles allows me to keep similar foods together.  Personalizing the standards like snacks, pasta, etc can be done to keep things neat.  Or, you can use the chalk front and write your own label for those combinations which change frequently.  It makes it easier and faster to cook. Makes It easy to take inventory before I head to the store. Here’s a close-up of the bins:

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You can use them for various boxes of pasta or bags.  Since we are gluten free, I have found most of the pasta is in bags so the bins make it easy to keep the cabinets neat. Canned good are no exception to the keeping like items together rule. Canned goods can go into a bin, just like boxed foods. If you want to clean the shelf, it’s much easier to move one bin than all these cans separately.

storageorganizing24-300x214  I believe food storage lids are some how related to socks. They always seem to go missing for no reason and with no trace. Another alternative to keeping them together, and in a place you can see them, is critical to keeping them where you can use them. This can also be used to pot lids.  You can usually pick up stands like this in the dollar store.

double-duty-caddy Another solution to those pesky lids is Thirty One’s Double Duty caddy.  This handy bag works for craft, mail, car or cleaning storage solutions. It’s a great diaper caddy, too.  Approx. 10 1/2″H x 10″L x 8″D

8631800a Thirty One’s new Hang It Pocket Organizer is great for the kitchen as a command center.  Pockets for papers, keys, gloves or whatever else is tossed on your counter.  Get organized in the mudroom, office or playroom with this five-pocket organizer which can be tied on a door or hung on the wall. Extra-roomy pockets are great for craft supplies, file folders or even kids’ toys. Dimensions: 20″H x 24.75″L

What are some of your favorite tips for keeping your kitchen neat and tidy?  Share them with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Things You Need To Do Before 2017

Basic RGBHappy Monday…. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family.  It was a busy few days for us since the girls were in town for a quick visit with one of the fur grand babies.  Lots of adventures.

I don’t know about you but the realization JUST hit me…. there is less than five weeks to go to make the most of this year…yes, FIVE weeks.  If you want to be exact, there is 34 days.

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I know for many, they will be filled with holiday shopping, decorating, celebrating with family and friends and maybe even a mini vacation.  Yes, I will be doing some of those things BUT I realized there are a few things I meant to do in 2016 which have not been accomplished yet….

Check out this list and join me in crossing off some things from your to do list…

  1. Visit your doctor or dentist. Okay, the doctor is not tops on my list since I have spent countless days at doctor’s offices over the last year.  The dentist was on my list.  I will admit, I am pretty lousy at following through since I HATE dentists.  But, if I learned nothing in the last year, our health — physical, mental, sexual, oral or otherwise — is important. We need to take care of ourselves. And each other. Friends, make your friends go for a check-up and keep them accountable.
  2. Deep clean your space. No one wants to do this, but just think about how refreshing it would be to wake up January 1 with a blank slate. No cob webs, no dust, no laundry. Just a clean start. I have always said, “dust bunnies” are my friends.  I have made a verbal commitment to hubby to be better at this in 2017 especially since he has been so wonderful in helping me to get on top of things before the girls arrived.
  3. Donate unwanted items to charity or thrift stores. After you deep clean (including your closet, of course), take any unwanted items to a thrift store or donate them to charity. Not only are you reducing waste and helping those in need, making a charitable donation can also positively affect your tax return.  I am working on keeping my color palate of clothes to some basics so I have really been cleaning out.
  4. When was the last time you looked someone in the eye and told them you loved them? Seriously, it may be scary but intentionally and wholeheartedly telling your partner, parent, sister, brother, whomever, you love them is one of the greatest things you can do. Ever. So don’t wait another day.
  5. Clean up your inbox, desktop, text messages and photos. Daunting, yes, but oh-so freeing. Make your favorite smoothie, put on your favorite album or throw on your headphones, get comfy and technically cut the clutter and free up some digital space for new memories.
  6. Travel to a place you haven’t been to before. A dream vacation, a restaurant, a park, a campsite, your partner’s favorite beach… no matter where you go or what you do, just do it. Experience something new.  You will be amazed at how a brief break from the holiday craziness will help change your perspective AND re-energize you.
  7. Compliment a stranger. Random acts of kindness, even just words can make a difference in the life of someone you don’t know.  Have you ever walked into work or a coffee shop and a complete stranger compliments you — your smile, outfit, shoes? It is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Or even better… have you ever seen the reaction of a stranger when you compliment them? Talk about a positive, warm and beautiful exchange. So why not make someone feel really good today? Go ahead, compliment them!
  8. Watch the sun rise. I LOVE the sunrise especially over the beach.  With the sunrising a little later, it is a little easier to do even if it is from the confines of the house looking out the window.  It is the most peaceful time of day. A soft glow starts to appear in the once navy sky. It is a perfect time to meditate, reflect, give thanks or set your intentions. Just you, your thoughts, and a rising sun.
  9. Think ahead to 2017.  Start thinking about your new year’s intentions and goals. I don’t do resolutions BUT I do have a list of goals each year.  I also pick one word which will help to guide me through the year.  Being forward thinking allows you to make the decisions now to impact your future.

What would you add to this list? Please share in the comments.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!